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Title: Widespread Moulin Formation During Supraglacial Lake Drainages in Greenland

Moulins permit access of surface meltwater to the glacier bed, causing basal lubrication and ice speedup in the ablation zone of western Greenland during summer. In spite of the substantial impact of moulins on ice dynamics, the conditions under which they form are poorly understood. We assimilate a time series of ice surface velocity from a network of eleven Global Positioning System receivers into an ice sheet model to estimate ice sheet stresses during winter, spring, and summer in a ~30 × 10 km region. Surface-parallel von Mises stress increases slightly during spring speedup and early summer, sufficient to allow formation of 16% of moulins mapped in the study area. Conversely, 63% of moulins experience stresses over the tensile strength of ice during a short (hours) supraglacial lake drainage event. Lake drainages appear to control moulin density, which is itself a control on subglacial drainage efficiency and summer ice velocities.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [5] ; ORCiD logo [6] ; ORCiD logo [7]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Center for Computing Research
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States). Global Modeling and Assimilation Office
  4. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States). Cryosphereic Sciences Lab.
  5. Univ. of Montana, Missoula, MT (United States). Dept. of Computer Science
  6. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Inst. for Geophysics, Dept. of Geological Sciences
  7. Univ. of Zurich (Switzerland). Dept. of Geography
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; NA0003525
Published Article
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Mathematics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1417227; OSTI ID: 1417820