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Title: Which Drivers Control the Suspended Sediment Flux in a High Arctic Glacierized Basin (Werenskioldbreen, Spitsbergen)?
Authors: Łepkowska, Elżbieta
Stachnik, Łukasz
Keywords: suspended sediment; mechanical denudation; intense snowmelt; heavy rainfall; high discharge; Svalbard
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Water, Vol. 10, iss. 10 (2018), Art. No. 1408
Abstract: A unique data set of suspended sediment transport from the Breelva, which drains the Werenskioldbreen (Southwestern Spitsbergen), is reported for the period 2007–2012. This basin is thoroughly described hydrologically, glaciologically, and chemically. However, until now there was a lack of full recognition of mechanical denudation. This study extends the information on quantitative suspended sediment load (SSL), amounting to 37.30–130.94 kt per year, and also underlines the importance of its modification by high discharge events, triggered by intense snowmelt or heavy rainfall. The large floods during the hydrologically active season transported even 83% of the total SSL. The variability of the SSL is controlled by glacial storage and release mechanisms. Particularly interesting is the second half of the hydrologically active season when intense rainfall events plays a key role in shaping the sediment supply pattern. The main source of fine mineral matter is the basal moraine, drained by subglacial outflows. Their higher mobilization occurs when the hydrostatic pressure increases, often as a result of rainwater supply to the glacier system. An increasing precipitation trend for Hornsund fjord region determines a positive trend predicted for sediment flux.
DOI: 10.3390/w10101408
ISSN: 2073-4441
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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