Proglacial and Ice Marginal Processes
In high latitudes, recent research has demonstrated that both thermo-erosion and temperature dependence influence sediment release into fluvial systems. An analysis of proglacial suspended sediment concentration (SSC) dynamics is presented for three glacier-ized basins: cold-based Austre Brøggerbreen (Svalbard), polythermal Midre Lovénbreen (Svalbard) and polythermal Glacier B28 (Bylot Island). The temporal variation in processes dominating SSC patterns is assessed using stepwise multivariate regression following the subdivision of the time series. Partitioning of the time series is achieved through principal components and change point analyses. The regression models use discharge and surrogate predictor variables to model SSC, while improvements are made by using air temperature and radiation terms as independent variables. Comparisons are drawn between two sets of models with contrasting subseasonal division. By interpretation of the regression model characteristics, temporal changes in physical processes are implied over the course of the time periods. Numerical analyses suggest there is a trend for changes between fluvial, glacial and periglacial factors forcing responses in SSC. Therefore, it is conjectured that glaciofluvial sediment transfer at high latitudes is influenced by periglacial processes and conditions. This has implications for the predictions of fluvial sediment loads in a changing environment, and the use of sedimentary records for environmental reconstruction.