What have the geophysicists ever done for us?
Abstract:Glaciology derives much of its societal impact and wider relevance
from the output of medium-to-large scale ice flow models. The lower boundary conditions of these models are ultimately informed by geophysical measurements, either directly or through advances in our understanding of subglacial processes. Despite this, geophysical surveys are rarely designed with specific modelling requirements in mind, and modellers often have a poor understanding of what geophysical data is available, or can plausibly be obtained.
Using examples from research in modelling of ice dynamics and subglacial hydrology, I will show how geophysical data can be incorporated into models, and explore how knowledge of modelling needs can be used to inform geophysical surveys. I will demonstrate the continued need for accurate and wide-ranging surveys of subglacial topography, and show how modern inverse modelling techniques could make use of a more sophisticated understanding of the error properties of radar measurements.