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Ala Khazendar

Ala  Khazendar -
Contact Info:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-319
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.4321
Email: Click here
Member of:
Radar Science
Biography:

Ala Khazendar is a scientist in the Radar Science group (334H) of the Radar Science & Engineering Section. He focuses on combining InSAR satellite observations of ice velocity with finite element numerical models of ice shelf flow to infer spatial distributions of ice rheology, which is indispensable for the accurate modeling of ice shelves and their possible future behavior, especially in light of the need to quantify Antarctica's contribution to sea level rise. This work established the the close relationship among frontal retreat, fracture, ice flow acceleration, and the destabilization of the Larsen B Ice Shelf that contributed to its disintegration in 2002. He then exploited the highly heterogeneous structure of the Brunt-Stancomb-Wills ice shelf system to uncover the difference in rheology between meteoric and marine ice (as part of an ice mélange), and to show that the Brunt Ice Shelf, where Halley Station is based, could be vulnerable to destabilization by relatively rapid changes in the ice mélange properties, resulting from the interaction of its marine ice component with ocean water, or by the further propagation of a frontal rift. Currently, Ala is focusing on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which is thought to be susceptible to collapse, combining satellite data and numrical models with an NSF-funded fieldwork effort to examine its degree of stability.


Education:

Doctorate in Geophysical Sciences (2001) from The Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium


Research Interests:

Ice-ocean interaction; data assimilation of InSAR satellite observations with numerical models of ice flow; Antarctic ice shelf rheology, fracture and stability; marine ice; ice shelf fracture including rifts and top and bottom crevasses.


Professional Experience:

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Scientist, Radar Science Group, Radar Science & Engineering Section (2008-present)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (2005-2008)

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom: Research Associate at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (2001-2005)

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium: Researcher in the Laboratory of Glaciology (1999-2001)


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