Calving Dynamics and ice shelf damage

Warmer ocean waters trigger ice-front retreats of marine-terminating glaciers, and the corresponding loss in resistive stress leads to glacier acceleration and thinning. We have implemented a level-set based method to track moving boundaries within our ice sheet model. We also developed a new calving law based on tensile stresses (see Morlighem et al. 2016), but more work is needed to find a universal calving law, the holy grail of glaciologists…

In Antarctica, Larsen A and Larsen B have collapsed, and we are working on better understanding the evolution of damage of large ice shelves, what triggers ice shelf collapse and how to model ice shelf desintegration.

Selected publications

      • M. Morlighem, M. Wood, H. Seroussi, Y. Choi and E. Rignot, Modeling the response of northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge, The Cryosphere 13 (2019) 723-34 [link]
    • Y. Choi, M. Morlighem, M. Wood and J.H. Bondzio, Comparison of four calving laws to model Greenland outlet glaciers, The Cryosphere 12 (2018) 3735-46 [link]
    • V. Emetc, P. Tregoning, M. Morlighem, C. Borstad and M. Sambridge, A statistical fracture model for Antarctic ice shelves and glaciers, The Cryosphere 12 (2018) 3187-213 [link]
    • Y. Choi, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot and M. Wood, Modeling the Response of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden and Zachariae Isstrøm Glaciers, Greenland, to Ocean Forcing Over the Next Century, Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017) 11,071-11,079 [link]
    • J.H. Bondzio, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi, T. Kleiner, M. Rückamp, J. Mouginot, T. Moon, E.Y. Larour and A. Humbert, The mechanisms behind Jakobshavn Isbrae’s acceleration and mass loss: A 3-D thermomechanical model study, Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017) 6252-60 [link]
    • H. Yu, E. Rignot, M. Morlighem and H. Seroussi, Iceberg calving of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica: full-Stokes modeling combined with linear elastic fracture mechanics, The Cryosphere 11 (2017) 1283-96 [link]
    • M. Morlighem, J. Bondzio, H. Seroussi, E. Rignot, E. Larour, A. Humbert and S. Rebuffi, Modeling of Store Gletscher’s calving dynamics, West Greenland, in response to ocean thermal forcing, Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016) 2659-66 [link]
    • J.H. Bondzio, H. Seroussi, M. Morlighem, T. Kleiner, M. Rückamp, A. Humbert and E.Y. Larour, Modelling calving front dynamics using a level-set method: application to Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, The Cryosphere 10 (2016) 497-510 [link]
    • C. Borstad, A. Khazendar, B. Scheuchl, M. Morlighem, E. Larour and E. Rignot, A constitutive framework for predicting weakening and reduced buttressing of ice shelves based on observations of the progressive deterioration of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf, Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016) 2027-35 [link]
    • E. Larour, J. Utke, B. Csatho, A. Schenk, H. Seroussi, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, N. Schlegel and A. Khazendar, Inferred basal friction and surface mass balance of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream using data assimilation of ICESat (Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) surface altimetry and ISSM (Ice Sheet System Model), The Cryosphere 8 (2014) 2335-51 [link]
    • C.P. Borstad, A. Khazendar, E. Larour, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, M.P. Schodlok and H. Seroussi, A damage mechanics assessment of the Larsen B ice shelf prior to collapse: Toward a physically-based calving law, Geophysical Research Letters 39 (2012) [link]