Subglacial lake drainage detected beneath the Greenland ice sheet

Palmer, Steven and Mcmillan, Malcolm and Morlighem, Mathieu (2015) Subglacial lake drainage detected beneath the Greenland ice sheet. Nature Communications, 6. ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise has accelerated in recent decades. Subglacial lake drainage events can induce an ice sheet dynamic response - a process that has been observed in Antarctica, but not yet in Greenland, where the presence of subglacial lakes has only recently been discovered. Here we investigate the water flow paths from a subglacial lake, which drained beneath the Greenland ice sheet in 2011. Our observations suggest that the lake was fed by surface meltwater flowing down a nearby moulin, and that the draining water reached the ice margin via a subglacial tunnel. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar-derived measurements of ice surface motion acquired in 1995 suggest that a similar event may have occurred 16 years earlier, and we propose that, as the climate warms, increasing volumes of surface meltwater routed to the bed will cause such events to become more common in the future.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Nature Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100
Subjects:
ID Code:
128842
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Nov 2018 09:46
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Nov 2020 08:35