Temperate glaciers are noted for exceptionally high erosion rates, which should promote chemical weathering because rates of physical and chemical denudation are generally coupled. Yet fluxes of dissolved cations from glaciers are indistinguishable from non-glacierized basins, and fluxes of dissolved silica are about an order of magnitude lower than from non-glacierized basins (Anderson et al., 1997, Hodson et al., 2000). In this study, I model the solute flux from a glacier to gain insight into this apparent paradox.
The study site is Bench Glacier, a 7.5 km2 temperate glacier in south-central Alaska (Anderson, 2005). The underlying bedrock is metasedimentary; carbonate constitutes <1 wt% of the bedrock. Solute fluxes, sediment yields and glacier dynamics have been documented (MacGregor, 2002, Riihimaki, 2003, Anderson et al., 2004).
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