The role of englacial hydrology in the filling and drainage of an ice-dammed lake, Kaskawulsh Glacier, Yukon, Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-06
Identifier: 
etd20113
Keywords: 
Glacier
Hydrology
Outburst flood
Englacial hydrology
Ice-penetrating radar
Kaskawulsh Glacier
Abstract: 

Catastrophic drainage of glacier-dammed lakes can have significant downstream impacts. The role of the little-studied englacial hydrological system is investigated during the filling and drainage of an ice-marginal lake dammed by the Kaskawulsh Glacier in Yukon, Canada. Geophysical and hydrometeorological instruments were deployed to monitor the hydrology and dynamics of the lake--glacier system. Water-balance calculations reveal that of the ~44.1 million cubic metres of water in the catchment at peak lake level, the subglacial and englacial reservoirs store approximately 55% and 22%, respectively, compared to 23% in the subaerial lake. Abrupt changes in ice-shelf uplift rates, associated with fracturing and faulting, are linked to the redistribution of englacial water (1.6--6.6% estimated water content) based on borehole water-pressure and radar reflection-power data. Characterizing the dynamic coupling of the reservoirs, and the abrupt nature of connections between them, represents an advance in our conceptual understanding of glacier lake outburst floods.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Gwenn Flowers
Department: 
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Statistics: