WorldWideScience

Sample records for glacier surface volocities

  1. Accuracy of three-dimensional glacier surface volocities derived from radar interfeometry and ice-soundin radar measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mohr, Johan Jacob; Reeh, Niels; Madsen, Søren Nørvang

    2003-01-01

    We present a method for analyzing the errors involved in measuring three-dimensional glacier velocities with interferometric radar. We address the surface-parallel flow assumption and an augmented approach with a flux-divergence (FD) term. The errors in an interferometric ERS-1/-2 satellite radar...... dataset with ascending- and descending-orbit data covering Storstrommen glacier, northeast Greenland, are assessed. The FD error assessment is carried out on airborne 60 MHz ice-sounding radar data from the same area. A simple model of an interferometric radar system is developed and analyzed. The error...... sources considered include phase noise, atmospheric distortions, baseline calibration errors, a dry snow layer, and the stationary-flow assumption used in differential interferometry. The additional error sources in the analysis of FD errors are noise, bias and unknown variations of the ice thickness...

  2. 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,...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Mohamadi

    2018-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in g...

  11. Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machguth, Horst; Thomsen, Henrik H.; Weidick, Anker; Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.; Abermann, Jakob; Andersen, Morten L.; Andersen, Signe B.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Box, Jason E.; Braithwaite, Roger J.; Bøggild, Carl E.; Citterio, Michele; Clement, Poul; Colgan, William; Fausto, Robert S.; Gleie, Karin; Gubler, Stefanie; Hasholt, Bent; Hynek, Bernhard; Knudsen, Niels T.; Larsen, Signe H.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Oerlemans, Johannes; Oerter, Hans; Olesen, Ole B.; Smeets, C. J P Paul; Steffen, Konrad; Stober, Manfred; Sugiyama, Shin; Van As, Dirk; Van Den Broeke, Michiel R.; Van De Wal, Roderik S W

    2016-01-01

    Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Wang

    2017-09-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Inferring Ice Thickness from a Glacier Dynamics Model and Multiple Surface Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Y.; Haran, M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    The future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have a major impact on future climate. For instance, ice sheet melt may contribute significantly to global sea level rise. Understanding the current state of WAIS is therefore of great interest. WAIS is drained by fast-flowing glaciers which are major contributors to ice loss. Hence, understanding the stability and dynamics of glaciers is critical for predicting the future of the ice sheet. Glacier dynamics are driven by the interplay between the topography, temperature and basal conditions beneath the ice. A glacier dynamics model describes the interactions between these processes. We develop a hierarchical Bayesian model that integrates multiple ice sheet surface data sets with a glacier dynamics model. Our approach allows us to (1) infer important parameters describing the glacier dynamics, (2) learn about ice sheet thickness, and (3) account for errors in the observations and the model. Because we have relatively dense and accurate ice thickness data from the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, we use these data to validate the proposed approach. The long-term goal of this work is to have a general model that may be used to study multiple glaciers in the Antarctic.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Nobakht

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Marzeion

    2012-11-01

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

  20. A 14-year dataset of in situ glacier surface velocities for a tidewater and a land-terminating glacier in Livingston Island, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machío, Francisco; Rodríguez-Cielos, Ricardo; Navarro, Francisco; Lapazaran, Javier; Otero, Jaime

    2017-10-01

    We present a 14-year record of in situ glacier surface velocities determined by repeated global navigation satellite system (GNSS) measurements in a dense network of 52 stakes distributed across two glaciers, Johnsons (tidewater) and Hurd (land-terminating), located on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The measurements cover the time period 2000-2013 and were collected at the beginning and end of each austral summer season. A second-degree polynomial approximation is fitted to each stake position, which allows estimating the approximate positions and associated velocities at intermediate times. This dataset is useful as input data for numerical models of glacier dynamics or for the calibration and validation of remotely sensed velocities for a region where very scarce in situ glacier surface velocity measurements have been available so far. The link to the data repository is as follows: pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791" target="_blank">http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791.

  1. A 14-year dataset of in situ glacier surface velocities for a tidewater and a land-terminating glacier in Livingston Island, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Machío

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a 14-year record of in situ glacier surface velocities determined by repeated global navigation satellite system (GNSS measurements in a dense network of 52 stakes distributed across two glaciers, Johnsons (tidewater and Hurd (land-terminating, located on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The measurements cover the time period 2000–2013 and were collected at the beginning and end of each austral summer season. A second-degree polynomial approximation is fitted to each stake position, which allows estimating the approximate positions and associated velocities at intermediate times. This dataset is useful as input data for numerical models of glacier dynamics or for the calibration and validation of remotely sensed velocities for a region where very scarce in situ glacier surface velocity measurements have been available so far. The link to the data repository is as follows: http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.846791.

  2. Ikh Turgen Mountain Glacier Change and 3d Surface Extents Prediction Using Long Term Landsat Image and Climate Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasanbat, Elbegjargal; Erdenebat, Erdenetogtokh; Chogsom, Bolorchuluun; Lkhamjav, Ochirkhuyag; Nanzad, Lkhagvadorj

    2018-04-01

    The glacier is most important the freshwater resources and indicator of the climate change. The researchers noted that during last decades the glacier is melting due to global warming. The study calculates a spatial distribution of protentional change of glacier coverage in the Ikh Turgen mountain of Western Mongolia, and it integrates long-term climate data and satellite datasets. Therefore, in this experiment has tried to estimation three-dimensional surface area of the glacier. For this purpose, Normalized difference snow index (NDSI) was applied to decision tree approach, using Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+ and LC8 imagery for 1975-2016, a surface and slope for digital elevation model, precipitation and air temperature historical data of meteorological station. The potential volume area significantly changed glacier cover of the Ikh Turgen Mountain, and the area affected by highly variable precipitation and air temperature regimes. Between 1972 and 2016, a potential area of glacier area has been decreased in Ikh Turgen mountain region.

  3. Analysis of meteorological data and the surface energy balance of Keqicar Glacier, Tien Shan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Liu, S.; Fujita, K.; Han, H.; Li, J.

    2009-04-01

    Northwestern China currently experiences a climate change with fundamental consequences for the hydrological cycle. In the strongly arid region where water resources are essential for agriculture and food production, glaciers represent important water resources, contributing significantly to streamflow. The debris is an important glaciological feature of the region and has major impact on melt rates. It is essential to understand and quantify the interaction of climate and sub-debris melt in order to assess the current situation and to predict future water yield. Note that the surface energy balance determines glacier melt. However, little is known about the variability characteristics of the surface energy fluxes in this region. For this reason, we set up two automatic weather stuation (AWSs) in the ablation area of Keqicar Glacier. Keqicar Glacier is located in the Tarim River basin (largest inland river basin in China), southwestern Tien Shan, China. It is a representative debris-covered glacier with a length of 26.0 km and a total surface area of 83.6 km2. The thickness of the debris layer varies from 0.0 to 2.50 m in general. In some places large rocks are piled up to several meters. In this study, we report on analysis of meteorological data for the period 1 July-13 September 2003, from two automatic weather stations, aimed at studying the relationship between climate and ablation. One station is located on the lower part of the ablation area where the glacier is covered by debris layer, and the other near the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). All sensors were sampled every 10 seconds, and data were stored as hourly averages. The stations were visited regularly for maintenance at two weeks intervals depending on the weather conditions and location of the AWS. A total of 17 ablation stakes were drilled into the glacier at different elevations to monitor glacier melt during the study period. Readings were taken regularly in connection with AWS maintenance. The

  4. Mapping surface temperature variability on a debris-covered glacier with an unmanned aerial vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.; Litt, M.; Shea, J. M.; Treichler, D.; Koch, I.; Immerzeel, W.

    2016-12-01

    Debris-covered glacier tongues cover about 12% of the glacier surface in high mountain Asia and much of the melt water is generated from those glaciers. A thin layer of supraglacial debris enhances ice melt by lowering the albedo, while thicker debris insulates the ice and reduces melt. Data on debris thickness is therefore an important input for energy balance modelling of these glaciers. Thermal infrared remote sensing can be used to estimate the debris thickness by using an inverse relation between debris surface temperature and thickness. To date this has only been performed using coarse spaceborne thermal imagery, which cannot reveal small scale variation in debris thickness and its influence on the heterogeneous melt patterns on debris-covered glaciers. We deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle mounted with a thermal infrared sensor over the debris-covered Lirung Glacier in Nepal three times in May 2016 to reveal the spatial and temporal variability of surface temperature in high detail. The UAV survey matched a Landsat 8 overpass to be able to make a comparison with spaceborne thermal imagery. The UAV-acquired data is processed using Structure from Motion photogrammetry and georeferenced using DGPS-measured ground control points. Different surface types were distinguished by using data acquired by an additional optical UAV survey in order to correct for differences in surface emissivity. In situ temperature measurements and incoming solar radiation data are used to calibrate the temperature calculations. Debris thicknesses derived are validated by thickness measurements of a ground penetrating radar. Preliminary analysis reveals a spatially highly heterogeneous pattern of surface temperature over Lirung Glacier with a range in temperature of over 40 K. At dawn the debris is relatively cold and its temperature is influenced strongly by the ice underneath. Exposed to the high solar radiation at the high altitude the debris layer heats up very rapidly as sunrise

  5. Monitoring glacier albedo as a proxy to derive summer and annual surface mass balances from optical remote-sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Less than 0.25 % of the 250 000 glaciers inventoried in the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI V.5) are currently monitored with in situ measurements of surface mass balance. Increasing this archive is very challenging, especially using time-consuming methods based on in situ measurements, and complementary methods are required to quantify the surface mass balance of unmonitored glaciers. The current study relies on the so-called albedo method, based on the analysis of albedo maps retrieved from optical satellite imagery acquired since 2000 by the MODIS sensor, on board the TERRA satellite. Recent studies revealed substantial relationships between summer minimum glacier-wide surface albedo and annual surface mass balance, because this minimum surface albedo is directly related to the accumulation-area ratio and the equilibrium-line altitude. On the basis of 30 glaciers located in the French Alps where annual surface mass balance data are available, our study conducted on the period 2000-2015 confirms the robustness and reliability of the relationship between the summer minimum surface albedo and the annual surface mass balance. For the ablation season, the integrated summer surface albedo is significantly correlated with the summer surface mass balance of the six glaciers seasonally monitored. These results are promising to monitor both annual and summer glacier-wide surface mass balances of individual glaciers at a regional scale using optical satellite images. A sensitivity study on the computed cloud masks revealed a high confidence in the retrieved albedo maps, restricting the number of omission errors. Albedo retrieval artifacts have been detected for topographically incised glaciers, highlighting limitations in the shadow correction algorithm, although inter-annual comparisons are not affected by systematic errors.

  6. A New Method to Estimate Changes in Glacier Surface Elevation Based on Polynomial Fitting of Sparse ICESat—GLAS Footprints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjin Huang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We present in this paper a polynomial fitting method applicable to segments of footprints measured by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS to estimate glacier thickness change. Our modification makes the method applicable to complex topography, such as a large mountain glacier. After a full analysis of the planar fitting method to characterize errors of estimates due to complex topography, we developed an improved fitting method by adjusting a binary polynomial surface to local topography. The improved method and the planar fitting method were tested on the accumulation areas of the Naimona’nyi glacier and Yanong glacier on along-track facets with lengths of 1000 m, 1500 m, 2000 m, and 2500 m, respectively. The results show that the improved method gives more reliable estimates of changes in elevation than planar fitting. The improved method was also tested on Guliya glacier with a large and relatively flat area and the Chasku Muba glacier with very complex topography. The results in these test sites demonstrate that the improved method can give estimates of glacier thickness change on glaciers with a large area and a complex topography. Additionally, the improved method based on GLAS Data and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission-Digital Elevation Model (SRTM-DEM can give estimates of glacier thickness change from 2000 to 2008/2009, since it takes the 2000 SRTM-DEM as a reference, which is a longer period than 2004 to 2008/2009, when using the GLAS data only and the planar fitting method.

  7. Spatiotemporal variability of Canadian High Arctic glacier surface albedo from MODIS data, 2001-2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortimer, Colleen A.; Sharp, Martin

    2018-02-01

    Inter-annual variations and longer-term trends in the annual mass balance of glaciers in Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands (QEI) are largely attributable to changes in summer melt. The largest source of melt energy in the QEI in summer is net shortwave radiation, which is modulated by changes in glacier surface albedo. We used measurements from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors to investigate large-scale spatial patterns, temporal trends, and variability in the summer surface albedo of QEI glaciers from 2001 to 2016. Mean summer black-sky shortwave broadband albedo (BSA) decreased at a rate of 0.029±0.025 decade-1 over that period. Larger reductions in BSA occurred in July (-0.050±0.031 decade-1). No change in BSA was observed in either June or August. Most of the decrease in BSA, which was greatest at lower elevations around the margins of the ice masses, occurred between 2007 and 2012, when mean summer BSA was anomalously low. The first principal component of the 16-year record of mean summer BSA was well correlated with the mean summer North Atlantic Oscillation index, except in 2006, 2010, and 2016, when the mean summer BSA appears to have been dominated by the August BSA. During the period 2001-2016, the mean summer land surface temperature (LST) over the QEI glaciers and ice caps increased by 0.049±0.038 °C yr-1, and the BSA record was negatively correlated (r: -0.86) with the LST record, indicative of a positive ice-albedo feedback that would increase rates of mass loss from the QEI glaciers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Réveillet

    2018-04-01

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

  11. Surface motion of active rock glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA: inventory and a case study using InSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Liu; C.I. Millar; R.D. Westfall; H.A. Zebker

    2013-01-01

    Despite the abundance of rock glaciers in the Sierra Nevada of California, USA, few efforts have been made to measure their surface flow. Here we use the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique to compile a~benchmark inventory describing the kinematic state of 59 active rock glaciers in this region. Statistically, these rock glaciers moved at...

  12. Imaging spectroscopy to assess the composition of ice surface materials and their impact on glacier mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naegeli, Kathrin; Huss, Matthias; Damm, Alexander; de Jong, Rogier; Schaepman, Michael; Hoelzle, Martin

    2014-05-01

    The ice-albedo feedback plays a crucial role in various glaciological processes, but especially influences ice melt. Glacier surface albedo is one of the most important variables in the energy balance of snow and ice, but depends in a complicated way on many factors, such as cryoconite concentration, impurities due to mineral dust, soot or organic matter, grain size or ice surface morphology. Our understanding on how these various factors influence glacier albedo is still limited hindering a spatially and temporally explicit parameterization of energy balance models and requiring strongly simplified assumptions on actual albedo values. Over the last two decades, several studies have focused on glacier surface albedo using automatic in-situ weather stations in combination with radiation measurement setups or satellite images. Due to limitations of both approaches in matching either the spatial or the temporal length scale of glacier albedo, still fairly little is known about the state, changes and impact of glacier surface albedo in the Swiss Alps, although there are obvious changes in surface characteristics on most alpine glaciers over the last years. With use of the APEX (Airborne Prism EXperiment) image spectrometer, measurements of reflected radiation were acquired in high spatial and spectral resolution on Glacier de la Plaine Morte, Switzerland, to explicitly analyse the ice surface. In-situ radiometric measurements were acquired with an ASD field spectrometer in parallel to APEX overflights. These data are intended to be used for validation purposes as well as input data for the linear spectral unmixing analysis of the APEX data. Seasonal glacier mass balance is monitored since five years using the direct glaciological method. This contribution presents a first evaluation of the data collected in summer 2013. The obtained in-situ and airborne reflectance measurements were used in combination with a spectral mixture analysis (SMA) approach to assess the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Glacier Surface Lowering and Stagnation in the Manaslu Region of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, B. A.; Nuth, C.; Nielsen, P. R.; Hendrickx, M.; Dahl, S. O.

    2015-12-01

    Frequent and up-to-date glacier outlines are needed for many applications of glaciology, not only glacier area change analysis, but also for masks in volume or velocity analysis, for the estimation of water resources and as model input data. Remote sensing offers a good option for creating glacier outlines over large areas, but manual correction is frequently necessary, especially in areas containing supraglacial debris. We show three different workflows for mapping clean ice and debris-covered ice within Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA). By working at the object level as opposed to the pixel level, OBIA facilitates using contextual, spatial and hierarchical information when assigning classes, and additionally permits the handling of multiple data sources. Our first example shows mapping debris-covered ice in the Manaslu Himalaya, Nepal. SAR Coherence data is used in combination with optical and topographic data to classify debris-covered ice, obtaining an accuracy of 91%. Our second example shows using a high-resolution LiDAR derived DEM over the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. Breaks in surface morphology are used in creating image objects; debris-covered ice is then classified using a combination of spectral, thermal and topographic properties. Lastly, we show a completely automated workflow for mapping glacier ice in Norway. The NDSI and NIR/SWIR band ratio are used to map clean ice over the entire country but the thresholds are calculated automatically based on a histogram of each image subset. This means that in theory any Landsat scene can be inputted and the clean ice can be automatically extracted. Debris-covered ice can be included semi-automatically using contextual and morphological information.

  16. 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

  17. Surface lowering of the debris-covered area of Kanchenjunga Glacier in the eastern Nepal Himalaya since 1975, as revealed by Hexagon KH-9 and ALOS satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamsal, Damodar; Fujita, Koji; Sakai, Akiko

    2017-12-01

    This study presents the geodetic mass balance of Kanchenjunga Glacier, one of the largest debris-covered glaciers in the easternmost Nepal Himalaya, which possesses a negative mass balance of -0.18 ± 0.17 m w.e. a-1 for the 1975-2010 study period, estimated using digital elevation models (DEMs) generated from Hexagon KH-9 and ALOS PRISM stereo images. Accurate DEMs, with a relative uncertainty of ±5.5 m, were generated from the intensive and manual editing of triangulated irregular network (TIN) models on a stereo MirrorTM/3D Monitor. The glacier ice-flow velocity field was also calculated using a feature-tracking method that was applied to two ALOS orthoimages taken in 2010. The elevation differences between the two DEMs highlight considerable surface lowering across the debris-covered area, and a slight thickening in the accumulation area of Kanchenjunga Glacier between 1975 and 2010. The magnitude and gradient of surface lowering are similar among the six glacier tributaries, even though they are situated at different elevations, which may reflect variations in the ice-flow velocity field. The pattern of surface lowering correlates well with the ice-flow velocity field over the debris-covered portion of the main tributary, suggesting that the glacier dynamics significantly affect surface lowering by altering the emergence velocity along the glacier, particularly in the compressive ablation area. Surface-lowering patterns partially correspond to the supraglacial pond area fraction of the glacier, with enhanced surface lowering observed in areas that possess a larger pond area fraction. These findings support the hypothesis that supraglacial ponds may intensify ice wastage and play a key role in the heterogeneous surface lowering of debris-covered glaciers. The estimated mass loss of Kanchenjunga Glacier is moderate compared with other debris-covered glaciers in neighboring Himalayan regions, which may be due to the lower pond area fraction of Kanchenjunga

  18. Morphology of bottom surfaces of glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bianchi, C.; Chiappini, M.; Zirizzotti, A.; Zuccheretti, E. [Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy); Tabacco, I. E. [Milan Univ., Milan (Italy). Sez. Geofisica; Passerini, A. [Milan Univ. Bicocca, Milan (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica

    2001-02-01

    During three Antarctic summer campaigns (1995/97/99) Radio Echo Sounding (RES) system data from some glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic regions between Victoria Land and George 5. Land were collected. The morphology and structure of the bottom surfaces deduced from the electromagnetic interpretation of echo signal were observed. The bottom surfaces at the ice/water interface show either irregular or flat contours or both. Some ice tongues are nearly perfectly flat, others show clear signs of irregularities while three of them have good regular spaced rippled bottom surfaces. The latter structures are well-evident in the longitudinal traverse of the tongues, whereas the transversal paths do not show the same features. This particular shape of the bottom surfaces related to the ablation process and detachment mechanism could be interesting especially to determine some physical characteristics and the possible fracture points of the ice tongues.

  19. Morphology of bottom surfaces of glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Zuccheretti

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available During three Antarctic summer campaigns (1995/97/99 Radio Echo Sounding (RES system data from some glacier ice tongues in the East Antarctic regions between Victoria Land and George V Land were collected. The morphology and structure of the bottom surfaces deduced from the electromagnetic interpretation of echo signal were observed. The bottom surfaces at the ice/water interface show either irregular or flat contours or both. Some ice tongues are nearly perfectly flat, others show clear signs of irregularities while three of them have good regular spaced rippled bottom surfaces. The latter structures are well-evident in the longitudinal traverse of the tongues, whereas the transversal paths do not show the same features. This particular shape of the bottom surfaces related to the ablation process and detachment mechanism could be interesting especially to determine some physical characteristics and the possible fracture points of the ice tongues.

  20. Inter-seasonal surface deformations of an active rock glacier imaged with radar and lidar remote sensing; Turtmann valley, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Andrew; Buchli, Thomas; Strozzi, Tazio; Springman, Sarah

    2013-04-01

    Inter-seasonal changes in surface deformation were imaged using a portable radar interferometer and terrestrial laser scanner during a series of three campaigns that took place in autumn 2011, summer 2012 and autumn 2012 on a rock glacier located in the Turtmann valley, Switzerland. Satellite radar interferometry (ERS 1 & 2, CosmoSkymed) indicate that accelerated downslope movement of the rock glacier commenced during the 1990s. Due to signal decorrelation associated with the satellite repeat pass time interval, continuous ground-based radar interferometry measurements were undertaken. Results show that the rock glacier accelerated significantly in Summer (Vmax = 6.0cm/25hrs), probably in response to the condition of the subsurface hydrology (e.g. post-peak spring snow melt and/or infiltration of rainfall). In autumn, the displacement velocity was reduced (Vmax = 2.0cm/25hrs). A one year surface difference of the glacier topography, derived from terrestrial laser scanning, provided insight into the rock glacier kinematics. Ongoing research is aimed at integrating surface displacement results with an extensive borehole monitoring system consisting of inclinometers and temperature sensors.

  1. Multiscale radar mapping of surface melt over mountain glaciers in High Mountain Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, N.; McDonald, K. C.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier melt dominates input for many hydrologic systems in the Himalayan Hindukush region that feed rivers that are critical for downstream ecosystems and hydropower generation in this highly populated area. Deviation in seasonal surface melt timing and duration with a changing climate has the potential to affect up to a billion people on the Indian Subcontinent. Satellite-borne microwave remote sensing has unique capabilities that allow monitoring of numerous landscape processes associated with snowmelt and freeze/thaw state, without many of the limitations in optical-infrared sensors such as solar illumination or atmospheric conditions. The onset of regional freeze/thaw and surface melting transitions determine important surface hydrologic variables like river discharge. Theses regional events are abrupt therefore difficult to observe with low-frequency observation sensors. Recently launched synthetic aperture radar (SAR) onboard the Sentinel-1 A and B satellites from the European Space Agency (ESA) provide wide-swath and high spatial resolution (50-100 m) C-Band SAR observations with observations frequencies not previously available, on the order of 8 to 16 days. The Sentinel SARs provide unique opportunity to study freeze/thaw and mountain glacier melt dynamics at process level scales, spatial and temporal. The melt process of individual glaciers, being fully resolved by imaging radar, will inform on the radiometric scattering physics associated with surface hydrology during the transition from melted to thawed state and during refreeze. Backscatter observations, along with structural information about the surface will be compared with complimentary coarse spatial resolution C-Band radar scatterometers, Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT Met Op A+B), to understand the sub-pixel contribution of surface melting and freeze/thaw signals. This information will inform on longer-scale records of backscatter from ASCAT, 2006-2017. We present a comparison of polarimetric C

  2. Accuracy Assessment of Digital Surface Models from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ Imagery on Glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Gindraux

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV for photogrammetric surveying has recently gained enormous popularity. Images taken from UAVs are used for generating Digital Surface Models (DSMs and orthorectified images. In the glaciological context, these can serve for quantifying ice volume change or glacier motion. This study focuses on the accuracy of UAV-derived DSMs. In particular, we analyze the influence of the number and disposition of Ground Control Points (GCPs needed for georeferencing the derived products. A total of 1321 different DSMs were generated from eight surveys distributed on three glaciers in the Swiss Alps during winter, summer and autumn. The vertical and horizontal accuracy was assessed by cross-validation with thousands of validation points measured with a Global Positioning System. Our results show that the accuracy increases asymptotically with increasing number of GCPs until a certain density of GCPs is reached. We call this the optimal GCP density. The results indicate that DSMs built with this optimal GCP density have a vertical (horizontal accuracy ranging between 0.10 and 0.25 m (0.03 and 0.09 m across all datasets. In addition, the impact of the GCP distribution on the DSM accuracy was investigated. The local accuracy of a DSM decreases when increasing the distance to the closest GCP, typically at a rate of 0.09 m per 100-m distance. The impact of the glacier’s surface texture (ice or snow was also addressed. The results show that besides cases with a surface covered by fresh snow, the surface texture does not significantly influence the DSM accuracy.

  3. A 30-year record of surface mass balance (1966-95) and motion and surface altitude (1975-95) at Wolverine Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Lawrence R.; Trabant, Dennis C.; March, Rod S.

    2004-01-01

    Scientific measurements at Wolverine Glacier, on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, began in April 1966. At three long-term sites in the research basin, the measurements included snow depth, snow density, heights of the glacier surface and stratigraphic summer surfaces on stakes, and identification of the surface materials. Calculations of the mass balance of the surface strata-snow, new firn, superimposed ice, and old firn and ice mass at each site were based on these measurements. Calculations of fixed-date annual mass balances for each hydrologic year (October 1 to September 30), as well as net balances and the dates of minimum net balance measured between time-transgressive summer surfaces on the glacier, were made on the basis of the strata balances augmented by air temperature and precipitation recorded in the basin. From 1966 through 1995, the average annual balance at site A (590 meters altitude) was -4.06 meters water equivalent; at site B (1,070 meters altitude), was -0.90 meters water equivalent; and at site C (1,290 meters altitude), was +1.45 meters water equivalent. Geodetic determination of displacements of the mass balance stake, and glacier surface altitudes was added to the data set in 1975 to detect the glacier motion responses to variable climate and mass balance conditions. The average surface speed from 1975 to 1996 was 50.0 meters per year at site A, 83.7 meters per year at site B, and 37.2 meters per year at site C. The average surface altitudes were 594 meters at site A, 1,069 meters at site B, and 1,293 meters at site C; the glacier surface altitudes rose and fell over a range of 19.4 meters at site A, 14.1 meters at site B, and 13.2 meters at site C.

  4. Surface energy balance in the ablation zone of Langfjordjøkelen, an arctic, maritime glacier in northern Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giesen, Rianne H.; Andreassen, Liss M.; Oerlemans, Johannes; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2014-01-01

    Glaciers in northern and southern Norway are subject to different daily and seasonal cycles of incoming solar radiation, which is presumably reflected in the importance of net solar radiation in their surface energy balance. We present a 3 year continuous record from an automatic weather station in

  5. A possible climate signal in the surface morphology and internal structure of Galena Creek Rock Glacier, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Eric; Holt, John; Levy, Joseph; Stuurman, Cassie; Nerozzi, Stefano; Cardenas, Benjamin; Pharr, James; Aylward, Dan; Schmidt, Logan; Hoey, William; Prem, Parvathy; Rambo, Jackie; Lim, YeJin; Maharaj, Kian

    2016-04-01

    Galena Creek Rock Glacier (GCRG) has been shown in previous studies to be a debris-covered glacier (e.g. Ackert, Jr., 1998), and is thus a target of interest as a record of climate and an element of the mountain hydrological system. The goal of this study was to investigate possible relationships between surface morphology and internal structure and composition of GCRG. This was achieved using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), time-domain electromagnetic sounding (TEM), and photogrammetry to produce digital terrain models (DTMs). We acquired 6 longitudinal GPR surveys at 50 and 100 MHz, 2 common midpoint GPR surveys, and 28 TEM soundings on GCRG from the head to the toe, and ground-based photogrammetry data were collected to produce a DTM of its cirque at 10 cm resolution. TEM soundings locally constrained the bulk thickness of GCRG to 26-75 meters. Common midpoint and hyperbola analyses of GPR surveys produced dielectric constants in the near subsurface of 4 in the upper glacier to 5-9 in the middle and lower glacier. These are consistent with clean ice and a mélange of rock with air and/or ice, respectively. GPR revealed a pervasive shallow reflector at 1-2.5m depth that we interpret to be the interface between the surface debris layer and glacier ice. There is increased structure and clutter in the GPR data beneath this interface as one moves down glacier. Observations were additionally made of a 40m wide, 4-5m deep circular thermokarst pond located on upper GCRG in the cirque. The walls of the pond revealed a cross-section of the top several meters of GCRG's interior: a dry surface layer of rocky debris 1-1.5m thick overlying pure glacier ice. An englacial debris band was also observed, roughly 50 cm thick and presenting at an apparent up-glacier dip of ~30 degrees, intersecting the surface near a subtle ridge resolved in the photogrammetry DTM. A GPR transect conducted near the pond over 6 similar ridges imaged 6 corresponding up-glacier dipping reflectors that

  6. 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.

  7. Structure-from-Motion Using Historical Aerial Images to Analyse Changes in Glacier Surface Elevation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Mölg

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The application of structure-from-motion (SfM to generate digital terrain models (DTMs derived from different image sources has strongly increased, the major reason for this being that processing is substantially easier with SfM than with conventional photogrammetry. To test the functionality in a demanding environment, we applied SfM and conventional photogrammetry to archival aerial images from Zmuttgletscher, a mountain glacier in Switzerland, for nine dates between 1946 and 2005 using the most popular software packages, and compared the results regarding bundle adjustment and final DTM quality. The results suggest that by using SfM it is possible to produce DTMs of similar quality as with conventional photogrammetry. Higher point cloud density and less noise allow a higher ground resolution of the final DTM, and the time effort from the user is 3–6 times smaller, while the controls of the commercial software packages Agisoft PhotoScan (Version 1.2; Agisoft, St. Petersburg, Russia and Pix4Dmapper (Version 3.0; Pix4D, Lausanne, Switzerland are limited in comparison to ERDAS photogrammetry. SfM performs less reliably when few images with little overlap are processed. Even though SfM facilitates the largely automated production of high quality DTMs, the user is not exempt from a thorough quality check, at best with reference data where available. The resulting DTM time series revealed an average change in surface elevation at the glacier tongue of −67.0 ± 5.3 m. The spatial pattern of changes over time reflects the influence of flow dynamics and the melt of clean ice and that under debris cover. With continued technological advances, we expect to see an increasing use of SfM in glaciology for a variety of purposes, also in processing archival aerial imagery.

  8. Downscaling reanalysis data to high-resolution variables above a glacier surface (Cordillera Blanca, Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofer, Marlis; Mölg, Thomas; Marzeion, Ben; Kaser, Georg

    2010-05-01

    Recently initiated observation networks in the Cordillera Blanca provide temporally high-resolution, yet short-term atmospheric data. The aim of this study is to extend the existing time series into the past. We present an empirical-statistical downscaling (ESD) model that links 6-hourly NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data to the local target variables, measured at the tropical glacier Artesonraju (Northern Cordillera Blanca). The approach is particular in the context of ESD for two reasons. First, the observational time series for model calibration are short (only about two years). Second, unlike most ESD studies in climate research, we focus on variables at a high temporal resolution (i.e., six-hourly values). Our target variables are two important drivers in the surface energy balance of tropical glaciers; air temperature and specific humidity. The selection of predictor fields from the reanalysis data is based on regression analyses and climatologic considerations. The ESD modelling procedure includes combined empirical orthogonal function and multiple regression analyses. Principal component screening is based on cross-validation using the Akaike Information Criterion as model selection criterion. Double cross-validation is applied for model evaluation. Potential autocorrelation in the time series is considered by defining the block length in the resampling procedure. Apart from the selection of predictor fields, the modelling procedure is automated and does not include subjective choices. We assess the ESD model sensitivity to the predictor choice by using both single- and mixed-field predictors of the variables air temperature (1000 hPa), specific humidity (1000 hPa), and zonal wind speed (500 hPa). The chosen downscaling domain ranges from 80 to 50 degrees west and from 0 to 20 degrees south. Statistical transfer functions are derived individually for different months and times of day (month/hour-models). The forecast skill of the month/hour-models largely depends on

  9. Processes governing the mass balance of Chhota Shigri Glacier (western Himalaya, India) assessed by point-scale surface energy balance measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Azam, M. F.; Wagnon, P.; Vincent, C.; Ramanathan, AL.; Favier, V.; Mandal, A.; Pottakkal, J. G.

    2014-01-01

    Some recent studies revealed that Himalayan glaciers were shrinking at an accelerated rate since the beginning of the 21st century. However, the climatic causes for this shrinkage remain unclear given that surface energy balance studies are almost nonexistent in this region. In this study, a point-scale surface energy balance analysis was performed using in situ meteorological data from the ablation zone of Chhota Shigri Glacier over two separate periods (August 2012 to February 2013 and July...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Subglacial drainage effects on surface motion on a small surge type alpine glacier on the St. Elias range, Yukon Territory, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rada, C.; Schoof, C.; King, M. A.; Flowers, G. E.; Haber, E.

    2017-12-01

    Subglacial drainage is known to play an important role in glacier dynamics trough its influence on basal sliding. However, drainage is also one of the most poorly understood process in glacier flow due to the difficulties of observing, identifying and modeling the physics involved. In an effort to improve understanding of subglacial processes, we have monitored a small, approximately 100 m thick surge-type alpine glacier for nine years. Over 300 boreholes were instrumented with pressure transducers over a 0.5 km² in its upper ablation area, in addition to a weather station and a permanent GPS array consisting on 16 dual-frequency receivers within the study area. We study the influence of the subglacial drainage system on the glacier surface velocity. However, pressure variations in the drainage system during the melt season are dominated by diurnal oscillations.Therefore, GPS solutions have to be computed at sub-diurnal time intervals in order to explore the effects of transient diurnal pressure variations. Due to the small displacements of the surface of the glacier over those periods (4-10 cm/day), sub-diurnal solutions are dominated by errors, making it impossible to observe the diurnal variations in glacier motion. We have found that the main source of error is GPS multipath. This error source does largely cancel out when solutions are computed over 24 hour periods (or more precisely, over a sidereal day), but solution precisions decrease quickly when computed over shorter periods of time. Here we present an inverse problem approach to remove GPS multipath errors on glaciers, and use the reconstructed glacier motion to explore how the subglacial drainage morphology and effective pressure influence glacier dynamics at multiple time scales.

  13. Estimating the ice thickness of mountain glaciers with an inverse approach using surface topography and mass-balance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michel, Laurent; Picasso, Marco; Farinotti, Daniel; Bauder, Andreas; Funk, Martin; Blatter, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    We present a numerical method to estimate the ice thickness distribution within a two-dimensional, non-sliding mountain glacier, given a transient surface geometry and a mass-balance distribution, which are relatively easy to obtain for a large number of glaciers. The inverse approach is based on the shallow ice approximation (SIA) of ice flow and requires neither filtering of the surface topography with a lower slope limit nor approximation of constant basal shear stress. We first address this problem for a steady-state surface geometry. Next, we use an apparent surface mass-balance description that makes the transient evolution quasi-stationary. Then, we employ a more elaborated fixed-point method in which the bedrock solution is iteratively obtained by adding the difference between the computed and known surface geometries at the end of the considered time interval. In a sensitivity study, we show that the procedure is much more susceptible to small perturbations in surface geometry than mass-balance. Finally, we present preliminary results for bed elevations in three space dimensions. (paper)

  14. 3-D surface properties of glacier penitentes over an ablation season, measured using a Microsoft Xbox Kinect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. I. Nicholson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the first small-scale digital surface models (DSMs of natural penitentes on a glacier surface were produced using a Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensor on Tapado Glacier, Chile (30°08′ S, 69°55′ W. The surfaces produced by the complete processing chain were within the error of standard terrestrial laser scanning techniques, but insufficient overlap between scanned sections that were mosaicked to cover the sampled areas can result in three-dimensional (3-D positional errors of up to 0.3 m. Between November 2013 and January 2014 penitentes become fewer, wider and deeper, and the distribution of surface slope angles becomes more skewed to steep faces. Although these morphological changes cannot be captured by manual point measurements, mean surface lowering of the scanned areas was comparable to that derived from manual measurements of penitente surface height at a minimum density of 5 m−1 over a 5 m transverse profile. Roughness was computed on the 3-D surfaces by applying two previously published geometrical formulae: one for a 3-D surface and one for single profiles sampled from the surface. Morphometric analysis shows that skimming flow is persistent over penitentes, providing conditions conducive for the development of a distinct microclimate within the penitente troughs. For each method a range of ways of defining the representative roughness element height was used, and the calculations were done both with and without application of a zero displacement height offset to account for the likelihood of skimming air flow over the closely spaced penitentes. The computed roughness values are on the order of 0.01–0.10 m during the early part of the ablation season, increasing to 0.10–0.50 m after the end of December, in line with the roughest values previously published for glacier ice. Both the 3-D surface and profile methods of computing roughness are strongly dependent on wind direction. However, the two

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Cosmogenic nuclides constrain surface fluctuations of an East Antarctic outlet glacier since the Pliocene.

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, R.S.; Norton, K.P.; Mackintosh, A.N.; Anderson, J.T.H.; Kubik, P.; Vockenhuber, C.; Wittman, H.; Fink, D.; Wilson, G.S.; Golledge, N.R.; McKay, R.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding past changes in the Antarctic ice sheets provides insight into how they might respond to future climate warming. During the Pliocene and Pleistocene, geological data show that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet responded to glacial and interglacial cycles by remaining relatively stable in its interior, but oscillating at its marine-based margin. It is currently not clear how outlet glaciers, which connect the ice sheet interior to its margin, responded to these orbitally-paced climate...

  18. Modeling the Rock Glacier Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Determining and Interpreting Detailed Ice Surface Elevation Changes of the Glaciers in Upernavik Isstrøm, Northwest Greenland, 1985-2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendler, L.; Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.

    2017-12-01

    The several distinct glaciers of Upernavik Isstrøm in NW Greenland exhibit variable thinning, retreat, and velocity behaviors, despite being in close proximity, draining into the same fjord, and experiencing similar climatic conditions. This study reconstructed the 1985-2016 surface elevation change history for each Upernavik glacier. The data sets used included altimetry data collected by NASA's ATM, LVIS, and ICESat systems and digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from 1985 aerial photographs; ASTER, SPOT, and Worldview-1 and 2 satellite stereo imagery. The Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change detection (SERAC) program was used to combine the data and correct the DEMs for fusing with the altimetry data. The spatiotemporal pattern of ice surface change was partitioned into changes related to surface processes and ice dynamics. The resulting ice thickness change time series were compared to other data sets, such as bed elevation, SMB anomalies, runoff, as well as marginal retreat derived from satellite imagery corresponding to the ASTER DEMs, to investigate possible forcings causing the variable behavior of the glaciers. Major findings include detection of rapid dynamic thinning of glacier 1 between 2005 and 2006, during a period of a stable calving front position. Continuing thinning and speed-up led to a loss of contact with a pinning point causing a major retreat between 2007 and 2008. This sequence of events contradicts previously held hypotheses that major thinning was caused by reduced backstress when a long-lived floating tongue disintegrated. Also, our results show a period of large thinning on glacier 2 between 2010 and 2011, after the retreat of the front resulted in a loss of contact between the glacier and one of its flanking outcrops suggesting that reduction of lateral drag might have contributed to the thinning. While the study reinforces that bed topography is a major factor in controlling outlet glacier dynamic thinning, it also

  20. 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

  1. LGM and Late Glacial glacier advances in the Cordillera Real and Cochabamba (Bolivia deduced from 10Be surface exposure dating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Veit

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Surface exposure dating (SED is an innovative tool already being widely applied for moraine dating and for Late Quaternary glacier and climate reconstruction. Here we present exposure ages of 28 boulders from the Cordillera Real and the Cordillera Cochabamba, Bolivia. Our results indicate that the local Last Glacial Maximum (LGM in the Eastern Cordilleras occurred at ~22–25 ka and was thus synchronous to the global temperature minimum. We were also able to date several Late Glacial moraines to ~11–13 ka, which likely document lower temperatures and increased precipitation ("Coipasa" humid phase. Additionally, we recognize the existence of older Late Glacial moraines re-calculated to ~15 ka from published cosmogenic nuclide data. Those may coincide with the cold Heinrich 1 event in the North Atlantic region and the pronounced "Tauca" humid phase. We conclude that (i exposure ages in the tropical Andes may have been overestimated so far due to methodological uncertainties, and (ii although precipitation plays an important role for glacier mass balances in the tropical Andes, it becomes the dominant forcing for glaciation only in the drier and thus more precipitation-sensitive regions farther west and south.

  2. Estimating Spatial and Temporal Variability in Surface Kinematics of the Inylchek Glacier, Central Asia, using TerraSAR–X Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Neelmeijer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We use 124 scenes of TerraSAR–X data that were acquired in 2009 and 2010 to analyse the spatial and temporal variability in surface kinematics of the debris-covered Inylchek Glacier, located in the Tien Shan mountain range in Central Asia. By applying the feature tracking method to the intensity information of the radar data and combining the results from the ascending and descending orbits, we derive the surface velocity field of the glaciated area. Analysing the seasonal variations over the upper part of the Southern Inylchek branch, we find a temperature-related increase in velocity from 25 cm/d up to 50 cm/d between spring and summer, with the peak occurring in June. Another prominent velocity peak is observable one month later in the lower part of the Southern Inylchek branch. This area shows generally little motion, with values of approximately 5–10 cm/d over the year, but yields surface kinematics of up to 25 cm/d during the peak period. Comparisons of the dates of annual glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs of the proglacial Lake Merzbacher suggest that this lower part is directly influenced by the drainage, leading to the observed mini-surge, which has over twice the normal displacement rate. With regard to the GLOF and the related response of Inylchek Glacier, we conclude that X–band radar systems such as TerraSAR–X have a high potential for detecting and characterising small-scale glacial surface kinematic variations and should be considered for future inter-annual glacial monitoring tasks.

  3. 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.

  4. Comparison of the meteorology and surface energy balance at Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen, two glaciers in southern Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Giesen

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We compare 5 years of meteorological records from automatic weather stations (AWSs on Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen, two glaciers in southern Norway, located approximately 120 km apart. The records are obtained from identical AWSs with an altitude difference of 120 m and cover the period September 2001 to September 2006. Air temperature at the AWS locations is found to be highly correlated, even with the seasonal cycle removed. The most striking difference between the two sites is the difference in wind climate. Midtdalsbreen is much more under influence of the large-scale circulation with wind speeds on average a factor 1.75 higher. On Storbreen, weaker katabatic winds are dominant. The main melt season is from May to September at both locations. During the melt season, incoming and net solar radiation are larger on Midtdalsbreen, whereas incoming and net longwave radiation are larger on Storbreen, primarily caused by thicker clouds on the latter. The turbulent fluxes are a factor 1.7 larger on Midtdalsbreen, mainly due to the higher wind speeds. Inter-daily fluctuations in the surface energy fluxes are very similar at the AWS sites. On average, melt energy is a factor 1.3 larger on Midtdalsbreen, a result of both larger net radiation and larger turbulent fluxes. The relative contribution of net radiation to surface melt is larger on Storbreen (76% than on Midtdalsbreen (66%. As winter snow depth at the two locations is comparable in most years, the larger amount of melt energy results in an earlier disappearance of the snowpack on Midtdalsbreen and 70% more ice melt than on Storbreen. We compare the relative and absolute values of the energy fluxes on Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen with reported values for glaciers at similar latitudes. Furthermore, a comparison is made with meteorological variables measured at two nearby weather stations, showing that on-site measurements are essential for an accurate calculation of the surface energy balance and

  5. 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

  6. Application of a hybrid method for downscaling of the global climate model fields for evaluation of future surface mass balance of mountain glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozova, Polina; Rybak, Oleg; Kaminskaia, Mariia

    2017-04-01

    Mountain glaciers in the Caucasus have been degrading during the last century. During this time period they lost approximately one-third in area and half of their volume. Prediction of their evolution in changing climate is crucial for the local economy because hydrological regime in the territory north to the Main Caucasus Chain is mainly driven by glacier run-off. For future projections of glaciers' surface mass balance (SMB) we apply a hybrid method of downscaling of GCM-generated meteorological fields from the global scale to the characteristic spatial resolution normally used for modeling of a single mountain glacier SMB. A method consists of two stages. On the first, dynamical stage, we use the results of calculations of regional climate model (RCM) HadRM3P for the Black Sea-Caspian region with a spatial resolution of approximately 25 km. Initial and boundary conditions for HadRM3P are provided by an AO GCM INMCM developed in the Institute of Numerical Mathematics (Moscow, Russia). Calculations were carried out for two time slices: the present (reference) climate (1971-2000 years) and climate in the late 21st century (2071-2100 years) according to scenario of greenhouse gas emissions RCP 8.5. On the second stage of downscaling, further regionalization is achieved by projecting of RCM-generated data to the high-resolution (25 m) digital elevation models in a domain enclosing target glaciers (Marukh in the Western Caucasus and Djankuat in the Central Caucasus, both being typical valley glaciers). Elevation gradient of surface air temperature and precipitation were derived from the model data. Further, results were corrected using data of observations. The incoming shortwave radiation is calculated separately, taking into account slopes, aspects and shade effect. In the end of the current century expected air temperature growth in the Central and Western Caucasus is about 5-6 °C (summer), and 2-3 °C (winter). Reduction in annual precipitation is not

  7. 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.

  8. An eddy covariance system to characterize the atmospheric surface layer and turbulent latent heat fluxes over a debris-covered Himalayan glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litt, Maxime; Steiner, Jakob F.; Stigter, Emmy E.; Immerzeel, Walter; Shea, Joseph Michael

    2017-04-01

    Over debris-covered glaciers, water content variations in the debris layer can drive significant changes in its thermal conductivity and significantly impact melt rates. Since sublimation and evaporation are favoured in high-altitude conditions, e.g., low atmospheric pressure and high wind speeds, they are expected to strongly influence the water balance of the debris-layer. Dedicated latent heat fluxes measurements at the debris surface are essential to characterize the debris heat conductivity in order to assess underlying ice melt. Furthermore, the contribution of the turbulent fluxes in the surface energy balance over debris covered glacier remains uncertain since they are generally evaluated through similarity methods which might not be valid in complex terrain. We present the first results of a 15-day eddy-covariance experiment installed at the end of the monsoon (September-October) on a 3-m tower above the debris-covered Lirung glacier in Nepal. The tower also included measurements of the 4 radiation components. The eddy covariance measurements allowed for the characterization of the turbulence in the atmospheric surface layer, as well as the direct measurements of evaporation, sublimation and turbulent sensible heat fluxes. The experiment helps us to evaluate the contribution of turbulent fluxes to the surface energy balance over this debris-covered glacier, through a precise characterization of the overlying turbulent atmospheric surface layer. It also helps to study the role of the debris-layer water content changes through evaporation and sublimation and its feedback on heat conduction in this layer. The large observed turbulent fluxes play a significant role in the energy balance at the debris surface and significantly influence debris moisture, conductivity and subsequently underlying ice melt.

  9. 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

  10. Joint Geodetic and Seismic Analysis of the effects of Englacial and Subglacial Hydraulics on Surface Crevassing near a Seasonal, Glacier-Dammed Lake on Gornergletscher, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, L.; Luttrell, K. M.; Kilb, D. L.; Walter, F.

    2017-12-01

    Glacial outburst floods are difficult to predict and threaten human life and property near glaciated regions. These events are characterized by rapid draining of glacier-dammed lakes via the sub/englacial hydraulic network to the proglacial stream. The glacier-dammed lake on Gornergletscher in Switzerland, which fills and drains each summer, provides an opportunity to study this hazard. For three drainages (2004, 2006, and 2007), we track icequakes (IQ) and on-ice GPS movement. Our seasonal seismic networks had 8 - 24 three component stations and apertures of about 300 - 400 m on the glacier surface. The seasonal GPS arrays contained 4 - 8 GPS antennae on the glacier surface. Using Rayleigh wave coherence surface IQ location, we located 2924, 7822 and 3782 IQs, in 2004, 2006 and 2007, respectively. The GPS data were smoothed using a nonparametric protocol, with average station velocities of 10 - 90 mm/day. In 2006, strains were calculated using five stations within 500 m of the lake, co-located with the seismic network. IQ productivity increased substantially during lake drainage only in 2004, which was the only year when the lake drainage was rapid ( 6 days) and primarily subglacial. In 2006, there was no obvious increase in GPS speeds with slow ( 21 days), supraglacial lake drainage. However, when drainage was subglacial as in 2004 and 2007 (sub/englacial over 11 days), GPS speed increased up to 160%. This speed increase is evidence for basal sliding induced by subglacial drainage. In general, we find that when the strain increase on the principle extension axis aligns with the crevasse opening direction, IQ are more prolific. We also observe a diurnal signal in both IQ occurrence and surface strain, with peak strain occurring in the mid- to late-afternoon (15:00 - 19:00 local) across the study area in 2006. We interpret this time-shift in strain and spatiotemporal dependence of IQs to be caused by diurnal variations in melt-induced sliding. Our analysis sheds

  11. Surface and thickness variations of Brenva Glacier tongue (Mont Blanc, Italian Alps) in the second half of the 20th century by historical maps and aerial photogrammetry comparisons

    Science.gov (United States)

    D Agata, C.; Zanutta, A.; Muzzu Martis, D.; Mancini, F.; Smiraglia, C.

    2003-04-01

    Aim of this contribution is the evaluation of volumetric and surface variations of Brenva Glacier (Mont Blanc, Italian Alps) during the second half of the 20th century, by GIS-based processing of maps and aerial photogrammetry technique. Brenva Glacier is a typical debris covered glacier, located in a valley on the S-E side of the Mont Blanc. The glacier covers a surface of 7 kmq and shows a length of 7,6 km at maximum. The glacier snout reaches 1415 m a.s.l., which is the lowest glacier terminus of the Italian Alps. To evaluate glacier variations different historical maps were used: 1) The 1959 Map, at the scale 1:5.000, by EIRA (Ente Italiano Rilievi Aerofotogrammetrici, Firenze), from terrestrial photogrammetric survey, published in the Bollettino del Comitato Glaciologico Italiano, 2, n. 19, 1971. 2) The 1971 Map, at the scale 1:5.000, from aerial photogrammetry (Alifoto, Torino) published in the Bollettino del Comitato Glaciologico Italiano, 2, n. 20, 1972. 3) The 1988 Map, at the scale 1:10.000, (Region Aosta Valley, Regional Technical Map) from 1983 aerial photogrammetric survey. 4) The 1999 Map, at the scale 1:10.000, (Region Aosta Valley, Regional Technical Map) from 1991 aerial photogrammetry survey. For the same purpose the following aereal photographs were used: 1) The 1975 image, CGR (Italian General Company aerial Surveys) flight RAVDA (Administrative Autonomous Region Aosta Valley), at the scale 1:17.000. 2) The 1991 image, CGR (Italian General Company aerial Surveys) flight RAVDA (Administrative Autonomous Region Aosta Valley), at the scale 1:17.000. Aerial imageries have been acquired over a long period from 1975 to 1991. The black and white images were scanned at suitable resolution if compared with the imagery scale and several models, representing the glacier tongue area, oriented using the inner and outer orientation parameters delivered with the images, were produced. The digital photogrammetric system, after orientation and matching, produces

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiyong Yan

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Comparison of the meteorology and surface energy balance at Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen, two glaciers in southern Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giesen, R.H.; Andreassen, L.M.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Oerlemans, J.

    2009-01-01

    We compare 5 years of meteorological records from automatic weather stations (AWSs) on Storbreen and Midtdalsbreen, two glaciers in southern Norway, located approximately 120 km apart. The records are obtained from identical AWSs with an altitude difference of 120 m and cover the period September

  15. 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...

  16. 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....

  17. Evaluation of different methods to model near-surface turbulent fluxes for a mountain glacier in the Cariboo Mountains, BC, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radić, Valentina; Menounos, Brian; Shea, Joseph; Fitzpatrick, Noel; Tessema, Mekdes A.; Déry, Stephen J.

    2017-12-01

    As part of surface energy balance models used to simulate glacier melting, choosing parameterizations to adequately estimate turbulent heat fluxes is extremely challenging. This study aims to evaluate a set of four aerodynamic bulk methods (labeled as C methods), commonly used to estimate turbulent heat fluxes for a sloped glacier surface, and two less commonly used bulk methods developed from katabatic flow models. The C methods differ in their parameterizations of the bulk exchange coefficient that relates the fluxes to the near-surface measurements of mean wind speed, air temperature, and humidity. The methods' performance in simulating 30 min sensible- and latent-heat fluxes is evaluated against the measured fluxes from an open-path eddy-covariance (OPEC) method. The evaluation is performed at a point scale of a mountain glacier, using one-level meteorological and OPEC observations from multi-day periods in the 2010 and 2012 summer seasons. The analysis of the two independent seasons yielded the same key findings, which include the following: first, the bulk method, with or without the commonly used Monin-Obukhov (M-O) stability functions, overestimates the turbulent heat fluxes over the observational period, mainly due to a substantial overestimation of the friction velocity. This overestimation is most pronounced during the katabatic flow conditions, corroborating the previous findings that the M-O theory works poorly in the presence of a low wind speed maximum. Second, the method based on a katabatic flow model (labeled as the KInt method) outperforms any C method in simulating the friction velocity; however, the C methods outperform the KInt method in simulating the sensible-heat fluxes. Third, the best overall performance is given by a hybrid method, which combines the KInt approach with the C method; i.e., it parameterizes eddy viscosity differently than eddy diffusivity. An error analysis reveals that the uncertainties in the measured meteorological

  18. Evaluation of different methods to model near-surface turbulent fluxes for a mountain glacier in the Cariboo Mountains, BC, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Radić

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of surface energy balance models used to simulate glacier melting, choosing parameterizations to adequately estimate turbulent heat fluxes is extremely challenging. This study aims to evaluate a set of four aerodynamic bulk methods (labeled as C methods, commonly used to estimate turbulent heat fluxes for a sloped glacier surface, and two less commonly used bulk methods developed from katabatic flow models. The C methods differ in their parameterizations of the bulk exchange coefficient that relates the fluxes to the near-surface measurements of mean wind speed, air temperature, and humidity. The methods' performance in simulating 30 min sensible- and latent-heat fluxes is evaluated against the measured fluxes from an open-path eddy-covariance (OPEC method. The evaluation is performed at a point scale of a mountain glacier, using one-level meteorological and OPEC observations from multi-day periods in the 2010 and 2012 summer seasons. The analysis of the two independent seasons yielded the same key findings, which include the following: first, the bulk method, with or without the commonly used Monin–Obukhov (M–O stability functions, overestimates the turbulent heat fluxes over the observational period, mainly due to a substantial overestimation of the friction velocity. This overestimation is most pronounced during the katabatic flow conditions, corroborating the previous findings that the M–O theory works poorly in the presence of a low wind speed maximum. Second, the method based on a katabatic flow model (labeled as the KInt method outperforms any C method in simulating the friction velocity; however, the C methods outperform the KInt method in simulating the sensible-heat fluxes. Third, the best overall performance is given by a hybrid method, which combines the KInt approach with the C method; i.e., it parameterizes eddy viscosity differently than eddy diffusivity. An error analysis reveals that the uncertainties in

  19. 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...

  20. Development of a Novel Multispectral Instrument for Handheld and UAS Measurements of Surface Albedo; First Applications for Glaciers in the Peruvian Andes and for Nevada's Black Rock Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehmler, J. M.; Stevens, C.; Arnott, W. P.; Watts, A.; All, J.; Schmitt, C. G.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate atmospheric aerosol characteristics derived from satellite measurements are needed over a variety of land surfaces. Nonhomogeneous and bright surface reflectance across California and Nevada may be a contributing factor in the discrepancies observed between ground based and satellite-retrieved atmospheric aerosol optical depth (AOD). We developed and deployed a compact and portable instrument to measure albedo to evaluate a major factor that influences the accuracy of AOD retrievals. The instrument will be operated on an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to control areal averaging for comparison with satellite derived albedo from the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). A handheld version of the instrument was mounted on a trekking pole and used for obtaining in situ glacier albedo measurements in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru during the summer of 2017. The instrument weighs approximately 433 g and consists of two parts, a mountable, payload portion (300 g) which houses the sensors, and a handheld screen (133 g) to display real-time data from the payload portion. Both parts are powered by a 9V battery and run on a Teensy 3.6/3.2 microcontroller. To retrieve albedo, two micro-spectrometers manufactured by Hamamatsu Photonics, each with a spectral range of 340 -780 nm, are utilized; one for obtaining the downwelling solar radiation and the other for measuring the solar radiation reflected from the surface. Additional components on the instrument include temperature, pressure and humidity sensors with a one second time response; a GPS for position and altitude; an infrared sensor to measure ground temperature; a digital level and compass for orienting the instrument; a camera for taking photos of the sky and surface; a radio for two-way communication between the screen display and sensor payload; and a micro SD card for recording data. We will present the instrument design along with surface albedo measurements for glaciers of the Peruvian

  1. 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

  2. [Community structure and phylogenetic analysis of cyanobacteria in cryoconite from surface of the Glacier No. 1 in the Tianshan Mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Xuejiao; Qi, Xing'e; Gu, Yanling; Zheng, Xiaoji; Dong, Juan; Ni, Yongqing; Cheng, Guodong

    2014-11-04

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the community composition and phylogenetic analysis of cyanobacteria from supraglacial cryoconite of the Glacier No. 1 in the Tianshan Mountains, China. We amplified 16S rRNA genes from the extracted cryoconite DNA by PCR with 2 pairs of cyanobacteria-specific primers. Amplificon was used to construct 16S rRNA genes clone library. The estimation of species richness, diversity indices, and rarefaction curve of the 16S rRNA genes library were determined based on representative phylotypes (OTUs). Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences allowed grouping of 101 clones into 12 phylotypes (OTUs) using a cut-off of 97% identity. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that most of sequences affiliated to the order Oscillatoriales and Chroococcales except that three were unclassified. The clone library was dominated by representatives of the order Oscillatoriales (81% of the total clones), and the most abundant organisms within this order were in the genus Phormidium (68 clones) including clones grouping into four phylotypes. The only clone of Chroococcales was closely related to the genus Chamaesiphon with 97% similarity. In addition, comparison of soil chemical properties between different habitats indicated that supraglacial cryoconite supported significantly higher the content of available phosphorus and potassium, nitrate nitrogen and organic matter compared with the forefield of the Glacier No. 1. The diversity index of cyanobacteria were relatively high in supraglacial cryoconite of the Glacier No. 1 in the Tianshan Mountains. The community structure was dominated by members of the genus Phormidium. This study may enrich our knowledge on biogeochemical processes and ecological distribution of cyanobacterial populations in glacial ecosystem.

  3. 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)

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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,...

  7. 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....

  8. 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

  9. 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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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. Towards a Highly Efficient Meshfree Simulation of Non-Newtonian Free Surface Ice Flow: Application to the Haut Glacier d'Arolla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakov, V.; Ahlkrona, J.

    2016-12-01

    In this work we develop a highly efficient meshfree approach to ice sheet modeling. Traditionally mesh based methods such as finite element methods are employed to simulate glacier and ice sheet dynamics. These methods are mature and well developed. However, despite of numerous advantages these methods suffer from some drawbacks such as necessity to remesh the computational domain every time it changes its shape, which significantly complicates the implementation on moving domains, or a costly assembly procedure for nonlinear problems. We introduce a novel meshfree approach that frees us from all these issues. The approach is built upon a radial basis function (RBF) method that, thanks to its meshfree nature, allows for an efficient handling of moving margins and free ice surface. RBF methods are also accurate and easy to implement. Since the formulation is stated in strong form it allows for a substantial reduction of the computational cost associated with the linear system assembly inside the nonlinear solver. We implement a global RBF method that defines an approximation on the entire computational domain. This method exhibits high accuracy properties. However, it suffers from a disadvantage that the coefficient matrix is dense, and therefore the computational efficiency decreases. In order to overcome this issue we also implement a localized RBF method that rests upon a partition of unity approach to subdivide the domain into several smaller subdomains. The radial basis function partition of unity method (RBF-PUM) inherits high approximation characteristics form the global RBF method while resulting in a sparse system of equations, which essentially increases the computational efficiency. To demonstrate the usefulness of the RBF methods we model the velocity field of ice flow in the Haut Glacier d'Arolla. We assume that the flow is governed by the nonlinear Blatter-Pattyn equations. We test the methods for different basal conditions and for a free moving

  17. Genome assembly of Chryseobacterium sp. strain IHBB 10212 from glacier top-surface soil in the Indian trans-Himalayas with potential for hydrolytic enzymes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohinder Pal

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The cold-active esterases are gaining importance due to their catalytic activities finding applications in chemical industry, food processes and detergent industry as additives, and organic synthesis of unstable compounds as catalysts. In the present study, the complete genome sequence of 4,843,645 bp with an average 34.08% G + C content and 4260 protein-coding genes are reported for the low temperature-active esterase-producing novel strain of Chrysobacterium isolated from the top-surface soil of a glacier in the cold deserts of the Indian trans-Himalayas. The genome contained two plasmids of 16,553 and 11,450 bp with 40.54 and 40.37% G + C contents, respectively. Several genes encoding the hydrolysis of ester linkages of triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol were predicted in the genome. The annotation also predicted the genes encoding proteases, lipases, amylases, β-glucosidases, endoglucanases and xylanases involved in biotechnological processes. The complete genome sequence of Chryseobacterium sp. strain IHBB 10212 and two plasmids have been deposited vide accession numbers CP015199, CP015200 and CP015201 at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank.

  18. 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.

  19. Highly temporally resolved response to seasonal surface melt of the Zachariae and 79N outlet glaciers in Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rathmann, N. M.; Hvidberg, C. S.; Solgaard, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    The seasonal response to surface melting of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream outlets, Zachariae and 79N, is investigated using new highly temporally resolved surface velocity maps for 2016 combined with numerical modelling. The seasonal speed-up at 79N of 0.15km/yr is suggested to be driven by ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The importance of accurate glacier albedo for estimates of surface mass balance on Vatnajökull: evaluating the surface energy budget in a regional climate model with automatic weather station observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffensen Schmidt, Louise; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; Guðmundsson, Sverrir; Langen, Peter L.; Pálsson, Finnur; Mottram, Ruth; Gascoin, Simon; Björnsson, Helgi

    2017-07-01

    A simulation of the surface climate of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, carried out with the regional climate model HIRHAM5 for the period 1980-2014, is used to estimate the evolution of the glacier surface mass balance (SMB). This simulation uses a new snow albedo parameterization that allows albedo to exponentially decay with time and is surface temperature dependent. The albedo scheme utilizes a new background map of the ice albedo created from observed MODIS data. The simulation is evaluated against observed daily values of weather parameters from five automatic weather stations (AWSs) from the period 2001-2014, as well as in situ SMB measurements from the period 1995-2014. The model agrees well with observations at the AWS sites, albeit with a general underestimation of the net radiation. This is due to an underestimation of the incoming radiation and a general overestimation of the albedo. The average modelled albedo is overestimated in the ablation zone, which we attribute to an overestimation of the thickness of the snow layer and not taking the surface darkening from dirt and volcanic ash deposition during dust storms and volcanic eruptions into account. A comparison with the specific summer, winter, and net mass balance for the whole of Vatnajökull (1995-2014) shows a good overall fit during the summer, with a small mass balance underestimation of 0.04 m w.e. on average, whereas the winter mass balance is overestimated by on average 0.5 m w.e. due to too large precipitation at the highest areas of the ice cap. A simple correction of the accumulation at the highest points of the glacier reduces this to 0.15 m w.e. Here, we use HIRHAM5 to simulate the evolution of the SMB of Vatnajökull for the period 1981-2014 and show that the model provides a reasonable representation of the SMB for this period. However, a major source of uncertainty in the representation of the SMB is the representation of the albedo, and processes currently not accounted for in RCMs

  12. The importance of accurate glacier albedo for estimates of surface mass balance on Vatnajökull: evaluating the surface energy budget in a regional climate model with automatic weather station observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. S. Schmidt

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A simulation of the surface climate of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, carried out with the regional climate model HIRHAM5 for the period 1980–2014, is used to estimate the evolution of the glacier surface mass balance (SMB. This simulation uses a new snow albedo parameterization that allows albedo to exponentially decay with time and is surface temperature dependent. The albedo scheme utilizes a new background map of the ice albedo created from observed MODIS data. The simulation is evaluated against observed daily values of weather parameters from five automatic weather stations (AWSs from the period 2001–2014, as well as in situ SMB measurements from the period 1995–2014. The model agrees well with observations at the AWS sites, albeit with a general underestimation of the net radiation. This is due to an underestimation of the incoming radiation and a general overestimation of the albedo. The average modelled albedo is overestimated in the ablation zone, which we attribute to an overestimation of the thickness of the snow layer and not taking the surface darkening from dirt and volcanic ash deposition during dust storms and volcanic eruptions into account. A comparison with the specific summer, winter, and net mass balance for the whole of Vatnajökull (1995–2014 shows a good overall fit during the summer, with a small mass balance underestimation of 0.04 m w.e. on average, whereas the winter mass balance is overestimated by on average 0.5 m w.e. due to too large precipitation at the highest areas of the ice cap. A simple correction of the accumulation at the highest points of the glacier reduces this to 0.15 m w.e. Here, we use HIRHAM5 to simulate the evolution of the SMB of Vatnajökull for the period 1981–2014 and show that the model provides a reasonable representation of the SMB for this period. However, a major source of uncertainty in the representation of the SMB is the representation of the albedo, and processes

  13. Glacial evolution in King George and Livingston Islands (Antarctica) since the Last Glacial Maximum based on cosmogenic nuclide dating and glacier surface reconstruction - CRONOANTAR project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz Fernández, Jesús; Oliva, Marc; Fernández Menéndez, Susana del Carmen; García Hernández, Cristina; Menéndez Duarte, Rosa Ana; Pellitero Ondicol, Ramón; Pérez Alberti, Augusto; Schimmelpfennig, Irene

    2017-04-01

    CRONOANTAR brings together researchers from Spain, Portugal, France and United Kingdom with the objective of spatially and temporally reconstruct the deglaciation process at the two largest islands in the South Shetlands Archipelago (Maritime Antarctica), since the Global Last Glacial Maximum. Glacier retreat in polar areas has major implications at a local, regional and even planetary scale. Global average sea level rise is the most obvious and socio-economically relevant, but there are others such as the arrival of new fauna to deglaciated areas, plant colonisation or permafrost formation and degradation. This project will study the ice-free areas in Byers and Hurd peninsulas (Livingston Island) and Fildes and Potter peninsulas (King George Island). Ice-cap glacier retreat chronology will be revealed by the use of cosmogenic isotopes (mainly 36Cl) on glacially originated sedimentary and erosive records. Cosmogenic dating will be complemented by other dating methods (C14 and OSL), which will permit the validation of these methods in regions with cold-based glaciers. Given the geomorphological evidences and the obtained ages, a deglaciation calendar will be proposed and we will use a GIS methodology to reconstruct the glacier extent and the ice thickness. The results emerging from this project will allow to assess whether the high glacier retreat rates observed during the last decades were registered in the past, or if they are conversely the consequence (and evidence) of the Global Change in Antarctica. Acknowledgements This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (Reference: CTM2016-77878-P).

  14. 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.

  15. OPTICAL FLOW FOR GLACIER MOTION ESTIMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Vogel

    2012-07-01

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

  16. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A revised Canadian perspective: progress in glacier hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, D. Scott

    2005-01-01

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

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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....

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Updating the results of glacier contribution to the sea level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Abdalati, Waleed Dr. (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    I have completed an update of global glacier volume change. All data of glacier annual mass balances, surface area over the period 1945/46 till 2004, outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were included in this update. As the result global glacier volume change have been calculated, also in terms of glacier contribution to sea level change. These results were sent to Working Group 1 and 2 of IPCC-4 as the basis for modeling of sea level towards the end of 2100. In this study I have concentrated on studying glacier systems of different scales, from primary (e.g. Devon ice cap) to regional (e.g. Canadian Arctic), continental scale (e,g., entire Arctic), and global (e.g., change in glacier volume and contribution to sea level rise).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Empirical-statistical downscaling of reanalysis data to high-resolution air temperature and specific humidity above a glacier surface (Cordillera Blanca, Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofer, Marlis; MöLg, Thomas; Marzeion, Ben; Kaser, Georg

    2010-06-01

    Recently initiated observation networks in the Cordillera Blanca (Peru) provide temporally high-resolution, yet short-term, atmospheric data. The aim of this study is to extend the existing time series into the past. We present an empirical-statistical downscaling (ESD) model that links 6-hourly National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis data to air temperature and specific humidity, measured at the tropical glacier Artesonraju (northern Cordillera Blanca). The ESD modeling procedure includes combined empirical orthogonal function and multiple regression analyses and a double cross-validation scheme for model evaluation. Apart from the selection of predictor fields, the modeling procedure is automated and does not include subjective choices. We assess the ESD model sensitivity to the predictor choice using both single-field and mixed-field predictors. Statistical transfer functions are derived individually for different months and times of day. The forecast skill largely depends on month and time of day, ranging from 0 to 0.8. The mixed-field predictors perform better than the single-field predictors. The ESD model shows added value, at all time scales, against simpler reference models (e.g., the direct use of reanalysis grid point values). The ESD model forecast 1960-2008 clearly reflects interannual variability related to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation but is sensitive to the chosen predictor type.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Recent evolution and degradation of the bent Jatunraju glacier (Cordillera Blanca, Peru)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Emmer, A.; Loarte, E.C.; Klimeš, Jan; Vilímek, V.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 228, JAN 1 (2015), s. 345-355 ISSN 0169-555X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP209/11/1000 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : debris-covered glacier * rock glacier * surface movements * buried ice degradation * supraglacial lakes Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 2.813, year: 2015

  14. Assessing the debris around glaciers using remote sensing and random sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bandishoev, Mus; Dilo, Arta; Stein, A.; Fonte, C.C.; Goncalves, L.M.S.; Goncalves, G.

    2011-01-01

    Glacier mapping from satellite multispectral image data is hampered by debris cover on glacier surfaces. Information on the spatial distribution and spatial-temporal dynamics of debris, however, bears various kinds of uncertainties. Debris exhibits the same spectral properties as lateral and

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    surface. This indicates the importance of understanding the role of snow cover in ablation processes of tropical glaciers.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Morphometric Controls on Glacier Mass Balance of the Puruogangri Ice Field, Central Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Evaluating the impacts of climatic changes and morphometric features on glacier mass balance is crucial to providing insight into glacier changes and their effects on regional water resources and ecosystems. Here, we presented an evaluation of morphometric effects on the glacier mass balances of the Puruogangri ice field (PIF on the Tibetan Plateau. A clear spatial variability of glacier mass balances, ranging from −0.035 to +0.019 m·w.e.·year−1, was estimated by comparing the TanDEM-X DEM (2012 with the SRTM-X DEM (2000. In general, the observed glacier mass changes were consistent with our fieldwork investigations. Furthermore, by applying the method of linear regression analysis, we found that the mass changes of individual glaciers on the PIF were mainly dominated by the mean altitude (R = 0.84, p < 0.001, however, they were statistically independent of glacier size, aspect, and surface velocity. At a local scale (grid size of 10 × 10 pixels, apart from the factor of altitude, surface velocity was correlated with glacier mass change.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Schwalbe

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  17. Gulkana Glacier, Alaska-Mass balance, meteorology, and water measurements, 1997-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2011-01-01

    The measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances for 1997-2001 in the Gulkana Glacier basin are determined at specific points and over the entire glacier area using the meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data. We provide descriptions of glacier geometry to aid in estimation of conventional and reference surface mass balances and descriptions of ice motion to aid in the understanding of the glacier's response to its changing geometry. These data provide annual estimates for area altitude distribution, equilibrium line altitude, and accumulation area ratio during the study interval. New determinations of historical area altitude distributions are given for 1900 and annually from 1966 to 2001. As original weather instrumentation is nearing the end of its deployment lifespan, we provide new estimates of overlap comparisons and precipitation catch efficiency. During 1997-2001, Gulkana Glacier showed a continued and accelerated negative mass balance trend, especially below the equilibrium line altitude where thinning was pronounced. Ice motion also slowed, which combined with the negative mass balance, resulted in glacier retreat under a warming climate. Average annual runoff augmentation by glacier shrinkage for 1997-2001 was 25 percent compared to the previous average of 13 percent, in accordance with the measured glacier volume reductions.

  18. How many stakes are required to measure the mass balance of a glacier?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.G.; Vecchia, A.

    1999-01-01

    Glacier mass balance is estimated for South Cascade Glacier and Maclure Glacier using a one-dimensional regression of mass balance with altitude as an alternative to the traditional approach of contouring mass balance values. One attractive feature of regression is that it can be applied to sparse data sets where contouring is not possible and can provide an objective error of the resulting estimate. Regression methods yielded mass balance values equivalent to contouring methods. The effect of the number of mass balance measurements on the final value for the glacier showed that sample sizes as small as five stakes provided reasonable estimates, although the error estimates were greater than for larger sample sizes. Different spatial patterns of measurement locations showed no appreciable influence on the final value as long as different surface altitudes were intermittently sampled over the altitude range of the glacier. Two different regression equations were examined, a quadratic, and a piecewise linear spline, and comparison of results showed little sensitivity to the type of equation. These results point to the dominant effect of the gradient of mass balance with altitude of alpine glaciers compared to transverse variations. The number of mass balance measurements required to determine the glacier balance appears to be scale invariant for small glaciers and five to ten stakes are sufficient.

  19. Surge of Hispar Glacier, Pakistan, between 2013 and 2017 detected from remote sensing observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, Irfan; Abdullah, Tariq; Glasser, Neil F.; Naz, Heena; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad

    2018-02-01

    This study analyses the behaviour of an actively surging glacier, Hispar, in Pakistan using remote sensing methods. We used 15 m panchromatic band of Landsat 8 OLI from 2013 to 2017 to assess the changes in glacier velocity, glacier geomorphology and supraglacial water bodies. For the velocity estimation, correlation image analysis (CIAS) was used, which is based on normalized cross-correlation (NCC) of satellite data. On-screen digitization was employed to quantify changes in the glacier geomorphology and dynamics of supraglacial water bodies on the glacier. Our velocity estimates indicate that the upper part of the glacier is presently undergoing an active surge which not only affects the debris distribution but also impacts the development of supraglacial water bodies. Velocities in the actively surging part of the main glacier trunk and its three tributaries reach up to 900 m yr- 1. The surge of Hispar also impacts the distribution of supraglacial debris causing folding of the medial moraines features present on the glacier surface. Changes in the number and size of supraglacial lakes and ponds were also observed during the observation period from 2013 to 2017.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2011-12-01

    as a collective view. However, the precipitation patterns in southwestern China are probably modulated by climate feedbacks through many factors. Precipitation seasonality may also affect the climatic sensitivity of glacier mass balance (Fujita 2008). In addition to the authors' main focus above, other factors, also probably directly and indirectly, influence the climate and glacier mass balance changes. Those factors are: (a) The debris-covered effect which heats (if it is thin) or insulates (if it is thick) the ice below the debris; it probably causes no uniform response on glacier melting (Scherler et al 2011); (b) Interaction between glacial lakes and exposed ice parts on glaciers (e.g., Sakai et al 2009, Fujita et al 2009); (c) The atmospheric heating effect over the foothills of the Himalayas due to the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC), including absorbing aerosols such as black carbon, dust and organic matters (Ramanathan et al 2007), the so called Elevated Heat Pump (EHP) effect suggested by Lau et al (2006, 2010); (d) The snow darkening effect over non debris-covered parts of glaciers as the absorbing aerosol depositions reduce snow albedo and accelerate snow melting by absorbing more solar energy at the snow surface (Warren and Wiscombe 1980, Flanner et al 2007, 2009, Yasunari et al 2010, Qian et al 2011); (e) Another kind of snow darkening effect over non debris-covered glaciers due to the growth of biological activities, with dark-colored materials on glaciers also reducing snow albedo (Takeuchi et al 2001); (f) Other factors on snow albedo reductions such as snow grain size, specific surface area and depth changes, melt-water effect on snow, and changes in solar illumination conditions (e.g., Wiscombe and Warren 1980, Flanner et al 2006, Yasunari et al 2011, Aoki et al 1999, 2011); and finally, (g) Feedbacks via interactions between the snow surface and atmosphere including all the factors above. What I'd like to emphasize is that the atmospheric warming

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Wigmore

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan S. Miles

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortner, Sarah K.; Lyons, W. Berry

    2018-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Dominik; Geilhausen, Martin; Linsbauer, Andreas

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

    subglacially pulverized glacial rock flour to the overall rock mass budget of Allen Glacier. Each of the components of the rock mass budget differs in its probable distribution on the surface and within a typical glacier. We will present some preliminary empirical determinations of the influence of various thicknesses of supraglacial rock debris on the local mass balance of Allen Glacier; the net zero influence is exhibited for debris thicknesses on the order of 1 cm of fine debris or ~50% coverage by cobbles or boulders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-14

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

  17. Three Decades of Volume Change of a Small Greenlandic Glacier Using Ground Penetrating Radar, Structure from Motion, and Aerial Photogrammetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marcer, M.; Stentoft, Peter Alexander; Bjerre, Elisa

    2017-01-01

    Glaciers in the Arctic are losing mass at an increasing rate. Here we use surface topography derived from Structure from Motion (SfM) and ice volume from ground penetrating radar (GPR) to describe the 2014 state of Aqqutikitsoq glacier (2.85 km) on Greenland's west coast. A photogrammetrically...... derived 1985 digital elevation model (DEM) was subtracted from a 2014 DEM obtained using land-based SfM to calculate geodetic glacier mass balance. Furthermore, a detailed 2014 ground penetrating radar survey was performed to assess ice volume. From 1985 to 2014, the glacier has lost 49.8 ± 9.4 10 m...... aerial photography. To address this issue, surface elevation in low contrast areas was measured manually at point locations and interpolated using a universal kriging approach. We conclude that ground-based SfM is well suited to establish high-quality DEMs of smaller glaciers. Provided favorable...

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. 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

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

    observations made until the end of last year showed an increase of the phenomena already described. Thanks to the collaboration of the Military Geographic Institute of Ecuador (IGM), orthophotos of the volcano made on August 18 and then again on October 8, shows a decrease in the area covered by glaciers of about 0.49 km2 (annual projection of 3.51 km2), this value compared to the decrease of glacier areas since 1976, shows a very high rate of glacier melting, not explained exclusively by climate change phenomena. It is estimated that small volumes of magma reached surface levels through the volcano conduits causing increased circulation of hot fluids inside the edifice, which are apparently reaching the basal area of the glaciers and producing a major melting thereof. It is necessary to further investigate hazard due to the instability in the melting glaciers of Cotopaxi and their eventual collapse which could lead to greater secondary lahars.

  15. 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).

  16. Spatial Variations and Sources of Trace Elements in Recent Snow from Glaciers at the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.; Li, Y.; Li, Z.; Cozzi, G.; Turetta, C.; Barbante, C.; Xiong, L.

    2017-12-01

    Various trace element (TEs) could be long-range transported through the atmosphere and deposited onto the snow surface. Recently, with the development of economy of China and the surrounding countries, TEs such as Pb, Cd, Mo and Sb in several glaciers from the Tibetan Plateau (TP) have been gradually affected by anthropogenic activities. This study presents the acid leached concentrations of TEs (e.g., Al, As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Pb, Rb, Sb, Sr, Ti, Tl, U, V) and dust content sampled from Qiumianleike (QMLK), Meikuang (MK), Yuzhufeng (YZF), Xiaodongkemadi (XDKMD), Gurenhekou (GRHK) glaciers on the TP from April to May of 2013. The different concentrations of TEs in the surface snow and snow pit samples over the five glaciers show that TEs were influenced both by surrounding environment of glaciers and seasonal variations of atmospheric impurity loading. Comparison of TEs concentrations with data of other sites, elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Mo, Pb and Sb were observed in glaciers of TP, showing significant atmospheric TEs pollution. Enrichment factor(EF) analysis indicates that Rb, V, U, Cr, Ba, Cs, Li, As, Co, Mn, Tl, Sr and Cu mainly originated from crustal dust, while anthropogenic inputs such as nonferrous metals melting, coal combustion and traffic emission made an important contribution to the Mo, Pb and Sb. Evidences from air mass back trajectories show the air masses arrived at QMLK mostly came from the Taklimakan desert, the TEs from the Taklimakan desert and the western TP could be transported to the MK and YZF glaciers . The air masses derived from the western TP and the southwestern TP affected the environment of the XDKMD and GRHK glaciers. Futhermore, the air masses passed through some big cities with developed industry and large population such as Urumqi, Bishkek, Dushanbe and some countries such as Pakistan and India could also bring pollutants to the studied glaciers.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipovsky, B. P.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Braun

    2012-11-01

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

  5. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir G. Konovalov

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Potential climatic refugia in semi-arid, temperate mountains: plant and arthropod assemblages associated with rock glaciers, talus slopes, and their forefield wetlands, Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar; Robert D. Westfall; Angela Evenden; Jeffrey G. Holmquist; Jutta Schmidt-Gengenbach; Rebecca S. Franklin; Jan Nachlinger; Diane L. Delany

    2015-01-01

    Unique thermal and hydrologic regimes of rock-glacier and periglacial talus environments support little-studied mountain ecosystems. We report the first studies of vascular plant and arthropod diversity for these habitats in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Surfaces of active rock glaciers develop scattered islands of soil that provide habitat for vegetation...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Delcourt

    2008-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Unveiling the climate memory of an Arctic polythermal glacier: a combined radar and thermomechanical modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delcourt, C.; Van Liefferinge, B.; Pattyn, F.; Nolan, M.

    2011-12-01

    Based on borehole temperature measurements and radio-echo sounding surveys on McCall Glacier, Alaska (USA) we were able to identify and map the Cold Transition Surface (CTS) marking the limit between cold and warm ice of a polythermal glacier. In the accumulation area, the ice column is observed to be warm throughout, while in the ablation area, the amount of cold ice at the top of the ice column increases downstream, hence lowering the CTS. High englacial temperatures in the accumulation are explained by the latent heat release due to percolating meltwater and precipitation, hence warming the ice column. With increasing atmospheric temperatures and increasing ablation rates, reduction of the perennial snowpack results in surface runoff and ice cooling. Using a transient thermomechanically-coupled higher-order glacier model, the timing of the cooling was determined from which past equilibrium-line altitudes (ELA) were constructed, which are in accord with ELAs measured since the 1950s (IGY). The paper therefore shows that (i) mapping of the CTS allows reconstructing the recent climate history of polythermal glaciers, and (ii) with a warming climate, McCall Glacier tends to cool down in a counterintuitive way.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Recent dynamic changes on Fleming Glacier after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedl, Peter; Seehaus, Thorsten C.; Wendt, Anja; Braun, Matthias H.; Höppner, Kathrin

    2018-04-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the world's regions most affected by climate change. Several ice shelves have retreated, thinned or completely disintegrated during recent decades, leading to acceleration and increased calving of their tributary glaciers. Wordie Ice Shelf, located in Marguerite Bay at the south-western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, completely disintegrated in a series of events between the 1960s and the late 1990s. We investigate the long-term dynamics (1994-2016) of Fleming Glacier after the disintegration of Wordie Ice Shelf by analysing various multi-sensor remote sensing data sets. We present a dense time series of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) surface velocities that reveals a rapid acceleration of Fleming Glacier in 2008 and a phase of further gradual acceleration and upstream propagation of high velocities in 2010-2011.The timing in acceleration correlates with strong upwelling events of warm circumpolar deep water (CDW) into Wordie Bay, most likely leading to increased submarine melt. This, together with continuous dynamic thinning and a deep subglacial trough with a retrograde bed slope close to the terminus probably, has induced unpinning of the glacier tongue in 2008 and gradual grounding line retreat between 2010 and 2011. Our data suggest that the glacier's grounding line had retreated by ˜ 6-9 km between 1996 and 2011, which caused ˜ 56 km2 of the glacier tongue to go afloat. The resulting reduction in buttressing explains a median speedup of ˜ 1.3 m d-1 ( ˜ 27 %) between 2008 and 2011, which we observed along a centre line extending between the grounding line in 1996 and ˜ 16 km upstream. Current median ice thinning rates (2011-2014) along profiles in areas below 1000 m altitude range between ˜ 2.6 to 3.2 m a-1 and are ˜ 70 % higher than between 2004 and 2008. Our study shows that Fleming Glacier is far away from approaching a new equilibrium and that the glacier dynamics are not primarily controlled by the loss of the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Nosenko

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Model-data comparisons of crevasses in accelerating glaciers exemplified for the 2011-2013 surge of Bering Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trantow, T.; Herzfeld, U. C.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier acceleration, ubiquitous along the periphery of the major icesheets, presents one of the main uncertainties in modeling future global sea-level rise according to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (2013). The surge phenomenon is one type of glacial acceleration and is the least understood. During a surge, large-scale elevation change and significant crevassing occurs throughout the entire ice system. Crevasses are the most obvious manifestations of the surge dynamics and provide a source of geophysical information that allows reconstruction of deformation processes. The recent surge of the Bering-Bagley Glacier System (BBGS), Alaska, in 2011-2013 provides an excellent test case to study surging through airborne and satellite observations together with numerical modeling. A 3D full-Stokes finite element model of the BBGS has been created using the Elmer/Ice software for structural and dynamical investigations of the surge. A von Mises condition is applied to modeled surface stresses to predict where crevassing would occur during the surge. The model uses CryoSat-2 derived surface topography (Baseline-C), bedrock topography, Glen's flow law with an isothermal assumption and a uniform linear friction law at the ice/bedrock boundary to represent the surge state in early 2011 when peak velocities were observed. Additionally, geostatistical characterization applied to optical satellite imagery provides an observational data set for model-data comparisons. Observed and modeled crevasse characteristics are compared with respect to their location, magnitude and orientation. Similarity mapping applied to the modeled von Mises stress and observed surface roughness values indicates that the two quantities are correlated. Results indicate that large-scale surface crevasses resulting from a surge are connected to the bedrock topography of the glacier system. The model-data comparisons used in this analysis serve to validate the numerical model and provide insight into the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, D.; Egholm, D. L.

    2017-12-01

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

  19. Modeling the Long-Term Evolution of Supraglacial Ice Cliffs on Himalayan Debris-Covered Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Supraglacial ice cliffs are present on debris-covered glaciers worldwide and provide the only direct atmosphere-ice interface over the lower sections of these glaciers. Low albedo and high longwave emissions from surrounding debris cause very high melt rates, accounting for a significant portion of total glacier mass loss. As a result, ice cliffs affect glacier downwasting and mass balance. Additionally, and in contrast to the debris-covered ice, high melt at cliffs turns them into dynamic features, directly affecting glacier surface evolution. While conceptual ideas about the formation, evolution and collapse of ice cliffs exist, their life cycles have never been thoroughly documented. Based on observations obtained from high-resolution aerial and terrestrial images analyzed with Structure-from-Motion and with data from automatic weather stations on two glaciers in the Nepalese Himalaya, we simulate the evolution of selected ice cliffs over several seasons using a new physically-based model of cliff backwasting. The 3D model calculates the energy-balance at the cliff scale and includes the cliff interaction with supraglacial ponds and reburial by debris. We consider cliffs of different shape, orientation and slope, and we show that backwasting leads to a variety of evolution typologies, with cliffs that maintain a constant, self-similar geometry, cliffs that grow laterally and cliffs that disappear through slope shallowing and debris melt-out. Most cliffs persist over several seasons. The presence of a pond appears to be the key control for cliffs to survive, while east and west facing cliffs grow because of higher radiation receipts. We use the model to test the hypothesis that south-facing cliffs do not survive. We show that most south-facing cliffs demise after one melt season on both glaciers, because of high input of solar radiation exceeding the longwave radiation receipt. For north facing features, the longwave radiation receipts at lower cliff sections

  20. Comparison of glacier loss on Qori Kalis, Peru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania over the last decade using digital photogrammetry and stereo analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamantia, K.

    2017-12-01

    Rising global temperatures have created cause for concern, particularly among those who study the world's glaciers. Given their high sensitivity to climate change tropical glaciers can be used not only as indicators of change but can provide information necessary for more accurate interpretations of the mechanisms driving climate change. In the past, measurements of glacier extent changes such as for the Qori Kalis Glacier in Peru have been based on terrestrial photography and hand-plotted photogrammetry. Recent technological advances now provide an opportunity to modify the way these glaciers are observed and measured. New developments have opened doors for digital photogrammetry software such as the Leica Photogrammetry Suite and stereo analyst from ERDAS, which offers stereoscopic tools with the ability to plot the ice extent in a three dimensional image. At least two images from different perspectives are required to create the file for stereo analysis. The resulting three-dimensional digital content will offer more flexibility in analysis, quantification, and visualization for better documentation of retreating glaciers. It is possible to produce both two-and three-dimensional surface area estimations for glaciers such as Qori Kalis and the Kilimanjaro ice fields. Beyond a surface area measurement, the software also possesses the capability to create contours for the surface of the glacier as well as view and analyze properties such as slope and aspect. The surface area measurements taken with the digital method are compared with the hand-plotted measurements made in the past and are found to be comparable. A comparison of glacier loss over time as well as a comparison between both tropical locations, will be presented and should provide better insight to the drivers that are influencing current glacier loss. Making the transition from terrestrial, to aerial, and now to satellite imagery provides a simpler method for accessing and assessing changes in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. A field and glacier modelling based approach to determine the timing and extent of glaciation in southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Stephanie C.; Rowan, Ann V.; Barrow, Timothy T.; Plummer, Mitchell A.; Smith, Michael; Grab, Stefan W.; Carr, Simon J.; Fifield, L. Keith

    2014-05-01

    Moraines identified at high-altitude sites in southern Africa and dated to the last glacial maximum (LGM) indicate that the climate in this region was cold enough to support glaciers. Small glaciers are very sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation and the identification of LGM moraines in southern Africa has important palaeoclimatic implications concerning the magnitude of temperature change and the seasonality of precipitation during the last glacial cycle. This paper presents a refined time-frame for likely glaciations based on surface exposure dating using Cl-36 at sites in Lesotho and reports results of a 2D glacier energy balance and ice flow modelling approach (Plummer and Phillips, 2003) to evaluate the most likely climatic scenarios associated with mapped moraine limits. Samples for surface exposure dating were collected from glacially eroded bedrock at several locations and yield ages within the timescale of the LGM. Scatter in the ages may be due to insufficient erosion of the bedrock surface due to the small and relatively thin nature of the glaciers. To determine the most likely climatic conditions that may have caused the glaciers to reach their mapped extent, we use a glacier-climate model, driven by data from local weather stations and a 30m (ASTER) DEM (sub-sampled to 10m) representation of the topographic surface. The model is forced using modern climate data for primary climatic controls (temperature and precipitation) and for secondary climatic parameters (relative humidity, cloudiness, wind speed). Various sensitivity tests were run by dropping temperature by small increments and by varying the amount of precipitation and its seasonality relative to present-day values. Results suggest that glaciers could have existed in the Lesotho highlands with a temperature depression of ~5-6 ºC and that the glaciers were highly sensitive to small changes in temperature. The additional accumulation of mass through wind redistribution appears to

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. DNA analysis for section identification of individual Pinus pollen grains from Belukha glacier, Altai Mountains, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakazawa, Fumio; Uetake, Jun; Motoyama, Hideaki; Imura, Satoshi; Kanda, Hiroshi; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Kaneko, Ryo; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Fujita, Koji

    2013-01-01

    Pollen taxon in sediment samples can be identified by analyzing pollen morphology. Identification of related species based on pollen morphology is difficult and is limited primarily to genus or family. Because pollen grains of various ages are preserved at below 0 °C in glaciers and thus are more likely to remain intact or to suffer little DNA fragmentation, genetic information from such pollen grains should enable identification of plant taxa below the genus level. However, no published studies have attempted detailed identification using DNA sequences obtained from pollen found in glaciers. As a preliminary step, this study attempted to analyze the DNA of Pinus pollen grains extracted from surface snow collected from the Belukha glacier in the Altai Mountains of Russia in the summer of 2003. A 150-bp rpoB fragment from the chloroplast genome in each Pinus pollen grain was amplified by polymerase chain reaction, and DNA products were sequenced to identify them at the section level. A total of 105 pollen grains were used for the test, and sequences were obtained from eight grains. From the sequences obtained, the pollen grains were identified as belonging to the section Quinquefoliae. Trees of the extant species Pinus sibirica in the section Quinquefoliae are currently found surrounding the glacier. The consistency of results for this section suggests that the pollen in the glacier originated from the same Pinus trees as those found in the immediate surroundings. (letter)

  10. Observations and modeling of fjord sedimentation during the 30 year retreat of Columbia Glacier, AK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Katherine B; Hallet, Bernard; Pratt, Thomas L.; O'Neel, Shad

    2016-01-01

    To explore links between glacier dynamics, sediment yields and the accumulation of glacial sediments in a temperate setting, we use extensive glaciological observations for Columbia Glacier, Alaska, and new oceanographic data from the fjord exposed during its retreat. High-resolution seismic data indicate that 3.2 × 108 m3 of sediment has accumulated in Columbia Fjord over the past three decades, which corresponds to ~5 mm a−1 of erosion averaged over the glaciated area. We develop a general model to infer the sediment-flux history from the glacier that is compatible with the observed retreat history, and the thickness and architecture of the fjord sediment deposits. Results reveal a fivefold increase in sediment flux from 1997 to 2000, which is not correlated with concurrent changes in ice flux or retreat rate. We suggest the flux increase resulted from an increase in the sediment transport capacity of the subglacial hydraulic system due to the retreat-related steepening of the glacier surface over a known subglacial deep basin. Because variations in subglacial sediment storage can impact glacial sediment flux, in addition to changes in climate, erosion rate and glacier dynamics, the interpretation of climatic changes based on the sediment record is more complex than generally assumed.

  11. Monitoring Unstable Glaciers with Seismic Noise Interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiswerk, L. E.; Walter, F.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  13. Change in glacier area and thickness in the Tomur Peak, western ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    lost 4.50% of their surface area between 1964/71 and 2000, and have lost 1.60% more between 2000 and 2011. ... the spatial distribution of monitored glaciers, espe- cially in remote ..... period for an equivalent water volume of 15.01 km3.

  14. Geochemistry of groundwater in front of a warm-based glacier in Southeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Søren Munch; Yde, Jacob Clement; Bárcena, Teresa G

    2013-01-01

    ions and water isotopes (D, 18O). The 2yrs of monitoring revealed that major outbursts of glacier water during the ablation season flushed the proglacial aquifer and determined the groundwater quality for the next 2-8 weeks until stable chemical conditions were reached again. Water isotope composition...... shows that isotopic fractionation occurs in both groundwater and glacier meltwater, but fractionation due to evaporation from near-surface soil moisture prior to infiltration has the most significant effect. This study shows that groundwater in Low Arctic Greenland is likely to possess a combined...... geochemical and isotopic composition, which is distinguishable from other water sources in the proglacial environment. However, the shallow groundwater composition at a given time is highly dependent on major outbursts of glacier water in the previous months....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalbe, Ellen; Maas, Hans-Gerd

    2017-12-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saemundsson, Thorsteinn; Margeirsson, Guðbjörn

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Can shrubs help to reconstruct historical glacier retreats?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Wilmking, Martin

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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 ...

  4. The spatial variable glacier mass loss over the southeast Tibet Plateau and the climate cause analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, L.; Ding, X.; Song, C.; Sheng, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Temperate glaciers can be highly sensitive to global climate change due to relatively humid and warm local climate. Numerous temperate glaciers are distributed in the southeastern Tibet Plateau (SETP) and their changes are still poorly represented. Based on a latest glacier inventory and ICESat altimetry measurements, we examine the spatial heterogeneity of glacier change in the SETP (including the central and eastern Nyainqêntanglha ranges) and further analyze its relation with climate change by using station-based and gridded meteorological data. Our results show that SETP glaciers experienced drastic surface lowering at about -0.84±0.26 m a-1 on average over 2003-2008. Debris-covered ice thinned at an average rate of -1.13±0.32 m a-1, in comparison with -0.92±0.17 m a-1 over the debris-free ice areas. The thinning rate is the strongest in the southeastern sub-region (up to -1.24 m a-1 ) and moderate ( -0.45 m a-1 ) in the central and northwestern parts, which is in general agreement with the pattern of surface mass changes based on the GRACE gravimetry observation. Long-term climate data at weather stations show that, in comparison with the period of 1992-2002, mean temperature increased by 0.46 °C - 0.59 °C in the recent decade (2003-2013); while the change of summer precipitation exhibited remarkably spatial variability, following a southeast-northwest contrasting pattern (decreasing by over 10% in the southeast, to stable level in the central region, and increment up to 10% in the northwest). This spatially variable precipitation change is consistent with results from CN05 grid data and ERA re-analysis data, and agrees well with the spatial pattern of glacier surface elevation changes. The results suggest that overall negative glacier mass balances in SETP are governed by temperature rising, while the different precipitation change could contribute to inconsistent glacier thinning rates. The spatial pattern of precipitation decrease and mass loss might

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  7. Extreme radionuclide accumulation on alpine glaciers in cryoconites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lettner, H.; Wilflinger, T.; Hubmer, A.K.; Bossew, P.

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Under environmental conditions when radionuclide fallout will not be diluted by media like soil or water, radionuclides deposited may accumulate to unusual high activities. On glacier surfaces conditions as such exist for aerosols and airborne dust deposited with anthropogenic and natural radionuclides attached on their surfaces. In the course of agglomeration processes initiated by melting and redistribution, these particles may concentrate in small depressions, ice pockets, ablation edges etc. and form substances called cryoconites ('ice dust'). As there is no other matrix than the original aerosol particles, cryoconites are a sink for radionuclides and airborne pollutants and their activity levels are among the highest produced by natural processes observed in environmental media. 137 Cs activities found on glaciers in the Austrian alps are between 255 and 136.000 Bq/kg and predominantly derived from Chernobyl, but also from global fallout. Further anthropogenic radionuclides detected are 134 Cs, 90 Sr, 238,239+240 Pu, 241 Am, 125 Sb, 154 Eu, 60 Co and 207 Bi. In combination with the naturally occurring radionuclides 7 Be and 210 Pb and isotopic ratios such as 134 Cs/ 137 Cs, identification and discrimination of the sources, the nuclear weapon tests and the Chernobyl fallout, can be carried out. (author)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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,

  12. A particle based simulation model for glacier dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Åström

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A particle-based computer simulation model was developed for investigating the dynamics of glaciers. In the model, large ice bodies are made of discrete elastic particles which are bound together by massless elastic beams. These beams can break, which induces brittle behaviour. At loads below fracture, beams may also break and reform with small probabilities to incorporate slowly deforming viscous behaviour in the model. This model has the advantage that it can simulate important physical processes such as ice calving and fracturing in a more realistic way than traditional continuum models. For benchmarking purposes the deformation of an ice block on a slip-free surface was compared to that of a similar block simulated with a Finite Element full-Stokes continuum model. Two simulations were performed: (1 calving of an ice block partially supported in water, similar to a grounded marine glacier terminus, and (2 fracturing of an ice block on an inclined plane of varying basal friction, which could represent transition to fast flow or surging. Despite several approximations, including restriction to two-dimensions and simplified water-ice interaction, the model was able to reproduce the size distributions of the debris observed in calving, which may be approximated by universal scaling laws. On a moderate slope, a large ice block was stable and quiescent as long as there was enough of friction against the substrate. For a critical length of frictional contact, global sliding began, and the model block disintegrated in a manner suggestive of a surging glacier. In this case the fragment size distribution produced was typical of a grinding process.

  13. The future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machguth, H; Rastner, P; Bolch, T; Mölg, N; Sørensen, L Sandberg; Aðalgeirsdottir, G; Van Angelen, J H; Van den Broeke, M R; Fettweis, X

    2013-01-01

    We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ∼90 000 km 2 ) using a simplified energy balance model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR. Glacier extent and surface elevation are modified during the mass balance model runs according to a glacier retreat parameterization. Mass balance and glacier surface change are both calculated on a 250 m resolution digital elevation model yielding a high level of detail and ensuring that important feedback mechanisms are considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be 2016 ± 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing), 2584 ± 109 Gt (RACMO2) and 3907 ± 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of 5.8 ± 0.4, 7.4 ± 0.3 and 11.2 ± 0.3 mm, respectively. Sensitivity experiments suggest that mass loss could be higher by 20–30% if a strong lowering of the surface albedo were to take place in the future. It is shown that the sea-level rise contribution from the north-easterly regions of Greenland is reduced by increasing precipitation while mass loss in the southern half of Greenland is dominated by steadily decreasing summer mass balances. In addition we observe glaciers in the north-eastern part of Greenland changing their characteristics towards greater activity and mass turnover. (letter)

  14. Identification of glacier motion and potentially dangerous glacial lakes in the Mt. Everest region/Nepal using spaceborne imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Bolch

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Failures of glacial lake dams can cause outburst floods and represents a serious hazard. The potential danger of outburst floods depends on various factors like the lake's area and volume, glacier change, morphometry of the glacier and its surrounding moraines and valley, and glacier velocity. Remote sensing offers an efficient tool for displacement calculations and risk assessment of the identification of potentially dangerous glacial lakes (PDGLs and is especially helpful for remote mountainous areas. Not all important parameters can, however, be obtained using spaceborne imagery. Additional interpretation by an expert is required. ASTER data has a suitable accuracy to calculate surface velocity. Ikonos data offers more detail but requires more effort for rectification. All investigated debris-covered glacier tongues show areas with no or very slow movement rates. From 1962 to 2003 the number and area of glacial lakes increased, dominated by the occurrence and almost linear areal expansion of the moraine-dammed lakes, like the Imja Lake. Although the Imja Lake will probably still grow in the near future, the risk of an outburst flood (GLOF is considered not higher than for other glacial lakes in the area. Potentially dangerous lakes and areas of lake development are identified. There is a high probability of further lake development at Khumbu Glacier, but a low one at Lhotse Glacier.

  15. Opportunities and Challenges in Enhancing Value of Annual Glacier Mass Balance Monitoring Examples from Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelto, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine glacier mass balance is the most accurate indicator of glacier response to climate and with retreat of alpine glaciers is one of the clearest signals of global climate change. Completion of long term, representative and homogenous mass balance field measurement of mass balance, compiled by WGMS, is a key climate data record. To ensure a monitoring program remains vital and funded local collaboration and connecting the research to local societal impacts is crucial. Working with local partners in collecting and providing the right data is critical whether their interest is in hydropower, irrigation, municipal supply, hazard reduction and/or aquatic ecosystems. The expansion of remote sensing and modeling capability provides both a challenge to continued relevance and an opportunity for field mass balance programs to expand relevance. In modelling studies of both glacier mass balance and glacier runoff transient balance data has equivalent value with annual balance data, for both calibration runs and as an input variable. This increases the utility of mid-season field observations. Remote sensing provides repeat imagery that often identifies the AAR and transient snowline of a glacier. For runoff assessment understanding the specific percent of glacier surface area that is glacier ice, older firn, and retained snowpack from the previous winter at frequent intervals during the melt season is vital since each region has a different melt factor. A denser field observation network combined with this imagery can provide additional point balance values of ablation that complement the mass balance record. Periodic measurement of mass balance at a denser network using GPR, LIDAR, TLS or probing is required to better understand long term point balance locations and is important at end of the melt season not just beginning, and has value mid-season for modelling. Applications of each of utility of field mass balance observations will be illustrated.

  16. The evolving instability of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khazendar, Ala; Borstad, Christopher P.; Scheuchl, Bernd; Rignot, Eric; Seroussi, Helene

    2015-06-01

    Following the 2002 disintegration of the northern and central parts of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, the tributary glaciers of the southern surviving part initially appeared relatively unchanged and hence assumed to be buttressed sufficiently by the remnant ice shelf. Here, we modify this perception with observations from IceBridge altimetry and InSAR-inferred ice flow speeds. Our analyses show that the surfaces of Leppard and Flask glaciers directly upstream from their grounding lines lowered by 15 to 20 m in the period 2002-2011. The thinning appears to be dynamic as the flow of both glaciers and the remnant ice shelf accelerated in the same period. Flask Glacier started accelerating even before the 2002 disintegration, increasing its flow speed by ∼55% between 1997 and 2012. Starbuck Glacier meanwhile did not change much. We hypothesize that the different evolutions of the three glaciers are related to their dissimilar bed topographies and degrees of grounding. We apply numerical modeling and data assimilation that show these changes to be accompanied by a reduction in the buttressing afforded by the remnant ice shelf, a weakening of the shear zones between its flow units and an increase in its fracture. The fast flowing northwestern part of the remnant ice shelf exhibits increasing fragmentation, while the stagnant southeastern part seems to be prone to the formation of large rifts, some of which we show have delimited successive calving events. A large rift only 12 km downstream from the grounding line is currently traversing the stagnant part of the ice shelf, defining the likely front of the next large calving event. We propose that the flow acceleration, ice front retreat and enhanced fracture of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf presage its approaching demise.

  17. Late Holocene spatio-temporal variability of the south Greenland Ice Sheet and adjacent mountain glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, G.; Carlson, A. E.; Rood, D. H.; Axford, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The late Holocene, with its spatially complex pattern of centennial-scale climate variation, is an ideal time period to test the response of the cryosphere to atmospheric and oceanic temperature changes. The south Greenland Ice Sheet (sGrIS), with its proximity to areas of North Atlantic Deep Water formation and a large spectrum of glaciological regimes over a relatively small area, provides an excellent location to examine the spatial heterogeneity of ice-sheet and glacier responses to climate change. Here, we will present 50 Be-10 surface exposure ages from eight moraines in six locations around the margin of the sGrIS. These moraines are located just outboard of historical moraines, and will therefore allow us to constrain the timing of the most extensive prehistoric late-Holocene advance and retreat of ice margins draining the sGrIS and independent valley glaciers. The dataset includes both marine- and land-terminating glaciers draining the sGrIS, the low-altitude Qassimiut lobe, the high-altitude alpine Julianhåb ice cap and isolated valley glaciers. This diverse dataset will allow us to determine to what extent late-Holocene centennial-scale behavior of the ice-sheet and glacier margins were synchronous, perhaps in response to an external climate forcing, or more stochastic, governed instead by local factors such as basal thermal regime, bedrock topography, or microclimates. This has implications for understanding the forcings and responses of cryospheric changes at timescales relevant to human society. In addition to providing context for paleoclimatic and glacial geologic investigations, this work will inform future sea-level projections by providing targets for validating high-resolution ice-sheet and glacier models.

  18. Remote sensing of glacier- and permafrost-related hazards in high mountains: an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kääb

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Process interactions and chain reactions, the present shift of cryospheric hazard zones due to atmospheric warming, and the potential far reach of glacier disasters make it necessary to apply modern remote sensing techniques for the assessment of glacier and permafrost hazards in high-mountains. Typically, related hazard source areas are situated in remote regions, often difficult to access for physical and/or political reasons. In this contribution we provide an overview of air- and spaceborne remote sensing methods suitable for glacier and permafrost hazard assessment and disaster management. A number of image classification and change detection techniques support high-mountain hazard studies. Digital terrain models (DTMs, derived from optical stereo data, synthetic aperture radar or laserscanning, represent one of the most important data sets for investigating high-mountain processes. Fusion of satellite stereo-derived DTMs with the DTM from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM is a promising way to combine the advantages of both technologies. Large changes in terrain volume such as from avalanche deposits can indeed be measured even by repeat satellite DTMs. Multitemporal data can be used to derive surface displacements on glaciers, permafrost and landslides. Combining DTMs, results from spectral image classification, and multitemporal data from change detection and displacement measurements significantly improves the detection of hazard potentials. Modelling of hazardous processes based on geographic information systems (GIS complements the remote sensing analyses towards an integrated assessment of glacier and permafrost hazards in mountains. Major present limitations in the application of remote sensing to glacier and permafrost hazards in mountains are, on the one hand, of technical nature (e.g. combination and fusion of different methods and data; improved understanding of microwave backscatter. On the other hand, better

  19. 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

    experimental design opens new perspectives for future experiments, which may be of relevance for the understanding of black carbon and dry dust deposition on the glacier surface, which may impact the melting of ice and snow. The investigations also contribute to better understanding of the transport and surface exchange processes acting within the atmospheric layer over glacier surface.

  20. Individual particles of cryoconite deposited on the mountain glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau: Insights into chemical composition and sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhiwen; Qin, Dahe; Kang, Shichang; Liu, Yajun; Li, Yang; Huang, Jie; Qin, Xiang

    2016-08-01

    Cryoconite deposited on mountain glacier surfaces is significant for understanding regional atmospheric environments, which could influence the albedo and energy balance of the glacier basins, and maintain the glacial microbiology system. Field observations were conducted on the glaciers of western China, including Laohugou Glacier No.12 (LHG), Tanggula Dongkemadi Glacier (TGL), Zhadang Glacier (ZD), and Baishui Glacier No.1 in the Yulong Mountains (YL), as well as Urumqi Glacier No.1 in the Tianshan Mountains (TS) for comparison with locations in the Tibetan Plateau, in addition to laboratory TEM-EDX analysis of the individual cryoconite particles filtered on lacey carbon (LC) and calcium-coated carbon (Ca-C) TEM grids. This work provided information on the morphology and chemical composition, as well as a unique record of the particle's physical state, of cryoconite deposition on the Tibetan Plateau. The result showed that there is a large difference in the cryoconite particle composition between various locations on the Tibetan Plateau. In total, mineral dust particles were dominant (>50%) in the cryoconite at all locations. However, more anthropogenic particles (e.g., black carbon (BC) and fly ash) were found in YL (38%) and ZD (22%) in the Ca-C grids in the southern locations. In TGL, many NaCl and MCS particles (>10%), as well as few BC and biological particles (<5%), were found in cryoconite in addition to mineral dust. In TS, the cryoconite is composed primarily of mineral dust, as well as BC (<5%). Compared with other sites, the LHG cryoconite shows a more complex composition of atmospheric deposition with sufficient NaCl, BC, fly ash and biological particles (6% in LC grid). The higher ratio of anthropogenic particles in the southern Tibetan Plateau is likely caused by atmospheric pollutant transport from the south Asia to the Tibetan Plateau. Cryoconite in the northern locations (e.g., TGL, LHG, and TS) with higher dust and salt particle ratio are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Modelling the behavior of Jakobshavn glacier in the last century

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muresan, Ioana Stefania; Khroulev, Constantine; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas

    2014-01-01

    overview and for the purpose of increasing the resolution to 2 km, our study focuses only on the Jakobshavn glacier. In order to determine the locations of the flow for the regional model, a drainage basin mask was extracted from the surface elevation data based on the gradient flow. While inside the basin......Current model estimates of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are almost entirely based on coarse grids (>10km) and constrained by climate models that span from 60s to present. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance beyond decadal...... mask the full PISM model is applied, outside the basin mask the boundary conditions are taken as captured by the whole Greenland initialization. Considering the surface mass balanced reconstruction where the monthly accumulation rates are assumed to be 1/12 of the annual accumulation, a yearly 1900...

  8. Localized Glacier Deformation Associated with Filling and Draining of a Glacier-Dammed Lake and Implications for Outburst Flood Hydraulics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunico, M. L.; Walder, J. S.; Fountain, A. G.; Trabant, D. C.

    2001-12-01

    During the summer of 2000, we measured displacements of 22 survey targets on the surface of Kennicott Glacier, Alaska, in the vicinity of Hidden Creek Lake, an ice-dammed lake in a tributary valley that fills and drains annually. Targets were distributed over a domain about equal in width to the lake, from near the glacier/lake margin to a distance of about 1 km from the margin. Targets were surveyed over a 24-day period as the lake filled and then drained. Lake stage was independently monitored. Vertical movement of targets generally fell off with distance d from the lake. As the lake filled, targets with d typically about 0.5 m/d--with a few targets rising slightly faster than the lake. The rate of vertical movement fell off rapidly with distance from the lake: for d = ca. 600 m--roughly twice the local ice thickness--targets moved upward only about 10% as fast as lake stage. Vertical movement of targets with d > ca. 1 km seemed to be uncorrelated with lake stage. The general pattern is consistent with the idea that a wedge of water extended beneath the glacier to a distance of perhaps 300 to 400 m from the visible margin of the lake and exerts buoyant stresses on the ice that were transmitted into the main body of the glacier and caused flexure. This scenario bears some resemblance to tidal deflections of ice shelves or tidewater glaciers. For a given value of lake stage, target elevations were invariably higher as the lake drained than as the lake filled. Moreover, survey targets at a distance of about 400 m or more from the lake continued to rise for some time even after the lake began to drain. The lag time between the beginning of lake drainage and the beginning of target downdrop increased with distance from the lake, with the lag being about 14 hours at a distance of 400 m from the lake. (The lake drained completely in approximately 75 hours.) The likeliest explanations for the departure from reversibility and the existence of the time lag are either (i) a

  9. 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.

  10. Sensitivity of Glacier Mass Balance Estimates to the Selection of WRF Cloud Microphysics Parameterization in the Indus River Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, E. S.; Rupper, S.; Steenburgh, W. J.; Strong, C.; Kochanski, A.

    2017-12-01

    Climate model outputs are often used as inputs to glacier energy and mass balance models, which are essential glaciological tools for testing glacier sensitivity, providing mass balance estimates in regions with little glaciological data, and providing a means to model future changes. Climate model outputs, however, are sensitive to the choice of physical parameterizations, such as those for cloud microphysics, land-surface schemes, surface layer options, etc. Furthermore, glacier mass balance (MB) estimates that use these climate model outputs as inputs are likely sensitive to the specific parameterization schemes, but this sensitivity has not been carefully assessed. Here we evaluate the sensitivity of glacier MB estimates across the Indus Basin to the selection of cloud microphysics parameterizations in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). Cloud microphysics parameterizations differ in how they specify the size distributions of hydrometeors, the rate of graupel and snow production, their fall speed assumptions, the rates at which they convert from one hydrometeor type to the other, etc. While glacier MB estimates are likely sensitive to other parameterizations in WRF, our preliminary results suggest that glacier MB is highly sensitive to the timing, frequency, and amount of snowfall, which is influenced by the cloud microphysics parameterization. To this end, the Indus Basin is an ideal study site, as it has both westerly (winter) and monsoonal (summer) precipitation influences, is a data-sparse region (so models are critical), and still has lingering questions as to glacier importance for local and regional resources. WRF is run at a 4 km grid scale using two commonly used parameterizations: the Thompson scheme and the Goddard scheme. On average, these parameterizations result in minimal differences in annual precipitation. However, localized regions exhibit differences in precipitation of up to 3 m w.e. a-1. The different schemes also impact the

  11. Drainage of ice-dammed lakes and glacier retreat - a link

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Kjaer, K. H.; Rysgaard, Søren

    2011-01-01

    surface freshwater run-off is found in the top of the water column in the fjord while sub-glacial meltwater is entrained deeper in the water column. The latter is highly important as this colder buoyant freshwater is pushed to the water surface followed by a compensating deeper landward current bringing...... in the fjord. The large quantity of buoyant freshwater changed the osmotic pressure and pushed redfish to the water surface causing them to die from divers disease. Further investigation suggested that three ice-dammed lakes adjacent to the Narssap Sermia glacier had drained within the previous year. Analysis......-30 times the volume of an ice-dammed lake prior to drainage. The warm water influx in turn causes the glacier to retreat and to gradually become thinner which feeds back to an increase in drainage events of ice-dammed lakes over time. On a larger scale the feedback mechanism between the drainage of lakes...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Three Decades of Volume Change of a Small Greenlandic Glacier Using Ground Penetrating Radar, Structure from Motion, and Aerial Photogrammetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marcer, M.; Stentoft, Peter Alexander; Bjerre, Elisa

    2017-01-01

    of ice, corresponding to roughly a quarter of its 1985 volume (148.6 ± 47.6 10 m) and a thinning rate of 0.60 ± 0.11 m a. The computations are challenged by a relatively large fraction of the 1985 DEM (∼50% of the glacier surface) being deemed unreliable owing to low contrast (snow cover) in the 1985......Glaciers in the Arctic are losing mass at an increasing rate. Here we use surface topography derived from Structure from Motion (SfM) and ice volume from ground penetrating radar (GPR) to describe the 2014 state of Aqqutikitsoq glacier (2.85 km) on Greenland's west coast. A photogrammetrically...... derived 1985 digital elevation model (DEM) was subtracted from a 2014 DEM obtained using land-based SfM to calculate geodetic glacier mass balance. Furthermore, a detailed 2014 ground penetrating radar survey was performed to assess ice volume. From 1985 to 2014, the glacier has lost 49.8 ± 9.4 10 m...

  16. Signals of pollution revealed by trace elements in recent snow from mountain glaciers at the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuefang; Li, Zhen; Cozzi, Giulio; Turetta, Clara; Barbante, Carlo; Huang, Ju; Xiong, Longfei

    2018-06-01

    In order to extract pollution signal of trace elements (TEs) in glacier snow at the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau of China by human activities, concentrations of 18 TEs (Al, Ti, Fe, Rb, Sr, Ba, V, Cr, Mn, Li, Cu, Co, Mo, Cs, Sb, Pb, Tl, and U), 14 rare earth elements (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu), Y and Th in digested snow samples from five glaciers in April-May 2013 before monsoon season were measured. Results shown that higher TEs concentrations were found in glaciers at the northern plateau while lower concentrations in glaciers at the central and southern plateau. Discussion revealed that EF values calculated from elements with mass fraction TEs such as Sb, Sr, As, Cu and Pb etc. Analysis indicated that most TEs mainly originated from dust sources, whereas Pb, Cu, Mo and Sb showed occasionally significant contributions from polluted sources in three snow pits and the GRHK surface snow samples. The pollution probably originated from mining and smelting, road transport emissions on the plateau and some regions outside of the plateau. Dust provenance tracing results based on REEs indicated that Taklimakan Desert, Qaidam Basin, and Tibetan surface soil were the potential dust sources for the studied glaciers, while the Indian Thar Desert was an occasional dust sources for YZF,XDKMD and GRHK snow samples. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Historical ablation rates on south-east Greenland glaciers measured in the 1933 warm summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bent Hasholt

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ice ablation rates measured on four glaciers in south-east Greenland in summer 1933 are recovered from an old field book of geologist K. Milthers. These unpublished ablation data are among the first measured in Greenland and were obtained during a warm period comparable to that of recent years. Ablation rates of up to 45 mm ice eq. d−1 were observed. Using the Tasiilaq meteorological record, we calculate degree-day factors of ca. 3–5 mm ice eq. d−1°C−1. Comparing these results with 1996–2012 observations at one of Milthers’ glaciers (Mittivakkat, we find that ablation rates and degree-day factors are significantly higher (61±50% in recent years. We speculate this to be due to a reduction in surface albedo, and perhaps the retreat of the glaciers out of the cold maritime inversion layer. Our findings suggest that using a temperature-index method that assumes constant degree-day factors may produce inaccurate long-term ablation estimates for south-east Greenland glaciers, further emphasizing the value of the rare 1933 measurements for validation of ablation models.

  2. 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

  3. Studying the Effects of Amazonian Land Cover Change on Glacier Mass Balance in the Tropical Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, B. G.; Fernandez, A.; Gabrielli, P.; Montenegro, A.; Postigo, J.; Hellstrom, R. A.

    2017-12-01

    Recent research has highlighted several ongoing environmental changes occurring across Tropical South America, including Andean glacier retreat, drought, as well as changes in land-use and land-cover. As the regional climate of the area is mostly characterized by land-ocean interactions, the atmospheric convection in the Amazon, and the effect of the Andes on circulation patterns, it follows that changes in one of those regions may affect the other. Most scholars who have studied the causes of tropical glaciers' fluctuations have not analyzed the linkages with changes in the Amazon with the same attention paid to the influence of Pacific sea surface temperature. Here we study the response of glacier surface mass balance in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru (10°S), to a scenario where the Amazonian rainforest is replaced by savannas. We ran climatic simulations at 2-km spatial resolution utilizing the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model considering two scenarios: (a) control (CRTL), with today's rainforest extent; and (b) land cover change (LCC), where all the rainforest was replaced by savanna. WRF output was in turn ingested into a glacier energy and mass balance (GEMB) model that we validate by reconstructing both the accumulated mass balance from available observations, and the altitudinal distribution of mass balance in the region. Seasonal comparison between CRTL and LCC scenarios indicates that forest replacement by savanna results in more positive glacier mass balance. This shift to more positive mass balance contrasts with a (WRF) modeled rise in the elevation of the freezing line (0°C) between 30 to 120 m for the LCC scenario. Our results are surprising because most previous studies have shown that reducing Amazon forest cover diminishes rainfall and increases temperature, suggesting that glaciers should lose mass. We hypothesize and discuss implications of possible land-atmospheric processes that might drive this tropical glacier response to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Accelerated contributions of Canada's Baffin and Bylot Island glaciers to sea level rise over the past half century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Gardner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Canadian Arctic glaciers have recently contributed large volumes of meltwater to the world's oceans. To place recently observed glacier wastage into a historical perspective and to determine the region's longer-term (~50 years contribution to sea level, we estimate mass and volume changes for the glaciers of Baffin and Bylot Islands using digital elevation models generated from airborne and satellite stereoscopic imagery and elevation postings from repeat airborne and satellite laser altimetry. In addition, we update existing glacier mass change records from GRACE satellite gravimetry to cover the period from 2003 to 2011. Using this integrated approach, we find that the rate of mass loss from the region's glaciers increased from 11.1 ± 3.4 Gt a−1 (271 ± 84 kg m−2 a−1 for the period 1963–2006 to 23.8 ± 6.1 Gt a−1 (581 ± 149 kg m−2 a−1 for the period 2003–2011. The doubling of the rate of mass loss is attributed to higher temperatures in summer with little change in annual precipitation. Through both direct and indirect effects, changes in summer temperatures accounted for 70–98% of the variance in the rate of mass loss, to which the Barnes Ice Cap was found to be 1.7 times more sensitive than either the Penny Ice Cap or the region's glaciers as a whole. This heightened sensitivity is the result of a glacier hypsometry that is skewed to lower elevations, which are shown to have a higher mass change sensitive to temperature compared to glacier surfaces at higher elevations. Between 2003 and 2011 the glaciers of Baffin and Bylot Islands contributed 0.07 ± 0.02 mm a−1 to sea level rise accounting for 16% of the total contribution from glaciers outside of Greenland and Antarctica, a rate much higher than the longer-term average of 0.03 ± 0.01 mm a−1 (1963 to 2006.

  7. A semi-automated approach to derive elevation time-series and calculate glacier mass balance from historical aerial imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whorton, E.; Headman, A.; Shean, D. E.; McCann, E.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the implications of glacier recession on water resources in the western U.S. requires quantifying glacier mass change across large regions over several decades. Very few glaciers in North America have long-term continuous field measurements of glacier mass balance. However, systematic aerial photography campaigns began in 1957 on many glaciers in the western U.S. and Alaska. These historical, vertical aerial stereo-photographs documenting glacier evolution have recently become publically available. Digital elevation models (DEM) of the transient glacier surface preserved in each imagery timestamp can be derived, then differenced to calculate glacier volume and mass change to improve regional geodetic solutions of glacier mass balance. In order to batch process these data, we use Python-based algorithms and Agisoft Photoscan structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry software to semi-automate DEM creation, and orthorectify and co-register historical aerial imagery in a high-performance computing environment. Scanned photographs are rotated to reduce scaling issues, cropped to the same size to remove fiducials, and batch histogram equalization is applied to improve image quality and aid pixel-matching algorithms using the Python library OpenCV. Processed photographs are then passed to Photoscan through the Photoscan Python library to create DEMs and orthoimagery. To extend the period of record, the elevation products are co-registered to each other, airborne LiDAR data, and DEMs derived from sub-meter commercial satellite imagery. With the exception of the placement of ground control points, the process is entirely automated with Python. Current research is focused on: one, applying these algorithms to create geodetic mass balance time series for the 90 photographed glaciers in Washington State and two, evaluating the minimal amount of positional information required in Photoscan to prevent distortion effects that cannot be addressed during co

  8. A grid-based Model for Backwasting at supraglacial Ice Cliffs on a debris-covered Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    In the Himalaya, debris-covered glaciers cover significant portions of the glacierised area. Their behaviour is not entirely understood, but they seem to experience strong mass losses in direct contradiction with the insulating effect of debris. A characteristic most debris-covered glaciers share is the appearance of cliffs and lakes on their surface. These supraglacial features play a role in surface evolution, dynamics and downwasting of debris-covered glaciers but their actual effects have not been quantified at the glacier scale. Numerous measurements of radiative fluxes at the cliff surface, detailed survey of cliffs geometry and ablation have been conducted on the debris-covered Lirung Glacier, Nepalese Himalayas. We used four 20cm-resolution DEMs obtained from UAV flights to represent the glacier surface to a very detailed degree. As the debris remains stable on slopes up to 30°, ice cliffs show inclinations above this threshold and were clearly represented in the DEMs. Direct measurements and a point-scale cliff-backwasting model have showed that melt patterns over a single cliff are highly variable across and along the ice surface due to non-uniform geometry, varying inclination, aspect and terrain view factors. Variability in observed ablation was large also among cliffs. We therefore developed an energy balance model with a gridded representation of the cliff to understand the melt behaviour at the cliff scale. Previous models assumed the cliff to be a plane with a constant slope and aspect, and extrapolation of melt rates to the glacier scale based on this assumption might be erroneous. Using a grid-based approach allows representation of real inclined areas of the cliff. The detailed surface from the UAV-DEM was taken as initial condition for the model. The model was in close agreement with ablation measurements at numerous stakes located on 3 cliffs. Results show very high variability both along the cliffs' elevation and extension. These cannot be

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Parameterization of Surface Roughness Based on ICESat/GLAS Full Waveforms : A Case Study on the Tibetan Plateau

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shi, J.; Menenti, M.; Lindenbergh, R.

    2013-01-01

    Glaciers in the Tibetan mountains are expected to be sensitive to turbulent sensible and latent heat fluxes. One of the most significant factors of the energy exchange between the atmospheric boundary layer and the glacier is the roughness of the glacier surface. However, methods to parameterize

  12. Structure and evolution of the drainage system of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier, and its relationship with patterns of mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benn, Douglas I.; Thompson, Sarah; Gulley, Jason; Mertes, Jordan; Luckman, Adrian; Nicholson, Lindsey

    2017-09-01

    We provide the first synoptic view of the drainage system of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier and its evolution through time, based on speleological exploration and satellite image analysis of Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal. The drainage system has several linked components: (1) a seasonal subglacial drainage system below the upper ablation zone; (2) supraglacial channels, allowing efficient meltwater transport across parts of the upper ablation zone; (3) sub-marginal channels, allowing long-distance transport of meltwater; (4) perched ponds, which intermittently store meltwater prior to evacuation via the englacial drainage system; (5) englacial cut-and-closure conduits, which may undergo repeated cycles of abandonment and reactivation; and (6) a "base-level" lake system (Spillway Lake) dammed behind the terminal moraine. The distribution and relative importance of these elements has evolved through time, in response to sustained negative mass balance. The area occupied by perched ponds has expanded upglacier at the expense of supraglacial channels, and Spillway Lake has grown as more of the glacier surface ablates to base level. Subsurface processes play a governing role in creating, maintaining, and shutting down exposures of ice at the glacier surface, with a major impact on spatial patterns and rates of surface mass loss. Comparison of our results with observations on other glaciers indicate that englacial drainage systems play a key role in the response of debris-covered glaciers to sustained periods of negative mass balance.

  13. The Girls on Ice program: Improving perceptions of climate change and environmental stewardship by exploring a glacier landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J. C.; Conner, L.; Pettit, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    Girls on Ice is a unique, free, science and mountaineering experience for underserved girls aged 16 to 18. Each year, two teams of nine girls spend eight days on a remote Alaska or Washington glacier to learn about glaciology, climate change, and alpine ecology (as well as mountaineering, art and leadership). During the program, the girls live on, explore and study a glacier and the visibly climate change-altered landscape that surrounds it, through both instructor-led modules and scientific field studies the girls design themselves. Time spent on the glacier means witnessing rivers of meltwater running off the surface, climbing 300 m uphill to where the glacier last sat 150 years ago, and learning how scientists monitor the glacier's retreat. Previous studies have shown that pro-environmental behavior in youth is strongly influenced by having significant life experiences outdoors, and that engagement of citizens in a climate change-impacted landscape is emerging as a powerful way to connect people to environment and to motivate environmental action. Given the significant life experience provided by our unique wilderness format, and the interactions with a rapidly changing glacier landscape, this study examines how participation in Girls on Ice impacts the 16 to 18 year-old participants' perceptions of climate change, as well as their sense of environmental identity. We use mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, including pre- and post-program questionnaires, an in-program focus group discussion, end-of-program interviews, and early and late in-program concept (node-link) mapping exercises. Preliminary results from qualitative data show a shift in many girls' perceptions of climate change towards being motivated to act to combat it, with particular reference to glaciers as a key component prompting that shift. Ultimately, this study aims to demonstrate the value of tenets of environmental and outdoor education theory, namely significant life experiences and

  14. 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).

  15. Causes of Glacier Melt Extremes in the Alps Since 1949

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibert, E.; Dkengne Sielenou, P.; Vionnet, V.; Eckert, N.; Vincent, C.

    2018-01-01

    Recent record-breaking glacier melt values are attributable to peculiar extreme events and long-term warming trends that shift averages upward. Analyzing one of the world's longest mass balance series with extreme value statistics, we show that detrending melt anomalies makes it possible to disentangle these effects, leading to a fairer evaluation of the return period of melt extreme values such as 2003, and to characterize them by a more realistic bounded behavior. Using surface energy balance simulations, we show that three independent drivers control melt: global radiation, latent heat, and the amount of snow at the beginning of the melting season. Extremes are governed by large deviations in global radiation combined with sensible heat. Long-term trends are driven by the lengthening of melt duration due to earlier and longer-lasting melting of ice along with melt intensification caused by trends in long-wave irradiance and latent heat due to higher air moisture.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Dissolved organic carbon fractionation accelerates glacier-melting: A case study in the northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhaofu; Kang, Shichang; Yan, Fangping; Zhang, Yulan; Li, Yang; Chen, Pengfei; Qin, Xiang; Wang, Kun; Gao, Shaopeng; Li, Chaoliu

    2018-06-15

    In glacierized regions, melting process has a significant effect on concentrations and light absorption characteristics of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), potentially resulting in variations of its radiative forcing, which is not yet relevant research at glacier region of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). In this study, DOC fractionation and its radiative forcing change during the melting process were investigated at Laohugou glacier No. 12 (LHG glacier) in western Qilian Mts., northern TP. DOC concentrations in fresh snow, snowpit and surface ice samples were 0.38 ± 0.06, 0.22 ± 0.11 and 0.60 ± 0.21 mg L -1 , respectively. Their mass absorption cross-section at 365 nm (MAC 365 ) were 0.65 ± 0.16, 4.71 ± 3.68 and 1.44 ± 0.52 m 2  g -1 , respectively. The MAC 365 values of snowpit samples showed a significant negative correlation with DOC concentrations, indicating DOC with high MAC 365 values were likely to be kept in snow during the melting process. Topsoil samples of LHG glacierized region likely contributed a lot to snowpit DOC with high MAC 365 values due to their similar absorption spectra. Spatially, the DOC concentration of surface ice samples increased from terminus to the upper part of the glacier. Correspondingly, the MAC 365 value showed decreased trend. In the freezing experiment on surface ice and topsoil samples, small part of DOC with high MAC 365 value was also likely to enter first frozen solid phase. In addition, the radiative forcing caused by snowpit and surface ice DOC increased around 7.64 ± 2.93 and 4.95 ± 1.19 times relative to fresh snow DOC, indicating the snow/ice melting caused by increased light-absorbing DOC needs to be considered in the future research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Motion of the Lambert Glacier estimated by using differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Shuang; Tong, Xiaohua; Xie, Huan; Liu, Xiangfeng; Liu, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is one of the most promising remote sensing technologies and has been widely applied in constructing topographic information and estimating the deformation of the Earth's surface. Ice velocity is an important parameter for calculating the mass balance and modelling ice shelve dynamics. Ice velocity is also an important indicator for climate changes. Therefore, it plays an important role in studying the global climate change and global sea level rise. In this paper, the ERS-1/2 tandem data and the ASTER GDEM are combined together to obtained the deformation in line of sight by using the differential Interferometric SAR for the Lambert Amery glacier in Antarctica. Then the surface parallel assumption is adopted in order to achieve the ice flow velocity. The results showed that ice velocity would be increased along the Lambert glacier; the maximum ice velocity would be reach about 450m/year in the study area

  1. 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)

  2. Evaluating Tourist Perception of Environmental Changes as a Contribution to Managing Natural Resources in Glacierized Areas: A Case Study of the Forni Glacier (Stelvio National Park, Italian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garavaglia, Valentina; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina; Smiraglia, Claudio; Pasquale, Vera; Pelfini, Manuela

    2012-12-01

    Climate change effects are noticeably evident above the timberline where glacier and permafrost processes and mass movements drive the surface evolution. In particular, the cryosphere shrinkage is deeply changing the features and characteristics of several glacierized mountain areas of the world, and these modifications can also affect the landscape perception of tourists and mountaineers. On the one hand glacier retreat is increasing the interest of tourists and visitors in areas witnessing clear climate change impacts; on the other hand cryosphere shrinkage can impact the touristic appeal of mountain territories which, diminishing their ice and snow coverage, are also losing part of their aesthetic value. Then, to promote glacierized areas in a changing climate and to prepare exhaustive and actual proposals for sustainable tourism, it is important to deepen our knowledge about landscape perception of tourists and mountaineers and their awareness of the ongoing environmental modifications. Here we present the results from a pilot study we performed in summer 2009 on a representative glacierized area of the Alps, the Forni Valley (Stelvio National Park, Lombardy, Italy), a valley shaped by Forni, the largest Italian valley glacier. During the 2009 summer season we asked tourists visiting the Forni Valley to complete a questionnaire. This study was aimed at both describing the features and characteristics of tourists and mountaineers visiting this Alpine zone in summer and evaluating their landscape perception and their ability to recognize climate change impacts and evidence. Our results suggest that the dissemination strategies in a natural protected area have to take into account not only the main landscape features but also the sites where the information will be given. In particular considering the peculiarities of the huts located in the area, such as their different accessibility and the fact that they are included or not in a mountaineering network like that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Light-absorbing impurities enhance glacier albedo reduction in the southeastern Tibetan plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yulan; Kang, Shichang; Cong, Zhiyuan; Schmale, Julia; Sprenger, Michael; Li, Chaoliu; Yang, Wei; Gao, Tanguang; Sillanpää, Mika; Li, Xiaofei; Liu, Yajun; Chen, Pengfei; Zhang, Xuelei

    2017-07-01

    Light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) in snow of the southeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP) and their climatic impacts are of interest not only because this region borders areas affected by the South Asian atmospheric brown clouds but also because the seasonal snow and glacier melt from this region form important headwaters of large rivers. In this study, we collected surface snow and snowpit samples from four glaciers in the southeastern TP in June 2015 to investigate the comprehensive observational data set of LAIs. Results showed that the LAI concentrations were much higher in the aged snow and granular ice than in the fresh snow and snowpits due to postdepositional processes. Impurity concentrations fluctuated across snowpits, with maximum LAI concentrations frequently occurring toward the bottom of snowpits. Based on the SNow ICe Aerosol Radiative model, the albedo simulation indicated that black carbon and dust account for approximately 20% of the albedo reduction relative to clean snow. The radiative forcing caused by black carbon and dust deposition on the glaciers were between 1.0-141 W m-2 and 1.5-120 W m-2, respectively. Black carbon (BC) played a larger role in albedo reduction and radiative forcing than dust in the study area, enhancing approximately 15% of glacier melt. Analysis based on the Fire INventory from NCAR indicated that nonbiomass-burning sources of BC played an important role in the total BC deposition, especially during the monsoon season. This study suggests that eliminating anthropogenic BC could mitigate glacier melt in the future of the southeastern TP.

  5. 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.

  6. Highly variable aerodynamic roughness length (z0) for a hummocky debris-covered glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Evan S.; Steiner, Jakob F.; Brun, Fanny

    2017-08-01

    The aerodynamic roughness length (z0) is an essential parameter in surface energy balance studies, but few literature values exist for debris-covered glaciers. We use microtopographic and aerodynamic methods to assess the spatial variability of z0 for Lirung Glacier, Nepal. We apply structure from motion to produce digital elevation models for three nested domains: five 1 m2 plots, a 21,300 m2 surface depression, and the lower 550,000 m2 of the debris-mantled tongue. Wind and temperature sensor towers were installed in the vicinity of the plots within the surface depression in October 2014. We calculate z0 according to a variety of transect-based microtopographic parameterizations for each plot, then develop a grid version of the algorithms by aggregating data from all transects. This grid approach is applied to the surface depression digital elevation model to characterize z0 spatial variability. The algorithms reproduce the same variability among transects and plots, but z0 estimates vary by an order of magnitude between algorithms. Across the study depression, results from different algorithms are strongly correlated. Using Monin-Obukov similarity theory, we derive z0 values from the meteorological data. Using different stability criteria, we derive median values of z0 between 0.03 m and 0.05 m, but with considerable uncertainty due to the glacier's complex topography. Considering estimates from these algorithms, results suggest that z0 varies across Lirung Glacier between ˜0.005 m (gravels) to ˜0.5 m (boulders). Future efforts should assess the importance of such variable z0 values in a distributed energy balance model.

  7. 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...

  8. Under the glacier, the groundwater - the case of Skálafell area, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Aude; Hart, Jane

    2017-04-01

    The research addressing glaciers evolution under climate change is well developed, and is now looking not only at their mass balance, but also at the associated subsurface hydrology and downstream hydrology. However, the groundwater component is rarely considered, even though it will be required to forecast the evolution of water resources and of water linked hazards under climate change. The few available studies demonstrate the existence of sub-or pro-glacial aquifers. Some of them suggest strong coupling between rivers and the aquifer, observe the flooding due to water table rising following enhanced glacier melting, or expect stronger recharge in the future due to glacier melting. The present study is the first step of a wider project, GlacAq, aiming at filling this knowledge gap, by characterizing the particular hydrogeology encountered under and downstream of glaciers of alpine type, i.e. sub-, pro- and periglacial hydrogeology, and its sensibility to climate change, in order to provide operational management directions. Skálafell glacier area (Iceland) has been chosen as it has already been followed for climatic, glaciological, and surface hydrology data (Hart et al. (2015), Young et al. (2015)). The present work will use those data, as well as topographic and surface data from the National Land Survey of Iceland, and geological data, to run a comprehensive numerical modelling. The work conducted on the Skálafell site will lead both to the achievement of an operational understanding of a poorly known underground system, and to the anticipation of its hydrodynamic response to climate change. The foreseen mechanisms include an enhanced sub-glacial aquifer recharge, intense surface water bodies-aquifer exchanges, and the aquifer discharge either through springs, or to an offshore system. Those offshore stocks are being increasingly recognised, but their origins are still only guessed at. Skálafell site allows the exploration of the potential role of the

  9. How accurate are estimates of glacier ice thickness? Results from ITMIX, the Ice Thickness Models Intercomparison eXperiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farinotti, Daniel; Brinkerhoff, Douglas J.; Clarke, Garry K. C.

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of the ice thickness distribution of glaciers and ice caps is an important prerequisite for many glaciological and hydrological investigations. A wealth of approaches has recently been presented for inferring ice thickness from characteristics of the surface. With the Ice Thickness Models...

  10. Climate sensitivity of glaciers in southern Norway: application of an energy-balance model to Nigardsbreen, Hellstugubreen and Alfotbreen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1992-01-01

    Three glaciers in southern Norway, with very different massbalance characteristics, are studied with an energy-balance model of the ice/snow surface. The model simulates the observed mass-balance profiles in a satisfactory way, and can thus be used with some confidence in a study of climate

  11. Mountain glaciers vs Ice sheet in Greenland - learning from a new monitoring site in West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abermann, Jakob; van As, Dirk; Wacker, Stefan; Langley, Kirsty

    2017-04-01

    Only 5 out of the 20.000 peripheral glaciers and ice caps surrounding Greenland are currently monitored due to logistical challenges and despite their significance for sea level rise. Large spatial coast-to-icesheet mass and energy balance gradients limit simple upscaling methods from ice-sheet observations, which builds the motivation for this study. We present results from a new mass and energy balance time series at Qasigiannguit glacier (64°09'N; 51°21'W) in Southwest Greenland. Inter-annual variability is discussed and the surface energy balance over two summers is quantified and a ranking of the main drivers performed. We find that short-wave net radiation is by far the most dominant energy source during summer, followed by similar amounts of net longwave radiation and sensible heat, respectively. We then relate these observations to synchronous measurements at similar latitude on an outlet glacier of the ice sheet a mere 100 km away. We find very pronounced horizontal surface mass balance gradients, with generally more positive values closer to the coast. We conclude that despite minor differences of atmospheric parameters (i.e. humidity, radiation, and temperature) the main reason for the strongly different signal is a pronounced winter precipitation gradient that translates in a different duration of ice exposure and through that an albedo gradient. Modelled energy balance gradients converted into mass changes show good agreement to measured surface mass balance gradients and we explore a latitudinal signal of these findings.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Brief communication: The Khurdopin glacier surge revisited – extreme flow velocities and formation of a dammed lake in 2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. F. Steiner

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Glacier surges occur regularly in the Karakoram, but the driving mechanisms, their frequency and its relation to a changing climate remain unclear. In this study, we use digital elevation models and Landsat imagery in combination with high-resolution imagery from the Planet satellite constellation to quantify surface elevation changes and flow velocities during a glacier surge of the Khurdopin Glacier in 2017. Results reveal that an accumulation of ice volume above a clearly defined steep section of the glacier tongue since the last surge in 1999 eventually led to a rapid surge in May 2017 peaking with velocities above 5000 m a−1, which were among the fastest rates globally for a mountain glacier. Our data reveal that velocities on the lower tongue increase steadily during a 4-year build-up phase prior to the actual surge only to then rapidly peak and decrease again within a few months, which confirms earlier observations with a higher frequency of available velocity data. The surge return period between the reported surges remains relatively constant at ca. 20 years. We show the potential of a combination of repeat Planet and ASTER imagery to (a capture peak surge velocities that are easily missed by less frequent Landsat imagery, (b observe surface changes that indicate potential drivers of a surge and (c monitor hazards associated with a surge. At Khurdopin specifically, we observe that the surging glacier blocks the river in the valley and causes a lake to form, which may grow in subsequent years and could pose threats to downstream settlements and infrastructure in the case of a sudden breach.

  17. Brief communication: The Khurdopin glacier surge revisited - extreme flow velocities and formation of a dammed lake in 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Jakob F.; Kraaijenbrink, Philip D. A.; Jiduc, Sergiu G.; Immerzeel, Walter W.

    2018-01-01

    Glacier surges occur regularly in the Karakoram, but the driving mechanisms, their frequency and its relation to a changing climate remain unclear. In this study, we use digital elevation models and Landsat imagery in combination with high-resolution imagery from the Planet satellite constellation to quantify surface elevation changes and flow velocities during a glacier surge of the Khurdopin Glacier in 2017. Results reveal that an accumulation of ice volume above a clearly defined steep section of the glacier tongue since the last surge in 1999 eventually led to a rapid surge in May 2017 peaking with velocities above 5000 m a-1, which were among the fastest rates globally for a mountain glacier. Our data reveal that velocities on the lower tongue increase steadily during a 4-year build-up phase prior to the actual surge only to then rapidly peak and decrease again within a few months, which confirms earlier observations with a higher frequency of available velocity data. The surge return period between the reported surges remains relatively constant at ca. 20 years. We show the potential of a combination of repeat Planet and ASTER imagery to (a) capture peak surge velocities that are easily missed by less frequent Landsat imagery, (b) observe surface changes that indicate potential drivers of a surge and (c) monitor hazards associated with a surge. At Khurdopin specifically, we observe that the surging glacier blocks the river in the valley and causes a lake to form, which may grow in subsequent years and could pose threats to downstream settlements and infrastructure in the case of a sudden breach.

  18. Analysis of High Resolution Satellite imagery to acsees Glacier Mass Balance and Lake Hazards in Sikkim Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhushan, S.; Shean, D. E.; Haritashya, U. K.; Arendt, A. A.; Syed, T. H.; Setiawan, L.

    2017-12-01

    Glacial lake outburst floods can impact downstream communities due to the sudden outflux of huge quantities of stored water. In this study, we develop a hazard assessment of the moraine dammed glacial lakes in Sikkim Himalayas by analyzing the morphometry of proglacial features, and the surface velocity and mass balance of glaciers. We generated high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) using the open-source NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP) and use other open-source tools to calculate surface velocity and patterns of glacier downwasting over time. Geodetic glacier mass balance is obtained for three periods using high-resolution WorldView/GeoEye stereo DEMs (8 m posting, 2014-2016), Cartosat-1 stereo DEMs (10 m, 2006-2008) and SRTM (30 m, 2000). Initial results reveal a region-wide mass balance of -0.31±0.13 m w.eq.a-1 for the 2007-2015 period, with some debris covered glaciers showing a very low mass loss rate. Additionally, 12 annual glacier velocity fields spanning from 1991 to 2017.derived from Landsat imagery are used to explore the relationship between glacier dynamics and changes in proglacial lakes. Multi-temporal glacial lake mapping is conducted using Landsat and Cartosat imagery. Avalanche and rockfall modeling are combined with morphometric analysis of the proglacial lake area to assess the likelihood of glacial lake dam failure. The above parameters are integrated into a decision tree approach enabling categorization of moraine-dammed lakes according to their potential for outburst events.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1988-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Multi-Annual Kinematics of an Active Rock Glacier Quantified from Very High-Resolution DEMs: An Application-Case in the French Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Bodin

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rock glaciers result from the long-term creeping of ice-rich permafrost along mountain slopes. Under warming conditions, deformation is expected to increase, and potential destabilization of those landforms may lead to hazardous phenomena. Monitoring the kinematics of rock glaciers at fine spatial resolution is required to better understand at which rate, where and how they deform. We present here the results of several years of in situ surveys carried out between 2005 and 2015 on the Laurichard rock glacier, an active rock glacier located in the French Alps. Repeated terrestrial laser-scanning (TLS together with aerial laser-scanning (ALS and structure-from-motion-multi-view-stereophotogrammetry (SFM-MVS were used to accurately quantify surface displacement of the Laurichard rock glacier at interannual and pluri-annual scales. Six very high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs, pixel size <50 cm of the rock glacier surface were generated, and their respective quality was assessed. The relative horizontal position accuracy (XY of the individual DEMs is in general less than 2 cm with a co-registration error on stable areas ranging from 20–50 cm. The vertical accuracy is around 20 cm. The direction and amplitude of surface displacements computed between DEMs are very consistent with independent geodetic field measurements (e.g., DGPS. Using these datasets, local patterns of the Laurichard rock glacier kinematics were quantified, pointing out specific internal (rheological and external (bed topography controls. The evolution of the surface velocity shows few changes on the rock glacier’s snout for the first years of the observed period, followed by a major acceleration between 2012 and 2015 affecting the upper part of the tongue and the snout.

  7. Rapid melting dynamics of an alpine glacier with repeated UAV photogrammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Micol; Di Mauro, Biagio; Garzonio, Roberto; Baccolo, Giovanni; Cavallini, Giuseppe; Mattavelli, Matteo; De Amicis, Mattia; Colombo, Roberto

    2018-03-01

    Glacial retreat is a major problem in the Alps, especially over the past 40 years. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can provide an unparalleled opportunity to track the spatiotemporal variations in rapidly changing glacial morphological features related to glacial dynamics. The objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of commercial UAV platforms to detect the evolution of the surface topography and morphology of an alpine glacier over a short time scale through the repeated acquisition of high-resolution photogrammetric data. Two high-resolution UAV surveys were performed on the ablation region of the Morteratsch Glacier (Swiss Alps) in July and September 2016. First, structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques were applied to create orthophotos and digital surface models (DSMs) of the glacial surface from multi-view UAV acquisitions. The geometric accuracy of DSMs and orthophotos was checked using differential global navigation satellite system (dGNSS) ground measurements, and an accuracy of approximately 17 cm was achieved for both models. High-resolution orthophotos and DSMs made it possible to provide a detailed characterization of rapidly changing glacial environments. Comparing the data from the first and the second campaigns, the evolution of the lower part of the glacier in response to summer ablation was evaluated. Two distinct processes were revealed and accurately quantified: an average lowering of the surface, with a mean ice thinning of 4 m, and an average horizontal displacement of 3 m due to flowing ice. These data were validated through a comparison of different algorithms and approaches, which clearly showed the consistency of the results. The melt rate spatial patterns were then compared to the glacial brightness and roughness maps derived from the September UAV acquisition. The results showed that the DSM differences describing the glacial melt rates were inversely related to the glacial brightness. In contrast, a positive but weaker

  8. Controls on the inland propagation of terminus-driven speedups at Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehrl, L. M.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B.

    2017-12-01

    Tidewater glaciers are very sensitive to changes in the stress balance near their termini. When submarine melt or iceberg calving reduce lateral or basal resistance near the terminus, the glacier typically must speed up to produce the additional longitudinal and lateral stress gradients necessary to restore stress balance. Once speedup near the terminus is initiated, it can propagate inland through longitudinal stress coupling, thinning-induced changes in the effective pressure, and/or a steepening of surface slopes. The controls on these processes and the timing and spatial extent of the inland response, however, remain poorly understood. In this study, we use a three-dimensional, Full Stokes model (Elmer/Ice) to investigate the effects of different ice rheology and basal sliding parameterizations on the inland propagation of speedups at Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland. Using satellite observations of terminus position, we force the model with the observed 3-km, 2013/14 retreat history and allow the model to evolve in response to this retreat. We run a set of simulations that vary the ice rheology (constant or spatially variable ice temperature) and basal sliding law (linear, nonlinear, and effective-pressure-dependent). Our results show that the choice of parameterizations affect the timing and spatial extent of the inland response, but that the range of acceptable parameters can be constrained by comparing the model results to satellite observations of surface velocity and elevation.

  9. The Morsárjökull rock avalanche in the southern part of the Vatnajökull glacier, south Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sæmundsson, Şorsteinn; Sigurősson, Ingvar A.; Pétursson, Halldór G.; Decaulne, Armelle; Jónsson, Helgi P.

    2010-05-01

    On the 20th of March 2007 a large rock avalanche fell on Morsárjökull, one of the outlet glaciers from the southern part of the Vatnajökull ice cap, in south Iceland. This is considered to be one of the largest rock avalanches which have occurred in Iceland during the last decades. It is believed that it fell in two separate stages, the main part fell on the 20th of March and the second and smaller one, on the 17th of April 2007. The Morsárjökull outlet glacier is about 4 km long and surrounded by up to 1000 m high valley slopes. The outlet glacier is fed by two ice falls which are partly disconnected to the main ice cap of Vatnajökull, which indicates that the glacier is mainly fed by ice avalanches. The rock avalanche fell on the eastern side of the uppermost part of the Morsárjökull outlet glacier and covered about 1/5 of the glacier surface, an area of about 720,000 m2. The scar of the rock avalanche is located on the north face of the headwall above the uppermost part of the glacier. It is around 330 m high, reaching from about 620 m up to 950 m, showing that the main part of the slope collapsed. It is estimated that about 4 million m3 of rock debris fell on the glacier, or about 10 million tons. The accumulation lobe is up to 1.6 km long, reaching from 520 m a.s.l., to about 350 m a.s.l. Its width is from 125 m to 650 m, or on average 480 m. The total area which the lobe covers is around 720.000 m2 and its mean thickness 5.5 m. The surface of the lobe shows longitudinal ridges and grooves and narrow flow-like lobes, indicating that the debris mass evolved down glacier as a mixture of a slide and debris flow. The debris mass is coarse grained and boulder rich. Blocks over 5 to 8 m in diameter are common on the edges of the lobe up to 1.6 km from the source. No indication was observed of any deformation of the glacier surface under the debris mass. The first glaciological measurements of Morsárjökull outlet glacier were carried out in the year 1896

  10. Mechanisms driving variability in the ocean forcing of Pine Island Glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webber, Benjamin G M; Heywood, Karen J; Stevens, David P; Dutrieux, Pierre; Abrahamsen, E Povl; Jenkins, Adrian; Jacobs, Stanley S; Ha, Ho Kyung; Lee, Sang Hoon; Kim, Tae Wan

    2017-02-17

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG) terminates in a rapidly melting ice shelf, and ocean circulation and temperature are implicated in the retreat and growing contribution to sea level rise of PIG and nearby glaciers. However, the variability of the ocean forcing of PIG has been poorly constrained due to a lack of multi-year observations. Here we show, using a unique record close to the Pine Island Ice Shelf (PIIS), that there is considerable oceanic variability at seasonal and interannual timescales, including a pronounced cold period from October 2011 to May 2013. This variability can be largely explained by two processes: cumulative ocean surface heat fluxes and sea ice formation close to PIIS; and interannual reversals in ocean currents and associated heat transport within Pine Island Bay, driven by a combination of local and remote forcing. Local atmospheric forcing therefore plays an important role in driving oceanic variability close to PIIS.

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallbeck, Lotta

    2009-10-01

    A repository for spent nuclear fuel will remain for hundred thousands of years. During this period, several ice ages will most likely take place. To understand the effect of melt water from ice sheets on the repository, the microbiological processes of oxygen reduction has to be elucidated. This report is a compilation of the present knowledge about biological activity in glacier environments. These environments consist of many different parts which have their own biological character depending on the prevailing physical and chemical conditions. There are, for example, ice sheets and glaciers, glacial streams and rivers, soil and water beneath the ice, soil and water in front of and beside ice sheets and glacier and deep groundwater beneath the ice. The microbiological processes of importance are consumption of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms, anaerobic organisms and their reduced metabolites, like sulphide, acetate and methane, which can act as reducing agents in biological or chemical oxygen reduction. The lithotrophic type (inorganic energy source) of metabolism is important in these cold environments. There are also microbiological processes important to radionuclide transport and the production of complexing agents, biological colloids and biofilms. The study of microbial processes in glacier and ice sheet environments is still a young scientific niche. The studies have so far mostly been concentrated to ice surfaces and the subglacial environment. The most important findings from the literature study are as follows. Primary production is ongoing in snow cover and on ice surfaces of glaciers and ice sheets. The production is dependent on the location, because of temperature and solar radiation, but also on the prevailing state of the glacier. On surfaces and in the snow cover, heterotrophic microorganisms consume oxygen and organic material. In surface ice structures anaerobic conditions may occur. The subglacial environment is very active with several types

  13. Microbial processes in glaciers and permafrost. A literature study on microbiology affecting groundwater at ice sheet melting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallbeck, Lotta (Microbial Analytics Sweden AB, Moelnlycke (Sweden))

    2009-10-15

    A repository for spent nuclear fuel will remain for hundred thousands of years. During this period, several ice ages will most likely take place. To understand the effect of melt water from ice sheets on the repository, the microbiological processes of oxygen reduction has to be elucidated. This report is a compilation of the present knowledge about biological activity in glacier environments. These environments consist of many different parts which have their own biological character depending on the prevailing physical and chemical conditions. There are, for example, ice sheets and glaciers, glacial streams and rivers, soil and water beneath the ice, soil and water in front of and beside ice sheets and glacier and deep groundwater beneath the ice. The microbiological processes of importance are consumption of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms, anaerobic organisms and their reduced metabolites, like sulphide, acetate and methane, which can act as reducing agents in biological or chemical oxygen reduction. The lithotrophic type (inorganic energy source) of metabolism is important in these cold environments. There are also microbiological processes important to radionuclide transport and the production of complexing agents, biological colloids and biofilms. The study of microbial processes in glacier and ice sheet environments is still a young scientific niche. The studies have so far mostly been concentrated to ice surfaces and the subglacial environment. The most important findings from the literature study are as follows. Primary production is ongoing in snow cover and on ice surfaces of glaciers and ice sheets. The production is dependent on the location, because of temperature and solar radiation, but also on the prevailing state of the glacier. On surfaces and in the snow cover, heterotrophic microorganisms consume oxygen and organic material. In surface ice structures anaerobic conditions may occur. The subglacial environment is very active with several types

  14. Insights into mercury deposition and spatiotemporal variation in the glacier and melt water from the central Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudyal, Rukumesh; Kang, Shichang; Huang, Jie; Tripathee, Lekhendra; Zhang, Qianggong; Li, Xiaofei; Guo, Junming; Sun, Shiwei; He, Xiaobo; Sillanpää, Mika

    2017-12-01

    Long-term monitoring of global pollutant such as Mercury (Hg) in the cryosphere is very essential for understanding its bio-geochemical cycling and impacts in the pristine environment with limited emission sources. Therefore, from May 2015 to Oct 2015, surface snow and snow-pits from Xiao Dongkemadi Glacier and glacier melt water were sampled along an elevation transect from 5410 to 5678m a.s.l. in the central Tibetan Plateau (TP). The concentration of Hg in surface snow was observed to be higher than that from other parts of the TP. Unlike the southern parts of the TP, no clear altitudinal variation was observed in the central TP. The peak Total Hg (Hg T ) concentration over the vertical profile on the snow pits corresponded with a distinct yellowish-brown dust layer supporting the fact that most of the Hg was associated with particulate matter. It was observed that only 34% of Hg in snow was lost when the surface snow was exposed to sunlight indicating that the surface snow is less influenced by the post-depositional process. Significant diurnal variation of Hg T concentration was observed in the river water, with highest concentration observed at 7pm when the discharge was highest and lowest concentration during 7-8am when the discharge was lowest. Such results suggest that the rate of discharge was influential in the concentration of Hg T in the glacier fed rivers of the TP. The estimated export of Hg T from Dongkemadi river basin is 747.43gyr -1 , which is quite high compared to other glaciers in the TP. Therefore, the export of global contaminant Hg might play enhanced role in the Alpine regions as these glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate under global warming which may have adverse impact on the ecosystem and the human health of the region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Timing and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene glacier fluctuations in the Cordillera Vilcabamba of southern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Licciardi, J. M.; Taggart, J. R.; Schaefer, J. M.; Lund, D. C.

    2009-12-01

    Past fluctuations in climatically sensitive tropical glaciers provide important insight into regional paleoclimatic trends and forcings, but well-dated chronologies are scarce, particularly during the Holocene. We have established precise cosmogenic 10Be surface exposure ages of moraine sequences in the Cordillera Vilcabamba (13°20’S latitude), located in the outer tropics of southern Peru. Results indicate the dominance of two major glacial culminations and associated climatic shifts in the Vilcabamba, including an early Holocene glacial interval and a somewhat less extensive glaciation late in the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA) period. Lichenometric measurements on the youngest moraines support the 10Be ages, but uncertainties in the lichen ages arise from the lack of a local lichen growth curve. The Peruvian glacier chronologies differ from a recently-developed New Zealand record but are broadly correlative with well-dated glacial records in Europe, suggesting climate linkages between the tropics and the North Atlantic region. For the latest Holocene, our leading hypothesis is that climate forcings involving southward migration of the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone can explain concurrent glaciations in tropical South America and northern high latitudes, but the influence of other climate drivers such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation may have also played a role. Estimated differences between equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) on modern glaciers and those inferred for expanded latest Holocene glaciers reveal an ELA rise of 165-200 m since the LIA, suggesting that temperatures 1.1-1.3°C cooler than present could have sustained glaciers at their LIA maximum positions if temperature was the only control, and thus providing an upper bound on temperature depression during the LIA. However, further work is required to constrain the likely role of precipitation changes. These new Peruvian glacier chronologies and ELA reconstructions complement ice core and

  17. Glacier ice mass fluctuations and fault instability in tectonically active Southern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauber, Jeanne M.; Molnia, Bruce F.

    2004-07-01

    Across the plate boundary zone in south central Alaska, tectonic strain rates are high in a region that includes large glaciers undergoing wastage (glacier retreat and thinning) and surges. For the coastal region between the Bering and Malaspina Glaciers, the average ice mass thickness changes between 1995 and 2000 range from 1 to 5 m/year. These ice changes caused solid Earth displacements in our study region with predicted values of -10 to 50 mm in the vertical and predicted horizontal displacements of 0-10 mm at variable orientations. Relative to stable North America, observed horizontal rates of tectonic deformation range from 10 to 40 mm/year to the north-northwest and the predicted tectonic uplift rates range from approximately 0 mm/year near the Gulf of Alaska coast to 12 mm/year further inland. The ice mass changes between 1995 and 2000 resulted in discernible changes in the Global Positioning System (GPS) measured station positions of one site (ISLE) located adjacent to the Bagley Ice Valley and at one site, DON, located south of the Bering Glacier terminus. In addition to modifying the surface displacements rates, we evaluated the influence ice changes during the Bering glacier surge cycle had on the background seismic rate. We found an increase in the number of earthquakes ( ML≥2.5) and seismic rate associated with ice thinning and a decrease in the number of earthquakes and seismic rate associated with ice thickening. These results support the hypothesis that ice mass changes can modulate the background seismic rate. During the last century, wastage of the coastal glaciers in the Icy Bay and Malaspina region indicates thinning of hundreds of meters and in areas of major retreat, maximum losses of ice thickness approaching 1 km. Between the 1899 Yakataga and Yakutat earthquakes ( Mw=8.1, 8.1) and prior to the 1979 St. Elias earthquake ( Ms=7.2), the plate interface below Icy Bay was locked and tectonic strain accumulated. We used estimated ice mass

  18. Changing pattern of ice flow and mass balance for glaciers discharging into the Larsen A and B embayments, Antarctic Peninsula, 2011 to 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rott, Helmut; Abdel Jaber, Wael; Wuite, Jan; Scheiblauer, Stefan; Floricioiu, Dana; Melchior van Wessem, Jan; Nagler, Thomas; Miranda, Nuno; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2018-04-01

    We analysed volume change and mass balance of outlet glaciers on the northern Antarctic Peninsula over the periods 2011 to 2013 and 2013 to 2016, using high-resolution topographic data from the bistatic interferometric radar satellite mission TanDEM-X. Complementary to the geodetic method that applies DEM differencing, we computed the net mass balance of the main outlet glaciers using the mass budget method, accounting for the difference between the surface mass balance (SMB) and the discharge of ice into an ocean or ice shelf. The SMB values are based on output of the regional climate model RACMO version 2.3p2. To study glacier flow and retrieve ice discharge we generated time series of ice velocity from data from different satellite radar sensors, with radar images of the satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X as the main source. The study area comprises tributaries to the Larsen A, Larsen Inlet and Prince Gustav Channel embayments (region A), the glaciers calving into the Larsen B embayment (region B) and the glaciers draining into the remnant part of the Larsen B ice shelf in Scar Inlet (region C). The glaciers of region A, where the buttressing ice shelf disintegrated in 1995, and of region B (ice shelf break-up in 2002) show continuing losses in ice mass, with significant reduction of losses after 2013. The mass balance numbers for the grounded glacier area of region A are -3.98 ± 0.33 Gt a-1 from 2011 to 2013 and -2.38 ± 0.18 Gt a-1 from 2013 to 2016. The corresponding numbers for region B are -5.75 ± 0.45 and -2.32 ± 0.25 Gt a-1. The mass balance in region C during the two periods was slightly negative, at -0.54 ± 0.38 Gt a-1 and -0.58 ± 0.25 Gt a-1. The main share in the overall mass losses of the region was contributed by two glaciers: Drygalski Glacier contributing 61 % to the mass deficit of region A, and Hektoria and Green glaciers accounting for 67 % to the mass deficit of region B. Hektoria and Green glaciers accelerated significantly in 2010

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Summer energy balance and ablation of high elevation glaciers in the central Chilean Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, Benjamin; Rivera, Andres; Burger, Flavia; Bravo, Claudio

    2014-05-01

    Glaciers of the semi-arid central Chilean Andes are an important freshwater source for the populous Central Valley region of Chile, but have been shrinking in recent decades. The surface energy balance of these glaciers is of high scientific interest as summer ablation occurs through both sublimation and melt. During the 2012-13 Austral Summer a glacio-meteorological monitoring programme was established on Olivares Alfa (3.9 km2, 4130-4800 m elevation) and Beta (8.3 km2, 3620-4850 m elevation) Glaciers and their forelands in the Upper Olivares Valley, 33°00'-33°11' S, 70°05'-70°15' W, approximately 50 km north-east of Santiago. This included complete automatic weather stations (AWSs) with sonic rangers to record surface ablation on the ablation zones of the two glaciers, and one AWS in the proglacial area of Olivares Alfa Glacier including precipitation gauge. To complement these point data, daily images of the glaciers were captured with fixed cameras in order to calculate snow cover and albedo distributions. To calculate the surface energy balance and rates of melt and sublimation, a model was developed which uses direct AWS measurements of the radiative fluxes and calculates the turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat using the bulk aerodynamic approach. The model also calculates the subsurface heat flux and includes a simple scheme to estimate refreezing of melt water within surface snow or ice. Meteorological data and model results for the December to May period will be presented in this paper. Model calculations match closely the cumulative ablation curve of the sonic ranger at Olivares Alfa, with a slight overestimation, and overestimate cumulative ablation recorded by the sonic ranger at Olivares Beta, possibly due, at least in part, to uncertain snow density values. Modelled cumulative ablation in the December-April period is 2.2 m water equivalent (w.e.) at Olivares Alfa (0.10 m sublimation, 2.10 m melt) and 2.34 m w.e. at Olivares Beta (0.18 m

  2. Post-depositional enrichment of black soot in snow-pack and accelerated melting of Tibetan glaciers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Baiqing; Joswiak, Daniel R; Zhao Huabiao; Cao Junji; Liu Xianqin; He Jianqiao

    2012-01-01

    The post-depositional enrichment of black soot in snow-pack was investigated by measuring the redistribution of black soot along monthly snow-pits on a Tien Shan glacier. The one-year experiment revealed that black soot was greatly enriched, defined as the ratio of concentration to original snow concentration, in the unmelted snow-pack by at least an order of magnitude. Greatest soot enrichment was observed in the surface snow and the lower firn-pack within the melt season percolation zone. Black carbon (BC) concentrations as high as 400 ng g −1 in the summer surface snow indicate that soot can significantly contribute to glacier melt. BC concentrations reaching 3000 ng g −1 in the bottom portion of the firn pit are especially concerning given the expected equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) rise associated with future climatic warming, which would expose the dirty underlying firn and ice. Since most of the accumulation area on Tibetan glaciers is within the percolation zone where snow densification is characterized by melting and refreezing, the enrichment of black soot in the snow-pack is of foremost importance. Results suggest the effect of black soot on glacier melting may currently be underestimated. (letter)

  3. Grey Tienshan Urumqi Glacier No.1 and light-absorbing impurities

    OpenAIRE

    Ming, Jing; Xiao, Cunde; Wang, Feiteng; Li, Zhongqin; Li, Yamin

    2016-01-01

    The Tienshan Urumqi Glacier No.1 (TUG1) usually shows ?grey? surfaces in summers. Besides known regional warming, what should be responsible for largely reducing its surface albedo and making it look ?grey?? A field campaign was conducted on the TUG1 on a selected cloud-free day of 2013 after a snow fall at night. Fresh and aged snow samples were collected in the field, and snow densities, grain sizes, and spectral reflectances were measured. Light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) including black ...

  4. Crevasses as indicators of surge dynamics in the Bering Bagley Glacier System, Alaska: Numerical experiments and comparison to image data analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trantow, T.; Herzfeld, U. C.

    2016-12-01

    During a surge, sections of a glacier will accelerate 10-100 times their normal flow velocity resulting in sudden changes in the local stress regime. A glacier surface can fracture when a critical stress threshold is exceeded resulting in surface deformation, i.e. crevassing. During a recent field campaign to Bering Glacier, Alaska, in 2011 (and later in 2012, 2013), large scale deformation of the glacier surface was observed, indicating a major surge phase had recently occurred (Herzfeld et al. 2013). In the current study, geostatistical analysis is applied to satellite imagery to characterize the surge-induced crevasses that were present during the surge phase that began in early 2011. Results are compared to a three-dimensional, isothermal, full-Stokes model of Bering Glacier implemented in the open-source finite element software Elmer/Ice, which predicts locations and orientations of crevassing based on a failure criterion involving the magnitude(s) of the principal stress(es). Since most of the movement during a surge is due to basal sliding from decreased friction at the ice-bedrock interface, a relatively accurate representation of the the basal conditions is required to accurately model the ice dynamics and hence its stress regime. To achieve this, we invert velocity data derived from image correlation to attain estimations of the basal friction coefficient that governs basal sliding in the model. The methods employed here provide a procedure to identify discrepancies between observations and models of ice-flow during acceleration events.

  5. Using terrestrial laser scanning for differential measurement of interannual rock glacier movement in the Argentine Dry Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Renato R.

    Argentina has recently implemented laws to protect glaciers and buried ice in the Andes to improve the sustainability of scarce, long-term water resources. Therefore, all glaciers and buried ice terrains must be located and avoided in any commercial alterations of the landscape. Buried ice in this remote and often dangerous terrain typically is located via the use of remote-sensing techniques. This thesis applies one such technique, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in the form of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), to detect rock glacier movement that is indicative of flowing, buried ice not visible in near surface excavations. TLS surveys were completed at two locales, Los Azules and El Altar, in both AD 2013 and AD 2014 on landscapes where buried ice is suspected to have produced the current surface forms. Multiple TLS scans were co-registered with the use of benchmarks, both between scans and between years, which introduced quantifiable positional errors. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were derived from the point cloud data by standardizing the spacing of the points in the horizontal direction, creating 0.1 m by 0.1 m cells with elevation as the cell value. The DEMs for each year were subtracted from each other to yield a change in elevation. The surface roughness of the rock glaciers (vertical variability within each cell) was empirically determined and evaluated as a threshold for results. Both sites showed sub-decimeter interannual movements, and the direction of their movement is typical of forms with buried ice. The results of the study were validated using independent GPS data showing annual movement rates. Despite the downslope movement of these rock glaciers, the volume of ice contained within them remains unclear, and further study is required to assess the volume of water contained.

  6. Oceanography of Glacier Bay, Alaska: Implications for biological patterns in a glacial fjord estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etherington, L.L.; Hooge, P.N.; Hooge, Elizabeth Ross; Hill, D.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alaska, U.S.A, is one of the few remaining locations in the world that has fjords that contain temperate idewater glaciers. Studying such estuarine systems provides vital information on how deglaciation affects oceanographic onditions of fjords and surrounding coastal waters. The oceanographic system of Glacier Bay, Alaska, is of particular interest ue to the rapid deglaciation of the Bay and the resulting changes in the estuarine environment, the relatively high oncentrations of marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, and invertebrates, and the Bay’s status as a national park, where ommercial fisheries are being phased out. We describe the first comprehensive broad-scale analysis of physical and iological oceanographic conditions within Glacier Bay based on CTD measurements at 24 stations from 1993 to 2002. easonal patterns of near-surface salinity, temperature, stratification, turbidity, and euphotic depth suggest that freshwater nput was highest in summer, emphasizing the critical role of glacier and snowmelt to this system. Strong and persistent tratification of surface waters driven by freshwater input occurred from spring through fall. After accounting for seasonal nd spatial variation, several of the external physical factors (i.e., air temperature, precipitation, day length) explained a large mount of variation in the physical properties of the surface waters. Spatial patterns of phytoplankton biomass varied hroughout the year and were related to stratification levels, euphotic depth, and day length. We observed hydrographic atterns indicative of strong competing forces influencing water column stability within Glacier Bay: high levels of freshwater ischarge promoted stratification in the upper fjord, while strong tidal currents over the Bay’s shallow entrance sill enhanced ertical mixing. Where these two processes met in the central deep basins there were optimal conditions of intermediate tratification, higher light levels, and potential nutrient renewal

  7. 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

  8. Mass Balance Evolution of Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, 1980–2100, and Its Implications for Surge Recurrence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Kienholz

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Surge-type Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, has undergone strong retreat since it last surged in 1936–1937. To assess its evolution during the late Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries and determine potential implications for surge likelihood, we run a simplified glacier model over the periods 1980–2015 (hindcasting and 2015–2100 (forecasting. The model is forced by daily temperature and precipitation fields, with downscaled reanalysis data used for the hindcasting. A constant climate scenario and an RCP 8.5 scenario based on the GFDL-CM3 climate model are employed for the forecasting. Debris evolution is accounted for by a debris layer time series derived from satellite imagery (hindcasting and a parametrized debris evolution model (forecasting. A retreat model accounts for the evolution of the glacier geometry. Model calibration, validation and parametrization rely on an extensive set of in situ and remotely sensed observations. To explore uncertainties in our projections, we run the glacier model in a Monte Carlo fashion, varying key model parameters and input data within plausible ranges. Our results for the hindcasting period indicate a negative mass balance trend, caused by atmospheric warming in the summer, precipitation decrease in the winter and surface elevation lowering (climate-elevation feedback, which exceed the moderating effects from increasing debris cover and glacier retreat. Without the 2002 rockslide deposits on Black Rapids' lower reaches, the mass balances would be more negative, by ~20% between the 2003 and 2015 mass-balance years. Despite its retreat, Black Rapids Glacier is substantially out of balance with the current climate. By 2100, ~8% of Black Rapids' 1980 area are projected to vanish under the constant climate scenario and ~73% under the RCP 8.5 scenario. For both scenarios, the remaining glacier portions are out of balance, suggesting continued retreat after 2100. Due to mass starvation, a surge in the Twenty

  9. 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.

  10. A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Pachebat, Justin A; Swain, Martin; Hegarty, Matt; Rassner, Sara M E; Hodson, Andrew J; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L; Sattler, Birgit

    2013-01-01

    Cryoconite is a microbe–mineral aggregate which darkens the ice surface of glaciers. Microbial process and marker gene PCR-dependent measurements reveal active and diverse cryoconite microbial communities on polar glaciers. Here, we provide the first report of a cryoconite metagenome and culture-independent study of alpine cryoconite microbial diversity. We assembled 1.2 Gbp of metagenomic DNA sequenced using an Illumina HiScanSQ from cryoconite holes across the ablation zone of Rotmoosferner in the Austrian Alps. The metagenome revealed a bacterially-dominated community, with Proteobacteria (62% of bacterial-assigned contigs) and Bacteroidetes (14%) considerably more abundant than Cyanobacteria (2.5%). Streptophyte DNA dominated the eukaryotic metagenome. Functional genes linked to N, Fe, S and P cycling illustrated an acquisitive trend and a nitrogen cycle based upon efficient ammonia recycling. A comparison of 32 metagenome datasets revealed a similarity in functional profiles between the cryoconite and metagenomes characterized from other cold microbe–mineral aggregates. Overall, the metagenomic snapshot reveals the cryoconite ecosystem of this alpine glacier as dependent on scavenging carbon and nutrients from allochthonous sources, in particular mosses transported by wind from ice-marginal habitats, consistent with net heterotrophy indicated by productivity measurements. A transition from singular snapshots of cryoconite metagenomes to comparative analyses is advocated. (letter)

  11. Increased rate of acceleration on Pine Island Glacier strongly coupled to changes in gravitational driving stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. B. T. Scott

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica, has been undergoing several related changes for at least two decades; these include acceleration, thinning and grounding line retreat. During the first major ground-based study between 2006 and 2008, GPS receivers were used to monitor ice flow from 55 km to 171 km inland, along the central flowline. At four sites both acceleration and thinning rates over the last two years exceeded rates observed at any other time over the last two decades. At the downstream site acceleration was 6.4% over 2007 and thinning was 3.5±0.5 ma−1. Acceleration and thinning have spread rapidly inland with the acceleration 171 km inland at 4.1% over 2007, greater than any measured annual flow increase along the whole glacier prior to 2006. Increases in surface slope, and hence gravitational driving stress, correlate well with the acceleration and no sustained change in longitudinal stress gradient is needed to explain the force balance. There is no indication that the glacier is approaching a new steady state.

  12. Analysis of Seasonal Variability in Gulf of Alaska Glacier Mass Balance using GRACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, A. A.; Luthcke, S. B.; Oneel, S.; Gardner, A. S.; Hill, D. F.

    2011-12-01

    Mass variations of glaciers in Alaska/northwestern Canada must be quantified in order to assess impacts on ecosystems, human infrastructure, and global sea level. Here we combine Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) observations with a wide range of satellite and field data to investigate drivers of these recent changes, with a focus on seasonal variations. Our central focus will be the exceptionally high mass losses of 2009, which do not correlate with weather station temperature and precipitation data, but may be linked to ash fall from the March 31, 2009 eruption of Mt. Redoubt. The eruption resulted in a significant decrease in MODIS-derived surface albedo over many Alaska glacier regions, and likely contributed to some of the 2009 anomalous mass loss observed by GRACE. We also focus on the Juneau and Stikine Icefield regions that are far from the volcanic eruption but experienced the largest mass losses of any region in 2009. Although rapid drawdown of tidewater glaciers was occurring in southeast Alaska during 2009, we show these changes were probably not sufficiently widespread to explain all of the GRACE signal in those regions. We examine additional field and satellite datasets to quantify potential errors in the climate and GRACE fields that could result in the observed discrepancy.

  13. Investigations of the form and flow of ice sheets and glaciers using radio-echo sounding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dowdeswell, J A; Evans, S [Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1ER (United Kingdom)

    2004-10-01

    Radio-echo sounding (RES), utilizing a variety of radio frequencies, was developed to allow glaciologists to measure the thickness of ice sheets and glaciers. We review the nature of electromagnetic wave propagation in ice and snow, including the permittivity of ice, signal attenuation and volume scattering, along with reflection from rough and specular surfaces. The variety of instruments used in RES of polar ice sheets and temperate glaciers is discussed. The applications and insights that a knowledge of ice thickness, and the wider nature of the form and flow of ice sheets, provides are also considered. The thickest ice measured is 4.7 km in East Antarctica. The morphology of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and many of the smaller ice caps and glaciers of the polar regions, has been investigated using RES. These findings are being used in three-dimensional numerical models of the response of the cryosphere to environmental change. In addition, the distribution and character of internal and basal reflectors within ice sheets contains information on, for example, ice-sheet layering and its chrono-stratigraphic significance, and has enabled the discovery and investigation of large lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Today, RES from ground-based and airborne platforms remains the most effective tool for measuring ice thickness and internal character.

  14. Shallow repeating seismic events under an alpine glacier at Mount Rainier, Washington, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thelen, Weston A.; Allstadt, Kate E.; De Angelis, Silvio; Malone, Stephen D.; Moran, Seth C.; Vidale, John

    2013-01-01

    We observed several swarms of repeating low-frequency (1–5 Hz) seismic events during a 3 week period in May–June 2010, near the summit of Mount Rainier, Washington, USA, that likely were a result of stick–slip motion at the base of alpine glaciers. The dominant set of repeating events ('multiplets') featured >4000 individual events and did not exhibit daytime variations in recurrence interval or amplitude. Volcanoes and glaciers around the world are known to produce seismic signals with great variability in both frequency content and size. The low-frequency character and periodic recurrence of the Mount Rainier multiplets mimic long-period seismicity often seen at volcanoes, particularly during periods of unrest. However, their near-surface location, lack of common spectral peaks across the recording network, rapid attenuation of amplitudes with distance, and temporal correlation with weather systems all indicate that ice-related source mechanisms are the most likely explanation. We interpret the low-frequency character of these multiplets to be the result of trapping of seismic energy under glacial ice as it propagates through the highly heterogeneous and attenuating volcanic material. The Mount Rainier multiplet sequences underscore the difficulties in differentiating low-frequency signals due to glacial processes from those caused by volcanic processes on glacier-clad volcanoes.

  15. Unlocking annual firn layer water equivalents from ground-penetrating radar data on an Alpine glacier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Sold

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The spatial representation of accumulation measurements is a major limitation for current glacier mass balance monitoring approaches. Here, we present a method for estimating annual accumulation rates on a temperate Alpine glacier based on the interpretation of internal reflection horizons (IRHs in helicopter-borne ground-penetrating radar (GPR data. For each individual GPR measurement, the signal travel time is combined with a simple model for firn densification and refreezing of meltwater. The model is calibrated at locations where GPR repeat measurements are available in two subsequent years and the densification can be tracked over time. Two 10.5 m long firn cores provide a reference for the density and chronology of firn layers. Thereby, IRHs correspond to density maxima, but not exclusively to former summer glacier surfaces. Along GPR profile sections from across the accumulation area we obtain the water equivalent (w.e. of several annual firn layers. Because deeper IRHs could be tracked over shorter distances, the total length of analysed profile sections varies from 7.3 km for the uppermost accumulation layer (2011 to 0.1 km for the deepest (i.e. oldest layer (2006. According to model results, refreezing accounts for 10% of the density increase over time and depth, and for 2% of the water equivalent. The strongest limitation to our method is the dependence on layer chronology assumptions. We show that GPR can be used not only to complement existing mass balance monitoring programmes on temperate glaciers but also to retrospectively extend newly initiated time series.

  16. Glacier Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) and the GLIMS Information Management System at NSIDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, A. E.; Scharfen, G. R.; Barry, R. G.; Khalsa, S. S.; Raup, B.; Swick, R.; Troisi, V. J.; Wang, I.

    2001-12-01

    GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) is an international project to survey a majority of the world's glaciers with the accuracy and precision needed to assess recent changes and determine trends in glacial environments. This will be accomplished by: comprehensive periodic satellite measurements, coordinated distribution of screened image data, analysis of images at worldwide Regional Centers, validation of analyses, and a publicly accessible database. The primary data source will be from the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and reflection Radiometer) instrument aboard the EOS Terra spacecraft, and Landsat ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus), currently in operation. Approximately 700 ASTER images have been acquired with GLIMS gain settings as of mid-2001. GLIMS is a collaborative effort with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the National Aeronautics Space Adminstration (NASA), other U.S. Federal Agencies and a group of internationally distributed glaciologists at Regional Centers of expertise. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is developing the information management system for GLIMS. We will ingest and maintain GLIMS-analyzed glacier data from Regional Centers and provide access to the data via the World Wide Web. The GLIMS database will include measurements (over time) of glacier length, area, boundaries, topography, surface velocity vectors, and snowline elevation, derived primarily from remote sensing data. The GLIMS information management system at NSIDC will provide an easy to use and widely accessible service for the glaciological community and other users needing information about the world's glaciers. The structure of the international GLIMS consortium, status of database development, sample imagery and derived analyses and user search and order interfaces will be demonstrated. More information on GLIMS is available at: http://www.glims.org/.

  17. 110 years of local glacier and ice cap changes in Central- and North East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjork, A. A.; Aagaard, S.; Kjaer, K. H.; Khan, S. A.; Box, J.

    2014-12-01

    The local glaciers and ice caps of Greenland are becoming more apparent players in global sea-level rise, and their contribution to future changes is significant. Very little information on their historical fluctuations exists as much of the focus has been on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Now, we can for the first time present historic data that spans 110 years for more than 200 of the local glaciers and ice caps covering this large and important region of the Arctic. The central- and north eastern part of Greenland is of particular interest as these areas are predicted to exhibit a more active behavior with higher mass loss in the future - simultaneously with an increase in precipitation. Our results show that the glaciers and ice caps in the region are responding very rapidly to changes in temperature and precipitation. The present retreat is the fastest observed within the last eight decades, only surpassed by the rapid post LIA retreat. The 1930s was the golden era for scientific exploration in Central- and North East Greenland as several large expeditions visited the area and photographed from land, sea and air. We use historic recordings from Danish and Norwegian aerial missions and terrestrial recordings from the renowned American Explorer Louise Boyd. These unique pictures from the early 1930s form the backbone of the study and are supplemented the more recent aerial photographs the 1940s and onwards and satellite imagery from the mid-1960s and up until present. From high resolution aerial photographs we are able to map the maximum extent of the glaciers during the LIA (Little Ice Age), from which retreat in this area is estimated to commence in 1900. Using a new SMB (Surface Mass Balance) model and its components covering the entire observational period along with high resolution DEMs and historic sea-ice records we are now able to extract valuable information on the past and present triggers of glacial change.

  18. Terminal zone glacial sediment transfer at a temperate overdeepened glacier system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swift, D. A.; Cook, S. J.; Graham, D. J.; Midgley, N. G.; Fallick, A. E.; Storrar, R.; Toubes Rodrigo, M.; Evans, D. J. A.

    2018-01-01

    Continuity of sediment transfer through glacial systems is essential to maintain subglacial bedrock erosion, yet transfer at temperate glaciers with overdeepened beds, where subglacial fluvial sediment transport should be greatly limited by adverse slopes, remains poorly understood. Complex multiple transfer processes in temperate overdeepened systems has been indicated by the presence of large frontal moraine systems, supraglacial debris of mixed transport origin, thick basal ice sequences, and englacial thrusts and eskers. At Svínafellsjökull, thrusts comprising decimetre-thick debris-rich bands of stratified facies ice of basal origin, with a coarser size distribution and higher clast content than that observed in basal ice layers, contribute substantially to the transfer of subglacial material in the terminal zone. Entrainment and transfer of material occurs by simple shear along the upper surface of bands and by strain-induced deformation of stratified and firnified glacier ice below. Thrust material includes rounded and well-rounded clasts that are also striated, indicating that fluvial bedload is deposited as subglacial channels approach the overdeepening and then entrained along thrusts. Substantial transfer also occurs within basal ice, with facies type and debris content dependent on the hydrological connectedness of the adverse slope. A process model of transfer at glaciers with terminal overdeepenings is proposed, in which the geometry of the overdeepening influences spatial patterns of ice deformation, hydrology, and basal ice formation. We conclude that the significance of thrusting in maintaining sediment transfer continuity has likely been overlooked by glacier sediment budgets and glacial landscape evolution studies.

  19. Impact of impurities and cryoconite on the optical properties of the Morteratsch Glacier (Swiss Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Mauro, Biagio; Baccolo, Giovanni; Garzonio, Roberto; Giardino, Claudia; Massabò, Dario; Piazzalunga, Andrea; Rossini, Micol; Colombo, Roberto

    2017-11-01

    The amount of reflected energy by snow and ice plays a fundamental role in their melting processes. Different non-ice materials (carbonaceous particles, mineral dust (MD), microorganisms, algae, etc.) can decrease the reflectance of snow and ice promoting the melt. The object of this paper is to assess the capability of field and satellite (EO-1 Hyperion) hyperspectral data to characterize the impact of light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) on the surface reflectance of ice and snow of the Vadret da Morteratsch, a large valley glacier in the Swiss Alps. The spatial distribution of both narrow-band and broad-band indices derived from Hyperion was analyzed in relation to ice and snow impurities. In situ and laboratory reflectance spectra were acquired to characterize the optical properties of ice and cryoconite samples. The concentrations of elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC) and levoglucosan were also determined to characterize the impurities found in cryoconite. Multi-wavelength absorbance spectra were measured to compare the optical properties of cryoconite samples and local moraine sediments. In situ reflectance spectra showed that the presence of impurities reduced ice reflectance in visible wavelengths by 80-90 %. Satellite data also showed the outcropping of dust during the melting season in the upper parts of the glacier, revealing that seasonal input of atmospheric dust can decrease the reflectance also in the accumulation zone of the glacier. The presence of EC and OC in cryoconite samples suggests a relevant role of carbonaceous and organic material in the darkening of the ablation zone. This darkening effect is added to that caused by fine debris from lateral moraines, which is assumed to represent a large fraction of cryoconite. Possible input of anthropogenic activity cannot be excluded and further research is needed to assess the role of human activities in the darkening process of glaciers observed in recent years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpiger, Andrea; Loew, Simon

    2014-05-01

    Groundwater flow systems in Alpine areas are often complex and challenging to investigate due to special topographic and climatic conditions governing groundwater recharge and bedrock flow. Studies seeking to characterize high-alpine groundwater systems remain rare, but are of high interest, e.g. for water supply, hydropower systems, traffic tunnels or rock slope deformation and landslide hazards. The goal of this study is to better understand the current and past groundwater flow systems of the UNESCO World Heritage mountain ridge separating the great Aletsch glacier and the Rhone valley, considering climatic and glacier fluctuations during the Lateglacial and Holocene periods. This ridge is crossed by a hydropower bypass drift (Riederhornstollen) and is composed of fractured crystalline rocks overlain by various types of landslides and glacial deposits. Surface hydrology observations (fracture properties, groundwater seepage, spring lines and physico-chemical parameters) and hydropower drift inflow measurements contributed to the characterization of bedrock hydraulic conductivities and preferential groundwater pathways. Basic conceptual hydrogeological models were tested with observed drift inflows and the occurrence of springs using free-surface, variably saturated, vertical 2D groundwater flow models (using the code SEEP/W from GeoStudio 2007). Already simple two-layer models, representing profile sections orthogonal to the mountain ridge, provided useful results. Simulations show that differences in the occurrence of springs on each side of the mountain ridge are likely caused by the occurrence of glacial till (generating perched groundwater), the deep-seated sagging landslide mass, faults and asymmetric ridge topography, which together force the main groundwater flow direction to be oriented towards the Rhone valley, even from beyond the mountain ridge. Surprisingly, the most important springs (those with high discharge rates) are located at high elevations

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. A fifty year record of winter glacier melt events in southern Chile, 38°–42°S

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brock, Ben W; Burger, Flavia; Montecinos, Aldo; Rivera, Andrés

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the frequency and potential mass balance impact of winter glacier melt events. In this study, daily atmospheric temperature soundings from the Puerto Montt radiosonde (41.43°S) are used to reconstruct winter melting events at the glacier equilibrium line altitude in the 38°–42°S region of southern Chile, between 1960 and 2010. The representativeness of the radiosonde temperatures to near-surface glacier temperatures is demonstrated using meteorological records from close to the equilibrium line on two glaciers in the region over five winters. Using a degree-day model we estimate an average of 0.28 m of melt and 21 melt days in the 15 June–15 September period each year, with high inter-annual variability. The majority of melt events are associated with midlatitude migratory high pressure systems crossing Chile and northwesterly flows, that force adiabatic compression and warm advection, respectively. There are no trends in the frequency or magnitude of melt events over the period of record, but the annual frequency of winter melt days shows a significant, although rather weak and probably non-linear, relationship to late winter and early spring values of a multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (MEI). (letter)

  9. Employing high resolution satellite imagery to document a rapid glacier surge in the Karakoram - risks and opportunities for hazard assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, J. F.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.; Jiduc, S. G.; Immerzeel, W. W.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier surges occur regularly in the Karakoram but their driving mechanisms, recurrence and its relation to climatic change remain unclear. Since many glacier tongues in the region reach to very low elevations, local populations are often exposed to glacial hazards. While the scientific interpretation of hazard is one challenge, adequately communicating results to possibly affected stakeholders poses a different set of hurdles. Using DEMs as well as Landsat imagery in combination with high-resolution Planet imagery we quantify surface elevation changes and flow velocities to document a glacier surge of the Khurdopin glacier, located in a remote valley in Pakistan, in the first half of 2017. Results reveal that an accumulation of ice mass leads to a rapid surge in peaking with velocities above 5000 m a-1 or 0.5 m h-1 during a few days. Velocities increase steadily during a four-year build-up phase prior to the actual surge, while the remaining 15 years of the recurring cycle the glacier is quiescent. It is hypothesized that the surge is mainly initiated as a result of increased pressure melting caused by ice accumulation. However, surface observations show increased crevassing and disappearance of supra glacial ponds, which could have led to increased lubrication of the glacier bed. As a consequence of the surging tongue blocking the main valley a lake has formed and grown continuously in size over two months at a rate of up to 3000 m2 per day. Using satellite imagery with a frequent overpass rate we are able to (a) characterize the nature of glacier surges in the region with greater detail and (b) monitor the surge as well as the formation of the lake as it develops. Having developed a connection to local stakeholders we were able to provide rapid hazard assessments to affected communities, which can be employed to define possible actions. We show the potential of satellite imagery - freely available Landsat in combination with commercial Planet imagery -, which

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Glacier Melting Increases the Solute Concentrations of Himalayan Glacial Lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salerno, Franco; Rogora, Michela; Balestrini, Raffaella; Lami, Andrea; Tartari, Gabriele A; Thakuri, Sudeep; Godone, Danilo; Freppaz, Michele; Tartari, Gianni

    2016-09-06

    Over the past two decades, we observed a substantial rise in ionic content that was mainly determined by the sulfate concentration at 20 remote high elevation lakes located in central southern Himalaya. At LCN9, which was monitored on an annual basis for the last 20 years, the sulfate concentrations increased over 4-fold. Among the main causes, we exclude a change in the composition of wet atmospheric deposition, as well as a possible influence of decrease in seasonal snow cover duration, which could have exposed larger basin surfaces to alteration processes. Glacier retreat likely was the main factor responsible for the observed increase of sulfate concentrations. We attribute this chemical changes mainly to the sulfide oxidation processes that occur in subglacial environments. Moreover, we observe that the weakened monsoon of the past two decades has only partially contributed to the lakes enrichment through runoff waters that are more concentrated in solutes or lowering the water table, resulting in more rock exposed to air and enhanced mineral oxidation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Structure and evolution of the drainage system of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier, and its relationship with patterns of mass loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. I. Benn

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available We provide the first synoptic view of the drainage system of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier and its evolution through time, based on speleological exploration and satellite image analysis of Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal. The drainage system has several linked components: (1 a seasonal subglacial drainage system below the upper ablation zone; (2 supraglacial channels, allowing efficient meltwater transport across parts of the upper ablation zone; (3 sub-marginal channels, allowing long-distance transport of meltwater; (4 perched ponds, which intermittently store meltwater prior to evacuation via the englacial drainage system; (5 englacial cut-and-closure conduits, which may undergo repeated cycles of abandonment and reactivation; and (6 a "base-level" lake system (Spillway Lake dammed behind the terminal moraine. The distribution and relative importance of these elements has evolved through time, in response to sustained negative mass balance. The area occupied by perched ponds has expanded upglacier at the expense of supraglacial channels, and Spillway Lake has grown as more of the glacier surface ablates to base level. Subsurface processes play a governing role in creating, maintaining, and shutting down exposures of ice at the glacier surface, with a major impact on spatial patterns and rates of surface mass loss. Comparison of our results with observations on other glaciers indicate that englacial drainage systems play a key role in the response of debris-covered glaciers to sustained periods of negative mass balance.

  16. Debris cover increase as an essential factor determining evolution of the Djankuat Glacier in the Caucasus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezepkin, Alexey; Popovnin, Victor

    2013-04-01

    45-year-long direct monitoring of Djankuat Glacier mass and water balance revealed the continuous increase of its superficial debris cover. Its area was mapped 7 times since 1968 on a basis of photogrammetric surveys, showing more than three-fold increase from 0,104 to 0,344 km2, whereas its share in the entire glacier surface increased more than 4 times (from 3% to 13%); currently supraglacial moraine occupies 61% of the ablation area. Besides, 3 direct and complete areal surveys of debris thickness were carried out in 1983, 1994 and 2010. They consisted of 133-240 measurement points which were distributed either in checkmate order over uniform debris-covered parts of the snout or by transverse profiles across linear morainic ramparts. Procedure of measuring thickness with an accuracy of 1 cm was coming to till piercing down to ice surface with metallic rod or, when impossible, to manual excavations. Maximum detected point values reached 183 cm in 1983, 280 cm in 1994 and 245 cm in 2010, and average debris thickness turned out to increased more than twice during the monitoring period - 26, 39 and 54 cm, for correspondent surveys. Debris cover influence on liquid run-off was estimated by heat balance considerations, based both on records of AWSs, erected on clean and debris-covered ice surface, and on vertical temperature profiles within the lithogenic layer, demonstrating clearly the diurnal cycle attenuation with depth. Sub-debris ablation is higher than clean ice melting rate under a thin debris layer (2025 the debris cover will reduce hypsometrical lowering rate on the snout by 45% in the latter case. This lead to the assumption about the future role of debris mantle development in Djankuat Glacier evolution: it may become comparable with that exerted by climate change.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Tidal analysis of GNSS data from a high resolution sensor network at Helheim Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Ian; Aspey, Robin; Baugé, Tim; Edwards, Stuart; Everett, Alistair; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Murray, Tavi; O'Farrell, Tim; Rutt, Ian

    2014-05-01

    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

  20. Central Asian supra-glacier snow melt enhanced by anthropogenic black carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmale, Julia; Flanner, Mark; Kang, Shichang; Sprenger, Michael; Farinotti, Daniel; Zhang, Qianggong; Guo, Junming; Li, Yang; Lawrence, Mark; Schwikowski, Margit

    2016-04-01

    In Central Asia, more than 60 % of the population depends on water stored in glaciers and mountain snow. Densely populated areas near lower-lying mountain ranges are particularly vulnerable and a recent study showed that the region might lose 50 % of its glacier mass by 2050. While temperature, precipitation and dynamic processes are key drivers of glacial change, deposition of light absorbing impurities such as mineral dust and black carbon can lead to accelerated melting through surface albedo reduction. Here, we discuss the origin of deposited mineral dust and black carbon and their impacts on albedo change and snow melt. 218 snow samples were taken on 4 glaciers, Abramov (Pamir), Suek, Glacier No. 354 and Golubin (Tien Shan), representing deposition between summer 2012 and 2014. They were analyzed for elemental carbon, mineral dust and iron among other parameters. We find the elemental carbon concentration to be at the higher end of the range reported for neighboring mountain ranges between 70 and 502 ng g-1 (interquartile range). To investigate the origin of the snow impurities, we used a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, LAGRANTO. Back trajectory ensembles of 40 members with varied starting points to capture the meteorological spread were released every 6 hours for the covered period at all sites. "Footprints" were calculated and combined with emission inventories to estimate the relative contribution of anthropogenic and natural BC to deposited aerosol on the glaciers. We find that more than 94 % of BC is of anthropogenic origin and the major source region is Central Asia followed by the Middle East. Further exploring the implications of mineral dust and BC deposition, we calculate the snow albedo reduction with the Snow-Ice-Aerosol-Radiative model (SNICAR). Even though mineral dust concentrations were up to a factor of 50 higher than BC concentrations, BC dominates the albedo reduction. Using these results we calculate the snow melt induced by

  1. InSAR Observations and Finite Element Modeling of Crustal Deformation Around a Surging Glacier, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaans, K.; Auriac, A.; Sigmundsson, F.; Hooper, A. J.; Bjornsson, H.; Pálsson, F.; Pinel, V.; Feigl, K. L.

    2014-12-01

    Icelandic ice caps, covering ~11% of the country, are known to be surging glaciers. Such process implies an important local crustal subsidence due to the large ice mass being transported to the ice edge during the surge in a few months only. In 1993-1995, a glacial surge occurred at four neighboring outlet glaciers in the southwestern part of Vatnajökull ice cap, the largest ice cap in Iceland. We estimated that ~16±1 km3 of ice have been moved during this event while the fronts of some of the outlet glaciers advanced by ~1 km.Surface deformation associated with this surge has been surveyed using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) acquisitions from 1992-2002, providing high resolution ground observations of the study area. The data show about 75 mm subsidence at the ice edge of the outlet glaciers following the transport of the large volume of ice during the surge (Fig. 1). The long time span covered by the InSAR images enabled us to remove ~12 mm/yr of uplift occurring in this area due to glacial isostatic adjustment from the retreat of Vatnajökull ice cap since the end of the Little Ice Age in Iceland. We then used finite element modeling to investigate the elastic Earth response to the surge, as well as confirm that no significant viscoelastic deformation occurred as a consequence of the surge. A statistical approach based on Bayes' rule was used to compare the models to the observations and obtain an estimate of the Young's modulus (E) and Poisson's ratio (v) in Iceland. The best-fitting models are those using a one-kilometer thick top layer with v=0.17 and E between 12.9-15.3 GPa underlain by a layer with v=0.25 and E from 67.3 to 81.9 GPa. Results demonstrate that InSAR data and finite element models can be used successfully to reproduce crustal deformation induced by ice mass variations at Icelandic ice caps.Fig. 1: Interferograms spanning 1993 July 31 to 1995 June 19, showing the surge at Tungnaárjökull (Tu.), Skaftárjökull (Sk.) and S

  2. 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

  3. Improving Understanding of Glacier Melt Contribution to High Asian River Discharge through Collaboration and Capacity Building with High Asian CHARIS Partner Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Richard; Brodzik, Mary Jo; Armstrong, Betsy; Barrett, Andrew; Fetterer, Florence; Hill, Alice; Jodha Khalsa, Siri; Racoviteanu, Adina; Raup, Bruce; Rittger, Karl; Williams, Mark; Wilson, Alana; Ye, Qinghua

    2017-04-01

    The Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice & Snow (CHARIS) project uses remote sensing data combined with modeling from 2000 to the present to improve proportional estimates of melt from glaciers and seasonal snow surfaces. Based at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, the CHARIS project objectives are twofold: 1) capacity-building efforts with CHARIS partners from eight High Asian countries to better forecast future availability and vulnerability of water resources in the region, and 2) improving our ability to systematically assess the role of glaciers and seasonal snow in the freshwater resources of High Asia. Capacity-building efforts include working with CHARIS partners from Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Our capacity-building activities include training, data sharing, supporting fieldwork, graduate student education and infrastructure development. Because of the scarcity of in situ data in this High Asian region, we are using the wealth of available remote sensing data to characterize digital elevation, daily maps of fractional snow-cover, annual maps of glacier and permanent snow cover area and downscaled reanalysis temperature data in snow melt models to estimate the relative proportions of river runoff from glacierized and seasonally snow-covered surfaces. Current collaboration with Qinghua Ye, visiting scientist at NSIDC from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, focuses on remote sensing methods to detect changes in the mountain cryosphere. Collaboration with our Asian partners supports the systematic analysis of the annual cycle of seasonal snow and glacier ice melt across the High Mountain Asia region. With our Asian partners, we have derived reciprocal benefits, learning from their specialized local knowledge and obtaining access to their in situ data. We expect that the improved understanding of runoff from snow and glacier surfaces will

  4. Investigating ice cliff evolution and contribution to glacier mass-balance using a physically-based dynamic model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Supraglacial cliffs are a surface feature typical of debris-covered glaciers, affecting surface evolution, glacier downwasting and mass balance by providing a direct ice-atmosphere interface. As a result, melt rates can be very high and ice cliffs may account for a significant portion of the total glacier mass loss. However, their contribution to glacier mass balance has rarely been quantified through physically-based models. Most cliff energy balance models are point scale models which calculate energy fluxes at individual cliff locations. Results from the only grid based model to date accurately reflect energy fluxes and cliff melt, but modelled backwasting patterns are in some cases unrealistic, as the distribution of melt rates would lead to progressive shallowing and disappearance of cliffs. Based on a unique multitemporal dataset of cliff topography and backwasting obtained from high-resolution terrestrial and aerial Structure-from-Motion analysis on Lirung Glacier in Nepal, it is apparent that cliffs exhibit a range of behaviours but most do not rapidly disappear. The patterns of evolution cannot be explained satisfactorily by atmospheric melt alone, and are moderated by the presence of supraglacial ponds at the base of cliffs and by cliff reburial with debris. Here, we document the distinct patterns of evolution including disappearance, growth and stability. We then use these observations to improve the grid-based energy balance model, implementing periodic updates of the cliff geometry resulting from modelled melt perpendicular to the ice surface. Based on a slope threshold, pixels can be reburied by debris or become debris-free. The effect of ponds are taken into account through enhanced melt rates in horizontal direction on pixels selected based on an algorithm considering distance to the water surface, slope and lake level. We use the dynamic model to first study the evolution of selected cliffs for which accurate, high resolution DEMs are available

  5. Age, origin and evolution of Antarctic debris-covered