The Open UniversitySkip to content

Hydrographic measurements in Jökulsárlón lagoon, Iceland

Brandon, Mark; Hodgkins, Richard; Björnsson, Helgi and Ólaffson, Jón (2013). Hydrographic measurements in Jökulsárlón lagoon, Iceland. In: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013, 9-13 Dec 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Jökulsárlón lagoon is an enclosed lake bordering the retreating Breidamerkurjökull glacier which flows down from the Vatnajökull ice cap. As the glacier calves most of the ice it releases decays within the lake and the addition of the stored fresh water modifies the water local properties. The lake itself is connected to the North Atlantic Ocean through a narrow channel only ~80 m wide, and all tidal and residual flows in and out of the lake are through this channel. In April 2012 (early spring) we conducted four hydrographic sections from a small boat to determine the early season hydrographic structure of the lake. We conducted two hydrographic sections from the entrance of the channel to sea across the lagoon to the Breidamerkurjökull glacier, one across the centre of the lagoon, and one along, and close to the glacier face. Four months of time series hydrographic data from the channel show that the oceanic tidal pulse into the lagoon is short in duration. The water that enters the lagoon is warm and saline enough to descend rapidly to the greatest depths within the lagoon. With our CTD measurements we have mapped the properties of water across the lake. These reveal the pathway of the Atlantic derived water towards the ice face. The warmest water measured within the lagoon was just below the surface and only adjacent to the glacier face. Whilst this warm water was created from solar input, its location and concentration reveal the complex density driven circulation patterns close to the ice face. Calculated oceanic driven melt rates from the ice face show enhanced oceanographic melting in this near surface layer which contributes to the more substantial deeper melting.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Open University
Extra Information: Reader required to create a user profile before being able to access e-posters
Keywords: Iceland; glacier; oceanography
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 39177
Depositing User: Mark Brandon
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2013 09:15
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 05:19
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU