Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

Ian Bartholomew, Peter Nienow, Andrew Sole, Douglas Mair, Thomas Cowton, Steven Palmer, Jemma Wadham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We measure hydrological parameters in meltwater draining from an outlet glacier in west Greenland to investigate seasonal changes in the structure and behaviour of the hydrological system of a large catchment in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). Our data reveal seasonal upglacier expansion and increase in hydraulic efficiency of the subglacial drainage system, across a catchment >600 km(2), to distances >50 km from the ice-sheet margin. This expansion occurs episodically in response to the drainage of surface meltwaters into a hitherto inefficient subglacial drainage system as new input locations become active progressively further upglacier; this system is similar to Alpine glaciers. These observations provide the first synopsis of seasonal hydrological behaviour in the ablation zone of the GrIS. Citation: Bartholomew, I., P. Nienow, A. Sole, D. Mair, T. Cowton, S. Palmer, and J. Wadham (2011), Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08502, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047063.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL08502
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • seasonal evolution
  • basal sediment
  • surface melt
  • glacier
  • system
  • acceleration
  • configuration
  • lakes

Cite this

Bartholomew, I., Nienow, P., Sole, A., Mair, D., Cowton, T., Palmer, S., & Wadham, J. (2011). Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. Geophysical Research Letters, 38(8), [L08502]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL047063

Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. / Bartholomew, Ian; Nienow, Peter; Sole, Andrew; Mair, Douglas; Cowton, Thomas; Palmer, Steven; Wadham, Jemma.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, No. 8, L08502, 21.04.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bartholomew, I, Nienow, P, Sole, A, Mair, D, Cowton, T, Palmer, S & Wadham, J 2011, 'Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38, no. 8, L08502. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL047063
Bartholomew, Ian ; Nienow, Peter ; Sole, Andrew ; Mair, Douglas ; Cowton, Thomas ; Palmer, Steven ; Wadham, Jemma. / Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 38, No. 8.
@article{d19e39fdda2440078aa0b3376265aef9,
title = "Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet",
abstract = "We measure hydrological parameters in meltwater draining from an outlet glacier in west Greenland to investigate seasonal changes in the structure and behaviour of the hydrological system of a large catchment in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). Our data reveal seasonal upglacier expansion and increase in hydraulic efficiency of the subglacial drainage system, across a catchment >600 km(2), to distances >50 km from the ice-sheet margin. This expansion occurs episodically in response to the drainage of surface meltwaters into a hitherto inefficient subglacial drainage system as new input locations become active progressively further upglacier; this system is similar to Alpine glaciers. These observations provide the first synopsis of seasonal hydrological behaviour in the ablation zone of the GrIS. Citation: Bartholomew, I., P. Nienow, A. Sole, D. Mair, T. Cowton, S. Palmer, and J. Wadham (2011), Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08502, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047063.",
keywords = "seasonal evolution, basal sediment, surface melt, glacier, system, acceleration, configuration, lakes",
author = "Ian Bartholomew and Peter Nienow and Andrew Sole and Douglas Mair and Thomas Cowton and Steven Palmer and Jemma Wadham",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1029/2011GL047063",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

AU - Bartholomew, Ian

AU - Nienow, Peter

AU - Sole, Andrew

AU - Mair, Douglas

AU - Cowton, Thomas

AU - Palmer, Steven

AU - Wadham, Jemma

PY - 2011/4/21

Y1 - 2011/4/21

N2 - We measure hydrological parameters in meltwater draining from an outlet glacier in west Greenland to investigate seasonal changes in the structure and behaviour of the hydrological system of a large catchment in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). Our data reveal seasonal upglacier expansion and increase in hydraulic efficiency of the subglacial drainage system, across a catchment >600 km(2), to distances >50 km from the ice-sheet margin. This expansion occurs episodically in response to the drainage of surface meltwaters into a hitherto inefficient subglacial drainage system as new input locations become active progressively further upglacier; this system is similar to Alpine glaciers. These observations provide the first synopsis of seasonal hydrological behaviour in the ablation zone of the GrIS. Citation: Bartholomew, I., P. Nienow, A. Sole, D. Mair, T. Cowton, S. Palmer, and J. Wadham (2011), Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08502, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047063.

AB - We measure hydrological parameters in meltwater draining from an outlet glacier in west Greenland to investigate seasonal changes in the structure and behaviour of the hydrological system of a large catchment in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). Our data reveal seasonal upglacier expansion and increase in hydraulic efficiency of the subglacial drainage system, across a catchment >600 km(2), to distances >50 km from the ice-sheet margin. This expansion occurs episodically in response to the drainage of surface meltwaters into a hitherto inefficient subglacial drainage system as new input locations become active progressively further upglacier; this system is similar to Alpine glaciers. These observations provide the first synopsis of seasonal hydrological behaviour in the ablation zone of the GrIS. Citation: Bartholomew, I., P. Nienow, A. Sole, D. Mair, T. Cowton, S. Palmer, and J. Wadham (2011), Supraglacial forcing of subglacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L08502, doi: 10.1029/2011GL047063.

KW - seasonal evolution

KW - basal sediment

KW - surface melt

KW - glacier

KW - system

KW - acceleration

KW - configuration

KW - lakes

U2 - 10.1029/2011GL047063

DO - 10.1029/2011GL047063

M3 - Article

VL - 38

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 8

M1 - L08502

ER -