Climatic control of the surge periodicity of an Icelandic outlet glacier
Article first published online: 29 JUL 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Quaternary Science
Volume 26, Issue 6, pages 561–565, August 2011
How to Cite
Striberger, J., Björck, S., Benediktsson, Í. Ö., Snowball, I., Uvo, C. B., Ingólfsson, Ó. and Kjær, K. H. (2011), Climatic control of the surge periodicity of an Icelandic outlet glacier. J. Quaternary Sci., 26: 561–565. doi: 10.1002/jqs.1527
- Issue published online: 10 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 29 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 31 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAR 2011
- glacial surge;
- surge periodicity;
- varved lake sediments
Surging outlet glaciers are important in draining large ice caps, but the mechanisms controlling surge periodicities are poorly known. We investigated a sediment sequence from the glacier-fed Lake Lögurinn in eastern Iceland, and our unique annually resolved data, based on sedimentary varves, imply that Eyjabakkajökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, began surging about 2200 cal a BP (before 1950 AD). Approximately 1700 cal a BP, the glacier started to surge at a uniform 34- to 38-year periodicity that prevailed until the coldest part of the Little Ice Age when the periodicity almost halved to 21–23 years. Since the late 1800 s the surge periodicity of Eyjabakkajökull has returned to a longer period of 35–40 years. We suggest that surge periodicities of Eyjabakkajökull are forced by climatically driven mass balance changes, which may be a common forcing factor for similar surge-type outlet glaciers. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.