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News & Events

Grad student talk - Discharge and sediment transport from Watson River, West Greenland

Thursday, March 01, 2012, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Andreas Bech Mikkelsen

University of Copenhagen


RL-1 room 269

At the talk I will present some of the results from my project so far, my experiences with the field work, the data I collected and the data available in this arctic region in general. The field work mainly covers measurements of water discharge and sediment transport in the Watson River that has a drainage area of ~9750 km2. Here the measured discharge and sediment transport rates are up to 1600 m3s-1 and 3.7 t s-1 respectively. The average runoff from the catchment was 377 mm y-1 for the period 2007 to 2010 and the sediment delivery was 744 t km-2 y-1.

The results are used for a number of purposes. To validate ablation (melt) models for this sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet and to calculate the mass transfer from this relatively large glaciated catchment. The mass transfer and erosion rates are set in context with other glaciated areas and one goal is to increase the understanding of how large ice sheets effects the erosion and fluvial deposition. Presently there is very little data on how large ice sheets affect this, despite the fact that ice sheets has played a major role in the formation of landscapes during previous glaciations. Also a number of jökulhlaups (extreme discharge events) are recorded in the investigation period, and their impact on the total transport is analysed. Finally I will cover some of my on-going work and plans for the coming field season.