New study paves the way for predicting meltwater flood from the Greenland Ice Sheet

Published 05-10-2017

A new study of meltwater flow from the ice sheet in Greenland allows you to predict when to expect floods in the great rivers flowing from the ice.

The study, published in the International Journal The Cryosphere, uses drainage data from Watson River at Kangerlussuaq in West Greenland, and melting data from measuring stations on the ice sheet. The investigations show that the shape of the ice sheet and the presence of prolonged periods with high temperature are important for the severity of flow in the proglacial meltwater rivers.

"The instrumentation is already there. We just need to do the coding, to produce an automated system that tells us how much meltwater is on its way and alert the authorities with a few days' notice," says lead-author, Dirk van As from GEUS to ScienceNordic.

Read article on ScienceNordic: Predicting the next big flood in Greenland

Read the article:
Hypsometric amplification and routing moderation of Greenland ice sheet meltwater release, The Cryosphere, 11, 1371-1386,, 2017.


Dirk van As
Senior researcher
Glaciology and Climate