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Brief Communication: Subglacial lake drainage beneath Isunguata Sermia, West Greenland: geomorphic and ice dynamic effects

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Devin Harrison, Professor Neil RossORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


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 in August 2014 and August 2015. The 2015 drainage caused a ∼ 1-month down-glacier slowdown in ice flow and flooded the foreland, aggrading the proglacial channel by 8 m. The proglacial flooding confirms the ice-surface elevation anomalies as subglacial water bodies and demonstrates how their drainage can significantly modify proglacial environments. These subglacial lakes offer accessible targets for geophysical investigations and exploration.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Livingstone SJ, Sole AJ, Storrar RD, Harrison D, Ross N, Bowling J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Cryosphere

Year: 2019

Volume: 13

Issue: 10

Pages: 2789-2796

Print publication date: 29/10/2019

Online publication date: 29/10/2019

Acceptance date: 01/10/2019

Date deposited: 31/10/2019

ISSN (print): 1994-0416

ISSN (electronic): 1994-0424

Publisher: Copernicus GmbH


DOI: 10.5194/tc-13-2789-2019


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