Ice Sheets

Melting around the margins

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Science  22 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6370, pp. 1552-1553
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6370.1552-e

A Landsat 8 satellite image of the Helheim-Sermilik glacier-fjord system in summer

CREDIT: T. MOON ET AL., NAT. GEOSCI. 10.1038/S41561-017-0018-Z (2017)

How and when is fresh water added to the margins of ice sheets? That question is central to understanding the effects of ice sheet melting on ocean water properties, circulation, and biological systems, on scales from local to basinwide. Moon et al. used an innovative observational and modeling method to produce a freshwater flux budget for the Helheim-Sermilik glacier-fjord system in Greenland. They determine that iceberg melt is the largest annual freshwater source there and provide a framework to assess individual freshwater sources in any tide-water system.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/s41561-017-0018-z (2017).

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