Tidally Modulated Glacial Slip and Tremor at Helheim Glacier, Greenland

Peng Yan, David M. Holland, Victor C. Tsai, Irena Vaňková, Surui Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerical modeling of ice sheet motion and hence projections of global sea level rise require information about the evolving subglacial environment, which unfortunately remains largely unknown due to its difficulty of access. Here we advance such subglacial observations by reporting multi-year observations of seismic tremor likely associated with glacier sliding at Helheim Glacier. This association is confirmed by correlation analysis between tremor power and multiple environmental forcings on different timescales. Variations of the observed tremor power indicate that different factors affect glacial sliding on different timescales. Effective pressure may control glacial sliding on long (seasonal/annual) timescales, while tidal forcing modulates the sliding rate and tremor power on short (hourly/daily) timescales. Polarization results suggest that the tremor source comes from an upstream subglacial ridge. This observation provides insights on how different factors should be included in ice sheet modeling and how their timescales of variability play an essential role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023GL105342
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2024


  • glacier
  • ice sheets
  • tide
  • tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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