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Greenland ice sheet flow seasonal variation - EPSC 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

INSTRUCTIONS - PROFESSORS: Please print and review this form. Complete or correct the sections, as applicable, from "Supervisor's Name" to "Ethics, safety, and training". Please sign and date near the bottom ("Supervisor's signature").

INSTRUCTIONS - STUDENTS: You may receive this form by email, or you may download it after it has been posted here. Either way, print and review this form. Complete or correct the sections, from "Student's Name" to "Student's Level", and sign ("Student signature"). Ask your supervisor to sign her/his section near the bottom. Take it to the department* corresponding to the course number in Section A; this may or may not be your own department. (* EXCEPTIONS: For NSCI 396 and COGS 396, please bring it to the Interdisciplinary Programs Adviser in Dawson Hall.) Do not register for a '396' course on Minerva until you receive departmental permission. Have a discussion with your supervisor about time/work expectations, keeping in mind that this is a 3-credit course (roughly, 10 hours per week for 12 weeks). Remember that a '396' course is an elective.

INSTRUCTIONS - DEPARTMENTS: After the unit chair/director/designate approves (or not) this project, please notify student. If approved, please give student permission to register on Minerva, and send a copy of this form (with signatures) to the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science (either fax, or internal mail to Dawson Hall 408-A, or PDF scan + email).

QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK? Contact the Office for Undergraduate Research in Science.

Supervisor's Name: Yajing Liu

Supervisor's Email: yajing [dot] liu [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398-4085

Supervisor's Website: http://eps.mcgill.ca/~yliu

Supervisor's department: Earth and Planetary Sciences

Course number: EPSC 396 (Earth and Planetary Science)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014

Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Project title: Greenland ice sheet flow seasonal variation

Project description (50-100 words suggested): On Greenland ice sheet, surface velocity increases dramatically during summer months when surface melt water reaches the ice-bedrock interface. Associated transient basal-sliding events occur over time scales ranging from tens of seconds (glacial earthquakes) to several days or even weeks due to the evolution of basal hydraulic network. A major outstanding question is whether the observed transient speed up will increase in magnitude if mean global temperatures increase, and whether enhanced melt water transport to the bed will amplify the processes that are operating today.

In this undergraduate research project, the student will combine numerical modeling and satellite data analysis to investigate how the presence of melt water may lubricate and thus facilitate transient sliding on the ice-bedrock interface. The student will first read journal papers in (1) field observations of transient ice-sheet deformation in Greenland and Antarctica, and (2) laboratory experiments on ice-ice and ice-rock friction. The student will then build upon a numerical code (in Fortran) that incorporates the rate- and state-friction properties to simulate the ice-bedrock interface sliding process coupled with pore fluid migration. Numerical results will be constrained available GPS and satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data in west Greenland.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 40% weekly meeting with the professor to discuss progress; 60% a term paper summarizing the major findings of this project

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.

Student's Name:

Student's McGill ID:

Student's McGill Email:

Student's Phone:

Student's Program:

Student's Level (U0 / U1 / U2 / U3):

Student's signature - I certify that this course is with a different supervisor and on a different topic than any previous '396' course I have taken. I have not applied for another '396' course in this term:

Supervisor's signature - I give my permission for the student identified above to register for this project under my supervision:


Unit chair/director/designate's name:

Unit chair/director/designate's signature - I certify that this project conforms to departmental requirements for 396 courses: