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Variability in ice motion and dynamic discharge from Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada

  • WESLEY VAN WYCHEN (a1) (a2), JAMIE DAVIS (a3), LUKE COPLAND (a1), DAVID O. BURGESS (a2), LAURENCE GRAY (a1), MARTIN SHARP (a3), JULIAN A. DOWDESWELL (a4) and TOBY J. BENHAM (a4)...
Abstract

Feature tracking of approximately annually separated Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery acquired from 1999 to 2010 and speckle tracking of 24-day separated RADARSAT-2 imagery acquired from 2009 to 2015 reveal that motion of the major tidewater glaciers of Devon Ice Cap is more variable than previously described. The flow of almost half (six of 14) of the outlet glaciers slowed over the observation period, while that of the terminus regions of three of 14 of the glaciers sped up in the most recent years of observation. The North Croker Bay Glacier of southern Devon Ice Cap showed the greatest variability in motion, oscillating between multi-year (three or more) periods of slower and faster flow and exhibited a pattern of velocity variability that is different from that of the rest of the ice cap's outlet glaciers. Comparisons between areas of dynamic variability and glacier bed topography indicate that velocity variability is largely restricted to regions where the glacier bed is grounded below sea level. Derived velocities are combined with measurements of ice thickness at the fronts of tidewater glacier to determine a mean annual (2009; 2011–15) dynamic ice discharge of 0.41 ± 0.11 Gt a−1 for Devon Ice Cap. The Belcher Glacier is becoming a larger source of mass loss via ice discharge.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Wesley Van Wychen <wvanw046@uottawa.ca>
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