EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Reconstructing accumulation rates of the Greenland ice sheet using dated radiostratigraphy 

Philipp Immanuel Voigt1,2 and Andreas Born1,2
Philipp Immanuel Voigt and Andreas Born
  • 1University of Bergen, Department of Earth Science, Quaternary geology and Paleoclimate, Norway (
  • 2Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway

The stability of the Greenland ice sheet is poorly constrained even for benchmark periods such as the mid-Holocene or Eemian. Since ice stratigraphy holds a record of both surface mass balance (SMB) and ice dynamics, dated radiostratigraphy offer a potential route to improved reconstructions. Here we explicitly simulate isochrones and employ inverse methods to optimize the solution. The Englacial Layer Simulation Architecture (ELSA) coupled with a thermomechanical ice sheet model computes the isochrones or ice layers, which enable the direct comparison with the radiostratigraphy data. The accumulation rates force ELSA, and are adjusted until the model reproduces the observations within their uncertainties. We deploy the Ensemble Kalman Smoother for the data assimilation. This results in not only the reconstruction of the SMB; an optimized simulation of the ice sheet is obtained by solving the corresponding forward problem. Hence, the contribution to sea level change by Greenland over the same period can also be constrained.

Here we present our initial approach and preliminary results of SMB reconstruction. Future plans and expansions of the work are also presented, involving the study of several model parameters such as basal traction.

How to cite: Voigt, P. I. and Born, A.: Reconstructing accumulation rates of the Greenland ice sheet using dated radiostratigraphy , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15374,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary material file