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Tidal Modulation of Buoyant Flow and Basal Melt Beneath Petermann Gletscher Ice Shelf, Greenland
Responsible organisation
2020 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 125, no 10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A set of collocated, in situ oceanographic and glaciological measurements from Petermann Gletscher Ice Shelf, Greenland, provides insights into the dynamics of under-ice flow driving basal melting. At a site 16 km seaward of the grounding line within a longitudinal basal channel, two conductivity-temperature (CT) sensors beneath the ice base and a phase-sensitive radar on the ice surface were used to monitor the coupled ice shelf-ocean system. A 6 month time series spanning 23 August 2015 to 12 February 2016 exhibited two distinct periods of ice-ocean interactions. Between August and December, radar-derived basal melt rates featured fortnightly peaks of ~15 m yr-1 which preceded the arrival of cold and fresh pulses in the ocean that had high concentrations of subglacial runoff and glacial meltwater. Estimated current speeds reached 0.20 - 0.40 m s-1 during these pulses, consistent with a strengthened meltwater plume from freshwater enrichment. Such signals did not occur between December and February, when ice-ocean interactions instead varied at principal diurnal and semidiurnal tidal frequencies, and lower melt rates and current speeds prevailed. A combination of estimated current speeds and meltwater concentrations from the two CT sensors yields estimates of subglacial runoff and glacial meltwater volume fluxes that vary between 10 and 80 m3 s-1 during the ocean pulses. Area-average upstream ice shelf melt rates from these fluxes are up to 170 m yr-1, revealing that these strengthened plumes had already driven their most intense melting before arriving at the study site.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 125, no 10
Keywords [en]
ice-ocean interactions, ice shelves, boundary layer, basal melt, Greenland, glacier
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
SWEDARCTIC 2015, Petermann 2015
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8707DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016427OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8707DiVA, id: diva2:1554203
Available from: 2021-05-12 Created: 2021-05-12 Last updated: 2021-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020JC016427
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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