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Englacial drainage structures in an East Antarctic outlet glacier


Schaap, T and Roach, MJ and Peters, LE and Cook, S and Kulessa, B and Schoof, C, Englacial drainage structures in an East Antarctic outlet glacier, Journal of Glaciology, 66, (255) pp. 166-174. ISSN 0022-1430 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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DOI: doi:10.1017/jog.2019.92


Ground-penetrating radar data acquired in the 2016/17 austral summer on Sørsdal Glacier, East Antarctica, provide evidence for meltwater lenses within porous surface ice that are conceptually similar to firn aquifers observed on the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Arctic and Alpine glaciers. These englacial water bodies are associated with a dry relict surface basin and consistent with perennial drainage into an interconnected englacial drainage system, which may explain a large englacial outburst flood observed in satellite imagery in the early 2016/17 melt season. Our observations indicate the rarely-documented presence of an englacial hydrological system in Antarctica, with implications for the storage and routing of surface meltwater. Future work should ascertain the spatial prevalence of such systems around the Antarctic coastline, and identify the degree of surface runoff redistribution and storage in the near surface, to quantify their impact on surface mass balance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, glacier geophysics, glacier hydrology, ground-penetrating radar
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
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:Schaap, T (Mr Thomas Schaap)
UTAS Author:Roach, MJ (Dr Michael Roach)
UTAS Author:Cook, S (Dr Sue Cook)
ID Code:136521
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-01-06
Last Modified:2022-11-04
Downloads:29 View Download Statistics

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