Rapid and synchronous ice-dynamic changes in East Greenland

Luckman, A. and Murray, T. and de Lange, R. and Hanna, E. (2006) Rapid and synchronous ice-dynamic changes in East Greenland. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (3). ISSN 0094-8276

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GL025428

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Abstract

Two major outlet glaciers in East Greenland have suddenly begun to accelerate and retreat. The speeds of Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim remained steady during the 1990s despite progressive and substantial thinning, but have abruptly increased within the last two years, more than doubling ice flux to the ocean. Had it been an isolated example, the comparable 1998 speed-up of Jakobshavn Isbræ in West Greenland might have been explained simply by its chance retreat past a pinning point. Now that two further Greenland outlets have exhibited similar behavior, a common process seems likely. A remarkable correspondence in the inter-annual patterns of speed and ice-front variation between Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim implies a significant sensitivity to regional environmental factors. The period of continued warming and thinning appears to have primed these glaciers for a step-change in dynamics not included in current models. We should expect further Greenland outlet glaciers to follow suit. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

Keywords:Glaciers, Mathematical models, Runoff, Synthetic aperture radar, Time series analysis, Greenland, Ice-dynamic changes, Ice-front variation, Inter-annual patterns, Geophysics, front, glacier dynamics, ice mechanics, Arctic, Greenland
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:26057
Deposited On:10 Feb 2017 20:34

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