WorldWideScience

Sample records for outlet glaciers ice

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. Seasonal velocities of eight major marine-terminating outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet from continuous in situ GPS instruments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlstrøm, A. P.; Andersen, S. B.; Andersen, M. L.

    2013-01-01

    We present 17 velocity records derived from in situ stand-alone single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers placed on eight marine-terminating ice sheet outlet glaciers in South, West and North Greenland, covering varying parts of the period summer 2009 to summer 2012. Common to all...

  5. Velocities of antarctic outlet glaciers determined from sequential Landsat images

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Thomas R.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Williams, Richard S.; Lucchitta, Baerbel K.

    1989-01-01

    Approximately 91.0 percent of the volume of present-day glacier ice on Earth is in Antarctica; Greenland contains about another 8.3 percent of the volume. Thus, together, these two great ice sheets account for an estimated 99.3 percent of the total. Long-term changes in the volume of glacier ice on our planet are the result of global climate change. Because of the relationship of global ice volume to sea level (± 330 cubic kilometers of glacier ice equals ± 1 millimeter sea level), changes in the mass balance of the antarctic ice sheet are of particular importance.Whether the mass balance of the east and west antarctic ice sheets is positive or negative is not known. Estimates of mass input by total annual precipitation for the continent have been made from scattered meteorological observations (Swithinbank 1985). The magnitude of annual ablation of the ice sheet from calving of outlet glaciers and ice shelves is also not well known. Although the velocities of outlet glaciers can be determined from field measurements during the austral summer,the technique is costly, does not cover a complete annual cycle,and has been applied to just a few glaciers. To increase the number of outlet glaciers in Antarctica for which velocities have been determined and to provide additional data for under-standing the dynamics of the antarctic ice sheets and their response to global climate change, sequential Landsat image of several outlet glaciers were measured.

  6. 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....

  7. Automated Ground-based Time-lapse Camera Monitoring of West Greenland ice sheet outlet Glaciers: Challenges and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Y.; Box, J. E.; Balog, J.; Lewinter, A.

    2008-12-01

    Monitoring Greenland outlet glaciers using remotely sensed data has drawn a great attention in earth science communities for decades and time series analysis of sensory data has provided important variability information of glacier flow by detecting speed and thickness changes, tracking features and acquiring model input. Thanks to advancements of commercial digital camera technology and increased solid state storage, we activated automatic ground-based time-lapse camera stations with high spatial/temporal resolution in west Greenland outlet and collected one-hour interval data continuous for more than one year at some but not all sites. We believe that important information of ice dynamics are contained in these data and that terrestrial mono-/stereo-photogrammetry can provide theoretical/practical fundamentals in data processing along with digital image processing techniques. Time-lapse images over periods in west Greenland indicate various phenomenon. Problematic is rain, snow, fog, shadows, freezing of water on camera enclosure window, image over-exposure, camera motion, sensor platform drift, and fox chewing of instrument cables, and the pecking of plastic window by ravens. Other problems include: feature identification, camera orientation, image registration, feature matching in image pairs, and feature tracking. Another obstacle is that non-metric digital camera contains large distortion to be compensated for precise photogrammetric use. Further, a massive number of images need to be processed in a way that is sufficiently computationally efficient. We meet these challenges by 1) identifying problems in possible photogrammetric processes, 2) categorizing them based on feasibility, and 3) clarifying limitation and alternatives, while emphasizing displacement computation and analyzing regional/temporal variability. We experiment with mono and stereo photogrammetric techniques in the aide of automatic correlation matching for efficiently handling the enormous

  8. Pathways of warm water to the Northeast Greenland outlet glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Kanzow, Torsten; Arndt, Jan Erik; Mayer, Christoph; Schauer, Ursula

    2015-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers surrounding the Greenland coast. The warming and accumulation of Atlantic Water in the subpolar North Atlantic has been suggested to be a potential driver of the glaciers' retreat over the last decades. The shelf regions thus play a critical role for the transport of Atlantic Water towards the glaciers, but also for the transfer of freshwater towards the deep ocean. A key region for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. This large ice stream drains the second-largest basin of the Greenland Ice Sheet and feeds three outlet glaciers. The largest one is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°N-Glacier) featuring an 80 km long floating ice tongue. Both the ocean circulation on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the circulation in the cavity below the ice tongue are weakly constrained so far. In order to study the relevant processes of glacier-ocean interaction we combine observations and model work. Here we focus on historic and recent hydrographic observations and on the complex bathymetry in the Northeast Greenland shelf region, which is thought to steer the flux of warm Atlantic water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavity beneath the 79°N-Glacier. We present a new global topography data set, RTopo-2, which includes the most recent surveys on the Northeast Greenland continental shelf and provides a detailed bathymetry for all around Greenland. In addition, RTopo-2 contains ice and bedrock surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica. Based on the updated ocean bathymetry and a variety of hydrographic observations we show the water mass distribution on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland. These maps enable us to discuss possible supply pathways of warm modified Atlantic waters on the continental shelf and thus potential ways of heat

  9. Sudden increase in tidal response linked to calving and acceleration at a large Greenland outlet glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Juan, Julia; Elósegui, Pedro; Nettles, Meredith

    2010-01-01

    strongly with the step-like increases in glacier speed and longitudinal strain rate associated with glacial earthquakes. The enhanced response to the ocean tides may be explained by a temporary disruption of the subglacial drainage system and a concomitant reduction of the friction at the ice......Large calving events at Greenland's largest outlet glaciers are associated with glacial earthquakes and near-instantaneous increases in glacier flow speed. At some glaciers and ice streams, flow is also modulated in a regular way by ocean tidal forcing at the terminus. At Helheim Glacier, analysis...

  10. Boundary layer models for calving marine outlet glaciers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Schoof

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet data set contains GIS point shapefiles that include 891 observed and potential hydrologic outlets of the Greenland...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Bevan

    2012-09-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. Ice thickness measurements and volume estimates for glaciers in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreassen, Liss M.; Huss, Matthias; Melvold, Kjetil; Elvehøy, Hallgeir; Winsvold, Solveig H.

    2014-05-01

    glacier units or entire ice caps with sufficient data to interpolate mean ice thickness. Scaling constants c and γ were fitted by least square regression for totally 86 glacier units and 8 ice caps. The ice volume results from scaling were sensitive to how the glaciers are divided and scaling applied to glaciers divided into glacier units gave best results. Scaling laws for ice caps did not work well, as the mean thickness of the ice caps varies less than their areas and the sample of ice caps with sufficient measurement coverage was small. Calculated ice volumes range from 280 to 305 km3, much higher than values obtained from the literature (134-184 km3). As measurements are biased towards outlets from the largest and thickest ice caps, more measurements are needed for a better estimate of the present ice volume of the smaller glaciers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Carr

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saemundsson, Thorsteinn; Margeirsson, Guðbjörn

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Salt Marshes as Monitors of Late Holocene Outlet Glacier Retreat

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    Wake, L. M.; Woodroffe, S.; Long, A. J.; Milne, G. A.

    2014-12-01

    New proxy sea-level records extracted from salt marshes in the vicinity of Jakobshavn Isbrae (Pakitsoq; 69.51°N, 50.74°W) and at previous sites in central western Greenland (Sisimiut; 66.47°N, 53.61°W and Aasiaat; 68.69°N, 52.88°W) are analyzed with respect to their ability to act as proximal tide gauges detecting mass balance changes in nearby outlet glaciers associated with the transition from the Little Ice Age ("LIA", 1400-1850AD) to the Industrial Period (>1850AD). Data at Pakitsoq demonstrate that sea-level rose at a rate of 3.5 ±1.7 mm/yr prior to 1850AD and slowed to 0.3 ±0.6mm/yr thereafter, producing a slowdown in sea level of 3.2 ± 1.8 mm/yr. A similar slowdown, occurring at 1600AD, is observed at Aasiaat and Sisimiut. We interpret these observed changes using a glacial isostatic adjustment model of sea-level change truncated at degree and order 4096, with an aim to determine if the sea-level data can be used to place constraints on changes in Jakobshavn Isbrae and/or Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (Nuuk fjord) during this period. Modelled sea level at Pakitsoq is insensitive to the location of thickening (thinning) associated with grounding line advance (retreat) and the rate of advance and retreat but is sensitive to the change point in time between periods of growth associated with LIA expansion (sea level rise) and the onset of 19th century recession (sea level fall) of Jakobshavn Isbrae. We conclude that the change in sea-level rate observed at Pakitsoq circa 1850AD marks the onset of post LIA retreat of this outlet glacier. Conversely, the modelled sea-level response to the retreat of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia from its LIA maximum at ca. 1761AD is below the detection threshold of the salt marsh record at Sisimiut.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Rott

    2011-03-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Hydrologic Outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet data set contains GIS point shapefiles that include 891 observed and potential hydrologic outlets of the Greenland...

  7. Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    that depends on compacting the thin 3350 true. There was also a crosswind runway snow cover on the hard ice. aligned with the storm wind direction. No...expire onl 31 December 1991.) flights. It Is suggested that the USAP should adopt tile The place known to us as lte Peg .-asus site can concept of

  8. CALICE: Calibrating Plant Biodiversity in Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. Ice-Ocean Interactions to the North-West of Greenland: Glaciers, Straits, Ice Bridges, and the Rossby Radius (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenchow, A.; Falkner, K. K.; Melling, H.; Johnson, H. L.; Huntley, H. S.; Ryan, P.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier at 81 N latitude is a major outlet glacier adjacent to Nares Strait. It terminates in a long (70 km), narrow (16 km) and thin (50 m) floating tongue and has a grounding line more than 500 m below sea level. A calving event in 2010 reduced the floating area by 25% and produced a single 240 km2 ice island currently moving south in Nares Strait where it will likely interact with island to potentially create a temporary polynya in Nares Strait. The 2010 calving from Petermann Glacier contributes bridge formed regularly at the southern end of Nares Strait creating the North-Water polynya near 79 N latitude. Since 2006 this ice bridge has largely failed to form, leading, perhaps, to the occasional formation of a secondary ice bridge 300 km to the north where Nares Strait connects to the Arctic Ocean. However, this ice bridge appears to form for shorter periods only. Consequently Arctic sea ice can now exit the Arctic in winter via pathways to the west of Greenland all year. We speculate that this changed ocean and sea ice regime in Nares Strait and the Arctic Ocean may contribute to the recently observed calving events in Petermann Fjord.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, F.; Röösli, C.

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Exceptional 20th century glaciological regime of a major SE Greenland outlet glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Camilla S.; Kokfelt, Ulla; Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine

    2017-01-01

    Sermilik Fjord near Helheim Glacier in SE Greenland. We show that multidecadal to centennial increases in alkenone-inferred Atlantic Water SSTs on the shelf occurred at times of reduced solar activity during the Little Ice Age, when the subpolar gyre weakened and shifted westward promoted by atmospheric...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Ice–ocean interaction and calving front morphology at two west Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    International audience; 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 estim...

  19. Visualizing Glaciers and Sea Ice via Google Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  3. Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

    Glaciers are among the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth, as well as the least known and understood, for most of us. Michael Hambrey describes how glaciers grow and decay, move and influence human civilization. Currently covering a tenth of the Earth's surface, glacier ice has shaped the landscape over millions of years by scouring away rocks and transporting and depositing debris far from its source. Glacier meltwater drives turbines and irrigates deserts, and yields mineral-rich soils as well as a wealth of valuable sand and gravel. However, glaciers also threaten human property and life. Our future is indirectly connected with the fate of glaciers and their influence on global climate and sea level. Including over 200 stunning photographs, the book takes the reader from the High-Arctic through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand and South America to the Antarctic. Michael Hambrey is Director of the Centre for Glaciology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A past recipient of the Polar Medal, he was also given the Earth Science Editors' Outstanding Publication Award for the first edition of Glaciers (Cambridge, 1995). Hambrey is also the author of Glacial Environments (British Columbia, 1994). JÜrg Alean is Professor of Geography at the Kantonsschule ZÜrcher Unterland in BÜlach, Switzerland.

  4. Morphology, stratigraphy and oxygen isotope composition of fossil glacier ice at Ledyanaya Gora, Northwest Siberia, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaikmaee, R.; Michel, F.A.; Solomatin, V.I.

    1993-01-01

    Studies of the stratigraphy, sedimentology, structure and isotope composition of a buried massive ice body and its encompassing sediments at Ledyanaya Gora in northwestern Siberia demonstrate that the ice is relict glacier ice, probably emplaced during the Early Weichselian. Characteristics of this ice body should serve as a guide for the identification of other relict buried glacier ice bodies in permafrost regions. 31 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs

  5. Contamination of faecal coliforms in ice cubes sampled from food outlets in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noor Izani, N J; Zulaikha, A R; Mohamad Noor, M R; Amri, M A; Mahat, N A

    2012-03-01

    The use of ice cubes in beverages is common among patrons of food outlets in Malaysia although its safety for human consumption remains unclear. Hence, this study was designed to determine the presence of faecal coliforms and several useful water physicochemical parameters viz. free residual chlorine concentration, turbidity and pH in ice cubes from 30 randomly selected food outlets in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. Faecal coliforms were found in ice cubes in 16 (53%) food outlets ranging between 1 CFU/100mL to >50 CFU/ 100mL, while in the remaining 14 (47%) food outlets, in samples of tap water as well as in commercially bottled drinking water, faecal coliforms were not detected. The highest faecal coliform counts of >50 CFU/100mL were observed in 3 (10%) food outlets followed by 11-50 CFU/100mL and 1-10 CFU/100mL in 7 (23%) and 6 (20%) food outlets, respectively. All samples recorded low free residual chlorine concentration (contamination by faecal coliforms was not detected in 47% of the samples, tap water and commercially bottled drinking water, it was concluded that (1) contamination by faecal coliforms may occur due to improper handling of ice cubes at the food outlets or (2) they may not be the water sources used for making ice cubes. Since low free residual chlorine concentrations were observed (food outlets, including that of ice cube is crucial in ensuring better food and water for human consumption.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Mechanisms of basal ice formation in polar glaciers: An evaluation of the apron entrainment model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimons, Sean; Webb, Nicola; Mager, Sarah; MacDonell, Shelley; Lorrain, Regi; Samyn, Denis

    2008-06-01

    Previous studies of polar glaciers have argued that basal ice can form when these glaciers override and entrain ice marginal aprons that accumulate adjacent to steep ice cliffs. To test this idea, we have studied the morphology, structure, composition, and deformation of the apron and basal ice at the terminus of Victoria Upper Glacier in the McMurdo dry valleys, which are located on the western coast of the Ross Sea at 77°S in southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Our results show that the apron has two structural elements: an inner element that consists of strongly foliated ice that has a steep up-glacier dip, and an outer element that lacks a consistent foliation and has a down-glacier, slope-parallel dip. Although strain measurements show that the entire apron is deforming, the inner element is characterized by high strain rates, whereas relatively low rates of strain characterize the outer part of the apron. Co-isotopic analyses of the ice, together with analysis of solute chemistry and sedimentary characteristics, show that the apron is compositionally different from the basal ice. Our observations show that aprons may become deformed and partially entrained by advancing glaciers. However, such an ice marginal process does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the origin of basal ice observed at the ice margin. Our interpretation of the origin of basal ice is that it is formed by subglacial processes, which are likely to include deformation and entrainment of subglacial permafrost.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Storm-induced water dynamics and thermohaline structure at the tidewater Flade Isblink Glacier outlet to theWandel Sea (NE Greenland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirillov, Sergei; Dmitrenko, Igor; Rysgaard, Soren

    2017-01-01

    In April 2015, an ice-tethered conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiler and a down-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) were deployed from the landfast ice near the tidewater glacier terminus of the Flade Isblink Glacier in the Wandel Sea, NE Greenland. The 3-week time series...

  16. Ice thickness estimations based on multi-temporal glacier inventories - potential and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfricht, Kay; Huss, Matthias; Otto, Jan-Christoph

    2016-04-01

    The ongoing glacier retreat exposes a large number of surface depressions in the former glacier bed that can be filled with water or act as sediment traps. This has already been observed at various sites in Austria and in other mountain areas worldwide. The formation of glacial lakes can constitute an important environmental and socio-economic impact on high mountain systems including water resource management, sediment delivery, natural hazards, energy production and tourism. In general, information on ice thickness distribution is the basis for simulating future glacier change. We used the approach proposed by Huss and Farinotti (2012) to model the ice thickness distribution and potential locations of subglacial depressions. The study is part of the FUTURELAKE project that seeks to model the formation of new glacier lakes and their possible future evolution in the Austria Alps. The required data on glacier extent, surface elevation and slope were taken from the Austrian Glacier Inventories GI1 from 1969, GI2 from 1998 and GI3 from2006 (Fischer et al., 2015). The different glacier outlines and surface elevations from the inventories enable us to evaluate (i) the robustness of the modelled bedrock depressions with respect to different glacier settings, (ii) the power of the model to simulate recently formed glacial lakes, (iii) the similarities in calculated ice thickness distributions across the inventories and (iv) the feasibility of simulating observed changes in ice thickness and glacier volume. In general, the modelled localization of large potential depressions was relatively stable using the observed glacier settings. A number of examples show that recently formed glacial lakes could be detected by the model based on previous glacier extents. The locations of maximum ice depths within different elevation zones appeared to be sensitive to changes in glacier width. However, observed ice thickness changes and, thus, volume changes between the inventories could

  17. 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...

  18. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade glacier, Washington, balance year 2003

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance year 2003. The 2003 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 2.66 meters water equivalent, which was about equal to the average of such balances for the glacier since balance year 1959. The 2003 glacier summer balance (-4.76 meters water equivalent) was the most negative reported for the glacier, and the 2003 net balance (-2.10 meters water equivalent), was the second-most negative reported. The glacier 2003 annual (water year) balance was -1.89 meters water equivalent. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.89 square kilometers, a decrease of 0.03 square kilometer from the previous year. The equilibrium-line altitude was higher than any part of the glacier; however, because snow remained along part of one side of the upper glacier, the accumulation-area ratio was 0.07. During September 13, 2002-September 13, 2003, the glacier terminus retreated at a rate of about 15 meters per year. Average speed of surface ice, computed using a series of vertical aerial photographs dating back to 2001, ranged from 2.2 to 21.8 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin was gaged during part of water year 2003. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed, and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations on and near the glacier. Summer 2003 at the glacier was among the warmest for which data are available.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Newall Glacier Snow Pit and Ice Core, 1987 to 1989, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Snow pit and ice core data from the Newall Glacier (location - 162 30' East, 77 35' South) were collected during 1987 and 1988. These include information on...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Hymenobacter glacieicola sp. nov., isolated from glacier ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Keshao; Liu, Yongqin; Wang, Ninglian; Gu, Zhengquan; Shen, Liang; Xu, Baiqing; Zhou, Yuguang; Liu, Hongcan; Jiao, Nianzhi

    2016-10-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, non-motile and red-pink-pigmented bacterial strain, designated B1909T, was isolated from an ice core drilled from Muztagh Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau, China. A phylogenetic tree based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain B1909T formed a lineage within the genus Hymenobacter and was closely related to Hymenobacter xinjiangensis X2-1gT (96.16 % similarity) and Hymenobacter psychrotolerans Tibet-IIU11T (95.99 %). The predominant fatty acids were iso-C15 : 0, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c), summed feature 4 (iso-C17 : 1ω6c I/anteiso B), C16 : 1ω5c, anteiso-C15 : 0 and iso-C17 : 0 3-OH. The major menaquinone was MK-7. The major polar lipid was phosphatidylethanolamine. The DNA G+C content was 59 mol%. On the basis of the phenotypic, phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic data presented, strain B1909T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Hymenobacter, for which the name Hymenobacterglacieicola sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is B1909T (=JCM 30596T=CGMCC 1.12990T).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, balance year 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance year 2002. The 2002 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 4.02 meters, the second largest since 1959. The 2002 glacier summer, net, and annual (water year) balances were -3.47, 0.55, and 0.54 meters, respectively. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.92 square kilometers, and the equilibrium-line altitude and the accumulation area ratio were 1,820 meters and 0.84, respectively. During September 20, 2001 to September 13, 2002, the terminus retreated 4 meters, and computed average ice speeds in the ablation area ranged from 7.8 to 20.7 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin were measured during part of the 2002 water year. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations near the glacier.

  13. Review of levoglucosan in glacier snow and ice studies: Recent progress and future perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Chao; Xu, Chao

    2018-03-01

    Levoglucosan (LEV) in glacier snow and ice layers provides a fingerprint of fire activity, ranging from modern air pollution to ancient fire emissions. In this study, we review recent progress in our understanding and application of LEV in glaciers, including analytical methods, transport and post-depositional processes, and historical records. We firstly summarize progress in analytical methods for determination of LEV in glacier snow and ice. Then, we discuss the processes influencing the records of LEV in snow and ice layers. Finally, we make some recommendations for future work, such as assessing the stability of LEV and obtaining continuous records, to increase reliability of the reconstructed ancient fire activity. This review provides an update for researchers working with LEV and will facilitate the further use of LEV as a biomarker in paleo-fire studies based on ice core records. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossen, Kristine June

    1997-12-01

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

  18. 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%.

  19. An Extraction System for Radiocarbon Microanalysis of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Glacier Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Schindler, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Alpine glaciers situated in mid- and low latitudes are valuable archives for paleoclimatology. They offer a continuous record of recent local climatic conditions in regions where the majority of humankind lived and still lives. For meaningful interpretation of an ice core from such an archive, accurate dating is essential. Usually, several complementary approaches are used to establish a depth-age relationship. The oldest part of the ice at the bottom of the ice core suffers annual layer thin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-08-01

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

  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. Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, Balance Years 2004 and 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance years 2004 and 2005. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated smaller than normal winter snowpacks during water years 2004 and 2005. Correspondingly, the balance years 2004 and 2005 maximum winter snow balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.08 and 1.97 meters water equivalent, respectively, were smaller than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2004 glacier summer balance (-3.73 meters water equivalent) was the eleventh most negative during 1959 to 2005 and the 2005 glacier summer balance (-4.42 meters water equivalent) was the third most negative. The relatively small winter snow balances and unusually negative summer balances of 2004 and 2005 led to an overall loss of glacier mass. The 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, -1.65 and -2.45 meters water equivalent, respectively, were the seventh and second most negative during 1953 to 2005. For both balance years, the accumulation area ratio was less than 0.05 and the equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The unusually negative 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, combined with a negative balance previously reported for 2003, resulted in a cumulative 3-year net balance of -6.20 meters water equivalent. No equal or greater 3-year mass loss has occurred previously during the more than 4 decades of U.S. Geological Survey mass-balance measurements at South Cascade Glacier. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The terminus retreated at a rate of about 17 meters per year during balance year 2004 and 15 meters per year during balance year 2005. Glacier area near the end of balance years 2004 and 2005 was 1.82 and 1.75 square kilometers, respectively. Runoff from the basin containing the glacier and from an adjacent nonglacierized basin was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Liu

    2016-11-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauber, Jeanne M.; Molnia, Bruce F.

    2004-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. Experimental Analysis of Sublimation Dynamics for Buried Glacier Ice in Beacon Valley, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfeucht, S.; Dennis, D. P.; Marchant, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    The age of the oldest known buried ice in Beacon Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) Antarctica is a topic of active debate due to its implications for the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Published age estimates range from as young as 300 ka to as old as 8.1 Ma. In the upland MDV, ablation occurs predominantly via sublimation. The relict ice in question (ancient ice from Taylor Glacier) lies buried beneath a thin ( 30-70 cm) layer of sublimation till, which forms as a lag deposit as underlying debris-rich ice sublimes. As the ice sublimates, the debris held within the ice accumulates slowly on the surface, creating a porous boundary between the buried-ice surface and the atmosphere, which in turn influences gas exchange between the ice and the atmosphere. Additionally, englacial debris adds several salt species that are ultimately concentrated on the ice surface. It is well documented the rate of ice sublimation varies as a function of overlying till thickness. However, the rate-limiting dynamics under varying environmental conditions, including the threshold thicknesses at which sublimation is strongly retarded, are not yet defined. To better understand the relationships between sublimation rate, till thickness, and long-term surface evolution, we build on previous studies by Lamp and Marchant (2017) and evaluate the role of till thickness as a control on ice loss in an environmental chamber capable of replicating the extreme cold desert conditions observed in the MDV. Previous work has shown that this relationship exhibits exponential decay behavior, with sublimation rate significantly dampened under less than 10 cm of till. In our experiments we pay particular attention to the effect of the first several cm of till in order to quantify the dynamics that govern the transition from bare ice to debris-covered ice. We also examine this transition for various forms of glacier ice, including ice with various salt species.

  10. 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.

  11. Ice volume distribution and implications on runoff projections in a glacierized catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gabbi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A dense network of helicopter-based ground-penetrating radar (GPR measurements was used to determine the ice-thickness distribution in the Mauvoisin region. The comprehensive set of ice-thickness measurements was combined with an ice-thickness estimation approach for an accurate determination of the bedrock. A total ice volume of 3.69 ± 0.31 km3 and a maximum ice thickness of 290 m were found. The ice-thickness values were then employed as input for a combined glacio-hydrological model forced by most recent regional climate scenarios. This model provided glacier evolution and runoff projections for the period 2010–2100. Runoff projections of the measured initial ice volume distribution show an increase in annual runoff of 4% in the next two decades, followed by a persistent runoff decrease until 2100. Finally, we checked the influence of the ice-thickness distribution on runoff projections. Our analyses revealed that reliable estimates of the ice volume are essential for modelling future glacier and runoff evolution. Wrong estimations of the total ice volume might even lead to deviations of the predicted general runoff trend.

  12. 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...

  13. Local response of a glacier to annual filling and drainage of an ice-marginal lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walder, J.S.; Trabant, D.C.; Cunico, M.; Fountain, A.G.; Anderson, S.P.; Anderson, R. Scott; Malm, A.

    2006-01-01

    Ice-marginal Hidden Creek Lake, Alaska, USA, outbursts annually over the course of 2-3 days. As the lake fills, survey targets on the surface of the 'ice dam' (the glacier adjacent to the lake) move obliquely to the ice margin and rise substantially. As the lake drains, ice motion speeds up, becomes nearly perpendicular to the face of the ice dam, and the ice surface drops. Vertical movement of the ice dam probably reflects growth and decay of a wedge of water beneath the ice dam, in line with established ideas about jo??kulhlaup mechanics. However, the distribution of vertical ice movement, with a narrow (50-100 m wide) zone where the uplift rate decreases by 90%, cannot be explained by invoking flexure of the ice dam in a fashion analogous to tidal flexure of a floating glacier tongue or ice shelf. Rather, the zone of large uplift-rate gradient is a fault zone: ice-dam deformation is dominated by movement along high-angle faults that cut the ice dam through its entire thickness, with the sense of fault slip reversing as the lake drains. Survey targets spanning the zone of steep uplift gradient move relative to one another in a nearly reversible fashion as the lake fills and drains. The horizontal strain rate also undergoes a reversal across this zone, being compressional as the lake fills, but extensional as the lake drains. Frictional resistance to fault-block motion probably accounts for the fact that lake level falls measurably before the onset of accelerated horizontal motion and vertical downdrop. As the overall fault pattern is the same from year to year, even though ice is lost by calving, the faults must be regularly regenerated, probably by linkage of surface and bottom crevasses as ice is advected toward the lake basin.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Córdova

    2009-06-01

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

  15. Progression of the 2011-2012 Surge of Bering Glacier and Bagley Ice Field, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzfeld, U. C.; McDonald, B.; Stachura, M.; Hale, R.; Trantow, T.; Weltman, A.; Chen, P.

    2012-12-01

    Bering Glacier, Alaska, started a surge in late spring 2011. The surge reached the ice front in May 2011 and extended into Bagley Ice Field by summer 2011. New surge-related crevassing was observed in July 2012. We collected aerial observations, including systematic videographic and photographic imagery, GPS data and laser altimeter data in September 2011 and in July 2012. In this talk, an analysis of surge progression and comparison to the early, mature and late stages of the 1993-1995 surge of Bering Glacier and Bagley Ice Field will be presented. A suite of approaches will be used to this end: Analysis of elevation changes based on CryoSat data, 2009 and 2010 IceBridge data and 2011 and 2012 laser altimeter data collected by our group, geostatistical classification of crevasse types based on imagery, classification of laser altimeter data and analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery (Worldview and GEOS).

  16. Storm-induced water dynamics and thermohaline structure at the tidewater Flade Isblink Glacier outlet to theWandel Sea (NE Greenland)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirillov, Sergei; Dmitrenko, Igor; Rysgaard, Soren

    2017-01-01

    In April 2015, an ice-tethered conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiler and a down-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) were deployed from the landfast ice near the tidewater glacier terminus of the Flade Isblink Glacier in the Wandel Sea, NE Greenland. The 3-week time series...... are likely attributable to subglacial water from the Flade Isblink Ice Cap. It was also found that the semidiurnal periodicities in the temperature and salinity time series were associated with the lunar semidiurnal tidal flow. The vertical structure of tidal currents corresponded to the first baroclinic...... mode of the internal tide with a velocity minimum at similar to 40 m. The tidal ellipses rotate in opposite directions above and below this depth and cause a divergence of tidal flow, which was observed to induce semidiurnal internal waves of about 3 m height at the front of the glacier terminus...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Modelling ice-cliff backwasting on a debris-covered glacier in the Nepalese Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steiner, Jakob F.; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Buri, Pascal; Miles, Evan S.; Immerzeel, Walter W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Reid, Tim D.

    2015-01-01

    Ice cliffs have been identified as a reason for higher ablation rates on debris-covered glaciers than are implied by the insulation effects of the debris. This study aims to improve our understanding of cliff backwasting, and the role of radiative fluxes in particular. An energy-balance model is

  20. A physically based 3-D model of ice cliff evolution over debris-covered glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buri, Pascal; Miles, Evan S.; Steiner, J.F.; Immerzeel, W.W.; Wagnon, Patrick; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    We use high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys to document the evolution of four ice cliffs on the debris-covered tongue of Lirung Glacier, Nepal, over one ablation season. Observations show that out of four cliffs, three different patterns of

  1. A grid-based model of backwasting of supraglacial ice cliffs over debris-covered glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buri, Pascal; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Steiner, Jakob F|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/119338653; Miles, Evan S.; Immerzeel, Wouter W|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113

    2016-01-01

    Ice cliffs might be partly responsible for the high mass losses of debris-covered glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya region. The few existing models of cliff backwasting are point-scale models applied at few locations or assume cliffs to be planes with constant slope and aspect, a major

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. A New Multielement Method for LA-ICP-MS Data Acquisition from Glacier Ice Cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding, Nicole E; Sneed, Sharon B; Handley, Michael J; Bohleber, Pascal; Kurbatov, Andrei V; Pearce, Nicholas J; Erhardt, Tobias; Mayewski, Paul A

    2017-11-21

    To answer pressing new research questions about the rate and timing of abrupt climate transitions, a robust system for ultrahigh-resolution sampling of glacier ice is needed. Here, we present a multielement method of LA-ICP-MS analysis wherein an array of chemical elements is simultaneously measured from the same ablation area. Although multielement techniques are commonplace for high-concentration materials, prior to the development of this method, all LA-ICP-MS analyses of glacier ice involved a single element per ablation pass or spot. This new method, developed using the LA-ICP-MS system at the W. M. Keck Laser Ice Facility at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, has already been used to shed light on our flawed understanding of natural levels of Pb in Earth's atmosphere.

  7. 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.

  8. Diversity of Holocene life forms in fossil glacier ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, E.; Hansen, Anders J.; Christensen, B.

    1999-01-01

    Studies of biotic remains of polar ice caps have been limited to morphological identification of plant pollen and spores. By using sensitive molecular techniques, we now demonstrate a much greater range of detectable organisms; from 2000- and 4000-year-old ice-core samples, we obtained...

  9. Seasonal ice dynamics of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vijay, Saurabh; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard

    2018-01-01

    and temporal details. This study focus on the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), which consists of three main outlets, 79 North glacier (79N), Zachariae Isstrøm (ZI) and Storstrømmen Glacier (SG). While both 79 North and Storstrømmen have floating tongues, Zachariae Isstrøm is mostly grounded...

  10. 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

  11. Combined diurnal variations of discharge and hydrochemistry of the Isunnguata Sermia outlet, Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graly, Joseph; Harrington, Joel; Humphrey, Neil

    2017-05-01

    In order to examine daily cycles in meltwater routing and storage in the Isunnguata Sermia outlet of the Greenland Ice Sheet, variations in outlet stream discharge and in major element hydrochemistry were assessed over a 6-day period in July 2013. Over 4 days, discharge was assessed from hourly photography of the outlet from multiple vantages, including where midstream naled ice provided a natural gauge. pH, electrical conductivity, suspended sediment, and major element and anion chemistry were measured in samples of stream water collected every 3 h.Photography and stream observations reveal that although river width and stage have only slight diurnal variation, there are large diurnal changes in discharge shown by the doubling in width of what we term the active channel, which is characterized by large standing waves and fast flow. The concentration of dissolved solutes follows a sinusoidal diurnal cycle, except for large and variable increases in dissolved solutes during the stream's waning flow. Solute concentrations vary by ˜ 30 % between diurnal minima and maxima. Discharge maxima and minima lag temperature and surface melt by 3-7 h; diurnal solute concentration minima and maxima lag discharge by 3-6 h.This phase shift between discharge and solute concentration suggests that during high flow, water is either encountering more rock material or is stored in longer contact with rock material. We suggest that expansion of a distributed subglacial hydrologic network into seldom accessed regions during high flow could account for these phenomena, and for a spike of partial silicate reaction products during waning flow, which itself suggests a pressure threshold-triggered release of stored water.

  12. 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.

  13. Glaciers and Ice Sheets As Analog Environments of Potentially Habitable Icy Worlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Garcia-Lopez

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Icy worlds in the solar system and beyond have attracted a remarkable attention as possible habitats for life. The current consideration about whether life exists beyond Earth is based on our knowledge of life in terrestrial cold environments. On Earth, glaciers and ice sheets have been considered uninhabited for a long time as they seemed too hostile to harbor life. However, these environments are unique biomes dominated by microbial communities which maintain active biochemical routes. Thanks to techniques such as microscopy and more recently DNA sequencing methods, a great biodiversity of prokaryote and eukaryote microorganisms have been discovered. These microorganisms are adapted to a harsh environment, in which the most extreme features are the lack of liquid water, extremely cold temperatures, high solar radiation and nutrient shortage. Here we compare the environmental characteristics of icy worlds, and the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets in order to address some interesting questions: (i which are the characteristics of habitability known for the frozen worlds, and which could be compatible with life, (ii what are the environmental characteristics of terrestrial glaciers and ice sheets that can be life-limiting, (iii What are the microbial communities of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms that can live in them, and (iv taking into account these observations, could any of these planets or satellites meet the conditions of habitability? In this review, the icy worlds are considered from the point of view of astrobiological exploration. With the aim of determining whether icy worlds could be potentially habitable, they have been compared with the environmental features of glaciers and ice sheets on Earth. We also reviewed some field and laboratory investigations about microorganisms that live in analog environments of icy worlds, where they are not only viable but also metabolically active.

  14. 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

  15. Ice thickness, volume and subglacial topography of Urumqi Glacier ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    4 m. 3 in 1981, 2001 and 2006, respectively. It has decreased by 21.2% during the past 25 years, which is .... all cases, a velocity of 169 m µs ... of ice volume calculation using this method is quite ..... industry, and agriculture in Xinjiang Uygur.

  16. Breaking Off of Large Ice Masses From Hanging Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pralong, A.; Funk, M.

    In order to reduce damage to settlements or other installations (roads, railway, etc) and avoid loss of life, a forecast of the final failure time of ice masses is required. At present, the most promising approach for such a prediction is based on the regularity by which certain large ice masses accelerate prior to the instant of collapse. The lim- itation of this forecast lies in short-term irregularities and in the difficulties to obtain sufficiently accurate data. A better physical understanding of the breaking off process is required, in order to improve the forecasting method. Previous analyze has shown that a stepwise crack extension coupling with a viscous flow leads to the observed acceleration function. We propose another approach by considering a local damage evolution law (gener- alized Kachanow's law) coupled with Glen's flow law to simulate the spatial evolu- tion of damage in polycristalline ice, using a finite element computational model. The present study focuses on the transition from a diffuse to a localised damage reparti- tion occurring during the damage evolution. The influence of inhomogeneous initial conditions (inhomogeneity of the mechanical properties of ice, damage inhomogene- ity) and inhomogeneous boundary conditions on the damage repartition are especially investigated.

  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. Radiocarbon determination of particulate organic carbon in glacier ice from the Grenzgletscher (Monte Rosa)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steier, P.; Drosg, R.; Kutschera, W.; Wild, E.M.; Fedi, M.; Schock, M.; Wagenbach, D.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: Dating ice cores from cold glaciers via radiocarbon is still an unsolved problem. This work describes our approach towards extraction and AMS radiocarbon dating of the particulate organic carbon (POC) fraction in ice samples at VERA (Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator). First measurements were performed on 1 snow and 11 ice samples from Gorner Glacier and Colle Gnifetti in the Monte Rosa Mountain region (Swiss Alps). The sample masses used were between 0.3 kg and 1.4 kg ice yielding between 18 μg and 307 μg carbon as POC. The carbon contamination introduced during the sample processing varied between 9 μg and 33 μg C and originates mainly from the quartz filters and the rinsing liquids used. Minimum sample sizes for successful graphitization of carbon dioxide in our laboratory have been reduced to less than 10 μg carbon. The background in the graphitization process is approximately 0.5 μg carbon of 40 pMC. Scatter and outliers in the radiocarbon data suggest that presently a single radiocarbon date of glacial POC has limited significance. For the set of 11 ice samples, a calibrated age of 2100 BC to 900 AD (95% confidence level) is obtained. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Zuccheretti

    2001-06-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier...... front, because basal melting is extensive at the underside of the floating glacier sections. The results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise....

  5. Sharply increased mass loss from glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Wouters, Bert; Wolken, Gabriel J; Burgess, David O; Sharp, Martin J; Cogley, J Graham; Braun, Carsten; Labine, Claude

    2011-05-19

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps are contributing significantly to present rates of sea level rise and will continue to do so over the next century and beyond. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, located off the northwestern shore of Greenland, contains one-third of the global volume of land ice outside the ice sheets, but its contribution to sea-level change remains largely unknown. Here we show that the Canadian Arctic Archipelago has recently lost 61 ± 7 gigatonnes per year (Gt yr(-1)) of ice, contributing 0.17 ± 0.02 mm yr(-1) to sea-level rise. Our estimates are of regional mass changes for the ice caps and glaciers of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago referring to the years 2004 to 2009 and are based on three independent approaches: surface mass-budget modelling plus an estimate of ice discharge (SMB+D), repeat satellite laser altimetry (ICESat) and repeat satellite gravimetry (GRACE). All three approaches show consistent and large mass-loss estimates. Between the periods 2004-2006 and 2007-2009, the rate of mass loss sharply increased from 31 ± 8 Gt yr(-1) to 92 ± 12 Gt yr(-1) in direct response to warmer summer temperatures, to which rates of ice loss are highly sensitive (64 ± 14 Gt yr(-1) per 1 K increase). The duration of the study is too short to establish a long-term trend, but for 2007-2009, the increase in the rate of mass loss makes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago the single largest contributor to eustatic sea-level rise outside Greenland and Antarctica.

  6. 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.

  7. Quantifying volume loss from ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers using high-resolution terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brun, Fanny; Buri, Pascal; Miles, Evan S.; Wagnon, Patrick; Steiner, J.F.; Berthier, Etienne; Ragettli, S.; Kraaijenbrink, P.D.A.; Immerzeel, W.W.; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    Mass losses originating from supraglacial ice cliffs at the lower tongues of debris-covered glaciers are a potentially large component of the mass balance, but have rarely been quantified. In this study, we develop a method to estimate ice cliff volume losses based on high-resolution topographic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kjeldsen, K.K.; Khan, S.A.; van den Broeke, M.R.; van Angelen, J.H.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Storm-induced water dynamics and thermohaline structure at the tidewater Flade Isblink Glacier outlet to the Wandel Sea (NE Greenland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirillov, Sergei; Dmitrenko, Igor; Rysgaard, Søren; Babb, David; Toudal Pedersen, Leif; Ehn, Jens; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Barber, David

    2017-11-01

    In April 2015, an ice-tethered conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiler and a down-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) were deployed from the landfast ice near the tidewater glacier terminus of the Flade Isblink Glacier in the Wandel Sea, NE Greenland. The 3-week time series showed that water dynamics and the thermohaline structure were modified considerably during a storm event on 22-24 April, when northerly winds exceeded 15 m s-1. The storm initiated downwelling-like water dynamics characterized by on-shore water transport in the surface (0-40 m) layer and compensating offshore flow at intermediate depths. After the storm, currents reversed in both layers, and the relaxation phase of downwelling lasted ˜ 4 days. Although current velocities did not exceed 5 cm s-1, the enhanced circulation during the storm caused cold turbid intrusions at 75-95 m depth, which are likely attributable to subglacial water from the Flade Isblink Ice Cap. It was also found that the semidiurnal periodicities in the temperature and salinity time series were associated with the lunar semidiurnal tidal flow. The vertical structure of tidal currents corresponded to the first baroclinic mode of the internal tide with a velocity minimum at ˜ 40 m. The tidal ellipses rotate in opposite directions above and below this depth and cause a divergence of tidal flow, which was observed to induce semidiurnal internal waves of about 3 m height at the front of the glacier terminus. Our findings provide evidence that shelf-basin interaction and tidal forcing can potentially modify coastal Wandel Sea waters even though they are isolated from the atmosphere by landfast sea ice almost year-round. The northerly storms over the continental slope cause an enhanced circulation facilitating a release of cold and turbid subglacial water to the shelf. The tidal flow may contribute to the removal of such water from the glacial terminus.

  18. Tidal Modulation of Ice Flow on Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim Glaciers, East Greenland, from High-Rate GPS Measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Elosegui, P.

    knowledge of ice thickness and fjord bathymetry. Here, we use high-rate GPS measurements collected at sites within a few km of the calving fronts of Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers to examine the effect of ocean tide on ice flow. Data were collected at 5-15 s sampling rate during several campaign...... appears to have a short floating tongue, based on an analysis of GPS data collected in June-August 2006 at several stations located at increasing distances from the calving front. Glacier uplift was in phase with measured and modeled tidal height, but attenuated rapidly beyond ~~1 km from the terminus. We...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Zolotarev

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Investigating the Microscopic Location of Trace Elements in High-Alpine Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avak, Sven Erik; Birrer, Mario; Laurent, Oscar; Guillong, Marcel; Wälle, Markus; Jenk, Theo Manuel; Bartels-Rausch, Thorsten; Schwikowski, Margit; Eichler, Anja

    2017-04-01

    Past changes in atmospheric pollution can be reconstructed from high-alpine ice core trace element records (Schwikowski et al., 2004). Percolation of meltwater alters the information originally stored in these environmental archives. Eichler et al. (2001) suggested that the preservation of major ions with respect to meltwater percolation depends on their location in the crystal ice lattice, i.e. grain boundaries versus grain interiors. Other studies have also focused on the effect of meltwater on organic pollutant concentrations as well as on stable isotope profiles in ice cores, whereas no information exists about trace elements. Here, we investigate for the first time the effect of the microscopic location of anthropogenic, dust and volcanic related trace elements on the behavior during meltwater percolation by using two different approaches. On the one hand we assess the microscopic location of trace elements indirectly by analyzing trace element concentrations in a high-alpine ice core, which has been shown to be affected by an inflow of meltwater, using discrete inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Impurities located at grain boundaries are prone to be removed by meltwater and tend to be depleted in the affected section of the record whereas those incorporated into the ice interior are preserved and not disturbed in the record. In the second approach we work towards a direct quantification of differences in concentrations of trace elements between ice grain boundaries and grain interiors in samples both from unaffected and affected sections of this ice core. Therefore we use cryocell laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS, which is the method of choice for the direct in situ chemical analysis of trace elements at a sub-millimeter resolution in glacier ice (Reinhardt et al., 2001, Della Lunga et al., 2014, Sneed et al., 2015). We will present first results of both approaches with regard to the evaluation of the potential of trace elements as environmental

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Presence of faecal coliforms and selected heavy metals in ice cubes from food outlets in Taman Universiti, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahat, N A; Meor Ahmad, Z; Abdul Wahab, R

    2015-09-01

    Consumption of iced beverages is common in Malaysia although specific research focusing on its safety parameters such as presence of faecal coliforms and heavy metal elements remains scarce. A study conducted in Kelantan indicated that faecal coliforms were detected in the majority of the ice cube samples analyzed, largely attributable to improper handling. Hence, it was found pertinent to conduct similar study in other parts of the country such as Johor Bahru if the similar pattern prevailed. Therefore, this present cross sectional study which randomly sampled ice cubes from 30 permanent food outlets in Taman Universiti, Johor Bahru for detecting contamination by faecal coliforms and selected heavy metal elements (lead, copper, manganese and zinc) acquires significance. Faecal coliforms were detected in 11 (36.67%) of the samples, ranging between 1 CFU/100 mL to > 50 CFU/100 mL; two of the samples were grossly contaminated (>50 CFU/100 mL). Interestingly, while positive detection of lead was observed in 29 of the 30 ice cube samples (mean: 0.511±0.105 ppm; range: 0.489-0.674 ppm), copper, manganese and zinc were not detected. In addition, analysis on commercially bottled mineral water as well as in tap water samples did not detect such contaminations. Therefore, it appears that (1) contamination of faecal coliforms in ice cubes in food outlets in Malaysia may not be sporadic in pattern but rather prevalent and (2) the source of water used for manufacturing the ice cubes that contained significant amount of lead would suggest that (3) it was neither originated from the treated tap water supply nor bottled mineral water or (4) perhaps contaminated during manufacturing process. Further studies exploring the source of water used for manufacturing these ice cubes as well as the handling process among food operators deserve consideration.

  5. 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

  6. Modelling the behavior of the Jakobshavn glacier since the end of the Little Ice Age

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    . For a better overview and for the purpose of increasing the resolution to 1 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......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...... the basin 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 balance reconstruction where the monthly accumulation rates are assumed to be 1/12 of the annual accumulation, a yearly 1850...

  7. Multi-decadal record of ice dynamics on Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, East Greenland, from satellite imagery and terrestrial measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stearns, L.A.; Hamilton, G.S.; Reeh, Niels

    2005-01-01

    The history of ice velocity and calving front position of Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, a large outlet glacier in East Greenland, is reconstructed from field measurements, aerial photography and satellite imagery for the period 1950-2001. The calving terminus of the glacier has remained in approxima......The history of ice velocity and calving front position of Daugaard Jensen Gletscher, a large outlet glacier in East Greenland, is reconstructed from field measurements, aerial photography and satellite imagery for the period 1950-2001. The calving terminus of the glacier has remained...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. Storm-induced water dynamics and thermohaline structure at the tidewater Flade Isblink Glacier outlet to the Wandel Sea (NE Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kirillov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In April 2015, an ice-tethered conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD profiler and a down-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP were deployed from the landfast ice near the tidewater glacier terminus of the Flade Isblink Glacier in the Wandel Sea, NE Greenland. The 3-week time series showed that water dynamics and the thermohaline structure were modified considerably during a storm event on 22–24 April, when northerly winds exceeded 15 m s−1. The storm initiated downwelling-like water dynamics characterized by on-shore water transport in the surface (0–40 m layer and compensating offshore flow at intermediate depths. After the storm, currents reversed in both layers, and the relaxation phase of downwelling lasted ∼ 4 days. Although current velocities did not exceed 5 cm s−1, the enhanced circulation during the storm caused cold turbid intrusions at 75–95 m depth, which are likely attributable to subglacial water from the Flade Isblink Ice Cap. It was also found that the semidiurnal periodicities in the temperature and salinity time series were associated with the lunar semidiurnal tidal flow. The vertical structure of tidal currents corresponded to the first baroclinic mode of the internal tide with a velocity minimum at ∼ 40 m. The tidal ellipses rotate in opposite directions above and below this depth and cause a divergence of tidal flow, which was observed to induce semidiurnal internal waves of about 3 m height at the front of the glacier terminus. Our findings provide evidence that shelf–basin interaction and tidal forcing can potentially modify coastal Wandel Sea waters even though they are isolated from the atmosphere by landfast sea ice almost year-round. The northerly storms over the continental slope cause an enhanced circulation facilitating a release of cold and turbid subglacial water to the shelf. The tidal flow may contribute to the removal of such water from the glacial terminus.

  10. Glacier Remote Sensing Using Sentinel-2. Part I: Radiometric and Geometric Performance, and Application to Ice Velocity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kääb

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available With its temporal resolution of 10 days (five days with two satellites, and significantly more at high latitudes, its swath width of 290 km, and its 10 m and 20 m spatial resolution bands from the visible to the shortwave infrared, the European Sentinel-2 satellites have significant potential for glacier remote sensing, in particular mapping of glacier outlines and facies, and velocity measurements. Testing Level 1C commissioning and ramp-up phase data for initial sensor quality experiences, we find a high radiometric performance, but with slight striping effects under certain conditions. Through co-registration of repeat Sentinal-2 data we also find lateral offset patterns and noise on the order of a few metres. Neither of these issues will complicate most typical glaciological applications. Absolute geo-location of the data investigated was on the order of one pixel at the time of writing. The most severe geometric problem stems from vertical errors of the DEM used for ortho-rectifying Sentinel-2 data. These errors propagate into locally varying lateral offsets in the images, up to several pixels with respect to other georeferenced data, or between Sentinel-2 data from different orbits. Finally, we characterize the potential and limitations of tracking glacier flow from repeat Sentinel-2 data using a set of typical glaciers in different environments: Aletsch Glacier, Swiss Alps; Fox Glacier, New Zealand; Jakobshavn Isbree, Greenland; Antarctic Peninsula at the Larsen C ice shelf.

  11. Dynamic response of Sjögren Inlet glaciers, Antarctic Peninsula, to ice shelf breakup derived from multi-mission remote sensing time series.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seehaus, T.C.; Marinsek, S.; Skvarca, P.; van Wessem, J.M.; Reijmer, C.H.; Seco, J.L.; Braun, M.

    2016-01-01

    The substantial retreat or disintegration of numerous ice shelves has been observed on the Antarctic Peninsula. The ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel has retreated gradually since the late 1980s and broke up in 1995. Tributary glaciers reacted with speed-up, surface lowering and increased ice

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Ice Velocity Variations of the Polar Record Glacier (East Antarctica Using a Rotation-Invariant Feature-Tracking Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingting Liu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the ice velocity changes from 2004 to 2015 of the Polar Record Glacier (PRG in East Antarctica were investigated based on a feature-tracking method using Landsat-7 enhanced thematic mapper plus (ETM+ and Landsat-8 operational land imager (OLI images. The flow field of the PRG curves make it difficult to generate ice velocities in some areas using the traditional normalized cross-correlation (NCC-based feature-tracking method. Therefore, a rotation-invariant parameter from scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT is introduced to build a novel rotation-invariant feature-tracking approach. The validation was performed based on multi-source images and the making earth system data records for use in research environments (MEaSUREs interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR-based Antarctica ice velocity map data set. The results indicate that the proposed method is able to measure the ice velocity in more areas and performs as well as the traditional NCC-based feature-tracking method. The sequential ice velocities obtained present the variations in the PRG during this period. Although the maximum ice velocity of the frontal margin of the PRG and the frontal iceberg reached about 900 m/a and 1000 m/a, respectively, the trend from 2004 to 2015 showed no significant change. Under the interaction of the Polar Times Glacier and the Polarforschung Glacier, both the direction and the displacement of the PRG were influenced. This impact also led to higher velocities in the western areas of the PRG than in the eastern areas. In addition, elevation changes and frontal iceberg calving also impacted the ice velocity of the PRG.

  15. Model calibration for ice sheets and glaciers dynamics: a general theory of inverse problems in glaciology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giudici, Mauro; Baratelli, Fulvia; Vassena, Chiara; Cattaneo, Laura

    2014-05-01

    Numerical modelling of the dynamic evolution of ice sheets and glaciers requires the solution of discrete equations which are based on physical principles (e.g. conservation of mass, linear momentum and energy) and phenomenological constitutive laws (e.g. Glen's and Fourier's laws). These equations must be accompanied by information on the forcing term and by initial and boundary conditions (IBC) on ice velocity, stress and temperature; on the other hand the constitutive laws involves many physical parameters, which possibly depend on the ice thermodynamical state. The proper forecast of the dynamics of ice sheets and glaciers (forward problem, FP) requires a precise knowledge of several quantities which appear in the IBCs, in the forcing terms and in the phenomenological laws and which cannot be easily measured at the study scale in the field. Therefore these quantities can be obtained through model calibration, i.e. by the solution of an inverse problem (IP). Roughly speaking, the IP aims at finding the optimal values of the model parameters that yield the best agreement of the model output with the field observations and data. The practical application of IPs is usually formulated as a generalised least squares approach, which can be cast in the framework of Bayesian inference. IPs are well developed in several areas of science and geophysics and several applications were proposed also in glaciology. The objective of this paper is to provide a further step towards a thorough and rigorous theoretical framework in cryospheric studies. Although the IP is often claimed to be ill-posed, this is rigorously true for continuous domain models, whereas for numerical models, which require the solution of algebraic equations, the properties of the IP must be analysed with more care. First of all, it is necessary to clarify the role of experimental and monitoring data to determine the calibration targets and the values of the parameters that can be considered to be fixed

  16. Repeating ice-earthquakes beneath David Glacier from the 2012-2015 TAMNNET array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, J. I.; Peng, Z.; Hansen, S. E.

    2017-12-01

    The continent of Antarctica has approximately the same surface area as the continental United States, though we know significantly less about its underlying geology and seismic activity. In recent years, improvements in seismic instrumentation, battery technology, and field deployment practices have allowed for continuous broadband stations throughout the dark Antarctic winter. We utilize broadband seismic data from a recent experiment (TAMNNET), which was originally proposed as a structural seismology experiment, for seismic event detection. Our target is to address fundamental questions about regional-scale crustal and environmental seismicity in the study region that comprises the Transantarctic Mountain area of Victoria and Oates Land. We identify most seismicity emanating from David Glacier, upstream of the Drygalski Ice Tongue, which has been documented by several other studies. In order to improve the catalog completeness for the David Glacier area, we utilize a matched-filter technique to identify potential missing earthquakes that may not have been originally detected. This technique utilizes existing cataloged waveforms as templates to scan through continuous data and to identify repeating or nearby earthquakes. With a more robust catalog, we evaluate relative changes in icequake positions, recurrence intervals, and other first-order information. In addition, we attempt to further refine locations of other regional seismicity using a variety of methods including body and surface wave polarization, beamforming, surface wave dispersion, and other seismological methods. This project highlights the usefulness of archiving raw datasets (i.e., passive seismic continuous data), so that researchers may apply new algorithms or techniques to test hypotheses not originally or specifically targeted by the original experimental design.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Reassessment of the Upper Fremont Glacier ice-core chronologies by synchronizing of ice-core-water isotopes to a nearby tree-ring chronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellman, Nathan J.; McConnell, Joseph R.; Arienzo, Monica; Pederson, Gregory T.; Aarons, Sarah; Csank, Adam

    2017-01-01

    The Upper Fremont Glacier (UFG), Wyoming, is one of the few continental glaciers in the contiguous United States known to preserve environmental and climate records spanning recent centuries. A pair of ice cores taken from UFG have been studied extensively to document changes in climate and industrial pollution (most notably, mid-19th century increases in mercury pollution). Fundamental to these studies is the chronology used to map ice-core depth to age. Here, we present a revised chronology for the UFG ice cores based on new measurements and using a novel dating approach of synchronizing continuous water isotope measurements to a nearby tree-ring chronology. While consistent with the few unambiguous age controls underpinning the previous UFG chronologies, the new interpretation suggests a very different time scale for the UFG cores with changes of up to 80 years. Mercury increases previously associated with the mid-19th century Gold Rush now coincide with early-20th century industrial emissions, aligning the UFG record with other North American mercury records from ice and lake sediment cores. Additionally, new UFG records of industrial pollutants parallel changes documented in ice cores from southern Greenland, further validating the new UFG chronologies while documenting the extent of late 19th and early 20th century pollution in remote North America.

  1. Analysis of organic compounds in industrial and preindustrial ice samples from an Alpine glacier in Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzinger, R.; Schwikowski, M.; Saris, L.

    2013-12-01

    With a newly developed method based on Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-TOF 8000, Ionicon Inc., Austria) we measured organic compounds in ice samples. We analyzed 8 pre-industrial samples (1738-1747) and 10 post-industrial samples (winter 1975-1976) from the Fiescherhorn Glacier, Switzerland, and 5 firn samples from the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland. Ice cubes made from deionized water (Millipore, 18.2 MΩ.cm @ 25 °C) were used as blank samples. We detected 450 and 138 organic ions that were enhanced in the post-industrial and preindustrial samples, and their total concentration summed up to 24×12 and 3.5×1.8 μgL-1, respectively. The most abundant species in the post-industrial samples were detected at m/z ratios above 200 Da and many of these ions contained nitrogen, while the pre-industrial samples contained lower molecular weight ions (typically below 100 Da) and only a few of them contained nitrogen atoms. If this case study can be extrapolated, our results suggest that human influence significantly enhanced the organic fraction of aerosols since the onset of industrialization (by a factor of ~7). The different chemical composition suggests that the additional organic mass must be due to new sources and chemical pathways. The presented method is a strong tool to constrain organics in the preindustrial atmosphere which may have been very different from conditions prevailing in the remote contemporary atmosphere.Four major ions detected in post-industrial samples (1975/1976) Four major ions detected in pre-industrial samples (1738-1747)

  2. 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...

  3. Climate Changes Documented in Ice Core Records from Third Pole Glaciers, with Emphasis on the Guliya Ice Cap in the Western Kunlun Mountains over the Last 100 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, L. G.; Yao, T.; Beaudon, E.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Davis, M. E.; Kenny, D. V.; Lin, P. N.

    2016-12-01

    The Third Pole (TP) is a rapidly warming region containing 100,000 km2 of ice cover that collectively holds one of Earth's largest stores of freshwater that feeds Asia's largest rivers and helps sustain 1.5 billion people. Information on the accelerating warming in the region, its impact on the glaciers and subsequently on future water resources is urgently needed to guide mitigation and adaptation policies. Ice core histories collected over the last three decades across the TP demonstrate its climatic complexity and diversity. Here we present preliminary results from the flagship project of the Third Pole Environment Program, the 2015 Sino-American cooperative ice core drilling of the Guliya ice cap in the Kunlun Mountains in the western TP near the northern limit of the region influenced by the southwest monsoon. Three ice cores, each 51 meters in length, were recovered from the summit ( 6700 masl) while two deeper cores, one to bedrock ( 310 meters), were recovered from the plateau ( 6200 masl). Across the ice cap the net balance (accumulation) has increased annually by 2.3 cm of water equivalent from 1963-1992 to 1992-2015, and average oxygen isotopic ratios (δ18O) have enriched by 2‰. This contrasts with the recent ablation on the Naimona'nyi glacier located 540 km south of Guliya in the western Himalaya. Borehole temperatures in 2015 on the Guliya plateau have warmed substantially in the upper 30 meters of the ice compared to temperatures in 1992, when the first deep-drilling of the Guliya plateau was conducted. Compared with glaciers in the northern and western TP, the Himalayan ice fields are more sensitive to both fluctuations in the South Asian Monsoon and rising temperatures in the region. We examine the climatic changes of the last century preserved in ice core records from sites throughout the TP and compare them with those reconstructed for earlier warm epochs, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly ( 950-1250 AD), the early Holocene "Hypsithermal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 3D high resolution tracking of ice flow using mutli-temporal stereo satellite imagery, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprince, S.; Lin, J.; Ayoub, F.; Herman, F.; Avouac, J.

    2013-12-01

    We present the latest capabilities added to the Co-Registration of Optically Sensed Images and Correlation (COSI-Corr) software, which aim at analyzing time-series of stereoscopic imagery to document 3D variations of the ground surface. We review the processing chain and present the new and improved modules for satellite pushbroom imagery, in particular the N-image bundle block adjustment to jointly optimize the viewing geometry of multiple acquisitions, the improved multi-scale image matching based on Semi-Global Matching (SGM) to extract high resolution topography, and the triangulation of multi-temporal disparity maps to derive 3D ground motion. In particular, processes are optimized to run on a cluster computing environment. This new suite of algorithms is applied to the study of Worldview stereo imagery above the Franz Josef, Fox, and Tasman Glaciers, New Zealand, acquired on 01/30/2013, 02/09/2013, and 02/28/2013. We derive high resolution (1m post-spacing) maps of ice flow in three dimensions, where ice velocities of up to 4 m/day are recorded. Images were collected in early summer during a dry and sunny period, which followed two weeks of unsettled weather with several heavy rainfall events across the Southern Alps. The 3D tracking of ice flow highlights the surface response of the glaciers to changes in effective pressure at the ice-bedrock interface due to heavy rainfall, at an unprecedented spatial resolution.

  6. New constraints on the structure and dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet from the joint IPY/Ice Bridge ICECAP aerogeophysical project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Young, D. A.; Siegert, M. J.; van Ommen, T. D.; Roberts, J. L.; Wright, A.; Warner, R. C.; Holt, J. W.; Young, N. W.; Le Meur, E.; Legresy, B.; Cavitte, M.; Icecap Team

    2010-12-01

    Ice within marine basins of East Antarctica, and their outlets, represent the ultimate limit on sea level change. The region of East Antarctica between the Ross Sea and Wilkes Land hosts a number of major basin, but has been poorly understood. Long range aerogeophysics from US, Australian and French stations, with significant British and IceBridge support, has, under the banner of the ICECAP project, greatly improved our knowledge of ice thickness, surface elevation, and crustal structure of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, as well as the Totten Glacier, Cook Ice Shelf, and Byrd Glacier. We will discuss the evolution of the Wilkes and Aurora Subglacial Basins, new constraints on the geometry of the major outlet glaciers, as well as our results from surface elevation change measurements over dynamic regions of the ice sheet. We will discuss the implications of our data for the presence of mid Pleistocene ice in central East Antarctica. Future directions for ICECAP will be discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. A physically based 3-D model of ice cliff evolution over debris-covered glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, Pascal; Miles, Evan S.; Steiner, Jakob F.; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Wagnon, Patrick; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-12-01

    We use high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveys to document the evolution of four ice cliffs on the debris-covered tongue of Lirung Glacier, Nepal, over one ablation season. Observations show that out of four cliffs, three different patterns of evolution emerge: (i) reclining cliffs that flatten during the ablation season; (ii) stable cliffs that maintain a self-similar geometry; and (iii) growing cliffs, expanding laterally. We use the insights from this unique data set to develop a 3-D model of cliff backwasting and evolution that is validated against observations and an independent data set of volume losses. The model includes ablation at the cliff surface driven by energy exchange with the atmosphere, reburial of cliff cells by surrounding debris, and the effect of adjacent ponds. The cliff geometry is updated monthly to account for the modifications induced by each of those processes. Model results indicate that a major factor affecting the survival of steep cliffs is the coupling with ponded water at its base, which prevents progressive flattening and possible disappearance of a cliff. The radial growth observed at one cliff is explained by higher receipts of longwave and shortwave radiation, calculated taking into account atmospheric fluxes, shading, and the emission of longwave radiation from debris surfaces. The model is a clear step forward compared to existing static approaches that calculate atmospheric melt over an invariant cliff geometry and can be used for long-term simulations of cliff evolution and to test existing hypotheses about cliffs' survival.

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Rapid ice unloading in the Fleming Glacier region, southern Antarctic Peninsula, and its effect on bedrock uplift rates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Chen; King, Matt A.; Watson, Christopher S.

    2017-01-01

    deformation. We subtract modeled elastic deformation rates, and a suite of modeled viscous rates, from GPS-derived three-dimensional bedrock velocities at sites to the south of Fleming Glacier to infer properties of Earth rheology. Assuming the pre-breakup bedrock uplift was positive due to post-Last Glacial...... Maximum (LGM) ice retreat, our viscoelastic-corrected GPS uplift rates suggest upper mantle viscosities are >2×1019 Pas and likely >1×1020 Pas in this region, 1–2 orders of magnitude greater than previously found for the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Horizontal velocities at the GPS site nearest...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kátia Kellem Rosa

    2013-09-01

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

  15. Late Quaternary glaciation history of northernmost Greenland - Evidence of shelf-based ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Kjær, Kurt H.; Funder, Svend Visby

    2010-01-01

    We present the mapping of glacial landforms and sediments from northernmost Greenland bordering 100 km of the Arctic Ocean coast. One of the most important discoveries is that glacial landforms, sediments, including till fabric measurements, striae and stoss-lee boulders suggest eastward ice......-flow along the coastal plain. Volcanic erratic boulders document ice-transport from 80 to 100 km west of the study area. We argue that these findings are best explained by local outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet and local ice caps that merged to form a shelf-based ice in the Arctic Ocean...... and possibly confirming an extensive ice shelf in the Lincoln Sea between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. It is speculated that the shelf-based ice was largely affected by the presence of thick multiyear sea ice in the Arctic Ocean that prevented it from breaking up and forced the outlet glaciers to flow...

  16. Peruvian Tropical Glacier May Survive Longer Than Previously Thought: Landsat Image Analysis of Nevado Coropuna Ice Cap, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochtitzky, W. H.; Edwards, B. R.; Marino, J.; Manrique, N.

    2015-12-01

    Nevado Coropuna is a large volcanic complex in southern Peru (15.56°S, 72.62°N; 6,425 m). The complex is approximately 12 km east-west and 8 km north-south with elevation from ~4,500 m at the base to over 6,000 m at the highest points. This ice cap is the largest hosted by a volcano in the tropics, and one of the ten biggest ice masses in the tropics. Previous workers have predicted that the Coropuna ice cap will completely melt by 2050. We present a new analysis of historic satellite imagery to test this hypothesis. In this study, ice and snow are classified based on unique spectral signatures including spectral band thresholds, Normalized Difference Snow Index, and Band 4/5 ratio. Landsat scenes (L2, 4, 5, 7, and 8) from 1975 to present in addition to one SPOT scene (2013) are used. Previous workers used images from June and July, which are peak snow periods in southern Peru, leading to overestimates of ice area. This study uses November and December images when snow is at an annual minimum. Annual equilibrium line altitudes are calculated for each end of year image (November/December). The glaciers of Nevado Coropuna were found to be shrinking at ~0.5 km2/yr, which is ~1/3 the rate previously published. In this study, SPOT (1.5 m resolution) and Landsat 7 ETM scenes from November 23 and 26, 2013 respectively were used to calibrate the spectral band threshold classification. While this study suggests that the ice cap of Coropuna will persist until 2100 given current rates, water quantity and security remains a concern for Peruvian agriculture. Coropuna is an active volcano, so it poses great risk to surrounding inhabitants from lahars, flooding, and debris avalanches. Our new data suggest that these will continue to be risks late into this century.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2013-10-01

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

  18. Improving volume loss estimates of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2002-2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    Studies have been carried out using various methods to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Remote sensing techniques used to determine the ice sheet volume includes airborne and satellite radar and laser methods and measurements of ice flow of outlet glaciers use InSAR satellite radar......) does not work on sloping surfaces and is affected by radar penetration into the snow. InSAR estimates require knowledge of outlet glacier thickness. GRACE has limited spatial resolution and is affected by mass variations not just from ice changes, but also from hydrologic and ocean mass variability...... and mass redistribution within the solid Earth. The accuracy of ice mass and ice volume estimates can be assessed by comparing results from different techniques. Here, we focus on volume loss estimates from ICESat, ATM and LVIS data. We estimate catchment-wide ice volume change in northwest Greenland...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. H. Mernild

    2012-06-01

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

  20. Local processes and regional patterns - Interpreting a multi-decadal altimetry record of Greenland Ice Sheet changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; Babonis, G. S.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; van der Veen, C. J.; Khan, S. A.; Porter, D. F.

    2016-12-01

    This study presents a new, comprehensive reconstruction of Greenland Ice Sheet elevation changes, generated using the Surface Elevation And Change detection (SERAC) approach. 35-year long elevation-change time series (1980-2015) were obtained at more than 150,000 locations from observations acquired by NASA's airborne and spaceborne laser altimeters (ATM, LVIS, ICESat), PROMICE laser altimetry data (2007-2011) and a DEM covering the ice sheet margin derived from stereo aerial photographs (1970s-80s). After removing the effect of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) and the elastic crustal response to changes in ice loading, the time series were partitioned into changes due to surface processes and ice dynamics and then converted into mass change histories. Using gridded products, we examined ice sheet elevation, and mass change patterns, and compared them with other estimates at different scales from individual outlet glaciers through large drainage basins, on to the entire ice sheet. Both the SERAC time series and the grids derived from these time series revealed significant spatial and temporal variations of dynamic mass loss and widespread intermittent thinning, indicating the complexity of ice sheet response to climate forcing. To investigate the regional and local controls of ice dynamics, we examined thickness change time series near outlet glacier grounding lines. Changes on most outlet glaciers were consistent with one or more episodes of dynamic thinning that propagates upstream from the glacier terminus. The spatial pattern of the onset, duration, and termination of these dynamic thinning events suggest a regional control, such as warming ocean and air temperatures. However, the intricate spatiotemporal pattern of dynamic thickness change suggests that, regardless of the forcing responsible for initial glacier acceleration and thinning, the response of individual glaciers is modulated by local conditions. We use statistical methods, such as principal

  1. Elastic uplift in southeast Greenland due to rapid ice mass loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Van dam, Tonie; Hamilton, Gordon S.

    2007-01-01

    The rapid unloading of ice from the southeastern sector of the Greenland ice sheet between 2001 and 2006 caused an elastic uplift of 35 mm at a GPS site in Kulusuk. Most of the uplift results from ice dynamic-induced volume losses on two nearby outlet glaciers. Volume loss from Helheim Glacier...... between 62N and 66N. Citation: Khan, S. A., J. Wahr, L. A. Stearns, G. S. Hamilton, T. van Dam, K. M. Larson, and O. Francis (2007), Elastic uplift in southeast Greenland due to rapid ice mass loss....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Improved ice loss estimate of the northwestern Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Wahr, J.

    2013-01-01

    We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change...... estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with altimeter surveys from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper from 2002 to 2010 and NASA's Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor from 2010. The Airborne data are mainly concentrated along the ice margin and thus have a significant impact on the estimate of the volume...... change. Our results show that adding Airborne Topographic Mapper and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor data to the ICESat data increases the catchment-wide estimate of ice volume loss by 11%, mainly due to an improved volume loss estimate along the ice sheet margin. Furthermore, our results show...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. Glaciers of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Glaciers of North America - Glaciers of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    Glaciers cover about 75,000 km2 of Alaska, about 5 percent of the State. The glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges, 1 large island, an island chain, and 1 archipelago and range in elevation from more than 6,000 m to below sea level. Alaska's glaciers extend geographically from the far southeast at lat 55 deg 19'N., long 130 deg 05'W., about 100 kilometers east of Ketchikan, to the far southwest at Kiska Island at lat 52 deg 05'N., long 177 deg 35'E., in the Aleutian Islands, and as far north as lat 69 deg 20'N., long 143 deg 45'W., in the Brooks Range. During the 'Little Ice Age', Alaska's glaciers expanded significantly. The total area and volume of glaciers in Alaska continue to decrease, as they have been doing since the 18th century. Of the 153 1:250,000-scale topographic maps that cover the State of Alaska, 63 sheets show glaciers. Although the number of extant glaciers has never been systematically counted and is thus unknown, the total probably is greater than 100,000. Only about 600 glaciers (about 1 percent) have been officially named by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). There are about 60 active and former tidewater glaciers in Alaska. Within the glacierized mountain ranges of southeastern Alaska and western Canada, 205 glaciers (75 percent in Alaska) have a history of surging. In the same region, at least 53 present and 7 former large ice-dammed lakes have produced jokulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods). Ice-capped volcanoes on mainland Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands have a potential for jokulhlaups caused by subglacier volcanic and geothermal activity. Because of the size of the area covered by glaciers and the lack of large-scale maps of the glacierized areas, satellite imagery and other satellite remote-sensing data are the only practical means of monitoring regional changes in the area and volume of Alaska's glaciers in response to short- and long-term changes in the maritime and continental climates of the State. A review of the

  8. Using aerogravity and seismic data to model the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, A.; Peters, L. E.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.; Riverman, K. L.

    2013-12-01

    Recent estimates indicate that ice shelves along the Amundsen Sea coast in West Antarctica are losing substantial mass through sub-ice-shelf melting and contributing to the accelerating mass loss of the grounded ice buttressed by them. For Pine Island Glacier (PIG), relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water has been identified as the key driver of the sub-ice-shelf melting although poor constraints on PIG sub-ice shelf have restricted thorough understanding of these ice-ocean interactions. Aerogravity data from NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) have been useful in identifying large-scale (on the order of ten kilometers) features but the results have relatively large uncertainties due to the inherent non-uniqueness of the gravity inversion. Seismic methods offer the most direct means of providing water thickness and upper crustal geological constraints, but availability of such data sets over the PIG ice shelf has been limited due to logistical constraints. Here we present a comparative analysis of the bathymetry and upper crustal structure beneath the ice shelf of PIG through joint inversion of OIB aerogravity data and in situ active-source seismic measurements collected in the 2012-13 austral summer. Preliminary results indicate improved resolution of the ocean cavity, particularly in the interior and sides of the PIG ice shelf, and sedimentary drape across the region. Seismically derived variations in ice and ocean water densities are also applied to the gravity inversion to produce a more robust model of PIG sub-ice shelf structure, as opposed to commonly used single ice and water densities across the entire study region. Misfits between the seismically-constrained gravity inversion and that estimated previously from aerogravity alone provide insights on the sensitivity of gravity measurements to model perturbations and highlight the limitations of employing gravity data to model ice shelf environments when no other sub-ice constraints are available.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Inverted Basal Shear Stress of Antarctic and Greenland Ice Streams and Glaciers, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set includes basal shear distributions inferred from surface observations - surface ice velocities (Joughin et al., 2010, Rignot et al., 2011), bed and...

  11. Polar Ice Caps: a Canary for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honsaker, W.; Lowell, T. V.; Sagredo, E.; Kelly, M. A.; Hall, B. L.

    2010-12-01

    Ice caps are glacier masses that are highly sensitive to climate change. Because of their hypsometry they can have a binary state. When relatively slight changes in the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) either intersect or rise above the land the ice can become established or disappear. Thus these upland ice masses have a fast response time. Here we consider a way to extract the ELA signal from independent ice caps adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. It may be that these ice caps are sensitive trackers of climate change that also impact the ice sheet margin. One example is the Istorvet Ice Cap located in Liverpool Land, East Greenland (70.881°N, 22.156°W). The ice cap topography and the underlying bedrock surface dips to the north, with peak elevation of the current ice ranging in elevation from 1050 to 745 m.a.s.l. On the eastern side of the ice mass the outlet glaciers extending down to sea level. The western margin has several small lobes in topographic depressions, with the margin reaching down to 300 m.a.s.l. Topographic highs separate the ice cap into at least 5 main catchments, each having a pair of outlet lobes toward either side of the ice cap. Because of the regional bedrock slope each catchment has its own elevation range. Therefore, as the ELA changes it is possible for some catchments of the ice cap to experience positive mass balance while others have a negative balance. Based on weather observations we estimate the present day ELA to be ~1000 m.a.s.l, meaning mass balance is negative for the majority of the ice cap. By tracking glacier presence/absence in these different catchments, we can reconstruct small changes in the ELA. Another example is the High Ice Cap (informal name) in Milne Land (70.903°N, 25.626°W, 1080 m), East Greenland. Here at least 4 unconformities in ice layers found near the southern margin of the ice cap record changing intervals of accumulation and ablation. Therefore, this location may also be sensitive to slight

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tazio Strozzi

    2017-09-01

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

  14. Microbial processes at the beds of glaciers and ice sheets: a look at life below the Whillans Ice Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikucki, J.; Campen, R.; Vancleave, S.; Scherer, R. P.; Coenen, J. J.; Powell, R. D.; Tulaczyk, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater, saturated sediments and hundreds of subglacial lakes exist below the ice sheets of Antarctica. The few Antarctic subglacial environments sampled to date all contain viable microorganisms. This is a significant finding because microbes are known to be key in mediating biogeochemical cycles. In sediments, microbial metabolic activity can also result in byproducts or direct interactions with sediment particles that influence the physical and geochemical characteristics of the matrix they inhabit. Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW), a fresh water lake under the Whillans Ice Stream that drains into the Ross Sea at its grounding zone, was recently sampled as part of the NSF-funded Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. Sediments from both SLW and its grounding zone contain microbial taxa related to iron, sulfur, nitrogen and methane oxidizers. In addition to molecular data, biogeochemical measurements and culture based experiments on Whillans sediments support the notion that the system is chemosynthetic with energy derived in part by cycling inorganic compounds. Etch pitting and mineral precipitates on fossil sponge spicules suggest that spicules may also provide microbial nutrients in these environments. Perhaps the most widespread microbial process that affects sediment structure and mineral weathering is the production of extra polymeric substances (EPS). Several phylogenetic groups detected in Whillans sediments are known to produce EPS and we have observed its production in pure cultures enriched directly from these sediments. Our data sheds light on how microbial life persists below the Antarctic Ice Sheet despite extended isolation in icy darkness, and how these microbes may be shaping their environment.

  15. 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.

  16. A global high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry and ocean bathymetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Arndt, Jan Erik

    2016-01-01

    of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. While RTopo-1 primarily aimed at a good and consistent representation of the Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelves, and sub-ice cavities, RTopo-2now also contains ice topographies of the Greenland ice sheet and outlet glaciers. In particular, we aimed at agood representation....... For the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about79 N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model considering original multibeam survey datafor the region. Radar data for surface topographies of the floating ice tongues...... for the geometry of Getz, Abbot, andFimbul ice shelf cavities. The data set is available in full and in regional subsets in NetCDF format from thePANGAEA database at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.856844....

  17. Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microorganisms isolated from a deep greenland glacier ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miteva, V. I.; Sheridan, P. P.; Brenchley, J. E.

    2004-01-01

    We studied a sample from the GISP 2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) ice core to determine the diversity and survival of microorganisms trapped in the ice at least 120,000 years ago. Previously, we examined the phylogenetic relationships among 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences in a clone library obtained by PCR amplification from genomic DNA extracted from anaerobic enrichments. Here we report the isolation of nearly 800 aerobic organisms that were grouped by morphology and amplified rDNA restriction analysis patterns to select isolates for further study. The phylogenetic analyses of 56 representative rDNA sequences showed that the isolates belonged to four major phylogenetic groups: the high-G+C gram-positives, low-G+C gram-positives, Proteobacteria, and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The most abundant and diverse isolates were within the high-G+C gram-positive cluster that had not been represented in the clone library. The Jukes-Cantor evolutionary distance matrix results suggested that at least 7 isolates represent new species within characterized genera and that 49 are different strains of known species. The isolates were further categorized based on the isolation conditions, temperature range for growth, enzyme activity, antibiotic resistance, presence of plasmids, and strain-specific genomic variations. A significant observation with implications for the development of novel and more effective cultivation methods was that preliminary incubation in anaerobic and aerobic liquid prior to plating on agar media greatly increased the recovery of CFU from the ice core sample.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Ola; Kohler, Jack; Lüthje, Mikael

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  20. Glaciers, ice sheets, and sea level: effect of a CO/sub 2/-induced climatic change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1985-09-01

    The workshop examined the basic questions of how much water has been exchanged between land ice and ocean during the last century, what is happening now, and, given existing climate-modeling prediction, how much exchange can be expected in the next century. In addition, the evidence for exchange was examined and gaps in that evidence were identified. The report includes the 23 presentations made at the workshop, summarizes the workshop discussion, and presents the Committee's findings and recommendations. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the 23 presentations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Modelled glacier dynamics over the last quarter of a century at Jakobshavn Isbræ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Observations over the past 2 decades show substantial ice loss associated with the speed-up of marineterminating glaciers in Greenland. Here we use a regional three-dimensional outlet glacier model to simulate the behaviour of Jakobshavn Isbræ (JI) located in western Greenland. Our approach...... is to model and understand the recent behaviour of JI with a physical process-based model. Using atmospheric forcing and an ocean parametrization we tune our model to reproduce observed frontal changes of JI during 1990-2014. In our simulations, most of the JI retreat during 1990-2014 is driven by the ocean...

  4. 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...

  5. 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....

  6. After the Earthquake: Impacts of Seismic Snow and Ice Redistribution in Langtang Valley, Nepal, on Glacier Mass Balances and Hydrological Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, J. M.; Ragettli, S.; Immerzeel, W.; Pellicciotti, F.; Miles, E. S.; Steiner, J. F.; Buri, P.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 resulted in a catastrophic loss of life and property, and had major impacts in high mountain areas. The earthquake resulted in a number of massive ice avalanches in Langtang Valley that destroyed entire villages and killed over 300 people. We first conduct a remote sensing analysis of the entire catchment, and attempt to quantify the volumes of snow and ice redistributed through high-resolution optical imagery, thermal imagery, and DEM differencing. Where data are available we examine the impact on the surface mass balances of four major glaciers (Lirung, Shalbachaum, Langtang and Langshisha). Finally, we use the physically-based and fully distributed TOPKAPI model to simulate the impacts of the co-seismic snow and ice redistribution on the hydrology of the Langtang River.

  7. Understanding Recent Mass Balance Changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

    The ultimate goal of this project is to better understand the current transfer of mass between the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world's oceans and the atmosphere, and to identify processes controlling the rate of this transfer, to be able to predict with greater confidence future contributions to global sea level rise. During the first year of this project, we focused on establishing longer-term records of change of selected outlet glaciers, reevaluation of mass input to the ice sheet and analysis of climate records derived from ice cores, and modeling meltwater production and runoff from the margins of the ice sheet.

  8. Measurements of 14C in ancient ice from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica constrain in situ cosmogenic 14CH4 and 14CO production rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrenko, Vasilii V.; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P.; Schaefer, Hinrich; Smith, Andrew M.; Kuhl, Tanner; Baggenstos, Daniel; Hua, Quan; Brook, Edward J.; Rose, Paul; Kulin, Robb; Bauska, Thomas; Harth, Christina; Buizert, Christo; Orsi, Anais; Emanuele, Guy; Lee, James E.; Brailsford, Gordon; Keeling, Ralph; Weiss, Ray F.

    2016-03-01

    Carbon-14 (14C) is incorporated into glacial ice by trapping of atmospheric gases as well as direct near-surface in situ cosmogenic production. 14C of trapped methane (14CH4) is a powerful tracer for past CH4 emissions from ;old; carbon sources such as permafrost and marine CH4 clathrates. 14C in trapped carbon dioxide (14CO2) can be used for absolute dating of ice cores. In situ produced cosmogenic 14C in carbon monoxide (14CO) can potentially be used to reconstruct the past cosmic ray flux and past solar activity. Unfortunately, the trapped atmospheric and in situ cosmogenic components of 14C in glacial ice are difficult to disentangle and a thorough understanding of the in situ cosmogenic component is needed in order to extract useful information from ice core 14C. We analyzed very large (≈1000 kg) ice samples in the 2.26-19.53 m depth range from the ablation zone of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, to study in situ cosmogenic production of 14CH4 and 14CO. All sampled ice is >50 ka in age, allowing for the assumption that most of the measured 14C originates from recent in situ cosmogenic production as ancient ice is brought to the surface via ablation. Our results place the first constraints on cosmogenic 14CH4 production rates and improve on prior estimates of 14CO production rates in ice. We find a constant 14CH4/14CO production ratio (0.0076 ± 0.0003) for samples deeper than 3 m, which allows the use of 14CO for correcting the 14CH4 signals for the in situ cosmogenic component. Our results also provide the first unambiguous confirmation of 14C production by fast muons in a natural setting (ice or rock) and suggest that the 14C production rates in ice commonly used in the literature may be too high.

  9. Modeling the Rock Glacier Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Environmental records from temperate glacier ice on Nevado Coropuna saddle, southern Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Herreros

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available We investigated past climate variability and the zonal short and long-range transport of air masses in tropical South America using chemical, isotopic and palynological signals from a 42 m-long ice core recovered in 2003 from the saddle of the Nevado Coropuna, southern Peru (72°39´ W; 15°32´ S; 6080 m a.s.l.. We found that precipitation at this site depends mainly on the easterly circulation of air masses originated from the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, sporadic Pacific air masses arrivals, and strong cold waves coming from southern South America reach this altitude site. In spite of post-depositional effects, we were able to identify two strong ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation event signatures (1982–1983 and 1992 and the eruptive activity of the nearby Sabancaya volcano (1994.

  11. Surge of Bering Glacier and Bagley Ice Field: Parameterization of surge characteristics based on automated analysis of crevasse image data and laser altimeter data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stachura, M.; Herzfeld, U. C.; McDonald, B.; Weltman, A.; Hale, G.; Trantow, T.

    2012-12-01

    The dynamical processes that occur during the surge of a large, complex glacier system are far from being understood. The aim of this paper is to derive a parameterization of surge characteristics that captures the principle processes and can serve as the basis for a dynamic surge model. Innovative mathematical methods are introduced that facilitate derivation of such a parameterization from remote-sensing observations. Methods include automated geostatistical characterization and connectionist-geostatistical classification of dynamic provinces and deformation states, using the vehicle of crevasse patterns. These methods are applied to analyze satellite and airborne image and laser altimeter data collected during the current surge of Bering Glacier and Bagley Ice Field, Alaska.

  12. Life and death of ice cliffs and lakes on debris covered glaciers - insights from a new dataset from the Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies suggest that supraglacial ice cliffs and lakes could be one contributing factor to relatively high overall ablation rates on debris covered glaciers. While some studies have quantified backwasting rates, developments over the larger scale have not yet been assessed. Field work and earlier studies during three seasons in the Langtang catchment in the Nepalese Himalaya has given some insights into how these landforms develop, from initial emergence to persistence and disappearance. From 6 sets of concurrent high-resolution satellite imagery and DEMs between 2006 and 2015 and an additional image from 1974, we assembled an extensive dataset of these landforms on all glaciers in the catchment, including nearly 4000 individual lakes and cliffs. We show that ice cliffs appear in combination with lakes or without and there are lakes that are not bordered by a cliff. Numbers vary strongly between seasons, especially as lakes show strong seasonal variability. There are furthermore different types of cliff forms - circular, lateral and longitudinal - that give an indication of their formation process. Circular cliffs form with either collapsing subglacial channels or overdeepenings caused by water accumulating on the surface, while lateral cliffs are likely associated with underlying crevasses. Some of the cliff and lake systems remain at the same location on-glacier over a number of years, while most move with the whole glacier body down valley. From the DEMs determine preferential slopes and expositions of the cliffs in the catchment which have been shown to be essential aspects in explaining the backwasting process. In combination with field observations from one glacier, where most of these types were present, we can infer development processes of a number of systems over the whole catchment. It is also apparent that densities of these landforms vary greatly over the glacier surface, which can be explained with velocities or underlying bed topography in

  13. 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

  14. Holocene glacier and climate variations in Vestfirðir, Iceland, from the modeling of Drangajökull ice cap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Flowers, Gwenn E.; Jarosch, Alexander H.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna Th; Geirsdóttir, Áslaug; Miller, Gifford H.; Harning, David J.; Thorsteinsson, Thorsteinn; Magnússon, Eyjólfur; Pálsson, Finnur

    2018-06-01

    Drangajökull is a maritime ice cap located in northwest (Vestfirðir) Iceland. Drangajökull's evolution is therefore closely linked to atmospheric and ocean variability. In order to better constrain the Holocene climate and glacier history of Vestfirðir we model the past evolution of Drangajökull ice cap. Simulations from 10 ka to present are forced by general circulation model output, ice-core-based temperature reconstructions, and sea-surface temperature reconstructions. Based on these 10-thousand year simulations, Drangajökull did not persist through the Holocene. We estimate that air temperatures were 2.5-3.0 °C higher during the Holocene Thermal Maximum than the local 1960-1990 average. Simulations support Drangajökull's late Holocene inception between 2 and 1 ka, though intermittent ice likely occupied cirques as early as 2.6 ka. Drangajökull is primarily a Little Ice Age ice cap: it expanded between 1300 and 1750 CE, with the most rapid growth occurring between 1600 and 1750 CE. The maximum Holocene extent of Drangajökull occurred between 1700 and 1925 CE, despite the lowest late Holocene temperatures, occurring between 1650 and 1720 CE. Between 1700 and 1925 CE temperatures were likely 0.6-0.8 °C lower than the 1950-2015 reference temperature. The modern equilibrium line altitude (ELA) is bracketed by topographic thresholds: a 1 °C temperature increase from the modern ELA would eliminate the ice cap's accumulation area, while a reduction of 0.5 °C would lead to the rapid expansion of the ice cap across Vestfirðir. The proximity of Drangajökull to topographic thresholds may explain its late inception and rapid expansion during the Little Ice Age.

  15. 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

  16. Ice Cores

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past temperature, precipitation, atmospheric trace gases, and other aspects of climate and environment derived from ice cores drilled on glaciers and ice...

  17. 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

  18. The Little Ice Age climate of New Zealand reconstructed from Southern Alps cirque glaciers: a synoptic type approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorrey, Andrew; Fauchereau, Nicolas; Stanton, Craig; Chappell, Petra; Phipps, Steven; Mackintosh, Andrew; Renwick, James; Goodwin, Ian; Fowler, Anthony

    2014-06-01

    Little Ice Age (LIA) austral summer temperature anomalies were derived from palaeoequilibrium line altitudes at 22 cirque glacier sites across the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Modern analog seasons with temperature anomalies akin to the LIA reconstructions were selected, and then applied in a sampling of high-resolution gridded New Zealand climate data and global reanalysis data to generate LIA climate composites at local, regional and hemispheric scales. The composite anomaly patterns assist in improving our understanding of atmospheric circulation contributions to the LIA climate state, allow an interrogation of synoptic type frequency changes for the LIA relative to present, and provide a hemispheric context of the past conditions in New Zealand. An LIA summer temperature anomaly of -0.56 °C (±0.29 °C) for the Southern Alps based on palaeo-equilibrium lines compares well with local tree-ring reconstructions of austral summer temperature. Reconstructed geopotential height at 1,000 hPa (z1000) suggests enhanced southwesterly flow across New Zealand occurred during the LIA to generate the terrestrial temperature anomalies. The mean atmospheric circulation pattern for summer resulted from a crucial reduction of the `HSE'-blocking synoptic type (highs over and to the west of NZ; largely settled conditions) and increases in both the `T'- and `SW'-trough synoptic types (lows passing over NZ; enhanced southerly and southwesterly flow) relative to normal. Associated land-based temperature and precipitation anomalies suggest both colder- and wetter-than-normal conditions were a pervasive component of the base climate state across New Zealand during the LIA, as were colder-than-normal Tasman Sea surface temperatures. Proxy temperature and circulation evidence were used to corroborate the spatially heterogeneous Southern Hemisphere composite z1000 and sea surface temperature patterns generated in this study. A comparison of the composites to climate mode archetypes

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Coastal glaciers advanced onto Jameson Land, East Greenland during the late glacial–early Holocene Milne Land Stade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Alexanderson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We report on 10Be and optically stimulated luminescence ages from moraines and glaciolacustrine sediments on eastern Jameson Land, East Greenland. Sampled landforms and sediment are associated with advances of outlet glaciers from the local Liverpool Land ice cap situated in the coastal Scoresby Sund region. Previous studies have tentatively correlated these advances with the Milne Land Stade moraines, which are prominent moraine sets deposited by mountain glaciers in the inner Scoresby Sund region. Recent constraints on the formation of the outer and inner of these moraines have suggested two advances of local glaciers, one prior to or during the Younger Dryas and another during the Preboreal. In this paper, we test the correlation of the Liverpool Land glacial advance with the Milne Land Stade. Our results show that outlet glaciers from the Liverpool Land ice cap reached ice-marginal positions marked by moraines in east-facing valleys on Jameson Land sometime during late glacial–early Holocene time (ca. 13–11 Kya. This confirms the correlation of these moraines with the Milne Land Stade moraines described elsewhere in the Scoresby Sund region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Lannutti

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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).

  6. Modelled glacier dynamics over the last quarter of a century at Jakobshavn Isbræ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Observations over the past 2 decades show substantial ice loss associated with the speed-up of marineterminating glaciers in Greenland. Here we use a regional three-dimensional outlet glacier model to simulate the behaviour of Jakobshavn Isbræ (JI) located in western Greenland. Our approach...... is to model and understand the recent behaviour of JI with a physical process-based model. Using atmospheric forcing and an ocean parametrization we tune our model to reproduce observed frontal changes of JI during 1990-2014. In our simulations, most of the JI retreat during 1990-2014 is driven by the ocean...... parametrization used and the glacier's subsequent response, which is largely governed by bed geometry. In general, the study shows significant progress in modelling the temporal variability of the flow at JI. Our results suggest that the overall variability in modelled horizontal velocities is a response...

  7. Spatial pattern of mass loss processes across the Greenland Ice Sheet from the Little Ice Age to 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, K. H.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Kjeldsen, K. K.

    The Greenland Ice Sheet loses mass through surface meltwater runoff and discharge from marine terminating outlet glaciers. The spatial variability and magnitude of these processes have been studied and described in detail for the past decades. Here, we combine the mass loss between the LIA to 2010...... these components are variable between the different sectors of the GrIS, e.g. in the southeast sector of the GrIS we find substantial mass loss, possibly driven by high precipitation rates but also the presence of a large number of marine terminating glaciers. Furthermore many areas currently undergoing changes...

  8. Coastal-change and glaciological map of the Amery Ice Shelf area, Antarctica: 1961–2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Kevin M.; Ferrigno, Jane G.; Swithinbank, Charles; Williams, Richard S.; Orndorff, Audrey L.

    2013-01-01

    Reduction in the area and volume of Earth’s two polar ice sheets is intricately linked to changes in global climate and to the resulting rise in sea level. Measurement of changes in area and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet was given a very high priority in recommendations by the Polar Research Board of the National Research Council. On the basis of these recommendations, the U.S. Geological Survey used its archive of satellite images to document changes in the cryospheric coastline of Antarctica and analyze the glaciological features of the coastal regions. Amery Ice Shelf, lying between 67.5° and 75° East longitude and 68.5° and 73.2° South latitude, is the largest ice shelf in East Antarctica. The latest measurements of the area of the ice shelf range between 62,620 and 71,260 square kilometers. The ice shelf is fed primarily by Lambert, Mellor, and Fisher Glaciers; its thickness ranges from 3,000 meters in the center of the grounding line to less than 300 meters at the ice front. Lambert Glacier is considered to be the largest glacier in the world, and its drainage basin is more than 1 million square kilometers in area. It is possible to see some coastal change on the outlet glaciers along the coast, but most of the noticeable change occurs on the Amery Ice Shelf front.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shcherbakov, V.; Ahlkrona, J.

    2016-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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....

  12. An investigation of the thermomechanical features of Laohugou Glacier No. 12 on Qilian Shan, western China, using a two-dimensional first-order flow-band ice flow model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuzhe; Zhang, Tong; Ren, Jiawen; Qin, Xiang; Liu, Yushuo; Sun, Weijun; Chen, Jizu; Ding, Minghu; Du, Wentao; Qin, Dahe

    2018-03-01

    By combining in situ measurements and a two-dimensional thermomechanically coupled ice flow model, we investigate the thermomechanical features of the largest valley glacier (Laohugou Glacier No. 12; LHG12) on Qilian Shan located in the arid region of western China. Our model results suggest that LHG12, previously considered as fully cold, is probably polythermal, with a lower temperate ice layer overlain by an upper layer of cold ice over a large region of the ablation area. Modelled ice surface velocities match well with the in situ observations in the east branch (main branch) but clearly underestimate those near the glacier terminus, possibly because the convergent flow is ignored and the basal sliding beneath the confluence area is underestimated. The modelled ice temperatures are in very good agreement with the in situ measurements from a deep borehole (110 m deep) in the upper ablation area. The model results are sensitive to surface thermal boundary conditions, for example surface air temperature and near-surface ice temperature. In this study, we use a Dirichlet surface thermal condition constrained by 20 m borehole temperatures and annual surface air temperatures. Like many other alpine glaciers, strain heating is important in controlling the englacial thermal structure of LHG12. Our transient simulations indicate that the accumulation zone becomes colder during the last two decades as a response to the elevated equilibrium line altitude and the rising summer air temperatures. We suggest that the extent of accumulation basin (the amount of refreezing latent heat from meltwater) of LHG12 has a considerable impact on the englacial thermal status.

  13. Ice Cliff Backwasting over debris-covered Glaciers - Insights into their Formation and Development based on new Measurements and a point-scale Model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    The presence of ice cliffs has been identified as one possible reason for relatively high overall ablation rates on debris covered glaciers. Few measurements exist for such cliffs and their formation and evolution processes are still poorly understood. On Lirung Glacier, in the Nepalese Himalayas, numerous cliffs were monitored for two consecutive years in the pre- and post-monsoon season. Slope varied between 30° and full vertical faces. Backwasting rates were highly variable depending on slope and aspect of the location on the cliff. Only a physically based energy balance model can reproduce this heterogeneity and provide insights into the importance of atmospheric forcing and cliff characteristics on their melt. Building on two previous studies such a model was developed. It was improved with measurements of radiative fluxes perpendicular to the cliff and by applying a high resolution DEM of the surrounding topography to estimate shading and radiative fluxes incident to the cliff including longwave radiation emitted by surrounding debris. We obtain a considerable reduction in incoming shortwave radiation for north-oriented cliffs compared to horizontal measurements, and significant incident longwave component that varies with height on the cliffs. Melt rates are highly variable in time and space for the cliff. While maximum values of up to 8 cm/day are reached during monsoon, melt rates in the post-monsoon season are considerably lower than in the pre-monsoon season. Nighttime refreezing processes during this period also played an important role. Apart from topography, cliff backwasting is extremely sensitive to albedo of the ice surface, reaching values as low as 0.05. Measurements of surface temperature and wind on the cliff further improved the understanding of outgoing radiation and turbulent fluxes. Once validated against stakes readings, the model was used to explain the presence and persistence of cliffs over Lirung glacier. We show that only North

  14. Impact of climate fluctuations on deposition of DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane in mountain glaciers: Evidence from ice core records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Xiaoping; Gong Ping; Zhang, Qianggong; Yao Tandong

    2010-01-01

    How do climate fluctuations affect DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) distribution in the global scale? In this study, the interactions between climate variations and depositions of DDT and HCH in ice cores from Mt. Everest (the Tibetan Plateau), Mt. Muztagata (the eastern Pamirs) and the Rocky Mountains were investigated. All data regarding DDT/HCH deposition were obtained from the published results. Concentrations of DDT and HCH in an ice core from Mt. Everest were associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Concentrations of DDT in an ice core from Mt. Muztagata were significantly correlated with the Siberia High pattern. Concentrations of HCH in an ice core from Snow Dome of the Rocky Mountains responded to the North Atlantic Oscillation. These associations suggested that there are some linkages between climate variations and the global distribution of persistent organic pollutants. - Our study approves the potential contribution of ice core records of POPs to transport mechanisms of POPs.

  15. 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

  16. A global, high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and ocean bathymetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Arndt, Jan Erik; Savstrup Kristensen, Steen; Mayer, Christoph; Morlighem, Mathieu; Steinhage, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the polar ice sheets by interacting with the ice shelves in Antarctica and with the marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland. Given that the flux of warm water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavities is steered by complex bathymetry, a detailed topography data set is an essential ingredient for models that address ice-ocean interaction. We followed the spirit of the global RTopo-1 data set and compiled consistent maps of global ocean bathymetry, upper and lower ice surface topographies, and global surface height on a spherical grid with now 30 arcsec grid spacing. For this new data set, called RTopo-2, we used the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO_2014) as the backbone and added the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean version 3 (IBCAOv3) and the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) version 1. While RTopo-1 primarily aimed at a good and consistent representation of the Antarctic ice sheet, ice shelves, and sub-ice cavities, RTopo-2 now also contains ice topographies of the Greenland ice sheet and outlet glaciers. In particular, we aimed at a good representation of the fjord and shelf bathymetry surrounding the Greenland continent. We modified data from earlier gridded products in the areas of Petermann Glacier, Hagen Bræ, and Sermilik Fjord, assuming that sub-ice and fjord bathymetries roughly follow plausible Last Glacial Maximum ice flow patterns. For the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the floating ice tongue of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier at about 79° N, we incorporated a high-resolution digital bathymetry model considering original multibeam survey data for the region. Radar data for surface topographies of the floating ice tongues of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and Zachariæ Isstrøm have been obtained from the data centres of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Operation Icebridge (NASA

  17. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Sediment transport drives tidewater glacier periodicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, Douglas; Truffer, Martin; Aschwanden, Andy

    2017-07-21

    Most of Earth's glaciers are retreating, but some tidewater glaciers are advancing despite increasing temperatures and contrary to their neighbors. This can be explained by the coupling of ice and sediment dynamics: a shoal forms at the glacier terminus, reducing ice discharge and causing advance towards an unstable configuration followed by abrupt retreat, in a process known as the tidewater glacier cycle. Here we use a numerical model calibrated with observations to show that interactions between ice flow, glacial erosion, and sediment transport drive these cycles, which occur independent of climate variations. Water availability controls cycle period and amplitude, and enhanced melt from future warming could trigger advance even in glaciers that are steady or retreating, complicating interpretations of glacier response to climate change. The resulting shifts in sediment and meltwater delivery from changes in glacier configuration may impact interpretations of marine sediments, fjord geochemistry, and marine ecosystems.The reason some of the Earth's tidewater glaciers are advancing despite increasing temperatures is not entirely clear. Here, using a numerical model that simulates both ice and sediment dynamics, the authors show that internal dynamics drive glacier variability independent of climate.

  1. Report on workshop "Study of the Antarctic ice sheet and glacier using ERS-1/JERS-1 SAR data"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naohiko Hirasawa

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of the workshop is to discuss recent results of Antarctic research using SAR data. It was held on February 6,1996 at the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR, the number of participants being about 30. The contents of the workshop are demonstration of various SAR images, comparison with pictures from an airplane and visible images, comparison with observational data on ice conditions and demonstration of problems in interferometry.

  2. Ocean Tide Influences on the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padman, Laurie; Siegfried, Matthew R.; Fricker, Helen A.

    2018-03-01

    Ocean tides are the main source of high-frequency variability in the vertical and horizontal motion of ice sheets near their marine margins. Floating ice shelves, which occupy about three quarters of the perimeter of Antarctica and the termini of four outlet glaciers in northern Greenland, rise and fall in synchrony with the ocean tide. Lateral motion of floating and grounded portions of ice sheets near their marine margins can also include a tidal component. These tide-induced signals provide insight into the processes by which the oceans can affect ice sheet mass balance and dynamics. In this review, we summarize in situ and satellite-based measurements of the tidal response of ice shelves and grounded ice, and spatial variability of ocean tide heights and currents around the ice sheets. We review sensitivity of tide heights and currents as ocean geometry responds to variations in sea level, ice shelf thickness, and ice sheet mass and extent. We then describe coupled ice-ocean models and analytical glacier models that quantify the effect of ocean tides on lower-frequency ice sheet mass loss and motion. We suggest new observations and model developments to improve the representation of tides in coupled models that are used to predict future ice sheet mass loss and the associated contribution to sea level change. The most critical need is for new data to improve maps of bathymetry, ice shelf draft, spatial variability of the drag coefficient at the ice-ocean interface, and higher-resolution models with improved representation of tidal energy sinks.

  3. Dendro-chronological analysis of fossilised wood in order to reconstruct the post-ice-age history of glaciers; Dendrochronologische Auswertung fossiler Hoelzer zur Rekonstruktion der nacheiszeitlichen Gletschergeschichte

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holzhauser, H.

    2008-07-01

    Around the middle of the 19th century, alpine glaciers advanced to their last maximum extension within the Holocene (the last 11'600 years). Some of the glaciers, especially the Great Aletsch and Gorner, penetrated deeply into wooded land and destroyed numerous trees. Not only were trees destroyed but also valuable arable farmland, alpine farm buildings and dwelling houses. Since the last maximum extension in the 19th century the retreat of the glaciers has accelerated revealing, within the glacier forefields, the remainders of trees once buried. Some of this fossil wood is found in the place where it grew (in situ). Often the wood dates back to a time before the last glacier advance, most of it is several thousands of years old because glacial advance and retreat periods occurred repeatedly within the Holocene. This paper shows the characteristics of fossil wood and how it can be analysed to reconstruct glacial history. It will be demonstrated how glacier length variation can be exactly reconstructed with help of dendrochronology. Thanks to the very exact reconstruction of the glacier length change during the advance periods in the 14th and 16th centuries, the velocities of both the Gorner and Great Aletsch glaciers can be estimated. They range between 7-8 and 20 m per year, in the case of the Gorner glacier, and between 7-8 and 36 m per year, in the case of the Great Aletsch glacier. (author)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Soot on snow in Iceland: First results on black carbon and organic carbon in Iceland 2016 snow and ice samples, including the glacier Solheimajökull

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinander, Outi; Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Pavla; Gritsevich, Maria; Aurela, Minna; Arnalds, Olafur; Dragosics, Monika; Virkkula, Aki; Svensson, Jonas; Peltoniemi, Jouni; Kontu, Anna; Kivekäs, Niku; Leppäranta, Matti; de Leeuw, Gerrit; Laaksonen, Ari; Lihavainen, Heikki; Arslan, Ali N.; Paatero, Jussi

    2017-04-01

    New results on black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) on snow and ice in Iceland in 2016 will be presented in connection to our earlier results on BC and OC on Arctic seasonal snow surface, and in connection to our 2013 and 2016 experiments on effects of light absorbing impurities, including Icelandic dust, on snow albedo, melt and density. Our sampling included the glacier Solheimajökull in Iceland. The mass balance of this glacier is negative and it has been shrinking during the last 20 years by 900 meters from its southwestern corner. Icelandic snow and ice samples were not expected to contain high concentrations of BC, as power generation with domestic renewable water and geothermal power energy sources cover 80 % of the total energy consumption in Iceland. Our BC results on filters analyzed with a Thermal/Optical Carbon Aerosol Analyzer (OC/EC) confirm this assumption. Other potential soot sources in Iceland include agricultural burning, industry (aluminum and ferroalloy production and fishing industry), open burning, residential heating and transport (shipping, road traffic, aviation). On the contrary to low BC, we have found high concentrations of organic carbon in our Iceland 2016 samples. Some of the possible reasons for those will be discussed in this presentation. Earlier, we have measured and reported unexpectedly low snow albedo values of Arctic seasonally melting snow in Sodankylä, north of Arctic Circle. Our low albedo results of melting snow have been confirmed by three independent data sets. We have explained these low values to be due to: (i) large snow grain sizes up to 3 mm in diameter (seasonally melting snow); (ii) meltwater surrounding the grains and increasing the effective grain size; (iii) absorption caused by impurities in the snow, with concentration of elemental carbon (black carbon) in snow of 87 ppb, and organic carbon 2894 ppb. The high concentrations of carbon were due to air masses originating from the Kola Peninsula, Russia

  6. Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet and Icelandic Glaciers in the 20th Century Using Geodetic Methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    by bedrock geometry. It is revealed that dynamic ice loss recently seen in the southeast and northwest GrIS also occurred in the northwest between 1985 and 1993, highlighting the difficulty of capturing these events in mass balance models. Extending the record back to the LIA, the results show...... that for the past 110 years, the surface mass balance has been decreasing, while the dynamic term has been constant. The spatial pattern of thinning in the 20th century is identical to that of current change, suggesting this pattern will continue in the near future. The mass change of the GrIS in 20th century...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Design and Implementation of a Wireless Sensor Network of GPS-enabled Seismic Sensors for the Study of Glaciers and Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilen, S. G.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Urbina, J. V.

    2012-12-01

    In an effort to provide new and improved geophysical sensing capabilities for the study of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, or to study mountain glaciers, we are developing a network of wirelessly interconnected seismic and GPS sensor nodes (called "geoPebbles"), with the primary objective of making such instruments more capable and cost effective. We describe our design methodology, which has enabled us to develop these state-of-the art sensors using commercial-off-the-shelf hardware combined with custom-designed hardware and software. Each geoPebble is a self-contained, wirelessly connected sensor for collecting seismic measurements and position information. Each node is built around a three-component seismic recorder, which includes an amplifier, filter, and 24-bit analog-to-digital card that can sample up to 10 kHz. Each unit also includes a microphone channel to record the ground-coupled airwave. The timing for each node is available through a carrier-phase measurement of the L1 GPS signal at an absolute accuracy of better than a microsecond. Each geoPebble includes 16 GB of solid-state storage, wireless communications capability to a central supervisory unit, and auxiliary measurements capability (up to eight 10-bit channels at low sample rates). We will report on current efforts to test this new instrument and how we are addressing the challenges imposed by the extreme weather conditions on the Antarctic continent. After fully validating its operational conditions, the geoPebble system will be available for NSF-sponsored glaciology research projects. Geophysical experiments in the polar region are logistically difficult. With the geoPebble system, the cost of doing today's experiments (low-resolution, 2D) will be significantly reduced, and the cost and feasibility of doing tomorrow's experiments (integrated seismic, positioning, 3D, etc.) will be reasonable. Sketch of an experiment with geoPebbles scattered on the surface of the ice sheet. The seismic

  12. Double Outlet Right Ventricle

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Right Ventricle Menu Topics Topics FAQs Double Outlet Right Ventricle Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) is a rare form of congenital heart disease. En español Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) is a rare form of congenital ...

  13. Dead-ice environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krüger, Johannes; Kjær, Kurt H.; Schomacker, Anders

    2010-01-01

    glacier environment. The scientific challenges are to answer the key questions. What are the conditions for dead-ice formation? From which sources does the sediment cover originate? Which melting and reworking processes act in the ice-cored moraines? What is the rate of de-icing in the ice-cored moraines...

  14. Investigating cold based summit glaciers through direct access to the glacier base: a case study constraining the maximum age of Chli Titlis glacier, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohleber, Pascal; Hoffmann, Helene; Kerch, Johanna; Sold, Leo; Fischer, Andrea

    2018-01-01

    Cold glaciers at the highest locations of the European Alps have been investigated by drilling ice cores to retrieve their stratigraphic climate records. Findings like the Oetztal ice man have demonstrated that small ice bodies at summit locations of comparatively lower altitudes may also contain old ice if locally frozen to the underlying bedrock. In this case, constraining the maximum age of their lowermost ice part may help to identify past periods with minimum ice extent in the Alps. However, with recent warming and consequent glacier mass loss, these sites may not preserve their unique climate information for much longer. Here we utilized an existing ice cave at Chli Titlis (3030 m), central Switzerland, to perform a case study for investigating the maximum age of cold-based summit glaciers in the Alps. The cave offers direct access to the glacier stratigraphy without the logistical effort required in ice core drilling. In addition, a pioneering exploration had already demonstrated stagnant cold ice conditions at Chli Titlis, albeit more than 25 years ago. Our englacial temperature measurements and the analysis of the isotopic and physical properties of ice blocks sampled at three locations within the ice cave show that cold ice still exists fairly unchanged today. State-of-the-art micro-radiocarbon analysis constrains the maximum age of the ice at Chli Titlis to about 5000 years before present. By this means, the approach presented here will contribute to a future systematic investigation of cold-based summit glaciers, also in the Eastern Alps.

  15. Ice, Ice, Baby!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) has developed an outreach program based on hands-on activities called "Ice, Ice, Baby". These lessons are designed to teach the science principles of displacement, forces of motion, density, and states of matter. These properties are easily taught through the interesting topics of glaciers, icebergs, and sea level rise in K-8 classrooms. The activities are fun, engaging, and simple enough to be used at science fairs and family science nights. Students who have participated in "Ice, Ice, Baby" have successfully taught these to adults and students at informal events. The lessons are based on education standards which are available on our website www.cresis.ku.edu. This presentation will provide information on the activities, survey results from teachers who have used the material, and other suggested material that can be used before and after the activities.

  16. 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

  17. A subaquatic moraine complex in overdeepened Lake Thun (Switzerland) unravelling the deglaciation history of the Aare Glacier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabbri, S. C.; Buechi, M. W.; Horstmeyer, H.; Hilbe, M.; Hübscher, C.; Schmelzbach, C.; Weiss, B.; Anselmetti, F. S.

    2018-05-01

    To investigate the history of the Aare Glacier and its overdeepened valley, a high-resolution multibeam bathymetric dataset and a 2D multi-channel reflection seismic dataset were acquired on perialpine Lake Thun (Switzerland). The overdeepened basin was formed by a combination of tectonically predefined weak zones and glacial erosion during several glacial cycles. In the deepest region of the basin, top of bedrock lies at ∼200 m below sea level, implying more than 750 m of overdeepening with respect to the current fluvial base level (i.e. lake level). Seismic stratigraphic analysis reveals the evolution of the basin and indicates a subaquatic moraine complex marked by high-amplitude reflections below the outermost edge of a morphologically distinct platform in the southeastern part of the lake. This stack of seven subaquatic terminal moraine crests was created by a fluctuating, "quasi-stagnant" grounded Aare Glacier during its overall recessional phase. Single packages of overridden moraine crests are seismically distuinguishable, which show a transition downstream into prograding clinoforms with foresets at the ice-distal slope. The succession of subaquatic glacial sequences (foresets and adjacent bottomsets) represent one fifth of the entire sedimentary thickness. Exact time constraints concerning the deglacial history of the Aare Glacier are very sparse. However, existing 10Be exposure ages from the accumulation area of the Aare Glacier and radiocarbon ages from a Late-Glacial lake close to the outlet of Lake Thun indicate that the formation of the subaquatic moraine complex and the associated sedimentary infill must have occurred in less than 1000 years, implying high sedimentation rates and rapid disintegration of the glacier. These new data improve our comprehension of the landforms associated with the ice-contact zone in water, the facies architecture of the sub- to proglacial units, the related depositional processes, and thus the retreat mechanisms of

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Lateglacial geomorphology in the Tweedsmuir Hills, Scotland - Implications for retreat patterns, glacier reconstruction and chronology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, D.; Rea, B.; McDougall, D.

    2012-04-01

    Lateglacial landform assemblage indicates more extensive glaciation than previously envisaged, with both a transection ice-mass and icefield coexisting, reflecting different topographic controls. Interestingly, a geomorphic pattern is observable in more than one valley, which is interpreted as a synchronous recession of the outlet glaciers and a rapid deglaciation towards the summits. Whilst two landsystems have been mapped the second poses interesting problems regarding extent and timing of glaciation. The Loch Skene site has been traditionally associated with a small valley glacier. However, it appears to feed ice into a lower valley which exhibits a landform assemblage typical of Lateglacial deglaciation in Scotland. It is tentatively proposed that the Loch Skene glacier represents a retreat phase prior to complete deglaciation rather than the Younger Dryas maximum.

  1. Integrating terrestrial and marine records of the LGM in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: implications for grounded ice expansion, ice flow, and deglaciation of the Ross Sea Embayment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christ, A. J.; Marchant, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    During the LGM, grounded glacier ice filled the Ross Embayment and deposited glacial drift on volcanic islands and peninsulas in McMurdo Sound, as well as along coastal regions of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), including the McMurdo Dry Valleys and Royal Society Range. The flow geometry and retreat history of this ice remains debated, with contrasting views yielding divergent implications for both the fundamental cause of Antarctic ice expansion as well as the interaction and behavior of ice derived from East and West Antarctica during late Quaternary time. We present terrestrial geomorphologic evidence that enables the reconstruction of former ice elevations, ice-flow paths, and ice-marginal environments in McMurdo Sound. Radiocarbon dates of fossil algae interbedded with ice-marginal sediments provide a coherent timeline for local ice retreat. These data are integrated with marine-sediment records and multi-beam data to reconstruct late glacial dynamics of grounded ice in McMurdo Sound and the western Ross Sea. The combined dataset suggest a dominance of ice flow toward the TAM in McMurdo Sound during all phases of glaciation, with thick, grounded ice at or near its maximum extent between 19.6 and 12.3 calibrated thousands of years before present (cal. ka). Our data show no significant advance of locally derived ice from the TAM into McMurdo Sound, consistent with the assertion that Late Pleistocene expansion of grounded ice in McMurdo Sound, and throughout the wider Ross Embayment, occurs in response to lower eustatic sea level and the resulting advance of marine-based outlet glaciers and ice streams (and perhaps also reduced oceanic heat flux), rather than local increases in precipitation and ice accumulation. Finally, when combined with allied data across the wider Ross Embayment, which show that widespread deglaciation outside McMurdo Sound did not commence until 13.1 ka, the implication is that retreat of grounded glacier ice in the Ross Embayment did

  2. Late-glacial and Holocene history of changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Schaefer, J. M.; Finkel, R. C.

    2008-12-01

    Quelccaya Ice Cap in the southeastern Peruvian Andes (~13-14° S latitude) is an icon for climate change. Its rapidly receding outlet, Qori Kalis Glacier, has been monitored since the 1970's. Cores from Quelccaya Ice Cap provide high-resolution information about temperature and precipitation during the past 1,500 years. We extend the understanding of past changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap based on mapping and dating of glacial moraines and associated deposits. Our results include fifty 10Be ages of moraines and bedrock as well as twenty-nine 14C ages of organic material associated with moraines. These results form the basis of a chronology of changes in Quelccaya Ice Cap from ~16,000 yr BP to late Holocene time. Results from 10Be and 14C dating indicate that Quelccaya Ice Cap experienced a significant advance at 12,700-11,400 yr BP. Subsequent to this advance, the ice margin deposited at least three recessional moraine sets. Quelccaya Ice Cap receded to near its present-day margin by ~10,000 yr BP. Neoglacial advances began by ~3,000 yr BP and culminated with a maximum advance during the Little Ice Age. This chronology fits well with prior work which indicates a restricted Quelccaya Ice Cap during middle Holocene time. Moreover, the overlap between moraine and ice core data for the last 1,500 years provides a unique opportunity to assess the influences of temperature and precipitation on past ice cap extents.

  3. A Model of Icebergs and Sea Ice in a Joint Continuum Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    VaÅková, Irena; Holland, David M.

    2017-11-01

    The ice mélange, a mixture of sea ice and icebergs, often present in front of outlet glaciers in Greenland or ice shelves in Antarctica, can have a profound effect on the dynamics of the ice-ocean system. The current inability to numerically model the ice mélange motivates a new modeling approach proposed here. A continuum sea-ice model is taken as a starting point and icebergs are represented as thick and compact pieces of sea ice held together by large tensile and shear strength, selectively introduced into the sea-ice rheology. In order to modify the rheology correctly, an iceberg tracking procedure is implemented within a semi-Lagrangian time-stepping scheme, designed to exactly preserve iceberg shape through time. With the proposed treatment, sea ice and icebergs are considered a single fluid with spatially varying rheological properties. Mutual interactions are thus automatically included without the need for further parametrization. An important advantage of the presented framework for an ice mélange model is its potential to be easily included within sea-ice components of existing climate models.

  4. Ice loss from GrIS glaciers feeding Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord), southwest Greenland: 1985–2008–2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Motyka, Roman; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Fahnestock, Mark

    glacier Narsap Sermia (NS) has remained relatively stable at its LIA extent until quite recently. Comparison of Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) data (flown May 2011) to the 2008 DEM indicates that KNS continues to thin at rates of 1–5 m a–1 below 800 m, but has been stable at higher elevations...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weidick, Anker

    2012-12-01

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

  6. Seasonal variability of organic matter composition in an Alaskan glacier outflow: insights into glacier carbon sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spencer, Robert G M; Vermilyea, Andrew; Fellman, Jason; Hood, Eran; Raymond, Peter; Stubbins, Aron; Scott, Durelle

    2014-01-01

    Glacier ecosystems are a significant source of bioavailable, yet ancient dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Characterizing DOC in Mendenhall Glacier outflow (southeast Alaska) we document a seasonal persistence to the radiocarbon-depleted signature of DOC, highlighting ancient DOC as a ubiquitous feature of glacier outflow. We observed no systematic depletion in Δ 14 C-DOC with increasing discharge during the melt season that would suggest mobilization of an aged subglacial carbon store. However, DOC concentration, δ 13 C-DOC, Δ 14 C-DOC and fluorescence signatures appear to have been influenced by runoff from vegetated hillslopes above the glacier during onset and senescence of melt. In the peak glacier melt period, the Δ 14 C-DOC of stream samples at the outflow (−181.7 to −355.3‰) was comparable to the Δ 14 C-DOC for snow samples from the accumulation zone (−207.2 to −390.9‰), suggesting that ancient DOC from the glacier surface is exported in glacier runoff. The pre-aged DOC in glacier snow and runoff is consistent with contributions from fossil fuel combustion sources similar to those documented previously in ice cores and thus provides evidence for anthropogenic perturbation of the carbon cycle. Overall, our results emphasize the need to further characterize DOC inputs to glacier ecosystems, particularly in light of predicted changes in glacier mass and runoff in the coming century. (papers)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wendy

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

  10. Understanding Ice Shelf Basal Melting Using Convergent ICEPOD Data Sets: ROSETTA-Ice Study of Ross Ice Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, R. E.; Frearson, N.; Tinto, K. J.; Das, I.; Fricker, H. A.; Siddoway, C. S.; Padman, L.

    2017-12-01

    The future stability of the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica will be susceptible to increases in both surface and basal melt as the atmosphere and ocean warm. The ROSETTA-Ice program is targeted at using the ICEPOD airborne technology to produce new constraints on Ross Ice Shelf, the underlying ocean, bathymetry, and geologic setting, using radar sounding, gravimetry and laser altimetry. This convergent approach to studying the ice-shelf and basal processes enables us to develop an understanding of the fundamental controls on ice-shelf evolution. This work leverages the stratigraphy of the ice shelf, which is detected as individual reflectors by the shallow-ice radar and is often associated with surface scour, form close to the grounding line or pinning points on the ice shelf. Surface accumulation on the ice shelf buries these reflectors as the ice flows towards the calving front. This distinctive stratigraphy can be traced across the ice shelf for the major East Antarctic outlet glaciers and West Antarctic ice streams. Changes in the ice thickness below these reflectors are a result of strain and basal melting and freezing. Correcting the estimated thickness changes for strain using RIGGS strain measurements, we can develop decadal-resolution flowline distributions of basal melt. Close to East Antarctica elevated melt-rates (>1 m/yr) are found 60-100 km from the calving front. On the West Antarctic side high melt rates primarily develop within 10 km of the calving front. The East Antarctic side of Ross Ice Shelf is dominated by melt driven by saline water masses that develop in Ross Sea polynyas, while the melting on the West Antarctic side next to Hayes Bank is associated with modified Continental Deep Water transported along the continental shelf. The two sides of Ross Ice Shelf experience differing basal melt in part due to the duality in the underlying geologic structure: the East Antarctic side consists of relatively dense crust, with low amplitude

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. The Distribution of Basal Water Beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet from Radio-Echo Sounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, T.; Williams, C.; Schroeder, D. M.; Martos, Y. M.; Cooper, M.; Siegert, M. J.; Paden, J. D.; Huybrechts, P.; Bamber, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    There is widespread, but often indirect, evidence that a significant fraction of the Greenland Ice Sheet is thawed at the bed. This includes major outlet glaciers and around the NorthGRIP ice-core in the interior. However, the ice-sheet-wide distribution of basal water is poorly constrained by existing observations, and the spatial relationship between basal water and other ice-sheet and subglacial properties is therefore largely unexplored. In principle, airborne radio-echo sounding (RES) surveys provide the necessary information and spatial coverage to infer the presence of basal water at the ice-sheet scale. However, due to uncertainty and spatial variation in radar signal attenuation, the commonly used water diagnostic, bed-echo reflectivity, is highly ambiguous and prone to spatial bias. Here we introduce a new RES diagnostic for the presence of basal water which incorporates both sharp step-transitions and rapid fluctuations in bed-echo reflectivity. This has the advantage of being (near) independent of attenuation model, and enables a decade of recent Operation Ice Bride RES survey data to be combined in a single map for basal water. The ice-sheet-wide water predictions are compared with: bed topography and drainage network structure, existing knowledge of the thermal state and geothermal heat flux, and ice velocity. In addition to the fast flowing ice-sheet margins, we also demonstrate widespread water routing and storage in parts of the slow-flowing northern interior. Notably, this includes a quasi-linear `corridor' of basal water, extending from NorthGRIP to Petermann glacier, which spatially correlates with a region of locally high (magnetic-derived) geothermal heat flux. The predicted water distribution places a new constraint upon the basal thermal state of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and could be used as an input for ice-sheet model simulations.

  15. Climatic implications of glacial evolution in the Tröllaskagi peninsula (northern Iceland) since the Little Ice Age maximum. The cases of the Gljúfurárjökull and Tungnahryggsjökull glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Fernández, José M.; Andrés, Nuria; Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Sæmundsson, Þorsteinn; Palacios, David

    2017-04-01

    The Tröllaskagi peninsula is located in northern Iceland, between meridians 19°30'W and 18°10'W, jutting out into the North Atlantic to latitude 66°12'N and joining the central highlands to the south. About 150 glaciers located on the Tröllaskagi peninsula reached their Holocene maximum extent during the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum at the end of the 19th century. The sudden warming at the turn of the 20th century triggered a continuous retreat from the LIA maximum positions, interrupted by a reversal trend during the mid-seventies and eighties in response to a brief period of climate cooling. The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationships between glacial and climatic evolution since the LIA maximum. For this reason, we selected three small debris-free glaciers: Gljúfurárjökull, and western and eastern Tungnahryggsjökull, at the headwalls of Skíðadalur and Kolbeinsdalur, as their absence of debris cover makes them sensitive to climatic fluctuations. To achieve this purpose, we used ArcGIS to map the glacier extent during the LIA maximum and several dates over four georeferenced aerial photos (1946, 1985, 1994 and 2000), as well as a 2005 SPOT satellite image. Then, the Equilibrium-Line Altitude (ELA) was calculated by applying the Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR) and Area Altitude Balance Ratio (AABR) approaches. Climatological data series from the nearby weather stations were used in order to analyze climate development and to estimate precipitation at the ELA with different numerical models. Our results show considerable changes of the three debris-free glaciers and demonstrates their sensitivity to climatic fluctuations. As a result of the abrupt climatic transition of the 20th century, the following warm 25-year period and the warming started in the late eighties, the three glaciers retreated by ca. 990-1330 m from the LIA maximum to 2005, supported by a 40-metre ELA rise and a reduction of their area and volume of 25% and 33% on average

  16. Multi-Decadal Averages of Basal Melt for Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica Using Airborne Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, I.; Bell, R. E.; Tinto, K. J.; Frearson, N.; Kingslake, J.; Padman, L.; Siddoway, C. S.; Fricker, H. A.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ice shelf mass balance are key to the long term stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Although the most extensive ice shelf mass loss currently is occurring in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, many other ice shelves experience changes in thickness on time scales from annual to ice age cycles. Here, we focus on the Ross Ice Shelf. An 18-year record (1994-2012) of satellite radar altimetry shows substantial variability in Ross Ice Shelf height on interannual time scales, complicating detection of potential long-term climate-change signals in the mass budget of this ice shelf. Variability of radar signal penetration into the ice-shelf surface snow and firn layers further complicates assessment of mass changes. We investigate Ross Ice Shelf mass balance using aerogeophysical data from the ROSETTA-Ice surveys using IcePod. We use two ice-penetrating radars; a 2 GHz unit that images fine-structure in the upper 400 m of the ice surface and a 360 MHz radar to identify the ice shelf base. We have identified internal layers that are continuous along flow from the grounding line to the ice shelf front. Based on layer continuity, we conclude that these layers must be the horizons between the continental ice of the outlet glaciers and snow accumulation once the ice is afloat. We use the Lagrangian change in thickness of these layers, after correcting for strain rates derived using modern day InSAR velocities, to estimate multidecadal averaged basal melt rates. This method provides a novel way to quantify basal melt, avoiding the confounding impacts of spatial and short-timescale variability in surface accumulation and firn densification processes. Our estimates show elevated basal melt rates (> -1m/yr) around Byrd and Mullock glaciers within 100 km from the ice shelf front. We also compare modern InSAR velocity derived strain rates with estimates from the comprehensive ground-based RIGGS observations during 1973-1978 to estimate the potential magnitude of

  17. 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.

  18. Tidal bending of glaciers: a linear viscoelastic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels; Christensen, Erik Lintz; Mayer, Christoph

    2003-01-01

    In theoretical treatments of tidal bending of floating glaciers, the glacier is usually modelled as an elastic beam with uniform thickness, resting on an elastic foundation. With a few exceptions, values of the elastic (Young's) modulus E of ice derived from tidal deflection records of floating...

  19. Irreversible mass loss of Canadian Arctic Archipelago glaciers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenaerts, J.T.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314850163; van Angelen, J.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325922470; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; Gardner, A.S.; Wouters, Bert|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304120146; van Meijgaard, E.

    2013-01-01

    The Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) contains the largest volume of glacier ice on Earth outside of Antarctica and Greenland. In the absence of significant calving, CAA glacier mass balance is governed by the difference between surface snow accumulation and meltwater runoff—surface mass balance.

  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. Observed thinning of Totten Glacier is linked to coastal polynya variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khazendar, A.; Schodlok, M.P.; Fenty, I.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Rignot, Eric; van den Broeke, M.R.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of ICESat-1 data (2003–2008) shows significant surface lowering of Totten Glacier, the glacier discharging the largest volume of ice in East Antarctica, and less change on nearby Moscow University Glacier. After accounting for firn compaction anomalies, the thinning appears to coincide with

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miles, Evan Stewart; Steiner, Jakob|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/119338653; Willis, Ian C.; Buri, Pascal; Immerzeel, Walter Willem|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/290472113; Chesnokova, Anna; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    The hydrological systems of heavily-downwasted debris-covered glaciers differ from clean-ice glaciers due to the hummocky surface and debris mantle of such glaciers, leading to a relatively limited understanding of drainage pathways. Supraglacial ponds represent sinks within the discontinuous

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, S.L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2003-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  6. 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

  7. AIR TEMPERATURE, RELATIVE HUMIDITY, and others collected from Automatic Weather Station installed on rock outcrop in Helheim Glacier Ice Front from 2009-08-11 to 2016-02-20 (NCEI Accession 0148759)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Helheim Glacier was observed to retreat and speed up during the mid 2000s. One possible cause of the change in glacier behavior could be due to changes in...

  8. AIR TEMPERATURE, RELATIVE HUMIDITY, and others collected from Automatic Weather Station installed on rock outcrop in Jakobshavn Glacier Ice Front from 2007-10-13 to 2016-02-14 (NCEI Accession 0148760)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Jakobshavn Glacier was observed to retreat and speed up during the late 1990s and early 2000s. One possible cause of the change in glacier behavior could be due...

  9. Ocean tides modulation of flow at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, observed using GPS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Juan, Julia; Elosegui, P.; Nettles, M.

    Observations at high spatial and temporal resolution could be key for improving our understanding of the physical processes that govern outlet-glacier flow variations. We collected simultaneous high-rate GPS observations at several locations distributed along and across Helheim Glacier, East...

  10. 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

  11. Measuring Surface Deformation in Glacier Retreated Areas Based on Ps-Insar - Geladandong Glacier as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamadi, B.; Balz, T.

    2018-04-01

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

  12. Basal friction evolution and crevasse distribution during the surge of Basin 3, Austfonna ice-cap - offline coupling between a continuum ice dynamic model and a discrete element model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Yongmei; Zwinger, Thomas; Åström, Jan; Gladstone, Rupert; Schellenberger, Thomas; Altena, Bas; Moore, John

    2017-04-01

    The outlet glacier at Basin 3, Austfonna ice-cap entered its active surge phase in autumn 2012. We assess the evolution of the basal friction during the surge through inverse modelling of basal friction coefficients using recent velocity observation from 2012 to 2014 in a continuum ice dynamic model Elmer/ice. The obtained basal friction coefficient distributions at different time instances are further used as a boundary condition in a discrete element model (HiDEM) that is capable of computing fracturing of ice. The inverted basal friction coefficient evolution shows a gradual 'unplugging' of the stagnant frontal area and northwards and inland expansion of the fast flowing region in the southern basin. The validation between the modeled crevasses distribution and the satellite observation in August 2013 shows a good agreement in shear zones inland and at the frontal area. Crevasse distributions of the summer before and after the glacier reached its maximum velocity in January 2013 (August 2012 and August 2014, respectively) are also evaluated. Previous studies suggest the triggering and development of the surge are linked to surface melt water penetrating through ice to form an efficient basal hydrology system thereby triggering a hydro- thermodynamic feedback. This preliminary offline coupling between a continuum ice dynamic model and a discrete element model will give a hint on future model development of linking supra-glacial to sub-glacial hydrology system.

  13. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W McNabb

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

  15. Mapping tide-water glacier dynamics in east Greenland using landsat data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, John L.

    1995-01-01

    Landsat multispectral scanner and thematic mapper images were co-registered For the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord region in East Greenland and were used to map glacier drainage-basin areas, changes in the positions of tide-water glacier termini and to estimate surface velocities of the larger tide-water glaciers. Statistics were compiled to document distance and area changes to glacier termini. The methodologies developed in this study are broadly applicable to the investigation of tide-water glaciers in other areas. The number of images available for consecutive years and the accuracy with which images are co-registered are key factors that influence the degree to which regional glacier dynamics can be characterized using remotely sensed data.Three domains of glacier state were interpreted: net increase in terminus area in the southern part of the study area, net loss of terminus area for glaciers in upper Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord and a slight loss of glacier terminus area northward from Ryberg Fjord. Local increases in the concentrations of drifting icebergs in the fjords coincide with the observed extension of glacier termini positions Ice-surface velocity estimates were derived for several glaciers using automated image cross-correlation techniques The velocity determined for Kangerdlugssuaq Gletscher is approximately 5.0 km a−1 and that for Kong Christian IV Gletscher is 0.9 km a−1. The continuous presence of icebergs and brash ice in front of these glaciers indicates sustained rates of ice-front calving.

  16. An ice sheet model validation framework for the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephen F.; Hoffman, Matthew J.; Bonin, Jennifer A.; Howat, Ian M.; Neumann, Thomas; Saba, Jack; Tezaur, Irina; Guerber, Jeffrey; Chambers, Don P.; Evans, Katherine J.; Kennedy, Joseph H.; Lenaerts, Jan; Lipscomb, William H.; Perego, Mauro; Salinger, Andrew G.; Tuminaro, Raymond S.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Nowicki, Sophie M. J.

    2017-01-01

    We propose a new ice sheet model validation framework - the Cryospheric Model Comparison Tool (CmCt) - that takes advantage of ice sheet altimetry and gravimetry observations collected over the past several decades and is applied here to modeling of the Greenland ice sheet. We use realistic simulations performed with the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM) along with two idealized, non-dynamic models to demonstrate the framework and its use. Dynamic simulations with CISM are forced from 1991 to 2013, using combinations of reanalysis-based surface mass balance and observations of outlet glacier flux change. We propose and demonstrate qualitative and quantitative metrics for use in evaluating the different model simulations against the observations. We find that the altimetry observations used here are largely ambiguous in terms of their ability to distinguish one simulation from another. Based on basin-scale and whole-ice-sheet-scale metrics, we find that simulations using both idealized conceptual models and dynamic, numerical models provide an equally reasonable representation of the ice sheet surface (mean elevation differences of framework demonstrates that our proposed metrics can distinguish relatively better from relatively worse simulations and that dynamic ice sheet models, when appropriately initialized and forced with the right boundary conditions, demonstrate a predictive skill with respect to observed dynamic changes that have occurred on Greenland over the past few decades. An extensible design will allow for continued use of the CmCt as future altimetry, gravimetry, and other remotely sensed data become available for use in ice sheet model validation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Correlation of Greenland ice-core isotope profiles and the terrestrial record of the Alpine Rhine glacier for the period 32-15 ka

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, M.G.G.; de Graaff, L.W.S.; Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Böhm, A.R.

    2011-01-01

    We present a newly extended stratigraphic subdivision of the Greenland NGRIP, GRIP and GISP2 ice cores for the period 32-15 ka. Our classification emphasizes the multiscale nature of the climatic oscillations. Spectral trend analysis of isotopic data supports this interpretation. We compare this

  19. Three-dimensional glacier surface motion maps at the Gjalp eruption site, Iceland, inferred from combining InSAR and other ice-displacement data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gudmundsson, S.; Gudmundsson, M. T.; Bjornsson, H.

    2002-01-01

    be assumed. The 3-D motion maps are created by an optimization process that combines the complementary datasets. The optimization is based on a Markov random-field regularization and a simulated annealing algorithm. The 3-D motion maps show the pattern of gradually diminishing ice flow into the depression...

  20. Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact approximate to 12,800 Years Ago. 1. Ice Cores and Glaciers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wolbach, W. S.; Ballard, J. P.; Mayewski, P. A.; Adedeji, V.; Bunch, T. E.; Firestone, R. B.; French, T. A.; Howard, G. A.; Israde-Alcántara, I.; Johnson, J. R.; Kimbel, D. R.; Kinzie, Ch. R.; Kurbatov, A.; Kletetschka, Günther; LeCompte, M. A.; Mahaney, W. C.; Mellot, A. L.; Maiorana-Boutilier, A.; Mitra, S.; Moore, Ch. R.; Napier, W. M.; Parlier, J.; Tankersley, K. B.; Thomas, B. C.; Wittke, J. H.; West, A.; Kennett, J. P.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 126, č. 2 (2018), s. 165-184 ISSN 0022-1376 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : biomass burning * comet * deposition * ice core * impact * mass extinction * paleoclimate * paleoenvironment * platinum * trigger mechanism * wildfire * winter * Younger Dryas Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 1.952, year: 2016

  1. Constraints on ice volume changes of the WAIS and Ross Ice Shelf since the LGM based on cosmogenic exposure ages in the Darwin-Hatherton glacial system of the Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, David; Storey, Bryan; Hood, David; Joy, Kurt; Shulmeister, James

    2010-05-01

    Quantitative assessment of the spatial and temporal scale of ice volume change of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) and Ross Ice Shelf since the last glacial maximum (LGM) ~20 ka is essential to accurately predict ice sheet response to current and future climate change. Although global sea level rose by approximately 120 metres since the LGM, the contribution of polar ice sheets is uncertain and the timing of any such contribution is controversial. Mackintosh et al (2007) suggest that sectors of the EAIS, similar to those studied at Framnes Mountains where the ice sheet slowly calves at coastal margins, have made marginal contributions to global sea-level rise between 13 and 7 ka. In contrast, Stone et al (2003) document continuing WAIS decay during the mid-late Holocene, raising the question of what was the response of the WAIS since LGM and into the Holocene. Terrestrial evidence is restricted to sparse coastal oasis and ice free mountains which archive limits of former ice advances. Mountain ranges flanking the Darwin-Hatherton glaciers exhibit well-defined moraines, weathering signatures, boulder rich plateaus and glacial tills, which preserve the evidence of advance and retreat of the ice sheet during previous glacial cycles. Previous studies suggest a WAIS at the LGM in this location to be at least 1,000 meters thicker than today. As part of the New Zealand Latitudinal Gradient Project along the Transantarctic, we collected samples for cosmogenic exposure dating at a) Lake Wellman area bordering the Hatherton Glacier, (b) Roadend Nunatak at the confluence of the Darwin and Hatherton glaciers and (c) Diamond Hill which is positioned at the intersection of the Ross Ice Shelf and Darwin Glacier outlet. While the technique of exposure dating is very successful in mid-latitude alpine glacier systems, it is more challenging in polar ice-sheet regions due to the prevalence of cold-based ice over-riding events and absence of outwash processes which removes

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Airborne Laser Altimetry Mapping of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Application to Mass Balance Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.

    2000-01-01

    In 1998 and '99, the Arctic Ice Mapping (AIM) program completed resurveys of lines occupied 5 years earlier revealing elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet and identifying areas of significant thinning, thickening and balance. In planning these surveys, consideration had to be given to the spatial constraints associated with aircraft operation, the spatial nature of ice sheet behavior, and limited resources, as well as temporal issues, such as seasonal and interannual variability in the context of measurement accuracy. This paper examines the extent to which the sampling and survey strategy is valid for drawing conclusions on the current state of balance of the Greenland ice sheet. The surveys covered the entire ice sheet with an average distance of 21.4 km between each location on the ice sheet and the nearest flight line. For most of the ice sheet, the elevation changes show relatively little spatial variability, and their magnitudes are significantly smaller than the observed elevation change signal. As a result, we conclude that the density of the sampling and the accuracy of the measurements are sufficient to draw meaningful conclusions on the state of balance of the entire ice sheet over the five-year survey period. Outlet glaciers, however, show far more spatial and temporal variability, and each of the major ones is likely to require individual surveys in order to determine its balance.

  7. The evolution of the western rift area of the Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Humbert

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper studies the evolution of a zone in the Fimbul Ice Shelf that is characterised by large crevasses and rifts west of Jutulstraumen, an outlet glacier flowing into Fimbulisen. High-resolution radar imagery and radio echo sounding data were used to study the surface and internal structure of this rift area and to define zones of similar characteristics. The western rift area is dominated by two factors: a small ice rumple that leads to basal crevasses and disturbs the homogeneity of the ice, and a zone with fibre-like blocks. Downstream of the rumple we found down-welling of internal layers and local thinning, which we explain as a result of basal crevasses due to the basal drag at the ice rumple. North of Ahlmannryggen the ice loses its lateral constraint and forms individual blocks, which are deformed like fibres under shear, where the ice stream merges with slower moving ice masses of the western side. There, the ice loses its integrity, which initiates the western rift system. The velocity difference between the slow moving western part and the fast moving extension of Jutulstraumen produces shear stress that causes the rifts to form tails and expand them to the major rifts of up to 30 km length.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bindschadler

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet – the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary – are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74 % abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19 % is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7 % of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from ±52 m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to ±502 m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma uncertainties of surface elevations of ±3.6, ±9.6, ±11.4, ±30 and ±100 m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2 ± 71.3 m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line

  11. Getting around Antarctica: New High-Resolution Mappings of the Grounded and Freely-Floating Boundaries of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Created for the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindschadler, R.; Choi, H.; Wichlacz, A.; Bingham, R.; Bohlander, J.; Brunt, K.; Corr, H.; Drews, R.; Fricker, H.; Hall, M.; hide

    2011-01-01

    Two ice-dynamic transitions of the Antarctic ice sheet - the boundary of grounded ice features and the freely-floating boundary - are mapped at 15-m resolution by participants of the International Polar Year project ASAID using customized software combining Landsat-7 imagery and ICESat/GLAS laser altimetry. The grounded ice boundary is 53 610 km long; 74% abuts to floating ice shelves or outlet glaciers, 19% is adjacent to open or sea-ice covered ocean, and 7% of the boundary ice terminates on land. The freely-floating boundary, called here the hydrostatic line, is the most landward position on ice shelves that expresses the full amplitude of oscillating ocean tides. It extends 27 521 km and is discontinuous. Positional (one-sigma) accuracies of the grounded ice boundary vary an order of magnitude ranging from +/- 52m for the land and open-ocean terminating segments to +/- 502m for the outlet glaciers. The hydrostatic line is less well positioned with errors over 2 km. Elevations along each line are selected from 6 candidate digital elevation models based on their agreement with ICESat elevation values and surface shape inferred from the Landsat imagery. Elevations along the hydrostatic line are converted to ice thicknesses by applying a firn-correction factor and a flotation criterion. BEDMAP-compiled data and other airborne data are compared to the ASAID elevations and ice thicknesses to arrive at quantitative (one-sigma) uncertainties of surface elevations of +/-3.6, +/-9.6, +/-11.4, +/-30 and +/-100m for five ASAID-assigned confidence levels. Over one-half of the surface elevations along the grounded ice boundary and over one-third of the hydrostatic line elevations are ranked in the highest two confidence categories. A comparison between ASAID-calculated ice shelf thicknesses and BEDMAP-compiled data indicate a thin-ice bias of 41.2+/-71.3m for the ASAID ice thicknesses. The relationship between the seaward offset of the hydrostatic line from the grounded ice

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Investigating the Equatorial Gaps in Snowball Earth Sea Glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeh, N.

    1984-01-01

    Mass balance equation for glaciers; areal distribution and ice volumes; estimates of actual mass balance; loss by calving of icebergs; hydrological budget for Greenland; and temporal variations of Greenland mass balance are examined.

  16. 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)

  17. 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...

  18. World Glacier Inventory

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The World Glacier Inventory (WGI) contains information for over 130,000 glaciers. Inventory parameters include geographic location, area, length, orientation,...

  19. 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

  20. Changes in ice dynamics and mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes.

  1. 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.

  2. Dendrochronology and late Holocene history of Bering piedmont glacier, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiles, G.C.; Post, A.; Muller, E.H.; Molnia, B.F.

    1999-01-01

    Fluctuations of the piedmont lobe of Bering Glacier and its sublobe Steller Glacier over the past two millennia are reconstructed using 34 radiocarbon dates and tree-ring data from 16 sites across the glaciers' forelands. The general sequence of glacial activity is consistent with well-dated fluctuations of tidewater and land-terminating glaciers elsewhere along the Gulf of Alaska. Extensive forested areas along 25 km of the Bering ice margin were inundated by glacio-lacustrine and glacio-fluvial sediments during a probable ice advance shortly before 500 cal yr A.D. Regrowth of forests followed the retreating ice as early as the 7th century A.D., with frequent interruptions of tree growth due to outwash aggradation. Forests overrun by ice and buried in outwash indicate readvance about 1080 cal yr A.D. Retreat followed, with ice-free conditions maintained along the distal portions of the forefield until the early 17th century after which the ice advanced to within a few kilometers of its outer Neoglacial moraine. Ice reached this position after the mid-17th century and prior to 200 yr ago. Since the early 20th century, glacial retreat has been punctuated by periodic surges. The record from forests overrun by the nonsurging Steller Lobe shows that this western ice margin was advancing by 1250 A.D., reaching near its outer moraine after 1420 cal yr A.D. Since the late 19th century, the lobe has dominantly retreated.

  3. 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....

  4. 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

  5. Geoologic controls on the architecture of the Antarctic Ice Sheet's basal interface: New results from West and East Antarctica from long range geophysics (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, D. A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Richter, T.; Aitken, A.; Siegert, M. J.; Roberts, J. L.

    2013-12-01

    The ice-rock interface underlying the Antarctic Ice Sheet was shaped by interactions between underlying gondwanan geology and the overlying ice sheet. The ice sheet now preserves from sedimentary infill an incredibly rugged terrain which now plays a critical role in shaping subglacial hydrology, and thus shape ice sheet behavior. This terrain can by imaged through aerogeophysical means, in particular through ice penetrating radar, while airborne potential fields measurements provide insight into the geological framework that controlled erosion. Over the post IPY era, the density of airborne coverage is only now reaching the point where small scale structure can be identified and placed in context. Of particular importance is understanding the formation of focused erosional valleys, 30-50 km wide, representing now buried subglacial fjords. After initial data from the GIMBLE project in West Antarctica, and five years of sustained long range ICECAP surveys over East Antarctica , we now have a better view of the diversity of these features. The local erosion of these valleys, often cutting through significant topographic barriers, irregularly samples the underlying geology, provided a complex story in the sediment to the Antarctic margin. These valleys now provide the subglacial conduits for significant ice sheet catchments, in particular for subglacial water, including the inland catchments of DeVicq, Thwaites, and Pine Island Glaciers in West Antarctica, and Denman Glacier, Totten Glacier, Byrd Glacier and Cook Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. We find that these features, now sometimes hundreds of kilometers inland of the modern grounding line, often nucleate on or are aligned with structure inherited from the assembly of the Antarctic continent. While many of these features currently host active outlet glaciers or their tributaries, some do not, implying avenues for ice sheet change. In West Antarctica, we find a new deep connection between the coast and interior basin

  6. Towards an assessment of the balance state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boeggild, C.E.; Mayer, C.; Podlech, S.; Taurisano, A.; Nielsen, S.

    2004-07-01

    The climate of Europe is strongly influenced by heat transport by ocean currents flowing from equatorial regions towards the Arctic. During recent years, research has been increasingly focused on factors affecting this circulation, e.g. the freshwater budget of the Arctic that is influenced by glacial melt water from north and East Greenland outlet glaciers. Furthermore, the climate is affected by snow cover, which, apart from its contribution to the freshwater budget, provides feedback effects in that it reflects most of the solar radiation. Apart from Arctic sea-ice cover, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest permanent ice- and snow-covered area in the northern hemisphere, with an area of 1.67 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} and by far the largest storage of ice with a volume of 2.93 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 3}. Most of the mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet occurs in the marginal region of the ice sheet, which is also the area where the largest changes in albedo occur. The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) has for many years carried out research along the Greenland Ice Sheet margin to monitor changes of mass balance and melt conditions. (BA)

  7. Recent Greenland Thinning from Operation IceBridge ATM and LVIS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutterley, T. C.; Velicogna, I.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate regional thinning rates in Greenland using two Operation IceBridge lidar instruments, the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). IceBridge and Pre-IceBridge ATM data are available from 1993 to present and IceBridge and Pre-Icebridge LVIS data are available from 2007 to present. We compare different techniques for combining the two datasets: overlapping footprints, triangulated irregular network meshing and radial basis functions. We validate the combination for periods with near term overlap of the two instruments. By combining the two lidar datasets, we are able to investigate intra-annual, annual, interannual surface elevation change. We investigate both the high melt season of 2012 and the low melt season of 2013. In addition, the major 2015 IceBridge Arctic campaign provides new crucial data for determining seasonal ice sheet thinning rates. We compare our LVIS/ATM results with surface mass balance outputs from two regional climate models: the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO) and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR). We also investigate the thinning rates of major outlet glaciers.

  8. 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...

  9. Dynamic interactions between glacier and glacial lake in the Bhutan Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutaki, S.; Fujita, K.; Yamaguchi, S.; Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Komori, J.; Takenaka, S.; Tshering, P.

    2012-04-01

    A number of supraglacial lakes formed on the termini of debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya as a result of glacier retreat due to climate change. The terminal part of the lake-terminating glaciers flow faster than that of the land-terminating glaciers because the basal ice motion is enhanced by high subglacial water pressure generated by lake water. Increased ice flux caused by the accelerated glacier flow could be dissipated through the calving process which reduced the glacier thickness. It is important to understand the interaction between lake formation and glacier dynamics. Although glacier flow velocity has been measured by remote-sensing analysis in several regions of the Himalayas, glacier thinning rates have not been observed by neither in-situ nor remote-sensing approaches. The lack of field data raises limitation to interpretations for glacier dynamics. We investigate the influence of the presence/absence of glacial lakes on glacier dynamics and changes in surface elevation. We study two debris-covered glaciers in the Lunana region, the Bhutan Himalaya. Thorthormi Glacier is a land-terminating glacier with some supraglacial lakes while Lugge Glacier is a lake-terminating glaciers. We surveyed the surface elevation of debris-covered areas of the two glaciers in 2004 and 2011 by a differential GPS. Change in surface elevation of the lake-terminating Lugge Glacier (-5.4--2.4 m yr-1) was much more negative than that of the land-terminating Thorthormi Glacier (-3.3-0.6 m yr-1). Surface flow speed of the Thorthormi Glacier measured during 2002-2004 was faster in the upper reaches (~90 m yr-1) and reduced toward the downstream (40 m yr-1). In contrast, the surface flow speed at the Lugge Glacier measured in the same periods was 40-55 m yr-1 and the greatest at the lower most part. Observed spatial distribution of surface flow velocity at both glaciers were evaluated by a two-dimensional numerical flow model. Calculated emergence velocities are 1

  10. 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

  11. Sledovi pleistocenske poledenitve Stare Galičice, Makedonija = Remmants of Pleistocene glaciation on Stara Galičica Mountain, Macedonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uroš Stepišnik

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Stara Galičica Mountain was highly reshaped by glacial processes during the Pleistocene.Based on the detailed morphographical mapping of glacial features, the extent ofglaciation was determined as being far larger than described in previous references. The innerpart of the massif was covered with an ice-cap from where outlet glaciers were flowingout. On the basis of morphometrical analysis of glacial features, the altitude of the glacierequilibrium line during the Last Glacial Maximum was established at 1840 m a.s.l.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Glaciers of Avacha group of volcanoes in Neoholocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Manevich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of moraines at the Avacha volcano group revealed that glaciers changes at all volcanoes within the group happened almost synchronously. Glacial deposits could be grouped into three generations, corresponding to three periods of glacier fluctuations in Neoholocene. The largest glaciation within the group occurred ~2000 years ago. Fragments of moraine, corresponding to that period were found only in the moraine complex of the Ditmar Glacier which was 15% larger then today at that time. The most of moraines at the Avacha volcano group were formed during the Little Ice Age, which in the studied region continued up to the first decades of XX centuries. The maximal advance of glaciers probably happened in XVII century. The moraine corresponding to that period was found at the Kozelsky Glacier valley. At present time the total area of glaciers which moraines were described and dated approaches 21.46  km2. The area of reconstructed moraines corresponding to the Little Ice Age is estimated to be 2.79 km2, therefore at that period the total glaciation area reaches 24,25 км2 exceeding the present area by 13%. It could be claimed that in general during the time past the Little Ice Age the glaciation nature and glacier types did not change sufficiently. The rate of glacier degradation at various parts of the group is different and depends mainly on exposition. At the valleys of four glaciers we found moraines formed in the middle of XX century. They may appear in 1941–1952 when the unfavorable weather conditions leaded to stable negative anomalies in accumulation have happened.

  15. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. AGU hydrology publication outlets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeze, R. Allan

    In recent months I have been approached on several occasions by members of the hydrology community who asked me which of the various AGU journals and publishing outlets would be most suitable for a particular paper or article that they have prepared.Water Resources Research (WRR) is the primary AGU outlet for research papers in hydrology. It is an interdisciplinary journal that integrates research in the social and natural sciences of water. The editors of WRR invite original contributions in the physical, chemical and biological sciences and also in the social and policy sciences, including economics, systems analysis, sociology, and law. The editor for the physical sciences side of the journal is Donald R. Nielson, LAWR Veihmeyer Hall, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616. The editor for the policy sciences side of the journal is Ronald G. Cummings, Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131

  18. Rock Glacier Response to Climate Change in the Argentinian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewes, J.; Korup, O.; Moreiras, S.

    2017-12-01

    Rock glaciers are bodies of frozen debris and ice that move under the influence of gravity in permafrost areas. Rock glaciers may store a large amount of sediments and play an important role as prime movers of debris in the Andean sediment cascade. However, little is known about how much sediment and water rock glaciers may store at the mountain-belt scale, and the few existing estimates vary considerably. We address this question for the Argentinian Andes, for which a new glacial inventory containing more than 6500 rock glaciers gives us the opportunity to analyse their relevance within the sediment cascade. We examine the inventory for catchments in five sub-regions, i.e. the Desert Andes (22°-31°S); the Central Andes (31°-36°S); the Northern Andes of Patagonia (36°-45°S); the Southern Andes of Patagonia (45°-52°S); and Tierra del Fuego (52°-55°S), together with climate variables of the WorldClim datasets, and digital topographic data, to estimate how rock-glacier extents may change under different past and future climate scenarios. We observe for the northern Desert Andes that rock glacier toes are at 4000 to 5000 m a.s.l. and a mean annual temperature range of 3° and 8°C, though most rock glaciers are in areas with mean annual temperatures between -5 and 5°C, marking a distinct thermal niche. Rock glaciers are traditionally viewed as diagnostic of sporadic alpine permafrost and their toes are often near the annual mean 0°C isotherm. However, we find that only rock glaciers in the southern Desert Andes and Central Andes are located where annual mean temperature is -2°C. Future scenarios project an increase of > four degrees in these areas, which may further degrade ground ice and potentially change the rates at which rock glaciers advance. Where active rock glaciers become inactive their coarse material, which was formerly bound by ice, may be released into the sediment cascade, whereas accelerating or rapidly downwasting rock glaciers may either

  19. Geographic Names of Iceland's Glaciers: Historic and Modern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurðsson, Oddur; Williams, Richard S.

    2008-01-01

    Climatic changes and resulting glacier fluctuations alter landscapes. In the past, such changes were noted by local residents who often documented them in historic annals; eventually, glacier variations were recorded on maps and scientific reports. In Iceland, 10 glacier place-names are to be found in Icelandic sagas, and one of Iceland's ice caps, Snaefellsjokull, appeared on maps of Iceland published in the 16th century. In the late 17th century, the first description of eight of Iceland's glaciers was written. Therefore, Iceland distinguishes itself in having a more than 300-year history of observations by Icelanders on its glaciers. A long-term collaboration between Oddur Sigurdsson and Richard S. Williams, Jr., led to the authorship of three books on the glaciers of Iceland. Much effort has been devoted to documenting historical glacier research and related nomenclature and to physical descriptions of Icelandic glaciers by Icelanders and other scientists from as far back as the Saga Age to recent (2008) times. The first book, Icelandic Ice Mountains, was published by the Icelandic Literary Society in 2004 in cooperation with the Icelandic Glaciological Society and the International Glaciological Society. Icelandic Ice Mountains was a glacier treatise written by Sveinn Palsson in 1795 and is the first English translation of this important scientific document. Icelandic Ice Mountains includes a Preface, including a summary of the history and facsimiles of page(s) from the original manuscript, a handwritten copy, and an 1815 manuscript (without maps and drawings) by Sveinn Palsson on the same subject which he wrote for Rev. Ebenezer Henderson; an Editor's Introduction; 82 figures, including facsimiles of Sveinn Palsson's original maps and perspective drawings, maps, and photographs to illustrate the text; a comprehensive Index of Geographic Place-Names and Other Names in the treatise; References, and 415 Endnotes. Professional Paper 1746 (this book) is the second

  20. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  2. Seasonal dynamic thinning at Helheim Glacier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Data assimilation of surface altimetry on the North-Easter Ice Stream using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larour, Eric; Utke, Jean; Morlighem, Mathieu; Seroussi, Helene; Csatho, Beata; Schenk, Anton; Rignot, Eric; Khazendar, Ala

    2014-05-01

    Extensive surface altimetry data has been collected on polar ice sheets over the past decades, following missions such as Envisat and IceSat. This data record will further increase in size with the new CryoSat mission, the ongoing Operation IceBridge Mission and the soon to launch IceSat-2 mission. In order to make the best use of these dataset, ice flow models need to improve on the way they ingest surface altimetry to infer: 1) parameterizations of poorly known physical processes such as basal friction; 2) boundary conditions such as Surface Mass Balance (SMB). Ad-hoc sensitivity studies and adjoint-based inversions have so far been the way ice sheet models have attempted to resolve the impact of 1) on their results. As for boundary conditions or the lack thereof, most studies assume that they are a fixed quantity, which, though prone to large errors from the measurement itself, is not varied according to the simulated results. Here, we propose a method based on automatic differentiation to improve boundary conditions at the base and surface of the ice sheet during a short-term transient run for which surface altimetry observations are available. The method relies on minimizing a cost-function, the best fit between modeled surface evolution and surface altimetry observations, using gradients that are computed for each time step from automatic differentiation of the ISSM (Ice Sheet System Model) code. The approach relies on overloaded operators using the ADOLC (Automatic Differentiation by OverLoading in C++) package. It is applied to the 79 North Glacier, Greenland, for a short term transient spanning a couple of decades before the start of the retreat of the Zachariae Isstrom outlet glacier. Our results show adjustments required on the basal friction and the SMB of the whole basin to best fit surface altimetry observations, along with sensitivities each one of these parameters has on the overall cost function. Our approach presents a pathway towards assimilating

  4. The retreat of the world's mountain glaciers during recent decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francou, B.; Vincent, Ch.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Debris thickness patterns on debris-covered glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2018-06-01

    Many debris-covered glaciers have broadly similar debris thickness patterns: surface debris thickens and tends to transition from convex- to concave-up-down glacier. We explain this pattern using theory (analytical and numerical models) paired with empirical observations. Down glacier debris thickening results from the conveyor-belt-like nature of the glacier surface in the ablation zone (debris can typically only be added but not removed) and from the inevitable decline in ice surface velocity toward the terminus. Down-glacier thickening of debris leads to the reduction of sub-debris melt and debris emergence toward the terminus. Convex-up debris thickness patterns occur near the up-glacier end of debris covers where debris emergence dominates (ablation controlled). Concave-up debris thickness patterns occur toward glacier termini where declining surface velocities dominate (velocity controlled). A convex-concave debris thickness profile inevitably results from the transition between ablation-control and velocity-control down-glacier. Debris thickness patterns deviating from this longitudinal shape are most likely caused by changes in hillslope debris supply through time. By establishing this expected debris thickness pattern, the effects of climate change on debris cover can be better identified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Mohamadi

    2018-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Changes in the Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a Warming Climate During 2003-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Luthcke, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from ICESat and GRACE data both show that the net mass loss from GIS during 2003-2009 is about 175 Gt/year, which contributes 0.5mm/yr global sea-level rise. The rate of mass loss has increased significantly since the 1990's when the GIS was close to mass balance. Even though the GIS was close to mass balance during the 1990's, it was already showing characteristics of responding to8 warmer climate, specifically thinning at the margins and thickening inland at higher elevations. During 2003-2009, increased ice thinning due to increases in melting and acceleration of outlet glaciers began to strongly exceed the inland thickening from increases in accumulation. Over the entire GIS, the mass loss between the two periods, from increased melting and ice dynamics, increased by about 190 Gt/year while the mass gain, from increased precipitation and accumulation, increased by only about 15Gt/year. These ice changes occurred during a time when the temperature on GIS changed at rate of about 2K/decade. The distribution of elevation and mass changes derived from ICESat have high spatial resolution showing details over outlet glaciers, by drainage systems, and by elevation. However, information on the seasonal cycle of changes from ICESat data is limited, because the ICESat lasers were only operated during two to three campaigns per year of about 35 days duration each. In contrast, the temporal resolution of GRACE data, provided by the continuous data collection, is much better showing details of the seasonal cycle and the inter-annual variability. The differing sensitivity of the ICESat altimetry and the GRACE gravity methods to motion of the underlying bedrock from glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is used to evaluate the GIA corrections provided by models. The two data types are also combined to make estimates of the partitioning of the mass gains and losses among accumulation, melting, and ice discharge from outlet

  12. Methods for Automating Analysis of Glacier Morphology for Regional Modelling: Centerlines, Extensions, and Elevation Bands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viger, R. J.; Van Beusekom, A. E.

    2016-12-01

    The treatment of glaciers in modeling requires information about their shape and extent. This presentation discusses new methods and their application in a new glacier-capable variant of the USGS PRMS model, a physically-based, spatially distributed daily time-step model designed to simulate the runoff and evolution of glaciers through time. In addition to developing parameters describing PRMS land surfaces (hydrologic response units, HRUs), several of the analyses and products are likely of interest to cryospheric science community in general. The first method is a (fully automated) variation of logic previously presented in the literature for definition of the glacier centerline. Given that the surface of a glacier might be convex, using traditional topographic analyses based on a DEM to trace a path down the glacier is not reliable. Instead a path is derived based on a cost function. Although only a single path is presented in our results, the method can be easily modified to delineate a branched network of centerlines for each glacier. The second method extends the glacier terminus downslope by an arbitrary distance, according to local surface topography. This product is can be used to explore possible, if unlikely, scenarios under which glacier area grows. More usefully, this method can be used to approximate glacier extents from previous years without needing historical imagery. The final method presents an approach for segmenting the glacier into altitude-based HRUs. Successful integration of this information with traditional approaches for discretizing the non-glacierized portions of a basin requires several additional steps. These include synthesizing the glacier centerline network with one developed with a traditional DEM analysis, ensuring that flow can be routed under and beyond glaciers to a basin outlet. Results are presented based on analysis of the Copper River Basin, Alaska.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Neoglacial Antarctic sea-ice expansion driven by mid-Holocene retreat of the Ross Ice Shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendle, J. A.; Newton, K.; Mckay, R. M.; Crosta, X.; Etourneau, J.; Anya, A. B.; Seki, O.; Golledge, N. R.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Willmott, V.; Schouten, S.; Riesselman, C. R.; Masse, G.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent decades have seen expanding Antarctic sea-ice coverage, coeval with thinning West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) ice shelves and the rapid freshening of surface and bottom waters along the Antarctic margin. The mid-Holocene Neoglacial transition represents the last comparable baseline shift in sea-ice behaviour. The drivers and feedbacks involved in both the recent and Holocene events are poorly understood and characterised by large proxy-model mismatches. We present new records of compound specific fatty acid isotope analyses (δ2H-FA), highly-branched isoprenoid alkenes (HBIs) TEX86L temperatures, grain-size, mass accumulations rates (MARs) and image analyses from a 171m Holocene sediment sequence from Site U1357 (IODP leg 318). In combination with published records we reconstruct Holocene changes in glacial meltwater, sedimentary inputs and sea-ice. The early Holocene (11 to 10 ka) is characterised by large fluctuations in inputs of deglacial meltwater and sediments and seismic evidence of downlapping material from the south, suggesting a dominating influence from glacial retreat of the local outlet glaciers. From 10 to 8 ka there is decreasing meltwater inputs, an onlapping drift and advection of material from the east. After ca. 8 ka positively correlated δ2H-FA and MARs infer that pulses of glacial melt correlate to stronger easterly currents, driving erosion of material from upstream banks and that the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) becomes a major influence. A large mid-Holocene meltwater pulse (preceded by warming TEX86L temperatures) is evident between ca. 6 to 4.5 ka, culminating in a rapid and permanent increase in sea-ice from 4.5 ka. This is coeval with cosmogenic nuclide evidence for a rapid thinning of the Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene (Hein et al., 2016). We suggest this represents a final major pulse of deglaciation from the Ross Ice Shelf, which initiates the Neoglacial, driving cool surface waters along the coast and greater sea-ice

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knoll, C. C.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Greenland Ice Shelves and Ice Tongues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels

    2017-01-01

    literature and physical properties are reviewed. There exists a difference between: (1) Floating glaciers in northern Greenland (>77°N) which experience bottom melting as their dominant ablation mechanism and calve relatively thin, but large (km-sized) tabular icebergs (‘ice islands’), and (2) Grounded...... glaciers further south (iceberg calving provides the dominant ablation mechanism. The relatively smaller iceberg discharge in northern Greenland is closely related to the occurrence of extended floating glacier sections, allowing bottom melting estimated at up to 10 m year−1 for locations...

  20. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance: Distribution of Increased Mass Loss with Climate Warming; 2003-07 Versus 1992-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Benner, Anita C.; Beckley, Matthew; Cornejo, Helen G.; DiMarzio, John; Giovinetto, Mario B.; Neumann, Thomas A.; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; hide

    2011-01-01

    We derive mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) for 2003-07 from ICESat laser altimetry and compare them with results for 1992-2002 from ERS radar and airborne laser altimetry. The GIS continued to grow inland and thin at the margins during 2003 07, but surface melting and accelerated flow significantly increased the marginal thinning compared with the 1990s. The net balance changed from a small loss of 7 plus or minus 3 Gt a 1(sup -1) in the 1990s to 171 plus or minus 4 Gt a (sup -1) for 2003-07, contributing 0.5 mm a(sup -1) to recent global sea-level rise. We divide the derived mass changes into two components: (1) from changes in melting and ice dynamics and (2) from changes in precipitation and accumulation rate. We use our firn compaction model to calculate the elevation changes driven by changes in both temperature and accumulation rate and to calculate the appropriate density to convert the accumulation-driven changes to mass changes. Increased losses from melting and ice dynamics (17-206 Gt a(sup-1) are over seven times larger than increased gains from precipitation (10 35 Gt a(sup-1) during a warming period of approximately 2 K (10 a)(sup -1) over the GIS. Above 2000m elevation, the rate of gain decreased from 44 to 28 Gt a(sup-1), while below 2000m the rate of loss increased from 51 to 198 Gt a(sup-1). Enhanced thinning below the equilibrium line on outlet glaciers indicates that increased melting has a significant impact on outlet glaciers, as well as accelerating ice flow. Increased thinning at higher elevations appears to be induced by dynamic coupling to thinning at the margins on decadal timescales.

  1. 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.

  2. Spaceborne measurement of Greenland ice sheet changes: the ESA Greenland CCI project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Meister, Rakia

    The ESA “Greenland_ice_sheet_cci” project is currently making past and present space measurements of Greenland ice sheet changes available for use by scientists, stakeholders and the general public. The data are part of a large set of ECV’s (Essential Climate Variables) made available by the ESA...... Climate Initiative, as a contribution to the global Climate Observing System. The ECV data produced for the Greenlandice sheet include detailed grids of elevation changes and ice flow velocities, as well as line data of grounding lines and calving front locations for major outlet glaciers. The “ice_sheets......_cci” goal is to generate a consistent, validated, long-term and timely set of ECV’s, a.o. to improve the impact of satellite data on climate research and coupled ice sheet/climate models. Special focus is on use of data from ESA missions such as ERS, Envisat and the new Sentinel missions, but in the 2nd...

  3. 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.

  4. Glacier shrinkage and water resources in the Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francou, Bernard; Coudrain, Anne

    For more than a century glaciers around the world have been melting as air temperatures rise due to a combination of natural processes and human activity. The disappearance of these glaciers can have wide-ranging effects, such as the creation of new natural hazards or changes in stream flow that could threaten water suppliesSome of the most dramatic melting has occurred in the Andes mountain range in South America. To highlight the climatic and glacial change in the Andes and to encourage the scientific community to strengthen the glacier observation network that stretches from Colombia to the Patagonian ice fields, the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA), Perú, and the Institute of Research and Development (IRD), France, recently organized the second Symposium on Mass Balance of Andean Glaciers in Huaráz,Perú.

  5. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Davies

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Antarctic Glaciological Data at NSIDC: field data, temperature, and ice velocity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, R.; Bohlander, J.; Scambos, T.; Berthier, E.; Raup, B.; Scharfen, G.

    2003-12-01

    An extensive collection of many Antarctic glaciological parameters is available for the polar science community upon request. The National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs funds the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC) at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to archive and distribute Antarctic glaciological and cryospheric system data collected by the U.S. Antarctic Program. AGDC facilitates data exchange among Principal Investigators, preserves recently collected data useful to future research, gathers data sets from past research, and compiles continent-wide information useful for modeling and field work planning. Data sets are available via our web site, http://nsidc.org/agdc/. From here, users can access extensive documentation, citation information, locator maps, derived images and references, and the numerical data. More than 50 Antarctic scientists have contributed data to the archive. Among the compiled products distributed by AGDC are VELMAP and THERMAP. THERMAP is a compilation of over 600 shallow firn temperature measurements ('10-meter temperatures') collected since 1950. These data provide a record of mean annual temperature, and potentially hold a record of climate change on the continent. The data are represented with maps showing the traverse route, and include data sources, measurement technique, and additional measurements made at each site, i.e., snow density and accumulation. VELMAP is an archive of surface ice velocity measurements for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The primary objective of VELMAP is to assemble a historic record of outlet glaciers and ice shelf ice motion over the Antarctic. The collection includes both PI-contributed measurements and data generated at NSIDC using Landsat and SPOT satellite imagery. Tabular data contain position, speed, bearing, and data quality information, and related references. Two new VELMAP data sets are highlighted: the Mertz Glacier and the Institute Ice Stream. Mertz Glacier ice

  8. Natural and artificial radioactivity in the Svalbard glaciers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinglot, J.F.; Pourchet, M.

    1994-01-01

    Natural and artificial radioactivity in the snow of 10 Svalbard glaciers has been measured from 31 ice core samples, drilled between 1981 and 1993. Of these ice cores, seven exhibit the well-known level arising from the fallout of the 1961-62 atmospheric thermonuclear tests. The second level, due to the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986), has been detected in all the studied glaciers; the maximum 137 Cs fallout reaches 22 Bq kg -1 and shows a high variability. The natural radioactivity, mostly due to 210 Pb, shows an in-depth variation which is not governed by its half-life (22.2 years). These measurements serve many glaciological purposes: absolute dating of the snow layers; air-snow transfer and fallout studies; the determination of mean annual mass balances in the accumulation area of glaciers and their associated spatio-temporal variations. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Oerlemans

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Dyakova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Internal structure of rock glaciers was investigated at two key sites in Altai by means of electric tomography. It had been found that the rock glaciers of the same type, located at different altitude levels, differ in electric resistances of ice nuclei and the degree of consolidation of the ice material inside of them. Typical characteristics of the ice core of a rock glacier in the high-mountain area are the following: electrical resistivity is about 1000–2000 kOhm∙m and a high degree of the ice consolidation, while the same for the mid-mountain region: the electrical resistivity is 150–300 kOhm∙m and the presence of the talik zones within the glacier body. Using the method of electric tomography for investigation of the internal structure of the rock-glaciers makes possible to reveal presence of frozen soils and ice and to find the upper boundary of occurrence of them from anomalously high specific electric resistance. However, it is not always possible to determine a thickness of the rock-ice formation, and to estimate a degree of its consolidation that does not allow calculating the ice content volume. Limitations of this technology can be overcome by the use of electric tomography in combination with other geophysical methods.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  14. Glaciation of Siberia and the problem of massive ice beddings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. S. Sheinkman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As a result of many years of the author’s studies of glaciers and ground ices, a great amount of factual material has been collected for a purpose to analyze a possibility of burying the glaciers in the permafrost zone and to esti‑ mate a time of their stay in such а condition. According to the author’s opinion, the Siberian glaciers were mainly the valley ones; ice sheets were never formed, and any existence of buried glaciers could not be real in the geo‑ logical time scale. However, some researchers still believe that in the Quaternary ice sheets occurred in the North of Siberia, and, in addition, they consider the local massive ice beddings as relics of these sheets. No clear expla‑ nation of the similar origin of such ice structures exists at the present time, so development and variety of this ice could be easier explained by the permafrost genesis. Basing on results of observations carried out in all glacier regions of Siberia, the author concludes that glaciers cannot exist in the form of buried ice for a long time. This is unrealistic even in the North‑East of Siberia, where the absolute minimum temperature is −67.8 °C, and the mean annual air temperature drops below −17 °C. The characteristic feature of the Siberia continental climate is short, but hot summer. In such a situation, the coarse fragmental morainic material, covering glaciers by the layer up to 3 m thick, cannot preserve the underlying ice from melting because the heat penetrates down with the air, liquid precipitation, and the melt water. When glaciers reduce, the dead ice, buried under a moraine, may be preserved in the coldest areas of Siberia for only 100–150 years. Therefore, despite the resemblance of the scarps of the ice bodies having the permafrost or glacial origin, consideration of them as relics of ancient glaciers would be wrong.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Yu. Osipov

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej

    2018-02-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  20. Measuring past glacier fluctuations from historic photographs geolocated using Structure from Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargo, L.; Anderson, B.; Horgan, H. J.; Mackintosh, A.; Lorrey, A.; Thornton, M.

    2017-12-01

    Quantifying glacier fluctuations is important for understanding how the cryosphere responds to climate variability and change. Photographs of past ice extents have become iconic images of climate change, but until now incorporating these images into quantitative estimates of glacier change has been problematic. We present a new method to quantitatively measure past glacier fluctuations from historic images. The method uses a large set of modern geolocated photographs and Structure from Motion (SfM) to calculate the camera parameters for the historic images, including the location from which they were taken. We initially apply this method to a small maritime New Zealand glacier (Brewster Glacier, 44°S, 2 km2), and quantify annual equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) and length changes from historic oblique aerial photographs (1981 - 2017). Results show that Brewster has retreated 364 ± 12 m since 1981 and, using independent field measurements of terminus positions (2005 - 2014), we show that this SfM-derived length record accurately captures glacier change. We calculate the uncertainties associated with this method using known coordinates of bedrock features surrounding the glacier. Mean uncertainties in the ELA and length records are 7 m and 11 m, respectively. In addition to Brewster, 49 other New Zealand glaciers have been monitored by aerial photographs since 1978. However, the length records for these glaciers only include years of relative advance or retreat, and no length changes have been quantified. We will ultimately apply this method to all 50 glaciers, expanding the database of New Zealand glacier fluctuations that until now included only a few glaciers. This method can be further applied to any glacier with historic images, and can be used to measure past changes in glacier width, area, and surface elevation in addition to ELA and length.

  1. The formation of ice sails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, A. C.; Mayer, C.

    2017-11-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are prone to the formation of a number of supraglacial geomorphological features, and generally speaking, their upper surfaces are far from level surfaces. Some of these features are due to radiation screening or enhancing properties of the debris cover, but theoretical explanations of the consequent surface forms are in their infancy. In this paper we consider a theoretical model for the formation of "ice sails", which are regularly spaced bare ice features which are found on debris-covered glaciers in the Karakoram.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, L.; Osinski, G.

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Glacier Mass Changes of Lake-Terminating Grey and Tyndall Glaciers at the Southern Patagonia Icefield Derived From Geodetic Observations and Energy and Mass Balance Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie S. Weidemann

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study we demonstrate how energy and mass fluxes vary in space and time for Grey and Tyndall glaciers at the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI. Despite the overall glacier retreat of most Patagonian glaciers, a recent increase in mass loss has been observed, but individual glaciers respond differently in terms of spatial and temporal changes. In this context, the detailed investigation of the effect of mass balance processes on recent glacier response to climate forcing still needs refinement. We therefore quantify surface energy-fluxes and climatic mass balance of the two neighboring glaciers, Grey and Tyndall. The COupled Snow and Ice energy and MAss balance model COSIMA is applied to assess recent surface energy and climatic mass balance variability with a high temporal and spatial resolution for a 16-year period between April 2000 and March 2016. The model is driven by downscaled 6-hourly atmospheric data derived from ERA-Interim reanalysis and MODIS/Terra Snow Cover and validated against ablation measurements made in single years. High resolution precipitation fields are determined by using an analytical orographic precipitation model. Frontal ablation is estimated as residual of climatic mass balance and geodetic mass balance derived from TanDEM-X/SRTM between 2000 and 2014. We simulate a positive glacier-wide mean annual climatic mass balance of +1.02 ± 0.52 m w.e. a−1 for Grey Glacier and of +0.68 ± 0.54 m w.e. a−1 for Tyndall Glacier between 2000 and 2014. Climatic mass balance results show a high year to year variability. Comparing climatic mass balance results with previous studies underlines the high uncertainty in climatic mass balance modeling with respect to accumulation on the SPI. Due to the lack of observations accumulation estimates differ from previous studies based on the methodological approaches. Mean annual ice loss by frontal ablation is estimated to be 2.07 ± 0.70 m w.e. a−1 for Grey Glacier and 3.26 ± 0

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Updated Estimates of Glacier Mass Change for Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menounos, B.; Gardner, A. S.; Howat, I.; Berthier, E.; Dehecq, A.; Noh, M. J.; Pelto, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine glaciers are critical components in Western North America's hydrologic cycle. We use varied remotely-sensed datasets to provide updated mass change estimates for Region 2 of the Randolf Glacier Inventory (RGI-02 - all North American glaciers outside of Alaska). Our datasets include: i) aerial laser altimetry surveys completed over many thousands of square kilometers; and ii) multiple Terabytes of high resolution optical stereo imagery (World View 1-3 and Pleiades). Our data from the period 2014-2017 includes the majority of glaciers in RGI-02, specifically those ice masses in the Rocky Mountains (US and Canada), Interior Ranges in British Columbia and the Cascade Mountains (Washington). We co-registered and bias corrected the recent surface models to the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mapping (SRTM) data acquired in February, 2000. In British Columbia, our estimates of mass change are within the uncertainty estimates obtained for the period 1985-2000, but estimates from some regions indicate accelerated mass loss. Work is also underway to update glacier mass change estimates for glaciers in Washington and Montana. Finally, we use re-analysis data (ERA interim and ERA5) to evaluate the meteorological drivers that explain the temporal and spatial variability of mass change evident in our analysis.

  14. Timing of the Little Ice Age in southern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kurt H.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Bjørk, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    as a signal for ice-free terrain being overridden by LIA glacier advances, and data from threshold lakes showing the onset of glacier-fed lakes, thus revealing the advance-maximum phase initiating the LIA. Finally, we have compiled lichenometry results indicating the onset of bedrock vegetation succeeding ice......Northern hemisphere temperatures reached their Holocene minimum and most glaciers reached their maximum during The Little Ice Age (LIA), but the timing of specific cold intervals is site-specific. In southern Greenland, we have compiled data from organic matter incorporated in LIA sediments, used...

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi; Joshi, Kabindra

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    March, Rod S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2011-01-01

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

  18. The sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet to glacial-interglacial oceanic forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabone, Ilaria; Blasco, Javier; Robinson, Alexander; Alvarez-Solas, Jorge; Montoya, Marisa

    2018-04-01

    Observations suggest that during the last decades the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has experienced a gradually accelerating mass loss, in part due to the observed speed-up of several of Greenland's marine-terminating glaciers. Recent studies directly attribute this to warming North Atlantic temperatures, which have triggered melting of the outlet glaciers of the GrIS, grounding-line retreat and enhanced ice discharge into the ocean, contributing to an acceleration of sea-level rise. Reconstructions suggest that the influence of the ocean has been of primary importance in the past as well. This was the case not only in interglacial periods, when warmer climates led to a rapid retreat of the GrIS to land above sea level, but also in glacial periods, when the GrIS expanded as far as the continental shelf break and was thus more directly exposed to oceanic changes. However, the GrIS response to palaeo-oceanic variations has yet to be investigated in detail from a mechanistic modelling perspective. In this work, the evolution of the GrIS over the past two glacial cycles is studied using a three-dimensional hybrid ice-sheet-shelf model. We assess the effect of the variation of oceanic temperatures on the GrIS evolution on glacial-interglacial timescales through changes in submarine melting. The results show a very high sensitivity of the GrIS to changing oceanic conditions. Oceanic forcing is found to be a primary driver of GrIS expansion in glacial times and of retreat in interglacial periods. If switched off, palaeo-atmospheric variations alone are not able to yield a reliable glacial configuration of the GrIS. This work therefore suggests that considering the ocean as an active forcing should become standard practice in palaeo-ice-sheet modelling.

  19. Dynamic behavior of the Bering Glacier-Bagley icefield system during a surge, and other measurements of Alaskan glaciers with ERS SAR imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingle, Craig S.; Fatland, Dennis R.; Voronina, Vera A.; Ahlnaes, Kristina; Troshina, Elena N.

    1997-01-01

    ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery was employed for the measurement of the dynamics of the Bagley icefield during a major surge in 1993-1994, the measurement of ice velocities on the Malaspina piedmont glacier during a quiescent phase between surges, and for mapping the snow lines and the position of the terminus of Nabesna glacier on Mount Wrangell (a 4317 m andesitic shield volcano) in the heavily glacierized Saint Elias and Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. An overview and summary of results is given. The methods used include interferometry, cross-correlation of sequential images, and digitization of boundaries using terrain-corrected SAR imagery.

  20. Temperature, salinity, sigma-T, and pressure profile CTD data from R/V MELVILLE and GLACIER in the Southern Oceans (> 60 degrees South) from 19860304 to 19860331 (NODC Accession 9100082)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The observations were carried out from two vessels. One, the icebreaker Glacier, operated within the sea ice out to the vicinity of the ice edge. The second vessel,...

  1. 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.

  2. Assessing Glacier Hazards At Ghiacciaio Del Belvedere, Macugnaga, Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeberli, W.; Chiarle, M.; Mortara, G.; Mazza, A.

    The uppermost section of the Valle Anzasca behind and above the community of Macugnaga in the Italian Alps is one of the most spectacular high-mountain land- scapes in Europe, with gigantic rock walls and numerous steep hanging glaciers. Its main glacier, Ghiacciaio del Belvedere at the foot of the huge Monte Rosa east face, is a heavily debris-covered glacier flowing on a thick sediment bed. Problems with floods, avalanches and debris flows from this ice body have been known for extended time periods. Most recently, however, the evolution of this highly dynamic environ- ment has become more dramatic. An outburst of Lago delle Locce, an ice-dammed lake at the confluenec of the tributary Ghiacciaio delle Locce with Ghiacciaio del Belvedere, caused heavy damage in 1979 and necessitated site investigation and con- struction work to be done for flood protection. The intermittent glacier growth ten- dency in the 1970es induced strong bulging of the glacier surface and, in places, caused the glacier tongue to override historical morains and to destroy newly-grown forest stands. A surge-type flow acceleration started in the lower parts of the Monte- Rosa east face during summer 2000, leading to strong crevassing and deformation of Ghiacciaio del Belvedere and extreme bulging of its orographic right margin. High water pressure and accelerated movement lasted into winter 2001/2002: the ice now started overriding the LIA moraine near Rifugio Zamboni of the CAI. In addition but rather independently, a most active detachment zone for rock falls and debris flows developed for several years now in the east face of Monte Rosa, somewhat more to the south of the accelerated glacier movement and at an altitude where relatively warm permafrost must be expected. Besides the scientific interest in these phenomena, the growing hazard potential to the local infrastructure must be considered seriously. Es- pecially potentials for the destabilization of large rock and ice masses in the

  3. Physical modeling of glacier contact with bedrock (experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. P. Epifanov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of the adhesive strength of glacial ice connection with bedrock has been studied using the analysis of the amplitude-frequency characteristics of acoustic emission (AE in the frequency range from 15 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Identification of signal source on bed is based on physical modeling of adhesive ice fracture at the complex shear and patterns of elastic waves propagation in the ice using data on ice thickness of the ice and its acoustic properties. The experimental dependence of the ice and serpentinite substrate adhesive strength with temperature (from 0 °C to −30 °C has been obtained at constraint axial shear. It is shown that the destruction of adhesive ice contact with substrate begins long before the maximum shear stress achieved, and AE signals in the coordinates amplitude-frequency-time have been obtained for the for static friction and sliding parts of deformation curves. Influence of shear to normal stresses ratio on the adhesive ice/substrate strength has been shown. Influence of the ratio of longitudinal and transverse shear stresses on the adhesive bond strength of ice to the substrate has been shown. The natural glacier spectra revealed periodic reduction of AE signals frequency in the middle range of frequencies. The similar effect of AE signals shifting along the frequency axis to the low frequency domain was obtained by testing of freshwater ice samples and related with expansion of the destruction scale. Practical application of the strain AE results for remote determination of the local glacial stability and for studies of glacier ice mechanics is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, D.; Egholm, D. L.

    2017-12-01

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

  5. Perspectives for DNA studies on polar ice cores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anders J.; Willerslev, E.

    2002-01-01

    Recently amplifiable ancient DNA was obtained from a Greenland ice core. The DNA revealed a diversity of fungi, plants, algae and protists and has thereby expanded the range of detectable organic material in fossil glacier ice. The results suggest that ancient DNA can be obtained from other ice c...

  6. Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) Program: Science and Experiment Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    MIZ ( Terra Nordica and Sir John Franklin, since renamed Amundsen) served largely to provide ground truth data. _______________________UNIVERSITY OF...ocean, and sea ice components. Currently under development is the incorporation of ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps, and dynamic vegetation . The...and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Quantification of Sediment Transport During Glacier Surges and its Impact on Landform Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kurt H.; Schomacker, Anders; Korsgaard, Niels Jákup

    ) for 1945, prior to the last surge in 1964, and for 2003 in order to assess the effect of the surge on the sediment architecture in the forefield. The pre- and post-surge DEMs allow direct quantification of the sediment volumes that were re-distributed in the forefield by the surging ice mass in 1964...... or glaciofluvial outwash fans. Mapping of the sediment thickness in the glacier forefield shows higher accumulation along ice marginal positions related to wedge formation during extremely rapid ice flow. Fast flow was sustained by overpressurized water causing sediment-bedrock decoupling beneath a thick sediment...... architecture occurs distal to the 1810 ice margin, where the 1890 surge advanced over hitherto undeformed sediments. Proximal to the 1810 ice margin, the landscape have been transgressed by either one or two glaciers (in 1890 and 1964). The most complex landscape architecture is found proximal to the 1964 ice...

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrizaga, Lasafam; Charrier, Reynaldo

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Optical Remote Sensing of Glacier Characteristics: A Review with Focus on the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racoviteanu, Adina E.; Williams, Mark W.; Barry, Roger G.

    2008-01-01

    The increased availability of remote sensing platforms with appropriate spatial and temporal resolution, global coverage and low financial costs allows for fast, semi-automated, and cost-effective estimates of changes in glacier parameters over large areas. Remote sensing approaches allow for regular monitoring of the properties of alpine glaciers such as ice extent, terminus position, volume and surface elevation, from which glacier mass balance can be inferred. Such methods are particularly useful in remote areas with limited field-based glaciological measurements. This paper reviews advances in the use of visible and infrared remote sensing combined with field methods for estimating glacier parameters, with emphasis on volume/area changes and glacier mass balance. The focus is on the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor and its applicability for monitoring Himalayan glaciers. The methods reviewed are: volumetric changes inferred from digital elevation models (DEMs), glacier delineation algorithms from multi-spectral analysis, changes in glacier area at decadal time scales, and AAR/ELA methods used to calculate yearly mass balances. The current limitations and on-going challenges in using remote sensing for mapping characteristics of mountain glaciers also discussed, specifically in the context of the Himalaya. PMID:27879883

  14. Studies of Bagley Icefield during surge and Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, using spaceborne SAR interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatland, Dennis Robert

    1998-12-01

    This thesis presents studies of two temperate valley glaciers---Bering Glacier in the Chugach-St.Elias Mountains, South Central Alaska, and Black Rapids Glacier in the Alaska Range, Interior Alaska---using differential spaceborne radar interferometry. The first study was centered on the 1993--95 surge of Bering Glacier and the resultant ice dynamics on its accumulation area, the Bagley Icefield. The second study site was chosen for purposes of comparison of the interferometry results with conventional field measurements, particularly camera survey data and airborne laser altimetry. A comprehensive suite of software was written to interferometrically process synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data in order to derive estimates of surface elevation and surface velocity on these subject glaciers. In addition to these results, the data revealed unexpected but fairly common concentric rings called 'phase bull's-eyes', image features typically 0.5 to 4 km in diameter located over the central part of various glaciers. These bull's-eyes led to a hypothetical model in which they were interpreted to indicate transitory instances of high subglacial water pressure that locally lift the glacier from its bed by several centimeters. This model is associated with previous findings about the nature of glacier bed hydrology and glacier surging. In addition to the dynamical analysis presented herein, this work is submitted as a contribution to the ongoing development of spaceborne radar interferometry as a glaciological tool.

  15. 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.

  16. Proceedings of the 19. IAHR international symposium on ice : using new technology to understand water-ice interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jasek, M.; Andrishak, R.; Siddiqui, A.

    2008-01-01

    This conference provided a venue for scientists, engineers and researchers an opportunity to expand their knowledge of water-ice interactions with reference to water resources, river and coastal hydraulics, risk analysis, energy and the environment. The the theme of new technology falls into 3 basic groups, notably measurement and instrumentation; remote sensing; and numerical simulation. The thermal regime of rivers was discussed along with ice mechanics, ice hydraulics, ice structures and modelling ice phenomena. The titles of the sessions were: river ice, glaciers and climate change; freeze-up processes on rivers and oceans; river ice-structure interactions; numerical simulations in ice engineering; river-ice break-up and ice jam formation; ice measurement; Grasse River ice evaluation; evaluation of structural ice control alternatives; remote sensing; hydropower and dam decommissioning; mechanical behaviour of river ice, ice covered flow and thermal modelling; mathematical and computer model formulations for ice friction and sea ice; ice bergs and ice navigation; ice crushing processes; sea ice and shore/structure interactions; ice properties, testing and physical modelling; ice actions on compliant structures; oil spills in ice; desalination, ice thickness and climate change; and, sea ice ridges. The conference featured 123 presentations, of which 20 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  17. Neoglacial fluctuations of Deming Glacier, Mt. Baker, Washington USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, G.; Menounos, B.; Scott, K.; Clague, J. J.; Tucker, D.; Riedel, J.; Davis, P.

    2007-12-01

    Deming Glacier flows from the upper west slopes of Mt. Baker, a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of Washington, USA. The north and south lateral moraines of Deming Glacier are composed of at least four tills separated by layers of detrital wood and sheared stumps in growth position. The stratigraphy records fluctuations of the glacier during the Holocene. The outer ten rings of an in situ stump from the middle wood layer, which is about 40 m below the north lateral moraine crest and 1.2 km downvalley from the present glacier terminus, yielded an age of 1750 ± 50~~ 14C yr BP [1810-1550 cal yr BP]. The stump revealed at least 300 rings and thus records a period of landscape stability and relatively restricted glaciation for several hundred years prior to ca. 1750 14C yr BP . Samples from the lowest wood layer also have been submitted for radiocarbon dating. Outer rings of detrital wood samples collected from two wood mats exposed in the south lateral moraine, 2.3 km downvalley of the glacier terminus, returned radiocarbon ages of 1600 ± 30~~ 14C yr BP [1550- 1410 cal yr BP] and 430 ± 30~~ 14C yr BP [AD 1420-1620]. These data indicate that Deming Glacier advanced over a vegetated moraine sometime after 1810 cal yr BP to a position less extensive that it achieved at the peak of the Little Ice Age. The glacier then receded before it began its final and most extensive Holocene advance after AD 1420. The older advance is correlative with the 'First Millennium AD' advance, recently recognized throughout western North America. The younger advance coincides with an advance of Mt. Baker's Easton Glacier [AD 1430-1630], and advances of many alpine glaciers elsewhere in western North America. Our data suggest that glaciers on Mt. Baker fluctuated in a similar manner to alpine glaciers in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and in other mountain ranges of northwest North America during Neoglaciation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

  19. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove [Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden); Rodhe, Lars [Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2007-03-15

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  20. Ice sheet hydrology - a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansson, Peter; Naeslund, Jens-Ove; Rodhe, Lars

    2007-03-01

    This report summarizes the theoretical knowledge on water flow in and beneath glaciers and ice sheets and how these theories are applied in models to simulate the hydrology of ice sheets. The purpose is to present the state of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, identify the gaps in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology. Many general concepts in hydrology and hydraulics are applicable to water flow in glaciers. However, the unique situation of having the liquid phase flowing in conduits of the solid phase of the same material, water, is not a commonly occurring phenomena. This situation means that the heat exchange between the phases and the resulting phase changes also have to be accounted for in the analysis. The fact that the solidus in the pressure-temperature dependent phase diagram of water has a negative slope provides further complications. Ice can thus melt or freeze from both temperature and pressure variations or variations in both. In order to provide details of the current understanding of water flow in conjunction with deforming ice and to provide understanding for the development of ideas and models, emphasis has been put on the mathematical treatments, which are reproduced in detail. Qualitative results corroborating theory or, perhaps more often, questioning the simplifications made in theory, are also given. The overarching problem with our knowledge of glacier hydrology is the gap between the local theories of processes and the general flow of water in glaciers and ice sheets. Water is often channelized in non-stationary conduits through the ice, features which due to their minute size relative to the size of glaciers and ice sheets are difficult to incorporate in spatially larger models. Since the dynamic response of ice sheets to global warming is becoming a key issue in, e.g. sea-level change studies, the problems of the coupling between the hydrology of an ice sheet and its dynamics is steadily gaining interest. New work is emerging

  1. 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...

  2. A particle based simulation model for glacier dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Åström

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Thoracic outlet syndrome: Case report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez, Juan Camilo; Acosta, Mauricio Fernando; Uribe Jorge Ricardo

    2009-01-01

    We report a case of vascular thoracic outlet syndrome in a young man, diagnosed with upper limb arteriography, leading to repeated arterio-arterial emboli originating from a post-stenotic subclavian artery aneurysm. It is of our interest due to its low incidence and the small number of cases reported that have been diagnosed by arteriography. The thoracic outlet is the path through which vascular and neural structures goes from the neck to the axilla, and it has three anatomical strictures, that when pronounced, can compress the brachial plexus or subclavian vessels, leading to different symptoms and signs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamsal, Damodar; Fujita, Koji; Sakai, Akiko

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, W.; Schmieder, R.

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Comparison of tropical and subtropical glacier surface energy balance in Africa and South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, L.; Prinz, R.; Kinnard, C.; Mölg, T.; Winkler, M.; Kaser, G.

    2010-05-01

    Tropical glaciers exist only at high altitude, and meteorological and surface energy balance studies of these glaciers can tell us much about the conditions and changes occurring in the mid troposphere. Understanding the surface energy balance and resultant mass balance regime of tropical glaciers is prerequisite to predicting glacier evolution, and future meltwater contributions to local hydrological resources, in response to future climate scenarios. Tropical glacier mass balance variability is strongly linked to precipitation and, via this, to multi-annual climate oscillations such as ENSO and IOZM, so it is useful to understand what role these differing regional influences play in comparison to the similarities imposed by the overarching tropical climate conditions and seasonality. New surface energy balance and mass balance data is available from Lewis glacier (Kenya, 0°09' S; 37°18' E), and here we use an energy and mass balance model to determine the surface energy flux characteristics at this site through a wet and dry season. Results are compared with those from Kersten glacier (Tanzania, 3°04' S; 37°21' E) to understand how conditions at these two glaciers compare and thus what coherent and contrasting climatic information glaciological records from these two sites can be expected to deliver. Meteorological data available from glacier stations on Antizana (Ecuador, 0°25' S; 78°09' W), Artesonraju (Peru, 8°28' S; 77°38' W) Zongo (Bolivia, 16°39' S; 67°47' W) and Guanaco (Chile, 29°20' S; 70°00' W) glaciers in South America offer the opportunity to examine how the surface fluxes and seasonal variability of the energy balance compares to those of the African glaciers. We include the extra-tropical Chilean example for comparison with the similarly high altitude, cold ice of Kersten glacier.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kátia Kellem Rosa; Rosemary Vieira; Jefferson Cardia Simões

    2013-01-01

    Glacial sediment yield results from glacial erosion and is influenced by several factors including glacial retreat rate, ice flow velocity and thermal regime. This paper estimates the contemporary subglacial erosion rate and sediment yield of Wanda Glacier (King George Island, South Shetlands). This work also examines basal sediment evacuation mechanisms by runoff and glacial erosion processes during the subglacial transport. This is small temperate glacier that has seen retreating for the l...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Lama

    2015-05-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Ice-dammed lateral lake and epishelf lake insights into Holocene dynamics of Marguerite Trough Ice Stream and George VI Ice Shelf, Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Bethan J.; Hambrey, Michael J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Holt, Tom; Rodés, Angél; Smellie, John L.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Blockley, Simon P. E.

    2017-12-01

    We present new data regarding the past dynamics of Marguerite Trough Ice Stream, George VI Ice Shelf and valley glaciers from Ablation Point Massif on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula. This ice-free oasis preserves a geological record of ice stream lateral moraines, ice-dammed lakes, ice-shelf moraines and valley glacier moraines, which we dated using cosmogenic nuclide ages. We provide one of the first detailed sediment-landform assemblage descriptions of epishelf lake shorelines. Margue