Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska

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Publication Type pre-print
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Geography
Creator Forster, Richard R.
Other Author Burgess, Evan W.; Larsen, Christopher F.
Title Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska
Date 2013-01-01
Description Predicting how climate change will affect glacier and ice sheet flow speeds remains a large hurdle toward accurate sea level rise forecasting. Increases in surface melt rates are known to accelerate glacier flow in summer, whereas in winter, flow speeds are believed to be relatively invariant. Here we show that wintertime flow speeds on nearly all major glaciers throughout Alaska are not only variable but are inversely related to melt from preceding summers. For each additional meter of summertime melt, we observe an 11% decrease in wintertime velocity on glaciers of all sizes, geometries, climates, and bed types. This dynamic occurs because interannual differences in summertime melt affect how much water is retained in the subglacial system during winter. The ubiquity of the dynamic indicates it occurs globally on glaciers and ice sheets not frozen to their beds and thus constitutes a new mechanism affecting sea level rise projections.
Type Text
Publisher American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Volume 40
Issue 23
First Page 6160
Last Page 6164
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Burgess, E. W., Larsen, C. F., & Forster, R. R. (2013). Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(23), 6160-4.
Rights Management Forster, Richard R., Burgess, Evan W.; Larsen, Christopher F. Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(23), 6160-4. Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union. Reproduced/modified by permission of American Geophysical Union.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,792,470 bytes
Identifier uspace,18346
ARK ark:/87278/s67t0xtw
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2014-05-12
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 712537
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s67t0xtw
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