Northeastern Section - 56th Annual Meeting - 2021

Paper No. 10-2
Presentation Time: 4:50 PM


REITER, Gabriella, GEE, Anita, MILLER, Rosa, KANDZIORA, Ryan, CHO, Wanhi and BEHN, Mark, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Devlin Hall 213, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Variations in the movement of glacial ice have been linked to the efficiency of meltwater transport from the surface to the bed of the Greenland ice sheet. The formation and evolution of supraglacial meltwater features vary on both an intra- and inter-seasonal basis, modulating the flux of meltwater to the bed. This is becoming especially pertinent with recent climatic warming, which is dramatically impacting meltwater trends in this specific region. The goal of this study is to contrast the evolution and drainage of supraglacial lakes on Petermann Glacier (Northwestern Greenland) across a high meltwater (2019) and a low meltwater (2017) year. To better understand the seasonal evolution of supraglacial lakes, we will utilize data from Arctic DEM to help generate high-resolution maps of the river systems and supraglacial lakes on Petermann Glacier. The study will use the satellite images from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) to compare and contrast the depth and area of supraglacial lakes on the floating tongue versus the grounded ice. We plan to estimate lake depth by using the optical properties of lakes in the satellite imagery. We anticipate that the supraglacial lakes in the grounded and floating ice will be deeper and have a larger surface area in a year with high meltwater production compared to a year with low meltwater production. Because of the greater variation in underlying topography below grounded ice, we also expect that lake basins on the grounded ice will be deeper and thus hold more meltwater. The results of this study can be used to predict how further climate warming will affect glacial hydrology in Northern Greenland, as well as expand upon our current understanding of Northern Greenland glacier processes.