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Modelling the delivery of supraglacial meltwater to theice/bed interface: application to southwest Devon Ice Cap,Nunavut, Canada
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (Glaciology)
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen.
Northern Canada Division, Geological Survey of Canada.
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Glaciology, ISSN 0022-1430, Vol. 58, no 208, 361-374 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The transfer of surface-generated meltwater to the subglacial drainage system through fullice thickness crevassing may lead to accelerated glacier velocities, with implications for ice motionunder future climatic scenarios. Accurate predictions of where surface meltwater accesses the ice/bedinterface are therefore needed in fully coupled hydrodynamic ice-sheet models. We present a spatiallydistributed modelling routine for predicting the location and timing of delivery of surface-derivedmeltwater to the ice/bed interface through moulins and supraglacial lake drainage. The model isexplained as it is applied to the Croker Bay glacial catchment of Devon Ice Cap, Canada. The formationof moulins, drainage of lakes, and the transfer of meltwater through the full ice thickness are modelledfor the 2004 and 2006 ablation seasons. Through this case study we assess the model’s sensitivity todegree-day factors, fracture toughness, tensile strength and crevasse width, and confirm that parametersinfluencing the rate at which water fills a crevasse are the most significant controls on the ability of acrevasse to reach the bed. Increased surface melt production, therefore, has the potential to significantlyinfluence the spatial and temporal transfer of meltwater through surface-to-bed connections in awarmer climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 58, no 208, 361-374 p.
Keyword [en]
Canada Devon Ice Cap Moulins Supraglacial Crevasses Modelling
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85198DOI: 10.3189/2012JoG11J129OAI: diva2:582855
Available from: 2013-01-07 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2013-01-07Bibliographically approved

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