Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 11, 2491–2506, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2491-2017
The Cryosphere, 11, 2491–2506, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2491-2017

Research article 03 Nov 2017

Research article | 03 Nov 2017

Dark ice dynamics of the south-west Greenland Ice Sheet

Andrew J. Tedstone et al.

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Short summary
The bare ice albedo of the south-west Greenland ice sheet varies dramatically between years. The reasons are unclear but likely involve darkening by inorganic particulates, cryoconite and ice algae. We use satellite imagery to examine dark ice dynamics and climate model outputs to find likely climatological controls. Outcropping particulates can explain the spatial extent of dark ice, but the darkening itself is likely due to ice algae growth controlled by meltwater and light availability.