IGS Chamonix 2014 – Part 2

Day 3 – 28 May 2014

All the sessions of today were about basal processes and the first session was especially about glacial hydrology. The keynote was given by Gwenn Flower. That was a really great and motivating talk about the history and evolution of glacial hydrology modelling. Hydrology modelling looks really interesting and motivating for two reasons: it’s quite visual and nobody can say something because there is no data to confront your model 😉

Gwenn Flowers and the different type of hydrological model
Gwenn Flowers and the different type of hydrological model

Just before the coffee break Teresa Kyrk-Smith gave a great talk on the initiation of ice streams by subglacial water and their simulations. Really visual and impressive.

Then after the coffee break, Marion Bougamont made a talk about soft bed sediment and ice flow in Greenland. She has some famous collaborators (if an appearance in BBC Frozen Planet makes you famous) from Aberystwyth: Allun Hubbard and Sam Doyle.

After this really interesting morning, it was time for the mid-conference excursion. Participants had three choices:

  • Taking the cable car to Aiguille du Midi at 3842 m
  • Going to Montenvers station and visit the museum and gems gallery of Mer de Glace
  • Going to Montenvers station and go for a walk on Mer de Glace

I chose the last option and went down the ladder (around 200 m from Montenvers station). Before taking the Montenvers train, there was some hope of sun but arrived at Mer de Glace it was hopelessly raining. Anyway it was a great excursion: it’s good to be outside after 2.5 days of talks 😉

Taking advantage of the IGS conference, the LGGE organised an after dinner public lecture entitled “The glaciers in abeyance?”. The speakers were Delphine Six, Christian Vincent (LGGE), Eric Rignot (NASA JPL), Frank Pattyn (ULB) and Isabella Zin (LTHE). It was a relaxing conference after more than 2 days of high-level glaciology.

Day 4 – 29 May 2014

Glacier des Bossons
Glacier des Bossons

After a poor weather excursion, this morning was sunny and we could see the summits around the conference site.

Douglas MacAyeal introducting Eric Rignot
Douglas MacAyeal introducting Eric Rignot by reading Frankenstein

So after a keynote by Eric Rignot, Martin O’Leary (@mewo2) made a really enjoyable presentation on a method to reconstruct bed topography from various datasets. He succeed to make the math involved in “hardcore” modelling easy… even if I didn’t understand half of what Martin said 😛

Martin making Mass Conservation equations easy to understand
Martin making Mass Conservation equations easy to understand

Then Mathieu Morlighem presented his work on the bed map of Greenland using mass conservation method: really interesting and impressive.

After the coffee break, Lauren Andrews presented her work based (for a change) on observations and not modelling. That was a nice talk on hydrolic head measurements in moulins in Greenland.

The afternoon sessions were focused on radar and analysis of radargram with talks from:

  • Neil Ross (@sledge_ross) about a series of impressive radargrams in Antarctica and their interpretation
Neil Ross and one of his radargram
Neil Ross and one of his radargram
  • Dustin Schroeder on what information are present in radargrams
  • Joseph MacGregor with a Matlab package (PickGUI) to analysis radargrams, the stratigraphy in Greenland Ice Sheet and how to follow isochrones on hundreds of kilometres.

And the acronym of the day award is going to: almost every speakers with NEGIS = North East Greenland Ice Sheet.

And here came the second poster session. Looking at figures from far and asking questions: it is really interesting to be on the other side of the poster session 😛 With more than 50 posters, it was difficult to go through all of them but here is my top poster list:

  • Ilaria Clemenzi with implication of blowing snow on seasonal mass balance in the Alps (Haut Glacier d’Arolla)
  • Martin O’Leary with an open source Javascript Ice Sheet Model for education. Really cool, a must try here: http://mewo2.com/ism.html
  • Clément Miège with IceBridge data and snow accumulation in SE Greenland (another NASA-JPL guy :-D)
  • Sophie Berger with Ice rise, pinning point and Ice Shelf velocity in Dronning Maud Land.  MAGIC-DML may be interested 😉

Then the banquet… just 3 words: excellent French food 😀

Banquet at the Majestic
Banquet at the Majestic

That’s it for part 2 of IGS Chamonix!