# Student Projects

## Student Projects 2016

### PROJECT 1: Surface energy balance and sensitivity of melt to climate change

STUDENTS: Diego Cusicanqui, Soheb Mohd

ADVISOR: Regine Hock

DESCRIPTION: The project involves calculating the energy balance at the surface of a glacier using data over one melt season from an automatic weather station on a glacier. The next steps will evolve with student interests. For example, the project may compare different parameterizations for various components of the energy balance or explore the sensitivity of energy components and glacier to melt to changes in meteorological input variables.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Any programming language, e.g. Matlab. Project can in principle also be done using spreadsheets (e.g. Excel)

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic knowledge of any of the software requirements above.

### PROJECT 2: A simple flowline model

STUDENTS: Julian Martin, Chen Zhao

ADVISOR: Regine Hock

DESCRIPTION: We will investigate the behavior of an idealized simple one-dimensional glacier model which describes the changes in glacier topography with time. You will code the model, preferably in Matlab, and then explore the behavior of the glacier in response to varying mass balance gradients and equilibrium lines. You may also investigate the sensitivity of the glacier evolution in time to changes in glacier bed, ice softness etc.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: The project does not require prior ice flow modeling experience, but some basic knowledge of calculus/differential equations and Matlab is needed (or sufficient programing skills in another programing language so that you can code the model without help).

### PROJECT 3: Ice rheology from symmetric flows

STUDENTS: Cooper Elsworth, Conrad Koziol

ADVISOR: Ed Bueler

DESCRIPTION: There are simple models for the evolution of circularly-symmetric flows of ice (or other viscous fluids). This theory, used quantitatively, allows us to convert observations of real flows, whether approximately circular (polar caps on Mars) or deliberately circular (laboratory), into estimates of the rheology of the fluid. The project will use pencil and paper calculations, some processing of data on computer, and modest experimentation.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or Octave

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic exposure to (1) differential equations and (2) Matlab or similar.

### PROJECT 4: Glaciating random terrain

STUDENTS: Justin Hiester, Andrew Johnson

ADVISOR: Ed Bueler

DESCRIPTION: How does glacier-covered area (or volume) depend on the roughness of topography? In this project we will generate samples of random terrain, in two horizontal dimensions, assume altitude-accumulation feedback, and model the corresponding steady states of the glaciers. The model results can be measured in various statistical senses; this will be student-driven. We thereby address the question of how glaciation changes as equilibrium line altitude and/or lapse rates change on random terrain of different steepness and magnitude. This project will run an existing, laptop-suitable glacier model and process its output in a variety of student-driven ways.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Python and Linux/Unix

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic exposure to (1) numerical methods or probability, and (2) use of Python and unix-type command line.

### PROJECT 5: Interpreting kinematic GPS data

STUDENTS: Peter Friedl, Nathan Meier

ADVISOR: Martin Truffer

DESCRIPTION: We will learn how to interpret GPS data from moving ice to derive glacier velocities and variations thereof with emphasis on short term variations and signal to noise ratios. Students could use their own GPS data, but should inform the instructor prior to the course if they wish to do so. Otherwise, a data set will be made available.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or similar software

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Some familiarity with Matlab or similar software, some basic statistics.

### PROJECT 6: Inverse modeling

STUDENTS: Matthew Osman, Anja Rutishauser

ADVISOR: Martin Truffer

DESCRIPTION: We will explore inverse models to derive conditions at the base of a glacier from surface data. The project requires an interest in mathematical methods and some familiarity with Matlab programing. The emphasis is not on large-scale inversions, rather on simple ‘toy models’ that illustrate the principles behind geophysical inversions.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Matlab or similar software

### PROJECT 7: Outburst flood dynamics

STUDENTS: Christina Carr, Jessica Zimmermann

ADVISOR: Gwenn Flowers

DESCRIPTION: What role do reservoir and glacier geometry, channel configuration and properties, and the implementation of model boundary conditions have on simulated glacier outburst floods? We will use a one-dimensional hydraulic model to explore these (and possibly other) aspects of jokulhlaups.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or equivalent (e.g. Octave)

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic physics and calculus, some familiarity with differential equations and programming.

### PROJECT 8: Simple models of subglacial drainage

STUDENTS: Dustin Carroll, John Cavanagh

ADVISOR: Gwenn Flowers

DESCRIPTION: The morphology and efficiency of subglacial drainage are first-order controls on glacier and ice-sheet dynamics. We will use simple (0-D to 1-D) models of coupled distributed and channelized flow to explore the interaction and evolution of these two drainage types and their implications for basal water pressure and sliding. There is also room to explore different representations of distributed and channelized drainage in these models.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or equivalent (e.g. Octave)

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic physics and calculus, some familiarity with differential equations and programming.

### PROJECT 9: Using Remote Sensing Techniques to map Glacier Changes

STUDENTS: Lu Ann, Luisa Fernandes

ADVISOR: Leigh Stearns

DESCRIPTION: We will use supervised classification techniques to explore both short- and long-term changes of Kennicott Glacier, AK and Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland. In particular, we will map trimlines, which will be used to reconstruct historic elevation profiles. We will also track changes in ELA position through the length of the satellite record, which we will compare with other changes in glacier behavior and external forcings.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: QGIS, ArcGIS, ENVI (any remote sensing software that can perform supervised classifications), Python or Matlab

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)

### PROJECT 10: Icebergs and calving rates

STUDENTS: Alexandra Pulwicki, Benjamin Robson

ADVISOR: Leigh Stearns

DESCRIPTION: We will use remote sensing techniques to investigate the relationship between calving rate and iceberg distribution. Iceberg characteristics can yield clues about terminus dynamics; we will explore these relationships by comparing data for ice velocity, calving rate, and iceberg size over several years.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: QGIS, ArcGIS, ENVI (any remote sensing software), Python or Matlab

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)

### PROJECT 11: Feedbacks between orographic precipitation and glacier flow

STUDENTS: Emilie Sinkler, Lizz Utlee

ADVISOR: Andy Aschwanden

DESCRIPTION: We will investigate how the feedbacks between orographic precipitation, which occurs when moist air is forced upwards over rising terrain, can lead to asymmetric ice flow if the ice overtops the mountain. The Antarctic Peninsula is an extreme case of these feedbacks because the peninsula extends north-south across the prevailing winds and precipitation changes from as high as 10 m/yr on the windward side of the mountain range to 10 cm/yr on lee side, over less than 50 km. Despite the low snowfall on the leeward side, the northern Antarctic Peninsula has large trunk glaciers on the lee side. This asymmetry is driven by feedbacks between glacier dynamics and orographic precipitation. In this project we will use the combination of a model of orographic precipitation and an ice flow model on an idealized geometry to better understand these feedbacks. The model is already implemented in python and uses the Finite Element package “Dolfin/FeNICS”.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Python with dolfin/fenics installed

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)

### PROJECT 12: Feedbacks between subglacial erosion and glacier flow

STUDENTS: Ian Delaney, Benjamin Keisling

ADVISOR: Andy Aschwanden

DESCRIPTION: On long (10s of millennia) time scales, glacier erosion sculpts landscapes yet developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes. It is commonly assumed that the erosion rate is proportional to some power of the basal sliding velocity. Here we will use a flowline glacier flow model coupled to parameterizations of glacier erosion to study the feedbacks between erosion and glacier flow. The model is already implemented in python and uses the Finite Element package “Dolfin/FeNICS”.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Python with dolfin/fenics installed

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)

### PROJECT 13: Landsat-based characterization of glaciers in the Wrangells

STUDENTS: Iram Bano, Siddharth Shankar

ADVISOR: Mark Fahnestock

DESCRIPTION: This project will develop a set of tools, and base maps of the glaciers in the park from Landsat 8 imagery, and combine time series of images to map debris cover and changes in seasonal snow lines on these glaciers, developing code for delimiting snow lines and debris boundaries where possible. This result will be combined with an existing digital elevation model and glacier mask, resulting in a spatial picture of the distribution of the late season snow line in the park over the last three years. Students will become familiar with open-source command-line tools for mosaicking and remote sensing analysis.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: QGIS, gdal, python

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)

### PROJECT 14: Evolution of the current Walsh and Steele surges in space and time

STUDENTS: Bas Altena, Jeff Compton

ADVISOR: Mark Fahnestock

DESCRIPTION: Using an extensive collection of image-derived velocity fields from Landsat 8, students will develop a history of flow speed changes for one of the glaciers currently surging in the Wrangells, compare this to our limited knowledge about the basics of surging, and, in the case of the Steele, relate the evolution of the surge to what is known from a description of a prior surge. Velocity time series for these glaciers will be updated for the spring using feature tracking code in python. The goals of this project include developing facility with remote sensing tools, analysis of collections of noisy data, and adding to our limited understanding of surging.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: QGIS, gdal, python

REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: basic programming (Python, Matlab)