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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-137
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-137
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 03 Jul 2019

Submitted as: brief communication | 03 Jul 2019

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

Brief Communication: Outburst floods triggered by periodic drainage of subglacial lakes, Isunguata Sermia, West Greenland

Stephen J. Livingstone1, Andrew J. Sole1, Robert D. Storrar2, Devin Harrison3, Neil Ross3, and Jade Bowling4 Stephen J. Livingstone et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  • 2Department of the Natural and Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • 3School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • 4Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Abstract. We report three active subglacial lakes within 2 km of the lateral margin of Isunguata Sermia, West Greenland, identified by differencing time-stamped ArcticDEM strips. Each lake underwent one drainage-refill event between 2009 and 2017, with two lakes draining in < 1 month during August 2014 and August 2015, and all three characterised by 2–3-year refill periods. The 2015 drainage flooded the foreland aggrading 8 m of the proglacial channel, confirming the ice-surface elevation anomalies as subglacial water bodies and demonstrating how subglacial lake drainages can significantly modify proglacial environments. These subglacial lakes offer accessible targets for future geophysical investigations and exploration.

Stephen J. Livingstone et al.
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Stephen J. Livingstone et al.
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Short summary
We report three new subglacial lakes close to the ice sheet margin of West Greenland. The lakes drained and refilled once each between 2009 and 2017, with two lakes draining in < 1 month during August 2014 and August 2015, and all three refilling over 2–3-years. The 2015 drainage was observed to flood the foreland, significantly modifying the braided river and depositing up to 8 m of sediment. These subglacial lakes offer accessible targets for future investigations and exploration.
We report three new subglacial lakes close to the ice sheet margin of West Greenland. The lakes...
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