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Author Topic: Sverdrup Gletscher / Steenstrup Gletscher/ Kjer Gletscher / North West Greenland  (Read 13297 times)

Espen

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Here is another large glacier of Greenland, this time it is Sverdrup Gletscher with a 6.7 km calving front, as most other large outlet glaciers in Greenland this glacier is speeding up and and at the same time retreating, I will report more on this area later in the season because there is so much to report and several glaciers involved:
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 08:21:46 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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A massive calving and retreat active is ongoing around the Sverdrup Gletscher area, while we are staring at Jakobshavn etc.
This is the time to report from Steenstrup and Kjer Gletschers, both glaciers retreated dramatically over the last year.
An unnamed island will soon be be navigable if the process continue, the glacier bridge will simply collapse and "release" the island, the same happened to the island seen in the upper left corner of the animation:

Please click to animate!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 10:29:19 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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Just a follow up on Sverdrup Gletscher and surroundings, as you can see there are other pretty large "ice-cube-producing" machines around. The red line show the calving front in 1989, and the "small" famous cousin Jakobshavn up in the right corner:

Please click to enlarge!
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Espen

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A similar situation as seen at Giesecke Isfjord https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1371.msg61603.html#msg61603

At Kjer Gletscher we will soon see another ice bridge collapse and an island released from GIS:
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Espen

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A longer animation (4 frames) showing the dramatic erosion of the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher:
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Espen

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The ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher, will soon disappear, is it going to happen in 2015?
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Espen

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Dramatic changes at Kjer Gletscher, this ice bridge will soon disappear, and the glacier will change both flow and direction thereafter:

Please click to animate!
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oren

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Thank you Espen for bringing these updates.

Espen

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The Sverdrup-Dietrichson-Steenstrup and Kjer glacier delta started an ongoing retreat session sometimes in the mid 80ties. I have added Jakobshavn in the same scale to compare what sizes we looking at.
As can be seen these 4 glaciers lost substantially more glacier area than Jakobshavn in the same period, what that translates into volume is unknown:

Click on the image for animation (very large):

« Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 04:35:12 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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Thank you Espen for bringing these updates.

Oren thanks, yes we better keep an eye on this glacier system/delta since it is obviously a major contributor of ice from GIS.
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oren

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I just can't understand how you manage to track all these glaciers simultaneously. It's amazing.

Espen

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I just can't understand how you manage to track all these glaciers simultaneously. It's amazing.

I am not a public and never was? ;)
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Espen

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The demolition of the Ice Bridge at Kjer Gletscher is continuing, when will it collapse?
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Espen

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The amount of Glacier Ice (area) lost this season at Kjer Gletscher is far more than what is seen at Jakobshavn, but since we don't know the ice thickness at Kjer there is no volume data. Add Upernavik and Nunatakassap Sermia a little south of here, Jakobshavn becomes just a "Mickey Mouse" glacier.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 11:17:18 AM by Espen »
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Espen

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Here is a high resolution image from the Kjer site:

The width of the ice bridge is about 2 km at the narrowest place.

Please click to enlarge!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 08:55:23 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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Another brick in the wall left the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher:
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Espen

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One year review of the retreat at Kjer Gletscher, as you can see it is not only at the ice bridge where we see retreat:
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Shared Humanity

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Is that silt from basal flow that we see in the water?

Espen

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Kjer Gletscher:

The Ice Bridge is still being attacked from both sides, I wonder how much longer this construction will last?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 08:44:57 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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Thanks to Sentinel we can now watch Glacier action in the "Dark season", ongoing calving activities are still seen around the Ice Bridge at Kjer Gletscher:
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Espen

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Kjer Gletcher, part of the Melville debacle, is still showing some calving activities resulting in further retreat of the glacier:
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Espen

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The Icebridge at Kjer Gletscher may survive in the short term (a decade), because I believe the main stream at Kjer Gletscher soon will loose direct contact with the present icebridge, the Steenstrup icestream reaching the icebridge  from the North is not strong enough to do any serrious damage, then we will see a situation like at Zachariae Isstrøm were the previous tongue of the glacier has become a separate glacier ice peninsula. The icebridge will disappear in long term mainly due to the sea surrounding it, is my guess?
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Espen

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And here is more action at Kjer Gletscher:

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Espen

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And by the way Kjer Gletscher is now in record retreat.
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Espen

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South of Kjer Gletscher and north of Nunatakassap at 74.9258056, -57.0850230 (Google maps) is there an unnamed glacier that is aprox. 4,5 km wide, the glacier is calving big time at the moment:

Please click on image to enlarge and animate!
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Espen

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Landsat is now back in the upper parts of Greenland, and here we can watch how Kjer Gletscher retreated since we left it Landsat wise in September 2015:
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Espen

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Just a reminder how much Kjer Gletscher retreated in less than 3 years (2013-2016):
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 11:04:51 PM by Espen »
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Espen

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The "unnamed" glacier above:  https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1209.msg70853.html#msg70853

Is called Hayes Gletscher and is found on this location:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/74%C2%B056'00.0%22N+57%C2%B006'00.0%22W/@74.834721,-56.0607698,102531m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0?hl=en

Please click on image to enlarge and animate!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 11:15:22 AM by Espen »
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Espen

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Between Hayes Gletscher and Nunatakassap Sermia is another spring active glacier found:

Location Google maps: 74.7962500, -56.5791759
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 08:14:20 PM by Espen »
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Iceismylife

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Looks like the high tides with the solar eclipse may have had some effect after all. we've got a lunar eclipse coming up soon to. This new moon is going to be a partial. 

Espen

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Waiting for the right data to arrive, but here it is, a very large calving happened between March 10 and March 22 2016 but most likely in the latter part of the period.
The width of the glacier is approximately 6,5 km.

Click on image to enlarge and animate!

https://twitter.com/Ecoverycom/status/712737051251183620
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 09:50:09 PM by Espen »
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oren

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The whole front fell apart at the same time. Magnificent.

Espen

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Landsat documentation of the calving earlier this month:
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Espen

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A "little" west of Sverdrup Gletscher we find Nansen Gletscher and Nordenskiöld Gletscher, both glaciers are seems to be in spring mode:

Please click on image to enlarge and animate!
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Espen

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Serious business is taking place at Kjer Gletscher:
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andy_t_roo

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Both sides at once? Does anyone know how mechanically couped the 2 sides are? I would of thought that undercutting from the front would cause failure on one side only. Could this be caused by ice  pushing from behind. That way a failure on one side increases the stress on the other making it fail also.

Espen

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Both sides at once? Does anyone know how mechanically couped the 2 sides are? I would of thought that undercutting from the front would cause failure on one side only. Could this be caused by ice  pushing from behind. That way a failure on one side increases the stress on the other making it fail also.

I expect the the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher will collapse within a relatively short period max. 2 3 years maybe even much sooner provided we dont have any hidden islands / nunataks in the area.
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Shared Humanity

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Both sides at once? Does anyone know how mechanically couped the 2 sides are? I would of thought that undercutting from the front would cause failure on one side only. Could this be caused by ice  pushing from behind. That way a failure on one side increases the stress on the other making it fail also.

If I understand your question, I think what we are seeing playing out on that tongue is caused by the fact that little if any of the glacier is moving to replenish the losses. We are essentially seeing a fixed section of ice being eaten away by bottom melt on both sides, kind of like in situ melting.

And I agree Espen. That tongue looks very fragile. There is a lot of visible crevices on the southern face where we have seen a lot of retreat.

Tor Bejnar

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...
I expect the the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher will collapse within a relatively short period max. 2 3 years maybe even much sooner provided we dont have any hidden islands / nunataks in the area.

From Espen's gif, I noticed a few brown spots showing up [edit: near the bottom (centered) on the screen shot below].  They are probably 'nothing', but I'll want to keep an eye on them just in case...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 04:01:09 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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Espen

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This glacier has a lot of calving potential, it got almost a combined 20 km calving front, I will bet the glacier at the moment is in same league as Jakobshavn.
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Espen

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Dramatic changes in just 12 days at Kjer Gletscher, the ice bridge could soon be history and a new unamed island be released from the ice sheet:
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Shared Humanity

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Wow! Looks like it could happen this melt season.

Espen

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Kjer Gletscher: Yearly update, retreat is clearly seen and the imminent collapse of the ice bridge connecting the future island (unnamed)
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Tealight

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Kjer Gletscher: Yearly update, retreat is clearly seen and the imminent collapse of the ice bridge connecting the future island (unnamed)

You should quickly come up with a name before someone else does.

Sentinel 2 doesn't have images from the latest retreat yet, but while browsing through the tile from 13th August I found an interesting glacier just 30km southeast of the new island. It looks like someone cropped out a part of the glacier and pasted it in again as a calved iceberg. The "oceanic lake" is approximatly 800m in diameter.

oren

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If I understand your question, I think what we are seeing playing out on that tongue is caused by the fact that little if any of the glacier is moving to replenish the losses. We are essentially seeing a fixed section of ice being eaten away by bottom melt on both sides, kind of like in situ melting.

Agreed. Looking at Espen's long-term animations, it seems that once the glacier used to turn right towards the north. Now that calving is directly to the west following significant retreat, no more ice feeds the area of the tongue/bridge and it's quickly disappearing.
I presume that this process also speeded up the glacier somewhat, as buttressing has been lost.

Espen

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Kjer Gletscher update, the collapse of the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher is only days away, if the retreat continues in the same speed as over the last 30 days:
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Espen

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Kjer Gletscher:
It looks like the northern part of the ice bridge at Kjer Gletscher is not being fed enough from Kjer Gletscher itself, and the result will be the soon collapse of the ice bridge to Trekanten (new island The Triangle in English):
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Tealight

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Here is a close up of the ice bridge at 10m resolution. At the narrowest part it is only 820m wide.

Click to see full resolution

Espen

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Breaking News
What was only a Nunatak (Nunataq) a few years ago is now a 7 km2 island of the coast of Kjer Gletscher, I decided to name it Trekanten in Danish (The Triangle) a more correct Greenland name wil be found, a lot of facts about this devellopment can be seen above in this thread:
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crandles

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Nice spot.

Do we know if all the snow and ice was removed, whether the coastline would be roughly triangular?

ie is it possible that it may eventually look more like a '^' or some other shape?