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Volume 10, issue 4
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1769-1781, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-1769-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1769-1781, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-1769-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  04 Oct 2018

04 Oct 2018

Subglacial topography, ice thickness, and bathymetry of Kongsfjorden, northwestern Svalbard

Katrin Lindbäck1, Jack Kohler1, Rickard Pettersson2, Christopher Nuth3, Kirsty Langley4, Alexandra Messerli1, Dorothée Vallot2, Kenichi Matsuoka1, and Ola Brandt5 Katrin Lindbäck et al.
  • 1Norwegian Polar Insitute, Framsentret, Postboks 6606, Langnes, 9296 Tromsø, Norway
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3University of Oslo, Postboks 1047 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 4Asiaq Greenland Survey, Postboks 1003, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
  • 5Norwegian Coastal Administration, Kystveien 30, 4841 Arendal, Norway

Abstract. Svalbard tidewater glaciers are retreating, which will affect fjord circulation and ecosystems when glacier fronts become land-terminating. Knowledge of the subglacial topography and bathymetry under retreating glaciers is important to modelling future scenarios of fjord circulation and glacier dynamics. We present high-resolution (150m gridded) digital elevation models of subglacial topography, ice thickness, and ice surface elevation of five tidewater glaciers in Kongsfjorden (1100km2), northwestern Spitsbergen, based on  ∼ 1700km airborne and ground-based ice-penetrating radar profiles. The digital elevation models (DEMs) cover the tidewater glaciers Blomstrandbreen, Conwaybreen, Kongsbreen, Kronebreen, and Kongsvegen and are merged with bathymetric and land DEMs for the non-glaciated areas. The large-scale subglacial topography of the study area is characterized by a series of troughs and highs. The minimum subglacial elevation is −180m above sea level (a.s.l.), the maximum subglacial elevation is 1400ma.s.l., and the maximum ice thickness is 740m. Three of the glaciers, Kongsbreen, Kronebreen, and Kongsvegen, have the potential to retreat by  ∼ 10km before they become land-terminating. The compiled data set covers one of the most studied regions in Svalbard and is valuable for future studies of glacier dynamics, geology, hydrology, and fjord circulation. The data set is freely available at the Norwegian Polar Data Centre (https://doi.org/10.21334/npolar.2017.702ca4a7).

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Tidewater glaciers terminate directly into the sea and the glacier fronts are important feeding areas for birds and marine mammals. Svalbard tidewater glaciers are retreating, which will affect fjord circulation and ecosystems when glacier fronts end on land. In this paper, we present digital maps of ice thickness and topography under five tidewater glaciers in Kongsfjorden, northwestern Svalbard, which will be useful in studies of future glacier changes in the area.
Tidewater glaciers terminate directly into the sea and the glacier fronts are important feeding...
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