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Title: Tidewater-glacier response to supraglacial lake drainage
Abstract

The flow speed of the Greenland Ice Sheet changes dramatically in inland regions when surface meltwater drains to the bed. But ice-sheet discharge to the ocean is dominated by fast-flowing outlet glaciers, where the effect of increasing surface melt on annual discharge is unknown. Observations of a supraglacial lake drainage at Helheim Glacier, and a consequent velocity pulse propagating down-glacier, provide a natural experiment for assessing the impact of changes in injected meltwater, and allow us to interrogate the subglacial hydrological system. We find a highly efficient subglacial drainage system, such that summertime lake drainage has little net effect on ice discharge. Our results question the validity of common remote-sensing approaches for inferring subglacial conditions, knowledge of which is needed for improved projections of sea-level rise.

 
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Award ID(s):
2003464
NSF-PAR ID:
10375988
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
13
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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