WorldWideScience

Sample records for melting glaciers rising

  1. 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

  2. The atmospheric boundary layer over melting glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1998-01-01

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

  3. Heat sources for glacial ice melt in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord: The role of subglacial freshwater discharge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2015-01-01

    The melting of tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes significantly to global sea level rise. Accelerated mass loss is related to melt-processes in front of calving glaciers, yet the role of ocean heat transports is poorly understood. Here we present the first direct...... of the area near the glacier showed that ice melt was mainly due to ocean heat transport and that direct plume-associated melt was only important in periods with high meltwater discharge rates of ~100 m3 s−1. Ocean mixing outside of the plume area was thus the primary heat source for melting glacier ice....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. What color should snow algae be and what does it mean for glacier melt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, R. J.; Ganey, G. Q.; Loso, M.; Burgess, A. B.; Skiles, M.

    2017-12-01

    Specialized microbes colonize glaciers and ice sheets worldwide and, like all organisms, they are unable to metabolize water in its solid form. It is well understood that net solar radiation controls melt in almost all snow and ice covered environments, and theoretical and empirical studies have documented the substantial reduction of albedo by these microbes both on ice and on snow, implicating a microbial role in glacier melt. If glacial microbiomes are limited by liquid water, and the albedo-reducing properties of individual cells enhance melt rates, then natural selection should favor those microbes that melt ice and snow crystals most efficiently. Here we: (1) argue that natural selection favors a red color on snow and a near-black color on ice based on instantaneous radiative forcing. (2) Review results of the first replicated, controlled field experiment to both quantify the impact of microbes on snowmelt in "red-snow" communities and demonstrate their water-limitation and (3) show the extent of snow-algae's spatial distribution and estimate their contribution to snowmelt across a large Alaskan icefield using remote sensing. On the 700 km2 of a 2,000 km2 maritime icefield in Alaska where red-snow was present, microbes increased snowmelt over 20% by volume, a percentage likely to increase as the climate warms and particulate pollution intensifies with important implications for models of sea level rise.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, R.; Sandeep, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Seasonal variation of ice melting on varying layers of debris of Lirung Glacier, Langtang Valley, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. B. Chand

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers in the Himalayan region are often covered by extensive debris cover in ablation areas, hence it is essential to assess the effect of debris on glacier ice melt. Seasonal melting of ice beneath different thicknesses of debris on Lirung Glacier in Langtang Valley, Nepal, was studied during three seasons of 2013–14. The melting rates of ice under 5 cm debris thickness are 3.52, 0.09, and 0.85 cm d−1 during the monsoon, winter and pre-monsoon season, respectively. Maximum melting is observed in dirty ice (0.3 cm debris thickness and the rate decreases with the increase of debris thickness. The energy balance calculations on dirty ice and at 40 cm debris thickness show that the main energy source of ablation is net radiation. The major finding from this study is that the maximum melting occurs during the monsoon season than rest of the seasons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-06

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

  14. 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...

  15. Iron from melting glaciers fuels phytoplankton blooms in the Amundsen Sea (Southern Ocean): Phytoplankton characteristics and productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alderkamp, A.C.; Mills, M.M.; van Dijken, G.L.; Laan, P.; Thuróczy, C.-E.; Gerringa, L.J.A.; de Baar, H.J.W.; Payne, C.D.; Visser, R.J.W.; Buma, A.G.J.; Arrigo, K.R.

    2012-01-01

    The phytoplankton community composition and productivity in waters of the Amundsen Sea and surrounding sea ice zone were characterized with respect to iron (Fe) input from melting glaciers. High Fe input from glaciers such as the Pine Island Glacier, and the Dotson and Crosson ice shelves resulted

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Consistent increase in High Asia's runoff due to increasing glacier melt and precipitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    Rivers originating in the high mountains of Asia are among the most meltwater-dependent river systems on Earth, yet large human populations depend on their resources downstream1. Across High Asias river basins, there is large variation in the contribution of glacier and snow melt to total runoff 2,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Rets

    2017-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Cogley, J Graham; Wouters, Bert; Arendt, Anthony A; Wahr, John; Berthier, Etienne; Hock, Regine; Pfeffer, W Tad; Kaser, Georg; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Bolch, Tobias; Sharp, Martin J; Hagen, Jon Ove; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Paul, Frank

    2013-05-17

    Glaciers distinct from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are losing large amounts of water to the world's oceans. However, estimates of their contribution to sea level rise disagree. We provide a consensus estimate by standardizing existing, and creating new, mass-budget estimates from satellite gravimetry and altimetry and from local glaciological records. In many regions, local measurements are more negative than satellite-based estimates. All regions lost mass during 2003-2009, with the largest losses from Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes, and high-mountain Asia, but there was little loss from glaciers in Antarctica. Over this period, the global mass budget was -259 ± 28 gigatons per year, equivalent to the combined loss from both ice sheets and accounting for 29 ± 13% of the observed sea level rise.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-15

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

  4. 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

  5. Vulnerability of Southeast Greenland Glaciers to Warm Atlantic Water From Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    We employ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Operation IceBridge high-resolution airborne gravity from 2016, NASA's Ocean Melting Greenland bathymetry from 2015, ice thickness from Operation IceBridge from 2010 to 2015, and BedMachine v3 to analyze 20 major southeast Greenland glaciers. The results reveal glacial fjords several hundreds of meters deeper than previously thought; the full extent of the marine-based portions of the glaciers; deep troughs enabling warm, salty Atlantic Water (AW) to reach the glacier fronts and melt them from below; and few shallow sills that limit the access of AW. The new oceanographic and topographic data help to fully resolve the complex pattern of historical ice front positions from the 1930s to 2017: glaciers exposed to AW and resting on retrograde beds have retreated rapidly, while glaciers perched on shallow sills or standing in colder waters or with major sills in the fjords have remained stable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, N.; McDonald, K. C.

    2017-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Variability of Basal Melt Beneath the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Vaughan, David G.; Vornberger, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Observations from satellite and airborne platforms are combined with model calculations to infer the nature and efficiency of basal melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, by ocean waters. Satellite imagery shows surface features that suggest ice-shelf-wide changes to the ocean s influence on the ice shelf as the grounding line retreated. Longitudinal profiles of ice surface and bottom elevations are analyzed to reveal a spatially dependent pattern of basal melt with an annual melt flux of 40.5 Gt/a. One profile captures a persistent set of surface waves that correlates with quasi-annual variations of atmospheric forcing of Amundsen Sea circulation patterns, establishing a direct connection between atmospheric variability and sub-ice-shelf melting. Ice surface troughs are hydrostatically compensated by ice-bottom voids up to 150m deep. Voids form dynamically at the grounding line, triggered by enhanced melting when warmer-than-average water arrives. Subsequent enlargement of the voids is thermally inefficient (4% or less) compared with an overall melting efficiency beneath the ice shelf of 22%. Residual warm water is believed to cause three persistent polynyas at the ice-shelf front seen in Landsat imagery. Landsat thermal imagery confirms the occurrence of warm water at the same locations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Hydro-Chemical Characterization of Melt Waters of Ponkar Glacier, Manang, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, R.; Sandeep, S.

    2016-12-01

    The study was carried out in Ponkar Glacier, representing Himalayan glacier of Nepal. The study aims in determining the hydrochemistry of the glacier melt water. The sampling sites included moraine dammed, Ponkar Lake at 4120 m a.s.l to the downstream glaciated river at 3580 m a.s.l. The water samples were collected from the seven different sites according to the geological features. On site measurements of the parameters like pH, temperature, electrical conductivity was done by digital multi-probes. The samples were brought to the laboratory and the parameters were analyzed according to the standard guidelines and protocols. The glacier meltwater was slightly basic with pH 7.44 (±0.32). The water was slightly hard 36.43 (±9.15) mg CaCO3/L 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- > PO43-. Calcium carbonate weathering was found out to be the major source of dissolved ions in the region. The parameters like chloride, total silica and iron were found to be 55.71 (±32.03) mg/L, 1.13 (±0.76) mg/L and 1.1 (±0.97) mg/L which is in the significant range. Whereas the concentration of manganese (<0.05 mg/L) and zinc (<0.02 mg/L) were not in detectable levels in few stations. The results of this study can be helpful in preliminary assessment of hydrochemistry and its linkage with climate change impacts in this region.

  15. Quantifying present and future glacier melt-water contribution to runoff in a central Himalayan river basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Prasch

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Water supply of most lowland cultures heavily depends on rain and melt water from the upstream mountains. Especially melt-water release of alpine mountain ranges is usually attributed a pivotal role for the water supply of large downstream regions. Water scarcity is assumed as consequence of glacier shrinkage and possible disappearance due to global climate change (GCC, in particular for large parts of Central and Southeast Asia. In this paper, the application and validation of a coupled modeling approach with regional climate model (RCM outputs and a process-oriented glacier and hydrological model is presented for the central Himalayan Lhasa River basin despite scarce data availability. Current and possible future contributions of ice melt to runoff along the river network are spatially explicitly shown. Its role among the other water balance components is presented. Although glaciers have retreated and will continue to retreat according to the chosen climate scenarios, water availability is and will be primarily determined by monsoon precipitation and snowmelt. Ice melt from glaciers is and will be a minor runoff component in summer monsoon-dominated Himalayan river basins.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, H.; Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.

    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 km2) using a simplified energy balance model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR...... 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...... 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...

  17. Glaciers of North America - Glaciers of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    literature for each of the 11 mountain ranges, the large island, the island chain, and the archipelago was conducted to determine both the individual and the regional status of Alaskan glaciers and to characterize changes in thickness and terminus position of representative glaciers in each mountain range or island group. In many areas, observations used for determining changes date from the late 18th or early 19th century. Temperature records at all Alaskan meteorological recording stations document a 20th century warming trend. Therefore, characterizing the response of Alaska's glaciers to changing climate helps to quantify potential sea-level rise from past, present, and future melting of glacier ice (deglaciation of the 14 glacierized regions of Alaska), understand present and future hydrological changes, and define impacts on ecosystems that are responding to deglacierization. Many different types of data were scrutinized to determine baselines and to assess the magnitude of glacier change. These data include the following: published descriptions of glaciers (1794-2000), especially the comprehensive research by Field (1975a) and his colleagues in the Alaska part of Mountain Glaciers of the Northern Hemisphere, aerial photography (since 1926), ground photography (since 1884), airborne radar (1981-91), satellite radar (1978-98), space photography (1984-94), multispectral satellite imagery (since 1972), aerial reconnaissance and field observations made by many scientists during the past several decades, and various types of proxy data. The published and unpublished data available for each glacierized region and individual glacier varied significantly. Geospatial analysis of digitized U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps is used to statistically define selected glaciological parameters in the eastern part of the Alaska Range. The analysis determined that every mountain range and island group investigated can be characterized by significant glac

  18. 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

  19. Field Investigation of the Turbulent Flux Parameterization and Scalar Turbulence Structure over a Melting Valley Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, X.; Yang, K.; Yang, W.; Li, S.; Long, Z.

    2011-12-01

    We present a field investigation over a melting valley glacier on the Tibetan Plateau. One particular aspect lies in that three melt phases are distinguished during the glacier's ablation season, which enables us to compare results over snow, bare-ice, and hummocky surfaces [with aerodynamic roughness lengths (z0M) varying on the order of 10-4-10-2 m]. We address two issues of common concern in the study of glacio-meteorology and micrometeorology. First, we study turbulent energy flux estimation through a critical evaluation of three parameterizations of the scalar roughness lengths (z0T for temperature and z0q for humidity), viz. key factors for the accurate estimation of sensible heat and latent heat fluxes using the bulk aerodynamic method. The first approach (Andreas 1987, Boundary-Layer Meteorol 38:159-184) is based on surface-renewal models and has been very widely applied in glaciated areas; the second (Yang et al. 2002, Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 128:2073-2087) has never received application over an ice/snow surface, despite its validity in arid regions; the third approach (Smeets and van den Broeke 2008, Boundary-Layer Meteorol 128:339-355) is proposed for use specifically over rough ice defined as z0M > 10-3 m or so. This empirical z0M threshold value is deemed of general relevance to glaciated areas (e.g. ice sheet/cap and valley/outlet glaciers), above which the first approach gives underestimated z0T and z0q. The first and the third approaches tend to underestimate and overestimate turbulent heat/moisture exchange, respectively (relative errors often > 30%). Overall, the second approach produces fairly low errors in energy flux estimates; it thus emerges as a practically useful choice to parameterize z0T and z0q over an ice/snow surface. Our evaluation of z0T and z0q parameterizations hopefully serves as a useful source of reference for physically based modeling of land-ice surface energy budget and mass balance. Second, we explore how scalar turbulence

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Recent Basal Melting of a Mid-Latitude Glacier on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, Frances E. G.; Balme, M. R.; Gallagher, C.; Arnold, N. S.; Conway, S. J.; Hagermann, A.; Lewis, S. R.

    2017-12-01

    Evidence for past basal melting of young (late Amazonian-aged), debris-covered glaciers in Mars' mid-latitudes is extremely rare. Thus, it is widely thought that these viscous flow features (VFFs) have been perennially frozen to their beds. We identify an instance of recent, localized wet-based mid-latitude glaciation, evidenced by a candidate esker emerging from a VFF in a tectonic rift in Tempe Terra. Eskers are sedimentary ridges deposited in ice-walled meltwater conduits and are indicative of glacial melting. We compare the candidate esker to terrestrial analogues, present a geomorphic map of landforms in the rift, and develop a landsystem model to explain their formation. We propose that the candidate esker formed during a transient phase of wet-based glaciation. We then consider the similarity between the geologic setting of the new candidate esker and that of the only other candidate esker to be identified in association with an existing mid-latitude VFF; both are within tectonic graben/rifts proximal to volcanic provinces. Finally, we calculate potential basal temperatures for a range of VFF thicknesses, driving stresses, mean annual surface temperatures, and geothermal heat fluxes, which unlike previous studies, include the possible role of internal strain heating. Strain heating can form an important additional heat source, especially in flow convergence zones, or where ice is warmer due to elevated surface temperatures or geothermal heat flux. Elevated geothermal heat flux within rifts, perhaps combined with locally-elevated strain heating, may have permitted wet-based glaciation during the late Amazonian, when cold climates precluded more extensive wet-based glaciation on Mars.

  3. Modelling runoff and glacier melt in the Hunza basin in northern Pakistan using satellite remote sensing techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafiq, M.

    2011-01-01

    The glaciers in western Karakoram are important for freshwater supply in the rivers of Pakistan. Global warming influences the future water supply from glaciers. In order to study the hydrological conditions and possible impacts of climate change, runoff simulations are performed for the Hunza basin. The hydrological modelling system SRM (Snowmelt Runoff Model) is customized and applied to the Hunza basin. Various data obtained from satellite remote sensing imagery and meteorological stations in the study area are processed, prepared and used as input to SRM. For runoff simulations the basin is divided into five sub-basins. The (sub-) basins are defined by the hydrological response units (HRU) based on the elevation zones and land-cover types. The spatially distributed data are aggregated HRU-wise as input for the model simulations. The energy available for snow and glacier melt is parameterized in SRM by degree day factors which are defined separately for seasonal snow, ice and debris covered glaciers. The model is calibrated for the Hunza basin using the meteorological and remote sensing data from years 2002 and 2003. The daily runoff is simulated and compared with the measured discharge data obtained from the power company. The Nash-Sutcliffe correlation coefficient of simulated versus measured runoff data is 0.87 for year 2002 and 0.96 for year 2003 which indicates a good agreement. An estimation of mass balance of Baltoro glacier is made using the meteorological data from Shigar station applying the hydrological method to estimate accumulation and melt. Based on these data is found that Baltoro glacier has slightly negative mass balance. The ablation rates of debris covered parts of Baltoro glacier at 4150 m elevation are estimated to be between 3 and 4 cm per day. However, the uncertainty in mass balance modelling is high due to poor knowledge of accumulation inferred by spatial extrapolation from station data.Keeping the glacier area unchanged, for the 2002

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallbeck, Lotta

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-10-15

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

  9. Tropical Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Andrew

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

  10. On the influence of debris in glacier melt modelling: a new temperature-index model accounting for the debris thickness feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carenzo, Marco; Mabillard, Johan; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Reid, Tim; Brock, Ben; Burlando, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    The increase of rockfalls from the surrounding slopes and of englacial melt-out material has led to an increase of the debris cover extent on Alpine glaciers. In recent years, distributed debris energy-balance models have been developed to account for the melt rate enhancing/reduction due to a thin/thick debris layer, respectively. However, such models require a large amount of input data that are not often available, especially in remote mountain areas such as the Himalaya. Some of the input data such as wind or temperature are also of difficult extrapolation from station measurements. Due to their lower data requirement, empirical models have been used in glacier melt modelling. However, they generally simplify the debris effect by using a single melt-reduction factor which does not account for the influence of debris thickness on melt. In this paper, we present a new temperature-index model accounting for the debris thickness feedback in the computation of melt rates at the debris-ice interface. The empirical parameters (temperature factor, shortwave radiation factor, and lag factor accounting for the energy transfer through the debris layer) are optimized at the point scale for several debris thicknesses against melt rates simulated by a physically-based debris energy balance model. The latter has been validated against ablation stake readings and surface temperature measurements. Each parameter is then related to a plausible set of debris thickness values to provide a general and transferable parameterization. The new model is developed on Miage Glacier, Italy, a debris cover glacier in which the ablation area is mantled in near-continuous layer of rock. Subsequently, its transferability is tested on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland, where debris is thinner and its extension has been seen to expand in the last decades. The results show that the performance of the new debris temperature-index model (DETI) in simulating the glacier melt rate at the point scale

  11. An integrated modeling system for estimating glacier and snow melt driven streamflow from remote sensing and earth system data products in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Racoviteanu, A. E.; Tarboton, D. G.; Gupta, A. Sen; Nigro, J.; Policelli, F.; Habib, S.; Tokay, M.; Shrestha, M. S.; Bajracharya, S.; Hummel, P.; Gray, M.; Duda, P.; Zaitchik, B.; Mahat, V.; Artan, G.; Tokar, S.

    2014-11-01

    Quantification of the contribution of the hydrologic components (snow, ice and rain) to river discharge in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is important for decision-making in water sensitive sectors, and for water resources management and flood risk reduction. In this area, access to and monitoring of the glaciers and their melt outflow is challenging due to difficult access, thus modeling based on remote sensing offers the potential for providing information to improve water resources management and decision making. This paper describes an integrated modeling system developed using downscaled NASA satellite based and earth system data products coupled with in-situ hydrologic data to assess the contribution of snow and glaciers to the flows of the rivers in the HKH region. Snow and glacier melt was estimated using the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) model, further enhanced to accommodate glacier ice melt over clean and debris-covered tongues, then meltwater was input into the USGS Geospatial Stream Flow Model (GeoSFM). The two model components were integrated into Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources modeling framework (BASINS) as a user-friendly open source system and was made available to countries in high Asia. Here we present a case study from the Langtang Khola watershed in the monsoon-influenced Nepal Himalaya, used to validate our energy balance approach and to test the applicability of our modeling system. The snow and glacier melt model predicts that for the eight years used for model evaluation (October 2003-September 2010), the total surface water input over the basin was 9.43 m, originating as 62% from glacier melt, 30% from snowmelt and 8% from rainfall. Measured streamflow for those years were 5.02 m, reflecting a runoff coefficient of 0.53. GeoSFM simulated streamflow was 5.31 m indicating reasonable correspondence between measured and model confirming the capability of the integrated system to provide a quantification of

  12. An Integrated Modeling System for Estimating Glacier and Snow Melt Driven Streamflow from Remote Sensing and Earth System Data Products in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Racoviteanu, A. E.; Tarboton, D. G.; Sen Gupta, A.; Nigro, J.; Policelli, F.; Habib, S.; Tokay, M.; Shrestha, M. S.; Bajracharya, S.

    2014-01-01

    Quantification of the contribution of the hydrologic components (snow, ice and rain) to river discharge in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is important for decision-making in water sensitive sectors, and for water resources management and flood risk reduction. In this area, access to and monitoring of the glaciers and their melt outflow is challenging due to difficult access, thus modeling based on remote sensing offers the potential for providing information to improve water resources management and decision making. This paper describes an integrated modeling system developed using downscaled NASA satellite based and earth system data products coupled with in-situ hydrologic data to assess the contribution of snow and glaciers to the flows of the rivers in the HKH region. Snow and glacier melt was estimated using the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) model, further enhanced to accommodate glacier ice melt over clean and debris-covered tongues, then meltwater was input into the USGS Geospatial Stream Flow Model (Geo- SFM). The two model components were integrated into Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources modeling framework (BASINS) as a user-friendly open source system and was made available to countries in high Asia. Here we present a case study from the Langtang Khola watershed in the monsoon-influenced Nepal Himalaya, used to validate our energy balance approach and to test the applicability of our modeling system. The snow and glacier melt model predicts that for the eight years used for model evaluation (October 2003-September 2010), the total surface water input over the basin was 9.43 m, originating as 62% from glacier melt, 30% from snowmelt and 8% from rainfall. Measured streamflow for those years were 5.02 m, reflecting a runoff coefficient of 0.53. GeoSFM simulated streamflow was 5.31 m indicating reasonable correspondence between measured and model confirming the capability of the integrated system to provide a quantification

  13. Glacier Melt Detection in Complex Terrain Using New AMSR-E Calibrated Enhanced Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature (CETB) Earth System Data Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, J. M.; Brodzik, M. J.; Hardman, M.

    2016-12-01

    Passive microwave (PM) 18 GHz and 36 GHz horizontally- and vertically-polarized brightness temperatures (Tb) channels from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) have been important sources of information about snow melt status in glacial environments, particularly at high latitudes. PM data are sensitive to the changes in near-surface liquid water that accompany melt onset, melt intensification, and refreezing. Overpasses are frequent enough that in most areas multiple (2-8) observations per day are possible, yielding the potential for determining the dynamic state of the snow pack during transition seasons. AMSR-E Tb data have been used effectively to determine melt onset and melt intensification using daily Tb and diurnal amplitude variation (DAV) thresholds. Due to mixed pixels in historically coarse spatial resolution Tb data, melt analysis has been impractical in ice-marginal zones where pixels may be only fractionally snow/ice covered, and in areas where the glacier is near large bodies of water: even small regions of open water in a pixel severely impact the microwave signal. We use the new enhanced-resolution Calibrated Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature (CETB) Earth System Data Record product's twice daily obserations to test and update existing snow melt algorithms by determining appropriate melt thresholds for both Tb and DAV for the CETB 18 and 36 GHz channels. We use the enhanced resolution data to evaluate melt characteristics along glacier margins and melt transition zones during the melt seasons in locations spanning a wide range of melt scenarios, including the Patagonian Andes, the Alaskan Coast Range, and the Russian High Arctic icecaps. We quantify how improvement of spatial resolution from the original 12.5 - 25 km-scale pixels to the enhanced resolution of 3.125 - 6.25 km improves the ability to evaluate melt timing across boundaries and transition zones in diverse glacial environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, K.; Marshall, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  17. Consistent estimate of ocean warming, land ice melt and sea level rise from Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazquez, Alejandro; Meyssignac, Benoît; Lemoine, Jean Michel

    2016-04-01

    Based on the sea level budget closure approach, this study investigates the consistency of observed Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) estimates from satellite altimetry, observed Ocean Thermal Expansion (OTE) estimates from in-situ hydrographic data (based on Argo for depth above 2000m and oceanic cruises below) and GRACE observations of land water storage and land ice melt for the period January 2004 to December 2014. The consistency between these datasets is a key issue if we want to constrain missing contributions to sea level rise such as the deep ocean contribution. Numerous previous studies have addressed this question by summing up the different contributions to sea level rise and comparing it to satellite altimetry observations (see for example Llovel et al. 2015, Dieng et al. 2015). Here we propose a novel approach which consists in correcting GRACE solutions over the ocean (essentially corrections of stripes and leakage from ice caps) with mass observations deduced from the difference between satellite altimetry GMSL and in-situ hydrographic data OTE estimates. We check that the resulting GRACE corrected solutions are consistent with original GRACE estimates of the geoid spherical harmonic coefficients within error bars and we compare the resulting GRACE estimates of land water storage and land ice melt with independent results from the literature. This method provides a new mass redistribution from GRACE consistent with observations from Altimetry and OTE. We test the sensibility of this method to the deep ocean contribution and the GIA models and propose best estimates.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2018-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmieder, Jan; Marke, Thomas; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Climate-model induced differences in the 21st century global and regional glacier contributions to sea-level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giesen, R.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831603; Oerlemans, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/06833656X

    2013-01-01

    The large uncertainty in future global glacier volume projections partly results from a substantial range in future climate conditions projected by global climate models. This study addresses the effect of global and regional differences in climate input data on the projected twenty-first century

  4. The Intensity, Directionality, and Statistics of Underwater Noise From Melting Icebergs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glowacki, Oskar; Deane, Grant B.; Moskalik, Mateusz

    2018-05-01

    Freshwater fluxes from melting icebergs and glaciers are important contributors to both sea level rise and anomalies of seawater salinity in polar regions. However, the hazards encountered close to icebergs and glaciers make it difficult to quantify their melt rates directly, motivating the development of cryoacoustics as a remote sensing technique. Recent studies have shown a qualitative link between ice melting and the accompanying underwater noise, but the properties of this signal remain poorly understood. Here we examine the intensity, directionality, and temporal statistics of the underwater noise radiated by melting icebergs in Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard, using a three-element acoustic array. We present the first estimate of noise energy per unit area associated with iceberg melt and demonstrate its qualitative dependence on exposure to surface current. Finally, we show that the analysis of noise directionality and statistics makes it possible to distinguish iceberg melt from the glacier terminus melt.

  5. Glacier melting during lava dome growth at Nevado de Toluca volcano (Mexico): Evidences of a major threat before main eruptive phases at ice-caped volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capra, L.; Roverato, M.; Groppelli, G.; Caballero, L.; Sulpizio, R.; Norini, G.

    2015-03-01

    Nevado de Toluca volcano is one of the largest stratovolcanoes in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. During Late Pleistocene its activity was characterized by large dome growth and subsequent collapse emplacing large block and ash flow deposits, intercalated by Plinian eruptions. Morphological and paleoclimate studies at Nevado de Toluca and the surrounding area evidenced that the volcano was affected by extensive glaciation during Late Pleistocene and Holocene. During the older recognized glacial period (27-60 ka, MIS 3), the glacier was disturbed by the intense magmatic and hydrothermal activity related to two dome extrusion episodes (at 37 ka and 28 ka). Glacier reconstruction indicates maximum ice thickness of 90 m along main valleys, as at the Cano ravines, the major glacial valley on the northern slope of the volcano. Along this ravine, both 37 and 28 ka block-and-ash deposits are exposed, and they directly overlay a fluviatile sequence, up to 40 m-thick, which 14C ages clearly indicate that their emplacement occurred just before the dome collapsed. These evidences point to a clear interaction between the growing dome and its hydrothermal system with the glacier. During dome growth, a large amount of melting water was released along major glacial valleys forming thick fluvioglacial sequences that were subsequently covered by the block-and-ash flow deposits generated by the collapse of the growing dome. Even though this scenario is no longer possible at the Nevado de Toluca volcano, the data presented here indicate that special attention should be paid to the possible inundation areas from fluviatile/lahar activity prior to the main magmatic eruption at ice-capped volcanoes.

  6. Can mountain glacier melting explains the GRACE-observed mass loss in the southeast Tibetan Plateau: From a climate perspective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chunqiao; Ke, Linghong; Huang, Bo; Richards, Keith S.

    2015-01-01

    The southeast Tibetan Plateau (SETP) includes the majority of monsoonal temperate glaciers in High Mountain Asia (HMA), which is an important source of water for the upper reaches of several large Asian river systems. Climatic change and variability has substantial impacts on cryosphere and hydrological processes in the SETP. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) gravimetry observations between 2003 and 2009 suggest that there was an average mass loss rate of - 5.99 ± 2.78 Gigatonnes (Gt)/yr in this region. Meanwhile, the hydrological data by model calculations from the GLDAS/Noah and CPC are used to estimate terrestrial water storage (TWS) changes with a slight negative trend of about - 0.3 Gt/yr. The recent studies (Kääb et al., 2012; Gardner et al., 2013) reported the thinning rates of mountain glaciers in HMA based on the satellite laser altimetry, and an approximate estimation of the glacier mass budget in the SETP was 4.69 ± 2.03 Gt/yr during 2003-2009. This estimate accounted for a large proportion ( 78.3%) of the difference between the GRACE TWS and model-calculated TWS changes. To better understand the cause of sharp mass loss existing in the SETP, the correlations between key climatic variables (precipitation and temperature) and the GRACE TWS changes are examined at different timescales between 2003 and 2011. The results show that precipitation is the leading factors of abrupt, seasonal and multi-year undulating signals of GRACE TWS anomaly time series, but with weak correlations with the inter-annual trend and annual mass budget of GRACE TWS. In contrast, the annual mean temperature is tightly associated with the annual net mass budget (r = 0.81, p < 0.01), which indirectly suggests that the GRACE-observed mass loss in the SETP may be highly related to glacial processes.

  7. Stochastic melting of the marble cake mantle: Evidence from local study of the East Pacific Rise at 12050'N

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prinzhofer, A.; Lewin, E.; Allegre, C.J.; Paris-7 Univ., 75

    1989-01-01

    Isotopes (Nd, Sr and Pb) and trace elements (REE, Ba, Sr, Rb) have been measured on a set of basaltic glasses from a restricted area (40x10 km) at 12 0 50'N on the East Pacific Rise. The huge variation of incompatible element concentrations (factor 70 for Ba concentrations), and the variable degrees of correlation between element concentrations cannot be explained by usual models of melting and fractional crystallization. A rough correlation between the Ce/Yb ratio and the isotopic ratios favors a ''source effect'' for the genesis of the glasses. We have developed a model including both partial melting process acting on a heterogeneous mantle source with two components (peridotites and pyroxenites; ''marble cake mantle'' of Allegre and Turcotte) and fractional crystallization. The purpose of this model is not to obtain values of the four parameters involved (degree of melting in the peridotites, in the pyroxenites, proportion of pyroxenites involved in the melting, degree of fractional crystallization) for each analyzed glass, but to model the whole set of glasses by stochastic genesis and sampling of liquids. We have used the stochastic procedure for the four controlled parameters, currently generating 10,000 ''samples''. Our preferred model for this portion of the East Pacific Ridge is obtained with a degree of melting in the peridotites and in the pyroxenites varying uniformly from 6 to 20%, and from 6 to 50% respectively. The degree of mixing between liquids issued from the two sources varies from 0 to 100%, and the degree of fractional crystallization remains small, without noticeable effect on the concentrations, varying from 0 to 6%. (orig.)

  8. The rise of sea level. To understand and to anticipate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-03-01

    By proposing and briefly commenting graphs and drawings, this publication propose brief presentations of the main issues related to sea level rise: global warming and climate disturbance, description of the phenomenon of sea level rise (difference between sea ice and ground ice, melting of glaciers), increase of sea level rise during the twentieth century, territories at risk (examples of Greenland, Tuvalu, Shanghai), acceleration of ice melting during the twenty first century with many coastal areas at risk, already noticed and possible future impacts in France (glaciers runoff, threatened coasts, example of the Xynthia tempest), how to be united and to anticipate (a threat for millions of people, adaptation to sea level rise, limitation of global warming to limit sea level rise)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Modeling the Rock Glacier Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Assessment of snow-glacier melt and rainfall contribution to stream runoff in Baspa Basin, Indian Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaddam, Vinay Kumar; Kulkarni, Anil V; Gupta, Anil Kumar

    2018-02-20

    Hydrological regimes of most of the Himalayan river catchments are poorly studied due to sparse hydro-meteorological data. Hence, stream runoff assessment becomes difficult for various socio-industrial activities in the Himalaya. Therefore, an attempt is made in this study to assess the stream runoff of Baspa River in Himachal Pradesh, India, by evaluating the contribution from snow-ice melt and rainfall runoff. The total volume of flow was computed for a period of 15 years, from 2000 to 2014, and validated with the long-term field discharge measurements, obtained from Jaipee Hydropower station (31° 32' 35.53″ N, 78° 00' 54.80″ E), at Kuppa barrage in the basin. The observations suggest (1) a good correlation (r 2  > 0.80) between the modeled runoff and field discharge measurements, and (2) out of the total runoff, 81.2% are produced by snowmelt, 11.4% by rainfall, and 7.4% from ice melt. The catchment receives ~75% of its total runoff in the ablation period (i.e., from May to September). In addition, an early snowmelt is observed in accumulation season during study period, indicating the significant influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on high-altitude areas.

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamics of bedload size and rate during snow and glacier melting in a high-gradient Andean stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Luca; Carrillo, Ricardo

    2016-04-01

    during the snowmelt and early glaciermelting, sediment availability appears to be unlimited and hysteresis can be ascribed to pulses of sediments coming from the proglacial area. Instead, as the glaciermelting season progresses, sediment availability decreases probably due to the progressive exhaustion of sediments stored in the channel bed, and counterclockwise hysteresis can be ascribed to changes in the organization of the surface sediments at the scale of clusters. Results highlight the complex relationships between dynamics of sediment sources at the basin scale and changes in channel sediment storage overtime, resulting in abrupt changes in rate and size of sediment transport. Long-term assessment of these dynamics using indirect methods to assess bedload transport can provide important insights for understanding probable trajectories of morphological evolution of glacierized streams which are subject to rapid environmental changes. This research is being developed within the framework of Project FONDECYT 1130378.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Melting of major Glaciers in the western Himalayas: evidence of climatic changes from long term MSU derived tropospheric temperature trend (1979–2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. K. Prasad

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Global warming or the increase of the surface and atmospheric temperatures of the Earth, is increasingly discernible in the polar, sub-polar and major land glacial areas. The Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau Glaciers, which are the largest glaciers outside of the Polar Regions, are showing a large-scale decrease of snow cover and an extensive glacial retreat. These glaciers such as Siachen and Gangotri are a major water resource for Asia as they feed major rivers such as the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra. Due to scarcity of ground measuring stations, the long-term observations of atmospheric temperatures acquired from the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU since 1979–2008 is highly useful. The lower and middle tropospheric temperature trend based on 30 years of MSU data shows warming of the Northern Hemisphere's mid-latitude regions. The mean month-to-month warming (up to 0.048±0.026°K/year or 1.44°K over 30 years of the mid troposphere (near surface over the high altitude Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau is prominent and statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval. Though the mean annual warming trend over the Himalayas (0.016±0.005°K/year, and Tibetan Plateau (0.008±0.006°K/year is positive, the month to month warming trend is higher (by 2–3 times, positive and significant only over a period of six months (December to May. The factors responsible for the reversal of this trend from June to November are discussed here. The inequality in the magnitude of the warming trends of the troposphere between the western and eastern Himalayas and the IG (Indo-Gangetic plains is attributed to the differences in increased aerosol loading (due to dust storms over these regions. The monthly mean lower-tropospheric MSU-derived temperature trend over the IG plains (dust sink region; up to 0.032±0.027°K/year and dust source regions (Sahara desert, Middle East, Arabian region, Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan and Thar Desert regions; up to 0.068±0.033

  16. Glacier retreat of the Tian Shan and its impact on the urban growth and environment evaluated from satellite remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, B. H.; Guo, Q.; Yan, F.; Zhang, J.; Shi, P. L.; Ayinuer, M.; Xue, G. L.

    2017-07-01

    The retreat of mountain glaciers, notably in high Asia, provides evidence for the rise of global temperature. The mass balance is vital for the health of a glacier. If the amount of frozen precipitation in the accumulation zone exceeds the quantity of glacial ice loss due to melting or lies in the ablation zone, the glacier will advance. Conversely, if the accumulation is less than the ablation, the glacier will retreat. Glaciers in retreat will have negative mass balances, and if they do not reach an equilibrium between accumulation and ablation, will eventually disappear. Long-term changes of the mountain glaciers in the Tian Shan, Central Asia, are not well constrained. Analyses of satellite remote sensing data combined with the ground observations reveal a 37.5% decline of glaciered area from 1989 to 2014 in No.1 Glacier, the headwaters of the Urumqi River basin, Chinese Tian Shan, which could be linked to increased summer melting. The results show that the area of glaciers was reduced from 31.55 km2 in 18 August 1989 to 28.66 km2 in 24 August 1994 and 19.74 km2 in 31 August 2014. The glacier area was reduced by 0.47 km2/per year in recent 25 years since 1989, and the annual reduction was 1.5%. Meanwhile, the urban area of Urumqi, the biggest city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, increased from 156 km2 in 1989 to 555 km2 in 2014. Correspondingly, the population of permanent residents increased from 1.06 million in 1989 to 3.53 million in 2014. We suggest that the decline of glacier area is driven primarily by summer melting and, possibly, linked to the combined effects of the global rise in temperatures and black carbon/CO2 emission from coal-fired power plants, cement plants and petroleum chemical plants from the nearby Urumqi and surrounding regions. The continuing retreat of glaciers will have a number of different quantitative impacts. Populations in the arid Central Asia regions are heavily dependent on snow and glacier melt for their irrigation and

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  19. Simple models for the simulation of submarine melt for a Greenland glacial system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, Johanna; Perrette, Mahé; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2018-01-01

    Two hundred marine-terminating Greenland outlet glaciers deliver more than half of the annually accumulated ice into the ocean and have played an important role in the Greenland ice sheet mass loss observed since the mid-1990s. Submarine melt may play a crucial role in the mass balance and position of the grounding line of these outlet glaciers. As the ocean warms, it is expected that submarine melt will increase, potentially driving outlet glaciers retreat and contributing to sea level rise. Projections of the future contribution of outlet glaciers to sea level rise are hampered by the necessity to use models with extremely high resolution of the order of a few hundred meters. That requirement in not only demanded when modeling outlet glaciers as a stand alone model but also when coupling them with high-resolution 3-D ocean models. In addition, fjord bathymetry data are mostly missing or inaccurate (errors of several hundreds of meters), which questions the benefit of using computationally expensive 3-D models for future predictions. Here we propose an alternative approach built on the use of a computationally efficient simple model of submarine melt based on turbulent plume theory. We show that such a simple model is in reasonable agreement with several available modeling studies. We performed a suite of experiments to analyze sensitivity of these simple models to model parameters and climate characteristics. We found that the computationally cheap plume model demonstrates qualitatively similar behavior as 3-D general circulation models. To match results of the 3-D models in a quantitative manner, a scaling factor of the order of 1 is needed for the plume models. We applied this approach to model submarine melt for six representative Greenland glaciers and found that the application of a line plume can produce submarine melt compatible with observational data. Our results show that the line plume model is more appropriate than the cone plume model for simulating

  20. Contemporary sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazenave, Anny; Llovel, William

    2010-01-01

    Measuring sea level change and understanding its causes has considerably improved in the recent years, essentially because new in situ and remote sensing observations have become available. Here we report on most recent results on contemporary sea level rise. We first present sea level observations from tide gauges over the twentieth century and from satellite altimetry since the early 1990s. We next discuss the most recent progress made in quantifying the processes causing sea level change on timescales ranging from years to decades, i.e., thermal expansion of the oceans, land ice mass loss, and land water-storage change. We show that for the 1993-2007 time span, the sum of climate-related contributions (2.85 +/- 0.35 mm year(-1)) is only slightly less than altimetry-based sea level rise (3.3 +/- 0.4 mm year(-1)): approximately 30% of the observed rate of rise is due to ocean thermal expansion and approximately 55% results from land ice melt. Recent acceleration in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets increases the latter contribution up to 80% for the past five years. We also review the main causes of regional variability in sea level trends: The dominant contribution results from nonuniform changes in ocean thermal expansion.

  1. Seasonal variability of the circulation system in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord, Godthåbsfjord (64°N)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, John; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Lennert, Kunuk

    2014-01-01

    Many tidewater outlet glacier fjords surround the coast of Greenland, and their dynamics and circulation are of great importance for understanding the heat transport toward glaciers from the ice sheet. Thus, fjord circulation is a critical aspect for assessing the threat of global sea level rise...... due to melting of the ice sheet. However, very few observational studies describe the seasonal dynamics of fjord circulation. Here we present the first continuous current measurements (April–November) from a deep mooring deployed in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord. Four distinct...... circulation phases are identified during the period, and they are related to exchange processes with coastal waters, tidal mixing, and melt processes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. During early summer, warm intermediate water is transported toward the glacier at an average velocity of about 7 cm s−1. In late...

  2. Satellite-derived submarine melt rates and mass balance (2011-2015) for Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Nat; Straneo, Fiammetta; Heimbach, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Ice-shelf-like floating extensions at the termini of Greenland glaciers are undergoing rapid changes with potential implications for the stability of upstream glaciers and the ice sheet as a whole. While submarine melting is recognized as a major contributor to mass loss, the spatial distribution of submarine melting and its contribution to the total mass balance of these floating extensions is incompletely known and understood. Here, we use high-resolution WorldView satellite imagery collected between 2011 and 2015 to infer the magnitude and spatial variability of melt rates under Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues - Nioghalvfjerdsbræ (79 North Glacier, 79N), Ryder Glacier (RG), and Petermann Glacier (PG). Submarine melt rates under the ice tongues vary considerably, exceeding 50 m a-1 near the grounding zone and decaying rapidly downstream. Channels, likely originating from upstream subglacial channels, give rise to large melt variations across the ice tongues. We compare the total melt rates to the influx of ice to the ice tongue to assess their contribution to the current mass balance. At Petermann Glacier and Ryder Glacier, we find that the combined submarine and aerial melt approximately balances the ice flux from the grounded ice sheet. At Nioghalvfjerdsbræ the total melt flux (14.2 ± 0.96 km3 a-1 w.e., water equivalent) exceeds the inflow of ice (10.2 ± 0.59 km3 a-1 w.e.), indicating present thinning of the ice tongue.

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Observed sea-level rise in the north Indian Ocean coasts during the past century

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Unnikrishnan, A.S.

    Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 91 Observed sea-level rise in the north Indian Ocean coasts during the past century A. S. Unnikrishnan National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa-403004 unni@nio.org Introduction Sea-level... rise is one of the good indicators of global warming. Rise in sea level occurs mainly through melting of glaciers, thermal expansion due to ocean warming and some other processes of relatively smaller magnitudes. Sea level rise is a global...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

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

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Widespread albedo decreasing and induced melting of Himalayan snow and ice in the early 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Jing; Wang, Yaqiang; Du, Zhencai; Zhang, Tong; Guo, Wanqin; Xiao, Cunde; Xu, Xiaobin; Ding, Minghu; Zhang, Dongqi; Yang, Wen

    2015-01-01

    The widely distributed glaciers in the greater Himalayan region have generally experienced rapid shrinkage since the 1850s. As invaluable sources of water and because of their scarcity, these glaciers are extremely important. Beginning in the twenty-first century, new methods have been applied to measure the mass budget of these glaciers. Investigations have shown that the albedo is an important parameter that affects the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The surface albedo based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data over the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalaya (HKH) glaciers is surveyed in this study for the period 2000-2011. The general albedo trend shows that the glaciers have been darkening since 2000. The most rapid decrease in the surface albedo has occurred in the glacial area above 6000 m, which implies that melting will likely extend to snow accumulation areas. The mass-loss equivalent (MLE) of the HKH glacial area caused by surface shortwave radiation absorption is estimated to be 10.4 Gt yr-1, which may contribute to 1.2% of the global sea level rise on annual average (2003-2009). This work probably presents a first scene depicting the albedo variations over the whole HKH glacial area during the period 2000-2011. Most rapidly decreasing in albedo has been detected in the highest area, which deserves to be especially concerned.

  18. Widespread albedo decreasing and induced melting of Himalayan snow and ice in the early 21st century.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Ming

    Full Text Available The widely distributed glaciers in the greater Himalayan region have generally experienced rapid shrinkage since the 1850s. As invaluable sources of water and because of their scarcity, these glaciers are extremely important. Beginning in the twenty-first century, new methods have been applied to measure the mass budget of these glaciers. Investigations have shown that the albedo is an important parameter that affects the melting of Himalayan glaciers.The surface albedo based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS data over the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalaya (HKH glaciers is surveyed in this study for the period 2000-2011. The general albedo trend shows that the glaciers have been darkening since 2000. The most rapid decrease in the surface albedo has occurred in the glacial area above 6000 m, which implies that melting will likely extend to snow accumulation areas. The mass-loss equivalent (MLE of the HKH glacial area caused by surface shortwave radiation absorption is estimated to be 10.4 Gt yr-1, which may contribute to 1.2% of the global sea level rise on annual average (2003-2009.This work probably presents a first scene depicting the albedo variations over the whole HKH glacial area during the period 2000-2011. Most rapidly decreasing in albedo has been detected in the highest area, which deserves to be especially concerned.

  19. 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.

  20. Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2C Global Warming Could Be Dangerous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, J.; Sato, Makiko; Hearty, Paul; Ruedy, Reto; Kelley, Maxwell; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Russell, Gary; Tselioudis, George; Cao, Junji; Rignot, Eric; hide

    2016-01-01

    We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth's energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean's surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration. We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10-40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response. The feedbacks, including subsurface ocean warming, help explain paleoclimate data and point to a dominant Southern Ocean role in controlling atmospheric CO2, which in turn exercised tight control on global temperature and sea level. The millennial (500-2000-year) timescale of deep-ocean ventilation affects the timescale for natural CO2 change and thus the timescale for paleo-global climate, ice sheet, and sea level changes, but this paleo-millennial timescale should not be misinterpreted as the timescale for ice sheet response to a rapid, large, human-made climate forcing. These climate feedbacks aid interpretation of events late in the prior interglacial, when sea level rose to C6-9m with evidence of extreme storms while Earth was less than 1 C

  1. Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming could be dangerous

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Hansen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland. Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth's energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean's surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration. We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10–40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response. The feedbacks, including subsurface ocean warming, help explain paleoclimate data and point to a dominant Southern Ocean role in controlling atmospheric CO2, which in turn exercised tight control on global temperature and sea level. The millennial (500–2000-year timescale of deep-ocean ventilation affects the timescale for natural CO2 change and thus the timescale for paleo-global climate, ice sheet, and sea level changes, but this paleo-millennial timescale should not be misinterpreted as the timescale for ice sheet response to a rapid, large, human-made climate forcing. These climate feedbacks aid interpretation of events late in the prior interglacial, when sea level rose to +6–9 m with evidence of extreme storms

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-17

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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)

  11. Ice-Dammed Lake Drainage Evolution at Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L. Carrivick

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available KEY POINTS/HIGHLIGHTSTwo rapid ice-dammed lake drainage events gauged and ice dam geometry measured.A melt enlargement model is developed to examine the evolution of drainage mechanism(s.Lake temperature dominated conduit melt enlargement and we hypothesize a flotation trigger.Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at 15 min intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of <5%. About one third of the way through the rising limb, conduit melt enlargement became the dominant drainage mechanism. Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localized hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasized the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

  12. Glaciers of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

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

  13. Utility of late summer transient snowline migration rate on Taku Glacier, Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pelto

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available On Taku Glacier, Alaska a combination of field observations of snow water equivalent (SWE from snowpits and probing in the vicinity of the transient snowline (TSL are used to quantify the mass balance gradient. The balance gradient derived from the TSL and SWE measured in snowpits at 1000 m from 1998–2010 ranges from 2.6–3.8 mm m−1. Probing transects from 950 m–1100 m directly measure SWE and yield a slightly higher balance gradient of 3.3–3.8 mm m−1. The TSL on Taku Glacier is identified in MODIS and Landsat 4 and 7 Thematic Mapper images for 31 dates during the 2004–2010 period to assess the consistency of its rate of rise and reliability in assessing ablation for mass balance assessment. For example, in 2010, the TSL was 750 m on 28 July, 800 m on 5 August, 875 m on 14 August, 925 m on 30 August, and 975 m on 20 September. The mean observed probing balance gradient was 3.3 mm m−1, combined with the TSL rise of 3.7 m day−1 yields an ablation rate of 12.2 mm day−1 from mid-July to mid-Sept, 2010. The TSL rise in the region from 750–1100 m on Taku Glacier during eleven periods each covering more than 14 days during the ablation season indicates a mean TSL rise of 3.7 m day−1, the rate of rise is relatively consistent ranging from 3.1 to 4.4 m day−1. This rate is useful for ascertaining the final ELA if images or observations are not available near the end of the ablation season. The mean ablation from 750–1100 m during the July–September period determined from the TSL rise and the observed balance gradient is 11–13 mm day−1 on Taku Glacier during the 2004–2010 period. The potential for providing an estimate of bn from TSL observations late in the melt season from satellite images combined with the frequent availability of such images provides a means for efficient mass balance assessment in many years and on many

  14. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

    Maoist insurgency. (5) Glacier lakes are in many cases very fragile and their natural dams routinely rupture, causing devastating floods. A rising regional terrorist threat in several countries could target these dams and precipitate calamitous and terrifying results. (6) Over the next century, retreating glaciers may open new corridors for trade and human migration across the Himalaya and pave the way for possible new economic, military and political alliances in the region. (7) Glacier retreat might open new sanctuaries for terrorists and open new corridors for possible ground-based military offensive action across the HKH ranges. The documentation of glacier characteristics that may influence their trafficability, and projections of future glacier extent and behavior are relevant to wide ranging concerns of the region's inhabitants. Satellite remote sensing and mapping of glaciers is one approach to defining and monitoring the problems and opportunities presented by HKH glaciers. Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) is a joint USGS/NASA Pathfinder project that has formed a global consortium of glaciologists in several regional centers that are mapping and monitoring the HKH glaciers using repeat-pass ASTER and Landsat ETM+ data. We are currently building a comprehensive satellite multispectral image and GIS database that is providing detailed information on the state and rates of change of each glacier in the HKH region and other areas of the world. Merging these results with DEMs allows a predictive capability that could be useful in policy development and security planning.

  15. 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...

  16. 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,...

  17. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  19. Bathymetry and ocean properties beneath Pine Island Glacier revealed by Autosub3 and implications for recent ice stream evolution (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, A.; Dutrieux, P.; McPhail, S.; Perrett, J.; Webb, A.; White, D.; Jacobs, S. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet, which represents the largest of all potential contributors to sea level rise, appears to be losing mass at a rate that has accelerated over recent decades. Ice loss is focussed in a number of key drainage basins where dynamical changes in the outlet glaciers have led to increased discharge. The synchronous response of several independent glaciers, coupled with the observation that thinning is most rapid over their floating termini, is generally taken as an indicator that the changes have been driven from the ocean. Some of the most significant changes have been observed on Pine Island Glacier, where thinning, acceleration and grounding line retreat have all been observed, primarily through satellite remote sensing. Even during the relatively short satellite record, rates of change have been observed to increase. Between 20th and 30th January 2009 the Autosub3 autonomous underwater vehicle was deployed from host ship RVIB Nathaniel B Palmer on six sorties into the ocean cavity beneath Pine Island Glacier. Total track length was 887 km (taking 167 hours) of which 510 km (taking 94 hours) were beneath the glacier. Some of the main aims were to map both the seabed beneath and the underside of the glacier and to investigate how warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) flows beneath Pine Island Glacier and determines its melt rate. Among the instruments carried by Autosub-3 were a Seabird CTD, with dual conductivity and temperature sensors plus a dissolved oxygen sensor and a transmissometer, a multi-beam echosounder that could be configured to look up or down, and two Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs): an upward-looking 300 kHz instrument and a downward-looking 150 kHz instrument, providing a record of ice draft and seabed depth along the vehicle track. The ADCP data reveal an apparently continuous ridge with an undulating crest that extends across the cavity about 30km in from the current ice front. This topographic feature blocks CDW inflow

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khromova, T.; Nosenko, G.

    2012-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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....

  7. Instruments and Methods: A Low-Cost Glacier-Mapping System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Erik Lintz; Reeh, Niels; Forsberg, René

    2000-01-01

    the capability of acquiring accurate data on location and ice-surface elevation, and adequate-quality data on ice thickness. The system has been applied successfully in mapping the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier, northeast Greenland, in spite of the difficult conditions with melting water on the glacier surface....... The measurements from the floating part of the glacier have been evaluated by comparison of radar data with laser-altimeter and in situ measurements....

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Outlet Glacier-Ice Shelf-Ocean Interactions: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parizek, B. R.; Walker, R. T.; Rinehart, S. K.

    2009-12-01

    While the massive interior regions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets are presently ``resting quietly", the lower elevations of many outlet glaciers are experiencing dramatic adjustments due to changes in ice dynamics and/or surface mass balance. Oceanic and/or atmospheric forcing in these marginal regions often leads to mass deficits for entire outlet basins. Therefore, coupling the wagging tail of ice-ocean interactions with the vast ice-sheet reservoirs is imperative for accurate assessments of future sea-level rise. To study ice-ocean dynamic processes, we couple an ocean-plume model that simulates ice-shelf basal melting rates based on temperature and salinity profiles combined with plume dynamics associated with the geometry of the ice-shelf cavity (following Jenkins, 1991 and Holland and Jenkins, 1999) with a two-dimensional, isothermal model of outlet glacier-ice shelf flow (as used in Alley et al., 2007; Walker et al., 2008; Parizek et al., in review). Depending on the assigned temperature and salinity profiles, the ocean model can simulate both water-mass end-members: either cold High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) or relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW), as well as between-member conditions. Notably, the coupled system exhibits sensitivity to the initial conditions. In particular, melting concentrated near the grounding line has the greatest effect in forcing grounding-line retreat. Retreat is further enhanced by a positive feedback between the ocean and ice, as the focused melt near the grounding line leads to an increase in the local slope of the basal ice, thereby enhancing buoyancy-driven plume flow and subsequent melt rates.

  11. High-resolution monitoring of Himalayan glacier dynamics using unmanned aerial vehicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Immerzeel, W. W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Kraaijenbrink, P. D A; Shea, J. M.; Shrestha, A. B.; Pellicciotti, F.; Bierkens, M. F P|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/125022794; De Jong, S. M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/120221306

    2014-01-01

    Himalayan glacier tongues are commonly debris covered and they are an important source of melt water. However, they remain relatively unstudied because of the inaccessibility of the terrain and the difficulties in field work caused by the thick debris mantles. Observations of debris-covered glaciers

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 2017 Rapid Retreat Of Thwaites Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models...... predicting the influence of ongoing climate change. We investigated a potential meltwater proxy in Godthåbsfjord (West Greenland), where glacier meltwater causes seasonal excursions with lower oxygen isotope water (δ18Ow) values and salinity. The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) potentially records...... its potential as a palaeo-meltwater proxy. First, we confirmed that M. edulis shell calcite oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) values are in equilibrium with ambient water and generally reflect meltwater conditions. Subsequently we investigated if this species recorded the full range of δ18Ow values occurring...

  17. Ice-dammed lake drainage evolution at Russell Glacier, west Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Tweed, Fiona S.; Ng, Felix; Quincey, Duncan J.; Mallalieu, Joseph; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Mikkelsen, Andreas B.; Palmer, Steven J.; Yde, Jacob C.; Homer, Rachel; Russell, Andrew J.; Hubbard, Alun

    2017-11-01

    Glaciological and hydraulic factors that control the timing and mechanisms of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs) remain poorly understood. This study used measurements of lake level at fifteen minute intervals and known lake bathymetry to calculate lake outflow during two GLOF events from the northern margin of Russell Glacier, west Greenland. We used measured ice surface elevation, interpolated subglacial topography and likely conduit geometry to inform a melt enlargement model of the outburst evolution. The model was tuned to best-fit the hydrograph’s rising limb and timing of peak discharge in both events; it achieved Mean Absolute Errors of Lake water temperature, which strongly governed the enlargement rate, preconditioned the high peak discharge and short duration of these floods. We hypothesize that both GLOFs were triggered by ice dam flotation, and localised hydraulic jacking sustained most of their early-stage outflow, explaining the particularly rapid water egress in comparison to that recorded at other ice-marginal lakes. As ice overburden pressure relative to lake water hydraulic head diminished, flow became confined to a subglacial conduit. This study has emphasised the inter-play between ice dam thickness and lake level, drainage timing, lake water temperature and consequently rising stage lake outflow and flood evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Investigating plume dynamics at the ocean-glacier interface with turbulence profiling and autonomous vessels

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    The exchanges of heat and freshwater at tidewater glacier termini are modulated by small-scale turbulent processes. However, few observations have been obtained near the ocean-glacier interface, limiting our ability to quantify turbulent fluxes or test melt parameterizations in ocean-glacier models. Here, we explore the turbulent plume dynamics at LeConte Glacier, Alaska with three extensive field campaigns in May, August and September (2016-17). Two autonomous vessels collected repeat transects of velocity and water properties near the glacier, often within 20 m of the terminus. Concurrent shipboard surveying measured turbulence with a vertical microstructure profiler, along with water properties and velocity. These high-resolution surveys provide a 3D view of the circulation and allow us to quantify turbulent fluxes in the near-glacier region. We observe two regimes at the terminus: an energetic upwelling plume driven by subglacial discharge at a persistent location, and submarine melt-driven convection along other parts of the terminus. We trace the evolution of the subglacial discharge plume as it flows away from the glacier, from an initial stage of vigorous mixing to a more quiescent outflow downstream. Resolving these spatial patterns of upwelling and mixing near glaciers is a key step towards understanding submarine melt rates and glacial fjord circulation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Detailed structure of the top of the melt body beneath the East Pacific Rise at 9°40'N from waveform inversion of seismic reflection data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, J. S.; Singh, S. C.

    1997-01-01

    We have applied waveform inversion to multichannel seismic reflection data collected at the East Pacific Rise at 9°40'N in order to determine the precise velocity structure of the magma body causing the axial magma chamber reflection. Our analysis supports the idea of a molten sill as previously suggested from forward modeling of seismic data from this location. Our inverted solution has a 30-m-thick sill with a P wave seismic velocity of 2.6 km s-1. Although not well constrained by the data we believe that the S wave velocity in the sill is not significantly different from 0.0 km s-1. The low P- and S wave velocities in the sill imply that it contains less than 30% crystals. The molten sill is underlain by a velocity gradient in which the P wave velocity increases from 2.6 to 3.5 km s-1 over a vertical distance of 50-m. The shape of our velocity-depth profile implies that accretion of material to the roof of the sill is minor compared to accretion to the floor. The underlying velocity gradient zone may represent crystal settling under gravity. We suggest that only material from the 30-m-thick layer can erupt.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, D.

    2017-12-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    .9-18.8 m yr-1 at the Thorthormi Glacier while -12.0-2.7 m yr-1 at the Lugge Glacier. This result suggests that decreasing in flow velocity towards the terminus in the Thorthormi Glacier causes compressive flow. It suggests that the compressive flow of the Thorthormi Glacier counterbalanced surface melting, resulting in inhibition of the surface lowering. In contrast, the extensional flow of the Lugge Glacier accelerated the surface lowering. Speed up of glacier terminus induced extensional flow regime causes the thinning of ice and increase in basal motion, which will lead to further flow acceleration. Such positive feedbacks have been found over the ice streams in the polar ice sheets. In this study we showed the observational evidences, in which the similar feedbacks make contrast the terminus behaviors of glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya. If the supraglacial lake on Thorthormi Glacier expanded, the surface lowering may be accelerated in the future.

  11. 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

    the snow line will be higher than the body of the glacier itself. This will inevitably cause degradation of the glacier and its gradual disappearance. The main contribution to the glacier shrinking and disappearance will be made by air temperature rise, because it will affect the change in the ratio of the areas of ablation and accumulation. Besides, a rise of temperature will increase the average melting season duration. These are, of cause, preliminary results just to illustrate how the downscaling method works. We did not take into account dynamic effects and gradual reducing of the glaciated area. In future, we plan to couple mass balance and dynamical models [17] and to adjoin them with downscaled climate change in order to account for transient glacier changes.

  12. 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

  13. The land-ice contribution to 21st-century dynamic sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, T.; Ridley, J.; Pardaens, A. K.; Hurkmans, R. T. W. L.; Payne, A. J.; Giesen, R. H.; Lowe, J. A.; Bamber, J. L.; Edwards, T. L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-06-01

    Climate change has the potential to influence global mean sea level through a number of processes including (but not limited to) thermal expansion of the oceans and enhanced land ice melt. In addition to their contribution to global mean sea level change, these two processes (among others) lead to local departures from the global mean sea level change, through a number of mechanisms including the effect on spatial variations in the change of water density and transport, usually termed dynamic sea level changes. In this study, we focus on the component of dynamic sea level change that might be given by additional freshwater inflow to the ocean under scenarios of 21st-century land-based ice melt. We present regional patterns of dynamic sea level change given by a global-coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model forced by spatially and temporally varying projected ice-melt fluxes from three sources: the Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland Ice Sheet and small glaciers and ice caps. The largest ice melt flux we consider is equivalent to almost 0.7 m of global mean sea level rise over the 21st century. The temporal evolution of the dynamic sea level changes, in the presence of considerable variations in the ice melt flux, is also analysed. We find that the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is small, with the largest changes occurring in the North Atlantic amounting to 3 cm above the global mean rise. Furthermore, the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is similar regardless of whether the simulated ice fluxes are applied to a simulation with fixed CO2 or under a business-as-usual greenhouse gas warming scenario of increasing CO2.

  14. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortner, Sarah K.; Lyons, W. Berry

    2018-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Associations between accelerated glacier mass wastage and increased summer temperature in coastal regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyurgerov, M.; McCabe, G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Low-elevation glaciers in coastal regions of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, individual ice caps around the Greenland ice sheet, and the Patagonia Ice Fields have an aggregate glacier area of about 332 ?? 103 km 2 and account for approximately 42% of all the glacier area outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. They have shown volume loss, especially since the end of the 1980s, increasing from about 45% in the 1960s to nearly 67% in 2003 of the total wastage from all glaciers on Earth outside those two largest ice sheets. Thus, a disproportionally large contribution of coastal glacier ablation to sea level rise is evident. We examine cumulative standardized departures (1961-2000 reference period) of glacier mass balances and air temperature data in these four coastal regions. Analyses indicate a strong association between increases in glacier volume losses and summer air temperature at regional and global scales. Increases in glacier volume losses in the coastal regions also coincide with an accelerated rate of ice discharge from outlet glaciers draining the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. These processes imply further increases in sea level rise. ?? 2006 Regents of the University of Colorado.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Rapid bottom melting widespread near Antarctic ice sheet grounding lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

    As continental ice from Antartica reaches the grounding line and begins to float, its underside melts into the ocean. Results obtained with satellite radar interferometry reveal that bottom melt rates experienced by large outlet glaciers near their grounding lines are far higher than generally assumed.

  2. Present-day sea level rise: a synthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cazenave, A.; Llovel, W.; Lombard, A.

    2008-01-01

    Measuring sea level change and understanding its causes have improved considerably in the recent years, essentially because new in situ and remote sensing data sets have become available. Here we report on the current knowledge of present-day sea level change. We briefly present observational results on sea level change from satellite altimetry since 1993 and tide gauges for the past century. We next discuss recent progress made in quantifying the processes causing sea level change on time scales ranging from years to decades, i.e., thermal expansion, land ice mass loss and land water storage change. For the 1993-2003 decade, the sum of climate-related contributions agree well (within the error bars) with the altimetry-based sea level, half of the observed rate of rise being due to ocean thermal expansion, land ice plus land waters explaining the other half. Since about 2003, thermal expansion increase has stopped, whereas the sea level continues to rise, although at a reduced rate compared to the previous decade (2.5 mm/yr versus 3.1 mm/yr). Recent increases in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets appear able to account alone for the rise in sea level reported over the last five years. (authors)

  3. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kuska, Dale M.

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A scaling approach to project regional sea level rise and its uncertainties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Perrette

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change causes global mean sea level to rise due to thermal expansion of seawater and loss of land ice from mountain glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. Locally, sea level can strongly deviate from the global mean rise due to changes in wind and ocean currents. In addition, gravitational adjustments redistribute seawater away from shrinking ice masses. However, the land ice contribution to sea level rise (SLR remains very challenging to model, and comprehensive regional sea level projections, which include appropriate gravitational adjustments, are still a nascent field (Katsman et al., 2011; Slangen et al., 2011. Here, we present an alternative approach to derive regional sea level changes for a range of emission and land ice melt scenarios, combining probabilistic forecasts of a simple climate model (MAGICC6 with the new CMIP5 general circulation models. The contribution from ice sheets varies considerably depending on the assumptions for the ice sheet projections, and thus represents sizeable uncertainties for future sea level rise. However, several consistent and robust patterns emerge from our analysis: at low latitudes, especially in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, sea level will likely rise more than the global mean (mostly by 10–20%. Around the northeastern Atlantic and the northeastern Pacific coasts, sea level will rise less than the global average or, in some rare cases, even fall. In the northwestern Atlantic, along the American coast, a strong dynamic sea level rise is counteracted by gravitational depression due to Greenland ice melt; whether sea level will be above- or below-average will depend on the relative contribution of these two factors. Our regional sea level projections and the diagnosed uncertainties provide an improved basis for coastal impact analysis and infrastructure planning for adaptation to climate change.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2011-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Köhler

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. USING LANDSAT IMAGES AND GIS TO ASSESS THE CHANGES OF MER DE GLACE AND MARMOLADA GLACIERS, IN THE LAST THREE DECADES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. NISTOR

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Using Landsat Images and GIS to Assess the Changes of Mer de Glace and Marmolada Glaciers, in the Last Three Decades. We have demonstrated that Mer de Glace Glacier (GL and Marmolada GL are in continuous retreat. The changes in size and status of terminus points were estimated in various time intervals by satellite images (SIs and Geographic Information Systems (GIS techniques, during the last three decades. The aim of the research was to found the value of the ice melting areas of Mer de Glace GL and Marmolada GL and to calculate the decline rate for both GLs. A large number of GLs have lost ice mass all over the world. Often glaciologists monitor the GLs movements under climate changes and they express their opinions about the ocean level rise, ecosystem challenges and the future implications of GLs decline. The analysed information to quantify the Mer de Glace GL and Marmolada GL areas derived from SIs. By manual vectorization we obtained the outlines of GLs in different years. For 1984, 1999, 2013 we defined the limits for Mer de Glace GL and for 1986, 1999, 2013 we defined the limits for Marmolada GL. These vector layers were compared in order to observe the melting area and to establish the withdrawal rate. The first results indicate that Mer de Glace GL area declined by 2.365 km² between 1984 and 2013 and a mean melting rate of 0.082 km²/year was obtained. Marmolada GL decreased by 1.035 km² between 1986 and 2013 and a mean melting rate of 0.038 km²/year was calculated. We believe that these results represent significant quantitative data about GLs movements regarding two different areas in the Alps Range and may provide knowledge for hydrology, geomorphology and environmental sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

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    J. Oerlemans

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

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

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-06-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Ohlanders

    2013-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Oceans Melting Greenland: Early Results from NASA's Ocean-Ice Mission in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenty, Ian; Willis, Josh K.; Khazendar, Ala

    2016-01-01

    the continental shelf, and about the extent to which the ocean interacts with glaciers. Early results from NASA's five-year Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, based on extensive hydrographic and bathymetric surveys, suggest that many glaciers terminate in deep water and are hence vulnerable to increased...... melting due to ocean-ice interaction. OMG will track ocean conditions and ice loss at glaciers around Greenland through the year 2020, providing critical information about ocean-driven Greenland ice mass loss in a warming climate....

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Kilimanjaro’s melting glaciers: on the colonial and postcolonial perception and appropriation of African nature O degelo dos glaciares do Kilimanjaro: percepção e apropriação colonial e pós-colonial da natureza africana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urte Undine Frömming

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade, the melting glaciers of Kilimanjaro have come to symbolise the effects of global warming. At the same time, increased tourism in the region has an ambivalent quality as the industry capitalises on the celebration of the same nature (and its western appropriation that is threatened by tourism’s major influence on world climate. In European perceptions, Mount Kilimanjaro has, since its first discovery in the 18th century, become an epitome of overwhelming beauty, representing - until today - wilderness and adventure to the more than 20,000 international tourists who climb the mountain each year. This paper traces how these perceptions are grounded in the foundations of aesthetic modernity that continue to shape the attraction of Mount -Kilimanjaro. Further examinations focus on the consequences for the local population as well as the relationships between local inhabitants and international visitors attracted by the scale-making projects of an industry that continues the colonial conquest.Ao longo da última década, o degelo dos glaciares do Kilimanjaro tornou-se um símbolo dos efeitos do aquecimento global. Simultaneamente, o aumento do turismo na região tem um carácter ambivalente, já que a indústria ganha com a celebração da natureza (e sua apropriação pelo Ocidente, a mesma natureza que é ameaçada pela enorme influência do turismo sobre o clima mundial. Nas percepções europeias, o monte Kilimanjaro tornou-se, desde a sua descoberta no século XVIII, epítome da beleza avassaladora, sendo até hoje representativo do estado selvagem e da aventura para os mais de 20 mil turistas estrangeiros que sobem a montanha todos os anos. Este artigo identifica os modos como tais percepções se inscrevem nos fundamentos da modernidade estética que continuam a moldar a atracção pelo monte Kilimanjaro. A análise prossegue centrando-se nas suas consequências para a população local e nas relações entre os

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, Pascal; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2018-04-24

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

  13. Improved regional sea-level estimates from Ice Sheets, Glaciers and land water storage using GRACE time series and other data

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Z.; Velicogna, I.; Hsu, C. W.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Fettweis, X.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps (GIC) and land water mass cause regional sea level variations that differ significantly from a uniform re-distribution of mass over the ocean, with a decrease in sea level compared to the global mean sea level contribution (GMSL) near the sources of mass added to the ocean and an increase up to 30% larger than the GMSL in the far field. The corresponding sea level fingerprints (SLF) are difficult to separate from ocean dynamics on short time and spatial scales but as ice melt continues, the SLF signal will become increasingly dominant in the pattern of regional sea level rise. It has been anticipated that it will be another few decades before the land ice SLF could be identified in the pattern of regional sea level rise. Here, we combine 40 years of observations of ice sheet mass balance for Antarctica (1975-present) and Greenland (1978-present), along with surface mass balance reconstructions of glacier and ice caps mass balance (GIC) from 1970s to present to determine the contribution to the SLF from melting land ice (MAR and RACMO). We compare the results with observations from GRACE for the time period 2002 to present for evaluation of our approach. Land hydrology is constrained by GRACE data for the period 2002-present and by the GLDAS-NOAH land hydrology model for the longer time period. Over the long time period, we find that the contribution from land ice dominates. We quantify the contribution to the total SLF from Greenland and Antarctica in various parts of the world over the past 40 years. More important, we compare the cumulative signal from SLF with tide gauge records around the world, corrected for earth dynamics, to determine whether the land ice SLF can be detected in that record. Early results will be reported at the meeting. This work was performed at UC Irvine and at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with NASA's Cryospheric Science Program.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wendy

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

  3. Present-day sea level rise: a synthesis; Hausse actuelle du niveau de la mer: synthese

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cazenave, A.; Llovel, W. [Laboratoire d' Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales (LEGOS), Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees, 31 - Toulouse (France); Lombard, A. [CNES, 31 - Toulouse (France)

    2008-11-15

    Measuring sea level change and understanding its causes have improved considerably in the recent years, essentially because new in situ and remote sensing data sets have become available. Here we report on the current knowledge of present-day sea level change. We briefly present observational results on sea level change from satellite altimetry since 1993 and tide gauges for the past century. We next discuss recent progress made in quantifying the processes causing sea level change on time scales ranging from years to decades, i.e., thermal expansion, land ice mass loss and land water storage change. For the 1993-2003 decade, the sum of climate-related contributions agree well (within the error bars) with the altimetry-based sea level, half of the observed rate of rise being due to ocean thermal expansion, land ice plus land waters explaining the other half. Since about 2003, thermal expansion increase has stopped, whereas the sea level continues to rise, although at a reduced rate compared to the previous decade (2.5 mm/yr versus 3.1 mm/yr). Recent increases in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets appear able to account alone for the rise in sea level reported over the last five years. (authors)

  4. Rising equity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burr, M.T.

    1992-01-01

    This article reports on the results of a financial rankings survey of the independent energy industry indicating that lenders and investors provided more than five billion dollars in capital for new, private power projects during the first six months of 1992. The topics of the article include rising equity requirements, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, project finance investors, revenue bonds, project finance lenders for new projects, project finance lenders for restructurings, and project finance advisors

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  7. 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,...

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelto, M. S.

    2017-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Ice-ocean interaction and calving front morphology at two west Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauché, N.; Hubbard, A.; Gascard, J.-C.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Koppes, M.; Sole, A.; Christoffersen, P.; Patton, H.

    2014-08-01

    Warm, subtropical-originating Atlantic water (AW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss across the marine sectors of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), yet the specific processes by which this water mass interacts with and erodes the calving front of tidewater glaciers is frequently modelled and much speculated upon but remains largely unobserved. We present a suite of fjord salinity, temperature, turbidity versus depth casts along with glacial runoff estimation from Rink and Store glaciers, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS during 2009 and 2010. We characterise the main water bodies present and interpret their interaction with their respective calving fronts. We identify two distinct processes of ice-ocean interaction which have distinct spatial and temporal footprints: (1) homogenous free convective melting which occurs across the calving front where AW is in direct contact with the ice mass, and (2) localised upwelling-driven melt by turbulent subglacial runoff mixing with fjord water which occurs at distinct injection points across the calving front. Throughout the study, AW at 2.8 ± 0.2 °C was consistently observed in contact with both glaciers below 450 m depth, yielding homogenous, free convective submarine melting up to ~200 m depth. Above this bottom layer, multiple interactions are identified, primarily controlled by the rate of subglacial fresh-water discharge which results in localised and discrete upwelling plumes. In the record melt year of 2010, the Store Glacier calving face was dominated by these runoff-driven plumes which led to a highly crenulated frontal geometry characterised by large embayments at the subglacial portals separated by headlands which are dominated by calving. Rink Glacier, which is significantly deeper than Store has a larger proportion of its submerged calving face exposed to AW, which results in a uniform, relatively flat overall frontal geometry.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Glacial melting in Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kavita Tariyal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Mountains are amongst the most flimsy environments on Earth. They are prosperous repositories of biodiversity, water and providers of ecosystem goods and services on which downstream communities, both regional and global, rely. The transport of atmospheric pollutants and climate-altering substances can significantly impact high mountain areas, which are generally considered “clean” regions. The snow glaciers of the Himalayas, considered the “third pole”, one of the largest stores of water on the planet and accelerated melting could have far-reaching effects, such as flooding in the short-term and water shortages in the long-term as the glaciers shrink. The data available on temperature in Himalayas indicate that warming during last 3-4 decades has been more than the global average over the last century. Some of the values indicate that the Himalayas are warming 5-6 times more than the global average. Mountain systems are seen globally as the prime sufferers from climate change. There is a severe gap in the knowledge of the short and long-term implications of the impact of climate change on water and hazards in the Himalayas, and their downstream river basins. Most studies have excluded the Himalayan region because of its extreme and complex topography and the lack of adequate rain gauge data. There is an urgent need to close the knowledge gap by establishing monitoring schemes for snow, ice and water; downscaling climate models; applying hydrological models to predict water availability; and developing basin wide scenarios, which also take water demand and socioeconomic development into account. Climate change induced hazards such as floods, landslides and droughts will impose considerable stresses on the livelihoods of mountain people and downstream populations. Enhancing resilience and promoting adaptation in mountain areas have thus become among the most important priorities of this decade. It is important to strengthen local

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Using an Ablation Gradient Model to Characterize Annual Glacial Melt Contribution to Major Rivers in High Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodzik, M. J.; Armstrong, R. L.; Khalsa, S. J. S.; Painter, T. H.; Racoviteanu, A.; Rittger, K.

    2014-12-01

    Ice melt from mountain glaciers can represent a significant contribution to freshwater hydrological budgets, along with seasonal snow melt, rainfall and groundwater. In the rivers of High Asia, understanding the proportion of glacier ice melt is critical for water resource management of irrigation and planning for hydropower generation and human consumption. Current climate conditions are producing heterogeneous glacier responses across the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalayan ranges. However, it is not yet clear how contrasting glacier patterns affect regional water resources. For example, in the Upper Indus basin, estimates of glacial contribution to runoff are often not distinguished from seasonal snow contribution, and vary widely, from as little as 15% to as much as 55%. While many studies are based on reasonable concepts, most are based on assumptions uninformed by actual snow or ice cover measurements. While straightforward temperature index models have been used to estimate glacier runoff in some Himalayan basins, application of these models in larger Himalayan basins is limited by difficulties in estimating key model parameters, particularly air temperature. Estimating glacial area from the MODIS Permanent Snow and Ice Extent (MODICE) product for the years 2000-2013, with recently released Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTMGL3) elevation data, we use a simple ablation gradient approach to calculate an upper limit on the contribution of clean glacier ice melt to streamflow data. We present model results for the five major rivers with glaciated headwaters in High Asia: the Bramaputra, Ganges, Indus, Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Using GRDC historical discharge records, we characterize the annual contribution from glacier ice melt. We use MODICE interannual trends in each basin to estimate glacier ice melt uncertainties. Our results are being used in the USAID project, Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS), to inform regional-scale planning for

  8. Asynchronous behavior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and local glaciers during and since Termination 1, Salmon Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret S.; Hall, Brenda L.; Denton, George H.

    2018-01-01

    The stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet under future warming remains an open question with broad implications for sea-level prediction and adaptation. In particular, knowledge of whether the ice sheet has the capacity for rapid drawdown or collapse, or whether it can remain stable during periods of warming, is essential for predicting its future behavior. Here we use 55 radiocarbon dates, coupled with geomorphologic mapping, to reconstruct the timing of changes in ice extent and elevation during the last ice-age termination in Salmon Valley, adjacent to McMurdo Sound in the western Ross Sea Embayment. Results indicate that a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment achieved its maximum elevation and extent along the headlands of Salmon Valley at ∼18,000 yr BP, during a period of increasing temperatures and accumulation over the Antarctic continent. This ice remained at or near its maximum on the headlands near the valley mouth until after ∼14,000 yr BP. Removal of grounded Ross Sea ice from Salmon Valley was complete shortly after ∼7900 yr BP, indicating that the grounding line had retreated through southern McMurdo Sound by that time. We suggest the primary driver of Ross Sea ice removal from McMurdo Sound was marine-based, either through basal melting or calving due to sea-level rise. When combined with regional data, the Salmon Valley record suggests that this sector of the Antarctic Ice Sheet did not contribute in a significant way to deglacial meltwater pulses, such as meltwater pulse 1a. In contrast to the Ross Sea ice, our work also shows that local, independent alpine glaciers in Salmon Valley have advanced through the Holocene. Land-terminating glaciers such as these elsewhere in the region show a similar pattern, and may reflect the continued influence of increased accumulation following the termination of the last ice age.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Endmembers of Ice Shelf Melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boghosian, A.; Child, S. F.; Kingslake, J.; Tedesco, M.; Bell, R. E.; Alexandrov, O.; McMichael, S.

    2017-12-01

    Studies of surface melt on ice shelves have defined a spectrum of meltwater behavior. On one end the storage of meltwater in persistent surface ponds can trigger ice shelf collapse as in the 2002 event leading to the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf. On the other, meltwater export by rivers can stabilize an ice shelf as was recently shown on the Nansen Ice Shelf. We explore this dichotomy by quantifying the partitioning between stored and transported water on two glaciers adjacent to floating ice shelves, Nimrod (Antarctica) and Peterman (Greenland). We analyze optical satellite imagery (LANDSAT, WorldView), airborne imagery (Operation IceBridge, Trimetrogon Aerial Phototography), satellite radar (Sentinel-1), and digital elevation models (DEMs) to categorize surface meltwater fate and map the evolution of ice shelf hydrology and topographic features through time. On the floating Peterman Glacier tongue a sizable river exports water to the ocean. The surface hydrology of Nimrod Glacier, geometrically similar to Peterman but with ten times shallower surface slope, is dominated by storage in surface lakes. In contrast, the Nansen has the same surface slope as Nimrod but transports water through surface rivers. Slope alone is not the sole control on ice shelf hydrology. It is essential to track the storage and transport volumes for each of these systems. To estimate water storage and transport we analyze high resolution (40 cm - 2 m) modern and historical DEMs. We produce historical (1957 onwards) DEMs with structure-from-motion photogrammetry. The DEMs are used to constrain water storage potential estimates of observed basins and water routing/transport potential. We quantify the total volume of water stored seasonally and interannually. We use the normalize difference water index to map meltwater extent, and estimate lake water depth from optical data. We also consider the role of stored water in subsurface aquifers in recharging surface water after

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  15. 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.

  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 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.

  18. Effects of Absorbing Aerosols on Accelerated Melting of Snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K.; Kyu-Myong, Kim; Yasunari, Teppei; Gautam, Ritesh; Hsu, Christina

    2011-01-01

    The impacts of absorbing aerosol on melting of snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau (HKHT) region are studied using in-situ, satellite observations, and GEOS-5 GCM. Based on atmospheric black carbon measurements from the Pyramid observation ( 5 km elevation) in Mt. Everest, we estimate that deposition of black carbon on snow surface will give rise to a reduction in snow surface albedo of 2- 5 %, and an increased annual runoff of 12-34% for a typical Tibetan glacier. Examination of satellite reflectivity and re-analysis data reveals signals of possible impacts of dust and black carbon in darkening the snow surface, and accelerating spring melting of snowpack in the HKHT, following a build-up of absorbing aerosols in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Results from GCM experiments show that 8-10% increase in the rate of melting of snowpack over the western Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau can be attributed to the elevated-heat-pump (EHP) feedback effect, initiated from the absorption of solar radiation by dust and black carbon accumulated to great height ( 5 km) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayas foothills in the pre-monsoon season (April-May). The accelerated melting of the snowpack is enabled by an EHP-induced atmosphere-land-snowpack positive feedback involving a) orographic forcing of the monsoon flow by the complex terrain, and thermal forcing of the HKHT region, leading to increased moisture, cloudiness and rainfall over the Himalayas foothills and northern India, b) warming of the upper troposphere over the Tibetan Plateau, and c) an snow albedo-temperature feedback initiated by a transfer of latent and sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere over the HKHT to the underlying snow surface. Results from ongoing modeling work to assess the relative roles of EHP vs. snow-darkening effects on accelerated melting of snowpack in HKHT region will also be discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. The anxieties of a science diplomat: field coproduction of climate knowledge and the rise and fall of Hans Ahlmann's polar warming".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörlin, Sverker

    2011-01-01

    In the decades between the world wars there were several attempts to document and explain perceived tendencies of atmospheric warming. Hans Ahlmann, a seminal figure in modern glaciology and a science policy adviser and diplomat, constructed a theory of "polar warming" using field results from glacier melting in the Arctic. This article aims to link the rise and fall of "polar warming" with Ahlmann's style of fieldwork. In Ahlmann's view, fieldwork should (1) enhance credibility of polar climate science by emulating laboratory methods and (2) secure knowledge in remote places through collaboration with local residents and fieldworkers. The bodily nature of this style of knowledge production turned out to be an asset in establishing Ahlmann's theory of polar warming but ultimately proved nonresilient to theories of anthropogenic climate change, which became influential from the 1950s onward.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Temporal variability in discharge and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a tropical glacier-fed stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Dean; Andino, Patricio; Calvez, Roger

    2014-01-01

    discharge parameters 3, 6, 9, 21, and 45 d before sampling. The effect of flow (slopes of regressions of faunal metrics vs flow) did not differ among sites, but the amount of variation explained by flow was significant only at the 2 downstream sites. Little synchrony was found in variability among sites......-fed stream, a prerequisite for subsequent predictions of consequences of tropical glacier melting on diversity, composition, and stability of stream communities....

  13. 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...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    influenced by large deserts in central Asia. Therefore, the transport and deposition of cryoconite is of great significance for understanding regional atmospheric environment and circulation. Large amounts of biological, NaCl and MCS particles were observed in the cryoconite, implying that in addition to dust and BC, many types of light absorbing impurities (LAI) together could influence the glacier albedo change and induce ice melting in the mountain glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau. Moreover, a high BC concentration in the south (e.g., YL and ZD) could significantly change the albedo of snow and ice, at a greater rate than dust, causing significant melting of the glaciers under global warming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Réveillet

    2018-04-01

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

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of External Forcing on Glacier Dynamics at Jakobshavn Isbræ during 1840-2012

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muresan, Ioana Stefania; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Aschwanden, Andy

    warm period occurred. To control the acceleration and retreat based on observed front positions during 1840-2012, we use an ocean model modifier that implements forcing at the ocean boundary using melange back pressure offsets. The mean temperature anomaly in west Greenland, the North Atlantic......Greenland's main outlet glaciers have more than doubled their contribution to global sea-level rise over the past decade through acceleration of ice discharge. One of the triggering mechanisms is a reduction in resistance (buttressing) at the marine based glacier front (i.e. through reduced...... thickness or retreat of the floating tongue of a glacier) caused by enhanced calving or a longer-term thinning due to a mass deficit of the ice sheet. Recent findings indicate the reduced buttressing at the marine terminus is responsible for the recent dynamic changes observed in Greenland...

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of the impact of sea-level rise due to climate change on coastal groundwater discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella Serena

    2016-11-01

    An assessment of sea intrusion into coastal aquifers as a consequence of local sea-level rise (LSLR) due to climate change was carried out at Murgia and Salento in southern Italy. The interpolation of sea-level measurements at three tide-gauge stations was performed during the period of 2000 to 2014. The best fit of measurements shows an increasing rate of LSLR ranging from 4.4mm/y to 8.8mm/y, which will result in a maximum LSLR of approximately 2m during the 22nd century. The local rate of sea-level rise matches recent 21st and 22nd century projections of mean global sea-level rise determined by other researchers, which include increased melting rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the effect of ocean thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and changes in the quantity of stored land water. Subsequently, Ghyben-Herzberg's equation for the freshwater/saltwater interface was rewritten in order to determine the decrease in groundwater discharge due to the maximum LSLR. Groundwater flow simulations and ArcGIS elaborations of digital elevation models of the coast provided input data for the Ghyben-Herzberg calculation under the assumption of head-controlled systems. The progression of seawater intrusion due to LSLR suggests an impressive depletion of available groundwater discharge during the 22nd century, perhaps as much as 16.1% of current groundwater pumping for potable water in Salento. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  10. Seismic Investigation of the Glacier de la Plaine Morte, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laske, Gabi; Lindner, Fabian; Walter, Fabian; Krage, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    Glacier de la Plaine Morte is a plateau glacier along the border between Valais and Berne cantons. It covers a narrow elevation range and is extremely vulnerable to climate change. During snow melt, it feeds three marginal lakes that have experienced sudden subglacial drainage in recent years, thereby causing flooding in the Simme Valley below. Of greatest concern is Lac des Faverges at the southeastern end of the glacier that has drained near the end of July in recent years, with flood levels reaching capacity of flood control systems downstream. The lake levels are carefully monitored but precise prediction has not yet been achieved. In the search for precursory ice fracturing to the lake drainage to improve forecast, four seismic arrays comprised of five short-period borehole seismometers provided by Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zürich as well as fifteen 3-component geophones from the Geophysical Instrument Pool Potsdam (GIPP) collected continuous seismic data for about seven weeks during the summer of 2016. We present initial results on discharge dynamics as well as changing noise levels and seismicity before, during and after the drainage of Lac des Faverges. Compared to previous recent years, the 2016 drainage of Lac des Faverges occurred unusually late on August 28. With an aperture between 100 and 200 m, the small arrays recorded many hundred ice quakes per day. A majority of the events exhibits clearly dispersed, high-frequency Rayleigh waves at about 10 Hz and higher. A wide distribution of events allows us to study azimuthal anisotropy and its relationship with the orientation of glacial crevasses.

  11. 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

  12. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Delcourt

    2008-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Extreme radionuclide accumulation on alpine glaciers in cryoconites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. We Are All Engineers Now: Delivering Useful Projections Of Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, W. T.

    2011-12-01

    Sea level rise is among the most tangible and potentially costly global changes facing society in the near future. Much of the uncertainty in future sea level rise lies in the determination of glacier and ice sheet contributions through melting of ice and through the discharge of icebergs directly into the ocean. As a consequence, many aspects of modern glaciological research have come to be motivated wholly or in part by the need to solve societally relevant problems involving future changes in sea level. To this extent, glaciology has become - temporarily - an applied science, in which the motivating questions are not purely scientific but practical in nature, and entail goals, deadlines and constraints that may or may not mesh comfortably with the skills, resources, and interests of the glaciological research community. This shift in motivation has subtle but important effects on how the glaciological community conducts research: we are no longer fully at liberty to explore only those problems that we judge to be the most intellectually stimulating and novel, or even the most likely to produce immediate results. We are obliged, at least if we are going to claim to be serving a critical societal need, to take on the entire spectrum of problems pertinent to sea level rise: the exciting with the mundane, the low-hanging fruit with the high-hanging, the tractable with the intractable. And in those intractable cases, and in other situations where the path to a solution is unclear, we must explore alternatives to our conventional approaches, and seek the means, if not to actually obtain solutions, to at least constrain the outcome and reduce the uncertainty of future knowledge. This broadening of methods is very much an engineer's approach to problem solving, but it also fits the philosopher/physicist P.W. Bridgman's definition of the scientific method as "Doing your damnedest, no holds barred."

  1. Energy-balance and melt contributions of supraglacial lakes, Langtang Khola, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, E. S.; Willis, I. C.; Pellicciotti, F.; Steiner, J. F.; Buri, P.; Arnold, N. S.

    2014-12-01

    As Himalayan debris-covered glaciers retreat and thin in response to climate warming, their long, low-gradient tongues generate substantial meltwater which often collects to form surface lakes. Supraglacial lakes on debris covered glaciers present a mechanism of atmosphere-glacier energy transfer that is poorly-studied, and only conceptually included in mass-balance studies. The ponded water can enhance energy transfer as compared to dry debris cover, while also acting as a reservoir of melt-available energy. Supraglacial lakes occur in association with debris-free ice cliffs, another poorly-constrained but critical component of glacier melt. Understanding the role of supraglacial lakes requires precise monitoring of lake volume, estimation of inlet and outlet flows, and consideration of the energy balance across three surfaces: atmosphere-lake, lake-ice, and lake-saturated debris layer. This research progresses previous modeling work on the energy and mass balance of such supraglacial lakes. Lakes were monitored during the monsoon of 2013 on Lirung Glacier in the Langtang Himal of Nepal with pressure transducers and temperature sensors, while UAV-derived DEMs were used to determine lake geometry. Lake albedo was measured to vary between 0.08 and 0.12, and a nearby on-glacier AWS was used to drive the energy balance. Results indicate that the lakes act as a significant recipient of energy, and suggest that lakes are an important part of an active supraglacial hydrologic system during the monsoon. Melt generated by the lake in contact with bare ice is calculated to be 3-5 cm/day, while energy conducted through saturated lake-bottom debris only resulted in 1-2 mm/day melt. The subaqueous melt rates are of similar magnitude to observed ice-cliff melt rates, allowing lake-cliff systems to persist. Energy leaving the lake system through englacial conduits may be the most important contribution to the glacier's mass balance, driving surface evolution to form new ice

  2. Greenland iceberg melt variability from high-resolution satellite observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Iceberg discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet accounts for up to half of the freshwater flux to surrounding fjords and ocean basins, yet the spatial distribution of iceberg meltwater fluxes is poorly understood. One of the primary limitations for mapping iceberg meltwater fluxes, and changes over time, is the dearth of iceberg submarine melt rate estimates. Here we use a remote sensing approach to estimate submarine melt rates during 2011–2016 for 637 icebergs discharged from seven marine-terminating glaciers fringing the Greenland Ice Sheet. We find that spatial variations in iceberg melt rates generally follow expected patterns based on hydrographic observations, including a decrease in melt rate with latitude and an increase in melt rate with iceberg draft. However, we find no longitudinal variations in melt rates within individual fjords. We do not resolve coherent seasonal to interannual patterns in melt rates across all study sites, though we attribute a 4-fold melt rate increase from March to April 2011 near Jakobshavn Isbræ to fjord circulation changes induced by the seasonal onset of iceberg calving. Overall, our results suggest that remotely sensed iceberg melt rates can be used to characterize spatial and temporal variations in oceanic forcing near often inaccessible marine-terminating glaciers.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    the pictures are not presented in the Inventory. Changes in areas of the Alney-Chashakondzha glaciers for period 1950–2013 in dependence on their sizes and expositions are shown in Tables 3 and 4.Glaciers on the Kronotsky Peninsula and the Alney-Chashakondzha massif shrink. Since 1950 to 2013 area of Kronotsky glaciers reduced by 18.8 km2, or by 22.9% (for glaciers with areas larger 0.5 km2. Area of the Alney-Chashakondzha glaciers reduced for the period since 1950 to 2010 by 11.6 km2, or by 19.2%, that is comparable to similar characteristics of glacier systems of Altai, Tien Shan, and Caucasus, and this contraction correlates with changes of basic climatic variations, i.e. rising of summer air temperature and decreasing of solid precipitation.

  5. 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.

  6. Ice Thickness, Melting Rates and Styles of Activity in Ice-Volcano Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudmundsson, M. T.

    2005-12-01

    In most cases when eruptions occur within glaciers they lead to rapid ice melting, jokulhlaups and/or lahars. Many parameters influence the style of activity and its impact on the environment. These include ice thickness (size of glacier), bedrock geometry, magma flow rate and magma composition. The eruptions that have been observed can roughly be divided into: (1) eruptions under several hundred meters thick ice on a relatively flat bedrock, (2) eruptions on flat or sloping bed through relatively thin ice, and (3) volcanism where effects are limitied to confinement of lava flows or melting of ice by pyroclastic flows or surges. This last category (ice-contact volcanism) need not cause much ice melting. Many of the deposits formed by Pleistocene volcanism in Iceland, British Columbia and Antarctica belong to the first category. An important difference between this type of activity and submarine activity (where pressure is hydrostatic) is that pressure at vents may in many cases be much lower than glaciostatic due to partial support of ice cover over vents by the surrounding glacier. Reduced pressure favours explosive activity. Thus the effusive/explosive transition may occur several hundred metres underneath the ice surface. Explosive fragmentation of magma leads to much higher rates of heat transfer than does effusive eruption of pillow lavas, and hence much higher melting rates. This effect of reduced pressure at vents will be less pronounced in a large ice sheet than in a smaller glacier or ice cap, since the hydraulic gradient that drives water away from an eruption site will be lower in the large glacier. This may have implications for form and type of eruption deposits and their relationship with ice thickness and glacier size.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Active water exchange and life near the grounding line of an Antarctic outlet glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Shin; Sawagaki, Takanobu; Fukuda, Takehiro; Aoki, Shigeru

    2014-08-01

    The grounding line (GL) of the Antarctic ice sheet forms the boundary between grounded and floating ice along the coast. Near this line, warm oceanic water contacts the ice shelf, producing the ice sheet's highest basal-melt rate. Despite the importance of this region, water properties and circulations near the GL are largely unexplored because in-situ observations are difficult. Here we present direct evidence of warm ocean-water transport to the innermost part of the subshelf cavity (several hundred meters seaward from the GL) of Langhovde Glacier, an outlet glacier in East Antarctica. Our measurements come from boreholes drilled through the glacier's ∼400-m-thick grounding zone. Beneath the grounding zone, we find a 10-24-m-deep water layer of uniform temperature and salinity (-1.45 °C; 34.25 PSU), values that roughly equal those measured in the ocean in front of the glacier. Moreover, living organisms are found in the thin subglacial water layer. These findings indicate active transport of water and nutrients from the adjacent ocean, meaning that the subshelf environment interacts directly and rapidly with the ocean.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Thermal Properties and Energy Fluxes in Pre-monsoon Season of 2016 at the Ponkar Debris-Covered Glacier, Manang, Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chand, M. B.; Kayastha, R. B.; Armstrong, R. L.

    2016-12-01

    Himalayan glaciers are characterized by the presence of extensive debris cover in ablation areas. It is essential to understand the thermal properties and assess the effect of debris in glacier ice melt rate in debris-covered glaciers. Meteorological conditions are recorded on the lower ablation zone of the debris-covered Ponkar Glacier, Bhimthang, Manang, Nepal during pre-monsoon season of 2016. Debris temperature at different depths is monitored for winter and pre-monsoon season to estimate the effective heat conduction. Similarly, melt under the debris is also measured for pre-monsoon season. The incoming and outgoing shortwave radiations are measured at 2 m above the surface and other variables including air temperature, humidity, wind speed, and precipitation are used to estimate surface energy balance. Energy flux is dominated by net shortwave radiation as the foremost source of melting, where contribution of net longwave radiation, sensible, latent, and conductive heat flux is low. The daily average temperature gradients of the debris layer from surface to 30 cm below for winter and pre-monsoon seasons are 0.04 oC cm-1 and 0.23 oC cm-1, respectively. Debris thermal conductivities are 0.30 W m-1 K-1 and 1.69 W m-1 K-1 for the winter and pre-monsoon season, respectively. The higher value of conductivity during pre-monsoon season is due to the higher air temperature and increased precipitation compared to the winter months. The daily mean measured ice melt under a debris layer of 11-20 cm ranges from 0.6 to 1.1 cm. Estimation of melt at a few points can be used to estimate the general melting pattern for the glacier surface, which can be improved by using the spatial distribution of debris thickness and surface temperature.

  15. Glacier development and topographic context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trantow, T.; Herzfeld, U. C.

    2017-12-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Modulation of snow reflectance and snowmelt from Central Asian glaciers by anthropogenic black carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-12

    Deposited mineral dust and black carbon are known to reduce the albedo of snow and enhance melt. Here we estimate the contribution of anthropogenic black carbon (BC) to snowmelt in glacier accumulation zones of Central Asia based on in-situ measurements and modelling. Source apportionment suggests that more than 94% of the BC is emitted from mostly regional anthropogenic sources while the remaining contribution comes from natural biomass burning. Even though the annual deposition flux of mineral dust can be up to 20 times higher than that of BC, we find that anthropogenic BC causes the majority (60% on average) of snow darkening. This leads to summer snowmelt rate increases of up to 6.3% (7 cm a -1 ) on glaciers in three different mountain environments in Kyrgyzstan, based on albedo reduction and snowmelt models.

  6. Radiocarbon ages of insects and plants frozen in the No. 31 Glacier, Suntar-Khayata Range, eastern Siberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakazawa, F., E-mail: nakazawa@nipr.ac.jp [National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Hulic Kamiyacho Bldg. 2F, 4-3-13 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001 (Japan); Uchida, M.; Kondo, M. [Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053 (Japan); Kadota, T. [Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka 237-0061 (Japan); Shirakawa, T. [Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido 090-8507 (Japan); Enomoto, H. [National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Department of Polar Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 10-3 Midori-cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518 (Japan); Fedorov, A.N. [Melnikov Permafrost Institute, SB RAN, Yakutsk 6770110 (Russian Federation); North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk 677010 (Russian Federation); Fujisawa, Y. [Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522 (Japan); Konstantinov, P.Y. [Melnikov Permafrost Institute, SB RAN, Yakutsk 6770110 (Russian Federation); Kusaka, R. [Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido 090-8507 (Japan); Miyairi, M. [Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522 (Japan); Ohata, T.; Yabuki, H. [Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka 237-0061 (Japan)

    2015-10-15

    The aim of this study was to estimate the age of glacier ice in the No. 31 Glacier in the Suntar-Khayata Range of eastern Siberia by performing dating of insects thought to be long-legged fly species (Dolichopodidae) as well as plants (species unknown) fragments preserved in the ice. Ice samples containing organisms were collected at depths of 0.4–1.1 m at five points from the middle to lowest parts of the glacier in 2013. The age of an insect collected at the lowest point on the glacier was estimated as 2038 ± 32 yr B.P. Insects collected at higher points had a modern or near-modern radiocarbon age. The age of plant fragments collected at the uppermost and middle points was 1531 ± 44 and 1288 ± 26 yr B.P., respectively, and that of a mixture of plant and insect fragments collected at the lowest point was 9772 ± 42 yr B.P. When comparing specimens collected at the same point, the plant fragments were found to be older than the insects. In 2012–2014 observations, some living insects were found on the glacier, and thus the age of the insects appears to correspond to the age of the ice. On the other hand, the plant fragments might have already aged since detachment from the source plants. This study found an approximately 2000-year gap in the age of the ice between the lowest and higher points. Annual mass balance observations from 2012 to 2014 showed that in recent years, the glacier sometimes had no accumulation area. Therefore, the wide gap in the age of ice may be due to a difference in past melting processes between the lowest and higher points on the glacier.

  7. Mercury speciation and distribution in a glacierized mountain environment and their relevance to environmental risks in the inland Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuejun; Zhang, Qianggong; Kang, Shichang; Guo, Junming; Li, Xiaofei; Yu, Zhengliang; Zhang, Guoshuai; Qu, Dongmei; Huang, Jie; Cong, Zhiyuan; Wu, Guangjian

    2018-08-01

    Glacierized mountain environments can preserve and release mercury (Hg) and play an important role in regional Hg biogeochemical cycling. However, the behavior of Hg in glacierized mountain environments and its environmental risks remain poorly constrained. In this research, glacier meltwater, runoff and wetland water were sampled in Zhadang-Qugaqie basin (ZQB), a typical glacierized mountain environment in the inland Tibetan Plateau, to investigate Hg distribution and its relevance to environmental risks. The total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 0.82 to 6.98ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the THg concentrations among the three different water samples showed that the THg concentrations were comparable. The total methylmercury (TMeHg) concentrations ranged from 0.041 to 0.115ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the TMeHg concentrations showed a significant difference. Both the THg and MeHg concentrations of water samples from the ZQB were comparable to those of other remote areas, indicating that Hg concentrations in the ZQB watershed are equivalent to the global background level. Particulate Hg was the predominant form of Hg in all runoff samples, and was significantly correlated with the total suspended particle (TSP) and not correlated with the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration. The distribution of mercury in the wetland water differed from that of the other water samples. THg exhibited a significant correlation with DOC as well as TMeHg, whereas neither THg nor TMeHg was associated with TSP. Based on the above findings and the results from previous work, we propose a conceptual model illustrating the four Hg distribution zones in glacierized environments. We highlight that wetlands may enhance the potential hazards of Hg released from melting glaciers, making them a vital zone for investigating the environmental effects of Hg in glacierized environments and beyond. Copyright © 2018

  8. Melting under shock compression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, B.I.

    1980-10-01

    A simple model, using experimentally measured shock and particle velocities, is applied to the Lindemann melting formula to predict the density, temperature, and pressure at which a material will melt when shocked from room temperature and zero pressure initial conditions

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Decadal ecosystem response to an anomalous melt season in a polar desert in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooseff, Michael N; Barrett, John E; Adams, Byron J; Doran, Peter T; Fountain, Andrew G; Lyons, W Berry; McKnight, Diane M; Priscu, John C; Sokol, Eric R; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Virginia, Ross A; Wall, Diana H

    2017-09-01

    Amplified climate change in polar regions is significantly altering regional ecosystems, yet there are few long-term records documenting these responses. The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) cold desert ecosystem is the largest ice-free area of Antarctica, comprising soils, glaciers, meltwater streams and permanently ice-covered lakes. Multi-decadal records indicate that the MDV exhibited a distinct ecosystem response to an uncharacteristic austral summer and ensuing climatic shift. A decadal summer cooling phase ended in 2002 with intense glacial melt ('flood year')-a step-change in water availability triggering distinct changes in the ecosystem. Before 2002, the ecosystem exhibited synchronous behaviour: declining stream flow, decreasing lake levels, thickening lake ice cover, decreasing primary production in lakes and streams, and diminishing soil secondary production. Since 2002, summer air temperatures and solar flux have been relatively consistent, leading to lake level rise, lake ice thinning and elevated stream flow. Biological responses varied; one stream cyanobacterial mat type immediately increased production, but another stream mat type, soil invertebrates and lake primary productivity responded asynchronously a few years after 2002. This ecosystem response to a climatic anomaly demonstrates differential biological community responses to substantial perturbations, and the mediation of biological responses to climate change by changes in physical ecosystem properties.

  12. A numerical model for meltwater channel evolution in glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Jarosch

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

  17. Holocene and latest Pleistocene climate and glacier fluctuations in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geirsdóttir, Áslaug; Miller, Gifford H.; Axford, Yarrow; Ólafsdóttir, Sædís

    2009-10-01

    Multiproxy climate records from Iceland document complex changes in terrestrial climate and glacier fluctuations through the Holocene, revealing some coherent patterns of change as well as significant spatial variability. Most studies on the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent deglaciation reveal a dynamic Iceland Ice Sheet (IIS) that responded abruptly to changes in ocean currents and sea level. The IIS broke up catastrophically around 15 ka as the Polar Front migrated northward and sea level rose. Indications of regional advance or halt of the glaciers are seen in late Alleröd/early Younger Dryas time and again in PreBoreal time. Due to the apparent rise of relative sea level in Iceland during this time, most sites contain evidence for fluctuating, tidewater glacier termini occupying paleo fjords and bays. The time between the end of the Younger Dryas and the Preboreal was characterized by repeated jökulhlaups that eroded glacial deposits. By 10.3 ka, the main ice sheet was in rapid retreat across the highlands of Iceland. The Holocene thermal maximum (HTM) was reached after 8 ka with land temperatures estimated to be 3 °C higher than the 1961-1990 reference, and net precipitation similar to modern. Such temperatures imply largely ice-free conditions across Iceland in the early to mid-Holocene. Several marine and lacustrine sediment climate proxies record substantial summer temperature depression between 8.5 and 8 ka, but no moraines have been detected from that time. Termination of the HTM and onset of Neoglacial cooling took place sometime after 6 ka with increased glacier activity between 4.5 and 4.0 ka, intensifying between 3.0 and 2.5 ka. Although a distinct warming during the Medieval Warm Period is not dramatically apparent in Icelandic records, the interval from ca AD 0 to 1200 is commonly characterized by relative stability with slow rates of change. The literature most commonly describes Little Ice Age moraines (ca AD 1250-1900) as representing the

  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. Using Continuum Damage Mechanics to Simulate Iceberg Calving from Tidewater Outlet Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercenier, R.; Lüthi, M.; Vieli, A.

    2017-12-01

    Many ocean terminating glaciers in the Arctic are currently undergoingrapid retreat, thinning and strong accelerations in flow. The processof iceberg calving plays a crucial role for the related dynamical masslosses and occurs when the stresses at the calving front exceed thefracture strength of ice, driving the propagation of cracks andeventually leading to the detachment of ice blocks from the glacierfront. However, the understanding of the processes involved in icebergcalving as well as the capability of flow models to represent thecalving mechanism remain limited.Here, we use a time-dependent two-dimensional finite-element flowmodel coupled to a damage model to simulate the break-off of ice atthe front of idealized tidewater outlet glaciers. The flow modelcomputes flow velocities and the resulting stresses, which are in turnused to calculate the evolution of the glacier geometry anddamage. Damage is defined as a change of rheological properties, e.g.viscosity, due to increasing material degradation. Elements of ice areremoved when the damage variable reaches a critical threshold. Theeffects of material properties and of geometrical parameters such aswater depth, ice thickness and submarine frontal melting on thesimulated calving rates are explored through systematic sensitivityanalyses.The coupled ice flow/damage model allows for successful reproductionof calving front geometries typically observed for different waterdepths. We further use detailed observations from real glaciergeometries to better constrain the model parameters. Theproposed model approach should be applicable to simulate icebergcalving on arbitrary glaciers, and thus be used to analyse theevolution of tidewater glacier variations from the past to the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Tracking seasonal subglacial drainage evolution of alpine glaciers using radiogenic Nd and Sr isotope systematics: Lemon Creek Glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The transport pathways of water beneath a glacier are subject to change as melt seasons progress due to variability in the balance between basal water pressure and water flux. Subglacial hydrology has been well studied, but the understanding of spatial distribution is less well constrained. Whereas radiogenic isotopic tracers have been traditionally used as proxies to track spatial variability and weathering rates in fluvial and riverine systems, these techniques have yet to be applied extensively to the subglacial environment and may help resolve ambiguity in subglacial hydrology. Research has shown the 143Nd/144Nd values can reflect variation in source provenance processes due to variations in the age of the continental crust. Correlating the 143Nd/144Nd with other radiogenic isotope systematics such as strontium (87Sr/86Sr) provides important constraints on the role of congruent and incongruent weathering processes. Our study presents the application of Nd and Sr systematics using isotopic ratios to the suspended load of subglacial meltwater collected over a single melt season at Lemon Creek Glacier, USA (LCG). The time-series data show an average ɛNd ~ -6.83, indicating a young bedrock (~60 MYA). Isotopic variation helps track the seasonal expansion of the subglacial meltwater channels and subsequent return to early season conditions due to the parabolic trend towards less radiogenic Nd in June and towards more radiogenic Nd beginning in mid-August. However, the high variability in July and early August may reflect a mixture of source as the channels diverge and derive sediment from differently aged lithologies. We find a poor correlation between 143Nd/144Nd and 87Sr/86Sr (R2= 0.38) along with a slight trend towards more radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr values with time ((R2= 0.49). This may indicate that, even as the residence time decreases over the melt season, the LCG subglacial system is relatively stable and that the bedrock is congruently weathered. Our study

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Melting of Dense Sodium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregoryanz, Eugene; Degtyareva, Olga; Hemley, Russell J.; Mao, Ho-kwang; Somayazulu, Maddury

    2005-01-01

    High-pressure high-temperature synchrotron diffraction measurements reveal a maximum on the melting curve of Na in the bcc phase at ∼31 GPa and 1000 K and a steep decrease in melting temperature in its fcc phase. The results extend the melting curve by an order of magnitude up to 130 GPa. Above 103 GPa, Na crystallizes in a sequence of phases with complex structures with unusually low melting temperatures, reaching 300 K at 118 GPa, and an increased melting temperature is observed with further increases in pressure

  6. 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%.

  7. An Intelligent Pinger Network for Solid Glacier Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönitz, S.; Reuter, S.; Henke, C.; Jeschke, S.; Ewert, D.; Eliseev, D.; Heinen, D.; Linder, P.; Scholz, F.; Weinstock, L.; Wickmann, S.; Wiebusch, C.; Zierke, S.

    2016-12-01

    This talk presents a novel approach for an intelligent, agent-based pinger network in an extraterrestrial glacier environment. Because of recent findings of the Cassini spacecraft, a mission to Saturn's moon Enceladus is planned in order search for extraterrestrial life within the ocean beneath Enceladus' ice crust. Therefore, a maneuverable melting probe, the EnEx probe, was developed to melt into Enceladus' ice and take liquid samples from water-filled crevasses. Hence, the probe collecting the samples has to be able to navigate in ice which is a hard problem, because neither visual nor gravitational methods can be used. To enhance the navigability of the probe, a network of autonomous pinger units (APU) is in development that is able to extract a map of the ice environment via ultrasonic soundwaves. A network of these APUs will be deployed on the surface of Enceladus, melt into the ice and form a network to help guide the probe safely to its destination. The APU network is able to form itself fully autonomously and to compensate system failures of individual APUs. The agents controlling the single APU are realized by rule-based expert systems implemented in CLIPS. The rule-based expert system evaluates available information of the environment, decides for actions to take to achieve the desired goal (e.g. a specific network topology), and executes and monitors such actions. In general, it encodes certain situations that are evaluated whenever an APU is currently idle, and then decides for a next action to take. It bases this decision on its internal world model that is shared with the other APUs. The optimal network topology that defines each agents position is iteratively determined by mixed-integer nonlinear programming. Extensive simulations studies show that the proposed agent design enables the APUs to form a robust network topology that is suited to create a reliable 3D map of the ice environment.

  8. A 400-year ice core melt layer record of summertime warming in the Alaska Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winski, D.; Osterberg, E. C.; Kreutz, K. J.; Wake, C. P.; Ferris, D. G.; Campbell, S. W.; Baum, M.; Raudzens Bailey, A.; Birkel, S. D.; Introne, D.; Handley, M.

    2017-12-01

    Warming in high-elevation regions has socially relevant impacts on glacier mass balance, water resources, and sensitive alpine ecosystems, yet very few high-elevation temperature records exist from the middle or high latitudes. While many terrestrial paleoclimate records provide critical temperature records from low elevations over recent centuries, melt layers preserved in alpine glaciers present an opportunity to develop calibrated, annually-resolved temperature records from high elevations. We present a 400-year temperature record based on the melt-layer stratigraphy in two ice cores collected from Mt. Hunter in the Central Alaska Range. The ice core record shows a 60-fold increase in melt frequency and water equivalent melt thickness between the pre-industrial period (before 1850) and present day. We calibrate the melt record to summer temperatures based on local and regional weather station analyses, and find that the increase in melt production represents a summer warming of at least 2° C, exceeding rates of temperature increase at most low elevation sites in Alaska. The Mt. Hunter melt layer record is significantly (p<0.05) correlated with surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific through a Rossby-wave like pattern that induces high temperatures over Alaska. Our results show that rapid alpine warming has taken place in the Alaska Range for at least a century, and that conditions in the tropical oceans contribute to this warming.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. Updating the New Zealand Glacier Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    and it is evident that since that time the glacier has retreated considerably and during the last decade the melting has been very rapid. It is thought that undercutting of the mountain slope by glacial erosion and the retreat of the glacier are the main contributing factors leading to the rock avalanche. The glacial erosion has destabilized the slope, which is mainly composed of palagonite and dolerite rocks, affected by geothermal alteration. Hence a subsequent fracture formation has weakened the strength of the bedrock. However the exact triggering factor is not known. No seismic activity or meteorological signal such as heavy rainfall or intensive snowmelt recorded prior to the rock avalanche which could be interpreted as triggering factors. From 2007 considerable changes have been observed on the glacier. The ice-front has retreated considerably and the debris lobe of the rock avalanche has moved downward along with the glacier ice about 90-100 m per year. The rocky material, by insulating the ice, has reduced its melting, leading to a relative "thickening" of the ice beneath the rock avalanche debris up to 11-15 m per year. After three melting seasons the debris mass was about 29 m above the surrounding ice surface.

  12. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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)

  16. What color should glacier algae be? An ecological role for red carbon in the cryosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, Roman J; Ganey, Gerard Q; Skiles, S McKenzie

    2018-03-01

    Red-colored secondary pigments in glacier algae play an adaptive role in melting snow and ice. We advance this hypothesis using a model of color-based absorption of irradiance, an experiment with colored particles in snow, and the natural history of glacier algae. Carotenoids and phenols-astaxanthin in snow-algae and purpurogallin in ice-algae-shield photosynthetic apparatus by absorbing overabundant visible wavelengths, then dissipating the excess radiant energy as heat. This heat melts proximal ice crystals, providing liquid-water in a 0°C environment and freeing up nutrients bound in frozen water. We show that purple-colored particles transfer 87%-89% of solar energy absorbed by black particles. However, red-colored particles transfer nearly as much (85%-87%) by absorbing peak solar wavelengths and reflecting the visible wavelengths most absorbed by nearby ice and snow crystals; this latter process may reduce potential cellular overheating when snow insulates cells. Blue and green particles transfer only 80%-82% of black particle absorption. In the experiment, red-colored particles melted 87% as much snow as black particles, while blue particles melted 77%. Green-colored snow-algae naturally occupy saturated snow where water is non-limiting; red-colored snow-algae occupy drier, water-limited snow. In addition to increasing melt, we suggest that esterified astaxanthin in snow-alga cells increases hydrophobicity to remain surficial. © FEMS 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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

  18. 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....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Climate reconstructions derived from global glacier length records

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, E.J.; Oerlemans, J.

    2004-01-01

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

  1. What controls the survival of ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers? An investigation into the aspect-dependent evolution of supraglacial cliffs in the Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicciotti, F.; Buri, P.

    2017-12-01

    Supraglacial ice cliffs exist on debris-covered glaciers worldwide, but despite increasing evidence of their important role in the surface melt of debris-covered glaciers, their role and importance at the glacier scale is still little understood. Acting as windows of energy transfer through the debris, they can contribute to very large glacier mass losses. Their abundance and life cycle might thus explain the anomalous behavior of much higher than expected mass losses of the debris-covered glaciers of High Mountain Asia, a controversial finding of recent research in a region where glaciers are highly relevant as water sources for millions of people downstream. Cliffs' evolution in time and distribution in space will determine their total contribution to the mass balance of glaciers, but while spatial distribution has been recently inferred from remote sensing studies, their temporal evolution is largely unknown. Here, we make use of recent advancements in our ability to model these complex features and use a novel 3D numerical model of cliff backwasting and very high resolution topographic data to show that supraglacial ice cliffs existence is controlled by aspect. Because of lack of observed south-facing cliffs, we rotate north-facing cliff systems observed in high detail over the debris-covered Lirung glacier, in the Nepalese Himalaya, towards southerly aspects and use the model coupled to the very high resolution topography to simulate the continuous evolution of selected cliffs over one melt season. Cliffs facing south (in the Northern Hemisphere) do not survive the duration of an ablation season and disappear within few weeks to few months due to very strong solar radiation receipts. Our model shows a progressive, continuous flattening of southerly facing cliffs, which is a result of their vertical gradient of incoming solar radiation. We also show that there is a clear range of aspects (northwest to northeast) that allows cliff survival because of energy and

  2. Black Carbon, Dust and Organic Matter at South Cascade Glacier in Washington State, USA: A Comprehensive Characterization of Temporal (1865-2014) and Spatial Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspari, S.; Pittenger, D.; Swick, M.; Skiles, M.; Perez, A.; Sethi, H.; Sevier, E.

    2017-12-01

    Rising temperatures are a widely recognized cause of glacial retreat in Washington, however light absorbing aerosols (LAA, including black carbon (BC), dust and organic matter) can also contribute to increased melt by reducing snow albedo. We present updated results of BC and dust variability at South Cascade (SOCAS) glacier spanning 1865-1994 using a 158 m ice core. Peak BC deposition occurred between 1940-1958, when median BC concentrations were 25 times higher than background levels. Post 1958 BC concentrations decrease, followed by an increase post 1980 associated with melt consolidation and/or trans-Pacific aerosol transport. Dust deposition at SOCAS is dominated by local sources. Albedo reductions from LAA are dominated by dust deposition, except during high BC deposition events from wildfires, and during the 1940-1958 period when BC contributes equally to albedo reductions. Results from a 2014 field campaign that included collection of 3 shallow ice cores, surface snow, and snow albedo measurements allow the 1865-1994 ice core record to be extended toward present, and spatial variability in LAA to be characterized. Snow albedo transects were measured using a spectrometer. BC concentrations were measured using a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2). Gravimetric filtration was used to determine the total LAA, and a thermal gravimetric technique was used to partition the LAA between dust and organic matter. The organic matter was partitioned into organic and elemental carbon using a thermal optical method. These methods allow LAA abundances be measured, but to partition the contribution of the LAA to albedo reductions requires characterization of LAA optical properties. This was accomplished using a Hyperspectral Imaging Microscope Spectrometer method that allows particle reflectance to be measured at 138 nm2 pixel resolution. By combining these methods, we provide a comprehensive characterization of spatial and temporal LAA variability at SOCAS.

  3. Model of interfacial melting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Zuckermann, Martin J.

    1987-01-01

    A two-dimensional model is proposed to describe systems with phase transitions which take place in terms of crystalline as well as internal degrees of freedom. Computer simulation of the model shows that the interplay between the two sets of degrees of freedom permits observation of grain-boundar......-boundary formation and interfacial melting, a nonequilibrium process by which the system melts at the boundaries of a polycrystalline domain structure. Lipid membranes are candidates for systems with pronounced interfacial melting behavior....

  4. High-resolution DEMs for High-mountain Asia: A systematic, region-wide assessment of geodetic glacier mass balance and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shean, D. E.; Arendt, A. A.; Osmanoglu, B.; Montesano, P.

    2017-12-01

    High Mountain Asia (HMA) constitutes the largest glacierized region outside of the Earth's polar regions. Although available observations are limited, long-term records indicate sustained regional glacier mass loss since 1850, with increased loss in recent decades. Recent satellite data (e.g., GRACE, ICESat-1) show spatially variable glacier mass balance, with significant mass loss in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush and slight mass gain in the Karakoram. We generated 4000 high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) from sub-meter commercial stereo imagery (DigitalGlobe WorldView/GeoEye) acquired over glaciers in High-mountain Asia from 2002-present (mostly 2013-present). We produced a regional 8-m DEM mosaic for 2015 and estimated 15-year geodetic mass balance for 40000 glaciers larger than 0.1 km2. We are combining with other regional DEM sources to systematically document the spatiotemporal evolution of glacier mass balance for the entire HMA region. We also generated monthly to interannual DEM and velocity time series for high-priority sites distributed across the region, with >15-20 DEMs available for some locations from 2010-present. These records document glacier dynamics, seasonal snow accumulation/redistribution, and processes that affect glacier mass balance (e.g., ice-cliff retreat, debris cover evolution). These efforts will provide basin-scale assessments of snow/ice melt runoff contributions for model cal/val and downstream water resources applications. We will continue processing all archived and newly available commercial stereo imagery for HMA, and will release all DEMs through the HiMAT DAAC.

  5. Minimum and Maximum Potential Contributions to Future Sea Level Rise from Polar Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R. M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    New climate and ice-sheet modeling, calibrated to past changes in sea-level, is painting a stark picture of the future fate of the great polar ice sheets if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. This is especially true for Antarctica, where a substantial fraction of the ice sheet rests on bedrock more than 500-meters below sea level. Here, we explore the sensitivity of the polar ice sheets to a warming atmosphere and ocean under a range of future greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The ice sheet-climate-ocean model used here considers time-evolving changes in surface mass balance and sub-ice oceanic melting, ice deformation, grounding line retreat on reverse-sloped bedrock (Marine Ice Sheet Instability), and newly added processes including hydrofracturing of ice shelves in response to surface meltwater and rain, and structural collapse of thick, marine-terminating ice margins with tall ice-cliff faces (Marine Ice Cliff Instability). The simulations improve on previous work by using 1) improved atmospheric forcing from a Regional Climate Model and 2) a much wider range of model physical parameters within the bounds of modern observations of ice dynamical processes (particularly calving rates) and paleo constraints on past ice-sheet response to warming. Approaches to more precisely define the climatic thresholds capable of triggering rapid and potentially irreversible ice-sheet retreat are also discussed, as is the potential for aggressive mitigation strategies like those discussed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to substantially reduce the risk of extreme sea-level rise. These results, including physics that consider both ice deformation (creep) and calving (mechanical failure of marine terminating ice) expand on previously estimated limits of maximum rates of future sea level rise based solely on kinematic constraints of glacier flow. At the high end, the new results show the potential for more than 2m of global mean sea level rise by 2100

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Hydrological Modeling of Highly Glacierized Basins (Andes, Alps, and Central Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Omani

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT was used to simulate five glacierized river basins that are global in coverage and vary in climate. The river basins included the Narayani (Nepal, Vakhsh (Central Asia, Rhone (Switzerland, Mendoza (Central Andes, Argentina, and Central Dry Andes (Chile, with a total area of 85,000 km2. A modified SWAT snow algorithm was applied in order to consider spatial variation of associated snowmelt/accumulation by elevation band across each subbasin. In previous studies, melt rates varied as a function of elevation because of an air temperature gradient while the snow parameters were constant throughout the entire basin. A major improvement of the new snow algorithm is the separation of the glaciers from seasonal snow based on their characteristics. Two SWAT snow algorithms were evaluated in simulation of monthly runoff from the glaciered watersheds: (1 the snow parameters are lumped (constant throughout the entire basin and (2 the snow parameters are spatially variable based on elevation bands of a subbasin (modified snow algorithm. Applying the distributed SWAT snow algorithm improved the model performance in simulation of monthly runoff with snow-glacial regime, so that mean RSR decreased to 0.49 from 0.55 and NSE increased to 0.75 from 0.69. Improvement of model performance was negligible in simulations of monthly runoff from the basins with a monsoon runoff regime.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Mapping distribution and thickness of supraglacial debris in the Central Karakoram National Park: main features and implications to model glacier meltwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minora, Umberto; Mayer, Christoph; Bocchiola, Daniele; D'Agata, Carlo; Maragno, Davide; Lambrecht, Astrid; Vuillermoz, Elisa; smiraglia, claudio; diolaiuti, guglielmina

    2014-05-01

    Supraglacial debris plays a not negligible role in controlling magnitude and rates of buried ice melt (Østrem, 1959; Mattson et al., 1993). Knowledge on rock debris is essential to model ice melt (and consequently meltwater discharge) upon wide glacierized areas, as melt rates are mainly driven by debris thickness variability. This is particularly important for the Pamir-Himalaya-Karakoram area (PHK), where debris-covered glaciers are frequent (Smiraglia et al., 2007; Scherler et al., 2011) and where melt water from glaciers supports agriculture and hydropower production. By means of remote sensing techniques and field data, supraglacial debris can be detected, and then quantified in area and thickness. Supervised classifications of satellite imagery can be used to map debris on glaciers. They use different algorithms to cluster an image based on its pixel values, and Region Of Interests (ROIs) previously selected by the human operator. This can be used to obtain a supraglacial debris mask by which surface extension can be calculated. Moreover, kinetic surface temperature data derived from satellites (such as ASTER and Landsat), can be used to quantify debris thicknesses (Mihalcea et al., 2008). Ground Control Points (GCPs) are essential to validate the obtained debris thicknesses. We took the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) as a representative sample for PHK area. The CKNP is 12,000 km2 wide, with more than 700 glaciers, mostly debris covered (Minora et al., 2013). Among those we find some of the widest glaciers of the World (e.g: Baltoro). To improve the knowledge on these glaciers and to better model their melt and water discharge we proceeded as follows. Firstly we ran a Supervised Maximum Likelihood (SML) classification on 2001 and 2010 Landsat images to detect debris presence and distribution. Secondly we analyzed kinetic surface temperature (from Landsat) to map debris depth. This latter attempt took also advantage from field data of debris thickness

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Dame, Juliane; Nüsser, Marcus

    2016-04-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Giesen

    2009-03-01

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

  17. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models pre...

  19. Melt inclusions: Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,; Lowenstern, J. B.

    2014-01-01

    Melt inclusions are small droplets of silicate melt that are trapped in minerals during their growth in a magma. Once formed, they commonly retain much of their initial composition (with some exceptions) unless they are re-opened at some later stage. Melt inclusions thus offer several key advantages over whole rock samples: (i) they record pristine concentrations of volatiles and metals that are usually lost during magma solidification and degassing, (ii) they are snapshots in time whereas whole rocks are the time-integrated end products, thus allowing a more detailed, time-resolved view into magmatic processes (iii) they are largely unaffected by subsolidus alteration. Due to these characteristics, melt inclusions are an ideal tool to study the evolution of mineralized magma systems. This chapter first discusses general aspects of melt inclusions formation and methods for their investigation, before reviewing studies performed on mineralized magma systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tielidze, Levan G.; Wheate, Roger D.

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Adapting to sea-level rise in the US Southeast: The influence of built infrastructure and biophysical factors on the inundation of coastal areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, R.C. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States). Energy, Environment and Resources Center]|[Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Gornitz, V.M. [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New York, NY (United States). Goddard Inst. for Space Studies; Mehta, A.J.; Lee, Saychong [Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL (United States). Dept. of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering; Cushman, R.M. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1992-11-01

    The earth` s global mean surface air temperature has increased by 0.5{degrees}C over the past 100 years. This warming trend has occurred concurrently with increases in the concentration and number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases may cause this trend to accelerate in the future and result in a net increase in the earth`s global mean surface air temperature of 1.5 to 4.5{degrees}C by the year 2100. An increase of this magnitude could cause sea surface temperatures to increase would cause sea levels to rise -from thermal expansion of the sea, and the addition of melt waters from alpine glaciers and continental ice sheets. To allow for the cost-effective analysis of the impacts that sea-level rise may have on the US Southeast, a method is needed that will allow sites that are potentially at risk to be identified for study. Previously, no objective method was available to identify such sites. This project addresses this problem by using a geographic data base with information on both physical and climatological factors to identify coastal areas of the US Southeast that are at risk to inundation or accelerated erosion due to sea-level rise. The following six areas were selected for further study from the many identified as being at high risk: Galveston, Texas; Caminada Pass, Louisiana; Bradenton Beach, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; McClellanville, South Carolina; and Nags Head, North Carolina. For each study area the amount of land, by land use type, in danger from inundation from three sea-level-rise scenarios was calculated. The calculated values were based on elevation alone.

  2. Adapting to sea-level rise in the US Southeast: The influence of built infrastructure and biophysical factors on the inundation of coastal areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, R. C. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States). Energy, Environment and Resources Center Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Gornitz, V. M. [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New York, NY (United States). Goddard Inst. for Space Studies; Mehta, A. J.; Lee, Saychong [Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL (United States). Dept. of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering

    1992-11-01

    The earth' s global mean surface air temperature has increased by 0.5°C over the past 100 years. This warming trend has occurred concurrently with increases in the concentration and number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases may cause this trend to accelerate in the future and result in a net increase in the earth's global mean surface air temperature of 1.5 to 4.5°C by the year 2100. An increase of this magnitude could cause sea surface temperatures to increase would cause sea levels to rise -from thermal expansion of the sea, and the addition of melt waters from alpine glaciers and continental ice sheets. To allow for the cost-effective analysis of the impacts that sea-level rise may have on the US Southeast, a method is needed that will allow sites that are potentially at risk to be identified for study. Previously, no objective method was available to identify such sites. This project addresses this problem by using a geographic data base with information on both physical and climatological factors to identify coastal areas of the US Southeast that are at risk to inundation or accelerated erosion due to sea-level rise. The following six areas were selected for further study from the many identified as being at high risk: Galveston, Texas; Caminada Pass, Louisiana; Bradenton Beach, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; McClellanville, South Carolina; and Nags Head, North Carolina. For each study area the amount of land, by land use type, in danger from inundation from three sea-level-rise scenarios was calculated. The calculated values were based on elevation alone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-09-15

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

  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. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Hydrological processes in glacierized high-altitude basins of the western Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Shah, Rouf A.; Fryar, Alan E.; Deshpande, Rajendrakumar D.; Mukherjee, Abhijit; Perrin, Jerome

    2018-03-01

    Western Himalaya is a strategically important region, where the water resources are shared by China, India and Pakistan. The economy of the region is largely dependent on the water resources delivered by snow and glacier melt. The presented study used stable isotopes of water to further understand the basin-scale hydro-meteorological, hydrological and recharge processes in three high-altitude mountainous basins of the western Himalayas. The study provided new insights in understanding the dominant factors affecting the isotopic composition of the precipitation, snowpack, glacier melt, streams and springs. It was observed that elevation-dependent post-depositional processes and snowpack evolution resulted in the higher isotopic altitude gradient in snowpacks. The similar temporal trends of isotopic signals in rivers and karst springs reflect the rapid flow transfer due to karstification of the carbonate aquifers. The attenuation of the extreme isotopic input signal in karst springs appears to be due to the mixing of source waters with the underground karst reservoirs. Basin-wise, the input-output response demonstrates the vital role of winter precipitation in maintaining the perennial flow in streams and karst springs in the region. Isotopic data were also used to estimate the mean recharge altitude of the springs.

  10. Dust, Elemental Carbon and Other Impurities on Central Asian Glaciers: Origin and Radiative Forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmale, J.; Flanner, M.; Kang, S.; Sprenger, M.; Zhang, Q.; Li, Y.; Guo, J.; Schwikowski, M.

    2015-12-01

    In Central Asia, more than 60 % of the population depends on water stored in glaciers and mountain snow. While temperature, precipitation and dynamic processes are key drivers of glacial change, deposition of light absorbing impurities such as mineral dust and black carbon can lead to accelerated melting through surface albedo reduction. Here, we discuss the origin of deposited mineral dust and black carbon and their impacts on albedo change and radiative forcing (RF). 218 snow samples were taken from 13 snow pits on 4 glaciers, Abramov (Pamir), Suek, Glacier No. 354 and Golubin (Tien Shan), representing deposition between summer 2012 and 2014. They were analyzed for elemental and organic carbon by a thermo-optical method, mineral dust by gravimetry, and iron by ICP-MS. Back trajectory ensembles were released every 6 hours with the Lagranto model for the covered period at all sites. Boundary layer "footprints" were calculated to estimate general source regions and combined with MODIS fire counts for potential fire contributions. Albedo reduction due to black carbon and mineral dust was calculated with the Snow-Ice-Aerosol-Radiative model (SNICAR), and surface spectral irradiances were derived from atmospheric radiative transfer calculations to determine the RF under clear-sky and all sky conditions using local radiation measurements. Dust contributions came from Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara and partly the Taklimakan. Fire contributions were higher in 2014 and generally came from the West and North. We find that EC exerts roughly 3 times more RF than mineral dust in fresh and relatively fresh snow (~5 W/m2) and up to 6 times more in snow that experienced melting (> 10 W/m2) even though EC concentrations (average per snow pit from 90 to 700 ng/g) were up to two orders of magnitude lower than mineral dust (10 to 140 μg/g).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angulo, Oscar; Biévre Bert, De

    2017-04-01

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

  12. Evidence for propagation of cold-adapted yeast in an ice core from a Siberian Altai glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uetake, Jun; Kohshima, Shiro; Nakazawa, Fumio; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Fujita, Koji; Miyake, Takayuki; Narita, Hideki; Aizen, Vladimir; Nakawo, Masayoshi

    2011-03-01

    Cold environments, including glacier ice and snow, are known habitats for cold-adapted microorganisms. We investigated the potential for cold-adapted yeast to have propagated in the snow of the high-altitude Belukha glacier. We detected the presence of highly concentrated yeast (over 104 cells mL-1) in samples of both an ice core and firn snow. Increasing yeast cell concentrations in the same snow layer from July 2002 to July 2003 suggests that the yeast cells propagated in the glacier snow. A cold-adapted Rhodotorula sp. was isolated from the snow layer and found to be related to psychrophilic yeast previously found in other glacial environments (based on the D1/D2 26S rRNA domains). 26S rRNA clonal analysis directly amplified from meltwater within the ice core also revealed the presence of genus Rhodotorula. Analyses of the ice core showed that all peaks in yeast concentration corresponded to the peaks in indices of surface melting. These results support the hypothesis that occasional surface melting in an accumulation area is one of the major factors influencing cold-adapted yeast propagation.

  13. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring - a timeline since 1894

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yavasli, Dogukan D.; Tucker, Compton J.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Improved estimates of global sea level change from Ice Sheets, glaciers and land water storage using GRACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velicogna, I.; Hsu, C. W.; Ciraci, E.; Sutterley, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    We use observations of time variable gravity from GRACE to estimate mass changes for the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, the Glaciers and Ice Caps (GIC) and land water storage for the time period 2002-2015 and evaluate their total contribution to sea level. We calculate regional sea level changes from these present day mass fluxes using an improved scaling factor for the GRACE data that accounts for the spatial and temporal variability of the observed signal. We calculate a separate scaling factor for the annual and the long-term components of the GRACE signal. To estimate the contribution of the GIC, we use a least square mascon approach and we re-analyze recent inventories to optimize the distribution of mascons and recover the GRACE signal more accurately. We find that overall, Greenland controls 43% of the global trend in eustatic sea level rise, 16% for Antarctica and 29% for the GIC. The contribution from the GIC is dominated by the mass loss of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, followed by Alaska, Patagonia and the High Mountains of Asia. We report a marked increase in mass loss for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In Greenland, following the 2012 high summer melt, years 2013 and 2014 have slowed down the increase in mass loss, but our results will be updated with summer 2015 observations at the meeting. In Antarctica, the mass loss is still on the rise with increased contributions from the Amundsen Sea sector and surprisingly from the Wilkes Land sector of East Antarctica, including Victoria Land. Conversely, the Queen Maud Land sector experienced a large snowfall in 2009-2013 and has now resumed to a zero mass gain since 2013. We compare sea level changes from these GRACE derived mass fluxes after including the atmospheric and ocean loading signal with sea level change from satellite radar altimetry (AVISO) corrected for steric signal of the ocean using Argo measurements and find an excellent agreement in amplitude, phase and trend in these estimates

  17. Melting point of yttria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skaggs, S.R.

    1977-06-01

    Fourteen samples of 99.999 percent Y 2 O 3 were melted near the focus of a 250-W CO 2 laser. The average value of the observed melting point along the solid-liquid interface was 2462 +- 19 0 C. Several of these same samples were then melted in ultrahigh-purity oxygen, nitrogen, helium, or argon and in water vapor. No change in the observed temperature was detected, with the exception of a 20 0 C increase in temperature from air to helium gas. Post test examination of the sample characteristics, clarity, sphericity, and density is presented, along with composition. It is suggested that yttria is superior to alumina as a secondary melting-point standard

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Falk

    2018-04-01

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

  20. Can Nano-Particle Melt below the Melting Temperature of Its Free Surface Partner?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sui Xiao-Hong; Qin Shao-Jing; Wang Zong-Guo; Kang Kai; Wang Chui-Lin

    2015-01-01

    The phonon thermal contribution to the melting temperature of nano-particles is inspected. The discrete summation of phonon states and its corresponding integration form as an approximation for a nano-particle or for a bulk system have been analyzed. The discrete phonon energy levels of pure size effect and the wave-vector shifts of boundary conditions are investigated in detail. Unlike in macroscopic thermodynamics, the integration volume of zero-mode of phonon for a nano-particle is not zero, and it plays an important role in pure size effect and boundary condition effect. We find that a nano-particle will have a rising melting temperature due to purely finite size effect; a lower melting temperature bound exists for a nano-particle in various environments, and the melting temperature of a nano-particle with free boundary condition reaches this lower bound. We suggest an easy procedure to estimation the melting temperature, in which the zero-mode contribution will be excluded, and only several bulk quantities will be used as input. We would like to emphasize that the quantum effect of discrete energy levels in nano-particles, which is not present in early thermodynamic studies on finite size corrections to melting temperature in small systems, should be included in future researches. (condensed matter: structural, mechanical, and thermal properties)

  1. Study of the spatial and temporal variability of local ecosystems and glaciers of the Antisana Volcano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Valladares Borja

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available (Received: 2014/10/31 - Accepted: 2014/12/15The scientific interest in climate change allowed to uncover evidence demonstrating a general warming trend caused by human activities. Facts such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and retreat of glaciers, are indicators of the presence of alterations of normal weather patterns. In Ecuador, the Antisana is a stratovolcano of strategic importance affecting the climate of the region, in the functioning of the surrounding ecosystems. It is also a reserve of water for the population of the Metropolitan District of Quito (DMQ. The glaciers of the tropical volcano are also suffering the effects of global warming. Its decline over time is of concern and should be analyzed. The present research work performed a spatial and temporal study based on historical series of aerial photographs taken between 1956 and 2011, through geo-processing capabilities of geographic information systems (GIS. The results show a significant decrease in the glaciers of the Antisana Volcano and significant changes in the surrounding local ecological formations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Force induced DNA melting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santosh, Mogurampelly; Maiti, Prabal K

    2009-01-01

    When pulled along the axis, double-strand DNA undergoes a large conformational change and elongates by roughly twice its initial contour length at a pulling force of about 70 pN. The transition to this highly overstretched form of DNA is very cooperative. Applying a force perpendicular to the DNA axis (unzipping), double-strand DNA can also be separated into two single-stranded DNA, this being a fundamental process in DNA replication. We study the DNA overstretching and unzipping transition using fully atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and argue that the conformational changes of double-strand DNA associated with either of the above mentioned processes can be viewed as force induced DNA melting. As the force at one end of the DNA is increased the DNA starts melting abruptly/smoothly above a critical force depending on the pulling direction. The critical force f m , at which DNA melts completely decreases as the temperature of the system is increased. The melting force in the case of unzipping is smaller compared to the melting force when the DNA is pulled along the helical axis. In the case of melting through unzipping, the double-strand separation has jumps which correspond to the different energy minima arising due to sequence of different base pairs. The fraction of Watson-Crick base pair hydrogen bond breaking as a function of force does not show smooth and continuous behavior and consists of plateaus followed by sharp jumps.

  4. 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).

  5. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, J.A.; Andersen, T.J.; Shortt, M.; Gaffney, A.M.; Truffer, M.; Stanton, T.P.; Bindschadler, R.; Dutrieux, P.; Jenkins, A.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Ehrmann, W.; Corr, H.F.J.; Farley, N.; Crowhurst, S.; Vaughan, D.G.

    2016-01-01

    The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature20136 The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line—which marks the boundary between grounded ice and floating ice shelf—is underway. Under...

  6. On tritium content in the Abramov glacier layers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  9. Microbial communities of the Lemon Creek Glacier show subtle structural variation yet stable phylogenetic composition over space and time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody Springer Sheik

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are geologically important yet transient ecosystems that support diverse, biogeochemically significant microbial communities. During the melt season glaciers undergo dramatic physical, geochemical and biological changes that exert great influence on downstream biogeochemical cycles. Thus, we sought to understand the temporal melt-season dynamics of microbial communities and associated geochemistry at the terminus of Lemon Creek Glacier (LCG in coastal southern Alaska. Due to late season snowfall, sampling of LCG occurred in three interconnected areas: proglacial Lake Thomas, the lower glacial outflow stream and the glacier’s terminus. LCG associated microbial communities were phylogenetically diverse and varied by sampling location. However, Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominated communities at all sampling locations. Strict anaerobic groups such as methanogens, SR1, and OP11 were also recovered from glacier outflows, indicating anoxic conditions in at least some portions of the LCG subglacial environment. Microbial community structure was significantly correlated with sampling location and sodium concentrations. Microbial communities sampled from terminus outflow waters exhibited day-to-day fluctuation in taxonomy and phylogenetic similarity. However, these communities were not significantly different from randomly constructed communities from all three sites. These results indicate that glacial outflows share a large proportion of phylogenetic overlap with downstream environments and that the observed significant shifts in community structure are driven by changes in relative abundance of different taxa, and not complete restructuring of communities. We conclude that LCG glacial discharge hosts a diverse and relatively stable microbiome that shifts at fine taxonomic scales in response to geochemistry and likely water residence time.

  10. Fuel Rod Melt Progression Simulation Using Low-Temperature Melting Metal Alloy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seung Dong Lee; Suh, Kune Y.; GoonCherl Park; Un Chul Lee

    2002-01-01

    downwards a blockage may be formed and grow both radially and axially. The velocity of the melt can be calculated from a force balance between the gravity and frictional losses at the melt-rod interface. When the heater rod is uncovered completely, the melt progression is initiated at the mid-point, which is the hot spot in the rod. However, the melting location is elevated as the water level rises because of the downward heat transfer. Considering the melt flow as a film, the steady-state film thickness on the cylindrical heater rod and the average velocity are computed. The steady-state film flow rate is determined in terms of the density, film thickness, and film velocity. (authors)

  11. Acceleration of Humboldt glacier, north Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Export fluxes of geochemical solutes in the meltwater stream of Sutri Dhaka Glacier, Chandra basin, Western Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ajit T; Laluraj, C M; Sharma, Parmanand; Patel, Lavkush K; Thamban, Meloth

    2017-10-12

    The hydrochemistry of meltwater from the Sutri Dhaka Glacier, Western Himalaya, has been studied to understand the influence of the factors controlling the weathering processes of the glaciers during the peak ablation period. The high solar irradiance prompted intense melting, which has raised the stream flow of the glacier. The meltwater has been observed as slightly alkaline (mean pH 8.2) and contains the major anions (HCO 3 -  > SO 4 2-  > NO 3 -  > Cl - ) and cations (Ca 2+  > Mg 2+  > K +  > Na +  > NH 4 + ) with Ca 2+ (78.5%) and HCO 3 - (74.5%) as the dominant species. The piper diagram indicates the category of stream meltwater as Ca 2+ -HCO 3 - type. In addition, it is evident from the Gibbs diagram that the interaction between the meltwater and bedrock controls the ionic concentrations of the glacial meltwater. The high ratio value (~ 0.75) of HCO 3 - /(HCO 3 -  + SO 4 2- ) indicates that the carbonate weathering is dominant. Fe and Al followed by Mn, Sr, and Ti are the most dominant trace elements present in the meltwater. The significant negative correlation exhibited by the major ions and Sr with the discharge is recommended for the enrichment of these solutes during the lean discharge periods. However, the insignificant correlation of Fe, Al, Mn, and Ti with discharge suggests their physicochemical control. The principal component analysis (PCA) carried has highlighted three dominant composites, i.e., the water-rock interaction, atmospheric dust inputs, and physicochemical changes in the meltwater. Hence, the present study elucidates the export of geochemical solutes from Sutri Dhaka Glacier and factors governing the water chemistry, which helps in the better understanding of hydrochemical processes of the Himalayan glaciers and substantial improvement of our understanding about the glacio-hydrological environments and their response in the scenario of global warming.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J A; Andersen, T J; Shortt, M; Gaffney, A M; Truffer, M; Stanton, T P; Bindschadler, R; Dutrieux, P; Jenkins, A; Hillenbrand, C-D; Ehrmann, W; Corr, H F J; Farley, N; Crowhurst, S; Vaughan, D G

    2017-01-05

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line-which marks the boundary between grounded ice and floating ice shelf-is underway. Understanding this recent retreat requires a detailed knowledge of grounding-line history, but the locations of the grounding line before the advent of satellite monitoring in the 1990s are poorly dated. In particular, a history of grounding-line retreat is required to understand the relative roles of contemporaneous ocean-forced change and of ongoing glacier response to an earlier perturbation in driving ice-sheet loss. Here we show that the present thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is part of a climatically forced trend that was triggered in the 1940s. Our conclusions arise from analysis of sediment cores recovered beneath the floating Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, and constrain the date at which the grounding line retreated from a prominent seafloor ridge. We find that incursion of marine water beyond the crest of this ridge, forming an ocean cavity beneath the ice shelf, occurred in 1945 (±12 years); final ungrounding of the ice shelf from the ridge occurred in 1970 (±4 years). The initial opening of this ocean cavity followed a period of strong warming of West Antarctica, associated with El Niño activity. Thus our results suggest that, even when climate forcing weakened, ice-sheet retreat continued.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Melting temperature of graphite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korobenko, V.N.; Savvatimskiy, A.I.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text: Pulse of electrical current is used for fast heating (∼ 1 μs) of metal and graphite specimens placed in dielectric solid media. Specimen consists of two strips (90 μm in thick) placed together with small gap so they form a black body model. Quasy-monocrystal graphite specimens were used for uniform heating of graphite. Temperature measurements were fulfilled with fast pyrometer and with composite 2-strip black body model up to melting temperature. There were fulfilled experiments with zirconium and tungsten of the same black body construction. Additional temperature measurements of liquid zirconium and liquid tungsten are made. Specific heat capacity (c P ) of liquid zirconium and of liquid tungsten has a common feature in c P diminishing just after melting. It reveals c P diminishing after melting in both cases over the narrow temperature range up to usual values known from steady state measurements. Over the next wide temperature range heat capacity for W (up to 5000 K) and Zr (up to 4100 K) show different dependencies of heat capacity on temperature in liquid state. The experiments confirmed a high quality of 2-strip black body model used for graphite temperature measurements. Melting temperature plateau of tungsten (3690 K) was used for pyrometer calibration area for graphite temperature measurement. As a result, a preliminary value of graphite melting temperature of 4800 K was obtained. (author)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. An Intensive Observation of Calving at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, David M.; Voytenko, Denis; Christianson, Knut; Dixon, Timothy H.; Mei, M. Jeffrey; Parizek, Byron R.; Vankova, Irena; Walker, Ryan T.; Walter, Jacob I.; Nicholls, Keith; hide

    2016-01-01

    Calving of glacial ice into the ocean from the Greenland Ice Sheet is an important component of global sea-level rise. The calving process itself is relatively poorly observed, understood, and modeled; as such, it represents a bottleneck in improving future global sea-level estimates in climate models. We organized a pilot project to observe the calving process at Helheim Glacier in east Greenland in an effort to better understand it. During an intensive one-week survey, we deployed a suite of instrumentation, including a terrestrial radar interferometer, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, seismometers, tsunameters, and an automated weather station. We were fortunate to capture a calving process and to measure various glaciological, oceanographic, and atmospheric parameters before, during, and after the event. One outcome of our observations is evidence that the calving process actually consists of a number of discrete events, spread out over time, in this instance over at least two days. This time span has implications for models of the process. Realistic projections of future global sea level will depend on an accurate parametrization of calving, and we argue that more sustained observations will be required to reach this objective.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. E. Flowers

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2008-12-01

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

  4. The Rise of Iran

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahigh-Aghsan, Ali

    Iran is viewed as a rising power that poses an increasing threat to regional and even global security. This view is wrong for three reasons. Iran's hard and soft power is exaggerated by most accounts; it is too limited to allow the Iranians to dominate the Persian Gulf let alone the Middle East...

  5. The Rise of Iran

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahigh-Aghsan, Ali; Jakobsen, Peter Viggo

    2010-01-01

    Iran is viewed as a rising power that poses an increasing threat to regional and even global security. This view is wrong for three reasons. Iran's hard and soft power is exaggerated by most accounts; it is too limited to allow the Iranians to dominate the Persian Gulf let alone the Middle East...

  6. Melting of gold microclusters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garzon, I.L.; Jellinek, J.

    1991-01-01

    The transition from solid-like to liquid-like behavior in Au n , n=6, 7, 13, clusters is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. A Gupta-type potential with all-neighbour interactions is employed to incorporate n-body effects. The melting-like transition is described in terms of short-time averages of the kinetic energy per particle, root-mean-square bond length fluctuations and mean square displacements. A comparison between melting temperatures of Au n and Ni n clusters is presented. (orig.)

  7. A decade of sea level rise slowed by climate-driven hydrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reager, J T; Gardner, A S; Famiglietti, J S; Wiese, D N; Eicker, A; Lo, M-H

    2016-02-12

    Climate-driven changes in land water storage and their contributions to sea level rise have been absent from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level budgets owing to observational challenges. Recent advances in satellite measurement of time-variable gravity combined with reconciled global glacier loss estimates enable a disaggregation of continental land mass changes and a quantification of this term. We found that between 2002 and 2014, climate variability resulted in an additional 3200 ± 900 gigatons of water being stored on land. This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise