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Greenland ice sheet motion coupled with daily melting in late summer


Shepherd, A and Hubbard, A and Nienow, P and King, MA and McMillan, M and Joughin, I, Greenland ice sheet motion coupled with daily melting in late summer, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, (1) ISSN 0094-8276 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1029/2008GL035758


We use ground-based and satellite observations to detect large diurnal and longer-period variations in the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) during late summer that are strongly coupled with changes in its surface hydrology. The diurnal signals are associated with periodic changes in surface melting, and the longer-period signals are associated with the episodic drainage of supra-glacial lakes. Ice velocity doubles around 2 hours after peak daily melting and returns approximately to wintertime levels around 12 hours afterwards, demonstrating an intimate link between the surface and basal hydrology. During late summer, the ice sheet accelerates by 35% per positive degree-day of melting. The observed link between surface melting and enhanced flow is typical of Alpine glaciers, which may provide an appropriate analogue for the evolution of the GrIS in a warming climate. © 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Glaciers; Ice; Water; Alpine glaciers; Diurnal signals; Glacial lakes; Greenland Ice sheets; Ground-based; Ice sheets; Ice velocities; Satellite observations; Surface hydrologies; Surface melting; Warming climates; Melting; ground-based measurement
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:82096
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:131
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2013-01-16
Last Modified:2013-01-16

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