The Ocean’s Role in Outlet Glacier Variability: A Case Study from Uummannaq, Greenland

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 4:30 PM
Dave Sutherland1, Ginny A Catania2, Timothy C Bartholomaus3, Jonathan D Nash4, Emily Shroyer4, Ryan T Walker5 and Leigh A Stearns6, (1)University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States, (2)University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, (3)University of Texas, Institute for Geophysics, Austin, TX, United States, (4)Oregon State Univ, Corvallis, OR, United States, (5)University of Maryland, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (6)University of Kansas, Department of Geology, Lawrence, KS, United States
The dynamics controlling the coupling between fjord circulation and outlet glacier movement are poorly understood. Here, we use oceanographic data collected from 2013-2014 from two west Greenland fjords, Rink Isbrae and Kangerdlugssup Sermerssua, to constrain the spatial and temporal variability observed in fjord circulation. We aim to quantify the ocean’s role, if any, in explaining the marked differences in glacier behavior from two systems that are in close proximity to one another. Combining time series data from a set of subsurface moorings with repeat transects in each fjord allows an unprecedented look at the temporal and spatial variability in circulation. We find significant differences in the variability in each fjord and discuss the implications for the glaciers.