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Surface expression of a wall fountain : application to subglacial discharge plumes.

McConnochie, Craig D. and Cenedese, Claudia and McElwaine, Jim N. (2020) 'Surface expression of a wall fountain : application to subglacial discharge plumes.', Journal of physical oceanography., 50 (5). pp. 1245-1263.


We use laboratory experiments and theoretical modeling to investigate the surface expression of a subglacial discharge plume, as occurs at many fjords around Greenland. The experiments consider a fountain that is released vertically into a homogeneous fluid, adjacent either to a vertical or a sloping wall, that then spreads horizontally at the free surface before sinking back to the bottom. We present a model that separates the fountain into two separate regions: a vertical fountain and a horizontal, negatively buoyant jet. The model is compared to laboratory experiments that are conducted over a range of volume fluxes, density differences, and ambient fluid depths. It is shown that the nondimensionalized length, width, and aspect ratio of the surface expression are dependent on the Froude number, calculated at the start of the negatively buoyant jet. The model is applied to observations of the surface expression from a Greenland subglacial discharge plume. In the case where the discharge plume reaches the surface with negative buoyancy the model can be used to estimate the discharge properties at the base of the glacier.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2020 American Meteorological Society.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:17 June 2020
Date of first online publication:27 April 2020
Date first made open access:27 October 2020

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