New PhD builds on Mertz knowledge

Former ACE CRC researcher Lydie Lescarmontier has been awarded her PhD following a formal defence and examination procedure at LEGOS in Toulouse, France. Dr Lescarmontier was a “co-tutelle” student between LEGOS and the University of Tasmania.  Her thesis, entitled “Processes of Rifting and Iceberg Calving in Antarctica: A story of the Mertz Glacier” was co-supervised by Benoit Legresy (LEGOS, a great friend of, and frequent visitor to the ACE CRC) and Richard Coleman (University of Tasmania). A major outcome of Dr Lescarmontier’s work has been the identification of three processes contributing to the development of major rifts across and the subsequent calving of the Mertz Glacier tongue in East Antarctica in 2010. These processes relate to vibrations, tide-induced forces and coupling between ocean circulation and iceberg movements.  Dr Lescarmontier used a combination of in situ (high-accuracy GPS), satellite and model data and analysis to identify the processes. Better knowledge of how ice-sheet margins calve is a key to developing improved models of ice-sheet mass balance. This work has the overarching aim of reducing uncertainties in predictions of how ice sheets will respond to climate change and/or variability, and of how ice sheets will contribute to global sea-level rise.

Authorised by the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre October 2019.

The ACE CRC was established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.

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