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  • 1.
    Reinardy, Benedict T.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Booth, Adam D.
    Hughes, Anna L. C.
    Boston, Clare M.
    Åkesson, Henning
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
    Bakke, Jostein
    Nesje, Atle
    Giesen, Rianne H.
    Pearce, Danni M.
    Pervasive cold ice within a temperate glacier - implications for glacier thermal regimes, sediment transport and foreland geomorphology2019In: The Cryosphere, ISSN 1994-0416, E-ISSN 1994-0424, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 827-843Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study suggests that cold-ice processes may be more widespread than previously assumed, even within temperate glacial systems. We present the first systematic mapping of cold ice at the snout of the temperate glacier Midtdalsbreen, an outlet of the Hardangerjokulen icefield (Norway), from 43 line kilometres of ground-penetrating radar data. Results show a 40 m wide cold-ice zone within the majority of the glacier snout, where ice thickness is < 10 m. We interpret ice to be cold-based across this zone, consistent with basal freeze-on processes involved in the deposition of moraines. We also find at least two zones of cold ice up to 15 m thick within the ablation area, occasionally extending to the glacier bed. There are two further zones of cold ice up to 30 m thick in the accumulation area, also extending to the glacier bed. Cold-ice zones in the ablation area tend to correspond to areas of the glacier that are covered by late-lying seasonal snow patches that reoccur over multiple years. Subglacial topography and the location of the freezing isotherm within the glacier and underlying subglacial strata likely influence the transport and supply of supraglacial debris and formation of controlled moraines. The wider implication of this study is the possibility that, with continued climate warming, temperate environments with primarily temperate glaciers could become polythermal in forthcoming decades with (i) persisting thinning and (ii) retreat to higher altitudes where subglacial permafrost could be and/or become more widespread. Adversely, the number and size of late-lying snow patches in ablation areas may decrease and thereby reduce the extent of cold ice, reinforcing the postulated change in the thermal regime.

  • 2. Steiger, Nadine
    et al.
    Nisancioglu, Kerim H.
    Åkesson, Henning
    University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway.
    de Fleurian, Basile
    Nick, Faezeh M.
    Simulated retreat of Jakobshavn Isbrae since the Little Ice Age controlled by geometry2018In: The Cryosphere, ISSN 1994-0416, E-ISSN 1994-0424, Vol. 12, no 7, p. 2249-2266Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapid retreat of Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers coincides with regional warming trends, which have broadly been used to explain these rapid changes. However, outlet glaciers within similar climate regimes experience widely contrasting retreat patterns, suggesting that the local fjord geometry could be an important additional factor. To assess the relative role of climate and fjord geometry, we use the retreat history of Jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland, since the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum in 1850 as a baseline for the parameterization of a depth-and width-integrated ice flow model. The impact of fjord geometry is isolated by using a linearly increasing climate forcing since the LIA and testing a range of simplified geometries. We find that the total length of retreat is determined by external factors - such as hydrofracturing, submarine melt and buttressing by sea ice - whereas the retreat pattern is governed by the fjord geometry. Narrow and shallow areas provide pinning points and cause delayed but rapid retreat without additional climate warming, after decades of grounding line stability. We suggest that these geometric pinning points may be used to locate potential sites for moraine formation and to predict the long-term response of the glacier. As a consequence, to assess the impact of climate on the retreat history of a glacier, each system has to be analyzed with knowledge of its historic retreat and the local fjord geometry.

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