TideWater Glaciers: function and importance for Arctic wildlife (TW-ICE)

Tidewater glaciers creates a local arctic environment in front of the glacier. Glacier calving creates large and small icebergs that serve as platforms for resting seals. The icebergs together with the glacier front itself cools the seawater creating a local arctic environment. Ice that melt turn into fresh water causing the inner bay to become brackish water. The snow and ice on the glacier itself also melts during summer the summer months and glacier runoff turn into large rivers that terminates at the glacier front. Some at the surface and some further down and even at the base of the glacier. These plumes add a lot of freshwater to the system as well as increasing fjord circulation. We hypothesize that estuarine circulation, together with the plumes and katabatic winds concentrates advected zoo- and phytoplankton in front of the glacier. In this project we will investigate the mechanisms and their importance in creating the important foraging grounds for birds and seals.

Tidewater glaciers creates a local arctic environment in front of the glacier. Glacier calving creates large and small icebergs that serve as platforms for resting seals. The icebergs together with the glacier front itself cools the seawater creating a local arctic environment. Ice that melt turn into fresh water causing the inner bay to become brackish water. The snow and ice on the glacier itself also melts during summer the summer months and glacier runoff turn into large rivers that terminates at the glacier front. Some at the surface and some further down and even at the base of the glacier. These plumes add a lot of freshwater to the system as well as increasing fjord circulation. We hypothesize that estuarine circulation, together with the plumes and katabatic winds concentrates advected zoo- and phytoplankton in front of the glacier. In this project we will investigate the mechanisms and their importance in creating the important foraging grounds for birds and seals.