Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Linking surface hydrology to flow regimes and patterns of velocity variability on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut

  • Faye R. Wyatt (a1) (a2) and Martin J. Sharp (a1)

Abstract

Supraglacial meltwater reaching a glacier bed can increase ice surface velocities via hydraulic jacking and enhanced basal sliding. However, the relationships between the structure of supraglacial drainage systems, sink-point distributions, glacier flow processes and the magnitude of interannual velocity variability are poorly understood. To explore the hypothesis that spatial variations in the rate and mechanisms of glacier flow are linked to variations in supraglacial drainage system structure and sink-point distribution across an ice cap, we mapped supraglacial drainage systems on Devon Ice Cap from Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery. Spatial patterns of surface velocity and interannual velocity variability were determined using gradient correlation applied to Landsat-7 ETM+ images. Velocity variability is greater in areas close to sink-point locations, presumably because hydrologically forced basal sliding and/or bed deformation are enhanced in such areas. The distribution and characteristics of supraglacial drainage systems may play an important role in determining the distribution of regions of basal sliding, highlighting the need for knowledge of the supraglacial drainage system structure and sink-point distribution to inform efforts to model the dynamic response of Arctic ice caps to future climate warming.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Linking surface hydrology to flow regimes and patterns of velocity variability on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Linking surface hydrology to flow regimes and patterns of velocity variability on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Linking surface hydrology to flow regimes and patterns of velocity variability on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Faye R. Wyatt <fwyatt@fieraconsulting.ca>

References

Hide All
Amundson, JM, Fahnestock, M, Truffer, M, Brown, J, Lüthi, MP and Motyka, RJ (2010) Ice mélange dynamics and implications for terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland. J. Geophys. Res., 115(F1), F01005 (doi: 10.1029/2009JF001405)
Argyriou, V and Vlachos, T (2007) Quad-tree motion estimation in the frequency domain using gradient correlation. IEEE Trans. Multimed., 9(6), 11471154 (doi: 10.1109/TMM.2007.898926)
Arnold, NS and Sharp, MJ (1992) Influence of glacier hydrology on the dynamics of a large Quaternary ice sheet. J. Quat. Sci., 7(2),109124 (doi: 10.1002/jqs.3390070204)
Bartholomew, I, Nienow, P, Mair, D, Hubbard, A, King, MA and Sole, A (2010) Seasonal evolution of subglacial drainage and acceleration in a Greenland outlet glacier. Nature Geosci., 3(6), 408411 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo863)
Berthier, E, Raup, BH and Scambos, TA (2003) New velocity map and mass-balance estimate of Mertz Glacier, East Antarctica, derived from Landsat sequential imagery. J. Glaciol., 49(167), 503511 (doi: 10.3189/172756503781830377)
Bingham, RG, Nienow, PW and Sharp, MJ (2003) Intra-annual and intra-seasonal flow dynamics of a High Arctic polythermal valley glacier. Ann. Glaciol., 37, 181188 (doi: 10.3189/172756403781815762)
Boon, S, Burgess, DO, Koerner, RM and Sharp, MJ (2010) Forty-seven years of research on the Devon Island ice cap, Arctic Canada. Arctic, 63(1), 1329 (doi: 10.14430/arctic643)
Burgess, DO and Sharp, MJ (2004) Recent changes in areal extent of the Devon ice cap, Nunavut, Canada. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 36(2), 261271 (doi: 10.1657/1523-0430(2004)036[0261: RCIAEO]2.0.CO;2)
Burgess, DO, Sharp, MJ, Mair, DWF, Dowdeswell, JA and Benham, TJ (2005) Flow dynamics and iceberg calving rates of the Devon Ice Cap, Nuvavut, Canada. J. Glaciol., 51(173), 219230 (doi: 10.3189/172756505781829430)
Burgess, EW, Larsen, CF and Forster, RR (2013) Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(23), 61606164 (doi: 10.1002/2013GL058228)
Copland, L, Sharp, MJ and Dowdeswell, JA (2003) The distribution and flow characteristics of surge-type glaciers in the Canadian High Arctic. Ann. Glaciol., 36, 7381 (doi: 10.3189/172756403781816301)
Cuffey, KM and Paterson, WSB (2010) The physics of glaciers, 4th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford
Danielson, B and Sharp, M (2013) Development and application of a time-lapse photo analysis method to investigate the link between tidewater glacier flow variations and supraglacial lake drainage events. J. Glaciol., 59(214), 287302 (doi: 10.3189/2013JoG12J108)
Das, SB and 6 others (2008) Fracture propagation to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet during supraglacial lake drainage. Science, 320(5877), 778781 (doi: 10.1126/science.1153360)
Dowdeswell, JA, Benham, TJ, Gorman, MR, Burgess, D and Sharp, M (2004) Form and flow of the Devon Island ice cap, Canadian Arctic. J. Geophys. Res., 109(F2), F02002 (doi: 10.1029/2003JF000095)
Gardner, AS and Sharp, M (2007) Influence of the Arctic circumpolar vortex on the mass balance of Canadian High Arctic glaciers. J. Climate, 20(18), 45864598 (doi: 10.1175/JCLI4268.1)
Gudmundsson, GH, Raymond, CF and Bindschadler, R (1998) The origin and longevity of flow stripes on Antarctic ice streams. Ann. Glaciol., 27, 145152
Haug, T, Kääb, A and Skvarca, P (2010) Monitoring ice shelf velocities from repeat MODIS and Landsat data – a method study on the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, and 10 other ice shelves around Antarctica. Cryosphere, 4(2), 161178 (doi: 10.5194/tc-4-161-2010)
Holland, DM, Thomas, RH, de Young, B, Ribergaard, MH and Lyberth, B (2008) Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters. Nature Geosci., 1(10), 659664 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo316)
Iken, A (1981) The effect of the subglacial water pressure on the sliding velocity of a glacier in an idealized numerical model. J. Glaciol., 27(97), 407421
Iken, A and Bindschadler, RA (1986) Combined measurements of subglacial water pressure and surface velocity of Findelengletscher, Switzerland: conclusions about drainage system and sliding mechanism. J. Glaciol., 32(110), 101119
Iverson, NR, Hooyer, TS and Baker, RW (1998) Ring-shear studies of till deformation: Coulomb-plastic behavior and distributed strain in glacier beds. J. Glaciol., 44(148), 634642
Joughin, I and 9 others (2013) Influence of supraglacial lakes and ice-sheet geometry on seasonal ice-flow variability. Cryos. Discuss., 7(2), 11011118 (doi: 10.5194/tcd-7-1101-2013)
Kamb, B (1987) Glacier surge mechanism based on linked cavity configuration of the basal water conduit system. J. Geophys. Res., 92(B9), 90839100 (doi: 10.1029/JB092iB09p09083)
Kamb, B (1991) Rheological nonlinearity and flow instability in the deforming bed mechanism of ice stream motion. J. Geophys. Res., 96(B10), 16 58516 595 (doi: 10.1029/91JB00946)
Kavanaugh, JL and Clarke, GKC (2001) Abrupt glacier motion and reorganization of basal shear stress following the establishment of a connected drainage system. J. Glaciol., 47(158), 472480 (doi: 10.3189/172756501781831972)
Kavanaugh, JL and Clarke, GKC (2006) Discrimination of the flow law for subglacial sediment using in situ measurements and an interpretation model. J. Geophys. Res., 111(F1), F01002 (doi: 10.1029/2005JF000346)
Koerner, RM (1970) The mass balance of the Devon Island ice cap, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1961–66. J. Glaciol., 9(57), 325336
Koerner, RM (2005) Mass balance of glaciers in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada. Ann. Glaciol., 42, 417423 (doi: 10.3189/172756405781813122)
Lampkin, DJ and VanderBerg, J (2011) A preliminary investigation of the influence of basal and surface topography on supraglacial lake distribution near Jakobshavn Isbræ, western Greenland. Hydrol. Process., 25(21), 33473355 (doi: 10.1002/hyp.8170)
Lindsey, DS and Dupont, TK (2012) Mechanical effect of mélange-induced buttressing on embayment-terminating glacier dynamics. Cryos. Discuss., 6(5), 41234136 (doi: 10.5194/tcd-6-4123-2012)
Mair, D, Burgess, D and Sharp, M (2005) Thirty-seven year mass balance of Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada, determined by shallow ice coring and melt modelling. J. Geophys. Res., 110(F1), F01011 (doi: 10.1029/2003JF000099)
Moon, T and Joughin, I (2008) Changes in ice front position on Greenland’s outlet glaciers from 1992 to 2007. J. Geophys. Res., 113(F2), F02022 (doi: 10.1029/2007JF000927)
Nick, FM, Vieli, A, Howat, IM and Joughin, I (2009) Large-scale changes in Greenland outlet glacier dynamics triggered at the terminus. Nature Geosci., 2(2), 110114 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo394)
Palmer, S, Shepherd, A, Nienow, P and Joughin, I (2011) Seasonal speedup of the Greenland Ice Sheet linked to routing of surface water. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 302(3–4), 423428 (doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.12.037)
Phillips, T, Rajaram, H and Steffen, K (2010) Cryo-hydrologic warming: a potential mechanism for rapid thermal response of ice sheets. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37(20), L20503 (doi: 10.1029/2010GL044397)
Schoof, C (2010) Ice-sheet acceleration driven by melt supply variability. Nature, 468(7325), 803806 (doi: 10.1038/nature09618)
Sergienko, OV (2013) Glaciological twins: basally controlled subglacial and supraglacial lakes. J. Glaciol., 59(213), 38 (doi: 10.3189/2013JoG12J040)
Sharp, M, Burgess, DO, Cogley, JG, Ecclestone, M, Labine, C and Wolken, G (2011) Extreme melt on Canada’s Arctic ice caps in the 21st century. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(11), L11501 (doi: 10.1029/2011GL047381)
Truffer, M, Harrison, WD and March, RS (2005) Correspondence. Record negative glacier balances and low velocities during the 2004 heatwave in Alaska, USA: implications for the interpretation of observations by Zwally and others in Greenland. J. Glaciol., 51(175), 663664 (doi: 10.3189/172756505781829016)
Van der Veen, CJ (2007) Fracture propagation as means of rapidly transferring surface meltwater to the base of glaciers. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34(1), L01501 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL028385)
Van der Veen, CJ, Plummer, JC and Stearns, LA (2011) Controls on the recent speed-up of Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland. J. Glaciol., 57(204), 770782 (doi: 10.3189/002214311797409776)
Van Wychen, W, Copland, L, Gray, L, Burgess, D, Danielson, B and Sharp, M (2012) Spatial and temporal variation of ice motion and ice flux from Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada. J. Glaciol., 58(210), 657664 (doi: 10.3189/2012JoG11J164)
Van Wychen, W and 6 others (2014) Glacier velocities and dynamic ice discharge from the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(2), 484490 (doi: 10.1002/2013GL058558)
Zwally, HJ, Abdalati, W, Herring, T, Larson, K, Saba, J and Steffen, K (2002) Surface melt-induced acceleration of Greenland ice-sheet flow. Science, 297(5579), 218222 (doi: 10.1126/science.1072708)

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Linking surface hydrology to flow regimes and patterns of velocity variability on Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut

  • Faye R. Wyatt (a1) (a2) and Martin J. Sharp (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.