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Date:10/19/2013

sponse to active processes in the mantle.


Glacier slip and seismicity induced by surface melt
Peter L. Moore et al., Department of Geological and Atmospheric Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA; pmoore@iastate.edu. Co-authors: J. Paul Winberry, Neal R. Iverson, Knut A. Christianson, Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Miriam Jackson, Mark E. Mathison, and Denis Cohen. Posted online ahead of print 16 Oct. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34760.1.

Peter Moore and colleagues installed instruments for measuring seismic activity, sliding, and stress at the bottom of Engabreen, a glacier in northern Norway where a hydro-power facility allows human access to the glacier bed. The instruments measured pronounced glacier response to meltwater input during the onset of summer melt in May 2010 and 2011. This paper documents three separate episodes in which surface melt or precipitation introduced a pulse of water to the glacier bed and our instruments measured the glacier's response. The added water briefly enhanced glacier sliding as it pressurized cavities between the ice and underlying bedrock, locally lifting the ice. Enhanced sliding ceased, however, when the increased cavity size and connectivity allowed the water to be evacuated from the cavities more efficiently -- a few hours in each case. During each of these events, broadband seismometers in the tunnels a few meters below the glacier bed detected tilt, interpreted as a slight deformation of the rock as water pressurized basal cavities. Though measurements also suggest that enhanced sliding at the bed exploited a frictional interface, no seismic activity directly associated with this slip could be resolved.


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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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