Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Gateways between the ice sheet and the ocean

Greenland fjords as gateways between the ice sheet and the ocean

The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate, especially at its marine terminating glaciers, where the ice sheet meets the ocean. The regulating role of fjords in providing ocean heat to melt the glacier fronts remains largely unquantified, as well as the fate of glacial meltwater discharged in the fjords. We will exploit an extensive observational dataset of a fjord in southwest Greenland to parametrize its heat and freshwater balance and validate these results using data from other regions in Greenland to assess the role of the ocean and fjord processes in melting the Greenland Ice Sheet.


An interdisciplinary study of the interaction between the Greenlands glaciers and the fjords is timely with the accelerated mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Lorenz Meire, Willem Jan van de Berg
Marine-terminating glacier in South West Greenland, Lorenz Meire (NIOZ)

Connected themes

  • Our Dynamic Coasts
NIOZ project page
Job opening: PhD position