Alanna Alevropoulos-Borrill


Phone: 04 463 5233 x7211
Office: CO 549


BSc Bristol (2017); MSc Bristol (2019)
PhD candidate

PhD thesis

Working title

Projecting the 21st century evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in response to ocean forced basal melting


Project aim and description

Projecting the future contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to global sea level rise is fundamental for policymakers though at present these projections remain highly uncertain. Recent studies have indicated that the forcing of standalone ice sheet models of marine ice sheets using parameterized melt rates from ocean models fail to capture the influence of meltwater on circulation and ocean properties that subsequently influence basal melting. Furthermore, ocean models that provide melt rates directly but do not resolve the changing geometry of an ice shelf cavity do not fully capture the velocity of melt plumes and therefore will misrepresent basal melting. The aim of my project is therefore to better capture and model the interaction between ice and ocean in Antarctica in order to project the future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the subsequent contribution of the ice sheet to future sea level.

Over the course of my Ph.D. project I am going to be performing 21st century simulations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet using the BISICLES adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) ice sheet model (Cornford et al., 2013). In order to apply an appropriate ocean forcing for BISICLES, I am going to be using outputs from a cavity-resolving regional ocean model (ROMS) that will include sub shelf melt rates derived from temperature, velocity and salinity relationships. These outputs will be used to force BISICLES initially for the Amundsen Sea catchments, followed by the whole Antarctic continent over the 21st century. Having completed these simulations, I will then work toward an offline coupling between BISICLES and the regional ocean model in order to include the freshwater melting feedback and explore its implications for grounding line retreat and mass evolution of the Antarctic continent.



Alevropoulos-Borrill, A.V., Nias, I.J., Payne, A.J., Golledge, N.R., and Bingham, R.J. (2020). Ocean-forced evolution of the Amundsen Sea catchment, West Antarctica, by 2100. Cryosphere 14(4): 1245-1258. doi:10.5194/tc-14-1245-2020