Bathymetry, shallow seismic profiling and sediment coring in Sermilik near Helheimgletscher, South-East Greenland
The Greenland ice sheet is one of the most significant contributors to the rising global sea level with a contribution of 0.5 mm per year (Rignot & Kanagaratnam 2006). Evidence is emerging that rising temperatures of subsurface ocean currents play a vital role in the recent acceleration of large fast flowing glaciers such as Jakobshavn Isbræ in West Greenland (Holland et al. 2008) and Helheimgletscher in South-East Greenland (Straneo et al. 2010). Important questions are whether these incursions of warmer water are part of a recurrent phenomenon and indeed exactly how they influence the glaciers. The Geocenter Denmark project SEDIMICE (Linking sediments with ice-sheet response and glacier retreat in Greenland) investigates past ice fluctuations in the Helheimgletscher region in South-East Greenland with regard to magnitude, possible causes and effects. One of the main tasks in this project is to analyse sedimentary deposits in the main fjord Sermilik (Fig. 1), which is influenced by the tidally affected Helheimgletscher that has a short floating tongue. By combining sediment studies with modern climate studies we aim to extrapolate meteorological data back in time.
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