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Seasonal speedup along the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet


Joughin, I and Das, SB and King, MA and Smith, BE and Howat, IM and Moon, T, Seasonal speedup along the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet, Science, 320, (5877) pp. 781-783. ISSN 0036-8075 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1153288


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:surface water; glacier flow; ice flow; ice sheet; meltwater; seasonal variation; article; climate change; glacier; global positioning system; Greenland; ice sheet; pressure; priority journal; seasonal variation; sediment; water flow; Arctic
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:King, MA (Professor Matt King)
ID Code:81952
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:310
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2013-01-11
Last Modified:2014-07-30

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