Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.524 IF 4.524
  • IF 5-year value: 5.558 IF 5-year
    5.558
  • CiteScore value: 4.84 CiteScore
    4.84
  • SNIP value: 1.425 SNIP 1.425
  • SJR value: 3.034 SJR 3.034
  • IPP value: 4.65 IPP 4.65
  • h5-index value: 52 h5-index 52
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 55 Scimago H
    index 55
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-143
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-143
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Jul 2018

Research article | 24 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Large spatial variations in the frontal mass budget of a Greenland tidewater glacier

Till J. W. Wagner1, Fiamma Straneo2, Clark G. Richards3, Donald A. Slater2, Laura A. Stevens4, Sarah B. Das5, and Hanumant Singh6 Till J. W. Wagner et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, University of North Carolina Wilmington, NC 28403, USA
  • 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
  • 3Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2, Canada
  • 4Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 5Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 6Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Abstract. We investigate the frontal mass budget of a medium-sized tidewater glacier in western Greenland. This is done by comparing the seasonal retreat of the glacier to ice advection and ablation along the front. Frontal ablation is partitioned into calving and submarine melting, both of which are estimated from in situ observations. We observe large spatial variability in all mass budget terms along the glacier front. In particular, we find that the ablation of the glacier front is characterized by two main regimes: melting dominated versus calving dominated. While melting-dominated segments appear to be associated with subglacial discharge plumes, calving-dominated regions occur outside such plumes. The melting-dominated segments are rather localized, and the majority of ablation is estimated to occur in the form of calving. However, we stress the large uncertainty in melt rate estimates and consider the possibility that current parameterizations substantially underestimate melting. Finally, we argue that localized melt incisions into the glacier front can be significant drivers of calving. Our results suggest a complex interplay of melting and calving marked by high spatial variability along the glacier front. Understanding the impact of such local variability on larger scale ice dynamics may help guide future mass balance projections for tidewater glaciers.

Till J. W. Wagner et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Till J. W. Wagner et al.
Till J. W. Wagner et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 660 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
502 157 1 660 23 5 7
  • HTML: 502
  • PDF: 157
  • XML: 1
  • Total: 660
  • Supplement: 23
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 7
Views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jul 2018)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 24 Jul 2018)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 638 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 638 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 20 Feb 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This study shows how complex and varied the processes are that determine the frontal position of tidewater glaciers. Rather than uniform melt or calving rates, a single (medium-sized) glacier can feature regions that retreat almost exclusively due to melting and other regions that retreat only due to calving. This has far-reaching consequences for our understanding of how glaciers retreat or advance.
This study shows how complex and varied the processes are that determine the frontal position of...
Citation