International Symposium on Ice Streams and Outlet Glaciers | International Glaciological Society
19.07.2020 | 00:00 –
24.07.2020 | 23:59
19.07.2020 – 

This event is canceled – please visit the organiser’s official website for more information.

UPDATE: This event is canceled – please visit the organiser’s official website for more information.


Ice streams and outlet glaciers are important components of an ice sheet’s mass balance and their behaviour directly impacts on sea level. These corridors of fast-flowing ice have been described as the ‘arteries’ of an ice sheet and their distinction is largely semantic, with ice streams bordered by slower-moving ice and outlet glaciers bordered by exposed bedrock at the surface. Since the recognition of the importance of these features in the 1970s, there has been a huge growth in their investigation. This began with the pioneering work on West Antarctic ice streams and has subsequently expanded to studies of ice streams and outlet glaciers in all of the world’s major ice sheets and ice masses. Of urgent concern for society are recent observations of dynamic changes in ice streams and outlet glaciers, which are thought to be responsible for an acceleration in global eustatic sea-level rise.

In parallel, those studying palaeo-ice sheet beds have long-recognised the distinctive geomorphology of ice streams in both marine and terrestrial settings. The study of palaeo-ice streams offers an unprecedented opportunity to reconstruct their behaviour over time-scales much longer than modern observations permit, generating new insights into the spatial and temporal controls on their flow, including longer-term perspectives on retreat rates and thinning histories. The beds of palaeo-ice streams and outlet glaciers are also more accessible for investigation, leading to new insights regarding the mechanisms of sediment erosion, transport and deposition beneath fastflowing ice, including the formation of subglacial bedforms.

In addition to empirical studies, there have been major advances in our ability to simulate ice stream and outlet glacier behaviour in numerical models. Moreover, observations and reconstructions of ice streams/outlet glaciers have provided useful data to test and calibrate numerical models and recent developments have seen improved projections of mass loss. The aim of this symposium is to bring together scientists working on both modern and palaeo-ice streams/outlet glaciers, together with those using numerical modelling, in order to facilitate greater interaction and the cross-pollination of ideas, data and theoretical insight on one of glaciology’s most important topics.

Suggested Topics

The symposium seeks papers and presentations on any aspect of ice streams and outlet glaciers, including observations at a range of spatial and temporal scales and insights gleaned from numerical modelling. Key topics include (but are not limited to):

1. Observations of ice streams/outlet glaciers and their links to the ocean–climate system

2. Interactions between ice streams/outlet glaciers and floating ice shelves/ice tongues

3. Geophysical studies of ice streams/outlet glaciers, including englacial and subglacial observations, and processes of sediment erosion, transport and deposition

4. Reconstructions of palaeo-ice streams/outlet glaciers, including their links to the ocean–climate system and terrestrial investigations of their subglacial sediments and landforms

5. Numerical modelling studies of past, present and future ice stream/ outlet glacier behaviour and/or of key processes relating to their behaviour

6. The role of ice streams/outlet glaciers in ice sheet instabilities (e.g. Heinrich events)

Invited Speakers

Chris Clark (University of Sheffield, UK)
Ellyn Enderlin (Boise State University, USA)
Christina Hulbe (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Ian Joughin (University of Washington, Seattle, USA)
Eric Rignot (University of California Irvine, USA)
Monica Winsborrow (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway)

For information regarding fees, program, student and early-career events, awards, and more, please see the official flyer here

Stay updated with incoming information regarding the postponement of this event via the official website here