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Greenland | Greenland ice sheet hydrology | system of Greenland ice sheet hydrology | A review Greenland ice sheet hydrology

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Greenland ice sheet hydrology

For assessing ice dynamics’ reaction to a warming climate and potential future contributions to sea level rise, it is crucial to comprehend the hydrology of something like the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). A rapidly expanding body of literature describing the seasonal and annual development of the GrIS hydrologic system has been produced as a result of recent observed increases in temperature and melt extent over the GrIS, which have prompted numerous remote sensing, modelling, and field studies assessing the response of the ice sheet and outlet glaciers to increasing meltwater input.

System of Greenland ice sheet hydrology

This system is characterised by supraglacial streams and lakes that drain through moulins, allowing meltwater to enter englacial and subglacial habitats and temporarily boost the basal sliding speeds of outlet glaciers. On seasonal and annual periods, ice dynamics may not be much altered, but englacial and subglacial drainage systems may adapt to efficiently drain more meltwater. Remote sensing images show fjord sediment plumes as direct meltwater outputs from both proglacial rivers coming from land-terminating glaciers and subglacial conduits under marine-terminating glaciers.

A review Greenland ice sheet hydrology

This review summarises the current level of knowledge on the hydrology of the glacial ice sheet (GrIS), from creation of surface meltwater through its transit through supra-, en-, sub-, and proglacial processes to its eventual export to the ocean. The bigger picture of how future changes in Greenland hydrology may affect ice sheet glacier dynamics and ultimately global sea level rise can be advanced with continuing work focusing on both process-level and systems study of the hydrologic system.

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