Sliding Glaciers

Update

Now Archived! PolarConnect event with Lauren Adamo Neitzke and the research team on Sliding Glaciers from an overlook of the Rhone glacier in Switzerland on Thursday, 23 August 2018. You can access this and other events on the PolarConnect Archives site.

What Are They Doing?

The forefield of Castleguard Glacier, Alberta, Canada, Photo by Keith WilliamsThe forefield of Castleguard Glacier, Alberta, Canada, where the team made its first measurements using the terrestrial laser scanner in the foreground. Photo by Keith Williams The team is developing mathematical relationships needed to predict the sliding speeds of glaciers and ice sheets. The uncertainty of these relationships, called sliding laws, introduces major uncertainty in the results of computer models aimed at predicting ice-sheet flow and associated sea-level rise. Improved sliding laws are developed by visiting forefields of seven receding glaciers in the Swiss Alps and measuring in detail the topography of their exposed former beds. This topography is then used as the basis for computer models of glacier sliding that allow sliding laws to be derived. The field site is not in a polar region but the team's work can help predict glacial change that may occur at the poles in the future.

Where Are They?

The forefield of Tsanfleuron, one of glaciers where the team will be working.

Expedition Map

Expedition Resources

Project Information

Dates: 10 August 2018 to 28 August 2018
Location: Valais Canton of Switzerland
Project Funded Title: Collaborative research: Development of sliding laws for glacier-flow and landscape-evolution models.

Journals

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Meet the Team

Lauren Neitzke Adamo's picture
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
East Brunswick, NJ
United States

Lauren Neitzke Adamo's interest in science and geology started at a young age while traveling to National Parks all over the country with her family. This love was further fostered while earning her undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Geological Sciences at Rutgers University, where her research focused on understanding the mechanisms and underlying causes of the abrupt climate change observed in sediment cores from North Atlantic Ocean over the last 200,000 years. She also spent much of her graduate career teaching science and geology to a variety of formal and informal audiences and was thrilled to accept a position at the Rutgers Geology Museum as the Associate Director in 2009 and as the Museum Director in 2016. This position allows her to combine her love of teaching, science, research, and dinosaurs through the implementation of various educational activities and programming for the Rutgers and New Jersey communities.

Neal Iverson's picture
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
United States

Neal Iverson is the Smith Family Foundation Chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at Iowa State University. His research is devoted primarily to understanding glaciers and the spectacular imprint they leave on the landscape. Glacier dynamics and landscape modification are particularly sensitive to processes at glacier beds, which is the focus of much of his effort.

This research involves field experiments at modern glaciers, field measurements in formerly glaciated landscapes, laboratory experiments, and the formulation of models aimed at characterizing glacial processes. He and some of his former students are the 2012 recipients of the Kirk Bryan Award, given by the Geological Society of America for research that advances the field of geomorphology. More information about Dr. Iverson can be found here

Lucas Zoet's picture
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI
United States

Lucas (Luke) Zoet is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geoscience, and holds an appointment in Geological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research largely focuses on understanding the physics of glacier motion through field observation, laboratory experiments, and theoretical analysis. His work largely sits at the intersection of glaciology and glacial geology. He uses a variety of geophysical and geological methods to explore glacial processes at both modern-day glaciers and landforms left behind by since melted glaciers.

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Latest Comments

Thanks Hannah, yes it has been a lot of fun. But also a lot of hard work.
Your expedition sounds amazing. What an exciting experience it must be working with those scientist up in the Alps.
In many of the fields the striations were all within 10 degrees of each other. I do not know how the different directions tell the bigger story, but I imagine it is deeply dependent on the...
I am wondering if you were able to see changes in striation directions through time or different regions of the area and what story they might tell? Will you be able to determine where two glaciers...
Your legs may be barking and your feet burning, but just think of the stories you will be able to tell! And, what awesome geology you are trekking along. Wow! I am jealous! Don't beat yourself up for...