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Sample records for helheim glacier greenland

  1. Interpreting Terminus Fluctuations at Helheim Glacier, Southeast Greenland, through Modeling and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kehrl, L. M.; Joughin, I. R.; Shapero, D.

    2014-12-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers are highly sensitive to changes at the ice-ocean boundary. Changes at the ice-ocean boundary (calving events, submarine melting) can alter the terminus position and thereby the stress balance. If the terminus retreats into deeper water, more of the driving stress must then be balanced by longitudinal stress gradients, which cause the glacier to speed up. This study combines satellite observations and modeling (Elmer/Ice) to investigate the relationship between glacier dynamics and terminus position at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, from 2000-2014. Helheim Glacier retreated about 7 km from 2001-2005 as warm ocean water entered the nearby fjord. From 2005-2006, the glacier re-advanced by 3 km as a floating or near-floating ice tongue formed over the basal overdeepening in front of the glacier terminus. Since then, Helheim's terminus position has remained relatively stable, with terminus fluctuations of < 2 km. Our model experiments consider both large terminus fluctuations (> 2 km) associated with rapid retreat and small terminus fluctuations (< 500 m) associated with individual calving events. We run the model simulations with both a flowline and three-dimensional model to better constrain our uncertainties. Our results show that Helheim Glacier responds rapidly to changes in terminus position of more than a few hundred meters. Small terminus fluctuations can cause velocity variations that extend up to 30 km inland, which roughly corresponds with the spatial extent of the weak bed (20-40 kPa) underneath Helheim Glacier.

  2. Dynamics of glacier calving at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Selmes, Nick; James, Timothy D.; Edwards, Stuart; Martin, Ian; O'Farrell, Timothy; Aspey, Robin; Rutt, Ian; Nettles, Meredith; Baugé, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Abstract During summer 2013 we installed a network of 19 GPS nodes at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland together with three cameras to study iceberg calving mechanisms. The network collected data at rates up to every 7 s and was designed to be robust to loss of nodes as the glacier calved. Data collection covered 55 days, and many nodes survived in locations right at the glacier front to the time of iceberg calving. The observations included a number of significant calving events, and as a consequence the glacier retreated ~1.5 km. The data provide real‐time, high‐frequency observations in unprecedented proximity to the calving front. The glacier calved by a process of buoyancy‐force‐induced crevassing in which the ice downglacier of flexion zones rotates upward because it is out of buoyant equilibrium. Calving then occurs back to the flexion zone. This calving process provides a compelling and complete explanation for the data. Tracking of oblique camera images allows identification and characterisation of the flexion zones and their propagation downglacier. Interpretation of the GPS data and camera data in combination allows us to place constraints on the height of the basal cavity that forms beneath the rotating ice downglacier of the flexion zone before calving. The flexion zones are probably formed by the exploitation of basal crevasses, and theoretical considerations suggest that their propagation is strongly enhanced when the glacier base is deeper than buoyant equilibrium. Thus, this calving mechanism is likely to dominate whenever such geometry occurs and is of increasing importance in Greenland. PMID:27570721

  3. TanDEM-X DEMs and feature-tracking of Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers in south-east Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bevan, Suzanne; Luckman, Adrian; Murray, Tavi

    2013-04-01

    We use sequences of TanDEM-X acquisitions over 'supersites' Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers in south-east Greenland to generate interferometric digital elevation models (DEMs) and to feature-track surface displacement between image acquisitions. The high spatial resolution, day/night, and cloud-penetrating capabilities of the X-band SAR system enabled the production of more than 20 DEMs for each glacier with a spatial resolution of 8 m or better. The DEMs span the period June 2011 to March 2012, at 11-day intervals, with a few breaks. Time-lapse animations of Helheim DEMs reveal the development of troughs in surface elevation close to the front. The troughs propagate down flow and develop into the rifts from which calving takes place. On both glaciers, regions of high variance in elevation can be identified caused by the transit of crevasses. In addition, on Helheim, a 1 km wide band of high variance adjacent to the calving front may be interpreted as the response to tidal forcing of a partially floating tongue. In addition to the DEMs we will also present featured tracked high-quality surface velocity fields at a spatial resolution of 2 m coincident with the DEMs. On Helheim these velocity fields indicate a winter deceleration of less than 10% at a point 4 km behind the calving front.

  4. Response of major Greenland outlet glaciers to oceanic and atmospheric forcing: Results from numerical modeling on Petermann, Jakobshavn and Helheim Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F. M.; Vieli, A.; Pattyn, F.; Van de Wal, R.

    2011-12-01

    Oceanic forcing has been suggested as a major trigger for dynamic changes of Greenland outlet glaciers. Significant melting near their calving front or beneath the floating tongue and reduced support from sea ice or ice melange in front of their calving front can result in retreat of the terminus or the grounding line, and an increase in calving activities. Depending on the geometry and basal topography of the glacier, these oceanic forcing can affect the glacier dynamic differently. Here, we carry out a comparison study between three major outlet glaciers in Greenland and investigate the impact of a warmer ocean on glacier dynamics and ice discharge. We present results from a numerical ice-flow model applied to Petermann Glacier in the north, Jakobshavn Glacier in the west, and Helheim Glacier in the southeast of Greenland.

  5. Continuous Monitoring of Greenland Outlet Glaciers Using an Autonomous Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning System: Design, Development and Testing at Helheim Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LeWinter, A. L.; Finnegan, D. C.; Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Gadomski, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Greenland's fast-flowing tidewater outlet glaciers play a critical role in modulating the ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise. Increasing evidence points to the importance of ocean forcing at the marine margins as a control on outlet glacier behavior, but a process-based understanding of glacier-ocean interactions remains elusive in part because our current capabilities for observing and quantifying system behavior at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales are limited. A recent international workshop on Greenland's marine terminating glaciers (US CLIVAR, Beverly, MA, June 2013) recommended the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring network covering Greenland's largest outlet glacier-fjord systems to collect long-term time series of critical in situ glaciological, oceanographic and atmospheric parameters needed to understand evolving relationships between different climate forcings and glacier flow. Given the remote locations and harsh environments of Greenland's glacial fjords, the development of robust autonomous instrumentation is a key step in making the observing networks a reality. This presentation discusses the design and development of a fully-autonomous ground-based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system for monitoring outlet glacier behavior. Initial deployment of the system is planned for spring 2015 at Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland. The instrument will acquire multi-dimensional point-cloud measurements of the mélange, terminus, and lower-reaches of the glacier. The heart of the system is a long-range, 1064 nm wavelength Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) that we have previously used in campaign-style surveys at Helheim Glacier and at Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. We draw on this experience to design and fabricate the power and enclosure components of the new system, and use previously acquired data from the instrument, collected August 2013 and July 2014 at Helheim, to optimize our data collection strategy and design the data

  6. Annual down-glacier drainage of lakes and water-filled crevasses at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everett, A.; Murray, T.; Selmes, N.; Rutt, I. C.; Luckman, A.; James, T. D.; Clason, C.; O'Leary, M.; Karunarathna, H.; Moloney, V.; Reeve, D. E.

    2016-10-01

    Supraglacial lake drainage events are common on the Greenland ice sheet. Observations on the west coast typically show an up-glacier progression of drainage as the annual melt extent spreads inland. We use a suite of remote sensing and modeling techniques in order to study a series of lakes and water-filled crevasses within 20 km of the terminus of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. Automatic classification of surface water areas shows a down-glacier progression of drainage, which occurs in the majority of years between 2007 and 2014. We demonstrate that a linear elastic fracture mechanics model can reliably predict the drainage of the uppermost supraglacial lake in the system but cannot explain the pattern of filling and draining observed in areas of surface water downstream. We propose that the water levels in crevasses downstream of the supraglacial lake can be explained by a transient high-pressure wave passing through the subglacial system following the lake drainage. We support this hypothesis with analysis of the subglacial hydrological conditions, which can explain both the position and interannual variation in filling order of these crevasses. Similar behavior has been observed in association with jökulhaups, surging glaciers, and Antarctic subglacial lakes but has not previously been observed on major outlets of the Greenland ice sheet. Our results suggest that the behavior of near-terminus surface water may differ considerably from that of inland supraglacial lakes, with the potential for basal water pressures to influence the presence of surface water in crevasses close to the terminus of tidewater glaciers.

  7. What can we learn from inverse methods regarding the processes behind the acceleration and retreat of Helheim glacier (Greenland)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagliardini, O.; Gillet-chaulet, F.; Martin, N.; Monnier, J.; Singh, J.

    2011-12-01

    Greenland outlet glaciers control the ice discharge toward the sea and the resulting contribution to sea level rise. Physical processes at the root of the observed acceleration and retreat, - decrease of the back force at the calving terminus, increase of basal lubrication and decrease of the lateral friction -, are still not well understood. All these three processes certainly play a role but their relative contributions have not yet been quantified. Helheim glacier, located on the east coast of Greenland, has undergone an enhanced retreat since 2003, and this retreat was concurrent with accelerated ice flow. In this study, the flowline dataset including surface elevation, surface velocity and front position of Helheim from 2001 to 2006 is used to quantify the sensitivity of each of these processes. For that, we used the full-Stokes finite element ice flow model DassFlow/Ice, including adjoint code and full 4d-var data assimilation process in which the control variables are the basal and lateral friction parameters as well as the calving front pressure. For each available date, the sensitivity of each processes is first studied and an optimal distribution is then inferred from the surface measurements. Using this optimal distribution of these parameters, a transient simulation is performed over the whole dataset period. The relative contributions of the basal friction, lateral friction and front back force are then discussed under the light of these new results.

  8. Calving localization at Helheim Glacier using multiple local seismic stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, M. Jeffrey; Holland, David M.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Zheng, Tiantian

    2017-02-01

    A multiple-station technique for localizing glacier calving events is applied to Helheim Glacier in southeastern Greenland. The difference in seismic-wave arrival times between each pairing of four local seismometers is used to generate a locus of possible event origins in the shape of a hyperbola. The intersection of the hyperbolas provides an estimate of the calving location. This method is used as the P and S waves are not distinguishable due to the proximity of the local seismometers to the event and the emergent nature of calving signals. We find that the seismic waves that arrive at the seismometers are dominated by surface (Rayleigh) waves. The surface-wave velocity for Helheim Glacier is estimated using a grid search with 11 calving events identified at Helheim from August 2014 to August 2015. From this, a catalogue of 11 calving locations is generated, showing that calving preferentially happens at the northern end of Helheim Glacier.

  9. Investigating the Greenland firn aquifer near Helheim Glacier based on geophysical noninvasive methods and in situ measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miège, C.; Koenig, L.; Forster, R. R.; Miller, O. L.; Solomon, D. K.; Legchenko, A.; Schmerr, N. C.; Montgomery, L. N.; Brucker, L.

    2015-12-01

    Prior to the onset of seasonal surface melt, widespread perennial aquifers are detected at an average depth of 22 m below the snow surface in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet from airborne radar data. With an elevation range of ~1200-2000 m, the aquifers are mainly located within the percolation zone of the southern and southeastern parts of the ice sheet, in high snow accumulation regions. The impact of the aquifer on Greenland ice sheet hydrology and the direct (or indirect) contribution to sea-level rise remain unconstrained and require further attention. Our study is located on the upper portion of Helheim Glacier in SE Greenland, ~50 km west of the glacier calving front. We first used repeated airborne radar data collected by CReSIS to infer the presence of the firn over the last two decades from missing bed echoes. For 1993-2008, the aquifer remained relatively stable, after 2008 it expanded to higher elevations, and after spring 2012, drainage of its lower-elevation portion is suspected. Based on these initial insights, recent fieldwork was carried out along the surveyed radar line, following an elevation gradient. Geophysical investigation includes seismic refraction and magnetic resonance soundings to complement the radar data and to provide constraints on the base of the aquifer, water volume, and the transition from water-saturated firn to ice. In addition, piezometers and data-logging stations were deployed at point locations to measure hydraulic conductivity, water table vertical fluctuations, and firn temperature. We report on the different techniques used, initial observations made, and present some preliminary interpretations. Water appears to flow laterally in a highly-permeable unconfined aquifer, topographically driven by ice-sheet surface undulations until water encounters local sinks like crevasses. The aquifer impacts on the ice sheet are numerous, including firn densification, alteration of the ice thermal state, and water from the aquifer

  10. Controls on Helheim Glacier calving rates from 2001-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stearns, L. A.; Foga, S. C.; Hamilton, G. S.; Straneo, F.; Sutherland, D.; van der Veen, C. J.; Oltmanns, M.; Schild, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    Iceberg calving is an efficient mechanism for ice mass loss. While the physical controls on calving are not well understood, recent field and remote sensing observations from Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, suggest calving is dependent on both glacier and fjord conditions. This presentation investigates the sensitivity of calving rates to ice velocity, ocean temperature and mélange composition using a combination of in situ and satellite observations. Ocean properties in Sermilik Fjord for 2009-2014 are reconstructed using mooring data, and an object-based image analysis (OBIA) that inventories icebergs, sea-ice and small icebergs quantifies mélange composition several times a season. Ice velocity from InSAR and optical imagery is used to calculate calving rates and investigate the role of longitudinal gradients on calving. Ice velocity appears to be the dominant control on calving rates at Helheim Glacier. However, calving rates exhibit a complex pattern of seasonal and interannual variability, which does not simply mimic ice velocity patterns. We explore the relative roles of ocean properties, glacier geometry, and mélange composition on calving rates from 2001-2014 in order to improve physically-based glacier models.

  11. Towards a robust calving and melt-history for Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland, for the last 100 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, T. J.; Ellegaard, M.; Markussen, T. N.

    2013-12-01

    Observations of increased ice-discharge from tidewater glaciers in Greenland in the early and mid 2000s has led to concern about a possible rapid loss of ice from the ice sheet in a scenario with increasing air and ocean water temperatures. In order to evaluate the strength and uniqueness of the observed increase a robust data-set on the temporal variation of calving and melt is strongly needed. The only reliable data prior to the period of aerial photographs and instrumental observations is the archive preserved at the seabed in the fjords and coastal waters off the ice sheet. Establishment of core-chronology is central in studies of these archives and is based on Pb-210 dating which will reach approx. 100 years back in time. Establishment of a detailed and accurate core-chronology by means of Pb-210 dating and Cs-137 peaks is by no means a trivial task in environments influenced by episodic deposition of ice-rafted debris (IRD). The deposition will have a relatively large component of random variability which could be mistaken for actual changes in sedimentation rate, especially so if only one or a few cores are analyzed. To increase the reliability of the calving reconstruction, a total of 13 cores have been sampled in this study in Sermilik Fjord in August 2012 at depths between approximately 700 to 900 m. Eleven of the cores are from within the central basin north of 66 degrees North and two are from the outer part of the fjord south of that line. CTD-profiles and measurements of floc size in situ indicate that the sedimentation is significantly influenced by deposition of IRD and temporal changes in sediment accumulation rates will therefore be examined for all the cores. The cores are also being analyzed for their content of dinoflagellate cysts and diatoms in order to examine possible temporal changes in ocean water temperature in the fjord. So far (August 2013) six cores have been studied and the total average accumulation rate for each year since 1925 has

  12. Glaciers of Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1995-01-01

    Landsat imagery, combined with aerial photography, sketch maps, and diagrams, is used as the basis for a description of the geography, climatology, and glaciology, including mass balance, variation, and hazards, of the Greenland ice sheet and local ice caps and glaciers. The Greenland ice sheet, with an estimated area of 1,736,095+/-100 km2 and volume of 2,600,000 km3, is the second largest glacier on the planet and the largest relict of the Ice Age in the Northern Hemisphere. Greenland also has 48,599+/-100 km2 of local ice caps and other types of glaciers in coastal areas and islands beyond the margin of the ice sheet.

  13. Calving dynamics at Helheim Glacier from a high-resolution observational network.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selmes, Nick; Aspey, Robin; Baugé, Tim; Bevan, Suzanne; Edwards, Stuart; Everett, Alistair; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Luckman, Adrian; Martin, Ian; Murray, Tavi; O'Farrell, Tim; Rutt, Ian

    2014-05-01

    Calving glaciers play a crucial role in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet; acceleration of these glaciers results in increased mass loss from the ice sheet interior and a corresponding rise in sea level. Understanding the controls on calving is crucial for predicting the dynamic response of tidewater glaciers to environmental change, but understanding of calving is hindered by the difficulty of obtaining appropriate field measurements, and by the complexity of the system being observed. We designed and deployed a wireless network of GPS nodes which transmit to off-glacier base stations every few seconds, allowing observations right up to node loss through calving. We ran a network of 20 sensors over the period July - September 2013 on the highly crevassed surface of Helheim Glacier, one of the largest and fastest flowing of the Greenland outlets. Topographic change, additional velocities, and calving flux were provided by two sets of stereo time-lapse cameras, TanDEM-X satellite imagery, repeat airborne lidar, and airborne and spaceborne optical remotely-sensed imagery. At the start of our field season we observed the expression on the fjord surface of a point-source subglacial meltwater plume. We monitored the evolution of the plume and its effect on the exposed calving face and ice mélange from time-lapse cameras, optical remotely-sensed imagery and lidar data. We compare these observations to our record of frontal positions to study the plume's role in controlling the spatial extent of iceberg calving. Our 53 day study period contained several large calving events which resulted in frontal retreat of ~1.5 km. We present the glacier's dynamic and topographic response to these calving events through this very large and rich dataset. Typically the glacier ice flows down slope and speeds up as ice progresses towards the calving front, with notable acceleration after each calving event. Intriguingly we see periods where sensors behave in unexpected ways

  14. Greenland Glacier Albedo Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA) is a NASA-funded project with the prime goal of addressing the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. Since the formal initiation of the program in 1995, there has been a significant improvement in the estimates of the mass balance of the ice sheet. Results from this program reveal that the high-elevation regions of the ice sheet are approximately in balance, but the margins are thinning. Laser surveys reveal significant thinning along 70 percent of the ice sheet periphery below 2000 m elevations, and in at least one outlet glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq in southeast Greenland, thinning has been as much as 10 m/yr. This study examines the albedo variability in four outlet glaciers to help separate out the relative contributions of surface melting versus ice dynamics to the recent mass balance changes. Analysis of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder albedo shows that at the Petermann and Jakobshavn glaciers, there has been a negative trend in albedo at the glacier terminus from 1981 to 2000, whereas the Stor+strommen and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers show slightly positive trends in albedo. These findings are consistent with recent observations of melt extent from passive microwave data which show more melt on the western side of Greenland and slightly less on the eastern side. Significance of albedo trends will depend on where and when the albedo changes occur. Since the majority of surface melt occurs in the shallow sloping western margin of the ice sheet where the shortwave radiation dominates the energy balance in summer (e.g. Jakobshavn region) this region will be more sensitive to changes in albedo than in regions where this is not the case. Near the Jakobshavn glacier, even larger changes in albedo have been observed, with decreases as much as 20 percent per decade.

  15. Tidal analysis of GNSS data from a high resolution sensor network at Helheim Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Ian; Aspey, Robin; Baugé, Tim; Edwards, Stuart; Everett, Alistair; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Murray, Tavi; O'Farrell, Tim; Rutt, Ian

    2014-05-01

    Changes in Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to ice flow/ice-berg calving are a major uncertainty affecting sea-level rise forecasts. Latterly GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have been employed extensively to monitor such glacier dynamics. Until recently however, the favoured methodology has been to deploy sensors onto the glacier surface, collect data for a period of time, then retrieve and download the sensors. This approach works well in less dynamic environments where the risk of sensor loss is low. In more extreme environments e.g. approaching the glacial calving front, the risk of sensor loss and hence data loss increases dramatically. In order to provide glaciologists with new insights into flow dynamics and calving processes we have developed a novel sensor network to increase the robustness of data capture. We present details of the technological requirements for an in-situ Zigbee wireless streaming network infrastructure supporting instantaneous data acquisition from high resolution GNSS sensors thereby increasing data capture robustness. The data obtained offers new opportunities to investigate the interdependence of mass flow, uplift, velocity and geometry and the network architecture has been specifically designed for deployment by helicopter close to the calving front to yield unprecedented detailed information. Following successful field trials of a pilot three node network during 2012, a larger 20 node network was deployed on the fast-flowing Helheim glacier, south-east Greenland over the summer months of 2013. The utilisation of dual wireless transceivers in each glacier node, multiple frequencies and four 'collector' stations located on the valley sides creates overlapping networks providing enhanced capacity, diversity and redundancy of data 'back-haul', even close to 'floor' RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) levels around -100 dBm. Data loss through radio packet collisions within sub-networks are avoided through the

  16. Modelling Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelis; Abdalati, Waleed (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this project was to develop simple yet realistic models of Greenland outlet glaciers to better understand ongoing changes and to identify possible causes for these changes. Several approaches can be taken to evaluate the interaction between climate forcing and ice dynamics, and the consequent ice-sheet response, which may involve changes in flow style. To evaluate the icesheet response to mass-balance forcing, Van der Veen (Journal of Geophysical Research, in press) makes the assumption that this response can be considered a perturbation on the reference state and may be evaluated separately from how this reference state evolves over time. Mass-balance forcing has an immediate effect on the ice sheet. Initially, the rate of thickness change as compared to the reference state equals the perturbation in snowfall or ablation. If the forcing persists, the ice sheet responds dynamically, adjusting the rate at which ice is evacuated from the interior to the margins, to achieve a new equilibrium. For large ice sheets, this dynamic adjustment may last for thousands of years, with the magnitude of change decreasing steadily over time as a new equilibrium is approached. This response can be described using kinematic wave theory. This theory, modified to pertain to Greenland drainage basins, was used to evaluate possible ice-sheet responses to perturbations in surface mass balance. The reference state is defined based on measurements along the central flowline of Petermann Glacier in north-west Greenland, and perturbations on this state considered. The advantage of this approach is that the particulars of the dynamical flow regime need not be explicitly known but are incorporated through the parameterization of the reference ice flux or longitudinal velocity profile. The results of the kinematic wave model indicate that significant rates of thickness change can occur immediately after the prescribed change in surface mass balance but adjustments in flow

  17. Melting beneath Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, David; Perrette, Mahé; Beckmann, Johanna

    2015-04-01

    Basal melting of fast-flowing Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams due to frictional heating at the ice-bed interface contributes significantly to total glacier mass balance and subglacial meltwater flux, yet modelling this basal melt process in Greenland has received minimal research attention. A one-dimensional dynamic ice-flow model is calibrated to the present day longitudinal profiles of 10 major Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams (including the Jakobshavn Isbrae, Petermann Glacier and Helheim Glacier) and is validated against published ice flow and surface elevation measurements. Along each longitudinal profile, basal melt is calculated as a function of ice flow velocity and basal shear stress. The basal shear stress is dependent on the effective pressure (difference between ice overburden pressure and water pressure), basal roughness and a sliding parametrization. Model output indicates that where outlet glaciers and ice streams terminate into the ocean with either a small floating ice tongue or no floating tongue whatsoever, the proportion of basal melt to total melt (surface, basal and submarine melt) is 5-10% (e.g. Jakobshavn Isbrae; Daugaard-Jensen Glacier). This proportion is, however, negligible where larger ice tongues lose mass mostly by submarine melt (~1%; e.g. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier). Modelled basal melt is highest immediately upvalley of the grounding line, with contributions typically up to 20-40% of the total melt for slippery beds and up to 30-70% for resistant beds. Additionally, modelled grounding line and calving front migration inland for all outlet glaciers and ice streams of hundreds of metres to several kilometres occurs. Including basal melt due to frictional heating in outlet glacier and ice stream models is important for more accurately modelling mass balance and subglacial meltwater flux, and therefore, more accurately modelling outlet glacier and ice stream dynamics and responses to future climate change.

  18. Brief communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new data set of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Kruse, L. M.; Michaelsen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Place names in Greenland can be difficult to get right, as they are a mix of Greenlandic, Danish, and other foreign languages. In addition, orthographies have changed over time. With this new data set, we give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to find the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland and to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography. The data set contains information on the names of 733 glaciers, 285 originating from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and 448 from local glaciers and ice caps (LGICs).

  19. Brief Communication: 2014 velocity and flux for five major Greenland outlet glaciers using ImGRAFT and Landsat-8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerli, A.; Karlsson, N. B.; Grinsted, A.

    2014-12-01

    This study presents average velocity fields, mass flux estimates and central flowline profiles for five major Greenland outlet glaciers; Jakobshavn Isbræ, Nioghalvfjerdsbræ, Kangerdlugssuaq, Helheim and Petermann glaciers, spanning the period (August) 2013-(September) 2014. The results are produced by the feature tracking toolbox, ImGRAFT using Landsat-8, panchromatic data. The resulting velocity fields agree with the findings of existing studies. Furthermore, our results show an unprecedented speed of over 50 m day-1 at Jakobshavn Isbræ as it continues to retreat. All the processed data will be freely available for download at http://imgraft.glaciology.net.

  20. Earthshots: Satellite images of environmental change – Petermann Glacier, Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adamson, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    This calving is normal, but it’s worth watching Petermann and other Greenland glaciers closely. Petermann is one of the major marine-terminating glaciers of Greenland. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased recently. An article in Nature concluded that climate change may cause Petermann and other Greenland glaciers to contribute to sea level rise. Landsat helps glaciologists keep a close eye on this remote but significant glacier.

  1. Greenland's pronounced glacier retreat not irreversible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-02-01

    In recent decades, the combined forces of climate warming and short-term variability have forced the massive glaciers that blanket Greenland into retreat, with some scientists worrying that deglaciation could become irreversible. The short history of detailed glacier observations, however, makes pinning the ice loss to either short-term dynamics or long-term change difficult. Research by Young et al. detailing the effects of two bouts of sudden and temporary cooling during an otherwise warm phase in Greenland's climate history could help answer that question by showing just how heavy a hand short-term variability can have in dictating glacier dynamics. Along the western edge of Greenland the massive Jakobshavn Isbræ glacier reaches out to the coast, its outflow dropping icebergs into Baffin Bay during the summer months. Flanking the glacier's tongue are the Tasiussaq and Marrait moraines—piles of rock marking the glacier's former extent. Researchers suspected the moraines were tied to two periods of abrupt cooling that hit Greenland 9300 and 8200 years ago, and that association was reinforced by the authors' radiocarbon and beryllium isotope analyses of the area surrounding the moraines. Beryllium-10 forms when cosmic radiation travels through the atmosphere and strikes the Earth's surface, with surface rock concentrations indicating how long it has been ice-free.

  2. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured

    PubMed Central

    Aschwanden, Andy; Fahnestock, Mark A.; Truffer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate due to increased surface melt and flow acceleration in outlet glaciers. Quantifying future dynamic contributions to sea level requires accurate portrayal of outlet glaciers in ice sheet simulations, but to date poor knowledge of subglacial topography and limited model resolution have prevented reproduction of complex spatial patterns of outlet flow. Here we combine a high-resolution ice-sheet model coupled to uniformly applied models of subglacial hydrology and basal sliding, and a new subglacial topography data set to simulate the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Flow patterns of many outlet glaciers are well captured, illustrating fundamental commonalities in outlet glacier flow and highlighting the importance of efforts to map subglacial topography. Success in reproducing present day flow patterns shows the potential for prognostic modelling of ice sheets without the need for spatially varying parameters with uncertain time evolution. PMID:26830316

  3. On the Influence of the NAO on Outlet Glacier Stability in SE Greenland during the Past 100 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    The Greenland Ice sheet has gained massive attention in recent years due to a sudden increase in mass loss at the onset of this century. A significant part of this mass loss has been attributed to increased ice discharge at the margin through iceberg calving from marine-terminating outlet glaciers. However, due to the lack of instrumental data beyond the past 20-30 years it is difficult to evaluate if this was an outstanding event or if it was part of a recurring phenomenon acting on inter-annual, inter-decadal or centennial timescales. In order to improve understanding of the timescales involved in glacier changes and on the influence of ocean and atmosphere variability we investigate sediment archives from fjords with marine terminating glaciers. Near the glacier margin the sedimentation rates are relatively high due to glacial flour input and rafting of iceberg debris. Our studies of several sediment cores obtained from Sermilik Fjord by Helheim Glacier in Southeast Greenland has allowed us to reconstruct glacier calving, shelf temperature and fjord water renewal rate for the past 100 years. These studies show that dominant modes of climate variability, i.e. the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, affect ocean properties near the glacier and that the recorded variability concurs with reconstructed outlet glacier changes. This presentation provides an overview these studies.

  4. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity.

    PubMed

    Moon, Twila; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben; van den Broeke, Michiel R; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Usher, Mika

    2014-10-28

    Predicting Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss due to ice dynamics requires a complete understanding of spatiotemporal velocity fluctuations and related control mechanisms. We present a 5 year record of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 marine-terminating glaciers distributed around the ice sheet margin, along with ice-front position and runoff data sets for each glacier. Among glaciers with substantial speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position. The other two patterns are more prevalent and appear to be meltwater controlled. These patterns reveal differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. The difference may be determined by meltwater availability, which in some regions may be influenced by perennial firn aquifers. Our results highlight the need to understand subglacial meltwater availability on an ice sheet-wide scale to predict future dynamic changes.

  5. Using ISSM to Simulate the LIA to Present Ice Margin Change at Upernavik Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haubner, K.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J.; Schlegel, N.; Larsen, S. H.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjaer, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The possibility for rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet ranks among the most serious societal climate threats. This project puts the rate of contemporary climate change-driven Greenland ice mass change in a temporal context, by simulating the Greenland ice sheet margin throughout the Holocene and comparing the results with past ice margin positions (e.g. Andresen et al., 2014; Bjørk et al., 2012) and records of glacier activity based on fjord sediment strata (Andresen et al. 2012). Here we show first steps to achieve this goal and model the evolution of the Upernavik Isstrøm, a set of marine-terminating glaciers in Northwest Greenland, during the 20thcentury, using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) (Larour et. al 2012). The simulation runs from 1900, shortly after the Little Ice Age (LIA), to year 2013, initialized using trimline data marking the former extent of the ice sheet and forced by a surface mass balance reconstruction after Box (2013). We address uncertainties in ice front positions and thickness by comparing our simulation output with present ice margin positions in the area. Finally, we investigate the possibility of simulating historic changes at ice sheet margins with this finite element ice sheet model. Andresen, C. S., Kjeldsen, K. K., Harden, B., Nørgaard-Pedersen, N. and Kjær, K. H. 2014. Outlet glacier dynamics and bathymetry at Upernavik Isstrøm and Upernavik Isfjord, North-West Greenland. GEUS Bulletin 31 Andresen, C. S., Straneo, F., Ribergaard, M. H., Bjørk, A. A., Andersen, T.J., Kuijpers, A., Nørgaard-Pedersen, N., Kjær, K. H., Schjøth, F., Weckström, K. and Ahlstrøm, A. P. 2012: Rapid response of Helheim Glacier in Greenland to climate variability over the past century. Nature Geoscience 5 Bjørk, A. A., Kjær, K. H., Korsgaard, N. J., Khan, A., S., Kjeldsen, K. K., Andresen, C. S., Box, J. E., Larsen, N. K. and Funder, S. 2012. Historical aerial photographs uncover eighty years of ice-climate interaction in southeast

  6. Processing time-series point clouds to reveal strain conditions of the Helheim Glacier terminus and its adjacent mélange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, L. C.; Stearns, L. A.; Finnegan, D. C.; LeWinter, A. L.; Gadomski, P. J.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Flow near the termini of tidewater glaciers varies over short time-scales due to mechanisms that are poorly understood. Repeat observations with high temporal and spatial resolution, recorded around the terminus, are required to better understand the processes that control flow variability. Progress in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology permit such observations of the near-terminus and the pro-glacial ice mélange, though standard workflows for quantifying deformation from point clouds currently do not exist. Here, we test and develop methods for processing displacements from LiDAR data of complexly deforming bodies. We use data collected at 30-minute intervals over three-days in August 2013 at Helheim Glacier, Greenland by a long-range (6-10 km), 1064 nm wavelength Terrestrial LiDAR Scanner (TLS). The total area of coverage was ~25 km2. Distributed shear in glaciers prevents a simple transformation for aligning repeat point clouds, but within small regions (~100 m2) strain is assumed to be minor between scans. Registering a large number of these individual regions, subset from the full point-cloud, results in reduced alignment errors. By subsetting in a regular grid, rasters of velocities between scans are created. However, using data-dependent properties such as point density causes the generation of unevenly spaced velocity estimations, which can locally improve resolution or decrease registration errors. The choice of subsets therefore controls the output product's resolution and accuracy. We test how the spatial segmentation scheme affects the displacement results and alignment errors, finding that displacements can be quantified with limited assumption of the true value of displacement for the subset, barring great morphological changes. By identifying areas that do not deform over the temporal domain of the dataset, and using these as the subsets to align, it should be possible to deduce which structures are accommodating strain. This allows for

  7. The first glacier inventory for entire Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-04-01

    Detailed glacier data is becoming more and more important in the last decades to solve several research issues. One of the most prominent questions in this regard is the potential contribution of glaciers and icecaps (GIC) to global sea-level rise. Primarily, estimates are uncertain due to the globally still incomplete information about glacier location and size, as well as large uncertainties in future climate scenarios. Recent studies that calculate global sea-level rise from GIC have developed simplified approaches using information from glacier inventories or gridded data sets and a range of different global climate models and emission scenarios. However, for several strongly glacierized regions very rough assumptions about the ice distribution have to be made and an urgent demand for a globally complete glacier inventory is expressed. The GIC on Greenland are one of the regions with lacking information. Within the EU FP7 project ice2sea we mapped the GIC on Greenland using Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery acquired around the year 2000, along with an additional dataset in the North (DCW - Digital Chart of the World). A digital elevation model (DEM) with 90 m resolution (GIMP DEM) was used to derive drainage divides and henceforth topographic parameters for each entity. A major challenge in this regard is the application of a consistent strategy to separate the local GIC from the ice sheet. For this purpose we have defined different levels of connectivity (CL) of the local GIC with the ice sheet: CL0: Not connected. CL1: Connected but separable (either with drainage divides in the accumulation region or in touch only - and thus separable - in the ablation region). CL2: Connected but non-separable (the local GIC contribute to the flow of an ice sheet outlet in the ablation area). Up to now close to 12'000 GIC (only CL0 and CL1) with a total area of about 129'000 km2 have been mapped considering only entities larger than 0.1 km2. The area of the ice sheet itself is

  8. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Twila; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben; van den Broeke, Michiel R; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Usher, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Predicting Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss due to ice dynamics requires a complete understanding of spatiotemporal velocity fluctuations and related control mechanisms. We present a 5 year record of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 marine-terminating glaciers distributed around the ice sheet margin, along with ice-front position and runoff data sets for each glacier. Among glaciers with substantial speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position. The other two patterns are more prevalent and appear to be meltwater controlled. These patterns reveal differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. The difference may be determined by meltwater availability, which in some regions may be influenced by perennial firn aquifers. Our results highlight the need to understand subglacial meltwater availability on an ice sheet-wide scale to predict future dynamic changes. Key Points First multi-region seasonal velocity measurements show regional differences Seasonal velocity fluctuations on most glaciers appear meltwater controlled Seasonal development of efficient subglacial drainage geographically divided PMID:25821275

  9. Pathways of Petermann Glacier meltwater, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuzé, Céline; Wåhlin, Anna; Johnson, Helen; Münchow, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Radar and satellite observations suggest that the floating ice shelf of Petermann Glacier loses up to 80% of its mass through basal melting, caused by the intrusion of warm Atlantic Water into the fjord and under the ice shelf. The fate of Petermann's glacial meltwater is still largely unknown. It is investigated here, using hydrographic observations collected during a research cruise on board I/B Oden in August 2015. Two methods are used to detect the meltwater from Petermann: a mathematical one that provides the concentration of ice shelf meltwater, and a geometrical one to distinguish the meltwater from Petermann and the meltwater from other ice shelves. The meltwater from Petermann mostly circulates on the north side of the fjord. At the sill, 0.5 mSv of meltwater leave the fjord, mostly on the northeastern side between 100 and 350 m depth, but also in the central channel, albeit with a lesser concentration. Meltwater from Petermann is found in all the casts in Hall Basin, notably north of the sill by Greenland coast. The geometrical method reveals that the casts closest to the Canadian side mostly contain meltwater from other, unidentified glaciers. As Atlantic Water warms up, it is key to monitor Greenland melting glaciers and track their meltwater to properly assess their impact on the ocean circulation and sea level rise.

  10. Outlet glaciers of southeast Greenland: rapid, synchronised regional retreat at the start of the Holocene?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, L. M.; Hughes, A. L.; Murray, T.; Ródes

    2012-12-01

    We report new in-situ cosmogenic isotope (10Be) exposure dates from two major fjord systems in southeast (SE) Greenland. Low elevation erratic pairs from Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord reveal the onset of coastal deglaciation at ~11 ky BP. Overlapping exposure ages from a fjord axis transect show this was followed by a period of rapid deglaciation to a position at least 50 km from the mouth. The rapid deglaciation of Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord taken together with similar dates from Sermilik Fjord situated ~350 km southwards (Hughes et al., 2012), shows synchronous coastal deglaciation. This regional synchronicity implies a common regional driving mechanism. Ice sheet retreat from the continental shelf was underway by 15 ky BP, probably in response to long term climate amelioration following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We suggest that the 'fjord phase' of deglaciation occurred rapidly due to significant climatic amelioration and changing oceanic conditions at the end of the Younger Dryas stadial. To test the synchronicity of regional deglaciation further, we will report exposure ages and retreat rates from Bernstorffs Isfjord, 650 km south of Kangerdlugssuaq and 300 km south of Sermilik Fjord. Bathymetric data and geomorphological evidence from Bernstorffs Isfjord hint at a still-stand or re-advance during the Holocene: exposure dates will be used to test this hypothesis. Widespread changes have been reported in the marine terminating glaciers of the southeast sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) during the early 2000s. Our results show retreat rates that are either significantly faster or persist for much longer than those observed recently, and demonstrate the great sensitivity of these marine-terminating glaciers to climatic change. References: Hughes, A.L.C., Rainsley, E., Murray T., Fogwill, C.J., Schnabel, C. and Xu, S. (2012) Rapid response of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, to early Holocene climate warming. Geology, 40, 427-430.

  11. Instrument for Analysis of Greenland's Glacier Mills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behar, Alberto E.; Matthews, Jaret B.; Tran, Hung B.; Steffen, Konrad; McGrath, Dan; Phillips, Thomas; Elliot, Andrew; OHern, Sean; Lutz, Colin; Martin, Sujita; Wang, Henry

    2010-01-01

    A new instrument is used to study the inner workings of Greenland s glacier mills by riding the currents inside a glacier s moulin. The West Greenland Moulin Explorer instrument was deployed into a tubular shaft to autonomously record temperature, pressure, 3D acceleration, and location. It is built with a slightly positive buoyancy in order to assist in recovery. The unit is made up of several components. A 3-axis MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) accelerometer with 0.001-g resolution forms the base of the unit. A pressure transducer is added that is capable of withstanding 500 psi (=3.4 MPa), and surviving down to -40 C. An Iridium modem sends out data every 10 minutes. The location is traced by a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. This GPS unit is also used for recovery after the mission. Power is provided by a high-capacity lithium thionyl chloride D-sized battery. The accelerometer is housed inside a cylindrical, foot-long (=30 cm) polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shell sealed at each end with acrylic. The pressure transducer is attached to one of these lids and a MEMS accelerometer to the other, recording 100 samples per second per axis.

  12. Investigating connections between local-remote atmospheric variability and Greenland outlet glacier behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolowski, Stefan; Chen, Linling; Miles, Victoria

    2016-04-01

    The outlet glaciers along the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) exhibit a range of behaviors, which are crucial for understanding GrIS mass changes from a dynamical point of view. However, the drivers of this behavior are still poorly understood. Arguments (counter-arguments) have been made for a strong (weak) local oceanic influence on marine terminating outlet glaciers while decadal-scale drivers linked to fluctuations in the Ice sheet itself and the North Atlantic ocean (e.g. Atlantic Multidecadal Variability) have also been posited as drivers. Recently there have also been studies linking (e.g. seasonal to interannual) atmospheric variability, synoptic activity and the Ice Sheet variability. But these studies typically investigate atmospheric links to the large-scale behavior of the Ice Sheet itself and do not go down to the scale of the outlet glaciers. Conversely, investigations of the outlet glaciers often do not include potential links to non-local atmospheric dynamics. Here the authors attempt to bridge the gap and investigate the relationship between atmospheric variability across a range of scales and the behavior of three outlet glaciers on Greenland's southeast coast over a 33-year period (1980-2012). The glaciers - Helheim, Midgard and Fenris - are near Tasiilaq, are marine terminating and exhibit varying degree of connection to the GrIS. ERA-Interim reanalysis, sea-ice data and glacier observations are used for the investigation. Long records of mass balance are unavailable for these glaciers and front position is employed as a measure of glacier atmosphere interactions across multiple scales, as it exhibits robust relationships to atmospheric variability on time scales of seasons to many years, with the strongest relationships seen at seasonal - interannual time scales. The authors do not make the argument that front position is a suitable proxy for mass balance, only that it is indicative of the role of local and remote atmospheric

  13. Greenland ice sheet outlet glacier front changes: comparison of year 2008 with past years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decker, D. E.; Box, J.; Benson, R.

    2008-12-01

    NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery are used to calculate inter-annual, end of summer, glacier front area changes at 10 major Greenland ice sheet outlets over the 2000-2008 period. To put the recent 8 end of summer net annual changes into a longer perspective, glacier front position information from the past century are also incorporated. The largest MODIS-era area changes are losses/retreats; found at the relatively large Petermann Gletscher, Zachariae Isstrom, and Jakobshavn Isbrae. The 2007-2008 net ice area losses were 63.4 sq. km, 21.5 sq. km, and 10.9 sq. km, respectively. Of the 10 largest Greenland glaciers surveyed, the total net cumulative area change from end of summer 2000 to 2008 is -536.6 sq km, that is, an area loss equivalent with 6.1 times the area of Manhattan Is. (87.5 sq km) in New York, USA. Ice front advances are evident in 2008; also at relatively large and productive (in terms of ice discharge) glaciers of Helheim (5.7 sq km), Store Gletscher (4.9 sq km), and Kangerdlugssuaq (3.4 sq km). The largest retreat in the 2000-2008 period was 54.2 sq km at Jakobshavn Isbrae between 2002 and 2003; associated with a floating tongue disintegration following a retreat that began in 2001 and has been associated with thinning until floatation is reached; followed by irreversible collapse. The Zachariae Isstrom pro-glacial floating ice shelf loss in 2008 appears to be part of an average ~20 sq km per year disintegration trend; with the exception of the year 2006 (6.2 sq km) advance. If the Zachariae Isstrom retreat continues, we are concerned the largest ice sheet ice stream that empties into Zachariae Isstrom will accelerate, the ice stream front freed of damming back stress, increasing the ice sheet mass budget deficit in ways that are poorly understood and could be surprisingly large. By approximating the width of the surveyed glacier frontal zones, we determine and present effective glacier normalized length (L

  14. From Outlet Glacier Changes to Ice Sheet Mass Balance - Evolution of Greenland Ice Sheet from Laser Altimetry Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A.; Nagarajan, S.; Babonis, G. S.

    2010-12-01

    along the NW coast, and thinning expanding to higher elevations in SW and N Greenland. Several outlet glaciers, for example Humboldt and Petermann glaciers in NW Greenland and Kangilerngata Sermia in W Greenland exhibit a complex spatial and temporal pattern of thickening-thinning with regions of thickening observed at lower elevations. We will examine the thickening and thinning history and the record of surface velocity of these glaciers to investigate the processes responsible for initiating and sustaining these changes. Moreover, by analyzing the detailed surface elevation change history along flowlines or across drainage basins, the propagation of thinning following perturbations at the glacier terminus can be investigated. Results, depicting the evolution of surface elevation changes of three major outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn, Helheim and Kangerlussuaq glaciers, will be shown.

  15. Contrasting response of South Greenland glaciers to recent climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, C.R.; Glasser, N.F. )

    1992-05-01

    A unique geographical configuration of glaciers exists in the Narsarsuaq district of South Greenland. Two large outlet glaciers divide into seven distributaries, such that each glacier system has land-terminating, tidewater-calving, and fresh-water-calving termini. Despite a similar climatic regime, these seven glaciers have exhibited strongly contrasting terminal behavior in historical time, as shown by historical records, aerial photographs, and fieldwork in 1989. The behavior of the calving glaciers cannot be accounted for with reference solely to climatic parameters. The combination of iceberg calving dynamics and topographic control has partially decoupled them from climatic forcing such that their oscillations relate more closely to glaciodynamic than glacioclimatic factors.

  16. A calving law for ice sheet models; Investigating the role of surface melt on dynamics of Greenland outlet glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F. M.; van der Veen, C. J.; Vieli, A.

    2008-12-01

    alving of icebergs accounts for perhaps as much as half the ice transferred from the Greenland Ice Sheet into the surrounding ocean, and virtually all of the ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. We have formulated a calving model that can be readily incorporated into time-evolving numerical ice-flow models. Our model is based on downward penetration of water-filled surface crevasses and upward propagation of basal crevasses. A calving event occurs when the depth of the surface crevasse (which increases as melting progresses through the summer) reaches the height of the basal crevasse. Our numerical ice sheet model is able to reproduce observed seasonal changes of Greenland outlet glaciers, such as fluctuations in flow speed and terminus positions. We have applied the model to Helheim Glacier on the east coast, and Petermann Glacier in the northwest. Our model suggests that rapid retreat of the claving front is highly affected by the amplified calving rate due to increasing water level in surface crevasses during warmer summers. Our results show little response to seasonally enhanced basal lubrication from surface melt. This modeling study provides insights into the role of surface and basal hydrology to ice sheet dynamics and on how to incorporate calving in ice sheet models and therefore advances our ability to predict future ice sheet change.

  17. No slowing down of Jakobshavn Isbræ in 2014: Results from feature-tracking five Greenland outlet glaciers using Landsat-8 data and the ImGRAFT toolbox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerli, Alexandra; Karlsson, Nanna B.; Grinsted, Aslak

    2015-04-01

    Data from the Landsat-8, panchromatic band, spanning the period (August) 2013 - (September) 2014 have been feature-tracked to construct ice velocities and flux estimates for five major Greenland outlet glaciers: Jakobshavn Isbræ, Nioghalvfjerdsbræ, Kangerdlugssuaq, Helheim and Petermann glaciers. The outlet glaciers are responsible for draining more than 20% of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and thus have a significant impact on its mass balance. The feature-tracking is performed with the newly developed ImGRAFT toolbox, a Matlab-based, freely available software (http://imgraft.glaciology.net). Overall, the resulting velocity fields and fluxes agree with the findings of existing studies. Notably, we find that Jakobshavn Isbræ has reached an unprecedented speed of over 50m/day, and exhibit large, seasonal fluctuations. In contrast, on the east coast of Greenland, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq Glaciers have returned to pre-speed up velocities, following a peak in ice flux about a decade ago. Petermann and Nigohalvfjerdsbræ show little variability in speeds with typical flow speeds of less than 5m/day.

  18. Reconstruction of the past 2000 years of ocean and glacier variability in Sermilik Fjord, SE Greenland, based on sediment archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoican, Andreea; Andresen, Camilla; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Kjaer, Kurt; Kuijpers, Antoon; Massé, Guillaume; Weckström, Kaarina

    2013-04-01

    Glaciomarine sediments represent valuable archives of climate and glacier variability in the arctic environment. Especially the fjords along Greenland's east coast represent a dynamic and complicated system, influenced by regional ocean circulation, local currents and by glacier terminations. Therefore, they represent appropriate locations for sedimentary core studies in order to detect the relative glacier and ocean variability. The aim of this project is to reconstruct the past 2000 years of glacier and ocean variability in Sermilik fjord, SE Greenland, into which Helheim glacier terminates. This is done by analysing two sedimentary cores (ER11 and ER07) and hereby reconstruct fluctuations in marine-terminating outlet glacier dynamics (including iceberg and to a lesser extent melt water production) and the interaction with oceanographic changes. The oceanographic variability is reconstructed on the basis of benthic and planktonic foraminiferal analysis and the content of the biomarker IP25 and these proxies are interpreted to reflect changes in the inflow of the warm Irminger Current and polar waters in association with the East Greenland Current. Interestingly, studies show that the onset of the Little Ice Age was characterised by intensified inflow of Irminger Current water masses to the Southeastern and Southwestern shelves of Greenland and that these may be associated with a contracted subpolar gyre. At the same time, the EGC Polar Water transport also intensified leading to a stratified water column on the shelf and this may have favoured entrainment of warm subsurface IC waters. Alternatively, the relatively warm rim of the eastern subpolar gyre may have promoted intense submarine melting of extended outlet glaciers at this time, producing enhanced melt water outflow which favoured estuarine circulation processes maintaining the inflow of IC water masses. Thus the aim of this study is to investigate in detail the circulation of these LIA warm waters from

  19. Using ISSM to simulate the LIA to present ice margin change at Upernavik Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haubner, Konstanze; Larsen, Signe H.; Box, Jason E.; Andersen, Morten L.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Kjær, Kurt H.; Weidick, Anker

    2015-04-01

    The possibility for rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet ranks among the most serious societal climate threats. To improve predictions it is useful to know more about past ice volume changes. This project puts the rate of contemporary climate change-driven Greenland ice mass change in a temporal context, by simulating the Greenland ice sheet margin throughout the Holocene. The modelled results can be compared with historical ice positions and with records of past glacier activity (i.e. calving) based on studies of sediment cores from the fjord (Andresen et al. 2012). Another data source of ice margins derives from aerial photography and ice trimline positions (Kjær et al. 2012). Here we present a simulation using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) (Larour et. al 2012) of the Upernavik Isstrøm, a set of NW Greenland marine-terminating glaciers. The simulation runs from year 1840 in the Little Ice Age (LIA) to year 2012, forced by an updated surface mass balance reconstruction after Box (2013). The work establishes a base from which we can model the entire Greenland Ice Sheet. To resolve where model development is needed most, using observations that are iteratively excluded from the simulation, we evaluate the relative importance of each data set on the total uncertainty. We discuss the challenges associated with the general model boundary conditions such as the ice-ocean interaction representation in the model and lacking bathymetrical data. Finally, we address the need for further observations and the perspective of applying the model to other glaciers. works cited: • Andresen, C. S., Straneo, F., Ribergaard, M. H., Bjørk, A. A., Andersen, T.J., Kuijpers, A., Nørgaard-Pedersen, N., Kjær, K. H., Schjøth, F., Weckström, K. and Ahlstrøm, A. P. 2012: Rapid response of Helheim Glacier in Greenland to climate variability over the past century. Nature Geoscience 5, 37-41, doi:10.1038/ngeo1349. • Box, J. E. 2013. Greenland ice sheet mass balance

  20. Ocean-Glacier Interactions in Alaska and Comparison to Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motyka, R. J.; Truffer, M.

    2011-12-01

    Meltwater from Alaska's coastal glaciers and icefields accounts for nearly half of the total freshwater discharged into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), with 10% coming from glacier volume loss associated with rapid thinning and retreat of glaciers (Neal et al, 2010). This glacier freshwater discharge contributes to maintaining the Alaska Coastal Current (ACC), which eventually reaches the Arctic Ocean (Royer and Grosch, 2006), thereby linking changes of glaciers along the coast of Alaska to the whole Arctic system. Water column temperatures on the shelf of northern GOA, monitored at buoy GAK1 near Seward, have increased by about 1 deg C since 1970 throughout the 250 m depth and vertical density stratification has also increased. Roughly half of the glacier contribution to ACC is derived from the ~ 50 tidewater glaciers (TWG) that drain from Alaska's coastal mountains into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Fjord systems link these TWGs to the GOA, with fjord circulation patterns driven in part by buoyancy-driven convection of subglacial freshwater discharge at the head of the fjord. Neoglacial shallow sills (< 50 m deep) modulate the influx of warm ocean waters (up to 10 deg C) into these fjords. Convection of these warm waters melts icebergs and submerged faces of TWGs. The study of interactions between glaciers, fjords, and the ocean in coastal Alaska has had a long but very sporadic history. We examine this record starting with the "TWG cycle" hypothesis. We next examine recent hydrographic data from several different TWG fjords, representative of advancing and retreating TWGs (Columbia, Yahtse, Hubbard, and LeConte Glaciers), evaluate similarities and differences, and estimate the relative contributions of submarine glacier melting and subglacial discharge to fjord circulation. Circulation of warm ocean waters in fjords has also been hypothesized to play an important role in destabilizing and modulating glacier discharge from outlet glaciers in Greenland. We therefore compare

  1. Greenland outlet glacier dynamics from Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) photogrammetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawbecker, P.; Box, J. E.; Balog, J. D.; Ahn, Y.; Benson, R. J.

    2010-12-01

    Time Lapse cameras fill gaps in our observational capabilities: 1. By providing much higher temporal resolution than offered by conventional airborne or satellite remote sensing. 2. While GPS or auto-theodolite observations can provide higher time resolution data than from photogrammetry, survival of these instruments on the hazardous glacier surface is limited, plus, the maintenance of such systems can be more expensive than the maintenance of a terrestrial photogrammetry installation. 3. Imagery provide a high spatial density of observations across the glacier surface, higher than is realistically available from GPS or other in-situ observations. 4. time lapse cameras provide observational capabilities in Eulerian and Lagrangian frames while GPS or theodolite targets, going along for a ride on the glacier, provide only Lagrangian data. Photogrammetry techniques are applied to a year-plus of images from multiple west Greenland glaciers to determine the glacier front horizontal velocity variations at hourly to seasonal time scales. The presentation includes comparisons between glacier front velocities and: 1. surface melt rates inferred from surface air temperature and solar radiation observations; 2. major calving events identified from camera images; 3. surface and near-surface ocean temperature; 4. land-fast sea ice breakup; 5. tidal variations; 6. supra-glacial melt lake drainage events observed in daily optical satellite imagery; and 7.) GPS data. Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) time lapse camera overlooking the Petermann glacier, installed to image glacier dynamics and to capture the predicted ice "island" detachment.

  2. Leakage of the Greenland Ice Sheet through accelerated ice flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.

    2005-12-01

    A map of coastal velocities of the Greenland ice sheet was produced from Radarsat-1 acquired during the background mission of 2000 and combined with radio echo sounding data to estimate the ice discharge from the ice sheet. On individual glaciers, ice discharge was compared with snow input from the interior and melt above the flux gate to determine the glacier mass balance. Time series of velocities on several glaciers at different latitudes reveal seasonal fluctuations of only 7-8 percent so that winter velocities are only 2 percent less than the yearly mean. The results show the northern Greenland glaciers to be close to balance yet losing mass. No change in ice flow is detected on Petermann, 79north and Zachariae Isstrom in 2000-2004. East Greenland glaciers are in balance and flowing steadily north of Kangerdlussuaq, but Kangerdlussuaq, Helheim and all the southeastern glaciers are thinning dramatically. All these glaciers accelerated, Kangerdlussuaq in 2000, Helheim prior to 2004, and southeast Greenland glaciers accelerated 10 to 50 percent in 2000-2004. Glacier acceleration is generally brutal, probably once the glacier reached a threshold, and sustained. In the northwest, most glaciers are largely out of balance. Jakobshavn accelerated significantly in 2002, and glaciers in its immediate vicinity accelerated more than 50 percent in 2000-2004. Less is known about southwest Greenland glaciers due to a lack of ice thickness data but the glaciers have accelerated there as well and are likely to be strongly out of balance despite thickening of the interior. Overall, I estimate the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet to be about -80 +/-10 cubic km of ice per year in 2000 and -110 +/-15 cubic km of ice per year in 2004, i.e. more negative than based on partial altimetry surveys of the outlet glaciers. As climate continues to warm, more glaciers will accelerate, and the mass balance will become increasingly negative, regardless of the evolution of the ice sheet

  3. North Atlantic warming and the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers.

    PubMed

    Straneo, Fiammetta; Heimbach, Patrick

    2013-12-05

    Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet quadrupled over the past two decades, contributing a quarter of the observed global sea-level rise. Increased submarine melting is thought to have triggered the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers, which is partly responsible for the ice loss. However, the chain of events and physical processes remain elusive. Recent evidence suggests that an anomalous inflow of subtropical waters driven by atmospheric changes, multidecadal natural ocean variability and a long-term increase in the North Atlantic's upper ocean heat content since the 1950s all contributed to a warming of the subpolar North Atlantic. This led, in conjunction with increased runoff, to enhanced submarine glacier melting. Future climate projections raise the potential for continued increases in warming and ice-mass loss, with implications for sea level and climate.

  4. Investigating Long-term Behavior of Outlet Glaciers in Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Csatho, Beata; vanderVeen, Kees; Schenk, Toni

    2005-01-01

    Repeat surveys by airborne laser altimetry in the 1990s have revealed significant thinning of outlet glaciers draining the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, with thinning rates up to several meters per year. To fully appreciate the significance of these recent glacier changes, the magnitude of retreat and surface lowering must be placed within the broader context of the retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum and, more significantly, of the retreat following the temporary glacier advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The LIA maximum stand is marked by trimlines, sharp boundaries between recently deglacifated unvegetated rocks, and vegetated surfaces at higher elevations. The objective of this project was to demonstrate the use of remote sensing data to map these trimlines and other glacial geomorphologic features.

  5. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharp, Marin; Wolken, G.; Burgess, D.; Cogley, J.G.; Copland, L.; Thomson, L.; Arendt, A.; Wouters, B.; Kohler, J.; Andreassen, L.M.; O'Neel, Shad; Pelto, M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps cover an area of over 400 000 km2 in the Arctic, and are a major influence on global sea level (Gardner et al. 2011, 2013; Jacob et al. 2012). They gain mass by snow accumulation and lose mass by meltwater runoff. Where they terminate in water (ocean or lake), they also lose mass by iceberg calving. The climatic mass balance (Bclim, the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual meltwater runoff) is a widely used index of how glaciers respond to climate variability and change. The total mass balance (ΔM) is defined as the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual mass losses (by iceberg calving plus runoff).

  6. Accelerating Ice Loss from the Fastest Greenland and Antarctic Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, R.; Frederick, E.; Li, J.; Krabill, W.; Manizade, S.; Paden, J.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Yungel, J.

    2011-01-01

    Ice discharge from the fastest glaciers draining the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets . Jakobshavn Isbrae (JI) and Pine Island Glacier (PIG). continues to increase, and is now more than double that needed to balance snowfall in their catchment basins. Velocity increase probably resulted from decreased buttressing from thinning (and, for JI, breakup) of their floating ice tongues, and from reduced basal drag as grounding lines on both glaciers retreat. JI flows directly into the ocean as it becomes afloat, and here creep rates are proportional to the cube of bed depth. Rapid thinning of the PIG ice shelf increases the likelihood of its breakup, and subsequent rapid increase in discharge velocity. Results from a simple model indicate that JI velocities should almost double to >20 km/a by 2015, with velocities on PIG increasing to >10 km/a after breakup of its ice shelf. These high velocities would probably be sustained over many decades as the glaciers retreat within their long, very deep troughs. Resulting sea ]level rise would average about 1.5 mm/a.

  7. The parallel flow assumption in Greenland outlet glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourmelen, N.; Shepherd, A.; Park, J. W.

    2012-04-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has forced dramatic changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). These changes have led to a reduction in the mass of the GrIS and a consequent rise in global sea level. Satellite observations have revealed an increased flow of the glaciers to the sea [Rignot et al., 2008], increased surface melting [Steffen et al., 2004], lowering of the Ice Sheet surface [Zwally and Giovinetto, 2001], retreat of the glaciers' fronts [Box et al., 2006], and gravity anomaly related to ice mass loss [Velicogna and Wahr, 2006]. When measuring the flow of ice from spaceborne sensors, it is often assumed that the direction and dip of flow follow the direction and dip of the ice surface [Rignot et al., 2011]; this is known as the surface parallel flow assumption [Joughin et al., 1996]. This assumption is often the only way to constrain glaciers' flow, as observation by spaceborne sensors in Polar Regions is limited. Departure from the parallel flow assumption means that the magnitude of ice flow and its changes will be misestimated. Departure from the ice parallel flow assumption also provides clues on the mechanisms leading to the flow pattern and to the change in flow magnitude. Here we exploit 20 years of Synthetic Aperture Radar spaceborn missions to constrain the three-dimensional flow of marine terminating glaciers in the GrIS. We use datasets from past and present ERS1, ERS2, ENVISAT, ALOS and TerraSAR-X missions to construct 3-dimensional flow maps of selected outlet glaciers of the GrIS. This dataset is used to explore the relationship between flow patterns, its temporal evolution, and processes at play at the margins of the GrIS.

  8. The Photographic History of Greenland's Glaciers - and how the historical data plays an important role in today's glacier research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Aagaard, S.; Andresen, C. S.; Bamber, J. L.; van den Broeke, M.; Colgan, W. T.; Funder, S.; Khan, S. A.; Larsen, N. K.; Machguth, H.; Nuth, C.; Schomacker, A.; Kjaer, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    As the Greenland Ice Sheet and Greenland's glaciers are continuing to loss mass at high rates, knowledge of their past response to climatic changes is ever important. By harvesting the archives for images, both terrestrial and airborne, we are able to expand the record of glacier observation by several decades, thus supplying crucial knowledge on glacier behavior to important climatic transitions such as the end of the Little Ice Age and the early 20th Century warming. Here we show how a large collection of historical aerial images portray the glacial response to the Little Ice Age deglaciation in Greenland and document frontal change throughout the 20th Century. A detailed story of the LIA-deglaciation is told by supplementing with terrestrial photos that capture the onset of retreat and high resolution aerial images that portray geomorphological evidence of the Little Ice Age maximum extent. This work is the result of several generations of Greenland researches and their efforts to portray and document the state of the glaciers, and highlights that while interpretations and conclusions may be challenged and changed through time, the raw observations remain extremely valuable. Finally, we also show how archival data besides photos may play an important role in future glacier research in Greenland.

  9. Ice Flow in the Humboldt, Petermann, and Ryder Glaciers, North Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, I.; Fahnestock, M.; Kwok, R.; Gogineni, P.; Allen, C.

    1998-01-01

    Radar Interferometry, ice-penetrating radar profiles, and an elevation model are used to determine the catchment area, rates of ice discharge, and approximate states of balance for three large outlet glaciers in northeast Greenland.

  10. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes.

  11. The impact of glacier geometry on meltwater plume structure and submarine melt in Greenland fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, D.; Sutherland, D. A.; Hudson, B.; Moon, T.; Catania, G. A.; Shroyer, E. L.; Nash, J. D.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Felikson, D.; Stearns, L. A.; Noël, B. P. Y.; Broeke, M. R.

    2016-09-01

    Meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet often drains subglacially into fjords, driving upwelling plumes at glacier termini. Ocean models and observations of submarine termini suggest that plumes enhance melt and undercutting, leading to calving and potential glacier destabilization. Here we systematically evaluate how simulated plume structure and submarine melt during summer months depends on realistic ranges of subglacial discharge, glacier depth, and ocean stratification from 12 Greenland fjords. Our results show that grounding line depth is a strong control on plume-induced submarine melt: deep glaciers produce warm, salty subsurface plumes that undercut termini, and shallow glaciers produce cold, fresh surface-trapped plumes that can overcut termini. Due to sustained upwelling velocities, plumes in cold, shallow fjords can induce equivalent depth-averaged melt rates compared to warm, deep fjords. These results detail a direct ocean-ice feedback that can affect the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  12. Middle to late Holocene fluctuations of the Vindue glacier, an outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet, central East Greenland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Hammer, S. K.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Hall, B. L.; Howley, J. A.; Wilcox, P.; Medford, A.

    2014-12-01

    The margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet are currently responding to present-day climate changes. Determining how the ice sheet margins have responded to past climate changes provides a means to understand how they may respond in the future. Here we present a multi-proxy record used to reconstruct the Holocene fluctuations of the Vindue glacier, an ice sheet outlet glacier in eastern Greenland. Lake sediment cores from Qiviut lake (informal name), located ~0.75 km from the present-day Vindue glacier margin contain a sharp transition from medium sand/coarse silt to laminated gyttja just prior to 6,340±130 cal yr BP. We interpret this transition to indicate a time when the Vindue glacier retreated sufficiently to cease glacial sedimentation into the lake basin. Above this contact the core contains laminated gyttja with prominent, ~0.5 cm thick, silt layers. 10Be ages of boulders on bedrock located between Qiviut lake and the present-day ice margin date to 6.81 ± 0.67 ka (n = 3), indicating the time of deglaciation. These ages also agree well with the radiocarbon age of the silt-gyttja transition in Qiviut lake cores. 10Be ages on boulders on bedrock located more proximal to the ice margin (~0.5 km) yield ages of 2.67 ± 0.18 ka (n = 2). These ages indicate either the continued recession of the ice margin during the late Holocene or an advance at this time. Boulders on the historical moraines show that ice retreated from the moraine by AD 1620 ± 20 yrs (n = 2). These results are in contrast with some areas of the western margin of the ice sheet where 10Be ages indicate that the ice sheet was behind its Historical limit from the middle Holocene (~6-7 ka) to Historical time. This may indicate that the eastern margin may have responded to late Holocene cooling more sensitively or that the advance associated with the Historical moraines overran any evidence of late Holocene fluctuations along the western margin of the ice sheet.

  13. Tomographic Observation and Bedmapping of Glaciers in Western Greenland with IceBridge Sounding Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Paden, John; Jezek, Ken; Rignot, Eric; Gim, Young

    2013-01-01

    We produced the high resolution bedmaps of several glaciers in western Greenland from IceBridge Mission sounding radar data using tomographic sounding technique. The bedmaps cover 3 regions: Russell glaciers, Umanaq glaciers and Jakobshavn glaciers of western Greenland. The covered areas is about 20x40 km(sup 2) for Russell glaciers and 300x100 sq km, and 100x80 sq km for Jakobshavn glaciers. The ground resolution is 50 meters and the average ice thickness accuracy is 10 to 20 meters. There are some void areas within the swath of the tracks in the bedmaps where the ice thickness is not known. Tomographic observations of these void areas indicate that the surface and shallow sub-surface pockets, likely filled with water, are highly reflective and greatly weaken the radar signal and reduce the energy reaching and reflected from the ice sheet bottom.

  14. Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG) bathymetric survey of northwest Greenland and implications for the recent evolution of its glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, M.; Rignot, E. J.; Willis, J. K.; Fenty, I. G.

    2015-12-01

    Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) is a five-year Earth Ventures Suborbital Mission funded by NASA to investigate the role of the oceans in ice loss around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which includes measurements of seafloor bathymetry from multibeam surveys and airborne gravity, glacier surface elevation from high-frequency radar interferometry, and temperature/salinity/depth from vessels and airborne-dropped probes. Here, we describe the results of the 2016 bathymetry survey of northwest Greenland that took place in the summer of 2015: july 22-August 19 and Sept 2-Sept 16 spanning from Ilulissat to Thule AFB in north Greenland, and to be complemented by a survey of southeast Greenland in 2016. We deployed a multibeam Reson 7160 with 512 beams installed on the hull of the Cape Race vessel, with enhanced capabilities for fjord wall and ice face mapping. The survey tracks were optimized based on the IBCAO3 database, recent cruises, airborne gravity data collected by NASA Operation IceBridge which indicated the presence of troughs, bed topography mapped inland using a mass conservation approach, the spatial distribution of ice discharge to locate the largest outlets and maximizing the number of major fjords sampled during the survey, with the goal to identify all troughs that are major pathways for subsurface ocean heat, and constrain as many glacier ice front thickness as permitted by time and the practicality of navigating the ice-choked fjords. The data reveal many deep, U-shaped, submarine valleys connected to the glaciers, intercut with sills and over deepened in narrower passages where former glaciers and ice streams merged into larger units; as well as fjords ending in shallow plateaus with glaciers in retreated positions. The presence of warm, salty water of Atlantic origin (AW) in the fjords is documented using CTD. Some glaciers sit on shallow plateaus in cold, fresh polar waters (PW) at the end of deep fjords, while others are deeper and standing in

  15. Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen isotope compositions in three contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yde, J. C.; Tvis Knudsen, N.; Steffensen, J. P.; Carrivick, J. L.; Hasholt, B.; Ingeman-Nielsen, T.; Kronborg, C.; Larsen, N. K.; Mernild, S. H.; Oerter, H.; Roberts, D. H.; Russell, A. J.

    2015-06-01

    Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of spatio-temporal δ18O variations in glacier rivers, we have examined three glacierized catchments in Greenland with different areas, glacier hydrology and thermal regimes. At Mittivakkat Gletscher River, a small river draining a local temperate glacier in southeast Greenland, diurnal oscillations in δ18O occur with a three-hour time lag to the diurnal oscillations in runoff. Throughout the peak flow season the δ18O composition is controlled by the proportion between snowmelt and ice melt with episodic inputs of rainwater and occasional storage and release of a specific water component due to changes in the subglacial drainage system. At Kuannersuit Glacier River on the island Qeqertarsuaq, the δ18O characteristics were examined after the major 1995-1998 glacier surge event. Despite large variations in the δ18O values of glacier ice on the newly formed glacier tongue, there were no diurnal oscillations in the bulk meltwater emanating from the glacier in the post-surge years 2000-2001. In 2002 there were indications of diurnal oscillations, and in 2003 there were large diurnal fluctuations in δ18O. At Watson River, a large catchment at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the spatial distribution of δ18O in the river system was applied to fingerprint the relative runoff contributions from sub-catchments. Spot sampling indicates that during the early melt season most of the river water (64-73 %) derived from the Qinnguata Kuussua tributary, whereas the water flow on 23 July 2009 was dominated by bulk meltwater from the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua tributary (where 7 and 67 % originated from the Russell Glacier and Leverett Glacier sub-catchments, respectively). A comparison of the δ18O compositions from glacial river water in Greenland shows distinct differences between water

  16. Assessing Controls on Oceanic Heat Delivery to Greenland's Marine-Terminating Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowton, T. R.; Nienow, P. W.; Sole, A. J.; Slater, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The recent retreat of many of Greenland's marine terminating glaciers has been coincident with a period of anomalously warm ocean temperatures. It has been hypothesised that warming ocean waters may affect the stability of glacier termini through an increase in the rate of submarine melting or a decrease in the buttressing influence of sea ice and icebergs, both of which could drive an increase in the rate of mass loss through calving. As Greenland's outlet glaciers typically terminate at the head of lengthy fjord systems, the availability of oceanic heat at the calving front is however dependent not only on the temperature of the water around the Greenland coast, but also on the advection of this heat towards the glaciers by the circulation of the fjord. Assessment of spatial and temporal variation in this up-fjord heat transport may therefore provide a means of examining the role of the ocean in forcing the dynamic variability of these glaciers. The rate at which oceanic heat is delivered to a particular glacier is likely to depend on a range of environmental factors. These may be oceanic (e.g. shelf water temperature), atmospheric (e.g. glacial melt water input, the strength of along-fjord and along-shelf winds) or topographic (e.g. fjord depth, length, width or sinuosity). Here we assess the sensitivity of up-fjord heat flux to each of these parameters by undertaking a suite of experiments using an ocean model (MITgcm), applied to an idealised fjord system. Through this, we identify those factors that are of greatest importance in controlling the delivery of oceanic heat to Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers. Our experiments facilitate assessment of 1) how the influence of the ocean may differ from one marine-terminating glacier to the next and 2) how the oceanic forcing of these glaciers may have changed, and continue to change, over time in response to varying environmental conditions.

  17. Seismic and satellite observations of calving activity at major glacier fronts in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danesi, Stefania; Salimbeni, Simone; Urbini, Stefano; Pondrelli, Silvia; Margheriti, Lucia

    2016-04-01

    The interaction between oceans and large outlet glaciers in polar regions contributes to the budget of the global water cycle. We have observed the dynamic of sizeable outlet glaciers in Greenland by the analysis of seismic data collected by the regional seismic network Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) trying also to find out correspondence in the glacier tongue evolution derived by the observation of satellite images. By studying the long-period seismic signals at stations located at the mouth of large fjords (e.g. ILULI, NUUG, KULLO), we identify major calving events through the detection of the ground flexure in response to seiche waves generated by iceberg detachments. 
For the time spanning the period between 2010-2014, we fill out calving-event catalogues which can be useful for the estimation of spatial and temporal variations in volume of ice loss at major active fronts in Greenland.

  18. Ice sheets. Reverse glacier motion during iceberg calving and the cause of glacial earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Murray, T; Nettles, M; Selmes, N; Cathles, L M; Burton, J C; James, T D; Edwards, S; Martin, I; O'Farrell, T; Aspey, R; Rutt, I; Baugé, T

    2015-07-17

    Nearly half of Greenland's mass loss occurs through iceberg calving, but the physical mechanisms operating during calving are poorly known and in situ observations are sparse. We show that calving at Greenland's Helheim Glacier causes a minutes-long reversal of the glacier's horizontal flow and a downward deflection of its terminus. The reverse motion results from the horizontal force caused by iceberg capsize and acceleration away from the glacier front. The downward motion results from a hydrodynamic pressure drop behind the capsizing berg, which also causes an upward force on the solid Earth. These forces are the source of glacial earthquakes, globally detectable seismic events whose proper interpretation will allow remote sensing of calving processes occurring at increasing numbers of outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica.

  19. Study of subaqueous melting of Store Glacier, West Greenland using ocean observations and numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Y.; Rignot, E. J.; Menemenlis, D.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2012-12-01

    Ice discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet is mainly through tidewater glaciers that terminate in the ocean and melt in contact with ocean waters. Subaqueous melting at the calving front is a direct mechanism for mass loss and a potential trigger for glacier acceleration. We present an analysis of oceanographic data collected in the fjord of Store Glacier, West Greenland during August 2010 and 2012. Using these data, we calculate the subaqueous melt rates. Independently, we employ the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), modified to include melting at the calving front and outflow of subglacial water to model the ice melt rates of Store Glacier. Previous 2-D sensitivity studies showed that the subaqueous melt rate reaches several meters per day during the summer, increases non-linearly with subglacial runoff and linearly with ocean thermal forcing, and ceases when subglacial discharge is off during winter. We present new 3-D simulations at very high resolution, with measured oceanic temperature/salinity as boundary conditions, and subglacial runoff from the University of Utrecht's Regional Atmospheric Climate Model outputs on different years and seasons. We compare the ocean observations and numerical simulations and discuss the seasonal and inter-annual variations of subaqueous melting. This study helps evaluate the impact of the ocean on the subaqueous melting of Greenland tidewater glaciers and in turn on glacier mass balance. This work was carried out at University of California, Irvine and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under contract with NASA Cryosphere Science Program.

  20. Ensemble simulations of Greenland outlet glaciers into the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrette, Mahé; Beckmann, Johanna; Alexander, David; Calov, Reinhard; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2015-04-01

    Greenland ice sheet contribution to sea level rise can be partitioned between increased surface melting and enhanced dynamic discharge in the ocean, via its outlet glaciers. Marine-terminating, outlet glaciers are challenging to include in conventional Greenland-wide ice sheet models because of the large variation in scale between model grid size (typically 10 km) and outlet glacier width (typically 1-5km), making it a subgrid scale feature. A possible approach to tackle this problem is to use one-dimensional flowline models for the individual glaciers (e.g. Nick et al., 2013, Nature), as used in the IPCCAR5, but data are scarce and results are sensitive to model formulation (Enderlin et al 2013a,b, The Cryosphere). Here, we perform an extensive uncertainty analysis of projections into the 21st century with a flowline model by generating an ensemble of simulations for some of the largest Greenland outlet glaciers. Geometry, boundary conditions and forcing are systematically varied within the range of observational uncertainty and to reflect our physical understanding of processes, while remaining consistent with present-day geometry and observed changes. Dominant sources of uncertainty are analyzed and compared between the glaciers.

  1. Short-term variations in the dynamics of Bowdoin Glacier in northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minowa, Masahiro; Sugiyama, Shin; Sawagaki, Takanobu; Tsutaki, Shun; Sakakibara, Daiki

    2016-04-01

    Tidewater glaciers in Greenland ice sheet are rapidly retreating by under the influence of changes in ice dynamics. For example, Bowdoin Glacier began rapid retreat in 2008, which was accompanied by significant acceleration near the glacier front. Submarine melting and ice-mélange weakening are suspected as triggering mechanisms of the rapid retreat of tidewater glaciers in the Greenland ice sheet, but details of processes at the ice-ocean interface are poorly understood. To better understand these processes, we measured ice-front position of Bowdoin Glacier in northwestern Greenland and glacier/ice-mélange movement in front of the glacier. The glacier/ice-mélange measurement was performed by processing 3-hourly photographs taken by a time-lapse camera operated over two years since July 2013. We also operated a dual-frequency GPS at 3 km from the calving front to measure ice speed from May to July in 2014 and 2015. The image analysis revealed clear seasonal variations in the ice-front position with an amplitude of ~200 m. Seasonal changes were also observed in ice speed along the center of the glacier (amplitude ~50%). During summer, the ice-front position was relatively stable, but retreated occasionally by large calving events. These events occurred near upwelling of subglacial discharge, where a large submarine melt rate is expected. The glacier began to advance in September approximately when daily mean air temperature dropped below 0°C. The glacier advanced the most in winter when the fjord was covered by ice-mélange. After winter, extended portion of the glacier rapidly disintegrated by a few calving events. Such event coincided with onset of ice-mélange movement in front of the glacier. This movement occurs when air temperature above 0°C and high wind speed were observed, suggesting the calving event was due to decrease in the mechanical support from the ice-mélange. These results indicate both ice-mélange and submarine melting play roles in

  2. A moderate resolution inventory of small glaciers and ice caps surrounding Greenland and the Antarctic peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, C.; Box, J. E.; Hock, R. M.; Cogley, J. G.

    2011-12-01

    Current estimates of global Mountain Glacier and Ice Caps (MG&IC) mass changes are subject to large uncertainties due to incomplete inventories and uncertainties in land surface classification. This presentation features mitigative efforts through the creation of a MODIS dependent land ice classification system and its application for glacier inventory. Estimates of total area of mountain glaciers [IPCC, 2007] and ice caps (including those in Greenland and Antarctica) vary 15%, that is, 680 - 785 10e3 sq. km. To date only an estimated 40% of glaciers (by area) is inventoried in the World Glacier Inventory (WGI) and made available through the World Glacier Monitoring System (WGMS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center [NSIDC, 1999]. Cogley [2009] recently compiled a more complete version of WGI, called WGI-XF, containing records for just over 131,000 glaciers, covering approximately half of the estimated global MG&IC area. The glaciers isolated from the conterminous Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets remain incompletely inventoried in WGI-XF but have been estimated to contribute 35% to the MG&IC sea-level equivalent during 1961-2004 [Hock et al., 2009]. Together with Arctic Canada and Alaska these regions alone make up almost 90% of the area that is missing in the global WGI-XF inventory. Global mass balance projections tend to exclude ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica due to the paucity of data with respect to basic inventory base data such as area, number of glaciers or size distributions. We address the need for an accurate Greenland and Antarctic peninsula land surface classification with a novel glacier surface classification and inventory based on NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data gridded at 250 m pixel resolution. The presentation includes a sensitivity analysis for surface mass balance as it depends on the land surface classification. Works Cited +Cogley, J. G. (2009), A more complete version of the World Glacier

  3. Stable oxygen isotope variability in two contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Steffensen, Jørgen P.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Hasholt, Bent; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Kronborg, Christian; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Oerter, Hans; Roberts, David H.; Russell, Andrew J.

    2016-03-01

    Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of δ18O variations in Greenlandic rivers, we examined two contrasting glacierised catchments disconnected from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). At the Mittivakkat Gletscher river, a small river draining a local temperate glacier in southeast Greenland, diurnal oscillations in δ18O occurred with a 3 h time lag to the diurnal oscillations in run-off. The mean annual δ18O was -14.68 ± 0.18 ‰ during the peak flow period. A hydrograph separation analysis revealed that the ice melt component constituted 82 ± 5 % of the total run-off and dominated the observed variations during peak flow in August 2004. The snowmelt component peaked between 10:00 and 13:00 local time, reflecting the long travel time and an inefficient distributed subglacial drainage network in the upper part of the glacier. At the Kuannersuit Glacier river on the island Qeqertarsuaq in west Greenland, the δ18O characteristics were examined after the major 1995-1998 glacier surge event. The mean annual δ18O was -19.47 ± 0.55 ‰. Despite large spatial variations in the δ18O values of glacier ice on the newly formed glacier tongue, there were no diurnal oscillations in the bulk meltwater emanating from the glacier in the post-surge years. This is likely a consequence of a tortuous subglacial drainage system consisting of linked cavities, which formed during the surge event. Overall, a comparison of the δ18O compositions from glacial river water in Greenland shows distinct differences between water draining local glaciers and ice caps (between -23.0 and -13.7 ‰) and the GrIS (between -29.9 and -23.2 ‰). This study demonstrates that water isotope analyses can be used to obtain important information on water sources and the subglacial drainage system structure that is highly desired for understanding glacier hydrology.

  4. Cryo-life habitability on a polythermal glacier in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, S.; Anesio, A. M.; Benning, L. G.

    2012-12-01

    Modern surface glacial ice and snow are extreme environments at the edge of Earth's biosphere and potential sites of biosignatures in future planetary missions. The primary colonization of snow and ice is an important biogeological scenario with clear implications for the life detection on other icy planets [1]. Hence, knowledge of the adaptations and survival strategies adopted by extremophiles - cryophiles - in terrestrial cryogenic environments is vital for our ability to process data from future planetary missions. Despite it being one of the most extreme habitats on Earth, glacial ice and snow fields are colonised by a plethora of organisms including snow algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, rotifers and even invertebrates [2]. Although low in number and diversity compared to other habitats, snow and ice algae are a major primary producer in glacial settings [3,4]. Their life cycle influences the structure and diversity of neighbouring microbial communities [5] and they produce a suite of complex molecules to protect themselves against cold [6], UV [7], or nutrient deficiency [8]. However, these adaptations are poorly understood and we know very little about the complexity of the biological inventory contained within snow and ice environments. We have been investigating the potential of carbon fluxes from snow to ice, cryoconites and runoff water on the polythermal Mittivakkat glacier in SE Greenland and the effect of cell retention at the glacial surface on the albedo. The complementary microbiological and geochemical characteristics have been characterized at a suite of sampling sites in the ablation, superimposed and accumulation zone of the glacier. Results from photosynthesis and respiration measurements (e.g., snow fields, cryoconites, glacial outflow, clean snow) show that snow and ice surfaces have the potential to accumulate algal cells which become an important source of organic carbon for cryoconites. The accumulation of cells at the glacial surface

  5. Increased glacier runoff enhances the penetration of warm Atlantic Water into a large Greenland fjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sole, Andrew; Payne, Anthony; Nienow, Peter; Christoffersen, Poul; Cottier, Finlo; Inall, Mark

    2013-04-01

    The retreat and acceleration of Greenland's marine-terminating outlet glaciers have been linked to ocean warming. However the mechanisms which control the transmission of this warming along fjords towards the glacier termini remain poorly understood. Here we aim to elucidate observed changes in water properties in Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord (KF), east Greenland, between 1993 and 2004 using the Bergen Ocean Model (BOM). Model outputs are compared with observed potential temperature, salinity and velocity data to determine the principal controls on heat transport within KF. The BOM includes wind, tidal and glacier runoff forcing and is able to replicate observed temperature and salinity profiles. Model results describe a robust four-layer estuarine flow, consisting of two distinct circulations. The shallow circulation (0 - ˜60 m) is forced by surface wind stress and to a lesser extent supraglacial runoff, while the intermediate circulation (˜60 - 500 m) is driven by runoff discharged into the fjord subglacially. AtlanticWater (AW) and warm Polar Surface Water (PSWw) are drawn into the fjord by the intermediate and shallow circulation cells respectively, in a pattern consistent with observations, and AW reaches Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier (at the fjord head) over a single summer. Along-fjord heat transport towards KG increases significantly with both glacier runoff and coastal water temperature. A doubling of glacier runoff produces a 29 % (48 %) amplification of mean annual (summer) heat transport towards the KG terminus. Our model shows, in agreement with observations, that maximum submarine melt rates occur when AW and PSWw are present at the fjord mouth and, crucially, glacier runoff is also high. Rising ice sheet runoff therefore increases the sensitivity of KG (and other Greenland marine-terminating glaciers) to ocean warming.

  6. The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Machguth, H.; Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-12-01

    Glacier inventories provide essential baseline information for the determination of water resources, glacier-specific changes in area and volume, climate change impacts as well as past, potential and future contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Although Greenland is heavily glacierised and thus highly relevant for all of the above points, a complete inventory of its glaciers was not available so far. Here we present the results and details of a new and complete inventory that has been compiled from more than 70 Landsat scenes (mostly acquired between 1999 and 2002) using semi-automated glacier mapping techniques. A digital elevation model (DEM) was used to derive drainage divides from watershed analysis and topographic attributes for each glacier entity. To serve the needs of different user communities, we assigned to each glacier one of three connectivity levels with the ice sheet (CL0, CL1, CL2; i.e. no, weak, and strong connection) to clearly, but still flexibly, distinguish the local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) from the ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. In total, we mapped ~ 20 300 glaciers larger than 0.05 km2 (of which ~ 900 are marine terminating), covering an area of 130 076 ± 4032 km2, or 89 720 ± 2781 km2 without the CL2 GIC. The latter value is about 50% higher than the mean value of more recent previous estimates. Glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 contribute only 1.5% to the total area but more than 50% (11 000) to the total number. In contrast, the 25 largest GIC (> 500 km2) contribute 28% to the total area, but only 0.1% to the total number. The mean elevation of the GIC is 1700 m in the eastern sector and around 1000 m otherwise. The median elevation increases with distance from the coast, but has only a weak dependence on mean glacier aspect.

  7. Outlet Glacier and Margin Elevation Changes: Near - Coastal Thinning of The Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.; Busalacchi, Antonio (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Repeat surveys by aircraft laser altimeter in 1993/4 and 1998/9 reveal significant thinning along 70% of the coastal parts of the Greenland ice sheet at elevations below about 2000 m. Thinning rates of more than 1 m/yr are common along many outlet glaciers, at all latitudes and, in some cases, at elevations up to 1500 m. Warmer summers along parts of the coast may have caused a few tens of cm/yr additional melting, but most of the observed thinning probably results from increased glacier velocities and associated creep rates. Three glaciers in the northeast all show patterns of thickness change indicative of surging behavior, and one has been independently documented as a surging glacier. There are a few areas of significant thickening (over 1 m/yr), and these are probably related to higher than normal accumulation rates during the observation period.

  8. A Younger Dryas re-advance of local glaciers in north Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Funder, Svend; Linge, Henriette; Möller, Per; Schomacker, Anders; Fabel, Derek; Xu, Sheng; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-09-01

    The Younger Dryas (YD) is a well-constrained cold event from 12,900 to 11,700 years ago but it remains unclear how the cooling and subsequent abrupt warming recorded in ice cores was translated into ice margin fluctuations in Greenland. Here we present 10Be surface exposure ages from three moraines in front of local glaciers on a 50 km stretch along the north coast of Greenland, facing the Arctic Ocean. Ten ages range from 11.6 ± 0.5 to 27.2 ± 0.9 ka with a mean age of 12.5 ± 0.7 ka after exclusion of two outliers. We consider this to be a minimum age for the abandonment of the moraines. The ages of the moraines are furthermore constrained using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of epishelf sediments, which were deposited prior to the ice advance that formed the moraines, yielding a maximum age of 12.4 ± 0.6 ka, and bracketing the formation and subsequent abandonment of the moraines to within the interval 11.8-13.0 ka ago. This is the first time a synchronous YD glacier advance and subsequent retreat has been recorded for several independent glaciers in Greenland. In most other areas, there is no evidence for re-advance and glaciers were retreating during YD. We explain the different behaviour of the glaciers in northernmost Greenland as a function of their remoteness from the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which in other areas has been held responsible for modifying the YD drop in temperatures.

  9. Ice dynamics of Bowdoin tidewater glacier, Northwest Greenland, from borehole measurements and numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seguinot, Julien; Funk, Martin; Ryser, Claudia; Jouvet, Guillaume; Bauder, Andreas; Sugiyama, Shin

    2016-04-01

    The observed rapid retreat of ocean-terminating glaciers in southern Greenland in the last two decades has now propagated to the northwest. Hence, tidewater glaciers in this area, some of which have remain stable for decades, have started retreating rapidly through iceberg calving in recent years, thus allowing a monitoring and investigation of ice dynamical changes starting from the early stages of retreat. Here, we present an ice dynamical study from Bowdoin Glacier, a tidewater outlet glacier located at the northwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The glacier surface experiences lowering at a rate of 1.5 m/a since 2007. A rapid calving front retreat of 260 m/a was also observed since 2008, while no significant changes occurred during the previous 20 years. From July 2014 to July 2015, we monitored, 2 km upstream from the calving front, subglacial water pressure changes in boreholes, internal ice deformation through tilt sensors at different depths, englacial ice temperature profiles from the glacier bed to the surface, and high resolution surface motion from GPS records. These measurement show that the glacier is temperate-based, yet internal deformation accounts for about 10 % of the annual surface motion. A seasonal increase in both deformation and sliding at the onset of the melt season is associated with a drop in water pressure in part of the subglacial system. These observations are used to calibrate the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) for numerical simulations of ice flow in the Bowdoin Glacier catchment, aiming for a better understanding of iceberg calving processes in relation to changes in internal and basal ice dynamics.

  10. Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Roughness and Glacier Zones from MISR, 2000-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolin, A. W.; Mar, E.

    2014-12-01

    The surface of the Greenland ice sheet is shaped by wind, melt, and glacier dynamics. Surface roughness affects the surface-atmospheric interactions (via the aerodynamic roughness length) and thus influences fluxes of sensible and latent heat at the ice sheet surface. When combined with near-infrared reflectance, surface roughness has been shown to discriminate between glacier zones. We present the first ever annual time series of Greenland ice sheet surface roughness derived from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) for the years 2000-2013. Our cloud-free multi-angular measurements are calibrated using airborne LiDAR data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). Roughness values range from 10 cm in the dry, snow-covered interior of the ice sheet to over 8 m along the crevassed margins of the ice sheet. Roughness increases from April to July as the surface melts and glaciers become more active. Our roughness maps are restricted to spring and early summer due to limited ATM data. We next employed ISODATA unsupervised clustering with MISR near-infrared reflectance and surface roughness to map glacier zones on the ice sheet for years 2000-2013. The number and locations of the ISODATA-derived glacier zones are consistent from year to year with slight shifts in boundaries depending on the extent of early summer melt. These maps of Greenland ice surface roughness and glacier zones are the result of processing several hundred thousand MISR images and are the first ever full-coverage, annual maps of this kind.

  11. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment - SAFIRE - on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, P.; Hubbard, B. P.; Doyle, S. H.; Young, T. J.; Hofstede, C. M.; Bougamont, M. H.; Todd, J.; Toberg, N.; Nicholls, K. W.; Box, J.; Walter, J. I.; Hubbard, A.

    2015-12-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers drain 90 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and are responsible for about half of the ice sheet's net annual mass loss, which currently raises global sea level by 1 mm per year. The basal controls on these fast-flowing glaciers are, however, poorly understood, with the implication that numerical ice sheet models needed to predict future dynamic ice loss from Greenland relies on uncertain and often untested basal parameterizations. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment - SAFIRE - is addressing this paucity of observational constraints by drilling to the bed of Store Glacier, a fast-flowing outlet glacier terminating in Uummannaq Fjord, West Greenland. In 2014, we gained access to the bed in four boreholes drilled to depths of 603-616 m near the center of the glacier, 30 km inland from the calving terminus where ice flows at a rate of 700 m/year. A seismic survey showed the glacier bed to consist of water-saturated, soft sediment. The water level in all four boreholes nevertheless dropped rapidly to 80 m below the ice surface when the drill connected with a basal water system, indicating effective drainage over a sedimentary bed. We were able to install wired sensor strings at the bed (water pressure, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity) and within the glacier (temperature and tilt) in three boreholes. The sensors operated for up to 80+ days before cables stretched and ultimately snapped due to high internal strain. The data collected during this sensor deployment show ice as cold as -21 degrees Celcius; yet, temperature of water in the basal water system was persistently above the local freezing point. With diurnal variations detected in several sensor records, we hypothesise that surface water lubricates the ice flow while also warming basal ice. The fast basal motion of Store Glacier not only occurs by basal sliding, but from high rates of concentrated strain in the bottom third of the glacier

  12. Air temperature drives 140 years of fluctuations at a major Greenlandic tidewater glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, James M.; Mair, Douglas WF; Nick, Faezeh M.; Rea, Brice R.; Nienow, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    The primary controls on the fluctuations of tidewater glaciers are currently poorly understood. Both oceanic and atmospheric forcing mechanisms have been invoked to explain observed changes. Numerical modelling simulations have previously utilised only relatively short observational records for calibration and validation. Hence the longer term climatic controls on tidewater glacier stability are not well known. Herein we apply a 1-D numerical flow-band model with a crevasse water depth calving criterion (Nick et al., 2010) to Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), SW Greenland. We force the model using air and sea surface temperature records for the period 1871-2012. Model sensitivity to climate forcing was determined by varying climatic tuning coefficients using a Monte Carlo approach. The output from 1500 model runs was compared against observations of terminus position and glacier geometry from the last 140 years. The results of best-fit model runs were then used to evaluate the relative sensitivity of KNS to changes in atmospheric or oceanic forcing. Our results show that all best-fit model runs have tuning coefficients associated with strong atmospheric forcing, but do not all require strong oceanic forcing. This suggests that changes in air temperature are the primary driver of the terminus fluctuations of KNS from 1866-2012, and may be the principal climatic control on glacier stability for similar tidewater glaciers in Greenland.

  13. Reconstructing the history of major Greenland glaciers since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; van der Veen, C. J.; Stearns, L.; Babonis, G. S.

    2008-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet may have been responsible for rapid sea level rise during the last interglacial period and recent studies indicate that it is likely to make a faster contribution to sea-level rise than previously believed. Rapid thinning and velocity increase has been observed on most major outlet glaciers with terminus retreat that might lead to increased discharge from the interior and consequent further thinning and retreat. Potentially, such behavior could have serious implications for global sea level. However, the current thinning may simply be a manifestation of longer-term behavior of the ice sheet as it responds to the general warming following the Little Ice Age (LIA). Although Greenland outlet glaciers have been comprehensively monitored since the 1980s, studies of long-term changes mostly rely on records of the calving front position. Such records can be misleading because the glacier terminus, particularly if it is afloat, can either advance or retreat as ice further upstream thins and accelerates. To assess whether recent trends deviate from longer-term behavior, we examined three rapidly thinning and retreating outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbrae in west, Kangerdlussuaq Glacier in east and Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland. Glacier surface and trimline elevations, as well as terminus positions were measured using historical photographs and declassified satellite imagery acquired between the 1940s and 1985. These results were combined with data from historical records, ground surveys, airborne laser altimetry, satellite observations and field mapping of lateral moraines and trimlines, to reconstruct the history of changes since the (LIA) up to the present. We identified several episodes of rapid thinning and ice shelf break-up, including thinning episodes that occurred when the calving front was stationary. Coastal weather station data are used to assess the influence of air temperatures and intensity of surface melting, and to isolate

  14. Increased glacier runoff enhances the penetration of warm Atlantic water into a large Greenland fjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sole, A. J.; Payne, A. J.; Nienow, P. W.; Christoffersen, P.; Cottier, F. R.; Inall, M. E.

    2012-11-01

    The retreat and acceleration of Greenland's marine-terminating outlet glaciers have been linked to ocean warming. However the mechanisms which control the transmission of this warming along fjords towards the glaciers remain poorly understood. The aim of this paper is to elucidate observed changes in water properties in Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord (KF), East Greenland using the Bergen Ocean Model (BOM). Model outputs are compared with observed potential temperature, salinity and velocity data to determine the principal controls on heat transport within KF and to estimate resulting submarine ice front melt rates of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier (KG). The BOM includes wind, tidal and glacier runoff forcing and is able to replicate observed temperature and salinity profiles. Model results describe a robust four-layer estuarine flow, consisting of two distinct circulations. The shallow circulation (0-~ 60 m) is forced by surface wind stress and to a lesser extent supraglacial runoff, while the intermediate circulation (~ 60-500 m) is driven by runoff discharged into the fjord subglacially. Atlantic Water (AW) and warm Polar Surface Water (PSWw) are drawn into the fjord by the intermediate and shallow circulation cells respectively, in a pattern consistent with observations, and AW reaches KG over a single summer. Along-fjord heat transport towards KG increases significantly with both glacier runoff and coastal water temperature. A doubling of glacier runoff produces a 29% (48%) amplification of mean annual (summer) heat transport towards the KG terminus, increasing estimated mean annual (summer) submarine melt rates from 211 to 273 (842 to 1244) m yr-1. In contrast, heat transport towards KG in the surface ~ 60 m of the fjord decreases with rising glacier runoff because the enhanced down-fjord component of the intermediate circulation interferes with the up-fjord part of the shallow circulation. Thus, as ice sheet runoff increases, KG's dynamic response to oceanic forcing will

  15. Future sea-level rise from Greenland's main outlet glaciers in a warming climate.

    PubMed

    Nick, Faezeh M; Vieli, Andreas; Andersen, Morten Langer; Joughin, Ian; Payne, Antony; Edwards, Tamsin L; Pattyn, Frank; van de Wal, Roderik S W

    2013-05-09

    Over the past decade, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased as a result of both increased surface melting and ice discharge to the ocean. The latter is controlled by the acceleration of ice flow and subsequent thinning of fast-flowing marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Quantifying the future dynamic contribution of such glaciers to sea-level rise (SLR) remains a major challenge because outlet glacier dynamics are poorly understood. Here we present a glacier flow model that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini. We use this model to simulate behaviour of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which collectively drain about 22 per cent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing from a mid-range future warming scenario that predicts warming by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, we project a contribution of 19 to 30 millimetres to SLR from these glaciers by 2200. This contribution is largely (80 per cent) dynamic in origin and is caused by several episodic retreats past overdeepenings in outlet glacier troughs. After initial increases, however, dynamic losses from these four outlets remain relatively constant and contribute to SLR individually at rates of about 0.01 to 0.06 millimetres per year. These rates correspond to ice fluxes that are less than twice those of the late 1990s, well below previous upper bounds. For a more extreme future warming scenario (warming by 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100), the projected losses increase by more than 50 per cent, producing a cumulative SLR of 29 to 49 millimetres by 2200.

  16. Reconstructing the behaviour of a major SW Greenland tidewater glacier over the last millennium.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Danni; Mair, Doug W. F.; Rea, Brice R.; Schofield, J. Ed; Lea, James M.; Kamenos, Nick; Schoenrock, Kate; Stachnik, Lukasz

    2016-04-01

    Greenlandic tidewater glaciers have experienced widespread retreat over the last century. However, information on their dynamics prior to this are poorly constrained due to a lack of observations and paucity, in many cases of mapped or mappable deglacial evidence. Especially lacking is evidence for tidewater glacier advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). This severely restricts our understanding of the long-term (centennial-millennial timescale) relationships between climate and calving at marine terminating margins in Greenland and elsewhere. Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS) is the most dynamic tidewater glacier in southwest Greenland having retreated >22 km since its LIA-maximum (c. 1761). This project takes advantage of the site's unique combination of terrestrial evidence of glacier change (glacial geomorphology, sedimentology, and Norse archaeology) and novel marine evidence (coralline algae) to reconstruct both its advance and retreat over the last millennium. We present glacial geomorphological mapping, which followed a morphstratigraphic approach, using a combination of aerial photos, a DEM and field mapping. Radiocarbon dating from peat sequences were used to determine the timing and rates of advance of KNS to the LIAmax. This has provided evidence for pre-LIA moraines, deglacial and neoglacial, and rapid changes in meltwater routing that may have contributed to the abandonment of nearby Norse settlements. Isotopic analysis of annually banded coralline algae (Lithothamnion glaciale), collected during summer 2015, will provide proxy evidence for changes in fjord water conditions. This data will contribute towards a millennial timescale record of tidewater glacier dynamics that will help to validate models linking calving to climate.

  17. Petermann Glacier, North Greenland: Large Ice-Discharge Episodes from 20 Years of Satellite Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babiker, M.; Johannessen, O. M.; Miles, M. W.; Miles, V. V.

    2009-12-01

    The major marine-terminating outlet glaciers of Greenland can undergo large mass losses through calving of icebergs and bottom melting from floating ice tongues. Recent observations of outlet glaiers around Greenland have shown that large and rapid changes in solid-ice fluxes are possible. The Petermann glacier in remote northern Greenland is the region’s largest floating-tongue glacier (~70 km by 10 km). In summer 2008 a large calving event was observed, as well as large cracks upstream of the remaining calving front, portending a more massive near-term loss. These observations may herald extraordinary and unprecedented change. However, the long-term variability of calving events and ice velocities are poorly known. Our research goal here is to identify the temporal variability and possible trends in solid-ice flux indicators - variability of the calving front and ice velocity - for Petermann glacier. The methodological approach is observational, based primarily on analysis of 20 years of repetitive satellite data over a period starting from 1990, together with sporadic earlier observations. The multisensor data range from high-resolution optical images from Landsat, SPOT and Terra ASTER and high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from ERS and ENVISAT. These disparate data have been imported, geo-registered and analysed within a Geographic Information System. The following measurements are made: (1) delineating changes in the calving front, (2) estimating the area of glacial ice loss during calving events, and (3) estimating the ice-surface velocity using sequential satellite images. We find evidence of a number of previous calving episodes of similar magnitude to the summer 2008. The ice-velocity estimates compare well with other estimates for particular years, and moreover are relatively consistent during the 20-year period. These findings suggest business-as-usual for Petermann glacier; however, a near-term calving event exceeding those observed

  18. Investigation of Greenland Russell glacier with remote sensing observations and ice sheet/hydrodynamic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Hyewon; Kim, Jungrack; Tsai, YaLun; Lin, ShihYuan; Choi, Yunsoo

    2016-04-01

    There is great interest in the mechanism and consequences of arctic ice sheet migration in the context of worldwide climate change. An in-depth investigation of glacial movement involving supra/under glacial hydrological channel activities is key to understanding the acceleration of Greenland's ice sheet changes and needs to be established as an integrated model. In terms of the glacial migration involving basal hydrology, we have conducted a case study over the Russell glacier in western Greenland. Remote sensed image analyses combined with a numerical model in its melt water outflow channels, such as the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua rivers, and ice sheet simulations were performed. Employed technical approaches are summarized as follows: 1) Collecting 3D migration vectors combining differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) analysis, together with the in-house pixel tracking method employing optical flow and sub-pixel refinement with C band Sentinel-1 and L band ALOS PALSAR-2 images; 2) a 2D hydrodynamic simulation based on the channel bathymetry, which was driven from calibrated LANDSAT images together with along-track stereo DTM, and 3) an ice sheet model to extract the bedrock and basal characteristics of the glaciers. In addition, we tried Sentinel-1 InSAR time series to monitor ice sheet migrations over a certain time domain. The results revealed the importance of hydrological channel morphology as a governing factor over migration speeds of glaciers. Specifically, the sub glacial processes and underlying morphology traced by remote sensing observation and the numerical model were correlated with the observed local migration speeds in terminus of the Russell glacier. Those experiences naturally will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of artic glaciers. Thus, based on the output of this study, the proposed method will be extended to tackle the issues of ice sheet change occurring in the Greenland costal area

  19. Migration model establishment over Greenland Russell glacier with Remote Sensing observations and hydrodynamic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, H.; Kim, J.; Lin, S. Y.; Tsai, Y.; Choi, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The mechanism of arctic ice sheet migration is not yet fully identified. Glacial movement, specifically that involving supra/under glacial hydrological channel activities, may hold the key for understanding the acceleration of Greenland's ice sheet change and needs to be investigated in depth and established as an integrated model. The test area on which the above studies were conducted was in the Russell glacier in western Greenland, where glacial change has been obvious for the last century and significant fluvial flows occur in meltwater outflow channels, such as the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua rivers. All tasks in the study were conducted in three stages: 1) collecting 3D migration vectors combining C and L band differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) analysis, together with the in-house pixel tracking method employing optical flow and sub-pixel refinement; 2) a 2D hydrodynamic simulation based on the channel bathymetry, which was driven from calibrated LANDSAT images together with along-track stereo DTM; and 3) the model inversion to extract the bedrock height and the physical processes under the glaciers. Throughout those approaches, the researchers intended to identify firstly the interconnected processes between subglacier melt water flow and glacial migration, and also the model establishments of the involved processes. Consequently, the study revealed highly important clues about glacial migration. First of all, the importance of hydrological channel morphology as a governing factor over glaciers' outflowed total melt water was identified. Also, it became clear that the reconstruction of sub glacial processes and morphology are feasible by employing remote sensing observations and model inversions. Those experiences will naturally lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the processes on the terminus of glacier. The overall results from these approaches were compared and validated against published bedrock heights and ice

  20. Estimating ice-melange properties with repeat UAV surveys over Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toberg, Nick; Ryan, Johnny; Christoffersen, Poul; Snooke, Neal; Todd, Joe; Hubbard, Alun

    2016-04-01

    In the past decade, tidewater outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) have thinned and retreated when compared to the 1980s when the ice sheet was in a state of dynamic balance. With a growing amount of ice discharged into the sea by tidewater glaciers as well as more ice melting on the surface, the Greenland Ice Sheet has become the single largest cryospheric source of global sea level rise. Today, the ice sheet causes sea level rise of 1 mm per year, highlighting the need to understand the ice sheet's response to climate change. Atmospheric warming will inevitably continue to increase surface meltwater production, but the dynamic response, which includes hundreds of fast-flowing tidewater glaciers, is largely unknown. To develop new understanding of ice sheet dynamics, we investigated the mechanism whereby icebergs break off tidewater glaciers and form a proglacial ice melange. This melange is rigid in winter when sea ice and friction along the sidewalls of the fjord, or even at the sea floor, hold it together. The result is a resistive force, which reduces the rate of iceberg calving when the ice melange is rigid and is lost when the melange disappears in the summer. From early May to late July 2014, we launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from a basecamp on a bluff overlooking the calving front of Store Glacier, a 5 km wide tidewater glacier flowing into Uummannaq Fjord in West Greenland. The Skywalker X8 UAVs had a wing-span of 2.1m and a payload containing a high resolution camera, an autopilot system and a GPS data logger. We generated almost 70,000 georeferenced images during 63 sorties over the glacier during a 10 week field season starting 13 May 2014. The images were used to construct orhorectified mosaics and digital elevation models of the proglacial melange with Photoscan structure-from-motion software. The imagery and the DEMs were analysed statistically to understand the spatial characteristics of the ice melange. By combining the

  1. Arctic Coastal Fog over Greenland Glaciers using an Improved MODIS Fog Detection Method and Ground Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiskoot, H.; Harvey, T.; Gilson, G.

    2015-12-01

    Annual breakup of sea ice causes fog in Arctic coastal regions, which can both reduce and enhance glacier melt. With progressive sea ice loss and increasing temperatures and atmospheric moisture in the Arctic, it is essential to determine the frequency and spatial extent of fog in order to understand its present and future effects on glacier mass balance. Previously, we determined Greenland coastal fog to peak with 15-25% of days in July. Here, we present the spatial and vertical extent of significant melt-season fog events over Greenland coastal glaciers and the ice sheet. To this end, we modified a MODIS fog/low stratus detection method by Bendix et al. (2005), with verification by weather and radiosonde data, timelapse and Landsat imagery, and independent fog classifications. Our fog-detection method uses MODIS Levels 1b and 2, processed in an ENVI-ArcGIS environment as follows: 1) visual examination and application of vegetation and snow indices; 2) initial fog/low stratus discrimination with novel band thresholds and cloud products; 3) verification using cloud phase/temperature products; 4) cleaning misclassified pixels; 5) calculating fog/low stratus optical and geometrical thickness; 6) final differentiation of fog from low stratus using edge-pixel detection, trend-surface fitting, and DEM filling. The end product consists of 500 m fog-mask pixel maps over Greenland, with minimum and maximum possible extents based on classification of fog versus low stratus. Our results show that fog can cover extensive areas of the Greenland ice masses. Persistent fog events in early, mid, and late melt-season were extracted for East Greenland using fog rim detection overlain on the GIMP DEM, the Randolph Glacier Inventory, and a coast shapefile. E.g., a 4 July 2002 fog event covers 4300-5000 km2 of ice, with a maximum inland extent of 85 km to an elevation of 1250 m asl. Fog thickness over ice is 20-800 m, but can be underestimated by >50 m compared to radiosonde data.

  2. Variability of subglacial discharge recorded with thermal infrared timelapse of a tidewater glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, L. C.; Stearns, L. A.; Brunsell, N. A.; Catania, G. A.; Fried, M.; Bartholomaus, T.; Felikson, D.; Sutherland, D.; Carroll, D.; Shroyer, E.; Nash, J. D.; Walker, R. T.; Finnegan, D. C.; LeWinter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Subglacial hydrology and the dynamics therein are important modulators of ice flow in the Greenland Ice Sheet. At tidewater outlet glaciers the characteristics of proglacial discharge affect fjord circulation, sediment deposition, submarine melt rates, and iceberg calving. Information about the spatio-temporal variability of discharge is limited by the challenges of in situ data collection at tidewater glaciers. Here, we present summertime measurements of subglacial discharge variability using a thermal infrared (7.5μm to 13μm) camera and intervalometer at Kangerlussuup Sermia (KS), a ~4km wide outlet glacier in the Uummannaq Bay region of West Greenland (71.46 N, 51.43 W). KS has an advantageous geometry for this investigation because of its shallow grounding zone and well-entrenched subglacial hydrologic system. In tandem, these characteristics promote buoyant freshwater to rise to the fjord surface from discrete outlets at the glacier's base. We investigate the timing of plume activity at these outlets and discuss potential controls on outlet switching. Raw camera measurements cannot be accurately converted to surface temperature without correcting for environmental variables and scene geometry, both of which are time-evolving during data acquisition. Our processing methodology relies on a variety of existing techniques -- image segmentation, ray casting, atmospheric radiative transfer modeling, Monte Carlo simulations -- and a variety of ancillary data products -- satellite imagery, atmospheric reanalysis, meteorologic and hydrologic measurements -- to produce the final results. What is gained is an unprecedented view into interactions between the cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere that control the dynamic and sensitive terminus region of a tidewater outlet glacier.

  3. An empirical approach for estimating stress-coupling lengths for marine-terminating glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Enderlin, Ellyn; Hamilton, Gordon S.; O'Neel, Shad; Bartholomaus, Timothy C.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Holt, John W.

    2016-01-01

    Here we present a new empirical method to estimate the SCL for marine-terminating glaciers using high-resolution observations. We use the empirically-determined periodicity in resistive stress oscillations as a proxy for the SCL. Application of our empirical method to two well-studied tidewater glaciers (Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland, and Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA) demonstrates that SCL estimates obtained using this approach are consistent with theory (i.e., can be parameterized as a function of the ice thickness) and with prior, independent SCL estimates. In order to accurately resolve stress variations, we suggest that similar empirical stress-coupling parameterizations be employed in future analyses of glacier dynamics.

  4. Petermann Glacier, North Greenland: massive calving in 2010 and the past half century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johannessen, O. M.; Babiker, M.; Miles, M. W.

    2011-01-01

    Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers drain large amounts of solid ice through calving of icebergs, as well as melting of floating glacial ice. Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, has the Northern Hemisphere's long floating ice shelf. A massive (~270 km2) calving event was observed from satellite sensors in August 2010. In order to understand this in perspective, here we perform a comprehensive retrospective data analysis of Petermann Glacier calving-front variability spanning half a century. Here we establish that there have been at least four massive (100+ km2) calving events over the past 50 years: (1) 1959-1961 (~153 km2), (2) 1991 (~168 km2), (3) 2001 (~71 km2) and (4) 2010 (~270 km2), as well as ~31 km2 calved in 2008. The terminus position in 2010 has retreated ~15 km beyond the envelope of previous observations. Whether the massive calving in 2010 represents natural episodic variability or a response to global and/or ocean warming in the fjord remains speculative, although this event supports the contention that the ice shelf recently has become vulnerable due to extensive fracturing and channelized basal melting.

  5. Has dynamic thinning switched off in south-east Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; Scharrer, K.; James, T. D.; Dye, S. R.; Hanna, E.; Booth, A. D.; Selmes, N.; Luckman, A.; Hughes, A. L. C.; Huybrechts, P.

    2009-04-01

    Following a relatively stable period during the 1990's, dramatic changes have been reported for many tidewater outlets in the south-eastern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Results from measurements using the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission clearly identified the south-eastern part of the GrIS as having the highest rates of mass loss (1, 2). Two of the major outlet glaciers in this area, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq, accelerated by about 100 percent and 40 percent, respectively, and their calving fronts retreated by several km (3). Retreat and acceleration occurred in two phases during summer 2003 and 2005 at Helheim, and in a single period between late 2004 and early 2005 at Kangerdlugssuaq. Further south widespread glacier acceleration between 1996 and 2005 affected most of the outlet glaciers (4). In all Greenland's mass loss was calculated to have doubled in the period (4). Increased discharge due to thinning in the marginal areas, coupled to rapid changes in ice dynamics and synchronous retreat of their calving front positions, led to speculations that the GrIS had crossed a "tipping point" induced by global warming. However, subsequent studies showed that during summer 2006 Helheim and Kangerlugssuaq had simultaneously slowed down and their thinning had stopped. Because variability in the ice sheet's mass loss results mostly from the SE Greenland sector, further understanding of the nature, distribution, and controls of dynamic change in this region is essential. In order to examine the extent of the dynamic changes and to identify their cause we used satellite data to measure glacier surface elevation and calving front positions of 24 outlets of 14 major tidewater terminating glaciers, as well as speeds of 9 outlets in SE Greenland. We concentrate on the region where the GRACE data show highest rates of mass change and our data cover the period during and after the cessation of fast flow and thinning at Helheim and

  6. Warming Beneath the 79⁰N Glacier in Northeast Greenland and Warm Atlantic Water in Fram Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodd, Paul; Schaffer, Janin; von Appen, Wilken-Jon; de Steur, Laura; Kanzow, Torsten

    2016-04-01

    Time series measurements of temperature beneath the 79°N glacier, over the East Greenland Continental Shelf and in Fram Strait suggest that recently observed warming beneath the glacier may be caused by warm recirculating Atlantic water from Fram Strait. CTD profiles close to the 79°N glacier collected between 1997 and 2015 (5 cruises) are compared with CTD profiles over the East Greenland Shelf collected between 1980 and 2015 (15 cruises) and with repeated transects across Fram Strait between 1983 and 2015 (24 cruises). The 2009 and 2014 cruises exploited a rift in the 79°N glacier to access the cavity below without the need for drilling. The time series of observations shows that the temperature of water in the cavity beneath the 79°N glacier is rising. This warm water likely reaches the cavity via the Norske-Westwind trough on the East Greenland Shelf. The temperature of water in the southern part of this trough responded quickly to the temperature of water in Fram Strait, showing a distinct peak in 2006-8. The northern part of the trough responded less strongly, probably because it is upstream of the region where the bulk of the Atlantic Water recirculates in Fram Strait. Subsurface warm water at the northern end of the trough also had a colder signature suggesting it originates from Atlantic Water that has recirculated further into the central Arctic. We are concerned that the trough system on the East Greenland Shelf provides a short-circuit allowing heat transported from low latitudes by northward flowing Atlantic water to directly affect the Greenland Ice Sheet. If our assumptions are correct, the rising temperature of water in the Norwegian Atlantic Current potentially threatens the 79°N glacier, which drains a major part of the Northeast Greenland Ice Sheet.

  7. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, M. E.; Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Als, T. D.; Wanamaker, A. D., Jr.

    2012-09-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models predicting the influence of ongoing climate change. We investigated a potential meltwater proxy in Godthåbsfjord (West Greenland), where glacier meltwater causes seasonal excursions with lower oxygen isotope water (δ18Ow) values and salinity. The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) potentially records these variations, because it precipitates its shell calcite in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. As M. edulis shells are known to occur in raised shorelines and kitchen middens from previous Holocene warm periods, this species may be ideal in reconstructing past meltwater dynamics. We investigate its potential as a palaeo-meltwater proxy. First, we confirmed that M. edulis shell calcite oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) values are in equilibrium with ambient water and generally reflect meltwater conditions. Subsequently we investigated if this species recorded the full range of δ18Ow values occurring during the years 2007 to 2010. Results show that δ18Ow values were not recorded at very low salinities (< ~19), because the mussels appear to cease growing. This implies that M. edulis δ18Oc values are suitable in reconstructing past meltwater amounts in most cases, but care has to be taken that shells are collected not too close to a glacier, but rather in the mid region or mouth of the fjord. The focus of future research will expand on the geographical and temporal range of the shell measurements by sampling mussels in other fjords in Greenland along a south-north gradient, and by sampling shells from raised shorelines and kitchen middens from prehistoric settlements in Greenland.

  8. Quantifying the mass loss of peripheral Greenland glaciers and ice caps (1958-2014).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noël, Brice; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Machguth, Horst; van den Broeke, Michiel

    2016-04-01

    Since the 2000s, mass loss from Greenland peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) has accelerated, becoming an important contributor to sea level rise. Under continued warming throughout the 21st century, GICs might yield up to 7.5 to 11 mm sea level rise, with increasing dominance of surface runoff at the expense of ice discharge. However, despite multiple observation campaigns, little remains known about the contribution of GICs to total Greenland mass loss. Furthermore, the relatively coarse resolutions in regional climate models, i.e. 5 km to 20 km, fail to represent the small scale patterns of surface mass balance (SMB) components over these topographically complex regions including also narrow valley glaciers. Here, we present a novel approach to quantify the contribution of GICs to surface melt and runoff, based on an elevation dependent downscaling method. GICs daily SMB components at 1 km resolution are obtained by statistically downscaling the outputs of RACMO2.3 at 11 km resolution to a down-sampled version of the GIMP DEM for the period 1958-2014. This method has recently been successfully validated over the Greenland ice sheet and is now applied to GICs. In this study, we first evaluate the 1 km daily downscaled GICs SMB against a newly available and comprehensive dataset of ablation stake measurements. Then, we investigate present-day trends of meltwater production and SMB for different regions and estimate GICs contribution to total Greenland mass loss. These data are considered valuable for model evaluation and prediction of future sea level rise.

  9. Identifying potential seasonal and historical drivers of marine-terminating glacier retreat in Disko and Uummannaq Bays, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    York, A.; Frey, K. E.; Das, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    The variability in outlet glacier termini positions is an important indicator of overall glacier health and the net effects of ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions. Glacier margins fluctuate on both seasonal and interannual time scales and satellite imagery provides a critical spatially- and temporally-extensive resource for monitoring glacier behavior. Outlet glaciers have generally been retreating globally over recent decades, but the magnitude of seasonal variation, overall retreat, and foremost drivers have proven unique to each glacier. The outlet glaciers in central West Greenland are generally experiencing the same regional atmospheric forcing, yet previous studies have shown varying magnitudes of retreat over the last forty years. In this study, we utilize Landsat imagery between the years 1985 and 2014 to digitize a time series of glacier front positions of 18 marine-terminating outlet glaciers in the Disko and Uummannaq Bay regions of West Greenland. We examine potential drivers of trends in outlet glacier retreat through satellite observations of adjacent sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures. Additionally, reanalysis data and long-term automatic weather station measurements are investigated to contextualize the role of atmospheric drivers at both a regional and local scale. Results indicate retreat of all glaciers in the region over the study period and no indication of a south to north trend in magnitude of retreat on either a seasonal or long-term scale. The 11 glaciers in Uummannaq Bay retreated between 25 m and 3.5 km, an average of 1.22 ± 1.20 km over the entire study period. The retreat of 7 glaciers in Disko Bay ranged from 181 m to 2.3 km, an average of 1.0 ± 0.78 km over the period. Although the mean terminus retreat rate between the two bays is comparable, there remains a wide range of total retreat amounts among the glaciers. We investigate the degree of seasonal variation in terminus position as an indicator of longer

  10. Community interactive webtool to retrieve Greenland glacier data for 1-D geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrette, Mahé

    2015-04-01

    Marine-terminating, outlet glaciers are challenging to include in conventional Greenland-wide ice sheet models because of the large variation in scale between model grid size (typically 10 km) and outlet glacier width (typically 1-5km), making it a subgrid scale feature. A possible approach to tackle this problem is to use one-dimensional flowline models for the individual glaciers (e.g. Nick et al., 2013, Nature; Enderlin et al 2013a,b, The Cryosphere). Here we present a python- and javascript- based webtool to prepare data required to feed in or validate a flowline model. It is designed primarily to outline the glacier geometry and returns relevant data averaged over cross-sections. The tool currently allows to: visualize 2-D ice sheet data (zoom/pan), quickly switch between datasets (e.g. ice thickness, bedrock elevation, surface velocity) interpolated / transformed on a common grid. draw flowlines from user-input seeds on the map, calculated from a vector field of surface velocity, as an helpful guide for point 3 interactively draw glacier outline (side and middle lines) on top of the data mesh the outlined glacier domain in the horizontal plane extract relevant data into a 1-D longitudinal profile download the result as a netCDF file The project is hosted on github to encourage collaboration, under the open-source MIT Licence. The server-side is written in python (open-source) using the web-framework flask, and the client-side (javascript) makes use of the d3 library for interactive figures. For now it only works locally in a web browser (start server: "python runserver.py"). Data need to be downloaded separately from the original sources. See the README file in the project for information how to use it. Github projects: https://github.com/perrette/webglacier1d (main) https://github.com/perrette/dimarray (dependency)

  11. Has dynamic thinning switched off in south-east Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; Scharrer, K.; James, T.; Luckman, A.; Selmes, N.; Cook, S.; Hughes, A.; Cordero Llana, L.; Booth, A.; McGovern, J.; Rutt, I.

    2008-12-01

    Following a relatively stable period during the 1990s, dramatic changes have been reported for many tidewater outlets in SE Greenland. Some of the most important results come from measurements using the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission (1, 2). These data clearly identified the SE of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) as having the highest rates of mass loss. Two of the major outlet glaciers in this area, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq accelerated by about 100% and 40%, respectively, and their calving fronts retreated by several km (3, 4). Retreat and acceleration occurred in two phases during summer 2003 and 2005 at Helheim, and in a single period between late 2004 and early 2005 at Kangerdlugssuaq. Further south, widespread glacier acceleration between 1996 and 2005 affected most of the outlet glaciers, and Greenland's mass loss doubled in the period (5). Increased discharge due to thinning in the marginal areas, coupled to rapid changes in ice dynamics and synchronous retreat of calving front positions, led to speculations that the GrIS had crossed a "tipping point" induced by global warming. However, subsequent studies in summer 2006 showed that Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq had simultaneously slowed down again and thinning stopped (6). In summer 2007, we collected lidar data over Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq flown by the NERC Airborne Research and Survey Facility. Data collected were single swaths over mountain areas, as well as centerline profiles. In cooperation with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, we conducted a similar but extended campaign in 2008, collecting lidar and radar data for the 16 largest outlet glaciers in SE Greenland, targeting the full extent of the major GRACE anomaly. We used lidar swaths from bedrock as ground-control for extracting DEMs from ASTER satellite images covering the period with major changes in 2004 to 2006, and compared them to lidar and SPOT 5 DEMs to produce the most recent volume change and velocity estimates

  12. Rerouting of subglacial water flow between neighboring glaciers in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Winnie; Creyts, Timothy T.; Bell, Robin E.

    2016-05-01

    Investigations of the Greenland ice sheet's subglacial hydrological system show that the connectivity of different regions of the system influences how the glacier velocity responds to variations in surface melting. Here we examine whether subglacial water flow paths can be rerouted beneath three outlet glaciers in the ablation zone of western Greenland. We use Lamont-Doherty and Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets of University of Kansas (CReSIS) ice-penetrating radar data to create a new ice thickness map. We then use a simple subglacial water flow model to examine whether flow paths can be rerouted and identify the topographic conditions that are sensitive to subglacial rerouting. By varying water pressures within an observationally constrained range, we show that moderate changes in pressure can cause flow paths to reroute and exchange water from one subglacial catchment to another. Flow across subglacial overdeepenings is particularly sensitive to rerouting. These areas have low hydraulic gradients driving flow, so subtle water pressure variations have a strong influence on water flow direction. Based on correlations between water flow paths and ice velocity changes, we infer that water piracy between neighboring catchments can result in a different spatial pattern of hydrologically induced ice velocity speedup depending on the amount and timing of surface melt. The potential for subglacial water to reroute across different catchments suggests that multiple hydrographs from neighboring glaciers are likely necessary to accurately ascertain melt budgets from proglacial point measurements. The relationship between surface runoff, ice dynamics, and proglacial discharge can be altered by rerouting of subglacial water flow within and across outlet glaciers.

  13. Partitioning of Submarine Melt and Calving across the front of Store Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Chauche, N.

    2015-12-01

    Processes unique to the marine-termini of fast-flowing tidewater outlet glaciers can potentially drive extreme rates of mass wastage thereby providing a rapid link between the terrestrial ice reservoir and the oceanic sink. Here we attempt to directly quantify the pattern and magnitude of calving and melt at the front of Store Glacier, a major outlet draining the western sector of the Greenland ice sheet. Integration of range-survey technologies on a robust, heavy displacement marine platform coupled with high-resolution photogrammetry allowed the production of accurate, ~m resolution 3d digital terrain models (DTMs) of the glacier front. A swath-interferometric sonar system calibrated via an inertial motion unit stabilized with RTK GPS and vector-compass data-streams was combined with photogrammetric processing of repeat UAV surveys. The results of three repeat surveys across the front of Store Glaciers in 2012 is presented during which significant ice flow, melt and calving events were imaged, complimented with AWS, on-ice GPS stations and time-lapse/video camera sequences. The residual of successive DTMs yield the 3d pattern of frontal change allowing the processes calving and melt to be quantified and constrained in unprecedented detail. The pattern of submarine melt is further validated against indirect estimates of submarine melt derived from oceanographic circulation measurements within the fjord.

  14. Modeling Subglacial Meltwater Plumes across Greenland's Outlet Glaciers: Implications for Ice-Ocean Coupling in a Warming Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, D.; Sutherland, D.; Moon, T. A.; Hudson, B.; Noel, B.; Felikson, D.; Catania, G. A.; Nash, J. D.; Shroyer, E.; Bartholomaus, T.; Stearns, L. A.; van den Broeke, M.

    2015-12-01

    Meltwater accumulated on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) drains to glacier beds, often discharging into outlet glacier fjords hundreds of meters below sea level. The injection of buoyant meltwater at depth drives a turbulent plume that entrains warm bottom water as it rises along the ice face, resulting in increased submarine melt rates. Recent studies have used remotely sensed data to identify distinct seasonal flow patterns in GrIS outlet glacier dynamics, suggesting some glaciers are especially sensitive to changes at the terminus. However, we currently lack an understanding of the corresponding regional patterns in near-glacier circulation that are a first-order control on submarine melt rates and indirectly modulate the resultant estuarine exchange flow and mixing of fjord waters. In this study, we use a buoyant plume model combined with a synthesis of shipboard hydrography, moored observations, estimates of subglacial discharge, and remotely sensed data on glacier characteristics, to provide an estimate of plume properties across GrIS outlet glaciers in both time and space. We validate our model results with detailed ice-ocean measurements from neighboring outlet glacier fjords in Uummannaq Bay, west Greenland. Model and observations agree that strongly stratified fjords with deep outlet glaciers result in warm, subsurface plumes, while shallow fjords result in surface-intensified plumes that retain their cold meltwater signature. We compare these results to a high-resolution ocean model to provide an estimate of submarine melt rates during peak summer discharge. One advantage of our approach is the rapid characterization of distinct plume regimes across GrIS outlet glacier parameter space. Finally, we compare these plume regimes with characteristics of glacier behavior (ice velocity, surface elevation, terminus position), over decadal and seasonal time-scales. This comparison allows us to investigate which outlet glacier systems might be more sensitive to

  15. Ocean properties, ice-ocean interactions, and calving front morphology at two major west Greenland glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauché, N.; Hubbard, A.; Gascard, J.-C.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Koppes, M.; Sole, A.; Patton, H.

    2013-11-01

    Warm sub-polar mode water (SPMW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss of marine terminating glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) yet, the specific mechanisms by which SPMW interacts with these tidewater termini remain uncertain. We present oceanographic data from Rink Glacier (RG) and Store Glacier (SG) fjords, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS into Baffin Bay over the contrasting melt-seasons of 2009 and 2010. Submarine melting occurs wherever ice is in direct contact with warmer water and the consistent presence of 2.8 °C SPMW adjacent to both ice fronts below 400 m throughout all surveys indicates that melting is maintained by a combination of molecular diffusion and large scale, weak convection, diffusional (hereafter called ubiquitous) melting. At shallower depths (50-200 m), cold, brine-enriched water (BEW) formed over winter appears to persist into the summer thereby buffering this melt by thermal insulation. Our surveys reveal four main modes of glacier-ocean interaction, governed by water depth and the rate of glacier runoff water (GRW) injected into the fjord. Deeper than 200 m, submarine melt is the only process observed, regardless of the intensity of GRW or the depth of injection. However, between the surface and 200 m depth, three further distinct modes are observed governed by the GRW discharge. When GRW is weak (≲1000 m3 s-1), upward motion of the water adjacent to the glacier front is subdued, weak forced or free convection plus diffusional submarine melting dominates at depth, and seaward outflow of melt water occurs from the glacier toe to the base of the insulating BEW. During medium intensity GRW (∼1500 m3 s-1), mixing with SPMW yields deep mixed runoff water (DMRW), which rises as a buoyant plume and intensifies local submarine melting (enhanced buoyancy-driven melting). In this case, DMRW typically attains hydrostatic equilibrium and flows seaward at an intermediate depth of

  16. Effect of fjord geometry on Greenland mass loss in a warming climate (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F. M.; Vieli, A.; Andersen, M. L.; Joughin, I. R.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past decade, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased as a result of both increased surface melting and ice discharge through the narrow outlet glaciers. The complicated behaviour of narrow outlet glaciers has not yet been fully captured by the ice-sheet models used to predict Greenland's contribution to future sea level. Here we try to quantify the future dynamic contribution of four major marine terminating outlet glaciers to sea-level rise. We use a glacier flow line model that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini to simulate behavior of Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq, Petermann and Jakobshavn Isbræ. The contribution from these glaciers to sea-level rise is largely (80%) dynamic in origin and is caused by several episodic retreats past overdeepenings in outlet glacier troughs. Model results show that the shape of the glacier and its fjord can alter how the glacier will respond to a changing climate. Dynamic losses are mainly related to channel geometry and occur when an ice front retreats from a basal high through an overdeepening. Subsequent decelerations in retreat and mass loss mostly coincide with a decrease in water depth as the glacier retreats or re-advances to a new or previous bathymetric high. In some cases, channel narrowing may temporarily slowdown the terminus retreat even when the terminus is located on an upward bed slope.

  17. Interactions of the Greenland Petermann Glacier with the ocean: An initial perspective (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falkner, K. K.; Johnson, H. L.; Melling, H.; Muenchow, A.; Samelson, R. M.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier is major outlet glacier that drains 6% of the area of the Greenland Ice Sheet in western North Greenland. It is one of four major outlet glaciers on Greenland with a grounding line substantially below sea level (about 500m) and one of two such glaciers to retain a substantial floating tongue. The floating ice tongue of Petermann glacier is thought to lose at least 80% of its mass through ocean interaction. Based on three opportunistic ocean surveys in Petermann Fjord, we present an overview of circulation at the fjord mouth, hydrographic structure beneath the ice tongue, oceanic heat delivered to the under-ice cavity and the fate of the resulting melt water. We also present an historical perspective on the August 2010 major calving event. The 1100m-deep fjord is separated from neighboring Hall Basin by a sill that is inferred to lie between 350m and 450m deep. Hall Basin is a section of Nares Strait that connects the Arctic Ocean (at the Lincoln Sea proceeding southward through Robeson Channel, Hall Basin, Kennedy Channel, Kane Basin and Smith Sound) to Baffin Bay. Sills in the Lincoln Sea (290m) and in Kane Basin (220m) restrict communication with the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay. The net flux of seawater through Nares Strait is southward and relatively fresh, conditioned by sources and processes within the Arctic Ocean and locally. Within Petermann Fjord, glacial melt water appears on the northeast side at 200-600m. A cyclonic gyre occurs within the fjord mouth, with outflow on the northeast side. Oceanic heat fluxes into the fjord are sufficient to account for the observed rate of basal melting. Cold, low salinity water intrudes far under the ice and likely limits basal melting to the inland half of the tongue. The recent major calving event resulted in a loss of 300 km2 or about 20% of the total area of the floating tongue, most of which remained intact as an ice island that garnered much media attention. Available observations show calving to

  18. Tidewater Dynamics at Store Glacier, West Greenland from Daily Repeat UAV Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Ryan, J.; Toberg, N.; Todd, J.; Christoffersen, P.; Snooke, N.; Box, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    A significant component of the Greenland ice sheet's mass wasteage to sea level rise is attributed to the acceleration and dynamic thinning at its tidewater margins. To improve understanding of the rapid mass loss processes occurring at large tidewater glaciers, we conducted a suite of daily repeat aerial surveys across the terminus of Store Glacier, a large outlet draining the western Greenland Ice Sheet, from May to July 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y8kauAVAfE). A suite flock of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were equipped with digital cameras, which, in combination with onboard GPS, enabled production of high spatial resolution orthophotos and digital elevation models (DEMs) using standard structure-from-motion techniques. These data provide insight into the short-term dynamics of Store Glacier surrounding the break-up of the sea-ice mélange that occurred between 4 and 7 June. Feature tracking of the orthophotos reveals that mean speed of the terminus is 16 - 18 md-1, which was independently verified against a high temporal resolution time-series derived from an expendable/telemetric GPS deployed at the terminus. Differencing the surface area of successive orthophotos enable quantification of daily calving rates, which significantly increase just after melange break-up. Likewise, by differencing bulk freeboard volume of icebergs through time we could also constrain the magnitude and variation of submarine melt. We calculate a mean submarine melt rate of 0.18 md-1 throughout the spring period with relatively little supraglacial runoff and no active meltwater plumes to stimulate fjord circulation and upwelling of deeper, warmer water masses. Finally, we relate calving rates to the zonation and depth of water-filled crevasses, which were prominent across parts of the terminus from June onwards.

  19. Methane seeps along boundaries of receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, K. M.; Anthony, P. M.; Grosse, G.; Chanton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost form a 'cryosphere cap' that traps methane formed in the subsurface, restricting its flow to the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Despite model predictions that glacier melt and degradation of permafrost open conduits for methane's escape, there has been a paucity of field evidence for 'subcap' methane seepage to the atmosphere as a direct result of cryosphere disintegration in the terrestrial Arctic. Here, we document for the first time the release of sub-cryosphere methane to lakes, rivers, shallow marine fjords and the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of receding glaciers and permafrost thaw in Alaska and Greenland. Through aerial and ground surveys of 6,700 lakes and fjords in Alaska we mapped >150,000 gas seeps identified as bubbling-induced open holes in seasonal ice. Using gas flow rates, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon dating, we distinguished recent ecological methane from subcap, geologic methane. Subcap seeps had anomalously high bubbling rates, 14C-depletion, and stable isotope values matching microbial sources associated with sedimentary deposits and coal beds as well as thermogenic methane accumulations in Alaska. Since differential ice loading can overpressurize fluid reservoirs and cause sediment fracturing beneath ice sheets, and since the loss of glacial ice reduces normal stress on ground, opens joints, and activates faults and fissures, thereby increasing permeability of the crust to fluid flow, we hypothesized that in the previously glaciated region of Southcentral Alaska, where glacial wastage continues presently, subcap seeps should be disproportionately associated with neotectonic faults. Geospatial analysis confirmed that subcap seep sites were associated with faults within a 7 km belt from the modern glacial extent. The majority of seeps were located in areas affected by seismicity from isostatic rebound associated with deglaciation following the Little Ice Age (LIA; ca

  20. Fjord - Glacier Ice Interactions: Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord) Southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motyka, R. J.; Truffer, M.; Dryer, W. P.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R. K.; Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.

    2012-12-01

    The study of interactions between glaciers, fjords, and the ocean in coastal Greenland is still in its infancy. Circulation of warm ocean waters into fjords has been hypothesized to play an important role in destabilizing and modulating glacier discharge from outlet glaciers in Greenland, but details on the dynamics of this interaction remain sparse. To help fill this gap, we conducted a series of hydrographic measurements over a six-day period in late August 2011 in the proglacial fjord Kangersuneq at the head of Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord) near Nuuk in southwest Greenland. Because of iceberg conditions, we were unable to approach any closer than 12 km to the tidewater glacier Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS) at the head of the fjord. We conducted the majority of our measurements over the KNS Little Ice Age (LIA) moraine, a sill which forms a barrier between the inner and outer fjord. The LIA sill lies about 22 km from KNS, spans the 4-km-wide fjord and has a maximum water depth of 170 m. Water depths fall to over 300 m on either side of this sill and all water entering or leaving the inner basin must flow over it. For comparison, we also conducted transects at a second location inside the inner basin, 12 km from the KNS terminus and in much deeper water (> 300 m). Our transects included shipboard CTD (conductivity, temperature, density) and current measurements, the latter using rail-mounted 150 kHz and 600 kHz RDI ADCPs (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers). Iceberg conditions in the fjord prevented measurements while underway. The CTD measurements showed a highly stratified water column capped by a 5 m freshwater layer. The warmest (3 deg. C) and most saline water (32) lies directly over the sill, near the bottom of the water column. The freshwater fraction at 20 m water depth is 7.6% with 6.0% from subglacial freshwater discharge and 1.6% derived from submarine melting of ice. We timed our survey to bracket the neap tide to reduce complexities related to tidal

  1. A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps.

    PubMed

    Noël, B; van de Berg, W J; Lhermitte, S; Wouters, B; Machguth, H; Howat, I; Citterio, M; Moholdt, G; Lenaerts, J T M; van den Broeke, M R

    2017-03-31

    Melting of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its peripheral glaciers and ice caps (GICs) contributes about 43% to contemporary sea level rise. While patterns of GrIS mass loss are well studied, the spatial and temporal evolution of GICs mass loss and the acting processes have remained unclear. Here we use a novel, 1 km surface mass balance product, evaluated against in situ and remote sensing data, to identify 1997 (±5 years) as a tipping point for GICs mass balance. That year marks the onset of a rapid deterioration in the capacity of the GICs firn to refreeze meltwater. Consequently, GICs runoff increases 65% faster than meltwater production, tripling the post-1997 mass loss to 36±16 Gt(-1), or ∼14% of the Greenland total. In sharp contrast, the extensive inland firn of the GrIS retains most of its refreezing capacity for now, buffering 22% of the increased meltwater production. This underlines the very different response of the GICs and GrIS to atmospheric warming.

  2. Collaborating with the local community of Kullorsuaq, Greenland to obtain high-quality hydrographic measurements near Alison Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. F.; Turrin, M.; Tinto, K. J.; Giulivi, C. F.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    Warming ocean waters around Greenland have been implicated, along with warmer air temperatures, in the rapid increase of melt of the tidewater glaciers that drain the ice sheet. Most available regional oceanographic measurements have been collected during the summer seasons and are concentrated near the largest and most accessible glaciers. In order to gain a more comprehensive picture of the changing environment around the entirety of Greenland, more fjords, especially in the north, must be sampled. In July 2014, we travelled to Kullorsuaq in Northwest Greenland in order to foster a partnership with the local community to obtain new hydrographic data from CTD casts near Alison Glacier (74.6N, 57W). The terminus of this glacier abruptly retreated 10 km between 2000 and 2006. Although adequate observations from that time period are unavailable, our recently collected temperature and salinity data suggests that the deep water near Alison is similar to the waters further south, where near-synchronous ocean warming and glacial acceleration has been documented. Over the course of two sampling days, a hand-operated winch from a small boat was used to make standard CTD casts in front of Alison Glacier. We find evidence of glacial and mélange melt and the signature of both Polar and Atlantic Water masses at depth. Along-fjord casts illustrate how the ocean waters are modified as they circulate in and out of the fjord and the interaction of this water with the melting glacial front. At 500m depths, ocean temperatures are about 3°C above the in-situ freezing point of seawater, suggesting a possible influence of warm ocean waters on the mass loss of Alison Glacier. Using NASA Operation IceBridge and satellite altimetry data, we relate our new hydrographic data to the observed recent changes in Alison Glacier. An additional important result is that this short field campaign uncovered the possibility of working with local Greenlandic communities to aid scientists in both

  3. Bathymetry data reveal glaciers vulnerable to ice-ocean interaction in Uummannaq and Vaigat glacial fjords, west Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Fenty, I.; Xu, Y.; Cai, C.; Velicogna, I.; Cofaigh, C. Ó.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Weinrebe, W.; Catania, G.; Duncan, D.

    2016-03-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers play a critical role in controlling Greenland's ice sheet mass balance. Their frontal margins interact vigorously with the ocean, but our understanding of this interaction is limited, in part, by a lack of bathymetry data. Here we present a multibeam echo sounding survey of 14 glacial fjords in the Uummannaq and Vaigat fjords, west Greenland, which extends from the continental shelf to the glacier fronts. The data reveal valleys with shallow sills, overdeepenings (>1300 m) from glacial erosion, and seafloor depths 100-1000 m deeper than in existing charts. Where fjords are deep enough, we detect the pervasive presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water (AW) (>2.5°C) with high melt potential, but we also find numerous glaciers grounded on shallow (<200 m) sills, standing in cold (<1°C) waters in otherwise deep fjords, i.e., with reduced melt potential. Bathymetric observations extending to the glacier fronts are critical to understand the glacier evolution.

  4. A test bed for investigating the flow of outlet glaciers and ice streams embedded in the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, Reinhard; Rückamp, Martin; Schlegel, Rebecca; Ganopolski, Andrey; Humbert, Angelika

    2016-04-01

    Here, we define a test bed for fast flow regions and its vicinity embedded in an ice sheet. This test bed is designed for outlet glaciers and ice streams of the Greenland ice sheet. It consists of a fine resolution part with a manufactured basal trough over which the professional software COMSOL (Multiphysics Modeling Software) operates as a full-Stokes model. Results by COMSOL are compared with coarse resolution simulations with the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS operating in shallow-ice-approximation mode and using parameterizations of the fast flow effects. For simplification, in this preliminary approach, both models run in isothermal mode. Definition of surface mass balance follows the EISMINT intercomparison project with parameters adapted to the Greenland ice sheet. In particular, we inspect with this test bed upstream and lateral flow effects of ice streams and outlet glaciers. We present first simulations with this approach, although presentation of the test bed itself is the main emphasis of this presentation.

  5. Constraining millennial scale dynamics of a Greenland tidewater glacier for the verification of a calving criterion based numerical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, J.; Mair, D.; Rea, B.; Nick, F.; Schofield, E.

    2012-04-01

    The ability to successfully model the behaviour of Greenland tidewater glaciers is pivotal to understanding the controls on their dynamics and potential impact on global sea level. However, to have confidence in the results of numerical models in this setting, the evidence required for robust verification must extend well beyond the existing instrumental record. Perhaps uniquely for a major Greenland outlet glacier, both the advance and retreat dynamics of Kangiata Nunata Sermia (KNS), Nuuk Fjord, SW Greenland over the last ~1000 years can be reasonably constrained through a combination of geomorphological, sedimentological and archaeological evidence. It is therefore an ideal location to test the ability of the latest generation of calving criterion based tidewater models to explain millennial scale dynamics. This poster presents geomorphological evidence recording the post-Little Ice Age maximum dynamics of KNS, derived from high-resolution satellite imagery. This includes evidence of annual retreat moraine complexes suggesting controlled rather than catastrophic retreat between pinning points, in addition to a series of ice dammed lake shorelines, allowing detailed interpretation of the dynamics of the glacier as it thinned and retreated. Pending ground truthing, this evidence will contribute towards the calibration of results obtained from a calving criterion numerical model (Nick et al, 2010), driven by an air temperature reconstruction for the KNS region determined from ice core data.

  6. Simulating Ice-Flow and Calving on Store Glacier, West Greenland, with a 3D Full Stokes Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, J.; Christoffersen, P.; Zwinger, T.; Luckman, A. J.; Benn, D.

    2015-12-01

    The mass balance and long-term stability of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica depend heavily on the dynamics of their ice-ocean margins. Iceberg calving accounts for the majority of the net annual loss of ice in Antarctica and around half of that from Greenland. Furthermore, climate driven changes to dynamics at these calving margins can be transmitted far inland. Thus, predicting future sea level contribution from the cryosphere requires an improved understanding of calving, and the processes which link it to climate and ice-sheet flow. We present results from a new 3D calving model coupled to a full-Stokes, time evolving glacier dynamic model, implemented for Store Glacier, a 5-km-wide calving glacier in the Uummannaq region of West Greenland, which flows at a rate of 20 m/day at its terminus. The model is developed using the open source finite element package Elmer/Ice, with the criterion that calving occurs when surface and basal crevasses meet. Crevasses open in response to tensile stresses near the terminus and water pressure at the bed. When the model was applied in 2D for the central flowline of Store Glacier, we found that basal topography exerts overarching control on the long term position of the calving front, while ice mélange buttressing allows the seasonal extension of a floating tongue, which collapses in early summer. New results emerging from implementation of calving in a 3D model indicate significant spatial heterogeneity in calving dynamics because the northern half of the terminus is grounded whereas the southern half is floating. This contrasting setting affects calving dynamics, further underlining the importance of geometry and basal topography, and suggesting that lower dimensional calving models may miss important aspects of calving dynamics. Our results also suggest that implementing grounding line dynamics is important for modelling calving, even for glaciers which are, for the most part, firmly grounded.

  7. A synthesis of the ongoing seasonal work in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord, Godthåbsfjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortensen, J.; Bendtsen, J.; Rysgaard, S.

    2015-12-01

    The coastal waters off west Greenland is subjected to significant temperature fluctuations which might affect the mass loss from local tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet in different ways. We present a comprehensive hydrographic data set from a west Greenland fjord, Godthåbsfjord, a fjord in contact with the Greenland Ice Sheet through tidewater outlet glaciers. We analyze with respect to water masses, dynamics, seasonal and interannual hydrographic variability. Through seasonal observations of hydrographic and moored observations we recognize a seasonal pattern in the fjords circulation system, where an intermediate baroclinic circulation mode driven by tidal currents at the fjord entrance is associated as an important local heat source for the fjord. Four distinct circulation modes are observed in the fjord of which all can contribute to glacial ice melt. In water observation of a subglacial plume core will be presented and discussed with respect to vertical distribution of water masses and local heat budget in the fjord. The example of the extreme case of subglacial plume will be discussed (ice-dammed lake drainage).

  8. Analysis of recent glacial earthquakes in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, K.; Nettles, M.

    2015-12-01

    Large calving events at Greenland's outlet glaciers produce teleseismically detectable glacial earthquakes. These events are observed in the seismic record for the past 22 years, but the complete catalog of glacial earthquakes still numbers only ~300. The annual occurrence of these long-period events has increased over time, which makes recent years especially valuable in expanding the global dataset. Glacial earthquakes from 1993- 2010 have been analyzed systematically (Tsai and Ekström, 2007; Veitch and Nettles, 2012). Here, we analyze more recent events using the same centroid—single-force (CSF) approach as previous authors, focusing initially on data from 2013. In addition, we perform a focused study of selected events from 2009-2010 to assess the reliability of the force azimuths obtained from such inversions. Recent spatial and temporal patterns of glacial earthquakes in Greenland differ from those in previous years. In 2013, three times as many events occurred on the west coast as on the east, and these events originated predominantly from two glaciers: Jakobshavn Glacier on the west coast and Helheim Glacier on the east. Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier, on the east coast, produced no glacial earthquakes in 2013, though it produced many events in earlier years. Previous CSF results for glacial earthquakes show force azimuths perpendicular to the glacier front during a calving event, with force plunges near horizontal. However, some azimuths indicate forces initially oriented upglacier, while others are oriented downglacier (seaward). We perform a set of experiments on events from 2009 and 2010 and find two acceptable solutions for each glacial earthquake, oriented 180° apart with plunges of opposite sign and centroid times differing by approximately one half of the assumed duration of the earthquake time function. These results suggest the need for a more complex time function to model glacial earthquakes more accurately.

  9. Recent Changes in Arctic Glaciers, Ice Caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet: Cold Facts About Warm Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2005-12-01

    One of the major manifestations of Arctic change can be observed in the state of balance of Arctic glaciers and ice caps and the Greenland ice sheet. These ice masses are estimated to contain nearly 3 million cubic kilometers of ice, which is more than six times greater than all the water stored in the Earth's lakes, rivers, and snow combined and is the equivalent of over 7 meters of sea level. Most of these ice masses have been shrinking in recent in years, but their mass balance is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. On the Greenland ice sheet most of the coastal regions have thinned substantially as melt has increased and some of its outlet glaciers have accelerated. Near the equilibrium line in West Greenland, we have seen evidence of summer acceleration that is linked to surface meltwater production, suggesting a relatively rapid response mechanism of the ice sheet change to a warming climate. At the same time, however, the vast interior regions of the Greenland ice sheet have shown little change or slight growth, as accumulation in these areas may have increased. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, many glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in the past few decades, and in Canada and Alaska, the rate of ice loss seems to have accelerated during the late 1990s. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of the long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it in one of the most climatically sensitive regions on Earth. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing observations, in situ measurements and improved modeling capabilities, it is important that we coordinate and integrate these approaches effectively in order to predict future changes and their impact on sea level, freshwater discharge, and ocean circulation.

  10. A modeling study of the effect of runoff variability on the effective pressure beneath Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurian, Basile; Morlighem, Mathieu; Seroussi, Helene; Rignot, Eric; Broeke, Michiel R.; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Mouginot, Jeremie; Smeets, Paul C. J. P.; Tedstone, Andrew J.

    2016-10-01

    Basal sliding is a main control on glacier flow primarily driven by water pressure at the glacier base. The ongoing increase in surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet warrants an examination of its impact on basal water pressure and in turn on basal sliding. Here we examine the case of Russell Glacier, in West Greenland, where an extensive set of observations has been collected. These observations suggest that the recent increase in melt has had an equivocal impact on the annual velocity, with stable flow on the lower part of the drainage basin but accelerated flow above the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). These distinct behaviors have been attributed to different evolutions of the subglacial draining system during and after the melt season. Here we use a high-resolution subglacial hydrological model forced by reconstructed surface runoff for the period 2008 to 2012 to investigate the cause of these distinct behaviors. We find that the increase in meltwater production at low elevation yields a more efficient drainage system compatible with the observed stagnation of the mean annual flow below the ELA. At higher elevation, the model indicates that the drainage system is mostly inefficient and is therefore strongly sensitive to an increase in meltwater availability, which is consistent with the observed increase in ice velocity.

  11. The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen

    2009-01-01

    In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmer lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y

  12. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 1. Programme of investigation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, Poul; Hubbard, Bryn; Bougamont, Marion; Doyle, Samuel; Young, Tun Jan; Hofstede, Coen; Nicholls, Keith; Todd, Joe; Box, Jason; Ryan, Johnny; Toberg, Nick; Walter, Jacob; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-04-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers drain 90 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and are responsible for about half of the ice sheet's net annual mass loss, which currently raises global sea level by almost 1 mm per year. Understanding the processes that drive the fast flow of these glaciers is crucial because a growing body of evidence points to a strong, but spatially varied and often complex, response to oceanographic as well as atmospheric forcing. While the bed of glaciers elsewhere is known to strongly influence the flow of ice, no observations have ever been made at the bed of a marine-terminating glacier in Greenland. The flow of ice in numerical models of the Greenland Ice Sheet consequently rely on untested basal parameterisations, which form a likely and potentially significant source of error in the prediction of sea level rise over the coming decades and century. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE) is addressing this paucity of observational constraints by gaining access to the bed of Store Glacier, a marine-terminating outlet of the Greenland Ice Sheet which has a drainage basin of 35,000 square kilometres and terminates in Uummannaq Fjord. In 2014, the SAFIRE programme drilled four boreholes in a region where ice flows at a rate of 700 m per year and where a seismic survey revealed a bed consisting of soft sediment. (See joint abstract by Hofstede et al. for details.) The boreholes were 603-616 m deep and direct access to the bed was confirmed by a clear hydrological connectivity with a basal water system. (See joint abstract by Doyle et al. for details.) With sensors deployed englacially (temperature and tilt) and at the bed (water pressure, turbidity, electrical conductivity), the SAFIRE will inform the ratio of internal ice deformation and basal slip, vertical strain, ice temperature, and fluctuations in water pressure linked to supraglacial lake drainage as well as diurnal drainage into moulins. In 2015, we plan to

  13. Greenland snow accumulation rates estimated by the retracking of percolation facies from airborne radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Pena, S.; Howat, I. M.

    2012-12-01

    The margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet are experiencing substantial thinning due to warming in the arctic regions, and there is a growing concern about the effects that mass imbalance of the ice sheet could have on climate and sea level rise. Although volume changes of the ice sheet may be inferred by remote sensing methods, mass gain and accumulation fluctuations are not easily distinguished and are poorly resolved. Recent advances in airborne radar techniques have resulted in systems capable of resolving snow accumulation by retracking internal layers formed by refreezing of surface meltwater that percolates through the snowpack, a phenomenon increasingly common in Greenland. We present accumulation rates for the catchment areas of the Jakobshavn, Helheim, and Rusell glaciers derived from snow depth resolved by snow and Ku-band airborne radar, flown as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge.

  14. Preliminary results from hot-water drilling and borehole instrumentation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, S. H.; Christoffersen, P.; Hubbard, B. P.; Young, T. J.; Hofstede, C. M.; Box, J.; Todd, J.; Bougamont, M. H.; Hubbard, A.

    2015-12-01

    As part of the Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE) pressurised hot water was used to drill four 603-616 m-long boreholes to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet at a site located 30 km from the calving front of fast-flowing, marine-terminating Store Glacier (70° N, ~1000 m elevation). Despite the boreholes freezing within hours, 4 wired sensor strings were successfully deployed in three of the boreholes. These included a thermistor string to obtain the englacial temperature profile installed in the same borehole as a string of tilt sensors to measure borehole deformation, and two sets of water pressure, electrical conductivity and turbidity sensors installed just above the bed in separate, adjacent boreholes. The boreholes made a strong hydrological connection to the bed during drilling, draining rapidly to ~80 m below the ice surface. The connection of subsequent boreholes was observed as a perturbation in water pressure and temperature recorded in neighbouring boreholes, indicating an effective hydrological sub- or en-glacial connection between them. The sensors, which were all connected to loggers at the surface by cables, operated for between ~30 and 80+ days before indications suggest that the cables stretched and then snapped - with the lowermost sensors failing first. The records obtained from these sensors reveal (i) high and increasing water pressure varying diurnally close to overburden albeit of a small magnitude (~ 0.3 m H2O), (ii) a minimum extrapolated englacial temperature of -21°C with above-freezing temperatures at the bed, and (iv) high rates of internal deformation and strain increasing towards the bed as evinced by increasing tilt with depth. These borehole observations are complemented by GPS measurements of ice motion, meteorological data, and seismic and radar surveys.

  15. Greenland Ice Sheet glacier motion and ice loss: New understanding of ice sheet behavior through remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, T. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Scambos, T.; Joughin, I.

    2015-12-01

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet makes up roughly a third of current sea level rise, also generating substantial local and regional freshwater fluxes. Containing more than 6 meters of sea level rise equivalent in ice, Greenland has the potential to contribute much more to rising ocean levels and freshening water in the future. Understanding the dynamics of the ice sheet, particularly the behavior of fast flowing coastal outlet glaciers, is critical to improving predictions of future ice sheet change and associated impacts. Combining velocity, glacier ice front, sea ice, and ice sheet surface melt data, we made several important advances in characterizing and understanding seasonal glacier behavior and the processes driving change: 1) seasonal velocity patterns fall into at least 3 distinct patterns, 2) these seasonal velocity patterns likely indicate differences in glacier responsiveness to ocean versus subglacial hydrologic processes, and 3) in some regions seasonal versus multi-year velocity changes appear most strongly influenced by different environmental factors. Further progress was previously hampered by limits in measurement resolution across space and time. To address this challenge, we are creating a new - and continuously growing - ice velocity dataset from Landsat 8 imagery. This data stream supports comprehensive global measurements of ice flow, providing a leap in our understanding of ice sheet motion across space and time. We offer a high-level discussion of our research findings and an introduction to the new Landsat 8-enabled data stream. Our results and measurement capabilities deliver critical new knowledge about ice sheet behavior and interaction with ocean and climate factors. These advances, in turn, have important implications for other elements of Earth system research, including climate, oceanography, and biology.

  16. IceBridge Provides Novel Evidence for Thick Units of Basal Freeze-on Ice Along Petermann Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, R. E.; Tinto, K. J.; Wolovick, M.; Block, A. E.; Frearson, N.; Das, I.; Abdi, A.; Creyts, T. T.; Cochran, J. R.; Csatho, B. M.; Babonis, G. S.

    2011-12-01

    The Petermann Glacier, one of the major outlet glaciers in Greenland, drains six percent of the Greenland ice from a basin largely below sea level. Petermann Glacier and its large ice shelf may be susceptible to increased change as the waters along the Greenland margin warm. The 2010 and 2011 Operation IceBridge mission, acquired a comprehensive aerogeophysical data set over the Petermann Glacier that provides insights into the ice sheet structure. This analysis employs most of the data streams acquired by the Icebridge platform including ice-penetrating radar, laser altimetry, gravity and magnetics. An orthogonal 10 km grid extends from 60 km upstream of the grounding line to 240 km inland. The ice velocities in the region range from <50m/yr to >200m/yr. On the interior lines the internal layers are pulled down over 2-3 km wide regions. Up to 400m of ice from the base of the ice sheet appears to be absent in these regions. We interpret these pulled down regions as basal melt. These melt regions are mainly located along the upstream side of a 80 km wide east-west trending topographic ridge that separates the interior ice from the Petermann Fjord. The IceBridge magnetic data indicates that this broad flat ridge is the boundary between the Franklinian Basins and the Ellsmerian Foldbelt to the north. Downstream of these pull-down layers we have identified 4 distinct packages of ice that thicken downstream and are characterized by a strong upper reflector. These packages develop at the base of the ice sheet and reach thicknesses of 500-700m over distances of 10-20 km. These basal packages can be traced for 30-100 km following the direction of flow, and may be present close to the grounding line. These basal reflectors deflect the overlying internal layers upward indicating the addition of ice to the base of the ice sheet. The IceBridge gravity data indicates that these features are probably not off-nadir topography since these would show up as around 30mGal anomalies

  17. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade.

    PubMed

    Price, Stephen F; Payne, Antony J; Howat, Ian M; Smith, Benjamin E

    2011-05-31

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing.

  18. Automated Ground-based Time-lapse Camera Monitoring of West Greenland ice sheet outlet Glaciers: Challenges and Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Y.; Box, J. E.; Balog, J.; Lewinter, A.

    2008-12-01

    Monitoring Greenland outlet glaciers using remotely sensed data has drawn a great attention in earth science communities for decades and time series analysis of sensory data has provided important variability information of glacier flow by detecting speed and thickness changes, tracking features and acquiring model input. Thanks to advancements of commercial digital camera technology and increased solid state storage, we activated automatic ground-based time-lapse camera stations with high spatial/temporal resolution in west Greenland outlet and collected one-hour interval data continuous for more than one year at some but not all sites. We believe that important information of ice dynamics are contained in these data and that terrestrial mono-/stereo-photogrammetry can provide theoretical/practical fundamentals in data processing along with digital image processing techniques. Time-lapse images over periods in west Greenland indicate various phenomenon. Problematic is rain, snow, fog, shadows, freezing of water on camera enclosure window, image over-exposure, camera motion, sensor platform drift, and fox chewing of instrument cables, and the pecking of plastic window by ravens. Other problems include: feature identification, camera orientation, image registration, feature matching in image pairs, and feature tracking. Another obstacle is that non-metric digital camera contains large distortion to be compensated for precise photogrammetric use. Further, a massive number of images need to be processed in a way that is sufficiently computationally efficient. We meet these challenges by 1) identifying problems in possible photogrammetric processes, 2) categorizing them based on feasibility, and 3) clarifying limitation and alternatives, while emphasizing displacement computation and analyzing regional/temporal variability. We experiment with mono and stereo photogrammetric techniques in the aide of automatic correlation matching for efficiently handling the enormous

  19. A predictive model for routing of supraglacial meltwater to the bed of glaciers: application to Leverett Glacier, western Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clason, Caroline; Mair, Douglas; Nienow, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that Greenland outlet glacier velocities may be responding to increased meltwater generation (Shepherd et al, 2009; Zwally et al, 2002). Where sufficient supraglacial meltwater is routed into crevasses and moulins it could act to lubricate the bed, resulting in dynamic thinning and accelerated transfer of ice mass to glacier termini. The extent to which this mechanism contributes to mass loss is largely unknown, but may be increasingly important if current trends of warming are to continue, particularly in high northerly latitudes. This study introduces a modelling routine for prediction of moulin formation and quantification of meltwater delivery to the bed from digital elevation models, ice surface velocity data and meteorological input data. Supraglacial meltwater pathways are predicted from ice surface topography using a single flow direction hydrological flow routing algorithm. A temperature-index model driven by measured air temperature is used to produce values of distributed ice surface melt, integrated within stream accumulation to produce estimates of supraglacial stream discharge throughout the predicted network. Ice surface strain rates are calculated from satellite-derived surface velocities acquired using feature tracking. Strain rates are converted to stresses through the constitutive relation for glacier ice, after Nye (1957). Surface tensile stresses are calculated from the resultant principal stresses using the Von Mises criteria for failure of ductile materials, with areas of crevassing predicted where tensile stresses exceed a prescribed value of fracture toughness. Where supraglacial streams and areas of crevassing intersect, surficial moulin locations are predicted. A simple model for propagation of water-filled crevasses is applied to determine where moulins will penetrate through the full ice thickness, delivering meltwater to the bed. Derived from linear elastic fracture mechanics, the model calculates crevasse

  20. Spring bloom dynamics in a subarctic fjord influenced by tidewater outlet glaciers (Godthåbsfjord, SW Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meire, Lorenz; Mortensen, John; Rysgaard, Søren; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Boone, Wieter; Meire, Patrick; Meysman, Filip J. R.

    2016-06-01

    In high-latitude fjord ecosystems, the spring bloom accounts for a major part of the annual primary production and thus provides a crucial energy supply to the marine food web. However, the environmental factors that control the timing and intensity of these spring blooms remain uncertain. In 2013, we studied the spring bloom dynamics in Godthåbsfjord, a large fjord system adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet. Our surveys revealed that the spring bloom did not initiate in the inner stratified part of the fjord system but only started farther away from tidewater outlet glaciers. A combination of out-fjord winds and coastal inflows drove an upwelling in the inner part of the fjord during spring (April-May), which supplied nutrient-rich water to the surface layer. This surface water was subsequently transported out-fjord, and due to this circulation regime, the biomass accumulation of phytoplankton was displaced away from the glaciers. In late May, the upwelling weakened and the dominant wind direction changed, thus reversing the direction of the surface water transport. Warmer water was now transported toward the inner fjord, and a bloom was observed close to the glacier terminus. Overall, our findings imply that the timing, intensity, and location of the spring blooms in Godthåbsfjord are controlled by a combination of upwelling strength and wind forcing. Together with sea ice cover, the hydrodynamic regime hence plays a crucial role in structuring food web dynamics of the fjord ecosystem.

  1. Modeling of ocean-induced ice melt rates of five west Greenland glaciers over the past two decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Xu, Y.; Menemenlis, D.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Li, X.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H.; den Broeke, M. van; Fenty, I.; Cai, C.; An, L.; Fleurian, B. de

    2016-06-01

    High-resolution, three-dimensional simulations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model ocean model are used to calculate the subaqueous melt rate of the calving faces of Umiamako, Rinks, Kangerdlugssup, Store, and Kangilerngata glaciers, west Greenland, from 1992 to 2015. Model forcing is from monthly reconstructions of ocean state and ice sheet runoff. Results are analyzed in combination with observations of bathymetry, bed elevation, ice front retreat, and glacier speed. We calculate that subaqueous melt rates are 2-3 times larger in summer compared to winter and doubled in magnitude since the 1990s due to enhanced subglacial runoff and 1.6 ± 0.3°C warmer ocean temperature. Umiamako and Kangilerngata retreated rapidly in the 2000s when subaqueous melt rates exceeded the calving rates and ice front retreated to deeper bed elevation. In contrast, Store, Kangerdlugssup, and Rinks have remained stable because their subaqueous melt rates are 3-4 times lower than their calving rates, i.e., the glaciers are dominated by calving processes.

  2. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade

    PubMed Central

    Price, Stephen F.; Payne, Antony J.; Howat, Ian M.; Smith, Benjamin E.

    2011-01-01

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland’s three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing. PMID:21576500

  3. A statistical-dynamical approach to represent Greenland ocean-ice sheet interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrette, Mahé; Calov, Reinhard; Ganopolski, Andrey; Robinson, Alex

    2013-04-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet is fundamental, because of its potential to contribute strongly to future sea level rise. In recent years there has been a discussion about the role of the ocean in the Greenland ice sheet's present and future mass balance. The ocean interacts with the ice sheet's outlet glaciers via the water circulation in the fjords and considerably affects melting at the termini of the outlet glaciers. Processes related to this interaction are difficult to represent in Greenland-wide ice-sheet models because grid resolution of such models is typically 10 km, whereas large fjords are more commonly only 1 to 5 km wide. Local refinement techniques (e.g. finite elements with adaptive mesh) can be a way of addressing that problem but are still computationally expensive to run. Here we propose a simpler, statistical-dynamical approach suited for large ensemble simulations over 100- to 1000-year integration times, in the EMIC spirit: the fjord-outlet glacier system is restricted to its most fundamental dynamics, controlled by a handful of parameters describing the major characteristics of the system. The model has a generic structure, i.e., it is designed such that it applies to every Greenland outlet glacier. Some of its parameters are fixed by using the (little) available observational data - e.g. for Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and Jakobshavn Isbrae - other parameters may vary depending on location. It is not our aim to simulate every single small outlet glacier in its full accuracy; but we aim to represent, on average, important characteristics like ice discharge and general advance/retreat rate on a regional scale over major catchment areas. Aspects of the coupling strategy with the 3D ice-sheet model (SICOPOLIS) are discussed, e.g., critical issues such as the treatment of mass balance. Preliminary design and results will be presented.

  4. Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

    Glaciers are among the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth, as well as the least known and understood, for most of us. Michael Hambrey describes how glaciers grow and decay, move and influence human civilization. Currently covering a tenth of the Earth's surface, glacier ice has shaped the landscape over millions of years by scouring away rocks and transporting and depositing debris far from its source. Glacier meltwater drives turbines and irrigates deserts, and yields mineral-rich soils as well as a wealth of valuable sand and gravel. However, glaciers also threaten human property and life. Our future is indirectly connected with the fate of glaciers and their influence on global climate and sea level. Including over 200 stunning photographs, the book takes the reader from the High-Arctic through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand and South America to the Antarctic. Michael Hambrey is Director of the Centre for Glaciology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A past recipient of the Polar Medal, he was also given the Earth Science Editors' Outstanding Publication Award for the first edition of Glaciers (Cambridge, 1995). Hambrey is also the author of Glacial Environments (British Columbia, 1994). JÜrg Alean is Professor of Geography at the Kantonsschule ZÜrcher Unterland in BÜlach, Switzerland.

  5. A Mini-Surge on theRyder Glacier, Greenland Observed via Satelite Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, I.; Tulaczyk, S.; Fahnestock, M.; Kwok, R.

    1996-01-01

    A dramatic short term speed up of the Ryder glacier has been detected using satellite radar interferometry. The accelerated flow represents a substantial, though short-lived, change in the ice discharge from this basin. We believe that meltwater was involved in this event, either as an active participant, as meltwater-filled lakes on the surface of the glacier drained during the period of rapid motion.

  6. A High-Resolution Sensor Network for Monitoring Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, S.; Murray, T.; O'Farrell, T.; Rutt, I. C.; Loskot, P.; Martin, I.; Selmes, N.; Aspey, R.; James, T.; Bevan, S. L.; Baugé, T.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to ice flow/ice-berg calving are a major uncertainty affecting sea-level rise forecasts. Latterly GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have been employed extensively to monitor such glacier dynamics. Until recently however, the favoured methodology has been to deploy sensors onto the glacier surface, collect data for a period of time, then retrieve and download the sensors. This approach works well in less dynamic environments where the risk of sensor loss is low. In more extreme environments e.g. approaching the glacial calving front, the risk of sensor loss and hence data loss increases dramatically. In order to provide glaciologists with new insights into flow dynamics and calving processes we have developed a novel sensor network to increase the robustness of data capture. We present details of the technological requirements for an in-situ Zigbee wireless streaming network infrastructure supporting instantaneous data acquisition from high resolution GNSS sensors thereby increasing data capture robustness. The data obtained offers new opportunities to investigate the interdependence of mass flow, uplift, velocity and geometry and the network architecture has been specifically designed for deployment by helicopter close to the calving front to yield unprecedented detailed information. Following successful field trials of a pilot three node network during 2012, a larger 20 node network was deployed on the fast-flowing Helheim glacier, south-east Greenland over the summer months of 2013. The utilisation of dual wireless transceivers in each glacier node, multiple frequencies and four ';collector' stations located on the valley sides creates overlapping networks providing enhanced capacity, diversity and redundancy of data 'back-haul', even close to ';floor' RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) levels around -100 dBm. Data loss through radio packet collisions within sub-networks are avoided through the

  7. Meltwater pathways from marine terminating glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillard, Laura C.; Hu, Xianmin; Myers, Paul G.; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2016-10-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) stores the largest amount of freshwater in the Northern Hemisphere and has been recently losing mass at an increasing rate. An eddy-permitting ocean general circulation model is forced with realistic estimates of freshwater flux from the GrIS. Two approaches are used to track the meltwater and its trajectory in the ocean. We show that freshwater from western and eastern GrIS have markedly different fates, on a decadal time scale. Freshwater from west Greenland predominantly accumulates in Baffin Bay before being exported south down the Labrador shelf. Meanwhile, GrIS freshwater entering the interior of the Labrador Sea, where deep convection occurs, comes predominantly (˜80%) from east Greenland. Therefore, hosing experiments, which generally assume a uniform freshwater flux spatially, will not capture the true hydrographic response and regional impacts. In addition, narrow boundary currents are important for freshwater transport and distribution, requiring simulations with eddy-resolving resolution.

  8. Of Images, Archives, and Anonymity: Glacier Photographs from Louise Arner Boyd's East Greenland Expeditions, 1933, 1937, and 1938

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, F. E.; Peschel, S. M.; Hall, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Louise A. Boyd (1887-1972) was raised to wealth and privilege in San Raphael, CA. Her inherited fortune allowed unlimited travel, and in 1924 she arrived in Spitsbergen as a tourist. Infatuated by Arctic landscapes, Boyd resolved to return north in a more assertive role and ran three "preliminary" expeditions to Greenland, in 1926, 1928, and 1931. Boyd’s expeditions to East Greenland in 1933, 1937, and 1938 were predictive of the type of campaign that after WWII would characterize government-sponsored and international scientific efforts. “Planned as a unit,” these campaigns, sponsored by the American Geographical Society (AGS), were thoroughly integrated scientific expeditions incorporating glaciology, periglacial and glacial geomorphology, bedrock geology, botany, hydrography, topographic surveys, tides and currents, and magnetic observations within representative areas. The goal of the expeditions was to provide comprehensive characterization of the physical environment. The volumes resulting from this work contain many large-scale hydrographic and topographic maps, photomosaics, glacier maps, and chapters on the geology, glacial history, botany, and hydrology of the region. Boyd received extensive publicity for her Arctic expeditions, although much of it was concerned with the novelty of expeditions to remote locations being led by a woman. Boyd’s expeditions employed scientists who eventually became highly influential in their respective fields. Boyd employed, among others, the earth scientists J.H. Bretz, R.F. Flint, and A.L. Washburn. Other important personnel on these expeditions included AGS cartographer/surveyor O.M. Miller and his assistant, W.A. Wood, who employed novel ground-based photogrammetric techniques to construct a series of glacier maps at scales as large as 1:5000. The maps featured detailed error analyses, and are probably the first large-scale maps of known accuracy to be made of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s outlet glaciers. Boyd

  9. Calculating Freshwater Input from Iceberg Melt in Greenlandic Fjords by Combining In Situ Observations of Iceberg Movement with High Resolution Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulak, D. J.; Sutherland, D.; Stearns, L. A.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding fjord circulation in Greenland's outlet glacial fjords is crucial to explaining recent temporal and spatial variability in glacier dynamics, as well as freshwater transport on the continental shelf. The fjords are commonly assumed to exhibit a plume driven circulation that draws in warmer and saltier Atlantic-origin water toward the glacier at depth. Freshwater input at glacier termini directly drives this circulation and significantly influences water column stratification, which indirectly feeds back on the plume driven circulation. Previous work has focused on freshwater inputs from surface runoff and submarine melting, but the contribution from iceberg melt, a potentially important freshwater source, has not been quantified. Here, we develop a new technique combining in situ observations of movement from iceberg-mounted GPS units with multispectral satellite imagery from Landsat 8. The combination of datasets allows us to examine the details of iceberg movement and quantify mean residence times in a given fjord. We then use common melt rate parameterizations to estimate freshwater input for a given iceberg, utilizing novel satellite-derived iceberg distributions to scale up to a fjord-wide freshwater contribution. We apply this technique to Rink Isbræ and Kangerlussuup Sermia in west Greenland, and Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland. The analysis can be rapidly expanded to look at other systems as well as seasonal and interannual changes in how icebergs affect the circulation and stratification of Greenland's outlet glacial fjords. Ultimately, this work will lead to a more complete understanding of the wide range of factors that control the observed regional variability in Greenland's glaciers.

  10. A high-resolution lake sediment record of glacier activity from SE Greenland defines abrupt Holocene cooling events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balascio, N. L.; Bradley, R. S.; D'Andrea, W. J.

    2013-12-01

    Orbital driven changes in high latitude summer insolation during the Holocene are responsible for the primary millennial-scale climate trends in the Arctic. Following deglaciation, maximum summer temperatures generally occurred during the early to mid-Holocene and declined through the late Holocene. Superimposed on this gradual cooling trend are centennial- and decadal-scale intervals that indicate more rapid perturbations of the arctic climate system. Highly resolved sedimentary records from terrestrial and marine sites help to better characterize climate system dynamics during the Holocene and investigate forcing and feedback mechanism that operate on different timescales. Reconstructing glacial activity can provide valuable paleoclimate information about trends in summer temperature and/or winter precipitation. Proglacial lakes contain sediment archives of meltwater input from glaciers and typically have high sedimentation rates preserving detailed information on glacial activity. However, interpreting proglacial sedimentary records can be difficult because 1) there may be significant input of sediment from non-glacial sources, 2) there is often a lack of organic material for radiocarbon dating, and 3) not all glaciers are sensitive to rapid climatic changes. Here we present a c. 10 cal ka BP record of glacier activity from Kulusuk Lake (65.6°N, 37.1°W; 202 m a.s.l.), a proglacial lake in southeast Greenland that is well constrained by radiocarbon dates and shows a clear signal of changes in glacial input throughout the Holocene. Kulusuk Lake is presently fed by meltwater from two cirque glaciers. It has a small catchment and no other significant source of sediment input. A 3.5 m sediment core contains distinct lithologic changes defined by grain size, magnetic susceptibility, organic content, and scanning XRF data. During the early Holocene, an overall decrease in meltwater input from 8.7-7.7 ka indicates the retreat of the glaciers in response to regional

  11. Ice-Ocean Interactions to the North-West of Greenland: Glaciers, Straits, Ice Bridges, and the Rossby Radius (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muenchow, A.; Falkner, K. K.; Melling, H.; Johnson, H. L.; Huntley, H. S.; Ryan, P.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier at 81 N latitude is a major outlet glacier adjacent to Nares Strait. It terminates in a long (70 km), narrow (16 km) and thin (50 m) floating tongue and has a grounding line more than 500 m below sea level. A calving event in 2010 reduced the floating area by 25% and produced a single 240 km2 ice island currently moving south in Nares Strait where it will likely interact with island to potentially create a temporary polynya in Nares Strait. The 2010 calving from Petermann Glacier contributes <10% to its mass balance as more than 80% is lost due to basal melting by the ocean. Hence the largely unexplored physics at the ice-ocean interface determine how a changing climate impacts this outlet glacier. Conducting exploratory surveys inside Petermann Fjord in 2003, 2007, and 2009, we find a 1100 m deep fjord connected to Nares Strait via a sill at 350-450 m depth. The fjord receives about 3 times the amount of heat required for the basal melt rates. Furthermore, limited data and analytical modeling suggests a 3-dimensional circulation over the upper 300-m of the water column with a coastally trapped buoyant outflow. We integrate these findings with more complete oceanic time series data from an array moored in Nares Strait from 2003 through 2009 near 80.5 N. In the past Nares Strait and Petermann Fjord were covered by land fast sea ice during the 9-10 month long winter season. Archeological and remotely sensed records indicate that an ice bridge formed regularly at the southern end of Nares Strait creating the North-Water polynya near 79 N latitude. Since 2006 this ice bridge has largely failed to form, leading, perhaps, to the occasional formation of a secondary ice bridge 300 km to the north where Nares Strait connects to the Arctic Ocean. However, this ice bridge appears to form for shorter periods only. Consequently Arctic sea ice can now exit the Arctic in winter via pathways to the west of Greenland all year. We speculate that this changed ocean

  12. The North Water Polynya and Velocity, Calving Front and Mass Change in Surrounding Glaciers in Greenland and Canada Over the Last 30 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, L.

    2015-12-01

    Major uncertainties surround future estimates of sea level rise attributable to mass loss from Greenland and the surrounding ice caps in Canada. Understanding changes across these regions is vital as their glaciers have experienced dramatic changes in recent times. Attention has focused on the periphery of these regions where land ice meets the ocean and where ice acceleration, thinning and increased calving have been observed. Polynyas are areas of open water within sea ice which remain unfrozen for much of the year. They vary significantly in size (~3 km2 to > ~85,000 km2 in the Arctic), recurrence rates and duration. Despite their relatively small size, polynyas strongly impact regional oceanography and play a vital role in heat and moisture exchange between the polar oceans and atmosphere. Where polynyas are present adjacent to tidewater glaciers their influence on ocean circulation and water temperatures has the potential to play a major part in controlling subsurface ice melt rates by impacting on the water masses reaching the calving front. They also have the potential to influence air masses reaching nearby glaciers and ice caps by creating a maritime climate which may impact on the glaciers' accumulation and surface melt and hence their thickness and mass balance. Polynya presence and size also have implications for sea ice extent and therefore may influence the buttressing effect on neighbouring tidewater glaciers. The work presented uses remote sensing and mass balance model data to study changes in the North Water polynya (extent, ice concentration, duration) and neighbouring glaciers and ice caps (velocities, calving front positions and mass balance) in Canada and Greenland over a period of approximately 30 years from the mid-1980s through to 2015.

  13. Investigating the dynamics of deglaciation in coastal areas of southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Laurence M.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Murray, Tavi; Hiemstra, John F.; Rodés, Ángel

    2016-04-01

    passive areas appears to have occurred later than in the major fjord systems; this suggests that ice dynamic processes were a key driver of deglaciation in SE Greenland. References: Hughes, A. L. C.; Rainsley, E.; Murray, T.; Fogwill, C. J.; Schnabel, C., Xu, S., 2012. Rapid response of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, to early Holocene climate warming. Geology 40, 427-430.

  14. The kinematic response of Petermann Glacier, Greenland to ice shelf perturbation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Nick, F.; Luckman, A. J.; van de Wal, R.; Doyle, S. H.

    2010-12-01

    The acceleration and dynamic thinning of interior zones of the polar ice sheets due to outlet/ice shelf retreat has been identified as a factor hastening their demise and contribution to global sea-level rise. The detachment of a 275 square km area of the Petermann Glacier ice shelf in August, 2010 presents a natural experiment to investigate the timing, mechanisms and efficacy of upstream dynamic feedbacks resulting from a singular but potentially significant frontal perturbation. In 2009, a permanent geodetic/differential GPS strain network logging every 10 seconds was deployed along a 200 km longitudinal profile from the ice front across the grounding line extending into the interior of Petermann Glacier to characterize the system’s state before, during and after any such event. We present an overview of the geophysical measurements conducted and analyze the kinematics of the shelf detachment in relation to local environmental forcing. Finally, we discuss the postulated instantaneous and ongoing evolution in force-balance and concomitant dynamic response resulting from the perturbation along with its implications for Petermann's ongoing stability. Petermann Glacier GNSS base & telemetric GPS facility: community AA & rehab meet point. On ice geodetic-GPS station flat out & reading 0 Volts

  15. Assessing supraglacial water volume and the changing dynamics of the surface topography near the Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, John J.

    On the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), the effect of the melt season's changing supraglacial lakes on outlet glacier discharge is not well understood. It is known that many supraglacial lakes drain rapidly during each melt season. While there are conflicting theories of the significance of supraglacial lake drainages towards enhancing ice sheet flow, it is highly important to quantify the actual water volume of supraglacial lakes since their drainage via crevasses or moulins enables the injection of melt water directly into the GIS. The 2008 Arctic MUltiSensor Cryospheric Observation eXperiment (Arctic MUSCOX) was the first scientific Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) used in Greenland. The goal was determination of the changing volumes of supraglacial melt water lakes through the fusion of disparate data sets from in-situ, airborne, and satellite sensors. Near the Jakobshavn Isbrae region, four supraglacial lakes at different elevations along a transect at 68.73°N were monitored over the 2006, 2007, and 2008 melt seasons. The changing lake volumes are calculated for each day of usable MODIS imagery, employing DEM's from both ASTER Global and the MUSCOX lidar survey. During this three year period, no observed lake was larger in volume than 0.15km3, or larger in area than 10.4km2, implying a size limit for supraglacial lakes. In this study a new technique is developed calculating runoff using daily changing albedo and surface height measurements (dH) from the Greenland Climatic Network (GC-Net) Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) at locations JAR1 and JAR2. Runoff is calculated on a daily basis, both regionally and for a 1,183km 2 inset strip straddling the transect. At JAR1 the calculated linear runoff for 2006, 2007, and 2008 is 1.79m, 1.99m, and 1.96m, respectively; at JAR2 the calculated runoff is 2.11m, 2.86m, and 2.40m, respectively. Regional projections are made that account for future atmospheric temperature increases between 0.5°C and 3.0°C; they indicate up to a

  16. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 1. Borehole-based englacial and subglacial measurements from a rapidly-moving tidewater glacier: Store Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Doyle, Samuel; Christoffersen, Poul; Young, Tun Jan; Hofstede, Coen; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason; Todd, Joe; Bougamont, Marion

    2016-04-01

    As part of the Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE) pressurised hot water was used to drill four 603-616 m-long boreholes to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet at a site located 30 km from the calving front of fast-flowing, marine-terminating Store Glacier (70 degrees N, ~1000 m elevation). Four wired sensor strings were successfully installed in three of the boreholes. These included a thermistor string to obtain the englacial temperature profile installed in the same borehole as a string of tilt sensors to measure borehole deformation, and two sets of combined water pressure, electrical conductivity and turbidity sensors installed just above the bed in separate, adjacent boreholes. The boreholes made a strong hydrological connection to the bed during drilling, draining rapidly to ~80 m below the ice surface. The connection of subsequent boreholes was observed as a perturbation in water pressure and temperature recorded in neighbouring boreholes, indicating an effective hydrological connection between them. The sensors, which were wired to data-loggers at the surface, operated for between ~30 and >80 days from late summer into autumn before the cables stretched and snapped, with the lowermost sensors failing first. The records obtained from these sensors reveal (i) subglacial water pressures that were close to overburden but which generally increased through the period of measurement and varied diurnally by ~0.3 m, (ii) a minimum englacial temperature of -21 degrees C underlain by a zone of temperate ice, some tens of m thick, located immediately above the bed, and (iii) high rates of internal deformation and strain that increased towards the bed. These borehole observations are complemented by GPS measurements of ice motion, meteorological data, and seismic and radar surveys.

  17. Geomicrobiology of subglacial meltwater samples from Store Landgletscher and Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, K. A.; Dieser, M.; Choquette, K.; Christner, B. C.; Hagedorn, B.; Harrold, Z.; Liu, L.; Sletten, R. S.; Junge, K.

    2012-12-01

    The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet provides direct connections between atmospheric, supraglacial and subglacial environments. The intraglacial hydrological pathways that result are believed to accommodate the microbial colonization of subglacial environments; however, little is known about the abundance, diversity and activity of microorganisms within these niches. The Greenland Ice Sheet (1.7 million square kilometers) and its associated surpaglacial and subglacial ecosystems may contribute significantly to biogeochemical cycling processes. We analyzed subglacial microbial assemblages in subglacial outflows, near Thule and Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. The investigative approach included correlating microbial diversity, inferred function, abundance, melt water chemistry, O-18 water isotope ratios, alkalinity and sediment load. Using Illumina sequencing, bacterial small subunit ribosomal RNA hypervariable regions have been targeted and amplified from both extracted DNA and reverse transcribed rRNA. Over 3 billion sequence reads have been generated to create a comprehensive diversity profile. Total abundances ranged from 2.24E+04 to 1.58E+06 cells mL-1. In comparison, the total abundance of supraglacial early season snow samples ranged from 3.35E+02 to 2.8E+04 cells mL-1. 65 % of samples incubated with cyano ditoyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), used to identify actively respiring cells, contained CTC-positive cells. On average, these cells represented 1.9 % of the estimated total abundance (1.86E+02 to 2.19E+03 CTC positive cells mL-1; 1.39E+03 cells mL-1 standard deviation); comparative to those measured in temperate freshwater lakes. The overarching objective of our research is to provide data that indicates the role of microbial communities, associated with ice sheets, in elemental cycling and in the release of biomass and nutrients to the surrounding marine biome.

  18. Geophysical constraints on the controls for outlet-glacier velocity variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nettles, M.

    2012-12-01

    The surface of the solid Earth is not opaque to signals generated in its fluid envelope, including the cryosphere. Among the signals now routinely recorded on seismographs anchored to the solid Earth are long-period surface waves generated by glacial earthquakes occurring in Greenland and Antarctica. Interdisciplinary study utilizing seismological and space-based remote sensing along with geodetic data has identified the source mechanism that generates this seismic signal: discrete ice-loss events of cubic-km scale at the margins of large outlet glaciers generate surface waves comparable to those from M~5 tectonic earthquakes. By combining the seismological observations with geodetic, meteorological, and glaciological approaches, the study of glacial earthquakes also allows the identification of these large ice-loss events as a primary control on short-term velocity variability at marine-terminating outlet glaciers. An understanding of this signal allows assessment of flow variability driven by surface melt, and by tidal forcing, that would otherwise be obscured by the calving signal. Much remains unknown about how these controls operate in detail, however. We use a comprehensive dataset of glacier position and velocity estimates derived from high-rate, continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) observations to examine changes in the velocity and strain field across multiple ice-loss events at East Greenland's Helheim Glacier. While we find that increases in glacier flow speed and longitudinal strain rate reliably coincide with large-scale losses of grounded ice, the amplitude of the response and the time period over which it is sustained are variable. We use these variations to assess additional controls on the glacier response to ice loss, and compare the variations due to ice loss with those resulting from variable input of surface meltwater.

  19. Investigating the Cause of the 2012 Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland Using High Resolution Observations of the Glacier Terminus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassotto, R.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Boettcher, M. S.; Amundson, J. M.; Truffer, M.

    2014-12-01

    After decades of relative stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, a tidewater glacier in West Greenland, started to destabilize at the turn of the century. The glacier thinned, the perennial tongue disintegrated, velocities doubled, and the terminus retreated. The glacier evolved over the next several years as it showed large seasonal variations in speed and a progressive kilometer-scale retreat of its calving front. Then, during the 2012 summer, Jakobshavn set a new record when its speed increased to rates more than four times the 1990s values, and consequently became the fastest glacier recorded by satellite yet. A 2-week field study was conducted along the terminus at that time; ground portable radar interferometers (GPRI), time-lapse cameras, GPS, and a tide gauge were deployed to characterize glacier dynamics along the ice-ocean boundary. We use >10,000 interferograms recorded with the terrestrial interferometers to probe the cause of this acceleration. We observe a 33% increase in glacier speed and a 250% increase in the amplitude of response to tidal forcing during our study period. We explore how the location of the terminus along the reverse bed slope contributed to the observed speedup, and we compare our findings with the long-term record of satellite observations. Our data show that understanding tidewater glacier dynamics requires knowledge of short-term variations along glacier termini that is currently not available from satellites. This study provides insight into such short-term dynamics on spatial scales comparable to satellite InSAR but with temporal resolution similar to GPS.

  20. Phylogenetic analysis of anaerobic psychrophilic enrichment cultures obtained from a greenland glacier ice core

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheridan, Peter P.; Miteva, Vanya I.; Brenchley, Jean E.

    2003-01-01

    The examination of microorganisms in glacial ice cores allows the phylogenetic relationships of organisms frozen for thousands of years to be compared with those of current isolates. We developed a method for aseptically sampling a sediment-containing portion of a Greenland ice core that had remained at -9 degrees C for over 100,000 years. Epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry results showed that the ice sample contained over 6 x 10(7) cells/ml. Anaerobic enrichment cultures inoculated with melted ice were grown and maintained at -2 degrees C. Genomic DNA extracted from these enrichments was used for the PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes with bacterial and archaeal primers and the preparation of clone libraries. Approximately 60 bacterial inserts were screened by restriction endonuclease analysis and grouped into 27 unique restriction fragment length polymorphism types, and 24 representative sequences were compared phylogenetically. Diverse sequences representing major phylogenetic groups including alpha, beta, and gamma Proteobacteria as well as relatives of the Thermus, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, and Clostridium groups were found. Sixteen clone sequences were closely related to those from known organisms, with four possibly representing new species. Seven sequences may reflect new genera and were most closely related to sequences obtained only by PCR amplification. One sequence was over 12% distant from its closest relative and may represent a novel order or family. These results show that phylogenetically diverse microorganisms have remained viable within the Greenland ice core for at least 100,000 years.

  1. Phylogenetic Analysis of Anaerobic Psychrophilic Enrichment Cultures Obtained from a Greenland Glacier Ice Core

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Peter P.; Miteva, Vanya I.; Brenchley, Jean E.

    2003-01-01

    The examination of microorganisms in glacial ice cores allows the phylogenetic relationships of organisms frozen for thousands of years to be compared with those of current isolates. We developed a method for aseptically sampling a sediment-containing portion of a Greenland ice core that had remained at −9°C for over 100,000 years. Epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry results showed that the ice sample contained over 6 × 107 cells/ml. Anaerobic enrichment cultures inoculated with melted ice were grown and maintained at −2°C. Genomic DNA extracted from these enrichments was used for the PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes with bacterial and archaeal primers and the preparation of clone libraries. Approximately 60 bacterial inserts were screened by restriction endonuclease analysis and grouped into 27 unique restriction fragment length polymorphism types, and 24 representative sequences were compared phylogenetically. Diverse sequences representing major phylogenetic groups including alpha, beta, and gamma Proteobacteria as well as relatives of the Thermus, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, and Clostridium groups were found. Sixteen clone sequences were closely related to those from known organisms, with four possibly representing new species. Seven sequences may reflect new genera and were most closely related to sequences obtained only by PCR amplification. One sequence was over 12% distant from its closest relative and may represent a novel order or family. These results show that phylogenetically diverse microorganisms have remained viable within the Greenland ice core for at least 100,000 years. PMID:12676695

  2. Melt Undercutting and Calving from Tidewater Glaciers: Observations and Model Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D.; Cook, S.; Åström, J. A.; Luckman, A. J.; Zwinger, T.

    2014-12-01

    Dynamic models incorporating crevasse-depth calving laws have enjoyed considerable success in simulating observed behavior of tidewater glaciers. Such models are based on the assumption that longitudinal strain rates exert a first-order control on calving, and that penetration of surface and basal crevasses provides the ultimate constraint on glacier extent. However, 'second-order' processes such as melt undercutting may significantly amplify calving rates, initiating seasonal and longer-term glacier retreats. We present high temporal and spatial resolution TerraSAR-X data from Svalbard that indicate a strong annual cycle in calving rates, peaking in September-October coincident with maximum fjord temperatures. This pattern is consistent for all studied glaciers irrespective of glacier activity (fast, slow, surging or quiescent), and we conclude that in Svalbard calving is paced by melt-undercutting followed by mechanical destabilization of the ice tongue. Although parameterizations of melt undercutting are included in many models employing the crevasse-depth calving criterion, amplification of calving by melt undercutting (the 'O'Leary Effect') has not been rigorously analyzed or tested against observations. We take a novel approach to this problem, and couple the finite element model Elmer-Ice with a discrete particle model (DPM) to explore in detail the links between melt undercutting and failure of the ice tongue. Employing glacier front geometries representative of Kronebreen (Svalbard), Columbia Glacier (Alaska) and Helheim Glacier (Greenland), we use Elmer-Ice to simulate progressive undercutting of the ice front by melting. At selected time steps, the model geometry was exported into the DPM, and runs conducted to study fracturing and calving behavior using different values of the fracture stress. We quantify the O'Leary Effect for different geometries, and propose a modified calving law incorporating the effects of melt-undercutting. The results highlight

  3. Sub-glacier ocean properties and mass balance estimates of Petermann Gletscher's floating tongue in Northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, K.; Huff, R. D.; Cullen, N.; Rignot, E.; Bauder, A.

    2004-12-01

    Petermann Gletscher is the largest and most influential outlet glacier in central northern Greenland. Located at 81 N, 60 W, it drains an area of 71,580 km2, with a discharge of 12 cubic km of ice per year into the Arctic Ocean. We finished a third field season in spring 2004 collecting in situ data on local climate, ice velocity, ice thickness profiles and bottom melt rates of the floating ice tongue. In addition, water properties (salinity and temperature profiles) in large, channel-like bottom cavities beneath the floating ice tongue were measured. The melt rates in these "channels" are in excess of 10 m/y and probably responsible for most of the mass loss of the Petermann Gletscher. The ocean measurements will be discussed in comparison with other ocean-profile soundings in the region. The bottom topography of the floating ice tongue has been mapped for some regions using surface-based ground penetrating radar at 25 MHz frequency and NASA aircraft radar profiles. A new map showing these under-ice features will be presented. GPS tidal motion has been measured over one lunar cycle at the flex zone and on the free floating ice tongue. These results will be compared to historic measurements made at the beginning of last century. A "worm-like" sheer feature of 80 m in height and several km in length has been studied using differential GPS readings. The mean velocity of the floating tongue ice is 1.08 km/y in that region, whereas the ice along the margin has a 30%-reduced flow speed, resulting in this strange looking sheer feature. Finally, the mass balance of the floating ice tongue will be discussed based on in situ measurements, aircraft profiles, satellite data, and model approximations.

  4. Flying Low over Southeast Greenland

    NASA Video Gallery

    Few of us ever get to see Greenland's glaciers from 500 meters above the ice. But in this video — recorded on April 9,2013 in southeast Greenland using a cockpit camera installed and operated by ...

  5. Changing tidewater glacier extent and response to climate from Little Ice Age to present: observations and modelling of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia, SW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mair, D.; Lea, J. M.; Nick, F. M.; Rea, B. R.; Nienow, P. W.

    2013-12-01

    Records of Greenlandic tidewater glacier (TWG) change are primarily restricted to the period covered by satellite observation. This study extends the record of terminus change of the tidewater outlet glacier Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), SW Greenland to its Little Ice Age maximum (LIAmax). This is achieved using a combination of geomorphology, written observations, and historical and satellite imagery. We explore likely marine and atmospheric controls on terminus change by comparison with existing records of local air and ocean temperatures and, for earlier periods, by modelling glacier response to systematic changes in marine and oceanic forcings at the terminus. Results from the glacier reconstruction show that retreat began in the late 18th century, with the terminus retreating at least 12 km from its LIAmax by 1859. KNS then experienced a period of relative stability before advancing to its 20th century maximum by ~1920. Significant retreat occurred from 1921-1965, before periods of advance and retreat up until 1997. Subsequent to this, KNS has retreated by 2 km up to the end of the 2012 melt season. The LIAmax to present retreat of KNS totals 22.6 km. Comparison of terminus fluctuations to local air temperature (1866-present) and sea surface temperature (1870-present) anomalies demonstrate that air temperature exerts a significant modulating control on terminus stability for the duration of the record. A state-of-the-art 1-dimensional flow-band model driven by submarine melt (SM) and crevasse water depth (CWD; Nick et al, 2010) is capable of reconstructing observed terminus fluctuations during earlier periods for realistic values of SM using a range of CWD. This provides confidence that such models are capable of predicting TWG terminus variability over centennial timescales.

  6. Greenland Flow Dynamics: (De)coding Process Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alley, R. B.; Parizek, B. R.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Applegate, P. J.; Christianson, K. A.; Dixon, T. H.; Holland, D. M.; Holschuh, N.; Keller, K.; Koellner, S. J.; Lampkin, D. J.; Muto, A.; Nicholas, R.; Stevens, N. T.; Voytenko, D.; Walker, R. T.

    2015-12-01

    Extensive modeling informed by the growing body of observational data yields important insights to the controlling processes operating across a range of spatiotemporal scales that have influenced the dynamic variability of the Greenland ice sheet. Pressurized basal lubrication enhances ice flow. This lubricating water is largely produced by basal and/or surface melt. For the North East Greenland Ice Stream, elevated geothermal heat flux (GHF) near its onset helps initiate the streaming flow. We suggest that the elevated GHF is likely caused by melt production and migration due to cyclical loading of the lithosphere over glacial timescales. On sub-seasonal timescales, surface meltwater production and transmission to the subglacial environment can enhance flow for pressurized, distributed hydraulic systems and diminish regional sliding for lower-pressure, channelized systems. However, in a warming climate, this lubricating source occurs across an expanding ablation zone, possibly softening shear margins and triggering basal sliding over previously frozen areas. Yet, the existence of active englacial conduits can lead to a plumbing network that helps preserve ice tongues and limit the loss of important buttressing of outlet glacier flow. Ocean forcing has been implicated in the variability of outlet glacier speeds around the periphery of Greenland. The extent and timescale over which those marginal changes influence inland flow depends on the basal rheology that, on a local scale, also influences the concentration of englacial stresses. Detailed observations of a calving event on Helheim Glacier have helped constrain diagnostic simulations of the pre- and post-calving stress states conducted in hopes of informing improved calving relationships. Furthermore, warm-water-mass variability within Irminger/Atlantic Waters off Greenland may play an important role in the monthly modulation of outlet glacier flow speeds, as has been observed for an ice stream draining into

  7. Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microorganisms isolated from a deep greenland glacier ice core

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miteva, V. I.; Sheridan, P. P.; Brenchley, J. E.

    2004-01-01

    We studied a sample from the GISP 2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) ice core to determine the diversity and survival of microorganisms trapped in the ice at least 120,000 years ago. Previously, we examined the phylogenetic relationships among 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences in a clone library obtained by PCR amplification from genomic DNA extracted from anaerobic enrichments. Here we report the isolation of nearly 800 aerobic organisms that were grouped by morphology and amplified rDNA restriction analysis patterns to select isolates for further study. The phylogenetic analyses of 56 representative rDNA sequences showed that the isolates belonged to four major phylogenetic groups: the high-G+C gram-positives, low-G+C gram-positives, Proteobacteria, and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The most abundant and diverse isolates were within the high-G+C gram-positive cluster that had not been represented in the clone library. The Jukes-Cantor evolutionary distance matrix results suggested that at least 7 isolates represent new species within characterized genera and that 49 are different strains of known species. The isolates were further categorized based on the isolation conditions, temperature range for growth, enzyme activity, antibiotic resistance, presence of plasmids, and strain-specific genomic variations. A significant observation with implications for the development of novel and more effective cultivation methods was that preliminary incubation in anaerobic and aerobic liquid prior to plating on agar media greatly increased the recovery of CFU from the ice core sample.

  8. High resolution monitoring of a calving glacier using a wireless network of GNSS sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selmes, Nick; Aspey, Robin; Edwards, Stuart; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Martin, Ian; Moshin, Anas; Murray, Tavi; Nettles, Meredith; O'Farrell, Tim; Rigelsford, Jonathan; Rutt, Ian

    2013-04-01

    Calving glaciers have been identified as having a crucial role in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet, with acceleration and retreat of these glaciers resulting in major mass loss from the ice sheet interior, leading to a corresponding sea level rise. The ability to reproduce observed glacier behaviour in calving models is very desirable, but this is hindered by the difficulty of obtaining appropriate field measurements, combined with the complex interaction of the possible controls on iceberg calving. Our project brings together experts in glaciology, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology and processing, and wireless networking, to design, install and operate a wireless network of GNSS sensors at the margin of a heavily crevassed Greenland outlet glacier. The network will provide velocity and elevation data of unprecedented resolution in time and space for the key marginal area of the glacier, where recent changes in glacier dynamics appear to have initiated. These will be analysed in conjunction with contemporaneous auxiliary data, such as surface and airborne lidar measurements of surface topography, crevasse spacing and calving rates, to yield new insights into processes active at the margins of tidewater glaciers. Our major field campaign will be in summer 2013, with a network of approximately 20 GNSS sensors being deployed, and a suite of ancillary data being collected in tandem. In preparation, we deployed a small test network of three GNSS sensors along the Helheim Glacier flowline in summer 2012, and here we present results from these sensors as a demonstration of the detail we expect to obtain in our main field season. The deployment of our GNSS sensors in summer 2012 coincided with a large calving event. We have no direct observations of this event; however, 250-500 m of ice was lost from the northern half of the calving front during the period 22-24th July, inferred from MODIS imagery. This retreat coincided with a significant

  9. Spatial extent and temporal variability of Greenland firn aquifers detected by ground and airborne radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miège, Clément; Forster, Richard R.; Brucker, Ludovic; Koenig, Lora S.; Solomon, D. Kip; Paden, John D.; Box, Jason E.; Burgess, Evan W.; Miller, Julie Z.; McNerney, Laura; Brautigam, Noah; Fausto, Robert S.; Gogineni, Sivaprasad

    2016-12-01

    We document the existence of widespread firn aquifers in an elevation range of 1200-2000 m, in the high snow-accumulation regions of the Greenland ice sheet. We use NASA Operation IceBridge accumulation radar data from five campaigns (2010-2014) to estimate a firn-aquifer total extent of 21,900 km2. We investigate two locations in Southeast Greenland, where repeated radar profiles allow mapping of aquifer-extent and water table variations. In the upper part of Helheim Glacier the water table rises in spring following above-average summer melt, showing the direct firn-aquifer response to surface meltwater production changes. After spring 2012, a drainage of the firn-aquifer lower margin (5 km) is inferred from both 750 MHz accumulation radar and 195 MHz multicoherent radar depth sounder data. For 2011-2014, we use a ground-penetrating radar profile located at our Ridgeline field site and find a spatially stable aquifer with a water table fluctuating less than 2.5 m vertically. When combining radar data with surface topography, we find that the upper elevation edge of firn aquifers is located directly downstream of locally high surface slopes. Using a steady state 2-D groundwater flow model, water is simulated to flow laterally in an unconfined aquifer, topographically driven by ice sheet surface undulations until the water encounters crevasses. Simulations suggest that local flow cells form within the Helheim aquifer, allowing water to discharge in the firn at the steep-to-flat transitions of surface topography. Supported by visible imagery, we infer that water drains into crevasses, but its volume and rate remain unconstrained.

  10. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 2. High magnitude englacial strain detected with autonomous phase-sensitive FMCW radar on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Tun Jan; Christoffersen, Poul; Nicholls, Keith; Bun Lok, Lai; Doyle, Samuel; Hubbard, Bryn; Stewart, Craig; Hofstede, Coen; Bougamont, Marion; Todd, Joseph; Brennan, Paul; Hubbard, Alun

    2016-04-01

    Fast-flowing outlet glaciers terminating in the sea drain 90% of the Greenland Ice Sheet. It is well-known that these glaciers flow rapidly due to fast basal motion, but its contributing processes and mechanisms are, however, poorly understood. In particular, there is a paucity of data to quantify the extent to which basal sliding and internal ice deformation by viscous creep contribute to the fast motion of Greenland outlet glaciers. To study these processes, we installed a network of global positioning system (GPS) receivers around an autonomous phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (ApRES) capable of imaging internal reflectors and the glacier bed. The ApRES system, including antennas, were custom-designed to monitor and image ice sheets and ice shelves in monostatic and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) modes. Specifically, the system transmits a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) that increases linearly from 200 to 400 MHz over a period of 1 second. We installed this system 30 km up-flow of the tidewater terminus of Store Glacier, which flows into Uummannaq Fjord in West Greenland, and data were recorded every hour from 06 May to 16 July 2014 and every 4 hours from 26 July to 11 December 2014. The same site was used to instrument 600 m deep boreholes drilled to the bed as part of the SAFIRE research programme. With range and reflector distances captured at high temporal (hourly) and spatial (millimetre) resolutions, we obtained a unique, 6-month-long time series of strain through the vertical ice column at the drill site where tilt was independently recorded in a borehole. Our results show variable, but persistently high vertical strain. In the upper three-fourths of the ice column, we have calculated strain rates on the order of a few percent per year, and the strain regime curiously shifts from vertical thinning in winter to vertical thickening at the onset of summer melt. In the basal ice layer we observed high-magnitude vertical strain rates on

  11. Three-dimensional surface velocities of Storstrømmen glacier, Greenland, derived from radar interferometry and ice-sounding radar measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeh, Niels; Mohr, Johan Jacob; Nørvang Madsen, Søren; Oerter, Hans; Gundestrup, Niels S.

    Non-steady-state vertical velocities of up to 5 m a-1 exceed the vertical surface-parallel flow (SPF) components over much of the ablation area of Storstrømmen, a large outlet glacier from the East Greenland ice sheet. Neglecting a contribution to the vertical velocity of this magnitude results in substantial errors (up to 20%) also on the south-north component of horizontal velocities derived by satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) measurements. In many glacier environments, the steady-state vertical velocity component required to balance the annual ablation rate is 5-10m a-1 or more.This indicates that the SPFassumption may be problematic also for glaciers in steady state. Here we derive the three-dimensional surface velocity distribution of Storstrømmen by using the principle of mass conservation (MC) to combine InSAR measurements from ascending and descending satellite tracks with airborne ice-sounding radar measurement of ice thickness. The results are compared to InSAR velocities previously derived by using the SPF assumption, and to velocities obtained by in situ global positioning system (GPS) measurements. The velocities derived by using the MC principle are in better agreement with the GPS velocities than the previously calculated velocities derived with the SPFassumption.

  12. Reconstruction of past oceanographic variability in Southeast Greenland from marine sedimentary records: The influence from the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, M. J.; Andresen, C. S.; Seidenkrantz, M.-S.; Kuijpers, A.; Nørgaard-Pedersen, N.

    2012-04-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is one of the most significant water contributors to the rising global sea level, and therefore there are concerns about its long term stability. However, prediction of its contribution to global sea-level rise is complicated by lack of knowledge about mechanisms behind ice sheet change. In particular ice streams and their interaction with components of the atmospheric and oceanic climate system needs further investigation in order to make realistic models of future sea level rise. The SEDIMICE project ('Linking sediments with ice-sheet response and glacier retreat in Southeast Greenland') investigates past outlet glacier fluctuations in Southeast Greenland. The aim is to extend the knowledge from observational time series further back in time by analysing sediment cores retrieved from fjords by outlet glaciers and from the shelf. This presentation is based on results from a core retrieved near Sermilik Fjord by Helheim Glacier. The past 6000 years of Irminger water variability on the shelf has been reconstructed by analysing sediments from a side-bassin to the through connecting Sermilik fjord with the Irminger Sea. This reconstruction shows the Late-Holocene climate deterioration and is superimposed by a centennial-scale climate variability, which at times concurs with the climate records obtained for Northwest Europe. A wavelet analysis of the high-resolution K/Ti data (indicating grainsize variability) shows that the AMO (50-70 yr quasi-periodicity) recurrently controls Irminger water variability on the shelf. These results highlight the importance of adequate representation of regional climate modes in prognostic ice-sheet models.

  13. Modelling meltwater delivery to the ice-bed interface through full thickness fractures on outlet glaciers of the western Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clason, C.; Mair, D.; Nienow, P. W.

    2010-12-01

    Dynamic response to increased supraglacial meltwater generation and subsequent influx to the subglacial hydrological system is well documented in temperate glaciers. Meltwater-enhanced acceleration of ice surface velocities, or ‘spring events’, have also more recently been observed on polythermal glaciers and outlet glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). These high velocity events may be a response to increased basal lubrication and basal water pressures when meltwater reaches the subglacial system directly through moulins. Supraglacial meltwater can provide hydrostatic stresses adequate to offset closure due to the lithostatic stress of the ice when streams intersect and enter surface crevasses. A crevasse will continue to propagate through the full ice thickness provided the meltwater head within the crevasse remains sufficient, thereby allowing this flux of meltwater to be delivered to the ice-bed interface. A spatially distributed model for prediction of full ice thickness water-driven fracture and quantification of meltwater delivered to the bed has been produced. The model consists of three major components: the first sub-routine calculates surface tensile stresses from measured ice surface velocities and identifies areas likely to contain crevassing following the Von Mises failure criteria; the second is a degree day melt model and flow routing model run using measured meteorological inputs; the third sub-routine calculates crevasse penetration depths using an established linear elastic fracture mechanics model for propagation of water-filled fractures. The daily outputs of melt modelling weight routing of meltwater across the ice surface, and in turn determine the discharge into crevasses. This allows the supraglacial meltwater head, and thus fracture propagation speed, to vary daily within crevasse depth modelling. The temporal resolution of the model also allows the evolution of moulin formation through the ablation season to be captured. We

  14. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 2. Preliminary outcomes from hot-water drilling and borehole instrumentation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, Samuel; Hubbard, Bryn; Christoffersen, Poul; Young, Tun Jan; Hofstede, Coen; Todd, Joe; Bougamont, Marion; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-04-01

    As part of the SAFIRE research programme, pressurised hot water was used to drill four 603-616 m-long boreholes to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet at a site located 30 km from the calving front of marine-terminating Store Glacier (70° N, ~1000 m elevation). Despite the boreholes freezing within hours, 4 wired sensor strings were successfully deployed in three of the boreholes. These included a thermistor string to obtain the englacial temperature profile installed in the same borehole as a string of tilt sensors to measure borehole deformation, and two sets of water pressure, electrical conductivity and turbidity sensors installed just above the bed in separate, adjacent boreholes. The boreholes made a strong hydrological connection to the bed during drilling, draining rapidly to ~80 m below the ice surface. The connection of subsequent boreholes was observed as a perturbation in water pressure and temperature recorded in neighbouring boreholes, indicating an effective hydrological sub- or en-glacial connection between them. The short (week long) records obtained from these sensors in summer 2014 tentatively reveal (i) water pressure varying diurnally close to overburden albeit of a small magnitude (~0.3 m H2O), (ii) a minimum extrapolated englacial temperature of -21° C, (iii) and thermistors in the lowest 10 m of the borehole recorded temperatures above the pressure melting point indicating the presence of water. Data loggers were left running and longer records should become available in the near future. Differential drilling and instrument installation depths together with observations of discrete, diurnal turbidity events provisionally suggest the presence of sediment at the bed. These preliminary borehole observations will be complemented by GPS measurements of ice motion, meteorological data, and seismic and radar surveys to be undertaken over the next two years.

  15. Greenland's Biggest Losers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Box, J. E.; Hubbard, A.; Howat, I. M.; Csatho, B. M.; Decker, D. T.; Bates, R.; Tulaczyk, S. M.

    2010-12-01

    On 4 August, 2010, 275 square km of the front of the floating Petermann Glacier, far northwest Greenland, broke away. The glacier effectively retreated 15 km. Petermann has retreated 21 km since year 2000. Consulting available imagery, publications, and maps spanning the past century, we conclude that this is a retreat to a minimum extent in the observational record. This glacier is not the only ice are loser in Greenland. GRACE observations verify the concern of increased mass budget deficit. Retreat is ongoing at the 110 km wide Humboldt glacier and at the 23 km wide Zachariae ice stream. Humboldt, Zachariae, and Petermann (16 km wide) are among a handful of large marine-terminating outlets that have bedrock trenches that lead inland below sea level to the thick, interior reservoir of the ice sheet. Sleeping giants are awakening. Our area change survey of the 35 widest Greenland outlets indicates an annual marine-terminating glacier area loss rate in excess of 130 sq km per year. Here, we evaluate in this context the mechanisms for marine-terminating glacier retreat, dynamical responses to calving, and the apparent climate forcings. The work thus consults a suite of data sets, including: long-term meteorological station records; satellite-derived sea and land surface temperatures; satellite-derived sea ice extent; regional climate model output; oceanographic casts; time lapse cameras, surface elevation change, and tidal records. Cumulative area change at Greenland’s glacier top 5 “losers”. 2010 areas are measured ~1 month prior to the end of summer melt when the survey usually is made . We do not expect 2010 area changes to be much different using the future data. If anything, we expect the losses to be larger. Click here for a full resolution graphic.

  16. Seasonal and interannual evolution of Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland from a 2008-2015 high-res DEM and velocity time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shean, D. E.; Joughin, I.; Smith, B.; Floricioiu, D.

    2015-12-01

    Greenland's large marine-terminating outlet glaciers have displayed marked retreat, speedup, and thinning in recent decades. Jakobshavn Isbrae, one of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, has retreated ~15 km, accelerated ~150%, and thinned ~200 m since the early 1990s. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of high-resolution elevation (~2-5 m/px) and velocity (~100 m/px) time series with dense temporal coverage (daily-monthly). The Jakobshavn DEM time series consists of >70 WorldView-1/2/3 stereo DEMs and >11 TanDEM-X DEMs spanning 2008-2015. Complementary point elevation data from Operation IceBridge (ATM, LVIS), pre-IceBridge ATM flights, and ICESat-1 GLAS extend the surface elevation record to 1999 and provide essential absolute control data, enabling sub-meter horizontal/vertical accuracy for gridded DEMs. Velocity data are primarily derived from TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X image pairs with 11-day interval from 2009-2015. These elevation and velocity data capture outlet glacier evolution with unprecedented detail during the post-ICESat era. The lower trunk of Jakobshavn displays significant seasonal velocity variations, with recent rates of ~8 km/yr during winter and >17 km/yr during summer. DEM data show corresponding seasonal elevation changes of -30 to -45 m in summer and +15 to +20 m in winter, with decreasing magnitude upstream. Seasonal discharge varies from ~30-35 Gt/yr in winter to ~45-55 Gt/yr in summer, and we integrate these measurements for improved long-term mass-balance estimates. Recent interannual trends show increased discharge, velocity, and thinning (-15 to -20 m/yr), which is consistent with long-term altimetry records. The DEM time series also reveal new details about calving front and mélange evolution during the seasonal cycle. Similar time series are available for Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim Glaciers. These observations are improving our understanding of outlet glacier dynamics, while complementing ongoing efforts to constrain estimates

  17. The Glaciers of HARMONIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Gleeson, Emily; Pagh Nielsen, Kristian

    2016-04-01

    Developed by the large ALADIN-HIRLAM consortium, the numerical weather prediction (NWP) model system HARMONIE is run by a large number of national weather services and research institutions in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for weather forecasting. It is now being adopted for climate research purposes as a limited area model in a form known as HCLIM. It is currently run for a number of domains, mostly in Europe but also including Greenland, at a very high resolution (~2.5 km). HARMONIE is a convection permitting non-hydrostatic model that includes the multi-purpose SURFEX surface model. By improving the characterization of glacier surfaces within SURFEX we show that weather forecast errors over both the Greenland ice sheet and over Icelandic glaciers can be significantly reduced. The improvements also facilitate increasingly accurate ice melt and runoff computations, which are important both for ice surface mass balance estimations and hydropower forecasting. These improvements will also benefit the operational HARMONIE domains that cover the Svalbard archipelago, the Alps and the Scandinavian mountain glaciers. Future uses of HCLIM for these regions, where accurately characterizing glacial terrain will be crucial for climate and glaciological applications, are also expected to benefit from this improvement. Here, we report the first results with a new glacier surface scheme in the HARMONIE model, validated with observations from the PROMICE network of automatic weather stations in Greenland. The scheme upgrades the existing surface energy balance over glaciers by including a new albedo parameterization for bare glacier ice and appropriate coefficients for calculating the turbulent fluxes. In addition the snow scheme from the SURFEX land surface module has been upgraded to allow the retention and refreezing of meltwater in the snowpack. These changes allow us to estimate surface mass balance over glaciers at a range of model resolutions that can take full

  18. Brief communication "The aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2013-03-01

    The PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses is the first high resolution dataset documenting the mid-1980s areal extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and all the local glaciers and ice caps. The total glacierized area excluding nunataks was 1 804 638 km2 ± 2178 km2, of which 88 083 ± 1240 km2 belonged to local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) substantially independent from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This new result of GIC glacierized area is higher than most previous estimates, 81% greater than Weng's (1995) measurements, but is in line with contemporary findings based on independent data sources. A comparison between our map and the recently released Rastner et al. (2012) inventory and GIMP (Greenland Ice Mapping Project) Ice-Cover Mask (Howat and Negrete, 2013) shows potential for change-assessment studies.

  19. Temporal and spatial variability of the Greenland firn aquifer revealed by ground and airborne radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miège, C.; Forster, R. R.; Koenig, L.; Brucker, L.; Box, J. E.; Burgess, E. W.; Solomon, D. K.

    2014-12-01

    During the last two decades, the Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass, significantly contributing to sea level rise (0.33±0.08 mm yr-1). In the meantime, summer surface melt has been increasing in both duration and extent, and subsequent runoff represents about half of the total mass lost. However, small-scale heterogeneous physical processes and residence times associated with meltwater formation, infiltration in the firn, refreezing and/or runoff remain unconstrained in coarser resolution numerical models, leading to significant error bars while estimating total runoff. In Southeast and South Greenland, widespread aquifers have been observed in relative high accumulation and melt regions, persisting throughout the year, storing a significant mass of water within the firn. The presence of a persistent water table within the firn aquifer is observed using a 400 MHz ground-penetrating radar and the 750 MHz airborne Accumulation Radar over the same location. In both radar echograms, a strong reflection is present, illustrating the important dielectric contrast between dry firn and water-saturated firn. Since 2011, NASA's Operation IceBridge mission allows us to produce an ice-sheet-wide map of the location and depth of the firn aquifer using the Accumulation Radar echograms. Over the last four years, from one spring to the next, repeated flight lines demonstrate a relatively steady short-term behavior of water in the aquifer with constant lateral boundaries (with a few exceptions) and water table surface. An earlier radar survey (1993) implies the aquifer presence by lack of bed return, but the study area was limited to the Helheim Glacier region. Within the aquifer, a relatively slow flow of water is inferred from 2-D hydrological flow modeling, while assuming a constant hydraulic conductivity in the aquifer. On the aquifer low-elevation lateral boundary, connection with crevasses are observed in the airborne radar echograms and documented in this study. More

  20. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    SciTech Connect

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-05-09

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier front, because basal melting is extensive at the underside of the floating glacier sections. The results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise. 24 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Changes in the velocity structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Rignot, Eric; Kanagaratnam, Pannir

    2006-02-17

    Using satellite radar interferometry observations of Greenland, we detected widespread glacier acceleration below 66 degrees north between 1996 and 2000, which rapidly expanded to 70 degrees north in 2005. Accelerated ice discharge in the west and particularly in the east doubled the ice sheet mass deficit in the last decade from 90 to 220 cubic kilometers per year. As more glaciers accelerate farther north, the contribution of Greenland to sea-level rise will continue to increase.

  2. Bibliography of glacier studies by the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, E.F.

    1996-01-01

    Reports on glaciers written by U.S. Geological Survey members between 1896 and early 1996 are listed. The reports contain information about glacier and had at least one USGS author or was dependent on USGS data or projects. Extensive glacier studies have been done by the USGS in North America, Greenland, Iceland, as well as in Antarctica.

  3. Investigating the Greenland ice sheet evolution under changing climate using a three-dimensional full-Stokes model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2010-12-01

    A three-dimensional, thermo-mechanically coupled model is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. The model implements the full-Stokes equations for the ice dynamics, and the system is solved with the finite-element method (FEM) using the open source multi-physics package Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/elmer/). The finite-element mesh for the computational domain has been created using the Greenland surface and bedrock DEM data with a spatial resolution of 5 km (SeaRise community effort, based on Bamber and others, 2001). The study is particularly aimed at better understanding the ice dynamics near the major Greenland ice streams. The meshing procedure starts with the bedrock footprint where a mesh with triangle elements and a resolution of 5 km is constructed. Since the resulting mesh is unnecessarily dense in areas with slow ice dynamics, an anisotropic mesh adaptation procedure has been introduced. Using the measured surface velocities to evaluate the Hessian matrix of the velocities, a metric tensor is computed at the mesh vertices in order to define the adaptation scheme. The resulting meshed footprint obtained with the automatic tool YAMS shows a high density of elements in the vicinities of the North-East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), the Jakobshavn ice stream (JIS) and the Kangerdlugssuaq (KL) and Helheim (HH) glaciers. On the other hand, elements with a coarser resolution are generated away from the ice streams and domain margins. The final three-dimensional mesh is obtained by extruding the 2D footprint with 21 vertical layers, so that the resulting mesh contains 400860 wedge elements and 233583 nodes. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations involves direct and iterative solvers depending on the simulation case, and both methods are coupled with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface uses the present-day mean annual air temperature given by a parameterization or directly from the

  4. Hinge-line Migration of Petermann Gletscher, North Greenland, Detected Using Satellite Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1998-01-01

    The synthetic-aperture radar interferometry technique is used to detect the migration of the limit of tidal flexing, or hinge line, of the floating ice tongue of Petermann Gletscher, a major outlet glacier of north Greenland.

  5. Mass-balance characteristics of arctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, Roger J.

    A survey of available mass-balance data shows that glaciers on arctic islands, i.e. mountain glaciers and ice caps in northern Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and the Eurasian islands, share mass-balance characteristics of low annual amplitude and small interannual variability. By contrast, glaciers around the Arctic (e.g. in Alaska, Iceland, mainland Scandinavia and northern Eurasia) can have exceptionally large annual amplitude and interannual variability but otherwise share characteristics with glaciers in lower latitudes. The arctic island glaciers occur in areas with low annual precipitation and high annual temperature variability, i.e. in dry-cold or continental regions. Most glaciers surrounding the Arctic (Alaska, Iceland and Scandinavia) occur in areas with high annual precipitation and low annual temperature variability, i.e. in wet-warm or maritime regions. Earlier mass-balance modelling showed that arctic island glaciers have low sensitivity to temperature changes consistent with their low mass-balance amplitude. However, very large changes in mass balance could occur on arctic island glaciers if the sea ice surrounding the arctic islands were reduced so that the climate of the arctic islands becomes more maritime.

  6. Laser altimetry reveals complex pattern of Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics.

    PubMed

    Csatho, Beata M; Schenk, Anton F; van der Veen, Cornelis J; Babonis, Gregory; Duncan, Kyle; Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Simonsen, Sebastian B; Nagarajan, Sudhagar; van Angelen, Jan H

    2014-12-30

    We present a new record of ice thickness change, reconstructed at nearly 100,000 sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from laser altimetry measurements spanning the period 1993-2012, partitioned into changes due to surface mass balance (SMB) and ice dynamics. We estimate a mean annual GrIS mass loss of 243 ± 18 Gt ⋅ y(-1), equivalent to 0.68 mm ⋅ y(-1) sea level rise (SLR) for 2003-2009. Dynamic thinning contributed 48%, with the largest rates occurring in 2004-2006, followed by a gradual decrease balanced by accelerating SMB loss. The spatial pattern of dynamic mass loss changed over this time as dynamic thinning rapidly decreased in southeast Greenland but slowly increased in the southwest, north, and northeast regions. Most outlet glaciers have been thinning during the last two decades, interrupted by episodes of decreasing thinning or even thickening. Dynamics of the major outlet glaciers dominated the mass loss from larger drainage basins, and simultaneous changes over distances up to 500 km are detected, indicating climate control. However, the intricate spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic thickness change suggests that, regardless of the forcing responsible for initial glacier acceleration and thinning, the response of individual glaciers is modulated by local conditions. Recent projections of dynamic contributions from the entire GrIS to SLR have been based on the extrapolation of four major outlet glaciers. Considering the observed complexity, we question how well these four glaciers represent all of Greenland's outlet glaciers.

  7. Warm Oceans, Fast Glaciers: the connections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truffer, M.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Amundson, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Over the last decade many outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet have accelerated and thinned, and in a number of cases their termini have retreated. There is much in common from glacier to glacier that emerges as these changes are studied, yet the actual physical mechanisms remain unclear. One can show that the spatial patterns and timing of outlet glacier changes around Greenland coincide with changes in sea surface temperature and length of the sea-ice-free season in the surrounding ocean, and that large glacier changes appear to initiate within one to a few years of shifts in these conditions. While ocean warming has a direct impact on rates of melting at the glacier ice/ocean interface, its impact on ice flow is less direct. The spatial and temporal coincidence between changing ocean conditions and speedup is compelling, but the causal link between warmer ocean water and rapid responses from outlet glaciers around Greenland is more complex. Observations of rapid calving retreats, the appearance of calving-related long-period seismicity at some large glaciers undergoing change, and the loss of floating ice tongues all suggest that the direct impact of ocean-driven change is on the stability of the lowest reach of these tidewater outlets. In glaciers with a floating tongue, enhanced basal melt may be destabilizing by thinning the tongue to below its structural integrity; at grounded termini this effect is lacking. However, rapid melt at the near-vertical face can play a significant role for slowly flowing systems. For large grounded glaciers with terminus flow rates of meters per day, the impact of increased melt in summer would seem less important. At such glaciers the link between ocean temperatures, sea ice cover and terminus stability manifests itself by the cessation of calving in fall and winter, which leads to terminus advance and the formation of a floating tongue. The loss of sea ice cover in early spring leads to a disintegration of the seasonal

  8. The Greenland Ice Mapping Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, I.; Smith, B.; Howat, I. M.; Moon, T. A.; Scambos, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous glaciers in Greenland have sped up rapidly and unpredictably during the first part of the 21st Century. We started the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) to produce time series of ice velocity for Greenland's major outlet glaciers. We are also producing image time series to document the advance and retreat of glacier calving fronts and other changes in ice-sheet geometry (e.g., shrinking ice caps and ice shelves). When the project began, there was no digital elevation model (DEM) with sufficient accuracy and resolution to terrain-correct the SAR-derived products. Thus, we also produced the 30-m GIMP DEM, which, aside from improving our processing, is an important product in its own right. Although GIMP focuses on time series, complete spatial coverage for initializing ice sheet models also is important. There are insufficient data, however, to map the full ice sheet in any year. There is good RADARSAT coverage for many years in the north, but the C-band data decorrelate too quickly to measure velocity in the high accumulation regions of the southeast. For such regions, ALOS data usually correlate well, but speckle-tracking estimates at L-band are subject to large ionospheric artifacts. Interferometric phase data are far less sensitive to the effect of the ionosphere, but velocity estimates require results from crossing orbits. Thus, to produce a nearly complete mosaic we used data from multiple sensors, beginning with ERS-1/2 data from the mid 1990s. By using a primarily phase-only solution for much of the interior, we have reduced the velocity errors to ~1-3 m/yr. For the faster moving ice-sheet margin where phase data cannot be unwrapped, we used speckle-tracking data. In particular, we have relied on TerraSAR-X for many fast-moving glaciers because the ionosphere far less affects X-band data. This pan-Greenland velocity map as well as many of the time series would not have been possible without an extensive archive of data collected using six

  9. Regional Observations of Alaska Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, E. W.; Forster, R. R.; Hall, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Alaska glaciers contribute more to sea level rise than any other glacierized mountain region in the world. Alaska is loosing ~84 Gt of ice annually, which accounts for ~0.23 mm/yr of SLR (Luthcke et al., 2008). Complex glacier flow dynamics, frequently related to tidewater environments, is the primary cause of such rapid mass loss (Larsen et al., 2007). Indirect observations indicate these complex flow dynamics occur on many glaciers throughout Alaska, but no comprehensive velocity measurements exist. We are working to measure glacier surface velocities throughout Alaska using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offset tracking. This work focuses on the Seward/Malaspina, Bering, Columbia, Kaskawulsh, and Hubbard Glaciers and uses a MODIS land surface temperature "melt-day" product (Hall et al., 2006, 2008) to identify potential links between velocity variability and summertime temperature fluctuations. Hall, D., R. Williams Jr., K. Casey, N. DiGirolamo, and Z. Wan (2006), Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance, Geophysical Research Letters, 33(11). Hall, D., J. Box, K. Casey, S. Hook, C. Shuman, and K. Steffen (2008), Comparison of satellite-derived and in-situ observations of ice and snow surface temperatures over Greenland, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112(10), 3739-3749. Larsen, C. F., R. J. Motyka, A. A. Arendt, K. A. Echelmeyer, and P. E. Geissler (2007), Glacier changes in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia and contribution to sea level rise, J. Geophys. Res. Luthcke, S., A. Arendt, D. Rowlands, J. McCarthy, and C. Larsen (2008), Recent glacier mass changes in the Gulf of Alaska region from GRACE mascon solutions, Journal of Glaciology, 54(188), 767-777.

  10. Large Fluctuations in Speed on Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, Ian; Abdalati, Waleed; Fahnestock, Mark

    2003-01-01

    We have assembled an 18-year velocity record for Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland. From a 1985 speed of approx. 7000 m/yr, the glacier had slowed by approx. 1000 m/ yr in 1992, which coincided with independently observed thickening in the early 1990s . The glacier then sped up by approx. 4000 m/yr between 1997 and 2000, during which time other measurements show rapid thinning . From 2000 to 2003, the glacier s floating ice tongue almost entirely disintegrated, as speed increased to 12,600 m/yr. If the retreat of the ice tongue caused the acceleration, then similar losses of floating ice tongues since the Little Ice Age may explain the current rapid thinning observed for many of Greenland s outlet glaciers.

  11. Greenland's Coast in Holiday Colors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Vibrant reds, emerald greens, brilliant whites, and pastel blues adorn this view of the area surrounding the Jakobshavn Glacier on the western coast of Greenland. The image is a false-color (near-infrared, green, blue) view acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer's nadir camera. The brightness of vegetation in the near-infrared contributes to the reddish hues; glacial silt gives rise to the green color of the water; and blue-colored melt ponds are visible in the bright white ice. A scattering of small icebergs in Disco Bay adds a touch of glittery sparkle to the scene.

    The large island in the upper left is called Qeqertarsuaq. To the east of this island, and just above image center, is the outlet of the fast-flowing Jakobshavn (or Ilulissat) glacier. Jakobshavn is considered to have the highest iceberg production of all Greenland glaciers and is a major drainage outlet for a large portion of the western side of the ice sheet. Icebergs released from the glacier drift slowly with the ocean currents and pose hazards for shipping along the coast.

    The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer views the daylit Earth continuously and the entire globe between 82 degrees north and 82 degrees south latitude is observed every 9 days. These data products were generated from a portion of the imagery acquired on June 18, 2003 during Terra orbit 18615. The image cover an area of about 254 kilometers x 210 kilometers, and use data from blocks 34 to 35 within World Reference System-2 path 10.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  12. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements at Mittivakkat Gletscher, Southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clement Yde, Jacob; Løland, Ronny; Ruud, Henry; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Riger-Kusk, Mette; de Villiers, Simon; Tvis Knudsen, N.; Malmros, Jeppe K.

    2014-05-01

    Here, we present ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements conducted on the surface of Mittivakkat Gletscher in Southeast Greenland (the only long-term mass balance observed glacier in Greenland) and estimate the change in ice volume over an 18 year period. Between a previous direct volume survey in 1994 and the new GPR survey in 2012, the glacier has changed its volume from 2.02 ± 0.10 to 1.50 ± 0.08 km3 while the study area has decreased from 17.6 to 15.8 km2. These results are in accordance with the cumulative mass loss observed by long-term mass balance measurements (1995/1996 - 2011/2012) at Mittivakkat Gletscher and confirms that the glacier is in severe climatic disequilibrium (AAR = 0.17). The observed volume-area scaling exponent γ and coefficient c are outside the range of global scaling parameters, but are sensitive to small uncertainties. As Mittivakkat Gletscher is generally considered as representative of glaciers in Southeast Greenland, these findings could indicate that a regional volume-area scaling approach would provide a more accurate total glacier volume estimate for Greenland than using parameters given by global scaling relationships.

  13. Glacier Contributions to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, A. S.; Cogley, J. G.; Moholdt, G.; Wouters, B.; Wiese, D. N.

    2015-12-01

    Global mean sea level is rising in response to two primary factors: warming oceans and diminishing glaciers and ice sheets. If melted completely, glaciers would raise sea levels by half a meter, much less than that the 80 meters or so that would result from total melt of the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. That is why glacier contributions to sea level rise have been less studied, allowing estimates of to vary widely. Glacier contributions to sea level change are challenging to quantify as they are broadly distributed, located in remote and poorly accessible high latitude and high altitude regions, and ground observations are sparse. Advances in satellite altimetry (ICESat) and gravimetry (GRACE) have helped, but they also have their own challenges and limitations. Here we present an updated (2003-2014) synthesis of multiple techniques adapted for varying regions to show that rates of glacier loss change little between the 2003-2009 and 2003-2014 periods, accounting for roughly one third of global mean sea level rise. Over the next century and beyond glaciers are expected to continue to contribute substantial volumes of water to the world's oceans, motivating continued study of how glaciers respond to climate change that will improve projections of future sea levels.

  14. Nuuk, Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Nuuk (or Gadthab) is the capital and largest city of Greenland. It is located at the mouth of the Nuup Kangerlua inlet on the west coast of Greenland. It has a population of about 15,000. The site has a long history of different inhabitation: first by the Inuit people around 2000 B.C., later by Viking explorers in the 10th century. Inuit and Vikings lived together for about 500 years until about 1500, when human habitation suddenly stopped, most likely due to change in climate and vegetation.

    The image was acquired August 2, 2004, covers an area of 22.7 x 26 km, and is located at 64.2 degrees north latitude, 51.8 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  15. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... are visible in the bright white ice. A scattering of small icebergs in Disco Bay adds a touch of glittery sparkle to the scene. The ... for a large portion of the western side of the ice sheet. Icebergs released from the glacier drift slowly with the ocean currents and ...

  16. Glacier microseismicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Michael E.; Larsen, Christopher F.; Truffer, Martin; O'Neel, Shad; LeBlanc, Laura

    2010-01-01

    We present a framework for interpreting small glacier seismic events based on data collected near the center of Bering Glacier, Alaska, in spring 2007. We find extremely high microseismicity rates (as many as tens of events per minute) occurring largely within a few kilometers of the receivers. A high-frequency class of seismicity is distinguished by dominant frequencies of 20–35 Hz and impulsive arrivals. A low-frequency class has dominant frequencies of 6–15 Hz, emergent onsets, and longer, more monotonic codas. A bimodal distribution of 160,000 seismic events over two months demonstrates that the classes represent two distinct populations. This is further supported by the presence of hybrid waveforms that contain elements of both event types. The high-low-hybrid paradigm is well established in volcano seismology and is demonstrated by a comparison to earthquakes from Augustine Volcano. We build on these parallels to suggest that fluid-induced resonance is likely responsible for the low-frequency glacier events and that the hybrid glacier events may be caused by the rush of water into newly opening pathways.

  17. Associations between accelerated glacier mass wastage and increased summer temperature in coastal regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyurgerov, M.; McCabe, G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Low-elevation glaciers in coastal regions of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, individual ice caps around the Greenland ice sheet, and the Patagonia Ice Fields have an aggregate glacier area of about 332 ?? 103 km 2 and account for approximately 42% of all the glacier area outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. They have shown volume loss, especially since the end of the 1980s, increasing from about 45% in the 1960s to nearly 67% in 2003 of the total wastage from all glaciers on Earth outside those two largest ice sheets. Thus, a disproportionally large contribution of coastal glacier ablation to sea level rise is evident. We examine cumulative standardized departures (1961-2000 reference period) of glacier mass balances and air temperature data in these four coastal regions. Analyses indicate a strong association between increases in glacier volume losses and summer air temperature at regional and global scales. Increases in glacier volume losses in the coastal regions also coincide with an accelerated rate of ice discharge from outlet glaciers draining the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. These processes imply further increases in sea level rise. ?? 2006 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  18. North Greenland's Ice Shelves and Ocean Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muenchow, A.; Schauer, U.; Padman, L.; Melling, H.; Fricker, H. A.

    2014-12-01

    Rapid disintegration of ice shelves (the floating extensions of marine-terminating glaciers) can lead to increasing ice discharge, thinning upstream ice sheets, rising sea level. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica, and Jacobshavn Isbrae, Greenland, provide prominent examples of these processes which evolve at decadal time scales. We here focus on three glacier systems north of 78 N in Greenland, each of which discharges more than 10 Gt per year of ice and had an extensive ice shelf a decade ago; Petermann Gletscher (PG), Niogshalvfjerdsfjorden (79N), and Zachariae Isstrom (ZI). We summarize and discuss direct observations of ocean and glacier properties for these systems as they have evolved in the northwest (PG) and northeast (79N and ZI) of Greenland over the last two decades. We use a combination of modern and historical snapshots of ocean temperature and salinity (PG, 79N, ZI), moored observations in Nares Strait (PG), and snapshots of temperature and velocity fields on the broad continental shelf off northeast Greenland (79N, ZI) collected between 1993 and 2014. Ocean warming adjacent to PG has been small relative to the ocean warming adjacent to 79N and ZI; however, ZI lost its entire ice shelf during the last decade while 79N, less than 70 km to the north of ZI, remained stable. In contrast, PG has thinned by about 10 m/y just prior to shedding two ice islands representing almost half its ice shelf area or a fifth by volume. At PG advective ice flux divergence explains about half of the dominantly basal melting while response to non-steady external forcing explains the other half. The observations at PG,79N, and ZI suggest that remotely sensed ambient surface ocean temperatures are poor proxies to explain ice shelf thinning and retreat. We posit that local dynamics of the subsurface ocean heat flux matters most. Ocean heat must first be delivered over the sill into the fjord and then within the ice shelf cavity to the base of the shelf near the grounding line

  19. Alpine Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 27 August 2003

    This image shows part of the western flank of Arsia Mons, the southernmost of the three great Tharsis Montes. The surface shows parallel ridges more reminiscent of a Zen garden than any typical geological feature. These ridges are not typical of lava flow fronts, so a different explanation has been proposed by Mars scientists. These ridges may instead be ancient signs of previously existing glaciers that formed high on the volcano's flank. As glaciers retreat with the seasons and shifting climate, they leave behind a mound of debris along their receding edge. Successive retreats can produce a series of parallel ridges similar to those seen here.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -6.9, Longitude 230.5 East (129.5 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  20. GLACIER SLIDING,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The theory of the sliding of glaciers presented in earlier papers has been generalized (1) by taking into account the resistance to sliding offered...bed at the downstream side of an obstacle. The sliding velocities and controlling obstacle sizes which are found from the generalized theory are...magnitude smaller in thickness than the height of the controlling obstacles can cause an appreciable increase in the sliding velocity. The generalized

  1. Investigating role of ice-ocean interaction on glacier dynamic: Results from numerical modeling applied to Petermann Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F. M.; van der Veen, C. J.; Vieli, A.; Pattyn, F.; Hubbard, A.; Box, J. E.

    2010-12-01

    Calving of icebergs and bottom melting from ice shelves accounts for roughly half the ice transferred from the Greenland Ice Sheet into the surrounding ocean, and virtually all of the ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Petermann Glacier (north Greenland) with its ~17 km wide and ~ 60 km long floating ice-shelf is experiencing high rates of bottom melting. The recent partial disintegration of its shelf (in August 2010) presents a natural experiment to investigate the dynamic response of the ice sheet to its shelf retreat. We apply a numerical ice flow model using a physically-based calving criterion based on crevasse depth to investigate the contribution of processes such as shelf disintegration, bottom melting, sea ice or sikkusak disintegration and surface run off to the mass balance of Petermann Glacier and assess its stability. Our modeling study provides insights into the role of ice-ocean interaction, and on response of Petermann Glacier to its recent massive ice loss.

  2. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wendy

    I will describe works from a collaboration between physics and glaciology that grew out of interactions at the Computations in Science seminar Leo Kadanoff organized at the University of Chicago. The first project considers the interaction between ocean waves and Antarctic ice shelves, large floating portions of ice formed by glacial outflows. Back-of-envelop calculation and seismic sensor data suggest that crevasses may be distributed within an ice shelf to shield it from wave energy. We also examine numerical scenarios in which changes in environmental forcing causes the ice shelf to fail catastrophically. The second project investigates the aftermath of iceberg calving off glacier terminus in Greenland using data recorded via time-lapse camera and terrestrial radar. Our observations indicate that the mélange of icebergs within the fjord experiences widespread jamming during a calving event and therefore is always close to being in a jammed state during periods of terminus quiescence. Joint work with Jason Amundson, Ivo R. Peters, Julian Freed Brown, Nicholas Guttenberg, Justin C Burton, L. Mac Cathles, Ryan Cassotto, Mark Fahnestock, Kristopher Darnell, Martin Truffer, Dorian S. Abbot and Douglas MacAyeal. Kadanoff Session DCMP.

  3. Regional projections of glacier volume and runoff in response to twenty-first century climate scenarios (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radic, V.; Bliss, A. K.; Hock, R.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in mass contained by mountain glaciers and ice caps can modify the Earth's hydrological cycle on multiple scales. On a global scale, the mass loss from glaciers contributes to sea level rise. On regional and local scales, glacier melt-water is an important contributor to and modulator of river flow. In this study we use an elevation-dependent glacier mass balance model to project annual volume changes and monthly runoff from all mountain glaciers and ice caps in the world (excluding those in the Antarctic periphery) for the 21st century forced by temperature and precipitation scenarios from 14 global climate models. The largest contributors to projected total volume loss are the glaciers in the Canadian and Russian Arctic, Alaska and glaciers peripheral to Greenland ice sheet. Although small contributors to global volume loss, glaciers in Central Europe, low-latitude South America, Caucasus, North Asia, and Western Canada and US are projected to lose more than 75% of their volume by 2100. The magnitude and sign of trends in annual runoff totals differ considerably among regions depending on the balance between enhanced melt and the reduction of the glacier reservoir by glacier retreat and shrinkage. Most regions show strong declines in glacier runoff indicating that the effect of glacier shrinkage is more dominant than increased melting rates. Some high-latitude regions (Arctic Canada North, Russian Arctic and Greenland) exhibit increases in runoff totals. Iceland and Svalbard show an increase in runoff followed by a multi-decadal decrease in annual runoff.

  4. First Younger Dryas moraines in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funder, Svend; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Linge, Henriette; Möller, Per; Schomacker, Anders; Fabel, Derek; Kjær, Kurt H.; Xu, Sheng

    2016-04-01

    Over the Greenland ice sheet the Younger Dryas (YD) cold climate oscillation (12.9-11.7 kaBP) began with up to 10°C drop in temperatures and ended with up to 12°C abrupt warming. In the light of the present warming and melting of the ice sheet, and its importance for future climate change, the ice sheet's response to these dramatic changes in the past is of great interest. However, even though much effort has gone into charting YD ice margin behaviour around Greenland in recent years, no clear-cut signal of response to the oscillation has been uncovered. Here we show evidence to suggest that three major outlets from a local ice cap at Greenland's north coast advanced and retreated synchronously during YD. The evidence comprises OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dates from a marine transgression of the coastal valleys that preceded the advance, and exposure ages from boulders on the moraines, formed by glaciers that overrode the marine sediment. The OSL ages suggest a maximum age of 12.4 ±0.6 kaBP for the marine incursion, and 10 exposure ages on boulders from the three moraines provide an average minimum age of 12.5 ±0.7 kaBP for the moraines, implying that the moraines were formed within the interval 11.8-13.0 kaBP. Elsewhere in Greenland evidence for readvance has been recorded in two areas. Most notably, in the East Greenland fjord zone outlet glaciers over a stretch of 800 km coast advanced through the fjords. In Scoresby Sund, where the moraines form a wide belt, an extensive 14C and exposure dating programme has shown that the readvance here probably culminated before YD, while cessation of moraine formation and rapid retreat from the moraine belt did not commence until c. 11.5 kaBP, but no moraines have so far been dated to YD. Readvance is also seen in Disko Bugt, the largest ice sheet outlet in West Greenland. However, here the advance and retreat of the ice stream took place in mid YD times, and lasted only a few hundred years, while YD in

  5. New constraints on the deglaciation chronology of the southeastern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Larsen, N. K.; Kjaer, K. H.; Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Funder, S.; Kelly, M. A.; Howley, J. A.; Zimmerman, S. R. H.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is responding rapidly to climate change. Marine terminating outlet glaciers that drain the GrIS have responded especially sensitively to present-day climate change by accelerating, thinning and retreating. In southeastern Greenland several outlet glaciers are undergoing rapid changes in mass balance and ice dynamics. To improve our understanding of the future, long-term response of these marine-terminating outlet glaciers to climate change, we focus on the response of three outlet glaciers to climate change since the Last Glacial Maximum. The timing and rates of late-glacial and early Holocene deglaciation of the southeastern sector of the GrIS are relatively unconstrained due to the inaccessibility of the region. Using a helicopter and a sailboat, we collected samples for 10Be surface exposure dating from three fjords in southeastern Greenland: Skjoldungen (63.4N), Uvtorsiutit (62.7N), and Lindenow (60.6N). These fjords drain marine terminating glaciers of the GrIS. Here we present 18 new 10Be ages from ~50 km long transects along these fjords that mark the timing of deglaciation from the outer coast inland to the present-day GrIS margin. Together with previously constrained deglaciation chronologies from Bernstorffs, Sermilik, and Kangerdlussuaq fjords in southeastern Greenland, these new chronologies offer insight into the late-glacial and early Holocene dynamics of the southeastern GrIS outlet glaciers. We compare the timing and rate of deglaciation in southeastern Greenland to climate records from the region to examine the mechanisms that drove deglaciation during late-glacial and early Holocene time. These new 10Be ages provide a longer-term perspective of marine terminating outlet glacier fluctuations in southeastern Greenland and can be used to model the ice sheet's response to late-glacial and early Holocene climate changes.

  6. Greenland Expeditions by Alfred Wegener - A photographic window to past

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitner, M.; Tschürtz, S.; Kirchengast, G.; Kranzelbinder, H.; Prügger, B.; Krause, R. A.; Kalliokoski, M.; Thórhallsdóttir, E.

    2012-04-01

    On several expeditions to Greenland, Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) took pictures on glass plates from landscapes and glaciers, the expedition equipment, the people and animals taking part on the expeditions as well as physical phenomena as dust storm, clouds or spherical light phenomena. Chronologically the plates show the Danmark Expedition 1906-1908, the crossing of Greenland expedition with stop in Iceland 1912-1913, and the German Greenland Expedition 1929-1930. Until the tragic end of the expedition in 1930, Wegener was professor at the University of Graz, and such a stock of about 300 glass plates stayed there. The aim of our work is to digitize all plates for further studies. We present a first selection of Wegener's Greenland expedition pictures. For those made at Iceland in 1912 we will present a comparison of the past with pictures from the same viewing point made in 2011.

  7. Towards a complete World Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemp, Michael

    2013-04-01

    scale. A first globally and almost complete map with (generalized) digital outlines of all ice covered regions (incl. Greenland but excluding Antarctica) was derived from ESRI's Digital Chart of the World (DCW) and other sources by Raup and colleagues in 2000. Most recently, Arendt and colleagues produced the Randolph dataset which combines available outlines from the GLIMS, DCW, and WGI datasets as well as from many other (often unpublished) sources by using the highest quality version in each region. However, while having the advantage of being almost complete, these global estimates lack time stamps and attributes for individual glaciers. The present work provides a brief review of the various efforts, its methodological differences, and findings towards the completion of a World Glacier Inventory.

  8. Principles of Glacier Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, Edwin D.

    Glaciers are awesome in size and move at a majestic pace, and they frequently occupy spectacular mountainous terrain. Naturally, many Earth scientists are attracted to glaciers. Some of us are even fortunate enough to make a career of studying glacier flow. Many others work on the large, flat polar ice sheets where there is no scenery. As a leader of one of the foremost research projects now studying the flow of mountain glaciers (Storglaciaren, Norway), Roger Hooke is well qualified to describe the principles of glacier mechanics. Principles of Glacier Mechanics is written for upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students with an interest in glaciers and the landforms that glaciers produce. While most of the examples in the text are drawn from valley glacier studies, much of the material is also relevant to “glacier flatland” on the polar ice sheets.

  9. South Cascade Glacier bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Fountain, A.G.; Fulk, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    South Cascade Glacier, in Washington State, resides in a well-defined basin with mainly unglacierized divides making it ideal for most glaciological and hydrological studies. This bibliography is divided into three cateogories: (1) studies done about South Cascade Glacier specifically; (2) studies that use data from South Cascade Glacier but do not focus on or give insight to the glacier itself; and (3) instrumentation studies and non-glacier projects including snow studies done in the basin. (ACR)

  10. Simulations of the Greenland ice sheet 100 years into the future with the full Stokes model Elmer/Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2011-12-01

    The full Stokes thermo-mechanically coupled model Elmer/Ice is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Elmer/Ice employs the finite element method to solve the full Stokes equations, the temperature evolution equation and the evolution equation of the free surface. The general framework of this modeling effort is a contribution to the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) assessment project, a community-organized effort to estimate the likely range of ice sheet contributions to sea level rise over the next few hundred years (http://tinyurl.com/srise-lanl, http://tinyurl.com/srise-umt). The present geometry (surface and basal topographies) is derived from data where the basal topography was created with the preservation of the troughs at the Jakobshavn Ice Stream, Helheim, Kangerdlussuaq and Petermann glaciers. A mesh of the computational domain is created using an initial footprint which contains elements of 5 km horizontal resolution and to limit the number elements on the footprint while maximizing the spatial resolution, an anisotropic mesh adaptation scheme is employed based on the Hessian matrix of the observed surface velocities. The adaptation is carried out with the tool YAMS and the final footprint is vertically extruded to form a 3D mesh of 320880 elements with 17 equidistant, terrain-following layers. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations employs direct solvers with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface uses the present-day mean annual air temperature given by a parameterization or directly from the available data, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is given by data and the lateral sides are open boundaries. A non-linear Weertman law is used for the basal sliding. Results for the SeaRISE 2011 sensitivity experiments are presented so that six different experiments have been conducted, grouped in two sets. The Set C (three experiments) applies a change to

  11. Resolving bathymetry from airborne gravity along Greenland fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boghosian, Alexandra; Tinto, Kirsty; Cochran, James R.; Porter, David; Elieff, Stefan; Burton, Bethany L.; Bell, Robin E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent glacier mass loss in Greenland has been attributed to encroaching warming waters, but knowledge of fjord bathymetry is required to investigate this mechanism. The bathymetry in many Greenland fjords is unmapped and difficult to measure. From 2010 to 2012, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Operation IceBridge collected a unique set of airborne gravity, magnetic, radar, and lidar data along the major outlet glaciers and fjords in Greenland. We applied a consistent technique using the IceBridge gravity data to create 90 bathymetric profiles along 54 Greenland fjords. We also used this technique to recover subice topography where warm or crevassed ice prevents the radar system from imaging the bed. Here we discuss our methodology, basic assumptions and error analysis. We present the new bathymetry data and discuss observations in six major regions of Greenland covered by IceBridge. The gravity models provide a total of 1950 line kilometers of bathymetry, 875 line kilometers of subice topography, and 12 new grounding line depths.

  12. Resolving bathymetry from airborne gravity along Greenland fjords

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boghosian, Alexandra; Tinto, Kirsty; Cochran, James R.; Porter, David; Elieff, Stefan; Burton, Bethany; Bell, Robin E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent glacier mass loss in Greenland has been attributed to encroaching warming waters, but knowledge of fjord bathymetry is required to investigate this mechanism. The bathymetry in many Greenland fjords is unmapped and difficult to measure. From 2010 to 2012, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Operation IceBridge collected a unique set of airborne gravity, magnetic, radar, and lidar data along the major outlet glaciers and fjords in Greenland. We applied a consistent technique using the IceBridge gravity data to create 90 bathymetric profiles along 54 Greenland fjords. We also used this technique to recover subice topography where warm or crevassed ice prevents the radar system from imaging the bed. Here we discuss our methodology, basic assumptions and error analysis. We present the new bathymetry data and discuss observations in six major regions of Greenland covered by IceBridge. The gravity models provide a total of 1950 line kilometers of bathymetry, 875 line kilometers of subice topography, and 12 new grounding line depths.

  13. Contribution of small glaciers to global sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    Observed long-term changes in glacier volume and hydrometeorological mass balance models yield data on the transfer of water from glaciers, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica, to the oceans, The average observed volume change for the period 1900 to 1961 is scaled to a global average by use of the seasonal amplitude of the mass balance. These data are used to calibrate the models to estimate the changing contribution of glaciers to sea level for the period 1884 to 1975. Although the error band is large, these glaciers appear to accountfor a third to half of observed rise in sea level, approximately that fraction not explained by thermal expansion of the ocean.

  14. Glaciers of North America - Glaciers of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    Glaciers cover about 75,000 km2 of Alaska, about 5 percent of the State. The glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges, 1 large island, an island chain, and 1 archipelago and range in elevation from more than 6,000 m to below sea level. Alaska's glaciers extend geographically from the far southeast at lat 55 deg 19'N., long 130 deg 05'W., about 100 kilometers east of Ketchikan, to the far southwest at Kiska Island at lat 52 deg 05'N., long 177 deg 35'E., in the Aleutian Islands, and as far north as lat 69 deg 20'N., long 143 deg 45'W., in the Brooks Range. During the 'Little Ice Age', Alaska's glaciers expanded significantly. The total area and volume of glaciers in Alaska continue to decrease, as they have been doing since the 18th century. Of the 153 1:250,000-scale topographic maps that cover the State of Alaska, 63 sheets show glaciers. Although the number of extant glaciers has never been systematically counted and is thus unknown, the total probably is greater than 100,000. Only about 600 glaciers (about 1 percent) have been officially named by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). There are about 60 active and former tidewater glaciers in Alaska. Within the glacierized mountain ranges of southeastern Alaska and western Canada, 205 glaciers (75 percent in Alaska) have a history of surging. In the same region, at least 53 present and 7 former large ice-dammed lakes have produced jokulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods). Ice-capped volcanoes on mainland Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands have a potential for jokulhlaups caused by subglacier volcanic and geothermal activity. Because of the size of the area covered by glaciers and the lack of large-scale maps of the glacierized areas, satellite imagery and other satellite remote-sensing data are the only practical means of monitoring regional changes in the area and volume of Alaska's glaciers in response to short- and long-term changes in the maritime and continental climates of the State. A review of the

  15. Glaciers of South America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1998-01-01

    Landsat images, together with maps and aerial photographs, have been used to produce glacier inventories, define glacier locations, and study glacier dynamics in the countries of South America, along with the Andes Mountains. In Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia, the small glaciers have been undergoing extensive glacier recession since the late 1800's. Glacier-related hazards (outburst floods, mud flows, and debris avalanches) occur in Colombia, in Ecuador, and associated with the more extensive (2,600 km2) glaciers of Peru. The largest area of glacier ice is found in Argentina and Chile, including the northern Patagonian ice field (about 4,200 km2) and the southern Patagonian ice field (about 13,000 km2), the largest glacier in the Southern Hemisphere outside Antarctica.

  16. Glaciers of Europe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

    ALPS: AUSTRIAN: An overview is provided on the occurrence of the glaciers in the Eastern Alps of Austria and on the climatic conditions in this area, Historical documents on the glaciers have been available since the Middle Ages. Special glaciological observations and topographic surveys of individual glaciers were initiated as early as 1846. Recent data in an inventory based on aerial photographs taken in 1969 show 925 glaciers in the Austrian Alps with a total area of 542 square kilometers. Present research topics include studies of mass and energy balance, relations of glaciers and climate, physical glaciology, a complete inventory of the glaciers, and testing of remote sensing methods. The location of the glacier areas is shown on Landsat multispectral scanner images; the improved capabilities of the Landsat thematic mapper are illustrated with an example from the Oztaler Alpen group. ALPS: SWISS: According to a glacier inventory published in 1976, which is based on aerial photography of 1973, there are 1,828 glacier units in the Swiss Alps that cover a total area of 1fl42 square kilometers. The Rhonegletscher, currently the ninth largest in the country, was one of the first to be studied in detail. Its surface has been surveyed repeatedly; velocity profiles were measured, and the fluctuations of its terminus were mapped and recorded from 1874 to 1914. Recent research on the glacier has included climatological, hydrological, and massbalance studies. Glaciological research has been conducted on various other glaciers in Switzerland concerning glacier hydrology, glacier hazards, fluctuations of glacier termini, ice mechanics, ice cores, and mass balance. Good maps are available showing the extent of glaciers from the latter decades of the 19th century. More recently, the entire country has been mapped at scales of 1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:100,000, 1:200,000, and 1:500,000. The 1:25,000-scale series very accurately represents the glaciers as well as locates

  17. Updating the results of glacier contribution to the sea level change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Abdalati, Waleed Dr. (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    I have completed an update of global glacier volume change. All data of glacier annual mass balances, surface area over the period 1945/46 till 2004, outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were included in this update. As the result global glacier volume change have been calculated, also in terms of glacier contribution to sea level change. These results were sent to Working Group 1 and 2 of IPCC-4 as the basis for modeling of sea level towards the end of 2100. In this study I have concentrated on studying glacier systems of different scales, from primary (e.g. Devon ice cap) to regional (e.g. Canadian Arctic), continental scale (e,g., entire Arctic), and global (e.g., change in glacier volume and contribution to sea level rise).

  18. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change — equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  19. Airborne Geophysics and Remote Sensing Applied to Study Greenland Ice Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Csatho, Beata M.

    2003-01-01

    Overview of project: we combined and jointly analysed geophysical, remote sensing and glaciological data for investigating the temporal changes in ice flow and the role of geologic control on glacial drainage. The project included two different studies, the investigation of recent changes of the Kangerlussuaq glacier and the study of geologic control of ice flow in NW Greenland, around the Humboldt, Petermann and Ryder glaciers.

  20. Tidal Flexure, Ice Velocities, and Ablation Rates of Peterman Gletscher, Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1996-01-01

    Over the floating section of a tide-water glacier, single radar intererograms are difficult to use because the long-term steady motion of the ice is intermixed with the tidal vertical motion of the glacier. With multiple interferograms, it is however possible to isolate the tidal signal and remove it from the single interferograms to estimate the ice velocities. The technique is applied to ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of Petermann Gletscher, north Greenland.

  1. Glacier calving, dynamics, and sea-level rise. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, M.F.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Amadei, B.

    1998-08-01

    The present-day calving flux from Greenland and Antarctica is poorly known, and this accounts for a significant portion of the uncertainty in the current mass balance of these ice sheets. Similarly, the lack of knowledge about the role of calving in glacier dynamics constitutes a major uncertainty in predicting the response of glaciers and ice sheets to changes in climate and thus sea level. Another fundamental problem has to do with incomplete knowledge of glacier areas and volumes, needed for analyses of sea-level change due to changing climate. The authors proposed to develop an improved ability to predict the future contributions of glaciers to sea level by combining work from four research areas: remote sensing observations of calving activity and iceberg flux, numerical modeling of glacier dynamics, theoretical analysis of the calving process, and numerical techniques for modeling flow with large deformations and fracture. These four areas have never been combined into a single research effort on this subject; in particular, calving dynamics have never before been included explicitly in a model of glacier dynamics. A crucial issue that they proposed to address was the general question of how calving dynamics and glacier flow dynamics interact.

  2. Laser altimetry reveals complex pattern of Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Csatho, Beata M.; Schenk, Anton F.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.; Babonis, Gregory; Duncan, Kyle; Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Nagarajan, Sudhagar; van Angelen, Jan H.

    2014-01-01

    We present a new record of ice thickness change, reconstructed at nearly 100,000 sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) from laser altimetry measurements spanning the period 1993–2012, partitioned into changes due to surface mass balance (SMB) and ice dynamics. We estimate a mean annual GrIS mass loss of 243 ± 18 Gt⋅y−1, equivalent to 0.68 mm⋅y−1 sea level rise (SLR) for 2003–2009. Dynamic thinning contributed 48%, with the largest rates occurring in 2004–2006, followed by a gradual decrease balanced by accelerating SMB loss. The spatial pattern of dynamic mass loss changed over this time as dynamic thinning rapidly decreased in southeast Greenland but slowly increased in the southwest, north, and northeast regions. Most outlet glaciers have been thinning during the last two decades, interrupted by episodes of decreasing thinning or even thickening. Dynamics of the major outlet glaciers dominated the mass loss from larger drainage basins, and simultaneous changes over distances up to 500 km are detected, indicating climate control. However, the intricate spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic thickness change suggests that, regardless of the forcing responsible for initial glacier acceleration and thinning, the response of individual glaciers is modulated by local conditions. Recent projections of dynamic contributions from the entire GrIS to SLR have been based on the extrapolation of four major outlet glaciers. Considering the observed complexity, we question how well these four glaciers represent all of Greenland’s outlet glaciers. PMID:25512537

  3. Role of ice-ocean interaction on glacier instability: Results from numerical modelling applied to Petermann Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, Faezeh M.; Hubbard, Alun; van der Veen, Kees; Vieli, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    Calving of icebergs and bottom melting from ice shelves accounts for roughly half the ice transferred from the Greenland Ice Sheet into the surrounding ocean, and virtually all of the ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Petermann Glacier (north Greenland) with its 16 km wide and 80 km long floating tongue, experiences massive bottom melting. We apply a numerical ice flow model using a physically-based calving criterion based on crevasse depth to investigate the contribution of processes such as bottom melting, sea ice or sikkusak disintegration, surface run off and iceberg calving to the mass balance and instability of Petermann Glacier and its ice shelf. Our modelling study provides insights into the role of ice-ocean interaction, and on how to incorporate calving in ice sheet models, improving our ability to predict future ice sheet change.

  4. Role of ice-ocean interaction on glacier instability: Results from numerical modeling applied to Petermann Glacier (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F.; Hubbard, A.; Vieli, A.; van der Veen, C. J.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Luckman, A. J.

    2009-12-01

    Calving of icebergs and bottom melting from ice shelves accounts for roughly half the ice transferred from the Greenland Ice Sheet into the surrounding ocean, and virtually all of the ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Petermann Glacier (north Greenland) with its 16 km wide and 80 km long floating tongue, experiences massive bottom melting. We apply a numerical ice flow model using a physically-based calving criterion based on crevasse depth to investigate the contribution of processes such as bottom melting, sea ice or sikkusak disintegration, surface run off and iceberg calving to the mass balance and instability of Petermann Glacier and its ice shelf. Our modeling study provides insights into the role of ice-ocean interaction, and on how to incorporate calving in ice sheet models, improving our ability to predict future ice sheet change.

  5. Use of Glacial Fronts by Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laidre, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial fronts in Greenland are known to be important summer habitat for narwhals (Monodon monoceros), as freshwater runoff and sediment discharge may aggregate prey at the terminus. We investigated the importance of glacial habitat characteristics in determining narwhal visitation. Narwhals (n=18) were instrumented with satellite transmitters in September 1993-1994 and 2006-2007 in Melville Bay, West Greenland. Daily narwhal locations were interpolated using a correlated random walk based on observed filtered locations and associated positional error. We also compiled a database on physical features of 41 glaciers along the northwest Greenland coast. This covered the entire coastal region with narwhal activity. Parameters included glacier ice velocity (km/yr) from radar satellite data, glacier front advance and retreat, and glacier width (km) at the ice-ocean interface derived using front position data digitized from 20-100m resolution radar image mosaics and Landsat imagery. We also quantified relative volumes and extent of glacial ice discharge, thickness of the glacial ice at the terminus (m), and water depth at the terminus (m) from gravity and airborne radar data, sediment flux from satellite-based analysis, and freshwater runoff from a regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2.3). We quantified whale visits to glaciers at three distances (5, 7, and 10 km) and conducted proximity analyses on annual and monthly time steps. We estimated 1) narwhal presence or absence, 2) the number of 24 h periods spent at glaciers, and 3) the fraction of study animals that visited each glacier. The use of glacial habitat by narwhals expanded to the north and south between the 1990s (n=9 unique glaciers visited) and the 2000s (n=30 visited), likely due to loss of summer fast ice and later fall freeze-up trends (3.5 weeks later since 1979). We used a generalized linear mixed effects framework to quantify the glacier and fjord habitat characteristics preferred by narwhals.

  6. Spatial variation in energy exchange across coastal environments in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, M.; Abermann, J.; Citterio, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Larsen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Sørensen, L. L.; van As, D.

    2015-12-01

    The surface energy partitioning in Arctic terrestrial and marine areas is a crucial process, regulating snow, glacier ice and sea ice melt, and permafrost thaw, as well as modulating Earth's climate on both local, regional, and eventually, global scales. The Arctic region has warmed approximately twice as much as the global average, due to a number of feedback mechanisms related to energy partitioning, most importantly the snow and ice-albedo feedback. However, direct measurements of surface energy budgets in the Arctic are scarce, especially for the cold and dark winter period and over transects going from the ice sheet and glaciers to the sea. This study aims to describe annual cycles of the surface energy budget from various surface types in Arctic Greenland; e.g. glacier, snow, wet and dry tundra and sea ice, based on data from a number of measurement locations across coastal Greenland related to the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program, including Station Nord/Kronprins Christians Land, Zackenberg/Daneborg, Disko, Qaanaq, Nuuk/Kobbefjord and Upernaviarsuk. Based on the available time series, we will analyze the sensitivity of the energy balance partitioning to variations in meteorological conditions (temperature, cloudiness, precipitation). Such analysis would allow for a quantification of the spatial variation in the energy exchange in aforementioned Arctic environments. Furthermore, this study will identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps in Arctic energy budgets and related climate feedback effects.

  7. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  8. Glacier response to North Atlantic climate variability during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balascio, N. L.; D'Andrea, W. J.; Bradley, R. S.

    2015-12-01

    Small glaciers and ice caps respond rapidly to climate variations, and records of their past extent provide information on the natural envelope of past climate variability. Millennial-scale trends in Holocene glacier size are well documented and correspond with changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. However, there is only sparse and fragmentary evidence for higher-frequency variations in glacier size because in many Northern Hemisphere regions glacier advances of the past few hundred years were the most extensive and destroyed the geomorphic evidence of ice growth and retreat during the past several thousand years. Thus, most glacier records have been of limited use for investigating centennial-scale climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we report a continuous record of glacier activity for the last 9.5 ka from southeast Greenland derived from high-resolution measurements on a proglacial lake sediment sequence. Physical and geochemical parameters show that the glaciers responded to previously documented Northern Hemisphere climatic excursions, including the "8.2 ka" cooling event, the Holocene Thermal Maximum, Neoglacial cooling, and 20th century warming. In addition, the sediments indicate centennial-scale oscillations in glacier size during the late Holocene. Beginning at 4.1 ka, a series of abrupt glacier advances occurred, each lasting ~100 years and followed by a period of retreat, that were superimposed on a gradual trend toward larger glacier size. Thus, while declining summer insolation caused long-term cooling and glacier expansion during the late Holocene, climate system dynamics resulted in repeated episodes of glacier expansion and retreat on multi-decadal to centennial timescales. These episodes coincided with ice rafting events in the North Atlantic Ocean and periods of regional ice cap expansion, which confirms their regional significance and indicates that considerable glacier activity on these timescales is a normal feature of

  9. Greenland ice sheet motion insensitive to exceptional meltwater forcing.

    PubMed

    Tedstone, Andrew J; Nienow, Peter W; Sole, Andrew J; Mair, Douglas W F; Cowton, Thomas R; Bartholomew, Ian D; King, Matt A

    2013-12-03

    Changes to the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet can be forced by various mechanisms including surface-melt-induced ice acceleration and oceanic forcing of marine-terminating glaciers. We use observations of ice motion to examine the surface melt-induced dynamic response of a land-terminating outlet glacier in southwest Greenland to the exceptional melting observed in 2012. During summer, meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet surface accesses the ice sheet bed, lubricating basal motion and resulting in periods of faster ice flow. However, the net impact of varying meltwater volumes upon seasonal and annual ice flow, and thus sea level rise, remains unclear. We show that two extreme melt events (98.6% of the Greenland ice sheet surface experienced melting on July 12, the most significant melt event since 1889, and 79.2% on July 29) and summer ice sheet runoff ~3.9 σ above the 1958-2011 mean resulted in enhanced summer ice motion relative to the average melt year of 2009. However, despite record summer melting, subsequent reduced winter ice motion resulted in 6% less net annual ice motion in 2012 than in 2009. Our findings suggest that surface melt-induced acceleration of land-terminating regions of the ice sheet will remain insignificant even under extreme melting scenarios.

  10. Greenland ice sheet motion insensitive to exceptional meltwater forcing

    PubMed Central

    Tedstone, Andrew J.; Nienow, Peter W.; Sole, Andrew J.; Mair, Douglas W. F.; Cowton, Thomas R.; Bartholomew, Ian D.; King, Matt A.

    2013-01-01

    Changes to the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet can be forced by various mechanisms including surface-melt–induced ice acceleration and oceanic forcing of marine-terminating glaciers. We use observations of ice motion to examine the surface melt–induced dynamic response of a land-terminating outlet glacier in southwest Greenland to the exceptional melting observed in 2012. During summer, meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet surface accesses the ice sheet bed, lubricating basal motion and resulting in periods of faster ice flow. However, the net impact of varying meltwater volumes upon seasonal and annual ice flow, and thus sea level rise, remains unclear. We show that two extreme melt events (98.6% of the Greenland ice sheet surface experienced melting on July 12, the most significant melt event since 1889, and 79.2% on July 29) and summer ice sheet runoff ∼3.9σ above the 1958–2011 mean resulted in enhanced summer ice motion relative to the average melt year of 2009. However, despite record summer melting, subsequent reduced winter ice motion resulted in 6% less net annual ice motion in 2012 than in 2009. Our findings suggest that surface melt–induced acceleration of land-terminating regions of the ice sheet will remain insignificant even under extreme melting scenarios. PMID:24248343

  11. A high-resolution record of Greenland mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, Malcolm; Leeson, Amber; Shepherd, Andrew; Briggs, Kate; Armitage, Thomas W. K.; Hogg, Anna; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Broeke, Michiel; Noël, Brice; Berg, Willem Jan; Ligtenberg, Stefan; Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Muir, Alan; Gilbert, Lin

    2016-07-01

    We map recent Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change at high spatial (5 km) and temporal (monthly) resolution using CryoSat-2 altimetry. After correcting for the impact of changing snowpack properties associated with unprecedented surface melting in 2012, we find good agreement (3 cm/yr bias) with airborne measurements. With the aid of regional climate and firn modeling, we compute high spatial and temporal resolution records of Greenland mass evolution, which correlate (R = 0.96) with monthly satellite gravimetry and reveal glacier dynamic imbalance. During 2011-2014, Greenland mass loss averaged 269 ± 51 Gt/yr. Atmospherically driven losses were widespread, with surface melt variability driving large fluctuations in the annual mass deficit. Terminus regions of five dynamically thinning glaciers, which constitute less than 1% of Greenland's area, contributed more than 12% of the net ice loss. This high-resolution record demonstrates that mass deficits extending over small spatial and temporal scales have made a relatively large contribution to recent ice sheet imbalance.

  12. Stable microbial community composition on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    Musilova, Michaela; Tranter, Martyn; Bennett, Sarah A.; Wadham, Jemma; Anesio, Alexandre M.

    2015-01-01

    The first molecular-based studies of microbes in snow and on glaciers have only recently been performed on the vast Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Aeolian microbial seeding is hypothesized to impact on glacier surface community compositions. Localized melting of glacier debris (cryoconite) into the surface ice forms cryoconite holes, which are considered ‘hot spots’ for microbial activity on glaciers. To date, few studies have attempted to assess the origin and evolution of cryoconite and cryoconite hole communities throughout a melt season. In this study, a range of experimental approaches was used for the first time to study the inputs, temporal and structural transformations of GrIS microbial communities over the course of a whole ablation season. Small amounts of aeolian (wind and snow) microbes were potentially seeding the stable communities that were already present on the glacier (composed mainly of Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria). However, the dominant bacterial taxa in the aeolian samples (Firmicutes) did not establish themselves in local glacier surface communities. Cryoconite and cryoconite hole community composition remained stable throughout the ablation season following the fast community turnover, which accompanied the initial snow melt. The presence of stable communities in cryoconite and cryoconite holes on the GrIS will allow future studies to assess glacier surface microbial diversity at individual study sites from sampling intervals of short duration only. Aeolian inputs also had significantly different organic δ13C values (-28.0 to -27.0‰) from the glacier surface values (-25.7 to -23.6‰), indicating that in situ microbial processes are important in fixing new organic matter and transforming aeolian organic carbon. The continuous productivity of stable communities over one melt season makes them important contributors to biogeochemical nutrient cycling on glaciers. PMID:25852658

  13. Stable microbial community composition on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Musilova, Michaela; Tranter, Martyn; Bennett, Sarah A; Wadham, Jemma; Anesio, Alexandre M

    2015-01-01

    The first molecular-based studies of microbes in snow and on glaciers have only recently been performed on the vast Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Aeolian microbial seeding is hypothesized to impact on glacier surface community compositions. Localized melting of glacier debris (cryoconite) into the surface ice forms cryoconite holes, which are considered 'hot spots' for microbial activity on glaciers. To date, few studies have attempted to assess the origin and evolution of cryoconite and cryoconite hole communities throughout a melt season. In this study, a range of experimental approaches was used for the first time to study the inputs, temporal and structural transformations of GrIS microbial communities over the course of a whole ablation season. Small amounts of aeolian (wind and snow) microbes were potentially seeding the stable communities that were already present on the glacier (composed mainly of Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria). However, the dominant bacterial taxa in the aeolian samples (Firmicutes) did not establish themselves in local glacier surface communities. Cryoconite and cryoconite hole community composition remained stable throughout the ablation season following the fast community turnover, which accompanied the initial snow melt. The presence of stable communities in cryoconite and cryoconite holes on the GrIS will allow future studies to assess glacier surface microbial diversity at individual study sites from sampling intervals of short duration only. Aeolian inputs also had significantly different organic δ(13)C values (-28.0 to -27.0‰) from the glacier surface values (-25.7 to -23.6‰), indicating that in situ microbial processes are important in fixing new organic matter and transforming aeolian organic carbon. The continuous productivity of stable communities over one melt season makes them important contributors to biogeochemical nutrient cycling on glaciers.

  14. Prokaryotic diversity in sediments beneath two polar glaciers with contrasting organic carbon substrates.

    PubMed

    Stibal, Marek; Hasan, Fariha; Wadham, Jemma L; Sharp, Martin J; Anesio, Alexandre M

    2012-03-01

    Microbial ecosystems beneath glaciers and ice sheets are thought to play an active role in regional and global carbon cycling. Subglacial sediments are assumed to be largely anoxic, and thus various pathways of organic carbon metabolism may occur here. We examine the abundance and diversity of prokaryotes in sediment beneath two glaciers (Lower Wright Glacier in Antarctica and Russell Glacier in Greenland) with different glaciation histories and thus with different organic carbon substrates. The total microbial abundance in the Lower Wright Glacier sediment, originating from young lacustrine sediment, was an order of magnitude higher (~8 × 10(6) cells per gram of wet sediment) than in Russell Glacier sediment (~9 × 10(5) cells g(-1)) that is of Holocene-aged soil origin. 4% of the microbes from the Russell Glacier sediment and 0.04-0.35% from Lower Wright Glacier were culturable at 10°C. The Lower Wright Glacier subglacial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes. The Russell Glacier library was much less diverse and also dominated by Proteobacteria. Low numbers and diversity of both Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota were found in both sediments. The identified clones were related to bacteria with both aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms, indicating the presence of both oxic and anoxic conditions in the sediments.

  15. Linking the spatial variability of glacier mass loss to fjord geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. F.; Tinto, K. J.; Boghosian, A.; Cochran, J. R.; Csatho, B. M.; Bell, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    There is compelling evidence of increasing mass loss of the ice sheets using a diverse set of observations, including increased thinning rates measured from both airborne and satellite altimeters, elevated mass fluxes resulting from the acceleration of outlet glaciers, and mass changes measured directly from satellite gravimetry. A dominant characteristic of observed change in Greenland outlet glaciers is that it is locally random. Numerous studies have revealed a high degree of spatial and temporal variability of outlet glacier mass change. Modeling studies suggest that increased ocean temperatures may be responsible for the observed glacial retreat in Greenland through increased basal melting, leading to increased calving rates, terminus retreat, glacier speedup, and eventually thinning of inland ice. Knowledge of fjord geometry is crucial for ice-ocean interaction because the availability of ocean heat to the ice will be restricted by narrow sills and shallow grounding lines. We investigate whether the variability in observed changes among Greenland glaciers can be partially explained by variation in fjord geometry. Using statistical techniques commonly employed to detect patterns in complex spatial data, we objectively show that mass change in Greenland tidewater glaciers between 2003 and 2009 is indeed mostly spatially incoherent. Except for a few clusters of similar change in the NW and Scoresby Sund regions, there is significant glacier-scale variability in mass loss rates. To understand the drivers of this local variability, we compare fjord bathymetries from all regions of Greenland, modeled using airborne gravimetry measurements from NASA Operation IceBridge flights, to estimates of glaciological change. Specifically, we investigate the correlation between water depths at the grounding line and the dynamic mass loss of tidewater glaciers. In theory, a deep grounding line will allow greater interaction with the warm Atlantic Water observed in most fjords

  16. Variations in Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of mineral particles in cryoconite in western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagatsuka, Naoko; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Uetake, Jun; Shimada, Rigen; Onuma, Yukihiko; Tanaka, Sota; Nakano, Takanori

    2016-11-01

    In order to better understand the source of minerals on the dark-colored ice, located in the Greenland ice sheet ablation zone, we analyzed the Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of minerals in cryoconite, which were collected from glaciers in northwest and southwest Greenland. We focused on the following: (i) comparison of the isotopes of minerals in cyroconite with those in sediments from local and distant areas, (ii) regional variations in western Greenland, and (iii) spatial variations across an individual a glacier. The mineral components of the cryoconite showed variable Sr and Nd isotopic ratios (87Sr/86Sr: 0.711335 to 0.742406, ɛNd (0): -33.1 to -22.9), which corresponded to those of the englacial dust and moraine on and around the glaciers but were significantly different from those of the distant deserts that have been considered to be primary sources of mineral dust on the Greenland Ice Sheet. This suggests that the minerals within the cryoconites were mainly derived from local sediments, rather than from distant areas. The Sr ratios in the northwestern region were significantly higher than those in the southwestern region. This is probably due to geological differences in the source areas, such as the surrounding glaciers in each region. The isotopic ratios further varied spatially within a glacier (Qaanaaq and Kangerlussuaq areas), indicating that the silicate minerals on the glaciers were derived not from a single source but from multiple sources, such as englacial dust and wind-blown minerals from the moraine surrounding the glaciers.

  17. Grounding line migration of Petermann Gletscher, north Greenland, detected using satellite radar interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1997-01-01

    Ice Sheet grounding lines are sensitive indicator of changes in ice thickness, sea level or elevation of the sea bed. Here, we use the synthetic-aperture radar interferometry technique to detect the migration of thel imit of tidal flexing, or hinge line, of Petermann Gletscher, a major outlet glacier of north Greenland which develops an extensive floating tongue.

  18. Context for the Recent Massive Petermann Glacier Calving Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falkner, Kelly K.; Melling, Humfrey; Münchow, Andreas M.; Box, Jason E.; Wohlleben, Trudy; Johnson, Helen L.; Gudmandsen, Preben; Samelson, Roger; Copland, Luke; Steffen, Konrad; Rignot, Eric; Higgins, Anthony K.

    2011-04-01

    On 4 August 2010, about one fifth of the floating ice tongue of Petermann Glacier (also known as “Petermann Gletscher”) in northwestern Greenland calved (Figure 1). The resulting “ice island” had an area approximately 4 times that of Manhattan Island (about 253±17 square kilometers). The ice island garnered much attention from the media, politicians, and the public, who raised concerns about downstream implications for shipping, offshore oil and gas operations, and possible connections to Arctic and global warming. Does this event signal a change in the glacier's dynamics? Or can it be characterized as part of the glacier's natural variability? Understanding the known historical context of this event allows scientists and the public to judge its significance.

  19. Glaciers of Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    2010-01-01

    This chapter is the ninth to be released in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, a series of 11 chapters. In each of the geographic area chapters, remotely sensed images, primarily from the Landsat 1, 2, and 3 series of spacecraft, are used to analyze the specific glacierized region of our planet under consideration and to monitor glacier changes. Landsat images, acquired primarily during the middle to late 1970s and early 1980s, were used by an international team of glaciologists and other scientists to study various geographic regions and (or) to discuss related glaciological topics. In each glacierized geographic region, the present areal distribution of glaciers is compared, wherever possible, with historical information about their past extent. The atlas provides an accurate regional inventory of the areal extent of glacier ice on our planet during the 1970s as part of a growing international scientific effort to measure global environmental change on the Earth?s surface. The chapter is divided into seven geographic parts and one topical part: Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union (F-1), Glaciers of China (F-2), Glaciers of Afghanistan (F?3), Glaciers of Pakistan (F-4), Glaciers of India (F-5), Glaciers of Nepal (F?6), Glaciers of Bhutan (F-7), and the Paleoenvironmental Record Preserved in Middle-Latitude, High-Mountain Glaciers (F-8). Each geographic section describes the glacier extent during the 1970s and 1980s, the benchmark time period (1972-1981) of this volume, but has been updated to include more recent information. Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union are located in the Russian Arctic and various mountain ranges of Russia and the Republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakstun. The Glacier Inventory of the USSR and the World Atlas of Ice and Snow Resources recorded a total of 28,881 glaciers covering an area of 78,938 square kilometers (km2). China includes many of the mountain-glacier

  20. Afghanistan Glacier Diminution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shroder, J. F.; Bishop, M.; Haritashya, U.; Olsenholler, J.

    2008-12-01

    Glaciers in Afghanistan represent a late summer - early fall source of melt water for late season crop irrigation in a chronically drought-torn region. Precise river discharge figures associated with glacierized drainage basins are generally unavailable because of the destruction of hydrological gauging stations built in pre-war times although historic discharge data and prior (1960s) mapped glacier regions offer some analytical possibilities. The best satellite data sets for glacier-change detection are declassified Cornona and Keyhole satellite data sets, standard Landsat sources, and new ASTER images assessed in our GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) Regional Center for Southwest Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan). The new hyperspectral remote sensing survey of Afghanistan completed by the US Geological Survey and the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines offers potential for future detailed assessments. Long-term climate change in southwest Asia has decreased precipitation for millennia so that glaciers, rivers and lakes have all declined from prehistoric and historic highs. As many glaciers declined in ice volume, they increased in debris cover until they were entirely debris-covered or became rock glaciers, and the ice was protected thereby from direct solar radiation, to presumably reduce ablation rates. We have made a preliminary assessment of glacier location and extent for the country, with selected, more-detailed, higher-resolution studies underway. In the Great Pamir of the Wakhan Corridor where the largest glaciers occur, we assessed fluctuations of a randomly selected 30 glaciers from 1976 to 2003. Results indicate that 28 glacier-terminus positions have retreated, and the largest average retreat rate was 36 m/yr. High albedo, non-vegetated glacier forefields formed prior to 1976, and geomorphological evidence shows apparent glacier-surface downwasting after 1976. Climatic conditions and glacier retreat have resulted in disconnection of tributary

  1. In Brief: Melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy; Tretkoff, Ernie

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers in Patagonia and Alaska have been losing their mass, and for longer than glaciers elsewhere in the world, according to a 7 December report compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “Climate change is causing significant mass loss of glaciers in high mountains worldwide,” notes the report, which calls for accelerated research, monitoring, and modeling of glaciers and snow and their role in water supplies. The report “also highlights the vulnerability and exposure of people dependent upon [glacier-fed] rivers to floods, droughts and eventually shortages as a result of changes in the melting and freezing cycles linked with climate change and other pollution impacts,” according to UNEP executive director Achim Steiner. For more information, visit http://www.grida.no/publications/high­mountain-glaciers/.

  2. The thermophysics of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Zotikov, I.A.

    1986-01-01

    This volume presents the results of experimental and theoretical work on the thermodynamics of ice sheets and glaciers. The author has carried out extensive field work in both the Soviet Union and Antarctica over the last 25 years and has contributed to the understanding of the thermophysics of glaciers. The topics covered in this volume embrace heat flow measurement and temperature distributions in glaciers, the thermal drilling of glaciers, the melting and freezing of ice sheets, and other thermophysical problems. Also included are topics of relevance to glacial engineering.

  3. Greenland Ice Flow

    NASA Video Gallery

    Greenland looks like a big pile of snow seen from space using a regular camera. But satellite radar interferometry helps us detect the motion of ice beneath the snow. Ice starts flowing from the fl...

  4. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. SAME VIEW AT CA-157-2. LOOKING NNE. GIS: N-37' 43 44.3 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  5. 2. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. LOOKING NNE. GIS N-37 43 44.3 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  6. Low sea level rise projections from mountain glaciers and icecaps under global warming.

    PubMed

    Raper, Sarah C B; Braithwaite, Roger J

    2006-01-19

    The mean sea level has been projected to rise in the 21st century as a result of global warming. Such projections of sea level change depend on estimated future greenhouse emissions and on differing models, but model-average results from a mid-range scenario (A1B) suggests a 0.387-m rise by 2100 (refs 1, 2). The largest contributions to sea level rise are estimated to come from thermal expansion (0.288 m) and the melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps (0.106 m), with smaller inputs from Greenland (0.024 m) and Antarctica (- 0.074 m). Here we apply a melt model and a geometric volume model to our lower estimate of ice volume and assess the contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica. We provide the first separate assessment of melt contributions from mountain glaciers and icecaps, as well as an improved treatment of volume shrinkage. We find that icecaps melt more slowly than mountain glaciers, whose area declines rapidly in the 21st century, making glaciers a limiting source for ice melt. Using two climate models, we project sea level rise due to melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps to be 0.046 and 0.051 m by 2100, about half that of previous projections.

  7. Ice mass loss in Greenland, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Canadian Archipelago: Seasonal cycles and decadal trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harig, Christopher; Simons, Frederik J.

    2016-04-01

    Over the past several decades mountain glaciers and ice caps have been significant contributors to sea level rise. Here we estimate the ice mass changes in the Canadian Archipelago, the Gulf of Alaska, and Greenland since 2003 by analyzing time-varying gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. Prior to 2013, interannual ice mass variability in the Gulf of Alaska and in regions around Greenland remains within the average estimated over the whole data span. Beginning in summer 2013, ice mass in regions around Greenland departs positively from its long-term trend. Over Greenland this anomaly reached almost 500 Gt through the end of 2014. Overall, long-term ice mass loss from Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago continues to accelerate, while losses around the Gulf of Alaska region continue but remain steady with no significant acceleration.

  8. A possible change in mass balance of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in the coming century

    SciTech Connect

    Ohmura, A.; Wild, M.; Bengtsson, L.

    1996-09-01

    A high-resolution GCM is found to simulate precipitation and surface energy balance of high latitudes with high accuracy. This opens new possibilities to investigate the future mass balance of polar glaciers and its effect on sea level. The surface mass balance of the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets is simulated using the ECHAM3 GCM with T106 horizontal resolution. With this model, two 5-year integrations for the present and doubled carbon dioxide conditions based on the boundary conditions provided by the ECHAM1/T21 transient to what extent the effect of climate change on the mass balance on the two largest glaciers of the world can differ. On Greenland one sees a slight decrease in accumulation and a substantial increase in melt, while on Antarctica a large increase in accumulation without melt is projected. Translating the mass balances into terms of sea-level equivalent, the Greenland discharge causes a sea level rise of 1.1 mm yr{sup {minus}1}, while the accumulation on Antarctica tends to lower it by 0.9 mm yr{sup {minus}1}. The change in the combined mass balance of the two continents is almost zero. The sea level change of the next century can be affected more effectively by the thermal expansion of seawater and the mass balance of smaller glaciers outside of Greenland and Antarctica. 24 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.

  9. Ice speed of a calving glacier modulated by small fluctuations in basal water pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiyama, Shin; Skvarca, Pedro; Naito, Nozomu; Enomoto, Hiroyuki; Tsutaki, Shun; Tone, Kenta; Marinsek, Sebastián; Aniya, Masamu

    2011-09-01

    Ice flow acceleration has played a crucial role in the rapid retreat of calving glaciers in Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica. Glaciers that calve in water flow much faster than those that terminate on land, as a result of enhanced basal ice motion where basal water pressure is high. However, a scarcity of subglacial observations in calving glaciers limits a mechanistic understanding. Here we present high-frequency measurements of ice speed and basal water pressures from Glaciar Perito Moreno, a fast-flowing calving glacier in Patagonia. We measured water pressure in boreholes drilled at a site where the glacier is 515+/-5m thick, and where more than 60% of the ice is below the level of proglacial lakes. We found that the mean basal water pressure was about 95% of the pressure imposed by the weight of the overlying ice. Moreover, changes in basal water pressure by a few per cent drove nearly 40% of the variations in ice flow speed. The ice speed was strongly correlated to air temperature, suggesting that glacier motion was modulated by water pressure changes as meltwater entered the system. We conclude that basal water pressure in calving glaciers is important for glacier dynamics, and closely connected to climate conditions.

  10. Experimental evidence that microbial activity lowers the albedo of glacier surfaces: the cryoconite casserole experiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musilova, M.; Tranter, M.; Takeuchi, N.; Anesio, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Darkened glacier and ice sheet surfaces have lower albedos, absorb more solar radiation and consequently melt more rapidly. The increase in glacier surface darkening is an important positive feedback to warming global temperatures, leading to ever growing world-wide ice mass loss. Most studies focus primarily on glacial albedo darkening caused by the physical properties of snow and ice surfaces, and the deposition of dark impurities on glaciers. To date, however, the important effects of biological activity have not been included in most albedo reduction models. This study provides the first experimental evidence that microbial activity can significantly decrease the albedo of glacier surfaces. An original laboratory experiment, the cryoconite casserole, was designed to test the microbial darkening of glacier surface debris (cryoconite) under simulated Greenlandic summer conditions. It was found that minor fertilisation of the cryoconite (at nutrient concentrations typical of glacial ice melt) stimulated extensive microbial activity. Microbes intensified their organic carbon fixation and even mined phosphorous out of the glacier surface sediment. Furthermore, the microbial organic carbon production, accumulation and transformation caused the glacial debris to darken further by 17.3% reflectivity (albedo analogue). These experiments are consistent with the hypothesis that enhanced fertilisation by anthropogenic inputs results in substantial amounts of organic carbon fixation, debris darkening and ultimately to a considerable decrease in the ice albedo of glacier surfaces on global scales. The sizeable amounts of microbially produced glacier surface organic matter and nutrients can thus be a vital source of bioavailable nutrients for subglacial and downstream environments.

  11. Regionally differentiated contribution of mountain glaciers and ice caps to future sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radić, Valentina; Hock, Regine

    2011-02-01

    The contribution to sea-level rise from mountain glaciers and ice caps has grown over the past decades. They are expected to remain an important component of eustatic sea-level rise for at least another century, despite indications of accelerated wastage of the ice sheets. However, it is difficult to project the future contribution of these small-scale glaciers to sea-level rise on a global scale. Here, we project their volume changes due to melt in response to transient, spatially differentiated twenty-first century projections of temperature and precipitation from ten global climate models. We conduct the simulations directly on the more than 120,000 glaciers now available in the World Glacier Inventory, and upscale the changes to 19 regions that contain all mountain glaciers and ice caps in the world (excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets). According to our multi-model mean, sea-level rise from glacier wastage by 2100 will amount to 0.124+/-0.037m, with the largest contribution from glaciers in Arctic Canada, Alaska and Antarctica. Total glacier volume will be reduced by 21+/-6%, but some regions are projected to lose up to 75% of their present ice volume. Ice losses on such a scale may have substantial impacts on regional hydrology and water availability.

  12. The Dynamics of Greenland's Glacial Fjords and Their Role in Climate.

    PubMed

    Straneo, Fiamma; Cenedese, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Rapid mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has sparked interest in its glacial fjords for two main reasons: Increased submarine melting of glaciers terminating in fjords is a plausible trigger for glacier retreat, and the anomalous freshwater discharged from Greenland is transformed by fjord processes before being released into the large-scale ocean. Knowledge of the fjords' dynamics is thus key to understanding ice sheet variability and its impact on climate. Although Greenland's fjords share some commonalities with other fjords, their deep sills and deeply grounded glaciers, the presence of Atlantic and Polar Waters on the continental shelves outside the fjords' mouths, and the seasonal discharge at depth of large amounts of surface melt make them unique systems that do not fit existing paradigms. Major gaps in understanding include the interaction of the buoyancy-driven circulation (forced by the glacier) and shelf-driven circulation, and the dynamics in the near-ice zone. These must be addressed before appropriate forcing conditions can be supplied to ice sheet and ocean/climate models.

  13. Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheet Mass Changes and Effects on Global Sea Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, Rene; Sørensen, Louise; Simonsen, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Thirteen years of GRACE data provide an excellent picture of the current mass changes of Greenland and Antarctica, with mass loss in the GRACE period 2002-2015 amounting to 265 ± 25 GT/year for Greenland (including peripheral ice caps), and 95 ± 50 GT/year for Antarctica, corresponding to 0.72 and 0.26 mm/year average global sea level change. A significant acceleration in mass loss rate is found, especially for Antarctica, while Greenland mass loss, after a corresponding acceleration period, and a record mass loss in the summer of 2012, has seen a slight decrease in short-term mass loss trend. The yearly mass balance estimates, based on point mass inversion methods, have relatively large errors, both due to uncertainties in the glacial isostatic adjustment processes, especially for Antarctica, leakage from unmodelled ocean mass changes, and (for Greenland) difficulties in separating mass signals from the Greenland ice sheet and the adjacent Canadian ice caps. The limited resolution of GRACE affects the uncertainty of total mass loss to a smaller degree; we illustrate the "real" sources of mass changes by including satellite altimetry elevation change results in a joint inversion with GRACE, showing that mass change occurs primarily associated with major outlet glaciers, as well as a narrow coastal band. For Antarctica, the primary changes are associated with the major outlet glaciers in West Antarctica (Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier systems), as well as on the Antarctic Peninsula, where major glacier accelerations have been observed after the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf.

  14. Arctic Warming and Sea Ice Diminution Herald Changing Glacier and Cryospheric Hazard Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey; Bush, Andrew; Leonard, Gregory

    2013-04-01

    The recent expansion of summertime melt zones in both Greenland and some Arctic ice caps, and the clearing of perennial sea ice from much of the Arctic, may presage more rapid shifts in mass balances of land ice than glaciologists had generally expected. The summer openings of vast stretches of open water in the Arctic, particularly in straits and the Arctic Ocean shores of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and along some Greenland coastal zones, must have a large impact on summer and early autumn temperatures and precipitation now that the surface boundary condition is no longer limited by the triple-point temperature and water-vapor pressure of H2O. This state change in the Arctic probably is part of the explanation for the expanded melt zones high in the Greenland ice sheet. However, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are vast regions subject to climatic influences of multiple marine bodies, and the situation with sea ice and climate change remains heterogeneous, and so the local climate feedbacks from sea ice diminution remain patchy. Projected forward just a few decades, it is likely that sea ice will play a significant role in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and around Greenland only in the winter months. The region is in the midst of a dramatic climate change that is affecting the mass balances of the Arctic's ice bodies; some polar-type glaciers must be transforming to polythermal, and polythermal ones to maritime-temperate types. Attendant with these shifts, glacier response times will shorten, the distribution and sizes of glacier lakes will change, unconsolidated debris will be debuttressed, and hazards-related dynamics will shift. Besides changes to outburst flood, debris flow, and rock avalanche occurrences, the tsunami hazard (with ice and debris landslide/avalanche triggers) in glacierized fjords and the surge behaviors of many glaciers is apt to increase or shift locations. For any given location, the past is no longer the key to the present, and the present

  15. Understanding and Modelling Rapid Dynamic Changes of Tidewater Outlet Glaciers: Issues and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieli, Andreas; Nick, Faezeh M.

    2011-09-01

    Recent dramatic acceleration, thinning and retreat of tidewater outlet glaciers in Greenland raises concern regarding their contribution to future sea-level rise. These dynamic changes seem to be parallel to oceanic and climatic warming but the linking mechanisms and forcings are poorly understood and, furthermore, large-scale ice sheet models are currently unable to realistically simulate such changes which provides a major limitation in our ability to predict dynamic mass losses. In this paper we apply a specifically designed numerical flowband model to Jakobshavn Isbrae (JIB), a major marine outlet glacier of the Greenland ice sheet, and we explore and discuss the basic concepts and emerging issues in our understanding and modelling ability of the dynamics of tidewater outlet glaciers. The modelling demonstrates that enhanced ocean melt is able to trigger the observed dynamic changes of JIB but it heavily relies on the feedback between calving and terminus retreat and therefore the loss of buttressing. Through the same feedback, other forcings such as reduced winter sea-ice duration can produce similar rapid retreat. This highlights the need for a robust representation of the calving process and for improvements in the understanding and implementation of forcings at the marine boundary in predictive ice sheet models. Furthermore, the modelling uncovers high sensitivity and rapid adjustment of marine outlet glaciers to perturbations at their marine boundary implying that care should be taken in interpreting or extrapolating such rapid dynamic changes as recently observed in Greenland.

  16. Effect of microorganism on Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimada, R.; Takeuchi, N.; Aoki, T.

    2012-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet holds approximately 10% of the fresh water on earth. If it melts all, sea level rises about 7.2meter. It is reported that mass of Greenland ice sheet is decreasing with temperature rising of climate change. Melting of the coastal area is particularly noticeable. It is established that 4 to 23% of the sea level rising from 1993 to 2005 is caused by the melting of Greenland ice sheet. In 2010, amount of melting per year became the largest than the past. However many climate models aren't able to simulate the recent melting of snow and ice in the Arctic including Greenland. One of the possible causes is albedo reduction of snow and ice surface by light absorbing snow impurities such as black carbon and dust and by glacial microorganisms. But there are few researches for effect of glacial microorganism in wide area. So it is important to clarify the impact of glacial microorganisms in wide area. The purpose of this study is to clarify the effect of microorganism on Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change using satellite images of visible, near infrared and thermal infrared wavelength range and observation carried out in northwestern Greenland. We use MODIS Land Surface Temperature Product as ice sheet surface temperature. It estimates land surface temperature based on split window method using thermal infrared bands. MODIS data is bound to cover the whole of Greenland, and calculated the ratio of the temperature change per year. Analysis period is from December 2002 to November 2010. Results of calculating Greenland ice sheet surface temperature change using the MODIS data, our analysis shows that it is upward trend in the whole region. We find a striking upward trend in northern and western part of Greenland. The rate is 0.33±0.03 degree Celsius per a year from 47.5°W to 49°W. While in the coastal area from 49°W to 50.7°W, the rate is 0.26±0.06 degree Celsius per a year. This large upward trend area is the same area as dark region

  17. Potential Climatic Effects on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, R. A.

    1984-01-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet covers an area of 1,720,000 sq. km and contains approximately 2,600,000 cu km of ice. Most of the ice sheet receives an excess of snow accumulation over the amount of ice lost to wind, meltwater run-off or other ablative processes. The majority of mass loss occurs at the margin of the ice sheet as either surface melt, which flows into the sea or calving of icebergs from the tongues of outlet glaciers. Many estimates of these processes were published. An average of five published estimates is summarized. If these estimates are correct, then the Greenland Ice Sheet is in approximate equilibrium and contributes 490 cu km/a of fresh water to the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Climate effects, ice sheet flow, and application of remote sensing to tracking of the ice sheet are discussed.

  18. Ice stream retreat following the LGM and onset of the west Greenland current in Uummannaq Trough, west Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Christina; Jennings, Anne; Andrews, John T.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Hogan, Kelly; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig

    2016-09-01

    The deglacial history and oceanography of Uummannaq Trough, central West Greenland continental shelf, was investigated using foraminiferal, sedimentological, and bathymetric records together with a radiocarbon chronology, providing a timeline for the retreat of glacial ice after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). To map ice stream retreat, data were collected from cores from the outer (JR175-VC45 and JR175-VC43) and inner (JR175-VC42) Uummannaq Trough. A large ice stream, fed by confluent glaciers draining the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, extended across the outer shelf during the LGM and was in retreat by 15.0 cal kyr BP. Foraminiferal data indicate that the 'warm' West Greenland Current (WGC) was established prior to 14.0 cal kyr BP, which is the hitherto earliest record of Atlantic Water found on the West Greenland shelf. For each of the cores, foraminifera indicate that ice sheet retreat was followed quickly by incursion of the WGC, suggesting that the warm water may have enhanced ice retreat. Prior to the Younger Dryas cold event, the radiocarbon chronology indicates that the ice sheet retreated to the mid-shelf, where it subsequently stabilised and formed a large grounding-zone wedge (GZW). After the Younger Dryas, around 11.5 cal kyr BP, the ice retreated rapidly from the GZW and into the fjords.

  19. Outlet-glacier flow dynamics estimation combining in-situ and spaceborne SAR measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohner, Christoph; Henke, Daniel; Small, David; Mercenier, Rémy; Lüthi, Martin; Vieli, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Terminus retreat and flow acceleration changes of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers contribute significantly to the current mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet and therefore to global sea level rise. In order to constrain models ice dynamics, detailed knowledge of geometry, ice-flow velocity and strain fields of such calving glaciers is needed. Of specific importance is the near terminus flow dynamics, as the flow fields there are highly influential on the glacier's calving rate. With the current temporal resolution of spaceborne radar systems, it is difficult to accurately capture the near terminus flow fields for fast moving outlet glaciers glaciers, while in-situ measurements using ground based radar interferometers are limited in coverage and constrained by distance and geometric shading of the glacier. We present and analyze the combined continuous velocity fields from a ground based, portable radar system as well as from spaceborne SAR scenes for Eqip Sermia, a medium-sized ocean terminating outlet glacier in western Greenland. The flow fields for the spaceborne data are calculated using feature tracking with a temporal resolution of 12 and 24 days for Sentinel-1 (Interferometric Wide Swath) and RADARSAT-2 (Ultra Fine/Fine Quad) respectively. The in-situ terrestrial radar data were recorded at one minute intervals were additionally processed using interferometry. The combination of in-situ and spaceborne radar enables a spatially continuous assessment of the strain fields of the ocean terminating outlet glacier. An assimilation of the data based on areas with both in-situ and spaceborne measurements is carried out and the results are compared to historical strain field data sets. These data ultimately provide constraints for a physical fracture and damage model.

  20. Understanding Recent Mass Balance Changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

    The ultimate goal of this project is to better understand the current transfer of mass between the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world's oceans and the atmosphere, and to identify processes controlling the rate of this transfer, to be able to predict with greater confidence future contributions to global sea level rise. During the first year of this project, we focused on establishing longer-term records of change of selected outlet glaciers, reevaluation of mass input to the ice sheet and analysis of climate records derived from ice cores, and modeling meltwater production and runoff from the margins of the ice sheet.

  1. Flow Characteristics and Basal Boundary Condition for Daugaard-Jensen Gletscher, East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, Thomas; Christoffersen, Poul; Dowdeswell, Julian; Palmer, Steven; Young, Duncan

    2014-05-01

    The recent acceleration of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet can in part be attributed to the dynamic thinning and acceleration of its tidewater outlet glaciers. Many of these glaciers have been shown to exhibit sensitivity to conditions at their marine termini, where warm ocean currents promote ice front melting and retreat. However, these currents are confined to a northerly extent of 69N, and whilst remarkable change is seen to the south of this latitude, glaciers to the north are considerably more stable in terms of terminus position. Different environmental variables may thus control the flow characteristics of glaciers north of this well-defined geographical boundary. During 2011, high-resolution ice data was collected for Daugaard-Jensen Gletscher (71N) as part of the Greenland Outlet Glacier Geophysics (GrOGG) project. Remote sensing has confirmed its stability but few, if any, have applied an ice flow model to examine its ice dynamics in more detail. Here, the numerical Elmer-ICE model is applied to a new bed DEM in order to analyse flow characteristics and basal boundary conditions for Daugaard-Jensen Gletscher. The bed elevation of the inland part of the catchment was derived from Operation Icebridge and GrOGG ice thickness data, whilst the main glacier trunk was inferred through mass conservation calculations at a resolution of 100 m using TerraSAR-X velocity data. The latter was also used for 3D inverse modelling with Elmer-ICE, to analyse basal boundary conditions such as basal traction, sliding speed, frictional heating, and the basal melt rate. This is critical in accurately reproducing velocities and flow characteristics for the glacier, which is not always successful with a simple parameterisation in pure forward modelling. The new DEM offers considerable improvements in vertical accuracy and horizontal resolution compared to previous bed datasets created at the ice-sheet scale. Preliminary results indicate that two deep channels within the

  2. Sea ice studies in the Spitsbergen-Greenland area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vinje, T. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Detailed information on the outflow through the Fram Strait of ice from the Polar Ocean over shorter periods was obtained. It is found that the speed of the outflow may vary about 100% over periods of a few days. The core of the East Greenland Current is found between 2 deg E and 4 deg W. The speed of the surface water at 81 deg N is for a calm period estimated to be about 10 cm/s. A new surging glacier was discovered and new fronts of several glaciers were determined. The variation of the snow line with respect to distance from the coast was for the first time determined for the southern part of Spitsbergen. Great variations were observed, from 200 m in east to 550 m in the central area of the island.

  3. Angalasut, an education and outreach project to create a bridge between scientists, local population in Greenland and the general public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgain, Pascaline

    2015-04-01

    Bridging Science and Society has now become a necessity for scientists to develop new partnerships with local communities and to raise the public interest for scientific activities. The French-Greenlandic educational project called "Angalasut" reflects this desire to create a bridge between science, local people and the general public. This program was set up on the 2012-2013 school year, as part of an international scientific program dedicated to study the interactions between the ocean and glaciers on the western coast of Greenland, in the Uummannaq fjord. Greenlandic and French school children were involved in educational activities, in classrooms and out on the field, associated with the scientific observations conducted in Greenland (glacier flow, ocean chemical composition and circulation, instrumentation...). In Greenland, the children had the opportunity to come on board the scientific sailing boat, and in France, several meetings were organized between the children and the scientists of the expedition. In the small village of Ikerasak, the children interviewed Elders about sea ice evolution in the area. These activities, coupled to the organization of public conferences and to the creation of a trilingual website of the project (French, Greenlandic, English) aimed at explaining why scientists come to study Greenland environment. This was the opportunity for scientists to discuss with villagers who could testify on their changing environment over the past decades. A first step toward a future collaboration between scientists and villagers that would deserve further development... The project Angalasut was also the opportunity for Greenlandic and French school children to exchange about their culture and their environment through Skype communications, the exchange of mails (drawings, shells...), the creation of a society game about European fauna and flora... A meeting in France between the two groups of children is considered, possibly in summer 2015

  4. Towards quantifying the glacial runoff signal in the freshwater input to Tyrolerfjord-Young Sound, NE Greenland.

    PubMed

    Citterio, Michele; Sejr, Mikael K; Langen, Peter L; Mottram, Ruth H; Abermann, Jakob; Hillerup Larsen, Signe; Skov, Kirstine; Lund, Magnus

    2017-02-01

    Terrestrial freshwater runoff strongly influences physical and biogeochemical processes at the fjord scale and can have global impacts when considered at the Greenland scale. We investigate the performance of the HIRHAM5 regional climate model over the catchments delivering freshwater to Tyrolerfjord and Young Sound by comparing to the unique Greenland Ecological Monitoring database of in situ observations from this region. Based on these findings, we estimate and discuss the fraction of runoff originating from glacierized and non-glacierized land delivered at the daily scale between 1996 and 2008. We find that glaciers contributed on average 50-80% of annual terrestrial runoff when considering different sections of Tyrolerfjord-Young Sound, but snowpack depletion on land and consequently runoff happens about one month earlier in the model than observed in the field. The temporal shift in the model is a likely explanation why summer surface salinity in the inner fjord did not correlate to modelled runoff.

  5. Detailed spatiotemporal albedo observations at Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Yde, Jacob C.; Malmros, Jeppe K.

    2015-04-01

    Surface albedo is defined as the reflected fraction of incoming solar shortwave radiation at the surface. On Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher the mean glacier-wide MODIS-estimated albedo dropped by 0.10 (2000-2013) from 0.43 to 0.33 by the end of the mass balance year (EBY). Hand-held albedo measurements as low as 0.10 were observed over debris-covered ice at the glacier margin at the EBY: these values were slightly below observed values for proglacial bedrock (~0.2). The albedo is highly variable in space - a significant variability occurred within few meters at the glacier margin area ranging from 0.10 to 0.39 due to variability in debris-cover thickness and composition, microbial activity (including algae and cyanobacteria), snow grain crystal metamorphism, bare ice exposure, and meltwater ponding. Huge dark-red-brown-colored ice algae colonies were observed. Albedo measurements on snow patches and bare glacier ice changed significant with increasing elevations (180-600 m a.s.l.) by lapse rates of 0.04 and 0.03 per 100 m, respectively, indicating values as high as 0.82 and 0.40 on the upper part of the glacier. Over a period of two weeks from early August to late August 2014 the hand-held observed mean glacier-wide albedo changed from 0.40 to 0.30 indicating that on average 10% more incoming solar shortwave radiation became available for surface ablation at the end of the melt season.

  6. Bathymetry and geology of Greenlandic fjords from Operation IceBridge airborne gravimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinto, K. J.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.; Charles, K.; Dube, J.; McLeish, M.; Burton, B. L.

    2011-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is drained by outlet glaciers that commonly flow into long, deep fjords. Glacier flow is controlled in part by the topography and geology of the glacier bed, and is also affected by the interaction between ice and sea water in the fjords. This interaction depends on the bathymetry of the fjords, and particularly on the presence of bathymetric sills, which can control the influx of warm, saline water towards the grounding zone. The bathymetry and geology of these fjords provide boundary conditions for models of the behaviour of the glaciers and ice sheet. Greenlandic fjords can be over 100 km long and up to 1000 m deep, with sills a few hundred metres above the bottom of the fjord. Where bathymetry is not well known, the scale of these features makes them appropriate targets for aerogravity surveys. Where bathymetry is known, aerogravity can provide information on the geology of the fjord, but the sometimes narrow, sinuous fjords present challenges for both data acquisition and interpretation. In 2010 and 2011 Operation IceBridge flew the Sander Geophysics AIRGrav system along the axes of more than 40 outlet glaciers distributed around the coast of Greenland. The AIRGrav system has high precision, fast recovery from turns and the capacity for draped flights, all of which improve the quality of data acquisition along fjord axes. Operation IceBridge survey flights are conducted at or lower than 500 m above ground surface, at speeds of ~140 m/s, allowing full amplitude resolution of features larger than ~5 km, and detection of smaller scale features. Fjord axis data are commonly of lower quality than data from grid-based gravity surveys. Interpretation of these data is improved by combining repeated survey lines from both seasons as well as incorporating other datasets, such as radar, and magnetic data from Operation IceBridge, digital elevation models and geological maps. While most fjords were surveyed by a single axial track, surveys of

  7. Sensitivity of Glacier Mass Balance to Climate Change at High Latitudes: Implications for Long-Term Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, R. J.

    2002-12-01

    In addition to the Greenland ice sheet there are other large glacier masses at high latitudes, e.g. in the arctic territories of Canada and Russia and on Svalbard. Any large scale melting of these glaciers will have profound impact on the global environment, especially global sea level and oceanic circulation. We should therefore monitor these glaciers for any signs of large volume changes under a warmer climate. However, both observations on glacier mass balance and modeling show that the mass balances of arctic glaciers have relatively low sensitivity to climatic change. Much greater sensitivity is found for glaciers around the arctic, e.g. Kamchatka, coastal North America and Iceland, and in Patagonia in the Southern Hemisphere. This is because mass balance sensitivity depends on precipitation regime, e.g. mass balance amplitude, and arctic glacier are relatively dry in global terms. Long-term monitoring programs need to take account of these differences in climatic sensitivity. The paper concludes with a proposed climatic classification of glaciers that attempts to put the mass balances of high latitude glaciers into context.

  8. Glacier and Ice Shelves Studies Using Satellite SAR Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1999-01-01

    Satellite radar interferometry is a powerful technique to measure the surface velocity and topography of glacier ice. On ice shelves, a quadruple difference technique separates tidal motion from the steady creep flow deformation of ice. The results provide a wealth of information about glacier grounding lines , mass fluxes, stability, elastic properties of ice, and tidal regime. The grounding line, which is where the glacier detaches from its bed and becomes afloat, is detected with a precision of a few tens of meters. Combining this information with satellite radar altimetry makes it possible to measure glacier discharge into the ocean and state of mass balance with greater precision than ever before, and in turn provide a significant revision of past estimates of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Analysis of creep rates on floating ice permits an estimation of basal melting at the ice shelf underside. The results reveal that the action of ocean water in sub-ice-shelf cavities has been largely underestimated by oceanographic models and is the dominant mode of mass release to the ocean from an ice shelf. Precise mapping of grounding line positions also permits the detection of grounding line migration, which is a fine indicator of glacier change, independent of our knowledge of snow accumulation and ice melting. This technique has been successfully used to detect the rapid retreat of Pine Island Glacier, the largest ice stream in West Antarctica. Finally, tidal motion of ice shelves measured interferometrically provides a modern, synoptic view of the physical processes which govern the formation of tabular icebergs in the Antarctic.

  9. Ground-based portable radar interferometer for imaging glacier flow, ocean-glacier ice interactions, and river ice breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R.; Truffer, M.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 18 months we have deployed new 17 GHz imaging radars from Gamma Remote Sensing to document flow on land terminating and tidewater glaciers in Greenland and Alaska; to image glacier response to tides and calving; to track floating ice in fjords; and to document river ice movement, ice jams, and associated flooding during breakup on the Tanana River in Alaska. During these deployments we have learned much about atmospheric influences on interferometric measurements; combination of flow direction determinations from feature tracking in amplitude imagery with short-term flow variability from interferometry. We show examples documenting measurement capabilities and limitations from each of these deployments. These radars represent unique tools for study of rapid changes in dynamic parts of the cryosphere.

  10. Rapid, climate-driven changes in outlet glaciers on the Pacific coast of East Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Miles, B W J; Stokes, C R; Vieli, A; Cox, N J

    2013-08-29

    Observations of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland and West Antarctica indicate that their contribution to sea level is accelerating as a result of increased velocity, thinning and retreat. Thinning has also been reported along the margin of the much larger East Antarctic ice sheet, but whether glaciers are advancing or retreating there is largely unknown, and there has been no attempt to place such changes in the context of localized mass loss or climatic or oceanic forcing. Here we present multidecadal trends in the terminus position of 175 ocean-terminating outlet glaciers along 5,400 kilometres of the margin of the East Antarctic ice sheet, and reveal widespread and synchronous changes. Despite large fluctuations between glaciers--linked to their size--three epochal patterns emerged: 63 per cent of glaciers retreated from 1974 to 1990, 72 per cent advanced from 1990 to 2000, and 58 per cent advanced from 2000 to 2010. These trends were most pronounced along the warmer western South Pacific coast, whereas glaciers along the cooler Ross Sea coast experienced no significant changes. We find that glacier change along the Pacific coast is consistent with a rapid and coherent response to air temperature and sea-ice trends, linked through the dominant mode of atmospheric variability (the Southern Annular Mode). We conclude that parts of the world's largest ice sheet may be more vulnerable to external forcing than recognized previously.

  11. Modeling future sea level rise from melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radic, Valentina

    Melting mountain glaciers and ice caps (MG&IC) are the second largest contributor to rising sea level after thermal expansion of the oceans and are likely to remain the dominant glaciological contributor to rising sea level in the 21st century. The aim of this work is to project 21st century volume changes of all MG&IC and to provide systematic analysis of uncertainties originating from different sources in the calculation. I provide an ensemble of 21st century volume projections for all MG&IC from the World Glacier Inventory by modeling the surface mass balance coupled with volume-area-length scaling and forced with temperature and precipitation scenarios from four Global Climate Models (GCMs). By upscaling the volume projections through a regionally differentiated approach to all MG&IC outside Greenland and Antarctica (514,380 km 2) I estimated total volume loss for the time period 2001-2100 to range from 0.039 to 0.150 m sea level equivalent. While three GCMs agree that Alaskan glaciers are the main contributors to the projected sea level rise, one GCM projected the largest total volume loss mainly due to Arctic MG&IC. The uncertainties in the projections are addressed by a series of sensitivity tests applied in the methodology for assessment of global volume changes and on individual case studies for particular glaciers. Special emphasis is put on the uncertainties in volume-area scaling. For both, individual and global assessments of volume changes, the choice of GCM forcing glacier models is shown to be the largest source of quantified uncertainties in the projections. Another major source of uncertainty is the temperature forcing in the mass balance model depending on the quality of climate reanalysis products (ERA-40) in order to simulate the local temperatures on a mountain glacier or ice cap. Other uncertainties in the methods are associated with volume-area-length scaling as a tool for deriving glacier initial volumes and glacier geometry changes in the

  12. Converging flow and anisotropy cause large-scale folding in Greenland's ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bons, Paul D.; Jansen, Daniela; Mundel, Felicitas; Bauer, Catherine C.; Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Jessell, Mark W.; Llorens, Maria-Gema; Steinbach, Florian; Steinhage, Daniel; Weikusat, Ilka

    2016-04-01

    The increasing catalogue of high-quality ice-penetrating radar data provides a unique insight in the internal layering architecture of the Greenland ice sheet. The stratigraphy, an indicator of past deformation, highlights irregularities in ice flow and reveals large perturbations without obvious links to bedrock shape. In this work, to establish a new conceptual model for the formation process, we analysed the radar data at the onset of the Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, and created a three-dimensional model of several distinct stratigraphic layers. We demonstrate that the dominant structures are cylindrical folds sub-parallel to the ice flow. By numerical modelling, we show that these folds can be formed by lateral compression of mechanically anisotropic ice, while a general viscosity contrast between layers would not lead to folding for the same boundary conditions. We conclude that the folds primarily form by converging flow as the mechanically anisotropic ice is channelled towards the glacier.

  13. Converging flow and anisotropy cause large-scale folding in Greenland's ice sheet

    PubMed Central

    Bons, Paul D.; Jansen, Daniela; Mundel, Felicitas; Bauer, Catherine C.; Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Jessell, Mark W.; Llorens, Maria-Gema; Steinbach, Florian; Steinhage, Daniel; Weikusat, Ilka

    2016-01-01

    The increasing catalogue of high-quality ice-penetrating radar data provides a unique insight in the internal layering architecture of the Greenland ice sheet. The stratigraphy, an indicator of past deformation, highlights irregularities in ice flow and reveals large perturbations without obvious links to bedrock shape. In this work, to establish a new conceptual model for the formation process, we analysed the radar data at the onset of the Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, and created a three-dimensional model of several distinct stratigraphic layers. We demonstrate that the dominant structures are cylindrical folds sub-parallel to the ice flow. By numerical modelling, we show that these folds can be formed by lateral compression of mechanically anisotropic ice, while a general viscosity contrast between layers would not lead to folding for the same boundary conditions. We conclude that the folds primarily form by converging flow as the mechanically anisotropic ice is channelled towards the glacier. PMID:27126274

  14. Fast retreat of Zachariæ Isstrøm, northeast Greenland.

    PubMed

    Mouginot, J; Rignot, E; Scheuchl, B; Fenty, I; Khazendar, A; Morlighem, M; Buzzi, A; Paden, J

    2015-12-11

    After 8 years of decay of its ice shelf, Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major glacier of northeast Greenland that holds a 0.5-meter sea-level rise equivalent, entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is now occurring at its grounding line. Warmer air and ocean temperatures have caused the glacier to detach from a stabilizing sill and retreat rapidly along a downward-sloping, marine-based bed. Its equal-ice-volume neighbor, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, is also melting rapidly but retreating slowly along an upward-sloping bed. The destabilization of this marine-based sector will increase sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades to come.

  15. A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Cogley, J Graham; Wouters, Bert; Arendt, Anthony A; Wahr, John; Berthier, Etienne; Hock, Regine; Pfeffer, W Tad; Kaser, Georg; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Bolch, Tobias; Sharp, Martin J; Hagen, Jon Ove; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Paul, Frank

    2013-05-17

    Glaciers distinct from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are losing large amounts of water to the world's oceans. However, estimates of their contribution to sea level rise disagree. We provide a consensus estimate by standardizing existing, and creating new, mass-budget estimates from satellite gravimetry and altimetry and from local glaciological records. In many regions, local measurements are more negative than satellite-based estimates. All regions lost mass during 2003-2009, with the largest losses from Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes, and high-mountain Asia, but there was little loss from glaciers in Antarctica. Over this period, the global mass budget was -259 ± 28 gigatons per year, equivalent to the combined loss from both ice sheets and accounting for 29 ± 13% of the observed sea level rise.

  16. Seasonal changes in Fe along a glaciated Greenlandic fjord.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopwood, Mark; Connelly, Douglas; Arendt, Kristine; Juul-Pedersen, Thomas; Stinchcombe, Mark; Meire, Lorenz; Esposito, Mario; Krishna, Ram

    2016-03-01

    Greenland's ice sheet is the second largest on Earth, and is under threat from a warming Arctic climate. An increase in freshwater discharge from Greenland has the potential to strongly influence the composition of adjacent water masses with the largest impact on marine ecosystems likely to be found within the glaciated fjords. Here we demonstrate that physical and chemical estuarine processes within a large Greenlandic fjord are critical factors in determining the fate of meltwater derived nutrients and particles, especially for non-conservative elements such as Fe. Concentrations of Fe and macronutrients in surface waters along Godthåbsfjord, a southwest Greenlandic fjord with freshwater input from 6 glaciers, changed markedly between the onset and peak of the meltwater season due to the development of a thin (<10 m), outflowing, low-salinity surface layer. Dissolved (<0.2 µm) Fe concentrations in meltwater entering Godthåbsfjord (200 nM), in freshly melted glacial ice (mean 38 nM) and in surface waters close to a land terminating glacial system (80 nM) all indicated high Fe inputs into the fjord in summer. Total dissolvable (unfiltered at pH <2.0) Fe was similarly high with concentrations always in excess of 100 nM throughout the fjord and reaching up to 5.0 µM close to glacial outflows in summer. Yet, despite the large seasonal freshwater influx into the fjord, Fe concentrations near the fjord mouth in the out-flowing surface layer were similar in summer to those measured before the meltwater season. Furthermore, turbidity profiles indicated that sub-glacial particulate Fe inputs may not actually mix into the outflowing surface layer of this fjord. Emphasis has previously been placed on the possibility of increased Fe export from Greenland as meltwater fluxes increase. Here we suggest that in-fjord processes may be effective at removing Fe from surface waters before it can be exported to coastal seas.

  17. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, S Keith; Rybarski, Susan C; Mabrey, Alexandria N; Wagman, Benjamin M; Morlighem, Mathieu

    2015-02-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. To map this radiostratigraphy efficiently, we developed new techniques for predicting reflection slope from the phase recorded by coherent radars. When integrated along track, these slope fields predict the radiostratigraphy and simplify semiautomatic reflection tracing. Core-intersecting reflections were dated using synchronized depth-age relationships for six deep ice cores. Additional reflections were dated by matching reflections between transects and by extending reflection-inferred depth-age relationships using the local effective vertical strain rate. The oldest reflections, dating to the Eemian period, are found mostly in the northern part of the ice sheet. Within the onset regions of several fast-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams, reflections typically do not conform to the bed topography. Disrupted radiostratigraphy is also observed in a region north of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream that is not presently flowing rapidly. Dated reflections are used to generate a gridded age volume for most of the ice sheet and also to determine the depths of key climate transitions that were not observed directly. This radiostratigraphy provides a new constraint on the dynamics and history of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  18. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, S Keith; Rybarski, Susan C; Mabrey, Alexandria N; Wagman, Benjamin M; Morlighem, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. To map this radiostratigraphy efficiently, we developed new techniques for predicting reflection slope from the phase recorded by coherent radars. When integrated along track, these slope fields predict the radiostratigraphy and simplify semiautomatic reflection tracing. Core-intersecting reflections were dated using synchronized depth-age relationships for six deep ice cores. Additional reflections were dated by matching reflections between transects and by extending reflection-inferred depth-age relationships using the local effective vertical strain rate. The oldest reflections, dating to the Eemian period, are found mostly in the northern part of the ice sheet. Within the onset regions of several fast-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams, reflections typically do not conform to the bed topography. Disrupted radiostratigraphy is also observed in a region north of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream that is not presently flowing rapidly. Dated reflections are used to generate a gridded age volume for most of the ice sheet and also to determine the depths of key climate transitions that were not observed directly. This radiostratigraphy provides a new constraint on the dynamics and history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Key Points Phase information predicts reflection slope and simplifies reflection tracing Reflections can be dated away from ice cores using a simple ice flow model Radiostratigraphy is often disrupted near the onset of fast ice flow PMID:26213664

  19. Archives of total mercury reconstructed with ice and snow from Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jiancheng

    2015-03-15

    This study reports total Hg concentration and atmospheric flux data from ice cores and snow/ice shallow pits from two Canadian Arctic and one Greenland glaciers, with the aim of reconstructing a high resolution record of THg deposition extending back into the pre-industrial period. An 88-m ice core (653 samples) from the NEEM glacier site in Northwest Greenland was retrieved in August 2010. The bottom sample was dated to 1748, resulting in a 262 year archive. Snow and ice samples (143 samples) were recovered from a 10.3-m pit dug on the Mt. Oxford Icefield, Nunavut, in May 2008, covering 30 years. Another 15.5-m short core drilled on the Agassiz Ice Cap, Nunavut, in April 2009 yielded 191 samples covering 74 years. Net rates of atmospheric THg deposition (FTHg) were calculated based on THg concentrations and snow accumulation rates. Results from NEEM site show that THg and FTHg range from sub-pg g(-1) to 120.6 pg g(-1) (mean=1.5 pg g(-1), n=653) and from 0.06 to 1.42 μg m(-2) year(-1) (mean=0.25 μg m(-2) year(-1), n=218) respectively, much lower than those found in other natural media such as sediments, peat bogs and wet precipitation. The discrepancy of FTHg found in glaciers from other natural media could mainly be due to the more severe photo-reduction and reemission of deposited oxidized Hg. This study also demonstrates that reproducible THg archives can be reconstructed with glacier ice and snow samples from Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic. The THg archive reconstructed with the short core from NEEM site is so far the longest with the highest resolution in Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.

  20. Climate regime of Asian glaciers revealed by GAMDAM glacier inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Fujita, K.; Takenaka, S.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.

    2015-05-01

    Among meteorological elements, precipitation has a large spatial variability and less observation, particularly in high-mountain Asia, although precipitation in mountains is an important parameter for hydrological circulation. We estimated precipitation contributing to glacier mass at the median elevation of glaciers, which is presumed to be at equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) such that mass balance is zero at that elevation, by tuning adjustment parameters of precipitation. We also made comparisons between the median elevation of glaciers, including the effect of drifting snow and avalanche, and eliminated those local effects. Then, we could obtain the median elevation of glaciers depending only on climate to estimate glacier surface precipitation. The calculated precipitation contributing to glacier mass can elucidate that glaciers in arid high-mountain Asia receive less precipitation, while much precipitation makes a greater contribution to glacier mass in the Hindu Kush, the Himalayas, and the Hengduan Shan due to not only direct precipitation amount but also avalanche nourishment. We classified glaciers in high-mountain Asia into summer-accumulation type and winter-accumulation type using the summer-accumulation ratio and confirmed that summer-accumulation-type glaciers have a higher sensitivity than winter-accumulation-type glaciers.

  1. The health of glaciers: Recent changes in glacier regime

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.; Dyurgerov, M.B.; McCabe, G.J.

    2003-01-01

    Glacier wastage has been pervasive during the last century; small glaciers and those in marginal environments are disappearing, large mid-latitude glaciers are shrinking slightly, and arctic glaciers are warming. Net mass balances during the last 40 years are predominately negative and both winter and summer balances (accumulation and ablation) and mass turnover are increasing, especially after 1988. Two principal components of winter balance time-series explain about 50% of the variability in the data. Glacier winter balances in north and central Europe correlate with the Arctic Oscillation, and glaciers in western North America correlate with the Southern Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere air temperature. The degree of synchronization for distant glaciers relates to changes in time of atmospheric circulation patterns as well as differing dynamic responses.

  2. Svalbard surging glacier landsystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovell, Harold; Benn, Douglas; Lukas, Sven; Flink, Anne

    2014-05-01

    The percentage of Svalbard glaciers thought to be of surge-type is somewhere between 13-90% according to different sources variously based on statistical analysis and observations of diagnostic glaciological and geomorphological features, e.g. looped moraines. Developing a better understanding of which of these figures, if either, is most realistic is important in the context of glacier dynamics and related contributions of small glaciers and ice caps to sea level change in the immediate future. We present detailed geomorphological assessments of the margins of several known surge-type glaciers in Svalbard in order to update and improve the existing framework by which they are identified, and to provide a foundation for future reassessments of the surge-type glacier population based on distinct landform-sediment assemblages. Three landsystems are proposed: (1) Surges of small valley glaciers produce a prominent ice-cored latero-frontal moraine at their surge maximum and are characterised by an inner zone of ice stagnation terrain (hummocky topography, kettle lakes, debris flows) with no or only very few poorly-defined bedforms (crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes) and no recessional moraines. Many of these glaciers may have surged in the past but show no signs that they have the capability to do so again in the future. (2) Larger land-terminating glaciers, often with several tributaries, typically produce a push moraine complex which contains evidence for multiple advances, as identified from ridge-meltwater channel relationships. The inner zone often contains a large lagoon, partly dammed by the push moraine complex, and widespread ice stagnation terrain. Crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes are well-defined but small and limited in number and distribution. (3) Surges of large tidewater glaciers produce distinctive, often multi-generational, landform assemblages both in submarine and lateral terrestrial positions. The well-preserved submarine record

  3. Basal drainage system response to increasing surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Meierbachtol, T; Harper, J; Humphrey, N

    2013-08-16

    Surface meltwater reaching the bed of the Greenland ice sheet imparts a fundamental control on basal motion. Sliding speed depends on ice/bed coupling, dictated by the configuration and pressure of the hydrologic drainage system. In situ observations in a four-site transect containing 23 boreholes drilled to Greenland's bed reveal basal water pressures unfavorable to water-draining conduit development extending inland beneath deep ice. This finding is supported by numerical analysis based on realistic ice sheet geometry. Slow meltback of ice walls limits conduit growth, inhibiting their capacity to transport increased discharge. Key aspects of current conceptual models for Greenland basal hydrology, derived primarily from the study of mountain glaciers, appear to be limited to a portion of the ablation zone near the ice sheet margin.

  4. Glacier generated floods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walder, J.S.; Fountain, A.G.; ,

    1997-01-01

    Destructive floods result from drainage of glacier-dammed lakes and sudden release of water stored within glaciers. There is a good basis - both empirical and theoretical - for predicting the magnitude of floods from ice-dammed lakes, although some aspects of flood initiation need to be better understood. In contrast, an understanding of floods resulting from release of internally stored water remains elusive, owing to lack of knowledge of how and where water is stored and to inadequate understanding of the complex physics of the temporally and spatially variable subglacial drainage system.Destructive floods result from drainage of glacier-dammed lakes and sudden release of water stored within glaciers. There is a good basis - both empirical and theoretical - for predicting the magnitude of floods from ice-dammed lakes, although some aspects of flood initiation need to be better understood. In contrast, an understanding of floods resulting from release of internally stored water remains elusive, owing to lack of knowledge of how and where water is stored and to inadequate understanding of the complex physics of the temporally and spatially variable subglacial drainage system.

  5. Alaska Glaciers and Rivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on October 7, 2007, showing the Alaska Mountains of south-central Alaska already coated with snow. Purple shadows hang in the lee of the peaks, giving the snow-clad land a crumpled appearance. White gives way to brown on the right side of the image where the mountains yield to the lower-elevation Susitna River Valley. The river itself cuts a silver, winding path through deep green forests and brown wetlands and tundra. Extending from the river valley, are smaller rivers that originated in the Alaska Mountains. The source of these rivers is evident in the image. Smooth white tongues of ice extend into the river valleys, the remnants of the glaciers that carved the valleys into the land. Most of the water flowing into the Gulf of Alaska from the Susitna River comes from these mountain glaciers. Glacier melt also feeds glacier lakes, only one of which is large enough to be visible in this image. Immediately left of the Kahiltna River, the aquamarine waters of Chelatna Lake stand out starkly against the brown and white landscape.

  6. Late-Holocene Fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Insights from a south Greenland threshold lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, G.; Carlson, A. E.; Reilly, B.

    2015-12-01

    Several centennial-scale climate fluctuations during the late-Holocene make it an ideal test case for examining the effects of climate change on sea level at societally-relevant timescales. Across much of the Arctic, glaciers and ice sheets reached their maximum late-Holocene extent during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400-1900 C.E.), approximately coincident with the global temperature minima observed during this time. However, ongoing work suggests the south Greenland Ice Sheet (sGrIS) may have behaved differently during the late-Holocene, with several outlet glaciers retreating, rather than advancing, during the LIA, possibly due to regional warming in the region different from the Arctic trend. The Qassimiut lobe, a low-lying piedmont-like extension of the sGrIS, may be especially sensitive to late-Holocene climate changes. Geomorphic evidence outboard of Naujaat Sermia, an outlet glacier draining the Qassimiut lobe, suggests three distinct periods of land exposure. We hypothesize these occurred during the last deglacial period, after an advance from near or behind the present margin during the Neoglacial, and during warming following the Little Ice Age in the last 1-2 centuries. Here, we present data from threshold lake cores immediately outboard of the presumed Neoglacial moraine. A sharp contact divides glacial sands and silts from organic gyttja, indicating glacial retreat from the moraine and subsequent meltwater diversion. The contact is accompanied by several geochemical changes, including increased Fe/Ti ratios, increased Br, and decreased Si and K, indicating a switch from more clastic to organic sedimentation. Radiocarbon ages from eight macrofossils immediately above this contact are calibrated to 1350-1950 C.E., suggesting the ice sheet may have retreated from its late-Holocene maximum during the Little Ice Age, but the wide range in ages suggests reworking of organic material may be significant in this region.

  7. Supraglacial fluvial landscape evolution on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlstrom, L.; Yang, K.

    2015-12-01

    In the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet, melting during the summer drives drainage development in which flow is routed downslope through a network of supgraglacial streams and lakes until it is sequestered by the englacial system or flows off of the glacier. This supraglacial drainage network sets the efficacy by which melt water is transport into the glacier and thus has important implications for coupling between ice sheet sliding and surface melt. Thermal erosion in supraglacial streams is rapid compared to other fluvial environments, raising the possibility that supraglacial topographic evolution is to some extent set by local fluvial incision rather than by underlying bedrock or iceflow. We study a series of supraglacial drainage basins on top of the West Greenland Ice Sheet between 1000-1500 m elevation using a combination of high-resolution images, and concurrent (2 m resolution) DEMs constructed from World View Imagery. Although large-scale topography correlates well with underlying bedrock topography, spectral filtering of the surface also reveals broad, low relief valleys that suggest fluvial modification at all elevations. We extract several hundred supraglacial stream longitudinal profiles per drainage basin, finding many channel segments that are clearly out of equilibrium but also numerous concave up channel segments that are not well correlated with underlying bedrock. These concave up segments have a similar power law exponent, suggesting similarities to equilibrium bedrock and alluvial rivers (although the exponent is different in this setting). We develop a stream-power model to predict equilibrium longitudinal profiles where erosion is due to melting driving by viscous dissipation of heat within streams. We speculate that fluvial erosion driven by viscous dissipation is in part responsible for shaping the Greenland Ice Sheet ablation zone annually, superimposed on long wavelength bedrock control of surface topography and basins.

  8. Greenland's mass balance observed by GRACE between 2003-2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wouters, B.; Schrama, E.

    2009-04-01

    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have been providing the scientific community with a quasi-continuous record of the Earth's gravity field over the last 6 years. Due to its global coverage, it offers an excellent tool to study mass changes over large regions. Among others, GRACE has lead to a leap in our understanding of the mass balance of Greenland ice sheet, which was indirectly known until a few years ago. In this presentation, we demonstrate how the GRACE observations can be used to monitor changes in Greenland's mass distribution on a regional scale. Over the period of 2003-2008, the ice sheet lost annually approximately 210 cubic kilometers of ice on average, contributing 0.5 mm per year to global mean sea level. According to (Rignot,2008) this value is unprecedented in the last 50 years suggesting a significant impact of global warming on the Greenland's ice volume. A forward modeling technique significantly helps to identify the hydrologic basins where the melt occurs. As a result we now know from the GRACE data that the main melting signal occurs during summer along the southeastern coast, although spreading to the northwest, with most pronounced changes so far occurring in 2007. Although 2008 was not a record year in terms of total mass lost, it may be called exceptional in terms of the spatial pattern of the summer losses, which mainly took place in the high North, consistent with surface melt observations and regional climate model results. Largest mass losses are observed in the regions surroundig the Humboldt Glacier and Zachariae Isstrom, two glaciers that have been reported to have retreated significantly in 2008.

  9. Structure and dynamics of a subglacial discharge plume in a Greenlandic fjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mankoff, Kenneth D.; Straneo, Fiammetta; Cenedese, Claudia; Das, Sarah B.; Richards, Clark G.; Singh, Hanumant

    2016-12-01

    Discharge of surface-derived meltwater at the submerged base of Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers creates subglacial discharge plumes that rise along the glacier/ocean interface. These plumes impact submarine melting, calving, and fjord circulation. Observations of plume properties and dynamics are challenging due to their proximity to the calving edge of glaciers. Therefore, to date information on these plumes has been largely derived from models. Here we present temperature, salinity, and velocity data collected in a plume that surfaced at the edge of Saqqarliup Sermia, a midsized Greenlandic glacier. The plume is associated with a narrow core of rising waters approximately 20 m in diameter at the ice edge that spreads to a 200 m by 300 m plume pool as it reaches the surface, before descending to its equilibrium depth. Volume flux estimates indicate that the plume is primarily driven by subglacial discharge and that this has been diluted in a ratio of 1:10 by the time the plume reaches the surface. While highly uncertain, meltwater fluxes are likely 2 orders of magnitude smaller than the subglacial discharge flux. The overall plume characteristics agree with those predicted by theoretical plume models for a convection-driven plume with limited influence from submarine melting.

  10. Unusual radar echoes from the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E. J.; Vanzyl, J. J.; Ostro, S. J.; Jezek, K. C.

    1993-01-01

    In June 1991, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory airborne synthetic-aperture radar (AIRSAR) instrument collected the first calibrated data set of multifrequency, polarimetric, radar observations of the Greenland ice sheet. At the time of the AIRSAR overflight, ground teams recorded the snow and firn (old snow) stratigraphy, grain size, density, and temperature at ice camps in three of the four snow zones identified by glaciologists to characterize four different degrees of summer melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The four snow zones are: (1) the dry-snow zone, at high elevation, where melting rarely occurs; (2) the percolation zone, where summer melting generates water that percolates down through the cold, porous, dry snow and then refreezes in place to form massive layers and pipes of solid ice; (3) the soaked-snow zone where melting saturates the snow with liquid water and forms standing lakes; and (4) the ablation zone, at the lowest elevations, where melting is vigorous enough to remove the seasonal snow cover and ablate the glacier ice. There is interest in mapping the spatial extent and temporal variability of these different snow zones repeatedly by using remote sensing techniques. The objectives of the 1991 experiment were to study changes in radar scattering properties across the different melting zones of the Greenland ice sheet, and relate the radar properties of the ice sheet to the snow and firn physical properties via relevant scattering mechanisms. Here, we present an analysis of the unusual radar echoes measured from the percolation zone.

  11. Continental ice in Greenland during the Eocene and Oligocene.

    PubMed

    Eldrett, James S; Harding, Ian C; Wilson, Paul A; Butler, Emily; Roberts, Andrew P

    2007-03-08

    The Eocene and Oligocene epochs (approximately 55 to 23 million years ago) comprise a critical phase in Earth history. An array of geological records supported by climate modelling indicates a profound shift in global climate during this interval, from a state that was largely free of polar ice caps to one in which ice sheets on Antarctica approached their modern size. However, the early glaciation history of the Northern Hemisphere is a subject of controversy. Here we report stratigraphically extensive ice-rafted debris, including macroscopic dropstones, in late Eocene to early Oligocene sediments from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea that were deposited between about 38 and 30 million years ago. Our data indicate sediment rafting by glacial ice, rather than sea ice, and point to East Greenland as the likely source. Records of this type from one site alone cannot be used to determine the extent of ice involved. However, our data suggest the existence of (at least) isolated glaciers on Greenland about 20 million years earlier than previously documented, at a time when temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were substantially higher.

  12. Seasonal speedup along the western flank of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Joughin, Ian; Das, Sarah B; King, Matt A; Smith, Ben E; Howat, Ian M; Moon, Twila

    2008-05-09

    It has been widely hypothesized that a warmer climate in Greenland would increase the volume of lubricating surface meltwater reaching the ice-bedrock interface, accelerating ice flow and increasing mass loss. We have assembled a data set that provides a synoptic-scale view, spanning ice-sheet to outlet-glacier flow, with which to evaluate this hypothesis. On the ice sheet, these data reveal summer speedups (50 to 100%) consistent with, but somewhat larger than, earlier observations. The relative speedup of outlet glaciers, however, is far smaller (<15%). Furthermore, the dominant seasonal influence on Jakobshavn Isbrae's flow is the calving front's annual advance and retreat. With other effects producing outlet-glacier speedups an order of magnitude larger, seasonal melt's influence on ice flow is likely confined to those regions dominated by ice-sheet flow.

  13. Rapid wastage of Alaska glaciers and their contribution to rising sea level.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Anthony A; Echelmeyer, Keith A; Harrison, William D; Lingle, Craig S; Valentine, Virginia B

    2002-07-19

    We have used airborne laser altimetry to estimate volume changes of 67 glaciers in Alaska from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. The average rate of thickness change of these glaciers was -0.52 m/year. Extrapolation to all glaciers in Alaska yields an estimated total annual volume change of -52 +/- 15 km3/year (water equivalent), equivalent to a rise in sea level (SLE) of 0.14 +/- 0.04 mm/year. Repeat measurements of 28 glaciers from the mid-1990s to 2000-2001 suggest an increased average rate of thinning, -1.8 m/year. This leads to an extrapolated annual volume loss from Alaska glaciers equal to -96 +/- 35 km3/year, or 0.27 +/- 0.10 mm/year SLE, during the past decade. These recent losses are nearly double the estimated annual loss from the entire Greenland Ice Sheet during the same time period and are much higher than previously published loss estimates for Alaska glaciers. They form the largest glaciological contribution to rising sea level yet measured.

  14. Characteristics of recessional moraines at a temperate glacier in SE Iceland: Insights into patterns, rates and drivers of glacier retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Benjamin M. P.; Evans, David J. A.; Roberts, David H.

    2016-03-01

    Icelandic glaciers are sensitive to climate variability on short-term timescales owing to their North Atlantic maritime setting, and have been undergoing ice-marginal retreat since the mid-1990s. Recent patterns, rates and drivers of ice-frontal retreat at Skálafellsjökull, SE Iceland, are examined using small-scale recessional moraines as a geomorphological proxy. These small-scale recessional moraines exhibit distinctive sawtooth planform geometries, and are constructed by a range of genetic processes associated with minor ice-margin re-advance, including (i) combined push/squeeze mechanisms, (ii) bulldozing of pre-existing proglacial material, and (iii) submarginal freeze-on. Remote-sensing investigations and lichenometric dating highlight sequences of annually-formed recessional moraines on the northern and central parts of the foreland. Conversely, moraines are forming on a sub-annual timescale at the southeastern Skálafellsjökull margin. Using annual moraine spacing as a proxy for annual ice-margin retreat rates (IMRRs), we demonstrate that prominent periods of glacier retreat at Skálafellsjökull are coincident with those at other Icelandic outlet glaciers, as well as those identified at Greenlandic outlet glaciers. Analysis of IMRRs and climate data suggests summer air temperature, sea surface temperature and the North Atlantic Oscillation have an influence on IMRRs at Skálafellsjökull, with the glacier appearing to be most sensitive to summer air temperature. On the basis of further climate data analyses, we hypothesise that sea surface temperature may drive air temperature changes in the North Atlantic region, which in turn forces IMRRs. The increase in sea surface temperature over recent decades may link to atmospheric-driven variations in North Atlantic subpolar gyre dynamics.

  15. Observing Changes in Near-Polar Glaciers in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrand, Nicholas E.; Machguth, Horst; Hagen, Jon Ove

    2013-06-01

    Approximately 50 researchers attended the Ice2sea North/South Glacier Workshop at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). The aim of the workshop was to highlight the importance of changes in Northern and Southern Hemisphere near-polar glacier systems, which are subject to rapid climate warming from the atmosphere and ocean. Other goals of the workshop were to identify the observations required to understand the changes in these glacier systems and to determine difficulties and opportunities for making future projections. The meeting also served to bring together a new community of researchers working on similar glaciological problems in distinct geographic regions (e.g., the Arctic, including Alaska; Patagonia; and the Antarctic Peninsula). Full details of the workshop agenda and organizing committee can be found in the workshop report at http://www.ice2sea.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Ice2sea_NSWorkshop_FINALREPORT_nosummary.pdf.

  16. Multi-sensor detection of glacial lake outburst floods in Greenland from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.

    2015-12-01

    GLOFs cause substantial erosion, transport and delivery of sediment along the river system from the glaciated parts of the hydrologic catchment to the sea, and have been found to control the riverine export dynamics of some pollutants like mercury in NE Greenland. GLOFs also pose a risk to human presence and infrastracture. Ice-dammed lakes at the margin of the ice sheet and of local glaciers and ice caps are common features of Greenland's landscape. The occasional or periodic emptying of some of these lakes have been described as early as the 18thcentury. Thinning glaciers in a warming climate are already changing the behaviour of some of these lakes. However, little is known of the frequency and seasonality of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOF) outside of the relatively more densely populated parts of West and South Greenland. This contribution demonstrates automatic multi-sensor detection of ice-dammed lake emptying events from space for three test regions in West, South and Northeast Greenland, using visible imagery from Landsat, ASTER, PROBA-V and MODIS. The current detection algorithm relies on prior knowledge of lakes location and approximate shape from a topographic map at the scale of 1:250.000, and it is meant as a prototype for a future operational product. For the well documented case of the glacier-dammed lake of A.P. Olsen Ice Cap (NE Greenland), where GLOF's observations at Zackenberg Research Station started in 1996, the remote sensing and in situ records are compared, showing good agreement. ICESat altimetry, MODIS and AVHRR thermal imagery, and the ENVISAR ASAR signature of two detected GLOFs that took place late autumn and winter are also discussed to demonstrate the potential for successful retrievals during the polar night. The upcoming Sentinel-3 missions will alleviate what is currently the major drawback of implementing this prototype into an operational service, namely the limited availability of high resolution imagery. This is of special

  17. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This pair of MISR images of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica was acquired on December 12, 2000 during Terra orbit 5246. At left is a conventional, true-color image from the downward-looking (nadir) camera. The false-color image at right is a composite of red band data taken by the MISR forward 60-degree, nadir, and aftward 60-degree cameras, displayed in red, green, and blue colors, respectively. Color variations in the left (true-color) image highlight spectral differences. In the multi-angle composite, on the other hand, color variations act as a proxy for differences in the angular reflectance properties of the scene. In this representation, clouds show up as light purple. Blue to orange gradations on the surface indicate a transition in ice texture from smooth to rough. For example, the bright orange 'carrot-like' features are rough crevasses on the glacier's tongue. In the conventional nadir view, the blue ice labeled 'rough crevasses' and 'smooth blue ice' exhibit similar coloration, but the multi-angle composite reveals their different textures, with the smoother ice appearing dark purple instead of orange. This could be an indicator of different mechanisms by which this ice is exposed. The multi-angle view also reveals subtle roughness variations on the frozen sea ice between the glacier and the open water in Pine Island Bay.

    To the left of the 'icebergs' label are chunks of floating ice. Additionally, smaller icebergs embedded in the frozen sea ice are visible below and to the right of the label. These small icebergs are associated with dark streaks. Analysis of the illumination geometry suggests that these streaks are surface features, not shadows. Wind-driven motion and thinning of the sea ice in the vicinity of the icebergs is one possible explanation.

    Recently, Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discovered in Landsat 7 imagery a newly-formed crack traversing the Pine Island Glacier. This crack

  18. Reconstructing surface elevation changes for the Greenland Ice Sheet (1993-2013) and analysis of Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Kyle

    Previous studies investigating the velocity and elevation change records of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) revealed rapid and complex changes. It is therefore imperative to determine changes with both high spatial and temporal resolutions. By fusing multiple laser altimetry data sets, the Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change (SERAC) program is capable of reconstructing surface elevation changes with high spatial and temporal resolution over the entire GrIS. The input data include observations from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission (2003-2009) as well as data collected by NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-2013) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) (2007-2012) airborne laser altimetry systems. This study extends the record of surface elevation changes over the GrIS by adding 2012 and 2013 laser altimetry data to the previous 1993-2011 record. Extending the record leads to a new, more accurate and detailed altimetry record for 1993-2013. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are fused with laser altimetry data over Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland to analyze surface elevation changes and associated thinning rates during 1978-2014. Little to no elevation change occurred over Zachariae Isstrom from 1978-1999, however, from 1999-2014 elevation changes near the calving front became increasingly negative and accelerated. Calving front position showed steady retreat and grounding line position has been retreating towards the interior of the ice sheet at an increasing rate from 2010-2014 when compared to the 1996-2010 period. The measured elevation changes near the calving front have brought a large portion of the glacier close to the height of flotation. If the current thinning trend continues this portion of the glacier will reach flotation within the next 2-5 years allowing for further retreat and increased vulnerability to retreat for sections of

  19. Adventure Learning @ Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, B. G.; Cox, C. J.; Hougham, J.; Walden, V. P.; Eitel, K.; Albano, A.

    2013-12-01

    Teaching the general public and K-12 communities about scientific research has taken on greater importance as climate change increasingly impacts the world we live in. Science researchers and the educational community have a widening responsibility to produce and deliver curriculum and content that is timely, scientifically sound and engaging. To address this challenge, in the summer of 2012 the Adventure Learning @ Greenland (AL@GL) project, a United States' National Science Foundation (NSF) funded initiative, used hands-on and web-based climate science experiences for high school students to promote climate and science literacy. This presentation will report on an innovative approach to education and outreach for environmental science research known as Adventure Learning (AL). The purpose of AL@GL was to engage high school students in the US, and in Greenland, in atmospheric research that is being conducted in the Arctic to enhance climate and science literacy. Climate and science literacy was explored via three fundamental concepts: radiation, the greenhouse effect, and climate vs. weather. Over the course of the project, students in each location engaged in activities and conducted experiments through the use of scientific instrumentation. Students were taught science research principles associated with an atmospheric observatory at Summit Station, Greenland with the objective of connecting climate science in the Arctic to student's local environments. Summit Station is located on the Greenland Ice Sheet [72°N, 38°W, 3200 m] and was the primary location of interest. Approximately 35 students at multiple locations in Idaho, USA, and Greenland participated in the hybrid learning environments as part of this project. The AL@GL project engaged students in an inquiry-based curriculum with content that highlighted a cutting-edge geophysical research initiative at Summit: the Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at

  20. Observations from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Box, J. E.; Citterio, M.; Colgan, W. T.; Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Kristensen, S. S.; Dall, J.; Kusk, A.; Petersen, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) is as an on-going effort initiated in 2007 to monitor changes in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The aim of the programme is to quantify the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. Specifically, PROMICE aims to estimate the mass loss derived from three fundamentally different sources: Surface melt water runoff from the ice sheet margin Iceberg production Mass loss of individual glaciers and ice caps surrounding the ice sheet The first is observed by a network of automatic weather stations (AWS) on the ice sheet margin measuring ice ablation as well as meteorological parameters. The second is determined by establishing a so-called 'flux gate' along the entire ice sheet margin and keeping track of the ice passing through this gate. The flux gate is obtained from airborne surveys of ice sheet surface elevation and thickness. The volume of the ice passing through the gate is derived from maps of the surface velocity of the ice sheet, produced from satellite radar. The third is investigated through regular mapping of area and elevation of the approximately 20.000 individual glaciers and ice caps in Greenland. Mapping is carried out using recent satellite imagery as well as aerial ortho-photos. Within PROMICE data sets from these activities are collected. They include observations from the network of currently about 20 AWS on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Airborne surveys, yielding surface elevation and ice depth along the entire margin of the Greenland ice sheet carried out in 2007 and 2011. A map of all Greenland ice masses, based on the highest detail aero-photogrammetric maps produced from mid-80's aerial photographs. Real-time data from the PROMICE AWS network is shown at the web site www.promice.org and the data is freely available for download. Data from the airborne surveys and mapping activities are

  1. Emerging technology monitors ice-sea interface at outlet glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, Timothy H.; Voytenko, Denis; Lembke, Chad; de la Peña, Santiago; Howat, Ian; Gourmelen, Noel; Werner, Charles; Oddsson, Björn

    2012-11-01

    Recent melting in Greenland and Antarctica has led to concerns about the long-term stability of these ice sheets and their potential contributions to future sea level rise. Marine-terminating outlet glaciers play a key role in the dynamics of these ice sheets; recent mass losses are likely related to increased influx of warmer water to the base of outlet glaciers, as evidenced by the fact that changes in ocean currents, calving front retreats, glacial thinning, mass redistribution based on satellite gravity data, and accelerating coastal uplift are roughly concurrent [e.g., Holland et al., 2008; Wouters et al., 2008; Jiang et al., 2010; Straneo et al., 2012; Bevis et al., 2012]. However, collecting quantitative measurements within the dynamic environment of marine outlet glaciers is challenging. Oceanographic measurements are limited in iceberg-laden fjords. Measuring ice flow speeds near the calving front is similarly challenging; satellite methods lack temporal resolution (satellite revisit times are several days or longer), while GPS gives limited spatial resolution, a problem for assessing changes near the highly variable calving front.

  2. Twentieth century climate change: Evidence from small glaciers

    PubMed Central

    Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Meier, Mark F.

    2000-01-01

    The relation between changes in modern glaciers, not including the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, and their climatic environment is investigated to shed light on paleoglacier evidence of past climate change and for projecting the effects of future climate warming on cold regions of the world. Loss of glacier volume has been more or less continuous since the 19th century, but it is not a simple adjustment to the end of an “anomalous” Little Ice Age. We address the 1961–1997 period, which provides the most observational data on volume changes. These data show trends that are highly variable with time as well as within and between regions; trends in the Arctic are consistent with global averages but are quantitatively smaller. The averaged annual volume loss is 147 mm⋅yr−1 in water equivalent, totaling 3.7 × 103 km3 over 37 yr. The time series shows a shift during the mid-1970s, followed by more rapid loss of ice volume and further acceleration in the last decade; this is consistent with climatologic data. Perhaps most significant is an increase in annual accumulation along with an increase in melting; these produce a marked increase in the annual turnover or amplitude. The rise in air temperature suggested by the temperature sensitivities of glaciers in cold regions is somewhat greater than the global average temperature rise derived largely from low altitude gauges, and the warming is accelerating. PMID:10677474

  3. Termini of calving glaciers as self-organized critical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Vallot, D.; Schäfer, M.; Welty, E. Z.; O'Neel, S.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Liu, Yan; Riikilä, T. I.; Zwinger, T.; Timonen, J.; Moore, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Over the next century, one of the largest contributions to sea level rise will come from ice sheets and glaciers calving ice into the ocean. Factors controlling the rapid and nonlinear variations in calving fluxes are poorly understood, and therefore difficult to include in prognostic climate-forced land-ice models. Here we analyse globally distributed calving data sets from Svalbard, Alaska (USA), Greenland and Antarctica in combination with simulations from a first-principles, particle-based numerical calving model to investigate the size and inter-event time of calving events. We find that calving events triggered by the brittle fracture of glacier ice are governed by the same power-law distributions as avalanches in the canonical Abelian sandpile model. This similarity suggests that calving termini behave as self-organized critical systems that readily flip between states of sub-critical advance and super-critical retreat in response to changes in climate and geometric conditions. Observations of sudden ice-shelf collapse and tidewater glacier retreat in response to gradual warming of their environment are consistent with a system fluctuating around its critical point in response to changing external forcing. We propose that self-organized criticality provides a yet unexplored framework for investigations into calving and projections of sea level rise.

  4. Glaciers of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1988-01-01

    Of all the world?s continents Antarctica is the coldest, the highest, and the least known. It is one and a half times the size of the United States, and on it lies 91 percent (30,109,800 km3) of the estimated volume of all the ice on Earth. Because so little is known about Antarctic glaciers compared with what is known about glaciers in populated countries, satellite imagery represents a great leap forward in the provision of basic data. From the coast of Antarctica to about 81?south latitude, there are 2,514 Landsat nominal scene centers (the fixed geographic position of the intersection of orbital paths and latitudinal rows). If there were cloud-free images for all these geographic centers, only about 520 Landsat images would be needed to provide complete coverage. Because of cloud cover, however, only about 70 percent of the Landsat imaging area, or 55 percent of the continent, is covered by good quality Landsat images. To date, only about 20 percent of Antarctica has been mapped at scales of 1:250,000 or larger, but these maps do include about half of the coastline. The area of Antarctica that could be planimetrically mapped at a scale of 1:250,000 would be tripled if the available Landsat images were used in image map production. This chapter contains brief descriptions and interpretations of features seen in 62 carefully selected Landsat images or image mosaics. Images were chosen on the basis of quality and interest; for this reason they are far from evenly spaced around the continent. Space limitations allow less than 15 percent of the Landsat imaging area of Antarctica to be shown in the illustrations reproduced in this chapter. Unfortunately, a wealth of glaciological and other features of compelling interest is present in the many hundreds of images that could not be included. To help show some important features beyond the limit of Landsat coverage, and as an aid to the interpretation of certain features seen in the images, 38 oblique aerial photographs

  5. Calving and velocity variations observed by Terrestrial Radar Interferometry at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, in 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, S.; Voytenko, D.; Holland, D.; Dixon, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    We observed the highly dynamic terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ in Greenland by using a Terrestrial Radar Interferometer (TRI) during a 5 days' period in early June, 2015. Calving and ice surface velocity variations were captured by our continuous measurements with a sampling rate of 90 seconds. Our terrestrial-derived time series show that calving events are characterized by suddenly fluctuations in surface velocities, which is very distinct in the mélange and less distinct on the glacier. Except for the relatively fast and steady motion, the glacier also moves in response to the semidiurnal ocean tides, and the impact of tides decreases rapidly upstream from the terminus.

  6. Melt-induced speed-up of Greenland ice sheet offset by efficient subglacial drainage.

    PubMed

    Sundal, Aud Venke; Shepherd, Andrew; Nienow, Peter; Hanna, Edward; Palmer, Steven; Huybrechts, Philippe

    2011-01-27

    Fluctuations in surface melting are known to affect the speed of glaciers and ice sheets, but their impact on the Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate remains uncertain. Although some studies suggest that greater melting produces greater ice-sheet acceleration, others have identified a long-term decrease in Greenland's flow despite increased melting. Here we use satellite observations of ice motion recorded in a land-terminating sector of southwest Greenland to investigate the manner in which ice flow develops during years of markedly different melting. Although peak rates of ice speed-up are positively correlated with the degree of melting, mean summer flow rates are not, because glacier slowdown occurs, on average, when a critical run-off threshold of about 1.4 centimetres a day is exceeded. In contrast to the first half of summer, when flow is similar in all years, speed-up during the latter half is 62 ± 16 per cent less in warmer years. Consequently, in warmer years, the period of fast ice flow is three times shorter and, overall, summer ice flow is slower. This behaviour is at odds with that expected from basal lubrication alone. Instead, it mirrors that of mountain glaciers, where melt-induced acceleration of flow ceases during years of high melting once subglacial drainage becomes efficient. A model of ice-sheet flow that captures switching between cavity and channel drainage modes is consistent with the run-off threshold, fast-flow periods, and later-summer speeds we have observed. Simulations of the Greenland ice-sheet flow under climate warming scenarios should account for the dynamic evolution of subglacial drainage; a simple model of basal lubrication alone misses key aspects of the ice sheet's response to climate warming.

  7. Sources, cycling and export of nitrogen on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadham, Jemma Louise; Hawkings, Jonathan; Telling, Jon; Chandler, Dave; Alcock, Jon; O'Donnell, Emily; Kaur, Preeti; Bagshaw, Elizabeth; Tranter, Martyn; Tedstone, Andre; Nienow, Peter

    2016-11-01

    Fjord and continental shelf environments in the polar regions are host to some of the planet's most productive ecosystems and support economically important fisheries. Their productivity, however, is often critically dependent upon nutrient supply from upstream terrestrial environments delivered via river systems. In glacially fed coastal ecosystems, riverine nutrients are largely sourced from melting snow and ice. The largest and most extensive glacially fed coastal ecosystem in the Arctic is that bordering the Greenland Ice Sheet. The future primary productivity of this ecosystem, however, is uncertain. A potential increase in primary productivity driven by reduced sea ice extent and associated increased light levels may be curtailed by insufficient nutrient supply, and specifically nitrogen. Research on small valley glaciers indicates that glaciers are important sources of nitrogen to downstream environments. However, no data exist from ice sheet systems such as Greenland. Time series of nitrogen concentrations in runoff are documented from a large Greenland glacier, demonstrating seasonally elevated fluxes to the ocean. Fluxes are highest in mid-summer, when nitrogen limitation is commonly reported in coastal waters. It is estimated that approximately half of the glacially exported nitrogen is sourced from microbial activity within glacial sediments at the surface and bed of the ice sheet, doubling nitrogen fluxes in runoff. Summer dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes from the Greenland Ice Sheet (30-40 Gg) are a similar order of magnitude to those from a large Arctic river (Holmes et al., 2012). Nitrogen yields from the ice sheet (236 kg TDN km-2 a-1), however, are approximately double those from Arctic riverine catchments. We assert that this ice sheet nitrogen subsidy to Arctic coastal ecosystems may be important for understanding coastal biodiversity, productivity and fisheries and should be considered in future biogeochemical modelling studies of coastal

  8. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shfaqat A; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A; Wahr, John; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Kjær, Kurt H

    2015-04-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or external (atmospheric/oceanic/basal) fluctuations. Regardless of the measurement method, observations over the last two decades show an increase in ice loss rate, associated with speeding up of glaciers and enhanced melting. However, both ice discharge and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required to project realistic future sea-level changes.

  9. Force balance along Isunnguata Sermia, west Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meierbachtol, Toby; Harper, Joel; Johnson, Jesse

    2016-09-01

    Ice flows when gravity acts on gradients in surface elevation, producing driving stresses. In the Isunnguata Sermia and Russel Glacier catchments of western Greenland, a 50% decline in driving stress along a flow line is juxtaposed with increasing surface flow speed. Here, these circumstances are investigated using modern observational data sources and an analysis of the balance of forces. Stress gradients in the ice mass and basal drag which resist the local driving stress are computed in order to investigate the underlying processes influencing the velocity and stress regimes. Our results show that the largest resistive stress gradients along the flowline result from increasing surface velocity. However, the longitudinal coupling stresses fail to exceed 15 kPa, or 20% of the local driving stress. Consequently, computed basal drag declines in proportion to the driving stress. In the absence of significant resistive stress gradients, other mechanisms are therefore necessary to explain the observed velocity increase despite declining driving stress. In the study area, the observed velocity - driving stress feature occurs at the long-term mean position of the equilibrium line of surface mass balance. We hypothesize that this position approximates the inland limit where surface meltwater penetrates the bed, and that the increased surface velocity reflects enhanced basal motion associated with seasonal meltwater perturbations.

  10. The correlation tracking between glacier movement and subglacial water flow using spaceborne data fusion and hydrodynamic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yun-Soo; Kim, Jung-Rack; Lin, Shih-Yuan; Tsai, Li-Yun; Yun, Hye-Won

    2015-04-01

    The changes of ice sheet in Greenland have been traced through various remote sensing observations. However, it was realized that not only the uncertainties in the observed change of ice sheet were not fully addressed, but also the tracking of correlation between outlet glacial movement and subglacial channel activities, which may be the key factor for the understanding of Greenland ice sheet change, is highly challenging. Therefore, in this study, we proposed an investigation method employing hydrodynamic simulation over the channels connected glacier and spaceborne remote sensing tracking the glacier migration. The test area was established in Russell glacier in western Greenland where the change of glacier has been obvious for the last century and significant fluvial flows occur over meltwater outflow channels, such as Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua. Firstly a scheme fusing multiple satellite data for spatially and temporally monitoring the migration of glacier with high accuracy was established. A 2D hydrodynamic analysis utilizing high resolution stereo DTM and bathymetry by multispectral radiometric analysis was then conducted. For the space borne tracking of glacial migration, differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) campaigns using ALOS PALSAR pairs were applied to monitor the glacial change. In terms of data fusion aspect, we employed pixel tracking method by co-registration of ALOS PALSAR/PALSAR2 and space borne optical images over target area to compensate for any line-of-sight glacial movement resulted from the D-InSAR analysis. In order to securely trace individual pixel, high accuracy sub-pixel co-registration algorithm was developed. At last, the outputs from analyses were incorporated to build an effective 3D movement tracing over the Russell glacier. Furthermore, for conducting the hydrodynamic analysis, optical stereo analysis using ALOS PRISM images was applied to extract DTM with 7.5 m spatial resolution over target glacial area

  11. Greenland Sea observations

    SciTech Connect

    Gudmandsen, P.; Mortensen, H.B.; Pedersen, L.T.; Skriver, H.; Minnett, P.

    1992-12-31

    ERS-1 SAR data have been acquired over the Greenland Sea and Fram Strait during two periods, the Ice Phase of three-day repeat cycle from January to March 1992 and a one-month period in the 35-day repeat cycle from 16 July to 15 August 1992. Most data became available by way of the Broadband Data Dissemination System, i.e. with a spatial resolution of about 100 m. With these data various algorithms have been tested to derive sea ice parameters such as ice extent, ice concentration and ice displacement. In the latter period data were collected to support the activities of a research vessel in the area mainly related to the large polynyas that form east and north of Greenland. The formation of polynyas could clearly be outlined but also other phenomena were observed related to the influence of wind streets and gravity waves associated with the atmospheric boundary layer. The data will have to be studied further including full-resolution data to substantiate the conclusions arrived at.

  12. Glacier albedo decrease in the European Alps: potential causes and links with mass balances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Mauro, Biagio; Julitta, Tommaso; Colombo, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    Both mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets are losing mass all over the Earth. They are highly sensitive to climate variation, and the widespread reduction of glaciers has been ascribed to the atmospheric temperature increase. Beside this driver, also ice albedo plays a fundamental role in defining mass balance of glaciers. In fact, dark ice absorbs more energy causing faster glacier melting, and this can drive to more negative balances. Previous studies showed that the albedo of Himalayan glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet is decreasing with important rates. In this contribution, we tested the hypothesis that also glaciers in the European Alps are getting darker. We analyzed 16-year time series of MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectrometer) snow albedo from Terra (MOD13A1, 2000-2015) and Aqua (MYD13A1, 2002-2015) satellites. These data feature a spatial resolution of 500m and a daily temporal resolution. We evaluated the existence of a negative linear and nonlinear trend of the summer albedo values both at pixel and at glacier level. We also calculated the correlation between MODIS summer albedo and glacier mass balances (from the World Glaciological Monitoring Service, WGMS database), for all the glaciers with available mass balance during the considered period. In order to estimate the percentage of the summer albedo that can be explained by atmospheric temperature, we correlated MODIS albedo and monthly air temperature extracted from the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. Results show that decreasing trends exist with a strong spatial variability in the whole Alpine chain. In large glaciers, such as the Aletch (Swiss Alps), the trend varies significantly also within the glacier, showing that the trend is higher in the area across the accumulation and ablation zone. Over the 17 glaciers with mass balance available in the WGMS data set, 11 gave significant relationship with the MODIS summer albedo. Moreover, the comparison between ERA-Interim temperature

  13. Evaluation of Existing Image Matching Methods for Deriving Glacier Surface Displacements Globally from Optical Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heid, T.; Kääb, A.

    2011-12-01

    Automatic matching of images from two different times is a method that is often used to derive glacier surface velocity. Nearly global repeat coverage of the Earth's surface by optical satellite sensors now opens the possibility for global-scale mapping and monitoring of glacier flow with a number of applications in, for example, glacier physics, glacier-related climate change and impact assessment, and glacier hazard management. The purpose of this study is to compare and evaluate different existing image matching methods for glacier flow determination over large scales. The study compares six different matching methods: normalized cross-correlation (NCC), the phase correlation algorithm used in the COSI-Corr software, and four other Fourier methods with different normalizations. We compare the methods over five regions of the world with different representative glacier characteristics: Karakoram, the European Alps, Alaska, Pine Island (Antarctica) and southwest Greenland. Landsat images are chosen for matching because they expand back to 1972, they cover large areas, and at the same time their spatial resolution is as good as 15 m for images after 1999 (ETM+ pan). Cross-correlation on orientation images (CCF-O) outperforms the three similar Fourier methods, both in areas with high and low visual contrast. NCC experiences problems in areas with low visual contrast, areas with thin clouds or changing snow conditions between the images. CCF-O has problems on narrow outlet glaciers where small window sizes (about 16 pixels by 16 pixels or smaller) are needed, and it also obtains fewer correct matches than COSI-Corr in areas with low visual contrast. COSI-Corr has problems on narrow outlet glaciers and it obtains fewer correct matches compared to CCF-O when thin clouds cover the surface, or if one of the images contains snow dunes. In total, we consider CCF-O and COSI-Corr to be the two most robust matching methods for global-scale mapping and monitoring of glacier

  14. Comparison of cryoconite organic matter composition from Arctic and Antarctic glaciers at the molecular-level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pautler, Brent G.; Dubnick, Ashley; Sharp, Martin J.; Simpson, André J.; Simpson, Myrna J.

    2013-03-01

    Glacier surfaces are reservoirs that contain organic and inorganic debris referred to as cryoconite. Solar heating of this material results in the formation of water-filled depressions that are colonized by a variety of microbes and are hypothesized to play a role in carbon cycling in glacier ecosystems. Recent studies on cryoconite deposits have focused on their contribution to carbon fluxes to determine whether they are a net source or sink for atmospheric CO2. To better understand carbon cycling in these unique ecosystems, the molecular constituents of cryoconite organic matter (COM) require further elucidation. COM samples from four glaciers were analyzed by targeted extraction of plant- and microbial-derived biomarkers in conjunction with non-targeted NMR experiments to determine the COM composition and potential sources. Several molecular proxies were applied to assess COM degradation and microbial activity using samples from Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, and Antarctica. COM from Canadian (John Evans glacier) and Greenlandic (Leverett glacier) locations was more chemically heterogeneous than that from the Antarctic likely due to inputs from higher plants, mosses and Sphagnum as suggested by the solvent-extractable alkyl lipids and sterols and the detection of lignin- and Sphagnum-derived phenols after cupric oxide chemolysis. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments highlighted the bulk chemical functional groups of COM allowing for a general assessment of its degradation stage from the alkyl/O-alkyl proxy whereas solution-state 1H NMR highlighted both microbial and plant contributions to base-soluble extracts from these COM samples. The dominance of 1H NMR signals from microbial protein/peptides in base-soluble extracts of COM from Antarctica (Joyce glacier and Garwood glacier), phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarker detection and the absence of plant-derived biomarkers in both the solvent and cupric oxide extracts suggests that this

  15. Sonification of cryoconite landscapes over the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, M.

    2015-12-01

    Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to convey information. In sonification, several elements can be altered, modified or manipulated to change the perception of the sound, and in turn, the perception of the information being transmitted. For example, an increase or decrease in pitch, tempo and amplitude can be used to convey the information but this can also happen by varying other less commonly used components. One of the advantages of using sonification lies in the temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency resolution that offer complementary and supplementary possibilities with respect to visualization techniques. Two years ago, the outcomes of the PolarSEEDS project (www.polaseeds.org), consisting of sonification of time series of albedo, melting and surface temperature over the Greenland ice sheet, were presented in this very same session. The work that I will discuss in this presentation builds on the PolarSEEDS experience, focusing on the fascinating microcosm of cryoconite. Cryoconite is a unique and extremely fascinating form of glacial cover consisting of aggregated rock dust, inorganic and detrital organic matter, and active microbial colonies. It can be seen as 'living stones', with this ecosystem containing the only form of life that is sustained on the majestic surface of the Greenland ice sheet. Microbes are, indeed, the catalyst for cryoconite formation and growth. The cryoconite constituents radiate metabolic heat promoting glacier hole development, melt water formation, and decreasing glacier surface albedo. Lower albedos cause a positive feedback that further contributes to glacier ablation. Despite their importance, cryoconite systems are poorly studied and little is known about their evolution. In the talk, I will first present and discuss previous sonification projects whose main focus was on the polar regions; then, I will present new sonifications based on data quantifying the distribution and evolution of cryoconite over the west

  16. Listening to Glaciers: Passive hydroacoustics near marine-terminating glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pettit, E.C.; Nystuen, J.A.; O'Neel, Shad

    2012-01-01

    The catastrophic breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea in 2002 paints a vivid portrait of the effects of glacier-climate interactions. This event, along with other unexpected episodes of rapid mass loss from marine-terminating glaciers (i.e., tidewater glaciers, outlet glaciers, ice streams, ice shelves) sparked intensified study of the boundaries where marine-terminating glaciers interact with the ocean. These dynamic and dangerous boundaries require creative methods of observation and measurement. Toward this effort, we take advantage of the exceptional sound-propagating properties of seawater to record and interpret sounds generated at these glacial ice-ocean boundaries from distances safe for instrument deployment and operation.

  17. Chernobyl fallout on Alpine glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Ambach, W.; Rehwald, W.; Blumthaler, M.; Eisner, H.; Brunner, P.

    1989-01-01

    Measurements of the gross beta activity of snow samples from four Alpine glaciers contaminated by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident and a gamma-spectrum analysis of selected samples are reported. The results are discussed with respect to possible risks to the population from using meltwater from these glaciers as drinking water.

  18. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite covers an area of 55 by 40 kilometers (34 by 25 miles) over the southwest part of the Malaspina Glacier and Icy Bay in Alaska. The composite of infrared and visible bands results in the snow and ice appearing light blue, dense vegetation is yellow-orange and green, and less vegetated, gravelly areas are in orange. According to Dr. Dennis Trabant (U.S. Geological Survey, Fairbanks, Alaska), the Malaspina Glacier is thinning. Its terminal moraine protects it from contact with the open ocean; without the moraine, or if sea level rises sufficiently to reconnect the glacier with the ocean, the glacier would start calving and retreat significantly. ASTER data are being used to help monitor the size and movement of some 15,000 tidal and piedmont glaciers in Alaska. Evidence derived from ASTER and many other satellite and ground-based measurements suggests that only a few dozen Alaskan glaciers are advancing. The overwhelming majority of them are retreating.

    This ASTER image was acquired on June 8, 2001. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next six years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

    ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18,1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is the U.S. science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, along-term research and

  19. Using Remote Sensing and Rpas for Archaeology and Monitoring in Western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelka, K.; Šedina, J.; Matoušková, E.; Faltýnová, M.; Hlaváčová, I.

    2016-06-01

    Since 2002, German low-cost scientific expeditions to Greenland have been performed. The objective was a geodetic survey and glaciology with GNSS technology - mainly the measurement of glacier profiles (height). The same glacier profiles along the route were measured during German expeditions in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2015. The last international expedition was supplemented with RPAS (UAV) measurement, the testing of small corner reflectors for Terra SAR X satellite measurement and the use of image based modelling technology for historical monuments documentation, all in specific arctic conditions. The RPAS measurement was focused on the documentation of existing valuable archaeological sites near Ilulissat city and the testing of RPAS technology for the monitoring of the face of the moving glacier. Two typical church wooden constructions were documented by simple photogrammetric technology based on image correlation. Both experiments were evaluated as successfully case projects. The last part of the experiments deals with the monitoring of a moving inland glacier using SAR technology; four corner reflectors were installed on the glacier and on a massive nearby rock. Two ascending and two descending overflights of the Terra SAR X satellite in fine resolution mode were performed. The InSAR technology give inconclusive results, but some movements were detected; small and inexpensive corner reflectors of our own production have proven suitable. Experience and expertise from the measurement such as the first outputs from the expedition are the content of the present article.

  20. Patagonia Glacier, Chile

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This ASTER images was acquired on May 2, 2000 over the North Patagonia Ice Sheet, Chile near latitude 47 degrees south, longitude 73 degrees west. The image covers 36 x 30 km. The false color composite displays vegetation in red. The image dramatically shows a single large glacier, covered with crevasses. A semi-circular terminal moraine indicates that the glacier was once more extensive than at present. ASTER data are being acquired over hundreds of glaciers worldwide to measure their changes over time. Since glaciers are sensitive indicators of warming or cooling, this program can provide global data set critical to understand climate change.

    This image is located at 46.5 degrees south latitude and 73.9 degrees west longitude.

    Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is the U.S. Science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats, monitoring potentially active volcanoes, identifying crop stress, determining cloud

  1. Joint Science Education Project: Learning about polar science in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foshee Reed, Lynn

    2014-05-01

    their states, regions, and countries with one another. A subset of the Field School students continue their polar science exploration by traveling to and experiencing science at the top of the Greenlandic ice sheet, as participants in Arctic Science Education Week. They launched weather balloons, took measurements of reflectivity to learn more about albedo, studied glaciers and ice sheets and created hands-on models to study their flow, shadowed the Summit science technicians on their rounds, practiced taking clean snow samples, examined a back-lit snow pit to observe the differences between seasonal snows and ice formation, and assisted researchers by taking samples from the snow pit for isotope analysis. Lastly, I will share one group multi- and interdisciplinary activity used at JSEP which illustrates how to combine mathematics and science with global studies. As noted in the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 initiative: "The challenges facing our planet and our civilization are multidisciplinary and multifaceted, and the mathematical sciences play a central role in the scientific effort to understand and to deal with these challenges." In particular, this group activity uses mathematical modeling and data representation to spark a discussion of civic engagement and to raise awareness that the polar regions are critically important to the global system.

  2. Sediment fluxes and delta evolution at Tuapaat, Disko Island, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroon, A.; Andersen, T. J.; Bendixen, M.

    2013-12-01

    Ice and snow and freezing temperatures have an important influence on the coastal morphodynamics in arctic polar coastal environments. Global climate changes induce many changes along the arctic coasts. Sea-levels are rising due to thermal expansion and due to an increased fresh water flux from the glaciers and land ice masses while ice coverage of the coastal waters decreases and the open water periods in summer extend. On a yearly basis, there is a strong variation over the seasons with open waters and active rivers in summer and ice-covered coastal waters and inactive rivers in winter. The coastal processes by waves and tides are thus often limited to the summer and early fall. On a daily basis, there is also a strong variation in fluvial discharges due to the daily variations in glacier melt with maximum melt in the afternoon and minimum values at night. At the same time, the actual flux of the river to the coastal bay is also influenced by the tidal phase: low tides in the afternoon will probably give the maximum plumes in the coastal waters and high tides in the early morning will reduce the input of sediments to the coastal waters to zero. The southern shore of Disko Island in western Greenland has four deltas: Igpik, Signiffik, Tuappat and Skansen. The sediments of these deltas are a mixture of sand and gravel and they are fed by melting glaciers. The Tuapaat delta is located at the end of a pro-glacial and fluvial valley at about 16 km from the glacier. The shores of the delta are reworked by waves, predominantly from southwestern (largest fetch, over 50 km), southern, and southeastern directions. The environment has a micro- to meso- tidal range with a spring tidal range of 2.7m. The morphologic changes on the delta over the last decades clearly showed an eastward migration of the main delta channel, probably due to wave-driven alongshore processes in the ice-free periods. In this presentation, we focus on quantification of sediment fluxes on the Tuapaat

  3. Modelling the dynamic response of Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, to calving rate perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondzio, J. H.; Seroussi, H.; Morlighem, M.; Kleiner, T.; Rückamp, M.; Humbert, A.; Larour, E.

    2015-10-01

    Calving is a major means of ice discharge of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets. The breaking off of icebergs changes the ice front configuration of marine terminating glaciers, which affects the stress regime of their upstream areas. Recent observations show the close correlation between the ice front position and the behaviour of many outlet glaciers. However, modelling of a glacier subject to calving poses various challenges. No universal calving rate parametrisation is known, and tracking of a moving ice front and the related boundary conditions in two or three spatial dimensions is non-trivial. Here, we present the theoretical and technical framework for a Level-Set Method, an implicit boundary tracking scheme, which we implemented into the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). The scheme allows us to study the dynamic response of a drainage basin to user-defined front ablation rates. We apply the method in a suite of experiments to Jakobshavn Isbræ, a major marine terminating outlet glacier of the western Greenland Ice Sheet. The model robustly reproduces the high sensitivity of the glacier to frontal ablation in form of calving. We find that enhanced calving is able to trigger significant acceleration of the ice stream. Upstream acceleration is sustained through a combination of various feedback mechanisms. However, lateral stress and ice influx into the trough are able to stabilise the ice stream. This study contributes to the present discussion on causes and effects of the continued changes occurring at Jakobshavn Isbræ, and emphasises that the incorporation of seasonal calving and dynamic lateral effects is key for realistic model projections of future global sea level rise on centennial time scales.

  4. Glacier velocities and dynamic ice discharge from the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Wychen, Wesley; Burgess, David O.; Gray, Laurence; Copland, Luke; Sharp, Martin; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Benham, Toby J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies indicate an increase in glacier mass loss from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as a result of warmer summer air temperatures. However, no complete assessment of dynamic ice discharge from this region exists. We present the first complete surface velocity mapping of all ice masses in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and show that these ice masses discharged ~2.6 ± 0.8 Gt a-1 of ice to the oceans in winter 2012. Approximately 50% of the dynamic discharge was channeled through non surge-type Trinity and Wykeham Glaciers alone. Dynamic discharge of the surge-type Mittie Glacier varied from 0.90 ± 0.09 Gt a-1 during its 2003 surge to 0.02 ± 0.02 Gt a-1 during quiescence in 2012, highlighting the importance of surge-type glaciers for interannual variability in regional mass loss. Queen Elizabeth Islands glaciers currently account for ~7.5% of reported dynamic discharge from Arctic ice masses outside Greenland.

  5. Surface exposure dating of Little Ice Age ice cap advances on Disko Island, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Timothy; Jomelli, Vincent; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Brunstein, Daniel; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Swingedouw, Didier; Favier, Vincent; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie

    2015-04-01

    Little Ice Age (LIA: 1200-1920 AD) glacier advances in Greenland often form the most extensive positions of Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) ice cap and margins since the Early Holocene. Across Greenland these advances are commonly represented by un-vegetated moraines, usually within 1-5 km of the present ice margin. However, chronological constraints on glacier advances during this period are sparse, meaning that GrIS and ice cap behavior and advance/retreat chronology remains poorly understood during this period. At present the majority of ages are based on historical accounts, ice core data, and radiocarbon ages from proglacial threshold lakes. However, developments in the accuracy and precision of surface exposure methods allow dating of LIA moraine boulders, permitting an opportunity to better understand of ice dynamics during this period. Geomorphological mapping and surface exposure dating (36Cl) were used to interpret moraine deposits from the Lyngmarksbræen on Disko Island, West Greenland. A Positive Degree Day (PDD) model was used to estimate Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) and mass balance changes for two distinct paleo-glacial extents. Three moraines (M1, M2, and M3) were mapped in the field, and sampled for 36Cl surface exposure dating. The outermost moraine (M1) was of clearly different morphology to the inner moraines, and present only in small fragments. M2 and M3 were distinct arcuate termino-lateral moraines within 50 m of one another, 1.5 km from the present ice margin. The weighted average of four 36Cl ages from M1 returned an early Holocene age of 8.4 ± 0.6 ka. M2 (four samples) returned an age of 0.57 ± 0.04 ka (1441 AD) and M3 (four samples) returned an age of 0.28 ± 0.02 ka (1732 AD). These surface exposure ages represent the first robustly dated Greenlandic ice cap moraine sequence from the LIA. The two periods of ice cap advance and marginal stabilisation are similar to recorded periods of LIA GrIS advance in west Greenland, constrained

  6. Assessing Geometric Controls on Tidewater Glacier Sensitivity to Frontal Perturbations Using a Numerical Ice Flow Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFadden, E. M.; Howat, I. M.

    2010-12-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers worldwide have undergone rapid changes in their dynamics in response to external forcing. Observations from the Greenland coast, however, reveal that outlet glaciers in close proximity to each other, likely sharing a similar external forcing, can exhibit dramatically different behavior. These behavioral differences may result from differences in glacier shape, such as the presence of basal overdeepenings and lateral constrictions near the terminus. Understanding how shape influences glacier response to forcing at the terminus is critical for predicting future change. The dependence of ice flow on shape is non-linear and complex and, therefore, best examined using numerical methods. We employ a numerical ice flow model to investigate how the shape of marine-terminating glaciers (i.e. basal topography, thickness and width) influences the dynamic response to perturbations in the stress boundary condition at the front caused by front retreat and thinning. Governing model equations are compiled from various numerical models derived for a lightly grounded outlet glaciers, grounded retreat through basal over-deepenings, and calving of marine-terminating outlet glaciers. The model is designed for tidewater glaciers confined to narrow channels so that the stress balance components consist of substantial longitudinal and lateral stresses in addition to basal drag. Emphasis is placed on conditions at the grounding zone, as it is particularly sensitive to changes in basal drag and longitudinal stress. The effect of ice softening at the shear margins as a result of glacial acceleration is also considered. Boundary conditions at the front are categorized by two different calving criteria: (1) the buoyancy stress criterion prescribed by Durand et al. (2009), and (2) the modified flotation criterion derived by Vieli et al. (2001). The model is applied to a range of glacier bed and width geometries and perturbed from steady state by prescribing increased

  7. Derivation of deformation characteristics in fast-moving glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzfeld, Ute C.; Clarke, Garry K. C.; Mayer, Helmut; Greve, Ralf

    2004-04-01

    Crevasse patterns are the writings in a glacier's history book—the movement, strain and deformation frozen in ice. Therefore by analysis of crevasse patterns we can learn about the ice-dynamic processes which the glacier has experienced. Direct measurement of ice movement and deformation is time-consuming and costly, in particular for large glaciers; typically, observations are lacking when sudden changes occur. Analysis of crevasse patterns provides a means to reconstruct past and ongoing deformation processes mathematically. This is especially important for fast-moving ice. Ice movement and deformation are commonly described and analyzed using continuum mechanics and measurements of ice velocities or strain rates. Here, we present a different approach to the study of ice deformation based on principles of structural geology. Fast ice movement manifests itself in the occurrence of crevasses. Because crevasses remain after the deformation event and may be transported, overprinted or closed, their analysis based on aerial videography and photography or satellite data gives information on past deformation events and resulting strain states. In our treatment, we distinguish (A) continuously fast-moving glaciers and ice streams, and (B) surge-type glaciers, based on observations of two prototypes, Jakobshavns Isbræ, Greenland, for (A), and Bering Glacier, Alaska, during the 1993-1995 surge, for (B). Classes of ice-deformation types are derived from aerial images of ice surfaces using structural geology, i.e. structural glaciology. For each type, the deformation gradient matrix is formed. Relationships between invariants used in structural geology and continuum mechanics and the singular value decomposition are established and applied to ice-surface classification. Deformation during a surge is mostly one of the extensional deformation types. Continuously, or infinitesimally repeated, deformation acting in continuously fast-moving ice causes different typical

  8. Investigating the flow and stress regime at the front of a tidewater outlet glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercenier, Rémy; Luethi, Martin; Vieli, Andreas; Rohner, Christoph; Small, David

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic changes in ocean-terminating glaciers are responsible for approximately half of the current high rate of mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. The related calving process, which occurs when the stresses at the calving front exceed the fracture toughness of ice, is still not well understood and poorly represented in current generation ice-sheet models, but is a crucial requisite to understand and model dynamics and future mass loss of the ice sheet. Here, we use a two-dimensional finite-element model to compute the stress and flow fields near the front of a tidewater outlet glacier. First, we perform a sensitivity analysis for an idealized glacier exploring the effects of variable calving front slope, water depth and basal sliding. We then apply the model to two flowlines of Eqip Sermia, an ocean terminating outlet glacier in West Greenland. Detailed velocity and geometry measurements obtained from terrestrial radar interferometry serve as constraints to the model. These flowline geometries and velocities strongly differ. One flowline ends with a ˜ 50 meter vertical cliff, close to floatation, while the other has a 150-200 meter high grounded front with a ˜ 45° slope and for which extrusion flow is observed. These different geometry settings lead to substantial difference in stress and flow regimes. This stress analysis improves our understanding of how and where the ice is susceptible to failure and crevasse formation for different idealized as well as real conditions. In further work, we aim to use this information as a constraint to investigate the short-term and long-term processes related to outlet glacier calving.

  9. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978–1987

    PubMed Central

    Korsgaard, Niels J.; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-01-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978–1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps. PMID:27164457

  10. Discharge of debris from ice at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knight, P.G.; Waller, R.I.; Patterson, C.J.; Jones, A.P.; Robinson, Z.P.

    2002-01-01

    Sediment production at a terrestrial section of the ice-sheet margin in West Greenland is dominated by debris released through the basal ice layer. The debris flux through the basal ice at the margin is estimated to be 12-45 m3 m-1 a-1. This is three orders of magnitude higher than that previously reported for East Antarctica, an order of magnitude higher than sites reported from in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, but an order of magnitude lower than values previously reported from tidewater glaciers in Alaska and other high-rate environments such as surging glaciers. At our site, only negligible amounts of debris are released through englacial, supraglacial or subglacial sediment transfer. Glacio-fluvial sediment production is highly localized, and long sections of the ice-sheet margin receive no sediment from glaciofluvial sources. These findings differ from those of studies at more temperate glacial settings where glaciofluvial routes are dominant and basal ice contributes only a minor percentage of the debris released at the margin. These data on debris flux through the terrestrial margin of an outlet glacier contribute to our limited knowledge of debris production from the Greenland ice sheet.

  11. Seasonal ice flow patterns as indicators of subglacial hydrology on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, T. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Scambos, T.; Joughin, I.; van den Broeke, M.; Klinger, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    Improvements in satellite coverage of the Greenland Ice Sheet have supported a substantial increase in the spatial and temporal resolution of surface velocity measurements. Previously, with seasonal TerraSAR-X satellite measurements of marine-terminating glaciers across the western and southeastern coasts, we identified three dominant and distinct seasonal velocity patterns. Two patterns likely indicate differences in the development of the subglacial hydrologic system, one suggesting development of efficient subglacial drainage during the summer melt season and the other without. Using this framework, we are now taking advantage of a new velocity record we created from Landsat 8 OLI imagery, which allows for better sampling across space and time, to examine local and regional variations in ice sheet surface velocity. Readily measurable, ice velocity holds strong potential as a proxy for understanding changes in subglacial hydrology, which is much more difficult to observe. We investigate seasonal velocity behavior from glacier termini toward the ice sheet interior and among separate glacier systems across the Greenland Ice Sheet as a way to understand changes in ice motion and ice sheet hydrology.

  12. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978-1987.

    PubMed

    Korsgaard, Niels J; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Bjørk, Anders A; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H

    2016-05-10

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978-1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps.

  13. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978-1987

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korsgaard, Niels J.; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-05-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978-1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps.

  14. Sensitivity of the Ice Sheet System Model to direct surface mass balance forcing over the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlegel, N. J.; Seroussi, H. L.; Morlighem, M.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet, which extends south of the Arctic Circle, is vulnerable to temperature perturbations in the Northern Hemisphere, and its complete retreat would raise global sea level by about 7 meters. Models of the ice sheet's past behavior suggest that Greenland's severe retreat was largely responsible for sea-level rise during the last interglacial period. A clear understanding of exactly how the ice sheet responded to past climate change requires a high-degree of spatial resolution, especially within the ice sheet's large drainage basins, as they contain outlets capable of high-velocity flow. The newly developed Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is a finite-element model capable of simulating transient ice flow on an anisotropic mesh. The adaptable mesh can be refined to higher resolutions in the areas of enhanced ice flow. These features offer a distinct advantage over previous models of the Greenland Ice Sheet, specifically in terms of modeling fast-flowing outlet glaciers. With use of established ISSM capabilities, we examined the sensitivity of Greenland's outlet glaciers to the new Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR) reconstruction of yearly surface mass balance forcing of the last 150 years. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (MAP) Program.

  15. Water flow through temperate glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fountain, A.G.; Walder, J.S.

    1998-01-01

    Understanding water movement through a glacier is fundamental to several critical issues in glaciology, including glacier dynamics, glacier-induced floods, and the prediction of runoff from glacierized drainage basins. to this end we have synthesized a conceptual model os water movement through a temperate glacier from the surface to the outlet stream. Processes that regulate the rate and distribution of water input at the glacier surface and that regulate water movement from the surface to the bed play important but commonly neglected roles in glacier hydrology. Where a glacier is covered by a layer of porous, permeable firn (the accumulation zone), the flux of water to the glacier interior varies slowly because the firn temporarily stores water and thereby smooths out variations in the supply rate. In the firn-free ablation zone, in contrast, the flux of water into the glacier depends directly on the rate of surface melt or rainfall and therefore varies greatly in time. Water moves from the surface to the bed through an upward branching arborescent network consisting of both steeply inclined conduits, formed by the enlargement of intergranular veins, and gently inclined conduits, sprqwned by water flow along the bottoms of near-surface fractures (crevasses). Englacial drainage conduits deliver water to the glacier bed at a linited number of points, probably a long distance downglacier of where water enters the glacier. Englacial conduits supplied from the accumulation zone are quasi steady state features that convey the slowly varying water flux delivered via the firn. their size adjusts so that they are usually full of water and flow is pressurized. In contrast, water flow in englacial conduits supplied from the ablation area is pressurized only near times of peak daily flow or during rainstorms; flow is otherwise in an open-channel configuration. The subglacial drainage system typically consists of several elements that are distinct both morpphologically and

  16. Recent mass balance of Arctic glaciers derived from repeat-track ICESat altimetry (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moholdt, G.; Nuth, C.; Hagen, J. M.; Wolken, G. J.; Gardner, A.

    2010-12-01

    The Arctic region is more affected by climate change than the lower latitudes. Glaciers and ice caps are sensitive indicators of climate change, and there is a high demand for more accurate quantifications of glacier changes in the Arctic. ICESat laser altimetry has been a popular tool for assessing recent elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet. Other high Arctic glaciers have an equally dense coverage of ICESat tracks, but the quantity and quality of elevation comparisons are degraded due to smaller glacier sizes and steeper slopes. A methodological study at the Svalbard archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic has shown that it is feasible to obtain reasonable elevation change estimates from repeat-track ICESat altimetry (Moholdt et al., 2010). The best results were achieved using all available ICESat data in a joint analysis where surface slope and elevation change were estimated for homogeneous planes that were fitted to the data along each track. The good performance of the plane method implies that it can also be used in other Arctic regions of similar characteristics where accurate DEMs are typically not available. We present 2003-2009 elevation change rates for the Norwegian Arctic (Svalbard), the Russian Arctic (Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya and Franz Josefs Land) and the Canadian Arctic (Queen Elizabeth Islands and Baffin Island). The glaciers and ice caps of these regions cover a total area of ~230 000 km2 which is about 30% of the world-wide glacier cover outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Most regions experience strong thinning at low elevations, while the pattern at higher elevations varies from slight thinning to slight thickening. There are also examples of local anomalous elevation changes due to unstable glacier dynamics, e.g. glacier surging. Hypsometric calculations are performed to calculate regional volume changes on a bi-annual time scale and over the entire ICESat period (2003-2009). Short-term variations in firn layer

  17. Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter; Grosse, Guido; Chanton, Jeffrey

    2012-06-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a `cryosphere cap' that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. With a carbon store of over 1,200Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large when compared with the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5Pg. As such, the Earth's climate is sensitive to the escape of even a small fraction of this methane. Here, we document the release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, using aerial and ground surface survey data and in situ measurements of methane isotopes and flux. We mapped over 150,000 seeps, which we identified as bubble-induced open holes in lake ice. These seeps were characterized by anomalously high methane fluxes, and in Alaska by ancient radiocarbon ages and stable isotope values that matched those of coal bed and thermogenic methane accumulations. Younger seeps in Greenland were associated with zones of ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. Our findings imply that in a warming climate, disintegration of permafrost, glaciers and parts of the polar ice sheets could facilitate the transient expulsion of 14C-depleted methane trapped by the cryosphere cap.

  18. Comprehensive spatiotemporal glacier and ice sheet velocity measurements from Landsat 8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Twila; Fahnestock, Mark; Scambos, Ted; Klinger, Marin; Haran, Terry

    2015-04-01

    Combining newly developed software with Landsat 8 image returns, we are now producing broad-coverage ice velocity measurements on weekly to monthly scales across ice sheets and glaciers. Using new image-to-image cross correlation software, named PyCorr, we take advantage of the improved radiometric resolution of the Landsat 8 panchromatic band to create velocity maps with sub-pixel accuracy. Landsat 8's 12-bit radiometric resolution supports measurement of ice flow in uncrevassed regions based on persistent sastrugi patterns lasting weeks to a few months. We also leverage these improvements to allow for ice sheet surface roughness measurements. Landsat 8's 16-day repeat orbit and increased image acquisition across the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets supports development of seasonal to annual ice sheet velocity mosaics with full coverage of coastal regions. We also create time series for examining sub-seasonal change with near real time processing in areas such as the Amundsen Sea Embayment and fast flowing Greenland outlet glaciers. In addition, excellent geolocation accuracy enables velocity mapping of smaller ice caps and glaciers, which we have already applied in Alaska and Patagonia. Finally, PyCorr can be used for velocity mapping with other remote sensing imagery, including high resolution WorldView satellite data.

  19. Modelling water flow under glaciers and ice sheets

    PubMed Central

    Flowers, Gwenn E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations of dynamic water systems beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have sparked renewed interest in modelling subglacial drainage. The foundations of today's models were laid decades ago, inspired by measurements from mountain glaciers, discovery of the modern ice streams and the study of landscapes evacuated by former ice sheets. Models have progressed from strict adherence to the principles of groundwater flow, to the incorporation of flow ‘elements’ specific to the subglacial environment, to sophisticated two-dimensional representations of interacting distributed and channelized drainage. Although presently in a state of rapid development, subglacial drainage models, when coupled to models of ice flow, are now able to reproduce many of the canonical phenomena that characterize this coupled system. Model calibration remains generally out of reach, whereas widespread application of these models to large problems and real geometries awaits the next level of development. PMID:27547082

  20. Glacier outburst floods from Ghulkin Glacier, upper Hunza Valley, Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, S. D.; Quincey, D. J.

    2009-04-01

    Outburst floods from Ghulkin Glacier in 2008 caused localised damage to properties, land and infrastructure of Ghulkin village and to the Karakoram Highway in the upper Hunza Valley of northern Pakistan. The unexpected nature of the floods highlights a poor understanding of glacial flood potential related to advancing glaciers in the Karakoram. Here we describe the Ghulkin floods and examine the broader glaciological controls on flood generation. Ghulkin Glacier is an active mountain glacier, its steep (up to 12˚ ), debris-covered snout bound by a continuous latero-terminal moraine. Three separate outburst floods during May and June 2008 exited the right lateral moraine close to the glacier terminus, resulting in two separate flood paths; one flowing down the existing outwash fan that resulted in no damage and the other flowing directly through properties and land of Ghulkin village. In 2008, the snout of Ghulkin Glacier was overriding its terminal moraine, and local villagers report an associated increase in debris flows and rock fall since 2005. High surface velocities (of the order of 50 m a-1) near the terminus are associated with the current period of advance, and an increase in the number and size of transient supraglacial lakes during the melt season has been observed. Assessment of the processes and characteristics of the summer 2008 floods provides a conceptual model for local glacier hazards associated with advancing mountain glaciers in the Karakoram. Crevasses and seracs associated with the high flow velocities have steep, debris-free ice cliffs that melt rapidly during the summer ablation season and provide a route for the meltwater to enter the englacial drainage system. Meltwater is stored temporarily in supraglacial, and probably englacial, settings; whilst drainage is facilitated by the formation of new, or re-organisation of existing, conduits under the active ice conditions. The steep glacier surface gradient and active ice results in

  1. Long-term future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, Reinhard; Robinson, Alex; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2015-04-01

    We investigate the impact of future cumulative anthropogenic emissions on the fate of the Greenland ice sheet. For this study, we use the polythermal ice sheet model SICOPOLIS, which is bi-directionally coupled with the regional climate model of intermediate complexity REMBO. We constrain our model parameters with simulations over two glacial cycles employing anomalies from the global CLIMBER-2 model. CLIMBER-2 treats the major components or the Earth system, including atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial vegetation and carbon cycle. As constraints we include the cumulative error in ice thickness, the surface mass balance partition (ratio between precipitation and ice discharge) and the ice elevation drop between Eemian and present-day at the NEEM ice core location. Our model includes a new ice discharge parameterization, which describes the ice loss via small-scale outlet glaciers in a heuristic statistical approach. Using the large-ensemble of model versions consistent with our constraints, we estimate the range of the long-term future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise under global warming. On the 100,000-year time scale, there is a visible modulation over the CO2 signal in the simulated Greenland ice volume caused by the 20,000 years precessional cycle of insolation. In nearly all of our scenarios (500 to 5000 Gt carbon cumulative emissions), the Greenland is sheet fully decays in the future after at least 40,000 years. For the extreme scenario (5000 Gt), the Greenland ice sheet decays much faster - after about 5000 years, while there is still 80% of the ice sheet left after 40,000 years only for the model versions with a low temperature sensitivity and the low cumulative carbon emission scenario (500 Gt). Our results underline that without future negative CO2 emissions, irreversible loss of Greenland ice sheet is essentially unavoidable.

  2. Holocene temperature shifts around Greenland: Paleolimnological approaches to quantifying past warmth and documenting its consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Lasher, G. E.; McFarlin, J. M.; Francis, D. R.; Kelly, M. A.; Langdon, P. G.; Levy, L.; Osburn, M. R.; Osterberg, E. C.

    2015-12-01

    temperature, hydroclimate, and the response of Greenland's glaciers to past climate change.

  3. Glacier Primitive Area, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Granger, H.C.; Patten, L.L.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Glacier Primitive Area and an adjoining area to the northwest was made in 1968 and 1969. The study area was mapped geologically, an aeromagnetic survey was made, a geochemical study was done, and known mineralized occurrences and claims were examined. Two localities were found to contain small concentrations of uranium and several samples displayed minor anomalies in base and precious metals. A probable resource potential for lead, molybdenum, arsenic, barium, fluorite, and uranium exists in the area near the Ross Lakes shear zone and a small area of probable uranium resource potential exists around the Dubois claims. The study area, in general, is believed to have little promise for the occurrence of additional mineral or energy resources.

  4. GLACIER PRIMITIVE AREA, WYOMING.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Granger, Harry C.; Patten, Lowell L.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Glacier Primitive Area, Wyoming and an adjoining area to the northeast was made. The study area was mapped geologically, an aeromagnetic survey was made, a geochemical study was done, and known mineralized occurrences and claims were examined. Two localities were found to contain small concentrations of uranium and several samples displayed minor anomalies in base and precious metals. A probable resource potential for lead, molybdenum, arsenic, barium, fluorite, and uranium exists in the area near the Ross Lakes shear zone and a small area of probable uranium resource potential exists around the Dubois claims. The study area, in general, is believed to have little promise for the occurrence of additional mineral or energy resources.

  5. Beardmore Glacier proposals wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proposals for research projects to be conducted in the upper Beardmore Glacier area of Antarctica during the 1985-1986 field season are being accepted by t h e National Science Foundation (NSF) through August 15. Later proposal submissions should be discussed with the appropriate program managers (see below).A temporary camp with helicopter support will be established in the region. Occupation by scientific parties will likely be between mid-November 1985 and mid-January 1986. Transportation in the field will be by UH1-N twin-engine Huey helicopters (with a range of approximately 185 km) and by motor toboggans. Satellite tent camps will be established within the range of the helicopters. The exact position of the main camp will be determined in November. Likely candidates, however, are Buckley Island Quadrangle, in the area of the Walcott Névé or the Bowden Névé, near Coalsack Bluff or Mount Sirius.

  6. Moulin distribution and formation on the southwest Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, V. W.; Smith, L. C.; Gleason, C. J.; Yang, K.; Poinar, K.; Joughin, I.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    River moulins represent a significant connection between surface meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet and subglacial drainage networks, where increased meltwater can enhance ice sliding dynamics. In this study, a new high-resolution moulin map is created from WorldView-1/2 imagery acquired during the 2012 record melt year for a 12,500 km2 area near Russell Glacier in southwest Greenland. A total of 1,236 moulins are mapped and categorized as being located: in crevasse fields, along a single ice fracture, within drained lake basins, or having no visible formation mechanism. We find the presence of moulins up to 1787 m elevation, with 11% of moulins found above 1600 m elevation: higher than previously mapped moulins and where glaciological theory suggests few moulins should form. Our study observes moulins in both extensional and compressional ice flow regimes (28% of moulins are found in areas of high extensional strain rate >0.005 yr-1), suggesting that strain rates are not a strong indicator of the likelihood for moulin formation. Overall, moulin density tends to increase with higher bed elevation, thinner ice, lower surface slope, higher velocity, and higher strain rate. In sum, moulins are most common in crevassed, thinner ice near the ice sheet edge, but significant quantities also develop at high elevations. This indicates that future inland expansion of melting may create hydrologic connections between the surface and the bed at higher elevations than previously thought.

  7. Dynamic Controls on Recent Increases in Northwest Greenland Coastal Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, G. J.; Osterberg, E. C.; Hawley, R. L.; Courville, Z.; Ferris, D. G.; Howley, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic precipitation has been rising over recent decades, with implications for glacier mass balance, sea level rise, and thermohaline circulation via the freshening of the Arctic seas. Coastal instrumental data and proxy records in northwest (NW) Greenland indicate positive summer precipitation trends from 1952-2012 along with a long-term, significant (p < 0.05) summer warming trend. While the observed precipitation increase is likely due in part to Clausius-Clapeyron increases in vapor pressure, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for the increasing trend remain poorly understood. Here we use a 61-year record of precipitation from Thule Air Base in NW Greenland and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data to identify atmospheric circulation patterns associated with enhanced precipitation in recent decades. We evaluate Thule precipitation-circulation relationships for the warm season (July-October [JASO]; 49% of annual precipitation) and cold season (December-February [DJF]; 20% of annual precipitation). Anomalously high precipitation in DJF and JASO is associated with enhanced southerly flow of warm, moist air and enhanced uplift (omega) in Northern Baffin Bay. Meridional flow in Baffin Bay is strongly correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). We observe enhanced southerly flow, uplift and Thule precipitation during negative NAO conditions in winter and to a weaker extent JASO. Based on this mechanism, the trend (p < 0.10) of declining annual NAO index values since 1981 is consistent with the rising trends in Thule annual precipitation over this interval. We find evidence that a NW Greenland ice core proxy record (2Barrel) has a diminished JASO seasonal bias compared with the coast, and thus a future, longer proxy record collected from the 2Barrel site would be well suited for capturing both summer and winter climate variability.

  8. Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briner, Jason P.; McKay, Nicholas P.; Axford, Yarrow; Bennike, Ole; Bradley, Raymond S.; de Vernal, Anne; Fisher, David; Francus, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Gajewski, Konrad; Jennings, Anne; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Miller, Gifford; Rouston, Cody; Wagner, Bernd

    2016-09-01

    This synthesis paper summarizes published proxy climate evidence showing the spatial and temporal pattern of climate change through the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Our synthesis includes 47 records from a recently published database of highly resolved Holocene paleoclimate time series from the Arctic (Sundqvist et al., 2014). We analyze the temperature histories represented by the database and compare them with paleoclimate and environmental information from 54 additional published records, mostly from datasets that did not fit the selection criteria for the Arctic Holocene database. Combined, we review evidence from a variety of proxy archives including glaciers (ice cores and glacial geomorphology), lake sediments, peat sequences, and coastal and deep-marine sediments. The temperature-sensitive records indicate more consistent and earlier Holocene warmth in the north and east, and a more diffuse and later Holocene thermal maximum in the south and west. Principal components analysis reveals two dominant Holocene trends, one with early Holocene warmth followed by cooling in the middle Holocene, the other with a broader period of warmth in the middle Holocene followed by cooling in the late Holocene. The temperature decrease from the warmest to the coolest portions of the Holocene is 3.0 ± 1.0 °C on average (n = 11 sites). The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of Atlantic Water into the study region.

  9. A new bathymetry of the Northeast Greenland continental shelf: Constraints on glacial and other processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Jan Erik; Jokat, Wilfried; Dorschel, Boris; Myklebust, Reidun; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Evans, Jeffrey

    2015-10-01

    A new digital bathymetric model (DBM) for the Northeast Greenland (NEG) continental shelf (74°N-81°N) is presented. The DBM has a grid cell size of 250 m × 250 m and incorporates bathymetric data from 30 multibeam cruises, more than 20 single-beam cruises and first reflector depths from industrial seismic lines. The new DBM substantially improves the bathymetry compared to older models. The DBM not only allows a better delineation of previously known seafloor morphology but, in addition, reveals the presence of previously unmapped morphological features including glacially derived troughs, fjords, grounding-zone wedges, and lateral moraines. These submarine landforms are used to infer the past extent and ice-flow dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the last full-glacial period of the Quaternary and subsequent ice retreat across the continental shelf. The DBM reveals cross-shelf bathymetric troughs that may enable the inflow of warm Atlantic water masses across the shelf, driving enhanced basal melting of the marine-terminating outlet glaciers draining the ice sheet to the coast in Northeast Greenland. Knolls, sinks, and hummocky seafloor on the middle shelf are also suggested to be related to salt diapirism. North-south-orientated elongate depressions are identified that probably relate to ice-marginal processes in combination with erosion caused by the East Greenland Current. A single guyot-like peak has been discovered and is interpreted to have been produced during a volcanic event approximately 55 Ma ago.

  10. Surface elevation change on ice caps in the Qaanaaq region, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Jun; Sugiyama, Shin; Tsutaki, Shun; Sawagaki, Takanobu

    2016-09-01

    A large number of glaciers and ice caps (GICs) are distributed along the Greenland coast, physically separated from the ice sheet. The total area of these GICs accounts for 5% of Greenland's ice cover. Melt water input from the GICs to the ocean substantially contributed to sea-level rise over the last century. Here, we report surface elevation changes of six ice caps near Qaanaaq (77°28‧N, 69°13‧W) in northwestern Greenland based on photogrammetric analysis of stereo pair satellite images. We processed the images with a digital map plotting instrument to generate digital elevation models (DEMs) in 2006 and 2010 with a grid resolution of 500 m. Generated DEMs were compared to measure surface elevation changes between 2006 and 2010. Over the study area of the six ice caps, covering 1215 km2, the mean rate of elevation change was -1.1 ± 0.1 m a-1. This rate is significantly greater than that previously reported for the 2003-2008 period (-0.6 ± 0.1 m a-1) for GICs all of northwestern Greenland. This increased mass loss is consistent with the rise in summer temperatures in this region at a rate of 0.12 °C a-1 for the 1997-2013 period.

  11. Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern Greenland.

    PubMed

    Willerslev, Eske; Cappellini, Enrico; Boomsma, Wouter; Nielsen, Rasmus; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Brand, Tina B; Hofreiter, Michael; Bunce, Michael; Poinar, Hendrik N; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Johnsen, Sigfus; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Bennike, Ole; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Nathan, Roger; Armitage, Simon; de Hoog, Cees-Jan; Alfimov, Vasily; Christl, Marcus; Beer, Juerg; Muscheler, Raimund; Barker, Joel; Sharp, Martin; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Haile, James; Taberlet, Pierre; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Casoli, Antonella; Campani, Elisa; Collins, Matthew J

    2007-07-06

    It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores, enabling reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high-altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than 2 kilometers of ice, was inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. The results provide direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections.

  12. Seasonal variability of the warm Atlantic water layer in the vicinity of the Greenland shelf break

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grist, Jeremy P.; Josey, Simon A.; Boehme, Lars; Meredith, Michael P.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Kovacs, Kit M.; Lydersen, Christian; Davidson, Fraser J. M.; Stenson, Garry B.; Hammill, Mike O.; Marsh, Robert; Coward, Andrew C.

    2014-12-01

    The warmest water reaching the east and west coast of Greenland is found between 200 and 600 m. While important for melting Greenland's outlet glaciers, limited winter observations of this layer prohibit determination of its seasonality. To address this, temperature data from Argo profiling floats, a range of sources within the World Ocean Database, and unprecedented coverage from marine-mammal borne sensors have been analyzed for the period 2002-2011. A significant seasonal range in temperature (~1-2°C) is found in the warm layer, in contrast to most of the surrounding ocean. The phase of the seasonal cycle exhibits considerable spatial variability, with the warmest water found near the eastern and southwestern shelf break toward the end of the calendar year. High-resolution ocean model trajectory analysis suggests the timing of the arrival of the year's warmest water is a function of advection time from the subduction site in the Irminger Basin.

  13. Flow instabilities of Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, James Bradley

    Over 300 of the largest glaciers in southern Alaska have been identified as either surge-type or pulse-type, making glaciers with flow instabilities the norm among large glaciers in that region. Consequently, the bulk of mass loss due to climate change will come from these unstable glaciers in the future, yet their response to future climate warming is unknown because their dynamics are still poorly understood. To help broaden our understanding of unstable glacier flow, the decadal-scale ice dynamics of 1 surging and 9 pulsing glaciers are investigated. Bering Glacier had a kinematic wave moving down its ablation zone at 4.4 +/- 2.0 km/yr from 2002 to 2009, which then accelerated to 13.9 +/- 2.0 km/yr as it traversed the piedmont lobe. The wave first appeared in 2001 near the confluence with Bagley Ice Valley and it took 10 years to travel ~64 km. A surge was triggered in 2008 after the wave activated an ice reservoir in the midablation zone, and it climaxed in 2011 while the terminus advanced several km into Vitus Lake. Ruth Glacier pulsed five times between 1973 and 2012, with peak velocities in 1981, 1989, 1997, 2003, and 2010; approximately every 7 years. A typical pulse increased ice velocity 300%, from roughly 40 m/yr to 160 m/yr in the midablation zone, and involved acceleration and deceleration of the ice en masse; no kinematic wave was evident. The pulses are theorized to be due to deformation of a subglacial till causing enhanced basal motion. Eight additional pulsing glaciers are identified based on the spatiotemporal pattern of their velocity fields. These glaciers pulsed where they were either constricted laterally or joined by a tributary, and their surface slopes are 1-2°. These traits are consistent with an overdeepening. This observation leads to a theory of ice motion in overdeepenings that explains the cyclical behavior of pulsing glaciers. It is based on the concept of glaciohydraulic supercooling, and includes sediment transport and erosion

  14. Antarctic Peninsula Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettit, E. C.; Scambos, T. A.; Haran, T. M.; Wellner, J. S.; Domack, E. W.; Vernet, M.

    2015-12-01

    The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, north of 66°S) is a north-south trending mountain range extending transverse across the prevailing westerly winds of the Southern Ocean resulting in an extreme west-to-east precipitation gradient. Snowfall on the west side of the AP is one to two orders of magnitude higher than the east side. This gradient drives short, steep, fast-flowing glaciers into narrow fjords on the west side, while longer lower-sloping glaciers flow down the east side into broader fjord valleys. This pattern in ice dynamics affects ice-ocean interaction on timescales of decades to centuries, and shapes the subglacial topography and submarine bathymetry on timescales of glacial cycles. In our study, we calculate ice flux for the western and eastern nAP using a drainage model that incorporates the modern ice surface topography, the RACMO-2 precipitation estimate, and recent estimates of ice thinning. Our results, coupled with observed rates of ice velocity from InSAR (I. Joughin, personal communication) and Landsat 8 -derived flow rates (this study), provide an estimate of ice thickness and fjord depth in grounded-ice areas for the largest outlet glaciers. East-side glaciers either still terminate in or have recently terminated in ice shelves. Sedimentary evidence from the inner fjords of the western glaciers indicates they had ice shelves during LIA time, and may still have transient floating ice tongues (tabular berg calvings are observed). Although direct oceanographic evidence is limited, the high accumulation rate and rapid ice flux implies cold basal ice for the western nAP glaciers and therefore weak subglacial discharge relative to eastern nAP glaciers and or other tidewater fjord systems such as in Alaska. Finally, despite lower accumulation rates on the east side, the large elongate drainage basins result in a greater ice flux funneled through fewer deeper glaciers. Due to the relation between ice flux and erosion, these east-side glaciers

  15. Numerical modelling of the effect of changing surface geometry on mountain glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Chris; Carrivick, Jonathan; Evans, Andrew; Carver, Steve

    2013-04-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps are extremely useful indicators of environmental change. Due to their small size, they have much faster response times to climate changes than the large ice masses of Greenland and Antarctica. Mountain glaciers are important for society as sources of water for energy production and irrigation and the meltwater cycles significantly impact local ecology. We have applied a spatially distributed surface energy balance model to a glacier record spanning 100 years. Our study encompasses (i) the creation of a GIS enabling quantitative analysis of changing glacier geometry; absolute length, area, surface lowering and volume change, over the 20th and early 21st Centuries and (ii) the development and testing of a novel user-friendly distributed-surface energy balance model that is designed specifically to consider the effect that these geometrical changes have on mountain glacier mass balance. Our study site is Kårsaglaciären in Arctic Sweden for which there is a variety of data for the past 100 years, sourced from historical surveys, satellite imagery and recent field work. This contrasts with other Arctic mountain glaciers where long-term records are rare, making model development and evaluation very difficult. Kårsaglaciären has been in a state of negative balance throughout the 20th century. Disintegration of the glacier occurred during the 1920s, breaking the glacier into two separate bodies. Between 1926 and 2008, the glacier retreated 1.3 km and reduced in area by 3.41km2. In 2008 the glacier had an estimated surface area of 0.89km2 and a length of approximately 1.0km. Firstly, we present the GIS based construction of robust three-dimensional glacier surface reconstructions for Kårsaglaciären from 1926 to 2010 using a decadal interval. We highlight the kriging interpolation methods used for surface development and the importance of inter-model sensitivity analyses as well as the use of Monte Carlo simulations used to assess the

  16. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen Chris F,; Burgess, E; Arendt, A.A.; O'Neel, Shad; Johnson, A.J.; Kienholz, C.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers comprise a small and widely distributed fraction of the world's terrestrial ice, yet their rapid losses presently drive a large percentage of the cryosphere's contribution to sea level rise. Regional mass balance assessments are challenging over large glacier populations due to remote and rugged geography, variable response of individual glaciers to climate change, and episodic calving losses from tidewater glaciers. In Alaska, we use airborne altimetry from 116 glaciers to estimate a regional mass balance of −75 ± 11 Gt yr−1 (1994–2013). Our glacier sample is spatially well distributed, yet pervasive variability in mass balances obscures geospatial and climatic relationships. However, for the first time, these data allow the partitioning of regional mass balance by glacier type. We find that tidewater glaciers are losing mass at substantially slower rates than other glaciers in Alaska and collectively contribute to only 6% of the regional mass loss.

  17. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, C. F.; Burgess, E.; Arendt, A. A.; O'Neel, S.; Johnson, A. J.; Kienholz, C.

    2015-07-01

    Mountain glaciers comprise a small and widely distributed fraction of the world's terrestrial ice, yet their rapid losses presently drive a large percentage of the cryosphere's contribution to sea level rise. Regional mass balance assessments are challenging over large glacier populations due to remote and rugged geography, variable response of individual glaciers to climate change, and episodic calving losses from tidewater glaciers. In Alaska, we use airborne altimetry from 116 glaciers to estimate a regional mass balance of -75 ± 11 Gt yr-1 (1994-2013). Our glacier sample is spatially well distributed, yet pervasive variability in mass balances obscures geospatial and climatic relationships. However, for the first time, these data allow the partitioning of regional mass balance by glacier type. We find that tidewater glaciers are losing mass at substantially slower rates than other glaciers in Alaska and collectively contribute to only 6% of the regional mass loss.

  18. Investing the role of buoyancy in iceberg calving dynamics from tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trevers, Matt; Payne, Tony; Cornford, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) currently makes a major and accelerating contribution to sea level rise (SLR), with its contribution split roughly evenly between surface mass balance changes due to increased melting and dynamic ice loss through calving. In recent decades, many of Greenland's major outlet glaciers have retreated dramatically due to increased iceberg calving, associated with an increase in velocity and inland thinning. The potential contribution to SLR of a complete collapse of the GIS is ~7m. Iceberg calving is an important process not only as a major source of mass loss from the GIS, but also for the controlling influence it has on the dynamics of the grounding line and over the ice sheet as a whole. Despite plenty of scientific attention and a diverse body of literature, the processes involved in calving, their controlling factors and how it feeds back into glacier and ice sheet dynamics are still not fully understood. This presents a major uncertainty into projections of SLR over the coming decades and centuries. Using Elmer/Ice, a state-of-the-art full-Stokes finite-element model, we are able to resolve the stress distributions in high resolution at the calving front. Buoyancy forces have been proposed as a major influencing factor in inducing calving. By investigating the stress distributions induced in a buoyant calving front, we hope to gain an understanding of how environmental influences such as surface thinning and waterline notch-cutting influence the calving rate, and compare this to observations from calving glaciers in Greenland.

  19. Ocean forcing drives glacier retreat sometimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; Ultee, E.; Ma, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Observations show that marine-terminating glaciers respond to climate forcing nonlinearly, with periods of slow or negligible glacier advance punctuated by abrupt, rapid retreat. Once glacier retreat has initiated, glaciers can quickly stabilize with a new terminus position. Alternatively, retreat can be sustained for decades (or longer), as is the case for Columbia Glacier, Alaska where retreat initiated ~1984 and continues to this day. Surprisingly, patterns of glacier retreat show ambiguous or even contradictory correlations with atmospheric temperature and glacier surface mass balance. Despite these puzzles, observations increasingly show that intrusion of warm subsurface ocean water into fjords can lead to glacier erosion rates that can account for a substantial portion of the total mass lost from glaciers. Here we use a simplified flowline model to show that even relatively modest submarine melt rates (~100 m/a) near the terminus of grounded glaciers can trigger large increases in iceberg calving leading to rapid glacier retreat. However, the strength of the coupling between submarine melt and calving is a strong function of the geometry of the glacier (bed topography, ice thickness and glacier width). This can lead to irreversible retreat when the terminus is thick and grounded deeply beneath sea level or result in little change when the glacier is relatively thin, grounded in shallow water or pinned in a narrow fjord. Because of the strong dependence on glacier geometry, small perturbations in submarine melting can trigger glaciers in their most advanced—and geometrically precarious—state to undergo sudden retreat followed by much slower re-advance. Although many details remain speculative, our model hints that some glaciers are more sensitive than others to ocean forcing and that some of the nonlinearities of glacier response to climate change may be attributable to variations in difficult-to-detect subsurface water temperatures that need to be better

  20. Deltas, freshwater discharge, and waves along the Young Sound, NE Greenland.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Aart; Abermann, Jakob; Bendixen, Mette; Lund, Magnus; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Skov, Kirstine; Hansen, Birger Ulf

    2017-02-01

    A wide range of delta morphologies occurs along the fringes of the Young Sound in Northeast Greenland due to spatial heterogeneity of delta regimes. In general, the delta regime is related to catchment and basin characteristics (geology, topography, drainage pattern, sediment availability, and bathymetry), fluvial discharges and associated sediment load, and processes by waves and currents. Main factors steering the Arctic fluvial discharges into the Young Sound are the snow and ice melt and precipitation in the catchment, and extreme events like glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Waves are subordinate and only rework fringes of the delta plain forming sandy bars if the exposure and fetch are optimal. Spatial gradients and variability in driving forces (snow and precipitation) and catchment characteristics (amount of glacier coverage, sediment characteristics) as well as the strong and local influence of GLOFs in a specific catchment impede a simple upscaling of sediment fluxes from individual catchments toward a total sediment flux into the Young Sound.

  1. Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    Stibal, Marek; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Cameron, Karen A.; Box, Jason E.; Stevens, Ian T.; Gokul, Jarishma K.; Schostag, Morten; Zarsky, Jakub D.; Edwards, Arwyn; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.; Jacobsen, Carsten S.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring microbial abundance in glacier ice and identifying its controls is essential for a better understanding and quantification of biogeochemical processes in glacial ecosystems. However, cell enumeration of glacier ice samples is challenging due to typically low cell numbers and the presence of interfering mineral particles. We quantified for the first time the abundance of microbial cells in surface ice from geographically distinct sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), using three enumeration methods: epifluorescence microscopy (EFM), flow cytometry (FCM), and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In addition, we reviewed published data on microbial abundance in glacier ice and tested the three methods on artificial ice samples of realistic cell (102–107 cells ml−1) and mineral particle (0.1–100 mg ml−1) concentrations, simulating a range of glacial ice types, from clean subsurface ice to surface ice to sediment-laden basal ice. We then used multivariate statistical analysis to identify factors responsible for the variation in microbial abundance on the ice sheet. EFM gave the most accurate and reproducible results of the tested methodologies, and was therefore selected as the most suitable technique for cell enumeration of ice containing dust. Cell numbers in surface ice samples, determined by EFM, ranged from ~ 2 × 103 to ~ 2 × 106 cells ml−1 while dust concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 2 mg ml−1. The lowest abundances were found in ice sampled from the accumulation area of the ice sheet and in samples affected by fresh snow; these samples may be considered as a reference point of the cell abundance of precipitants that are deposited on the ice sheet surface. Dust content was the most significant variable to explain the variation in the abundance data, which suggests a direct association between deposited dust particles and cells and/or by their provision of limited nutrients to microbial communities on the GrIS. PMID:25852678

  2. Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1988-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, contains 11 chapters designated by the letters A through K. Chapter A provides a comprehensive, yet concise, review of the "State of the Earth's Cryosphere at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Glaciers, Global Snow Cover, Floating Ice, and Permafrost and Periglacial Environments," and a "Map/Poster of the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere," and a set of eight "Supplemental Cryosphere Notes" about the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere and the Earth System. The next 10 chapters, B through K, are arranged geographically and present glaciological information from Landsat and other sources of historic and modern data on each of the geographic areas. Chapter B covers Antarctica; Chapter C, Greenland; Chapter D, Iceland; Chapter E, Continental Europe (except for the European part of the former Soviet Union), including the Alps, the Pyrenees, Norway, Sweden, Svalbard (Norway), and Jan Mayen (Norway); Chapter F, Asia, including the European part of the former Soviet Union, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan; Chapter G, Turkey, Iran, and Africa; Chapter H, Irian Jaya (Indonesia) and New Zealand; Chapter I, South America; Chapter J, North America (excluding Alaska); and Chapter K, Alaska. Chapters A–D each include map plates.

  3. Late Holocene expansion of Istorvet ice cap, Liverpool Land, east Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, Thomas V.; Hall, Brenda L.; Kelly, Meredith A.; Bennike, Ole; Lusas, Amanda R.; Honsaker, William; Smith, Colby A.; Levy, Laura B.; Travis, Scott; Denton, George H.

    2013-03-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is undergoing dynamic changes that will have global implications if they continue into the future. In this regard, an understanding of how the ice sheet responded to past climate changes affords a baseline for anticipating future behavior. Small, independent ice caps adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet (hereinafter called "local ice caps") are sensitive indicators of the response of Greenland ice-marginal zones to climate change. Therefore, we reconstructed late Holocene ice-marginal fluctuations of the local Istorvet ice cap in east Greenland, using radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants, 10Be dates of surface boulders, and analyses of sediment cores from both threshold and control lakes. During the last termination, the Istorvet ice cap had retreated close to its maximum Holocene position by ˜11,730 cal yr BP. Radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants exposed by recent recession of the ice margin indicate that the Istorvet cap was smaller than at present from AD 200 to AD 1025. Sediments from a threshold lake show no glacial input until the ice cap advanced to within 365 m of its Holocene maximum position by ˜AD 1150. Thereafter the ice cap remained at or close to this position until at least AD 1660. The timing of this, the most extensive of the Holocene, expansion is similar to that recorded at some glaciers in the Alps and in southern Alaska. However, in contrast to these other regions, the expansion in east Greenland at AD 1150 appears to have been very close to, if not at, a maximum Holocene value. Comparison of the Istorvet ice-cap fluctuations with Holocene glacier extents in Southern Hemisphere middle-to-high latitude locations on the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Andes and the Southern Alps suggests an out-of-phase relationship. If correct, this pattern supports the hypothesis that a bipolar see-saw of oceanic and/or atmospheric circulation during the Holocene produced asynchronous glacier response at some localities in the two

  4. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier of Europe, covers more than 120 square kilometers (more than 45 square miles)in southern Switzerland. At its eastern extremity lies a glacierlake, Mdrjelensee (2,350 meters/7,711 feet above sea level). To the west rises Aletschhorn (4,195 meters/13,763 feet), which was first climbed in 1859. The Rhone River flows along the southern flank of the mountains.

    This image was acquired on July 23, 2001 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next 6 years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

    Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. Science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research and technology program designed to examine Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as

  5. Chronology for fluctuations in late pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Plummer, M.A.

    1996-11-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, and 1. 27 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Insect-Based Holocene (and Last Interglacial?) Paleothermometry from the E and NW Greenland Ice Sheet Margins: A Fly's-Eye View of Warmth on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Bigl, M.; Carrio, C.; Corbett, L. B.; Francis, D. R.; Hall, B. L.; Kelly, M. A.; Levy, L.; Lowell, T. V.; Osterberg, E. C.; Richter, N.; Roy, E.; Schellinger, G. C.

    2011-12-01

    Here we present new paleotemperature reconstructions based upon insect (Chironomidae) assemblages and other proxies from lake sediment cores recovered in east Greenland at ~71° N near Scoresby Sund and in northwest Greenland at ~77° N near Thule/Qaanaaq. In east Greenland, Last Chance Lake (informal name) is a small, non-glacial lake situated ~90 km east of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. The lake preserves a sedimentary record of the entire Holocene (Levy et al. 2013). Chironomids from Last Chance Lake record cold summer temperatures (and establishment of a cold-climate fauna including abundant Oliveridia and Pseudodiamesa) during the late Holocene, preceded by summer temperatures estimated to have been 3 to 6°C warmer during the first half of the Holocene (when summer insolation forcing was greater than today). In northwest Greenland, Delta Sø and Wax Lips Lake (informal name) both preserve Holocene sediments. Here we discuss the late Holocene chironomid record from Delta Sø, whereas from Wax Lips Lake (a small, non-glacial lake situated ~2 km west of the ice sheet margin) we present a longer sedimentary and biostratigraphic record. The deeper portions of cores from Wax Lips Lake yield pre-Holocene and nonfinite radiocarbon ages, suggesting that this lake preserves sediments predating the Last Glacial Maximum. Abundant chironomids in the pre-glacial sediments appear to record interglacial conditions, and we infer that these sediments may date to the Last Interglacial (Eemian). The preservation of in situ Last Interglacial lacustrine sediments so close to the modern ice sheet margin suggests a minimally erosive glacierization style throughout the last glacial period, like that inferred for other Arctic locales such as on Baffin Island (Briner et al. 2007), ~750 km southwest of our study site. Our study sites are situated nearby key ice core sites (including NEEM, Camp Century, Agassiz and Renland) and very close to the ice sheet margin. These chironomid

  7. Insect-Based Holocene (and Last Interglacial?) Paleothermometry from the E and NW Greenland Ice Sheet Margins: A Fly's-Eye View of Warmth on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Bigl, M.; Carrio, C.; Corbett, L. B.; Francis, D. R.; Hall, B. L.; Kelly, M. A.; Levy, L.; Lowell, T. V.; Osterberg, E. C.; Richter, N.; Roy, E.; Schellinger, G. C.

    2013-12-01

    Here we present new paleotemperature reconstructions based upon insect (Chironomidae) assemblages and other proxies from lake sediment cores recovered in east Greenland at ~71° N near Scoresby Sund and in northwest Greenland at ~77° N near Thule/Qaanaaq. In east Greenland, Last Chance Lake (informal name) is a small, non-glacial lake situated ~90 km east of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. The lake preserves a sedimentary record of the entire Holocene (Levy et al. 2013). Chironomids from Last Chance Lake record cold summer temperatures (and establishment of a cold-climate fauna including abundant Oliveridia and Pseudodiamesa) during the late Holocene, preceded by summer temperatures estimated to have been 3 to 6°C warmer during the first half of the Holocene (when summer insolation forcing was greater than today). In northwest Greenland, Delta Sø and Wax Lips Lake (informal name) both preserve Holocene sediments. Here we discuss the late Holocene chironomid record from Delta Sø, whereas from Wax Lips Lake (a small, non-glacial lake situated ~2 km west of the ice sheet margin) we present a longer sedimentary and biostratigraphic record. The deeper portions of cores from Wax Lips Lake yield pre-Holocene and nonfinite radiocarbon ages, suggesting that this lake preserves sediments predating the Last Glacial Maximum. Abundant chironomids in the pre-glacial sediments appear to record interglacial conditions, and we infer that these sediments may date to the Last Interglacial (Eemian). The preservation of in situ Last Interglacial lacustrine sediments so close to the modern ice sheet margin suggests a minimally erosive glacierization style throughout the last glacial period, like that inferred for other Arctic locales such as on Baffin Island (Briner et al. 2007), ~750 km southwest of our study site. Our study sites are situated nearby key ice core sites (including NEEM, Camp Century, Agassiz and Renland) and very close to the ice sheet margin. These chironomid

  8. Impact of External Forcing on Glacier Dynamics at Jakobshavn Isbræ during 1840-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muresan, I. S.; Khan, S. A.; Aschwanden, A.; Khroulev, C.; Bjork, A. A.; Box, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Greenland's main outlet glaciers have more than doubled their contribution to global sea-level rise over the past decade through acceleration of ice discharge. One of the triggering mechanisms is a reduction in resistance (buttressing) at the marine based glacier front (i.e. through reduced thickness or retreat of the floating tongue of a glacier) caused by enhanced calving or a longer-term thinning due to a mass deficit of the ice sheet. Recent findings indicate the reduced buttressing at the marine terminus is responsible for the recent dynamic changes observed in Greenland, but the controlling processes and triggering mechanisms are still unclear. Furthermore, our current understanding is almost entirely based on observations from a short-term record spanning only from a year to a decade, and is characterized by short-term fluctuations and therefore not representative for longer-term trends of several decade time scales. Here, we study the mechanisms controlling dynamic changes at the terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ over a period of 172 years. The recent glacier acceleration began in late 1990s but there is evidence for glacier retreat of comparable magnitude in 1930s, when a similarly warm period occurred. To control the acceleration and retreat based on observed front positions during 1840-2012, we use an ocean model modifier that implements forcing at the ocean boundary using melange back pressure offsets. The mean temperature anomaly in west Greenland, the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) winter index and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) index anomalies for the period 1900-2012 sustain our modelling results. The modelled surface elevation changes near the front are considered and compared with observed surface elevation changes for the period 1880-2012. Furthermore, the modelled mass loss signal between 1997-2012 is validated based on ice mass change observations which we estimate using altimeter surveys from NASA's ATM flights during 1997

  9. Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1986-2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Columbia Glacier in Alaska is one of many vanishing around the world. Glacier retreat is one of the most direct and understandable effects of climate change. The consequences of the decline in ...

  10. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Lane, Stuart; Brughelli, Mattia; Leprince, Sebastien; Brun, Fanny

    2015-04-01

    Most mountain ranges on Earth owe their morphology to the action of glaciers and icecaps over the last few million years. Our current understanding of how glaciers have modified mountainous landforms has mainly been driven through landscape evolution models. These have included an array of erosion laws and mainly progressed through the implementation of various levels of sophistication regarding ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology or thermodynamics of water flow. However, the complex nature of the erosion processes involved and the difficulty of directly examining the ice-bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers has precluded the establishment of a prevailing erosion theory. Here we quantify the spatial variations in ice sliding velocity and erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier in New Zealand during a 5-month period. By combining high resolution 3D measurements of surface velocity from optical satellite imagery with the quantification of both the production and provenance of sediments by the glacier, we show that erosion rates are proportional to sliding velocity raised to a power of about two. This result is consistent with abrasion theory. Given that the ice sliding velocity is a nonlinear function of ice thickness and ice surface slope, the response of glacial erosion to precipitation changes is highly nonlinear. Finally, our ability to constrain the glacial abrasion law present opportunities to further examine the interaction between glaciation and mountain evolution.

  11. From the front

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The causes of recent dynamic thinning of Greenland's outlet glaciers have been debated. Realistic simulations suggest that changes at the marine fronts of these glaciers are to blame, implying that dynamic thinning will cease once the glaciers retreat to higher ground. For the last decade, many outlet glaciers in Greenland that terminate in the ocean have accelerated, thinned, and retreated. To explain these dynamic changes, two hypotheses have been discussed. Atmospheric warming has increased surface melting and may also have increased the amount of meltwater reaching the glacier bed, increasing lubrication at the base and hence the rate of glacier sliding. Alternatively, a change in the delicate balance of forces where the glacier fronts meet the ocean could trigger the changes. Faezeh Nick and colleagues5 present ice-sheet modeling experiments that mimic the observations on Helheim glacier, East Greenland, and suggest that the dynamic behaviour of outlet glaciers follows from perturbations at their marine fronts. Greenland's ice sheet loses mass partly through surface melting and partly through fast flowing outlet glaciers that connect the vast plateau of inland ice with the ocean. Earlier ice sheet models have failed to reproduce the dynamic variability exhibited by ice sheets over time. It has therefore not been possible to distinguish with confidence between basal lubrication from surface meltwater and changes at the glaciers' marine fronts as causes for the observed changes on Greenland's outlet glaciers. But this distinction bears directly on future sea-level rise, the raison d'etre of much of modern-day glaciology: If the recent dynamic mass loss Greenland's outlet glaciers is linked to changing atmospheric temperatures, it may continue for as long as temperatures continue to increase. On the other hand, if the source of the dynamic mass loss is a perturbation at the ice-ocean boundary, these glaciers will lose contact with that perturbation after a finite

  12. The potential of Sentinel-2 for investigating glaciers and related natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsvold, Solveig H.; Altena, Bas; Kääb, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    compared to Landsat data. This improved resolution together with the high radiometric fidelity is also important for detecting and assessing glacier lakes and their changes over time. From S2 data it becomes possible to track velocities of smaller glaciers and even over seasonal scales, as we demonstrate for the European Alps, the Caucasus, New Zealand and Greenland. This opens up for the possibility of obtaining both summer and annual velocities from the same sensor.

  13. Greenland Ice sheet mass balance from satellite and airborne altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, S. A.; Bevis, M. G.; Wahr, J. M.; Wouters, B.; Sasgen, I.; van Dam, T. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Hanna, E.; Huybrechts, P.; Kjaer, K.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is dominated by loss in the marginal areas. Dynamic induced ice loss and its associated ice surface lowering is often largest close to the glacier calving front and may vary from rates of tens of meters per years to a few meters per year over relatively short distances. Hence, high spatial resolution data are required to accurately estimate volume changes. Here, we estimate ice volume change rate of the Greenland ice sheet using data from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter during 2003-2009 and CryoSat-2 data during 2010-2012. To improve the volume change estimate we supplement the ICESat and CryoSat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) during 2003-2012 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) during 2007-2012. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and therefore significantly improve the estimate of the total volume change. Furthermore, we divide the GrIS into six major drainage basins and provide volume loss estimates during 2003-2006, 2006-2009 and 2009-2012 for each basin and separate between melt induced and dynamic ice loss. In order to separate dynamic ice loss from melt processes, we use SMB values from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) and SMB values from a positive degree day runoff retention model (Janssens & Huybrechts 2000, Hanna et al. 2011 JGR, updated for this study). Our results show increasing SMB ice loss over the last decade, while dynamic ice loss increased during 2003-2009, but has since been decreasing. Finally, we assess the estimated mass loss using GPS observations from stations located along the edge of the GrIS and measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravity mission. Hanna, E., et al. (2011), Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance 1870 to 2010 based on Twentieth Century Reanalysis, and links with global climate forcing, J. Geophys. Res

  14. Get Close to Glaciers with Satellite Imagery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Dorothy K.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the use of remote sensing from satellites to monitor glaciers. Discusses efforts to use remote sensing satellites of the Landsat series for examining the global distribution, mass, balance, movements, and dynamics of the world's glaciers. Includes several Landsat images of various glaciers. (TW)

  15. Flow velocities of Alaskan glaciers.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Evan W; Forster, Richard R; Larsen, Christopher F

    2013-01-01

    Our poor understanding of tidewater glacier dynamics remains the primary source of uncertainty in sea level rise projections. On the ice sheets, mass lost from tidewater calving exceeds the amount lost from surface melting. In Alaska, the magnitude of calving mass loss remains unconstrained, yet immense calving losses have been observed. With 20% of the global new-water sea level rise coming from Alaska, partitioning of mass loss sources in Alaska is needed to improve sea level rise projections. Here we present the first regionally comprehensive map of glacier flow velocities in Central Alaska. These data reveal that the majority of the regional downstream flux is constrained to only a few coastal glaciers. We find regional calving losses are 17.1 Gt a(-1), which is equivalent to 36% of the total annual mass change throughout Central Alaska.

  16. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    PubMed

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-09

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years.

  17. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N.; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y. Y.; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C.

    2015-10-01

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth’s surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years.

  18. A coupled ocean-sea ice-iceberg model over the 20th Century: Iceberg flux at 48°N as a proxy for Greenland iceberg discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilton, David; Bigg, Grant

    2013-04-01

    We have used a coupled ocean-sea ice-iceberg model, the Fine Resolution Greenland and Labrador ocean model [1], to study the variation in, and trajectory of, icebergs over the twentieth century, focusing particularly on Greenland and surrounding areas. The model is forced with daily heat, freshwater and wind fluxes derived from the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project [2]. We use the observed iceberg flux at 48°N off Newfoundland (I48N) from 1900 to 2008 [3] as a proxy for the variation in the calving rate of Greenland tidewater glaciers. Model I48N is calculated with both a variable and constant annual calving rate. The results show that ocean and atmosphere changes alone do not account for the variation in observed I48N and, allied analysis using non-linear systems modelling, suggests that this series can be used as a proxy for the interannual Greenland Ice Sheet iceberg discharge. Our models find that in the early decades of the twentieth century I48N was dominated by icebergs originating from south Greenland (below latitude 65°N) with west Greenland becoming the main source of I48N from the late 1930s onwards. References 1. M. R. Wadley, and G. R. Bigg, (2002), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 128, 2187-2203 2. G. P. Compo, et al. (2011), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 1-28 3. D. L. Murphy (2011) http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=IIPIcebergCounts

  19. Impact of Holocene climate variability on lacustrine records and human settlements in South Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillemot, T.; Bichet, V.; Simonneau, A.; Rius, D.; Massa, C.; Gauthier, E.; Richard, H.; Magny, M.

    2015-11-01

    Due to its sensitivity to climate changes, south Greenland is a particularly suitable area to study past global climate changes and their influence on locale Human settlements. A paleohydrological investigation was therefore carried out on two river-fed lakes: Lake Qallimiut and Little Kangerluluup, both located close to the Labrador Sea in the historic farming center of Greenland. Two sediment cores (QAL-2011 and LKG-2011), spanning the last four millennia, were retrieved and showed similar thin laminae, described by high magnetic susceptibility and density, high titanium and TOC / TN atomic ratio, and coarse grain size. They are also characterized either by inverse grading followed by normal grading or by normal grading only and a prevalence of red amorphous particles and lignocellulosic fragments, typical of flood deposits. Flood events showed similar trend in both records: they mainly occurred during cooler and wetter periods characterized by weaker Greenlandic paleo-temperatures, substantial glacier advances, and a high precipitation on the Greenlandic Ice Sheet and North Atlantic ice-rafting events. They can therefore be interpreted as a result of ice and snow-melting episodes. They occurred especially during rapid climate changes (RCC) such as the Middle to Late Holocene transition around 2250 BC, the Sub-boreal/Sub-atlantic transition around 700 BC and the Little Ice Age (LIA) between AD 1300 and AD 1900, separated by cycles of 1500 years and driven by solar forcing. These global RCC revealed by QAL-2011 and LKG-2011 flood events may have influenced Human settlements in south Greenland, especially the paleo-Eskimo cultures and the Norse settlement, and have been mainly responsible for their demise.

  20. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Arendt, Anthony; Sass, Louis

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate relationships among seasonal and annual glacier mass balances, glacier runoff and streamflow in two glacierized basins in different climate settings. We use long-term glacier mass balance and streamflow datasets from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Benchmark Glacier Program to compare and contrast glacier-streamflow interactions in a maritime climate (Wolverine Glacier) with those in a continental climate (Gulkana Glacier). Our overall goal is to improve our understanding of how glacier mass balance processes impact streamflow, ultimately improving our conceptual understanding of the future evolution of glacier runoff in continental and maritime climates.

  1. Mesoscale Icefield Breezes over Athbasca Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, J. P.; Helgason, W.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Sicart, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) dynamics over glaciers are of great interest as they can modify the response of glacier mass balance to large scale climate forcing. A key feature of the glacier ABL is formation of katabatic winds driven by turbulent sensible heat exchange with a cooler underlying ice surface. These winds can markedly alter the spatio-temporal distribution of air temperature over glacier surfaces from the environmental lapse rate, which in turn affects the distribution of melt. An intensive field campaign was conducted over 13 days in June 2015 at Athabasca Glacier, an outlet of Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Multiple automatic weather stations, eddy covariance systems, distributed temperature sensors, SODAR and kite profiling systems were used to characterise how the glacier ABL evolved spatially and temporally, how the differences in glacier ABL properties were related to valley and regional circulation and what effect these differences had on surface lapse rates. In general strong daytime down-glacier winds were observed over the glacier. These winds extended well beyond the glacier into the proglacial area and through the depth of lower ice-free valley. On most days wind speed was consistent or increasing through to the top of the above-glacier profiles (100 to 200 m), indicating a quite well mixed surface boundary layer. A wind speed maximum in the lowest few metres above the glacier surface, characteristic of a katabatic wind, was only observed on one day. The dominant circulation within the valley appears to be what could be termed an 'icefield breeze'; strong down-glacier winds driven by mesoscale pressure gradients that are set up by differential suface heating over the non-glaciated valleys and much the larger Columbia Icefield upstream of the glacier. The effect of the different circulations on lapse rates will be explored with a view to developing variable lapse rates for modelling glacier mass balance.

  2. Liquid water content in ice estimated through a full-depth ground radar profile and borehole measurements in western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Joel; Harper, Joel; Humphrey, Neil

    2017-03-01

    Liquid water content (wetness) within glacier ice is known to strongly control ice viscosity and ice deformation processes. Little is known about wetness of ice on the outer flanks of the Greenland Ice Sheet, where a temperate layer of basal ice exists. This study integrates borehole and radar surveys collected in June 2012 to provide direct estimates of englacial ice wetness in the ablation zone of western Greenland. We estimate electromagnetic propagation velocity of the ice body by inverting reflection travel times from radar data. Our inversion is constrained by ice thickness measured in boreholes and by positioning of a temperate-cold ice boundary identified in boreholes. Electromagnetic propagation velocities are consistent with a depth-averaged wetness of ˜ 0.5-1.1 %. The inversion indicates that wetness within the ice varies from < 0.1 % in an upper cold layer to ˜ 2.9-4.6 % in a 130-150 m thick temperate layer located above the glacier bed. Such high wetness should yield high rates of shear strain, which need to be accounted for in glacial flow models that focus on the ablation zone of Greenland. This high wetness also needs to be accounted for when determining ice thickness from radar measurements.

  3. Simulating the Greenland ice sheet under present-day and palaeo constraints including a new discharge parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, R.; Robinson, A.; Perrette, M.; Ganopolski, A.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, we propose a new sub-grid scale parameterization for the ice discharge into the ocean through outlet glaciers and inspect the role of different observational and palaeo constraints for the choice of an optimal set of model parameters. This parameterization was introduced into the polythermal ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS, which is coupled to the regional climate model of intermediate complexity REMBO. Using the coupled model, we performed large ensemble simulations over the last two glacial cycles by varying two major parameters: a melt parameter in the surface melt scheme of REMBO and a discharge scaling parameter in our parameterization of ice discharge. Our empirical constraints are the present-day Greenland ice sheet surface elevation, the surface mass balance partition (ratio between total ice discharge and total precipitation) and the Eemian interglacial elevation drop relative to present day in the vicinity of the NEEM ice core. We show that the ice discharge parameterization enables us to simulate both the correct ice-sheet shape and mass balance partition at the same time without explicitly resolving the Greenland outlet glaciers. For model verification, we compare the simulated total and sectoral ice discharge with other estimates. For the model versions that are consistent with the range of observational and palaeo constraints, our simulated Greenland ice sheet contribution to Eemian sea-level rise relative to present-day amounts to 1.4 m on average (in the range of 0.6 and 2.5 m).

  4. Glacier fluctuations during the past 2000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomina, Olga N.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Jomelli, Vincent; Geirsdottir, Aslaug; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Koch, Johannes; McKay, Nicholas P.; Masiokas, Mariano; Miller, Gifford; Nesje, Atle; Nicolussi, Kurt; Owen, Lewis A.; Putnam, Aaron E.; Wanner, Heinz; Wiles, Gregory; Yang, Bao

    2016-10-01

    A global compilation of glacier advances and retreats for the past two millennia grouped by 17 regions (excluding Antarctica) highlights the nature of glacier fluctuations during the late Holocene. The dataset includes 275 time series of glacier fluctuations based on historical, tree ring, lake sediment, radiocarbon and terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide data. The most detailed and reliable series for individual glaciers and regional compilations are compared with summer temperature and, when available, winter precipitation reconstructions, the most important parameters for glacier mass balance. In many cases major glacier advances correlate with multi-decadal periods of decreased summer temperature. In a few cases, such as in Arctic Alaska and western Canada, some glacier advances occurred during relatively warm wet times. The timing and scale of glacier fluctuations over the past two millennia varies greatly from region to region. However, the number of glacier advances shows a clear pattern for the high, mid and low latitudes and, hence, points to common forcing factors acting at the global scale. Globally, during the first millennium CE glaciers were smaller than between the advances in 13th to early 20th centuries CE. The precise extent of glacier retreat in the first millennium is not well defined; however, the most conservative estimates indicate that during the 1st and 2nd centuries in some regions glaciers were smaller than at the end of 20th/early 21st centuries. Other periods of glacier retreat are identified regionally during the 5th and 8th centuries in the European Alps, in the 3rd-6th and 9th centuries in Norway, during the 10th-13th centuries in southern Alaska, and in the 18th century in Spitsbergen. However, no single period of common global glacier retreat of centennial duration, except for the past century, has yet been identified. In contrast, the view that the Little Ice Age was a period of global glacier expansion beginning in the 13th century

  5. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S. Jr.; Bayr, K.J. USGS, Reston, VA Keene State College, NH )

    1992-03-01

    It has been possible to measure glacier recession on the basis of Landsat data, in conjunction with comparisons of the magnitude of recession of a glacier margin with in situ measurements at fixed points along the same margin. Attention is presently given to the cases of Vatnajokull ice cap, in Iceland, and the Pasterze Glacier, in Austria, on the basis of satellite data from 1973-1987 and 1984-1990, respectively. Indications of a trend toward negative mass balance are noted. Nevertheless, while most of the world's small glaciers have been receding, some are advancing either due to local climate or the tidewater glacier cycle. 21 refs.

  6. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Bayr, Klaus J.

    1992-01-01

    It has been possible to measure glacier recession on the basis of Landsat data, in conjunction with comparisons of the magnitude of recession of a glacier margin with in situ measurements at fixed points along the same margin. Attention is presently given to the cases of Vatnajokull ice cap, in Iceland, and the Pasterze Glacier, in Austria, on the basis of satellite data from 1973-1987 and 1984-1990, respectively. Indications of a trend toward negative mass balance are noted. Nevertheless, while most of the world's small glaciers have been receding, some are advancing either due to local climate or the tidewater glacier cycle.

  7. The Extent of Channelized Basal Water Flow Under the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downs, J.; Johnson, J. V.; Harper, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial ice flows due to a combination of deformation and basal sliding, with sliding accounting for most of the fastest ice flow. Basal sliding is controlled by the transport of water at the glacier's bed, which can be accomplished through both high pressure, low discharge, distributed flow, or low pressure, high discharge, channelized flow. Higher pressures are generally associated with more complete decoupling of a glacier from its bed and faster flow. As the intensity of summer melt in Greenland has increased, our poor understanding of the drainage network's discharge capacity and its coupling to sliding has generated fundamental questions, such as: will larger fluxes of liquid water promote or inhibit basal sliding? To investigate this question we have implemented a model of distributed and channelized flow developed by Werder et. al 2013. The sensitivity of the modeled channel network to basal and surface geometry, melt rate, boundary conditions, and other parameters is examined in a sequence of experiments using synthetic geometries. Expanding on these experiments, we run the model with realistic surface and bedrock data from Issunguata Sermia in Western Central Greenland. These experiments benefit from a wealth of in-situ data, including observations of basal water pressure. Our results suggest that the development of large channels is limited to the margins of the ice sheet, and that higher pressures continue to prevail in the interior.

  8. Spatially heterogeneous wastage of Himalayan glaciers.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Koji; Nuimura, Takayuki

    2011-08-23

    We describe volumetric changes in three benchmark glaciers in the Nepal Himalayas on which observations have been made since the 1970s. Compared with the global mean of glacier mass balance, the Himalayan glaciers showed rapid wastage in the 1970s-1990s, but similar wastage in the last decade. In the last decade, a glacier in an arid climate showed negative but suppressed mass balance compared with the period 1970s-1990s, whereas two glaciers in a humid climate showed accelerated wastage. A mass balance model with downscaled gridded datasets depicts the fate of the observed glaciers. We also show a spatially heterogeneous distribution of glacier wastage in the Asian highlands, even under the present-day climate warming.

  9. The contribution of glacier melt to streamflow

    SciTech Connect

    Schaner, Neil; Voisin, Nathalie; Nijssen, Bart; Lettenmaier, D. P.

    2012-09-13

    Ongoing and projected future changes in glacier extent and water storage globally have lead to concerns about the implications for water supplies. However, the current magnitude of glacier contributions to river runoff is not well known, nor is the population at risk to future glacier changes. We estimate an upper bound on glacier melt contribution to seasonal streamflow by computing the energy balance of glaciers globally. Melt water quantities are computed as a fraction of total streamflow simulated using a hydrology model and the melt fraction is tracked down the stream network. In general, our estimates of the glacier melt contribution to streamflow are lower than previously published values. Nonetheless, we find that globally an estimated 225 (36) million people live in river basins where maximum seasonal glacier melt contributes at least 10% (25%) of streamflow, mostly in the High Asia region.

  10. Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ananichheva, Maria; Arendt, Anthony; Hagen, Jon-Ove; Hock, Regine; Josberger, Edward G.; Moore, R. Dan; Pfeffer, William Tad; Wolken, Gabriel J.

    2011-01-01

    Projections of future rates of mass loss from mountain glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic focus primarily on projections of changes in the surface mass balance. Current models are not yet capable of making realistic forecasts of changes in losses by calving. Surface mass balance models are forced with downscaled output from climate models driven by forcing scenarios that make assumptions about the future rate of growth of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Thus, mass loss projections vary considerably, depending on the forcing scenario used and the climate model from which climate projections are derived. A new study in which a surface mass balance model is driven by output from ten general circulation models (GCMs) forced by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) A1B emissions scenario yields estimates of total mass loss of between 51 and 136 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE) (or 13% to 36% of current glacier volume) by 2100. This implies that there will still be substantial glacier mass in the Arctic in 2100 and that Arctic mountain glaciers and ice caps will continue to influence global sea-level change well into the 22nd century.

  11. Selenium status in Greenland Inuit.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Jens C; Deutch, Bente; Pedersen, Henning Sloth

    2004-09-20

    In Greenland, the human intake of selenium has always been relatively high and is closely connected to intake of the traditional food of marine origin. Analyses of historic and present day human and animal hair samples have indicated that the selenium level in the marine environment has been constant over time, while the levels in humans have declined corresponding to a decrease in intake of traditional food. The Inuit population in Greenland is in dietary transition where western-style food will increasingly dominate. As a consequence, the ample supply of selenium may not be sustained in the future. We report here the selenium status in three Greenlandic population groups, Ittoqqortoormiit and Tasiilaq on the east coast and Uummannaq on the west coast. Mean whole blood concentrations ranged from 178 microg/l in Tasiilaq men to 488 microg/l in Uummannaq men. Plasma concentrations ranged from 79 microg/l in Tasiilaq women to 113 microg/l in Uummannaq men. With increasing Se concentrations in whole blood, the plasma concentrations increased but tended to stabilise a level approximately 140 microg/l. Selenium blood levels were highly significantly correlated with long chain marine fatty acids. Dietary survey and food composition data from the west coast showed that whale skin, muktuk, is the main source of Se followed by birds, seal meat and organs, and fish. Terrestrial animals contributed only insignificantly to the selenium intake. In West Greenland, daily Se intake (235 microg/day) was estimated by dietary survey; it corresponded well with a calculated intake (220 microg/day) based on the mean blood concentration.

  12. Surface and sub-surface multi-proxy reconstruction of middle to late Holocene palaeoceanographic changes in Disko Bugt, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moros, Matthias; Lloyd, Jeremy M.; Perner, Kerstin; Krawczyk, Diana; Blanz, Thomas; de Vernal, Anne; Ouellet-Bernier, Marie-Michele; Kuijpers, Antoon; Jennings, Anne E.; Witkowski, Andrzej; Schneider, Ralph; Jansen, Eystein

    2016-01-01

    We present new surface water proxy records of meltwater production (alkenone derived), relative sea surface temperature (diatom, alkenones) and sea ice (diatoms) changes from the Disko Bugt area off central West Greenland. We combine these new surface water reconstructions with published proxy records (benthic foraminifera - bottom water proxy; dinocyst assemblages - surface water proxy), along with atmospheric temperature from Greenland ice core and Greenland lake records. This multi-proxy approach allows us to reconstruct centennial scale middle to late Holocene palaeoenvironmental evolution of Disko Bugt and the Western Greenland coastal region with more detail than previously available. Combining surface and bottom water proxies identifies the coupling between ocean circulation (West Greenland Current conditions), the atmosphere and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Centennial to millennial scale changes in the wider North Atlantic region were accompanied by variations in the West Greenland Current (WGC). During periods of relatively warm WGC, increased surface air temperature over western Greenland led to ice sheet retreat and significant meltwater flux. In contrast, during periods of cold WGC, atmospheric cooling resulted in glacier advances. We also identify potential linkages between the palaeoceanography of the Disko Bugt region and key changes in the history of human occupation. Cooler oceanographic conditions at 3.5 ka BP support the view that the Saqqaq culture left Disko Bugt due to deteriorating climatic conditions. The cause of the disappearance of the Dorset culture is unclear, but the new data presented here indicate that it may be linked to a significant increase in meltwater flux, which caused cold and unstable coastal conditions at ca. 2 ka BP. The subsequent settlement of the Norse occurred at the same time as climatic amelioration during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and their disappearance may be related to harsher conditions at the beginning of the

  13. Heterogeneity in Karakoram glacier surges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Cook, Simon J.; Luckman, Adrian

    2015-07-01

    Many Karakoram glaciers periodically undergo surges during which large volumes of ice and debris are rapidly transported downglacier, usually at a rate of 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than during quiescence. Here we identify eight recent surges in the region and map their surface velocities using cross-correlation feature tracking on optical satellite imagery. In total, we present 44 surface velocity data sets, which show that Karakoram surges are generally short-lived, lasting between 3 and 5 years in most cases, and have rapid buildup and relaxation phases, often lasting less than a year. Peak velocities of up to 2 km a-1 are reached during summer months, and the surges tend to diminish during winter months. Otherwise, they do not follow a clearly identifiable pattern. In two of the surges, the peak velocity travels down-ice through time as a wave, which we interpret as a surge front. Three other surges are characterized by high velocities that occur simultaneously across the entire glacier surface, and acceleration and deceleration are close to monotonic. There is also no consistent seasonal control on surge initiation or termination. We suggest that the differing styles of surge can be partly accounted for by individual glacier configurations and that while some characteristics of Karakoram surges are akin to thermally controlled surges elsewhere (e.g., Svalbard), the dominant surge mechanism remains unclear. We thus propose that these surges represent a spectrum of flow instabilities and the processes controlling their evolution may vary on a glacier by glacier basis.

  14. Drivers of River Water Temperature Space-time Variability in Northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannah, D. M.; Docherty, C.; Milner, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water temperature plays an important role in stream ecosystem functioning; however, water temperature dynamics in high Arctic environments have received relatively little attention. Given that global climate is predicted to change most at high latitudes, it is vital we broaden our knowledge of space-time variability in Arctic river temperature to understand controlling processes and potential consequences of climate change. To address this gap, our research aims: (1) to characterise seasonal and diel patterns of variability over three summer and two winter seasons with contrasting hydrometeorological conditions, (2) to unravel the key drivers influencing thermal regimes and (3) to place these results in the context of other snow/ glacier-melt dominated environments. Fieldwork was undertaken in July-September 2013, 2014 and 2015 close to the Zackenberg Research Station in Northeast Greenland - an area of continuous permafrost with a mean July air temperature of 6 °C. Five streams were chosen that drain different water source contributions (glacier melt, snow melt, groundwater). Data were collected at 30 minute intervals using micro-dataloggers. Air temperature data were collected within 7km by the Greenland Survey. Weather conditions were highly variable between field campaigns, with 2013 experiencing below average, and 2014 and 2015 above average, snowfall. Summer water temperatures appear to be high in comparison to some Arctic streams in Alaska and in Svalbard. Winter snowfall extent decreases stream water temperature; and water temperature increases with atmospheric exposure time (distance from source) - illustrating the intertwined controls of water and heat fluxes. These Greenland streams are most strongly influenced by snowmelt, but groundwater contributions could increase with a changing climate due to increased active layer thickness, which may result in increased river temperature with implications for aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  15. Greenland englacial drainage: conditions favoring water transport through a fractured aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creyts, T. T.; Fountain, A. G.

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the subglacial hydrology of glaciers and ice sheets has garnered intense interest because of its effects on ice sliding and potential ice sheet responses leading to sea level rise. Less attention has focused on the englacial water system that connects surface meltwater sources to the basal drainage system. Observations of englacial drainage have revealed diametrically opposed behaviors, so that understanding the role of the englacial system is critical to developing knowledge of ice sheet responses. The englacial connections either enhance or limit subglacial processes, including sliding. Some observations show cases where water drainage is mainly through an englacial system of fractures so that water flow at the bed is stunted. Other observations show static englacial water systems that play little role in drainage with primary drainage routes being along the bed. Here, we use a thermomechanical model of englacial water flow to understand the interaction between ice and water along these connections. We assume that water flow is through a series of connected fractures analogous to crevassed Greenland outlet glaciers. The fractures are modified by ice flow, and freezing and melting of the water system. Simple mathematical analyses show trade offs between closure rates and melting rates that determine the englacial flowpaths. From numerical experiments, we show that the dominance of englacial flow follows the locations of both bed overdeepenings and areas where the basal water system is compressed dynamically. The preponderance of overdeependenings in Greenland suggests that englacial systems may be favored in critical areas of ice sheet flow. We conclude by relating the insights from the analytic and numerical results to the broad scale patterns of change of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  16. Shoreline changes and its impact on activities in the coastal zone in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroon, A.; Bendixen, M.; Elberling, B.

    2015-12-01

    Almost all coastal environments in Greenland are developed in high-relief areas, along fjords, or hard-rock cliffs. The sedimentary shores often fringe these areas and a large number of small deltas (areal delta surface < 10 km2) exists. The sediments mostly originate from rivers that are fed by melting glaciers or drain pro-glacial and fluvial valleys. There is also active reworking at the present shorelines of sedimentary deposits of glacial, peri-glacial and deltaic origin that were formed during and after the last glaciation of the coastal plain.Arctic coastal processes are not only affected by waves, tides and currents, but to a large extend by freezing temperatures, ice and snow. There is a seasonal variation with open waters and active rivers in summer and ice-covered coastal waters and frozen rivers in winter. The coastal processes by waves and tides are thus often limited to summer and early fall. Nowadays, global climate changes induce many changes along the arctic coasts. Global sea-levels are rising due to thermal expansion and an increased fresh water flux from the glaciers and land ice masses, while ice coverage of the coastal waters decreases and the open water periods in summer extend. However, it is still unknown if the extra input of fluvial sediments can cope with increased erosion rates at the shores. Besides, the rate of actual sea-level rise in West Greenland is probably less than the local rate of isostatic uplift, leading to local relative sea level fall.The focus in this presentation is on shoreline changes and its impact on two coastal environments in Greenland: the Young Sound area (fjord environment in North-East Greenland), and the southern shore of Disko Island (open sea embayment in West Greenland). These coastal environments exhibit a wide variety of coastal landforms like deltas, spits, barriers, etc. The coastal landforms were mapped and aerial images, orthogonal photos, and satellite images were used to digitize successive

  17. Iceberg meltwater fluxes dominate the freshwater budget in Greenland's iceberg-congested glacial fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enderlin, Ellyn M.; Hamilton, Gordon S.; Straneo, Fiammetta; Sutherland, David A.

    2016-11-01

    Freshwater fluxes from the Greenland ice sheet have increased over the last two decades due to increases in liquid (i.e., surface and submarine meltwater) and solid ice (i.e., iceberg) fluxes. To predict potential ice sheet-ocean-climate feedbacks, we must know the partitioning of freshwater fluxes from Greenland, including the conversion of icebergs to liquid (i.e., meltwater) fluxes within glacial fjords. Here we use repeat 0.5 m-resolution satellite images from two major fjords to provide the first observation-based estimates of the meltwater flux from the dense matrix of floating ice called mélange. We find that because of its expansive submerged area (>100 km2) and rapid melt rate ( 0.1-0.8 m d-1), the ice mélange meltwater flux can exceed that from glacier surface and submarine melting. Our findings suggest that iceberg melt within the fjords must be taken into account in studies of glacial fjord circulation and the impact of Greenland melt on the ocean.

  18. The added value of high-resolution climate modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, Willem Jan; van Meijgaard, Erik; van Ulft, Bert; Machguth, Horst; Noël, Brice; van den Broeke, Michiel

    2016-04-01

    The local surface mass balance (SMB) of glaciers and ice sheets is to a very high extent related to topography. Subsequently, spatial variability in the SMB is also related to the spatial scales in the topography. The typical topographic length scales on the Greenland Ice Sheet are from several to over hundred kilometers. Therefore, regional climate models with resolutions between 5 and 25 kilometers normally capture the SMB of the Greenland Ice Sheet well. In this study, we analyze the added value of high-resolution regional climate simulations compared to statistical downscaling. For this aim, the regional climate model RACMO2 has been run for South Greenland for the period 2007-2014 using resolutions of 60, 20, 6.6 and 2.2 kilometer. Modeled and downscaled SMB from these four simulations are analyzed and evaluated against ablation observations. Our results show that the strong correlation of runoff to elevation makes statistical downscaling a robust tool to refine modeled spatial SMB patterns. However, only high-resolution climate modeling can improve the physical representation of the SMB in lower ablation zone, because the summertime interaction between the warm air over the tundra and the colder air over the ice sheet starts to be resolved. As a result, the runoff in the lower ablation zone is more enhanced compared to lower resolution simulations and statistical downscaled SMB.

  19. Metabolome-mediated biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holes.

    PubMed

    Cook, Joseph M; Edwards, Arwyn; Bulling, Mark; Mur, Luis A J; Cook, Sophie; Gokul, Jarishma K; Cameron, Karen A; Sweet, Michael; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L

    2016-12-01

    Microbial photoautotrophs on glaciers engineer the formation of granular microbial-mineral aggregates termed cryoconite which accelerate ice melt, creating quasi-cylindrical pits called 'cryoconite holes'. These act as biogeochemical reactors on the ice surface and provide habitats for remarkably active and diverse microbiota. Evolution of cryoconite holes towards an equilibrium depth is well known, yet interactions between microbial activity and hole morphology are currently weakly addressed. Here, we experimentally perturbed the depths and diameters of cryoconite holes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryoconite holes responded by sensitively adjusting their shapes in three dimensions ('biocryomorphic evolution') thus maintaining favourable conditions for net autotrophy at the hole floors. Non-targeted metabolomics reveals concomitant shifts in cyclic AMP and fucose metabolism consistent with phototaxis and extracellular polymer synthesis indicating metabolomic-level granular changes in response to perturbation. We present a conceptual model explaining this process and suggest that it results in remarkably robust net autotrophy on the Greenland Ice Sheet. We also describe observations of cryoconite migrating away from shade, implying a degree of self-regulation of carbon budgets over mesoscales. Since cryoconite is a microbe-mineral aggregate, it appears that microbial processes themselves form and maintain stable autotrophic habitats on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet.

  20. Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böning, Claus W.; Behrens, Erik; Biastoch, Arne; Getzlaff, Klaus; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2016-07-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has experienced increasing mass loss since the 1990s. The enhanced freshwater flux due to both surface melt and outlet glacier discharge is assuming an increasingly important role in the changing freshwater budget of the subarctic Atlantic. The sustained and increasing freshwater fluxes from Greenland to the surface ocean could lead to a suppression of deep winter convection in the Labrador Sea, with potential ramifications for the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Here we assess the impact of the increases in the freshwater fluxes, reconstructed with full spatial resolution, using a global ocean circulation model with a grid spacing fine enough to capture the small-scale, eddying transport processes in the subpolar North Atlantic. Our simulations suggest that the invasion of meltwater from the West Greenland shelf has initiated a gradual freshening trend at the surface of the Labrador Sea. Although the freshening is still smaller than the variability associated with the episodic `great salinity anomalies', the accumulation of meltwater may become large enough to progressively dampen the deep winter convection in the coming years. We conclude that the freshwater anomaly has not yet had a significant impact on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

  1. Spatial and temporal variations in high turbidity surface water off the Thule region, northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohashi, Yoshihiko; Iida, Takahiro; Sugiyama, Shin; Aoki, Shigeru

    2016-09-01

    Glacial meltwater discharge from the Greenland ice sheet and ice caps forms high turbidity water in the proglacial ocean off the Greenland coast. Although the timing and magnitude of high turbidity water export affect the coastal marine environment, for example, through impacts on biological productivity, little is known about the characteristics of this high turbidity water. In this paper, we therefore report on the spatial and temporal variations in high turbidity water off the Thule region in northwestern Greenland, based on remote sensing reflectance data at a wavelength of 555 nm (Rrs555). The high turbidity area, identified on the basis of high reflectivity (Rrs555 ≥ 0.0070 sr-1), was generally distributed near the coast, where many outlet glaciers terminate in the ocean and on land. The extent of the high turbidity area exhibited substantial seasonal and interannual variability, and its annual maximum extent was significantly correlated with summer air temperature. Assuming a linear relationship between the high turbidity area and summer temperature, annual maximum extent increases under the influence of increasing glacial meltwater discharge, as can be inferred from present and predicted future warming trends.

  2. Ice-Free Greenland during the Mid-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, J. M.; Finkel, R. C.; Caffee, M. W.; Alley, R. B.; Balco, G.; Zimmerman, S. R. H.; Briner, J. P.; Young, N. E.; Schwartz, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of accelerated ice sheet contribution to sea level rise, in part fueled by rapid thinning and retreat of marine terminating outlet glaciers, it remains uncertain how the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) will adjust to a warming Arctic, declining sea ice and related changing precipitation patterns. This is concerning, given that future sea level rise is strongly dependent on the GrIS's response to Arctic change. The scientific community is currently torn between a model of a dynamic GrIS that becomes greatly reduced during interglacials and a model where the GrIS is relatively stable, even through interglacials that were warmer than today. We review the paleo-stability of the GrIS and discuss the implications for GrIS predictions. Based on new cosmogenic data from the bedrock core drilled underneath the GISP2 ice core, we present the case that Greenland might have been free of ice at least once during the Pleistocene, highlighting its vulnerability. An immediate climate driver for the GrIS collapse is not evident from the existing paleo-climate database, motivating re-intensified research of physical mechanisms to melt the GrIS. We discuss a few preliminary climate scenarios that might have contributed to this dramatic ice-sheet collapse. On the shorter time-scale, we present tentative strategies how to investigate the stability of the GrIS during the Holocene Climate Optimum, a period of arguable-warmer-than today temperatures. Finally, we summarize the value of the paleo-data for predictions of the GrIS stability.

  3. OMEGA - an operational glacier monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellikka, P. K. E.

    2003-04-01

    Glacier changes reflect local climate changes and are one of the most important direct indicators of global climate change. In general, the glaciers are retreating in Europe, but some glaciers are advancing. However, even in small areas glacier responses can be different. The application of glaciers as indicators requires sufficient amount of glaciers, which is possible only with remote sensing methods. Remote sensing data have been used for glacier monitoring from the late 19th century, first as terrestrial photographs, but later as aerial photographs. A new era began in the 1970’s as optical satellite data became available. Since late 1990’s the glacier monitoring could be performed with numerous satellite and airborne sensors ranging from satellite radar data to airborne laser scanner data. All together, the development of new remote sensing technologies and methods provides many possibilities for studies of glacier features and parameters. The glacier parameters of interest in operational monitoring are the changes of glacier area and volume, and the variation of glacier zones, such as snow, firn and ice. These parameters enable the estimation of relative volume change, AAR and equilibrium line, for example. Operational monitoring involves that the remote sensing data to be used is available continuously, the image processing methods are accurate and the processing chain is developed so that the derivation of the aimed parameters works fluently. The OMEGA project aims at the development of an operational glacier monitoring system applying all the potential remote sensing data. The objectives are to develop workflows and semi-automatic image processing methodologies for different data types in order to retrieve glacier parameters, to construct databases of the study glaciers and to develop the prototype of an operational monitoring system. The test glaciers are Hintereisferner in Austria and Engabreen in Norway. The deliverable of the project is the OMEGA

  4. Glacier area changes in Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khromova, Tatiana; Nosenko, Gennady; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Muraviev, Anton; Chernova, Ludmila

    2014-01-01

    Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change. Recent evidence suggests an acceleration of glacier mass loss in several key mountain regions. Glacier recession implies landscape changes in the glacial zone, the origin of new lakes and activation of natural disaster processes, catastrophic mudflows, ice avalanches, outburst floods, etc. The absence or inadequacy of such information results in financial and human losses. A more comprehensive evaluation of glacier changes is imperative to assess ice contributions to global sea level rise and the future of water resources from glacial basins. One of the urgent steps is a full inventory of all ice bodies and their changes. The first estimation of glacier state and glacier distribution on the territory of the former Soviet Union has been done in the USSR Glacier Inventory (UGI) published in 1965-1982. The UGI is based on topographic maps and air photos and reflects the status of the glaciers in the 1940s-1970s. There is information about 28 884 glaciers with an area of 7830.75 km2 in the inventory. It covers 25 glacier systems in Northern Eurasia. In the 1980s the UGI has been transformed into digital form as a part of the World Glacier Inventory (WGI). Recent satellite data provide a unique opportunity to look again at these glaciers and to evaluate changes in glacier extent for the second part of the 20th century. About 15 000 glacier outlines for the Caucasus, Polar Urals, Pamir Alay, Tien Shan, Altai, Kamchatka and Russian Arctic have been derived from ASTER and Landsat imagery and can be used for glacier change evaluation. Results of the analysis indicate the steady trend in glacier shrinkage in all mountain regions for the second part of the 20th century. Glacier area loss for the studied regions varies from 13% (Tien Shan) to 22.3% (Polar Urals). The common driver, most likely, is an increase in summer air temperature. There is also a very large variability in the degree of individual

  5. Generation of the relationship between glacier area and volume for a tropical glacier in Bolivian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, T.; Kinouchi, T.; Hasegawa, A.; Tsuda, M.; Iwami, Y.; Asaoka, Y.; Mendoza, J.

    2015-12-01

    In Andes, retreat of tropical glaciers is rapid, thus water resources currently available from glacierized catchments would be changed in its volume and temporal variations due to climate change and glacier shrinkage. The relationship between glacier area and volume is difficult to define however which is important to monitor glaciers especially those are remote or inaccessible. Water resources in La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia, strongly depend on the runoff from glacierized headwater catchments in the Cordillera Real, Andes, which is therefore selected as our study region.To predict annual glacier mass balances, PWRI-Distributed Hydrological Model (PWRI-DHM) was applied to simulate runoff from the partially glacierized catchments in high mountains (i.e. Condoriri-Huayna West headwater catchment located in the Cordillera Real, Bolivian Andes). PWRI-DHM is based on tank model concept in a distributed and 4-tank configuration including surface, unsaturated, aquifer, and river course tanks. The model was calibrated and validated with observed meteorological and hydrological data from 2011 to 2014 by considering different phases of precipitation, various runoff components from glacierized and non-glacierized areas, and the retarding effect by glacial lakes and wetlands. The model is then applied with MRI-AGCM outputs from 1987 to 2003 considering the shrinkage of glacier outlines since 1980s derived from Landsat data. Annual glacier mass balance in each 100m-grid was reproduced, with which the glacier area-volume relationship was generated with reasonable initial volume setting. Out study established a method to define the relationship between glacier area and volume by remote sensing information and glacier mass balances simulated by distributed hydrological model. Our results demonstrated that the changing trend of local glacier had a consistency the previous observed glacier area-volume relationship in the Cordillera Real.

  6. Columbia Glacier in 1984: disintegration underway

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, M.F.; Rasmussen, L.A.; Miller, D.S.

    1985-01-01

    Columbia Glacier is a large, iceberg-calving glacier near Valdez, Alaska. The terminus of this glacier was relatively stable from the time of the first scientific studies in 1899 until 1978. During this period the glacier terminated partly on Heather Island and partly on a submerged moraine shoal. In December, 1978, the glacier terminus retreated from Heather Island, and retreat has accelerated each year since then, except during a period of anomalously low calving in 1980. Although the glacier has not terminated on Heather Island since 1978, a portion of the terminus remained on the crest of the moraine shoal until the fall of 1983. By December 8, 1983, that feature had receded more than 300 m from the crest of the shoal, and by December 14, 1984, had disappeared completely, leaving most of the terminus more than 2000 meters behind the crest of the shoal. Recession of the glacier from the shoal has placed the terminus in deeper water, although the glacier does not float. The active calving face of the glacier now terminates in seawater that is about 300 meters deep at the glacier centerline. Rapid calving appears to be associated with buoyancy effects due to deep water at the terminus and subglacial runoff. 12 refs., 10 figs.

  7. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-11-01

    To date, there has only been little conceptual change research regarding conceptions about glaciers. This study used the theoretical background of embodied cognition to reconstruct different metaphorical concepts with respect to the structure of a glacier. Applying the Model of Educational Reconstruction, the conceptions of students and scientists regarding glaciers were analysed. Students' conceptions were the result of teaching experiments whereby students received instruction about glaciers and ice ages and were then interviewed about their understandings. Scientists' conceptions were based on analyses of textbooks. Accordingly, four conceptual metaphors regarding the concept of a glacier were reconstructed: a glacier is a body of ice; a glacier is a container; a glacier is a reflexive body and a glacier is a flow. Students and scientists differ with respect to in which context they apply each conceptual metaphor. It was observed, however, that students vacillate among the various conceptual metaphors as they solve tasks. While the subject context of the task activates a specific conceptual metaphor, within the discussion about the solution, the students were able to adapt their conception by changing the conceptual metaphor. Educational strategies for teaching students about glaciers require specific language to activate the appropriate conceptual metaphors and explicit reflection regarding the various conceptual metaphors.

  8. Glacier dynamics over the last quarter of a century at Jakobshavn Isbræ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muresan, I. S.; Khan, S. A.; Aschwanden, A.; Khroulev, C.; Van Dam, T.; Bamber, J.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Wouters, B.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Kjær, K. H.

    2015-09-01

    Observations over the past two decades show substantial ice loss associated with the speedup of marine terminating glaciers in Greenland. Here we use a regional 3-D outlet glacier model to simulate the behaviour of Jakobshavn Isbræ (JI) located in west Greenland. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing we tune our model to reproduce the observed frontal changes of JI during 1990-2014. We identify two major accelerations. The first occurs in 1998, and is triggered by moderate thinning prior to 1998. The second acceleration, which starts in 2003 and peaks in summer 2004, is triggered by the final breakup of the floating tongue, which generates a reduction in buttressing at the JI terminus. This results in further thinning, and as the slope steepens inland, sustained high velocities have been observed at JI over the last decade. As opposed to other regions on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), where dynamically induced mass loss has slowed down over recent years, both modelled and observed results for JI suggest a continuation of the acceleration in mass loss. Further, we find that our model is not able to capture the 2012 peak in the observed velocities. Our analysis suggests that the 2012 acceleration of JI is likely the result of an exceptionally long melt season dominated by extreme melt events. Considering that such extreme surface melt events are expected to intensify in the future, our findings suggest that the 21st century projections of the GrIS mass loss and the future sea level rise may be larger than predicted by existing modelling results.

  9. Future glacier runoff at the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2016-04-01

    Water resources in mountain areas worldwide importantly depend on the runoff contribution by glaciers. Glacial water storage acts as an equilibrating element in the global hydrological cycle on various temporal scales. With ongoing and future glacier retreat a growing concern regarding water supply security in glacier-fed basins arises. However, glacier runoff projections at the regional or global scale are still rare and better models are urgently needed for planning and adaptation measures to cope with a changing seasonal distribution of water yields. Moreover, it is still an open debate in which region "peak water" - the maximum contribution of melting glaciers to runoff - has already been reached, i.e. whether increasing or declining annual runoff volumes must be expected. Here, we present results of a novel global glacier model for calculating the 21st century response of surface mass balance, three-dimensional glacier geometry and monthly water discharge for each individual glacier around the globe. The current surface geometry and thickness distribution for each of the world's roughly 200'000 glaciers is extracted from the Randolph Glacier Inventory and terrain models. Our simulations are driven with 14 Global Circulation Models from the CMIP5 project using the RCP4.5, RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. We focus on the timing of peak water from glacierized catchments in all climatic regions of the earth and the corresponding importance of changes in the runoff regime on hydrological stress. The maximum rate of water release from glacial storage is subject to a high spatio-temporal variability depending on glacier characteristics and the transient response to climatic change. Furthermore, we discuss the significance of projected variations in glacier runoff in relation to the hydrology of the world's large-scale drainage basins and population distribution, and highlight 'hot spot' regions where the wastage of current ice volume is particularly relevant.

  10. Seismic Observations on Greenland Ice Sheet By a Joint USA and Japanese Glisn Team (2011-2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyokuni, G.; Kanao, M.; Tono, Y.; Himeno, T.; Tsuboi, S.; Childs, D.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Anderson, K. R.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is currently causing melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Recently, a new type of seismic event, referred to as a "glacial earthquake", has been recognized. Such earthquakes are generated by the movements of large masses of ice within the terminal regions of glacier, and represent a new approach for monitoring ice sheet dynamics. In 2009, the GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN) was initiated as international project to monitor changes in ice sheet by constructing a large broadband seismological network in and around Greenland. Japan is a partner country from when the GLISN project was launched, and has been sending an expedition team every year from 2011. In 2011, the Japanese GLISN team, together with the USA team, installed the dual seismic-GPS station ICESG-GLS2 in the middle of the Greenland ice cap. In 2012 and 2013, we performed maintenance at the ICESG-GLS2, DY2G-GLS1, and NUUK stations. In August 2014, we plan to participate in maintenance operations on three dual seismic-GPS stations on ice (ICESG-GLS2, DY2G-GLS1, and NEEM-GLS3), as well as two stations on bedrock at East coast (DBG and SOEG). This presentation will summarize our field activities for four years, and show results from preliminary analysis with the retrieved data. The Japanese GLISN team has been supported by JSPS KAKENHI 24403006.

  11. Recent acceleration of Thwaites Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrigno, J. G.

    1993-01-01

    The first velocity measurements for Thwaites Glacier were made by R. J. Allen in 1977. He compared features of Thwaites Glacier and Iceberg Tongue on aerial photography from 1947 and 1967 with 1972 Landsat images, and measured average annual displacements of 3.7 and 2.3 km/a. Using his photogrammetric experience and taking into consideration the lack of definable features and the poor control in the area, he estimated an average velocity of 2.0 to 2.9 km/a to be more accurate. In 1985, Lindstrom and Tyler also made velocity estimates for Thwaites Glacier. Using Landsat imagery from 1972 and 1983, their estimates of the velocities of 33 points ranged from 2.99 to 4.02 km/a, with an average of 3.6 km/a. The accuracy of their estimates is uncertain, however, because in the absence of fixed control points, they assumed that the velocities of icebergs in the fast ice were uniform. Using additional Landsat imagery in 1984 and 1990, accurate coregistration with the 1972 image was achieved based on fixed rock points. For the period 1972 to 1984, 25 points on the glacier surface ranged in average velocity from 2.47 to 2.76 km/a, with an overall average velocity of 2.62 +/- 0.02 km/a. For the period 1984 to 1990, 101 points ranged in velocity from 2.54 to 3.15 km/a, with an overall average of 2.84 km/a. During both time periods, the velocity pattern showed the same spatial relationship for three longitudinal paths. The 8-percent acceleration in a decade is significant. This recent acceleration may be associated with changes observed in this region since 1986. Fast ice melted and several icebergs calved from the base of the Iceberg Tongue and the terminus of Thwaites Glacier. However, as early as 1972, the Iceberg Tongue had very little contact with the glacier.

  12. The Greenland Ice Sheet as a hot spot of phosphorus weathering and export in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkings, Jon; Wadham, Jemma; Tranter, Martyn; Telling, Jon; Bagshaw, Elizabeth; Beaton, Alexander; Simmons, Sarah-Louise; Chandler, David; Tedstone, Andrew; Nienow, Peter

    2016-02-01

    The contribution of ice sheets to the global biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus is largely unknown, due to the lack of field data. Here we present the first comprehensive study of phosphorus export from two Greenland Ice Sheet glaciers. Our results indicate that the ice sheet is a hot spot of phosphorus export in the Arctic. Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations, up to 0.35 µM, are similar to those observed in Arctic rivers. Yields of SRP are among the highest in the literature, with denudation rates of 17-27 kg P km-2 yr-1. Particulate phases, as with nonglaciated catchments, dominate phosphorus export (>97% of total phosphorus flux). The labile particulate fraction differs between the two glaciers studied, with significantly higher yields found at the larger glacier (57.3 versus 8.3 kg P km-2 yr-1). Total phosphorus yields are an order of magnitude higher than riverine values reported in the literature. We estimate that the ice sheet contributes ~15% of total bioavailable phosphorus input to the Arctic oceans (~11 Gg yr-1) and dominates total phosphorus input (408 Gg yr-1), which is more than 3 times that estimated from Arctic rivers (126 Gg yr-1). We predict that these fluxes will rise with increasing ice sheet freshwater discharge in the future.

  13. Attribution of glacier fluctuations to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier retreat is a worlwide phenomenon, which started around the middle of the 19th century. During the period 1800-1850 the number of retreating and advancing glaciers was roughly equal (based on 42 records from different continents). During the period 1850-1900 about 92% of all mountain glaciers became shorter (based on 65 records). After this, the percentage of shrinking glaciers has been around 90% until the present time. The glacier signal is rather coherent over the globe, especially when surging and calving glaciers are not considered (for such glaciers the response to climate change is often masked by length changes related to internal dynamics). From theoretical studies as well as extensive meteorological work on glaciers, the processes that control the response of glaciers to climate change are now basically understood. It is useful to make a difference between geometric factors (e.g. slope, altitudinal range, hypsometry) and climatic setting (e.g. seasonal cycle, precipitation). The most sensitive glaciers appear to be flat glaciers in a maritime climate. Characterizing the dynamic properties of a glacier requires at least two quantities: the climate sensitivity, expressing how the equilibrium glacier state depends on the climatic conditions, and the response time, indicating how fast a glacier approaches a new equilibrium state after a stepwise change in the climatic forcing. These quantities can be estimated from relatively simple theory, showing that differences among glaciers are substantial. For larger glaciers, climate sensitivities (in terms of glacier length) vary from 1 to 8 km per 100 m change in the equilibrium-line altitude. Response times are mainly in the range of 20 to 200 years, with most values between 30 and 80 years. Changes in the equilibrium-line altitude or net mass balance of a glacier are mainly driven by fluctuations in air temperature, precipitation, and global radiation. Energy-balance modelling for many glaciers shows that

  14. Holocene ice-ocean interactions: Køge Bugt, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Laurence M.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Hiemstra, John F.; Murray, Tavi; Sutherland, David A.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Jiang, Hui; Shah, Longbin

    2016-04-01

    We present results from a 174 cm marine sediment core collected from Køge Bugt (Ikeq) in central southeast Greenland. An age model was constructed from five 14C dates and five 210Pb determinations; this demonstrates that the core is composed of sediments that were deposited without interruption over the last ˜9.1 cal. ka. Holocene oceanographic conditions were reconstructed from measurements of the sortable silt mean and from benthic foraminifera assemblage data. Assessment of the sortable silt data demonstrates that they provide a valuable proxy for reconstructing palaeo-current vigour in marine environments dominated by iceberg-rafted debris (IRD) sedimentation. Holocene oceanic conditions in Køge Bugt were characterised by a tripartite history. Warm oceanic conditions occurred in the early-Holocene, this was accompanied by enhanced current-sorting of silt particles; we attribute this to incursion of the core waters of the Irminger Current in Køge Bugt. A period of cooling occurred during the mid-Holocene, this was followed by the establishment of cold, Polar oceanic conditions in the late-Holocene. Holocene glacier activity in Køge Bugt was reconstructed from measures of IRD abundance. We argue that coarse sediment in the core was derived exclusively from icebergs that calved from local outlet glaciers. Consequently, continuous IRD sedimentation demonstrates that glaciers in Køge Bugt remained in tidewater settings throughout the last 9.1 ka. Bed topography data show that the glacial troughs inland of the present-day ice margin are small (≤5 km - Morlighem et al., 2014). Consequently, glaciers cannot have retreated more than 5 km at any point in the record; this is despite climatic and oceanographic conditions during the early-Holocene that were at least as warm as the present-day. This behaviour is attributed to the specific geometry of the area. The glaciers that drain into Køge Bugt flow over relatively steep beds; this allows them to achieve new

  15. Modeling experiments on the deceleration and reactivation of Kangerlussuup Sermusa, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezvanbehbahani, S.; Stearns, L. A.; van der Veen, C. J.; Catania, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Seasonal variations in outlet glacier velocity due to basal sliding are well-documented and typically involve acceleration early in the melt season due to enhanced sliding as a result of inefficient drainage of surface water reaching the bed. However, velocity observations from Kangerlussuup Sermusa (KS) in West Greenland contradict this pattern. Instead, ice velocity at KS shows no significant change in early spring compared with the previous winter. This sluggish response of the glacier to spring melt is often followed by an extreme, and short-lived, deceleration. For example, in August 2010, the lower 20 km of the trunk decelerated from about 1600 m a-1 to less than 250 m a-1; this event was followed by a rapid reactivation back to the previous velocity in less than 60 days. Available records since 2006 show that the sequence of steady spring velocity, followed by summer deceleration, and rapid fall reactivation occurs annually; however, the magnitudes of deceleration vary. In this regard, the response of KS to regional environmental forcings is unique compared to its neighboring glaciers. In this study, we investigate whether the unique behavior of KS can be explained by the interaction between changes in basal conditions and the local geometry of the glacier. We model the glacier flow by solving full-Stokes equations using the finite element method in the open-source FEniCS framework. Assuming isothermal ice within the lower trunk, we run experiments on the mechanical properties and boundary conditions of the glacier. These experiments include spatio-temporal changes in basal slipperiness, periodic melt-water influx to the bed, and ice viscosity variations due to changes in melt-water supply to the bed. We also conduct sensitivity analyses on the glacier flow with different ice geometries (e.g. thickness and surface slope) to investigate conditions under which we can produce the unique seasonal behavior of KS. Finally, we assess the impact of the combination

  16. Recent Changes in High-Latitude Glaciers, Ice Caps, and Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2004-12-01

    The mass balance of high-latitude glaciers and ice sheets is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, but through a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements, some significant changes have been observed in recent years. On the Greenland ice sheet most of the coastal regions have thinned substantially as melt has increased and some of its outlet glaciers have accelerated. Near the equilibrium line in West Greenland, we have seen evidence of summer acceleration that is linked to surface meltwater production, suggesting a relatively rapid response mechanism between the ice sheet and a warming climate. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in recent decades, with increased mass losses during the 1990s in parts of Canada and Alaska. The picture is more complicated in the southern hemisphere, where Antarctic ice is growing in some areas, shrinking dramatically in others, and is essentially in balance elsewhere. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) shows thinning along its northern margin, particularly in the glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea. The western portions of the WAIS, however, show thickening, but in the aggregate the mass loss is believed to exceed the gain. Changes in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet are small, but we don't know at this point whether it is growing or shrinking. On the Antarctic Peninsula, the rapid disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf has resulted in acceleration and thinning of a small number of glaciers that once fed the ice shelf. This behavior raises questions about relatively near-term consequences of climate change and the Antarctic Ice Sheet's contribution to sea level rise. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of their long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing

  17. Multi-method observation and analysis of an impulse wave and tsunami caused by glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüthi, M. P.; Vieli, A.

    2015-11-01

    Glacier calving can cause violent impulse waves which, upon landfall, can lead to destructive tsunami-like waves. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in West Greenland. During an exceptionally well documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused an impulse wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25-30 m s-1. This wave was filmed from a tour boat in 800 m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore in 4 km distance was 10-15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

  18. Multi-method observation and analysis of a tsunami caused by glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüthi, Martin P.; Vieli, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Glacier calving can cause violent tsunami waves which, upon landfall, can cause severe destruction. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in west Greenland. During an exceptionally well-documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused a tsunami wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25-33 m s-1. This wave was filmed from a tour boat at 800 m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore at a distance of 4 km was 10-15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

  19. 1. PARKING LOT AT GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. PARKING LOT AT GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. LOOKING NE. GIS: N-36 43 45.8 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  20. 5. GLACIER POINT ROAD VIEW AT SENTINEL DOME PARKING AREA. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. GLACIER POINT ROAD VIEW AT SENTINEL DOME PARKING AREA. LOOKING E. GIS: N-37 42 43.8 / W-119 35 12.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  1. The Greenland gravitational constant experiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zumberge, M. A.; Ander, M. E.; Lautzenhiser, T. V.; Parker, R. L.; Aiken, C. L. V.; Gorman, M. R.; Nieto, M. M.; Cooper, A. P. R.; Ferguson, J. F.; Fisher, E.; Greer, J.; Hammer, P.; Hansen, B. L.; McMechan, G. A.; Sasagawa, G. S.; Sidles, C.; Stevenson, J. M.; Wirtz, J.

    1990-09-01

    An Airy-type geophysical experiment was conducted in a 2-km-deep hole in the Greenland ice cap at depths between 213 m and 1673 m to test for possible violations of Newton's inverse square law. Gravity measurements were made at eight depths in 183-m intervals with a LaCoste & Romberg borehole gravity meter. An anomalous variation in gravity totaling 3.87 mGal (3.87x10-5m/s2) in the depth interval of 1460 m was observed. This may be attributed either to a breakdown of Newtonian gravity or to unexpected density variations in the rock below the ice.

  2. The GAMDAM Glacier Inventory: a quality controlled inventory of Asian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuimura, T.; Sakai, A.; Taniguchi, K.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.; Tsutaki, S.; Kozawa, A.; Hoshina, Y.; Takenaka, S.; Omiya, S.; Tsunematsu, K.; Tshering, P.; Fujita, K.

    2014-06-01

    We present a new glacier inventory for the high mountain Asia named "Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge from the Asian Mountains" (GAMDAM). Glacier outlines were delineated manually using more than 226 Landsat ETM+ scenes from the period 1999-2003, in conjunction with a digital elevation model (DEM) and high-resolution Google Earth imagery. Geolocations are consistent between the Landsat imagery and DEM due to systematic radiometric and geometric corrections made by the United States Geological Survey. We performed repeated delineation tests and rigorous peer review of all scenes used in order to maintain the consistency and quality of the inventory. Our GAMDAM Glacier Inventory (GGI) includes 82776 glaciers covering a total area of 87507 ± 13126 km2 in the high mountain Asia. Thus, our inventory represents a greater number (+4%) of glaciers but significantly less surface area (-31%) than a recent global glacier inventory (Randolph Glacier Inventory, RGI). The employed definition of the upper boundaries of glaciers, glacier recession since the 1970s, and misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover are likely causes of discrepancies between the inventories, though it is difficult to evaluate these effects quantitatively. The GGI will help improve the temporal consistency of the RGI, which incorporated glacier outlines from the 1970s for the Tibetan Plateau, and will provide new opportunities to study Asian glaciers.

  3. Monitoring South-West Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordret, Aurélien; Mikesell, Dylan; Harig, Christopher; Lipovsky, Brad; Prieto, German

    2016-04-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) accounts for ~ 70% of global ice sheet mass loss and contributes to sea level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/yr. Therefore, the GIS needs to be carefully monitored. The spaceborne techniques commonly used to monitor the GIS mass balance contain inherent uncertainties. These uncertainties can be reduced by comparing independent datasets and techniques. However, spaceborne methods remain inadequate in the sense that they offer low spatial and/or temporal resolution. This fact highlights the need for other complementary methods to monitor the GIS more accurately and with greater resolution. Here we use a seismic method: the correlation of seismic noise recorded at South-West Greenland seismic stations to show that the GIS seasonal melt produces significant variations of seismic wave speed in the Greenland crust. The amplitudes of the measured velocity variations during 2012-2013 correlate with the total ice plus atmospheric mass variations measured by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission. We explain the phase delay between mass maxima and velocity minima ( 50 days) using a non-linear poroelastic model that includes a 55 cm-thick layer of till between the ice sheet and the bedrock. We, thus, interpret the velocity variations as pore pressure variations in the bedrock resulting from the loading and unloading of the overlying glacier and atmosphere. This method provides a new and independent way to monitor in near real-time the first-order state of the GIS, giving new constraints on its evolution and its contribution to the global sea level rise. By increasing the density of seismic stations in the region it will be possible to increase the spatial and temporal resolution of the method and create detailed maps of ice-mass variations across Greenland.

  4. Monitoring South-West Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordret, A.; Mikesell, T. D.; Harig, C.; Lipovsky, B.; Prieto, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) accounts for ~ 70% of global ice sheet mass loss and contributes to sea level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/yr. Therefore, the GIS needs to be carefully monitored. The spaceborne techniques commonly used to monitor the GIS mass balance contain inherent uncertainties. These uncertainties can be reduced by comparing independent datasets and techniques. However, spaceborne methods remain inadequate in the sense that they offer low spatial and/or temporal resolution. This fact highlights the need for other complimentary methods to monitor the GIS more accurately and with greater resolution. Here we use a seismic method: the correlation of seismic noise recorded at South-West Greenland seismic stations to show that the GIS seasonal melt produces significant variations of seismic wave speed in the Greenland crust. The amplitudes of the measured velocity variations during 2012-2013 correlate with the total ice plus atmospheric mass variations measured by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission. We explain the phase delay between mass maxima and velocity minima ( 50 days) using a non-linear poroelastic model that includes a 55 cm-thick layer of till between the ice sheet and the bedrock. We, thus, interpret the velocity variations as pore pressure variations in the bedrock resulting from the loading and unloading of the overlying glacier and atmosphere. This method provides a new and independent way to monitor in near real-time the first-order state of the GIS, giving new constraints on its evolution and its contribution to the global sea level rise. By increasing the density of seismic stations in the region it will be possible to increase the spatial and temporal resolution of the method and create detailed maps of ice-mass variations across Greenland.

  5. Dynamic subglacial hydrology inferred from yearlong behaviour in Greenlandic subglacial lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourmelen, Noel

    2014-05-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has forced dramatic changes across the Greenland Ice Sheet. Satellite observations have revealed increased ice discharge to the sea, increased surface melting, lowering of the Ice Sheet surface, retreat of the glaciers' fronts, and gravity anomalies related to ice mass loss. These changes reflect a reduction in mass and a consequent contribution to rising global sea levels. Sub-glacial hydrology plays a key role in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet through its impact on the rate of basal sliding and thus ice discharge to the sea. However, the structure, distribution and source of meltwater in the sub-glacial drainage system beneath much of the Greenland Ice Sheet is still largely unknown and so far, no glacial lake has been linked to an active and open hydrological system. Here, we use satellite derived Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from the German TanDem-X mission to map the time variability of surface elevation and surface velocity with unprecedented meter-scale spatial resolution along major outlet systems of northern Greenland's Ice Sheet margin between 2011 and 2013. Analysis of the SAR data reveals circular patches of surface elevation change that we attribute to the filling and drainage of several subglacial lakes. Surface elevation change reaches up to 5 meters and the patches average 3km in diameter. Movement of water beneath the ice sheet in and out of these lakes is observed outside of periods of surface melting indicating considerable dynamics within the subglacial drainage system throughout the year. Filling starts well before the onset of surface melt, continues during the summer before drainage occurs at the end of the melting season. Over the period of measurement, we observe no long-term (i.e. longer than a few months) filling or drainage of these lakes.

  6. The NORWEGIAN-GREENLAND Sea Continental Margins: Morphology and Late Quaternary Sedimentary Processes and Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorren, Tore O.; Laberg, Jan Sverre; Blaume, Frank; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Kenyon, Neil H.; Mienert, Jürgen; Rumohr, Jan; Werner, Friedrich

    The continental margins surrounding the Norwegian-Greenland Sea are to a large degree shaped by processes during the late Quaternary. The paper gives an overview of the morphology and the processes responsible for the formation of three main groups of morphological features: slides, trough mouth fans and channels. Several large late Quaternary slides have been identified on the eastern Norwegian-Greenland Sea continental margin. The origin of the slides may be due to high sedimentation rates leading to a build-up of excess pore water pressure, perhaps with additional pressure caused by gas bubbles. Triggering might have been prompted by earthquakes or by decomposition of gas hydrates. Trough mouth fans (TMF) are fans at the mouths of transverse troughs on presently or formerly glaciated continental shelves. In the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, seven TMFs have been identified varying in area from 2700 km 2 to 215 000 km 2. The Trough Mouth Fans are depocentres of sediments which have accumulated in front of ice streams draining the large Northwest European ice sheets. The sediments deposited at the shelf break/upper slope by the ice stream were remobilized and transported downslope, mostly as debris flows. The Trough Mouth Fans hold the potential for giving information about the various ice streams feeding them with regard to velocity and ice discharge. Two large deep-sea channel systems have been observed along the Norwegian continental margin, the Lofoten Basin Channel and the Inbis Channel. Along the East Greenland margin, several channel systems have been identified. The deep-sea channels may have been formed by dense water originating from cooling, sea-ice formation and brine rejection close to the glacier margin or they may originate from small slides on the upper slope transforming into debris flows and turbidity currents.

  7. Antarctica: measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    SciTech Connect

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Ferguson, H.M.

    1986-11-28

    Many Landsat images of Antarctica show distinctive flow and crevasse features in the floating part of ice streams and outlet glaciers immediately below their grounding zones. Some of the features, which move with the glacier or ice stream, remain visible over many years and thus allow time-lapse measurements of ice velocities. Measurements taken from Landsat images of features on Byrd Glacier agree well with detailed ground and aerial observations. The satellite-image technique thus offers a rapid and cost-effective method of obtaining average velocities, to a first order of accuracy, of many ice streams and outlet glaciers near their termini.

  8. Infrasound analysis of I18DK, northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evers, L. G.; Weemstra, C.

    2010-12-01

    Within the scope of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), four methods are used to verify the treaty. One of these methods is based on the detection of infrasound waves generated by a nuclear explosion. Seismological, hydroacoustical and radionuclide measurements are also applied. The International Monitoring System (IMS) will consist of 60 infrasound stations of which 35 stations are currently operational. Data obtained from an infrasound station situated on the northwestern shoreline of Greenland is analyzed. This station is operated by Denmark and labeled as I18DK. I18DK is situated in an area which receives an ever increasing attention from a geophysical perspective. I18DK has continuously been operational from April 2003 and onwards. The IMS station is an infrasound array with an aperture of about 1200 meters, where air-pressure fluctuations are recorded by eight microbarometers at a sample-rate of 20 Hz. The infrasonic recordings are filtered between 0.1 & 1.0 and 1.0 & 6.0 Hz. The slowness grid is searched for two different configurations in the higher frequency band. Once using all 8 stations and once only taking into account the 5 center stations. Several different source types are known to generate infrasound, for example, calving of icebergs and glaciers, explosions, earthquakes, oceanic wave-wave interaction, volcanic eruptions and aurora. The challenge is to distinguish between these different source types and use the outcome of the array analysis to better understand these phenomena. The rate of occurrence of icequakes, the calving of glaciers and the variation in extent of the sea ice in this area is of interest in relation to global warming. The processing results of the 1 to 6 Hz band seem to show dominating back-azimuths related to these sources. The glaciers south of I18DK produce significant infrasound during summer time. As well, a direct link can be found between the number of warm days in a year and the number of infrasound

  9. The Annual Glaciohydrology Cycle in the Ablation Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Part 1. Hydrology Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colgan, William; Rajaram, Harihar; Anderson, Robert; Steffen. Konrad; Phillips, Thomas; Zwally, H. Jay; Abdalati, Waleed

    2012-01-01

    We apply a novel one-dimensional glacier hydrology model that calculates hydraulic head to the tidewater-terminating Sermeq Avannarleq flowline of the Greenland ice sheet. Within a plausible parameter space, the model achieves a quasi-steady-state annual cycle in which hydraulic head oscillates close to flotation throughout the ablation zone. Flotation is briefly achieved during the summer melt season along a approx.17 km stretch of the approx.50 km of flowline within the ablation zone. Beneath the majority of the flowline, subglacial conduit storage closes (i.e. obtains minimum radius) during the winter and opens (i.e. obtains maximum radius) during the summer. Along certain stretches of the flowline, the model predicts that subglacial conduit storage remains open throughout the year. A calculated mean glacier water residence time of approx.2.2 years implies that significant amounts of water are stored in the glacier throughout the year. We interpret this residence time as being indicative of the timescale over which the glacier hydrologic system is capable of adjusting to external surface meltwater forcings. Based on in situ ice velocity observations, we suggest that the summer speed-up event generally corresponds to conditions of increasing hydraulic head during inefficient subglacial drainage. Conversely, the slowdown during fall generally corresponds to conditions of decreasing hydraulic head during efficient subglacial drainage.

  10. Mass losses from Svalbard land-terminating glaciers by the end of the 21st century under an RCP 8.5 scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möller, Marco; Navarro, Francisco; Martín-Español, Alba

    2016-04-01

    The high Arctic archipelagos are among the most strongly glacierized landscapes on earth apart from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Svalbard, one of these archipelagos, holds about 36,000 km2 of glaciers and ice caps and is the region that has shown the least negative mass balance of all the high Arctic regions. However, future projections suggest that the archipelago will experience an unprecedented -for the Arctic- glacier recession over the 21st century. We here present a high-resolution modelling study of the future ice-mass evolution of 29 individual land-terminating glaciers on the Svalbard archipelago under an RCP 8.5 climate forcing, a rather pessimistic scenario that unfortunately seems to be becoming realistic. Our model calculates glacier mass balance and area/volume changes using a temperature-index approach in combination with a surface elevation change parameterization. The initial glacier topographies and volumes have been assessed from extensive ground-penetrating radar measurements carried out in recent years. The calculations are performed for the 21st century and are forced by statistically downscaled output of ten different global circulation models representing the RCP scenario 8.5. By a topography-based extrapolation of the simulation results to the entire archipelago we show that a complete loss of most of Svalbard's land-terminating glaciers and even a deglaciation of certain subregions of the archipelago might occur by the end of the 21st century. 98% of the land-terminating glaciers will have retreated to less than one tenth of their initial extent by 2100, resulting in a loss of 7392±2481 km2 of ice coverage.

  11. Integration of glacier databases within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemp, M.; Raup, B. H.; Armstrong, R.; Ballagh, L.; Gärtner-Roer, I.; Haeberli, W.; Hoelzle, M.; Kääb, A.; Kargel, J.; Paul, F.

    2009-04-01

    Changes in glaciers and ice caps provide some of the clearest evidence of climate change and have impacts on global sea level fluctuations, regional hydrological cycles and local natural hazard situations. Internationally coordinated collection and distribution of standardized information about glaciers and ice caps was initiated in 1894 and is today coordinated within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). A recently established GTN-G Steering Committee coordinates, supports and advices the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. In this presentation, we provide an overview of (i) the integration of the various operational databases, (ii) the development of a one-stop web-interface to these databases, and (iii) the available datasets. By joint efforts consistency and interoperability of the different glacier databases is elaborated. Thereby, the lack of a complete worldwide, detailed glacier inventory as well as different historical developments and methodological contexts of the datasets are major challenges for linking individual glaciers throughout the databases. A map-based web-interface, implemented based on OpenLayer 2.0 and Web Map/Feature Services, is elaborated to spatially link the available data and to provide data users a fast overview of all available data. With this new online service, GTN-G provides fast access to information on glacier inventory data from 100,000 glaciers mainly based on aerial photographs and from 80,000 glaciers mainly based on satellite images, length change series from 1,800 glaciers, mass balance series from 230 glaciers, special events (e.g., hazards, surges, calving instabilities) from 130 glaciers, as well as 10,000 photographs from some 470 glaciers.

  12. Ice Thicknesses and Driving Stresses of Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. J.; Saba, J.; Giovinetto, M.

    1999-01-01

    Surface elevations from satellite radar altimetry (Geosat, Seasat, and ERS-1) and bedrock topography from airborne radar sounding (Simon Ekholm's Danish compilation) are combined to derive maps of the driving stresses in the Greenland ice sheet. The stress vector, tau = rho g h sin(alpha), is calculated using surface slope vectors, alpha, from surface elevations and ice thicknesses, h, from the difference between surface and basal elevations. Since the 5-km scale of the surface slope is only about 2 times the ice thickness, the stress maps show spatial variations indicative of longitudinal stress gradients associated with topographic undulations. Values of alpha generally vary from near zero at the ice divides to maxima values around 120 kpa, returning to near zero in a narrow band at the edges. The distribution of alpha's peaks at 60 kpa with an approximate sigma of +/- 20 kpa. Areas of very low alpha near the origin of the northeast ice stream may indicate small sub-glacial lakes. The profile of alpha, down the ice stream from near the ice divide, increases to a maximum of about 120 kpa near the margin, which is characteristic of East Antarctic outlet glaciers and in contrast to West Antarctic ice streams where alpha has maximum values 400 to 500 km inland from the grounding lines. Overall distributions of alpha values are compared with those for the Antarctic ice sheet and the Mars Northern ice cap.

  13. Meltwater export of prokaryotic cells from the Greenland ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Karen A; Stibal, Marek; Hawkings, Jon R; Mikkelsen, Andreas B; Telling, Jon; Kohler, Tyler J; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Zarsky, Jakub D; Wadham, Jemma L; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2017-02-01

    Microorganisms are flushed from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) where they may contribute towards the nutrient cycling and community compositions of downstream ecosystems. We investigate meltwater microbial assemblages as they exit the GrIS from a large outlet glacier, and as they enter a downstream river delta during the record melt year of 2012. Prokaryotic abundance, flux and community composition was studied, and factors affecting community structures were statistically considered. The mean concentration of cells exiting the ice sheet was 8.30 × 10(4) cells mL(-1) and we estimate that ∼1.02 × 10(21) cells were transported to the downstream fjord in 2012, equivalent to 30.95 Mg of carbon. Prokaryotic microbial assemblages were dominated by Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria. Cell concentrations and community compositions were stable throughout the sample period, and were statistically similar at both sample sites. Based on our observations, we argue that the subglacial environment is the primary source of the river-transported microbiota, and that cell export from the GrIS is dependent on discharge. We hypothesise that the release of subglacial microbiota to downstream ecosystems will increase as freshwater flux from the GrIS rises in a warming world.

  14. A Coupled Ocean-Iceberg Model Over The 20th Century: Iceberg Flux At 48°N As A Proxy For Greenland Iceberg Discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigg, G. R.; Wilton, D.; Hanna, E.

    2013-12-01

    Grant R. Bigg1 , David J. Wilton1 and Edward Hanna1 1Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN We have used a coupled ocean-iceberg model, the Fine Resolution Greenland and Labrador ocean model [1], to study the variation in, and trajectory of, icebergs over the twentieth century, focusing particularly on Greenland and surrounding areas. The model is forced with daily heat, freshwater and wind fluxes derived from the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project [2]. We use the observed iceberg flux at 48°N off Newfoundland (I48N) from 1900 to 2008 [3] to assess the iceberg component of the model. Model I48N is calculated with both a variable and constant annual calving rate. The results show that ocean and atmosphere changes alone do not account for the variation in observed I48N and suggests that this series can be used as a proxy for iceberg discharge from west Greenland tidewater glaciers. The implication of this proxy is that there is significant interannual variability in Greenland iceberg discharge over the whole twentieth century. Our model results suggest that in the early decades of the twentieth century I48N was dominated by icebergs originating from south Greenland (below latitude 65°N) with west Greenland becoming the main source of I48N from the late 1930s onwards. Modeled icebergs from the east of Greenland very rarely reach 48°N. We also present results from the ocean model showing the variation of ocean transport fluxes over the course of the twentieth and early twenty first century. References 1. M. R. Wadley, and G. R. Bigg, (2002), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 128, 2187-2203 2. G. P. Compo, et al. (2011), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 1-28 3. D. L. Murphy (2011) http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=IIPIcebergCounts

  15. A complete glacier inventory of the Antarctic Peninsula based on Landsat 7 images from 2000 to 2002 and other preexisting data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Jacqueline; Cook, Alison J.; Paul, Frank; Zemp, Michael

    2017-02-01

    The glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) potentially make a large contribution to sea level rise. However, this contribution has been difficult to estimate since no complete glacier inventory (outlines, attributes, separation from the ice sheet) is available. This work fills the gap and presents a new glacier inventory of the AP north of 70° S, based on digitally combining preexisting data sets with geographic information system (GIS) techniques. Rock outcrops have been removed from the glacier basin outlines of Cook et al. (2014) by intersection with the latest layer of the Antarctic Digital Database (Burton-Johnson et al., 2016). Glacier-specific topographic parameters (e.g., mean elevation, slope and aspect) as well as hypsometry have been calculated from the DEM of Cook et al. (2012). We also assigned connectivity levels to all glaciers following the concept by Rastner et al. (2012). Moreover, the bedrock data set of Huss and Farinotti (2014) enabled us to add ice thickness and volume for each glacier. The new inventory is available from the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database (doi:10.7265/N5V98602) and consists of 1589 glaciers covering an area of 95 273 km2, slightly more than the 89 720 km2 covered by glaciers surrounding the Greenland Ice Sheet. Hence, compared to the preexisting data set of Cook et al. (2014), this data set covers a smaller area and one glacier less due to the intersection with the rock outcrop data set. The total estimated ice volume is 34 590 km3, of which one-third is below sea level. The hypsometric curve has a bimodal shape due to the unique topography of the AP, which consists mainly of ice caps with outlet glaciers. Most of the glacierized area is located at 200-500 m a.s.l., with a secondary maximum at 1500-1900 m. Approximately 63 % of the area is drained by marine-terminating glaciers, and ice-shelf tributary glaciers cover 35 % of the area

  16. Advances in Modelling of Valley Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Surendra

    For glaciological conditions typical of valley glaciers, the central idea of this research lies in understanding the effects of high-order mechanics and parameterizing these for simpler dynamical and statistical methods in glaciology. As an effective tool for this, I formulate a new brand of dynamical models that describes distinct physical processes of deformational flow. Through numerical simulations of idealized glacier domains, I calculate empirical correction factors to capture the effects of longitudinal stress gradients and lateral drag for simplified dynamical models in the plane-strain regime. To get some insights into real glacier dynamics, I simulate Haig Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As geometric effects overshadow dynamical effects in glacier retreat scenarios, it appears that high-order physics are not very important for Haig Glacier, particularly for evaluating its fate. Indeed, high-order and reduced models all predict that Haig Glacier ceases to exist by about AD2080 under ongoing climate warming. This finding regarding the minimal role of high-order physics may not be broadly valid, as it is not true in advance scenarios at Haig Glacier and it may not be representative of other glaciological settings. Through a 'bulk' parameterization of high-order physics, geometric and climatic settings, sliding conditions, and transient effects, I also provide new insights into the volume-area relation, a widely used statistical method for estimating glacier volume. I find a steady-state power-law exponent of 1:46, which declines systematically to 1:38 after 100 years of sustained retreat, in good accord with the observations. I recommend more accurate scaling relations through characterization of individual glacier morphology and degree of climatic disequilibrium. This motivates a revision of global glacier volume estimates, of some urgency in sea level rise assessments.

  17. Southwest coast of Greenland and Davis Strait

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image was taken by MODIS as it passed over the southwest coast of Greenland (right) and the Davis Strait (center and left). The Davis Strait connects Baffin Bay to the north and the Labrador Sea to the south, and separates Greenland from Baffin Island, Canada. The Davis Strait is part of the Northwest Passage, a navigable seaway connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The image shows the prevailing currents in the area, with the warm water of a branch of the North Atlantic Drift flowing northward along the Greenland coast, and the cold, iceberg-filled Labrador Current flowing southward along the Baffin Island coast.

  18. The environmental record in glaciers and ice sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Oeschger, H.; Langway, C.C. Jr.

    1989-01-01

    This book conveys from different points of view a sense of the variables involved in the formation and movement of glacial ice and the kinds of information held in the various glaciers. It also covers methodology and presents examples of recent findings and unexplored pathways. Verifying ice core chronology is a major challenge. Radioactive constituents such as {sup 14}C, {sup 10}Be, and {sup 81}Kr produced in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation can be useful for dating within the ranges of their respective half-lives. Abrupt changes in carbon dioxide concentration during an approximately 10,000-year period at a depth of about 2 kilometers in ice from the Dye 3 core (southern Greenland) and their evident correlation with changes in {sup 18}O values arouse great curiosity. Other abrupt (on a geologic time scale) changes in such parameters bear witness to large changes in climate in periods of a century or less. The presence of pollen testifies to the large body of unexploited information in these cores. Dating of pollen deposits, identification of species, and correlation of the resulting data with varve information on continental and ocean sediments should give new insight into climate change, species adaptation, forest migration, and back trajectories of air masses.

  19. Virus activity on the surface of glaciers and ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellas, C. M.; Anesio, A. M.; Telling, J.; Stibal, M.; Barker, G.; Tranter, M.; Yallop, M.; Cook, J.

    2012-12-01

    Viruses are found wherever there is life. They are major components of aquatic ecosystems and through interactions with their hosts they significantly alter global biogeochemical cycles and drive evolutionary processes. Here we focus on the interactions between bacteriophages and their hosts inhabiting the microbially dominated supraglacial ecosystems known as cryoconite holes. The diversity of phages present in the sediments of cryoconites was examined for the first time by using a molecular based approach to target the T4-type bacteriophage. Through phylogenetic analysis it was determined that the phage community was diverse, consisting of strains that grouped with those from other global habitats and those that formed several completely new T4-type phage clusters. The activity of the viral community present on glaciers from Svalbard and the Greenland Ice Sheet was also addressed through a series of incubation experiments. Here new virus production was found to be capable of turning over the viral population approximately twice a day, a rate comparable to marine and freshwater sediments around the globe. This large scale viral production was found to be theoretically capable of accounting for all heterotrophic bacterial mortality in cryoconite holes. The mode of infection that viruses employ in cryoconite holes was also addressed to show that a variety of viral life strategies are likely responsible for the continued dominance of viruses in these unique habitats. The implications of viral activity are discussed in terms of carbon cycling in supraglacial ecosystems.

  20. Glaciers. Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes.

    PubMed

    Marzeion, Ben; Cogley, J Graham; Richter, Kristin; Parkes, David

    2014-08-22

    The ongoing global glacier retreat is affecting human societies by causing sea-level rise, changing seasonal water availability, and increasing geohazards. Melting glaciers are an icon of anthropogenic climate change. However, glacier response times are typically decades or longer, which implies that the present-day glacier retreat is a mixed response to past and current natural climate variability and current anthropogenic forcing. Here we show that only 25 ± 35% of the global glacier mass loss during the period from 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes. Nevertheless, the anthropogenic signal is detectable with high confidence in glacier mass balance observations during 1991 to 2010, and the anthropogenic fraction of global glacier mass loss during that period has increased to 69 ± 24%.

  1. Seismic signals associated with basal processes of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Röösli, Claudia; Walter, Fabian; Kisslin, Edi; Helmstetter, Agnes; Lüthi, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Understanding ice sheet and glacier dynamics is crucial for modeling of ice mass balance and resulting sea level changes. Ice dynamics is strongly influenced by surface melt water accumulating at the glacier base and its effect on basal sliding. The relationship between surface melt and ice flow depends on hydraulic processes in the subglacial drainage system. However, both subglacial and englacial drainage systems are inherently difficult to investigate due to their remoteness, and basal processes to date remain poorly understood. Borrowing concepts from volcano studies, recent glacier studies are employing passive seismology as a supplement to traditional glaciological techniques. When monitoring the seismic activity of a glacier or an ice sheet, several different types of so-called 'icequakes' and some times even 'tremor' may be detected in the seismic records that is dominated by the large number of surficial icequakes. Deep icequakes may provide information about englacial water flow and basal motion in response to hydraulic events over a region whose size is only limited by seismic background noise and the aperture of the monitoring network. Here, we present results from a passive seismic deployment on western Greenland's ablation zone during summer 2011. The high-density seismometer network consisted of 17 three-component stations installed at the ice surface or in boreholes. We recorded a large variety of seismic signals, including thousands of near-surface crevasse events as well as dislocation events deep within the ice sheet and near its bed. We discuss these 'deep icequakes' in view of hydraulic processes and basal motion. Furthermore, the seismic deployment was part of larger field campaign including a deep drilling project and glaciological surface observations. This provides the unique opportunity to interpret the seismic monitoring results within the variety of observations including subglacial water pressures and other borehole measurements.

  2. Continuous monitoring of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet velocities using Sentinel-1 SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wuite, Jan; Nagler, Thomas; Hetzenecker, Markus; Blumthaler, Ursula; Rott, Helmut

    2016-04-01

    The Sentinel-1 mission has opened up new opportunities for regular monitoring of glacier and ice sheet velocities at high spatial and temporal resolution. From January to March 2015 the first ice sheet wide campaign on Greenland was completed resulting in a nearly complete ice velocity map. Later that year the first Antarctic campaign commenced covering most of the continent outside the polar gap. Besides ice sheet wide campaigns the Sentinel-1 acquisition plan allows for nearly continuous monitoring of the Greenland ice sheet margin and several key regions in Antarctica at 12-day intervals. This offers the unique capability of operational monitoring of short-term and seasonal velocity fluctuations as well as year-to-year variations for large regions. The quantity of data thus becoming available is unprecedented and requires new approaches for efficient processing and data analysis. Sentinel-1 carries a C-band synthetic aperture radar instrument providing high-resolution SAR images. Data is acquired across 250 km swaths at a spatial resolution of about 5 m x 20 m. We use repeat pass SLC images of Sentinel-1 acquired in Greenland and Antarctica to obtain ice flow velocity. We apply an iterative offset tracking approach, permitting to acquire the full range of velocities in a single swath while keeping the matching window at a minimum. We present the first ice sheet wide velocity maps of Greenland and Antarctica derived from Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired in 2015. Results are compared with ice flow velocity fields derived from other sensors, including ALOS PALSAR and the TerraSAR-X mission. Additionally we present velocity time series with 12-day intervals of major outlet glaciers of the ice sheets spanning well over a year. Velocity time-series production has been automated using a set of newly developed tools allowing for fast generation of (near real-time) center-line and gate velocity profiles that are stored in a database. Other functionalities include discharge

  3. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    To date, there has only been little conceptual change research regarding conceptions about glaciers. This study used the theoretical background of embodied cognition to reconstruct different metaphorical concepts with respect to the structure of a glacier. Applying the Model of Educational Reconstruction, the conceptions of students and scientists…

  4. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-08-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams.

  5. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams

    PubMed Central

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-01-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams. PMID:23486246

  6. Glacier-derived August runoff in northwest Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Adam; Harper, Joel T.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2015-01-01

    The second largest concentration of glaciers in the U.S. Rocky Mountains is located in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. The total glacier-covered area in this region decreased by ∼35% over the past 50 years, which has raised substantial concern about the loss of the water derived from glaciers during the summer. We used an innovative weather station design to collect in situ measurements on five remote glaciers, which are used to parameterize a regional glacier melt model. This model offered a first-order estimate of the summer meltwater production by glaciers. We find, during the normally dry month of August, glaciers in the region produce approximately 25 × 106 m3 of potential runoff. We then estimated the glacier runoff component in five gaged streams sourced from GNP basins containing glaciers. Glacier-melt contributions range from 5% in a basin only 0.12% glacierized to >90% in a basin 28.5% glacierized. Glacier loss would likely lead to lower discharges and warmer temperatures in streams draining basins >20% glacier-covered. Lower flows could even be expected in streams draining basins as little as 1.4% glacierized if glaciers were to disappear.

  7. Debris-covered Himalayan glaciers under a changing climate: observations and modelling of Khumbu Glacier, Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Ann; Quincey, Duncan; Egholm, David; Gibson, Morgan; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram; Porter, Philip; Glass