Nina Kirchner


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för naturgeografi
Telefon 08-16 29 88
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Rum T 415
Postadress Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

I am associate professor of glaciology at the Department of Phyiscal Geography at Stockholm University, and Director of the Bolin Centre for Climate Research. I am also Demonstrator Program Coordinator within SMaRC, Swedish Maritime Robotics Centre, and affiliated to the KTH Centre of Naval Architecture. Away from home, I am a regular guest lecturer at the Department of Arctic Geology at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). 

My research focuses on ice-ocean interaction at marine ice margins  in order to  improve reconstructions of ice sheet complexes and their dynamics. It involves numerical modeling, development of technology applicable in the underwater domain, and collection of data and testing of new technology in the field (mostly though geophysical mapping in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas). I teach in the field of climate science, often with a focus on the cryosphere,  but also contributing to aspects of science and politics in global and environmental governance. Through cooperation with museums, I explore new arenas to engage in a dialogue with the public on the topic of climate change in the Arctic.

For a complete list of publications, see the pdf-file on the top right of this page.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2018. Eef C. H. van Dongen (et al.). Geoscientific Model Development 11 (11), 4563-4576

    Ice flow forced by gravity is governed by the full Stokes (FS) equations, which are computationally expensive to solve due to the nonlinearity introduced by the rheology. Therefore, approximations to the FS equations are commonly used, especially when modeling a marine ice sheet (ice sheet, ice shelf, and/or ice stream) for 103 years or longer. The shallow ice approximation (SIA) and shallow shelf approximation (SSA) are commonly used but are accurate only for certain parts of an ice sheet. Here, we report a novel way of iteratively coupling FS and SSA that has been implemented in Elmer/Ice and applied to conceptual marine ice sheets. The FS-SSA coupling appears to be very accurate; the relative error in velocity compared to FS is below 0.5% for diagnostic runs and below 5% for prognostic runs. Results for grounding line dynamics obtained with the FS-SSA coupling are similar to those obtained from an FS model in an experiment with a periodical temperature forcing over 3000 years that induces grounding line advance and retreat. The rapid convergence of the FS-SSA coupling shows a large potential for reducing computation time, such that modeling a marine ice sheet for thousands of years should become feasible in the near future. Despite inefficient matrix assembly in the current implementation, computation time is reduced by 32 %, when the coupling is applied to a 3-D ice shelf.

  • 2018. Anne E. Flink (et al.). Boreas 47 (2), 390-409

    Submarine geomorphology is one of the main tools for understanding past fluctuations of tidewater glaciers. In this study we investigate the glacial history of Mohnbukta, on the east coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, by combining multibeam-bathymetric data, marine sediment cores and remote sensing data. Presently, three tidewater glaciers, Heuglinbreen, Konigsbergbreen and Hayesbreen calve into Mohnbukta. Hayesbreen surged at the end of the Little Ice Age, between 1901 and 1910. The submarine landform assemblage in Mohnbukta contains two large transverse ridges, interpreted as terminal moraines, with debrisflow lobes on their distal slopes and sets of well-preserved geometric networks of ridges, interpreted as crevasse-squeeze ridges inshore of the moraines. The arrangement of crevasse-squeeze ridges suggests that both landform sets were produced during surge-type advances. The terminus position of the 1901-1910 Hayesbreen surge correlates with the inner (R.2) terminal moraine ridge suggesting that the R.1 ridge formed prior to 1901. Marine sediment cores display C-14 ages between 5700-7700cal. a BP derived from benthic foraminifera, from a clast-rich mud unit. This unit represents pre-surge unconsolidated Holocene sediments pushed in front of the glacier terminus and mixed up during the 1901 surge. An absence of retreat moraines in the deeper part of the inner basin and the observation of tabular icebergs calving off the glacier front during retreat suggest that the front of Hayesbreen was close to flotation, at least in the deeper parts of the basin. As the MOH15-01 core does not penetrate into a subglacial till and the foraminifera in the samples were well preserved, the R.1 ridge is suggested to have formed prior to the deposition of the foraminifera. Based on these data we propose that a surge-type advance occurred in Mohnbukta in the early Holocene, prior to 7700cal. a BP, which in turn indicates that glaciers can switch to and from surge mode.

  • 2018. Michele Petrini (et al.). Scientific Reports 8

    The Barents Sea Ice Sheet was a marine-based ice sheet, i.e., it rested on the Barents Sea floor during the Last Glacial Maximum (21 ky BP). The Bjornoyrenna Ice Stream was the largest ice stream draining the Barents Sea Ice Sheet and is regarded as an analogue for contemporary ice streams in West Antarctica. Here, the retreat of the Bjornoyrenna Ice Stream is simulated by means of two numerical ice sheet models and results assessed against geological data. We investigate the sensitivity of the ice stream to changes in ocean temperature and the impact of grounding-line physics on ice stream retreat. Our results suggest that the role played by sub-shelf melting depends on how the grounding-line physics is represented in the models. When an analytic constraint on the ice flux across the grounding line is applied, the retreat of Bjornoyrenna Ice Stream is primarily driven by internal ice dynamics rather than by oceanic forcing. This suggests that implementations of grounding-line physics need to be carefully assessed when evaluating and predicting the response of contemporary marine-based ice sheets and individual ice streams to ongoing and future ocean warming.

  • 2017. Johan Nilsson (et al.). The Cryosphere 11 (4), 1745-1765

    Recent geological and geophysical data suggest that a 1 km thick ice shelf extended over the glacial Arctic Ocean during Marine Isotope Stage 6, about 140 000 years ago. Here, we theoretically analyse the development and equilibrium features of such an ice shelf, using scaling analyses and a one-dimensional ice-sheet-ice-shelf model. We find that the dynamically most consistent scenario is an ice shelf with a nearly uniform thickness that covers the entire Arctic Ocean. Further, the ice shelf has two regions with distinctly different dynamics: a vast interior region covering the central Arctic Ocean and an exit region towards the Fram Strait. In the interior region, which is effectively dammed by the Fram Strait constriction, there are strong back stresses and the mean ice-shelf thickness is controlled primarily by the horizontally integrated mass balance. A narrow transition zone is found near the continental grounding line, in which the ice-shelf thickness decreases offshore and approaches the mean basin thickness. If the surface accumulation and mass flow from the continental ice masses are sufficiently large, the ice-shelf thickness grows to the point where the ice shelf grounds on the Lomonosov Ridge. As this occurs, the back stress increases in the Amerasian Basin and the ice-shelf thickness becomes larger there than in the Eurasian Basin towards the Fram Strait. Using a one-dimensional ice-dynamic model, the stability of equilibrium ice-shelf configurations without and with grounding on the Lomonosov Ridge are examined. We find that the grounded ice-shelf configuration should be stable if the two Lomonosov Ridge grounding lines are located on the opposites sides of the ridge crest, implying that the downstream grounding line is located on a downward sloping bed. This result shares similarities with the classical result on marine ice-sheet stability of Weertman, but due to interactions between the Amerasian and Eurasian ice-shelf segments the mass flux at the downstream grounding line decreases rather than increases with ice thickness.

  • 2017. Matt O'Regan (et al.). Climate of the Past 13 (9), 1269-1284

    Ice sheets extending over parts of the East Siberian continental shelf have been proposed for the last glacial period and during the larger Pleistocene glaciations. The sparse data available over this sector of the Arctic Ocean have left the timing, extent and even existence of these ice sheets largely unresolved. Here we present new geophysical mapping and sediment coring data from the East Siberian shelf and slope collected during the 2014 SWERUS-C3 expedition (SWERUS-C3: Swedish - Russian - US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions). The multibeam bathymetry and chirp sub-bottom profiles reveal a set of glacial landforms that include grounding zone formations along the outer continental shelf, seaward of which lies a > 65m thick sequence of glacio-genic debris flows. The glacial landforms are interpreted to lie at the seaward end of a glacial trough - the first to be reported on the East Siberian margin, here referred to as the De Long Trough because of its location due north of the De Long Islands. Stratigraphy and dating of sediment cores show that a drape of acoustically laminated sediments covering the glacial deposits is older than similar to 50 cal kyr BP. This provides direct evidence for extensive glacial activity on the Siberian shelf that predates the Last Glacial Maximum and most likely occurred during the Saalian (Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6).

Visa alla publikationer av Nina Kirchner vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 20 januari 2019

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