No Cover Image

Journal article 283 views 36 downloads

Enthalpy balance theory unifies diverse glacier surge behaviour

Douglas I. Benn, Ian J. Hewitt, Adrian Luckman Orcid Logo

Annals of Glaciology, Pages: 1 - 7

Swansea University Author: Adrian Luckman Orcid Logo

  • 63226.pdf

    PDF | Version of Record

    This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.

    Download (2.64MB)

Check full text

DOI (Published version): 10.1017/aog.2023.23

Abstract

It is commonly asserted that there are two distinct classes of glacier surges: slow, long-duration ‘Svalbard-type’ surges, triggered by a transition from cold- to warm-based conditions (thermal switching), and fast, shorter-duration ‘Alaska-type’ surges triggered by a reorganisation of the basal dra...

Full description

Published in: Annals of Glaciology
ISSN: 0260-3055 1727-5644
Published: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63226
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Abstract: It is commonly asserted that there are two distinct classes of glacier surges: slow, long-duration ‘Svalbard-type’ surges, triggered by a transition from cold- to warm-based conditions (thermal switching), and fast, shorter-duration ‘Alaska-type’ surges triggered by a reorganisation of the basal drainage system (hydraulic switching). This classification, however, reflects neither the diversity of surges in Svalbard and Alaska (and other regions), nor the fundamental dynamic processes underlying all surges. We argue that enthalpy balance theory offers a framework for understanding the spectrum of glacier surging behaviours while emphasising their essential dynamic unity. In this paper, we summarise enthalpy balance theory, illustrate its potential to explain so-called ‘Svalbard-type’ and ‘Alaska-type’ surges using a single set of principles, and show examples of a much wider range of glacier surge behaviour than previously observed. We then identify some future directions for research, including strategies for testing predictions of the theory against field and remote sensing data, and priorities for numerical model development.
Keywords: Glacier modelling, glacier surges, subglacial processes
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Start Page: 1
End Page: 7