A new bathymetry of the Northeast Greenland continental shelf: Constraints on glacial and other processes

Jan.Erik.Arndt [ at ] awi.de


A new digital bathymetric model (DBM) for the Northeast Greenland (NEG) continental shelf (74°N–81°N) is presented. The DBM has a grid cell size of 250 m × 250 m and incorporates bathymetric data from 30 multibeam cruises, more than 20 single-beam cruises and first reflector depths from industrial seismic lines. The new DBM substantially improves the bathymetry compared to older models. The DBM not only allows a better delineation of previously known seafloor morphology but, in addition, reveals the presence of previously unmapped morphological features including glacially derived troughs, fjords, grounding-zone wedges, and lateral moraines. These submarine landforms are used to infer the past extent and ice-flow dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the last full-glacial period of the Quaternary and subsequent ice retreat across the continental shelf. The DBM reveals cross-shelf bathymetric troughs that may enable the inflow of warm Atlantic water masses across the shelf, driving enhanced basal melting of the marine-terminating outlet glaciers draining the ice sheet to the coast in Northeast Greenland. Knolls, sinks, and hummocky seafloor on the middle shelf are also suggested to be related to salt diapirism. North-south-orientated elongate depressions are identified that probably relate to ice-marginal processes in combination with erosion caused by the East Greenland Current. A single guyot-like peak has been discovered and is interpreted to have been produced during a volcanic event approximately 55 Ma ago.

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DOI 10.1002/2015GC005931

Cite as
Arndt, J. E. , Jokat, W. , Dorschel, B. , Myklebust, R. , Dowdeswell, J. A. and Evans, J. (2015): A new bathymetry of the Northeast Greenland continental shelf: Constraints on glacial and other processes , Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16 (10), pp. 3733-3753 . doi: 10.1002/2015GC005931

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