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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 03 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Large-scale integrated subglacial drainage around the former Keewatin Ice Divide, Canada reveals interaction between distributed and channelised systems

Emma L. M. Lewington1, Stephen J. Livingstone1, Chris D. Clark1, Andrew J. Sole1, and Robert D. Storrar2 Emma L. M. Lewington et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  • 2Department of Natural and Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Abstract. We identify and map traces of subglacial meltwater drainage around the former Keewatin Ice Divide, Canada from ArcticDEM data. Meltwater tracks, tunnel valleys and esker splays exhibit several key similarities, including width, spacing, their association with eskers and transitions to and from different types, which together suggest they form part of an integrated drainage signature. We collectively term these features 'meltwater corridors' and propose a new model for their formation, based on observations from contemporary ice masses, of pressure fluctuations surrounding a central conduit. We suggest that eskers record the imprint of a central conduit and meltwater corridors the interaction with the surrounding distributed drainage system. The widespread aerial coverage of meltwater corridors (5–36 % of the bed) provides constraints on the extent of basal uncoupling induced by basal water pressure fluctuations and variations in spatial distribution and evolution of the subglacial drainage system, which will modulate the ice dynamic response.

Emma L. M. Lewington et al.

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Emma L. M. Lewington et al.

Emma L. M. Lewington et al.

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Latest update: 23 Feb 2020
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Short summary
We map all visible traces of subglacial meltwater flow across Keewatin, Canada. Eskers are commonly observed to form within meltwater corridors up to a few km wide and we interpret different traces to have formed as part of the same integrated drainage system. In our proposed model, we suggest that eskers record the imprint of a central conduit while meltwater corridors represent the interaction with the surrounding distributed drainage system.
We map all visible traces of subglacial meltwater flow across Keewatin, Canada. Eskers are...
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