Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
The Cryosphere, 12, 3653–3669, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3653-2018
The Cryosphere, 12, 3653–3669, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3653-2018

Research article 26 Nov 2018

Research article | 26 Nov 2018

Microbial processes in the weathering crust aquifer of a temperate glacier

Brent C. Christner et al.

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Interactive discussion

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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
AR by Anna Wenzel on behalf of the Authors (01 Nov 2018)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (03 Nov 2018) by Jürg Schweizer
AR by Brent Christner on behalf of the Authors (05 Nov 2018)  Author's response    Manuscript
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Short summary
Solar radiation that penetrates into the glacier heats the ice to produce nutrient-containing meltwater and provides light that fuels an ecosystem within the ice. Our analysis documents a near-surface photic zone in a glacier that functions as a liquid water oasis in the ice over half the annual cycle. Since microbial growth on glacier surfaces reduces the amount of solar radiation reflected, microbial processes at depths below the surface may also darken ice and accelerate meltwater production.