Significant groundwater contribution to Antarctic ice streams hydrologic budget

TitleSignificant groundwater contribution to Antarctic ice streams hydrologic budget
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsChristoffersen P., Bougamont M., Carter S.P, Fricker H.A, Tulaczyk S.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Pagination2003-2010
Date Published2014/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000334264900026
Keywordsbasal mechanics; bed; beneath; Groundwater; Hydrology; Ice sheet; ice stream; model; radar interferometry; sea-level; sheet; subglacial processes; till; variability; west antarctica
Abstract

Satellite observations have revealed active hydrologic systems beneath Antarctic ice streams, but sources and sinks of water within these systems are uncertain. Here we use numerical simulations of ice streams to estimate the generation, flux, and budget of water beneath five ice streams on the Siple Coast. We estimate that 47% of the total hydrologic input (0.98km(3)yr(-1)) to Whillans (WIS), Mercer (MIS), and Kamb (KIS) ice streams comes from the ice sheet interior and that only 8% forms by local basal melting. The remaining 45% comes from a groundwater reservoir, an overlooked source in which depletion significantly exceeds recharge. Of the total input to Bindschadler (BIS) and MacAyeal (MacIS) ice streams (0.56km(3)yr(-1)), 72% comes from the interior, 19% from groundwater, and 9% from local melting. This contrasting hydrologic setting modulates the ice streams flow and has important implications for the search for life in subglacial lakes.

DOI10.1002/2014gl059250
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Student Publication: 
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