Surface melt driven summer diurnal and winter multi-day stick-slip motion and till sedimentology
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Geography 
Fluctuations in glacier motion are very common and are thought to be controlled by subglacial hydrology and till deformation. There are few instrumented studies that have monitored seasonal changes. We use the innovative Glacsweb subglacial in situ wireless probes, combined with dGPS and custom geophone data from an Icelandic soft-bedded temperate glacier, to show that there are two distinct seasonal styles of speed-up events. Relatively small diurnal events occur during the melt season, whilst during winter there are larger multi-day events related to positive degree days. These events are accompanied by a distinct pattern of till deformation and basal icequakes. We argue these reflect stick-slip motion which occurs when the glacier hydrological system is unable to accommodate the melt water flux generated by surface melt episodes. We show a rare fully instrumented coupled glacier/till record of contrasting summer and winter stick-slip motion and discuss its implication for till sedimentology.