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InSAR observations of the 1993-95 Bering Glacier (Alaska, U. S. A.)surge and a surge hypothesis

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Abstract:

Time-varying accelerations were observed on Bagley Icefield during the 1993-95 surge of Bering Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A., using repeat-pass synthetic aperture radar interferometry. Observations were from datasets acquired during winter 1991/92 (pre-surge), winter 1993/94 (during the surge) and winter 1995/96 (post-surge). The surge is shown to have extended 110 km up the icefield from Bering Glacier to within 15 km or less of the flow divide. Acceleration and step-like velocity profiles are strongly associated with an along-glacier series of central phase bull's-eyes with diameters of 0.5-4 km. These bull's-eyes are interpreted to represent glacier surface rise/fall events of ˜ 3-30 cm during 1-3 day observation intervals and indicate possible migrating pockets of subglacial water. We present a surge hypothesis that relates late-summer climate to englacial water storage and thence to the subglacial water dynamics - pressurization, hydraulic jacking, depressurization and migration - suggested by our observations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756502781831296

Publication date: 2002-06-01

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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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