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Water flux through Aurora Subglacial Basin and its impact on Totten Glacier stability


Dow, C and Graham, F and Young, D and Greenbaum, J and Roberts, J and Blankenship, D, Water flux through Aurora Subglacial Basin and its impact on Totten Glacier stability, Proceedings of the Buffalo Symposium: Timescales, Processes and Glacier Dynamics, 04-08 June, Buffalo, New York, USA, pp. 78A2802. (2017) [Conference Extract]

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Totten Glacier is one of the most rapidly thinning regions of East Antarctica. The glacier is fed by a large catchment and culminates in an ice shelf, which is also demonstrating significant dynamic changes. In order to investigate the stability of Totten Glacier we use the two-dimensional hydrology model GlaDS to examine the subglacial drainage networks underneath Totten Glacier and its catchment, Aurora Subglacial Basin. Within these regions, the model provides information on areas of high water pressure, water accumulation, and lake growth and drainage patterns. In addition, basal channels form at the outlet of Totten Glacier and feed into the ice-shelf cavity as concentrated plumes of fresh water, impacting shelf stability and sub-ice-shelf channel formation. To test the hydrology model, we compare the outputs of subglacial water thickness and pressure with geophysical specularity data collected as part of the International Collaborative Exploration of the Cryosphere through Aerogeophysical Profiling (ICECAP) project over a large portion of Aurora Subglacial Basin. These specularity data indicate smoother areas where water is present at the base of the ice. We find a good overlap between the outputs of the hydrology model and the specularity data. Here, we will present these model outputs with a focus on how the hydrological system relates to ice dynamics and the stability of Totten Glacier.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Antarctica, subglacial hydrology, ice sheet dynamics, Totten Glacier
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering
Research Field:Computational methods in fluid flow, heat and mass transfer (incl. computational fluid dynamics)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Graham, F (Dr Felicity McCormack)
UTAS Author:Roberts, J (Dr Jason Roberts)
ID Code:126738
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2018-06-21
Last Modified:2018-06-26

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