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Ice-ocean interactions: past, present and future (co-organized)
Convener: Tom Cowton  | Co-Conveners: Robert Bingham , Brice Rea , Finlo Cottier 
 / Tue, 10 Apr, 13:30–15:00
 / Attendance Tue, 10 Apr, 17:30–19:00

The importance of interaction between glaciers and ice sheets and the ocean is becoming increasingly clear. Warming of subsurface waters has been implicated in the thinning and break up of ice shelves, triggering dramatic increases in discharge from upstream glaciers. At tidewater glaciers, the circulation of warm subsurface waters can generate submarine melt rates > 1 m/day, driving changes in terminus position on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Conversely, the discharge of ice and meltwater influences the ocean. The input of freshwater generates buoyancy-driven currents in fjordic and coastal settings, while the subglacial input of runoff generates vigorous buoyant upwelling adjacent to tidewater glaciers. Upwelled nutrients, combined with those present in meltwater and icebergs, stimulate zones of high productivity extending out into the open ocean. Despite the recognised importance of these linkages however, many of the processes controlling ice-ocean interaction remain poorly understood. This in part reflects the difficulty of gaining observations in extremely challenging environments, and of designing models capable of crossing the threshold between ice and ocean. Remote sensing data have proven particularly valuable for documenting changes to calving front and grounding line locations and ice-shelf thicknesses, while the interpretation of palaeo data, including submarine sediments and landforms, provides an opportunity to examine ice-ocean interaction on timescales far beyond observational records.

We invite contributions that include, but are not limited to, measurements and/or modelling of: (i) controls on submarine melting, calving and grounding line dynamics; (ii) the impact of glacial meltwater and icebergs on coastal oceanography and productivity; (iii) long term perspectives on ice-ocean interaction from palaeo data; (iv) the impact of processes at the ice-ocean boundary on glacier and ice sheet dynamics; (v) future changes in ice-ocean interaction.