Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland

Verity Flett (Lead / Corresponding author), Louise Maurice, Andrew Black, Alan MacDonald, Jez Everest, Martin Kirkbride, Andrew Finlayson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

This study characterizes the glacial and proglacial hydrology of a rapidly deglaciating system at Virkísjökull in SE Iceland, to determine the water flux through the glacier and proglacial area. This was achieved using dye tracer tests, river discharge measurements and studies of conduits within the foreland and glacier using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Tracer testing through the glacial system via a moulin demonstrated rapid flow of 0.58 m s–1, which was comparable to the flow rates within the proglacial river, and is at the higher end of velocities observed in glacial conduits. A subsequent test from this moulin at the end of the winter season demonstrated that the conduit system was fully open at this time, suggesting that it may not close during the winter. A tracer test through the proglacial foreland showed that the large proglacial lake does not substantially attenuate flow and revealed the presence of a relic conduit system enabling rapid water transit through this area, with velocities of 0.03 m s–1. The proglacial river is highly responsive to melt as a result of fully developed conduits in both the subglacial and proglacial areas. Given that in the proglacial foreland there are the remains of the previous margin of the glacier, these conduits may be a relic of a previous subglacial pathway that has been abandoned in the foreland. The existence of relic conduits may appear in other deglaciating ice-cored forelands and can have a significant impact on the hydrological connectivity and therefore modelling of river discharge in similar catchments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2015
EventInternational Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets - Hotel Vatnajökull at Lindarbakki, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland
Duration: 21 Jun 201526 Jun 2015
http://en.vedur.is/conferences/igs-2015

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets
CountryIceland
CityHöfn in Hornafjörður
Period21/06/1526/06/15
Internet address

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meltwater
glacier
catchment
river discharge
tracer
dye tracer
winter
ground penetrating radar
river
connectivity
hydrology
melt
ice
water
lake
modeling
test

Cite this

Flett, V., Maurice, L., Black, A., MacDonald, A., Everest, J., Kirkbride, M., & Finlayson, A. (2015). Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland. Abstract from International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland.
Flett, Verity ; Maurice, Louise ; Black, Andrew ; MacDonald, Alan ; Everest, Jez ; Kirkbride, Martin ; Finlayson, Andrew. / Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland. Abstract from International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland.1 p.
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title = "Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virk{\'i}sj{\"o}kull, SE Iceland",
abstract = "This study characterizes the glacial and proglacial hydrology of a rapidly deglaciating system at Virk{\'i}sj{\"o}kull in SE Iceland, to determine the water flux through the glacier and proglacial area. This was achieved using dye tracer tests, river discharge measurements and studies of conduits within the foreland and glacier using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Tracer testing through the glacial system via a moulin demonstrated rapid flow of 0.58 m s–1, which was comparable to the flow rates within the proglacial river, and is at the higher end of velocities observed in glacial conduits. A subsequent test from this moulin at the end of the winter season demonstrated that the conduit system was fully open at this time, suggesting that it may not close during the winter. A tracer test through the proglacial foreland showed that the large proglacial lake does not substantially attenuate flow and revealed the presence of a relic conduit system enabling rapid water transit through this area, with velocities of 0.03 m s–1. The proglacial river is highly responsive to melt as a result of fully developed conduits in both the subglacial and proglacial areas. Given that in the proglacial foreland there are the remains of the previous margin of the glacier, these conduits may be a relic of a previous subglacial pathway that has been abandoned in the foreland. The existence of relic conduits may appear in other deglaciating ice-cored forelands and can have a significant impact on the hydrological connectivity and therefore modelling of river discharge in similar catchments.",
author = "Verity Flett and Louise Maurice and Andrew Black and Alan MacDonald and Jez Everest and Martin Kirkbride and Andrew Finlayson",
note = "Presented at session: Glacier catchment hydrology; International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets ; Conference date: 21-06-2015 Through 26-06-2015",
year = "2015",
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Flett, V, Maurice, L, Black, A, MacDonald, A, Everest, J, Kirkbride, M & Finlayson, A 2015, 'Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland' International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland, 21/06/15 - 26/06/15, .

Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland. / Flett, Verity (Lead / Corresponding author); Maurice, Louise; Black, Andrew; MacDonald, Alan; Everest, Jez; Kirkbride, Martin; Finlayson, Andrew.

2015. Abstract from International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

TY - CONF

T1 - Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland

AU - Flett, Verity

AU - Maurice, Louise

AU - Black, Andrew

AU - MacDonald, Alan

AU - Everest, Jez

AU - Kirkbride, Martin

AU - Finlayson, Andrew

N1 - Presented at session: Glacier catchment hydrology

PY - 2015/6/22

Y1 - 2015/6/22

N2 - This study characterizes the glacial and proglacial hydrology of a rapidly deglaciating system at Virkísjökull in SE Iceland, to determine the water flux through the glacier and proglacial area. This was achieved using dye tracer tests, river discharge measurements and studies of conduits within the foreland and glacier using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Tracer testing through the glacial system via a moulin demonstrated rapid flow of 0.58 m s–1, which was comparable to the flow rates within the proglacial river, and is at the higher end of velocities observed in glacial conduits. A subsequent test from this moulin at the end of the winter season demonstrated that the conduit system was fully open at this time, suggesting that it may not close during the winter. A tracer test through the proglacial foreland showed that the large proglacial lake does not substantially attenuate flow and revealed the presence of a relic conduit system enabling rapid water transit through this area, with velocities of 0.03 m s–1. The proglacial river is highly responsive to melt as a result of fully developed conduits in both the subglacial and proglacial areas. Given that in the proglacial foreland there are the remains of the previous margin of the glacier, these conduits may be a relic of a previous subglacial pathway that has been abandoned in the foreland. The existence of relic conduits may appear in other deglaciating ice-cored forelands and can have a significant impact on the hydrological connectivity and therefore modelling of river discharge in similar catchments.

AB - This study characterizes the glacial and proglacial hydrology of a rapidly deglaciating system at Virkísjökull in SE Iceland, to determine the water flux through the glacier and proglacial area. This was achieved using dye tracer tests, river discharge measurements and studies of conduits within the foreland and glacier using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Tracer testing through the glacial system via a moulin demonstrated rapid flow of 0.58 m s–1, which was comparable to the flow rates within the proglacial river, and is at the higher end of velocities observed in glacial conduits. A subsequent test from this moulin at the end of the winter season demonstrated that the conduit system was fully open at this time, suggesting that it may not close during the winter. A tracer test through the proglacial foreland showed that the large proglacial lake does not substantially attenuate flow and revealed the presence of a relic conduit system enabling rapid water transit through this area, with velocities of 0.03 m s–1. The proglacial river is highly responsive to melt as a result of fully developed conduits in both the subglacial and proglacial areas. Given that in the proglacial foreland there are the remains of the previous margin of the glacier, these conduits may be a relic of a previous subglacial pathway that has been abandoned in the foreland. The existence of relic conduits may appear in other deglaciating ice-cored forelands and can have a significant impact on the hydrological connectivity and therefore modelling of river discharge in similar catchments.

UR - https://www.igsoc.org/symposia/2015/iceland/proceedings/procsfiles/procabstracts_67.html#A1669

UR - https://www.igsoc.org/symposia/2015/iceland/proceedings/fullprogramme.html

M3 - Abstract

ER -

Flett V, Maurice L, Black A, MacDonald A, Everest J, Kirkbride M et al. Meltwater flow through a rapidly deglaciating glacier and foreland catchment system, Virkísjökull, SE Iceland. 2015. Abstract from International Symposium on Hydrology of Glaciers and Ice Sheets, Höfn in Hornafjörður, Iceland.