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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stuart Barr
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 We have measured the surface flow rate of the large east Greenland glacier, Sortebrae, through both the initiation and termination of a major surge using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) feature tracking, optimized to minimize error. The Sortebrae surge began between November and January 1992 - 1993, after at least 6 weeks of subfreezing temperatures over the whole glacier, and propagated rapidly up-glacier from a central nucleus. Sortebrae reached sustained fast flow rates of up to 24 m d(-1), and the active phase lasted for 28 - 32 months before terminating in June 1995. Termination was abrupt, coinciding with the arrival of the spring thaw and the apparent release of a large volume of stored water from a single outlet at the front. The surge mechanism is interpreted as a switch from channelized to distributed drainage, which at present is best explained by Kamb's linked cavity sliding model.
Author(s): Pritchard H, Murray T, Luckman A, Strozzi T, Barr SL
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
ISSN (print): 0148-0227
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