2022 Thayer Investiture

All Thayer Events

Jones Seminar: Waves on Glaciers and Some Mechanical Insights They Provide



3:30pm - 4:30pm EST

Spanos Auditorium / Zoom

Optional ZOOM LINK
Meeting ID: 952 5758 4666
Passcode: 389930

The dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets influence rates of sea-level rise, freshwater supplies, and landscape evolution. Decades of research has highlighted key processes and connections between terrestrial ice, climate, and the solid earth, but limited observations of glaciated regions have allowed fundamental questions in glaciers dynamics to remain open. How are drag and the rate of slip at glacier beds related? How do high rates of shearing in glacier margins influence ice rheology? In recent years, the exponential growth of publicly available, high-quality remotely sensed observations has presented new opportunities to address these questions by providing insight into spatial and temporal variations in glacier surface elevation and velocity fields.

In this talk, we will discuss recent work aimed at using remote sensing observations collected from multiple spaceborne instruments to quantify the rates of propagation and decay of dynamic and kinematic waves in glaciers. These waves originate from stress perturbations caused by a variety of environmental forcings and provide unique insights into the rheology of glacier ice and the mechanics of slip at glacier beds. Both the rheology of ice and mechanics of slip govern the sensitivity of glaciers and ice sheets to climate change, and we will conclude with a discussion of some implications of this work and thoughts on the future of Earth observations.

About the Speaker(s)

Brent Minchew
Cecil & Ida Green Assistant Professor of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences, MIT

Brent Minchew

Professor Brent Minchew leads the glacier dynamics and remote sensing group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Brent received his BS and MS in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2016 and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the British Antarctic Survey from 2016–2018. Brent's research interests focus on the flow, deformation, and fracture of glacier ice. He uses remote sensing observations and simple physical models to study the mechanics of rapid glacier flow.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at ashley.l.parker@dartmouth.edu.