Gordon, S. and Sharp, M. and Hubbard, B. and Willis, I. and Smart, C. and Copland, C. and Harbor, J. and Ketterling, B. (2001)
Borehole drainage and its implications for the investigation of glacier hydrology: experiences from Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland
- Cite key
- Hydrological Processes
- Studies of glacier hydrology rely increasingly on measurements made in boreholes as a basis for reconstructing the character and behaviour of subglacial drainage systems. In temperate glaciers, in which boreholes remain open to the atmosphere following drilling, the interpretation of such data may be complicated by supraglacial or englacial water flows to and from boreholes.
We report on a suite of techniques used to identify borehole water sources and to reconstruct patterns of water circulation within boreholes at Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland. Results are used to define a number of borehole ‘drainage’ types. Examples of each drainage type are presented, along with the manner in which they influence interpretations of borehole water-levels, borehole water-quality data, and borehole dye traces. The analysis indicates that a full understanding of possible borehole drainage modes is required for the correct interpretation of many borehole observations, and that those observations provide an accurate indication of subglacial conditions only under relatively restricted circumstances