Science.gov

Sample records for glacier equilibrium line

  1. From Doktor Kurowski's Schneegrenze to our modern glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, R. J.

    2015-06-01

    Translated into modern terminology, Kurowski suggested in 1891 that the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a glacier is equal to the mean altitude of the glacier when the whole glacier is in balance between accumulation and ablation. Kurowski's method has been widely misunderstood, partly due to inappropriate use of statistical terminology by later workers, and has been little tested except by Braithwaite and Müller in a 1980 paper (for 32 glaciers). I now compare Kurowski's mean altitude with balanced-budget ELA calculated for 103 modern glaciers with measured surface mass balance data. Kurowski's mean altitude is significantly higher (at 95% level) than balanced-budget ELA for 19 outlet and 42 valley glaciers, but not significantly higher for 34 mountain glaciers. The error in Kurowski mean altitude as a predictor of balanced-budget ELA might be due to generally lower balance gradients in accumulation area compared with ablation areas for many glaciers, as suggested by several workers, but some glaciers have higher gradients, presumably due to precipitation increase with altitude. The relatively close agreement between balanced-budget ELA and mean altitude for mountain glaciers (mean error -8 m with standard deviation 59 m) may reflect smaller altitude ranges for these glaciers such that there is less room for effects of different balance gradients to manifest themselves.

  2. From Doktor Kurowski's Schneegrenze to our modern glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, R. J.

    2015-11-01

    Translated into modern terminology, Kurowski suggested in 1891 that the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a glacier is equal to the mean altitude of the glacier when the whole glacier is in balance between accumulation and ablation. Kurowski's method has been widely misunderstood, partly due to inappropriate use of statistical terminology by later workers, and has only been tested by Braithwaite and Müller in a 1980 paper (for 32 glaciers). I now compare Kurowski's mean altitude with balanced-budget ELA calculated for 103 present-day glaciers with measured surface mass-balance data. Kurowski's mean altitude is significantly higher (at 95 % level) than balanced-budget ELA for 19 outlet and 42 valley glaciers, but not significantly higher for 34 mountain glaciers. The error in Kurowski mean altitude as a predictor of balanced-budget ELA might be due to generally lower balance gradients in accumulation areas compared with ablation areas for many glaciers, as suggested by several workers, but some glaciers have higher gradients, presumably due to precipitation increase with altitude. The relatively close agreement between balanced-budget ELA and mean altitude for mountain glaciers (mean error - 8 m with standard deviation 59 m) may reflect smaller altitude ranges for these glaciers such that there is less room for effects of different balance gradients to manifest themselves.

  3. Modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes during the mid-Holocene in the southern mid-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, C.; Rojas, M.; Anderson, B. M.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Sagredo, E.; Moreno, P. I.

    2015-11-01

    Glacier behaviour during the mid-Holocene (MH, 6000 years BP) in the Southern Hemisphere provides observational data to constrain our understanding of the origin and propagation of palaeoclimate signals. In this study we examine the climatic forcing of glacier response in the MH by evaluating modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) and climatic conditions during the MH compared with pre-industrial time (PI, year 1750). We focus on the middle latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, specifically Patagonia and the South Island of New Zealand. Climate conditions for the MH were obtained from PMIP2 model simulations, which in turn were used to force a simple glacier mass balance model to simulate changes in ELA. In Patagonia, the models simulate colder conditions during the MH in austral summer (-0.2 °C), autumn (-0.5 °C), and winter (-0.4), and warmer temperatures (0.2 °C) during spring. In the Southern Alps the models show colder MH conditions in autumn (-0.7 °C) and winter (-0.4 °C), warmer conditions in spring (0.3 °C), and no significant change in summer temperature. Precipitation does not show significant changes but exhibits a seasonal shift, with less precipitation from April to September and more precipitation from October to April during the MH in both regions. The mass balance model simulates a climatic ELA that is 15-33 m lower during the MH compared with PI conditions. We suggest that the main causes of this difference are driven mainly by colder temperatures associated with the MH simulation. Differences in temperature have a dual effect on glacier mass balance: (i) less energy is available for ablation during summer and early autumn and (ii) lower temperatures cause more precipitation to fall as snow rather than rain in late autumn and winter, resulting in more accumulation and higher surface albedo. For these reasons, we postulate that the modelled ELA changes, although small, may help to explain larger glacier extents observed by 6000

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, A.; MacAyeal, D. R.

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Reconstruction of late Holocene glacier retreat and relevant climatic and topographic patterns in southeastern Tibet by glacier mapping and equilibrium line altitude calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loibl, David; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2014-05-01

    Temperate glaciers in the eastern Nyainqêntanglha range, southeastern Tibet, are highly sensitive to climate change and are therefore of particular high interest for research on late Holocene changes of the monsoonal climate in High Asia. However, due to the remoteness of the area, the scarcity of empirical data, and the challenges to remote sensing work posed by cloud and snow cover, knowledge about the glacier dynamics and changes is still very limited. We applied a remote sensing approach that allowed a comprehensive regional glacier survey despite the few available data. Geomorphologic characteristics, distribution and late Holocene changes of 1964 glaciers were mapped from one of the few appropriate late summer satellite images: a Landsat ETM+ scene from September 23, 1999. The glacier dataset was subsequently parameterized by DEM supported measurements. Complex climate-relief-glacier interactions were studied in detail for three large glaciers in neighboring valleys. Despite their spatial proximity, these display strong heterogeneity in terms of catchment morphology, debris cover, and glacier characteristics. The results of this case study then provided the conceptual basis to use geomorphological evidence, i.e. trimlines and latero-frontal moraines, to obtain quantitative data on the changes since the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum glacier advance. Statistical analysis of glacier length change revealed an average retreat of ~ 40 % and a trend towards stronger retreat for smaller glaciers. An evaluation of different methods to calculate equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) indicates that an optimized toe-to-ridge altitude method (TRAM) outperforms other methods in settings with complex topography and a lack of mass-balance measurements. However, a large number of glacier measurements is crucial for high quality TRAM results and special attention has to be paid to different morphological glacier characteristics: debris-cover, reconstitution, valley floor

  6. Younger Dryas and Holocene glacier fluctuations and equilibrium-line altitude variations in the Jostedalsbre region, western Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Nesje, A.

    1992-01-01

    Reconstructed Younger Dryas (11000-10000 y BP) valley- and cirque glaciers west of the Jostedalsbre ice cap suggest an equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) depression of (450{+-}200 y BP) deglaciation was characterized by vertical wastage, indicating that the LA was above the summit plateaus. During the Erdalen event (9100{+-}200 y BP) marginal moraines were formed up to 1 km beyond the Little Ice Age (LIA) moraines which lie in front of the present valley outlet glaciers of the Jostedalsbre ice cap. The average ELA lowering during this event is calculated to 325 m below the modern level. Lithostratigraphic and paleobotanical studies show that the Hypsithermal (ca. 8000-6000 y BP) ELA was about 450 m higher than at present. As a result, Jostedalsbreen probably disappeared entirely during that period. The glacier reformed about 5300 y BP. The ELA intersected the modern mean equilibrium line altitude five times from ca. 2600 y BP to the present. The outlet valley glaciers reached their maximum Neoglacial extent during the LIA in the mid-18th century, when the ELA was depressed 100-150 m below the present level. 25 refs., 9 figs.

  7. Glacier equilibrium line altitudes as palaeoclimatic information sources - examples from the Alpine Younger Dryas.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerschner, H.; Sailer, R.; Hertl, A.; Schuh, M.

    2003-04-01

    Equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) and flucutations of the ELA (dELA) of well dated glacial advances are valuable terrestrial sources for palaeoclimatic information, which are physically well understood (Kuhn 1981, Kaser and Osmaston 2001). Values of dELA can be used to infer quantitatively standard climatic parameters like precipitation and precipitation change. ELAs of former glaciers are usually calculated from maps of the glacier topography based on the moraines and related geomorphological features. Then either the analytical glacial-meterological model for ELA fluctuations by Kuhn (1981) or the statistical parameterization of the climate at the ELA in terms of "summer temperature" and "precipitation" by Ohmura et al. (1992) can be used for palaeoclimatic interpretation. As dELA is influenced both by factors governing accumulation and ablation, some external climatic information on one parameter is necessary to obtain the other. Moraines of the Younger Dryas "Egesen-Stadial" can be found throughout the Alps. Early Younger Dryas (Egesen-I, Ivy-Ochs et al. 1996) dELAs show a distinct spatial pattern. They were highest (ca. 450-600 m against "present-day") in areas exposed towards the West and Northwest. In the central valleys, it was in the order of -300 m and less. Presently, almost 200 data points are available. Summer temperature depression (dTs) can be derived from the Younger Dryas timberline depression and other proxy data (Ammann and Oldfield 2000). It seems to be in the order of -3.5 K in the central Alps. Along the northern and western fringe of the Alps, it may be somewhat larger (-4 to -4.5 K). dELA and dTs values are then used to calculate precipitation change (dP). Early Younger Dryas climate in the central valleys of the Alps seems to have been considerably drier than today (dP -30%). In areas open to the West and Northwest, precipitation seems to have been the same as today or even slightly higher (dP 0 - +10%). These results agree well with the

  8. Reconstruction of Equilibrium Line Altitudes of Nevado Coropuna Glaciers (Southern Peru) from the Late Pleistocene to the present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Úbeda, J.; Palacios, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2009-04-01

    The Nevado Coropuna (15°31'S-72°39'W) is a volcanic complex located 200 km NE of the city of Arequipa, in the Southern Peruvian Andes. The summit area in the complex is covered with a glacier system formed by dozens of branches descending in all directions totaling many km2 in surface area. The study of the volcanic complex and its glaciers is of great interest because it is the main water reserve for tens of thousands of people, because of the risk scenario created by the presence of ice masses on a volcano with relatively recent activity, and because it constitutes an excellent geoindicator of the effects of climate change on ice masses in the western mountain chain of the Central Andes. This research aims to analyze glacier evolution using as geoindicators variations in glacier surface and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs), defining deglaciation rates based on those variations and preparing forecasts with them on when the ice masses might disappear if the same rates were to occur in the future. In addition, a first estimation is attempted of the chronologies of the last phase of volcanic activity and the last phase of maximum glacier advance that can be attributed to the Late Glacial or Last Glacial Maximum periods. To achieve these aims, digital topography with 50m contour interval, two orthophotos of the central section of the Coropuna complex (15-6-1955 and 21-10-1986), an ASTER satellite image (12-11-2007) and geomorphological mapping of the volcanic complex created in a previous phase of the research (Ubeda, 2007) were integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The GIS was used to determine the global extent of the glacier system, and in more detail, that of two groups (NE and SE) in 1955, 1986 and 2007. Using the geomorphological cartography as a basis, the extent of the glaciers during their last advance in the Little Ice Age (LIA) and their last maximum advance were calculated. Next, surface areas for all phases were calculated using

  9. Modern and Little Ice Age equilibrium-line altitudes on Outlet Valley glaciers from Jostedalsbreen, western Norway: An evaluation of different approaches to their calculation

    SciTech Connect

    Torsnes, I.; Rye, N. ); Nesje, A. )

    1993-05-01

    The modern and Little Ice Age (LIA) equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) of 20 outlet valley glacier from Jostedalsbreen, western Norway, has been calculated using different approaches. Using an accumulation area ratio (AAR) of 0.6 [+-] 0.05 gave a mean little Ice Age ELA depression of 70 m. A method developed by M. Kuhle, taking the influence by topography into account gave a mean ELA depression of 35-255 m, the median elevation of glaciers 115 m, and the toe-to-headwall altitude ration 140 m. Differences in the ELA estimates can be attributed to the differences in topography and morphology of the glaciers. The AAR method appears to provide the most reliable results. This will aid in determining mean global temperatures during the LIA. 34 refs., 9 figs., 5 tabs.

  10. Reconstructed glacier geometry and inferred Equilibrium Line Altitude changes during the Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madarász, Balázs; Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Zsófia; Kern, Zoltán; Urdea, Petru

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary glaciations had a major imprint on the landscape and topography of the Southern Carpathians. Their transitional position between continental and Mediterranean climate zones arouses special interest concerning the timing and pattern of glaciations in this area. Probably the Retezat Mts hosted the most extended glaciation during the Late Pleistocene within this range. The peak elevations of the study area reach 2500 m asl, and the most extended glaciers descended to 1040 m in the northern and to 1130 m on the southern valleys. Major cirque floors are typically situated at 2000-2100 m asl. Glacial landforms have been mapped in order to reconstruct the past ice bodies and the elevation shifts of the paleo equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) during several deglaciation phases of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Lateglacial in the Retezat Mts. On the basis of published 10Be exposure age data on the northern valleys of the study area, deglaciation of the Retezat Mts occurred at least in five phases between ~21.0 ka and 13.5 ka [1]. Various methods (THAR, AAR, AABR) have been tested using a GIS tool to estimate the ELA of the reconstructed paleoglaciers [2] and paleo ELAs were calculated for each of the deglaciation phases. Preliminary estimates of regional LGM paleoELA employing the simplest THAR method (with a ratio of 0.5) ranged from ~1670 m during the LGM to ~2210 m for the smallest cirque glacier at 13.5 ka, respectively. The AAR and AABR methods provide somewhat higher ELAs for each phase. The obtained paleoELAs were compared to ELA reconstructions available from other Carpathian ranges and also to the Alps and Dinarides. Our data will contribute to a more accurate ELA distribution during the LGM, which may be indicative of the past state of the climate system (moisture gradient, circulation regimes). Thanks to OTKA PD83610, PD104899; NKM-96/2014, NKM-31/2015; OMAA 90öu17; LP2012-27/2012. References: [1] Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger et al. 2016 Quat. Int. (in

  11. The glaciers of Sierra Segundera (Zamora, NW Spain) during their Maximum Ice Extent: area, volume, Glacial Equilibrium Line Altitude and paleo-climatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    María Fernández, Jose; Ubeda, Jose; Palacios, David

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the Quaternary glaciers which formed the eastern sector of the Sierra Segundera ice-cap (NW Iberian Peninsula) during its Maximum Ice Extent (MIE) local phase (33 ka) in a surface area of 165 km2, to estimate the ice volumes and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs). The study area presents a wide altimetric range of approx. 1200 m, from the Tera glacier front to the Peña Trevinca (42°14'33'' N, 6°47'46'' W; 2127 m) and Peña Negra (42°14'58'' N, 6°47'39'' W; 2121 m) horns, covering a wide plateau at an altitude of over 1700 m. The reconstruction of the MIE paleoglaciers used a combination of various tools: a rheological numerical model which describes the ice flow, GIS and geomorphological field work to validate the results. The model used here allowed the reconstruction of the surface topography of the paleoglacial ice, even though there is no existing geomorphologic evidence to reveal the thickness of the ice at that time. The GIS enabled the creation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and the estimation of thicknesses and volumes. The reconstructed topography and the delimitation of the geomorphologic features were used to estimate the ELA using the following methods: Area x Altitude Balance Ratio (AABR), Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR), Terminus Headwall Altitude Ratio (THAR) and Maximum Elevation of Lateral Moraines (MELM). The DEM reconstructed for the surface of the paleoglaciers obtained an estimated maximum ice thickness of over 450 m during the MIE, and a total ice volume of 2.63 x 10(10)m3 for the eastern half of the ice-cap. When estimating the paleo-ELAs, the AABR and AAR methods obtain more logical values. The AABR method obtains BR=1, which questions the BR=2 assumed as representative for medium latitude glaciers with oceanic influence; the paleo-ELA AABR was 1739 m. Applying the AAR method with the ratio 0.65 gives the result 1735 m. The THAR and MELM methods give values of 1637 m and 1651 m respectively for

  12. Equilibrium-Line Altitudes In Cold Hyperarid Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jigjidsuren, B.; Gillespie, A. R.

    2012-12-01

    Equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) is a climatically sensitive elevation on the glacier surface where annual accumulation equals annual ablation. Although local effects including debris cover, slope and aspect can influence the mass balance, ELA responds most strongly to snowfall and summer temperature (positive degree days). ELA can be estimated from the distribution and elevations of glacial deposits and is thus a useful parameter in the study of paleoclimate, although it is highly sensitive to extraneous factors, especially for small glaciers confined to cirques. This problem can be overcome by examining numerous nearby glaciated drainages, instead of point studies, for example with remote sensing using images and DEMs provided there is chronologic control from field work. However, the concept of ELA was developed and most studies of ELA have been undertaken in temperate regions with relatively high mean annual snowfall where ablation increases at lower elevations and there actually is a well-defined altitude of equilibrium. In cold arid regions such as Central Asia or parts of the Andes, snowfall can be so low (<150 mm/yr) that solar irradiation alone is sufficient to evaporate the accumulation directly (sublimation), in contrast to regions in which high amounts of snowfall require warm temperatures for melting. In these hyperarid regions, the ELA may be a poorly defined concept since the entire glacier experiences ablation, not just the lower elevations. However, because glaciers in these settings can only exist where there is no melting, the precipitation-limited arid paleoglaciers are easy to distinguish and map from the temperature-controlled glaciers, which occur hundreds of meters lower. Remote mapping can therefore be used to map the ~150 mm/yr isohyet in continental settings.

  13. Estimates of Regional Equilibrium Line Altitudes and Net Mass Balance from MODIS Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, J. M.; Menounos, B.; Moore, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    Glacier mass balance is a key variable used to assess the health of glaciers and ice sheets. Estimates of glacier mass balance are required to model the dynamic response of glaciers and ice sheets to climate change, estimate sea-level contribution from surface melt, and document the response of glaciers to climate forcing. Annually resolved estimates of regional mass balance for mountain ranges is often inferred from a sparse network of ground-based measurements of mass balance for individual glaciers. Given that net mass balance is highly correlated with the annual equilibrium line altitude (ELA), we develop an automated approach to estimate the ELA, and by inference net mass balance, on large glaciers and icefields using MODIS 250 m imagery (MOD02QKM). We discriminate areas of bare ice and snow/firn using the product of MODIS' red (0.620 - 0.670 μ m) and near infrared (0.841 - 0.876 μ m) bands. To assess the skill in estimating glacier ELAs, we compare ELAs derived from (1) manual delineation and (2) unsupervised classification of the band product to ground-based observations of ELA and net mass balance at seven long term mass-balance monitoring sites in western North America (Gulkana, Wolverine, Lemon Creek, Taku, Place, Peyto, and South Cascade). Spatial and temporal variations in MODIS-derived ELAs provide an opportunity to validate regional mass-balance models, estimate surface melt contributions to sea-level rise, and examine the cryospheric response to climate change.

  14. Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Present and former equilibrium-line altitudes near Mount Everest, Nepal and Tibet.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, V.S.

    1983-01-01

    New information on equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) of present and former glaciers in the Mount Everest area of eastern Nepal and southern Tibet has been derived from field mapping and interpretation of topographic maps and Landsat imagery. Present ELAs rise from south to north across the Himalayan Range from 5200 to 5800 m, as indicated by the altitudes of lowest cirque glaciers and highest lateral and medial moraines on valley glaciers. In contrast, ELAs during maximum late Pleistocene glaciation rose in altitude from 4300 to 5500m across the range, as indicated by altitudes of lowest cirque floors and maximum extent of glacial deposits. Highest ELAs occurred on previously unrecognized ice caps that formerly covered extensive highland areas in Tibet north of the range crest. Depression of ELAs during the late Pleistocene glaciation was about twice as great south of the range crest (950m) as north of it (400m).-from Author

  16. Climate regime of Asian glaciers revealed by GAMDAM glacier inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Fujita, K.; Takenaka, S.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.

    2015-05-01

    Among meteorological elements, precipitation has a large spatial variability and less observation, particularly in high-mountain Asia, although precipitation in mountains is an important parameter for hydrological circulation. We estimated precipitation contributing to glacier mass at the median elevation of glaciers, which is presumed to be at equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) such that mass balance is zero at that elevation, by tuning adjustment parameters of precipitation. We also made comparisons between the median elevation of glaciers, including the effect of drifting snow and avalanche, and eliminated those local effects. Then, we could obtain the median elevation of glaciers depending only on climate to estimate glacier surface precipitation. The calculated precipitation contributing to glacier mass can elucidate that glaciers in arid high-mountain Asia receive less precipitation, while much precipitation makes a greater contribution to glacier mass in the Hindu Kush, the Himalayas, and the Hengduan Shan due to not only direct precipitation amount but also avalanche nourishment. We classified glaciers in high-mountain Asia into summer-accumulation type and winter-accumulation type using the summer-accumulation ratio and confirmed that summer-accumulation-type glaciers have a higher sensitivity than winter-accumulation-type glaciers.

  17. Climate regime of Asian glaciers revealed by GAMDAM Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Fujita, K.; Takenaka, S.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.

    2014-07-01

    Among meteorological elements, precipitation has a large spatial variability and less observation, particularly in High Mountain Asia, although precipitation in mountains is an important parameter for hydrological circulation. We estimated precipitation contributing to glacier mass at median elevation of glaciers, which is presumed to be at equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) so that mass balance is zero at that elevation, by tuning adjustment parameters of precipitation. We also made comparisons between median elevation of glaciers, including the effect of drifting snow and avalanche, and eliminated those local effects. Then, we could obtain median elevation of glaciers depending only on climate to estimate glacier surface precipitation. The calculated precipitation contributing to glacier mass can elucidate that glaciers in the arid High Mountain Asia have very less precipitation, while much precipitation contribute to glacier mass in the Hindu Kush, the Himalayas, and the Hengduan Shan due to not only direct precipitation amount but also avalanche nourishment. We classified glaciers in High Mountain Asia into summer-accumulation type and winter-accumulation type using the summer accumulation ratio, and confirmed that summer-accumulation type glaciers have a higher sensitivity than winter-accumulation type glaciers.

  18. The length of the glaciers in the world - a straightforward method for the automated calculation of glacier center lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machguth, H.; Huss, M.

    2014-05-01

    Glacier length is an important measure of glacier geometry but global glacier inventories are mostly lacking length data. Only recently semi-automated approaches to measure glacier length have been developed and applied regionally. Here we present a first global assessment of glacier length using a fully automated method based on glacier surface slope, distance to the glacier margins and a set of trade-off functions. The method is developed for East Greenland, evaluated for the same area as well as for Alaska, and eventually applied to all ∼200 000 glaciers around the globe. The evaluation highlights accurately calculated glacier length where DEM quality is good (East Greenland) and limited precision on low quality DEMs (parts of Alaska). Measured length of very small glaciers is subject to a certain level of ambiguity. The global calculation shows that only about 1.5% of all glaciers are longer than 10 km with Bering Glacier (Alaska/Canada) being the longest glacier in the world at a length of 196 km. Based on model output we derive global and regional area-length scaling laws. Differences among regional scaling parameters appear to be related to characteristics of topography and glacier mass balance. The present study adds glacier length as a central parameter to global glacier inventories. Global and regional scaling laws might proof beneficial in conceptual glacier models.

  19. Modeling debris-covered glaciers: response to steady debris deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2016-05-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are common in rapidly eroding alpine landscapes. When thicker than a few centimeters, surface debris suppresses melt rates. If continuous debris cover is present, ablation rates can be significantly reduced leading to increases in glacier length. In order to quantify feedbacks in the debris-glacier-climate system, we developed a 2-D long-valley numerical glacier model that includes englacial and supraglacial debris advection. We ran 120 simulations on a linear bed profile in which a hypothetical steady state debris-free glacier responds to a step increase of surface debris deposition. Simulated glaciers advance to steady states in which ice accumulation equals ice ablation, and debris input equals debris loss from the glacier terminus. Our model and parameter selections can produce 2-fold increases in glacier length. Debris flux onto the glacier and the relationship between debris thickness and melt rate strongly control glacier length. Debris deposited near the equilibrium-line altitude, where ice discharge is high, results in the greatest glacier extension when other debris-related variables are held constant. Debris deposited near the equilibrium-line altitude re-emerges high in the ablation zone and therefore impacts melt rate over a greater fraction of the glacier surface. Continuous debris cover reduces ice discharge gradients, ice thickness gradients, and velocity gradients relative to initial debris-free glaciers. Debris-forced glacier extension decreases the ratio of accumulation zone to total glacier area (AAR). Our simulations reproduce the "general trends" between debris cover, AARs, and glacier surface velocity patterns from modern debris-covered glaciers. We provide a quantitative, theoretical foundation to interpret the effect of debris cover on the moraine record, and to assess the effects of climate change on debris-covered glaciers.

  20. Non-Equilibrium in Line-Tied Coronal Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. S.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    1996-05-01

    Parker's model of nonequilibrium and topological dissipation [E. N. Parker, ApJ 174, 499, 1972] is revisited. Within the framework of ideal reduced MHD equations, it is shown that there can be at most one smooth magnetostatic equilibrium for each continuous footpoint mapping between the two plates with the line-tied boundary condition. This implies that for a given amount of footpoint driving, if a coronal equilibrium becomes unstable, magnetic non-equilibrium and current sheets (tangential discontinuities) can be realized. The special case of island coalescence is considered analytically and numerically. Stability of an equilibrium containing current layers is also studied. Numerical results suggest that such an equilibrium becomes more unstable as the current increases. This is consistent with the tendency for the formation of true tangential discontinuities. This work is supported by NSF and AFOSR.

  1. Submarine melting at the grounding line of Greenland's tidewater glaciers: Observations and Implications. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E. J.; Xu, Y.; Koppes, M. N.; Menemenlis, D.; Schodlok, M.; Spreen, G.

    2010-12-01

    The traditional view on the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is that interior snowfall accumulation is balanced by discharge of surface runoff and icebergs at the periphery. Most Greenland glaciers however terminate in the ocean, and melt in contact with the warm ocean waters to produce glacial melt before detaching into icebergs. Underneath floating ice shelves, the melting process is governed by the buoyancy associated with the melting of glacier ice at the seawater-ice interface. Under tidewater glaciers, the melting process is also forced by the strongly buoyant influx of subglacial freshwater near the grounding line. In August 2008, we collected bathymetry, temperature, salinity and current velocity data in front of 4 west Greenland glaciers (Eqip Sermia, Kangilerngata Sermia, Sermeq Kujatdleq and Sermeq Avangnardleq) to calculate the rates of submarine melting of the calving faces. The results revealed large rates of melting (meters per day), and large spatial variations from fjord to fjord as well as across the calving faces. In August 2010, we returned to Eqip Sermia, Sermeq Avangnardleq and visited Store and Little glaciers to conduct similar measurements. Strong outflows of subglacial water were detected on Avangnardleq, Lille and Store glaciers, and high rates of submarine melting were deduced from the data. We find that the sea bed in front of the calving faces (100 to 500 m) are much shallower than in the bulk of the glacial fjords (800 to 900 m), and the sill depth at the fjord entrance (~300 m ) is confirmed to be the major control on the access of warm ocean waters to the submerged calving faces. In the presence of heavy brash ice, our data suggest a conceivably weakened submarine circulation. Finally, we combine our summer data with long-term records of temperature and salinity, at the depth relevant to submarine melting, from the ECCO2 ocean state estimation project to examine seasonal to long-term trends in thermal forcing from the ocean

  2. Polar versus temperate grounding-line sedimentary systems and marine glacier stability during sea level rise by global warming

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, R.D. . Geology Dept.); Pyne, A.R. . Antarctic Research Center); Hunter, L.E.; Rynes, N.R.

    1992-01-01

    Marine-ending glaciers may retreat with global warming as sea level rises by ocean thermal expansion. If the sea floor rises by sediment accumulation, then glaciers may not feel the effect of sea level rise. A submersible ROV and other techniques have been used to collect data from temperate and polar glaciers to compare sediment production and mass balance of their grounding-line systems. Temperature Alaskan valley glaciers flow at about 0.2--2 km/a and have high volumes of supraglacial, englacial and subglacial debris. However, most sediment contributed to the base of their tidewater cliffs comes from subglacial streams or squeezing out subglacial sediment and pushing it with other marine sediment into a morainal bank. Blue Glacier, a thin, locally fed polar glacier in Antarctica, flows slowly and has minimal glacial debris. The grounding-line system at the tidewater cliff is a morainal bank that forms solely by pushing of marine sediment. An Antarctic polar outlet glacier, Mackay Glacier, terminating as a floating glacier-tongue, has similar volumes of basal debris to Alaskan temperature glaciers and flows at 250 m/a. However, no subglacial streams issued from Mackay's grounding line and all sedimentation was by rockfall and grainfall rainout from seawater undermelt of the tongue. A grounding-line wedge of glacimarine diamicton is deposited over subglacial (lodgement ) till. Although Antarctic grounding-line accumulation rates are three orders of magnitude smaller than Alaskan rates, both are capable of compensating for predicted rises in sea level by thermal heating from global warming.

  3. Younger Dryas equilibrium line altitudes and precipitation patterns in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerschner, Hanns; Moran, Andrew; Ivy-Ochs, Susan

    2016-04-01

    Moraine systems of the "Egesen Stadial" are widespread and easily identifiable features in the Alps. Absolute dating with terrestrial cosmogenic radionuclides shows that the maximum extent was reached during the early Younger Dryas (YD), probably as a reaction to the intense climatic downturn subsequent to Lateglacial Interstadial. In recent years, several new studies and the availability of high-quality laser-scan hillshades and orthophotos allowed a significant extension of the database of YD glaciers as "palaeoprecipitation gauges" to large hitherto unmapped regions in the Austrian and Swiss Alps. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of the glaciers and its lowering relative to the Little Ice Age ELA (dELA) shows a distinct and systematic spatial pattern. Along the northern slope of the Alps, dELAs are usually large (around 400 m and perhaps even more), while dELAs range around 200 m in the well sheltered areas of the central Alps, e.g. in the Engadine and in western Tyrol. Both stochastic glacier-climate models (e.g. Ohmura et al. 1992) and the heat- and mass balance equation (Kuhn 1981) allow the reconstruction of precipitation change under the assumption of a spatially constant summer temperature depression, which in turn can be estimated from biological proxies. This allows to draw the spatial pattern of precipitation change with considerable detail. Precipitation change is clearly controlled by the local relief like high mountain chains, deeply incised and long valleys and mountain passes. Generally the contrast between the northern fringe of the Alps and the interior was more pronounced than today. Climate in the Northern and and Northwestern Alps was rather wet with precipitation totals eventually exceeding modern annual sums. The central Alps received 20 - 30% less precipitation than today, mainly due to reduced winter precipitation. In the southern Alps, still scarce spatial information points to precipitation sums which were approximately similar to

  4. Climatic implications of reconstructed early - Mid Pliocene equilibrium-line altitudes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krusic, A.G.; Prentice, M.L.; Licciardi, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Early-mid Pliocene moraines in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are more extensive than the present alpine glaciers in this region, indicating substantial climatic differences between the early-mid Pliocene and the present. To quantify this difference in the glacier-climate regime, we estimated the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) change since the early-mid Pliocene by calculating the modern ELA and reconstructing the ELAs of four alpine glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys at their early-mid Pliocene maxima. The area-altitude balance ratio method was used on modern and reconstructed early-mid Pliocene hypsometry. In Wright and Victoria Valleys, mass-balance data identify present-day ELAs of 800-1600 m a.s.l. and an average balance ratio of 1.1. The estimated ELAs of the much larger early-mid Pliocene glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys range from 600 to 950 ?? 170 m a.s.l., and thus are 250-600 ??170 m lower than modern ELAs in these valleys. The depressed ELAs during the early-mid-Pliocene most likely indicate a wetter and therefore warmer climate in the Dry Valleys during this period than previous studies have recognized.

  5. Climate Change in the Russian Altai Mountains and its Influence on Tree Line and Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syromyatina, M.; Moskalenko, I.; Ganushkin, D.; Chistyakov, K.

    2011-12-01

    the average for the period 1986-2004 - about 1,3°C. As tree line against the other belt borders strongly limited by summer temperature its eventual dynamics since the end of the LIA over the Altai were estimated and tree line position at different stages of modern regional warming was reconstructed. Theoretical evaluation shows that mean summer temperature increase of 1.3°C from the end of the LIA causes tree line to rise maximum by 180-280 m in different localities of the Altai. Glacial complexes of mountain massifs Mongun-Taiga, Tavan-Boghd-Ola, Turgeni-Nuru and Harhira-Nuru located in the South-Eastern Altai are represented by small glaciers mostly on northern and eastern leeward slopes. Being situated in region with dry climatic conditions (250-400 mm/year) glaciers survive only in negative forms of relief with high concentration of snow. Accumulation coefficient is mainly from 2 to 3, and on cirque glaciers is from 6 to 8. Now glaciers retreat rapidly (17% of area loss for the period of 1995-2010 for Mongun-Taiga, 12% in 2002-2009 for Tavan-Boghd-Ola), especially valley glaciers (2-10 m/yr), the number of glaciers increase due to disintegration of larger glaciers. Small forms of glaciation disappear or transform into snow patches and rock glaciers.

  6. The current disequilibrium of North Cascade glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, Mauri S.

    2006-03-01

    Three lines of evidence indicate that North Cascade (Washington, USA) glaciers are currently in a state of disequilibrium. First, annual balance measured on nine glaciers yields a mean cumulative balance for the 1984-2004 period of -8.58 m water equivalent (w.e.), a net loss of ice thickness exceeding 9.5 m. This is a significant loss for glaciers that average 30-50 m in thickness, representing 18-32% of their entire volume.Second, longitudinal profiles completed in 1984 and 2002 on 12 North Cascade glaciers confirm this volume change indicating a loss of -5.7 to -6.3 m in thickness (5.0-5.6 m w.e.) between 1984 and 2002, agreeing well with the measured cumulative balance of -5.52 m w.e. for the same period. The change in thickness on several glaciers has been equally substantial in the accumulation zone and the ablation zone, indicating that there is no point to which the glacier can retreat to achieve equilibrium. Substantial thinning along the entire length of a glacier is the key indicator that a glacier is in disequilibrium.Third, North Cascade glacier retreat is rapid and ubiquitous. All 47 glaciers monitored are currently undergoing significant retreat or, in the case of four, have disappeared. Two of the glaciers where mass balance observations were begun, Spider Glacier and Lewis Glacier, have disappeared. The retreat since 1984 of eight Mount Baker glaciers that were all advancing in 1975 has averaged 297 m. These observations indicate broad regional continuity in glacial response to climate.

  7. Attribution of glacier fluctuations to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier retreat is a worlwide phenomenon, which started around the middle of the 19th century. During the period 1800-1850 the number of retreating and advancing glaciers was roughly equal (based on 42 records from different continents). During the period 1850-1900 about 92% of all mountain glaciers became shorter (based on 65 records). After this, the percentage of shrinking glaciers has been around 90% until the present time. The glacier signal is rather coherent over the globe, especially when surging and calving glaciers are not considered (for such glaciers the response to climate change is often masked by length changes related to internal dynamics). From theoretical studies as well as extensive meteorological work on glaciers, the processes that control the response of glaciers to climate change are now basically understood. It is useful to make a difference between geometric factors (e.g. slope, altitudinal range, hypsometry) and climatic setting (e.g. seasonal cycle, precipitation). The most sensitive glaciers appear to be flat glaciers in a maritime climate. Characterizing the dynamic properties of a glacier requires at least two quantities: the climate sensitivity, expressing how the equilibrium glacier state depends on the climatic conditions, and the response time, indicating how fast a glacier approaches a new equilibrium state after a stepwise change in the climatic forcing. These quantities can be estimated from relatively simple theory, showing that differences among glaciers are substantial. For larger glaciers, climate sensitivities (in terms of glacier length) vary from 1 to 8 km per 100 m change in the equilibrium-line altitude. Response times are mainly in the range of 20 to 200 years, with most values between 30 and 80 years. Changes in the equilibrium-line altitude or net mass balance of a glacier are mainly driven by fluctuations in air temperature, precipitation, and global radiation. Energy-balance modelling for many glaciers shows that

  8. A code for line blanketing without local thermodynamic equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, L. S.

    A numerical code has been written which is designed to calculate radiation transport and atmospheric structure under the constraints of statistical equilibrium in atomic transitions and radiative and hydrostatic equilibrium in the medium. In addition to the complete linearization and variable Eddington factor techniques of Auer and Mihalas, it uses a multi-frequency/multi-gray algorithm which admits the inclusion of many spectral lines in full statistical equilibrium. The program can comfortably accept up to about 300 specific lines arising from about 30 lower states and any number of continua. Cleverly constructed artificial model atoms can extend the number of lines to 3000 or more, where opacity sampling techniques can begin to approximate the blanketing accomplished by Kurucz in LTE. By way of example, a model of a stellar atmosphere is presented with effective temperature 35,000 K and surface gravity 10 to the 4 cm per second squared. The calculation includes 98 bound-free transitions and 93 bound-bound transitions (57 with radiative rates) between 91 states in 36 ions of nine cosmically abundant species.

  9. The length of the world's glaciers - a new approach for the global calculation of center lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machguth, H.; Huss, M.

    2014-09-01

    Glacier length is an important measure of glacier geometry. Nevertheless, global glacier inventories are mostly lacking length data. Only recently semi-automated approaches to measure glacier length have been developed and applied regionally. Here we present a first global assessment of glacier length using an automated method that relies on glacier surface slope, distance to the glacier margins and a set of trade-off functions. The method is developed for East Greenland, evaluated for East Greenland as well as for Alaska and eventually applied to all ~ 200 000 glaciers around the globe. The evaluation highlights accurately calculated glacier length where digital elevation model (DEM) quality is high (East Greenland) and limited accuracy on low-quality DEMs (parts of Alaska). Measured length of very small glaciers is subject to a certain level of ambiguity. The global calculation shows that only about 1.5% of all glaciers are longer than 10 km, with Bering Glacier (Alaska/Canada) being the longest glacier in the world at a length of 196 km. Based on the output of our algorithm we derive global and regional area-length scaling laws. Differences among regional scaling parameters appear to be related to characteristics of topography and glacier mass balance. The present study adds glacier length as a key parameter to global glacier inventories. Global and regional scaling laws might prove beneficial in conceptual glacier models.

  10. Grounding line retreat of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica, 1996 to 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin; Rignot, Eric; Morlighem, Mathieu; Mouginot, Jeremie; Scheuchl, Bernd

    2015-10-01

    Totten Glacier, East Antarctica, a glacier that holds a 3.9 m sea level change equivalent, has thinned and lost mass for decades. We map its grounding line positions in 1996 and 2013 using differential radar interferometry (InSAR) data and develop precise, high-resolution topographies of its ice surface and ice draft using NASA Operation IceBridge data, InSAR data, and a mass conservation method. We detect a 1 to 3 km retreat of the grounding line in 17 years. The retreat is asymmetrical along a two-lobe pattern, where ice is only grounded a few 10 m above sea level, or ice plain, which may unground further with only modest amounts of ice thinning. The pattern of retreat indicates ice thinning of 12 m in 17 years or 0.7±0.1 m/yr at the grounding line on average. Sustained thinning will cause further grounding line retreat but may not be conducive to a marine instability.

  11. Deep Bed in the Vicinity of the Grounding Line of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Goldberg, D. N.; Cornford, S. L.; Rignot, E. J.

    2014-12-01

    Pine Island glacier is one of the major ice streams of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and has been experiencing dramatic changes for the past four decades. Its grounding line has been retreating at a rate of 1 km/a since 1992. It has been suggested that this retreat would not stop and that the entire basin would unground because of the geometry of its bed. The bed topography indeed controls to a large extent the behavior of the grounding line because of its reverse shape, which makes Pine Island susceptible to the Marine Ice Sheet Instability. Using three model-based approaches, we analyze the bed topography of Pine Island, and any potential errors inherent in its representation. While all three approaches are based on the conservation of mass and momentum, they differ both in terms of the glaciological flow model used, and their estimation methodology. Nevertheless, all three produce similar bed corrections that suggest that the bed is several hundreds of meters below the most recent bed compilation of Bedmap-2, and has a flatter shape. We attribute the inconsistency with Bedmap-2 to noise and ambiguity in radar echograms due to the presence of crevasses, as well as large cross-over errors and sparse flight-line data in this region. This new description of the bed topography of Pine Island Glacier has vast implications for the modeling of its evolution in the coming decades. Models of the glacier are likely to exhibit more subtle amplification of retreat rate, since the bed is less steep, but may also begin to retreat more readily, since the present day discharge is greater and the ice surface elevation closer to floatation. Our results also provide guidelines for future mission deployments.

  12. Glacier fluctuations in the Kenai Fjords, Alaska, U.S.A.: An evaluation of controls on Iceberg-calving glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Wiles, G.C.; Calkin, P.E.; Post, A.

    1995-08-01

    The histories of four iceberg-calving outlet-glacier systems in the Kenai Fjords National Park underscore the importance of fiord depth, sediment supply, and fiord geometry on glacier stability. These parameters, in turn, limit the reliability of calving glacier chronologies as records of climatic change. Tree-ring analysis together with radiocarbon dating show that the Northwestern and McCarty glaciers, with large drainage basins, were advancing in concert with nearby land-terminating glaciers about A.D. 600. After an interval of retreat and possible nonclimatically induced extension during the Medieval Warm Period, these ice margins advanced again through the Little Ice Age and then retreated synchronously with the surrounding land-terminating glaciers about A.D. 1900. In contrast, Holgate and Aialik glaciers, with deeper fiords and smaller basins, retreated about 300 yr earlier. Reconstructions of Little Ice Age glaciers suggest that equilibrium-line altitudes of Northwestern and McCarty glaciers were, respectively, 270 and 500 m lower than now. Furthermore, the reconstructions show that these two glaciers were climatically sensitive when at their terminal moranies. However, with ice margins at their present recessional positions and accumulation area ratios between 0.8 and 0.9, only McCarty Glacier shows evidence of advance. Aialik and Holgate glaciers were climatically insensitive during the Little Ice Age maxima and remain insensitive to climate. 40 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  13. Snow and glaciers in the tropics: the importance of snowfall level and snow line altitude in the Peruvian Cordilleras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schauwecker, Simone; Rohrer, Mario; Huggel, Christian; Salzmann, Nadine; Montoya, Nilton; Endries, Jason; Perry, Baker

    2016-04-01

    The snow line altitude, defined as the line separating snow from ice or firn surfaces, is among the most important parameters in the glacier mass and energy balance of tropical glaciers, since it determines net shortwave radiation via surface albedo. Therefore, hydroglaciological models require estimations of the melting layer during precipitation events, as well as parameterisations of the transient snow line. Typically, the height of the melting layer is implemented by simple air temperature extrapolation techniques, using data from nearby meteorological stations and constant lapse rates. Nonetheless, in the Peruvian mountain ranges, stations at the height of glacier tongues (>5000 m asl.) are scarce and the extrapolation techniques must use data from distant and much lower elevated stations, which need prior careful validation. Thus, reliable snowfall level and snow line altitude estimates from multiple data sets are necessary. Here, we assemble and analyse data from multiple sources (remote sensing, in-situ station data, reanalysis data) in order to assess their applicability in estimating both, the melting layer and snow line altitude. We especially focus on the potential of radar bright band data from TRMM and CloudSat satellite data for its use as a proxy for the snow/rain transition height. As expected for tropical regions, the seasonal and regional variability in the snow line altitude is comparatively low. During the course of the dry season, Landsat satellite as well as webcam images show that the transient snow line is generally increasing, interrupted by light snowfall or graupel events with low precipitation amounts and fast decay rates. We show limitations and possibilities of different data sources as well as their applicability to validate temperature extrapolation methods. Further on, we analyse the implications of the relatively low variability in seasonal snow line altitude on local glacier mass balance gradients. We show that the snow line

  14. Equilibrium Line Altitude fluctuations at HualcaHualca volcano (southern Peru).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcalá, Jesus; Palacios, David; Juan Zamorano, Jose

    2015-04-01

    Interest in Andean glaciers has substantially increased during the last decades, due to its high sensitivity to climate fluctuations. In this sense, Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) is a reliable indicator of climate variability that has been frequently used to reconstruct palaeoenvironmental conditions at different temporal and spatial scales. However, the number of sites with ELA reconstructions is still insufficient to determine patterns in tropical climate or estimations of atmospheric cooling since the Last Glacial Maximum. The main purpose of this study is to contribute in resolving tropical climate evolution through ELA calculations on HualcaHualca (15° 43' S; 71° 52' W; 6,025 masl), a large andesitic stratovolcano located in the south-western Peruvian Andes approximately 70 km north-west of Arequipa. We applied Terminus Headwall Altitude Ratio (THAR) with 0.2; 0.4; 0.5; 0.57 ratios, Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR) and Accumulation Area Balance Ratio (AABR) methods in four valleys of HualcaHualca volcano: Huayuray (north side), Pujro Huayjo (southwest side), Mollebaya (east side) and Mucurca (west side). To estimate ELA depression, we calculated the difference between the ELA on 1955 with its position in the Maximum Glacier Extent (MGE), Tardiglacial phases, little Ice Age (LIA) and 2000. Paleotemperature reconstructions derived from vertical temperature gradient 6.5° C / 1 km, based on GODDARD global observation system considered the most appropriate model for arid Andes. During MGE, the ELA was located between 5,005 (AABR) and 5,215 (AAR 0.67) masl. But in 1955, ELA rose to 5,685 (AABR) - 5,775 (AAR 0.67) masl. The ELA depression between those two phases is 560 - 680 m that implies a temperature decrease of 3.5° - 4.4° C. The experimental process based in the use and contrast of different ELA reconstruction techniques applied in this study suggests that THAR (0.57), AAR (0.67) or AABR are the most consistent procedures for HualcaHualca glaciers, while

  15. OMEGA - an operational glacier monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellikka, P. K. E.

    2003-04-01

    Glacier changes reflect local climate changes and are one of the most important direct indicators of global climate change. In general, the glaciers are retreating in Europe, but some glaciers are advancing. However, even in small areas glacier responses can be different. The application of glaciers as indicators requires sufficient amount of glaciers, which is possible only with remote sensing methods. Remote sensing data have been used for glacier monitoring from the late 19th century, first as terrestrial photographs, but later as aerial photographs. A new era began in the 1970’s as optical satellite data became available. Since late 1990’s the glacier monitoring could be performed with numerous satellite and airborne sensors ranging from satellite radar data to airborne laser scanner data. All together, the development of new remote sensing technologies and methods provides many possibilities for studies of glacier features and parameters. The glacier parameters of interest in operational monitoring are the changes of glacier area and volume, and the variation of glacier zones, such as snow, firn and ice. These parameters enable the estimation of relative volume change, AAR and equilibrium line, for example. Operational monitoring involves that the remote sensing data to be used is available continuously, the image processing methods are accurate and the processing chain is developed so that the derivation of the aimed parameters works fluently. The OMEGA project aims at the development of an operational glacier monitoring system applying all the potential remote sensing data. The objectives are to develop workflows and semi-automatic image processing methodologies for different data types in order to retrieve glacier parameters, to construct databases of the study glaciers and to develop the prototype of an operational monitoring system. The test glaciers are Hintereisferner in Austria and Engabreen in Norway. The deliverable of the project is the OMEGA

  16. Combined Ice and Water Balances of Maclure Glacier, California, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers, Alaska, 1967 Hydrologic Year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tangborn, Wendell V.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Scully, David R.; Krimmel, Robert M.

    1977-01-01

    Combined ice and water balances were measured in the 1967 hydrologic year (October 1-September 30) on four glaciers in western North America ranging in latitude from 37 deg to 63 deg N. This hydrologic year was characterized by heavier than normal winter precipitation in California and Washington and abnormally dry winter conditions in coastal Alaska. In summer the western conterminous states were abnormally dry and central and southern Alaska experienced very wet conditions. Maclure Glacier (lat 37 deg 45' N., 3,650-m (metres) mean equilibrium line altitude) had an above normal winter balance of 3.46 m and a positive annual balance of 1.05 m (metres of water equivalent). South Cascade Glacier (lat 48 deg 22' N., 1900-m mean equilibrium line altitude) had a winter balance of 3.28 m, slightly above average. Above normal summer ablation resulted in a final annual balance of -0.58 m, slightly more negative than has been the case for the past decade. Wolverine Glacier's (lat 60 deg 24' N., 1,200-m mean equilibrium line altitude) winter balance was 1.17 m, considerably below normal; the annual balance was -2.04 m. Gulkana Glacier (lat 63 deg 15' N., 1,700-m mean equilibrium line altitude) had a winter balance of 1.05 m, approximately normal for this glacier; the final annual balance was -0.30 m.

  17. Variations in Melt-Flow Acceleration Above and Below the Greenland Equilibrium Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwally, H.; Saba, J. L.; Steffen, K.

    2013-12-01

    Initial observations of accelerated ice flow at the equilibrium line in West-central Greenland during summer melt periods (1996 to 1999) indicated that surface melt-water rapidly propagated to the base and enhanced the basal sliding. Since then numerous observational and theoretical results have provided additional information on the melt-acceleration effect, while leading to some differing conclusions about the climatological and hydrological processes involved. Additional velocity measurements since 1999 show further characteristics of the melt-acceleration in the ice flowline though Swiss Camp, which terminates on land, and in a nearby flowline, which terminates in an outlet glacier. Accelerations as large as three times the average winter velocity are observed during stronger melt events. At downstream locations, accelerations begin earlier in the melt season, but accelerations at multiple sites along a flow line occur simultaneously later in the season. At the equilibrium line, a short period of surface uplift of about 50 cm occurs when the flow abruptly changes from acceleration to deceleration, apparently caused by ice compression during the transition. At downstream locations, the surface rises at the beginning of the melt season and drops at the end of melting suggesting an uplift forced by sub-ice water and sediment. Equivalence of the net additional displacement at upstream and downstream sites indicates no net longitudinal ice strain after the acceleration-deceleration periods. Approximate equivalence of the ratio of peak summer velocities to average winter velocities along the flowline indicate that local melt-acceleration is occurring at and above the equilibrium as well as from longitudinal coupling of downstream effects. High-frequency velocity observations show that the ice flow continues to accelerate with increasing water production during melt events, follow by an abrupt deceleration after the event, indicating that saturation of the

  18. Analysis of Snow Line and Albedo Conditions By Means of Time-Lapse Photography on Tapado Glacier, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivero, S.; MacDonell, S.; McPhee, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    In the semiarid Coquimbo Region of Chile, high-altitude glaciers and seasonal snow are important sources of freshwater for irrigated agriculture and urban consumption. Due to the aridity of the environment, losses due to sublimation are large which means that accurate melt modelling is essential in order to reliably estimate streamflow. Since 2008, the CEAZA glaciology group has been studying the energy and mass balance of the largest glacier in the catchment, the Tapado Glacier using field and remote sensing measurements, and numerical modelling. The Tapado glacier system (30°08' S, 69°55' W) is a complex assemblage of uncovered and debris-covered ice located at the head of the Elqui basin between 4500 and 5536 m a.s.l. Energy balance modelling studies at the site have been limited in scope due to the development of ice pinnacles or penitentes on snow and ice surfaces. These features complicate energy distribution across the surface, due to modifications of parameters such as albedo. In this paper, we use time-lapse photography and automatic weather station (AWS) measurements to investigate how the development of penitentes impacts the spatial and temporal variability of albedo across the glacier surface and whether terrestrial photography is appropriate for use at such locations. Oblique photographs obtained from a high vantage point were georeferenced using a high resolution digital elevation model available for the entire glacier and its environs. By comparing the photographic data with point albedo measurements made at an AWS, distributed albedo maps were produced. Preliminary results suggest that distributed albedo values may be underestimated by the formation and development of penitentes during the ablation season. Moreover, it was observed that the evolution of the snow line during summer was not only topographically controlled but also modified by occasional convective snowfalls. Time-lapse photography provided to be a cost-effective tool for monitoring

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Fischer, Mauro

    2016-04-01

    Very small glaciers (<0.5km2) currently account for up to 80% of the total number of glaciers in mountain ranges around the globe. Although their total area and volume is small compared to larger glaciers, they are a relevant component of the cryosphere contributing to landscape formation, local hydrology and sea-level rise. 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. Here, we present a comprehensive modeling framework to assess past and future changes of very small glaciers at the mountain-range scale. Among other processes our model accounts for snow redistribution, changes in glacier geometry and the time-varying effect of supraglacial debris. It computes the mass balance distribution, the englacial temperature regime and proglacial runoff. The past evolution of 1'133 glaciers in the Swiss Alps is individually constrained based on geodetic ice volume changes, and the model is validated against an extensive data base of in-situ measurements on very small glaciers. Our results indicate that 52% of all very small glaciers in Switzerland will completely disappear within the next 25 years. However, a few avalanche-fed glaciers at low elevation might be able to survive even substantial atmospheric warming. We find highly variable sensitivities of very small glaciers to air temperature change, gently-sloping, low-elevation, and debris-covered glaciers being most sensitive.

  20. Remote Sensing Characterization of Glaciers in the N. Himachal Pradesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, D.; Catania, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers in high mountain Asia represent the largest volume of ice outside of the polar regions. They play an important role in the water resources of communities downstream and there has been recent dispute over the total amount of ice present how it is changing. The immense quantity of glaciers and variability of glacier types in the Himalayas coupled with the sparse amount of suitable satellite data limits the capability of conducting detailed and efficient remote sensing observations on a regional scale. This study aims to develop a semi-automated characterization of approximately 5,000 glaciers in the N. Himachal Pradesh region of India using multi-spectral data. We use an August 2002 Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) image because of its small percentage of snow and cloud cover, and because it is acquired late in the summer allowing for delineation of ablation and accumulation zones. Glacier outlines from the GLIMS glacier database for this region comprise total glacier area including debris covered ice regions. We outline the accumulation (snow-covered) region for each glacier exploiting the high reflectance value of snow compared to ice and debris. We further outline debris-free, bare-ice using a threshold on a ratio image of ETM+ bands 4 and 5. Subtracting this region from the GLIMS outlines leaves us with the debris-covered ice region. Using our resulting ablation and accumulation areas, we compute the area-accumulation ratio (AAR) for the many glaciers in our region. These data are compared to mean aspect, mean elevation, glacier size, percentage of debris cover, and mean equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for each glacier. This study hopes to contribute to and improve on glacier databases for the Himalayan region and to advance glacier analyses using remote sensing data. A possible future aim is to identify benchmark glaciers which can be used for detailed future study.

  1. Coupled ice shelf-ocean modeling and complex grounding line retreat for Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, Jan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

    Recent observations and modeling work have shown a complex mechanical coupling between Antarctica's floating ice shelves and the adjacent grounded ice sheet. A prime example is Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, which has a strong negative mass balance caused by a recent increase in ocean-induced melting of its ice shelf. The mass loss coincides with the retreat of the grounding line from a seabed ridge, on which it was at least partly grounded until the 1970s. At present, it is unclear what has caused the onset of this retreat, and how feedback mechanisms between the ocean and iceshelf geometry have influenced the ice dynamics. To address these questions, we present results from an offline coupling between a state-of-the-art shallow-ice flow model with grounding line resolving capabilities, and a three-dimensional ocean general circulation model with a static implementation of the ice shelf. A series of idealized experiments simulate the retreat from a seabed ridge in response to changes in the ocean forcing, and we show that the retreat becomes irreversible after 20 years of warm ocean conditions. A comparison to experiments with a simple depth-dependent meltrate parameterisation demonstrates that such parameterizations are unable to capture the details of the retreat process, and they overestimate mass loss by more than 40% over a 50-year timescale.

  2. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, New Zealand: Historic length records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purdie, Heather; Anderson, Brian; Chinn, Trevor; Owens, Ian; Mackintosh, Andrew; Lawson, Wendy

    2014-10-01

    Compilation of modern and historical length change records for Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers demonstrates that these glaciers have lost ~ 3 km in length and at least 3-4 km2 in area since the 1800s, with the greatest overall loss occurring between 1934 and 1983. Within this dramatic and ongoing retreat, both glaciers have experienced periods of re-advance. The record from Franz Josef Glacier is the most detailed, and shows major advances from 1946 to 1951 (340 m), 1965-1967 (400 m), 1983-1999 (1420 m) and 2004-2008 (280 m). At Fox Glacier the record is similar, with advances recorded during 1964-1968 (60 m), 1985-1999 (710 m) and 2004-2008 (290 m). Apart from the latest advance event, the magnitude of advance has been greater at Franz Josef Glacier, suggesting a higher length sensitivity. Analysis of the relationship between glacier length and a reconstructed annual equilibrium line altitude (ELA) record shows that the glaciers react very quickly to ELA variations - with the greatest correlation at 3-4 years' lag. The present (2014) retreat is the fastest retreat in the records of both glaciers. While decadal length fluctuations have been linked to hemispheric ocean-atmosphere variability, the overall reduction in length is a clear sign of twentieth century warming. However, documenting glacier length changes can be challenging; especially when increased surface debris-cover makes identification of the 'true' terminus a convoluted process.

  3. Integrated glacier and snow hydrological modelling in the Urumqi No.1 Glacier catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Hongkai; Hrachowitz, Markus; Savenije, Hubert

    2015-04-01

    The glacier and snow melt water from mountainous area is an essential water resource in Northwest China, where the climate is arid. Therefore a hydrologic model including glacier and snow melt simulation is in an urgent need for water resources management and prediction under climate change in this region. In this study, the Urumqi No.1 Glacier catchment in Northwest China, with 51% area covered by glacier, was selected as the study site. An integrated daily hydrological model was developed to systematically simulate the hydrograph, runoff separation (glacier and non-glacier runoff), the glacier mass balance (GMB), the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), and the snow water equivalent (SWE). Only precipitation, temperature and sunshine hour data is required as forcing input. A combination method, which applies degree-day approach during dry periods and empirical energy balance formulation during wet seasons, was implemented to simulate snow and glacier melt. Detailed snow melt processes were included in the model, including the water holding capacity of snow pack, the liquid water refreezing process in snow pack, and the change of albedo with time. A traditional rainfall-runoff model (Xinanjiang) was applied to simulate the rainfall(snowmelt)-runoff process in non-glacierized area. Additionally, the influence of elevation on temperature and precipitation distribution, and the impact of different aspect on snow and glacier melting were considered. The model was validated, not only by long-term observed daily runoff data, but also by measured snow (SWE) and glacier data (GMB, ELA) of over 50 years. Furthermore, the calibrated model can be upscaled into a larger catchment, which further supports our proposed model and optimized parameter sets.

  4. Modeling mountain pine beetle disturbance in Glacier National Park using multiple lines of evidence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Assal, Timothy; Sibold, Jason

    2013-01-01

    Temperate forest ecosystems are subject to various disturbances which contribute to ecological legacies that can have profound effects on the structure of the ecosystem. Impacts of disturbance can vary widely in extent, duration and severity over space and time. Given that global climate change is expected to increase rates of forest disturbance, an understanding of these events are critical in the interpretation of contemporary forest patterns and those of the near future. We seek to understand the impact of the 1970s mountain pine beetle outbreak on the landscape of Glacier National Park and investigate any connection between this event and subsequent decades of extensive wildfire. The lack of spatially explicit data on the mountain pine beetle disturbance represents a major data gap and inhibits our ability to test for correlations between outbreak severity and fire severity. To overcome this challenge, we utilized multiple lines of evidence to model forest canopy mortality as a proxy for outbreak severity. We used historical aerial and landscape photos, reports, aerial survey data, a six year collection of Landsat imagery and abiotic data in combination with regression analysis. The use of remotely sensed data is critical in large areas where subsequent disturbance (fire) has erased some of the evidence from the landscape. Results indicate that this method is successful in capturing the spatial heterogeneity of the outbreak in a topographically complex landscape. Furthermore, this study provides an example on the use of existing data to reduce levels of uncertainty associated with an historic disturbance.

  5. Modeling debris-covered glaciers: extension due to steady debris input

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are common in rapidly-eroding alpine landscapes. When thicker than a few centimeters, surface debris suppresses melt rates. If continuous debris cover is present, mass balance gradients can be reduced leading to increases in glacier length. In order to quantify feedbacks in the debris-glacier-climate system, we developed a 2-D long-valley numerical glacier model that includes englacial and supraglacial advection. We ran 120 simulations in which a steady state debris-free glacier responds to a step increase of surface debris deposition. Simulated glaciers advance to steady states in which ice accumulation equals ice ablation, and debris input equals debris loss from the glacier. Our model and parameter selections produce two-fold increases in glacier length. Debris flux onto the glacier and the relationship between debris thickness and melt rate strongly control glacier length. Debris deposited near the equilibrium-line altitude, where ice discharge is high, results in the greatest glacier extension when other debris related variables are held constant. Continuous debris cover reduces ice discharge gradients, ice thickness gradients, and velocity gradients relative to initial debris-free glaciers. Debris-forced glacier extension decreases the ratio of accumulation zone to total glacier area (AAR). The model reproduces first-order relationships between debris cover, AARs, and glacier surface velocities from glaciers in High Asia. We provide a quantitative, theoretical foundation to interpret the effect of debris cover on the moraine record, and to assess the effects of climate change on debris-covered glaciers.

  6. The effect of bed topography on modeled grounding line migration in a conditional simulation of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waibel, M. S.; Jackson, C. S.; Hulbe, C. L.; Martin, D. F.; Goff, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Chief among the challenges involved with accurately modeling grounding line migration of marine terminating ice sheets is integrating grounding line dynamics together with accurate sub-kilometer scale bed topography. We address this challenge using a Berkeley Ice Sheet Initiative for Climate at Extreme Scales (BISICLES) ice sheet model with a new 250 m resolution conditional simulation of the bed beneath Thwaites Glacier and its catchment area. The new bed topography was created by interpolating aerogeophysical observations to a fine grid using inhomogeneous statistics with channelized morphology and a realistic small-scale roughness. The primary interest here is understanding how (and why) the more realistic bed geometry affects model behavior and projections of future change, relative to projections made using simpler bed geometries. We use the same forcing as prior work on the Thwaites and Pine Island Glacier systems--parameterized warm water incursion beneath the floating glacier terminus--and compare the resulting grounding line retreat to retreat simulated using the same model with a standard 1 km resolution basal elevation data set.

  7. The response of debris-covered glaciers to climate change: A numerical modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2016-04-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are common in rapidly-eroding alpine landscapes. When thicker than a few centimeters, surface debris suppresses melt rates. Continuous debris cover can therefore reduce the mass balance gradient in the ablation zone, leading to increases in glacier length. In order to quantify feedbacks in the debris-glacier-climate system, we developed a 2D long-valley numerical glacier model that includes deposition of debris on the glacier surface, and both englacial and supraglacial debris advection. We ran 120 simulations in which a steady state debris-free glacier responds to a step increase of surface debris deposition. Simulated glaciers advance to new steady states in which ice accumulation equals ice ablation, and debris input equals debris loss from the glacier. The debris flux onto the glacier surface, and the details of the relationship between debris thickness and melt rate strongly control glacier length. Debris deposited near the equilibrium-line altitude, where ice discharge is high, results in the greatest glacier extension when other debris-related variables are held constant. Continuous debris cover reduces ice discharge gradients, ice thickness gradients, and velocity gradients relative to debris-free glaciers forced by the same climate. Debris-forced glacier extension decreases the ratio of accumulation zone to total glacier area (AAR). The model reproduces first-order relationships between debris cover, AARs, and glacier surface velocities reported from glaciers in High Asia. We also explore the response of debris-covered glaciers to increases in the equilibrium-line altitude (climate warming). We highlight the conditions required to generate a low surface velocity 'dead' ice terminal reach during a warming climate, and the associated increase of fractional glacier surface debris. We also compare our debris-covered glacier climate response results with data from glaciers in High Asia. Our model provides a quantitative, theoretical

  8. Modelling glacier change in the Everest region, Nepal Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, J. M.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Wagnon, P.; Vincent, C.; Bajracharya, S.

    2014-10-01

    In this study, we apply a glacier mass balance and ice redistribution model to simulate historical and future glacier change in the Everest region of Nepal. High-resolution temperature and precipitation fields derived from gridded APHRODITE data, and validated against independent station observations from the EVK2CNR network, are used to drive the historical model from 1961 to 2007. The model is calibrated against geodetically derived estimates of net glacier mass change from 1992 to 2008, termini position of four large glaciers at the end of the calibration period, average velocities observed on selected debris-covered glaciers, and total glacierized area. We integrate field-based observations of glacier mass balance and ice thickness with remotely-sensed observations of decadal glacier change to validate the model. Between 1961 and 2007, the mean modelled volume change over the Dudh Kosi basin is -6.4 ± 1.5 km3, a decrease of 15.6% from the original estimated ice volume in 1961. Modelled glacier area change between 1961 and 2007 is -101.0 ± 11.4 km2, a decrease of approximately 20% from the initial extent. Scenarios of future climate change, based on CMIP5 RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 end members, suggest that glaciers in the Everest region will continue to lose mass through the 21st century. Glaciers in the basin are concentrated between 5000 and 6000 m of elevation, and are thus expected to be sensitive to changes in temperature and equilibrium line altitude (ELA). Glacier volume reductions between -35 to -62% are possible by 2050, and sustained temperature increases to 2100 may result in total glacier volume losses of between -73 and -96%.

  9. The influence of shear bands on the grounding line retreat in Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favier, Lionel; Durand, Gaël; Cornford, Stephen; Gagliardini, Olivier; Zwinger, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG), West Antarctica, is known as the weak underbelly of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. During the last 30 years, it has undergone a dramatic acceleration along with a retreat of its grounding line. The main ice stream draining PIG is laterally bounded by two thin bands of damaged ice. These shear bands may play a key role in the dynamics of the grounding line since they likely decrease the ice-shelf buttressing. The traditional approach is generally to infer the viscosity from surface velocity using data assimilation methods. However, in that case the inverse problem is under-constrained when it is coupled to the inversion of basal drag: different set of basal drag and viscosity pattern solution can lead to a good match between modelled and observed surface velocities, but would lead to different prognostic solutions associated to different grounding line migrations. Here, we follow a simpler approach and perform a sensitivity study on the shear bands effective viscosity, and its consequences for the ice dynamics. The areas of fractured ice at PIG are located using a recent SPOT satellite image. The non-fractured ice viscosity depends on ice temperatures while the fractured ice viscosity is decreased through a sensitivity study to reproduce the damaged ice of the shear bands. Using two different higher-order models (Elmer/Ice and BISICLES), we investigate the influence of the shear bands' damage on the grounding line dynamics. Each experiment in the sensitivity study gathers successively (i) the determination of basal drag through assimilation methods, (ii) a geometry relaxation over 15 years and (iii) transient perturbation experiments driven by different calving sizes. The initial geometry of the ice sheet arises from the ALBMAP data set on a 1 km grid resolution, velocities were acquired during the last International polar Year, and non-fractured ice viscosities are deduced from prescribed temperatures computed with a higher order model. We

  10. Constraining Glacier Sensitivity across the Andes: A Modeling Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagredo, E. A.; Rupper, S.; Lowell, T. V.

    2011-12-01

    Valley glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate change. Records of former glacial fluctuations have been extensively used to reconstruct paleoclimatic conditions at different temporal and spatial scales. These reconstructions typically do not account for variations in regional climate conditions. Based on modeling results, it has been suggested these regional climate conditions could play an important role modulating the magnitude of glacier response for large scale climate perturbations. The climatically diverse Andes mountain range represents an ideal setting to test hypothesis of glacier sensitivity variability. Here, we quantify glacier sensitivity to climate change in different climatic regimes across the Andean. By applying a regional Surface Energy Mass Balance model (SEMB), we analyze the change in the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) for a sample of 234 glaciers, under different climatic perturbations. Our results suggest that ELAs of Andean glaciers respond linearly to changes in temperature, with rates that oscillate between 153 and 186 m/°C. For example, with a perturbation of -6°C (~Global LGM), our model predicts a drop in the ELA of 916 m for the least sensitive glaciers and 1117 m for the more sensitive ones. This glacier sensitivity variability exhibits a very distinctive spatial distribution. The most sensitive glaciers are located in Central Chile (south of 31°C), and the Western Cordillera of Peru (north of 13°S). In contrast, lower sensitivity glaciers are situated in the inner Tropics, Eastern Cordillera of Peru and Bolivia (south of 13°S), and part of southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. When analyzing the response of glaciers to changes in accumulation, our results suggest that under a scenario of increasing precipitation, glacier behavior is nonlinear. A statistical cluster analysis of glacier sensitivity divides our 234 glaciers into three distinct groups. The most sensitive glaciers correspond to those situated in western

  11. Hexagonal graphite to cubic diamond transition from equilibrium lines and barrier calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Shen Li

    2014-07-01

    Phase equilibrium lines of hexagonal graphite (hg) and cubic diamond (cd) phases of carbon as well as a saddle-point equilibrium line between the two phase equilibrium lines are studied by first-principles total-energy calculations. The Gibbs free energies ( G) of the three equilibrium lines determine the transition pressure p t = 70 kbar (0.070 Mbar) from hg phase to cd phase and the barrier height at p t of ΔG = 178 mRy/atom that stabilizes the two phases against a phase transition. The cd phase becomes unstable at V = 13.6 au3/atom ( p = 26 Mbar) where the curvature at the equilibrium point of the energy curve (denoted E V ( c/ a) curve) goes to zero. The hg and cd phase equilibrium lines cross at V = 14.5 au3/atom where the regular hg phase (with one minimum in each E V ( c/ a) curve) ends and the irregular hg phase (with two minima in each E V ( c/ a) curve) develops. The feature of "two phase equilibrium lines cross" was not observed in our previous work [S.L. Qiu, P.M. Marcus, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 24, 225501 (2012); S.L. Qiu, P.M. Marcus, Eur. Phys. J. B 86, 425 (2013)] where the two interacting crystal phases have a common unit cell with different c/ a ratios. This work demonstrates that the saddle-point equilibrium line along with the two phase equilibrium lines are all needed for a complete description of crystal phases and their transitions under pressure.

  12. Hexagonal graphite to cubic diamond transition from equilibrium lines and barrier calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li Qiu, Shen

    2014-07-01

    Phase equilibrium lines of hexagonal graphite (hg) and cubic diamond (cd) phases of carbon as well as a saddle-point equilibrium line between the two phase equilibrium lines are studied by first-principles total-energy calculations. The Gibbs free energies (G) of the three equilibrium lines determine the transition pressure pt = 70 kbar (0.070 Mbar) from hg phase to cd phase and the barrier height at pt of ΔG = 178 mRy/atom that stabilizes the two phases against a phase transition. The cd phase becomes unstable at V = 13.6 au3/atom (p = 26 Mbar) where the curvature at the equilibrium point of the energy curve (denoted EV(c/a) curve) goes to zero. The hg and cd phase equilibrium lines cross at V = 14.5 au3/atom where the regular hg phase (with one minimum in each EV(c/a) curve) ends and the irregular hg phase (with two minima in each EV(c/a) curve) develops. The feature of "two phase equilibrium lines cross" was not observed in our previous work [S.L. Qiu, P.M. Marcus, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 24, 225501 (2012); S.L. Qiu, P.M. Marcus, Eur. Phys. J. B 86, 425 (2013)] where the two interacting crystal phases have a common unit cell with different c/a ratios. This work demonstrates that the saddle-point equilibrium line along with the two phase equilibrium lines are all needed for a complete description of crystal phases and their transitions under pressure.

  13. Quality controlled glacier inventory in high Asian mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Taniguchi, K.; Lamsal, D.; Nagai, H.; Tsutaki, S.; Kozawa, A.; Hoshina, Y.; Takenaka, S.; Omiya, S.; Tsunematsu, K.; Tshering, P.; Fujita, K.; Okamoto, S.

    2013-12-01

    Glacier inventories provide a basic information for the water resources, glacier mass balance and ice volume at continental areas. Although glaciers in the Asian mountain are thought to play an important role for the regional water resources (Immerzeel et al., 2010), glacier distribution in the Asia have been poorly understood. Our GAMDAM (Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge in Asian Mountains) project have conducted to establish a glacier inventory with the aim of estimating glacier runoff contribution to river runoff. Our target region covers the High Mountain Asia, extending from 27 to 52 degrees N and from 68 to 104 degrees E. Glacier outlines were manually delineated using more than 260 of LANDSAT images taken from 1999 to 2003. Thermal infrared band was also used to delineate termini of debris-covered glaciers with help of high resolution images on Google Earth. The manual delineation has been conducted for more than two years by 5-7 operators. We conducted several tests, along which the operators delineated the same regions, and assessed the quality and criteria, and fed them back to the operators. At the end of June 2013, the inventory was completed 80% with about 63000 glaciers covering 7.8 × 10^4 km^2. Median elevation of glaciers has been interpreted as a proxy for the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), at which the accumulation and ablation were equal and thus the mass balance was zero (Braithwaite and Raper, 2009). Distribution of the median altitude derived from the GAMDAM glacier inventory was well consistent with that previously reported (Shi et al., 1980).

  14. Norwegian mountain glaciers in the past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesje, Atle; Bakke, Jostein; Dahl, Svein Olaf; Lie, Øyvind; Matthews, John A.

    2008-01-01

    'forecast' for western Norway indicates a rise in the summer temperature of 2.3 °C and an increase in the winter precipitation of 16% by the end of the 21st century. This climate scenario may, if it occurs, cause the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) to rise 260 ± 50 m. As a result, about 98% of the Norwegian glaciers are likely to disappear and the glacier area may be reduced ˜ 34% by AD 2100.

  15. Annual and seasonal mass balances of Chhota Shigri Glacier (benchmark glacier, Western Himalaya), India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Arindan; Ramanathan, Alagappan; Farooq Azam, Mohd; Wagnon, Patrick; Vincent, Christian; Linda, Anurag; Sharma, Parmanand; Angchuk, Thupstan; Bahadur Singh, Virendra; Pottakkal, Jose George; Kumar, Naveen; Soheb, Mohd

    2015-04-01

    Several studies on Himalayan glaciers have been recently initiated as they are of particular interest in terms of future water supply, regional climate change and sea-level rise. In 2002, a long-term monitoring program was initiated on Chhota Shigri Glacier (15.7 square km, 9 km long, 6263-4050 m a.s.l.) located in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. This glacier lies in the monsoon-arid transition zone (western Himalaya) and is a representative glacier in Lahaul and Spiti Valley. While annual mass balances have been measured continuously since 2002 using the glaciological method, seasonal scale observations began in 2009. The annual and seasonal mass balances were then analyzed along with meteorological conditions in order to understand the role of winter and summer balances on annual glacier-wide mass balance of Chhota Shigri glacier. During the period 2002-2013, the glacier experienced a negative glacier-wide mass balance of -0.59±0.40 m w.e. a-1 with a cumulative glaciological mass balance of -6.45 m w.e. Annual glacier-wide mass balances were negative except for four years (2004/05, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11) where it was generally close to balanced conditions. Equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for steady state condition is calculated as 4950 m a.s.l. corresponding to an accumulation area ratio (AAR) of 62% using annual glacier-wide mass balance, ELA and AAR data between 2002 and 2013. The winter glacier-wide mass balance between 2009 and 2013 ranges from a maximum value of 1.38 m w.e. in 2009/10 to a minimum value of 0.89 in 2012/13 year whereas the summer glacier-wide mass balance varies from the highest value of -0.95 m w.e. in 2010/11 to the lowest value of -1.72 m w.e. in 2011/12 year. The mean vertical mass balance gradient between 2002 and 2013 was 0.66 m w.e. (100 m)-1 quite similar to Alps, Nepalese Himalayas etc. Over debris covered area, the gradients are highly variable with a negative mean value of -2.15 m w.e. (100 m)-1 over 2002

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  17. What do We Know the Snow Darkening Effect Over Himalayan Glaciers?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yasunari, T. J.; Lau, K.-U.; Koster, R. D.; Suarez, M.; Mahanama, S. P.; Gautam, R.; Kim, K. M.; Dasilva, A. M.; Colarco, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    The atmospheric absorbing aerosols such as dust, black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC) are now well known warming factors in the atmosphere. However, when these aerosols deposit onto the snow surface, it causes darkening of snow and thereby absorbing more energy at the snow surface leading to the accelerated melting of snow. If this happens over Himalayan glacier surface, the glacier meltings are expected and may contribute the mass balance changes though the mass balance itself is more complicated issue. Glacier has mainly two parts: ablation and accumulation zones. Those are separated by the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). Above and below ELA, snow accumulation and melting are dominant, respectively. The change of ELA will influence the glacier disappearance in future. In the Himalayan region, many glacier are debris covered glacier at the terminus (i.e., in the ablation zone). Debris is pieces of rock from local land and the debris covered parts are probably not affected by any deposition of the absorbing aerosols because the snow surface is already covered by debris (the debris covered parts have different mechanism of melting). Hence, the contribution of the snow darkening effect is considered to be most important "over non debris covered part" of the Himalayan glacier (i.e., over the snow or ice surface area). To discuss the whole glacier retreat, mass balance of each glacier is most important including the discussion on glacier flow, vertical compaction of glacier, melting amount, etc. The contribution of the snow darkening is mostly associated with "the snow/ice surface melting". Note that the surface melting itself is not always directly related to glacier retreats because sometimes melt water refreezes inside of the glacier. We should discuss glacier retreats in terms of not only the snow darkening but also other contributions to the mass balance.

  18. Seasonal and interannual variations in snow cover thickness, glacier mass balance, and gravity-induced dynamics in a high Arctic valley glacier watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokop, Alexander; Tolle, Florian; Bernard, Eric; Friedt, Jean-Michel; Griselin, Madeleine

    2015-04-01

    For 3 consecutive years, terrestrial laser scanning surveys have been conducted in the glacier basin of Austre Lovénbreen (Svalbard, 79°N). Each year, high density point clouds were acquired on the glacier surface and on the surrounding slopes. Two yearly scanning sessions were required in order to spatialize and quantify snow cover. The first session was done late April at the expected annual snow maximum. The second session was done in August near the end of the melting season. On the glacier itself, laser scans were produced on the glacier snout, in the area close to the equilibrium line, and in the upper reaches of the glacier. Manual snow drilling measurements and glacier mass balance data were subsequently used to validate snow cover results. In the steep slopes surrounding the glacier, scans were acquired on slopes at various altitudes and orientations in order to get a representative view of different snow cover settings. Particular attention was granted to snowdrift and avalanche processes, and their consequences on remaining packed snow stored in perennial snow accumulation at the bottom of slopes. A good knowledge of the dynamics of the snow cover is of particular interest in a glacier undergoing a clear retreat. Snow is protecting the ice from melting for part of the season, and snow is also providing what will constitute future glacier ice in the upper reaches of the basin. Snow on slopes is also of importance as avalanches reaching on the glacier can contribute to the overall mass balance. Snow cover, by keeping the slopes permafrost from thawing early in the season, or by providing liquid water affecting it later in the season, is also playing a key role in the glacier basin morphology and its interactions with the glacier body.

  19. Glacial lakes amplify glacier recession in the central Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Owen; Quincey, Duncan; Carrivick, Jonathan; Rowan, Ann

    2016-04-01

    store large amounts of ice in broad accumulation zones and are more equidimensional (HI -1.2 to 1.2). Glaciers flowing onto the Tibetan Plateau have a similar hypsometric distribution to glaciers of the Dudh Koshi, but terminate at a higher altitude overall, approximately 500 m higher than glaciers of the Dudh Koshi or Tama Koshi. We estimate the approximate Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELA) of the last 15 years to be above a substantial portion (66%- Dudh Koshi; 87%- Tama Koshi; 83% Tibetan Plateau) of the glacierised area for all three catchments. Future ice recession may therefore be governed primarily by glacier hypsometry, but is likely to be amplified by the continued development of new, or growth of current glacial lakes.

  20. Balance Mass Flux and Velocity Across the Equilibrium Line in Ice Drainage Systems of Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Estimates of balance mass flux and the depth-averaged ice velocity through the cross-section aligned with the equilibrium line are produced for each of six drainage systems in Greenland. (The equilibrium line, which lies at approximately 1200 m elevation on the ice sheet, is the boundary between the area of net snow accumulation at higher elevations and the areas of net melting at lower elevations around the ice sheet.) Ice drainage divides and six major drainage systems are delineated using surface topography from ERS (European Remote Sensing) radar altimeter data. The net accumulation rate in the accumulation zone bounded by the equilibrium line is 399 Gt/yr and net ablation rate in the remaining area is 231 Gt/yr. (1 GigaTon of ice is 1090 kM(exp 3). The mean balance mass flux and depth-averaged ice velocity at the cross-section aligned with the modeled equilibrium line are 0.1011 Gt kM(exp -2)/yr and 0.111 km/yr, respectively, with little variation in these values from system to system. The ratio of the ice mass above the equilibrium line to the rate of mass output implies an effective exchange time of approximately 6000 years for total mass exchange. The range of exchange times, from a low of 3 ka in the SE drainage system to 14 ka in the NE, suggests a rank as to which regions of the ice sheet may respond more rapidly to climate fluctuations.

  1. Debris-Covered Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, California, and Their Implications for Snowline Reconstructions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.H.; Clark, M.M.; Gillespie, A.R.

    1994-01-01

    Ice-walled melt ponds on the surfaces of active valley-floor rock glaciers and Matthes (Little Ice Age) moraines in the southern Sierra Nevada indicate that most of these landforms consist of glacier ice under thin (ca. 1 - 10 m) but continuous covers of rock-fall-generated debris. These debris blankets effectively insulate the underlying ice and greatly reduce rates of ablation relative to that of uncovered ice. Such insulation explains the observations that ice-cored rock glaciers in the Sierra, actually debris-covered glaciers, are apparently less sensitive to climatic warming and commonly advance to lower altitudes than do adjacent bare-ice glaciers. Accumulation-area ratios and toe-to-headwall-altitude ratios used to estimate equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) of former glaciers may therefore yield incorrect results for cirque glaciers subject to abundant rockfall. Inadvertent lumping of deposits from former debris-covered and bare-ice glaciers partially explains an apparently anomalous regional ELA gradient reported for the pre-Matthes Recess Peak Neoglacial advance. Distinguishing such deposits may be important to studies that rely on paleo-ELA estimates. Moreover, Matthes and Recess Peak ELA gradients along the crest evidently depend strongly on local orographic effects rather than latitudinal climatic trends, indicating that simple linear projections and regional climatic interpretations of ELA gradients of small glaciers may be unreliable.

  2. Departure of High-temperature Iron Lines from the Equilibrium State in Flaring Solar Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawate, T.; Keenan, F. P.; Jess, D. B.

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study is to clarify if the assumption of ionization equilibrium and a Maxwellian electron energy distribution is valid in flaring solar plasmas. We analyze the 2014 December 20 X1.8 flare, in which the Fe xxi 187 Å, Fe xxii 253 Å, Fe xxiii 263 Å, and Fe xxiv 255 Å emission lines were simultaneously observed by the EUV Imaging Spectrometer on board the Hinode satellite. Intensity ratios among these high-temperature Fe lines are compared and departures from isothermal conditions and ionization equilibrium examined. Temperatures derived from intensity ratios involving these four lines show significant discrepancies at the flare footpoints in the impulsive phase, and at the looptop in the gradual phase. Among these, the temperature derived from the Fe xxii/Fe xxiv intensity ratio is the lowest, which cannot be explained if we assume a Maxwellian electron distribution and ionization equilibrium, even in the case of a multithermal structure. This result suggests that the assumption of ionization equilibrium and/or a Maxwellian electron energy distribution can be violated in evaporating solar plasma around 10 MK.

  3. Green's function approach to the non-equilibrium superconductivity near the critical line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipavský, Pavel

    2016-03-01

    In spite of the absent friction of super-currents, normal currents affect the superconducting condensate. The BCS approach with Bogoliubov-Valutin quasiparticles is not suited for description of the normal current near the critical line. We review an alternative theory of the non-equilibrium superconductivity dealing exclusively with normal-state quasiparticles. It is based on the Thouless T-matrix criterion, which is extended to non-equilibrium. The problem of selfconsistency of the T-matrix in the superconducting state is examined and solved with the help of the multiple-scattering theory.

  4. Modelling the impact of submarine frontal melting and ice melange on glacier dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krug, J.; Durand, G.; Gagliardini, O.; Weiss, J.

    2015-05-01

    Submarine melting of the calving face of tidewater glaciers and the mechanical back force applied by the ice melange layer are two mechanisms generally proposed to explain seasonal variations at the calving front of tidewater glaciers. However, the way these processes affect the calving rate and glacier dynamics remains uncertain. In this study, we used a finite element-based model that solves the full Stokes equations to simulate the impact of these forcings on two-dimensional theoretical flow line glacier configurations. The model, which includes calving processes, suggests that frontal melting affects the position of the terminus only slightly (less than a few hundred metres) and does not affect the multiannual glacier mass balance at all. However, the ice melange has a greater impact on the advance and retreat cycles of the glacier front (more than several kilometres) and its consequences for the mass balance are not completely negligible, stressing the need for better characterization of forcing properties. We also show that ice melange forcing against the calving face can mechanically prevent crevasse propagation at sea level and hence prevent calving. Results also reveal different behaviours in grounded and floating glaciers: in the case of a floating extension, the strongest forcings can disrupt the glacier equilibrium by modifying its buttressing and ice flux at the grounding line.

  5. Flux line non-equilibrium relaxation kinetics following current quenches in disordered type-II superconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaturvedi, Harshwardhan; Assi, Hiba; Dobramysl, Ulrich; Pleimling, Michel; Täuber, Uwe

    We investigate the relaxation dynamics of magnetic vortex lines in disordered type-II superconductors following rapid changes in the external driving current by means of Langevin molecular dynamics simulations for an elastic line model. A system of driven interacting flux lines in a sample with randomly distributed point pinning centers is initially relaxed to a moving non-equilibrium steady state. The current is then instantaneously decreased, such that the final stationary state resides either still in the moving regime, or in the pinned Bragg glass phase. The ensuing non-equilibrium relaxation kinetics of the vortices is studied in detail by measuring the mean flux line gyration radius and the two-time transverse height autocorrelation function. The latter allows us to investigate the physical aging properties for quenches from the moving into the glassy phase, and to compare with non-equilibrium relaxation features obtained with different initial configurations. Research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award DE-FG02-09ER46613.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... Icebergs released from the glacier drift slowly with the ocean currents and pose hazards for shipping along the coast. The Multi-angle Imaging ... Glacier location:  Greenland Arctic Ocean thumbnail:  ...

  8. Hydrodynamic Models of Line-Driven Accretion Disk Winds III: Local Ionization Equilibrium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pereyra, Nicolas Antonio; Kallman, Timothy R.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We present time-dependent numerical hydrodynamic models of line-driven accretion disk winds in cataclysmic variable systems and calculate wind mass-loss rates and terminal velocities. The models are 2.5-dimensional, include an energy balance condition with radiative heating and cooling processes, and includes local ionization equilibrium introducing time dependence and spatial dependence on the line radiation force parameters. The radiation field is assumed to originate in an optically thick accretion disk. Wind ion populations are calculated under the assumption that local ionization equilibrium is determined by photoionization and radiative recombination, similar to a photoionized nebula. We find a steady wind flowing from the accretion disk. Radiative heating tends to maintain the temperature in the higher density wind regions near the disk surface, rather than cooling adiabatically. For a disk luminosity L (sub disk) = solar luminosity, white dwarf mass M(sub wd) = 0.6 solar mass, and white dwarf radii R(sub wd) = 0.01 solar radius, we obtain a wind mass-loss rate of M(sub wind) = 4 x 10(exp -12) solar mass yr(exp -1) and a terminal velocity of approximately 3000 km per second. These results confirm the general velocity and density structures found in our earlier constant ionization equilibrium adiabatic CV wind models. Further we establish here 2.5D numerical models that can be extended to QSO/AGN winds where the local ionization equilibrium will play a crucial role in the overall dynamics.

  9. Turbulent diffusion from a heated line source in non-equilibrium grid turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedic, Jovan; Tavoularis, Stavros

    2015-11-01

    We have investigated turbulent diffusion of heat injected passively from a line source in equilibrium and non-equilibrium grid-generated turbulence, which are, respectively, flows in which the value of the non-dimensional rate of kinetic energy dissipation is constant or changes with streamwise distance from the grid. We used three grids with uniform square meshes and one fractal square grid (FSG), all of the same solidity, to generate non-equilibrium and equilibrium turbulence in a wind-tunnel. The regular grids have mesh sizes that are comparable to the first (RG160), second (RG80) and fourth (RG18) iterations of the fractal grid. The heated line source was inserted on the centre-plane of the grids at either of two downstream locations or an upstream one and it spanned the entire width of the wind-tunnel. We found that RG160 produced the greatest heat diffusion, followed by FSG, RG80 and RG18, in this order. The apparent turbulent diffusivity produced by the four grids also decreased in the same order. These findings conform with Taylor's theory of diffusion by continuous movements. Moreover, the present study demonstrates that the fractal space-scale unfolding (SSU) mechanism does not apply to grids with the same solidity but different effective mesh sizes. Supported by NSERC.

  10. Do Glaciers on Cascade Volcanoes Behave Differently Than Other Glaciers in the Region?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, J. L.; Ryane, C.; Osborn, J.; Davis, T.; Menounos, B.; Clague, J. J.; Koch, J.; Scott, K. M.; Reasoner, M.

    2006-12-01

    It has been suggested that glaciers on two stratovolcanoes in the Cascade Range of Washington state, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak, achieved their maximum extent of the past 10,000 years during the early Holocene. These findings differ from most evidence in western North America, which indicates that Little Ice Age moraines represent the most extensive glacier advances of the Holocene. Significant early Holocene advances are difficult to reconcile with the documented warm, dry conditions at this time in western North America. Our data indicate that glaciers on these volcanoes responded similarly to Holocene climatic events as glaciers in other areas in Washington and British Columbia. Heavy winter accumulation and favorable hypsometry have been proposed as the explanations for the unusual behavior of glaciers on volcanoes compared to similar-sized glaciers elsewhere in the Cascade Range. However, glacier mass balance on the volcanoes is controlled by not only these factors, but also by glacier geometry, snow erosion and ablation. Accumulation zones of glaciers on isolated Cascade stratovolcanoes are high, but are narrow at the top. For example, the accumulation zone of Deming Glacier on the southwest side of Mt. Baker extends above 3000 m asl, but due to its wedge shape lies largely below 2500 m asl. Furthermore, glaciers on Mt. Baker and other symmetrical volcanoes have high ablation rates because they are not shaded, and south-southwest aspects are subject to erosion of snow by prevailing southwesterly winds. Modern glacier observations in the North Cascades quantify the important influence of aspect and snow erosion on glacier mass balance. For example, average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of Easton Glacier on the south flank of Mt. Baker is 2160 m, whereas the ELA of a north-facing cirque glacier 25km to the east is 2040m. Our research at Mt. Baker contradicts the claim of extensive early Holocene advances on the south flank of the volcano. Tephra set SC, which

  11. Field line twist and field-aligned currents in an axially symmetric equilibrium magnetosphere. [of Uranus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Voigt, Gerd-Hannes

    1986-01-01

    Field-aligned Birkeland currents and the angle of the magnetic line twist were calculated for an axially symmetric pole-on magnetosphere (assumed to be in MHD equilibrium). The angle of the field line twist was shown to have a strong radial dependence on the axisymmetric magnetotail as well as on the ionospheric conductivity and the amount of thermal plasma contained in closed magnetotail flux tubes. The field line twist results from the planetary rotation, which leads to the development of a toroidal magnetic B-sub-phi component and to differentially rotating magnetic field lines. It was shown that the time development of the toroidal magnetic B-sub-phi component and the rotation frequency are related through an induction equation.

  12. NON-EQUILIBRIUM IONIZATION EFFECTS ON THE DENSITY LINE RATIO DIAGNOSTICS OF O IV

    SciTech Connect

    Olluri, K.; Gudiksen, B. V.; Hansteen, V. H.

    2013-04-10

    The dynamic timescales in the solar atmosphere are shorter than the ionization and recombination times of many ions used for line ratio diagnostics of the transition region and corona. The long ionization and recombination times for these ions imply that they can be found far from their equilibrium temperatures, and spectroscopic investigations require more care before being trusted in giving correct information on local quantities, such as density and temperature. By solving the full time-dependent rate equations for an oxygen model atom in the three-dimensional numerical model of the solar atmosphere generated by the Bifrost code, we are able to construct synthetic intensity maps and study the emergent emission. We investigate the method of electron density diagnostics through line ratio analysis of the O IV 140.1 nm to the 140.4 nm ratio, the assumptions made in carrying out the diagnostics, and the different interpretations of the electron density. The results show big discrepancies between emission in statistical equilibrium and emission where non-equilibrium (NEQ) ionization is treated. Deduced electron densities are up to an order of magnitude higher when NEQ effects are accounted for. The inferred electron density is found to be a weighted mean average electron density along the line of sight and has no relation to the temperature of emission. This study shows that numerical modeling is essential for electron density diagnostics and is a valuable tool when the ions used for such studies are expected to be out of ionization equilibrium. Though this study has been performed on the O IV ion, similar results are also expected for other transition region ions.

  13. Age and significance of former low-altitude corrie glaciers on Hoy, Orkney Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ballantyne, C.K.; Hall, A.M.; Phillips, W.; Binnie, S.; Kubik, P.W.

    2007-01-01

    Geomorphological mapping provides evidence for two former low-level corrie glaciers on Hoy, both defined by end moraines. Five 10Be exposure ages obtained from sandstone boulders on moraine crests fall within the range 12.4??1.5 ka to 10.4??1.7 ka (weighted mean 11.7??0.6 ka), confirming that these glaciers developed during the Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stade (LLS) of 12.9-11.5 cal. ka BP, and demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach to establish the age of LLS glacier limits. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of one of the glaciers (99 m) is the lowest recorded for any LLS glacier, and the area-weighted mean ELA for both (141 m) is consistent with a general northward ELA decrease along the west coast of Britain. The size of moraines fronting these small (???0.75 km2) glaciers implies that glacier termini remained at or close to their limits for a prolonged period. The apparent restriction of LLS glaciers to only two sites on Hoy probably reflects topographic favourability, and particularly the extent of snow-contributing areas.

  14. Younger Dryas glaciers in the High Atlas, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip; Fink, David

    2016-04-01

    Twelve cirque glaciers formed during the Younger Dryas on the mountains of Aksoual (3912 m a.s.l.) and Adrar el Hajj (3129 m a.s.l.) in the Marrakesh High Atlas. Moraines in two separate cirques on these mountains have been dated using 10Be and 36Cl exposure dating. In both cirques the age scatter is relatively small (13.8-10.1 ka) and all ages overlap within error with the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka). The glaciers were small and covered <2 km2 and formed on north-facing slopes. However, the altitudinal range of the glaciers was very large, with equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) ranging from 2470 and 3560 m. This large range is attributed to local topoclimatic factors with the lowest glacier (confirmed as Younger Dryas in age by 3 exposure ages) occupying a very steep cirque floor where a combination of steep glacier gradient and a large potential avalanche catchment enabled its low-lying position. This indicates that caution should be taken when using single glacier sites for reconstructing regional palaeoclimate, especially those formed in steep catchments that have strong topoclimatic controls. The average ELA of the twelve Younger Dryas glaciers was c. 3109 m a.s.l. (St Dev = 325 m) and this represents an ELA depression of > 1000 m from the modern theoretical regional ELA. Under precipitation values similar to today this would require a mean annual temperature depression of 9°C. Moreover, the glacier-climate modelling indicates that it is very unlikely that climate was drier than today during the Younger Dryas in the Marrakesh High Atlas.

  15. Surface elevation changes on glaciers in 1974-2010 in the Mt. Naimona'Nyi region in the Himalayas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, J.; YE, Q.; Tian, L.; Gou, P.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers, especially those in mountain regions, are considered as one of the sensitive indicators of climate change nowadays. Glacier mass changes on the Tibetan Plateau significantly affect water resources and eco-systems in Asia. In this paper, surface elevation changes on glaciers were studied by DEMs and in-situ measurements. A DEM in Naimona'Nyi region was generated by Takeo Tanado at JAXA using stereo pairs from ALOS/PRISM in 2006, which was evaluated and calibrated by in-situ differential GPS points measured in 2012 and ICESat/GLAS points in non-glacier area. The 1:50,000 topographic maps and the base 1:50,000 DEM in 1974 was projected into WGS84 UTM 44N and then co-registered to PRISM DEM. The elevation change on glacier surface was calculated by PRISM DEM and 1974 DEM. The results suggested that the surface elevation was decreased rapidly on most glaciers, with an average downwasting rate of 0.7×0.2m per year. The in-situ measurement of glacier surface elevation indicated a decrease of ~1.4m (~0.7m per year) from 2008 to 2010 by Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)differential GPS. It also showed that glacier ice on south slope downwasting faster than those on north slope. According to glacier surface elevation changes at different altitudes, the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) might reach about 6300m a.s.l.

  16. A multicomponent coupled model of glacier hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flowers, Gwenn Elizabeth

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest a causal link between subglacial hydrology and phenomena such as fast-flowing ice. This evidence includes a measured correlation between water under alpine glaciers and their motion, the presence of saturated sediment beneath Antaxctic ice streams, and geologic signatures of enhanced paleo-ice flow over deformable substrates. The complexity of the glacier bed as a three-component mixture presents an obstacle to unraveling these conundra. Inadequate representations of hydrology, in part, prevent us from closing the gap between empirical descriptions and a comprehensive consistent framework for understanding the dynamics of glacierized systems. I have developed a distributed numerical model that solves equations governing glacier surface runoff, englacial water transport, subglacial drainage, and subsurface groundwater flow. Ablation and precipitation drive the surface model through a temperature-index parameterization. Water is permitted to flow over and off the glacier, or to the bed through a system of crevasses, pipes, and fractures. A macroporous sediment horizon transports subglacial water to the ice margin or to an underlying aquifer. Governing equations are derived from the law of mass conservation and are expressed as a balance between the internal redistribution of water and external sources. Each of the four model components is represented as a two-dimensional, vertically-integrated layer that communicates with its neighbors through water exchange. Stacked together, these layers approximate a three-dimensional system. I tailor the model to Trapridge Glacier, where digital maps of the surface and bed have been derived from ice-penetrating radar data. Observations of subglacial water pressure provide additional constraints on model parameters and a basis for comparison of simulations with real data. Three classical idealizations of glacier geometry are used for simple model experiments. Equilibrium tests emphasize geometric

  17. The Bossons glacier protects Europe's summit from erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godon, C.; Mugnier, J. L.; Fallourd, R.; Paquette, J. L.; Pohl, A.; Buoncristiani, J. F.

    2013-08-01

    The contrasting efficiency of erosion beneath cold glacier ice, beneath temperate glacier ice, and on ice-free mountain slopes is one of the key parameters in the development of relief during glacial periods. Detrital geochronology has been applied to the subglacial streams of the north face of the Mont-Blanc massif in order to estimate the efficiency of erosional processes there. Lithologically this area is composed of granite intruded at ~303 Ma within an older polymetamorphic complex. We use macroscopic features (on ~10,000 clasts) and U-Pb dating of zircon (~500 grains) to establish the provenance of the sediment transported by the glacier and its subglacial streams. The lithology of sediment collected from the surface and the base of the glacier is compared with the distribution of bedrock sources. The analysis of this distribution takes into account the glacier's surface flow lines, the surface areas beneath temperate and cold ice above and below the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA), and the extent of the watersheds of the three subglacial meltwater stream outlets located at altitudes of 2300 m, 1760 m and 1450 m. Comparison of the proportions of granite and metamorphics in these samples indicates that (1) glacial transport does not mix the clasts derived from subglacial erosion with the clasts derived from supraglacial deposition, except in the lower part of the ice tongue where supraglacial streams and moulins transfer the supraglacial load to the base of the glacier; (2) the glacial erosion rate beneath the tongue is lower than the erosion rate in adjacent non-glaciated areas; and (3) glacial erosion beneath cold ice is at least 16 times less efficient than erosion beneath temperate ice. The low rates of subglacial erosion on the north face of the Mont-Blanc massif mean that its glaciers are protecting "the roof of Europe" from erosion. A long-term effect of this might be a rise in the maximum altitude of the Alps.

  18. Line-Tied Magnetic Flux Ropes in the Laboratory: Equilibrium Force Balance and Eruptive Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, Clayton E.; Yamada, M.; Belova, E. V.

    2013-07-01

    Flux-rope-based models of solar eruptions rely on the formation of a line-tied flux rope equilibrium that persists until an ideal instability or a breakdown in force balance triggers an eruption. In this paper, we present a quantitative study of equilibrium force balance in solar-relevant flux ropes, focusing primarily on the role of the potential magnetic field in controlling the flux rope behavior. This study was conducted using a newly constructed laboratory experiment in conjunction with supporting three-dimensional MHD simulations that directly model the experimental geometry. The flux ropes studied here, which are produced in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), evolve quasi-statically over many Alfvén times and have footpoints that are line-tied to two fixed electrodes [E. Oz, C. E. Myers, M. Yamada, et al., Phys. Plasmas 18, 102107 (2011)]. They are formed within a solar-relevant potential magnetic field configuration that can be systematically modified between discharges. Detailed in situ magnetic measurements from the experiments are compared directly to results from the simulations in order to quantitatively evaluate the various contributions to the equilibrium force balance. We find that forces derived from the applied toroidal guide field contribute significantly to the equilibrium—so much so that the flux ropes are often well confined even in the absence of a "strapping" arcade. These observed guide field forces arise from changes in the toroidal magnetic pressure and tension that result from a combination of effects within the expanding flux rope. With regard to eruptions, the aforementioned guide field forces supplement the well-known strapping field forces to largely prevent the flux ropes from erupting. In particular, many regimes were explored where the strapping field configuration is predicted to be "torus unstable" and yet the flux ropes do not erupt. Eruptions are observed in some regimes, however, and we will discuss the physical

  19. Glacier fluctuations in the Southern Alps of New Zealand determined from snowline elevations

    SciTech Connect

    Chinn, T.J.H.

    1995-05-01

    Preliminary analysis of 452 determinations of end-of-summer glacier snowline altitudes (ELAs) made over 17 yr on up to 47 glaciers show good correlation with major climatic events, and conform well with fluctuations of glacier termini when reaction times are taken into consideration. With snowline altitudes used as surrogates for annual mass balance values, there is a recent trend to increased mass balances, i.e. a climate {open_quotes}cooling,{close_quotes} which follows a long period of predominantly glacial recession. Snowline trend surfaces plotted for the Southern Alps of New Zealand show considerable warping with variable departures from the steady-state equilibrium-line altitude each year. The current resurgence of the more active glaciers should continue in the near future. 39 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Debris-covered glaciers extend the lifespan of water supplies in the European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lardeux, Pierre; Glasser, Neil; Holt, Tom; Hubbard, Bryn

    2016-04-01

    Debris-covered glaciers have a slower melting rate than clean-ice glaciers due to the insulating effect of their debris layer. In the European Alps, debris-covered glaciers have received little attention due to their small contribution to sea-level rise. However, glaciers provide water supplies for the five main watersheds draining the European Alps (Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Po and Adige, in order of size), an area inhabited by more than 145 million people (20% of Europe's population). It is unclear what volume of ice (and so quantity of potential meltwater) is affected by a debris layer, and what the effect of this layer is for water resources in the Alps. Combining the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) and online imagery services, we calculated that more than 40% of ice volume in the Alps is influenced by debris cover. In this presentation, we will show the different elements leading to this number, including our evaluation of the RGI, the volume calculation method and what percentage of ice is actually covered (0.6 to 99% of glacier surface area). Our analysis has allowed a comprehensive understanding of the debris-covered glaciers in each watershed by revealing their distribution (i.e. where they will extend water supply lifespan), and hypsometry and equilibrium line altitude (how sensitive they are to climate change). The prolonged lifespan of water supply is visible at the scale of an individual debris-covered glacier: comparing the evolution of Glacier Noir and Glacier Blanc (France) over the last 150 years indicates that Glacier Noir (debris covered) has retained 2.5 times more ice than Glacier Blanc (clean-ice) under the same climatic conditions. The number of debris-covered glaciers will increase as the >1°C rise in temperature in the European Alps since the start of the 20th Century increases the instability of rock faces and scree slopes. The evolution of these glaciers is therefore likely to have a major impact on human populations. This work shows that

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  2. Changes in Ice Flow Dynamics of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica and Impacts on Ice Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; An, L.

    2014-12-01

    Totten Glacier, East Antarctica is one of the largest glaciers in Antarctica, draining an area of 5.3*105 km2 and containing ice at an equivalent 9 m sea level rise. Lidar/radar altimetry data from 2003-2009 suggests that the glacier is thinning. Thinning is concentrated in areas of fast flow and therefore indicative of changes in ice dynamics. Here, we employ time series of ice velocity from ERS-1/2, RADARSAT-1, LANDSAT-7, ALOS PALSAR, TanDEM/TerraSAR-X and COSMO-Skymed to measure the glacier velocity from 1996 till present. We find significant temporal changes in ice velocity, especially in 1996-2007, followed by a period of slow decrease in 2010-2013. Comparing the results with RACMO2 surface mass balance in the interior suggests that the glacier mass balance was already negative in 1996 and became more negative into the 2000s. The resulting mass loss and stretching of the ice is compatible with the 1.5 m/yr thinning detected by the radar altimeters near the grounding zone. The grounding zone of the glacier includes a vast 15 km long ice plain where the glacier is only grounded a few 10m above hydrostatic equilibrium. We detect a retreat of the region of partial floatation with time, but not solid migration of the grounding line of the glacier. Inverted bathymetry results from gravity data collected offshore suggest the presence of a paleo subglacial channel conducive to the transfer of surface ocean heat, likely diluted circumpolar deep water, whose transfer to the ice shelf cavity may have affected the glacier stability. We suggest that further transfer of ocean heat to the ice shelf could trigger a rapid glacier retreat in this region.

  3. Combined Ice and Water Balances of Gulkana and Wolverine Glaciers, Alaska, and South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1965 and 1966 Hydrologic Years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, Mark Frederick; Tangborn, Wendell V.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Post, Austin

    1971-01-01

    Glaciers occur in northwestern North America between lat 37 deg and 69 deg N. in two major mountain systems. The Pacific Mountain System, near the west coast, receives large amounts of precipitation, has very mild temperatures, and contains perhaps 90 percent of the glacier ice. The Rocky Mountain or Eastern System, on the other hand, receives nearly an order of magnitude less precipitation, has temperatures that range from subpolar to subtropic, and contains glaciers that are much smaller in both size and total area. As a contribution to the International Hydrological Decade program on combined balances at selected glaciers, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting studies of ice and water balance on four glaciers in the Pacific Mountain System: Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska, South Cascade Glacier in Washington, and Maclure Glacier in California. Similar data are being collected by other organizations at five glaciers in western Canada, including two in the Rocky Mountain System, and at one glacier in the Rocky Mountain System in northern Alaska. Gulkana, Wolverine, South Cascade, and Maclure Glaciers have dissimilar mass balances, and each is fairly representative of the glaciers for its particular region. Gulkana Glacier (lat 63 deg 15' N., Alaska Range, Alaska) normally has an equilibrium line at an altitude of 1,800 m (meters), an activity index of about 6 mm/m (millimeters per meter), a winter balance of about 1.0 m, and an annual exchange of about 2.2 m. (Balance values are given in terms of water-equivalent measure; the winter balance of 1 m, for example, indicates a volume of ice equal in mass to a volume of water 1 m in depth covering the area of the glacier.) The normal approximate parameters for the other glaciers studied are as follows: Wolverine Glacier (lat 60 deg 24' N., Kenai Mountains, Alaska) - equilibrium-line altitude 1,200 m, activity index 9 mm/m, winter balance 2.5 m, and annual exchange 5.5 m; South Cascade Glacier (lat 48 deg 22

  4. Modelling the impact of submarine frontal melting and ice mélange on glacier dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krug, J.; Durand, G.; Gagliardini, O.; Weiss, J.

    2015-01-01

    Two mechanisms are generally proposed to explain seasonal variations in the calving front of tidewater glaciers: submarine melting of the calving face and the mechanical back-force applied by the ice mélange. However, the way these processes affect the calving rate and the glacier dynamics remains uncertain. In this study, we used the finite element model Elmer/Ice to simulate the impact of these forcings on more than 200 two dimensional theoretical flowline glacier configurations. The model, which includes calving processes, suggests that frontal melting affects the position of the terminus only slightly (< a few hundred meters) and does not affect the pluriannual glacier mass balance at all. However, the ice mélange has a greater impact on the advance and retreat cycles of the glacier front (more than several 1000 m) and its consequences for the mass balance are not completely negligible, stressing the need for better characterization of forcing properties. We also show that ice mélange forcing against the calving face can mechanically prevent crevasse propagation at sea level and hence prevent calving. Results also revealed different behaviors in grounded and floating glaciers: in the case of a floating extension, the heaviest forcings can disrupt the glacier equilibrium by modifying its buttressing and ice flux at the grounding line.

  5. Sedimentology and architecture of De Geer moraines in the western Scottish Highlands, and implications for grounding-line glacier dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Phillips, Emrys

    2008-07-01

    Sedimentary exposures in moraines in a Scottish Highland valley (Glen Chaorach), reveal stacked sequences of bedded and laminated silt, sand and gravel, interspersed or capped with diamicton units. In four examples, faults and folds indicate deformation by glaciotectonism and syndepositional loading. We propose that these sediments were laid down in an ice-dammed lake, close to the last ice margin to occupy this glen. Individual units within cross-valley De Geer moraine ridges are interpreted by comparison with examples from similar environments elsewhere: stratified diamictons containing laminated or bedded lenses are interpreted as subaqueous ice-marginal debris-flow deposits; massive fine-grained deposits as hyperconcentrated flow deposits, and massive gravel units as high-density debris-flow deposits. Using an allostratigraphic approach we argue that glaciotectonically deformed coarsening-upward sand and gravel sequences that culminate in deposition of subglacial diamicton represent glacier advances into the ice-marginal lake, whereas undisturbed cross-bedded sand and gravel reflects channel or fan deposits laid down during glacier retreat. A flat terrace of bedded sand and gravel at the northern end of Glen Chaorach is interpreted as subaerial glaciofluvial outwash. On the basis of these inferences we propose the following three stage deglacial event chronology for Glen Chaorach. During glacier recession, ice separation and intra-lobe ponding first led to subaquaeous deposition of sorted and unsorted facies. Subsequent glacier stabilisation and ice-marginal oscillation produced glaciotectonic structures in the ice-marginal sediment pile and formed De Geer moraines. Finally, drainage of the ice-dammed lake allowed a subaerial ice-marginal drainage system to become established. Throughout deglaciation, deposition within the lake was characterized by abrupt changes in grain size and in the architecture of individual sediment bodies, reflecting changing delivery

  6. Quantifying the change in equilibrium-line altitude during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Subtropical Andes using a mass-balance model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargo, L.; Galewsky, J.

    2014-12-01

    Quantifying changes in equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) can be used to better understand past regional climates. We use a glacial mass-balance model in conjunction with global climate model (GCM) output data to calculate the change in ELA between modern and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 21 ka) climates in the presently hyper-arid subtropical Andes. The region is currently unglaciated, despite cold enough temperatures, as there is too little moisture to sustain glaciers. Previous studies suggest this area was glaciated during the LGM, however, little is known about the extent of the glaciation or the climate required to sustain it. The mass-balance model used in this study calculates the change in ELA using the positive degree-day (PDD) sum, the sum of daily mean air temperatures that are above zero. The PDD sum is used to calculate ablation, which is then assumed to be proportional to temperature, in order to calculate the change in ELA. Using output from several GCM simulations, we compare the change in ELA between LGM and modern climates across the different models for the subtropical Andes. These simulations suggest that the changes in climate resulted in a lowering of ELAs to the extent that parts of the subtropical Andes were glaciated during the LGM.

  7. Low beta equilibrium and stability for anisotropic pressure closed field line plasma confinement systems

    SciTech Connect

    Pastukhov, V.P.; Ilgisonis, V.I.; Subbotin, A.A.

    1994-05-01

    General formalism is developed to analyze the equilibrium and stability of low beta anisotropic pressure plasmas confined in closed field line magnetic systems. The formalism allows one to consider rather general magnetic systems with nonuniform axis curvature and longitudinal profiles of toroidal and multipole poloidal field. It also allows having a strong pressure anisotropy corresponding to enhanced plasma pressure in mirror cells of the system. As an example of such a system the authors consider the recently proposed linked mirror neutron source (LMNS). Application of the above formalism to the LMNS analysis confirms most of the preliminary results, however, they obtain a considerable reduction of mirror cell axis curvature and an appreciable ellipticity of plasma cross-section in the mirror cell midplane. They have also optimized the longitudinal pressure and magnetic field distribution.

  8. Equilibrium of magnetic fields with arbitrary interweaving of the lines of force. I - Discontinuities in the torsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, E. N.

    1986-01-01

    Consideration is given to the static force-free equilibrium of a magnetic field in which all of the lines of force connect without knotting between parallel planes. The field is formed by continuous deformation from an initial uniform field, and is conventiently described in terms of the scalar function psi, which is the stream function for the incompressible wrapping and interweaving of the lines of force. Local compression and expansion of the lines of force is described in terms of the scalar function Phi. Equilibrium in the field requires satisfaction of two independent equations which cannot be accomplished without the full freedom of both psi and Phi. It is shown that discontinuities in the torsional characteristics of the lines occur when psi is predetermined by an arbitrary pattern. Discontinuities in the winding pattern of the lines can lead to discontinuities in the associated current sheets.

  9. Two-dimensional axisymmetric and three-dimensional helical equilibrium in the line-tied screw pinch

    SciTech Connect

    Paz-Soldan, C.; Brookhart, M. I.; Clinch, A. J.; Hannum, D. A.; Forest, C. B.

    2011-05-15

    The line-tying condition at a conducting anode is shown to provide a localized modification to the well-understood 1-D screw pinch equilibrium in the presence of bulk plasma diamagnetism. Diamagnetic currents cannot flow near the conducting anode and are measured to disappear in a localized boundary layer, causing a weak mirror configuration that breaks 1-D equilibrium and causes large parallel pressure gradients suggestive of significant radial outflows. For sufficiently large plasma currents, the paramagnetic nature of parallel current drives the equilibrium to paramagnetism and destroys the mirror effect. At a critical plasma current, the axisymmetric equilibrium is found to transition to a long-lived, rotating, helical 3-D equilibrium state. Internal measurements of this state via multi-point correlation analysis techniques illustrate that it preserves the flux surfaces and pressure profile of the axisymmetric equilibrium. Measurements indicate that despite the fact that the flux surfaces wander at the anode, the line-tied boundary conditions are not necessarily violated.

  10. Climatic controls of western U.S. glaciers at the last glacial maximum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.; Clark, P.U.

    1997-01-01

    We use a nested atmospheric modeling strategy to simulate precipitation and temperature of the western United States 18,000 years ago (18 ka). The high resolution of the nested model allows us to isolate the regional structure of summer temperature and winter precipitation that is crucial to determination of the net mass balance of late-Pleistocene mountain glaciers in this region of diverse topography and climate. Modeling results suggest that climatic controls of these glaciers varied significantly over the western U.S. Glaciers in the northern Rocky Mountains existed under relatively cold July temperatures and low winter accumulation, reflecting anticyclonic, easterly wind flow off the Laurentide Ice Sheet. In contrast, glaciers that existed under relatively warmer and wetter conditions are located along the Pacific coast south of Oregon, where enhanced westerlies delivered higher precipitation than at present. Between these two groupings lie glaciers that were controlled by a mix of cold and wet conditions attributed to the convergence of cold air from the ice sheet and moisture derived from the westerlies. Sensitivity tests suggest that, for our simulated 18 ka climate, many of the glaciers exhibit a variable response to climate but were generally more sensitive to changes in temperature than to changes in precipitation, particularly those glaciers in central Idaho and the Yellowstone Plateau. Our results support arguments that temperature depression generally played a larger role in lowering equilibrium line altitudes in the western U.S. during the last glacial maximum than did increased precipitation, although the magnitude of temperature depression required for steady-state mass balance varied from 8-18??C. Only the Sierra Nevada glaciers required a substantial increase in precipitation to achieve steady-state mass balance, while glaciers in the Cascade Range existed with decreased precipitation.

  11. A new model for global glacier change and sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2015-09-01

    The anticipated retreat of glaciers around the globe will pose far-reaching challenges to the management of fresh water resources and significantly contribute to sea-level rise within the coming decades. Here, we present a new model for calculating the 21st century mass changes of all glaciers on Earth outside the ice sheets. The Global Glacier Evolution Model (GloGEM) includes mass loss due to frontal ablation at marine-terminating glacier fronts and accounts for glacier advance/retreat and surface Elevation changes. Simulations are driven with monthly near-surface air temperature and precipitation from 14 Global Circulation Models forced by the RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. Depending on the scenario, the model yields a global glacier volume loss of 25-48% between 2010 and 2100. For calculating glacier contribution to sea-level rise, we account for ice located below sea-level presently displacing ocean water. This effect reduces glacier contribution by 11-14%, so that our model predicts a sea-level equivalent (multi-model mean +-1 standard deviation) of 79+-24 mm (RCP2.6), 108+-28 mm (RCP4.5) and 157+-31 mm (RCP8.5). Mass losses by frontal ablation account for 10% of total ablation globally, and up to 30% regionally. Regional equilibrium line altitudes are projected to rise by 100-800 m until 2100, but the effect on ice wastage depends on initial glacier hypsometries.

  12. A model study of Abrahamsenbreen, a surging glacier in northern Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.; van Pelt, W. J. J.

    2014-11-01

    The climate sensitivity of Abrahamsenbreen, a 20 km long surge-type glacier in northern Spitsbergen, is studied with a simple glacier model. A scheme to describe the surges is included, which makes it possible to account for the effect of surges on the total mass budget of the glacier. A climate reconstruction back to AD 1300, based on ice-core data from Lomonosovfonna and climate records from Longyearbyen, is used to drive the model. The model is calibrated by requesting that it produces the correct Little Ice Age maximum glacier length and simulates the observed magnitude of the 1978-surge. Abrahamsenbreen is strongly out of balance with the current climate. If climatic conditions will remain as they were for the period 1989-2010, the glacier will ultimately shrink to a length of about 4 km (but this will take hundreds of years). For a climate change scenario involving a 2 m yr-1 rise of the equilibrium line from now onwards, we predict that in the year 2100 Abrahamsenbreen will be about 12 km long. The main effect of a surge is to lower the mean surface elevation and to increase the ablation area, thereby causing a negative perturbation of the mass budget. We found that the occurrence of surges leads to a somewhat stronger retreat of the glacier in a warming climate. Because of the very small bed slope, Abrahamsenbreen is sensitive to small perturbations in the equilibrium-line altitude E. For a decrease of E of only 160 m, the glacier would steadily grow into the Woodfjorddalen until after 2000 years it would reach the Woodfjord and calving could slow down the advance.

  13. A model study of Abrahamsenbreen, a surging glacier in northern Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.; van Pelt, W. J. J.

    2015-04-01

    The climate sensitivity of Abrahamsenbreen, a 20 km long surge-type glacier in northern Spitsbergen, is studied with a simple glacier model. A scheme to describe the surges is included, which makes it possible to account for the effect of surges on the total mass budget of the glacier. A climate reconstruction back to AD 1300, based on ice-core data from Lomonosovfonna and climate records from Longyearbyen, is used to drive the model. The model is calibrated by requesting that it produce the correct Little Ice Age maximum glacier length and simulate the observed magnitude of the 1978 surge. Abrahamsenbreen is strongly out of balance with the current climate. If climatic conditions remain as they were for the period 1989-2010, the glacier will ultimately shrink to a length of about 4 km (but this will take hundreds of years). For a climate change scenario involving a 2 m year-1 rise of the equilibrium line from now onwards, we predict that in the year 2100 Abrahamsenbreen will be about 12 km long. The main effect of a surge is to lower the mean surface elevation and thereby to increase the ablation area, causing a negative perturbation of the mass budget. We found that the occurrence of surges leads to a faster retreat of the glacier in a warming climate. Because of the very small bed slope, Abrahamsenbreen is sensitive to small perturbations in the equilibrium-line altitude. If the equilibrium line were lowered by only 160 m, the glacier would steadily grow into Woodfjorddalen until, after 2000 years, it would reach Woodfjord and calving would slow down the advance. The bed topography of Abrahamsenbreen is not known and was therefore inferred from the slope and length of the glacier. The value of the plasticity parameter needed to do this was varied by +20 and -20%. After recalibration the same climate change experiments were performed, showing that a thinner glacier (higher bedrock in this case) in a warming climate retreats somewhat faster.

  14. Past and future evolution of Himalayan glaciers: a regional climate model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Pankaj; Kotlarski, Sven; Moseley, Christopher; Sieck, Kevin; Frey, Holger; Stoffel, Markus; Jacob, Daniela

    2013-04-01

    Over 800 million people depend on glacier melt water runoff throughout the Hindu-Kush and Himalaya (HKH) region. The region, also called as "Water tower of Asia", is the location of several major rivers basins, like Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Indus etc. Glaciers in the HKH region are the primary source of water for the perennial rivers. Previous studies have assessed glacier areas and volumes in the HKH region by remote sensing techniques and slope-dependent thickness estimations. We here present a study in which, for the first time a glacier parameterization scheme is dynamically coupled to a regional climate model and applied over the South Asian Himalayan mountain range. The glacier scheme interactively simulates the mass balance as well as changes of the areal extent of glaciers on a sub-grid scale. Various observational data sets, in particular a regional glacier inventory, have been compiled and were used to initialize glacier area and volume in the year 1989. A simulation for the period 1989-2008 using the ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis as atmospheric boundary forcing was carried out. Preliminary results show a simulated decrease of glacier area of about 20% between 1989 and 2008. The spatial patterns of glacier area change show a remarkable decrease, but do show some regions of increase especially over the Karakoram (western Himalaya), a region for which available observations-based estimates also indicate a positive mass balance anomaly. The positive relation between altitude and mass balance is qualitatively reproduced by the model. The model is able to approximately represent the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for selected sub-region when compared to observed values but simulated ELA's seem to have a systematic negative bias which, in turn, suggests an overestimation of the mean regional mass balance. Our results indicate that observed glacier changes can be approximately reproduced within a regional climate model based on simplified concepts of glacier

  15. Seasonal and interannual variations in snow cover thickness, water equivalent, and gravity-induced dynamics in a high Arctic valley glacier watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolle, F.; Prokop, A.; Bernard, É.; Friedt, J. M.; Griselin, M.

    2014-12-01

    For 3 consecutive years, terrestrial laser scanning surveys have been conducted in the glacier basin of Austre Lovénbreen (Svalbard, 79°N). Each year, high density point clouds were acquired on the glacier surface and on the surrounding slopes. Two yearly scanning sessions were required in order to spatialize and quantify snow cover. The first session was done late April at the expected annual snow maximum. The second session was done in August near the end of the melting season and before the first potential significant snow falls. On the glacier itself, laser scans were produced on the glacier snout, in the area close to the equilibrium line, and in the upper reaches of the glacier. Manual snow drilling measurements and glacier mass balance data were subsequently used to validate snow cover results. In the steep slopes surrounding the glacier, scans were acquired on slopes at various altitudes and orientations in order to get a representative view of different snow cover settings. Particular attention was granted to snowdrift and avalanche processes, and their consequences on remaining packed snow stored in perennial snow accumulation at the bottom of slopes. A good knowledge of the dynamics of the snow cover is of particular interest in a glacier undergoing a clear retreat. Snow is slowing the melting of the ice for part of the season, and snow is also providing what will constitute future glacier ice in the upper reaches of the basin. Snow on slopes is also of importance as avalanches reaching on the glacier can contribute to the overall mass balance. Snow cover, by keeping the slopes permafrost from thawing early in the season, or by providing liquid water affecting it later in the season, is also playing a key role in the glacier basin morphology and its interactions with the glacier body.

  16. Equilibrium lines and barriers to phase transitions: the cubic diamond to beta-tin transition in Si from first principles.

    PubMed

    Qiu, S L; Marcus, P M

    2012-06-01

    The phase transition between the cubic diamond (cd) and beta-tin (β-Sn) phases of Si under pressure and the region of interaction of the two phases are studied by first-principles total energy calculations. For a non-vibrating crystal we determine the pressure of the thermodynamic phase transition p(t) = 96 kbar, the Gibbs free energy barrier at p(t) of ΔG = 19.6 mRyd/atom that stabilizes the phases against a phase transition and the finite pressure range in which both phases are stable. We show that the phases in that pressure range are completely described by three equilibrium lines of states along which the structure, the total energy E, the hydrostatic pressure p that would stabilize the structure and the values of G all vary. Two equilibrium lines describe the two phases (denoted the ph-eq line, ph is cd or β-Sn phase); a third line is a line of saddle points of G with respect to structure (denoted the sp-eq line) that forms a barrier of larger G against instability of the metastable ranges of the phase lines. An important conclusion is that the sp-eq line merges with the two ph-eq lines: one end of the sp-eq line merges with the cd-eq line at high pressure, the other end merges with the β-Sn-eq line at low pressure. The mergers end the barrier protecting the metastable ranges of the two ph-eq lines, hence the lines go unstable beyond the mergers. The mergers thus simplify the phase diagram by providing a natural termination to the stable parts of all metastable ranges of the ph-eq lines. Although 96 kbar is lower than the experimental transition pressure, we note that phonon pressure raises the observed transition pressure. PMID:22551557

  17. Climate change impacts on glaciers and runoff in Tien Shan (Central Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorg, A. F.; Bolch, T.; Stoffel, M.; Solomina, O.; Beniston, M.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-driven changes in glacier-fed streamflow regimes have direct implications on freshwater supply, irrigation and hydropower potential. Reliable information about current and future glaciation and runoff is crucial for water allocation and, hence, for social and ecological stability. Although the impacts of climate change on glaciation and runoff have been addressed in previous work undertaken in the Tien Shan (known as the 'water tower of Central Asia'), a coherent, regional perspective of these findings has not been presented until now. In our study, we explore the range of changes in glaciation in different climatic regions of the Tien Shan based on existing data. We show that the majority of Tien Shan glaciers experienced accelerated glacier wasting since the mid-1970s and that glacier shrinkage is most pronounced in peripheral, lower-elevation ranges near the densely populated forelands, where summers are dry and where snow and glacial meltwater is essential for water availability. The annual glacier area shrinkage rates since the middle of the twentieth century are 0.38-0.76% per year in the outer ranges, 0.15-0.40% per year in the inner ranges and 0.05-0.31% per year in the eastern ranges. This regionally non-uniform response to climate change implies that glacier shrinkage is less severe in the continental inner ranges than in the more humid outer ranges. Glaciers in the inner ranges react with larger time lags to climate change, because accumulation and thus mass turnover of the mainly cold glaciers are relatively small. Moreover, shrinkage is especially pronounced on small or fragmented glaciers, which are widely represented in the outer regions. The relative insensitivity of glaciers in the inner ranges is further accentuated by the higher average altitude, as the equilibrium line altitude ranges from 3'500 to 3'600 masl in the outer ranges to 4'400 masl in the inner ranges. For our study, we used glacier change assessments based both on direct data

  18. Recent changes in freezing level heights in High Asia and their impact on glacier changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shengjie; Zhang, Mingjun; Pepin, N. C.; Li, Zhongqin; Sun, Meiping; Huang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Qiong

    2014-02-01

    The heights of the atmospheric freezing level have increased over most glacierized areas of High Asia during 1971-2010, especially in the Altai Mountains, the eastern Tianshan Mountains, and the northeastern margins of the Tibetan Plateau. The systematic increase of freezing level heights (FLHs) is evidenced from both radiosonde and National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis data. Eleven glaciers with long-term observations are selected in typical high-elevation mountain ranges to examine the relationship between changes in FLHs and cryospheric response. Long-term trends in glacier mass balance and equilibrium line altitude (ELA) show significant correlations with changes in FLHs. A rise of 10 m in summer FLH causes mass balance of reference glaciers in High Asia to decrease by between 7 and 38 mm (water equivalent) and ELA to increase by between 3.1 and 9.8 m, respectively, depending on location. Both relationships are statistically significant (p < 0.01) for most reference glaciers. Thus, rapid deglaciation in these high mountain ranges during recent decades is related to the increase in FLH. Similar relationships may exist in other high-elevation glaciers of High Asia with changes in FLHs having significant ecological and social consequences, especially in arid and semiarid regions.

  19. Thoughts on some outstanding issues in the physics of equilibrium wetting and conceptual understanding of contact lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sefiane, K.

    2011-08-01

    Equilibrium wetting is a fundamental phenomenon, relevant to many scientific areas. Since the pioneering work on equilibrium wetting of Thomas Young (1805) [1], researchers strived to advance our understanding of this fundamental problem. Despite its apparent simplicity, equilibrium wetting phenomenon still holds many unanswered questions and represents a challenge to modern physicists and engineers. The relationship between quantities amenable to measurements, like macroscopic wetting contact angle, and other surface ener- gies and physical properties remains to be fully elucidated. Wetting is a physical problem which spans over two length scales, inner region ("microscopic") length scale and outer region ("macroscopic"). The three-phase contact line, where the macroscopic region meets the micro- scopic one, and underlying surface forces, represents a challenge to fully understand and model. In this paper, a brief review of the basics of wetting and existing concepts is first presented. Then two important questions are discussed in the light of the latest experimental findings: first the relevance of the continuum concept when describing interfaces near the three-phase contact line, and second the effect of adsorption on interfacial energies and its use to explain some interesting observations like the dependence of equilibrium contact angle on pressure and size of droplets. These recent observations raise some fundamental questions about how the three-phase contact line is conceptualised.

  20. Continuous Measurements of Ice Motion and Associated Seismicity at Bering Glacier, Alaska.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, C. F.; Truffer, M.; Leblanc, L.; O'Neel, S.; West, M.; None, N.

    2007-12-01

    In April 2007, we established an array of GPS and seismic stations on the Bering Glacier, Alaska, to investigate the relationship between glacier motion and glacier-generated seismicity. Bering Glacier is North America's largest mountain glacier and has an area of more than 5000 km2. Dual-frequency GPS data were recorded continuously at 15 second intervals at five stations on the glacier from April to September. Four of the GPS glacier stations were established in a strain diamond located roughly halfway between the equilibrium line and the terminus, at a distance of 40 km from a GPS base station located near the terminus. These four GPS glacier stations were co-located with seismometers, which, together with a fifth seismometer located at center of the strain diamond, form a cross pattern seismic array with a 4-km aperture. The fifth GPS station is located 20 km up glacier from the strain diamond and seismic array, at a point where the upper icefield feeds into a narrow gate to the lower glacier. GPS antennas were fixed to tripods constructed of steel poles drilled 5-7 m deep into the surface of the glacier. This provides a stable reference relative to the glacier surface, which is subject to several meters of annual ablation at the elevation of the strain diamond. The GPS data have been processed using the GAMIT kinematic utility Track. The motion recorded at all sites is rapid (3+ m/day) but smooth and steady down to the temporal resolution of the data. Specifically, we find no evidence for sudden motion events in the timeseries, but rather find only small perturbations superimposed on slowly varying velocities. The seismic records from short period (L-22) and broadband (6TD) instruments reveal frequent icequakes including both emergent low frequency events and impulsive high frequency events. Many of the events recorded show strong time domain correlations across the array. We will construct a timeseries of seismicty using an automatic icequake detector

  1. Reconstruction of mass balance variations for Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand, 1913 to 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, Mingko Woo ); Fitzharris, B.B. )

    1992-11-01

    A model of mass balance is constructed for the Franz Josef Glacier on the west coast of New Zealand. It uses daily data from a nearby, but short-record climate station. The model is extended back to 1913 by creating hybrid climate data from a long-record, but more distant, climate station. Its monthly data provide long-term temperature and precipitation trends, and daily fluctuations are simulated using a stochastic approach that is tuned to the characteristics of the short-record station. The glacier model provides estimates of equilibrium-line altitudes which are in reasonable agreement with those observed, and variations of cumulative mass balance that correspond with patterns of advance and retreat of the glacier terminus.

  2. Pattern and forcing of Northern Hemisphere glacier variations during the last millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Stephen C.

    1986-07-01

    Time series depicting mountain glacier fluctuations in the Alps display generally similar patterns over the last two centuries, as do chronologies of glacier variations for the same interval from elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Episodes of glacier advance consistently are associated with intervals of high average volcanic aerosol production, as inferred from acidity variations in a Greenland ice core. Advances occur whenever acidity levels rise sharply from background values to reach concentrations ≥1.2 μequiv H +/kg above background. A phase lag of about 10-15 yr, equivalent to reported response lags of Alpine glacier termini, separates the beginning of acidity increases from the beginning of subsequent ice advances. A similar relationship, but based on limited and less-reliable historical data and on lichenometric ages, is found for the preceding 2 centuries. Calibrated radiocarbon dates related to advances of non-calving and non-surging glaciers during the earlier part of the Little Ice Age display a comparable consistent pattern. An interval of reduced acidity values between about 1090 and 1230 A.D. correlates with a time of inferred glacier contraction during the Medieval Optimum. The observed close relation between Noothern Hemisphere glacier fluctuations and variations in Greenland ice-core acidity suggests that sulfur-rich aerosols generated by volcanic eruptions are a primary forcing mechanism of glacier fluctuations, and therefore of climate, on a decadal scale. The amount of surface cooling attributable to individual large eruptions or to episodes of eruptions is simlar to the probable average temperature reduction during culminations of Little Ice Age alacier advances (ca. 0.5°-1.2°C), as inferred from depression of equilibrium-line altitudes.

  3. Surges of outlet glaciers from the Drangajökull ice cap, northwest Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Schomacker, Anders; Korsgaard, Niels J.; Ingólfsson, Ólafur

    2016-09-01

    Surface elevation and volume changes of the Drangajökull surge-type glaciers, Reykjarfjarðarjökull and Leirufjarðarjökull, were studied by comparing digital elevation models that pre-date and post-date their most recent surges. Annual glacier-frontal measurements were used to estimate average ice velocities during the last surge of the glaciers. The observations show a distinct ice discharge, most of which was from the upper reservoir areas, down to the receiving areas during the surges. The surface draw-down in the reservoir areas was usually 10-30 m during the surges, while the thickening of the receiving areas was significantly more variable, on the order of 10-120 m. Despite a negative geodetic net mass balance derived from the digital elevation models, the reservoir areas have been gaining mass since the surge terminations. This surface thickening along with considerable ablation of the receiving areas will most likely return the glacier surface profiles to the pre-surge stage. Our results indicate that (a) greatest surface thinning in the upper reservoir areas of Drangajökull rather than proximal to the equilibrium line during Vatnajökull surges and (b) development of Drangajökull surges that resembles Svalbard surge-type glaciers rather than Vatnajökull surge-type glaciers. The contrasting surge characteristics could be explained by differences in glacier geometry, topography and substratum of the Drangajökull and Vatnajökull surge-type glaciers.

  4. Recent ice dynamic and surface mass balance of Union Glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, A.; Zamora, R.; Uribe, J. A.; Jaña, R.; Oberreuter, J.

    2014-08-01

    Here we present the results of a comprehensive glaciological investigation of Union Glacier (79°46' S/83°24' W) in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), a major outlet glacier within the Ellsworth Mountains. Union Glacier flows into the Ronne Ice Shelf, where recent models have indicated the potential for significant grounding line zone (GLZ) migrations in response to changing climate and ocean conditions. To elaborate a glaciological base line that can help to evaluate the potential impact of this GLZ change scenario, we installed an array of stakes on Union Glacier in 2007. The stake network has been surveyed repeatedly for elevation, velocity, and net surface mass balance. The region of the stake measurements is in near-equilibrium, and ice speeds are 10 to 33 m a-1. Ground-penetrating radars (GPR) have been used to map the subglacial topography, internal structure, and crevasse frequency and depth along surveyed tracks in the stake site area. The bedrock in this area has a minimum elevation of -858 m a.s.l., significantly deeper than shown by BEDMAP2 data. However, between this deeper area and the local GLZ, there is a threshold where the subglacial topography shows a maximum altitude of 190 m. This subglacial condition implies that an upstream migration of the GLZ will not have strong effects on Union Glacier until it passes beyond this shallow ice pinning point.

  5. Alpine Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 27 August 2003

    This image shows part of the western flank of Arsia Mons, the southernmost of the three great Tharsis Montes. The surface shows parallel ridges more reminiscent of a Zen garden than any typical geological feature. These ridges are not typical of lava flow fronts, so a different explanation has been proposed by Mars scientists. These ridges may instead be ancient signs of previously existing glaciers that formed high on the volcano's flank. As glaciers retreat with the seasons and shifting climate, they leave behind a mound of debris along their receding edge. Successive retreats can produce a series of parallel ridges similar to those seen here.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -6.9, Longitude 230.5 East (129.5 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  6. Recent changes detected on two glaciers at the northern part of James Ross Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nývlt, Daniel; Kopačková, Veronika; Láska, Kamil; Engel, Zbyněk.

    2010-05-01

    Antarctic Peninsula is one of the regions, which have been exposed to the most rapid warming of the Earth since 1950. Consequences of climate changes are clearly documented by recent disintegration of ice shelves on both sides of the Antarctic Peninsula as well as by the retreat of land-based glaciers. James Ross Island, located close to the northernmost tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, represents an excellent place to study changes in the glacier mass-balance and their sensitivity to a regional warming trend. Two different types of glaciers of the Ulu Peninsula, the Whisky Glacier and the Davies Dome have been studied. Multi-temporal remote sensing data (aerial photographs, Landsat MSS, TM and ETM+ and Aster satellite optical and thermal multispectral data) and field survey allowed detecting changes in extent (2-D) as well as calculating glacier mass-balance changes (3-D) for these two glaciers from 1977 to 2009. The Whisky Glacier is a well-delimited valley glacier located mostly below the local Equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The glacier with high-flow velocities is fed by an intensive snow accumulation caused by prevailing southwestern winds. The Whisky Glacier covers an area of 2.3 km2 and its altitude varies from 215 to 475 m a.s.l. The Davies Dome is a flat-bottom dome glacier. Significant parts of its surface are located above the ELA and limited flow velocities are characteristic for the most parts of its body. However, the Davies Dome has a single 500-700 m wide southwestern outlet flowing towards the Whisky Bay. The Davies Dome extends an area of 6.7 km2 and its altitude ranges from 0 to 514 m a.s.l. Both glaciers experienced massive extension of their ice tongues towards the Brandy Bay during the mid Holocene. Lateral moraines located in front of the both glaciers heading down to the left coast of the Brandy Bay document this event. According to the remote sensing data and field investigations both glaciers have retreated since 1977. Between 2006 and

  7. The Moving Lines on Electron Spectra as Charge Reflexes on Non-equilibrium States of Nanostructured Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Mishchuk, Oleg A

    2016-12-01

    The experimental results present the phenomenon of moving lines on electron spectra which are linked spatially and in time with the localization and durability of the processes of new surface producing in folds and grain boundaries. This effect was also realized for a thin-layer composite "organic on metal films on dielectric substrate" in modeling non-equilibrium conditions which are created by the intensive electron beam pulse impact. It was found that the nature of the inceptive adsorption layer, in addition to the metal film, determines the initial positions of moving lines on the spectra. The main accents in these investigations were in observations of appearance of the moving lines, dynamics of their displacements on the spectra, final stages when these lines vanished, and finding the general regularities between the spontaneous and induced events. PMID:27083583

  8. The Moving Lines on Electron Spectra as Charge Reflexes on Non-equilibrium States of Nanostructured Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishchuk, Oleg A.

    2016-04-01

    The experimental results present the phenomenon of moving lines on electron spectra which are linked spatially and in time with the localization and durability of the processes of new surface producing in folds and grain boundaries. This effect was also realized for a thin-layer composite "organic on metal films on dielectric substrate" in modeling non-equilibrium conditions which are created by the intensive electron beam pulse impact. It was found that the nature of the inceptive adsorption layer, in addition to the metal film, determines the initial positions of moving lines on the spectra. The main accents in these investigations were in observations of appearance of the moving lines, dynamics of their displacements on the spectra, final stages when these lines vanished, and finding the general regularities between the spontaneous and induced events.

  9. Fluctuating snow line altitudes in the Hunza basin (Karakoram) using Landsat OLI imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racoviteanu, Adina; Rittger, Karl; Brodzik, Mary J.; Painter, Thomas H.; Armstrong, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Snowline altitudes (SLAs) on glacier surfaces are needed for separating snow and ice as input for melt models. When measured at the end of the ablation season, SLAs are used for inferring stable-state glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs). Direct measurements of snowlines are rarely possible particularly in remote, high altitude glacierized terrain, but remote sensing data can be used to separate these snow and ice surfaces. Snow lines are commonly visible on optical satellite images acquired at the end of the ablation season if the images are contrasted enough, and are manually digitized on screen using various satellite band combinations for visual interpretation, which is a time-consuming, subjective process. Here we use Landsat OLI imagery at 30 m resolution to estimate glacier SLAs for a subset of the Hunza basin in the Upper Indus in the Karakoram. Clean glacier ice surfaces are delineated using a standardized semi-automated band ratio algorithm with image segmentation. Within the glacier surface, snow and ice are separated using supervised classification schemes based on regions of interest, and glacier SLAs are extracted on the basis of these areas. SLAs are compared with estimates from a new automated method that relies on fractional snow covered area rather than on band ratio algorithms for delineating clean glacier ice surfaces, and on grain size (instead of supervised classification) for separating snow from glacier ice on the glacier surface. The two methods produce comparable snow/ice outputs. The fSCA-derived glacierized areas are slightly larger than the band ratio estimates. Some of the additional area is the result of better detection in shadows from spectral mixture analysis (true positive) while the rest is shallow water, which is spectrally similar to snow/ice (false positive). On the glacier surface, a thresholding the snow grain size image (grain size > 500μm) results in similar glacier ice areas derived from the supervised

  10. Glaciers in the Rupal Valley (Nanga Parbat)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Nüsser, Marcus

    2014-05-01

    The widely discussed controversy about Himalayan glacier changes instigated a current boom in studies on a regional scale. In contrast to often simplified assumptions of general and mostly rapid glacier retreat, recent studies show a more complex pattern with stable, advancing and retreating glaciers. Furthermore, changes of debris covered glaciers are discussed controversial. Due to the great vertical span and steep relief, large ice streams in the Himalaya and Karakoram are often primarily fed by avalanches. Their impact on glacier mass balances is often unconsidered in present studies. However, Hewitt (2014) highlighted the crucial role of snow and ice re-distribution by avalanches for Karakoram glaciers. He used a concept of glacier typology based on different nourishment processes introduced at the beginning of the 20th century. By using this concept, Hewitt classified large glaciers in order to identify the effect of avalanches on the mass balance, because many Karakoram glaciers show low down-wasting or even thickening processes described as the "Karakoram anomaly" (Hewitt 2005). Also in the Nanga Parbat region, the western corner of the High Himalaya, the topography is characterized by steep rock walls with vertical distances up to 4700 m. The debris covered glaciers reach down to 2920 m a.s.l. and are regularly fed by small and large avalanches. Our field based investigations show that the glaciers are characterized by small retreating rates since 1857, when Adolph Schlagintweit has mapped them for the first time; others such as the Raikot Glacier are fluctuating since 1934. Furthermore, the extent of down-wasting varies between different glaciers. By using multi-temporal satellite data, topographical maps, sketches and terrestrial photographs changes of glacier lengths were measured. In order to calculate the down-wasting rates, a digital elevation model (DEM) with a spatial resolution of 30x30 m² was derived from the digitized contour lines of the

  11. Estimating Glacier Retreat through Satellite Based Observation In the Beas Basin, Himachal Pradesh, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutta, Shruti; Ramanathan, Al.; Linda, Anurag

    2010-05-01

    Glaciers are now well recognized as the most reliable indicators of climate (IPCC, 2007), more particularly in the regions where there is an acute paucity in the availability of meteorological database. Subsequently it can be said that monitoring the glaciers is important to assess the overall reservoir health (Kulkarni et al., 2007). Almost negligible studies have been conducted to investigate the deglaciation status in the Indian Himalaya. A change detection analysis of the areal cover of glaciers in the Beas basin, India with the aid of remote sensing techniques in the present study concludes that the Beas basin has witnessed a loss of about 22.49 km2in the last four decades which is about 22% of the area. Another major aspect of this study is the noticeable retreat of the glaciers in the period 1972-1989. The glaciers in the Beas basin show larger area loss in this period as compared to the loss in area during the 1990s and later. Thus, it can be said that in spite of the alarming scenario of a continued recession of the glaciated terrain in the Beas basin, the pace of retreat has been observed to slow down after the 1990s. The loss has been more significant in the glaciers comprising of the area of 2-5 km2range as compared to the other categories. Glaciers in the area range more than 5 km2and less than 2 km2show less variation reflecting not much of significant loss. The total number of glaciers increased in the period of last four decades although not very significantly, indicating fragmentation. The glaciers in the range 0.5-2 km2 show a higher tendency towards fragmentation. The average elevation of the glaciers in the basin underwent an upward shift from 4565 m in the year 1972 to 4629 m in the year 2006 which is a reason for concern. The gradual upward shifting of contours over a period of almost four decades can be a consequence of a shift in Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) which has been constantly moving upwards showing a retreat of glaciers in the

  12. Antarctic Peninsula Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettit, E. C.; Scambos, T. A.; Haran, T. M.; Wellner, J. S.; Domack, E. W.; Vernet, M.

    2015-12-01

    have longer and deeper fjords than the west-side glaciers. These distinct differences between the glaciers of the west and east side of the AP exert a primary control on the differing ice-ocean interactions, grounding-line retreat, and subglacial erosion rates, and provide context to understand rates of nAP ice mass loss.

  13. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    is visible as an off-vertical dark line in the MISR nadir view. In the multi-angle composite, the crack and other stress fractures show up very clearly in bright orange. Radar observations of Pine Island Glacier in the 1990's showed the glacier to be shrinking, and the newly discovered crack is expected to eventually lead to the calving of a major iceberg.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  14. Equilibrium Line Altitudes and paleotemperature reconstructions from Nevado Hualcán (9°S) and Nevado Coropuna (15°S), Tropical Andes (Peru).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Úbeda, J.; Giráldez, C.; Palacios, D.

    2012-04-01

    system which in 13-1136Cl ka had a surface of >400 km2 (Ubeda, 2011). Glasser, N.F., Clemmens, S., Schnabel, C., Fenton, C.R. and McHargue, L., 2009. Tropical glacier fluctuations in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru between 12.5 and 7.6 ka from cosmogenic 10Be dating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28: 3448-3458. IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K and Reisinger, A. (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 104 pp. Kaser, G. and Osmaston, H., 2002. Tropical Glaciers. International Hydrology Series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (U.K.), 207 pp. Osmaston, H., 2005. Estimates of glacier equilibrium line altitudes by the Area x Altitude, the Area x Altitude Balance Ratio and the Area x Altitude Balance Index methods and their validation. Quaternary International, 22-31: 138-139. Úbeda, J., 2011. El impacto del cambio climático en los glaciares del complejo volcánico Nevado Coropuna (cordillera occidental de los Andes, Sur del Perú). PhD Thesis. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, (Spain), 558 pp. Available online: http://eprints.ucm.es/12076/ Research funded by CGL2009-7343 project, Government of Spain.

  15. Investigation of thermodynamic equilibrium in laser-induced aluminum plasma using the Hα line profiles and Thomson scattering spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvejić, M.; DzierŻega, K.; Pieta, T.

    2015-07-01

    We have studied isothermal equilibrium in the laser-induced plasma from aluminum pellets in argon at pressure of 200 mbar by using a method which combines the standard laser Thomson scattering and analysis of the Hα, Stark-broadened, line profiles. Plasma was created using 4.5 ns, 4 mJ pulses from a Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm. While electron density and temperature were determined from the electron feature of Thomson scattering spectra, the heavy particle temperature was obtained from the Hα full profile applying computer simulation including ion-dynamical effects. We have found strong imbalance between these two temperatures during entire plasma evolution which indicates its non-isothermal character. At the same time, according to the McWhirter criterion, the electron density was high enough to establish plasma in local thermodynamic equilibrium.

  16. Union Glacier: a new exploration gateway for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, A.; Zamora, R.; Uribe, J. A.; Jaña, R.; Oberreuter, J.

    2014-02-01

    Union Glacier (79°46' S/83°24' W) in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), has been used by the private company Antarctic Logistic and Expeditions (ALE) since 2007 for their landing and commercial operations, providing a unique logistic opportunity to perform glaciological research in a vast region, including the Ice divide between Institute and Pine Island glaciers and the Subglacial Lake Ellsworth. Union glacier is flowing into the Ronne Ice Shelf, where future migrations of the grounding line zone (GLZ) in response to continuing climate and oceanographic changes have been modelled. In order to analyse the potential impacts on Union glacier of this scenario, we installed an array of stakes, where ice elevation, mass balance and ice velocities have been measured since 2007, resulting in near equilibrium conditions with horizontal displacements between 10 and 33 m yr-1. GPS receivers and three radar systems have been also used to map the subglacial topography, the internal structure of the ice and the presence of crevasses along surveyed tracks. The resulting radar data showed a subglacial topography with a minimum of 858 m below sea level, much deeper than estimated before. The below sea level subglacial topography confirms the potential instability of the glacier in foreseen scenarios of GLZ upstream migration during the second half of the XXI century.

  17. Helical equilibrium

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshikawa, S.

    1981-08-01

    A straight, helical plasma equilibrium equation is solved numerically for a plasma with a helical magnetic axis. As is expected, by a suitable choice of the plasma boundary, the vacuum configuration is made line ..integral.. dl/B stable. As the plasma pressure increases, the line ..integral.. dl/B criterion will improve (again as expected). There is apparently no limit on the plasma ..beta.. from the equilibrium consideration. Thus helical-axis stellarator ..beta.. will presumably be limited by MHD stability ..beta.., and not by equilibrium ..beta...

  18. A non-local thermodynamic equilibrium, line-blanketed synthetic spectrum of Iota Herculis - C, Al, and Si lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grigsby, James A.

    1991-01-01

    A non-LTE line-blanketed model stellar atmosphere is used to compute a model of I Herculis (B3 IV) with a Teff of 17,500 K and a log g of 3.75, following the conclusions of Peters and Polidan (1985). Detailed profiles of a number of lines of C, Al, and Si in the 1200-2000-A region are computed, including the resonance lines of C II, Al II, and Al III. These profiles are compared to observations obtained from the coaddition of eight IUE SWP images, using a technique developed by Leckrone and Adelman (1989). Comparison of carbon lines with a model that is underabundant in carbon by a factor of 2 relative to the sun indicates that the C abundance of Iota Her is at most one-half solar. Non-LTE effects are examined by comparing an LTE model possessing identical atmospheric parameters with the non-LTE model. Substantial differences in the populations of the model atomic states are found, but differences in the temperature structure of the two models often mask the non-LTE effects in the synthetic spectra.

  19. South Cascade Glacier bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Fountain, A.G.; Fulk, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    South Cascade Glacier, in Washington State, resides in a well-defined basin with mainly unglacierized divides making it ideal for most glaciological and hydrological studies. This bibliography is divided into three cateogories: (1) studies done about South Cascade Glacier specifically; (2) studies that use data from South Cascade Glacier but do not focus on or give insight to the glacier itself; and (3) instrumentation studies and non-glacier projects including snow studies done in the basin. (ACR)

  20. Glacier-derived climate for the Younger Dryas in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellitero, Ramon; Rea, Brice R.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Hughes, Philip; Braithwaite, Roger; Renssen, Hans; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Ribolini, Adriano; Bakke, Jostein; Lukas, Sven

    2016-04-01

    We have reconstructed and calculated the glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) for 120 Younger Dryas palaeoglaciers from Morocco in the south to Svalbard in the north and from Ireland in the west to Turkey in the east. The chronology of these landform were checked and, when derived from cosmogenic dates, these were recalculated based on newer production rates. Frontal moraines/limits for the palaeoglaciers were used to reconstruct palaeoglacier extent by using a GIS tool which implements a discretised solution for the assumption of perfect-plasticity ice rheology for a single flowline and extents this out to a 3D ice surface. From the resulting equilibrium profile, palaeoglaciers palaeo-ELAs were calculated using another GIS tool. Where several glaciers were reconstructed in a region, a single ELA value was generated following the methodology of Osmaston (2005). In order to utilise these ELAs for quantitative palaeo-precipitation reconstructions an independent regional temperature analysis was undertaken. A database of 121 sites was compiled where the temperature was determined from palaeoproxies other than glaciers (e.g. pollen, diatoms, choleoptera, chironimids…) in both terrestrial and offshore environments. These proxy data provides estimates of average annual, summer and winter temperatures. These data were merged and interpolated to generate maps of average temperature for the warmest and coldest months and annual average temperature. From these maps the temperature at the ELA was obtained using a lapse rate of 0.65°C/100m. Using the ELA temperature range and summer maximum in a degree-day model allows determination of the potential melt which can be taken as equivalent to precipitation given the assumption a glacier is in equilibrium with climate. Results show that during the coldest part of the Younger Dryas precipitation was high in the British Isles, the NW of the Iberian Peninsula and the Vosges. There is a general trend for declining precipitation

  1. Two-dimensional nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium transfer computations of resonance lines in quiescent prominences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vial, J. C.

    1982-03-01

    The two-dimensional transfer code of Mihalas, Auer and Mihalas (1978) is used to compute emergent profiles of resonance lines of H I, Mg II, and Ca II. The model (a uniform slab limited in two directions) and the radiative and thermodynamic quantities are described. The metallic line profiles are sensitive to the ionization degree, which is fixed at a certain value. Some modifications are implemented in the code, in particular, the true incident profiles of chromospheric lines. A comparison is made between two-dimensional and one-dimensional profiles. Good agreement between computed and observed profiles is found for Ly-alpha and Ca II but not for Mg II lines.

  2. SAR investigations of glaciers in northwestern North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingle, Craig S.; Harrison, William D.

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this project was to investigate the utility of satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery for measurement of geophysical parameters on Alaskan glaciers relevant to their mass balance and dynamics, including: (1) the positions of firn lines (late-summer snow lines); (2) surface velocities on fast-flowing (surging) glaciers, and also on slower steady-flow glaciers; and (3) the positions and changes in the positions of glacier termini. Preliminary studies of topography and glacier surface velocity with SAR interferometry have also been carried out. This project was motivated by the relationships of multi-year to decadal changes in glacier geometry to changing climate, and the probable significant contribution of Alaskan glaciers to rising sea level.

  3. Laboratory study of the equilibrium and eruption of line-tied magnetic flux ropes in the solar corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, Clayton Edward

    2015-03-01

    Ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities such as the kink instability and the torus instability are leading candidates to explain the sudden onset of eruptive events in the solar corona. These instabilities act on line-tied magnetic flux ropes--long-lived arched structures anchored to the solar surface. In spite of substantial observational and numerical research, however, the role of these instabilities in the corona remains a subject of intense debate. For this thesis, we have constructed and operated a new line-tied flux rope experiment that permits for the first time the study of both the kink and torus instabilities in the laboratory. This experiment has the following key features: (1) the arched flux rope is line-tied to two conducting footpoints; (2) the system is magnetically dominated (low-beta) with significant stored energy; (3) the system is driven quasi-statically, producing a long-lived equilibrium; and (4) the flux rope is generated within a potential (vacuum) magnetic field arcade whose decay index---the predicted torus instability control parameter---can be externally controlled. The flux ropes are diagnosed using a two-dimensional in situ magnetic probe array whose cross-section covers a substantial portion of the plasma. The central result of this thesis is that toroidal field forces, which are traditionally neglected in the analysis of coronal flux ropes, are identified for the first time as an essential contributor to both the equilibrium and the stability of line-tied flux ropes. Most importantly, experimental measurements show that a tension force derived from a self-generated paramagnetic toroidal field exerts a restoring force on the line-tied plasma and suppresses eruptive behavior in a significant portion of the parameter space. This suppression extends to regimes that are both kink and torus unstable. We find that, in order to explain the measured tension force, low aspect ratio and line-tying effects must be considered. Finally

  4. Accelerating thinning of Kenai Peninsula glaciers, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanLooy, J.; Forster, R.; Ford, A.

    2006-11-01

    Temperate mountain glaciers are thinning at high rates and significantly contributing to sea level rise. Due to these glaciers' remote locations, remote sensing and digital elevation models (DEMs) are an effective way to calculate their thinning rates and contribution to sea level rise. Comparisons of 1950s United States Geological Survey (USGS) and 2000 Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) DEMs with DEMs produced from Lidar profiles of glacier center-lines indicate thinning rates from the mid-1990s to 1999 (-0.72 +/- 0.13 m y-1) accelerated by a factor of 1.5 as compared with 1950 to mid-1990s (-0.47 +/- 0.01 m y-1) for glaciers on the Harding Icefield. Overall, comparison of USGS and SRTM DEMs indicate the Harding Icefield and Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, Alaska, are thinning -0.61 +/- 0.12 m y-1 from 1950 to 1999.

  5. Glaciers of Europe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S., Jr.; 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

  6. Heterogeneous response of debris-covered and debris-free glaciers to climate change in Langtang Himal determined by geodetic mass balance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragettli, Silvan; Bolch, Tobias; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-04-01

    thinning mostly accelerated in recent years, while the nearly stagnant areas near the terminus show constant or decreasing thinning rates. The highest thinning rates and the strongest increase in thinning rates can be associated to areas with a large presence of supraglacial cliffs and lakes. However, the mean thinning rates per altitudinal band of such areas of maximal thinning are still 20-40% lower than thinning rates of debris-free glacier area at the same elevation. A strong melt reducing effect of supraglacial debris seems therefore indisputable. The mass balance of all glaciers during all studied periods is negative (on average 2006-2015: -0.60±0.34 m/a), but while for some glaciers the mean annual mass loss between 2006 and 2015 doubled with respect to to the period 1974-2006, for others we do not identify accelerated mass loss. The response of debris-free glaciers seems to strongly depend on glacier hypsometry: almost balanced mass budgets in recent years can be associated to high accumulation area ratios, although thinning of debris-free glacier area below the equilibrium line altitude is accelerating rapidly. We conclude that trends of glacier mass loss rates in this part of the Himalaya cannot be generalized, neither for debris-covered nor for debris-free glaciers.

  7. Stark broadening for diagnostics of the electron density in non-equilibrium plasma utilizing isotope hydrogen alpha lines

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Lin; Tan, Xiaohua; Wan, Xiang; Chen, Lei; Jin, Dazhi; Qian, Muyang; Li, Gongping

    2014-04-28

    Two Stark broadening parameters including FWHM (full width at half maximum) and FWHA (full width at half area) of isotope hydrogen alpha lines are simultaneously introduced to determine the electron density of a pulsed vacuum arc jet. To estimate the gas temperature, the rotational temperature of the C{sub 2} Swan system is fit to 2500 ± 100 K. A modified Boltzmann-plot method with b{sub i}-factor is introduced to determine the modified electron temperature. The comparison between results of atomic and ionic lines indicates the jet is in partial local thermodynamic equilibrium and the electron temperature is close to 13 000 ± 400 K. Based on the computational results of Gig-Card calculation, a simple and precise interpolation algorithm for the discrete-points tables can be constructed to obtain the traditional n{sub e}-T{sub e} diagnostic maps of two Stark broadening parameters. The results from FWHA formula by the direct use of FWHM = FWHA and these from the diagnostic map are different. It can be attributed to the imprecise FWHA formula form and the deviation between FWHM and FWHA. The variation of the reduced mass pair due to the non-equilibrium effect contributes to the difference of the results derived from two hydrogen isotope alpha lines. Based on the Stark broadening analysis in this work, a corrected method is set up to determine n{sub e} of (1.10 ± 0.08) × 10{sup 21} m{sup −3}, the reference reduced mass μ{sub 0} pair of (3.30 ± 0.82 and 1.65 ± 0.41), and the ion kinetic temperature of 7900 ± 1800 K.

  8. Terrestrial Laser Scanning as a Tool to Evaluate the Quality of Interpolated Ablation Stakes Data and the Uncertainty of an Arctic Glacier Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolle, F.; Prokop, A.; Bernard, É.; Friedt, J. M.; Griselin, M.

    2015-12-01

    A network of ablation stakes has been maintained on the Austre Lovén glacier (Svalbard) over the last 8 years. Data collected thanks to this in-situ equipment served as a basis to obtain annual mass balance values. Interpolation methods were used to generalize the values measured at the stakes to the entire surface of the glacier (4.5km²). This allows for a precise quantification of the glacier's dynamics including areas where data are not easy to collect directly on the field such as the glacier snout or steep accumulation zones. Over the last 4 years, repeat terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) surveys have been undertaken twice a year. Scans were acquired at the end of the expected annual snow maximum (April) and near the end of the melting season (August). Even though these scans do not cover the entire glacier, they yield high density point clouds of the glacier surface in crucial areas. The glacier terminus, the equilibrium line area and accumulation cirques were among the zones specifically scanned. The comparison of mass balance results derived from ablation stakes data and digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from TLS measurements allowed for an assessment of the quality and uncertainty of these methods. Local variability proves higher than initially expected, especially in key areas of the glacier having the greatest impact on the global balance. Even though the Austre Lovén glacier displays a seemingly smooth and homogeneous surface, local variations have to be taken into consideration. The potential consequences of this variability on the annual mass balance will be explored.

  9. A GRASS GIS module to obtain an estimation of glacier behavior under climate change: A pilot study on Italian glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strigaro, Daniele; Moretti, Massimiliano; Mattavelli, Matteo; Frigerio, Ivan; Amicis, Mattia De; Maggi, Valter

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this work is to integrate the Minimal Glacier Model in a Geographic Information System Python module in order to obtain spatial simulations of glacier retreat and to assess the future scenarios with a spatial representation. The Minimal Glacier Models are a simple yet effective way of estimating glacier response to climate fluctuations. This module can be useful for the scientific and glaciological community in order to evaluate glacier behavior, driven by climate forcing. The module, called r.glacio.model, is developed in a GRASS GIS (GRASS Development Team, 2016) environment using Python programming language combined with different libraries as GDAL, OGR, CSV, math, etc. The module is applied and validated on the Rutor glacier, a glacier in the south-western region of the Italian Alps. This glacier is very large in size and features rather regular and lively dynamics. The simulation is calibrated by reconstructing the 3-dimensional dynamics flow line and analyzing the difference between the simulated flow line length variations and the observed glacier fronts coming from ortophotos and DEMs. These simulations are driven by the past mass balance record. Afterwards, the future assessment is estimated by using climatic drivers provided by a set of General Circulation Models participating in the Climate Model Inter-comparison Project 5 effort. The approach devised in r.glacio.model can be applied to most alpine glaciers to obtain a first-order spatial representation of glacier behavior under climate change.

  10. Glaciers: A water resource

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, Mark; Post, Austin

    1995-01-01

    Most Americans have never seen a glacier, and most would say that glaciers are rare features found only in inaccessible, isolated wilderness mountains. Are they really so rare? Or are they really potentially important sources of water supply?

  11. Structure of the flux lines lattice in NbSe2 : Equilibrium state and influence of the magnetic history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pautrat, A.; Aburas, M.; Simon, Ch.; Mathieu, P.; Brûlet, A.; Dewhurst, C. D.; Bhattacharya, S.; Higgins, M. J.

    2009-05-01

    We have performed small-angle neutron scattering of the flux line lattice (FLL) in a Fe-doped NbSe2 sample which presents a large peak effect in the critical current. The scattered intensity and the width of the Bragg peaks of the equilibrium FLL indicate an ordered structure in the peak effect zone. The history dependence in the FLL structure has been studied using field-cooled and zero-field-cooled procedures, and each state shows the same intensity of Bragg scattering and good orientational order. These results strongly suggest that the peak effect is unrelated to a bulk-disordering transition and confirm the role of a heterogeneous distribution of screening current.

  12. Detailed Reconstructions of Fluctuations of Seven Glaciers during the "little Ice Age" in the Northern Caucasus, Russian Federation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bushueva, I.

    2012-12-01

    The main task of this work is the development of detailed reconstructions of mountain glaciers' fluctuations with precise spatial references in the Northern Caucasus, their analyses in terms of glacier length, area and volume changes and identification of climate role in these fluctuations. The studied glaciers (Alibek, Ullukam, Terskol, Kashkatash, Bezingi, Mijirgi, Tsey) are situated along the Bolshoy Caucasus Range from the very west (Teberda river basin) to the east (Tseydon river basin). These valley glaciers have different size, aspect and percent of debris-cover. Basing on instrumental data (since the middle of 20th century), remote sensing images (CORONA, Geoeye, Cartosat, IRS, ASTER, etc.), aerial photos of 1950s-1980s, maps (since 1887), old photographs, as well as proxy data (historical descriptions, lichenometry, dendrochronology, 14C, 10Be), we reconstructed 15-20 positions of the glaciers tongues for each glacier and produced maps showing variations of the glaciers with precise spatial reference since their maximum in the mid 17th or first half of 19th century. For example, for Alibek glacier seven former front positions and eleven moraines were photo-identified and dated. We obtained the carbon dating of intermorainal peat-bog (103%), moraine dating based on isotopes of 10Be (1900±12) and determined minimum age of most distant moraine according to dendrochronological analysis of trees (Abies nordmanniana), growing on its surface (more than 200 years). At that time (1895) the glacier was 290 m longer than today, its surface was 0.31 km2 larger (5.94 km2 in 1895, 5.63 km2 in 2008). We calculated glaciers' length and area changes, using different methods (GLIMS; Bhambri et al., 2012) and analyzed advantages and disadvantages of each method in case of their application for Caucasian glaciers. Based on our measurements we evaluated changes of equilibrium line altitude and volume. Volume changes have been reconstructed using the model offered by Lüthi et

  13. Widespread and Accelerated Glacier Thinning in the Svalbard Archipelago: a New Estimate of Sea-Level Contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, T. D.; Murray, T.; Barrand, N.; Fox, A.; Luckman, A. J.; Sykes, H. J.

    2009-12-01

    Quantifying glacier contribution to sea-level rise is difficult due largely to a scarcity of long-term mass balance observations. Of more than 160,000 glaciers worldwide only about 40 have mass balance records longer than 20 years. We have developed a new method that will significantly increase the distribution and spatial/temporal resolution of mass balance records by combining historical aerial photographs and contemporary, high resolution laser altimetry. Because of their sensitivity to changes in climate, we focused initially on the land-terminating glaciers of the Svalbard archipelago. Also, while small mountain glaciers like those in Svalbard constitute only about 3% of the glacierized area on Earth, of all the world’s ice masses, they are currently thought to be the greatest contributors to eustatic sea-level rise. We produced a high-quality (±0.25 m vertical), high-resolution (10 m grid) digital elevation time series for a distributed sample of Svalbard glaciers dating back to the early 1960s from historical stereo aerial photography. The archive, controlled with laser altimetry, provides the first long-term mass balance record for Svalbard of this quality, spatial resolution and areal distribution. Significant thinning was observed at all locations, with western Svalbard glaciers showing the highest acceleration of mass loss during the last 15 years. These changes were dominated not by accelerated thinning at the glacier termini but by changes at higher elevations in former accumulation zones that appear to be driven by changes in albedo. Given that most of the archipelago’s ice is already at or close to the current equilibrium line altitude, this high altitude acceleration in thinning will have significant consequences on the archipelago’s net balance. The high local and regional variability in mass change on individual glaciers and between adjacent glaciers raises doubt as to the validity of point and profile change data to represent glacier

  14. The complex behavior of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and mountain glaciers to abrupt climate change during the latest Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menounos, Brian; Goehring, Brent; Osborn, Gerald; Clarke, Garry K. C.; Ward, Brent; Margold, Martin; Bond, Jeff; Clague, John J.; Lakeman, Tom; Schaefer, Joerg; Koch, Joe; Gosse, John; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Seguinot, Julien; Heyman, Jakob; Fulton, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Surficial mapping and more than 70 radiometric ages 10Be, 14C] constrain the evolution of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) and associated mountain glaciers in western Canada during the latest Pleistocene. Our data suggest that: i) there is widespread evidence for the Younger Dryas (YD) throughout the mountains of western Canada; ii) late Pleistocene climate reconstructions based solely on alpine moraines may be misleading in regions with decaying ice sheets; iii) extensive interfluves in some mountain regions were ice-free between 16 ka and 13 ka (kilo calibrated yrs BP). Initial decay of the CIS from its maximum extent around 16 ka was likely due to a combination of climatic (surface melting) and dynamical factors. Climate amelioration during the Bølling-Allerød Warm Period [14.7-12.9 ka], likely the cause for the major phase of CIS decay, resulted in ice sheet equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) ranging from 2500 m asl in southern BC to around 2000 m asl along the BC-Yukon border. Hence, before the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) Cold Period [12.9-11.7 ka], the ice sheet shrank and became a labyrinth of individual and coalescing valley glaciers fed by major accumulation zones centered on the Coast Mountains and other high ranges of NW Canada. The response of remnant ice and cirque glaciers to the YD climate deterioration was highly variable. In some cases, small glaciers (0.5-2 km2) built YD moraines that were only hundreds of meters beyond those constructed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) [0.30-0.15 ka]. Our dating also reveals that much larger glaciers persisted in nearby valleys that lie hundreds of meters below the cirques. Hence, we infer that many cirques were completely deglaciated prior the YD, in contrast to low-lying valleys where ice sheet remnants persisted. Glaciers also advanced in north-central British Columbia during the YD, but here glaciers constructed large terminal and lateral moraines. In the Cassiar and northern Coast mountains, for example

  15. Biogeochemistry of glacier and rock glacier outflow in the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegel, T. S.; Baron, J.; Hall, E.; Boot, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates worldwide, releasing bioavailable minerals and nutrients and altering downstream biogeochemistry. Though much research has focused on the recession of ice-glaciers in alpine environments, far less is known about the melt dynamics and biogeochemistry of rock glaciers. Rock glaciers, which are mixtures of ice and rocks that flow like a glacier, are far more abundant in mountainous regions of the western United States than ice glaciers. Little is known about their influence on downstream hydrology and water quality. We report here preliminary results of a west-wide survey of the influence of glaciers and rock glaciers on headwater properties. Measurements of specific conductance, nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), dissolved silica, and dissolved organic matter were compared between glaciers, rock glaciers, and snow-fed reference streams from three basins in the Colorado Front Range. Samples were collected from ice, where possible, and downstream at 500m intervals from the first flowing water to tree line. UV and fluorescence data were analyzed using excitation emission matrices (EEMs) and PARAFAC modeling. High concentrations of NH4+ were only found in ice and the most upstream locations; NH4+ was below detection at all lower elevation sites, whereas NO3- concentrations were low in the headwaters and higher downstream. The fluorescence spectrum of DOC from both ice and the highest elevations had a strong autochthonous (microbial or algal) signal that was replaced by a more allochtonous, terrestrially-derived DOC as it approached tree line. Rock glacier stream chemistry was intermediate between glacier-fed streams and strictly snow fed drainages. DOC levels for ice glaciers ranged 2-3mg/L with increasing values downstream, while rock glaciers ranged from 1-2.5 mg/L with attenuation downstream. Snowfed only streams had DOC values at detection <0.5mg/L, with the exception at Lake Husted outflow, with an upland wetland, unlike the

  16. Ablation from calving and surface melt at lake-terminating Bridge Glacier, British Columbia, 1984-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernos, M.; Koppes, M.; Moore, R. D.

    2016-01-01

    Bridge Glacier is a lake-calving glacier in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and has retreated over 3.55 km since 1972. The majority of this retreat has occurred since 1991. This retreat is substantially greater than what has been inferred from regional climate indices, suggesting that it has been driven primarily by calving as the glacier retreated across an overdeepened basin. In order to better understand the primary drivers of ablation, surface melt (below the equilibrium line altitude, ELA) and calving were quantified during the 2013 melt season using a distributed energy balance model (DEBM) and time-lapse imagery. Calving, estimated using areal change, velocity measurements, and assuming flotation were responsible for 23 % of the glacier's ablation below the ELA during the 2013 melt season and were limited by modest flow speeds and a small terminus cross-section. Calving and surface melt estimates from 1984 to 2013 suggest that calving was consistently a smaller contributor of ablation. Although calving was estimated to be responsible for up to 49 % of the glacier's ablation for individual seasons, averaged over multiple summers it accounted between 10 and 25 %. Calving was enhanced primarily by buoyancy and water depths, and fluxes were greatest between 2005 and 2010 as the glacier retreated over the deepest part of Bridge Lake. The recent rapid rate of calving is part of a transient stage in the glacier's retreat and is expected to diminish within 10 years as the terminus recedes into shallower water at the proximal end of the lake. These findings are in line with observations from other lake-calving glacier studies across the globe and suggest a common large-scale pattern in calving-induced retreat in lake-terminating alpine glaciers. Despite enhancing glacial retreat, calving remains a relatively small component of ablation and is expected to decrease in importance in the future. Hence, surface melt remains the primary driver of ablation at Bridge

  17. Changes in ice dynamics of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica in the past two decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Morlighem, M.; Scheuchl, B.

    2015-12-01

    Totten Glacier, East Antarctica, a glacier that holds a 3.9 m sea level change equivalent, has thinned and lost mass for decades. Observed thinning by satellite altimeters is concentrated in areas of fast flow, hence is probably of dynamic origin. In this study, we derive time series of ice velocity from Landsat and interferometric (InSAR) data (ERS-1/2, RADARSAT-1, ALOS PALSAR, TanDEM/TerraSAR-X and COSMO-Skymed) for the past two decades. We find significant speed-up in ice velocity, especially in 2002-2007, followed by a period of slow decrease in 2010-2014. Comparing the results with RACMO2 surface mass balance suggests that the glacier mass balance was already negative in 1996 and became more negative into the 2000s. To examine the stability of the glacier, we develop high-resolution topographies of the ice surface and ice bottom using NASA Operation IceBridge data, TanDEM-X data, InSAR ice velocities and a mass conservation method. The results reveal a 1,500-2,300 m deep grounding zone that extends 15 km inland along two prominent side lobes grounded only 15-50 m above hydrostatic equilibrium, or ice plain. At the glacier center, we detect a 1-3±0.12 km retreat of the grounding line by comparing differential InSAR data acquired 17 years apart. The retreat is asymmetrical along the two lobes, but consistently indicates a total thinning of 12 m from 1996 to 2013. On the ice plain, the glacier is prone to rapid retreat around a region about 7 km long, but inland the bed elevation rises. Sustained thinning will cause further retreat and probably speed up, but will not be conducive to a marine- instability. The ultimate cause of the changes is not known, but probably of oceanic origin, with most changes taking place in 2002-2007.

  18. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  19. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  20. North Cascade Glacier Annual Mass Balance Record Analysis 1984-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project (NCGCP) was founded in 1983 to monitor 10 glaciers throughout the range and identify their response to climate change. The annual observations include mass balance, terminus behavior, glacier surface area and accumulation area ratio (AAR). Annual mass balance (Ba) measurements have been continued on the 8 original glaciers that still exist. Two glaciers have disappeared: the Lewis Glacier and Spider Glacier. In 1990, Easton Glacier and Sholes Glacier were added to the annual balance program to offset the loss. One other glacier Foss Glacier has declined to the extent that continued measurement will likely not be possible. Here we examine the 30 year long Ba time series from this project. All of the data have been reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS). This comparatively long record from glaciers in one region conducted by the same research program using the same methods offers some useful comparative data. Degree day factors for melt of 4.3 mm w.e.°C-1d-1 for snow and 6.6 mm w.e.°C-1d-1 for ice has been determined from 412 days of ablation observation. The variation in the AAR for equilibrium Ba is small ranging from 60 to 67. The mean annual balance of the glaciers from 1984-2013 is -0.45 ma-1, ranging from -0.31 to -0.57 ma-1 for individual glacier's. The correlation coefficient of Ba is above 0.80 between all glaciers including the USGS benchmark glacier, South Cascade Glacier. This indicates that the response is to regional climate change, not local factors. The mean annual balance of -0.45 ma-1 is close to the WGMS global average for this period -0.50 ma-1. The cumulative loss of 13.5 m w.e. and 15 m of ice thickness represents more than 20% of the volume of the glaciers.

  1. THE DIAGNOSTIC O VI ABSORPTION LINE IN DIFFUSE PLASMAS: COMPARISON OF NON-EQUILIBRIUM IONIZATION STRUCTURE SIMULATIONS TO FUSE DATA

    SciTech Connect

    De Avillez, Miguel A.; Breitschwerdt, Dieter

    2012-12-20

    The nature of the interstellar O VI in the Galactic disk is studied by means of a multi-fluid hydrodynamical approximation, tracing the detailed time-dependent evolution of the ionization structure of the plasma. Our focus is to explore the signature of any non-equilibrium ionization condition present in the interstellar medium using the diagnostic O VI ion. A detailed comparison between the simulations and FUSE data is carried out by taking lines of sight (LOS) measurements through the simulated Galactic disk, covering an extent of 4 kpc from different vantage points. The simulation results bear a striking resemblance with the observations: (1) the N(O VI) distribution with distance and angle fall within the minimum and maximum values of the FUSE data; (2) the column density dispersion with distance is constant for all the LOS, showing a mild decrease at large distances; (3) O VI has a clumpy distribution along the LOS; and (4) the time-averaged midplane density for distances >400 pc has a value of (1.3-1.4) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -8} cm{sup -3}. The highest concentration of O VI by mass occurs in the thermally stable (10{sup 3.9} K < T {<=} 10{sup 4.2} K; 20%) and unstable (10{sup 4.2} K < T < 10{sup 5} K; 50%) regimes, both well below its peak temperature in collisional ionization equilibrium, with the corresponding volume filling factors oscillating with time between 8%-20% and 4%-5%, respectively. These results may also be relevant for intergalactic metal absorption systems at high redshifts.

  2. Modelling Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelis; Abdalati, Waleed (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The objective of this project was to develop simple yet realistic models of Greenland outlet glaciers to better understand ongoing changes and to identify possible causes for these changes. Several approaches can be taken to evaluate the interaction between climate forcing and ice dynamics, and the consequent ice-sheet response, which may involve changes in flow style. To evaluate the icesheet response to mass-balance forcing, Van der Veen (Journal of Geophysical Research, in press) makes the assumption that this response can be considered a perturbation on the reference state and may be evaluated separately from how this reference state evolves over time. Mass-balance forcing has an immediate effect on the ice sheet. Initially, the rate of thickness change as compared to the reference state equals the perturbation in snowfall or ablation. If the forcing persists, the ice sheet responds dynamically, adjusting the rate at which ice is evacuated from the interior to the margins, to achieve a new equilibrium. For large ice sheets, this dynamic adjustment may last for thousands of years, with the magnitude of change decreasing steadily over time as a new equilibrium is approached. This response can be described using kinematic wave theory. This theory, modified to pertain to Greenland drainage basins, was used to evaluate possible ice-sheet responses to perturbations in surface mass balance. The reference state is defined based on measurements along the central flowline of Petermann Glacier in north-west Greenland, and perturbations on this state considered. The advantage of this approach is that the particulars of the dynamical flow regime need not be explicitly known but are incorporated through the parameterization of the reference ice flux or longitudinal velocity profile. The results of the kinematic wave model indicate that significant rates of thickness change can occur immediately after the prescribed change in surface mass balance but adjustments in flow

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen

    2009-01-01

    {sup -1}. The annual glacier loss for the two simulations was 50.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} and 64.4 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} for all glaciers - a difference of {approx}21%. The average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for all glaciers in the simulation domain was located at 875 m a.s.l. and at 900 m a.s.l. for simulations with or without inversion routines, respectively.

  4. The Glacial Buzzsaw in the Northern Basin and Range: the Importance of Glacier Size and Uplift Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, D.; Brocklehurst, S. H.; Gawthorpe, R. L.

    2007-12-01

    The role of glaciers in limiting mountain range elevations is an important component of studies linking tectonic uplift and climate-driven erosion. Recent investigations suggesting that a glacial buzzsaw effect can efficiently offset rock uplift in tectonically active settings have concentrated on regions that have held large glaciers (10s km long at Last Glacial Maximum, LGM). However, little work has addressed the role small glaciers may play in controlling range topography. This study looks at the effectiveness of smaller (<10 km) glaciers at limiting peak and ridge elevations in both slow and relatively rapid rock uplift settings. The Lost River and Lemhi Ranges, Idaho, and the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, Idaho-Montana all experience slow rock uplift, with slip rates <0.3 mm/yr on the range-bounding normal faults. Here, swath-elevation profiles show that maximum elevations correlate well to estimates of both LGM and mean Quaternary equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs). Furthermore, peaks in hypsometry and minima in slope-elevation profiles correspond to ELAs, suggesting that small glaciers can efficiently limit range elevations where rock uplift is slow. The Teton Range, Wyoming, experiences 5-10 times faster rock uplift. In general, elevations, slope profiles, and hypsometry all correlate to both LGM and mean Quaternary ELA estimates, although supra-elevated peaks do penetrate through this zone. Comparisons of valley long-profiles show that glacier size is important in controlling valley form under more rapid rock uplift. Small (<5km) glacial valleys perched high on the range front have profiles that have steepened in response to the rapid rock uplift. In contrast, larger (>8km) valleys extend back beyond the high peaks of the range front, and have housed glaciers that have eroded deep into the range, maintaining shallow gradients. Feedback mechanisms are important in snow accumulation on the larger glaciers, which receive extra inputs of snow from the

  5. Black carbon concentrations from a Tibetan Plateau ice core spanning 1843-1982: recent increases due to emissions and glacier melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, M.; Kaspari, S.; Kang, S.; Grigholm, B.; Mayewski, P. A.

    2013-10-01

    Black carbon (BC) deposited on snow and glacier surfaces can reduce albedo and lead to accelerated melt. An ice core recovered from Guoqu glacier on Mt. Geladaindong and analyzed using a Single Particle Soot Photometer provides the first long-term (1843-1982) record of BC concentrations from the Central Tibetan Plateau. The highest concentrations are observed from 1975-1982, which corresponds to a 2.0-fold and 2.4-fold increase in average and median values, respectively, relative to 1843-1940. BC concentrations post-1940 are also elevated relative to the earlier portion of the record. Causes for the higher BC concentrations include increased regional BC emissions and subsequent deposition, and melt induced enrichment of BC, with the melt potentially accelerated due to the presence of BC at the glacier surface. A qualitative comparison of the BC and Fe (used as a dust proxy) records suggests that if changes in the concentrations of absorbing impurities at the glacier surface have influenced recent glacial melt, the melt may be due to the presence of BC rather than dust. Guoqu glacier has received no net ice accumulation since the 1980s, and is a potential example of a glacier where an increase in the equilibrium line altitude is exposing buried high impurity layers. That BC concentrations in the uppermost layers of the Geladaindong ice core are not substantially higher relative to deeper in the ice core suggests that some of the BC that must have been deposited on Guoqu glacier via wet or dry deposition between 1983 and 2005 has been removed from the surface of the glacier, potentially via supraglacial or englacial meltwater.

  6. Glaciers of Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S., Jr.; 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

  7. Global Trends in Glacial Cirque Floor Altitudes and Their Relationships with Climate, Equilibrium Line Altitudes, and Mountain Range Heights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, S. G.; Humphries, E.

    2013-12-01

    Glacial erosion at the base of cirque headwalls and the creation of threshold slopes above cirque floors may contribute to the 'glacial buzzsaw' effect in limiting the altitude of some mountain ranges. Since glacial extent and therefore glacial erosion rate depends on the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a region, the altitude of cirque formation should be a function of the ELA. Several regional studies have shown that cirque floors form at an altitude approximating average Quaternary ELAs in some mountain ranges, but a global correlation has not yet been demonstrated. We examined the correlation between cirque altitudes and global ELA trends by compiling existing and new cirque altitude and morphometry data from > 30 mountain ranges at a wide range of latitudes. Where available, we calculate or present the average cirque altitude, relief, and latitude. We compared these altitudes to both the global East Pacific ELA and local ELAs where available. For the locations analyzed, the majority of average cirque altitudes fall between the Eastern Pacific modern and LGM ELAs, and mountain range height is typically limited to < 600 m above that altitude. This evidence supports the hypothesis that cirque formation is dependent upon the ELA, and that cirques likely form as a result of average, rather than extreme, glacial conditions. Furthermore, the correlation between cirque altitude and ELA, along with the restricted window of relief, implies that cirque formation is a factor in limiting peak altitude in ranges that rise above the ELA.

  8. The thermophysics of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Zotikov, I.A.

    1986-01-01

    This volume presents the results of experimental and theoretical work on the thermodynamics of ice sheets and glaciers. The author has carried out extensive field work in both the Soviet Union and Antarctica over the last 25 years and has contributed to the understanding of the thermophysics of glaciers. The topics covered in this volume embrace heat flow measurement and temperature distributions in glaciers, the thermal drilling of glaciers, the melting and freezing of ice sheets, and other thermophysical problems. Also included are topics of relevance to glacial engineering.

  9. Modelling mass balance and temperature sensitivity on Shallap glacier, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurgiser, W.; Marzeion, B.; Nicholson, L. I.; Ortner, M.; Kaser, G.

    2013-12-01

    Due to pronounced dry seasons in the tropical Andes of Peru glacier melt water is an important factor for year-round water availability for the local society. Andean glaciers have been shrinking during the last decades but present day's magnitudes of glacier mass balance and sensitivities to changes in atmospheric drivers are not well known. Therefore we have calculated spatial distributed glacier mass and energy balance of Shallap glacier (4700 m - 5700 m, 9°S), Cordillera Blanca, Peru, on hourly time steps for the period Sept. 2006 to Aug. 2008 with records from an AWS close to the glacier as model input. Our model evaluation against measured surface height change in the ablation zone of the glacier yields our model results to be reasonable and within an expectable error range. For the mass balance characteristics we found similar vertical gradients and accumulation area ratios but markedly differences in specific mass balance from year to year. The differences were mainly caused by large differences in annual ablation in the glacier area below 5000m. By comparing the meteorological conditions in both years we found for the year with more negative mass balance that total precipitation was only slightly lower but mean annual temperature was higher, thus the fraction of liquid precipitation and the snow line altitude too. As shortwave net energy turned out to be the key driver of ablation in all seasons the deviations in snow line altitude and surface albedo explain most of the deviations in available melt energy. Hence, mass balance of tropical Shallap glacier was not only sensitive to precipitation but also to temperature which has not been expected for glaciers in the Peruvian Andes before. We furthermore have investigated impacts of increasing temperature due to its multiple effects on glacier mass and energy balance (fraction of liquid precipitation, long wave incoming radiation, sensible and latent heat flux). Presenting these results should allow for better

  10. Patterns of Glacier Change in the American West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, A. G.; Basagic, H. J.; Hoffman, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    We examine a century of glacier area change in the American West, exclusive of Alaska, using historic photography, historic maps, and recent aerial photos. Of the approximately 3200 glaciers and permanent snow masses, we track about 400 glaciers across a region that spans from Washington to California and Colorado to Montana. All glaciers have retreated since 1900 with the greatest change in Montana (Lewis Range) and the Sierra Nevada of California, and the least change in Washington including the North Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula. The pattern since 1970s is more complex, with the majority of glaciers having retreated since the 1970s, some vastly more than others. The glaciers that exhibit relatively little retreat are largely restricted to the high stratovolcanoes >3500m in elevation. In these cases we infer elevated snow accumulation at higher elevations compensates for increased ablation (melt) at lower elevations. In addition, many of the most stable glaciers are debris covered in their lower elevations, due to rock fall from the relatively weak volcanic edifice. Small glaciers, <1 km2, show great variability in their behavior, with a few glaciers at equilibrium or slightly advancing, to the majority retreating, with some losing 67% of their area. These differences are more difficult to explain. We infer that local climatic/topographic influences play a dominant role in the magnitude of change while regional climate patterns control the sign of the change. Temporal patterns of glacier change are very similar across broad regions while the magnitude of that change is particular to individual glaciers.

  11. 2. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. LOOKING NNE. GIS N-37 43 44.3 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  12. HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    HORSESHOE CURVE IN GLACIER POINT ROAD NEAR GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. SAME VIEW AT CA-157-2. LOOKING NNE. GIS: N-37' 43 44.3 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  13. Effect of fjord geometry on tidewater glacier stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åkesson, Henning; Nisancioglu, Kerim H.; Nick, Faezeh M.

    2016-04-01

    Many marine-terminating glaciers have thinned, accelerated and retreated during the last two decades, broadly consistent with warmer atmospheric and oceanic conditions. However, these patterns involve considerable spatial and temporal variability, with diverse glacier behavior within the same regions. Similarly, reconstructions of marine-terminating glaciers indicate highly asynchronous retreat histories. While it is well known that retrograde slopes can cause marine ice sheet instabilities, the effect of lateral drag and fjord width has received less attention. Here, we test the hypothesis that marine outlet glacier stability is largely controlled by fjord width, and to a less extent by regional climate forcing. We employ a dynamic flowline model on idealized glacier geometries (representative of different outlet glaciers) to investigate geometric controls on decadal and longer times scales. The model accounts for driving and resistive stresses of glacier flow as well as along-flow stress transfer. It has a physical treatment of iceberg calving and a time-adaptive grid allowing for continuous tracking of grounding-line migration. We apply changes in atmospheric and oceanic forcing and show how wide and narrow fjord sections foster glacier (in)stabilities. We also evaluate the effect of including a surface mass balance - elevation feedback in such a setting. Finally, the relevance of these results to past and future marine-terminating glacier stability is discussed.

  14. Holocene cirque glacier activity in Rondane, southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kvisvik, Bjørn Christian; Paasche, Øyvind; Dahl, Svein Olaf

    2015-10-01

    Skriufonnen is a small cirque glacier (0.03 km2) in the continental mountains of Rondane in southern Norway. At present, it is the only glacier in Rondane, and very little is known about Holocene glacier fluctuations in this region. Direct observations of the glacier began in 2002, since which time Skriufonnen has been in a state of strong decline. In order to provide a temporal context, past glacier fluctuations were reconstructed based on a series of short HTH gravity cores (n = 8) and long piston cores (n = 6) retrieved from three downstream lakes of Skriufonnen. The cores were analysed for selected magnetic properties (χbulk, ARM, SIRM, 77 K/293 K), organic content (LOI), and geochemical trace elements. Soil catchment samples (n = 6) were collected along a transect running from the three lakes up to the present glacier terminus. Bulk susceptibility (χbulk) measurements show that the finest fractions systematically return the highest values and that ferromagnetic minerals are depleted with distance to the glacier front. This means that periods dominated by paramagnetic minerals indicate very little or no glacier activity, whereas intervals with more ferromagnetic minerals suggest increased glacier activity. The quantitative core analyses indicate that Skriufonnen existed prior to 10,200 b2k (years before A.D. 2000) and disappeared ~ 10,000 b2k. No glacier activity is recorded from c. 10,000 b2k until the glacier reoccurred at the onset of the local Neoglacial period, c. 4000 b2k. The glacier attained its maximum extent between 3200 and 2400 b2k and during the end of the 'Little Ice Age' (LIA) c. A.D. 1800. Neoglacial fluctuations of Skriufonnen are in line with shifts in local summer temperatures and show a delayed Neoglacial inception compared to western Norway.

  15. Melting beneath Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, David; Perrette, Mahé; Beckmann, Johanna

    2015-04-01

    Basal melting of fast-flowing Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams due to frictional heating at the ice-bed interface contributes significantly to total glacier mass balance and subglacial meltwater flux, yet modelling this basal melt process in Greenland has received minimal research attention. A one-dimensional dynamic ice-flow model is calibrated to the present day longitudinal profiles of 10 major Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams (including the Jakobshavn Isbrae, Petermann Glacier and Helheim Glacier) and is validated against published ice flow and surface elevation measurements. Along each longitudinal profile, basal melt is calculated as a function of ice flow velocity and basal shear stress. The basal shear stress is dependent on the effective pressure (difference between ice overburden pressure and water pressure), basal roughness and a sliding parametrization. Model output indicates that where outlet glaciers and ice streams terminate into the ocean with either a small floating ice tongue or no floating tongue whatsoever, the proportion of basal melt to total melt (surface, basal and submarine melt) is 5-10% (e.g. Jakobshavn Isbrae; Daugaard-Jensen Glacier). This proportion is, however, negligible where larger ice tongues lose mass mostly by submarine melt (~1%; e.g. Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier). Modelled basal melt is highest immediately upvalley of the grounding line, with contributions typically up to 20-40% of the total melt for slippery beds and up to 30-70% for resistant beds. Additionally, modelled grounding line and calving front migration inland for all outlet glaciers and ice streams of hundreds of metres to several kilometres occurs. Including basal melt due to frictional heating in outlet glacier and ice stream models is important for more accurately modelling mass balance and subglacial meltwater flux, and therefore, more accurately modelling outlet glacier and ice stream dynamics and responses to future climate change.

  16. Fast Recession of a West Antarctic Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E. J.

    1998-01-01

    Satellite radar interferometry observations of Pine Island Glacier, in West Antarctica, reveal that the hinge-line position of this major ice stream retreated 1.2+/-0.2 km per year between 1992 and 1996, which in turn implies ice thinning at 3.5+/-0.6m ice per year.

  17. Fifty years of meteo-glaciological change in Toll Glacier, Bennett Island, De Long Islands, Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konya, Keiko; Kadota, Tsutomu; Yabuki, Hironori; Ohata, Tetsuo

    2014-06-01

    Rapid environmental change has been observed in the De Long Islands, Siberian Arctic, where warming has extensively occurred over the area. To quantitatively evaluate glaciological changes since the 1980s, the climate, mass balance, and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of Toll Glacier on Bennett Island were analyzed. Air temperature has increased and solid precipitation has decreased since the 1960s, especially after 2000. The cumulative mass balance of Toll Glacier has had a negative trend since the 1960s and reached approximately -20 m water equivalent (w.e.) in 2000, which is one of the largest changes in the Arctic. These changes are much larger than those in the west Russian Arctic. The warming trend is also correlated with the sea ice distribution in the Siberian Arctic and may lead to feedback effects that cause further Arctic warming.

  18. Holocene glacier variability and Neoglacial hydroclimate at Ålfotbreen, western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gjerde, Marthe; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Nesje, Atle; Hormes, Anne

    2016-02-01

    Glaciers and small ice caps respond rapidly to climate perturbations (mainly winter precipitation, and summer temperature), and the mass-balance of glaciers located in western Norway is governed mainly by winter precipitation (Pw). Records of past Pw can offer important insight into long-term changes in atmospheric circulation, but few proxies are able to accurately capture winter climate variations in Scandinavia. Reconstructions of equilibrium-line-altitude (ELA) variations from glaciers that are sensitive to changes in Pw therefore provide a unique opportunity to quantify past winter climate in this region. Here we present a new, Holocene glacier activity reconstruction for the maritime ice cap Ålfotbreen in western Norway, based on investigations of distal glacier-fed lake sediments and modern mass balance measurements (1963-2010). Several lake sediment cores have been subject to a suite of laboratory analyses, including measurements of physical parameters such as dry bulk density (DBD) and loss-on-ignition (LOI), geochemistry (XRF), surface magnetic susceptibility (MS), and grain size distribution, to identify glacial sedimentation in the lake. Both radiocarbon (AMS 14C) and 210Pb dating were applied to establish age-depth relationships in the sediment cores. A novel approach was used to calibrate the sedimentary record against a simple ELA model, which allowed reconstruction of continuous ELA changes for Ålfotbreen during the Neoglacial (when Ålfotbreen was present, i.e. the last ∼1400 years). Furthermore, the resulting ELA variations were combined with an independent summer temperature record to calculate Neoglacial Pw using the 'Liestøl equation'. The resulting Pw record is of higher resolution than previous reconstructions from glaciers in Norway and shows the potential of glacier records to provide high-resolution data reflecting past variations in hydroclimate. Complete deglaciation of the Ålfotbreen occurred ∼9700 cal yr BP, and the ice cap was

  19. Dynamics of glacier calving at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Selmes, Nick; James, Timothy D.; Edwards, Stuart; Martin, Ian; O'Farrell, Timothy; Aspey, Robin; Rutt, Ian; Nettles, Meredith; Baugé, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Abstract During summer 2013 we installed a network of 19 GPS nodes at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland together with three cameras to study iceberg calving mechanisms. The network collected data at rates up to every 7 s and was designed to be robust to loss of nodes as the glacier calved. Data collection covered 55 days, and many nodes survived in locations right at the glacier front to the time of iceberg calving. The observations included a number of significant calving events, and as a consequence the glacier retreated ~1.5 km. The data provide real‐time, high‐frequency observations in unprecedented proximity to the calving front. The glacier calved by a process of buoyancy‐force‐induced crevassing in which the ice downglacier of flexion zones rotates upward because it is out of buoyant equilibrium. Calving then occurs back to the flexion zone. This calving process provides a compelling and complete explanation for the data. Tracking of oblique camera images allows identification and characterisation of the flexion zones and their propagation downglacier. Interpretation of the GPS data and camera data in combination allows us to place constraints on the height of the basal cavity that forms beneath the rotating ice downglacier of the flexion zone before calving. The flexion zones are probably formed by the exploitation of basal crevasses, and theoretical considerations suggest that their propagation is strongly enhanced when the glacier base is deeper than buoyant equilibrium. Thus, this calving mechanism is likely to dominate whenever such geometry occurs and is of increasing importance in Greenland. PMID:27570721

  20. Dynamics of glacier calving at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Tavi; Selmes, Nick; James, Timothy D.; Edwards, Stuart; Martin, Ian; O'Farrell, Timothy; Aspey, Robin; Rutt, Ian; Nettles, Meredith; Baugé, Tim

    2015-06-01

    During summer 2013 we installed a network of 19 GPS nodes at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland together with three cameras to study iceberg calving mechanisms. The network collected data at rates up to every 7 s and was designed to be robust to loss of nodes as the glacier calved. Data collection covered 55 days, and many nodes survived in locations right at the glacier front to the time of iceberg calving. The observations included a number of significant calving events, and as a consequence the glacier retreated ~1.5 km. The data provide real-time, high-frequency observations in unprecedented proximity to the calving front. The glacier calved by a process of buoyancy-force-induced crevassing in which the ice downglacier of flexion zones rotates upward because it is out of buoyant equilibrium. Calving then occurs back to the flexion zone. This calving process provides a compelling and complete explanation for the data. Tracking of oblique camera images allows identification and characterisation of the flexion zones and their propagation downglacier. Interpretation of the GPS data and camera data in combination allows us to place constraints on the height of the basal cavity that forms beneath the rotating ice downglacier of the flexion zone before calving. The flexion zones are probably formed by the exploitation of basal crevasses, and theoretical considerations suggest that their propagation is strongly enhanced when the glacier base is deeper than buoyant equilibrium. Thus, this calving mechanism is likely to dominate whenever such geometry occurs and is of increasing importance in Greenland.

  1. Bathymetric Controls On Observed Tidewater Glacier Retreat In Northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. F.; Tinto, K. J.; Boghosian, A.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.

    2013-12-01

    Although many of the largest glaciers in Greenland are losing mass, the large variability in observed mass wastage of the remaining glaciers clouds interpretation of the proposed external forcings, such as warming of the ocean or atmosphere. Some glaciers are accelerating and thinning while other nearby glaciers advance and gain mass. Recent efforts suggest that increased ocean temperatures may be responsible for the observed glacial retreat in Greenland and Antarctica through increased basal melting beneath floating ice tongues and vertical ice faces of tidewater glaciers. Basal melting may contribute significantly to calving and thinning, and to an eventual speeding up of the glacier, resulting in thinning further inland. Knowledge of fjord geometry is crucial for ice-ocean interaction because the availability of ocean heat to the ice will be restricted by narrow sills and shallow grounding lines. We investigate whether the variability in observed changes among Greenland glaciers can be partially explained by variation in fjord geometry. Some features of a fjord that could influence the ice-ocean system include the depth of the grounding line, the presence of sills, sloping bed, and the water cavity shape beneath floating ice. New estimates of fjord bathymetries in northwest Greenland, using airborne gravimetry measurements from NASA Operation IceBridge flights, are compared to estimates of ice acceleration and mass wastage of neighboring glaciers. We investigate the correlation between fjord geometry features and several glacier parameters, such as surface velocity and elevation changes. We determine that the geometry of glacial fjords play a large role in determining the stability of outlet glaciers. Deep sills and deep terminus grounding lines will allow greater interaction with the deep and warm Atlantic water off the shelf break. For two neighboring glaciers in northwest Greenland, we find that the glacier with a deeper grounding line, and presumably in

  2. A new glacier inventory for 2009 reveals spatial and temporal variability in glacier response to atmospheric warming in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, B. J.; Carrivick, J. L.; Glasser, N. F.; Hambrey, M. J.; Smellie, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid glacier recession of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and flat profiles. In contrast, the higher and steeper tidewater glaciers on the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula will attain more stable frontal positions after low-lying ablation areas are removed.

  3. A strategy for monitoring glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fountain, Andrew G.; Krimmel, Robert M.; Trabant, Dennis C.

    1997-01-01

    Glaciers are important features in the hydrologic cycle and affect the volume, variability, and water quality of runoff. Assessing and predicting the effect of glaciers on water resources require a monitoring program to provide basic data for this understanding. The monitoring program of the U.S. Geological Survey employs a nested approach whereby an intensively studied glacier is surrounded by less intensively studied glaciers and those monitored solely by remote sensing. Ideally, each glacierized region of the United States would have such a network of glaciers. The intensively studied glacier provides a detailed understanding of the physical processes and their temporal changes that control the mass exchange of the glaciers in that region. The less intensively studied glaciers are used to assess the variability of such processes within the region.

  4. Bruggen Glacier, Chile

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Expedition 3 crew of the International Space Station caught a rare glimpse of the massive ice fields and glaciers of Patagonia early in the afternoon on September 25, 2001. This part of the South American coast sees frequent storms and is often obscured from view by cloud cover. Bruggen Glacier in southern Chile is the largest western outflow from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and, unlike most glaciers worldwide, advanced significantly since 1945. From 1945 to 1976, Bruggen surged 5 km across the Eyre Fjord, reaching the western shore by 1962 and cutting off Lake Greve from the sea. The glacier continued advancing both northward and southward in the fjord to near its present position before stabilizing. The growth covers a distance of more than 10 km north to south, adding nearly 60 square km of ice. Additional information on this and other Patagonian glaciers may be found at the following link: USGS - Historic Fluctuations of Outlet Glaciers from the Patagonian Ice Fields. Image ISS003-E-6061 was provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA-JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

  5. Dynamics of rock glaciers and debris-covered glaciers in the Central Chilean Andes over the last 50 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, Xavier; Brenning, Alexander; Rojas Marchini, Fernanda

    2010-05-01

    temperature ranged from 7.9°C at 2987 m asl to 0.8°C at 4020 m asl, displaying a linear relationship with altitude similar to the air temperature lapse rate and that the snow cover lasted between 3 and 8 months. A negative winter thermal equilibrium was observed only at the highest (4020 m asl) site, suggesting the presence of perennial frozen ground underneath. GPS monitoring of the surface displacement between 2004 and 2009 revealed horizontal velocities ranging from 0.25 to 0.5 m/yr on the rock glaciers and the debris-covered glacier. The latter is affected by stronger vertical lowering (12-22 cm/yr), which is attributed to the intense downwasting and thermokarst development. As depicted by our study, the evolution of the cryosphere in the Central Chilean Andes during the last 50 years highlights the very different responses of glacier and permafrost to climate change. It also suggests an increasing relative importance of debris-covered glaciers and especially rock glaciers as stores of water compared to uncovered glaciers and thus ongoing changes in geomorphic and hydrological processes that still need to be investigated.

  6. Botanical Evidence of the Modern History of Nisqually Glacier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sigafoos, Robert S.; Hendricks, E.L.

    1961-01-01

    A knowledge of the areas once occupied by mountain glaciers reveals at least part of the past behavior of these glaciers. From this behavior, inferences of past climate can be drawn. The maximum advance of Nisqually Glacier in the last thousand years was located, and retreat from this point is believed to have started about 1840. The maximum downvalley position of the glacier is marked by either a prominent moraine or by a line of difference between stands of trees of strikingly different size and significantly different age. The thousand-year age of the forest beyond the moraine or line between abutting stands represents the minimum time since the surface was glaciated. This age is based on the age of the oldest trees, plus an estimated interval required for the formation of humus, plus evidence of an ancient fire, plus an interval of deposition of pyroclastics. The estimate of the date when Nisqually Glacier began to retreat from its maximum advance is based upon the ages of the oldest trees plus an interval of 5 years estimated as the time required for the establishment of trees on stable moraines. This interval was derived from a study of the ages of trees growing at locations of known past positions of the glacier. Reconnaissance studies were made on moraines formed by Emmons and Tahoma Glaciers. Preliminary analyses of these data suggest that Emmons Glacier started to recede from its maximum advance in about 1745. Two other upvalley moraines mark positions from which recession started about 1849 and 1896. Ages of trees near Tahoma Glacier indicate that it started to recede from its position of maximum advance in about 1635. About 1835 Tahoma Glacier started to recede again from another moraine formed by a readvance that ter minated near the 1635 position.

  7. Investigation of thermodynamic equilibrium in laser-induced aluminum plasma using the H{sub α} line profiles and Thomson scattering spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Cvejić, M. E-mail: krzysztof.dzierzega@uj.edu.pl; Dzierżęga, K. E-mail: krzysztof.dzierzega@uj.edu.pl; Pięta, T.

    2015-07-13

    We have studied isothermal equilibrium in the laser-induced plasma from aluminum pellets in argon at pressure of 200 mbar by using a method which combines the standard laser Thomson scattering and analysis of the H{sub α}, Stark-broadened, line profiles. Plasma was created using 4.5 ns, 4 mJ pulses from a Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm. While electron density and temperature were determined from the electron feature of Thomson scattering spectra, the heavy particle temperature was obtained from the H{sub α} full profile applying computer simulation including ion-dynamical effects. We have found strong imbalance between these two temperatures during entire plasma evolution which indicates its non-isothermal character. At the same time, according to the McWhirter criterion, the electron density was high enough to establish plasma in local thermodynamic equilibrium.

  8. The Glaciers of HARMONIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Gleeson, Emily; Pagh Nielsen, Kristian

    2016-04-01

    Developed by the large ALADIN-HIRLAM consortium, the numerical weather prediction (NWP) model system HARMONIE is run by a large number of national weather services and research institutions in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for weather forecasting. It is now being adopted for climate research purposes as a limited area model in a form known as HCLIM. It is currently run for a number of domains, mostly in Europe but also including Greenland, at a very high resolution (~2.5 km). HARMONIE is a convection permitting non-hydrostatic model that includes the multi-purpose SURFEX surface model. By improving the characterization of glacier surfaces within SURFEX we show that weather forecast errors over both the Greenland ice sheet and over Icelandic glaciers can be significantly reduced. The improvements also facilitate increasingly accurate ice melt and runoff computations, which are important both for ice surface mass balance estimations and hydropower forecasting. These improvements will also benefit the operational HARMONIE domains that cover the Svalbard archipelago, the Alps and the Scandinavian mountain glaciers. Future uses of HCLIM for these regions, where accurately characterizing glacial terrain will be crucial for climate and glaciological applications, are also expected to benefit from this improvement. Here, we report the first results with a new glacier surface scheme in the HARMONIE model, validated with observations from the PROMICE network of automatic weather stations in Greenland. The scheme upgrades the existing surface energy balance over glaciers by including a new albedo parameterization for bare glacier ice and appropriate coefficients for calculating the turbulent fluxes. In addition the snow scheme from the SURFEX land surface module has been upgraded to allow the retention and refreezing of meltwater in the snowpack. These changes allow us to estimate surface mass balance over glaciers at a range of model resolutions that can take full

  9. Modeling 2 m air temperatures over mountain glaciers: Exploring the influence of katabatic cooling and external warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayala, A.; Pellicciotti, F.; Shea, J. M.

    2015-04-01

    Air temperature is one of the most relevant input variables for snow and ice melt calculations. However, local meteorological conditions, complex topography, and logistical concerns in glacierized regions make the measuring and modeling of air temperature a difficult task. In this study, we investigate the spatial distribution of 2 m air temperature over mountain glaciers and propose a modification to an existing model to improve its representation. Spatially distributed meteorological data from Haut Glacier d'Arolla (Switzerland), Place (Canada), and Juncal Norte (Chile) Glaciers are used to examine approximate flow line temperatures during their respective ablation seasons. During warm conditions (off-glacier temperatures well above 0°C), observed air temperatures in the upper reaches of Place Glacier and Haut Glacier d'Arolla decrease down glacier along the approximate flow line. At Juncal Norte and Haut Glacier d'Arolla, an increase in air temperature is observed over the glacier tongue. While the temperature behavior over the upper part can be explained by the cooling effect of the glacier surface, the temperature increase over the glacier tongue may be caused by several processes induced by the surrounding warm atmosphere. In order to capture the latter effect, we add an additional term to the Greuell and Böhm (GB) thermodynamic glacier wind model. For high off-glacier temperatures, the modified GB model reduces root-mean-square error up to 32% and provides a new approach for distributing air temperature over mountain glaciers as a function of off-glacier temperatures and approximate glacier flow lines.

  10. Controls of air temperature variability over an Alpine Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Thomas; Brock, Ben; Ayala, Álvaro; Rutter, Nick

    2016-04-01

    Near surface air temperature (Ta) is one of the most important controls on energy exchange between a glacier surface and the overlying atmosphere. However, not enough detail is known about the controls on Ta across a glacier due to sparse data availability. Recent work has provided insights into variability of Ta along glacier centre-lines in different parts of the world, yet there is still a limited understanding of off-centreline variability in Ta and how best to estimate it from distant off-glacier locations. We present a new dataset of distributed 2m Ta records for the Tsanteleina Glacier in Northwest Italy from July-September, 2015. Data provide detailed information of lateral (across-glacier) and centre-line variations in Ta, with ~20,000 hourly observations from 17 locations. The suitability of different vertical temperature gradients (VTGs) in estimating air temperature is considered under a range of meteorological conditions and from different forcing locations. A key finding is that local VTGs account for a lot of Ta variability under a broad range of climatic conditions. However, across-glacier variability is found to be significant, particularly for high ambient temperatures and for localised topographic depressions. The relationship of spatial Ta patterns with regional-scale reanalysis data and alternative Ta estimation methodologies are also presented. This work improves the knowledge of local scale Ta variations and their importance to melt modelling.

  11. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  13. Karakoram glacier surge dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quincey, D. J.; Braun, M.; Glasser, N. F.; Bishop, M. P.; Hewitt, K.; Luckman, A.

    2011-09-01

    We examine the surges of five glaciers in the Pakistan Karakoram using satellite remote sensing to investigate the dynamic nature of surges in this region and how they may be affected by climate. Surface velocity maps derived by feature-tracking quantify the surge development spatially in relation to the terminus position, and temporally with reference to seasonal weather. We find that the season of surge initiation varies, that each surge develops gradually over several years, and that maximum velocities are recorded within the lowermost 10 km of the glacier. Measured peak surge velocities are between one and two orders of magnitude greater than during quiescence. We also note that two of the glaciers are of a type not previously reported to surge. The evidence points towards recent Karakoram surges being controlled by thermal rather than hydrological conditions, coinciding with high-altitude warming from long-term precipitation and accumulation patterns.

  14. The formation of interstellar molecular lines in a turbulent velocity field with finite correlation length III. Spherical clouds in hydrostatic equilibrium.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piehler, G.; Kegel, W. H.

    1995-05-01

    We investigated the formation of interstellar molecular lines in a turbulent velocity field with finite correlation length, extending previous work (Albrecht & Kegel 1987; Kegel et al. 1992) to isothermal spheres in hydrostatic equilibrium as cloud models with σ>>v_ therm _. For this we use the transformed generalized radiative transfer equation (Kegel et al. 1992). We concentrate our calculations on the CO-molecule with up to 12 energy levels. We give numerical results for models with T_kin_=50K, σ=3.9km/sec (σ/v_ therm _=22), and different values of the central H_2_ density and different values of the correlation length. As our results show, accounting for a velocity field with a finite correlation length affects the line profiles, the center-to-limb variation, and the intensity ratios. We find that the higher transitions are more strongly affected than the J=1-0 transition.

  15. Greenland Glacier Albedo Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA) is a NASA-funded project with the prime goal of addressing the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. Since the formal initiation of the program in 1995, there has been a significant improvement in the estimates of the mass balance of the ice sheet. Results from this program reveal that the high-elevation regions of the ice sheet are approximately in balance, but the margins are thinning. Laser surveys reveal significant thinning along 70 percent of the ice sheet periphery below 2000 m elevations, and in at least one outlet glacier, Kangerdlugssuaq in southeast Greenland, thinning has been as much as 10 m/yr. This study examines the albedo variability in four outlet glaciers to help separate out the relative contributions of surface melting versus ice dynamics to the recent mass balance changes. Analysis of AVHRR Polar Pathfinder albedo shows that at the Petermann and Jakobshavn glaciers, there has been a negative trend in albedo at the glacier terminus from 1981 to 2000, whereas the Stor+strommen and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers show slightly positive trends in albedo. These findings are consistent with recent observations of melt extent from passive microwave data which show more melt on the western side of Greenland and slightly less on the eastern side. Significance of albedo trends will depend on where and when the albedo changes occur. Since the majority of surface melt occurs in the shallow sloping western margin of the ice sheet where the shortwave radiation dominates the energy balance in summer (e.g. Jakobshavn region) this region will be more sensitive to changes in albedo than in regions where this is not the case. Near the Jakobshavn glacier, even larger changes in albedo have been observed, with decreases as much as 20 percent per decade.

  16. A non-local thermodynamical equilibrium line formation for neutral and singly ionized titanium in model atmospheres of reference A-K stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnova, T. M.; Mashonkina, L. I.; Ryabchikova, T. A.

    2016-09-01

    We construct a model atom for Ti I-II using more than 3600 measured and predicted energy levels of Ti I and 1800 energy levels of Ti II, and quantum mechanical photoionization cross-sections. Non-local thermodynamical equilibrium (NLTE) line formation for Ti I and Ti II is treated through a wide range of spectral types from A to K, including metal-poor stars with [Fe/H] down to -2.6 dex. NLTE leads to weakened Ti I lines and positive abundance corrections. The magnitude of NLTE corrections is smaller compared to the literature data for FGK atmospheres. NLTE leads to strengthened Ti II lines and negative NLTE abundance corrections. For the first time, we have performed NLTE calculations for Ti I-II in the 6500 ≤ Teff ≤ 13 000 K range. For four A-type stars, we derived in LTE an abundance discrepancy of up to 0.22 dex between Ti I and Ti II, which vanishes in NLTE. For four other A-B stars, with only Ti II lines observed, NLTE leads to a decrease of line-to-line scatter. An efficiency of inelastic Ti I + H I collisions was estimated from an analysis of Ti I and Ti II lines in 17 cool stars with -2.6 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ 0.0. Consistent NLTE abundances from Ti I and Ti II were obtained by applying classical Drawinian rates for the stars with log g ≥ 4.1, and neglecting inelastic collisions with H I for the very metal-poor (VMP) giant HD 122563. For the VMP turn-off stars ([Fe/H] ≤ -2 and log g ≤ 4.1), we obtained the positive abundance difference Ti I-II already in LTE, which increases in NLTE. Accurate collisional data for Ti I and Ti II are necessary to help solve this problem.

  17. Svalbard surging glacier landsystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovell, Harold; Benn, Douglas; Lukas, Sven; Flink, Anne

    2014-05-01

    The percentage of Svalbard glaciers thought to be of surge-type is somewhere between 13-90% according to different sources variously based on statistical analysis and observations of diagnostic glaciological and geomorphological features, e.g. looped moraines. Developing a better understanding of which of these figures, if either, is most realistic is important in the context of glacier dynamics and related contributions of small glaciers and ice caps to sea level change in the immediate future. We present detailed geomorphological assessments of the margins of several known surge-type glaciers in Svalbard in order to update and improve the existing framework by which they are identified, and to provide a foundation for future reassessments of the surge-type glacier population based on distinct landform-sediment assemblages. Three landsystems are proposed: (1) Surges of small valley glaciers produce a prominent ice-cored latero-frontal moraine at their surge maximum and are characterised by an inner zone of ice stagnation terrain (hummocky topography, kettle lakes, debris flows) with no or only very few poorly-defined bedforms (crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes) and no recessional moraines. Many of these glaciers may have surged in the past but show no signs that they have the capability to do so again in the future. (2) Larger land-terminating glaciers, often with several tributaries, typically produce a push moraine complex which contains evidence for multiple advances, as identified from ridge-meltwater channel relationships. The inner zone often contains a large lagoon, partly dammed by the push moraine complex, and widespread ice stagnation terrain. Crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes are well-defined but small and limited in number and distribution. (3) Surges of large tidewater glaciers produce distinctive, often multi-generational, landform assemblages both in submarine and lateral terrestrial positions. The well-preserved submarine record

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

    overtopping and failure of ice dam with catastrophic subglacial drainage. In consideration of the current bathymetric studies and ice thickness measurements from the 1980ies, it was assumed that the floatation equilibrium was possibly reached by end of June. In case of an ice dam, the maximum discharge of a related subglacial drainage was estimated at 200 m3/s, probably involving a large debris flow. Extension and nature of thermokarst processes of the lake/ice interface are currently studied by repeated bathymetric measurements and adaption of corresponding models. In July/August 2002, geodetic ice flow velocity measurements showed that the enhanced flow velocities have decreased probably indicat ing the end of the surge-like movement. In conclusion, the developments at Macugnaga are an excellent example illustrating the need for inte grated hazard assessments in consideration of complex process chains. The current situation requires studies on different aspects, such as rock instabilities, glacier dynamics and hydrology, geomorphody namics, and mitigation-construction planning.

  19. On the role of buoyant flexure in glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Till J. W.; James, Timothy D.; Murray, Tavi; Vella, Dominic

    2016-04-01

    Interactions between glaciers and the ocean are key for understanding the dynamics of the cryosphere in the climate system. Here we investigate the role of hydrostatic forces in glacier calving. We develop a mathematical model to account for the elastic deformation of glaciers in response to three effects: (i) marine and lake-terminating glaciers tend to enter water with a nonzero slope, resulting in upward flexure around the grounding line; (ii) horizontal pressure imbalances at the terminus are known to cause hydrostatic in-plane stresses and downward acting torque; (iii) submerged ice protrusions at the glacier front may induce additional buoyancy forces that can cause calving. Our model provides theoretical estimates of the importance of each effect and suggests geometric and material conditions under which a given glacier will calve from hydrostatic flexure.We find good agreement with observations. This work sheds light on the intricate processes involved in glacier calving and can be hoped to improve our ability to model and predict future changes in the ice-climate system.

  20. On the role of buoyant flexure in glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Till J. W.; James, Timothy D.; Murray, Tavi; Vella, Dominic

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between glaciers and the ocean are key for understanding the dynamics of the cryosphere in the climate system. Here we investigate the role of hydrostatic forces in glacier calving. We develop a mathematical model to account for the elastic deformation of glaciers in response to three effects: (i) marine and lake-terminating glaciers tend to enter water with a nonzero slope, resulting in upward flexure around the grounding line; (ii) horizontal pressure imbalances at the terminus are known to cause hydrostatic in-plane stresses and downward acting torque; (iii) submerged ice protrusions at the glacier front may induce additional buoyancy forces that can cause calving. Our model provides theoretical estimates of the importance of each effect and suggests geometric and material conditions under which a given glacier will calve from hydrostatic flexure. We find good agreement with observations. This work sheds light on the intricate processes involved in glacier calving and can be hoped to improve our ability to model and predict future changes in the ice-climate system.

  1. Influences of Climate Warming and Facility Management on Continuous Permafrost at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Swiss Alps.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Lorenz; Duishonakunov, Murataly; Imbery, Stephan

    2014-05-01

    In many parts of the Alps, hazardous bedrock instabilities occur more often during the past 30 years. In many cases, permafrost degradation played a central role for instability (e.g. in 1987 the Val Pola rockslide, Italy). At other events, the role of permafrost degradation is more complex or unpredictable (e.g. in 1991 the Randa rockfall, Wallis, Swiss Alps). However, instabilities in perennially frozen bedrock may also be provoked by human influence. This is exemplarily shown at touristic facilities in the Alps. Human impact on permafrost is often underestimated, or even carelessly taken into account. The tourist resort Zermatt with more than 1.8 million overnight stays per year is located at 1600 m a.s.l. and is surrounded by high mountain ranges that often reach above 4000 m. The dry and sunny climate results in a high glacier equilibrium line thus leaving space for vast non-glaciated permafrost terrain. Numerous tourist facilities provide excellent logistics and easy access to permafrost sites, and the region is thus especially suitable for permafrost research. The infrastructure erected on permafrost consists of hotels, restaurants and mountain huts, station buildings of railways, funiculars, ski lifts and installations for artificial snowing the ski-runs. Some problems at these constructions due to permafrost degradation are shown. At the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise station at an altitude of 3820 meters, todays MAAT ranges between -6 °C and -8°C. During the construction of a tunnel in 1981 bedrock temperatures were at -12°C. Over the past 30 years, these bedrock temperatures have risen to -3 to -2°C, due to the heat brought into the tunnel by facilities and more than 490,000 visitors per year. In an elevator shaft, the temperature temporarily even rose above freezing point. Several new construction sites in continuous permafrost are described and new research data is presented. Another interesting site for permafrost and ice studies at Matterhorn

  2. Glacier generated floods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walder, J.S.; Fountain, A.G.

    1997-01-01

    Destructive floods result from drainage of glacier-dammed lakes and sudden release of water stored within glaciers. There is a good basis - both empirical and theoretical - for predicting the magnitude of floods from ice-dammed lakes, although some aspects of flood initiation need to be better understood. In contrast, an understanding of floods resulting from release of internally stored water remains elusive, owing to lack of knowledge of how and where water is stored and to inadequate understanding of the complex physics of the temporally and spatially variable subglacial drainage system.Destructive floods result from drainage of glacier-dammed lakes and sudden release of water stored within glaciers. There is a good basis - both empirical and theoretical - for predicting the magnitude of floods from ice-dammed lakes, although some aspects of flood initiation need to be better understood. In contrast, an understanding of floods resulting from release of internally stored water remains elusive, owing to lack of knowledge of how and where water is stored and to inadequate understanding of the complex physics of the temporally and spatially variable subglacial drainage system.

  3. Pine Island Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... this representation, clouds show up as light purple. Blue to orange gradations on the surface indicate a transition in ice texture from smooth to rough. For example, the bright orange "carrot-like" features are rough crevasses on the glacier's tongue. In ...

  4. Alaska Glaciers and Rivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on October 7, 2007, showing the Alaska Mountains of south-central Alaska already coated with snow. Purple shadows hang in the lee of the peaks, giving the snow-clad land a crumpled appearance. White gives way to brown on the right side of the image where the mountains yield to the lower-elevation Susitna River Valley. The river itself cuts a silver, winding path through deep green forests and brown wetlands and tundra. Extending from the river valley, are smaller rivers that originated in the Alaska Mountains. The source of these rivers is evident in the image. Smooth white tongues of ice extend into the river valleys, the remnants of the glaciers that carved the valleys into the land. Most of the water flowing into the Gulf of Alaska from the Susitna River comes from these mountain glaciers. Glacier melt also feeds glacier lakes, only one of which is large enough to be visible in this image. Immediately left of the Kahiltna River, the aquamarine waters of Chelatna Lake stand out starkly against the brown and white landscape.

  5. High Sensitivity of Tidewater Glacier Dynamics to Shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enderlin, E. M.; Howat, I. M.; Vieli, A.

    2012-12-01

    Tidewater outlet glaciers in close proximity to each other, and therefore likely exposed to similar external forcing, display contrasting dynamic behavior. This variability has been attributed to differences in outlet shape (i.e., bed elevation and width), but this dependence has not been investigated in detail. We apply a one-dimensional (depth-integrated, flow-line) numerical ice flow model to glaciers of varying width and bed topography, based on observations from Greenland, and compare their response to perturbation at the calving front, designed to simulate a reduction in buttressing. Each glacier is initially grounded on a shoal, immediately seaward of a basal depression, and perturbed from steady state by increasing the strain rate across the calving front. Following this perturbation, all glaciers undergo initial retreat and thinning as the glacier geometry adjusts to the new stress balance. Narrower glaciers and those with higher shoals tend to reach a new steady state before they become ungrounded from the shoal, resulting in little total retreat and thinning. On the other hand, wider glaciers and those with deeper shoals are initially closer to flotation, so that thinning results in ungrounding over the basal depression and rapid, unstable retreat. Once triggered, along-flow differences in outlet shape influence both the timing and magnitude of this retreat. The difference in initial thickness between several glaciers that remain stable and those that undergo unstable retreat is on the order of 10's of meters, and small (< 35 m) changes in bed height can result in switching from stable to unstable retreat. Since these differences are similar to the resolution of ice thickness measurements, it is unclear whether observations can adequately constrain prognostic models of glacier dynamics.

  6. Characteristics of Glacier Ecosystem and Glaciological Importance of Glacier Microorganisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2004-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. Since these microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. Recently, it was shown that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past_@environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  7. A cosmogenic 3He chronology of late Quaternary glacier fluctuations in North Island, New Zealand (39°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaves, Shaun R.; N. Mackintosh, Andrew; Winckler, Gisela; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Alloway, Brent V.; Townsend, Dougal B.

    2016-01-01

    Mountain glaciers advance and retreat primarily in response to changes in climate. Establishing the timing and magnitude of mountain glacier fluctuations from geological records can thus help to identify the drivers and mechanisms of past climate change. In this study, we use cosmogenic 3He surface exposure dating and tephrochronology to constrain the timing of past glaciation on Tongariro massif in central North Island, New Zealand (39°S). Exposure ages from moraine boulders show that valley glaciation persisted between c. 30-18 ka, which coincides with the global Last Glacial Maximum. Reinterpretation of moraine tephrostratigraphy, using major element geochemistry analysis, shows that ice retreat and climatic amelioration at the last glacial termination was well underway prior to 14 ka. The equilibrium line altitude in central North Island, during the Last Glacial Maximum, was c. 1400-1550 m above sea level, which is c. 930-1080 m lower than present. Considering the uncertainties in the glacial reconstruction and temperature lapse rates, we estimate that this equilibrium line altitude lowering equates to a temperature depression of 5.6 ± 1.1 °C, relative to present. Our mapping and surface exposure dating also show evidence for an earlier period of glaciation, of similar magnitude to the Last Glacial Maximum, which culminated prior to 57 ka, probably during Marine Isotope Stage 4. Good agreement between the timing and magnitude of glacier fluctuations in central North Island and the Southern Alps indicate a response to a common climatic forcing during the last glacial cycle.

  8. How Key GEOSS Datasets Contribute to the Global Monitoring and Assessment of Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalsa, S. S.; Racoviteanu, A.; Raup, B. H.; Armstrong, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    An early and dramatic indicator of global climate change has been the recession of mountain glaciers. The potential impacts on water resources and global sea level rise has led to an increased interest in accurate monitoring and assessment of glaciers worldwide. Past glacier inventories recorded scalar information such as area and terminus location for glaciers in easily accessible regions of the Earth. A modern glacier inventory must be truly global, attempting to assess all of the Earth's estimated 160,000 glaciers, and contain actual glacier extents with area distribution by elevation. These data are required in order to begin modeling the response of this portion of the cryosphere to future climate change. Fortunately, the two key data sets required to produce this global inventory of glaciers were recently made available as contributions to GEOSS by GEO Member nations. These are the multispectral imagery in the Landsat archive, contributed by the U.S.A., and the Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) jointly contributed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This talk will describe how the Global Land Ice Monitoring from Space (GLIMS) project is utilizing these GEOSS resources by enabling GLIMS collaborators to derive detailed glacier outlines, transient snow lines, area-elevation distributions, and other pertinent information that will enhance our understanding of the current state, recent evolution, and future fate of the glaciers worldwide.

  9. Basal conditions and flow dynamics of the Rhine glacier, Alps, at the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Denis; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Zwinger, Thomas; Machguth, Horst; Haeberli, Wilfried; Fischer, Urs H.

    2016-04-01

    The safe disposal of radioactive wastes in deep geological repositories requires their containment and isolation for up to one million years. In Switzerland, repositories are planned in the northern Swiss lowlands near the marginal zone of the former Rhine glacier that repeatedly formed two extensive piedmont lobes (the Rhine and Linth lobes) over the Swiss Plateau. Future ice-age conditions may thus impact the repositories due to erosion by glaciers, permafrost conditions, and changes in groundwater fluxes. We use the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a representative future ice-age scenario over northern Switzerland and model the Rhine glacier at the LGM using a full three-dimensional, thermo-mechanical model that solves Stokes flow in ice and the heat equation in both ice and rock. Permafrost in rocks and sediments is implemented using an effective heat capacity formulation. The Rhine glacier at the LGM is one of the best studied paleo-glacier with geomorphic reconstructions of terminal moraines, equilibrium lines, provenance of erratics, till extent and provenance, and evidences of cold vs warm subglacial environments. These data are compared with modeled ice ice thickness, cold vs warm basal condition, and flow paths. Numerical results indicate that LGM modeled ice extent and ice thickness are not fully consistent with geomorphic reconstructions and known climate proxies: ice is either too thick in the accumulation zone or summer temperatures are too cold at the terminus. Simulations with different climate parameters all indicate, however, that the beds of the Rhine and Linth lobes were at the melting temperature except above local topographic highs and along a thin marginal zone. Sliding speed was highest along topographic lows with ice moving at 20 to 80 m a‑1 depending on mass balance gradients. Basal shear stress was low (< 30 kPa). Melt water was probably abundant due to above-freezing temperatures in summer. Thus, melt water was likely routed over large

  10. Evolution of Glacier Snowline Since the End of the Last Ice Age in New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, M. R.; Putnam, A. E.; Schaefer, J. M.; Denton, G. H.; Chinn, T. J.; Barrell, D.; Doughty, A. M.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Andersen, B. G.

    2012-12-01

    An important problem in paleoclimatology is how Southern Hemisphere climate changed since the end of the last ice age. The terrestrial glacier record reflects past snowline (=equilibrium line altitude) variability and is one of the few direct proxies available, in the middle latitudes, of former atmospheric properties. We reconstruct changes in snowline since ~15 ka on the South Island of New Zealand using geomorphologic mapping, 10Be surface-exposure dating, accumulation-area ratio (AAR) methods and numerical modeling. The snowline data are a proxy for the 0°C atmospheric isotherm, which occurs above 1500 m asl in the central Southern Alps, and trends in temperature since ~15 ka. Our findings show that snowline was depressed during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Subsequently, snowline rose ~100 m during the Younger Dryas stadial in Europe. These late glacial changes appear coherent across the southern middle latitudes. In the early Holocene, snowline was depressed >200 m relative to modern in the Southern Alps. Between 11 ka and 600 years ago, short-term oscillations punctuated a multi-millennia trend of decreasing glacier extent as snowline rose ~100 m. Since ~600 yrs ago, net snowline has continued progressively to rise. The record implies long-term warming in New Zealand since the Late Glacial period. During the Holocene, the lowest snowlines and most extensive glaciers occurred in the early part of the epoch. Snowline reconstruction and numerical modeling allow us to estimate that temperature depression during the Late Glacial was ~2.1±0.4°C (relative to modern) and increased about 0.6 to 1°C between the early and late Holocene. Our terrestrial glacier and snowline records show coherence and also they are consistent with marine records in the Australian sector, documenting a regional climate pattern. However, the climate of the southwest Pacific region was fundamentally different from that observed in the Northern Hemisphere, where the most extensive

  11. Tropical climate at the last glacial maximum inferred from glacier mass-balance modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.; Clark, P.U.

    2000-01-01

    Model-derived equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of former tropical glaciers support arguments, based on other paleoclimate data, for both the magnitude and spatial pattern of terrestrial cooling in the tropics at the last glacial maximum (LGM). Relative to the present, LGM ELAs were maintained by air temperatures that were 3.5??to 6.6 ??C lower and precipitation that ranged from 63% wetter in Hawaii to 25% drier on Mt. Kenya, Africa. Our results imply the need for a ~3 ??C cooling of LGM sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific warm pool. Sensitivity tests suggest that LGM ELAs could have persisted until 16,000 years before the present in the Peruvian Andes and on Papua, New Guinea.

  12. Morphology, sedimentology and stratigraphic implication of debris-covered glacier deposits from the LGM and Lateglacial (Eastern Alps, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitner, Jürgen M.; Seidl, Sabrina; Wagreich, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the genesis of Quaternary sediments is crucial for establishing a climato-stratigraphy and, further on, to infer paleoclimatic conditions, if possible. Especially diamictons in the high-mountain environment may be formed by variety of processes, i.e. glacial, periglacial and gravitational. On the other hand, the interpretation of morphological features might be ambiguous as for example ridges may document latero-frontal dump moraines, flow of a rock avalanche event or constituents of a rock-glacier. In addition, equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of paleo-glaciers are mostly based on calculations using the reconstructed glacier size and applying a more or less fixed accumulation area ration (e.g. AAR - method). However, such ELAs are of no use for stratigraphic correlations and climatic considerations, if the former glacial system was strongly influenced by supraglacial debris deriving from steep back walls of cirques. We present two examples of reconstructed debris-covered or more specifically debris-mantled paleo-glaciers, their geological and morphological setting as well as their documented sedimentology and morphology. The first example is from the easternmost part of the European Alps (Northern Calcareous Alps / Schneeberg mountains / Puchberg) where an up to 60 m high moraine systems of LGM age shows some striking morphological similarities with relict rock glacier. However, based especially on lithofacies analyses as well as on the lithology of the matrix a glacial genesis could be proven. Lateglacial glacier deposits from the interior of the Alps (Lienz Dolomites / area of Karlsbader Hütte) display a quite similar glacial system. The geometry of the deposits in relation to proglacial sturzstrom sediments, showing typical indications of dynamic fragmentation, and the amount of angular, passively transported clasts in the till point to a rock avalanche event which had hit the glacier surface during a glacier advance. As the glacial system shows

  13. Glacier-specific elevation changes in western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank; Le Bris, Raymond

    2013-04-01

    Deriving glacier-specific elevation changes from DEM differencing and digital glacier outlines is rather straight-forward if the required datasets are available. Calculating such changes over large regions and including glaciers selected for mass balance measurements in the field, provides a possibility to determine the representativeness of the changes observed at these glaciers for the entire region. The related comparison of DEM-derived values for these glaciers with the overall mean avoids the rather error-prone conversion of volume to mass changes (e.g. due to unknown densities) and gives unit-less correction factors for upscaling the field measurements to a larger region. However, several issues have to be carefully considered, such as proper co-registration of the two DEMs, date and accuracy of the datasets compared, as well as source data used for DEM creation and potential artefacts (e.g. voids). In this contribution we present an assessment of the representativeness of the two mass balance glaciers Gulkana and Wolverine for the overall changes of nearly 3200 glaciers in western Alaska over a ca. 50-year time period. We use an elevation change dataset from a study by Berthier et al. (2010) that was derived from the USGS DEM of the 1960s (NED) and a more recent DEM derived from SPOT5 data for the SPIRIT project. Additionally, the ASTER GDEM was used as a more recent DEM. Historic glacier outlines were taken from the USGS digital line graph (DLG) dataset, corrected with the digital raster graph (DRG) maps from USGS. Mean glacier specific elevation changes were derived based on drainage divides from a recently created inventory. Land-terminating, lake-calving and tidewater glaciers were marked in the attribute table to determine their changes separately. We also investigated the impact of handling potential DEM artifacts in three different ways and compared elevation changes with altitude. The mean elevation changes of Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers (about -0

  14. Dramatic mass loss in extreme high-elevation areas of a western Himalayan glacier: observations and modeling

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Yao, Tandong; Tian, Lide; Xu, Baiqing

    2016-01-01

    Rapid climate change at high elevations has accelerated glacier retreat in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. However, due to the lack of long-term glaciological measurements, there are still uncertainties regarding when the mass loss began and what the magnitude of mass loss is at such high elevations. Based on in situ glaciological observations during the past 9 years and a temperature-index mass balance model, this study investigates recent mass loss of the Naimona’nyi Glacier in the western Himalayas and reconstructs a 41-year (1973/74–2013/14) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and glacier-wide mass loss. The result indicates that even at 6000 m above sea level (a.s.l.), the annual mass loss reaches ~0.73 m water equivalent (w.e.) during the past 9 years. Concordant with the abrupt climate shift in the end of 1980s, the ELA has dramatically risen from ~5969 ± 73 m a.s.l. during 1973/74–1988/89 to ~6193 ± 75 m a.s.l. during 1989/90–2013/14, suggesting that future ice cores containing uninterrupted climate records could only be recovered at least above 6200 m a.s.l. in the Naimona’nyi region. The glacier-wide mass balance over the past 41 years is averaged to be approximately −0.40 ± 0.17 m w.e., exhibiting a significant increase in the decadal average from −0.01 ± 0.15 to −0.69 ± 0.21 m w.e. PMID:27561411

  15. Dramatic mass loss in extreme high-elevation areas of a western Himalayan glacier: observations and modeling.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Yao, Tandong; Tian, Lide; Xu, Baiqing

    2016-01-01

    Rapid climate change at high elevations has accelerated glacier retreat in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. However, due to the lack of long-term glaciological measurements, there are still uncertainties regarding when the mass loss began and what the magnitude of mass loss is at such high elevations. Based on in situ glaciological observations during the past 9 years and a temperature-index mass balance model, this study investigates recent mass loss of the Naimona'nyi Glacier in the western Himalayas and reconstructs a 41-year (1973/74-2013/14) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and glacier-wide mass loss. The result indicates that even at 6000 m above sea level (a.s.l.), the annual mass loss reaches ~0.73 m water equivalent (w.e.) during the past 9 years. Concordant with the abrupt climate shift in the end of 1980s, the ELA has dramatically risen from ~5969 ± 73 m a.s.l. during 1973/74-1988/89 to ~6193 ± 75 m a.s.l. during 1989/90-2013/14, suggesting that future ice cores containing uninterrupted climate records could only be recovered at least above 6200 m a.s.l. in the Naimona'nyi region. The glacier-wide mass balance over the past 41 years is averaged to be approximately -0.40 ± 0.17 m w.e., exhibiting a significant increase in the decadal average from -0.01 ± 0.15 to -0.69 ± 0.21 m w.e. PMID:27561411

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  17. Influence of ENSO and PDO on mountain glaciers in the outer tropics: case studies in Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veettil, Bijeesh Kozhikkodan; Bremer, Ulisses Franz; de Souza, Sergio Florêncio; Maier, Éder Leandro Bayer; Simões, Jefferson Cardia

    2016-08-01

    This paper emphasize on the observational investigation of an ice-covered volcano and two glaciated mountains in the Central Andes from 1984 to 2011. Annual snowlines of the Nevado Sajama in the Cordillera Occidental and the Nevado Cololo and the Nevado Huanacuni in the Cordillera Apolobamba in Bolivia were calculated using remote sensing data. Landsat TM, Landsat ETM+, and LISS-III images taken during the end of dry season were used in this study. Changes in the highest annual snowline during May-September is used an indirect measure of the changes in the equilibrium line altitude of the glaciers in the outer tropics. We tried to understand the combined influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on the variations in the annual snowline altitude of the selected glaciers. Meteorological data in the form of gridded datasets were used for calculating the anomalies in precipitation and temperature during the study period. It is found that the glaciated areas were fluctuated with the occurrence of warm and cold phase of ENSO but the magnitude of the influence of ENSO is observed to be controlled by the phase changes of PDO. Snowline of the Nevado Sajama fluctuated heavily when cold and warm phases of ENSO occur during the cold and warm regimes of PDO, respectively. Nevado Cololo and Nevado Huanacuni are showing a continuous retreating trend during the same period. This clearly indicates that the changes in the Pacific SST patterns have more influence on glaciers in the Cordillera Occidental compared with those in the Cordillera Oriental of the Bolivian Andes.

  18. Competing Positive and Negative Feedbacks on Glacier Response to Climatic Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rupper, S.; Todd, C. E.

    2009-12-01

    The adiabatic temperature lapse rate imparts a well-studied positive feedback on glacier changes in response to a given change in climate. For example, if temperature increases, the surface of the glacier thins into the warmer temperatures of the lower surface elevation, dependent upon the local lapse rate, which amplifies the glacier response to the original temperature. However, a less well-quantified negative feedback can also be at play. As the length and thickness of a valley glacier changes, the percentage of the glacier surface that is shaded changes as well, decreasing the incident shortwave radiation at the surface. Assuming turbulent heat fluxes are small, the balance between changing downward longwave radiation (adiabatic lapse rate effect) and shortwave radiation (shading effect) in response to a climatic change will determine the equilibrium glacier profile for the new climate state. Here we use an energy balance model to determine the sensitivity of glacial retreat reconstructions to both the temperature lapse rate and the shading by valley topography. We quantify the effect of shading and lapse rates on idealized glaciers and topography, and assess under what conditions one or the other feedback mechanism is expected to dominate the change in energy balance. We then examine the effect of temperature lapse rates and increased shading on a paleoglacier at Monroe Peak, in the Sevier Plateau, Utah. Although the peak is currently ice-free, lateral moraines on Monroe Peak show that a glacier once extended approximately 4000 m from a 4700 m high headwall on the western side of the peak. Preliminary results suggest that as the glacier retreated from its maximum position, increased shading had a significant positive effect on glacial mass balance which partially compensated for the lapse rate feedback. These preliminary results suggest that reconstructions of smaller glaciers surrounded by steep topography must account for changes in shading of the glacier

  19. Seasonal and altitudinal variations in snow algal communities on an Alaskan glacier (Gulkana glacier in the Alaska range)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeuchi, Nozomu

    2013-09-01

    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.

  20. Chernobyl fallout on Alpine glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Ambach, W.; Rehwald, W.; Blumthaler, M.; Eisner, H.; Brunner, P.

    1989-01-01

    Measurements of the gross beta activity of snow samples from four Alpine glaciers contaminated by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident and a gamma-spectrum analysis of selected samples are reported. The results are discussed with respect to possible risks to the population from using meltwater from these glaciers as drinking water.

  1. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite covers an area of 55 by 40 kilometers (34 by 25 miles) over the southwest part of the Malaspina Glacier and Icy Bay in Alaska. The composite of infrared and visible bands results in the snow and ice appearing light blue, dense vegetation is yellow-orange and green, and less vegetated, gravelly areas are in orange. According to Dr. Dennis Trabant (U.S. Geological Survey, Fairbanks, Alaska), the Malaspina Glacier is thinning. Its terminal moraine protects it from contact with the open ocean; without the moraine, or if sea level rises sufficiently to reconnect the glacier with the ocean, the glacier would start calving and retreat significantly. ASTER data are being used to help monitor the size and movement of some 15,000 tidal and piedmont glaciers in Alaska. Evidence derived from ASTER and many other satellite and ground-based measurements suggests that only a few dozen Alaskan glaciers are advancing. The overwhelming majority of them are retreating.

    This ASTER image was acquired on June 8, 2001. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next six years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

    ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18,1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is the U.S. science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, along-term research and

  2. Modelling Glacier Retreat after Ice Shelf Collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, J.; Gudmundsson, G. H.; Rott, H.; Bamber, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite measurements have shown the consistent and ongoing speed-up and retreat of glaciers that were once buttressed by the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf. Understanding the response of grounded ice to ice shelf collapse is a prerequisite to future predictions of sea level rise as other ice shelfs such as Scar Inlet or the Larsen Ice Shelf further weaken due to changing atmospheric and ocean conditions.We present model results for a number of sensitivity experiments that aim to simulate the response of glaciers to the collapse of Larsen B. For this purpose we use a state of the art shallow shelf model with grounding line resolving capabilities. The model is initialized to observed pre-2002 conditions with the ice shelf in place, and transient runs are done that study the response to a weakening and removal of the ice shelf. Results are compared to a novel dataset of observed ice velocities, which provides the most comprehensive overview of dynamical changes after the collapse to-date. In addition, we investigate glacier response to the future collapse of Scar Inlet, a remnant of the Larsen B ice shelf which has been suggested to show signs of weakening in recent years. Results will also be used to inform a future Antartic Peninsula-wide modelling study.

  3. Glacier and Ice Shelves Studies Using Satellite SAR Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1999-01-01

    Satellite radar interferometry is a powerful technique to measure the surface velocity and topography of glacier ice. On ice shelves, a quadruple difference technique separates tidal motion from the steady creep flow deformation of ice. The results provide a wealth of information about glacier grounding lines , mass fluxes, stability, elastic properties of ice, and tidal regime. The grounding line, which is where the glacier detaches from its bed and becomes afloat, is detected with a precision of a few tens of meters. Combining this information with satellite radar altimetry makes it possible to measure glacier discharge into the ocean and state of mass balance with greater precision than ever before, and in turn provide a significant revision of past estimates of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Analysis of creep rates on floating ice permits an estimation of basal melting at the ice shelf underside. The results reveal that the action of ocean water in sub-ice-shelf cavities has been largely underestimated by oceanographic models and is the dominant mode of mass release to the ocean from an ice shelf. Precise mapping of grounding line positions also permits the detection of grounding line migration, which is a fine indicator of glacier change, independent of our knowledge of snow accumulation and ice melting. This technique has been successfully used to detect the rapid retreat of Pine Island Glacier, the largest ice stream in West Antarctica. Finally, tidal motion of ice shelves measured interferometrically provides a modern, synoptic view of the physical processes which govern the formation of tabular icebergs in the Antarctic.

  4. Partition Equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Michal; Tennenholtz, Moshe

    We introduce partition equilibrium and study its existence in resource selection games (RSG). In partition equilibrium the agents are partitioned into coalitions, and only deviations by the prescribed coalitions are considered. This is in difference to the classical concept of strong equilibrium according to which any subset of the agents may deviate. In resource selection games, each agent selects a resource from a set of resources, and its payoff is an increasing (or non-decreasing) function of the number of agents selecting its resource. While it has been shown that strong equilibrium exists in resource selection games, these games do not possess super-strong equilibrium, in which a fruitful deviation benefits at least one deviator without hurting any other deviator, even in the case of two identical resources with increasing cost functions. Similarly, strong equilibrium does not exist for that restricted two identical resources setting when the game is played repeatedly. We prove that for any given partition there exists a super-strong equilibrium for resource selection games of identical resources with increasing cost functions; we also show similar existence results for a variety of other classes of resource selection games. For the case of repeated games we identify partitions that guarantee the existence of strong equilibrium. Together, our work introduces a natural concept, which turns out to lead to positive and applicable results in one of the basic domains studied in the literature.

  5. Reconstructing Glaciers on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Brough, S.; Hubbard, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Mars' mid-latitudes host a substantial volume of ice, equivalent to a ~1 - 2.5 m-thick global layer or the sum of Earth's glaciers and ice caps outside of Antarctica and Greenland. These deposits are the remnants of what is believed to have been a once far larger 'ice age', culminating in a last martian glacial maximum. Despite the identification of >1,300 glacier-like forms (GLFs) - the first order component of Mars' glacial landsystem - in Mars' mid-latitudes, little is known about their composition, dynamics or former extent. Here, we reconstruct the former 3D extent of a well-studied GLF located in eastern Hellas Planitia. We combine high-resolution geomorphic and topographic data, obtained from the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, to reconstruct the GLF's former limits. We then apply a perfect plasticity rheological model, to generate multiple flow-parallel ice-surface transects. These are combined with the GLF's boundary to guide interpolation using ArcGIS' 'Topo to Raster' function to produce a continuous 3D surface for the reconstructed former GLF. Our results indicate that, since its reconstructed 'recent maximum' extent, the GLF's volume has reduced by 0.31 km3 and its area by 6.85 km2, or 70%. On-going research is addressing the degree to which this change is typical of Mars' full GLF population.

  6. Polythermal Glacier Hydrology: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.; Hodson, Andrew J.; Moorman, Brian J.; Vatne, Geir; Hubbard, Alun L.

    2011-11-01

    The manner by which meltwater drains through a glacier is critical to ice dynamics, runoff characteristics, and water quality. However, much of the contemporary knowledge relating to glacier hydrology has been based upon, and conditioned by, understanding gleaned from temperate valley glaciers. Globally, a significant proportion of glaciers and ice sheets exhibit nontemperate thermal regimes. The recent, growing concern over the future response of polar glaciers and ice sheets to forecasts of a warming climate and lengthening summer melt season necessitates recognition of the hydrological processes in these nontemperate ice masses. It is therefore timely to present an accessible review of the scientific progress in glacial hydrology where nontemperate conditions are dominant. This review provides an appraisal of the glaciological literature from nontemperate glaciers, examining supraglacial, englacial, and subglacial environments in sequence and their role in hydrological processes within glacierized catchments. In particular, the variability and complexity in glacier thermal regimes are discussed, illustrating how a unified model of drainage architecture is likely to remain elusive due to structural controls on the presence of water. Cold ice near glacier surfaces may reduce meltwater flux into the glacier interior, but observations suggest that the transient thermal layer of near surface ice holds a hydrological role as a depth-limited aquifer. Englacial flowpaths may arise from the deep incision of supraglacial streams or the propagation of hydrofractures, forms which are readily able to handle varied meltwater discharge or act as locations for water storage, and result in spatially discrete delivery of water to the subglacial environment. The influence of such drainage routes on seasonal meltwater release is explored, with reference to summer season upwellings and winter icing formation. Moreover, clear analogies emerge between nontemperate valley glacier and

  7. Latitudinal variation of sedimentation and erosion rates from Patagonia and Antarctic Peninsula tidewater glaciers (46°-65° S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Vasquez, R. A.; Anderson, J. B.; Wellner, J. S.; Minzoni, R. L.

    2012-12-01

    calving front, topography). Particularly, the interplay between equilibrium line altitude and glacier hypsometry, which influences mass balance and glacier dynamics, seems to have a strong effect on the erosion capability of glaciers (e.g. Europa versus San Rafael and Marinelli glaciers). Erosion rates on the Antarctic Peninsula, based on the volumes of sediments delivered to the continental shelf and rise, are, for the last 9.5 Myr, between 0.07 and 0.12 mm/yr and did not vary significantly between 2.9-9.5 Ma. These values are similar to those obtained for millennial scale (Holocene) erosion rates at Andvord and Lapeyrère bays, suggesting that long-term erosion rates have not varied significantly in this region through geologic time. In addition, old (Miocene and older) thermochronology ages have been obtained for the Antarctic Peninsula. Thus, we suggest that long-term glacial cover in cold regions hinders erosion, preserving morphological features and allowing mountain growth through tectonic processes.

  8. Mass balance model parameter transferability on a tropical glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurgiser, Wolfgang; Mölg, Thomas; Nicholson, Lindsey; Kaser, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The mass balance and melt water production of glaciers is of particular interest in the Peruvian Andes where glacier melt water has markedly increased water supply during the pronounced dry seasons in recent decades. However, the melt water contribution from glaciers is projected to decrease with appreciable negative impacts on the local society within the coming decades. Understanding mass balance processes on tropical glaciers is a prerequisite for modeling present and future glacier runoff. As a first step towards this aim we applied a process-based surface mass balance model in order to calculate observed ablation at two stakes in the ablation zone of Shallap Glacier (4800 m a.s.l., 9°S) in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Under the tropical climate, the snow line migrates very frequently across most of the ablation zone all year round causing large temporal and spatial variations of glacier surface conditions and related ablation. Consequently, pronounced differences between the two chosen stakes and the two years were observed. Hourly records of temperature, humidity, wind speed, short wave incoming radiation, and precipitation are available from an automatic weather station (AWS) on the moraine near the glacier for the hydrological years 2006/07 and 2007/08 while stake readings are available at intervals of between 14 to 64 days. To optimize model parameters, we used 1000 model simulations in which the most sensitive model parameters were varied randomly within their physically meaningful ranges. The modeled surface height change was evaluated against the two stake locations in the lower ablation zone (SH11, 4760m) and in the upper ablation zone (SH22, 4816m), respectively. The optimal parameter set for each point achieved good model skill but if we transfer the best parameter combination from one stake site to the other stake site model errors increases significantly. The same happens if we optimize the model parameters for each year individually and transfer

  9. Ice-proximal sediment dynamics and their effect on the stability of Muir Glacier, Alaska: A case study of non-climatic glacier response

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, L.E.; Powell, R.D. . Dept. of Geology)

    1992-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that water depth at tidewater termini affect calving rates and, therefore, glacier mass balance and terminus stability. Grounding-line water depths are themselves governed by glacial and marine processes that interact during the formation of morainal bank depocenters. These morainal banks can fluctuate 10s of meters in height within an interval of a few weeks. Recent investigations in Glacier Bay have focused on quantitatively assessing sediment budgets in the ice-proximal environment. The monitoring of morainal banks in upper Muir Inlet has included repeated bathymetric mapping, sediment trap studies, bottom grab sampling, glacier and iceberg sampling, and submersible ROV investigations within 1 km of the terminus. Such relationships are important in interpreting recent changes in the dynamics of Muir Glacier where a century of retreat has been succeeded by quasi stability. The new glacier regime has accompanied basin infilling from approximately 100 m depth to a maximum of 52 m at the grounding line. Two large grounding-line fans have aggraded to deltas and reduced the length of the calving margin from 900 m to 290 m wide. These effects have reduced the ice flow velocities by 45%. Annual morainal bank growth ranged from 10[sup 6] to 10[sup 7] m[sup 3] and is the result of glacifluvial dumping, suspension settling from turbid overflow plumes, debris dumping from ice-cliff and iceberg melting, glacier squeezing and pushing of morainal bank sediment, and sediment gravity flow processes. Each of these processes are an integral facet of the morainal bank dynamics and glacier response. These studies of Muir Glacier indicate that glacier response to sediment dynamics need to be addresses before climatic implications are made.

  10. Recent evolution and mass balance of Cordón Martial glaciers, Cordillera Fueguina Oriental

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strelin, Jorge; Iturraspe, Rodolfo

    2007-10-01

    Past and present glacier changes have been studied at Cordón Martial, Cordillera Fueguina Oriental, Tierra del Fuego, providing novel data for the Holocene deglaciation history of southern South America and extrapolating as well its future behavior based on predicted climatic changes. Regional geomorphologic and stratigraphic correlations indicate that the last glacier advance deposited the ice-proximal ("internal") moraines of Cordón Martial, around 330 14C yr BP, during the Late Little Ice Age (LLIA). Since then glaciers have receded slowly, until 60 years ago, when major glacier retreat started. There is a good correspondence for the past 100 years between the surface area variation of four small cirque glaciers at Cordón Martial and the annual temperature and precipitation data of Ushuaia. Between 1984 and 1998, Martial Este Glacier lost 0.64 ± 0.02 × 10 6 m 3 of ice mass (0.59 ± 0.02 × 10 6 m 3 w.e.), corresponding to an average ice thinning of 7.0 ± 0.2 m (6.4 ± 0.2 m w.e), according to repeated topographic mapping. More detailed climatic data have been obtained since 1998 at the Martial Este Glacier, including air temperature, humidity and solar radiation. These records, together with the monthly mass balance measured since March 2000, document the annual response of the Martial Este Glacier to the climate variation. Mass balances during hydrological years were positive in 2000, negative in 2001 and near equilibrium in 2002. Finally, using these data and the regional temperature trend projections, modeled for different future scenarios by the Atmosphere-Ocean Model (GISS-NASA/GSFC), potential climatic-change effects on this mountain glacier were extrapolated. The analysis shows that only the Martial Este Glacier may survive this century.

  11. Beardmore Glacier proposals wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proposals for research projects to be conducted in the upper Beardmore Glacier area of Antarctica during the 1985-1986 field season are being accepted by t h e National Science Foundation (NSF) through August 15. Later proposal submissions should be discussed with the appropriate program managers (see below).A temporary camp with helicopter support will be established in the region. Occupation by scientific parties will likely be between mid-November 1985 and mid-January 1986. Transportation in the field will be by UH1-N twin-engine Huey helicopters (with a range of approximately 185 km) and by motor toboggans. Satellite tent camps will be established within the range of the helicopters. The exact position of the main camp will be determined in November. Likely candidates, however, are Buckley Island Quadrangle, in the area of the Walcott Névé or the Bowden Névé, near Coalsack Bluff or Mount Sirius.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  13. Regional scale climatic trends derived from Younger Dryas glaciers in Britain.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Danni; Pellitero, Ramon; Rea, Brice R.; Barr, Iestyn; Small, David; McDougall, Des

    2016-04-01

    In Britain, the glacial geomorphological record has been utilised to infer palaeo-glacier geometries and ice dynamics, with much of this work focussing on the Younger Dryas (YD; c. 12.9 - 11.7 ka BP). During the YD the West Highlands ice-cap covered the majority of the Scottish Highlands, which is thought to have affected accumulation rates beyond the ice-cap margins, resulting in a steep (c. 80%) easterly decline in precipitation and smaller ice-masses. We present multi-proxy data investigating YD glaciation in the Tweedsmuir Hills, Southern Uplands, Scotland (55°46' N, 03°34' W). The area forms the most easterly upland region in the Southern Uplands and south of the West Highlands ice-cap, reaching an altitude of 840 m and covering c. 300 km2. Results of air-photo interpretation and field mapping, which utilised a morphostratigraphic approach, have demonstrated a more extensive glaciation than previously mapped, suggesting conditions were less arid than previously thought. The reconstruction consists of two separate icefields covering an area c. 60 km2 and new 14C dates of basal contact organics place the ice-mass within the context of the YD but new Cosmogenic Nuclide Analysis (CNA) of bedrock and in situ boulders, imply limited erosion and resetting occurred during the YD. Equilibrium Line Altitudes are calculated to have ranged from c. 419 - 634 m. Palaeo-precipitation values were derived using two precipitation-temperature relationships and suggest slightly lower totals than YD ice-masses located on the west coast of Britain but do not support a significant easterly reduction in precipitation. Analysis of present-day (c. 30 year) meteorological data across Britain demonstrates a pronounced reduction in precipitation of c. 50% on the east coast. This disparity between present-day and glacier-based YD precipitation patterns is partly attributable to the methodology employed in glacier reconstruction and questions the steep precipitation gradients thought to

  14. Debris-covered glaciers during the LGM and Lateglacial at the eastern margin of the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidl, Sabrina; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Wagreich, Michael

    2013-04-01

    We present the reconstruction of paleo-glaciers in the easternmost part of the Alps (Schneeberg mountain) with the main focus on sedimentology, chronology and glacial dynamics. The area is dominantly made up of limestone bedrock and hence characterized by steep slopes and cirques. Two juvenile moraine-systems can be deciphered based on geological mapping. The major system is characterized by an up to 60 m high latero-frontal dump moraine with a prominent breach-lobe moraine in a lateral position. It is regarded to represent the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; Würm Pleniglacial). The other system is much smaller and was formed most probably during the Würm Lateglacial. The angular to subangular shape of the clasts and the abundant boulders on top of the ridges indicate a high portion of passive (Boulton, 1978) i.e. supraglacial and englacial transport of debris before deposition.Thus the model of a debris-covered glacier is favored to explain both landforms and as well the corresponding sediment facies. For the pleniglacial moraine such an assumption is backed by a low accumulation/ablation area ratio (AAR) of around 1:1 based on the reconstruction of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) using the maximum elevation of lateral moraines (MELM; Lichtenecker, 1938). Furthermore as there is no indication of a former glacier snout glacio-fluvial processes should have played a limited role in sediment transport into the forefield. Such setting pinpoints to very cold-arid conditions, which are as well found in paleo-climate reconstructions of the eastern foreland (Frenzel et al. 1992). Boulton, G.S., 1978: Boulder shapes and grain-size distribution of debris as indicators of transport paths through a glacier and till genesis.- Sedimentology, 25, 773-799. Lichtenecker, N.,1938. Die gegenwärtige und die eiszeitliche Schneegrenze in den Ostalpen. In: Verhandlungen der III. Internationalen Quartär - Konferenz, Vienna, 1936, 141-147. Frenzel, B., Pecsi, M. & Velichko, A. A., 1992

  15. Flow instabilities of Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, James Bradley

    Over 300 of the largest glaciers in southern Alaska have been identified as either surge-type or pulse-type, making glaciers with flow instabilities the norm among large glaciers in that region. Consequently, the bulk of mass loss due to climate change will come from these unstable glaciers in the future, yet their response to future climate warming is unknown because their dynamics are still poorly understood. To help broaden our understanding of unstable glacier flow, the decadal-scale ice dynamics of 1 surging and 9 pulsing glaciers are investigated. Bering Glacier had a kinematic wave moving down its ablation zone at 4.4 +/- 2.0 km/yr from 2002 to 2009, which then accelerated to 13.9 +/- 2.0 km/yr as it traversed the piedmont lobe. The wave first appeared in 2001 near the confluence with Bagley Ice Valley and it took 10 years to travel ~64 km. A surge was triggered in 2008 after the wave activated an ice reservoir in the midablation zone, and it climaxed in 2011 while the terminus advanced several km into Vitus Lake. Ruth Glacier pulsed five times between 1973 and 2012, with peak velocities in 1981, 1989, 1997, 2003, and 2010; approximately every 7 years. A typical pulse increased ice velocity 300%, from roughly 40 m/yr to 160 m/yr in the midablation zone, and involved acceleration and deceleration of the ice en masse; no kinematic wave was evident. The pulses are theorized to be due to deformation of a subglacial till causing enhanced basal motion. Eight additional pulsing glaciers are identified based on the spatiotemporal pattern of their velocity fields. These glaciers pulsed where they were either constricted laterally or joined by a tributary, and their surface slopes are 1-2°. These traits are consistent with an overdeepening. This observation leads to a theory of ice motion in overdeepenings that explains the cyclical behavior of pulsing glaciers. It is based on the concept of glaciohydraulic supercooling, and includes sediment transport and erosion

  16. Rapid Holocene thinning of an East Antarctic outlet glacier driven by marine ice sheet instability

    PubMed Central

    Jones, R. S.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Norton, K. P.; Golledge, N. R.; Fogwill, C. J.; Kubik, P. W.; Christl, M.; Greenwood, S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Outlet glaciers grounded on a bed that deepens inland and extends below sea level are potentially vulnerable to ‘marine ice sheet instability'. This instability, which may lead to runaway ice loss, has been simulated in models, but its consequences have not been directly observed in geological records. Here we provide new surface-exposure ages from an outlet of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that reveal rapid glacier thinning occurred approximately 7,000 years ago, in the absence of large environmental changes. Glacier thinning persisted for more than two and a half centuries, resulting in hundreds of metres of ice loss. Numerical simulations indicate that ice surface drawdown accelerated when the otherwise steadily retreating glacier encountered a bedrock trough. Together, the geological reconstruction and numerical simulations suggest that centennial-scale glacier thinning arose from unstable grounding line retreat. Capturing these instability processes in ice sheet models is important for predicting Antarctica's future contribution to sea level change. PMID:26608558

  17. Modeling the instantaneous response of glaciers after the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, J.; Gudmundsson, G. H.; Rott, H.; Bamber, J. L.

    2015-07-01

    Following the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, in 2002, regular surveillance of its ˜20 tributary glaciers has revealed a response which is varied and complex in both space and time. The major outlets have accelerated and thinned, smaller glaciers have shown little or no change, and glaciers flowing into the remnant Scar Inlet Ice Shelf have responded with delay. In this study we present the first areawide numerical analysis of glacier dynamics before and immediately after the collapse of the ice shelf, combining new data sets and a state-of-the-art numerical ice flow model. We simulate the loss of buttressing at the grounding line and find a good qualitative agreement between modeled changes in glacier flow and observations. Through this study, we seek to improve confidence in our numerical models and their ability to capture the complex mechanical coupling between floating ice shelves and grounded ice.

  18. Rapid Holocene thinning of an East Antarctic outlet glacier driven by marine ice sheet instability.

    PubMed

    Jones, R S; Mackintosh, A N; Norton, K P; Golledge, N R; Fogwill, C J; Kubik, P W; Christl, M; Greenwood, S L

    2015-01-01

    Outlet glaciers grounded on a bed that deepens inland and extends below sea level are potentially vulnerable to 'marine ice sheet instability'. This instability, which may lead to runaway ice loss, has been simulated in models, but its consequences have not been directly observed in geological records. Here we provide new surface-exposure ages from an outlet of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that reveal rapid glacier thinning occurred approximately 7,000 years ago, in the absence of large environmental changes. Glacier thinning persisted for more than two and a half centuries, resulting in hundreds of metres of ice loss. Numerical simulations indicate that ice surface drawdown accelerated when the otherwise steadily retreating glacier encountered a bedrock trough. Together, the geological reconstruction and numerical simulations suggest that centennial-scale glacier thinning arose from unstable grounding line retreat. Capturing these instability processes in ice sheet models is important for predicting Antarctica's future contribution to sea level change. PMID:26608558

  19. Velocities of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, West Antarctica, from ERS-1 SAR images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Rosanova, C.E.

    1997-01-01

    Average velocities of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers were measured for the time periods between 1992 and 1994 by tracking ice-surface patterns. Velocities of the central flow of the Pine Island Glacier range from 1.5 km/yr above the grounding line (separating the grounded from the floating parts of a glacier) to 2.8 km/yr near the terminus; velocities of the central Thwaites Glacier range from 2.2 km/yr above the grounding line to 3.4 km/yr at the limit of measurements on the tongue. Both glaciers show an increase in velocity of about 1 km/yr where they cross their grounding lines. The velocities derived from ERS-1 images are higher than those previously derived from Landsat images, perhaps reflecting acceleration of the glaciers. Both glaciers are exceptionally fast. The high velocities may be due to high precipitation rates over West Antarctica and the lack of a major buttressing ice shelf.

  20. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen Chris F; Burgess, E; Arendt, A.A.; O'Neel, Shad; Johnson, A.J.; Kienholz, C.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers comprise a small and widely distributed fraction of the world's terrestrial ice, yet their rapid losses presently drive a large percentage of the cryosphere's contribution to sea level rise. Regional mass balance assessments are challenging over large glacier populations due to remote and rugged geography, variable response of individual glaciers to climate change, and episodic calving losses from tidewater glaciers. In Alaska, we use airborne altimetry from 116 glaciers to estimate a regional mass balance of −75 ± 11 Gt yr−1 (1994–2013). Our glacier sample is spatially well distributed, yet pervasive variability in mass balances obscures geospatial and climatic relationships. However, for the first time, these data allow the partitioning of regional mass balance by glacier type. We find that tidewater glaciers are losing mass at substantially slower rates than other glaciers in Alaska and collectively contribute to only 6% of the regional mass loss.

  1. Ocean forcing drives glacier retreat sometimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; Ultee, E.; Ma, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Observations show that marine-terminating glaciers respond to climate forcing nonlinearly, with periods of slow or negligible glacier advance punctuated by abrupt, rapid retreat. Once glacier retreat has initiated, glaciers can quickly stabilize with a new terminus position. Alternatively, retreat can be sustained for decades (or longer), as is the case for Columbia Glacier, Alaska where retreat initiated ~1984 and continues to this day. Surprisingly, patterns of glacier retreat show ambiguous or even contradictory correlations with atmospheric temperature and glacier surface mass balance. Despite these puzzles, observations increasingly show that intrusion of warm subsurface ocean water into fjords can lead to glacier erosion rates that can account for a substantial portion of the total mass lost from glaciers. Here we use a simplified flowline model to show that even relatively modest submarine melt rates (~100 m/a) near the terminus of grounded glaciers can trigger large increases in iceberg calving leading to rapid glacier retreat. However, the strength of the coupling between submarine melt and calving is a strong function of the geometry of the glacier (bed topography, ice thickness and glacier width). This can lead to irreversible retreat when the terminus is thick and grounded deeply beneath sea level or result in little change when the glacier is relatively thin, grounded in shallow water or pinned in a narrow fjord. Because of the strong dependence on glacier geometry, small perturbations in submarine melting can trigger glaciers in their most advanced—and geometrically precarious—state to undergo sudden retreat followed by much slower re-advance. Although many details remain speculative, our model hints that some glaciers are more sensitive than others to ocean forcing and that some of the nonlinearities of glacier response to climate change may be attributable to variations in difficult-to-detect subsurface water temperatures that need to be better

  2. Glacier Sensitivity Across the Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagredo, E. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Rupper, S.

    2010-12-01

    Most of the research on causes driving former glacial fluctuations, and the climatic signals involved, has focused on the comparisons of sequences of glacial events in separate regions of the world and their temporal-phasing relationship with terrestrial or extraterrestrial climate-forcing mechanisms. Nevertheless the climatic signals related with these glacial advances are still under debate. This impossibility to resolve these questions satisfactorily have been generally attributed to the insufficiently precise chronologies and unevenly distributed records. However, behind these ideas lies the implicit assumption that glaciers situated in different climate regimes respond uniformly to similar climatic perturbations. This ongoing research is aimed to explore the climate-glacier relationship at regional scale, through the analysis of the spatial variability of glacier sensitivity to climatic change. By applying a Surface Energy Mass Balance model (SEMB) developed by Rupper and Roe (2008) to glaciers located in different climatic regimes, we analyzed the spatial variability of mass balance changes under different baseline conditions and under different scenarios of climatic change. For the sake of this research, the analysis is being focused on the Andes, which in its 9,000 km along the western margin of South America offers an unparalleled climatic diversity. Preliminary results suggest that above some threshold of climate change (a hypothetical uniform perturbation), all the glaciers across the Andes would respond in the “same direction” (advancing or retreating). Below that threshold, glaciers located in some climatic regimes may be insensitive to the specific perturbation. On the other hand, glaciers located in different climatic regimes may exhibit a “different magnitude” of change under a uniform climatic perturbation. Thus, glaciers located in the dry Andes of Perú, Chile and Argentina are more sensitive to precipitation changes than variations in

  3. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier of Europe, covers more than 120 square kilometers (more than 45 square miles)in southern Switzerland. At its eastern extremity lies a glacierlake, Mdrjelensee (2,350 meters/7,711 feet above sea level). To the west rises Aletschhorn (4,195 meters/13,763 feet), which was first climbed in 1859. The Rhone River flows along the southern flank of the mountains.

    This image was acquired on July 23, 2001 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next 6 years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

    Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. Science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research and technology program designed to examine Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as

  4. Monitoring Popocatepetl volcano's glaciers (Mexico): case study of glacier extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado, H.; Julio, P.; Huggel, C.; Brugman, M.

    2003-04-01

    Popocatépetl volcano is located 60 km southeast of Mexico City and is one of the three ice-clad volcanoes in Mexico. The two glaciers of Popocatépetl became extinct after a strong retreat due to the combination of at least three causes: global change, change in regional meteorological conditions (induced by the vicinity to highly polluted areas) and local enforcement (namely volcanic eruption). Glacier dimensions of Popocatépetl glaciers have been measured by photogrammetric means, and even though continuous monitoring was not feasible for decades, in recent years availability of aerial photographs allowed a better documentation of glacier areal changes. The first inventory made in 1958 threw an areal extent of 0.89 km2. A second inventory of the areal extent of the two small glaciers of Popocatépetl in 1982 reported 0.56 km2. Average retreat rate resulted nearly 14,000 m2/year. An areal measurement for 1996 resulted in an-order-of-magnitude smaller retreat rate (more than 1,500 m2/year). In early 1997, the retreat rate was nearly 12,500 m2/year, an order of magnitude similar as that of the 1958-1982 period. This scheme changed strongly in the following years when retreat rate was twice in 1998 and more than 7 times greater in 1999. By the end of the year 2000, the retreat rate remained in the same order of magnitude as in early 1999. Since the year 2000 and up to the present, the glaciers are just a series of independent ice masses (seracs) and the bedrock is seen in between them. GPR determinations made in 1995 showed a 40 m average ice thickness. During ice drilling in the year 2000 at nearly the same spot where GPR determinations were made in 1995, a thickness of 4 m was found. Therefore, glacier shrinkage has been documented not only by areal restriction but also by strong changes in thickness. The strong retreat experienced by Popocatépetl’s glaciers along the last decades, were possibly due to global climatic enforcement and proximity to industrial

  5. The Lateglacial to Holocene transition as recorded by glacier fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindelwig, I.; Akçar, N.; Kubik, P. W.; Schlüchter, C.

    2009-04-01

    , the glacier at the Belalp shows multiple advances during the Lateglacial to early Holocene. 10Be exposure age data suggest that the outer moraine ridge can be an advance older than the Egesen stadial and younger than the LGM. This is in concert with other Younger Dryas related glacial landsystems in Switzerland (reviewing the outer moraine ages e.g. Julier Pass, Ivy-Ochs et al. 1996, 2008). A large number of Lateglacial moraines have been identified and relative correlations on the basis of elevation, equilibrium line altitude (Gross et al. 1977; Maisch, 1987) and morphological characteristics have been established. Nevertheless, it remains important to refine the absolute chronology in order to put further temporal constraints on these relative frameworks. This allows the allocation of such absolutely dated deposits to distinguished cold phases (Preboreal oscillation, Younger Dryas, Aegelsee oscillation) thus underlining their potential significance in the context of regional, as well as global Lateglacial climate conditions. The 10Be exposure ages from an inner moraine ridge are in a good agreement with the recalculated previously published 10Be exposure ages from the Egesen moraines in the Alps. This suggests a synchronicity of the Egesen stadial in the European Alps at the end of the Younger Dryas cold phase. REFERENCES Björck, S., Walker, M. J.C., Cwynar, L.C., Johnson, S., Knudsen, K-L., Lowe, J. J. & Wohlfarth, B. (1998): An event stratigraphy for the Last Termination in the North Atlantic region based on the Greenland ice-core record: a proposal by the INTIMATE group. Journal of Quarternary Science, 13, 283-292. Gross, G., Kerschner, H. & Patzelt, G. (1977): Methodische Untersuchungen über die Schneegrenze in alpinen Gletschergebieten. Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, 12, 223-251. Ivy-Ochs, S., Kerschner, H., Reuther, A., Preusser, F., Heine, K., Maisch, M., Kubik, P.W. & Schlüchter, C. (2008): Chronology of the last glacial cycle in the

  6. Snow line altitude evolution in the Franco-Italian Alps over the 1984-2010 period reconstructed using optical remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabatel, A.; Dedieu, J.; Letréguilly, A.; Thibert, E.; Six, D.; Vincent, C.

    2011-12-01

    For mid-latitude mountain glaciers, the snow line altitude (SLA) at the end of the hydrological year is a good indicator of the equilibrium line altitude and thus of the annual mass balance. This enables SLA evolution to be reconstructed for long time periods from remote sensing data, as the snow line is generally easy to identify using aerial photographs and satellite images. Consequently, this enables researchers to study the climate-glacier relationship at the massif scale, particularly in remote areas where no direct measurements are available. In this study, we present series of reconstructed SLA for approximately 50 glaciers in the Franco-Italian Alps over the period 1984-2010. More than 130 images have been used, registred by the following satellites: Landsat 4TM, 5TM, 7 ETM+, SPOT 1 to 5 and ASTER, with spatial resolutions ranging between 2.5 and 30 m. To facilitate the identification of the snow line on the Landsat and SPOT-ASTER images, we used a combination of the spectral bands 542 and 431, respectively, with radiometric thresholds for bands 2, 4 and 1, 3. On each image, the snow line has been manually delineated. Its average altitude has been calculated for only the central part of the glaciers to avoid border effects on the glacier banks, which could generate snow line position dependence on local conditions (shadows from surrounding slopes, additional snow input by avalanches or due to wind drift). A comparison between SLA time-series and in-situ measurements of glacier mass balance was set for three French glaciers where direct mass balance measurements are available over the whole time-period (Argentière, Saint Sorlin and Gébroulaz glaciers). Results show high correlation (0.74 < r2 < 0.98, p < 0.01, n = 27), underlying the quality of the SLA dataset and strenghtening the interest of the SLA as a key indicator of the climate-glacier relationship. Considering the complete time period, the average SLA of the studied glaciers has increased by about

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Dominik; Geilhausen, Martin; Linsbauer, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Glacial retreat exposes landscapes with relief characteristics greatly differing from the former ice covered surfaces. If glacial retreat exposes natural basins capable of forming proglacial lakes, then the downstream hydrologic and geomorphic systems in such catchments will be significantly altered due to discharge modifications, sediment trapping, decoupling effects and long term sediment storage (e.g. Geilhausen et al. 2013). Further implications are related to hydropower management, tourism and natural hazards. Consequently, sound knowledge of present day glacier beds ("proglacial zones of tomorrow") and in particular the total number, locations and characteristics of overdeepenings are of importance. For Austria, however, this important information about significant future changes of high alpine regions is yet missing. An interdisciplinary research project is currently in preparation to close this gap. This paper presents results of a pilot study. We used a novel GIS-based approach (GlabTop, cf. Linsbauer et al. 2012) to compute approximate glacier beds in the Austrian Alps. GlabTop ('Glacier bed Topography') is based on an empirical relation between average basal shear stress and elevation range of individual glaciers and makes use of digital elevation models (DEM), glacier outlines and branch lines (i.e. a set of lines covering all important glacier branches). DEMs and glacier outlines were derived from the Austrian glacier inventory (1998) and branch lines were manually digitized. The inventory includes 911 glaciers of which 876 (96%) were considered and 35 were excluded due to size restrictions (< 0.01 km²) or insufficient DEM coverage. We found 165 overdeepenings (> 0.01 km²) with the potential of forming proglacial lakes when glacier retreat reveals the bed. The total area and volume of all overdeepenings is approx. 10 km² and 236 Mio m³ respectively and 33 lakes will be larger than 1 km³. A total glacier volume of 16 ± 5 km³ with an average ice

  8. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. The Loch Lomond Readvance on the Isle of Mull, Scotland: glacier reconstruction and palaeoclimatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballantyne, Colin K.

    2002-12-01

    Geomorphological mapping of Mull provides evidence for an icefield 143 km2 in area flanked by six corrie glaciers with a total area of ca. 13 km2. The absence of Lateglacial periglacial features, shorelines and pollen sites from the area occupied by this readvance, together with radiocarbon dating of shell fragments, confirm that it occurred during the Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stade. The thickness of glacigenic deposits within the area of the readvance is attributed to reworking of paraglacial sediments. Up-valley continuity of recessional moraines indicates that the ice remained active and near to equilibrium during retreat, consistent with slow warming following the coldest part of the stade. Reconstructed equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) imply vigorous snow-blowing by westerly winds, and are consistent with a general southwestwards decline in ELAs across the Scottish Highlands. An ELA of 250 m was calculated for the Mull Icefield using an ablation:accumulation balance ratio (ABR) approach. Palaeotemperature and palaeoprecipitation estimates were derived by calculating a theoretical regional ELA from meteorological data and assuming that the combination of temperature and precipitation implied by the theoretical ELA approximates conditions at 250 m on Mull during the Loch Lomond Stade. The result indicates a mean July sea-level temperature of 5.7 +/- 0.5°C and a mean annual precipitation at 250 m of ca. 2700-3800 mm (best estimate 3200 mm), indicating higher precipitation totals than at present owing to more vigorous atmospheric circulation.

  10. Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, R.S., Jr.; Hall, D.K.; Benson, C.S.

    1991-01-01

    Landsat-derived reflectance is lowest for exposed ice and increases markedly at the transient snow line. Above the slush zone is a gradual increase in near-infrared reflectance as a result of decreasing grain-size of the snow, which characterizes drier snow. Landsat data are useful in measuring the areal extent of the ice facies, the slush zone within the wet-snow facies, the snow facies (combined wet-snow, percolation and dry-snow facies), and the respective position of the transient snow line and the slush limit. In addition, fresh snowfall and/or airborne contaminants, such as soot and tephra, can limit the utility of Landsat data for delineation of the glacier facies in some cases. -from Authors

  11. Arctic polynya and glacier interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1986-2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Columbia Glacier in Alaska is one of many vanishing around the world. Glacier retreat is one of the most direct and understandable effects of climate change. The consequences of the decline in ...

  13. Meltwater Temperature Variations in Rivers Draining Declining Alpine Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, D. N.

    2015-12-01

    Marked patterns of seasonal and diurnal variations of discharge and temperature characterise meltwater rivers draining from large Alpine glaciers. Meltwater temperature warms with distance downstream, influenced both by energy availability and the volume of meltwater flowing. The amount of meltwater produced depends also on energy availability but also on the area of ice substrate over which melt occurs. As climate warms, meltwater production by ablation in summer will first increase with increasing energy for melting, before decreasing as the area of ice available for melt decreases, off-setting continuing increase in energy availability. Future meltwater temperature changes will depend on the inter-relationship between increasing energy availability and enhancing volume of meltwater produced. Relationships between rates of ice melt, reduction in ice area, and meltwater production will influence melt water temperature changes as climate warms. Meltwater temperature is inversely related to discharge whilst positively related to heat availability. Records of water temperature and discharge of meltwaters in rivers draining from three valley glaciers in Kanton Wallis, Switzerland have been examined. Hourly data for the Massa, Grosser Aletschgletscher, for the period 2003-2014, the Gornera, Gornergletscher , 2007-2014, and Findelenbach, Findelengletscher, 2007-2014 obtained at distances of a few kilometres from the glacier portals have been analysed, for summer months, during which more than 90% of discharge occurs. Distinctive seasonal temperature regimes have highest annual water temperatures during low flows in May., but then as discharge increased with first increasing radiation, increasing ice area as the transient snow line moved up glacier, and higher air temperatures, water temperatures decreased. On a diurnal basis, meltwater temperatures increased with rising radiation ahead of rising discharge (discharge being delayed by flow through time within the glacier

  14. Analysis of time series of glacier speed: Columbia Glacier, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walters, R.A.; Dunlap, W.W.

    1987-01-01

    During the summer of 1984 and 1985, laser measurements were made of the distance from a reference location to markers on the surface of the lower reach of Columbia Glacier, Alaska. The speed varies from 7 to 15 m/d and has three noteworthy components: 1) a low-frequency perturbation in speed with a time scale of days related to increased precipitation, 2) semidiurnal and diurnal variations related to sea tides, and 3) diurnal variations related to glacier surface melt. -from Authors

  15. Glacier Mass Balance measurements in Bhutan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Miriam; Tenzin, Sangay; Tashi, Tshering

    2014-05-01

    Long-term glacier measurements are scarce in the Himalayas, partly due to lack of resources as well as inaccessibility of most of the glaciers. There are over 600 glaciers in Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas, but no long-term measurements. However, such studies are an important component of hydrological modelling, and especially relevant to the proposed expansion of hydropower resources in this area. Glaciological studies are also critical to understanding the risk of jøkulhlaups or GLOFS (glacier lake outburst floods) from glaciers in this region. Glacier mass balance measurements have been initiated on a glacier in the Chamkhar Chu region in central Bhutan by the Department of Hydro-Met Services in co-operation with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. Chamkhar Chu is the site of two proposed hydropower plants that will each generate over 700 MW, although the present and future hydrological regimes in this basin, and especially the contribution from glaciers, are not well-understood at present. There are about 94 glaciers in the Chamkhar Chhu basin and total glacier area is about 75 sq. km. The glaciers are relatively accessible for the Himalayas, most of them can be reached after only 4-5 days walk from the nearest road. One of the largest, Thana glacier, has been chosen as a mass balance glacier and measurements were initiated in 2013. The glacier area is almost 5 sq. km. and the elevation range is 500 m (5071 m a.s.l. to 5725 m a.s.l.) making it suitable as a benchmark glacier. Preliminary measurements on a smaller, nearby glacier that was visited in 2012 and 2013 showed 1 m of firn loss (about 0.6 m w.eq.) over 12 months.

  16. On the 'real' mass loss of some surging glaciers in the central Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Several assessments of the mass changes of surging glaciers in the central Karakoram (and elsewhere) have shown near-zero changes over the typically decadal-long observation periods. This is in line with the theory that during a surge mass from a reservoir area is moved down-glacier to a receiving area with limited overall change. The resulting elevation changes of the glacier surface as determined by differencing DEMs from two points in time show a typical pattern (decreasing at higher, increasing at lower elevations) with a possible strong frontal advance (km scale) of the terminus. However, this is only half of the story as the observed mass gain at lower elevations is ultimately also a loss. This loss can only be determined when it is calculated separately and when sufficiently precise DEMs from the beginning and the end of a surge are available for each individual glacier. As the latter are hard to obtain, this study presents a simplified geomorphometric approach to approximate a potential maximum surge volume for 20 glaciers with a channel-like glacier fore field. By assuming a semi-elliptical cross-section of the channels, simple measurements of their average width, height and length in Google Earth provide the volume. Further glacier-specific parameters are taken from a recently compiled glacier inventory (area, slope) and Google Earth (minimum length and highest/lowest elevations) to obtain characteristics such as elevation ranges and volume. The average annual specific volume loss for each glacier is then determined by dividing the calculated surge volumes by the respective glacier area and the duration of a full surge cycle (obtained in a previous study). Which glacier area (minimum?) and surge duration (only the active phase?) have to be taken for this calculation is likely a matter of debate. With surge distances between about 1 and 5 km and channel widths (heights) between 300 and 700 (50 and 125) m, the surge volumes vary between 15 and 250 (mean 80

  17. The relationship between ice velocity and bed topography on Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Child, S.; Stearns, L. A.; Purdon, K.; Li, J.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Crowe, R.; Gomez-Garcia, D.

    2012-12-01

    Bed topography controls the pattern and magnitude of ice velocity, far into the catchment basin of many Antarctic outlet glaciers. Predictive models of glacier dynamics and ice sheet mass balance rely on well-prescribed bed topography, but in many regions bed topography is largely unknown. This particular study investigates the relationship between bed and surface topography and ice velocity in the catchment basin and trunk of Byrd Glacier. Byrd Glacier drains ~19 % of the area of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (1,070,400 km2), and has the potential to play a significant role in the ice sheet's total mass balance. In 2011/2012, the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) collected airborne radar data over Byrd Glacier. These new measurements of bed topography, along with updated surface digital elevation models (DEMs) and basin-wide ice velocity maps, are used to investigate the flow dynamics of Byrd Glacier with improved accuracy. Surface DEMs are derived from new high-resolution WorldView imagery; ice velocity is derived from repeat visible imagery, coupled with InSAR results (Rignot et al., 2011). Results exhibit relatively smooth depressions surrounding the inferred subglacial lakes, ~200 km upflow of the grounding line on Byrd Glacier (Stearns et al., 2008). Downflow of the subglacial lakes is a complex pattern of hills and valleys as ice enters the glacier trunk. At the mouth of the trunk is a large overdeepening (~2500 m) that coincides with faster ice flow. We use along- and across-flow radar profiles to perform detailed comparisons of ice velocity, bed topography and surface topography throughout the Byrd Glacier region. Gridded products are used to complete an updated force balance assessment. These results provide us with a better understanding of Byrd Glacier's flow dynamics and sensitivity to external perturbations.

  18. Longitudinal surface structures (flowstripes) on Antarctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasser, N. F.; Gudmundsson, G. H.

    2012-03-01

    Longitudinal surface structures ("flowstripes") are common on many glaciers but their origin and significance are poorly understood. In this paper we present observations of the development of these longitudinal structures from four different Antarctic glacier systems; the Lambert Glacier/Amery Ice Shelf area, the Taylor and Ferrar Glaciers in the Ross Sea sector, Crane and Jorum Glaciers (ice-shelf tributary glaciers) on the Antarctic Peninsula, and the onset zone of a tributary to the Recovery Glacier Ice Stream in the Filchner Ice Shelf area. Mapping from optical satellite images demonstrates that longitudinal surface structures develop in two main situations: (1) as relatively wide flow stripes within glacier flow units and (2) as relatively narrow flow stripes where there is convergent flow around nunataks or at glacier confluence zones. Our observations indicate that the confluence features are narrower, sharper, and more clearly defined features. They are characterised by linear troughs or depressions on the ice surface and are much more common than the former type. Longitudinal surface structures within glacier flow units have previously been explained as the surface expression of localised bed perturbations but a universal explanation for those forming at glacier confluences is lacking. Here we propose that these features are formed at zones of ice acceleration and extensional flow at glacier confluences. We provide a schematic model for the development of longitudinal surface structures based on extensional flow that can explain their ridge and trough morphology as well as their down-ice persistence.

  19. Get Close to Glaciers with Satellite Imagery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Dorothy K.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the use of remote sensing from satellites to monitor glaciers. Discusses efforts to use remote sensing satellites of the Landsat series for examining the global distribution, mass, balance, movements, and dynamics of the world's glaciers. Includes several Landsat images of various glaciers. (TW)

  20. Flow velocities of Alaskan glaciers.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Evan W; Forster, Richard R; Larsen, Christopher F

    2013-01-01

    Our poor understanding of tidewater glacier dynamics remains the primary source of uncertainty in sea level rise projections. On the ice sheets, mass lost from tidewater calving exceeds the amount lost from surface melting. In Alaska, the magnitude of calving mass loss remains unconstrained, yet immense calving losses have been observed. With 20% of the global new-water sea level rise coming from Alaska, partitioning of mass loss sources in Alaska is needed to improve sea level rise projections. Here we present the first regionally comprehensive map of glacier flow velocities in Central Alaska. These data reveal that the majority of the regional downstream flux is constrained to only a few coastal glaciers. We find regional calving losses are 17.1 Gt a(-1), which is equivalent to 36% of the total annual mass change throughout Central Alaska. PMID:23857302

  1. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    PubMed

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-01

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years. PMID:26450208

  2. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate relationships among seasonal and annual glacier mass balances, glacier runoff and streamflow in two glacierized basins in different climate settings. We use long-term glacier mass balance and streamflow datasets from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Benchmark Glacier Program to compare and contrast glacier-streamflow interactions in a maritime climate (Wolverine Glacier) with those in a continental climate (Gulkana Glacier). Our overall goal is to improve our understanding of how glacier mass balance processes impact streamflow, ultimately improving our conceptual understanding of the future evolution of glacier runoff in continental and maritime climates.

  3. Glacier Evolution in the Altai Mountains, South-West Siberia, for the Last Half Century (with use of Geo-Informational Catalogue)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surazakov, A. B.; Narojniy, Y. K.; Nikitin, S. A.; Aizen, V. B.

    2003-12-01

    To systemize and analyze the information for the period from 1835 to present on altitudinal distributions of glaciers, exposition, their numbers and surface areas in basins, volumes, genetic classification, location of lower and upper level of glaciers, average firn line position and main morphometric characteristics, DataBase on glacier dynamics in the Altai Mountains (AGDB) has been developed in ArcGIS Format [Tomsk State University, Russia]. Data from Glacier Catalogue [1962], topographic maps with the scale of 1:25000 and 1:50000 and air photos, which fixed glaciers' state on 1952, were digitized. Instrumental observational data on glacier tongue retreat from twenty glaciers since 1835, and radio-echo sounding measurements of 120 glacier volumes were also digitized in the AGDB. Modern state of Altai glaciers and their changes since 1952 were assessed from Resurs space images and partially from instrumental observations. Based on estimation from Resurs for the period from 1952 to 1998, the value of Altai glacier retreating was about 56.9 km2, i.e. 7.1 % of total area, varied from 4 % for valley glaciers to 16 % for glaciers of flat mountain tops. Retreat of 2-8 m per year was accompanied by their 10% mass loss. The slightest degradation occurred in inner (central) part of the glacier system, in the heads of river basins with large-scale glaciation, e.g., in the Katunski, Nothern-Chuiski and Southern-Chuiski ranges, amounting to 6.3%. These are the highest regions, reaching up to 4506 m., and 80% of Altai's glaciers are located there. In the river basins with relatively small-glacierized areas, at the peripheral regions, e.g., Kurai, Chihacheva ranges, the degradation reached its maximum values up to 22%.

  4. Reconstruction of mass balance of Nevado Coropuna glaciers (Southern Peru) for Late Pleistocene, Little Ice Age and the present.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubeda, J.; Palacios, D.

    2009-04-01

    The Nevado Coropuna volcanic complex (15th 31'S-72 ° 39 ° W) is the quaternary stratovolcano northernmost of the central volcanic zone (CVZ) in the western flank of the Central Andes (Southern Peru). This consists in four adjacent volcanic buildings that are occupied over 5.100-5.700 masl by a system of glaciers covering an area of 47 Km2 in 2007 (Ubeda et al, 2008). The maximum expansion of glaciers during the Pleistocene affected an area of ~449 Km2, dropping to altitudes around 3.600-4800 m (Ubeda et al, 2007). In this work were mapped several hundreds of moraines which constitute a record of climate change since the last glacial maximum (LGM). Current glacier system is formed by dozen of glaciers descending slope down in all directions. Coropuna complex is an excellent laboratory for to investigate the control that climate change, tectonics and volcanism exert on the dynamics of glaciers, a scale of tens of years (by studying current glaciers) and also of tens of thousands of years (by analyzing the geomorphological evidence of its evolution in the past). Ubeda et al. (2008) analyzed the evolution of eighteen glaciers of Nevado Coropuna using indicators as surfaces and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs) of ice masses in 2007, 1986, 1955, Little the Ice Age (LIA) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The glaciers were grouped into two sets: NE group (seven glaciers) and SE group (eleven glaciers). The work included statistical series of ELAs in each phase, estimates by Area x Altitud Balance Ratio (AABR) method, which was proposed by Osmaston (2005), in addition with estimates of timing (~17Cl36 Ka) and magnitude (~ 782-911 m) of ELA depression during LGM. The work included statistical series of ELAs in each phase, estimates by the method Area x Altitud Balance Ratio (AABR) proposed by Osmaston (2005), and in addition estimates of the timing (~17Cl36 Ka) and magnitude (~ 782-911 m) of ELA depression during LGM. The objective of this work is to estimate the current

  5. Mesoscale Icefield Breezes over Athbasca Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, J. P.; Helgason, W.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Sicart, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) dynamics over glaciers are of great interest as they can modify the response of glacier mass balance to large scale climate forcing. A key feature of the glacier ABL is formation of katabatic winds driven by turbulent sensible heat exchange with a cooler underlying ice surface. These winds can markedly alter the spatio-temporal distribution of air temperature over glacier surfaces from the environmental lapse rate, which in turn affects the distribution of melt. An intensive field campaign was conducted over 13 days in June 2015 at Athabasca Glacier, an outlet of Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Multiple automatic weather stations, eddy covariance systems, distributed temperature sensors, SODAR and kite profiling systems were used to characterise how the glacier ABL evolved spatially and temporally, how the differences in glacier ABL properties were related to valley and regional circulation and what effect these differences had on surface lapse rates. In general strong daytime down-glacier winds were observed over the glacier. These winds extended well beyond the glacier into the proglacial area and through the depth of lower ice-free valley. On most days wind speed was consistent or increasing through to the top of the above-glacier profiles (100 to 200 m), indicating a quite well mixed surface boundary layer. A wind speed maximum in the lowest few metres above the glacier surface, characteristic of a katabatic wind, was only observed on one day. The dominant circulation within the valley appears to be what could be termed an 'icefield breeze'; strong down-glacier winds driven by mesoscale pressure gradients that are set up by differential suface heating over the non-glaciated valleys and much the larger Columbia Icefield upstream of the glacier. The effect of the different circulations on lapse rates will be explored with a view to developing variable lapse rates for modelling glacier mass balance.

  6. Glacier sensitivity to climate change in the Nepalese Himalaya quantified using higher-order modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, A. V.; Egholm, D. L.; Glasser, N. F.; Quincey, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    variables: (1) simple elevation-dependent rates for accumulation and ablation with empirical values for melt along a flow line beneath supraglacial debris; (2) climate-elevation relationships derived from local automatic weather stations in the Khumbu valley; and (3) 3-D surface energy balance calculations using regional meteorological data. Once we have described glacier-climate sensitivities in the Khumbu Himal, we will use these results to predict the likely magnitude and timescales of glacier mass loss under IPCC future climate change scenarios, and quantify the uncertainties associated with these predictions. Future work will consider: how glacier hydrology modifies variations in ice dynamics; how the spatial distribution of supraglacial debris modifies glacier balance sensitivity; how rock debris is transported within and on these glaciers; and how rates of rock debris delivery from hillslopes affects glacier balance and dynamics. Fieldwork in Nepal is planned for 2014 to collect data from debris-covered Khumbu Glacier with which to validate our numerical model.

  7. Increased Ocean Access to Totten Glacier, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Young, D. A.; Richter, T. G.; Roberts, J. L.; Aitken, A.; Legresy, B.; Warner, R. C.; van Ommen, T. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Totten Glacier is the largest ice sheet outlet in East Antarctica, draining 3.5 meters of eustatic sea level potential from the Aurora Subglacial Basin (ASB) into the Sabrina Coast. Recent work has shown that the ASB has drained and filled many times since largescale glaciation began including evidence that it collapsed during the Pliocene. Steady thinning rates observed near Totten Glacier's grounding line since the beginning of the satellite altimetry record are the largest in East Antarctica and the nature of the thinning suggests that it is driven by enhanced basal melting due to ocean processes. Warm Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW), which has been linked to glacier retreat in West Antarctica, has been observed in summer and winter on the Sabrina Coast continental shelf in the 400-500 m depth range. Using airborne geophysical data acquired over multiple years we delineate seafloor valleys connecting the inner continental shelf to the cavity beneath Totten Glacier that cut through a large sill centered along the ice shelf calving front. The sill shallows to depths of about 300 mbsl and was likely a grounding line pinning point during Holocene retreat, however, the two largest seafloor valleys are deeper than the observed range of thermocline depths. The deeper of the two valleys, a 4 km-wide trough, connects to the ice shelf cavity through an area of the coastline that was previously believed to be grounded but that our analysis demonstrates is floating, revealing a second, deeper entryway to ice shelf cavity. The previous coastline was charted using satellite-based mapping techniques that infer subglacial properties based on surface expression and behavior; the new geophysical analysis techniques we use enable inferences of subglacial characteristics using direct observations of the ice-water interface. The results indicate that Totten Glacier and, by extension, the Aurora Subglacial Basin are vulnerable to MCDW that has been observed on the nearby

  8. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Bayr, Klaus J.

    1992-01-01

    It has been possible to measure glacier recession on the basis of Landsat data, in conjunction with comparisons of the magnitude of recession of a glacier margin with in situ measurements at fixed points along the same margin. Attention is presently given to the cases of Vatnajokull ice cap, in Iceland, and the Pasterze Glacier, in Austria, on the basis of satellite data from 1973-1987 and 1984-1990, respectively. Indications of a trend toward negative mass balance are noted. Nevertheless, while most of the world's small glaciers have been receding, some are advancing either due to local climate or the tidewater glacier cycle.

  9. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S. Jr.; Bayr, K.J. USGS, Reston, VA Keene State College, NH )

    1992-03-01

    It has been possible to measure glacier recession on the basis of Landsat data, in conjunction with comparisons of the magnitude of recession of a glacier margin with in situ measurements at fixed points along the same margin. Attention is presently given to the cases of Vatnajokull ice cap, in Iceland, and the Pasterze Glacier, in Austria, on the basis of satellite data from 1973-1987 and 1984-1990, respectively. Indications of a trend toward negative mass balance are noted. Nevertheless, while most of the world's small glaciers have been receding, some are advancing either due to local climate or the tidewater glacier cycle. 21 refs.

  10. The role of snowmelt and glacier melt on runoff in a glacierized catchment: a multi-tracer experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penna, Daniele; Engel, Michael; Mao, Luca; Dell'Agnese, Andrea; Bertoldi, Giacomo; Comiti, Francesco

    2013-04-01

    The release of water as snowmelt and ice melt in high elevation catchments has significant social and economic impacts for population living in mountain areas. This is even more critical under the current conditions of glacier retreat as a consequence of global warming. Therefore, it is important to understand the role of ice and snow meltwater on runoff dynamics and groundwater recharge in glacierized environments. This task can be effectively accomplished by integrating isotopic and other tracers that are widely recognized as useful tools for the identification of the main water sources contributing to streamflow. In this work, we collected water samples from different sources in the Saldur catchment (Eastern Italian Alps). The catchment (area: 62 km², elevation range: 1600-3700 m a.s.l.) hosts a small glacier (2.8 km²) in its upper portion. Samples of rainfall, snow, snowmelt, glacier melt, stream water (main stream and tributaries) and spring water have been manually collected between April-October 2011 and April-November 2012 approximately on a monthly basis. Furthermore, 24-hour samplings with hourly collection frequency were performed at two cross sections during five melt-runoff events. The composition in stable water isotopes was determined by laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Electrical conductivity (EC) and water temperature were measured in the field. Additionally, deuterium excess (DE) was computed for all samples based on the relationship between deuterium and 18-oxygen. The isotopic composition of rainfall and snow shows marked altitudinal and seasonal variations. A strong positive correlation is also evident in the relationship between DE of spring waters and elevation. Rainfall and snow samples fall perfectly on the Global Meteoric Water Line, revealing a predominant Atlantic origin of air masses producing precipitation in the study area. EC and water temperature linearly increase with the distance from the glacier snout, suggesting a

  11. Lines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mires, Peter B.

    2006-01-01

    National Geography Standards for the middle school years generally stress the teaching of latitude and longitude. There are many creative ways to explain the great grid that encircles our planet, but the author has found that students in his college-level geography courses especially enjoy human-interest stories associated with lines of latitude…

  12. Accelerating Ice Loss from the Fastest Greenland and Antarctic Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, R.; Frederick, E.; Li, J.; Krabill, W.; Manizade, S.; Paden, J.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Yungel, J.

    2011-01-01

    Ice discharge from the fastest glaciers draining the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets . Jakobshavn Isbrae (JI) and Pine Island Glacier (PIG). continues to increase, and is now more than double that needed to balance snowfall in their catchment basins. Velocity increase probably resulted from decreased buttressing from thinning (and, for JI, breakup) of their floating ice tongues, and from reduced basal drag as grounding lines on both glaciers retreat. JI flows directly into the ocean as it becomes afloat, and here creep rates are proportional to the cube of bed depth. Rapid thinning of the PIG ice shelf increases the likelihood of its breakup, and subsequent rapid increase in discharge velocity. Results from a simple model indicate that JI velocities should almost double to >20 km/a by 2015, with velocities on PIG increasing to >10 km/a after breakup of its ice shelf. These high velocities would probably be sustained over many decades as the glaciers retreat within their long, very deep troughs. Resulting sea ]level rise would average about 1.5 mm/a.

  13. Accelerating ice loss from the fastest Greenland and Antarctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, R.; Frederick, E.; Li, J.; Krabill, W.; Manizade, S.; Paden, J.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Yungel, J.

    2011-05-01

    Ice discharge from the fastest glaciers draining the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets - Jakobshavn Isbrae (JI) and Pine Island Glacier (PIG)- continues to increase, and is now more than double that needed to balance snowfall in their catchment basins. Velocity increase probably resulted from decreased buttressing from thinning (and, for JI, breakup) of their floating ice tongues, and from reduced basal drag as grounding lines on both glaciers retreat. JI flows directly into the ocean as it becomes afloat, and here creep rates are proportional to the cube of bed depth. Rapid thinning of the PIG ice shelf increases the likelihood of its breakup, and subsequent rapid increase in discharge velocity. Results from a simple model indicate that JI velocities should almost double to >20 km a-1 by 2015, with velocities on PIG increasing to >10 km a-1 after breakup of its ice shelf. These high velocities would probably be sustained over many decades as the glaciers retreat within their long, very deep troughs. Resulting sea-level rise would average about 1.5 mm a-1.

  14. The contribution of glacier melt to streamflow

    SciTech Connect

    Schaner, Neil; Voisin, Nathalie; Nijssen, Bart; Lettenmaier, D. P.

    2012-09-13

    Ongoing and projected future changes in glacier extent and water storage globally have lead to concerns about the implications for water supplies. However, the current magnitude of glacier contributions to river runoff is not well known, nor is the population at risk to future glacier changes. We estimate an upper bound on glacier melt contribution to seasonal streamflow by computing the energy balance of glaciers globally. Melt water quantities are computed as a fraction of total streamflow simulated using a hydrology model and the melt fraction is tracked down the stream network. In general, our estimates of the glacier melt contribution to streamflow are lower than previously published values. Nonetheless, we find that globally an estimated 225 (36) million people live in river basins where maximum seasonal glacier melt contributes at least 10% (25%) of streamflow, mostly in the High Asia region.

  15. Spatially heterogeneous wastage of Himalayan glaciers

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Koji; Nuimura, Takayuki

    2011-01-01

    We describe volumetric changes in three benchmark glaciers in the Nepal Himalayas on which observations have been made since the 1970s. Compared with the global mean of glacier mass balance, the Himalayan glaciers showed rapid wastage in the 1970s–1990s, but similar wastage in the last decade. In the last decade, a glacier in an arid climate showed negative but suppressed mass balance compared with the period 1970s–1990s, whereas two glaciers in a humid climate showed accelerated wastage. A mass balance model with downscaled gridded datasets depicts the fate of the observed glaciers. We also show a spatially heterogeneous distribution of glacier wastage in the Asian highlands, even under the present-day climate warming. PMID:21808042

  16. Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ananichheva, Maria; Arendt, Anthony; Hagen, Jon-Ove; Hock, Regine; Josberger, Edward G.; Moore, R. Dan; Pfeffer, William Tad; Wolken, Gabriel J.

    2011-01-01

    Projections of future rates of mass loss from mountain glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic focus primarily on projections of changes in the surface mass balance. Current models are not yet capable of making realistic forecasts of changes in losses by calving. Surface mass balance models are forced with downscaled output from climate models driven by forcing scenarios that make assumptions about the future rate of growth of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Thus, mass loss projections vary considerably, depending on the forcing scenario used and the climate model from which climate projections are derived. A new study in which a surface mass balance model is driven by output from ten general circulation models (GCMs) forced by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) A1B emissions scenario yields estimates of total mass loss of between 51 and 136 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE) (or 13% to 36% of current glacier volume) by 2100. This implies that there will still be substantial glacier mass in the Arctic in 2100 and that Arctic mountain glaciers and ice caps will continue to influence global sea-level change well into the 22nd century.

  17. UV - GLACIER NATIONAL PARK MT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brewer 134 is located in Glacier NP, measuring ultraviolet solar radiation. Irradiance and column ozone are derived from this data. Ultraviolet solar radiation is measured with a Brewer Mark IV, single-monochrometer, spectrophotometer manufactured by SCI-TEC Instruments, Inc. of ...

  18. Microbial Habitat on Kilimanjaro's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponce, A.; Beaty, S. M.; Lee, C.; Lee, C.; Noell, A. C.; Stam, C. N.; Connon, S. A.

    2011-03-01

    Kilimanjaro glaciers captured a history of microbial diversity and abundance of supraglacial habitats. We show that a majority of bacterial clones, as determined by bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, are most closely related to those isolated from cold-water environments.

  19. A Europe-wide perspective on Younger Dryas glacier-climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellitero, Ramon; Rea, Brice; Spagnolo, Matteo; Bakke, Jostein; Hughes, Philip; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Lukas, Sven; Renssen, Hans; Ribolini, Adriano

    2015-04-01

    Equilibrium Line Altitudes have been calculated for over one hundred reconstructed palaeoglaciers stretching from North Africa in the south to Svalbard in the north and the Cantabrian Mountains in the west to the Balkans in the east. Palaeoglaciers were reconstructed based on landforms dated to the Younger Dryas and published in the academic literature. Strict quality control checks were applied to the chronology and, where necessary, dates have been recalibrated using modern calculators. 3D palaeoglaciers were reconstructed using a semi-automated GIS tool, based on Benn and Hulton (2010), which calculates ice thickness using the bed topography and assumes perfect-plasticity ice rheology. From the 3D reconstructed surfaces ELAs were calculated using another GIS tool (Pellitero et al., 2015). Where data has been generated for several glaciers in a region a single value is determined for both the AAR and AABR methods following Osmaston (2005). Preliminary results show a smooth S to N decline in ELA along the western seaboard of Europe, as far north as 60°, where it increases sharply in elevation before declining towards the north again. Along the west-east transect the ELA is located between 2000 and 3000 masl, without any consistent large-scale pattern. Locally gradients are present, for example, across the Cantabrian Range and Eastern Pyrenees, and across the west Balkans. Modern day ELA gradients are determined, where possible, along the same transects. This is achieved by determining the zero net balance ELAs from mass balance time series obtained from the World Glacier Monitoring Service. The modern-day ELA gradients are compared to those determined for the YD and are used to interpret large scale atmospheric circulation patterns. For example, the sharp rise in the ELA at approximately 60°N is assumed to be related to the location of the Polar Front. North of this temperatures would be expected to reduce significantly, but in terms of glacier mass balance

  20. Regional scale climatic trends derived from Younger Dryas glaciers in the U.K.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, D.; Rea, B. R.; Barr, I.; Small, D.; McDougall, D.

    2014-12-01

    In the U.K., the glacial geomorphological record has been utilised to infer paleo-glacier geometries and ice dynamics, with much of this work focussing on the Scottish Highlands during the Younger Dryas (YD; c. 12.9 - 11.7 ka BP). During the YD the West Highlands Ice-cap covered the majority of the Scottish Highlands (c. 13,000 sq mi), which is thought to have affected accumulation rates beyond the ice-cap margins, resulting in a steep (c. 80%) easterly decline in precipitation and smaller ice-masses. We present multi-proxy data investigating YD glaciation in the Tweedsmuir Hills, Southern Uplands, Scotland (55°46' N, 03°34' W), suggesting conditions were less arid. The area forms the most easterly upland region in the Southern Uplands and south of the West Highlands Ice-cap, reaching an altitude of 840 m and covering c. 200 sq mi. Results of air-photo interpretation and field mapping, which utilised a morphostratigraphic approach, have demonstrated a more extensive glaciation than previously mapped. The reconstruction consists of two separate icefields covering an area c. 40 sq mi. and new 14C dates of basal contact organics place the ice-mass within the context of the YD but new Cosmogenic Nuclide Analysis (CNA) of bedrock and in situ boulders are inconclusive, implying limited erosion and limited resetting during the YD. Equilibrium Line Altitudes are calculated to have ranged from c. 419 - 634 m. Paleo-precipitation values were derived using two precipitation-temperature relationships and suggest slightly lower totals than YD ice-masses located on the west coast of the U.K. but do not support a significant easterly reduction in precipitation. Analysis of present-day (c. 30 year) meteorological data across the U.K. demonstrates a pronounced reduction in precipitation of c. 50% on the east coast. This disparity between present-day and glacier-based YD precipitation patterns is partly attributable to the methodology employed in glacier reconstruction and

  1. Glacier area changes in Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 km2 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 individual

  2. Hasty retreat of glaciers in northern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank; Mölg, Nico

    2014-05-01

    Mapping glacier extent from optical satellite data has become a most efficient tool to create or update glacier inventories and determine glacier changes over time. A most valuable archive in this regard is the nearly 30-year time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data that is freely available (already orthorectified) for most regions in the world from the USGS. One region with a most dramatic glacier shrinkage and a missing systematic assessment of changes, is the Palena province in Chile, located south of Puerto Montt in northern Patagonia. A major bottleneck for accurate determination of glacier changes in this region is related to the huge amounts of snow falling in this very maritime region, hiding the perimeter of glaciers throughout the year. Consequently, we found only three years with Landsat scenes that can be used to map glacier extent through time. We here present the results of a glacier change analysis from six Landsat scenes (path-rows 232-89/90) acquired in 1985, 2000 and 2011 covering the Palena district in Chile and neighbouring regions. Clean glacier ice was mapped automatically with a standard technique (TM3/TM band ratio) and manual editing was applied to remove wrongly classified lakes and to add debris-covered glacier parts. The digital elevation model (DEM) from ASTER (GDEM2) was used to derive drainage divides, determine glacier specific topographic parameters, and analyse the area changes in regard to topography. The scene from the year 2000 has the best snow conditions and was used to eliminate seasonal snow in the other two scenes by digital combination of the binary glacier masks and neighbourhood analysis. The derived mean relative area loss over the entire study area is 25%, showing a large spatial variability and a strong dependence on elevation. While small mountain glaciers at high elevations and steep slopes show only little change over the 26-year period, ice at low elevations from large valley glaciers shows a dramatic

  3. Modelling the behaviour of tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, Faezeh Maghami

    2006-09-01

    More than half of the annual mass transfer from whole cryosphere to the world's oceans occurs through calving. Uncertainties in predicting future sea level are partly caused by a lack of knowledge of the behaviour of calving glaciers. A better understanding of the factors that control the response of calving glaciers to climate change is needed to interpret the past or predict the future behaviour of these glaciers in a warmer climate. Over the past years, interest in the response of calving glaciers to climate change has increased considarably. Many bservational and modelling studies have been carried out to investigate the dynamics of the calving process and the associated response of the glacier terminus. It has been suggested that calving glaciers are inherently unstable showing a periodic advance and retreat that may be nearly independent of climate. The cycle of slow advance and rapid retreat of calving glaciers is mainly a function of fjord geometry, water depth at the glacier terminus, and sedimentation at the glacier front. Some other studies show that climate acts as a first-order control on the advance/retreat. Hence, the diverse behaviour of calving glaciers is a result of both internal dynamics and climate. In this thesis the dynamics of tidewater glaciers (temperate grounded calving glaciers) and the involved processes such as iceberg calving, basal sliding, and proglacial moraine bank are investigated. A numerical ice-flow model is developed, which simulates the rapid retreat and slow advance of tidewater glaciers very well. To construct a time-evolving numerical model that simulates the behaviour of calving glaciers, it is necessary to formulate realistic calving boundary conditions. Empirical studies provide two different calving schemes, the flotation and the water-depth model. We introduce two numerical ice-flow models using the water-depth and the flotation scheme. The results show that any model in which the loss of ice at the glacier front

  4. Complex patterns of glacier advances during the Lateglacial in the Chagan-Uzun Valley, Russian Altai

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gribenski, Natacha; Lukas, Sven; Jansson, Krister N.; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Preusser, Frank; Harbor, Jonathan M.; Blomdin, Robin; Ivanov, Mikhail N.; Heyman, Jakob; Petrakov, Dmitry; Rudoy, Alexei; Clifton, Tom; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Caffee, Marc W.

    2016-04-01

    accumulation along the Chagan Uzun River, which confirms the presence of lacustrine sediments in the Chagan Uzun glacier foreland before the glacier advances. Such sediments could have acted as a soft bed over which fast or unstable glacier flow occurred. This is the first study reporting surge-like behaviour of former glaciers in the Altai mountain range, supported by detailed geomorphological and sedimentological evidences. Such findings are crucial for paleoclimate inference, as the surge-related features cannot be attributed to a glacier system in equilibrium with the contemporary climate, and cannot be interpreted with traditional ELA reconstructions. This study also highlights the complexity of establishing robust paleoglacial chronologies in highly dynamic environments, with interactions between glacial events and the formation and drainage of lakes.

  5. Equilibrium Shaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izzo, Dario; Petazzi, Lorenzo

    2006-08-01

    We present a satellite path planning technique able to make identical spacecraft aquire a given configuration. The technique exploits a behaviour-based approach to achieve an autonomous and distributed control over the relative geometry making use of limited sensorial information. A desired velocity is defined for each satellite as a sum of different contributions coming from generic high level behaviours: forcing the final desired configuration the behaviours are further defined by an inverse dynamic calculation dubbed Equilibrium Shaping. We show how considering only three different kind of behaviours it is possible to acquire a number of interesting formations and we set down the theoretical framework to find the entire set. We find that allowing a limited amount of communication the technique may be used also to form complex lattice structures. Several control feedbacks able to track the desired velocities are introduced and discussed. Our results suggest that sliding mode control is particularly appropriate in connection with the developed technique.

  6. Generation of the relationship between glacier area and volume for a tropical glacier in Bolivian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, T.; Kinouchi, T.; Hasegawa, A.; Tsuda, M.; Iwami, Y.; Asaoka, Y.; Mendoza, J.

    2015-12-01

    In Andes, retreat of tropical glaciers is rapid, thus water resources currently available from glacierized catchments would be changed in its volume and temporal variations due to climate change and glacier shrinkage. The relationship between glacier area and volume is difficult to define however which is important to monitor glaciers especially those are remote or inaccessible. Water resources in La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia, strongly depend on the runoff from glacierized headwater catchments in the Cordillera Real, Andes, which is therefore selected as our study region.To predict annual glacier mass balances, PWRI-Distributed Hydrological Model (PWRI-DHM) was applied to simulate runoff from the partially glacierized catchments in high mountains (i.e. Condoriri-Huayna West headwater catchment located in the Cordillera Real, Bolivian Andes). PWRI-DHM is based on tank model concept in a distributed and 4-tank configuration including surface, unsaturated, aquifer, and river course tanks. The model was calibrated and validated with observed meteorological and hydrological data from 2011 to 2014 by considering different phases of precipitation, various runoff components from glacierized and non-glacierized areas, and the retarding effect by glacial lakes and wetlands. The model is then applied with MRI-AGCM outputs from 1987 to 2003 considering the shrinkage of glacier outlines since 1980s derived from Landsat data. Annual glacier mass balance in each 100m-grid was reproduced, with which the glacier area-volume relationship was generated with reasonable initial volume setting. Out study established a method to define the relationship between glacier area and volume by remote sensing information and glacier mass balances simulated by distributed hydrological model. Our results demonstrated that the changing trend of local glacier had a consistency the previous observed glacier area-volume relationship in the Cordillera Real.

  7. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-11-01

    To date, there has only been little conceptual change research regarding conceptions about glaciers. This study used the theoretical background of embodied cognition to reconstruct different metaphorical concepts with respect to the structure of a glacier. Applying the Model of Educational Reconstruction, the conceptions of students and scientists regarding glaciers were analysed. Students' conceptions were the result of teaching experiments whereby students received instruction about glaciers and ice ages and were then interviewed about their understandings. Scientists' conceptions were based on analyses of textbooks. Accordingly, four conceptual metaphors regarding the concept of a glacier were reconstructed: a glacier is a body of ice; a glacier is a container; a glacier is a reflexive body and a glacier is a flow. Students and scientists differ with respect to in which context they apply each conceptual metaphor. It was observed, however, that students vacillate among the various conceptual metaphors as they solve tasks. While the subject context of the task activates a specific conceptual metaphor, within the discussion about the solution, the students were able to adapt their conception by changing the conceptual metaphor. Educational strategies for teaching students about glaciers require specific language to activate the appropriate conceptual metaphors and explicit reflection regarding the various conceptual metaphors.

  8. Columbia Glacier in 1984: disintegration underway

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, M.F.; Rasmussen, L.A.; Miller, D.S.

    1985-01-01

    Columbia Glacier is a large, iceberg-calving glacier near Valdez, Alaska. The terminus of this glacier was relatively stable from the time of the first scientific studies in 1899 until 1978. During this period the glacier terminated partly on Heather Island and partly on a submerged moraine shoal. In December, 1978, the glacier terminus retreated from Heather Island, and retreat has accelerated each year since then, except during a period of anomalously low calving in 1980. Although the glacier has not terminated on Heather Island since 1978, a portion of the terminus remained on the crest of the moraine shoal until the fall of 1983. By December 8, 1983, that feature had receded more than 300 m from the crest of the shoal, and by December 14, 1984, had disappeared completely, leaving most of the terminus more than 2000 meters behind the crest of the shoal. Recession of the glacier from the shoal has placed the terminus in deeper water, although the glacier does not float. The active calving face of the glacier now terminates in seawater that is about 300 meters deep at the glacier centerline. Rapid calving appears to be associated with buoyancy effects due to deep water at the terminus and subglacial runoff. 12 refs., 10 figs.

  9. Small valley glaciers and the effectiveness of the glacial buzzsaw in the northern Basin and Range, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, David; Brocklehurst, Simon H.; Gawthorpe, Rob L.

    2008-12-01

    The glacial buzzsaw hypothesis suggests that efficient erosion limits topographic elevations in extensively glaciated orogens. Studies to date have largely focussed on regions where large glaciers (tens of kilometres long) have been active. In light of recent studies emphasising the importance of lateral glacial erosion in lowering peaks and ridgelines, we examine the effectiveness of small glaciers in limiting topography under both relatively slow and rapid rock uplift conditions. Four ranges in the northern Basin and Range, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, USA, were chosen for this analysis. Estimates of maximum Pleistocene slip rates along normal faults bounding the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains (~ 0.14 mm y - 1 ), Lemhi Range (~ 0.3 mm y - 1 ) and Lost River Range (~ 0.3 mm y - 1 ) are an order of magnitude lower than those on the Teton Fault (~ 2 mm y - 1 ). We compare the distribution of glacial erosion (estimated from cirque floor elevations and last glacial maximum (LGM) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) reconstructions) and fault slip rate with three metrics of topography in each range: the along-strike maximum elevation swath profile, hypsometry, and slope-elevation profiles. In the slowly uplifting Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, and Lemhi and Lost River Ranges, trends in maximum elevation parallel ELAs, independent of variations in fault slip rate. Maximum elevations are offset ~ 500 m from LGM ELAs in the Lost River Range, Lemhi Range, and northern Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, and by ~ 350 m in the southern Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, where glacial extents were less. The offset between maximum topography and mean Quaternary ELAs, inferred from cirque floor elevations, is ~ 350 m in the Lost River and Lemhi Ranges, and 200-250 m in the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains. Additionally, slope-elevation profiles are flattened and hypsometry profiles show a peak in surface areas close to the ELA in the Lemhi Range and Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains

  10. Future glacier runoff at the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2016-04-01

    Water resources in mountain areas worldwide importantly depend on the runoff contribution by glaciers. Glacial water storage acts as an equilibrating element in the global hydrological cycle on various temporal scales. With ongoing and future glacier retreat a growing concern regarding water supply security in glacier-fed basins arises. However, glacier runoff projections at the regional or global scale are still rare and better models are urgently needed for planning and adaptation measures to cope with a changing seasonal distribution of water yields. Moreover, it is still an open debate in which region "peak water" - the maximum contribution of melting glaciers to runoff - has already been reached, i.e. whether increasing or declining annual runoff volumes must be expected. Here, we present results of a novel global glacier model for calculating the 21st century response of surface mass balance, three-dimensional glacier geometry and monthly water discharge for each individual glacier around the globe. The current surface geometry and thickness distribution for each of the world's roughly 200'000 glaciers is extracted from the Randolph Glacier Inventory and terrain models. Our simulations are driven with 14 Global Circulation Models from the CMIP5 project using the RCP4.5, RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. We focus on the timing of peak water from glacierized catchments in all climatic regions of the earth and the corresponding importance of changes in the runoff regime on hydrological stress. The maximum rate of water release from glacial storage is subject to a high spatio-temporal variability depending on glacier characteristics and the transient response to climatic change. Furthermore, we discuss the significance of projected variations in glacier runoff in relation to the hydrology of the world's large-scale drainage basins and population distribution, and highlight 'hot spot' regions where the wastage of current ice volume is particularly relevant.

  11. Southern Alaska as an Example of the Long-Term Consequences of Mountain Building Under the Influence of Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meigs, Andrew; Sauber, Jeanne

    2000-01-01

    Southern Alaska is a continent-scale region of ongoing crustal deformation within the Pacific-North American plate boundary zone. Glaciers and glacial erosion have dictated patterns of denudation in the orogen over the last approx. 5 My. The orogen comprises three discrete topographic domains from south to north, respectively: (1) the Chugach/St. Elias Range; (2) the Wrangell Mountains; and (3) the eastern Alaska Range. Although present deformation is distributed across the orogen, much of the shortening and uplift are concentrated in the Chugach/St. Elias Range. A systematic increase in topographic wavelength of the range from east to west reflects east-to-west increases in the width of a shallowly-dipping segment of the plate interface, separation of major upper plate structures, and a decrease in the obliquity of plate motion relative to the plate boundary. Mean elevation decays exponentially from approx. 2500 m to approx. 1100 m from east to west, respectively. Topographic control on the present and past distribution of glaciers is indicated by close correspondence along the range between mean elevation and the modern equilibrium line altitude of glaciers (ELA) and differences in the modern ELA, mean annual precipitation and temperature across the range between the windward, southern and leeward, northern flanks. Net, range- scale erosion is the sum of: (1) primary bedrock erosion by glaciers and (2) erosion in areas of the landscape that are ice-marginal and are deglaciated at glacial minima. Oscillations between glacial and interglacial climates controls ice height and distribution, which, in turn, modulates the locus and mode of erosion in the landscape. Mean topography and the mean position of the ELA are coupled because of the competition between rock uplift, which tends to raise the ELA, and enhanced orographic precipitation accompanying mountain building, which tends to lower the ELA. Mean topography is controlled both by the 60 deg latitude and maritime

  12. Modeling ice front Dynamics of Greenland outlet glaciers using ISSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Bondzio, J. H.; Seroussi, H. L.; Rignot, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    The recent increase in the rate of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet is primarily due to the acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers along the coast. This acceleration is a dynamic response to the retreat of calving fronts, which leads to a loss in resistive stresses. These processes need to be included in ice sheet models in order to be able to accurately reproduce current trends in mass loss, and in the long term reduce the uncertainty in the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise. Today, the vast majority of ice sheet models that include moving boundaries are one dimensional flow line and vertical flow band models, that are not adapted to the complex geometries of Greenland outlet glaciers, as they do not accurately capture changes in lateral stresses. Here, we use the level set method to track moving boundaries within a 2D plane view model of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), and investigate the sensitivity of Store Glacier, in western Greenland, to the amount of melting occurring at its calving front. We explore different calving laws and obtain the best results with a new simple calving law adapted from von Mises yield criterion. We show that the ocean circulation near the front and the amount of runoff are able to trigger ice front advance and retreat depending on the amount of melting that they produce at the calving face, but the bed topography controls the stable positions of the ice front. The modeled calving front of Store Glacier, for which we have quality bed topography and sea floor bathymetry data, is particularly stable because of the presence of a large sill at the glacier terminus. If the ice front detaches from this stabilizing sill due to larger amounts of melting at the front or due to large calving events, the glacier front starts to retreat as the bed deepens inland, until it finds another stabilizing feature in the bed topography. The new bed topography maps based on mass conservation make it possible to model more

  13. Edge equilibrium code for tokamaks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xujing; Drozdov, Vladimir V.

    2014-01-15

    The edge equilibrium code (EEC) described in this paper is developed for simulations of the near edge plasma using the finite element method. It solves the Grad-Shafranov equation in toroidal coordinate and uses adaptive grids aligned with magnetic field lines. Hermite finite elements are chosen for the numerical scheme. A fast Newton scheme which is the same as implemented in the equilibrium and stability code (ESC) is applied here to adjust the grids.

  14. From 'true' glaciers to rock glaciers? The case of the Llanos la Liebre rock glacier, dry Andes of Chile.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, S.; Kinnard, C.

    2012-04-01

    In the dry Andes of Chile, rock glaciers are the most widespread and remarkable superficial landforms, and may constitute important solid water reservoirs. The existence of huge (up to 2-3 kilometres of length) rock glaciers located in deep cirques questions possible derivation from former 'true' glaciers. The issue is of importance (i) for understanding the mechanisms of the landscape evolution from glacial realm to periglacial realm, and (ii) because it may determine the ice content of the concerned rock glaciers. In the Colorado Río valley, in the upper part of the Elqui catchment (~30.15 deg. S and 70.80 deg. W), we investigated the internal structure of the Llanos la Liebre rock glacier using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). With 50 MHz antennas and a constant offset of 2 m between antennas, we performed various GPR profiles, especially a ~2.2 km-long one almost covering the entire length of the rock glacier. The processing and the subsequent interpretation of the GPR data were mainly based on the modelling of the radar wave velocity. Hence, the final representation of the internal structure of the rock glacier integrates the reconstructed stratigraphy, the 2-D velocity model, and first attempts for estimating the ice/water contents. The most striking results are: the neat identification of the base of the superficial blocky layer and of the rock glacier floor; the occurrence of stratigraphic patterns reminiscent of 'true' glaciers; the supremacy of high radar wave velocities in the upper part of the rock glacier. On the latter bases and taking into account the whole geomorphology of the site, the derivation of the Llanos la Liebre rock glacier from a former, buried glacier is debated.

  15. Helical axis stellarator equilibrium model

    SciTech Connect

    Koniges, A.E.; Johnson, J.L.

    1985-02-01

    An asymptotic model is developed to study MHD equilibria in toroidal systems with a helical magnetic axis. Using a characteristic coordinate system based on the vacuum field lines, the equilibrium problem is reduced to a two-dimensional generalized partial differential equation of the Grad-Shafranov type. A stellarator-expansion free-boundary equilibrium code is modified to solve the helical-axis equations. The expansion model is used to predict the equilibrium properties of Asperators NP-3 and NP-4. Numerically determined flux surfaces, magnetic well, transform, and shear are presented. The equilibria show a toroidal Shafranov shift.

  16. Recent Observations and Structural Analysis of Surge-Type Glaciers in the Glacier Bay Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, H.; Herzfeld, U. C.

    2003-12-01

    The Chugach-St.-Elias Mountains in North America hold the largest non-polar connected glaciated area of the world. Most of its larger glaciers are surge-type glaciers. In the summer of 2003, we collected aerial photographic and GPS data over numerous glaciers in the eastern St. Elias Mountains, including the Glacier Bay area. Observed glaciers include Davidson, Casement, McBride, Riggs, Cushing, Carroll, Rendu, Tsirku, Grand Pacific, Melbern, Ferris, Margerie, Johns Hopkins, Lamplugh, Reid, Burroughs, Morse, Muir and Willard Glaciers, of which Carroll, Rendu, Ferris, Grand Pacific, Johns Hopkins and Margerie Glaciers are surge-type glaciers. Our approach utilizes a quantitative analysis of surface patterns, following the principles of structural geology for the analysis of brittle-deformation patterns (manifested in crevasses) and ductile deformation patterns (visible in folded moraines). First results will be presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

    , increased water input may cause lake level in rifts to rise resulting in faster rift propagation and spreading. Similar formation and disintegration of floating tongues are expected to occur in the glacier's future, as the ice divide lies below the current lake level. In addition to calving retreat, Yakutat Glacier is rapidly thinning, which lowers its surface and therefore exposes the ice to warmer air temperatures causing increased thinning. Even under a constant climate, this positive feedback mechanism would force Yakutat Glacier to quickly retreat and mostly disappear. Simulations of future mass loss were run for two scenarios, keeping the current climate and forcing it with a projected warming climate. Results showed that over 95% of the glacier ice will have disappeared by 2120 or 2070 under a constant vs projected climate, respectively. For the first few decades, the glacier will be able to maintain its current thinning rate by retreating and thus losing areas of lowest elevation. However, once higher elevations have thinned substantially, the glacier cannot compensate any more to maintain a constant thinning rate and transfers into an unstable run-away situation. To stop this collapse and transform Yakutat Glacier into equilibrium in its current geometry, air temperatures would have to drop by 1.5 K or precipitation would have to increase by more than 50%. An increase in precipitation alone is unlikely to lead to a stable configuration, due to the very small current accumulation area.

  18. Monitoring of High Mountain Glaciers in the Vicinity of Everest (Himalaya) using Remote Sensing Capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakuri, S.; Salerno, F.; Bolch, T.; Smiraglia, C.; Tartari, G.

    2014-12-01

    Himalayan glaciers are of crucial interest due to their role in the cryospheric system and hydrology. This contribution examines glacier changes between 1960s and 2013 using satellite data. The study is focused in 3 basins in Nepal: Upper Sun Koshi (USKB; 2850 km2), Dudh Koshi (DKB; 3720 km2), and Tamor (TB; 5875 km2). We observed an overall glacier surface loss of 0.19 ± 0.26 % a-1 (146.1 to 136.9 km2) in SKB for 1975-2013 period; 0.27 ± 0.06 % a-1 (404.6 to 351.8 km2) in the DKB for 1962-2011, and 8.4% (0.25 ± 0.29 % a-1; 610.9 to 559.3 km2) in the TB for 1975-2009 period. In the DKB, we observed an upward shift of snow-line altitude (ΔSLA) by more than 180 m, a terminus retreat of on average ~ 400 m, and an increase of 17.6 ± 3.1% in debris coverage between 1962 and 2011. Moreover, we observed that (i) glaciers with increased debris cover have experienced a reduced termini retreat; (ii) negative mass balances (i.e., ΔSLA) induce increases of debris coverage; (iii) slight, but statistically insignificant acceleration of the surface area loss since early 1990s; but a significant loss for the largest glaciers (>10 km2) that have accumulation zones at higher elevations and along the preferable south-north direction of the monsoon; (iv) a significant ΔSLA; moreover, the largest glaciers present median ΔSLA that are nearly double than that of the smallest; this finding leads to a hypothesis that these glaciers are shrinking, not only due to warming temperatures, but also as a result of decreasing precipitation due to a weakening Asian monsoons registered over the last few decades. Furthermore, we present first results on the geodetic glacier mass and velocity changes of selected glaciers, and climatic trends. In fact, less accumulation due to the observed decrease of precipitation should cause lower glacier flow velocity until to the ice stagnation of tongues as observed by other previous studies in the region. Finally, we compared our findings with other

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Active seismoelectric exploration of glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulessa, B.; Murray, T.; Rippin, D.

    2006-04-01

    Repeatable and strong seismoelectric signals were recorded on Glacier de Tsanfleuron, Switzerland, using a vertical sounding geometry. Electromagnetic waves are inferred to be generated by electrokinetic conversion of seismic energy within the snow pack and near the dry-wet ice and ice-bed interfaces. A simple gradient-based scheme allows such electrokinetic interface responses (EIRs) to be isolated from noise. EIRs depend sensitively on the azimuthal orientation of the receiving array of electrical dipoles. Seismoelectric techniques promise to allow mapping even of thin water-bearing strata within or beneath glaciers or frozen ground, estimation of hydraulic or fluid properties of such strata, as well as monitoring of ice fracturing or basal properties and processes at improved spatial resolution.

  1. Implementation of a new atomic basis for the He I equilibrium line ratio technique for electron temperature and density diagnostic in the SOL for H-mode plasmas in DIII-D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz Burgos, J. M.; Schmitz, O.; Unterberg, E. A.; Loch, S. D.; Ballance, C. P.

    2011-08-01

    Evaluating the ratio of selected helium lines allows for measurement of electron densities and temperatures. This technique is applied for L-mode plasmas at TEXTOR (O. Schmitz et al., Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 50 (2008) 115004). We report our first efforts to extend it to H-mode plasma diagnostics in DIII-D. This technique depends on the accuracy of the atomic data used in the collisional radiative model (CRM). We present predictions for the electron temperatures and densities by using recently calculated R-Matrix With Pseudostates (RMPS) and Convergent Close-Coupling (CCC) electron-impact excitation and ionization data. We include contributions from higher Rydberg states by means of the projection matrix. These effects become significant for high electron density conditions, which are typical in H-mode. We apply a non-equilibrium model for the time propagation of the ionization balance to predict line emission profiles from experimental H-mode data from DIII-D.

  2. External forcing modulates Pine Island Glacier flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianson, K. A.; Bushuk, M.; Holland, D.; Dutrieux, P.; Joughin, I.; Parizek, B. R.; Alley, R. B.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Heywood, K. J.; Jenkins, A.; Nicholls, K. W.; Webber, B.; Muto, A.; Stanton, T. P.

    2015-12-01

    Nearly 50 years ago, Mercer first suggested the Eemian sea-level high stand was a result of a collapse of the marine portions of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Recently, special attention has been paid to West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment due to its steeply sloping retrograde beds that are well below sea level, and observations of rapid grounding-line retreat, high ice-shelf basal-melt rates, and basin-wide glacier thinning and acceleration. Despite this focus, accurate assessments of the past and future behavior of this embayment remain elusive due to a lack of understanding of calving processes and ice-ocean interactions. Here we present a continuous two-year (2012-2014) time series of oceanographic, borehole, glaciological, and seismological observations of Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, its sub-ice ocean cavity, and the adjacent Amundsen Sea. With these data, we captured the ice shelf's response to a large fluctuation in the temperature of the water (~1 °C) entering the sub-ice-ocean cavity. Initially, the ice shelf slowed by 5%, but, by the end of 2014, it had nearly recovered its earlier speed. The generally smooth changes in ice flow were punctuated by rapid (2-3 week), high-amplitude (~2.5% of the background speed) speedups and slowdowns. Satellite and seismological observations indicate that rapid speedups are caused by reduction of lateral drag along the ice stream's shear margins as a large iceberg calves and that rapid slowdowns may be due to periodic regrounding on bed highs at low tide. Coupled ice-stream/ice-shelf/ocean-plume flowband modeling informed by these new data indicates that the more-gradual changes in speed are related to ocean temperature, ice-front position, and past ice-flow history. Our observations highlight an ice shelf's rapid response to external forcings and that past ice-flow behavior affects subsequent ice response to external forcing. Thus, long-term, multifaceted investigations are necessary to determine whether a

  3. 1. PARKING LOT AT GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. PARKING LOT AT GLACIER POINT. HALF DOME AT CENTER REAR. LOOKING NE. GIS: N-36 43 45.8 / W-119 34 14.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  4. 5. GLACIER POINT ROAD VIEW AT SENTINEL DOME PARKING AREA. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. GLACIER POINT ROAD VIEW AT SENTINEL DOME PARKING AREA. LOOKING E. GIS: N-37 42 43.8 / W-119 35 12.1 - Glacier Point Road, Between Chinquapin Flat & Glacier Point, Yosemite Village, Mariposa County, CA

  5. Numerical Simulation and Sensitivity Analysis of Subglacial Meltwater Plumes: Implications for Ocean-Glacier Coupling in Rink Isbrae, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, D.; Sutherland, D.; Shroyer, E.; Nash, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    The rate of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet quadrupled over the last two decades and may be due in part to changes in ocean heat transport to marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Meltwater commonly discharges at the grounding line in these outlet glacier fjords, generating a turbulent upwelling plume that separates from the glacier face when it reaches neutral density. This mechanism is the current paradigm for setting the magnitude of net heat transport in Greenland's glacial fjords. However, sufficient observations of meltwater plumes are not available to test the buoyancy-driven circulation hypothesis. Here, we use an ocean general circulation model (MITgcm) of the near-glacier field to investigate how plume water properties, terminal height, centerline velocity and volume transport depend on the initial conditions and numerical parameter choices in the model. These results are compared to a hydrodynamic mixing model (CORMIX), typically used in civil engineering applications. Experiments using stratification profiles from the continental shelf quantify the errors associated with using far-field observatons to initialize near-glacier plume models. The plume-scale model results are then integrated with a 3-D fjord-scale model of the Rink Isbrae glacier/fjord system in west Greenland. We find that variability in the near-glacier plume structure can strongly control the resulting fjord-scale circulation. The fjord model is forced with wind and tides to examine how oceanic and atmospheric forcing influence net heat transport to the glacier.

  6. Evaluation of Lateglacial temperatures in the Southern Alps of New Zealand based on glacier modelling at Irishman Stream, Ben Ohau Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, Alice M.; Anderson, Brian M.; Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Kaplan, Michael R.; Vandergoes, Marcus J.; Barrell, David J. A.; Denton, George H.; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Chinn, Trevor J. H.; Putnam, Aaron E.

    2013-08-01

    Climate proxy records from the middle to high latitude Southern Hemisphere indicate that a Lateglacial (15,000-11,500 years ago) climate reversal, approximately coeval with the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR), interrupted a warming trend during deglaciation. In New Zealand, some palaeoclimate proxy records indicate a cool episode during the ACR (ca 14,500-12,500 years ago), while others do not express a significant change in climate. Recently published moraine maps and ages present an opportunity to improve the palaeoclimate interpretation through numerical modelling of glaciers. We use a coupled energy-balance and ice-flow model to quantify palaeoclimate from past glacier extent constrained by mapped and dated moraines in the headwaters of Irishman Stream, a high-elevation catchment in the Southern Alps. First, a suite of steady-state model runs is used to identify the temperature and precipitation forcing required to fit the modelled glacier to well-dated Lateglacial moraine crests. Second, time-dependent glacier simulations forced by a nearby proxy temperature record derived from chironomids are used to assess the fit with the glacial geomorphic record. Steady-state experiments using an optimal parameter set demonstrate that the conditions under which the 13,000 year old moraine formed were 2.3-3.2 °C colder than present with the range in temperature corresponding to a ±20% variance in precipitation relative to the present-day. This reconstructed climate change relative to the present-day corresponds to an equilibrium-line altitude of ca 2000 ± 40 m above sea level (asl), which is ca 400 m lower than present. Time-dependent simulations of glacier length produce ice advance to within 100 m of the 13,000 year old terminal moraine, indicating that the chironomid-based temperature forcing and moraine record provide consistent information about past climate. Our results, together with other climate proxy reconstructions from pollen records and marine sediment cores

  7. The effect of black carbon on reflectance of snow in the accumulation area of glaciers in the Baspa basin, Himachal Pradesh, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulkarni, A. V.; Vinay Kumar, G.; Negi, H. S.; Srinivasan, J.; Satheesh, S. K.

    2013-04-01

    Himalayan glaciers are being extensively debated in scientific and public forums, as changes in their distribution can significantly affect the availability of water in many rivers originating in the region. The distribution of glaciers can be influenced by mass balance, and most of the glaciers located in the Pir Panjal and Greater Himalayan mountain ranges are losing mass at the rate of almost a meter per year. The Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) has also shifted upward by 400 m in the last two decades. This upward migration of ELA and the loss in mass could have been influenced by changes in temperature, precipitation and by the deposition of black carbon in the accumulation area of glaciers. The deposition of black carbon can reduce the albedo of snow in the accumulation area leading to faster melting of snow and causing more negative mass balance. In this investigation, a change in reflectance in the accumulation area of the Baspa basin is analysed for the year 2009, as the region has experienced extensive forest fires along with northern Indian biomass burning. The investigation has shown that: (1) The number of forest fires in the summer of 2009 was substantially higher than in any other year between 2001 and 2010; (2) the drop in reflectance in the visible region from April to May in the accumulation area was significantly higher in the year 2009 than in any other year from 2000 to 2012; (3) the temperature of the region was substantially lower than the freezing point during the active fire period of 2009, indicating the small influence of liquid water and grain size; (4) the drop in reflectance was observed only in the visible region, indicating role of contamination; (5) in the visible region, a mean drop in reflectance of 21± 5% was observed during the active fire period in the accumulation area. At some places, the drop was as high as 50 ± 5%. This can only be explained by the deposition of black carbon. The study suggests that a change in snow albedo

  8. The GAMDAM Glacier Inventory: a quality controlled inventory of Asian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuimura, T.; Sakai, A.; Taniguchi, K.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.; Tsutaki, S.; Kozawa, A.; Hoshina, Y.; Takenaka, S.; Omiya, S.; Tsunematsu, K.; Tshering, P.; Fujita, K.

    2014-06-01

    We present a new glacier inventory for the high mountain Asia named "Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge from the Asian Mountains" (GAMDAM). Glacier outlines were delineated manually using more than 226 Landsat ETM+ scenes from the period 1999-2003, in conjunction with a digital elevation model (DEM) and high-resolution Google Earth imagery. Geolocations are consistent between the Landsat imagery and DEM due to systematic radiometric and geometric corrections made by the United States Geological Survey. We performed repeated delineation tests and rigorous peer review of all scenes used in order to maintain the consistency and quality of the inventory. Our GAMDAM Glacier Inventory (GGI) includes 82776 glaciers covering a total area of 87507 ± 13126 km2 in the high mountain Asia. Thus, our inventory represents a greater number (+4%) of glaciers but significantly less surface area (-31%) than a recent global glacier inventory (Randolph Glacier Inventory, RGI). The employed definition of the upper boundaries of glaciers, glacier recession since the 1970s, and misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover are likely causes of discrepancies between the inventories, though it is difficult to evaluate these effects quantitatively. The GGI will help improve the temporal consistency of the RGI, which incorporated glacier outlines from the 1970s for the Tibetan Plateau, and will provide new opportunities to study Asian glaciers.

  9. Antarctica: measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    SciTech Connect

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Ferguson, H.M.

    1986-11-28

    Many Landsat images of Antarctica show distinctive flow and crevasse features in the floating part of ice streams and outlet glaciers immediately below their grounding zones. Some of the features, which move with the glacier or ice stream, remain visible over many years and thus allow time-lapse measurements of ice velocities. Measurements taken from Landsat images of features on Byrd Glacier agree well with detailed ground and aerial observations. The satellite-image technique thus offers a rapid and cost-effective method of obtaining average velocities, to a first order of accuracy, of many ice streams and outlet glaciers near their termini.

  10. Antarctica: Measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Ferguson, H.M.

    1986-01-01

    Many Landsat images of Antarctica show distinctive flow and crevasse features in the floating part of ice streams and outlet glaciers immediately below their grounding zones. Some of the features, which move with the glacier or ice stream, remain visible over many years and thus allow time-lapse measurements of ice velocities. Measurements taken from Landsat images of features on Byrd Glacier agree well with detailed ground and aerial observations. The satellite-image technique thus offers a rapid and cost-effective method of obtaining average velocities, to a first order of accuracy, of many ice streams and outlet glaciers near their termini.

  11. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring: strategy and datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Climate during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Wasatch Mountains Inferred from Glacier Mass-Balance and Ice-Flow Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bash, E. A.; Laabs, B. J.

    2006-12-01

    precipitation than modern, whereas greater temperature depressions would have required less-than-modern precipitation to sustain glaciers in the Wasatch Mountains. Without independent estimates of either temperature or precipitation for the LGM, model results do not provide a unique combination of these two variables based on simulated ice extent. However, the reconstructed pattern of glaciation in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains indicates a sharp westward decline in glacier equilibrium- line altitudes in valleys immediately downwind of Lake Bonneville (Munroe et al, 2006), which suggests that precipitation in the Wasatch Mountains was enhanced during the LGM. Therefore, model results can be used to set limits on the temperature and precipitation. We estimate that, if temperatures during the LGM were 6° to 8° C less than modern, precipitation was 3 to 1.5x modern. Such precipitation increases would reflect the importance of Lake Bonneville as a moisture source for valleys in the Wasatch Mountains, as suggested by previous studies.

  13. Surface Mass Balance of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1978 and 2010 Balance Years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, Shad

    2012-01-01

    Although Columbia Glacier is one of the largest sources of glacier mass loss in Alaska, surface mass balance measurements are sparse, with only a single data set available from 1978. The dearth of surface mass-balance data prohibits partitioning of the total mass losses between dynamics and surface forcing; however, the accurate inclusion of calving glaciers into predictive models requires both dynamic and climatic forcing of total mass balance. During 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey collected surface balance data at several locations distributed over the surface of Columbia Glacier to estimate the glacier-wide annual balance for balance year 2010 using the 2007 area-altitude distribution. This report also summarizes data collected in 1978, calculates the 1978 annual surface balance, and uses these observations to constrain the 2010 values, particularly the shape of the balance profile. Both years exhibit balances indicative of near-equilibrium surface mass-balance conditions, and demonstrate the importance of dynamic processes during the rapid retreat.

  14. Rapid submarine melting of the calving faces of West Greenland glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, Eric; Koppes, Michele; Velicogna, Isabella

    2010-03-01

    Widespread glacier acceleration has been observed in Greenland in the past few years associated with the thinning of the lower reaches of the glaciers as they terminate in the ocean. These glaciers thin both at the surface, from warm air temperatures, and along their submerged faces in contact with warm ocean waters. Little is known about the rates of submarine melting and how they may affect glacier dynamics. Here we present measurements of ocean currents, temperature and salinity near the calving fronts of the Eqip Sermia, Kangilerngata Sermia, Sermeq Kujatdleq and Sermeq Avangnardleq glaciers in central West Greenland, as well as ice-front bathymetry and geographical positions. We calculate water-mass and heat budgets that reveal summer submarine melt rates ranging from 0.7+/-0.2 to 3.9+/-0.8md-1. These rates of submarine melting are two orders of magnitude larger than surface melt rates, but comparable to rates of iceberg discharge. We conclude that ocean waters melt a considerable, but highly variable, fraction of the calving fronts of glaciers before they disintegrate into icebergs, and suggest that submarine melting must have a profound influence on grounding-line stability and ice-flow dynamics.

  15. New Insights in the Existence of Lakes Beneath the Recovery Glacier Drainage Basin, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinhage, D.; Helm, V.; Kasper, D.; Kleiner, T.; Humbert, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Recovery Glacier is draining about 8% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and feeds into the Filchner Ice Shelf. There were suggestions that the dynamics of the glacier is driven by large subglacial lakes that initiate the ice stream flow (Bell et al., 2008). As the Recovery Glacier is one of the least surveyed ice streams due to its remote location, this hypothesis could not be tested rigorously so far. In austral summer 2013/14 AWI carried out a survey of the Recovery Glacier including radio echo sounding, gravimetry, magnetics, and laser scanner. In total more than 22000 km survey lines were flown. Here we present an ice thickness map of the main trunk of the Recovery Glacier, as well as its tributaries Blackwall and Ramp glaciers. The ice thickness varies between 70 m in the vicinity of the Shackleton Range and nearly 3800 m close to the Bell lakes. Using different DEMs including one CryoSat-2 DEM (Helm et al., 2014), we determine the basal topography and the hydraulic head. We estimate the basal reflection coefficient and assess by this locations with potentially wet ice base. The distribution shows that few of the formerly proposed lakes show indeed a wet base, while others are missing clear lake like basal reflections.

  16. Insight into glacier climate interaction: reconstruction of the mass balance field using ice extent data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

    With the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 20 000 years ago, ended the most recent long-lasting cold phase in Earth's history. We recently developed a model that describes large-scale erosion and its response to climate and dynamical changes with the application to the Alps for the LGM period. Here we will present an inverse approach we have recently developed to infer the LGM mass balance from known ice extent data, focusing on a glacier or ice cap. The ice flow model is developed using the shallow ice approximation and the developed codes are accelerated using GPUs capabilities. The mass balance field is the constrained variable defined by the balance rate β and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), where c is the cutoff value: b = max(βṡ(S(z) - ELA), c) We show that such a mass balance can be constrained from the observed past ice extent and ice thickness. We are also investigating several different geostatistical methods to constrain spatially variable mass balance, and derive uncertainties on each of the mass balance parameters.

  17. Two methods for firn-area and mass-balance monitoring of Svalbard glaciers with SAR satellite images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    König, Max; Winther, Jan-Gunnar; Kohler, Jack; König, Florian

    This paper presents two methods for glacier monitoring on Svalbard using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images. Both methods were developed on glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area. The first method monitors the firn area extent and the firn line over time by thresholding and filtering the SAR image. Manual detection of the threshold is preferable, but using a constant threshold for all images also gives adequate results. A retreat of the firn-line position is visible, especially on Kongsvegen, corresponding to consecutive years of negative mass balance. The second method applies a k-means classification to three clusters on the glacier surface. The areal extent of the resulting class on the upper part of the glacier correlates remarkably well with the independently measured mass balance of Kongsvegen, having a correlation coefficient of around 0.89 for the various glaciers. This is because the snow from the accumulation area influences the k-means classification. Thus, on glaciers where mass-balance values are available, new mass-balance values can be predicted solely from SAR images. For glaciers where no mass balance is available, the area change cannot be calibrated to absolute mass-balance values, but relative changes can be predicted.

  18. Brief communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new data set of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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).

  19. GLIMS: Progress in Mapping the World's glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raup, B. H.; Khalsa, S. J. S.; Armstrong, R.; Racoviteanu, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative has built a database of glacier outlines and related attributes, 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. The database currently contains outlines for approximately 83,000 glaciers. Of these, 549 glaciers have outlines from more than one time, which can be studied for change. The glacier-by-glacier area-change signal over large areas tends to be noisy, but the mode of the distribution of area change for these 549 glaciers is -5%. 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 creates interactive maps on our Web site, www.glims.org, and can also supply glacier layers to other servers over the Internet. As a service to the GLIMS community, the database contains metadata on all ASTER imagery (approximately 200,000 images) acquired over glacierized terrain. Reduced-resolution images can be viewed either as a layer in the MapServer application, or overlaid on the virtual globe within Google Earth. 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), MapInfo, GML (Geography Markup Language) and GMT (Generic Mapping Tools). This "clip-and-ship" function allows users to download only the data they are interested in. In this presentation we describe our flexible Web interfaces to the database, which includes various ancillary layers, facilitates enhanced analysis of glacier systems, their distribution, and their impacts on other Earth systems.

  20. Advances in Modelling of Valley Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Surendra

    For glaciological conditions typical of valley glaciers, the central idea of this research lies in understanding the effects of high-order mechanics and parameterizing these for simpler dynamical and statistical methods in glaciology. As an effective tool for this, I formulate a new brand of dynamical models that describes distinct physical processes of deformational flow. Through numerical simulations of idealized glacier domains, I calculate empirical correction factors to capture the effects of longitudinal stress gradients and lateral drag for simplified dynamical models in the plane-strain regime. To get some insights into real glacier dynamics, I simulate Haig Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. As geometric effects overshadow dynamical effects in glacier retreat scenarios, it appears that high-order physics are not very important for Haig Glacier, particularly for evaluating its fate. Indeed, high-order and reduced models all predict that Haig Glacier ceases to exist by about AD2080 under ongoing climate warming. This finding regarding the minimal role of high-order physics may not be broadly valid, as it is not true in advance scenarios at Haig Glacier and it may not be representative of other glaciological settings. Through a 'bulk' parameterization of high-order physics, geometric and climatic settings, sliding conditions, and transient effects, I also provide new insights into the volume-area relation, a widely used statistical method for estimating glacier volume. I find a steady-state power-law exponent of 1:46, which declines systematically to 1:38 after 100 years of sustained retreat, in good accord with the observations. I recommend more accurate scaling relations through characterization of individual glacier morphology and degree of climatic disequilibrium. This motivates a revision of global glacier volume estimates, of some urgency in sea level rise assessments.

  1. Tracking glaciers with the Alaska seismic network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    More than 40 years ago it was known that calving glaciers in Alaska created unmistakable seismic signals that could be recorded tens and hundreds of kilometers away. Their long monochromatic signals invited studies that foreshadowed the more recent surge in glacier seismology. Beyond a handful of targeted studies, these signals have remained a seismic novelty. No systematic attempt has been made to catalog and track glacier seismicity across the years. Recent advances in understanding glacier sources, combined with the climate significance of tidewater glaciers, have renewed calls for comprehensive tracking of glacier seismicity in coastal Alaska. The Alaska Earthquake Center has included glacier events in its production earthquake catalog for decades. Until recently, these were best thought of as bycatch—accidental finds in the process of tracking earthquakes. Processing improvements a decade ago, combined with network improvements in the past five years, have turned this into a rich data stream capturing hundreds of events per year across 600 km of the coastal mountain range. Though the source of these signals is generally found to be iceberg calving, there are vast differences in behavior between different glacier termini. Some glaciers have strong peaks in activity during the spring, while others peak in the late summer or fall. These patterns are consistent over years pointing to fundamental differences in calving behavior. In several cases, changes in seismic activity correspond to specific process changes observed through other means at particular glacier. These observations demonstrate that the current network is providing a faithful record of the dynamic behavior of several glaciers in coastal Alaska. With this as a starting point, we examine what is possible (and not possible) going forward with dedicated detection schemes.

  2. Ground-penetrating radar observations of winter snow accumulation on Alaska Glaciers.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusmeroli, A.; Wolken, G. J.; Arendt, A. A.; Campbell, S. W.; O'Neel, S.; Marshall, H.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the spatial variability of winter snow in glacierized watersheds is vital for estimating glacier changes, forecasting freshwater delivery to riverine and marine ecosystems and informing Earth loading models for studies of seasonal variations in crustal uplift. Accurately reproducing snow distribution within glacier-models still remains a challenge due to the difficulty obtaining in-situ measurements and large local or regional variability in snow thicknesses. Between March and July 2012, high frequency (200-500 MHz) Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys designed to obtain spatially distributed measurements of snow accumulation, were collected on a number of different glaciers in south-central Alaska, USA. The surveys span a range of climatic zones including continental and maritime glaciers. Several modes of travel were employed, including helicopter-borne, snowmobile and ski-towed. Preliminary results from the Valdez Glacier suggest that the agreement between 200 MHz-GPR-derived snow-depth and 17 manually measured snow-depths is ± 10% using an estimated radar velocity of 0.22 m/ns, as one example. Additionally, GPR profiles in the accumulation areas showed firn-stratigraphy of previous summer surfaces, thus, making it possible to distinguish the elevation of the firn line and indicating that in the accumulation zone it may be possible to estimate annual net mass balance if density can be estimated. In this presentation we will illustrate the characteristics of snow accumulation on this suite of Alaska Glaciers as derived by GPR and discuss our results in terms of the usefulness and challenges associated with using GPR to determine the winter and annual mass balance of these glaciers.

  3. Glaciers. Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes.

    PubMed

    Marzeion, Ben; Cogley, J Graham; Richter, Kristin; Parkes, David

    2014-08-22

    The ongoing global glacier retreat is affecting human societies by causing sea-level rise, changing seasonal water availability, and increasing geohazards. Melting glaciers are an icon of anthropogenic climate change. However, glacier response times are typically decades or longer, which implies that the present-day glacier retreat is a mixed response to past and current natural climate variability and current anthropogenic forcing. Here we show that only 25 ± 35% of the global glacier mass loss during the period from 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes. Nevertheless, the anthropogenic signal is detectable with high confidence in glacier mass balance observations during 1991 to 2010, and the anthropogenic fraction of global glacier mass loss during that period has increased to 69 ± 24%. PMID:25123485

  4. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    To date, there has only been little conceptual change research regarding conceptions about glaciers. This study used the theoretical background of embodied cognition to reconstruct different metaphorical concepts with respect to the structure of a glacier. Applying the Model of Educational Reconstruction, the conceptions of students and scientists…

  5. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-08-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams. PMID:23486246

  6. GIS-based glacier inventory of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Wu, L.-Z.

    2003-04-01

    The project of the Glacier Inventory of China initialized in 1979 was just accomplished in 2000. This inventory was complied based on numerous LandSat TM images, aerial photographs, and topographic maps. More than 40 Chinese glaciologists made their great efforts in this work. With the newest statistics from the inventory, there are total 46,928 glaciers in China; the total area is 59,406 km2 and the ice volume is 5,598 km3. We launched a new project to digitize the 11 volumes of published glacier data and all the distribution maps of glaciers in China. Large-scale topographic maps were also used as reference to reconstruct a more accurate geographic coordinate system of the inventory. We paid particularly attention to the data quality control. The properties of both the spatial and attribute data were carefully examined with a few operations by manual and computerized checks. Since the digital inventory lays a baseline for the monitoring of glacier change, we are going to release the database on the Internet and with CD-ROMs. In additions, the second glacier inventory in some glaciered drainages were carried out. Chinese glaciologist are using new generation remote sensors such as ASTER and LandSat ETM+ to identify glacier change in many areas. Preliminary results showed that the change is significant.

  7. Glacier-derived August runoff in northwest Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Adam; Harper, Joel T.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2015-01-01

    The second largest concentration of glaciers in the U.S. Rocky Mountains is located in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. The total glacier-covered area in this region decreased by ∼35% over the past 50 years, which has raised substantial concern about the loss of the water derived from glaciers during the summer. We used an innovative weather station design to collect in situ measurements on five remote glaciers, which are used to parameterize a regional glacier melt model. This model offered a first-order estimate of the summer meltwater production by glaciers. We find, during the normally dry month of August, glaciers in the region produce approximately 25 × 106 m3 of potential runoff. We then estimated the glacier runoff component in five gaged streams sourced from GNP basins containing glaciers. Glacier-melt contributions range from 5% in a basin only 0.12% glacierized to >90% in a basin 28.5% glacierized. Glacier loss would likely lead to lower discharges and warmer temperatures in streams draining basins >20% glacier-covered. Lower flows could even be expected in streams draining basins as little as 1.4% glacierized if glaciers were to disappear.

  8. Linking the spatial variability of glacier mass loss to fjord geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. F.; Tinto, K. J.; Boghosian, A.; Cochran, J. R.; Csatho, B. M.; Bell, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    There is compelling evidence of increasing mass loss of the ice sheets using a diverse set of observations, including increased thinning rates measured from both airborne and satellite altimeters, elevated mass fluxes resulting from the acceleration of outlet glaciers, and mass changes measured directly from satellite gravimetry. A dominant characteristic of observed change in Greenland outlet glaciers is that it is locally random. Numerous studies have revealed a high degree of spatial and temporal variability of outlet glacier mass change. Modeling studies suggest that increased ocean temperatures may be responsible for the observed glacial retreat in Greenland through increased basal melting, leading to increased calving rates, terminus retreat, glacier speedup, and eventually thinning of inland ice. Knowledge of fjord geometry is crucial for ice-ocean interaction because the availability of ocean heat to the ice will be restricted by narrow sills and shallow grounding lines. We investigate whether the variability in observed changes among Greenland glaciers can be partially explained by variation in fjord geometry. Using statistical techniques commonly employed to detect patterns in complex spatial data, we objectively show that mass change in Greenland tidewater glaciers between 2003 and 2009 is indeed mostly spatially incoherent. Except for a few clusters of similar change in the NW and Scoresby Sund regions, there is significant glacier-scale variability in mass loss rates. To understand the drivers of this local variability, we compare fjord bathymetries from all regions of Greenland, modeled using airborne gravimetry measurements from NASA Operation IceBridge flights, to estimates of glaciological change. Specifically, we investigate the correlation between water depths at the grounding line and the dynamic mass loss of tidewater glaciers. In theory, a deep grounding line will allow greater interaction with the warm Atlantic Water observed in most fjords

  9. Debris-covered Himalayan glaciers under a changing climate: observations and modelling of Khumbu Glacier, Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Ann; Quincey, Duncan; Egholm, David; Gibson, Morgan; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram; Porter, Philip; Glasser, Neil

    2016-04-01

    Many mountain glaciers are characterised in their lower reaches by thick layers of rock debris that insulate the glacier surface from solar radiation and atmospheric warming. Supraglacial debris modifies the response of these glaciers to climate change compared to glaciers with clean-ice surfaces. However, existing modelling approaches to predicting variations in the extent and mass balance of debris-covered glaciers have relied on numerical models that represent the processes governing glaciers with clean-ice surfaces, and yield conflicting results. Moreover, few data exist describing the mass balance of debris-covered glaciers and many observations are only made over short periods of time, but these data are needed to constrain and validate numerical modelling experiments. To investigate the impact of supraglacial debris on the response of a glacier to climate change, we developed a numerical model that couples the flow of ice and debris to include important feedbacks between mass balance, ice flow and debris accumulation. We applied this model to a large debris-covered Himalayan glacier - Khumbu Glacier in the Everest region of Nepal. Our results demonstrate that supraglacial debris prolongs the response of the glacier to warming air temperatures and causes lowering of the glacier surface in situ, concealing the magnitude of mass loss when compared with estimates based on glacierised area. Since the Little Ice Age, the volume of Khumbu Glacier has reduced by 34%, while glacier area has reduced by only 6%. We predict a further decrease in glacier volume of 8-10% by AD2100 accompanied by dynamic and physical detachment of the debris-covered tongue from the active glacier within the next 150 years. For five months during the 2014 summer monsoon, we measured temperature profiles through supraglacial debris and proglacial discharge on Khumbu Glacier. We found that temperatures at the ice surface beneath 0.4-0.7 m of debris were sufficient to promote considerable

  10. Englacial Hydrology of Temperate Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, A. G.; Creyts, T. T.

    2015-12-01

    The englacial region of temperate glaciers is generally treated as a passive conveyor of water from the surface to the bed. Consequently, few studies have examined this region and relatively little is known. This is an important issue because englacial processes probably exert a first order control on the distribution of water to the subglacial hydraulic system. Controlling the water distribution probably controls the type of subglacial hydraulic features present and therefore sliding behavior. Certainly, englacial conduits play a major, if not primary, role in conveying water in the ablation zone. In regions of over-deepenings, areas highly crevassed, or in the accumulation zone, the importance of englacial conduits is less clear. Field studies have shown that intersecting englacial passageways in these regions are relatively common, implying that large water fluxes can drain efficiently through a network of fractures. Hypothetically, efficient drainage systems composed of englacial conduits develop in response to point input of large surface water fluxes. Where input is small and distributed, common to highly crevassed areas or the accumulation zone, water is probably routed through a network of englacial fractures. Glacier geometry may also play a role. Conduits may not develop in the over-deepened (closed basins) regions of a glacier requiring another flow pathway. That englacial fractures exist and can convey water presents a promising alternative. Measured rates of flow in fractures strongly suggest laminar conditions and a sufficient fracture density exists to accommodate the estimated water flux generated upstream by surface melt. The slow flow rates do not generate sufficient viscous heat to compensate expected rates of closure by freezing, however field observations and seismic evidence point to spontaneous fracture formation at depth that must regenerate the fracture network. It is unfortunate that englacial investigations are ignored in favor of

  11. Improved log(gf) Values Of Selected Lines In Mn I And Mn II For Studies Of Non-equilibrium Effects In Stellar Photospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Den Hartog, Elizabeth; Lawler, J. E.; Sobeck, J.; Sneden, C.; Cowan, J. J.; Asplund, M.

    2010-01-01

    The work presents transition probabilities with very low uncertainties for a selected set of multiplets of Mn I and Mn II. Multiplets are chosen which are accessible to ground-based observation, are relatively unblended and unsaturated in stellar spectra and which are amenable to accurate branching fraction determination. These lab measurements provide a foundation for studies of non-LTE and 3-dimensional effects in stellar photospheres. We report on new radiative lifetime measurements for 22 levels of Mn I from the e8D, z6P, z6D, z4F, e8S and e6S multiplets and 3 levels of Mn II from the z5P multiplet using time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence on a slow atomic beam. New branching fractions for transitions from these levels, measured using a Fourier-transform spectrometer, are also reported. When combined, these measurements yield transition probabilities for 47 transitions of Mn I and 12 transitions of Mn II. Comparisons are made to data from the literature and to simple Russell-Saunders or LS theory. Final recommended values, which are weighted averages of all available modern measurements and in some cases LS theory, are given for the transition probabilities. These recommended log(gf) values are accurate to +/- 0.02 dex with high ( 2 sigma) confidence. The companion paper applies these new lab results to studies of departures from both LTE in Mn I and Saha equilibrium between Mn I and Mn II on a variety of stellar photospheres. This research is supported in part by NASA Grant NNX08AQ09G and NSF Grant AST-0907732.

  12. Englacial Drainage Systems in Himalayan Debris-covered Glaciers, and Implications for Supraglacial Lake Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D.; Gulley, J.; Thompson, S. S.

    2011-12-01

    Rates of mass loss on Himalayan debris-covered glaciers are controlled by a complex web of processes, including melting below debris, melting of exposed ice, and calving around supraglacial lakes. Ablation rates around lakes are typically one to two orders of magnitude higher than beneath supraglacial debris, so the extent and lifespan of supraglacial lakes exert strong controls on rates of glacier downwasting. Using a combination of speleological observations of englacial conduits and ASTER image analysis, we show that there is a close coupling between lake evolution and englacial hydrology. Surface meltwater on Himalayan glaciers commonly drains via shallow englacial conduits, formed by the incision of surface streams that become isolated from the surface by roof closure ('cut and closure'). Cut-and-closure conduits are typically beneath less than 30 m of ice, where low rates of creep closure allow them to persist for several years even after active enlargement has ceased. How conduits affect lake life cycle depends on whether lakes are 'perched' or at 'base level'. Moraine dams at debris-covered glacier snouts determine hydrological base level for the drainage system. Lakes at elevations above the moraine dam (perched lakes) can drain when connections are made to active or relict englacial conduits, which offer lines of high hydraulic conductivity through otherwise impermeable ice. Englacial drainage of warm lake water can then cause significant conduit enlargement, roof collapse and glacier surface subsidence. Regions of subsidence, particularly where bare ice is exposed, can then act as nuclei for the formation of new supraglacial lakes. In contrast, base-level lakes cannot drain englacially. Conduits connecting with base-level lakes, however, can encourage rapid lake growth and integration, by providing lines of enhanced internal ablation. Links between englacial and supraglacial hydrology and conduit formation and collapse result in strongly non-linear mass

  13. The unfolding instability of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf and its tributary glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazendar, A.; Borstad, C. P.; Scheuchl, B.; Rignot, E. J.; Seroussi, H.

    2014-12-01

    The disintegration of the northern and central parts of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002 demonstrated the strong interaction between ice shelves and their tributary glaciers. The surviving southern part of the ice shelf and its glaciers have hitherto received less attention, based on the assumption that the remnant ice shelf continued to provide the glaciers with sufficient buttressing. Our findings here contradict this view, revealing significant changes since 2002 or earlier from IceBridge altimetry measurements and InSAR-derived flow speeds. The surfaces of Leppard and Flask glaciers directly upstream of their grounding lines lowered persistently 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 in particular started accelerating as early as 2000 almost doubling its flow speed by 2012. These changes are associated with a reduction in the buttressing afforded by the remnant ice shelf and an increase in its fracture as shown by our numerical modeling. One large rift in particular, only 12 km downstream of the grounding line, is revealed by the observations and modeling to be rapidly extending across the ice shelf, defining the likely front of the next large calving event. The increased fracture and continued flow acceleration of the remnant Larsen B Ice Shelf presage its approaching demise.

  14. Preliminary results of a radio echo sounding survey of the Recovery Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humbert, Angelika; Kleiner, Thomas; Steinhage, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    The Recovery Glacier is draining about 8% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and feeds into the Filchner Ice Shelf. This ice shelf might be subjected in future to increasing basal melting (Hellmer et al., 2012) forcing potentially grounding line retreat. Compared to other areas in Antarctica this glacier is been surveyed very sparse and hence does not allow modeling studies yet. As many large and small subglacial lakes are present underneath this ice stream at different locations along the flow, the question of the influence of the lakes on ice stream genesis and ice stream dynamics arose. For investigating this influence by observation and subsequent modelling, an airborne campaign of the Alfred Wegener Institute was carried out in January 2014, covering the Recovery Ice Stream and two smaller glaciers merging with it, the Ramp Glacier and the Blackwall Glacier. The radar system uses a carrier frequency of 150MHz and a 600ns pulse. The survey includes several flights along flow lines in order to assess the basal roughness of the ice stream. Here we present the first preliminary data analysis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    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 14C-DOC with increasing discharge during the melt season that would suggest mobilization of an aged subglacial carbon store. However, DOC concentration, δ 13C-DOC, Δ 14C-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 14C-DOC of stream samples at the outflow (-181.7 to -355.3‰) was comparable to the Δ 14C-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.

  16. The GAMDAM glacier inventory: a quality-controlled inventory of Asian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuimura, T.; Sakai, A.; Taniguchi, K.; Nagai, H.; Lamsal, D.; Tsutaki, S.; Kozawa, A.; Hoshina, Y.; Takenaka, S.; Omiya, S.; Tsunematsu, K.; Tshering, P.; Fujita, K.

    2015-05-01

    We present a new glacier inventory for high-mountain Asia named "Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge from the Asian Mountains" (GAMDAM). Glacier outlines were delineated manually using 356 Landsat ETM+ scenes in 226 path-row sets from the period 1999-2003, in conjunction with a digital elevation model (DEM) and high-resolution Google EarthTM imagery. Geolocations are largely consistent between the Landsat imagery and DEM due to systematic radiometric and geometric corrections made by the United States Geological Survey. We performed repeated delineation tests and peer review of glacier outlines in order to maintain the consistency and quality of the inventory. Our GAMDAM glacier inventory (GGI) includes 87 084 glaciers covering a total area of 91 263 ± 13 689 km2 throughout high-mountain Asia. In the Hindu Kush-Himalaya range, the total glacier area in our inventory is 93% that of the ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) inventory. Discrepancies between the two regional data sets are due mainly to the effects of glacier shading. In contrast, our inventory represents significantly less surface area (-24%) than the recent global Randolph Glacier Inventory, version 4.0 (RGI), which includes 119 863 ± 9201 km2 for the entirety of high Asian mountains. Likely causes of this disparity include headwall definition, effects of exclusion of shaded glacier areas, glacier recession since the 1970s, and inclusion of seasonal snow cover in the source data of the RGI, although it is difficult to evaluate such effects quantitatively. Further rigorous peer review of GGI will both improve the quality of glacier inventory in high-mountain Asia and provide new opportunities to study Asian glaciers.

  17. Accelerated wastage of the Monte Perdido Glacier in the Spanish Pyrenees during recent stationary climatic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Moreno, J. I.; Revuelto, J.; Rico, I.; Chueca-Cía, J.; Julián, A.; Serreta, A.; Serrano, E.; Vicente-Serrano, S. M.; Azorín-Molina, C.; Alonso-González, E.; García-Ruiz, J. M.

    2015-09-01

    This paper analyzes the evolution of the Monte Perdido Glacier, the third largest glacier of the Pyrenees, from 1981 to the present. We assessed the evolution of the glacier's surface area by use of aerial photographs from 1981, 1999, and 2006, and changes in ice volume by geodetic methods with digital elevation models (DEMs) generated from topographic maps (1981 and 1999), airborne LIDAR (2010) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). We interpreted the changes in the glacier based on climate data from a nearby meteorological station. The results indicate an accelerated degradation of this glacier after 2000, with a rate of ice surface loss that was almost three-times greater from 2000 to 2006 than for earlier periods, and a doubling of the rate of ice volume loss from 1999 to 2010 (the ice depth decreased 8.98 ± 1.8 m, -0.72 ± 0.14 m w.e. yr-1) compared to 1981 to 1999 (the ice depth decreased 8.35 ± 2.12 m, -0.39 ± 0.1 m w.e. yr-1). This loss of glacial ice has continued from 2011 to 2014 (the ice depth decreased 2.1 ± 0.4 m, -0.64 ± 0.36 m w.e. yr-1). Local climatic changes during the study period cannot explain the acceleration in wastage rate of this glacier, because local precipitation and snow accumulation increased slightly, and local air temperature during the ablation period did not significantly increase. The accelerated degradation of this glacier in recent years can be explained by the lack of equilibrium between the glacier and the current climatic conditions. In particular, the average air temperature increased by at least 0.9 °C in this region since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the mid-1800s. Thus, this glacier shrinks dramatically during years with low accumulation or high air temperatures during the ablation season, but cannot recover during years with high accumulation or low air temperatures during the ablation season. The most recent TLS data support this interpretation. These data indicated that two

  18. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers.

    PubMed

    Xu, Baiqing; Cao, Junji; Hansen, James; Yao, Tandong; Joswia, Daniel R; Wang, Ninglian; Wu, Guangjian; Wang, Mo; Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Liu, Xianqin; He, Jianqiao

    2009-12-29

    We find evidence that black soot aerosols deposited on Tibetan glaciers have been a significant contributing factor to observed rapid glacier retreat. Reduced black soot emissions, in addition to reduced greenhouse gases, may be required to avoid demise of Himalayan glaciers and retain the benefits of glaciers for seasonal fresh water supplies. PMID:19996173

  19. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Baiqing; Cao, Junji; Hansen, James; Yao, Tandong; Joswia, Daniel R.; Wang, Ninglian; Wu, Guangjian; Wang, Mo; Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Liu, Xianqin; He, Jianqiao

    2009-01-01

    We find evidence that black soot aerosols deposited on Tibetan glaciers have been a significant contributing factor to observed rapid glacier retreat. Reduced black soot emissions, in addition to reduced greenhouse gases, may be required to avoid demise of Himalayan glaciers and retain the benefits of glaciers for seasonal fresh water supplies. PMID:19996173

  20. Quantifying global warming from the retreat of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Oerlemans, J. )

    1994-04-08

    Records of glacier fluctuations compiled by the World Glacier Monitoring Service can be used to derive an independent estimate of global warming during the last 100 years. Records of different glaciers are made comparable by a two-step scaling procedure; one allowing for differences in glacier geometry, the other for differences in climate sensitivity. The retreat of glaciers during the last 100 years appears to be coherent over the globe. On the basis of modeling of the climate sensitivity of glaciers, the observed glacier retreat can be explained by a linear warming trend of 0.66 kelvin per century.

  1. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G.

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers. PMID:25941518

  2. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers. PMID:25941518

  3. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Slow geomorphologic evolution of rock glaciers in marginal periglacial environment of Southern Carpathians (Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Necsoiu, M.; Onaca, A.; Ardelean, F.; Sirbu, F.; Magori, B.

    2015-12-01

    The development of remote sensing techniques in the last several decades now permits surveying areas that are difficult to access and allows capturing geomorphological processes that operate at low deformation rates. In marginal periglacial environments, where the kinematics of the rock glaciers are defined by slow flow, specific remote sensing techniques (e.g., optical image cross-correlation techniques or multitemporal interferometry) are preferred because they are capable of providing ground displacement accuracies on the order of a few mm. Recent multi-temporal image analysis of high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery of the Retezat Mountains (in the southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania) rock glaciers revealed very low rates of deformation and confirmed that active rock glaciers still exist here. These findings were supported by geophysical investigations (electrical resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar) and thermal monitoring, which confirmed the patchy distribution of permafrost within the investigated rock glaciers. Given the high depth of the active layer (between 5 and 10 m) and the limited thickness of the ground ice bodies, the permafrost in the Retezat Mountains was assumed to exist in marginal conditions. The sporadic permafrost from the alpine zone of the southern Carpathians is extremely sensitive to environmental changes and responds directly to air temperature fluctuations. As an example, geophysical investigations between 2007 and 2014 revealed significant ground ice disappearance from one of the studied rock glaciers (i.e., Pietrele) as a result of rising air temperature. Optical satellite data revealed that the disappearance of ground ice led to accelerated movement of this rock glacier after 2007. The variability of horizontal movement is strongly controlled by the ground thermal regime. The results confirm the hypothesis that permafrost is not in equilibrium with the present-day climate in the Romanian

  5. Glacier Monitoring: Opportunities, Accomplishments, and Limitations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, M. F.; Dyurgerov, M. B.

    2001-12-01

    Glaciers and ice caps, exclusive of the two major ice sheets, have been monitored for more than a century. Initially sparked by interest in the effect of glaciers on the landscape and their sensitive response to changes of climate, glacier study is now additionally motivated because of impacts on cold-regions ecology and hydrology as well as global sea-level rise. Glacier observations in many areas provide the only real data on climate change in the mountains. A substantial number of mass balance programs were initiated during the 1960s that improved our understanding of spatial and temporal changes in climate, and provided a basis for projecting future changes to glaciers and sea level. These results show a general increase in both snow accumulation and ice melting during the last 40 years (but with net wastage predominating), and a marked increase in the sensitivity of ice wastage to air temperature since the late 1980s. The World Data Center system provided unrestricted exchange of data among glaciologists during the `cold war.' The World Glacier Monitoring Service together with the National Snow and Ice Data Center and several individuals now provide ready access to glacier data. Remaining problems include inadequate access to digital data, a size bias to small glaciers, some traditional methodologies which limit the usefulness of the results, slow incorporation of new technologies, complexity of incorporating glacier dynamics in mass balance analysis, and insufficient attention by some investigators to reporting observational error. Perhaps the most difficult problems are the extension of limited data to the synthesis of broad regional or global conclusions, and a general dwindling of support for monitoring activities.

  6. Timing of recent accelerations of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Joughin, I.; Rignot, E.; Rosanova, C.E.; Lucchitta, B.K.; Bohlander, J.

    2003-01-01

    We have used Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data and sequential Landsat imagery to identify and temporally constrain two acceleration events on Pine Island Glacier (PIG). These two events are separated by a period of at least seven years (1987 - 1994). The change in discharge between two flux gates indicates that the majority of the increase in discharge associated with the second acceleration originates well inland (>80 km) from the grounding line. An analysis indicates that changes in driving stress consistent with observed thinning rates are sufficient in magnitude to explain much of the acceleration.

  7. Classification of debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers in the Andes of central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  8. A graph-based approach to glacier flowline extraction: An application to glaciers in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Moine, Nicolas; Gsell, Pierre-Stéphane

    2015-12-01

    In this paper we propose a new, graph-based approach to glacier segmentation and flowline extraction. The method, which requires a set of glacier contours and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), consists in finding an optimum branching that connects a set of vertices belonging to the topological skeleton of each glacier. First, the challenges associated with glacier flowline extraction are presented. Then, the three main steps of the method are described: the skeleton extraction and pruning algorithm, the definition and computation of a travel cost between all pairs of skeleton vertices, and the identification of the directed minimum spanning tree in the resulting directed graph. The method, which is mainly designed for valley glaciers, is applied to glaciers in Switzerland.

  9. 10Be surface exposure dating of rock glaciers in Larstigtal, Tyrol, Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivy-Ochs, S.; Kerschner, H.; Maisch, M.; Christl, M.; Kubik, P. W.; Schluchter, C.

    2009-04-01

    In the context of Lateglacial and Holocene climate change research, rock glaciers (creeping mountain permafrost) also play an important role. They are phenomena of discontinuous alpine permafrost and as such good indicators for the mean annual air temperature for the period they are active. We have 10Be surface exposure dated boulders from two relict rock glaciers in Larstigtal, Austria. This is the type area for a postulated mid-Holocene cold period called the Larstig oscillation. The period of activity was suggested to be of similar age as the mid-Holocene Frosnitz advance of glaciers in the Venediger Mountains farther to the east (Patzelt and Bortenschlager, 1973). For rock glaciers of this size to be active at 2200 m a.s.l. in Larstig valley would have required a significant drop in temperatures, thus a marked mid-Holocene cold pulse, for at least several centuries at around 7.0 ka. In contrast, our exposure dates show that the rock glaciers stabilized during the early Preboreal (Ivy-Ochs et al., submitted). We see no distinct pattern with respect to exposure age and boulder location on the rock glaciers. This implies that for our site the blocks did not acquire inherited 10Be during exposure in the free rock face, in the talus at the base of the slope, or during transport on the rock glaciers. Our data point to final stabilization of the Larstigtal rock glaciers in the earliest Holocene and not in the middle Holocene. Combined with data from other archives (Nicolussi et al., 2005), there appears to have been no time window in the middle Holocene long enough for rock glaciers of the size and at the elevation of the Larstig site to have formed. Ivy-Ochs, S., Kerschner, H., Maisch, M., Christl, M., Kubik, P.W., Schlüchter, C., Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier variations in the European Alps. Quaternary Science Reviews (submitted). Nicolussi, K., Kaufmann, M., Patzelt, G., van der Plicht, J., Thurner, A., 2005. Holocene tree-line variability in the Kauner

  10. Step-wise changes in glacier flow speed coincide with calving and glacial earthquakes at Helheim Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nettles, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Elósegui, P.; Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.; Davis, J. L.; Andersen, M. L.; de Juan, J.; Khan, S. A.; Stenseng, L.; Ekström, G.; Forsberg, R.

    2008-12-01

    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.

  11. Interaction between glacier and glacial lake in the Bhutan, Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Recession of mountain glaciers in the Himalayas has been reported in the context of global warming. Associated with the glacier retreat, supraglacial lakes have been formed on the termini of debris-covered glaciers. Although it has been said that lake-terminating glaciers flow faster than land-terminating glaciers, observational evidence was scarce. We observationally investigated the influence of the presence/absence of glacial lakes on changes in surface elevation through glacier dynamics in two debris-covered glaciers, Thorthormi Glacier (land-terminating) and Lugge Glacier (lake-terminating), in the Lunana region, the Bhutan Himalaya. 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 was much more negative than that of the land-terminating Thorthormi Glacier. Considering almost flat slope and location at lower elevation, however, larger ice thinning rate of the Thorthormi Glacier should have been expected than the Lugge Glacier. We measured surface flow speed of the two glaciers during 2009-2010 by multitemporal orthorectified The Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) images of ALOS. Surface flow speed of the Thorthormi Glacier was faster in the upper reaches and reduced toward the downstream. In contrast, the flow speed at the Lugge Glacier measured in the same periods was greatest at the lower most part. Observed spatial distribution of surface flow speed at both glaciers are evaluated by a two-dimensional numerical flow model. The model shows that contribution of basal sliding to surface flow velocity is large in the lower part of both glaciers. Particularly in the Thorthormi Glacier, approximately 100% of surface flow velocity attribute to basal sliding. Calculated emergence velocity at the Thorthormi Glacier is larger than that at the Lugge Glacier. This result suggests that decreasing in flow

  12. Glacier crevasses: Observations, models, and mass balance implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colgan, William; Rajaram, Harihar; Abdalati, Waleed; McCutchan, Cheryl; Mottram, Ruth; Moussavi, Mahsa S.; Grigsby, Shane

    2016-03-01

    We review the findings of approximately 60 years of in situ and remote sensing studies of glacier crevasses, as well as the three broad classes of numerical models now employed to simulate crevasse fracture. The relatively new insight that mixed-mode fracture in local stress equilibrium, rather than downstream advection alone, can introduce nontrivial curvature to crevasse geometry may merit the reinterpretation of some key historical observation studies. In the past three decades, there have been tremendous advances in the spatial resolution of satellite imagery, as well as fully automated algorithms capable of tracking crevasse displacements between repeat images. Despite considerable advances in developing fully transient three-dimensional ice flow models over the past two decades, both the zero stress and linear elastic fracture mechanics crevasse models have remained fundamentally unchanged over this time. In the past decade, however, multidimensional and transient formulations of the continuum damage mechanics approach to simulating ice fracture have emerged. The combination of employing damage mechanics to represent slow upstream deterioration of ice strength and fracture mechanics to represent rapid failure at downstream termini holds promise for implementation in large-scale ice sheet models. Finally, given the broad interest in the sea level rise implications of recent and future cryospheric change, we provide a synthesis of 10 mechanisms by which crevasses can influence glacier mass balance.

  13. Adiabatic evolution of plasma equilibrium

    PubMed Central

    Grad, H.; Hu, P. N.; Stevens, D. C.

    1975-01-01

    A new theory of plasma equilibrium is introduced in which adiabatic constraints are specified. This leads to a mathematically nonstandard structure, as compared to the usual equilibrium theory, in which prescription of pressure and current profiles leads to an elliptic partial differential equation. Topologically complex configurations require further generalization of the concept of adiabaticity to allow irreversible mixing of plasma and magnetic flux among islands. Matching conditions across a boundary layer at the separatrix are obtained from appropriate conservation laws. Applications are made to configurations with planned islands (as in Doublet) and accidental islands (as in Tokamaks). Two-dimensional, axially symmetric, helically symmetric, and closed line equilibria are included. PMID:16578729

  14. Thermal structure of Svalbard glaciers and implications for thermal switch models of glacier surging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevestre, Heïdi; Benn, Douglas I.; Hulton, Nicholas R. J.; Bælum, Karoline

    2015-10-01

    Switches between cold- and warm-based conditions have long been invoked to explain surges of High Arctic glaciers. Here we compile existing and new data on the thermal regime of six glaciers in Svalbard to test the applicability of thermal switch models. Two of the large glaciers of our sample are water terminating while one is land terminating. All three have a well-known surge history. They have a thick basal layer of temperate ice, superimposed by cold ice. A cold terminus forms during quiescence but is mechanically removed by calving on tidewater glaciers. The other three glaciers are relatively small and are either entirely cold or have a diminishing warm core. All three bear evidence of former warm-based thermal regimes and, in two cases, surge-like behavior during the Little Ice Age. In Svalbard, therefore, three types of glaciers have switched from slow to fast flow: (1) small glaciers that underwent thermal cycles during and following the Little Ice Age (switches between cold- and warm-based conditions), (2) large terrestrial glaciers which remain warm based throughout the entire surge cycle but develop cold termini during quiescence, and (3) large tidewater glaciers that remain warm based throughout the surge cycle. Our results demonstrate that thermal switching cannot explain the surges of large glaciers in Svalbard. We apply the concept of enthalpy cycling to the spectrum of surge and surge-like behavior displayed by these glaciers and demonstrate that all Svalbard surge-type glaciers can be understood within a single conceptual framework.

  15. Points of Equilibrium in Electrostatic Fields.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Peter J.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses the electric field line pattern for four equal charges of the same sign placed at the corners of a square. The electric field intensity and the point of equilibrium are interpreted, taking into account three dimensions. (HM)

  16. Implementation of a new atomic basis for the He I equilibrium line ratio technique for electron temperature and density diagnostic in the SOL for H-mode plasmas in DIII-D

    SciTech Connect

    Burgos, JMM; Schmitz, O.; Unterberg, Ezekial A; Loch, S. D.; Ballance, C. P.

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating the ratio of selected helium lines allows for measurement of electron densities and temperatures. This technique is applied for L-mode plasmas at TEXTOR (O. Schmitz et al., Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 50 (2008) 115004). We report our first efforts to extend it to H-mode plasma diagnostics in DIII-D. This technique depends on the accuracy of the atomic data used in the collisional radiative model (CRM). We present predictions for the electron temperatures and densities by using recently calculated R-Matrix With Pseudostates (RMPS) and Convergent Close-Coupling (CCC) electron-impact excitation and ionization data. We include contributions from higher Rydberg states by means of the projection matrix. These effects become significant for high electron density conditions, which are typical in H-mode. We apply a non-equilibrium model for the time propagation of the ionization balance to predict line emission profiles from experimental H-mode data from DIII-D. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Erosion and transport by Byrd Glacier, Antarctica during the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licht, K. J.; Palmer, E. F.

    2013-02-01

    Glacial till samples from seven, modern-Holocene Byrd Glacier moraines were characterized using particle size analysis, sand petrography and detrital zircon geochronology and compared to Ross Sea tills deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum. The goal was to identify the paleoflow path for Byrd Glacier and assess the use of multiple provenance techniques. The coarse sand fraction of Byrd Glacier tills is dominated by lithic fragments of adjacent bedrock outcrops, except samples from the Lonewolf Nunataks, which have a higher proportion of mineral to lithic fragments, as well as a recognizable exotic component. Cluster analysis shows that Byrd Glacier tills, with the exception of the two Lonewolf Nunataks sites, do not cluster strongly with Ross Sea samples because they have a higher proportion of lithic fragments. This indicates that comminution must be an active subglacial process beneath East Antarctic outlet glaciers. Byrd Glacier tills are also typically coarser grained that Ross Sea tills and their maturity is a reflection of both glacial processes and rock type. Measured U/Pb ages of detrital zircons from Byrd Glacier tills range from Triassic to Archean (240-3540 Ma) with a dominance of grains 530-600 Ma. Ross Sea till samples show spatial variability in U/Pb age distributions, with the core sites west of the 180° longitude line showing similarity to most Byrd Glacier tills, whereas core NBP9407-39, east of 180° long., is dominated by ˜100 Ma grains. Ross Sea tills also contain a recognizable detrital zircon fraction eroded inland of the Transantarctic Mountains. Both provenance methods indicate that the ice flow line for Byrd Glacier during the LGM was to the east of Ross Island and extended on either side of Ross Bank, with the majority of ice flowing to the Ross Sea's Central Basin. Our analysis shows that sand petrography and detrital zircon U/Pb age spectra provide complementary datasets that produce similar ice flow reconstructions and reveal

  18. Bed topography under Antarctic outlet glaciers revealed by mass conservation and radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Seroussi, H. L.

    2015-12-01

    Bed topography, together with ice thickness, is an essential characteristic of glaciers and ice sheets for many glaciological applications. Despite significant technical advances, it remains challenging to measure ice thickness remotely, especially in deep troughs occupied by outlet glaciers. The method of mass conservation, that combines radar-derived ice thickness data with high-resolution InSAR-derived ice velocity vectors, provides an effective method for generating a high-resolution bed from sparse radar sounding profiles, and has been successfully applied along the coast of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Applying the same technique to the coast of the Antarctic Ice Sheet presents a number of challenges. The coverage of ice thickness data collected in Antarctica, for example, is much less comprehensive compared to Greenland, especially in the wake of NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) Mission in 2010-2015. Here, we combine radar sounder data collected by various centers (OIB/Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, the British Antarctic Survey and University of Texas) acquired between 1998 and 2011, with high-resolution ice motion data from interferometric SAR (ALOS PALSAR, RADARSAT-2 and Envisat ASAR) to reconstruct bed topography beneath major Antarctic outlet glaciers at an unprecedented level of detail. The results reveal some important features not known previously at that level of detail and shed light on the vulnerability of these glaciers in a warming climate. We find for example that Recovery glacier is deeper than in previous mappings and has long grooves parallel to the flow direction. Denman Glacier, East Antarctica, flow along a deep, narrow trough more than 2,000 m below sea level that extends more than 100 km inland. We find ridges and bumps in the vicinity of the grounding line of Thwaites Glacier, in the Amundsen Sea sector, that are consistent with the pattern of grounding line retreat. We have also a new mapping of the trough upstream of David

  19. Himalayan glaciers: understanding contrasting patterns of glacier behavior using multi-temporal satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racoviteanu, A.

    2014-12-01

    High rates of glacier retreat for the last decades are often reported, and believed to be induced by 20th century climate changes. However, regional glacier fluctuations are complex, and depend on a combination of climate and local topography. Furthermore, in ares such as the Hindu-Kush Himalaya, there are concerns about warming, decreasing monsoon precipitation and their impact on local glacier regimes. Currently, the challenge is in understanding the magnitude of feedbacks between large-scale climate forcing and small-scale glacier behavior. Spatio-temporal patterns of glacier distribution are still llimited in some areas of the high Hindu-Kush Himalaya, but multi-temporal satellite imagery has helped fill spatial and temporal gaps in regional glacier parameters in the last decade. Here I present a synopsis of the behavior of glaciers across the Himalaya, following a west to east gradient. In particular, I focus on spatial patterns of glacier parameters in the eastern Himalaya, which I investigate at multi-spatial scales using remote sensing data from declassified Corona, ASTER, Landsat ETM+, Quickbird and Worldview2 sensors. I also present the use of high-resolution imagery, including texture and thermal analysis for mapping glacier features at small scale, which are particularly useful in understanding surface trends of debris-covered glaciers, which are prevalent in the Himalaya. I compare and contrast spatial patterns of glacier area and élévation changes in the monsoon-influenced eastern Himalaya (the Everest region in the Nepal Himalaya and Sikkim in the Indian Himalaya) with other observations from the dry western Indian Himalaya (Ladakh and Lahul-Spiti), both field measurements and remote sensing-based. In the eastern Himalaya, results point to glacier area change of -0.24 % ± 0.08% per year from the 1960's to the 2006's, with a higher rate of retreat in the last decade (-0.43% /yr). Debris-covered glacier tongues show thinning trends of -30.8 m± 39 m

  20. Climatology of Andean glaciers: A framework to understand glacier response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagredo, E. A.; Lowell, T. V.

    2012-04-01

    Recent glacial and climate models suggest that glaciers located in contrasting climates could respond with different magnitudes to identical climatic perturbations. This implies that to understand the response of glaciers to a particular climate perturbation or to compare glacial fluctuations between different regions, climate conditions that permit glaciers to exist must be taken into account. In this study we systematize, classify, and identify the spatial distribution of the climates that permit the occurrence of present-day glaciers in the climatically diverse Andes. A first approximation suggests that a sample of 234 Andean glaciers exist under three distinctive combinations of temperature and precipitation conditions: i) cold and dry, ii) intermediate, and iii) warm and wet conditions. Cluster analysis (CA) and Principal Component analysis (PCA) of temperature, precipitation, and humidity reveal seven climatic configurations that support present-day Andean glaciers and suggest that these configurations have a distinctive geographical distribution. The groups are: 1) inner tropics and Tierra del Fuego, 2) wetter outer tropics, 3) drier outer tropics, 4) subtropics, 5) central Chile-Argentina (semi-arid), 6) northern and central Patagonia, and 7) southern Patagonia. This classification provides a basis to examine the spatial variability of glacier sensitivity to climate change, to unravel the causes of past glacial fluctuations, to understand the climatic signals driving present-day glacier fluctuations, and perhaps to predict the response of glaciers to future climate changes.

  1. A Revised Glacier Inventory of Bhaga Basin Himachal Pradesh, India : Current Status and Recent Glacier Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birajdar, F.; Venkataraman, G.; Bahuguna, I.; Samant, H.

    2014-11-01

    Himalayan glaciers show large uncertainty regarding their present and future state due to their sensitive reaction towards change in climatic condition. Himalayan glaciers are unique as they are located in tropical, high altitude regions, predominantly valley type and many are covered with debris. The great northern plains of India sustain on the perennial melt of glaciers meeting the water requirements of agriculture, industries, domestic sector even in the months of summer when large tracts of the country go dry. Therefore, it is important to monitor and assess the state of snow and glaciers and to know the sustainability of glaciers in view of changing global scenarios of climate and water security of the nation. Any information pertaining to Himalayan glaciers is normally difficult to be obtained by conventional means due to its harsh weather and rugged terrains. Due to the ecological diversity and geographical vividness, major part of the Indian Himalaya is largely un-investigated. Considering the fact that Himalayan glaciers are situated in a harsh environment, conventional techniques of their study is challenging and difficult both in terms of logistics and finances whereas the satellite remote sensing offers a potential mode for monitoring glaciers in long term. In order to gain an updated overview of the present state of the glacier cover and its changes since the previous inventories, an attempt has been made to generate a new remotesensing- derived glacier inventory on 1:50,000 scale for Bhaga basin (N32°28'19.7'' - N33°0'9.9'' ; E76°56'16.3'' - E77°25'23.7'' ) Western Himalaya covering an area of 1695.63 km2. having 231 glaciers and occupying glacierized area of 385.17 ±3.71 km2. ranging from 0.03 km2. to 29.28 km2. Glacier inventory has been carried out using high resolution IRS P6 LISS III data of 2011, ASTER DEM and other ancillary data. Specific measurements of mapped glacier features are the inputs for generating the glacier inventory data

  2. The spatial and temporal evolution of the thinning of Pine Island Glacier 1995 - 2006.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wingham, D. J.; Wallis, D. W.; Shepherd, A.

    2009-04-01

    We have derived the acceleration in elevation change over Pine Island Glacier drainage basin from ERS-2 and Envisat radar altimetry. Each time-series is individually cross calibrated between the two satellites to produce continuous time-series from 1995 to 2006. The region of lightly grounded ice above the grounding line is extending upstream. The thinning rate in the largest tributary to Pine Island Glacier increased 17 times between 1995 and 2006. Thinning is now contributing to a mass loss equivalent to a ~ 16 % imbalance. Accelerated thinning is spatially correlated with InSAR ice flow velocity measurements in the main trunk and in the tributaries to the South of the main trunk of the glacier. If the acceleration continues at its present rate, which is of course uncertain, the main trunk of PIG will be afloat within 200 years.

  3. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Twila; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben; Broeke, Michiel R.; Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Usher, Mika

    2014-10-01

    Predicting Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss due to ice dynamics requires a complete understanding of spatiotemporal velocity fluctuations and related control mechanisms. We present a 5 year record of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 marine-terminating glaciers distributed around the ice sheet margin, along with ice-front position and runoff data sets for each glacier. Among glaciers with substantial speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position. The other two patterns are more prevalent and appear to be meltwater controlled. These patterns reveal differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. The difference may be determined by meltwater availability, which in some regions may be influenced by perennial firn aquifers. Our results highlight the need to understand subglacial meltwater availability on an ice sheet-wide scale to predict future dynamic changes.

  4. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured

    PubMed Central

    Aschwanden, Andy; Fahnestock, Mark A.; Truffer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate due to increased surface melt and flow acceleration in outlet glaciers. Quantifying future dynamic contributions to sea level requires accurate portrayal of outlet glaciers in ice sheet simulations, but to date poor knowledge of subglacial topography and limited model resolution have prevented reproduction of complex spatial patterns of outlet flow. Here we combine a high-resolution ice-sheet model coupled to uniformly applied models of subglacial hydrology and basal sliding, and a new subglacial topography data set to simulate the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Flow patterns of many outlet glaciers are well captured, illustrating fundamental commonalities in outlet glacier flow and highlighting the importance of efforts to map subglacial topography. Success in reproducing present day flow patterns shows the potential for prognostic modelling of ice sheets without the need for spatially varying parameters with uncertain time evolution. PMID:26830316

  5. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Perspective with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska is considered the classic example of a piedmont glacier. Piedmont glaciers occur where valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto broad lowlands, are no longer laterally confined, and spread to become wide lobes. Malaspina Glacier is actually a compound glacier, formed by the merger of several valley glaciers, the most prominent of which seen here are Agassiz Glacier (left) and Seward Glacier (right). In total, Malaspina Glacier is up to 65 kilometers (40 miles) wide and extends up to 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the mountain front nearly to the sea.

    This perspective view was created from a Landsat satellite image and an elevation model generated by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Landsat views both visible and infrared light, which have been combined here into a color composite that generally shows glacial ice in light blue, snow in white, vegetation in green, bare rock in grays and tans, and the ocean (foreground) in dark blue. The back (northern) edge of the data set forms a false horizon that meets a false sky.

    Glaciers erode rocks, carry them down slope, and deposit them at the edge of the melting ice, typically in elongated piles called moraines. The moraine patterns at Malaspina Glacier are quite spectacular in that they have huge contortions that result from the glacier crinkling as it gets pushed from behind by the faster-moving valley glaciers.

    Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climatic change. They can grow and thicken with increasing snowfall and/or decreased melting. Conversely, they can retreat and thin if snowfall decreases and/or atmospheric temperatures rise and cause increased melting. Landsat imaging has been an excellent tool for mapping the changing geographic extent of glaciers since 1972. The elevation measurements taken by SRTM in February 2000 now provide a near-global baseline against which future non-polar region glacial thinning or thickening can be assessed.

  6. Stabilizing feedbacks in glacier-bed erosion.

    PubMed

    Alley, R B; Lawson, D E; Larson, G J; Evenson, E B; Baker, G S

    2003-08-14

    Glaciers often erode, transport and deposit sediment much more rapidly than nonglacial environments, with implications for the evolution of glaciated mountain belts and their associated sedimentary basins. But modelling such glacial processes is difficult, partly because stabilizing feedbacks similar to those operating in rivers have not been identified for glacial landscapes. Here we combine new and existing data of glacier morphology and the processes governing glacier evolution from diverse settings to reveal such stabilizing feedbacks. We find that the long profiles of beds of highly erosive glaciers tend towards steady-state angles opposed to and slightly more than 50 per cent steeper than the overlying ice-air surface slopes, and that additional subglacial deepening must be enabled by non-glacial processes. Climatic or glaciological perturbations of the ice-air surface slope can have large transient effects on glaciofluvial sediment flux and apparent glacial erosion rate. PMID:12917679

  7. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured.

    PubMed

    Aschwanden, Andy; Fahnestock, Mark A; Truffer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate due to increased surface melt and flow acceleration in outlet glaciers. Quantifying future dynamic contributions to sea level requires accurate portrayal of outlet glaciers in ice sheet simulations, but to date poor knowledge of subglacial topography and limited model resolution have prevented reproduction of complex spatial patterns of outlet flow. Here we combine a high-resolution ice-sheet model coupled to uniformly applied models of subglacial hydrology and basal sliding, and a new subglacial topography data set to simulate the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Flow patterns of many outlet glaciers are well captured, illustrating fundamental commonalities in outlet glacier flow and highlighting the importance of efforts to map subglacial topography. Success in reproducing present day flow patterns shows the potential for prognostic modelling of ice sheets without the need for spatially varying parameters with uncertain time evolution. PMID:26830316

  8. Insights into the Thwaites Glacier grounding zone from Operation IceBridge aerogravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.; Cochran, J. R.; Elieff, S.; Frearson, N.

    2010-12-01

    Operation IceBridge acquired 1500 km of geophysical data, at 10 km spacing, in front of the Thwaites Glacier grounding line during the 2009 season. The gravity anomalies recorded by the survey have been used to model the bathymetry of the sea floor in front of the glacier, an area inaccessible to previous surveys. The resulting map reveals previously unseen detail of the Thwaites grounding zone, as well as the spatial extent of features that were formerly only known as points affecting the ice surface. The modeled bathymetry in front of Thwaites Glacier is marked by an undulating ridge running sub-parallel to the grounding line, 40 km seaward. The highest peak on the ridge is in contact with the overlying ice shelf, hindering its flow. Ridge elevation decreases to the west, with a maximum ridge depth of 850 m and an average relief of 350 m. This is comparable in scale to the recently identified ridge crossing the channel of nearby Pine Island Glacier (Jenkins et al., 2010). The present-day grounding line of Thwaites appears to be marked by a more subdued ridge, in which we have identified a 20 km wide hollow, to a water depth of 1200 m. Our model shows that this hollow corresponds to a landward bight in the grounding line, in the region through which the fast ice flow of Thwaites Glacier is focused. This correlation was not visible on previous, coarser scale maps of the grounding line, and shows a clear relationship between the bathymetry and ice flow. Gravity inversions have been constrained by nearby marine surveys, satellite images of the ice rise at the peak of the ridge and radar and laser data from the IceBridge survey to constrain ice thickness. The absolute values of predicted bathymetry are dependent on the density of the rocks in the subsurface, for example the presence or absence of volcanic material or loose sediments. Some models of the geology of the survey area are also proposed. Uncertainty of underlying geology may account for ~100 m errors in the

  9. Geostatistical evaluation of satellite radar altimetry for high-resolution mapping of Lambert Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herzfeld, Ute C.; Lingle, Craig S.; Lee, Li-Her

    1993-01-01

    The potential of satellite radar altimetry for high-resolution mapping of Antarctic ice streams is evaluated, using retracked and slope-corrected data from the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf area, East Antarctica, acquired by Geosat during the Exact Repeat Mission (ERM), 1986-89. The map area includes lower Lambert Glacier north of 72.18 deg S, the southern Amery Ice Shelf, and the grounded inland ice sheet on both sides. The Geosat ERM altimetry is found to provide substantially more complete coverage than the 1978 Seasat altimetry, due to improved tracking. Variogram methods are used to estimate the noise levels in the data as a function of position throughout the map area. The spatial structure in the data is quantified by constructing experimental variograms using altimetry from the area of the grounding zone of Lambert Glacier, which is the area chiefly of interest in this topographically complex region. Kriging is employed to invert the along-track height measurements onto a fine-scale 3 km grid. The unsmoothed along-track Geosat ERM altimetry yields spatially continuous maps showing the main topographic features of lower Lambert Glacier, upper Amery Ice Shelf and the adjacent inland ice sheet. The probable position of the grounding line of Lambert Glacier is identified from a break in slope at the grounded ice/floating ice transition. The approximate standard error of the kriged map is inferred from the data noise levels.

  10. Status and trend of the Kittlitz's Murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris in Glacier Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, J.F.; Arimitsu, M.; Drew, G.; Madison, E.N.; Bodkin, J.; Romano, Marc D.

    2011-01-01

    We conducted standardized surveys for marine birds in Glacier Bay in seven years between 1991 and 2008. From our most recent survey, a combination of line- and strip-transect methods completed in 2008, we estimated that 4981 (95% CI 1293-8670) Kittlitz's Murrelets Brachyramphus brevirostris resided in Glacier Bay during the month of June, together with 12 195 (5607-18 783) Marbled Murrelets B. marmoratus. When counts were prorated to assign unidentified Brachyramphus murrelets to species, population estimates increased to 5641 Kittlitz's Murrelets and 13 810 Marbled Murrelets. Our surveys of bird numbers in Glacier Bay between 1991 and 2008 revealed that Kittlitz's Murrelet declined by ???85% during this period. Trend analysis suggested a rate of decline between -10.7% and -14.4% per year. No direct human impacts (e.g., bycatch, oil pollution, vessel disturbance) in our study area could fully account for a decline of this magnitude. Widespread declines of Brachyramphus murrelets and Harbor Seals Phoca vitulina in the Gulf of Alaska during the 1980s-1990s suggest large-scale influences on these marine predators, perhaps related to climate-mediated cycles in food supply. Other natural factors that may impact Glacier Bay populations include predation by avian and terrestrial predators, widespread glacial retreat and its effect on nesting and foraging habitats, and competition for food with marine predators whose abundance in Glacier Bay has increased markedly in recent years (Humpback Whales Megaptera novaeangliae and Steller Sea Lions Eumetopias jubatus).

  11. Towards a complete World Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemp, Michael

    2013-04-01

    The need for an inventory of the world's glaciers evolved during the International Hydrological Decade (1965-74). As a result, guidelines were established in the mid 1970s to compile a worldwide detailed inventory of existing perennial snow and ice masses. Following these international guidelines, several countries started compiling national glacier inventories based primarily on aerial photographs and maps. In the 1980s, the World Glacier Inventory (WGI) database was launched together with a status report about global and regional glacierised surface areas for the second half of the 20th century. These estimates were based on the detailed inventory data together with preliminary estimates of the remaining glacierised regions derived from early satellite imagery. In the late 1990s, the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database was initiated to continue the inventory task with space-borne sensors. In the WGI, glaciers are represented by geographical point coordinates. The GLIMS database includes digital outlines. Both include exact time stamps and tabular information on glacier classifications, length, area, orientation, and altitude range. Both are regularly updated with newly available data: the WGI stores point information for the second half of the 20th century whereas the GLIMS includes digital outlines for the 21st century. Since these detailed glacier inventories are not (yet) globally complete, there have been several efforts towards preliminary estimates of the overall global glacier coverage. A first, well elaborated one was included in the original status report of the WGI, published in 1989, and was refined in 2005 with information from other sources by Dyurgerov and Meier. Other studies used the detailed WGI, or an extended format by Cogley, for regional or global up-scaling of glacier extents. In 2003, Cogley published a global map of percentage glacier coverage per 1°x1° grid box (GGHydro) that is widely used for modeling at global

  12. International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingle, Craig S.

    1990-01-01

    Cryospheric Sciences Program "International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow" (PI, C. Lingle) provided partial support for publication of Annals of Glaciology 36 by the International Glaciological Society. Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed journal. Annals 36, which was published in 2003, contains 39 peer-reviewed and edited papers from the International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow, which was held in Yakutat, Alaska, 10-14 June 2002.

  13. Regional Observations of Alaska Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, E. W.; Forster, R. R.; Hall, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Alaska glaciers contribute more to sea level rise than any other glacierized mountain region in the world. Alaska is loosing ~84 Gt of ice annually, which accounts for ~0.23 mm/yr of SLR (Luthcke et al., 2008). Complex glacier flow dynamics, frequently related to tidewater environments, is the primary cause of such rapid mass loss (Larsen et al., 2007). Indirect observations indicate these complex flow dynamics occur on many glaciers throughout Alaska, but no comprehensive velocity measurements exist. We are working to measure glacier surface velocities throughout Alaska using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offset tracking. This work focuses on the Seward/Malaspina, Bering, Columbia, Kaskawulsh, and Hubbard Glaciers and uses a MODIS land surface temperature "melt-day" product (Hall et al., 2006, 2008) to identify potential links between velocity variability and summertime temperature fluctuations. Hall, D., R. Williams Jr., K. Casey, N. DiGirolamo, and Z. Wan (2006), Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance, Geophysical Research Letters, 33(11). Hall, D., J. Box, K. Casey, S. Hook, C. Shuman, and K. Steffen (2008), Comparison of satellite-derived and in-situ observations of ice and snow surface temperatures over Greenland, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112(10), 3739-3749. Larsen, C. F., R. J. Motyka, A. A. Arendt, K. A. Echelmeyer, and P. E. Geissler (2007), Glacier changes in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia and contribution to sea level rise, J. Geophys. Res. Luthcke, S., A. Arendt, D. Rowlands, J. McCarthy, and C. Larsen (2008), Recent glacier mass changes in the Gulf of Alaska region from GRACE mascon solutions, Journal of Glaciology, 54(188), 767-777.

  14. The fleeting glaciers of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, Jostein; Røthe, Torgeir; van der Bilt, Willem; Paasche, Øyvind

    2015-04-01

    Glaciers and snow are the very symbol of the Arctic, covering large parts of its terrestrial surface throughout the year. The cool temperatures that have allowed for the widespread coverage of glaciers are now trending towards a warmer climate, and with this gradual shift we observe a non-linear response in the cryosphere of which glaciers are a key component. This change is manifested in retreating fronts and an overall thinning. Because the typology of Arctic glaciers is rich and varied, the response pattern to the on-going warming is not unison. Instead we observe large spatial variations due to the critical balance between summer temperature and winter precipitation, but also other factors such as aspect, altitude, geographical location, debris cover and so forth. Even so, minor variations is superimposed on a larger trends which suggests that in a not so distant future, glaciers will probably be less abundant than what has been common for the last 100 years. In the context of the last 10 000 years it is evident that arctic glaciers have changed significantly and they have even been smaller than they are today, which was the case 9000 to 5000 years ago. On Svalbard, three glacier lake sediment records foretell of large past variations, indicating a more articulated sensitivity to climate change than what is commonly perceived for the Arctic cryosphere. Based on the lake sediment studies we will discuss Arctic glaciers sensitivity to decadal to millenium scale climate fluctuations and discuss possible forcing mechanims behind suitable for explaining what we see.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Where glaciers meet water: Subaqueous melt and its relevance to glaciers in various settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truffer, Martin; Motyka, Roman J.

    2016-03-01

    Glacier change is ubiquitous, but the fastest and largest magnitude changes occur in glaciers that terminate in water. This includes the most rapidly retreating glaciers, and also several advancing ones, often in similar regional climate settings. Furthermore, water-terminating glaciers show a large range in morphology, particularly when ice flow into ocean water is compared to that into freshwater lakes. All water-terminating glaciers share the ability to lose significant volume of ice at the front, either through mechanical calving or direct melt from the water in contact. Here we present a review of the subaqueous melt process. We discuss the relevant physics and show how different physical settings can lead to different glacial responses. We find that subaqueous melt can be an important trigger for glacier change. It can explain many of the morphological differences, such as the existence or absence of floating tongues. Subaqueous melting is influenced by glacial runoff, which is largely a function of atmospheric conditions. This shows a tight connection between atmosphere, oceans and lakes, and glaciers. Subaqueous melt rates, even if shown to be large, should always be discussed in the context of ice supply to the glacier front to assess its overall relevance. We find that melt is often relevant to explain seasonal evolution, can be instrumental in shifting a glacier into a different dynamical regime, and often forms a large part of a glacier's mass loss. On the other hand, in some cases, melt is a small component of mass loss and does not significantly affect glacier response.

  17. Glacier speed-up events and water inputs on the lower Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kehrl, L. M.; Horgan, H.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Anderson, B. A.; Dadic, R.

    2012-12-01

    A glacier speed-up event occurs when a water input exceeds the capacity of the subglacial drainage system, and the subglacial water pressure increases. Several studies have suggested that glacier speed-up events do not affect overall glacier motion, as high ice-flow velocities during the event are offset by lower ice-flow velocities after the event due to a more efficient subglacial drainage system. In this study, we combine in-situ velocity measurements with a full Stokes glacier flowline model to explore the temporal and spatial variability in glacier flow on the lower Franz Josef Glacier, Southern Alps, New Zealand. Significant volumes of water enter the Franz Josef Glacier throughout the year due to high rainfall rates and year-round ablation. As a result, we infer that the subglacial drainage system is generally well-developed. In late summer (March) 2011, measured ice-flow velocities increased by up to 75% above background values because of rain events and by up to 32% above background values because of diurnal melt cycles. The observed speed-up events occurred at all survey locations within 4 ± 1 hours after the peak water input. We use a flowline model to show that a spatially-uniform subglacial water pressure, which increased during periods of heavy rain and glacier melt, can reproduce the measured ice-flow velocities across the lower glacier. From our results, we suggest that the variability in water inputs, rather than the mean water input to the system, is the primary driver in glacier speed-up events. If this is the case and the variability in water inputs is maintained, then glacier speed-up events can occur even if the subglacial drainage system is well-developed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Rheology of rock glaciers: a preliminary assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Giardino, J.R.; Vitek, J.D.; Hoskins, E.R.

    1985-01-01

    Movement of rock debris under the influence of gravity, i.e., mass movement, generates a range of phenomena from soil creep, through solifluction,debris flows and rock glaciers to rock falls. Whereas the resultant forms of these phenomena are different, common elements in the mechanics of movement are utilized in the basic interpretation of the processes of formation. Measurements of morphologic variables provide data for deductive analyses of processes that operate too slowly to observe or for processes that generated relict phenomena. External and internal characteristics or rock glacier morphometry and measured rates of motion serve as the basis for the development of a rheological model to explain phenomena classified as rock glaciers. A rock glacier in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado, which exhibits a large number of ridges and furrows and lichen bare fronts of lobes, suggests present day movement. A strain-net established on the surface provides evidence of movement characteristics. These data plus morphologic and fabric data suggest two rheological models to explain the flow of this rock glacier. Model one is based upon perfect plastic flow and model two is based upon stratified fluid movement with viscosity changing with depth. These models permit a better understanding of the movement mechanics and demonstrate that catastrophic events and slow creep contribute to the morphologic characteristics of this rock glacier.

  20. Creating improved ASTER DEMs over glacierized terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

    Digital elevation models (DEMs) produced from ASTER stereo imagery over glacierized terrain frequently contain data voids, which some software packages fill by interpolation. Even when interpolation is applied, the results are often not accurate enough for studies of glacier thickness changes. DEMs are created by automatic cross-correlation between the image pairs, and rely on spatial variability in the digital number (DN) values for this process. Voids occur in radiometrically homogeneous regions, such as glacier accumulation areas covered with uniform snow, due to lack of correlation. The same property that leads to lack of correlation makes possible the derivation of elevation information from photoclinometry, also known as shape-from-shading. We demonstrate a technique to produce improved DEMs from ASTER data by combining the results from conventional cross-correlation DEM-generation software with elevation information produced from shape-from-shading in the accumulation areas of glacierized terrain. The resulting DEMs incorporate more information from the imagery, and the filled voids more accurately represent the glacier surface. This will allow for more accurate determination of glacier hypsometry and thickness changes, leading to better predictions of response to climate change.

  1. Ocean properties, ice-ocean interactions, and calving front morphology at two major west Greenland glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

    Warm sub-polar mode water (SPMW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss of marine terminating glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) yet, the specific mechanisms by which SPMW interacts with these tidewater termini remain uncertain. We present oceanographic data from Rink Glacier (RG) and Store Glacier (SG) fjords, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS into Baffin Bay over the contrasting melt-seasons of 2009 and 2010. Submarine melting occurs wherever ice is in direct contact with warmer water and the consistent presence of 2.8 °C SPMW adjacent to both ice fronts below 400 m throughout all surveys indicates that melting is maintained by a combination of molecular diffusion and large scale, weak convection, diffusional (hereafter called ubiquitous) melting. At shallower depths (50-200 m), cold, brine-enriched water (BEW) formed over winter appears to persist into the summer thereby buffering this melt by thermal insulation. Our surveys reveal four main modes of glacier-ocean interaction, governed by water depth and the rate of glacier runoff water (GRW) injected into the fjord. Deeper than 200 m, submarine melt is the only process observed, regardless of the intensity of GRW or the depth of injection. However, between the surface and 200 m depth, three further distinct modes are observed governed by the GRW discharge. When GRW is weak (≲1000 m3 s-1), upward motion of the water adjacent to the glacier front is subdued, weak forced or free convection plus diffusional submarine melting dominates at depth, and seaward outflow of melt water occurs from the glacier toe to the base of the insulating BEW. During medium intensity GRW (∼1500 m3 s-1), mixing with SPMW yields deep mixed runoff water (DMRW), which rises as a buoyant plume and intensifies local submarine melting (enhanced buoyancy-driven melting). In this case, DMRW typically attains hydrostatic equilibrium and flows seaward at an intermediate depth of

  2. Glacier area and length changes in Norway from repeat inventories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsvold, S. H.; Andreassen, L. M.; Kienholz, C.

    2014-10-01

    In this study, we assess glacier area and length changes in mainland Norway from repeat Landsat TM/ETM+-derived inventories and digitized topographic maps. The multi-temporal glacier inventory consists of glacier outlines from three time ranges: 1947 to 1985 (GIn50), 1988 to 1997 (GI1990), and 1999 to 2006 (GI2000). For the northernmost regions, we include an additional inventory (GI1900) based on historic maps surveyed between 1895 and 1907. Area and length changes are assessed per glacier unit, 36 subregions, and for three main parts of Norway: southern, central, and northern. The results show a decrease in the glacierized area from 2994 km2 in GIn50 to 2668 km2 in GI2000 (total 2722 glacier units), corresponding to an area reduction of -326 km2, or -11% of the initial GIn50 area. The average length change for the full epoch (within GIn50 and GI2000) is -240 m. Overall, the comparison reveals both area and length reductions as general patterns, even though some glaciers have advanced. The three northernmost subregions show the highest retreat rates, whereas the central part of Norway shows the lowest change rates. Glacier area and length changes indicate that glaciers in maritime areas in southern Norway have retreated more than glaciers in the interior, and glaciers in the north have retreated more than southern glaciers. These observed spatial trends in glacier change are related to a combination of several factors such as glacier geometry, elevation, and continentality, especially in southern Norway.

  3. Magnetospheric equilibrium with anisotropic pressure

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, C.Z.

    1991-07-01

    Self-consistent magnetospheric equilibrium with anisotropic pressure is obtained by employing an iterative metric method for solving the inverse equilibrium equation in an optimal flux coordinate system. A method of determining plasma parallel and perpendicular pressures from either analytic particle distribution or particle distribution measured along the satellite's path is presented. The numerical results of axisymmetric magnetospheric equilibrium including the effects of finite beta, pressure anisotropy, and boundary conditions are presented for a bi-Maxwellian particle distribution. For the isotropic pressure cases, the finite beta effect produces an outward expansion of the constant magnetic flux surfaces in relation to the dipole field lines, and along the magnetic field the toroidal ring current is maximum at the magnetic equator. The effect of pressure anisotropy is found to further expand the flux surfaces outward. Along the magnetic field lines the westward ring current can be peak away from the equator due to an eastward current contribution resulting from pressure anisotropy. As pressure anisotropy increases, the peak westward current can become more singular. The outer boundary flux surface has significant effect on the magnetospheric equilibrium. For the outer flux boundary resembling dayside compressed flux surface due to solar wind pressure, the deformation of the magnetic field can be quite different from that for the outer flux boundary resembling the tail-like surface. 23 refs., 17 figs.

  4. Estimating ice-melange properties with repeat UAV surveys over Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toberg, Nick; Ryan, Johnny; Christoffersen, Poul; Snooke, Neal; Todd, Joe; Hubbard, Alun

    2016-04-01

    observed melange height with the model of hydrostatic equilibrium, we estimate the mean thickness to be 126 m. Whereas the mean melange elevation did not change appreciably in our study area, from the date observations started on 13 May until it disintegrated 4-8 June, we found daily melange elevation change up to 140 % of the observed mean value when tabular icebergs were added to it. Observations showed this increase in melange thickness halted calving and that calving did not resume until the melange had thinned and returned to the observed mean value. We found the mean daily speed of the melange to be 46 m/day, from 13 May to 4 June, whereas the terminus of the glacier flowed with a mean daily velocity of 16 m/day while the melange was present. The higher mean speed of the melange is explained by the motion of large tabular icebergs, which travelled hundreds of metres into the fjord over the course of a single day. The imagery collected over Store Glacier provide evidence that large tidewater glaciers are stabilized by proglacial ice mélange forming in winter. When melange was present, large calving events strengthened melange by adding to its overall thickness distribution, stopping calving altogether for up to several days following a large calving event, and slowing the flow of the glacier to half of the speed observed the previous day. When the melange was advected suddenly down the fjord, with no apparent weakening, the glacier responded by increasing both flow speed and calving rate simultaneously. The data produced from repeat UAV surveys clearly demonstrates the potential of this new and rapidly advancing method of data collection.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Glacier Changes in the Russian High Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchard, M. E.; Willis, M. J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Golos, E. M.; Stewart, A.; Ornelas, G.; Ramage, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    We provide new surveys of ice speeds and surface elevation changes for ~40,000 km2 of glaciers and ice caps at the Novaya Zemlya (NovZ) and Severnaya Zemlya (SevZ) Archipelagoes in the Russian High Arctic. The contribution to sea level rise from this ice is expected to increase as the region continues to warm at above average rates. We derive ice speeds using pixel-tracking on radar and optical imagery, with additional information from InSAR. Ice speeds have generally increased at outlet glaciers compared to those measured using interferometry from the mid-1990s'. The most pronounced acceleration is at Inostrantseva Glacier, one of the northernmost glaciers draining into the Barents Sea on NovZ. Thinning rates over the last few decades are derived by regressing stacked elevations from multiple Digital Elevations Models (DEMs) sourced from ASTER and Worldview stereo-imagery and cartographically derived DEMs. DEMs are calibrated and co-registered using ICESat returns over bedrock. On NovZ thinning of between 60 and 100 meters since the 1950s' is common. Similar rates between the late 1980s' and the present are seen at SevZ. We examine in detail the response of the outlet glaciers of the Karpinsky and Russanov Ice Caps on SevZ to the rapid collapse of the Matusevich Ice Shelf in the late summer of 2012. We do not see a dynamic thinning response at the largest feeder glaciers. This may be due to the slow response of the cold polar glaciers to changing boundary conditions, or the glaciers may be grounded well above sea level. Speed increases in the interior are difficult to assess with optical imagery as there are few trackable features. We therefore use pixel tracking on Terra SARX acquisitions before and after the collapse of the ice shelf to compute rates of flow inland, at slow moving ice. Interior ice flow has not accelerated in response to the collapse of the ice shelf but interior rates at the Karpinsky Ice Cap have increased by about 50% on the largest outlet

  7. Evaluating the performance of a glacier erosion model applied to Peyto Glacier, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, R.; Mlynowski, T. J.; Menounos, B.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are effective agents of erosion for many mountainous regions, but primary rates of erosion are difficult to quantify due to unknown conditions at the glacier bed. We develop a numerical model of subglacial erosion and passively couple it to a vertically integrated ice flow model (UBC regional glaciation model). The model accounts for seasonal changes in water pressure at the glacier bed which affect rates of abrasion and quarrying. We apply our erosion model to Peyto Glacier, and compare estimates of glacier erosion to the mass of fine sediment contained in a lake immediately down valley from the glacier. A series of experiments with our model and ones based on subglacial sliding rates are run to explore model sensitivity to bedrock hardness, seasonal hydrology, changes in mass balance, and longer-term dimensional changes of the glacier. Our experiments show that, as expected, erosion rates are most sensitive to bedrock hardness and changes in glacier mass balance. Silt and clay contained in Peyto Lake primarily originate from the glacier, and represent sediments derived from abrasion and comminution of material produced by quarrying. Average specific sediment yield during the period AD1917-1970 from the lake is 467×190 Mg km-2yr-1 and reaches a maximum of 928 Mg km-2yr-1 in AD1941. Converting to a specific sediment yield, modelled average abrasion and quarrying rates during the comparative period are 142×44 Mg km-2yr-1 and 1167×213 Mg km-2yr-1 respectively. Modelled quarrying accounts for approximately 85-95% of the erosion occurring beneath the glacier. The basal sliding model estimates combined abrasion and quarrying. During the comparative period, estimated yields average 427×136 Mg km-2yr-1, lower than the combined abrasion and quarrying models. Both models predict maximum sediment yield when Peyto Glacier reached its maximum extent. The simplistic erosion model shows higher sensitivity to climate, as seen by accentuated sediment yield peaks

  8. Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) of Lateglacial rock glacier systems near the eastern margin of the European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Rock glaciers are widespread permafrost landforms in Austria. Various rock glacier inventories list more than 4500 rock glaciers in the country; some 30-40% of them are intact. Relict (permafrost free) and pseudo-relict rock glaciers (sporadic and isolated permafrost particularly near the root zone) prevail in number. Rock glaciers are commonly formed over a period of several ka. Dating such landforms helps to understand palaeoclimatic conditions. In this study three rock glaciers consisting of gneiss were dated applying the Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) method. The rock glaciers are located at three neighbouring cirques in the Seckauer Tauern Range named Reichart Rock Glacier (RRG, area 1.26 km², length 1800 m, elevation range 1520-1940 m a.s.l.), Schöneben Rock Glacier (SRG, 0.11 km², 750 m, 1715-1905 m a.s.l.), and Dürrtal Rock Glacier (DRG, 0.08 km², 850 m, 1750-1980 m a.s.l.). RRG is one of the largest rock glaciers in Austria. All three landforms are influenced by lenses of permafrost at present (as indicated by ERT). During the LGM the Seckauer Tauern were covered by valley glaciers and deglaciation occurred presumably already early in the Alpine Lateglacial period. An analogue N-type Schmidt-hammer (proceq) was used for measuring the surface strength of stable blocks at the rock glacier surface by recording a rebound value (R-value) of a spring-loaded bolt. The R-value gives a relative measure of the surface hardness and hence time since exposure to weathering. Eight (RRG) or six (SRG, DRG) Schmidt-hammer measurement sites (with 50-100 individual readings) aligned along longitudinal transects (=former central flow line) between a talus slope (with relatively fresh boulders) in the root zone and the frontal ridge were measured. Mean R-value differences of 30.5 at RRG, 25.1 at SRG, and 20.7 at DRG were revealed along the three transects. The differences between the lowest and the highest R-value at the rock glaciers itself were 19.0 at RRG, 15

  9. Calibration of a distributed ablation model for Zhadang Glacier, Tibetan Plateau,using a time lapse camera system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, C.; Huintjes, E.; Bhattacharya, A.; Sauter, T.; Yang, W.; Bolch, T.; Pieczonka, T.; Maussion, F.; Kang, S.; Buchroithner, M.; Scherer, D.; Yao, T.

    2011-12-01

    A 1-dimensional energy balance model for calculation of snow melt including sub-surface refreezing has been applied in a simplified version for distributed ablation modeling on Zhadang Glacier, Nyainqentanglha Range, Tibetan Plateau. The model includes a distributed computation of short-wave radiation on a digital elevation model. Reduction of short-wave radiation due to cloud cover has been accounted for by comparing calculated radiation against measurements at an automatic weather station (AWS) on the glacier. Air temperature was distributed using the lapse rate as derived from AWS measurements in different altitudes along the Zhadang Valley. Specific humidity and wind speed were assumed to be spatially invariant. Also, ice temperature in spring at 10 m depth was assumed to be equal all over the glacier. In the same way, accumulation as measured at the AWS using an ultra-sonic ranging system was assumed to be the same for the whole glacier surface. Snow accumulation was corrected using daily imagery obtained from an automatic time lapse camera system installed outside the glacier. The same time series of pictures allows for detailed spatial and temporal observation of the transient snow line. Gaps in AWS data are filled by downscaling of the output of WRF numerical atmospheric model output to the AWS location on the glacier. The runs of the ablation model are initialized using spatially distributed snow depth measured at a series of ablation stakes on the glacier. From the model results the location of the transient snow line can be precisely located. The findings are compared to the transient snow line as derived from the picture series. Besides the possibility of post-calibrating the spatially distributed ablation model, the results of this approach also allow for identifying further relevant spatial processes that are not yet considered.

  10. Glacier Surface Monitoring by Maximizing Mutual Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erten, E.; Rossi, C.; Hajnsek, I.

    2012-07-01

    The contribution of Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) images compared with the single-channel SAR in terms of temporal scene characterization has been found and described to add valuable information in the literature. However, despite a number of recent studies focusing on single polarized glacier monitoring, the potential of polarimetry to estimate the surface velocity of glaciers has not been explored due to the complex mechanism of polarization through glacier/snow. In this paper, a new approach to the problem of monitoring glacier surface velocity is proposed by means of temporal PolSAR images, using a basic concept from information theory: Mutual Information (MI). The proposed polarimetric tracking method applies the MI to measure the statistical dependence between temporal polarimetric images, which is assumed to be maximal if the images are geometrically aligned. Since the proposed polarimetric tracking method is very powerful and general, it can be implemented into any kind of multivariate remote sensing data such as multi-spectral optical and single-channel SAR images. The proposed polarimetric tracking is then used to retrieve surface velocity of Aletsch glacier located in Switzerland and of Inyltshik glacier in Kyrgyzstan with two different SAR sensors; Envisat C-band (single polarized) and DLR airborne L-band (fully polarimetric) systems, respectively. The effect of number of channel (polarimetry) into tracking investigations demonstrated that the presence of snow, as expected, effects the location of the phase center in different polarization, such as glacier tracking with temporal HH compared to temporal VV channels. Shortly, a change in polarimetric signature of the scatterer can change the phase center, causing a question of how much of what I am observing is motion then penetration. In this paper, it is shown that considering the multi-channel SAR statistics, it is possible to optimize the separate these contributions.

  11. Stationary monitoring of glacier response to climate change in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Jiawen; Li, Zhongqin; Qin, Xiang; He, Yuanqing; He, Xiaobo; Li, Huilin

    2016-04-01

    At present, there are about 48571 glaciers with a total area of about 51.8×103 km2 and a volume of about 5.6×103 km3 in China. They are distributed widely in the high mountains in and surrounding the Tibetan Plateau and other high mountains such as Tianshan, Altay and Pamir. In view of differences in climatic conditions and glacier types, stationary monitoring of the glacier variations has been ongoing in different regions in order to investigate the glacier response to climate change. The monitoring results show that all the monitoring glaciers have been in retreat during the past decades and especially since 1990's the retreat rate has an accelerating trend. The accumulative mass balance is much negative and has a large annual variability for the monsoonal maritime glaciers in comparison with the continental and sub-continental glaciers. Under climate warming background, the acceleration of glacier melting is mainly attributed to rise in air temperature, ice temperature augment and albedo reduction of glacier surface. Particularly, the albedo reduction has a positive feedback effect on the glacier melting. Based on long term observation of glacier variations and physical properties, a simple dynamics model is coupled with mass balance modeling to make a projection of a typical glacier change in future. The primary modeling results suggest that the glacier will continue in shrinkage until vanishing within 50-90 years.

  12. Rock glaciers and the sediment dynamics in arid mountain belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Höser, Thorsten; Rosenwinkel, Swenja; Korup, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Rock glaciers are common periglacial features in highest elevations of semiarid to arid mountain ranges. Rock glaciers predominate in realms where precipitation values fall below thresholds that allow for ice glacier formation, then even outranging ice glaciers in size and number. The influence of ice glaciers on high-mountain's sediment dynamics is manifold: ice-glacier-driven erosion produces large amounts of clastic material; ice glaciers act as a conveyor belt for sediments, delivering material from their source regions to their terminus; ice glaciers entering trunk valleys form efficient dams that interrupt sediment delivery. While these mechanisms have been addressed in numerous earlier studies, the role of rock glaciers for the sediment dynamics of arid mountain belts remains elusive. We address this shortcoming by analysing a rock glacier inventory that we compiled for the Himalaya-Karakoram ranges and the Tien Shan ranges in Central Asia. Our inventory comprises more than 1000 specimen, a large number of which form dams of large trunk rivers and minor tributaries, disconnecting the sediment fluxes from upstream. In certain regions that are nearly devoid of ice-glaciers, like the Gamugah surface of NW Pakistan, rock glaciers of >10^4-m length occupy valley bottoms entirely, constituting the only mode of transport for sediments produced in headwaters. In conclusion, we call for a better understanding of the role that rock glaciers take in the sediment dynamics of arid mountain belts.

  13. The relative impacts of greenhouse gas and aerosol climate forcing on mountain glacier melt at the third pole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    The third pole region resides within a hot spot for atmospheric brown clouds owing to the widespread emissions of dust, soot, and organic carbon aerosols in South and East Asia. As much as one-half of the regional climate warming over South Asia in the later 20th and early 21st centuries has been attributed to the direct radiative heating of the troposphere by aerosol solar absorption. The other half is attributed to the global greenhouse gas forcing. While the increase in temperature and infrared back radiation attributable to greenhouse gas warming is expected to accelerate melting of Himalayan glaciers, aerosol radiative forcing, and the climate response to it, contribute a host of additional impacts on mountain glaciers, many of which exacerbate the melting. These impacts include atmospheric warming, increased infrared back radiation, reduced surface insolation, surface albedo modification by soot deposition, and reductions in monsoon precipitation. The contributions of each of these effects upon melting of Himalayan mountain glaciers is explored in a glacier mass model based on energy balance calculations. The surface energy balance from the base to the top of several glaciers is calculated based on remote sensing and in-situ time series of radiative fluxes and precipitation. The model is calibrated against recent in-situ measurements of glacier mass balance and equilibrium altitude where available. Perturbations to the radiative fluxes and precipitation are then imposed on the mass balance calculations based on published estimates of the aerosol radiative forcing magnitudes and observed changes in regional temperature and precipitation over the modern era. In light of the substantial uncertainty surrounding regional forcing values and mountain glacier characteristics, the study emphasizes sensitivity studies comparing the relative responses of glaciers to the components of aerosol and greenhouse gas forcing mentioned above. Of particular interest are: (a) the

  14. Glacier variations in the Northern Caucasus compared to climatic reconstructions over the past millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomina, Olga; Bushueva, Irina; Dolgova, Ekaterina; Jomelli, Vincent; Alexandrin, Mikhail; Mikhalenko, Vladimir; Matskovsky, Vladimir

    2016-05-01

    In the Northern Caucasus, glacier and climatic variations over the past centuries remain insufficiently documented. In this review, we summarized the high-resolution information on glacier and climate fluctuations in the region for the past millennium and provided a synthesis of these two lines of evidence with respect to regional climate change. The key areas considered in the paper are the Elbrus area, the Teberda and Arkhyz valleys in the Western Caucasus and the Cherek Bezengiisky and Tsey valleys in the Eastern Caucasus, where the most paleoclimatic evidence has been retrieved. We focused on the fluctuation records of the ten glaciers that are best documented. To reconstruct changes in glacier length in the past, we used aerial photos, optical space images, repeated photographs and old maps. The ages of moraines were defined with the help of instrumental records, historical images, old maps, and tree-ring dating. Lichenometry was used as a supplementary tool to determine the relative ages of glacial landforms. We reviewed the collection of control points used for the lichenometric curves and determined the time limit of potential use of this method in the Caucasus to be up to one millennium. High-resolution tree-ring-based hydroclimatic reconstructions in the Northern Caucasus are presented based on the reconstruction of June-September temperature (1595-2012 CE), the mass balance reconstruction of the Garabashi Glacier (1800-2008 CE) and the runoff of the Teberda River (low-frequency variations) for May, July and August for 1850-2005 CE. The synthesis of all the available paleoclimatic records revealed several distinct climatic periods. Evidence of a warm interval (traditionally referred to as the "Arkhyz break in glaciation") preceding the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the Caucasus is based on archeological, palynological, geochemical and pedological data. However, the conclusions concerning the duration and magnitude of this warming are still vague due to the low

  15. Measured Climate Induced Volume Changes of Three Glaciers and Current Glacier-Climate Response Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabant, D. C.; March, R. S.; Cox, L. H.; Josberger, E. G.

    2003-12-01

    Small but hydrologically significant shifts in climate have affected the rates of glacier volume change at the three U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark glaciers. Rate changes are detected as inflections in the cumulative conventional and reference-surface mass-balances of Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska and South Cascade Glacier in Washington. The cumulative mass balances are robust and have recently been corroborated by geodetic determinations of glacier volume change. Furthermore, the four-decade length of record is unique for the western hemisphere. Balance trends at South Cascade Glacier in Washington are generally in the opposite sense compared with Wolverine Glacier in Alaska; NCEP correlation of winter balance with local winter temperatures is positive at 0.59 for Wolverine and -0.64 for South Cascade Glacier. At Wolverine Glacier, the negative trend of cumulative mass balances, since measurements began in 1965, was replaced by a growth trend \\(positive mass balances\\) during the late 1970s and 1980s. The positive mass-balance trend was driven by increased precipitation during the 1976/77 to 1989 period. At Gulkana Glacier, the cumulative mass-balance trend has been negative throughout its measurement history, but with rate-change inflection points that coincide with the interdecadal climate-regime shifts in the North Pacific indices. At South Cascade Glacier, the mass-loss trend, observed since measurements began in 1953, was replaced by a positive trend between 1970 and 1976 then became strongly and continuously negative until 1997 when the rate of loss generally decreased. Since 1989, the trends of the glaciers in Alaska have also been strongly negative. These loss rates are the highest rates in the entire record. The strongly negative trends during the 1990s agree with climate studies that suggest that the period since the 1989 regime shift has been unusual. Volume response time and reference surface balance are the current suggested methods for

  16. Glacier retreat in New Zealand during the Younger Dryas stadial.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Michael R; Schaefer, Joerg M; Denton, George H; Barrell, David J A; Chinn, Trevor J H; Putnam, Aaron E; Andersen, Bjørn G; Finkel, Robert C; Schwartz, Roseanne; Doughty, Alice M

    2010-09-01

    Millennial-scale cold reversals in the high latitudes of both hemispheres interrupted the last transition from full glacial to interglacial climate conditions. The presence of the Younger Dryas stadial (approximately 12.9 to approximately 11.7 kyr ago) is established throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, but the global timing, nature and extent of the event are not well established. Evidence in mid to low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, in particular, has remained perplexing. The debate has in part focused on the behaviour of mountain glaciers in New Zealand, where previous research has found equivocal evidence for the precise timing of increased or reduced ice extent. The interhemispheric behaviour of the climate system during the Younger Dryas thus remains an open question, fundamentally limiting our ability to formulate realistic models of global climate dynamics for this time period. Here we show that New Zealand's glaciers retreated after approximately 13 kyr bp, at the onset of the Younger Dryas, and in general over the subsequent approximately 1.5-kyr period. Our evidence is based on detailed landform mapping, a high-precision (10)Be chronology and reconstruction of former ice extents and snow lines from well-preserved cirque moraines. Our late-glacial glacier chronology matches climatic trends in Antarctica, Southern Ocean behaviour and variations in atmospheric CO(2). The evidence points to a distinct warming of the southern mid-latitude atmosphere during the Younger Dryas and a close coupling between New Zealand's cryosphere and southern high-latitude climate. These findings support the hypothesis that extensive winter sea ice and curtailed meridional ocean overturning in the North Atlantic led to a strong interhemispheric thermal gradient during late-glacial times, in turn leading to increased upwelling and CO(2) release from the Southern Ocean, thereby triggering Southern Hemisphere warming during the northern Younger Dryas. PMID

  17. Heterogeneous Status of Glacial Terminal-Contacted Lakes in Himalayas Due to Different Geomorphology and Glacier Characters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Q.; Nie, Y.; Liu, S.

    2014-12-01

    Widespread expanding of glacial lakes around the Himalayas, which has led (or will lead) to hazard risks in their downstream valleys due to the potential glacial outburst flood (GLOF), has been widely reported during the past decades. Among all type of glacial lakes, those lakes contacted with the terminals of modern glaciers are generally found experienced most remarkable area increases. That is mostly due to the coupled processes, such as calving, between the lake growths and ice tongue retreats. Thermal absorption and convection of lake water are important for calving at the ice cliff or sub-marine melting under the supra-ponded water bodies. Currently, many larger moraine dammed lakes, e. g., Imja Tsho (Nepal) and Longbasaba Lake (China), are observed undergoing remarkable growths and synchronically with the rapid ice margin collapses due to calving. Some newly formed and rapidly growing supraglacial lakes are also identified on the debris-covered region of Himalayan glaciers, e. g., the Rongbuk Glacier (China), Ngozumpa Glacier (Nepal) and Thorthormi Glacier (Butan), which are speculated to experience accelerated expanding in the near future and finally developing as bigger terminal-calving lakes. However, not all such lake-glacier systems present the same scenes. After experienced the phases of rapid lake growth and terminal retreat, despite the contacting and calving still existing, the positions of the calving lines may be balanced by the positive advances of the ice tongue. We have observed several lakes with stagnation of growth or even shrinkage in lake area as the advance of the calving ice margin. The heterogeneous status of these ice-contacted glacial lakes are mainly due to the different local geomorphology (e. g., slope, lake-basin shape and valley aspect) and glacier characters (e. g., debris cover, velocity and mass balance). These related factors are important for both the prediction of lake and glacier changes and the evaluation of GLOF hazards

  18. Exploration of Uncertainty in Glacier Modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David E.

    1999-01-01

    There are procedures and methods for verification of coding algebra and for validations of models and calculations that are in use in the aerospace computational fluid dynamics (CFD) community. These methods would be efficacious if used by the glacier dynamics modelling community. This paper is a presentation of some of those methods, and how they might be applied to uncertainty management supporting code verification and model validation for glacier dynamics. The similarities and differences between their use in CFD analysis and the proposed application of these methods to glacier modelling are discussed. After establishing sources of uncertainty and methods for code verification, the paper looks at a representative sampling of verification and validation efforts that are underway in the glacier modelling community, and establishes a context for these within overall solution quality assessment. Finally, an information architecture and interactive interface is introduced and advocated. This Integrated Cryospheric Exploration (ICE) Environment is proposed for exploring and managing sources of uncertainty in glacier modelling codes and methods, and for supporting scientific numerical exploration and verification. The details and functionality of this Environment are described based on modifications of a system already developed for CFD modelling and analysis.

  19. Geophysical imaging of alpine rock glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurer, Hansruedi; Hauck, Christian

    Slope instabilities caused by the disappearance of ice within alpine rock glaciers are an issue of increasing concern. Design of suitable counter-measures requires detailed knowledge of the internal structures of rock glaciers, which can be obtained using geophysical methods. We examine benefits and limitations of diffusive electromagnetics, geoelectrics, seismics and ground-penetrating radar (georadar) for determining the depth and lateral variability of the active layer, the distributions of ice and water, the occurrence of shear horizons and the bedrock topography. In particular, we highlight new developments in data acquisition and data analysis that allow 2-D or even 3-D structures within rock glaciers to be imaged. After describing peculiarities associated with acquiring appropriate geophysical datasets across rock glaciers and emphasizing the importance of state-of-the-art tomographic inversion algorithms, we demonstrate the applicability of 2-D imaging techniques using two case studies of rock glaciers in the eastern Swiss Alps. We present joint interpretations of geoelectric, seismic and georadar data, appropriately constrained by information extracted from boreholes. A key conclusion of our study is that the different geophysical images are largely complementary, with each image resolving a different suite of subsurface features. Based on our results, we propose a general template for the cost-effective and reliable geophysical characterization of mountain permafrost.

  20. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Twila; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben; van den Broeke, Michiel R; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Usher, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Predicting Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss due to ice dynamics requires a complete understanding of spatiotemporal velocity fluctuations and related control mechanisms. We present a 5 year record of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 marine-terminating glaciers distributed around the ice sheet margin, along with ice-front position and runoff data sets for each glacier. Among glaciers with substantial speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position. The other two patterns are more prevalent and appear to be meltwater controlled. These patterns reveal differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. The difference may be determined by meltwater availability, which in some regions may be influenced by perennial firn aquifers. Our results highlight the need to understand subglacial meltwater availability on an ice sheet-wide scale to predict future dynamic changes. Key Points First multi-region seasonal velocity measurements show regional differences Seasonal velocity fluctuations on most glaciers appear meltwater controlled Seasonal development of efficient subglacial drainage geographically divided PMID:25821275

  1. Mathematical challenges in glacier modeling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    jouvet, G.

    2013-12-01

    Many of Earth's glaciers are currently shrinking and it is expected that this trend will continue as global warming progresses. To virtually reproduce the evolution of glaciers and finally to predict their future, one needs to couple models of different disciplines and scales. Indeed, the slow motion of ice is described by fluid mechanics equations while the daily snow precipitations and melting are described by hydrological and climatic models. Less visible, applied mathematics are essential to run such a coupling at two different levels: by solving numerically the underlying equations and by seeking parameters using optimisation methods. This talk aims to make visible the role of mathematics in this area. I will first present a short educational film I have made for the "Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013", which is an introduction to the topic. To go further, solving the mechanical model of ice poses several mathematical challenges due to the complexity of the equations and geometries of glaciers. Then, I will describe some strategies to deal with such difficulties and design robust simulation tools. Finally, I will present some simulations of the largest glacier of the European Alps, the Aletsch glacier. As a less unexpected application, I will show how these results allowed us to make a major advance in a police investigation started in 1926.

  2. USGS collects ice core through Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naftz, David L.; Miller, Kirk A.

    1992-01-01

    On August 24, 1991, a U.S. Geological Survey study team from Wyoming completed a core hole to bedrock underlying Upper Fremont Glacier in the Wind River Range of central Wyoming. During the month of core drilling, the team collected a 160-m ice core from the glacier at an elevation of 4000 m above sea level using a solar-powered thermal drill (See photo). The drill was constructed and operated by personnel from the Polar Ice Coring Office (PICO) in Fairbanks, Alaska.The 1991 drilling project is part of ongoing research conducted by the USGS since 1988 on temperate glaciers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. The objective of the project is to use variations in concentrations of chemical and isotopic constituents in samples of ice cores to reconstruct records of the chemical quality of atmospheric deposition and to extend long-term climatic records. A maximum of 300-500 years of record is estimated to be available in upper accumulation zones of the Wind River Range glaciers. The proximity of the Wind River Range glaciers to atmospheric pollution sources in the western United States makes them unique environmental records. Cooperating in the project were the Shoshone and Arapaho Indian tribes, Wyoming Water Development Commission, PICO, Wyoming State Engineer, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

  3. ICESat Observations of Southern Alaska Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauber, Jeanne; Molnia, Bruce F.; Mitchell, Darius

    2003-01-01

    In late February and March, 2003, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) measured ice and land elevations along profiles across southern Alaska. During this initial data acquisition stage ICESat observations were made on 8-day repeat tracks to enable calibration and validation of the ICESat data products. Each profile consists of a series of single point values derived from centroid elevations of an $\\approx$70 m diameter laser footprint. The points are s4pakated by $\\approx$172 m along track. Data siets of 8-day observations (an ascending and descending ground track) crossed the Bering and Malaspina Glacier. Following its 1993--1995 surge; the Bering Glacier has undergone major terminus retreat as well as ike thinning in the abtation zone. During the later part of the 20th century, parts of the Malaspina thinned by about 1 m/yr. The multiple observation profiles across the Bering and Malaspina piedmont lobes obtained in February/March are being geolocated on Landsat images and the elevation profiles will be used for a number o scientific objectives. Based on our simulations of ICESat performance over the varied ice surface of the Jakobshavn Glacier of GReenland, 2003, we expect to measure annual, and possibly seasonal, ice elevation changes on the large Alaskan glaciers. Using elevation data obtained from a second laser, we plan to estimate ice elevation changes on the Bering Glacier between March and October 2003.

  4. Improving Mass Balance Modeling of Benchmark Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Beusekom, A. E.; March, R. S.; O'Neel, S.

    2009-12-01

    The USGS monitors long-term glacier mass balance at three benchmark glaciers in different climate regimes. The coastal and continental glaciers are represented by Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska, respectively. Field measurements began in 1966 and continue. We have reanalyzed the published balance time series with more modern methods and recomputed reference surface and conventional balances. Addition of the most recent data shows a continuing trend of mass loss. We compare the updated balances to the previously accepted balances and discuss differences. Not all balance quantities can be determined from the field measurements. For surface processes, we model missing information with an improved degree-day model. Degree-day models predict ablation from the sum of daily mean temperatures and an empirical degree-day factor. We modernize the traditional degree-day model as well as derive new degree-day factors in an effort to closer match the balance time series and thus better predict the future state of the benchmark glaciers. For subsurface processes, we model the refreezing of meltwater for internal accumulation. We examine the sensitivity of the balance time series to the subsurface process of internal accumulation, with the goal of determining the best way to include internal accumulation into balance estimates.

  5. Community interactive webtool to retrieve Greenland glacier data for 1-D geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrette, Mahé

    2015-04-01

    Marine-terminating, outlet glaciers are challenging to include in conventional Greenland-wide ice sheet models because of the large variation in scale between model grid size (typically 10 km) and outlet glacier width (typically 1-5km), making it a subgrid scale feature. A possible approach to tackle this problem is to use one-dimensional flowline models for the individual glaciers (e.g. Nick et al., 2013, Nature; Enderlin et al 2013a,b, The Cryosphere). Here we present a python- and javascript- based webtool to prepare data required to feed in or validate a flowline model. It is designed primarily to outline the glacier geometry and returns relevant data averaged over cross-sections. The tool currently allows to: visualize 2-D ice sheet data (zoom/pan), quickly switch between datasets (e.g. ice thickness, bedrock elevation, surface velocity) interpolated / transformed on a common grid. draw flowlines from user-input seeds on the map, calculated from a vector field of surface velocity, as an helpful guide for point 3 interactively draw glacier outline (side and middle lines) on top of the data mesh the outlined glacier domain in the horizontal plane extract relevant data into a 1-D longitudinal profile download the result as a netCDF file The project is hosted on github to encourage collaboration, under the open-source MIT Licence. The server-side is written in python (open-source) using the web-framework flask, and the client-side (javascript) makes use of the d3 library for interactive figures. For now it only works locally in a web browser (start server: "python runserver.py"). Data need to be downloaded separately from the original sources. See the README file in the project for information how to use it. Github projects: https://github.com/perrette/webglacier1d (main) https://github.com/perrette/dimarray (dependency)

  6. Columbia Glacier, Alaska: changes in velocity 1977-1986

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.; Vaughn, B.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Columbia Glacier, a grounded, iceberg-calving tidewater glacier near Valdez, Alaska, began to retreat about 1977. Drastic retreat occurred in 1984, and by early 1986, retreat amounted to 2km. The glacier has thinned more than 100m since 1974 at a point 4km behind the 1974 terminus position. Between 1977 and 1985 the lower glacier ice velocity increased from 3-8m/d to 10-15m/d. -from Authors

  7. Earthshots: Satellite images of environmental change – Petermann Glacier, Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adamson, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    This calving is normal, but it’s worth watching Petermann and other Greenland glaciers closely. Petermann is one of the major marine-terminating glaciers of Greenland. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased recently. An article in Nature concluded that climate change may cause Petermann and other Greenland glaciers to contribute to sea level rise. Landsat helps glaciologists keep a close eye on this remote but significant glacier.

  8. Modeled climate-induced glacier change in Glacier National Park, 1850-2100

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, M.H.P.; Fagre, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    The glaciers in the Blackfoot-Jackson Glacier Basin of Glacier National Park, Montana, decreased in area from 21.6 square kilometers (km2) in 1850 to 7.4 km2 in 1979. Over this same period global temperatures increased by 0.45??C (?? 0. 15??C). We analyzed the climatic causes and ecological consequences of glacier retreat by creating spatially explicit models of the creation and ablation of glaciers and of the response of vegetation to climate change. We determined the melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers under two possible future climate scenarios, one based on carbon dioxide-induced global warming and the other on a linear temperature extrapolation. Under the former scenario, all glaciers in the basin will disappear by the year 2030, despite predicted increases in precipitation; under the latter, melting is slower. Using a second model, we analyzed vegetation responses to variations in soil moisture and increasing temperature in a complex alpine landscape and predicted where plant communities are likely to be located as conditions change.

  9. The differing biogeochemical and microbial signatures of glaciers and rock glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegel, Timothy S.; Baron, Jill S.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Johnson, Gunnar F.; Hall, Ed K.

    2016-03-01

    Glaciers and rock glaciers supply water and bioavailable nutrients to headwater mountain lakes and streams across all regions of the American West. Here we present a comparative study of the metal, nutrient, and microbial characteristics of glacial and rock glacial influence on headwater ecosystems in three mountain ranges of the contiguous U.S.: the Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, and Sierra Nevada. Several meltwater characteristics (water temperature, conductivity, pH, metals, nutrients, complexity of dissolved organic matter (DOM), and bacterial richness and diversity) differed significantly between glacier and rock glacier meltwaters, while other characteristics (Ca2+, Fe3+, SiO2 concentrations, reactive nitrogen, and microbial processing of DOM) showed distinct trends between mountain ranges regardless of meltwater source. Some characteristics were affected both by glacier type and mountain range (e.g., temperature, ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations, and bacterial diversity). Due to the ubiquity of rock glaciers and the accelerating loss of the low-latitude glaciers, our results point to the important and changing influence that these frozen features place on headwater ecosystems.

  10. Impact of debris cover on glacier ablation and atmosphere-glacier feedbacks in the Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, E.; Maussion, F.; Nicholson, L. I.; Mölg, T.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Bush, A. B. G.

    2015-08-01

    The Karakoram range of the Hindu-Kush Himalaya is characterized by both extensive glaciation and a widespread prevalence of surficial debris cover on the glaciers. Surface debris exerts a strong control on glacier surface-energy and mass fluxes and, by modifying surface boundary conditions, has the potential to alter atmosphere-glacier feedbacks. To date, the influence of debris on Karakoram glaciers has only been directly assessed by a small number of glaciological measurements over short periods. Here, we include supraglacial debris in a high-resolution, interactively coupled atmosphere-glacier modeling system. To investigate glaciological and meteorological changes that arise due to the presence of debris, we perform two simulations using the coupled model from 1 May to 1 October 2004: one that treats all glacier surfaces as debris-free and one that introduces a simplified specification for the debris thickness. The basin-averaged impact of debris is a reduction in ablation of ~ 14 %, although the difference exceeds 5 m w.e. on the lowest-altitude glacier tongues. The relatively modest reduction in basin-mean mass loss results in part from non-negligible sub-debris melt rates under thicker covers and from compensating increases in melt under thinner debris, and may help to explain the lack of distinct differences in recent elevation changes between clean and debris-covered ice. The presence of debris also strongly alters the surface boundary condition and thus heat exchanges with the atmosphere; near-surface meteorological fields at lower elevations and their vertical gradients; and the atmospheric boundary layer development. These findings are relevant for glacio-hydrological studies on debris-covered glaciers and contribute towards an improved understanding of glacier behavior in the Karakoram.

  11. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Anaglyph with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    This anaglyph view of Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska was created from a Landsat satellite image and an elevation model generated by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Malaspina Glacier is considered the classic example of a piedmont glacier. Piedmont glaciers occur where valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto broad lowlands, are no longer laterally confined, and spread to become wide lobes. Malaspina Glacier is actually a compound glacier, formed by the merger of several valley glaciers, the most prominent of which seen here are Agassiz Glacier (left) and Seward Glacier (right). In total, Malaspina Glacier is up to 65 kilometers (40 miles) wide and extends up to 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the mountain front nearly to the sea.

    Glaciers erode rocks, carry them down slope, and deposit them at the edge of the melting ice, typically in elongated piles called moraines. The moraine patterns at Malaspina Glacier are quite spectacular in that they have huge contortions that result from the glacier crinkling as it gets pushed from behind by the faster-moving valley glaciers.

    Numerous other features of the glaciers and the adjacent terrain are clearly seen when viewing this image at full resolution. The series of tonal arcs on Agassiz Glacier's extension onto the piedmont are called 'ogives.' These arcs are believed to be seasonal features created by deformation of the glacier as it passes over bedrock irregularities at differing speeds through the year. Assuming one light-and-dark ogive pair per year, the rate of motion of the glacial ice can be estimated (in this case, about 200 meters per year where the ogives are most prominent). Just to the west, moraine deposits abut the eroded bedrock terrain, forming a natural dam that has created a lake. Near the northwest corner of the scene, a recent landslide has deposited rock debris atop a small glacier. Sinkholes are common in many areas of the moraine deposits. The sinkholes form when

  12. Sensitivity of 21st century sea level to ocean-induced thinning of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, Ian; Smith, Benjamin E.; Holland, David M.

    2010-10-01

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG), Antarctica, is rapidly losing mass, supporting arguments that it may play a major role in 21st century sea-level rise. Yet this glacier's quantitative contribution to sea level based on theoretical and computational models is poorly known. We have developed a basin-scale glaciological model to examine the sensitivity of PIG to a range of environmental forcings. While oceanic melt likely played the leading role in recent thinning and retreat, we find that the particular grounding-line geometry with an extended ice plain in the 1990s made it susceptible to such forcing. Our model further indicates that while the rate of grounding-line retreat should diminish soon, the glacier's mass loss may continue at rates similar to, or moderately elevated from, the present. While substantial, our model-derived maximum rate of 2.7 cm/century is considerably smaller than previous heuristically-derived bounds on the sea-level contribution.

  13. 36 CFR 7.3 - Glacier National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Glacier National Park. 7.3... REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.3 Glacier National Park. (a) Fishing. (1) Fishing... food, drink, or lodging for sale may be operated on any privately owned lands within Glacier...

  14. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming

    PubMed Central

    Sorg, Annina; Kääb, Andreas; Roesch, Andrea; Bigler, Christof; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-01-01

    While the responses of Tien Shan glaciers – and glaciers elsewhere – to climatic changes are becoming increasingly well understood, this is less the case for permafrost in general and for rock glaciers in particular. We use a novel approach to describe the climate sensitivity of rock glaciers and to reconstruct periods of high and low rock glacier activity in the Tien Shan since 1895. Using more than 1500 growth anomalies from 280 trees growing on rock glacier bodies, repeat aerial photography from Soviet archives and high-resolution satellite imagery, we present here the world's longest record of rock glacier movements. We also demonstrate that the rock glaciers exhibit synchronous periods of activity at decadal timescales. Despite the complex energy-balance processes on rock glaciers, periods of enhanced activity coincide with warm summers, and the annual mass balance of Tuyuksu glacier fluctuates asynchronously with rock glacier activity. At multi-decadal timescales, however, the investigated rock glaciers exhibit site-specific trends reflecting different stages of inactivation, seemingly in response to the strong increase in air temperature since the 1970s. PMID:25657095

  15. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming.

    PubMed

    Sorg, Annina; Kääb, Andreas; Roesch, Andrea; Bigler, Christof; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-01-01

    While the responses of Tien Shan glaciers--and glaciers elsewhere--to climatic changes are becoming increasingly well understood, this is less the case for permafrost in general and for rock glaciers in particular. We use a novel approach to describe the climate sensitivity of rock glaciers and to reconstruct periods of high and low rock glacier activity in the Tien Shan since 1895. Using more than 1500 growth anomalies from 280 trees growing on rock glacier bodies, repeat aerial photography from Soviet archives and high-resolution satellite imagery, we present here the world's longest record of rock glacier movements. We also demonstrate that the rock glaciers exhibit synchronous periods of activity at decadal timescales. Despite the complex energy-balance processes on rock glaciers, periods of enhanced activity coincide with warm summers, and the annual mass balance of Tuyuksu glacier fluctuates asynchronously with rock glacier activity. At multi-decadal timescales, however, the investigated rock glaciers exhibit site-specific trends reflecting different stages of inactivation, seemingly in response to the strong increase in air temperature since the 1970s. PMID:25657095

  16. Ocean and glaciers interactions in Svalbard area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walczowski, Waldemar; Błaszczyk, Małgorzata; Wawrzyniak, Tomasz; Beszczyńska-Möller, Agnieszka

    2016-04-01

    Arctic fjords are a link between land and ocean. The inshore boundary of the fjords system is usually dominated by the tidewater glaciers and seasonal freshwater input while its offshore boundary is strongly influenced by oceanic waters. Improved understanding of the fjords-ocean exchange and processes within Arctic fjords is of a highest importance because their response to atmospheric, oceanic and glacial variability provides a key to understand the past and to forecast the future of the high latitude glaciers and Arctic climate. Rapidly changed Arctic climate requires multidisciplinary and complex investigations of the basic climate components and interactions between them. The aim of the Polish-Norwegian project 'Arctic climate system study of ocean, sea ice and glaciers interactions in Svalbard area' (AWAKE-2) is to understand the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. The main oceanic heat source in Svalbard region is the West Spitsbergen Current consisting of multi-branch, northward flow of warm, Atlantic origin water (AW). During its transit through the Nordic Seas, AW releases a large amount of heat to the atmosphere. When entering the Western Svalbard fjords, AW modifies hydrographic conditions, reduces winter ice cover and directly influences tidewater glaciers. An impact of the AW variability on atmosphere and sea ice is clearly visible with strong correlations between AW properties and air temperature or sea ice coverage. For tidewater glaciers these effects can be recognized, but correlations are weaker due to different processes that influence the intensity of glaciers melting and calving. The dedicated, multidisciplinary approach was adopted to achieve the AWAKE-2 project's aims by carrying out the coordinated meteorological, oceanographic, glaciological and geophysical observations in the Hornsund fjord, the adjacent shelf and ocean.

  17. Comparative metagenome analysis of an Alaskan glacier.

    PubMed

    Choudhari, Sulbha; Lohia, Ruchi; Grigoriev, Andrey

    2014-04-01

    The temperature in the Arctic region has been increasing in the recent past accompanied by melting of its glaciers. We took a snapshot of the current microbial inhabitation of an Alaskan glacier (which can be considered as one of the simplest possible ecosystems) by using metagenomic sequencing of 16S rRNA recovered from ice/snow samples. Somewhat contrary to our expectations and earlier estimates, a rich and diverse microbial population of more than 2,500 species was revealed including several species of Archaea that has been identified for the first time in the glaciers of the Northern hemisphere. The most prominent bacterial groups found were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. Firmicutes were not reported in large numbers in a previously studied Alpine glacier but were dominant in an Antarctic subglacial lake. Representatives of Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria and Planctomycetes were among the most numerous, likely reflecting the dependence of the ecosystem on the energy obtained through photosynthesis and close links with the microbial community of the soil. Principal component analysis (PCA) of nucleotide word frequency revealed distinct sequence clusters for different taxonomic groups in the Alaskan glacier community and separate clusters for the glacial communities from other regions of the world. Comparative analysis of the community composition and bacterial diversity present in the Byron glacier in Alaska with other environments showed larger overlap with an Arctic soil than with a high Arctic lake, indicating patterns of community exchange and suggesting that these bacteria may play an important role in soil development during glacial retreat. PMID:24712530

  18. Investigating connections between local-remote atmospheric variability and Greenland outlet glacier behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolowski, Stefan; Chen, Linling; Miles, Victoria

    2016-04-01

    /climate dynamics in glacier behavior. Our study suggests a strong relationship between large-scale tropospheric circulation patterns, such as the so-called Greenland Blocking Index (GBI), and glacier front position. This relationship is seen in the wintertime (summertime) circulation influence on spring (fall) front position. Dynamically, a physical pathway is illustrated via canonical correlation analyses and composites of low-mid level winds, which show strong southerly advection into the region when the GBI is positive. There are also potential links between local and remote diabatic heating in the atmospheric column, SSTs, sea-ice concentration and front position. Whether there are physical pathways connecting remote surface processes, such as heating along western Greenland is not yet clear. Causality is always difficult to infer in reanalysis-based studies but physical intuition and theory provide multiple lines of evidence, which suggest a substantial influence of large-scale atmospheric dynamics at the margins of the GrIS. Improving our understanding of these physical connections will be crucial, as we know the outlet glaciers will respond under rapidly changing climate conditions.

  19. Columbia Glacier in 1986; 800 meters retreat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    Columbia Glacier, in Prince William Sound, Alaska, continued its rapid retreat in 1986, with a retreat of 800 m. Average velocity of the lower portion of the glacier, 10 September 1986 to 26 January 1987, was three km/yr, or about one-half of the velocity during similar periods for the previous three years. This reduced velocity is a new development in the progression of the retreat, and if the calving rate follows the pattern of previous years, will result in continued retreat. (Author 's abstract)

  20. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Hernán; Skvarca, Pedro

    2003-03-01

    The possibility that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will collapse as a consequence of ice shelf disintegration has been debated for many years. This matter is of concern because such an event would imply a sudden increase in sea level. Evidence is presented here showing drastic dynamic perturbations on former tributary glaciers that fed sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula before its collapse in 1995. Satellite images and airborne surveys allowed unambiguous identification of active surging phases of Boydell, Sjögren, Edgeworth, Bombardier, and Drygalski glaciers. This discovery calls for a reconsideration of former hypotheses about the stabilizing role of ice shelves. PMID:12624263

  1. Edge Equilibrium Code (EEC) For Tokamaks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xujling

    2014-02-24

    The edge equilibrium code (EEC) described in this paper is developed for simulations of the near edge plasma using the finite element method. It solves the Grad-Shafranov equation in toroidal coordinate and uses adaptive grids aligned with magnetic field lines. Hermite finite elements are chosen for the numerical scheme. A fast Newton scheme which is the same as implemented in the equilibrium and stability code (ESC) is applied here to adjust the grids

  2. Surface characteristics and evolution of debris covered glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mölg, Nico; Vieli, Andreas; Bolch, Tobias; Bauder, Andreas; Bhattacharya, Atanu

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change has led to increasing glacier retreat in most parts of the world. However, many heavily debris-covered glaciers have shown much smaller recession rates than their clean-ice neighbours. This can be attributed to the insulation effect of the supraglacial debris. Remote-sensing based investigations revealed that recent mass balances of debris-covered glaciers are equally negative. This fact is partly due to enhanced melting at supra-glacial lakes and ice cliffs but can also be caused by reduced mass flux. In this context, insufficient process understanding constitutes a major challenge for large scale glacier change assessment and modelling. In this project, we aim at better understanding the evolution of glaciers in connection with changes in supra-glacial debris coverage. It is performed on Zmutt Glacier in Matter valley in Switzerland and on Gangotri Glacier in Garwhal Himalaya in India. Changes in glacier length, area, debris coverage, and surface elevation were compiled based on topographic maps, oblique photos, aerial and satellite orthoimages, digital terrain models (DTMs), and glacier monitoring data for a 50 (Gangotri) and 120 (Zmutt) year period, respectively. The subsequent analysis revealed that Zmutt Glacier has been in a slow but almost continuous retreating state since the end of the 19th century and showed a clear reduction in glacier area and volume. Similarly, Gangotri Glacier has retreated and, to a smaller degree, lost volume. However, the change in glacier length and area is clearly smaller than for other nearby, less debris-covered or debris-free glaciers. This fact is attributed to the larger debris-covered area that has steadily increased. Further in the project, this data will serve as an important input and validation for the envisaged 3D flow modelling and, hence, will contribute to the understanding of the development of glaciers and debris-covered ice in a period of fast climatic changes.

  3. Glacier area and length changes in Norway from repeat inventories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsvold, S. H.; Andreassen, L. M.; Kienholz, C.

    2014-06-01

    In this study, we assess glacier area and length changes in mainland Norway from repeat Landsat TM/ETM+ derived inventories and digitized topographic maps. The multi-temporal glacier inventory consists of glacier outlines from within three time ranges: 1947 to 1985 (GIn50), 1988 to 1997 (GI1990), and 1999 to 2006 (GI2000). For the northernmost regions, we include an additional inventory (GI1900), based on historic maps surveyed between 1895 to 1907. Area and length changes are assessed per glacier unit, for 36 subregions, and for three main parts of Norway: southern, central and northern Norway. The results show a decrease of the glacierized area from 2994 km2 in GIn50, to 2668 km2 in GI2000 (totally 2722 glacier units), corresponding to an area reduction of -326 km2, or -11% of the initial GIn50 area. This is equivalent to an average change rate of -11 km2 a-1 over the past 30 years. The average length change for the full epoch (within GIn50 and GI2000) is -240 m, corresponding to an average length change rate of -8 m a-1. Overall, the comparison reveals both area and length reduction as a general pattern, even though some glaciers have advanced. The three northernmost glacier regions show the strongest retreat rates, whereas the central part of Norway shows the lowest change rates. Glacier area and length changes indicate that glaciers in maritime areas in southern Norway have retreated more than glaciers in the interior, and glaciers in the north have retreated more than southern glaciers. These observed spatial trends in glacier change are related to a combination of several geographical factors like glacier geometry and elevation, and other climatic aspects, such as continentality and the North Atlantic Oscillation.

  4. Evidence for a water system transition beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Dustin M.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.

    2013-01-01

    Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest, most rapidly changing glaciers on Earth, and its landward-sloping bed reaches the interior of the marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which impounds enough ice to yield meters of sea-level rise. Marine ice sheets with landward-sloping beds have a potentially unstable configuration in which acceleration can initiate or modulate grounding-line retreat and ice loss. Subglacial water has been observed and theorized to accelerate the flow of overlying ice dependent on whether it is hydrologically distributed or concentrated. However, the subglacial water systems of Thwaites Glacier and their control on ice flow have not been characterized by geophysical analysis. The only practical means of observing these water systems is airborne ice-penetrating radar, but existing radar analysis approaches cannot discriminate between their dynamically critical states. We use the angular distribution of energy in radar bed echoes to characterize both the extent and hydrologic state of subglacial water systems across Thwaites Glacier. We validate this approach with radar imaging, showing that substantial water volumes are ponding in a system of distributed canals upstream of a bedrock ridge that is breached and bordered by a system of concentrated channels. The transition between these systems occurs with increasing surface slope, melt-water flux, and basal shear stress. This indicates a feedback between the subglacial water system and overlying ice dynamics, which raises the possibility that subglacial water could trigger or facilitate a grounding-line retreat in Thwaites Glacier capable of spreading into the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. PMID:23836631

  5. Contrasting response of South Greenland glaciers to recent climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, C.R.; Glasser, N.F. )

    1992-05-01

    A unique geographical configuration of glaciers exists in the Narsarsuaq district of South Greenland. Two large outlet glaciers divide into seven distributaries, such that each glacier system has land-terminating, tidewater-calving, and fresh-water-calving termini. Despite a similar climatic regime, these seven glaciers have exhibited strongly contrasting terminal behavior in historical time, as shown by historical records, aerial photographs, and fieldwork in 1989. The behavior of the calving glaciers cannot be accounted for with reference solely to climatic parameters. The combination of iceberg calving dynamics and topographic control has partially decoupled them from climatic forcing such that their oscillations relate more closely to glaciodynamic than glacioclimatic factors.

  6. Sensitivity of glaciers and small ice caps to greenhouse warming

    SciTech Connect

    Oerlemans, J.; Fortuin, J.P.F. )

    1992-10-02

    Recent field programs on glaciers have supplied information that makes simulation of glacier mass balance with meteorological models meaningful. An estimate of world-wide glacier sensitivity based on a modeling study of 12 selected glaciers situated in widely differing climatic regimes shows that for a uniform 1 K warming the area-weighted glacier mass balance will decrease by 0.40 meter per year. This corresponds to a sea-level rise of 0.58 millimeter per year, a value significantly less than earlier estimates.

  7. Testing geographical and climatic controls on glacier retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freudiger, Daphné; Stahl, Kerstin; Weiler, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Glacier melt provides an important part of the summer discharge in many mountainous basins. The understanding of the processes behind the glacier mass losses and glacier retreats observed during the last century is therefore relevant for a sustainable management of the water resources and reliable models for the prediction of future changes. The changes in glacier area of 49 sub-basins of the Rhine River in the Alps were analyzed for the time period 1900-2010 by comparing the glacier areas of Siegfried maps for the years 1900 and 1940 with satellite derived glacier areas for the years 1973, 2003 and 2010. The aim was to empirically investigate the controls of glacier retreat and its regional differences. All glaciers in the glacierized basins retreated over the last 110 years with some variations in the sub-periods. However, the relative changes in glacier area compared to 1900 differed for every sub-basin and some glaciers decreased much faster than others. These observed differences were related to a variety of different potential controls derived from different sources, including mean annual solar radiation on the glacier surface, average slope, mean glacier elevation, initial glacier area, average precipitation (summer and winter), and the precipitation catchment area of the glacier. We fitted a generalized linear model (GLM) and selected predictors that were significant to assess the individual effects of the potential controls. The fitted model explains more than 60% of the observed variance of the relative change in glacier area with the initial area alone only explaining a small proportion. Some interesting patterns emerge with higher average elevation resulting in higher area changes, but steeper slopes or solar radiation resulting in lower relative glacier area changes. Further controls that will be tested include snow transport by wind or avalanches as they play an important role for the glacier mass balance and potentially reduce the changes in glacier

  8. Reconstruction of surface area and volume variations of a small alpine valley glacier since the Little Ice Age the case-study of Dosdè Est Glacier (central Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diolaiuti, G.; D Agata, C.; Pavan, M.; Belo, M.; Smiraglia, C.

    2003-04-01

    were measured yearly by operators of Italian Glaciological Committee. The glacier had a continuous and uninterrupted retreating phase from 1934 to 1972 (-525m, mean value -25 m/y). Then an advancing phase occured from 1973 to 1986 (+100m, mean value +7.7 m/y). After that year the glacier resumed a continuous and uninterrupted frontal retreat. From 1934 to 2000 the glacier retreated of 602 m (mean yearly value, -12.5 m/y) and -165 m from 1987 up to now (mean yearly value of -15.8 m/y). In the last years, the glacier has been topographically surveyed by GPS techniques: from 1999 to 2001 the terminus was mapped yearly, in 2002 a large number of point positions in GPS Kinematic (about 6000 points) were collected to calculate surface glacier DEM. The stakes position measurements allowed to calculate the displacements of the stakes which resulted of about 30 m/y, with an accuracy of + - 1,5 m. The surface topography of the glacier was mapped by GPS data; a kriging technique was applied to GPS data, using a grid with a 10 m spacing to interpolate the 6000 measured values of position. On Dosdè Est Glacier different geophysical surveys were applied in order to evaluate ice thickness and bedrock morphology. In 1997 geoeletrical survey (VES) was used; the maximum value of ice thickness was evaluated more than 50 m; in 1997 seismic reflection method was applied to evaluate the glacier thickness along 1 longitudinal line (L1) and 2 trasversal lines (T1 and T2) situated in the centre of the glacier (Merlanti et alii, 2001).The maximum ice thickness was of about 90 m with a mean value of about 50 m. Moreover in 1999 GPR technique was used to obtain high-resolution topography of the glacier bed. A Pulse Ekko (Sensor and Software Company) GPR operating at a frequency of 50 MHz was used. The maximum ice thickness calculated is of about 90 m in the central area of the glacier, according to seismic prospection data. A kriging technique was applied to the radar data, using a grid with a

  9. Static debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers in Tröllaskagi Peninsula (northern Iceland): The cases of Hóladalur and Fremri-Grjótárdalur.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanarro, Luis Miguel; Palacios, David; Andres, Nuria; María Fernández, Jose

    2015-04-01

    delineated with GPS. The analysis and interpretation of the morphological characteristics clearly show the almost complete absence of changes in the superficial structure of both the Fremri-Grjótárdalur rock glacier and the Hóladalur debris-covered glacier during the time interval studied, detecting the same flow structures (transversal crests and grooves and flow lines) located in the same position. Similarly, the external limit or shape shows hardly any variations. The rock glacier may be considered to have remained practically stable from 1946 to the present. This assertion contrasts with the observations made by Wangensteen et al., 2006, who also used photogrammetric techniques and detected displacements in the interior of the rock glacier during the 9 year period from 1985 to 1994. In conclusion, the geomorphological survey of the 1946 aerial photograph and of the 2000- 2013 orthophotos, and their comparison using photogrammetric techniques has allowed us to detect the total stability of both the rock glacier and the debris-covered glacier over the last 50 years. Reference.- Wangensteen, B., Gudmundsson, A., Eiken, T., Kääb, A., Farbrot, H., Etzelmüller, B., 2006, Surface displacements and surface age estimates for creeping slope landforms in northen and easthern Iceland using digital photogrametry. Geomorphology 80:59-79. Research funded by Cryocrisis project (CGL2012-35858), Government of Spain, and Nils Mobility projects (EEA GRANTS)

  10. Exploiting SENTINEL-1 Amplitude Data for Glacier Surface Velocity Field Measurements: Feasibility Demonstration on Baltoro Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascetti, A.; Nocchi, F.; Camplani, A.; Di Rico, C.; Crespi, M.

    2016-06-01

    The leading idea of this work is to continuously retrieve glaciers surface velocity through SAR imagery, in particular using the amplitude data from the new ESA satellite sensor Sentinel-1 imagery. These imagery key aspects are the free access policy, the very short revisit time (down to 6 days with the launch of the Sentinel-1B satellite) and the high amplitude resolution (up to 5 m). In order to verify the reliability of the proposed approach, a first experiment has been performed using Sentinel-1 imagery acquired over the Karakoram mountain range (North Pakistan) and Baltoro and other three glaciers have been investigated. During this study, a stack of 11 images acquired in the period from October 2014 to September 2015 has been used in order to investigate the potentialities of the Sentinel-1 SAR sensor to retrieve the glacier surface velocity every month. The aim of this test was to measure the glacier surface velocity between each subsequent pair, in order to produce a time series of the surface velocity fields along the investigated period. The necessary coregistration procedure between the images has been performed and subsequently the glaciers areas have been sampled using a regular grid with a 250 × 250 meters posting. Finally the surface velocity field has been estimated, for each image pair, using a template matching procedure, and an outlier filtering procedure based on the signal to noise ratio values has been applied, in order to exclude from the analysis unreliable points. The achieved velocity values range from 10 to 25 meters/month and they are coherent to those obtained in previous studies carried out on the same glaciers and the results highlight that it is possible to have a continuous update of the glacier surface velocity field through free Sentinel-1 imagery, that could be very useful to investigate the seasonal effects on the glaciers fluid-dynamics.

  11. Malaspina Glacier: a modern analog to the Laurentide Glacier in New England

    SciTech Connect

    Gustavson, T.C.; Boothroyd, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    The land-based temperate Malaspina Glacier is a partial analog to the late Wisconsinan Laurentide Ice Sheet that occupied New England and adjacent areas. The Malaspina occupies a bedrock basin similar to basins occupied by the margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Ice lobes of the Malaspina are similar in size to end moraine lobes in southern New England and Long Island,New York. Estimated ice temperature, ablation rates, surface slopes and meltwater discharge per unit of surface area for the Laurentide Ice Sheet are similar to those for the Malaspina Glacier. In a simple hydrologic-fluvial model for the Malaspina Glacier meltwater moves towards the glacier bed and down-glacier along intercrystalline pathways, crevasses and moulins, and a series of tunnels. Regolith and bedrock at the glacier floor, which are eroded and transported by subglacial and englacial streams, are the sources of essentially all fluvio-lacustrine sediment on the Malaspina Foreland. Supraglacial eskers containing coarse gravels occur as much as 100 m above the glacier bed and are evidence that bedload can be lifted hydraulically. Subordinant amounts of sediment are contributed to outwash by small surface streams draining the ice margin. By analogy a similar hydrologic-fluvial system existed along the southeastern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Subglacial regolith and bedrock eroded from beneath the Laurentide Ice Sheet by meltwater was also the source of most glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine deposits in southern New England, not sediment carried to the surface of the ice sheet along shear planes and washed off the glacier by meltwater.

  12. Glacier dynamics at Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers, southeast Greenland, since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, S. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjær, K. H.; Bevan, S.; Luckman, A.; Aschwanden, A.; Bjørk, A. A.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Box, J. E.; van den Broeke, M.; van Dam, T. M.; Fitzner, A.

    2014-08-01

    Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance on the decadal scale. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance beyond such episodic events is required. Here, we extend the observational record of marginal thinning of Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers from 10 to more than 80 years. We show that, although the frontal portion of Helheim Glacier thinned by more than 100 m between 2003 and 2006, it thickened by more than 50 m during the previous two decades. In contrast, Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier underwent minor thinning of 40-50 m from 1981 to 1998 and major thinning of more than 100 m after 2003. Extending the record back to the end of the Little Ice Age (prior to 1930) shows no thinning of Helheim Glacier from its maximum extent during the Little Ice Age to 1981, while Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier underwent substantial thinning of 230 to 265 m. Comparison of sub-surface water temperature anomalies and variations in air temperature to records of thickness and velocity change suggest that both glaciers are highly sensitive to short-term atmospheric and ocean forcing, and respond very quickly to small fluctuations. On century timescales, however, multiple external parameters (e.g. outlet glacier shape) may dominate the mass change. These findings suggest that special care must be taken in the projection of future dynamic ice loss.

  13. Long-term linkages between glaciers, permafrost and hydrology at two glacierized watersheds in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaedeke, A.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Gatesman, T.; Campbell, S. W.; Hock, R.; Oneel, S.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming is expected to have considerable impact on the regional water balance of high latitude Arctic and sub-Arctic glacerized watersheds. In this study we combine field observations and the physically based Water Balance Simulation Model WaSiM to refine our understanding of the linkages between glaciers, permafrost and hydrology at two nearby basins with contrasting precipitation regimes: Jarvis Cr. watershed (630 km2) on the north (rain-shadow) side of Eastern Alaska Range and the south facing Phelan Cr. (32 km2), which include the US Geological Survey benchmark site Gulkana Glacier. Both are characterized by a semi-arid climate and are sub-watersheds of the Tanana River basin (12,000 km2). Our research questions include: How has glacier water storage and release varied in the past and how are they expected to change in the future? And what are the subsequent effects on lowland runoff and regional groundwater recharge? Our analyses show i) an increase in air temperature and summer warmth index (the sum of all mean monthly air temperature above 0 °C) in recent decades and ii) a continued negative glacier mass balance. Our findings suggest that, on the larger spatial scale (Tanana River basin), the reduced glacier coverage and increased glacier wastage has, in combination with limited changes in precipitation, lead to (i) increased mean annual and (ii) late winter (March) runoff. We postulate that this is due to increased groundwater recharge, which has been fueled by the 20% reduction in glacier coverage of the Tanana River basin. Here we aim to assess the combined effect of climate change, glacier shrinkage and thawing permafrost on the regional sub-arctic mountain- to lowland hydrologic system, which may transition into a regime with less surface and more subsurface water availability.

  14. Implications of Glacier Volume Change for Ice-Ocean Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hood, E. W.; O'Neel, S.; Fellman, J.; Bidlack, A.; Arendt, A. A.; Arimitsu, M.; Spencer, R. G.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in climate are forcing complex glaciological responses that can be transmitted to downstream ecosystems via glacier runoff. Along the Gulf of Alaska, rates of glacier mass loss are among the highest measured on Earth. Changes in glacier volume in this region are altering the amount of glacier runoff delivered to the coastal ocean. Moreover, shifts in glacier extent are changing the location of the ice-ocean interface and, in cases where tidewater glaciers become grounded, fundamentally altering circulation in glacierized fjords. The runoff from glacier ecosystems is unique in terms of its physical and chemical properties when compared to runoff from non-glacial ecosystems. For example, the silt and chemical constituents in glacier discharge alter light penetration and the nutrient regime in near-shore marine ecosystems, which, in turn, influence levels of marine primary productivity. Future changes in the magnitude, timing, and location of glacier runoff have important implications for biogeochemical and ecological processes in glacially-dominated fjords and estuaries. This talk will highlight research from glacierized watersheds and fjords to synthesize what is known about the physical, chemical, and biological linkages that characterize icefield-ocean ecosystems along the Gulf of Alaska.

  15. Satellite-Based Study of Glaciers Retreat in Northern Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munir, Siraj

    Glaciers serve as a natural regulator of regional water supplies. About 16933 Km 2 area of glaciers is covered by Pakistan. These glaciers are enormous reservoirs of fresh water and their meltwater is an important resource which feed rivers in Pakistan. Glacier depletion, especially recent melting can affect agriculture, drinking water supplies, hydro-electric power, and ecological habitats. This can also have a more immediate impact on Pakistan's economy that depends mainly on water from glacier melt. Melting of seasonal snowfall and permanent glaciers has resulted not only in reduction of water resources but also caused flash floods in many areas of Pakistan. With the advent of satellite technology, using optical and SAR data the study of glaciers, has become possible. Using temporal data, based on calculation of snow index, band ratios and texture reflectance it has been revealed that the rate of glacier melting has increased as a consequent of global warming. Comparison of Landsat images of Batura glacier for October 1992 and October 2000 has revealed that there is a decrease of about 17 sq km in Batura glaciers. Although accurate changes in glacier extent cannot be assessed without baseline information, these efforts have been made to analyze future changes in glaciated area.

  16. Modelling glacier change in the Everest region, Nepal Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shea, J. M.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Wagnon, P.; Vincent, C.; Bajracharya, S.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we apply a glacier mass balance and ice redistribution model to examine the sensitivity of glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal to climate change. High-resolution temperature and precipitation fields derived from gridded station data, and bias-corrected with independent station observations, are used to drive the historical model from 1961 to 2007. The model is calibrated against geodetically derived estimates of net glacier mass change from 1992 to 2008, termini position of four large glaciers at the end of the calibration period, average velocities observed on selected debris-covered glaciers, and total glacierized area. We integrate field-based observations of glacier mass balance and ice thickness with remotely sensed observations of decadal glacier change to validate the model. Between 1961 and 2007, the mean modelled volume change over the Dudh Koshi basin is -6.4 ± 1.5 km3, a decrease of 15.6% from the original estimated ice volume in 1961. Modelled glacier area change between 1961 and 2007 is -101.0 ± 11.4 km2, a decrease of approximately 20% from the initial extent. The modelled glacier sensitivity to future climate change is high. Application of temperature and precipitation anomalies from warm/dry and wet/cold end-members of the CMIP5 RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 ensemble results in sustained mass loss from glaciers in the Everest region through the 21st century.

  17. A complex relationship between calving glaciers and climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, A.; O'Neel, S.; Motyka, R.J.; Streveler, G.

    2011-01-01

    Many terrestrial glaciers are sensitive indicators of past and present climate change as atmospheric temperature and snowfall modulate glacier volume. However, climate interpretations based on glacier behavior require careful selection of representative glaciers, as was recently pointed out for surging and debris-covered glaciers, whose behavior often defies regional glacier response to climate [Yde and Paasche, 2010]. Tidewater calving glaciers (TWGs)mountain glaciers whose termini reach the sea and are generally grounded on the seaflooralso fall into the category of non-representative glaciers because the regional-scale asynchronous behavior of these glaciers clouds their complex relationship with climate. TWGs span the globe; they can be found both fringing ice sheets and in high-latitude regions of each hemisphere. TWGs are known to exhibit cyclic behavior, characterized by slow advance and rapid, unstable retreat, largely independent of short-term climate forcing. This so-called TWG cycle, first described by Post [1975], provides a solid foundation upon which modern investigations of TWG stability are built. Scientific understanding has developed rapidly as a result of the initial recognition of their asynchronous cyclicity, rendering greater insight into the hierarchy of processes controlling regional behavior. This has improved the descriptions of the strong dynamic feedbacks present during retreat, the role of the ocean in TWG dynamics, and the similarities and differences between TWG and ice sheet outlet glaciers that can often support floating tongues.

  18. a Seismic Reflection Study on the Ablation Area of the Taku Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zechmann, J. M.; Gusmeroli, A.; Booth, A.; Truffer, M.

    2014-12-01

    Active-source seismic reflection techniques have been frequently used to document temporal and spatial variability in subglacial conditions beneath the ice sheets. Seismic surveys may provide the topography of the subglacial landscape as well as information about the properties of subglacial sediments and water. The former is achieved by standard 2D seismic imaging, the latter by amplitude analysis of the base-ice reflection. Seismic techniques for subglacial characterization have not yet been fully explored on mountain glaciers, where the ice is warmer and more attenuative to seismic energy, and the area available for survey is often more restrictive. In March 2014 we collected a high-resolution seismic reflection survey on the lower ablation area of the Taku Glacier in South-East Alaska. The survey line was composed of 120 geophones buried 0.5 m in the snowpack and spaced by 5 meters. The surface of the glacier was covered by a spatially variable 2-6 m thick snow cover. Shots, 99 charges of the binary explosive kinepak (152 grams), were drilled to 6 meters below surface. We present preliminary seismic images, attenuation estimates and amplitude analysis as well as a discussion of the challenges of seismic studies in the ablation area of large mountain glaciers where spatially variable snowpack, rough topography and hidden crevasses hamper standard seismic interpretation and render successful data interpretation more difficult.

  19. Effects of volcanism on the glaciers of Mount St. Helens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brugman, Melinda M.; Post, Austin

    1981-01-01

    The cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens May 18, 1980, removed 2.9 km2 (about 0.13 km3) of glacier snow and ice including a large part of Shoestring, Forsyth, Wishbone, Ape, Nelson, and all of Loowit and Leschi Glaciers. Minor eruptions and bulging of the volcano from March 27 to May 17 shattered glaciers which were on the deforming rock and deposited ash on other glaciers. Thick ash layers persisted after the May 18 eruption through the summer on most of the remaining snow and ice, and protected winter snow from melting on Swift and Dryer Glaciers. Melting and recrystalization of snow and ice surviving on Mount St. Helens could cause and lubricate mudflows and generate outburst floods. Study of glaciers that remain on this active volcano may assist in recognizing potential hazards on other volcanoes and lead to new contributions to knowledge of the transient response of glaciers to changes in mass balance or geometry.

  20. 21st-century evolution of Greenland outlet glacier velocities.

    PubMed

    Moon, T; Joughin, I; Smith, B; Howat, I

    2012-05-01

    Earlier observations on several of Greenland's outlet glaciers, starting near the turn of the 21st century, indicated rapid (annual-scale) and large (>100%) increases in glacier velocity. Combining data from several satellites, we produce a decade-long (2000 to 2010) record documenting the ongoing velocity evolution of nearly all (200+) of Greenland's major outlet glaciers, revealing complex spatial and temporal patterns. Changes on fast-flow marine-terminating glaciers contrast with steady velocities on ice-shelf-terminating glaciers and slow speeds on land-terminating glaciers. Regionally, glaciers in the northwest accelerated steadily, with more variability in the southeast and relatively steady flow elsewhere. Intraregional variability shows a complex response to regional and local forcing. Observed acceleration indicates that sea level rise from Greenland may fall well below proposed upper bounds. PMID:22556249

  1. Glacier modeling in support of field observations of mass balance at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Josberger, Edward G.; Bidlake, William R.

    2010-01-01

    The long-term USGS measurement and reporting of mass balance at South Cascade Glacier was assisted in balance years 2006 and 2007 by a new mass balance model. The model incorporates a temperature-index melt computation and accumulation is modeled from glacier air temperature and gaged precipitation at a remote site. Mass balance modeling was used with glaciological measurements to estimate dates and magnitudes of critical mass balance phenomena. In support of the modeling, a detailed analysis was made of the "glacier cooling effect" that reduces summer air temperature near the ice surface as compared to that predicted on the basis of a spatially uniform temperature lapse rate. The analysis was based on several years of data from measurements of near-surface air temperature on the glacier. The 2006 and 2007 winter balances of South Cascade Glacier, computed with this new, model-augmented methodology, were 2.61 and 3.41 mWE, respectively. The 2006 and 2007 summer balances were -4.20 and -3.63 mWE, respectively, and the 2006 and 2007 net balances were -1.59 and -0.22 mWE. PDF version of a presentation on the mass balance of South Cascade Glacier in Washington state. Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2010.

  2. Chronology for fluctuations in late pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Plummer, M.A.

    1996-11-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, and 1. 27 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Chronology for fluctuations in late Pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Benson, L.V.; Plummer, M.A.; Elmore, D.; Sharma, Prakash

    1996-01-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, 2, and 1.

  4. The Bay in Place of a Glacier.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Wayne

    1997-01-01

    The cultural resource specialist at Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) explains the collaborative efforts of park staff and the Hoonah Tlingit to overcome language and cultural barriers in documenting park place names and clan oral history and traditions. The new park-community relationship, which follows decades of conflict, includes training…

  5. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

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

  6. Glacier Change Investigation for Early Elementary Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hintz, R. S.; Landis, C.

    2008-12-01

    Few opportunities exist for early elementary students to do inquiry or guided inquiry into topics dealing with climate change and glaciers. "Flubber" offers a simulation for the movement of glacial ice. It is inexpensive to make, stores well, and can be re-used. Students of all ages enjoy watching, measuring, and thinking about flubber and what it represents. As the interest in ice sheets continues to build, activities that both help to illustrate how glaciers move and provide a launch pad for student-driven investigations need to be available to teachers. With support from the National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a set of activities has been developed to provide opportunities for early elementary students to develop inquiry skills within the standards for early elementary grades bands in the National Science Education Standards. Lesson plans, instructions for making and using "Flubber", student worksheets, teacher guides with glacier and climate change information, and a chart of the National Science Education Standards applicable to the activities are available to elementary teachers wishing to introduce their students to glaciers and climate change.

  7. Subglacial till: the deforming glacier bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Meer, Jaap J. M.; Menzies, John; Rose, James

    2003-07-01

    "Till is a sediment and is perhaps more variable than any sediment known by a single name." R.F. Flint 1957 Glacial and Pleistocene Geology Tills are commonly classified according to the perceived process of deposition. However, it is increasingly recognised that this classification, which is mainly based on macroscopic field data, has severe limitations. At the same time the concept of the deforming glacier bed has become more realistic as a framework for discussing tills and their properties, and this (tectonic) concept is irreconcilable with the existing (depositional) till classification scheme. Over the last 20 years large thin sections have been used to study tills, which has provided new insights into the textural and structural properties of tills. These results have revolutionised till sedimentology as they show that, in the main, subglacial tills possess deformational characteristics. Depositional properties are rare. Based on this new insight the process of subglacial till formation is discussed in terms of glacier/ice sheet basal velocity, clay, water and carbonate content and the variability of these properties in space and time. The end result of this discussion is: till, the deforming glacier bed. To distinguish subglacial till from depositional sediments the term 'tectomict' is proposed. Within the single framework of subglacial till as the deforming glacier bed, many textural, structural and geomorphological features of till beds can be more clearly and coherently explained and understood.

  8. The first glacier inventory for entire Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-04-01

    Detailed glacier data is becoming more and more important in the last decades to solve several research issues. One of the most prominent questions in this regard is the potential contribution of glaciers and icecaps (GIC) to global sea-level rise. Primarily, estimates are uncertain due to the globally still incomplete information about glacier location and size, as well as large uncertainties in future climate scenarios. Recent studies that calculate global sea-level rise from GIC have developed simplified approaches using information from glacier inventories or gridded data sets and a range of different global climate models and emission scenarios. However, for several strongly glacierized regions very rough assumptions about the ice distribution have to be made and an urgent demand for a globally complete glacier inventory is expressed. The GIC on Greenland are one of the regions with lacking information. Within the EU FP7 project ice2sea we mapped the GIC on Greenland using Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery acquired around the year 2000, along with an additional dataset in the North (DCW - Digital Chart of the World). A digital elevation model (DEM) with 90 m resolution (GIMP DEM) was used to derive drainage divides and henceforth topographic parameters for each entity. A major challenge in this regard is the application of a consistent strategy to separate the local GIC from the ice sheet. For this purpose we have defined different levels of connectivity (CL) of the local GIC with the ice sheet: CL0: Not connected. CL1: Connected but separable (either with drainage divides in the accumulation region or in touch only - and thus separable - in the ablation region). CL2: Connected but non-separable (the local GIC contribute to the flow of an ice sheet outlet in the ablation area). Up to now close to 12'000 GIC (only CL0 and CL1) with a total area of about 129'000 km2 have been mapped considering only entities larger than 0.1 km2. The area of the ice sheet itself is

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glass, R.L.

    1996-01-01

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

  10. Glacier and hydrology changes in future climate over western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winger, Katja; Sushama, Laxmi; Marshall, Shawn

    2016-04-01

    Glaciers are frozen fresh water reservoirs that respond to changes in temperature and snowfall. Concern is growing about the impact that changes in glaciers may have on water resources in regions such as western Canada that derive a lot of their summer streamflow from glacier melt. Given that RCM projections are an important tool and are increasingly being used in assessing projected changes to water resources, particularly due to its high resolution compared with GCMs, realistic representation of glaciers in RCMs is very important. Currently, glaciers are only represented in an extremely simplified way in the fifth generation Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM5). This simple approach of representing glaciers as static glacier masks is appropriate for short-term integrations, where the response of glacier to changing atmospheric conditions might still be small due to glacier response times and therefore the feedback of changing glacier extent on large-scale atmospheric flow conditions might be negligible. A new dynamic glacier scheme has been developed for use within CRCM5, based on volume-area relationships. Simulations have been performed with this glacier model and Land Surface Scheme CLASS for the 2000-2100 period over a domain covering western Canada. These simulations were driven by outputs from a CRCM5 transient climate change simulation driven by CanESM2 at the lateral boundaries, for RCPs 4.5 and 8.5. Preliminary results suggest significant decreases to glacier fractions in future climate. Though the glacier contribution to streamflows is found to dramatically decrease in future climate, the total streamflows did not show any dramatic decreases due to the increase in precipitation for these regions.

  11. Model based historical runoff contribution from an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoccatelli, Davide; Bonato, Paola; Carturan, Luca; Dalla Fontana, Giancarlo; De Blasi, Fabrizio; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this work is to analyze how climatic variability and glacier retreat impact the water balance of a small (8.5 km2) glaciarised catchment in the Eastern Italia Alps over a 30 year (1983-2013) period. The analysis is carried out by coupling local high quality data and a glacio-hydrological model able to simulate both the glacier and hydrology dynamics. Runoff contribution from glacier ice is related with trends in climatic variables and with glacier retreat. The area analyzed is the headwater of Noce Bianco river basin, lying in the Ortles-Cevedale group and including the La Mare glacier. During the study period the glacier area decreased from 4.7 km2 (50% basin area) to 3.47 km2 (40% basin area). In this area the following observations are available: 30 years of daily meteorological data at high elevation close to the catchment; three DTMs of the glacier, covering the entire period, which enable the calculation of the volume change and geodetic mass balance; direct glaciological mass balance observations over the period 2003-2013; discharge measurement at the catchment outlet over the period 2007-2013. The data availability and the significant shrinking of the glacier during the analyzed period make this catchment ideal for studying the hydrological impacts of glacier retreat. The semi-distributed conceptual model includes a snow and glacier accumulation and ablation module, based on temperature-radiation index and a glacier retreat model. The glacier retreat model allows to use the annual simulated glacier mass balance to update the glacier area (Huss et al., 2010). The model simulations are carried out from 1983 to 2013. We show that the model is able to capture adequately the measured daily discharge, the observed changes in glacier area and their spatial distribution. The contribution of glacier ice meltwater to annual runoff is below 10% in the first decade of simulation. This variable however showed a clear increasing trend, with peaks for single

  12. Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Satoshi; Dutrieux, Pierre; Jenkins, Adrian; Forryan, Alexander; Naveira Garabato, Alberto; Firing, Yvonne

    2016-04-01

    Ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to increase in ocean-driven melting, with the melt rate depending on ocean temperature and strength of sub-ice-shelf-cavity circulations. We present repeated measurements of velocity, temperature, salinity, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate and thermal variance dissipation rate beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, collected by CTD, ADCP and turbulence sensors mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The turbulence quantities measured by the AUV outside the ice shelf are in good agreement with ship-based measurements. The highest rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation is found near the grounding line, while its temporal fluctuation over seabed ridge within the cavity corresponds to the tidal fluctuation predicted in the Pine Island Bay to the west. The highest thermal variance dissipation rate is found when the AUV was 0.5 m away from the ice, and the thermal variance dissipation generally increases with decreasing distance between the AUV and ice.

  13. Snowline observations to remotely derive glacier-wide mass balance on four Kyrgyz glaciers from 2003 to 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barandun, Martina; Huss, Matthias; Sold, Leo; Kienholz, Christian; Usubaliev, Ryskul; Bolch, Tobias; Hoelzle, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The monitoring of glacier mass balance in remote regions is challenging but vital for understanding the response of glaciers to climate change. Direct mass balance observations are sparse and discontinuous in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan and Pamir. The under-sampling problem of glacier change assessments limits change predictions and impact projections. In this study, we elaborate on novel approaches to derive sub-seasonal glacier mass balance based on remote snowline monitoring on four Kyrgyz glaciers for a period from 2003 to 2015. The proposed methodology is based on the information content of short-term changes in snowline elevation detected with repeated remote sensing imagery for both the quantities of winter accumulation and summer ablation. By backward modelling the observed snowline position and the glacier geometry are related to the glacier-wide mass balance. Snowline position over the glacier area is detected with a semi-automatic procedure on remote sensing images (Landsat, ASTER) and automatically on terrestrial photographs. We apply the methodology to four glaciers on which direct mass balance measurements have been (re)-initiated recently and use reanalysed and partly reconstructed mass balance series as a first source to validate our approach to remotely determine the seasonal glacier mass budget. In a second step, the derived glacier-wide mass balance is compared to geodetic mass balance calculations for the first decade of the 21st century.

  14. Getting Freshman in Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Chemical Education, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Various aspects of chemical equilibrium were discussed in six papers presented at the Seventh Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (Stillwater, Oklahoma 1982). These include student problems in understanding hydrolysis, helping students discover/uncover topics, equilibrium demonstrations, instructional strategies, and flaws to kinetic…

  15. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K A; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a "filter feeders-ascidian domination" to a "mixed assemblage" suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP. PMID:26702429

  16. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K. A.; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a “filter feeders–ascidian domination” to a “mixed assemblage” suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP. PMID:26702429

  17. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring - a timeline since 1894

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  18. Glacier changes since Local Last Glacial Maximum in the South-West slope of Nevado Hualcán, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, deduced from moraine mapping and GIS-based analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giráldez, Claudia; Palacios, David; Haeberli, Wilfried; Úbeda, Jose; Schauwecker, Simone; Torres, Judith

    2014-05-01

    Anticipating and assessing hazards and risks associated with the shrinking of surface and subsurface ice in cold mountain chains is facilitated by empirical-quantitative data on present and past rates of change, as well as by a general understanding of related landforms and landscape evolution through time. Rock/ice avalanches and devastating outburst floods from glacial lakes indeed constitute a major cause of severe damage in populated mountain areas such as the Cordillera Blanca whose combination of tectonic, topographic and glaciological characteristics make it a threatened region. This study focuses on the Río Chucchún catchment above the city of Carhuaz, which was recently affected by a flood/debris flow from a rock/ice avalanche impacting a recently grown lake (Laguna 513). Traces left by past glaciations strongly affect the current geomorphodinamic behaviour of the catchment. For instance, a prominent sediment-filled glacial overdeepening behind Younger Dryas (YD) moraines (Pampa de Shonquil) with its retention function strongly influenced the chain of processes initiated by the outburst of Laguna 513. The aim of this study is to reconstruct earlier glacial phases in the SW slope of Nevado Hualcán (Río Chucchún catchment), in order to compile quantitative information on surface areas and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs). To do so, glacier stages were assigned to five different glacial phases, through photointerpretation and moraine cartography: 2003; 1962; Hualcán-I-LIA (15th to 18th centuries); Hualcán-II-YD (~12,5 ka BP); and Hualcán-III-LLGM (~34 to 21 ka BP). Glacial stages Hualcán-I-LIA, Hualcán-II-YD and Hualcán-III-LLGM present relative dating based on previous studies from different authors in the Peruvian Andes. Once glaciers were delimited, their surface areas and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs) were calculated. For ELA estimation three different methods were used: the mid-range elevation, the Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR), and the

  19. Seasonality and extent of East Greenland glacier fluctuations from automatic satellite monitoring of calving glacier fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seale, Anthony; Christoffersen, Poul; Mugford, Ruth

    2010-05-01

    The recent acceleration of Greenland outlet glaciers shows that flow speeds can respond sensitively to changes of calving front positions, but little is known about the seasonality and range of margin position changes. To investigate the geographical extent of margin changes on subseasonal timescale, we developed an automated procedure for identifying calving margins from MODIS data (2000-2008), allowing for the analysis of 105,536 images of 32 glaciers in East Greenland. Validation exercises found results to compare well to those of other studies, which have been limited in either temporal resolution or spatial extent by more labor-intensive methods. All most all glacier exhibited seasonal cycles, demonstrating a strong sensitivity to environmental conditions. However, there was a distinct difference in response of glaciers north and south of 65.9°N. Those above showed close to no interannual change, whilst those below retreated rapidly by an average of 2.9 km over 2001 to 2005. We found that only a few glaciers have returned to their original calving position and that only 26% of the average calving retreat was recovered when the glaciers returned to a steady margin position during 2005 to 2008. The extent of rapid change of calving positions is consistent with the recent attribution of sustained mass losses in southeast Greenland to increased discharge. Meteorological records and climate reanalysis data show clear evidence of recent atmospheric warming in southeast Greenland, but this warming trend do not statistically explain the observed extent of margin recessions. A statistically convincing explanation was found in the output from the ¼ degree NEMO ocean model where variable extent of Atlantic water intrusions onto the East Greenland continental shelf coincide with the observed glacier change.

  20. Glacier Changes in the Bhutanese Himalaya - Present and Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rupper, S.; Schaefer, J. M.; Burgener, L. K.; Maurer, J.; Smith, R.; Cook, E.; Putnam, A. E.; Krusic, P.; Tsering, K.; Koenig, L.

    2012-12-01

    Glacierized change in the Himalayas affects river-discharge, hydro-energy and agricultural production, and Glacial Lake Outburst Flood potential, but its quantification and extent of impacts remains highly uncertain. Here we present conservative, comprehensive and quantitative predictions for glacier area and meltwater flux changes in Bhutan, monsoonal Himalayas. In particular, we quantify the uncertainties associated with the glacier area and meltwater flux changes due to uncertainty in climate data, a critical problem for much of High Asia. Based on a suite of gridded climate data and a robust glacier melt model, our results show that glacier area and meltwater change projections can vary by an order of magnitude for different climate datasets. The most conservative results indicate that, even if climate were to remain at the present-day mean values (1980-2000), almost 10% of Bhutan's glacierized area would vanish and the meltwater flux would drop by as much as 30%. New mapping of glacierized area from 2000-2010 shows a significant change in glacierized area of 4-6%. Thus the conservative steady-state area changes predicted by the model are already being realized. Under the conservative scenario of an additional 1°C regional warming, glacier retreat is predicted to continue until about 25% of Bhutan's glacierized area will have disappeared and the annual meltwater flux, after an initial spike, would drop by as much as 65%.

  1. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oneel, S.; Hood, E. W.; Arendt, A. A.; Sass, L. C.; March, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    We examine long-term streamflow and mass balance data from two Alaskan glaciers located in climatically distinct basins: Gulkana Glacier, a continental glacier located in the Alaska Range, and Wolverine Glacier, a maritime glacier located in the Kenai Mountains. Both glaciers lost mass, primarily as a result of summer warming, and both basins exhibit increasing streamflow over the 1966-2011 study interval. We estimated total glacier runoff via summer mass balance, and separated the fraction related to annual mass imbalances. In both climates, the fraction of streamflow related to annual mass balance averages less than 20%, substantially smaller than the fraction related to total summer mass loss (>50%), which occurs even in years of glacier growth. The streamflow fraction related to changes in annual mass balance has increased only in the continental environment. In the maritime climate, where deep winter snowpacks and frequent rain events drive consistently high runoff, the magnitude of this streamflow fraction is small and highly variable, precluding detection of any existing trend. Changes in streamflow related to annual balance are often masked by interannual variability of maritime glacier mass balance, such that predicted scenarios of continued glacier recession are more likely to impact the quality and timing of runoff than the total basin water yield.

  2. Velocity Estimates of Fast-Moving Outlet Glaciers on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdalati, Waleed; Krabill, W. B.

    1998-01-01

    In recent years, airborne laser altimetry has been used with great success to investigate the mass balance characteristics of the Greenland ice sheet. One spinoff of this activity has been the application of these measurements to the study of surface velocities in some of Greenland's fast-moving drainage glaciers. This is accomplished by tracking the motion of elevation features, primarily crevasses, in pairs of aircraft laser altimetry surveys. Detailed elevation measurements are made along or across glaciers of interest with a scanning swath of 150 to 200 meters, and the surveys are repeated several days later, typically to within better than 50 meters of the previous flight line. Surface elevation features are identified in each image, and their offsets are compared yielding detailed velocities over narrow regions. During the 1998 field season, repeat flights were made over three glaciers for the purpose of estimating their surface velocities. These were the Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers on the east coast and the Jakobshavn Isbrae on the west coast. Each flows at such high speeds (on the order of a few kilometers per year) that their flow rates are difficult to assess by means of radar interferometry. The flexibility of the aircraft platform, however, allows for detailed measurements of the elevation and flow of these drainage areas, which are responsible for a significant portion of the ice discharge from the Greenland ice sheet. Velocity estimates for transects that span these glaciers will be presented, and where the ice thickness values are available (provided by researchers from the University of Kansas) the fluxes will be calculated.

  3. Bluefin 9M AUV Survey of the Hubbard Glacier Morainal Bank: Proof-of-Concept Study of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Investigations Proximal to a Tidewater Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, J. A.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Lawson, D. E.; O'Halloran, W.

    2014-12-01

    Hubbard Glacier is one of the few advancing tidewater glaciers in the world, offering a premier opportunity for studying ice/sediment/seawater interactions at a tidewater glacier front that is in contact with the stabilizing submarine morainal bank. However, the seafloor and water column proximal to the ice face of a marine-terminating glacier is one of the most challenging and extreme environments imaginable for marine survey work. Frequently choked with constantly-shifting mélange ice at the sea surface and at risk from calving, surface vessels cannot operate safely proximal to the ice face. AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) technology provides an opportunity to survey in areas where surface vessels cannot. Operating well below the sea surface the AUV can operate without hindrance or danger to human operators. In addition, the AUV can be programmed to operate close to the seafloor at a constant altit