A non-invasive investigation of polythermal glacial hydrology: Stagnation Glacier, Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada
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AbstractIn comparison to temperate examples, there are relatively few studies to date focused on the hydrology of polythermal glaciers. In particular, seasonal evolution of hydrological architecture at high latitude glaciers is poorly understood, with exception of a number of recent hydrochemical and dye tracing analyses. However, contemporary research has shown ground penetrating radar (GPR) to be effective tool for imaging englacial structures. To investigate seasonal evolution of englacial, subglacial and ice-marginal hydrology at the informally named Stagnation Glacier, Bylot Island, Nunavut, repeated sub-surface surveys using GPR were conducted, complemented by dye tracing and analysis of proglacial instream sediment transport. Results from all three methods strongly indicated progressive, yet subtle development of a polythermal glacier's hydrology through the summer. This work documents structural thermo-hydrologic progression at a polythermal glacier, and the integration of results, and interpretations presented here have potentially significant implications for the conceptual understanding of Arctic glacial hydrology, including water pressure distribution.
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