Estuaries beneath ice sheets

Huw J. Horgan, Richard B. Alley, Knut Christianson, Robert W. Jacobel, Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Atsuhiro Muto, Lucas H. Beem, Matthew R. Siegfried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interactions between subglacial hydrology and the ocean make the existence of estuaries at the grounding zones of ice sheets likely. Here we present geophysical observations of an estuary at the downstream end of the hydrologic system that links the active subglacial lakes beneath Whillans Ice Stream to the ocean beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. This subglacial estuary consists of a hydropotential low upstream of the grounding zone, which is linked to the ocean by a hydropotential trough and a large subglacial channel. This subglacial channel, which is imaged using active source seismic methods, has an apparent width of 1 km and a maximum depth of 7 m. The hydropotential trough continues upstream of the grounding zone and results from an along-flow depression in surface elevations. Pressure differences along the trough axis are within a range that can be overcome by tidally induced processes, making the interaction of subglacial and ocean water likely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1162
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume41
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

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ice sheet
estuary
trough
ocean
seismic method
ice stream
ice shelf
hydrology
lake
water

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

Cite this

Horgan, H. J., Alley, R. B., Christianson, K., Jacobel, R. W., Anandakrishnan, S., Muto, A., ... Siegfried, M. R. (2013). Estuaries beneath ice sheets. Geology, 41(11), 1159-1162. https://doi.org/10.1130/G34654.1
Horgan, Huw J. ; Alley, Richard B. ; Christianson, Knut ; Jacobel, Robert W. ; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar ; Muto, Atsuhiro ; Beem, Lucas H. ; Siegfried, Matthew R. / Estuaries beneath ice sheets. In: Geology. 2013 ; Vol. 41, No. 11. pp. 1159-1162.
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Horgan, HJ, Alley, RB, Christianson, K, Jacobel, RW, Anandakrishnan, S, Muto, A, Beem, LH & Siegfried, MR 2013, 'Estuaries beneath ice sheets', Geology, vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 1159-1162. https://doi.org/10.1130/G34654.1

Estuaries beneath ice sheets. / Horgan, Huw J.; Alley, Richard B.; Christianson, Knut; Jacobel, Robert W.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Muto, Atsuhiro; Beem, Lucas H.; Siegfried, Matthew R.

In: Geology, Vol. 41, No. 11, 01.11.2013, p. 1159-1162.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Horgan HJ, Alley RB, Christianson K, Jacobel RW, Anandakrishnan S, Muto A et al. Estuaries beneath ice sheets. Geology. 2013 Nov 1;41(11):1159-1162. https://doi.org/10.1130/G34654.1