Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 14, 1951–1969, 2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 1951–1969, 2020

Research article 18 Jun 2020

Research article | 18 Jun 2020

Surface emergence of glacial plumes determined by fjord stratification

Eva De Andrés et al.

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Cited articles

Arimitsu, M. L., Piatt, J. F., Madison, E. N., Conaway, J. S., and Hillgruber, N.: Oceanographic gradients and seabird prey community dynamics in glacial fjords, Fish. Oceanogr., 21, 148–169,, 2012. 
Arrigo, K. R., van Dijken, G. L., Castelao, R. M., Luo, H., Rennermalm, Å. K., Tedesco, M., Mote, T. L., Oliver, H., and Yager, P. L.: Melting glaciers stimulate large summer phytoplankton blooms in southwest Greenland waters, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 6278–6285,, 2017. 
Baines, P. G.: Two-dimensional plumes in stratified environments, J. Fluid Mech., 471, 315–337,, 2002. 
Bamber, J., van den Broeke, M., Ettema, J., Lenaerts, J., and Rignot, E.: Recent large increases in freshwater fluxes from Greenland into the North Atlantic, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19501,, 2012. 
Bhatia, M. P., Kujawinski, E. B., Das, S. B., Breier, C. F., Henderson, P. B., and Charette, M. A.: Greenland meltwater as a significant and potentially bioavailable source of iron to the ocean, Nat. Geosci., 6, 274–278,, 2013. 
Short summary
Buoyant plumes at tidewater glaciers result from localized subglacial discharges of surface melt. They promote glacier submarine melting and influence the delivery of nutrients to the fjord's surface waters. Combining plume theory with observations, we have found that increased fjord stratification, which is due to larger meltwater content, prevents the vertical growth of the plume and buffers submarine melting. We discuss the implications for nutrient fluxes, CO2 trapping and water export.