Glacier–permafrost hydrological interconnectivity: Stagnation Glacier, Bylot Island, Canada
The complex thermal structure in areas where polythermal glaciers and continuous permafrost are present increases the potential for direct linkages between subsurface water conduits within glaciers and permafrost. In this study, hydrologic features of a glacier and the surrounding ice-cored moraines were examined and the potential for englacial water to flow out of the glacier and into the moraine was investigated. Ground-penetrating radar investigations, dye trace tests and direct observations of hydrological features (e.g., moulins, springs and caves) on and around Stagnation Glacier on Bylot Island, Arctic Canada, were undertaken. Data reveal that englacial conduits extend from the glacier into the adjacent ice-cored moraine. Glacial meltwater may have experienced variable flow conditions over the last 10 years and the conduit closures have occurred over a much longer time period. The study illustrates the interconnectivity of the glacial and permafrost hydrological systems.
Figures & Tables
The introduction of the term periglacial by Łoziński in 1909 to describe the cold-climate conditions in the zone adjacent to, but beyond, the Pleistocene glaciers encouraged the separate development of geocryological and glaciological research. Geological and geomorphological processes at the interface between glaciers and permafrost have, as a result, been given less attention than they warrant, and the influence of one on the other has in many respects been neglected. This book includes a collection of papers that emphasize glacier-permafrost interactions. Papers consider permafrost and its influence on glacitectonic processes, glacial meltwater systems and ground-ice development in proglacial and ice-marginal environments. In addition, recent research findings are reported on paraglacial processes, permafrost evolution, rock glaciers, the formation of ice-wedge casts and periglacial slope evolution. It is hoped that this book will stimulate interest in the interface between glacial and periglacial systems, and encourage further collaborative research involving glaciologists and glacial geologists on the one hand, and geocryologists and permafrost scientists on the other.