Ice velocity changes on Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island, since the 1950s
2016 (English)In: Journal of Glaciology, ISSN 0022-1430, E-ISSN 1727-5652Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Predicting the velocity response of glaciers to increased surface melt is a major topic of ongoing research with significant implications for accurate sea level rise forecasting. In this study we use optical and radar satellite imagery as well as comparisons with historical ground measurements to produce a multi-decadal record of ice velocity variations on Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island. Over the period 1985-2010, the six largest outlet glaciers on the ice cap decelerated at an average rate of 21 m a-1, or 12% per decade. The change was not monotonous, however, as most glaciers accelerated until the 1990s, then decelerated. A comparison of recent imagery with historical velocity measurements on Highway Glacier, on the southern part of Penny Ice Cap shows that this glacier decelerated by 71% between 1953 and 2009/11, from 57 m a-1 to 17 m a-1. The recent slowdown of outlet glaciers have coincided with increases in mass loss, terminus retreat and a reduction in basal sliding. Measured decelerations are greater than the total short-term variability measured from both seasonal and interannual fluctuations, and supports the hypothesis that glacier thinning and/or increased meltwater production promotes a long-term reduction in ice motion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press , 2016.
Glaciers, Arctic, Canada, ice dynamics, glaciology, climate change
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303696OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-303696DiVA: diva2:972777
Manuscript # JOG-16-01242016-09-222016-09-222016-09-27