Subsurface hydrological characteristics of an overdeepened cirque glacier

  • Author / Creator
    Dow, Christine F
  • This thesis examines the hydrological characteristics of West Washmawapta Glacier, an overdeepened cirque glacier located in the Vermillion Range, B.C., Canada. Fieldwork involved drilling nine boreholes, which were surveyed with a borehole camera and instrumented with combinations of pressure transducers, thermistors and electrical conductivity sensors. Results show the cirque hydrology consisted of a predominantly subglacial, distributed drainage system. Hydraulic jacking occurred within the overdeepened region in both the summers of 2007 and 2008. Hydrological shut-down occurred very late, potentially due to the effect of the riegel on basal drainage, preventing flow out of the overdeepening at lower water pressures. Basal water temperatures were observed to fluctuate diurnally (up to 0.8^0C) above the local pressure melting point, likely due to influx of geothermally-heated groundwater and insulation of water within a sediment aquifer. Varying basal water pressures and temperatures suggest that hydraulic potential and supercooling effects are often over-simplified in glacier studies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Kavanaugh, Jefffrey (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Kavanaugh, Jefffrey (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Steffler, Peter (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Sharp, Martin (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)