Evidence for extreme pressure pulses in the subglacial water system
Abstract:A suite of subglacial water-pressure records from the 1996 summer field season at Trapridge Glacier, Yukon Territory, Canada, discloses a hydraulic event that cannot readily be explained by known forcings. We suggest that these records indicate covert failure of the pressure sensors caused by at least one large water-pressure pulse. The sign and magnitude of the pulse appears to have varied spatially and the pulse duration was less than the 2 min sampling interval of our data loggers. Laboratory experiments support this interpretation and indicate that the pulse magnitude exceeded 900 m of hydraulic head, roughly 15 times the ice-overburden pressure. Within glaciers, large water-pressure pulses can be generated when abrupt ice motion changes the volume of the subglacial hydraulic system.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2000
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