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Brief Communication "Expansion of meltwater lakes on the Greenland ice sheet"

DOI: 10.5194/tcd-6-4447-2012

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Abstract:

Forty years of satellite imagery reveal that meltwater lakes on the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet have expanded substantially inland to higher elevations with warming. These lakes are important because they provide a mechanism for bringing water to the ice bed, warming the ice and causing sliding. Inland expansion of lakes could accelerate ice flow by bringing water to previously frozen bed, potentially increasing future rates of mass loss. Increasing lake elevations in West Greenland closely follow the rise of the mass balance equilibrium line, suggesting no physical limit on lake expansion there. This is not included in ice sheet models.

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