Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article
 | Highlight paper
08 Feb 2017
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 08 Feb 2017

Connected subglacial lake drainage beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

Benjamin E. Smith, Noel Gourmelen, Alexander Huth, and Ian Joughin

Data sets

ceBridge LVIS L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Product J. B. Blair and M. Hofton

IceBridge Riegl Laser Altimeter L2 Geolocated Surface Elevation Triplets, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado USA D. D. Blankenship, S. D. Kempf, D. A. Young, J. L. Roberts, T. van Ommen, R. Forsberg, M. J. Siegert, S. J. Palmer, and J. A. Dowdeswell

IceBridge ATM L1B Qfit Elevation and Return Strength W. Krabil

IceBridge MCoRDS L2 Ice Thickness, Version 1 C. Leuschen, P. Gogineni, F. Rodriguez-Morales, J. Paden, and C. Allen

MEaSUREs Antarctic Grounding Line from Differential Satellite Radar Interferometry E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl

MEaSUREs InSAR-Based Antarctica Ice Velocity Map E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl

Short summary
In this paper we investigate elevation changes of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, one of the main sources of excess ice discharge into the ocean. We find that in early 2013, four subglacial lakes separated by 100 km drained suddenly, discharging more than 3 km3 of water under the fastest part of the glacier in less than 6 months. Concurrent ice-speed measurements show only minor changes, suggesting that ice dynamics are not strongly sensitive to changes in water flow.