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Glacimarine sedimentation processes at Kronebreen and Kongsvegen, Svalbard

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Abstract:

Tidewater glaciers deposit sediment at their terminus, thereby reducing the relative water depth. Reduced water depth can lead to increased glacier stability through decreased rates of iceberg calving, glacier thinning and submarine melting. Here we investigate sedimentation processes at the termini of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen, Svalbard. We mapped the fjord floor bathymetry in August 2009 and calculate sedimentation rates based on our bathymetry and that from a similar study in 2005. A grounding-line fan is developing near the current position of the subglacial stream. An older, abandoned grounding-line fan that likely formed between 1987 and 2001 is degrading near the middle of the ice front. Our findings indicate that sediment gravity flows reduce the height of the sediment mound forming at the glacier terminus. The future impact of glacimarine sedimentation processes on glacier stability will depend on the net balance between the observed gravity flows and sediment deposition.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/002214311798043708

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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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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