Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson: glaciology

Lecture 1

Ice on Earth during the Pleistocene. Present-day distribution of polar and temperate ice. The crystalline structure of ice. Transformation of snow to ice. Grain-growth and recrystallization in ice. Air bubbles and clathrates. Temperature profiles in ice sheets. Ice deformation, flow of glaciers and ice sheets. Paleoclimate, past greenhouse gas composition and atmospheric aerosols as recorded in Greenland and Antarctic ice cores.

Lecture 2

Antarctica: Formation and history of the ice sheet. Present knowledge of mass balance and ice flow patterns. Antarctic subglacial environments, inferred glaciological, chemical and geological properties of the subglacial lakes. Biological study of the accreted ice in the lowest part of the Vostok ice core. Status of plans to sample Lake Vostok. The Ellworth subglacial lake project.

Lecture 3

Iceland: General outline of geology and geophysics with focus on astrobiologically relevant sites. Temperate ice caps in Iceland; history, mass balance, internal structure and dynamics. Ice-volcano interactions in Iceland. Jökulhlaup (outburst flood) mechanisms. Subglacial lakes sustained by geothermal activity: Grímsvötn and Skaftárkatlar. Geochemical and biological studies on the subglacial lakes.

Lecture 4

Special topics: Origin of water on Earth. The North GRIP core from Greenland and studies of the basal sediment. Water and ice on Mars. The ice cover and ocean on Europa.