Received: 09 Dec 2014 – Accepted for review: 15 Dec 2014 – Discussion started: 12 Jan 2015
Abstract. The dynamic response of outlet glaciers on short (annual to decadal) timescales is affected by various external forcings, such as basal or oceanic conditions. Understanding the sensitivity of the dynamic response to such forcings can help assess more accurate ice volume projections. In this work, we investigate the spatiotemporal sensitivity of outlet glaciers to fast cyclical forcings using a one-dimensional depth and width-averaged heuristic model. Our results indicate that even on such short timescales, nonlinearities in ice dynamics may lead to an asymmetric response, despite the forcing functions being symmetric around each reference value. Results also show that such short-timescale effects become more pronounced as glaciers become closer to flotation. While being qualitatively similar for both downsloping and upsloping bed geometries, the results indicate higher sensitivity for upsloping ("West Antarctica-like") beds. The range in asymmetric response for different configurations motivate parameterizing or including short-timescale effects in models while investigating the dynamic behavior of outlet glaciers.
How to cite. Aykutlug, E. and K. Dupont, T.: A sensitivity study of fast outlet glaciers to short timescale cyclical perturbations, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9, 223–250, https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-9-223-2015, 2015.