Annals of Glaciology
International Glaciological Society
Observations from basal water-pressure sensors along the length of Bench Glacier, Alaska, USA, show that diurnal fluctuations of water pressure are seasonal and restricted to summer. Most notable about these fluctuations is their disappearance in the late summer and early autumn, long before the seasonal end of diurnal meltwater input. Here we present data documenting the end of diurnal water-pressure fluctuations during the 2002 and 2003 melt seasons. The end of diurnal fluctuations occurred abruptly in multiple boreholes spaced meters to kilometers apart. There was no obvious spatial progression of termination events, and a clear correlation with meteorological forcing or discharge in the outlet stream was not apparent. After diurnal pressure fluctuations ended, basal water pressure returned to a high, generally steady, value either in an irregular pattern or by a distinct increase. This high water pressure was interrupted by episodic, acyclic events throughout the autumn before becoming stable and high in winter.
© 2005 International Glaciological Society