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Access of surface meltwater to beds of sub-freezing glaciers: preliminary insights

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Sufficiently deep water-filled fractures can penetrate even cold ice-sheet ice, but glaciogenic stresses are typically smaller than needed to propagate water-filled fractures that are less than a few tens of meters deep, as shown by our simplified analytical treatment based on analogous models of magmatic processes. However, water-filled fractures are inferred to reach the bed of Greenland through >1 km of ice and then collapse to form moulins, which are observed. Supraglacial lakes appear especially important among possible crack 'nucleation' mechanisms, because lakes can warm ice, supply water, and increase the pressure driving water flow and ice cracking.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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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