Articles | Volume 14, issue 9
The Cryosphere, 14, 3175–3194, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-3175-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 3175–3194, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-3175-2020
Research article
18 Sep 2020
Research article | 18 Sep 2020

An analysis of instabilities and limit cycles in glacier-dammed reservoirs

Christian Schoof

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Latest update: 17 May 2022
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Short summary
Glacier lake outburst floods are major glacial hazards in which ice-dammed reservoirs rapidly drain, often in a recurring fashion. The main flood phase typically involves a growing channel being eroded into ice by water flow. What is poorly understood is how that channel first comes into being. In this paper, I investigate how an under-ice drainage system composed of small, naturally occurring voids can turn into a channel and how this can explain the cyclical behaviour of outburst floods.