To send content items to your account,
please 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 account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
A volcanic eruption occurs when a magma-filled fracture propagates from its source to the surface. Analysing and understanding the conditions that allow this to happen constitute a major part of the scientific field of volcanotectonics. This new volume introduces this cutting-edge and interdisciplinary topic in volcanological research, which incorporates principles and methods from structural geology, tectonics, volcano-deformation studies, physical volcanology, seismology, and physics. It explains and illustrates the physical processes that operate inside volcanoes and which control the frequencies, locations, durations, and sizes of volcanic eruptions. Featuring a clear theoretical framework and helpful summary descriptions of various volcanic structures and products, as well as many worked examples and exercises, this book is an ideal resource for students, researchers and practitioners seeking an understanding the processes that give rise to volcanic deformation, earthquakes, and eruptions.
Southern Iceland is one of the main outlets of the Icelandic ice sheet and is subject to seismicity of both tectonic and volcanic origins along the South Iceland Seismic Zone (SISZ). A sedimentary complex spanning Marine Isotopic Stage 6 (MIS 6) to the present includes evidence of both activities. It includes a continuous sedimentary record since the Eemian interglacial period, controlled by a rapid deglaciation, followed by two marine glacioisostasy-forced transgressions, separated by a regression phase connected to an intra-MIS 5e glacial advance. This record has been constrained by tephrostratigraphy and dating. Analysis of this record has provided better insights into the interconnectedness of hydrology and volcanic and tectonic activity during deglaciations and glaciations. Low-intensity earthquakes recurrently affected the water-laid sedimentation during the early stages of unloading, accompanying rifting events, dyke injection, and fault reactivations. During full interglacial periods, earthquakes were significantly less frequent but of higher magnitude along the SISZ, due to stress accumulation, favored by low groundwater levels and more limited magma production. Occurrence of volcanism and seismicity in Iceland is commonly related to rifting events. Subglacial volcanic events seem moreover to have been related to stress unlocking related to limited or full unloading/deglaciation events. Major eruptions were mostly located at the melting margin of the ice sheet.
Ice rheology governs how glaciers flow and respond to environmental change. The rheology of glacier ice evolves in response to a variety of mechanisms, including damage, heating, melting and the development of crystalline fabric. The relative contributions of these rheological mechanisms are not well understood. Using remotely sensed data and physical models, we decouple the influence of each of the aforementioned mechanisms along the margins of Rutford Ice Stream, a laterally confined outlet glacier in West Antarctica. We show that fabric is an important control on ice rheology in the shear margins, with an inferred softening effect consistent with a single-maximum fabric. Fabric evolves to steady state near the onset of streaming flow, and ice progressively softens downstream almost exclusively due to shear heating. The rate of heating is sensitive to local shear strain rates, which respond to local changes in bed topography as ice is squeezed through the basal trough. The impact of shear heating on the downstream evolution of ice rheology in a laterally confined glacier suggests that the thermoviscous feedback – wherein faster ice flow leads to higher rates of shear heating, further softening the ice – is a fundamental control on glacier dynamics.
Satellite observations of gravity anomalies, ice-surface elevation and glacier velocity show significant increases in net grounded-ice-mass loss over the past decade along the Bellingshausen Sea sector (BSS), West Antarctica, in areas where warm (>1°C) sea water floods the continental shelf. These observations provide compelling but indirect evidence that mass losses are driven primarily by reduced buttressing from the floating ice shelves caused by ocean-driven ice-shelf thinning. Here, we combine recent observations of ice velocity, thickness and thickness changes with an ice flow model to study the instantaneous dynamic response of BSS outlet glaciers to observed ice-shelf thinning, alone. Our model results show that multiple BSS outlet glaciers respond instantaneously to observed ice-shelf thinning, particularly in areas where ice shelves ground at discrete points. Increases in modeled and observed dynamic mass losses, however, account for ~5% of the mass loss rates estimated from gravity anomalies and changes in ice-surface elevation, suggesting that variations in surface mass balance may be key to understanding recent BSS mass loss. Our approach isolates the impact of ice-shelf thinning on glacier flow and shows that if ice-shelf thinning continues at or above current rates, total BSS mass loss will increase in the next decade.
Results from 15 years of work on glacier-bed mapping by radio-echo soundings on Finsteraar-, Lauteraar- and Unteraargletscher, Switzerland, are summarized, and a new and greatly improved map of the ice-thickness distribution presented. In contrast to the tongue of Unteraargletscher, its two main tributaries, Lauteraar and Finsteraar, are both deep and narrow, and ice-thickness determination depends on the detection of more than just the primary reflection. Migrating the data led to considerably improved bed determination. Wherever possible, additional information on ice thicknesses gained from numerous hot-water drillings to the glacier bed is used as an independent verification of the results of the radar measurements, and a fair agreement is found.
A non-linear regression model describing the mass-balance distribution of the whole Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, for the years 1992–2000 is presented. All available data from some 40 locations over this 9 year period were used to determine the parameters of the model. The regression model uses six adjustable parameters which all have a clear physical interpretation. They are the slope, direction and the height of the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) plane, two altitude mass-balance gradients, and a maximum value of the surface mass balance. It is found that the temporal variation of the observed mass-balance distribution can be accurately described through annual shifts of the ELA. Annual shifts in ELA are on the order of 100 m, which is of the same magnitude as the change expected to be caused by the climate variation predicted during the next decades. A slight trend towards a more negative mass balance is detected during this 9 year period.
This paper explores changing ice–water interactions during jökulhlaups from Grænalón, a 5 × 108m3 subaerial lake dammed by Skeiðarárjökull, Iceland. Unstable drainage of Grænalón since the early 20th century has resulted in 45 jökulhlaups whose hydrologic character has varied enormously. Geomorphic observations and geophysical measurements from the inlet and outlet zones of the subglacial floodwater tract constrained the hydromechanical factors governing ice–water interactions at Grænalón. To date, three distinct drainage regimes have occurred in response to the changing surface elevation of Grænalón. Shifts from one drainage regime to another involved pronounced changes in jökulhlaup magnitude, timing and cyclicity. Present hydraulic conditions for lake drainage differ from the classical view of a pressure-coupled lake draining directly beneath an ice dam. Instead, low-amplitude drawdown occurs at regular, frequent intervals when hydrostatic pressure in a shallow, rock–ice trench enables water to flow beneath a sagging ice barrier. Floodwater exits Skeiðarárjökull in a supercooled state due to rapid hydraulic displacement from an overdeepened subglacial basin.
Over a two-year period, continuous measurements of temporal changes in tilt, conducted with a string of tilt meters in a borehole on Unteraargletscher, Bernese Alps, Switzerland, have been used to estimate the basal-motion component. This estimation is based on a comparison of the measurements with synthetic tilt curves, computed using a parameterization of a simplified flow field. The best agreement is found for a ratio of basal motion to forward motion due to ice deformation (slip ratio) equal to about 1.2. Measured tilt curves exhibit a number of different transient features. While an overall increase in tilt angle is observed at every tilt-meter location, two of the sensors recorded anomalous tilt behaviour. These anomalies are characterized by sudden and drastic variations in tilt. A particularly intriguing example of such short-term tilt variations was recorded with a tilt meter positioned 40 m above the bed during the 1997 summer melt season.
To obtain more reliable information about the focal-depth distribution of icequakes, in April 1997 we operated an array of seven portable digital seismographs on Unteraargletscher, central Swiss Alps. Over 5000 events were detected by at least two instruments during the 9 day recording period. P-wave velocities (3770 m f) were determined from several calibration shots detonated at the glacier surface as well as in a 49 m deep borehole, whereas S-wave velocities (1860 ms–1) were derived from a simultaneous inversion for Vp/Vs6 applied to 169 icequakes. So far, hypocentral locations have been calculated for over 300 icequakes. Besides confirming the occurrence of shallow events associated with the opening of crevasses, our results show that a small but significant fraction of the hypocenters are located at or near the glacier bed. One event was found at an intermediate depth of about 120 m. Three-dimensional particle-motion diagrams of both explosions and icequakes clearly demonstrate that all vertical component seismograms from shallow sources are dominated by the Rayleigh wave. On the other hand, for events occurring at depths greater than about 40 m, the Rayleigh wave disappears almost entirely. Therefore, a qualitative analysis of the signal character provides direct information on the focal depth of an event and was used as an independent check of the locations obtained from traditional arrival-time inversions. Thus, our results demonstrate that deep icequakes do occur and that simple rheological models, according to which brittle deformation is restricted to the uppermost part of a glacier, may need revision.
The amplitude ratio between surface and bedrock topography has been predicted to depend strongly on the ratio of deformational velocity to mean basal sliding velocity. Observations made prior to and during a surge of Tungnaárjökull, Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, allow this prediction to be tested. During the surge, the ratio of internal deformational velocity and basal sliding (slip ratio) changed from about unity to a few hundred. The amplitude ratio changed from about 0.1 to about 0.7. This increase in amplitude ratio is in good overall agreement with predictions based on an analytical perturbation analysis for a linearly viscous medium which includes the effects of horizontal deviatoric stresses on glacier flow. An increase in amplitude ratio of this magnitude is not predicted by a similarly linearized analysis that employs the commonly used shallow-ice approximation. The strong increase in transfer amplitude observed in the surge of Tungnaárjökull is a clear illustration of the effects of horizontal stress transmission on glacier flow reported here for the first time.
In the course of a tremendous outburst flood (jökulhlaup) following the subglacial eruption in Vatnajökull, Iceland, in October 1996, a depression in the surface of the ice cap was created as a result of ice melting from the walls of a subglacial tunnel. The surface depression was initially approximately 6 km long, 800 m wide and 100 m deep. This ˚canyon" represents a significant perturbation in the geometry of the ice cap in this area where the total ice thickness is about 200–400 m. We present results of repeated measurements of flow velocities and elevation changes in the vicinity of the canyon made over a period of about 2 years. The measurements show a reduction in the depth of the canyon and a concomitant decrease in surface flow towards it over time. By calculating the transient evolution of idealized surface depressions using both analytical zeroth- and first-order theories, as well as the shallow-ice approximation (SIA) and a finite-element model incorporating all the terms of the momentum equations we demonstrate the importance of horizontal stress gradients at the spatial scale of this canyon. The transient evolution of the canyon is calculated with a two-dimensional time-dependent finite-element model with flow parameters (the parameters A and n of Glen’s flow law) that are tuned towards an optimal agreement with measured flow velocities. Although differences between measured and calculated velocities are comparable to measurement errors, the differences are not randomly distributed. The model is therefore not verified in detail. Nevertheless the model reproduces observed changes in the geometry over a 15 month time period reasonably well The model also reproduces changes in both velocities and geometry considerably better than an alternative model based on the SIA.
The effects of spatial and temporal variations in basal lubrication on the englacial strain rate and surface velocity distribution are investigated with a numerical ice-flow model. General aspects of the solutions are compared to measurements made on Lauteraargletscher, Switzerland, in 2001, that showed diurnal fluctuations in both surface velocity and englacial vertical strain. We find that spatial gradients in basal lubrication can set up variations in the deviatoric stress field that increases with distance to the bed and has a maximum value near the glacier surface. This stress field produces a significant strain rate near the surface. The temporal evolution of a slippery zone is identified as a possible cause of the observed diurnal variations in the vertical strain rate. Although general aspects of the measurements can be explained in this way, the calculated vertical strain rates are too small, suggesting that the modeled effective viscosity values using Glen’s flow law are too large near the surface.
During the ablation season, the ice cap Vatnajökull (8100 km2) develops its own microclimate that we describe by meteorological data collected during the summers of 1994-2003. Persistent glacier winds are generated down the melting ice cap, whose variations in speed can be related empirically to the temperature fluctuations of the lowland environs of the ice cap. This suggests that climate warming would be accompanied by stronger glacier winds down the outlets of Vatnajökull, producing stronger turbulent fluxes that might amplify the melting rates in the lower ablation areas.
The applicability of volcanic ash deposits on Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, as a time reference marker for measuring accumulation by the analysis of time sequential SAR backscatter data was investigated. A volcanic eruption at Grímsvötn caldera, a subglacial volcanic system beneath Vatnajökull, deposited an ash layer north of the vent in early November 2004. This ash layer covered a V-shaped area of ∽88km2 on the glacier surface. The ash fall, which was subsequently buried by snow, reveals a distinct backscatter signal in SAR images. In total, the σ0 backscatter values of 40 ENVISAT-ASAR images were analyzed, covering two post-eruption accumulation periods (4 November 2004 to 31 March 2005 and 25 October 2006 to 14 March 2006). Significant differences over time were observed in the SAR backscatter signals over the deposited ash, which appear to be related to the snow accumulation history. The backscatter signals were compared to meteorological conditions at the time of SAR acquisition and to accumulation data derived from two snow pits, one located within the ash fall. A linear regression analysis between the accumulation data and the SAR backscattering coefficient results in high R2 confidence values (>0.8), indicating that the SAR data can be used for estimating the areal accumulation distribution in areas with an existing ash layer.
Data from automated in situ measurements of surface displacements on Unteraargletscher, Bernese Alps, Switzerland, made a few times a day from late June until late October 1998 are presented. Two short-term speed-up events were observed, and partial evidence for a third motion event was seen. Short-term motion events are thus not limited to the start of the melting season. Strong correlation between the timing of the motion events and periods of heavy rainfall, in conjunction with the large size of the area of the glacier which becomes activated during the events, both point towards an external triggering mechanism. In the time periods between two motion events, surface velocities do not vary significantly with time. After a motion event, surface velocities do not return to previous values, suggesting that the events have a lasting effect on the structure of the subglacial drainage system.
We use topographically corrected interferograms, repeated global positioning system observations of locations of stakes and time series of elevation data to produce time series of high-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) ice surface motion maps for the infilling of the ice depression created by the 1996 subglacial eruption at the Gjálp volcano in Vatnajökull, Iceland. The ice inflow generated uplift in the central parts of the depression. During the first months, the uplift was much reduced by basal melting as the subglacial volcano cooled. For those motions surface-parallel ice flow cannot be assumed. The 3-D motion maps are created by an optimization process that combines the complementary datasets. The optimization is based on a Markov random-field regularization and a simulated annealing algorithm. The 3-D motion maps show the pattern of gradually diminishing ice flow into the depression. They provide a consistent picture of the 3-D motion field, both spatially and with time, which cannot be seen by separate interpretation of the complementary observations. The 3-D motion maps were used to calculate the cooling rate of the subglacial volcano for the first year after the eruption. First an uplift rate resulting solely from the inflow of ice was calculated from inferred horizontal motions. Basal melting was then estimated as the difference between the calculated uplift generated by the inflow of ice, and the observed uplift that was the combined result of ice inflow and basal melting. The basal melting was found to decline from 55 m3 s–1 (due to power of 18 GW) in January 1997 to 5 m3 s–1 (2GW) in October 1997.
The Katla caldera is located under the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap and is one of the most hazardous volcanoes in Iceland due to major jökulhlaups that accompany eruptions. Subglacial geothermal activity is manifested in several 10–50m deep depressions (ice cauldrons) within and at the caldera rim and the total geothermal heat output is of the order of a few hundred megawatts. A short-lived but powerful pulse in geothermal heat output took place in 1999, probably including a minor subglacial eruption, when new ice cauldrons formed in three places and an unexpected jökulhlaup occurred. Following these events, a comprehensive monitoring program was set up for Katla, including ice surface elevation profiling from aircraft, to monitor variations in geothermal heat and detect signs of subglacial water accumulation. A radar altimeter coupled with a kinematic GPS is used, achieving an absolute elevation accuracy of 3m and internal consistency of 1–2 m. Profiles across the caldera are flown twice a year. An annual accumulation-ablation cycle in surface elevation with amplitude of 5–10m is observed. By removing this cycle from the data, changes due to subglacial geothermal activity are obtained. After the events in 1999, a decline in geothermal activity was observed. In 2001–03 some ice cauldrons expanded and deepened by 10–15 m, indicating renewed increase in geothermal activity. This trend is also apparent for 2003–05. The increase in geothermal power amounts to a few tens of megawatts. It is likely that the increased thermal output is related to increased seismicity and caused by magma inflow.
Surface ice-flow velocities measured at stakes on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, covering a period of ∼25 years are analysed for evidence of temporal variations in flow. No indications of significant long-term changes in flow are found. Earlier observations have shown significant tidally related variations in flow speed. We conclude that temporal variability on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, appears limited to tidal periods of days and weeks, and weaker interannual variation, possibly related to long-period tides or seasonal effects, while long-term (decadal) changes in flow speed are either absent or smaller than ∼0.1% a−1.
A series of satellite images of Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland, was analyzed in view of their value for mass-balance investigations. A combination of optical satellite images from the ASTER sensor and synthetic aperture radar data from ERS-2 and Envisat ASAR proved very useful. The glacier margin of Mýrdalsjökull was delineated on ASTER images from summer and winter 2004. With a time series of summer ASAR images it was possible to monitor the temporal and spatial development of the transient snowline (TSL) throughout the year 2004, as well as the firn line (FL) at the end of the balance year. An ‘inverse’ function was applied to visually enhance detail in the radar imagery. Winter radar images were not useful for mass-balance observations because of frequent surface melting, which prevented the transparency of the snow cover for C-band microwaves. Interannual mass-balance fluctuations were observed by comparing three radar images acquired in late summer 1998, 1999 and 2004 respectively. These fluctuations follow the same trend as the annual mean air temperature which shows a strong increasing trend between 1999 and 2004. An accumulation-area ratio of <0.43 was determined for 2004, indicating clear negative mass-balance conditions. Monitoring the TSL-FL with radar summer images for mass-balance studies, rather than the equilibrium line (EL), is suggested for large ice caps in maritime climates.