We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Characteristics of Supraglacial Channels and Drainage Networks on Antarctic Ice Shelves

CHEN, JIAO (2023) Characteristics of Supraglacial Channels and Drainage Networks on Antarctic Ice Shelves. Masters thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Supraglacial channels that flow on ice shelves can store and transport large volumes of meltwater to various locations (e.g., moulins, lakes, crevasses) during the melt season, so they play an important role in glacial hydrology and ice shelf stability. However, the current understanding of supraglacial channels is limited, especially the underlying processes and the controls on their development and variability. This study uses multiple remotely sensed data including satellite imagery and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to measure supraglacial channels in Antarctica. Five contrasting ice shelves around the margin of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are chosen as the study sites – Bach, Nansen, Nivlisen, Riiser-Larsen and Roi Baudouin ice shelves. Supraglacial lakes and channels are mapped by automatic delineation method during the melt season in 2020 and 2022, and key fluvial metrics are calculated, e.g., number, length, width, depth, sinuosity, bifurcation ratio, orientation, slopes and drainage density. Extensive supraglacial lakes and channels were observed on all five Antarctic ice shelves during the peak of the melt season and most were interconnected to form a total of 119 channel networks at different scales. The results demonstrate that: (ⅰ) supraglacial channel networks often occurred in areas with low elevations and near grounding lines, (ⅱ) supraglacial channel networks on different ice shelves exhibited different drainage patterns and hydromorphic characteristics, (ⅲ) the surface topography and structural glaciology of ice shelves affected the distribution of the supraglacial channel network. Future work could focus on long-term observation of supraglacial channels and exploring the applicability of terrestrial river-related research methods (e.g., hydrological modelling) to supraglacial channels.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Keywords:Antarctica; supraglacial hydrology; ice sheet; supraglacial channel; ice shelf
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 May 2023 09:27

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter