Seafloor and Atlantic Water Influence on Ryder Glacier, Northwestern Greenland

TitleSeafloor and Atlantic Water Influence on Ryder Glacier, Northwestern Greenland
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsJakobsson, M, Mayer, LA, Nilsson, J, Stranne, C, Calder, BR
Secondary AuthorsO'Regan, M, Brüchert, V, Chawarski, J, Cronin, TM, Eriksson, B, Farell, J, Fredriksson, J, Gemery, L, Glueder, A, Handl, T, Holmes, FA, Jerram, K, Kirchner, N, Mix, A, Muchowski, J, Padman, J, Prakash, A, Reed, S, Reilly, B, Ståhl, E, Ulfsbo, A, Weidner, E, West, G, Åkesson, H
JournalScience Advances

The processes controlling advance and retreat of outlet glaciers in fjords draining the Greenland Ice Sheet remain poorly known, undermining assessments of their dynamics and associated sea-level rise in a warming climate. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased six-fold over the last four decades, with discharge from outlet glaciers contributing two-thirds of this loss. We acquired oceanographic data and multibeam bathymetry in the previously uncharted Sherard Osborn Fjord where Ryder Glacier drains into the Arctic Ocean. Our data show that warmer subsurface water of Atlantic origin enters the fjord, but the Ryder Glacier’s floating tongue is largely protected from the inflow by a bathymetric sill located in the innermost fjord. This limits under-ice melting of the glacier, potentially explaining why Ryder Glacier, unlike most northwestern Greenland glaciers, has not retreated further once it reached the inner fjord and instead has shown a recent net advance.


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