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Multiple melt plumes observed at the Breiðamerkurjökull ice face in the upper waters of Jökulsárlón lagoon, Iceland

Brandon, Mark; Hodgkins, Richard; Björnsson, Helgi and Ólafsson, Jón (2017). Multiple melt plumes observed at the Breiðamerkurjökull ice face in the upper waters of Jökulsárlón lagoon, Iceland. Annals of Glaciology, 58(74) pp. 131–143.

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Breiðamerkurjökull flows from the Vatnajökull ice cap and calves into the Jökulsárlón proglacial lagoon. The lagoon is connected to the North Atlantic Ocean through a 6 m deep narrow channel. Four hydrographic surveys in spring 2012, and a 2011 four-month long temperature and salinity time series of lagoon inflow show that the lake has significantly changed since 1976. Warm saline ocean water enters each tidal cycle and descends below the maximum sampled depths. The lagoon has a surface layer of ice melt, freshwater and Atlantic derived water. Beneath 10 m depth an advective diffusive balance is responsible for determining the temperature and salinity of the lagoon waters down to ~90 m. To maintain the observed hydrographic structure, we calculate an upwelling of deep water of ~0.2 m per day. A survey within 30 m of Breiðamerkurjökull showed that the warmest and most saline waters sampled within the lagoon below 10 m depth were adjacent to the glacier face, along with multiple interleaved warm and cold layers. A heat and salt balance model shows that submarine melting along the ice face generates multiple meltwater plumes that are mixed and diluted within 200 m of the ice face.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
ISSN: 1727-5644
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetThe Open University (OU)
Not SetNot SetSchool of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences, Loughborough University
Percy Sladen Memorial FundNot SetLinnean Society of London
Keywords: atmosphere/ice/ocean interactions; glacier discharge; ice/ocean interactions; polar and subpolar oceans
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: 49443
Depositing User: Mark Brandon
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 08:53
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 16:44
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