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Englacial and subglacial water flow at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland derived from ground penetrating radar, in situ Glacsweb probe and borehole water level measurements

Englacial and subglacial water flow at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland derived from ground penetrating radar, in situ Glacsweb probe and borehole water level measurements
Englacial and subglacial water flow at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland derived from ground penetrating radar, in situ Glacsweb probe and borehole water level measurements
We reconstruct englacial and subglacial drainage at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland, using ground penetrating radar (GPR) common offset surveys, borehole studies and Glacsweb probe data. We find that englacial water is not stored within the glacier (water content ~0-0.3%). Instead, the glacier is mostly impermeable and meltwater is able to pass quickly through the main body of the glacier via crevasses and moulins. Once at the glacier bed, water is stored within a thin (1 m) layer of debris-rich basal ice (2% water content) and the till. The hydraulic potential mapped across the survey area indicates that when water pressures are high (most of the year), water flows parallel to the margin, and emerges 3 km down glacier at an outlet tongue. GPR data indicates that these flow pathways may have formed a series of braided channels. We show that this glacier has a very low water-storage capacity, but an efficient englacial drainage network for transferring water to the glacier bed and, therefore, it has the potential to respond rapidly to changes in melt-water inputs.
gpr, subgalcial hydrology, subglacial processes, debris-rich basal ice, glacier water content
0197-9337
1-13
Hart, Jane K
e949a885-7b26-4544-9e15-32ba6f87e49a
Rose, Kathryn C.
cd0070d1-5373-4f2c-be61-18cc5278f4fb
Clayton, Alexander
58e812c8-9a85-4d28-938c-53a3ff1fb648
Martinez, Kirk
5f711898-20fc-410e-a007-837d8c57cb18
Hart, Jane K
e949a885-7b26-4544-9e15-32ba6f87e49a
Rose, Kathryn C.
cd0070d1-5373-4f2c-be61-18cc5278f4fb
Clayton, Alexander
58e812c8-9a85-4d28-938c-53a3ff1fb648
Martinez, Kirk
5f711898-20fc-410e-a007-837d8c57cb18

Hart, Jane K, Rose, Kathryn C., Clayton, Alexander and Martinez, Kirk (2015) Englacial and subglacial water flow at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland derived from ground penetrating radar, in situ Glacsweb probe and borehole water level measurements. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 1-13. (doi:10.1002/esp.3783).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We reconstruct englacial and subglacial drainage at Skálafellsjökull, Iceland, using ground penetrating radar (GPR) common offset surveys, borehole studies and Glacsweb probe data. We find that englacial water is not stored within the glacier (water content ~0-0.3%). Instead, the glacier is mostly impermeable and meltwater is able to pass quickly through the main body of the glacier via crevasses and moulins. Once at the glacier bed, water is stored within a thin (1 m) layer of debris-rich basal ice (2% water content) and the till. The hydraulic potential mapped across the survey area indicates that when water pressures are high (most of the year), water flows parallel to the margin, and emerges 3 km down glacier at an outlet tongue. GPR data indicates that these flow pathways may have formed a series of braided channels. We show that this glacier has a very low water-storage capacity, but an efficient englacial drainage network for transferring water to the glacier bed and, therefore, it has the potential to respond rapidly to changes in melt-water inputs.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 June 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 August 2015
Keywords: gpr, subgalcial hydrology, subglacial processes, debris-rich basal ice, glacier water content
Organisations: Earth Surface Dynamics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380028
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380028
ISSN: 0197-9337
PURE UUID: 893e7498-f82e-420c-91bd-8ad98040286f
ORCID for Jane K Hart: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2348-3944
ORCID for Kirk Martinez: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3859-5700

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Date deposited: 01 Sep 2015 13:18
Last modified: 15 Oct 2019 00:56

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Author: Jane K Hart ORCID iD
Author: Kathryn C. Rose
Author: Alexander Clayton
Author: Kirk Martinez ORCID iD

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