Episodic Subglacial Drainage Cascades Below the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

J. K. Andersen*, N. Rathmann, C. S. Hvidberg, A. Grinsted, A. Kusk, J. P. Merryman Boncori, J. Mouginot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Subglacial hydrology can exert an important control on ice flow by affecting friction at the ice-bedrock interface. Here, we report on a series of subglacial drainage events along the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), initiating as far inland as 500 km from the margin of Zachariae Isstrøm. The drainage events exhibit local transient uplift, followed by prolonged subsidence, measured by differential satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR). In downstream regions, drainage events are associated with temporary acceleration in ice flow. The high spatiotemporal resolution of the DInSAR measurements allows for a detailed mapping of the drainage propagation pathway. We show that multiple drainage cascades have occurred along the same pathway over the years 2020–2022. Finally, the propagation speed of subglacial water flow is found to vary greatly along NEGIS, suggesting that fundamental differences could exist in the subglacial environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023GL103240
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume50
Issue number12
Number of pages10
ISSN0094-8276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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