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Title: Moulin Density Controls the Timing of Peak Pressurization Within the Greenland Ice Sheet's Subglacial Drainage System

Links between hydrology and sliding of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are poorly understood. Here, we monitored meltwater's propagation through the glacial hydrologic system for catchments at different elevations by quantifying the lag cascade as daily meltwater pulses traveled through the supraglacial, englacial, and subglacial drainage systems. We found that meltwater's residence time within supraglacial catchments—depending upon area, snow cover, and degree of channelization—controls the timing of peak moulin head, resulting in the 2 hr later peak observed at higher elevations. Unlike at lower elevations where peak moulin head and peak sliding coincided, at higher elevations peak sliding lagged peak moulin head by ∼2.8 hr. This delay was likely caused by the area's lower moulin density, which required diurnal pressure oscillations to migrate further into the distributed drainage system to elicit the observed velocity response. These observations highlight the supraglacial drainage system's control on coupling GrIS subglacial hydrology and sliding.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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