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Sample records for glacier forefront electronic

  1. Twenty years of research on fungal-plant interactions on Lyman Glacier forefront—lessons learned and questions yet unanswered

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ari Jumpponen; Shawn P. Brown; James M. Trappe; Efrén Cázares; Rauni. Strömmer

    2012-01-01

    Retreating glaciers and the periglacial areas that they vacate produce a harsh environment of extreme radiation, nutrient limitations and temperature oscillations. They provide a model system for studying mechanisms that drive the establishment and early assembly of communities. Here, we synthesize more than 20 years of research at the Lyman Glacier forefront in the...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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....

  17. 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.

  18. 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,...

  19. 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....

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Threatened by: An audiovisual experience inspired by scientific data about glaciers and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Jeong, S.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers often have been considered as a symbol of climate change, also its mass change is a major contributor to sea level rise. Dynamic discharge is one of the mechanisms that marine-terminating outlet glaciers loses its mass, whose trend consists of seasonal, annual and secular patterns. These patterns, along with the other climate parameters, can be inspirational to music composition, thereby it can be expressed and transferred by musical media. Here we present `Threatened by,' a piece of electronic music accompanied by animation of glaciers' movement which represent an attempt to frame the sound of the glacier in freer ways vis-à-vis acoustic music. To give expression to the sound, musical production tools such as Pro Tools, Sound Forge Pro, Logic Pro X, Max/MSP, etc. are utilized to modify and combine a variety of sounds generated by a melting glacier. After adding impact by the way of EQ, reverberation, distortion, delay, reverse, etc., we created a two-channel stereo piece in approximately 7 minutes. Along with the musical media, we also present a video clip whose visual features corresponds to glacial properties or events. We expect this work will raise awareness of glaciers' behaviour to general public, also presenting one of the examples that scientists and artists work collaboratively to come up with an artwork that has social implications.

  9. 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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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,...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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,

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. Scientific Grand Challenges: Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2009-01-01

    This report is an account of the deliberations and conclusions of the workshop on 'Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing' held January 26-28, 2009, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Physics (ONP) and the DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing (ASCR). Representatives from the national and international nuclear physics communities, as well as from the high performance computing community, participated. The purpose of this workshop was to (1) identify forefront scientific challenges in nuclear physics and then determine which-if any-of these could be aided by high performance computing at the extreme scale; (2) establish how and why new high performance computing capabilities could address issues at the frontiers of nuclear science; (3) provide nuclear physicists the opportunity to influence the development of high performance computing; and (4) provide the nuclear physics community with plans for development of future high performance computing capability by DOE ASCR.

  3. Scientific Grand Challenges: Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2009-10-01

    This report is an account of the deliberations and conclusions of the workshop on "Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing" held January 26-28, 2009, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Physics (ONP) and the DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing (ASCR). Representatives from the national and international nuclear physics communities, as well as from the high performance computing community, participated. The purpose of this workshop was to 1) identify forefront scientific challenges in nuclear physics and then determine which-if any-of these could be aided by high performance computing at the extreme scale; 2) establish how and why new high performance computing capabilities could address issues at the frontiers of nuclear science; 3) provide nuclear physicists the opportunity to influence the development of high performance computing; and 4) provide the nuclear physics community with plans for development of future high performance computing capability by DOE ASCR.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. New results on two well-studied glaciers of the Pamir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Yablokov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In summer 2011, after many years of recession, a group of workers from the Hydrographic expeditionary department of the State Hydrometeorological Survey of the Republic Tajikistan visited the Medvezhiy Glacier (at the source of the Vanch River and the Skogach Glacier (basin of the Obihingo River. Medvezhiy Glacier is a surging one and during this visit it was in its active stage. Its length in comparison with 2005 increased by 800–1000 m, but there was no dam at the Abdukagor River and a dam lake which produces mudflow, as it happened in 1960–70s did not created. At nowadays, the Medvezhiy Glacier advanced a bit further than in time of its previous surge in 2001–2002. The topographic survey of the Skogach Glacier was not performed for twenty years. This glacier retreated and degraded in the last century, but in contrary, it was found that the glacier did not retreat, and its tongue is at the same place where it was in 1991.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. 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...

  8. 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....

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Rock waste dumps on the Davydov Glacier (Akshyirak Range, Tien Shan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Kuzmichenok

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since 1995, a barren rock has been formed at the Davydov Glacier, due to the works at the Kumtor Gold Mine. By the end of 2010, total amount of the rock, stockpiled on the glacier, apparently exceeded 200 million tons, the height of dumps of rock sometimes exceeded 50 meters. The most noticeable effects of this are provoking local surges of the Davydov Glacier and squeezing glacier ice out of the dumps of rock. For a detailed analysis of both processes, we also used the results of periodic geodetic measurements (over 8000 of monitoring rods (about 800 rods of the gold mining company. A number of local surges of the glacier has been found, the first of which began in March–April 2002. To analyze glacier squeezing out of the dumps of rock, mathematical modeling of that process has been done. It was established that in most cases, the glacier is almost completely squeezed out of for 1–2 years.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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....

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. First attempt to study rock glaciers in New Zealand using the Schmidt-hammer - framework and preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Stefan; Lambiel, Christophe; Sattler, Katrin; Büche, Thomas; Springer, Johanna

    2016-04-01

    Although not uncommon within the dryer eastern parts of the Southern Alps, New Zealand, comparatively few previous studies have previously focused on rock glacier dynamics and spatial distribution. Neither investigations of their chronological constraints nor any studies on actual rock glacier velocities have yet been carried out. Rock glaciers and periglacial processes still largely constitute a largely unexplored albeit potentially valuable field of research in the Southern Alps. The high-altitude valley head of Irishman Stream in the Ben Ohau Range between Lakes Ohau and Pukaki, roughly 30 km southeast of the Main Divide, contains a few morphologically intact rock glaciers and some appear to be active features (Sattler et al. 2016). Previous work focusing on the Late-glacial and early Holocene moraines in the valley head below the rock glaciers (Kaplan et al. 2010) provided 10Be-ages that could be utilised as fixed points for SHD (Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating). Apart from detailed Schmidt-hammer sampling on the Late-glacial and early Holocene moraines, two altitudinal transects from the toe to their apex have been measured in detail on selected rock glaciers. On each of the multiple ridges of the rock glacier surface three sites of 50 boulders have been sampled with one impact each by the hammer (an N-type electronic SilverSchmidt by Proceq). Apart from getting some age constraints of these periglacial features in comparison to the well-dated moraines, the Schmidt-hammer measurements also had the aim to provide some insight into their genetic development resulting in a quite complex morphology of the rock glaciers and partial interaction with some of the moraines. Both altitudinal transects reveal a clear and continuous trend of increasing means (i.e. less weathered/younger exposure ages) towards their apex. The values for the individual ridges show, however, a transitional character with adjacent ridges albeit the abovementioned trend not statistically

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Debris supply to mountain glaciers and how it effects their sensitivity to climate change - A case study from the Chhota Shigri Glacier, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, D.; Egholm, D. L.

    2017-12-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are widespread in the Himalaya and other steep mountain ranges. They testify to active erosion of ice-free bedrock hillslopes that tower above valley glaciers, sometimes more than a kilometer high. It is well known that supraglacial debris cover significantly reduces surface ablation rates and thereby influences glacial mass balances and runoff. However, the dynamic evolution of debris cover along with climatic and topographic changes is poorly understood. Here, we present ice-free hillslope erosion rates derived from 10Be concentrations in the ablation-dominated medial moraine of the Chhota Shigri Glacier, Indian Himalaya. We combine our empirical, field-based approach with a numerical model of frost-related sediment production and glacial debris transport to (1) assess patterns of ice-free hillslope erosion that are permissible with observed patterns of debris cover, and (2) explore the coupled response of glaciers and ice-free hillslopes to climatic changes. Measured 10Be concentrations increase downglacier from 3×104 to 6×104 atoms (g quartz) -1, yielding hillslope erosion rates of 1.3-0.6 mm yr-1. The accumulation of 10Be during debris residence on the ice surface can only account for a small fraction (erosion rates. We used the 10Be-derived hillslope erosion rates to define debris supply rates from ice-free bedrock hillslopes in the numerical ice and landscape evolution model iSOSIA. Based on available mass balance and ice thickness data, the calibrated model reproduces the medial moraine of the Chhota Shogri Glacier quite well, although uncertainties exist due to the transient disequilibrium of the glacier, i.e., the current debris cover was fed into the glacier during the Little Ice Age (LIA), and thus under different boundary conditions. We currently perform transient experiments during warming and cooling periods for testing models of frost-related and temperature-sensitive debris production, and for assessing the coupled

  12. The distribution and hydrological significance of rock glaciers in the Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D. B.; Harrison, S.; Anderson, K.; Selley, H. L.; Wood, J. L.; Betts, R. A.

    2018-01-01

    In the Nepalese Himalaya, there is little information on the number, spatial distribution and morphometric characteristics of rock glaciers, and this information is required if their hydrological contribution is to be understood. Based on freely available fine spatial resolution satellite data accessible through Google Earth, we produced the first comprehensive Nepalese rock glacier inventory, supported through statistical validation and field survey. The inventory includes the location of over 6000 rock glaciers, with a mean specific density of 3.4%. This corresponds to an areal coverage of 1371 km2. Our approach subsampled approximately 20% of the total identified rock glacier inventory (n = 1137) and digitised their outlines so that quantitative/qualitative landform attributes could be extracted. Intact landforms (containing ice) accounted for 68% of the subsample, and the remaining were classified as relict (not containing ice). The majority (56%) were found to have a northerly aspect (NE, N, and NW), and landforms situated within north- to west-aspects reside at lower elevations than those with south- to- east aspects. In Nepal, we show that rock glaciers are situated between 3225 and 5675 m a.s.l., with the mean minimum elevation at the front estimated to be 4977 ± 280 m a.s.l. for intact landforms and 4541 ± 346 m a.s.l. for relict landforms. The hydrological significance of rock glaciers in Nepal was then established by statistically upscaling the results from the subsample to estimate that these cryospheric reserves store between 16.72 and 25.08 billion m3 of water. This study, for the first time, estimates rock glacier water volume equivalents and evaluates their relative hydrological importance in comparison to ice glaciers. Across the Nepalese Himalaya, rock glacier to ice glacier water volume equivalent is 1:9, and generally increases westwards (e.g., ratio = 1:3, West region). This inventory represents a preliminary step for understanding the

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Challenging the Southern Boundary of Active Rock Glaciers in West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, K.; Abermann, J.

    2017-12-01

    Rock glaciers are permafrost features abundant in mountainous environments and are characterized as `steadily creeping perennially frozen and ice-rich debris on non-glacierised mountain slopes'. Previous studies investigated both the climatic significance and the dynamics of rock glaciers in Greenland, however, there do not exist studies as far south as the Godthåbsfjord area. We recently found evidence of a active rock glacier near Nuuk, around 250 km further south than the previously suggested southern active limit. It shows no signs of pioneer vegetation, which supports its likely dynamic activity. The rock glacier covers an area of ca. 1 km2and its lowest point is at an elevation of about 250 m a.s.l. Here we present the results of a two year field campaign designed to (I) confirm or reject active rock glacier occurrence in the Godthåbsfjord area with innovative methods, (II) study their dynamic regime and (III) investigate the climatic boundary conditions necessary for active rock glacier occurrence in the Sub-Arctic. We use a number of methods to determine the state of the rock glacier. Movement of the landform is assessed using repeat GPS surveying of marked stones and feature tracking based on ortho-photos and DEMs from repeat UAV deployments. Bottom temperature of snow cover (BTS) measurements give an independent first-order estimate of permafrost occurrence. An air temperature sensor deployed near the snout and recording hourly gives a first order estimate of the temperature gradients between Nuuk and the rock glacier, allowing us to assess the climatic boundary conditions required for rock glacier occurrence. BTS measurements show a clear drop in temperatures over the rock glacier compared to the surrounding areas suggesting an active landform with a well demarcated thermal regime. We will assess this independently with the repeat GPS and UAV surveys and will thus be able to confirm or reject the hypothesis of activity by the end of summer 2017.

  2. Digital outlines and topography of the glaciers of the American West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Andrew G.; Hoffman, Matthew; Jackson, Keith; Basagic, Hassan; Nylen, Thomas; Percy, David

    2007-01-01

    Alpine glaciers have generally receded during the past century (post-“Little Ice Age”) because of climate warming (Oerlemans and others, 1998; Mann and others, 1999; Dyurgerov and Meier, 2000; Grove, 2001). This general retreat has accelerated since the mid 1970s, when a shift in atmospheric circulation occurred (McCabe and Fountain, 1995; Dyurgerov and Meier, 2000). The loss in glacier cover has had several profound effects. First, the shrinkage of glaciers results in a net increase in stream flow, typically in late summer when water supplies are at the lowest levels (Fountain and Tangborn, 1985). This additional water is important to ecosystems (Hall and Fagre, 2003) and to human water needs (Tangborn, 1980). However, if shrinkage continues, the net contribution to stream flow will diminish, and the effect upon these benefactors will be adverse. Glacier shrinkage is also a significant factor in current sea level rise (Meier, 1984; Dyurgerov and Meier, 2000). Second, many of the glaciers in the West Coast States are located on stratovolcanoes, and continued recession will leave oversteepened river valleys. These valleys, once buttressed by ice are now subject to failure, creating conditions for lahars (Walder and Driedger, 1994; O’Connor and others, 2001). Finally, reduction or loss of glaciers reduce or eliminate glacial activity as an important geomorphic process on landscape evolution and alters erosion rates in high alpine areas (Hallet and others, 1996). Because of the importance of glaciers to studies of climate change, hazards, and landscape modification, glacier inventories have been published for Alaska (Manley, in press), China (http://wdcdgg.westgis.ac.cn/DATABASE/Glacier/Glacier.asp), Nepal (Mool and others, 2001), Switzerland (Paul and others, 2002), and the Tyrolian Alps of Austria (Paul, 2002), among other locales. To provide the necessary data for assessing the magnitude and rate of glacier change in the American West, exclusive of Alaska

  3. Rapid thinning and collapse of lake calving Yakutat Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

    Glaciers around the globe are experiencing a notable retreat and thinning, triggered by atmospheric warming. Tidewater glaciers in particular have received much attention, because they have been recognized to contribute substantially to global sea level rise. However, lake calving glaciers in Alaska show increasingly high thinning and retreat rates and are therefore contributors to sea level rise. The number of such lake calving systems is increasing worldwide as land-terminating glaciers retreat into overdeepened basins and form proglacial lakes. Yakutat Glacier in Southeast Alaska is a low elevation lake calving glacier with an accumulation to total area ratio of 0.03. It experienced rapid thinning of 4.43 +/- 0.06 m w.e. yr-1 between 2000-2010 and terminus retreat of over 15 km since the beginning of the 20th century. Simultaneously, adjacent Yakutat Icefield land-terminating glaciers thinned at lower but still substantial rates (3.54 +/- 0.06 m w.e. yr -1 for the same time period), indicating lake calving dynamics help drive increased mass loss. Yakutat Glacier sustained a ˜3 km long floating tongue for over a decade, which started to disintegrate into large tabular icebergs in 2010. Such floating tongues are rarely seen on temperate tidewater glaciers. The floating ice was weakened by surface ablation, which then allowed rifts to form and intersect. Ice velocity from GPS measurements showed that the ice on the floating tongue was moving substantially faster than grounded ice, which was attributed to rift opening between the floating and grounded ice. Temporal variations of rift opening were determined from time-lapse imagery, and correlated well with variations in ice speeds. Larger rift opening rates occurred during and after precipitation or increased melt episodes. Both of these events increased subglacial discharge and could potentially increase the subaqueous currents towards the open lake and thus increase drag on the ice underside. Simultaneously

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Limited influence of climate change mitigation on short-term glacier mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzeion, Ben; Kaser, Georg; Maussion, Fabien; Champollion, Nicolas

    2018-04-01

    Glacier mass loss is a key contributor to sea-level change1,2, slope instability in high-mountain regions3,4 and the changing seasonality and volume of river flow5-7. Understanding the causes, mechanisms and time scales of glacier change is therefore paramount to identifying successful strategies for mitigation and adaptation. Here, we use temperature and precipitation fields from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 output to force a glacier evolution model, quantifying mass responses to future climatic change. We find that contemporary glacier mass is in disequilibrium with the current climate, and 36 ± 8% mass loss is already committed in response to past greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, mitigating future emissions will have only very limited influence on glacier mass change in the twenty-first century. No significant differences between 1.5 and 2 K warming scenarios are detectable in the sea-level contribution of glaciers accumulated within the twenty-first century. In the long-term, however, mitigation will exert strong control, suggesting that ambitious measures are necessary for the long-term preservation of glaciers.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantification of seasonal to annual mass balances from glacier surface albedo derived from optical satellite images, application on 30 glaciers in the French Alps for the period 2000-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davaze, Lucas; Rabatel, Antoine; Arnaud, Yves; Sirguey, Pascal; Six, Delphine; Letreguilly, Anne; Dumont, Marie

    2017-04-01

    Increasing the number of glaciers monitored for surface mass balance is very challenging, especially using laborious methods based on in situ data. Complementary methods are therefore required to quantify the surface mass balance of unmonitored glaciers. The current study relies on the so-called albedo method, based on the analysis of albedo maps retrieved from optical satellite imagery acquired since 2000 by the MODIS sensor, onboard of TERRA satellite. Recent studies performed on single glaciers in the French Alps, the Himalayas or the Southern Alps of New Zealand revealed substantial relationships between summer minimum glacier-wide surface albedo and annual mass balance, because this minimum surface albedo is directly related to accumulation-area ratio and the equilibrium-line altitude. On the basis of 30 glaciers located in the French Alps where annual surface mass balance are available, our study conducted on the period 2000-2015 confirms the robustness and reliability of the relationship between the summer minimum surface albedo and the annual surface mass balance. At the seasonal scale, the integrated summer surface albedo is significantly correlated with the summer mass balance of the six glaciers seasonally surveyed. For the winter season, four of the six glaciers showed a significant correlation when linking the winter surface mass balance and the integrated winter surface albedo, using glacier-dependent thresholds to filter the albedo signal. Sensitivity study on the computed cloud detection algorithm revealed high confidence in retrieved albedo maps. These results are promising to monitor both annual and seasonal glacier-wide surface mass balances of individual glaciers at a regional scale using optical satellite images.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Biogeography of cryoconite bacterial communities on glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yongqin; Vick-Majors, Trista J; Priscu, John C; Yao, Tandong; Kang, Shichang; Liu, Keshao; Cong, Ziyuang; Xiong, Jingbo; Li, Yang

    2017-06-01

    Cryoconite holes, water-filled pockets containing biological and mineralogical deposits that form on glacier surfaces, play important roles in glacier mass balance, glacial geochemistry and carbon cycling. The presence of cryoconite material decreases surface albedo and accelerates glacier mass loss, a problem of particular importance in the rapidly melting Tibetan Plateau. No studies have addressed the microbial community composition of cryoconite holes and their associated ecosystem processes on Tibetan glaciers. To further enhance our understanding of these glacial ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau and to examine their role in carbon cycling as the glaciers respond to climate change, we explored the bacterial communities within cryoconite holes associated with three climatically distinct Tibetan Plateau glaciers using Illumina sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Cryoconite bacterial communities were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi, Betaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Cryoconite bacterial community composition varied according to their geographical locations, exhibiting significant differences among glaciers studied. Regional beta diversity was driven by the interaction between geographic distance and environmental variables; the latter contributed more than geographic distance to the variation in cryoconite microbial communities. Our study is the first to describe the regional-scale spatial variability and to identify the factors that drive regional variability of cryoconite bacterial communities on the Tibetan Plateau. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A novel multispectral glacier mapping method and its performance in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citterio, M.; Fausto, R. S.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    Multispectral land surface classification methods are widely used for mapping glacier outlines. Significant post-classification manual editing is typically required, and mapping glacier outlines over larger regions remains a rather labour intensive task. In this contribution we introduce a novel method for mapping glacier outlines from multispectral satellite imagery, requiring only minor manual editing.Over the last decade GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) improved the availability of glacier outlines, and in 2012 the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) attained global coverage by compiling existing and new data sources in the wake of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5). With the launch of Landsat 8 in 2013 and the upcoming ESA (European Space Agency) Sentinel 2 missions, the availability of multispectral imagery may grow faster than our ability to process it into timely and reliable glacier outline products. Improved automatic classification methods would enable a full exploitation of these new data sources.We outline the theoretical basis of the proposed classification algorithm, provide a step by step walk-through from raw imagery to finished ice cover grids and vector glacier outlines, and evaluate the performance of the new method in mapping the outlines of glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet from Landsat 8 OLI imagery. The classification output is compared against manually digitized ice margin positions, the RGI vectors, and the PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses over a sector of the Disko Island surge cluster in West Greenland, the Qassimiut ice sheet lobe in South Greenland, and the A.P. Olsen ice cap in NE Greenland.

  8. Aspect controls the survival of ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, Pascal; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2018-04-24

    Supraglacial ice cliffs exist on debris-covered glaciers worldwide, but despite their importance as melt hot spots, their life cycle is little understood. Early field observations had advanced a hypothesis of survival of north-facing and disappearance of south-facing cliffs, which is central for predicting the contribution of cliffs to total glacier mass losses. Their role as windows of energy transfer suggests they may explain the anomalously high mass losses of debris-covered glaciers in High Mountain Asia (HMA) despite the insulating debris, currently at the center of a debated controversy. We use a 3D model of cliff evolution coupled to very high-resolution topographic data to demonstrate that ice cliffs facing south (in the Northern Hemisphere) disappear within a few months due to enhanced solar radiation receipts and that aspect is the key control on cliffs evolution. We reproduce continuous flattening of south-facing cliffs, a result of their vertical gradient of incoming solar radiation and sky view factor. Our results establish that only north-facing cliffs are recurrent features and thus stable contributors to the melting of debris-covered glaciers. Satellite observations and mass balance modeling confirms that few south-facing cliffs of small size exist on the glaciers of Langtang, and their contribution to the glacier volume losses is very small ([Formula: see text]1%). This has major implications for the mass balance of HMA debris-covered glaciers as it provides the basis for new parameterizations of cliff evolution and distribution to constrain volume losses in a region where glaciers are highly relevant as water sources for millions of people.

  9. THE INTERNET PRESENTATION OF DATABASES OF GLACIERS OF THE SOUTH OF EASTERN SIBERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Kitov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The authors consider the technology for creating databases of glaciers in Southern Siberia and the presentation of these databases on the Internet. The technology consists in the recognition and vectorization of spatial, multi-temporal data using GIS techniques, followed by the formation of databases that reflect the spatial and temporal variation of nival-glacial formations. The results of GIS design are presented on the website IG SB RAS and with the help of Internet service ArcGISonline on the public map. The mapping of databases shows the dynamic of nival-glacial formations for three time phases: the beginning of the 20th century (if you have data, its middle (the catalogs of glaciers and topographic maps and the beginning of the 21st century (according to satellite images and field research. Graphic objects are represented as point, line, and polygonal GIS-themes. Point-themes indicate parameters such as the center, lower and upper boundaries of the glacier. Line-themes determine the length and perimeter of the glacier. Polygonal-themes define the contour of the glacier and its area. The attributive table corresponds to the international standard World Glacier Inventory (WGI. The contours of the glaciers of northern Asia are represented conditionally (ellipses at international portals, and attribute characteristics correspond to the state that was displayed in catalogs of glaciers of the USSR, and they are inaccurate. Considered databases are devoid of these shortcomings. Coordinates of the center of glaciers have been refined. Glaciers contours have boundaries, appropriate to space images or topographic maps, in shp-file format. New glaciers of Baikalskiy and Barguzinskiy ridges are also presented. Existing catalogs and databases still do not include these glaciers. Features of the glaciers are examined in the context of the latitudinal transect of southern Siberia, from the Kodar ridge to the Eastern Sayan. GIS-analysis of the Databases

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Making It to the Forefront Nanotechnology—A Developing Country Perspective

    CERN Document Server

    2012-01-01

    Nanotechnology, as shortly described as the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale, is one of the most dynamic and promising industries, receiving a great deal of attention from researchers, business leaders, investors, and policymakers around the world.  In Making It to the Forefront, Nesli Aydogan-Duda has assembled a distinguished group of authors to analyze the particular challenges and opportunities of nanotechnology emergence and management in the developing world.  In so doing, they address the issues from several angles, ranging from cultural issues to capital markets, industrial clusters to government policy and legal structure. Drawing from in-depth research and case studies in Turkey, Latin America, India, China, and Iran, and a comparison with the development of the industry in the United states, the authors present a cross-cultural approach, with particular emphasis on the strategic nature of the nanotechnology industry for economic development, consumer welfare, and home...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Top-down or bottom-up? Assessing crevassing directions on surging glaciers and developments for physically testing glacier crevassing models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, B.; Evans, D. J. A.; Benn, D. I.; Brennan, A. J.

    2012-04-01

    Networks of crevasse squeeze ridges (CSRs) preserved on the forelands of many surging glaciers attest to extensive full-depth crevassing. Full-depth connections have been inferred from turbid water up-welling in crevasses and the formation of concertina eskers however, it has not been clearly established if the crevasses formed from the top-down or the bottom-up. A Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) approach is used to determine the likely propagation direction for Mode I crevasses on seven surging glaciers. Results indicate that, the high extensional surface strain rates are insufficient to promote top-down full-depth crevasses but have sufficient magnitude to penetrate to depths of 4-12 m, explaining the extensive surface breakup accompanying glacier surges. Top-down, full-depth crevassing is only possible when water depth approaches 97% of the crevasse depth. However, the provision of sufficient meltwater is problematic due to the aforementioned extensive shallow surface crevassing. Full-depth, bottom-up crevassing can occur provided basal water pressures are in excess of 80-90% of flotation which is the default for surging and on occasion water pressures may even become artesian. Therefore CSRs, found across many surging glacier forelands and ice margins most likely result from the infilling of basal crevasses formed, for the most part, by bottom-up hydrofracturing. Despite the importance of crevassing for meltwater routing and calving dynamics physically testing numerical crevassing models remains problematic due to technological limitations, changing stress regimes and difficulties associated with working in crevasse zones on glaciers. Mapping of CSR spacing and matching to surface crevasse patterns can facilitate quantitative comparison between the LEFM model and observed basal crevasses provided ice dynamics are known. However, assessing full-depth top-down crevasse propagation is much harder to monitor in the field and no geomorphological record is

  18. The 24 July 2008 outburst flood at the western Zyndan glacier lake and recent regional changes in glacier lakes of the Teskey Ala-Too range, Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Narama

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available On 24 July 2008, a glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF occurred at the western (w- Zyndan glacier lake in the Tong District of Ysyk-Köl Oblast, Kyrgyzstan. The flood killed three people and numerous livestock, destroyed infrastructure, and devastated potato and barley crops as well as pastures. Tuurasuu village and a downstream reservoir on the Zyndan river escaped heavy damage because the main flood was diverted toward the Tong river. RTK-GPS and satellite data (Landsat 7 ETM+, ALOS/PRISM, and ALOS/AVNIR-2 reveal that the flood reduced the lake area from 0.0422 km2 to 0.0083 km2, discharging 437 000 m3 of water. This glacier lake was not present in a Landsat 7 ETM+ image taken on 26 April 2008. It formed rapidly over just two and half months from early May to the late July, when large amounts of snow and glacier melt water became trapped in a basin in the glacier terminus area, blocked by temporary closure of the drainage channel through the terminal moraine that included much dead-ice. In the same mountain region, most other glacier-lake expansions were not particularly large during the period from 1999–2008. Although events like the w-Zyndan glacier lake outburst occur infrequently in the high Central Asian mountains, such fast developing, short-lived lakes are particularly dangerous and not easy to monitor using satellite data. Appropriate measures to protect against such lake outburst hazards in this region include educating residents on glacier hazards and monitoring techniques, providing frequently updated maps of glacier lakes, and planning and monitoring land-use, including house locations.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. Physical Limits on Hmax, the Maximum Height of Glaciers and Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipovsky, B. P.

    2017-12-01

    The longest glaciers and ice sheets on Earth never achieve a topographic relief, or height, greater than about Hmax = 4 km. What laws govern this apparent maximum height to which a glacier or ice sheet may rise? Two types of answer appear possible: one relating to geological process and the other to ice dynamics. In the first type of answer, one might suppose that if Earth had 100 km tall mountains then there would be many 20 km tall glaciers. The counterpoint to this argument is that recent evidence suggests that glaciers themselves limit the maximum height of mountain ranges. We turn, then, to ice dynamical explanations for Hmax. The classical ice dynamical theory of Nye (1951), however, does not predict any break in scaling to give rise to a maximum height, Hmax. I present a simple model for the height of glaciers and ice sheets. The expression is derived from a simplified representation of a thermomechanically coupled ice sheet that experiences a basal shear stress governed by Coulomb friction (i.e., a stress proportional to the overburden pressure minus the water pressure). I compare this model to satellite-derived digital elevation map measurements of glacier surface height profiles for the 200,000 glaciers in the Randolph Glacier Inventory (Pfeffer et al., 2014) as well as flowlines from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. The simplified model provides a surprisingly good fit to these global observations. Small glaciers less than 1 km in length are characterized by having negligible influence of basal melt water, cold ( -15C) beds, and high surface slopes ( 30 deg). Glaciers longer than a critical distance 30km are characterized by having an ice-bed interface that is weakened by the presence of meltwater and is therefore not capable of supporting steep surface slopes. The simplified model makes predictions of ice volume change as a function of surface temperature, accumulation rate, and geothermal heat flux. For this reason, it provides insights into

  8. 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.

  9. High-Resolution Monitoring of Himalayan Glacier Dynamics Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immerzeel, W.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.; Shea, J.; Shrestha, A. B.; Pellicciotti, F.; Bierkens, M. F.; de Jong, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Himalayan glacier tongues are commonly debris covered and play an important role in modulating the glacier response to climate . 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 are therefore limited to point locations and airborne remote sensing may bridge the gap between scarce, point field observations and coarse resolution space-borne remote sensing. In this study we deploy an Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) on two debris covered glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas: the Lirung and Langtang glacier during four field campaigns in 2013 and 2014. Based on stereo-imaging and the structure for motion algorithm we derive highly detailed ortho-mosaics and digital elevation models (DEMs), which we geometrically correct using differential GPS observations collected in the field. Based on DEM differencing and manual feature tracking we derive the mass loss and the surface velocity of the glacier at a high spatial resolution and accuracy. We also assess spatiotemporal changes in supra-glacial lakes and ice cliffs based on the imagery. On average, mass loss is limited and the surface velocity is very small. However, the spatial variability of melt rates is very high, and ice cliffs and supra-glacial ponds show mass losses that can be an order of magnitude higher than the average. We suggest that future research should focus on the interaction between supra-glacial ponds, ice cliffs and englacial hydrology to further understand the dynamics of debris-covered glaciers. Finally, we conclude that UAV deployment has large potential in glaciology and it represents a substantial advancement over methods currently applied in studying glacier surface features.

  10. 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.

  11. Spatio-temporal Variability of Albedo and its Impact on Glacier Melt Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnard, C.; Mendoza, C.; Abermann, J.; Petlicki, M.; MacDonell, S.; Urrutia, R.

    2017-12-01

    Albedo is an important variable for the surface energy balance of glaciers, yet its representation within distributed glacier mass-balance models is often greatly simplified. Here we study the spatio-temporal evolution of albedo on Glacier Universidad, central Chile (34°S, 70°W), using time-lapse terrestrial photography, and investigate its effect on the shortwave radiation balance and modelled melt rates. A 12 megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera was setup overlooking the glacier and programmed to take three daily images of the glacier during a two-year period (2012-2014). One image was chosen for each day with no cloud shading on the glacier. The RAW images were projected onto a 10m resolution digital elevation model (DEM), using the IMGRAFT software (Messerli and Grinsted, 2015). A six-parameter camera model was calibrated using a single image and a set of 17 ground control points (GCPs), yielding a georeferencing accuracy of accounting for possible camera movement over time. The reflectance values from the projected image were corrected for topographic and atmospheric influences using a parametric solar irradiation model, following a modified algorithm based on Corripio (2004), and then converted to albedo using reference albedo measurements from an on-glacier automatic weather station (AWS). The image-based albedo was found to compare well with independent albedo observations from a second AWS in the glacier accumulation area. Analysis of the albedo maps showed that the albedo is more spatially-variable than the incoming solar radiation, making albedo a more important factor of energy balance spatial variability. The incorporation of albedo maps within an enhanced temperature index melt model revealed that the spatio-temporal variability of albedo is an important factor for the calculation of glacier-wide meltwater fluxes.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Landscape transformation under the Gåsbreen glacier recession since 1899, southwestern Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziaja Wiesław

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Landscape changes of the Gåsbreen glacier and its vicinity since 1899 are described. Maps at 1:50 000 scale of changes of the glacier’s elevation and extent for the periods 1938–1961, 1961–1990, 1990–2010, and 1938–2010 are analyzed in comparison with results of the authors’ field work in the summer seasons 1983, 1984, 2000, 2005 and 2008. During all the 20th century, the progressive recession of the glacier revealed in a dramatic decrease in the thickness of its lower part, with a small reduction of its area and length. However, further shrinkage produced significant shortening and reduction in area which resulted in final decline of the Goësvatnet glacial dammed lake in 2002. Hence, the lowest (and very thick, up to 150–160 m part of the former glacier tongue and dammed lake were transformed into a new terraced river valley south of the glacier and a typical marginal zone with glacial landforms north of the glacier. Since 1961, the equilibrium line altitude of the Gåsbreen glacier has risen from ca 350 to ca 500 m a.s.l. and now is located below the very steep rocky walls of the Mehesten mountain ridge, 1378 m a.s.l. Hence, the glacier is being fed by snow avalanches from these rocky walls and much more snow melts during the warmer summer seasons, stimulating a quicker recession of the lowest part of the glacier. This recession may be stopped only by significant climate cooling or increase in snow.

  15. Directly measuring melt at a vertical face tidewater glacier: is it possible?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Direct observations of melt on the underwater portion of tidewater glaciers have proved elusive, mostly due to the inherent dangers of making measurements next to a calving ice front. Additionally, the melting process itself is often masked by large ice speeds, variable calving across the glacier front, and enhanced melting due to rising subglacial discharge plumes. Here, we use repeat multibeam sonar images of LeConte Glacier to assess the possibility of measuring terminus melt in situ. LeConte Glacier is a fast-moving tidewater system in southeast Alaska with ice speeds of 25 m d-1 and previously estimated submarine melting that accounts for 50% of ice loss at the front. In August 2016, May 2017, and September 2017, we conducted intensive fieldwork at the 1.5 km long, 250 m deep glacier front, collecting dozens of repeat multibeam images of the underwater terminus. Combined with coincident time-lapse photography and surface radar measurements, we attempt to disentangle the ambient melt at the glacier face from ice motion and calving. We use a suite of oceanographic observations of the emerging subglacial discharge plume to separate portions of the glacier front that show evidence of enhanced melting versus portions outside of the affected plume areas. We find a complex, time-varying geometry, with regions of undercutting, overcutting, and large discharge channels. Measurements like these are critical to i) improving numerical model parameterizations of coupled glacier-ocean interactions and ii) developing a process-based understanding of how the literal ice-ocean boundary evolves in time and space.

  16. Neoglacial fluctuations of terrestrial, tidewater, and calving lacustrine glaciers, Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex, Kenai Mountains, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossen, Kristine June

    1997-12-01

    The glaciers surrounding the Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex display a variety of termini types: Tebenkov, Spencer, Bartlett, Skookum, Trail, Burns, Shakespeare, Marquette, Lawrence, and Ripon glaciers end in terrestrial margins; Blackstone and Beloit glaciers have tidewater termini; and Portage Glacier has a calving lacustrine margin. In addition, steep temperature and precipitation gradients exist across the ice complex from the maritime environment of Prince William Sound to the colder, drier interior. The Neoglacial history of Tebenkov Glacier, as based on overrun trees near the terminus, shows advances ca. 250- 430 AD (calibrated date), ca. 1215-1275 AD (calibrated date), and ca. 1320-1430 AD (tree ring evidence), all intervals of glacier advance around the Gulf of Alaska. However, two tidewater glaciers in Blackstone Bay retreated from their outermost moraines by 1350 AD, apparently asynchronously with respect to the regional climate signal. The most extensive Kenai Mountain glacier expansions during Neoglaciation occurred in the late Little Ice Age. The outermost moraines are adjacent to mature forest stands and bog peats that yield dates as old as 5,600 BP. Prince William Sound glaciers advanced during two Little Ice Age cold periods, 1380-1680 and 1830-1900 AD. The terrestrial glaciers around the Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex all built moraines during the 19th century and began retreating between 1875 and 1900 AD. Portage and Burns glaciers began retreating between 1790 and 1810 AD, but their margins remained close to the outermost moraines during the 19th century. Regional glacier fluctuations are broadly synchronous in the Gulf of Alaska region. With the exception of the two tidewater glaciers in Blackstone Bay, all glaciers in the Kenai Mountains, no matter their sizes, altitudes, orientations, or types of margins, retreated at the end of the Little Ice Age. The climate signal, especially temperature, appears to be the strongest control on glacier

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. ESTIMATION OF SHIE GLACIER SURFACE MOVEMENT USING OFFSET TRACKING TECHNIQUE WITH COSMO-SKYMED IMAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Wang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. Preliminary bathymetry of Northwestern Fiord and Neoglacial changes of Northwestern Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    The first preliminary bathymetry (at 1:20,000 scale) and other scientific investigations of Northwestern Fiord, Alaska, were conducted by the Research Vessel Growler in 1978, disclosing this 10.5-mile-long branched waterway to be a deep basin enclosed by a terminal-moraine shoal. The basin was formerly filled by Northwestern Glacier, which began a drastic retreat around 1909 and reached the head of the main arm around 1960. Soundings and profiles show the main channel to be as much as 970 feet deep and to have the typical U shape of a severely glacially eroded valley; since the glacier 's retreat, sediments have formed nearly level deposits in the deepest reaches, while the rest of the basin has a hard, rocky bottom. Preneoglacial forest debris dated by carbon-14 indicates Northwestern Glacier to have advanced into the fiord prior to 1,385 years before present (B.P.); a branch glacier evidently advanced into forest 1,635 years B.P. The combined glaciers from several arms culminated on the present terminal-moraine shoal around 1894. (USGS)

  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. 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.

  12. Characteristics of the Yala Glacier from theview point of tritium content

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamiyama, K.; Kitaoka, K.; Watanabe, O.

    1986-01-01

    The vertical distributions of tritium content in glacier ice were determined at two different heights of the Yala Glacier in the Langtang Region, Nepal Himalayas. In the vertical profile of tritium content at the upper point (about 5,400 m high) there exists a clear peak, which shows the injection of artificial tritium due to nuclear weapon test series. The average accumulation rate from 1963 to 1982 at this point is estimated to be 0.85 m of water equivalent per year. At the lower point (about 5,200 m high) the tritium content is relatively low throughout the ice core, decreasing with depth. Precipitation nourishes the glacier in the accumulation area and, after a long time, it appears in the ablation area with the movement of the ice body, resulting in the different profiles of the tritium content between the two points. From the viewpoint of tritium content, the precipitation in the Yala Glacier is more similar to that in New Delhi, India, than that in Karizimir, Afghanistan. Generally speaking, the tritium content in the pricipitation is lower in the coastal area than in the continental area. The precipitation in the Yala Glacier belongs to the coastal type. There possibly exists a great difference in tritium content between the glaciers nourished by water vapor coming directly from the sea and by that coming over the continent

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Characteristics of black carbon in snow from Laohugou No. 12 glacier on the northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yulan; Kang, Shichang; Li, Chaoliu; Gao, Tanguang; Cong, Zhiyuan; Sprenger, Michael; Liu, Yajun; Li, Xiaofei; Guo, Junming; Sillanpää, Mika; Wang, Kun; Chen, Jizu; Li, Yang; Sun, Shiwei

    2017-12-31

    Black carbon (BC) emitted from the incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuel impacts the climate system, cryospheric change, and human health. This study documents black carbon deposition in snow from a benchmark glacier on the northern Tibetan Plateau. Significant seasonality of BC concentrations indicates different input or post-depositional processes. BC particles deposited in snow had a mass volume median diameter slightly larger than that of black carbon particles typically found in the atmosphere. Also, unlike black carbon particles in the atmosphere, the particles deposited in snow did not exhibit highly fractal morphology by Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope. Footprint analysis indicated BC deposited on the glacier in summer originated mainly from Central Asia; in winter, the depositing air masses generally originated from Central Asia and Pakistan. Anthropogenic emissions play an important role on black carbon deposition in glacial snow, especially in winter. The mass absorption efficiency of BC in snow at 632nm exhibited significantly seasonality, with higher values in summer and lower values in winter. The information on black carbon deposition in glacial snow provided in this study could be used to help mitigate the impacts of BC on glacier melting on the northern Tibetan Plateau. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. An Integrated Processing Strategy for Mountain Glacier Motion Monitoring Based on SAR Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Z.; Yan, S.; Liu, G.; LV, M.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain glacier dynamic variables are important parameters in studies of environment and climate change in High Mountain Asia. Due to the increasing events of abnormal glacier-related hazards, research of monitoring glacier movements has attracted more interest during these years. Glacier velocities are sensitive and changing fast under complex conditions of high mountain regions, which implies that analysis of glacier dynamic changes requires comprehensive and frequent observations with relatively high accuracy. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has been successfully exploited to detect glacier motion in a number of previous studies, usually with pixel-tracking and interferometry methods. However, the traditional algorithms applied to mountain glacier regions are constrained by the complex terrain and diverse glacial motion types. Interferometry techniques are prone to fail in mountain glaciers because of their narrow size and the steep terrain, while pixel-tracking algorithm, which is more robust in high mountain areas, is subject to accuracy loss. In order to derive glacier velocities continually and efficiently, we propose a modified strategy to exploit SAR data information for mountain glaciers. In our approach, we integrate a set of algorithms for compensating non-glacial-motion-related signals which exist in the offset values retrieved by sub-pixel cross-correlation of SAR image pairs. We exploit modified elastic deformation model to remove the offsets associated with orbit and sensor attitude, and for the topographic residual offset we utilize a set of operations including DEM-assisted compensation algorithm and wavelet-based algorithm. At the last step of the flow, an integrated algorithm combining phase and intensity information of SAR images will be used to improve regional motion results failed in cross-correlation related processing. The proposed strategy is applied to the West Kunlun Mountain and Muztagh Ata region in western China using ALOS

  17. 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

  18. Scientific visualization of glacier changes for public communication: the example of Findelengletscher, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastner, Philipp; Jörg, Philipp Claudio; Huss, Matthias; Zemp, Michael

    2013-04-01

    The melting of glaciers and ice caps has been recognized as one of the best natural indicators for global climate change. In Switzerland, the early onset of both glacier research and detailed mapping of the country resulted in a wealth of historical material documenting glacier changes over the past 160 years. Fife years ago, the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg, along with the Swiss energy utility Axpo, launched the Glacier Laserscanning Experiment Obervallis (GLAXPO). In this project three laserscanning flights were performed on Findelengletscher in order to create high resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEM). These DEM provide a precise mapping of the glacier surface topography and serve as reference surface for the co-registration of past DEMs computed from digitized historical maps. In addition to that distributed numerical glacier models were run with ensembles of climate change scenarios in order to calculate glacier changes over the 21st century. The present work makes use of this great data pool for a scientifically correct visualization of 3-dimensional changes of Findelengletscher from AD 1850 to 2100 for public communication. We therefore collected ten different historical maps with the earliest dating from 1862 (plane survey sheet of the Dufour map). The pre-processing included georeferencing and digitalization of contour lines for the creation of different historical DEMs. Afterwards all historical DEMs were co-registered to one of the latest high resolution laserscanning DEM (from 2005). In between years with available DEMs, surface changes were interpolated linearly to create a sequence for the computer animation. For future developments, modeled glacier elevation changes where added/subtracted from the latest DEM (from 2010). Finally, two animations, showing glacier changes from 1850-2010 and 2010-2100, were composed and rendered in the animation program Visual Nature Studio 3. In cooperation with professional booth and model builders, these

  19. Mass balance, meteorology, area altitude distribution, glacier-surface altitude, ice motion, terminus position, and runoff at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, 1996 balance year

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.

    2003-01-01

    The 1996 measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances in the Gulkana Glacier Basin were evaluated on the basis of meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data. Averaged over the glacier, the measured winter snow balance was 0.87 meter on April 18, 1996, 1.1 standard deviation below the long-term average; the maximum winter snow balance, 1.06 meters, was reached on May 28, 1996; and the net balance (from August 30, 1995, to August 24, 1996) was -0.53 meter, 0.53 standard deviation below the long-term average. The annual balance (October 1, 1995, to September 30, 1996) was -0.37 meter. Area-averaged balances were reported using both the 1967 and 1993 area altitude distributions (the numbers previously given in this abstract use the 1993 area altitude distribution). Net balance was about 25 percent less negative using the 1993 area altitude distribution than the 1967 distribution. Annual average air temperature was 0.9 degree Celsius warmer than that recorded with the analog sensor used since 1966. Total precipitation catch for the year was 0.78 meter, 0.8 standard deviations below normal. The annual average wind speed was 3.5 meters per second in the first year of measuring wind speed. Annual runoff averaged 1.50 meters over the basin, 1.0 standard deviation below the long-term average. Glacier-surface altitude and ice-motion changes measured at three index sites document seasonal ice-speed and glacier-thickness changes. Both showed a continuation of a slowing and thinning trend present in the 1990s. The glacier terminus and lower ablation area were defined for 1996 with a handheld Global Positioning System survey of 126 locations spread out over about 4 kilometers on the lower glacier margin. From 1949 to 1996, the terminus retreated about 1,650 meters for an average retreat rate of 35 meters per year.

  20. 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.

  1. Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackintosh, Andrew N; Anderson, Brian M; Lorrey, Andrew M; Renwick, James A; Frei, Prisco; Dean, Sam M

    2017-02-14

    Glaciers experienced worldwide retreat during the twentieth and early twenty first centuries, and the negative trend in global glacier mass balance since the early 1990s is predominantly a response to anthropogenic climate warming. The exceptional terminus advance of some glaciers during recent global warming is thought to relate to locally specific climate conditions, such as increased precipitation. In New Zealand, at least 58 glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, and Franz Josef and Fox glaciers advanced nearly continuously during this time. Here we show that the glacier advance phase resulted predominantly from discrete periods of reduced air temperature, rather than increased precipitation. The lower temperatures were associated with anomalous southerly winds and low sea surface temperature in the Tasman Sea region. These conditions result from variability in the structure of the extratropical atmospheric circulation over the South Pacific. While this sequence of climate variability and its effect on New Zealand glaciers is unusual on a global scale, it remains consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans.

  2. 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).

  3. RECOGNITION OF DRAINAGE TUNNELS DURING GLACIER LAKE OUTBURST EVENTS FROM TERRESTRIAL IMAGE SEQUENCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Schwalbe

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, many glaciers all over the world have been distinctly retreating and thinning. One of the consequences of this is the increase of so called glacier lake outburst flood events (GLOFs. The mechanisms ruling such GLOF events are still not yet fully understood by glaciologists. Thus, there is a demand for data and measurements that can help to understand and model the phenomena. Thereby, a main issue is to obtain information about the location and formation of subglacial channels through which some lakes, dammed by a glacier, start to drain. The paper will show how photogrammetric image sequence analysis can be used to collect such data. For the purpose of detecting a subglacial tunnel, a camera has been installed in a pilot study to observe the area of the Colonia Glacier (Northern Patagonian Ice Field where it dams the Lake Cachet II. To verify the hypothesis, that the course of the subglacial tunnel is indicated by irregular surface motion patterns during its collapse, the camera acquired image sequences of the glacier surface during several GLOF events. Applying tracking techniques to these image sequences, surface feature motion trajectories could be obtained for a dense raster of glacier points. Since only a single camera has been used for image sequence acquisition, depth information is required to scale the trajectories. Thus, for scaling and georeferencing of the measurements a GPS-supported photogrammetric network has been measured. The obtained motion fields of the Colonia Glacier deliver information about the glacier’s behaviour before during and after a GLOF event. If the daily vertical glacier motion of the glacier is integrated over a period of several days and projected into a satellite image, the location and shape of the drainage channel underneath the glacier becomes visible. The high temporal resolution of the motion fields may also allows for an analysis of the tunnels dynamic in comparison to the changing

  4. Specific changes of the Kolka Glacier (the North Caucasus from 2002 to 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Nosenko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The process of filling the bed with ice with steep lateral tributaries, which lost support, began almost immediately after the catastrophe on the Kolka Glacier in 2002. Currently, three streams of ice have closed in the rear zone of the circus, forming a single ice massif on the bed. The dimensions of the glacier vary under the influence of both new conditions for the accumulation and melting of ice, and the features of the dynamics of the ice masses filling the vacated bed. This paper describes the next stage of the state of the new Kolka glacier – relative stabilization – and analyzes the features of the process of its recovery based on ground‑based observations, modern space imag‑ ery materials, and calculations of changes in summer air temperatures and winter precipitation in the glacier area at the beginning of the 21st century. In recent years, the rate of increase in the area of the glacier does not exceed 0.015 km2 per year. By September 2016, its area reached 1.11 km2, the volume – about 0.044 km3. The conditions for the formation of a new glacier on the empty bottom of the circus differ significantly from the previous ones – when Kolka was restored in the 1970s after a pulsation. In addition to the background increase in summer tem‑ peratures, the thermal balance in the circus has changed due to an increase in the area of the open surface of the bed and lateral moraine, which increases the melting of ice. At the same time, the growth of the moraine cover on the glacier restrains the melting process. Rockfalls and avalanches enrich the glacier with detrital material with greater intensity than in the 1970s. The conditions of accumulation also changed – the volume of food supplied from the hanging glaciers decreased from the previous 31% to 17%. Fumarolic activity in the crown area of the starboard side of the circus is preserved and this prevents the restoration of these glaciers.

  5. 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

  6. Bathymetry and retreat of Southeast Greenland glaciers from Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.; Bjork, A. A.; Mouginot, J.; Wood, M.

    2017-12-01

    Southeast Greenland has been one of the largest contributors to ice mass loss in Greenland in part because of significant changes in glacier dynamics. The leading hypothesis for the changes in glacier dynamics is that enhanced thermal forcing from the ocean has dislodged a number of glaciers from their anchoring positions and some of them retreated rapidly along a reverse bed. The glaciers response has been observed to vary significantly from one fjord to the next, but until now there was not enough data to understand or interpret these changes. In particular, there was no data on glacier bed topography and seafloor bathymetry in the fjords. Here we present the results of new fjord mapping by the NASA Ocean Melting Greenland mission combined with a recent high-resolution airborne gravity survey by NASA Operation IceBridge. We combine these data with a reconstruction of the bed using a mass conservation approach upstream extending into the glacial fjords for the first time. In the fjord and along the ice-ocean transition, we employ a 3D inversion of gravity data to infer the bed elevation along a set of 9 survey boxes spanning south of Helheim Glacier to the southern tip of Southeast Greenland. We combine the results with an analysis of the glacier front history since the 1930's and Conductivity Temperature Depth data obtained in the fjord by OMG in 2016. The data reveals bed elevations several 100-m deeper than previously thought, for almost all the glaciers, up to 500 m for some of them. For many glaciers, the bed profiles help to completely understand the history of retreat of the glaciers. For instance, glaciers stranded on sills have been stable; glaciers on a reverse slope have retreated rapidly; and glaciers with a normal slope have retreated slowly. The mapping also helps document the extent of the marine portion of the glacier basins. In many of the fjords, we document the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water which fuels large melt rates. We employ

  7. 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

  8. Estimating stream discharge from a Himalayan Glacier using coupled satellite sensor data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, S. F.; Stearns, L. A.; van der Veen, C. J.; Haritashya, U. K.; Tarpanelli, A.

    2015-12-01

    The 4th IPCC report highlighted our limited understanding of Himalayan glacier behavior and contribution to the region's hydrology. Seasonal snow and glacier melt in the Himalayas are important sources of water, but estimates greatly differ about the actual contribution of melted glacier ice to stream discharge. A more comprehensive understanding of the contribution of glaciers to stream discharge is needed because streams being fed by glaciers affect the livelihoods of a large part of the world's population. Most of the streams in the Himalayas are unmonitored because in situ measurements are logistically difficult and costly. This necessitates the use of remote sensing platforms to obtain estimates of river discharge for validating hydrological models. In this study, we estimate stream discharge using cost-effective methods via repeat satellite imagery from Landsat-8 and SENTINEL-1A sensors. The methodology is based on previous studies, which show that ratio values from optical satellite bands correlate well with measured stream discharge. While similar, our methodology relies on significantly higher resolution imagery (30 m) and utilizes bands that are in the blue and near-infrared spectrum as opposed to previous studies using 250 m resolution imagery and spectral bands only in the near-infrared. Higher resolution imagery is necessary for streams where the source is a glacier's terminus because the width of the stream is often only 10s of meters. We validate our methodology using two rivers in the state of Kansas, where stream gauges are plentiful. We then apply our method to the Bhagirathi River, in the North-Central Himalayas, which is fed by the Gangotri Glacier and has a well monitored stream gauge. The analysis will later be used to couple river discharge and glacier flow and mass balance through an integrated hydrologic model in the Bhagirathi Basin.

  9. Spatio-temporal evolution of efficient subglacial water discharge at Lemon Creek Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The impact of subglacial hydrology on glacier motion, glacier erosion and sediment transport, and submarine melt is well established. However, despite its importance, critical gaps in our understanding of subglacial hydrology and its seasonal evolution remain, in large part due to the challenge of making observations of glacier beds. Thus far, no spatially extensive, temporally continuous observations of subglacial water discharge exist. Seismic signals produced by subglacial water flow, and which correlate with subglacial water discharge, can meet this need. Here, we present the first observations from a 2017 summer seismic, geodetic, and hydrologic experiment. Our experiment seeks to better understand the evolution of efficient subglacial drainage and water storage through data collection and analysis at Lemon Creek Glacier, a 5.7 km-long glacier with a gauged outlet in Southeast Alaska. Data with nested spatial resolutions create an unparalleled perspective of subglacial discharge and its seasonal evolution. Six broadband seismometers and two GPS receivers installed for 80 days provide a long-term view of subglacial discharge and its impact on glacier dynamics. More than 100 nodes, installed approximately every 250 m over the glacier surface ( 13 nodes per 1 km^2) and deployed for up to 25 days, reveal the detailed spatial pattern of glaciohydraulic tremor amplitudes. These nodes enable us to more precisely infer the locations of subglacial discharge and its change, as well as better interpret long-term patterns of glaciohydraulic tremor observed by the broadband seismometers. We infer the subglacial response to hydraulic transients over the duration of the deployment through examination of intermittent melt and rain events, and the abrupt drainage of a glacier-dammed lake. These observations demonstrate the promise of seismology to significantly advance our understanding of glacier hydrology and associated glaciological processes.

  10. A Mass Balance Model of Lyell and Maclure Glaciers in Yosemite National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, K. A.; Stock, G. M.; Sharping, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Lyell and Maclure glaciers, two historically important glaciers of Yosemite National Park, have been rapidly retreating since the late 1800's. I attempted to quantify the water balance of two basins containing these glaciers. Water inputs were calculated by applying snow pillow data and two precipitation vs. elevation slope models. Water outputs consisted of a simplified evapotranspiration model and stream runoff data. Fifty-six linear combinations of precipitation and evaporation were used to develop water balance models. Most of these models predicted melt rates from the two glaciers outside of empirical observations. However, both the Lyell Glacier Basin and the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne Basin water balance spreads had notable Kolmogorov-Smirnov test statistics: Lyell Glacier with p = 0.34 for 2013 and p = 0.37 for 2014, and Lyell Fork with p = 0.45 for 2009. The basin containing Lyell Glacier had a water balance spread of between -1,105×10^3m^3 and +58×10^3m^3+ (interquartile range) with a mean of -564×10^3m^3 for the 2013 hydrologic year, and between -1,137×10^3m^3 and +21×10^3m^3 (interquartile range) with a mean of-583×10^3m^3 for the 2014 hydrologic year. The Lyell fork of the Tuolumne basin containing both Lyell and Maclure Glaciers had a water balance spread of between-14,350×10^3m^3 and +7,454×10^3m^3 (interquartile range) with a mean of -2,426×10^3m^3 for the 2009 hydrologic year. Variations observed in water balance models for Lyell Glacier in this study are an order of magnitude larger than the expected melt signal, and two orders of magnitude for the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne water balance models.

  11. 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.

  12. Glacier albedo decrease in the European Alps: potential causes and links with mass balances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Mauro, Biagio; Julitta, Tommaso; Colombo, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    Both mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets are losing mass all over the Earth. They are highly sensitive to climate variation, and the widespread reduction of glaciers has been ascribed to the atmospheric temperature increase. Beside this driver, also ice albedo plays a fundamental role in defining mass balance of glaciers. In fact, dark ice absorbs more energy causing faster glacier melting, and this can drive to more negative balances. Previous studies showed that the albedo of Himalayan glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet is decreasing with important rates. In this contribution, we tested the hypothesis that also glaciers in the European Alps are getting darker. We analyzed 16-year time series of MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectrometer) snow albedo from Terra (MOD13A1, 2000-2015) and Aqua (MYD13A1, 2002-2015) satellites. These data feature a spatial resolution of 500m and a daily temporal resolution. We evaluated the existence of a negative linear and nonlinear trend of the summer albedo values both at pixel and at glacier level. We also calculated the correlation between MODIS summer albedo and glacier mass balances (from the World Glaciological Monitoring Service, WGMS database), for all the glaciers with available mass balance during the considered period. In order to estimate the percentage of the summer albedo that can be explained by atmospheric temperature, we correlated MODIS albedo and monthly air temperature extracted from the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. Results show that decreasing trends exist with a strong spatial variability in the whole Alpine chain. In large glaciers, such as the Aletch (Swiss Alps), the trend varies significantly also within the glacier, showing that the trend is higher in the area across the accumulation and ablation zone. Over the 17 glaciers with mass balance available in the WGMS data set, 11 gave significant relationship with the MODIS summer albedo. Moreover, the comparison between ERA-Interim temperature

  13. GLACIER MONITORING SYSTEM IN COLOMBIA - complementing glaciological measurements with laser-scanning and ground-penetrating radar surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Jorge; Micheletti, Natan; Rabatel, Antoine; Mölg, Nico; Zemp, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Colombia (South America) has six small glaciers (total glacierized area of 45 Km2); their geographical location, close to zero latitude, makes them very sensitive to climate changes. An extensive monitoring program is being performed since 2006 on two glaciers, with international cooperation supports. This presentation summarizes the results of glacier changes in Colombia and includes the latest results obtained within the CATCOS Project - Phase 1 (Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems) signed between Colombia and Switzerland, and within the Joint Mixte Laboratory GREAT-ICE (IRD - France), with the application of LiDAR technology and GPR-based ice thickness measurements at Conejeras Glacier. Conejeras Glacier (Lat. N. 4° 48' 56"; Long. W. 75° 22' 22"; Alt. Max. 4915m.; Alt. Min. 4730m. Area 0.2 Km2) is located on the north-western side of Santa Isabel Volcano. This glacier belongs to global glacier monitoring network of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS-ID: 2721). The surface mass balance is calculated monthly using the direct glaciological method. Between April 2006 and May 2014, Conejeras Glacier showed a cumulative loss of -21 m w.e. The CATCOS Project allowed to improve the glacier monitoring system in Colombia with two main actions: (1) a terrestrial laser scanner survey (RIEGL VZ-6000 terrestrial laser scanner, property of Universities of Lausanne and Fribourg); and (2) ice thickness measurements (Blue System Integration Ltd. Ice Penetrating Radar of property of IRD). The terrestrial laser-scanning survey allowed to realize an accurate digital terrain model of the glacier surface with 13 million points and a decimetric resolution. Ice thickness measurements showed an average glacier thickness of 22 meters and a maximum of 52 meters.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Long term mass balance of the Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers in

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Fitzner, Antje; Kjær, Kurt

    2013-01-01

    Observations over the past decade show huge ice loss associated with speeding up of glaciers in southeast Greenland in 2003, followed by a deceleration in 2006. These short-term episodic dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance at decadal scale. However, to improve the projec......Observations over the past decade show huge ice loss associated with speeding up of glaciers in southeast Greenland in 2003, followed by a deceleration in 2006. These short-term episodic dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance at decadal scale. However, to improve...... the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance between episodic events is required. Here, we extend the observational record of marginal thinning of Helheim glacier (HG) and Kangerdlugssuaq glacier (KG) from 7 to 30 years. Our measurements reveal that, although...... in air temperature suggest that both outlet glaciers respond immediately to small fluctuations in both the SST and air temperature. Furthermore, we compare our observations of ice flow speed and elevation changes with predictions based on the The Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) software....

  17. 8800 years of high-altitude vegetation and climate history at the Rutor Glacier forefield, Italian Alps. Evidence of middle Holocene timberline rise and glacier contraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badino, Federica; Ravazzi, Cesare; Vallè, Francesca; Pini, Roberta; Aceti, Amelia; Brunetti, Michele; Champvillair, Elena; Maggi, Valter; Maspero, Francesco; Perego, Renata; Orombelli, Giuseppe

    2018-04-01

    Sedimentary archives at or near the timberline ecotone in Alpine glaciated areas contain records to study Holocene climate change and the interplay between climate, ecosystems, and humans. We focused on records of timberline and glacier oscillations in the Rutor Glacier forefield (Western Italian Alps) in the last 8800 years. Human activity in this area was negligible for most of the Holocene. We adopted an integrative stratigraphic approach including proxies for glacier advance and timberline estimation, sedimentary events, and reconstructed temperatures. Changes in timberline ecotone correlate to climate until the Middle Ages. Pollen-stratigraphic evidence of a primary plant succession highlights a lag beween local deglaciation and the first reliable 14C age. The radiocarbon chronology points to a prolonged phase of glacier contraction between 8.8 and 3.7 ka cal BP. Even later the glacier remained within its LIA limits. Between 8.4 and 4 ka cal BP MAT-inferred TJuly fluctuated near 12.4 °C, ca. 3.1 °C higher than today. During this period, a Pinus cembra forest belt grew at 2600 m asl with an upper limit of tree groves placed 434 ± 310 m above the current open forest limit. This Holocene phase of thermal maximum ended between 3.98 and 3.51 ± 70 ka cal BP and with a substantial rearrangement of forest composition; temperature reconstruction shows a decrease of 1.8 °C. This climate deterioration concluded the Subboreal thermal optimum, mirroring glacial advances widely documented in the Alps. The Rutor Glacier advanced at ca. AD 1093 ± 65, and remained inside the LIA maximum extent. The LIA started since AD 1594, and culminated between AD 1751 and 1864.

  18. Fusion of Multi-Source Satellite Data and DEMs to Create a New Glacier Inventory for Novaya Zemlya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Rastner

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring glacier changes in remote Arctic regions are strongly facilitated by satellite data. This is especially true for the Russian Arctic where recently increased optical and SAR satellite imagery (Landsat 8 OLI, Sentinel 1/2, and digital elevation models (TanDEM-X, ArcticDEM are becoming available. These datasets offer new possibilities to create high-quality glacier inventories. Here, we present a new glacier inventory derived from a fusion of multi-source satellite data for Novaya Zemlya in the Russian Arctic. We mainly used Landsat 8 OLI data to automatically map glaciers with the band ratio method. Missing debris-covered glacier parts and misclassified lakes were manually corrected. Whereas perennial snow fields were a major obstacle in glacier identification, seasonal snow was identified and removed using Landsat 5 TM scenes from the year 1998. Drainage basins were derived semi-automatically using the ArcticDEM (gap-filled by the ASTER GDEM V2 and manually corrected using fringes from ALOS PALSAR. The new glacier inventory gives a glacierized area of 22,379 ± 246.16 km2 with 1474 glacier entities >0.05 km2. The region is dominated by large glaciers, as 909 glaciers <0.5 km2 (62% by number cover only 156 ± 1.7 km2 or 0.7% of the area, whereas 49 glaciers >100 km2 (3.3% by number cover 18,724 ± 205.9 km2 or 84%. In total, 41 glaciers are marine terminating covering an area of 16,063.7 ± 118.8 km2. The mean elevation is 596 m for all glaciers in the study region (528 m in the northern part, 641 in the southern part. South-east (north-west facing glaciers cover >35% (20% of the area. For the smaller glaciers in the southern part we calculated an area loss of ~5% (52.5 ± 4.5 km2 from 2001 to 2016.

  19. Glacier evolution in high-mountain Asia under stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection geoengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Geoengineering by stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection may help preserve mountain glaciers by reducing summer temperatures. We examine this hypothesis for the glaciers in high-mountain Asia using a glacier mass balance model driven by climate simulations from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP. The G3 and G4 schemes specify use of stratospheric sulfate aerosols to reduce the radiative forcing under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 4.5 scenario for the 50 years between 2020 and 2069, and for a further 20 years after termination of geoengineering. We estimate and compare glacier volume loss for every glacier in the region using a glacier model based on surface mass balance parameterization under climate projections from three Earth system models under G3, five models under G4, and six models under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The ensemble projections suggest that glacier shrinkage over the period 2010–2069 is equivalent to sea-level rise of 9.0 ± 1.6 mm (G3, 9.8 ± 4.3 mm (G4, 15.5 ± 2.3 mm (RCP4.5, and 18.5 ± 1.7 mm (RCP8.5. Although G3 keeps the average temperature from increasing in the geoengineering period, G3 only slows glacier shrinkage by about 50 % relative to losses from RCP8.5. Approximately 72 % of glaciated area remains at 2069 under G3, as compared with about 30 % for RCP8.5. The widely reported reduction in mean precipitation expected for solar geoengineering is unlikely to be as important as the temperature-driven shift from solid to liquid precipitation for forcing Himalayan glacier change. The termination of geoengineering at 2069 under G3 leads to temperature rise of about 1.3 °C over the period 2070–2089 relative to the period 2050-2069 and corresponding increase in annual mean glacier volume loss rate from 0.17 to 1.1 % yr−1, which is higher than the 0.66 % yr−1 under RCP8.5 during 2070–2089.

  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. A Quarter-Century of Glacier Recession in the Tropical Andes from Landsat: c1987 - c2013

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The glaciers of the tropical Andes constitute 99% of the world's tropical glaciers. They primarily occur in Peru and Bolivia (90%) with smaller glaciers scattered across the peaks in Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Specific glaciers in the range have been studied in great detail, such as Bolivia's Zongo glacier and Peru's Quelccaya Ice Cap, but few studies of glacier recession across the full range have been published. We previously assessed glacier recession between c1987 and c2006 using manual classification techniques on Landsat imagery. We have now updated that study to the present (2013/2014), and and have incorporated automated techniques using support vector machines. The update to present allows us to examine both the variability in recession rates, and the current state of overall recession. The primary issues in completing this analysis are accounting for snow cover (which can otherwise be easily misidentified as glacier), and developing a robust and semi-automated methodology to process the large number of individual images required. To avoid confusion with transient snow, we analysed 2-3 clear images at each epoch, with minimal visually apparent snow or glacier, and only labelled as glacier those pixels that were classified as glacier in the clear portions of each image. To automate the processing, we used support vector machines, trained with the extensive data we have available from our previous manual classification work.Our previous work indicated an overall recession of approximately 30% (or 700 km2 of glacier area loss) between c1987 and c2006. We will present updated figures from our new analysis, extending to 2013/2014.

  2. Natural 32Si as a tool for the study of glacier dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgenstern, U.

    1998-01-01

    Cosmogenic 32 Si (half-life ca. 140 years) can be applied to the study of environmental circulation processes in the time range 50 to 1000 years, within which no other dating method is readily available. Its non-gaseous nature and fairly constant production rate are favourable to quantify its behaviour in environmental processes. 32 Si is potentially useful in studies of glacier dynamics, sedimentation in lakes and oceans, groundwater flow and mixing processes, ocean circulation, and soil erosion. Global distribution of 32 Si was poorly known for a long time. However, we now know that the spatial and temporal distribution is very similar to other well-investigated cosmogenic radionuclides: latitude and seasonal variation, negative-correlation to solar activity, and a brief contribution from nuclear weapons testing. We have now measured the 32 Si deposition via rain in Kaitoke, near Wellington, giving the first data for Southern Hemisphere. Compared to Northern Hemisphere data, the measured 32 Si concentrations in Kaitoke rain are nearly a factor 2 higher. Concentrations in snow from NZ glaciers are higher by a factor of 5, allowing for better dating of NZ glaciers than is possible in Northern Hemisphere glaciers. The age information from the glacier ice can provide reliable information on glacier turnover times and ice velocities, and indicate the timespan of available environmental records in the glacier. The special value of 32 Si is to provide age information of environmental records within the past few centuries, which is a main goal of future international activities in climate change research. (author). 2 refs

  3. 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)

  4. Glacier Changes in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, Derived From SPOT5 Imagery, GIS and Field- Based Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racoviteanu, A.; Arnaud, Y.; Williams, M. W.; Singh Khalsa, S.

    2007-12-01

    There is urgency in deriving an extensive dataset for deriving glacier changes within the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, in a cost-effective and timely manner. Rapid glacial retreat during the last decades in this area poses a threat for water resources, hydroelectric power and local traditions. While there is some information on decadal changes in glacier extents, there still remains a paucity of mass balance measurements and glacier parameters such as hypsometry, size distribution and termini elevations. Here we investigate decadal changes in glacier parameters for Cordillera Blanca of Peru using data from Système Probatoire d'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) sensor, an old glacier inventory from 1970 aerial photography, field-based mass balance measurements and meteorological observations. Here we focus on: constructing a geospatial glacier inventory from 2003 SPOT scenes; mass balance estimations using remote sensing and field data; frequency distribution of glacier area; changes in termini elevations; hypsometry changes over time; glacier topography (slope, aspect, length/width ratio); AAR vs. mass balance for Artesonraju and Yanamarey benchmark glaciers; precipitation and temperature trends in the region. Over the last 25 years, mean temperatures increases of 0.09 deg.C/yr were greater at lower elevation than the 0.01 deg.C/yr at higher elevations, with little change in precipitation. Comparison of the new SPOT-based glacier inventory with the 1970 inventory shows that glaciers in Cordillera Blanca retreated at a rate of 0.6% per year over the last three decades, with no significant differences in the rate of area loss between E and W side. At lower elevations there is an upward shift of glacier termini along with a decrease in glacier area. Small glaciers are losing more area than large glaciers. Based on the relationship between specific mass balance (bn) and accumulation area ratio (AAR) for the two benchmark glaciers, we predicted a steady-state equilibrium line

  5. 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

  6. Monitoring rock glacier dynamics and ground temperatures in the semiarid Andes (Chile, 30°S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenning, Alexander; Azócar, Guillermo F.; Bodin, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    Rock glaciers and mountain permafrost are widespread in the high semiarid Andes of Chile, where they concentrate greater amounts of ice than glaciers. Rock glaciers are of particular interest because in some cases the permafrost they contain might be in a degrading in response to climatic warming. This could result in increased dynamics and even to destabilization, which has been observed on some rock glaciers in the studied area. Displacement rates and active-layer temperatures of two rock glaciers as well as ground surface temperatures of the periglacial environment in the upper Elqui valley have been monitored since summer 2009/10 with funding from the Chilean Dirección General de Aguas. Differential GPS measurements of 115 points on the surface of two rock glaciers since April 2010 showed horizontal displacements of up to 1.3 m/a on the Llano de las Liebres rock glacier and up to 1.2 m/a on the Tapado rock glacier. General velocity patterns are consistent with the morphological evidence of activity (e.g., front slopes, looseness of debris) and for the Tapado complex, a clearly distinct activity from the debris-covered glacier was observed. Temperature measurements in four boreholes indicate active-layer depths of about 2.5 m at the highest locations on the Tapado rock glacier (~4400 m a.s.l.) and about 8 m near the front of the Llano rock glacier (3786 m a.s.l.). Spatial patterns of mean ground surface temperature (MGST) were analyzed with regards to influences of elevation, potential incoming solar radiation, location on ice-debris landforms (rock and debris-covered glaciers), and snow cover duration using linear mixed-effects models. While accounting for the other variables, sites with long-lasting snow patches had ~0.4°C lower MGST, and ice-debris landforms had ~0.4-0.6°C lower MGST than general debris surfaces, highlighting important local modifications to the general topographic variation of ground thermal conditions.

  7. Global glacier and ice sheet surface velocities derived from 31 years of Landsat imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, A. S.; Scambos, T. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers and ice sheets are contributing substantial volumes of water to the world's oceans due to enhanced melt resulting from changes in ocean and atmospheric conditions and respective feedbacks. Improving understanding of the processes leading to accelerated rates of ice loss is necessary for reducing uncertainties sea level projections. One key to doing this is to assemble and analyze long records of glacier change that characterize grounded ice response to changes in driving stress, buttressing, and basal conditions. As part of the NASA funded GO_LIVE project we exploit 31 years of Landsat imagery to construct detailed time histories of global glacier velocities. Early exploration of the dataset reveals the diversity of information to be gleaned: sudden tidewater glacier speedups in the Antarctic Peninsula, rifting of Antarctic ice shelves, high variability in velocities near glacier grounding lines, frequent surge activity in the mountainous regions of Alaska and High Mountain Asia, and the slowdown of land-terminating valley glaciers in Arctic Canada and elsewhere.

  8. Glacier mass balance and its potential impacts in the Altai Mountains over the period 1990-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Enomoto, Hiroyuki; Ohata, Tetsuo; Kitabata, Hideyuki; Kadota, Tsutomu; Hirabayashi, Yukiko

    2017-10-01

    The Altai Mountains contain 1281 glaciers covering an area of 1191 km2. These glaciers have undergone significant changes in glacial length and area over the past decade. However, mass changes of these glaciers and their impacts remain poorly understood. Here we present surface mass balances of all glaciers in the region for the period 1990-2011, using a glacier mass-balance model forced by the outputs of a regional climate model. Our results indicate that the mean specific mass balance for the whole region is about -0.69 m w.e. yr-1 over the entire period, and about 81.3% of these glaciers experience negative net mass balance. We detect an accelerated wastage of these glaciers in recent years, and marked differences in mass change and its sensitivity to climate change for different regions and size classes. In particular, higher mass loss and temperature sensitivity are observed for glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2. In addition to temperature rise, a decrease in precipitation in the western part of the region and an increase in precipitation in the eastern part likely contribute to significant sub-region differences in mass loss. With significant glacier wastage, the contribution of all glaciers to regional water resources and sea-level change becomes larger than before, but may not be a potential threat to human populations through impacts on water availability.

  9. Changing Climate Drives Lagging and Accelerating Glacier Responses and Accelerating Adjustments of the Hazard Regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

    It is virtually universally recognized among climate and cryospheric scientists that climate and greenhouse gas abundances are closely correlated. Disagreements mainly pertain to the fundamental triggers for large fluctuations in climate and greenhouse gases during the pre-industrial era, and exactly how coupling is achieved amongst the dynamic solid Earth, the Sun, orbital and rotational dynamics, greenhouse gas abundances, and climate. Also unsettled is the climate sensitivity defined as the absolute linkage between the magnitude of climate warming/cooling and greenhouse gas increase/decrease. Important questions concern lagging responses (either greenhouse gases lagging climate fluctuations, or vice versa) and the causes of the lags. In terms of glacier and ice sheet responses to climate change, there also exist several processes causing lagging responses to climate change inputs. The simplest parameterization giving a glacier's lagging response time, τ, is that given by Jóhanneson et al. (1989), modified slightly here as τ = b/h, where b is a measure of ablation rate and h is a measure of glacier thickness. The exact definitions of τ, b, and h are subject to some interpretive license, but for a back-of-the-envelope approximation, we may take b as the magnitude of the mean ablation rate over the whole ablation area, and h as the mean glacier thickness in the glacier ablation zone. τ remains a bit ambiguous but may be considered as an exponential time scale for a decreasing response of b to a climatic step change. For some climate changes, b and h can be taken as the values prior to the climate change, but for large climatic shifts, this parameterization must be iterated. The actual response of a glacier at any time is the sum of exponentially decreasing responses from past changes. (Several aspects of glacier dynamics cause various glacier responses to differ from this idealized glacier-response theory.) Some important details relating to the retreat (or

  10. 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

  11. Geographical variations in Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of cryoconite on Asian glaciers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagatsuka, Naoko; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Nakano, Takanori; Shin, Kicheol; Kokado, Emi

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite is a dark-coloured surface dust deposited on glaciers that consists of wind-blown mineral particles, as well as organic matter derived from microbes living on glaciers. In this paper, we analyse the Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of four mineral fractions (i.e., the saline, carbonate, phosphate, and silicate mineral fractions), as well as the organic fraction, of cryoconite samples obtained from six Asian glaciers (the Altai, Pamir, Tien Shan, Qillian Shan, and Himalayan regions), and discuss their geographical variations in terms of the geological origins of the mineral particles and the biogeochemical processes on the glaciers. The silicate mineral fraction showed lower Sr and higher Nd ratios for the glaciers located to the north (Altai, 87 Sr/ 86 Sr: 0.713 490–0.715 284, εNd(0): −6.4 to −5.6), while higher Sr and lower Nd ratios for the glaciers located to the south (Himalayas, 87 Sr/ 86 Sr: 0.740 121–0.742 088, εNd(0): −16.4 to −15.7); the ratios were similar to those of desert sand, loess, and river sediments in the respective regions of the glaciers. This result suggests that the silicate minerals within the cryoconites were derived from different sources depending on the geographical locations of the glaciers. The isotopic ratios of the saline, carbonate, and phosphate mineral fractions were distinct from those of the silicate fraction, and were similar to those of evaporites and apatite deposits from the Asian deserts, but also varied geographically, indicating that they are likely to reflect their geological origin. The Sr isotopic ratios of the organic fraction were similar to those of the saline and carbonate fractions from glaciers in the central area (Tien Shan and Qillian Shan), but were higher than those of the saline and carbonate fractions, and lower than the phosphate mineral fraction, in the northern and southern areas. The ratios of organic fraction may be determined from the mixing ratio of calcium sources

  12. Asia’s glaciers are a regionally important buffer against drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Hamish D.

    2017-05-01

    The high mountains of Asia—encompassing the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Pamir Alai, Kunlun Shan, and Tian Shan mountains—have the highest concentration of glaciers globally, and 800 million people depend in part on meltwater from them. Water stress makes this region vulnerable economically and socially to drought, but glaciers are a uniquely drought-resilient source of water. Here I show that these glaciers provide summer meltwater to rivers and aquifers that is sufficient for the basic needs of 136 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. During drought summers, meltwater dominates water inputs to the upper Indus and Aral river basins. Uncertainties in mountain precipitation are poorly known, but, given the magnitude of this water supply, predicted glacier loss would add considerably to drought-related water stress. Such additional water stress increases the risk of social instability, conflict and sudden, uncontrolled population migrations triggered by water scarcity, which is already associated with the large and rapidly growing populations and hydro-economies of these basins.

  13. 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

  14. Monitoring tropical debris-covered glacier dynamics from high-resolution unmanned aerial vehicle photogrammetry, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Wigmore

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, are rapidly retreating and thinning as a result of climate change, altering the timing, quantity and quality of water available to downstream users. Furthermore, increases in the number and size of proglacial lakes associated with these melting glaciers is increasing potential exposure to glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs. Understanding how these glaciers are changing and their connection to proglacial lake systems is thus of critical importance. Most satellite data are too coarse for studying small mountain glaciers and are often affected by cloud cover, while traditional airborne photogrammetry and lidar are costly. Recent developments have made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs a viable and potentially transformative method for studying glacier change at high spatial resolution, on demand and at relatively low cost.Using a custom designed hexacopter built for high-altitude (4000–6000 m a. s. l.  operation, we completed repeat aerial surveys (2014 and 2015 of the debris-covered Llaca Glacier tongue and proglacial lake system. High-resolution orthomosaics (5 cm and digital elevation models (DEMs (10 cm were produced and their accuracy assessed. Analysis of these datasets reveals highly heterogeneous patterns of glacier change. The most rapid areas of ice loss were associated with exposed ice cliffs and meltwater ponds on the glacier surface. Considerable subsidence and low surface velocities were also measured on the sediments within the pro-glacial lake, indicating the presence of extensive regions of buried ice and continued connection to the glacier tongue. Only limited horizontal retreat of the glacier tongue was observed, indicating that measurements of changes in aerial extent alone are inadequate for monitoring changes in glacier ice quantity.

  15. Guidelines for Acceptable Electronic Communication with Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todoric, Mary E.

    2011-01-01

    Rarely does a day go by when one doesn't hear or read something relating to digital communication and school. Whether it's referencing cell phones, email, Facebook, texting, blogs, or Twitter, this constant barrage of messages in the media makes it clear that electronic communications are in the forefront of students' lives. They are also an…

  16. 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.

  17. Holocene glacier fluctuations inferred from lacustrine sediment, Emerald Lake, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBrecque, Taylor S.; Kaufman, Darrell S.

    2016-01-01

    Physical and biological characteristics of lacustrine sediment from Emerald Lake were used to reconstruct the Holocene glacier history of Grewingk Glacier, southern Alaska. Emerald Lake is an ice-marginal threshold lake, receiving glaciofluvial sediment when Grewingk Glacier overtops the topographic divide that separates it from the lake. Sub-bottom acoustical profiles were used to locate core sites to maximize both the length and resolution of the sedimentary sequence recovered in the 4-m-long cores. The age model for the composite sequence is based on 13 14C ages and a 210Pb profile. A sharp transition from the basal inorganic mud to organic-rich mud at 11.4 ± 0.2 ka marks the initial retreat of Grewingk Glacier below the divide of Emerald Lake. The overlaying organic-rich mud is interrupted by stony mud that records a re-advance between 10.7 ± 0.2 and 9.8 ± 0.2 ka. The glacier did not spill meltwater into the lake again until the Little Ice Age, consistent with previously documented Little Ice Ages advances on the Kenai Peninsula. The retreat of Grewingk Glacier at 11.4 ka took place as temperature increased following the Younger Dryas, and the subsequent re-advance corresponds with a climate reversal beginning around 11 ka across southern Alaska.

  18. Climate and glacier change in southwestern China during the past several decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Zongxing; He Yuanqing; An Wenling; Zhang Wei; Wang Yan; Wang Shijin; Liu Huancai; Cao Weihong; Wang Shuxin; Du Jiankuo; Song Linlin; Catto, Norm; Theakstone, Wilfred H

    2011-01-01

    Glaciers are distributed in the Nyainqntanglha Mountains, Himalayas, Tanggula Mountains, Gangdise Mountains and Hengduan Mountains in Southwestern China. Daily temperature and precipitation data from 111 stations, together with the records of glacier changes, indicate that temperature patterns during 1961–2008 were consistent with warming at a statistically significant level. Seasonal warming was greatest in autumn and winter. Temperature rise showed a significant relationship with sea surface temperature in the Western Pacific, net longwave radiation flux, altitude, sunshine hours, strengthening anticyclonic circulations in summer and anomalous cyclonic circulation in winter. The increase was more apparent in higher altitude areas than in lower ones. Precipitation variations were less marked than those of temperature, generally showing weak decreasing trends during 1961–2008. Increasing trends were apparent only in spring and winter, when regional trends of precipitation increases with altitude also were evident. The strengthening Western Pacific Subtropical Highs were related to precipitation variation. Against the background of increasing temperature, especially the increasing warming with altitude, the fronts of 32 glaciers and areas of 13 glacial basins have retreated, mass losses of 10 glaciers have been considerable, glacial lakes in six regions have expanded and melt water discharge of four basins has also increased, but these glaciers and basins in our study are only a fraction of the retreating glaciers over southwestern China.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Climate change links fate of glaciers and an endemic alpine invertebrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Giersch, J. Joseph; Hauer, F. Richard; Pederson, Gregory T.; Luikart, Gordon; Peterson, Douglas P.; Downs, Christopher C.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2011-01-01

    Climate warming in the mid- to high-latitudes and high-elevation mountainous regions is occurring more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth, causing extensive loss of glaciers and snowpack. However, little is known about the effects of climate change on alpine stream biota, especially invertebrates. Here, we show a strong linkage between regional climate change and the fundamental niche of a rare aquatic invertebrate—themeltwater stonefly Lednia tumana—endemic toWaterton- Glacier International Peace Park, Canada and USA. L. tumana has been petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced glacier loss, yet little is known on specifically how climate impacts may threaten this rare species and many other enigmatic alpine aquatic species worldwide. During 14 years of research, we documented that L. tumana inhabits a narrow distribution, restricted to short sections (∼500 m) of cold, alpine streams directly below glaciers, permanent snowfields, and springs. Our simulation models suggest that climate change threatens the potential future distribution of these sensitive habitats and persistence of L. tumana through the loss of glaciers and snowfields. Mountaintop aquatic invertebrates are ideal early warning indicators of climate warming in mountain ecosystems. Research on alpine invertebrates is urgently needed to avoid extinctions and ecosystem change.

  2. The Photographic History of Greenland’s Glaciers – and how the historical data plays an important role in today’s glacier research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørk, Anders Anker; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    As the Greenland Ice Sheet and Greenland's glaciers are continuing to loss mass at high rates, knowledge of their past response to climatic changes is ever important. By harvesting the archives for images, both terrestrial and airborne, we are able to expand the record of glacier observation...... by several decades, thus supplying crucial knowledge on glacier behavior to important climatic transitions such as the end of the Little Ice Age and the early 20th Century warming. Here we show how a large collection of historical aerial images portray the glacial response to the Little Ice Age deglaciation...... in Greenland and document frontal change throughout the 20th Century. A detailed story of the LIA-deglaciation is told by supplementing with terrestrial photos that capture the onset of retreat and high resolution aerial images that portray geomorphological evidence of the Little Ice Age maximum extent...

  3. Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kääb, Andreas; Leinss, Silvan; Gilbert, Adrien; Bühler, Yves; Gascoin, Simon; Evans, Stephen G.; Bartelt, Perry; Berthier, Etienne; Brun, Fanny; Chao, Wei-An; Farinotti, Daniel; Gimbert, Florent; Guo, Wanqin; Huggel, Christian; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Leonard, Gregory J.; Tian, Lide; Treichler, Désirée; Yao, Tandong

    2018-02-01

    Surges and glacier avalanches are expressions of glacier instability, and among the most dramatic phenomena in the mountain cryosphere. Until now, the catastrophic collapse of a glacier, combining the large volume of surges and mobility of ice avalanches, has been reported only for the 2002 130 × 106 m3 detachment of Kolka Glacier (Caucasus Mountains), which has been considered a globally singular event. Here, we report on the similar detachment of the entire lower parts of two adjacent glaciers in western Tibet in July and September 2016, leading to an unprecedented pair of giant low-angle ice avalanches with volumes of 68 ± 2 × 106 m3 and 83 ± 2 × 106 m3. On the basis of satellite remote sensing, numerical modelling and field investigations, we find that the twin collapses were caused by climate- and weather-driven external forcing, acting on specific polythermal and soft-bed glacier properties. These factors converged to produce surge-like enhancement of driving stresses and massively reduced basal friction connected to subglacial water and fine-grained bed lithology, to eventually exceed collapse thresholds in resisting forces of the tongues frozen to their bed. Our findings show that large catastrophic instabilities of low-angle glaciers can happen under rare circumstances without historical precedent.

  4. The imbalance of glaciers after disintegration of Larsen-B ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Rott

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The outlet glaciers to the embayment of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf started to accelerate soon after the ice shelf disintegrated in March 2002. We analyse high resolution radar images of the TerraSAR-X satellite, launched in June 2007, to map the motion of outlet glaciers in detail. The frontal velocities are used to estimate the calving fluxes for 2008/2009. As reference for pre-collapse conditions, when the glaciers were in balanced state, the ice fluxes through the same gates are computed using ice motion maps derived from interferometric data of the ERS-1/ERS-2 satellites in 1995 and 1999. Profiles of satellite laser altimetry from ICESat, crossing the terminus of several glaciers, indicate considerable glacier thinning between 2003 and 2007/2008. This is taken into account for defining the calving cross sections. The difference between the pre- and post-collapse fluxes provides an estimate on the mass imbalance. For the Larsen-B embayment the 2008 mass deficit is estimated at 4.34 ± 1.64 Gt a−1, significantly lower than previously published values. The ice flow acceleration follows a similar pattern on the various glaciers, gradually decreasing in magnitude with distance upstream from the calving front. This suggests stress perturbation at the glacier front being the main factor for acceleration. So far there are no signs of slow-down indicating that dynamic thinning and frontal retreat will go on.

  5. Cirque Glacier on South Georgia Shows Centennial Variability over the Last 7000 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lea T. Oppedal

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A 7000 year-long cirque glacier reconstruction from South Georgia, based on detailed analysis of fine-grained sediments deposited downstream in a bog and a lake, suggests continued presence during most of the Holocene. Glacier activity is inferred from various sedimentary properties including magnetic susceptibility (MS, dry bulk density (DBD, loss-on-ignition (LOI and geochemical elements (XRF, and tallied to a set of terminal moraines. The two independently dated sediment records document concurring events of enhanced glacigenic sediment influx to the bog and lake, whereas the upstream moraines afford the opportunity to calculate past Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELA which has varied in the order of 70 m altitude. Combined, the records provide new evidence of cirque glacier fluctuations on South Georgia. Based on the onset of peat formation, the study site was deglaciated prior to 9900 ± 250 years ago when Neumayer tidewater glacier retreated up-fjord. Changes in the lake and bog sediment properties indicate that the cirque glacier was close to its maximum Holocene extent between 7200 ± 400 and 4800 ± 200 cal BP, 2700 ± 150 and 2000 ± 200 cal BP, 500 ± 150–300 ± 100 cal BP, and in the Twentieth century (likely 1930s. The glacier fluctuations are largely in-phase with reconstructed Patagonian glaciers, implying that they respond to centennial climate variability possibly connected to corresponding modulations of the Southern Westerly Winds.

  6. Cirque glacier on South Georgia shows centennial variability over the last 7000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppedal, Lea T.; Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind; Werner, Johannes P.; van der Bilt, Willem G. M.

    2018-02-01

    A 7000 year-long cirque glacier reconstruction from South Georgia, based on detailed analysis of fine-grained sediments deposited downstream in a bog and a lake, suggests continued presence during most of the Holocene. Glacier activity is inferred from various sedimentary properties including magnetic susceptibility (MS), dry bulk density (DBD), loss-on-ignition (LOI) and geochemical elements (XRF), and tallied to a set of terminal moraines. The two independently dated sediment records document concurring events of enhanced glacigenic sediment influx to the bog and lake, whereas the upstream moraines afford the opportunity to calculate past Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELA) which has varied in the order of 70 m altitude. Combined, the records provide new evidence of cirque glacier fluctuations on South Georgia. Based on the onset of peat formation, the study site was deglaciated prior to 9900±250 years ago when Neumayer tidewater glacier retreated up-fjord. Changes in the lake and bog sediment properties indicate that the cirque glacier was close to its maximum Holocene extent between 7200±400 and 4800±200 cal BP, 2700±150 and 2000±200 cal BP, 500±150-300±100 cal BP, and in the 20th century (likely 1930s). The glacier fluctuations are largely in-phase with reconstructed Patagonian glaciers, implying that they respond to centennial climate variability possibly connected to corresponding modulations of the Southern Westerly Winds.

  7. Applicability of cryoconite consortia of microorganisms and glacier-dwelling animals in astrobiological studies

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    Zawierucha Krzysztof

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available For several years it has been of interest to astrobiologists to focus on Earth’s glaciers as a habitat that can be similar to glaciers on other moons and planets. Microorganisms on glaciers form consortia – cryoconite granules (cryoconites. They are granular/spherical mineral particles connected with archaea, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic bacteria, algae, fungi, and micro animals (mainly Tardigrada and Rotifera. Cryophilic organisms inhabiting glaciers have been studied in different aspects: from taxonomy, ecology and biogeography, to searching of biotechnological potentials and physiological strategies to survive in extreme glacial habitats. However, they have never been used in astrobiological experiments. The main aim of this paper is brief review of literature and supporting assumptions that cryoconite granules and microinvertebrates on glaciers, are promising models in astrobiology for looking for analogies and survival strategies in terms of icy planets and moons. So far, astrobiological research have been conducted on single strains of prokaryotes or microinvertebrates but never on a consortium of them. Due to the hypothetical similarity of glaciers on the Earth to those on other planets these cryoconites consortia of microorganisms and glacier microinvertebrates may be applied in astrobiological experiments instead of the limno-terrestrial ones used currently. Those consortia and animals have qualities to use them in such studies and they may be the key to understanding how organisms are able to survive, reproduce and remain active at low temperatures.

  8. Temporal variations in supraglacial debris distribution on Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram between 2001 and 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Morgan J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Mayer, Christoph; Rowan, Ann V.; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.

    2017-10-01

    Distribution of supraglacial debris in a glacier system varies spatially and temporally due to differing rates of debris input, transport and deposition. Supraglacial debris distribution governs the thickness of a supraglacial debris layer, an important control on the amount of ablation that occurs under such a debris layer. Characterising supraglacial debris layer thickness on a glacier is therefore key to calculating ablation across a glacier surface. The spatial pattern of debris thickness on Baltoro Glacier has previously been calculated for one discrete point in time (2004) using satellite thermal data and an empirically based relationship between supraglacial debris layer thickness and debris surface temperature identified in the field. Here, the same empirically based relationship was applied to two further datasets (2001, 2012) to calculate debris layer thickness across Baltoro Glacier for three discrete points over an 11-year period (2001, 2004, 2012). Surface velocity and sediment flux were also calculated, as well as debris thickness change between periods. Using these outputs, alongside geomorphological maps of Baltoro Glacier produced for 2001, 2004 and 2012, spatiotemporal changes in debris distribution for a sub-decadal timescale were investigated. Sediment flux remained constant throughout the 11-year period. The greatest changes in debris thickness occurred along medial moraines, the locations of mass movement deposition and areas of interaction between tributary glaciers and the main glacier tongue. The study confirms the occurrence of spatiotemporal changes in supraglacial debris layer thickness on sub-decadal timescales, independent of variation in surface velocity. Instead, variation in rates of debris distribution are primarily attributed to frequency and magnitude of mass movement events over decadal timescales, with climate, regional uplift and erosion rates expected to control debris inputs over centurial to millennial timescales. Inclusion

  9. 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...

  10. Quantification and Analysis of Icebergs in a Tidewater Glacier Fjord Using an Object-Based Approach.

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    Robert W McNabb

    Full Text Available Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in, and calve icebergs into, the ocean. In addition to the influence that tidewater glaciers have on physical and chemical oceanography, floating icebergs serve as habitat for marine animals such as harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii. The availability and spatial distribution of glacier ice in the fjords is likely a key environmental variable that influences the abundance and distribution of selected marine mammals; however, the amount of ice and the fine-scale characteristics of ice in fjords have not been systematically quantified. Given the predicted changes in glacier habitat, there is a need for the development of methods that could be broadly applied to quantify changes in available ice habitat in tidewater glacier fjords. We present a case study to describe a novel method that uses object-based image analysis (OBIA to classify floating glacier ice in a tidewater glacier fjord from high-resolution aerial digital imagery. Our objectives were to (i develop workflows and rule sets to classify high spatial resolution airborne imagery of floating glacier ice; (ii quantify the amount and fine-scale characteristics of floating glacier ice; (iii and develop processes for automating the object-based analysis of floating glacier ice for large number of images from a representative survey day during June 2007 in Johns Hopkins Inlet (JHI, a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. On 18 June 2007, JHI was comprised of brash ice ([Formula: see text] = 45.2%, SD = 41.5%, water ([Formula: see text] = 52.7%, SD = 42.3%, and icebergs ([Formula: see text] = 2.1%, SD = 1.4%. Average iceberg size per scene was 5.7 m2 (SD = 2.6 m2. We estimate the total area (± uncertainty of iceberg habitat in the fjord to be 455,400 ± 123,000 m2. The method works well for classifying icebergs across scenes (classification accuracy of 75.6%; the largest classification errors occur in areas

  11. Empirical downscaling of atmospheric key variables above a tropical glacier surface (Cordillera Blanca, Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofer, M.; Kaser, G.; Mölg, T.; Juen, I.; Wagnon, P.

    2009-04-01

    Glaciers in the outer tropical Cordillera Blanca (Peru, South America) are of major socio-economic importance, since glacier runoff represents the primary water source during the dry season, when little or no rainfall occurs. Due to their location at high elevations, the glaciers moreover provide important information about climate change in the tropical troposphere, where measurements are sparse. This study targets the local reconstruction of air temperature, specific humidity and wind speed above the surface of an outer tropical glacier from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data as large scale predictors. Since a farther scope is to provide input data for process based glacier mass balance modelling, the reconstruction pursues a high temporal resolution. Hence an empirical downscaling scheme is developed, based on a few years' time series of hourly observations from automatic weather stations, located at the glacier Artesonraju and nearby moraines (Northern Cordillera Blanca). Principal component and multiple regression analyses are applied to define the appropriate spatial downscaling domain, suitable predictor variables, and the statistical transfer functions. The model performance is verified using an independent data set. The best predictors are lower tropospheric air temperature and specific humidity, at reanalysis model grid points that represent the Bolivian Altiplano, located in the South of the Cordillera Blanca. The developed downscaling model explaines a considerable portion (more than 60%) of the diurnal variance of air temperature and specific humidity at the moraine stations, and air temperature above the glacier surface. Specific humidity above the glacier surface, however, can be reconstructed well in the seasonal, but not in the required diurnal time resolution. Wind speed can only be poorly determined by the large scale predictors (r² lower than 0.3) at both sites. We assume a complex local interaction between valley and glacier wind system to be the main

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

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    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Past and future sea-level change from the surface mass balance of glaciers

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    B. Marzeion

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available We present estimates of sea-level change caused by the global surface mass balance of glaciers, based on the reconstruction and projection of the surface mass balance of all the individual glaciers of the world, excluding the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. The model is validated using a leave-one-glacier-out cross-validation scheme against 3997 observed surface mass balances of 255 glaciers, and against 756 geodetically observed, temporally integrated volume and surface area changes of 341 glaciers. When forced with observed monthly precipitation and temperature data, the glaciers of the world are reconstructed to have lost mass corresponding to 114 ± 5 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE between 1902 and 2009. Using projected temperature and precipitation anomalies from 15 coupled general circulation models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5 ensemble, they are projected to lose an additional 148 ± 35 mm SLE (scenario RCP26, 166 ± 42 mm SLE (scenario RCP45, 175 ± 40 mm SLE (scenario RCP60, or 217 ± 47 mm SLE (scenario RCP85 during the 21st century. Based on the extended RCP scenarios, glaciers are projected to approach a new equilibrium towards the end of the 23rd century, after having lost either 248 ± 66 mm SLE (scenario RCP26, 313 ± 50 mm SLE (scenario RCP45, or 424 ± 46 mm SLE (scenario RCP85. Up until approximately 2100, ensemble uncertainty within each scenario is the biggest source of uncertainty for the future glacier mass loss; after that, the difference between the scenarios takes over as the biggest source of uncertainty. Ice mass loss rates are projected to peak 2040 ∼ 2050 (RCP26, 2050 ∼ 2060 (RCP45, 2070 ∼ 2090 (RCP60, or 2070 ∼ 2100 (RCP85.

  15. An enhanced temperature index model for debris-covered glaciers accounting for thickness effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carenzo, M.; Pellicciotti, F.; Mabillard, J.; Reid, T.; Brock, B. W.

    2016-08-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are increasingly studied because it is assumed that debris cover extent and thickness could increase in a warming climate, with more regular rockfalls from the surrounding slopes and more englacial melt-out material. Debris energy-balance models have been developed to account for the melt rate enhancement/reduction due to a thin/thick debris layer, respectively. However, such models require a large amount of input data that are not often available, especially in remote mountain areas such as the Himalaya, and can be difficult to extrapolate. Due to their lower data requirements, empirical models have been used extensively in clean glacier melt modelling. For debris-covered glaciers, however, they generally simplify the debris effect by using a single melt-reduction factor which does not account for the influence of varying debris thickness on melt and prescribe a constant reduction for the entire melt across a glacier. In this paper, we present a new temperature-index model that accounts for debris thickness in the computation of melt rates at the debris-ice interface. The model empirical parameters are optimized at the point scale for varying debris thicknesses against melt rates simulated by a physically-based debris energy balance model. The latter is validated against ablation stake readings and surface temperature measurements. Each parameter is then related to a plausible set of debris thickness values to provide a general and transferable parameterization. We develop the model on Miage Glacier, Italy, and then test its transferability on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland. The performance of the new debris temperature-index (DETI) model in simulating the glacier melt rate at the point scale is comparable to the one of the physically based approach, and the definition of model parameters as a function of debris thickness allows the simulation of the nonlinear relationship of melt rate to debris thickness, summarised by the

  16. 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...

  17. Spatial features of glacier changes in the Barents-Kara Sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharov, A. I.; Schöner, W.; Pail, R.

    2009-04-01

    In the 1950s, the total area of glaciers occupying separate islands and archipelagos of the Barents and Kara seas exceeded 92,300 km² (Atlas of the Arctic 1985). The overall glacier volume reached 20,140 km³ and the average ice thickness was given as 218 m. Our recent remote sensing studies and mass-balance estimates using spaceborne ASTER and LANDSAT imagery, ERS and JERS radar interferometric mosaics, and ICESat altimetry data revealed that, in the 2000s, the areal extent and volume of Barents-Kara glaciation amounted to 86,200±200 km² and 19,330±20 km³, respectively. The annual loss of land ice influenced by severe climate change in longitudinal direction was determined at approx. 8 km³/a in Svalbard, 4 km³/a both in the Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya archipelagos, and less than 0.3 km³/a in Severnaya Zemlya over the past 50 years. The average ice thickness of remaining glaciation increased to 224 m. This fact was explained by rapid disintegration of thinner glacier margins and essential accumulation of snow at higher glacier elevations. Both effects were clearly visible in the series of satellite image maps of glacier elevation changes generated within the framework of the INTEGRAL, SMARAGD and ICEAGE research projects. These maps can be accessed at http://joanneum.dib.at/integral or smaragd (cd results). The largest negative elevation changes were typically detected in the seaward basins of fast-flowing outlet glaciers, both at their fronts and tops. Ablation processes were stronger manifested on southern slopes of ice caps, while the accumulation of snow was generally higher on northern slopes so that main ice divides "shifted" to the north. The largest positive elevation changes (about 100 m) were found in the central part of the study region in the accumulation areas of the biggest ice caps, such as Northern Ice Cap in Novaya Zemlya, Tyndall and Windy ice domes in Franz Josef Land, and Kvitoyjokulen at Kvitøya. The sides of these glaciers

  18. A NEW APPROACH TO ESTIMATE WATER OUTPUT FROM THE MOUNTAIN GLACIERS IN ASIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir G. Konovalov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Regional data on climate, river runoff and inventory of glaciers within High Mountainous Asia were used as informational basis to elaborate new approach in computing components of the hydrological cycle (glaciers runoff, evaporation, precipitation. In order to improve and optimize the calculation methodology, 4 675 homogeneous groups of glaciers were identified in the largest Asian river basins, i.e., Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Tarim, and others. As the classification criteria for 53 225 glaciers located there, the author consistently used 8 gradations of orientation (azimuth and 23 gradations of area. Calculating of the hydrological regime of glaciers was performed on the example of several Asian river basins. It has been shown that in the drainless basins in Asia, the only potential factor of the glacial influence on the changes in global Ocean level is the seasonal amount of evaporation from the melted surface of perennial ice and old firn. These results and published sources were used for re-evaluation of the previous conclusions on the influence of glacier runoff on change of the Ocean level. Comparison of measured and calculated annual river runoff, which was obtained by means of modeling the components of water-balance equation, showed good correspondence between these variables.

  19. Exceptional retreat of Novaya Zemlya's marine-terminating outlet glaciers between 2000 and 2013

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Carr

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Novaya Zemlya (NVZ has experienced rapid ice loss and accelerated marine-terminating glacier retreat during the past 2 decades. However, it is unknown whether this retreat is exceptional longer term and/or whether it has persisted since 2010. Investigating this is vital, as dynamic thinning may contribute substantially to ice loss from NVZ, but is not currently included in sea level rise predictions. Here, we use remotely sensed data to assess controls on NVZ glacier retreat between 1973/76 and 2015. Glaciers that terminate into lakes or the ocean receded 3.5 times faster than those that terminate on land. Between 2000 and 2013, retreat rates were significantly higher on marine-terminating outlet glaciers than during the previous 27 years, and we observe widespread slowdown in retreat, and even advance, between 2013 and 2015. There were some common patterns in the timing of glacier retreat, but the magnitude varied between individual glaciers. Rapid retreat between 2000 and 2013 corresponds to a period of significantly warmer air temperatures and reduced sea ice concentrations, and to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO. We need to assess the impact of this accelerated retreat on dynamic ice losses from NVZ to accurately quantify its future sea level rise contribution.

  20. Using UAV photogrammetry to study topographic change: application to Saskatchewan Glacier, Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier Cardinal, G.; Demuth, M. N.; Kinnard, C.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers are an important source of fresh water in the headwaters of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and ongoing climate warming could reduce their future hydrological contribution. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs) are an emergent technology that allow studying glacial processes with an unprecedented level of detail, but their usefulness for deriving accurate topographic data on glaciers has not yet been fully assessed. In this perspective we tested the use of a UAV platform to acquire images at a very high spatial resolution (using the Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithm. A detailed assessment of DEM errors was performed by cross-validation of an network of ground control points (GCPs) deployed on the glacier surface. The influence of checkpoint position in the network, border effects, number of photos calibrated and GPS accuracy were examined. Topographical changes were measured from the DEM difference and surface displacements estimated by applying feature tracking techniques to the orthomosaics. Further, the dominant scales of topographic spatial variability were examined using a semivariogram analysis of the DEMs. Results show that UAV-based photogrammetry is promising to further our understanding of high-resolution glacier surface processes and to perform repeat, on-demand monitoring of glacier changes, but their application on remote glaciers remains challenging.

  1. Evaluation of the most suitable threshold value for modelling snow glacier melt through T- index approach: the case study of Forni Glacier (Italian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senese, Antonella; Maugeri, Maurizio; Vuillermoz, Elisa; Smiraglia, Claudio; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina

    2014-05-01

    Glacier melt occurs whenever the surface temperature is null (273.15 K) and the net energy budget is positive. These conditions can be assessed by analyzing meteorological and energy data acquired by a supraglacial Automatic Weather Station (AWS). In the case this latter is not present at the glacier surface the assessment of actual melting conditions and the evaluation of melt amount is difficult and degree-day (also named T-index) models are applied. These approaches require the choice of a correct temperature threshold. In fact, melt does not necessarily occur at daily air temperatures higher than 273.15 K, since it is determined by the energy budget which in turn is only indirectly affected by air temperature. This is the case of the late spring period when ablation processes start at the glacier surface thus progressively reducing snow thickness. In this study, to detect the most indicative air temperature threshold witnessing melt conditions in the April-June period, we analyzed air temperature data recorded from 2006 to 2012 by a supraglacial AWS (at 2631 m a.s.l.) on the ablation tongue of the Forni Glacier (Italy), and by a weather station located nearby the studied glacier (at Bormio, 1225 m a.s.l.). Moreover we evaluated the glacier energy budget (which gives the actual melt, Senese et al., 2012) and the snow water equivalent values during this time-frame. Then the ablation amount was estimated both from the surface energy balance (MEB from supraglacial AWS data) and from degree-day method (MT-INDEX, in this latter case applying the mean tropospheric lapse rate to temperature data acquired at Bormio changing the air temperature threshold) and the results were compared. We found that the mean tropospheric lapse rate permits a good and reliable reconstruction of daily glacier air temperature conditions and the major uncertainty in the computation of snow melt from degree-day models is driven by the choice of an appropriate air temperature threshold. Then

  2. Mass Balance Modelling of Saskatchewan Glacier, Canada Using Empirically Downscaled Reanalysis Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larouche, O.; Kinnard, C.; Demuth, M. N.

    2017-12-01

    Observations show that glaciers around the world are retreating. As sites with long-term mass balance observations are scarce, models are needed to reconstruct glacier mass balance and assess its sensitivity to climate. In regions with discontinuous and/or sparse meteorological data, high-resolution climate reanalysis data provide a convenient alternative to in situ weather observations, but can also suffer from strong bias due to the spatial and temporal scale mismatch. In this study we used data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) project with a 30 x 30 km spatial resolution and 3-hour temporal resolution to produce the meteorological forcings needed to drive a physically-based, distributed glacier mass balance model (DEBAM, Hock and Holmgren 2005) for the historical period 1979-2016. A two-year record from an automatic weather station (AWS) operated on Saskatchewan Glacier (2014-2016) was used to downscale air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and incoming solar radiation from the nearest NARR gridpoint to the glacier AWS site. An homogenized historical precipitation record was produced using data from two nearby, low-elevation weather stations and used to downscale the NARR precipitation data. Three bias correction methods were applied (scaling, delta and empirical quantile mapping - EQM) and evaluated using split sample cross-validation. The EQM method gave better results for precipitation and for air temperature. Only a slight improvement in the relative humidity was obtained using the scaling method, while none of the methods improved the wind speed. The later correlates poorly with AWS observations, probably because the local glacier wind is decoupled from the larger scale NARR wind field. The downscaled data was used to drive the DEBAM model in order to reconstruct the mass balance of Saskatchewan Glacier over the past 30 years. The model was validated using recent snow thickness measurements and previously published geodetic mass

  3. 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

  4. The Importance of Glaciers as Thermal Buffers in the Kitsumkalum River Watershed, Coast Mountains, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beedle, M. J.; Menounos, B.; Biagi, M.; White, C.

    2016-12-01

    Glacier volume in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia is projected to decrease by up to 60% by the end of this century. The hydrologic impact of this change, however, is uncertain; these changes may negatively affect sport, commercial and subsistence fisheries dependent on Pacific salmon. To quantify hydrologic impacts of declining glacier cover, we commenced monitoring stream temperature and glacier change of the Kitsumkalum River basin, an important watershed for First Nations and sport fisheries. Our stream temperature sites include the main stem of the lower Kitsumkalum River, Kalum Lake and six sub-drainages with glacier cover that varied between 0.97-14.4%. Data for the 2016 hydrologic season reveal that maximum weekly average temperature (MWAT) ranged from 8.46 to 13.90 °C; more heavily glacierized basins maintained a lower MWAT than the less glacierized basins. Time series of MWAT indicate that temperatures of sub-basins in May differed by 1.11°C, presumably due to a similar pattern of snowmelt among the basins. By mid-July, MWAT values varied by 4.85 °C. Basins with less glacier cover (management challenge.

  5. 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.

  6. Changes of glaciers in the Andes of Chile and priorities for future work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicciotti, F; Ragettli, S; Carenzo, M; McPhee, J

    2014-09-15

    Glaciers in the Andes of Chile seem to be shrinking and possibly loosing mass, but the number and types of studies conducted, constrained mainly by data availability, are not sufficient to provide a synopsis of glacier changes for the past or future or explain in an explicit way causes of the observed changes. In this paper, we provide a systematic review of changes in glaciers for the entire country, followed by a discussion of the studies that have provided evidence of such changes. We identify a missing type of work in distributed, physically-oriented modelling studies that are needed to bridge the gap between the numerous remote sensing studies and the specific, point scale works focused on process understanding. We use an advanced mass balance model applied to one of the best monitored glaciers in the region to investigate four main research issues that should be addressed in modelling studies for a sound assessment of glacier changes: 1) the use of physically-based models of glacier ablation (energy balance models) versus more empirical models (enhanced temperature index approaches); 2) the importance of the correct extrapolation of air temperature forcing on glaciers and in high elevation areas and the large uncertainty in model outputs associated with it; 3) the role played by snow gravitational redistribution; and 4) the uncertainty associated with future climate scenarios. We quantify differences in model outputs associated with each of these choices, and conclude with suggestions for future work directions. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Reinterpretation of the formation of the "crooked moraine" of the debris-covered Hatunraju Glacier (Cordillera Blanca, Perú)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrizaga, L.

    2012-04-01

    The Hatunraju Glacier (9°00'S/70°40'W) is located in the Parón valley in the northern part of the Cordillera Blanca. The almost 4 km long and steeply inclined glacier flows down from the Huandoy-N-Side (6395 m) into the Parón valley to an elevation of 4250 m a.s.l.. The extremely narrow glacier is in its entire ablation area heavily debris-covered. It is one of the few glaciers, which dam with its debris-mantled glacier tongue a main river in this mountain range. In this case the Hatunraju glacier produces the largest glacier-dammed lake in the Cordillera Blanca, the Laguna Parón. In some other aspects, this glacier proves to be distinct from the majority of the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca: It is flowing on an almost up to 250 m high moraine pedestal ("moraine-dammed raised bed glacier") and the glacier makes a bend of almost 90° when entering into the main valley. The present paper focuses in particular on the last point: the formation of the so called "crooked moraine". It has been explained by Lliboutry (1977) as a result of a glacier lake outburst and the subsequent destruction of the latero-frontal moraine. The later process supposed to be the trigger of the abrupt change in the flow direction of the lower part of the glacier. Recent investigations suggest an alternative genesis of the crooked moraine considering the distinct phases of the glaciation history of the Parón valley. The here proposed formation pattern is also paradigmatic for other crooked debris-covered glaciers, especially in High Asia. Comparative examples will be provided from the Karakoram and Himalayas. The research work on the Hatunraju Glacier is part of a project on the glacial geomorphology in the Tropical Andes financed by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation.

  8. Spatio Temporal Change of Selected Glaciers Along Karakoram Highway from 1994-2017 Using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anwar, Yasmeen; Iqbal, Javed

    2018-04-01

    With the acceleration of global warming glaciers are receding rapidly. Monitoring of glaciers are important because they caused outburst of floods the past. This research delivers a systematic approach for the assessment of glaciers i.e. Batura, Passu, Ghulkin and Gulmit cover along the Karakoram Highway. Main reason to select these glaciers was their closeness to Karakoram Highway which plays an important role in China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC). This study incorporates the techniques of Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS & RS). For this study, Landsat 4,5,7,8 images were taken for the years of 1994, 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2017. Using the said images supervised classification was done in ArcMap 10.3 version to identify the changes in glaciers. The area was categorized into six major classes' i.e. Fresh snow, Glaciers, Debris, Vegetation, Water bodies and Open land. Classified results showed a decrease in the area of Glaciers, almost 3.5% from 1994 to 2017. GLIMS data about boundary of glaciers of 1999 and 2007 was compared with the classified results which show decrease in terminus of glaciers. Batura glacier has been receded almost 0.6 km from 1999 to 2017, whereas Passu glaciers receded 0.3 km, whereas Gulmit and Ghulkin glaciers are more stable than Passu and Batura with the difference of -0.05 and +0.57 km respectively. At the end results from classified maps were compared with the climatic data. Wherein temperature is rapidly increasing resulting in melting of glaciers and can cause shrinkage of fresh water as well as destruction to Karakoram highway in case of outburst floods.

  9. Construction and Deployment of Tilt Sensors along the Lateral Margins of Jarvis Glacier, Alaska to improve understanding of the Deformation Regime of Wet-Based Polythermal Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, I. R.; Hawley, R. L.; Clemens-Sewall, D.; Campbell, S. W.; Waszkiewicz, M.; Bernsen, S.; Gerbi, C. C.; Kreutz, K. J.; Koons, P. O.

    2017-12-01

    Most studies of natural ice have been on bodies of ice with frozen beds which experience minimal lateral shear strain, to the exclusion of polythermal ice sheets & glaciers which due to their mixed basal thermal regime have wet-based beds. The deficiency in knowledge and understanding of the operative deformation mechanisms of wet-based bodies of ice results in uncertainty in the constitutive flow law of ice. Given that the flow law was derived experimentally under assumptions more conducive to bodies of ice with frozen-based beds, it is necessary to calibrate the flow law when applied to different bodies of ice such as wet-based polythermal glaciers. To this end, Dartmouth and the University of Maine have collaborated to carry out research on Jarvis Glacier in Alaska, a geometrically simple, wet-based glacier. Here, we constructed and deployed an array of 25 tilt sensors into 3 boreholes drilled along the glacier's shear margin. Our goal is to obtain 3D strain measurements to calculate the full velocity field & create deformation regime maps in the vicinity of the boreholes, as well as to support numerical modeling. The tilt sensors were developed in-lab: Each tilt sensor comes equipped with an LSM303C chip (embedded with a 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer) and Arduino Pro-Mini mounted on a custom-made printed circuit board encased within a watertight aluminum tube. The design concept was to produce a sensor string, consisting of tilt sensors spaced apart at pre-calculated intervals, to be lowered into a borehole and frozen-in over months to collect strain data through a Campbell Scientific CR1000 datalogger. Three surface-to-bed boreholes were successfully installed with tilt sensor strings. Given the lack of prior in-situ borehole geophysics studies on polythermal glaciers, deliberate consideration on factors such as strain relief and waterproofing electrical components was necessary in the development of the sensor system. On-site challenges also arose due

  10. State of the Earth’s cryosphere at the beginning of the 21st century : glaciers, global snow cover, floating ice, and permafrost and periglacial environments: Chapter A in Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter is the tenth in a series of 11 book-length chapters, collectively referred to as “this volume,” in the series U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World. In the other 10 chapters, each of which concerns a specific glacierized region of Earth, the authors used remotely sensed images, primarily from the Landsat 1, 2, and 3 series of spacecraft, in order to analyze that glacierized region and to monitor changes in its glaciers. Landsat images, acquired primarily during the period 1972 through 1981, were used by an international team of glaciologists and other scientists to study the various glacierized regions and (or) to discuss related glaciological topics. In each glacierized region, the present distribution of glaciers within its geographic area is compared, wherever possible, with historical information about their past areal extent. The atlas provides an accurate regional inventory of the areal extent of glacier ice on our planet during the 1970s as part of an expanding international scientific effort to measure global environmental change on the Earth’s surface. However, this chapter differs from the other 10 in its discussion of observed changes in all four elements of the Earth’s cryosphere (glaciers, snow cover, floating ice, and permafrost) in the context of documented changes in all components of the Earth System. Human impact on the planet at the beginning of the 21st century is pervasive. The focus of Chapter A is on changes in the cryosphere and the importance of long-term monitoring by a variety of sensors carried on Earth-orbiting satellites or by a ground-based network of observatories in the case of permafrost. The chapter consists of five parts. The first part provides an introduction to the Earth System, including the interrelationships of the geosphere (cryosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere), the biosphere, climate processes, biogeochemical cycles, and the

  11. The determination of high-resolution spatio-temporal glacier motion fields from time-lapse sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalbe, Ellen; Maas, Hans-Gerd

    2017-12-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive method for the determination of glacier surface motion vector fields at high spatial and temporal resolution. These vector fields can be derived from monocular terrestrial camera image sequences and are a valuable data source for glaciological analysis of the motion behaviour of glaciers. The measurement concepts for the acquisition of image sequences are presented, and an automated monoscopic image sequence processing chain is developed. Motion vector fields can be derived with high precision by applying automatic subpixel-accuracy image matching techniques on grey value patterns in the image sequences. Well-established matching techniques have been adapted to the special characteristics of the glacier data in order to achieve high reliability in automatic image sequence processing, including the handling of moving shadows as well as motion effects induced by small instabilities in the camera set-up. Suitable geo-referencing techniques were developed to transform image measurements into a reference coordinate system.The result of monoscopic image sequence analysis is a dense raster of glacier surface point trajectories for each image sequence. Each translation vector component in these trajectories can be determined with an accuracy of a few centimetres for points at a distance of several kilometres from the camera. Extensive practical validation experiments have shown that motion vector and trajectory fields derived from monocular image sequences can be used for the determination of high-resolution velocity fields of glaciers, including the analysis of tidal effects on glacier movement, the investigation of a glacier's motion behaviour during calving events, the determination of the position and migration of the grounding line and the detection of subglacial channels during glacier lake outburst floods.

  12. 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

  13. Rapid Holocene glacier fluctuations in arctic Norway in concert with the strength and spatial pattern of the westerlies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakke, J.; Dahl, S.

    2011-12-01

    Alpine glaciers are often located in remote regions of the world, areas that only rarely are covered by instrumental records or biological proxy data. Reconstructions of glaciers have therefore proven useful for understanding past climate dynamics on both shorter and longer time-scales. Because of selective preservation of moraine ridges, such records do not exclude the possibility of multiple Holocene glacier advances. This problem is true regardless whether cosmogenic isotopes or lichenometry have been used to date the moraines, or based on radiocarbon dating of mega-fossils buried in till or underneath the moraines themselves. To overcome this problem Karlén (1976) initially suggested that glacial erosion and the associated production of rock-flour deposited in downstream distal glacier-fed lakes could provide continuous records of glacial fluctuations, hence overcoming the problem of selective moraine preservation. In recent years, new collaborative research efforts have developed the methods used to reconstruct past glacier activity based on sediments deposited in distal glacier-fed lakes. Records of glacier fluctuations as preserved in lake sediments now includes the application of various methods such as measuring the amount of minerogenic versus biologic matter (typically inferred from Loss-on-ignition (LOI)), grain size analysis (GSA), magnetic properties (MP), geochemical elements (GE), Rare-Earth Elements (REE), Bulk Sediment Density (BSD), but also other techniques such as XRF analyses. Several glaciers along the coast of Arctic Norway have been reconstructed based on multi-proxy approaches. Here we present data on Holocene glacier fluctuations from three geographical areas; the ice cap Folgefonna, the Okstindan glacier massif and from a small alpine glacier in Lyngen. In Scandinavia, the overall pattern of glacier growth and the onset of the Neoglacial previously have been attributed to the gradual weakening of summer insolation at high northern

  14. PILOT STUDIES WITH A PHOTOGRAMMETRIC GLACIER LAKE OUTBURST FLOOD EARLY WARNING SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. G. Maas

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs depict an environmental risk with an increasing damage potential in many regions of the world. GLOFs are often caused by glacier margin lakes, which suddenly find a drainage path underneath the bottom of a glacier, which is destabilized and retreating as a consequence of local or global climate changes. In a typical GLOF event, a glacier margin lake may drain completely in 24 hours, causing a large flood wave in the area downstream the glacier. The paper documents some recent GLOF events in the Northern Patagonian Icefield (Chile and presents a terrestrial photogrammetric glacier margin lake monitoring system. The system is based on a camera taking images at regular time intervals. In these images, variations of the water level can be detected by tracking the water-land interface at pre-defined image spots. Due to the drainage mechanism, which is characterized by progressive erosion and melting at the bottom of the glacier, GLOFs are indicated by a progressive water level drop in the lake. Water level changes may be detected with subpixel accuracy by image sequence processing methods. If a 3D model of the lake bottom topography (or at least one height profile through the lake exists, water level changes in monoscopic image sequences may be transformed into volume loss. The basic idea herein is the intersection of a terrain profile with a water level detected in the image and projected into object space. The camera orientation is determined through a GPS-supported photogrammetric network. Camera orientation changes, which may for instance be induced by wind, can be compensated by tracking some fiducial marks in the image. The system has been used in a pilot study at two glacier margin lakes in the Northern Patagonian Icefield. These lakes have a depth of about 80 - 100 meters. The larger one has a length of 5 km and a maximum volume of about 200,000,000 cubic meters. During the pilot study, several GLOF events

  15. Little Ice Age glacial geomorphology and sedimentology of Portage Glacier, South-Central Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Córdova

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The study of glacial landforms and deposits is important, as it isdifficult to observe processes under modern glaciers and ice-sheets. Thus landscapes and sediments that are the product of present glaciation can give insight into processes that occurred during Pleistocene times. This study investigates the genesis of little ice age glacial landforms present in Portage Glacier, South-Central Alaska. The present day moraine morphology and sedimentology in Portage Glacier valley reveals the presence of two types of till and moraines. The clast-rich sandy diamicton present on the 1852 moraine is interpreted to be a basal till indicating this feature is a pushmoraine representing an advance or a standstill position of Portage Glacier in 1852. The moderately sorted gray sandy boulder gravel present on the 1900 and 1922 moraines is interpreted to be an ice-marginal deposit (ablation till with a mixture of supraglacial and glaciofluvial sediments deposited by slumping and stream sortingprocesses. All of these features are interpreted to be ablation moraines representing glacier retreat and moraine building in 1900 and1922.

  16. Global Monitoring of Mountain Glaciers Using High-Resolution Spotlight Imaging from the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnellan, A.; Green, J. J.; Bills, B. G.; Goguen, J.; Ansar, A.; Knight, R. L.; Hallet, B.; Scambos, T. A.; Thompson, L. G.; Morin, P. J.

    2013-12-01

    Mountain glaciers around the world are retreating rapidly, contributing about 20% to present-day sea level rise. Numerous studies have shown that mountain glaciers are sensitive to global environmental change. Temperate-latitude glaciers and snowpack provide water for over 1 billion people. Glaciers are a resource for irrigation and hydroelectric power, but also pose flood and avalanche hazards. Accurate mass balance assessments have been made for only 280 glaciers, yet there are over 130,000 in the World Glacier Inventory. The rate of glacier retreat or advance can be highly variable, is poorly sampled, and inadequately understood. Liquid water from ice front lakes, rain, melt, or sea water and debris from rocks, dust, or pollution interact with glacier ice often leading to an amplification of warming and further melting. Many mountain glaciers undergo rapid and episodic events that greatly change their mass balance or extent but are sparsely documented. Events include calving, outburst floods, opening of crevasses, or iceberg motion. Spaceborne high-resolution spotlight optical imaging provides a means of clarifying the relationship between the health of mountain glaciers and global environmental change. Digital elevation models (DEMs) can be constructed from a series of images from a range of perspectives collected by staring at a target during a satellite overpass. It is possible to collect imagery for 1800 targets per month in the ×56° latitude range, construct high-resolution DEMs, and monitor changes in high detail over time with a high-resolution optical telescope mounted on the International Space Station (ISS). Snow and ice type, age, and maturity can be inferred from different color bands as well as distribution of liquid water. Texture, roughness, albedo, and debris distribution can be estimated by measuring bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDF) and reflectance intensity as a function of viewing angle. The non-sun-synchronous orbit

  17. The Multitrophic Effects of Climate Change and Glacier Retreat in Mountain Rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fell, Sarah C; Carrivick, Jonathan L; Brown, Lee E

    2017-10-01

    Climate change is driving the thinning and retreat of many glaciers globally. Reductions of ice-melt inputs to mountain rivers are changing their physicochemical characteristics and, in turn, aquatic communities. Glacier-fed rivers can serve as model systems for investigations of climate-change effects on ecosystems because of their strong atmospheric-cryospheric links, high biodiversity of multiple taxonomic groups, and significant conservation interest concerning endemic species. From a synthesis of existing knowledge, we develop a new conceptual understanding of how reducing glacier cover affects organisms spanning multiple trophic groups. Although the response of macroinvertebrates to glacier retreat has been well described, we show that there remains a relative paucity of information for biofilm, microinvertebrate, and vertebrate taxa. Enhanced understanding of whole river food webs will improve the prediction of river-ecosystem responses to deglaciation while offering the potential to identify and protect a wider range of sensitive and threatened species.

  18. Multi-decadal elevation changes on Bagley Ice Valley and Malaspina Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muskett, Reginald R.; Lingle, Craig S.; Tangborn, Wendell V.; Rabus, Bernhard T.

    2003-08-01

    Digital elevation models (DEMs) of Bagley Ice Valley and Malaspina Glacier produced by (i) Intermap Technologies, Inc. (ITI) from airborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data acquired 4-13 September 2000, (ii) the German Aerospace Center (DRL) from spaceborne InSAR data acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 11-22 February 2000, and (iii) the US Geological Survey (USGS) from aerial photographs acquired in 1972/73, were differenced to estimate glacier surface elevation changes from 1972 to 2000. Spatially non-uniform thickening, 10 +/- 7 m on average, is observed on Bagley Ice Valley (accumulation area) while non-uniform thinning, 47 +/- 5 m on average, is observed on the glaciers of the Malaspina complex (mostly ablation area). Even larger thinning is observed on the retreating tidewater Tyndall Glacier. These changes have resulted from increased temperature and precipitation associated with climate warming, and rapid tidewater retreat.

  19. Changes of glacier lakes using multi-temporal remote sensing data: A case study from India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Rai Praveen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study used the potential of Landsat multispectral data and ASTER-DEM data to identify the changes of glacier lakes in part of Chandra basin and surrounding of Himachal Pradesh of India from 1989 to 2013. The Barashigri, Chotashigri, Hamtahand Parvati glacier are the major glaciers within the area. The Landsat data of TM (1989 and 2009, ETM+ (2001 and OLI-TIRS (2013 sensors having different band combinations were analysed to monitor variation in the glacier lakes and area of glaciers and terminus whereas ASTER-DEM data was used for relief information. Glaciers terminus and glacial lakes were identified and mapped using false-colour composites (FCC with band combinations of red, near-infrared (NIR and shortwave infrared (SWIR, and a true-colour composite of red, green and NIR, of Landsat TM/ETM+ images and normalized difference water index (NDWI methods. It is observed that the number of lakes in the study area increased by 18.69% during the past 34 years while it was increased from 68 in 1989 to 89 in 2013. During the analysis, it is also found that the snow and glacier covered area within this period is also reduced from 1,317.39 to 1,125.59 km2.

  20. A Younger Dryas re-advance of local glaciers in north Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Funder, Svend; Linge, Henriette

    2016-01-01

    The Younger Dryas (YD) is a well-constrained cold event from 12,900 to 11,700 years ago but it remains unclear how the cooling and subsequent abrupt warming recorded in ice cores was translated into ice margin fluctuations in Greenland. Here we present 10Be surface exposure ages from three moraines...... in front of local glaciers on a 50 km stretch along the north coast of Greenland, facing the Arctic Ocean. Ten ages range from 11.6 ± 0.5 to 27.2 ± 0.9 ka with a mean age of 12.5 ± 0.7 ka after exclusion of two outliers. We consider this to be a minimum age for the abandonment of the moraines. The ages...... the interval 11.8-13.0 ka ago. This is the first time a synchronous YD glacier advance and subsequent retreat has been recorded for several independent glaciers in Greenland. In most other areas, there is no evidence for re-advance and glaciers were retreating during YD. We explain the different behaviour...

  1. Holocene glacier variations and sea level change in Wahlenbergfjorden, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomacker, A.; Farnsworth, W. R.; Ingolfsson, O.; Allaart, L.; Håkansson, L.; Retelle, M.

    2017-12-01

    Here we present preliminary results on the Holocene glacier variations in Wahlenbergfjorden on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. The reconstructions are based on lake sediment records from Lake Kl\\overbladvatna covering the last 9500 years. This lake captures meltwater from the Etonbreen glacier, a main outlet of the Austfonna ice cap, when the glacier extends further than present. Additionally, Kl\\overbladvatna is an isolation basin capturing the postglacial isolation from the marine to lacustrine environment due to glacioisostatic rebound. The chronology is based on radiocarbon dating of terrestrial and marine macrofossils. The lake sediment record also reveals that glacial meltwater exceeded the threshold into Lake Kl\\overbladvatna during the Little Ice Age as witnessed by glacial meltwater clay in the upper part of the sediment cores. In periods of less advanced glaciers, the lake sediment record is dominated by laminated clayey gyttja. Based on radiocarbon datings of driftwood, whalebone, and marine mollusc shells in raised beaches and marine deposits in Pallanderbukta, south Wahlenbergfjorden, we also present a new postglacial sea level curve from this region.

  2. 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.

  3. A new climate and glacier baseline for the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru, reduces critical information gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzmann, Nadine; Huggel, Christian; Rohrer, Mario; Silverio, Walter; Mark, Bryan G.; Cochachin, Alejo; Suarez, Wilson; Giráldez, Claudia

    2013-04-01

    The Cordillera Vilcanota in the Southern Peruvian Andes is the second largest ice-covered Cordillera in Peru (after the Cordillera Blanca) and serves for the Cusco Region as a temporary water storage for fresh-water and hydropower generation and irrigation. Despite the Cordillera Vilcanota's size and socio-economic relevance, there has so far no comprehensive baseline data been available for climate and glacier evolution. In the framework of two jointly launched -Peruvian-Swiss climate change impact and adaptation programs (Climate Change Adaptation Programm - PACC; Glacier Change Adaptation and Desaster Risk Reduction Programm - Glacier 513) significant efforts have been undertaken and are on the way to create a climate, glacier and hazard baseline for the Cordillera Vilcanota. Because of the remoteness of the area and the scarcity of available data, multiple sources such as climate stations, climate reanalysis and satellite data have been collected, processed and analyzed. Based on our data, we found only marginal glacier changes between 1962 and 1985, but a massive ice loss since 1985 (about 30% of area and about 45% of volume). These high numbers corroborate studies from other glacierized cordilleras in Peru. The climate data show overall a moderate increase in air temperature, and mostly weak and not significant trends for precipitation sums, which probably cannot fully explain the observed substantial ice loss. The likely increase of specific humidity in the upper troposphere, where the glaciers are located, probably played a major role in the observed massive of the Cordillera Vilcanota over the past decades. The mass balance measurements initiated in 2010 on two glaciers of the Cordillera Vilcanota, and the climate station installed in 2011 on one of the glaciers, preliminarily indicate that ice loss (in water equivalent) is clearly lower that in the Cordillera Blanca. In the near future the data will provide new and important insights on climate and

  4. Estimation of basal shear stresses from now ice-free LIA glacier forefields in the Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Mauro; Haeberli, Wilfried; Huss, Matthias; Paul, Frank; Linsbauer, Andreas; Hoelzle, Martin

    2013-04-01

    In most cases, assessing the impacts of climatic changes on glaciers requires knowledge about the ice thickness distribution. Miscellaneous methodological approaches with different degrees of sophistication have been applied to model glacier thickness so far. However, all of them include significant uncertainty. By applying a parameterization scheme for ice thickness determination relying on assumptions about basal shear stress by Haeberli and Hoelzle (1995) to now ice-free glacier forefields in the Swiss Alps, basal shear stress values can be calculated based on a fast and robust experimental approach. In a GIS, the combination of recent (1973) and Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum (around 1850) glacier outlines, central flowlines, a recent Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a DEM of glacier surface topography for the LIA maximum allows extracting local ice thickness over the forefield of individual glaciers. Subsequently, basal shear stress is calculated via the rheological assumption of perfect-plasticity relating ice thickness and surface slope to shear stress. The need of only very few input data commonly stored in glacier inventories permits an application to a large number of glaciers. Basal shear stresses are first calculated for subsamples of glaciers belonging to two test sites where the LIA maximum glacier surface is modeled with DEMs derived from accurate topographic maps for the mid 19th century. Neglecting outliers, the average resulting mean basal shear stress is around 80 kPa for the Bernina region (range 25-100 kPa) and 120 kPa (range 50-150 kPa) for the Aletsch region. For the entire Swiss Alps it is 100 kPa (range 40-175 kPa). Because complete LIA glacier surface elevation information is lacking there, a DEM is first created from reconstructed height of LIA lateral moraines and trimlines by using a simple GIS-based tool. A sensitivity analysis of the input parameters reveals that the performance of the developed approach primarily depends on the

  5. Mapping of colored-snow area on glaciers by using spectral reflectance of algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaga, D.; Yasumoto, A.; Hatakeyama, S.; Hasegawa, K.; Imai, M.; Bilesan, A.; Takeuchi, N.; Sugiyama, S.; Terashima, M.; Kawamata, H.; Naruse, N.; Takahashi, Y.

    2017-12-01

    One of the reasons for accelerating recent glacier retreat is reported that algae generated on glaciers gives color to snow; Red snow algae on the Harding icefield in Alaska, and cryoconite, a black colored substance formed by algae tangling with mineral particles. The distribution of algae on the glacier can vary widely from year to year, depending on the season. Remote sensing will play an important role to know the area of colored snow. In previous studies, however, since the satellite images of low gradation were used, the brightness in the specific area was saturated due to the high reflectance of snow. In addition, it is difficult to distinguish the colored snow area from that of water and shadows. We aim to map using Landsat8 data and quantitatively evaluate the distribution of colored snow area on glaciers by newly creating a colored-snow-sensitive index from spectral reflectance of algae. Cryoconite has low (high) reflectance in the range of 450-500nm (850-900nm) corresponding to Band2 (Band5) in Landsat8.On the other hand, the reflectance of glacier ice exhibits the opposite tendency. Focusing on the difference in reflectance between the two wavelength ranges, we can create indices sensitive to cryoconite area. The image, mapped as the cryoconite region with large difference in brightness between band 2 and 5, was different from the water and shadow areas. The cryoconite area is also consistent with the results obtained in the filed survey of qaanaaq Glacier in Greenland. Using the similar analytical method, we will also present the map of red snow observed on the glacier.

  6. KASHKATASH GLACIER FLUCTUATIONS IN THE XVII–XXI CENTURIES FROM CARTOGRAPHIC, DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL AND LICHENOMETRIC DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. S. Bushueva

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We focused our study on the retreat of a typical valley glacier Kashkatash, located in the Elbrus Area. We compared the old photographs of the glacier forefields (H. Burmester, 1911; H. Altberg, 1927; E.N. Lukasheva, 1932; unknown author, 1939 with the aerial photograph of 1957, 1965, 1987, maps of scale 1:100 000 (1890 and 1:25 000 (1950s, satellite images (CORONA of 1971, ASTER of 2005, EROS of 2006, oblique photographs taken in 1980s–2000s and plans, created by different researches. Using cartographic material and old photographs we reconstructed 14 positions of glacier tongue over the last 120 years. We estimated the linear glacier retreat and the age of numerous stadial moraines basing on geomorphic, tree-ring and lichenometric data and correlated our results with previous sparse glacier fluctuation reconstructions in this region. We identified at least 13 end moraines within the distance of 900 meters from the up-to-date glacier front position. The minimum age of the outer moraine is 450 years according to the tree-ring data. One tree growing on this moraine was damaged by a boulder falling down from a younger moraine under formation in the period from autumn 1839 to spring 1840. Three moraines were deposited in 1870s–1890s. In 20th century the glacier advanced in 1910-s, 1920-s, and 1970–1980-s.

  7. Medial moraines of glaciers of the Copper River Basin, Alaska: Discrete landslides dominate over other sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.; Fischer, L.; Furfaro, R.; Huggel, C.; Korup, O.; Leonard, G. J.; Uhlmann, M.; Wessels, R. L.; Wolfe, D. F.

    2009-12-01

    Medial moraines are visually dominant structures of most large valley glaciers in the Copper River Basin (CRB), Alaska. Areally extensive but thin (usually rock falls and talus creep; rocks delivered via snow and ice avalanches; ingestion of lateral moraines along tributary convergences; and basal erosional debris. Evidence indicates that in CRB glaciers, discrete large avalanches predominate as the major contributors of moraine mass. Subglacial erosional debris is predominantly pulverized to small grain sizes and flushed. Many large, young avalanches exist on CRB glaciers. Evidence from colorimetry indicates that many medial moraines actually are landslides that have been sheared and swept downglacier, thus mimicking the form of other types of medial moraines formed where tributaries coalesce and flow down valley. Landcover classification of ASTER imagery, qualitative observations from air photos, and semiquantitative field-based estimations of rock color types indicate that on Allen Glacier, and other CRB glaciers, landslides are the sources of most medial moraines. On Allen and Root Glacier, for example, we see very few boulders with obvious signs of basal abrasion, whereas nearly all boulders exhibit signs of irregular fracture, for example in landslides. Such landslides have large effects on the thermal and mass balance of CRB glaciers, sometimes opposing or in other cases accentuating the effects of global/regional climate change. Considering the link between landslides and seismicity, and that Magnitude 8-9 earthquakes may occur nearby only about once a century, which is also the characteristic response time of large glaciers to climate shifts, seismicity must be considered along with climate change induced glacier responses in the CRB. Ultimately, climate has the final word, and already this is evident in the glacier record. Glacial flour is probably almost entirely from bed erosion. We will present estimates of the contributions of landslides and

  8. Sudden disintegration of ice in the glacial-proglacial transition zone of the largest glacier in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Avian, Michael; Hirschmann, Simon; Lieb, Gerhard Karl; Seier, Gernot; Sulzer, Wolfgang; Wakonigg, Herwig

    2017-04-01

    Rapid deglaciation does not only reveal a landscape which is prone to rapid geomorphic changes and sediment reworking but also the glacier ice itself might be in a state of disintegration by ice melting, pressure relief, crevasse formation, ice collapse or changes in the glacier's hydrology. In this study we considered the sudden disintegration of glacier ice in the glacial-proglacial transition zone of Pasterze Glacier. Pasterze Glacier is a typical alpine valley glacier and covers currently some 16.5 km2 making it to the largest glacier in Austria. This glacier is an important site for alpine mass tourism in Austria related to a public high alpine road and a cable car which enable access to the glacier rather easily also for unexperienced mountaineers. Spatial focus in our research is given on two particular study areas where several ice-mass movement events occurred during the 2015- and 2016-melting seasons. The first study area is a crevasse field at the lower third of the glacier tongue. This lateral crevasse field has been substantially modified during the last two melting seasons particularly because of thermo-erosional effects of a glacial stream which changed at this site from subglacial (until 2015) to glacier-lateral revealing a several tens of meters high unstable ice cliff prone to ice falls of different magnitudes. The second study area is located at the proglacial area. At Pasterze Glacier the proglacial area is widely influenced by dead-ice bodies of various dimensions making this area prone to slow to sudden geomorphic changes caused by ice mass changes. A particular ice-mass movement event took place on 20.09.2016. Within less than one hour the surface of the proglacial area changed substantially by tilting, lateral shifting, and subsidence of the ground accompanied by complete ice disintegration of once-debris covered ice. To understand acting processes at both areas of interest and to quantify mass changes we used field observations, terrain

  9. Floristic changes at Khersan Glacier Territory, Alamkuh Mountain, Central Alborz, North of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KOUROSH KAVOUSI

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Kavousi K, Nejadsattari T, Asri Y, Ejtehadi H, Khavari-Nejad RA. 2016. Floristic changes at Khersan Glacier Territory, Alamkuh Mountain, Central Alborz, North of Iran. Biodiversitas 17: 11-15. Extensive investigation in subnival-nival area around Khersan glacier moraine introduced 71 vascular plant species. From this list 43 species have been listed in Noroozi (2001 in “ subnival-nival vascular plant species of Iran : a unique high mountain flora and its threat from climate warming ” and the others are new for subnival- nival area of Iran. Among this plant list 31 species had introduced with Kotschy (1861a,b, Bornmuller (1904, Melchior (1937, Klein (1982, european researchers and the other is named for the first time from Khersan glacier territory. Many species such as Astragalus macrosemius, Pseudocamelina kleinii, Crepis multicaulis subsp. congesta, Didymophysa fedtschenkoana and Draba melanopus due to glacier condition have very sensitive habitat, vulnerable and only gathered from restrict area with conservation value. Vegetation change happened in many nival and subnival area with upward movement in the same habitat and movement from lower altitude at alpine towards summit in subnival and nival. Carex oreophila, Campanula stevenii, Bromus barchystachyus, Oxytropis immersa, Erigeron uniflorus,Trachydium pauciradiatum, Scorzonera radicosa and some other species are surprisingly movement to subnival area and many nival and subnival species such as Didymophysa aucheri, Didymophysa fedtschenkoana, Dracocephalum aucheri and Arabis caucasica have come significantly upward in nival. The movement is different in all side of Khersan glacier moraine in north, south and the east (beside moraine tongue slops and limited with presence of soil natural generation and other ecological remarks. Limitation for soil generation starts at different altitude in northern, southern and eastern slopes of Khersan glacier valley. This study examined

  10. Calculation and visualisation of future glacier extent in the Swiss Alps by means of hypsographic modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, F.; Maisch, M.; Rothenbühler, C.; Hoelzle, M.; Haeberli, W.

    2007-02-01

    The observed rapid glacier wastage in the European Alps during the past 20 years already has strong impacts on the natural environment (rock fall, lake formation) as well as on human activities (tourism, hydro-power production, etc.) and poses several new challenges also for glacier monitoring. With a further increase of global mean temperature in the future, it is likely that Alpine glaciers and the high-mountain environment as an entire system will further develop into a state of imbalance. Hence, the assessment of future glacier geometries is a valuable prerequisite for various impact studies. In order to calculate and visualize in a consistent manner future glacier extent for a large number of individual glaciers (> 100) according to a given climate change scenario, we have developed an automated and simple but robust approach that is based on an empirical relationship between glacier size and the steady-state accumulation area ratio (AAR 0) in the Alps. The model requires digital glacier outlines and a digital elevation model (DEM) only and calculates new glacier geometries from a given shift of the steady-state equilibrium line altitude (ELA 0) by means of hypsographic modelling. We have calculated changes in number, area and volume for 3062 individual glacier units in Switzerland and applied six step changes in ELA 0 (from + 100 to + 600 m) combined with four different values of the AAR 0 (0.5, 0.6, 0.67, 0.75). For an AAR 0 of 0.6 and an ELA 0 rise of 200 m (400 m) we calculate a total area loss of - 54% (- 80%) and a corresponding volume loss of - 50% (- 78%) compared to the 1973 glacier extent. In combination with a geocoded satellite image, the future glacier outlines are also used for automated rendering of perspective visualisations. This is a very attractive tool for communicating research results to the general public. Our study is illustrated for a test site in the Upper Engadine (Switzerland), where landscape changes above timberline play an

  11. Monitoring glacier variations in the Urubamba and Vilcabamba Mountain Ranges, Peru, using "Landsat 5" images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, Wilson; Cerna, Marcos; Ordoñez, Julio; Frey, Holger; Giráldez, Claudia; Huggel, Christian

    2013-04-01

    The Urubamba and Vilcabamba mountain ranges are two geological structures belonging to the Andes in the southern part of Peru, which is located in the tropical region. These mountain ranges are especially located within the transition area between the Amazon region (altitudes close to 1'000 m a.s.l.) and the Andes. These mountains, with a maximum height of 6'280 m a.s.l. (Salkantay Snow Peak in the Vilcabamba range), are characterized by glaciers mainly higher than 5000 m a.s.l. Here we present a study on the evolution of the ice cover based on "Landsat 5" images from 1991 and 2011 is presented in this paper. These data are freely available from the USGS in a georeferenced format and cover a time span of more than 25 years. The glacier mapping is based on the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI). In 1991 the Vilcabamba mountain range had 221 km2 of glacier cover, being reduced to 116.4 km2 in 2011, which represents a loss of 48%. In the Urubamba mountain range, the total glacier area was 64.9 km2 in 1991 and 29.4 km2 in 2011, representing a loss of 54.7%. It means that the glacier area was halved during the past two decades although precipitation patterns show an increase in recent years (the wet season lasts from September to April with precipitation peaks in February and March). Glacier changes in these two tropical mountain ranges also impact from an economic point of view due to small local farming common in this region (use of water from the melting glacier). Furthermore, potential glacier related hazards can pose a threat to people and infrastructure in the valleys below these glaciers, where the access routes to Machu Picchu Inca City, Peru's main tourist destination, are located too.

  12. Preliminary bathymetry of Blackstone Bay and Neoglacial changes of Blackstone Glaciers, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    Preliminary bathymetry (at 1:20,000 scale) and scientific studies of Blackstone Bay Alaska, by the Research Vessel Growler in 1978 disclose that the head of the bay consists of two basins separated by Willard Island and a submarine ridge. Both basins are closed on the north by terminal-moraine bars where Blackstone Glacier and its tributaries terminated as recently as about A.D. 1350; a carbon-14 date of 580 years before present on Badger Point, and old trees farther up the bay, disclose that the glaciers retreated to two narrow inlets at the head of the bay before 1400. The inlets were still glacier-covered until at least 1909. Glaciers in both inlets have continued to retreat; at present they terminate at the head of tidewater, where they discharge small icebergs. Only relatively thin sediments have accumulated in the eastern basin south of the terminal-moraine bar, and most of the bottom is hard and irregular as disclosed by soundings and profiles. The northern part of Blackstone Bay is very deep; at more than 1,100 feet below sea level a large, level accumulation of sediment is present which is presumably as much as 1,000 feet deep and has been accumulating since late Pleistocene glaciers retreated. (USGS)

  13. Modelling historical and recent mass loss of McCall Glacier, Alaska, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Delcourt

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Volume loss of valley glaciers is now considered to be a significant contribution to sea level rise. Understanding and identifying the processes involved in accelerated mass loss are necessary to determine their impact on the global system. Here we present results from a series of model experiments with a higher-order thermomechanically coupled flowline model (Pattyn, 2002. Boundary conditions to the model are parameterizations of surface mass balance, geothermal heating, observed surface and 10 m ice depth temperatures. The time-dependent experiments aim at simulating the glacier retreat from its LIA expansion to present according to different scenarios and model parameters. Model output was validated against measurements of ice velocity, ice surface elevation and terminus position at different stages. Results demonstrate that a key factor in determining the glacier retreat history is the importance of internal accumulation (>50% in the total mass balance. The persistence of a basal temperate zone characteristic for this polythermal glacier depends largely on its contribution. Accelerated glacier retreat since the early nineties seems directly related to the increase in ELA and the sudden reduction in AAR due to the fact that a large lower elevation cirque – previously an important accumulation area – became part of the ablation zone.

  14. The potential of Sentinel-2 for investigating glaciers and related natural hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winsvold, Solveig H.; Altena, Bas; Kääb, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Sentinel-2 (S2) features a number of characteristics that will improve mapping and monitoring of glaciers and related hazards, meaning the large swath width of 290km, the spatial resolution of 10-20m, and the repeat cycle of at least 10 days (higher towards the poles). In this study we perform a number of general tests on image radiometry and geometry as relevant to the glaciological image analysis. Based on commissioning-phase and ramp-up phase data, we find a geolocation accuracy of one pixel (at 10m) or better and co-registration accuracy between repeat scenes of around 1/3 pixel. Both error magnitudes are well acceptable for most glaciological applications. We also found patterns related to the mosaicking of the 12 detector sub-systems that form the full S2 swath. Also their magnitude will only matter in science-grade high-precision applications. Cross-track offsets in orthoprojected L1C data due to vertical errors in the DEM used have, however, to be observed. In particular at glacier tongues, DEMs will typically be outdated due to glacier shrinkage. For some examples in the Swiss Alps we found lateral offsets in S2 images of 30-40 m over such areas. For latitudes larger than 60 degree North (i.e. north of the SRTM coverage) we found geolocation bias patterns of the same order of magnitude all over the scenes, not only over glaciers. Geolocation biases in S2-derived products would for instance affect glacier outlines, especially when compared to other data such as Landsat, because of different orbit settings and use of other DEMs in the orthorectification process. This can be avoided to a large extent for glacier velocity measurements by relying on repeat data from the relative same orbit. Through a number of case studies, we demonstrate and evaluate the capability of S2 for glaciological applications: Automatic multispectral glacier mapping based on S2 bands 4 (red) and 11 (SWIR) turns out to be very successful, among others due to the improved resolution

  15. ESTIMATION OF THE WANDA GLACIER (SOUTH SHETLANDS SEDIMENT EROSION RATE USING NUMERICAL MODELLING

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    Kátia Kellem Rosa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Glacial sediment yield results from glacial erosion and is influenced by several factors including glacial retreat rate, ice flow velocity and thermal regime. This paper estimates the contemporary subglacial erosion rate and sediment yield of Wanda Glacier (King George Island, South Shetlands. This work also examines basal sediment evacuation mechanisms by runoff and glacial erosion processes during the subglacial transport. This is small temperate glacier that has seen retreating for the last decades. In this work, we examine basal sediment evacuation mechanisms by runoff and analyze glacial erosion processes occurring during subglacial transport. The glacial erosion rate at Wanda Glacier, estimated using a numerical model that consider sediment evacuated to outlet streams, ice flow velocity, ice thickness and glacier area, is 1.1 ton m yr-1.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. Rapid Holocene thinning of outlet glaciers followed by readvance in the western Ross Embayment, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. S.; Whitmore, R.; Mackintosh, A.; Norton, K. P.; Eaves, S.; Stutz, J.

    2017-12-01

    Investigating Antarctic deglaciation following the LGM provides an opportunity to better understand patterns, mechanisms and drivers of ice sheet retreat. In the Ross Sea sector, geomorphic features preserved on the seafloor indicate that streaming East Antarctic outlet glaciers once extended >100 km offshore of South Victoria Land prior to back-stepping towards their modern configurations. In order to adequately interpret the style and causes of this retreat, the timing and magnitude of corresponding ice thickness change is required. We present new constraints on ice surface lowering from Mawson Glacier, an outlet of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that flows into the western Ross Sea. Surface-exposure (10Be) ages from samples collected in elevation transects above the modern ice surface reveal that rapid thinning occurred at 5-8 ka, broadly coeval with new ages of grounding-line retreat at 6 ka and rapid thinning recorded at nearby Mackay Glacier at 7 ka. Our data also show that a moraine formed near to the modern ice margin of Mawson Glacier at 0.8 ka, which, together with historical observations, indicates that glaciers in this region readvanced during the last thousand years. We argue that 1) the accelerated thinning of outlet glaciers was driven by local grounding-line retreat through overdeepened basins during the early-mid Holocene, and 2) the glaciers subsequently readvanced, possibly linked to late Holocene sea-ice expansion, before retreating to their current positions. Our work demonstrates that these outlet glaciers were closely coupled to environmental and topography-induced perturbations near their termini throughout the Holocene.

  19. 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

    Glaciers play a critical hydrologic role in mountain watersheds worldwide, and the potential effect of persistent glacier shrinkage on water supply is justly regarded as one of the key climate change impacts that the scientific and development communities must endeavor to understand. The relationship between glaciers and water supply is particularly acute in the tropical Andes, where irrigation is often essential for the sustainability of agricultural livelihoods. In Ecuador, the glaciers of Volcán Chimborazo (6267 m.a.s.l.) are a highly-visible component of the local hydrologic system and irrigators in the communities that surround the mountain are concerned about their potential vulnerability in the face of noticeable recent glacier retreat on the mountain. Here, I present results from an integrated study that quantifies the rate of glacier retreat at Chimborazo since the mid-1980s, estimates the present-day contribution of glacier melt to total discharge in the mountain's most glacierized watershed, and assays the implications of changing hydrologic conditions on water users in the region. Methods employed include direct hydrologic and glaciologic measurements, analysis of hydrologic tracers, remote sensing techniques, and social research activities such as household surveys and focus groups. Over the past quarter-century, increased water stress has been a key driver of shifting livelihood patterns in the agrarian communities below the mountain, with persistent glacier retreat one of multiple biophysical and socio-economic forcing mechanisms. Since 1986, Chimborazo has lost 20.5% of its glacier surface area (0.8%/yr). While station records indicate patterns of climate change consistent with those reported elsewhere in the tropical Andes (temperature increase of 1.1°C/decade; no statistically-significant changes in precipitation since 1985), there is a very strong local perception that surface water sources are diminishing and that rainfall patterns are

  20. The current state of glaciers within the Koryak Highland and assessment of their development by the middle of this century

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    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.

  1. Electronic phase transitions

    CERN Document Server

    Kopaev, YuV

    1992-01-01

    Electronic Phase Transitions deals with topics, which are presently at the forefront of scientific research in modern solid-state theory. Anderson localization, which has fundamental implications in many areas of solid-state physics as well as spin glasses, with its influence on quite different research activities such as neural networks, are two examples that are reviewed in this book. The ab initio statistical mechanics of structural phase transitions is another prime example, where the interplay and connection of two unrelated disciplines of solid-state theory - first principle ele

  2. Boundary layer models for calving marine outlet glaciers

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    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. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Geodetic mass balance measurements on debris and clean-ice tropical glaciers in Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Frenierre, J.; Decker, C. R.; Jordan, E.; Wigmore, O.; Hodge, B. E.; Niederriter, C.; Michels, A.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers are recognized as highly sensitive indicators of climate change in high altitude, low latitude environments. In the tropical Andes, various analyses of glacier surface area change have helped illuminate the manifestation of climate change in this region, however, information about actual glacier mass balance behavior is much more limited given the relatively small glaciers, difficult access, poor weather, and/or limited local resources common here. Several new technologies, including aerial and terrestrial LIDAR and structure-from-motion photogrammetry using small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), make mass balance measurements using geodetic approaches increasingly feasible in remote mountain locations, which can both further our understanding of changing climatic conditions, and improve our ability to evaluate the downstream hydrologic impacts of ice loss. At Volcán Chimborazo, Ecuador, these new technologies, combined with a unique, 5-meter resolution digital elevation model derived from 1997 aerial imagery, make possible an analysis of the magnitude and spatial patterns of mass balance behavior over the past two decades. Here, we evaluate ice loss between 1997 and 2017 at the tongues of two adjacent glaciers, one debris-covered and detached from its accumulation area (Reschreiter Glacier), and one debris-free and intact (Hans Meyer Glacier). Additionally, we incorporate data from 2012 and 2013 terrestrial LIDAR surveys to evaluate the behavior of the Reschreiter at a finer temporal resolution. We find that on the Hans Meyer, the mean surface deflation rate since 1997 at the present-day tongue has been nearly 3 m yr-1, while on the lower-elevation Reschreiter, the mean deflation rate has been approximately 1 m yr-1. However, the processes by which debris-covered ice becomes exposed results in highly heterogeneous patterns of ice loss, with some areas experiencing surface deflation rates approaching 15 m yr-1 when energy absorption is unimpeded.

  5. Estimating Regional Mass Balance of Himalayan Glaciers Using Hexagon Imagery: An Automated Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, J. M.; Rupper, S.

    2013-12-01

    Currently there is much uncertainty regarding the present and future state of Himalayan glaciers, which supply meltwater for river systems vital to more than 1.4 billion people living throughout Asia. Previous assessments of regional glacier mass balance in the Himalayas using various remote sensing and field-based methods give inconsistent results, and most assessments are over relatively short (e.g., single decade) timescales. This study aims to quantify multi-decadal changes in volume and extent of Himalayan glaciers through efficient use of the large database of declassified 1970-80s era Hexagon stereo imagery. Automation of the DEM extraction process provides an effective workflow for many images to be processed and glacier elevation changes quantified with minimal user input. The tedious procedure of manual ground control point selection necessary for block-bundle adjustment (as ephemeral data is not available for the declassified images) is automated using the Maximally Stable Extremal Regions algorithm, which matches image elements between raw Hexagon images and georeferenced Landsat 15 meter panchromatic images. Additional automated Hexagon DEM processing, co-registration, and bias correction allow for direct comparison with modern ASTER and SRTM elevation data, thus quantifying glacier elevation and area changes over several decades across largely inaccessible mountainous regions. As consistent methodology is used for all glaciers, results will likely reveal significant spatial and temporal patterns in regional ice mass balance. Ultimately, these findings could have important implications for future water resource management in light of environmental change.

  6. New high-definition thickness data obtained at tropical glaciers: preliminary results from Antisana volcano (Ecuador) using GPR prospection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, Camilo; Andrade, Daniel; Córdova, Jorge; Maisincho, Luis; Carvajal, Juan; Calispa, Marlon; Villacís, Marcos

    2014-05-01

    The study of tropical glaciers has been a significant contribution to the understanding of glacier dynamics and climate change. Much of the data and results have been obtained by analyzing plan-view images obtained by air- and space-borne sensors, as well as depth data obtained by diverse methodologies at selected points on the glacier surface. However, the measurement of glacier thicknesses has remained an elusive task in tropical glaciers, often located in rough terrains where the application of geophysical surveys (i.e. seismic surveys) requires logistics sometimes hardly justified by the amount of obtained data. In the case of Ecuador, however, where most glaciers have developed on active volcanoes and represent sources/reservoirs of fresh water, the precise knowledge of such information is fundamental for scientific research but also in order to better assess key aspects for the society. The relatively recent but fast development of the GPR technology has helped to obtain new highdefinition thickness data at Antisana volcano that will be used to: 1) better understand the dynamics and fate of tropical glaciers; 2) better estimate the amount of fresh water stored in the glaciers; 3) better assess the hazards associated with the sudden widespread melting of glaciers during volcanic eruptions. The measurements have been obtained at glaciers 12 and 15 of Antisana volcano, with the help of a commercial GPR equipped with a 25 MHz antenna. A total of 30 transects have been obtained, covering a distance of more than 3 km, from the glacier ablation zone, located at ~ 4600 masl, up to the level of 5200 masl. The preliminary results show a positive correlation between altitude and glacier thickness, with maximum and minimum calculated values reaching up to 80 m, and down to 15 m, respectively. The experience gained at Antisana volcano will be used to prepare a more widespread GPR survey in the glaciers of Cotopaxi volcano, whose implications in terms of volcanic hazards

  7. Monitoring receding of glaciers and in north-eastern pakistan through geo-informatics techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamir, U.B.

    2012-01-01

    Pakistan is amongst those countries which are blessed from the wide range of natural features. Pakistan is a land of varied topography, ranging from deep sea to top mountains of the world. Northern area of Pakistan carries the most fascinating mountainous series with snow-clad peaks of varying height. Apart from North and South Pole, Northern Pakistan hosts the greatest masses of glaciated ice in the world. The glaciers are of extreme worth in providing fresh water resources; this important resource is a vital source of water but it has been diminished due to anthropogenic interventions which, as a result, have unbalanced the indigenous eco-system. Monitoring of these glaciers is important to cater the water and power need of a country like Pakistan. By using remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques, this paper is an attempt to address the receding of glaciers and snow cover in the extreme north-eastern districts of Pakistan. Monitoring of melting of glaciers due to climate change in the recent decades has been attempted in this study for Ghanche District. This study is also concerned with observing the spatial change in the snow cover and glaciers of Ghanche District. (author)

  8. Relative performance of empirical and physical models in assessing the seasonal and annual glacier surface mass balance of Saint-Sorlin Glacier (French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Réveillet, Marion; Six, Delphine; Vincent, Christian; Rabatel, Antoine; Dumont, Marie; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Morin, Samuel; Vionnet, Vincent; Litt, Maxime

    2018-04-01

    This study focuses on simulations of the seasonal and annual surface mass balance (SMB) of Saint-Sorlin Glacier (French Alps) for the period 1996-2015 using the detailed SURFEX/ISBA-Crocus snowpack model. The model is forced by SAFRAN meteorological reanalysis data, adjusted with automatic weather station (AWS) measurements to ensure that simulations of all the energy balance components, in particular turbulent fluxes, are accurately represented with respect to the measured energy balance. Results indicate good model performance for the simulation of summer SMB when using meteorological forcing adjusted with in situ measurements. Model performance however strongly decreases without in situ meteorological measurements. The sensitivity of the model to meteorological forcing indicates a strong sensitivity to wind speed, higher than the sensitivity to ice albedo. Compared to an empirical approach, the model exhibited better performance for simulations of snow and firn melting in the accumulation area and similar performance in the ablation area when forced with meteorological data adjusted with nearby AWS measurements. When such measurements were not available close to the glacier, the empirical model performed better. Our results suggest that simulations of the evolution of future mass balance using an energy balance model require very accurate meteorological data. Given the uncertainties in the temporal evolution of the relevant meteorological variables and glacier surface properties in the future, empirical approaches based on temperature and precipitation could be more appropriate for simulations of glaciers in the future.

  9. Relative performance of empirical and physical models in assessing the seasonal and annual glacier surface mass balance of Saint-Sorlin Glacier (French Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Réveillet

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on simulations of the seasonal and annual surface mass balance (SMB of Saint-Sorlin Glacier (French Alps for the period 1996–2015 using the detailed SURFEX/ISBA-Crocus snowpack model. The model is forced by SAFRAN meteorological reanalysis data, adjusted with automatic weather station (AWS measurements to ensure that simulations of all the energy balance components, in particular turbulent fluxes, are accurately represented with respect to the measured energy balance. Results indicate good model performance for the simulation of summer SMB when using meteorological forcing adjusted with in situ measurements. Model performance however strongly decreases without in situ meteorological measurements. The sensitivity of the model to meteorological forcing indicates a strong sensitivity to wind speed, higher than the sensitivity to ice albedo. Compared to an empirical approach, the model exhibited better performance for simulations of snow and firn melting in the accumulation area and similar performance in the ablation area when forced with meteorological data adjusted with nearby AWS measurements. When such measurements were not available close to the glacier, the empirical model performed better. Our results suggest that simulations of the evolution of future mass balance using an energy balance model require very accurate meteorological data. Given the uncertainties in the temporal evolution of the relevant meteorological variables and glacier surface properties in the future, empirical approaches based on temperature and precipitation could be more appropriate for simulations of glaciers in the future.

  10. Impacts of Aerosols on the Retreat of the Sierra Nevada Glaciers in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Askary, H. M.; Li, J.; Ta, T. N.; Jong, A.; Zhang, X.

    2015-12-01

    Natural dust aerosol is an active component of the climate system and plays multiple roles in physical climate and bio-geo-chemical exchanges between the atmosphere, land surface and ocean. Aerosol deposition on snow is amongst the different causes of glacier retreat around the world as well as the reduction of snow albedo. We have observed a long range transport of dust and pollution aerosols from China to the U.S. In this paper we compared summer and winter seasons glacier changes between 2000 and 2013, and how the dust aerosol change over this 13 years. Multiple images, acquired from Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM+ and Landsat-8 OLI were used in the study. The change detection analysis was employed to identify the glacier changes for two seasons. The results suggest that the glacier decreased dramatically over 13 years in both seasons.

  11. Direct and indirect effects of glaciers on aquatic biodiversity in high Andean peatlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quenta, Estefania; Molina-Rodriguez, Jorge; Gonzales, Karina

    2016-01-01

    to which there is high α-diversity at intermediate levels of glacial influence due to the high degree of environmental heterogeneity caused by glacier water. This α-diversity pattern generates high levels of between-site aquatic community variation (high β diversity) and increases regional diversity (γ......The rapid melting of glacier cover is one of the most obvious impacts of climate change on alpine ecosystems and biodiversity. Our understanding of the impact of a decrease in glacier runoff on aquatic biodiversity is currently based on the 'glacier-heterogeneity-diversity' paradigm, according......-diversity). There is a rich conceptual background in favor of this paradigm, but empirical data supporting it are scarce. We investigated this paradigm by analyzing the different diversity patterns (α, β and γ-diversity) of four aquatic groups (zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes) living in high...

  12. THE GLACIER COMPLEXES OF THE MOUNTAIN MASSIFS OF THE NORTH-WEST OF INNER ASIA AND THEIR DYNAMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirill Chistyakov

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The subject of this paper is the glaciation of the mountain massifs Mongun-Taiga, Tavan-Boghd-Ola, Turgeni-Nuru, and Harhira-Nuru. The glaciation is represented mostly by small forms that sometimes form a single complex of dome-shaped peaks. According to the authors, the modern glaciated area of the mountain massifs is 21.2 km2(Tavan-Boghd-Ola, 20.3 km2 (Mongun-Taiga, 42 km2 (Turgeni-Nuru, and 33.1 km2 (Harhira-Nuru. The area of the glaciers has been shrinking since the mid 1960’s. In 1995–2008, the rate of reduction of the glaciers’ area has grown considerably: valley glaciers were rapidly degrading and splitting; accumulation of morainic material in the lower parts of the glaciers accelerated. Small glaciers transformed into snowfields and rock glaciers. There has been also a degradation of the highest parts of the glaciers and the collapse of the glacial complexes with a single zone of accumulation into isolated from each other glaciers. Reduced snow cover area has led to a rise in the firn line and the disintegration of a common accumulation area of the glacial complex. In the of the Mongun-Taiga massif, in 1995–2008, the firn line rose by 200–300 m. The reduction of the glaciers significantly lagged behind the change in the position of the accumulation area boundary. In the past two years, there has been a significant recovery of the glaciers that could eventually lead to their slower degradation or stabilization of the glaciers in the study area.

  13. 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...

  14. Increased Mass Loss and Asynchronous Behavior of Marine-Terminating Outlet Glaciers at Upernavik Isstrøm, NW Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Signe Hillerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Ahlstrøm, Andreas Peter

    2016-01-01

    In order to model and predict future behavior of marine terminating glaciers, it is essential to understand the different factors that control a glaciers response to climate change. Here we present a detailed study of the asynchronous changes in dynamic behavior of four adjacent marine...... between 1992 and 2013. These observations point out the fact that the UI glaciers are reacting to climate change on different timescales. The asynchronous behavior of the four neighboring glaciers is explained in terms of the individual glaciersâĂŹ geometry and terminus position. The northernmost glacier...... is believed to have had a floating tongue between 1985 and 2007 which disintegrated in 2007-2008. This release of back stress destabilized the glacier causing it to accelerate and thin rapidly. We suggest that the ice tongue broke up due to ocean-warming induced thinning in the late 1990s. Recent response...

  15. Levels and spatial distributions of levoglucosan and dissolved organic carbon in snowpits over the Tibetan Plateau glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quanlian; Wang, Ninglian; Barbante, Carlo; Kang, Shichang; Yao, Ping; Wan, Xin; Barbaro, Elena; Del Carmen Villoslada Hidalgo, Maria; Gambaro, Andrea; Li, Chaoliu; Niu, Hewen; Dong, Zhiwen; Wu, Xiaobo

    2018-01-15

    In this study, we collected 60 snowpit samples in nine glaciers from the northern to the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP), to study the levels and spatial distributions of levoglucosan and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The lowest concentration of levoglucosan was found in the Yuzhufeng (YZF) glacier with a mean value of 0.24±0.08ngmL -1 , while the highest concentration of levoglucosan was detected in the Gurenhekou (GRHK) glacier with a mean value of 11.72±15.61ngmL -1 . However, the average DOC concentration in TP glaciers were comparable, without significant regional differences. The levoglucosan/DOC ratio ranged from 0.02 to 6.03% in the Tibetan Plateau glaciers. This ratios and the correlations between levoglucosan and DOC suggested that biomass burning products contributed only marginally to DOC levels in the TP glaciers. Moreover, the analysis of air mass backward trajectories suggested that levoglucosan and DOC in TP glaciers should be transported from the northwestern TP, internal TP, Central Asia, South and East Asia regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A geophone wireless sensor network for investigating glacier stick-slip motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Kirk; Hart, Jane K.; Basford, Philip J.; Bragg, Graeme M.; Ward, Tyler; Young, David S.

    2017-08-01

    We have developed an innovative passive borehole geophone system, as part of a wireless environmental sensor network to investigate glacier stick-slip motion. The new geophone nodes use an ARM Cortex-M3 processor with a low power design capable of running on battery power while embedded in the ice. Only data from seismic events was stored, held temporarily on a micro-SD card until they were retrieved by systems on the glacier surface which are connected to the internet. The sampling rates, detection and filtering levels were determined from a field trial using a standard commercial passive seismic system. The new system was installed on the Skalafellsjökull glacier in Iceland and provided encouraging results. The results showed that there was a relationship between surface melt water production and seismic event (ice quakes), and these occurred on a pattern related to the glacier surface melt-water controlled velocity changes (stick-slip motion). Three types of seismic events were identified, which were interpreted to reflect a pattern of till deformation (Type A), basal sliding (Type B) and hydraulic transience (Type C) associated with stick-slip motion.

  17. An estimate of the glacier ice volume in the Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farinotti, Daniel; Huss, Matthias; Bauder, Andreas; Funk, Martin

    2009-08-01

    Changes in glacier volume are important for questions linked to sea-level rise, water resource management, and tourism industry. With the ongoing climate warming, the retreat of mountain glaciers is a major concern. Predictions of glacier changes, necessarily need the present ice volume as initial condition, and for transient modelling, the ice thickness distribution has to be known. In this paper, a method based on mass conservation and principles of ice flow dynamics is applied to 62 glaciers located in the Swiss Alps for estimating their ice thickness distribution. All available direct ice thickness measurements are integrated. The ice volumes are referenced to the year 1999 by means of a mass balance time series. The results are used to calibrate a volume-area scaling relation, and the coefficients obtained show good agreement with values reported in the literature. We estimate the total ice volume present in the Swiss Alps in the year 1999 to be 74 ± 9 km 3. About 12% of this volume was lost between 1999 and 2008, whereas the extraordinarily warm summer 2003 caused a volume loss of about 3.5%.

  18. 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...

  19. Frequency, triggering factors and possible consequences of mass movements on outlet glaciers in Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saemundsson, Thorsteinn; Margeirsson, Guðbjörn

    2016-04-01

    During the last 15 years several mass movements of various size and origin, e.g. rock avalanches, rock slides and debris slides have been observed to have fall on outlet glaciers in Iceland. This should not come as a surprise in this type of glacial environment, but in a way it does. When looking at the history only few mass movements are recorded to have fall on outlet glaciers in Iceland, during the decades before the year 2000 or since 1960. This "lack of mass movements" can be explained by the fact that fewer observations and monitoring were done in the past, but is it so or are we seeing increasing activity? Looking at the distribution of the known mass movements, two activity periods cam be identified. The former one around 1970 and the second one starting around 2000 and is still ongoing. Both of these periods are characterized by warmer climate leading to retreating phases of glaciers. Two larger mass movements are known from these two retreating periods. The former one occurred in January 1967. Then a large rockslide fell on the snout and into the glacial lake of the Steinholtsjökull outlet glacier in the northern side of the Eyjafjallajökull ice cap. The rockslide broke up the snout of the glacier and caused large floodwave bursting down the Steinholtsdalur valley transporting large volume of sediments down its path. The later one occurred in 2007, when a large rockavalanche fell on the Morsárjökull outlet glacier, in the southern side of the Vatnajökull ice cap. The avalanche debris covered around 1/5 of the glacier surface. Today the retreat and thinning of glaciers in Iceland are extremely rapid. The consequences of such a rapid retreat are e.g. unstable valley slopes surrounding the outlet glaciers, both in loose sediments and bedrock, thawing of mountain permafrost and not least formation of glacial lakes in front of the rapid retreating ice margins. Such conditions can become extremely hazardous, as seen by the above mentioned examples, both

  20. A Younger Dryas re-advance of local glaciers in north Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Funder, Svend; Linge, Henriette; Möller, Per; Schomacker, Anders; Fabel, Derek; Xu, Sheng; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-09-01

    The Younger Dryas (YD) is a well-constrained cold event from 12,900 to 11,700 years ago but it remains unclear how the cooling and subsequent abrupt warming recorded in ice cores was translated into ice margin fluctuations in Greenland. Here we present 10Be surface exposure ages from three moraines in front of local glaciers on a 50 km stretch along the north coast of Greenland, facing the Arctic Ocean. Ten ages range from 11.6 ± 0.5 to 27.2 ± 0.9 ka with a mean age of 12.5 ± 0.7 ka after exclusion of two outliers. We consider this to be a minimum age for the abandonment of the moraines. The ages of the moraines are furthermore constrained using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of epishelf sediments, which were deposited prior to the ice advance that formed the moraines, yielding a maximum age of 12.4 ± 0.6 ka, and bracketing the formation and subsequent abandonment of the moraines to within the interval 11.8-13.0 ka ago. This is the first time a synchronous YD glacier advance and subsequent retreat has been recorded for several independent glaciers in Greenland. In most other areas, there is no evidence for re-advance and glaciers were retreating during YD. We explain the different behaviour of the glaciers in northernmost Greenland as a function of their remoteness from the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which in other areas has been held responsible for modifying the YD drop in temperatures.

  1. The Inylchek Glacier in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia: Insight on Surface Kinematics from Optical Remote Sensing Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Nobakht

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mountain chains of Central Asia host a large number of glaciated areas that provide critical water supplies to the semi-arid populated foothills and lowlands of this region. Spatio-temporal variations of glacier flows are a key indicator of the impact of climate change on water resources as the glaciers react sensitively to climate. Satellite remote sensing using optical imagery is an efficient method for studying ice-velocity fields on mountain glaciers. In this study, temporal and spatial changes in surface velocity associated with the Inylchek glacier in Kyrgyzstan are investigated. We present a detailed map for the kinematics of the Inylchek glacier obtained by cross-correlation analysis of Landsat images, acquired between 2000 and 2011, and a set of ASTER images covering the time period between 2001 and 2007. Our results indicate a high-velocity region in the elevated part of the glacier, moving up to a rate of about 0.5 m/day. Time series analysis of optical data reveals some annual variations in the mean surface velocity of the Inylchek during 2000–2011. In particular, our findings suggest an opposite trend between periods of the northward glacial flow in Proletarskyi and Zvezdochka glacier, and the rate of westward motion observed for the main stream of the Inylchek.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Permafrost distribution map of San Juan Dry Andes (Argentina) based on rock glacier sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esper Angillieri, María Yanina

    2017-01-01

    Rock glaciers are frozen water reservoirs in mountainous areas. Water resources are important for the local populations and economies. The presence of rock glaciers is commonly used as a direct indicator of mountain permafrost conditions. Over 500 active rock glaciers have been identified, showing that elevations between 3500 and 4500 m asl., a south-facing or east-facing aspect, areas with relatively low solar radiation and low mean annual air temperature (-4 to 0 °C) favour the existence of rock glaciers in this region. The permafrost probability model, for Dry Andes of San Juan Province between latitudes 28º30‧S and 32°30‧S, have been analyzed by logistic regression models based on the active rock glaciers occurrence in relation to some topoclimatic variables such as altitude, aspect, mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation and solar radiation, using optical remote sensing techniques in a GIS environment. The predictive performances of the model have been estimated by known rock glaciers locations and by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC). This regional permafrost map can be applied by the Argentinean Government for their recent initiatives which include creating inventories, monitoring and studying ice masses along the Argentinean Andes. Further, this generated map provides valuable input data for permafrost scenarios and contributes to a better understanding of our geosystem.

  5. Progress toward Consensus Estimates of Regional Glacier Mass Balances for IPCC AR5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, A. A.; Gardner, A. S.; Cogley, J. G.

    2011-12-01

    Glaciers are potentially large contributors to rising sea level. Since the last IPCC report in 2007 (AR4), there has been a widespread increase in the use of geodetic observations from satellite and airborne platforms to complement field observations of glacier mass balance, as well as significant improvements in the global glacier inventory. Here we summarize our ongoing efforts to integrate data from multiple sources to arrive at a consensus estimate for each region, and to quantify uncertainties in those estimates. We will use examples from Alaska to illustrate methods for combining Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), elevation differencing and field observations into a single time series with related uncertainty estimates. We will pay particular attention to reconciling discrepancies between GRACE estimates from multiple processing centers. We will also investigate the extent to which improvements in the glacier inventory affect the accuracy of our regional mass balances.

  6. Adapting to the reality of climate change at Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    2007-01-01

    The glaciers of Glacier National Park (GNP) are disappearing rapidly and likely will be gone by 2030. These alpine glaciers have been continuously present for approximately 7,000 years so their loss from GNP in another 25 years underscores the significance of current climate change. There are presently only 27 glaciers remaining of the 150 estimated to have existed when GNP was created in 1910. Mean annual temperature in GNP has increased 1.6 0 C during the past cen- tury, three times the global mean increase. The temperature increase has affected other parts of the mountain ecosystem, too. Snowpacks hold less water equivalent and melt 2+ weeks earlier in the spring. Forest growth rates have increased, alpine treelines have expanded upward and be- come denser, and subalpine meadows have been invaded by high elevation tree species. These latter responses can be mostly attributed to longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures.

  7. Glacier loss and hydro-social risks in the Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, Bryan G.; French, Adam; Baraer, Michel; Carey, Mark; Bury, Jeffrey; Young, Kenneth R.; Polk, Molly H.; Wigmore, Oliver; Lagos, Pablo; Crumley, Ryan; McKenzie, Jeffrey M.; Lautz, Laura

    2017-12-01

    Accelerating glacier recession in tropical highlands and in the Peruvian Andes specifically is a manifestation of global climate change that is influencing the hydrologic cycle and impacting water resources across a range of socio-environmental systems. Despite predictions regarding the negative effects of long-term glacier decline on water availability, many uncertainties remain regarding the timing and variability of hydrologic changes and their impacts. To improve context-specific understandings of the effects of climate change and glacial melt on water resources in the tropical Andes, this article synthesizes results from long-term transdisciplinary research with new findings from two glacierized Peruvian watersheds to develop and apply a multi-level conceptual framework focused on the coupled biophysical and social determinants of water access and hydro-social risks in these settings. The framework identifies several interacting variables-hydrologic transformation, land cover change, perceptions of water availability, water use and infrastructure in local and regional economies, and water rights and governance-to broadly assess how glacier change is embedded with social risks and vulnerability across diverse water uses and sectors. The primary focus is on the Santa River watershed draining the Cordillera Blanca to the Pacific. Additional analysis of hydrologic change and water access in the geographically distinct Shullcas River watershed draining the Huaytapallana massif towards the city of Huancayo further illuminates the heterogeneous character of hydrologic risk and vulnerability in the Andes.

  8. Quantifying the Jakobshavn Effect: Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland, compared to Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.; Sargent, A.; Fastook, J.; Purdon, K.; Li, J.; Yan, J.-B.; Gogineni, S.

    2014-04-01

    The Jakobshavn Effect is a series of positive feedback mechanisms that was first observed on Jakobshavn Isbrae, which drains the west-central part of the Greenland Ice Sheet and enters Jakobshavn Isfjord at 69°10'. These mechanisms fall into two categories, reductions of ice-bed coupling beneath an ice stream due to surface meltwater reaching the bed, and reductions in ice-shelf buttressing beyond an ice stream due to disintegration of a laterally confined and locally pinned ice shelf. These uncoupling and unbuttressing mechanisms have recently taken place for Byrd Glacier in Antarctica and Jakobshavn Isbrae in Greenland, respectively. For Byrd Glacier, no surface meltwater reaches the bed. That water is supplied by drainage of two large subglacial lakes where East Antarctic ice converges strongly on Byrd Glacier. Results from modeling both mechanisms are presented here. We find that the Jakobshavn Effect is not active for Byrd Glacier, but is active for Jakobshavn Isbrae, at least for now. Our treatment is holistic in the sense it provides continuity from sheet flow to stream flow to shelf flow. It relies primarily on a force balance, so our results cannot be used to predict long-term behavior of these ice streams. The treatment uses geometrical representations of gravitational and resisting forces that provide a visual understanding of these forces, without involving partial differential equations and continuum mechanics. The Jakobshavn Effect was proposed to facilitate terminations of glaciation cycles during the Quaternary Ice Age by collapsing marine parts of ice sheets. This is unlikely for the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, based on our results for Byrd Glacier and Jakobshavn Isbrae, without drastic climate warming in high polar latitudes. Warming would affect other Antarctic ice streams already weakly buttressed or unbuttressed by an ice shelf. Ross Ice Shelf would still protect Byrd Glacier.

  9. Un réseau d'observation des glaciers dans les Andes tropicales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Par leur grande sensibilité au changement climatique, les glaciers tropicaux sont d’excellents indicateurs de l’évolution du climat et, en même temps, des objets hydrologiques susceptibles d’évoluer rapidement dans le futur. On montre que l’actuel recul accéléré des glaciers dans les Andes centrales et les conséquences qu’il peut avoir en matière hydrologique et de risques naturels rendent nécessaire un programme de surveillance de ces glaciers au niveau de toute la chaîne, ce que l’ORSTOM contribue à faire depuis 1991. UNA RED DE OBSERVACIÓN DE LOS GLACIARES EN LOS ANDES TROPICALES. Por su gran sensibilidad al cambio climático, los glaciares tropicales son excelentes indicadores de la evolución del clima, así como objectos hidrológicos susceptibles de una evolución rápida en el futuro. Considerando el actual retroceso acelerado de los glaciares en los Andes centrales y las consecuencias que puede tener a nivel hidrológico así como en el campo de los riesgos naturales, es necesario un programa de monitoreo de los glaciares a nivel de toda la cordillera, que es lo que ORSTOM contribuye a hacer desde 1991. A GLACIER MONITORING NETWORK IN THE TROPICAL ANDES. The high sensibility of Tropical glaciers to climatic forcing make it possible to use them as reliable indicators of climate evolution, as well as hydrological systems which could change rapidly in the future. Considering the present increase in glacier retreat in central Andes and the consequences induced by this evolution on water resources and natural hazards, a monitoring program at a large scale appears to be highly desirable. This has been the objective of ORSTOM since 1991.

  10. 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

  11. Atlantic Water advection vs. glacier dynamics in northern Spitsbergen since early deglaciation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bartels

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Atlantic Water (AW advection plays an important role in climatic, oceanographic and environmental conditions in the eastern Arctic. Situated along the only deep connection between the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans, the Svalbard Archipelago is an ideal location to reconstruct the past AW advection history and document its linkage with local glacier dynamics, as illustrated in the present study of a 275 cm long sedimentary record from Woodfjorden (northern Spitsbergen; water depth: 171 m spanning the last  ∼  15 500 years. Sedimentological, micropalaeontological and geochemical analyses were used to reconstruct changes in marine environmental conditions, sea ice cover and glacier activity. Data illustrate a partial break-up of the Svalbard–Barents Sea Ice Sheet from Heinrich Stadial 1 onwards (until  ∼  14.6 ka. During the Bølling–Allerød ( ∼  14.6–12.7 ka, AW penetrated as a bottom water mass into the fjord system and contributed significantly to the destabilization of local glaciers. During the Younger Dryas ( ∼  12.7–11.7 ka, it intruded into intermediate waters while evidence for a glacier advance is lacking. A short-term deepening of the halocline occurred at the very end of this interval. During the early Holocene ( ∼  11.7–7.8 ka, mild conditions led to glacier retreat, a reduced sea ice cover and increasing sea surface temperatures, with a brief interruption during the Preboreal Oscillation ( ∼  11.1–10.8 ka. Due to a  ∼  6000-year gap, the mid-Holocene is not recorded in this sediment core. During the late Holocene ( ∼  1.8–0.4 ka, a slightly reduced AW inflow and lower sea surface temperatures compared to the early Holocene are reconstructed. Glaciers, which previously retreated to the shallower inner parts of the Woodfjorden system, likely advanced during the late Holocene. In particular, topographic control in concert with the reduced

  12. 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

  13. What Can We Learn About Glaciers and Ice Sheets From 30 Years of Landsat Imagery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, A. S.; Scambos, T.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Moholdt, G.; Nilsson, J.

    2015-12-01

    Glacier and ice sheets are known to be rapidly changing and currently account for two thirds of observed sea level rise. Attributing the causes of the rapid decline in land ice requires separation of mass change processes, i.e. accumulation of precipitation, meltwater runoff, and solid ice discharge. Here we examine a 30 year record of Landsat imagery to determine trends in glacier velocity at a global scale in an attempt to identify anomalies in glacier flow that are contributing to changes in land ice mass. The Landsat archive represents a treasure trove of information with hundreds of thousands of images acquired over glaciers and ice sheets during the past 30 years. Gleaning useful and consistent surface displacement information from a multiple sensor archive that is heavily contaminated by cloud, saturated images, poorly resolved sensor geometry, and data gaps has proved challenging. Temporal stacking of displacement fields (Dehecq et al., 2015) and correcting for unresolved topography (Roseanau et al., 2012) have been shown to greatly improve derived velocities. Here we present results from a global processing of the complete Landsat archive for information on glacier surface displacements. We highlight patterns of coherent regional change as well as well as rapid basin-scale changes in glacier flow.

  14. 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...

  15. First measurement of ice-bedrock interface of alpine glaciers by cosmic muon radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, R.; Ariga, A.; Ariga, T.; Käser, S.; Lechmann, A.; Mair, D.; Scampoli, P.; Vladymyrov, M.; Ereditato, A.; Schlunegger, F.

    2017-06-01

    The shape of the bedrock underneath alpine glaciers bears vital information on the erosional mechanism related to the flow of ice. So far, several geophysical exploration methods have been proposed to map the bedrock topography though with limited accuracy. Here we illustrate the first results from a technology, called cosmic ray muon radiography, newly applied in glacial geology to investigate the bedrock geometry beneath the Aletsch Glacier situated in the Central Swiss Alps. For this purpose we installed new cosmic muon detectors made of emulsion films at three sites along the Jungfrau railway tunnel and measured the shape of the bedrock under the uppermost part of Aletsch Glacier (Jungfraufirn). Our results constrain the continuation of the bedrock-ice interface up to a depth of 50 m below the surface, where the bedrock underneath the glacier strikes NE-SW and dips at 45° ± 5°. This documents the first successful application of this technology to a glaciated environment.

  16. Thresholds of glacier hydrologic change and emergent vulnerabilities in a tropical Andean waterscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, B. G.; Bury, J.; Carey, M.; McKenzie, J. M.; Huh, K. I.; Baraer, M.; Eddy, A.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past 50+ years, dramatic glacier mass loss in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, has been causing downstream hydrologic transformations, with implications for domestic, agricultural and industrial water resources. Coincidental expansion of social and economic development throughout the Santa River watershed, which drains into the Pacific Ocean, raises concerns about sustaining future water supplies. Hydrologic models predict water shortages decades in the future, but conflicts have already arisen in the watershed due to either real or perceived shortages. Moreover, increased water usage since 1950 suggests resilience to presumed thresholds given a concomitant decrease in supply. Therefore modeled thresholds do not align well with historical realities. Our collaborative research couples multiscalar observations of changes in glacier volume, hydrology, and land usage with social and economic data about perceptions of and responses to environmental change. We also examine various water withdrawal mechanisms and institutions transecting the entire watershed: agriculture, land use, irrigation, hydroelectricity generation, and mining. We quantify glacier volume loss using multi-temporal surface elevation maps of selected valley glaciers based on state-of-the-art laser altimetry (LIDAR), ASTER satellite imagery and aerial photogrammetry spanning 1962 to 2008. Results show glacier surface area loss is between 30% and 86%, while measured volume loss is 2 to 12 times greater than empirically derived scaling relationships predict. Based on historical runoff and glacier data, the upper Santa River watershed is found to be on the descending limb of a conceptual multi-decadal hydrograph. The actual distribution of dry season water supply is illustrated based on a 2011 synoptic survey of Santa River discharge from the coastal effluent to headwaters. Our results suggest that critical changes in glacier volume and water supply are not perceived or acknowledged consistently

  17. Measurements of light absorbing particulates on the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, C. G.; All, J. D.; Schwarz, J. P.; Arnott, W. P.; Cole, R. J.; Lapham, E.; Celestian, A.

    2014-10-01

    Glaciers in the tropical Andes have been rapidly losing mass since the 1970s. In addition to the documented increase in air temperature, increases in light absorbing particulates deposited on glaciers could be contributing to the observed glacier loss. Here we report on measurements of light absorbing particulates sampled from glaciers during three surveys in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. During three research expeditions in the dry seasons (May-August) of 2011, 2012 and 2013, two hundred and forty snow samples were collected from fifteen mountain peaks over altitudes ranging from 4800 to nearly 6800 m. Several mountains were sampled each of the three expeditions and some mountains were sampled multiple times during the same expedition. Collected snow samples were melted and filtered in the field then later analyzed using the Light Absorption Heating Method (LAHM), a new technique that measures the ability of particulates on filters to absorb visible light. LAHM results have been calibrated using filters with known amounts of fullerene soot, a common industrial surrogate for black carbon (BC). As sample filters often contain dust in addition to BC, results are presented in terms of effective Black Carbon (eBC). During the 2013 survey, snow samples were collected and kept frozen for analysis with a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2). Calculated eBC mass from the filter analysis and the SP2 refractory Black Carbon (rBC) results were well correlated (r2 = 0.92). These results indicate that a substantial portion of the light absorbing particulates in the more polluted areas were likely BC. The three years of data show that glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains close to human population centers have substantially higher levels of eBC (as high as 70 ng g-1) than remote glaciers (as low as 2.0 ng g-1 eBC), indicating that population centers can influence local glaciers by sourcing BC.

  18. Measurements of light-absorbing particles on the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, C. G.; All, J. D.; Schwarz, J. P.; Arnott, W. P.; Cole, R. J.; Lapham, E.; Celestian, A.

    2015-02-01

    Glaciers in the tropical Andes have been rapidly losing mass since the 1970s. In addition to the documented increase in temperature, increases in light-absorbing particles deposited on glaciers could be contributing to the observed glacier loss. Here we report on measurements of light-absorbing particles sampled from glaciers during three surveys in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains in Peru. During three research expeditions in the dry seasons (May-August) of 2011, 2012 and 2013, 240 snow samples were collected from 15 mountain peaks over altitudes ranging from 4800 to nearly 6800 m. Several mountains were sampled each of the 3 years and some mountains were sampled multiple times during the same year. Collected snow samples were melted and filtered in the field then later analyzed using the Light Absorption Heating Method (LAHM), a new technique that measures the ability of particles on filters to absorb visible light. LAHM results have been calibrated using filters with known amounts of fullerene soot, a common industrial surrogate for black carbon (BC). As sample filters often contain dust in addition to BC, results are presented in terms of effective black carbon (eBC). During the 2013 survey, snow samples were collected and kept frozen for analysis with a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2). Calculated eBC mass from the LAHM analysis and the SP2 refractory black carbon (rBC) results were well correlated (r2 = 0.92). These results indicate that a substantial portion of the light-absorbing particles in the more polluted regions were likely BC. The 3 years of data show that glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains close to human population centers have substantially higher levels of eBC (as high as 70 ng g-1) than remote glaciers (as low as 2.0 ng g-1 eBC), indicating that population centers can influence local glaciers by sourcing BC.

  19. 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...

  20. 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, ...

  1. Mass budget of Queen Elizabeth Islands glaciers and ice caps, Canada, from 1992 to present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate to say that the Canadian Artic Archipelago's mass loss has increased in recent years. However the role of ice dynamics changes in this area is not well known. In this study, we present a comprehensive velocity mapping of the CAA using ALOS/PALSAR, RADARSAT-1, ERS1 and Landsat data between 1992 and 2015. Glaciers speed are calculated using a speckle and feature tracking algorithm.The results reveals that three large marine-terminating glaciers have accelerated significantly after 2010, while most others have slowed down or retreated to a sill to become similar to land-terminating glaciers. By combining the velocities of these glaciers with ice thickness measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge, we calculate their ice discharge. The fluxes of these glaciers increased significantly since 2000 with a marked increase after 2011. The comparison of ice discharge with the surface mass balance from RACMO-2, shows that these glaciers came out of balance after 2011, which is also a time period where their discharge almost doubled. The analysis of RACMO-2 reveals an increase in runoff between 1970's and today and a precipitation with no significant trend. We digitalize the calving front positions of the glaciers and show an increasing rate retreat since 1976. We conclude that global pattern of velocity changes shows that the mass losses due to surface mass balance will likely going to raise in the coming years and that ice discharge will have a smaller part in the contribution of the CAA to sea level rise.

  2. Predicting the Future Contribution of Himalayan Debris-covered Glaciers to River Discharge: Advances and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quincey, D. J.; Hubbard, B. P.; Klaar, M. J.; Miles, E.; Miles, K.; Rowan, A. V.; King, O.; Watson, C. S.

    2017-12-01

    The glaciers and snowfields of the Himalaya are the ultimate source for the many rivers that flow across the Asian subcontinent, but they are diminishing rapidly in the face of sustained climatic change. Predictions of how future river discharge may vary through space and time are hampered by two major knowledge gaps. First, simulations of glacier mass loss in high Asia are severely limited by data availability and assumptions made in the parameterisation of glacier models. Consequently, projections of glacier change vary widely; in Nepal for example, recent estimates of volumetric ice loss by AD2100 have ranged between 8% and 99%. A second major gap in knowledge lies in the coupling between glaciers and downstream areas, and specifically in quantifying the relative contributions of different sources to river flow. Although it is clear that ice and snow melt dominates flow for considerable distances downstream, how this contribution interacts with groundwater supplies with increasing distance from its source remains poorly understood. This presentation will review recent work that closes some of the knowledge gaps in understanding debris-covered glacier behaviour including new results from drilling work on the Khumbu Glacier in Nepal. Additionally, it will report on the outputs from an interdisciplinary study in the Annapurna region of Nepal, which is focussing specifically on disaggregating the relative contributions to flow using isotope-based hydrograph separations. It will finish by exploring the most likely drivers of future changes to water supply, including an evaluation of the impact of glacial lake development, and by identifying the main challenges for future related research.

  3. Dissolved trace and minor elements in cryoconite holes and supraglacial streams, Canada Glacier, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortner, Sarah K.; Lyons, W. Berry

    2018-04-01

    Here we present a synthesis of the trace element chemistry in melt on the surface Canada Glacier, Taylor Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica ( 78°S). The MDV is largely ice-free. Low accumulation rates, strong winds, and proximity to the valley floor make these glaciers dusty in comparison to their inland counterparts. This study examines both supraglacial melt streams and cryoconite holes. Supraglacial streams on the lower Canada Glacier have median dissolved (<0.4 µm) concentrations of Fe, Mn, As, Cu, and V of 71.5, 75.5, 3.7, 4.6, and 4.3 nM. All dissolved Cd concentrations and the vast majority of Pb values are below our analytical detection (i.e. 0.4 and 0.06 nM). Chemical behavior did not follow similar trends for eastern and western draining waters. Heterogeneity likely reflects distinctions eolian deposition, rock:water ratios, and hydrologic connectivity. Future increases in wind-delivered sediment will likely drive dynamic responses in melt chemistry. For elements above detection limits, dissolved concentrations in glacier surface melt are within an order of magnitude of concentrations observed in proglacial streams (i.e. flowing on the valley floor). This suggests that glacier surfaces are an important source of downstream chemistry. The Fe enrichment of cryoconite water relative to N, P, or Si exceeds enrichment observed in marine phytoplankton. This suggests that the glacier surface is an important source of Fe to downstream ecosystems.

  4. 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.

  5. Spatial variations and sources of trace elements in recent snow from glaciers at the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ju; Li, Yuefang; Li, Zhen; Xiong, Longfei

    2018-03-01

    Trace elements (TEs) could pose a potential threat to the environment and human health and hence they have been paid attention increasingly at present. This study presents the acid-leached concentrations of TEs (e.g., Al, As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Pb, Rb, Sb, Sr, Ti, Tl, U, V) and dust content sampled from Qiumianleike (QMLK), Meikuang (MK), Yuzhufeng (YZF), Xiaodongkemadi (XDKMD), Gurenhekou (GRHK) glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from April to May in 2013. A nonparametric Jonckheere-Terpstra Method was used to test the trend of spatial distribution of TEs. The statistical analysis indicates that TEs were the highest in the QMLK glacier, lowest in the YZF glacier, and comparable in the other three glaciers. Comparison with other glaciers of the plateau, the statistical analysis on As, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Sb shows that their concentrations had, in general, a decreasing distribution characteristic from the north to the south of TP, which indicates that the northern TP is loading more atmospheric-polluted impurity than central and southern TP. Enrichment factor (EF) analysis indicates that Rb, V, U, Cr, Ba, Cs, Li, As, Co, Mn, Tl, Sr, and Cu originated mainly from crustal dust, while anthropogenic inputs such as nonferrous metals melting, coal combustion, and traffic emission made an important contribution to the Mo, Pb, and Sb. Evidences from air mass back trajectories show that TEs in the five studied glaciers might not only come from surrounding areas of glaciers but also might be long-range transported by atmosphere from the Central Asia and South Asia and deposited on these glaciers.

  6. Application of electrical tomography to study the internal structure of rock glaciers in Altai

    OpenAIRE

    G. S. Dyakova; V. V. Olenchenko; O. V. Ostanin

    2017-01-01

    Internal structure of rock glaciers was investigated at two key sites in Altai by means of electric tomography. It had been found that the rock glaciers of the same type, located at different altitude levels, differ in electric resistances of ice nuclei and the degree of consolidation of the ice material inside of them. Typical characteristics of the ice core of a rock glacier in the high-mountain area are the following: electrical resistivity is about 1000–2000 kOhm∙m and a high degree of th...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Magnetometric investigation of glaciers Southern and Northern Inylchek adjacent to the Merzbacher Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А. Shakirov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Results of areal magnetometric investigation of glaciers South and North Enilchek located in the vicinity of the Merzbaher Lake are presented. These stud- ies resulted in finding of the bow-shaped rock bar (riegel under the South Enilchek Glacier that became one of causes to turn its right flows toward the Merz- bacher Lake. Under the North Enilchek glacier the horseshoe-shaped riegel ledge was also detected, and that one created a barrier to accumulation of bottom sediments and, thus, formed a distinctive soil alluvial dam, which promoted formation of rather wide interface between upper and lower parts of the Merz- bacher Lake. 

  11. Human activities and its Responses to Glacier Melt Water Over Tarim River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hai; Zhou, Shenbei; Bai, Minghao

    2017-04-01

    Tarim River Basin lies in the south area of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the north-west area of China. It is the longest inland river of China. Being far away from ocean and embraced by high mountains, Tarim River Basin is the typical arid region in the world. The intensity of human activities increased rapidly in Tarim River Basin since 1980's and water resources lacking is the major issue restricting the development of social economy. The glacier melt water plays an important role for the regional social and economic development, and it accounts for 40% of mountain-pass runoff. It is a fragile mutual-dependent relationship between local sustainable development and runoff. Under the background of global change glacier melt water process has also changed especially in the arid and semi-arid region. Due to climate change, glacier in Tarim River Basin has melted in an observed way since 1980s, together with increasing trend of annual rainfall and virgin flow in mountain basins. Correspondingly, human activity gets more frequent since 1970s, resulting into the obvious fragile mutual-dependent relationship between basin runoff and water use amount. Through an analysis of meteorological, hydrological and geographical observation data from 1985 to 2015, this thesis make a multi-factor variance analysis of population, cultivation area, industrial development and runoff in upstream and mid-stream of Tarim River under changing conditions. Furthermore, the regulation function of natural factors and water demand management factors on relationship between runoff and water using amount are discussed, including temperature, rainfall, and evaporation, water conservation technology and soil-water exploitation administrative institutions. It concludes that: first, increase in glacier runoff, rainfall amount, and virgin flow haven't notably relieved ecological issue in Tarim River Basin, and even has promoted water use behaviour in different flowing areas and noticeably reduced

  12. Glacier mass balance in high-arctic areas with anomalous gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharov, A.; Rieser, D.; Nikolskiy, D.

    2012-04-01

    All known glaciological models describing the evolution of Arctic land- and sea-ice masses in changing climate treat the Earth's gravity as horizontally constant, but it isn't. In the High Arctic, the strength of the gravitational field varies considerably across even short distances under the influence of a density gradient, and the magnitude of free air gravity anomalies attains 100 mGal and more. On long-term base, instantaneous deviations of gravity can have a noticeable effect on the regime and mass budget of glaciological objects. At best, the gravity-induced component of ice mass variations can be determined on topographically smooth, open and steady surfaces, like those of arctic planes, regular ice caps and landfast sea ice. The present research is devoted to studying gravity-driven impacts on glacier mass balance in the outer periphery of four Eurasian shelf seas with a very cold, dry climate and rather episodic character of winter precipitation. As main study objects we had chosen a dozen Russia's northernmost insular ice caps, tens to hundreds of square kilometres in extent, situated in a close vicinity of strong gravity anomalies and surrounded with extensive fields of fast and/or drift ice for most of the year. The supposition about gravitational forcing on glacioclimatic settings in the study region is based on the results of quantitative comparison and joint interpretation of existing glacier change maps and available data on the Arctic gravity field and solid precipitation. The overall mapping of medium-term (from decadal to half-centennial) changes in glacier volumes and quantification of mass balance characteristics in the study region was performed by comparing reference elevation models of study glaciers derived from Russian topographic maps 1:200,000 (CI = 20 or 40 m) representing the glacier state as in the 1950s-1980s with modern elevation data obtained from satellite radar interferometry and lidar altimetry. Free-air gravity anomalies were

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Can we use ice calving on glacier fronts as a proxy for rock slope failures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abellan, Antonio; Penna, Ivanna; Daicz, Sergio; Carrea, Dario; Derron, Marc-Henri; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Riquelme, Adrian; Tomas, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Ice failures on glacier terminus show very similar fingerprints to rock-slope failure (RSF) processes, nevertheless, the investigation of gravity-driven instabilities that shape rock cliffs and glacier's fronts are currently dissociated research topics. Since both materials (ice and rocks) have very different rheological properties, the development of a progressive failure on mountain cliffs occurs at a much slower rate than that observed on glacier fronts, which leads the latter a good proxy for investigating RSF. We utilized a terrestrial Laser Scanner (Ilris-LR system from Optech) for acquiring successive 3D point clouds of one of the most impressive calving glacier fronts, the Perito Moreno glacier located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields (Argentina). We scanned the glacier terminus during five days (from 10th to 14th of March 2014) with very high accuracy (0.7cm standard deviation of the error at 100m) and a high density of information (200 points per square meter). Each data series was acquired at a mean interval of 20 minutes. The maximum attainable range for the utilized wavelength of the Ilris-LR system (1064 nm) was around 500 meters over massive ice (showing no-significant loss of information), being this distance considerably reduced on crystalline or wet ice short after the occurrence of calving events. As for the data treatment, we have adapted our innovative algorithms originally developed for the investigation of both precursory deformation and rockfalls to study calving events. By comparing successive three-dimensional datasets, we have investigated not only the magnitude and frequency of several ice failures at the glacier's terminus (ranging from one to thousands of cubic meters), but also the characteristic geometrical features of each failure. In addition, we were able to quantify a growing strain rate on several areas of the glacier's terminus shortly after their final collapse. For instance, we investigated the spatial extent of the

  16. Evacuation by sedimentary processes of fluvioglaciais glacier meltwater channels in Wanda, King George Island, Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Da Rosa, K.; Vieira, R.; Velho, L.; Hammes, D.; Marquetto, L.; Lopes Simões, F.; Cardia Simões, J.

    2010-01-01

    Full text: Wanda Glacier is located on the western shore of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula . The glacier is characterized by the current land base and communicates with the Admiralty Bay through a proglacial lagoon, a result of the downturn in decades process. This generates glacier meltwater streams flowing through channels proglaciais falling on proglacial lagoon or directly on the bay, contributing suspended particulate matter into the bay .This paper presents preliminary results of field activities conducted in the glacier Wanda Operantar XXVIII, during the summer of 2009/10 . Investigates the influence of basal meltwater through fluvioglaciais channels and variability in suspended sediment evacuation by means of these, relating to the concentration of suspended particulate matter in the Bay, particularly in the cove Martel . Data were obtained through measurements of desgarga and the concentration of suspended material in the proglaciais defrost from the baseline flow of glacier water channels . Additionally, meteorological data such as rainfall, were associated with variations in the concentration of suspended sediment during the period . Was also made ​​in support of field mapping of meltwater channels

  17. Present-day and future contributions of glacier runoff to summertime flows in a Pacific Northwest watershed: implications for water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne W. Nolin; Jeff Phillippe; Anne Jefferson; Sarah L. Lewis

    2010-01-01

    While the impacts of long-term climate change trends on glacier hydrology have received much attention, little has been done to quantify direct glacier runoff contributions to streamflow. This paper presents an approach for determining glacier runoff contributions to streamflow and estimating the effects of increased temperature and decreased glacier area on future...

  18. 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.

  19. Monitoring Glacier Changes of Recent 50 Years in the Upper Reaches of Heihe River Basin Based on Remotely-Sensed Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiang, Bie; Lei, He; Chuan-yan, Zhao

    2014-01-01

    The upper reach of the Heihe River Basin was selected as the study area. The distribution data of glaciers in the study area has been automatically derived from topographic maps made in 1960 and from Landsat TM images in 1990, 2000 and 2010 by object-oriented image interpretation method combined with expert knowledge rules. Spatial-temporal variations of glaciers were analyzed with GIS technology. Results show that glaciers have shrunk significantly by 138.90 km 2 during the period from 1960 to 2010. Compared with the data of 1960, 35.6% of glaciers have been retreating and the calculated average rate of glaciers retreating is 2.78 km 2 every year since 1960. The glacial retreating has been most significant if the glaciers have lower-elevation ablation areas and low-elevation accumulation areas. The temperature rising is the key factor of glacier retreating

  20. Glaciers bring more precipitation over south slope of the Himalayas and less moisture to the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, K.; Lin, C.; Chen, D.

    2017-12-01

    Due to the warming climate, significant retreat of glaciers in the Himalayan region is observed. Thus, it is crucial to understand whether and how the glaciers impact (feedback to) regional climate. Due to lack of observational data, most processes with glaciers are however not well documented. For instance, convergence takes place when summertime upslope flows of warm and moist air masses meet cool and dry katabatic winds over a glacier slope, which may induce local convections and precipitations. This work intends to test this hypothesis according to an experiment conducted with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model focusing on the Himalayan region. Three cases are designed for the experiment: a) a normal run as the control case; b) a sensitive run with land use ice/snow replaced by bare ground tundra and the maximum snow albedo set to 0.25; and c) a sensitive run with land use ice/snow replaced by bare ground tundra and no new snowing. According to differences between the control case and both the two sensitive cases, here we found that glaciers overall leads to less precipitation over glacier-covered areas and north of the Himalayas, which can be attributed to the suppressing of cooling glacier surfaces to upslope moist flows. By contrast, a zone of extra more precipitation (that can be up to 200 mm for JJA) is clearly found over the south slope of the Himalayas at elevation of 4-5 km where it meets the glacier terminus, accompanied with the convergence of upslope air masses and katabatic winds. Case b) reflects a smaller such effect when compared to case c), possibly because it takes a portion of energy for ice/snow melting. When it comes to impacts on water vapor transport, glaciers will result approximately 2% less moisture flowing into the Tibetan Plateau.

  1. Photogrammetric Methodology for the Production of Geomorphologic Maps: Application to the Veleta Rock Glacier (Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Jesús Guerrero

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present a stereo feature-based method using SIFT (Scale-invariant feature transform descriptors. We use automatic feature extractors, matching algorithms between images and techniques of robust estimation to produce a DTM (Digital Terrain Model using convergent shots of a rock glacier.The geomorphologic structure observed in this study is the Veleta rock glacier (Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain. This rock glacier is of high scientific interest because it is the southernmost active rock glacier in Europe and it has been analyzed every year since 2001. The research on the Veleta rock glacier is devoted to the study of its displacement and cartography through geodetic and photogrammetric techniques.

  2. 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

  3. Surface Elevation Change of Transantarctic Outlet Glaciers using Historical Aerial Imagery and Structure-from-Motion Photogrammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, S. F.; Stearns, L. A.; Girod, L.

    2017-12-01

    Transantarctic Mountain outlet glaciers drain ice from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to the Ross Ice Shelf and are generally considered to be stable. However, studies that assess these glaciers typically use data with coarse spatial resolutions (1 - 20 km) and span only the last 15 - 20 years. Here, we use trimetrogon aerial (TMA) photographs collected by the United States Geological Survey from 1960 - 1965 to create historical surface elevation maps. We construct elevations from both the vertical (0° nadir) and oblique photographs using MicMac, a Structure-from-Motion (SfM) software. With typical SfM processing, accurate ground control points (GCPs) are necessary for the best results; however, in situ GCPs are extremely sparse in Antarctica, so we manually identify GCPs using exposed rock outcrops in the WorldView imagery. The historical glacier surface elevations are then compared with present-day elevations derived from WorldView imagery. With this methodology, we assess how Transantarctic outlet glaciers have changed over 55 years. Recent studies indicate thinning of the eastern Ross Ice Shelf, where it borders the Transantarctic Mountains. With long-term records of glacier elevation change, we can differentiate whether ice shelf thinning is driven by changes in glacier or ocean dynamics. These results give us a better understanding of the long-term stability of East Antarctic outlet glaciers, which is essential in improving predictive models of ice sheet behavior.

  4. Glacier extent in sub-Antarctic Kerguelen archipelago from MIS 3 period: Evidence from 36Cl dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jomelli, Vincent; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Favier, Vincent; Mokadem, Fatima; Landais, Amaelle; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Brunstein, Daniel; Verfaillie, Deborah; Legentil, Claude; Aumaitre, Georges; Bourlès, Didier L.; Keddadouche, Karim

    2018-03-01

    Documenting sub-Antarctic glacier variations during the local last glacial maximum is of major interest to better understand their sensitivity to atmospheric and oceanic temperature changes in conjunction with Antarctic ice sheet changes. However, data are sparse because evidence of earlier glacier extents is for most sub-Antarctic islands located offshore making their observation complex. Here, we present 22 cosmogenic 36Cl surface exposure ages obtained from five sites at Kerguelen to document the glacial history. The 36Cl ages from roche moutonnee surfaces, erratics and boulders collected on moraines span from 41.9 ± 4.4 ka to 14.3 ± 1.1 ka. Ice began to retreat on the eastern part of the main island before 41.4 ± 4.4 ka. Slow deglaciation occurred from ∼41 to ∼29 ka. There is no evidence of advances between 29 ka and the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) period (∼14.5-12.9 ka) period. During the ACR, however, the Bontemps and possibly Belvedere moraines were formed by the advance of a Cook Ice Cap outlet glacier and a local glacier on the Presque Ile Jeanne d'Arc, respectively. This glacier evolution differs partly from that of glaciers in New Zealand and in Patagonia. These asynchronous glacier changes in the sub-Antarctic region are however in agreement with sea surface temperature changes recorded around Antarctica, which suggest differences in the climate evolution of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic sectors of Antarctica.

  5. Assessment of evolution and risks of glacier lake outbursts in the Djungarskiy Alatau, Central Asia, using Landsat imagery and glacier bed topography modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Kapitsa

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the abundance and area of mountain lakes in the Djungarskiy (Jetysu Alatau between 2002 and 2014 were investigated using Landsat imagery. The number of lakes increased by 6.2 % from 599 to 636 with a growth rate of 0.51 % a−1. The combined areas were 16.26 ± 0.85 to 17.35 ± 0.92 km2 respectively and the overall change was within the uncertainty of measurements. Fifty lakes, whose potential outburst can damage existing infrastructure, were identified. The glacier bed topography version 2 (GlabTop2 model was applied to simulate ice thickness and subglacial topography using glacier outlines for 2000 and SRTM DEM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission digital elevation model as input data achieving realistic patterns of ice thickness. A total of 513 overdeepenings in the modelled glacier beds, presenting potential sites for the development of lakes, were identified with a combined area of 14.7 km2. Morphometric parameters of the modelled overdeepenings were close to those of the existing lakes. A comparison of locations of the overdeepenings and newly formed lakes in the areas de-glacierized in 2000–2014 showed that 67 % of the lakes developed at the sites of the overdeepenings. The rates of increase in areas of new lakes correlated with areas of modelled overdeepenings. Locations where hazardous lakes may develop in the future were identified. The GlabTop2 approach is shown to be a useful tool in hazard management providing data on the potential evolution of future lakes.

  6. Accurate Determination of Glacier Surface Velocity Fields with a DEM-Assisted Pixel-Tracking Technique from SAR Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiyong Yan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available We obtained accurate, detailed motion distribution of glaciers in Central Asia by applying digital elevation model (DEM assisted pixel-tracking method to L-band synthetic aperture radar imagery. The paper firstly introduces and analyzes each component of the offset field briefly, and then describes the method used to efficiently and precisely compensate the topography-related offset caused by the large spatial baseline and rugged terrain with the help of DEM. The results indicate that the rugged topography not only forms the complex shapes of glaciers, but also affects the glacier velocity estimation, especially with large spatial baseline. The maximum velocity, 0.85 m∙d−1, was observed in the middle part on the Fedchenko Glacier, which is the world’s longest mountain glacier. The motion fluctuation on its main trunk is apparently influenced by mass flowing in from tributaries, as well as angles between tributaries and the main stream. The approach presented in this paper was proved to be highly appropriate for monitoring glacier motion and will provide valuable sensitive indicators of current and future climate change for environmental analysis.

  7. Mass balance and surface velocity reconstructions of two reference Caucasus glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybak, Oleg; Kaminskaia, Mariia; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Lavrentiev, Ivan; Morozova, Polina; Popovnin, Victor; Rybak, Elena

    2016-04-01

    Total glacial volume of the Greater Caucasus exceeds 40 cubic km and its area exceeds 1 thousand square km. During the 20th century, mountain glaciers at the Greater Caucasus were continuously degrading. According to various estimates, their area reduced more than one-third and their volume almost by half. The process of degradation was accompanied by growing population and economical development on surrounding territories. In the 21st century under proceeding global warming, a tendency of shrinking of area and volume of glaciation is obviously expected to continue. Working out of strategy of sustainable economic development of the region is the main motivation for elaboration of predictions of glaciers' evolution in the changing environment. Growing demand of fresh water is the basic challenge for the local economy, and efficient planning of water resources is impossible without knowing future state of glaciation. Therefore our research aims at obtaining accurate evaluation of probable future change of the most prominent mountain glaciers of the Greater Caucasus in forthcoming decades and at studying impacts of changing characteristics of glaciation on the run-off in the area. Initially, we focus on two so-called reference glaciers - Marukh (Western Caucasus) and Djankuat (Central Caucasus). Intensive field observations on both of them have been conducted during the last half of the century and essential amount of detailed relevant information has been collected on their geometry change and on mass balance. Besides, meteorological measurements were episodically carried out directly on the glaciers providing enough data for correlation of the local weather conditions with the data from the closest meteorological stations. That is why studying of response of Marukh and Djankuat on the environmental change can be accurately verified, which is crucial for understanding mechanisms driving evolution of large glaciated area in the Caucasus. As the instrument of research

  8. 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

  9. 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