Monthly Archives: June 2014

IGS Chamonix 2014 – Part 1

My plan was to write a post per day and that’s what I did the wi-fi internet connection was so miserable that I was unable to get access to Ice & Rock. But here it comes in 3 posts.

Day 1 – 26 May 2014

Where can you meet randomly Tavi Murray, Jonathan Bamber, Neil Ross, Bethan Davies (from and Ruth Mottram by just walking in town? In Chamonix since yesterday for the IGS Chamonix 2014 Symposium on Glaciers and ice sheets contribution to sea-level change.

So after a nice icebreaker (quite ironic for a glaciology conference) yesterday with good food and good wine, today was the first day of talks.

Introduction by Douglas MacAyeal
Introduction by Douglas MacAyeal

Anthony Payne made the first keynote of the week with an overview of Greenland and Antarctica contribution to sea-level from the IPCC Assessment Report 5. And I attributed to Tony the Acronym of the day award with: MISI for Marine Ice Sheet Instability.

Then Stefan Ligtenberg with modelling of firn densification in Antarctica made me wonder if I should take that into account in my attempt to extract Mass Balance from DEM variation over Glacier Blanc / Glacier Noir.

After the morning coffee break Regine Hock made a really enthusiastic presentation on modelling Juneau Icefield (Alaska) using Brian Anderson flow model on short/medium time and space scale: I need to remember that because I wish to use this model  😉

Regine Hock talk
Regine Hock talk

Another enthusiastic presentation was the one by Ruth Mottram (@ruth_mottram) presenting  some results on Greenland Ice Sheet modelling. And as I already tweeted, go to  (@polarportal on Twitter) to know what’s happening now in Greenland 😀

Ruth Mottram talk
Ruth Mottram talk

After the afternoon coffee break came the ice rheology session with two excellent talks by Jeremy Bassis and Brad Lipovsky: I’m sure Stephen Jennings would have appreciate these talks!

Day 2 – 27 May 2014

After a “not-that-good” night and  a foggy breakfast, the first session started at 8:30 with the keynote of Michiel Van Den Broeke on how evaluating RACMO model on Surface Mass Balance and Discharge of Ice Sheets. And of course one of the key points is to get data from Automatic Weather Station (AWS) such as the iW5 AWS which can be deployed in 30 minutes… What is the price of this AWS he tried to sell us?

During the second morning session, Roberta Sciascia presented modelling on submarine melting of glacier front: sure Nolwenn Chauche would have some questions for her or the reverse as she’s not doing fieldwork even if MIT is closer from Greenland 😛 Later that day I had a nice chat with Roberta and indeed it looks really cool to work at the MIT.

In the afternoon Peter Kuiper Munneke gave a great talk on modelling the process to create an aquifer in the Greenland firn. Really cool and simple modelling with understandable interpretation. If you are interested in firn, follow Peter on Twitter: @PKuipersMunneke.

Big glaciers, big proglacial lakes? Don’t look for it, it’s in Patagonia. Shin Sugiyama presented the first results of his (south hemisphere) summer fieldwork. Good work and good place to work! For your information, in Patagonian proglacial lakes, stratification of waters is controlled by the sediment load and not temperature or salinity like in marine fjords.

And here comes the poster session… my poster session! Still surprise how many people came to have a look to my poster and talked to me. Among them: Gwenn Flowers from Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada.

Me, my beer and my poster!
Me, my beer and my poster! Thank you Ruth!

I didn’t get the opportunity to have a look to the poster of Bethan Davies but I talked to Debora Verfaillie about her poster on the mass balance of the icecap situated on the Kerguelen Island. I also talked to Lionel Benoit (former colleague from IGN) about the use Geocube to track Argentière Glacier movement. And to finish, I got the full explanation on Marius Schafer poster on the mass balance of the Patagonian Icefields.

That’s it for part 1 of my IGS Chamomix Symposium 2014!