GLACIOLOGY

Shaking with the flow

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Science  04 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6252, pp. 1067-1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6252.1067-e

The flow of water beneath glaciers affects glacial motion, the transport of sediments, and water discharge into the ocean, among other things. Too little is known about the details of subglacial hydrology, however, to fully understand the full range of its impacts. Bartholomaus et al. report that subglacial discharge can be detected by measurement of the seismic tremor that it causes. Their observations at the edges of a half-dozen glaciers in Alaska and Greenland show that subglacial discharge is less intense in the winter than in the summer, and they demonstrate how the technique can be used to constrain important processes such as iceberg calving and submarine glacial melting.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2015GL064590 (2015).

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