Atlantic Water intrusion triggers rapid retreat and regime change at previously stable Greenland glacier

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

Downloads

Download Preprint

Authors

Thomas R Chudley, Ian M Howat, Michalea D King, Adelaide Negrete

Abstract

Discharge from Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers contribute to half of all mass loss from the ice sheet, but the factors forcing their retreat are complex and contested. Here, we examine K.I.V Steenstrups Nordre Bræ (‘Steenstrup’), which, between 2018—2021, retreated ~7 km, thinned by ~20%, doubled in ice discharge, and quadrupled in flow speed. This rate of acceleration is unprecedented amongst Greenland’s glaciers, and now places Steenstrup in the top 10% of glaciers by contribution to Greenland’s discharge. In contrast to expected behaviour from a shallow, grounded tidewater glacier, Steenstrup was insensitive to high surface temperatures that destabilised many regional glaciers in 2016, responding instead to an extreme anomaly in deeper Atlantic Water (AW) in 2018. Steenstrup’s behaviour highlights that, as AW intrusions occur at increasingly shallow depths, even apparently long-term stable glaciers with high sills are vulnerable to sudden and rapid retreat.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5NS88

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Glaciology

Keywords

Greenland ice sheet, ice dynamics, remote sensing, ice-ocean interaction, ice calving

Dates

Published: 2022-08-05 01:41

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data Availability (Reason not available):
https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6903790

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


Comments

There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.