Glaciers in Iceland began retreating around 1890, and since then the Vatnajökull ice cap has lost over 400 km3 of ice. The associated unloading of the crust induces a glacio‐isostatic response. From 1996 to 2004 a GPS network was measured around the southern edge of Vatnajökull. These measurements, together with more extended time series at several other GPS sites, indicate vertical velocities around the ice cap ranging from 9 to 25 mm/yr, and horizontal velocities in the range 3 to 4 mm/yr. The vertical velocities have been modeled using the finite element method (FEM) in order to constrain the viscosity structure beneath Vatnajökull. We use an axisymmetric Earth model with an elastic plate over a uniform viscoelastic half‐space. The observations are consistent with predictions based on an Earth model made up of an elastic plate with a thickness of 10–20 km and an underlying viscosity in the range 4–10 × 1018 Pa s. Knowledge of the Earth structure allows us to predict uplift around Vatnajökull in the next decades. According to our estimates of the rheological parameters, and assuming that ice thinning will continue at a similar rate during this century (about 4 km3/year), a minimum uplift of 2.5 meters between 2000 to 2100 is expected near the current ice cap edge. If the thinning rates were to double in response to global warming (about 8 km3/year), then the minimum uplift between 2000 to 2100 near the current ice cap edge is expected to be 3.7 meters.

Glacio-isostatic deformation around the Vatnajokull ice cap, Iceland, induced by recent climate warming: GPS observations and finite element modeling

PAGLI, CAROLINA;
2007

Abstract

Glaciers in Iceland began retreating around 1890, and since then the Vatnajökull ice cap has lost over 400 km3 of ice. The associated unloading of the crust induces a glacio‐isostatic response. From 1996 to 2004 a GPS network was measured around the southern edge of Vatnajökull. These measurements, together with more extended time series at several other GPS sites, indicate vertical velocities around the ice cap ranging from 9 to 25 mm/yr, and horizontal velocities in the range 3 to 4 mm/yr. The vertical velocities have been modeled using the finite element method (FEM) in order to constrain the viscosity structure beneath Vatnajökull. We use an axisymmetric Earth model with an elastic plate over a uniform viscoelastic half‐space. The observations are consistent with predictions based on an Earth model made up of an elastic plate with a thickness of 10–20 km and an underlying viscosity in the range 4–10 × 1018 Pa s. Knowledge of the Earth structure allows us to predict uplift around Vatnajökull in the next decades. According to our estimates of the rheological parameters, and assuming that ice thinning will continue at a similar rate during this century (about 4 km3/year), a minimum uplift of 2.5 meters between 2000 to 2100 is expected near the current ice cap edge. If the thinning rates were to double in response to global warming (about 8 km3/year), then the minimum uplift between 2000 to 2100 near the current ice cap edge is expected to be 3.7 meters.
Pagli, Carolina; F., Sigmundsson; B., Lund; E., Sturkell; H., Geirsson; P., Einarsson; T., Arnadottir; S., Hreinsdottir
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/500513
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