Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Sarah B. Das

»Antarctic meltwater flux, GRL, 2013
»Tropical Pacific influence on W. Antarctic marine aerosols, J. Climate, 2013
»Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica accumulation, GRL, 2013
»ACCMIP multi-model global nitrogen and sulfur deposition dataset, ACP, 2013
»Influence of ice sheet geometry and supraglacial lakes on seasonal ice flow, TC, 2013
»Greenland Iron Export, Nature Geosc, 2013
»Greenland Organic Carbon Export, GCA, 2013
»Amundsen Coast Sea Ice and Polynya Variability, JGR, 2013
»Ice Core 10Be Records, EPSL, 2012
»Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Melting, JGR, 2012
»Greenland discharge isotope mixing model, J. Glac., 2011
»Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, NRC Report, 2011
»Greenland Ice Sheet DOM, GCA, 2010
»Ice Sheet Hydrofracture and Water-transport Model, GRL, 2009
»Greenland Supraglacial Lake Drainage, Science, 2008
»Greenland Seasonal Speedup, Science, 2008
»West Antarctica Holocene Climate, JGR, 2008
»Greenland Accumulation, J. Climate, 2006
»Melt Layer Formation, J. Glac, 2005
»Whillans Ice Stream Deceleration, GRL, 2005
»Siple Dome Temperature Variability, Annals Glac., 2002
»Patagonian Icefield SAR, JGR, 1996

Krawczynski, M.J., M. D. Behn, S. B. Das, and I. Joughin , Constraints on the lake volume required for hydrofracture through ice sheets , Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2008GL036765

Water-filled cracks are an effective mechanism to drive hydro-fractures through thick ice sheets. Crack geometry is therefore critical in assessing whether a supraglacial lake contains a sufficient volume of water to keep a crack water-filled until it reaches the bed.  In this study, we investigate fracture propagation using a linear elastic fracture mechanics model to calculate the dimensions of water-filled cracks beneath supraglacial lakes. We find that the cross-sectional area of water-filled cracks increases non-linearly with ice sheet thickness. Using these results, we place volumetric constraints on the amount of water necessary to drive cracks through ~1 km of sub-freezing ice. For ice sheet regions under little tension, lakes larger than 0.25–0.80 km in diameter contain sufficient water to rapidly drive hydro-fractures through 1–1.5 km of subfreezing ice. This represents ~98% of the meltwater volume held in supraglacial lakes in the central western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

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