WorldWideScience

Sample records for glaciers climactic change

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. The response of glaciers to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, Elisabeth Jantina

    2003-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A GIS tool for two-dimensional glacier-terminus change tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej

    2018-02-01

    This paper presents a Glacier Termini Tracking (GTT) toolbox for the two-dimensional analysis of glacier-terminus position changes. The input consists of a vector layer with several termini lines relating to the same glacier at different times. The output layers allow analyses to be conducted of glacier-terminus retreats, changes in retreats over time and along the ice face, and glacier-terminus fluctuations over time. The application of three tools from the toolbox is demonstrated via the analysis of eight glacier-terminus retreats and fluctuations at the Hornsund fjord in south Svalbard. It is proposed that this toolbox may also be useful in the study of other line features that change over time, like coastlines and rivers. The toolbox has been coded in Python and runs via ArcGIS.

  11. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Seibert

    2018-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  16. Remote Sensing of Cryosphere: Estimation of Mass Balance Change in Himalayan Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi; Joshi, Kabindra

    2012-07-01

    Glacial changes are an important indicator of climate change. Our understanding mass balance change in Himalayan glaciers is limited. This study estimates mass balance of some major glaciers in the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) in Nepal using remote sensing applications. Remote sensing technique to measure mass balance of glaciers is an important methodological advance in the highly rugged Himalayan terrain. This study uses ASTER VNIR, 3N (nadir view) and 3B (backward view) bands to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the SNP area for the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Glacier boundaries were delineated using combination of boundaries available in the Global land ice measurement (GLIMS) database and various band ratios derived from ASTER images. Elevation differences, glacial area, and ice densities were used to estimate the change in mass balance. The results indicated that the rate of glacier mass balance change was not uniform across glaciers. While there was a decrease in mass balance of some glaciers, some showed increase. This paper discusses how each glacier in the SNP area varied in its annual mass balance measurement during the study period.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias eHuss

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huss, M.; Fischer, M.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2011-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Comparing different methods to model scenarios of future glacier change for the entire Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsbauer, A.; Paul, F.; Haeberli, W.

    2012-04-01

    There is general agreement that observed climate change already has strong impacts on the cryosphere. The rapid shrinkage of glaciers during the past two decades as observed in many mountain ranges globally and in particular in the Alps, are impressive confirmations of a changed climate. With the expected future temperature increase glacier shrinkage will likely further accelerate and their role as an important water resource more and more diminish. To determine the future contribution of glaciers to run-off with hydrological models, the change in glacier area and/or volume must be considered. As these models operate at regional scales, simplified approaches to model the future development of all glaciers in a mountain range need to be applied. In this study we have compared different simplified approaches to model the area and volume evolution of all glaciers in the Swiss Alps over the 21st century according to given climate change scenarios. One approach is based on an upward shift of the ELA (by 150 m per degree temperature increase) and the assumption that the glacier extent will shrink until the smaller accumulation area covers again 60% of the total glacier area. A second approach is based on observed elevation changes between 1985 and 2000 as derived from DEM differencing for all glaciers in Switzerland. With a related elevation-dependent parameterization of glacier thickness change and a modelled glacier thickness distribution, the 15-year trends in observed thickness loss are extrapolated into the future with glacier area loss taking place when thickness becomes zero. The models show an overall glacier area reduction between 60-80% until 2100 with some ice remaining at the highest elevations. However, compared to the ongoing temperature increase and considering that several reinforcement feedbacks (albedo lowering, lake formation) are not accounted for, the real area loss might even be stronger. Uncertainties in the modelled glacier thickness have only a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

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

    2011-05-13

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Glaciers between two drivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, Horst

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Glacier change in the Gangdise Mountains, southern Tibet, since the Little Ice Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Yi, Chaolu; Fu, Ping; Wu, Yubin; Liu, Jinhua; Wang, Ninglian

    2018-04-01

    Delineating glacier change during the Little Ice Age (LIA) is of great importance when attempting to understand regional climatic changes and can also help to improve the understanding of any predictions of future glacial changes. However, such knowledge is still lacking for some critical regions of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). In this study, we mapped 4188 contemporary glaciers and reconstructed 1216 LIA areas of glacial coverage in the Gangdise Mountains to the north of the Himalaya using Google Earth satellite imagery. We estimated their paleoglacial areas and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) based on the toe-to-headwall altitude ratio (THAR) method. Results show that most glaciers are small (ELA ranges from 5516 to 6337 m asl; the LIA ELA ranged from 5476 to 6329 m asl. Contemporary and LIA ELA values rise from southeast to northwest. As a general rule, the rise in the ELA value decreases from the eastern to the central Gangdise Mountains and then increases westward, with a mean ELA rise of 45 m. Multiple regression models suggest that 46.8% of the glacier area loss can be explained by glacier elevation, area, and slope. However, only 15.5% of the rise in ELA values can be explained by glacial geometric, topographic, or locational parameters. The spatial pattern of modern ELA values in this region appears inversely related to precipitation, which decreases from southeast to northwest, implying that precipitation is one of the key controls of ELAs. This is also consistent with results from elsewhere in High Asia. In contrast to the Gangdise Mountains' eastern and western sectors, glaciers in the central sector have undergone less change, i.e., in terms of reductions in length, area loss, and rises in ELA. Topography can of course also influence glacial change by creating shielding and/or rainshadow effects and by affecting local temperatures.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    because they are most common on lee sides of ridges and peaks where wind-blown snow enhances the strength of the avalanche source. To maintain positive mass balance, the avalanche cone developed in the winter must be sufficiently thick not to melt entirely in the summer, thus providing an ice accumulation area for the rock glacier. In the absence of rockfall, this would support a short cirque glacier. The presence of debris, however, facilitates the development of rock glaciers with lengths of hundreds of meters, thicknesses of tens of meters, and speeds of meters per year that are well described by numerical models. Numerical models are used to explore the alpine glacier response to its climate history. In warming climates, a debris-covered glacier can transform into a much shorter rock glacier, leaving in its wake a thinning ice-cored moraine. Rock glaciers will persist in landscapes well beyond debris-free counterparts because they have much longer response times to climate change. The headwaters of alpine basins with steep headwalls will therefore oscillate between glacier and rock glacier occupation over glacial-interglacial cycles, maintaining a means by which rock from the headwall can be conveyed away. This enhances the asymmetry of alpine ridgelines, with downwind valleys biting deeply into the range crests, as originally noted by G.K. Gilbert.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KOUROSH KAVOUSI

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Experimental and petrological constraints on long-term magma dynamics and post-climactic eruptions at the Cerro Galán caldera system, NW Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grocke, Stephanie B.; Andrews, Benjamin J.; de Silva, Shanaka L.

    2017-11-01

    Cerro Galán in NW Argentina records > 3.5 Myr of magmatic evolution of a major resurgent caldera complex. Beginning at 5.72 Ma, nine rhyodacitic ignimbrites (68-71 wt% SiO2) with a combined minimum volume of > 1200 km3 (Dense Rock Equivalent; DRE) have been erupted. The youngest of those ignimbrites is the eponymous, geochemically homogenous, caldera-forming 2.08 ± 0.02 Ma Cerro Galán Ignimbrite (CGI; > 630 km3 DRE). Following this climactic supereruption, structural and magmatic resurgence led to the formation of a resurgent dome and post-climactic lava domes and their associated pyroclastic deposits. A clear transition from amphibole to sanidine-bearing magmas occurred during the evolution of Cerro Galán and is inferred to represent a shallowing of the magma system. We test this hypothesis here using experimental phase equilibria. We conducted a series of phase equilibria experiments on the post-climactic dome lithologies under H2O-saturated conditions using cold seal Waspaloy pressure vessels with an intrinsic log fO2 of NNO + 1 ± 0.5 across a temperature-pressure range of 750-900 °C and 50-200 MPa (PH2O = Ptotal), respectively. Petrologic and geochemical analysis of the post-climactic lithologies shows that the natural phase assemblage (plagioclase + quartz + biotite + sanidine + Fe-Ti oxides ± apatite ± zircon) is stable at history of Cerro Galán is informed through a detailed investigation of the textural differences among the post-climactic dome lithologies, and a comparison of those textures with previously published decompression experiments. These suggest that the highly vesiculated, pumiceous clasts with rare microlites represent magma stored within the core of the lava dome that decompressed relatively rapidly (0.003-0.0003 MPa s-1) and evolved via closed system degassing. Resulting over-pressure of the dome may have triggered superficial explosion. In contrast, dense clasts with abundant crystalline silica precipitates represent more typical

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, L.; Nuth, C.; Kääb, A.

    2016-12-01

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

  15. Early 21st century spatially detailed elevation changes of Jammu and Kashmir glaciers (Karakoram–Himalaya)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vijay, Saurabh; Braun, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    Although a number of studies indicate the regional heterogeneity of the glacier elevation and mass changes in high-mountain Asia in the early 21st century, little is known about these changes with high spatial detail for some of the regions. In this study we present respective glacier elevation a...

  16. Numerical Modeling of Climatic Change from the Terminus Record of Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruss, Phillip Donald

    Over the last 100 years, the glaciers and lakes of East Africa have undergone dramatic change in response to climatic forcing. However, the available conventional meterological series have not proven sufficient to explain these environmental events. The secular climatic change at Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya (0(DEGREES)9'S, 37(DEGREES)19'E), is reconstructed from its terminus record documented since 1893. The short-time-step numerical model developed for this study consists of climate and ice dynamics segments. The climate segment directly computes the effect on the net balance of change in the four forcings: precipitation, albedo, cloudiness, and temperature. The flow segment calculates the dynamic glacier response to net balance variation. Climatic change occurs over a wide range of time scales. Each glacier responds in a unique fashion to this spectrum of climatic forcings. The response of the Lewis terminus extent to repeated sinusoidal fluctuation in the net balance is calculated. The net balance versus elevation profile is separately translated along the orthogonal balance and elevation axes. Net balance amplitudes of 0.1 to 0.5 m a('-1) of ice and 10 to 50 m elevation, respectively, and periods ranging from 20 to 1000 years are covered. Consideration of the Lewis response is perspective with similar results for Hintereisferner, Storglaciaren, and Berendon and South Cascade Glaciers identifies general characteristics of the time lag and amplitude of the terminus response. The magnitude and timing of the change in only one of the climatic forcings precipitation, albedo, cloudiness, or temperature necessary to produce the retreat of the Lewis terminus from its late 19th century maximum are computed. Equivalent changes for two scenarios of simultaneous variation, namely precipitation/albedo/cloudiness and temperature/albedo, are also estimated. These numerical results are interpreted in the light of long-term lake level, river flow, and instrumental information. A

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Glaciers of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

    supraglacial morainic debris and crevasses. The maps are revised every 6 years by use of aerial photogrammetric methods. The possibility of producing a glacier inventory by combining the topographic maps with Landsat digital and visual data is discussed. ALPS: FRENCH: The glaciers of the French Alps are distributed in four main groups and have a total area of 350 square kilometers. The northernmost group, on the Mont Blanc massif, has a glacier area of 110 square kilometers, which includes Met de Glace, which, with an area of 40 square kilometers, is the largest glacier in the Western Alps. Farther south, the Massif de la Vanoise contains 130 glaciers that have a total area of 85 square kilometers. The glaciers of the Grandes Rousses massif have a total area of 11 square kilometers. Lastly, the Massif du Pelvoux has a total glacier area of 120 square kilometers. Studies of glacier variations since 1600 A.D. have shown numerous fluctuations in glacier length. The glaciers on Mont Blanc that appear to show similar fluctuations in fact have different individual response times. Mass-balance measurements are presently being carried out on nine glaciers. The measurements on one of these glaciers, Glacier de Saint Sorlin, have been used to validate a linear statistical model for mass-balance variation. The model seems to give good results when extended over the entire region of French Alpine glaciers. New methods of mass-balance reconstructions by use of a continuity equation are discussed. Current satellite data have limited usefulness for glacier studies in the French Alps, with the exception of the method correlating changes in the elevation of snowline to changes in glacier mass balance. ALPS: ITALIAN: Research carried out by Italian glaciologists in support of the World Glacier Inventory project identified approximately 1,400 glaciers in the mountain groups of the Italian Alps. The total surface area of all glaciers, glacierets, and permanent snow fields in Italy with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Jeong, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Changing Precipitation Patterns or Waning Glaciers? Identifying Water Supply Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in the Bolivian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guido, Z. S.; McIntosh, J. C.; Papuga, S. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Bolivian Andes have become an iconic example for the impacts of climate change. Glaciers are rapidly melting and some have already completely disappeared. More than 75 percent of the water consumed by 2 million people living on the flanks of the Bolivian Andes comes from mountains and it is often cited that the dwindling ice threatens the water supply of the expanding and destitute population living in the twin cities of La Paz and El Alto. However, the wet and the warm seasons and the cold and dry seasons coincide, causing high precipitation and ice melt—and therefore high streamflows—to occur only in the austral summer (October-March); during the austral winter, cold conditions limit glacier melt. This suggests that reductions in the water supply could be influenced more by changing precipitation amounts than continued glacial mass-wasting. We hypothesize that precipitation is the principal component of groundwater recharge for the aquifers at the base of the central Cordillera Real. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes from rivers partially fed by glaciers, groundwater, and glacial melt water can help determine the relative contribution of precipitation and glacial melt to important water supplies. During the dry season in August 2010, we sampled 23 sites that follow the flow path of water in the Condiriri watershed, beginning in the glacial headwaters and ending several kilometers upriver from Lake Titicaca. We collected five samples at the toe of the Pequeño Alpamayo glacier and four samples from three tributary rivers that drain glaciated headwaters, which include meltwater from the Pequeño Alpamayo glacier. W also collected 14 water samples from shallow and deep wells in rural communities within 40 kilometers of the glaciers. If the isotopic values of groundwater are similar to rain values, as we suspect, precipitation is likely the largest contributor to groundwater resources in the region and will suggest that changing precipitation patterns present the

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Remote Sensing Estimates of Glacier Mass Balance Changes in the Himalayas of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambinakudige, S.; Joshi, K.

    2011-12-01

    Mass balance changes of glaciers are important indicators of climate change. There are only 30 'reference' glaciers in the world that have continuous mass balance data with world glacier monitoring service since 1976. Especially, Himalayan glaciers are conspicuously absent from global mass balance records. This shows the urgent need for mass balance data for glaciers throughout the world. In this study, we estimated mass balance of some major glaciers in the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) in Nepal using remote sensing applications. The SNP is one of the densest glaciated regions in the Himalayan range consisting approximately 296 glacial lakes. The region has experienced several glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in recent years, causing extensive damage to local infrastructure and loss of human life. In general, mass balance is determined at seasonal or yearly intervals. Because of the rugged and difficult terrain of the Himalayan region, there are only a few field based measurements of mass balance available. Moreover, there are only few cases where the applications of remote sensing methods were used to calculate mass balance of the Himalayan glaciers due to the lack of accurate elevation data. Studies have shown that estimations of mass balance using remote sensing applications were within the range of field-based mass balance measurements from the same period. This study used ASTER VNIR, 3N (nadir view) and 3B (backward view) bands to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the SNP area. 3N and 3B bands generate an along track stereo pair with a base-to-height (B/H) ratio of about 0.6. Accurate measurement of ground control points (GCPs), their numbers and distribution are important inputs in creating accurate DEMs. Because of the availability of topographic maps for this area, we were able to provide very accurate GCPs, in sufficient numbers and distribution. We created DEMs for the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 using ENVI DEM extraction tool. Bands

  8. Glacier Volume Change Estimation Using Time Series of Improved Aster Dems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girod, Luc; Nuth, Christopher; Kääb, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Volume change data is critical to the understanding of glacier response to climate change. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) system embarked on the Terra (EOS AM-1) satellite has been a unique source of systematic stereoscopic images covering the whole globe at 15m resolution and at a consistent quality for over 15 years. While satellite stereo sensors with significantly improved radiometric and spatial resolution are available to date, the potential of ASTER data lies in its long consistent time series that is unrivaled, though not fully exploited for change analysis due to lack of data accuracy and precision. Here, we developed an improved method for ASTER DEM generation and implemented it in the open source photogrammetric library and software suite MicMac. The method relies on the computation of a rational polynomial coefficients (RPC) model and the detection and correction of cross-track sensor jitter in order to compute DEMs. ASTER data are strongly affected by attitude jitter, mainly of approximately 4 km and 30 km wavelength, and improving the generation of ASTER DEMs requires removal of this effect. Our sensor modeling does not require ground control points and allows thus potentially for the automatic processing of large data volumes. As a proof of concept, we chose a set of glaciers with reference DEMs available to assess the quality of our measurements. We use time series of ASTER scenes from which we extracted DEMs with a ground sampling distance of 15m. Our method directly measures and accounts for the cross-track component of jitter so that the resulting DEMs are not contaminated by this process. Since the along-track component of jitter has the same direction as the stereo parallaxes, the two cannot be separated and the elevations extracted are thus contaminated by along-track jitter. Initial tests reveal no clear relation between the cross-track and along-track components so that the latter seems not to be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Van Tiel

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Glacier Change, Supraglacial Debris Expansion and Glacial Lake Evolution in the Gyirong River Basin, Central Himalayas, between 1988 and 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Himalayan glacier changes in the context of global climate change have attracted worldwide attention due to their profound cryo-hydrological ramifications. However, an integrated understanding of the debris-free and debris-covered glacier evolution and its interaction with glacial lake is still lacking. Using one case study in the Gyirong River Basin located in the central Himalayas, this paper applied archival Landsat imagery and an automated mapping method to understand how glaciers and glacial lakes interactively evolved between 1988 and 2015. Our analyses identified 467 glaciers in 1988, containing 435 debris-free and 32 debris-covered glaciers, with a total area of 614.09 ± 36.69 km2. These glaciers decreased by 16.45% in area from 1988 to 2015, with an accelerated retreat rate after 1994. Debris-free glaciers retreated faster than debris-covered glaciers. As a result of glacial downwasting, supraglacial debris coverage expanded upward by 17.79 km2 (24.44%. Concurrent with glacial retreat, glacial lakes increased in both number (+41 and area (+54.11%. Glacier-connected lakes likely accelerated the glacial retreat via thermal energy transmission and contributed to over 15% of the area loss in their connected glaciers. On the other hand, significant glacial retreats led to disconnections from their proglacial lakes, which appeared to stabilize the lake areas. Continuous expansions in the lakes connected with debris-covered glaciers, therefore, need additional attention due to their potential outbursts. In comparison with precipitation variation, temperature increase was the primary driver of such glacier and glacial lake changes. In addition, debris coverage, size, altitude, and connectivity with glacial lakes also affected the degree of glacial changes and resulted in the spatial heterogeneity of glacial wastage across the Gyirong River Basin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  17. GLACIER VOLUME CHANGE ESTIMATION USING TIME SERIES OF IMPROVED ASTER DEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Girod

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Volume change data is critical to the understanding of glacier response to climate change. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER system embarked on the Terra (EOS AM-1 satellite has been a unique source of systematic stereoscopic images covering the whole globe at 15m resolution and at a consistent quality for over 15 years. While satellite stereo sensors with significantly improved radiometric and spatial resolution are available to date, the potential of ASTER data lies in its long consistent time series that is unrivaled, though not fully exploited for change analysis due to lack of data accuracy and precision. Here, we developed an improved method for ASTER DEM generation and implemented it in the open source photogrammetric library and software suite MicMac. The method relies on the computation of a rational polynomial coefficients (RPC model and the detection and correction of cross-track sensor jitter in order to compute DEMs. ASTER data are strongly affected by attitude jitter, mainly of approximately 4 km and 30 km wavelength, and improving the generation of ASTER DEMs requires removal of this effect. Our sensor modeling does not require ground control points and allows thus potentially for the automatic processing of large data volumes. As a proof of concept, we chose a set of glaciers with reference DEMs available to assess the quality of our measurements. We use time series of ASTER scenes from which we extracted DEMs with a ground sampling distance of 15m. Our method directly measures and accounts for the cross-track component of jitter so that the resulting DEMs are not contaminated by this process. Since the along-track component of jitter has the same direction as the stereo parallaxes, the two cannot be separated and the elevations extracted are thus contaminated by along-track jitter. Initial tests reveal no clear relation between the cross-track and along-track components so that the latter

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Rai Praveen

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Comparison of climate change signals in CMIP3 and CMIP5 multi-model ensembles and implications for Central Asian glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. F. Lutz

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Central Asian water resources largely depend on melt water generated in the Pamir and Tien Shan mountain ranges. To estimate future water availability in this region, it is necessary to use climate projections to estimate the future glacier extent and volume. In this study, we evaluate the impact of uncertainty in climate change projections on the future glacier extent in the Amu and Syr Darya river basins. To this end we use the latest climate change projections generated for the upcoming IPCC report (CMIP5 and, for comparison, projections used in the fourth IPCC assessment (CMIP3. With these projections we force a regionalized glacier mass balance model, and estimate changes in the basins' glacier extent as a function of the glacier size distribution in the basins and projected temperature and precipitation. This glacier mass balance model is specifically developed for implementation in large scale hydrological models, where the spatial resolution does not allow for simulating individual glaciers and data scarcity is an issue. Although the CMIP5 ensemble results in greater regional warming than the CMIP3 ensemble and the range in projections for temperature as well as precipitation is wider for the CMIP5 than for the CMIP3, the spread in projections of future glacier extent in Central Asia is similar for both ensembles. This is because differences in temperature rise are small during periods of maximum melt (July–September while differences in precipitation change are small during the period of maximum accumulation (October–February. However, the model uncertainty due to parameter uncertainty is high, and has roughly the same importance as uncertainty in the climate projections. Uncertainty about the size of the decline in glacier extent remains large, making estimates of future Central Asian glacier evolution and downstream water availability uncertain.

  3. 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

  4. Assessment of perception and adaptation to climate-related glacier changes in the arid Rivers Basin in northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guofeng, Zhu; Dahe, Qin; Jiawen, Ren; Feng, Liang; Huali, Tong

    2017-06-01

    In many mountainous areas of the world, glaciers serve as a source of fresh water that is of critical importance and contributes to the sustainability of agriculture and other socio-economic activities. An enhanced understanding of socio-economic consequences of the climate-related glacier changes is essential to the identification of vulnerable entities and the development of well-targeted environmental adaptation policies. A questionnaire and interviews of farmers in the Heihe River Basin were used to analyze their perception of cryospheric changes, attitudes towards mitigation of cryospheric changes, and the ways in which they perceived their responsibility. Preferred responses and interventions for cryospheric change and views on responsible parties were also collected and evaluated. Our investigation revealed that most rural residents were concerned about glacier changes and believed they would bring harm to present society, individuals, and families, as well as to future generations. The respondents' perceptions were mainly influenced by the mass media. Most respondents tended to favor adaptation measures implemented by the government and other policy-making departments. An integrated approach will be needed to deal with the challenges to tackling climate-related glacier change.

  5. 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

  6. Glacier area and volume changes of Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal from ~1980s to 2010 based on remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Lama

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are one of the important natural resources of freshwater and sources of water for hydropower, agriculture and drinking whenever the water is scarce. This mapping and change analysis helps to understand the status and decadal changes of glaciers in Hidden Valley, Mustang district, Nepal. The investigation is carried out using Landsat images of the years 1977 (~1980s, 1990, 2000 and 2010. We mapped 10 glaciers of the Hidden Valley covering an area of 19.79 km2 based on the object-based image classification method using an automatic method and manual delineation by a Geographic Information System (GIS, separately. The glacier outlines for 2010, 2000, 1990 and 1980s in both methods are delineated from the multispectral Landsat images of the respective years. The total area losses of the glaciers from the automatic method are 1.713 and 0.625 km2 between 1990−2000 and 2000−2010 and from manual delineation are 2.021, 1.264, 1.041 km2 between ~1980s−1990, 1990−2000 and 2000−2010. The amount of average estimated glacier ice reserves lost is 0.326 km3 (26.26 % and the total glacier area loss is 4.33 km2 (21.87 % from the 1980s to 2010 based on manual delineation. The glaciers of Hidden Valley are shrinking and fragmented due to decrease in glacier area and ice reserves.

  7. Glacier changes and climate trends derived from multiple sources in the data scarce Cordillera Vilcanota region, southern Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzmann, N.; Huggel, C.; Rohrer, M.; Silverio, W.; Mark, B. G.; Burns, P.; Portocarrero, C.

    2013-01-01

    The role of glaciers as temporal water reservoirs is particularly pronounced in the (outer) tropics because of the very distinct wet/dry seasons. Rapid glacier retreat caused by climatic changes is thus a major concern, and decision makers demand urgently for regional/local glacier evolution trends, ice mass estimates and runoff assessments. However, in remote mountain areas, spatial and temporal data coverage is typically very scarce and this is further complicated by a high spatial and temporal variability in regions with complex topography. Here, we present an approach on how to deal with these constraints. For the Cordillera Vilcanota (southern Peruvian Andes), which is the second largest glacierized cordillera in Peru (after the Cordillera Blanca) and also comprises the Quelccaya Ice Cap, we assimilate a comprehensive multi-decadal collection of available glacier and climate data from multiple sources (satellite images, meteorological station data and climate reanalysis), and analyze them for respective changes in glacier area and volume and related trends in air temperature, precipitation and in a more general manner for specific humidity. While we found only marginal glacier changes between 1962 and 1985, there has been a massive ice loss since 1985 (about 30% of area and about 45% of volume). These high numbers corroborate studies from other glacierized cordilleras in Peru. The climate data show overall a moderate increase in air temperature, mostly weak and not significant trends for precipitation sums and probably cannot in full explain the observed substantial ice loss. Therefore, the likely increase of specific humidity in the upper troposphere, where the glaciers are located, is further discussed and we conclude that it played a major role in the observed massive ice loss of the Cordillera Vilcanota over the past decades.

  8. Glacier changes and climate trends derived from multiple sources in the data scarce Cordillera Vilcanota region, southern Peruvian Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Salzmann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of glaciers as temporal water reservoirs is particularly pronounced in the (outer tropics because of the very distinct wet/dry seasons. Rapid glacier retreat caused by climatic changes is thus a major concern, and decision makers demand urgently for regional/local glacier evolution trends, ice mass estimates and runoff assessments. However, in remote mountain areas, spatial and temporal data coverage is typically very scarce and this is further complicated by a high spatial and temporal variability in regions with complex topography. Here, we present an approach on how to deal with these constraints. For the Cordillera Vilcanota (southern Peruvian Andes, which is the second largest glacierized cordillera in Peru (after the Cordillera Blanca and also comprises the Quelccaya Ice Cap, we assimilate a comprehensive multi-decadal collection of available glacier and climate data from multiple sources (satellite images, meteorological station data and climate reanalysis, and analyze them for respective changes in glacier area and volume and related trends in air temperature, precipitation and in a more general manner for specific humidity. While we found only marginal glacier changes between 1962 and 1985, there has been a massive ice loss since 1985 (about 30% of area and about 45% of volume. These high numbers corroborate studies from other glacierized cordilleras in Peru. The climate data show overall a moderate increase in air temperature, mostly weak and not significant trends for precipitation sums and probably cannot in full explain the observed substantial ice loss. Therefore, the likely increase of specific humidity in the upper troposphere, where the glaciers are located, is further discussed and we conclude that it played a major role in the observed massive ice loss of the Cordillera Vilcanota over the past decades.

  9. Hydrologic impacts of changes in climate and glacier extent in the Gulf of Alaska watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beamer, J. P.; Hill, D. F.; McGrath, D.; Arendt, A.; Kienholz, C.

    2017-09-01

    High-resolution regional-scale hydrologic models were used to quantify the response of late 21st century runoff from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) watershed to changes in regional climate and glacier extent. NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis data were combined with five Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 general circulation models (GCMs) for two representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios (4.5 and 8.5) to develop meteorological forcing for the period 2070-2099. A hypsographic model was used to estimate future glacier extent given assumed equilibrium line altitude (ELA) increases of 200 and 400 m. GCM predictions show an increase in annual precipitation of 12% for RCP 4.5 and 21% for RCP 8.5, and an increase in annual temperature of 2.5°C for RCP 4.5 and 4.3°C for RCP 8.5, averaged across the GOA. Scenarios with perturbed climate and glaciers predict annual GOA-wide runoff to increase by 9% for RCP4.5/ELA200 case and 14% for the RCP8.5/ELA400 case. The glacier runoff decreased by 14% for RCP4.5/ELA200 and by 34% for the RCP8.5/ELA400 case. Intermodel variability in annual runoff was found to be approximately twice the variability in precipitation input. Additionally, there are significant changes in runoff partitioning and increases in snowpack runoff are dominated by increases in rain-on-snow events. We present results aggregated across the entire GOA and also for individual watersheds to illustrate the range in hydrologic regime changes and explore the sensitivities of these results by independently perturbing only climate forcings and only glacier cover.

  10. 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

    , glacier ice temperature, glacier ice motion, randkluft depth/width changes and a series of meteorological parameters. The study site of 'GlacierRocks' is located in the summit region of the Kitzsteinhorn (3.203 m a.s.l.), which is home to an interdisciplinary Open Air Lab (OPAL) focusing on permafrost and rockfall monitoring. Utilizing the existing infrastructure of the OPAL and collaborating with several Kitzsteinhorn-based partner projects, 'GlacierRocks' will make a concerted effort to shed light on poorly understood processes operating at the transition zone between subglacial and subaerial process domains.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anwar, Yasmeen; Iqbal, Javed

    2018-04-01

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

  15. Modeling the Rock Glacier Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    glacier, leaving in its wake a thinning ice-cored moraine. Rock glaciers have much longer response times to climate change than their pure ice cousins.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Changes in Greenland’s peripheral glaciers linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Aagaard, S.; Lütt, A.

    2018-01-01

    Glaciers and ice caps peripheral to the main Greenland Ice Sheet contribute markedly to sea-level rise1,2,3. Their changes and variability, however, have been difficult to quantify on multi-decadal timescales due to an absence of long-term data4. Here, using historical aerial surveys, expedition...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Bevan

    2012-09-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel U. Nussbaumer

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Glacier changes and climate trends derived from multiple sources in the data scarce Cordillera Vilcanota region, Southern Peruvian Andes

    OpenAIRE

    N. Salzmann; C. Huggel; M. Rohrer; W. Silverio; B. G. Mark; P. Burns; C. Portocarrero

    2012-01-01

    The role of glaciers as temporal water reservoirs is particularly pronounced in the (outer) tropics because of the very distinct wet/dry seasons. Rapid glacier retreat caused by climatic changes is thus a major concern, and decision makers demand urgently for regional/local glacier evolution trends, ice mass estimates and runoff assessments. However, in remote mountain areas, spatial and temporal data coverage is typically very scarce and this is further complicated by a high spatial and temp...

  8. Glacier size changes in Kronotsky Peninsula and Alney-Chashakondzha Massif, Kamchatka Peninsula in the second half of XX century and the beginning of XXI century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ya. Muravjev

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As it is known from recent investigations 448 glaciers are situated on the Kamchatka Peninsula, their total area are about 905 km2 [8]. More than 80% of them are glaciers of the Sredinny Range and the Klyuchevskaya group that is explained by large altitudes of them. Glaciers of the Kronotsky Penisula are less studied since this territory is practically not influenced by present-day volcanic processes. This paper presents results of investigation of changes in glaciations of the Kronotsky Peninsula and the mountain mass Alney-Chashakondzha (Fig. 1.The following materials are used: 1 the Landsat satellite picture of September 2nd, 2013; 2 pictures from satellite WorldView-2 of July 20th, 2010, and of August 1st, 2012 with spatial resolution of about 1 m; 3 aerial photographs made in August of 1950; 4 topographic maps of the 1:100 000 scale; 5 data from the USSR Glacier Inventory; 6 results of observations at hydrometeorological stations (HMS Klyuchi and Kronoki (1950–2006 (www.meteo.ru.According to data from the USSR Glacier Inventory 32 glaciers were situated on the Kronotsky Peninsula, their total area 91.9 km2. By 2013, six glaciers disintegrated. Deciphering of the Landsat pictures did show 50 glaciers. Among them 23 glaciers are presented in the Inventory and they still hold their wholeness; 13 glaciers are segments of six disintegrated ones; 14 glaciers found in the pictures are not presented in the Inventory. Changes in areas of the Kronotsky Peninsula glaciers for period 1950–2013 in dependence on their sizes and expositions are shown in Tables 1 and 2.According to the Inventory 26 glaciers were situated in region of the Alney-Chashakondzha massif, their total area 61.4 km2. By 2010, four of them disintegrated. Deciphering of the World-View-2 picture of July 2010 did show 45 glaciers: 20 glaciers are consistent with the Inventory, and they hold their wholeness; 9 glaciers are segments of four disintegrated ones; 16 glaciers found in

  9. Assessing the Climate Change Impact on Snow-Glacier Melting Dominated Basins in the Greater Himalaya Region Using a Distributed Glacio-Hydrologic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wi, S.; Yang, Y. C. E.; Khalil, A.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier and snow melting is main source of water supply making a large contribution to streamflow of major river basins in the Greater Himalaya region including the Syr Darya, the Amu Darya, the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra basins. Due to the critical role of glacier and snow melting as water supply for both food production and hydropower generation in the region (especially during the low flow season), it is important to evaluate the vulnerability of snow and glacier melting streamflow to different climate conditions. In this study, a distributed glacio-hydrologic model with high resolution climate input is developed and calibrated that explicitly simulates all major hydrological processes and the glacier and snow dynamics for area further discretized by elevation bands. The distributed modeling structure and the glacier and snow modules provide a better understanding about how temperature and precipitation alterations are likely to affect current glacier ice reserves. Climate stress test is used to explore changes in the total streamflow change, snow/glacier melting contribution and glacier accumulation and ablation under a variety of different temperature and precipitation conditions. The latest future climate projections provided from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) is used to inform the possibility of different climate conditions.

  10. Communicating Glacier Change and Associated Impacts to Communities and Decision-makers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timm, K.; Hood, E. W.; O'Neel, S.; Wolken, G. J.

    2017-12-01

    A critical, but often overlooked, part of making cryosphere science relevant to decision makers is ensuring that the communication and translation of scientific information is deliberate, dialogic, and the product of careful planning. This presentation offers several lessons learned from a team of scientists and a communication professional who have collaboratively produced several award-winning and repeatedly used communication products. Consisting of illustrations (for presentations, publications, and other uses), posters, and fact sheets, the products communicate how Alaska's glaciers are changing, how changing glaciers influence nearby ecosystems, and the natural hazards that emerge as glaciers recede and thin to a range of audiences, including community members, business owners, resource managers, and other decision makers. The success of these communication products can be attributed in part to six broad characteristics of the development process, which are based on the literature from science communication research and reflections from the team: connect, design, respect, iterate, share, and reflect. For example, connecting with other people is important because effective science communication is usually the product of a team of researchers and communication professionals. Connecting with the audience or stakeholders is also important for developing an understanding of their information needs. In addition, respect is essential, as this process relies on the diverse skills, experience, and knowledge that everyone brings to the endeavor. Also for consideration, developing a shared language and executing a scientifically accurate design takes synthesis and iteration, which must be accounted for in the project timeline. Taken together, these factors and others that will be described in the presentation can help improve the communication of cryosphere science and expand its utility for important societal decisions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

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

  17. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Changes in mountain glacier systems and the distribution of main climatic parameters on the territory of Russia (second part of the XX -beginning of the XXI century).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatiana, K.; Nosenko, G.; Popova, V.; Muraviev, A.; Nikitin, S.; Chernova, L.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain glaciers are vital sources of water worldwide to many densely-populated regions. Most glaciers are now shrinking, resulting in variable water supplies and sustained sea level rise. Rapid glacier change threatens water, energy and food security. Further glacier mass loss is likely in response to recent climate change, driven by global increases in air temperatures and the production of atmospheric pollutants. However, high altitudes and rugged topography generate regional weather systems that complicate the investigation of the relationship between climate and glacier change. Predictive models need to move beyond the state-of-the-art to couple advanced climate models with accurate representations of glacier processes, and more detailed and reliable data describing the state of mountain glaciers are required to constrain these models, both from monitoring individual glaciers and regional remote-sensing observations. Glaciation exists on the territory of Russia for thousands of years. At present both mountain glaciers and continental ice sheets are present there. Continental ice sheets are located on islands and archipelagoes of Russian Arctic region and mountain glaciers are wide-spread on continental part of the country where it currently covers the area of about 3,480,000 km². Now there are 18 mountain glacier regions on the territory of Russia. We present recent data on glaciers state and changes in mountain regions of Russia based on remote sensing and in situ studies and distribution of main climatic parameters that affect the existence of glaciers: summer air temperature, winter precipitations and maximum value of snow thickness. Acknowledgements. This presentation includes the results of research project № 0148-2014-0007 of the Research Plan of the Institute of Geography, RAS and research project supported by the Russian Geographical Society (grant number 05/2017/RGS-RFBR).

  1. Investigating changes in basal conditions of Variegated Glacier prior to and during its 1982–1983 surge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Jay-Allemand

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Variegated Glacier (Alaska is known to surge periodically after a sufficient amount of cumulative mass balance is reached, but this observation is difficult to link with changes in the basal conditions. Here, using a 10-yr dataset, consisting of surface topography and surface velocity observations along a flow line for 25 dates, we have reconstructed the evolution of the basal conditions prior to and during the 1982–1983 surge. The model solves the full-Stokes problem along the central flow line using the finite element method. For the 25 dates of the dataset, the basal friction parameter distribution is inferred using the inverse method proposed by Arthern and Gudmundsson (2010. This method is here slightly modified by incorporating a regularisation term in the cost function to avoid short wavelength changes in the friction parameter. Our results indicate that dramatic changes in the basal conditions occurred between 1973 to 1983. Prior to the surge, periodic changes can be observed between winter and summer, with a regular increase of the sliding from 1973 to 1982. During the surge, the basal friction decreased dramatically and an area of very low friction moved from the upper part of the glacier to its terminus. Using a more complex friction law, these changes in basal sliding are then interpreted in terms of basal water pressure. Our results support that dramatic changes took place in the subglacial drainage system of Variegated Glacier, moving from a relatively efficient drainage system prior to the surge to an inefficient one during the surge. By reconstructing the water pressure evolution at the base of the glacier it is possible to propose a scenario for the hydrological history leading to the occurrence of a surge.

  2. 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

  3. IceTrendr: a linear time-series approach to monitoring glacier environments using Landsat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, P.; Kennedy, R. E.; Nolin, A. W.; Hughes, J. M.; Braaten, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic glaciers in Alaska and Canada have experienced some of the greatest ice mass loss of any region in recent decades. A challenge to understanding these changing ecosystems, however, is developing globally-consistent, multi-decadal monitoring of glacier ice. We present a toolset and approach that captures, labels, and maps glacier change for use in climate science, hydrology, and Earth science education using Landsat Time Series (LTS). The core step is "temporal segmentation," wherein a yearly LTS is cleaned using pre-processing steps, converted to a snow/ice index, and then simplified into the salient shape of the change trajectory ("temporal signature") using linear segmentation. Such signatures can be characterized as simple `stable' or `transition of glacier ice to rock' to more complex multi-year changes like `transition of glacier ice to debris-covered glacier ice to open water to bare rock to vegetation'. This pilot study demonstrates the potential for interactively mapping, visualizing, and labeling glacier changes. What is truly innovative is that IceTrendr not only maps the changes but also uses expert knowledge to label the changes and such labels can be applied to other glaciers exhibiting statistically similar temporal signatures. Our key findings are that the IceTrendr concept and software can provide important functionality for glaciologists and educators interested in studying glacier changes during the Landsat TM timeframe (1984-present). Issues of concern with using dense Landsat time-series approaches for glacier monitoring include many missing images during the period 1984-1995 and that automated cloud mask are challenged and require the user to manually identify cloud-free images. IceTrendr is much more than just a simple "then and now" approach to glacier mapping. This process is a means of integrating the power of computing, remote sensing, and expert knowledge to "tell the story" of glacier changes.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Age, origin and evolution of Antarctic debris-covered glaciers: Implications for landscape evolution and long-term climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, Sean Leland

    Antarctic debris-covered glaciers are potential archives of long-term climate change. However, the geomorphic response of these systems to climate forcing is not well understood. To address this concern, I conducted a series of field-based and numerical modeling studies in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica (MDV), with a focus on Mullins and Friedman glaciers. I used data and results from geophysical surveys, ice-core collection and analysis, geomorphic mapping, micro-meteorological stations, and numerical-process models to (1) determine the precise origin and distribution of englacial and supraglacial debris within these buried-ice systems, (2) quantify the fundamental processes and feedbacks that govern interactions among englacial and supraglacial debris, (3) establish a process-based model to quantify the inventory of cosmogenic nuclides within englacial and supraglacial debris, and (4) isolate the governing relationships between the evolution of englacial /supraglacial debris and regional climate forcing. Results from 93 field excavations, 21 ice cores, and 24 km of ground-penetrating radar data show that Mullins and Friedman glaciers contain vast areas of clean glacier ice interspersed with inclined layers of concentrated debris. The similarity in the pattern of englacial debris bands across both glaciers, along with model results that call for negligible basal entrainment, is best explained by episodic environmental change at valley headwalls. To constrain better the timing of debris-band formation, I developed a modeling framework that tracks the accumulation of cosmogenic 3He in englacial and supraglacial debris. Results imply that ice within Mullins Glacier increases in age non-linearly from 12 ka to ˜220 ka in areas of active flow (up to >> 1.6 Ma in areas of slow-moving-to-stagnant ice) and that englacial debris bands originate with a periodicity of ˜41 ka. Modeling studies suggest that debris bands originate in synchronicity with changes in

  8. Assessing high altitude glacier thickness, volume and area changes using field, GIS and remote sensing techniques: the case of Nevado Coropuna (Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Peduzzi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Higher temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns have induced an acute decrease in Andean glaciers, thus leading to additional stress on water supply. To adapt to climate changes, local governments need information on the rate of glacier area and volume losses and on current ice thickness. Remote sensing analyses of Coropuna glacier (Peru delineate an acute glaciated area decline between 1955 and 2008. We tested how volume changes can be estimated with remote sensing and GIS techniques using digital elevation models derived from both topographic maps and satellite images. Ice thickness was measured in 2004 using a Ground Penetrating Radar coupled with a Ground Positioning System during a field expedition. It provided profiles of ice thickness on different slopes, orientations and altitudes. These were used to model the current glacier volume using Geographical Information System and statistical multiple regression techniques. The results revealed a significant glacier volume loss; however the uncertainty is higher than the measured volume loss. We also provided an estimate of the remaining volume. The field study provided the scientific evidence needed by COPASA, a local Peruvian NGO, and GTZ, the German international cooperation agency, in order to alert local governments and communities and guide them in adopting new climate change adaptation policies.

  9. Air temperature, radiation budget and area changes of Quisoquipina glacier in the Cordillera Vilcanota (Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, Wilson; Macedo, Nicolás; Montoya, Nilton; Arias, Sandro; Schauwecker, Simone; Huggel, Christian; Rohrer, Mario; Condom, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    The Peruvian Andes host about 71% of all tropical glaciers. Although several studies have focused on glaciers of the largest glaciered mountain range (Cordillera Blanca), other regions have received little attention to date. In 2011, a new program has been initiated with the aim of monitoring glaciers in the centre and south of Peru. The monitoring program is managed by the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología del Perú (SENAMHI) and it is a joint project together with the Universidad San Antonio Abad de Cusco (UNSAAC) and the Autoridad Nacional del Agua (ANA). In Southern Peru, the Quisoquipina glacier has been selected due to its representativeness for glaciers in the Cordillera Vilcanota considering area, length and orientation. The Cordillera Vilcanota is the second largest mountain range in Peru with a glaciated area of approximately 279 km2 in 2009. Melt water from glaciers in this region is partly used for hydropower in the dry season and for animal breeding during the entire year. Using Landsat 5 images, we could estimate that the area of Quisoquipina glacier has decreased by approximately 11% from 3.66 km2 in 1990 to 3.26 km2 in 2010. This strong decrease is comparable to observations of other tropical glaciers. In 2011, a meteorological station has been installed on the glacier at 5180 m asl., measuring air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, net short and longwave radiation and atmospheric pressure. Here, we present a first analysis of air temperature and the radiation budget at the Quisoquipina glacier for the first three years of measurements. Additionally, we compare the results from Quisoquipina glacier to results obtained by the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) for Zongo glacier (Bolivia) and Antizana glacier (Ecuador). For both, Quisoquipina and Zongo glacier, net shortwave radiation may be the most important energy source, thus indicating the important role of albedo in the energy balance of the glacier

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Climate-induced glacier and snow loss imperils alpine stream insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, J. Joseph; Hotaling, Scott; Kovach, Ryan; Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is causing rapid loss of glaciers and snowpack in mountainous regions worldwide. These changes are predicted to negatively impact the habitats of many range-restricted species, particularly endemic, mountaintop species dependent on the unique thermal and hydrologic conditions found only in glacier-fed and snowmelt-driven alpine streams. Though progress has been made, existing understanding of the status, distribution, and ecology of alpine aquatic species, particularly in North America, is lacking, thereby hindering conservation and management programs. Two aquatic insects – the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana and the glacier stonefly Zapada glacier – were recently proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss. Using a large dataset (272 streams, 482 total sites) with high-resolution climate and habitat information, we describe the distribution, status, and key environmental features that limit L. tumana and Z. glacier across the northern Rocky Mountains. Lednia tumana was detected in 113 streams (175 sites) within Glacier National Park (GNP) and surrounding areas. The probability of L. tumana occurrence increased with cold stream temperatures and close proximity to glaciers and permanent snowfields. Similarly, densities of L. tumana declined with increasing distance from stream source. Zapada glacier was only detected in 10 streams (20 sites), six in GNP and four in mountain ranges up to ~600 km southwest. Our results show that both L. tumana and Z. glacier inhabit an extremely narrow distribution, restricted to short sections of cold, alpine streams often below glaciers predicted to disappear over the next two decades. Climate warming-induced glacier and snow loss clearly imperils the persistence of L. tumana and Z. glacier throughout their ranges, highlighting the role of mountaintop aquatic invertebrates as sentinels of climate change in mid-latitude regions.

  13. Glacier mass changes on the Tibetan Plateau 2003–2009 derived from ICESat laser altimetry measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neckel, N; Kropáček, J; Hochschild, V; Bolch, T

    2014-01-01

    Glacier mass changes are a valuable indicator of climate variability and monsoon oscillation on the underexplored Tibetan Plateau. In this study data from the Ice Cloud and Elevation Satellite (ICESat) is employed to estimate elevation and mass changes of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau between 2003 and 2009. In order to get a representative sample size of ICESat measurements, glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau were grouped into eight climatically homogeneous sub-regions. Most negative mass budgets of − 0.77 ± 0.35 m w.e. a −1 were found for the Qilian Mountains and eastern Kunlun Mountains while a mass gain of + 0.37 ± 0.25 m w.e. a −1 was found in the westerly-dominated north-central part of the Tibetan Plateau. A total annual mass budget of − 15.6 ± 10.1 Gt a −1 was estimated for the eight sub-regions sufficiently covered by ICESat data which represents ∼80% of the glacier area on the Tibetan Plateau. 13.9 ± 8.9 Gt a −1 (or 0.04 ± 0.02 mm a −1 sea-level equivalent) of the total mass budget contributed ‘directly’ to the global sea-level rise while 1.7 ± 1.9 Gt a −1 drained into endorheic basins on the plateau. (paper)

  14. 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.

  15. Contrasting evolution patterns between glacier-fed and non-glacier-fed lakes in the central Tibetan Plateau and driving force analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Sheng, Y.

    2015-12-01

    High-altitude lakes in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) showed strong spatio-temporal variability during past decades. The lake dynamics can be associated with several key factors including lake type, supply of glacial meltwater, local climate variations. It is important to differentiate these factors when analyzing the driving force of lakes dynamics. With a focus on lakes over the Tanggula Mountains of the central TP, this study investigates the temporal evolution patterns of lake area and water level of different types: glacier-fed closed lake, non-glacier-fed closed lake and upstream lake (draining into closed lakes). We collected all available Landsat archive data and quantified the inter-annual variability of lake extents. Results show accelerated expansions of both glacier-fed and non-glacier-fed lakes during 1970s-2013, and different temporal patterns of the two types of lakes: the non-glacier-fed lakes displayed a batch-wise growth pattern, with obvious growth in 2002, 2005 and 2011 and slight changes in other years, while glacier-fed lakes showed steady expanding tendency. The contrasting patterns are confirmed by the distinction of lake level change between the two groups derived from satellite altimetry during 2003-2009. The upstream lakes remained largely stable due to natural drainage regulation. The intermittent expansions for non-glacier-fed lakes were found to be related to excessive precipitation events and positive "precipitation-evaporation". In contrast, glacier-fed lake changes showed weak correlations with precipitation variations, which imply a joint contribution from glacial meltwater to water budgets. A simple estimation reveals that the increased water storage for all of examined lakes contributed from precipitation/evaporation (0.31±0.09 Gt/yr) slightly overweighed the glacial meltwater supply (0.26±0.08 Gt/yr).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Glacier Retreat in the Southern Peruvian Andes: Climate Change, Environmental Impacts, Human Perception and Social Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlove, B.

    2007-12-01

    This paper presents results from recent environmental and anthropological research near glacierized areas in the department of Cusco, Peru, home to the well-known Quelccaya Ice Cap and to the peak of Ausangate (6384 m). Glaciers in the region are in negative mass balance, losing volume and area, with upslope movement of the glacier fronts. Somewhat paradoxically, flows in many streams close to the glaciers are reduced, particularly in the dry season, due to a shift in the seasonal distribution of melting, to increased evaporation and to increased percolation into newly-exposed sands and gravels. Associated with this reduction in flow is a desiccation of some anthropogenic and natural wetlands, reducing the availability of dry season forage to wild (vicuna) and domesticated (alpaca, llama) ruminants. Interviews and ethnographic observations with local populations of Quechua-speaking herders at elevations of 4500-5200 meters provide detailed comments on these changes. They have an extensive vocabulary of terms for glacial features associated with retreat. They link this treat with environmental factors (higher temperatures, greater winds that deposit dust on lower portions of glaciers) and with religious factors (divine punishment for human wrong-doing, failure of humans to respect mountain spirits). They describe a variety of economic and extra-economic impacts of this retreat on different spatial, social and temporal scales. Though they face other issues as well (threats of pollution from new mining projects, inadequacy of government services), glacier retreat is their principal concern. Many herders express extreme distress over this unprecedented threat to their livelihoods and communities, though a few propose responses - out-migration, the formation of an association of neighboring communities, development of irrigation works - that could serve as adaptations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knoll, C. C.

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Passive seismic monitoring of the Bering Glacier during its last surge event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Z.

    2017-12-01

    The physical causes behind glacier surges are still unclear. Numerous evidences suggest that they probably involve changes in glacier basal conditions, such as switch of basal water system from concentrated large tunnels to a distributed "layer" as "connected cavities". However, most remote sensing approaches can not penetrate to the base to monitor such changes continuously. Here we apply seismic interferometry using ambient noise to monitor glacier seismic structures, especially to detect possible signatures of the hypothesized high-pressure water "layer". As an example, we derive an 11-year long history of seismic structure of the Bering Glacier, Alaska, covering its latest surge event. We observe substantial drops of Rayleigh and Love wavespeeds across the glacier during the surge event, potentially caused by changes in crevasse density, glacier thickness, and basal conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Van Pelt

    2016-11-01

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

  7. 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....

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Glacier changes between 1976-2015 in the source area of the Ayayarwady River and implications to water availability in Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Linda; Kühle, Laila; Evers, Mariele

    2017-04-01

    The Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar is one of the largest rivers in Asia, but it is at the same time the least known river in that region. The mighty river with a length of about 2.170 km, serves for transportation, domestic and industrial water supply, irrigation, a high biodiversity and fishing. The headwaters of the Ayeyarwady River are fed by glacial meltwater from the Himalayan Mountains (China and Myanmar) and it has not been studied yet, whether these glaciers have been changed in size and volume during the last decades. We here present a first assessment of glacier changes in the river source area for the period between 1976-2015 by using and analyzing Landsat (1-3, 4-5, 7, 8) images. 130 glaciers were identified for the years 1976, 1990, 2002 and 2015 and the results indicate that the average volume of these glaciers show a very dramatic loss up to -68% since 1976. Thereby, the highest volume loss could be detected in the period 2002-2015. If the present declining trend will continue, the glaciers will be disappeared completely by around 2050. Although glacial meltwater input is only the second relevant contribution to the river discharge after monsoon precipitation, the glacial input is still visible in the hydrographs of the Ayeyarwady. Already now, the people in Myanmar are affected by climate (monsoon rain) variability and the decreasing glacier volumes imply additional modifications in water availability and supply to which they have to adapt their water management and agricultural land use.

  15. Mechanism of the 2016 giant twin glacier collapse in Aru range, Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, A.; Leinss, S.; Kääb, A.; Kargel, J. S.; Yao, T.; Gascoin, S.; Leonard, G. J.; Berthier, E.; Karki, A.

    2017-12-01

    In northwestern Tibet (34.0°N, 82.2°E) near lake Aru Co, the entire ablation area of two unnamed glaciers (Aru-1 and Aru-2) suddenly collapsed on 17 July 2016 and 21 September 2016 and transformed into a mass flow that ran out over a distance of over several km, killing nine people. These two events are unique and defined a new kind of glacier behavior almost never observed before. The only similar event currently documented is the 2002 Kolka Glacier mass flow (Caucasus Mountains). Using remote sensing observations and 3D thermo-mechanical modeling of the two glaciers, we reconstructed glacier thermal regime, thickness, basal friction evolution and ice damaging state prior to the collapse. We show that frictional change leading to the collapse occurred in the temperate areas of a polythermal structure that is likely close to equilibrium with the local climate. The collapses were driven by a fast and sustained friction change in the temperate part of the glacier for which the glacier shape was not able to adjust due to the cold-based parts providing strong resisting force to sliding. This led to high stresses on the cold margins of the glacier where ice deformation became partially accommodated by fracturing until the final collapse occurred. Field investigations reveal that those two glaciers are flowing on a soft and fine-grained sedimentary lithology prone to landslide activity in the presence of water. This suggests that fast friction change in the temperate part of the glacier is linked to shear strength weakening in the sediment and till underneath the glacier in response to increasing water pore pressure at the glacier base. The Kolka Glacier mass flow also occurred on pyroclastic rocks well known for their landslide activities. This suggests that the three gigantic glacier collapses documented to date involve specific bedrock lithology where failure is driven by shear strength weakening in the glacier till in a landslide-like process. Contrary to a

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Glacier variability in the conterminous United States during the twentieth century

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, Gregory J.; Fountain, Andrew G.

    2013-01-01

    Glaciers of the conterminous United States have been receding for the past century. Since 1900 the recession has varied from a 24 % loss in area (Mt. Rainier, Washington) to a 66 % loss in the Lewis Range of Montana. The rates of retreat are generally similar with a rapid loss in the early decades of the 20th century, slowing in the 1950s–1970s, and a resumption of rapid retreat starting in the 1990s. Decadal estimates of changes in glacier area for a subset of 31 glaciers from 1900 to 2000 are used to test a snow water equivalent model that is subsequently employed to examine the effects of temperature and precipitation variability on annual glacier area changes for these glaciers. Model results indicate that both winter precipitation and winter temperature have been important climatic factors affecting the variability of glacier variability during the 20th Century. Most of the glaciers analyzed appear to be more sensitive to temperature variability than to precipitation variability. However, precipitation variability is important, especially for high elevation glaciers. Additionally, glaciers with areas greater than 1 km2 are highly sensitive to variability in temperature.

  1. 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.

  2. Response of Glacier and Lake Dynamics in Four Inland Basins to Climate Change at the Transition Zone between the Karakorum And Himalayas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Li

    Full Text Available Inland glacier and lake dynamics on the Tibetan Plateau (TP and its surroundings over recent decades are good indicators of climate change and have a significant impact on the local water supply and ecosystem. The glacier and lake changes in Karakoram are quite different from those of the Himalayas. The mechanisms of the complex and regionally heterogeneous behavior of the glacier and lake changes between the Karakorum and Himalayas are poorly understood. Based on satellite images and meteorological data of Shiquanhe, Hetian, and Yutian stations, we demonstrate that the overall retreat of glaciers and increase of lake area at the transition zone between the Karakoram and Himalayas (TKH have occurred since 1968 in response to a significant global climate change. Glacial areas in the Songmuxi Co basin, Zepu Co basin, Mang Co basin and Unnamed Co decreased by -1.98 ± 0.02 km2, -5.39 ± 0.02 km2, -0.01 ± 0.02 km2, and -0.12 ± 0.02 km2 during the study period, corresponding to losses of -1.42%, -2.86%, -1.54%, and -1.57%, respectively. The lake area of the Songmuxi Co, Zepu Co, Mang Co and Unnamed Co increased by 7.57 ± 0.02 km2, 8.53 ± 0.02 km2, 1.35 ± 0.02 km2, and 0.53 ± 0.02 km2, corresponding to growths of 30.22%, 7.55%, 11.39%, and 8.05%, respectively. Increases in temperature was the main reason for glacier retreat, whereas decreases in potential evapotranspiration of lakes, increases in precipitation, and increases in melt water from glaciers and frozen soil all contributed to lake area expansion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  6. High Artic Glaciers and Ice Caps Ice Mass Change from GRACE, Regional Climate Model Output and Altimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciraci, E.; Velicogna, I.; Fettweis, X.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic hosts more than the 75% of the ice covered regions outside from Greenland and Antarctica. Available observations show that increased atmospheric temperatures during the last century have contributed to a substantial glaciers retreat in all these regions. We use satellite gravimetry by the NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), and apply a least square fit mascon approach to calculate time series of ice mass change for the period 2002-2016. Our estimates show that arctic glaciers have constantly contributed to the sea level rise during the entire observation period with a mass change of -170+/-20 Gt/yr equivalent to the 80% of the total ice mass change from the world Glacier and Ice Caps (GIC) excluding the Ice sheet peripheral GIC, which we calculated to be -215+/-32 GT/yr, with an acceleration of 9+/-4 Gt/yr2. The Canadian Archipelago is the main contributor to the total mass depletion with an ice mass trend of -73+/-9 Gt/yr and a significant acceleration of -7+/-3 Gt/yr2. The increasing mass loss is mainly determined by melting glaciers located in the northern part of the archipelago.In order to investigate the physical processes driving the observed ice mass loss we employ satellite altimetry and surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from Regional climate model outputs available for the same time period covered by the gravimetry data. We use elevation data from the NASA ICESat (2003-2009) and ESA CryoSat-2 (2010-2016) missions to estimate ice elevation changes. We compare GRACE ice mass estimates with time series of surface mass balance from the Regional Climate Model (RACMO-2) and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) and determine the portion of the total mass change explained by the SMB signal. We find that in Iceland and in the and the Canadian Archipelago the SMB signal explains most of the observed mass changes, suggesting that ice discharge may play a secondary role here. In other region, e.g. in Svalbar, the SMB signal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.; Marshall, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Davies

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly classifies the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island in 2009 AD. Secondly, this paper documents glacier change 1988–2009. In 2009, the glacierised area was 8140±262 km2. From 1988–2001, 90% of glaciers receded, and from 2001–2009, 79% receded. This equates to an area change of −4.4% for Trinity Peninsula eastern coast glaciers, −0.6% for western coast glaciers, and −35.0% for ice-shelf tributary glaciers from 1988–2001. Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest shrinkage from 1988–2001, with limited frontal change after 2001. Glaciers on the western Trinity Peninsula shrank less than those on the east. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island shrank fastest in the period 1988–2001. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula, with warming temperatures affecting the precipitation-starved glaciers on the eastern coast more than on the western coast. Reduced shrinkage on the western Peninsula may be a result of higher snowfall, perhaps in conjunction with the fact that these glaciers are mostly grounded. Rates of area loss on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing, which we attribute to the floating ice tongues receding into the fjords and reaching a new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid shrinkage of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and

  12. Synchrotron-based P K-edge XANES spectroscopy reveals rapid changes of phosphorus speciation in the topsoil of two glacier foreland chronosequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prietzel, Jörg; Dümig, Alexander; Wu, Yanhong; Zhou, Jun; Klysubun, Wantana

    2013-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a crucial element for life on Earth, and the bioavailability of P in terrestrial ecosystems, which is dependent on the soil P stock and its speciation, may limit ecosystem productivity and succession. In our study, for the first time a direct speciation of soil P in two glacier foreland chronosequences has been conducted using synchrotron-based X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The chronosequences are located in the forefields of Hailuogou Glacier (Gongga Shan, China) and Damma Glacier (Swiss Alps). The age since deglaciation of the investigated soils ranges from 0 to 120 years at Hailuogou, and from 15 to >700 years at Damma. Differences in climate conditions (cooler at Damma, in contrast to Hailuogou precluding the establishment of forest in advanced ecosystem succession stages) and in the chemical composition of the parent material result in different soil contents of total P and Fe/Al oxyhydroxides, which are much smaller at Damma than at Hailuogou. Nevertheless, both chronosequences show similar trends of their topsoil P status with increasing soil age. Our study reveals a rapid change of topsoil P speciation in glacier retreat areas already during initial stages of pedogenesis: Initially dominating bedrock-derived apatite-P and Al-bound P is depleted; Fe-bound P and particularly organically-bound P is accumulated. Organic P strongly dominates in the topsoil of the mature soils outside the proglacial area of Damma Glacier (age 700-3000 years), and already 50 years after deglacation in the topsoil of the retreat area of Hailuogou Glacier. A key factor for the change in topsoil P speciation is the establishment of vegetation, resulting in soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation as well as accelerated soil acidification and apatite dissolution by organic acids, which are produced by SOM-degrading micro-organisms, mykorrhiza fungi, and plant roots. Particularly the succession of grassland to forest seems to accelerate the

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Determining the Current and Future Health of Low-Latitude Andean Glaciers Using an Equilibrium Line Altitude Model and Hypsometric Data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, A.; MacAyeal, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain glaciers have been described as the water towers of world, and for many populations in the low-latitude South American Andes, glacial runoff is vital for agricultural, industrial, and basic water needs. Previous studies of low-latitude Andean glaciers suggest a precarious future due to contemporary warming. These studies have looked at trends in freezing level heights or observations of contemporary retreat. However, regional-scale understanding of low-latitude glacial responses to present and future climate change is limited, in part due to incomplete information about the extent and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers. The recently published Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) (5.0) provides the necessary information about the size and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers to begin such studies. We determine the contemporary equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) for low-latitude Andean glaciers in the RGI, using a numerical energy balance ablation model driven with reanalysis and gridded data products. Contemporary ELAs tend to fall around the peak of the elevation histogram, with an exception being the southern-most outer tropical glaciers whose modeled ELAs tend to be higher than the elevation histogram for that region (see below figure). Also, we use the linear tends in temperature and precipitation from the contemporary climatology to extrapolate 21stcentury climate forcings. Modeled ELAs by the middle on the century are universally predicted to rise, with outer tropical ELAs rising more than the inner tropical glaciers. These trends continue through the end of the century. Finally, we explore how climate variables and parameters in our numerical model may vary for different warming scenarios from United Nation's IPCC AR5 report. We quantify the impacts of these changes on ELAs for various climate change trajectories. These results support previous work on the precarious future of low latitude Andean glaciers, while providing a richer

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Inventory of glaciers in the Eastern Sayan on the basis of space surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Y. Osipov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Small glaciers (areas smaller 1 km2 are the most numerous in most mountainous and glacial regions of the Earth, but their responses to the present‑day climate change are still to be investigated. The paper presents results of the new inventory of small inter‑continental glaciers located in the Eastern Sayan (South of Eastern Siberia. The previous (1950 glacier inventory was made from data of aerial photography carried out in the middle of the 20th century (USSR Glacier Inventory, КЛ 1950. A more complete inventory of the East Sayan glaciers for the state of 2000 (КЛ 2000 had been performed using the multichannel space images (Landsat Enhanced The‑ matic Mapper (ETM+ of 2000 and 2001, and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM. In addition, some glaciers from the Inventory KL 1950 were re‑mapped on the basis of the Land‑ sat images (TM, ETM+, 1986‑2011 for years 1950, 1990 and 2010. The glacier outlines, determined on the test site from images of medium (Landsat and high (World View‑1 satellite resolution, were compared that con‑ firmed that errors of mapping of small glaciers did not exceed 15%. The KL 2000 contains data on 172 glaciers with a total area of 16.6±1.9 km2. Glacier sizes are from 0.02 to 1.37 km2. For 1950–2000, the total area of the East Sayan glaciers had decreased by 59% (0.40% per a year. In 1990–2000, the glaciers decreased the most rapidly (by an order of magnitude faster as compared to the period of 1950–1990.. In 2000–2010, the area of glaciation slightly increased (by 4% owing to formation of very small glaciers (area smaller 0.5 km2. On the whole, changes in glacier areas in the years 1950–2010 are in the good agreement with changes in amounts of winter precipita‑ tion and summer temperatures. In addition to regional climatic factors, there are also some local factors related to the topography and microclimate of individual glaciers which do also influence

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, F.; Röösli, C.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, S.L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2003-01-01

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

  5. The sensitivity of flowline models of tidewater glaciers to parameter uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Depth-integrated (1-D flowline models have been widely used to simulate fast-flowing tidewater glaciers and predict change because the continuous grounding line tracking, high horizontal resolution, and physically based calving criterion that are essential to realistic modeling of tidewater glaciers can easily be incorporated into the models while maintaining high computational efficiency. As with all models, the values for parameters describing ice rheology and basal friction must be assumed and/or tuned based on observations. For prognostic studies, these parameters are typically tuned so that the glacier matches observed thickness and speeds at an initial state, to which a perturbation is applied. While it is well know that ice flow models are sensitive to these parameters, the sensitivity of tidewater glacier models has not been systematically investigated. Here we investigate the sensitivity of such flowline models of outlet glacier dynamics to uncertainty in three key parameters that influence a glacier's resistive stress components. We find that, within typical observational uncertainty, similar initial (i.e., steady-state glacier configurations can be produced with substantially different combinations of parameter values, leading to differing transient responses after a perturbation is applied. In cases where the glacier is initially grounded near flotation across a basal over-deepening, as typically observed for rapidly changing glaciers, these differences can be dramatic owing to the threshold of stability imposed by the flotation criterion. The simulated transient response is particularly sensitive to the parameterization of ice rheology: differences in ice temperature of ~ 2 °C can determine whether the glaciers thin to flotation and retreat unstably or remain grounded on a marine shoal. Due to the highly non-linear dependence of tidewater glaciers on model parameters, we recommend that their predictions are accompanied by

  6. Climate Change, Glacier Response, and Vegetation Dynamics in the Himalaya: Contributions Toward Future Earth Initiatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Shea

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Climate Change, Glacier Response, and Vegetation Dynamics in the Himalaya: Contributions Toward Future Earth Initiatives. Edited by R. B. Singh, Udo Schickhoff, and Suraj Mal. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2016. xvi + 399 pp. Hardcover: US$ 179.00, ISBN 978-3-319-28975-5. E-book: US$ 139.00, ISBN 978-3-319-28977-9.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    THE ANDES OF BOLIVIA ZONGO AND CHACALTAYA GLACIERS - REAL CORDILLERA, 16˚ S. The high sensibility and the short lag time response of glaciers to climatic changing make it possible to use them for analyzing the variability and the evolution of climate in the Tropics. Measurements of mass balance and hydrological balance were performed every month on the two glaciers. Methods are presented. Results obtained during the three hydrological years 1991-1994 have shown great variability. This variability is controlled mainly by the extension of the precipitation period in the warm season which extends over six months. ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation events are associated with quite negative mass balance, as shown both by the response of glaciers to the last 1991-1992 event and by the mass balance reconstruction from hydrological data for the two last decades. The glacier retreat is increasing dramatically since the 1980's in the Central Andes due to a succession of ENSO events and the forces of global warming. GLACIERS AND CLIMATIC EVOLUTION IN THE ANDES OF BOLIVIA ZONGO AND CHACALTAYA GLACIERS - REAL CORDILLERA, 16˚ S. The high sensibility and the short lag time response of glaciers to climatic changing make it possible to use them for analyzing the variability and the evolution of climate in the Tropics. Measurements of mass balance and hydrological balance were performed every month on the two glaciers. Methods are presented. Results obtained during the three hydrological years 1991-1994 have shown great variability. This variability is controlled mainly by the extension of the precipitation period in the warm season which extends over six months. ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation events are associated with quite negative mass balance, as shown both by the response of glaciers to the last 1991-1992 event and by the mass balance reconstruction from hydrological data for the two last decades. The glacier retreat is increasing dramatically since the 1980's in

  11. 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

    derivation of glacier area changes, 1978-2002, in the central Southern Alps, New Zealand, from ASTER satellite data, field survey and existing inventory data." Journal of Glaciology 57(204): 667-683 Sirguey, P & More, B (2010). GLIMS Glacier Database. Boulder, NSIDC

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. D. James

    2012-11-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Narama

    2010-04-01

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

  16. Recent Elevation Changes on Bagley Ice Valley, Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, Alaska, from ICESat Altimetry, Star-3i Airborne, and SRTM Spaceborne DEMs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muskett, R. R.; Sauber, J. M.; Lingle, C. S.; Rabus, B. T.; Tangborn, W. V.; Echelmeyer, K. A.

    2005-12-01

    Three- to 5-year surface elevation changes on Bagley Ice Valley, Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, in the eastern Chugach and St. Elias Mtns of south-central Alaska, are estimated using ICESat-derived data and digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data. The surface elevations of these glaciers are influenced by climatic warming superimposed on surge dynamics (in the case of Bagley Ice Valley) and tidewater glacier dynamics (in the cases of Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers) in this coastal high-precipitation regime. Bagley Ice Valley / Bering Glacier last surged in 1993-95. Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, as well as the nearby Tyndell Glacier, have experienced massive tidewater retreat during the past century, as well as during recent decades. The ICESat-derived elevation data we employ were acquired in early autumn in both 2003 and 2004. The NASA/NIMA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEM that we employ was derived from X-band InSAR data acquired during this 11-22 Feb. 2000 mission and processed by the German Aerospace Center. This DEM was corrected for estimated systematic error, and a mass balance model was employed to account for seasonal snow accumulation. The Star-3i airborne, X-band, InSAR-derived DEM that we employ was acquired 4-13 Sept. 2000 by Intermap Technologies, Inc., and was also processed by them. The ICESat-derived profiles crossing Bagley Ice Valley, differenced with Star-3i DEM elevations, indicate preliminary mean along-profile elevation increases of 5.6 ± 3.4 m at 1315 m altitude, 7.4 ± 2.7 m at 1448 m altitude, 4.7 ± 1.9 m at 1557 m altitude, 1.3 ± 1.4 m at 1774 m altitude, and 2.5 ± 1.5 m at 1781 m altitude. This is qualitatively consistent with the rising surface on Bagley Ice Valley observed by Muskett et al. [2003]. The ICESat-derived profiles crossing Yahtse Glacier, differenced with the SRTM DEM elevations, indicate preliminary mean elevation changes (negative implies decrease) of -0.9 ± 3

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

  3. 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,...

  4. 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...

  5. Changes in Glaciers and Glacial Lakes and the Identification of Dangerous Glacial Lakes in the Pumqu River Basin, Xizang (Tibet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Che

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Latest satellite images have been utilized to update the inventories of glaciers and glacial lakes in the Pumqu river basin, Xizang (Tibet, in the study. Compared to the inventories in 1970s, the areas of glaciers are reduced by 19.05% while the areas of glacial lakes are increased by 26.76%. The magnitudes of glacier retreat rate and glacial lake increase rate during the period of 2001–2013 are more significant than those for the period of the 1970s–2001. The accelerated changes in areas of the glaciers and glacial lakes, as well as the increasing temperature and rising variability of precipitation, have resulted in an increased risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs in the Pumqu river basin. Integrated criteria were established to identify potentially dangerous glacial lakes based on a bibliometric analysis method. It is found, in total, 19 glacial lakes were identified as dangerous. Such finding suggests that there is an immediate need to conduct field surveys not only to validate the findings, but also to acquire information for further use in order to assure the welfare of the humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Lonnie

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. G. Maas

    2012-07-01

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

  11. Little Ice Age climate reconstruction from ensemble reanalysis of Alpine glacier fluctuations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. P. Lüthi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mountain glaciers sample a combination of climate fields – temperature, precipitation and radiation – by accumulation and melting of ice. Flow dynamics acts as a transfer function that maps volume changes to a length response of the glacier terminus. Long histories of terminus positions have been assembled for several glaciers in the Alps. Here I analyze terminus position histories from an ensemble of seven glaciers in the Alps with a macroscopic model of glacier dynamics to derive a history of glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA for the time span 400–2010 C.E. The resulting climatic reconstruction depends only on records of glacier variations. The reconstructed ELA history is similar to recent reconstructions of Alpine summer temperature and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO index, but bears little resemblance to reconstructed precipitation variations. Most reconstructed low-ELA periods coincide with large explosive volcano eruptions, hinting at a direct effect of volcanic radiative cooling on mass balance. The glacier advances during the LIA, and the retreat after 1860, can thus be mainly attributed to temperature and volcanic radiative cooling.

  12. Assessing climate change impact on complementarity between solar and hydro power in areas affected by glacier shrinkage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diah Puspitarini, Handriyanti; François, Baptiste; Zoccatelli, Davide; Brown, Casey; Creutin, Jean-Dominique; Zaramella, Mattia; Borga, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) sources such as wind, solar and runoff sources are variable in time and space, following their driving weather variables. In this work we aim to analyse optimal mixes of energy sources, i.e. mixes of sources which minimize the deviation between energy load and generation, for a region in the Upper Adige river basin (Eastern Italian Alps) affected by glacier shrinking. The study focuses on hydropower (run of the river - RoR) and solar energy, and analyses the current situation as well different climate change scenarios. Changes in glacier extent in response to climate warming and/or altered precipitation regimes have the potential to substantially alter the magnitude and timing, as well as the spatial variation of watershed-scale hydrologic fluxes. This may change the complementarity with solar power as well. In this study, we analyse the climate change impact on complementarity between RoR and solar using the Decision Scaling approach (Brown et al. 2012). With this approach, the system vulnerability is separated from the climatic hazard that can come from any set of past or future climate conditions. It departs from conventional top-down impact studies because it explores the sensitivity of the system response to a plausible range of climate variations rather than its sensitivity to the time-varying outcome of individual GCM projections. It mainly relies on the development of Climate Response Functions that bring together i) the sensitivity of some system success and/or failure indicators to key external drivers (i.e. mean features of regional climate) and ii) the future values of these drivers as simulated from climate simulation chains. The main VRE sources used in the study region are solar- and hydro-power (with an important fraction of run-of-the river hydropower). The considered indicator of success is the 'energy penetration' coefficient, defined as the long-run percentage of energy demand naturally met by the VRE on an hourly

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, J. M.; Rupper, S.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziaja Wiesław

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Late Holocene and modern glacier changes in the marginal zone of Sólheimajökull, South Iceland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schomacker, Anders; Benediktsson, Ívar Örn; Ingólfsson, Ólafur

    2012-01-01

    The forefield of the Sólheimajökull outlet glacier, South Iceland, has a variety of glacial landforms and sediments that are products of late Holocene and modern glacier oscillations. Several sets of moraine ridges reflect past ice front positions and river-cut sedimentary sections provide inform...... the last 50 years. The glacier margin thickened 70-100 m from 1960 to 1996 and then thinned 120-150 m between 1996 and 2010. In 2010, the glacier snout was 20-40 m thinner than in 1960. Additionally, the DEM time-series detect areas of erosion and deposition in the forefield....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  2. 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

    changes in ice cliff position (a retreat of 10 m in the central part of the front on 15 days) caused by crack propagation from the glacier surface and calving of ice flakes from the cliff face; during the warmest days also melting occurred along glacier surface and on the cliff. In the same period of 15 days ice thickness near the cliff boundary decreased about 30 cm. The collected measures regard also surface velocities and meteorological data . This work was carried out within the framework of the Project on Glaciology and Palaeoclimatology of the Programma Nazionale Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA), national co-ordinator Prof. G. Orombelli.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, L.; Osinski, G.

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Kitov

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  19. Glacier beds that will be exposed in the future: How will geomorphologic and hydrologic processes develop?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsbauer, Andreas; Paul, Frank; Haeberli, Wilfried

    2014-05-01

    The rapid shrinkage of glaciers in the Alps has widespread impacts on relief development and hydrology. Slope failures, collapse of lateral moraines, loose debris in glacier fore-fields, new lakes and changing river beds are among the most visible impacts. They already require increased attention by tourists, monitoring by local authorities and mitigation measures (e.g. www.gletschersee.ch). A view into potential future developments (after glaciers have disappeared) is thus of high interest. With recently developed models that reconstruct glacier bed topography from easily available datasets (e.g. glacier outlines and a DEM) over entire mountain ranges, potential developments of the landscape and hydrology can be quantitatively determined. The modelled glacier beds - though they must be seen as a rough first order approximation only - also allows the investigation of a wide range of glaciological relations and dependencies that have been widely applied but were never investigated for a large sample of glaciers so far. A key reason is that information on glacier thickness distribution and total ice volume is sparse and that the future development of glaciers can only be modelled realistically when a glacier bed is available. Hence, with the glacier beds now available there is a larger number of geomorphological, glaciological and hydrological studies ahead of us. This presentation is providing an overview on the lessons learned about glaciers and their future development from the modelled glacier beds, the expected changes in hydrology (e.g. decreasing glacier volume and formation of new lakes) and potential impacts from the altered geomorphology (e.g. debuttressing of rock walls). In particular the flat tongues of larger valley glaciers are rather thick and leave oversteepened lateral moraines or rock walls behind, towering above overdeepenings in the glacier bed that might be filled with water. It is thus expected that the hazard potential will further increase in

  20. Modelled and observed mass balance of Rikha Samba Glacier, Nepal, Central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurung, T. R.; Kayastha, R. B.; Fujita, K.; Sinisalo, A. K.; Stumm, D.; Joshi, S.; Litt, M.

    2016-12-01

    Glacier mass balance variability has an implication for the regional water resources and it helps to understand the response of glacier to climate change in the Himalayan region. Several mass balance studies have been started in the Himalayan region since 1970s, but they are characterized by frequent temporal gaps and a poor spatial representatively. This study aims at bridging the temporal gaps in a long term mass balance series of the Rikha Samba glacier (5383 - 6475 m a.s.l.), a benchmark glacier located in the Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal. The ERA Interim reanalysis data for the period 2011-2015 is calibrated with the observed meteorological variables from an AWS installed near the glacier terminus. We apply an energy mass balance model, validated with the available in-situ measurements for the years 1998 and 2011-2015. The results show that the glacier is shrinking at a moderate negative mass balance rate for the period 1995 to 2015 and the high altitude location of Rikha Samba also prevents a bigger mass loss compared to other small Himalayan glaciers. Precipitation from July to January and the mean air temperature from June to October are the most influential climatic parameters of the annual mass balance variability of Rikha Samba glacier.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 8800 years of high-altitude vegetation and climate history at the Rutor Glacier forefield, Italian Alps. Evidence of middle Holocene timberline rise and glacier contraction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  5. 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

  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. Glacier History of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula Region Since the End of the Last Ice Age and Implications for Southern Hemisphere Westerly-Climate Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, M. R.; Schaefer, J. M.; Strelin, J. A.; Peltier, C.; Southon, J. R.; Lepper, K. E.; Winckler, G.

    2017-12-01

    For the area around James Ross Island, we present new cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages on glacial deposits, and 14C ages on associated fossil materials. These data allow us to reconstruct in detail when and how the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet retreated around the Island as the last Ice Age ended, and afterward when local land-based glaciers fluctuated. Similar to other studies, we found widespread deglaciation during the earliest Holocene, with fjords and bays becoming ice free between about 11,000 and 8,000 years ago. After 7,000 years ago, neoglacial type advances initiated. Then, both expansions and ice free periods occurred from the middle to late Holocene. We compare the new glacier record to those in southern Patagonia, which is on the other side of the Drake Passage, and published Southern Ocean marine records, in order to infer past middle to high latitude changes in the Southern Hemisphere Westerlies. Widespread warmth in the earliest Holocene, to the north and south of the Drake Passage, led to small glacier systems in Patagonia and wide-ranging glacier recession around the northern Antarctic Peninsula. We infer that this early Holocene period of overall glacier recession - from Patagonia to the northern Peninsula - was caused by a persistent far-southerly setting of the westerlies and accompanying warm climates. Subsequently, during the middle Holocene renewed glacier expansions occurred on both sides of the Drake Passage, which reflects that the Westerlies and associated colder climate systems were generally more equatorward. From the middle to late Holocene, glacier expansions and ice free periods (and likely related ice shelf behavior) document how the Westerlies and associated higher-latitude climate systems varied.

  8. Historical glacier outlines from digitized topographic maps of the Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freudiger, Daphné; Mennekes, David; Seibert, Jan; Weiler, Markus

    2018-04-01

    Since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, the total glacier area of the central European Alps has considerably decreased. In order to understand the changes in glacier coverage at various scales and to model past and future streamflow accurately, long-term and large-scale datasets of glacier outlines are needed. To fill the gap between the morphologically reconstructed glacier outlines from the moraine extent corresponding to the time period around 1850 and the first complete dataset of glacier areas in the Swiss Alps from aerial photographs in 1973, glacier areas from 80 sheets of a historical topographic map (the Siegfried map) were manually digitized for the publication years 1878-1918 (further called first period, with most sheets being published around 1900) and 1917-1944 (further called second period, with most sheets being published around 1935). The accuracy of the digitized glacier areas was then assessed through a two-step validation process: the data were (1) visually and (2) quantitatively compared to glacier area datasets of the years 1850, 1973, 2003, and 2010, which were derived from different sources, at the large scale, basin scale, and locally. The validation showed that at least 70 % of the digitized glaciers were comparable to the outlines from the other datasets and were therefore plausible. Furthermore, the inaccuracy of the manual digitization was found to be less than 5 %. The presented datasets of glacier outlines for the first and second periods are a valuable source of information for long-term glacier mass balance or hydrological modelling in glacierized basins. The uncertainty of the historical topographic maps should be considered during the interpretation of the results. The datasets can be downloaded from the FreiDok plus data repository (https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/data/15008" target="_blank">https://freidok.uni-freiburg.de/data/15008, https://doi.org/10.6094/UNIFR/15008" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.6094/UNIFR

  9. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Retreat of Stephenson Glacier, Heard Island, from Remote Sensing and Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, W.; Schmieder, R.

    2017-12-01

    Heard Island (Australian sub-Antarctic territory, 53 S, 73.5 E) is a volcanic island mantled in glaciers, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site both for its geology and ecology. Lying to the south of the Antarctic Convergence, the changes in response to climate seen on Heard Island are likely to be a bellwether for areas further south. Beginning in 1999, American satellites (Landsat 7, EO-1, and Landsat 8) have produced images of the island on a roughly weekly basis. Although the island is often shrouded in clouds, clear images of at least portions of the island are plentiful enough to create a nearly-annual record of the toe of Stephenson Glacier. During this period, Stephenson Glacier retreated by nearly 5 km, and lost 50% of its area. As a result of this retreat, a portion of the glacier now could be classified as a separate glacier. Additionally, in 2016, terrestrial photographs of Stephenson Glacier were taken during a three-week expedition to Heard Island, which accessed the Stephenson Glacier area by boat via the proglacial Stephenson Lagoon. During that work, sonar indicated some depths in the lagoon exceeding 100 m. Much of the loss in glacier length and area occurred during the mid- and late-2000s, with retreat rates slowing toward 2017. At this time, the glacier has retreated so that the main toe is not far from the base of a tall ice falls, while another toe—perhaps now a separate glacier—is land-based. This type of retreat pattern, fast over water and slower on land, is typical of other tidewater glaciers. Further monitoring of Stephenson Glacier and other glaciers on Heard Island will continue using Landsat 8.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W McNabb

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

  14. 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.

  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. 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...

  17. Neoglacial and historical glacier changes around Kangersuneq fjord in southern West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weidick, Anker

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Nuup Kangerlua region in southern West Greenland became eglaciated in the early Holocene and by the mid-Holocene, the margin of the Inland Ice was located east of its present position. Discussion of late Holocene changes in the frontal positions of outlets relies on descriptions, paintings, photographs, maps, data from investigations of Norse ruins, aerial photographs and satellite images.The Kangiata Nunaata Sermia glacier system has receded over 20 km during the last two centuries, indicating a marked response to climatic fluctuations during and since the Little Ice Age (LIA. A large advance between 1700 and 1800 was followed by rapid recession in the first half of the 1800s. Limited data from c. 1850–1920 indicate that although the long-term position of the glacier front remained c. 10–12 km behind the LIA maximum, the late 1800s and the early 1900s may have seen a recession followed by an advance that resulted in a pronounced moraine system. The ice-dammed lake Isvand formed during the LIA maximum when meltwater from the western side of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia drained to the Ameralla fjord in the west. This is in contrast to the drainage pattern before the 1700s, when water probably drained to Kangersuneq in the north. Thinning of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia resulted in total drainage of Isvand between 2000 and 2010 and the discharge of water through Austmannadalen has now returned to the same level as that in medieval times.Other outlets in the region, such as Akullersuup Sermia and Qamanaarsuup Sermia have varied in phase with Kangiata Nunaata Sermia, but with amplitudes of only a few kilometres. In contrast, Narsap Sermia has been nearly stationary and Kangilinnguata Sermia may have advanced until the middle of the 1900s.Lowland marine outlets in south-western Greenland were characterised by large amplitude changes during the Neoglacial. Extreme examples, in addition to Kangiata Nunaata Sermia, are Eqalorutsit Killiit Sermiat at the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hai; Zhou, Shenbei; Bai, Minghao

    2017-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Fluctuations of glaciers of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes in the 20th –21st centuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ya. Muraviev

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Changes in sizes of the Klyuchevskaya volcanic group's glaciers had been estimated for the period from 1949–1950 to 2010–2015 using results of analysis of current satellite imagery, data of field observations and historic records. Changes in front positions for some glaciers were analyzed for different periods of time. According to results of comparison between our data and similar ones from the Glacier Inventory the glacier areas decreased by 0.7%. Calculations made with corrected data demonstrated the total increase of the glaciation area by 4.3%. Glaciation of the Klyuchevskoy volcano is characterized by dynamic instability and significant changeability. The Erman glacier, the largest one in this region, did constantly advance since 1945. In 1949‑2015, its area at the front increased by 4.96±0.39 km2, while the front advanced along the valley of the Sukhaya River by approximately 3675±15 m and by 3480±20 m along the valley of the Krutenkaya River. A number of «wandering glaciers» located on the North‑Eastern and Eastern slopes of the volcano, on the contrary, significantly reduced their areas. At the same time, formation of new flows of ice is noticed within the «ice belt». Under the influence of active volcanic processes, the configuration of glacier boundaries on the slopes of Klyuchevskoy volcano does actively change in not only the tongue areas but also in the accumulation areas. Changes in dynamics of the glaciation areas of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes don’t correspond to the present‑day climate changes. The interaction of modern volcanism and glaciation in the area as a whole is conducive to the preservation and development of glaciers, despite the deterioration of climatic conditions of their existence.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. Thayyen

    2010-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamir, U.B.

    2012-01-01

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

  11. New inventory of glaciers in southeastern part of the Eastern Sayan Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Yu. Osipov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Satellite images with high (Quick Bird, 2006, WorldView-1, 2008, 0.5–0.6 m and middle (Landsat-7 ETM +, 2001, 15–30 m resolution were used to map contemporary glaciers on two mountain peaks of south-eastern part of East Sayan Ridge – Munky Sardyk (3491 m a.s.l. and Topographov (3089 m a.s.l.. Topographic maps of 1978 and 1981 and Landsat-7 images (summer 2001 were used to assess glacier changes during second half of XX century. Modern terminal and lateral moraines near glacier snouts were used to reconstruct former outlines during the end of the Little Ice Age (middle of XIX century. Also SRTM data and GPS-surveys in Munku-Sardyk area were applied to measure glacier altitudes. GIS technologies allowed forming digital glacier data base with attribute information and new inventory was made. Totally 13 glaciers with area of 5.1 km² were investigated and mapped. Glaciers are located in vertical range from 2800–3490 m a.s.l. (Munku-Sardyk area and 2340–2950 m a.s.l. (Topographov area. Firn line on glaciers vary from 2540 to 3110 m a.s.l., rising to the southeast. On average, over the past 160 years (since the end of the Little Ice Age glaciers have significantly decreased. Ice area has decreased by 49%, length has diminished by 570 m, the glacier snouts has risen by 124 m. Analysis of regional climate data shows that the rate of deglaciation is well correlated with summer temperatures increasing in the second half of XX century, especially in 1980–1990s. A tendency to recover glacier mass balance was revealed during the last decade based on climatic data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Oerlemans

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  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. Bed-Deformation Experiments Beneath a Temperate Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. The Impacts of Advancing Glaciers and Jökulhlaups on the 19th Century Farming Community in the Suðursveit District South of Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurmundsson, F. S.; Gísladóttir, G.; Erlendsson, E.

    2014-12-01

    Few areas in Iceland were as vulnerable to climate changes during the 19th century as the region south of Vatnajökull glacier. The region was repeatedly affected by glacier advance and jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) during the Little Ice Age AD 1300-1900 (LIA). The land area between the glacier and the coast was occupied by farming community. The aim of this research is to quantify and map the size of lost vegetated area in the 19th century during the glacial advance in the climax of the LIA and the impact these events had on the community, land-use, ownership, value of estates and livelihood. This research employs historical written sources to investigate changes in the cultural and natural landscape. Historical data and field observations will be collected and stored in a GIS database designed for the research, allowing data to be analyzed and presented on maps. The first recorded impact on the settlement is from 1794 when the Breiðármerkurjökull outlet glacier advanced and devastated pastures and crofts belonging in west of the district. Seventy five years later, in 1868, the largest estate was completely destroyed by a jökulhlaup. In 1829 a farm site in the middle of the district was moved due to repeated jökulhlaup. The outlet glacier Brókarjökull initiated annual jökulhlaups during 1820 -1870, devastating pastures and hayfields and woodlands of a total of 3 prominent estates in the area (by 1200 ha), causing devaluation of 33-66% on these estates. In the eastern part extensive jökulhlaups changed the glacial river channel causing the river to flow over vast area devastating 80 % of the eastern most estate causing its abandonment in 1892. The climate change and accompanied hazards during the 19th century changed the landscape of the Suðursveit district significantly. By the turn of the 20thcentury the vegetated land in the district had been reduced by 35% and areas of sediments increased by 25% and glaciated area increased by 10%. These

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. GLACIERS OF THE KORYAK VOLCANO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Manevich

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  14. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Arendt, Anthony; Sass, Louis

    2014-01-01

    The mountains ringing the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) receive upwards of 4–8 m yr−1 of precipitation (Simpson et al.2005; Weingartner et al. 2005; O’Neel 2012), much of which runs off into productive coastal waters. The alpine landscape is heavily glacierized, and storage and turnover of water by glaciers substantially influences the regional surface water balance (Neal et al. 2010). In turn, the land-to-ocean flux of freshwater impacts the biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, freshwater and marine ecology of the downstream components of the GOA ecosystem (e.g., Royer et al. 2001; Hood and Scott 2008). In this way, the links between terrestrial and ocean ecosystems along the GOA have widespread impacts on regional socioeconomic issues including water and hydropower resources, fish populations, and sea level change (Dorava and Milner 2000; Royer and Grosch 2006; Cherry et al. 2010; Gardner et al. 2013). Moreover, predicting future changes in physical, chemical and biological processes in near-shore ecosystems along the GOA hinges, in part, on developing a robust understanding of water storage and transfer by glaciers through streams to the ocean.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Wang

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D. Ananicheva

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Towards a unified estimate of arctic glaciers contribution to sea level rise since 1972.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehecq, A.; Gardner, A. S.; Alexandrov, O.; McMichael, S.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers retreat contributed to about 1/3 of the observed sea level rise since 1971 (IPCC). However, long term estimates of glaciers volume changes rely on sparse field observations and region-wide satellite observations are available mostly after 2000. The recently declassified images from the reconnaissance satellite series Hexagon (KH9), that acquired 6 m resolution stereoscopic images from 1971 to 1986, open new possibilities for glaciers observation. But the film-printed images represent a processing challenge. Here we present an automatic workflow developed to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) at 24 m resolution from the raw scanned KH9 images. It includes a preprocessing step to detect fiducial marks and to correct distortions of the film caused by the 40-year storage. An estimate of the unknown satellite position is obtained from a crude geolocation of the images. Each stereo image pair/triplet is then processed using the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline to derive an unscaled DEM using standard photogrammetric techniques. This DEM is finally aligned to a reference topography, to account for errors in translation, rotation and scaling. In a second part, we present DEMs generated over glaciers in the Canadian Arctic and analyze glaciers volume changes from 1970 to the more recent WorldView ArcticDEM.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. The Swiss Alpine Glacier's Response to the '2°C Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzmann, Nadine; Machguth, Horst

    2010-05-01

    The "2°C target" for global warming (relative to pre-industrial level) became a main focus in the climate change debate since the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in December 2009 at the latest. While this target implies to be a ‘clear' goal for politicians and decision makers, the effective impacts that a global mean air temperature increase of 2°C has on natural and human systems on regional to local scales remain complex. So far, most impact studies use only relative and static 2°C delta change approaches. Here, however, we use results from latest climate model outputs an take into account the warming that has already occurred in a specific region. Global warming is not equally distributed around the globe. Observations show that during the last century air temperature trends significantly differ between regions. In Switzerland, for example, air temperature has increased about twice as much as the global mean during the last century. In glacierised mountain regions, where glaciers represent an important source for fresh water and control a great part of the hydrological cycle, the retreat or disappearance of glaciers as a consequence of climatic changes will have major socio-economical consequences on the people living there and the adjacent lowland. A trend to negative glacier mass balances is observed and well documented for many mountain ranges all over the world. Based on climate model projections it is very likely that this trend continues or even accelerates. Here, we make an effort to assess the impact of a global 2°C (that is about 4°C for Switzerland) air temperature increase compared to pre-industrial conditions for the Swiss Alpine glaciers. We use 12 homogenised long-term climate observations to define the warming that has already taken place. The ‘remaining' temperature increase up to the level of 2°C, is based on results from a selection of Regional Climate Model results that have been simulated in the recently finished

  19. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgenstern, U.

    1998-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Carr

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Emerging Glacial Lakes in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru: A Case Study at Arteson Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisolm, R. E.; Mckinney, D. C.; Gomez, J.; Voss, K.

    2012-12-01

    Tropical glaciers are an essential component of the water resources systems in the mountainous regions where they are located, and a warming climate has resulted in the accelerated retreat of Andean glaciers in recent decades. The shrinkage of Andean glaciers influences the flood risk for communities living downstream as new glacial lakes have begun to form at the termini of some glaciers. As these lakes continue to grow in area and volume, they pose an increasing risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Ice thickness measurements have been a key missing link in studying the tropical glaciers in Peru and how climate change is likely to impact glacial melt and the growth of glacial lakes. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has rarely been applied to glaciers in Peru to measure ice thickness, and these measurements can tell us a lot about how a warming climate will affect glacier mass balance. This study presents GPR data taken in July 2012 at the Arteson glacier in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. A new lake has begun to form at the terminus of the Arteson glacier, and this lake has key features, including overhanging ice and loose rock likely to create landslides, that could trigger a catastrophic GLOF if the lake continues to grow. This new lake is part of a series of three lakes that have formed below the Arteson glacier. The two lower lakes, Artesonraju and Paron, are much larger so that if there were an avalanche or landslide into the new lake below Arteson glacier, the impact could potentially be more catastrophic than a GLOF from one single lake. Estimates of how the lake mass balance is likely to evolve due to the retreating glacier are key to assessing the flood risk from this dynamic three-lake system. Because the glacier mass balance and lake mass balance are closely linked, the ice thickness measurements and measurements of the bed slope of the Arteson glacier and underlying bedrock give us a clue to how the lake is likely to evolve. GPR measurements of

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. DEVELOPMENT OF GLACIERS OF MOUNT ELBRUS AFTER THE LITTLE ICE AGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Zolotarev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available SummaryThe results of remote monitoring of the greatest inEuropemountain glaciation of Elbrus are covered for 120 years by instrumental survey (1887–2007 and lichenometric survey in 1986. The materials of stereoscopic digital photo survey of the whole glaciation with terrain resolution of2.5 metersproduced by space imaging system Cartosat-1 (IRS-P5 in 2007 were compared with the same year materials of phototheodolite survey of south glaciation slope (6 glaciers in total. Results of comparison showed that the data received from Cartosat-1 can be used for monitoring of glaciers with long enough interval of time between repeated surveys (from 10 years and more, and also is suitable for updating 1:25 000 topographic maps of mountain areas. The leading role of Dzhikiugankez plateau in changes was revealed. Over the last 50 years (1957–2007 the Dzhikiugankez share in change of the glaciation area as a whole has reached 45 %. The method of glacier dynamics research, based on digital technologies of image processing and assuming first of all visual deciphering of changes and in the second – measurement of parameters of changes is offered. The quantitative data of Elbrus glaciation reduction since the middle of the XIX century do not confirm the hypothesis of the global climate warming beginning just in the second half of XX century as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gases effect. Contrarily in 1970s, many Elbrus glaciers advanced. Elbrus glaciation area reduction is occurring practically evenly through time and is alternated with short-term periods of stationary state and advance. These facts suggest that global climate warming, which alternated with short-term cooling periods, began after the end of the Little Ice Age and was most likely due to natural rather than anthropogenic causes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Kapitsa

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lea T. Oppedal

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  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. Simple tool for the rapid, automated quantification of glacier advance/retreat observations using multiple methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lea, J.

    2017-12-01

    The quantification of glacier change is a key variable within glacier monitoring, with the method used potentially being crucial to ensuring that data can be appropriately compared with environmental data. The topic and timescales of study (e.g. land/marine terminating environments; sub-annual/decadal/centennial/millennial timescales) often mean that different methods are more suitable for different problems. However, depending on the GIS/coding expertise of the user, some methods can potentially be time consuming to undertake, making large-scale studies problematic. In addition, examples exist where different users have nominally applied the same methods in different studies, though with minor methodological inconsistencies in their approach. In turn, this will have implications for data homogeneity where regional/global datasets may be constructed. Here, I present a simple toolbox scripted in a Matlab® environment that requires only glacier margin and glacier centreline data to quantify glacier length, glacier change between observations, rate of change, in addition to other metrics. The toolbox includes the option to apply the established centreline or curvilinear box methods, or a new method: the variable box method - designed for tidewater margins where box width is defined as the total width of the individual terminus observation. The toolbox is extremely flexible, and has the option to be applied as either Matlab® functions within user scripts, or via a graphical user interface (GUI) for those unfamiliar with a coding environment. In both instances, there is potential to apply the methods quickly to large datasets (100s-1000s of glaciers, with potentially similar numbers of observations each), thus ensuring large scale methodological consistency (and therefore data homogeneity) and allowing regional/global scale analyses to be achievable for those with limited GIS/coding experience. The toolbox has been evaluated against idealised scenarios demonstrating

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yavasli, Dogukan D.; Tucker, Compton J.

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Late Quaternary glacier sensitivity to temperature and precipitation distribution in the Southern Alps of New Zealand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ann V. Rowan; Simon H. Brocklehurst; David M. Schultz; Mitchell A. Plummer; Leif S. Anderson; Neil F. Glasser

    2014-05-01

    Glaciers respond to climate variations and leave geomorphic evidence that represents an important terrestrial paleoclimate record. However, the accuracy of paleoclimate reconstructions from glacial geology is limited by the challenge of representing mountain meteorology in numerical models. Precipitation is usually treated in a simple manner and yet represents difficult-to-characterize variables such as amount, distribution, and phase. Furthermore, precipitation distributions during a glacial probably differed from present-day interglacial patterns. We applied two models to investigate glacier sensitivity to temperature and precipitation in the eastern Southern Alps of New Zealand. A 2-D model was used to quantify variations in the length of the reconstructed glaciers resulting from plausible precipitation distributions compared to variations in length resulting from change in mean annual air temperature and precipitation amount. A 1-D model was used to quantify variations in length resulting from interannual climate variability. Assuming that present-day interglacial values represent precipitation distributions during the last glacial, a range of plausible present-day precipitation distributions resulted in uncertainty in the Last Glacial Maximum length of the Pukaki Glacier of 17.1?km (24%) and the Rakaia Glacier of 9.3?km (25%), corresponding to a 0.5°C difference in temperature. Smaller changes in glacier length resulted from a 50% decrease in precipitation amount from present-day values (-14% and -18%) and from a 50% increase in precipitation amount (5% and 9%). Our results demonstrate that precipitation distribution can produce considerable variation in simulated glacier extents and that reconstructions of paleoglaciers should include this uncertainty.

  5. 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...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  7. Mass balance of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers - 2000–2010

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Howat, I.M.; Ahn, Y.; Joughin, I.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Smith, B.

    2011-01-01

    Acceleration of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and Jakobshavn Isbræ, accounted for a substantial portion of the ice sheet's mass loss over the past decade. Rapid changes in their discharge, however, make their cumulative mass-change uncertain. We derive monthly

  8. Spatial and temporal melt variability at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, and its effect on ice dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M. L.; Larsen, T. B.; Nettles, M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of large outlet glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet is critical for assessing the impact of climate change on sea level rise. The flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers is partly governed by calving-related processes taking place at the terminus but is also in...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Rastner

    2017-11-01

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

  10. River piracy and drainage basin reorganization led by climate-driven glacier retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shugar, Daniel H.; Clague, John J.; Best, James L.; Schoof, Christian; Willis, Michael J.; Copland, Luke; Roe, Gerard H.

    2017-04-01

    River piracy--the diversion of the headwaters of one stream into another one--can dramatically change the routing of water and sediment, with a profound effect on landscape evolution. Stream piracy has been investigated in glacial environments, but so far it has mainly been studied over Quaternary or longer timescales. Here we document how retreat of Kaskawulsh Glacier--one of Canada's largest glaciers--abruptly and radically altered the regional drainage pattern in spring 2016. We use a combination of hydrological measurements and drone-generated digital elevation models to show that in late May 2016, meltwater from the glacier was re-routed from discharge in a northward direction into the Bering Sea, to southward into the Pacific Ocean. Based on satellite image analysis and a signal-to-noise ratio as a metric of glacier retreat, we conclude that this instance of river piracy was due to post-industrial climate change. Rapid regional drainage reorganizations of this type can have profound downstream impacts on ecosystems, sediment and carbon budgets, and downstream communities that rely on a stable and sustained discharge. We suggest that the planforms of Slims and Kaskawulsh rivers will adjust in response to altered flows, and the future Kaskawulsh watershed will extend into the now-abandoned headwaters of Slims River and eventually capture the Kluane Lake drainage.

  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 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, R.L.

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Some notes on the behaviour of tropical glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

    en comparación con las condiciones existentes en los Alpes. Se establece la discusión sobre un modelo de gradiente vertical del balance de masa (VBG. Comparada con los glaciares de las latitudes medias, la ELA reacciona en general de una manera menos sensible, pero responde más fuertemente a cambios de temperaturas. Las lenguas así como los glaciares pequeños reaccionan de una manera sensible a una ablación creciente. La respuesta a las influencias dinámicas de largo plazo es poco significativa. The fact of a relatively immediate inference of tropical glacier fluctuations on a climate originating from relatively homogenous air masses makes glaciological investigations in the tropics particularly important. One peculiarity of tropical climate is the lack of any appreciable thermal seasonality. Under this general aspect, two characteristic features of the glacier - climate relationship, (a the sensitivity of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA on climatic perturbations and (b the corresponding reaction of glacier tongues are discussed in comparison to the Alpine conditions. The discussion is based on a modeled vertical budget gradient (VBG. Compared to midlatitude glaciers, the ELA reacts generally less sensitively, but more strongly if forced by a change in temperature. The tongues as well as small glaciers react sensitively on increasing ablation. The reaction on long term dynamic forcing is weak.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Mernild

    2012-06-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrizaga, Lasafam; Charrier, Reynaldo

    2013-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Toward hydro-social modeling: Merging human variables and the social sciences with climate-glacier runoff models (Santa River, Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Mark; Baraer, Michel; Mark, Bryan G.; French, Adam; Bury, Jeffrey; Young, Kenneth R.; McKenzie, Jeffrey M.

    2014-10-01

    Glacier shrinkage caused by climate change is likely to trigger diminished and less consistent stream flow in glacier-fed watersheds worldwide. To understand, model, and adapt to these climate-glacier-water changes, it is vital to integrate the analysis of both water availability (the domain of hydrologists) and water use (the focus for social scientists). Drawn from a case study of the Santa River watershed below Peru’s glaciated Cordillera Blanca mountain range, this paper provides a holistic hydro-social framework that identifies five major human variables critical to hydrological modeling because these forces have profoundly influenced water use over the last 60 years: (1) political agendas and economic development; (2) governance: laws and institutions; (3) technology and engineering; (4) land and resource use; and (5) societal responses. Notable shifts in Santa River water use-including major expansions in hydroelectricity generation, large-scale irrigation projects, and other land and resource-use practices-did not necessarily stem from changing glacier runoff or hydrologic shifts, but rather from these human variables. Ultimately, then, water usage is not predictable based on water availability alone. Glacier runoff conforms to certain expected trends predicted by models of progressively reduced glacier storage. However, societal forces establish the legal, economic, political, cultural, and social drivers that actually shape water usage patterns via human modification of watershed dynamics. This hydro-social framework has widespread implications for hydrological modeling in glaciated watersheds from the Andes and Alps to the Himalaya and Tien Shan, as well as for the development of climate change adaptation plans.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Changes in the Earth’s Spin Rotation due to the Atmospheric Effects and Reduction in Glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Ho Na

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The atmosphere strongly affects the Earth’s spin rotation in wide range of timescale from daily to annual. Its dominant role in the seasonal perturbations of both the pole position and spinning rate of the Earth is once again confirmed by a comparison of two recent data sets; i the Earth orientation parameter and ii the global atmospheric state. The atmospheric semi-diurnal tide has been known to be a source of the Earth’s spin acceleration, and its magnitude is re-estimated by using an enhanced formulation and an up-dated empirical atmospheric S2 tide model. During the last twenty years, an unusual eastward drift of the Earth’s pole has been observed. The change in the Earth’s inertia tensor due to glacier mass redistribution is directly assessed, and the recent eastward movement of the pole is ascribed to this change. Furthermore, the associated changes in the length of day and UT1 are estimated.

  9. 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

  10. Visualizing Glaciers and Sea Ice via Google Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballagh, L. M.; Fetterer, F.; Haran, T. M.; Pharris, K.

    2006-12-01

    The NOAA team at NSIDC manages over 60 distinct cryospheric and related data products. With an emphasis on data rescue and in situ data, these products hold value for both the scientific and non-scientific user communities. The overarching goal of this presentation is to promote products from two components of the cryosphere (glaciers and sea ice). Our Online Glacier Photograph Database contains approximately 3,000 photographs taken over many decades, exemplifying change in the glacier terminus over time. The sea ice product shows sea ice extent and concentration along with anomalies and trends. This Sea Ice Index product, which starts in 1979 and is updated monthly, provides visuals of the current state of sea ice in both hemispheres with trends and anomalies. The long time period covered by the data set means that many of the trends in ice extent and concentration shown in this product are statistically significant despite the large natural variability in sea ice. The minimum arctic sea ice extent has been a record low in September 2002 and 2005, contributing to an accelerated trend in sea ice reduction. With increasing world-wide interest in indicators of global climate change, and the upcoming International Polar Year, these data products are of interest to a broad audience. To further extend the impact of these data, we have made them viewable through Google Earth via the Keyhole Markup Language (KML). This presents an opportunity to branch out to a more diverse audience by using a new and innovative tool that allows spatial representation of data of significant scientific and educational interest.

  11. 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.

  12. OPTICAL FLOW APPLIED TO TIME-LAPSE IMAGE SERIES TO ESTIMATE GLACIER MOTION IN THE SOUTHERN PATAGONIA ICE FIELD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Lannutti

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we assessed the feasibility of using optical flow to obtain the motion estimation of a glacier. In general, former investigations used to detect glacier changes involve solutions that require repeated observations which are many times based on extensive field work. Taking into account glaciers are usually located in geographically complex and hard to access areas, deploying time-lapse imaging sensors, optical flow may provide an efficient solution at good spatial and temporal resolution to describe mass motion. Several studies in computer vision and image processing community have used this method to detect large displacements. Therefore, we carried out a test of the proposed Large Displacement Optical Flow method at the Viedma Glacier, located at South Patagonia Icefield, Argentina. We collected monoscopic terrestrial time-lapse imagery, acquired by a calibrated camera at every 24 hour from April 2014 until April 2015. A filter based on temporal correlation and RGB color discretization between the images was applied to minimize errors related to changes in lighting, shadows, clouds and snow. This selection allowed discarding images that do not follow a sequence of similarity. Our results show a flow field in the direction of the glacier movement with acceleration in the terminus. We analyzed the errors between image pairs, and the matching generally appears to be adequate, although some areas show random gross errors related to the presence of changes in lighting. The proposed technique allowed the determination of glacier motion during one year, providing accurate and reliable motion data for subsequent analysis.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrizaga, L.

    2012-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Downscaling of the global climate model data for the mass balance calculation of mountain glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Morozova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we consider a hybrid method of downscaling of the GCM‑generated meteorological fields to the characteristic spatial resolution which is usually used for modeling of a single mountain glacier mass balance. The main purpose of the study is to develop a reliable forecasting method to evaluate future state of moun‑ tain glaciation under changing climatic conditions. The method consists of two stages. In the first or dynamical stage, we use results of calculations of the regional numerical model HadRM3P for the Black Sea‑Caspian region with a spatial resolution of 25 km [22]. Initial conditions for the HadRM3P were provided by the GCM devel‑ oped in the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of RAS (INMCM4 [18]. Calculations were carried out for two time periods: the present climate (1971–2000 and climate in the late 21st century (2071–2100 according to the 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 altitude model in a domain enclosing a target glacier. Altitude gradients of the surface air temperature and precipitation were derived from the model data. Further on, both were corrected using data of observations. Incoming shortwave radiation was calculated in the mass balance model separately, taking into account characteristics of the slope, i.e. exposition and shading of each cell. Then, the method was tested for glaciers Marukh (Western Caucasus and Jankuat (Central Caucasus, both for the present‑day and for future climates. At the end of the 21st century, the air tem‑ perature rise predicted for the summer months was calculated to be about 5–6 °C, and the result for the winter to be minus 2–3 °C. Change in annual precipitation is not significant, less than 10%. Increase in the total short‑ wave radiation will be about 5%. These changes will result in the fact that

  1. Hubbard Glacier, Alaska: growing and advancing in spite of global climate change and the 1986 and 2002 Russell Lake outburst floods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabant, Dennis C.; March, Rod S.; Thomas, Donald S.

    2003-01-01

    Hubbard Glacier, the largest calving glacier on the North American Continent (25 percent larger than Rhode Island), advanced across the entrance to 35-mile-long Russell Fiord during June 2002, temporarily turning it into a lake. Hubbard Glacier has been advancing for more than 100 years and has twice closed the entrance to Russell Fiord during the last 16 years by squeezing and pushing submarine glacial sediments across the mouth of the fiord. Water flowing into the cutoff fiord from mountain streams and glacier melt causes the level of Russell Lake to rise. However, both the 1986 and 2002 dams failed before the lake altitude rose enough for water to spill over a low pass at the far end of the fiord and enter the Situk River drainage, a world-class sport and commercial fishery near Yakutat, Alaska.

  2. 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....

  3. Climate warming could increase recruitment success in glacier foreland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondoni, Andrea; Pedrini, Simone; Bernareggi, Giulietta; Rossi, Graziano; Abeli, Thomas; Probert, Robin J; Ghitti, Michele; Bonomi, Costantino; Orsenigo, Simone

    2015-11-01

    Glacier foreland plants are highly threatened by global warming. Regeneration from seeds on deglaciated terrain will be crucial for successful migration and survival of these species, and hence a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on seedling recruitment is urgently needed to predict future plant persistence in these environments. This study presents the first field evidence of the impact of climate change on recruitment success of glacier foreland plants. Seeds of eight foreland species were sown on a foreland site at 2500 m a.s.l., and at a site 400 m lower in altitude to simulate a 2·7 °C increase in mean annual temperature. Soil from the site of origin was used to reproduce the natural germination substrate. Recruitment success, temperature and water potential were monitored for 2 years. The response of seed germination to warming was further investigated in the laboratory. At the glacier foreland site, seedling emergence was low (0 to approx. 40 %) and occurred in summer in all species after seeds had experienced autumn and winter seasons. However, at the warmer site there was a shift from summer to autumn emergence in two species and a significant increase of summer emergence (13-35 % higher) in all species except two. Survival and establishment was possible for 60-75 % of autumn-emerged seedlings and was generally greater under warmer conditions. Early snowmelt in spring caused the main ecological factors enhancing the recruitment success. The results suggest that warming will influence the recruitment of glacier foreland species primarily via the extension of the snow-free period in spring, which increases seedling establishment and results in a greater resistance to summer drought and winter extremes. The changes in recruitment success observed here imply that range shifts or changes in abundance are possible in a future warmer climate, but overall success may be dependent on interactions with shifts in other components of the

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  6. Ice-Shelf Melt Response to Changing Winds and Glacier Dynamics in the Amundsen Sea Sector, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donat-Magnin, Marion; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Spence, Paul; Le Sommer, Julien; Gallée, Hubert; Durand, Gaël.

    2017-12-01

    It has been suggested that the coastal Southern Ocean subsurface may warm over the 21st century in response to strengthening and poleward shifting winds, with potential adverse effects on West Antarctic glaciers. However, using a 1/12° ocean regional model that includes ice-shelf cavities, we find a more complex response to changing winds in the Amundsen Sea. Simulated offshore subsurface waters get colder under strengthened and poleward shifted winds representative of the SAM projected trend. The buoyancy-driven circulation induced by ice-shelf melt transports this cold offshore anomaly onto the continental shelf, leading to cooling and decreased melt below 450 m. In the vicinity of ice-shelf fronts, Ekman pumping contributes to raise the isotherms in response to changing winds. This effect overwhelms the horizontal transport of colder offshore waters at intermediate depths (between 200 and 450 m), and therefore increases melt rates in the upper part of the ice-shelf cavities, which reinforces the buoyancy-driven circulation and further contributes to raise the isotherms. Then, prescribing an extreme grounding line retreat projected for 2100, the total melt rates simulated underneath Thwaites and Pine Island are multiplied by 2.5. Such increase is explained by a larger ocean/ice interface exposed to CDW, which is then amplified by a stronger melt-induced circulation along the ice draft. Our main conclusions are that (1) outputs from ocean models that do not represent ice shelf cavities (e.g., CMIP5 models) should not be directly used to predict the thermal forcing of future ice shelf cavities; (2) coupled ocean/ice sheet models with a velocity-dependent melt formulation are needed for future projections of glaciers experiencing a significant grounding line retreat.

  7. Disappearance of the glacier on Mama Cotacachi: ethnoecological research and climate change in the Ecuadorian Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoades, R.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A first documented case study of a disappearing glacier in the snow capped volcano Cotacahi in Ecuador is presented with the studies belonging to the social sciences in relation to climate change and its impact on the population of the Equatorial Andes. With the use of multiple source methodology, including ethnographic analyzes, visual representations, repetitive photography, critical mapping by the local communities, longitudinal surveys, even archival research, as well as interviews to social actors and utilization of spatial data in a geographical information system (GIS. It is concluded that the documented disappearance of the glacier on the Cotacahi serves as an urgent call for action to the important dearth of social research related to global change from the ethnoecological perspective, with a cultural, local approach.

    Se presenta el primer estudio documentado de la desaparición del glaciar del nevado Cotacachi en el Ecuador, con los estudios que corresponden a las ciencias sociales en relación con el cambio climático y su impacto en la población de los Andes ecuatoriales. Mediante el uso de una metodología que incluye análisis etnográficos, representaciones visuales, fotografía repetitiva, mapeo crítico por parte de las comunidades locales, encuestas longitudinales e incluso investigación de archivos, así como también entrevistas a actores sociales, y utilización de los datos espaciales en un sistema de información geográfica (SIG. Se concluye que la desaparición documentada del glaciar del Cotacachi sirve como una llamada de atención urgente a la importante falta de investigaciones sociales relacionadas con el cambio global desde el punto de vista etnoecológico, con un enfoque cultural local.

  8. Rainfall as primary driver of discharge and solute export from rock glaciers: The Col d'Olen Rock Glacier in the NW Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Nicola; Gruber, Stephan; Martin, Maria; Malandrino, Mery; Magnani, Andrea; Godone, Danilo; Freppaz, Michele; Fratianni, Simona; Salerno, Franco

    2018-10-15

    Three hypotheses exist to explain how meteorological variables drive the amount and concentration of solute-enriched water from rock glaciers: (1) Warm periods cause increased subsurface ice melt, which releases solutes; (2) rain periods and the melt of long-lasting snow enhance dilution of rock-glacier outflows; and (3) percolation of rain through rock glaciers facilitates the export of solutes, causing an opposite effect as that described in hypothesis (2). This lack of detailed understanding likely exists because suitable studies of meteorological variables, hydrologic processes and chemical characteristics of water bodies downstream from rock glaciers are unavailable. In this study, a rock-glacier pond in the North-Western Italian Alps was studied on a weekly basis for the ice-free seasons 2014 and 2015 by observing the meteorological variables (air temperature, snowmelt, rainfall) assumed to drive the export of solute-enriched waters from the rock glacier and the hydrochemical response of the pond (water temperature as a proxy of rock-glacier discharge, stable water isotopes, major ions and selected trace elements). An intra-seasonal pattern of increasing solute export associated with higher rock-glacier discharge was found. Specifically, rainfall, after the winter snowpack depletion and prolonged periods of atmospheric temperature above 0 °C, was found to be the primary driver of solute export from the rock glacier during the ice-free season. This occurs likely through the flushing of isotopically- and geochemically-enriched icemelt, causing concomitant increases in the rock-glacier discharge and the solute export (SO 4 2- , Mg 2+ , Ca 2+ , Ni, Mn, Co). Moreover, flushing of microbially-active sediments can cause increases in NO 3 - export. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Glacier fluctuation using Satellite Data in Beas basin, 1972–2006 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Glacier Research Group, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. ∗ ... reliable indicators of climate change (IPCC 2007), ..... off in Beas Basin, India; Geocarto International 20(2). 41–47. Raina V K ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  13. McCall Glacier record of Arctic climate change: Interpreting a northern Alaska ice core with regional water isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, E. S.; Nolan, M.; McConnell, J.; Sigl, M.; Cherry, J.; Young, J.; Welker, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    We explored modern precipitation and ice core isotope ratios to better understand both modern and paleo climate in the Arctic. Paleoclimate reconstructions require an understanding of how modern synoptic climate influences proxies used in those reconstructions, such as water isotopes. Therefore we measured periodic precipitation samples at Toolik Lake Field Station (Toolik) in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range in the Alaskan Arctic to determine δ18O and δ2H. We applied this multi-decadal local precipitation δ18O/temperature regression to ∼65 years of McCall Glacier (also in the Brooks Range) ice core isotope measurements and found an increase in reconstructed temperatures over the late-20th and early-21st centuries. We also show that the McCall Glacier δ18O isotope record is negatively correlated with the winter bidecadal North Pacific Index (NPI) climate oscillation. McCall Glacier deuterium excess (d-excess, δ2H - 8*δ18O) values display a bidecadal periodicity coherent with the NPI and suggest shifts from more southwestern Bering Sea moisture sources with less sea ice (lower d-excess values) to more northern Arctic Ocean moisture sources with more sea ice (higher d-excess values). Northern ice covered Arctic Ocean McCall Glacier moisture sources are associated with weak Aleutian Low (AL) circulation patterns and the southern moisture sources with strong AL patterns. Ice core d-excess values significantly decrease over the record, coincident with warmer temperatures and a significant reduction in Alaska sea ice concentration, which suggests that ice free northern ocean waters are increasingly serving as terrestrial precipitation moisture sources; a concept recently proposed by modeling studies and also present in Greenland ice core d-excess values during previous transitions to warm periods. This study also shows the efficacy and importance of using ice cores from Arctic valley glaciers in paleoclimate reconstructions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirill Chistyakov

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Lake sediment-based Late Holocene glacier reconstruction reveals medieval retreat and two-phase Little Ice Age on subantarctic South Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bilt, W. G. M.; Bakke, J.; Werner, J.; Paasche, O.; Rosqvist, G. N.; Vatle, S. S.

    2016-12-01

    Southern Ocean climate is rapidly changing. Yet beyond the instrumental period (± 100 years), our comprehension of climate variability in the region is restricted by a lack of high-resolution paleoclimate records. Alpine glaciers, ubiquitous on Southern Ocean islands, may provide such data as they rapidly respond to climate shifts, recording attendant changes in extent by variations in glacial erosion. Rock flour, the fine-grained fraction of this process, is suspended in meltwater streams and transfers this signal to the sediments of downstream lakes, continuously recording glacier history. Here, we use this relationship and present the first reconstruction of the Late Holocene (1250 cal. yr BP - present) glacier history of the Southern Ocean island of South Georgia, using sediments from the glacier-fed Middle Hamberg lake. Variations are resolved on multi-centennial scales due to robust chronological control. To fingerprint a glacial erosion signal, we employed a set of routinely used physical, geochemical and magnetic parameters. Using Titanium counts, validated against changes in sediment density and grain size distribution, we continuously reconstruct glacier variations over the past millennium. Refining local moraine evidence and supporting evidence from other Southern Hemisphere sites, this study shows a progressive diminishing of consecutive Late Holocene advances. These include a two-stage Little Ice Age, in agreement with other Southern Hemisphere glacier evidence. The presented record furthermore captures an unreported retreat phase behind present limits around 500 cal. yr BP.

  16. Relevance of future snowfall level height in the Peruvian Andes for glacier loss in the 21st century under different emission scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauwecker, Simone; Kronenberg, Marlene; Rohrer, Mario; Huggel, Christian; Endries, Jason; Montoya, Nilton; Neukom, Raphael; Perry, Baker; Salzmann, Nadine; Schwarb, Manfred; Suarez, Wilson

    2017-04-01

    In many regions of Peru, the competition for limited hydrological resources already represents a large risk for conflicts. In this context, and within the circumstances of climate change, there is a great interest in estimating the future loss of Peruvian glaciers. Solid precipitation on glaciers, which affects the shortwave radiation budget via its effects on albedo, in general reduces ablation. For that reason, the height of the upper level of the transition zone between liquid and solid precipitation (snowfall level height) is considered to play a critical role. This snowfall level height is linked to air temperature. The observed and projected warming of the atmosphere is therefore affecting the glaciers amongst others by changing the snowfall level height. Despite the potential significance of these changes for Peruvian glaciers, the relations between snowfall level heights, glacier extents and climate scenarios have been poorly investigated so far. In our study, we first analyse the snowfall level heights over the Peruvian Cordilleras. Second, we investigate the relationship between the present snowfall level heights and current glacier extents. As a third step, we derive projected changes of snowfall level heights from GCMs for the RCP2.6 and 8.5 emission scenarios and use them to roughly estimate the end of XXI century glaciation for the Peruvian Cordilleras. Our results indicate a large difference in future glacier extent between the high-emission (pessimistic) RCP8.5 and the low-emission (optimistic) RCP2.6. If global emissions can be substantially reduced, a significant part of the glaciated area of Peru can be maintained. On the contrary, if mitigation is unsuccessful, most of the glacier mass in Peru will be lost during the 21st century. In both cases, but even more so for the high-emission scenario, adaptation will play a critical role and should focus on improvements in water resource management which is essential on a local to regional scale. Air

  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. 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.

  19. Seasonal and inter-annual variability in velocity and frontal position of Siachen Glacier (Eastern Karakorum) using multi-satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usman, M.; Furuya, M.; Sakakibara, D.; Abe, T.

    2017-12-01

    The anomalous behavior of Karakorum glaciers is a hot topic of discussion in the scientific community. Siachen Glacier is one of the longest glaciers ( 75km) in Karakorum Range. This glacier is supposed to be a surge type but so far no studies have confirmed this claim. Detailed velocity mapping of this glacier can possibly provide some clues about intra/inter-annual changes in velocity and observed terminus. Using L-band SAR data of ALOS-1/2, we applied the feature tracking technique (search patch of 128x128 pixels (range x azimuth) , sampling interval of 12x36 pixels) to derive velocity changes; we used GAMMA software. The velocity was calculated by following the parallel flow assumption. To calculate the local topographic gradient unit vector, we used ASTER-GDEM. We also used optical images acquired by Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) to derive surface velocity. The algorithm we used is Cross-Correlation in Frequency domain on Orientation images (CCF-O). The velocity was finally calculated by setting a flow line and averaging over the area of 200x200m2. The results indicate seasonal speed up signals that modulate inter-annually from 1999 to 2011, with slight or no change in the observed frontal position. However, in ALOS-2 data, the `observed terminus' seems to have been advancing.

  20. The Mass Balance of Glacier No. 1 at the Headwaters of the Urumqi River in Relation to Northern Hemisphere Teleconnection Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feifei Yuan

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Most small glaciers in the world have significantly decreased their volume during the last century, which has caused water shortage problems. Glacier No. 1, at the headwaters of the Urumqi River, Tianshan, China, has been monitored since 1959 and similarly has experienced significant mass and volume losses over the last few decades. Thus, we examined the trend and potential abrupt changes of the mass balance of Glacier No. 1. Principal component analysis and singular value decomposition were used to find significant relations between the mass balance of Glacier No. 1 and Northern Hemisphere teleconnection patterns using climate indices. It was found that the mass balance of Glacier No. 1 had a significantly decreasing trend corresponding to −14.5 mm/year from 1959 to 2010. A change point was detected in 1997 with 99% confidence level. Two time periods with different mass balances were identified as 1959–1996 and 1997–2010. The mass balance for the first period was −136.4 mm/year and up to −663.9 mm/year for the second period. The mass balance of Glacier No. 1 is positively related to the Scandinavian Pattern (SCA, and negatively related to the East Atlantic Pattern (EA. These relationships are useful in better understanding the interaction between glacier mass balance and climate variability.

  1. 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

  2. Bacterial succession in Antarctic soils of two glacier forefields on Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajerski, Felizitas; Wagner, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Antarctic glacier forefields are extreme environments and pioneer sites for ecological succession. Increasing temperatures due to global warming lead to enhanced deglaciation processes in cold-affected habitats, and new terrain is becoming exposed to soil formation and microbial colonization. However, only little is known about the impact of environmental changes on microbial communities and how they develop in connection to shifting habitat characteristics. In this study, using a combination of molecular and geochemical analysis, we determine the structure and development of bacterial communities depending on soil parameters in two different glacier forefields on Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate that deglaciation-dependent habitat formation, resulting in a gradient in soil moisture, pH and conductivity, leads to an orderly bacterial succession for some groups, for example Cyanobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Deltaproteobacteria in a transect representing 'classical' glacier forefields. A variable bacterial distribution and different composed communities were revealed according to soil heterogeneity in a slightly 'matured' glacier forefield transect, where Gemmatimonadetes, Flavobacteria, Gamma- and Deltaproteobacteria occur depending on water availability and soil depth. Actinobacteria are dominant in both sites with dominance connected to certain trace elements in the glacier forefields. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakke, J.; Dahl, S.

    2011-12-01

    latitudes during the Holocene. Superimposed on the gradual increase in glacier-covered areas, the four largest glacier advances are bracketed between 7400-7000, 1400-1200, 900-700 and 300-150 years before AD 2000. In contrast to most reconstructed glaciers in Scandinavia, we found that the largest glacier advance at Okstindan was not associated with the "Little Ice Age", but rather to an earlier period centered about AD 700. Periods with glacier advances are all associated with periods of increased winter precipitation along the coast of Norway and hence a stronger effect of the westerlies, where differences in the distribution of precipitation are assumed to reflect changes in the position of the westerlies.

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Yablokov

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Köhler

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dynamic glacier activity is increasingly observed through passive seismic monitoring. We analysed near-regional-scale seismicity on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to identify seismic icequake signals and to study their spatial–temporal distribution within the 14-year period from 2000 until 2013. This is the first study that uses seismic data recorded on permanent broadband stations to detect and locate icequakes in different regions of Spitsbergen, the main island of the archipelago. A temporary local seismic network and direct observations of glacier calving and surging were used to identify icequake sources. We observed a high number of icequakes with clear spectral peaks between 1 and 8 Hz in different parts of Spitsbergen. Spatial clusters of icequakes could be associated with individual grounded tidewater glaciers and exhibited clear seasonal variability each year with more signals observed during the melt season. Locations at the termini of glaciers, and correlation with visual calving observations in situ at Kronebreen, a glacier in the Kongsfjorden region, show that these icequakes were caused dominantly by calving. Indirect evidence for glacier surging through increased calving seismicity was found in 2003 at Tunabreen, a glacier in central Spitsbergen. Another type of icequake was observed in the area of the Nathorstbreen glacier system. Seismic events occurred upstream of the glacier within a short time period between January and May 2009 during the initial phase of a major glacier surge. This study is the first step towards the generation and implementation of an operational seismic monitoring strategy for glacier dynamics in Svalbard.

  9. Contributions of natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing to mass loss of Northern Hemisphere mountain glaciers and quantifying their uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Yukiko; Nakano, Kazunari; Zhang, Yong; Watanabe, Satoshi; Tanoue, Masahiro; Kanae, Shinjiro

    2016-07-20

    Observational evidence indicates that a number of glaciers have lost mass in the past. Given that glaciers are highly impacted by the surrounding climate, human-influenced global warming may be partly responsible for mass loss. However, previous research studies have been limited to analyzing the past several decades, and it remains unclear whether past glacier mass losses are within the range of natural internal climate variability. Here, we apply an optimal fingerprinting technique to observed and reconstructed mass losses as well as multi-model general circulation model (GCM) simulations of mountain glacier mass to detect and attribute past glacier mass changes. An 8,800-year control simulation of glaciers enabled us to evaluate detectability. The results indicate that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the decreased area-weighted average masses of 85 analyzed glaciers. The effect was larger than the mass increase caused by natural forcing, although the contributions of natural and anthropogenic forcing to decreases in mass varied at the local scale. We also showed that the detection of anthropogenic or natural influences could not be fully attributed when natural internal climate variability was taken into account.

  10. Contributions of natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing to mass loss of Northern Hemisphere mountain glaciers and quantifying their uncertainties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Yukiko; Nakano, Kazunari; Zhang, Yong; Watanabe, Satoshi; Tanoue, Masahiro; Kanae, Shinjiro

    2016-07-01

    Observational evidence indicates that a number of glaciers have lost mass in the past. Given that glaciers are highly impacted by the surrounding climate, human-influenced global warming may be partly responsible for mass loss. However, previous research studies have been limited to analyzing the past several decades, and it remains unclear whether past glacier mass losses are within the range of natural in