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Storstrømmen and L. Bistrup Bræ, North Greenland, Protected From Warm Atlantic Ocean Waters


Storstrømmen and L. Bistrup Bræ are 20- and 10-km wide, surge type glaciers in North Greenland in quiescent phase that terminate in the southernmost floating ice tongue in East Greenland. Novel multi-beam echo sounding data collected in August 2020 indicate a seabed at 350-400 m depth along a relatively uniform ice shelf front, 100 m deeper than expected, but surrounded by shallower terrain (<100 m) over a 30-km wide region that blocks the access of warm, salty, subsurface Atlantic Intermediate Water (AIW) at +1.6°C. Conductivity temperature depth data reveal waters in front of the glaciers at -1.8°C not connected to AIW in the outer fjord, Dove Bugt. The recent grounding line retreat of the glaciers is attributed to glacier thinning at its ablation rate, with little influence of ocean waters, which illustrates the fundamental importance of knowing the bathymetry of glacial fjords.

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