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Katabatic wind influence on meltwater supply to fuel glacier–substrate interactions at the grounding line, Terra Nova Bay, East Antarctica

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The co-isotopic composition, both in D and in 18O, of interbedded debris-rich and clear ice layers, thought to have been formed at the grounding line of Hells Gate Ice Shelf, indicates freezing by a double-diffusion effect between continental meltwater and sea water within a subglacial sediment. A source of meltwater is required to sustain the process, since the temperature of the bed is below the freshwater melting point. The most likely source is a surficially frozen meltwater lake.

Rock outcrops, kept mostly snow-free by the action of katabatic winds, absorb solar radiation so local production of liquid water becomes possible in an area with year-round subfreezing air-temperature conditions. The meltwater accumulated in a marginal lake can eventually reach the subglacial substratum near a pinning point where the ice is relatively thin and fractured.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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