Precursor motion to iceberg calving at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, observed with terrestrial radar interferometry

Surui Xie, Timothy H. Dixon, Denis Voytenko, David M. Holland, Denise Holland, Tiantian Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Time-varying elevations near the calving front of Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland were observed with a terrestrial radar interferometer (TRI) in June 2015. An ice block with surface dimensions of 1370 m × 290 m calved on 10 June. TRI-generated time series show that ice elevation near the calving front began to increase 65 h prior to the event, and can be fit with a simple block rotation model. We hypothesize that subsurface melting at the base of the floating terminus breaks the gravity-buoyancy equilibrium, leading to slow subsidence and rotation of the block, and its eventual failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Volume62
Issue number236
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Lagrangian coordinates
  • glacier calving
  • ice block rotation
  • subsurface melting
  • terrestrial radar interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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