The ocean and the marine parts of the cryosphere interact directly with, and are affected by, the seafloor and its primary properties of depth (bathymetry) and shape (morphology) in many ways. Bottom currents are largely constrained by undersea terrain with consequences for both regional and global heat transport. Deep ocean mixing is controlled by seafloor roughness, and the bathymetry directly influences where marine outlet glaciers are susceptible to the inflow relatively warm subsurface waters - an issue of great importance for ice-sheet discharge, i.e., the loss of mass from calving and undersea melting. Mass loss from glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, is among the primary drivers of global sea-level rise, together now contributing more to sea-level rise than the thermal expansion of the ocean. Recent research suggests that the upper bounds of predicted sea-level rise by the year 2100 under the scenarios presented in IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCCC) likely are conservative because of the many unknowns regarding ice dynamics. In this paper we highlight the poorly mapped seafloor in the Polar regions as a critical knowledge gap that needs to be filled to move marine cryosphere science forward and produce improved understanding of the factors impacting ice-discharge and, with that, improved predictions of, among other things, global sea-level. We analyze the bathymetric data coverage in the Arctic Ocean specifically and use the results to discuss challenges that must be overcome to map the most remotely located areas in the Polar regions in general.
A tidal lagoon system has multiple environmental, societal, and economic implications. To investigate the mechanism of influence of the geomorphological evolution of a tidal lagoon, the effect of critical erosion shear stress, critical deposition shear stress, sediment settling velocity, and initial bed elevation were assessed by applying the MIKE hydro- and morpho-dynamic model to a typical tidal lagoon, Qilihai Lagoon. According to the simulation results, without sediment supply, an increase of critical erosion, deposition shear stress, or sediment settling velocity gives rise to tidal networks with a stable terrain. Such an equilibrium state can be defined as when the change of net erosion has little variation, which can be achieved due to counter actions between the erosion and deposition effect. Moreover, the influence of the initial bed elevation depends on the lowest tidal level. When the initial bed elevation is below the lowest tidal level, the tidal networks tend to be fully developed. A Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the geomorphological evolution is more sensitive to critical erosion or deposition shear stress than sediment settling velocity and initial bed elevation. Exponential sea level rise contributes to more intensive erosion than the linear or the parabolic sea level rise in the long-term evolution of a tidal lagoon.