Seasonal evolution of subglacial drainage and acceleration in a Greenland outlet glacier

Peter Nienow, Andrew Sole, Ian Bartholomew, Alun L. Hubbard, Douglas Mair, Matt A. King

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gyfnodolynErthygladolygiad gan gymheiriaid

312 Dyfyniadau (Scopus)


The Greenland ice sheet contains enough water to raise sea levels by 7 m. However, its present mass balance and future contribution to sea level rise is poorly understood(1). Accelerated mass loss has been observed near the ice sheet margin, partly as a result of faster ice motion(2-4). Surface melt waters can reach the base of the ice sheet and enhance basal ice motion(5,6). However, the response of ice motion to seasonal variations in meltwater supply is poorly constrained both in space and time. Here we present ice motion data obtained with global positioning system receivers located along a similar to 35 km transect at the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet throughout a summer melt season. Our measurements reveal substantial increases in ice velocity during summer, up to 220% above winter background values. These speed-up events migrate up the glacier over the course of the summer. The relationship between melt and ice motion varies both at each site throughout the melt season and between sites. We suggest that these patterns can be explained by the seasonal evolution of the subglacial drainage system similar to hydraulic forcing mechanisms for ice dynamics that have been observed at smaller glaciers.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Tudalennau (o-i)408-411
Nifer y tudalennau4
CyfnodolynNature Geoscience
Rhif cyhoeddi189
Dynodwyr Gwrthrych Digidol (DOIs)
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - Meh 2010

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