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Surface ice motion deviating toward the margins during speed-up events at Gornergletscher, Switzerland

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Title: Surface ice motion deviating toward the margins during speed-up events at Gornergletscher, Switzerland
Authors: Sugiyama, S. Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Bauder, A. Browse this author
Riesen, P. Browse this author
Funk, M. Browse this author
Issue Date: 27-Jul-2010
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Journal Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Volume: 115
Start Page: F03010
Publisher DOI: 10.1029/2009JF001509
Abstract: High frequency ice flow measurements during speed-up events in Gornergletscher, Switzerland, revealed intriguing ice motion which has never been reported in detail before. During the summer 2005, more than a 100% flow speed increase was observed three times at four GPS stations installed across Gornergletscher. The speed-ups were accompanied by a decimeter scale surface uplift. Two of the events were triggered by intensive surface melt and rainfall, while the third one was due to the outburst of Gornersee, a glacier-dammed lake located 2 km upglacier. An interesting observation was ice motion deviating toward the side margins during the events. As the glacier accelerated, a transverse (cross glacier) velocity component was generated, turning the flow direction away from the central flow line toward the margins. When the glacier decelerated, the transverse velocity component reversed so that the ice flowed back to the azimuth of the initial flow direction. In the most significant case, the trajectory of the survey stake deviated from the original track by 0.2 m in the transverse direction. We hypothesize that the observed lateral ice motion was caused by locally elevated subglacial water pressure. When the ice sole decoupled from the bed at a part of the glacier, a point source of vertical displacement was transmitted to the surface through viscous ice. This caused the transverse as well as vertical surface motion, as observed in ground motion during magma intrusion. The hypothesis was tested with a two-dimensional ice flow model applied to the transverse glacier cross section. The model confirmed that the surface ice would move toward the margins as observed in Gornergletscher, if subglacial water pressure exceeded the ice overburden pressure over a limited part of the bed.
Rights: Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union
Type: article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2115/44748
Appears in Collections:低温科学研究所 (Institute of Low Temperature Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 杉山 慎

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