Response of the large-scale subglacial drainage system of North East Greenland to surface elevation changes

N. B. Karlsson, D. Dahl-Jensen
2015 The Cryosphere Discussions  
The influence of subglacial water on the dynamics of ice flow has been the object of increasing interest in the past decade. In this study we focus on large-scale, long-term changes in surface elevation over North East Greenland, and the corresponding changes in subglacial water routes. Our results show that over time-scales ranging from decades to millennia the area may experience redistribution of and fluctuation in subglacial water outflux under the main glacier outlets. The fluctuations in
more » ... he fluctuations in subglacial water routing occur even in the absence of external forcing. Based on these results we conclude that changes in the subglacial water routes are an intrinsic part of the drainage basin dynamics, where the subglacial system is likely always in a transient state. The results also imply that fluctuations at the margins observed at present might originate from changes several hundred kilometres upstream. Since surface elevation changes may propagate upstream over time-scales much longer than the observational period, the cause of the fluctuations may not be present in current observational records.
doi:10.5194/tcd-9-719-2015 fatcat:ztueiwh24bf3hopyj2no6tgzdi