Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Research article
23 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 23 Jan 2023

The control of short-term ice mélange weakening episodes on calving activity at major Greenland outlet glaciers

Adrien Wehrlé, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli

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Cited articles

Amundson, J., Truffer, M., Lüthi, M. P., Fahnestock, M., Motyka, R. J., and West, M.: Glacier, fjord, and seismic response to recent large calving events, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L22501,, 2008. a
Amundson, J. M. and Burton, J. C.: Quasi-Static Granular Flow of Ice Mélange, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf., 123, 2243–2257,, 2018. a
Amundson, J. M., Fahnestock, M., Truffer, M., Brown, J., Lüthi, M., and Motyka, R.: Ice mélange dynamics and implications for terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, J. Geophys. Res, 115, F01005,, 2010a. a
Amundson, J. M., Fahnestock, M., Truffer, M., Brown, J., Lüthi, M. P., and Motyka, R. J.: Ice mélange dynamics and implications for terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F01005,, 2010b. a
Bevan, S. L., Luckman, A. J., Benn, D. I., Cowton, T., and Todd, J.: Impact of warming shelf waters on ice mélange and terminus retreat at a large SE Greenland glacier, The Cryosphere, 13, 2303–2315,, 2019. a, b, c, d, e, f
Short summary
We characterized short-lived episodes of ice mélange weakening (IMW) at the front of three major Greenland outlet glaciers. Through a continuous detection at the front of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier during the June-to-September period from 2018 to 2021, we found that 87 % of the IMW episodes occurred prior to a large-scale calving event. Using a simple model for ice mélange motion, we further characterized the IMW process as self-sustained through the existence of an IMW–calving feedback.