“Polar Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise” with Indrani Das

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Climate Change, Ocean and Atmospheric Physics, Polar Research, Remote Sensing

Indrani Das c.v.

My research interests are very broad- ranging from Glaciology to Atmospheric Physics.

I study ice surface and basal processes and ice-atmosphere interactions on ice sheets and mountain glaciers. 

I have worked on AntarcticaGreenlandAlaska and the Himalayan glaciers. I use a combination of airborne, satellite remote sensing and modeling.

My current passion is to use radar observations as boundary conditions in large ice sheet models to quantify long-term accumulation history and flow dynamics.

Antarctic ice shelves are the floating extensions of the grounded ice sheet. The ice shelves provide forces that slow the flow of grounded ice into the ocean, thus helping to stabilize the ice sheet. Mass loss from ice shelves occurs by basal melting and calving of icebergs. Here, we present a novel method for estimating basal melting using airborne ice penetrating radars. We used data collected from an airborne survey of the Ross Ice Shelf to measure the thickness of a bottom unit of the ice shelf that is made of pure ice originating from the grounded ice sheet. The change in thickness of this bottom unit was used to estimate basal melting. These new melt rates are similar to satellite‐derived estimates, indicating that the Ross Ice Shelf has been fairly stable over the past several decades. Most of the melting is concentrated at the ice shelf front at five localized hotspots with melt rates of about half to two meters per year. The elevated melting in the hot spots is likely caused by inflows of warm ocean water through pathways provided by bathymetry and thinner ice, and indicates regions of potential future weakness of the ice shelf to ocean change.



https://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/polareducation/ • •Measuring sea level change •https://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/polareducation/Activities/Sea%20Level%20Rise/SEA_LEVEL_RISE_Student.pdf • •IcePod Science •https://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/polareducation/Activities/Bits%20&%20Bytes/BitsAndBytesofIcePodScience.pdf

THWATES EXPLORER: http://www.thwaites-explorer.org/

1) Thwaites Education Page –
2) Thwaites Explorer app
3) Polar Education curriculum that has a wide range of activities on it
4) The interactive around isostatic rebound from ice


http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/2018/06/mass-balance-antarctic-ice-sheet-1992-2017/ •https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/airborne-radar-looking-through-thick-ice-during-nasa-polar-campaigns/ •https://earth2class.org/site/?s=Antarctica

Selected Related E2C Presentations

“The AGAP (Antarctica’s GAmburtsev Province) Project and other LDEO Antarctic Investigations”

with Margie Turrin