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Diurnal water-pressure fluctuations: timing and pattern of termination below Bench Glacier, Alaska, USA

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Observations from basal water-pressure sensors along the length of Bench Glacier, Alaska, USA, show that diurnal fluctuations of water pressure are seasonal and restricted to summer. Most notable about these fluctuations is their disappearance in the late summer and early autumn, long before the seasonal end of diurnal meltwater input. Here we present data documenting the end of diurnal water-pressure fluctuations during the 2002 and 2003 melt seasons. The end of diurnal fluctuations occurred abruptly in multiple boreholes spaced meters to kilometers apart. There was no obvious spatial progression of termination events, and a clear correlation with meteorological forcing or discharge in the outlet stream was not apparent. After diurnal pressure fluctuations ended, basal water pressure returned to a high, generally steady, value either in an irregular pattern or by a distinct increase. This high water pressure was interrupted by episodic, acyclic events throughout the autumn before becoming stable and high in winter.

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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