Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Glacier dynamics near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland

  • Shin Sugiyama (a1), Daiki Sakakibara (a1) (a2), Shun Tsutaki (a1) (a3), Mihiro Maruyama (a1) (a2) and Takanobu Sawagaki (a4)...
Abstract
Abstract

To better understand recent rapid recession of marine-terminating glaciers in Greenland, we performed satellite and field observations near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, a 3 km wide outlet glacier in northwestern Greenland. Satellite data revealed a clear transition to a rapidly retreating phase in 2008 from a relatively stable glacier condition that lasted for >20 years. Ice radar measurements showed that the glacier front is grounded, but very close to the floating condition. These results, in combination with the results of ocean depth soundings, suggest bed geometry in front of the glacier is the primary control on the rate and pattern of recent rapid retreat. Presumably, glacier thinning due to atmospheric and/or ocean warming triggered the initial retreat. In situ measurements showed complex short-term ice speed variations, which were correlated with air temperature, precipitation and ocean tides. Ice speed quickly responded to temperature rise and a heavy rain event, indicating rapid drainage of surface water to the bed. Semi-diurnal speed peaks coincided with low tides, suggesting the major role of the hydrostatic pressure acting on the calving face in the force balance. These observations demonstrate that the dynamics of Bowdoin Glacier are sensitive to small perturbations occurring near the calving front.

  • 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.

      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.

      Glacier dynamics near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland
      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 Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Glacier dynamics near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland
      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 Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Glacier dynamics near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Shin Sugiyama <sugishin@lowtem.hokudai.ac.jp>
References
Hide All
AmundsonJM, FahnestockM, TrufferM, BrownJ, LüthiMP and MotykaRJ (2010) Ice mélange dynamics and implications for terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland. J. Geophys. Res., 115(F1), F01005 (doi: 10.1029/2009JF001405)
AnandakrishnanS, VoigtDE, AlleyRB and KingMA (2003) Ice Stream D flow speed is strongly modulated by the tide beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(7), 1361 (doi: 10.1029/2002GL016329)
AndersenML and 14 others (2010) Spatial and temporal melt variability at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, and its effect on ice dynamics. J. Geophys. Res., 115(F4), F04041 (doi: 10.1029/2010JF001760)
AndrewsLC and 7 others (2014) Direct observations of evolving subglacial drainage beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. Nature, 514(7520), 8083 (doi: 10.1038/nature13796)
CarrJR, VieliA and StokesC (2013) Influence of sea ice decline, atmospheric warming, and glacier width on marine-terminating outlet glacier behavior in northwest Greenland at seasonal to interannual timescales. J. Geophys. Res., 118(F3), 12101226 (doi: 10.1002/jgrf.20088)
De JuanJ and 12 others (2010) Sudden increase in tidal response linked to calving and acceleration at a large Greenland outlet glacier. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37(12), L12501 (doi: 10.1029/2010G L043289)
EnderlinEM, HowatIM, JeongS, NohM-J, Van AngelenJH and Van den BroekeMR (2014) An improved mass budget for the Greenland ice sheet. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(3), 866872 (doi: 10.1002/2013GL059010)
FukudaT, SugiyamaS, MatobaS and ShiraiwaT (2011) Glacier flow measurement and radio-echo sounding at Aurora Peak, Alaska, in 2008. Ann. Glaciol., 52(58), 138142 (doi: 10.3189/172756411797252130)
GlenJW and ParenJG (1975) The electrical properties of snow and ice. J. Glaciol., 15(73), 1538
GudmundssonGH (2006) Fortnightly variations in the flow velocity of Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica. Nature, 444(7122), 10631064 (doi: 10.1038/nature05430)
HaugT, KääbA and SkvarcaP (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)
HeidT and KääbA (2012) Evaluation of existing image matching methods for deriving glacier surface displacements globally from optical satellite imagery. Remote Sens. Environ., 118, 339355 (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2011.11.024)
HollandDM, ThomasRH, de YoungB, RibergaardMH and LyberthB (2008) Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters. Nature Geosci., 1(10), 659664 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo316)
HookeRLeB, CallaP, HolmlundP, NilssonM and StroevenA (1989) A 3 year record of seasonal variations in surface velocity, Storglaciären, Sweden. J. Glaciol., 35(120), 235247
HowatIM, JoughinI, TulaczykS and GogineniS (2005) Rapid retreat and acceleration of Helheim Glacier, East Greenland. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(22), L22502 (doi: 10.1029/2005GL024737)
HowatIM, JoughinIR and ScambosTA (2007) Rapid changes in ice discharge from Greenland outlet glaciers. Science, 315(5818), 15591561 (doi: 10.1126/science.1138478)
IkenA and BindschadlerRA (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
IkenA, RöthlisbergerH, FlotronA and HaeberliW (1983) The uplift of Unteraargletscher at the beginning of the melt season – a consequence of water storage at the bed? J. Glaciol., 29(101), 2847
JoughinI, AbdalatiW and FahnestockMA (2004) Large fluctuations in speed on Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbræ glacier. Nature, 432(7017), 608610 (doi: 10.1038/nature03130)
KhanSA, WahrJ, BevisM, VelicognaI and KendrickE (2010) Spread of ice mass loss into northwest Greenland observed by GRACE and GPS. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37(6), L06501 (doi: 10.1029/2010GL042460)
KhanSA and 13 others (2013) Recurring dynamically induced thinning during 1985 to 2010 on Upernavik Isstrøm, West Greenland. J. Geophys. Res., 118(F1), 111121 (doi: 10.1029/2012JF002481)
KhanSA and 12 others (2014) Sustained mass loss of the northeast Greenland ice sheet triggered by regional warming. Nature Climate Change, 4(4), 292299 (doi: 10.1038/nclimate2161)
KjærKH and 13 others (2012) Aerial photographs reveal late-20thcentury dynamic ice loss in northwestern Greenland. Science, 337(6094), 569573 (doi: 10.1126/science.1220614)
McFaddenEM, HowatIM, JoughinI, SmithBE and AhnY (2011) Changes in the dynamics of marine terminating outlet glaciers in west Greenland (2000–2009). J. Geophys. Res., 116(F2), F02022 (doi: 10.1029/2010JF001757)
MoonT and JoughinI (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)
MoonT, JoughinI, SmithB and HowatI (2012) 21st-century evolution of Greenland outlet glacier velocities. Science, 336(6081), 576578 (doi: 10.1126/science.1219985)
MurrayT, SmithAM, KingMA and WeedonGP (2007) Ice flow modulated by tides at up to annual periods at Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34(18), L18503 (doi: 10.1029/2007GL031207)
MurrayT and 10 others (2010) Ocean regulation hypothesis for glacier dynamics in southeast Greenland and implications for ice sheet mass changes. J. Geophys. Res., 115(F3), F03026 (doi: 10.1029/2009JF001522)
NettlesM and 12 others (2008) Step-wise changes in glacier flow speed coincide with calving and glacial earthquakes at Helheim Glacier, Greenland. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35(24), L24503 (doi: 10.1029/2008GL036127)
NickFM, VieliA, HowatIM and JoughinI (2009) Large-scale changes in Greenland outlet glacier dynamics triggered at the terminus. Nature Geosci., 2(2), 110114 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo394)
PorterDF and 6 others (2014) Bathymetric control of tidewater glacier mass loss in northwest Greenland. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 401, 4046 (doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.058)
RignotE, VelicognaI, Van den BroekeMR, MonaghanA and LenaertsJ (2011) Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38(5), L05503 (doi: 10.1029/2011GL046583)
SasgenI and 8 others (2012) Timing and origin of recent regional ice-mass loss in Greenland. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 333–334, 293303 (doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.033)
SchoofC (2007) Ice sheet grounding line dynamics: steady states, stability, and hysteresis. J. Geophys. Res., 112(F3), F03S28 (doi: 10.1029/2006JF000664)
ShepherdA and 46 others (2012) A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance. Science, 338(6111), 11831189 (doi: 10.1126/science.1228102)
StraneoF and HeimbachP (2013) North Atlantic warming and the retreat of Greenland’s outlet glaciers. Nature, 504(7478), 3643 (doi: 10.1038/nature12854)
SugiyamaS and GudmundssonGH (2003) Diurnal variations in vertical strain observed in a temperate valley glacier. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(2), 1090 (doi: 10.1029/2002GL016160)
SugiyamaS, BauderA, RiesenP and FunkM (2010) Surface ice motion deviating toward the margins during speed-up events at Gornergletscher, Switzerland. J. Geophys. Res., 115(F3), F03010 (doi: 10.1029/2009JF001509)
SugiyamaS and 7 others (2011) Ice speed of a calving glacier modulated by small fluctuations in basal water pressure. Nature Geosci., 4(9), 597600 (doi: 10.1038/ngeo1218)
SugiyamaS, SakakibaraD, MatsunoS, YamaguchiS, MatobaS and AokiT (2014) Initial field observations on Qaanaaq ice cap, northwestern Greenland. Ann. Glaciol., 55(66), 2533 (doi: 10.3189/2014AoG66A102)
ThomasRH and 8 others (2000) Substantial thinning of a major east Greenland outlet glacier. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(9), 12911294 (doi: 10.1029/1999GL008473)
ThomasR, FrederickE, KrabillW, ManizadeS and MartinC (2009) Recent changes on Greenland outlet glaciers. J. Glaciol., 55(189), 147162 (doi: 10.3189/002214309788608958)
Van der VeenCJ (1996) Tidewater calving. J. Glaciol., 42(141), 375385
Van der VeenCJ (1998) Fracture mechanics approach to penetration of surface crevasses on glaciers. Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 27(1), 3147 (doi: 10.1016/S0165-232X(97)00022-0)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 20 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 56 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 10th July 2017 - 20th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.