Chaotic dynamics of a glaciohydraulic model

Kingslake, Jonathan

A model subglacial drainage system, coupled to an ice-dammed reservoir that receives a time-varying meltwater input, is described and analysed. In numerical experiments an ice-marginal lake drains through a subglacial channel, producing periodic floods, and fills with meltwater at a rate dependent on air temperature, which varies seasonally with a peak value of T m. The analysis reveals regions of T m parameter space corresponding to 'mode locking', where flood repeat time is independent of T m; resonance, where decreasing T m counter-intuitively increases flood size; and chaotic dynamics, where flood cycles are sensitive to initial conditions, never repeat and exhibit phase-space mixing. Bifurcations associated with abrupt changes in flood size and timing within the year separate these regions. This is the first time these complex dynamics have been displayed by a glaciohydraulic model and these findings have implications for our understanding of ice-marginal lakes, moulins and subglacial lakes.


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Journal of Glaciology

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