Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

James Coogan


Where AUVs dare: Svalbard’s subglacial discharge plumes

Quantifying the dynamic hydrology of tidewater glaciers is an important step in the process of understanding glacier and ocean response to a warming climate. The vertical boundary layer at the seawater-glacier margin remains an important yet unresolved aspect of polar climate change. In high-latitude fjords, terrestrial meltwater discharges into fjordic systems through subsurface conduits and channels beneath glaciers. The resulting subglacial plumes are known to impact submarine melting, frontal calving and wider fjord circulation, but direct plume observations remain rare and elusive. Previous exploration and discovery of this oceanographic region has been limited due to the risk from calving icebergs. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) offer high-resolution spatial and temporal observations of subsurface phenomena, while minimising the risk to life and limb. This project aims to unravel these dynamical processes at the ice face by using novel autonomous observations and numerical modelling.

Privacy Settings