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Mechanisms of fast flow in Jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland: Part III. Measurements of ice deformation, temperature and cross-borehole conductivityin boreholes to the bedrock

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At a site on the ice sheet adjacent to the Jakobshavn ice stream in West Greenland, ice deformation rates and temperatures have been measured in boreholes to the bedrock at 830 m depth. Enhanced deformation rates were recorded just below the Holocene-Wisconsin transition at 680 m depth. A 31m layer of temperate ice and the temperature minimum of -22°C at 520 m depth were detected. The good agreement of these data with results of a two-dimensional thermomechanically coupled flow model implies that the model input is adequate. Discrepancies between modelled and measured temperature profiles on a flowline at the ice-stream centre have been attributed to effects not accounted for by the model. We have suggested that the convergent three-dimensional flow leads to a vertical extension of the basal ice entering the stream. A thick basal layer oftemperate and Wisconsin ice would explain the fast flow of this ice stream. As a test of this hypothesis, the new core-borehole conductivity (CBC) method has been used to compare conductivity sequences from the ice stream to those of the adjacent ice sheet. The correlation thus inferred suggests that the lowest 270 m of the ice sheet correspond to the lowermost 1700 m ofthe stream, and, consequently, that the lower part of the ice stream has experienced a very large vertical extension.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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