Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Mark A Fahnestock


Recent studies have demonstrated rapid change along the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) over the last decade. In particular, increases in glacier velocities coincident with terminus retreat for many of Greenland's outlet glaciers have effectively increased the amount of ice discharged. Much of this calved ice passes through elaborate fjord systems en route to the ocean. This study utilizes remote sensing observations to investigate the changing conditions in several of Greenland's pro-glacial fjords and changes along glacier termini. The findings indicate that changes in the mix of calved ice and water in pro-glacial fjords have implications for the location of the calving front and for glacier speed and thickness in the near-terminus region on seasonal to interannual time scales. The ability of the fjord ice to influence terminus dynamics and glacier stability has implications for predicting ice loss over much longer time scales.