IACS Early Career Scientist Prize to Thorben Dunse

Congratulations to Research fellow Thorben Dunse, Department of Geosciences, one of two early career scientists nominated for the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) 2016 Early Career Scientist Prize.

Thorben Dunse at Mount Robson, British Columbia, Canada, summer 2013. Photo: T. Dunse

Prize winning article about surging glaciers

The winners of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) 2016 Early Career Scientist Prize were announced last week. One of two winners is Thorben Dunse, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

The IACS Early Career Scientist Prize is an annual cash prize plus a certificate awarded to a nominated early career scientist who has published the best scientific paper on a cryospheric subject during the previous calendar year (2015).

The prize was awarded to Dunse, who is the first author of the article; Glacier-surge mechanisms promoted by a hydro-thermodynamic feedback to summer melt

The winner papers were awarded against strong competition from 16 nominated papers. 

Mechanisms of surging

In the article, Dunse and his colleagues from the Department of Geosciences analyzed unique observations of ice velocity from field measurements and remote sensing during the onset and development of a surge in one of the drainage basins of the Austfonna ice cap on Svalbard.

The data set gives new insights into the yet poorly understood mechanisms of surging. A surge is a periodic flow instability characterized by a short period (few years) of drastically enhanced ice flow, often associated with a kilometer-long advance of the terminus, that follows a long period (decades to centuries) of stagnation or "quiescence".

The authors propose a hydro-thermodynamic feedback that mobilizes stagnant ice initially frozen to the bed, thus leading to fast basal motion and surge initiation.

The possibility of such instabilities caused by warming initially cold marginal ice resisting fast drainage may have major implications for ice sheet stability, writes the panel nominating the article.

The 2016 Prizes will be formally "presented" during the IACS Scientific Assembly, 12-17 February 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thorben is working as a Research Fellow in the Geography and Hydrology section at the Department of Geosciences. He is affiliated to several research projects at the Department and is participating in these projects GLACIODYNice2sea, CRYOMET and GreenMAR.

His research interest focuses on the reponse of Arctic glaciers to a changing climate and the associated implications for sea-level rise and the marine ecosystem.

Congratulations to Thorben Dunse!


Reference and link to article:

Dunse, T., Schellenberger, T., Hagen, J. O., Kääb, A. M., Schuler, T. V., & C.H. Reijmer. 2015. Glacier-surge mechanisms promoted by hydro-thermodynamic feedback to summer melt. The Cryosphere, 9(1), 197–215 (2015); doi:10.5194/tc-9-197-2015

About the IACS 

International Association of Cryospheric Sciences is an organization of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. It was formated in 2007 in recognition of the importance of the cryosphere (snow, ice & permafrost) in the study of Earth System Science.

By Gunn Kristin Tjoflot
Published May 18, 2016 7:04 PM - Last modified Mar. 25, 2020 10:23 AM