Campaign to map the bathymetry of a major Greenland fjord

Authors


Abstract

Over the past 2 decades, large outlet glaciers in western and southeastern Greenland have accelerated, thinned, and retreated [Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006; Howat et al., 2007], leading to a doubling of Greenland's contribution to sea level rise. Scientists believe that these changes were driven partly by increased submarine melting at the front of these glaciers in Greenland's deep fjords [Holland et al., 2008; Murray et al., 2010] due to increased inflow of warm subtropical waters from the Atlantic Ocean [Straneo et al., 2010; Motyka et al., 2011]. Improved understanding of the circulation within these fjords is important because their response to regional atmospheric, oceanic, and glacier variability is crucial to understanding the past and forecasting the future behavior of the glaciers. One major obstacle to progress in this area, however, is the lack of bathymetric data for the fjords.

Acknowledgment

We thank S. Swift (WHOI) for help in quality controlling the bathymetric data. We acknowledge research support from Geocenter Denmark, the Leverhulme Trust, the Clark Foundation, WHOI's Climate Change Institute, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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