Step-wise changes in glacier flow speed coincide with calving and glacial earthquakes at Helheim Glacier, Greenland

M. Nettles, T.B. Larsen, P. Elósegui, G.S. Hamilton, L.A. Stearns, A.P. Ahlstrøm, J.L. Davis, M.L. Andersen, J. de Juan, S.A. Khan, L. Stenseng, G. Ekström, R. Forsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 position of the glacier surface is observed; instead, modest tsunamis associated with the glacial earthquakes implicate glacier calving in the seismogenic process. Our results link changes in glacier velocity directly to calving-front behavior at Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, on timescales as short as minutes to hours, and clarify the mechanism by which glacial earthquakes occur.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL24503
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2008

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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