Leigh Stearns

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Fjord-scale circulation forced by rising turbulent plumes of subglacial meltwater has been identified as one possible mechanism of oceanic heat transfer to marine-terminating outlet glaciers. This study uses buoyant plume theory and a nonhydrostatic, three-dimensional ocean–icemodel of a typical outlet glacier fjord in west Greenland to investigate the(More)
Submarine melting is an important contributor to the mass balance of tidewater glaciers in Greenland, and has been suggested as a trigger for their widespread acceleration. Our understanding of this process is limited, however. It generally relies on the simplified model of subglacial discharge in a homogeneous ocean, where the melting circulation consists(More)
Large, deep-keeled icebergs are ubiquitous in Greenland’s outlet glacial fjords. Here we use the movement of these icebergs to quantify flow variability in Sermilik Fjord, southeast Greenland, from the ice mélange through the fjord to the shelf. In the ice mélange, a proglacial mixture of sea ice and icebergs, we find that icebergs consistently track the(More)
Icebergs calved from tidewater glaciers represent about one third to one half of the freshwater flux from the Greenland ice sheet to the surrounding ocean. Using multiple satellite datasets, we quantify the first fjord-wide distributions of iceberg sizes and characteristics for three fjords with distinct hydrography and geometry: Sermilik Fjord, Rink Isbræ(More)
[1] Geodetic observations show several large, sudden increases in flow speed at Helheim Glacier, one of Greenland’s largest outlet glaciers, during summer, 2007. These step-like accelerations, detected along the length of the glacier, coincide with teleseismically detected glacial earthquakes and major iceberg calving events. No coseismic offset in the(More)
[1] The rapid unloading of ice from the southeastern sector of the Greenland ice sheet between 2001 and 2006 caused an elastic uplift of 35 mm at a GPS site in Kulusuk. Most of the uplift results from ice dynamic-induced volume losses on two nearby outlet glaciers. Volume loss from Helheim Glacier, calculated from sequential digital elevation models,(More)
Force-balance calculations on Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica, reveal large spatial variations in the along-flow component of driving stress with corresponding sticky spots that are stationary over time. On the large scale, flow resistance is partitioned between basal (�80%) and lateral (�20%) drag. Ice flow is due mostly to basal sliding and concentrated(More)
New ice-velocity measurements are obtained for the main trunk of Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica, using recently acquired Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery. The velocities are derived from the application of a cross-correlation technique to sequential images acquired in 2000 and 2001. Images were co-registered and(More)
Submarine melt can account for substantial mass loss at tidewater glacier termini. However, the processes controlling submarine melt are poorly understood due to limited observations of submarine termini. Here at a tidewater glacier in central West Greenland, we identify subglacial discharge outlets and infer submarine melt across the terminus using direct(More)
The history of ice velocity and calving front position of Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, a large outlet glacier in East Greenland, is reconstructed from field measurements, aerial photography and satellite imagery for the period 1950–2001. The calving terminus of the glacier has remained in approximately the same position over the past 50 years. There is no(More)