Our projects

Within GROCE, scientists from various scientific disciplines come together to create a better understanding of the Greenlandic climate system. To better understand the interactions between the Greenland ice sheet, the glaciers, the atmosphere and the surrounding ocean, we use a variety of modern measurement methods, satellite data and model simulations. 

For this purpose, GROCE is divided into 11 subprojects, which are located at various German universities and research centers. Each project pursues (based on the expertise of the working group) specific questions relating to GROCE. Since our questions are all closely interwoven, we exchange a lot between the subprojects and work closely together to achieve our overarching research goals together.

Our work is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - we are very grateful for that! After our first successful project phase, which ran from May 2017 to April 2020, we are happy to be able to continue our work in a second project phase (until 2023) - and thus to explore the interaction of the ice sheet-glacier-ocean in even more detail!

Subproject 1 aims to coordinate the joint project GROCE and to support the scientific subprojects in their cooperation - in order to get the maximum success from our joint project!

In subproject 2, we investigate processes that impact basal melt at the 79° North Glacier. Based on model simulations we aim to study the fate of the floating glacier tongue in the next decades.

Subproject 3 utilizes a numerical model to determine the effect of tidal motion on the movement of the grounding line of the 79°N glacier, which separates the floating ice tongue from the grounded continental ice sheet.

Subproject 4 aims to determine the fraction & distribution of basal meltwater, and changes thereof, using an analysis of Helium and Neon Isotopes in water samples taken close to the 79°N glacier.

Subproject 5 aims at a better understanding of the processes governing peripheral glaciers. For this, we implement a particular parameterization of ice-ocean interaction in an existing glacier model.

Subproject 6 aims to determine the glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA) of the Earth's crust in North-East Greenland and to identify processes causing the observed ice mass changes.

Subproject 7 aims to investigate the meltwater lakes and their dynamics - with high temporal and spatial resolution - using satellite images.

Subproject 8 investigates the interaction between the atmosphere and the glacier surfaces, and aims to determine the surface mass balance of the region around the 79° North Glacier.

Subproject 9 aims at a better understanding of the hydrodynamic processes responsible for the observed basal melt rates and heat fluxes below the floating ice tongue of the 79°North Glacier, using idealized but realistic numerical model simulations.

Subproject 10 examines how meltwater signatures spread in the ocean and how well the model simulations agree with observations.

Subproject 11 uses Langrangian modelling to investigate ocean currents around Greenland, with a focus on their feedbacks with enhanced freshwater input by Greenland's melting glaciers.

GROCE is a multidisciplinary collaboration between many German institutes and universities. Please find here a poster providing an overview over our project partners and research goals from the first project phase.


Prof. Dr. Torsten Kanzow


Alfred Wegener Institute
Klußmannstr. 3d
27570 Bremerhaven

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