Deltas, freshwater discharge, and waves along the Young Sound, NE Greenland.

Research paper by Aart A Kroon, Jakob J Abermann, Mette M Bendixen, Magnus M Lund, Charlotte C Sigsgaard, Kirstine K Skov, Birger Ulf BU Hansen

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Ambio


A wide range of delta morphologies occurs along the fringes of the Young Sound in Northeast Greenland due to spatial heterogeneity of delta regimes. In general, the delta regime is related to catchment and basin characteristics (geology, topography, drainage pattern, sediment availability, and bathymetry), fluvial discharges and associated sediment load, and processes by waves and currents. Main factors steering the Arctic fluvial discharges into the Young Sound are the snow and ice melt and precipitation in the catchment, and extreme events like glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Waves are subordinate and only rework fringes of the delta plain forming sandy bars if the exposure and fetch are optimal. Spatial gradients and variability in driving forces (snow and precipitation) and catchment characteristics (amount of glacier coverage, sediment characteristics) as well as the strong and local influence of GLOFs in a specific catchment impede a simple upscaling of sediment fluxes from individual catchments toward a total sediment flux into the Young Sound.