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Sample records for glacier kongsvegen svalbard

  1. 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...

  2. Determination of black carbon and nanoparticles along glaciers in the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) region exploiting a mobile platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spolaor, Andrea; Barbaro, Elena; Mazzola, Mauro; Viola, Angelo P.; Lisok, Justyna; Obleitner, Friedrich; Markowicz, Krzysztof M.; Cappelletti, David

    2017-12-01

    An innovative approach to characterize concentration of atmospheric aerosol particles and air mass layering along the elevation profile of glaciers is presented for the first time and validated, exploiting low weight and fast response sensors deployed on a snowmobile. Two micro-Aethalometers for black carbon measurements and a miniature Diffusion Size Classifier (miniDisc) for total aerosol concentration (airborne particles) in the 14-260 nm range were used. Test experiments were conducted in the Arctic (Svalbard) in Spring (2016). Three glaciers in the Spitsbergen region were considered for this exploratory study, the Austre Brøggerbreen, the Edithbreen and the Kongsvegen. The Austre Brøggerbreen and Edithbreen were considered as test sites to setup the experiment, to optimize the sampling strategy and to identify some basic experimental artefacts. Kongsvegen glacier was chosen for the main case study, extending from the Kongsfjorden coast to roughly 700 m above sea level for a total length of ca. 25 km and with a nearly constant elevation gradient. The obtained results were rather consistent for the three glaciers and show an increase of nanoparticles with altitude. Black carbon concentration show stationary to decreasing trends going from the bottom to the top of the glaciers. These observations indicate a very active secondary aerosol formation at the highest elevations, responsible for the increase concentration of ultrafine particles at the glacier top. On the other side, black carbon shows higher levels at the lower altitudes of the glacier. This is indicative that in absence of a long-range transport as demonstrated by calculated back trajectories, black carbon might have accumulated due to the effect of katabatic winds flow along the glacier profile. The results obtained were compared and are largely consistent with the observations from concurrent soundings with a tethered balloon experiment conducted in the nearby site of Ny-Ålesund. The proposed

  3. Spatial mapping of multi-year superimposed ice on the glacier Kongsvegen, Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Ola; Kohler, Jack; Lüthje, Mikael

    2008-01-01

    by GPR. Using the SI spatial depth distribution, we estimate the mean annual accumulation of superimposed ice to be 0.16 +/- 0.06 mw.e.a(-1) (locally up to 0.43 ma(-1) w.e.). This corresponds to similar to 15-33% of the local winter balance and similar to 5-10% of the total winter balance measured since...

  4. Modelling the dynamics and boundary processes of Svalbard glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Pelt, W.J.J.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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)

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

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    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.

  7. Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high-Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vonnahme, T.R.; Devetter, Miloslav; Žárský, J.D.; Šabacká, M.; Elster, Josef

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 3 (2016), s. 659-674 ISSN 1726-4170 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : microalgal communities * cryoconite holes * high-Arctic glaciers * Svalbard Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.851, year: 2016

  8. Regional passive seismic monitoring reveals dynamic glacier activity on Spitsbergen, Svalbard

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    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.

  9. 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

  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. Rock avalanche and rock glacier: A compound landform study from Hornsund, Svalbard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartvich, Filip; Blahůt, Jan; Stemberk, Josef

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 276, JAN 1 (2017), s. 244-256 ISSN 0169-555X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015079; GA MŠk(CZ) LG15007 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : ERT * TLS (LiDAR) * lichenometry * morphometry * rock avalanche * rock glacier * Schmidt hammer * Svalbard * Hornsund Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 2.958, year: 2016

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Diagnosing the decline in climatic mass balance of glaciers in Svalbard over 1957-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ims Østby, Torbjørn; Vikhamar Schuler, Thomas; Ove Hagen, Jon; Hock, Regine; Kohler, Jack; Reijmer, Carleen H.

    2017-01-01

    Estimating the long-term mass balance of the high-Arctic Svalbard archipelago is difficult due to the incomplete geodetic and direct glaciological measurements, both in space and time. To close these gaps, we use a coupled surface energy balance and snow pack model to analyse the mass changes of all Svalbard glaciers for the period 1957-2014. The model is forced by ERA-40 and ERA-Interim reanalysis data, downscaled to 1 km resolution. The model is validated using snow/firn temperature and density measurements, mass balance from stakes and ice cores, meteorological measurements, snow depths from radar profiles and remotely sensed surface albedo and skin temperatures. Overall model performance is good, but it varies regionally. Over the entire period the model yields a climatic mass balance of 8.2 cm w. e. yr-1, which corresponds to a mass input of 175 Gt. Climatic mass balance has a linear trend of -1.4 ± 0.4 cm w. e. yr-2 with a shift from a positive to a negative regime around 1980. Modelled mass balance exhibits large interannual variability, which is controlled by summer temperatures and further amplified by the albedo feedback. For the recent period 2004-2013 climatic mass balance was -21 cm w. e. yr-1, and accounting for frontal ablation estimated by Błaszczyk et al.(2009) yields a total Svalbard mass balance of -39 cm w. e. yr-1 for this 10-year period. In terms of eustatic sea level, this corresponds to a rise of 0.037 mm yr-1. Refreezing of water in snow and firn is substantial at 22 cm w. e. yr-1 or 26 % of total annual accumulation. However, as warming leads to reduced firn area over the period, refreezing decreases both absolutely and relative to the total accumulation. Negative mass balance and elevated equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) resulted in massive reduction of the thick (> 2 m) firn extent and an increase in the superimposed ice, thin (ice extents. Atmospheric warming also leads to a marked change in the thermal regime, with cooling of the

  15. The changing impact of snow conditions and refreezing on the mass balance of an idealized Svalbard glacier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Van Pelt

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Glacier surface melt and runoff depend strongly on seasonal and perennial snow (firn conditions. Not only does the presence of snow and firn directly affect melt rates by reflecting solar radiation, it may also act as a buffer against mass loss by storing melt water in refrozen or liquid form. In Svalbard, ongoing and projected amplified climate change with respect to the global mean change has severe implications for the state of snow and firn and its impact on glacier mass loss. Model experiments with a coupled surface energy balance - firn model were done to investigate the surface mass balance and the changing role of snow and firn conditions for an idealized Svalbard glacier. A climate forcing for the past, present and future (1984-2104 is constructed, based on observational data from Svalbard Airport and a seasonally dependent projection scenario. Results illustrate ongoing and future firn degradation in response to an elevational retreat of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA of 31 m decade−1. The temperate firn zone is found to retreat and expand, while cold ice in the ablation zone warms considerably. In response to pronounced winter warming and an associated increase in winter rainfall, the current prevalence of refreezing during the melt season gradually shifts to the winter season in a future climate. Sensitivity tests reveal that in a present and future climate the density and thermodynamic structure of Svalbard glaciers are heavily influenced by refreezing. Refreezing acts as a net buffer against mass loss. However, the net mass balance change after refreezing is substantially smaller than the amount of refreezing itself, which can be ascribed to melt-enhancing effects after refreezing, which partly offset the primary mass-retaining effect of refreezing.

  16. Glacier inputs influence organic matter composition and prokaryotic distribution in a high Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)

    KAUST Repository

    Bourgeois, Solveig

    2016-08-23

    With climate change, the strong seasonality and tight pelagic-benthic coupling in the Arctic is expected to change in the next few decades. It is currently unclear how the benthos will be affected by changes of environmental conditions such as supplies of organic matter (OM) from the water column. In the last decade, Kongsfjorden (79°N), a high Arctic fjord in Svalbard influenced by several glaciers and Atlantic water inflow, has been a site of great interest owing to its high sensitivity to climate change, evidenced by a reduction in ice cover and an increase in melting freshwater. To investigate how spatial and seasonal changes in vertical fluxes can impact the benthic compartment of Kongsfjorden, we studied the organic matter characteristics (in terms of quantity and quality) and prokaryotic distribution in sediments from 3 stations along a transect extending from the glacier into the outer fjord in 4 different seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) in 2012–2013. The biochemical parameters used to describe the sedimentary organic matter were organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen, bulk stable isotope ratios, pigments (chorophyll-a and phaeopigments) and biopolymeric carbon (BPC), which is the sum of the main macromolecules, i.e. lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Prokaryotic abundance and distribution were estimated by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. This study identifies a well-marked quantitative gradient of biogenic compounds throughout all seasons and also highlights a discrepancy between the quantity and quality of sedimentary organic matter within the fjord. The sediments near the glacier were organic-poor (< 0.3%OC), however the high primary productivity in the water column displayed during spring was reflected in summer sediments, and exhibited higher freshness of material at the inner station compared to the outer basin (means C-chlorophyll-a/OC ~ 5 and 1.5%, respectively). However, sediments at the glacier front were depleted

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  18. Large cryoconite aggregates on a Svalbard glacier support a diverse microbial community including ammonia-oxidizing archaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarsky, Jakub D.; Stibal, Marek; Hodson, Andy; Sattler, Birgit; Schostag, Morten; Hansen, Lars H.; Jacobsen, Carsten S.; Psenner, Roland

    2013-09-01

    The aggregation of surface debris particles on melting glaciers into larger units (cryoconite) provides microenvironments for various microorganisms and metabolic processes. Here we investigate the microbial community on the surface of Aldegondabreen, a valley glacier in Svalbard which is supplied with carbon and nutrients from different sources across its surface, including colonies of seabirds. We used a combination of geochemical analysis (of surface debris, ice and meltwater), quantitative polymerase chain reactions (targeting the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and amoA genes), pyrosequencing and multivariate statistical analysis to suggest possible factors driving the ecology of prokaryotic microbes on the surface of Aldegondabreen and their potential role in nitrogen cycling. The combination of high nutrient input with subsidy from the bird colonies, supraglacial meltwater flow and the presence of fine, clay-like particles supports the formation of centimetre-scale cryoconite aggregates in some areas of the glacier surface. We show that a diverse microbial community is present, dominated by the cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria, that are well-known in supraglacial environments. Importantly, ammonia-oxidizing archaea were detected in the aggregates for the first time on an Arctic glacier.

  19. Large cryoconite aggregates on a Svalbard glacier support a diverse microbial community including ammonia-oxidizing archaea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zarsky, Jakub D; Sattler, Birgit; Psenner, Roland; Stibal, Marek; Schostag, Morten; Jacobsen, Carsten S; Hodson, Andy; Hansen, Lars H

    2013-01-01

    The aggregation of surface debris particles on melting glaciers into larger units (cryoconite) provides microenvironments for various microorganisms and metabolic processes. Here we investigate the microbial community on the surface of Aldegondabreen, a valley glacier in Svalbard which is supplied with carbon and nutrients from different sources across its surface, including colonies of seabirds. We used a combination of geochemical analysis (of surface debris, ice and meltwater), quantitative polymerase chain reactions (targeting the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and amoA genes), pyrosequencing and multivariate statistical analysis to suggest possible factors driving the ecology of prokaryotic microbes on the surface of Aldegondabreen and their potential role in nitrogen cycling. The combination of high nutrient input with subsidy from the bird colonies, supraglacial meltwater flow and the presence of fine, clay-like particles supports the formation of centimetre-scale cryoconite aggregates in some areas of the glacier surface. We show that a diverse microbial community is present, dominated by the cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria, that are well-known in supraglacial environments. Importantly, ammonia-oxidizing archaea were detected in the aggregates for the first time on an Arctic glacier. (letter)

  20. Large cryoconite aggregates on a Svalbard glacier support a diverse microbial community including ammonia-oxidizing archaea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zarsky, Jakub D; Sattler, Birgit; Psenner, Roland [Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck (Austria); Stibal, Marek; Schostag, Morten; Jacobsen, Carsten S [Department of Geochemistry, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen (Denmark); Hodson, Andy [Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield (United Kingdom); Hansen, Lars H, E-mail: j.zarsky@gmail.com [Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2013-09-15

    The aggregation of surface debris particles on melting glaciers into larger units (cryoconite) provides microenvironments for various microorganisms and metabolic processes. Here we investigate the microbial community on the surface of Aldegondabreen, a valley glacier in Svalbard which is supplied with carbon and nutrients from different sources across its surface, including colonies of seabirds. We used a combination of geochemical analysis (of surface debris, ice and meltwater), quantitative polymerase chain reactions (targeting the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and amoA genes), pyrosequencing and multivariate statistical analysis to suggest possible factors driving the ecology of prokaryotic microbes on the surface of Aldegondabreen and their potential role in nitrogen cycling. The combination of high nutrient input with subsidy from the bird colonies, supraglacial meltwater flow and the presence of fine, clay-like particles supports the formation of centimetre-scale cryoconite aggregates in some areas of the glacier surface. We show that a diverse microbial community is present, dominated by the cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria, that are well-known in supraglacial environments. Importantly, ammonia-oxidizing archaea were detected in the aggregates for the first time on an Arctic glacier. (letter)

  1. Assessment of interannual variations in the surface mass balance of 18 Svalbard glaciers from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer/Terra albedo product

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Greuell, W.; Kohler, J.; Obleitner, F.; Glowacki, P.; Melvold, K.; Bernsen, E.; Oerlemans, J.

    2007-01-01

    We estimate annual anomalies of the surface mass balance of glaciers on Svalbard for the period 2000–2005 (six years), by calculating the so-called ‘‘satellite-derived mass balance’’ (Bsat) from time series of satellite-derived surface albedos. The method needs no other input variables. Surface

  2. Microbial communities on glacier surfaces in Svalbard: the impact of physical and chemical properties on abundance and structure of cyanobacteria and algae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stibal, Marek; Šabacká, Marie; Kaštovská, Klára

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2006), s. 644-654 ISSN 0095-3628 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB6005409 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : Microbial community * Svalbard * glacier surface Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.332, year: 2006

  3. Diagnosing the decline in climatic mass balance of glaciers in Svalbard over 1957–2014

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Østby, T.I.; Schuler, T.V.; Hagen, J.O.; Hock, Regine; Kohler, J.; Reijmer, C.H.

    2017-01-01

    Estimating the long-term mass balance of the high-Arctic Svalbard archipelago is difficult due to the incomplete geodetic and direct glaciological measurements, both in space and time. To close these gaps, we use a coupled surface energy balance and snow pack model to analyse the mass changes of all

  4. Adjustment of regional climate model output for modeling the climatic mass balance of all glaciers on Svalbard.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Möller, M.; Obleitner, F.; Reijmer, C.H.; Pohjola, V.A.; Glowacki, P.; Kohler, J.

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale modeling of glacier mass balance relies often on the output from regional climate models (RCMs). However, the limited accuracy and spatial resolution of RCM output pose limitations on mass balance simulations at subregional or local scales. Moreover, RCM output is still rarely available

  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. Soil microbial succession along a chronosequence on a High Arctic glacier foreland, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard: 10 years' change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshitake, Shinpei; Uchida, Masaki; Iimura, Yasuo; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki

    2018-06-01

    Rapid glacial retreat in the High Arctic causes the expansion of new habitats, but the successional trajectories of soil microbial communities are not fully understood. We examined microbial succession along a chronosequence twice with a 10-year interval in a High Arctic glacier foreland. Soil samples were collected from five study sites with different ages and phospholipid fatty acids analysis was conducted to investigate the microbial biomass and community structure. Microbial biomass did not differ significantly between the two sampling times but tended to increase with the chronosequence and showed a significant correlation with soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content. Microbial community structure clearly differed along the chronosequence and was correlated with C and N content. The largest shift in community structure over 10 years was observed in the newly exposed sites after deglaciation. The accumulation of soil organic matter was regarded as an important determinant both of microbial biomass and community structure over the successional period. In contrast, the initial microbial community on the newly exposed soil changed rapidly even in the High Arctic, suggesting that some key soil processes such as C and N cycling can also shift within the relatively short period after rapid glacial retreat.

  7. Estimation of the annual primary production of the lichen Cetrariella delisei in a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

    OpenAIRE

    Uchida, Masaki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2006-01-01

    The fruticose lichen Cetrariella delisei is among the dominant lichen species in the deglaciated High Arctic areas of Svalbard. As part of a study of carbon cycling in the High Arctic, we aimed to estimate the primary production of lichen in a deglaciated area in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79° N), by examining the effects of abiotic factors on the net photosynthesis (Pn) and dark respiration (R) rates of C. delisei. Experiments were conducted in the snow-free season of 2000 using an open-fl ow gas...

  8. Wind Climate in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, and Attribution of Leading Wind Driving Mechanisms through Turbulence-Resolving Simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Esau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents analysis of wind climate of the Kongsfjorden-Kongsvegen valley, Svalbard. The Kongsfjorden-Kongsvegen valley is relatively densely covered with meteorological observations, which facilitate joint statistical analysis of the turbulent surface layer structure and the structure of the higher atmospheric layers. Wind direction diagrams reveal strong wind channeled in the surface layer up to 300 m to 500 m. The probability analysis links strong wind channeling and cold temperature anomalies in the surface layer. To explain these links, previous studies suggested the katabatic wind flow mechanism as the leading driver responsible for the observed wind climatology. In this paper, idealized turbulence-resolving simulations are used to distinct between different wind driving mechanisms. The simulations were performed with the real surface topography at resolution of about 60 m. These simulations resolve the obstacle-induced turbulence and the turbulence in the non-stratified boundary layer core. The simulations suggest the leading roles of the thermal land-sea breeze circulation and the mechanical wind channeling in the modulation of the valley winds. The characteristic signatures of the developed down-slope gravity-accelerated flow, that is, the katabatic wind, were found to be of lesser significance under typical meteorological conditions in the valley.

  9. Future climate and surface mass balance of Svalbard glaciers in an RCP8.5 climate scenario: a study with the regional climate model MAR forced by MIROC5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, C.; Fettweis, X.; Erpicum, M.

    2015-05-01

    We have performed a future projection of the climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of Svalbard with the MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) regional climate model forced by MIROC5 (Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate), following the RCP8.5 scenario at a spatial resolution of 10 km. MAR predicts a similar evolution of increasing surface melt everywhere in Svalbard followed by a sudden acceleration of melt around 2050, with a larger melt increase in the south compared to the north of the archipelago. This melt acceleration around 2050 is mainly driven by the albedo-melt feedback associated with the expansion of the ablation/bare ice zone. This effect is dampened in part as the solar radiation itself is projected to decrease due to a cloudiness increase. The near-surface temperature is projected to increase more in winter than in summer as the temperature is already close to 0 °C in summer. The model also projects a stronger winter west-to-east temperature gradient, related to the large decrease of sea ice cover around Svalbard. By 2085, SMB is projected to become negative over all of Svalbard's glaciated regions, leading to the rapid degradation of the firn layer.

  10. Dendroarchaeology on Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baittinger, Claudia; Bonde, Niels; Solnes, Sander

    artifacts. The artifacts in Svalbard are vulnerable treasures preserved well in the dry and cold climate. However, they are exposed to the ignorance of passers-by. Every year the Governor of Svalbard systematically records artifacts in Svalbard. This work has been going on since 1976 and provides the basis.......), pine (Pinus sylvestris) and spruce (Picea sp.). The samples were taken as cores or discs. So far we have been able to date five items - 4 ship parts and one ladder - one piece of oak and four of pine. The oldest object dates to ca. 1730 AD, and the youngest to 1956 AD. The project is supported...

  11. Suspended particle dynamics and fluxes in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslard, Florian; Bourrin, François; Many, Gaël; Kerhervé, Philippe

    2018-05-01

    An experiment was carried out during summer 2015 in the inner part of the Kongsfjorden to study the inputs of meltwater and behaviour of associated suspended particles. We used a wide range of oceanographic instruments to assess the hydrological and hydrodynamic characteristics of coastal waters. The transfer of suspended particles occurs from a large surface plume fed by two main sources: the most important one is the upwelling of fresh and turbid water coming from a tide-water glacier: the Kronebreen, and the second one from a continental glacier: the Kongsvegen. We estimated that these two sources discharged about 2.48 ± 0.37 × 106 t of suspended sediments during the two months of melting. The major part of these sediments is deposited within the first kilometre due to flocculation phenomena. Flocculation is initiated below the surface turbid plume and is mainly caused by the salinity gradient and high suspended particle concentration. Finally, our estimates of suspended particle fluxes by a typical Arctic coastal glacier showed the need to consider suspended sediment fluxes from high-latitude areas into global budgets in the context of climate change.

  12. Global change and paraglacial morphodynamic modification in Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafly, D.; Mercier, D.

    2000-01-01

    The study of glaciers is a good means by which to determine the impact of global climatic change. Svalbard is an area located in the polar oceanic environment that records contemporary global climatic change with acute sensitivity through the paraglacial process called runoff, which is considered to be the most effective erosional process, relegating glacial and periglacial processes to a lesser level of influence. This study introduced the method of cartography and field data acquisition through systematic non-aligned surveys to determine changes in glacial morphology. A large prograding shoreline was observed at the down side of sand dunes, which gain ground over the space occupied by the fjords because of a large amount of sediment. These sediments are carried by flowing water that feeds off glacier meltwater, following climatic global change. The study showed that remote sensing makes it possible to map landscapes while still taking into account certain aspects of their dynamics. 27 refs., 10 figs

  13. Tropical Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Andrew

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

  14. Modern Process Studies in Kongsfjord, Svalbard: Arctic Geoscience Research Experience for U.S. Undergraduates (Svalbard REU)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, R. D.; Brigham-Grette, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Svalbard REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program focuses on understanding how high latitude glaciers, meltwater streams, and sedimentation in lakes and fjords respond to changing climate. Since summer of 2004, six under-graduate students have been selected to participate in the summer field program. Students work on individual projects and in close conjunction with faculty advisors and other student researchers. They formulate their own research questions, develop their project, and complete their field research during a five-week program on Svalbard, Norway. Following the summer program, students complete their projects at their home institution during the following academic year as a senior thesis. A spring symposium brings all participants back together again with their final results. The most recent field season was completed in Kongsfjord (79N) showing that the contemporary studies of tidewater glacier margins provide an unparalleled opportunity for introducing motivated third year undergraduate students to the challenges and rewards of polar geoscientific field research. Rates of rapid change in this high-latitude Arctic environment emphasize the complexity of the Earth System at the interface of the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. Given background information in glacial and marine geology, glaciology, hydrology, climatology and fjord oceanography not routinely offered in undergraduate curricula, students develop the science questions to be addressed and establish a field plan for instrumentation and sampling. Working together in small boats in one of the most challenging natural environments, the students expand their leadership skills, learn the value of teamwork and collaborative data sharing while maintaining a strong sense of ownership over their individual science projects. The rigors of studying an actively calving tidewater glacier also builds on their outdoor skills, especially when it is necessary to improvise and become

  15. Future projections of the climate and surface mass balance of Svalbard with the regional climate model MAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, C.; Fettweis, X.; Erpicum, M.

    2015-01-01

    We have performed future projections of the climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of Svalbard with the MAR regional climate model forced by the MIROC5 global model, following the RCP8.5 scenario at a spatial resolution of 10 km. MAR predicts a similar evolution of increasing surface melt everywhere in Svalbard followed by a sudden acceleration of the melt around 2050, with a larger melt increase in the south compared to the north of the archipelago and the ice caps. This melt acceleration around 2050 is mainly driven by the albedo-melt feedback associated with the expansion of the ablation/bare ice zone. This effect is dampened in part as the solar radiation itself is projected to decrease due to cloudiness increase. The near-surface temperature is projected to increase more in winter than in summer as the temperature is already close to 0 °C in summer. The model also projects a strong winter west-to-east temperature gradient, related to the large decrease of sea ice cover around Svalbard. At the end of the century (2070-2099 mean), SMB is projected to be negative over the entire Svalbard and, by 2085, all glaciated regions of Svalbard are predicted to undergo net ablation, meaning that, under the RCP8.5 scenario, all the glaciers and ice caps are predicted to start their irreversible retreat before the end of the 21st century.

  16. Results from Field Testing the RIMFAX GPR on Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamran, S. E.; Amundsen, H. E. F.; Berger, T.; Carter, L. M.; Dypvik, H.; Ghent, R. R.; Kohler, J.; Mellon, M. T.; Nunes, D. C.; Paige, D. A.; Plettemeier, D.; Russell, P.

    2017-12-01

    The Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Experiment - RIMFAX is a Ground Penetrating Radar being developed for NASÁs MARS 2020 rover mission. The principal goals of the RIMFAX investigation are to image subsurface structures, provide context for sample sites, derive information regarding subsurface composition, and search for ice or brines. In meeting these goals, RIMFAX will provide a view of the stratigraphic section and a window into the geological and environmental history of Mars. To verify the design an Engineering Model (EM) of the radar was tested in the field in the spring 2017. Different sounding modes on the EM were tested in different types of subsurface geology on Svalbard. Deep soundings were performed on polythermal glaciers down to a couple of hundred meters. Shallow soundings were used to map a ground water table in the firn area of a glacier. A combination of deep and shallow soundings was used to image buried ice under a sedimentary layer of a couple of meters. Subsurface sedimentary layers were imaged down to more than 20 meters in sand stone permafrost. This presentation will give an overview of the RIMFAX investigation, describe the development of the radar system, and show results from field tests of the radar.

  17. 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.

  18. Geomorphological investigation of multiphase glacitectonic composite ridge systems in Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Harold; Benn, Douglas I.; Lukas, Sven; Spagnolo, Matteo; Cook, Simon J.; Swift, Darrel A.; Clark, Chris D.; Yde, Jacob C.; Watts, Tom

    2018-01-01

    Some surge-type glaciers on the High-Arctic archipelago of Svalbard have large glacitectonic composite ridge systems at their terrestrial margins. These have formed by rapid glacier advance into proglacial sediments during the active surge phase, creating multicrested moraine complexes. Such complexes can be formed during single surge advances or multiple surges to successively less-extensive positions. The few existing studies of composite ridge systems have largely relied on detailed information on internal structure and sedimentology to reconstruct their formation and links to surge processes. However, natural exposures of internal structure are commonly unavailable, and the creation of artificial exposures is often problematic in fragile Arctic environments. To compensate for these issues, we investigate the potential for reconstructing composite ridge system formation based on geomorphological evidence alone, focusing on clear morphostratigraphic relationships between ridges within the moraine complex and relict meltwater channels/outwash fans. Based on mapping at the margins of Finsterwalderbreen (in Van Keulenfjorden) and Grønfjordbreen (in Grønfjorden), we show that relict meltwater channels that breach outer parts of the composite ridge systems are in most cases truncated upstream within the ridge complex by an inner pushed ridge or ridges at their ice-proximal extents. Our interpretation of this relationship is that the entire composite ridge system is unlikely to have formed during the same glacier advance but is instead the product of multiple advances to successively less-extensive positions, whereby younger ridges are emplaced on the ice-proximal side of older ridges. This indicates that the Finsterwalderbreen composite ridge system has been formed by multiple separate advances, consistent with the cyclicity of surges. Being able to identify the frequency and magnitude of former surges is important as it provides insight into the past behaviour of

  19. Sea ice dynamics influence halogen deposition to Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Spolaor

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice is an important parameter in the climate system and its changes impact upon the polar albedo and atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Iodine (I and bromine (Br have been measured in a shallow firn core drilled at the summit of the Holtedahlfonna glacier (Northwest Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Changing I concentrations can be linked to the March–May maximum sea ice extension. Bromine enrichment, indexed to the Br / Na sea water mass ratio, appears to be influenced by changes in the seasonal sea ice area. I is emitted from marine biota and so the retreat of March–May sea ice coincides with enlargement of the open-ocean surface which enhances marine primary production and consequent I emission. The observed Br enrichment could be explained by greater Br emissions during the Br explosions that have been observed to occur mainly above first year sea ice during the early springtime. In this work we present the first comparison between halogens in surface snow and Arctic sea ice extension. Although further investigation is required to characterize potential depositional and post-depositional processes, these preliminary findings suggest that I and Br can be linked to variability in the spring maximum sea ice extension and seasonal sea ice surface area.

  20. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    KAUST Repository

    Holding, Johnna M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Soetaert, Karline; Vonk, Jorien E.; Agusti, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Middelburg, Jack J.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance of plankton communities. In this study, we characterized autochthonous and allochthonous sources of OC to the Western Svalbard fjord system using stable isotopes of carbon. We quantified δ13C of eukaryotic and prokaryotic planktonic groups using polar lipid-derived fatty acids as biomarkers in addition to measuring δ13C of marine particulate OC and dissolved OC from glacial runoff. δ13C of bacteria (−22.5‰) was higher than that of glacial runoff OC (−28.5‰) and other phytoplankton groups (−24.7 to −29.1‰), which suggests that marine bacteria preferentially use a third source of OC. We present a Bayesian three-source δ13C mixing model whereby ∼ 60% of bacteria carbon is derived from OC in sea ice, and the remaining carbon is derived from autochthonous production and glacial-derived OC. These results suggest that subsidies of OC from melting glaciers will not likely influence microbial carbon cycling in Svalbard fjords in the future and that further research is needed to determine the effects of melting sea ice on microbial carbon cycling in fjord systems and elsewhere in the Arctic Ocean.

  1. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    KAUST Repository

    Holding, Johnna M.

    2017-03-27

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance of plankton communities. In this study, we characterized autochthonous and allochthonous sources of OC to the Western Svalbard fjord system using stable isotopes of carbon. We quantified δ13C of eukaryotic and prokaryotic planktonic groups using polar lipid-derived fatty acids as biomarkers in addition to measuring δ13C of marine particulate OC and dissolved OC from glacial runoff. δ13C of bacteria (−22.5‰) was higher than that of glacial runoff OC (−28.5‰) and other phytoplankton groups (−24.7 to −29.1‰), which suggests that marine bacteria preferentially use a third source of OC. We present a Bayesian three-source δ13C mixing model whereby ∼ 60% of bacteria carbon is derived from OC in sea ice, and the remaining carbon is derived from autochthonous production and glacial-derived OC. These results suggest that subsidies of OC from melting glaciers will not likely influence microbial carbon cycling in Svalbard fjords in the future and that further research is needed to determine the effects of melting sea ice on microbial carbon cycling in fjord systems and elsewhere in the Arctic Ocean.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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,...

  6. 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....

  7. The Island of Amsterdamøya: A key site for studying past climate in the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakke, Jostein; Balascio, Nicholas; van der Bilt, Willem G. M.; Bradley, Raymond; D'Andrea, William J.; Gjerde, Marthe; Ólafsdóttir, Sædís; Røthe, Torgeir; De Wet, Greg

    2018-03-01

    This paper introduces a series of articles assembled in a special issue that explore Holocene climate evolution, as recorded in lakes on the Island of Amsterdamøya on the westernmost fringe of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Due to its location near the interface of oceanic and atmospheric systems sourced from Arctic and Atlantic regions, Amsterdamøya is a key site for recording the terrestrial response to marine and atmospheric changes. We employed multi-proxy approaches on lake sediments, integrating physical, biogeochemical, and isotopic analyses to infer past changes in temperature, precipitation, and glacier activity. The results comprise a series of quantitative Holocene-length paleoclimate reconstructions that reveal different aspects of past climate change. Each of the four papers addresses various facets of the Holocene climate history of north-western Svalbard, including a reconstruction of the Annabreen glacier based on the sedimentology of the distal glacier-fed lake Gjøavatnet, a reconstruction of changing hydrologic conditions based on sedimentology and stratigraphy in Lake Hakluytvatnet, reconstruction of summer temperature based on alkenone paleothermometry from lakes Hakluytvatnet and Hajeren, and a hydrogen isotope-based hydrological reconstruction from lake Hakluytvatnet. We also present high-resolution paleomagnetic secular variation data from the same lake, which document important regional magnetic field variations and demonstrate the potential for use in synchronizing Holocene sedimentary records in the Arctic. The paleoclimate picture that emerges is one of early Holocene warmth from ca. 10.5 ka BP interrupted by transient cooling ca. 10-8ka BP, and followed by cooling that mostly manifested as two stepwise events ca. 7 and 4 ka BP. The past 4ka were characterized by dynamic glaciers and summer temperature fluctuations decoupled from the declining summer insolation.

  8. Impacts of Geomorphic Disturbances on Plant Colonization in Ebba Valley, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stawska Monika

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Global warming observed nowadays causes an increase in geomorphic activity in polar regions. Within the areas influenced by cold climatic conditions, relief dynamics and vegetation development are the main landscape shaping processes. The study is limited to the Ebba Valley (78°43’N; 16°37’E in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard, where geomorphologic observations and vegetation sampling were conducted in 2007. The valley was divided into three zones differentiated by dominating geomorphic activity and stability of deposits. The settlement and the evolution of plant cover have been documented there. The main factors that control well developed vegetation cover within raised marine terraces are frost heave and solifluction. In deeper parts of the valley, aeolian processes dominate and high differentiation of microsite conditions causes high variability in plant coverage. The area close to the Ebba glacier marginal zone is characterized by initial stages of plant colonisation where disturbance to vegetation is mainly caused by hydrological processes.

  9. The Secret of the Svalbard Sea Ice Barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, Son V.; Van Woert, Michael L.; Neumann, Gregory

    2004-01-01

    An elongated sea ice feature called the Svalbard sea ice barrier rapidly formed over an area in the Barents Sea to the east of Svalbard posing navigation hazards. The secret of its formation lies in the bottom bathymetry that governs the distribution of cold Arctic waters masses, which impacts sea ice growth on the water surface.

  10. Mud aprons in front of Svalbard surge moraines: Evidence of subglacial deforming layers or proglacial glaciotectonics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Lene; Benn, Douglas I.; Hormes, Anne; Ottesen, Dag

    2009-10-01

    Large debris-flow units commonly occur on the distal sides of subaqueous end moraines deposited by surges of Svalbard tidewater glaciers, but have rarely been described in terrestrial settings. Some researchers have argued that these kinds of debris flows reflect processes unique to the subaqueous environment, such as the extrusion of subglacial deforming layers or extensive failure of oversteepened moraine fronts. In this paper, we describe terrestrial and subaqueous parts of a single late Holocene moraine system deposited by a major surge of the tidewater glacier Paulabreen in west Spitsbergen. The ice-marginal landforms on land closely resemble the corresponding landforms on the seabed as evidenced by geomorphic mapping and geophysical profiles from both environments. Both onland and offshore, extensive areas of hummocky moraine occur on the proximal side of the maximum glacier position, and large mud aprons (interpreted as debris flows) occur on the distal side. We show that the debris-flow sediments were pushed in front of the advancing glacier as a continuously failing, mobile push moraine. We propose that the mud aprons are end members of a proglacial landforms continuum that has thrust-block moraines as the opposite end member. Two clusters of dates (~ 8000 YBP and ~ 700 YBP) have previously been interpreted to indicate two separate surges responsible for the moraine formation. New dates suggest that the early cluster indicates a local extinction of the abounded species Chlamys islandica. Other changes corresponding to the widespread 8.2 ka event within the fjord, may suggest that the extinction of the C. islandica corresponds to that time.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...... fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids...

  14. Benthic algal vegetation in Isfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stein Fredriksen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Benthic algal vegetation was investigated at 10 sites in Isfjorden, Svalbard. Five sites were visited during summer 2010 and five during summer 2012. Both the littoral and sublittoral vegetation were sampled, the littoral by hand-picking and use of a throwable rake and the sublittoral using a triangular dredge. A total of 88 different taxa were registered, comprising 17 Chlorophyta, 40 Ochrophyta, 30 Rhodophyta and the Xantophyceae Vaucheria sp. The green algae Ulvaria splendens (Ruprecht Vinogradova was recorded in Svalbard for the first time. Most of the sites consisted of hard bottom substrate, but one site, Kapp Wijk, consisted of loose-lying calcareous red algae (rhodoliths and had species not recorded elsewhere. The sublittoral at the other sites was dominated by kelp. Molecular analysis confirmed the presence of the red alga Ceramium virgatum and a dwarf form of the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus. This study provides a baseline for future studies investigating changes in the vegetation due to environmental changes.

  15. Organophosphorous flame retardants in biota from Svalbard, Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hallanger, I.G.; Sagerup, K.; Evenset, A.; Kovacs, K.M.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Fuglei, E.; Routti, H.; Aars, J.; Strom, H.; Lydersen, C.; Gabrielsen, G. W.

    2015-01-01

    Eight arctic species, including fish, birds and mammals, from diverse habitats (marine and terrestrial) within the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, were screened for 14 organophosphorus flame retardant (PFR) compounds. Ten PFRs were detected: tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP),

  16. Holocene environmental changes recorded in Dicksonfjorden and Woodfjorden, Svalbard: impacts of global climate changes in a glacial-marine system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Y. J.; Nam, S. I.; Son, Y. J.; Forwick, M.

    2017-12-01

    Fjords in the Svalbard archipelago are characterized by an extreme environmental gradient between 1) the glacial system affected by tidewater glaciers and seasonal sea ice inside the fjords and 2) the warm Atlantic Water intrusion by the West Spitsbergen Current from open ocean. As sediment is largely supplied from the terrestrial source area exposed along the steep slopes of the fjords, the changes in the surface processes affected by glaciers are likely preserved in the sediments in the inner fjords. On the other hand, variations in the influence of the warm Atlantic Water in the marine realm (e.g. marine productivity) can be archived in the sediment deposited in the vicinity of the entrance to the fjords. Since the last deglaciation of the Svalbard-Barents ice sheet ( 13000 yrs BP), the Svalbard fjords have faced dramatic climate changes including the early Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) and subsequent cooling that eventually led to the current cold and dry climate. We investigate the Holocene environmental changes in both terrestrial and marine realms based on stable isotopic and inorganic geochemical analyses of sediments deposited in Dicksonfjorden and Woodfjorden in the western and northern Spitsbergen, respectively. The two fjords are expected to provide intriguing information regarding how terrestrial and marine realms of the Arctic fjords system responded to regional and global climate changes. Being a branch of the larger Isfjorden, Dicksonfjorden penetrates deeply to the land, whereas Woodfjorden is rather directly connected to the open ocean. Accordingly, the results suggest that the Dicksonfjorden sediment records mainly terrestrial signals with marked fluctuations in sediment composition that coincide with major climate changes (e.g. HCO). On the contrary, the two Woodfjorden cores collected from different parts of the fjord exhibit contrasting results, likely illustrating differing response of terrestrial and marine realms to the climate changes in

  17. 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...

  18. Empirical ocean color algorithms and bio-optical properties of the western coastal waters of Svalbard, Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Young-Sun; Kim, Hyun-cheol

    2018-05-01

    Chlorophyll (Chl) concentration is one of the key indicators identifying changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem. However, current Chl algorithms are not accurate in the Arctic Ocean due to different bio-optical properties from those in the lower latitude oceans. In this study, we evaluated the current Chl algorithms and analyzed the cause of the error in the western coastal waters of Svalbard, which are known to be sensitive to climate change. The NASA standard algorithms showed to overestimate the Chl concentration in the region. This was due to the high non-algal particles (NAP) absorption and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) variability at the blue wavelength. In addition, at lower Chl concentrations (0.1-0.3 mg m-3), chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients were ∼2.3 times higher than those of other Arctic oceans. This was another reason for the overestimation of Chl concentration. OC4 algorithm-based regionally tuned-Svalbard Chl (SC4) algorithm for retrieving more accurate Chl estimates reduced the mean absolute percentage difference (APD) error from 215% to 49%, the mean relative percentage difference (RPD) error from 212% to 16%, and the normalized root mean square (RMS) error from 211% to 68%. This region has abundant suspended matter due to the melting of tidal glaciers. We evaluated the performance of total suspended matter (TSM) algorithms. Previous published TSM algorithms generally overestimated the TSM concentration in this region. The Svalbard TSM-single band algorithm for low TSM range (ST-SB-L) decreased the APD and RPD errors by 52% and 14%, respectively, but the RMS error still remained high (105%).

  19. SNOW THICKNESS ON AUSTRE GRØNFJORDBREEN, SVALBARD, FROM RADAR MEASUREMENTS AND STANDARD SNOW SURVEYS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. I. Lavrentiev

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary Comparison of two methods of measurements of snow cover thickness on the glacier Austre Grønfjordbreen, Svalbard was performed in the spring of 2014. These methods were the radar (500 MHz observations and standard snow surveys. Measurements were conducted in 77 different points on the surface of the glacier. A good correlation (R2 = 0.98 was revealed. In comparison with the data of snow surveys, the radar measurements show a similar but more detailed pattern of the distribution of the snow cover depth. The discrepancy between the depths of snow cover on maps plotted from data of both methods did not exceed 30 cm in most parts of the glacier. The standard error of interpolation of the radar data onto the entire glacier surface amounts, on average, to 18 cm. This corresponds to the error of radar measurements of 18.8% when an average snow depth is about 160 cm and 9.4% at its maximum thickness of 320 cm. The distance between the measurement points at which the spatial covariance of the snow depth disappears falls between 236 and 283 m along the glacier, and between 117 and 165 m across its position. We compared the results of radar measurements of the pulse-delay time of reflections from the base of the snow cover with the data of manual probe measurements at 10 points and direct measurements of snow depth and average density in 12 snow pits. The average speed of radio waves propagation in the snow was determined as Vcr = 23.4±0.2 cm ns−1. This magnitude and the Looyenga and Kovacs formulas allowed estimating the average density of snow cover ρL = 353.1±13.1 kg m−3 and ρK = 337.4±12.9 kg m−3. The difference from average density measured in 12 pits ρav.meas = 387.4±12.9 kg m−3 amounts to −10.8% and −14.8%. In 2014, according to snow and radar measurements, altitudinal gradient of snow accumulation on the glacier Austre Grønfjordbreen was equal to 0.21 m/100 m, which is smaller than the

  20. The Svalbard REU Program: Undergraduates Pursuing Arctic Climate Change Research on Svalbard, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roof, S.; Werner, A.

    2007-12-01

    The Svalbard Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the Arctic Natural Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation has been successfully providing international field research experiences since 2004. Each year, 7-9 undergraduate students have participated in 4-5 weeks of glacial geology and climate change fieldwork on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago in the North Atlantic (76- 80° N lat.). While we continue to learn new and better ways to run our program, we have learned specific management and pedagogical strategies that allow us to streamline our logistics and to provide genuine, meaningful research opportunities to undergraduate students. We select student participants after extensive nationwide advertising and recruiting. Even before applying to the program, students understand that they will be doing meaningful climate change science, will take charge of their own project, and will be expected to continue their research at their home institution. We look for a strong commitment of support from a student's advisor at their home institution before accepting students into our program. We present clear information, including participant responsibilities, potential risks and hazards, application procedures, equipment needed, etc on our program website. The website also provides relevant research papers and data and results from previous years, so potential participants can see how their efforts will contribute to growing body of knowledge. New participants meet with the previous years' participants at a professional meeting (our "REUnion") before they start their field experience. During fieldwork, students are expected to develop research questions and test their own hypotheses while providing and responding to peer feedback. Professional assessment by an independent expert provides us with feedback that helps us improve logistical procedures and shape our educational strategies. The assessment also shows us how

  1. Circum-Arctic Changes in the Flow of Glaciers and Ice Caps from Satellite SAR Data between the 1990s and 2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tazio Strozzi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available We computed circum-Arctic surface velocity maps of glaciers and ice caps over the Canadian Arctic, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic for at least two times between the 1990s and 2017 using satellite SAR data. Our analyses are mainly performed with offset-tracking of ALOS-1 PALSAR-1 (2007–2011 and Sentinel-1 (2015–2017 data. In certain cases JERS-1 SAR (1994–1998, TerraSAR-X (2008–2012, Radarsat-2 (2009–2016 and ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 (2015–2016 data were used to fill-in spatial or temporal gaps. Validation of the latest Sentinel-1 results was accomplished by means of SAR data at higher spatial resolution (Radarsat-2 Wide Ultra Fine and ground-based measurements. In general, we observe a deceleration of flow velocities for the major tidewater glaciers in the Canadian Arctic and an increase in frontal velocity along with a retreat of frontal positions over Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. However, all regions have strong accelerations for selected glaciers. The latter developments can be well traced based on the very high temporal sampling of Sentinel-1 acquisitions since 2015, revealing new insights in glacier dynamics. For example, surges on Spitsbergen (e.g., Negribreen, Nathorsbreen, Penckbreen and Strongbreen have a different characteristic and timing than those over Eastern Austfonna and Edgeoya (e.g., Basin 3, Basin 2 and Stonebreen. Events similar to those ongoing on Eastern Austofonna were also observed over the Vavilov Ice Cap on Severnaya Zemlya and possibly Simony Glacier on Franz-Josef Land. Collectively, there seems to be a recently increasing number of glaciers with frontal destabilization over Eastern Svalbard and the Russian Arctic compared to the 1990s.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Enhanced ASTER DEMs for Decadal Measurements of Glacier Elevation Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, L.; Nuth, C.; Kääb, A.

    2016-12-01

    Elevation change data is critical to the understanding of a number of geophysical processes, including glaciers through the measurement their volume change. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) system on-board the Terra (EOS AM-1) satellite has been a unique source of systematic stereoscopic images covering the whole globe at 15m resolution and at a consistent quality for over 15 years. While satellite stereo sensors with significantly improved radiometric and spatial resolution are available today, the potential of ASTER data lies in its long consistent time series that is unrivaled, though not fully exploited for change analysis due to lack of data accuracy and precision. ASTER data are strongly affected by attitude jitter, mainly of approximately 4 and 30 km wavelength, and improving the generation of ASTER DEMs requires removal of this effect. We developed MMASTER, an improved method for ASTER DEM generation and implemented it in the open source photogrammetric library and software suite MicMac. The method relies on the computation of a rational polynomial coefficients (RPC) model and the detection and correction of cross-track sensor jitter in order to compute DEMs. Our sensor modeling does not require ground control points and thus potentially allows for automatic processing of large data volumes. When compared to ground truth data, we have assessed a ±5m accuracy in DEM differencing when using our processing method, improved from the ±30m when using the AST14DMO DEM product. We demonstrate and discuss this improved ASTER DEM quality for a number of glaciers in Greenland (See figure attached), Alaska, and Svalbard. The quality of our measurements promises to further unlock the underused potential of ASTER DEMs for glacier volume change time series on a global scale. The data produced by our method will thus help to better understand the response of glaciers to climate change and their influence on runoff and sea level.

  4. 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

  5. Glacier inputs influence organic matter composition and prokaryotic distribution in a high Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)

    KAUST Repository

    Bourgeois, Solveig; Kerhervé , Philippe; Calleja, Maria Ll; Many, Gaë l; Morata, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    With climate change, the strong seasonality and tight pelagic-benthic coupling in the Arctic is expected to change in the next few decades. It is currently unclear how the benthos will be affected by changes of environmental conditions

  6. Demographic population structure and fungal associations of plants colonizing High Arctic glacier forelands, Petuniabukta, Svalbard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, J.; Těšitelová, T.; Bernardová, A.; Drdová, Edita; Lučanová, Magdalena; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 33, č. 20797 (2014) ISSN 0800-0395 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Colonizer * deglaciation * endophyte Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 1.141, year: 2014

  7. Multidecadal (1960–2011 shoreline changes in Isbjørnhamna (Hornsund, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zagórski Piotr

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A section of a gravel-dominated coast in Isbjørnhamna (Hornsund, Svalbard was analysed to calculate the rate of shoreline changes and explain processes controlling coastal zone development over last 50 years. Between 1960 and 2011, coastal landscape of Isbjørnhamna experienced a significant shift from dominated by influence of tide-water glacier and protected by prolonged sea-ice conditions towards storm-affected and rapidly changing coast. Information derived from analyses of aerial images and geomorphological mapping shows that the Isbjørnhamna coastal zone is dominated by coastal erosion resulting in a shore area reduction of more than 31,600 m2. With ~3,500 m2 of local aggradation, the general balance of changes in the study area of the shore is negative, and amounts to a loss of more than 28,000 m2. Mean shoreline change is −13.1 m (−0.26 m a−1. Erosional processes threaten the Polish Polar Station infrastructure and may damage of one of the storage buildings in nearby future.

  8. Annual changes in Arctic fjord environment and modern benthic foraminiferal fauna: Evidence from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jernas, Patrycja; Klitgaard-Kristensen, Dorthe; Husum, Katrine; Koç, Nalan; Tverberg, Vigdis; Loubere, Paul; Prins, Maarten; Dijkstra, Noortje; Gluchowska, Marta

    2018-04-01

    The relationships between modern Arctic benthic foraminifera and their ecological controls, along with their sensitivity to rapid environmental changes, is still poorly understood. This study examines how modern benthic foraminifera respond to annual environmental changes in the glaciated Arctic fjord Kongsfjorden, western Svalbard. Large environmental gradients due to the inflow of warm and saline Atlantic Water and the influence of tidewater glaciers characterise the fjord hydrography. A transect of six multi-corer stations, from the inner to the outer fjord, was sampled in the late summers of 2005 to 2008 to study the distribution of living (rose Bengal stained) benthic foraminifera. Physical properties of the water masses were measured concurrently. In general, nearly the entire Kongsfjorden region was dominated by ubiquitous N. labradorica foraminiferal assemblage that successfully exploited the local food resources and thrived particularly well in the presence of Atlantic-derived Transformed Atlantic Water (TAW). Further, the annual investigation revealed that Kongsfjorden underwent large interannual hydrological changes during the studied years related to variable inflow of warm and saline Atlantic Water. This led to a strong fauna variability particularly at the two marginal sites: the glacially influenced inner fjord and marine influenced shelf region. We also observed significant species shift from the 'cold' to 'warm' years and an expansion of widespread and sub-arctic to boreal species into the fjord.

  9. 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

  10. Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, contains 11 chapters designated by the letters A through K. Chapter A provides a comprehensive, yet concise, review of the "State of the Earth's Cryosphere at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Glaciers, Global Snow Cover, Floating Ice, and Permafrost and Periglacial Environments," and a "Map/Poster of the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere," and a set of eight "Supplemental Cryosphere Notes" about the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere and the Earth System. The next 10 chapters, B through K, are arranged geographically and present glaciological information from Landsat and other sources of historic and modern data on each of the geographic areas. Chapter B covers Antarctica; Chapter C, Greenland; Chapter D, Iceland; Chapter E, Continental Europe (except for the European part of the former Soviet Union), including the Alps, the Pyrenees, Norway, Sweden, Svalbard (Norway), and Jan Mayen (Norway); Chapter F, Asia, including the European part of the former Soviet Union, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan; Chapter G, Turkey, Iran, and Africa; Chapter H, Irian Jaya (Indonesia) and New Zealand; Chapter I, South America; Chapter J, North America (excluding Alaska); and Chapter K, Alaska. Chapters A–D each include map plates.

  11. Temporal constraints on future accumulation-area loss of a major Arctic ice cap due to climate change (Vestfonna, Svalbard).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Möller, Marco; Schneider, Christoph

    2015-01-28

    Arctic glaciers and ice caps are major contributors to past, present and future sea-level fluctuations. Continued global warming may eventually lead to the equilibrium line altitudes of these ice masses rising above their highest points, triggering unstoppable downwasting. This may feed future sea-level rise considerably. We here present projections for the timing of equilibrium-line loss at the major Arctic ice cap Vestfonna, Svalbard. The projections are based on spatially distributed climatic mass balance modelling driven by the outputs of multiple climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) forced by the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5. Results indicate strongly decreasing climatic mass balances over the 21(st) century for all RCPs considered. Glacier-wide mass-balance rates will drop down to -4 m a(-1) w.e. (water equivalent) at a maximum. The date at which the equilibrium line rises above the summit of Vestfonna (630 m above sea level) is calculated to range between 2040 and 2150, depending on scenario.

  12. 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

  13. Coal mining at Lunckefjell, Svalbard. Environmental impact assessment: landscape, vegetation, wildlife and geology; Kulldrift i Lunckefjell paa Svalbard. Konsekvensutredning for tema landskap, vegetasjon og planteliv, dyreliv og geologiske forekomster/fossiler

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagen, D.; Eide, N.E.; Erikstad, L.; Coulsen, S.; Andersen, R.

    2010-08-15

    Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani AS (SNSG) plans to start mining in Lunckefjell, Svalbard. The plan includes a new road over the Marthabreen glacier, aggregated supply areas and technical installations in both ends of the road. Existing infrastructure through the mine Svea Nord and in the Svea area will be used for transport and shipping. The Lunckefjell mine has an expected working period of 4-8 years. The area borders Nordenskiold Land National Park. This report covers the following themes of impact assessment scheme: landscape, vegetation and flora, terrestrial wildlife (birds, mammals and invertebrates) and specified sites of geological value (including fossils). The marine wildlife is not included in this report. The assessment put focus on all stages of the mining operation including the establishing and closing periods. In the closing period all technical installations will be removed and the landscape will as far as possible be restored to original state. The mining operation will have a landscape impact on the glacier landscape on Marthabreen. The installations will be visible from Reindalen within the Nordenskiold Land National Park. Under the operating period SNSG will establish technical installations that will alter the present wilderness stat of the area as defined by the INON approach. The future wilderness status will depend on how well the landscape can be restored during the closing period. The plans will not have large effects on specified sites of geological value. The mining operation will give some discharge of polluted water to the hydrologic system of Marthabreen. The main discharge will be pumped out to the Svea area and handled there. The polluted water has a potential effect an invertebrate fauna near the outlet. These areas are, however, without vegetation and have very few invertebrates. It is a long distance over the glacier down to the main valley and more vegetated areas. The pollution will be highly diluted and any resulting

  14. A new concept for glacial geological investigations of surges, based on High-Arctic examples (Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lønne, Ida

    2016-01-01

    Svalbard is a key area for the investigation of glacial surges, and almost two centuries worth of field observations exists from this region. Studies have shown that the course of a surge and the associated formation of landforms are strongly influenced by basinal factors, and that the broad range of variables involved can hamper interpretations and comparisons. Based on a review of surges in Svalbard, a new concept for glacial geological investigations has been developed that combines ice-flows, ice-front movements, and morphostratigraphy. The concept is comprised of the following four elements: 1) classification based on the configuration and characteristics of the receiving basin, 2) division of the surge cycle into six stages, 3) guidelines for morphological mapping, and 4) use of an allostratigraphic approach for interpreting ice-front movements. In this context, delineation of the active phase is critical, which include the history of terminus movements, and four main categories of receiving basins are recognized. These are (A) terrestrial basins with deformable substrates, (B) terrestrial basins with poorly deformable substrates, (C) shallow water basins, and (D) deep water basins. The ice-front movement history is reconstructed by coupling information from the proglacial moraines (syn-surge), the supraglacial moraines (post-surge), and the associated traces of meltwater to the surge stages (I-VI). This approach has revealed a critical relationship between the termination of the active phase and three morphological elements, namely, the maximum ice-front position, the maximum moraine extent and the youngest proglacial moraine, which are unique for each of the basins A-D. The concept is thus a novel and more precise approach for mapping the active phase and the active phase duration, as shown by the ∼12-year long surge of Fridtjovbreen, where stage I was 30 months (inception), stage II was 54 months (ice-front advance), stage III was 12 months (stillstand

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Loss of sea ice during winter north of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid H. Onarheim

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea ice loss in the Arctic Ocean has up to now been strongest during summer. In contrast, the sea ice concentration north of Svalbard has experienced a larger decline during winter since 1979. The trend in winter ice area loss is close to 10% per decade, and concurrent with a 0.3°C per decade warming of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean in this region. Simultaneously, there has been a 2°C per decade warming of winter mean surface air temperature north of Svalbard, which is 20–45% higher than observations on the west coast. Generally, the ice edge north of Svalbard has retreated towards the northeast, along the Atlantic Water pathway. By making reasonable assumptions about the Atlantic Water volume and associated heat transport, we show that the extra oceanic heat brought into the region is likely to have caused the sea ice loss. The reduced sea ice cover leads to more oceanic heat transferred to the atmosphere, suggesting that part of the atmospheric warming is driven by larger open water area. In contrast to significant trends in sea ice concentration, Atlantic Water temperature and air temperature, there is no significant temporal trend in the local winds. Thus, winds have not caused the long-term warming or sea ice loss. However, the dominant winds transport sea ice from the Arctic Ocean into the region north of Svalbard, and the local wind has influence on the year-to-year variability of the ice concentration, which correlates with surface air temperatures, ocean temperatures, as well as the local wind.

  19. Monitoring of greenhouse gases and aerosols at Svalbard and Birkenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myhre, C.L.; Hermansen, O.; Fjaeraa, A.M.; Lunder, C.; Fiebig, M.; Schmidbauer, N.; Krognes, T.; Stebel, K.

    2012-07-01

    The report summaries the activities and results of the greenhouse gas monitoring at the Zeppelin and observatory situated on Svalbard in Arctic Norway during the period 2001-2010 and the greenhouse gas monitoring and aerosol observations from Birkenes for 2010. The monitoring programme is performed by the NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research and funded by the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) (now Climate and Pollution Agency) and NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research.(Author)

  20. Effect of wind on Svalbard reindeer fur insulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Cuyler

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available The heat transfer through Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus fur samples was studied with respect to wind velocity, season and animal age. A total of 33 dorsal fur sections were investigated using a wind tunnel. Insulation varied with season (calving, summer, autumn and winter. At zero wind velocity, fur insulation was significantly different between seasons for both calf and adult fur samples. At the same time, there was no significant difference between calf and adult insulation for the summer, autumn and winter seasons. Calf fur insulated as well as adult fur. Winter insulation of Svalbard reindeer was approximately 3 times that of summer. Increasing wind veloci¬ty increased heat loss, however, the increase was not dramatic. When wind coefficients (slope of the heat transfer regression lines were compared, between season and between calf and adult, no significant differences were reported. All fur samples showed similar increases in heat transfer for wind velocities between 0 and 10 m.s-1. The conductance of winter fur of Svalbard reindeer was almost half that of caribou fur. Also, conductance was not as greatly influenced by wind as caribou fur

  1. A plot-scale study of firn stratigraphy at Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard, using ice cores, borehole video and GPR surveys in 2012-14

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marchenko, Sergey; Pohjola, Veijo A.; Pettersson, Rickard

    2017-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity of snow and firn properties on glaciers introduces uncertainty in interpretation of point and profile observations and complicates modelling of meltwater percolation and runoff. Here we present a study of the temporal and spatial dynamics of firn density and stratigraphy...... at the plot-scale (≈10 m × 10 m × 10 m) repeated annually during 2012-14 at the Lomonosovfonna icefield, Svalbard. Results from cores, video inspections in boreholes and radar grid surveys are compared. Ice layers 0.1-50 cm thick comprised ≈8% of the borehole length. Most of them are 1-3 cm thick and could...... in individual boreholes. However, the match between the high amplitude peaks in the grid-averaged radar signal and horizons of preferential ice layer formation revealed by averaging the video surveys over multiple boreholes is higher. These horizons are interpreted as buried firn layers previously exposed...

  2. First evidence of the Ellesmerian metamorphism on Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kośmińska, Karolina; Majka, Jarosław; Manecki, Maciej; Schneider, David A.

    2016-04-01

    The Ellesmerian fold-and-thrust belt is exposed in the High Arctic from Ellesmere Island in the east, through North Greenland, to Svalbard in the west (e.g. Piepjohn et al., 2015). It developed during Late Devonian - Early Carboniferous, and overprinted older (mainly Caledonian) structures. It is thought that this fold-and-thrust belt was formed due to collision of the Pearya Terrane and Svalbard with the Franklinian Basin of Laurentia. Traditionally, the Ellesmerian fold-and-thrust belt comprises a passive continental margin affected by foreland deformation processes, but the exact larger scale tectonic context of this belt is disputable. It is partly because the Eocene Eurekan deformation superimposed significantly the Ellesmerian structures, thus making the reconstruction of the pre-Eurekan history very difficult. Here we present for the first time evidence for Ellesmerian metamorphism within the crystalline basement of Svalbard. These rocks are exposed in the Pinkie unit on Prins Karls Forland (W-Svalbard), which exhibits tectonic contacts with the overlying sequences. The Pinkie unit is mainly composed of strongly deformed lithologies such as laminated quartzites, siliciclastic rocks and garnet-bearing mica schists. Detrital zircon dating yielded ages as young as Neoproterozoic (0.95-1.05 Ga), thus the Pinkie unit is considered to be Neoproterozoic (Kośmińska et al., 2015a). The M1 assemblages and D1 structures are affected by D2 mylonitization (cf. Faehnrich et al., 2016, this meeting). Petrological characterization and Th-U-total Pb chemical monazite dating have been performed on the Pinkie metapelites. These rocks exhibit an apparent inverted Barrovian metamorphic sequence, within which three metamorphic zones have been distinguished: garnet+staurolite+muscovite+biotite, garnet+staurolite+kyanite+muscovite+biotite, garnet+kyanite+muscovite+biotite. The P-T estimates using the QuiG barometry coupled with thermodynamic modelling revealed that the

  3. Transport of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from an arctic glacier to downstream locations: implications for sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Karen Y; Yamazaki, Eriko; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Murphy, Margaret B; Horii, Yuichi; Petrick, Gert; Kallerborn, Roland; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Murano, Kentaro; Lam, Paul K S

    2013-03-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been globally detected in various environmental matrices, yet their fate and transport to the Arctic is still unclear, especially for the European Arctic. In this study, concentrations of 17 PFAS were quantified in two ice cores (n=26), surface snow (n=9) and surface water samples (n=14) collected along a spatial gradient in Svalbard, Norway. Concentrations of selected ions (Na(+), SO4(2-), etc.) were also determined for tracing the origins and sources of PFAS. Perfluorobutanoate (PFBA), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorononanoate (PFNA) were the dominant compounds found in ice core samples. Taking PFOA, PFNA and perfluorooctane-sulfonate (PFOS) as examples, higher concentrations were detected in the middle layers of the ice cores representing the period of 1997-2000. Lower concentrations of C8-C12 perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) were detected in comparison with concentrations measured previously in an ice core from the Canadian Arctic, indicating that contamination levels in the European Arctic are lower. Average PFAS concentrations were found to be lower in surface snow and melted glacier water samples, while increased concentrations were observed in river water downstream near the coastal area. Perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) was detected in the downstream locations, but not in the glacier, suggesting existence of local sources of this compound. Long-range atmospheric transport of PFAS was the major deposition pathway for the glaciers, while local sources (e.g., skiing activities) were identified in the downstream locations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Trace elements in the alimentary tract of Svalbard reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Staaland

    1985-05-01

    Full Text Available In the alimentary tract of Svalbard reindeer concentrations of Fe and Co were higher in winter than in summer, whereas the concentrations of Mn and Cu were equal in both seasons. Zn concentrations were higher in summer throughout the alimentary tract, but Mo were highest only in the distal part. The general pattern of absorption in the alimentary tract seems to correspond to findings in other ruminants. The very high levels of Fe and Co are emphasized.Sporelementer i fordøyelseskanalen hos Svalbard-rein.Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Konsentrasjonen av Fe og Co i fordøyelsessystemet hos Svalbard-rein var høyere om vinteren enn om sommeren, mens konsentrasjonene av Mn og Cu var like vinter og sommer. Zn konsentrasjonene var høyest om sommeren gjennom hele fordøyelsessystemet, mens Mo konsentrasjonene var høyest i det distale avsnittet. Det generelle absorbsjonsmønster synes å stemme overens med funn fra andre drøvtyggere. De svært høye nivåer av Fe og Co blir fremhevet.Huippuvuorten peuran ruoansulatuskanavan ilmaisijaelementeistå.Abstract in Finnish / Yhteenveto: Huippuvuorten peuran ruoansulatuskanavassa mitattiin talvella korkeammat Fe- ja Co-pitoisuudet kuin kesalla, kun taas Mn- ja Cu-pitoisuudet olivat samanlaisia kesålla ja talvella. Zn-pitoisuudet olivat korkeimmillaan kesållå koko ruoansulatuskanavassa, kun taas Mo-pitoisuudet olivat korkeimmat kanavan distaaliosassa. Yleinen absorptiomalli nayttaa hyvin sopivan yhteen muilla mårehtijoilla tehtyjen loydosten kanssa. Tutkimuksessa korostetaan raudan ja koboltin erityisen korkeaa tasoa.

  5. Rapid formation of a sea ice barrier east of Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; van Woert, M. L.; Neumann, G.

    2005-11-01

    Daily SeaWinds scatterometer images acquired by the QuikSCAT satellite show an elongated sea ice feature that formed very rapidly (˜1-2 days) in November 2001 east of Svalbard over the Barents Sea. This sea ice structure, called "the Svalbard sea ice barrier," spanning approximately 10° in longitude and 2° in latitude, restricts the sea route and poses a significant navigation hazard. The secret of its formation appears to lie in the bottom of the sea: A comparison between bathymetry from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean data and the pattern of sea ice formation from scatterometer data reveals that the sea ice barrier conforms well with and stretches above a deep elongated channel connecting the Franz Josef-Victoria Trough to the Hinlopen Basin between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. Historic hydrographic data from this area indicate that this sea channel contains cold Arctic water less than 50 m below the surface. Strong and persistent cold northerly winds force strong heat loss from this shallow surface layer, leading to the rapid formation of the sea ice barrier. Heat transfer rates estimated from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts temperature and wind data over this region suggest that the surface water along the deep channel can be rapidly cooled to the freezing point. Scatterometer results in 1999-2003 show that sea ice forms in this area between October and December. Understanding the ice formation mechanisms helps to select appropriate locations for deployment of buoys measuring wind and air-sea temperature profile and to facilitate ice monitoring, modeling, and forecasting.

  6. A numerical model for meltwater channel evolution in glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Jarosch

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Meltwater channels form an integral part of the hydrological system of a glacier. Better understanding of how meltwater channels develop and evolve is required to fully comprehend supraglacial and englacial meltwater drainage. Incision of supraglacial stream channels and subsequent roof closure by ice deformation has been proposed in recent literature as a possible englacial conduit formation process. Field evidence for supraglacial stream incision has been found in Svalbard and Nepal. In Iceland, where volcanic activity provides meltwater with temperatures above 0 °C, rapid enlargement of supraglacial channels has been observed. Supraglacial channels provide meltwater through englacial passages to the subglacial hydrological systems of big ice sheets, which in turn affects ice sheet motion and their contribution to eustatic sea level change. By coupling, for the first time, a numerical ice dynamic model to a hydraulic model which includes heat transfer, we investigate the evolution of meltwater channels and their incision behaviour. We present results for different, constant meltwater fluxes, different channel slopes, different meltwater temperatures, different melt rate distributions in the channel as well as temporal variations in meltwater flux. The key parameters governing incision rate and depth are channel slope, meltwater temperature loss to the ice and meltwater flux. Channel width and geometry are controlled by melt rate distribution along the channel wall. Calculated Nusselt numbers suggest that turbulent mixing is the main heat transfer mechanism in the meltwater channels studied.

  7. 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

  8. Cs-137 in Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) on Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gwynn, Justin P.; Fuglei, Eva; Dowdall, Mark

    2007-01-01

    This study presents 137 Cs muscle activity concentrations in Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) from Svalbard over a period of several years and discusses the transfer of 137 Cs to Arctic foxes through likely predator-prey relationships. Mean 137 Cs activity concentrations and 137 Cs T ag values (per trapping season) ranged from 0.51 ± 2.76 to 1.32 ± 2.89 Bq/kg (w.w.) and 5.1 x 10 -4 to 1.3 x 10 -3 m 2 /kg, respectively. Mean concentration ratios of 137 Cs in Arctic foxes compared to probable prey ranged from 1.0 to 7.9. On Svalbard, transfer of 137 Cs to Arctic foxes is likely to occur via both marine and terrestrial food chains. The relative contribution of marine and terrestrial food sources to the diet of Arctic foxes may vary by location and by season and may lead to either an increase or decrease in the trophic transfer of 137 Cs to Arctic foxes compared to transfer resulting from terrestrial only diets

  9. Persistent organic pollutants in four bivalve species from Svalbard waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vieweg, Ireen; Hop, Haakon; Brey, Thomas; Huber, Sandra; Ambrose, William G.; Locke V, William L.; Gabrielsen, Geir W.

    2012-01-01

    Organochlorine compounds (OC) were determined in Arctic bivalves (Mya truncata, Serripes groenlandicus, Hiatella arctica and Chlamys islandica) from Svalbard with regard to differences in geographic location, species and variations related to their size and age. Higher chlorinated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB 101–PCB 194), chlordanes and α-hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH) were consistently detected in the bivalves and PCBs dominated the OC load in the organisms. OC concentrations were highest in Mya truncata and the lowest in Serripes groenlandicus. Species-specific OC levels were likely related to differences in the species’ food source, as indicated by the δ 13 C results, rather than size and age. Higher OC concentrations were observed in bivalves from Kongsfjorden compared to the northern sampling locations Liefdefjorden and Sjuøyane. The spatial differences might be related to different water masses influencing Kongsfjorden (Atlantic) and the northern locations (Arctic), with differing phytoplankton bloom situations. - Highlights: ► Organochlorine compounds (OC) were analyzed in 4 bivalve species from Svalbard. ► Polychlorinated biphenyls dominated the OC load observed in the bivalves. ► Atlantic water influenced bivalves had higher OC levels than those from Arctic water. ► Location and species, rather than size and age, determined the OC pattern found. - New findings of organochlorines in Arctic bivalves that are central for evaluating the importance of geographical location and species for the organochlorine pattern in benthic organisms.

  10. Digestion of energy and nutrients in Svalbard reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Staaland

    1988-06-01

    Full Text Available Feeding trials with 5 male Svalbard reindeer, Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus Vrolik were conducted at the Man and the Biosphere (MAB Research Station in Adventdalen, Svalbard. Five different diets were used, 1: commercial reindeer food, (RF-71, 2: a mixture of locally harvested grasses and sedges (mainly Dupontia pelligera and Eriphorum scheusczeri, 3: a pure moss (Pleurozium scheberi diet, 4: a lichen diet using the dominant Svalbard species Cetraria delisei, and 5: a mixed diet of RF-71, moss (P. schreberi and lichens (mainly Cladonia alpestris and Cladonia rangiferina. When fed the RF-71 diet the digestibility by Svalbard and Norwegian reindeer were similar with respect to dry matter (DM 75 v 74% and crude protein (CP 74 v 70% as were the availabilities of P (72 v 76% a and Ca (18 v 36% in the diet. The mixture of grasses and sedges was highly digestible with respect to DM ((66,5% but had low availabilities of Ca (12%, Mg (10% and P (-11%. DM digestibility of the lichen C delisei was low (33% however this lichen could constitute a good source of Ca. Moss palatability was very low (174-252 g or 9-13g/kg 0 75 intake daily. DM, CP and energy digestibilities, respectively 48, 53 and 49%, and the availabilities of P (66% and Ca (20% were indicative that they could add to the energy and protein intake while contributing significantly to nutrient balance of Svalbard reindeer when present in a mixed diet.Fordøyelse av energi og næringsstoffer hos Svalbard-rein.Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Ved MAB-stasjonen i Adventdalen på Svalbard ble det utført foringsforsøk med fem voksne bukker av Svalbardrein, Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus Vrolik. Det ble nyttet fem forskjellige forty per, 1: pelletert reinfor, RF71, 2: en blanding av gras og siv høstet i Adventdalen (vesentlig Dupontia pelligera og Eriophorum scheuchzeri, 3: en ren mosediett (Pleurozium schreberi, 4: lav av den vanlige Svalbard -arten, Cetraria delisei, 5: en blandet diett av RF

  11. Status and biology of ringed seals (Phoca hispida in Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Lydersen

    1998-06-01

    water prior to weaning. They are capable of diving for up to 12min and dive to the bottom of the study areas (max. 89 m. Nursing females spend more than 80% of their time in the water. Maximum recorded dive duration for mothers was 21.2 min. In order to produce a weaned pup, the net energy expenditure for a ringed seal mother is 1,073 MJ. This energy value corresponds to the consumption of 185 kg of polar cod or 282 kg of P. libellula. The annual gross energy consumption for adult males and females is calculated to be 5,600 MJ and 7,300 MJ, respectively. The main predators of ringed seals in Svalbard are polar bears (Ursus maritimus and Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus. In addition, both glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus are documented as predators of ringed seals in this area. Heavy predation pressure is probably the main factor explaining why pups of this species start diving at such a young age, why they have access to so many breathing holes (8.7 on average and why they keep their white coat long after its thermoregulatory properties have vanished. Pollution levels in ringed seals from Svalbard are, generally speaking, similar to levels in other areas of the Arctic.

  12. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wendy

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

  13. 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

  14. 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,...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Polychlorinated biphenyls and reproductive hormones in female polar bears at Svalbard.

    OpenAIRE

    Haave, Marte; Ropstad, Erik; Derocher, Andrew E; Lie, Elisabeth; Dahl, Ellen; Wiig, Øystein; Skaare, Janneche U; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2003-01-01

    High concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in polar bears from Svalbard have increased concern for that population's reproductive health. We examined whether there were associations between the plasma concentrations of PCBs and reproductive hormones [progesterone (P4)] and 17 beta-estradiol (E2)] in free-living female polar bears from Svalbard. Concentrations of P4 depended on reproductive status, and concentrations were lowest in females with offspring--females with cubs and fem...

  18. The red-sky enigma over Svalbard in December 2002

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Sigernes

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available On 6 December 2002, during winter darkness, an extraordinary event occurred in the sky, as viewed from Longyearbyen (78° N, 15° E, Svalbard, Norway. At 07:30 UT the southeast sky was surprisingly lit up in a deep red colour. The light increased in intensity and spread out across the sky, and at 10:00 UT the illumination was observed to reach the zenith. The event died out at about 12:30 UT. Spectral measurements from the Auroral Station in Adventdalen confirm that the light was scattered sunlight. Even though the Sun was between 11.8 and 14.6deg below the horizon during the event, the measured intensities of scattered light on the southern horizon from the scanning photometers coincided with the rise and setting of the Sun. Calculations of actual heights, including refraction and atmospheric screening, indicate that the event most likely was scattered solar light from a target below the horizon. This is also confirmed by the OSIRIS instrument on board the Odin satellite. The deduced height profile indicates that the scattering target is located 18–23km up in the stratosphere at a latitude close to 73–75° N, southeast of Longyearbyen. The temperatures in this region were found to be low enough for Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC to be formed. The target was also identified as PSC by the LIDAR systems at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Ålesund (79° N, 12° E. The event was most likely caused by solar illuminated type II Polar Stratospheric Clouds that scattered light towards Svalbard. Two types of scenarios are presented to explain how light is scattered. Keywords. Atmospheric composition and structure (Transmissions and scattering of radiation; Middle atmospherecomposition and chemistry; Instruments and techniques – History of geophysics (Atmospheric Sciences; The red-sky phenomena

  19. Cool episodes in Early Tertiary Arctic climate: Evidence from Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielhagen, R. F.; Tripati, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Arctic is a climatically sensitive and important region. However, very little is known about the climatic and oceanographic evolution of the area, particularly prior to the Neogene. Until recently, the Arctic was assumed to be characterized by relatively warm conditions during the early Cenozoic. The Early Tertiary sedimentary sequence on Svalbard contains several layers with coal seams and broad-leaved plants which were commonly accepted as indicators of a generally temperate-warm climate. Here we report on the intermittent occurrence of certain temperature indicators in the succession, which may represent the first northern high-latitude record of near-freezing temperatures for the early Cenozoic. Besides the findings of probably ice-rafted erratic clasts in the Paleocene and Eocene sandstones and shales, we note especially the occurrence of glendonites which are pseudomorphs of calcite after ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate). We measured the chemical composition of Svalbard glendonites which is almost identical to that of similar pseudomorphs from the Lower Cretaceaous of Northern Canada. Mass spectrometric analyses of the glendonite calcite gave very low carbon isotope values. These values suggest a provenance of the calcium carbonate from marine organic carbon and connect our glendonites to the precursor mineral ikaite which has similar low values. Since a variety of studies has demonstrated that ikaite is stable only at temperatures close to freezing point, we have to infer low temperatures also for the deepositional environment of which the sediments were deposited that now hold glendonites. These results imply the occurrence of cooling phases episodically during the warm background climate of the Paleocene and Eocene, suggesting that temperature variability was much greater than previously recognized.

  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. Alteration of glacigenic landforms by gravitational mass movements, Ragnarbreen and Ebbabreen, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewertowski, Marek; Pleskot, Krzysztof; Tomczyk, Aleksandra

    2015-04-01

    The extensive recession of Svalbard's glaciers exposed areas containing large amount of dead-ice covered by relatively thin - usually less than a couple of meters - veneer of debris. This landscape can be very dynamic, mainly due to the mass movement processes and dead-ice melting. Continuous redistribution of sediments causes several phases of debris transfer and relief inversion. Hence, the primary glacial deposits released from ice are subsequently transferred by mass movement processes, until they finally reach more stable position. Investigations of dynamics of the mass movement and the way in which they alter the property of glacigenic sediments are therefore cruicial for proper understanding of sedimentary records of previous glaciations. The main objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify short-term dynamic of mass wasting processes; (2) investigate the transformation of the sediment's characteristic by mass wasting processes; (3) asses the contribution of different process to the overall dynamic of proglacial landscape. We focused on the mass-wasting processes in the forelands of two glaciers, Ebbabreen and Ragnarbreen, located near the Petuniabukta at the northern end of the Billefjorden, Spitsbergen. Repetitive topographic scanning was combined with sedimentological analysis of: grain size, clast shape in macro and micro scale and thin sections. Debris falls, slides, rolls and flows were the most important processes leading to reworking of glacigenic sediments and altering their properties. Contribution of different processes to the overall dynamic of the landforms was related mainly to the local conditions. Four different morphological types of sites were identified: (1) near vertical ice-cliffs covered with debris, transformed mainly due to dead-ice backwasting and debris falls and slides, (2) steep debris slopes with exposed ice-cores dominated by debris slides, (3) gentle sediment-mantled slopes transformed due to debris flows, and (4) non

  2. 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

  3. On the quality of Svalbard reindeer pasture in the summer and autumn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Staaland

    1984-05-01

    Full Text Available Late summer and autumn reindeer pasture plants from Adventdalen, Svalbard were analyzed for contents of fatty acids, energy content, protein, fibre, ether extract as well as content of macro minerals. Food intake of grazing reindeer in Adventdalen was estimated from fecal production. Large intake of high quality food seems to account for the growth and fattening of Svalbard reindeer during summer.Om kvaliteten på reinbeite av reinbeite på Svalbard sommer og høst.Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag: Innholdet av fettsyrer, energi, protein, fiber, eterekstrakt og makromineraler ble analysert i reinbeiteplanter fra Adventdalen på Svalbard. Plantene ble samlet på ettersommeren. Forinntaket hos beitende rein i Adventdalen ble estimert ut fra fecesproduksjonen. Et stort inntak av for med høy kvalitet synes å kunne forklare vekst og fettlagring hos Svalbard-reinen om sommeren.Huippuvuorten poronlaidunten laadusta kesalla ja syksylla.Abstract in Finnish / Yhteenveto: Rasvahappojen, energian, fiiberin, eetteriuutteen ja makromineraalien sisaltoa analysoitiin poronlaidunkasveissa Huippuvuorten Adventtilaaksosta. Kasvit kerattiin loppukesalla. Adventtilaaksossa laiduntavien porojen rehun kulunki arvioitiin lannan maarasta. Korkealaatuisen rehun suuri kulutus nayttaa vovan selittaa Huippuvuorten porojen kasvun ja rasvakerrostuman kesalla.

  4. Bacterial communities in ancient permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Purnima; Singh, Shiv M; Singh, Ram N; Naik, Simantini; Roy, Utpal; Srivastava, Alok; Bölter, Manfred

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost soils are unique habitats in polar environment and are of great ecological relevance. The present study focuses on the characterization of bacterial communities from permafrost profiles of Svalbard, Arctic. Counts of culturable bacteria range from 1.50 × 10 3 to 2.22 × 10 5 CFU g -1 , total bacterial numbers range from 1.14 × 10 5 to 5.52 × 10 5 cells g -1 soil. Bacterial isolates are identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Arthrobacter and Pseudomonas are the most dominant genera, and A. sulfonivorans, A. bergeri, P. mandelii, and P. jessenii as the dominant species. Other species belong to genera Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Rhodococcus, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus. To the best of our knowledge, genera Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Nesterenkonia, Psychrobacter, Rhizobium, Sphingobacterium, Sphingopyxis, Stenotrophomonas, and Virgibacillus are the first northernmost records from Arctic permafrost. The present study fills the knowledge gap of culturable bacterial communities and their chronological characterization from permafrost soils of Ny-Ålesund (79°N), Arctic. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Net atmospheric mercury deposition to Svalbard: Estimates from lacustrine sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drevnick, Paul E.; Yang, Handong; Lamborg, Carl H.; Rose, Neil L.

    2012-11-01

    In this study we used lake sediments, which faithfully record Hg inputs, to derive estimates of net atmospheric Hg deposition to Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. With the exception of one site affected by local pollution, the study lakes show twofold to fivefold increases in sedimentary Hg accumulation since 1850, likely due to long-range atmospheric transport and deposition of anthropogenic Hg. Sedimentary Hg accumulation in these lakes is a linear function of the ratio of catchment area to lake area, and we used this relationship to model net atmospheric Hg flux: preindustrial and modern estimates are 2.5 ± 3.3 μg m-2 y-1 and 7.0 ± 3.0 μg m-2 y-1, respectively. The modern estimate, by comparison with data for Hg wet deposition, indicates that atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) or other dry deposition processes contribute approximately half (range 0-70%) of the net flux. Hg from AMDEs may be moving in significant quantities into aquatic ecosystems, where it is a concern because of contamination of aquatic food webs.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  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. Proposal for a Joint NASA/KSAT Ka-band RF Propagation Terminal at Svalbard, Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volosin, Jeffrey; Acosta, Roberto; Nessel, James; McCarthy, Kevin; Caroglanian, Armen

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation discusses the placement of a Ka-band RF Propagation Terminal at Svalbard, Norway. The Near Earth Network (NEN) station would be managed by Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and would benefit NASA and KSAT. There are details of the proposed NASA/KSAT campaign, and the responsibilities each would agree to. There are several reasons for the placement, a primary reason is comparison with the Alaska site, Based on climatological similarities/differences with Alaska, Svalbard site expected to have good radiometer/beacon agreement approximately 99% of time.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Seismic surveys test on Innerhytta Pingo, Adventdalen, Svalbard Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boaga, Jacopo; Rossi, Giuliana; Petronio, Lorenzo; Accaino, Flavio; Romeo, Roberto; Wheeler, Walter

    2015-04-01

    We present the preliminary results of an experimental full-wave seismic survey test conducted on the Innnerhytta a Pingo, located in the Adventdalen, Svalbard Islands, Norway. Several seismic surveys were adopted in order to study a Pingo inner structure, from classical reflection/refraction arrays to seismic tomography and surface waves analysis. The aim of the project IMPERVIA, funded by Italian PNRA, was the evaluation of the permafrost characteristics beneath this open-system Pingo by the use of seismic investigation, evaluating the best practice in terms of logistic deployment. The survey was done in April-May 2014: we collected 3 seismic lines with different spacing between receivers (from 2.5m to 5m), for a total length of more than 1 km. We collected data with different vertical geophones (with natural frequency of 4.5 Hz and 14 Hz) as well as with a seismic snow-streamer. We tested different seismic sources (hammer, seismic gun, fire crackers and heavy weight drop), and we verified accurately geophone coupling in order to evaluate the different responses. In such peculiar conditions we noted as fire-crackers allow the best signal to noise ratio for refraction/reflection surveys. To ensure the best geophones coupling with the frozen soil, we dug snow pits, to remove the snow-cover effect. On the other hand, for the surface wave methods, the very high velocity of the permafrost strongly limits the generation of long wavelengths both with these explosive sources as with the common sledgehammer. The only source capable of generating low frequencies was a heavy drop weight system, which allows to analyze surface wave dispersion below 10 Hz. Preliminary data analysis results evidence marked velocity inversions and strong velocity contrasts in depth. The combined use of surface and body waves highlights the presence of a heterogeneous soil deposit level beneath a thick layer of permafrost. This is the level that hosts the water circulation from depth controlling

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  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. Microbial assemblages in soil microbial succession after glacial retreat in Svalbard (High Arctic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kaštovská, Klára; Elster, Josef; Stibal, Marek; Šantrůčková, H.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 3 (2005), s. 396-407 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : microbial assemblages * deglaciated soil * Svalbard Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.674, year: 2005

  2. Cloudiness and weather variation in central Svalbard in July 2013 as related to atmospheric circulation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Láska, K.; Chládová, Zuzana; Ambrožová, K.; Husák, J.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 2 (2013), s. 184-195 ISSN 1805-0689 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : atmospheric circulation * climate * cloudiness * weather * Svalbard * Arctic Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation http://www.sci.muni.cz/CPR/6cislo/Laska.pdf

  3. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES AGAINST TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM SVALBARD AND EAST GREENLAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum samples from 419 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea (collected 1990 - 2000) and 108 polar bears from East Greenland (collected 1999 - 2004) were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibody prevalences were ...

  4. Serosurvey for Trichinella in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbakk, Kjetil; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Oksanen, Antti; Born, Erik W; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Godfroid, Jacques; Kapel, Christian M O

    2010-09-20

    Blood samples of live-caught polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard collected 1991-2000 (Period 1) and 2006-2008 (Period 2) and from the pack ice of the Barents Sea collected in Period 1, were assayed for antibodies against Trichinella spp. by ELISA. Of 54 cubs-of-the-year included in the Period 1 sample, 53 were seronegative, indicating that exposure to Trichinella infected meat is uncommon during the first months of life for polar bears in the Svalbard region. Of 30 mother-offspring pairs, 18 mothers were seropositive with seronegative offspring (n=27), suggesting (1) that maternal antibodies had dropped to levels below detection limit by the time of capture in April (offspring approximately 4 months old), and (2) supporting experimental studies in other animal models showing that vertical transmission of Trichinella spp. is uncommon. Bear 1 year and older had higher prevalence in Svalbard (78%) than in the Barents Sea (51%). There was no temporal change in prevalence for bears from Svalbard during the time between the two periods. The prevalence increased with age in both sexes. A positive correlation was found between anti-Toxoplasma gondii and anti-Trichinella spp. antibodies.

  5. Effect of periodic melting on geochemical and isotopic signals in an ice core from Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pohjola, V.A.; Moore, J.C.; Isaksson, E.; Jauhiainen, T.; Wal, R.S.W. van de; Martma, T.; Meijer, H.A.J.; Vaikmäe, R.

    2002-01-01

    [1] We examine the quality of atmospherically deposited ion and isotope signals in an ice core taken from a periodically melting ice field, Lomonosovfonna in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The aim is to determine the degree to which the signals are altered by periodic melting of the ice. We use

  6. Monitoring the transformation of historic features in Antarctica and Svalbard : local processes and regional contexts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roura, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    Historical sites in Antarctica and Svalbard contain the material remains of past activities of exploration and exploitation of these regions. These sites have been subject to transformation by cultural and non-cultural (natural) processes since their abandonment to the present. For research and

  7. The lichen genus Caloplaca (Ascomycota, Lecanoromycetes) on Svalbard. Notes and additions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søchting, Ulrik; Lorentsen, Line Balschmidt; Arup, Ulf

    2008-01-01

    23 species of the lichen genus Caloplaca from Svalbard are described and/or discussed. The descriptions are natural language descriptions based on characters for each species coded into LIAS (Global Information System for Lichenized and Non-Lichenized Ascomycetes). A total of 37 Caloplaca species...

  8. The use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) in the investigation of historical quarry abandonment in Svalbard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koster, Benjamin; Kruse, Frigga

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates historical quarry abandonment in Svalbard in the European High Arctic. A short-lived British marble quarry in Kongsfjorden lay deserted after 1920. We ask why this attempt at the large-scale development of High Arctic marble was unproductive; whether there are structural

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The Svalbard-Barents Sea ice-sheet - Historical, current and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Landvik, Jon Y.

    2013-03-01

    The history of research on the Late Quaternary Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870's. The history of how the scientific perception of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980's, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.

  12. 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 ...

  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. Glacier development and topographic context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Towards Quantification of Glacier Dynamic Ice Loss through Passive Seismic Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, A.; Nuth, C.; Weidle, C.; Schweitzer, J.; Kohler, J.; Buscaino, G.

    2015-12-01

    Global glaciers and ice caps loose mass through calving, while existing models are currently not equipped to realistically predict dynamic ice loss. This is mainly because long-term continuous calving records, that would help to better understand fine scale processes and key climatic-dynamic feedbacks between calving, climate, terminus evolution and marine conditions, do not exist. Combined passive seismic/acoustic strategies are the only technique able to capture rapid calving events continuously, independent of daylight or meteorological conditions. We have produced such a continuous calving record for Kronebreen, a tidewater glacier in Svalbard, using data from permanent seismic stations between 2001 and 2014. However, currently no method has been established in cryo-seismology to quantify the calving ice loss directly from seismic data. Independent calibration data is required to derive 1) a realistic estimation of the dynamic ice loss unobserved due to seismic noise and 2) a robust scaling of seismic calving signals to ice volumes. Here, we analyze the seismic calving record at Kronebreen and independent calving data in a first attempt to quantify ice loss directly from seismic records. We make use of a) calving flux data with weekly to monthly resolution obtained from satellite remote sensing and GPS data between 2007 and 2013, and b) direct, visual calving observations in two weeks in 2009 and 2010. Furthermore, the magnitude-scaling property of seismic calving events is analyzed. We derive and discuss an empirical relation between seismic calving events and calving flux which for the first time allows to estimate a time series of calving volumes more than one decade back in time. Improving our model requires to incorporate more precise, high-resolution calibration data. A new field campaign will combine innovative, multi-disciplinary monitoring techniques to measure calving ice volumes and dynamic ice-ocean interactions simultaneously with terrestrial laser

  16. The Svalbard study 1988-89: a unique setting for validation of self-reported alcohol consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Høyer, G; Nilssen, O; Brenn, T; Schirmer, H

    1995-04-01

    The Norwegian island of Spitzbergen, Svalbard offers a unique setting for validation studies on self-reported alcohol consumption. No counterfeit production or illegal import exists, thus making complete registration of all sources of alcohol possible. In this study we recorded sales from all agencies selling alcohol on Svalbard over a 2-month period in 1988. During the same period all adults living permanently on Svalbard were invited to take part in a health screening. As part of the screening a self-administered questionnaire on alcohol consumption was introduced to the participants. We found that the self-reported volume accounted for approximately 40 percent of the sales volume. Because of the unique situation applying to Svalbard, the estimate made in this study is believed to be more reliable compared to other studies using sales volume to validate self-reports.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Persistent organic pollutants, skull size and bone density of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland 1892–2015 and Svalbard 1964–2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F.

    2018-01-01

    that the skull size of adult East Greenland females was negatively correlated with collection year 1892–2015 (linear regression: p = 0.06). No temporal change was found for BMD or skull size in Svalbard polar bears (ANOVA: all p > 0.05) nor was there any significant difference in BMD between Svalbard and East...... Greenland subpopulations. Skull size was larger in polar bears from Svalbard than from East Greenland (two-way ANOVA: p = 0.003). T-scores reflecting risk of osteoporosis showed that adult males from both East Greenland and Svalbard are at risk of developing osteopenia. Finally, when correcting for age...

  7. Recent understanding of the Svalbard basement in the light of new radiometric age determinations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohta, Y.

    1992-01-01

    Several tectonothermal events in the pre-Carboniferous basement of Svalbard during Caledonian and Proterozoic times have been dated recently by radiometric age determinations. Three or four stages have been recognized in the Caledonian period; a post-orogentic graben formation during the Devonian, a late Caledonian event in the Middle Silurian, an earely Caledonian event in the Middle Ordovician and possibly an earliest event in the Middle to Late Cambrian. The Grenvillian event, 950-1270 Ma, has been well established by both radiometric ages and unconformities in Nordaustlandet and southwestern Spitsbergen. Sveco-Karelian ages, 1670-1750 Ma, also have been obtained from Ny Friesland, northerneastern Spitsbergen. Two even older ages (zircon U-Pb) upper intercept ages), 2.1 and 3.2 Ga, may suggest the presence of still older crust in Svalbard and adjacent areas. 40 refs., 2 figs

  8. 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.

  9. Adaptive harvest management for the Svalbard population of Pink-Footed Geese: 2014 progress summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Fred A.; Madsen, J.

    2015-01-01

    This document describes progress to date on the development of an adaptive harvest-management strategy for maintaining the Svalbard population of pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) near their agreed target level (60 thousand) by providing for sustainable harvests in Norway and Denmark.  Specifically, this report provides an assessment of the most recent monitoring information and its implications for the harvest management strategy.

  10. The distribution of snow accumulation across the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard: direct measurements and modelling

    OpenAIRE

    Taurisano, Andrea; Schuler, Thomas V.; Hagen, Jon Ove; Eiken, Trond; Loe, Even; Melvold, Kjetil; Kohler, Jack

    2007-01-01

    We present an analysis of the spatial variability in the snow accumulation on the Austfonna ice cap in Svalbard, Norway, based on the results of field investigations conducted in the spring of 1999, 2004 and 2005. During the campaigns ground penetrating radar measurements at 500 and 800 MHz were collected along profiles, along with additional manual snow sounding and pit stratigraphy work. The analysis of the data reveals a consistent pattern in the spatial distribution of the snow accumulati...

  11. Investigating the Impact of Ecological Succession on Fluxes of Halogenated Volatile Organic Compounds (HVOCs) from Retreating Glacier Forefields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, M.; Young, D.; O'Doherty, S.; Wadham, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions of the Earth, with temperature increases of +7oC projected by 2100 under a mitigation emission scenario. These climate perturbations are forecast to cause the retreat of extensive glacial systems across Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. This will reveal new proglacial land surfaces for microbial colonisation, ultimately succeeding to tundra over decades to centuries. A relatively unexplored dimension to these changes is their impact upon the emission and consumption of halogenated volatile organic compounds (HVOCs) from proglacial land surfaces. HVOCs are involved in several important atmospheric processes such as ozone destruction and aerosol formation and despite considerable research, uncertainties remain in the natural cycles of some of these compounds. Here, we investigated the influence of biological process on the fluxes of HVOCs from recently (chambers on surfaces spanning recently-exposed sediments, to approx. 100 yr old tundra in front of Midtre Lovenbreen glacier, Svalbard. In-field analysis of a suite of HVOCs was conducted using a GCMS (gas chromatograph mass spectrometer) with a custom-built pre-concentration system. HVOC concentrations were evaluated with reference to biological (e.g. cell numbers) and physio-chemical (e.g. water content) parameters of the land surface, in order to assess the importance of the microbial community on the net flux. Significant rates of consumption of some HVOC species and production of others was detected. Further laboratory incubations supported the findings in the field. Proglacial surfaces are, therefore, a previously unrecognised sink and source of various HVOCs that have the potential to increase in importance with projected future climate change.

  12. Polychlorinated biphenyls and reproductive hormones in female polar bears at Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haave, Marte; Ropstad, Erik; Derocher, Andrew E; Lie, Elisabeth; Dahl, Ellen; Wiig, Øystein; Skaare, Janneche U; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2003-04-01

    High concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in polar bears from Svalbard have increased concern for that population's reproductive health. We examined whether there were associations between the plasma concentrations of PCBs and reproductive hormones [progesterone (P4)] and 17 beta-estradiol (E2)] in free-living female polar bears from Svalbard. Concentrations of P4 depended on reproductive status, and concentrations were lowest in females with offspring--females with cubs and females with yearlings. In these females, the P4 concentrations were positively correlated with plasma sigma PCBs (sum of all analyzed polychlorinated biphenyl congeners) concentrations. The sigma PCBs concentrations explained 27% of the variation in the P4 concentrations. There were no correlations between sigma PCBs and E2 and cortisol in any of the groups of polar bears, or between sigma PCBs and P4 in single polar bears. Although the sigma PCBs-P4 relationship in female polar bears with offspring is not evidence per se of a direct cause-effect association, the results indicate that PCBs may affect levels of P4 in polar bear females. There is a clear need to further assess the hormone balance and population health of polar bears at Svalbard.

  13. Reduced metabolic cost of locomotion in Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea during winter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lees

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The Svalbard rock ptarmigan, Lagopus muta hyperborea experiences extreme photoperiodic and climatic conditions on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This species, however, is highly adapted to live in this harsh environment. One of the most striking adaptations found in these birds is the deposition, prior to onset of winter, of fat stores which may comprise up to 32% of body mass and are located primarily around the sternum and abdominal region. This fat, while crucial to the birds' survival, also presents a challenge in that the bird must maintain normal physiological function with this additional mass. In particular these stores are likely to constrain the respiratory system, as the sternum and pelvic region must be moved during ventilation and carrying this extra load may also impact upon the energetic cost of locomotion. Here we demonstrate that winter birds have a reduced cost of locomotion when compared to summer birds. A remarkable finding given that during winter these birds have almost twice the body mass of those in summer. These results suggest that Svalbard ptarmigan are able to carry the additional winter fat without incurring any energetic cost. As energy conservation is paramount to these birds, minimising the costs of moving around when resources are limited would appear to be a key adaptation crucial for their survival in the barren Arctic environment.

  14. Cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans and captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushida, Kazunari; Segawa, Takahiro; Tsuchida, Sayaka; Murata, Koichi

    2016-02-01

    Preservation of indigenous gastrointestinal microbiota is deemed to be critical for successful captive breeding of endangered wild animals, yet its biology is poorly understood. Here, we investigated cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta japonica) and compared them with those in Svalbard rock ptarmigans (L. m. hyperborea) in captivity. Ultra-deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated that the community structure of cecal microbiota in wild rock ptarmigans was remarkably different from that in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Fundamental differences between bacterial communities in the two groups of birds were detected at the phylum level. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Synergistetes were the major phyla detected in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans, whereas Firmicutes alone occupied more than 80% of abundance in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Furthermore, unclassified genera of Coriobacteriaceae, Synergistaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Actinomycetaceae, Veillonellaceae and Clostridiales were the major taxa detected in wild individuals, whereas in zoo-reared birds, major genera were Ruminococcus, Blautia, Faecalibacterium and Akkermansia. Zoo-reared birds seemed to lack almost all rock ptarmigan-specific bacteria in their intestine, which may explain the relatively high rate of pathogenic infections affecting them. We show evidence that preservation and reconstitution of indigenous cecal microflora are critical for successful ex situ conservation and future re-introduction plan for the Japanese rock ptarmigan.

  15. Seasonal differences in jump performance in the Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J. Lees

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Fat storage is essential to the survival of many bird species, providing energy reserves, but can have an effect on locomotor performance with an associated potential increase in predation risk. In particular, the ability to initiate flight through jumping is critical to predator avoidance and may be influenced by changes in body mass (Mb. Here we investigate seasonal differences in the jump take-off performance of high Arctic Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea resulting from around a 50% increase in Mb during winter as a result of fat deposition. Using force-plate data and videography, we reveal that, in the absence of alterations to take-off angle, winter Svalbard rock ptarmigan are unable to increase hind-limb power output during jumping to compensate for their increased Mb. As a result, peak take-off velocity is reduced by 42% and jump duration is also extended during winter. The consequences of reduced jumping performance upon Svalbard ptarmigan during winter may be relatively small given their low risk of predation during this season. It may be, however, that the observed reduction in jumping performance when fat may contribute to the sub-maximal pattern of fat acquisition observed in other bird species.

  16. Biomagnification of mercury in selected species from an Arctic marine food web in Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaeger, Iris; Hop, Haakon; Gabrielsen, Geir W.

    2009-01-01

    Concentrations and biomagnification of total mercury (TotHg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were studied in selected species from the pelagic food web in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Twelve species of zooplankton, fish and seabirds, were sampled representing a gradient of trophic positions in the Svalbard marine food web. TotHg and MeHg were analysed in liver, muscle and/or whole specimens. The present study is the first to provide MeHg levels in seabirds from the Svalbard area. The relative MeHg levels decreased with increasing levels of TotHg in seabird tissues. Stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ 15 N) were used to determine the trophic levels and the rate of biomagnification of mercury in the food web. A linear relationship between mercury levels and trophic position was found for all seabird species combined and their trophic level, but there was no relationship within species. Biomagnification factors were all > 1 for both TotHg and MeHg, indicating biomagnification from prey to predator. TotHg levels in the different seabirds were similar to levels detected in the Kongsfjorden area in the 1990s.

  17. Svalbard as a study model of future High Arctic coastal environments in a warming world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek Piskozub

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Svalbard archipelago, a high latitude area in a region undergoing rapid climate change, is relatively easily accessible for field research. This makes the fjords of Spitsbergen, its largest island, some of the best studied Arctic coastal areas. This paper aims at answering the question of how climatically diverse the fjords are, and how representative they are for the expected future Arctic diminishing range of seasonal sea-ice. This study uses a meteorological reanalysis, sea surface temperature climatology, and the results of a recent one-year meteorological campaign in Spitsbergen to determine the seasonal differences between different Spitsbergen fjords, as well as the sea water temperature and ice ranges around Svalbard in recent years. The results show that Spitsbergen fjords have diverse seasonal patterns of air temperature due to differences in the SST of the adjacent ocean, and different cloudiness. The sea water temperatures and ice concentrations around Svalbard in recent years are similar to what is expected most of the Arctic coastal areas in the second half of this century. This makes Spitsbergen a unique field study model of the conditions expected in future warmer High Arctic.

  18. Structure from motion, a low cost, very high resolution method for surveying glaciers using GoPros and opportunistic helicopter flights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, L.; Nuth, C.; Schellenberger, T.

    2014-12-01

    The capability of structure from motion techniques to survey glaciers with a very high spatial and temporal resolution is a promising tool for better understanding the dynamic changes of glaciers. Modern software and computing power allow us to produce accurate data sets from low cost surveys, thus improving the observational capabilities on a wider range of glaciers and glacial processes. In particular, highly accurate glacier volume change monitoring and 3D movement computations will be possible Taking advantage of the helicopter flight needed to survey the ice stakes on Kronenbreen, NW Svalbard, we acquired high resolution photogrammetric data over the well-studied Midre Lovénbreen in September 2013. GoPro Hero 2 cameras were attached to the landing gear of the helicopter, acquiring two images per second. A C/A code based GPS was used for registering the stereoscopic model. Camera clock calibration is obtained through fitting together the shapes of the flight given by both the GPS logger and the relative orientation of the images. A DEM and an ortho-image are generated at 30cm resolution from 300 images collected. The comparison with a 2005 LiDAR DEM (5 meters resolution) shows an absolute error in the direct registration of about 6±3m in 3D which could be easily reduced to 1,5±1m by using fine point cloud alignment algorithms on stable ground. Due to the different nature of the acquisition method, it was not possible to use tie point based co-registration. A combination of the DEM and ortho-image is shown with the point cloud in figure below. A second photogrammetric data set will be acquired in September 2014 to survey the annual volume change and movement. These measurements will then be compared to the annual resolution glaciological stake mass balance and velocity measurements to assess the precision of the method to monitor at an annual resolution.

  19. Glacier mass variations from recent ITSG-Grace solutions: Experiences with the point-mass modeling technique in the framework of project SPICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimond, S.; Klinger, B.; Krauss, S.; Mayer-Gürr, T.; Eicker, A.; Zemp, M.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years, remotely sensed observations have become one of the most ubiquitous and valuable sources of information for glacier monitoring. In addition to altimetry and interferometry data (as observed, e.g., by the CryoSat-2 and TanDEM-X satellites), time-variable gravity field data from the GRACE satellite mission has been used by several authors to assess mass changes in glacier systems. The main challenges in this context are i) the limited spatial resolution of GRACE, ii) the gravity signal attenuation in space and iii) the problem of isolating the glaciological signal from the gravitational signatures as detected by GRACE.In order to tackle the challenges i) and ii), we thoroughly investigate the point-mass modeling technique to represent the local gravity field. Instead of simply evaluating global spherical harmonics, we operate on the normal equation level and make use of GRACE K-band ranging data (available since April 2002) processed at the Graz University of Technology. Assessing such small-scale mass changes from space-borne gravimetric data is an ill-posed problem, which we aim to stabilize by utilizing a Genetic Algorithm based Tikhonov regularization. Concerning issue iii), we evaluate three different hydrology models (i.e. GLDAS, LSDM and WGHM) for validation purposes and the derivation of error bounds. The non-glaciological signal is calculated for each region of interest and reduced from the GRACE results.We present mass variations of several alpine glacier systems (e.g. the European Alps, Svalbard or Iceland) and compare our results to glaciological observations provided by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and alternative inversion methods (surface density modeling).

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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. 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...

  6. 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)

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. The Holocene and the Late Deglaciation: timing and development on the northern Svalbard margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slubowska, M. A.; Koc, N.; Rasmussen, T. L.

    2002-12-01

    Svalbard is located in the high Arctic (76§ to 81§ N and 10§ to 28§ E) at the northernmost reach of the warmer West Spitsbergen Current, which forms the continuation of the North Atlantic Current. At this position, close to the Polar Front, even small variations in the current are expected to have large effects on the regional climate. Therefore, the Svalbard area is ideal for monitoring past changes in the ocean circulation as well as the timing and the nature of the Svalbard ice sheet disintegration. We have investigated core NP94-51 SC2 (80§ 21,346 N, 16§ 17,970 E, 400m water depth and 714 cm long) retrieved from the mouth of the Hinlopen Strait in the Arctic Ocean, north of Svalbard. The main objective of this study is to document a) the deglaciation history of the area, b) the Holocene climate variability on the decadal time scales using sedimentological, physical and biological analysis. AMS-14C dating gives the age of approximately 14,000 BP for the bottom of the core. The Holocene interglacial is represented by c. 5 m. A detailed analysis of different oceanographic proxies such as: ice rafted debris, magnetic susceptibility, spectral reflectance (L*a*b scale), benthic and planktic foraminiferal fauna, diatom flora, grain size and radiocarbon dates (AMS-14C) were used to reconstruct the paleoceanographic evolution of the area. The results show that disintegration of the Hinlopen Strait ice sheet and, possibly, the northern margin of the Svalbard ice sheet began at 14,000 BP. The influx of the subsurface Atlantic waters into the area began during the Bolling interstadial at 12,600 BP, while the surface waters were still cold and of low salinity. The retreat of the sea ice cover occurred together with the opening of the surface waters at 10,800 BP. During major part of the Younger Dryas (10,800 - 10,000 BP) the Polar Front was located close to the core site. At 10,100 BP the Polar Front retreated from that area. In comparison to the deglaciation

  10. 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....

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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,

  14. High Arctic Coasts At Risk - The Impact of Coastal Hazards on Scientific and Community Infrastructure in Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzelecki, M. C.; Pawlowski, L.; Jaskolski, M.; Lim, M.; Zagorski, P.; Long, A. J.; Jensen, M.

    2015-12-01

    The rapid climate warming being observed in the Svalbard is leading to an increase in human activities in the coastal zone, leading to an increased need for coastal hazard assessment. Present-day Svalbard coastal landscapes are modified by increased degradation of permafrost accelerated sediment supply from deglaciated catchments, and prolonged periods of open-water conditions and wave activity. Since the second half of 20thcentury there is also an observed increase in the number and intensity of storms entering the Arctic particularly in summer months when coastlines are free of protective ice cover. Despite the potential significance of these coastal hazards on the security of scientific (research bases and devices) and community (ports, airports, roads, buildings) infrastructure on Svalbard, relatively little is known on the present-day rate of Svalbard coastal zone changes and how they might impact the nearshore infrastructure in the future. Here we report the results of a project that focused on rates of coastal zone changes in Svalbard and examined the impact of extreme coastal processes on scientific and community infrastructure. The project applied combination of remote sensing and field-based mapping techniques to characterise coastal changes observed in the surroundings of main research stations in Svalbard in Hornsund (PPS), Petuniabukta (AMUPS) and Bellsund (Calypsobyen) as well as a major towns: Longyearbyen, Piramiden, Barentsburg and Svea. Our results document dramatic changes of Svalbard coastal zone under intervals characterised by a warming climate, retreating local ice masses, a shortened winter sea-ice season and melting permafrost. The study confirmed the growing importance of extreme processes in shaping coasts of Svalbard and the impact of these changes on human infrastructure. Our study proposes a risk assessment for a development and protection of infrastructure along the coasts of Svalbard under scenarios of climate change, sea level rise

  15. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    OpenAIRE

    Holding, J.M.; Duarte, C.M.; Delgado-Huertas, A.; Soetaert, K.; Vonk, J.E.; Agusti, S.; Wassmann, P.; Middelburg, J.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon (OC), however recent research suggests that melt water from sea ice and glaciers could introduce an allochthonous source of OC to the microbial food web with ramifications for the metabolic balance ...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Salivary glands in Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus and in Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svein D. Mathiesen

    1999-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this investigation was to compare the size of salivaty glands in Svalbard reindeer {Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus and in Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus in relation to feeding strategy, season and reproductive status. The mean body mass (BM, standard deviation j in adult non-lactating female Svalbard reindeer was 72.0, s = 4.2, kg (n = 8 in September and 46.7, s = 7.1, kg (« = 4 in April. The mean BM of adult non-lactating Norwegian reindeer was 67.5, s = 7.7, kg (» = 8 in September and 59.2, s = 9.6, kg (n = 9 in March. In non-lactating female Svalbard reindeer the mean combined mass of parotid glands was 82.7, s = 4.5, g in September and 58.8, s = 8.7, g in April (P < 0.05. In the Norwegian reindeer the mean combined mass of the parotid glands was 95.2, s = 14.4, g in Septembet and 68.1, s = 9.5, g in Match (P < 0.05. We wete not able to find any sub-species differences in the size of the salivaty glands which could be related to phenotypic difference in feeding strategy. Both sub-species had parotid glands sizes similar to that of intermediate ruminant types, ranging from 0.11-0.14% of BM. The larger absolute size of salivaty glands in summer compared to winter reflects the importance of high rates of production of saliva when the dry matter intake and microbial fermentation is high.

  8. 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...

  9. Holocene landscape history and ground ice distribution in Svalbard and NE-Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cable, Stefanie

    This PhD study contributes to the scarce knowledge of permafrost dynamics in mountainous terrain. In High-Arctic valleys, on Svalbard and in NE-Greenland, linkages between geomorphology and ground ice- and carbon distribution have been described, quantified and compared between landscape types...... and locations. To achieve this, detailed geomorphological mapping was combined with cryostratigraphic and laboratory analyses (grain size, solutes, radiocarbon- and optically stimulated luminescence-age) of 31 permafrost cores (up to 16 m) from seven different landforms. Ground ice in permafrost has been...

  10. Environmental contaminants in arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in Svalbard: Relationships with feeding ecology and body condition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuglei, E.; Bustnes, J.O.; Hop, H.; Mork, T.; Bjoernfoth, H.; Bavel, B. van

    2007-01-01

    Adipose tissues from 20 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) of both sexes from Svalbard were analysed for polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDE), chlordane, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) concentrations. Gender (0.43 15 N from muscle samples and showed significantly positive relationship with all contaminants, with the exception of HCB concentrations. This indicates that foxes feeding at high trophic levels had higher tissue contaminant levels as a result of bioaccumulation in the food chain. - High contaminant concentrations in the coastal ecotype of arctic fox may cause toxic health effects due to huge annual cyclic variation in storage and mobilisation of adipose tissue

  11. Serosurvey of three virus infections in reindeer in northern Norway and Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Stuen

    1993-12-01

    Full Text Available Sera from 326 Norwegian reindeer (NR and from 40 Svalbard reindeer (SR were examined for antibodies to reindeer herpesvirus (RHV, bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV and parainfulenza type 3 virus (PIV-3. No antibodies to any of these three viruses were detected in sera from SR. Sixty-three percent of sera from 101 adult NR (> 12 months old and 15% of 225 NR calves (6 months old had antibodies to RHV; corresponding values for BVDV were 41% and 6%, respectively. Twenty-seven percent of adult NR and 1% of NR calves had antibodies to both viruses. No antibodies to PIV-3 were detected in any NR sera.

  12. Spectral composition of shortwave radiation reflected and deep penetrating into snow near the Barentsburg settlement (Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. N. Svyashchennikov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Data on spectral composition of shortwave radiation that is reflected from snow and penetrates deep into the snow cover obtained near the Barentsburg settlement (Svalbard are discussed in the paper. Measurements were made by the use of the spectral radiometer TriOS Ramses within the wavelength range of 280–950 nm. The results will allow more proper taking account of the anthropogenic pollution effects on the radiative properties of snow cover under conditions of industrial activity related to the coal extraction and burning in Barentsburg.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Managing visitor sites in Svalbard: from a precautionary approach towards knowledge-based management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirstin Fangel

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Increased tourism in the Arctic calls for more knowledge to meet management challenges. This paper reviews existing knowledge of the effects of human use on vegetation, fauna and cultural heritage in Svalbard, and it addresses the need for site-specific knowledge for improved management. This paper draws upon scientific studies, knowledge held by management authorities and local people, the Governor's database on visitors and visited sites and our own data from landing sites we visited. There is a certain level of basic knowledge available, allowing us to roughly grade the vulnerability of sites. However, there is a thorough lack of site-specific data related to the management of single locations or groups of similar locations. Future research needs to address specific on-site challenges in the management of visitor sites. Relevant management models and measures are discussed. We contend that a shift away from a blanket application of the precautionary principle and towards a more integrated, site-specific and evidence-based management plan will contribute to more trusted and reliable, and thereby acceptable among stakeholders, decisions in the management of growing tourism activity in Svalbard.

  19. Research Article. A new gravity laboratory in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breili K.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA has recently established a new gravity laboratory in Ny-Ålesund at Svalbard, Norway. The laboratory consists of three independent pillars and is part of the geodetic core station that is presently under construction at Brandal, approximately 1.5 km north of NMA’s old station. In anticipation of future use of the new gravity laboratory, we present benchmark gravity values, gravity gradients, and final coordinates of all new pillars. Test measurements indicate a higher noise level at Brandal compared to the old station. The increased noise level is attributed to higher sensitivity to wind.We have also investigated possible consequences of moving to Brandal when it comes to the gravitational signal of present-day ice mass changes and ocean tide loading. Plausible models representing ice mass changes at the Svalbard archipelago indicate that the gravitational signal at Brandal may differ from that at the old site with a size detectable with modern gravimeters. Users of gravity data from Ny-Ålesund should, therefore, be cautious if future observations from the new observatory are used to extend the existing gravity record. Due to its lower elevation, Brandal is significantly less sensitive to gravitational ocean tide loading. In the future, Brandal will be the prime site for gravimetry in Ny-Ålesund. This ensures gravity measurements collocated with space geodetic techniques like VLBI, SLR, and GNSS.

  20. Vertical Profiles and Chemical Properties of Aerosol Particles upon Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Moroni

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Size-segregated particle samples were collected in the Arctic (Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard in April 2011 both at ground level and in the free atmosphere exploiting a tethered balloon equipped also with an optical particle counter (OPC and meteorological sensors. Individual particle properties were investigated by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive microanalysis (SEM-EDS. Results of the SEM-EDS were integrated with particle size and optical measurements of the aerosols properties at ground level and along the vertical profiles. Detailed analysis of two case studies reveals significant differences in composition despite the similar structure (layering and the comparable texture (grain size distribution of particles in the air column. Differences in the mineral chemistry of samples point at both local (plutonic/metamorphic complexes in Svalbard and remote (basic/ultrabasic magmatic complexes in Greenland and/or Iceland geological source regions for dust. Differences in the particle size and shape are put into relationship with the mechanism of particle formation, that is, primary (well sorted, small or secondary (idiomorphic, fine to coarse grained origin for chloride and sulfate crystals and transport/settling for soil (silicate, carbonate and metal oxide particles. The influence of size, shape, and mixing state of particles on ice nucleation and radiative properties is also discussed.

  1. Norwegian Arctic climate. Climate influencing emissions, scenarios and mitigation options at Svalbard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vestreng, Vigdis; Kallenborn, Roland; Oekstad, Elin

    2010-07-01

    The goal of this study was to establish an emission inventory and emission scenarios for climate influencing compounds at Svalbard, as a basis to develop strategies for emission reduction measures and policies. Emissions for the years 2000-2007 have been estimated for the Svalbard Zone. This area, covering about 173 000 km{sub 2}, ranges from 10 E to 35 E longitude and 74 N to 81 N latitude (Figure 1). In addition, air and ship transport between Tromsoe at the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard has been included. Pollutants considered in our inventory are carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), methane (CH{sub 4}), Sulphur dioxide (SO{sub 2}), Nitrogen oxides (NO{sub x} as NO{sub 2}), and for the first time also estimates of black carbon (BC, soot) and organic carbon (OC) have been included. Our results show that emissions of all pollutants have increased over the time span 2000-2007 (Figure 2), and are expected to increase also in the future if additional measures are not implemented (Figure 12). The emissions from Svalbard are minuscule compared to emission released from the Norwegian mainland and waters (1% in the case of CO{sub 2}). Even so, local releases of climate influencing compounds in the vulnerable Arctic may turn out to make a difference both with respect to adverse environmental effects and to climate change. Emissions have been estimated for all activities of any significance taking place at and around Svalbard. Combustion sources as well as fugitive emissions of methane are included. The main sectors are coal mining, energy production and transportation. Pollution from 28 sub sectors related to these activities has been estimated. The scope of this work differs from that covered by national inventories since emission estimates are based on the fuel consumed and include emissions from international shipping and aviation. Fuel consumption data were collected from local authorities, institutions and industry. Emission factors have been selected from relevant

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Annual CO2 budget and seasonal CO2 exchange signals at a high Arctic permafrost site on Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luërs, J.; Westermann, Signe; Piel, K.

    2014-01-01

    -lasting snow cover, and several months of darkness. This study presents a complete annual cycle of the CO2 net ecosystem exchange (NEE) dynamics for a high Arctic tundra area at the west coast of Svalbard based on eddy covariance flux measurements. The annual cumulative CO2 budget is close to 0 g C m-2 yr-1...

  6. Permeability model of tight reservoir sandstones combining core-plug and miniperm analysis of drillcore; longyearbyen co2lab, Svalbard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magnabosco, Cara; Braathen, Alvar; Ogata, Kei

    2014-01-01

    Permeability measurements in Mesozoic, low-permeability sandstone units within the strata cored in seven drillholes near Longyearbyen, Svalbard, have been analysed to assess the presence of aquifers and their potentials as reservoirs for the storage of carbon dioxide. These targeted sandstones are

  7. The recognition of transient compressional fault slow-slip along the northern shore of Hornsund Fjord, SW Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stemberk, Josef; Briestenský, Miloš; Cacon, S.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 2 (2015), s. 109-123 ISSN 0138-0338 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LM2010008 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : Arctic * Svalbard * Hornsund * 3-D fault displacement monitoring * transient slow fault slip Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.182, year: 2015

  8. Reconstruction of three centuries of annual accumulation rates based on the record of stable isotopes of water from Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pohjola, V.; Martma, T.; Meijer, H.A.J.; Moore, J.; Isaksson, E.; Vaikmae, R.; van de Wal, R.S.W.

    2002-01-01

    We use the upper 81 in of the record of stable isotopes of water from a 122 in long ice core from Lomonosovfonna, central Spitsbergen, Svalbard, to construct an ice-core chronology and the annual accumulation rates over the icefield. The isotope cycles are counted in the ice-core record using a

  9. Seasonal dynamic thinning at Helheim Glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. The Svalbard Caledonides - a collage of Laurentian, Timanian and exotic terranes assembled by Silurian - Late (?) Devonian transcurrent faulting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andresen, Arild; Gasser, Deta

    2014-05-01

    New field and geochronological data from NE Greenland and Svalbard indicate that most of the sub-terranes making up the Svalbard Caledonides (Eastern, Northwestern and Southwestern Terranes) are derived from Laurentias eastern margin. The Neoproterozoic deposits of the Eastern Terrane (Nordaustlandet) show an almost one to one correlation with the Late Neoproterozoic Eleonore Bay Supergroup in NE Greenland. Great similarities also exist between the substratum to the Neoproterozoic deposits in the two areas. The "Barentsian plate/continent" is interpreted to be derived from Laurentias eastern margin Lithologic similarities also exist between parts of the Northwestern Terrane and NE Greenland. The geologic evolution of Svalbard`s Southwestern Terrane, with subduction complexes and Late Neoproterozoic intrusives (Timanian ?) is poorly understood. It will, however, be argued that there is no need to invoke considerable right lateral strike-slip movement of the Motalefjellet subduction complex and related rocks from a position in Arctic Canada to their present position within the Southwestern Terrane, as proposed by some authors. The structural grain of the Svalbard Caledonides, oblique to East Greenland and Scandinavian Caledonides, as well as the Ellesmerian Orogen, is interpreted to be due to counter-clockwise rotation (c. 45o) of the Caledonian trend. A counter-clockwise rotation is to be expected when the northward moving terranes reached the E-W trending Franklinian Basin north of Greenland/Laurentia, which in Early Devonian time had not yet started to close. The model predicts that there should be a dramatic change in the Caledonian structural grain somewhere south of Bjørnøya. It is furthermore speculated that the fan-shaped orientation of Late Paleozoic rift basins in the Western Barents Sea is controlled by reactivation of the rotated structural trend (e.g. Billefjorden Fault Zone and Billefjorden Trough).

  14. Long-term temperature trends and variability on Spitsbergen: the extended Svalbard Airport temperature series, 1898–2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Øyvind Nordli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the few long instrumental records available for the Arctic is the Svalbard Airport composite series that hitherto began in 1911, with observations made on Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. This record has now been extended to 1898 with the inclusion of observations made by hunting and scientific expeditions. Temperature has been observed almost continuously in Svalbard since 1898, although at different sites. It has therefore been possible to create one composite series for Svalbard Airport covering the period 1898–2012, and this valuable new record is presented here. The series reveals large temperature variability on Spitsbergen, with the early 20th century warming as one striking feature: an abrupt change from the cold 1910s to the local maxima of the 1930s and 1950s. With the inclusion of the new data it is possible to show that the 1910s were colder than the years at the start of the series. From the 1960s, temperatures have increased, so the present temperature level is significantly higher than at any earlier period in the instrumental history. For the entire period, and for all seasons, there are positive, statistically significant trends. Regarding the annual mean, the total trend is 2.6°C/century, whereas the largest trend is in spring, at 3.9°C/century. In Europe, it is the Svalbard Archipelago that has experienced the greatest temperature increase during the latest three decades. The composite series may be downloaded from the home page of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and should be used with reference to the present article.

  15. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonne, Christian; Riget, Frank F.; Dietz, Rune; Wiig, Oystein; Kirkegaard, Maja; Born, Erik W.

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears

  16. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonne, Christian [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark) and Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Buelowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C (Denmark)]. E-mail: csh@dmu.dk; Riget, Frank F. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Dietz, Rune [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Wiig, Oystein [Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172 Blindern, N-0562 Oslo (Norway); Kirkegaard, Maja [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of increase glacier discharge on phytoplankton bloom dynamics and pelagic geochemistry in a high Arctic fjord

    KAUST Repository

    Calleja, Maria Ll.

    2017-07-26

    Arctic fjords experience extremely pronounced seasonal variability and spatial heterogeneity associated with changes in ice cover, glacial retreat and the intrusion of continental shelf’s adjacent water masses. Global warming intensifies natural environmental variability on these important systems, yet the regional and global effects of these processes are still poorly understood. In the present study, we examine seasonal and spatial variability in Kongsfjorden, on the western coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. We report hydrological, biological, and biogeochemical data collected during spring, summer, and fall 2012. Our results show a strong phytoplankton bloom with the highest chlorophyll a (Chla) levels ever reported in this area, peaking 15.5 µg/L during late May and completely dominated by large diatoms at the inner fjord, that may sustain both pelagic and benthic production under weakly stratified conditions at the glacier front. A progressively stronger stratification of the water column during summer and fall was shaped by the intrusion of warm Atlantic water (T > 3°C and Sal > 34.65) into the fjord at around 100 m depth, and by turbid freshwater plumes (T < 1°C and Sal < 34.65) at the surface due to glacier meltwater input. Biopolymeric carbon fractions and isotopic signatures of the particulate organic material (POM) revealed very fresh and labile material produced during the spring bloom (13C enriched, with values up to -22.7‰ at the highest Chl a peak, and high in carbohydrates and proteins content -up to 167 and 148 µg/L, respectively-), and a clear and strong continental signature of the POM present during late summer and fall (13C depleted, with values averaging -26.5 ‰, and high in lipid content –up to 92 µg/L-) when freshwater melting is accentuated. Our data evidence the importance of combining both physical (i.e. water mass dominance) and geochemical (i.e. characteristics of material released by glacier runoff) data in order to

  19. Effects of increase glacier discharge on phytoplankton bloom dynamics and pelagic geochemistry in a high Arctic fjord

    KAUST Repository

    Calleja, Maria Ll.; Kerhervé , P.; Bourgeois, S.; Kędra, M.; Leynaert, A.; Devred, E.; Babin, M.; Morata, N.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic fjords experience extremely pronounced seasonal variability and spatial heterogeneity associated with changes in ice cover, glacial retreat and the intrusion of continental shelf’s adjacent water masses. Global warming intensifies natural environmental variability on these important systems, yet the regional and global effects of these processes are still poorly understood. In the present study, we examine seasonal and spatial variability in Kongsfjorden, on the western coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. We report hydrological, biological, and biogeochemical data collected during spring, summer, and fall 2012. Our results show a strong phytoplankton bloom with the highest chlorophyll a (Chla) levels ever reported in this area, peaking 15.5 µg/L during late May and completely dominated by large diatoms at the inner fjord, that may sustain both pelagic and benthic production under weakly stratified conditions at the glacier front. A progressively stronger stratification of the water column during summer and fall was shaped by the intrusion of warm Atlantic water (T > 3°C and Sal > 34.65) into the fjord at around 100 m depth, and by turbid freshwater plumes (T < 1°C and Sal < 34.65) at the surface due to glacier meltwater input. Biopolymeric carbon fractions and isotopic signatures of the particulate organic material (POM) revealed very fresh and labile material produced during the spring bloom (13C enriched, with values up to -22.7‰ at the highest Chl a peak, and high in carbohydrates and proteins content -up to 167 and 148 µg/L, respectively-), and a clear and strong continental signature of the POM present during late summer and fall (13C depleted, with values averaging -26.5 ‰, and high in lipid content –up to 92 µg/L-) when freshwater melting is accentuated. Our data evidence the importance of combining both physical (i.e. water mass dominance) and geochemical (i.e. characteristics of material released by glacier runoff) data in order to

  20. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holding, Johnna M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Soetaert, Karline; Vonk, Jorien E.; Agustí, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Middelburg, Jack J.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon

  1. Autochthonous and allochthonous contributions of organic carbon to microbial food webs in Svalbard fjords

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holding, Johna M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Soetaert, Karline; Vonk, Jorien E.; Agusti, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Middelburg, Jack J.

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are causing sea ice and glaciers to melt at record breaking rates, which has consequences for carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean that are yet to be fully understood. Microbial carbon cycling is driven by internal processing of in situ produced organic carbon

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Effect of water vapour absorption on hydroxyl temperatures measured from Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Chadney

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We model absorption by atmospheric water vapour of hydroxyl airglow emission using the HIgh-resolution TRANsmission molecular absorption database (HITRAN2012. Transmission coefficients are provided as a function of water vapour column density for the strongest OH Meinel emission lines in the (8–3, (5–1, (9–4, (8–4, and (6–2 vibrational bands. These coefficients are used to determine precise OH(8–3 rotational temperatures from spectra measured by the High Throughput Imaging Echelle Spectrograph (HiTIES, installed at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO, Svalbard. The method described in this paper also allows us to estimate atmospheric water vapour content using the HiTIES instrument.

  7. Modelling the regional climate and isotopic composition of Svalbard precipitation using REMOiso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Divine..[], D.V.; Sjolte, Jesper; Isaksson, E.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations of a regional (approx. 50 km resolution) circulation model REMOiso with embedded stable water isotope module covering the period 1958-2001 are compared with the two instrumental climate and four isotope series (d18O) from western Svalbard. We examine the data from ice cores drilled...... than summer. The simulated and measured Holtedahlfonna d18O series agree reasonably well, whereas no significant correlation has been observed between the modelled and measured Lomonosovfonna ice core isotopic series. It is shown that sporadic nature as well as variability in the amount inherent...... in reproducing the local climate. The model successfully captures the climate variations on the daily to multidecadal times scales although it tends to systematically underestimate the winter SAT. Analysis suggests that REMOiso performs better at simulating isotope compositions of precipitation in the winter...

  8. Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus scavenge offal from minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whaling operations in Svalbard (Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata tissue (mainly blubber was found in the gastrointestinal tracks of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus collected in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. In order to determine whether the sharks were actively hunting the whales, finding naturally dead whales or consuming offal from whaling, we checked the genetic identity of the whale tissue found in the sharks against the DNA register for minke whales taken in Norwegian whaling operations. All of the minke whale samples from the sharks that had DNA of sufficient quality to perform individual identifications were traceable to the whaling DNA register. During whaling operations, the blubber is stripped from the carcass and thrown overboard. The blubber strips float on the surface and are available for surface-feeding predators. This study revealed that Greenland sharks are scavenging this material; additionally, it demonstrates the capacity of this ‘benthic-feeding’ shark to utilize the whole water column for foraging.

  9. Gas hydrate dissociation off Svalbard induced by isostatic rebound rather than global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallmann, Klaus; Riedel, M; Hong, W L; Patton, H; Hubbard, A; Pape, T; Hsu, C W; Schmidt, C; Johnson, J E; Torres, M E; Andreassen, K; Berndt, C; Bohrmann, G

    2018-01-08

    Methane seepage from the upper continental slopes of Western Svalbard has previously been attributed to gas hydrate dissociation induced by anthropogenic warming of ambient bottom waters. Here we show that sediment cores drilled off Prins Karls Foreland contain freshwater from dissociating hydrates. However, our modeling indicates that the observed pore water freshening began around 8 ka BP when the rate of isostatic uplift outpaced eustatic sea-level rise. The resultant local shallowing and lowering of hydrostatic pressure forced gas hydrate dissociation and dissolved chloride depletions consistent with our geochemical analysis. Hence, we propose that hydrate dissociation was triggered by postglacial isostatic rebound rather than anthropogenic warming. Furthermore, we show that methane fluxes from dissociating hydrates were considerably smaller than present methane seepage rates implying that gas hydrates were not a major source of methane to the oceans, but rather acted as a dynamic seal, regulating methane release from deep geological reservoirs.

  10. Organic carbon degradation in arctic marine sediments, Svalbard: A comparison of initial and terminal steps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arnosti, C.; Jørgensen, BB

    2006-01-01

    carbohydrate concentrations were comparable to those measured in more temperate sediments, and likely comprise a considerable fraction of porewater dissolved organic carbon. A comparison of dissolved carbohydrate inventories with hydrolysis and sulfate reduction rates suggests that the turnover of carbon......Degradation of marine organic matter under anoxic conditions involves microbial communities working in concert to remineralize complex substrates to CO2. In order to investigate the coupling between the initial and terminal steps of this sequence in permanently cold sediments, rates...... of extracellular enzymatic hydrolysis and sulfate reduction were measured in parallel cores collected from 5 fjords on the west and northwest coast of Svalbard, in the high Arctic. Inventories of total dissolved carbohydrates were also measured in order to evaluate their potential role in carbon turnover...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Arctic Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brusetti Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E. In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70% were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  19. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glad, Trine; Bernhardsen, Pål; Nielsen, Kaare M; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Andersen, Magnus; Aars, Jon; Sundset, Monica A

    2010-01-14

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81 degrees N, 10-33 degrees E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 x 10(4) to 1.6 x 10(6) colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 x 10(3) to 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic beta-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  20. Clay mineralogy, strontium and neodymium isotope ratios in the sediments of two High Arctic catchments (Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindshaw, Ruth S.; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Piotrowski, Alexander M.; Tipper, Edward T.

    2018-03-01

    The identification of sediment sources to the ocean is a prerequisite to using marine sediment cores to extract information on past climate and ocean circulation. Sr and Nd isotopes are classical tools with which to trace source provenance. Despite considerable interest in the Arctic Ocean, the circum-Arctic source regions are poorly characterised in terms of their Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. In this study we present Sr and Nd isotope data from the Paleogene Central Basin sediments of Svalbard, including the first published data of stream suspended sediments from Svalbard. The stream suspended sediments exhibit considerable isotopic variation (ɛNd = -20.6 to -13.4; 87Sr / 86Sr = 0.73421 to 0.74704) which can be related to the depositional history of the sedimentary formations from which they are derived. In combination with analysis of the clay mineralogy of catchment rocks and sediments, we suggest that the Central Basin sedimentary rocks were derived from two sources. One source is Proterozoic sediments derived from Greenlandic basement rocks which are rich in illite and have high 87Sr / 86Sr and low ɛNd values. The second source is Carboniferous to Jurassic sediments derived from Siberian basalts which are rich in smectite and have low 87Sr / 86Sr and high ɛNd values. Due to a change in depositional conditions throughout the Paleogene (from deep sea to continental) the relative proportions of these two sources vary in the Central Basin formations. The modern stream suspended sediment isotopic composition is then controlled by modern processes, in particular glaciation, which determines the present-day exposure of the formations and therefore the relative contribution of each formation to the stream suspended sediment load. This study demonstrates that the Nd isotopic composition of stream suspended sediments exhibits seasonal variation, which likely mirrors longer-term hydrological changes, with implications for source provenance studies based on fixed

  1. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations. PMID:20074323

  2. Alkenone-based reconstructions reveal four-phase Holocene temperature evolution for High Arctic Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, Willem G. M.; D'Andrea, William J.; Bakke, Jostein; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Werner, Johannes P.; Gjerde, Marthe; Bradley, Raymond S.

    2018-03-01

    Situated at the crossroads of major oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns, the Arctic is a key component of Earth's climate system. Compounded by sea-ice feedbacks, even modest shifts in the region's heat budget drive large climate responses. This is highlighted by the observed amplified response of the Arctic to global warming. Assessing the imprint and signature of underlying forcing mechanisms require paleoclimate records, allowing us to expand our knowledge beyond the short instrumental period and contextualize ongoing warming. However, such datasets are scarce and sparse in the Arctic, limiting our ability to address these issues. Here, we present two quantitative Holocene-length paleotemperature records from the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, situated in the climatically sensitive Arctic North Atlantic. Temperature estimates are based on U37K unsaturation ratios from sediment cores of two lakes. Our data reveal a dynamic Holocene temperature evolution, with reconstructed summer lake water temperatures spanning a range of ∼6-8 °C, and characterized by four phases. The Early Holocene was marked by an early onset (∼10.5 ka cal. BP) of insolation-driven Hypsithermal conditions, likely compounded by strengthening oceanic heat transport. This warm interval was interrupted by cooling between ∼10.5-8.3 ka cal. BP that we attribute to cooling effects from the melting Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. Temperatures declined throughout the Middle Holocene, following a gradual trend that was accentuated by two cooling steps between ∼7.8-7 ka cal. BP and around ∼4.4-4.3 ka cal. BP. These transitions coincide with a strengthening influence of Arctic water and sea-ice in the adjacent Fram Strait. During the Late Holocene (past 4 ka), temperature change decoupled from the still-declining insolation, and fluctuated around comparatively cold mean conditions. By showing that Holocene Svalbard temperatures were governed by an alternation of forcings, this study

  3. Evidence From Svalbard for Cool Episodes in Early Tertiary Arctic Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielhagen, R. F.; Tripati, A.; Mac Niocaill, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Arctic is a climatically sensitive and important region. However, very little is known about the climatic and oceanographic evolution of the area, particularly prior to the Neogene. Until recently, the Arctic was assumed to be characterized by relatively warm conditions during the early Cenozoic. The Early Tertiary sedimentary sequence on Svalbard contains several layers with coal seams and broad-leaved plants which were commonly accepted as indicators of a generally temperate-warm climate. Here we report on the intermittent occurrence of certain temperature indicators in the succession, which may represent the first northern high- latitude record of near-freezing temperatures for the early Cenozoic. Besides the findings of probably ice- rafted erratic clasts in the Paleocene and Eocene sandstones and shales, we note especially the occurrence of glendonites which are pseudomorphs of calcite after ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate). Stratigraphic control for the most important glendonite layers was improved by paleomagnetic investigations on the host sediment. We measured the chemical composition of Svalbard glendonites which is almost identical to that of similar pseudomorphs from the Lower Cretaceaous of Northern Canada. Mass spectrometric analyses of the glendonite calcite gave very low carbon isotope values. These values suggest a provenance of the calcium carbonate from marine organic carbon and connect our glendonites to the precursor mineral ikaite which has similar low values. Since a variety of studies has demonstrated that ikaite is stable only at temperatures close to freezing point, we have to infer low temperatures also for the deepositional environment of which the sediments were deposited that now hold glendonites. These results imply the occurrence of cooling phases episodically during the warm background climate of the Paleocene and Eocene, suggesting that temperature variability was much greater than previously recognized.

  4. CALICE: Calibrating Plant Biodiversity in Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Some of the dominant cyanobacteria and algae populating the aquatic and hydro-terrestrial habitats of Petuniabukta Bay in Svalbard in the Arctic; Niektore dominantne cyanobakterie a riasy osidlujuce akvaticke a hydroterestricke biotopy zatoky Petuniabukta na Svalbarde v Arktide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raabova, L; Kovacik, L [Univerzita Komenskeho v Bratislave, Prirodovedecka fakulta, Katedra botaniky, 81102 Bratislava (Slovakia); Elster, J [Centrum polarni ekologie, Prirodovedecka fakulta, Jihoceska Universita, 37005 Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)

    2012-04-25

    This is fycologic research of the Svalbard, which is a summary term for all islands situated between 10 grad to 30 grad E and 74 grad to 81 grad latitude in the European part of the Arctic. Three selected sites within the bay Petuniabukta (78 grad 40' NL, 16 grad 27' E) at the end of the Gulf Billefjorden, located in the central part of the largest island of Svalbard were studied. Collection took place in June 2011 and we recorded totally more than 40 kinds of algae and cyanobacteria. Algae were the most abundant species. From cyanobacteria there was a predominance of filamentous Phormidium autumnale, from algae the representatives of genera Monoraphidium sp. div. and Scenedesmus sp. div. These are only partial results as a part of a more wider conceived research of these phototrophic micro-organisms in this area. (authors)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Global ex-situ crop diversity conservation and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: assessing the current status.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ola T Westengen

    Full Text Available Ex-situ conservation of crop diversity is a global concern, and the development of an efficient and sustainable conservation system is a historic priority recognized in international law and policy. We assess the completeness of the safety duplication collection in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with respect to data on the world's ex-situ collections as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently, 774,601 samples are deposited at Svalbard by 53 genebanks. We estimate that more than one third of the globally distinct accessions of 156 crop genera stored in genebanks as orthodox seeds are conserved in the Seed Vault. The numbers of safety duplicates of Triticum (wheat, Sorghum (sorghum, Pennisetum (pearl millet, Eleusine (finger millet, Cicer (chickpea and Lens (lentil exceed 50% of the estimated numbers of distinct accessions in global ex-situ collections. The number of accessions conserved globally generally reflects importance for food production, but there are significant gaps in the safety collection at Svalbard in some genera of high importance for food security in tropical countries, such as Amaranthus (amaranth, Chenopodium (quinoa, Eragrostis (teff and Abelmoschus (okra. In the 29 food-crop genera with the largest number of accessions stored globally, an average of 5.5 out of the ten largest collections is already represented in the Seed Vault collection or is covered by existing deposit agreements. The high coverage of ITPGRFA Annex 1 crops and of those crops for which there is a CGIAR mandate in the current Seed Vault collection indicates that existence of international policies and institutions are important determinants for accessions to be safety duplicated at Svalbard. As a back-up site for the global conservation system, the Seed Vault plays not only a practical but also a symbolic role for enhanced integration and cooperation for conservation of crop diversity.

  15. The alien terrestrial invertebrate fauna of the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: potential implications for the native flora and fauna

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen J. Coulson

    2015-01-01

    Experience from the Antarctic indicates that the establishment of alien species may have significant negative effects on native flora and fauna in polar regions and is considered to be amongst the greatest threats to biodiversity. But, there have been few similar studies from the Arctic. Although the terrestrial invertebrate inventory of the Svalbard Archipelago is amongst the most complete for any region of the Arctic, no consideration has yet been made of alien terrestrial invertebrate spec...

  16. The Cenozoic western Svalbard margin: sediment geometry and sedimentary processes in an area of ultraslow oceanic spreading

    OpenAIRE

    Amundsen, Ingrid Marie Hasle; Blinova, Maria; Hjelstuen, Berit Oline; Mjelde, Rolf; Haflidason, Haflidi

    2011-01-01

    The northeastern high-latitude North Atlantic is characterised by the Bellsund and Isfjorden fans on the continental slope off west Svalbard, the asymmetrical ultraslow Knipovich spreading ridge and a 1,000 m deep rift valley. Recently collected multichannel seismic profiles and bathymetric records now provide a more complete picture of sedimentary processes and depositional environments within this region. Both downslope and alongslope sedimentary processes are identi...

  17. Global ex-situ crop diversity conservation and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault: assessing the current status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westengen, Ola T; Jeppson, Simon; Guarino, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Ex-situ conservation of crop diversity is a global concern, and the development of an efficient and sustainable conservation system is a historic priority recognized in international law and policy. We assess the completeness of the safety duplication collection in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with respect to data on the world's ex-situ collections as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Currently, 774,601 samples are deposited at Svalbard by 53 genebanks. We estimate that more than one third of the globally distinct accessions of 156 crop genera stored in genebanks as orthodox seeds are conserved in the Seed Vault. The numbers of safety duplicates of Triticum (wheat), Sorghum (sorghum), Pennisetum (pearl millet), Eleusine (finger millet), Cicer (chickpea) and Lens (lentil) exceed 50% of the estimated numbers of distinct accessions in global ex-situ collections. The number of accessions conserved globally generally reflects importance for food production, but there are significant gaps in the safety collection at Svalbard in some genera of high importance for food security in tropical countries, such as Amaranthus (amaranth), Chenopodium (quinoa), Eragrostis (teff) and Abelmoschus (okra). In the 29 food-crop genera with the largest number of accessions stored globally, an average of 5.5 out of the ten largest collections is already represented in the Seed Vault collection or is covered by existing deposit agreements. The high coverage of ITPGRFA Annex 1 crops and of those crops for which there is a CGIAR mandate in the current Seed Vault collection indicates that existence of international policies and institutions are important determinants for accessions to be safety duplicated at Svalbard. As a back-up site for the global conservation system, the Seed Vault plays not only a practical but also a symbolic role for enhanced integration and cooperation for conservation of crop diversity.

  18. Size and composition of the wild reindeer Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus population in the Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alendal, Einar; Bie, Steven de; van Wieren, S.E.

    1979-01-01

    In the summer of 1977 we studied the reindeer population on the islands Barentsøya and Edgeøya in the eastern part of the Svalbard archipelago. A total of 1374 reindeer were observed: 326 animals in the western parts of Barentsøya and 1048 animals on Edgeøya. Considering those parts of Edgeøya which

  19. 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....

  20. The alien terrestrial invertebrate fauna of the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: potential implications for the native flora and fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Coulson

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Experience from the Antarctic indicates that the establishment of alien species may have significant negative effects on native flora and fauna in polar regions and is considered to be amongst the greatest threats to biodiversity. But, there have been few similar studies from the Arctic. Although the terrestrial invertebrate inventory of the Svalbard Archipelago is amongst the most complete for any region of the Arctic, no consideration has yet been made of alien terrestrial invertebrate species, their invasiveness tendencies, threat to the native biology or their route of entry. Such baseline information is critical for appropriate management strategies. Fifteen alien invertebrate species have established in the Svalbard environment, many of which have been introduced via imported soils. Biosecurity legislation now prohibits such activities. None of the recorded established aliens yet show invasive tendencies but some may have locally negative effects. Ten species are considered to be vagrants and a further seven are classified as observations. Vagrants and the observations are not believed to be able to establish in the current tundra environment. The high connectivity of Svalbard has facilitated natural dispersal processes and may explain why few alien species are recorded compared to isolated islands in the maritime Antarctic. The vagrant species observed are conspicuous Lepidoptera, implying that less evident vagrant species are also arriving regularly. Projected climate change may enable vagrant species to establish, with results that are difficult to foresee.

  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. 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.

  3. Chemical and geochemical composition of spring-summer Arctic aerosol collected at Ny Alesund, Svalbard Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udisti, Roberto; Becagli, Silvia; Caiazzo, Laura; Cappelletti, David; Giardi, Fabio; Grotti, Marco; Lucarelli, Franco; Moroni, Beatrice; Nava, Silvia; Severi, Mirko; Traversi, Rita

    2017-04-01

    Since March 2010, spring-summer (usually March - September) campaigns were continuously carried out at the Italian Gruvebadet Observatory, Ny Alesund, Svalbard Island. Aerosol was sampled by PM10 (daily) and 4-stage (4-day resolution) collector devices and size distribution was evaluated at 10 min resolution in the range 10 nm - 20 um (106 size classes by a TSI SMPS-APS integrated system). Six-year (2010-2015) PM10 and size-segregated (>10, 10-2.5, 2.5-1, metal content (major and trace metals, including Rare Earth Elements - REEs, by PIXE and ICP-MS), Pb isotopic composition (by ICP-MS) and Elemental and Organic Carbon (EC-OC) concentrations. The data set was elaborated by multi-parametric statistical analysis (Positive Matrix Factorization - PMF), in order to identifying and quantifying the contribution of the main anthropic and natural aerosol sources. Particular attention was spent in evaluating the anthropic contribution of nss-sulphate, nitrate, EC and heavy metals during the Arctic Haze in spring. The isotopic composition of Pb was used in identifying the source areas (North America, Greenland, North Europe, Siberia, Iceland) of anthropic emissions as a function of seasonality (different atmospheric circulation pathway). Crustal metals and, especially, REEs anomalies (with respect to the Chondrite-normalized profile) allowed characterizing the dust emissions from their Potential Source Areas (PSA). Biogenic markers (especially methane sulfonic acid - MSA - and bio-nss-sulphate) was used to obtain relevant information about the relationship between marine biogenic activity (primary productivity) and sea ice coverage and atmospheric conditions (irradiance, temperature, circulation pathways). The seasonal pattern of the nitrate deposition was also investigated. Chemical and geochemical measurements were compared with high-resolution size distribution and back-trajectory cluster analysis in order to understand the seasonal pattern of the contributions of long

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

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

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

    2011-05-30

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of increase glacier discharge on phytoplankton bloom dynamics and pelagic geochemistry in a high Arctic fjord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calleja, Maria Ll.; Kerhervé, P.; Bourgeois, S.; Kędra, M.; Leynaert, A.; Devred, E.; Babin, M.; Morata, N.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic fjords experience extremely pronounced seasonal variability and spatial heterogeneity associated with changes in ice cover, glacial retreat and the intrusion of continental shelf's adjacent water masses. Global warming intensifies natural environmental variability on these important systems, yet the regional and global effects of these processes are still poorly understood. In the present study, we examine seasonal and spatial variability in Kongsfjorden, on the western coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. We report hydrological, biological, and biogeochemical data collected during spring, summer, and fall 2012. Our results show a strong phytoplankton bloom with the highest chlorophyll a (Chla) levels ever reported in this area, peaking 15.5 μg/L during late May and completely dominated by large diatoms at the inner fjord, that may sustain both pelagic and benthic production under weakly stratified conditions at the glacier front. A progressively stronger stratification of the water column during summer and fall was shaped by the intrusion of warm Atlantic water (T > 3 °C and Sal > 34.65) into the fjord at around 100 m depth, and by turbid freshwater plumes (T carbon fractions and isotopic signatures of the particulate organic material (POM) revealed very fresh and labile material produced during the spring bloom (13C enriched, with values up to -22.7‰ at the highest Chl a peak, and high in carbohydrates and proteins content - up to 167 and 148 μg/L, respectively-), and a clear and strong continental signature of the POM present during late summer and fall (13C depleted, with values averaging -26.5‰, and high in lipid content - up to 92 μg/L-) when freshwater melting is accentuated. Our data evidence the importance of combining both physical (i.e. water mass dominance) and geochemical (i.e. characteristics of material released by glacier runoff) data in order to understand the timing, intensity and characteristics of the phytoplankton bloom in

  16. Environmental contaminants in arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in Svalbard: Relationships with feeding ecology and body condition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fuglei, E. [Norwegian Polar Institute, Polar Environmental Centre, N-9296 Tromso (Norway)]. E-mail: eva.fuglei@npolar.no; Bustnes, J.O. [Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Division of Arctic Ecology, Polar Environmental Centre, N-9296 Tromso (Norway); Hop, H. [Norwegian Polar Institute, The Polar Environmental Centre, N-9296 Tromso (Norway); Mork, T. [National Veterinary Institute, Regional Laboratory, N-9292 Tromso (Norway); Bjoernfoth, H. [MTM Research Centre, Department of Natural Sciences, Orebro University, 701 82 Orebro (Sweden); Bavel, B. van [MTM Research Centre, Department of Natural Sciences, Orebro University, 701 82 Orebro (Sweden)

    2007-03-15

    Adipose tissues from 20 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) of both sexes from Svalbard were analysed for polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDE), chlordane, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) concentrations. Gender (0.43 < p < 0.97) and age (0.15 < p < 0.95) were not significantly related to any of the organohalogen groups. Body condition showed a significant inverse relationship with {sigma}PBDE, {sigma}Chlordane and HCB, suggesting that increased tissue contaminant concentrations are associated with depletion of adipose tissue. The seasonal cyclic storage and mobilisation of adipose tissue, characteristic in Arctic wildlife, may then provide increased input of contaminants to sensitive, vital effect organs. Trophic position was estimated by {delta} {sup 15}N from muscle samples and showed significantly positive relationship with all contaminants, with the exception of HCB concentrations. This indicates that foxes feeding at high trophic levels had higher tissue contaminant levels as a result of bioaccumulation in the food chain. - High contaminant concentrations in the coastal ecotype of arctic fox may cause toxic health effects due to huge annual cyclic variation in storage and mobilisation of adipose tissue.

  17. Shell growth and environmental control of methanophyllic Thyasirid bivalves from Svalbard cold seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Michael; Åström, Emmelie; Ambrose, William; Locke, William; Oliver, Graham; Hong, Wei-Li; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    The analysis of molluscan shell material (sclerochronology) can provide information about an organism's age, growth history, and environmental conditions during its lifetime. Bivalve molluscs are common members of hydrothermal vents and methane cold seeps communities where, supported by chemosynthetic symbionts, they can reach high density and biomass. But little is known about methane-associated bivalve populations inhabiting high-Arctic cold seeps, and sclerochronological analysis of methane-influenced bivalves is rare. We measured growth rates and elemental and isotopic shell signatures in a newly discovered species of bivalve (Thyasiridae) from cold seeps at 350-390m depth southwest of Svalbard. First discovered in 2014, recently described shells of Thyasira capitanea sp.nov. were found at 2 independent seep systems in Storfjordrenna. Mean shell carbon isotopic ratios from inorganic δ13C (mean = -4.8‰) and organic δ13C (mean = -26.9‰) fractions clearly indicate a methane influenced habitat and food source for these organisms. Shell mineral ratios (Li/Ca, Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Fe/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, Pb/Ca) sampled along the axis of growth with laser-ablated ICP-MS exhibit variability through time and between sites, suggesting that concentrations of these elements that may be affected by methane emissions. The mineralogical data also elucidates the internal pattern of shell deposition and growth checks, and combined with the isotopic and growth rate data, enables us to interpret the temporal history of methane release from these locations.

  18. Warming of the West Spitsbergen Current and sea ice north of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Piechura

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This research was supported by a grant from the Fifth European Union Frame-work Programme project ASOF-N, contract EVK2-CT-200200139, the Sixth Frame-work Programme DAMOCLES, contract 018509GOCE, and grants from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, decisions 61/N-IPY/2007/0 and 175/IPY/2007/01.AbstractAccording to the results of recent research, besides the atmospheric circulation, it is heat transport to the Arctic Ocean (AO by ocean currents, the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC in particular, that is playing a significant role in the process of Arctic warming. Data collected by the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAS, in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas, and Fram Strait during the last 20 years reveal considerable changes in the amount of heat transported by the WSC into the Arctic Ocean. An increase in Atlantic Water (AW temperature and the intensification of heat transport were observed in 2004-06; after this period, both parameters decreased. The aim of this study was to find out whether the fluctuations in heat input by the WSC have influenced the sea-ice distribution around Svalbard. In fact they do, but oceanic heat transport should nonetheless be regarded as just one of many processes influencing sea-ice behaviour.

  19. Tracing Atlantic Water Signature in the Arctic Sea Ice Cover East of Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir V. Ivanov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We focus on the Arctic Ocean between Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land in order to elucidate the possible role of Atlantic water (AW inflow in shaping ice conditions. Ice conditions substantially affect the temperature regime of the Spitsbergen archipelago, particularly in winter. We test the hypothesis that intensive vertical mixing at the upper AW boundary releases substantial heat upwards that eventually reaches the under-ice water layer, thinning the ice cover. We examine spatial and temporal variation of ice concentration against time series of wind, air temperature, and AW temperature. Analysis of 1979–2011 ice properties revealed a general tendency of decreasing ice concentration that commenced after the mid-1990s. AW temperature time series in Fram Strait feature a monotonic increase after the mid-1990s, consistent with shrinking ice cover. Ice thins due to increased sensible heat flux from AW; ice erosion from below allows wind and local currents to more effectively break ice. The winter spatial pattern of sea ice concentration is collocated with patterns of surface heat flux anomalies. Winter minimum sea ice thickness occurs in the ice pack interior above the AW path, clearly indicating AW influence on ice thickness. Our study indicates that in the AW inflow region heat flux from the ocean reduces the ice thickness.

  20. Fluctuations of the Vestfonna ice margin at Brageneset, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, after the last glacial maximum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donner, J.J.

    1995-06-01

    Full Text Available Four radiocarbon datings of shells of Mya truncata and Saxicava arctica from the till of the end-moraine of the advance of Vestfonna against Brageneset, Nordaustlandet, between AD 1861 and 1899, gave ages between 8300 BP and 8700 BP. These are from the time when the ice margin had retreated from Brageneset after the last glaciation. An additional age of 7900 BP obtained for Astarteelliptica, also from the end-moraine, shows that the shells in the till represent a mixed death assemblage, as also shown by the composition of the molluscan fauna in general. By comparing the altitudes of the two pumice levels with their altitudes in other areas of Svalbard a curve for the relative uplift of Brageneset could be constructed. According to this curve the highest point of Brageneset at 46.5 m emerged at about 9200 BP, which gives a minimum age for the general deglaciation, an age in agreement with dates obtained from other parts of Nordaustlandet.

  1. Isolation and Physiological Characterization of Psychrophilic Denitrifying Bacteria from Permanently Cold Arctic Fjord Sediments (Svalbard, Norway)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canion, Andy; Prakash, Om; Green, Stefan J.; Jahnke, Linda; Kuypers, Marcel M. M.; Kostka, Joel E.

    2013-01-01

    A large proportion of reactive nitrogen loss from polar sediments is mediated by denitrification, but microorganisms mediating denitrification in polar environments remain poorly characterized. A combined approach of most-probable-number (MPN) enumeration, cultivation and physiological characterization was used to describe psychrophilic denitrifying bacterial communities in sediments of three Arctic fjords in Svalbard (Norway). A MPN assay showed the presence of 10(sup 3)-10(sup 6) cells of psychrophilic nitrate-respiring bacteria g(sup -1) of sediment. Fifteen strains within the Proteobacteria were isolated using a systematic enrichment approach with organic acids as electron donors and nitrate as an electron acceptor. Isolates belonged to five genera, including Shewanella, Pseudomonas, Psychromonas (Gammaproteobacteria), Arcobacter (Epsilonproteobacteria) and Herminiimonas (Betaproteobacteria). All isolates were denitrifiers, except Shewanella, which exhibited the capacity for dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Growth from 0 to 40 degC demonstrated that all genera except Shewanella were psychrophiles with optimal growth below 15 degC, and adaptation to low temperature was demonstrated as a shift from primarily C16:0 saturated fatty acids to C16:1 monounsaturated fatty acids at lower temperatures. This study provides the first targeted enrichment and characterization of psychrophilic denitrifying bacteria from polar sediments, and two genera, Arcobacter and Herminiimonas, are isolated for the first time from permanently cold marine sediments.

  2. Modelling snow ice and superimposed ice on landfast sea ice in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caixin Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Snow ice and superimposed ice formation on landfast sea ice in a Svalbard fjord, Kongsfjorden, was investigated with a high-resolution thermodynamic snow and sea-ice model, applying meteorological weather station data as external forcing. The model shows that sea-ice formation occurs both at the ice bottom and at the snow/ice interface. Modelling results indicated that the total snow ice and superimposed ice, which formed at the snow/ice interface, was about 14 cm during the simulation period, accounting for about 15% of the total ice mass and 35% of the total ice growth. Introducing a time-dependent snow density improved the modelled results, and a time-dependent oceanic heat flux parameterization yielded reasonable ice growth at the ice bottom. Model results suggest that weather conditions, in particular air temperature and precipitation, as well as snow thermal properties and surface albedo are the most critical factors for the development of snow ice and superimposed ice in Kongsfjorden. While both warming air and higher precipitation led to increased snow ice and superimposed ice forming in Kongsfjorden in the model runs, the processes were more sensitive to precipitation than to air temperature.

  3. The Yermak Pass Branch: A Major Pathway for the Atlantic Water North of Svalbard?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Zoé; Provost, Christine; Sennéchael, Nathalie; Garric, Gilles; Gascard, Jean-Claude

    2017-12-01

    An upward-looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler deployed from July 2007 to September 2008 in the Yermak Pass, north of Svalbard, gathered velocity data from 570 m up to 90 m at a location covered by sea ice 10 months out of 12. Barotropic diurnal and semidiurnal tides are the dominant signals in the velocity (more than 70% of the velocity variance). In winter, baroclinic eddies at periods between 5 and 15 days and pulses of 1-2 month periodicity are observed in the Atlantic Water layer and are associated with a shoaling of the pycnocline. Mercator-Ocean global operational model with daily and 1/12° spatial resolution is shown to have skills in representing low-frequency velocity variations (>1 month) in the West Spitsbergen Current and in the Yermak Pass. Model outputs suggest that the Yermak Pass Branch has had a robust winter pattern over the last 10 years, carrying on average 31% of the Atlantic Water volume transport of the West Spitsbergen Current (36% in autumn/winter). However, those figures have to be considered with caution as the model neither simulates tides nor fully resolves eddies and ignores residual mean currents that could be significant.

  4. Decadal Climate Change in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, A Representative Area of the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minghu Ding

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, global warming hiatus/slowdown has attracted considerable attention and has been strongly debated. Many studies suggested that the Arctic is undergoing rapid warming and significantly contributes to a continual global warming trend rather than a hiatus. In this study, we evaluated the climate changes of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, a representative location of the northern North Atlantic sector of the Arctic, based on observational records from 1975–2014. The results showed that the annual warming rate was four times higher than the global mean (+0.76 °C·decade−1 and was also much greater than Arctic average. Additionally, the warming trend of Ny-Ålesund started to slow down since 2005–2006, and our estimates showed that there is a 8–9 years-lagged, but significant, correlation between records of Ny-Ålesund and global HadCRUT4 datasets. This finding indicates that the Arctic was likely experiencing a hiatus pattern, which just appeared later than the low-mid latitudes due to transport processes of atmospheric circulations and ocean currents, heat storage effect of cryospheric components, multidecadal variability of Arctic cyclone activities, etc. This case study provides a new perspective on the global warming hiatus/slowdown debate.

  5. Ground clutter cancellation in incoherent radars: solutions for EISCAT Svalbard radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Turunen

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Incoherent scatter radars measure ionosphere parameters using modified Thomson scatter from free electrons in the target (see e.g. Hagfors, 1997. The integrated cross section of the ionospheric scatterers is extremely small and the measurements can easily be disturbed by signals returned by unwanted targets. Ground clutter signals, entering via the antenna side lobes, can render measurements at the nearest target ranges totally impossible. The EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR, which started measurements in 1996, suffers from severe ground clutter and the ionosphere cannot be measured in any simple manner at ranges less than about 120–150 km, depending on the modulation employed. If the target and clutter signals have different, and clearly identifiable, properties then, in principle, there are always ways to eliminate the clutter. In incoherent scatter measurements, differences in the coherence times of the wanted and unwanted signals can be used for clutter cancellation. The clutter cancellation must be applied to all modulations, usually alternating codes in modern experiments, used for shorter ranges. Excellent results have been obtained at the ESR using a simple pulse-to-pulse clutter subtraction method, but there are also other possibilities.Key words: Radio science (ionospheric physics; signal processing; instruments and techniques

  6. Observation of O+ (4P-4D0 lines in electron aurora over Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Throp

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available This work reports on observations of O+ lines in aurora over Svalbard, Norway. The Spectrographic Imaging Facility measures auroral spectra in three wavelength intervals (Hβ, N+2 1N(0,2 and N+2 1N(1,3. The oxygen ion multiplet (4639-4696Å is blended with the band. It is found that in electron aurora, the brightness of this multiplet, is on average, about 0.1 of the total brightness. A joint optical and incoherent scatter radar study of an electron aurora event shows that the ratio is enhanced when the ionisation in the upper E-layer (140-190km is significant with respect to the E-layer peak below 130km. Rayed arcs were observed on one such occasion, whereas on other occasions the auroral intensity was below the threshold of the imager. A one-dimensional electron transport model is used to estimate the cross section for production of the multiplet in electron collisions, yielding 0.18x10-18cm2.

  7. Phase calibration of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar interferometer using optical satellite signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Sullivan

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The link between natural ion-line enhancements in radar spectra and auroral activity has been the subject of recent studies but conclusions have been limited by the spatial and temporal resolution previously available. The next challenge is to use shorter sub-second integration times in combination with interferometric programmes to resolve spatial structure within the main radar beam, and so relate enhanced filaments to individual auroral rays. This paper presents initial studies of a technique, using optical and spectral satellite signatures, to calibrate the received phase of a signal with the position of the scattering source along the interferometric baseline of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar. It is shown that a consistent relationship can be found only if the satellite passage through the phase fringes is adjusted from the passage predicted by optical tracking. This required adjustment is interpreted as being due to the vector between the theoretical focusing points of the two antennae, i.e. the true radar baseline, differing from the baseline obtained by survey between the antenna foot points. A method to obtain a measurement of the true interferometric baseline using multiple satellite passes is outlined.

  8. A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Atlantic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway, August 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Lydersen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A white humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae was observed on several occasions off Svalbard, Norway, during August 2012. The animal was completely white, except for a few small dark patches on the ventral side of its fluke. The baleen plates were light-coloured, but the animal's eyes had normal (dark colouration. This latter characteristic indicates that the animal was not an albino; it was a leucistic individual. The animal was a full-sized adult and was engaged in “bubble-feeding”, together with 15–20 other humpback whales, each time it was seen. Subsequent to these sightings, polling of the marine mammal science community has resulted in the discovery of two other observations of white humpback whales in the Barents Sea area, one in 2004 and another in 2006; in both cases the observed individuals were adult animals. It is likely that all of these sightings are of the same individual, but there is no genetic or photographic evidence to confirm this suggestion. The rarity of observations of such white individuals suggests that they are born at very low frequencies or that the ontogenetic survival rates of the colour morph are low.

  9. Winter time burst of CO2 from the High Arctic soils of Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friborg, Thomas; Hansen, Birger; Elberling, Bo

    of relatively few measurements which appear to give small and constant emission rates. Further, most studies of the processes behind winter time emission of CO2 conclude that the flux during this time of year can be linked to the respiratory release of CO2 from soil micro organisms, which is temperature...... the winter at a high arctic location in Svalbard (78°N). Measurements were conducted in the field during the winter season of 2004-2005 and show reliable and continuous measurements of CO2 fluxes down to a level of 0.01 ìmol m-2 s-1 and good correspondence with other types of soil chambers. Our results...... indicate that a substantial part of the annual CO2 emission from the ecosystem occur during the freeze in period, where more CO2 is emitted from the soil over a few weeks than the accumulated flux for the rest of the winter. During the coldest part of the...

  10. Metagenomics of the Svalbard reindeer rumen microbiome reveals abundance of polysaccharide utilization loci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip B Pope

    Full Text Available Lignocellulosic biomass remains a largely untapped source of renewable energy predominantly due to its recalcitrance and an incomplete understanding of how this is overcome in nature. We present here a compositional and comparative analysis of metagenomic data pertaining to a natural biomass-converting ecosystem adapted to austere arctic nutritional conditions, namely the rumen microbiome of Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus. Community analysis showed that deeply-branched cellulolytic lineages affiliated to the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes are dominant, whilst sequence binning methods facilitated the assemblage of metagenomic sequence for a dominant and novel Bacteroidales clade (SRM-1. Analysis of unassembled metagenomic sequence as well as metabolic reconstruction of SRM-1 revealed the presence of multiple polysaccharide utilization loci-like systems (PULs as well as members of more than 20 glycoside hydrolase and other carbohydrate-active enzyme families targeting various polysaccharides including cellulose, xylan and pectin. Functional screening of cloned metagenome fragments revealed high cellulolytic activity and an abundance of PULs that are rich in endoglucanases (GH5 but devoid of other common enzymes thought to be involved in cellulose degradation. Combining these results with known and partly re-evaluated metagenomic data strongly indicates that much like the human distal gut, the digestive system of herbivores harbours high numbers of deeply branched and as-yet uncultured members of the Bacteroidetes that depend on PUL-like systems for plant biomass degradation.

  11. Triassic Sequence Geological Development of the Arctic with focus on Svalbard and the Barents Shelf

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moerk, Atle

    1998-12-31

    Triassic rocks are of great interest for exploration in Arctic areas as they have proved to include both good hydrocarbon source rocks and potential hydrogen reservoir rocks. In this thesis, the stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Arctic Triassic successions are studied within a sequence stratigraphical framework. Inter-regional comparisons throughout the Arctic are based on comparisons of transgressive-regressive sequences. Improved dating of the studied sequences, and the recognition and correlation of sequence boundaries of second and third order, facilitate interpretation of facies distribution and the geological development both within and between the studied areas. Main emphasis is given to the Triassic succession of Svalbard and the Barents Shelf, which through this study is integrated within a circum-Arctic sequence stratigraphical framework. Good correspondence of the Triassic sequence boundaries between the different Arctic areas indicate that they are mainly controlled by eustacy, while decreasing correspondence of the sequence boundaries in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods indicate that local and large scale tectonism becomes progressively more dominant in the circum-Arctic Realm through the Mesozoic Era. These hypotheses are further discussed. 701 refs., 110 figs., 12 tabs.

  12. Biological Soil Crusts of Arctic Svalbard-Water Availability as Potential Controlling Factor for Microalgal Biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borchhardt, Nadine; Baum, Christel; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Karsten, Ulf

    2017-01-01

    In the present study the biodiversity of biological soil crusts (BSCs) formed by phototrophic organisms were investigated on Arctic Svalbard (Norway). These communities exert several important ecological functions and constitute a significant part of vegetation at high latitudes. Non-diatom eukaryotic microalgal species of BSCs from 20 sampling stations around Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen were identified by morphology using light microscopy, and the results revealed a high species richness with 102 species in total. 67 taxa belonged to Chlorophyta (31 Chlorophyceae and 36 Trebouxiophyceae), 13 species were Streptophyta (11 Klebsormidiophyceae and two Zygnematophyceae) and 22 species were Ochrophyta (two Eustigmatophyceae and 20 Xanthophyceae). Surprisingly, Klebsormidium strains belonging to clade G (Streptophyta), which were so far described from Southern Africa, could be determined at 5 sampling stations. Furthermore, comparative analyses of Arctic and Antarctic BSCs were undertaken to outline differences in species composition. In addition, a pedological analysis of BSC samples included C, N, S, TP (total phosphorus), and pH measurements to investigate the influence of soil properties on species composition. No significant correlation with these chemical soil parameters was confirmed but the results indicated that pH might affect the BSCs. In addition, a statistically significant influence of precipitation on species composition was determined. Consequently, water availability was identified as one key driver for BSC biodiversity in Arctic regions.

  13. Carbonate Cements from the Sverrefjell and Sigurdfjell Volcanoes, Svalbard Norway: Analogs for Martian Carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Treiman, A. H.; Morris, R.; Bish, D.; Amundsen, H.E.F.; Steele, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Sverrefjell and Sigurdfjell volcanic complexes erupted at 1Ma on Svalbard, Norway. Sverrefjell is a cone of cinders, pillow lavas and dikes; Sigurdfjell is elongate in outcrop and may represent a fissure eruption [1]. The lavas of both volcanos were volatile rich. The volcanos erupted under ice and were subsequently dissected by glaciation (glacial eratics are present on most of Sverrefjell, even on its summit). Eruption beneath an ice sheet is inferred, based on the presence of pillow lavas from near sea level to 1000 m above sea level. Sverrefjell contains the largest fraction of ultramafic xenoliths of any volcanic complex in the world, in places accounting for as much as 50% of the volume of the outcrop. The Sverrefjell and Sigurdfell volcanos contain carbonate cements of several varieties: (1) Amundsen [2] reported Mg-Fe-rich carbonate in sub-mm globules in basalts and ultramafic xenoliths from the volcanos. These globules are the best terrestrial analogs to the carbonate globules in the Mars meteorite ALH84001 [3]. (2) Thick (1-3 cm) coatings of carbonate cement drape the walls of vertical volcanic pipes or conduits on the flanks and near the present summit of Sverrefjell. Similar occurrences are found on Sigurdfjell. (3) Breccia-filled pipes or vents occur on Sverrefjell and Siggurdfjell in which the breccia fragments are cemented by carbonate. The fragments themselves commonly contain carbonate globules similar to those found in the basalts and ultramafic xenoliths.

  14. Size distributions and chemical properties of aerosol at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covert, David S.; Heintzenberg, Jost

    Physical and chemical parameters of the arctic aerosol were investigated at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard, in March and April 1989 in connection with the third Arctic Gas and Aerosol Project (AGASP III). The number size distribution of the particles was measured over the range of 0.02-1.0 μm. Filter samples were analysed for elemental composition and two integral chemical properties, hygroscopic growth and volatility, were measured. Along with the latter measurements, the distribution of these properties at specific particle sizes, i.e. the degree of internal mixing, was determined. Both clean, marine conditions and "arctic haze" episodes were included in the series of measurements. The number size distribution indicated that the aerosol was well aged based on its narrowness and the relative low concentration of nuclei mode particles. It had a number mode at 0.22 μm diameter and geometric standard deviation of 1.4. Generally the particles exhibited uniform hygroscopic growth properties, i.e. they were largely internally mixed. The growth factor was 1.45 at 90% relative humidity. Approximately 40% of the overall particulate mass was volatile at a temperature of 50°C. The volatile fraction varied form particle to particle, i.e. the particles were externally mixed with respect to volatility.

  15. Identification and phenotypic plasticity of Pseudanabaena catenata from the Svalbard archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan Zoya

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A filamentous benthic cyanobacteria, strain USMAC16, was isolated from the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, Norway, and a combination of morphological, ultrastructural and molecular characterisation (16S rRNA gene sequence used to identify to species level. Cell dimensions, thylakoid arrangement and apical cell shape are consistent with the Pseudanabaena genus description. The molecular characterisation of P. catenata gave 100% similarity with Pseudanabaena catenata SAG 1464-1, originally reported from Germany. Strain USMAC16 was cultured under a range of temperature and photoperiod conditions, in solid and liquid media, and harvested at exponential phase to examine its phenotypic plasticity. Under different culture conditions, we observed considerable variations in cell dimensions. The longest cell (5.91±0.13 μm was observed at 15°C under 12:12 light:dark, and the widest cell (3.24±0.06 μm at 4°C under 12:12 light: dark in liquid media. The study provides baseline data documenting the morphological variation of P. catenata in response to changing temperature regimes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Selected anthropogenic and natural radioisotopes in the Barents Sea and off the western coast of Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leppänen, Ari-Pekka; Kasatkina, Nadezhda; Vaaramaa, Kaisa; Matishov, Gennady G.; Solatie, Dina

    2013-01-01

    The Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) performed high-latitude expeditions to the Barents Sea during 2007–2009 where a scientist from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) participated. The aim of the expeditions was to study and map the current radiological situation throughout the Barents Sea. In the expeditions, samples of seawater, sediment and biota were collected for radioactivity studies. The 90 Sr and 137 Cs isotopes were analysed from the seawater samples and no spatial distribution in the concentrations of 90 Sr and 137 Cs was found. The sediment samples were analysed for γ-emitting isotopes. In the statistical analysis performed only the 90 Sr was found to have no spatial distribution. In the 137 Cs concentrations two areas containing higher concentrations were observed: one in the western part of Svalbard and another in Franz Victoria Trough near the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The increase in the western coast of Svalbard suggests an Atlantic influence while in the Franz Victoria Trough source regions are possibly more complex. Since 137 Cs in marine sediments mainly originates from terrestrial sources, finding higher concentrations in the northern part of the Barents Sea may also suggest a contribution of 137 Cs carried by the ocean currents and by sea ice from the outside Barents Sea. In addition to γ spectrometric measurements, the sediment samples were radiochemically analysed for 210 Pb. It was found that the unsupported fraction of 210 Pb showed significant spatial variation. The fraction of unsupported 210 Pb was reduced to 40–70% near Bear Island, Edge Island and in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. In these regions the sea is typically covered with sea ice during winter. The relatively low fraction of unsupported 210 Pb is possibly caused by blocking of wet and dry deposition of 210 Pb onto the sea by winter sea ice. In biota samples, only small traces, at the level of 0.2 Bq/kg w.w. of 137 Cs, were found. When the

  12. 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.

  13. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kotas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS, and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs. We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects, mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

  14. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotas, Petr; Šantrůčková, Hana; Elster, Josef; Kaštovská, Eva

    2018-03-01

    The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS), and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level) were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects), mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

  15. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma. Subsequently, associations between hormone concentrations (9 steroids), POPs (21 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 OH-PCBs, 8 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and OCP metabolites, and 2 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and biological variables (age, head length, body mass, girth, body condition index), capture date, location (latitude and longitude), lipid content and cholesterol levels were examined using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) modelling. Average concentrations of androgens, estrogens and progestagens were in the range of 0.57-83.7 (0.57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen/estrogen ratios being approximately 60 times higher in adult males than in subadult males. PCA plots and OPLS models indicated that TS was positively related to biometrics, such as body condition index in male polar bears. A negative relationship was also observed between POPs and DHT. Consequently, POPs and body condition may potentially affect the endocrinological function of steroids, including development of reproductive tissues and sex organs and the

  16. Calibrating a surface mass-balance model for Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuler, Thomas Vikhamar; Loe, Even; Taurisano, Andrea; Eiken, Trond; Hagen, Jon Ove; Kohler, Jack

    2007-10-01

    Austfonna (8120 km2) is by far the largest ice mass in the Svalbard archipelago. There is considerable uncertainty about its current state of balance and its possible response to climate change. Over the 2004/05 period, we collected continuous meteorological data series from the ice cap, performed mass-balance measurements using a network of stakes distributed across the ice cap and mapped the distribution of snow accumulation using ground-penetrating radar along several profile lines. These data are used to drive and test a model of the surface mass balance. The spatial accumulation pattern was derived from the snow depth profiles using regression techniques, and ablation was calculated using a temperature-index approach. Model parameters were calibrated using the available field data. Parameter calibration was complicated by the fact that different parameter combinations yield equally acceptable matches to the stake data while the resulting calculated net mass balance differs considerably. Testing model results against multiple criteria is an efficient method to cope with non-uniqueness. In doing so, a range of different data and observations was compared to several different aspects of the model results. We find a systematic underestimation of net balance for parameter combinations that predict observed ice ablation, which suggests that refreezing processes play an important role. To represent these effects in the model, a simple PMAX approach was included in its formulation. Used as a diagnostic tool, the model suggests that the surface mass balance for the period 29 April 2004 to 23 April 2005 was negative (-318 mm w.e.).

  17. Magnetic storms and variations in hormone levels among residents of North Polar area - Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breus, Tamara; Zenchenko, Tatiana; Boiko, Evgeni

    It was previously shown that magnetic storms lead to an increase in the level of cortisol and noradrenalin in healthy and sick people with cardiovascular diseases [Breus Rapoport. 2003]. However, in the healthy group in the cited study was only 4 people and it seemed that these results need to be checked. In the present work the 4 examinations (January, March, June, October) of large groups of healthy inhabitants of high latitudes (Svalbard, the most northerly in the world year-round inhabited settlements) on the blood levels of adrenal hormones (cortisol) and thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine (T3 ) and thyroxine T4) have been done. The aim was to study the possible sensitivity of these biochemical parameters in three independent groups of people living in this region (men working underground (364 samples), the men working on the ground (274 samples) and women (280 samples)) to variations in external natural factors of high latitudes. For the analysis we used the following parameters of space and terrestrial weather :index of intensity of solar radio emission at a wavelength 10.7sm (RF10.7), planetary geomagnetic activity index - daily Kp index ( Kp) , the daily average Ap index ( Ap) , the maximum per every 3 -hour Kp index ) as well as the daily average indicators of flow rate of galactic cosmic rays neutron component (N), atmospheric pressure ( RATM ) and its rate of change ( the difference between the Ratm today and yesterday ) according to the geophysical station Oulu (Finland , http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/). The obtained data indicate that the most expressed dependence of the level of studied three hormones is from the level of geomagnetic activity (GMA)-Kp, Ap, Kpmax - 3h. For two of the four seasons (June and October) with increasing levels of GMA a significant (p stress reaction in reply on GMA disturbance. 1. Breus T.K. and Rapoport S.I. Magnetic storms. Medico- biological aspects (in Russian), Publ.Co Soviet Sport,.Moscow, 2003, 271p.

  18. Descent and mixing of the overflow plume from Storfjord in Svalbard: an idealized numerical model study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Fer

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Storfjorden in the Svalbard Archipelago is a sill-fjord that produces significant volumes of dense, brine-enriched shelf water through ice formation. The dense water produced in the fjord overflows the sill and can reach deep into the Fram Strait. For conditions corresponding to a moderate ice production year, the pathway of the overflow, its descent and evolving water mass properties due to mixing are investigated for the first time using a high resolution 3-D numerical model. An idealized modeling approach forced by a typical annual cycle of buoyancy forcing due to ice production is chosen in a terrain-following vertical co-ordinate. Comparison with observational data, including hydrography, fine resolution current measurements and direct turbulence measurements using a microstructure profiler, gives confidence on the model performance. The model eddy diffusivity profiles contrasted to those inferred from the turbulence measurements give confidence on the skill of the Mellor Yamada scheme in representing sub-grid scale mixing for the Storfjorden overflow, and probably for gravity current modeling, in general. The Storfjorden overflow is characterized by low Froude number dynamics except at the shelf break where the plume narrows, accelerates with speed reaching 0.6 m s−1, yielding local Froude number in excess of unity. The volume flux of the plume increases by five-fold from the sill to downstream of the shelf-break. Rotational hydraulic control is not applicable for transport estimates at the sill using upstream basin information. To the leading order, geostrophy establishes the lateral slope of the plume interface at the sill. This allows for a transport estimate that is consistent with the model results by evaluating a weir relation at the sill.

  19. Microseismicity Linked to Gas Migration and Leakage on the Western Svalbard Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franek, Peter; Plaza-Faverola, Andreia; Mienert, Jürgen; Buenz, Stefan; Ferré, Bénédicte; Hubbard, Alun

    2017-12-01

    The continental margin off Prins Karls Forland, western Svalbard, is characterized by widespread natural gas seepage into the water column at and upslope of the gas hydrate stability zone. We deployed an ocean bottom seismometer integrated into the MASOX (Monitoring Arctic Seafloor-Ocean Exchange) automated seabed observatory at the pinch-out of this zone at 389 m water depth to investigate passive seismicity over a continuous 297 day period from 13 October 2010. An automated triggering algorithm was applied to detect over 220,000 short duration events (SDEs) defined as having a duration of less than 1 s. The analysis reveals two different types of SDEs, each with a distinctive characteristic seismic signature. We infer that the first type consists of vocal signals generated by moving mammals, likely finback whales. The second type corresponds to signals with a source within a few hundred meters of the seismometer, either due east or west, that vary on short (˜tens of days) and seasonal time scales. Based on evidence of prevalent seafloor seepage and subseafloor gas accumulations, we hypothesize that the second type of SDEs is related to subseafloor fluid migration and gas seepage. Furthermore, we postulate that the observed temporal variations in microseismicity are driven by transient fluid release and due to the dynamics of thermally forced, seasonal gas hydrate decomposition. Our analysis presents a novel technique for monitoring the duration, intensity, and periodicity of fluid migration and seepage at the seabed and can help elucidate the environmental controls on gas hydrate decomposition and release.

  20. Cryo-conditioned rocky coast systems: A case study from Wilczekodden, Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strzelecki, M C; Kasprzak, M; Lim, M; Swirad, Z M; Jaskólski, M; Pawłowski, Ł; Modzel, P

    2017-12-31

    This paper presents the results of an investigation into the processes controlling development of a cryo-conditioned rock coast system in Hornsund, Svalbard. A suite of nested geomorphological and geophysical methods have been applied to characterise the functioning of rock cliffs and shore platforms influenced by lithological control and geomorphic processes driven by polar coast environments. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys have been used to investigate permafrost control on rock coast dynamics and reveal the strong interaction with marine processes in High Arctic coastal settings. Schmidt hammer rock tests, demonstrated strong spatial control on the degree of rock weathering (rock strength) along High Arctic rock coasts. Elevation controlled geomorphic zones are identified and linked to distinct processes and mechanisms, transitioning from peak hardness values at the ice foot through the wave and storm dominated scour zones to the lowest values on the cliff tops, where the effects of periglacial weathering dominate. Observations of rock surface change using a traversing micro-erosion meter (TMEM) indicate that significant changes in erosion rates occur at the junction between the shore platform and the cliff toe, where rock erosion is facilitated by frequent wetting and drying and operation of nivation and sea ice processes (formation and melting of snow patches and icefoot complexes). The results are synthesised to propose a new conceptual model of High Arctic rock coast systems, with the aim of contributing towards a unifying concept of cold region landscape evolution and providing direction for future research regarding the state of polar rock coasts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. On the physical controls of the carbon dioxide balance at a high arctic site in Svalbard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lloyd, C.R.

    2001-01-01

    Current predictions of the effects of climate change indicate that the Arctic may experience a larger than average increase in temperature with consequent changes to the length of the snow-free active summer period, winter snow depth and amount and frequency of summer precipitation being highly probable. This paper reports on measurements of carbon dioxide flux at a high arctic site at Ny-Aalesund (78 o 56' N, 11 o 55' E), Svalbard and the physical climate variables that largely control this flux. lt is shown that during three important precipitation-free periods of the active summer period, namely post snow melt, high summer, and early autumn, the net balance between CO 2 flux from the soil (due to respiration of roots and soil organisms) and CO 2 assimilation by the vegetation is controlled largely by soil temperature and solar radiation. A simple combined photosynthetic assimilation-soil respiration model is shown to be capable of simulating the net CO 2 flux during mid-summer, but is less proficient in the post snow melt period and in early autumn when the simple models' inability to simulate the effects of emergent growth and ponding during the former and senescence, freezing temperatures and dew during the latter indicates the need for a more complex descriptive model. The net CO 2 flux during the measurement periods progresses from a net CO 2 source of 0.3 gC m -2 d -1 during late snow melt to a mid summer net CO 2 sink of -0.39 gC m -2 d -1 , returning to a net CO 2 source of 0.1 gC m -2 d -1 in the early autumn. Simple extrapolation of the data indicates that, during the active summer season in 1995, this site was a net sink of CO 2 of approximately -9 gC m -2 . (author)

  2. Characterisation of large zooplankton sampled with two different gears during midwinter in Rijpfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Błachowiak-Samołyk Katarzyna

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available During a midwinter cruise north of 80°N to Rijpfjorden, Svalbard, the composition and vertical distribution of the zooplankton community were studied using two different samplers 1 a vertically hauled multiple plankton sampler (MPS; mouth area 0.25 m2, mesh size 200 μm and 2 a horizontally towed Methot Isaacs Kidd trawl (MIK; mouth area 3.14 m2, mesh size 1500 μm. Our results revealed substantially higher species diversity (49 taxa than if a single sampler (MPS: 38 taxa, MIK: 28 had been used. The youngest stage present (CIII of Calanus spp. (including C. finmarchicus and C. glacialis was sampled exclusively by the MPS, and the frequency of CIV copepodites in MPS was double that than in MIK samples. In contrast, catches of the CV-CVI copepodites of Calanus spp. were substantially higher in the MIK samples (3-fold and 5-fold higher for adult males and females, respectively. The MIK sampling clearly showed that the highest abundances of all three Thysanoessa spp. were in the upper layers, although there was a tendency for the larger-sized euphausiids to occur deeper. Consistent patterns for the vertical distributions of the large zooplankters (e.g. ctenophores, euphausiids collected by the MPS and MIK samplers provided more complete data on their abundances and sizes than obtained by the single net. Possible mechanisms contributing to the observed patterns of distribution, e.g. high abundances of both Calanus spp. and their predators (ctenophores and chaetognaths in the upper water layers during midwinter are discussed.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Rockfalls and glacier contraction: Cirque de Troumouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gellatly, Anne F.

    1994-12-01

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

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. What influences heavy metals accumulation in arctic lichen Cetrariella delisei in Svalbard?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Węgrzyn, Michał; Wietrzyk, Paulina; Lisowska, Maja; Klimek, Beata; Nicia, Paweł

    2016-12-01

    The main aim of this study was to identify variations in heavy metal concentrations in Cetrariella delisei along a transect from a High Arctic glacier forehead to the shoreline as well as determine the main environmental factors influencing the deposition of heavy metals in arctic lichens. The macrolichen Cetrariella delisei appears to be an interesting alternative to those lichen species used in the past (e.g. Flavocetraria nivalis, Cladonia sp.) for heavy metal biomonitoring purposes in the Arctic: it is widely distributed, easy to identify and reluctantly grazed by reindeer. Fieldwork was conducted in the summer of 2012 in the Kaffiøyra Plain, Oskar II Land, NW Spitsbergen. C. delisei and soil samples were collected from 5 localities. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd were measured in each sample. A bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was calculated for all the analyzed elements. The BAFs for Cu, Mn, and Ni showed a relatively low accumulation level in lichen thalli. On the other hand, the BAFs for Cr, Pb, and Zn, revealed an increased accumulation level in C. delisei. The Cd content in lichen is almost equal to its level in the soil. The statistical analyses covered three environmental factors: soil pH, substrate type and distance from the shoreline. The data were examined using the Kruskal-Wallis test, canonical correspondence analysis and a permutation test. The results show that distance from the shoreline had the greatest influence on the majority of the heavy metal concentrations in the lichen thalli and the soil. However, the level of Mn accumulated in the soil is determined by its source in the glacier. Moreover, the soil pH had the greatest effect on the Cd accumulated in the soil and the Mn accumulated in the lichen thalli.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Desulfotomaculum arcticum sp. nov., a novel spore-forming, moderately thermophilic, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a permanently cold fjord sediment of Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vandieken, Verona; Knoblauch, Christian; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2006-01-01

    Strain 15T is a novel spore-forming, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a permanently cold fjord sediment of Svalbard. Sulfate could be replaced by sulfite or thiosulfate. Hydrogen, formate, lactate, propionate, butyrate, hexanoate, methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, pyruvate, malate...

  1. Multi‐instrument observations from Svalbard of a traveling convection vortex, electromagnetic ion cyclotron wave burst, and proton precipitation associated with a bow shock instability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engebretson, M. J.; Yeoman, T. K.; Oksavik, K.

    2013-01-01

    of the IMAGE magnetometer array. Hankasalmi SuperDARN radar data showed a west-to-east (antisunward) propagating vortical ionospheric flow in a region of high spectral width ~ 1–2° north of Svalbard, confirming that this magnetic impulse was the signature of a traveling convection vortex. Ground...

  2. Modelling the regional climate and isotopic composition of Svalbard precipitation using REMOiso: a comparison with available GNIP and ice core data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Divine, D.V.; Sjolte, J.; Isaksson, E.; Meijer, H.A.J.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.; Sturm, C.; Godtliebsen, F.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations of a regional (approx. 50 km resolution) circulation model REMOiso with embedded stable water isotope module covering the period 1958-2001 are compared with the two instrumental climate and four isotope series (δ18O) from western Svalbard. We examine the data from ice cores drilled on

  3. Modelling the regional climate and isotopic composition of Svalbard precipitation using REMOiso : a comparison with available GNIP and ice core data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Divine, D. V.; Sjolte, J.; Isaksson, E.; Meijer, H. A. J.; van de Wal, R. S. W.; Martma, T.; Pohjola, V.; Sturm, C.; Godtliebsen, F.

    2011-01-01

    Simulations of a regional (approx. 50 km resolution) circulation model REMOiso with embedded stable water isotope module covering the period 1958-2001 are compared with the two instrumental climate and four isotope series (d18O) from western Svalbard. We examine the data from ice cores drilled on

  4. 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, ...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Radiocaesium (137Cs) in marine mammals from Svalbard, the Barents Sea and the North Greenland Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, Magnus; Gwynn, Justin P.; Dowdall, Mark; Kovacs, Kit M.; Lydersen, Christian

    2006-01-01

    Specific activities of the anthropogenic radionuclide, 137 Cs, were determined in marine mammals from Svalbard and the Barents and North Greenland Seas. Muscle samples were collected from 12 polar bears, 15 ringed seals, 10 hooded seals, 7 bearded seals, 14 harp seals, one walrus, one white whale and one blue whale in the period 2000-2003. The mean concentrations (± SD) of 137 Cs were: 0.72 ± 0.62 Bq/kg wet weight (w.w.) for polar bears; 0.49 ± 0.07 Bq/kg w.w. for ringed seals; 0.25 ± 0.10 Bq/kg w.w. for hooded seals; 0.22 ± 0.11 Bq/kg w.w. for bearded seals; 0.36 ± 0.13 Bq/kg w.w. for harp seals; 0.67 Bq/kg w.w. for the white whale sample; 0.24 Bq/kg w.w. for the blue whale; and below detection limit for the walrus. Significant differences in 137 Cs specific activities between some of the species were found. Ringed seals had higher specific activities than the other seal species in the study. Bearded seals and hooded seals had similar values, which were both significantly lower than the harp seal values. The results in the present study are consistent with previous reported results, indicating low specific activities of 137 Cs in Arctic marine mammals in the Barents Sea and Greenland Sea region during the last 20 years. The species specific differences found may be explained by varying diet or movement and distribution patterns between species. No age related patterns were found in specific activities for the two species (polar bears and hooded seals) for which sufficient data was available. Concentration factors (CF) of 137 Cs from seawater were determined for polar bears, ringed, bearded, harp and hooded seals. Mean CF values ranged from 79 ± 32 (SD) for bearded seals sampled in 2002 to 244 ± 36 (SD) for ringed seals sampled in 2003 these CF values are higher than those reported for fish and benthic organisms in the literature, suggesting bioaccumulation of 137 Cs in the marine ecosystem

  11. Resonance scattering by auroral N2+: steady state theory and observations from Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Jokiaho

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies of auroral energy input at high latitudes often depend on observations of emissions from the first negative band of ionised nitrogen. However, these emissions are affected by solar resonance scattering, which makes photometric and spectrographic measurements difficult to interpret. This work is a statistical study from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, during the solar minimum between January and March 2007, providing a good coverage in shadow height position and precipitation conditions. The High Throughput Imaging Echelle Spectrograph (HiTIES measured three bands of N2+ 1N (0,1, (1,2 and (2,3, and one N2 2P band (0,3 in the magnetic zenith. The brightness ratios of the N2+ bands are compared with a theoretical treatment with excellent results. Balance equations for all important vibrational levels of the three lowest electronic states of the N2+ molecule are solved for steady-state, and the results combined with ion chemistry modelling. Brightnesses of the (0,1, (1,2 and (2,3 bands of N2+ 1N are calculated for a range of auroral electron energies, and different values of shadow heights. It is shown that in sunlit aurora, the brightness of the (0,1 band is enhanced, with the scattered contribution increasing with decreasing energy of precipitation (10-fold enhancements for energies of 100 eV. The higher vibrational bands are enhanced even more significantly. In sunlit aurora the observed 1N (1,2/(0,1 and (2,3/(0,1 ratios increase as a function of decreasing precipitation energy, as predicted by theory. In non-sunlit aurora the N2+ species have a constant proportionality to neutral N2. The ratio of 2P(0,3/1N(0,1 in the morning hours shows a pronounced decrease, indicating enhancement of N2+ 1N emission. Finally we study the relationship of all emissions and their ratios to rotational temperatures. A clear effect is observed on rotational development of the bands. It is possible that greatly enhanced rotational temperatures may be a

  12. First observations of noctilucent clouds by lidar at Svalbard, 78°N

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Höffner

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available In summer 2001 a potassium lidar was installed near Longyearbyen (78° N on the north polar island of Spitsbergen which is part of the archipelago Svalbard. At the same place a series of meteorological rockets ("falling spheres', FS were launched which gave temperatures from the lower thermosphere to the stratosphere. The potassium lidar is capable of detecting noctilucent clouds (NLCs and of measuring temperatures in the lower thermosphere, both under daylight conditions. In this paper we give an overview on the NLC measurements (the first at this latitude and compare the results with temperatures from meteorological rockets which have been published recently (Lübken and Mülleman, 2003 NLCs were observed from 12 June (the first day of operation until 12 August when a period of bad weather started. When the lidar was switched on again on 26 August, no NLC was observed. The mean occurrence frequency in the period 12 June -- 12 August ("lidar NLC period' is 77%. The mean of all individual NLC peak altitudes is 83.6 km (variability: 1.1 km. The mean peak NLC altitude does not show a significant variation with season. The average top and bottom altitude of the NLC layer is 85.1 and 82.5 km, respectively, with a variability of ~1.2 km. The mean of the maximum volume backscatter coefficient bmax at our wavelength of 770 nm is 3.9 x 10-10/m/sr with a large variability of ±3.8 x 10-10/m/sr. Comparison of NLC characteristics with measurements at ALOMAR (69° N shows that the peak altitude and the maximum volume backscatter coefficient are similar at both locations but NLCs occur more frequently at higher latitudes. Simultaneous temperature and NLC measurements are available for 3 flights and show that the NLC layer occurs in the lower part of the height range with super-saturation. The NLC peak occurs over a large range of degree of saturation (S whereas most models predict the peak at S = 1. This demonstrates that steady-state considerations may not

  13. Hydroclimate variability of High Arctic Svalbard during the Holocene inferred from hydrogen isotopes of leaf waxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balascio, Nicholas L.; D'Andrea, William J.; Gjerde, Marthe; Bakke, Jostein

    2018-03-01

    The response of the Arctic hydrologic cycle to global warming includes changes in precipitation patterns and moisture availability associated with variable sea ice extent and modes of atmospheric circulation. Reconstructions of past hydroclimate changes help constrain the natural range of these systems, identify the manners in which they respond to different forcing mechanisms, and reveal their connections to other components of the climate system, all of which lead to a better understanding of present and future changes. Here we examine hydroclimate changes during the Holocene in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard by reconstructing the isotopic composition of precipitation. We measured the hydrogen isotopic composition (δD values) of leaf wax compounds (n-alkanes; C25-C31) in a sediment core from Lake Hakluytvatnet on the island of Amsterdamøya, northwest Spitsbergen. We interpret δD values of mid-chain (C25) and long-chain (C29, C31) length n-alkanes to represent changes in the isotopic composition of lake water and precipitation over the last 12.9 ka. After deglaciation of the catchment, water supply became restricted and the lake experienced significant evaporative isotopic enrichment indicating warmer conditions from 12.8 to 7.5 ka. The isotope values suggest an increase in the delivery of moisture from warmer sub-polar air masses between 12.8 and 9.5 ka, followed by generally warm, but unstable conditions between 9.5 and 7.5 ka, possibly indicating a response to meltwater forcing. Sedimentary evidence indicates a hiatus in deposition c. 7.5-5.0 ka, likely as a result of desiccation of the lake. At c. 5.0 ka lacustrine sedimentation resumed and over the last 5 ka there was a progressive increase in the influence of polar air masses and colder conditions, which culminated in an abrupt shift to colder conditions at c. 1.8 ka. This late Holocene cooling ended c. 0.18 ka, when isotopic data indicate warmer conditions and greater influence of moisture

  14. State of Arctic Sea Ice North of Svalbard during N-ICE2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rösel, Anja; King, Jennifer; Gerland, Sebastian

    2016-04-01

    The N-ICE2015 cruise, led by the Norwegian Polar Institute, was a drift experiment with the research vessel R/V Lance from January to June 2015, where the ship started the drift North of Svalbard at 83°14.45' N, 21°31.41' E. The drift was repeated as soon as the vessel drifted free. Altogether, 4 ice stations where installed and the complex ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system was studied with an interdisciplinary Approach. During the N-ICE2015 cruise, extensive ice thickness and snow depth measurements were performed during both, winter and summer conditions. Total ice and snow thickness was measured with ground-based and airborne electromagnetic instruments; snow depth was measured with a GPS snow depth probe. Additionally, ice mass balance and snow buoys were deployed. Snow and ice thickness measurements were performed on repeated transects to quantify the ice growth or loss as well as the snow accumulation and melt rate. Additionally, we collected independent values on surveys to determine the general ice thickness distribution. Average snow depths of 32 cm on first year ice, and 52 cm on multi-year ice were measured in January, the mean snow depth on all ice types even increased until end of March to 49 cm. The average total ice and snow thickness in winter conditions was 1.92 m. During winter we found a small growth rate on multi-year ice of about 15 cm in 2 months, due to above-average snow depths and some extraordinary storm events that came along with mild temperatures. In contrast thereto, we also were able to study new ice formation and thin ice on newly formed leads. In summer conditions an enormous melt rate, mainly driven by a warm Atlantic water inflow in the marginal ice zone, was observed during two ice stations with melt rates of up to 20 cm per 24 hours. To reinforce the local measurements around the ship and to confirm their significance on a larger scale, we compare them to airborne thickness measurements and classified SAR-satellite scenes. The

  15. Photogrammetry on glaciers: Old and new knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. 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...

  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.

    2015-02-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kuska, Dale M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vinay Kumar Gaddam

    2017-06-12

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

  11. 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.

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

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

    2011-05-13

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. 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

  15. The influence of cruise ship emissions on air pollution in Svalbard – a harbinger of a more polluted Arctic?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Eckhardt

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study we have analyzed whether tourist cruise ships have an influence on measured sulfur dioxide (SO2, ozone (O3, Aitken mode particle and equivalent black carbon (EBC concentrations at Ny Ålesund and Zeppelin Mountain on Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic during summer. We separated the measurement data set into periods when ships were present and periods when ships were not present in the Kongsfjord area, according to a long-term record of the number of passengers visiting Ny Ålesund. We show that when ships with more than 50 passengers cruise in the Kongsfjord, measured daytime mean concentrations of 60 nm particles and EBC in summer show enhancements of 72 and 45%, respectively, relative to values when ships are not present. Even larger enhancements of 81 and 72% were found for stagnant conditions. In contrast, O3 concentrations were 5% lower on average and 7% lower under stagnant conditions, due to titration of O3 with the emitted nitric oxide (NO. The differences between the two data subsets are largest for the highest measured percentiles, while relatively small differences were found for the median concentrations, indicating that ship plumes are sampled relatively infrequently even when ships are present although they carry high pollutant concentrations. We estimate that the ships increased the total summer mean concentrations of SO2, 60 nm particles and EBC by 15, 18 and 11%, respectively. Our findings have two important implications. Firstly, even at such a remote Arctic observatory as Zeppelin, the measurements can be influenced by tourist ship emissions. Careful data screening is recommended before summertime Zeppelin data is used for data analysis or for comparison with global chemistry transport models. However, Zeppelin remains as one of the most valuable Arctic observatories, as most other Arctic observatories face even larger local pollution problems. Secondly, given landing statistics of tourist ships on Svalbard, it is

  16. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-06-15

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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Correlation of wind and solar power in high-latitude arctic areas in Northern Norway and Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solbakken Kine

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the possibilities for combining wind and solar power in a household-scale hybrid renewable energy system in arctic high-latitude areas in the North of Norway. By combining two complementary renewable energy sources, the efficiency and reliability of the power output can be improved compared to a system utilizing wind or solar power independently. This paper assesses the correlation between wind and solar power on different timescales in four different locations in Northern Norway and Svalbard. For all locations complementary characteristics of wind and solar power are found, however, the strength of the correlation is highly variable for each location and for the different timescales. The best correlation for all places is found on a monthly timescale. HOMER is used to run simulations on hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES for each location. For three of the four locations the HRES produces more power than what is consumed in the household.

  13. Three Years of High Resolution Year-Round Monitoring of Ice-Wedge Thermal Contraction Cracking in Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, H. H.

    2006-12-01

    Most likely ice-wedges are the most widespread periglacial landform in lowlands with continuous permafrost. With a changing climate it is important to understand better the geomorphological processes controlling ice- wedge growth and decay, as they might cause large changes to the surface of the landscape, particularly if the active layer thickness increases causing melting of the most ice-rich permafrost top layer. As most settlements on permafrost are located in lowland areas, ice-wedge formation can also influence the infrastructure. Understanding the processes of ice-wedge growth and their thaw transformation into ice-wedge casts are essential when using contemporary ice wedges as analogues of Pleistocene thermal contraction cracking in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. As ice-wedges are largely controlled by winter conditions, improved understanding of the factors controlling their growth will enable better palaeoclimatic reconstructions both directly from ice-wedges, but also from ice-wedge casts, than just mean winter temperatures. Detailed studies of ice-wedge dynamics, including quantification of movement, have only been done in very few places in the Arctic. In high arctic Svalbard at 78°N climate at sea level locates these islands close to the southern limit of the continuous permafrost zone, with MAAT of as much as -4 to -6°C. However, thermal contraction cracking is demonstrated to be widespread in the Adventdalen study area in Svalbard. The year-round field access from the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, has enabled the collection of different continuous or high frequency ice-wedge process monitoring data since 2002 to improve the understanding of the geomorphological activity of this landform. In all the winters the air temperature was below -30°C for shorter or longer periods. During all the winters, the temperature in the top permafrost was below -15°C both in the ice-wedge top for shorter or longer periods. The snow cover was

  14. Diet and metabolic state are the main factors determining concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances in female polar bears from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartu, Sabrina; Bourgeon, Sophie; Aars, Jon; Andersen, Magnus; Lone, Karen; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Polder, Anuschka; Thiemann, Gregory W; Torget, Vidar; Welker, Jeffrey M; Routti, Heli

    2017-10-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have been detected in organisms worldwide, including Polar Regions. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), the top predator of Arctic marine ecosystems, accumulates high concentrations of PFASs, which may be harmful to their health. The aim of this study was to investigate which factors (habitat quality, season, year, diet, metabolic state [i.e. feeding/fasting], breeding status and age) predict PFAS concentrations in female polar bears captured on Svalbard (Norway). We analysed two perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs: PFHxS and PFOS) and C 8 -C 13 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) in 112 plasma samples obtained in April and September 2012-2013. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios (δ 15 N, δ 13 C) in red blood cells and plasma, and fatty acid profiles in adipose tissue were used as proxies for diet. We determined habitat quality based on movement patterns, capture position and resource selection functions, which are models that predict the probability of use of a resource unit. Plasma urea to creatinine ratios were used as proxies for metabolic state (i.e. feeding or fasting state). Results were obtained from a conditional model averaging of 42 general linear mixed models. Diet was the most important predictor of PFAS concentrations. PFAS concentrations were positively related to trophic level and marine diet input. High PFAS concentrations in females feeding on the eastern part of Svalbard, where the habitat quality was higher than on the western coast, were likely related to diet and possibly to abiotic factors. Concentrations of PFSAs and C 8 -C 10 PFCAs were higher in fasting than in feeding polar bears and PFOS was higher in females with cubs of the year than in solitary females. Our findings suggest that female polar bears that are exposed to the highest levels of PFAS are those 1) feeding on high trophic level sea ice-associated prey, 2) fasting and 3) with small cubs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Volatile fatty acids as substrates for iron and sulfate reduction in Arctic marine sediments, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finke, N.; Vandieken, V.; Jorgensen, B. B.

    2006-12-01

    Anaerobic degradation of complex organic material in aquatic systems is a multi-step process. The metabolic products of fermentative bacteria serve as electron donors for the terminal oxidizing bacteria. In marine sediments, iron reduction and sulfate reduction are generally the most important terminal oxidation processes in the upper anoxic zone [1]. Microorganisms that reduce iron and sulfate may use a broad range of electron donors, yet the list of potential substrates provides little information about the substrates used in situ by these organisms. Investigations on the electron donors for sulfate reducers in marine sediments have shown that volatile fatty acids (VFA), and in particular acetate, together with hydrogen are the major substrates (e.g. [2-4]). Similar investigations for iron reduction or simultaneous iron and sulfate reduction are lacking for marine sediments. Furthermore, most of these studies were made in temperate sediments and little is known about the substrates for sulfate reducers in permanently cold sediments, which account for >90% of the ocean floor [5]. We investigated the relative contributions of iron reduction and sulfate reduction to the terminal oxidation of organic carbon and the importance of acetate, lactate, propionate, and isobutyrate as electron donors for iron and sulfate reduction in permanently cold, Arctic sediments from Svalbard. In the surface layer (0-2 cm) sulfate reduction accounted for 2/3 of the organic carbon oxidation (determined as DIC production), the remaining 1/3 were attributed to iron reduction. In the 5-9 cm layer sulfate reduction was the sole important terminal oxidation step. The contribution of acetate to terminal oxidation was determined by radiotracer incubation as well as from the accumulation after the inhibition of sulfate reduction by selenate. The rates determined with the two methods varied by less than 20%. Acetate turnover, determined with the tracer incubations, accounted for 10 and 40% of

  16. High resolution present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of Svalbard modelled by MAR and implementation of a new online SMB downscaling method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, C.; Fettweis, X.; Kittel, C.; Erpicum, M.

    2017-12-01

    We present the results of high resolution simulations of the climate and SMB of Svalbard with the regional climate model MAR forced by ERA-40 then ERA-Interim, as well as an online downscaling method allowing us to model the SMB and its components at a resolution twice as high (2.5 vs 5 km here) using only about 25% more CPU time. Spitsbergen, the largest island in Svalbard, has a very hilly topography and a high spatial resolution is needed to correctly represent the local topography and the complex pattern of ice distribution and precipitation. However, high resolution runs with an RCM fully coupled to an energy balance module like MAR require a huge amount of computation time. The hydrostatic equilibrium hypothesis used in MAR also becomes less valid as the spatial resolution increases. We therefore developed in MAR a method to run the snow module at a resolution twice as high as the atmospheric module. Near-surface temperature and humidity are corrected on a grid with a resolution twice as high, as a function of their local gradients and the elevation difference between the corresponding pixels in the 2 grids. We compared the results of our runs at 5 km and with SMB downscaled at 2.5 km over 1960 — 2016 and compared those to previous 10 km runs. On Austfonna, where the slopes are gentle, the agreement between observations and the 5 km SMB is better than with the 10 km SMB. It is again improved at 2.5 km but the gain is relatively small, showing the interest of our method rather than running a time consuming classic 2.5 km resolution simulation. On Spitsbergen, we show that a spatial resolution of 2.5 km is still not enough to represent the complex pattern of topography, precipitation and SMB. Due to a change in the summer atmospheric circulation, from a westerly flow over Svalbard to a northwesterly flow bringing colder air, the SMB of Svalbard was stable between 2006 and 2012, while several melt records were broken in Greenland, due to conditions more

  17. Retarded deglaciation of north-Spitsbergen fjords during the last glacial - an example of bathymetric controls on the dynamics of retreating glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forwick, M.; Vorren, T. O.; Hass, H.; Vogt, C. M.

    2012-12-01

    North and west Spitsbergen fjords acted as pathways for fast-flowing ice streams during the last glacial (e.g. Ottesen et al., 2005). The deglaciation of west Spitsbergen fjords occurred stepwise and the ice retreat terminated around 11,200 cal. years BP (calendar years before the present; e.g. Forwick & Vorren, 2009, 2011, and references therein; Baeten et al., 2010). However, the deglaciation dynamics and chronology of north Spitsbergen fjords still remain poorly understood. We present swath-bathymetry, high-resolution seismic data and two sediment cores from the approx. 110 km long, N-S oriented Wijdefjorden-Austfjorden fjord system, the largest fjord system on northern Spitsbergen. The data indicate that - as in the fjords on west Spitsbergen - multiple halts and/or readvances interrupted the retreat of the ice front during the final phase of the last glacial. However, even though the study area and several west Spitsbergen fjords are fed by the same glacier source (the ice field Lomonosovfonna), the final deglaciation of Wijdefjorden-Austfjorden took place after 9300 cal. years BP, i.e. at least approx. 2000 years later than in the west. We assume that the retarded deglaciation in the north is mainly related to the fjord bathymetry, i.e. a more than 35 km wide and up to 60 m high area in the central parts of the study area (approx. 45 km beyond the present fjord head) that acted as pinning point for the grounded glacier. Multiple, relatively large and partly stacked moraine ridges and sediment wedges are suggested to reflected that the ice front retreated slowly across this shallow area and that repeated readvances interrupted this retreat. The absence of larger sediment wedges in the deeper parts between the shallow area and the fjord head may indicate that the final retreat occurred relatively rapid. References: Baeten, N.J., Forwick, M., Vogt, C. & Vorren, T.O., 2010. Late Weichselian and Holocene sedimentary environments and glacial activity in

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Inverse vertical migration and feeding in glacier lanternfish (Benthosema glaciale)

    KAUST Repository

    Dypvik, Eivind

    2011-11-08

    A bottom-mounted upward-facing 38-kHz echo sounder was deployed at ~400 m and cabled to shore in Masfjorden (~60 52?N, ~5 24?E), Norway. The scattering layers seen during autumn (September-October) 2008 were identified by trawling. Glacier lanternfish (Benthosema glaciale) were mainly distributed below ~200 m and displayed three different diel behavioral strategies: normal diel vertical migration (NDVM), inverse DVM (IDVM) and no DVM (NoDVM). The IDVM group was the focus of this study. It consisted of 2-year and older individuals migrating to ~200-270 m during the daytime, while descending back to deeper than ~270 m during the night. Stomach content analysis revealed increased feeding during the daytime on overwintering Calanus sp. We conclude that visually searching glacier lanternfish performing IDVM benefit from the faint daytime light in mid-waters when preying on overwintering Calanus sp. 2011 The Author(s).

  11. Investigating the Equatorial Gaps in Snowball Earth Sea Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding-Astudillo, F.; Ashkenazy, Y.; Tziperman, E.; Abbot, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The way photosynthetic life survived the Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events is still a matter of debate that has deep implications for planetary habitability. One option is that gaps in thick, semi-global ice coverage (sea glaciers) could be maintained at the equator by ocean-ice-atmosphere dynamics. We investigate this idea by modifying a global ocean-thick-marine-ice model developed for modeling Neoproterozoic Snowball Events to account for gaps in thick ice and interactions with atmospheric dynamics. Our hypothesis is that in the parameter regime that allows for sea glacier flow, ice flow will make gaps in the thick ice, and therefore an open ocean solution, less likely. This would suggest that oases in thick ice are a more viable survival mechanism for photosynthetic life during a Snowball Earth event.

  12. New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieffer, Hugh; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Barry, Roger G.; Bindschadler, Robert; Bishop, Michael P.; MacKinnon, David; Ohmura, Atsumu; Raup, Bruce; Antoninetti, Massimo; Bamber, Jonathan; Braun, Mattias; Brown, Ian; Cohen, Denis; Copland, Luke; DueHagen, Jon; Engeset, Rune V.; Fitzharris, Blair; Fujita, Koji; Haeberli, Wilfried; Hagen, Jon Oue; Hall, Dorothy; Hoelzle, Martin; Johansson, Maria; Kaab, Andi; Koenig, Max; Konovalov, Vladimir; Maisch, Max; Paul, Frank; Rau, Frank; Reeh, Niels; Rignot, Eric; Rivera, Andres; De Ruyter de Wildt, Martiyn; Scambos, Ted; Schaper, Jesko; Scharfen, Greg; Shroder, Jack; Solomina, Olga; Thompson, David; van der Veen, Kees; Wohlleben, Trudy; Young, Neal

    2000-01-01

    The mapping and measurement of glaciers and their changes are useful in predicting sea-level and regional water supply, studying hazards and climate change [Haeberli et al., 1998],and in the hydropower industry Existing inventories cover only about 67,000 of the world's estimated 160,000 glaciers and are based on data collected over 50 years or more [e.g.,Haeberli et al., 1998]. The data available have proven that small ice bodies are disappearing at an accelerating rate and that the Antarctic ice sheet and its fringing ice shelves are undergoing unexpected, rapid change. According to many glaciologists, much larger fluctuations in land ice—with vast implications for society—are possible in the coming decades and centuries due to natural and anthropogenic climate change [Oppenheimer, 1998].

  13. 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).

  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. Boundary layer models for calving marine outlet glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Schoof

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We consider the flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers that are laterally confined in a channel of prescribed width. In that case, the drag exerted by the channel side walls on a floating ice shelf can reduce extensional stress at the grounding line. If ice flux through the grounding line increases with both ice thickness and extensional stress, then a longer shelf can reduce ice flux by decreasing extensional stress. Consequently, calving has an effect on flux through the grounding line by regulating the length of the shelf. In the absence of a shelf, it plays a similar role by controlling the above-flotation height of the calving cliff. Using two calving laws, one due to Nick et al. (2010 based on a model for crevasse propagation due to hydrofracture and the other simply asserting that calving occurs where the glacier ice becomes afloat, we pose and analyse a flowline model for a marine-terminating glacier by two methods: direct numerical solution and matched asymptotic expansions. The latter leads to a boundary layer formulation that predicts flux through the grounding line as a function of depth to bedrock, channel width, basal drag coefficient, and a calving parameter. By contrast with unbuttressed marine ice sheets, we find that flux can decrease with increasing depth to bedrock at the grounding line, reversing the usual stability criterion for steady grounding line location. Stable steady states can then have grounding lines located on retrograde slopes. We show how this anomalous behaviour relates to the strength of lateral versus basal drag on the grounded portion of the glacier and to the specifics of the calving law used.

  16. Use of length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR as non-invasive approach for dietary analysis of Svalbard reindeer, Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungbae Joo

    Full Text Available To efficiently investigate the forage preference of Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus, we applied length-heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR based on length differences of internal transcribed spacer (ITS regions of ribosomal RNA (rRNA to fecal samples from R. tarandus platyrhynchus. A length-heterogeneity (LH database was constructed using both collected potential food sources of Svalbard reindeer and fecal samples, followed by PCR, cloning and sequencing. In total, eighteen fecal samples were collected between 2011 and 2012 from 2 geographic regions and 15 samples were successfully amplified by PCR. The LH-PCR analysis detected abundant peaks, 18.6 peaks on an average per sample, ranging from 100 to 500 bp in size and showing distinct patterns associated with both regions and years of sample collection. Principal component analysis (PCA resulted in clustering of 15 fecal samples into 3 groups by the year of collection and region with a statistically significant difference at 99.9% level. The first 2 principal components (PCs explained 71.1% of the total variation among the samples. Through comparison with LH database and identification by cloning and sequencing, lichens (Stereocaulon sp. and Ochrolechia sp. and plant species (Salix polaris and Saxifraga oppositifolia were detected as the food sources that contributed most to the Svalbard reindeer diet. Our results suggest that the use of LH-PCR analysis would be a non-invasive and efficient monitoring tool for characterizing the foraging strategy of Svalbard reindeer. Additionally, combining sequence information would increase its resolving power in identification of foraged diet components.

  17. Surge dynamics on Bering Glacier, Alaska, in 2008–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Braun

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available A surge cycle of the Bering Glacier system, Alaska, is examined using observations of surface velocity obtained using synthetic aperture radar (SAR offset tracking, and elevation data obtained from the University of Alaska Fairbanks LiDAR altimetry program. After 13 yr of quiescence, the Bering Glacier system began to surge in May 2008 and had two stages of accelerated flow. During the first stage, flow accelerated progressively for at least 10 months and reached peak observed velocities of ~ 7 m d−1. The second stage likely began in 2010. By 2011 velocities exceeded 9 m d−1 or ~ 18 times quiescent velocities. Fast flow continued into July 2011. Surface morphology indicated slowing by fall 2011; however, it is not entirely clear if the surge is yet over. The quiescent phase was characterized by small-scale acceleration events that increased driving stresses up to 70%. When the surge initiated, synchronous acceleration occurred throughout much of the glacier length. Results suggest that downstream propagation of the surge is closely linked to the evolution of the driving stress during the surge, because driving stress appears to be tied to the amount of resistive stress provided by the bed. In contrast, upstream acceleration and upstream surge propagation is not dependent on driving stress evolution.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

  3. 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...

  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. 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. 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

  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. 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

  9. Rock glaciers Gruben, Muragl and Murtel, Switzerland: Area-wide flow fields, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Besides their thermal and mechanical properties, rock glaciers are essentially defined by their kinematics. Knowledge of the permafrost flow field provides important...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A High-Resolution Sensor Network for Monitoring Glacier Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, S.; Murray, T.; O'Farrell, T.; Rutt, I. C.; Loskot, P.; Martin, I.; Selmes, N.; Aspey, R.; James, T.; Bevan, S. L.; Baugé, T.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to ice flow/ice-berg calving are a major uncertainty affecting sea-level rise forecasts. Latterly GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have been employed extensively to monitor such glacier dynamics. Until recently however, the favoured methodology has been to deploy sensors onto the glacier surface, collect data for a period of time, then retrieve and download the sensors. This approach works well in less dynamic environments where the risk of sensor loss is low. In more extreme environments e.g. approaching the glacial calving front, the risk of sensor loss and hence data loss increases dramatically. In order to provide glaciologists with new insights into flow dynamics and calving processes we have developed a novel sensor network to increase the robustness of data capture. We present details of the technological requirements for an in-situ Zigbee wireless streaming network infrastructure supporting instantaneous data acquisition from high resolution GNSS sensors thereby increasing data capture robustness. The data obtained offers new opportunities to investigate the interdependence of mass flow, uplift, velocity and geometry and the network architecture has been specifically designed for deployment by helicopter close to the calving front to yield unprecedented detailed information. Following successful field trials of a pilot three node network during 2012, a larger 20 node network was deployed on the fast-flowing Helheim glacier, south-east Greenland over the summer months of 2013. The utilisation of dual wireless transceivers in each glacier node, multiple frequencies and four ';collector' stations located on the valley sides creates overlapping networks providing enhanced capacity, diversity and redundancy of data 'back-haul', even close to ';floor' RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) levels around -100 dBm. Data loss through radio packet collisions within sub-networks are avoided through the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D. Ananicheva

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Koryak Upland, located in Russian Far East, has so far been poorly studied in terms of glaciology. The information contained in the USSR Glacier Inventory (1982 was obtained by analysis of topographic maps and aerial photography. On the publication date, the Inventory of Koryak Upland included 715 glaciers. To study of the current state of Koryak glaciers, we used satellite imageries – Landsat, Terra /Aqua (EOS AM-1 and ASTER. Deciphering the scenes showed that a significant portion of the glaciers melted away since the mid-1970's until now. We have found only 237 glaciers. Some glaciers are appeared to be rock glaciers, filled with detrital material, cemented by ice in a single body. They might be taken for real glaciers while categorization. The analysis of the retreat (reduction in area of Koryak glaciers by groups with the same morphological type and the same aspect was conducted. The total retreat of the glaciers of this region varied from 40 (for those measured in situ to 70% (mean total as compared to aerial photography surveys (1950. This is the most intense reduction among the studied glacier systems of the Russian Subarctic. It can be explained by the changes in atmospheric circulation due to climate change, the Koryak Upland dries out while the increasing of annual air temperatures. Significant reduction of the glacier area was an incentive for us to undertake a work to assess the evolution of the glaciers in the near future. We used a GCM – ECHAM5 (B1 as the climatic scenario. The projection method has got further development: we have estimated the evolution of glacier systems in which the prevailing type is corries (relatively small circus glacier. The results show a diverse picture of glacier reduction by area, but in general the glacierization will not disappear for the period 2049–2060, reducing the extent by only 17% of the contemporary state.

  7. Levels and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard in relation to dietary habits and food availability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, Martin S. [Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø (Norway); Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø (Norway); Fuglei, Eva; König, Max [Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø (Norway); Lipasti, Inka [Department of Biology, University of Eastern Finland, FI-80101 Joensuu (Finland); Pedersen, Åshild Ø. [Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø (Norway); Polder, Anuschka [Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås (Norway); Yoccoz, Nigel G. [Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø (Norway); Routti, Heli, E-mail: heli.routti@npolar.no [Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø (Norway)

    2015-04-01

    Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard, Norway, were investigated in relation to feeding habits and seasonal food availability. Arctic foxes from Svalbard forage in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the availability of their food items are impacted by climatic variability. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs] and hexabromocyclododecane [HBCDD]) were analyzed in the liver of 141 arctic foxes collected between 1997 and 2013. Stable carbon isotope values (δ{sup 13}C) were used as a proxy for feeding on marine versus terrestrial prey. The annual number of recovered reindeer carcasses and sea ice cover were used as proxies for climate influenced food availability (reindeers, seals). Linear models revealed that concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, p,p′-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4–11% per year, while no trends were observed for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) or β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH). Positive relationships between POP concentrations and δ{sup 13}C indicate that concentrations of all compounds increase with increasing marine dietary input. Increasing reindeer mortality was related to lower HCB concentrations in the foxes based on the linear models. This suggests that concentrations of HCB in arctic foxes may be influenced by high mortality levels of Svalbard reindeer. Further, β-HCH concentrations showed a positive association with sea ice cover. These results in addition to the strong effect of δ{sup 13}C on all POP concentrations suggest that climate-related changes in arctic fox diet are likely to influence contaminant concentrations in arctic foxes from Svalbard. - Highlights: • POPs were analyzed in the arctic foxes' liver (n = 141) from Svalbard collected in 1997–2013. • PCBs, chlordanes, p,p′-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4–11% per year.

  8. Levels and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard in relation to dietary habits and food availability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, Martin S.; Fuglei, Eva; König, Max; Lipasti, Inka; Pedersen, Åshild Ø.; Polder, Anuschka; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Routti, Heli

    2015-01-01

    Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard, Norway, were investigated in relation to feeding habits and seasonal food availability. Arctic foxes from Svalbard forage in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the availability of their food items are impacted by climatic variability. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs] and hexabromocyclododecane [HBCDD]) were analyzed in the liver of 141 arctic foxes collected between 1997 and 2013. Stable carbon isotope values (δ 13 C) were used as a proxy for feeding on marine versus terrestrial prey. The annual number of recovered reindeer carcasses and sea ice cover were used as proxies for climate influenced food availability (reindeers, seals). Linear models revealed that concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, p,p′-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4–11% per year, while no trends were observed for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) or β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH). Positive relationships between POP concentrations and δ 13 C indicate that concentrations of all compounds increase with increasing marine dietary input. Increasing reindeer mortality was related to lower HCB concentrations in the foxes based on the linear models. This suggests that concentrations of HCB in arctic foxes may be influenced by high mortality levels of Svalbard reindeer. Further, β-HCH concentrations showed a positive association with sea ice cover. These results in addition to the strong effect of δ 13 C on all POP concentrations suggest that climate-related changes in arctic fox diet are likely to influence contaminant concentrations in arctic foxes from Svalbard. - Highlights: • POPs were analyzed in the arctic foxes' liver (n = 141) from Svalbard collected in 1997–2013. • PCBs, chlordanes, p,p′-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4–11% per year.

  9. Monitoring of active layer dynamics at a permafrost site on Svalbard using multi-channel ground-penetrating radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Westermann

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Multi-channel ground-penetrating radar is used to investigate the late-summer evolution of the thaw depth and the average soil water content of the thawed active layer at a high-arctic continuous permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. Between mid of August and mid of September 2008, five surveys have been conducted in gravelly soil over transect lengths of 130 and 175 m each. The maximum thaw depths range from 1.6 m to 2.0 m, so that they are among the deepest thaw depths recorded in sediments on Svalbard so far. The thaw depths increase by approximately 0.2 m between mid of August and beginning of September and subsequently remain constant until mid of September. The thaw rates are approximately constant over the entire length of the transects within the measurement accuracy of about 5 to 10 cm. The average volumetric soil water content of the thawed soil varies between 0.18 and 0.27 along the investigated transects. While the measurements do not show significant changes in soil water content over the first four weeks of the study, strong precipitation causes an increase in average soil water content of up to 0.04 during the last week. These values are in good agreement with evapotranspiration and precipitation rates measured in the vicinity of the the study site. While we cannot provide conclusive reasons for the detected spatial variability of the thaw depth at the study site, our measurements show that thaw depth and average soil water content are not directly correlated.

    The study demonstrates the potential of multi-channel ground-penetrating radar for mapping thaw depth in permafrost areas. The novel non-invasive technique is particularly useful when the thaw depth exceeds 1.5 m, so that it is hardly accessible by manual probing. In addition, multi-channel ground-penetrating radar holds potential for mapping the latent heat content of the active layer and for estimating weekly to monthly averages of the ground heat flux during the

  10. Debris flow recurrence periods and multi-temporal observations of colluvial fan evolution in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhardt, H.; Reiss, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Hauber, E.; Johnsson, A.

    2017-11-01

    Fan-shaped accumulations of debris flow deposits are common landforms in polar regions such as Svalbard. Although depositional processes in these environments are of high interest to climate as well as Mars-analog research, several parameters, e.g., debris flow recurrence periods, remain poorly constrained. Here, we present an investigation based on remote sensing as well as in situ data of a 0.4 km2 large colluvial fan in Hanaskogdalen, central Spitsbergen. We analyzed high resolution satellite and aerial images covering five decades from 1961 to 2014 and correlated them with lichenometric dating as well as meteorological data. Image analyses and lichenometry deliver consistent results and show that the recurrence period of large debris flows (≥ 400 m3) is about 5 to 10 years, with smaller flows averaging at two per year in the period from 2008 to 2013. While this is up to two orders of magnitude shorter than previous estimates for Svalbard (80 to 500 years), we found the average volume of 220 m3 per individual flow to be similar to previous estimates for the region. Image data also reveal that an avulsion took place between 1961 and 1976, when the active part of the fan moved from its eastern to its western portion. A case study of the effects of a light rain event ( 5 mm/day) in the rainy summer of 2013, which triggered a large debris flow, further shows that even light precipitation can trigger major flows. This is made possible by multiple light rain events or gradual snow melt pre-saturating the permafrost ground and has to be taken into account when predicting the likelihood of potentially hazardous mass wasting in polar regions. Furthermore, our findings imply a current net deposition rate on the colluvial fan of 480 m3/year, which is slightly less than the integrated net deposition rate of 576 to 720 m3/year resulting from the current fan volume divided by the 12,500 to 10,000 years since the onset of fan build-up after the area's deglaciation. However

  11. New deglacial and Holocene micropaleontological and geochemical records from the southern margin of the Svalbard Archipelago (Arctic Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigual-Hernández, Andrés.

    2010-05-01

    This study is presented in the context of the Spanish research project "The development of an Arctic ice stream-dominated sedimentary system: The southern Svalbard continental margin" (SVAIS), developed within the framework of the International Polar Year (IPY) Activity N. 367 (NICE STREAMS). Its main goal is to understand the evolution of glacial continental margins and their relationship with the changes in ice sheet dynamics induced by natural climatic changes, combining the geophysical data with the sediment record both collected during an oceanographic cruise in the Storfjorden area (SW Svalbard margin) in August 2007. This marine depositional system, dominated by an ice stream during the last glacial period, was selected due to its small size inducing a rapid response to climatic changes, and for the oceanographic relevance of the area for global ocean circulation. The results obtained aim to define the sedimentary architecture and morphology, and to provide more insight into the paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic evolution of the region. We specifically report on new micropaleontological and geochemical data obtained from the sediment cores. A preliminary age model indicates that the sediment sequences cover approximately the Last Deglaciation and the Holocene. Microfossils are generally well preserved, although the abundances of the different groups show marked shifts along the record. Low concentrations of coccolithophores, diatoms, planktic foraminifers and cysts of organic-walled dinoflagellates (dinocysts) are found at the lower half of the sequence (IRD-rich, coarser-grained sediments), and increase towards the Late Holocene (fine-grained bioturbated sediments). The Climatic Optimum is characterized by the warmest sea surface temperatures as estimated from the fossil assemblage, diverse transfer functions and biogeochemical proxies, and by high nutrient contents in the bottom waters shown by light carbon isotope values and high Cd/Ca ratios in benthic

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Aerosol optical properties over the Svalbard region of Arctic: ground-based measurements and satellite remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogoi, Mukunda M.; Babu, S. Suresh

    2016-05-01

    In view of the increasing anthropogenic presence and influence of aerosols in the northern polar regions, long-term continuous measurements of aerosol optical parameters have been investigated over the Svalbard region of Norwegian Arctic (Ny-Ålesund, 79°N, 12°E, 8 m ASL). This study has shown a consistent enhancement in the aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients during spring. The relative dominance of absorbing aerosols is more near the surface (lower single scattering albedo), compared to that at the higher altitude. This is indicative of the presence of local anthropogenic activities. In addition, long-range transported biomass burning aerosols (inferred from the spectral variation of absorption coefficient) also contribute significantly to the higher aerosol absorption in the Arctic spring. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) estimates from ground based Microtop sun-photometer measurements reveals that the columnar abundance of aerosols reaches the peak during spring season. Comparison of AODs between ground based and satellite remote sensing indicates that deep blue algorithm of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) retrievals over Arctic snow surfaces overestimate the columnar AOD.

  20. Ionospheric plasma density structures associated with magnetopause motion: a case study using the Cluster spacecraft and the EISCAT Svalbard Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pitout

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available On 5 January 2003, the footprint of the Cluster spacecraft, then orbiting in the dayside magnetosphere near the magnetopause, was in the close vicinity of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR in the dayside afternoon sector. This configuration made possible the study of the magnetopause motion and its direct consequences on the ionospheric plasma at high latitude. Cluster observed multiple magnetopause crossings despite its high latitude, while on the ground the magnetic activity was very low, whereas the ionospheric plasma sounded by the ESR exhibited poleward moving plasma density structures. In this paper, we compare the satellite and radar data, in order to show that the plasma density structures are directly related to the magnetopause motion and its associated pulsed ionospheric flow. We propose that the variations in electric field make the convection velocity vary enough to alter the electron population by accelerating the chemistry in the F-region and act as a source of electron depletion. The magnetopause motion is in this case, a source of plasma density structures in the polar dayside ionosphere.

  1. Toxic Cyanobacteria in Svalbard: Chemical Diversity of Microcystins Detected Using a Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Precursor Ion Screening Method

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    Julia Kleinteich

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria synthesize a large variety of secondary metabolites including toxins. Microcystins (MCs with hepato- and neurotoxic potential are well studied in bloom-forming planktonic species of temperate and tropical regions. Cyanobacterial biofilms thriving in the polar regions have recently emerged as a rich source for cyanobacterial secondary metabolites including previously undescribed congeners of microcystin. However, detection and detailed identification of these compounds is difficult due to unusual sample matrices and structural congeners produced. We here report a time-efficient liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS precursor ion screening method that facilitates microcystin detection and identification. We applied this method to detect six different MC congeners in 8 out of 26 microbial mat samples of the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic. The congeners, of which [Asp3, ADMAdda5, Dhb7] MC-LR was most abundant, were similar to those reported in other polar habitats. Microcystins were also determined using an Adda-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Adda-ELISA. Nostoc sp. was identified as a putative toxin producer using molecular methods that targeted 16S rRNA genes and genes involved in microcystin production. The mcy genes detected showed highest similarities to other Arctic or Antarctic sequences. The LC-MS precursor ion screening method could be useful for microcystin detection in unusual matrices such as benthic biofilms or lichen.

  2. Electromagnetic energy deposition rate in the polar upper thermosphere derived from the EISCAT Svalbard radar and CUTLASS Finland radar observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Fujiwara

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available From simultaneous observations of the European incoherent scatter Svalbard radar (ESR and the Cooperative UK Twin Located Auroral Sounding System (CUTLASS Finland radar on 9 March 1999, we have derived the height distributions of the thermospheric heating rate at the F region height in association with electromagnetic energy inputs into the dayside polar cap/cusp region. The ESR and CUTLASS radar observations provide the ionospheric parameters with fine time-resolutions of a few minutes. Although the geomagnetic activity was rather moderate (Kp=3+~4, the electric field obtained from the ESR data sometimes shows values exceeding 40 mV/m. The estimated passive energy deposition rates are also larger than 150 W/kg in the upper thermosphere over the ESR site during the period of the enhanced electric field. In addition, enhancements of the Pedersen conductivity also contribute to heating the upper thermosphere, while there is only a small contribution for thermospheric heating from the direct particle heating due to soft particle precipitation in the dayside polar cap/cusp region. In the same period, the CUTLASS observations of the ion drift show the signature of poleward moving pulsed ionospheric flows with a recurrence rate of about 10–20 min. The estimated electromagnetic energy deposition rate shows the existence of the strong heat source in the dayside polar cap/cusp region of the upper thermosphere in association with the dayside magnetospheric phenomena of reconnections and flux transfer events.

  3. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages