Improved Monitoring of Subglacial Lake Activity in Greenland

L. Sandberg Sørensen, R. Bahbah, S. B. Simonsen, N. Havelund Andersen, J. Bowling, N. Gourmelen, A. Horton, N. B. Karlsson, A. Leeson, J. Maddalena, M. McMillan, A. M. Solgaard, B. Wessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Subglacial lakes form beneath ice sheets and ice caps if water is available, and if bedrock and surface topography are able to retain the water. On a regional scale, the lakes modulate the timing and rate of freshwater flow through the subglacial system to the ocean by acting as reservoirs. More than one hundred hydrologically active subglacial lakes, that drain and recharge periodically, have been documented under the Antarctic ice sheet, while only a handful of active lakes have been identified in Greenland. The small size of the Greenlandic subglacial lakes puts additional demands on mapping capabilitie aiming to resolve the evolving surface topography in sufficient detail to record their temporal behavior. Here, we explore the potential for combining data from CryoSat-2, TanDEM-X, and ArcticDEM to document the evolution of four active subglacial lake sites in Greenland. The inclusion of the new data sources provides important information on lake activity, documenting that the ice surface collapse basin on Flade Isblink ice cap was 50 % (30 meters) deeper than previously recorded. We also present evidence of a new active subglacial lake in Southwest Greenland, which shows signs of being hydrologically connected to another subglacial lake in that region. These findings show how improving the measurement capabilities of subglacial lakes, improves our current understanding and knowledge of the subglacial water system and its connection to surface hydrology.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalThe Cryosphere Discussions
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Oct 2023

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