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Volume 11, issue 1
The Cryosphere, 11, 451-467, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-451-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 11, 451-467, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-451-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 08 Feb 2017

Research article | 08 Feb 2017

Connected subglacial lake drainage beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

Benjamin E. Smith et al.
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Cited articles  
Bindschadler, R. and Choi, H.: Increased water storage at ice-stream onsets: a critical mechanism?, J. Glaciol., 53, 163–171, 2007.
Blair, J. B. and Hofton, M.: IceBridge LVIS L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Product, Boulder, Colorado USA, NASA DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, https://doi.org/10.5067/OIKFGJNBM6OO, 2010, updated 2016.
Blankenship, D. D., Kempf, S. D., Young, D. A., Roberts, J. L., van Ommen, T., Forsberg, R., Siegert, M. J., Palmer, S. J., and Dowdeswell, J. A.: IceBridge Riegl Laser Altimeter L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Triplets, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center, https://doi.org/10.5067/JV9DENETK13E, 2012, updated 2013.
Carter, S. P., Fricker, H. A., Blankenship, D. D., Johnson, J. V., Lipscomb, W. H., Price, S. F., and Young, D. A.: Modeling 5 years of subglacial lake activity in the MacAyeal Ice Stream (Antarctica) catchment through assimilation of ICESat laser altimetry, J. Glaciol., 57, 1098–1112, 2011.
Christie, F. D. W., Bingham, R. G., Gourmelen, N., Tett, S. F. B., and Muto, A.: Four-decade record of pervasive grounding line retreat along the Bellingshasuen Margin of West Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 5741–5749, 2016.
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In this paper we investigate elevation changes of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, one of the main sources of excess ice discharge into the ocean. We find that in early 2013, four subglacial lakes separated by 100 km drained suddenly, discharging more than 3 km3 of water under the fastest part of the glacier in less than 6 months. Concurrent ice-speed measurements show only minor changes, suggesting that ice dynamics are not strongly sensitive to changes in water flow.
In this paper we investigate elevation changes of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, one of the...
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