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Sample records for glacier catchment ammassalik

  1. Climate, glacier mass balance and runoff (1993-2005) for the Mittivakkat Glacier catchment, Ammassalik Island, SE Greenland, and in a long term perspective (1898-1993)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Kane, D.L.; Hansen, Birger

    2008-01-01

    temperatures (MAAT) occur in the coastal area, indicating an approximately 20-d shorter thawing period. The higher lying glacier area, in contrast, experiences an increasing MAAT, an approximately 40-d longer thawing period and a 60-d longer snow-free period. The Mittivakkat Glacier net mass balance has been...... almost continuously negative, corresponding to an average loss of glacier volume of 0.4% yr-1. The total catchment runoff is averaging 1973±281 mm w.eq. yr-1, and around 30% of the runoff is explained by glacier net loss. Over the 106 years (1898-2004) MAAT has, on average, increased significantly...

  2. Climatic conditions at the Mittivakkat Glacier catchment (1994-2006), Ammassalik Island, SE Greenland, and in a 109-year perspective (1898-2006)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Hansen, Birger; Jakobsen, Bjarne Holm

    2008-01-01

    the catchment, meteorological conditions are monitored at the coast (Station Coast, 25 m a.s.l.) for the period 1998-2006 and in the glacier area (Station Nunatak, 515 m a.s.l.) for 1994-2006. During this 13-year period, solar radiation shows increasing values, averaging 0.5 W m-2 y-1, at the nunatak...... and decreasing values, averaging 1.4 W m-2 y-1, at the coast. The mean annual solar radiation at Station Coast is 102 W m-2 y-1, which is about 10% lower than at Station Nunatak, and is probably caused by increasing and higher percentages of dense clouds and sea fog in the coastal area. The mean annual air...... temperature is increasing by 0.10ºC y-1 at the nunatak and by 0.05ºC y-1 at the coast, extending the thawing periods by about 50 days and 5 days, respectively. A snow-free period of 64 days is observed at the nunatak. The coastal area is highly dominated by air temperature inversion and sea breezes during...

  3. Multi-decadal marine- and land-terminating glacier recession in the Ammassalik region, southeast Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Mernild

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Landsat imagery was applied to elucidate glacier fluctuations of land- and marine-terminating outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS and local land-terminating glaciers and ice caps (GIC peripheral to the GrIS in the Ammassalik region, Southeast Greenland, during the period 1972–2011. Data from 21 marine-terminating glaciers (including the glaciers Helheim, Midgaard, and Fenris, the GrIS land-terminating margin, and 35 GIC were examined and compared to observed atmospheric air temperatures, precipitation, and reconstructed ocean water temperatures (at 400 m depth in the Irminger Sea. Here, we document that net glacier recession has occurred since 1972 in the Ammassalik region for all glacier types and sizes, except for three GIC. The land-terminating GrIS and GIC reflect lower marginal and areal changes than the marine-terminating outlet glaciers. The mean annual land-terminating GrIS and GIC margin recessions were about three to five times lower than the GrIS marine-terminating recession. The marine-terminating outlet glaciers had an average net frontal retreat for 1999–2011 of 0.098 km yr−1, which was significantly higher than in previous sub-periods 1972–1986 and 1986–1999. For the marine-terminating GrIS, the annual areal recession rate has been decreasing since 1972, while increasing for the land-terminating GrIS since 1986. On average for all the observed GIC, a mean net frontal retreat for 1986–2011 of 0.010 ± 0.006 km yr−1 and a mean areal recession of around 1% per year occurred; overall for all observed GIC, a mean recession rate of 27 ± 24% occurred based on the 1986 GIC area. Since 1986, five GIC melted away in the Ammassalik area.

  4. The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV.

    2009-01-01

    In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmer lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y

  5. Tracer-based identification of rock glacier thawing in a glacierized Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Michael; Penna, Daniele; Tirler, Werner; Comiti, Francesco

    2017-04-01

    Current warming in high mountains leads to increased melting of snow, glacier ice and permafrost. In particular rock glaciers, as a creeping form of mountain permafrost, may release contaminants such as heavy metals into the stream during intense melting periods in summer. This may have strong impacts on both water quantity and quality of fresh water resources but might also harm the aquatic fauna in mountain regions. In this context, the present study used stable isotopes of water and electrical conductivity (EC) combined with trace, major and minor elements to identify the influence of permafrost thawing on the water quality in the glacierized Solda catchment (130 km2) in South Tyrol (Italy). We carried out a monthly sampling of two springs fed by an active rock glacier at about 2600 m a.s.l. from July to October 2015. Furthermore, we took monthly water samples from different stream sections of the Solda River (1110 to m a.s.l.) from March to November 2015. Meteorological data were measured by an Automatic Weather Station at 2825 m a.s.l. of the Hydrographic Office (Autonomous Province of Bozen-Bolzano). First results show that water from the rock glacier springs and stream water fell along the global meteoric water line. Spring water was slightly more variable in isotopic ratio (δ2H: -91 to - 105 ) and less variable in dissolved solutes (EC: 380 to 611 μS/cm) than stream water (δ2H: -96 to - 107 ‰ and EC: 212 to 927 μS/cm). Both spring water and stream water showed a pronounced drop in EC during July and August, very likely induced by increased melt water dilution. In both water types, element concentrations of Ca and Mg were highest (up to 160 and 20 mg/l, respectively). In September, spring water showed higher concentrations in Cu, As, and Pb than stream water, indicating that these elements partly exceeded the concentration limit for drinking water. These observations highlight the important control, which rock glacier thawing may have on water quality

  6. Review article: Hydrological modeling in glacierized catchments of central Asia – status and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Y. Chen; W. Li; G. Fang; Z. Li

    2017-01-01

    Meltwater from glacierized catchments is one of the most important water supplies in central Asia. Therefore, the effects of climate change on glaciers and snow cover will have increasingly significant consequences for runoff. Hydrological modeling has become an indispensable research approach to water resources management in large glacierized river basins, but there is a lack of focus in the modeling of glacial discharge. This paper reviews the status of hydrological modeli...

  7. Role of glaciers in watershed hydrology: a preliminary study of a "Himalayan catchment"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. Thayyen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available A large number of Himalayan glacier catchments are under the influence of humid climate with snowfall in winter (November–April and south-west monsoon in summer (June–September dominating the regional hydrology. Such catchments are defined as "Himalayan catchment", where the glacier meltwater contributes to the river flow during the period of annual high flows produced by the monsoon. The winter snow dominated Alpine catchments of the Kashmir and Karakoram region and cold-arid regions of the Ladakh mountain range are the other major glacio-hydrological regimes identified in the region. Factors influencing the river flow variations in a "Himalayan catchment" were studied in a micro-scale glacier catchment in the Garhwal Himalaya, covering an area of 77.8 km2. Three hydrometric stations were established at different altitudes along the Din Gad stream and discharge was monitored during the summer ablation period from 1998 to 2004, with an exception in 2002. These data have been analysed along with winter/summer precipitation, temperature and mass balance data of the Dokriani glacier to study the role of glacier and precipitation in determining runoff variations along the stream continuum from the glacier snout to 2360 m a.s.l. The study shows that the inter-annual runoff variation in a "Himalayan catchment" is linked with precipitation rather than mass balance changes of the glacier. This study also indicates that the warming induced an initial increase of glacier runoff and subsequent decline as suggested by the IPCC (2007 is restricted to the glacier degradation-derived component in a precipitation dominant Himalayan catchment and cannot be translated as river flow response. The preliminary assessment suggests that the "Himalayan catchment" could experience higher river flows and positive glacier mass balance regime together in association with strong monsoon. The important role of glaciers in this precipitation dominant system is

  8. Review article: Hydrological modeling in glacierized catchments of central Asia - status and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yaning; Li, Weihong; Fang, Gonghuan; Li, Zhi

    2017-02-01

    Meltwater from glacierized catchments is one of the most important water supplies in central Asia. Therefore, the effects of climate change on glaciers and snow cover will have increasingly significant consequences for runoff. Hydrological modeling has become an indispensable research approach to water resources management in large glacierized river basins, but there is a lack of focus in the modeling of glacial discharge. This paper reviews the status of hydrological modeling in glacierized catchments of central Asia, discussing the limitations of the available models and extrapolating these to future challenges and directions. After reviewing recent efforts, we conclude that the main sources of uncertainty in assessing the regional hydrological impacts of climate change are the unreliable and incomplete data sets and the lack of understanding of the hydrological regimes of glacierized catchments of central Asia. Runoff trends indicate a complex response to changes in climate. For future variation of water resources, it is essential to quantify the responses of hydrologic processes to both climate change and shrinking glaciers in glacierized catchments, and scientific focus should be on reducing uncertainties linked to these processes.

  9. Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen isotope compositions in three contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, N. Tvis; Yde, J.C.; Steffensen, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    composition is controlled by the proportion between snowmelt and ice melt with episodic inputs of rainwater and occasional storage and release of a specific water component due to changes in the subglacial drainage system. At Kuannersuit Glacier River on the island Qeqertarsuaq, the δ18O characteristics were......Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of spatio-temporal δ18O variations in glacier rivers, we have examined three glacierized catchments in Greenland...... of diurnal oscillations, and in 2003 there were large diurnal fluctuations in δ18O. At Watson River, a large catchment at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the spatial distribution of δ18O in the river system was applied to fingerprint the relative runoff contributions from sub-catchments. Spot...

  10. Analytical solutions for recession analyses of sloping aquifers - applicability on relict rock glaciers in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauritsch, Marcus; Birk, Steffen; Hergarten, Stefan; Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Winkler, Gerfried

    2014-05-01

    Rock glaciers as aquifer systems in alpine catchments may strongly influence the hydrological characteristics of these catchments. Thus, they have a high impact on the ecosystem and potential natural hazards such as for example debris flow. Therefore, knowledge of the hydrodynamic processes, internal structure and properties of these aquifers is important for resource management and risk assessment. The investigation of such aquifers often turns out to be expensive and technically complicated because of their strongly limited accessibility. Analytical solutions of discharge recession provide a quick and easy way to estimate aquifer parameters. However, due to simplifying assumptions the validity of the interpretation is often questionable. In this study we compared results of an analytical solution of discharge recessions with results based on a numerical model. This was done in order to analyse the range of uncertainties and the applicability of the analytical method in alpine catchment areas. The research area is a 0.76 km² large catchment in the Seckauer Tauern Range, Austria. The dominant aquifer in this catchment is a rock glacier, namely the Schöneben Rock Glacier. This relict rock glacier (i.e. containing no permafrost at present) covers an area of 0.11 km² and is drained by one spring at the rock glacier front. The rock glacier consists predominantly of gneissic sediments (mainly coarse-grained, blocky at the surface) and extends from 1720 to 1905 m a.s.l.. Discharge of the rock glacier spring is automatically measured since 2002. Electric conductivity and water temperature is monitored since 2008. An automatic weather station was installed in 2011 in the central part of the catchment. Additionally data of geophysical surveys (refraction seismic and ground penetrating radar) have been used to analyse the base slope and inner structure of the rock glacier. The measured data are incorporated into a numerical model implemented in MODFLOW. The numerical

  11. Mapping sediment–landform assemblages to constrain lacustrine sedimentation in a glacier-fed lake catchment in northwest Spitsbergen

    OpenAIRE

    Bilt, Willem van der; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Bakke, Jostein

    2015-01-01

    Changes in the deposition of fine-grained rock-flour in glacier-fed lakes reflect glacier variability. This meltwater-driven signal is, however, often overprinted by other processes. To constrain the signature of lacustrine sedimentation, we mapped the catchment of glacier-fed Lake Hajeren in northwest Spitsbergen, identifying sediment sources and linking them to surface processes. To this end, we employed a combined approach of aerial image interpretation and field mapping. Our map comprises...

  12. Models for the runoff from a glacierized catchment area using measurements of environmental isotope contents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, H.; Moser, H.; Oerter, H.; Rauert, W.; Stichler, W.; Ambach, W.; Kirchlechner, P.

    1978-01-01

    In the glacierized catchment area of the Rofenache (Oetztal Alps, Austria) during several years measurements have been made of the environmental isotopes 2 H, 18 O and 3 H in the precipitation, in snow and ice samples and in the runoff. Furthermore the electrolytic conductivity of runoff samples was measured and tracing experiments were made with fluorescent dyes. From core samples drilled in the accumulation area of the Vernagtferner, the gross beta activity was investigated and compared with both, the data from 2 H, 3 H und 18 O analyses and the data from mass balance studies. It is shown that the annual net balance from previous years can be recovered on temperate glaciers using environmental isotope techniques. From the diurnal variations of the 2 H and 3 H contents and the electrolytic conductivity the following proportions in the runoff of the Vernagtferner catchment area were obtained during a 24-hour interval at a time of strong ablation (August 1976): about 50% of ice melt water, 25% of direct runoff fo firn- and snow melt water, and 7% of mineralized groundwater. The rest of the runoff consists of not mineralized melt water seeping from the glacier body. The annual variations of the 2 H and 3 H contents in the runoff of the glacierized catchment area permit conclusions on the time sequence of the individual ablation periods and on the residence time on the basis of model concepts. The residence times of approximately 100 days or 4 years, respectively, are obtained from the decrease in the 2 H content at the end of the ablation period and from the variation of the 3 H content in the winter discharge. (orig.) [de

  13. The role of glacier changes and threshold definition in the characterisation of future streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Van Tiel

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are essential hydrological reservoirs, storing and releasing water at various timescales. Short-term variability in glacier melt is one of the causes of streamflow droughts, here defined as deficiencies from the flow regime. Streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments have a wide range of interlinked causing factors related to precipitation and temperature on short and long timescales. Climate change affects glacier storage capacity, with resulting consequences for discharge regimes and streamflow drought. Future projections of streamflow drought in glacierised basins can, however, strongly depend on the modelling strategies and analysis approaches applied. Here, we examine the effect of different approaches, concerning the glacier modelling and the drought threshold, on the characterisation of streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments. Streamflow is simulated with the Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning (HBV-light model for two case study catchments, the Nigardsbreen catchment in Norway and the Wolverine catchment in Alaska, and two future climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Two types of glacier modelling are applied, a constant and dynamic glacier area conceptualisation. Streamflow droughts are identified with the variable threshold level method and their characteristics are compared between two periods, a historical (1975–2004 and future (2071–2100 period. Two existing threshold approaches to define future droughts are employed: (1 the threshold from the historical period; (2 a transient threshold approach, whereby the threshold adapts every year in the future to the changing regimes. Results show that drought characteristics differ among the combinations of glacier area modelling and thresholds. The historical threshold combined with a dynamic glacier area projects extreme increases in drought severity in the future, caused by the regime shift due to a reduction in glacier area. The historical

  14. The role of glacier changes and threshold definition in the characterisation of future streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tiel, Marit; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Wanders, Niko; Vis, Marc J. P.; Stahl, Kerstin; Van Loon, Anne F.

    2018-01-01

    Glaciers are essential hydrological reservoirs, storing and releasing water at various timescales. Short-term variability in glacier melt is one of the causes of streamflow droughts, here defined as deficiencies from the flow regime. Streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments have a wide range of interlinked causing factors related to precipitation and temperature on short and long timescales. Climate change affects glacier storage capacity, with resulting consequences for discharge regimes and streamflow drought. Future projections of streamflow drought in glacierised basins can, however, strongly depend on the modelling strategies and analysis approaches applied. Here, we examine the effect of different approaches, concerning the glacier modelling and the drought threshold, on the characterisation of streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments. Streamflow is simulated with the Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning (HBV-light) model for two case study catchments, the Nigardsbreen catchment in Norway and the Wolverine catchment in Alaska, and two future climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Two types of glacier modelling are applied, a constant and dynamic glacier area conceptualisation. Streamflow droughts are identified with the variable threshold level method and their characteristics are compared between two periods, a historical (1975-2004) and future (2071-2100) period. Two existing threshold approaches to define future droughts are employed: (1) the threshold from the historical period; (2) a transient threshold approach, whereby the threshold adapts every year in the future to the changing regimes. Results show that drought characteristics differ among the combinations of glacier area modelling and thresholds. The historical threshold combined with a dynamic glacier area projects extreme increases in drought severity in the future, caused by the regime shift due to a reduction in glacier area. The historical threshold combined with a

  15. Stable oxygen isotope variability in two contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Steffensen, Jørgen P.

    2016-01-01

    the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). At the Mittivakkat Gletscher river, a small river draining a local temperate glacier in southeast Greenland, diurnal oscillations in δ18O occurred with a 3 h time lag to the diurnal oscillations in run-off. The mean annual δ18O was -14.68±0.18‰ during the peak flow period...... event. Overall, a comparison of the δ18O compositions from glacial river water in Greenland shows distinct differences between water draining local glaciers and ice caps (between -23.0 and -13.7 ‰) and the GrIS (between -29.9 and -23.2 ‰). This study demonstrates that water isotope analyses can be used......Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of δ18O variations in Greenlandic rivers, we examined two contrasting glacierised catchments disconnected from...

  16. Estimation of snow and glacier melt contribution to Liddar stream in a mountainous catchment, western Himalaya: an isotopic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Gh; Shah, Rouf A; Jacob, Noble; Deshpande, Rajendrakumar D

    2017-03-01

    Snow- and glacier-dominated catchments in the Himalayas are important sources of fresh water to more than one billion people. However, the contribution of snowmelt and glacier melt to stream flow remains largely unquantified in most parts of the Himalayas. We used environmental isotopes and geochemical tracers to determine the source water and flow paths of stream flow draining the snow- and glacier-dominated mountainous catchment of the western Himalaya. The study suggested that the stream flow in the spring season is dominated by the snowmelt released from low altitudes and becomes isotopically depleted as the melt season progressed. The tracer-based mixing models suggested that snowmelt contributed a significant proportion (5-66 %) to stream flow throughout the year with the maximum contribution in spring and summer seasons (from March to July). In 2013 a large and persistent snowpack contributed significantly (∼51 %) to stream flow in autumn (September and October) as well. The average annual contribution of glacier melt to stream flow is little (5 %). However, the monthly contribution of glacier melt to stream flow reaches up to 19 % in September during years of less persistent snow pack.

  17. Modelling the contribution of supraglacial ice cliffs to the mass-balance of glaciers in the Langtang catchment, Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, P.; Steiner, J. F.; Miles, E.; Ragettli, S.; Pellicciotti, F.

    2017-12-01

    Supraglacial cliffs are typical surface features of debris-covered glaciers worldwide, affecting surface evolution, and mass balance by providing a direct ice-atmosphere interface where melt rates can be very high. As a result, ice cliffs act as windows of energy transfer from the atmosphere to the ice, and enhance melt and mass losses of otherwise insulated ice. However, their contribution to glacier mass balance has never been quantified at the glacier scale, and all inference has been obtained from upscaling results of point-scale models or observations at select individual cliffs. Here we use a 3D, physically-based backwasting model to estimate the volume losses associated with the melting and backwasting of supraglacial ice cliffs for the entire debris-covered glacier area of the Langtang catchment. We estimate mass losses for the 2014 melt season and compare them to recent values of glacier mass balance determined from geodetic and numerical modelling approached. Cliff outlines and topography are derived from high-resolution stereo SPOT6-imagery from April 2014. Meteorological data to force the model are provided by automatic weather stations on- and off-glacier within the valley. The model simulates ice cliff backwasting by considering the cliff-atmosphere energy-balance, reburial by debris and the effects of adjacent ponds. In the melt season of 2014, cliffs' distribution and patterns of mass losses vary considerably from glacier to glacier, and we relate rates of volume loss to both glaciers' and cliffs' characteristics. Only cliffs with a northerly aspect account for substantial losses. Uncertainty in our estimates is due to the quality of the stereo DEM, uncertainties in the cliff delineation and the fact that we use a conservative approach to cliff delineation and discard very small cliffs and those for which uncertainty in topography is high. Despite these uncertainties, our work presents the first estimate of the importance of supraglacial ice

  18. Managing glacier related risks in the Chucchún Catchment, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Randy; Gonzáles, César; Price, Karen; Frey, Holger; Huggel, Christian; Cochachin, Alejo; García, Javier; Mesa, Luis

    2015-04-01

    On April 11 2010, the city of Carhuaz and settlements in the Chucchún Catchment (Ancash region, Peru) suffered the impact of a glacier lake outburst flood. An avalanche of rock and ice from the Mount Hualcán hit the glacier lake 513, triggering a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) of 1 million m3 which destroyed farmland and several infrastructures. Although there was no loss of human life, the event caused panic in the population. In consequence, the Municipality of Carhuaz prioritized GLOF-related risk management. The Glacier Project, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and executed by CARE Peru and the University of Zurich, fosters the coordination among public institutions (Glaciological Unit of the National Water Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Municipality) and the population for risk management. In this contribution we present all components of the risk management strategy as well as the lessons learned during the implementation. Risk management involves managing both glacier hazard as well as the vulnerability of the population. In this framework a glaciological and geomorphological characterization of Mount Hualcán and lake 513 was perfomed in order to model past and potential future outburst floods and to assess the slope stability conditions. Based on three potential GLOF scenarios of different magnitudes, a hazard map was produced for the entire catchment, which served as the basis for the vulnerability and risk assessment as well as for the design and the implementation of an Early Warning System (EWS), including evacuation planning. The EWS consists of 4 components: 1) knowledge of risk, through hazard and vulnerability characterization; 2) monitoring and alert, through the installation of monitoring stations on lake 513 for detecting avalanches with geophones and cameras; 3) broadcasting and communications, through the implementation of communication protocols between the Municipality of Carhuaz and emergency

  19. Recent changes in equilibrium line altitudes of glaciers in the Chandra-Bhaga Catchments, the Western Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, R.; Vijay, S.; Banerjee, A.; Singh, G.

    2017-12-01

    Abstract: Climatic forcing affects a glacier through a change in the corresponding equilibrium line altitude (ELA). Many approximate methods are available in the literature for estimating ELA of glaciers that are in a steady state. Some of the rudimentary methods e.g. Toe-to-Headwall-Ratio method or mid-point elevation methods are based solely on the elevation range of the glacier cover, and ignore the variations in slope, valley width or the mass-balance profile. The mean-elevation method is more accurate in that it takes into account the glacier hypsometry. In this study, we extend this method to estimate the ELA of a glacier that is not in a steady state. We assume a linear mass-balance profile, and utilize geodetic mass balance and hypsometry of the glacier to obtain ELA. This method is generally useful to track, for example, the spatial pattern of recent ELA changes in a given region. We apply the above method to 46 debris-free glaciers in the Chandra-Bhaga catchments, the Western Himalaya, to understand the regional ELA forcing during 2000 to 2012. Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (2000) and TanDEM-X (2012) digital elevation model (DEM) are used to get elevation data. A strong correlation (r2=0.90 and pELAs with the corresponding end-of-summer-snowline-elevation data derived from cloud-free Landsat images validates our method. Our estimate for the recent ELA of Chhota shigri Glacier from the region are consistent with published glaciological ELA values. On a regional scale, the estimated ELAs are negatively correlated (r2= 0.66 and pELA per 10 mm/year reduction in rainfall. We shall also discuss the regional patterns of the changes in transient ELA between 2000 and 2012.

  20. Rock glaciers in crystalline catchments: Hidden permafrost-related threats to alpine headwater lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyashuk, Boris P; Ilyashuk, Elena A; Psenner, Roland; Tessadri, Richard; Koinig, Karin A

    2018-04-01

    A global warming-induced transition from glacial to periglacial processes has been identified in mountainous regions around the world. Degrading permafrost in pristine periglacial environments can produce acid rock drainage (ARD) and cause severe ecological damage in areas underlain by sulfide-bearing bedrock. Limnological and paleolimnological approaches were used to assess and compare ARDs generated by rock glaciers, a typical landform of the mountain permafrost domain, and their effects on alpine headwater lakes with similar morphometric features and underlying bedrock geology, but characterized by different intensities of frost action in their catchments during the year. We argue that ARD and its effects on lakes are more severe in the alpine periglacial belt with mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) between -2°C and +3°C, where groundwater persists in the liquid phase for most of the year, in contrast to ARD in the periglacial belt where frost action dominates (MAAT cycle of aquatic organisms should be considered when reconstructing long-term trends in the ecotoxicological state of lakes. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

    Glaciers are among the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth, as well as the least known and understood, for most of us. Michael Hambrey describes how glaciers grow and decay, move and influence human civilization. Currently covering a tenth of the Earth's surface, glacier ice has shaped the landscape over millions of years by scouring away rocks and transporting and depositing debris far from its source. Glacier meltwater drives turbines and irrigates deserts, and yields mineral-rich soils as well as a wealth of valuable sand and gravel. However, glaciers also threaten human property and life. Our future is indirectly connected with the fate of glaciers and their influence on global climate and sea level. Including over 200 stunning photographs, the book takes the reader from the High-Arctic through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand and South America to the Antarctic. Michael Hambrey is Director of the Centre for Glaciology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A past recipient of the Polar Medal, he was also given the Earth Science Editors' Outstanding Publication Award for the first edition of Glaciers (Cambridge, 1995). Hambrey is also the author of Glacial Environments (British Columbia, 1994). JÜrg Alean is Professor of Geography at the Kantonsschule ZÜrcher Unterland in BÜlach, Switzerland.

  2. Application of Temperature Index Model to Assess the Future Hydrological Regime of the Glacierized Catchments in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayastha, R.; Kayastha, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Unavailability of hydro meteorological data in the Himalayan regions is challenging on understanding the flow regimes. Temperature index model is simple yet the powerful glacio-hydrological model to simulate the discharge in the glacierized basin. Modified Positive Degree Day (MPDD) Model Version 2.0 is a grid-ded based semi distributed model with baseflow module is a robust melt modelling tools to estimate the discharge. MPDD model uses temperature and precipitation as a forcing datasets to simulate the discharge and also to obtain the snowmelt, icemelt, rain and baseflow contribution on total discharge. In this study two glacierized, Marsyangdi and Langtang catchment were investigated for the future hydrological regimes. Marsyangdi encompasses an area of 4026.19 sq. km with 20% glaciated area, whereas Langtang catchment with area of 354.64 sq. km with 36% glaciated area is studied to examine for the future climatic scenarios. The model simulates discharge well for the observed period; (1992-1998) in Marsyangdi and from (2007-2013) in Langtang catchment. The Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) for the both catchment were above 0.75 with the volume difference less than - 8 %. The snow and ice melts contribution in Marsyangdi were 4.7% and 10.2% whereas in Langtang the contribution is 15.3% and 23.4%, respectively. Rain contribution ( 40%) is higher than the baseflow contribution in total discharge in both basins. The future river discharge is also predicted using the future climate data from the regional climate models (RCMs) of CORDEX South Asia experiments for the medium stabilization scenario RCP4.5 and very high radiative forcing scenario RCP8.5 after bias correction. The projected future discharge of both catchment shows slightly increase in both scenarios with increase of snow and ice melt contribution on discharge. The result generated from the model can be utilized to understand the future hydrological regimes of the glacierized catchment also the impact of

  3. Hydrological response in catchments whit debris covered glaciers in the semi-arid Andes, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caro, A.; McPhee, J.; MacDonell, S.; Pellicciotti, F.; Ayala, A.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers in the semi-arid Andes Cordillera in Chile have shrank rapidly during the 20th century. Negative mass balance contributes to increase the surface area of debris-covered glaciers. Recent research in Chile suggests that contributions from glaciers to summer season river flow in dry years is very important, however hydrological processes determining the glacier contribution are still poorly understood in the region. This work seeks to determine appropriate parameters for the simulation of melt volume in two watersheds dominated by debris-covered glaciers, in order to understand its variability in time and space, in the area with the largest population in Chile. The hydrological simulation is performed for the Tapado (30°S) and Pirámide (33ºS) glaciers, which can be defined as cold and temperate respectively. To simulate the hydrological behaviour we adopt the physically-based TOPographic Kinematic wave APproximation model (TOPKAPI-ETH). The hydrometeorological records necessary model runs have been collected through fieldwork from 2013 to 2015. Regarding the calibration of the model parameters melting ETI, its observed that the value for TF in Pirámide is a third of the value for Tapado glacier, while SRF is half in Tapado regarding to Pirámide. The runoff in the glaciers, the constant snow and ice storage are higher in Tapado regarding Pirámide. Results show a contribution of glacial outflow to runoff during 2015 of 55% in Tapado and 77% in Pirámide, with maximum contributions between January and March in Tapado and Pirámide between November and March, presenting the relevance of the permanence of snow cover during spring and shelter that provides debris-covered in reducing the melting glacier. The results have allowed to know the relevance of the glacier contribution to mountain streams, allowing to know the calibration parameters most relevant in the hydrology balance of glacier basins in the Andes.

  4. Impact of glaciers retreat on highland Andean wetlands and communities: lessons from the upper Cachi catchment (Ayacucho, Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angulo, Oscar; Biévre Bert, De

    2017-04-01

    The vulnerability of water resources under climate change scenarios in Peru is generally regarded to be connected to a diminished availability of water due to retreating glaciers. However, the impact of glacier retreat goes much beyond a decline of glacial water reserves. This article argues that another important impact is the extreme erosion in areas where glaciers have recently melted, as well as the accumulation of erosion material in highland wetlands located downslope. As a direct consequence of these changes highland Andean communities which depend on these ecosystems are affected in socio-economic terms as they find themselves forced to alter ancestral dynamics and traditional practices of land and water use. This quickly leads to a vicious cycle of risks and threats. In such a context a possibility to adapt to glacial retreat should be to protect areas affected by glacial melt in order to enable a rapid development of protective vegetation cover. In the upper catchment of the Cachi River interesting experiences of protection and water harvesting exist that could be extended to other high vulnerability areas for the benefit of highland populations as well as downstream water users, such as the irrigation system of Cachi and the city of Ayacucho.

  5. Simulations of future runoff conditions for glacierized catchments in the Ötztal Alps (Austria) using the physically based hydroclimatological model AMUNDSEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanzer, Florian; Förster, Kristian; Marke, Thomas; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Assessing the amount of water resources stored in mountain catchments as snow and ice as well as the timing of meltwater production and the resulting streamflow runoff is of high interest for glaciohydrological investigations and hydropower production. Climate change induced seasonal shifts in snow and ice melt will alter the hydrological regimes in glacierized catchments in terms of both timing and magnitude of discharge. We present the setup of the hydroclimatological model AMUNDSEN for a highly glacierized (24 %) 558 km2 large study area (1760-3768 m a.s.l.) in the Ötztal Alps (Austria), and first results of simulated future runoff conditions. The study region comprises the headwater catchments of the valleys Ötztal, Pitztal, and Kaunertal, which contribute to the streamflow of the river Inn. AMUNDSEN is a fully distributed physically based model designed to quantify the energy and mass balance of snow and ice surfaces in complex topography as well as streamflow generation for a given catchment. The model has been extensively validated for past conditions and has been extended by an empirical glacier evolution model (Δh approach) for the present study. Statistically downscaled EURO-CORDEX climate simulations covering the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios are used as the meteorological forcing for the period 2006-2050. Model results are evaluated in terms of magnitude and change of the contributions of the individual runoff components (snowmelt, ice melt, rain) in the subcatchments as well as the change in glacier volume and area.

  6. Ice volume distribution and implications on runoff projections in a glacierized catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gabbi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A dense network of helicopter-based ground-penetrating radar (GPR measurements was used to determine the ice-thickness distribution in the Mauvoisin region. The comprehensive set of ice-thickness measurements was combined with an ice-thickness estimation approach for an accurate determination of the bedrock. A total ice volume of 3.69 ± 0.31 km3 and a maximum ice thickness of 290 m were found. The ice-thickness values were then employed as input for a combined glacio-hydrological model forced by most recent regional climate scenarios. This model provided glacier evolution and runoff projections for the period 2010–2100. Runoff projections of the measured initial ice volume distribution show an increase in annual runoff of 4% in the next two decades, followed by a persistent runoff decrease until 2100. Finally, we checked the influence of the ice-thickness distribution on runoff projections. Our analyses revealed that reliable estimates of the ice volume are essential for modelling future glacier and runoff evolution. Wrong estimations of the total ice volume might even lead to deviations of the predicted general runoff trend.

  7. Groundwater, springs, and stream flow generation in an alpine meadow of a tropical glacierized catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, R.; Lautz, L. K.; McKenzie, J. M.; Mark, B. G.; Chavez, D.

    2013-12-01

    Melting tropical glaciers supply approximately half of dry season stream discharge in glacierized valleys of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. The remainder of streamflow originates as groundwater stored in alpine meadows, moraines and talus slopes. A better understanding of the dynamics of alpine groundwater, including sources and contributions to streamflow, is important for making accurate estimates of glacial inputs to the hydrologic budget, and for our ability to make predictions about future water resources as glaciers retreat. Our field study, conducted during the dry season in the Llanganuco valley, focused on a 0.5-km2 alpine meadow complex at 4400 m elevation, which includes talus slopes, terminal moraines, and a debris fan. Two glacial lakes and springs throughout the complex feed a network of stream channels that flow across the meadow (~2 km total length). We combined tracer measurements of stream and spring discharge and groundwater-surface water exchange with synoptic sampling of water isotopic and geochemical composition, in order to characterize and quantify contributions to streamflow from different geomorphic features. Surface water inputs to the stream channels totaled 58 l/s, while the stream gained an additional 57 l/s from groundwater inputs. Water chemistry is primarily controlled by flowpath type (surface/subsurface) and length, as well as bedrock lithology, while stable water isotopic composition appears to be controlled by water source (glacial lake, meadow or deep groundwater). Stream water chemistry is most similar to meadow groundwater springs, but isotopic composition suggests that the majority of stream water, which issues from springs at the meadow/fan interface, is from the same glacial source as the up-gradient lake. Groundwater sampled from piezometers in confined meadow aquifers is unique in both chemistry and isotopic composition, but does not contribute a large percentage of stream water exiting this small meadow, as quantified by

  8. EVALUATION OF GLACIER MELT CONTRIBUTION TO RUNOFF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS ALPINE CATCHMENTS USING ISOTOPIC METHODS AND ENERGY BALANCE MODELING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Rets

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Frequency and intensity of river floods rise observed in the North Caucasus during last decades is considered to be driven by recent climate change. In order to predict possible future trends in extreme hydrological events in the context of climate change, it is essential to estimate the contribution of different feed sources in complicated flow-forming processes in the alpine part of the North Caucasus. A study was carried out for the Djankuat River basin, the representative for the North Caucasus system. Simultaneous measurements of electrical conductivity, isotopic and ion balance equations, and energy balance modeling of ice and snow melt were used to evaluate the contribution of different sources and processes in the Djankuat River runoff regime formation. A forecast of possible future changes in the Djankuat glacier melting regime according to the predicted climate changes was done.

  9. Hydrological Modeling of the Upper Indus Basin: A Case Study from a High-Altitude Glacierized Catchment Hunza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan Garee

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soil andWater Assessment Tool (SWAT model combined with a temperature index and elevation band algorithm was applied to the Hunza watershed, where snow and glacier-melt are the major contributor to river flow. This study’s uniqueness is its use of a snow melt algorithm (temperature index with elevation bands combined with the SWAT, applied to evaluate the performance of the SWAT model in the highly snow and glacier covered watershed of the Upper Indus Basin in response to climate change on future streamflow volume at the outlet of the Hunza watershed, and its contribution to the Indus River System in both space and time, despite its limitation; it is not designed to cover the watershed of heterogeneous mountains. The model was calibrated for the years 1998–2004 and validated for the years 2008–2010. The model performance is evaluated using the four recommended statistical coefficients with uncertainty analysis (p-factor and r-factor. Simulations generated good calibration and validation results for the daily flow gauge. The model efficiency was evaluated, and a strong relationship was observed between the simulated and observed flows. The model results give a coefficient of determination (R2 of 0.82 and a Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency index (NS of 0.80 for the daily flow with values of p-factor (79% and r-factor (76%. The SWAT model was also used to evaluate climate change impact on hydrological regimes, the target watershed with three GCMs (General Circulation Model of the IPCC fifth report for 2030–2059 and 2070–2099, using 1980–2010 as the control period. Overall, temperature (1.39 C to 6.58 C and precipitation (31% indicated increased variability at the end of the century with increasing river flow (5%–10%; in particular, the analysis showed smaller absolute changes in the hydrology of the study area towards the end of the century. The results revealed that the calibrated model was more sensitive towards temperature and

  10. Origin and transport of sediments in an alpine glaciated catchment (Bossons glacier, France): a quantification combining hydro-sedimentary data, radio-frequency identification of pebbles, cosmogenic nuclides content and probabilistic methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillon, Herve

    2016-01-01

    Among the most efficient agents of erosion, glaciers react dynamically to climate change, leading to a significant adjustment of downstream sediment flux. Present-day global warming raises the question regarding the evolution of the sediment load originating from partially glaciated catchment. The detrital export from such environment results from erosion processes operating within distinct geomorphologic domains: supra-glacial rock-walls, ice-covered substratum and the pro-glacial area, downstream from the glacier. The general intent of this doctoral research is therefore to characterize the origin and transport of sediments in the watersheds of two streams draining Bossons glacier (Mont-Blanc massif, France).For this purpose, the components of the sediment flux coming from supra-glacial, sub-glacial and pro-glacial domains are separated and quantified by innovating methods: i. Using the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides concentrations as evidence of a supra-glacial transport; ii. Combining meteorological data and hydro-sedimentary data acquired at a high time resolution (2 min) and completed by multi-linear models; iii. Estimating sediment flux by source for 7 years and with a probabilistic method; iv. Associating radio-frequency identification of pebbles in the pro-glacial area with a stochastic transport analysis.Through numerical tools, applying the presented methodologies provides erosion rates of the supra-glacial, sub-glacial and pro-glacial domains, and determines the sediment transfer mechanisms within the catchment.Thus in the terminal part of the glacier, 52±14 to 9±4% of the supra-glacial load is transferred to the sub-glacial drainage network. Moreover, its evolution throughout the melt season leads to the export of the winter sediment production during a limited period. Furthermore, the drainage configuration beneath the glacier and its retreat control the remobilization of a long-term sediment stock. These processes explain the contrast between the

  11. The Open Global Glacier Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzeion, B.; Maussion, F.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain glaciers are one of the few remaining sub-systems of the global climate system for which no globally applicable, open source, community-driven model exists. Notable examples from the ice sheet community include the Parallel Ice Sheet Model or Elmer/Ice. While the atmospheric modeling community has a long tradition of sharing models (e.g. the Weather Research and Forecasting model) or comparing them (e.g. the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project or CMIP), recent initiatives originating from the glaciological community show a new willingness to better coordinate global research efforts following the CMIP example (e.g. the Glacier Model Intercomparison Project or the Glacier Ice Thickness Estimation Working Group). In the recent past, great advances have been made in the global availability of data and methods relevant for glacier modeling, spanning glacier outlines, automatized glacier centerline identification, bed rock inversion methods, and global topographic data sets. Taken together, these advances now allow the ice dynamics of glaciers to be modeled on a global scale, provided that adequate modeling platforms are available. Here, we present the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM), developed to provide a global scale, modular, and open source numerical model framework for consistently simulating past and future global scale glacier change. Global not only in the sense of leading to meaningful results for all glaciers combined, but also for any small ensemble of glaciers, e.g. at the headwater catchment scale. Modular to allow combinations of different approaches to the representation of ice flow and surface mass balance, enabling a new kind of model intercomparison. Open source so that the code can be read and used by anyone and so that new modules can be added and discussed by the community, following the principles of open governance. Consistent in order to provide uncertainty measures at all realizable scales.

  12. Weathering and the mobility of phosphorus in the catchments and forefields of the Rhône and Oberaar glaciers, central Switzerland: Implications for the global phosphorus cycle on glacial-interglacial timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Föllmi, Karl B.; Hosein, Rachel; Arn, Kaspar; Steinmann, Philipp

    2009-04-01

    In this study we evaluate the dynamics of the biophile element phosphorus (P) in the catchment and proglacial areas of the Rhône and Oberaar glaciers (central Switzerland). We analysed erosion and dissolution rates of P-containing minerals in the subglacial environment by sampling water and suspended sediment in glacier outlets during three ablation and two accumulation seasons. We also quantified biogeochemical weathering rates of detrital P in proglacial sedimentary deposits using two chronosequences of samples of fresh, suspended, material obtained from the Oberaar and Rhône water outlets, Little-Ice-Age (LIA) moraines and Younger Dryas (YD) tills in each catchment. Subglacial P weathering is mainly a physical process and detrital P represents more than 99% of the precipitation-corrected total P denudation flux (234 and 540 kg km -2 yr -1 for the Rhône and Oberaar catchments, respectively). The calculated detrital P flux rates are three to almost five times higher than the world average flux. The precipitation-corrected soluble reactive P (SRP) flux corresponds to 1.88-1.99 kg km -2 yr -1 (Rhône) and 2.12-2.44 kg km -2 yr -1 (Oberaar), respectively. These fluxes are comparable to those of tropical rivers draining transport-limited, tectonically inactive weathering areas. In order to evaluate the efficiency of detrital P weathering in the Rhône and Oberaar proglacial areas, we systematically graded apatite grains extracted from the chronosequence in each catchment relative to weathering-induced changes in their surface morphologies (grades 1-4). Fresh apatite grains are heavily indented and dissolution rounded (grade 1). LIA grains from two 0-10 cm deep moraine samples show extensive dissolution etching, similar to surface grains from the YD profile (mean grades 2.7, 3.5 and 3.5, respectively). In these proglacial deposits, the weathering front deepens progressively as a function of time due to biocorrosion in the evolving acidic pedosphere , with mechanical

  13. Tropical Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Andrew

    The term "tropical glacier" calls to mind balmy nights and palm trees on one hand and cold, blue ice on the other. Certainly author Gabriel Garcia Marqez exploited this contrast in One Hundred Years of Solitude. We know that tropical fish live in warm, Sun-kissed waters and tropical plants provide lush, dense foliage populated by colorful tropical birds. So how do tropical glaciers fit into this scene? Like glaciers everywhere, tropical glaciers form where mass accumulation—usually winter snow—exceeds mass loss, which is generally summer melt. Thus, tropical glaciers exist at high elevations where precipitation can occur as snowfall exceeds melt and sublimation losses, such as the Rwenzori Mountains in east Africa and the Maoke Range of Irian Jaya.

  14. Arctic polynya and glacier interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Laura

    2013-04-01

    Major uncertainties surround future estimates of sea level rise attributable to mass loss from the polar ice sheets and ice caps. Understanding changes across the Arctic is vital as major potential contributors to sea level, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the ice caps and glaciers of the Canadian Arctic archipelago, have experienced dramatic changes in recent times. Most ice mass loss is currently focused at a relatively small number of glacier catchments where ice acceleration, thinning and calving occurs at ocean margins. Research suggests that these tidewater glaciers accelerate and iceberg calving rates increase when warming ocean currents increase melt on the underside of floating glacier ice and when adjacent sea ice is removed causing a reduction in 'buttressing' back stress. Thus localised changes in ocean temperatures and in sea ice (extent and thickness) adjacent to major glacial catchments can impact hugely on the dynamics of, and hence mass lost from, terrestrial ice sheets and ice caps. Polynyas are areas of open water within sea ice which remain unfrozen for much of the year. They vary significantly in size (~3 km2 to > ~50,000 km2 in the Arctic), recurrence rates and duration. Despite their relatively small size, polynyas play a vital role in the heat balance of the polar oceans and strongly impact regional oceanography. Where polynyas develop adjacent to tidewater glaciers their influence on ocean circulation and water temperatures may play a major part in controlling subsurface ice melt rates by impacting on the water masses reaching the calving front. Areas of open water also play a significant role in controlling the potential of the atmosphere to carry moisture, as well as allowing heat exchange between the atmosphere and ocean, and so can influence accumulation on (and hence thickness of) glaciers and ice caps. Polynya presence and size also has implications for sea ice extent and therefore potentially the buttressing effect on neighbouring

  15. The hydrological role of snow and glaciers in alpine river basins and their distributed modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbunt, M.; Gurtz, J.; Jasper, K.; Lang, H.; Warmerdam, P.M.M.; Zappa, M.

    2003-01-01

    A temperature index approach including incoming solar radiation was used as a sub-model in the gridded hydrological catchment model WaSiM-ETH to simulate the melt rate of glacierized areas. Melt water and rainfall are transformed into glacier discharge by using linear reservoir approaches. The

  16. Glaciers of North America - Glaciers of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    Glaciers cover about 75,000 km2 of Alaska, about 5 percent of the State. The glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges, 1 large island, an island chain, and 1 archipelago and range in elevation from more than 6,000 m to below sea level. Alaska's glaciers extend geographically from the far southeast at lat 55 deg 19'N., long 130 deg 05'W., about 100 kilometers east of Ketchikan, to the far southwest at Kiska Island at lat 52 deg 05'N., long 177 deg 35'E., in the Aleutian Islands, and as far north as lat 69 deg 20'N., long 143 deg 45'W., in the Brooks Range. During the 'Little Ice Age', Alaska's glaciers expanded significantly. The total area and volume of glaciers in Alaska continue to decrease, as they have been doing since the 18th century. Of the 153 1:250,000-scale topographic maps that cover the State of Alaska, 63 sheets show glaciers. Although the number of extant glaciers has never been systematically counted and is thus unknown, the total probably is greater than 100,000. Only about 600 glaciers (about 1 percent) have been officially named by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). There are about 60 active and former tidewater glaciers in Alaska. Within the glacierized mountain ranges of southeastern Alaska and western Canada, 205 glaciers (75 percent in Alaska) have a history of surging. In the same region, at least 53 present and 7 former large ice-dammed lakes have produced jokulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods). Ice-capped volcanoes on mainland Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands have a potential for jokulhlaups caused by subglacier volcanic and geothermal activity. Because of the size of the area covered by glaciers and the lack of large-scale maps of the glacierized areas, satellite imagery and other satellite remote-sensing data are the only practical means of monitoring regional changes in the area and volume of Alaska's glaciers in response to short- and long-term changes in the maritime and continental climates of the State. A review of the

  17. Glaciers of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

    ALPS: AUSTRIAN: An overview is provided on the occurrence of the glaciers in the Eastern Alps of Austria and on the climatic conditions in this area, Historical documents on the glaciers have been available since the Middle Ages. Special glaciological observations and topographic surveys of individual glaciers were initiated as early as 1846. Recent data in an inventory based on aerial photographs taken in 1969 show 925 glaciers in the Austrian Alps with a total area of 542 square kilometers. Present research topics include studies of mass and energy balance, relations of glaciers and climate, physical glaciology, a complete inventory of the glaciers, and testing of remote sensing methods. The location of the glacier areas is shown on Landsat multispectral scanner images; the improved capabilities of the Landsat thematic mapper are illustrated with an example from the Oztaler Alpen group. ALPS: SWISS: According to a glacier inventory published in 1976, which is based on aerial photography of 1973, there are 1,828 glacier units in the Swiss Alps that cover a total area of 1fl42 square kilometers. The Rhonegletscher, currently the ninth largest in the country, was one of the first to be studied in detail. Its surface has been surveyed repeatedly; velocity profiles were measured, and the fluctuations of its terminus were mapped and recorded from 1874 to 1914. Recent research on the glacier has included climatological, hydrological, and massbalance studies. Glaciological research has been conducted on various other glaciers in Switzerland concerning glacier hydrology, glacier hazards, fluctuations of glacier termini, ice mechanics, ice cores, and mass balance. Good maps are available showing the extent of glaciers from the latter decades of the 19th century. More recently, the entire country has been mapped at scales of 1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:100,000, 1:200,000, and 1:500,000. The 1:25,000-scale series very accurately represents the glaciers as well as locates

  18. GlacierRocks - Glacier-Headwall Interaction and its Influence on Rockfall Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmeyer, Ingo; Keuschnig, Markus; Krautblatter, Michael; Helfricht, Kay; Leith, Kerry; Otto, Jan-Christoph

    2017-04-01

    Climate models predict continued climate warming and a decrease of Austrian glaciers to less than 20% of their present area by the end of this century. Rockfall from freshly exposed headwalls has been documented as an increasing risk factor with considerable significance for man and high-alpine infrastructure. Recent findings of a five-year terrestrial laserscanning campaign (2011-2016) monitoring glacial headwalls at the Kitzsteinhorn (3.203 m a.s.l.), Hohe Tauern Range, Austria, show the dramatic impact of glacier thinning on adjacent headwalls: 80 % of the detected rockfall volumes were triggered from areas located less than 20 m above the current glacier surface. Despite these implications, little is known about the thermal, mechanical and hydrological processes that operate at the glacier-headwall interface (randkluft). Systemic in-situ monitoring of stability-relevant parameters are lacking, leaving fundamental gaps in the understanding of rockfall preconditioning in glacial headwalls and the geomorphological evolution of glaciated catchments. In this contribution we introduce the recently approved research project 'GlacierRocks', which starts in 2017 and will run for at least three years. 'GlacierRocks' will establish the worldwide first research site for long-term monitoring of stability-relevant processes inside a randkluft system. Based on the acquired monitoring data 'GlacierRocks' is pursuing three overall aims at (1) gaining a better understanding of rockfall preconditioning in randklufts and related geomorphological shaping of headwalls, (2) analyzing poorly understood glacial thinning dynamics near headwalls, and (3) estimating present and future rockfall hazard potential in headwalls on a regional scale. The three system components (headwall, glacier, randkluft) will be investigated by combining geomorphological, glaciological and meteorological methods. 'GlacierRocks' will continuously monitor rock temperature, rock moisture, frost cracking

  19. Glacier Photograph Collection

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Glacier Photograph Collection is a database of photographs of glaciers from around the world, some dating back to the mid-1850's, that provide an historical...

  20. World Glacier Inventory

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The World Glacier Inventory (WGI) contains information for over 130,000 glaciers. Inventory parameters include geographic location, area, length, orientation,...

  1. Glaciers between two drivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst

    2014-01-01

    It is assumed that the monsoon is the dominant influence on Himalayan glaciers. However, a study now investigates the importance of the mid-latitude Westerlies and shows that glacier changes can be triggered from afar.......It is assumed that the monsoon is the dominant influence on Himalayan glaciers. However, a study now investigates the importance of the mid-latitude Westerlies and shows that glacier changes can be triggered from afar....

  2. Hydrological response to climate change in a glaciated catchment in the Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Immerzeel, W.W.; Beek, L.P.H. van; Konz, M.; Shresta, A.B.; Bierkens, M.F.P.

    2012-01-01

    The analysis of climate change impact on the hydrology of high altitude glacierized catchments in the Himalayas is complex due to the high variability in climate, lack of data, large uncertainties in climate change projection and uncertainty about the response of glaciers. Therefore a high

  3. Glacialmorphological reconstruction of glacier advances and glacial lake outburst floods at the Cachapoal glacier in the Dry Central Andes of Chile (34°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrizaga, Lasafam; Charrier, Reynaldo

    2013-04-01

    Throughout the Andes Mountain range of South America a general trend of glacier shrinkage has taken place in the last century. Only a few glaciers have shown a rather non-continuous trend of glacier retreat and temporally advanced or even surged during the mid-19th to 20th century. One of the earliest assumed glacier surges has occurred in the upper Cachapoal catchment area at the homonymous glacier. In climatic respect the Cachapoal glacier is located in the transition zone from the most southern part of the Dry Central Andes of Chile to the more humid zone of the Wet Andes. The region is affected mainly by winter precipitation deriving from the Westerlies. The debris-covered, 12 km-long Cachapoal glacier represents one of the largest valley glaciers in the Central Andes. It is an avalanche-fed glacier with an almost 1500 m-high head wall in its upper catchment area flowing down from Picos del Barroso (5180 m) and terminates at an elevation of 2630 m a.s.l. with a bifurcated glacier tongue. A large moraine complex, almost 2 km in length and 500 m in width, separates the two glacier lobes. During times of advanced glacier tongue positions the Ríos Molina and Cachapoal may be have blocked independently at two distinct localities which are situated about 2300 m apart from each other. A blockage with temporal lake formation has occurred at least in the years 1848, 1955 and 1981 (cf. Plagemann 1887, Peña 1981), from which the rupture of the earliest glacier barrier has been the most devastating. This event is locally reminded as "la gran avenida en seco" in the historical record. Geomorphological evidence of the past historical and modern glacier expansions is given in the proglacial area by a fresh dead-ice hummocky topography and glacial trimlines at the valley flanks. More down valley broad outwash plains and boulder clusters indicate past high energy floods produced by glacier lake outbursts. Regarding the small size of the catchment area of the Río Molina

  4. Glaciers of Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    2010-01-01

    This chapter is the ninth to be released in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, a series of 11 chapters. In each of the geographic area chapters, remotely sensed images, primarily from the Landsat 1, 2, and 3 series of spacecraft, are used to analyze the specific glacierized region of our planet under consideration and to monitor glacier changes. Landsat images, acquired primarily during the middle to late 1970s and early 1980s, were used by an international team of glaciologists and other scientists to study various geographic regions and (or) to discuss related glaciological topics. In each glacierized geographic region, the present areal distribution of glaciers is compared, wherever possible, with historical information about their past extent. The atlas provides an accurate regional inventory of the areal extent of glacier ice on our planet during the 1970s as part of a growing international scientific effort to measure global environmental change on the Earth?s surface. The chapter is divided into seven geographic parts and one topical part: Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union (F-1), Glaciers of China (F-2), Glaciers of Afghanistan (F?3), Glaciers of Pakistan (F-4), Glaciers of India (F-5), Glaciers of Nepal (F?6), Glaciers of Bhutan (F-7), and the Paleoenvironmental Record Preserved in Middle-Latitude, High-Mountain Glaciers (F-8). Each geographic section describes the glacier extent during the 1970s and 1980s, the benchmark time period (1972-1981) of this volume, but has been updated to include more recent information. Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union are located in the Russian Arctic and various mountain ranges of Russia and the Republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakstun. The Glacier Inventory of the USSR and the World Atlas of Ice and Snow Resources recorded a total of 28,881 glaciers covering an area of 78,938 square kilometers (km2). China includes many of the mountain-glacier

  5. Tibetan Plateau glacier and hydrological change under stratospheric aerosol injection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, D.

    2017-12-01

    As an important inland freshwater resource, mountain glaciers are highly related to human life, they provide water for many large rivers and play a very important role in regional water cycles. The response of mountain glaciers to future climate change is a topic of concern especially to the many people who rely on glacier-fed rivers for purposes such as irrigation. Geoengineering by stratospheric aerosol injection is a method of offsetting the global temperature rise from greenhouse gases. How the geoengineering by stratospheric aerosol injection affects the mass balance of mountain glaciers and adjacent river discharge is little understood. In this study, we use regional climate model WRF and catchment-based river model CaMa-Flood to study the impacts of stratospheric aerosol injection to Tibetan Plateau glacier mass balance and adjacent river discharge. To facilitate mountain glacier mass balance study, we improve the description of mountain glacier in the land surface scheme of WRF. The improvements include: (1) a fine mesh nested in WRF horizontal grid to match the highly non-uniform spatial distribution of the mountain glaciers, (2) revising the radiation flux at the glacier surface considering the surrounding terrain. We use the projections of five Earth system models for CMIP5 rcp45 and GeoMIP G4 scenarios to drive the WRF and CaMa-Flood models. The G4 scenario, which uses stratospheric aerosols to reduce the incoming shortwave while applying the rcp4.5 greenhouse gas forcing, starts stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection at a rate of 5 Tg per year over the period 2020-2069. The ensemble projections suggest relatively slower glacier mass loss rates and reduced river discharge at Tibetan Plateau and adjacent regions under geoengineering scenario by stratospheric aerosol injection.

  6. Hydrological interaction between glacier and páramos in the tropical Andes: implications for water resources availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villacís, Marcos; Cadier, Eric; Mena, Sandra; Anaguano, Marcelo; Calispa, Marlon; Maisisncho, Luis; Galárraga, Remigio; Francou, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    Preliminary hydro glacier estimates indicate that glacier contribution to the average annual consumption (5.6 m3 s-1) of the city of Quito (Capital of Ecuador, ~2'500.000 inhabitants, 2800 masl) represents only about 2%-4% of the total supply for human consumption. However, at the local level at the Antizana volcano (0°28'S, 78°09'W), the mass balance analysis of the system composed by the Humboldt catchment (area of 15.1 km2, 15% of glaciarized area, 5% of moraines area, 80% of the area is páramo-endemic ecosystem of the tropical Andes, range from 5670 masl to 4000 masl) and Los Crespos catchment (area of 2.4 km2, 67% glaciarized area, 27% moraines area, range from 5670 masl to 4500 masl), which is nested into the Humboldt catchment, allows us to identify that due to the presence of the glacier reservoirs there is an additional contribution of 24% to the annual volume at the Humboldt catchment and it helps to regulate the runoff during the dry season, where the daily additional glacier contribution from November to February in some cases could reach t 40%. The Humboldt catchment has similar physiographic characteristics than the sites where new diversions will be built in the future in order to satisfy the increasing demand of water for human consumption of the city of Quito and its surrounding populations. Based on detail hydrological observations (every 15 minutes measurements) during 2005 to 2009 and sporadic environmental trace analysis during the same period, the annual percentage of glacier contribution from the Humboldt catchment could potentially be as high as 37% due in part to the glacier melt contribution that gets infiltrated over 4750 masl it is then delivered around 4100 masl through underground circulation. Some of the sites where the glacier contribution reaches de surface has been identified through field work and the glacier origin of this water have been confirmed using a conductivity measurement, which seems to be a good indicator in when

  7. Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heynen, Martin; Miles, Evan; Ragettli, Silvan; Buri, Pascal; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Air temperature is a key control of processes affecting snow and glaciers in high-elevation catchments, including melt, snowfall and sublimation. It is therefore a key input variable to models of land-surface-atmosphere interaction. Despite this importance, its spatial variability is poorly

  8. Hydrological scenarios for two selected Alpine catchments for the 21st century using a stochastic weather generator and enhanced process understanding for modelling of seasonal snow and glacier melt for improved water resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Schneeberger, Klaus; Dabhi, Hetal; Dubrovsky, Martin; Hanzer, Florian; Marke, Thomas; Oberguggenberger, Michael; Rössler, Ole; Schmieder, Jan; Rotach, Mathias; Stötter, Johann; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    The overall objective of HydroGeM³ is to quantify and assess both water demand and water supply in two coupled human-environment mountain systems, i.e. Lütschine in Switzerland and Ötztaler Ache in Austria. Special emphasis is laid on the analysis of possible future seasonal water scarcity. The hydrological response of high Alpine catchments is characterised by a strong seasonal variability with low runoff in winter and high runoff in spring and summer. Climate change is expected to cause a seasonal shift of the runoff regime and thus it has significant impact on both amount and timing of the release of the available water resources, and thereof, possible future water conflicts. In order to identify and quantify the contribution of snow and ice melt as well as rain to runoff, streamflow composition will be analysed with natural tracers. The results of the field investigations will help to improve the snow and ice melt and runoff modules of two selected hydrological models (i.e. AMUNDSEN and WaSiM) which are used to investigate the seasonal water availability under current and future climate conditions. Together, they comprise improved descriptions of boundary layer and surface melt processes (AMUNDSEN), and of streamflow runoff generation (WaSiM). Future meteorological forcing for the modelling until the end of the century will be provided by both a stochastic multi-site weather generator, and downscaled climate model output. Both approches will use EUROCORDEX data as input. The water demand in the selected study areas is quantified for the relevant societal sectors, e.g. agriculture, hydropower generation and (winter) tourism. The comparison of water availability and water demand under current and future climate conditions will allow the identification of possible seasonal bottlenecks of future water supply and resulting conflicts. Thus these investigations can provide a quantitative basis for the development of strategies for sustainable water management in

  9. Rock Glacier Response to Climate Change in the Argentinian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewes, J.; Korup, O.; Moreiras, S.

    2017-12-01

    Rock glaciers are bodies of frozen debris and ice that move under the influence of gravity in permafrost areas. Rock glaciers may store a large amount of sediments and play an important role as prime movers of debris in the Andean sediment cascade. However, little is known about how much sediment and water rock glaciers may store at the mountain-belt scale, and the few existing estimates vary considerably. We address this question for the Argentinian Andes, for which a new glacial inventory containing more than 6500 rock glaciers gives us the opportunity to analyse their relevance within the sediment cascade. We examine the inventory for catchments in five sub-regions, i.e. the Desert Andes (22°-31°S); the Central Andes (31°-36°S); the Northern Andes of Patagonia (36°-45°S); the Southern Andes of Patagonia (45°-52°S); and Tierra del Fuego (52°-55°S), together with climate variables of the WorldClim datasets, and digital topographic data, to estimate how rock-glacier extents may change under different past and future climate scenarios. We observe for the northern Desert Andes that rock glacier toes are at 4000 to 5000 m a.s.l. and a mean annual temperature range of 3° and 8°C, though most rock glaciers are in areas with mean annual temperatures between -5 and 5°C, marking a distinct thermal niche. Rock glaciers are traditionally viewed as diagnostic of sporadic alpine permafrost and their toes are often near the annual mean 0°C isotherm. However, we find that only rock glaciers in the southern Desert Andes and Central Andes are located where annual mean temperature is -2°C. Future scenarios project an increase of > four degrees in these areas, which may further degrade ground ice and potentially change the rates at which rock glaciers advance. Where active rock glaciers become inactive their coarse material, which was formerly bound by ice, may be released into the sediment cascade, whereas accelerating or rapidly downwasting rock glaciers may either

  10. Glaciers and society

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gagné, Karine; Rasmussen, Mattias Borg; Orlove, Ben

    2014-01-01

    As icons of a world set in motion by human action, glaciers are often highlighted as quintessential evidences of global climate change. Although there is a general agreement among scientists that glaciers around the world are receding, much of the discussions on the subject tend to be oriented...... true when esthetic and economic values are assigned to glaciers. Real and perceived changes in the form, reach and out-flow of water impact the local populations, and shape the kinds of action undertaken by communities, local actors, state authorities, and international organizations. The paper...

  11. Runoff scenarios of the Ötz catchment (Tyrol, Austria) considering climate change driven changes of the cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfricht, Kay; Schneeberger, Klaus; Welebil, Irene; Schöber, Johannes; Huss, Matthias; Formayer, Herbert; Huttenlau, Matthias; Schneider, Katrin

    2014-05-01

    The seasonal distribution of runoff in alpine catchments is markedly influenced by the cryospheric contribution (snow and ice). Long-term climate change will alter these reservoirs and consequently have an impact on the water balance. Glacierized catchments like the Ötztal (Tyrol, Austria) are particularly sensitive to changes in the cryosphere and the hydrological changes related to them. The Ötztal possesses an outstanding role in Austrian and international cryospheric research and reacts sensitive to changes in hydrology due to its socio-economic structure (e.g. importance of tourism, hydro-power). In this study future glacier scenarios for the runoff calculations in the Ötztal catchment are developed. In addition to climatological scenario data, glacier scenarios were established for the hydrological simulation of future runoff. Glacier outlines and glacier surface elevation changes of the Austrian Glacier Inventory were used to derive present ice thickness distribution and scenarios of glacier area distribution. Direct effects of climate change (i.e. temperature and precipitation change) and indirect effects in terms of variations in the cryosphere were considered for the analysis of the mean runoff and particularly flood frequencies. Runoff was modelled with the hydrological model HQSim, which was calibrated for the runoff gauges at Brunau, Obergurgl and Vent. For a sensitivity study, the model was driven by separate glacier scenarios. Keeping glacier area constant, variable climate input was used to separate the effect of climate sensitivity. Results of the combination of changed glacier areas and changed climate input were subsequently analysed. Glacier scenarios show first a decrease in volume, before glacier area shrinks. The applied method indicates a 50% ice volume loss by 2050 relative to today. Further, model results show a reduction in glacier volume and area to less than 20% of the current ice cover towards the end of the 21st century. The effect

  12. Reconstruction of glacier variability from lake sediments reveals dynamic Holocene climate in Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem G. M.; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; D'Andrea, William J.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Ólafsdóttir, Sædis

    2015-10-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Holocene proxy time-series are increasingly used to put this amplified response in perspective by understanding Arctic climate processes beyond the instrumental period. However, available datasets are scarce, unevenly distributed and often of coarse resolution. Glaciers are sensitive recorders of climate shifts and variations in rock-flour production transfer this signal to the lacustrine sediment archives of downstream lakes. Here, we present the first full Holocene record of continuous glacier variability on Svalbard from glacier-fed Lake Hajeren. This reconstruction is based on an undisturbed lake sediment core that covers the entire Holocene and resolves variability on centennial scales owing to 26 dating points. A toolbox of physical, geochemical (XRF) and magnetic proxies in combination with multivariate statistics has allowed us to fingerprint glacier activity in addition to other processes affecting the sediment record. Evidence from variations in sediment density, validated by changes in Ti concentrations, reveal glaciers remained present in the catchment following deglaciation prior to 11,300 cal BP, culminating in a Holocene maximum between 9.6 and 9.5 ka cal BP. Correspondence with freshwater pulses from Hudson Strait suggests that Early Holocene glacier advances were driven by the melting Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS). We find that glaciers disappeared from the catchment between 7.4 and 6.7 ka cal BP, following a late Hypsithermal. Glacier reformation around 4250 cal BP marks the onset of the Neoglacial, supporting previous findings. Between 3380 and 3230 cal BP, we find evidence for a previously unreported centennial-scale glacier advance. Both events are concurrent with well-documented episodes of North Atlantic cooling. We argue that this brief forcing created suitable conditions for glaciers to reform in the catchment against a background of gradual orbital cooling. These findings highlight the

  13. The importance of observed gradients of air temperature and precipitation for modeling runoff from a glacierized watershed in the Nepalese Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Immerzeel, W. W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Petersen, L.; Ragettli, S.; Pellicciotti, F.

    2014-01-01

    The performance of glaciohydrological models which simulate catchment response to climate variability depends to a large degree on the data used to force the models. The forcing data become increasingly important in high-elevation, glacierized catchments where the interplay between extreme

  14. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, B. H.; Khalsa, S. S.; Armstrong, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) project has built a geospatial and temporal database of glacier data, composed of glacier outlines and various scalar attributes. These data are being derived primarily from satellite imagery, such as from ASTER and Landsat. Each "snapshot" of a glacier is from a specific time, and the database is designed to store multiple snapshots representative of different times. We have implemented two web-based interfaces to the database; one enables exploration of the data via interactive maps (web map server), while the other allows searches based on text-field constraints. The web map server is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant Web Map Server (WMS) and Web Feature Server (WFS). This means that other web sites can display glacier layers from our site over the Internet, or retrieve glacier features in vector format. All components of the system are implemented using Open Source software: Linux, PostgreSQL, PostGIS (geospatial extensions to the database), MapServer (WMS and WFS), and several supporting components such as Proj.4 (a geographic projection library) and PHP. These tools are robust and provide a flexible and powerful framework for web mapping applications. As a service to the GLIMS community, the database contains metadata on all ASTER imagery acquired over glacierized terrain. Reduced-resolution of the images (browse imagery) can be viewed either as a layer in the MapServer application, or overlaid on the virtual globe within Google Earth. The interactive map application allows the user to constrain by time what data appear on the map. For example, ASTER or glacier outlines from 2002 only, or from Autumn in any year, can be displayed. The system allows users to download their selected glacier data in a choice of formats. The results of a query based on spatial selection (using a mouse) or text-field constraints can be downloaded in any of these formats: ESRI shapefiles, KML (Google Earth), Map

  15. Holocene record of glacier variability from lake sediments reveals tripartite climate history for Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; D`Andrea, William; Bradley, Raymond; Olafsdottir, Sædis

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic is responding sensitively to ongoing global climate change, warming and moistening faster than any other region on the planet. Holocene proxy paleoclimate time series are increasingly used to put this amplified response in perspective by understanding Arctic climate processes beyond the instrumental period. Glaciers rapidly respond to climate shifts as demonstrated by their current demise around the world. This response has a composite climate signature, marked by shifts in hydroclimate (winter precipitation) as well as (summer) temperature. Attendant changes in glacier size are recorded by variations in glacigenic rock flour that may be deposited in downstream lakes. Here, we present a Holocene reconstruction of glacier activity, based on sediments from Hajeren, a glacier-fed lake on northwest Spitsbergen in the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Owing to undisturbed sediments and robust age control, we could resolve variability on a sub-centennial scale. To ensure the accurate detection of glacier activity, we applied a toolbox of physical, magnetic and geochemical proxies in conjunction with multivariate statistics. Our findings indicate a three-stage Holocene climate history for Svalbard, driving by melt water pulses, episodic Atlantic cooling and a decline in orbitally driven summer insolation. Correspondence between inferred advances, including a Holocene glacier maximum around 9.5 ka BP, suggests forcing by the melting LIS during the Early Holocene. Following a late Holocene Thermal Maximum around 7.4 ka BP, glaciers disappeared from the catchment. Glaciers reformed around 4.2 ka BP during the regional onset of the Neoglacial, supporting previous findings. This transition did, however, not mark the onset of persistent glacier activity in the catchment, but a series of centennial-scale cycles of growth and decay, including events around 3.3 and 1.1 ka BP. As orbitally driven insolation declined towards the present, the glaciation threshold

  16. Mass balance and hydrological contribution of glaciers in northern and central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonell, Shelley; Vivero, Sebastian; McPhee, James; Ayala, Alvaro; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Campos, Cristian; Caro, Dennys; Ponce, Rodrigo

    2016-04-01

    Water is a critical resource in the northern and central regions of Chile, as the area supports more than 40% of the country's population, and the regional economy depends on agricultural production and mining, which are two industries that rely heavily on a consistent water supply. Due to relatively low rates of rainfall, meltwater from snow and ice bodies in the highland areas provides a key component of the annual water supply in these areas. Consequently, accurate estimates of the rates of ablation of the cryosphere (i.e. snow and ice) are crucial for predicting current supply rates, and future projections. Whilst snow is generally a larger contributor of freshwater, during periods of drought, glaciers provide a significant source. This study aims to determine the contribution of glaciers to two catchments in northern and central Chile during a 2.5 year period, which largely consisted of extreme dry periods, but also included the recent El Niño event. This study combined field and modelling studies to understand glacier and rock glacier contributions in the Tapado (30°S), Yeso (33°S) catchments. In the field we undertook glaciological mass balance monitoring of three glaciers, monitored albedo and snow line changes using automatic cameras for three glaciers, measured discharge continuously at several points, installed six automatic weather stations and used thermistors to monitor thermal regime changes of two rock glaciers. The combination of these datasets where used to drive energy balance and hydrological models to estimate the contribution of ice bodies to streamflow in the two studied catchments. Over the course of the study all glaciers maintained a negative mass balance, however glaciers in central Chile lost more mass, which is due to the higher melt rates experienced due to lower elevations and higher temperatures. Areas free of debris generally contributed more to streamflow than sediment covered regions, and snow generally contributed more over

  17. Distributed ice thickness and glacier volume in southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Davies, Bethan J.; James, William H. M.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2016-11-01

    South American glaciers, including those in Patagonia, presently contribute the largest amount of meltwater to sea level rise per unit glacier area in the world. Yet understanding of the mechanisms behind the associated glacier mass balance changes remains unquantified partly because models are hindered by a lack of knowledge of subglacial topography. This study applied a perfect-plasticity model along glacier centre-lines to derive a first-order estimate of ice thickness and then interpolated these thickness estimates across glacier areas. This produced the first complete coverage of distributed ice thickness, bed topography and volume for 617 glaciers between 41°S and 55°S and in 24 major glacier regions. Maximum modelled ice thicknesses reach 1631 m ± 179 m in the South Patagonian Icefield (SPI), 1315 m ± 145 m in the North Patagonian Icefield (NPI) and 936 m ± 103 m in Cordillera Darwin. The total modelled volume of ice is 1234.6 km3 ± 246.8 km3 for the NPI, 4326.6 km3 ± 865.2 km3 for the SPI and 151.9 km3 ± 30.38 km3 for Cordillera Darwin. The total volume was modelled to be 5955 km3 ± 1191 km3, which equates to 5458.3 Gt ± 1091.6 Gt ice and to 15.08 mm ± 3.01 mm sea level equivalent (SLE). However, a total area of 655 km2 contains ice below sea level and there are 282 individual overdeepenings with a mean depth of 38 m and a total volume if filled with water to the brim of 102 km3. Adjusting the potential SLE for the ice volume below sea level and for the maximum potential storage of meltwater in these overdeepenings produces a maximum potential sea level rise (SLR) of 14.71 mm ± 2.94 mm. We provide a calculation of the present ice volume per major river catchment and we discuss likely changes to southern South America glaciers in the future. The ice thickness and subglacial topography modelled by this study will facilitate future studies of ice dynamics and glacier isostatic adjustment, and will be important for projecting water resources and

  18. Modeling the Rock Glacier Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. S.; Anderson, L. S.

    2016-12-01

    Rock glaciers are common in many mountain ranges in which the ELA lies above the peaks. They represent some of the most identifiable components of today's cryosphere in these settings. Their oversteepened snouts pose often-overlooked hazards to travel in alpine terrain. Rock glaciers are supported by avalanches and by rockfall from steep headwalls. The winter's avalanche cone must be sufficiently thick not to melt entirely in the summer. The spatial distribution of rock glaciers reflects this dependence on avalanche sources; they are most common on lee sides of ridges where wind-blown snow augments the avalanche source. In the absence of rockfall, this would support a short, cirque glacier. Depending on the relationship between rockfall and avalanche patterns, "talus-derived" and "glacier-derived" rock glaciers are possible. Talus-derived: If the spatial distribution of rock delivery is similar to the avalanche pattern, the rock-ice mixture will travel an englacial path that is downward through the short accumulation zone before turning upward in the ablation zone. Advected debris is then delivered to the base of a growing surface debris layer that reduces the ice melt rate. The physics is identical to the debris-covered glacier case. Glacier-derived: If on the other hand rockfall from the headwall rolls beyond the avalanche cone, it is added directly to the ablation zone of the glacier. The avalanche accumulation zone then supports a pure ice core to the rock glacier. We have developed numerical models designed to capture the full range of glacier to debris-covered glacier to rock glacier behavior. The hundreds of meter lengths, tens of meters thicknesses, and meter per year speeds of rock glaciers are well described by the models. The model can capture both "talus-derived" and "glacier-derived" rock glaciers. We explore the dependence of glacier behavior on climate histories. As climate warms, a pure ice debris-covered glacier can transform to a much shorter rock

  19. Glaciation of alpine valleys: The glacier - debris-covered glacier - rock glacier continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Robert S.; Anderson, Leif S.; Armstrong, William H.; Rossi, Matthew W.; Crump, Sarah E.

    2018-06-01

    Alpine ice varies from pure ice glaciers to partially debris-covered glaciers to rock glaciers, as defined by the degree of debris cover. In many low- to mid-latitude mountain ranges, the few bare ice glaciers that do exist in the present climate are small and are found where snow is focused by avalanches and where direct exposure to radiation is minimized. Instead, valley heads are more likely to be populated by rock glaciers, which can number in the hundreds. These rock-cloaked glaciers represent some of the most identifiable components of the cryosphere today in low- to mid-latitude settings, and the over-steepened snouts pose an often overlooked hazard to travel in alpine terrain. Geomorphically, rock glaciers serve as conveyor belts atop which rock is pulled away from the base of cliffs. In this work, we show how rock glaciers can be treated as an end-member case that is captured in numerical models of glaciers that include ice dynamics, debris dynamics, and the feedbacks between them. Specifically, we focus on the transition from debris-covered glaciers, where the modern equilibrium line altitude (ELA) intersects the topography, to rock glaciers, where the modern ELA lies above the topography. On debris-covered glaciers (i.e., glaciers with a partial rock mantle), rock delivered to the glacier from its headwall, or from sidewall debris swept into the glacier at tributary junctions, travels englacially to emerge below the ELA. There it accumulates on the surface and damps the rate of melt of underlying ice. This allows the termini of debris-covered glaciers to extend beyond debris-free counterparts, thereby decreasing the ratio of accumulation area to total area of the glacier (AAR). In contrast, rock glaciers (i.e., glaciers with a full rock mantle) occur where and when the environmental ELA rises above the topography. They require avalanches and rockfall from steep headwalls. The occurrence of rock glaciers reflects this dependence on avalanche sources

  20. CALICE: Calibrating Plant Biodiversity in Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festi, Daniela; Cristofori, Antonella; Vernesi, Cristiano; Zerbe, Stefan; Wellstein, Camilla; Maggi, Valter; Oeggl, Klaus

    2017-04-01

    The objective of the project is to reconstruct plant biodiversity and its trend archived in Alpine glacier ice by pollen and eDNA (environmental DNA) during the last five decades by analyzing a 40 m ice core. For our study we chose the Adamello glacier (Trentino - Südtirol, Lombardia) because of i) the good preservation conditions for pollen and eDNA in ice, ii) the thickness of the ice cap (270m) and iii) the expected high time resolution. The biodiversity estimates gained by pollen analysis and eDNA will be validated by historical biodiversity assessments mainly based on vegetation maps, aerial photos and vegetation surveys in the catchment area of the Adamello glacier for the last five decades. This historical reconstruction of biodiversity trends will be performed on a micro-, meso- and macro-scale (5, 20-50 and 50-100 Km radius, respectively). The results will serve as a calibration data set on biodiversity for future studies, such as the second step of the coring by the POLLiCE research consortium (pollice.fmach.it). In fact, arrangements are currently been made to drill the complete ice cap and retrieve a 270 m thick core which has the potential to cover a time span of minimum 400 years up to several millennia. This second stage will extend the time scale and enable the evaluation of dissimilarity/similarity of modern biodiversity in relation to Late Holocene trends. Finally, we believe this case study has the potential to be applied in other glaciated areas to evaluate biodiversity for large regions (e.g. central Asian mountain ranges, Tibet and Tian Shan or the Andes).

  1. GLACIERS OF THE KORYAK VOLCANO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Manevich

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents main glaciological characteristics of present-day glaciers located on the Koryaksky volcano. The results of fieldwork (2008–2009 and high-resolution satellite image analysis let us to specify and complete information on modern glacial complex of Koryaksky volcano. Now there are seven glaciers with total area 8.36 km2. Three of them advance, two are in stationary state and one degrades. Moreover, the paper describes the new crater glacier.

  2. Holocene glacier activity reconstructed from proglacial lake Gjøavatnet on Amsterdamøya, NW Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wet, Gregory A.; Balascio, Nicholas L.; D'Andrea, William J.; Bakke, Jostein; Bradley, Raymond S.; Perren, Bianca

    2018-03-01

    Well-dated and highly resolved paleoclimate records from high latitudes allow for a better understanding of past climate change. Lake sediments are excellent archives of environmental change, and can record processes occurring within the catchment, such as the growth or demise of an upstream glacier. Here we present a Holocene-length, multi-proxy lake sediment record from proglacial lake Gjøavatnet on the island of Amsterdamøya, northwest Svalbard. Today, Gjøavatnet receives meltwater from the Annabreen glacier and contains a record of changes in glacier activity linked to regional climate conditions. We measured changes in organic matter content, dry bulk density, bulk carbon isotopes, elemental concentrations via Itrax core-scanning, and diatom community composition to reconstruct variability in glacier extent back through time. Our reconstruction indicates that glacially derived sedimentation in the lake decreased markedly at ∼11.1 cal kyr BP, although a glacier likely persisted in the catchment until ∼8.4 cal kyr BP. During the mid-Holocene (∼8.4-1.0 cal kyr BP) there was significantly limited glacial influence in the catchment and enhanced deposition of organic-rich sediment in the lake. The deposition of organic rich sediments during this time was interrupted by at least three multi-centennial intervals of reduced organic matter accumulation (∼5.9-5.0, 2.7-2.0, and 1.7-1.5 cal kyr BP). Considering our chronological information and a sedimentological comparison with intervals of enhanced glacier input, we interpret these intervals not as glacial advances, but rather as cold/dry episodes that inhibited organic matter production in the lake and surrounding catchment. At ∼1.0 cal kyr BP, input of glacially derived sediment to Gjøavatnet abruptly increased, representing the rapid expansion of the Annabreen glacier.

  3. Contrasting Climate Change Impact on River Flow from Glacierised Catchments in the Himalayan and Andes Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicciotti, F.; Ragettli, S.; Immerzeel, W. W. W.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers and glacierised catchments in mountainous regions react to a changing climate in different manners depending on climate and glacier characteristics. Despite the key role of mountain ranges as natural water towers, their hydrological balance and future changes in glacier runoff associated with climate warming remain poorly understood because of high meteorological variability, physical inaccessibility and the complex interplay between climate, cryosphere and hydrological processes. We use a state-of-the art glacio-hydrological model informed by data from high altitude observations and the latest CMIP5 climate change scenarios to quantify the climate change impact on glaciers and runoff for two contrasting catchments vulnerable to changes in the cryosphere. The two catchments are located in the Central Andes of Chile and in the Nepalese Himalaya in close vicinity of densely populated areas. Although both sites are projected to experience a strong decrease in glacier area, they show remarkably different hydrological responses. Icemelt is on a rising limb in Langtang at least until 2041-2050 and starts to decrease afterwards, while in Juncal icemelt was already beyond its tipping point at the beginning of the 21st century. This contrasting response can be explained by differences in the elevation distribution of the glaciers in the two regions. In Juncal, many glaciers are melting up to the highest elevations already during the reference period (2000-2010) and increasing melt rates due to higher air temperatures cannot compensate the loss of glacier area. In Langtang, large sections of the glaciers at high elevations are currently not exposed to melt, but will be in the future, thus compensating for the loss of glacier area at lower elevations. As a result of these changes and projected changes in precipitation, in Juncal runoff will sharply decrease in the future and the runoff seasonality is sensitive to projected climatic changes. In Langtang, future water

  4. Listening to Glaciers: Passive hydroacoustics near marine-terminating glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettit, E.C.; Nystuen, J.A.; O'Neel, Shad

    2012-01-01

    The catastrophic breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea in 2002 paints a vivid portrait of the effects of glacier-climate interactions. This event, along with other unexpected episodes of rapid mass loss from marine-terminating glaciers (i.e., tidewater glaciers, outlet glaciers, ice streams, ice shelves) sparked intensified study of the boundaries where marine-terminating glaciers interact with the ocean. These dynamic and dangerous boundaries require creative methods of observation and measurement. Toward this effort, we take advantage of the exceptional sound-propagating properties of seawater to record and interpret sounds generated at these glacial ice-ocean boundaries from distances safe for instrument deployment and operation.

  5. Determining the rates and drivers of headwall erosion within glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, E.; Owen, L. A.; Saha, S.; Caffee, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    Rates of headwall erosion are defined for fourteen glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya by measuring 10Be terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in supraglacial debris. The investigated catchments are located throughout three broad climatic zones, which include the Lesser Himalaya (rainfall >1000 mm a-1), Greater Himalaya (500-1000 mm a-1) and Transhimalaya (arid catchments that are occupied by sub-polar glaciers, suggesting that there are additional controls upon periglacial domain landscape change. Other factors and catchment-specific dynamics influencing these landscapes include, temperature, surface processes, topography, valley morphology, geologic setting and glacial history. Defining rates of headwall erosion is one of the first steps to understanding the nature of sediment production and transfer within high-altitude glaciated catchments, and highlights the importance of periglacial rockfall processes in landscape evolution.

  6. Impact of glacier shrinkage and adapted hydropower potential in the Swiss Alps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terrier, Stephane; Bieri, Martin; Jordan, Frederic; Schleiss, Anton J.

    2015-01-01

    Global warming is an alarming reality and likely leads to an increase of multiple pressures on socio-economic systems. However, in high-mountain regions it might also become an opportunity to adapt existing hydropower schemes and to develop new projects to this reality. In the Alps, the melting of glaciers first produces over the near future an increase of the average annual discharge depending on glacier and catchment characteristics, especially during the summer season. Nevertheless after a certain time, significant decrease of runoff related to glacier melting must be considered for hydropower management. Moreover, the shrinking glaciers free new areas, having the potential for the construction of new dams and reservoirs. The opportunity to build new dams and hydropower plants downstream of retreating glaciers is studied using two models. The first (GlabTop) is used to predict the future topography and geomorphology underneath the melting glaciers, in order to define the optimal locations of the future dams and reservoirs. Secondly, the RS3.0 CLIMATE rainfall-runoff hydrological model computes the glacier evolution, the river discharge at the outlet of the catchment area as well as the hydropower production of the new schemes. As a case study the Upper Aare River basin in Switzerland is presented. The opportunity of the construction of a new dam and a hydropower plant is studied, including its economic benefit. The result of the case study provides a basis to assess the potential of investing in such projects to ensure the Swiss hydroelectricity production also in future as well as peak energy for the European grid. (authors)

  7. Modeling glacier beds in the Austrian Alps: How many lakes will form in future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Dominik; Geilhausen, Martin; Linsbauer, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Glacial retreat exposes landscapes with relief characteristics greatly differing from the former ice covered surfaces. If glacial retreat exposes natural basins capable of forming proglacial lakes, then the downstream hydrologic and geomorphic systems in such catchments will be significantly altered due to discharge modifications, sediment trapping, decoupling effects and long term sediment storage (e.g. Geilhausen et al. 2013). Further implications are related to hydropower management, tourism and natural hazards. Consequently, sound knowledge of present day glacier beds ("proglacial zones of tomorrow") and in particular the total number, locations and characteristics of overdeepenings are of importance. For Austria, however, this important information about significant future changes of high alpine regions is yet missing. An interdisciplinary research project is currently in preparation to close this gap. This paper presents results of a pilot study. We used a novel GIS-based approach (GlabTop, cf. Linsbauer et al. 2012) to compute approximate glacier beds in the Austrian Alps. GlabTop ('Glacier bed Topography') is based on an empirical relation between average basal shear stress and elevation range of individual glaciers and makes use of digital elevation models (DEM), glacier outlines and branch lines (i.e. a set of lines covering all important glacier branches). DEMs and glacier outlines were derived from the Austrian glacier inventory (1998) and branch lines were manually digitized. The inventory includes 911 glaciers of which 876 (96%) were considered and 35 were excluded due to size restrictions ( 0.01 km²) with the potential of forming proglacial lakes when glacier retreat reveals the bed. The total area and volume of all overdeepenings is approx. 10 km² and 236 Mio m³ respectively and 33 lakes will be larger than 1 km³. A total glacier volume of 16 ± 5 km³ with an average ice thickness of 36 ± 11 m was calculated for 1998. Comparisons with

  8. Rapid Late Holocene glacier fluctuations reconstructed from South Georgia lake sediments using novel analytical and numerical techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem; Bakke, Jostein; Werner, Johannes; Paasche, Øyvind; Rosqvist, Gunhild

    2016-04-01

    The collapse of ice shelves, rapidly retreating glaciers and a dramatic recent temperature increase show that Southern Ocean climate is rapidly shifting. Also, instrumental and modelling data demonstrate transient interactions between oceanic and atmospheric forcings as well as climatic teleconnections with lower-latitude regions. Yet beyond the instrumental period, a lack of proxy climate timeseries impedes our understanding of Southern Ocean climate. Also, available records often lack the resolution and chronological control required to resolve rapid climate shifts like those observed at present. Alpine glaciers are found on most Southern Ocean islands and quickly respond to shifts in climate through changes in mass balance. Attendant changes in glacier size drive variations in the production of rock flour, the suspended product of glacial erosion. This climate response may be captured by downstream distal glacier-fed lakes, continuously recording glacier history. Sediment records from such lakes are considered prime sources for paleoclimate reconstructions. Here, we present the first reconstruction of Late Holocene glacier variability from the island of South Georgia. Using a toolbox of advanced physical, geochemical (XRF) and magnetic proxies, in combination with state-of-the-art numerical techniques, we fingerprinted a glacier signal from glacier-fed lake sediments. This lacustrine sediment signal was subsequently calibrated against mapped glacier extent with the help of geomorphological moraine evidence and remote sensing techniques. The outlined approach enabled us to robustly resolve variations of a complex glacier at sub-centennial timescales, while constraining the sedimentological imprint of other geomorphic catchment processes. From a paleoclimate perspective, our reconstruction reveals a dynamic Late Holocene climate, modulated by long-term shifts in regional circulation patterns. We also find evidence for rapid medieval glacier retreat as well as a

  9. Studies on the presence and spatial distribution of anthropogenic pollutants in the glacial basin of Scott Glacier in the face of climate change (Fiord Bellsund, Spitsbergen)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Sara; Kociuba, Waldemar; Franczak, Łukasz; Gajek, Grzegorz; Łeczyński, Leszek; Kozak, Katarzyna; Szopińska, Małgorzata; Ruman, Marek; Polkowska, Żaneta

    2014-10-01

    The study area covered the NW part of the Wedel Jarlsberg Land (SW part of the Svalbard Archipelago). The primary study object was the catchment of the Scott Glacier in the vicinity of the Research Station of of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin - Calypsobyen. The Scott River catchment (of glacial hydrological regime) has an area of approximately 10 km2, 40% of which is occupied by the valley Scott Glacier in the phase of strong recession. The present study concerns the determination of physical and chemical parameters (pH, conductivity, TOC) and concentrations of pollutants (phenols, aldehydes).

  10. Lacustrine Records of Holocene Mountain Glacier Fluctuations from Western Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweinsberg, A.; Briner, J. P.; Bennike, O.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have focused on documenting fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin throughout the Holocene but few data exist that constrain past changes of local glaciers independent of the ice sheet. Our research combines proglacial lake sediment analysis with cosmogenic 10Be dating of Holocene moraines and radiocarbon dating of ice-cap-killed vegetation with an overall objective to use this multi-proxy approach to generate a detailed record of the coupled climate-glacier system through the Holocene. Here, we present lacustrine records of mountain glacier variability from continuous pro-glacial lake sediment sequences recovered from two glaciated catchments in northeastern Nuussuaq, western Greenland. We use radiocarbon-dated sediments from Sikuiui and Pauiaivik lakes to reconstruct the timing of advance and retreat of local glaciers. Sediments were characterized with magnetic susceptibility (MS), gamma density, Itrax XRF and visible reflectance spectroscopy at 0.2 cm intervals and sediment organic matter at 0.5 cm intervals. Basal radiocarbon ages provide minimum-age constraints on deglaciation from Sikuiui and Pauiaivik lakes of ~9.6 and 8.7 ka, respectively. Organic-rich gyttja from deglaciation until ~5.0 ka in Pauiaivik Lake suggests minimal glacial extent there while slightly elevated MS values from ~9.0 - 7.0 ka in Sikuiui Lake may reflect early Holocene glacial advances. Minerogenic sediment input gradually increases starting at ~5.0 ka in Pauiaivik Lake, which we interpret as the onset of Neoglaciation in the catchment. Furthermore, a distinct episode of enhanced glacial activity from ~4.0 - 2.2 ka in Sikuiui Lake may be correlative to a period of persistent snowline lowering evidenced by radiocarbon dates of ice-killed vegetation from nearby ice cap margins. Results from these lacustrine records and our ice-killed vegetation dataset suggest a middle Holocene onset of Neoglaciation ~5.0 - 4.0 ka in this region. We are supplementing these records

  11. Hillslope failure and paraglacial reworking of sediments in response to glacier retreat, Fox Valley, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McColl, Samuel T.; Fuller, Ian C.; Anderson, Brian; Tate, Rosie

    2017-04-01

    Climate and glacier fluctuations influence sediment supply to glacier forelands, which in turn influences down-valley hazards to infrastructure and tourism within glacier forelands. At Fox Glacier, one of New Zealand's most iconic and popular glaciers, rapid retreat has initiated a range of hillslope and valley floor responses, that present a cascade of hazards and changes that need to be carefully managed. Fox Glacier has retreated many kilometres historically, with 2.6 km of retreat since the mid-20th century, and a phase of rapid retreat of 50-340 m per year since 2009. To study the system response to past and ongoing glacial retreat at the Fox valley, morphological changes are being observed using time-lapse photography and the annual collection of high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthophoto mosaics. The DEMs are being produced using Structure from Motion photogrammetry from UAV/RPAS and helicopter platforms, and are being used, along with manual ground surveying, to produce ground surface change models (DoDs; DEMs of Difference) and sediment budgets for the valley. Results from time-lapse photography and DoDs show that glacial retreat has initiated destabilisation and (mostly chronic) mass movement of surficial glacial sediments on the valley slopes near the glacier terminus. Alluvial fans farther down valley are actively growing, reworking glacial and landslide sediments from tributary catchments. These paraglacial sediments being delivered to the proglacial river from the glacier terminus and alluvial fans are driving aggradation of the valley floor of decimetres to metres per year and maintaining a highly dynamic braid plain. Valley floor changes also include the melting of buried dead ice, which are causing localised subsidence at the carpark and one of the alluvial fans. The unstable slopes and active debris fans, aggrading and highly active river channel, ground subsidence, add to the spectacle but also the hazards of the Fox valley

  12. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Stutenbecker, Laura; Bakker, Maarten; Silva, Tiago A.; Schlunegger, Fritz; Lane, Stuart N.; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Girardclos, Stéphanie

    2018-01-01

    Suspended sediment export from large Alpine catchments ( > 1000 km2) over decadal timescales is sensitive to a number of factors, including long-term variations in climate, the activation-deactivation of different sediment sources (proglacial areas, hillslopes, etc.), transport through the fluvial system, and potential anthropogenic impacts on the sediment flux (e.g. through impoundments and flow regulation). Here, we report on a marked increase in suspended sediment concentrations observed near the outlet of the upper Rhône River Basin in the mid-1980s. This increase coincides with a statistically significant step-like increase in basin-wide mean air temperature. We explore the possible explanations of the suspended sediment rise in terms of changes in water discharge (transport capacity), and the activation of different potential sources of fine sediment (sediment supply) in the catchment by hydroclimatic forcing. Time series of precipitation and temperature-driven snowmelt, snow cover, and ice melt simulated with a spatially distributed degree-day model, together with erosive rainfall on snow-free surfaces, are tested to explore possible reasons for the rise in suspended sediment concentration. We show that the abrupt change in air temperature reduced snow cover and the contribution of snowmelt, and enhanced ice melt. The results of statistical tests show that the onset of increased ice melt was likely to play a dominant role in the suspended sediment concentration rise in the mid-1980s. Temperature-driven enhanced melting of glaciers, which cover about 10 % of the catchment surface, can increase suspended sediment yields through an increased contribution of sediment-rich glacial meltwater, increased sediment availability due to glacier recession, and increased runoff from sediment-rich proglacial areas. The reduced extent and duration of snow cover in the catchment are also potential contributors to the rise in suspended sediment concentration through

  13. Drought propagation and its relation with catchment biophysical characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Garreton, C. D.; Lara, A.; Garreaud, R. D.

    2016-12-01

    Droughts propagate in the hydrological cycle from meteorological to soil moisture to hydrological droughts. To understand the drivers of this process is of paramount importance since the economic and societal impacts in water resources are directly related with hydrological droughts (and not with meteorological droughts, which have been most studied). This research analyses drought characteristics over a large region and identify its main exogenous (climate forcing) and endogenous (biophysical characteristics such as land cover type and topography) explanatory factors. The study region is Chile, which covers seven major climatic subtypes according to Köppen system, it has unique geographic characteristics, very sharp topography and a wide range of landscapes and vegetation conditions. Meteorological and hydrological droughts (deficit in precipitation and streamflow, respectively) are characterized by their durations and standardized deficit volumes using a variable threshold method, over 300 representative catchments (located between 27°S and 50°S). To quantify the propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought, we propose a novel drought attenuation index (DAI), calculated as the ratio between the meteorological drought severity slope and the hydrological drought severity slope. DAI varies from zero (catchment that attenuates completely a meteorological drought) to one (the meteorological drought is fully propagated through the hydrological cycle). This novel index provides key (and comparable) information about drought propagation over a wide range of different catchments, which has been highlighted as a major research gap. Similar drought indicators across the wide range of catchments are then linked with catchment biophysical characteristics. A thorough compilation of land cover information (including the percentage of native forests, grass land, urban and industrial areas, glaciers, water bodies and no vegetated areas), catchment physical

  14. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wendy

    I will describe works from a collaboration between physics and glaciology that grew out of interactions at the Computations in Science seminar Leo Kadanoff organized at the University of Chicago. The first project considers the interaction between ocean waves and Antarctic ice shelves, large floating portions of ice formed by glacial outflows. Back-of-envelop calculation and seismic sensor data suggest that crevasses may be distributed within an ice shelf to shield it from wave energy. We also examine numerical scenarios in which changes in environmental forcing causes the ice shelf to fail catastrophically. The second project investigates the aftermath of iceberg calving off glacier terminus in Greenland using data recorded via time-lapse camera and terrestrial radar. Our observations indicate that the mélange of icebergs within the fjord experiences widespread jamming during a calving event and therefore is always close to being in a jammed state during periods of terminus quiescence. Joint work with Jason Amundson, Ivo R. Peters, Julian Freed Brown, Nicholas Guttenberg, Justin C Burton, L. Mac Cathles, Ryan Cassotto, Mark Fahnestock, Kristopher Darnell, Martin Truffer, Dorian S. Abbot and Douglas MacAyeal. Kadanoff Session DCMP.

  15. The Value of Hydrograph Partitioning Curves for Calibrating Hydrological Models in Glacierized Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhihua; Vorogushyn, Sergiy; Unger-Shayesteh, Katy; Gafurov, Abror; Kalashnikova, Olga; Omorova, Elvira; Merz, Bruno

    2018-03-01

    This study refines the method for calibrating a glacio-hydrological model based on Hydrograph Partitioning Curves (HPCs), and evaluates its value in comparison to multidata set optimization approaches which use glacier mass balance, satellite snow cover images, and discharge. The HPCs are extracted from the observed flow hydrograph using catchment precipitation and temperature gradients. They indicate the periods when the various runoff processes, such as glacier melt or snow melt, dominate the basin hydrograph. The annual cumulative curve of the difference between average daily temperature and melt threshold temperature over the basin, as well as the annual cumulative curve of average daily snowfall on the glacierized areas are used to identify the starting and end dates of snow and glacier ablation periods. Model parameters characterizing different runoff processes are calibrated on different HPCs in a stepwise and iterative way. Results show that the HPC-based method (1) delivers model-internal consistency comparably to the tri-data set calibration method; (2) improves the stability of calibrated parameter values across various calibration periods; and (3) estimates the contributions of runoff components similarly to the tri-data set calibration method. Our findings indicate the potential of the HPC-based approach as an alternative for hydrological model calibration in glacierized basins where other calibration data sets than discharge are often not available or very costly to obtain.

  16. Mapping and quantifying sediment transfer between the front of rapidly moving rock glaciers and torrential gullies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummert, Mario; Delaloye, Reynald

    2018-05-01

    The sedimentary connection which may occur between the front of active rock glaciers and torrential channels is not well understood, despite its potential impact on the torrential activity characterizing the concerned catchments. In this study, DEMs of difference (DoDs) covering various time intervals between 2013 and 2016 were obtained from LiDAR-derived multitemporal DEMs for three rapidly moving rock glaciers located in the western Swiss Alps. The DoDs were used to map and quantify sediment transfer activity between the front of these rock glaciers and the corresponding underlying torrential gullies. Sediment transfer rates ranging between 1500 m3/y and 7800 m3/y have been calculated, depending on the sites. Sediment eroded from the fronts generally accumulated in the upper sectors of the torrential gullies where they were occasionally mobilized within small to medium sized debris flow events. A clear relation between the motion rates of the rock glaciers and the sediment transfer rates calculated at their fronts could be highlighted. Along with the size of the frontal areas, rock glacier creep rates influence thus directly sediment availability in the headwaters of the studied torrents. The frequency-magnitude of debris flow events varied between sites and was mainly related to the concordance of local factors such as topography, water availability, sediment availability or sediment type.

  17. Airborne Surface Profiling of Alaskan Glaciers

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set consists of glacier outline, laser altimetry profile, and surface elevation change data for 46 glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia, Canada,...

  18. Rock glaciers, Central Andes, Argentina, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Primary rock glaciers are fed by avalanche chutes. At the El Salto rock glacier, surveys have been undertaken in order to determine the creep rate. Between 1981 and...

  19. Changes in glacier dynamics in the northern Antarctic Peninsula since 1985

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seehaus, Thorsten; Cook, Alison J.; Silva, Aline B.; Braun, Matthias

    2018-02-01

    The climatic conditions along the northern Antarctic Peninsula have shown significant changes within the last 50 years. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of temporally and spatially detailed observations of the changes in ice dynamics along both the east and west coastlines of the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Temporal evolutions of glacier area (1985-2015) and ice surface velocity (1992-2014) are derived from a broad multi-mission remote sensing database for 74 glacier basins on the northern Antarctic Peninsula ( disintegration showed the largest retreat by 208.59 km2. Glaciers on the east coast north of the former Prince Gustav Ice Shelf extent in 1986 receded by only 21.07 km2 (1985-2015) and decelerated by about 58 % on average (1992-2014). A dramatic acceleration after ice shelf disintegration with a subsequent deceleration is observed at most former ice shelf tributaries on the east coast, combined with a significant frontal retreat. In 2014, the flow speed of the former ice shelf tributaries was 26 % higher than before 1996. Along the west coast the average flow speeds of the glaciers increased by 41 %. However, the glaciers on the western Antarctic Peninsula revealed a strong spatial variability of the changes in ice dynamics. By applying a hierarchical cluster analysis, we show that this is associated with the geometric parameters of the individual glacier basins (hypsometric indexes, maximum surface elevation of the basin, flux gate to catchment size ratio). The heterogeneous spatial pattern of ice dynamic evolutions at the northern Antarctic Peninsula shows that temporally and spatially detailed observations as well as further monitoring are necessary to fully understand glacier change in regions with such strong topographic and climatic variances.

  20. Pond dynamics and supraglacial-englacial connectivity on debris-covered Lirung Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Evan S.; Steiner, Jakob; Willis, Ian; Buri, Pascal; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Chesnokova, Anna; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2017-09-01

    The hydrological systems of heavily-downwasted debris-covered glaciers differ from clean-ice glaciers due to the hummocky surface and debris mantle of such glaciers, leading to a relatively limited understanding of drainage pathways. Supraglacial ponds represent sinks within the discontinuous supraglacial drainage system, and have been documented to sporadically drain englacially. To assess pond dynamics, pond water level measurements were made on Lirung Glacier during May and October of 2013 and 2014. The four field seasons coincided with aerial, satellite, and terrestrial orthomosaic images and digital elevation models, which provided snapshots of the ponds and their surroundings. We analysed the glacier's closed surface catchments to identify surface drainage pathways and englacial drainage points, and compared this to field observations of surface discahrge. The ponded area was higher in the pre-monsoon than post-monsoon, with individual ponds filling and draining seasonally associated with the surface exposure of englacial conduit segments. We recorded four pond drainage events, all of which occurred gradually (duration of weeks), observed diurnal fluctuations indicative of varying supply and discharge, and we documented instances of interaction between distant ponds. The DEM drainage analysis identified numerous sinks >3m across the glacier surface, few of which exhibited ponds (23%), while the field survey highlighted surface discharge only explicable via englacial routes. Taken together our observations provide evidence for widespread supraglacial-englacial connectivity for meltwater drainage paths. Results suggest that progressive englacial conduit collapse events, themselves likely driven by supraglacial pond drainage, enable the glacier surface to evolve into a configuration following relict englacial conduit systems. Within this system, ponds form in depressions of reduced drainage efficiency and link the supraglacial and englacial drainage networks.

  1. Pond Dynamics and Supraglacial-Englacial Connectivity on Debris-Covered Lirung Glacier, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan S. Miles

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological systems of heavily-downwasted debris-covered glaciers differ from those of clean-ice glaciers due to the hummocky surface and debris mantle of such glaciers, leading to a relatively limited understanding of drainage pathways. Supraglacial ponds represent sinks within the discontinuous supraglacial drainage system, and occasionally drain englacially. To assess pond dynamics, we made pond water level measurements on Lirung Glacier, Nepal, during May and October of 2013 and 2014. Simultaneously, aerial, satellite, and terrestrial orthoimages and digital elevation models were obtained, providing snapshots of the ponds and their surroundings. We performed a DEM-based analysis of the glacier's closed surface catchments to identify surface drainage pathways and englacial drainage points, and compared this to field observations of surface and near-surface water flow. The total ponded area was higher in the pre-monsoon than post-monsoon, with individual ponds filling and draining seasonally associated with the surface exposure of englacial conduit segments. We recorded four pond drainage events, all of which occurred gradually (duration of weeks, observed diurnal fluctuations indicative of varying water supply and outflow discharge, and we documented instances of interaction between distant ponds. The DEM drainage analysis identified numerous sinks >3 m in depth across the glacier surface, few of which exhibited ponds (23%, while the field survey highlighted instances of surface water only explicable via englacial routes. Taken together, our observations provide evidence for widespread supraglacial-englacial connectivity of meltwater drainage paths. Results suggest that successive englacial conduit collapse events, themselves likely driven by supraglacial pond drainage, cause the glacier surface drainage system to evolve into a configuration following relict englacial conduit systems. Within this system, ponds form in depressions of

  2. Application of terrestrial 'structure-from-motion' photogrammetry on a medium-size Arctic valley glacier: potential, accuracy and limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynek, Bernhard; Binder, Daniel; Boffi, Geo; Schöner, Wolfgang; Verhoeven, Geert

    2014-05-01

    Terrestrial photogrammetry was the standard method for mapping high mountain terrain in the early days of mountain cartography, until it was replaced by aerial photogrammetry and airborne laser scanning. Modern low-price digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and highly automatic and cheap digital computer vision software with automatic image matching and multiview-stereo routines suggest the rebirth of terrestrial photogrammetry, especially in remote regions, where airborne surveying methods are expensive due to high flight costs. Terrestrial photogrammetry and modern automated image matching is widely used in geodesy, however, its application in glaciology is still rare, especially for surveying ice bodies at the scale of some km², which is typical for valley glaciers. In August 2013 a terrestrial photogrammetric survey was carried out on Freya Glacier, a 6km² valley glacier next to Zackenberg Research Station in NE-Greenland, where a detailed glacier mass balance monitoring was initiated during the last IPY. Photos with a consumer grade digital camera (Nikon D7100) were taken from the ridges surrounding the glacier. To create a digital elevation model, the photos were processed with the software photoscan. A set of ~100 dGPS surveyed ground control points on the glacier surface was used to georeference and validate the final DEM. Aim of this study was to produce a high resolution and high accuracy DEM of the actual surface topography of the Freya glacier catchment with a novel approach and to explore the potential of modern low-cost terrestrial photogrammetry combined with state-of-the-art automated image matching and multiview-stereo routines for glacier monitoring and to communicate this powerful and cheap method within the environmental research and glacier monitoring community.

  3. Stable water isotope variation in a Central Andean watershed dominated by glacier and snowmelt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Ohlanders

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Central Chile is an economically important region for which water supply is dependent on snow- and ice melt. Nevertheless, the relative contribution of water supplied by each of those two sources remains largely unknown. This study represents the first attempt to estimate the region's water balance using stable isotopes of water in streamflow and its sources. Isotopic ratios of both H and O were monitored during one year in a high-altitude basin with a moderate glacier cover (11.5%. We found that the steep altitude gradient of the studied catchment caused a corresponding gradient in snowpack isotopic composition and that this spatial variation had a profound effect on the temporal evolution of streamflow isotopic composition during snowmelt. Glacier melt and snowmelt contributions to streamflow in the studied basin were determined using a quantitative analysis of the isotopic composition of streamflow and its sources, resulting in a glacier melt contribution of 50–90% for the unusually dry melt year of 2011/2012. This suggests that in (La Niña years with little precipitation, glacier melt is an important water source for central Chile. Predicted decreases in glacier melt due to global warming may therefore have a negative long-term impact on water availability in the Central Andes. The pronounced seasonal pattern in streamflow isotope composition and its close relation to the variability in snow cover and discharge presents a potentially powerful tool to relate discharge variability in mountainous, melt-dominated catchments with related factors such as contributions of sources to streamflow and snowmelt transit times.

  4. Modelling and simulation of floods in alpine catchments equipped with complex hydropower schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Bieri, Martin; Schleiss, Anton; Frankhauser, A.

    2010-01-01

    The simulation of run-off in an alpine catchment area equipped with complex hydropower schemes is presented by the help of an especially developed tool, called Routing System, which can combine hydrological modelling and operation of hydraulic elements. In the hydrological forecasting tool tridimensional rainfall, temperature and evapotranspiration distributions are taken into account for simulating the dominant hydrological processes, as glacier melt, snow pack constitution and melt, soil in...

  5. The relative influence of climate and catchment properties on hydrological drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Loon, Anne; Laaha, Gregor; Koffler, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    high elevation, steep slopes, a high percentage of crystalline rock, bare rock and glacier. The conclusion of our research is that it is not straightforward to separate the effects of climate and catchment properties on drought, since they are interrelated. This is especially true for mountainous regions where temperature and precipitation are strongly dependent on altitude. We did however see that the duration of drought is more related to catchment storage (catchment properties) and the severity of drought (represented by the drought deficit) is more related to catchment wetness (climate). Van Loon, A.F., and Van Lanen, H.A.J.: A process-based typology of hydrological drought, Hydrology and Earth System Science, 16, p. 1915-1946, doi: 10.5194/hess-16-1915-2012, 2012

  6. Changes in glaciers in the Swiss Alps and impact on basin hydrology: current state of the art and future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicciotti, F; Carenzo, M; Bordoy, R; Stoffel, M

    2014-09-15

    Switzerland is one of the countries with some of the longest and best glaciological data sets. Its glaciers and their changes in response to climate have been extensively investigated, and the number and quality of related studies are notable. However, a comprehensive review of glacier changes and their impact on the hydrology of glacierised catchments for Switzerland is missing and we use the opportunity provided by the EU-FP7 ACQWA project to review the current state of knowledge about past changes and future projections. We examine the type of models that have been applied to infer glacier evolution and identify knowledge gaps that should be addressed in future research in addition to those indicated in previous publications. Common characteristics in long-term series of projected future glacier runoff are an initial peak followed by a decline, associated with shifts in seasonality, earlier melt onset and reduced summer runoff. However, the quantitative predictions are difficult to compare, as studies differ in terms of model structure, calibration strategies, input data, temporal and spatial resolution as well as future scenarios used for impact studies. We identify two sources of uncertainties among those emerging from recent research, and use simulations over four glaciers to: i) quantify the importance of the correct extrapolation of air temperature, and ii) point at the key role played by debris cover in modulating glacier response. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Glacier area changes in Northern Eurasia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khromova, Tatiana; Nosenko, Gennady; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Muraviev, Anton; Chernova, Ludmila

    2014-01-01

    Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change. Recent evidence suggests an acceleration of glacier mass loss in several key mountain regions. Glacier recession implies landscape changes in the glacial zone, the origin of new lakes and activation of natural disaster processes, catastrophic mudflows, ice avalanches, outburst floods, etc. The absence or inadequacy of such information results in financial and human losses. A more comprehensive evaluation of glacier changes is imperative to assess ice contributions to global sea level rise and the future of water resources from glacial basins. One of the urgent steps is a full inventory of all ice bodies and their changes. The first estimation of glacier state and glacier distribution on the territory of the former Soviet Union has been done in the USSR Glacier Inventory (UGI) published in 1965–1982. The UGI is based on topographic maps and air photos and reflects the status of the glaciers in the 1940s–1970s. There is information about 28 884 glaciers with an area of 7830.75 km 2 in the inventory. It covers 25 glacier systems in Northern Eurasia. In the 1980s the UGI has been transformed into digital form as a part of the World Glacier Inventory (WGI). Recent satellite data provide a unique opportunity to look again at these glaciers and to evaluate changes in glacier extent for the second part of the 20th century. About 15 000 glacier outlines for the Caucasus, Polar Urals, Pamir Alay, Tien Shan, Altai, Kamchatka and Russian Arctic have been derived from ASTER and Landsat imagery and can be used for glacier change evaluation. Results of the analysis indicate the steady trend in glacier shrinkage in all mountain regions for the second part of the 20th century. Glacier area loss for the studied regions varies from 13% (Tien Shan) to 22.3% (Polar Urals). The common driver, most likely, is an increase in summer air temperature. There is also a very large variability in the degree of

  8. Observations of enhanced thinning in the upper reaches of Svalbard glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. D. James

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the volume and extent of land ice of the Svalbard archipelago have been the subject of considerable research since their sensitivity to changes in climate was first noted. However, the measurement of these changes is often necessarily based on point or profile measurements which may not be representative if extrapolated to a whole catchment or region. Combining high-resolution elevation data from contemporary laser-altimetry surveys and archived aerial photography makes it possible to measure historical changes across a glacier's surface without the need for extrapolation. Here we present a high spatial resolution time-series for six Arctic glaciers in the Svalbard archipelago spanning 1961 to 2005. We find high variability in thinning rates between sites with prevalent elevation changes at all sites averaging −0.59 ± 0.04 m a−1 between 1961–2005. Prior to 1990, ice surface elevation was changing at an average rate of −0.52 ± 0.09 m a−1 which decreased to −0.76 ± 0.10 m a−1 after 1990. Setting the elevation changes against the glaciers' altitude distribution reveals that significant increases in thinning rates are occurring most notably in the glaciers' upper reaches. We find that these changes are coincident with a decrease in winter precipitation at the Longyearbyen meteorological station and could reflect a decrease in albedo or dynamic response to lower accumulation. Further work is required to understand fully the causes of this increase in thinning rates in the glaciers' upper reaches. If on-going and occurring elsewhere in the archipelago, these changes will have a significant effect on the region's future mass balance. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the climatological context of geodetic mass balance measurements and demonstrate the difficulty of using index glaciers to represent regional changes in areas of strong climatological gradients.

  9. Multi-temporal high resolution monitoring of debris-covered glaciers using unmanned aerial vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraaijenbrink, Philip; Immerzeel, Walter; de Jong, Steven; Shea, Joseph; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Meijer, Sander; Shresta, Arun

    2016-04-01

    Debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas are relatively unstudied due to the difficulties in fieldwork caused by the inaccessible terrain and the presence of debris layers, which complicate in situ measurements. To overcome these difficulties an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been deployed multiple times over two debris covered glaciers in the Langtang catchment, located in the Nepalese Himalayas. Using differential GPS measurements and the Structure for Motion algorithm the UAV imagery was processed into accurate high-resolution digital elevation models and orthomosaics for both pre- and post-monsoon periods. These data were successfully used to estimate seasonal surface flow and mass wasting by using cross-correlation feature tracking and DEM differencing techniques. The results reveal large heterogeneity in mass loss and surface flow over the glacier surfaces, which are primarily caused by the presence of surface features such as ice cliffs and supra-glacial lakes. Accordingly, we systematically analyze those features using an object-based approach and relate their characteristics to the observed dynamics. We show that ice cliffs and supra-glacial lakes are contributing to a significant portion of the melt water of debris covered glaciers and we conclude that UAVs have great potential in understanding the key surface processes that remain largely undetected by using satellite remote sensing.

  10. Basal and thermal control mechanisms of the Ragnhild glaciers, East Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattyn, Frank; de Brabander, Sang; Huyghe, Ann

    The Ragnhild glaciers are three enhanced-flow features situated between the Sør Rondane and Yamato Mountains in eastern Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. We investigate the glaciological mechanisms controlling their existence and behavior, using a three-dimensional numerical thermomechanical ice-sheet model including higher-order stress gradients. This model is further extended with a steady-state model of subglacial water flow, based on the hydraulic potential gradient. Both static and dynamic simulations are capable of reproducing the enhanced ice-flow features. Although basal topography is responsible for the existence of the flow pattern, thermomechanical effects and basal sliding seem to locally soften and lubricate the ice in the main trunks. Lateral drag is a contributing factor in balancing the driving stress, as shear margins can be traced over a distance of hundreds of kilometers along west Ragnhild glacier. Different basal sliding scenarios show that central Ragnhild glacier stagnates as west Ragnhild glacier accelerates and progressively drains the whole catchment area by ice and water piracy.

  11. Classification of debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers in the Andes of central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, Jason R.; Bellisario, Antonio C.; Ferrando, Francisco A.

    2015-07-01

    In the Dry Andes of Chile (17 to 35° S), debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers are differentiated from true glaciers based on the percentage of surface debris cover, thickness of surface debris, and ice content. Internal ice is preserved by an insulating cover of thick debris, which acts as a storage reservoir to release water during the summer and early fall. These landforms are more numerous than glaciers in the central Andes; however, the existing legislation only recognizes uncovered or semicovered glaciers as a water resource. Glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers are being altered or removed by mining operations to extract valuable minerals from the mountains. In addition, agricultural expansion and population growth in this region have placed additional demands on water resources. In a warmer climate, as glaciers recede and seasonal water availability becomes condensed over the course of a snowmelt season, rock glaciers and debris-covered glaciers contribute a larger component of base flow to rivers and streams. As a result, identifying and locating these features to implement sustainable regional planning for water resources is important. The objective of this study is to develop a classification system to identify debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers based on the interpretation of satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The classification system is linked to field observations and measurements of ice content. Debris-covered glaciers have three subclasses: surface coverage of semi (class 1) and fully covered (class 2) glaciers differentiates the first two forms, whereas debris thickness is critical for class 3 when glaciers become buried with more than 3 m of surface debris. Based on field observations, the amount of ice decreases from more than 85%, to 65-85%, to 45-65% for semi, fully, and buried debris-covered glaciers, respectively. Rock glaciers are characterized by three stages. Class 4 rock glaciers have pronounced

  12. Catchment areas for public transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jonas Lohmann Elkjær; Landex, Alex

    2008-01-01

    In the planning of public transport catchment areas of stops are often included to estimate potential number of travellers. There are different approaches to GIS-based catchment area analyses depending on the desired level of detail. The Circular Buffer approach is the fundamental, but also....../from stations. The article also shows how the refinement of the Service Area approach with additional time resistance results in smaller catchment areas when the feeder routes cross stairs. It is concluded that GIS-based catchment area analyses are a multiple decision support tool for planning of public...... transport where the level of detail can be suited to the purpose....

  13. Sediment transport drives tidewater glacier periodicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, Douglas; Truffer, Martin; Aschwanden, Andy

    2017-07-21

    Most of Earth's glaciers are retreating, but some tidewater glaciers are advancing despite increasing temperatures and contrary to their neighbors. This can be explained by the coupling of ice and sediment dynamics: a shoal forms at the glacier terminus, reducing ice discharge and causing advance towards an unstable configuration followed by abrupt retreat, in a process known as the tidewater glacier cycle. Here we use a numerical model calibrated with observations to show that interactions between ice flow, glacial erosion, and sediment transport drive these cycles, which occur independent of climate variations. Water availability controls cycle period and amplitude, and enhanced melt from future warming could trigger advance even in glaciers that are steady or retreating, complicating interpretations of glacier response to climate change. The resulting shifts in sediment and meltwater delivery from changes in glacier configuration may impact interpretations of marine sediments, fjord geochemistry, and marine ecosystems.The reason some of the Earth's tidewater glaciers are advancing despite increasing temperatures is not entirely clear. Here, using a numerical model that simulates both ice and sediment dynamics, the authors show that internal dynamics drive glacier variability independent of climate.

  14. A database of worldwide glacier thickness observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gärtner-Roer, I.; Naegeli, K.; Huss, M.

    2014-01-01

    One of the grand challenges in glacier research is to assess the total ice volume and its global distribution. Over the past few decades the compilation of a world glacier inventory has been well-advanced both in institutional set-up and in spatial coverage. The inventory is restricted to glacier...... the different estimation approaches. This initial database of glacier and ice caps thickness will hopefully be further enlarged and intensively used for a better understanding of the global glacier ice volume and its distribution....... surface observations. However, although thickness has been observed on many glaciers and ice caps around the globe, it has not yet been published in the shape of a readily available database. Here, we present a standardized database of glacier thickness observations compiled by an extensive literature...... review and from airborne data extracted from NASA's Operation IceBridge. This database contains ice thickness observations from roughly 1100 glaciers and ice caps including 550 glacier-wide estimates and 750,000 point observations. A comparison of these observational ice thicknesses with results from...

  15. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring: strategy and datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzle, Martin; Armstrong, Richard; Fetterer, Florence; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Haeberli, Wilfried; Kääb, Andreas; Kargel, Jeff; Nussbaumer, Samuel; Paul, Frank; Raup, Bruce; Zemp, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Internationally coordinated monitoring of long-term glacier changes provide key indicator data about global climate change and began in the year 1894 as an internationally coordinated effort to establish standardized observations. Today, world-wide monitoring of glaciers and ice caps is embedded within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an important Essential Climate Variable (ECV). The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) was established in 1999 with the task of coordinating measurements and to ensure the continuous development and adaptation of the international strategies to the long-term needs of users in science and policy. The basic monitoring principles must be relevant, feasible, comprehensive and understandable to a wider scientific community as well as to policy makers and the general public. Data access has to be free and unrestricted, the quality of the standardized and calibrated data must be high and a combination of detailed process studies at selected field sites with global coverage by satellite remote sensing is envisaged. Recently a GTN-G Steering Committee was established to guide and advise the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. Several online databases containing a wealth of diverse data types having different levels of detail and global coverage provide fast access to continuously updated information on glacier fluctuation and inventory data. For world-wide inventories, data are now available through (a) the World Glacier Inventory containing tabular information of about 130,000 glaciers covering an area of around 240,000 km2, (b) the GLIMS-database containing digital outlines of around 118,000 glaciers with different time stamps and

  16. Evaluating the Impact of Glacier Shrinkage on Water Supply at Volcán Chimborazo, Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Frenierre, J.; Mark, B. G.

    2013-12-01

    becoming less predictable. In the Rio Mocha watershed (the most highly-glacierized of Chimborazo's catchments), glacier meltwater currently contributes ~10-20% of Rio Mocha discharge at the intake of the Las Abras canal, the region's most important irrigation system. Discussions with system users and direct flow measurements indicate that the canal is now frequently unable to meet irrigation demand during the dry season. Already, the majority of non-irrigators in the Chimborazo region now pursue non-agricultural livelihood activities for at least part of the year, which often requires either temporary or permanent emigration from local communities to other areas inside and outside of Ecuador. With increasingly unreliable water supply, some farmers with irrigation rights are now being forced to do the same. Should the hydrologic response of the Rio Mocha to continued glacier shrinkage mimic that noted in other Andean watersheds, further reduction of water supply during dry periods and increased livelihood vulnerability on the part of local irrigators can be expected.

  17. Influence of spatial discretization, underground water storage and glacier melt on a physically-based hydrological model of the Upper Durance River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafaysse, M.; Hingray, B.; Etchevers, P.; Martin, E.; Obled, C.

    2011-06-01

    SummaryThe SAFRAN-ISBA-MODCOU hydrological model ( Habets et al., 2008) presents severe limitations for alpine catchments. Here we propose possible model adaptations. For the catchment discretization, Relatively Homogeneous Hydrological Units (RHHUs) are used instead of the classical 8 km square grid. They are defined from the dilineation of hydrological subbasins, elevation bands, and aspect classes. Glacierized and non-glacierized areas are also treated separately. In addition, new modules are included in the model for the simulation of glacier melt, and retention of underground water. The improvement resulting from each model modification is analysed for the Upper Durance basin. RHHUs allow the model to better account for the high spatial variability of the hydrological processes (e.g. snow cover). The timing and the intensity of the spring snowmelt floods are significantly improved owing to the representation of water retention by aquifers. Despite the relatively small area covered by glaciers, accounting for glacier melt is necessary for simulating the late summer low flows. The modified model is robust over a long simulation period and it produces a good reproduction of the intra and interannual variability of discharge, which is a necessary condition for its application in a modified climate context.

  18. Brief communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new data set of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Kruse, L. M.; Michaelsen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Place names in Greenland can be difficult to get right, as they are a mix of Greenlandic, Danish, and other foreign languages. In addition, orthographies have changed over time. With this new data set, we give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to find the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland and to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography. The data set contains information on the names of 733 glaciers, 285 originating from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and 448 from local glaciers and ice caps (LGICs).

  19. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Costa

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Suspended sediment export from large Alpine catchments ( >  1000 km2 over decadal timescales is sensitive to a number of factors, including long-term variations in climate, the activation–deactivation of different sediment sources (proglacial areas, hillslopes, etc., transport through the fluvial system, and potential anthropogenic impacts on the sediment flux (e.g. through impoundments and flow regulation. Here, we report on a marked increase in suspended sediment concentrations observed near the outlet of the upper Rhône River Basin in the mid-1980s. This increase coincides with a statistically significant step-like increase in basin-wide mean air temperature. We explore the possible explanations of the suspended sediment rise in terms of changes in water discharge (transport capacity, and the activation of different potential sources of fine sediment (sediment supply in the catchment by hydroclimatic forcing. Time series of precipitation and temperature-driven snowmelt, snow cover, and ice melt simulated with a spatially distributed degree-day model, together with erosive rainfall on snow-free surfaces, are tested to explore possible reasons for the rise in suspended sediment concentration. We show that the abrupt change in air temperature reduced snow cover and the contribution of snowmelt, and enhanced ice melt. The results of statistical tests show that the onset of increased ice melt was likely to play a dominant role in the suspended sediment concentration rise in the mid-1980s. Temperature-driven enhanced melting of glaciers, which cover about 10 % of the catchment surface, can increase suspended sediment yields through an increased contribution of sediment-rich glacial meltwater, increased sediment availability due to glacier recession, and increased runoff from sediment-rich proglacial areas. The reduced extent and duration of snow cover in the catchment are also potential contributors to the rise in suspended sediment

  20. How do glacier inventory data aid global glacier assessments and projections?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hock, R.

    2017-12-01

    Large-scale glacier modeling relies heavily on datasets that are collected by many individuals across the globe, but managed and maintained in a coordinated fashion by international data centers. The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) provides the framework for coordinating and making available a suite of data sets such as the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI), the Glacier Thickness Dataset or the World Glacier Inventory (WGI). These datasets have greatly increased our ability to assess global-scale glacier mass changes. These data have also been vital for projecting the glacier mass changes of all mountain glaciers in the world outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet, a total >200,000 glaciers covering an area of more than 700,000 km2. Using forcing from 8 to 15 GCMs and 4 different emission scenarios, global-scale glacier evolution models project multi-model mean net mass losses of all glaciers between 7 cm and 24 cm sea-level equivalent by the end of the 21st century. Projected mass losses vary greatly depending on the choice of the forcing climate and emission scenario. Insufficiently constrained model parameters likely are an important reason for large differences found among these studies even when forced by the same emission scenario, especially on regional scales.

  1. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    To date, there has only been little conceptual change research regarding conceptions about glaciers. This study used the theoretical background of embodied cognition to reconstruct different metaphorical concepts with respect to the structure of a glacier. Applying the Model of Educational Reconstruction, the conceptions of students and scientists…

  2. The atmospheric boundary layer over melting glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1998-01-01

    Results from a number of glacio-meteorological experiments carried out over melting glaciers are summarized. It is shown that in summer the microclimate of a glacier tongue is dominated by katabatic flow, initiated by the downward sensible heat flux. Characteristic obstacle height is an

  3. The response of glaciers to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, Elisabeth Jantina

    2003-01-01

    The research described in this thesis addresses two aspects of the response of glaciers to climate change. The first aspect deals with the physical processes that govern the interaction between glaciers and climate change and was treated by (1) studying the spatial and temporal variation of the

  4. Environmental care in agricultural catchments: Toward the communicative catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Peter

    1991-11-01

    Substantial land degradation of agricultural catchments in Australia has resulted from the importation of European farming methods and the large-scale clearing of land. Rural communities are now being encouraged by government to take responsibility for environmental care. The importance of community involvement is supported by the view that environmental problems are a function of interactions between people and their environment. It is suggested that the commonly held view that community groups cannot care for their resources is due to inappropriate social institutions rather that any inherent disability in people. The communicative catchment is developed as a vision for environmental care into the future. This concept emerges from a critique of resource management through the catchment metaphors of the reduced, mechanical, and the complex, evolving catchment, which reflect the development of systemic and people-centered approaches to environmental care. The communicative catchment is one where both community and resource managers participate collaboratively in environmental care. A methodology based on action research and systemic thinking (systemic action research) is proposed as a way of moving towards the communicative catchment of the future. Action research is a way of taking action in organizations and communities that is participative and informed by theory, while systemic thinking takes into account the interconnections and relationships between social and natural worlds. The proposed vision, methodology, and practical operating principles stem from involvement in an action research project looking at extension strategies for the implementation of total catchment management in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

  5. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.; Wessels, R.; Kieffer, H. H.

    2002-05-01

    Glaciers are ablating rapidly the world over. Nowhere are the rates of retreat and downwasting greater than in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. It is estimated that over the next century, 40,000 square kilometers of present glacier area in the HKH region will become ice free. Most of this area is in major valleys and the lowest glaciated mountain passes. The existence and characteristics of glaciers have security impacts, and rapidly changing HKH glaciers have broad strategic implications: (1) Glaciers supply much of the fresh water and hydroelectric power in South and Central Asia, and so glaciers are valuable resources. (2) Shared economic interests in water, hydroelectricity, flood hazards, and habitat preservation are a force for common cause and reasoned international relations. (3) Glaciers and their high mountains generally pose a natural barrier tending to isolate people. Historically, they have hindered trade and intercultural exchanges and have protected against aggression. This has further promoted an independent spirit of the region's many ethnic groups. (4) Although glaciers are generally incompatible with human development and habitation, many of the HKH region's glaciers and their mountains have become sanctuaries and transit routes for militants. Siachen Glacier in Kashmir has for 17 years been "the world's highest battlefield," with tens of thousands of troops deployed on both sides of the India/Pakistan line of control. In 1999, that conflict threatened to trigger all-out warfare, and perhaps nuclear warfare. Other recent terrorist and military action has taken place on glaciers in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As terrorists are forced from easily controlled territories, many may tend to migrate toward the highest ground, where definitive encounters may take place in severe alpine glacial environments. This should be a major concern in Nepali security planning, where an Army offensive is attempting to reign in an increasingly robust and brutal

  6. An inventory and estimate of water stored in firn fields, glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers in the Aconcagua River Basin, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, Jason R.; Ng, Sam; Bellisario, Antonio

    2017-11-01

    An inventory of firn fields, glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers was conducted in the Aconcagua River Basin of the semiarid Andes of central Chile. A total of 916 landforms were identified, of which rock glaciers were the most abundant (669) and occupied the most total area. Glaciers and debris-covered glaciers were less numerous, but were about five times larger in comparison. The total area occupied by glaciers and debris-covered glaciers was roughly equivalent to the total area of rock glaciers. Debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers were subcategorized into six ice-content classes based on interpretation of surface morphology with high-resolution satellite imagery. Over 50% of rock glaciers fell within a transitional stage; 85% of debris-covered glaciers were either fully covered or buried. Most landforms occupied elevations between 3500 and 4500 m. Glaciers and firn occurred at higher elevations compared to rock glaciers and debris-covered glaciers. Rock glaciers had a greater frequency in the northern part of the study area where arid climate conditions exist. Firn and glaciers were oriented south, debris-covered glaciers west, and rock glaciers southwest. An analysis of water contribution of each landform in the upper Andes of the Aconcagua River Basin was conducted using formulas that associate the size of the landforms to estimates of water stored. Minimum and maximum water storage was calculated based on a range of debris to ice content ratios for debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers. In the Aconcagua River Basin, rock glaciers accounted for 48 to 64% of the water stored within the landforms analyzed; glaciers accounted for 15 to 25%; debris-covered glaciers were estimated at 15 to 19%; firn fields contained only about 5 to 8% of the water stored. Expansion of agriculture, prolonged drought, and removal of ice-rich landforms for mining have put additional pressure on already scarce water resources. To develop long

  7. Response of small glaciers to climate change: runoff from glaciers of the Wind River range, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliss, A. K.; Stamper, B.

    2017-12-01

    Runoff from glaciers affects downstream ecosystems by influencing the quantity, seasonality, and chemistry of the water. We describe the present state of glaciers in the Wind River range, Wyoming and consider how these glaciers will change in the future. Wind River glaciers have been losing mass in recent decades, as seen with geodetic techniques and by examining glacier morphology. Interestingly, the 2016/7 winter featured one of the largest snowfalls on record. Our primary focus is the Dinwoody Glacier ( 3 km^2, 3300-4000 m above sea level). We present data collected in mid-August 2017 including glacier ablation rates, snow line elevations, and streamflow. We compare measured glacier mass loss to streamflow at the glacier terminus and at a USGS stream gauge farther downstream. Using a hydrological model, we explore the fate of glacial runoff as it moves into downstream ecosystems and through ranchlands important to local people. The techniques used here can be applied to similar small-glacier systems in other parts of the world.

  8. Seasonal variability of organic matter composition in an Alaskan glacier outflow: insights into glacier carbon sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spencer, Robert G M; Vermilyea, Andrew; Fellman, Jason; Hood, Eran; Raymond, Peter; Stubbins, Aron; Scott, Durelle

    2014-01-01

    Glacier ecosystems are a significant source of bioavailable, yet ancient dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Characterizing DOC in Mendenhall Glacier outflow (southeast Alaska) we document a seasonal persistence to the radiocarbon-depleted signature of DOC, highlighting ancient DOC as a ubiquitous feature of glacier outflow. We observed no systematic depletion in Δ 14 C-DOC with increasing discharge during the melt season that would suggest mobilization of an aged subglacial carbon store. However, DOC concentration, δ 13 C-DOC, Δ 14 C-DOC and fluorescence signatures appear to have been influenced by runoff from vegetated hillslopes above the glacier during onset and senescence of melt. In the peak glacier melt period, the Δ 14 C-DOC of stream samples at the outflow (−181.7 to −355.3‰) was comparable to the Δ 14 C-DOC for snow samples from the accumulation zone (−207.2 to −390.9‰), suggesting that ancient DOC from the glacier surface is exported in glacier runoff. The pre-aged DOC in glacier snow and runoff is consistent with contributions from fossil fuel combustion sources similar to those documented previously in ice cores and thus provides evidence for anthropogenic perturbation of the carbon cycle. Overall, our results emphasize the need to further characterize DOC inputs to glacier ecosystems, particularly in light of predicted changes in glacier mass and runoff in the coming century. (papers)

  9. Ocean impact on Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, Northeast Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Kanzow, Torsten; von Appen, Wilken-Jon; Mayer, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers around Greenland. The largest of three outlet glaciers draining the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier (also referred to as 79 North Glacier). Historic observations showed that warm waters of Atlantic origin are present in the subglacial cavity below the 80 km long floating ice tongue of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and cause strong basal melt at the grounding line, but to date it has been unknown how those warm water enter the cavity. In order to understand how Atlantic origin waters carry heat into the subglacial cavity beneath Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, we performed bathymetric, hydrographic, and velocity observations in the vicinity of the main glacier calving front aboard RV Polarstern in summer 2016. The bathymetric multibeam data shows a 500 m deep and 2 km narrow passage downstream of a 310 m deep sill. This turned out to be the only location deep enough for an exchange of Atlantic waters between the glacier cavity and the continental shelf. Hydrographic and velocity measurements revealed a density driven plume in the vicinity of the glacier calving front causing a rapid flow of waters of Atlantic origin warmer 1°C into the subglacial cavity through the 500 m deep passage. In addition, glacially modified waters flow out of the glacier cavity below the 80 m deep ice base. In the vicinity of the glacier, the glacially modified waters form a distinct mixed layer situated above the Atlantic waters and below the ambient Polar water. At greater distances from the glacier this layer is eroded by lateral mixing with ambient water. Based on our observations we will present an estimate of the ocean heat transport into the subglacial cavity. In comparison with historic observations we find an increase in Atlantic water temperatures throughout the last 20 years. The resulting

  10. The catchment based approach using catchment system engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonczyk, Jennine; Quinn, Paul; Barber, Nicholas; Wilkinson, Mark

    2015-04-01

    The catchment based approach (CaBa) has been championed as a potential mechanism for delivery of environmental directives such as the Water Framework Directive in the UK. However, since its launch in 2013, there has been only limited progress towards achieving sustainable, holistic management, with only a few of examples of good practice ( e.g. from the Tyne Rivers trust). Common issues with developing catchment plans over a national scale include limited data and resources to identify issues and source of those issues, how to systematically identify suitable locations for measures or suites of measures that will have the biggest downstream impact and how to overcome barriers for implementing solutions. Catchment System Engineering (CSE) is an interventionist approach to altering the catchment scale runoff regime through the manipulation of hydrological flow pathways throughout the catchment. A significant component of the runoff generation can be managed by targeting hydrological flow pathways at source, such as overland flow, field drain and ditch function, greatly reducing erosive soil losses. Coupled with management of farm nutrients at source, many runoff attenuation features or measures can be co-located to achieve benefits for water quality and biodiversity. A catchment, community-led mitigation measures plan using the CSE approach will be presented from a catchment in Northumberland, Northern England that demonstrate a generic framework for identification of multi-purpose features that slow, store and filter runoff at strategic locations in the landscape. Measures include within-field barriers, edge of field traps and within-ditch measures. Progress on the implementation of measures will be reported alongside potential impacts on the runoff regime at both local and catchment scale and costs.

  11. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.; Alho, P.; Buytaert, W.; Célleri, R.; Cogley, J. G.; Dussaillant, A.; Guido, Z.; Haeberli, W.; Harrison, S.; Leonard, G.; Maxwell, A.; Meier, C.; Poveda, G.; Reid, B.; Reynolds, J.; Rodríguez, C. A. Portocarrero; Romero, H.; Schneider, J.

    2012-05-01

    Lately, glaciers have been subjects of unceasing controversy. Current debate about planned hydroelectric facilities—a US7- to 10-billion megaproject—in a pristine glacierized area of Patagonia, Chile [Romero Toledo et al., 2009; Vince, 2010], has raised anew the matter of how glaciologists and global change experts can contribute their knowledge to civic debates on important issues. There has been greater respect for science in this controversy than in some previous debates over projects that pertain to glaciers, although valid economic motivations again could trump science and drive a solution to the energy supply problem before the associated safety and environmental problems are understood. The connection between glaciers and climate change—both anthropogenic and natural—is fundamental to glaciology and to glaciers' practical importance for water and hydropower resources, agriculture, tourism, mining, natural hazards, ecosystem conservation, and sea level [Buytaert et al., 2010; Glasser et al., 2011]. The conflict between conservation and development can be sharper in glacierized regions than almost anywhere else. Glaciers occur in spectacular natural landscapes, but they also supply prodigious exploitable meltwater.

  12. Quantifying seasonal velocity at Khumbu Glacier, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, E.; Quincey, D. J.; Miles, K.; Hubbard, B. P.; Rowan, A. V.

    2017-12-01

    While the low-gradient debris-covered tongues of many Himalayan glaciers exhibit low surface velocities, quantifying ice flow and its variation through time remains a key challenge for studies aimed at determining the long-term evolution of these glaciers. Recent work has suggested that glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal may show seasonal variability in surface velocity, with ice flow peaking during the summer as monsoon precipitation provides hydrological inputs and thus drives changes in subglacial drainage efficiency. However, satellite and aerial observations of glacier velocity during the monsoon are greatly limited due to cloud cover. Those that do exist do not span the period over which the most dynamic changes occur, and consequently short-term (i.e. daily) changes in flow, as well as the evolution of ice dynamics through the monsoon period, remain poorly understood. In this study, we combine field and remote (satellite image) observations to create a multi-temporal, 3D synthesis of ice deformation rates at Khumbu Glacier, Nepal, focused on the 2017 monsoon period. We first determine net annual and seasonal surface displacements for the whole glacier based on Landsat-8 (OLI) panchromatic data (15m) processed with ImGRAFT. We integrate inclinometer observations from three boreholes drilled by the EverDrill project to determine cumulative deformation at depth, providing a 3D perspective and enabling us to assess the role of basal sliding at each site. We additionally analyze high-frequency on-glacier L1 GNSS data from three sites to characterize variability within surface deformation at sub-seasonal timescales. Finally, each dataset is validated against repeat-dGPS observations at gridded points in the vicinity of the boreholes and GNSS dataloggers. These datasets complement one another to infer thermal regime across the debris-covered ablation area of the glacier, and emphasize the seasonal and spatial variability of ice deformation for glaciers in High

  13. Role of glacier runoff in the Heihe Basin

    OpenAIRE

    坂井, 亜規子; 藤田, 耕史; 中尾, 正義; YAO, Tandong

    2005-01-01

    We estimated the fluctuation of precipitation and air temperature from Dunde ice core data since 1606 comparing to meteorological data taken near the July 1st glacier since 1930s. Then, we calculated the discharges from glaciers and glacier-free areaFurthermore, we analyzed the sensitivity of those discharges to meteorological factor. The result revealed that calculated discharge from glacier-free area increased with precipitation. Meanwhile, calculated discharge from glaciers decreased with ...

  14. Glacier Instability, Rapid Glacier Lake Growth and Related Hazards at Belvedere Glacier, Macugnaga, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggel, C.; Kaeaeb, A.; Haeberli, W.; Mortara, G.; Chiarle, M.; Epifani, F.

    2002-12-01

    Starting in summer 2000, Belvedere Glacier, near Macugnaga, Italian Alps, developed an extraordinary change in flow, geometry and surface appearance. A surge-type flow acceleration started in the lower parts of the Monte-Rosa east face, leading to strong crevassing and deformation of Belvedere Glacier, accompanied by bulging of its orographic right margin. In September 2001, a small supraglacial lake developed on the glacier. High water pressure and accelerated movement lasted into winter 2001/2002. The ice, in places, started to override moraines from the Little Ice Age. In late spring and early summer 2002, the supraglacial lake grew at extraordinary rates reaching a maximum area of more than 150'000 m2 by end of June. The evolution of such a large supraglacial lake, a rather unique feature in the Alps, was probably enabled by changes in the subglacial drainage system in the course of the surge-like developments with high water pressure in the glacier. At the end of June, an enhanced growth of the lake level with a rise of about 1 m per day was observed such that the supraglacial lake became a urgent hazard problem for the community of Macugnaga. Emergency measures had to be taken by the Italian Civil Protection. The authors thereby acted as the official expert advisers. Temporal evacuations were ordered and a permanent monitoring and alarm system was installed. Pumps with a maximum output of 1 m3/s were brought to the lake. Bathymetric studies yielded a maximum lake depth of 55 m and a volume of 3.3 millions of cubic meters of water. Aerial photography of 1995, 1999, September 2001 and October 2001 was used to calculate ice flow velocities and changes in surface altitude. Compared to the period of 1995 to 1999, the flow accelerated by about five times in 2001 (max. speeds up to 200 m/yr). Surface uplift measured was about 10-15 m/yr. The results of the photogrammetric studies were used to evaluate different possible lake-outburst scenarios, in particular

  15. Glacier development and topographic context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    López-Moreno, J. I.; Nogués-Bravo, David; Chueca-Cía, J.

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyses the topographic context of the remaining glaciated areas in the Maladeta Massif (Central Spanish Pyrenees). These ice-covered surfaces have been incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) in an attempt at correlating the presence of ice with a range of topographic...... and recent evolution of each glacial body. Thus, the joint effect of altitude, exposure to incoming solar radiation, slope and mean curvature is able to explain more than 70 per cent of the observed variance. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd....... variables obtained from a digital elevation model. The use of generalized additive models and binary regression tree models enabled us (i) to quantify the spatial variability in the distribution of glaciers attributable to characteristics of the local terrain, (ii) to investigate the interaction between...

  16. ROCK GLACIERS IN THE KOLYMA HIGHLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Galanin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on remote mapping and field studies inGrand Rapids, Tumansky,Hasynsky,Del-Urechen Ridges as well as Dukchinsky and Kilgansky Mountain Massifs there were identified about 1160 landforms which morphologically are similar to the rock glaciers or they develop in close association with them. Besides tongue-shaped cirque rock glaciers originated due to ablation, a large number of lobate-shaped slope-associated rock glaciers were recognized. Significant quantity of such forms are developing within the active neotectonic areas, in zones of seismic-tectonic badland and in association with active earthquakes-controlling faults. Multiplication of regional data on volcanic-ash-chronology, lichenometry, Schmidt Hammer Test, pollen spectra and single radiocarbon data, most of the active rock glaciers were preliminary attributed to the Late Holocene.

  17. Rock glaciers, Prealps, Vaud, Switzerland, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The investigated area forms part of the western lobe of the Prealps (Swiss Prealps). The 25 identified fossil rock glaciers are found mainly in the Prealpes medianes...

  18. Glacier monitoring and glacier-climate interactions in the tropical Andes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veettil, Bijeesh Kozhikkodan; Wang, Shanshan; Florêncio de Souza, Sergio; Bremer, Ulisses Franz; Simões, Jefferson Cardia

    2017-08-01

    In this review, we summarized the evolution of glacier monitoring in the tropical Andes during the last few decades, particularly after the development of remote sensing and photogrammetry. Advantages and limitations of glacier mapping, applied so far, in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia are discussed in detail. Glacier parameters such as the equilibrium line altitude, snowline and mass balance were given special attention in understanding the complex cryosphere-climate interactions, particularly using remote sensing techniques. Glaciers in the inner and the outer tropics were considered separately based on the precipitation and temperature conditions within a new framework. The applicability of various methods to use glacier records to understand and reconstruct the tropical Andean climate between the Last Glacial Maximum (11,700 years ago) and the present is also explored in this paper. Results from various studies published recently were analyzed and we tried to understand the differences in the magnitudes of glacier responses towards the climatic perturbations in the inner tropics and the outer tropics. Inner tropical glaciers, particularly those in Venezuela and Colombia near the January Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), are more vulnerable to increase in temperature. Surface energy balance experiments show that outer tropical glaciers respond to precipitation variability very rapidly in comparison with the temperature variability, particularly when moving towards the subtropics. We also analyzed the gradients in glacier response to climate change from the Pacific coast towards the Amazon Basin as well as with the elevation. Based on the current trends synthesised from recent studies, it is hypothesized that the glaciers in the inner tropics and the southern wet outer tropics will disappear first as a response to global warming whereas glaciers in the northern wet outer tropics and dry outer tropics show resistance to warming trends due to

  19. Fuzzy Cognitive Maps for Glacier Hazards Assessment: Application to Predicting the Potential for Glacier Lake Outbursts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furfaro, R.; Kargel, J. S.; Fink, W.; Bishop, M. P.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers and ice sheets are among the largest unstable parts of the solid Earth. Generally, glaciers are devoid of resources (other than water), are dangerous, are unstable and no infrastructure is normally built directly on their surfaces. Areas down valley from large alpine glaciers are also commonly unstable due to landslide potential of moraines, debris flows, snow avalanches, outburst floods from glacier lakes, and other dynamical alpine processes; yet there exists much development and human occupation of some disaster-prone areas. Satellite remote sensing can be extremely effective in providing cost-effective and time- critical information. Space-based imagery can be used to monitor glacier outlines and their lakes, including processes such as iceberg calving and debris accumulation, as well as changing thicknesses and flow speeds. Such images can also be used to make preliminary identifications of specific hazardous spots and allows preliminary assessment of possible modes of future disaster occurrence. Autonomous assessment of glacier conditions and their potential for hazards would present a major advance and permit systematized analysis of more data than humans can assess. This technical leap will require the design and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms specifically designed to mimic glacier experts’ reasoning. Here, we introduce the theory of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCM) as an AI tool for predicting and assessing natural hazards in alpine glacier environments. FCM techniques are employed to represent expert knowledge of glaciers physical processes. A cognitive model embedded in a fuzzy logic framework is constructed via the synergistic interaction between glaciologists and AI experts. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed AI methodology as applied to predicting hazards in glacier environments, we designed and implemented a FCM that addresses the challenging problem of autonomously assessing the Glacier Lake Outburst Flow

  20. The length of the glaciers in the world

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Huss, M.; Huss, M.

    2014-01-01

    a fully automated method based on glacier surface slope, distance to the glacier margins and a set of trade-off functions. The method is developed for East Greenland, evaluated for the same area as well as for Alaska, and eventually applied to all ∼ 200000 glaciers around the globe. The evaluation...... highlights accurately calculated glacier length where DEM quality is good (East 10 Greenland) and limited precision on low quality DEMs (parts of Alaska). Measured length of very small glaciers is subject to a certain level of ambiguity. The global calculation shows that only about 1.5% of all glaciers...... are longer than 10km with Bering Glacier (Alaska/Canada) being the longest glacier in the world at a length of 196 km. Based on model output we derive global and regional area-length scaling laws. Differences among regional scaling parameters appear to be related to characteristics of topography and glacier...

  1. Step-wise changes in glacier flow speed coincide with calving and glacial earthquakes at Helheim Glacier, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nettles, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Elósegui, P.

    2008-01-01

    Geodetic observations show several large, sudden increases in flow speed at Helheim Glacier, one of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, during summer, 2007. These step-like accelerations, detected along the length of the glacier, coincide with teleseismically detected glacial earthquakes and major...... iceberg calving events. No coseismic offset in the position of the glacier surface is observed; instead, modest tsunamis associated with the glacial earthquakes implicate glacier calving in the seismogenic process. Our results link changes in glacier velocity directly to calving-front behavior...... at Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, on timescales as short as minutes to hours, and clarify the mechanism by which glacial earthquakes occur. Citation: Nettles, M., et al. (2008), Step-wise changes in glacier flow speed coincide with calving and glacial earthquakes at Helheim Glacier, Greenland....

  2. Combination of UAV and terrestrial photogrammetry to assess rapid glacier evolution and map glacier hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fugazza, Davide; Scaioni, Marco; Corti, Manuel; D'Agata, Carlo; Azzoni, Roberto Sergio; Cernuschi, Massimo; Smiraglia, Claudio; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina Adele

    2018-04-01

    Tourists and hikers visiting glaciers all year round face hazards such as sudden terminus collapses, typical of such a dynamically evolving environment. In this study, we analyzed the potential of different survey techniques to analyze hazards of the Forni Glacier, an important geosite located in Stelvio Park (Italian Alps). We carried out surveys in the 2016 ablation season and compared point clouds generated from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) survey, close-range photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). To investigate the evolution of glacier hazards and evaluate the glacier thinning rate, we also used UAV data collected in 2014 and a digital elevation model (DEM) created from an aerial photogrammetric survey of 2007. We found that the integration between terrestrial and UAV photogrammetry is ideal for mapping hazards related to the glacier collapse, while TLS is affected by occlusions and is logistically complex in glacial terrain. Photogrammetric techniques can therefore replace TLS for glacier studies and UAV-based DEMs hold potential for becoming a standard tool in the investigation of glacier thickness changes. Based on our data sets, an increase in the size of collapses was found over the study period, and the glacier thinning rates went from 4.55 ± 0.24 m a-1 between 2007 and 2014 to 5.20 ± 1.11 m a-1 between 2014 and 2016.

  3. ICESat laser altimetry over small mountain glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Treichler

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Using sparsely glaciated southern Norway as a case study, we assess the potential and limitations of ICESat laser altimetry for analysing regional glacier elevation change in rough mountain terrain. Differences between ICESat GLAS elevations and reference elevation data are plotted over time to derive a glacier surface elevation trend for the ICESat acquisition period 2003–2008. We find spatially varying biases between ICESat and three tested digital elevation models (DEMs: the Norwegian national DEM, SRTM DEM, and a high-resolution lidar DEM. For regional glacier elevation change, the spatial inconsistency of reference DEMs – a result of spatio-temporal merging – has the potential to significantly affect or dilute trends. Elevation uncertainties of all three tested DEMs exceed ICESat elevation uncertainty by an order of magnitude, and are thus limiting the accuracy of the method, rather than ICESat uncertainty. ICESat matches glacier size distribution of the study area well and measures small ice patches not commonly monitored in situ. The sample is large enough for spatial and thematic subsetting. Vertical offsets to ICESat elevations vary for different glaciers in southern Norway due to spatially inconsistent reference DEM age. We introduce a per-glacier correction that removes these spatially varying offsets, and considerably increases trend significance. Only after application of this correction do individual campaigns fit observed in situ glacier mass balance. Our correction also has the potential to improve glacier trend significance for other causes of spatially varying vertical offsets, for instance due to radar penetration into ice and snow for the SRTM DEM or as a consequence of mosaicking and merging that is common for national or global DEMs. After correction of reference elevation bias, we find that ICESat provides a robust and realistic estimate of a moderately negative glacier mass balance of around −0.36 ± 0.07

  4. What Influences Climate and Glacier Change in the Southwestern China?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2012-01-01

    The subject of climate change in the areas of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and the Himalayas has taken on increasing importance because of available water resources from their mountain glaciers. Many of these glaciers over the region have been retreating, while some are advancing and stable. Other studies report that some glaciers in the Himalayas show acceleration on their shrinkage. However, the causes of the glacier meltings are still difficult to grasp because of the complexity of climatic change and its influence on glacier issues. However, it is vital that we pursue further study to enable the future prediction on glacier changes.

  5. Monitoring Unstable Glaciers with Seismic Noise Interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiswerk, L. E.; Walter, F.

    2016-12-01

    Gravity-driven glacier instabilities are a threat to human infrastructure in alpine terrain, and this hazard is likely to increase with future changes in climate. Seismometers have been used previously on hazardous glaciers to monitor the natural englacial seismicity. In some situations, an increase in "icequake" activity may indicate fracture growth and thus an imminent major break-off. However, without independent constraints on unstable volumes, such mere event counting is of little use. A promising new approach to monitor unstable masses in Alpine terrain is coda wave interferometry of ambient noise. While already established in the solid earth, application to glaciers is not straightforward, because the lack of inhomogeneities typically suppresses seismic coda waves in glacier ice. Only glaciers with pervasive crevasses provide enough scattering to generate long codas. This is requirement is likely met for highly dynamic unstable glaciers. Here, we report preliminary results from a temporary 5-station on-ice array of seismometers (corner frequencies: 1 Hz, array aperture: 500m) on Bisgletscher (Switzerland). The seismometers were deployed in shallow boreholes, directly above the unstable tongue of the glacier. In the frequency band 4-12 Hz, we find stable noise cross-correlations, which in principle allows monitoring on a subdaily scale. The origin and the source processes of the ambient noise in these frequencies are however uncertain. As a first step, we evaluate the stability of the sources in order to separate effects of changing source parameters from changes of englacial properties. Since icequakes occurring every few seconds may dominate the noise field, we compare their temporal and spatial occurrences with the cross-correlation functions (stability over time, the asymmetry between causal and acausal parts of the cross-correlation functions) as well as with results from beamforming to assess the influence of these transient events on the noise field.

  6. Life and death of ice cliffs and lakes on debris covered glaciers - insights from a new dataset from the Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Jakob; Buri, Pascal; Miles, Evan; Ragettli, Silvan; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies suggest that supraglacial ice cliffs and lakes could be one contributing factor to relatively high overall ablation rates on debris covered glaciers. While some studies have quantified backwasting rates, developments over the larger scale have not yet been assessed. Field work and earlier studies during three seasons in the Langtang catchment in the Nepalese Himalaya has given some insights into how these landforms develop, from initial emergence to persistence and disappearance. From 6 sets of concurrent high-resolution satellite imagery and DEMs between 2006 and 2015 and an additional image from 1974, we assembled an extensive dataset of these landforms on all glaciers in the catchment, including nearly 4000 individual lakes and cliffs. We show that ice cliffs appear in combination with lakes or without and there are lakes that are not bordered by a cliff. Numbers vary strongly between seasons, especially as lakes show strong seasonal variability. There are furthermore different types of cliff forms - circular, lateral and longitudinal - that give an indication of their formation process. Circular cliffs form with either collapsing subglacial channels or overdeepenings caused by water accumulating on the surface, while lateral cliffs are likely associated with underlying crevasses. Some of the cliff and lake systems remain at the same location on-glacier over a number of years, while most move with the whole glacier body down valley. From the DEMs determine preferential slopes and expositions of the cliffs in the catchment which have been shown to be essential aspects in explaining the backwasting process. In combination with field observations from one glacier, where most of these types were present, we can infer development processes of a number of systems over the whole catchment. It is also apparent that densities of these landforms vary greatly over the glacier surface, which can be explained with velocities or underlying bed topography in

  7. Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment, Tigray, ... using geological and hydrogeological methods in Ellala catchment (296.5km. 2. ) ... Current estimates put the available groundwater ... Aquifer characterization takes into.

  8. Multi-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Ulrike; López, Damián A.; Silva-Busso, Adrián

    2018-04-01

    The South Shetland Islands are located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). This region was subject to strong warming trends in the atmospheric surface layer. Surface air temperature increased about 3 K in 50 years, concurrent with retreating glacier fronts, an increase in melt areas, ice surface lowering and rapid break-up and disintegration of ice shelves. The positive trend in surface air temperature has currently come to a halt. Observed surface air temperature lapse rates show a high variability during winter months (standard deviations up to ±1.0 K (100 m)-1) and a distinct spatial heterogeneity reflecting the impact of synoptic weather patterns. The increased mesocyclonic activity during the wintertime over the past decades in the study area results in intensified advection of warm, moist air with high temperatures and rain and leads to melt conditions on the ice cap, fixating surface air temperatures to the melting point. Its impact on winter accumulation results in the observed negative mass balance estimates. Six years of continuous glaciological measurements on mass balance stake transects as well as 5 years of climatological data time series are presented and a spatially distributed glacier energy balance melt model adapted and run based on these multi-year data sets. The glaciological surface mass balance model is generally in good agreement with observations, except for atmospheric conditions promoting snow drift by high wind speeds, turbulence-driven snow deposition and snow layer erosion by rain. No drift in the difference between simulated mass balance and mass balance measurements can be seen over the course of the 5-year model run period. The winter accumulation does not suffice to compensate for the high variability in summer ablation. The results are analysed to assess changes in meltwater input to the coastal waters, specific glacier mass balance and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The Fourcade Glacier catchment drains

  9. Updating the New Zealand Glacier Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, S. C.; Anderson, B.; Mackintosh, A.; Lorrey, A.; Chinn, T.; Collier, C.; Rack, W.; Purdie, H.

    2017-12-01

    The last complete glacier inventory of New Zealand dates from the year 1978 (North Island 1988) and was manually constructed from oblique aerial photographs and geodetic maps (Chinn 2001). The inventory has been partly updated by Gjermundsen et al. (2011) for the year 2002 (40% of total area) and by Sirguey & More (2010) for the year 2009 (32% of total area), both using ASTER satellite imagery. We used Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS satellite data from February/March 2016 to map the total glaciated area. Clean and debris-covered ice were mapped semi-automatically. The band ratio approach was used for clean ice (ratio: red/SWIR). We mapped debris-covered ice using a supervised classification (maximum likelihood). Manual post processing was necessary due to misclassifications (e.g. lakes, clouds) or mapping in shadowed areas. It was also necessary to manually combine the clean and debris-covered parts into single glaciers. Additional input data for the post processing were Sentinel 2 images from the same time period, orthophotos from Land Information New Zealand (resolution: 0.75 m, date: Nov 2014), and the 1978/88 outlines from the GLIMS database (http://www.glims.org/). As the Sentinel 2 data were more heavily cloud covered compared to the Landsat 8 images, they were only used for post processing and not for the classification itself. Initial results show that New Zealand glaciers covered an area of about 1050 km² in 2016, a reduction of 16% since 1978. Approximately 17% of glacier area was covered in surface debris. The glaciers in the central Southern Alps around Mt Cook reduced in area by 24%. Glaciers in the North Island of New Zealand reduced by 71% since 1988, and only 2 km² of ice cover remained in 2016. Chinn, TJH (2001). "Distribution of the glacial water resources of New Zealand." Journal of Hydrology (NZ) 40(2): 139-187 Gjermundsen, EF, Mathieu, R, Kääb, A, Chinn, TJH, Fitzharris, B & Hagen, JO (2011). "Assessment of multispectral glacier mapping methods and

  10. OPTICAL FLOW FOR GLACIER MOTION ESTIMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Vogel

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative measurements of glacier flow over time are an important ingredient for glaciological research, for example to determine the mass balances and the evolution of glaciers. Measuring glacier flow in multi-temporal images involves the estimation of a dense set of corresponding points, which in turn define the flow vectors. Furthermore glaciers exhibit rather difficult radiometry, since their surface usually contains homogeneous areas as well as weak texture and contrast. To date glacier flow is usually observed by manually measuring a sparse set of correspondences, which is labor-intensive and often yields rather irregular point distributions, with the associated problems of interpolating over large areas. In the present work we propose to densely compute motion vectors at every pixel, by using recent robust methods for optic flow computation. Determining the optic flow, i.e. the dense deformation field between two images of a dynamic scene, has been a classic, long-standing research problem in computer vision and image processing. Sophisticated methods exist to optimally balance data fidelity with smoothness of the motion field. Depending on the strength of the local image gradients these methods yield a smooth trade-off between matching and interpolation, thereby avoiding the somewhat arbitrary decision which discrete anchor points to measure, while at the same time mitigating the problem of gross matching errors. We evaluate our method by comparing with manually measured point wise ground truth.

  11. Rock glaciers on South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In the South Shetland Islands the investigators found eight active rock glaciers, no relict or fossil examples, and seven protalus ramparts. The rock glaciers are...

  12. Climatic control on extreme sediment transfer from Dokriani Glacier ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    glaciers have received more attention for the water resources management and hydropower develop- ment in the Himalayas ..... Glacier melt runoff represents the integrated basin response to various ..... for policy implementation; Him. Geol.

  13. Rock glaciers in the Pyrenees, Spain and France, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This study and inventory of active rock glaciers was carried out by means of the usual techniques used in the study of alpine permafrost. First, the rock glaciers...

  14. Can shrubs help to reconstruct historical glacier retreats?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Wilmking, Martin

    2012-01-01

    In the 21st century, most of the world’s glaciers are expected to retreat due to further global warming. The range of this predicted retreat varies widely as a result of uncertainties in climate and glacier models. To calibrate and validate glacier models, past records of glacier mass balance are necessary, which often only span several decades. Long-term reconstructions of glacier mass balance could increase the precision of glacier models by providing the required calibration data. Here we show the possibility of applying shrub growth increments as an on-site proxy for glacier summer mass balance, exemplified by Salix shrubs in Finse, Norway. We further discuss the challenges which this method needs to meet and address the high potential of shrub growth increments for reconstructing glacier summer mass balance in remote areas. (letter)

  15. Monitoring of Gangotri glacier using remote sensing and ground ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    for activating fast melting and affecting the glacier health significantly. Apart from climatic ... glacier health were also validated using high resolution satellite imageries and field visit. A deglaciation ...... Contribution of Work- ing Group I to the ...

  16. Modeled climate-induced glacier change in Glacier National Park, 1850-2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, M.H.P.; Fagre, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    The glaciers in the Blackfoot-Jackson Glacier Basin of Glacier National Park, Montana, decreased in area from 21.6 square kilometers (km2) in 1850 to 7.4 km2 in 1979. Over this same period global temperatures increased by 0.45??C (?? 0. 15??C). We analyzed the climatic causes and ecological consequences of glacier retreat by creating spatially explicit models of the creation and ablation of glaciers and of the response of vegetation to climate change. We determined the melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers under two possible future climate scenarios, one based on carbon dioxide-induced global warming and the other on a linear temperature extrapolation. Under the former scenario, all glaciers in the basin will disappear by the year 2030, despite predicted increases in precipitation; under the latter, melting is slower. Using a second model, we analyzed vegetation responses to variations in soil moisture and increasing temperature in a complex alpine landscape and predicted where plant communities are likely to be located as conditions change.

  17. Using marine sediment archives to reconstruct past outlet glacier variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Camilla Snowman; Straneo, Fiamma; Ribergaard, Mads

    2013-01-01

    Ice-rafted debris in fjord sediment cores provides information about outlet glacier activity beyond the instrumental time period. It tells us that the Helheim Glacier, Greenland’s third most productive glacier, responds rapidly to short-term (3 to 10 years) climate changes....

  18. Determining glacier velocity with single frequency GPS receivers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijmer, C.H.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Boot, W.

    2011-01-01

    A well-known phenomenon in glacier dynamics is the existence of a relation between the glacier velocity and available amount of melt water (Zwally et al., 2002; Van de Wal et al., 2008). This relation is of particular importance when estimating the reaction of glaciers and ice sheets to climate

  19. Tidal Movement of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, Northeast Greenland: Observations and Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels; Mayer, C.; Olesen, O. B.

    2000-01-01

    Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier is a > 60 km long and 20 km wide floating outlet glacier located at 79 degrees 30' N, 22 degrees W, draining a large area of the northeast Greenland ice sheet. Climate, mass-balance and dynamics studies were carried out on the glacier in three field seasons in 1996...

  20. Climate reconstructions derived from global glacier length records

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, E.J.; Oerlemans, J.

    2004-01-01

    As glacier length fluctuations provide useful information about past climate, we derived historic fluctuations in the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) on the basis of 19 glacier length records from different parts of the world. We used a model that takes into account the geometry of the glacier,

  1. Sedimentary connection between rock glaciers and torrential channels: definition, inventory and quantification from a test area in the south-western Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummert, Mario; Barboux, Chloé; Delaloye, Reynald

    2017-04-01

    Permafrsot creep is an important sediment transfer process in periglacial alpine hillslopes (Delaloye et al. 2010). Rock glaciers are the visible expression of mountain permafrost creep (Delaloye 2004). Large volumes of rock debris originating from headwalls, moraines and weathering deposits are slowly transported within rock glaciers from their rooting zone to their fronts. In the Alps, most rock glaciers can be considered as sediment traps, because the sediment output at their margin is usually limited (Gärtner-Roer 2012). However, cases of rock glacier supplying torrential channels with sediments have been documented (e.g. Lugon and Stoffel 2010, Delaloye et al. 2013) Such rock glaciers can act as a sediment source for the triggering of gravitational processes propagating further downstream. Moreover, in such configuration the amount of sediment available is not a finite volume but is gradually renewed or increased as the rock glacier advances. These cases are therefore very specific, especially in the perspective of natural hazards assessment and mitigation. However, in the Alps very little is known about such type of rock glaciers. In addition, the sediment transfer rates between the fronts of the rock glaciers and the torrents are often not known. In this context, our study aims at (i) defining better the configurations in which a sedimentary connection exists between rock glaciers and torrential channels, (ii) localizing the cases of active rock glaciers connected to the torrential network and (iii) estimating approximate sediment transfer rates between the fronts and the torrential gullies. For that purpose, an inventory method for the classification of torrential catchments based on the analysis of aerial images and the computation of connectivity indexes have been developped. In addition, sediment transfer rates were estimated taking into account the geometry of the frontal areas and the velocity rates of the rock glaciers derived from DInSAR data. In

  2. Is proglacial field an important contributor to runoff in glacierized watershed? Lesson learned from a case study in Duke River watershed, Yukon, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesnokova, A.; Baraer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Sub-Arctic glacierized catchments are complex hydrological systems of paramount importance not only for water resources management but also for various ecosystem services. Those areas are environmentally fragile and host many climate-sensitive components of hydrological cycle. In a context of shifting from glacial to non-glacial regimes in Sub-Arctic, this study focuses on understanding hydrological role of proglacial field in runoff generation in headwaters of Duke River watershed, Canada, by comparing to that of alpine meadow (area that is not recently reworked by glacier). Duke Glacier, as many glaciers in St. Elias Mountains, is a surging glacier, and produced debris-charged dead-ice masses once the last surge has seized. In addition, such features as ice-cored moraines and taluses are found in proglacial field. Those features are hypothesised to cause high storage capacity and complex groundwater distribution systems which might affect significantly watershed hydrology. In order to estimate the contribution of different components of the alpine meadow and the proglacial field to runoff, HBCM, a multi-component distributed hydrochemical mixing model (Baraer et al., 2015) was applied. During field campaign in June 2016, 157 samples were taken from possible hydrological sources (end-members) and from main stream, and analysed for major ions, dissolved organic compounds and heavy stable water isotopes. End-members contribution was quantified based on tracer concentration at mixing points. Discharge was measured 6 km downstream from the glacier snout so that both proglacial field and alpine meadow occupy comparable areas of the catchment. Results show the difference between main water sources for the two hydrological systems: buried ice, ice-cored moraines and groundwater sources within proglacial field, and groundwater and supra-permafrost water within alpine meadow. Overall contribution of glaciers during June 2016 exceeded the contribution of the rest of the

  3. Variable crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier revealed from airborne gravimetry, possible implications for geothermal heat flux in West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damiani, Theresa M.; Jordan, Tom A.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Young, Duncan A.; Blankenship, Donald D.

    2014-12-01

    Thwaites Glacier has one of the largest glacial catchments in West Antarctica. The future stability of Thwaites Glacier's catchment is of great concern, as this part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has recently been hypothesized to already be en route towards collapse. Although an oceanic trigger is thought to be responsible for current change at the grounding line of Thwaites Glacier, in order to determine the effects of this coastal change further in the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet it is essential to also better constrain basal conditions that control the dynamics of fast glacial flow within the catchment itself. One major contributor to fast glacial flow is the presence of subglacial water, the production of which is a result of both glaciological shear heating and geothermal heat flux. The primary goal of our study is to investigate the crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier, which is an important contributor to regional-scale geothermal heat flux patterns. Crustal structure is an indicator of past tectonic events and hence provides a geophysical proxy for the thermal status of the crust and mantle. Terrain-corrected Bouguer gravity disturbances are used here to estimate depths to the Moho and mid-crustal boundary. The thin continental crust we reveal beneath Thwaites Glacier supports the hypothesis that the West Antarctic Rift System underlies the region and is expressed topographically as the Byrd Subglacial Basin. This rifted crust is of similar thickness to that calculated from airborne gravity data beneath neighboring Pine Island Glacier, and is more extended than crust in the adjacent Siple Coast sector of the Ross Sea Embayment. A zone of thinner crust is also identified near the area's subaerial volcanoes lending support to a recent interpretation predicting that this part of Marie Byrd Land is a major volcanic dome, likely within the West Antarctic Rift System itself. Near-zero Bouguer gravity disturbances for the subglacial highlands

  4. Identification and assessment of groundwater flow and storage components of the relict Schöneben Rock Glacier, Niedere Tauern Range, Eastern Alps (Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Gerfried; Wagner, Thomas; Pauritsch, Marcus; Birk, Steffen; Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Benischke, Ralf; Leis, Albrecht; Morawetz, Rainer; Schreilechner, Marcellus G.; Hergarten, Stefan

    2016-06-01

    More than 2,600 relict rock glaciers are known in the Austrian Alps but the knowledge of their hydraulic properties is severely limited. The relict Schöneben Rock Glacier (Niedere Tauern Range, Austria), with an extension of 0.17 km2, was investigated based on spring data (2006-2014) and seismic refraction survey. Spring-discharge hydrographs and natural and artificial tracer data suggest a heterogeneous aquifer with a layered internal structure for the relict rock glacier. The discharge behavior exhibits a fast and a delayed flow component. The spring discharge responds to recharge events within a few hours but a mean residence time of several months can also be observed. The internal structure of the rock glacier (up to several tens of meters thick) consists of: an upper blocky layer with a few meters of thickness, which lacks fine-grained sediments; a main middle layer with coarse and finer-grained sediments, allowing for fast flow; and an approximately 10-m-thick basal till layer as the main aquifer body responsible for the base flow. The base-flow component is controlled by (fine) sandy to silty sediments with low hydraulic conductivity and high storage capacity, exhibiting a difference in hydraulic conductivity to the upper layer of about three orders of magnitude. The high storage capacity of relict rock glaciers has an impact on water resources management in alpine catchments and potentially regulates the risk of natural hazards such as floods and related debris flows. Thus, the results highlight the importance of such aquifer systems in alpine catchments.

  5. Catchment Morphing (CM): A Novel Approach for Runoff Modeling in Ungauged Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Han, Dawei

    2017-12-01

    Runoff prediction in ungauged catchments has been one of the major challenges in the past decades. However, due to the tremendous heterogeneity of the catchments, obstacles exist in deducing model parameters for ungauged catchments from gauged ones. We propose a novel approach to predict ungauged runoff with Catchment Morphing (CM) using a fully distributed model. CM is defined as by changing the catchment characteristics (area and slope here) from the baseline model built with a gauged catchment to model the ungauged ones. As a proof of concept, a case study on seven catchments in the UK has been used to demonstrate the proposed scheme. Comparing the predicted with measured runoff, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) varies from 0.03 to 0.69 in six catchments. Moreover, NSEs are significantly improved (up to 0.81) when considering the discrepancy of percentage runoff between the target and baseline catchments. A distinct advantage has been experienced by comparing the CM with a traditional method for ungauged catchments. The advantages are: (a) less demand of the similarity between the baseline catchment and the ungauged catchment, (b) less demand of available data, and (c) potentially widely applicable in varied catchments. This study demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed scheme as a potentially powerful alternative to the conventional methods in runoff predictions of ungauged catchments. Clearly, more work beyond this pilot study is needed to explore and develop this new approach further to maturity by the hydrological community.

  6. Seismological observations of glaciers dynamic on the Spitsbergen archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fedorov A. V.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper provides a brief description of results of Spitsbergen glacier observations by the seismic method. The study has been carried out both by permanent and temporary stations data. Characteristic features of glacier-related seismic events have been shown. Main areas of glacier seismic activity on the Archipelago have been revealed. A detailed study of Horsund-fjord glacier activity has been carried out using local seismic station HSPB data. Temporal and spatial distributions of glacier-related events have been obtained for the area. Season variations in temporal distribution of the events have been found

  7. Analysis of the spatial and temporal variation of seasonal snow accumulation in alpine catchments using airborne laser scanning : basic research for the adaptation of spatially distributed hydrological models to mountain regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helfricht, K.

    2014-01-01

    Information about the spatial distribution of snow accumulation is a prerequisitefor adaptating hydro-meteorological models to achieve realistic simulations of therunoff from mountain catchments. Therefore, the spatial snow depthdistribution in complex topography of ice-free terrain and glaciers was investigatedusing airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. This thesis presents for the first time an analysis of the persistence and the variability of the snow patterns at the end of five accumulation seasons in a comparatively large catchment. ALS derived seasonal surface elevation changes on glaciers were compared to the actual snow depths calculated from ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements. Areas of increased deviations. In the investigated region, the ALS-derived snow depths on most of the glacier surface do not deviate markedly from actual snow depths. 75% of a the total area showed low inter-annual variability of standardized snow depths at the end of the five accumulation seasons. The high inter-annual variability of snow depths could be attributed to changes in the ice cover within the investigated 10-yearperiod for much of the remaining area. Avalanches and snow sloughs continuously contribute to the accumulation on glaciers, but their share of the total snow covervolume is small. The assimilation of SWE maps calculated from ALS data in the adaptation of snow-hydrological models to mountain catchments improved the results not only for the but also for the simulated snow cover distribution and for the mass balance of the glaciers. The results demonstrate that ALS data are a beneficial source for extensive analysis of snow patterns and for modeling the runoff from high Alpine catchments.(author) [de

  8. Glacier-induced Hazards in the Trans-Himalaya of Ladakh (NW-India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Dame, Juliane; Nüsser, Marcus

    2016-04-01

    Glaciers are important water resources for irrigated crop cultivation in the semi-arid Trans-Himalaya of Ladakh (NW-India). Due to global warming, many glaciers of South Asia have retreated over the last century and further ice loss will threaten local livelihoods in the long run. In the short term, an increase of flood events caused by melting glaciers and permafrost is expected for the Himalayan region. Beside large catastrophic events, small outburst floods are 'more' regularly reported for various parts of the region. This also holds true for the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, where small glaciers exist at high altitudes. Caused by glacier retreat, a number of proglacial lakes have been formed, most of them dammed by ice filled moraines. The potential risk of these lakes is shown by recent reports on glacial lake outburst flood in the villages Nidder in October 2010 and Gya in August 2014. The 2014 flood destroyed several agricultural terraces, a new concrete bridge and two houses. Own remote sensing analyses shows the increase of a moraine dammed proglacial lake in the upper catchment area, which grew from about 0.03 to 0.08 km2 between 1969 and 2014. Because of the relatively stable altitude of the lake level, one can assume that the flood was caused by a piping process, initiated by melted ice bodies in the moraine. Already in the 1990s a small GLOF was observed in the village, which destroyed some fields. As in 2014, the lake was not completely spilled and a short-term decrease of the lake area is detectable in remote sensing data. Thus, further GLOF-events can be expected for the future. Beside physical risk factors, population growth and new infrastructure development along the streams and valleys increases potential damages of floods. Therefore, investigations are required to estimate the risks of these small glacial lakes and the potential flood effected area for the case study of Gya as well as for the whole region of Ladakh. Remote sensing data are

  9. A complex relationship between calving glaciers and climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, A.; O'Neel, S.; Motyka, R.J.; Streveler, G.

    2011-01-01

    Many terrestrial glaciers are sensitive indicators of past and present climate change as atmospheric temperature and snowfall modulate glacier volume. However, climate interpretations based on glacier behavior require careful selection of representative glaciers, as was recently pointed out for surging and debris-covered glaciers, whose behavior often defies regional glacier response to climate [Yde and Paasche, 2010]. Tidewater calving glaciers (TWGs)mountain glaciers whose termini reach the sea and are generally grounded on the seaflooralso fall into the category of non-representative glaciers because the regional-scale asynchronous behavior of these glaciers clouds their complex relationship with climate. TWGs span the globe; they can be found both fringing ice sheets and in high-latitude regions of each hemisphere. TWGs are known to exhibit cyclic behavior, characterized by slow advance and rapid, unstable retreat, largely independent of short-term climate forcing. This so-called TWG cycle, first described by Post [1975], provides a solid foundation upon which modern investigations of TWG stability are built. Scientific understanding has developed rapidly as a result of the initial recognition of their asynchronous cyclicity, rendering greater insight into the hierarchy of processes controlling regional behavior. This has improved the descriptions of the strong dynamic feedbacks present during retreat, the role of the ocean in TWG dynamics, and the similarities and differences between TWG and ice sheet outlet glaciers that can often support floating tongues.

  10. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the presence and dynamics of continental glaciers in the domination of the physical processes of erosion and deposition in the mid-latitudes during the Pleistocene period. Describes the use of a sedimentary facies model as a guide to recognizing ancient temperate continental glacial deposits. (TW)

  11. Pattern of Glacier Recession in Indian Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ajay; Patwardhan, Anand

    All currently available climate models predict a near-surface warming trend under the influence of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In addition to the direct effects on climate — for example, on the frequency of heat waves — this increase in surface temperatures has important consequences for the cryosphere subsequently hydrological cycle, particularly in regions where water supply is currently dominated by melting snow or ice. The Indian Himalayan region occupies a special place in the mountain ecosystems of the world. These geodynamically young mountains are not only important from the standpoint of climate and as a provider of life, giving water to a large part of the Indian subcontinent, but they also harbor a rich variety of flora, fauna, human communities and cultural diversity. Glaciers in this region are changing in area as well as in volume like those in other parts of the world. Studies have been carried out for recession in some of these glaciers using remote sensing as well as field observation techniques. Spatiotemporal pattern in the recession rate of the studied glaciers has been presented in this paper. Plausible causes for the recession have been also discussed. Finally, future scopes for observation and analysis in glaciers recession have been suggested.

  12. The Greater Caucasus Glacier Inventory (Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tielidze, Levan G.; Wheate, Roger D.

    2018-01-01

    There have been numerous studies of glaciers in the Greater Caucasus, but none that have generated a modern glacier database across the whole mountain range. Here, we present an updated and expanded glacier inventory at three time periods (1960, 1986, 2014) covering the entire Greater Caucasus. Large-scale topographic maps and satellite imagery (Corona, Landsat 5, Landsat 8 and ASTER) were used to conduct a remote-sensing survey of glacier change, and the 30 m resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Global Digital Elevation Model (ASTER GDEM; 17 November 2011) was used to determine the aspect, slope and height distribution of glaciers. Glacier margins were mapped manually and reveal that in 1960 the mountains contained 2349 glaciers with a total glacier surface area of 1674.9 ± 70.4 km2. By 1986, glacier surface area had decreased to 1482.1 ± 64.4 km2 (2209 glaciers), and by 2014 to 1193.2 ± 54.0 km2 (2020 glaciers). This represents a 28.8 ± 4.4 % (481 ± 21.2 km2) or 0.53 % yr-1 reduction in total glacier surface area between 1960 and 2014 and an increase in the rate of area loss since 1986 (0.69 % yr-1) compared to 1960-1986 (0.44 % yr-1). Glacier mean size decreased from 0.70 km2 in 1960 to 0.66 km2 in 1986 and to 0.57 km2 in 2014. This new glacier inventory has been submitted to the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database and can be used as a basis data set for future studies.

  13. Glaciers along proposed routes extending the Copper River Highway, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    Three inland highway routes are being considered by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to connect the community of Cordova in southcentral Alaska to a statewide road system. The routes use part of a Copper River and Northwest Railway alignment along the Copper River through mountainous terrain having numerous glaciers. An advance of any of several glaciers could block and destroy the roadway, whereas retreating glaciers expose large quantities of unconsolidated, unvegetated, and commonly ice-rich sediments. The purpose of this study was to map historical locations of glacier termini near these routes and to describe hazards associated with glaciers and seasonal snow. Historical and recent locations of glacier termini along the proposed Copper River Highway routes were determined by reviewing reports and maps and by interpreting aerial photographs. The termini of Childs, Grinnell, Tasnuna, and Woodworth Glaciers were 1 mile or less from a proposed route in the most recently available aerial photography (1978-91); the termini of Allen, Heney, and Schwan Glaciers were 1.5 miles or less from a proposed route. In general, since 1911, most glaciers have slowly retreated, but many glaciers have had occasional advances. Deserted Glacier and one of its tributary glaciers have surge-type medial moraines, indicating potential rapid advances. The terminus of Deserted Glacier was about 2.1 miles from a proposed route in 1978, but showed no evidence of surging. Snow and rock avalanches and snowdrifts are common along the proposed routes and will periodically obstruct the roadway. Floods from ice-dammed lakes also pose a threat. For example, Van Cleve Lake, adjacent to Miles Glacier, is as large as 4.4 square miles and empties about every 6 years. Floods from drainages of Van Cleve Lake have caused the Copper River to rise on the order of 20 feet at Million Dollar Bridge.

  14. Models for the runoff from a glaciated catchment area using measurements of environmental isotope contents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, H.; Moser, H.; Oerter, H.; Rauert, W.; Stichler, W.; Ambach, W.; Kirchlechner, P.

    1979-01-01

    For several years, in the glaciated catchment area of the Rofenache (Oetztal Alps, Austria), measurements have been made of the environmental isotopes 2 H, 18 O and 3 H in precipitation, snow and ice samples and in the runoff. Furthermore, the electrolytic conductivity of runoff samples was measured and tracing experiments were made with fluorescent dyes. From core samples drilled in the accumulation area of the Vernagtferner, the gross beta activity was investigated and compared with the data from 2 H, 3 H and 18 O analyses and the data from mass balance studies. It is shown that the annual net balance from previous years can be recovered on temperate glaciers using environmental isotope techniques. From the diurnal variations of the 2 H and 3 H contents and the electrolytic conductivity, the following proportions in the runoff of the Vernagtferner catchment area were obtained during a 24-hour interval at a time of strong ablation (August 1976): about 50% ice meltwater, 25% direct runoff of firn and snow meltwater, and 7% of mineralized groundwater. The rest of the runoff consists of non-mineralized meltwater seeping from the glacier body. The annual variations of the 2 H and 3 H contents in the runoff of the glaciated catchment area permit conclusions on the time sequence of the individual ablation periods, and on the residence time, on the basis of model concepts. The residence times of approximately 100 days or four years, respectively, are obtained from the decrease in the 2 H content at the end of the ablation period and from the variation of the 3 H content in the winter discharge. (author)

  15. Changes in the Surface Area of Glaciers in Northern Eurasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khromova, T.; Nosenko, G.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change. Recent evidence suggests an acceleration of glacier mass loss in several key mountain regions. Glacier recession implies the landscape changes in the glacial zone, origin of new lakes and activation of natural disaster processes, catastrophic mudflows, ice avalanches, outburst floods, and etc. The presence of glaciers in itself threats to human life, economic activity and growing infrastructure. Economical and recreational human activity in mountain regions requires relevant information on snow and ice objects. Absence or inadequacy of such information results in financial and human losses. A more comprehensive evaluation of glacier changes is imperative to assess ice contributions to global sea level rise and the future of water resources from glacial basins. One of the urgent steps is a full inventory of all ice bodies, their volume and changes The first estimation of glaciers state and glaciers distribution in the big part of Northern Eurasia has been done in the USSR Glacier Inventory published in 1966 -1980 as a part of IHD activity. The Inventory is based on topographic maps and air photos and reflects the status of the glaciers in 1957-1970y. There is information about 23796 glaciers with area of 78222.3 km2 in the Inventory. It covers 23 glacier systems on Northern Eurasia. In the 80th the USSR Glacier Inventory has been transformed in the digital form as a part of the World Glacier Inventory. Recent satellite data provide a unique opportunity to look again at these glaciers and to evaluate changes in glacier extent for the second part of XX century. In the paper we report about 15 000 glaciers outlines for Caucasus, Pamir, Tien-Shan, Altai, Syntar-Khayata, Cherskogo Range, Kamchatka and Russian Arctic which have been derived from ASTER and Landsat imagery and could be used for glacier changes evaluation. The results show that glaciers are retreating in all these regions. There is, however

  16. Grounding line processes on the Totten Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, S.; Watson, C. S.; Galton-Fenzi, B.; Peters, L. E.; Coleman, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Totten Glacier has been an area of recent interest due to its large drainage basin, much of which is grounded below sea level and has a history of large scale grounding line movement. Reports that warm water reaches the sub-ice shelf cavity have led to speculation that it could be vulnerable to future grounding line retreat. Over the Antarctic summer 2016/17 an array of 6 GPS and autonomous phase-sensitive radar (ApRES) units were deployed in the grounding zone of the Totten Glacier. These instruments measure changes in ice velocity and thickness which can be used to investigate both ice dynamics across the grounding line, and the interaction between ice and ocean in the subglacial cavity. Basal melt rates calculated from the ApRES units on floating ice range from 1 to 17 m/a. These values are significantly lower than previous estimates of basal melt rate produced by ocean modelling of the subglacial cavity. Meanwhile, GPS-derived velocity and elevation on the surface of the ice show a strong tidal signal, as does the vertical strain rate within the ice derived from internal layering from the ApRES instruments. These results demonstrate the significance of the complex grounding pattern of the Totten Glacier. The presence of re-grounding points has significant implications for the dynamics of the glacier and the ocean circulation within the subglacial cavity. We discuss what can be learned from our in situ measurements, and how they can be used to improve models of the glacier's future behaviour.

  17. 2017 Rapid Retreat Of Thwaites Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milillo, P.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.

    2017-12-01

    We employ data from the second generation of SAR systems e.g. the Italian COSMO- SkyMed (CSK) constellation and the German TanDEM-X (TDX) formation to monitor grounding line retreat using short repeat-time interferometry and accurate InSAR DEM on Thwaites glacier in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE), West Antarctica. The ASE is a marine-based ice sheet with a retrograde bed containing enough ice to raise global sea level by 120 cm. Several studies have inferred the mechanical properties of portions of ASE using observationally constrained numerical models, but these studies offer only temporal snapshots of basal mechanics owing to a dearth of observational time series. Prior attempts of grounding lines mapping have been limited because few space-borne SAR missions offer the short-term repeat pass capability required to map the differential vertical displacement of floating ice at tidal frequencies with sufficient detail to resolve grounding line boundaries in areas of fast ice deformation. Using 1-day CSK repeat pass data and TDX DEMs, we collected frequent, high-resolution grounding line measurements of Thwaites glaciers spanning 2015-2017. We compare the results with ERS data spanning 1996-2011, and Sentinel-1a 2014-2015 data. Between 2011 and 2017 we observe a maximum retreat of 5-7 km across the main Thwaites glacier tongue and Thwaites Eastern ice shelf (TEIS) corresponding to an increased retreat rate of 0.5 km/yr. Grounding line retreat has been fueled by the enhanced intrusion of warm, salty, subsurface ocean water of circumpolar deep water origin onto the continental shelf, beneath the floating ice shelf, to reach the glacier grounding zone and melt it from below at rates varying from 50 to 150 m/yr. The retreat rate varies depending on the magnitude of ice melt by the ocean, the rate of ice thinning and the shape of the glacier surface and bed topography.

  18. Surge of a Complex Glacier System - The Current Surge of the Bering-Bagley Glacier System, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzfeld, U. C.; McDonald, B.; Trantow, T.; Hale, G.; Stachura, M.; Weltman, A.; Sears, T.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding fast glacier flow and glacial accelerations is important for understanding changes in the cryosphere and ultimately in sea level. Surge-type glaciers are one of four types of fast-flowing glaciers --- the other three being continuously fast-flowing glaciers, fjord glaciers and ice streams --- and the one that has seen the least amount of research. The Bering-Bagley Glacier System, Alaska, the largest glacier system in North America, surged in 2011 and 2012. Velocities decreased towards the end of 2011, while the surge kinematics continued to expand. A new surge phase started in summer and fall 2012. In this paper, we report results from airborne observations collected in September 2011, June/July and September/October 2012 and in 2013. Airborne observations include simultaneously collected laser altimeter data, videographic data, GPS data and photographic data and are complemented by satellite data analysis. Methods range from classic interpretation of imagery to analysis and classification of laser altimeter data and connectionist (neural-net) geostatistical classification of concurrent airborne imagery. Results focus on the characteristics of surge progression in a large and complex glacier system (as opposed to a small glacier with relatively simple geometry). We evaluate changes in surface elevations including mass transfer and sudden drawdowns, crevasse types, accelerations and changes in the supra-glacial and englacial hydrologic system. Supraglacial water in Bering Glacier during Surge, July 2012 Airborne laser altimeter profile across major rift in central Bering Glacier, Sept 2011

  19. Measuring Surface Deformation in Glacier Retreated Areas Based on Ps-Insar - Geladandong Glacier as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamadi, B.; Balz, T.

    2018-04-01

    Glaciers are retreating in many parts of the world as a result of global warming. Many researchers consider Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as a reference for climate change by measuring glaciers retreat on the plateau. This retreat resulted in some topographic changes in retreated areas, and in some cases can lead to geohazards as landslides, and rock avalanches, which is known in glacier retreated areas as paraglacial slope failure (PSF). In this study, Geladandong biggest and main glacier mass was selected to estimate surface deformation on its glacier retreated areas and define potential future PSF based on PS-InSAR technique. 56 ascending and 49 descending images were used to fulfill this aim. Geladandong glacier retreated areas were defined based on the maximum extent of the glacier in the little ice age. Results revealed a general uplift in the glacier retreated areas with velocity less than 5mm/year. Obvious surface motion was revealed in seven parts surround glacier retreated areas with high relative velocity reached ±60mm/year in some parts. Four parts were considered as PSF potential motion, and two of them showed potential damage for the main road in the study area in case of rock avalanche into recent glacier lakes that could result in glacier lake outburst flooding heading directly to the road. Finally, further analysis and field investigations are needed to define the main reasons for different types of deformation and estimate future risks of these types of surface motion in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  20. Modelling glacier-bed overdeepenings and possible future lakes for the glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linsbauer, A.; Frey, H.; Haeberli, W.

    2016-01-01

    Surface digital elevation models (DEMs) and slope-related estimates of glacier thickness enable modelling of glacier-bed topographies over large ice-covered areas. Due to the erosive power of glaciers, such bed topographies can contain numerous overdeepenings, which when exposed following glacier...... retreat may fill with water and form new lakes. In this study, the bed overdeepenings for ∼28000 glaciers (40 775km2) of the Himalaya-Karakoram region are modelled using GlabTop2 (Glacier Bed Topography model version 2), in which ice thickness is inferred from surface slope by parameterizing basal shear...... stress as a function of elevation range for each glacier. The modelled ice thicknesses are uncertain (±30%), but spatial patterns of ice thickness and bed elevation primarily depend on surface slopes as derived from the DEM and, hence, are more robust. About 16 000 overdeepenings larger than 104m2 were...

  1. The precipitation-/runoff model ZEMOKOST: development of a practical model for the determination of flood runoff in the catchment areas of torrents, including improved data field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohl, B.

    2010-01-01

    In hydrology a basic task is the estimation of design discharges and runoff changes in ungauged catchments. However, traditional empirical rules of thumb as well as regionalization of measured discharges are subject to uncertainty. It seems that precipitation-runoff modelling is the only comprehensible way to predict discharge alterations due to changes in ungauged basins, even though the results are perhaps not less uncertain. In order to minimize this uncertainty this work presents a new methodology for discharge estimation in ungauged basins by introducing runoff coefficients derived from field assessment, by a new adapted precipitation-runoff model (ZEMOKOST) and routines for a plausibility check. Subsequently ten gauged Austrian catchments were used as hypothetical ungauged catchments for application and verification of this method. Except for special questions in karst- and glacier-hydrology the procedure showed satisfying results. (author) [de

  2. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring - a timeline since 1894

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussbaumer, Samuel U.; Armstrong, Richard; Fetterer, Florence; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Hoelzle, Martin; Machguth, Horst; Mölg, Nico; Paul, Frank; Raup, Bruce H.; Zemp, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Changes in glaciers and ice caps provide some of the clearest evidence of climate change, with impacts on sea-level variations, regional hydrological cycles, and natural hazard situations. Therefore, glaciers have been recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV). Internationally coordinated collection and distribution of standardized information about the state and change of glaciers and ice caps was initiated in 1894 and is today organized within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). GTN-G ensures the continuous development and adaptation of the international strategies to the long-term needs of users in science and policy. A GTN-G Steering Committee coordinates, supports and advices the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. In this presentation, we trace the development of the internationally coordinated glacier monitoring since its beginning in the 19th century. Today, several online databases containing a wealth of diverse data types with different levels of detail and global coverage provide fast access to continuously updated information on glacier fluctuation and inventory data. All glacier datasets are made freely available through the respective operational bodies within GTN-G, and can be accessed through the GTN-G Global Glacier Browser (http://www.gtn-g.org/data_browser.html). Glacier inventory data (e.g., digital outlines) are available for about 180,000 glaciers (GLIMS database, RGI - Randolph Glacier Inventory, WGI - World Glacier Inventory). Glacier front variations with about 45,000 entries since the 17th century and about 6,200 glaciological and geodetic mass (volume) change observations dating back to the 19th century are available in the Fluctuations of Glaciers (FoG) database. These datasets reveal clear evidence that

  3. Small Glacier Area Studies: A New Approach for Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yavasli, Dogukan D.; Tucker, Compton J.

    2012-01-01

    Many regions of Earth have glaciers that have been neglected for study because they are small. We report on a new approach to overcome the problem of studying small glaciers, using Turkey as an example. Prior to our study, no reliable estimates of Turkish glaciers existed because of a lack of systematic mapping, difficulty in using Landsat data collected before 1982, snowpack vs. glacier ice differentiation using existing satellite data and aerial photography, the previous high cost of Landsat images, and a lack of high-resolution imagery of small Turkish glaciers. Since 2008, a large number of area of nine smaller glaciers in Turkey. We also used five Landsat-3 Return Beam Videcon (RBV) 30 m pixel resolution images, all from 1980, for six glaciers. The total area of Turkish glaciers decreased from 23 km2 in the 1970s to 10.1 km2 in 2007-2011. By 2007-2011, six Turkish glaciers disappeared, four were < 0.3 km2, and only three were 1.0 km2 or larger. No trends in precipitation from 1970 to 2006 and cloud cover from 1980 to 2010 were found, while surface temperatures increased, with summer minimum temperatures showing the greatest increase. We conclude that increased surface temperatures during the summer were responsible for the 56% recession of Turkish glaciers from the 1970s to 2006-2011.

  4. Fate of Glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau by 2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, K.

    2017-12-01

    As the third polar on the Earth, the Tibetan plateau holds more than 40,000 glaciers which have experienced a rapid retreat in recent decades. The variability of equilibrium line altitude (ELA) indicates expansion and wastage of glacier directly. Here we simulated the ELA variability in the Tibetan Plateau based on a full surface energy and mass balance model. The simulation results are agreement with the observations. The ELAs have risen at a rate of 2-8m/a since 1970 throughout the Plateau, especially in the eastern Plateau where the ELAs have risen to or over the top altitude of glacier, indicating the glaciers are accelerating to melting over there. Two glaciers, XD glacier in the center of the Plateau and Qiyi glacier in the Qilian Mountain, are chosen to simulate its future ELA variability in the scenarios of RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP 8.5 given by IPCC. The results show the ELAs will arrive to its maximum in around 2040 in RCP2.6, while the ELAs will be over the top altitude of glaciers in 2035-2045 in RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, suggesting the glaciers in the eastern Plateau will be melting until the disappear of the glaciers by the end of 2100.

  5. An integrative water balance model framework for a changing glaciated catchment in the Andes of Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drenkhan, Fabian; Huggel, Christian; García Hernández, Javier; Fluixá-Sanmartín, Javier; Seidel, Jochen; Muñoz Asmat, Randy

    2017-04-01

    In the Santa River catchment [SRC] (Cordillera Blanca, Andes of Peru), human livelihoods strongly depend on year-round streamflow from glaciers and reservoirs, particularly in the dry season and in adjacent arid lowlands. Perennial glacial streamflow represents a buffer to water shortages, annual discharge variability and river contamination levels. However, climate change impacts, consecutive glacier shrinkage as well as new irrigated agriculture and hydropower schemes, population growth and thus water allocation might increase water scarcity in several areas of the SRC. This situation exerts further pressure and conflict potential over water resources and stresses the need to analyze both water supply and demand trends in a multidisciplinary and interlinked manner. In this context, an integrative glacio-hydrological framework was developed based on the Glacier and Snow Melt (GSM) and SOil CONTribution (SOCONT) models using the semi-distributed free software RS MINERVE. This water balance model incorporates hydroclimatic, socioeconomic and hydraulic objects and data at daily scale (with several gaps) for the last 50 years (1965-2015). A particular challenge in this context represents the poor data availability both in quantity and quality. Therefore, the hydroclimatic dataset to be used had to be carefully selected and data gaps were filled applying a statistical copula-based approach. The socioeconomic dataset of water demand was elaborated using several assumptions based on further census information and experiences from other projects in the region. Reservoirs and hydropower models were linked with additional hydraulic data. In order to increase model performance within a complex topography of the 11660 km2 SRC, the area was divided into 22 glaciated (GSM) and 42 non-glaciated (SOCONT) subcatchment models. Additionally, 382 elevation bands at 300 m interval were created and grouped into 22 different calibration zones for the whole SRC. The model was calibrated

  6. Southwest Greenland's Alpine Glacier History: Recent Glacier Change in the Context of the Holocene Geologic Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larocca, L. J.; Axford, Y.; Lasher, G. E.; Lee, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Due to anthropogenic climate change, the Arctic region is currently undergoing major transformation, and is expected to continue warming much faster than the global average. To put recent and future changes into context, a longer-term understanding of this region's past response to natural climate variability is needed. Given their sensitivity to modest climate change, small alpine glaciers and ice caps on Greenland's coastal margin (beyond the Greenland Ice Sheet) represent ideal features to record climate variability through the Holocene. Here we investigate the Holocene history of a small ( 160 square km) ice cap and adjacent alpine glaciers, located in southwest Greenland approximately 50 km south of Nuuk. We employ measurements on sediment cores from a glacier-fed lake in combination with geospatial analysis of satellite images spanning the past several decades. Sedimentary indicators of sediment source and thus glacial activity, including organic matter abundance, inferred chlorophyll-a content, sediment major element abundances, grain size, and magnetic susceptibility are presented from cores collected from a distal glacier-fed lake (informally referred to here as Per's Lake) in the summer of 2015. These parameters reflect changes in the amount and character of inorganic detrital input into the lake, which may be linked to the size of the upstream glaciers and ice cap and allow us to reconstruct their status through the Holocene. Additionally, we present a complementary record of recent changes in Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) for the upstream alpine glaciers. Modern ELAs are inferred using the accumulation area ratio (AAR) method in ArcGIS via Landsat and Worldview-2 satellite imagery, along with elevation data obtained from digital elevation models (DEMs). Paleo-ELAs are inferred from the positions of moraines and trim lines marking the glaciers' most recent expanded state, which we attribute to the Little Ice Age (LIA). This approach will allow us to

  7. Comparison of Glaciological and Gravimetric Glacier Mass Balance Measurements of Taku and Lemon Creek Glaciers, Southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogler, K.; McNeil, C.; Bond, M.; Getraer, B.; Huxley-Reicher, B.; McNamara, G.; Reinhardt-Ertman, T.; Silverwood, J.; Kienholz, C.; Beedle, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier-wide annual mass balances (Ba) have been calculated for Taku (726 km2) and Lemon Creek glaciers (10.2 km2) since 1946 and 1953 respectively. These are the longest mass balance records in North America, and the only Ba time-series available for Southeast Alaska, making them particularly valuable for the global glacier mass balance monitoring network. We compared Ba time-series from Taku and Lemon Creek glaciers to Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mascon solutions (1352 and 1353) during the 2004-2015 period to assess how well these gravimetric solutions reflect individual glaciological records. Lemon Creek Glacier is a challenging candidate for this comparison because it is small compared to the 12,100 km2 GRACE mascon solutions. Taku Glacier is equally challenging because its mass balance is stable compared to the negative balances dominating its neighboring glaciers. Challenges notwithstanding, a high correlation between the glaciological and gravimetrically-derived Ba for Taku and Lemon Creek glaciers encourage future use of GRACE to measure glacier mass balance. Additionally, we employed high frequency ground penetrating radar (GPR) to measure the variability of accumulation around glaciological sites to assess uncertainty in our glaciological measurements, and the resulting impact to Ba. Finally, we synthesize this comparison of glaciological and gravimetric mass balance solutions with a discussion of potential sources of error in both methods and their combined utility for measuring regional glacier change during the 21st century.

  8. Evolution of Pine Island Glacier subglacial conditions in response to 18 years of ice flow acceleration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisbourne, A.; Bougamont, M. H.; Christoffersen, P.; Cornford, S. L.; Nias, I.; Vaughan, D.; Smith, A.

    2017-12-01

    Antarctica's main contribution to sea-level rise originates from the Amundsen Coast, when warm ocean water intrudes onto the continental shelf. As a result, strong melting beneath the ice shelves induces thinning near the grounding line of glaciers, which is ensued by large ice flow speed up diffusing rapidly inland. In particular, ice loss from Pine Island Glacier (PIG) accounts for 20% of the total ice loss in West Antarctica, amounting to 0.12 mm yr-1 of global sea-level rise. Forecasting the future flow of Amundsen Coast glaciers is however hindered by large uncertainties regarding how the thinning initiated at the grounding line is transmitted upstream, and how the grounded flow will ultimately respond. This work aims at elucidating the role of subglacial processes beneath PIG tributaries in modulating the ice flow response to frontal perturbations. We used the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM 2.0) to perform numerical inversions of PIG surface velocity as observed in 1996 and 2014. Over that time period, ice flow acceleration has been widespread over PIG's basin, and the inversions provide insights into the related evolution of the basal thermal and stress conditions. We assume the latter to be directly related to changes in the properties of a soft sediment (till) layer known to exist beneath PIG. We find that the overall bed strength has weakened by 18% in the region of enhanced flow, and that the annual melt production for PIG catchment increased by 25% between 1996 and 2014. Specifically, regions of high melt production are located in the southern tributaries, where the overall stronger bed allows for more frictional melting. However, we find no significant and widespread change in the basal strength of that region, and we infer that the water produced is transported away in a concentrated hydrological system, without much interaction with the till layer. In contrast, we find that relatively less basal melting occurs elsewhere in the catchment, where the

  9. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Marin; Wolken, G.; Burgess, D.; Cogley, J.G.; Copland, L.; Thomson, L.; Arendt, A.; Wouters, B.; Kohler, J.; Andreassen, L.M.; O'Neel, Shad; Pelto, M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps cover an area of over 400 000 km2 in the Arctic, and are a major influence on global sea level (Gardner et al. 2011, 2013; Jacob et al. 2012). They gain mass by snow accumulation and lose mass by meltwater runoff. Where they terminate in water (ocean or lake), they also lose mass by iceberg calving. The climatic mass balance (Bclim, the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual meltwater runoff) is a widely used index of how glaciers respond to climate variability and change. The total mass balance (ΔM) is defined as the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual mass losses (by iceberg calving plus runoff).

  10. On tritium content in the Abramov glacier layers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voronskaya, G.N.; Nikolishin, I.Ya.; Romanov, V.V.

    1976-01-01

    Using the common pattern of the analysis of tritium in natural waters its concentration was determined in sampeles of annual layers of the Abramov glacier (Pamir-Altai) at the height of 4500 m above the sea level for 1927-1972. The tritium activity was measured with the help of the liquid scintillation spectrometer with the 10 per cent accuracy. The nature of the obtained curve of the distribution of tritium in the Abramov glacier annual layers was close to its, distribution in glaciers of Greenland, in the Fedchenko glacier and in the precipitation of Teheran. The absolute values of tritium concentrations in the Pamir glaciers are significantly lower than in glaciers of Greenlad. The maximum of tritium concentrations is observed in samples which correspond to 1963, its value approximating to 800 tritium units

  11. An Analysis of Mass Balance of Chilean Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambinakudige, S.; Tetteh, L.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers in Chile range from very small glacierets found on the isolated volcanoes of northern Chile to the 13,000 sq.km Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Regular monitoring of these glaciers is very important as they are considered as sensitive indicators of climate change. Millions of people's lives are dependent on these glaciers for fresh water and irrigation purpose. In this study, mass balances of several Chilean glaciers were estimated using Aster satellite images between 2007 and 2012. Highly accurate DEMs were created with supplementary information from IceSat data. The result indicated a negative mass balance for many glaciers indicating the need for further monitoring of glaciers in the Andes.

  12. Groundwater flow systems in the great Aletsch glacier region (Valais, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpiger, Andrea; Loew, Simon

    2014-05-01

    above the terraces of Riederalp and Bettmeralp in or near steeply dipping fault zones striking parallel to the ridge, suggesting locally a near-surface groundwater table. Drying up of several of these springs (at lateral distances up to 4 km) after construction of the Riederhornstollen, as well as associated large tunnel water inflows, demonstrates large scale hydraulic connections along strike of these fault zones. The catchment areas of these springs have to be located close to the ridge crest, above the terraces of Riederalp and Bettmeralp, and extend over many kilometers. This fault system thus drains significant portions of the high-altitude recharge and induces a complex 3D groundwater flow field of the Aletsch area. Variations in glacial ice extent due to different climatic conditions during the Lateglacial and Holocene periods were studied by varying the boundary condition of the great Aletsch glacier. Results have to be interpreted with care, as the glacier pressure boundary conditions were modelled like a lake. Detailed investigations of these boundary conditions have been initialized by glacier drillings equipped with melt water pressure sensors. With the simplified boundary conditions applied to the glacier bed, elevated ice surfaces during the Little Ice Age stage only slightly influence the flow field and total hydraulic head conditions on the NW side of the ridge. On the other hand, the Egesen stadial causes a fundamental change of the groundwater devide with all flow lines, even from below the Aletsch glacier, oriented towards the Rhone valley.

  13. Seasonal dynamic thinning at Helheim Glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bevan, Suzanne L.; Luckman, Adrian; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    2015-01-01

    of 671±70kgm-3 and calculate that total water equivalent volume loss from the active part of the glacier (surface flow speeds >1 m day-1) ranges from 0.5 km3 in 2011 to 1.6 km3 in 2013. A rough ice-flux divergence analysis shows that at lower elevations (... the time series, that melt-induced acceleration is most likely the main driver of the seasonal dynamic thinning, as opposed to changes triggered by retreat....

  14. Acceleration of Humboldt glacier, north Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, S.; Howat, I.; Noh, M. J.; King, M. D.

    2017-12-01

    Here we report on recent abrupt acceleration on the flow speed of Humboldt Glacier (HG) in northern Greenland. The mean annual discharge of this glacier in 2000 was estimated as 8.4Gt/a, placing it among the largest outlet glacier draining the northern coast (Enderlin et al., 2014). Using a combination of remote sensing datasets, we find that following a slight slowing before 2010, HG suddenly sped up by a factor of three between 2012 and 2013, maintaining that increased speed through 2016. Speedup was accompanied by up to 10 m of thinning near the terminus and followed slower, longer-term thinning and retreat. Here we assess possible causes for the speedup, potential for continued acceleration and implication to ice sheet mass balance. ReferenceEnderlin, E. M., I. M. Howat, S. Jeong, M.-J. Noh, J. H. van Angelen, and M. R. van den Broeke (2014), An improved mass budget for the Greenland ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 866-872, doi:10.1002/2013GL059010.

  15. The retreat of mountain glaciers: what can satellites tell us?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berthier, E.

    2008-01-01

    Mountain glaciers are one of the best indicators of climate change and their rapid wastage make them a strong contributor to sea level rise. The estimated 160,000 mountain glaciers are spread all around the globe and remain difficult to access. Consequently, only a limited number (about 50 glaciers) are regularly monitored in the field. Today, high resolution satellite optical images are combined to some advanced methodologies to survey their fast and alarming evolution. (author)

  16. Glacial chronology and palaeoclimate in the Bystra catchment, Western Tatra Mountains (Poland) during the Late Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makos, Michał; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Braucher, Régis; Żarnowski, Michał

    2016-02-01

    Deglaciation chronology of the Bystra catchment (Western Tatra Mountains) has been reconstructed based on 10Be exposure age dating. Fourteen rock samples were collected from boulders located on three moraines that limit the horizontal extent of the LGM maximum advance and the Lateglacial recessional stage. The oldest preserved, maximum moraine was dated at 15.5 ± 0.8 ka, an age that could be explained more likely by post-depositional erosion of the moraine. Such scenario is supported by geomorphologic and palaeoclimatological evidence. The younger cold stage is represented by well-preserved termino-lateral moraine systems in the Kondratowa and Sucha Kasprowa valleys. The distribution of the moraine ridges in both valleys suggest a complex history of deglaciation of the area. The first Late-glacial re-advance (LG1) was followed by a cold oscillation (LG2), that occurred at around 14.0 ± 0.7-13.7 ± 1.2 ka. Glaciers during both stages had nearly the same horizontal extent, however, their thickness and geometry changed significantly, mainly due to local climatic conditions triggered by topography, controlling the exposition to solar radiation. The LG1 stage occurred probably during the pre-Bølling cold stage (Greenland Stadial 2.1a), however, the LG2 stage can be correlated with the cooling at around 14 ka during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1d - Older Dryas). This is the first chronological evidence of the Older Dryas in the Tatra Mountains. The ELA of the maximum Bystra glacier was located at 1480 m a.s.l. in accordance with the ELA in the High Tatra Mountains during the LGM. During the LG1 and LG2 stages, the ELA in the catchment rose up to 1520-1530 m a.s.l. and was located approximately 100-150 m lower than in the eastern part of the massif. Climate modelling results show that the Bystra glacier (maximum advance) could have advanced in the catchment when mean annual temperature was lower than today by 11-12 °C and precipitation was reduced by 40-60%. This

  17. A novel approach for runoff modelling in ungauged catchments by Catchment Morphing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J.; Han, D.

    2017-12-01

    Runoff prediction in ungauged catchments has been one of the major challenges in the past decades. However, due to the tremendous heterogeneity of hydrological catchments, obstacles exist in deducing model parameters for ungauged catchments from gauged ones. We propose a novel approach to predict ungauged runoff with Catchment Morphing (CM) using a fully distributed model. CM is defined as by changing the catchment characteristics (area and slope here) from the baseline model built with a gauged catchment to model the ungauged ones. The advantages of CM are: (a) less demand of the similarity between the baseline catchment and the ungauged catchment, (b) less demand of available data, and (c) potentially applicable in varied catchments. A case study on seven catchments in the UK has been used to demonstrate the proposed scheme. To comprehensively examine the CM approach, distributed rainfall inputs are utilised in the model, and fractal landscapes are used to morph the land surface from the baseline model to the target model. The preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, which is promising in runoff simulation for ungauged catchments. Clearly, more work beyond this pilot study is needed to explore and develop this new approach further to maturity by the hydrological community.

  18. Global-scale hydrological response to future glacier mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2018-01-01

    Worldwide glacier retreat and associated future runoff changes raise major concerns over the sustainability of global water resources1-4, but global-scale assessments of glacier decline and the resulting hydrological consequences are scarce5,6. Here we compute global glacier runoff changes for 56 large-scale glacierized drainage basins to 2100 and analyse the glacial impact on streamflow. In roughly half of the investigated basins, the modelled annual glacier runoff continues to rise until a maximum (`peak water') is reached, beyond which runoff steadily declines. In the remaining basins, this tipping point has already been passed. Peak water occurs later in basins with larger glaciers and higher ice-cover fractions. Typically, future glacier runoff increases in early summer but decreases in late summer. Although most of the 56 basins have less than 2% ice coverage, by 2100 one-third of them might experience runoff decreases greater than 10% due to glacier mass loss in at least one month of the melt season, with the largest reductions in central Asia and the Andes. We conclude that, even in large-scale basins with minimal ice-cover fraction, the downstream hydrological effects of continued glacier wastage can be substantial, but the magnitudes vary greatly among basins and throughout the melt season.

  19. Improving estimation of glacier volume change: a GLIMS case study of Bering Glacier System, Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Beedle

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS project has developed tools and methods that can be employed by analysts to create accurate glacier outlines. To illustrate the importance of accurate glacier outlines and the effectiveness of GLIMS standards we conducted a case study on Bering Glacier System (BGS, Alaska. BGS is a complex glacier system aggregated from multiple drainage basins, numerous tributaries, and many accumulation areas. Published measurements of BGS surface area vary from 1740 to 6200 km2, depending on how the boundaries of this system have been defined. Utilizing GLIMS tools and standards we have completed a new outline (3630 km2 and analysis of the area-altitude distribution (hypsometry of BGS using Landsat images from 2000 and 2001 and a US Geological Survey 15-min digital elevation model. We compared this new hypsometry with three different hypsometries to illustrate the errors that result from the widely varying estimates of BGS extent. The use of different BGS hypsometries results in highly variable measures of volume change and net balance (bn. Applying a simple hypsometry-dependent mass-balance model to different hypsometries results in a bn rate range of −1.0 to −3.1 m a−1 water equivalent (W.E., a volume change range of −3.8 to −6.7 km3 a−1 W.E., and a near doubling in contributions to sea level equivalent, 0.011 mm a−1 to 0.019 mm a−1. Current inaccuracies in glacier outlines hinder our ability to correctly quantify glacier change. Understanding of glacier extents can become comprehensive and accurate. Such accuracy is possible with the increasing volume of satellite imagery of glacierized regions, recent advances in tools and standards, and dedication to this important task.

  20. Structure and changing dynamics of a polythermal valley glacier on a centennial timescale - Midre Lovenbreen, Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hambrey, M. J.; Murray, T.; Glasser, N. F.

    2005-01-01

    structural glaciology, polythermal glacier, Svalbard, ground-penetrating radar, numerical modeling......structural glaciology, polythermal glacier, Svalbard, ground-penetrating radar, numerical modeling...

  1. Present dynamics and future prognosis of a slowly surging glacier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. E. Flowers

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Glacier surges are a well-known example of an internal dynamic oscillation whose occurrence is not a direct response to the external climate forcing, but whose character (i.e. period, amplitude, mechanism may depend on the glacier's environmental or climate setting. We examine the dynamics of a small (∼5 km2 valley glacier in Yukon, Canada, where two previous surges have been photographically documented and an unusually slow surge is currently underway. To characterize the dynamics of the present surge, and to speculate on the future of this glacier, we employ a higher-order flowband model of ice dynamics with a regularized Coulomb-friction sliding law in both diagnostic and prognostic simulations. Diagnostic (force balance calculations capture the measured ice-surface velocity profile only when non-zero basal water pressures are prescribed over the central region of the glacier, coincident with where evidence of the surge has been identified. This leads to sliding accounting for 50–100% of the total surface motion in this region. Prognostic simulations, where the glacier geometry evolves in response to a prescribed surface mass balance, reveal a significant role played by a bedrock ridge beneath the current equilibrium line of the glacier. Ice thickening occurs above the ridge in our simulations, until the net mass balance reaches sufficiently negative values. We suggest that the bedrock ridge may contribute to the propensity for surges in this glacier by promoting the development of the reservoir area during quiescence, and may permit surges to occur under more negative balance conditions than would otherwise be possible. Collectively, these results corroborate our interpretation of the current glacier flow regime as indicative of a slow surge that has been ongoing for some time, and support a relationship between surge incidence or character and the net mass balance. Our results also highlight the importance of glacier bed

  2. Climate Change and Glacier Retreat: Scientific Fact and Artistic Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2008-12-01

    Mountain glaciers continue to retreat rapidly over most of the globe. In North America, at Glacier National Park, Montana, recent research results from Sperry Glacier (2005-2007) indicate negative mass balances are now 3-4 times greater than in the 1950s. A geospatial model of glacier retreat in the Blackfoot-Jackson basin suggested all glaciers would be gone by 2030 but has proved too conservative. Accelerated glacier shrinkage since the model was developed has mirrored an increase in actual annual temperature that is almost twice the rate used in the model. The glaciers in Glacier National Park are likely to be gone well before 2030. A variety of media, curricula, and educational strategies have been employed to communicate the disappearance of the glaciers as a consequence of global warming. These have included everything from print media and television coverage to podcasts and wayside exhibits along roads in the park. However, a new thrust is to partner with artists to communicate climate change issues to new audiences and through different channels. A scientist-artist retreat was convened to explore the tension between keeping artistic products grounded in factually-based reality while providing for freedom to express artistic creativity. Individual artists and scientists have worked to create aesthetic and emotional images, using painting, poetry, music and photography, to convey core messages from research on mountain ecosystems. Finally, a traveling art exhibit was developed to highlight the photography that systematically documents glacier change through time. The aim was to select photographs that provide the most compelling visual experience for an art-oriented viewer and also accurately reflect the research on glacier retreat. The exhibit opens on January 11, 2009

  3. Simulation of historic glacier variations with a simple climate-glacier model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1988-01-01

    Glacier variations during the last few centuries have shown a marked coherence over the globe. Characteristic features are the maximum stand somewhere in the middle of the nineteenth century, and the steady retreat afterwards (with some minor interrruptions depending on the particular region).

  4. Chalk Catchment Transit Time: Unresolved Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Darling, W. G.; Gooddy, D. C. [British Geological Survey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom); Barker, J. A. [School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton (United Kingdom); Robinson, M. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)

    2013-07-15

    The mean transit time (MTT) of a catchment is the average residence time of water from rainfall to river outflow at the foot of the catchment. As such, MTT has important water quality as well as resource implications. Many catchments worldwide have been measured for MTT using environmental isotopes, yet the Chalk, an important aquifer in NW Europe, has received little attention in this regard. The catchment of the River Lambourn in southern England has been intermittently studied since the 1960s using isotopic methods. A tritium peak measured in the river during the 1970s indicates an apparent MTT of {approx}15 years, but the thick unsaturated zone (average {approx}50 m) of the catchment suggests that the MTT should be much greater because of the average downward movement through the Chalk of {approx}1 m/a consistently indicated by tritium and other tracers. Recent work in the catchment using SF{sub 6} as a residence time indicator has given groundwater ages in the narrow range 11-18 yrs, apparently supporting the river tritium data but in conflict with the unsaturated zone data even allowing for a moderate proportion of rapid bypass flow. The MTT of the catchment remains unresolved for the time being. (author)

  5. MEASURING SURFACE DEFORMATION IN GLACIER RETREATED AREAS BASED ON PS-INSAR – GELADANDONG GLACIER AS A CASE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Mohamadi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are retreating in many parts of the world as a result of global warming. Many researchers consider Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as a reference for climate change by measuring glaciers retreat on the plateau. This retreat resulted in some topographic changes in retreated areas, and in some cases can lead to geohazards as landslides, and rock avalanches, which is known in glacier retreated areas as paraglacial slope failure (PSF. In this study, Geladandong biggest and main glacier mass was selected to estimate surface deformation on its glacier retreated areas and define potential future PSF based on PS-InSAR technique. 56 ascending and 49 descending images were used to fulfill this aim. Geladandong glacier retreated areas were defined based on the maximum extent of the glacier in the little ice age. Results revealed a general uplift in the glacier retreated areas with velocity less than 5mm/year. Obvious surface motion was revealed in seven parts surround glacier retreated areas with high relative velocity reached ±60mm/year in some parts. Four parts were considered as PSF potential motion, and two of them showed potential damage for the main road in the study area in case of rock avalanche into recent glacier lakes that could result in glacier lake outburst flooding heading directly to the road. Finally, further analysis and field investigations are needed to define the main reasons for different types of deformation and estimate future risks of these types of surface motion in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  6. Tidal bending of glaciers: a linear viscoelastic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels; Christensen, Erik Lintz; Mayer, Christoph

    2003-01-01

    In theoretical treatments of tidal bending of floating glaciers, the glacier is usually modelled as an elastic beam with uniform thickness, resting on an elastic foundation. With a few exceptions, values of the elastic (Young's) modulus E of ice derived from tidal deflection records of floating...

  7. The retreat of the world's mountain glaciers during recent decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francou, B.; Vincent, Ch.

    2009-01-01

    Glaciers have become essential tools for measuring changes in the global environment. Here, we analyze glacier evolution during the last few decades and we wonder whether the observed retreat remains in the range of glacier fluctuations since the mid-Holocene. The main fluctuations experienced by glaciers during the last millenniums, and particularly during the Little Ice Age (-1300 A.D. to ∼1860 A.D.), are presented succinctly. The recent 1960-2005 period, well documented both by ground and remote sensing observations, shows important disparities between different massifs concerning the timing and the magnitude of glacier fluctuations, which depend on regional climatic conditions. The links between glacier mass balance evolution and climate is clear when approached from an energy balance but the variables commonly considered are only temperature and precipitation. The strong correlation existing between these variables and the mass balance evolution makes it possible to simulate glaciers in the future in function of distinct climatic scenarios. Modeling glacier retreat for the 21. century is an important goal because it will allow the impacts on water resource and sea level to be assessed. (authors)

  8. A glacier runoff extension to the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Van Beusekom; R. J. Viger

    2016-01-01

    A module to simulate glacier runoff, PRMSglacier, was added to PRMS (Precipitation Runoff Modeling System), a distributed-parameter, physical-process hydrological simulation code. The extension does not require extensive on-glacier measurements or computational expense but still relies on physical principles over empirical relations as much as is feasible while...

  9. Irreversible mass loss of Canadian Arctic Archipelago glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Gardner, A.S.; Wouters, Bert|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304120146; van Meijgaard, E.

    2013-01-01

    The Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) contains the largest volume of glacier ice on Earth outside of Antarctica and Greenland. In the absence of significant calving, CAA glacier mass balance is governed by the difference between surface snow accumulation and meltwater runoff—surface mass balance.

  10. Debris thickness patterns on debris-covered glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2018-06-01

    Many debris-covered glaciers have broadly similar debris thickness patterns: surface debris thickens and tends to transition from convex- to concave-up-down glacier. We explain this pattern using theory (analytical and numerical models) paired with empirical observations. Down glacier debris thickening results from the conveyor-belt-like nature of the glacier surface in the ablation zone (debris can typically only be added but not removed) and from the inevitable decline in ice surface velocity toward the terminus. Down-glacier thickening of debris leads to the reduction of sub-debris melt and debris emergence toward the terminus. Convex-up debris thickness patterns occur near the up-glacier end of debris covers where debris emergence dominates (ablation controlled). Concave-up debris thickness patterns occur toward glacier termini where declining surface velocities dominate (velocity controlled). A convex-concave debris thickness profile inevitably results from the transition between ablation-control and velocity-control down-glacier. Debris thickness patterns deviating from this longitudinal shape are most likely caused by changes in hillslope debris supply through time. By establishing this expected debris thickness pattern, the effects of climate change on debris cover can be better identified.

  11. Velocities of antarctic outlet glaciers determined from sequential Landsat images

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Thomas R.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Williams, Richard S.; Lucchitta, Baerbel K.

    1989-01-01

    Approximately 91.0 percent of the volume of present-day glacier ice on Earth is in Antarctica; Greenland contains about another 8.3 percent of the volume. Thus, together, these two great ice sheets account for an estimated 99.3 percent of the total. Long-term changes in the volume of glacier ice on our planet are the result of global climate change. Because of the relationship of global ice volume to sea level (± 330 cubic kilometers of glacier ice equals ± 1 millimeter sea level), changes in the mass balance of the antarctic ice sheet are of particular importance.Whether the mass balance of the east and west antarctic ice sheets is positive or negative is not known. Estimates of mass input by total annual precipitation for the continent have been made from scattered meteorological observations (Swithinbank 1985). The magnitude of annual ablation of the ice sheet from calving of outlet glaciers and ice shelves is also not well known. Although the velocities of outlet glaciers can be determined from field measurements during the austral summer,the technique is costly, does not cover a complete annual cycle,and has been applied to just a few glaciers. To increase the number of outlet glaciers in Antarctica for which velocities have been determined and to provide additional data for under-standing the dynamics of the antarctic ice sheets and their response to global climate change, sequential Landsat image of several outlet glaciers were measured.

  12. Fluvial sediment transport in a glacier-fed high-mountain river (Riffler Bach, Austrian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morche, David; Weber, Martin; Faust, Matthias; Schuchardt, Anne; Baewert, Henning

    2017-04-01

    High-alpine environments are strongly affected by glacier retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA). Due to ongoing climate change the hydrology of proglacial rivers is also influenced. It is expected that the growing proportions of snow melt and rainfall events will change runoff characteristics of proglacial rivers. Additionally, the importance of paraglacial sediment sources in recently deglaciating glacier forefields is increasing, while the role of glacial erosion is declining. Thus complex environmental conditions leading to a complex pattern of fluvial sediment transport in partly glaciated catchments of the European Alps. Under the umbrella of the joint PROSA-project the fluvial sediment transport of the river Riffler Bach (Kaunertal, Tyrol, Austria) was studied in 3 consecutive ablation seasons in order to quantify sediment yields. In June 2012 a probe for water level and an automatic water sampler (AWS) were installed at the outlet of the catchment (20km2). In order to calculate annual stage-discharge-relations by the rating-curve approach, discharge (Q) was repeatedly measured with current meters and by salt dilution. Concurrent to the discharge measurements bed load was collected using a portable Helley-Smith sampler. Bed load samples were weighted and sieved in the laboratory to gain annual bed load rating curves and grain size distributions. In total 564 (2012: 154, 2013: 209, 2014: 201) water samples were collected and subsequently filtered to quantify suspended sediment concentrations (SSC). Q-SSC-relations were calculated for single flood events due to the high variability of suspended sediment transport. The results show a high inter- and intra-annual variability of solid fluvial sediment transport, which can be explained by the characteristics of suspended sediment transport. Only 13 of 22 event-based Q-SSC-relations show causal dependency. In 2012, during a period with multiple pluvial-induced peak discharges most sediment was transported. On the

  13. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomaus, Timothy C.; Amundson, Jason M.; Walter, Jacob I.; O'Neel, Shad; West, Michael E.; Larsen, Christopher F.

    2015-01-01

    Subglacial discharge influences glacier basal motion and erodes and redeposits sediment. At tidewater glacier termini, discharge drives submarine terminus melting, affects fjord circulation, and is a central component of proglacial marine ecosystems. However, our present inability to track subglacial discharge and its variability significantly hinders our understanding of these processes. Here we report observations of hourly to seasonal variations in 1.5–10 Hz seismic tremor that strongly correlate with subglacial discharge but not with basal motion, weather, or discrete icequakes. Our data demonstrate that vigorous discharge occurs from tidewater glaciers during summer, in spite of fast basal motion that could limit the formation of subglacial conduits, and then abates during winter. Furthermore, tremor observations and a melt model demonstrate that drainage efficiency of tidewater glaciers evolves seasonally. Glaciohydraulic tremor provides a means by which to quantify subglacial discharge variations and offers a promising window into otherwise obscured glacierized environments.

  14. A revised Canadian perspective: progress in glacier hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, D. Scott

    2005-01-01

    Current research into glacier hydrology is occurring at a time when glaciers around the world, particularly those whose hydrological regimes affect populated areas, are shrinking as they go through a state of perpetual negative annual mass balance. Small glaciers alone are likely to contribute 0·5 to 1 mm year-1 to global sea-level rise, with associated reductions in local freshwater resources, impacts upon freshwater ecosystems and increased risk of hazard due to outburst floods. Changes to the accumulation regimes of glaciers and ice sheets may be partly responsible, so the measurement and distribution of snowfall in glacierized basins, a topic long represented in non-glacierized basin research, is now beginning to receive more attention than it did before, aided by the advent of reliable automatic weather stations that provide data throughout the year. Satellite data continue to be an important information source for summer meltwater estimation, as distributed models, and their need for albedo maps, continue to develop. This further entails the need for simplifications to energy balance components, sacrificing point detail so that spatial calculation may proceed more quickly. The understanding of surface meltwater routing through the glacier to produce stream outflow continues to be a stimulating area of research, as demonstrated by activity at the Trapridge Glacier, Canada, and Canadian involvement in the Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland. As Canadian glacier monitoring continues to evolve, effort must be directed toward developing situations where mass balance, meltwater generation and flow routing studies can be done together at selected sites. Copyright

  15. Characterization of meltwater 'ingredients' at the Haig Glacier, Canadian Rockies: the importance of glaciers to regional water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.; Marshall, S.

    2017-12-01

    With rising temperatures, Alberta's glaciers are under stresses which change and alter the timing, amount, and composition of meltwater contributions to rivers that flow from the Rocky Mountains. Meltwater can be stored within a glacier or it can drain through the groundwater system, reducing and delaying meltwater delivery to glacier-fed streams. This study tests whether the glacier meltwater is chemically distinct from rain or snow melt, and thus whether meltwater contributions to higher-order streams that flow from the mountains can be determined through stream chemistry. Rivers like the Bow, North Saskatchewan, and Athabasca are vital waterways for much of Alberta's population. Assessing the extent of glacier meltwater is vital to future water resource planning. Glacier snow/ice and meltwater stream samples were collected during the 2017 summer melt season (May- September) and analyzed for isotope and ion chemistry. The results are being used to model water chemistry evolution in the melt stream through the summer season. A chemical mixing model will be constructed to determine the fractional contributions to the Haig meltwater stream from precipitation, surface melt, and subglacial meltwaters. Distinct chemical water signatures have not been used to partition water sources and understand glacier contributions to rivers in the Rockies. The goal of this work is to use chemical signatures of glacial meltwater to help assess the extent of glacier meltwater in Alberta rivers and how this varies through the summer season.

  16. The energy balance on the surface of a tropical glacier tongue. Investigations on glacier Artesonraju, Cordillera Blanca, Perú.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juen, I.; Mölg, T.; Wagnon, P.; Cullen, N. J.; Kaser, G.

    2006-12-01

    The Cordillera Blanca in Perú is situated in the Outer Tropics spanning from 8 to 10 ° South. Solar incidence and air temperature show only minor seasonal variations whereas precipitation occurs mainly from October to April. An energy balance station was installed on the tongue of glacier Artesonraju (4850 m a.s.l.) in March 2004. In this study each component of the energy balance on the glacier surface is analysed separately over a full year, covering one dry and one wet season. During the dry season glacier melt at the glacier tongue is app. 0.5 m we per month. In the wet season glacier melt is twice as much with 1 m we per month. This is due to higher energy fluxes and decreased sublimation during the wet season. With an energy balance model that has already been proved under tropical climate conditions (Mölg and Hardy, 2004) each energy flux is changed individually to evaluate the change in the amount of glacier melt. First results indicate that a change in humidity related variables affects glacier melt very differently in the dry and wet season, whereas a change in air temperature changes glacier melt more constantly throughout the year.

  17. Geographic Names of Iceland's Glaciers: Historic and Modern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurðsson, Oddur; Williams, Richard S.

    2008-01-01

    Climatic changes and resulting glacier fluctuations alter landscapes. In the past, such changes were noted by local residents who often documented them in historic annals; eventually, glacier variations were recorded on maps and scientific reports. In Iceland, 10 glacier place-names are to be found in Icelandic sagas, and one of Iceland's ice caps, Snaefellsjokull, appeared on maps of Iceland published in the 16th century. In the late 17th century, the first description of eight of Iceland's glaciers was written. Therefore, Iceland distinguishes itself in having a more than 300-year history of observations by Icelanders on its glaciers. A long-term collaboration between Oddur Sigurdsson and Richard S. Williams, Jr., led to the authorship of three books on the glaciers of Iceland. Much effort has been devoted to documenting historical glacier research and related nomenclature and to physical descriptions of Icelandic glaciers by Icelanders and other scientists from as far back as the Saga Age to recent (2008) times. The first book, Icelandic Ice Mountains, was published by the Icelandic Literary Society in 2004 in cooperation with the Icelandic Glaciological Society and the International Glaciological Society. Icelandic Ice Mountains was a glacier treatise written by Sveinn Palsson in 1795 and is the first English translation of this important scientific document. Icelandic Ice Mountains includes a Preface, including a summary of the history and facsimiles of page(s) from the original manuscript, a handwritten copy, and an 1815 manuscript (without maps and drawings) by Sveinn Palsson on the same subject which he wrote for Rev. Ebenezer Henderson; an Editor's Introduction; 82 figures, including facsimiles of Sveinn Palsson's original maps and perspective drawings, maps, and photographs to illustrate the text; a comprehensive Index of Geographic Place-Names and Other Names in the treatise; References, and 415 Endnotes. Professional Paper 1746 (this book) is the second

  18. Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    ... to weak degree of potentiality are found occupying flat to rugged topography of the catchment. ... government and non-governmental organizations. Among various .... Ellala River, forming something like graben structure. This is particularly ...

  19. Contrasting medial moraine development at adjacent temperate, maritime glaciers: Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Westland, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Martin; Hagg, Wilfried; Winkler, Stefan

    2017-08-01

    Medial moraines form important pathways for sediment transportation in valley glaciers. Despite the existence of well-defined medial moraines on several glaciers in the New Zealand Southern Alps, medial moraines there have hitherto escaped attention. The evolving morphology and debris content of medial moraines on Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier on the western flank of the Southern Alps is the focus of this study. These temperate maritime glaciers exhibit accumulation zones of multiple basins that feed narrow tongues flowing down steep valleys and terminate 400 m above sea level. The medial moraines at both glaciers become very prominent in the lower ablation zones, where the medial moraines widen, and develop steeper flanks coeval with an increase in relative relief. Medial moraine growth appears somewhat self-limiting in that relief and slope angle increase eventually lead to transport of debris away from the medial moraine by mass-movement-related processes. Despite similarities in overall morphologies, a key contrast in medial moraine formation exists between the two glaciers. At Fox Glacier, the medial moraine consists of angular rockfall-derived debris, folded to varying degrees along flow-parallel axes throughout the tongue. The debris originates above the ELA, coalesces at flow-unit boundaries, and takes a medium/high level transport pathway before subsequently emerging at point-sources aligned with gently dipping fold hinges near the snout. In contrast at Franz Josef Glacier, the medial moraine emerges farther down-glacier immediately below a prominent rock knob. Clasts show a mix of angular to rounded shapes representing high level transport and subglacially transported materials, the latter facies possibly also elevated by supraglacial routing of subglacial meltwater. Our observations confirm that a variety of different debris sources, transport pathways, and structural glaciological processes can interact to form medial moraines within New Zealand

  20. Catchment Dispersion Mechanisms in an Urban Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gironas, J. A.; Mejia, A.; Rossel, F.; Rinaldo, A.; Rodriguez, F.

    2014-12-01

    Dispersion mechanisms have been examined in-depth in natural catchments in previous studies. However, these dispersion mechanisms have been studied little in urban catchments, where artificial transport elements and morphological arrangements are expected to modify travel times and mobilize excess rainfall from spatially distributed impervious sites. Thus, these features can modify the variance of the catchment's travel times and hence the total dispersion. This work quantifies the dispersion mechanisms in an urban catchment using the theory of transport by travel times as represented by the Urban Morpho-climatic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (U-McIUH) model. This model computes travel times based on kinematic wave theory and accounts explicitly for the path heterogeneities and altered connectivity patterns characteristic of an urban drainage network. The analysis is illustrated using the Aubinière urban catchment (France) as a case study. We found that kinematic dispersion is dominant for small rainfall intensities, whereas geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant for larger intensities. The total dispersion scales with the drainage area in a power law fashion. The kinematic dispersion is dominant across spatial scales up to a threshold of approximately 2-3 km2, after which the geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant. Overall, overland flow is responsible for most of the dispersion, while conduits tend to counteract the increase of the geomorphologic dispersion with a negative kinematic dispersion. Further studies with other catchments are needed to assess whether the latter is a general feature of urban drainage networks.

  1. Catchment Classification: Connecting Climate, Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicz, K. A.; Wagener, T.; Sivapalan, M.; Troch, P. A.; Carrillo, G. A.

    2010-12-01

    Hydrology does not yet possess a generally accepted catchment classification framework. Such a classification framework needs to: [1] give names to things, i.e. the main classification step, [2] permit transfer of information, i.e. regionalization of information, [3] permit development of generalizations, i.e. to develop new theory, and [4] provide a first order environmental change impact assessment, i.e., the hydrologic implications of climate, land use and land cover change. One strategy is to create a catchment classification framework based on the notion of catchment functions (partitioning, storage, and release). Results of an empirical study presented here connects climate and structure to catchment function (in the form of select hydrologic signatures), based on analyzing over 300 US catchments. Initial results indicate a wide assortment of signature relationships with properties of climate, geology, and vegetation. The uncertainty in the different regionalized signatures varies widely, and therefore there is variability in the robustness of classifying ungauged basins. This research provides insight into the controls of hydrologic behavior of a catchment, and enables a classification framework applicable to gauged and ungauged across the study domain. This study sheds light on what we can expect to achieve in mapping climate, structure and function in a top-down manner. Results of this study complement work done using a bottom-up physically-based modeling framework to generalize this approach (Carrillo et al., this session).

  2. A new perspective on catchment storage gained from a nested catchment experiment in Luxembourg (Europe)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Laurent; Klaus, Julian; Hissler, Christophe; François Iffly, Jean; Gourdol, Laurent; Martinez-Carreras, Nuria; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.

    2014-05-01

    Recent hydrological process research focussed on how much water a catchment can store and how these catchments store and release water. Storage can be a valuable metric for catchment description, inter-comparison, and classification. Further storage controls catchment mixing, non-linearities in rainfall-runoff transformation and eco-hydrological processes. Various methods exist to determine catchment storage (e.g. natural tracer, soil moisture and groundwater data, hydrological models). Today it remains unclear what parts of the catchment storage are measured with the different models. Here we present a new hydrometric approach to answer the question how much water a catchment can store. We tested our approach in a dense hydro-climatological monitoring network that encompasses 16 recording streamgauges and 21 pluviographs in the Alzette River basin in Luxembourg (Europe). Catchment scales are ranging from 0.47 to 285 km2 and they have clean- and mixed combinations of distinct geologies ranging from schists to marls, sandstone, dolomite and limestone. Previous investigations in the area of interest have shown that geology largely controls winter runoff coefficients. Here, we focus at how catchment geology is ultimately affecting catchment storage. We used the approach of Sayama et al. (2011) to compute catchment dynamic storage changes for each winter season over the period 2002-2012 (based on precipitation as input; discharge and evapotranspiration as output). We determined dynamic storage changes for each winter semester (October to March) in all 16 catchments over the period 2002-2012. At the beginning of each hydrological winter season, all catchments showed similar trends in storage change. A few weeks into the winter season, catchments with lowest permeability (e.g. marls) started to plateau. The highest storage values were reached several months later in the season in catchments dominated by permeable substrate (e.g. sandstone). For most catchments, we found

  3. The length of the world's glaciers - a new approach for the global calculation of center lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Huss, M.

    2014-01-01

    length using an automated method that relies on glacier surface slope, distance to the glacier margins and a set of trade-off functions. The method is developed for East Greenland, evaluated for East Greenland as well as for Alaska and eventually applied to all similar to 200 000 glaciers around...... appear to be related to characteristics of topography and glacier mass balance. The present study adds glacier length as a key parameter to global glacier inventories. Global and regional scaling laws might prove beneficial in conceptual glacier models....

  4. Exploring the links between transient water inputs and glacier velocity in a small temperate glacier in southeastern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, M.; Habermann, M.; Hood, E. W.; Fatland, D. R.

    2009-12-01

    Glaciers along the Gulf of Alaska are thinning and retreating rapidly. An important control on the rate at which ice is being lost is basal motion because higher glacier velocities increase the rate at which ice is delivered to ablation zones. Recent research has focused on understanding the effects of sub-glacial water storage on glacier basal motion. In this study, we examined two seasons of the effect of hydrologic controls (from large rainfall events as well as a glacier lake outburst floods) on the velocity of the Lemon Creek Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Lemon Creek Glacier is a moderately sized (~16~km2) temperate glacier at the margin of the Juneau Icefield. An ice-marginal lake forms at the head of the glacier and catastrophically drains once or twice every melt season. We have instrumented the glacier with two meteorological stations: one at the head of the glacier near the ice-marginal lake and another several kilometers below the terminus. These stations measure temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, incoming solar radiation and wind speed and direction. Lake stage in the ice-marginal lake was monitored with a pressure transducer. In addition, Lemon Creek was instrumented with a water quality sonde at the location of a US Geological Survey gaging station approximately 3 km downstream from the glacier terminus. The sonde provides continuous measurements of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and conductivity. Finally, multiple Trimble NetRS dual frequency, differential GPS units were deployed on the glacier along the centerline of the glacier. All of the instruments were run continuously from May-September 2008 and May-September 2009 and captured threee outburst floods associated with the ice-marginal lake drainage as well as several large (>3~cm) rainfall events associated with frontal storms off of the Gulf of Alaska in late summer. Taken together, these data allow us to test the hypothesis that water inputs which overwhelm

  5. Multi-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Falk

    2018-04-01

    Fourcade Glacier catchment drains into Potter cove, has an area of 23.6 km2 and is glacierized to 93.8 %. Annual discharge from Fourcade Glacier into Potter Cove is estimated to q ¯  = 25±6 hm3 yr−1 with the standard deviation of 8 % annotating the high interannual variability. The average ELA calculated from our own glaciological observations on Fourcade Glacier over the time period 2010 to 2015 amounts to 260±20 m. Published studies suggest rather stable conditions of slightly negative glacier mass balance until the mid-1980s with an ELA of approx. 150 m. The calculated accumulation area ratio suggests dramatic changes in the future extent of the inland ice cap for the South Shetland Islands.

  6. Glaciers of Avacha group of volcanoes in Neoholocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Manevich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of moraines at the Avacha volcano group revealed that glaciers changes at all volcanoes within the group happened almost synchronously. Glacial deposits could be grouped into three generations, corresponding to three periods of glacier fluctuations in Neoholocene. The largest glaciation within the group occurred ~2000 years ago. Fragments of moraine, corresponding to that period were found only in the moraine complex of the Ditmar Glacier which was 15% larger then today at that time. The most of moraines at the Avacha volcano group were formed during the Little Ice Age, which in the studied region continued up to the first decades of XX centuries. The maximal advance of glaciers probably happened in XVII century. The moraine corresponding to that period was found at the Kozelsky Glacier valley. At present time the total area of glaciers which moraines were described and dated approaches 21.46  km2. The area of reconstructed moraines corresponding to the Little Ice Age is estimated to be 2.79 km2, therefore at that period the total glaciation area reaches 24,25 км2 exceeding the present area by 13%. It could be claimed that in general during the time past the Little Ice Age the glaciation nature and glacier types did not change sufficiently. The rate of glacier degradation at various parts of the group is different and depends mainly on exposition. At the valleys of four glaciers we found moraines formed in the middle of XX century. They may appear in 1941–1952 when the unfavorable weather conditions leaded to stable negative anomalies in accumulation have happened.

  7. A Hydrological Response Analysis Considering Climatic Variability: Case Study of Hunza Catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Laghari

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological response of mountainous catchments particularly dependent on melting runoff is very vulnerable to climatic variability. This study is an attempt to assess hydrological response towards climatic variability of the Hunza catchment located in the mountainous chain of greater Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH region. The hydrological response is analyzed through changes in snowmelt, ice melt and total runoff simulated through the application of the hydrological modeling system PREVAH under hypothetically developed climate change scenarios. The developed scenarios are based on changes in precipitation (Prp and temperature (Tmp and their combination. Under all the warmer scenarios, the increase in temperature systematically decreases the mean annual snow melt and increases significantly glacier melt volume. Temperature changes from 1°C to 4°C produce a large increase in spring and summer runoff, while no major variation was observed in the winter and autumn runoff. The maximum seasonal changes recorded under the Tmp+4°C, Prp+10% scenario.

  8. Distribution and transportation of mercury from glacier to lake in the Qiangyong Glacier Basin, southern Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shiwei; Kang, Shichang; Huang, Jie; Li, Chengding; Guo, Junming; Zhang, Qianggong; Sun, Xuejun; Tripathee, Lekhendra

    2016-06-01

    The Tibetan Plateau is home to the largest aggregate of glaciers outside the Polar Regions and is a source of fresh water to 1.4 billion people. Yet little is known about the transportation and cycling of Hg in high-elevation glacier basins on Tibetan Plateau. In this study, surface snow, glacier melting stream water and lake water samples were collected from the Qiangyong Glacier Basin. The spatiotemporal distribution and transportation of Hg from glacier to lake were investigated. Significant diurnal variations of dissolved Hg (DHg) concentrations were observed in the river water, with low concentrations in the morning (8:00am-14:00pm) and high concentrations in the afternoon (16:00pm-20:00pm). The DHg concentrations were exponentially correlated with runoff, which indicated that runoff was the dominant factor affecting DHg concentrations in the river water. Moreover, significant decreases of Hg were observed during transportation from glacier to lake. DHg adsorption onto particulates followed by the sedimentation of particulate-bound Hg (PHg) could be possible as an important Hg removal mechanism during the transportation process. Significant decreases in Hg concentrations were observed downstream of Xiao Qiangyong Lake, which indicated that the high-elevation lake system could significantly affect the distribution and transportation of Hg in the Qiangyong Glacier Basin. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Ice thickness measurements and volume estimates for glaciers in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreassen, Liss M.; Huss, Matthias; Melvold, Kjetil; Elvehøy, Hallgeir; Winsvold, Solveig H.

    2014-05-01

    Whereas glacier areas in many mountain regions around the world now are well surveyed using optical satellite sensors and available in digital inventories, measurements of ice thickness are sparse in comparison and a global dataset does not exist. Since the 1980s ice thickness measurements have been carried out by ground penetrating radar on many glaciers in Norway, often as part of contract work for hydropower companies with the aim to calculate hydrological divides of ice caps. Measurements have been conducted on numerous glaciers, covering the largest ice caps as well as a few smaller mountain glaciers. However, so far no ice volume estimate for Norway has been derived from these measurements. Here, we give an overview of ice thickness measurements in Norway, and use a distributed model to interpolate and extrapolate the data to provide an ice volume estimate of all glaciers in Norway. We also compare the results to various volume-area/thickness-scaling approaches using values from the literature as well as scaling constants we obtained from ice thickness measurements in Norway. Glacier outlines from a Landsat-derived inventory from 1999-2006 together with a national digital elevation model were used as input data for the ice volume calculations. The inventory covers all glaciers in mainland Norway and consists of 2534 glaciers (3143 glacier units) covering an area of 2692 km2 ± 81 km2. To calculate the ice thickness distribution of glaciers in Norway we used a distributed model which estimates surface mass balance distribution, calculates the volumetric balance flux and converts it into thickness using the flow law for ice. We calibrated this model with ice thickness data for Norway, mainly by adjusting the mass balance gradient. Model results generally agree well with the measured values, however, larger deviations were found for some glaciers. The total ice volume of Norway was estimated to be 275 km3 ± 30 km3. From the ice thickness data set we selected

  10. Hydrological connectivity from glaciers to rivers in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: roles of suprapermafrost and subpermafrost groundwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Ma

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The roles of groundwater flow in the hydrological cycle within the alpine area characterized by permafrost and/or seasonal frost are poorly known. This study explored the role of permafrost in controlling groundwater flow and the hydrological connections between glaciers in high mountains and rivers in the low piedmont plain with respect to hydraulic head, temperature, geochemical and isotopic data, at a representative catchment in the headwater region of the Heihe River, northeastern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. The results show that the groundwater in the high mountains mainly occurred as suprapermafrost groundwater, while in the moraine and fluvioglacial deposits on the planation surfaces of higher hills, suprapermafrost, intrapermafrost and subpermafrost groundwater cooccurred. Glacier and snow meltwaters were transported from the high mountains to the plain through stream channels, slope surfaces, and supra- and subpermafrost aquifers. Groundwater in the Quaternary aquifer in the piedmont plain was recharged by the lateral inflow from permafrost areas and the stream infiltration and was discharged as baseflow to the stream in the north. Groundwater maintained streamflow over the cold season and significantly contributed to the streamflow during the warm season. Two mechanisms were proposed to contribute to the seasonal variation of aquifer water-conduction capacity: (1 surface drainage through the stream channel during the warm period and (2 subsurface drainage to an artesian aquifer confined by stream icing and seasonal frost during the cold season.

  11. Seismic observations of subglacial water discharge from glacier-dammed lake drainage at Lemon Creek Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labedz, C. R.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Gimbert, F.; Amundson, J. M.; Vore, M. E.; Karplus, M. S.; Tsai, V. C.

    2017-12-01

    Subglacial water flow affects the dynamics of glaciers, influencing basal sliding, sediment transport, fracturing, and terminus dynamics. However, the difficulty of directly observing glacial hydrologic systems creates significant challenges in understanding such glacier behavior. Recently-developed descriptions of ground motion generated by subglacial water flow provide a promising basis for new and unique characterization of glacial hydrologic systems. Particularly, high-frequency ( 1.5-20 Hz) seismic tremor observed near glaciers has been shown to correlate with subglacial runoff. In addition, specific properties of subglacial water flow like water pressure, conduit size, sediment flux, and grain size can be inferred by examining hysteretic behavior over time between different parts of these signals. In this study, we observe the seismic signals generated by subglacial water flow using a high-density array of more than 100 nodes deployed for 10-25 days, and six broadband seismometers deployed for 80 days at Lemon Creek Glacier, Alaska. Specifically, we examine the 36-hour drainage of a glacier-dammed lake into subglacial conduits, comparing hydrologic metrics such as lake level, precipitation, and outlet stream flow rate to the power of seismic signals. Our node array captures this annually-significant hydraulic transient with sensors spaced approximately every 250 m over the majority of the 5.7 km long glacier. This and other lake drainage events provide natural experiments for exploring glaciohydraulic tremor, because the increased water flux through the glacier increases the power of the tremor and hosts the hysteretic behaviors described previously. Analysis of the tremor from events such as this can be extended to further understand subglacial runoff at Lemon Creek glacier and for glacier hydrology in general.

  12. Hydro-chemical Characterization of Glacier Melt Water of Ponkar Glacier, Manang, Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, R.; Sandeep, S.

    2017-12-01

    The study was carried out in Ponkar Glacier, representing Himalayan glacier of Nepal. The study aims in determining the physical-chemical properties of the glacier melt water. The sampling sites included moraine dammed, Ponkar Lake at 4100 m a.s.l to the downstream glaciated stream at 3580 m a.s.l. The water samples were collected from the seven different sites. Temperature was recorded by digital multi-thermometer on site. The samples were brought to the laboratory and the parameters were analyzed according to the APHA, AWWA and WEF standards. The glacier meltwater was slightly basic with pH 7.44 (±0.307). The meltwater was found to be in the range 30-60 which implies the water is moderately soft resulting value of concentration 36.429±8.664 mg CaCO3 L-1 and the electrical conductivity was found to be 47.14 (±11.18) µS/cm. The concentration of anion was in the order of HCO3 - > Cl- > SO42- > NO3- > TP-PO43- with the concentration 194.286±40.677, 55.707±30.265, 11.533±1.132 mgL-1, 1.00±0.7 mgL-1 and 0.514±0.32 mgL-1 respectively. Calcium carbonate weathering was found out to be the major source of dissolved ions in the region. The heavy metals were found in the order Al>Fe>Mn>Zn with concentration 1.34±0.648, 1.103±0.917, 0.08±0.028 and 0.023±0.004 mgL-1 respectively. The concentration of iron, manganese and zinc in some sites were below the detection limit. These results represent baseline data for the physical-chemical properties of the glacier meltwater

  13. Flash flood modelling for ungauged catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garambois, P.-A.; Roux, H.; Larnier, K.; Dartus, D.

    2012-04-01

    Flash flood is a very intense and quick hydrologic response of a catchment to rainfall. This phenomenon has a high spatial-temporal variability as its generating storm, often hitting small catchments (few km2). Data collected by (Gaume et al. 2009) about 500 flash floods over the last 50 years showed that they could occur everywhere in Europe and more often in the Mediterranean regions, Alpine regions and continental Europe. Given the small spatial-temporal scales and high variability of flash floods, their prediction remains a hard exercise as the necessary data are often scarce. Flash flood prediction on ungauged catchments is one of the challenges of hydrological modelling as defined by (Sivapalan et al. 2003). Several studies have been headed up with the MARINE model (Modélisation de l'Anticipation du Ruissellement et des Inondations pour des évèNements Extrêmes) for the Gard region (France), (Roux et al. 2011), (Castaings et al. 2009). This physically based spatially distributed rainfall runoff model is dedicated to flash flood prediction. The study aims at finding a methodology for flash flood prediction at ungauged locations in the Cévennes-Vivarais region in particular. The regionalization method is based on multiple calibrations on gauged catchments in order to extract model structures (model + parameter values) for each catchment. Several mathematical methods (multiple regressions, transfer functions, krigging…) will then be tested to calculate a regional parameter set. The study also investigates the usability of additional hydrologic indices at different time scales to constrain model predictions from parameters obtained using these indices, and this independently of the model considered. These hydrologic indices gather information on hydrograph shape or catchment dynamic for instance. Results explaining global catchments behaviour are expected that way. The spatial-temporal variability of storms is also described through indices and linked with

  14. Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center vehicular and pedestrian traffic congestion study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center of Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska is experiencing vehicular and pedestrian congestion. This study was initiated by the United States Forest Service, Alaska Region, in cooperation with Western Federal L...

  15. Glacier shrinkage and water resources in the Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francou, Bernard; Coudrain, Anne

    For more than a century glaciers around the world have been melting as air temperatures rise due to a combination of natural processes and human activity. The disappearance of these glaciers can have wide-ranging effects, such as the creation of new natural hazards or changes in stream flow that could threaten water suppliesSome of the most dramatic melting has occurred in the Andes mountain range in South America. To highlight the climatic and glacial change in the Andes and to encourage the scientific community to strengthen the glacier observation network that stretches from Colombia to the Patagonian ice fields, the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA), Perú, and the Institute of Research and Development (IRD), France, recently organized the second Symposium on Mass Balance of Andean Glaciers in Huaráz,Perú.

  16. Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dowdeswell, J. A; Cofaigh, C. Ó

    2002-01-01

    This book examines the process and patterns of glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins and the geophysical and geological signatures of the resulting sediments and landform...

  17. Discovering Chile's hidden water treasures – rock glaciers | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2011-05-30

    May 30, 2011 ... This means the research methods for investigating rock glaciers are ... group advising Chile's national environmental protection agency on ... Communities' perception of climate change risks in South America's Atlantic coasts.

  18. Rock glaciers, Fletschhorn Area, Valais, Switzerland, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains a total amount of 74 rock glaciers which were investigated in the Fletschhorn Area in the southern Swiss Alps during the summer of 1995. The...

  19. Large catchment area recharges Titan's Ontario Lacus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhingra, Rajani D.; Barnes, Jason W.; Yanites, Brian J.; Kirk, Randolph L.

    2018-01-01

    We seek to address the question of what processes are at work to fill Ontario Lacus while other, deeper south polar basins remain empty. Our hydrological analysis indicates that Ontario Lacus has a catchment area spanning 5.5% of Titan's surface and a large catchment area to lake surface area ratio. This large catchment area translates into large volumes of liquid making their way to Ontario Lacus after rainfall. The areal extent of the catchment extends to at least southern mid-latitudes (40°S). Mass conservation calculations indicate that runoff alone might completely fill Ontario Lacus within less than half a Titan year (1 Titan year = 29.5 Earth years) assuming no infiltration. Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observations of clouds over the southern mid and high-latitudes are consistent with precipitation feeding Ontario's large catchment area. This far-flung rain may be keeping Ontario Lacus filled, making it a liquid hydrocarbon oasis in the relatively dry south polar region.

  20. Simulating Catchment Scale Afforestation for Mitigating Flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. S.; Bathurst, J. C.; Quinn, P. F.; Birkinshaw, S.

    2016-12-01

    After the 2013-14, and the more recent 2015-16, winter floods in the UK there were calls to 'forest the uplands' as a solution to reducing flood risk across the nation. However, the role of forests as a natural flood management practice remains highly controversial, due to a distinct lack of robust evidence into its effectiveness in reducing flood risk during extreme events. This project aims to improve the understanding of the impacts of upland afforestation on flood risk at the sub-catchment and full catchment scales. This will be achieved through an integrated fieldwork and modelling approach, with the use of a series of process based hydrological models to scale up and examine the effects forestry can have on flooding. Furthermore, there is a need to analyse the extent to which land management practices, catchment system engineering and the installation of runoff attenuation features (RAFs), such as engineered log jams, in headwater catchments can attenuate flood-wave movement, and potentially reduce downstream flood risk. Additionally, the proportion of a catchment or riparian reach that would need to be forested in order to achieve a significant impact on reducing downstream flooding will be defined. The consequential impacts of a corresponding reduction in agriculturally productive farmland and the potential decline of water resource availability will also be considered in order to safeguard the UK's food security and satisfy the global demand on water resources.

  1. Investigating cold based summit glaciers through direct access to the glacier base: a case study constraining the maximum age of Chli Titlis glacier, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohleber, Pascal; Hoffmann, Helene; Kerch, Johanna; Sold, Leo; Fischer, Andrea

    2018-01-01

    Cold glaciers at the highest locations of the European Alps have been investigated by drilling ice cores to retrieve their stratigraphic climate records. Findings like the Oetztal ice man have demonstrated that small ice bodies at summit locations of comparatively lower altitudes may also contain old ice if locally frozen to the underlying bedrock. In this case, constraining the maximum age of their lowermost ice part may help to identify past periods with minimum ice extent in the Alps. However, with recent warming and consequent glacier mass loss, these sites may not preserve their unique climate information for much longer. Here we utilized an existing ice cave at Chli Titlis (3030 m), central Switzerland, to perform a case study for investigating the maximum age of cold-based summit glaciers in the Alps. The cave offers direct access to the glacier stratigraphy without the logistical effort required in ice core drilling. In addition, a pioneering exploration had already demonstrated stagnant cold ice conditions at Chli Titlis, albeit more than 25 years ago. Our englacial temperature measurements and the analysis of the isotopic and physical properties of ice blocks sampled at three locations within the ice cave show that cold ice still exists fairly unchanged today. State-of-the-art micro-radiocarbon analysis constrains the maximum age of the ice at Chli Titlis to about 5000 years before present. By this means, the approach presented here will contribute to a future systematic investigation of cold-based summit glaciers, also in the Eastern Alps.

  2. Neoglacial fluctuations of Deming Glacier, Mt. Baker, Washington USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, G.; Menounos, B.; Scott, K.; Clague, J. J.; Tucker, D.; Riedel, J.; Davis, P.

    2007-12-01

    Deming Glacier flows from the upper west slopes of Mt. Baker, a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of Washington, USA. The north and south lateral moraines of Deming Glacier are composed of at least four tills separated by layers of detrital wood and sheared stumps in growth position. The stratigraphy records fluctuations of the glacier during the Holocene. The outer ten rings of an in situ stump from the middle wood layer, which is about 40 m below the north lateral moraine crest and 1.2 km downvalley from the present glacier terminus, yielded an age of 1750 ± 50~~ 14C yr BP [1810-1550 cal yr BP]. The stump revealed at least 300 rings and thus records a period of landscape stability and relatively restricted glaciation for several hundred years prior to ca. 1750 14C yr BP . Samples from the lowest wood layer also have been submitted for radiocarbon dating. Outer rings of detrital wood samples collected from two wood mats exposed in the south lateral moraine, 2.3 km downvalley of the glacier terminus, returned radiocarbon ages of 1600 ± 30~~ 14C yr BP [1550- 1410 cal yr BP] and 430 ± 30~~ 14C yr BP [AD 1420-1620]. These data indicate that Deming Glacier advanced over a vegetated moraine sometime after 1810 cal yr BP to a position less extensive that it achieved at the peak of the Little Ice Age. The glacier then receded before it began its final and most extensive Holocene advance after AD 1420. The older advance is correlative with the 'First Millennium AD' advance, recently recognized throughout western North America. The younger advance coincides with an advance of Mt. Baker's Easton Glacier [AD 1430-1630], and advances of many alpine glaciers elsewhere in western North America. Our data suggest that glaciers on Mt. Baker fluctuated in a similar manner to alpine glaciers in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and in other mountain ranges of northwest North America during Neoglaciation.

  3. Analyzing catchment behavior through catchment modeling in the Gilgel Abay, Upper Blue Nile River Basin, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Uhlenbrook

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding catchment hydrological processes is essential for water resources management, in particular in data scarce regions. The Gilgel Abay catchment (a major tributary into Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile is undergoing intensive plans for water management, which is part of larger development plans in the Blue Nile basin in Ethiopia. To obtain a better understanding of the water balance dynamics and runoff generation mechanisms and to evaluate model transferability, catchment modeling has been conducted using the conceptual hydrological model HBV. Accordingly, the catchment of the Gilgel Abay has been divided into two gauged sub-catchments (Upper Gilgel Abay and Koga and the un-gauged part of the catchment. All available data sets were tested for stationarity, consistency and homogeneity and the data limitations (quality and quantity are discussed. Manual calibration of the daily models for three different catchment representations, i.e. (i lumped, (ii lumped with multiple vegetation zones, and (iii semi-distributed with multiple vegetation and elevation zones, showed good to satisfactory model performances with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies Reff > 0.75 and > 0.6 for the Upper Gilgel Abay and Koga sub-catchments, respectively. Better model results could not be obtained with manual calibration, very likely due to the limited data quality and model insufficiencies. Increasing the computation time step to 15 and 30 days improved the model performance in both sub-catchments to Reff > 0.8. Model parameter transferability tests have been conducted by interchanging parameters sets between the two gauged sub-catchments. Results showed poor performances for the daily models (0.30 < Reff < 0.67, but better performances for the 15 and 30 days models, Reff > 0.80. The transferability tests together with a sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo simulations (more than 1 million

  4. Rock glaciers in the Suntar‑Khayata Range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. M. Lytkin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The remote map‑making technique and results of field investigations made possible for the first time to reveal a great number of rock glaciers within the area of the Suntar‑Khayata Range (North‑East Asia. A total of 540 formations were identified. Among them, 47 rock glaciers were classified as corrie (cirque tongue‑shaped formations and 493 ones – as niche lobe‑shaped (single‑ and multi‑lobe rock glaciers. Occurrence of such formations is 8.4/100 km2, that is the largest in the North‑East Asia. The rock glaciers in this region are found within a range of true altitudes from 1297 up to 2402 m asl. The majority of active features, however, are confined to the interval between 1500 and 1900 m asl. Rock glaciers occur in the altitudinal range of 1297 to 2402 m asl. The majority of active features, however, are confined to the interval between 1500 and 1900 m asl, and the main part of active formations is located within the range of 1500‑2500 m. The frequency analysis of true altitudes of the rock‑glacier occurrence indicates that their formation can be caused by the hypsometry of the region relation to morphoclimatic zonality.

  5. Updated Estimates of Glacier Mass Change for Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Gardner, A. S.; Howat, I.; Berthier, E.; Dehecq, A.; Noh, M. J.; Pelto, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine glaciers are critical components in Western North America's hydrologic cycle. We use varied remotely-sensed datasets to provide updated mass change estimates for Region 2 of the Randolf Glacier Inventory (RGI-02 - all North American glaciers outside of Alaska). Our datasets include: i) aerial laser altimetry surveys completed over many thousands of square kilometers; and ii) multiple Terabytes of high resolution optical stereo imagery (World View 1-3 and Pleiades). Our data from the period 2014-2017 includes the majority of glaciers in RGI-02, specifically those ice masses in the Rocky Mountains (US and Canada), Interior Ranges in British Columbia and the Cascade Mountains (Washington). We co-registered and bias corrected the recent surface models to the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mapping (SRTM) data acquired in February, 2000. In British Columbia, our estimates of mass change are within the uncertainty estimates obtained for the period 1985-2000, but estimates from some regions indicate accelerated mass loss. Work is also underway to update glacier mass change estimates for glaciers in Washington and Montana. Finally, we use re-analysis data (ERA interim and ERA5) to evaluate the meteorological drivers that explain the temporal and spatial variability of mass change evident in our analysis.

  6. Tropical New World Glacier Recession from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slayback, D. A.; Tucker, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    We report on the systematic retreat of all glaciers in the tropics of the New World from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. These glaciers comprise 99% of the world’s tropical glaciers and occur in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. It was necessary to use a large quantity of Landsat satellite data (124 images), selecting multiple images for every glacier for both epochs, to minimize confusion of glacier area with snow. Change in glacier extent was combined with a digital elevation model (DEM) to provide information on the elevation and aspect of areas of glacier recession. Overall, we found glacier recession of approximately 30% over twenty years, declining from ~2500 km2 from the mid-1980s to ~1800 km2 in the mid-2000s. In addition, there was a strong association of glacier recession with elevation and aspect. We discuss these trends in relation to hypothesized climatic influences.

  7. Catchment scale multi-objective flood management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Steve; Worrall, Peter; Rosolova, Zdenka; Hammond, Gene

    2010-05-01

    Rural land management is known to affect both the generation and propagation of flooding at the local scale, but there is still a general lack of good evidence that this impact is still significant at the larger catchment scale given the complexity of physical interactions and climatic variability taking place at this level. The National Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency, are managing an innovative project on the Holnicote Estate in south west England to demonstrate the benefits of using good rural land management practices to reduce flood risk at the both the catchment and sub-catchment scales. The Holnicote Estate is owned by the National Trust and comprises about 5,000 hectares of land, from the uplands of Exmoor to the sea, incorporating most of the catchments of the river Horner and Aller Water. There are nearly 100 houses across three villages that are at risk from flooding which could potentially benefit from changes in land management practices in the surrounding catchment providing a more sustainable flood attenuation function. In addition to the contribution being made to flood risk management there are a range of other ecosystems services that will be enhanced through these targeted land management changes. Alterations in land management will create new opportunities for wildlife and habitats and help to improve the local surface water quality. Such improvements will not only create additional wildlife resources locally but also serve the landscape response to climate change effects by creating and enhancing wildlife networks within the region. Land management changes will also restore and sustain landscape heritage resources and provide opportunities for amenity, recreation and tourism. The project delivery team is working with the National Trust from source to sea across the entire Holnicote Estate, to identify and subsequently implement suitable land management techniques to manage local flood risk within the catchments. These

  8. How old is upland catchment water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Harald; Cartwright, Ian; Morgenstern, Uwe; Gilfedder, Benjamin

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the dynamics of water supply catchments is an essential part of water management. Upland catchments provide a continuous, reliable source of high quality water not only for some of the world's biggest cities, but also for agriculture and industry. Headwater streams control river flow in lowland agricultural basins as the majority of river discharge emerges from upland catchments. Many rivers are perennial and flow throughout the year, even during droughts. However, it is still unclear how reliable and continuous upland catchment water resources really are. Despite many efforts in upland catchment research, there is still little known about where the water is stored and how long it takes to travel through upper catchments. Resolving these questions is crucial to ensure that this resource is protected from changing land use and to estimate potential impacts from a changing climate. Previous research in this important area has been limited by existing measurement techniques. Knowledge to date has relied heavily on the use of variation in stable isotope signals to estimate the age and origin of water from upland catchments. The problem with relying on these measures is that as the water residence time increases, the variation in the stable isotope signal decreases. After a maximum period of four years, no variation can be detected This means that to date, the residence time in upland catchments is likely to have been vastly underestimated. Consequently, the proportion of water flow out of upland river catchments to the total river flow is also underestimated. Tritium (3H) combines directly with water molecules and enters the flow paths with the infiltrating water. Its half-life (12.32 years) makes it ideal to describe residence times in upper catchment reservoirs as it can theoretically measure water up to about 150 years old. The bomb pulse peak in the southern hemisphere was several orders of magnitude lower than in the northern hemisphere. Hence the

  9. Glaciers and hydrological changes in the Tien Shan: simulation and prediction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aizen, V B; Aizen, E M; Kuzmichonok, V A

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we estimated the current glacier state and forecast the potential impact of global and regional climate change on the glaciers and glacier runoff in the Tien Shan. General (G) and detailed (D) simulations were developed based on assessment of the Tien Shan glacier recession between 1943 and 2003 using an iterative stepwise increase in the equilibrium line altitude of 20 m. The G simulation was developed for 2777 grids each of which covered over 1000 km 2 of glacier surface and D for the 15 953 Tien Shan glaciers. Both simulations employed glacier morphometric characteristics derived from Digital Elevation Model based on remote sensing data, high resolution maps and in situ GPS validation. Simulated changes in glacier area demonstrated that a possible increase in air temperature of 1 deg. C at E-barLA must be compensated by a 100 mm increase in precipitation at the same altitude if Tien Shan glaciers are to be maintained in their current state. An increase in mean air temperature of 4 deg. C and precipitation of 1.1 times the current level could increase E-barLA by 570 m during the 21st century. Under these conditions, the number of glaciers, glacier covered area, glacier volume, and glacier runoff are predicted to be 94%, 69%, 75%, and 75% of current values. The maximum glacier runoff may reach as much as 1.25 times current levels while the minimum will likely equal zero

  10. Seasonal and altitudinal variations in snow algal communities on an Alaskan glacier (Gulkana glacier in the Alaska range)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeuchi, Nozomu

    2013-01-01

    Snow and ice algae are cold tolerant algae growing on the surface of snow and ice, and they play an important role in the carbon cycles for glaciers and snowfields in the world. Seasonal and altitudinal variations in seven major taxa of algae (green algae and cyanobacteria) were investigated on the Gulkana glacier in Alaska at six different elevations from May to September in 2001. The snow algal communities and their biomasses changed over time and elevation. Snow algae were rarely observed on the glacier in May although air temperature had been above 0 ° C since the middle of the month and surface snow had melted. In June, algae appeared in the lower areas of the glacier, where the ablation ice surface was exposed. In August, the distribution of algae was extended to the upper parts of the glacier as the snow line was elevated. In September, the glacier surface was finally covered with new winter snow, which terminated algal growth in the season. Mean algal biomass of the study sites continuously increased and reached 6.3 × 10 μl m −2 in cell volume or 13 mg carbon m −2 in September. The algal community was dominated by Chlamydomonas nivalis on the snow surface, and by Ancylonema nordenskiöldii and Mesotaenium berggrenii on the ice surface throughout the melting season. Other algae were less abundant and appeared in only a limited area of the glacier. Results in this study suggest that algae on both snow and ice surfaces significantly contribute to the net production of organic carbon on the glacier and substantially affect surface albedo of the snow and ice during the melting season. (letter)

  11. Recent glacier mass balance and area changes in the Kangri Karpo Mountains from DEMs and glacier inventories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Wu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to the influence of the Indian monsoon, the Kangri Karpo Mountains in the south-east of the Tibetan Plateau is in the most humid and one of the most important and concentrated regions containing maritime (temperate glaciers. Glacier mass loss in the Kangri Karpo is an important contributor to global mean sea level rise, and changes run-off distribution, increasing the risk of glacial-lake outburst floods (GLOFs. Because of its inaccessibility and high labour costs, information about the Kangri Karpo glaciers is still limited. Using geodetic methods based on digital elevation models (DEMs derived from 1980 topographic maps from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM (2000 and from TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X (2014, this study has determined glacier elevation changes. Glacier area and length changes between 1980 and 2015 were derived from topographical maps and Landsat TM/ETM+/OLI images. Results show that the Kangri Karpo contained 1166 glaciers with an area of 2048.50 ± 48.65 km2 in 2015. Ice cover diminished by 679.51 ± 59.49 km2 (24.9 ± 2.2 % or 0.71 ± 0.06 % a−1 from 1980 to 2015, although nine glaciers advanced. A glacierized area of 788.28 km2, derived from DEM differencing, experienced a mean mass loss of 0.46 ± 0.08 m w.e. a−1 from 1980 to 2014. Shrinkage and mass loss accelerated significantly from 2000 to 2015 compared to 1980–2000, consistent with a warming climate.

  12. Recent glacier mass balance and area changes in the Kangri Karpo Mountains from DEMs and glacier inventories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kunpeng; Liu, Shiyin; Jiang, Zongli; Xu, Junli; Wei, Junfeng; Guo, Wanqin

    2018-01-01

    Due to the influence of the Indian monsoon, the Kangri Karpo Mountains in the south-east of the Tibetan Plateau is in the most humid and one of the most important and concentrated regions containing maritime (temperate) glaciers. Glacier mass loss in the Kangri Karpo is an important contributor to global mean sea level rise, and changes run-off distribution, increasing the risk of glacial-lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Because of its inaccessibility and high labour costs, information about the Kangri Karpo glaciers is still limited. Using geodetic methods based on digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from 1980 topographic maps from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) (2000) and from TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X (2014), this study has determined glacier elevation changes. Glacier area and length changes between 1980 and 2015 were derived from topographical maps and Landsat TM/ETM+/OLI images. Results show that the Kangri Karpo contained 1166 glaciers with an area of 2048.50 ± 48.65 km2 in 2015. Ice cover diminished by 679.51 ± 59.49 km2 (24.9 ± 2.2 %) or 0.71 ± 0.06 % a-1 from 1980 to 2015, although nine glaciers advanced. A glacierized area of 788.28 km2, derived from DEM differencing, experienced a mean mass loss of 0.46 ± 0.08 m w.e. a-1 from 1980 to 2014. Shrinkage and mass loss accelerated significantly from 2000 to 2015 compared to 1980-2000, consistent with a warming climate.

  13. The Vaal river catchment: Problems and research needs

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Braune, E

    1987-01-01

    Full Text Available The vaal river catchments contains South African's economic heartland, the Pretoria -Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (PWV) complex. Although the catchments only produces eight per cent of the mean annual runoff of the country it has highest concentration...

  14. Very small glaciers under climate change: from the local to the global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huss, M.; Fischer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Very small glaciers (climate archive. Very small glaciers have generally shorter response times than valley glaciers and their mass balance is strongly dependent on snow redistribution processes. Worldwide glacier monitoring has focused on medium-sized to large glaciers leaving us with a relatively limited understanding of the behavior of very small glaciers. With warming climate there is an increasing concern that very small glaciers might be the first to disappear. Already in the next decades this might result in the complete deglaciation of mountain ranges with glacier equilibrium lines close to the highest peaks, such as in the Rocky Mountains, the European Alps, the Andes or parts of High Mountain Asia. In this contribution, we present a comprehensive modelling framework to assess past and future changes in very small glaciers at the mountain-range scale. Among other processes our model accounts for snow redistribution, changes in glacier geometry and dynamic changes in debris-coverage, and computes e.g. distributed mass balance, englacial temperature and proglacial runoff. Detailed glacier projections until 2060 are shown for the Swiss Alps based on new data sets, and the 21st century contribution of all very small glaciers worldwide to sea-level rise is quantified using a global model. Grid-based modelling of surface mass balance and retreat for 1133 very small glaciers in Switzerland indicates that 70% of them will completely vanish within the next 25 years. However, a few avalanche-fed glaciers at low elevation might be able to survive even substantial atmospheric warming. We find relatively high static and dynamic sensitivities for gently-sloping glaciers. At the global scale, glaciers presently smaller than 1 km2 make up for only 0.7% of total ice volume but account for 6.7% of sea-level rise contribution during the period 2015-2025. This indicates that very small glaciers are a non-negligible component of global glacier change, at least in the near

  15. Vaal River catchment: problems and research needs

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Braune, E

    1987-01-01

    Full Text Available , the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (PWV) complex. Although the catchment only produces eight per cent of the mean annual runoff of the country it has the highest concentration of urban, industrial, mining and power generation development in South Africa... of the Vaal River. The purpose of the workshop and preceding symposium was to examine the ever increasing complexity of the Vaal River system, the much enlarged spectrum of user water quality needs and problems, and those activities in the catchment which...

  16. Picturing and modelling catchments by representative hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loritz, Ralf; Hassler, Sibylle; Jackisch, Conrad; Zehe, Erwin

    2016-04-01

    Hydrological modelling studies often start with a qualitative sketch of the hydrological processes of a catchment. These so-called perceptual models are often pictured as hillslopes and are generalizations displaying only the dominant and relevant processes of a catchment or hillslope. The problem with these models is that they are prone to become too much predetermined by the designer's background and experience. Moreover it is difficult to know if that picture is correct and contains enough complexity to represent the system under study. Nevertheless, because of their qualitative form, perceptual models are easy to understand and can be an excellent tool for multidisciplinary exchange between researchers with different backgrounds, helping to identify the dominant structures and processes in a catchment. In our study we explore whether a perceptual model built upon an intensive field campaign may serve as a blueprint for setting up representative hillslopes in a hydrological model to reproduce the functioning of two distinctly different catchments. We use a physically-based 2D hillslope model which has proven capable to be driven by measured soil-hydrological parameters. A key asset of our approach is that the model structure itself remains a picture of the perceptual model, which is benchmarked against a) geo-physical images of the subsurface and b) observed dynamics of discharge, distributed state variables and fluxes (soil moisture, matric potential and sap flow). Within this approach we are able to set up two behavioral model structures which allow the simulation of the most important hydrological fluxes and state variables in good accordance with available observations within the 19.4 km2 large Colpach catchment and the 4.5 km2 large Wollefsbach catchment in Luxembourg without the necessity of calibration. This corroborates, contrary to the widespread opinion, that a) lower mesoscale catchments may be modelled by representative hillslopes and b) physically

  17. Glacier dynamics over the last quarter of a century at Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and 14 other major Greenland outlet glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Bevan

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The Greenland ice sheet is experiencing increasing rates of mass loss, the majority of which results from changes in discharge from tidewater glaciers. Both atmospheric and ocean drivers have been implicated in these dynamic changes, but understanding the nature of the response has been hampered by the lack of measurements of glacier flow rates predating the recent period of warming. Here, using Landsat-5 data from 1985 onwards, we extend back in time the record of surface velocities and ice-front position for 16 of Greenland's fastest-flowing tidewater glaciers, and compare these to more recent data from Landsat-7 and satellite-borne synthetic-aperture radar. Climate re-analysis data and sea surface temperatures from 1982 show that since 1995 most of Greenland and its surrounding oceans have experienced significant overall warming, and a switch to a warming trend. During the period from 1985 to 1995 when Greenland and the surrounding oceans were not warming, major tidewater outlet glaciers around Greenland, including Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim, were dynamically stable. Since the mid-1990s, glacier discharge has consistently been both greater and more variable. Together, these observations support the hypothesis that recent dynamic change is a rapid response to climate forcing. Both air and ocean temperatures in this region are predicted to continue to warm, and will therefore likely drive further change in outlet glacier discharge.

  18. Bathymetry of Torssukatak fjord and one century of glacier stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, L.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.

    2017-12-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers dominate the evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet(GrIS) mass balance as they control 90% of the ice discharge into the ocean. Warm air temperatures thin the glaciers from the top to unground ice fronts from the bed. Warm oceans erode the submerged grounded ice, causing the grounding line to retreat. To interpret the recent and future evolution of two outlet glaciers, Sermeq Avangnardleq (AVA) and Sermeq Kujatdleq (KUJ) in central West Greenland, flowing into the ice-choked Torssukatak fjord (TOR), we need to know their ice thickness and bed topography and the fjord bathymetry. Here, we present a novel mapping of the glacier bed topography, ice thickness and sea floor bathymetry near the grounding line using high resolution airborne gravity data from AIRGrav collected in August 2012 with a helicopter platform, at 500 m spacing grid, 50 knots ground speed, 80 m ground clearance, with submilligal accuracy, i.e. higher than NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB)'s 5.2 km resolution, 290 knots, and 450 m clearance. We also employ MultiBeam Echo Sounding data (MBES) collected in the fjord since 2009. We had to wait until the summer of 2016, during Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG), to map the fjord bathymetry near the ice fronts for the first time. We constrain the 3D inversion of the gravity data with MBES in the fjord and a reconstruction of the glacier bed topography using mass conservation (MC) on land ice. The seamless topography obtained across the grounding line reveal the presence of a 300-m sill for AVA, which explains why this glacier has been stable for a century, despite changes in surface melt and ocean-induced melt and the presence of a deep fjord (800 m) in front of the glacier. For KUJ, we also reveal the presence of a wide sill (300 m depth) near the current ice front which explains its stability and the stranding of iceberg debris in front of the glacier. The results shed new light on the evolution of these glaciers and explain their

  19. Exploring the mobility of cryoconite on High-Arctic glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Hodson, A. J.; Bridge, J. W.; Langford, H.; Anesio, A.; Ohlanders, N.; Newton, S.

    2010-12-01

    There has been a growing awareness of the significance of biologically active dust (cryoconite) on the energy balance of, and nutrient cycling at glacier surfaces. Moreover, researchers have estimated the mass of biological material released from glacier ice to downstream environments and ecosystems, including the melt-out of cells from emergent ice in the ablation area. However, the processes, rates and mechanisms of cryoconite mobility and transport have not been fully explored. For many smaller valley glaciers in the High-Arctic, the climate dictates only a thin (~ 1m) layer of ice at the glacier surface is at the melting point during the summer months. This surface ice is commonly characterized by an increased porosity in response to incident energy and hydraulic conditions, and has been termed the “weathering crust”. The presence of cryoconite, with its higher radiation absorption, exacerbates the weathering crust development. Thus, crucially, the transport of cryoconite is not confined to simply a ‘smooth’ ice surface, but rather also includes mobility in the near-surface ice matrix. Here, we present initial results from investigations of cryoconite transport at Midtre Lovénbreen and Longyearbreen, two north-facing valley glaciers in Svalbard (Norway). Using time-lapse imagery, we explore the transport rates of cryoconite on a glacier surface and consider the associations between mobility and meteorological conditions. Results suggest some disparity between micro-, local- and plot-scale observations of cryoconite transport: the differences imply controlling influences of cryoconite volume, ice surface topography and ice structure. While to examine the relative volumes of cryoconite exported from the glacier surface by supraglacial streams we employ flow cytometry, using SYBR-Green-II staining to identify the biological component of the suspended load. Preliminary comparisons between shallow (1m) ice cores and in-stream concentrations suggest

  20. Mass balance model parameter transferability on a tropical glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurgiser, Wolfgang; Mölg, Thomas; Nicholson, Lindsey; Kaser, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The mass balance and melt water production of glaciers is of particular interest in the Peruvian Andes where glacier melt water has markedly increased water supply during the pronounced dry seasons in recent decades. However, the melt water contribution from glaciers is projected to decrease with appreciable negative impacts on the local society within the coming decades. Understanding mass balance processes on tropical glaciers is a prerequisite for modeling present and future glacier runoff. As a first step towards this aim we applied a process-based surface mass balance model in order to calculate observed ablation at two stakes in the ablation zone of Shallap Glacier (4800 m a.s.l., 9°S) in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Under the tropical climate, the snow line migrates very frequently across most of the ablation zone all year round causing large temporal and spatial variations of glacier surface conditions and related ablation. Consequently, pronounced differences between the two chosen stakes and the two years were observed. Hourly records of temperature, humidity, wind speed, short wave incoming radiation, and precipitation are available from an automatic weather station (AWS) on the moraine near the glacier for the hydrological years 2006/07 and 2007/08 while stake readings are available at intervals of between 14 to 64 days. To optimize model parameters, we used 1000 model simulations in which the most sensitive model parameters were varied randomly within their physically meaningful ranges. The modeled surface height change was evaluated against the two stake locations in the lower ablation zone (SH11, 4760m) and in the upper ablation zone (SH22, 4816m), respectively. The optimal parameter set for each point achieved good model skill but if we transfer the best parameter combination from one stake site to the other stake site model errors increases significantly. The same happens if we optimize the model parameters for each year individually and transfer

  1. Simulating calving-front changes of Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haubner, Konstanze

    glacier retreat to a certain degree and foremost define the variation of retreat rates. The thesis implies the importance of incorporating glacier-front dynamics into ice sheet models in order to match observations and verifies atmospheric and oceanic forcing as important triggers for glacier retreat...... UI outlet glaciers. The change in mass flux resulting from the prescribed glacier retreat contributes to 70% of UI’s mass change over the simulation periods. The residual mass change is due to surface mass balance. A second simulation on the fastest UI glacier (UI-1) reveals that frontal melt rates...

  2. Texture and geochemistry of surface horizons of Arctic soils from a non-glaciated catchment, SW Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymański Wojciech

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Physical and chemical properties of Arctic soils and especially the properties of surface horizons of the soils are very important because they are responsible for the rate and character of plant colonization, development of vegetation cover, and influence the rate and depth of thawing of soils and development of active layer of permafrost during summer. The main aim of the present study is to determine and explain the spatial diversity of selected physical and chemical properties of surface horizons of Arctic soils from the non-glaciated Fuglebekken catchment located in the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen by means of geostatistical approach. Results indicate that soil surface horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by highly variable physical and chemical properties due to a heterogeneous parent material (marine sediments, moraine, rock debris, tundra vegetation types, and non-uniform influence of seabirds. Soils experiencing the strongest influence of seabird guano have a lower pH than other soils. Soils developed on the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier have the highest pH due to the presence of carbonates in the parent material and a lack or presence of a poorly developed and discontinuous A horizon. The soil surface horizons along the coast of the Hornsund exhibit the highest content of the sand fraction and SiO2. The surface of soils occurring at the foot of the slope of Ariekammen Ridge is characterized by the highest content of silt and clay fractions as well as Al2O3, Fe2O3, and K2O. Soils in the central part of the Fuglebekken catchment are depleted in CaO, MgO, and Na2O in comparison with soils in the other sampling sites, which indicates the highest rate of leaching in this part of the catchment.

  3. Application of a minimal glacier model to Hansbreen, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Oerlemans

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Hansbreen is a well studied tidewater glacier in the southwestern part of Svalbard, currently about 16 km long. Since the end of the 19th century it has been retreating over a distance of 2.7 km. In this paper the global dynamics of Hansbreen are studied with a minimal glacier model, in which the ice mechanics are strongly parameterised and a simple law for iceberg calving is used. The model is calibrated by reconstructing a climate history in such a way that observed and simulated glacier length match. In addition, the calving law is tuned to reproduce the observed mean calving flux for the period 2000–2008.

    Equilibrium states are studied for a wide range of values of the equilibrium line altitude. The dynamics of the glacier are strongly nonlinear. The height-mass balance feedback and the water depth-calving flux feedback give rise to cusp catastrophes in the system.

    For the present climatic conditions Hansbreen cannot survive. Depending on the imposed climate change scenario, in AD 2100 Hansbreen is predicted to have a length between 10 and 12 km. The corresponding decrease in ice volume (relative to the volume in AD 2000 is 45 to 65%.

    Finally the late-Holocene history of Hansbreen is considered. We quote evidence from dated peat samples that Hansbreen did not exist during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. We speculate that at the end of the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum Hansbreen could advance because the glacier bed was at least 50 m higher than today, and because the tributary glaciers on the western side may have supplied a significant amount of mass to the main stream. The excavation of the overdeepening and the formation of the shoal at the glacier terminus probably took place during the Little Ice Age.

  4. Recent glacier retreat and climate trends in Cordillera Huaytapallana, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Moreno, J. I.; Fontaneda, S.; Bazo, J.; Revuelto, J.; Azorin-Molina, C.; Valero-Garcés, B.; Morán-Tejeda, E.; Vicente-Serrano, S. M.; Zubieta, R.; Alejo-Cochachín, J.

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed 19 annual Landsat Thematic Mapper images from 1984 to 2011 to determine changes of the glaciated surface and snow line elevation in six mountain areas of the Cordillera Huaytapallana range in Peru. In contrast to other Peruvian mountains, glacier retreat in these mountains has been poorly documented, even though this is a heavily glaciated area. These glaciers are the main source of water for the surrounding lowlands, and melting of these glaciers has triggered several outburst floods. During the 28-year study period, there was a 55% decrease in the surface covered by glaciers and the snowline moved upward in different regions by 93 to 157 m. Moreover, several new lakes formed in the recently deglaciated areas. There was an increase in precipitation during the wet season (October-April) over the 28-year study period. The significant increase in maximum temperatures may be related to the significant glacier retreat in the study area. There were significant differences in the wet season temperatures during El Niño (warmer) and La Niña (colder) years. Although La Niña years were generally more humid than El Niño years, these differences were not statistically significant. Thus, glaciers tended to retreat at a high rate during El Niño years, but tended to be stable or increase during La Niña years, although there were some notable deviations from this general pattern. Climate simulations for 2021 to 2050, based on the most optimistic assumptions of greenhouse gas concentrations, forecast a continuation of climate warming at the same rate as documented here. Such changes in temperature might lead to a critical situation for the glaciers of the Cordillera Huaytapallana, and may significantly impact the water resources, ecology, and natural hazards of the surrounding areas.

  5. Diatoms as a fingerprint of sub-catchment contributions to meso-scale catchment runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Julian; Wetzel, Carlos E.; Martinez-Carreras, Nuria; Ector, Luc; Pfister, Laurent

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, calls were made for new eco-hydrological approaches to improve understanding of hydrological processes. Recently diatoms, one of the most common and diverse algal groups that can be easily transported by flowing water due to their small size (~10-200 µm), were used to detect the onset and cessation of surface runoff to small headwater streams and constrain isotopic and hydro-chemical hydrograph separation methods. While the method showed its potential in the hillslope-riparian zone-stream continuum of headwater catchments, the behavior of diatoms and their use for hydrological process research in meso-scale catchments remains uncertain. Diatoms can be a valuable support for isotope and hydro-chemical tracer methods when these become ambiguous with increasing scale. Distribution and abundance of diatom species is controlled by various environmental factors (pH, soil type, moisture conditions, exposition to sunlight, etc.). We therefore hypothesize that species abundance and composition can be used as a proxy for source areas. This presentation evaluates the potential for diatoms to trace source-areas in the nested meso-scale Attert River basin (250 km2, Luxembourg, Europe). We sampled diatom populations in streamwater during one flood event in Fall 2011 in 6 sub-catchments and the basin outlet - 17 to 28 samples/catchment for the different sampling locations. Diatoms were classified and counted in every individual sample. In total more than 400 diatom species were detected. Ordination analysis revealed a clear distinction between communities sampled in different sub-catchments. The species composition at the catchment outlet reflects a mixing of the diatom composition originating from different sub-catchments. This data suggests that diatoms indeed can reflect the geographic origin of stream water at the catchment outlet. The centroids of the ordination analysis might be linked to the physiographic characteristics (geology and land use) of the

  6. Sensitivity of very small glaciers in the Swiss Alps to future climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias eHuss

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Very small glaciers (<0.5 km2 account for more than 80% of the total number of glaciers in mid- to low-latitude mountain ranges. Although their total area and volume is small compared to larger glaciers, they are a relevant component of the cryosphere, contributing to landscape formation, local hydrology and sea-level rise. Worldwide glacier monitoring mostly focuses on medium-sized to large glaciers leaving us with a limited understanding of the response of dwarf glaciers to climate change. In this study, we present a comprehensive modeling framework to assess past and future changes of very small glaciers at the mountain-range scale. Among other processes our model accounts for snow redistribution, changes in glacier geometry and the time-varying effect of supraglacial debris. It computes the mass balance distribution, the englacial temperature regime and proglacial runoff. The evolution of 1,133 individual glaciers in the Swiss Alps is modeled in detail until 2060 based on new distributed data sets. Our results indicate that 52% of all very small glaciers in Switzerland will completely disappear within the next 25 years. However, a few avalanche-fed glaciers at low elevation might be able to survive even substantial atmospheric warming. We find highly variable sensitivities of very small glaciers to air temperature change, with gently-sloping, low-elevation, and debris-covered glaciers being most sensitive.

  7. Examination of catchment areas for public transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Landex, Alex; Hansen, Stephen; Andersen, Jonas Lohmann Elkjær

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents a method to examine the catchment areas for stops in high quality public transport systems based on the street network in the examined area. This is achieved by implementing the Service Area functions from the ArcGIS extension Network Analyst. The method is compared to a more...

  8. Streamflow variation of forest covered catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribovszki, Z.; Kalicz, P.; Kucsara, M.

    2003-04-01

    Rainfall concentration and runoff, otherwise rainfall-runoff processes, which cause river water discharge fluctuation, is one of the basic questions of hydrology. Several social-economy demands have a strong connection with small or bigger rivers from the point of view both quantity and quality of the water. Gratification or consideration of these demands is complicated substantially that we have still poor knowledge about our stream-flow regime. Water resources mainly stem from upper watersheds. These upper watersheds are the basis of the water concentration process; therefore we have to improve our knowledge about hydrological processes coming up in these territories. In this article we present runoff regime of two small catchments on the basis of one year data. Both catchments have a similar magnitude 0.6 and 0.9 km^2. We have been analyzed in detail some hydrological elements: features of rainfall, discharge, rainfall induced flooding waves and basic discharge in rainless periods. Variances of these parameters have been analyzed in relation to catchments surface, vegetation coverage and forest management. Result data set well enforce our knowledge about small catchments hydrological processes. On the basis of these fundamentals we can plan more established the management of these lands (forest practices, civil engineering works, and usage of natural water resources).

  9. Assessment of water availability in Chindwinn catchment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phyu Oo Khin; Ohn Gyaw

    2001-01-01

    A study of water balance over Chindwinn Catchment has been carried out by using three decades of available climatological and hydrological data (i.e. from 1967). The study was based on the monthly, annual and normal values. Actual evapotranspiration (AET) computed by as well as on the using Penman (1963) as well as Hargreaves (1985) methods. Some of the reliable data of evaporation at the stations were also used to estimate actual evaporation with the pancoefficient value 0.7. The values of actual evapotranspiration estimated by Hargreaves method was lower than the values estimated by Penman, but most followed the same significant trend. The soil moisture deficiency generally occurs during November and April. A few cases of soil moisture deficiency do occur in August, September and October. However, on the overall availability of water in the catchment is quite promising. The residual resulted from the water balance estimation may be assumed as soil moisture in the catchment by neglecting some losses from the catchment. (author)

  10. Understanding catchment behaviour through model concept improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fenicia, F.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes an approach to model development based on the concept of iterative model improvement, which is a process where by trial and error different hypotheses of catchment behaviour are progressively tested, and the understanding of the system proceeds through a combined process of

  11. Urbanisation, coastal development and vulnerability, and catchments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ntombela, Cebile

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The growth of urban areas that form coastal cities, especially in the WIO, places an increasing demand on natural coastal extractive and non-extractive resources. The use and conversion of coastal land and catchments is considered a permanent effect...

  12. Hydropedological insights when considering catchment classification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, J.; Droogers, P.; Sonneveld, M.P.W.; Ritsema, C.J.; Hunink, J.E.; Immerzeel, W.W.; Kauffman, S.

    2011-01-01

    Soil classification systems are analysed to explore the potential of developing classification systems for catchments. Soil classifications are useful to create systematic order in the overwhelming quantity of different soils in the world and to extrapolate data available for a given soil type to

  13. Estimating the snow water equivalent on a glacierized high elevation site (Forni Glacier, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senese, Antonella; Maugeri, Maurizio; Meraldi, Eraldo; Verza, Gian Pietro; Azzoni, Roberto Sergio; Compostella, Chiara; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina

    2018-04-01

    We present and compare 11 years of snow data (snow depth and snow water equivalent, SWE) measured by an automatic weather station (AWS) and corroborated by data from field campaigns on the Forni Glacier in Italy. The aim of the analysis is to estimate the SWE of new snowfall and the annual SWE peak based on the average density of the new snow at the site (corresponding to the snowfall during the standard observation period of 24 h) and automated snow depth measurements. The results indicate that the daily SR50 sonic ranger measurements and the available snow pit data can be used to estimate the mean new snow density value at the site, with an error of ±6 kg m-3. Once the new snow density is known, the sonic ranger makes it possible to derive SWE values with an RMSE of 45 mm water equivalent (if compared with snow pillow measurements), which turns out to be about 8 % of the total SWE yearly average. Therefore, the methodology we present is interesting for remote locations such as glaciers or high alpine regions, as it makes it possible to estimate the total SWE using a relatively inexpensive, low-power, low-maintenance, and reliable instrument such as the sonic ranger.

  14. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Maurer, M.; Clague, J. J.; osborn, G.; Ponce, F.; Davis, P. T.; Rabassa, J.; Coronato, A.; Marr, R.

    2011-12-01

    Summer insolation has been proposed to explain long-term glacier fluctuations during the Holocene. If correct, the record of glacier fluctuations at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere should differ from that in the Northern Hemisphere. Testing this insolation hypothesis has been hampered by dating uncertainties of many Holocene glacier chronologies from Patagonia. We report on our ongoing research aimed at developing a regional glacier chronology at the southern end of the Andes north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina. We have found evidence for an advance of cirque glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene; one or locally two closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial macrofossils recovered from basal sediments behind two of these moraines yielded ages of 10,320 ± 25 and 10,330 ± 30 14C yr BP. These moraines may record glacier advances coeval with the Antarctic Cold Reversal; surface exposure dating of these moraines is currently in progress to test this hypothesis. We find no evidence of Holocene moraines older than 6800 14C yr BP, based on the distribution of Hudson tephra of that age. At some sites, there is evidence for an early Neoglacial advance of glaciers slightly beyond (Peru. We have documented multiple wood mats with stumps in growth position separated by till units in a 100 m section of the northeast lateral moraine at Stoppani Glacier (54.78 S, 68.98 W), 50 km west of Ushuaia. Ten radiocarbon ages on these wood mats range in age from 3510 ± 15 to 135 ± 15 14C yr BP. The mats decrease in age up-section; many overlap with published age ranges for Neoglacial advances in western Canada. Taken together, these data: a) do not support the summer insolation hypothesis for Holocene glacier fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia; b) confirm paleobotanical evidence for a warm, dry early Holocene; and c) suggest that many Neoglacial advances in southernmost Patagonia and western North America

  15. Assessing catchment connectivity using hysteretic loops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jason; Masselink, Rens; Goni, Mikel; Gimenez, Rafael; Casali, Javier; Seeger, Manuel; Keesstra, Saskia

    2017-04-01

    Storm events mobilize large proportions of sediments in catchment systems. Therefore understanding catchment sediment dynamics throughout the continuity of storms and how initial catchment states act as controls on the transport of sediment to catchment outlets is important for effective catchment management. Sediment connectivity is a concept which can explain the origin, pathways and sinks of sediments within catchments (Baartman et al., 2013; Parsons et al., 2015; Masselink et al., 2016a,b; Mekonnen et al., 2016). However, sediment connectivity alone does not provide a practicable mechanism by which the catchment's initial state - and thus the location of entrained sediment in the sediment transport cascade - can be characterized. Studying the dynamic relationship between water discharge (Q) and suspended sediment (SS) at the catchment outlet can provide a valuable research tool to infer the likely source areas and flow pathways contributing to sediment transport because the relationship can be characterized by predictable hysteresis patterns. Hysteresis is observed when the sediment concentration associated with a certain flow rate is different depending on the direction in which the analysis is performed - towards the increase or towards the diminution of the flow. However, the complexity of the phenomena and factors which determine the hysteresis make its interpretation ambiguous. Previous work has described various types of hysteretic loops as well as the cause for the shape of the loop, mainly pointing to the origin of the sediments. The data set for this study comes from four experimental watersheds in Navarre (Spain), owned and maintained by the Government of Navarre. These experimental watersheds have been monitored and studied since 1996 (La Tejería and Latxaga) and 2001 (Oskotz principal and Oskotz woodland). La Tejería and Latxaga watersheds are similar to each other regarding size (approximately 200 ha), geology (marls and sandstones), soils (fine

  16. Changing Hydrology in Glacier-fed High Altitude Andean Peatbogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slayback, D. A.; Yager, K.; Baraer, M.; Mohr, K. I.; Argollo, J.; Wigmore, O.; Meneses, R. I.; Mark, B. G.

    2012-12-01

    Montane peatbogs in the glacierized Andean highlands of Peru and Bolivia provide critical forage for camelids (llama and alpaca) in regionally extensive pastoral agriculture systems. During the long dry season, these wetlands often provide the only available green forage. A key question for the future of these peatbog systems, and the livelihoods they support, is the impact of climate change and glacier recession on their hydrology, and thus forage production. We have already documented substantial regional glacier recession, of, on average, approximately 30% of surface area over the past two decades. As glaciers begin to retreat under climate change, there is initially a period of increased meltwater outflow, culminating in a period of "peak water", and followed by a continual decline in outflows. Based on previous work, we know that some glaciers in the region have already passed peak water conditions, and are now declining. To better understand the impacts of these processes on peatbog hydrology and productivity, we have begun collecting a variety of surface data at several study sites in both Bolivia and Peru. These include precipitation, stream flow, water levels, water chemistry and isotope analyses, and peatbog biodiversity and biomass. These measurements will be used in conjunction with a regional model driven by satellite data to predict likely future impacts. We will present the results from these initial surface measurements, and an overview of satellite datasets to be used in the regional model.

  17. Technical note: Representing glacier geometry changes in a semi-distributed hydrological model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Seibert

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers play an important role in high-mountain hydrology. While changing glacier areas are considered of highest importance for the understanding of future changes in runoff, glaciers are often only poorly represented in hydrological models. Most importantly, the direct coupling between the simulated glacier mass balances and changing glacier areas needs feasible solutions. The use of a complex glacier model is often not possible due to data and computational limitations. The Δh parameterization is a simple approach to consider the spatial variation of glacier thickness and area changes. Here, we describe a conceptual implementation of the Δh parameterization in the semi-distributed hydrological model HBV-light, which also allows for the representation of glacier advance phases and for comparison between the different versions of the implementation. The coupled glacio-hydrological simulation approach, which could also be implemented in many other semi-distributed hydrological models, is illustrated based on an example application.

  18. Typecasting catchments: Classification, directionality, and the pursuit of universality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tyler; Marshall, Lucy; McGlynn, Brian

    2018-02-01

    Catchment classification poses a significant challenge to hydrology and hydrologic modeling, restricting widespread transfer of knowledge from well-studied sites. The identification of important physical, climatological, or hydrologic attributes (to varying degrees depending on application/data availability) has traditionally been the focus for catchment classification. Classification approaches are regularly assessed with regard to their ability to provide suitable hydrologic predictions - commonly by transferring fitted hydrologic parameters at a data-rich catchment to a data-poor catchment deemed similar by the classification. While such approaches to hydrology's grand challenges are intuitive, they often ignore the most uncertain aspect of the process - the model itself. We explore catchment classification and parameter transferability and the concept of universal donor/acceptor catchments. We identify the implications of the assumption that the transfer of parameters between "similar" catchments is reciprocal (i.e., non-directional). These concepts are considered through three case studies situated across multiple gradients that include model complexity, process description, and site characteristics. Case study results highlight that some catchments are more successfully used as donor catchments and others are better suited as acceptor catchments. These results were observed for both black-box and process consistent hydrologic models, as well as for differing levels of catchment similarity. Therefore, we suggest that similarity does not adequately satisfy the underlying assumptions being made in parameter regionalization approaches regardless of model appropriateness. Furthermore, we suggest that the directionality of parameter transfer is an important factor in determining the success of parameter regionalization approaches.

  19. Can spatial statistical river temperature models be transferred between catchments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Faye L.; Fryer, Robert J.; Hannah, David M.; Malcolm, Iain A.

    2017-09-01

    There has been increasing use of spatial statistical models to understand and predict river temperature (Tw) from landscape covariates. However, it is not financially or logistically feasible to monitor all rivers and the transferability of such models has not been explored. This paper uses Tw data from four river catchments collected in August 2015 to assess how well spatial regression models predict the maximum 7-day rolling mean of daily maximum Tw (Twmax) within and between catchments. Models were fitted for each catchment separately using (1) landscape covariates only (LS models) and (2) landscape covariates and an air temperature (Ta) metric (LS_Ta models). All the LS models included upstream catchment area and three included a river network smoother (RNS) that accounted for unexplained spatial structure. The LS models transferred reasonably to other catchments, at least when predicting relative levels of Twmax. However, the predictions were biased when mean Twmax differed between catchments. The RNS was needed to characterise and predict finer-scale spatially correlated variation. Because the RNS was unique to each catchment and thus non-transferable, predictions were better within catchments than between catchments. A single model fitted to all catchments found no interactions between the landscape covariates and catchment, suggesting that the landscape relationships were transferable. The LS_Ta models transferred less well, with particularly poor performance when the relationship with the Ta metric was physically implausible or required extrapolation outside the range of the data. A single model fitted to all catchments found catchment-specific relationships between Twmax and the Ta metric, indicating that the Ta metric was not transferable. These findings improve our understanding of the transferability of spatial statistical river temperature models and provide a foundation for developing new approaches for predicting Tw at unmonitored locations across

  20. Tracer and hydrometric techniques to determine the contribution of glacier melt to a proglacial stream in the Ötztal Alps (Tyrol, Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmieder, Jan; Marke, Thomas; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Glaciers are important seasonal water contributors in many mountainous landscapes. For water resources management it is important to know about the timing and amount of released glacier melt water, especially in downstream regions where the water is needed (hydropower, drinking water) or where it represents a potential risk (drought, flood). Seasonal availability of melt water is strongly dependent on boundary layer atmospheric processes and becomes even more relevant in a changing climate. Environmental tracers are a useful tool in the assessment of snow and ice water resources, because they provide information about the sources, flow paths and traveling times of water contributing to streamflow at the catchment scale. Previously, high-elevation tracer studies throughout the Alps have been scarce as they require intense field work in remote areas. However, hydrometric and meteorological measurements combined with tracer analyses help to unravel streamflow composition and improve the understanding of hydroclimatological processes. On top of that, empirical studies are necessary to parameterize and validate hydrological models in more process-oriented ways, rather than comparing total measured and simulated runoff only. In the present study three approaches are applied to derive glacier melt contributions to a proglacial stream at the seasonal scale and to identify their individual advances and limitations. Tracers used for each approach are (1) electrical conductivity, (2) stable isotopes of water and (3) heavy metals. The field work was conducted during the summer of 2015 in the glaciated (35%) high-elevation catchment of the Hochjochbach, a small sub-basin (17 km²) of the Ötztaler Ache river in the Austrian Alps, ranging from 2400 to 3500 m.a.s.l. in elevation. Hydroclimatological data was provided by an automatic weather station and a gauging station equipped with a pressure transducer. Water samples from shallow groundwater, streamflow, glacier and snow melt

  1. Rockfalls and glacier contraction: Cirque de Troumouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gellatly, Anne F.

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of rockfalls within the Cirque de Troumouse appears to have been triggered by ice wastage and the resultant geomorphological pattern of rockfall deposits affords an insight into the migration of headwall weathering zones. Observations of the rockfall deposits indicate clear geological controls which maybe directly related to the exposure of the headwall zone during phases of glacier wastage

    [es] Las caldas de piedras en el Circo de Troumouse parecen haber sido desencadenadas por la acción del hielo, y el modelo geomorfológico de depósitos de bloques resultante proporciona una idea sobre la migración de las zonas de meteorización en las paredes. Las observaciones de tales depósitos indican la existencia de claros controles geológicos que pueden relacionarse directamente con la exposición de la pared durante las fases de fusión glaciar.
    [fr] Les chutes des pierres dans le cirque de Troumouse paraissent avoir été déclenchées par l'action de la glace, et le modèle géomorphologique des dépôts de blocs résultant donne une idée de la migration des zones de météorisation dans les parois. Les observations de ces dépôts indiquent l'existence de contrôles géologiques très clairs qui peuvent être directement liés à l'exposition de la paroi durant les phases de fusion glaciaire.

  2. Impacts of glacier recession and declining meltwater on mountain societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carey, Mark; Molden, Olivia C.; Rasmussen, Mattias Borg

    2017-01-01

    . It identifies four main areas of existing research: (1) socioeconomic impacts; (2) hydropower; (3) agriculture, irrigation, and food security; and (4) cultural impacts. The article also suggests paths forward for social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences research that could more accurately detect......, including irrigation, agriculture, hydropower, potable water, livelihoods, recreation, spirituality, and demography. Unfortunately, research focusing on the human impacts of glacier runoff variability in mountain regions remains limited, and studies often rely on assumptions rather than concrete evidence...... about the effects of shrinking glaciers on mountain hydrology and societies. This article provides a systematic review of international research on human impacts of glacier meltwater variability in mountain ranges worldwide, including the Andes, Alps, greater Himalayan region, Cascades, and Alaska...

  3. Natural and artificial radioactivity in the Svalbard glaciers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinglot, J.F.; Pourchet, M.

    1994-01-01

    Natural and artificial radioactivity in the snow of 10 Svalbard glaciers has been measured from 31 ice core samples, drilled between 1981 and 1993. Of these ice cores, seven exhibit the well-known level arising from the fallout of the 1961-62 atmospheric thermonuclear tests. The second level, due to the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986), has been detected in all the studied glaciers; the maximum 137 Cs fallout reaches 22 Bq kg -1 and shows a high variability. The natural radioactivity, mostly due to 210 Pb, shows an in-depth variation which is not governed by its half-life (22.2 years). These measurements serve many glaciological purposes: absolute dating of the snow layers; air-snow transfer and fallout studies; the determination of mean annual mass balances in the accumulation area of glaciers and their associated spatio-temporal variations. (author)

  4. Supraglacial Ponds Regulate Runoff From Himalayan Debris-Covered Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.; Porter, Philip R.; Rowan, Ann V.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Gibson, Morgan J.; Bridge, Jonathan W.; Watson, C. Scott; Hubbard, Alun; Glasser, Neil F.

    2017-12-01

    Meltwater and runoff from glaciers in High Mountain Asia is a vital freshwater resource for one-fifth of the Earth's population. Between 13% and 36% of the region's glacierized areas exhibit surface debris cover and associated supraglacial ponds whose hydrological buffering roles remain unconstrained. We present a high-resolution meltwater hydrograph from the extensively debris-covered Khumbu Glacier, Nepal, spanning a 7 month period in 2014. Supraglacial ponds and accompanying debris cover modulate proglacial discharge by acting as transient and evolving reservoirs. Diurnally, the supraglacial pond system may store >23% of observed mean daily discharge, with mean recession constants ranging from 31 to 108 h. Given projections of increased debris cover and supraglacial pond extent across High Mountain Asia, we conclude that runoff regimes may become progressively buffered by the presence of supraglacial reservoirs. Incorporation of these processes is critical to improve predictions of the region's freshwater resource availability and cascading environmental effects downstream.

  5. Ecological responses to experimental glacier-runoff reduction in alpine rivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cauvy-Fraunié, Sophie; Andino, Patricio; Espinosa, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Glacier retreat is a worldwide phenomenon with important consequences for the hydrological cycle and downstream ecosystem structure and functioning. To determine the effects of glacier retreat on aquatic communities, we conducted a 4-year flow manipulation in a tropical glacier-fed stream. Compared...

  6. Mapping tide-water glacier dynamics in east Greenland using landsat data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, John L.

    1995-01-01

    Landsat multispectral scanner and thematic mapper images were co-registered For the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord region in East Greenland and were used to map glacier drainage-basin areas, changes in the positions of tide-water glacier termini and to estimate surface velocities of the larger tide-water glaciers. Statistics were compiled to document distance and area changes to glacier termini. The methodologies developed in this study are broadly applicable to the investigation of tide-water glaciers in other areas. The number of images available for consecutive years and the accuracy with which images are co-registered are key factors that influence the degree to which regional glacier dynamics can be characterized using remotely sensed data.Three domains of glacier state were interpreted: net increase in terminus area in the southern part of the study area, net loss of terminus area for glaciers in upper Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord and a slight loss of glacier terminus area northward from Ryberg Fjord. Local increases in the concentrations of drifting icebergs in the fjords coincide with the observed extension of glacier termini positions Ice-surface velocity estimates were derived for several glaciers using automated image cross-correlation techniques The velocity determined for Kangerdlugssuaq Gletscher is approximately 5.0 km a−1 and that for Kong Christian IV Gletscher is 0.9 km a−1. The continuous presence of icebergs and brash ice in front of these glaciers indicates sustained rates of ice-front calving.

  7. Midlatitude Forcing Mechanisms for Glacier Mass Balance Investigated Using General Circulation Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reichert, B.K.; Bengtsson, L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2001-01-01

    A process-oriented modeling approach is applied in order to simulate glacier mass balance for individual glaciers using statistically downscaled general circulation models (GCMs). Glacier-specific seasonal sensitivity characteristics based on a mass balance model of intermediate complexity are used

  8. Observed thinning of Totten Glacier is linked to coastal polynya variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khazendar, A.; Schodlok, M.P.; Fenty, I.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Rignot, Eric; van den Broeke, M.R.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of ICESat-1 data (2003–2008) shows significant surface lowering of Totten Glacier, the glacier discharging the largest volume of ice in East Antarctica, and less change on nearby Moscow University Glacier. After accounting for firn compaction anomalies, the thinning appears to coincide with

  9. Pond dynamics and supraglacial-englacial connectivity on debris-covered Lirung Glacier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miles, Evan Stewart; Steiner, Jakob|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/119338653; Willis, Ian C.; Buri, Pascal; Immerzeel, Walter Willem|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Chesnokova, Anna; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    The hydrological systems of heavily-downwasted debris-covered glaciers differ from clean-ice glaciers due to the hummocky surface and debris mantle of such glaciers, leading to a relatively limited understanding of drainage pathways. Supraglacial ponds represent sinks within the discontinuous

  10. Rising river flows throughout the twenty-first century in two Himalayan glacierized watersheds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Immerzeel, W.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Pelliciotti, F.; Bierkens, M.F.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/125022794

    2013-01-01

    Greater Himalayan glaciers are retreating and losing mass at rates comparable to glaciers in other regions of the world1–5 . Assessments of future changes and their associated hydrological impacts are scarce, oversimplify glacier dynamics or include a limited number of climate models6–9 . Here, we

  11. Holocene glacier variability: three case studies using an intermediate-complexity climate model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, S.L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2003-01-01

    Synthetic glacier length records are generated for the Holocene epoch using a process-based glacier model coupled to the intermediate-complexity climate model ECBilt. The glacier model consists of a massbalance component and an ice-flow component. The climate model is forced by the insolation change

  12. Development of catchment research, with particular attention to Plynlimon and its forerunner, the East African catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackie, J. R.; Robinson, M.

    2007-01-01

    Dr J.S.G. McCulloch was deeply involved in the establishment of research catchments in East Africa and subsequently in the UK to investigate the hydrological consequences of changes in land use. Comparison of these studies provides an insight into how influential his inputs and direction have been in the progressive development of the philosophy, the instrumentation and the analytical techniques now employed in catchment research. There were great contrasts in the environments: tropical highland (high radiation, intense rainfall) vs. temperate maritime (low radiation and frontal storms), contrasting soils and vegetation types, as well as the differing social and economic pressures in developing and developed nations. Nevertheless, the underlying scientific philosophy was common to both, although techniques had to be modified according to local conditions. As specialised instrumentation and analytical techniques were developed for the UK catchments many were also integrated into the East African studies. Many lessons were learned in the course of these studies and from the experiences of other studies around the world. Overall, a rigorous scientific approach was developed with widespread applicability. Beyond the basics of catchment selection and the quantification of the main components of the catchment water balance, this involved initiating parallel process studies to provide information on specific aspects of catchment behaviour. This information could then form the basis for models capable of extrapolation from the observed time series to other periods/hydrological events and, ultimately, the capability of predicting the consequences of changes in catchment land management to other areas in a range of climates.

  13. What influences climate and glacier change in southwestern China?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2011-12-01

    The subject of climate change in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and Himalayas has taken on increasing importance because of the availability of water resources from their mountain glaciers (Immerzeel et al 2010). Many of the glaciers over these regions have been retreating, while some are advancing and stable (Yao et al 2004, Scherler et al 2011). Other studies report that some glaciers in the Himalayas show acceleration of their shrinkage (e.g., Fujita and Nuimura 2011). However, the causes of glacier melting are still difficult to grasp because of the complexity of climatic change and its influence on glacier issues. Despite this, it is vital that we pursue further study to enable future predictions of glacier changes. The paper entitled 'Climate and glacier change in southwestern China during the past several decades' by Li et al (2011) provided carefully analyzed, quality controlled, long-term data on atmospheric temperature and precipitation during the period 1961-2008. The data were obtained from 111 Chinese stations. The researchers performed systematic analyses of temperature and precipitation over the whole southwestern Chinese domain. They discussed those changes in terms of other meteorological components such as atmospheric circulation patterns, radiation and altitude difference, and then showed how these factors could contribute to climate and glacier changes in the region. Air temperature and precipitation are strongly associated with glacier mass balance because of heat balance and the addition of mass when it snows. Temperature warming trends over many places in southwestern China were unequivocally dominant in all seasons and at higher altitudes. This indicates that the heat contribution to the glaciers has been increasing. On the other hand, precipitation has a wider variability in time and space. It is more difficult to clearly understand the effect of precipitation on the climate and glacier melting characteristics in the whole of southwestern China

  14. Estimating Velocities of Glaciers Using Sentinel-1 SAR Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gens, R.; Arnoult, K., Jr.; Friedl, P.; Vijay, S.; Braun, M.; Meyer, F. J.; Gracheva, V.; Hogenson, K.

    2017-12-01

    In an international collaborative effort, software has been developed to estimate the velocities of glaciers by using Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. The technique, initially designed by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), has been previously used to quantify spatial and temporal variabilities in the velocities of surging glaciers in the Pakistan Karakoram. The software estimates surface velocities by first co-registering image pairs to sub-pixel precision and then by estimating local offsets based on cross-correlation. The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has modified the software to make it more robust and also capable of migration into the Amazon Cloud. Additionally, ASF has implemented a prototype that offers the glacier tracking processing flow as a subscription service as part of its Hybrid Pluggable Processing Pipeline (HyP3). Since the software is co-located with ASF's cloud-based Sentinel-1 archive, processing of large data volumes is now more efficient and cost effective. Velocity maps are estimated for Single Look Complex (SLC) SAR image pairs and a digital elevation model (DEM) of the local topography. A time series of these velocity maps then allows the long-term monitoring of these glaciers. Due to the all-weather capabilities and the dense coverage of Sentinel-1 data, the results are complementary to optically generated ones. Together with the products from the Global Land Ice Velocity Extraction project (GoLIVE) derived from Landsat 8 data, glacier speeds can be monitored more comprehensively. Examples from Sentinel-1 SAR-derived results are presented along with optical results for the same glaciers.

  15. Glacier seismology: eavesdropping on the ice-bed interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, F.; Röösli, C.

    2015-12-01

    Glacier sliding plays a central role in ice dynamics. A number of remote sensing and deep drilling initiatives have therefore focused on the ice-bed interface. Although these techniques have provided valuable insights into bed properties, they do not supply theorists with data of sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to rigorously test mathematical sliding laws. As an alternative, passive seismic techniques have gained popularity in glacier monitoring. Analysis of glacier-related seismic sources ('icequakes') has become a useful technique to study inaccessible regions of the cryosphere, including the ice-bed interface. Seismic monitoring networks on the polar ice sheets have shown that ice sliding is not only a smooth process involving viscous deformation and regelation of basal ice layers. Instead, ice streams exhibit sudden slip episodes over their beds and intermittent phases of partial or complete stagnation. Here we discuss new and recently published discoveries of basal seismic sources beneath various glacial bodies. We revisit basal seismicity of hard-bedded Alpine glaciers, which is not the result of pure stick-slip motion. Sudden changes in seismicity suggest that the local configuration of the subglacial drainage system undergoes changes on sub daily time scales. Accordingly, such observations place constraints on basal resistance and sliding of hard-bedded glaciers. In contrast, certain clusters of stick-slip dislocations associated with micro seismicity beneath the Greenland ice sheet undergo diurnal variations in magnitudes and inter event times. This is best explained with a soft till bed, which hosts the shear dislocations and whose strength varies in response to changes in subglacial water pressure. These results suggest that analysis of basal icequakes is well suited for characterizing glacier and ice sheet beds. Future studies should address the relative importance between "smooth" and seismogenic sliding in different glacial environments.

  16. Snow chemistry of high altitude glaciers in the French Alps

    OpenAIRE

    MAUPETIT, FRANÇOIS; DELMAS, ROBERT J.

    2011-01-01

    Snow samples were collected as snowcores in the accumulation zone of four high altitude glaciers (2980–3540 m.a.s.l.) from each of the 4 highest mountain areas of the French Alps, during 3 consecutive years: 1989, 1990 and 1991. Sampling was performed in spring (∼ May), before the onset of late spring–summer percolation. The accumulated snow therefore reflects winter and spring conditions. A complementary sampling of fresh-snow was performed on an event basis, on one of the studied glaciers, ...

  17. Southern Alaska Glaciers: Spatial and Temporal Variations in Ice Volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauber, J.; Molnia, B. F.; Lutchke, S.; Rowlands, D.; Harding, D.; Carabajal, C.; Hurtado, J. M.; Spade, G.

    2004-01-01

    Although temperate mountain glaciers comprise less than 1% of the glacier-covered area on Earth, they are important because they appear to be melting rapidly under present climatic conditions and, therefore, make significant contributions to rising sea level. In this study, we use ICESat observations made in the last 1.5 years of southern Alaska glaciers to estimate ice elevation profiles, ice surface slopes and roughness, and bi-annual and/or annual ice elevation changes. We report initial results from the near coastal region between Yakutat Bay and Cape Suckling that includes the Malaspina and Bering Glaciers. We show and interpret ice elevations changes across the lower reaches of the Bagley Ice Valley for the period between October 2003 and May 2004. In addition, we use off-nadir pointing observations to reference tracks over the Bering and Malaspina Glaciers in order to estimate annual ice elevation change. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) derived DEMs are used to estimate across track regional slopes between ICESat data acquisitions. Although the distribution and quantity of ICESat elevation profiles with multiple, exact repeat data is currently limited in Alaska, individual ICESat data tracks, provide an accurate reference surface for comparison to other elevation data (e.g. ASTER and SRTM X- and C-band derived DEMs). Specifically we report the elevation change over the Malaspina Glacier's piedmont lobe between a DEM derived from SRTM C-band data acquired in Feb. 2000 and ICESat Laser #2b data from Feb.-March 2004. We also report use of ICESat elevation data to enhance ASTER derived absolute DEMs. Mountain glaciers generally have rougher surfaces and steeper regional slopes than the ice sheets for which the ICESat design was optimized. Therefore, rather than averaging ICESat observations over large regions or relying on crossovers, we are working with well-located ICESat

  18. Revisited Inventory of Glaciers on Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, L.; Osinski, G.

    2009-05-01

    As documented in the IPCC's Climate Change 2007 report, the high latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing the highest rates of warming. Given that 35% of the global glacial ice exists within the Arctic Archipelago, this region provides an excellent laboratory for monitoring the anticipated degree of glacial recession [1]. Evidence of arctic warming through negative mass balance trends has been detected in several studies already [e.g., 2]. Here, we show the importance and value of historical records in the task of monitoring glacial retreat. A highly detailed inventory developed by S. Ommanney in 1969 [3], has been revisited and transformed into digital format for the purposes of integration with modern inventories. The Ommanney inventory covers the entirety of Axel Heiberg Island , NU, and includes details often lacking in present day inventories, including orientations (accumulation and ablation zones), elevations (highest, lowest, elevation of the snowline, and the mean elevations of both the accumulation and ablation areas), length (of the ablation area, exposed ice, and of the total glacier including debris cover), area (of the ablation area, exposed ice, and of the total glacier), accumulation area ratio (AAR), depth, volume, and a six digit code which gives qualitative details on glacier attributes. This report is one of the most thorough and comprehensive glacier inventory report ever published in Canada. More recent inventories used for comparison include the glacier extents created by the National Topographic System based on photography from 1980-1987, as well as extents developed by Dr. Luke Copland for the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database using 1999-2000 satellite imagery. Our preliminary results show that approximately 90% of ice bodies under 0.2km on Axel Heiberg Island have disappeared entirely in the 40 year period of interest. The issue of glacier definition will be discussed as a possible cause of these

  19. Pathways of warm water to the Northeast Greenland outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Kanzow, Torsten; Arndt, Jan Erik; Mayer, Christoph; Schauer, Ursula

    2015-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers surrounding the Greenland coast. The warming and accumulation of Atlantic Water in the subpolar North Atlantic has been suggested to be a potential driver of the glaciers' retreat over the last decades. The shelf regions thus play a critical role for the transport of Atlantic Water towards the glaciers, but also for the transfer of freshwater towards the deep ocean. A key region for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. This large ice stream drains the second-largest basin of the Greenland Ice Sheet and feeds three outlet glaciers. The largest one is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°N-Glacier) featuring an 80 km long floating ice tongue. Both the ocean circulation on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the circulation in the cavity below the ice tongue are weakly constrained so far. In order to study the relevant processes of glacier-ocean interaction we combine observations and model work. Here we focus on historic and recent hydrographic observations and on the complex bathymetry in the Northeast Greenland shelf region, which is thought to steer the flux of warm Atlantic water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavity beneath the 79°N-Glacier. We present a new global topography data set, RTopo-2, which includes the most recent surveys on the Northeast Greenland continental shelf and provides a detailed bathymetry for all around Greenland. In addition, RTopo-2 contains ice and bedrock surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica. Based on the updated ocean bathymetry and a variety of hydrographic observations we show the water mass distribution on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland. These maps enable us to discuss possible supply pathways of warm modified Atlantic waters on the continental shelf and thus potential ways of heat

  20. Dynamic interactions between glacier and glacial lake in the Bhutan Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutaki, S.; Fujita, K.; Yamaguchi, S.; Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Komori, J.; Takenaka, S.; Tshering, P.

    2012-04-01

    A number of supraglacial lakes formed on the termini of debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya as a result of glacier retreat due to climate change. The terminal part of the lake-terminating glaciers flow faster than that of the land-terminating glaciers because the basal ice motion is enhanced by high subglacial water pressure generated by lake water. Increased ice flux caused by the accelerated glacier flow could be dissipated through the calving process which reduced the glacier thickness. It is important to understand the interaction between lake formation and glacier dynamics. Although glacier flow velocity has been measured by remote-sensing analysis in several regions of the Himalayas, glacier thinning rates have not been observed by neither in-situ nor remote-sensing approaches. The lack of field data raises limitation to interpretations for glacier dynamics. We investigate the influence of the presence/absence of glacial lakes on glacier dynamics and changes in surface elevation. We study two debris-covered glaciers in the Lunana region, the Bhutan Himalaya. Thorthormi Glacier is a land-terminating glacier with some supraglacial lakes while Lugge Glacier is a lake-terminating glaciers. We surveyed the surface elevation of debris-covered areas of the two glaciers in 2004 and 2011 by a differential GPS. Change in surface elevation of the lake-terminating Lugge Glacier (-5.4--2.4 m yr-1) was much more negative than that of the land-terminating Thorthormi Glacier (-3.3-0.6 m yr-1). Surface flow speed of the Thorthormi Glacier measured during 2002-2004 was faster in the upper reaches (~90 m yr-1) and reduced toward the downstream (40 m yr-1). In contrast, the surface flow speed at the Lugge Glacier measured in the same periods was 40-55 m yr-1 and the greatest at the lower most part. Observed spatial distribution of surface flow velocity at both glaciers were evaluated by a two-dimensional numerical flow model. Calculated emergence velocities are 1

  1. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF RUNOFF AND ITS COMPONENTS IN TWO CATCHMENTS OF UPPER INDUS BASIN BY USING A SEMI DISTRIBUTED GLACIO-HYDROLOGICAL MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Ali

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The hydrology of Upper Indus basin is not recognized well due to the intricacies in the climate and geography, and the scarcity of data above 5000 m a.s.l where most of the precipitation falls in the form of snow. The main objective of this study is to measure the contributions of different components of runoff in Upper Indus basin. To achieve this goal, the Modified positive degree day model (MPDDM was used to simulate the runoff and investigate its components in two catchments of Upper Indus basin, Hunza and Gilgit River basins. These two catchments were selected because of their different glacier coverage, contrasting area distribution at high altitudes and significant impact on the Upper Indus River flow. The components of runoff like snow-ice melt and rainfall-base flow were identified by the model. The simulation results show that the MPDDM shows a good agreement between observed and modeled runoff of these two catchments and the effects of snow and ice are mainly reliant on the catchment characteristics and the glaciated area. For Gilgit River basin, the largest contributor to runoff is rain-base flow, whereas large contribution of snow-ice melt observed in Hunza River basin due to its large fraction of glaciated area. This research will not only contribute to the better understanding of the impacts of climate change on the hydrological response in the Upper Indus, but will also provide guidance for the development of hydropower potential and water resources assessment in these catchments.

  2. Nested Tracer Studies In Catchment Hydrology: Towards A Multiscale Understanding of Runoff Generation and Catchment Funtioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulsby, C.; Rodgers, P.; Malcolm, I. A.; Dunn, S.

    Geochemical and isotopic tracers have been shown to have widespread utility in catch- ment hydrology in terms of identifying hydrological source areas and characterising residence time distributions. In many cases application of tracer techniques has pro- vided insights into catchment functioning that could not be obtained from hydromet- ric and/or modelling studies alone. This paper will show how the use of tracers has contributed to an evolving perceptual model of hydrological pathways and runoff gen- eration processes in catchments in the Scottish highlands. In particular the paper will focus on the different insights that are gained at three different scales of analysis; (a) nested sub-catchments within a mesoscale (ca. 200 square kilometers) experimen- tal catchment; (b) hillslope-riparian interactions and (c) stream bed fluxes. Nested hydrometric and hydrochemical monitoring within the mesoscale Feugh catchment identified three main hydrological response units: (i) plateau peatlands which gener- ated saturation overland flow in the catchment headwaters, (ii) steep valley hillslopes which drain from the plateaux into (iii) alluvial and drift aquifers in the valley bottoms. End Member Mixing Analysis (EMMA) in 8 nested sub-catchments indicated that that stream water tracer concentrations can be modelled in terms of 2 dominant runoff pro- cesses; overland flow from the peat and groundwater from the drift aquifers. Ground- water contributions generally increased with catchment size, though this was moder- ated by the characteristics of individual sub-basins, with drift cover being particularly important. Hillslope riparian interactions were also examined using tracers, hydromet- ric data and a semi-distributed hydrological model. This revealed that in the glaciated, drift covered terrain of the Scottish highlands, extensive valley bottom aquifers effec- tively de-couple hillslope waters from the river channel. Thus, riparian groundwater appears to significantly

  3. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade glacier, Washington, balance year 2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.

    2005-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance year 2003. The 2003 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 2.66 meters water equivalent, which was about equal to the average of such balances for the glacier since balance year 1959. The 2003 glacier summer balance (-4.76 meters water equivalent) was the most negative reported for the glacier, and the 2003 net balance (-2.10 meters water equivalent), was the second-most negative reported. The glacier 2003 annual (water year) balance was -1.89 meters water equivalent. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.89 square kilometers, a decrease of 0.03 square kilometer from the previous year. The equilibrium-line altitude was higher than any part of the glacier; however, because snow remained along part of one side of the upper glacier, the accumulation-area ratio was 0.07. During September 13, 2002-September 13, 2003, the glacier terminus retreated at a rate of about 15 meters per year. Average speed of surface ice, computed using a series of vertical aerial photographs dating back to 2001, ranged from 2.2 to 21.8 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin was gaged during part of water year 2003. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed, and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations on and near the glacier. Summer 2003 at the glacier was among the warmest for which data are available.

  4. Modeling of facade leaching in urban catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutu, S.; Del Giudice, D.; Rossi, L.; Barry, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Building facades are protected from microbial attack by incorporation of biocides within them. Flow over facades leaches these biocides and transports them to the urban environment. A parsimonious water quantity/quality model applicable for engineered urban watersheds was developed to compute biocide release from facades and their transport at the urban basin scale. The model couples two lumped submodels applicable at the basin scale, and a local model of biocide leaching at the facade scale. For the facade leaching, an existing model applicable at the individual wall scale was utilized. The two lumped models describe urban hydrodynamics and leachate transport. The integrated model allows prediction of biocide concentrations in urban rivers. It was applied to a 15 km2urban hydrosystem in western Switzerland, the Vuachère river basin, to study three facade biocides (terbutryn, carbendazim, diuron). The water quality simulated by the model matched well most of the pollutographs at the outlet of the Vuachère watershed. The model was then used to estimate possible ecotoxicological impacts of facade leachates. To this end, exceedance probabilities and cumulative pollutant loads from the catchment were estimated. Results showed that the considered biocides rarely exceeded the relevant predicted no-effect concentrations for the riverine system. Despite the heterogeneities and complexity of (engineered) urban catchments, the model application demonstrated that a computationally "light" model can be employed to simulate the hydrograph and pollutograph response within them. It thus allows catchment-scale assessment of the potential ecotoxicological impact of biocides on receiving waters.

  5. Sediment budgets of unglaciated alpine catchments - the example of the Johnsbach and Schöttlbach valleys in Styria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sass, Oliver; Rascher, Eric; Stangl, Johannes; Lutzmann, Silke

    2017-04-01

    Extensive research has been performed in glacier forefields and in glaciated catchments in order to predict their future behaviour in a warming climate. However, the majority of medium-scale torrential catchments in the European Alps are non-glaciated and their response to disturbance events (e.g. changing climate) is more subtle and hard to predict. We report from two torrential catchments in the Eastern Alps, the Johnsbach and the Schöttlbach valleys, that have been monitored for several years. The catchments are located in Styria (Austria) and are remarkably similar in terms of size (60-70 km3) and elevation (600/800 - 2400 m). The main difference is the geological setting of the sediment delivering areas which is limestone and brittle dolomite at Johnsbach, and a prominent late-pleistocene valley fill at Schöttlbach, respectively. Slope processes in both areas were monitored by means of repeated TLS surveys of active slope and channel areas and by ALS and/or UAV surveys. Fluvial transport in the main channels was measured using Helly-Smith samplers and recorded continuously by means of new developed, low-budget sediment impact sensors (SIS). In both areas, the catchment output was quantified: by regular surveys of a retention basin at Schöttlbach and by a bedload measurement station (geophone sill) at Johnsbach. The results show that at Johnsbach, the sediment source areas are active tributary trenches in the lower third of the catchment. The sediments derive from brittle dolomite rockwalls and are transported to the main river episodically during rainstorm events. In a 2-yr period, 7400 m3 yr-1 were eroded in the surveyed areas and 9900 m3 yr-1 m3 yr-1 were deposited; of this amount, only a minor portion of 650 m3 yr-1 reached the Johnsbach River. The degree of coupling between tributaries and creek is strongly influenced by anthropogenic measures, e.g. former disturbance by gravel mining and undersized bridge openings. Besides limited bank erosion

  6. Photogrammetry on glaciers: Old and new knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, W. T.; Welty, E.; O'Neel, S.

    2014-12-01

    In the past few decades terrestrial photogrammetry has become a widely used tool for glaciological research, brought about in part by the proliferation of high-quality, low-cost digital cameras, dramatic increases in image-processing power of computers, and very innovative progress in image processing, much of which has come from computer vision research and from the computer gaming industry. At present, glaciologists have developed their capacity to gather images much further than their ability to process them. Many researchers have accumulated vast inventories of imagery, but have no efficient means to extract the data they desire from them. In many cases these are single-image time series where the processing limitation lies in the paucity of methods to obtain 3-dimension object space information from measurements in the 2-dimensional image space; in other cases camera pairs have been operated but no automated means is in hand for conventional stereometric analysis of many thousands of image pairs. Often the processing task is further complicated by weak camera geometry or ground control distribution, either of which will compromise the quality of 3-dimensional object space solutions. Solutions exist for many of these problems, found sometimes among the latest computer vision results, and sometimes buried in decades-old pre-digital terrestrial photogrammetric literature. Other problems, particularly those arising from poorly constrained or underdetermined camera and ground control geometry, may be unsolvable. Small-scale, ground-based photography and photogrammetry of glaciers has grown over the past few decades in an organic and disorganized fashion, with much duplication of effort and little coordination or sharing of knowledge among researchers. Given the utility of terrestrial photogrammetry, its low cost (if properly developed and implemented), and the substantial value of the information to be had from it, some further effort to share knowledge and methods

  7. Sudden increase in tidal response linked to calving and acceleration at a large Greenland outlet glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Juan, Julia; Elósegui, Pedro; Nettles, Meredith

    2010-01-01

    strongly with the step-like increases in glacier speed and longitudinal strain rate associated with glacial earthquakes. The enhanced response to the ocean tides may be explained by a temporary disruption of the subglacial drainage system and a concomitant reduction of the friction at the ice......Large calving events at Greenland's largest outlet glaciers are associated with glacial earthquakes and near-instantaneous increases in glacier flow speed. At some glaciers and ice streams, flow is also modulated in a regular way by ocean tidal forcing at the terminus. At Helheim Glacier, analysis...

  8. Hydro-economic modelling in mining catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossa Moreno, J. S.; McIntyre, N.; Rivera, D.; Smart, J. C. R.

    2017-12-01

    Hydro-economic models are gaining momentum because of their capacity to model both the physical processes related to water supply, and socio-economic factors determining water demand. This is particularly valuable in the midst of the large uncertainty upon future climate conditions and social trends. Agriculture, urban uses and environmental flows have received a lot of attention from researchers, as these tend to be the main consumers of water in most catchments. Mine water demand, although very important in several small and medium-sized catchments worldwide, has received less attention and only few models have attempted to reproduce its dynamics with other users. This paper describes an on-going project that addresses this gap, by developing a hydro-economic model in the upper Aconcagua River in Chile. This is a mountain catchment with large scale mining and hydro-power users at high altitudes, and irrigation areas in a downstream valley. Relevant obstacles to the model included the lack of input climate data, which is a common feature in several mining areas, the complex hydrological processes in the area and the difficulty of quantifying the value of water used by mines. A semi-distributed model developed within the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP), was calibrated to reproduce water supply, and this was complemented with an analysis of the value of water for mining based on two methods; water markets and an analysis of its production processes. Agriculture and other users were included through methods commonly used in similar models. The outputs help understanding the value of water in the catchment, and its sensitivity to changes in climate variables, market prices, environmental regulations and changes in the production of minerals, crops and energy. The results of the project highlight the importance of merging hydrology and socio-economic calculations in mining regions, in order to better understand trade-offs and cost of opportunity of using

  9. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-02-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change -- equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  10. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change — equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  11. Accessing the inaccessible: making (successful) field observations at tidewater glacier termini

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienholz, C.; Amundson, J. M.; Jackson, R. H.; Motyka, R. J.; Nash, J. D.; Sutherland, D.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers terminating in ocean water (tidewater glaciers) show complex dynamic behavior driven predominantly by processes at the ice-ocean interface (sedimentation, erosion, iceberg calving, submarine melting). A quantitative understanding of these processes is required, for example, to better assess tidewater glaciers' fate in our rapidly warming environment. Lacking observations close to glacier termini, due to unpredictable risks from calving, hamper this understanding. In an effort to remedy this lack of knowledge, we initiated a large field-based effort at LeConte Glacier, southeast Alaska, in 2016. LeConte Glacier is a regional analog for many tidewater glaciers, but better accessible and observable and thus an ideal target for our multi-disciplinary effort. Our ongoing campaigns comprise measurements from novel autonomous vessels (temperature, salinity and current) in the immediate proximity of the glacier terminus and additional surveys (including multibeam bathymetry) from boats and moorings in the proglacial fjord. These measurements are complemented by iceberg and glacier velocity measurements from time lapse cameras and a portable radar interferometer situated above LeConte Bay. GPS-based velocity observations and melt measurements are conducted on the glacier. These measurements provide necessary input for process-based understanding and numerical modeling of the glacier and fjord systems. In the presentation, we discuss promising initial results and lessons learned from the campaign.

  12. Climatic Drivers of Tropical Andean Glacier Recession, c1987 - c2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slayback, D. A.; Tucker, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    We report on the climatic trends associated with glacier recession in the tropical Andes from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. These glaciers comprise 99% of the world's tropical glaciers and occur in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. We previously reported on our comprehensive analysis of Landsat imagery of these glaciers, which indicated an overall recession of approximately 30% in glacierized area between c1987 and c2006, or a drop from ~2500 km2 to ~1800 km2 in total glacier area. In the current work, we have examined trends in temperature, cloud cover, and precipitation and compared these trends with those in glacier recession. For temperature and cloud cover, we use the MERRA reanalysis datasets (Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications) produced by the NASA Goddard's GMAO (Global Modeling and Assimilation Office), which are based on satellite observations. For precipitation, we use the GPCP (Glocal Precipitation Climatology Project) datasets, which are based on both ground and satellite observations. We find that over the glacierized zones, the only significant trends are those in temperature, which show increases of up to 0.5 degree C per decade over some glacierized areas. Trends in cloud cover and precipitation are not generally significant. We discuss these trends in relation to glacier recession trends for each of the major glacierized areas of the tropical Andes.

  13. Changes of glacier, glacier-fed rivers and lakes in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Western Mongolia, based on multispectral satellite data from 1990 to 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batsaikhan, B.; Lkhamjav, O.; Batsaikhan, N.

    2017-12-01

    Impacts on glaciers and water resource management have been altering through climate changes in Mongolia territory characterized by dry and semi-arid climate with low precipitation. Melting glaciers are early indicators of climate change unlike the response of the forests which is slower and takes place over a long period of time. Mountain glaciers are important environmental components of local, regional, and global hydrological cycles. The study calculates an overview of changes for glacier, glacier-fed rivers and lakes in Altai Tavan Bogd mountain, the Western Mongolia, based on the indexes of multispectral data and the methods typically applied in glacier studies. Were utilized an integrated approach of Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) to combine Landsat, MODIS imagery and digital elevation model, to identify glacier cover are and quantify water storage change in lakes, and compared that with and climate parameters including precipitation, land surface temperature, evaporation, moisture. Our results show that melts of glacier at the study area has contributed to significantly increase of water storage of lakes in valley of The Altai Tavan Bogd mountain. There is hydrologic connection that lake basin is directly fed by glacier meltwater.

  14. Glaciers in South Tyrol 1850 - 2006: application of Airborne Laser Scanner data, orthophotos and historical maps for the acquisition of recent and the reconstruction of past glacier extents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knoll, C. C.

    2009-01-01

    In the densely populated high mountain areas of the Alps, glaciers are an important part of the cultural and natural landscape. During the warm summer months they are among the most important freshwater resources for economy sectors such as agriculture or industry, an important component for the tourism industry and of great significance for the production of energy from hydropower. However, they also constitute a potential cause of natural hazards. Due to their direct linkage to temperature and precipitation, glaciers are characterized as one of the best natural climate indicators. For that reason, mountain glaciers have become a key symbol for the ongoing discussion about climate, climate changes and the resulting consequences because their reactions can easily be observed and visualized. The main objective of this doctoral thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the regional South Tyrolean glacier development through a reconstruction and analysis of the glacier changes that have occurred since the climax of the Little Ice Age at around 1850. Glacier inventories, fieldwork and GIS-assisted reconstructions of historical and calculation of recent glacier topographies are used to depict, analyze and visualize the changes of the South Tyrolean glaciers between the maximum extent of approximately 1850 and the inventories of 1997 and 2006. In a comparison of recent, highly accurate glacier topographies mapped with ALS-methods (Airborne Laser Scanner) with a reconstruction of the Little Ice Age maximum South Tyrolean glaciers were detected to have lost 183.2 km 2 or 66% of their glacier cover in approximately the last 150 years. This comparison also showed a loss in glacier volume of 9 km 3 between 1850 and 2006, which corresponds to a mean ice thickness change of -49 m. These drastic losses in the glacier covered area and volume, which are mainly visible on the glacier tongues of large valley glaciers like Langtauferer- and Suldenferner, clearly show

  15. After the Earthquake: Impacts of Seismic Snow and Ice Redistribution in Langtang Valley, Nepal, on Glacier Mass Balances and Hydrological Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, J. M.; Ragettli, S.; Immerzeel, W.; Pellicciotti, F.; Miles, E. S.; Steiner, J. F.; Buri, P.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 resulted in a catastrophic loss of life and property, and had major impacts in high mountain areas. The earthquake resulted in a number of massive ice avalanches in Langtang Valley that destroyed entire villages and killed over 300 people. We first conduct a remote sensing analysis of the entire catchment, and attempt to quantify the volumes of snow and ice redistributed through high-resolution optical imagery, thermal imagery, and DEM differencing. Where data are available we examine the impact on the surface mass balances of four major glaciers (Lirung, Shalbachaum, Langtang and Langshisha). Finally, we use the physically-based and fully distributed TOPKAPI model to simulate the impacts of the co-seismic snow and ice redistribution on the hydrology of the Langtang River.

  16. Changing drainage patterns within South Cascade Glacier, Washington, USA, 1964-1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.G.; Vaughn, B.H.

    1995-01-01

    The theoretical patterns of water drainage are presented for South Cascade Glacier for four different years between 1964 and 1992, during which the glacier was thinning and receding. The theoretical pattern compares well, in a broad sense, with the flow pattern determined from tracer injections in 1986 and 1987. Differences between the patterns may result from the routing of surface meltwater in crevasses prior to entering the body of the glacier. The changing drainage pattern was caused by glacier thinning. The migration of a drainage divide eventually rerouted most of the surface meltwater from the main stream that drained the glacier in 1987 to another, formerly smaller, stream by 1992. On the basis of projected glacier thinning between 1992 and 1999, we predict that the drainage divide will continue to migrate across the glacier.

  17. Glacier protection laws: Potential conflicts in managing glacial hazards and adapting to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anacona, Pablo Iribarren; Kinney, Josie; Schaefer, Marius; Harrison, Stephan; Wilson, Ryan; Segovia, Alexis; Mazzorana, Bruno; Guerra, Felipe; Farías, David; Reynolds, John M; Glasser, Neil F

    2018-03-13

    The environmental, socioeconomic and cultural significance of glaciers has motivated several countries to regulate activities on glaciers and glacierized surroundings. However, laws written to specifically protect mountain glaciers have only recently been considered within national political agendas. Glacier Protection Laws (GPLs) originate in countries where mining has damaged glaciers and have been adopted with the aim of protecting the cryosphere from harmful activities. Here, we analyze GPLs in Argentina (approved) and Chile (under discussion) to identify potential environmental conflicts arising from law restrictions and omissions. We conclude that GPLs overlook the dynamics of glaciers and could prevent or delay actions needed to mitigate glacial hazards (e.g. artificial drainage of glacial lakes) thus placing populations at risk. Furthermore, GPL restrictions could hinder strategies (e.g. use of glacial lakes as reservoirs) to mitigate adverse impacts of climate change. Arguably, more flexible GPLs are needed to protect us from the changing cryosphere.

  18. Dendrochronology and late Holocene history of Bering piedmont glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiles, G.C.; Post, A.; Muller, E.H.; Molnia, B.F.

    1999-01-01

    Fluctuations of the piedmont lobe of Bering Glacier and its sublobe Steller Glacier over the past two millennia are reconstructed using 34 radiocarbon dates and tree-ring data from 16 sites across the glaciers' forelands. The general sequence of glacial activity is consistent with well-dated fluctuations of tidewater and land-terminating glaciers elsewhere along the Gulf of Alaska. Extensive forested areas along 25 km of the Bering ice margin were inundated by glacio-lacustrine and glacio-fluvial sediments during a probable ice advance shortly before 500 cal yr A.D. Regrowth of forests followed the retreating ice as early as the 7th century A.D., with frequent interruptions of tree growth due to outwash aggradation. Forests overrun by ice and buried in outwash indicate readvance about 1080 cal yr A.D. Retreat followed, with ice-free conditions maintained along the distal portions of the forefield until the early 17th century after which the ice advanced to within a few kilometers of its outer Neoglacial moraine. Ice reached this position after the mid-17th century and prior to 200 yr ago. Since the early 20th century, glacial retreat has been punctuated by periodic surges. The record from forests overrun by the nonsurging Steller Lobe shows that this western ice margin was advancing by 1250 A.D., reaching near its outer moraine after 1420 cal yr A.D. Since the late 19th century, the lobe has dominantly retreated.

  19. Reconstruction of specific mass balance for glaciers in Western ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Seasonal sensitivity characteristics (SSCs) were developed for Naradu, Shaune Garang, Gor Garang and Gara glaciers, Western Himalaya to quantify the changes in mean specific mass balance using monthly temperature and precipitation perturbations. The temperature sensitivities were observed high during summer ...

  20. Landmark Study Reveals Antarctic Glacier's Long History of Retreat

    OpenAIRE

    Kuska, Dale M.

    2016-01-01

    Faculty Showcase Archive Article Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. A major study, released in late November in the journal “Nature,” reveals the history of retreat of the massive Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in western Antarctica, widely considered one of the largest contributors to global sea-level rise.

  1. Reconstruction of specific mass balance for glaciers in Western ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vinay Kumar Gaddam

    2017-06-12

    Jun 12, 2017 ... temperatures and precipitation estimates of ERA 20CM ensemble climate reanalysis datasets to reconstruct the specific mass balance for a period of 110 years, between 1900 and 2010. Mass balance estimates suggest that the Shaune Garang, Gor-Garang and Gara glaciers have experienced both ...

  2. A glacier runoff extension to the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beusekom, Ashley E.; Viger, Roland

    2016-01-01

    A module to simulate glacier runoff, PRMSglacier, was added to PRMS (Precipitation Runoff Modeling System), a distributed-parameter, physical-process hydrological simulation code. The extension does not require extensive on-glacier measurements or computational expense but still relies on physical principles over empirical relations as much as is feasible while maintaining model usability. PRMSglacier is validated on two basins in Alaska, Wolverine, and Gulkana Glacier basin, which have been studied since 1966 and have a substantial amount of data with which to test model performance over a long period of time covering a wide range of climatic and hydrologic conditions. When error in field measurements is considered, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies of streamflow are 0.87 and 0.86, the absolute bias fractions of the winter mass balance simulations are 0.10 and 0.08, and the absolute bias fractions of the summer mass balances are 0.01 and 0.03, all computed over 42 years for the Wolverine and Gulkana Glacier basins, respectively. Without taking into account measurement error, the values are still within the range achieved by the more computationally expensive codes tested over shorter time periods.

  3. Melting glaciers signal climate change in Bolivia | IDRC ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2011-05-13

    May 13, 2011 ... Melting glaciers signal climate change in Bolivia ... Global warming is occurring faster at high altitudes, causing the ... and how the local environment was going to change in years to come. ... New economic opportunities and better transportation to markets in La Paz have brought migrants to the area.

  4. Modelling the dynamics and boundary processes of Svalbard glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Pelt, W.J.J.

    2014-01-01

    The focus of this thesis is on improving our understanding of surface and basal processes in the context of glaciers in Svalbard. At the surface, interactions with the atmosphere and underlying snow determine the surface mass balance. A coupled model is applied to Nordenskiöldbreen, a tidewater

  5. Traileka Glacier X-Stack. Final Scientific/Technical Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borkar, Shekhar [Intel Federal LLC, Fairfax, VA (United States)

    2015-09-01

    The XStack Traleika Glacier (XSTG) project was a three-year research award for exploring a revolutionary exascale-class machine software framework. The XSTG program, including Intel, UC San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Lab, UIUC, Rice University, Reservoir Labs, ET International, and U. Delaware, had major accomplishments, insights, and products resulting from this three-year effort.

  6. Mobility and eco-risk of trace metals in soils at the Hailuogou Glacier foreland in eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bing, Haijian; Wu, Yanhong; Zhou, Jun; Liang, Jianhong; Wang, Jipeng; Yang, Zijiang

    2016-03-01

    The concentrations and fractions of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in soils collected from Hailuogou Glacier foreland in eastern Tibetan Plateau were analyzed to decipher their mobility, and their eco-risk was assessed combined with multiple environmental indices. The concentrations of Cd were more than ten times higher than its local background in the O horizon and nearly three times higher in the A horizon. The concentrations of Pb and Zn were relatively high in the O horizon, whereas that of Cu increased with soil depth. The main fractions of metals in the surface horizons were reducible and acid-soluble for Cd, oxidizable and residual for Cu, reducible and oxidizable for Pb, and reducible and residual for Zn. The metal mobility generally followed the order of Cd > Pb > Zn > Cu in the O horizon and Cd > Pb > Cu > Zn in the A horizon. Sorption and complexation by soil organic matters imparted an important effect on the mobilization and transformation of Cd, Pb, and Zn in the soils. The oxidizable Cu fraction in the soils showed significant correlation with organic matters, and soil pH mainly modulated the acid-soluble and reducible Cu fractions. The concentrations and other environmental indices including contamination factor, enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index, and risk assessment index revealed that Cd reached high contamination and very high eco-risk, Pb had medium contamination but low eco-risk, Zn showed low contamination and low eco-risk, and Cu was not contaminated in the soils. The data indicated that Cd was the priority to concern in the soils of Hailuogou Glacier catchment.

  7. Glaciers et évolution climatique dans les Andes boliviennes. Glacier de Zongo et glacier de Chacaltaya Cordillère Royale, 16°S

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available SEDIMENTOLOGY OF THE HUANCANE FORMATION (NEOCOMIAN OF THE CUSCO REGION AND ITS RELATION TO SEA LEVEL VARIATIONS. The Huancane formation (Neocomian of the Cusco region is mainly composed of quartz sandstones which are deposited in fluvial environments. The facies recognized are organized in a vertical sequence: fluvial sheet sandstones, oxidized or eroded surface, the shale facies of alluvial plain and unusual limestone facies of possible marine origin. These vertical facies sequences show that eustatic sea level variations controlled the fluvial sedimentation. The rivers came from the NE and were fed by the erosion of the Brazilian Shield. The sedimentation developed above the boundary of the SW edge of the Eastern basin, and the Cusco-Puno Swell which had locale horst and grabens inherited from pre-neocomian relief. GLACIARES Y EVOLUCIÓN CLIMÁTICA EN LOS ANDES BOLIVIANOS GLACIAR DE ZONGO Y GLACIAR DE CHACALTAYA, CORDILLERA REAL, 16°S. Por su sensibilidad y su plazo de respuesta breve, el glaciar es de un gran interés para analizar la evolución y la variabilidad actuales del clima entre los trópicos. Se presentan los métodos de determinación del balance de masas y del balance hidrológico, con una frecuencia de mediciones mensual. Los resultados recogidos durante tres años (1991-1994 muestran una grande variabilidad. Ésta es controlada sobre todo por la extensión del periodo de precipitaciones en medio de la temporada cálida que dura más o menos 6 meses. Los eventos ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation son asociados a balances netamente negativos, lo que es demostrado por la respuesta del glaciar al episodio de 1991-1992 y por la reconstrucción de los balances efectuados en base a los datos hidrológicos durante los dos últimos decenios. El retroceso acelerado de los glaciares tropicales desde los años 1980 es vinculado a la vez a una sucesión de eventos ENSO y al recalentamiento atmosférico. GLACIERS AND CLIMATIC EVOLUTION IN

  8. Assessing Glacier Hazards At Ghiacciaio Del Belvedere, Macugnaga, Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeberli, W.; Chiarle, M.; Mortara, G.; Mazza, A.

    The uppermost section of the Valle Anzasca behind and above the community of Macugnaga in the Italian Alps is one of the most spectacular high-mountain land- scapes in Europe, with gigantic rock walls and numerous steep hanging glaciers. Its main glacier, Ghiacciaio del Belvedere at the foot of the huge Monte Rosa east face, is a heavily debris-covered glacier flowing on a thick sediment bed. Problems with floods, avalanches and debris flows from this ice body have been known for extended time periods. Most recently, however, the evolution of this highly dynamic environ- ment has become more dramatic. An outburst of Lago delle Locce, an ice-dammed lake at the confluenec of the tributary Ghiacciaio delle Locce with Ghiacciaio del Belvedere, caused heavy damage in 1979 and necessitated site investigation and con- struction work to be done for flood protection. The intermittent glacier growth ten- dency in the 1970es induced strong bulging of the glacier surface and, in places, caused the glacier tongue to override historical morains and to destroy newly-grown forest stands. A surge-type flow acceleration started in the lower parts of the Monte- Rosa east face during summer 2000, leading to strong crevassing and deformation of Ghiacciaio del Belvedere and extreme bulging of its orographic right margin. High water pressure and accelerated movement lasted into winter 2001/2002: the ice now started overriding the LIA moraine near Rifugio Zamboni of the CAI. In addition but rather independently, a most active detachment zone for rock falls and debris flows developed for several years now in the east face of Monte Rosa, somewhat more to the south of the accelerated glacier movement and at an altitude where relatively warm permafrost must be expected. Besides the scientific interest in these phenomena, the growing hazard potential to the local infrastructure must be considered seriously. Es- pecially potentials for the destabilization of large rock and ice masses in the

  9. Hydrological effects of fire in South-African mountain catchments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scott, DF

    1993-10-01

    Full Text Available is entirely suppressed and a deep litter mat develops giving a continuous cover with good soil protection characteristics. The timber plantations are at risk of burning as they are surrounded by fire-maintained vegetation... in vegetation type and fire characteristics. Description of the research catchments and treatments The catchments studied are all small, mountainous and with a high rainfall, each forming part of long-term experimental catchment...

  10. Inspection of Alpine glaciers with cosmic-ray muon radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Ereditato, Antonio; Lechmann, Alessandro; Mair, David; Scampoli, Paola; Schlunegger, Fritz; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo

    2016-04-01

    Radiography using cosmic-ray muons represents a challenging method for probing the bedrock topography beneath Alpine glaciers. We present the current status of our feasibility study at Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of the Eiger in the Jungfrau region, Central Swiss Alps. The muon radiography is a technique that has been recently developed to investigate the internal density profiles of geoscientific targets. It is based on the measurement of the absorption of the cosmic-ray muons inside a material. Because the energy spectrum of cosmic-ray muons and the energy dependence of muon range have been studied well during the past years, the attenuation of the muon flux can be used to derive the column density, i.e. the density integrated along the muon trajectories, of geoscientific targets. This technique has recently been applied for non-invasive inspection of volcanoes, nuclear reactors, seismic faults, caves and etc. The greatest advantage of the method in the field of glacier studies is that it yields a unique solution of the density underneath a glacier without any assumption of physical properties inside the target. Large density contrasts, as expected between glacier ice (˜ 1.0g/cm3) and bedrock (˜ 2.5g/cm3), would allow us to elucidate the shape of the bedrock in high resolution. Accordingly, this technology will provide for the first time information on the bedrock surface beneath a steep and non-accessible Alpine glacier, in a complementary way with respect to other exploration methods (drilling, ground penetrating radar, seismic survey, gravity explorations and etc.). Our first aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of the method through a case study at the Eiger glacier, situated in the Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier straddles the western flank of the Eiger between 3700 and 2300 m above sea level (a.s.l.). The glacier has shortened by about 150 m during the past 30 years in response to the ongoing global warming, causing a concern for

  11. Increased Melting of Glaciers during Cotopaxi volcano awakening in 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramon, Patricio; Vallejo, Silvia; Almeida, Marco; Gomez, Juan Pablo; Caceres, Bolivar

    2016-04-01

    Cotopaxi (5897 m), located about 50 km south of Quito (Ecuador), is one of the most active volcanoes in the Andes and its historical eruptions have caused a great impact on the population by the generation of lahars along its three main drainages (N, S, E). Starting on April 2015 the seismic monitoring networks and the SO2 gas detection network in May 2015 showed a significant increase from their background values, in June a geodetic instrument located in the NE flank started to record inflation; all this indicated the beginning of a new period of unrest. On August 14, five small phreatic explosions occurred, accompanied by large gas and ash emissions, ash falls were reported to the W of the volcano and to the S of Quito capital city. Three new episodes of ash and gas emissions occurred afterwards and towards the end of November 2015, the different monitoring parameters indicated a progressive reduction in the activity of the volcano. Since August 18 almost weekly overflights were made in order to conduct thermal (FLIR camera), visual and SO2 gas monitoring. Towards the end of August thermal measurements showed for the first time the presence of new thermal anomalies (13.5 to 16.3 °C) located in the crevices of the N glaciers, at the same time fumarolic gases were observed coming out from those fractures. On a flight made on September 3, the presence of water coming out from the basal fronts of the northern glaciers was clearly observed and the formation of narrow streams of water running downslope, while it was evident the appearance of countless new crevices in the majority of glacier ends, but also new cracks and rockslides on the upper flanks. All this led to the conclusion that an abnormal process was producing the melting of the glaciers around the volcano. Starting on September it was possible to observe the presence of small secondary lahars descending several streams and we estimated that many of them are due to increased glacier melting. Later

  12. Some notes on the behaviour of tropical glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available QUELQUES OBSERVATIONS SUR LE COMPORTEMENT DES GLACIERS TROPICAUX. Le fait qu’il soit possible sous les Tropiques de tirer des conclusions quasi immédiates sur le climat à partir des fluctuations des glaciers, en raison du caractère relativement homogène des masses d’air, rend les recherches glaciologiques dans ces régions particulièrement importantes. Une des caractéristiques du climat tropical est l’absence de variations thermiques saisonnières significatives. En tenant compte de ce fait, on évoque la relation climat-glacier sous deux de ses aspects : a la sensibilité de la ligne d’équilibre (ELA aux variations climatiques, et b la réponse correspondante des langues glaciaires. On discute de ces aspects par comparaison avec les conditions rencontrées dans les Alpes. La discussion est fondée sur un modèle de gradient vertical du bilan de masse (VGB. Comparée avec les glaciers des latitudes moyennes, la ELA réagit généralement de façon moins sensible, mais cependant plus fortement à un changement de température. Les langues, comme les petits glaciers réagissent de façon sensible à une ablation croissante. Les réponses à des influences dynamiques à long terme sont peu significatives. OBSERVACIONES SOBRE EL COMPORTAMIENTO DE LOS GLACIARES TROPICALES. El hecho de que se pueda llegar en los Trópicos a una conclusión casi inmediata sobre la evolución climática a partir de las fluctuaciones glaciares, debido al carácter relativamente homogéneo de las masas de aire, confiere a los estudios glaciológicos en esas regiones una grande importancia. Una de las características del clima tropical es la ausencia de variación térmica estacional significativa. Bajo este aspecto general, se trata de dos aspectos de la relación clima-glaciar: a la sensibilidad de la altitud de la línea de equilibrio glaciar (ELA a cambios climáticos y b la reacción correspondiente de las lenguas glaciares. Ambos aspectos son discutidos

  13. Methods for Automating Analysis of Glacier Morphology for Regional Modelling: Centerlines, Extensions, and Elevation Bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viger, R. J.; Van Beusekom, A. E.

    2016-12-01

    The treatment of glaciers in modeling requires information about their shape and extent. This presentation discusses new methods and their application in a new glacier-capable variant of the USGS PRMS model, a physically-based, spatially distributed daily time-step model designed to simulate the runoff and evolution of glaciers through time. In addition to developing parameters describing PRMS land surfaces (hydrologic response units, HRUs), several of the analyses and products are likely of interest to cryospheric science community in general. The first method is a (fully automated) variation of logic previously presented in the literature for definition of the glacier centerline. Given that the surface of a glacier might be convex, using traditional topographic analyses based on a DEM to trace a path down the glacier is not reliable. Instead a path is derived based on a cost function. Although only a single path is presented in our results, the method can be easily modified to delineate a branched network of centerlines for each glacier. The second method extends the glacier terminus downslope by an arbitrary distance, according to local surface topography. This product is can be used to explore possible, if unlikely, scenarios under which glacier area grows. More usefully, this method can be used to approximate glacier extents from previous years without needing historical imagery. The final method presents an approach for segmenting the glacier into altitude-based HRUs. Successful integration of this information with traditional approaches for discretizing the non-glacierized portions of a basin requires several additional steps. These include synthesizing the glacier centerline network with one developed with a traditional DEM analysis, ensuring that flow can be routed under and beyond glaciers to a basin outlet. Results are presented based on analysis of the Copper River Basin, Alaska.

  14. Measuring past glacier fluctuations from historic photographs geolocated using Structure from Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargo, L.; Anderson, B.; Horgan, H. J.; Mackintosh, A.; Lorrey, A.; Thornton, M.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying glacier fluctuations is important for understanding how the cryosphere responds to climate variability and change. Photographs of past ice extents have become iconic images of climate change, but until now incorporating these images into quantitative estimates of glacier change has been problematic. We present a new method to quantitatively measure past glacier fluctuations from historic images. The method uses a large set of modern geolocated photographs and Structure from Motion (SfM) to calculate the camera parameters for the historic images, including the location from which they were taken. We initially apply this method to a small maritime New Zealand glacier (Brewster Glacier, 44°S, 2 km2), and quantify annual equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) and length changes from historic oblique aerial photographs (1981 - 2017). Results show that Brewster has retreated 364 ± 12 m since 1981 and, using independent field measurements of terminus positions (2005 - 2014), we show that this SfM-derived length record accurately captures glacier change. We calculate the uncertainties associated with this method using known coordinates of bedrock features surrounding the glacier. Mean uncertainties in the ELA and length records are 7 m and 11 m, respectively. In addition to Brewster, 49 other New Zealand glaciers have been monitored by aerial photographs since 1978. However, the length records for these glaciers only include years of relative advance or retreat, and no length changes have been quantified. We will ultimately apply this method to all 50 glaciers, expanding the database of New Zealand glacier fluctuations that until now included only a few glaciers. This method can be further applied to any glacier with historic images, and can be used to measure past changes in glacier width, area, and surface elevation in addition to ELA and length.

  15. Predicting Surface Runoff from Catchment to Large Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxia Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Predicting surface runoff from catchment to large region is a fundamental and challenging task in hydrology. This paper presents a comprehensive review for various studies conducted for improving runoff predictions from catchment to large region in the last several decades. This review summarizes the well-established methods and discusses some promising approaches from the following four research fields: (1 modeling catchment, regional and global runoff using lumped conceptual rainfall-runoff models, distributed hydrological models, and land surface models, (2 parameterizing hydrological models in ungauged catchments, (3 improving hydrological model structure, and (4 using new remote sensing precipitation data.

  16. Conditional flood frequency and catchment state: a simulation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brettschneider, Marco; Bourgin, François; Merz, Bruno; Andreassian, Vazken; Blaquiere, Simon

    2017-04-01

    Catchments have memory and the conditional flood frequency distribution for a time period ahead can be seen as non-stationary: it varies with the catchment state and climatic factors. From a risk management perspective, understanding the link of conditional flood frequency to catchment state is a key to anticipate potential periods of higher flood risk. Here, we adopt a simulation approach to explore the link between flood frequency obtained by continuous rainfall-runoff simulation and the initial state of the catchment. The simulation chain is based on i) a three state rainfall generator applied at the catchment scale, whose parameters are estimated for each month, and ii) the GR4J lumped rainfall-runoff model, whose parameters are calibrated with all available data. For each month, a large number of stochastic realizations of the continuous rainfall generator for the next 12 months are used as inputs for the GR4J model in order to obtain a large number of stochastic realizations for the next 12 months. This process is then repeated for 50 different initial states of the soil moisture reservoir of the GR4J model and for all the catchments. Thus, 50 different conditional flood frequency curves are obtained for the 50 different initial catchment states. We will present an analysis of the link between the catchment states, the period of the year and the strength of the conditioning of the flood frequency compared to the unconditional flood frequency. A large sample of diverse catchments in France will be used.

  17. Earth's Climate History from Glaciers and Ice Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Lonnie

    2013-03-01

    Glaciers serve both as recorders and early indicators of climate change. Over the past 35 years our research team has recovered climatic and environmental histories from ice cores drilled in both Polar Regions and from low to mid-latitude, high-elevation ice fields. Those ice core -derived proxy records extending back 25,000 years have made it possible to compare glacial stage conditions in the Tropics with those in the Polar Regions. High-resolution records of δ18O (in part a temperature proxy) demonstrate that the current warming at high elevations in the mid- to lower latitudes is unprecedented for the last two millennia, although at many sites the early Holocene was warmer than today. Remarkable similarities between changes in the highland and coastal cultures of Peru and regional climate variability, especially precipitation, imply a strong connection between prehistoric human activities and regional climate. Ice cores retrieved from shrinking glaciers around the world confirm their continuous existence for periods ranging from hundreds to thousands of years, suggesting that current climatological conditions in those regions today are different from those under which these ice fields originated and have been sustained. The ongoing widespread melting of high-elevation glaciers and ice caps, particularly in low to middle latitudes, provides strong evidence that a large-scale, pervasive and, in some cases, rapid change in Earth's climate system is underway. Observations of glacier shrinkage during the 20th and 21st century girdle the globe from the South American Andes, the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro (Tanzania, Africa) and glaciers near Puncak Jaya, Indonesia (New Guinea). The history and fate of these ice caps, told through the adventure, beauty and the scientific evidence from some of world's most remote mountain tops, provide a global perspective for contemporary climate. NSF Paleoclimate Program

  18. Spatial and temporal variations in glacier hydrology on Storglaciaeren, Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove

    2009-06-01

    The aim of the current research project was to provide a framework of real conditions within which to interpret theory and extrapolate likely conditions beneath a future ice sheet over Fennoscandia. The purpose of this report is to summarize the experimental work on glacier hydrology and basal hydraulic conditions performed on Storglaciaeren, northern Sweden, during the years 1990-2006. Surface fed subglacial hydrological systems are extremely dynamic because the input rates of rain and temperature-controlled surface melt fluctuate, and the geometry of flow paths is constantly changing due to ice deformation which tends to open and close the flow paths. The hydrological system of a glacier is quite unusual because since liquid water flows through conduits made of its solid phase (ice). Understanding the expected dynamic range of a glacier's hydrological system is best studied by in situ measurements. The processes studied on Storglaciaeren can be expected to apply to ice sheet scale, albeit on different spatial scales. Since Storglaciaeren is a polythermal glacier with a large fraction of ice below freezing and at the melting point and with a surface-fed hydrological system of conduits and tunnels, results apply to the lower elevation regions where the surface is composed of ice (ablation zone) rather than composed of snow (accumulation zone) found at higher elevations of the glaciers and ice sheets, Therefore, our results apply to the ablation zone of the past Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. In this report we discuss the measurements made to assess the subglacial conditions that provide a potential analogue for conditions under the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. For this purpose field work was performed on from 2003 to 2006 yielding subglacial water pressure measurements. We have included a large quantity of unpublished data from Storglaciaeren from different research projects conducted since 1990. Together these data provide a picture of the temporal and spatial water

  19. Spatial and temporal variations in glacier hydrology on Storglaciaeren, Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter (Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden)); Naeslund, Jens-Ove (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden))

    2009-06-15

    The aim of the current research project was to provide a framework of real conditions within which to interpret theory and extrapolate likely conditions beneath a future ice sheet over Fennoscandia. The purpose of this report is to summarize the experimental work on glacier hydrology and basal hydraulic conditions performed on Storglaciaeren, northern Sweden, during the years 1990-2006. Surface fed subglacial hydrological systems are extremely dynamic because the input rates of rain and temperature-controlled surface melt fluctuate, and the geometry of flow paths is constantly changing due to ice deformation which tends to open and close the flow paths. The hydrological system of a glacier is quite unusual because since liquid water flows through conduits made of its solid phase (ice). Understanding the expected dynamic range of a glacier's hydrological system is best studied by in situ measurements. The processes studied on Storglaciaeren can be expected to apply to ice sheet scale, albeit on different spatial scales. Since Storglaciaeren is a polythermal glacier with a large fraction of ice below freezing and at the melting point and with a surface-fed hydrological system of conduits and tunnels, results apply to the lower elevation regions where the surface is composed of ice (ablation zone) rather than composed of snow (accumulation zone) found at higher elevations of the glaciers and ice sheets, Therefore, our results apply to the ablation zone of the past Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. In this report we discuss the measurements made to assess the subglacial conditions that provide a potential analogue for conditions under the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet. For this purpose field work was performed on from 2003 to 2006 yielding subglacial water pressure measurements. We have included a large quantity of unpublished data from Storglaciaeren from different research projects conducted since 1990. Together these data provide a picture of the temporal and spatial water

  20. Novel sedimentological fingerprints link shifting depositional processes to Holocene climate transitions in East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem G. M.; Rea, Brice; Spagnolo, Matteo; Roerdink, Desiree L.; Jørgensen, Steffen L.; Bakke, Jostein

    2018-05-01

    The Arctic warms faster than any other region of our planet. Besides melting glaciers, thawing permafrost and decreasing sea-ice, this amplified response affects earth surface processes. This geomorphological expression of climate change may alter landscapes and increase the frequency and magnitude of geohazards like floods or mass-movements. Beyond the short span of sparse monitoring time series, geological archives provide a valuable long-term context for future risk assessment. Lake sediment sequences are particularly promising in this respect as continuous recorders of surface process change. Over the past decade, the emergence of new techniques that characterize depositional signatures in more detail has enhanced this potential. Here, we present a well-dated Holocene-length lake sediment sequence from Ammassalik Island on southeast Greenland. This area is particularly sensitive to regional shifts in the Arctic climate system due to its location near the sea-ice limit, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the convergence of polar and Atlantic waters. The expression of Holocene change is fingerprinted using physical (grain size, organic content, density), visual (3-D Computed Tomography) and geochemical (X-Ray Fluorescence, X-Ray Diffraction) evidence. We show that three sharp transitions characterize the Holocene evolution of Ymer Lake. Between 10 and 9.5 cal. ka BP, rapid local glacier loss from the lake catchment culminated in an outburst flood. Following a quiescent Holocene climatic optimum, Neoglacial cooling, lengthening lake ice cover and shifting wind patterns prompted in-lake avalanching of sediments from 4.2 cal. ka BP onwards. Finally, glaciers reformed in the catchment around 1.2 cal. ka BP. The timing of these shifts is consistent with the regional expression of deglaciation, Neoglacial cooling and Little Ice Age-type glacier growth, respectively. The novel multi-proxy approach applied in this study rigorously links depositional sediment signatures to

  1. Catchment-scale evaluation of pollution potential of urban snow at two residential catchments in southern Finland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillanpää, Nora; Koivusalo, Harri

    2013-01-01

    Despite the crucial role of snow in the hydrological cycle in cold climate conditions, monitoring studies of urban snow quality often lack discussions about the relevance of snow in the catchment-scale runoff management. In this study, measurements of snow quality were conducted at two residential catchments in Espoo, Finland, simultaneously with continuous runoff measurements. The results of the snow quality were used to produce catchment-scale estimates of areal snow mass loads (SML). Based on the results, urbanization reduced areal snow water equivalent but increased pollutant accumulation in snow: SMLs in a medium-density residential catchment were two- to four-fold higher in comparison with a low-density residential catchment. The main sources of pollutants were related to vehicular traffic and road maintenance, but also pet excrement increased concentrations to a high level. Ploughed snow can contain 50% of the areal pollutant mass stored in snow despite its small surface area within a catchment.

  2. Modeled and measured glacier change and related glaciological, hydrological, and meteorological conditions at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, balance and water years 2006 and 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.

    2010-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance years 2006 and 2007. Mass balances were computed with assistance from a new model that was based on the works of other glacier researchers. The model, which was developed for mass balance practitioners, coupled selected meteorological and glaciological data to systematically estimate daily mass balance at selected glacier sites. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated approximately average to above average winter snow packs during 2006 and 2007. Correspondingly, the balance years 2006 and 2007 maximum winter snow mass balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.61 and 3.41 meters water equivalent, respectively, were approximately equal to or more positive (larger) than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2006 glacier summer balance, -4.20 meters water equivalent, was among the four most negative since 1959. The 2007 glacier summer balance, -3.63 meters water equivalent, was among the 14 most negative since 1959. The glacier continued to lose mass during 2006 and 2007, as it commonly has since 1953, but the loss was much smaller during 2007 than during 2006. The 2006 glacier net balance, -1.59 meters water equivalent, was 1.02 meters water equivalent more negative (smaller) than the average during 1953-2005. The 2007 glacier net balance, -0.22 meters water equivalent, was 0.37 meters water equivalent less negative (larger) than the average during 1953-2006. The 2006 accumulation area ratio was less than 0.10, owing to isolated patches of accumulated snow that endured the 2006 summer season. The 2006 equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The 2007 accumulation area ratio and equilibrium line altitude were 0.60 and 1,880 meters, respectively. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The

  3. The Neoglacial landscape and human history of Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, southeast Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, C.; Streveler, G.; Post, A.; Monteith, D.; Howell, W.

    2009-01-01

    The Neoglacial landscape of the Huna Tlingit homeland in Glacier Bay is recreated through new interpretations of the lower Bay's fjordal geomorphology, late Quaternary geology and its ethnographic landscape. Geological interpretation is enhanced by 38 radiocarbon dates compiled from published and unpublished sources, as well as 15 newly dated samples. Neoglacial changes in ice positions, outwash and lake extents are reconstructed for c. 5500?????"200 cal. yr ago, and portrayed as a set of three landscapes at 1600?????"1000, 500?????"300 and 300?????"200 cal. yr ago. This history reveals episodic ice advance towards the Bay mouth, transforming it from a fjordal seascape into a terrestrial environment dominated by glacier outwash sediments and ice-marginal lake features. This extensive outwash plain was building in lower Glacier Bay by at least 1600 cal. yr ago, and had filled the lower bay by 500 cal. yr ago. The geologic landscape evokes the human-described landscape found in the ethnographic literature. Neoglacial climate and landscape dynamism created difficult but endurable environmental conditions for the Huna Tlingit people living there. Choosing to cope with environmental hardship was perhaps preferable to the more severely deteriorating conditions outside of the Bay as well as conflicts with competing groups. The central portion of the outwash plain persisted until it was overridden by ice moving into Icy Strait between AD 1724?????"1794. This final ice advance was very abrupt after a prolonged still-stand, evicting the Huna Tlingit from their Glacier Bay homeland. ?? 2009 SAGE Publications.

  4. Bacteria at glacier surfaces: microbial community structures in debris covered glaciers and cryoconites in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzoni, Roberto; Franzetti, Andrea; Ambrosini, Roberto; D'Agata, Carlo; Senese, Antonella; Minora, Umberto; Tagliaferri, Ilario; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina

    2014-05-01

    Supraglacial debris has an important role in the glacier energy budget and has strong influence on the glacial ecosystem. Sediment derives generally from rock inputs from nesting rockwalls and are abundant and continuous at the surface of debris-covered glaciers (i.e. DCGs; glaciers where the ablation area is mainly covered by rock debris) and sparse and fine on debris-free glaciers (DFGs). Recently, evidence for significant tongue darkening on retreating debris-free glaciers has been drawing increasing attention. Fine particles, the cryoconite, are locally abundant and may form cryoconite holes that are water-filled depressions on the surface of DFGs that form when a thin layer of cryoconite is heated by the sun and melts the underlying ice. There is increasing evidence that cryoconite holes also host highly diverse microbial communities and can significantly contribute to global carbon cycle. However, there is almost no study on microbial communities of the debris cover of DCGs and there is a lack of data from the temporal evolution of the microbial communities in the cryoconites. To fill these gaps in our knowledge we characterized the supraglacial debris of two Italian DCGs and we investigated the temporal evolution of microbial communities on cryoconite holes in DFG. We used the Illumina technology to analyse the V5 and V6 hypervariable regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplified from samples collected distances from the terminus of two DCGs (Miage and Belvedere Glaciers - Western Italian Alps). Heterotrophic taxa dominated bacterial communities, whose structure changed during downwards debris transport. Organic carbon of these recently exposed substrates therefore is probably provided more by allochthonous deposition of organic matter than by primary production by autotrophic organisms. We used ARISA fingerprinting and quantitative PCR to describe the structure and the evolution of the microbial communities and to estimate the number of the total

  5. Hydrology, microbiology and carbon cycling at a high Arctic polythermal glacier, (John Evans Glacier, Ellesmere Island, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, Mark Leslie

    Analysis of the hydrology, hydrochemistry and microbiology at polythermal John Evans Glacier and geochemical and isotopic data from Haut Glacier d'Arolla demonstrates that certain subglacial chemical weathering processes are microbially mediated. Subglacial drainage is likely an annual occurrence beneath John Evans Glacier and solute rich subglacial waters indicate over winter storage at the glacier bed. Subglacial microbial populations are also present, and are viable under simulated near in situ conditions at 0.3°C. This suggests that temperate subglacial environments at a polythermal glacier, which are isolated by cold ice above and around them, provide a viable habitat for life where basal water and organic carbon are present throughout the year. Thus, a subglacial microbial ecosystem based upon legacy carbon, (from old soils or surface inputs) rather than primary production may exist, where redox processes are a key component, and seasonal anoxia may occur. The existence of anoxic environments is supported by the presence of strictly anaerobic bacteria (sulphate reducing bacteria and methanogens) in the basal sediments---which are viable in culture at 4°C---and also argues that these bacteria are not washed in with oxygenated surface meltwaters, but are present in the subglacial environment. During the summer meltseason there is a large input of surficial waters to the subglacial system and water residence times are drastically reduced. Hence, kinetic weathering processes dominate, resulting in light delta 13C-DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in glacial runoff, as verified by experimental work on CaCO3 and John Evans Glacier sediments. The experiments demonstrate kinetic bedrock fractionation (KBF) during carbonate hydrolysis and that kinetic fractionation of CO2 (KFC) is proportional to the rate of CO2 draw down during the carbonation of carbonates. This results in significantly depleted delta13C-DIC values (≤-16 ‰) relative to the bedrock carbonate

  6. Hydrologic controls on radiogenic Sr in meltwater from an alpine glacier system: Athabasca Glacier, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, C.A.; Stevenson, E.I.; Aciego, S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Filtered subglacial meltwater samples were collected daily during the onset of melt (May) and peak melt (July) over the 2011 melt season at the Athabasca Glacier (Alberta, Canada) and analyzed for strontium-87/strontium-86 ("8"7Sr/"8"6Sr) isotopic composition to infer the evolution of subglacial weathering processes. Both the underlying bedrock composition and subglacial water–rock interaction time are the primary influences on meltwater "8"7Sr/"8"6Sr. The Athabasca Glacier is situated atop Middle Cambrian carbonate bedrock that also contains silicate minerals. The length of time that subglacial meltwater interacts with the underlying bedrock and substrate is a predominant determining factor in solute concentration. Over the course of the melt season, increasing trends in Ca/K and Ca/Mg correspond to overall decreasing trends in "8"7Sr/"8"6Sr, which indicate a shift in weathering processes from the presence of silicate weathering to primarily carbonate weathering. Early in the melt season, rates of carbonate dissolution slow as meltwater approaches saturation with respect to calcite and dolomite, corresponding to an increase in silicate weathering that includes Sr-rich silicate minerals, and an increase in meltwater "8"7Sr/"8"6Sr. However, carbonate minerals are preferentially weathered in unsaturated waters. During the warmest part of a melt season the discharged meltwater is under saturated, causing an increase in carbonate weathering and a decrease in the radiogenic Sr signal. Likewise, larger fraction contributions of meltwater from glacial ice corresponds to lower "8"7Sr/"8"6Sr values, as the meltwater has lower water–rock interaction times in the subglacial system. These results indicate that although weathering of Sr-containing silicate minerals occurs in carbonate dominated glaciated terrains, the continual contribution of new meltwater permits the carbonate weathering signal to dominate. - Highlights: • Glacial meltwater "8"7Sr/"8"6Sr used to

  7. Post-Little Landscape and Glacier Change in Glacier Bay National Park: Documenting More than a Century of Variability with Repeat Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, B. F.; Karpilo, R. D.; Pranger, H. S.

    2004-12-01

    Historical photographs, many dating from the late-19th century are being used to document landscape and glacier change in the Glacier Bay area. More than 350 pre-1980 photographs that show the Glacier Bay landscape and glacier termini positions have been acquired by the authors. Beginning in 2003, approximately 150 of the sites from which historical photographs had been made were revisited. At each site, elevation and latitude and longitude were recorded using WAAS-enabled GPS. Compass bearings to photographic targets were also determined. Finally, using the historical photographs as a composition guide, new photographs were exposed using digital imaging and film cameras. In the laboratory, 21st century images and photographs were compared with corresponding historical photographs to determine, and to better understand rates, timing, and mechanics of Glacier Bay landscape evolution, as well as to clarify the response of specific glaciers to changing climate and environment. The comparisons clearly document rapid vegetative succession throughout the bay; continued retreat of larger glaciers in the East Arm of the bay; a complex pattern of readvance and retreat of the larger glaciers in the West Arm of the bay, coupled with short-term fluctuations of its smaller glaciers; transitions from tidewater termini to stagnant, debris-covered termini; fiord sedimentation and erosion; development of outwash and talus features; and many other dramatic changes. As might be expected, 100-year-plus photo comparisons show significant changes throughout the Glacier Bay landscape, especially at the southern ends of East and West Arms. Surprisingly, recent changes, occurring since the late-1970s were equally dramatic, especially documenting the rapid thinning and retreat of glaciers in upper Muir Inlet.

  8. Do morphometric parameters and geological conditions determine chemistry of glacier surface ice? Spatial distribution of contaminants present in the surface ice of Spitsbergen glaciers (European Arctic).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Sara; Gajek, Grzegorz; Chmiel, Stanisław; Polkowska, Żaneta

    2016-12-01

    The chemism of the glaciers is strongly determined by long-distance transport of chemical substances and their wet and dry deposition on the glacier surface. This paper concerns spatial distribution of metals, ions, and dissolved organic carbon, as well as the differentiation of physicochemical parameters (pH, electrical conductivity) determined in ice surface samples collected from four Arctic glaciers during the summer season in 2012. The studied glaciers represent three different morphological types: ground based (Blomlibreen and Scottbreen), tidewater which evolved to ground based (Renardbreen), and typical tidewater glacier (Recherchebreen). All of the glaciers are functioning as a glacial system and hence are subject to the same physical processes (melting, freezing) and the process of ice flowing resulting from the cross-impact force of gravity and topographic conditions. According to this hypothesis, the article discusses the correlation between morphometric parameters, changes in mass balance, geological characteristics of the glaciers and the spatial distribution of analytes on the surface of ice. A strong correlation (r = 0.63) is recorded between the aspect of glaciers and values of pH and ions, whereas dissolved organic carbon (DOC) depends on the minimum elevation of glaciers (r = 0.55) and most probably also on the development of the accumulation area. The obtained results suggest that although certain morphometric parameters largely determine the spatial distribution of analytes, also the geology of the bed of glaciers strongly affects the chemism of the surface ice of glaciers in the phase of strong recession.

  9. Using the nonlinear aquifer storage-discharge relationship to simulate the base flow of glacier- and snowmelt-dominated basins in northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, R.; Luo, Y.

    2013-09-01

    Base flow is an important component in hydrological modeling. This process is usually modeled by using the linear aquifer storage-discharge relation approach, although the outflow from groundwater aquifers is nonlinear. To identify the accuracy of base flow estimates in rivers dominated by snowmelt and/or glacier melt in arid and cold northwestern China, a nonlinear storage-discharge relationship for use in SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) modeling was developed and applied to the Manas River basin in the Tian Shan Mountains. Linear reservoir models and a digital filter program were used for comparisons. Meanwhile, numerical analysis of recession curves from 78 river gauge stations revealed variation in the parameters of the nonlinear relationship. It was found that the nonlinear reservoir model can improve the streamflow simulation, especially for low-flow period. The higher Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, logarithmic efficiency, and volumetric efficiency, and lower percent bias were obtained when compared to the one-linear reservoir approach. The parameter b of the aquifer storage-discharge function varied mostly between 0.0 and 0.1, which is much smaller than the suggested value of 0.5. The coefficient a of the function is related to catchment properties, primarily the basin and glacier areas.

  10. Using the nonlinear aquifer storage–discharge relationship to simulate the base flow of glacier- and snowmelt-dominated basins in northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Gan

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Base flow is an important component in hydrological modeling. This process is usually modeled by using the linear aquifer storage–discharge relation approach, although the outflow from groundwater aquifers is nonlinear. To identify the accuracy of base flow estimates in rivers dominated by snowmelt and/or glacier melt in arid and cold northwestern China, a nonlinear storage–discharge relationship for use in SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool modeling was developed and applied to the Manas River basin in the Tian Shan Mountains. Linear reservoir models and a digital filter program were used for comparisons. Meanwhile, numerical analysis of recession curves from 78 river gauge stations revealed variation in the parameters of the nonlinear relationship. It was found that the nonlinear reservoir model can improve the streamflow simulation, especially for low-flow period. The higher Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency, logarithmic efficiency, and volumetric efficiency, and lower percent bias were obtained when compared to the one-linear reservoir approach. The parameter b of the aquifer storage–discharge function varied mostly between 0.0 and 0.1, which is much smaller than the suggested value of 0.5. The coefficient a of the function is related to catchment properties, primarily the basin and glacier areas.

  11. Lithogenic and cosmogenic tracers in catchment hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nimz, G.J.

    1995-01-01

    A variety of physical processes affect solute concentrations within catchment waters. The isotopic compositions of the solutes can indicate which processes have determined the observed concentrations. These processes together constitute the physical history of the water, which is one of the primary concerns in hydrology. Many groundwater solutes are derived as a result of interaction between the water and the rock and/or soil within the system. These are termed open-quotes lithogenicclose quotes solutes. The isotopic compositions of these solutes provide information regarding rock-water interactions. Many other solutes have their isotopic compositions determined both internally and externally to the catchment system. Important members of this group include solutes that have isotopic compositions produced by atomic particle interactions with other nuclides. The source of the atomic particles can be cosmic radiation (producing open-quotes cosmogenicclose quotes nuclides in the atmosphere and land surface), anthropogenic nuclear reactions (producing open-quotes thermonuclearclose quotes nuclides), or radioactive and fission decay of naturally-occurring elements, such as U and Th (producing open-quotes in-situclose quotes lithogenic nuclides in the deep subsurface). Current language usage often combines all of the atomic particle-produced nuclides under the heading open-quotes cosmogenic nuclidesclose quotes, and for simplicity we will often follow that usage, although always clearly indicating which variety is being discussed. This paper addresses the processes that affect the lithogenic and cosmogenic solute compositions in groundwater, and how these compositions can therefore be used in integrative ways to understand the physical history of groundwater within a catchment system

  12. Lithogenic and cosmogenic tracers in catchment hydrology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nimz, G.J.

    1995-01-01

    A variety of physical processes affect solute concentrations within catchment waters. The isotopic compositions of the solutes can indicate which processes have determined the observed concentrations. These processes together constitute the physical history of the water, which is one of the primary concerns in hydrology. Many groundwater solutes are derived as a result of interaction between the water and the rock and/or soil within the system. These are termed {open_quotes}lithogenic{close_quotes} solutes. The isotopic compositions of these solutes provide information regarding rock-water interactions. Many other solutes have their isotopic compositions determined both internally and externally to the catchment system. Important members of this group include solutes that have isotopic compositions produced by atomic particle interactions with other nuclides. The source of the atomic particles can be cosmic radiation (producing {open_quotes}cosmogenic{close_quotes} nuclides in the atmosphere and land surface), anthropogenic nuclear reactions (producing {open_quotes}thermonuclear{close_quotes} nuclides), or radioactive and fission decay of naturally-occurring elements, such as U and Th (producing {open_quotes}in-situ{close_quotes} lithogenic nuclides in the deep subsurface). Current language usage often combines all of the atomic particle-produced nuclides under the heading {open_quotes}cosmogenic nuclides{close_quotes}, and for simplicity we will often follow that usage, although always clearly indicating which variety is being discussed. This paper addresses the processes that affect the lithogenic and cosmogenic solute compositions in groundwater, and how these compositions can therefore be used in integrative ways to understand the physical history of groundwater within a catchment system.

  13. Runoff formation in a small mountainous catchment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tesař, Miroslav; Šír, Miloslav; Lichner, Ľ.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 2 (2003), s. 265-270 ISSN 1335-6291 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3060001; GA AV ČR IBS2060104; GA MŽP SE/610/3/00 Grant - others:Slovak Scientific Grant Agency(SK) 2/7065/20; 5th EC Framework Programme(XE) IST-2000-28084 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z2060917 Keywords : hydrology * rainfall-runoff relationship * small mountainous catchment Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology

  14. Effect of Topography on Subglacial Discharge and Submarine Melting During Tidewater Glacier Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, J. M.; Carroll, D.

    2018-01-01

    To first order, subglacial discharge depends on climate, which determines precipitation fluxes and glacier mass balance, and the rate of glacier volume change. For tidewater glaciers, large and rapid changes in glacier volume can occur independent of climate change due to strong glacier dynamic feedbacks. Using an idealized tidewater glacier model, we show that these feedbacks produce secular variations in subglacial discharge that are influenced by subglacial topography. Retreat along retrograde bed slopes (into deep water) results in rapid surface lowering and coincident increases in subglacial discharge. Consequently, submarine melting of glacier termini, which depends on subglacial discharge and ocean thermal forcing, also increases during retreat into deep water. Both subglacial discharge and submarine melting subsequently decrease as glacier termini retreat out of deep water and approach new steady state equilibria. In our simulations, subglacial discharge reached peaks that were 6-17% higher than preretreat values, with the highest values occurring during retreat from narrow sills, and submarine melting increased by 14% for unstratified fjords and 51% for highly stratified fjords. Our results therefore indicate that submarine melting acts in concert with iceberg calving to cause tidewater glacier termini to be unstable on retrograde beds. The full impact of submarine melting on tidewater glacier stability remains uncertain, however, due to poor understanding of the coupling between submarine melting and iceberg calving.

  15. Estimation of Shie Glacier Surface Movement Using Offset Tracking Technique with Cosmo-Skymed Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Q.; Zhou, W.; Fan, J.; Yuan, W.; Li, H.; Sousa, J. J.; Guo, Z.

    2017-09-01

    Movement is one of the most important characteristics of glaciers which can cause serious natural disasters. For this reason, monitoring this massive blocks is a crucial task. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) can operate all day in any weather conditions and the images acquired by SAR contain intensity and phase information, which are irreplaceable advantages in monitoring the surface movement of glaciers. Moreover, a variety of techniques like DInSAR and offset tracking, based on the information of SAR images, could be applied to measure the movement. Sangwang lake, a glacial lake in the Himalayas, has great potentially danger of outburst. Shie glacier is situated at the upstream of the Sangwang lake. Hence, it is significant to monitor Shie glacier surface movement to assess the risk of outburst. In this paper, 6 high resolution COSMO-SkyMed images spanning from August to December, 2016 are applied with offset tracking technique to estimate the surface movement of Shie glacier. The maximum velocity of Shie glacier surface movement is 51 cm/d, which was observed at the end of glacier tongue, and the velocity is correlated with the change of elevation. Moreover, the glacier surface movement in summer is faster than in winter and the velocity decreases as the local temperature decreases. Based on the above conclusions, the glacier may break off at the end of tongue in the near future. The movement results extracted in this paper also illustrate the advantages of high resolution SAR images in monitoring the surface movement of small glaciers.

  16. Measurement of glacier velocity at Pik Lenin, Tajikistan, by feature tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, S.; Ghosh, S. K.; Buchroithner, M. F.

    2014-11-01

    Glaciers, especially in mountain area are sensitive indicators of climate fluctuations and also contribute to present rates of sea level rise. In Central Asia, these glaciers are the primary resource for fresh water. Understanding the seasonal behavior of these glaciers would help to make efficient use of the available water reservoir. Different methods have been employed to study glacier displacements in past. The conventional survey techniques are very cost-intensive and highly depend on accessibility to high mountain glaciers also directs us to look for new ways to study these areas. Here remote sensing comes in handy with freely available data and a good coverage with high spatial and temporal resolution. Optical satellite imagery, available free can be effectively used for research purpose. The glacier in this region fed lake Karakul (380 km2), the largest Lake in Tajikistan. The objective is to study the displacement tendency of the Glacier in Pik Lenin area using Landsat 7 dataset. Normalized cross correlation algorithm has been implemented via CIAS to estimate the motion of glacier surface. A number of combination of reference block and search area size were tested for 30 m resolution dataset. As a result the specifications: reference block size of 15 pixels and search area size of 10 pixels was found out as the best set of parameters and considered for further processing. The study derives a reliable set of data depicting the velocities in the glacier which after post processing shows peak velocity of 121 m/y of the glacier.

  17. Glacier Monitoring and Capacity Building: Important Ingredients for Sustainable Mountain Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel U. Nussbaumer

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Glacier observation data from major mountain regions of the world are key to improving our understanding of glacier changes: they deliver fundamental baseline information for climatological, hydrological, and hazard assessments. In many mountain ecosystems, as well as in the adjacent lowlands, glaciers play a crucial role in freshwater provision and regulation. This article first presents the state of the art on glacier monitoring and related strategies within the framework of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G. Both in situ measurements of changes in glacier mass, volume, and length as well as remotely sensed data on glacier extents and changes over entire mountain ranges provide clear indications of climate change. Based on experiences from capacity-building activities undertaken in the Tropical Andes and Central Asia over the past years, we also review the state of the art on institutional capacity in these regions and make further recommendations for sustainable mountain development. The examples from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Kyrgyzstan demonstrate that a sound understanding of measurement techniques and of the purpose of measurements is necessary for successful glacier monitoring. In addition, establishing durable institutions, capacity-building programs, and related funding is necessary to ensure that glacier monitoring is sustainable and maintained in the long term. Therefore, strengthening regional cooperation, collaborating with local scientists and institutions, and enhancing knowledge sharing and dialogue are envisaged within the GTN-G. Finally, glacier monitoring enhances the resilience of the populations that depend on water resources from glacierized mountains or that are affected by hazards related to glacier changes. We therefore suggest that glacier monitoring be included in the development of sustainable adaptation strategies in regions with glaciated mountains.

  18. Hydroclimatic control on suspended sediment dynamics of a regulated Alpine catchment: a conceptual approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Costa

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyse the control of hydroclimatic factors on suspended sediment concentration (SSC in Alpine catchments by differentiating among the potential contributions of erosion and suspended sediment transport driven by erosive rainfall, defined as liquid precipitation over snow-free surfaces, ice melt from glacierized areas, and snowmelt on hillslopes. We account for the potential impact of hydropower by intercepting sediment fluxes originated in areas diverted to hydropower reservoirs, and by considering the contribution of hydropower releases to SSC. We obtain the hydroclimatic variables from daily gridded datasets of precipitation and temperature, implementing a degree-day model to simulate spatially distributed snow accumulation and snow–ice melt. We estimate hydropower releases by a conceptual approach with a unique virtual reservoir regulated on the basis of a target-volume function, representing normal reservoir operating conditions throughout a hydrological year. An Iterative Input Selection algorithm is used to identify the variables with the highest predictive power for SSC, their explained variance, and characteristic time lags. On this basis, we develop a hydroclimatic multivariate rating curve (HMRC which accounts for the contributions of the most relevant hydroclimatic input variables mentioned above. We calibrate the HMRC with a gradient-based nonlinear optimization method and we compare its performance with a traditional discharge-based rating curve. We apply the approach in the upper Rhône Basin, a large Swiss Alpine catchment heavily regulated by hydropower. Our results show that the three hydroclimatic processes – erosive rainfall, ice melt, and snowmelt – are significant predictors of mean daily SSC, while hydropower release does not have a significant explanatory power for SSC. The characteristic time lags of the hydroclimatic variables correspond to the typical flow concentration times of the basin. Despite not

  19. The retreat of the world's mountain glaciers during recent decades; Le retrait des glaciers de montagne dans le monde au cours des dernieres decennies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Francou, B. [Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), Mission de Quito, Equateur - LTHE, 38 - Grenoble (France); Vincent, Ch. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UJF, LGGE, 38 - Grenoble (France)

    2009-08-15

    Glaciers have become essential tools for measuring changes in the global environment. Here, we analyze glacier evolution during the last few decades and we wonder whether the observed retreat remains in the range of glacier fluctuations since the mid-Holocene. The main fluctuations experienced by glaciers during the last millenniums, and particularly during the Little Ice Age (-1300 A.D. to {approx}1860 A.D.), are presented succinctly. The recent 1960-2005 period, well documented both by ground and remote sensing observations, shows important disparities between different massifs concerning the timing and the magnitude of glacier fluctuations, which depend on regional climatic conditions. The links between glacier mass balance evolution and climate is clear when approached from an energy balance but the variables commonly considered are only temperature and precipitation. The strong correlation existing between these variables and the mass balance evolution makes it possible to simulate glaciers in the future in function of distinct climatic scenarios. Modeling glacier retreat for the 21. century is an important goal because it will allow the impacts on water resource and sea level to be assessed. (authors)

  20. Bed-Deformation Experiments Beneath a Temperate Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, N. R.; Hooyer, T. S.; Fischer, U. H.; Cohen, D.; Jackson, M.; Moore, P. L.; Lappegard, G.; Kohler, J.

    2002-12-01

    Fast flow of glaciers and genesis of glacial landforms are commonly attributed to shear deformation of subglacial sediment. Although models of this process abound, data gathered subglacially on the kinematics and mechanics of such deformation are difficult to interpret. Major difficulties stem from the necessity of either measuring deformation near glacier margins, where conditions may be abnormal, or at the bottoms of boreholes, where the scope of instrumentation is limited, drilling disturbs sediment, and local boundary conditions are poorly known. A different approach is possible at the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory, where tunnels melted in the ice provide temporary human access to the bed of Engabreen, a temperate outlet glacier of the Svartisen Ice Cap in Norway. A trough (2 m x 1.5 m x 0.5 m deep) was blasted in the rock bed, where the glacier is 220 m thick and sliding at 0.1-0.2 m/d. During two spring field seasons, this trough was filled with 2.5 tons of simulated till. Instruments in the till recorded shear (tiltmeters), volume change, total normal stress, and pore-water pressure as ice moved across the till surface. Pore pressure was brought to near the total normal stress by feeding water to the base of the till with a high-pressure pump, operated in a rock tunnel 4 m below the bed surface. Results illustrate some fundamental aspects of bed deformation. Permanent shear deformation requires low effective normal stress and hence high pore-water pressure, owing to the frictional nature of till. Shear strain generally increases upward in the bed toward the glacier sole, consistent with previous measurements beneath thinner ice at glacier margins. At low effective normal stresses, ice sometimes decouples from underlying till. Overall, bed deformation accounts for 10-35 % of basal motion, although this range excludes shear in the uppermost 0.05 m of till where shear was not measured. Pump tests with durations ranging from seconds to hours highlight the need

  1. Dry calving processes at the ice cliff of an antarctic local glacier: the study case of Strandline Glacier (Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiraglia, C.; Motta, M.; Vassena, G.; Diolaiuti, G.

    2003-04-01

    In Antartic coastal area, where the ice sheet and the large outlet glaciers do not reach the sea and where some rugged mountain chains are often present, many small glaciers can be found. They are the so called local or alpine type glaciers, which have their terminus ground-based such as the real alpine glaciers and rarely reach the main valley floors. They are practically isolated and independent from the supply flowing down from the plateau and their mass balance is mainly controlled by sublimation and aeolic erosion and accumulation. The glaciers closer to the coast are submitted to the melting as well, and when the terminus is cliff-shaped they are also affected by dry calving. The most known and studied Antarctic local glaciers are placed in the Dry Valleys region (Chinn, 1985), but this kind of glaciers is also diffused all along the Northern Victoria Land coastal region (Chinn and others, 1989). Since the first Italian Antarctic expedition (1985), many studies have been carried out on this type of glaciers, which can be usefull for detailed mass balance evaluations and for obtaining information about the effects of the present climatic dynamics on the Antarctic coastal environment (Baroni and Orombelli, 1987; Baroni and others, 1995; Meneghel, 1999; Vassena and others., 2001). The Strandline Glacier (74 41 S; 164 07 E), in particular is a small alpine glacier (0,79 kmq) on the coast of Terra Nova Bay, Northern Victoria Land; it is a cold glacier where accumulation and ablation basins are mainly controlled by wind processes. Its terminus forms in the central part a grounded ice cliff about 30 m high, about 130 m far from the sea. On that glacier mass balance, surface velocity and calving rate were measured. During the southern summer season 2000-2001 many topographycal profiles of the ice cliff were surveyed by using both classical topographical and glaciological methods (total station and stakes) and GPS technique. It was so possible to detect the short term

  2. The 2016 gigantic twin glacier collapses in Tibet: towards an improved understanding of large glacier instabilities and their potential links to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Adrien; Leinss, Silvan; Evans, Steve; Tian, Lide; Kääb, Andreas; Kargel, Jeffrey; Gimbert, Florent; Chao, Wei-An; Gascoin, Simon; Bueler, Yves; Berthier, Etienne; Yao, Tandong; Huggel, Christian; Farinotti, Daniel; Brun, Fanny; Guo, Wanqin; Leonard, Gregory

    2017-04-01

    In northwestern Tibet (34.0°N, 82.2°E) near lake Aru Co, the entire ablation area of an unnamed glacier (Aru-1) suddenly collapsed on 17 July 2016 and transformed into a mass flow that ran out over a distance of over 8 km, killing nine people and hundreds of cattle. Remarkably, a second glacier detachment with similar characteristics (Aru-2) took place 2.6 km south of the July event on 21 September 2016. These two events are unique in several aspects: their massive volumes (66 and 83 Mm3 respectively), the low slope angles ( 200 km h-1) and their close timing within two months. The only similar event currently documented is the 2002 Kolka Glacier mass flow (Caucasus Mountains). The uncommon occurrence of such large glacier failures suggest that such events require very specific conditions that could be linked to glacier thermal regime, bedrock lithology and morphology, geothermal activity or a particular climate setting. Using field and remote sensing observations, retrospective climate analysis, mass balance and thermo-mechanical modeling of the two glaciers in Tibet, we investigate the processes involved in the twin collapses. It appears that both, mostly cold-based glaciers, started to surge about 7-8 years ago, possibly in response to a long period of positive mass balance (1995-2005) followed by a sustained increase of melt water delivery to the glacier bed in the polythermal lower accumulation zone (1995-2016). Inversion of friction conditions at the base of the glacier constrained by surface elevation change rate for both glaciers shows a zone of very low basal friction progressively migrating downward until the final collapse. We interpret this to be the signature of the presence of high-pressure water dammed at the bed by the glacier's frozen periphery and toe. Large areas of low friction at the bed led to high shear stresses along the frozen side walls as evident in surface ice cracking patterns observed on satellite imagery. This process progressively

  3. Seasonal rainfall predictability over the Lake Kariba catchment area

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Muchuru, S

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The Lake Kariba catchment area in southern Africa has one of the most variable climates of any major river basin, with an extreme range of conditions across the catchment and through time. Marked seasonal and interannual fluctuations in rainfall...

  4. Framework for measuring sustainable development in catchment systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walmsley, Jay J

    2002-02-01

    Integrated catchment management represents an approach to managing the resources of a catchment by integrating environmental, economic, and social issues. It is aimed at deriving sustainable benefits for future generations, while protecting natural resources, particularly water, and minimizing possible adverse social, economic, and environmental consequences. Indicators of sustainable development, which summarize information for use in decision-making, are invaluable when trying to assess the diverse, interacting components of catchment processes and resource management actions. The Driving-Forces--Pressure--State--Impact--Response (DPSIR) indicator framework is useful for identifying and developing indicators of sustainable development for catchment management. Driving forces have been identified as the natural conditions occurring in a catchment and the level of development and economic activity. Pressures include the natural and anthropogenic supply of water, water demand, and water pollution. State indicators can be split into those of quantity and those of quality. Impacts include those that affect the ecosystems directly and those that impact the use value of the resource. It core indicators are identified within each of the categories given in the framework, most major catchment-based management issues can be evaluated. This framework is applied to identify key issues in catchment management in South Africa, and develop a set of indicators for evaluating catchments throughout the country.

  5. Measuring the size of an airport's catchment area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lieshout, R.

    2012-01-01

    Although much empirical research exists on the factors that drive passenger airport choice, not much is known about the related topic of airport catchment area size. This paper presents a novel methodology to assess the size of airport catchment areas and the airport’s market shares therein using a

  6. Participatory catchment management: an opportunity for South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Versfeld, DB

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available offer a new opportunity for communities living within these catchments to share their knowledge and to become involved in planning and implementing the management process. This paper discusses the use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in a catchment...

  7. Ice thickness profile surveying with ground penetrating radar at Artesonraju Glacier, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisolm, Rachel; Rabatel, Antoine; McKinney, Daene; Condom, Thomas; Cochacin, Alejo; Davila Roller, Luzmilla

    2014-05-01

    Tropical glaciers are an essential component of the water resource systems in the mountainous regions where they are located, and a warming climate has resulted in the accelerated retreat of Andean glaciers in recent decades. The shrinkage of Andean glaciers influences the flood risk for communities living downstream as new glacial lakes have begun to form at the termini of some glaciers. As these lakes continue to grow in area and volume, they pose an increasing risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Ice thickness measurements have been a key missing link in studying the tropical glaciers in Peru and how climate change is likely to impact glacial melt and the growth of glacial lakes. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has rarely been applied to glaciers in Peru to measure ice thickness, and these measurements can tell us a lot about how a warming climate will affect glaciers in terms of thickness changes. In the upper Paron Valley (Cordillera Blanca, Peru), an emerging lake has begun to form at the terminus of the Artesonraju Glacier, and this lake has key features, including overhanging ice and loose rock likely to create slides, that could trigger a catastrophic GLOF if the lake continues to grow. Because the glacier mass balance and lake mass balance are closely linked, ice thickness measurements and measurements of the bed slope of the Artesonraju Glacier and underlying bedrock can give us an idea of how the lake is likely to evolve in the coming decades. This study presents GPR data taken in July 2013 at the Artesonraju Glacier as part of a collaboration between the Unidad de Glaciologia y Recursos Hidricos (UGRH) of Peru, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) of France and the University of Texas at Austin (UT) of the United States of America. Two different GPR units belonging to UGRH and UT were used for subsurface imaging to create ice thickness profiles and to characterize the total volume of ice in the glacier. A common midpoint

  8. Air temperature, radiation budget and area changes of Quisoquipina glacier in the Cordillera Vilcanota (Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, Wilson; Macedo, Nicolás; Montoya, Nilton; Arias, Sandro; Schauwecker, Simone; Huggel, Christian; Rohrer, Mario; Condom, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    The Peruvian Andes host about 71% of all tropical glaciers. Although several studies have focused on glaciers of the largest glaciered mountain range (Cordillera Blanca), other regions have received little attention to date. In 2011, a new program has been initiated with the aim of monitoring glaciers in the centre and south of Peru. The monitoring program is managed by the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología del Perú (SENAMHI) and it is a joint project together with the Universidad San Antonio Abad de Cusco (UNSAAC) and the Autoridad Nacional del Agua (ANA). In Southern Peru, the Quisoquipina glacier has been selected due to its representativeness for glaciers in the Cordillera Vilcanota considering area, length and orientation. The Cordillera Vilcanota is the second largest mountain range in Peru with a glaciated area of approximately 279 km2 in 2009. Melt water from glaciers in this region is partly used for hydropower in the dry season and for animal breeding during the entire year. Using Landsat 5 images, we could estimate that the area of Quisoquipina glacier has decreased by approximately 11% from 3.66 km2 in 1990 to 3.26 km2 in 2010. This strong decrease is comparable to observations of other tropical glaciers. In 2011, a meteorological station has been installed on the glacier at 5180 m asl., measuring air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, net short and longwave radiation and atmospheric pressure. Here, we present a first analysis of air temperature and the radiation budget at the Quisoquipina glacier for the first three years of measurements. Additionally, we compare the results from Quisoquipina glacier to results obtained by the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) for Zongo glacier (Bolivia) and Antizana glacier (Ecuador). For both, Quisoquipina and Zongo glacier, net shortwave radiation may be the most important energy source, thus indicating the important role of albedo in the energy balance of the glacier

  9. Catchments' hedging strategy on evapotranspiration for climatic variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, W.; Zhang, C.; Li, Y.; Tang, Y.; Wang, D.; Xu, B.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic responses to climate variability and change are important for human society. Here we test the hypothesis that natural catchments utilize hedging strategies for evapotranspiration and water storage carryover with uncertain future precipitation. The hedging strategy for evapotranspiration in catchments under different levels of water availability is analytically derived from the economic perspective. It is found that there exists hedging between evapotranspiration for current and future only with a portion of water availability. Observation data sets of 160 catchments in the United States covering the period from 1983 to 2003 demonstrate the existence of hedging in catchment hydrology and validate the proposed hedging strategies. We also find that more water is allocated to carryover storage for hedging against the future evapotranspiration risk in the catchments with larger aridity indexes or with larger uncertainty in future precipitation, i.e., long-term climate and precipitation variability control the degree of hedging.

  10. Pesticide modelling for a small catchment using SWAT-2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, Narayanan; White, Sue M; Worrall, Fred; Whelan, Mick J

    2006-01-01

    Pesticides in stream flow from the 142 ha Colworth catchment in Bedfordshire, UK were monitored from October 1999 to December 2000. About 47% of the catchment is tile-drained and different pesticides and cropping patterns have recently been evaluated in terms of their effect on nutrient and pesticide losses to the stream. The data from Colworth were used to test soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) 2000 predictions of pesticide concentrations at the catchment outlet. A sound model set-up to carry out pesticide modelling was created by means of hydrological modelling with proper simulation of crop growth and evapotranspiration. The pesticides terbuthylazine, terbutryn, cyanazine and bentazone were modelled. There was close agreement between SWAT-predicted pesticide concentration values and observations. Scenario trials were conducted to explore management options for reducing pesticide loads arriving at the catchment outlet. The results obtained indicate that SWAT can be used as a tool to understand pesticide behavior at the catchment scale.

  11. Copernicus Big Data and Google Earth Engine for Glacier Surface Velocity Field Monitoring: Feasibility Demonstration on San Rafael and San Quintin Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Tullio, M.; Nocchi, F.; Camplani, A.; Emanuelli, N.; Nascetti, A.; Crespi, M.

    2018-04-01

    The glaciers are a natural global resource and one of the principal climate change indicator at global and local scale, being influenced by temperature and snow precipitation changes. Among the parameters used for glacier monitoring, the surface velocity is a key element, since it is connected to glaciers changes (mass balance, hydro balance, glaciers stability, landscape erosion). The leading idea of this work is to continuously retrieve glaciers surface velocity using free ESA Sentinel-1 SAR imagery and exploiting the potentialities of the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. GEE has been recently released by Google as a platform for petabyte-scale scientific analysis and visualization of geospatial datasets. The algorithm of SAR off-set tracking developed at the Geodesy and Geomatics Division of the University of Rome La Sapienza has been integrated in a cloud based platform that automatically processes large stacks of Sentinel-1 data to retrieve glacier surface velocity field time series. We processed about 600 Sentinel-1 image pairs to obtain a continuous time series of velocity field measurements over 3 years from January 2015 to January 2018 for two wide glaciers located in the Northern Patagonian Ice Field (NPIF), the San Rafael and the San Quintin glaciers. Several results related to these relevant glaciers also validated with respect already available and renown software (i.e. ESA SNAP, CIAS) and with respect optical sensor measurements (i.e. LANDSAT8), highlight the potential of the Big Data analysis to automatically monitor glacier surface velocity fields at global scale, exploiting the synergy between GEE and Sentinel-1 imagery.

  12. Rainfall as primary driver of discharge and solute export from rock glaciers: The Col d'Olen Rock Glacier in the NW Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Nicola; Gruber, Stephan; Martin, Maria; Malandrino, Mery; Magnani, Andrea; Godone, Danilo; Freppaz, Michele; Fratianni, Simona; Salerno, Franco

    2018-10-15

    Three hypotheses exist to explain how meteorological variables drive the amount and concentration of solute-enriched water from rock glaciers: (1) Warm periods cause increased subsurface ice melt, which releases solutes; (2) rain periods and the melt of long-lasting snow enhance dilution of rock-glacier outflows; and (3) percolation of rain through rock glaciers facilitates the export of solutes, causing an opposite effect as that described in hypothesis (2). This lack of detailed understanding likely exists because suitable studies of meteorological variables, hydrologic processes and chemical characteristics of water bodies downstream from rock glaciers are unavailable. In this study, a rock-glacier pond in the North-Western Italian Alps was studied on a weekly basis for the ice-free seasons 2014 and 2015 by observing the meteorological variables (air temperature, snowmelt, rainfall) assumed to drive the export of solute-enriched waters from the rock glacier and the hydrochemical response of the pond (water temperature as a proxy of rock-glacier discharge, stable water isotopes, major ions and selected trace elements). An intra-seasonal pattern of increasing solute export associated with higher rock-glacier discharge was found. Specifically, rainfall, after the winter snowpack depletion and prolonged periods of atmospheric temperature above 0 °C, was found to be the primary driver of solute export from the rock glacier during the ice-free season. This occurs likely through the flushing of isotopically- and geochemically-enriched icemelt, causing concomitant increases in the rock-glacier discharge and the solute export (SO 4 2- , Mg 2+ , Ca 2+ , Ni, Mn, Co). Moreover, flushing of microbially-active sediments can cause increases in NO 3 - export. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Inverse vertical migration and feeding in glacier lanternfish (Benthosema glaciale)

    KAUST Repository

    Dypvik, Eivind

    2011-11-08

    A bottom-mounted upward-facing 38-kHz echo sounder was deployed at ~400 m and cabled to shore in Masfjorden (~60 52?N, ~5 24?E), Norway. The scattering layers seen during autumn (September-October) 2008 were identified by trawling. Glacier lanternfish (Benthosema glaciale) were mainly distributed below ~200 m and displayed three different diel behavioral strategies: normal diel vertical migration (NDVM), inverse DVM (IDVM) and no DVM (NoDVM). The IDVM group was the focus of this study. It consisted of 2-year and older individuals migrating to ~200-270 m during the daytime, while descending back to deeper than ~270 m during the night. Stomach content analysis revealed increased feeding during the daytime on overwintering Calanus sp. We conclude that visually searching glacier lanternfish performing IDVM benefit from the faint daytime light in mid-waters when preying on overwintering Calanus sp. 2011 The Author(s).

  14. Investigating the Equatorial Gaps in Snowball Earth Sea Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding-Astudillo, F.; Ashkenazy, Y.; Tziperman, E.; Abbot, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The way photosynthetic life survived the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events is still a matter of debate that has deep implications for planetary habitability. One option is that gaps in thick, semi-global ice coverage (sea glaciers) could be maintained at the equator by ocean-ice-atmosphere dynamics. We investigate this idea by modifying a global ocean-thick-marine-ice model developed for modeling Neoproterozoic Snowball Events to account for gaps in thick ice and interactions with atmospheric dynamics. Our hypothesis is that in the parameter regime that allows for sea glacier flow, ice flow will make gaps in the thick ice, and therefore an open ocean solution, less likely. This would suggest that oases in thick ice are a more viable survival mechanism for photosynthetic life during a Snowball Earth event.

  15. New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, Hugh; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Barry, Roger G.; Bindschadler, Robert; Bishop, Michael P.; MacKinnon, David; Ohmura, Atsumu; Raup, Bruce; Antoninetti, Massimo; Bamber, Jonathan; Braun, Mattias; Brown, Ian; Cohen, Denis; Copland, Luke; DueHagen, Jon; Engeset, Rune V.; Fitzharris, Blair; Fujita, Koji; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hagen, Jon Oue; Hall, Dorothy; Hoelzle, Martin; Johansson, Maria; Kaab, Andi; Koenig, Max; Konovalov, Vladimir; Maisch, Max; Paul, Frank; Rau, Frank; Reeh, Niels; Rignot, Eric; Rivera, Andres; De Ruyter de Wildt, Martiyn; Scambos, Ted; Schaper, Jesko; Scharfen, Greg; Shroder, Jack; Solomina, Olga; Thompson, David; van der Veen, Kees; Wohlleben, Trudy; Young, Neal

    2000-01-01

    The mapping and measurement of glaciers and their changes are useful in predicting sea-level and regional water supply, studying hazards and climate change [Haeberli et al., 1998],and in the hydropower industry Existing inventories cover only about 67,000 of the world's estimated 160,000 glaciers and are based on data collected over 50 years or more [e.g.,Haeberli et al., 1998]. The data available have proven that small ice bodies are disappearing at an accelerating rate and that the Antarctic ice sheet and its fringing ice shelves are undergoing unexpected, rapid change. According to many glaciologists, much larger fluctuations in land ice—with vast implications for society—are possible in the coming decades and centuries due to natural and anthropogenic climate change [Oppenheimer, 1998].

  16. Updating the results of glacier contribution to the sea level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Abdalati, Waleed Dr. (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    I have completed an update of global glacier volume change. All data of glacier annual mass balances, surface area over the period 1945/46 till 2004, outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were included in this update. As the result global glacier volume change have been calculated, also in terms of glacier contribution to sea level change. These results were sent to Working Group 1 and 2 of IPCC-4 as the basis for modeling of sea level towards the end of 2100. In this study I have concentrated on studying glacier systems of different scales, from primary (e.g. Devon ice cap) to regional (e.g. Canadian Arctic), continental scale (e,g., entire Arctic), and global (e.g., change in glacier volume and contribution to sea level rise).

  17. Passive seismic monitoring of the Bering Glacier during its last surge event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Z.

    2017-12-01

    The physical causes behind glacier surges are still unclear. Numerous evidences suggest that they probably involve changes in glacier basal conditions, such as switch of basal water system from concentrated large tunnels to a distributed "layer" as "connected cavities". However, most remote sensing approaches can not penetrate to the base to monitor such changes continuously. Here we apply seismic interferometry using ambient noise to monitor glacier seismic structures, especially to detect possible signatures of the hypothesized high-pressure water "layer". As an example, we derive an 11-year long history of seismic structure of the Bering Glacier, Alaska, covering its latest surge event. We observe substantial drops of Rayleigh and Love wavespeeds across the glacier during the surge event, potentially caused by changes in crevasse density, glacier thickness, and basal conditions.

  18. A GIS tool for two-dimensional glacier-terminus change tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej

    2018-02-01

    This paper presents a Glacier Termini Tracking (GTT) toolbox for the two-dimensional analysis of glacier-terminus position changes. The input consists of a vector layer with several termini lines relating to the same glacier at different times. The output layers allow analyses to be conducted of glacier-terminus retreats, changes in retreats over time and along the ice face, and glacier-terminus fluctuations over time. The application of three tools from the toolbox is demonstrated via the analysis of eight glacier-terminus retreats and fluctuations at the Hornsund fjord in south Svalbard. It is proposed that this toolbox may also be useful in the study of other line features that change over time, like coastlines and rivers. The toolbox has been coded in Python and runs via ArcGIS.

  19. Characterising groundwater-dominated lowland catchments: the UK Lowland Catchment Research Programme (LOCAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on a major UK initiative to address deficiencies in understanding the hydro-ecological response of groundwater-dominated lowland catchments. The scope and objectives of this national programme are introduced and focus on one of three sets of research basins – the Pang/Lambourn Chalk catchments, tributaries of the river Thames in southern England. The motivation for the research is the need to support integrated management of river systems that have high ecological value and are subject to pressures that include groundwater abstraction for water supply, diffuse pollution, and land use and climate change. An overview of the research programme is provided together with highlights of some current research findings concerning the hydrological functioning of these catchments. Despite the importance of the Chalk as a major UK aquifer, knowledge of the subsurface movement of water and solutes is poor. Solute transport in the dual porosity unsaturated zone depends on fracture/matrix interactions that are difficult to observe; current experimental and modelling research supports the predominance of matrix flow and suggests that slow migration of a time-history of decades of nutrient loading is occurring. Groundwater flows are complex; catchments vary seasonally and are ill-defined and karst features are locally important. Groundwater flow pathways are being investigated using natural and artificial geochemical tracers based on experimental borehole arrays; stream-aquifer interaction research is using a combination of geophysics, borehole array geochemistry and longitudinal profiles of stream flow and solutes. A complex picture of localised subsurface inflows, linked to geological controls and karst features, and significant longitudinal groundwater flow below the river channel is emerging. Management implications are discussed. Strategies to control surface application of nutrients are expected to have little effect on groundwater

  20. GIS-Based KW-GIUH hydrological model of semiarid catchments: The case of Faria Catchment, Palestine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shadeed, S.; Shaheen, H.; Jayyousi, A.

    2007-01-01

    Among the most basic challenges of hydrology are the quantitative understanding of the processes of runoff generation and prediction of flow hydrographs. Traditional techniques have been widely applied for the estimation of runoff hydrographs of gauged catchments using historical rainfall-runoff data and unit hydrographs. Such procedures are questioned as to their reliability and their application to ungauged, arid and semiarid catchments. To overcome such difficulties, the use of physically based rainfall-runoff process of Faria Catchment using the lately developed KW-GIUH. Faria catchment, located in the northeastern part of the West Bank, Palestine, is characterized as a semiarid region with annual rainfall depths ranging on average from 150 to 640 mm at both ends of the catchment. The Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques were used to shape the geomorphological features of the catchment. A GIS based KW-GIUH hydrological model was used to stimulate the rainfall-runoff process in the three sub-catchments of Faria, namely: Al-Badan, Al-Faria and Al-Malaqi. The simulated runoff hydrographs proved that the GIS-based KW-GIUH model is applicable to semiarid regions and can be used to estimate the unit hydrographs in the West Bank catchments. (author)

  1. Merging perspectives in the catchment sciences: the US-Japan Joint Seminar on catchment hydrology and forest biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin J. McGuire; Stephen D. Sebestyen; Nobuhito Ohte; Emily M. Elliott; Takashi Gomi; Mark B. Green; Brian L. McGlynn; Naoko. Tokuchi

    2014-01-01

    Japan has strong research programmes in the catchment sciences that overlap with interests in the US catchment science community, particularly in experimental and field-based research. Historically, however, there has been limited interaction between these two hydrologic science communities because of differences in language, culture, and research approaches. These...

  2. Boundary layer models for calving marine outlet glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Schoof

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We consider the flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers that are laterally confined in a channel of prescribed width. In that case, the drag exerted by the channel side walls on a floating ice shelf can reduce extensional stress at the grounding line. If ice flux through the grounding line increases with both ice thickness and extensional stress, then a longer shelf can reduce ice flux by decreasing extensional stress. Consequently, calving has an effect on flux through the grounding line by regulating the length of the shelf. In the absence of a shelf, it plays a similar role by controlling the above-flotation height of the calving cliff. Using two calving laws, one due to Nick et al. (2010 based on a model for crevasse propagation due to hydrofracture and the other simply asserting that calving occurs where the glacier ice becomes afloat, we pose and analyse a flowline model for a marine-terminating glacier by two methods: direct numerical solution and matched asymptotic expansions. The latter leads to a boundary layer formulation that predicts flux through the grounding line as a function of depth to bedrock, channel width, basal drag coefficient, and a calving parameter. By contrast with unbuttressed marine ice sheets, we find that flux can decrease with increasing depth to bedrock at the grounding line, reversing the usual stability criterion for steady grounding line location. Stable steady states can then have grounding lines located on retrograde slopes. We show how this anomalous behaviour relates to the strength of lateral versus basal drag on the grounded portion of the glacier and to the specifics of the calving law used.

  3. Enhanced ASTER DEMs for Decadal Measurements of Glacier Elevation Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, L.; Nuth, C.; Kääb, A.

    2016-12-01

    Elevation change data is critical to the understanding of a number of geophysical processes, including glaciers through the measurement their volume change. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) system on-board the Terra (EOS AM-1) satellite has been a unique source of systematic stereoscopic images covering the whole globe at 15m resolution and at a consistent quality for over 15 years. While satellite stereo sensors with significantly improved radiometric and spatial resolution are available today, the potential of ASTER data lies in its long consistent time series that is unrivaled, though not fully exploited for change analysis due to lack of data accuracy and precision. ASTER data are strongly affected by attitude jitter, mainly of approximately 4 and 30 km wavelength, and improving the generation of ASTER DEMs requires removal of this effect. We developed MMASTER, an improved method for ASTER DEM generation and implemented it in the open source photogrammetric library and software suite MicMac. The method relies on the computation of a rational polynomial coefficients (RPC) model and the detection and correction of cross-track sensor jitter in order to compute DEMs. Our sensor modeling does not require ground control points and thus potentially allows for automatic processing of large data volumes. When compared to ground truth data, we have assessed a ±5m accuracy in DEM differencing when using our processing method, improved from the ±30m when using the AST14DMO DEM product. We demonstrate and discuss this improved ASTER DEM quality for a number of glaciers in Greenland (See figure attached), Alaska, and Svalbard. The quality of our measurements promises to further unlock the underused potential of ASTER DEMs for glacier volume change time series on a global scale. The data produced by our method will thus help to better understand the response of glaciers to climate change and their influence on runoff and sea level.

  4. Surge dynamics on Bering Glacier, Alaska, in 2008–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Braun

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available A surge cycle of the Bering Glacier system, Alaska, is examined using observations of surface velocity obtained using synthetic aperture radar (SAR offset tracking, and elevation data obtained from the University of Alaska Fairbanks LiDAR altimetry program. After 13 yr of quiescence, the Bering Glacier system began to surge in May 2008 and had two stages of accelerated flow. During the first stage, flow accelerated progressively for at least 10 months and reached peak observed velocities of ~ 7 m d−1. The second stage likely began in 2010. By 2011 velocities exceeded 9 m d−1 or ~ 18 times quiescent velocities. Fast flow continued into July 2011. Surface morphology indicated slowing by fall 2011; however, it is not entirely clear if the surge is yet over. The quiescent phase was characterized by small-scale acceleration events that increased driving stresses up to 70%. When the surge initiated, synchronous acceleration occurred throughout much of the glacier length. Results suggest that downstream propagation of the surge is closely linked to the evolution of the driving stress during the surge, because driving stress appears to be tied to the amount of resistive stress provided by the bed. In contrast, upstream acceleration and upstream surge propagation is not dependent on driving stress evolution.

  5. Glacier Snowline Determination from Terrestrial Laser Scanning Intensity Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Prantl

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Accurately identifying the extent of surface snow cover on glaciers is important for extrapolating end of year mass balance measurements, constraining the glacier surface radiative energy balance and evaluating model simulations of snow cover. Here, we use auxiliary information from Riegl VZ-6000 Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS return signals to accurately map the snow cover over a glacier throughout an ablation season. Three classification systems were compared, and we find that supervised classification based on TLS signal intensity alone is outperformed by a rule-based classification employing intensity, surface roughness and an associated optical image, which achieves classification accuracy of 68–100%. The TLS intensity signal shows no meaningful relationship with surface or bulk snow density. Finally, we have also compared our Snow Line Altitude (SLA derived from TLS with SLA derived from the model output, as well as one Landsat image. The results of the model output track the SLA from TLS well, however with a positive bias. In contrast, automatic Landsat-derived SLA slightly underestimates the SLA from TLS. To conclude, we demonstrate that the snow cover extent can be mapped successfully using TLS, although the snow mass remains elusive.

  6. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Arendt, Anthony; Sass, Louis

    2014-01-01

    The mountains ringing the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) receive upwards of 4–8 m yr−1 of precipitation (Simpson et al.2005; Weingartner et al. 2005; O’Neel 2012), much of which runs off into productive coastal waters. The alpine landscape is heavily glacierized, and storage and turnover of water by glaciers substantially influences the regional surface water balance (Neal et al. 2010). In turn, the land-to-ocean flux of freshwater impacts the biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, freshwater and marine ecology of the downstream components of the GOA ecosystem (e.g., Royer et al. 2001; Hood and Scott 2008). In this way, the links between terrestrial and ocean ecosystems along the GOA have widespread impacts on regional socioeconomic issues including water and hydropower resources, fish populations, and sea level change (Dorava and Milner 2000; Royer and Grosch 2006; Cherry et al. 2010; Gardner et al. 2013). Moreover, predicting future changes in physical, chemical and biological processes in near-shore ecosystems along the GOA hinges, in part, on developing a robust understanding of water storage and transfer by glaciers through streams to the ocean.

  7. Climate-induced glacier and snow loss imperils alpine stream insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, J. Joseph; Hotaling, Scott; Kovach, Ryan; Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is causing rapid loss of glaciers and snowpack in mountainous regions worldwide. These changes are predicted to negatively impact the habitats of many range-restricted species, particularly endemic, mountaintop species dependent on the unique thermal and hydrologic conditions found only in glacier-fed and snowmelt-driven alpine streams. Though progress has been made, existing understanding of the status, distribution, and ecology of alpine aquatic species, particularly in North America, is lacking, thereby hindering conservation and management programs. Two aquatic insects – the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana and the glacier stonefly Zapada glacier – were recently proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss. Using a large dataset (272 streams, 482 total sites) with high-resolution climate and habitat information, we describe the distribution, status, and key environmental features that limit L. tumana and Z. glacier across the northern Rocky Mountains. Lednia tumana was detected in 113 streams (175 sites) within Glacier National Park (GNP) and surrounding areas. The probability of L. tumana occurrence increased with cold stream temperatures and close proximity to glaciers and permanent snowfields. Similarly, densities of L. tumana declined with increasing distance from stream source. Zapada glacier was only detected in 10 streams (20 sites), six in GNP and four in mountain ranges up to ~600 km southwest. Our results show that both L. tumana and Z. glacier inhabit an extremely narrow distribution, restricted to short sections of cold, alpine streams often below glaciers predicted to disappear over the next two decades. Climate warming-induced glacier and snow loss clearly imperils the persistence of L. tumana and Z. glacier throughout their ranges, highlighting the role of mountaintop aquatic invertebrates as sentinels of climate change in mid-latitude regions.

  8. Retreat of Stephenson Glacier, Heard Island, from Remote Sensing and Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, W.; Schmieder, R.

    2017-12-01

    Heard Island (Australian sub-Antarctic territory, 53 S, 73.5 E) is a volcanic island mantled in glaciers, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site both for its geology and ecology. Lying to the south of the Antarctic Convergence, the changes in response to climate seen on Heard Island are likely to be a bellwether for areas further south. Beginning in 1999, American satellites (Landsat 7, EO-1, and Landsat 8) have produced images of the island on a roughly weekly basis. Although the island is often shrouded in clouds, clear images of at least portions of the island are plentiful enough to create a nearly-annual record of the toe of Stephenson Glacier. During this period, Stephenson Glacier retreated by nearly 5 km, and lost 50% of its area. As a result of this retreat, a portion of the glacier now could be classified as a separate glacier. Additionally, in 2016, terrestrial photographs of Stephenson Glacier were taken during a three-week expedition to Heard Island, which accessed the Stephenson Glacier area by boat via the proglacial Stephenson Lagoon. During that work, sonar indicated some depths in the lagoon exceeding 100 m. Much of the loss in glacier length and area occurred during the mid- and late-2000s, with retreat rates slowing toward 2017. At this time, the glacier has retreated so that the main toe is not far from the base of a tall ice falls, while another toe—perhaps now a separate glacier—is land-based. This type of retreat pattern, fast over water and slower on land, is typical of other tidewater glaciers. Further monitoring of Stephenson Glacier and other glaciers on Heard Island will continue using Landsat 8.

  9. Instruments and Methods: A Low-Cost Glacier-Mapping System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Erik Lintz; Reeh, Niels; Forsberg, René

    2000-01-01

    the capability of acquiring accurate data on location and ice-surface elevation, and adequate-quality data on ice thickness. The system has been applied successfully in mapping the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier, northeast Greenland, in spite of the difficult conditions with melting water on the glacier surface....... The measurements from the floating part of the glacier have been evaluated by comparison of radar data with laser-altimeter and in situ measurements....

  10. Comparison of tropical and subtropical glacier surface energy balance in Africa and South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, L.; Prinz, R.; Kinnard, C.; Mölg, T.; Winkler, M.; Kaser, G.

    2010-05-01

    Tropical glaciers exist only at high altitude, and meteorological and surface energy balance studies of these glaciers can tell us much about the conditions and changes occurring in the mid troposphere. Understanding the surface energy balance and resultant mass balance regime of tropical glaciers is prerequisite to predicting glacier evolution, and future meltwater contributions to local hydrological resources, in response to future climate scenarios. Tropical glacier mass balance variability is strongly linked to precipitation and, via this, to multi-annual climate oscillations such as ENSO and IOZM, so it is useful to understand what role these differing regional influences play in comparison to the similarities imposed by the overarching tropical climate conditions and seasonality. New surface energy balance and mass balance data is available from Lewis glacier (Kenya, 0°09' S; 37°18' E), and here we use an energy and mass balance model to determine the surface energy flux characteristics at this site through a wet and dry season. Results are compared with those from Kersten glacier (Tanzania, 3°04' S; 37°21' E) to understand how conditions at these two glaciers compare and thus what coherent and contrasting climatic information glaciological records from these two sites can be expected to deliver. Meteorological data available from glacier stations on Antizana (Ecuador, 0°25' S; 78°09' W), Artesonraju (Peru, 8°28' S; 77°38' W) Zongo (Bolivia, 16°39' S; 67°47' W) and Guanaco (Chile, 29°20' S; 70°00' W) glaciers in South America offer the opportunity to examine how the surface fluxes and seasonal variability of the energy balance compares to those of the African glaciers. We include the extra-tropical Chilean example for comparison with the similarly high altitude, cold ice of Kersten glacier.

  11. Historical glacier outlines from digitized topographic maps of the Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freudiger, Daphné; Mennekes, David; Seibert, Jan; Weiler, Markus

    2018-04-01

    Since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, the total glacier area of the central European Alps has considerably decreased. In order to understand the changes in glacier coverage at various scales and to model past and future streamflow accurately, long-term and large-scale datasets of glacier outlines are needed. To fill the gap between the morphologically reconstructed glacier outlines from the moraine extent corresponding to the time period around 1850 and the first complete dataset of glacier areas in the Swiss Alps from aerial photographs in 1973, glacier areas from 80 sheets of a historical topographic map (the Siegfried map) were manually digitized for the publication years 1878-1918 (further called first period, with most sheets being published around 1900) and 1917-1944 (further called second period, with most sheets being published around 1935). The accuracy of the digitized glacier areas was then assessed through a two-step validation process: the data were (1) visually and (2) quantitatively compared to glacier area datasets of the years 1850, 1973, 2003, and 2010, which were derived from different sources, at the large scale, basin scale, and locally. The validation showed that at least 70 % of the digitized glaciers were comparable to the outlines from the other datasets and were therefore plausible. Furthermore, the inaccuracy of the manual digitization was found to be less than 5 %. The presented datasets of glacier outlines for the first and second periods are a valuable source of information for long-term glacier mass balance or hydrological modelling in glacierized basins. The uncertainty of the historical topographic maps should be considered during the interpretation of the results. The datasets can be downloaded from the FreiDok plus data repository (https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/data/15008" target="_blank">https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/data/15008, https://doi.org/10.6094/UNIFR/15008" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.6094/UNIFR

  12. Terricolous Lichens in the Glacier Forefield of the Pasterze (Eastern Alps, Carinthia, Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilovitz, Peter O.; Wallner, Anja; Tutzer, Veronika; Nascimbene, Juri; Mayrhofer, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    Summary The investigation of lichens on soil, plant debris and terricolous mosses in the glacier forefield of the Pasterze yielded 35 lichen species. Placidiopsis oreades Breuss (Verrucariales) is new to Austria. Three sampling sites were established at increasing distance from the glacier, in order to compare species diversity, abundance and composition within the forefield and with four other glacier forefields of the Eastern Alps. PMID:26877565

  13. IceTrendr: a linear time-series approach to monitoring glacier environments using Landsat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, P.; Kennedy, R. E.; Nolin, A. W.; Hughes, J. M.; Braaten, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic glaciers in Alaska and Canada have experienced some of the greatest ice mass loss of any region in recent decades. A challenge to understanding these changing ecosystems, however, is developing globally-consistent, multi-decadal monitoring of glacier ice. We present a toolset and approach that captures, labels, and maps glacier change for use in climate science, hydrology, and Earth science education using Landsat Time Series (LTS). The core step is "temporal segmentation," wherein a yearly LTS is cleaned using pre-processing steps, converted to a snow/ice index, and then simplified into the salient shape of the change trajectory ("temporal signature") using linear segmentation. Such signatures can be characterized as simple `stable' or `transition of glacier ice to rock' to more complex multi-year changes like `transition of glacier ice to debris-covered glacier ice to open water to bare rock to vegetation'. This pilot study demonstrates the potential for interactively mapping, visualizing, and labeling glacier changes. What is truly innovative is that IceTrendr not only maps the changes but also uses expert knowledge to label the changes and such labels can be applied to other glaciers exhibiting statistically similar temporal signatures. Our key findings are that the IceTrendr concept and software can provide important functionality for glaciologists and educators interested in studying glacier changes during the Landsat TM timeframe (1984-present). Issues of concern with using dense Landsat time-series approaches for glacier monitoring include many missing images during the period 1984-1995 and that automated cloud mask are challenged and require the user to manually identify cloud-free images. IceTrendr is much more than just a simple "then and now" approach to glacier mapping. This process is a means of integrating the power of computing, remote sensing, and expert knowledge to "tell the story" of glacier changes.

  14. Glacier Mass Changes of Lake-Terminating Grey and Tyndall Glaciers at the Southern Patagonia Icefield Derived From Geodetic Observations and Energy and Mass Balance Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie S. Weidemann

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study we demonstrate how energy and mass fluxes vary in space and time for Grey and Tyndall glaciers at the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI. Despite the overall glacier retreat of most Patagonian glaciers, a recent increase in mass loss has been observed, but individual glaciers respond differently in terms of spatial and temporal changes. In this context, the detailed investigation of the effect of mass balance processes on recent glacier response to climate forcing still needs refinement. We therefore quantify surface energy-fluxes and climatic mass balance of the two neighboring glaciers, Grey and Tyndall. The COupled Snow and Ice energy and MAss balance model COSIMA is applied to assess recent surface energy and climatic mass balance variability with a high temporal and spatial resolution for a 16-year period between April 2000 and March 2016. The model is driven by downscaled 6-hourly atmospheric data derived from ERA-Interim reanalysis and MODIS/Terra Snow Cover and validated against ablation measurements made in single years. High resolution precipitation fields are determined by using an analytical orographic precipitation model. Frontal ablation is estimated as residual of climatic mass balance and geodetic mass balance derived from TanDEM-X/SRTM between 2000 and 2014. We simulate a positive glacier-wide mean annual climatic mass balance of +1.02 ± 0.52 m w.e. a−1 for Grey Glacier and of +0.68 ± 0.54 m w.e. a−1 for Tyndall Glacier between 2000 and 2014. Climatic mass balance results show a high year to year variability. Comparing climatic mass balance results with previous studies underlines the high uncertainty in climatic mass balance modeling with respect to accumulation on the SPI. Due to the lack of observations accumulation estimates differ from previous studies based on the methodological approaches. Mean annual ice loss by frontal ablation is estimated to be 2.07 ± 0.70 m w.e. a−1 for Grey Glacier and 3.26 ± 0

  15. Rock glaciers Gruben, Muragl and Murtel, Switzerland: Area-wide flow fields, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Besides their thermal and mechanical properties, rock glaciers are essentially defined by their kinematics. Knowledge of the permafrost flow field provides important...

  16. Associations between accelerated glacier mass wastage and increased summer temperature in coastal regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyurgerov, M.; McCabe, G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Low-elevation glaciers in coastal regions of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, individual ice caps around the Greenland ice sheet, and the Patagonia Ice Fields have an aggregate glacier area of about 332 ?? 103 km 2 and account for approximately 42% of all the glacier area outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. They have shown volume loss, especially since the end of the 1980s, increasing from about 45% in the 1960s to nearly 67% in 2003 of the total wastage from all glaciers on Earth outside those two largest ice sheets. Thus, a disproportionally large contribution of coastal glacier ablation to sea level rise is evident. We examine cumulative standardized departures (1961-2000 reference period) of glacier mass balances and air temperature data in these four coastal regions. Analyses indicate a strong association between increases in glacier volume losses and summer air temperature at regional and global scales. Increases in glacier volume losses in the coastal regions also coincide with an accelerated rate of ice discharge from outlet glaciers draining the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. These processes imply further increases in sea level rise. ?? 2006 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  17. Optical Remote Sensing of Glacier Characteristics: A Review with Focus on the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racoviteanu, Adina E.; Williams, Mark W.; Barry, Roger G.

    2008-01-01

    The increased availability of remote sensing platforms with appropriate spatial and temporal resolution, global coverage and low financial costs allows for fast, semi-automated, and cost-effective estimates of changes in glacier parameters over large areas. Remote sensing approaches allow for regular monitoring of the properties of alpine glaciers such as ice extent, terminus position, volume and surface elevation, from which glacier mass balance can be inferred. Such methods are particularly useful in remote areas with limited field-based glaciological measurements. This paper reviews advances in the use of visible and infrared remote sensing combined with field methods for estimating glacier parameters, with emphasis on volume/area changes and glacier mass balance. The focus is on the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor and its applicability for monitoring Himalayan glaciers. The methods reviewed are: volumetric changes inferred from digital elevation models (DEMs), glacier delineation algorithms from multi-spectral analysis, changes in glacier area at decadal time scales, and AAR/ELA methods used to calculate yearly mass balances. The current limitations and on-going challenges in using remote sensing for mapping characteristics of mountain glaciers also discussed, specifically in the context of the Himalaya. PMID:27879883

  18. Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, Balance Years 2004 and 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.

    2007-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance years 2004 and 2005. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated smaller than normal winter snowpacks during water years 2004 and 2005. Correspondingly, the balance years 2004 and 2005 maximum winter snow balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.08 and 1.97 meters water equivalent, respectively, were smaller than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2004 glacier summer balance (-3.73 meters water equivalent) was the eleventh most negative during 1959 to 2005 and the 2005 glacier summer balance (-4.42 meters water equivalent) was the third most negative. The relatively small winter snow balances and unusually negative summer balances of 2004 and 2005 led to an overall loss of glacier mass. The 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, -1.65 and -2.45 meters water equivalent, respectively, were the seventh and second most negative during 1953 to 2005. For both balance years, the accumulation area ratio was less than 0.05 and the equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The unusually negative 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, combined with a negative balance previously reported for 2003, resulted in a cumulative 3-year net balance of -6.20 meters water equivalent. No equal or greater 3-year mass loss has occurred previously during the more than 4 decades of U.S. Geological Survey mass-balance measurements at South Cascade Glacier. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The terminus retreated at a rate of about 17 meters per year during balance year 2004 and 15 meters per year during balance year 2005. Glacier area near the end of balance years 2004 and 2005 was 1.82 and 1.75 square kilometers, respectively. Runoff from the basin containing the glacier and from an adjacent nonglacierized basin was

  19. Glacier beds that will be exposed in the future: How will geomorphologic and hydrologic processes develop?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsbauer, Andreas; Paul, Frank; Haeberli, Wilfried

    2014-05-01

    The rapid shrinkage of glaciers in the Alps has widespread impacts on relief development and hydrology. Slope failures, collapse of lateral moraines, loose debris in glacier fore-fields, new lakes and changing river beds are among the most visible impacts. They already require increased attention by tourists, monitoring by local authorities and mitigation measures (e.g. www.gletschersee.ch). A view into potential future developments (after glaciers have disappeared) is thus of high interest. With recently developed models that reconstruct glacier bed topography from easily available datasets (e.g. glacier outlines and a DEM) over entire mountain ranges, potential developments of the landscape and hydrology can be quantitatively determined. The modelled glacier beds - though they must be seen as a rough first order approximation only - also allows the investigation of a wide range of glaciological relations and dependencies that have been widely applied but were never investigated for a large sample of glaciers so far. A key reason is that information on glacier thickness distribution and total ice volume is sparse and that the future development of glaciers can only be modelled realistically when a glacier bed is available. Hence, with the glacier beds now available there is a larger number of geomorphological, glaciological and hydrological studies ahead of us. This presentation is providing an overview on the lessons learned about glaciers and their future development from the modelled glacier beds, the expected changes in hydrology (e.g. decreasing glacier volume and formation of new lakes) and potential impacts from the altered geomorphology (e.g. debuttressing of rock walls). In particular the flat tongues of larger valley glaciers are rather thick and leave oversteepened lateral moraines or rock walls behind, towering above overdeepenings in the glacier bed that might be filled with water. It is thus expected that the hazard potential will further increase in

  20. Studies of Bagley Icefield during surge and Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, using spaceborne SAR interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatland, Dennis Robert

    1998-12-01

    This thesis presents studies of two temperate valley glaciers---Bering Glacier in the Chugach-St.Elias Mountains, South Central Alaska, and Black Rapids Glacier in the Alaska Range, Interior Alaska---using differential spaceborne radar interferometry. The first study was centered on the 1993--95 surge of Bering Glacier and the resultant ice dynamics on its accumulation area, the Bagley Icefield. The second study site was chosen for purposes of comparison of the interferometry results with conventional field measurements, particularly camera survey data and airborne laser altimetry. A comprehensive suite of software was written to interferometrically process synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data in order to derive estimates of surface elevation and surface velocity on these subject glaciers. In addition to these results, the data revealed unexpected but fairly common concentric rings called 'phase bull's-eyes', image features typically 0.5 to 4 km in diameter located over the central part of various glaciers. These bull's-eyes led to a hypothetical model in which they were interpreted to indicate transitory instances of high subglacial water pressure that locally lift the glacier from its bed by several centimeters. This model is associated with previous findings about the nature of glacier bed hydrology and glacier surging. In addition to the dynamical analysis presented herein, this work is submitted as a contribution to the ongoing development of spaceborne radar interferometry as a glaciological tool.

  1. The new Inventory of Italian Glaciers: Present knowledge, applied methods and preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiraglia, Claudio; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina; D'Agata, Carlo; Maragno, Davide; Baroni, Carlo; Mortara, Gianni; Perotti, Luigi; Bondesan, Aldino; Salvatore, Cristina; Vagliasindi, Marco; Vuillermoz, Elisa

    2013-04-01

    A new Glacier Inventory is an indispensable requirement in Italy due to the importance of evaluating the present glacier coverage and the recent changes driven by climate. Furthermore Alpine glaciers represent a not negligible water and touristic resource then to manage and promote them is needed to know their distribution, size and features. The first Italian Glacier Inventory dates back to 1959-1962. It was compiled by the Italian Glaciological Committee (CGI) in cooperation with the National Research Council (CNR); this first inventory was mainly based on field data coupled with photographs (acquired on the field) and high resolution maps. The Italian glaciation resulted to be spread into 754 ice bodies which altogether were covering 525 km2. Moreover in the Eighties a new inventory was compiled to insert Italian data into the World Glacier Inventory (WGI); aerial photos taken at the end of the Seventies (and in some cases affected by a high and not negligible snow coverage) were used as the main source of data. No other national inventory were compiled after that period. Nevertheless during the last decade the largest part of the Italian Alpine regions have produced regional and local glacier inventories which in several cases are also available and queried through web sites and web GIS application. The actual need is now to obtain a complete, homogeneous and contemporary picture of the Italian Glaciation which encompasses the already available regional and local data and all the new updated information coming from new sources of data (e.g.: orthophotos, satellite imagines, etc..). The challenge was accepted by the University of Milan, the EvK2CNR Committee and the Italian Glaciological Committee who, with the sponsorship of Levissima Spa, are presently working to compile the new updated Italian Glacier Inventory. The first project step is to produce a unique homogeneous glacier database including glacier boundary and surface area and the main fundamental

  2. Mechanism of the 2016 giant twin glacier collapse in Aru range, Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, A.; Leinss, S.; Kääb, A.; Kargel, J. S.; Yao, T.; Gascoin, S.; Leonard, G. J.; Berthier, E.; Karki, A.

    2017-12-01

    In northwestern Tibet (34.0°N, 82.2°E) near lake Aru Co, the entire ablation area of two unnamed glaciers (Aru-1 and Aru-2) suddenly collapsed on 17 July 2016 and 21 September 2016 and transformed into a mass flow that ran out over a distance of over several km, killing nine people. These two events are unique and defined a new kind of glacier behavior almost never observed before. The only similar event currently documented is the 2002 Kolka Glacier mass flow (Caucasus Mountains). Using remote sensing observations and 3D thermo-mechanical modeling of the two glaciers, we reconstructed glacier thermal regime, thickness, basal friction evolution and ice damaging state prior to the collapse. We show that frictional change leading to the collapse occurred in the temperate areas of a polythermal structure that is likely close to equilibrium with the local climate. The collapses were driven by a fast and sustained friction change in the temperate part of the glacier for which the glacier shape was not able to adjust due to the cold-based parts providing strong resisting force to sliding. This led to high stresses on the cold margins of the glacier where ice deformation became partially accommodated by fracturing until the final collapse occurred. Field investigations reveal that those two glaciers are flowing on a soft and fine-grained sedimentary lithology prone to landslide activity in the presence of water. This suggests that fast friction change in the temperate part of the glacier is linked to shear strength weakening in the sediment and till underneath the glacier in response to increasing water pore pressure at the glacier base. The Kolka Glacier mass flow also occurred on pyroclastic rocks well known for their landslide activities. This suggests that the three gigantic glacier collapses documented to date involve specific bedrock lithology where failure is driven by shear strength weakening in the glacier till in a landslide-like process. Contrary to a

  3. Ice thickness estimations based on multi-temporal glacier inventories - potential and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfricht, Kay; Huss, Matthias; Otto, Jan-Christoph

    2016-04-01

    The ongoing glacier retreat exposes a large number of surface depressions in the former glacier bed that can be filled with water or act as sediment traps. This has already been observed at various sites in Austria and in other mountain areas worldwide. The formation of glacial lakes can constitute an important environmental and socio-economic impact on high mountain systems including water resource management, sediment delivery, natural hazards, energy production and tourism. In general, information on ice thickness distribution is the basis for simulating future glacier change. We used the approach proposed by Huss and Farinotti (2012) to model the ice thickness distribution and potential locations of subglacial depressions. The study is part of the FUTURELAKE project that seeks to model the formation of new glacier lakes and their possible future evolution in the Austria Alps. The required data on glacier extent, surface elevation and slope were taken from the Austrian Glacier Inventories GI1 from 1969, GI2 from 1998 and GI3 from2006 (Fischer et al., 2015). The different glacier outlines and surface elevations from the inventories enable us to evaluate (i) the robustness of the modelled bedrock depressions with respect to different glacier settings, (ii) the power of the model to simulate recently formed glacial lakes, (iii) the similarities in calculated ice thickness distributions across the inventories and (iv) the feasibility of simulating observed changes in ice thickness and glacier volume. In general, the modelled localization of large potential depressions was relatively stable using the observed glacier settings. A number of examples show that recently formed glacial lakes could be detected by the model based on previous glacier extents. The locations of maximum ice depths within different elevation zones appeared to be sensitive to changes in glacier width. However, observed ice thickness changes and, thus, volume changes between the inventories could

  4. Observations and analysis of self-similar branching topology in glacier networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, D.B.; Peckham, S.D.

    1996-01-01

    Glaciers, like rivers, have a branching structure which can be characterized by topological trees or networks. Probability distributions of various topological quantities in the networks are shown to satisfy the criterion for self-similarity, a symmetry structure which might be used to simplify future models of glacier dynamics. Two analytical methods of describing river networks, Shreve's random topology model and deterministic self-similar trees, are applied to the six glaciers of south central Alaska studied in this analysis. Self-similar trees capture the topological behavior observed for all of the glaciers, and most of the networks are also reasonably approximated by Shreve's theory. Copyright 1996 by the American Geophysical Union.

  5. Inventory of glaciers in the Eastern Sayan on the basis of space surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Y. Osipov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Small glaciers (areas smaller 1 km2 are the most numerous in most mountainous and glacial regions of the Earth, but their responses to the present‑day climate change are still to be investigated. The paper presents results of the new inventory of small inter‑continental glaciers located in the Eastern Sayan (South of Eastern Siberia. The previous (1950 glacier inventory was made from data of aerial photography carried out in the middle of the 20th century (USSR Glacier Inventory, КЛ 1950. A more complete inventory of the East Sayan glaciers for the state of 2000 (КЛ 2000 had been performed using the multichannel space images (Landsat Enhanced The‑ matic Mapper (ETM+ of 2000 and 2001, and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM. In addition, some glaciers from the Inventory KL 1950 were re‑mapped on the basis of the Land‑ sat images (TM, ETM+, 1986‑2011 for years 1950, 1990 and 2010. The glacier outlines, determined on the test site from images of medium (Landsat and high (World View‑1 satellite resolution, were compared that con‑ firmed that errors of mapping of small glaciers did not exceed 15%. The KL 2000 contains data on 172 glaciers with a total area of 16.6±1.9 km2. Glacier sizes are from 0.02 to 1.37 km2. For 1950–2000, the total area of the East Sayan glaciers had decreased by 59% (0.40% per a year. In 1990–2000, the glaciers decreased the most rapidly (by an order of magnitude faster as compared to the period of 1950–1990.. In 2000–2010, the area of glaciation slightly increased (by 4% owing to formation of very small glaciers (area smaller 0.5 km2. On the whole, changes in glacier areas in the years 1950–2010 are in the good agreement with changes in amounts of winter precipita‑ tion and summer temperatures. In addition to regional climatic factors, there are also some local factors related to the topography and microclimate of individual glaciers which do also influence

  6. Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Davies

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly classifies the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island in 2009 AD. Secondly, this paper documents glacier change 1988–2009. In 2009, the glacierised area was 8140±262 km2. From 1988–2001, 90% of glaciers receded, and from 2001–2009, 79% receded. This equates to an area change of −4.4% for Trinity Peninsula eastern coast glaciers, −0.6% for western coast glaciers, and −35.0% for ice-shelf tributary glaciers from 1988–2001. Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest shrinkage from 1988–2001, with limited frontal change after 2001. Glaciers on the western Trinity Peninsula shrank less than those on the east. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island shrank fastest in the period 1988–2001. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula, with warming temperatures affecting the precipitation-starved glaciers on the eastern coast more than on the western coast. Reduced shrinkage on the western Peninsula may be a result of higher snowfall, perhaps in conjunction with the fact that these glaciers are mostly grounded. Rates of area loss on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing, which we attribute to the floating ice tongues receding into the fjords and reaching a new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid shrinkage of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and

  7. Enhancement of a parsimonious water balance model to simulate surface hydrology in a glacierized watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentin, Melissa M.; Viger, Roland J.; Van Beusekom, Ashley E.; Hay, Lauren E.; Hogue, Terri S.; Foks, Nathan Leon

    2018-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey monthly water balance model (MWBM) was enhanced with the capability to simulate glaciers in order to make it more suitable for simulating cold region hydrology. The new model, MWBMglacier, is demonstrated in the heavily glacierized and ecologically important Copper River watershed in Southcentral Alaska. Simulated water budget components compared well to satellite‐based observations and ground measurements of streamflow, evapotranspiration, snow extent, and total water storage, with differences ranging from 0.2% to 7% of the precipitation flux. Nash Sutcliffe efficiency for simulated and observed streamflow was greater than 0.8 for six of eight stream gages. Snow extent matched satellite‐based observations with Nash Sutcliffe efficiency values of greater than 0.89 in the four Copper River ecoregions represented. During the simulation period 1949 to 2009, glacier ice melt contributed 25% of total runoff, ranging from 12% to 45% in different tributaries, and glacierized area was reduced by 6%. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) decreasing and increasing trends in annual glacier mass balance occurred during the multidecade cool and warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, respectively, reinforcing the link between climate perturbations and glacier mass balance change. The simulations of glaciers and total runoff for a large, remote region of Alaska provide useful data to evaluate hydrologic, cryospheric, ecologic, and climatic trends. MWBM glacier is a valuable tool to understand when, and to what extent, streamflow may increase or decrease as glaciers respond to a changing climate.

  8. Glacier variability in the conterminous United States during the twentieth century

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, Gregory J.; Fountain, Andrew G.

    2013-01-01

    Glaciers of the conterminous United States have been receding for the past century. Since 1900 the recession has varied from a 24 % loss in area (Mt. Rainier, Washington) to a 66 % loss in the Lewis Range of Montana. The rates of retreat are generally similar with a rapid loss in the early decades of the 20th century, slowing in the 1950s–1970s, and a resumption of rapid retreat starting in the 1990s. Decadal estimates of changes in glacier area for a subset of 31 glaciers from 1900 to 2000 are used to test a snow water equivalent model that is subsequently employed to examine the effects of temperature and precipitation variability on annual glacier area changes for these glaciers. Model results indicate that both winter precipitation and winter temperature have been important climatic factors affecting the variability of glacier variability during the 20th Century. Most of the glaciers analyzed appear to be more sensitive to temperature variability than to precipitation variability. However, precipitation variability is important, especially for high elevation glaciers. Additionally, glaciers with areas greater than 1 km2 are highly sensitive to variability in temperature.

  9. A High-Resolution Sensor Network for Monitoring Glacier Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, S.; Murray, T.; O'Farrell, T.; Rutt, I. C.; Loskot, P.; Martin, I.; Selmes, N.; Aspey, R.; James, T.; Bevan, S. L.; Baugé, T.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to ice flow/ice-berg calving are a major uncertainty affecting sea-level rise forecasts. Latterly GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have been employed extensively to monitor such glacier dynamics. Until recently however, the favoured methodology has been to deploy sensors onto the glacier surface, collect data for a period of time, then retrieve and download the sensors. This approach works well in less dynamic environments where the risk of sensor loss is low. In more extreme environments e.g. approaching the glacial calving front, the risk of sensor loss and hence data loss increases dramatically. In order to provide glaciologists with new insights into flow dynamics and calving processes we have developed a novel sensor network to increase the robustness of data capture. We present details of the technological requirements for an in-situ Zigbee wireless streaming network infrastructure supporting instantaneous data acquisition from high resolution GNSS sensors thereby increasing data capture robustness. The data obtained offers new opportunities to investigate the interdependence of mass flow, uplift, velocity and geometry and the network architecture has been specifically designed for deployment by helicopter close to the calving front to yield unprecedented detailed information. Following successful field trials of a pilot three node network during 2012, a larger 20 node network was deployed on the fast-flowing Helheim glacier, south-east Greenland over the summer months of 2013. The utilisation of dual wireless transceivers in each glacier node, multiple frequencies and four ';collector' stations located on the valley sides creates overlapping networks providing enhanced capacity, diversity and redundancy of data 'back-haul', even close to ';floor' RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) levels around -100 dBm. Data loss through radio packet collisions within sub-networks are avoided through the

  10. Assessing water resources under climate change in high-altitude catchments: a methodology and an application in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, T.; Soncini, A.; Bianchi, A.; Diolaiuti, G.; D'Agata, C.; Bocchiola, D.

    2018-01-01

    Assessment of the future water resources in the Italian Alps under climate change is required, but the hydrological cycle of the high-altitude catchments therein is poorly studied and little understood. Hydrological monitoring and modeling in the Alps is difficult, given the lack of first hand, site specific data. Here, we present a method to model the hydrological cycle of poorly monitored high-altitude catchments in the Alps, and to project forward water resources availability under climate change. Our method builds on extensive experience recently and includes (i) gathering data of climate, of cryospheric variables, and of hydrological fluxes sparsely available; (ii) robust physically based glacio-hydrological modeling; and (iii) using glacio-hydrological projections from GCM models. We apply the method in the Mallero River, in the central (Retiche) Alps of Italy. The Mallero river covers 321 km2, with altitude between 310 and 4015 m a.s.l., and it has 27 km2 of ice cover. The glaciers included in the catchment underwent large mass loss recently, thus Mallero is largely paradigmatic of the present situation of Alpine rivers. We set up a spatially explicit glacio-hydrological model, describing the cryospheric evolution and the hydrology of the area during a control run CR, from 1981 to 2007. We then gather climate projections until 2100 from three Global Climate Models of the IPCC AR5 under RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5. We project forward flow statistics, flow components (rainfall, snow melt, ice melt), ice cover, and volume for two reference decades, namely 2045-2054 and 2090-2099. We foresee reduction of the ice bodies from - 62 to - 98% in volume (year 2100 vs year 1981), and subsequent large reduction of ice melt contribution to stream flows (from - 61 to - 88%, 2100 vs CR). Snow melt, now covering 47% of the stream flows yearly, would also be largely reduced (from - 19 to - 56%, 2100 vs CR). The stream flows will decrease on average at 2100 (from + 1 to - 25

  11. Nitrate reduction in geologically heterogeneous catchments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Refsgaard, Jens Christian; Auken, Esben; Bamberg, Charlotte A.

    2014-01-01

    In order to fulfil the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive nitrate load from agricultural areas to surface water in Denmark needs to be reduced by about 40%. The regulations imposed until now have been uniform, i.e. the same restrictions for all areas independent of the subsurface...... conditions. Studies have shown that on a national basis about 2/3 of the nitrate leaching from the root zone is reduced naturally, through denitrification, in the subsurface before reaching the streams. Therefore, it is more cost-effective to identify robust areas, where nitrate leaching through the root...... the entire catchment. However, as distributed models often do not include local scale hydrogeological heterogeneities, they are typically not able to make accurate predictions at scales smaller than they are calibrated. We present a framework for assessing nitrate reduction in the subsurface...

  12. Hydrological catchment modelling: past, present and future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses basic issues in hydrological modelling and flood forecasting, ranging from the roles of physically-based and data-driven rainfall runoff models, to the concepts of predictive uncertainty and equifinality and their implications. The evolution of a wide range of hydrological catchment models employing the physically meaningful and data-driven approaches introduces the need for objective test beds or benchmarks to assess the merits of the different models in reconciling the alternative approaches. In addition, the paper analyses uncertainty in models and predictions by clarifying the meaning of uncertainty, by distinguishing between parameter and predictive uncertainty and by demonstrating how the concept of equifinality must be addressed by appropriate and robust inference approaches. Finally, the importance of predictive uncertainty in the decision making process is highlighted together with possible approaches aimed at overcoming the diffidence of end-users.

  13. Nutrient fluxes from coastal California catchments with suburban development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melack, J. M.; Leydecker, A.; Beighley, E.; Robinson, T.; Coombs, S.

    2005-12-01

    Numerous streams originate in the mountains fringing California's coast and transport nutrients into coastal waters. In central California, these streams traverse catchments with land covers including chaparral, grazed grasslands, orchards, industrial agriculture and suburban and urban development. Fluvial nutrient concentrations and fluxes vary as a function of these land covers and as a function of considerable fluctuations in rainfall. As part of a long-term investigation of mobilization and fluvial transport of nutrients in catchments bordering the Santa Barbara Channel we have intensively sampled nutrient concentrations and measured discharge during storm and base flows in multiple catchments and subcatchments. Volume-weighted mean concentrations of nitrate generally ranged from 5 to 25 micromolar in undeveloped areas, increased to about 100 micromolar for suburban and most agricultural catchments, and were in excess of 1000 micromolar in catchments with greenhouse-based agriculture. Phosphate concentrations ranged from 2 to 20 micromolar among the catchments. These data are used to examine the premise that the suburbanized portion of the catchments is the primary source of nutrients to the streams.

  14. Spatial characterization of catchment dispersion mechanisms in an urban context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossel, Florian; Gironás, Jorge; Mejía, Alfonso; Rinaldo, Andrea; Rodriguez, Fabrice

    2014-12-01

    Previous studies have examined in-depth the dispersion mechanisms in natural catchments. In contrast, these dispersion mechanisms have been studied little in urban catchments, where artificial transport elements and morphological arrangements are expected to modify travel times and mobilize excess rainfall from spatially distributed impervious sites. This has the ability to modify the variance of the catchment's travel times and hence the total dispersion. This work quantifies the dispersion mechanisms in an urban catchment using the theory of transport by travel times as represented by the Urban Morpho-climatic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (U-McIUH) model. The U-McIUH computes travel times based on kinematic wave theory and accounts explicitly for the path heterogeneities and altered connectivity patterns characteristic of an urban drainage network. The analysis is illustrated using the Aubinière urban catchment in France as a case study. We found that kinematic dispersion is dominant for small rainfall intensities, whereas geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant for larger intensities. The total dispersion scales with the drainage area in a power law fashion. The kinematic dispersion is dominant across spatial scales up to a threshold of approximately 2-3 km2, after which the geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant. Overall, overland flow is responsible for most of the dispersion in the catchment, while conduits tend to counteract the increase of the geomorphologic dispersion with a negative kinematic dispersion. Further study with other catchments is needed to asses if the latter is a general feature of urban drainage networks.

  15. Morphological characteristics of overdeepenings in high-mountain glacier beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeberli, Wilfried; Cochachin, Alejo; Fischer, Urs; Giráldez, Claudia; Linsbauer, Andreas; Salazar, Cesar

    2014-05-01

    Overdeepenings, i.e. closed topographic depressions with adverse slopes in the flow direction, are characteristic for glacier beds and glacially sculpted landscapes. Besides their importance as geomorphological landforms, groundwater bodies and sedimentary archives, they are of increasing interest in relation to climate-induced lake formation in de-glaciating landscapes and to depth erosion under ice age conditions in connection with the long-term safety of radioactive waste repositories in some mid-latitude countries. Quantitative predictions of their shape, distribution and conditions of occurrence, however, remain difficult. One major problem thereby relates to the still unsatisfactory treatment in glacier erosion theory of sediment evacuation at glacier beds, especially by subglacial meltwater. An alternative way of searching for realistic/empirical quantitative estimates is, therefore, to analyse the geometry of well-documented overdeepenings. The present study attempts to do this by combining statistical analyses of (a) detailed bathymetries from recently exposed lakes in the Peruvian Andes, (b) numerous bed overdeepenigs below still existing glaciers of the Swiss Alps and the Himalaya-Karakoram region modelled with a robust shear stress approximation linking surface slope to ice thickness at high resolution, and (c, for comparison) reconstructed overdeepenings produced by ice age glaciers in the Swiss Plateau based on numerous drillings and geophysical soundings. The sample of (a) has the advantage that geometries are exactly measured and only subject to young/small sedimentation effects. Sample (b) allows for a comparison with a modern model calculation and with known glacier characteristics. Sample (c) may provide some insights into the question how safely results from high mountain topography can be transferred to sites with markedly different topographic, climatic and glaciological controls (cold-arid lowland). Where possible, mean and maximum values of

  16. The current state of glaciers within the Koryak Highland and assessment of their development by the middle of this century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D. Ananicheva

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Koryak Upland, located in Russian Far East, has so far been poorly studied in terms of glaciology. The information contained in the USSR Glacier Inventory (1982 was obtained by analysis of topographic maps and aerial photography. On the publication date, the Inventory of Koryak Upland included 715 glaciers. To study of the current state of Koryak glaciers, we used satellite imageries – Landsat, Terra /Aqua (EOS AM-1 and ASTER. Deciphering the scenes showed that a significant portion of the glaciers melted away since the mid-1970's until now. We have found only 237 glaciers. Some glaciers are appeared to be rock glaciers, filled with detrital material, cemented by ice in a single body. They might be taken for real glaciers while categorization. The analysis of the retreat (reduction in area of Koryak glaciers by groups with the same morphological type and the same aspect was conducted. The total retreat of the glaciers of this region varied from 40 (for those measured in situ to 70% (mean total as compared to aerial photography surveys (1950. This is the most intense reduction among the studied glacier systems of the Russian Subarctic. It can be explained by the changes in atmospheric circulation due to climate change, the Koryak Upland dries out while the increasing of annual air temperatures. Significant reduction of the glacier area was an incentive for us to undertake a work to assess the evolution of the glaciers in the near future. We used a GCM – ECHAM5 (B1 as the climatic scenario. The projection method has got further development: we have estimated the evolution of glacier systems in which the prevailing type is corries (relatively small circus glacier. The results show a diverse picture of glacier reduction by area, but in general the glacierization will not disappear for the period 2049–2060, reducing the extent by only 17% of the contemporary state.

  17. Probability based hydrologic catchments of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, B. D.

    2015-12-01

    Greenland Ice Sheet melt water impacts ice sheet flow dynamics, fjord and coastal circulation, and sediment and biogeochemical fluxes. Melt water exiting the ice sheet also is a key term in its mass balance. Because of this, knowledge of the area of the ice sheet that contributes melt water to a given outlet (its hydrologic catchment) is important to many ice sheet studies and is especially critical to methods using river runoff to assess ice sheet mass balance. Yet uncertainty in delineating ice sheet hydrologic catchments is a problem that is rarely acknowledged. Ice sheet catchments are delineated as a function of both basal and surface topography. While surface topography is well known, basal topography is less certain because it is dependent on radar surveys. Here, I a present a Monte Carlo based approach to delineating ice sheet catchments that quantifies the impact of uncertain basal topography. In this scheme, over many iterations I randomly vary the ice sheet bed elevation within published error bounds (using Morlighem et al., 2014 bed and bed error datasets). For each iteration of ice sheet bed elevation, I calculate the hydraulic potentiometric surface and route water over its path of 'steepest' descent to delineate the catchment. I then use all realizations of the catchment to arrive at a probability map of all major melt water outlets in Greenland. I often find that catchment size is uncertain, with small, random perturbations in basal topography leading to large variations in catchments size. While some catchments are well defined, others can double or halve in size within published basal topography error bars. While some uncertainty will likely always remain, this work points to locations where studies of ice sheet hydrology would be the most successful, allows reinterpretation of past results, and points to where future radar surveys would be most advantageous.

  18. Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerberg, Ida K.; Wagener, Thorsten; Coxon, Gemma; McMillan, Hilary K.; Castellarin, Attilio; Montanari, Alberto; Freer, Jim

    2016-03-01

    Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catchments used in prediction and by uncertainties in the regionalization procedure. We quantified signature uncertainty stemming from discharge data uncertainty for 43 UK catchments and propagated these uncertainties in signature regionalization, while accounting for regionalization uncertainty with a weighted-pooling-group approach. Discharge uncertainty was estimated using Monte Carlo sampling of multiple feasible rating curves. For each sampled rating curve, a discharge time series was calculated and used in deriving the gauged signature uncertainty distribution. We found that the gauged uncertainty varied with signature type, local measurement conditions and catchment behavior, with the highest uncertainties (median relative uncertainty ±30-40% across all catchments) for signatures measuring high- and low-flow magnitude and dynamics. Our regionalization method allowed assessing the role and relative magnitudes of the gauged and regionalized uncertainty sources in shaping the signature uncertainty distributions predicted for catchments treated as ungauged. We found that (1) if the gauged uncertainties were neglected there was a clear risk of overconditioning the regionalization inference, e.g., by attributing catchment differences resulting from gauged uncertainty to differences in catchment behavior, and (2) uncertainty in the regionalization results was lower for signatures measuring flow distribution (e.g., mean flow) than flow dynamics (e.g., autocorrelation), and for average flows (and then high flows) compared to low flows.

  19. Assessment of Runoff Contributing Catchment Areas in Rainfall Runoff Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorndahl, Søren Liedtke; Johansen, C.; Schaarup-Jensen, Kjeld

    2005-01-01

    to determine with significant precision the hydrological reduction factor is implemented to account all hydrological losses except the initial loss. This paper presents an inconsistency between calculations of the hydrological reduction factor, based on measurements of rainfall and runoff, and till now...... recommended literary values for residential areas. It is proven by comparing rainfall-runoff measurements from four different residential catchments that the literary values of the hydrological reduction factor are over-estimated for this type of catchments. In addition, different catchment descriptions...

  20. Modelling catchment areas for secondary care providers: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Simon; Wardlaw, Jessica; Crouch, Susan; Carolan, Michelle

    2011-09-01

    Hospitals need to understand patient flows in an increasingly competitive health economy. New initiatives like Patient Choice and the Darzi Review further increase this demand. Essential to understanding patient flows are demographic and geographic profiles of health care service providers, known as 'catchment areas' and 'catchment populations'. This information helps Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to review how their populations are accessing services, measure inequalities and commission services; likewise it assists Secondary Care Providers (SCPs) to measure and assess potential gains in market share, redesign services, evaluate admission thresholds and plan financial budgets. Unlike PCTs, SCPs do not operate within fixed geographic boundaries. Traditionally, SCPs have used administrative boundaries or arbitrary drive times to model catchment areas. Neither approach satisfactorily represents current patient flows. Furthermore, these techniques are time-consuming and can be challenging for healthcare managers to exploit. This paper presents three different approaches to define catchment areas, each more detailed than the previous method. The first approach 'First Past the Post' defines catchment areas by allocating a dominant SCP to each Census Output Area (OA). The SCP with the highest proportion of activity within each OA is considered the dominant SCP. The second approach 'Proportional Flow' allocates activity proportionally to each OA. This approach allows for cross-boundary flows to be captured in a catchment area. The third and final approach uses a gravity model to define a catchment area, which incorporates drive or travel time into the analysis. Comparing approaches helps healthcare providers to understand whether using more traditional and simplistic approaches to define catchment areas and populations achieves the same or similar results as complex mathematical modelling. This paper has demonstrated, using a case study of Manchester, that when estimating

  1. Dynamic behavior of the Bering Glacier-Bagley icefield system during a surge, and other measurements of Alaskan glaciers with ERS SAR imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingle, Craig S.; Fatland, Dennis R.; Voronina, Vera A.; Ahlnaes, Kristina; Troshina, Elena N.

    1997-01-01

    ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery was employed for the measurement of the dynamics of the Bagley icefield during a major surge in 1993-1994, the measurement of ice velocities on the Malaspina piedmont glacier during a quiescent phase between surges, and for mapping the snow lines and the position of the terminus of Nabesna glacier on Mount Wrangell (a 4317 m andesitic shield volcano) in the heavily glacierized Saint Elias and Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. An overview and summary of results is given. The methods used include interferometry, cross-correlation of sequential images, and digitization of boundaries using terrain-corrected SAR imagery.

  2. Comparing different methods to model scenarios of future glacier change for the entire Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsbauer, A.; Paul, F.; Haeberli, W.

    2012-04-01

    There is general agreement that observed climate change already has strong impacts on the cryosphere. The rapid shrinkage of glaciers during the past two decades as observed in many mountain ranges globally and in particular in the Alps, are impressive confirmations of a changed climate. With the expected future temperature increase glacier shrinkage will likely further accelerate and their role as an important water resource more and more diminish. To determine the future contribution of glaciers to run-off with hydrological models, the change in glacier area and/or volume must be considered. As these models operate at regional scales, simplified approaches to model the future development of all glaciers in a mountain range need to be applied. In this study we have compared different simplified approaches to model the area and volume evolution of all glaciers in the Swiss Alps over the 21st century according to given climate change scenarios. One approach is based on an upward shift of the ELA (by 150 m per degree temperature increase) and the assumption that the glacier extent will shrink until the smaller accumulation area covers again 60% of the total glacier area. A second approach is based on observed elevation changes between 1985 and 2000 as derived from DEM differencing for all glaciers in Switzerland. With a related elevation-dependent parameterization of glacier thickness change and a modelled glacier thickness distribution, the 15-year trends in observed thickness loss are extrapolated into the future with glacier area loss taking place when thickness becomes zero. The models show an overall glacier area reduction between 60-80% until 2100 with some ice remaining at the highest elevations. However, compared to the ongoing temperature increase and considering that several reinforcement feedbacks (albedo lowering, lake formation) are not accounted for, the real area loss might even be stronger. Uncertainties in the modelled glacier thickness have only a

  3. Response of floodplain sedimentation to catchment disturbances in different environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notebaert, B.; Houbrechts, G.; Verstraeten, G.; Petit, F.

    2009-04-01

    Holocene floodplain sediments are an important environmental archive, that can be accesed for reconstructing the past landscape dynamics either qualitatively (e.g. palynology) and quantitatively (e.g. sediment budgeting). In this study Holocene alluvial sediment deposition in two contrasting Belgian catchments was quantified and dated: the Lienne (148 km2) in the Ardennes massif and the Dijle (750 km2) in the loess region. These catchments experienced a comparable Holocene climatic variation, but differ in topography and geology with highest relief energy in the Lienne catchment. Land use history also differs with high land use intensities in the Dijle catchment since Roman times, but at least since the Middle Ages there were also large deforestations in the Lienne catchment. Detailed cumulative Holocene sediment deposition was assessed for each catchment using more then 1000 hand augerings. Detailed radiocarbon dating of fluvial deposits was performed in the Dijle catchment, while iron slag was used as a tracer for sediments deposited after 1350 AD in the Lienne catchment. Results show that sediment deposition is much larger in the Dijle catchment (~4.5 Mg ha-1 catchment area) then in the Lienne catchment (~0.2 Mg ha-1 catchment area). Dating results from the Dijle catchment show an increase of sediment deposition in the late Holocene, first starting in the colluvial valleys and later on prograding towards the main valleys. Variations in sedimentation rates can clearly be related to anthropogenous land use pressure, and the majority of the sediments found in colluvial and alluvial valleys were deposited in the last 4000 years, and in many cases even in the last 1000 years. Variations in sediment deposition within the catchment can partially be explained by differences in river valley physical settings (mainly valley slope), while in other cases hill slope sediment delivery (upstream erosion, connectivity between hill slopes and the river system) is the explaining

  4. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  5. New inventory of glaciers in southeastern part of the Eastern Sayan Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Yu. Osipov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Satellite images with high (Quick Bird, 2006, WorldView-1, 2008, 0.5–0.6 m and middle (Landsat-7 ETM +, 2001, 15–30 m resolution were used to map contemporary glaciers on two mountain peaks of south-eastern part of East Sayan Ridge – Munky Sardyk (3491 m a.s.l. and Topographov (3089 m a.s.l.. Topographic maps of 1978 and 1981 and Landsat-7 images (summer 2001 were used to assess glacier changes during second half of XX century. Modern terminal and lateral moraines near glacier snouts were used to reconstruct former outlines during the end of the Little Ice Age (middle of XIX century. Also SRTM data and GPS-surveys in Munku-Sardyk area were applied to measure glacier altitudes. GIS technologies allowed forming digital glacier data base with attribute information and new inventory was made. Totally 13 glaciers with area of 5.1 km² were investigated and mapped. Glaciers are located in vertical range from 2800–3490 m a.s.l. (Munku-Sardyk area and 2340–2950 m a.s.l. (Topographov area. Firn line on glaciers vary from 2540 to 3110 m a.s.l., rising to the southeast. On average, over the past 160 years (since the end of the Little Ice Age glaciers have significantly decreased. Ice area has decreased by 49%, length has diminished by 570 m, the glacier snouts has risen by 124 m. Analysis of regional climate data shows that the rate of deglaciation is well correlated with summer temperatures increasing in the second half of XX century, especially in 1980–1990s. A tendency to recover glacier mass balance was revealed during the last decade based on climatic data.

  6. Regional passive seismic monitoring reveals dynamic glacier activity on Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Köhler

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dynamic glacier activity is increasingly observed through passive seismic monitoring. We analysed near-regional-scale seismicity on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to identify seismic icequake signals and to study their spatial–temporal distribution within the 14-year period from 2000 until 2013. This is the first study that uses seismic data recorded on permanent broadband stations to detect and locate icequakes in different regions of Spitsbergen, the main island of the archipelago. A temporary local seismic network and direct observations of glacier calving and surging were used to identify icequake sources. We observed a high number of icequakes with clear spectral peaks between 1 and 8 Hz in different parts of Spitsbergen. Spatial clusters of icequakes could be associated with individual grounded tidewater glaciers and exhibited clear seasonal variability each year with more signals observed during the melt season. Locations at the termini of glaciers, and correlation with visual calving observations in situ at Kronebreen, a glacier in the Kongsfjorden region, show that these icequakes were caused dominantly by calving. Indirect evidence for glacier surging through increased calving seismicity was found in 2003 at Tunabreen, a glacier in central Spitsbergen. Another type of icequake was observed in the area of the Nathorstbreen glacier system. Seismic events occurred upstream of the glacier within a short time period between January and May 2009 during the initial phase of a major glacier surge. This study is the first step towards the generation and implementation of an operational seismic monitoring strategy for glacier dynamics in Svalbard.

  7. The sensitivity of flowline models of tidewater glaciers to parameter uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Depth-integrated (1-D flowline models have been widely used to simulate fast-flowing tidewater glaciers and predict change because the continuous grounding line tracking, high horizontal resolution, and physically based calving criterion that are essential to realistic modeling of tidewater glaciers can easily be incorporated into the models while maintaining high computational efficiency. As with all models, the values for parameters describing ice rheology and basal friction must be assumed and/or tuned based on observations. For prognostic studies, these parameters are typically tuned so that the glacier matches observed thickness and speeds at an initial state, to which a perturbation is applied. While it is well know that ice flow models are sensitive to these parameters, the sensitivity of tidewater glacier models has not been systematically investigated. Here we investigate the sensitivity of such flowline models of outlet glacier dynamics to uncertainty in three key parameters that influence a glacier's resistive stress components. We find that, within typical observational uncertainty, similar initial (i.e., steady-state glacier configurations can be produced with substantially different combinations of parameter values, leading to differing transient responses after a perturbation is applied. In cases where the glacier is initially grounded near flotation across a basal over-deepening, as typically observed for rapidly changing glaciers, these differences can be dramatic owing to the threshold of stability imposed by the flotation criterion. The simulated transient response is particularly sensitive to the parameterization of ice rheology: differences in ice temperature of ~ 2 °C can determine whether the glaciers thin to flotation and retreat unstably or remain grounded on a marine shoal. Due to the highly non-linear dependence of tidewater glaciers on model parameters, we recommend that their predictions are accompanied by

  8. Emerging Glacial Lakes in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru: A Case Study at Arteson Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisolm, R. E.; Mckinney, D. C.; Gomez, J.; Voss, K.

    2012-12-01

    Tropical glaciers are an essential component of the water resources systems in the mountainous regions where they are located, and a warming climate has resulted in the accelerated retreat of Andean glaciers in recent decades. The shrinkage of Andean glaciers influences the flood risk for communities living downstream as new glacial lakes have begun to form at the termini of some glaciers. As these lakes continue to grow in area and volume, they pose an increasing risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Ice thickness measurements have been a key missing link in studying the tropical glaciers in Peru and how climate change is likely to impact glacial melt and the growth of glacial lakes. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has rarely been applied to glaciers in Peru to measure ice thickness, and these measurements can tell us a lot about how a warming climate will affect glacier mass balance. This study presents GPR data taken in July 2012 at the Arteson glacier in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. A new lake has begun to form at the terminus of the Arteson glacier, and this lake has key features, including overhanging ice and loose rock likely to create landslides, that could trigger a catastrophic GLOF if the lake continues to grow. This new lake is part of a series of three lakes that have formed below the Arteson glacier. The two lower lakes, Artesonraju and Paron, are much larger so that if there were an avalanche or landslide into the new lake below Arteson glacier, the impact could potentially be more catastrophic than a GLOF from one single lake. Estimates of how the lake mass balance is likely to evolve due to the retreating glacier are key to assessing the flood risk from this dynamic three-lake system. Because the glacier mass balance and lake mass balance are closely linked, the ice thickness measurements and measurements of the bed slope of the Arteson glacier and underlying bedrock give us a clue to how the lake is likely to evolve. GPR measurements of

  9. Applications of the PyTOPKAPI model to ungauged catchments

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    in this work as an alternative model calibration procedure for streamflow simulation from .... catchment is divided into direct runoff and infiltration, which reflects the nonlinear relationship between the soil water storage and the saturated ...

  10. Land use change impacts on floods at the catchment scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rogger, M.; Agnoletti, M.; Alaoui, A.; Bathurst, J.C.; Bodner, G.; Borga, M.; Chaplot, Vincent; Gallart, F.; Glatzel, G.; Hall, J.; Holden, J.; Holko, L.; Horn, R.; Kiss, A.; Kohnová, S.; Leitinger, G.; Lennartz, B.; Parajka, J.; Perdigão, R.; Peth, S.; Plavcová, L.; Quinton, John N.; Robinson, Matthew R.; Salinas, J.L.; Santoro, A.; Szolgay, J.; Tron, S.; Akker, van den J.J.H.; Viglione, A.; Blöschl, G.

    2017-01-01

    Research gaps in understanding flood changes at the catchment scale caused by changes in forest management, agricultural practices, artificial drainage, and terracing are identified. Potential strategies in addressing these gaps are proposed, such as complex systems approaches to link processes

  11. Impacts of afforestation on low flows: Paired catchment data revisited

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Blight, JJ

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of the hydrological regime caused by afforestation is well documented. Several sets of experimental catchments were set up in South Africa between 1935 and 1980 specifically to quantify such impacts. Data emanating from these experimental...

  12. Analysis of catchments response to severe drought event for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nafiisah

    The run sum analysis method was a sound method which indicates in ... intensity and duration of stream flow depletion between nearby catchments. ... threshold level analysis method, and allows drought events to be described in more.

  13. Extreme inflow events and synoptic forcing in Sydney catchments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pepler, Acacia S; Rakich, Clinton S

    2010-01-01

    The Sydney catchment region encompasses over 16,000km 2 , supplying water to over 4 million inhabitants. However, few studies have investigated the synoptic and climatic influences on inflow in this region, which are crucial for understanding the vulnerability of water supply in a changing climate. This study identifies extremely high and low inflow events between 1960 and 2008 based on catchment averages. The focus of the study is an analysis of the synoptic cause/s of each extreme inflow event. The events are evaluated to identify any trends and also to determine the concurrent significant climatic influences on rainfall over the catchments. Relationships between catchment inflow, rainfall, tropical SST indices, and other influencing factors such as observed wind and temperatures are investigated. Our results show that East Coast Lows and anomalously easterly flow are the drivers of high inflow events, with low inflow events dominated by westerly wind patterns and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

  14. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in g...

  15. Exploring uncertainty in glacier mass balance modelling with Monte Carlo simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machguth, H.; Purves, R.S.; Oerlemans, J.; Hoelzle, M.; Paul, F.

    2008-01-01

    By means of Monte Carlo simulations we calculated uncertainty in modelled cumulative mass balance over 400 days at one particular point on the tongue of Morteratsch Glacier, Switzerland, using a glacier energy balance model of intermediate complexity. Before uncertainty assessment, the model was

  16. The timing of the maximum extent of the Rhone Glacier at Wangen a.d. Aare

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivy-Ochs, S.; Schluechter, C. [Bern Univ. (Switzerland); Kubik, P.W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Beer, J. [EAWAG, Duebendorf (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    Erratic blocks found in the region of Wangen a.d. Aare delineate the maximum position of the Solothurn lobe of the Rhone Glacier. {sup 10}Be and {sup 26}Al exposure ages of three of these blocks show that the glacier withdraw from its maximum position at or slightly before 20,000{+-}1800 years ago. (author) 1 fig., 5 refs.

  17. Early 21st century spatially detailed elevation changes of Jammu and Kashmir glaciers (Karakoram–Himalaya)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vijay, Saurabh; Braun, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    Although a number of studies indicate the regional heterogeneity of the glacier elevation and mass changes in high-mountain Asia in the early 21st century, little is known about these changes with high spatial detail for some of the regions. In this study we present respective glacier elevation a...

  18. Morphometric Controls on Glacier Mass Balance of the Puruogangri Ice Field, Central Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Evaluating the impacts of climatic changes and morphometric features on glacier mass balance is crucial to providing insight into glacier changes and their effects on regional water resources and ecosystems. Here, we presented an evaluation of morphometric effects on the glacier mass balances of the Puruogangri ice field (PIF on the Tibetan Plateau. A clear spatial variability of glacier mass balances, ranging from −0.035 to +0.019 m·w.e.·year−1, was estimated by comparing the TanDEM-X DEM (2012 with the SRTM-X DEM (2000. In general, the observed glacier mass changes were consistent with our fieldwork investigations. Furthermore, by applying the method of linear regression analysis, we found that the mass changes of individual glaciers on the PIF were mainly dominated by the mean altitude (R = 0.84, p < 0.001, however, they were statistically independent of glacier size, aspect, and surface velocity. At a local scale (grid size of 10 × 10 pixels, apart from the factor of altitude, surface velocity was correlated with glacier mass change.

  19. Modelled and observed mass balance of Rikha Samba Glacier, Nepal, Central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurung, T. R.; Kayastha, R. B.; Fujita, K.; Sinisalo, A. K.; Stumm, D.; Joshi, S.; Litt, M.

    2016-12-01

    Glacier mass balance variability has an implication for the regional water resources and it helps to understand the response of glacier to climate change in the Himalayan region. Several mass balance studies have been started in the Himalayan region since 1970s, but they are characterized by frequent temporal gaps and a poor spatial representatively. This study aims at bridging the temporal gaps in a long term mass balance series of the Rikha Samba glacier (5383 - 6475 m a.s.l.), a benchmark glacier located in the Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal. The ERA Interim reanalysis data for the period 2011-2015 is calibrated with the observed meteorological variables from an AWS installed near the glacier terminus. We apply an energy mass balance model, validated with the available in-situ measurements for the years 1998 and 2011-2015. The results show that the glacier is shrinking at a moderate negative mass balance rate for the period 1995 to 2015 and the high altitude location of Rikha Samba also prevents a bigger mass loss compared to other small Himalayan glaciers. Precipitation from July to January and the mean air temperature from June to October are the most influential climatic parameters of the annual mass balance variability of Rikha Samba glacier.

  20. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, balance year 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.

    2004-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance year 2002. The 2002 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 4.02 meters, the second largest since 1959. The 2002 glacier summer, net, and annual (water year) balances were -3.47, 0.55, and 0.54 meters, respectively. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.92 square kilometers, and the equilibrium-line altitude and the accumulation area ratio were 1,820 meters and 0.84, respectively. During September 20, 2001 to September 13, 2002, the terminus retreated 4 meters, and computed average ice speeds in the ablation area ranged from 7.8 to 20.7 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin were measured during part of the 2002 water year. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations near the glacier.

  1. Inferring Ice Thickness from a Glacier Dynamics Model and Multiple Surface Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Y.; Haran, M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    The future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have a major impact on future climate. For instance, ice sheet melt may contribute significantly to global sea level rise. Understanding the current state of WAIS is therefore of great interest. WAIS is drained by fast-flowing glaciers which are major contributors to ice loss. Hence, understanding the stability and dynamics of glaciers is critical for predicting the future of the ice sheet. Glacier dynamics are driven by the interplay between the topography, temperature and basal conditions beneath the ice. A glacier dynamics model describes the interactions between these processes. We develop a hierarchical Bayesian model that integrates multiple ice sheet surface data sets with a glacier dynamics model. Our approach allows us to (1) infer important parameters describing the glacier dynamics, (2) learn about ice sheet thickness, and (3) account for errors in the observations and the model. Because we have relatively dense and accurate ice thickness data from the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, we use these data to validate the proposed approach. The long-term goal of this work is to have a general model that may be used to study multiple glaciers in the Antarctic.

  2. Ocean tides modulation of flow at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, observed using GPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Juan, Julia; Elosegui, P.; Nettles, M.

    Observations at high spatial and temporal resolution could be key for improving our understanding of the physical processes that govern outlet-glacier flow variations. We collected simultaneous high-rate GPS observations at several locations distributed along and across Helheim Glacier, East...

  3. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome

  4. Remote Sensing of Cryosphere: Estimation of Mass Balance Change in Himalayan Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi; Joshi, Kabindra

    2012-07-01

    Glacial changes are an important indicator of climate change. Our understanding mass balance change in Himalayan glaciers is limited. This study estimates mass balance of some major glaciers in the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) in Nepal using remote sensing applications. Remote sensing technique to measure mass balance of glaciers is an important methodological advance in the highly rugged Himalayan terrain. This study uses ASTER VNIR, 3N (nadir view) and 3B (backward view) bands to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the SNP area for the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Glacier boundaries were delineated using combination of boundaries available in the Global land ice measurement (GLIMS) database and various band ratios derived from ASTER images. Elevation differences, glacial area, and ice densities were used to estimate the change in mass balance. The results indicated that the rate of glacier mass balance change was not uniform across glaciers. While there was a decrease in mass balance of some glaciers, some showed increase. This paper discusses how each glacier in the SNP area varied in its annual mass balance measurement during the study period.

  5. Recent evolution and degradation of the bent Jatunraju glacier (Cordillera Blanca, Peru)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Emmer, A.; Loarte, E.C.; Klimeš, Jan; Vilímek, V.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 228, JAN 1 (2015), s. 345-355 ISSN 0169-555X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP209/11/1000 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : debris-covered glacier * rock glacier * surface movements * buried ice degradation * supraglacial lakes Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 2.813, year: 2015

  6. Little Ice Age climate reconstruction from ensemble reanalysis of Alpine glacier fluctuations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. P. Lüthi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mountain glaciers sample a combination of climate fields – temperature, precipitation and radiation – by accumulation and melting of ice. Flow dynamics acts as a transfer function that maps volume changes to a length response of the glacier terminus. Long histories of terminus positions have been assembled for several glaciers in the Alps. Here I analyze terminus position histories from an ensemble of seven glaciers in the Alps with a macroscopic model of glacier dynamics to derive a history of glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA for the time span 400–2010 C.E. The resulting climatic reconstruction depends only on records of glacier variations. The reconstructed ELA history is similar to recent reconstructions of Alpine summer temperature and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO index, but bears little resemblance to reconstructed precipitation variations. Most reconstructed low-ELA periods coincide with large explosive volcano eruptions, hinting at a direct effect of volcanic radiative cooling on mass balance. The glacier advances during the LIA, and the retreat after 1860, can thus be mainly attributed to temperature and volcanic radiative cooling.

  7. High-resolution monitoring of Himalayan glacier dynamics using unmanned aerial vehicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Immerzeel, W. W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Kraaijenbrink, P. D A; Shea, J. M.; Shrestha, A. B.; Pellicciotti, F.; Bierkens, M. F P|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/125022794; De Jong, S. M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/120221306

    2014-01-01

    Himalayan glacier tongues are commonly debris covered and they are an important source of melt water. However, they remain relatively unstudied because of the inaccessibility of the terrain and the difficulties in field work caused by the thick debris mantles. Observations of debris-covered glaciers

  8. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker; Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Abermann, Jakob; Andersen, Morten L.; Andersen, Signe B.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Box, Jason E.; Braithwaite, Roger J.; Bøggild, Carl E.; Citterio, Michele; Clement, Poul; Colgan, William; Fausto, Robert S.; Gleie, Karin; Gubler, Stefanie; Hasholt, Bent; Hynek, Bernhard; Knudsen, Niels T.; Larsen, Signe H.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Oerlemans, Johannes; Oerter, Hans; Olesen, Ole B.; Smeets, C. J P Paul; Steffen, Konrad; Stober, Manfred; Sugiyama, Shin; Van As, Dirk; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.; Van De Wal, Roderik S W

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in

  9. Gulkana Glacier, Alaska-Mass balance, meteorology, and water measurements, 1997-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2011-01-01

    The measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances for 1997-2001 in the Gulkana Glacier basin are determined at specific points and over the entire glacier area using the meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data. We provide descriptions of glacier geometry to aid in estimation of conventional and reference surface mass balances and descriptions of ice motion to aid in the understanding of the glacier's response to its changing geometry. These data provide annual estimates for area altitude distribution, equilibrium line altitude, and accumulation area ratio during the study interval. New determinations of historical area altitude distributions are given for 1900 and annually from 1966 to 2001. As original weather instrumentation is nearing the end of its deployment lifespan, we provide new estimates of overlap comparisons and precipitation catch efficiency. During 1997-2001, Gulkana Glacier showed a continued and accelerated negative mass balance trend, especially below the equilibrium line altitude where thinning was pronounced. Ice motion also slowed, which combined with the negative mass balance, resulted in glacier retreat under a warming climate. Average annual runoff augmentation by glacier shrinkage for 1997-2001 was 25 percent compared to the previous average of 13 percent, in accordance with the measured glacier volume reductions.

  10. How many stakes are required to measure the mass balance of a glacier?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.G.; Vecchia, A.

    1999-01-01

    Glacier mass balance is estimated for South Cascade Glacier and Maclure Glacier using a one-dimensional regression of mass balance with altitude as an alternative to the traditional approach of contouring mass balance values. One attractive feature of regression is that it can be applied to sparse data sets where contouring is not possible and can provide an objective error of the resulting estimate. Regression methods yielded mass balance values equivalent to contouring methods. The effect of the number of mass balance measurements on the final value for the glacier showed that sample sizes as small as five stakes provided reasonable estimates, although the error estimates were greater than for larger sample sizes. Different spatial patterns of measurement locations showed no appreciable influence on the final value as long as different surface altitudes were intermittently sampled over the altitude range of the glacier. Two different regression equations were examined, a quadratic, and a piecewise linear spline, and comparison of results showed little sensitivity to the type of equation. These results point to the dominant effect of the gradient of mass balance with altitude of alpine glaciers compared to transverse variations. The number of mass balance measurements required to determine the glacier balance appears to be scale invariant for small glaciers and five to ten stakes are sufficient.

  11. Assessing the debris around glaciers using remote sensing and random sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bandishoev, Mus; Dilo, Arta; Stein, A.; Fonte, C.C.; Goncalves, L.M.S.; Goncalves, G.

    2011-01-01

    Glacier mapping from satellite multispectral image data is hampered by debris cover on glacier surfaces. Information on the spatial distribution and spatial-temporal dynamics of debris, however, bears various kinds of uncertainties. Debris exhibits the same spectral properties as lateral and

  12. Spatial and temporal melt variability at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, and its effect on ice dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M. L.; Larsen, T. B.; Nettles, M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of large outlet glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet is critical for assessing the impact of climate change on sea level rise. The flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers is partly governed by calving-related processes taking place at the terminus but is also in...

  13. Investigating plume dynamics at the ocean-glacier interface with turbulence profiling and autonomous vessels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, R. H.; Nash, J. D.; Sutherland, D. A.; Amundson, J. M.; Kienholz, C.; Skyllingstad, E. D.; Motyka, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    The exchanges of heat and freshwater at tidewater glacier termini are modulated by small-scale turbulent processes. However, few observations have been obtained near the ocean-glacier interface, limiting our ability to quantify turbulent fluxes or test melt parameterizations in ocean-glacier models. Here, we explore the turbulent plume dynamics at LeConte Glacier, Alaska with three extensive field campaigns in May, August and September (2016-17). Two autonomous vessels collected repeat transects of velocity and water properties near the glacier, often within 20 m of the terminus. Concurrent shipboard surveying measured turbulence with a vertical microstructure profiler, along with water properties and velocity. These high-resolution surveys provide a 3D view of the circulation and allow us to quantify turbulent fluxes in the near-glacier region. We observe two regimes at the terminus: an energetic upwelling plume driven by subglacial discharge at a persistent location, and submarine melt-driven convection along other parts of the terminus. We trace the evolution of the subglacial discharge plume as it flows away from the glacier, from an initial stage of vigorous mixing to a more quiescent outflow downstream. Resolving these spatial patterns of upwelling and mixing near glaciers is a key step towards understanding submarine melt rates and glacial fjord circulation.

  14. Surge of Hispar Glacier, Pakistan, between 2013 and 2017 detected from remote sensing observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, Irfan; Abdullah, Tariq; Glasser, Neil F.; Naz, Heena; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad

    2018-02-01

    This study analyses the behaviour of an actively surging glacier, Hispar, in Pakistan using remote sensing methods. We used 15 m panchromatic band of Landsat 8 OLI from 2013 to 2017 to assess the changes in glacier velocity, glacier geomorphology and supraglacial water bodies. For the velocity estimation, correlation image analysis (CIAS) was used, which is based on normalized cross-correlation (NCC) of satellite data. On-screen digitization was employed to quantify changes in the glacier geomorphology and dynamics of supraglacial water bodies on the glacier. Our velocity estimates indicate that the upper part of the glacier is presently undergoing an active surge which not only affects the debris distribution but also impacts the development of supraglacial water bodies. Velocities in the actively surging part of the main glacier trunk and its three tributaries reach up to 900 m yr- 1. The surge of Hispar also impacts the distribution of supraglacial debris causing folding of the medial moraines features present on the glacier surface. Changes in the number and size of supraglacial lakes and ponds were also observed during the observation period from 2013 to 2017.

  15. Estimating retention potential of headwater catchment using Tritium time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Harald; Cartwright, Ian; Morgenstern, Uwe

    2018-06-01

    Headwater catchments provide substantial streamflow to rivers even during long periods of drought. Documenting the mean transit times (MTT) of stream water in headwater catchments and therefore the retention capacities of these catchments is crucial for water management. This study uses time series of 3H activities in combination with major ion concentrations, stable isotope ratios and radon activities (222Rn) in the Lyrebird Creek catchment in Victoria, Australia to provide a unique insight into the mean transit time distributions and flow systems of this small temperate headwater catchment. At all streamflows, the stream has 3H activities (water in the stream is derived from stores with long transit times. If the water in the catchment can be represented by a single store with a continuum of ages, mean transit times of the stream water range from ∼6 up to 40 years, which indicates the large retention potential for this catchment. Alternatively, variations of 3H activities, stable isotopes and major ions can be explained by mixing between of young recent recharge and older water stored in the catchment. While surface runoff is negligible, the variation in stable isotope ratios, major ion concentrations and radon activities during most of the year is minimal (±12%) and only occurs during major storm events. This suggests that different subsurface water stores are activated during the storm events and that these cease to provide water to the stream within a few days or weeks after storm events. The stores comprise micro and macropore flow in the soils and saprolite as well as the boundary between the saprolite and the fractured bed rock. Hydrograph separations from three major storm events using Tritium, electrical conductivity and selected major ions as well a δ18O suggest a minimum of 50% baseflow at most flow conditions. We demonstrate that headwater catchments can have a significant storage capacity and that the relationship between long-water stores and

  16. Visualizing Glaciers and Sea Ice via Google Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballagh, L. M.; Fetterer, F.; Haran, T. M.; Pharris, K.

    2006-12-01

    The NOAA team at NSIDC manages over 60 distinct cryospheric and related data products. With an emphasis on data rescue and in situ data, these products hold value for both the scientific and non-scientific user communities. The overarching goal of this presentation is to promote products from two components of the cryosphere (glaciers and sea ice). Our Online Glacier Photograph Database contains approximately 3,000 photographs taken over many decades, exemplifying change in the glacier terminus over time. The sea ice product shows sea ice extent and concentration along with anomalies and trends. This Sea Ice Index product, which starts in 1979 and is updated monthly, provides visuals of the current state of sea ice in both hemispheres with trends and anomalies. The long time period covered by the data set means that many of the trends in ice extent and concentration shown in this product are statistically significant despite the large natural variability in sea ice. The minimum arctic sea ice extent has been a record low in September 2002 and 2005, contributing to an accelerated trend in sea ice reduction. With increasing world-wide interest in indicators of global climate change, and the upcoming International Polar Year, these data products are of interest to a broad audience. To further extend the impact of these data, we have made them viewable through Google Earth via the Keyhole Markup Language (KML). This presents an opportunity to branch out to a more diverse audience by using a new and innovative tool that allows spatial representation of data of significant scientific and educational interest.

  17. Seismic Investigation of the Glacier de la Plaine Morte, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laske, Gabi; Lindner, Fabian; Walter, Fabian; Krage, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    Glacier de la Plaine Morte is a plateau glacier along the border between Valais and Berne cantons. It covers a narrow elevation range and is extremely vulnerable to climate change. During snow melt, it feeds three marginal lakes that have experienced sudden subglacial drainage in recent years, thereby causing flooding in the Simme Valley below. Of greatest concern is Lac des Faverges at the southeastern end of the glacier that has drained near the end of July in recent years, with flood levels reaching capacity of flood control systems downstream. The lake levels are carefully monitored but precise prediction has not yet been achieved. In the search for precursory ice fracturing to the lake drainage to improve forecast, four seismic arrays comprised of five short-period borehole seismometers provided by Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zürich as well as fifteen 3-component geophones from the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP) collected continuous seismic data for about seven weeks during the summer of 2016. We present initial results on discharge dynamics as well as changing noise levels and seismicity before, during and after the drainage of Lac des Faverges. Compared to previous recent years, the 2016 drainage of Lac des Faverges occurred unusually late on August 28. With an aperture between 100 and 200 m, the small arrays recorded many hundred ice quakes per day. A majority of the events exhibits clearly dispersed, high-frequency Rayleigh waves at about 10 Hz and higher. A wide distribution of events allows us to study azimuthal anisotropy and its relationship with the orientation of glacial crevasses.

  18. A particle based simulation model for glacier dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Åström

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A particle-based computer simulation model was developed for investigating the dynamics of glaciers. In the model, large ice bodies are made of discrete elastic particles which are bound together by massless elastic beams. These beams can break, which induces brittle behaviour. At loads below fracture, beams may also break and reform with small probabilities to incorporate slowly deforming viscous behaviour in the model. This model has the advantage that it can simulate important physical processes such as ice calving and fracturing in a more realistic way than traditional continuum models. For benchmarking purposes the deformation of an ice block on a slip-free surface was compared to that of a similar block simulated with a Finite Element full-Stokes continuum model. Two simulations were performed: (1 calving of an ice block partially supported in water, similar to a grounded marine glacier terminus, and (2 fracturing of an ice block on an inclined plane of varying basal friction, which could represent transition to fast flow or surging. Despite several approximations, including restriction to two-dimensions and simplified water-ice interaction, the model was able to reproduce the size distributions of the debris observed in calving, which may be approximated by universal scaling laws. On a moderate slope, a large ice block was stable and quiescent as long as there was enough of friction against the substrate. For a critical length of frictional contact, global sliding began, and the model block disintegrated in a manner suggestive of a surging glacier. In this case the fragment size distribution produced was typical of a grinding process.

  19. Rainfall, runoff and sediment transport in a Mediterranean mountainous catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuset, J; Vericat, D; Batalla, R J

    2016-01-01

    The relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport is highly variable in Mediterranean catchments. Their relation can be modified by land use changes and climate oscillations that, ultimately, will control water and sediment yields. This paper analyses rainfall, runoff and sediment transport relations in a meso-scale Mediterranean mountain catchment, the Ribera Salada (NE Iberian Peninsula). A total of 73 floods recorded between November 2005 and November 2008 at the Inglabaga Sediment Transport Station (114.5 km(2)) have been analysed. Suspended sediment transport and flow discharge were measured continuously. Rainfall data was obtained by means of direct rain gauges and daily rainfall reconstructions from radar information. Results indicate that the annual sediment yield (2.3 t km(-1) y(-1) on average) and the flood-based runoff coefficients (4.1% on average) are low. The Ribera Salada presents a low geomorphological and hydrological activity compared with other Mediterranean mountain catchments. Pearson correlations between rainfall, runoff and sediment transport variables were obtained. The hydrological response of the catchment is controlled by the base flows. The magnitude of suspended sediment concentrations is largely correlated with flood magnitude, while sediment load is correlated with the amount of direct runoff. Multivariate analysis shows that total suspended load can be predicted by integrating rainfall and runoff variables. The total direct runoff is the variable with more weight in the equation. Finally, three main hydro-sedimentary phases within the hydrological year are defined in this catchment: (a) Winter, where the catchment produces only water and very little sediment; (b) Spring, where the majority of water and sediment is produced; and (c) Summer-Autumn, when little runoff is produced but significant amount of sediments is exported out of the catchment. Results show as land use and climate change may have an important

  20. Catchment Storage and Transport on Timescales from Minutes to Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Landscapes are characterized by preferential flow and pervasive heterogeneity on all scales. They therefore store and transmit water and solutes over a wide spectrum of time scales, with important implications for contaminant transport, weathering rates, and runoff chemistry. Theoretical analyses predict, and syntheses of age tracer data confirm, that waters in aquifers are older - often by orders of magnitude - than in the rivers that flow from them, and that this disconnect between water ages arises from aquifer heterogeneity. Recent theoretical studies also suggest that catchment transit time distributions are nonstationary, reflecting temporal variability in precipitation forcing, structural heterogeneity in catchments themselves, and the nonlinearity of the mechanisms controlling storage and transport in the subsurface. The challenge of empirically estimating these nonstationary transit time distributions in real-world catchments, however, has only begun to be explored. In recent years, long-term isotope time series have been collected in many research catchments, and new technologies have emerged that allow quasi-continuous measurements of isotopes in precipitation and streamflow. These new data streams create new opportunities to study how rainfall becomes streamflow following the onset of precipitation. Here I present novel methods for quantifying the fraction of current rainfall in streamflow across ensembles of precipitation events. Benchmark tests with nonstationary catchment models demonstrate that this approach quantitatively measures the short tail of the transit time distribution for a wide range of catchment response characteristics. In combination with reactive tracer time series, this approach can potentially be extended to measure short-term chemical reaction rates at the catchment scale. Applications using high-frequency tracer time series from several experimental catchments demonstrate the utility of the new approach outlined here.

  1. Prediction of Baseflow Index of Catchments using Machine Learning Algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, B.; Hatfield, K.

    2017-12-01

    We present the results of eight machine learning techniques for predicting the baseflow index (BFI) of ungauged basins using a surrogate of catchment scale climate and physiographic data. The tested algorithms include ordinary least squares, ridge regression, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (lasso), elasticnet, support vector machine, gradient boosted regression trees, random forests, and extremely randomized trees. Our work seeks to identify the dominant controls of BFI that can be readily obtained from ancillary geospatial databases and remote sensing measurements, such that the developed techniques can be extended to ungauged catchments. More than 800 gauged catchments spanning the continental United States were selected to develop the general methodology. The BFI calculation was based on the baseflow separated from daily streamflow hydrograph using HYSEP filter. The surrogate catchment attributes were compiled from multiple sources including digital elevation model, soil, landuse, climate data, other publicly available ancillary and geospatial data. 80% catchments were used to train the ML algorithms, and the remaining 20% of the catchments were used as an independent test set to measure the generalization performance of fitted models. A k-fold cross-validation using exhaustive grid search was used to fit the hyperparameters of each model. Initial model development was based on 19 independent variables, but after variable selection and feature ranking, we generated revised sparse models of BFI prediction that are based on only six catchment attributes. These key predictive variables selected after the careful evaluation of bias-variance tradeoff include average catchment elevation, slope, fraction of sand, permeability, temperature, and precipitation. The most promising algorithms exceeding an accuracy score (r-square) of 0.7 on test data include support vector machine, gradient boosted regression trees, random forests, and extremely randomized

  2. Comparison of physically based catchment models for estimating Phosphorus losses

    OpenAIRE

    Nasr, Ahmed Elssidig; Bruen, Michael

    2003-01-01

    As part of a large EPA-funded research project, coordinated by TEAGASC, the Centre for Water Resources Research at UCD reviewed the available distributed physically based catchment models with a potential for use in estimating phosphorous losses for use in implementing the Water Framework Directive. Three models, representative of different levels of approach and complexity, were chosen and were implemented for a number of Irish catchments. This paper reports on (i) the lessons and experience...

  3. The assessment of water resources in ungauged catchments in Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.P. Abimbola

    2017-10-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: Results of this study show that climate, physiography and land cover strongly influence the hydrology of catchments in Rwanda. Using leave-one-out cross-validation, the log-transformed models were found to predict the flow parameters more suitably. These models can be used for estimating the flow parameters in ungauged catchments in Rwanda and the methodology can be applied in any other region, as long as sufficient and good quality streamflow data is available.

  4. Streamflow response of a small forested catchment on different timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zabaleta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological response of a catchment to rainfall on different timescales is result of a complex system involving a range of physical processes which may operate simultaneously and have different spatial and temporal influences. This paper presents the analysis of streamflow response of a small humid-temperate catchment (Aixola, 4.8 km2 in the Basque Country on different timescales and discusses the role of the controlling factors. Firstly, daily time series analysis was used to establish a hypothesis on the general functioning of the catchment through the relationship between precipitation and discharge on an annual and multiannual scale (2003–2008. Second, rainfall-runoff relationships and relationships among several hydrological variables, including catchment antecedent conditions, were explored at the event scale (222 events to check and improve the hypothesis. Finally, the evolution of electrical conductivity (EC during some of the monitored storm events (28 events was examined to identify the time origin of waters. Quick response of the catchment to almost all the rainfall events as well as a considerable regulation capacity was deduced from the correlation and spectral analyses. These results agree with runoff event scale data analysis; however, the event analysis revealed the non-linearity of the system, as antecedent conditions play a significant role in this catchment. Further, analysis at the event scale made possible to clarify factors controlling (precipitation, precipitation intensity and initial discharge the different aspects of the runoff response (runoff coefficient and discharge increase for this catchment. Finally, the evolution of EC of the waters enabled the time origin (event or pre-event waters of the quickflow to be established; specifically, the conductivity showed that pre-event waters usually represent a high percentage of the total discharge during runoff peaks. The importance of soil waters in the

  5. A 14-year dataset of in situ glacier surface velocities for a tidewater and a land-terminating glacier in Livingston Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machío, Francisco; Rodríguez-Cielos, Ricardo; Navarro, Francisco; Lapazaran, Javier; Otero, Jaime

    2017-10-01

    We present a 14-year record of in situ glacier surface velocities determined by repeated global navigation satellite system (GNSS) measurements in a dense network of 52 stakes distributed across two glaciers, Johnsons (tidewater) and Hurd (land-terminating), located on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The measurements cover the time period 2000-2013 and were collected at the beginning and end of each austral summer season. A second-degree polynomial approximation is fitted to each stake position, which allows estimating the approximate positions and associated velocities at intermediate times. This dataset is useful as input data for numerical models of glacier dynamics or for the calibration and validation of remotely sensed velocities for a region where very scarce in situ glacier surface velocity measurements have been available so far. The link to the data repository is as follows: pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791" target="_blank">http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791.

  6. A 14-year dataset of in situ glacier surface velocities for a tidewater and a land-terminating glacier in Livingston Island, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Machío

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a 14-year record of in situ glacier surface velocities determined by repeated global navigation satellite system (GNSS measurements in a dense network of 52 stakes distributed across two glaciers, Johnsons (tidewater and Hurd (land-terminating, located on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The measurements cover the time period 2000–2013 and were collected at the beginning and end of each austral summer season. A second-degree polynomial approximation is fitted to each stake position, which allows estimating the approximate positions and associated velocities at intermediate times. This dataset is useful as input data for numerical models of glacier dynamics or for the calibration and validation of remotely sensed velocities for a region where very scarce in situ glacier surface velocity measurements have been available so far. The link to the data repository is as follows: http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791.

  7. Iron from melting glaciers fuels phytoplankton blooms in the Amundsen Sea (Southern Ocean): Phytoplankton characteristics and productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alderkamp, A.C.; Mills, M.M.; van Dijken, G.L.; Laan, P.; Thuróczy, C.-E.; Gerringa, L.J.A.; de Baar, H.J.W.; Payne, C.D.; Visser, R.J.W.; Buma, A.G.J.; Arrigo, K.R.

    2012-01-01

    The phytoplankton community composition and productivity in waters of the Amundsen Sea and surrounding sea ice zone were characterized with respect to iron (Fe) input from melting glaciers. High Fe input from glaciers such as the Pine Island Glacier, and the Dotson and Crosson ice shelves resulted

  8. Determining the Current and Future Health of Low-Latitude Andean Glaciers Using an Equilibrium Line Altitude Model and Hypsometric Data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, A.; MacAyeal, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain glaciers have been described as the water towers of world, and for many populations in the low-latitude South American Andes, glacial runoff is vital for agricultural, industrial, and basic water needs. Previous studies of low-latitude Andean glaciers suggest a precarious future due to contemporary warming. These studies have looked at trends in freezing level heights or observations of contemporary retreat. However, regional-scale understanding of low-latitude glacial responses to present and future climate change is limited, in part due to incomplete information about the extent and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers. The recently published Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) (5.0) provides the necessary information about the size and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers to begin such studies. We determine the contemporary equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) for low-latitude Andean glaciers in the RGI, using a numerical energy balance ablation model driven with reanalysis and gridded data products. Contemporary ELAs tend to fall around the peak of the elevation histogram, with an exception being the southern-most outer tropical glaciers whose modeled ELAs tend to be higher than the elevation histogram for that region (see below figure). Also, we use the linear tends in temperature and precipitation from the contemporary climatology to extrapolate 21stcentury climate forcings. Modeled ELAs by the middle on the century are universally predicted to rise, with outer tropical ELAs rising more than the inner tropical glaciers. These trends continue through the end of the century. Finally, we explore how climate variables and parameters in our numerical model may vary for different warming scenarios from United Nation's IPCC AR5 report. We quantify the impacts of these changes on ELAs for various climate change trajectories. These results support previous work on the precarious future of low latitude Andean glaciers, while providing a richer

  9. Holocene and latest Pleistocene climate and glacier fluctuations in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geirsdóttir, Áslaug; Miller, Gifford H.; Axford, Yarrow; Ólafsdóttir, Sædís

    2009-10-01

    Multiproxy climate records from Iceland document complex changes in terrestrial climate and glacier fluctuations through the Holocene, revealing some coherent patterns of change as well as significant spatial variability. Most studies on the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent deglaciation reveal a dynamic Iceland Ice Sheet (IIS) that responded abruptly to changes in ocean currents and sea level. The IIS broke up catastrophically around 15 ka as the Polar Front migrated northward and sea level rose. Indications of regional advance or halt of the glaciers are seen in late Alleröd/early Younger Dryas time and again in PreBoreal time. Due to the apparent rise of relative sea level in Iceland during this time, most sites contain evidence for fluctuating, tidewater glacier termini occupying paleo fjords and bays. The time between the end of the Younger Dryas and the Preboreal was characterized by repeated jökulhlaups that eroded glacial deposits. By 10.3 ka, the main ice sheet was in rapid retreat across the highlands of Iceland. The Holocene thermal maximum (HTM) was reached after 8 ka with land temperatures estimated to be 3 °C higher than the 1961-1990 reference, and net precipitation similar to modern. Such temperatures imply largely ice-free conditions across Iceland in the early to mid-Holocene. Several marine and lacustrine sediment climate proxies record substantial summer temperature depression between 8.5 and 8 ka, but no moraines have been detected from that time. Termination of the HTM and onset of Neoglacial cooling took place sometime after 6 ka with increased glacier activity between 4.5 and 4.0 ka, intensifying between 3.0 and 2.5 ka. Although a distinct warming during the Medieval Warm Period is not dramatically apparent in Icelandic records, the interval from ca AD 0 to 1200 is commonly characterized by relative stability with slow rates of change. The literature most commonly describes Little Ice Age moraines (ca AD 1250-1900) as representing the

  10. Climate warming could increase recruitment success in glacier foreland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondoni, Andrea; Pedrini, Simone; Bernareggi, Giulietta; Rossi, Graziano; Abeli, Thomas; Probert, Robin J; Ghitti, Michele; Bonomi, Costantino; Orsenigo, Simone

    2015-11-01

    Glacier foreland plants are highly threatened by global warming. Regeneration from seeds on deglaciated terrain will be crucial for successful migration and survival of these species, and hence a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on seedling recruitment is urgently needed to predict future plant persistence in these environments. This study presents the first field evidence of the impact of climate change on recruitment success of glacier foreland plants. Seeds of eight foreland species were sown on a foreland site at 2500 m a.s.l., and at a site 400 m lower in altitude to simulate a 2·7 °C increase in mean annual temperature. Soil from the site of origin was used to reproduce the natural germination substrate. Recruitment success, temperature and water potential were monitored for 2 years. The response of seed germination to warming was further investigated in the laboratory. At the glacier foreland site, seedling emergence was low (0 to approx. 40 %) and occurred in summer in all species after seeds had experienced autumn and winter seasons. However, at the warmer site there was a shift from summer to autumn emergence in two species and a significant increase of summer emergence (13-35 % higher) in all species except two. Survival and establishment was possible for 60-75 % of autumn-emerged seedlings and was generally greater under warmer conditions. Early snowmelt in spring caused the main ecological factors enhancing the recruitment success. The results suggest that warming will influence the recruitment of glacier foreland species primarily via the extension of the snow-free period in spring, which increases seedling establishment and results in a greater resistance to summer drought and winter extremes. The changes in recruitment success observed here imply that range shifts or changes in abundance are possible in a future warmer climate, but overall success may be dependent on interactions with shifts in other components of the

  11. Helheim 2006: Integrated Geophysical Observations of Glacier Flow

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nettles, M.; Ahlstrøm, A.; Elosegui, P.

    , and Tsai, 2006) suggests a link to the hydrological cycle. However, little is understood about the mechanism by which the earthquakes occur. We installed sixteen GPS receivers on Helheim glacier, in a network spanning an upglacier distance of ~25~km from a point ~10~km behind the calving front. We also...... installed three GPS receivers at nearby rock sites to help define a stable reference frame. The stations were deployed in late June, 2006, and retrieved in late August, 2006. The GPS receivers recorded at a rate of at least 5~samples/sec. In addition, we operated several receivers for a few days each just...

  12. Contrasting evolution patterns between glacier-fed and non-glacier-fed lakes in the central Tibetan Plateau and driving force analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Sheng, Y.

    2015-12-01

    High-altitude lakes in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) showed strong spatio-temporal variability during past decades. The lake dynamics can be associated with several key factors including lake type, supply of glacial meltwater, local climate variations. It is important to differentiate these factors when analyzing the driving force of lakes dynamics. With a focus on lakes over the Tanggula Mountains of the central TP, this study investigates the temporal evolution patterns of lake area and water level of different types: glacier-fed closed lake, non-glacier-fed closed lake and upstream lake (draining into closed lakes). We collected all available Landsat archive data and quantified the inter-annual variability of lake extents. Results show accelerated expansions of both glacier-fed and non-glacier-fed lakes during 1970s-2013, and different temporal patterns of the two types of lakes: the non-glacier-fed lakes displayed a batch-wise growth pattern, with obvious growth in 2002, 2005 and 2011 and slight changes in other years, while glacier-fed lakes showed steady expanding tendency. The contrasting patterns are confirmed by the distinction of lake level change between the two groups derived from satellite altimetry during 2003-2009. The upstream lakes remained largely stable due to natural drainage regulation. The intermittent expansions for non-glacier-fed lakes were found to be related to excessive precipitation events and positive "precipitation-evaporation". In contrast, glacier-fed lake changes showed weak correlations with precipitation variations, which imply a joint contribution from glacial meltwater to water budgets. A simple estimation reveals that the increased water storage for all of examined lakes contributed from precipitation/evaporation (0.31±0.09 Gt/yr) slightly overweighed the glacial meltwater supply (0.26±0.08 Gt/yr).

  13. The politics of establishing catchment management agencies in South Africa: the case of the Breede-Overberg catchment management agency

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Meissner, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available (BGCMA). We do so by applying the framework of adaptive comanagement and its institutional prescriptions: collaboration, experimentation, and a bioregional approach. We start by introducing the history of this catchment management agency (CMA...

  14. Localized Glacier Deformation Associated with Filling and Draining of a Glacier-Dammed Lake and Implications for Outburst Flood Hydraulics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunico, M. L.; Walder, J. S.; Fountain, A. G.; Trabant, D. C.

    2001-12-01

    During the summer of 2000, we measured displacements of 22 survey targets on the surface of Kennicott Glacier, Alaska, in the vicinity of Hidden Creek Lake, an ice-dammed lake in a tributary valley that fills and drains annually. Targets were distributed over a domain about equal in width to the lake, from near the glacier/lake margin to a distance of about 1 km from the margin. Targets were surveyed over a 24-day period as the lake filled and then drained. Lake stage was independently monitored. Vertical movement of targets generally fell off with distance d from the lake. As the lake filled, targets with d typically about 0.5 m/d--with a few targets rising slightly faster than the lake. The rate of vertical movement fell off rapidly with distance from the lake: for d = ca. 600 m--roughly twice the local ice thickness--targets moved upward only about 10% as fast as lake stage. Vertical movement of targets with d > ca. 1 km seemed to be uncorrelated with lake stage. The general pattern is consistent with the idea that a wedge of water extended beneath the glacier to a distance of perhaps 300 to 400 m from the visible margin of the lake and exerts buoyant stresses on the ice that were transmitted into the main body of the glacier and caused flexure. This scenario bears some resemblance to tidal deflections of ice shelves or tidewater glaciers. For a given value of lake stage, target elevations were invariably higher as the lake drained than as the lake filled. Moreover, survey targets at a distance of about 400 m or more from the lake continued to rise for some time even after the lake began to drain. The lag time between the beginning of lake drainage and the beginning of target downdrop increased with distance from the lake, with the lag being about 14 hours at a distance of 400 m from the lake. (The lake drained completely in approximately 75 hours.) The likeliest explanations for the departure from reversibility and the existence of the time lag are either (i) a

  15. ESTIMATION OF SHIE GLACIER SURFACE MOVEME