Articles | Volume 17, issue 12
Research article
19 Dec 2023
Research article |  | 19 Dec 2023

Surging of a Hudson Strait-scale ice stream: subglacial hydrology matters but the process details mostly do not

Matthew Drew and Lev Tarasov

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Cited articles

Alley, R.: Water-Pressure Coupling of Sliding and Bed Deformation: I. Water System, J. Glaciol., 35, 108–118,, 1989. a
Alley, R. B.: How can low-pressure channels and deforming tills coexist subglacially?, J. Glaciol., 38, 200–207,, 1992. a
Alley, R. B., Anandakrishnan, S., Bentley, C. R., and Lord, N.: A water-piracy hypothesis for the stagnation of Ice Stream C, Antarctica, Ann. Glaciol., 20, 187–194,, 1994. a
Anandakrishnan, S. and Alley, R. B.: Stagnation of Ice Stream C, West Antarctica by water piracy, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 265–268,, 1997. a
Anderson, R. S., Hallet, B., Walder, J., and Aubry, B. F.: Observations in a cavity beneath grinnell glacier, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 7, 63–70,, 1982. a
Short summary
The interaction of fast-flowing regions of continental ice sheets with their beds governs how quickly they slide and therefore flow. The coupling of fast ice to its bed is controlled by the pressure of meltwater at its base. It is currently poorly understood how the physical details of these hydrologic systems affect ice speedup. Using numerical models we find, surprisingly, that they largely do not, except for the duration of the surge. This suggests that cheap models are sufficient.