In this talk I will review mathematical models used to describe the dynamics of ice sheets, and highlight some current areas of active research. Melting of glaciers and ice sheets causes an increase in global sea level, and provides many other feedbacks on isostatic adjustment, the dynamics of the ocean, and broader climate patterns. The rate of melting has increased in recent years, but there is still considerable uncertainty over why this is, and whether the increase will continue. Central to these questions is understanding the physics of how the ice intereacts with the atmosphere, the ground on which it rests, and with the ocean at its margins. I will given an overview of the fluid mechanical problems involved and the current state of mathematical/computational modelling. I will focus particularly on the issue of changing lubrication due to water flowing underneath the ice, and discuss how we can use models to rationalise observations of ice speed-up and slow-down.
- Mathematical Geoscience Seminar