Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 15, 897–907, 2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 897–907, 2021

Research article 19 Feb 2021

Research article | 19 Feb 2021

The cooling signature of basal crevasses in a hard-bedded region of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Ian E. McDowell et al.

Data sets

Full-depth ice temperature measurements from southwestern Greenland’s ablation zone, 2015-2017 Ian McDowell, Neil Humphrey, Joel Harper, and Toby Meierbachtol

Short summary
Ice temperature controls rates of internal deformation and the onset of basal sliding. To identify heat transfer mechanisms and englacial heat sources within Greenland's ablation zone, we examine a 2–3-year continuous temperature record from nine full-depth boreholes. Thermal decay after basal crevasses release heat in the near-basal ice likely produces the observed cooling. Basal crevasses in Greenland can affect the basal ice rheology and indicate a potentially complex basal hydrologic system.