Limited Impact of Subglacial Supercooling Freeze-on for Greenland Ice Sheet Stratigraphy


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nanna.karlsson [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Large units of disrupted radiostratigraphy (UDR) are visible in many radio-echo sounding data sets from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This study investigates whether supercooling freeze-on rates at the bed can cause the observed UDR. We use a subglacial hydrology model to calculate both freezing and melting rates at the base of the ice sheet in a distributed sheet and within basal channels. We find that while supercooling freeze-on is a phenomenon that occurs in many areas of the ice sheet, there is no discernible correlation with the occurrence of UDR. The supercooling freeze-on rates are so low that it would require tens of thousands of years with minimal downstream ice motion to form the hundreds of meters of disrupted radiostratigraphy. Overall, the melt rates at the base of the ice sheet greatly overwhelm the freeze-on rates, which has implications for mass balance calculations of Greenland ice.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
46643
DOI 10.1002/2017GL076251

Cite as
Dow, C. F. , Karlsson, N. B. and Werder, M. A. (2018): Limited Impact of Subglacial Supercooling Freeze-on for Greenland Ice Sheet Stratigraphy , Geophysical Research Letters, 45 , pp. 1481-1489 . doi: 10.1002/2017GL076251


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