Hans Tausen Iskappe, North Greenland - Studies using an ice flow model – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Hans Tausen Iskappe, North Greenland - Studies using an ice flow model

Master thesis colloquium
Anne Solgaard, Center for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute
Hans Tausen Iskappe, North Greenland -Studies using  an ice flow model

Hans Tausen Iskappe is a local ice cap located in Peary Land, North Greenland. The ice cap is approximately 75 km from north to south and 50 km from east to west and rests on a ca. 1000 m high plateau. Different studies of an ice core drilled to bedrock at the Central Dome indicates an age of the ice cap of 3500-4000 years meaning that it did not survive the warmer climate of the Climatic Optimum 6000-8000 BP. The re-building together with the present and future state of the ice cap are studied using a 2D vertically integrated ice flow model based on the shallow ice approximation.

Investigations of the build-up using simple parameterizations of accumulation show that a change in accumulation pattern has occurred over the life time of the ice cap. The surface height of the Central Dome has been measured in 1994 and 2004 and a decrease of 1-1.5 m +/- 0.5 m is reported ascribed to local effects. The most likely mechanisms are believed to be increased melting during the period in the dome area and ice flow transporting ice away from the dome combined with low accumulation. These mechanisms are able to explain a decrease within the lower bound of the observations but are not sufficient to account for decreases in the upper bound.

The future state of Hans Tausen Iskappe is investigated by forcing the ice flow model using future predictions of temperature and precipitation by Stendel et al. All applied scenarios show thinning and retreat of the ice margin leading to a steeper ice cap over the next century.