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Calving rates in fresh water: new data from southern Patagonia

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Abstract:

Data relating to calving dynamics in fresh water are scarce, especially for deep-water sites. A linear dependence of calving velocity (Vc) on water depth (Hw) is commonly accepted for both tidewater and fresh-water calving glaciers. Here we use recent data from temperate Patagonian glaciers to propose a revised relationship for calving in fresh water.The new ratio is derived from glaciers calving rapidly into deep water, documented using sequential satellite images and depth soundings. The main data source is a detailed remotely sensed dataset of the rapidly retreating Glaciar Upsala, complemented with global positioning system field surveys and precise ice-proximal bathymetric surveys. The areaintegrated mean water depth between glacier positions in 1996 and 2000 is 490 m, with a maximum recorded depth of >700 m. In the same period, image analysis reveals surface area loss of 1.37 km2 a-1 (4.8 km2) and an average calving rate of 1880 m a-1. The resulting Vc/Hw ratio is of a similar order of magnitude to that recently derived for nearby Glaciar Moreno, but is well above the range of values commonly reported for lacustrine calving.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756402781817806

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • 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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