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Observed runoff, jökulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008

  • Sebastian H. Mernild (a1) (a2) and Bent Hasholt (a3)
Abstract

This study fills the gap in hydrologic measurements of runoff exiting a part of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), the Kangerlussuaq drainage area, West Greenland. The observations are of value for obtaining knowledge about the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the GrIS and the strip of land between the ice sheet and the ocean, in the context of varying ice-sheet surface melt and influx entering the ocean. High-resolution stage, discharge and suspended sediment load show a decrease in runoff of ∼25% and in sediment load of ∼40% from 2007 to 2008 in response to a decrease in the summer accumulated number of positive degree-days. During the 2007 and 2008 runoff seasons, jökulhlaups were observed at Kangerlussuaq, drained from an ice-dammed lake at the margin of the GrIS.

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      Observed runoff, jökulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008
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      Observed runoff, jökulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008
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      Observed runoff, jökulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008
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References
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Box, J.E. and 8 others. 2006. Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance variability (1988–2004) from calibrated polar MM5 output. J. Climate, 19(12), 27832800.
Fettweis, X. 2007. Reconstruction of the 1979–2006 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR. Cryosphere, 1(1), 2140.
Hanna, E. and 8 others. 2008. Increased runoff from melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet: a response to global warming. J. Climate, 21(2), 331341.
Mernild, S.H., Hasholt, B., Kane, D.L. and Tidwell, A.C.. 2008a. Jökulhlaup observed at Greenland ice sheet. Eos, 89(35), 321322.
Mernild, S.H., Liston, G.E., Hiemstra, C.A. and Steffen, K.. 2008b. Surface melt area and water balance modeling on the Greenland ice sheet 1995–2005. J. Hydromet., 9(6), 11911211.
Mernild, S.H., Liston, G.E., Hiemstra, C.A., Steffen, K., Hanna, E. and Christensen, J.H.. 2009a. Greenland ice sheet surface mass-balance modelling and freshwater flux for 2007, and in a 1995– 2007 perspective. Hydrol. Process., 23(17), 24702484.
Mernild, S.H., Liston, G.E., Hiemstra, C.A. and Steffen, K.. 2009b. Record 2007 Greenland ice sheet surface melt extent and runoff. Eos, 90(2), 1314.
Roberts, M.J. 2005. Jökulhlaups: a reassessment of floodwater flow through glaciers. Rev. Geophys., 43(1), RG1002. (10.1029/2003RG000147.)
Sugden, D.E., Clapperton, C.M. and Knight, P.G.. 1985. A jökulhlaup near Søndre Strømfjord, West Greenland, and some effects on the ice-sheet margin. J. Glaciol., 31(109), 366368.
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Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
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