Geography Knows No Boundaries

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Greenland Ice Sheet Albedo
Sasha Leidman

My research uses hydrology, geomorphology, and remote sensing to investigate changes in Greenland. Specifically, I look at how changes to the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet caused by increased melting from global warming affects the albedo (reflectiveness) of the ice. I study this through extensive field campaigns at three different field sites in Greenland: high up in the accumulation zone where I drill shallow (20–25m) ice cores to look for signs of refrozen melt water, at the ice edge where I look at supraglacial streams (streams flowing on top of the ice), and on the tundra where our lab group maintains long term monitoring sites of glacial river discharge.

At the supraglacial rivers site, I collected high resolution GPS measurements, temperature and velocity data, and hyperspectral imagery in order to develop a hydrologic model to predict how the geometry of the streams will change under various warming conditions and how those changes will impact how much solar radiation is being absorbed. Drone imagery taken at the site will also be used to determine the effects of topographic shadowing on incoming solar radiation. Through my work, I hope to improve how climate models estimate melting and sea level rise contributions from Greenland to better prepare us for the impacts of climate change.

You can find out more information about my research and outdoor expeditions at my website: as well as our lab group's webpage:

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