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Concept: Drainage


Globally, the historic and recent exploitation of peatlands through management practices such as agricultural reclamation, peat harvesting or forestry, have caused extensive damage to these ecosystems. Their value is now increasingly recognised, and restoration and rehabilitation programmes are underway to improve some of the ecosystem services provided by peatlands: blocking drainage ditches in deep peat has been shown to improve the storage of water, decrease carbon losses in the long-term, and improve biodiversity. However, whilst the restoration process has benefitted from experience and technical advice gained from restoration of deep peatlands, shallow peatlands have received less attention in the literature, despite being extensive in both uplands and lowlands. Using the experience gained from the restoration of the shallow peatlands of Exmoor National Park (UK), and two test catchments in particular, this paper provides technical guidance which can be applied to the restoration of other shallow peatlands worldwide. Experience showed that integrating knowledge of the historical environment at the planning stage of restoration was essential, as it enabled the effective mitigation of any threat to archaeological features and sites. The use of bales, commonly employed in other upland ecosystems, was found to be problematic. Instead, ‘leaky dams’ or wood and peat combination dams were used, which are both more efficient at reducing and diverting the flow, and longer lasting than bale dams. Finally, an average restoration cost (£306 ha(-1)) for Exmoor, below the median national value across the whole of the UK, demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of these techniques. However, local differences in peat depth and ditch characteristics (i.e. length, depth and width) between sites affect both the feasibility and the cost of restoration. Overall, the restoration of shallow peatlands is shown to be technically viable; this paper provides a template for such process over analogous landscapes.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Soil, Ecosystem, Ireland, Drainage, Ditch, Moorland, Exmoor


Supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet are expanding inland, but the impact on ice flow is equivocal because interior surface conditions may preclude the transfer of surface water to the bed. Here we use a well-constrained 3D model to demonstrate that supraglacial lakes in Greenland drain when tensile-stress perturbations propagate fractures in areas where fractures are normally absent or closed. These melt-induced perturbations escalate when lakes as far as 80 km apart form expansive networks and drain in rapid succession. The result is a tensile shock that establishes new surface-to-bed hydraulic pathways in areas where crevasses transiently open. We show evidence for open crevasses 135 km inland from the ice margin, which is much farther inland than previously considered possible. We hypothesise that inland expansion of lakes will deliver water and heat to isolated regions of the ice sheet’s interior where the impact on ice flow is potentially large.

Concepts: Water, Lake, Ice sheet, Greenland ice sheet, Glacier, Fracture mechanics, Drainage, Glaciology


Thermally incised meltwater channels that flow each summer across melt-prone surfaces of the Greenland ice sheet have received little direct study. We use high-resolution WorldView-½ satellite mapping and in situ measurements to characterize supraglacial water storage, drainage pattern, and discharge across 6,812 km(2) of southwest Greenland in July 2012, after a record melt event. Efficient surface drainage was routed through 523 high-order stream/river channel networks, all of which terminated in moulins before reaching the ice edge. Low surface water storage (3.6 ± 0.9 cm), negligible impoundment by supraglacial lakes or topographic depressions, and high discharge to moulins (2.54-2.81 cm⋅d(-1)) indicate that the surface drainage system conveyed its own storage volume every <2 d to the bed. Moulin discharges mapped inside ∼52% of the source ice watershed for Isortoq, a major proglacial river, totaled ∼41-98% of observed proglacial discharge, highlighting the importance of supraglacial river drainage to true outflow from the ice edge. However, Isortoq discharges tended lower than runoff simulations from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) regional climate model (0.056-0.112 km(3)⋅d(-1) vs. ∼0.103 km(3)⋅d(-1)), and when integrated over the melt season, totaled just 37-75% of MAR, suggesting nontrivial subglacial water storage even in this melt-prone region of the ice sheet. We conclude that (i) the interior surface of the ice sheet can be efficiently drained under optimal conditions, (ii) that digital elevation models alone cannot fully describe supraglacial drainage and its connection to subglacial systems, and (iii) that predicting outflow from climate models alone, without recognition of subglacial processes, may overestimate true meltwater export from the ice sheet to the ocean.

Concepts: Water, Greenland ice sheet, Glacier, Climate, Hydrology, Drainage, Surface water, Cryosphere


Since chest tubes have been routinely used to drain the pleural space, particularly after lung surgery, the management of chest tubes is considered to be essential for the thoracic surgeon. The pleural drainage system requires effective drainage, suction, and water-sealing. Another key point of chest tube management is that a water seal is considered to be superior to suction for most air leaks. Nowadays, the most common pleural drainage device attached to the chest tube is the three-bottle system. An electronic chest drainage system has been developed that is effective in standardizing the postoperative management of chest tubes. More liberal use of digital drainage devices in the postoperative management of the pleural space is warranted. The removal of chest tubes is a common procedure occurring almost daily in hospitals throughout the world. Extraction of the tube is usually done at the end of full inspiration or at the end of full expiration. The tube removal technique is not as important as how it is done and the preparation for the procedure. The management of chest tubes must be based on careful observation, the patient’s characteristics, and the operative procedures that had been performed.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Pneumothorax, Plumbing, Thoracic cavity, Chest tube, Drainage, Drainage system


Ice flow along land-terminating margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) varies considerably in response to fluctuating inputs of surface meltwater to the bed of the ice sheet. Such inputs lubricate the ice-bed interface, transiently speeding up the flow of ice. Greater melting results in faster ice motion during summer, but slower motion over the subsequent winter, owing to the evolution of an efficient drainage system that enables water to drain from regions of the ice-sheet bed that have a high basal water pressure. However, the impact of hydrodynamic coupling on ice motion over decadal timescales remains poorly constrained. Here we show that annual ice motion across an 8,000-km(2) land-terminating region of the west GIS margin, extending to 1,100 m above sea level, was 12% slower in 2007-14 compared with 1985-94, despite a 50% increase in surface meltwater production. Our findings suggest that, over these three decades, hydrodynamic coupling in this section of the ablation zone resulted in a net slowdown of ice motion (not a speed-up, as previously postulated). Increases in meltwater production from projected climate warming may therefore further reduce the motion of land-terminating margins of the GIS. Our findings suggest that these sectors of the ice sheet are more resilient to the dynamic impacts of enhanced meltwater production than previously thought.

Concepts: Water, Sea level, Ice sheet, Greenland ice sheet, Glacier, Drainage, Global warming, Glaciology


Water-driven fracture propagation beneath supraglacial lakes rapidly transports large volumes of surface meltwater to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. These drainage events drive transient ice-sheet acceleration and establish conduits for additional surface-to-bed meltwater transport for the remainder of the melt season. Although it is well established that cracks must remain water-filled to propagate to the bed, the precise mechanisms that initiate hydro-fracture events beneath lakes are unknown. Here we show that, for a lake on the western Greenland Ice Sheet, drainage events are preceded by a 6-12 hour period of ice-sheet uplift and/or enhanced basal slip. Our observations from a dense Global Positioning System (GPS) network allow us to determine the distribution of meltwater at the ice-sheet bed before, during, and after three rapid drainages in 2011-2013, each of which generates tensile stresses that promote hydro-fracture beneath the lake. We hypothesize that these precursors are associated with the introduction of meltwater to the bed through neighbouring moulin systems (vertical conduits connecting the surface and base of the ice sheet). Our results imply that as lakes form in less crevassed, interior regions of the ice sheet, where water at the bed is currently less pervasive, the creation of new surface-to-bed conduits caused by lake-draining hydro-fractures may be limited.

Concepts: Greenland ice sheet, Glacier, Drainage basin, Global Positioning System, Antarctica, Drainage, Glaciology, Ice sheet dynamics


Procedures designed to drain fluid or air from the pleural spaces can be technically challenging in patients who are critically ill, and are associated with significant complications. Many individual ultrasound techniques have been described, each with the goal of making pleural drainage procedures safer. This article presents a systemic approach for incorporating many of these tools into procedures such as diagnostic thoracentesis, therapeutic drainage, or pleural catheter insertion. A series of illustrative figures and narrated video presentations are included to demonstrate many of the described techniques.

Concepts: Pleural effusion, Drainage


BACKGROUND: The presence of debris within a pseudocyst may impair success of endoscopic drainage. OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical outcomes and adverse-event rates of EUS-guided pseudocyst drainage with and without a nasocystic drain for the management of pancreatic pseudocysts with viscous solid debris-laden fluid. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Single, tertiary-care referral center. PATIENTS: Consecutive patients with pancreatic pseudocysts managed by EUS-guided drainage: those with solid debris who underwent drainage via nasocystic drains alongside stents (n = 63) and those with solid debris who underwent drainage via transmural stents only (n = 24). INTERVENTION: Drainage via nasocystic drains alongside stents or drainage via transmural stents only. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcomes were short-term success and long-term success of the procedures. The secondary outcomes were procedure-related adverse events and reintervention. RESULTS: The patients with viscous solid debris-laden fluid whose pseudocysts were drained by both stents and nasocystic tubes had a 3 times greater short-term success rate compared with those who had drainage by stents alone (P = .03). On 12-month follow-up, complete resolution of pseudocysts with debris drained via stents alone was less (58%) compared with those with debris who underwent drainage via nasocystic drains alongside stents (79%; P = .059). The rate of stent occlusion was higher in cysts with debris drained by stents alone (33%) compared with those drained via nasocystic drains alongside stents (13%; P = .03). LIMITATIONS: Retrospective design; limited sample size. CONCLUSION: In patients with pseudocysts with viscous debris-laden fluid, EUS-guided drainage by using a combination of a nasocystic drain and transmural stents improves clinical outcomes and lowers the stent occlusion rate compared with those who underwent drainage via stents alone.

Concepts: Time, Liquid, Cyst, Drainage, Pancreatic pseudocyst, Watertable control, Pseudocyst, Well drainage



Recent proxy measurements reveal that subglacial lakes beneath modern ice sheets periodically store and release large volumes of water, providing an important but poorly understood influence on contemporary ice dynamics and mass balance. This is because direct observations of how lake drainage initiates and proceeds are lacking. Here we present physical evidence of the mechanism and geometry of lake drainage from the discovery of relict subglacial lakes formed during the last glaciation in Canada. These palaeo-subglacial lakes comprised shallow (<10 m) lenses of water perched behind ridges orientated transverse to ice flow. We show that lakes periodically drained through channels incised into bed substrate (canals). Canals sometimes trend into eskers that represent the depositional imprint of the last high-magnitude lake outburst. The subglacial lakes and channels are preserved on top of glacial lineations, indicating long-term re-organization of the subglacial drainage system and coupling to ice flow.

Concepts: Lake, Glacier, Drainage basin, Antarctica, Last glacial period, Drainage, Glaciology, Subglacial lake