Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
02 Apr 2020
Research article | 02 Apr 2020
On the Green's function emergence from interferometry of seismic wave fields generated in high-melt glaciers: implications for passive imaging and monitoring
Amandine Sergeant et al.
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Agathe Serripierri, Ludovic Moreau, Pierre Boue, Jérôme Weiss, and Philippe Roux
The Cryosphere, 16, 2527–2543,Short summary
As a result of global warming, the sea ice is disappearing at a much faster rate than predicted by climate models. To better understand and predict its ongoing decline, we deployed 247 geophones on the fast ice in Van Mijen Fjord in Svalbard, Norway, in March 2019. The analysis of these data provided a precise daily evolution of the sea-ice parameters at this location with high spatial and temporal resolution and accuracy. The results obtained are consistent with the observations made in situ.
Małgorzata Chmiel, Maxime Godano, Marco Piantini, Pierre Brigode, Florent Gimbert, Maarten Bakker, Françoise Courboulex, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Diane Rivet, Anthony Sladen, David Ambrois, and Margot Chapuis
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1541–1558,Short summary
On 2 October 2020, the French Maritime Alps were struck by an extreme rainfall event caused by Storm Alex. Here, we show that seismic data provide the timing and velocity of the propagation of flash-flood waves along the Vésubie River. We also detect 114 small local earthquakes triggered by the rainwater weight and/or its infiltration into the ground. This study paves the way for future works that can reveal further details of the impact of Storm Alex on the Earth’s surface and subsurface.
Fabian Walter, Elias Hodel, Erik Mannerfelt, Nicolas Ackermann, Kristen Cook, Michael Dietze, Livia Estermann, Daniel Farinotti, Martin Fengler, Lukas Hammerschmidt, Flavia Hänsli, Jacob Hirschberg, Brian McArdell, and Peter Molnar
Debris flows are dangerous sediment-water mixtures in steep terrain. Their formation takes place in poorly accessible terrain, where instrumentation cannot be installed. Here we propose to monitor such source terrain with an autonomous drone for mapping sediments, which were left behind by debris flows or may contribute to future events. Short flight intervals elucidate changes of such sediments providing important information for landscape evolution and the likelihood of future debris flows.
Marco Piantini, Florent Gimbert, Hervé Bellot, and Alain Recking
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 1423–1439,Short summary
We carry out laboratory experiments to investigate the formation and propagation dynamics of exogenous sediment pulses in mountain rivers. We show that the ability of a self-formed deposit to destabilize and generate sediment pulses depends on the sand content of the mixture, while each pulse turns out to be formed by a front, a body, and a tail. Seismic measurements reveal a complex and non-unique dependency between seismic power and sediment pulse transport characteristics.
Małgorzata Chmiel, Fabian Walter, Lukas Preiswerk, Martin Funk, Lorenz Meier, and Florent Brenguier
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
The hanging glacier on Switzerland’s Mount Eiger regularly produces ice avalanches which threaten tourist activity and nearby infrastructure. Reliable forecasting remains a challenge as physical processes leading to ice rupture are not fully understood yet. We propose a new method for hanging glacier monitoring using repeating englacial seismic signals. Our approach allows monitoring temperature and meltwater driven changes occurring in the hanging glacier at seasonal and diurnal timescales.
Nathan Maier, Florent Gimbert, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, and Adrien Gilbert
The Cryosphere, 15, 1435–1451,Short summary
In Greenland, ice motion and the surface geometry depend on the friction at the bed. We use satellite measurements and modeling to determine how ice speeds and friction are related across the ice sheet. The relationships indicate that ice flowing over bed bumps sets the friction across most of the ice sheet's on-land regions. This result helps simplify and improve our understanding of how ice motion will change in the future.
Christian Vincent, Diego Cusicanqui, Bruno Jourdain, Olivier Laarman, Delphine Six, Adrien Gilbert, Andrea Walpersdorf, Antoine Rabatel, Luc Piard, Florent Gimbert, Olivier Gagliardini, Vincent Peyaud, Laurent Arnaud, Emmanuel Thibert, Fanny Brun, and Ugo Nanni
The Cryosphere, 15, 1259–1276,Short summary
In situ glacier point mass balance data are crucial to assess climate change in different regions of the world. Unfortunately, these data are rare because huge efforts are required to conduct in situ measurements on glaciers. Here, we propose a new approach from remote sensing observations. The method has been tested on the Argentière and Mer de Glace glaciers (France). It should be possible to apply this method to high-spatial-resolution satellite images and on numerous glaciers in the world.
Eef C. H. van Dongen, Guillaume Jouvet, Shin Sugiyama, Evgeny A. Podolskiy, Martin Funk, Douglas I. Benn, Fabian Lindner, Andreas Bauder, Julien Seguinot, Silvan Leinss, and Fabian Walter
The Cryosphere, 15, 485–500,Short summary
The dynamic mass loss of tidewater glaciers is strongly linked to glacier calving. We study calving mechanisms under a thinning regime, based on 5 years of field and remote-sensing data of Bowdoin Glacier. Our data suggest that Bowdoin Glacier ungrounded recently, and its calving behaviour changed from calving due to surface crevasses to buoyancy-induced calving resulting from basal crevasses. This change may be a precursor to glacier retreat.
Michaela Wenner, Clément Hibert, Alec van Herwijnen, Lorenz Meier, and Fabian Walter
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 339–361,Short summary
Mass movements constitute a risk to property and human life. In this study we use machine learning to automatically detect and classify slope failure events using ground vibrations. We explore the influence of non-ideal though commonly encountered conditions: poor network coverage, small number of events, and low signal-to-noise ratios. Our approach enables us to detect the occurrence of rare events of high interest in a large data set of more than a million windowed seismic signals.
Ugo Nanni, Florent Gimbert, Christian Vincent, Dominik Gräff, Fabian Walter, Luc Piard, and Luc Moreau
The Cryosphere, 14, 1475–1496,Short summary
Our study addresses key questions on the subglacial drainage system physics through a novel observational approach that overcomes traditional limitations. We conducted, over 2 years, measurements of the subglacial water-flow-induced seismic noise and of glacier basal sliding speeds. We then inverted for the subglacial channel's hydraulic pressure gradient and hydraulic radius and investigated the links between the equilibrium state of subglacial channels and glacier basal sliding.
Fabian Lindner, Fabian Walter, Gabi Laske, and Florent Gimbert
The Cryosphere, 14, 287–308,
Fabian Walter, Arnaud Burtin, Brian W. McArdell, Niels Hovius, Bianca Weder, and Jens M. Turowski
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 939–955,Short summary
Debris flows are naturally occuring mass motion events, which mobilize loose material in steep Alpine torrents. The destructive potential of debris flows is well known and demands early warning. Here we apply the amplitude source location (ASL) method to seismic ground vibrations induced by a debris flow event in Switzerland. The method efficiently detects the initiation of the event and traces its front propagation down the torrent channel.
Related subject area
Discipline: Glaciers | Subject: Field StudiesGround-penetrating radar imaging reveals glacier's drainage network in 3DA portable lightweight in situ analysis (LISA) box for ice and snow analysisRevisiting Austfonna, Svalbard, with potential field methods – a new characterization of the bed topography and its physical propertiesSupraglacial debris thickness variability: impact on ablation and relation to terrain properties
Gregory Church, Andreas Bauder, Melchior Grab, and Hansruedi Maurer
The Cryosphere, 15, 3975–3988,Short summary
In this field study, we acquired a 3D radar survey over an active drainage network that transported meltwater through a Swiss glacier. We successfully imaged both englacial and subglacial pathways and were able to confirm long-standing glacier hydrology theory regarding meltwater pathways. The direction of these meltwater pathways directly impacts the glacier's velocity, and therefore more insightful field observations are needed in order to improve our understanding of this complex system.
Helle Astrid Kjær, Lisa Lolk Hauge, Marius Simonsen, Zurine Yoldi, Iben Koldtoft, Maria Hörhold, Johannes Freitag, Sepp Kipfstuhl, Anders Svensson, and Paul Vallelonga
The Cryosphere, 15, 3719–3730,Short summary
Ice core analyses are often done in home laboratories after costly transport of samples from the field. This limits the amount of sample that can be analysed. Here, we present the first truly field-portable continuous flow analysis (CFA) system for the analysis of impurities in snow, firn and ice cores while still in the field: the lightweight in situ analysis (LISA) box. LISA is demonstrated in Greenland to reconstruct accumulation, conductivity and peroxide in snow cores.
Marie-Andrée Dumais and Marco Brönner
The Cryosphere, 14, 183–197,Short summary
The subglacial bed of Austfonna is investigated using potential field methods. Airborne gravity data provide a new bed topography, improving on the traditional ground-penetrating radar measurements. Combined with airborne magnetic data, a 2-D forward model reveals the heterogeneity of the subsurface lithology and the physical properties of the bed. Our approach also assesses the presence of softer bed, carbonates and magmatic intrusions under Austfonna, which contribute to subglacial processes.
Lindsey I. Nicholson, Michael McCarthy, Hamish D. Pritchard, and Ian Willis
The Cryosphere, 12, 3719–3734,Short summary
Ground-penetrating radar of supraglacial debris thickness is used to study local thickness variability. Freshly emergent debris cover appears to have higher skewness and kurtosis than more mature debris covers. Accounting for debris thickness variability in ablation models can result in markedly different ice ablation than is calculated using the mean debris thickness. Slope stability modelling reveals likely locations for locally thin debris with high ablation.
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This study explores the capacity to apply ambient noise interferometry to passive seismic recordings in glaciers. Green's function between two seismometers represents the impulse response of the elastic medium. It can be approximated from cross-correlation of random seismic wave fields. For glaciers, its recovery is notoriously difficult due to weak ice seismic scattering. We propose three methods to bridge the gap and show the potential for passive seismic imaging and monitoring of glaciers.
This study explores the capacity to apply ambient noise interferometry to passive seismic...