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Glacier surge dynamics of Sortebræ, east Greenland, from synthetic aperture radar feature tracking

Pritchard, Hamish; Murray, Tavi; Luckman, Adrian; Strozzi, Tazio; Barr, Stuart. 2005 Glacier surge dynamics of Sortebræ, east Greenland, from synthetic aperture radar feature tracking. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110 (F3), F03005. 13, pp. 10.1029/2004JF000233

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Abstract/Summary

We have measured the surface flow rate of the large east Greenland glacier, Sortebræ, through both the initiation and termination of a major surge using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) feature tracking, optimized to minimize error. The Sortebræ surge began between November and January 1992–1993, after at least 6 weeks of subfreezing temperatures over the whole glacier, and propagated rapidly up-glacier from a central nucleus. Sortebræ reached sustained fast flow rates of up to 24 m d−1, and the active phase lasted for 28–32 months before terminating in June 1995. Termination was abrupt, coinciding with the arrival of the spring thaw and the apparent release of a large volume of stored water from a single outlet at the front. The surge mechanism is interpreted as a switch from channelized to distributed drainage, which at present is best explained by Kamb's linked cavity sliding model.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2004JF000233
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Global Interactions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet
ISSN: 0148-0227
Additional Keywords: Glaciers, Flow, Remote sensing
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Date made live: 09 Jan 2008 15:55
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1925

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