Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

    
Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home
ABOUT MODIS
MODIS Publications Link
MODIS Presentations Link
MODIS Biographies Link
MODIS Science Team Meetings Link
 

 

 

McGrath, D; Steffen, K; Overeem, I; Mernild, SH; Hasholt, B; van den Broeke, M (2010). Sediment plumes as a proxy for local ice-sheet runoff in Kangerlussuaq Fjord, West Greenland. JOURNAL OF GLACIOLOGY, 56(199), 813-821.

Abstract
Meltwater runoff is an important component of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and contributes to eustatic sea-level rise. In situ measurements of river runoff at the 325 outlets are nonexistent due to logistical difficulties. We develop a novel methodology using satellite observations of sediment plumes as a proxy for the onset, duration and volume of meltwater runoff from a basin of the GrIS. Sediment plumes integrate numerous poorly constrained processes, including meltwater refreezing and supra- and englacial water storage, and are formed by meltwater that exits the GrIS and enters the ocean. Plume characteristics are measured in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, band 1, 250m) satellite imagery during the 2001-08 melt seasons. Plume formation and cessation in Kangerlussuaq Fjord, West Greenland, are positively correlated (r(2) = 0.88, n = 5, p < 0.05; r(2) = 0.93, n = 5, p < 0.05) with ablation onset and cessation at the Kangerlussuaq Transect automatic weather station S5 (490 m a.s.I., 6 km from the ice margin). Plume length is positively correlated (r(2) = 0.52, n = 35, p < 0.05) with observed 4 day mean Watson River discharge throughout the 2007 and 2008 melt seasons. Plume length is used to infer instantaneous and annual cumulative Watson River discharge between 2001 and 2008. Reconstructed cumulative discharge values overestimate observed cumulative discharge values for 2007 and 2008 by 15% and 29%, respectively.

DOI:

ISSN:
0022-1430

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page