Surge potential and drainage-basin characteristics in East Greenland

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We introduce a new glacier inventory of central East Greenland and use the collected data to test proposed theories on surging. The glacier inventory contains 259 glaciers, of which 10 have observed surges and a further 61 are inferred surge-type. The total glaciated area is 5.5×103 km2. The inventory was created from a combination of remote-sensing data and maps, and some 24 glacial and geological inventory parameters were collected for each glacier. A multivariate logistic analysis is used to test which combination of glacial and environmental data is conducive to surging behaviour in East Greenland. Three different models suggest that glaciers with a large complexity, low slope and oriented in a broad arc from northeast to south are most likely to be of surge type. Geological conditions, and hence substrate character, appeared not to be related to surge potential. On the basis of these results and the surge dynamics in this region, we suggest a hydrologically controlled surge mechanism operates in central East Greenland.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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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