Modelling the coupling of flood discharge with glacier flow during jökulhlaups

Kingslake, Jonathan; Ng, Felix. 2013 Modelling the coupling of flood discharge with glacier flow during jökulhlaups. Annals of Glaciology, 54 (63). 25-31.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Copyright held by the International Glaciological Society.)
s4.pdf - Published Version

Download (378kB) | Preview


We explore a mathematical model that couples together a thermomechanically evolving subglacial channel, distributed cavity drainage, and basal sliding along a subglacial flood path fed by a jökulhlaup lake. It allows water transfer between channel and cavities and a migrating subglacial water divide or 'seal' to form between floods. Notably, it accounts for full coupling between the lake and subglacial drainage in terms of both discharge and pressure, unlike models that neglect the pressure coupling by imposing a known history of lake discharge at the channel inlet. This means that flood hydrographic evolution and its impact on glacier motion are consistently determined by our model. Numerical simulations for a model alpine lake yield stable limit cycles simulating repeating jökulhlaups, with the channel drawing water from the cavities at a varying rate that modulates basal sliding during each flood. A wave of fast sliding propagates down-glacier at flood initiation, followed by deceleration as the growing channel sucks water from the cavities. These behaviours cannot be correctly simulated without the full coupling. We show that the flood's peak discharge, its initiation threshold and the magnitude of the 'fast sliding' wave decrease with the background water supply to the cavities.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ice Sheets
ISSN: 02603055
Date made live: 24 Mar 2014 14:22 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...