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Ryder Glacier in northwest Greenland is shielded from warm Atlantic water by a bathymetric sill

November 4, 2020

The processes controlling advance and retreat of outlet glaciers in fjords draining the Greenland Ice Sheet remain poorly known, undermining assessments of their dynamics and associated sea-level rise in a warming climate. Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased six-fold over the last four decades, with discharge and melt from outlet glaciers comprising key components of this loss. Here we acquired oceanographic data and multibeam bathymetry in the previously uncharted Sherard Osborn Fjord in northwest Greenland where Ryder Glacier drains into the Arctic Ocean. Our data show that warmer subsurface water of Atlantic origin enters the fjord, but Ryder Glacier’s floating tongue at its present location is partly protected from the inflow by a bathymetric sill located in the innermost fjord. This reduces under-ice melting of the glacier, providing insight into Ryder Glacier’s dynamics and its vulnerability to inflow of Atlantic warmer water.

Publication Year 2020
Title Ryder Glacier in northwest Greenland is shielded from warm Atlantic water by a bathymetric sill
DOI 10.1038/s43247-020-00043-0
Authors Martin Jakobsson, Larry Mayer, Johan Nilsson, Christian Stranne, Brian Calder, Matthew O'Regan, J. Farrell, Thomas M. Cronin, Volker Bruchert, Julek Chawarski, Bjorn Eriksson, Jonas Fredriksson, Laura Gemery, Anna Glueder, Felicity A. Holmes, Kevin Jerram, Nina Kirchner, Alan Mix, Julia Muchowski, Abhay Prakash, Brendan Reilly, Brett Thornton, Adam Ulfsbo, Elizabeteh Weidner, Henning Akesson, Tamara Handl, Emelie Stahl, Lee-Gray Boze, Sam Reed, Gabriel West, June Padman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nature Communications
Index ID 70220446
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center; Florence Bascom Geoscience Center