Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet

CfG Staff: Hubbard, Alun, Sam Doyle, Bryn Hubbard, Andy Fitzpatrick

A team of glaciologists from CfG have been examining the dynamic response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to summer melting using a combination of field- and remote sensing- measurements. Our research has shown that:

1. The observed expansion of surface melt and supraglacial lakes to higher elevations in recent warm summers correlates with an acceleration in ice flow in the Greenland ice sheet's interior.
2. At a site 140 km from the ice margin ice flow increased from 51.78 m/yr in 2009 to 52.92 m/yr in 2012 - a net increase of 2.2 % 
3. Supraglacial lakes form at higher elevations in warmer years, but the expansion of lakes to higher elevations has outpaced the increase in melt. 

Key publications:
Fitzpatrick, A. A. W.; Hubbard, A. L.; Box, J. E.; Quincey, D. J.; van As, D.; Mikkelsen, A. P. B.; Doyle, S. H.; Dow, C. F.; Hasholt, B. & Jones, G. A. A decade (2002 - 2012) of supraglacial lake volume estimates across Russell Glacier, West Greenland. The Cryosphere, 2014, 8, 107-121, http://www.the-cryosphere.net/8/107/2014/

Doyle, S. H.; Hubbard, A.; Fitzpatrick, A. A. W.; van As, D.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Pettersson, R. & Hubbard, B. Persistent flow acceleration within the interior of the Greenland ice sheet. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014, 41, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013GL058933