Characteristics of meltwater export from Jakobshavn Isbræ and Ilulissat Icefjord
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordGlacier discharge; Icebergs; Ice/ocean interactions; Meltwater chemistry; Polar and subpolar oceans
Jakobshavn Isbræ, which terminates in Ilulissat Icefjord, has undergone rapid retreat and is currently the largest contributor to ice-sheet mass loss among Greenland’s marine terminating glaciers. Accelerating mass loss is increasing fresh water discharge to the ocean, which can feed back on ice melt, impact marine ecosystems and potentially modify regional and larger scale ocean circulation. Here we present hydrographic observations, including inert geochemical tracers, that allow the first quantitative description of the glacially-modified waters exported from the Jakobshavn/Icefjord system. Observations within the fjord suggest a deep-reaching overturning cell driven by glacial buoyancy forcing. Modified waters containing submarine meltwater (up to 2.5 ± 0.12%), subglacial discharge (up to 6 ± 0.37%) and large portions of entrained ocean waters are seen to exit the fjord and flow north. The exported meltwaters form a buoyant coastal gravity current reaching to 100 m depth and extending 10 km offshore.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Annals of Glaciology 58 (2017): 107-117, doi:10.1017/aog.2017.19.
Suggested CitationAnnals of Glaciology 58 (2017): 107-117
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Beaird, Nicholas; Straneo, Fiamma; Jenkins, William J. (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-30)We present the first noble gas observations in a proglacial fjord in Greenland, providing an unprecedented view of surface and submarine melt pathways into the ocean. Using Optimum Multiparameter Analysis, noble gas ...
Stanford, Jennifer D.; Rohling, Eelco J.; Hunter, Sally E.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Rasmussen, Sune O.; Bard, Edouard; McManus, Jerry F.; Fairbanks, Richard G. (American Geophysical Union, 2006-12-09)The temporal relationship between meltwater pulse 1a (mwp-1a) and the climate history of the last deglaciation remains a subject of debate. By combining the Greenland Ice Core Project δ 18O ice core record on the new ...
Modern sedimentation in the Northern Barents Sea : input, dipersal and deposition of suspended sediments from glacial meltwater Pfirman, Stephanie L. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1984-08)The modern depositional environment of the northern epicontinental Barents Sea varies from proximal to distal glaciomarine. The regional surface sediment distribution is controlled by erosion of shallow banks of the ...