Outlet glaciers in Greenland experience a combination of seasonal and climate-driven change. Nearby glaciers exhibit very different retreat and advance behavior despite being situated in similar climatic conditions. This highlights the demand to essentially improve our understanding of the driving mechanisms and to provide a basis for parameterizations of oceanic forcing that are fed into mass-loss projections. Temporal changes of glacial flow velocities are presumably linked to the evolution of the subglacial hydrological system. Depending on the type of subglacial system, the temporal acceleration of the glacier is represented by different characteristics. While this is typically investigated only along a central flow line, the spatial distribution contains more information on the cause of the acceleration. In a similar way, the spatial pattern of acceleration due to changes at the calving front is likely driven by upstream propagation of changes in stresses. Hence, understanding the mechanisms in detail requires an analysis of different physical variables in high temporal and spatial resolution and combination with ice modelling. With the new generation of satellites the era of big data has started in glaciology, and new efficient methods to analyze change patterns are required.

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