New research on subglacial erosion and sediment transport

Ian Delaney has recently submitted a paper about modeling subglacial erosion and sediment transport. Here, he and group members Leif Anderson and Frederic Herman developed a two-dimensional model that erodes bedrock and transports sediment in response to hydraulic conditions and sediment availability below the glacier. 

Here are a couple of videos showing the model’s behavior as applied to Griesgletscher here in Switzerland. Hopefully, the accompanying manuscript will be available in the coming months. 

This video shows subglacial conditions such as the size of the subglacial channels, the water flow, and the water velocity as they respond to hydrological forcing. We also show the changes in routing that occur in the domain by evaluating the number of cells that feed into a cell (receiver cells). 

The second video shows the spatial distribution of subglacial water discharge and sediment discharge. The top panel shows the total water transport in sediment from the catchment and the response of the sediment thickness across the catchment to sediment transport. 

Please feel free to contact Ian about the research at