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Title: Temporal variability of meltwater and sediment transfer dynamics at an Arctic glacier, Storglaciären, northern Sweden
Authors: Gravelle, Richard
Keywords: Glacier hydrology
Sediment transport
Linear reservoir modelling
Northern Sweden
Polythermal glacier
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Richard David Gravelle
Abstract: In glacierised regions, suspended sediment fluxes are highly responsive to climate‐driven environmental change and can provide important information regarding the relationships between glacier variations, climate and geomorphic change. As a result, understanding patterns of suspended sediment transport and their relationship with meltwater delivery is of critical importance. However, studies of glacial suspended sediment transport are often limited by interpreting patterns of suspended sediment transfer based on whole-season data, allowing precise patterns to become masked. This thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of suspended sediment transfer in glacierised basins through the investigation of patterns of suspended sediment delivery to the proglacial area of Storglaciären, a small polythermal valley glacier located in the Tarfala valley, Arctic Sweden. High temporal resolution discharge and suspended sediment concentration data were collected during two summer field campaigns at Storglaciären. Interpretations of suspended sediment transport data were made using diurnal hysteresis and sediment availability data, combined with suspended sediment shape and magnitude data classified by applying principal component and hierarchical cluster analyses. Analysis of the dominant discharge generating processes at Storglaciären was also conducted using principal component analysis, allowing patterns of discharge to be better understood. This was complemented by analysis of the structure and evolution of the glacier drainage system by linear reservoir modelling and flow recession analysis. The results suggest that patterns of discharge and suspended sediment transport at Storglaciären are complex, with distinct processes and magnitudes of transport evident at both proglacial outlet streams, Nordjåkk and Sydjåkk. These processes are intrinsically linked to meteorological variables, with both ablation-driven and precipitation-driven discharge exerting influence over patterns of suspended sediment transport in the proglacial area of Storglaciären.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: Loughborough Graduate School
This project was supported by a Loughborough University Faculty Development Studentship. Additional funding was gratefully received from the Royal Geographical Society, the Dudley Stamp Memorial Fund, the John Guest Phillips Memorial Travelling Scholarship, and the British Society for Geomorphology.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14412
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Geography and Environment)

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