River morphodynamic responses to climate change in Greenland

Rivers in Greenland are responding to some of the most rapid and extreme climate change on Earth. Rapidly rising air temperatures in the arctic are causing accelerated ice sheet and mountain glacier melt and permafrost thaw. This melt and thaw is not only generating meltwater but also releasing sediment, which fundamentally affects river geomorphology and hydraulics. Fluvially-transported sediment is a great concern for infrastructure such as hydropower installations and for fishing, both of which are major contributors to the GDP of Greenland. Given the space and time problems of understanding the changes occurring in Greenland’s rivers, numerical modelling is urgently required to quantify the effects of increased meltwater and sediment discharges in river planform, geomorphology, hydraulics and sediment transport, all of which are inter-linked. This project will utilise data from Greenland’s (only) two gauged rivers to parameterise a model and then run scenario experiments with increased meltwater and sediment fluxes.