Glacial and glaciohydrologic processes that control the glaciofluvial sediment delivery from Erikbreen, a polythermal glacier on the north coast of Spitsbergen (79°40'N, 12°30'E), were studied during the summer seasons of 1990,1991 and 1992. Erikbreen differs from most glaciers of similar size in Svalbard, by the high flow velocity and a heavily crevassed surface. Water tracing experiments were conducted to study the geometry and stability of subglacial conduits, and the influence of the drainage system on subglacial sediment withdrawal. The withdrawal of sediments was monitored in the proglacial stream. High concentrations of suspended sediments were found. The type of drainage system and the presence of unconsolidated sediments at the glacier bed exerts the main control on the glaciofluvial sediment delivery. Annual delivery of suspended sediments varies by a magnitude, runoff being the controlling variable.
- Received February 2, 1994.
- Revision received November 18, 1994.
- Accepted November 29, 1994.
- © IWA Publishing 1995