Vertical Structure of Diurnal Englacial Hydrology Cycle at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland

Irena Vaňková, Denis Voytenko, Keith W. Nicholls, Surui Xie, Byron R. Parizek, David Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The interior dynamics of Helheim Glacier were monitored using an autonomous phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (ApRES) during two consecutive summers. The return signals from all observational sites exhibited strong non-tidal, depth-dependent diurnal variations. We show that these variations in the glacier interior can be explained by an englacial diurnal meltwater cycle: a data interpretation that assumes constant ice-column composition through time leads to dynamical inconsistencies with concurrent observations from GPS and terrestrial radar. The observed diurnal meltwater cycle is spatially variable, both between different sites and in the vertical, consistent with the existence of a dense and complex englacial hydrologic network. Future applications of this observational technique could reveal long-term meltwater behavior inside glaciers and ice sheets, leading to an improved understanding of the spatiotemporal evolution of the basal boundary conditions needed to simulate them realistically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8352-8362
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2018

Fingerprint

hydrology
glaciers
Greenland
meltwater
glacier
cycles
ice
radio echoes
echo sounder
diurnal variations
data interpretation
diurnal variation
summer
ice sheet
radar
boundary condition
GPS
radio
boundary conditions
acoustics

Keywords

  • ApRES
  • diurnal cycle
  • englacial hydrology
  • glacier dynamics
  • Helheim Glacier
  • meltwater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Vertical Structure of Diurnal Englacial Hydrology Cycle at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland. / Vaňková, Irena; Voytenko, Denis; Nicholls, Keith W.; Xie, Surui; Parizek, Byron R.; Holland, David.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 16, 28.08.2018, p. 8352-8362.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vaňková, Irena ; Voytenko, Denis ; Nicholls, Keith W. ; Xie, Surui ; Parizek, Byron R. ; Holland, David. / Vertical Structure of Diurnal Englacial Hydrology Cycle at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 16. pp. 8352-8362.
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