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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.

    2015-11-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Reconstructing glacier retreat since the Little Ice Age in SE Tibet by glacier mapping and equilibrium line altitude calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loibl, David; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Grießinger, Jussi

    2014-06-01

    Temperate glaciers in the eastern Nyainqêntanglha Range, southeastern Tibet, are highly sensitive to climate change and therefore of particular high interest for research on late Holocene changes of the monsoonal climate in High Asia. However, because of 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 in this region is still very limited. In this study, we applied a remote sensing approach in which 1964 glaciers were mapped from a Landsat ETM+ scene and subsequently parameterized by DEM-supported measurements. Geomorphological evidence, i.e., trimlines and latero-frontal moraines, were used to obtain quantitative data on the glaciers' morphological characteristics and the changes since the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum glacier advance. Statistical analysis of glacier length change revealed an average retreat of ~ 27% and a trend toward 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) is more suitable than other methods in settings with complex topography and a lack of mass balance measurements. A large number of glacier measurements are crucial for high quality of TRAM results, and special attention has to be paid to different glacier characteristics. In order to determine the best-fitting TRAM ratio value and to test the quality of the calculated ELAs, a remote sensing approach was applied: for each investigated glacier, the altitudes of transient snowlines visible in the late summer Landsat scene were measured from the DEM and compared to TRAM results. The interpolated ELA results show a SE-NW gradient ranging from 4400 to 5600 m asl and an average ELA rise of ~ 136 m since the LIA. Because of the high spatial resolution of measurements, the ELA distribution reveals topographic effects down to the catchment scale, specifically orographic rainfall and leeward shielding. The interpretation of these patterns reveals that the eastern Nyainqêntanglha Range is influenced by both, the Indian (ISM) and East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). However, the EASM does not reach the western part of the study area. The results indicate that the monsoonal temperate glaciers' high sensitivity to climate change is driven by two double forcings owing to the coincidence of accumulation and ablation phases.

  4. 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.

    2015-03-01

    Glacier behaviour during the mid-Holocene (MH, 6000 year BP) in the Southern Hemisphere provides observational data to constrain our understanding of the origin and propagation of palaeo-climatic signals. We examine the climatic forcing of glacier expansion in the MH by evaluating modelled glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and climate conditions during the MH compared with pre-industrial time (PI, year 1750) in the mid latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, specifically in Patagonia and the South Island of New Zealand. Climate conditions for the MH are obtained from PMIP2 models simulations, which in turn force a simple glacier mass balance model to simulate changes in equilibrium-line altitude during this period. Climate conditions during the MH show significantly (p ? 0.05) colder temperatures in summer, autumn and winter, and significantly (p ? 0.05) warmer temperatures in spring. These changes are a consequence of insolation differences between the two periods. Precipitation does not show significant changes, but exhibits a temporal pattern with less precipitation from August to September and more precipitation from October to April during the MH. In response to these climatic changes, glaciers in both analysed regions have an ELA that is 15-33 m lower than PI during the MH. The main causes of this difference are the colder temperature during the MH, reinforcing previous results that mid-latitude glaciers are more sensitive to temperature change compared to precipitation changes. Differences in temperature have a dual effect on mass balance. First, during summer and early autumn less energy is available for melting. Second in late autumn and winter, lower temperatures cause more precipitation to fall as snow rather than rain, 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 in the mid Holocene in both South America and New Zealand.

  5. 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 years BP in South America and New Zealand.

  6. Can the snowline be used as an indicator of the equilibrium line and mass balance for glaciers in the outer tropics?

    E-print Network

    Rabatel, Antoine

    Can the snowline be used as an indicator of the equilibrium line and mass balance for glaciers Fourier ­ Grenoble I/CNRS/G-INP, Grenoble, France ABSTRACT. Because the glacier snowline is easy and glaciers. Although several studies have shown that the snowline altitude (SLA) at the end

  7. Equilibrium-line altitude during the Antarctic Cold Reversal at Río Tranquilo glacier (47°S), Central Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagredo, E. A.; Ward, D.; Gonzalez, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Kelly, M. A.; Aravena, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Documenting the magnitude of former glacial fluctuations is critical for understanding the mechanisms and climate signals underlying these glacial events. Here, we estimate the equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) associated with the most prominent glacial advance occurred during the Last Glacial Termination (T1) at Tranquilo glacier (47°S). Geomorphic evidence suggest that, following the Last Glacial Maximum, several small glaciers, which today occupy the headwalls of Río Tranquilo valley, expanded and coalesced, forming the extended version of the Tranquilo glacier at least three different times. 10Be ages suggest that the most prominent of these glacial advances occurred ~13 kyr BP, at the end of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR). Based on glacial geomorphic mapping and the application of a glaciological model (GC2D), we reconstruct the former glacial surface at Tranquilo glacier and estimate the ELA for this major glacial advance. Preliminary data show that the equilibrium line altitude at Tranquilo glacier during the ACR could have been up to 500 m lower than the present. This study represents the first effort to quantify the ELA during the Antarctic Cold Reversal in Patagonia, and provides a baseline to decipher the climatic signals driving this glacial event.

  8. 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 limitation, and detachment of glacier tributaries, are criteria that prevent reliable ELA calculations. In order to determine the best-fitting TRAM ratio value and to test the quality of the calculated ELAs, a remote sensing approach was applied: the altitudes of transient snowlines visible in the late summer Landsat scene were measured from the DEM and compared to TRAM results for each glacier. The interpolated ELA results show a southeast-northwest gradient ranging from 4,400 to 5,600 m a.s.l. and an average ELA rise of ~ 98 m since the LIA. Due to the large amount of measurements, the ELA distribution reveals topographic effects down to the catchment scale, i.e. orographic rainfalls and leeward shielding. Contrasting to the expectations for subtropical settings, glaciers on south facing slopes have not retreated strongest and ELAs on south facing slopes did not rise furthest. Instead, highly heterogeneous spatial patterns emerge that show a strong imprint of both, topography and monsoonal dynamics. The interpretation of these patterns provides insights into the monsoonal system and the characteristics of late Holocene glacier change in southeastern Tibet. For example, the ELA distribution reveals that the study area is influenced by both, Indian summer monsoon and East Asian summer monsoon, but that the latter does not reach the Tibetan Plateau.

  9. Climate Reconstructions for the Younger Dryas in Graubünden, Swiss Alps: Using Glacier Geometry and Hypsometry to Estimate Equilibrium Line Altitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keeler, D. G.; Rupper, S.; Schaefer, J. M.; Finkel, R. C.

    2014-12-01

    Mountain glaciers serve as important paleoclimate records due to the direct physical link between glacier extent and climate. The high sensitivity of mountain glaciers to even small perturbations in the climate has the potential to provide very detailed records of regional glacier and climate histories. Recent progress in age determination techniques such as surface exposure dating has greatly improved the temporal precision of glacial records. The conversion of changes in glacier geometries to a climate signal, however, remains a significant challenge. A particular need exists for a versatile method easily applicable to diverse regions and conditions around the globe. Because the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) provides a more explicit comparison of climate than properties such as glacier length or area, ELA methods lend themselves well to such a need, and allow for a more direct investigation of the primary drivers of mountain glaciations during specific events. Here we present a new, robust ELA model for quantifying changes in climate directly from glacier geometry. The model derives from a linear flow model based on Glen's Flow law while fully accounting for glacier hypsometry. As a preliminary application, we combined our modeled ELA reconstructions with a new 10Be chronology of late glacial culminations in Graubünden in the Swiss Alps. These glacier culminations occurred during the Egesen Stadial, which has been correlated to the Younger Dryas (YD) interval. Results for two related glacier systems in Graubünden reveal an ELA depression of 365-401 m (depending on the moraines chosen) during the Egesen stage/YD compared to the modern ELA. This agrees well both with established estimates for ELA depressions in the region and an additional application performed using our model and previously determined ages on the nearby Lagrev Glacier (a 370 m ELA depression). We then reconstruct the temperature and precipitation changes required to explain the ELA changes for these Swiss glacier systems. We will apply the model to other regions in order to further elucidate the variability and sensitivity in the climate system during the YD, and provide insight into the primary drivers of those changes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 results from permafrost-climate studies (Sailer et al. 2000) and the qualitative information from biological proxy data. They also support the results from Atmospheric General Circulation models for the Younger Dryas in Europe, which point towards a more zonal type of circulation. Parts of the study were financially supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) under grant P12600-GEO. References: Ammann, B., F.Oldfield (ed.).2000. Palaeo3 159(2-4). Ivy-Ochs, S., Ch. Schluechter, P.W.Kubik, H.A.Synal, J.Beer, H. Kerschner. 1996. Eclogae Geol. Helv. 89(3), 1049-1063. Kuhn, M. 1981. IAHS publ. 131, 3-20. Kaser, G., H.Osmaston. 2001. Tropical Glaciers. Cambridge University Press. Kerschner, H., G.Kaser, R.Sailer. 2000. Ann. Glaciol. 31, 80-84. Ohmura, A., P.Kasser and M.Funk. 1992. J.Glaciol., 38(130), 397 - 411.

  12. Using remote-sensing data to determine equilibrium-line altitude and mass-balance time series: validation on three French glaciers,

    E-print Network

    Rabatel, Antoine

    Using remote-sensing data to determine equilibrium-line altitude and mass-balance time series to calculate glacier mass balance using remote-sensing data. Snowline measurements from remotely sensed images by ground measurements and remote sensing are compared and show excellent correlation (r2 > 0.89), both

  13. 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 automatic functions within the GIS operating environment. To reconstruct the ELAs of the glaciers, the Area x Altitude Balance Ratio (AABR) method was used. This method is extensively described in Osmaston (2005). To determine the rates of deglaciation, variations observed for 2007 in surface areas and ELAs against their values in 1986, 1955 and the Little Ice Age (LIA) were used as geoindicators. Establishing deglaciation rates has allowed forecasts to be made as to when the complete disappearance of ice mass could occur for three future scenarios, considering the hypothetical reproduction in each scenario of the rates of deglaciation observed since 1986 (Scenario 1), 1955 (Scenario 2) and the LIA (Scenario 3). To determine the chronology of the last maximum advance of the glaciers and the last volcanic manifestations, samples were taken from moraine blocks and glaciated rocky thresholds, and also from lava ejected during the last eruption, in the eastern sector of the complex. Due to their recent external appearance, since they have been channeled by glacial valleys and have been affected by ice masses only at the head, these lavas had been dated as Holocene. Absolute dating was performed using cosmogenic methods (Cl36). As a result of applying the proposed method, glacial system surface areas have been estimated for 2007 (47 km2), 1986 (54 km2) and 1955 (56 km2), implying a reduction of ~18% in 52 years. The process appears to have speeded up in the last decades (~13% in only 21 years). Surfaces were also estimated and ELAs reconstructed for the NE and SE groups in 2007, 1986, 1955, the Little Ice Age and during the last maximum advance. Glaciers from the NE group show an area during all periods (2.3, 2.7, 2.9, 3.3 and 30 km2) smaller than SE group glaciers (8.1, 9.9, 10.3, 11.9 and 66.5 km2). An individual analysis of glaciers in the NE and SE groups in 2007 shows a reduction in surface area two to four times greater than that observed between 1955 and 1986. ELAs are also higher for all periods in the Northern section (5968, 5930, 5923, 5886 and 5186 m) than in

  14. 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.

  15. 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 the ELAs, which are different from the values obtained by the methods mentioned above. AABR and AAR are shown to be the most reliable methods as they do not depend on the conservation level of geomorphological features. The estimated paleoELA in our case study is in an intermediate position between those estimated in nearby glaciers of the same type during the MIE in the Serra da Estrela and la Sierra de Béjar, at 1650 and 2010 m. The contrast is more difficult, however, with the Cordillera Cantábrica, with ELAs ranging from 1100 to 2000 m, depending on orientation. Research funded by Cryocrisis project (CGL2012-35858), Government of Spain

  16. 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.

  17. Modeling the grounding line dynamics of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica using full Stokes and lower order models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, H.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H. L.; Larour, E. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Thwaites Glacier (TG) is one of the largest ice streams in West Antarctica and the broadest (about 110 km wide). Satellite observations have revealed that the grounding line is retreating rapidly, ice is thinning meters per year, the fast portion of the ice stream is widening, and since 2006 the main portion of the glacier has been accelerating following a period of relatively steady speed. Here, we use the JPL/UCI Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to study the grounding line dynamics of Thwaites Glacier to determine its stability and sensitivity to changes in ice-ocean interactions. We use a full Stokes model, a higher order (HO) approximation and a shelfy-stream approximation (SSA) in 2D and try to best fit observations of ice flow, ice surface elevation and ice thickness across the grounding line by tuning basal friction on land and bottom melt rates on the floating ice tongue. The motion of the grounding line is treated as a contact problem with Full Stokes and using hydrostatic equilibrium with HO and SSA. We show that only the Full Stokes model can correctly represent the balance of stresses and a near steady state profile of the glacier across the grounding line. The work is then extended in 3D to estimate the sensitivity of the glacier's grounding line to changes in ice melt rates.

  18. 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 ? m) and near infrared (0.841 - 0.876 ? 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.

  19. Line radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamp, Inga

    2015-09-01

    Atomic and molecular line emission from protoplanetary disks contains key information of their detailed physical and chemical structures. To unravel those structures, we need to understand line radiative transfer in dusty media and the statistical equilibrium, especially of molecules. I describe here the basic principles of statistical equilibrium and illustrate them through the two-level atom. In a second part, the fundamentals of line radiative transfer are introduced along with the various broadening mechanisms. I explain general solution methods with their drawbacks and also specific difficulties encountered in solving the line radiative transfer equation in disks (e.g. velocity gradients). I am closing with a few special cases of line emission from disks: Radiative pumping, masers and resonance scattering. 9th Lecture of the Summer School "Protoplanetary Disks: Theory and Modelling Meet Observations"

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Mouginot, J.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H.; Scheuchl, B.

    2014-05-01

    We measure the grounding line retreat of glaciers draining the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica using Earth Remote Sensing (ERS-1/2) satellite radar interferometry from 1992 to 2011. Pine Island Glacier retreated 31 km at its center, with most retreat in 2005-2009 when the glacier ungrounded from its ice plain. Thwaites Glacier retreated 14 km along its fast flow core and 1 to 9 km along the sides. Haynes Glacier retreated 10 km along its flanks. Smith/Kohler glaciers retreated the most, 35 km along its ice plain, and its ice shelf pinning points are vanishing. These rapid retreats proceed along regions of retrograde bed elevation mapped at a high spatial resolution using a mass conservation technique that removes residual ambiguities from prior mappings. Upstream of the 2011 grounding line positions, we find no major bed obstacle that would prevent the glaciers from further retreat and draw down the entire basin.

  4. 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. We observe a strong seasonality and large inter-annual variations in glacial fjords of interest. This enables a quantification of thermal forcing of the ocean on the calving faces of Greenland, its potential impact on submarine melting, which in turn effects glacier un-grounding, glacier velocity, glacier mass balance, and ultimately ice sheet mass balance as a whole.

  5. 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.

  6. Complex and shifting Himalayan glacier changes point to complex

    E-print Network

    freezing temperature CONTACT: Jeff Kargel #12;Generalized glacier The Equilibrium Line Altitude is where exaggerate the rate of melting, and others go the other way and errantly claim climatic insensitivity statements by Kargel that the glaciers will not disappear by 2035, but that they are melting rapidly in some

  7. 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.

  8. Sensitivities of the equilibrium line altitude to temperature and precipitation changes along the Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagredo, Esteban A.; Rupper, Summer; Lowell, Thomas V.

    2014-03-01

    Equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of alpine glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate change and have been commonly used to reconstruct paleoclimates at different temporal and spatial scales. However, accurate interpretations of ELA fluctuations rely on a quantitative understanding of the sensitivity of ELAs to changes in climate. We applied a full surface energy- and mass-balance model to quantify ELA sensitivity to temperature and precipitation changes across the range of climate conditions found in the Andes. Model results show that ELA response has a strong spatial variability across the glaciated regions of South America. This spatial variability correlates with the distribution of the present-day mean climate conditions observed along the Andes. We find that ELAs respond linearly to changes in temperature, with the magnitude of the response being prescribed by the local lapse rates. ELA sensitivities to precipitation changes are nearly linear and are inversely correlated with the emissivity of the atmosphere. Temperature sensitivities are greatest in the inner tropics; precipitation becomes more important in the subtropics and northernmost mid-latitudes. These results can be considered an important step towards developing a framework for understanding past episodes of glacial fluctuations and ultimately for predicting glacier response to future climate changes.

  9. 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 mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate changes. The Russian Altai Mountains are located in the Inner Asia on the border of Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. The Department of Geography and Geoecology of SPbSU has been organizing annual field expeditions to this region during the last 20 yrs. The uniqueness of the Altai landscapes lies in its great variety as these mountains are higher than 4 km and located on the zonal border between steppes and semi-deserts and between continental and sharply continental climates. This research deals with space-time features of regional climate changes and the dynamics of high-altitude landscapes. The 1940-2004 time series of seasonal air temperature and precipitation from 14 weather stations from 300 to 2600 m a.s.l. were statistically analyzed applying regression, correlation, spectral and cluster analyses. To extend time series over the past 350-400 yrs, mean summer temperature and precipitation were reconstructed applying dendroclimatological methods and using the WSL Dendro data base. Comparing to the Northern Hemisphere tendency of temperature increase in the second half of the 20th century over the Altai has been observed generally earlier, since 1950s. Maximum warming rate in the last quarter of the 20th century is typical to winter in the Altai (0,85°/10 yrs) as well as the entire Northern Hemisphere. Synchronous changes in the Altai and the Northern Hemisphere are observed in all seasons only in 1975-2004. At the turn of the XX-XXI centuries warming rates slow down in the region while temperature level is still high. These changes are partly associated with circulation epochs. Spectral analysis revealed important role of natural cyclical recurrence in climate changes, for example quasi-biennial, solar and Brückner cycles. According to dendrochronological reconstruction mean summer temperature increased from the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) to its maximum in the 1990s by approximately 2°C, to 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Quasi-equilibrium electron density along a magnetic field line

    SciTech Connect

    Mao, Hann-Shin; Wirz, Richard

    2012-11-26

    A methodology is developed to determine the density of high-energy electrons along a magnetic field line for a low-{beta} plasma. This method avoids the expense and statistical noise of traditional particle tracking techniques commonly used for high-energy electrons in bombardment plasma generators. By preserving the magnetic mirror and assuming a mixing timescale, typically the elastic collision frequency with neutrals, a quasi-equilibrium electron distribution can be calculated. Following the transient decay, the analysis shows that both the normalized density and the reduction fraction due to collision converge to a single quasi-equilibrium solution.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Using glacier inventory data to determine the sea-level contribution of glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank

    2014-05-01

    Glaciers are widely considered as the best natural climate indicators. While this is certainly the case for glacier changes (length, volume), it also applies to glaciers itself as they can only exist within a certain range of climate conditions. A key parameter for the climatic classification of glaciers is their equilibrium line altitude (ELA) when referring to a balanced mass budget (ELA0). The ELA0 can be approximated by the mean or median elevation that is readily available for individual glaciers from inventories. Using well-established relations between temperature and precipitation at the ELA0, precipitation can be derived from mean elevations. Annual precipitation sums are indicative of the climatic regime and can be used to infer mass balance gradients. Once these are known, mass loss by melt can be approximated for each glacier under balanced conditions. By shifting the ELA0 upwards, the ablation region is increased and in combination with the mass balance gradient the additional glacier melt can be calculated for each glacier. In this contribution we applied the above methods to all glaciers in the Swiss Alps using glacier outlines from the mid 1970s and a digital elevation model (DEM) from the mid 1980s as an input. The mass balance gradients derived from annual precipitation are within the range of known values (measured and modeled). The modelled ablation under balanced conditions is rather similar to the observed precipitation amounts over glaciers (considering measurement uncertainties). For a one degree temperature increase, specific mass loss increases by about 0.65 m / yr (the mass balance sensitivity) which gives a total mass loss of about 1 Gt / year over a glacier area of 1000 sqkm and for a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees. These values are in good agreement with the observed annual mass changes of glaciers in the Alps over the past two decades, thus confirming the observed temperature increase in the mid 1980s.

  17. Central Himalayan Glaciers and Climate Change- Pinder Glacier- A preliminary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillai, J.; Patel, L. K.

    2011-12-01

    Glaciers in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) are the prime lifeline of Indian Subcontinent. There are about nine thousand glaciers of different size in this region. It is located within the latitudes 270N to 360N and longitude 720E to 960E. The second largest glacier, outside the polar and sub polar regions, Siachen glacier of length 74 km, is located in IHR. Many rivers in this continent originated from these glaciers. Study on the fluctuations especially of the snow cover and related parameters are important for the proper management of these rivers. Annual balance, fluctuations of glaciers, hydrological behaviour and the assessment of the winter snow pack are also critical for the proper flow and control of Himalayan Rivers. There are many hydroelectric and irrigation facilities in these snow fed rivers. Glacial melt is important as far as the river flow is concerned. Researchers had observed that the glacial mass balance has been found to show an inverse relationship with the monsoon. Glacial hydrometry and glacial melt are important aspects as far the studies of glaciers in this region. Himalayan glaciers are also important for ecosystem stability. In this perspective attempts had been made to examine the various environmental parameters of Pindari glacier and the upper reaches of the Pindari river. Pindari glacier is located in the Central Himalayan region. It is of length 8 Km. A few records available with Geological Survey of India for a period of hundred years reveals that Pindari glacial have an annual retreat of 8-10 M. Pindrai glacier had retreated about 425 M with in a period of fifty seven years. Pindari river originates from the buffer zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) and is located in the lower regime of Pindari glacier. It is one of the prominent tributaries of Alaknanda. Tributaries of Pindari river are from Maktoli glacier, Kafani glacier and Sunderdhunga glacier. The changes in the Pindiari catchment area had been examined from the year 1990. Remote Sensing data of different years were used to analyze the changes in aerial extent of the pindari glacier. Pindari landscap is formed by the combined geomorphological process of fluvial and glacial. These processes are also maintaining the ecosystem balance of the catchment area. Snow covers area of this higher landscapet had been reduced considerably. The timberline of this region is shifting upper side of the glaciers, whereas the equilibrium line is also retreating. The spatial invasion in timber line and the retreat of the equilibrium line will further establish the negative mass balance of this glacier. However, the climatic variation may exacerbate the ecosystem balance of the region. All the reports on the glaciers in IHR regions review a negative mass balance and annual retreat up the glaciers. The observation records of these glaciers in IHR are about a period of hundred years this is quite in sufficient it establishes the relation between climate change and the glaciers retreat. However it is a known fact that the impact of rise in temperature due to anthropogenic effect may overstretch the rate the natural process of glacier retreat. The present study also discusses the unique phenomena of glacier melt due to climatic variations and its catastrophe.

  18. 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 THAR with ratios 0.2; 0.4 and 0.5 tend to underestimate it's position. Research funded by Cryocrisis project (CGL2012-35858), Government of Spain.

  19. 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 remote and high-altitude glaciers at high temporal resolution.

  20. Complex Behaviour of Glaciers in Ladakh Mountains (J & K State, India) : Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganjoo, R. K.

    2011-12-01

    The Ladakh Mountains house approximately 4500 glaciers in its two major basins, namely Indus (1800 glaciers) and Shyok (2700 glaciers).Glaciers in Indian Himalaya have been under monitor for past about five decades. Monitoring of scores of glaciers have been both in terms of documentary record and field studies of the glaciers in northwest Himalaya. The studies suggest that glaciers of Ladakh mountains show an extremely different behavior as compared to the glaciers of rest of northwest Himalaya. Four glaciers, namely Durung Drung, Kangriz, Machoi and Siachen, representing the Indus and Shyok basin are dealt herein. Sufficient documentary and field evidences of these four glaciers support the view that glaciers housed in Ladakh mountains contradict the commonly accepted concept of fast melting glaciers in Himalaya (Ganjoo and Koul 2009; Ganjoo et al. 2010). The studies further suggest that the secular movement of glaciers in Ladakh mountains is a complex phenomena of several micro and macro-climatic factors, terrain morphology, and tectonics (Ganjoo 2009, Koul and Ganjoo 2010). The change in the morphology of glaciers is not necessarily related with the change in climate as commonly believed and hyped. Ganjoo, R.K. (2009) Holocene Tectonics and Climate of Durung Drung Glacier Basin, Zanskar Himalaya, India (Abstract). The 5th International Symposium on Tibetan Plateau and 24th Himalaya- Karakorum-Tibet Workshop, Aug. 11-14, Beijing, China. Ganjoo, R.K. and Koul, M.N. (2009) Is the Siachen glacier melting? Current Science, 97(3), 309-310. Ganjoo, RK; Koul, MN; Ajai; Bahuguna, IM (2010) Glaciers of Nubra valley, Karakorum mountains, Ladakh (India) vis-à-vis climate change (abstract). 7th Annual Meeting of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, Hyderabad. Koul, M.N. and Ganjoo, R.K. (2010) Impact of inter- and intra-annual variation in weather parameters on mass balance and equilibrium line altitude of Naradu glacier (Himachal Pradesh), NW Himalaya, India. Climatic Change, 99, 119-139.

  1. 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 acceleration effect from production of efficient sub-glacial channelization is not generally occurring. As the EL migrates inland with climatic warming, the melt-acceleration effect has also been migrating. The net additional displacement of several meters during the summer is about 3 to 5% of the total annual displacement, and is increasing as summer temperatures and surface melting increases.

  2. Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied

    E-print Network

    Ng, Chung-Sang

    Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied Magnetic Fields: Heating of the Solar in a magnetic non-equilibrium Parker's model (1972): Non-equilibrium driven by complex photospheric motions. i.e. surfaces of tangential discontinuities separating regions of quasi-equilibrium · Photospheric motion has

  3. 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.

  4. Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied

    E-print Network

    Ng, Chung-Sang

    Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied Magnetic Fields C. S. Ng and A years Require sharp gradient (current sheets) Line-tying in photosphere Quasi-equilibrium --- most equations #12;Magnetostatic equilibrium J z +[A, J] = 0 ,or B J = 0 with = = 0. c.f. 2D Euler equation

  5. Linking glacier annual mass balance and glacier albedo retrieved from MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, M.; Gardelle, J.; Sirguey, P.; Guillot, A.; Six, D.; Rabatel, A.; Arnaud, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Albedo is one of the variables controlling the mass balance of temperate glaciers. Multispectral imagers, such as MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the TERRA and AQUA satellites, provide a means to monitor glacier surface albedo. In this study, different methods to retrieve broadband glacier surface albedo from MODIS data are compared. The effect of multiple reflections due to the rugged topography and of the anisotropic reflection of snow and ice are particularly investigated. The methods are tested on the Saint Sorlin Glacier (Grandes Rousses area, French Alps). The accuracy of the retrieved albedo is estimated using both field measurements, at two automatic weather stations located on the glacier, and albedo values derived from terrestrial photographs. For summers 2008 and 2009, the root mean square deviation (RMSD) between field measurements and the broadband albedo retrieved from MODIS data at 250 m spatial resolution was found to be 0.052 or about 10% relative error. The RMSD estimated for the MOD10 daily albedo product is about three times higher. One decade (2000-2009) of MODIS data were then processed to create a time series of albedo maps of Saint Sorlin Glacier during the ablation season. The annual mass balance of Saint Sorlin Glacier was compared with the minimum albedo value (average over the whole glacier surface) observed with MODIS during the ablation season. A strong linear correlation exists between the two variables. Furthermore, the date when the average albedo of the whole glacier reaches a minimum closely corresponds to the period when the snow line is located at its highest elevation, thus when the snow line is a good indicator of the glacier equilibrium line. This indicates that this strong correlation results from the fact that the minimal average albedo values of the glacier contains considerable information regarding the relative share of areal surfaces between the ablation zone (i.e. ice with generally low albedo values) and the accumulation zone (i.e. snow with a relatively high albedo). As a consequence, the monitoring of the glacier surface albedo using MODIS data can provide a useful means to evaluate the interannual variability of the glacier mass balance. Finally, the albedo in the ablation area of Saint Sorlin Glacier does not exhibit any decreasing trend over the study period, contrasting with the results obtained on Morteratsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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 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.

  10. Linking glacier annual mass balance and glacier albedo retrieved from MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, M.; Gardelle, J.; Sirguey, P.; Guillot, A.; Six, D.; Rabatel, A.; Arnaud, Y.

    2012-07-01

    Albedo is one of the variables controlling the mass balance of temperate glaciers. Multispectral imagers, such as MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the TERRA and AQUA satellites, provide a means to monitor glacier surface albedo. In this study, different methods to retrieve broadband glacier surface albedo from MODIS data are compared. The effect of multiple reflections due to the rugged topography and of the anisotropic reflection of snow and ice are particularly investigated. The methods are tested on the Saint Sorlin Glacier (Grandes Rousses area, French Alps). The accuracy of the retrieved albedo is estimated using both field measurements, at two automatic weather stations located on the glacier, and albedo values derived from terrestrial photographs. For summers 2008 and 2009, the Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) between field measurements and the broadband albedo retrieved from MODIS data at 250 m spatial resolution was found to be 0.052 or about 10% relative error. The RMSD estimated for the MOD10 daily albedo product is about three times higher. One decade (2000-2009) of MODIS data were then processed to create a time series of albedo maps of Saint Sorlin Glacier during the ablation season. The annual mass balance of Saint Sorlin Glacier was compared with the minimum albedo value (average over the whole glacier surface) observed with MODIS during the ablation season. A strong linear correlation exists between the two variables. Furthermore, the date when the average albedo of the whole glacier reaches a minimum closely corresponds to the period when the snowline is located at its highest elevation, thus when the snowline is a good indicator of the glacier equilibrium line. This indicates that this strong correlation results from the fact that the minimal average albedo values of the glacier contains a considerable information regarding the relative share of areal surfaces between the ablation zone (i.e. ice with generally low albedo values) and the accumulation zone (i.e. snow with a relatively high albedo). As a consequence, the monitoring of the glacier surface albedo using MODIS data can provide a useful means to evaluate the inter-annual variability of the glacier mass balance. Finally, the albedo in the ablation area of Saint Sorlin Glacier does not exhibit any decreasing trend over the study period, contrasting with the results obtained on Morteratsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps.

  11. 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).

  12. Reconstructing glaciers: Sedimentary sources, sinks and fingerprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paasche, O.; Lovlie, R.; Bakke, J.; Hirt, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers are natural systems that shape and influence their geological surroundings through erosion and redistribution of sediments and rocks from one place to another. Their presence are determined by the landscape, regional climatic parameters such as wind, precipitation and temperature, and for these reasons they are valuable proxies of present and past climatic change. During the last four decades researchers have attempted to develop and assess methods that reliably and accurately reproduce continuous glacier variability over timescales extending thousands of years back in time. At the core of this multi-disciplinary endeavour is a strong desire to enhance our knowledge about how glaciers respond to a wider spectre of climatic change beyond what has been observed and documented for the last ~100 years. By far the majority of existing continuous glacier reconstructions are based on empirical evidence derived from soft sediment archives - mainly from lakes and fjords - making it quintessential to understand the sedimentary sources and sinks operating in glacierized catchment systems. If paleoclimatic inferences are to be made from such glacier reconstructions it is imperative that relevant sources of noise is considered, identified and, preferentially, eliminated. Here we review some of the problems and prospects of reconstructing temperate mountain or cirque glaciers as well as basic assumptions underlying most continuous glacier reconstructions. We will illustrate this challenge by presenting new data from a glacierized catchment surrounding a small lake called Blåvatnet located in Northern Norway at 68°N. A suit of piston and short gravity cores from the lake have been analysed and the results have been tested and corroborated by catchment samples from different sedimentary sources - an approach that is deemed to be of critical value when it comes to fingerprinting the glacier signal. Methodological emphasis is put on rock magnetism, which we demonstrate to be exceptionally well suited for identifying different sedimentary sources and characteristics typical for glacierized catchments. High sedimentation rates allow for a decadal glacier reconstruction covering the last 4000 years. Specifically, we observe major fluctuations in glacier activity that corresponds to an Equilibrium-Line-Altitude (ELA) variability of +/- 100 m. Peak activity is associated with the 'Little Ice Age' (1400-1800 AD) and a Neoglacial Maximum which occurred around 2500 years ago.

  13. Climatic and topographic influences on glacier distribution in the Bhutan Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagai, H.; Fujita, K.; Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Tadono, T.

    2014-02-01

    The locations and extent of mountain glaciers are affected by climatic constraints such as air temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation, as well as by local topography, which influences avalanche accumulation and debris supply. To evaluate these influences on the elevational distribution of glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya, we created a glacier inventory together with debris-covered area and potential material-supply (PMS) slopes using satellite images with high spatial resolution. The median elevation of a glacier, which is used as a proxy of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), decreases with increasing annual precipitation, suggesting the influence of climatic factors, according to which the ELA is lowered in relatively warm and humid environments, and raised when the opposite conditions prevail. We found a weak but significant influence of topography on the elevational distribution of glaciers, indicated by the relationship between the deviation of the median elevation of an individual glacier from the regional average and the PMS slope ratio (defined as the ratio of the PMS slope area to glacier area). We further analysed the dependency of the median glacier elevation on the gradient and aspect of PMS slopes. We found that the median elevation is affected by the avalanche-driven redistribution of snow accumulation on debris-free glaciers, and that in debris-covered glaciers the debris supply affects glacier extent through the insulation effect of the debris layer.

  14. 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 ?G = 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.

  15. 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 ?G = 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.

  16. Linking glacier annual mass balance and glacier albedo from MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, M.; Gardelle, J.; Arnaud, Y.; Guillot, A.; Sirguey, P.; Six, D.

    2012-04-01

    The albedo is one of the variables controlling the mass balance of temperate glaciers. Multispectral imagers, such as MODIS on board TERRA and AQUA, provide a means to monitor glacier albedo. In this study, different methods to retrieve broadband glacier albedo from MODIS data are compared. In particular, the effect of the multiple reflections due to the rugged topography and that of the anisotropic reflection of snow and ice are investigated. The methods are tested on the Saint Sorlin glacier (Grandes Rousses area, French Alps). The accuracy of the retrieved albedo is estimated using both field measurements and albedo derived from terrestrial photographs. The root mean square deviation between field measurements and the broadband albedo retrieved from MODIS pixels at 250m spatial resolution was found to be less than 0.06. One decade (2000-2010) of MODIS data were then processed to create a time series of albedo maps of Saint Sorlin glacier during the ablation season. It appears that the albedo in the ablation area of the glacier does not exhibit any marked decreasing trend during the decade under study. This contrasts with the situation observed on other glaciers in the Alps. In addition, the annual mass balance of Saint Sorlin Glacier was compared with the minimum albedo value (spatial averaged over the whole glacier) observed with MODIS during the ablation season. A high linear correlation exists between the two variables. Furthermore, the day on which the albedo reaches a minimum over the glacier closely corresponds to the day on which the snowline is found to be at its highest elevation, thus close to the glacier's equilibrium line. This indicates that the high correlation can be explained by the fact that this minimal albedo contains a high degree of information regarding the relative share of areal surfaces between the ablation zone (i.e., ice with a generally lower albedo) and the accumulation zone (i.e., snow with a relatively high albedo). This implies that monitoring the albedo of glacier with MODIS data can provide a useful means to approach the inter-annual variability of the glacier's mass balance.

  17. 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 2002-2013 observation period. The negative gradients can be explained by the thickness of debris cover that increases with decrease in altitude, thus protecting the glacier more efficiently at lower altitudes. Mass balance is strongly dependent on debris cover, exposure (solar radiation) and the shading effect of surrounding steep slopes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Bivachnyy Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Photograph of Bivachnyy Glacier, a surging valley glacier in the central Pamir Mountains. The glacier has a thick debris cover derived from adjacent mountains. Photograph courtesy of V.M. Kotlyakov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow....

  1. 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

    We have reconstructed the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) in seven valleys on the SW slope of Nevado Hualcán (9°S, 77°W; 6122 m asl) and on the SE slope of Nevado Coropuna (15°S, 72°W; 6377masl) using the Area x Altitude Balance Ratio method (Osmaston 2005). We have also deduced the paleotemperatures using the following equation: ?T=ATLR•?ELA; being ?T (°C) the paleotemperature depression; ATLR (°C/m) the Atmospheric Temperature Lapse Rate; and ?ELA (m) the ELA depression. The ATLR for Coropuna was deduced through the use of data loggers. For Hualcán we used the value ATLR =0.0065°C/m, valid for the tropics (Kaser and Osmaston, 2002). We obtained the following results: 1) Hualcán: a) ELAs: 5124m (2003); 5018m (1962); 4994m during the Little Ice Age (LIA); and 4652m during the last studied maximum advance considered to be the Younger Dryas (YD, ~13-11ka) by correlation with nearby mountains (Glasser et al., 2009). b) ?ELAs: 106m (1962); 130m (LIA); and 199m (YD). c) ?T: -0.69°C (1962); -0.85°C (LIA); -3.07°C (YD). 2) Coropuna: a) ELAs: 5862m (2007); 5853m (1986); 5787m (1955); 5776 (LIA); and 4951m in the 13-1136Cl ka phase (Ubeda, 2011). b) ?ELA: 9m (1986); 66m (1955); 86m (LIA); and 911m in 13-1136Cl ka. C) ?T: -0.20°C (1986); -0.71°C (1955); and -7.65°C (13-1136Cl ka). The values ?T during LIA in Hualcán and Coropuna (0.85 and 0.72°C) are consistent with the global warming considered to be 0,74°C between 1906 and 2005 (IPCC, 2007). During the mid XXth century and the LIA, ?T is higher in Hualcán (0.69°C and 0.85°C) than in Coropuna (0.55°C and 0.72°C), with a regional gradient of -0.02°C per degree of latitude (°C/°). However, during the YD (13-1136Cl ka), ?T was higher in Coropuna (7.65°C) than in Hualcán (3.07°C), with a gradient of 0.76°C/°. Although other evidences exist of a pantropical cooling of >5°C during the last glaciation, in Coropuna this cooling was strengthened by the retro-alimentation of its glacial 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.

  2. Glacier volume and area change by 2050 in high mountain Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Liyun; Ding, Ran; Moore, John C.

    2014-11-01

    We estimate individual area and volume change by 2050 of all 67,028 glaciers, with a total area of 122,969 km2, delineated in the Randolph Glacier Inventory 2.0 of high mountain Asia (HMA). We used the 25 km resolution regional climate model RegCM 3.0 temperature and precipitation change projections forced by the IPCC A1B scenario. Glacier simulations were based on a novel surface mass balance-altitude parameterization fitted to observational data, and various volume-area scaling approaches using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission surface topography of each individual glacier. We generate mass balance-altitude relations for all the glaciers by region using nearest available glacier measurements. Equilibrium line altitude (ELA) sensitivities to temperature and precipitation change vary by region based on the relative importance of sublimation and melting processes. We also made simulations with mass balance tuned to match satellite observations of glacier thickness changes in HMA from 2003 to 2009. Net mass loss is half as much using the tuned model than using just glaciological calibration data, suggesting the representativity of benchmark glaciers is a larger source of uncertainty in future HMA contributions to sea level rise than errors in glacier inventories or volume-area scaling. Both models predict that about 35% of the glaciers in Karakoram and the northwestern Himalaya are advancing, which is consistent with the observed slight mass gain of glaciers in these regions in recent years. However, we find that 76% of all the glaciers will retreat, most of which are of the maritime type. We project total glacier area loss in high mountain Asia in 2050 to be 22% (in the tuned model) or 35% (un-tuned) of their extent in 2000, and they will contribute 5 mm (tuned model) to global sea level rise.

  3. 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.

  4. Seasonal changes in surface albedo of Himalayan glaciers from MODIS data and links with the annual mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brun, F.; Dumont, M.; Wagnon, P.; Berthier, E.; Azam, M. F.; Shea, J. M.; Sirguey, P.; Rabatel, A.; Ramanathan, Al.

    2015-02-01

    Few glaciological field data are available on glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalayan (HKH) region, and remote sensing data are thus critical for glacier studies in this region. The main objectives of this study are to document, using satellite images, the seasonal changes of surface albedo for two Himalayan glaciers, Chhota Shigri Glacier (Himachal Pradesh, India) and Mera Glacier (Everest region, Nepal), and to reconstruct the annual mass balance of these glaciers based on the albedo data. Albedo is retrieved from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, and evaluated using ground based measurements. At both sites, we find high coefficients of determination between annual minimum albedo averaged over the glacier (AMAAG) and glacier-wide annual mass balance (Ba) measured with the glaciological method (R2 = 0.75). At Chhota Shigri Glacier, the relation between AMAAG found at the end of the ablation season and Ba suggests that AMAAG can be used as a proxy for the maximum snow line altitude or equilibrium line altitude (ELA) on winter-accumulation-type glaciers in the Himalayas. However, for the summer-accumulation-type Mera Glacier, our approach relied on the hypothesis that ELA information is preserved during the monsoon. At Mera Glacier, cloud obscuration and snow accumulation limits the detection of albedo during the monsoon, but snow redistribution and sublimation in the post-monsoon period allows for the calculation of AMAAG. Reconstructed Ba at Chhota Shigri Glacier agrees with mass balances previously reconstructed using a positive degree-day method. Reconstructed Ba at Mera Glacier is affected by heavy cloud cover during the monsoon, which systematically limited our ability to observe AMAAG at the end of the melting period. In addition, the relation between AMAAG and Ba is constrained over a shorter time period for Mera Glacier (6 years) than for Chhota Shigri Glacier (11 years). Thus the mass balance reconstruction is less robust for Mera Glacier than for Chhota Shigri Glacier. However our method shows promising results and may be used to reconstruct the annual mass balance of glaciers with contrasted seasonal cycles in the western part of the HKH mountain range since the early 2000s when MODIS images became available.

  5. 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.

  6. Impact of glacio-morphological parameters in the glacier change: A case study of parts of Western Himalaya, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brahmbhatt, R.; Bahuguna, I. M.; Rathore, B. P.; Kulkarni, A. V.; Shah, R.

    2014-12-01

    The Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice, which act as a huge freshwater reservoir. Monitoring the glaciers is important to assess the overall reservoir health. In last few decades the most of the mountainous glaciers have undergone negative mass balance and terminal recessions, unlike the advancing glaciers. In this investigation, glaciers of Western Himalaya have been monitored since 1962 and variability in retreat was identified within the region. Thus, further analysis about significant parameters was taken into account to understand the relationship between glacio-morphological factors and change in glacial area. Initially change in areal extent of glaciers was derived for two time frames (1962-2001/02 and 2001/02-2010/11). The study comprised of 324 glaciers for the monitoring period of 1962-2001/02. A loss in glacial area was observed as 11% for this period. Many of these glaciers (238) were further monitored between 2001/02 and 2010/11. These glaciers showed a loss of 1.1%. The annual deglaciation has been found higher during the period of 1962-2001/02, which means rate of melting is less in this region in latest decade. Another observation in deglaciation was found spatial and temporal variability in glaciers which was addressed using glacio-morphic parameters. Areal extent of glaciers was observed to be having significant role on rate of glacial shrinkage. The another important parameter is equilibrium line altitude, i.e. the glaciers located below ELA have experienced 4.6% of deglaciation for the time frame 2001/02 - 2010/11 where as it was found to be 1.1% for the glaciers occurring above ELA. Moreover, glaciers located at lower altitude and having gentle slope show more area retreat. The results of area retreat in debris covered and debris free glaciers supports that the glaciers covered by debris retard ice melting at some extent. 158 glaciers were observed having no debris cover which shows 14% of loss in surface area. In glaciers having 40 % debris cover, 8% of deglaciation was observed. However, orientation of glaciers did not show any considerable pattern on glacial change. The study inferences that the glaciers which are debris free, located below mean altitude of snowline, smaller in size, gentle slope,and located at lower altitude has experienced higher rate of shrinkage.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüthi, M. P.

    2014-04-01

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

  9. Strong ELA increase causes fast mass loss of glaciers in central Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma?ecki, J.

    2015-11-01

    Svalbard is a heavily glacier covered archipelago in the Arctic. Its central regions, including Dickson Land (DL), are occupied by small alpine glaciers, which post-Little Ice Age (LIA) changes remain only sporadically investigated. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of glacier changes in DL based on inventories compiled from topographic maps and digital elevation models (DEMs) for LIA, 1960's, 1990 and 2009/11. The 37.9 ± 12.1 % glacier area decrease in DL (i.e. from 334.1 ± 38.4 km2 during LIA to 207.4 ± 4.6 km2 in 2009/11) has been primarily caused by accelerating termini retreat. The mean 1990-2009/11 geodetic mass balance of glaciers was -0.70 ± 0.06 m a-1 (-0.63 ± 0.05 m w.e. a-1), being one of the most negative from Svalbard regional means known from the literature. If the same figure was to be applied for other similar regions of central Spitsbergen, that would result in a considerable contribution to total Svalbard mass balance despite negligible proportion to total glacier area. Glacier changes in Dickson Land were linked to dramatic equilibrium line altitude (ELA) shift, which in the period 1990-2009/11 has been located ca. 500 m higher than required for steady-state. The mass balance of central Spitsbergen glaciers seems to be therefore more sensitive to climate change than previously thought.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Seasonal changes in surface albedo of Himalayan glaciers from MODIS data and links with the annual mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brun, F.; Dumont, M.; Wagnon, P.; Berthier, E.; Azam, M. F.; Shea, J. M.; Sirguey, P.; Rabatel, A.; Ramanathan, Al.

    2014-06-01

    Few glaciological field data are available on glaciers in the Hindu Kush - Karakoram - Himalaya (HKH) region, and remote sensing data are thus critical for glacier studies in this region. The main objectives of this study are to document, using satellite images, the seasonal changes of surface albedo for two Himalayan glaciers, Chhota Shigri Glacier (Himachal Pradesh, India) and Mera Glacier (Everest region, Nepal), and to reconstruct the annual mass balance of these glaciers based on the albedo data. Albedo is retrieved from MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, and evaluated using ground based measurements. At both sites, we find high coefficients of determination between annual minimum albedo averaged over the glacier (AMAAG) and glacier-wide annual mass balance (Ba) measured with the glaciological method (R2 = 0.75). At Chhota Shigri Glacier, the relation between AMAAG found at the end of the ablation season and Ba suggests that AMAAG can be used as a proxy for the maximum snowline altitude or equilibrium line altitude (ELA) on winter accumulation-type glaciers in the Himalayas. However, for the summer-accumulation type Mera Glacier our approach relied on the hypothesis that ELA information, mostly not accessible from space during the monsoon, was still preserved later thanks to strong winter winds blowing away snow and in turn exposing again the late monsoon surface. AMAAG was subsequently revealed in the post-monsoon period. Reconstructed Ba at Chhota Shigri Glacier agrees with mass balances previously reconstructed using a positive degree-day method. Reconstructed Ba at Mera Glacier is affected by heavy cloud cover during the monsoon, which systematically limited our ability to observe AMAAG at the end of the melting period. In addition, the relation between AMAAG and Ba is constrained over a shorter time period for Mera Glacier (6 years) than for Chhota Shigri Glacier (11 years). Thus the mass balance reconstruction is less robust for Mera Glacier than for Chhota Shigri Glacier. However our method shows promising results and may be used to reconstruct the annual mass balance of glaciers with contrasted seasonal cycles in the western part of the HKH mountain range since the early 2000s when MODIS images became available.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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' N., North Cascades, Wash.) - equilibrium-line altitude 1,900 m, activity index 17 mm/m, winter balance 3.1 m, and annual exchange 6.6 m; and Maclure Glacier (lat 37 deg 45' N., Sierra Nevada, Calif.) - equilibrium-line altitude 3,600 m, activity index 23 mm/m, winter balance 2.3 m, and annual exchange 4.6 m. Mass balances of these four glaciers and their drainage basins are measured annually by standard glaciological techniques. In addition, the hydrologic balance is calculated using streamflow and precipitation measurements. Combining these independent measurements results in fairly well defined values of water and ice balance for the glaciers and drainage basins. A revision of the standard International Hydrological Decade mass-balance system permits combination of annual and stratigraphic terms. The annual balance of South Cascade Glacier at the end of the 1965 hydrologic year was slightly positive (+0.07 m averaged over the glacier), but continued ablation and deficient accumulation in October 1965 resulted in slightly negative net balances for both the glacier and the drainage basin. Factors tending to produce this near-zero balance were the above-average late-winter balance (3.48 m) and the numerous summer snowfalls. Ice ablation averaged about 39 mm of water per day during the main melt season. Runoff during the summer ablation season was lower than the 1958-64 average. The South Cascade Glacier annual balance in 1966 (-0.94 m) was considerably more negative mainly owing to the deficient winter snowpack (the late-winter balance was only 2.52 m) and the warm dry summer. Ice ablation averaged about 44 mm of water per day during the melt season. The loss in storage of this and other glaciers in the North Cascades increased the runoff of many valley streams by approximately 50 percent during August and September. The 1966 Gulkana Glacier annual balance was slightly positive (+0.06 m); on the basis of past observations and the rapid terminus ret

  17. 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.

  18. Time Dependent Non-Equilibrium Ionization of Transition Region Lines Observed with IRIS

    E-print Network

    Martinez-Sykora, Juan; Hansteen, Viggo H; Gudiksen, Boris V

    2015-01-01

    The properties of non-statistical equilibrium ionization of silicon and oxygen ions are analyzed in this work. We focus on four solar targets (quiet sun, coronal hole, plage, quiescent active region, AR, and flaring AR) as observed with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS). IRIS is best suited for this work due to the high cadence (up to 0.5s), high spatial resolution (up to 0.32"), and high signal to noise ratios for O IV and Si IV. We find that the observed intensity ratio between lines of three times ionized silicon and oxygen ions depends on their total intensity and that this correlation varies depending on the region observed (quiet sun, coronal holes, plage or active regions) and on the specific observational objects present (spicules, dynamic loops, jets, micro-flares or umbra). In order to interpret the observations, we compare them with synthetic profiles taken from 2D self-consistent radiative MHD simulations of the solar atmosphere, where the statistical equilibrium or non-equilibrium ...

  19. Shrinkage of selected southcentral Alaskan glaciers AD 1900-2010 - a spatio-temporal analysis using photogrammetric, GIS-based and historical techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kienholz, Christian; Prakash, Anupma; Nussbaumer, Samuel; Zumbühl, Heinz

    2010-05-01

    The knowledge about the recent glacier change in the Chugach Mountains of southcentral Alaska is still scarce. In an effort to fill this gap we took an interdisciplinary approach and reconstructed the history of ten selected glaciers in the vicinity of Valdez (e.g., Valdez Glacier) and Cordova (e.g., Sheridan, Childs and Allen Glacier): Historical data such as early maps and photographs allowed for refining the glacier outlines of the early 20th century. Based upon photogrammetric methods, we further derived elevation models and orthomosaics from various airborne images. The Alaska High Altitude Program (AHAP) imagery, taken during the late 1970s, were the primary data of interest and provided a valuable source of information, primarily because they had not been quantitatively evaluated before. Together with the first USGS maps from the1950s and most recent data (airborne LiDAR; as well as air- and space-borne optical data), they allowed for determining the volume and area changes that have occurred within the last 60 years. A GIS analysis revealed that the recent decades have been characterized by rising equilibrium lines and thus retreating and thinning glaciers. The glaciers did not show a consistent recession pattern, which might partly be attributed to the varying area-altitude distributions. Simple hypsographic modeling indicated that the glaciers generally are far away from a state of equilibrium. Given the current climate scenarios and the unfavorable hypsography of most glaciers, the hitherto prevailing trend of glacier melt and recession is likely to continue or accelerate in the upcoming years. Reliably predicting the extents and characteristics of these glaciers at the end of the century remains an important yet poorly answered research question.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Western Glacier Stonefly

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

     The rare western glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) is native to Glacier National Park and is seeking habitat at higher elevations due to warming stream temperature and glacier loss due to climate warming. ...

  4. Western Glacier Stonefly

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    The rare western glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) is native to Glacier National Park and is seeking habitat at higher elevations due to warming stream temperature and glacier loss due to climate warming. ...

  5. 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.

  6. The response of glaciers to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klok, Elisabeth Jantina

    2003-12-01

    The research described in this thesis addresses two aspects of the response of glaciers to climate change. The first aspect deals with the physical processes that govern the interaction between glaciers and climate change and was treated by (1) studying the spatial and temporal variation of the glacier albedo from satellite images, (2) investigating the spatial distribution of the surface energy and mass balance of a glacier, and (3) investigating the sensitivity of the mass balance to climate change. All of these studies are focused on Morteratschgletscher in Switzerland. The second aspect is the climatic interpretation of glacier length fluctuations. This was studied by developing a model that calculates historical mass balance records from global glacier length fluctuations. To increase our understanding of the variations in glacier albedo, we derived surface albedos from 12 Landsat images. This constituted a stringent test for the retrieval methodology applied because Morteratschgletscher is very steep and rugged, which strongly influences the satellite signal. We aimed to retrieve surface albedos while taking into account all important processes that influence the relationship between the satellite signal and the surface albedo, e.g. the topographic effects on incoming solar radiation, and the anisotropic nature of the reflection pattern of ice and snow surfaces. We then analysed the spatial and temporal pattern of the surface albedo. We developed a two-dimensional mass balance model based on the surface energy balance to study the spatial distribution of the energy and mass balance fluxes of Morteratschgletscher. Meteorological data from weather stations in the vicinity of Morteratschgletscher serve as input for the model. We corrected incoming solar radiation for shading, aspect, slope, reflection from surrounding slopes, and obstruction of the sky. Ignoring these effects results in an increase in solar radiation of 37%, causing a decrease in the mass balance of 0.34 m w.e. We modelled the mass balance for 1999 and 2000 and analysed the spatial distribution. We then ran the model for a period of 23 years and calculated the mass balance sensitivity to climate change by perturbing air temperature and precipitation. The mass balance sensitivity to temperature and precipitation are ˜0.59 m w.e. a-1 K-1 and 0.17 m w.e. a-1 per 10 percent respectively. We also used three other albedo parameterisations to calculate the mass balance sensitivity since albedo parameterisations are often regarded as a main source of error in mass balance models. We concluded that an accurate estimate of the mass balance sensitivity requires a parameterisation that captures the process of a decreasing snow albedo when a snow pack gets older or thinner. To extract a climate signal from worldwide glacier length fluctuations, we developed a simple model. The climate signal is represented as a reconstruction of the mass balance and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). The model was tested on seventeen European glacier length records and then applied to nineteen glacier length records from different parts of the world. Between 1910 and 1959, the average increase in the reconstructed ELAs is 33 m. This implies that during the first half of the twentieth century, the climate was warmer or drier than before. The reconstructed ELAs decrease to lower elevations after 1960 and up till 1980, when most of the reconstructions end. The results can be translated into a global temperature increase of about 0.8 K for the period 1910-1959

  7. 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-climate interaction. This, in turn, underlines the general applicability of the model system for scenarios of 21st century climate and glacier change. Presently, two climate change simulations forced with two GCMs are under preparation and the results will be presented.

  8. The influence of future glacier extents on hydrological flow regimes in the Ötztal Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, Moritz; Huttenlau, Matthias; Schneider, Katrin; Stötter, Johann

    2014-05-01

    The ongoing retreat of glaciers since 1850 and especially within the last 20 years already impacts the natural environment. Rising temperatures as projected by the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) will affect future glacier extents with the inherent consequences e.g. on runoff. This contribution presents a relative simple approach to analyze mostly temperature but also precipitation driven potential changes on the extent of glacierized areas and the resulting impact on runoff within the catchment of the Ötztaler Ache (Ötztal, Austria) until 2050. Changes of mean summer temperatures are derived from simulation results realized with three different regional climate models (ALADIN, REMO and REGCM3). The realizations are driven with the SRES A1B emission scenario of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Potential future glacier extents are calculated according to the approach of Paul et al. (2007). Thereby, the steady-state equilibrium line of altitude (ELA) is calculated and then shifted depending on temperature change. Future glacier extents are calculated under consideration of the 2:1 steady state accumulation area ratio (AARo) based on the Austrian Glacier Inventory 2006 and a digital elevation model (DEM). Impacts of potential future glacier extents but also of changes in temperature and precipitation are analyzed with the semi-distributed hydrological model HQsim. According to Paul et al. (2007), the ELA in the Swiss Alps rises with approx. 140 m per degree Celsius warming. The evaluation of the available regional climate change realizations for the study area shows a potential increase of the mean summer temperature of approx. 2.7 °C by 2050. Based on the considered approach ELA will increase by 370 m. The retreat of glacierized areas will be calculated incrementally by a temperature increase with 0.5 °C steps. The glacierized area (Austrian Glacier Inventory 2006) of glaciers > 500,000 m² in 2006 will be reduced by 82 % from 68 km² to 3.8 km² in 2050. Glaciers with an area smaller than 500,000 m² are not considered. Potential future runoffs based on changes in the cryosphere but also in temperature and precipitation indicates a change in future flow regimes. As the study area is of high priority for the further expansion of hydropower generation in the Alps such or more sophisticated studies are of strategic relevance. The introduced approach only considers the shift of the ELA with a constant 2:1 accumulation-ablation ratio. Further factors like volume, lateral melting, glacier-specific response times or a change of the AARo are neglected.

  9. Seasonal and annual mass balances of Mera and Pokalde glaciers (Nepal Himalaya) since 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagnon, P.; Vincent, C.; Arnaud, Y.; Berthier, E.; Vuillermoz, E.; Gruber, S.; Ménégoz, M.; Gilbert, A.; Dumont, M.; Shea, J. M.; Stumm, D.; Pokhrel, B. K.

    2013-11-01

    In the Everest region, Nepal, ground-based monitoring programmes were started on the debris-free Mera Glacier (27.7° N, 86.9° E; 5.1 km2, 6420 to 4940 m a.s.l.) in 2007 and on the small Pokalde Glacier (27.9° N, 86.8° E; 0.1 km2, 5690 to 5430 m a.s.l., ~ 25 km north of Mera Glacier) in 2009. These glaciers lie on the southern flank of the central Himalaya under the direct influence of the Indian monsoon and receive more than 80% of their annual precipitation in summer (June to September). Despite a large inter-annual variability with glacier-wide mass balances ranging from -0.67 ± 0.28 m w.e. in 2011-2012 (Equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) at ~ 5800 m a.s.l.) to +0.46 ± 0.28 m w.e. in 2010-2011 (ELA at ~ 5340 m a.s.l.), Mera Glacier has been shrinking at a moderate mass balance rate of -0.08 ± 0.28 m w.e. yr-1 since 2007. Ice fluxes measured at two distinct transverse cross sections at ~ 5350 m a.s.l. and ~ 5520 m a.s.l. confirm that the mean state of this glacier over the last one or two decades corresponds to a limited mass loss, in agreement with remotely-sensed region-wide mass balances of the Everest area. Seasonal mass balance measurements show that ablation and accumulation are concomitant in summer which in turn is the key season controlling the annual glacier-wide mass balance. Unexpectedly, ablation occurs at all elevations in winter due to wind erosion and sublimation, with remobilised snow potentially being sublimated in the atmosphere. Between 2009 and 2012, the small Pokalde Glacier lost mass more rapidly than Mera Glacier with respective mean glacier-wide mass balances of -0.72 and -0.23 ± 0.28 m w.e. yr-1. Low-elevation glaciers, such as Pokalde Glacier, have been usually preferred for in-situ observations in Nepal and more generally in the Himalayas, which may explain why compilations of ground-based mass balances are biased toward negative values compared with the regional mean under the present-day climate.

  10. 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 (mass balance measurements) and on indirect data (aerial and satellite imagery, topographic maps). Latter can be plagued with high uncertainties and considerable errors. For instance, glaciated area has been partly overestimated in the Soviet Glacier catalogue (published in 1973, with data from the 1940s and 1950s), probably as a result of misinterpreted seasonal snowcover on aerial photographs. Studies using the Soviet Glacier catalogue as a reference are thus prone to over-emphasize glacier shrinkage. A valuable alternative is the use of continued in situ mass balance and ice thickness measurements, but they are currently conducted for only a few glaciers in the Tien Shan mountains. Efforts should therefore be encouraged to ensure the continuation and re-establishment of mass balance measurements on reference glaciers, as is currently the case at Karabatkak, Abramov and Golubin glaciers. Only on the basis of sound data, past glacier changes can be assessed with high precision and future glacier shrinkage can be estimated according to different climate scenarios. Moreover, the impact of snowcover changes, black carbon and debris cover on glacier degradation needs to be studied in more detail. Only with such model approaches, reflecting transient changes in climate, snowcover, glaciation and runoff, can appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies be developed within a realistic time horizon.

  11. Shear viscosities away from the melting line: A comparison of equilibrium and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Holian, B.L.; Evans, D.J.

    1983-04-15

    Doubts about the validity of the nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) methods of computing shear viscosity have persisted, partly because of the apparent disagreement (approx.25%) between NEMD and equilibrium Green--Kubo (GK) results for the Lennard-Jones system near its triple point. This region of the phase diagram near the melting line is the so-called ''molasses'' regime where the tail of the shear-stress autocorrelation function is quite large, deviating from ''exponential'' decay at a level of about 10%. In order to see whether the effects of the ''molasses tail'' might be obscuring a more profound difference between NEMD and GK results, we have carried out independent NEMD and GK calculations for a state in the LJ fluid far away from this troublesome molasses region, namely at a temperature twice critical and a density between the triple and critical points. We find the NEMD and GK results for the linear shear viscosity to be in good agreement.

  12. 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.

  13. Fatal accidents on glaciers: forensic, criminological, and glaciological conclusions.

    PubMed

    Ambach, E; Tributsch, W; Henn, R

    1991-09-01

    The rare event of a corpse immersed in glacier ice becoming exposed on a glacier surface is closely connected with the glaciological conditions at the scene and the site of the accident. Provided that the time since death is known, certain questions relative to the circumstances of a mountain accident can only be answered by considering glaciological aspects. How the scene of an accident can be reconstructed by inference from the site of discovery is discussed by means of three exemplary cases that occurred on Tyrolean glaciers (Austria) during the past 40 years: (1) Two corpses were discovered close above the equilibrium line in the accumulation area after 25 years. The two victims had fallen down a rock face after the breaking off of a cornice and had come to rest in the uppermost part of the accumulation area. (2) A victim was discovered in the lower ablation area 8 years after falling down a crevasse in the middle part of the ablation area. (3) A female alpinist was discovered at the very end of the glacier after 29 years; it was concluded that the accident must have happened in the accumulation area. PMID:1955834

  14. Spatial and Temporal Variations of the Firn Line Altitudes in the Asian High Mountains over the Past Decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, N.; Guo, Z.; Wu, H.

    2014-12-01

    The Variations of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of one glacier could determine the glacier's behaviors, i.e., advance, stable, retreat, or disappeared. In the Asian High Mountains, there exist a huge number of glaciers, but only few monitoring glaciers. This means that we could only obtain the ELA data sets from these few monitoring glaciers in the region, which restrained our understanding for the spatial distribution pattern of the ELA. Considering that the firn line altitude can indicate the equilibrium line altitude, we may investigate the variations of the firn line altitudes on many glaciers to understand the spatial and temporal variation characteristics of the ELA in the Asian High Mountains. Albedo of the firn is usually larger than that of the glacier ice. This phenomenon can be used to discern the location of the firn line on a glacier in remote sensing image. By using the Landsat TM/ETM+ data, HJ-1A/B data and DEM data, we obtained the firn line altitudes on more than 3000 glaciers in the Asian High Mountains, and found that the highest firn line altitude, over 6000 m a.s.l., was located in the Qiangtang area, which imply that the Indian monsoon moisture cause the firn line altitudes lower to the south of the Qiangtang area, in other words, the Qiangtang area is the northern boundary of the Indian monsoon. The firn line altitude was lower than 5200 m a.s.l. in the southeast Tibetan Plateau while lower than 3500 m a.s.l. in the Altai Mountains in 2010. Over the past decade, the firn line altitudes increased by about 30 to 300 m in different areas of the Tibetan Plateau, but decreased by about 80 m in the Altai Mountains.

  15. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... are visible in the bright white ice. A scattering of small icebergs in Disco Bay adds a touch of glittery sparkle to the scene. The ... for a large portion of the western side of the ice sheet. Icebergs released from the glacier drift slowly with the ocean currents and ...

  16. 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.

  17. Altitude variation of glacier mass balance in Scandinavia L. A. Rasmussen

    E-print Network

    Rasmussen, L.A.

    Altitude variation of glacier mass balance in Scandinavia L. A. Rasmussen Department of Earth) vol. 31, L13401, doi:10.1029/2004GL020273 ABSTRACT. For each of ten glaciers in Norway and two(z) from year to year with r2 0.89 over the 12 glaciers. A family of parallel lines for each glacier

  18. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This pair of MISR images of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica was acquired on December 12, 2000 during Terra orbit 5246. At left is a conventional, true-color image from the downward-looking (nadir) camera. The false-color image at right is a composite of red band data taken by the MISR forward 60-degree, nadir, and aftward 60-degree cameras, displayed in red, green, and blue colors, respectively. Color variations in the left (true-color) image highlight spectral differences. In the multi-angle composite, on the other hand, color variations act as a proxy for differences in the angular reflectance properties of the scene. In 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 the conventional nadir view, the blue ice labeled 'rough crevasses' and 'smooth blue ice' exhibit similar coloration, but the multi-angle composite reveals their different textures, with the smoother ice appearing dark purple instead of orange. This could be an indicator of different mechanisms by which this ice is exposed. The multi-angle view also reveals subtle roughness variations on the frozen sea ice between the glacier and the open water in Pine Island Bay.

    To the left of the 'icebergs' label are chunks of floating ice. Additionally, smaller icebergs embedded in the frozen sea ice are visible below and to the right of the label. These small icebergs are associated with dark streaks. Analysis of the illumination geometry suggests that these streaks are surface features, not shadows. Wind-driven motion and thinning of the sea ice in the vicinity of the icebergs is one possible explanation.

    Recently, Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discovered in Landsat 7 imagery a newly-formed crack traversing the Pine Island Glacier. This crack 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.

  19. Dynamics of a Younger-Dryas glacier system framed by Bølling-Allerød and Preboreal landslides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reindl, Martin; Bichler, Mathias G.; Häusler, Hermann; Reitner, Jürgen M.

    2013-04-01

    The head of the Hüttwinkl valley in the Austrian province of Salzburg, north of the Hoher Sonnblick (3106m asl) in the Hohe Tauern alpine range provides an excellent opportunity to reconstruct a Younger-Dryas (Egesen stadial) glacier system and its relation to prominent landslides from the onset of the ice advance to the retreat phase. The landslide events (13ka BP and 10ka BP) as well as the glacial advance (12.5ka BP) and retreat (11ka BP) were dated using terrestrial in-situ cosmogenic nuclides (TCN), 10Be in this case, and, partly, organic 14C from peat. To produce a extensive chronology, seven TCN samples from the landslides, and eleven TCN boulder samples and two TCN polished bedrock samples related to glacier history were processed. Detailed sedimentary evidence allows us to constrain the starting position of glaciers before the Younger Dryas advance, as well reconstructing a confluence situation of the two local glaciers (Goldbergkees and Pilatuskees), producing a glacier system with a maximum surface area of 10 km2, as well as shedding some light on the glacial dynamics during the retreat phases of the Egesen. In addition, surface models revealed in one case a reconstituted glacier geometry. We employed various methods for calculating Equilibrium-Line-Altitudes (Maximum Elevation of Lateral Moraines, Toe-to-Headwall-Altitude Ratio, Area x Altitude, Area x Altitude Balance Ratio, and Accumulation Area Ratio) and compared them to already available data from western Austria and Switzerland. With this data, we are able to reconstruct temperature and precipitation change of the local climate and glacier dynamics during the maximum of the Younger-Dryas in the central part of the European Eastern Alps.

  20. Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 2005

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    The thick, crevassed, ice flows of historic Shepard Glacier have been diminished to less than 0.1 square kilometer in area by 2005. According to the criteria set by the USGS Repeat Photography Project, Shepard Glacier is now considered to be too small to be defined as a glacier. (Blase Reardon)...

  1. Muir Glacier Retreats

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Muir Glacier has retreated out of the field of view and is now nearly 5 miles to the northwest. Riggs Glacier has retreated as much as 2000 ft and thinned by more than 800 feet. Note the dense vegetation that has developed. Also note the correlation between Muir Glacier’s 1941 thickness and th...

  2. Columbia Glacier Terminus

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    View of Columbia Glacier's terminus as it enters the waters of Prince William Sound. Columbia Glacier is one of Alaska's many tidewater glaciers, and it has been the focus of numerous studies due to its unusually high rate of retreat. The glacier has retreated nearly 20 km (12.43 mi) since 1980. In ...

  3. The plateau glacier in the Sierra de Béjar (Iberian Central System) during its maximum extent. Reconstruction and chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, R. M.; Pedraza, J.; Domínguez-Villar, D.; Villa, J.; Willenbring, J. K.

    2013-08-01

    A detailed study of the glacial morphology in the Sierra de Béjar (Iberian Central System) provided a data set of geomorphic indicators to reconstruct the paleoglaciers developed in this mountain area during the last glacial cycle (Late Pleistocene). Applying a physical-based glacier model and using the geomorphic indicators, a three dimensional reconstruction of the ice mass during the maximum extent of the glaciers has been carried out. We used this reconstruction to project hypsometric curves over the former glaciers and to estimate the ELAs (Equilibrium Line Altitudes) of the paleoglaciers for their stage of maximum extent. At this stage the Sierra de Béjar hosted a plateau glacier, considered as a dome-shaped icecap around 57 km2 in area. According to our estimations, the maximum thickness of the ice was 211 m, the minimum elevation of paleoglaciers 1210 m asl, and the regional ELA was at 2010 m asl. During later stages, reduction in ice mass due to deglaciation caused the icecap to evolve into an icefield, and finally the main glacier was fragmented in valley and cirque glaciers. The geochronological data obtained with 10Be provides an age of ~ 27 ka for the maximum extent of the glaciers (GM), whereas the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) represents a younger stage of the Sierra de Béjar glacier evolution. Finally, the new data obtained in the Sierra de Béjar allow evaluating the influence of some factors such as the continentality and latitudinal location, in the development of glacial processes in these areas of the Iberian Central System.

  4. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Sedimentology and architecture of De Geer moraines in the western Scottish Highlands Accepted 6 March 2008 Keywords: De Geer moraine Ice-dammed lake Grounding line Younger Dryas Scotland Sedimentary exposures in moraines in a Scottish Highland valley (Glen Chaorach), reveal stacked sequences

  6. Saddle-point equilibrium lines between fcc and bcc phases in Al and Ca from first principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, S. L.; Marcus, P. M.

    2013-10-01

    Phase equilibrium lines (denoted ph-eq lines) of face-centered-cubic (fcc) and body-centered-cubic (bcc) phases, as well as saddle-point equilibrium lines (denoted sp-eq lines) in Al and Ca are studied by first-principles total-energy calculations. For a non-vibrating crystal of Al we determine the transition pressure p t = 2.62 Mbar from fcc to bcc phase. The sp-eq line lies between the two ph-eq lines, merges with the bcc-eq line at V = 61 au3/atom ( p = 1.64 Mbar) and with the fcc-eq line at V = 42.4 au3/atom ( p = 5.50 Mbar), gives the Gibbs free energy barrier ?G = 0.64 mRy/atom at p t . The bcc phase is unstable below 1.64 Mbar, while the fcc phase is unstable above 5.50 Mbar. In a non-vibrating crystal of Ca two sp-eq lines (denoted sp1-eq line and sp2-eq line, respectively) are found corresponding to two phase transitions: one is from fcc to bcc at p t1 = 89.6 kbar, the other is from bcc to fcc at p t2 = 787 kbar. The sp1-eq line merges with the bcc-eq line at V = 231 au3/atom ( p = 50 kbar) and with the fcc-eq line at V = 183 au3/atom ( p = 174 kbar), gives a barrier of ? G 1 = 0.62 mRy/atom at p t1. The sp2-eq line merges with the bcc-eq line at V = 90 au3/atom ( p = 981 kbar) and with the fcc-eq line at V = 110 au3/atom ( p = 624 kbar), gives a barrier of ? G 2 = 1.1 mRy/atom at p t2. The bcc phase is stable in the range from 50 kbar to 981 kbar but unstable outside this range, while the fcc phase is unstable in the range from 174 to 624 kbar but stable outside this range. This work confirms all the features of the sp-eq line described in our recent work [S.L. Qiu, P.M. Marcus, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 24, 225501 (2012)] and finds two additional features: (1) there are two sp-eq lines corresponding to the two phase transitions between fcc and bcc phases in Ca; (2) fcc phase of Ca is unstable between the two merge points on the fcc-eq line but stable beyond them, while bcc phase of Ca is stable between the two merge points on the bcc-eq line but unstable beyond them.

  7. Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay National Monument 1941

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    This August 1941 photograph is of Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska. It shows the lower reaches of Muir Glacier, then a large, tidewater calving valley glacier and its tributary, Riggs Glacier. For nearly two centuries before 1941, Muir Glacier had been retreating. In places, a t...

  8. 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, 25 10Be [13.10-12.00 ka] and four minimum-limiting 14C ages from lakes impounded by moraines show that glaciers existed up to 10 km beyond LIA glacier limits during the YD. These glaciers thus had ELAs that were 300-500 m lower than contemporary glaciers. We are currently performing high-resolution (

  9. Glacier inventory of the upper Huasco valley, Norte Chico, Chile: glacier characteristics, glacier change and comparison with

    E-print Network

    Rabatel, Antoine

    Glacier inventory of the upper Huasco valley, Norte Chico, Chile: glacier characteristics, glacier Chile, Portugal 84, Casilla 3387, Santiago, Chile ABSTRACT. Results of a new glacier inventory identified, and glaciers with surface areas glacierized area and 3% of the water

  10. 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.

  11. 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, flux rope eruptions are observed in these experiments, but only in regimes with sufficiently low external toroidal field where the tension force is reduced. These results constitute a new condition for the prediction of line-tied magnetic flux rope eruptions: that of low external toroidal field.

  12. Holocene dynamics of the Rhone Glacier, Switzerland, deduced from ice flow models and cosmogenic nuclides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goehring, Brent M.; Vacco, David A.; Alley, Richard B.; Schaefer, Joerg M.

    2012-10-01

    We describe efforts to model the Holocene extent of the Rhone Glacier, Switzerland, using four paleoclimate records as templates for paleo-equilibrium line altitude to identify candidate driving mechanisms of glaciers in the Alps. We evaluate the success of each paleoclimate template by comparing cosmogenic 10Be and 14C concentrations in pro-glacial bedrock derived from modeled glacier configurations to measured values. An adequate fit can be obtained using mean summer insolation for 46.5°N. However, use of the Dongee Cave, China, speleothem record yields the best fit by accounting for both sub-millennial (e.g. Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period) and multi-millennial climate variations (summer insolation). Our result indicates that glaciers in the Alps primarily responded to changes in insolation during the Holocene were smaller than today during the early Holocene when insolation was relatively high, and became larger during the mid to late Holocene. Superimposed on the first-order insolation response were shorter, sometimes large amplitude, length changes in response to short-lived climate events such as the Medieval Warm Period and the LIA.

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

  14. 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 ?{sub 0} pair of (3.30?±?0.82 and 1.65?±?0.41), and the ion kinetic temperature of 7900?±?1800?K.

  15. Copper crystals on the (1120) sapphire plane: orientation relationships, triple line ridges and interface shape equilibrium

    E-print Network

    Rohrer, Gregory S.

    1120-01-01

    Copper crystals on the (1120) sapphire plane: orientation relationships, triple line ridges The orientation relationships (ORs) of copper crystals on a ð1120Þ sapphire substrate equilibrated at 1253 K of sapphire, fast diffusion of sapphire at the copper/ sapphire interface is observed: the copper particles

  16. 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.

  17. Bathymetric control of tidewater glacier mass loss in northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, David F.; Tinto, Kirsty J.; Boghosian, Alexandra; Cochran, James R.; Bell, Robin E.; Manizade, Serdar S.; Sonntag, John G.

    2014-09-01

    It has been suggested that fjord geometry could be an important contributor to the observed mass loss variability in Greenland by modulating the flow of warm water to marine-terminating glaciers. New gravity-derived bathymetry of Greenlandic fjords confirms the link between the grounding line depth and rates of glacier mass loss, a relationship previously predicted only in ice models. We focus on two neighboring glaciers to minimize differences in external forcing and therefore isolate the role of the fjord bathymetry. Tracy Glacier has a deeper grounding line and has been retreating since 1892 with a contemporary mass budget of -1.63 Gt a-1. Heilprin Glacier has a shallower grounding line depth, a stable ice terminus, and a mass budget of only -0.53 Gt a-1. Because of its deeper grounding line, Tracy has more ice in contact with warm subsurface water, leaving it more vulnerable to changes in ocean forcing and therefore mass loss.

  18. Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied Magneti... http://www.aps.org/meet/DPP02/baps/abs/S670004.html 1 of 1 3/10/05 10:26 AM

    E-print Network

    Ng, Chung-Sang

    Non-Equilibrium and Current Sheet Formation in Line-Tied Magneti... http://www.aps.org/meet/DPP02 and Dynamics III. ORAL session, Tuesday morning, November 12 Salon 5-6, Rosen Centre Hotel [FM1.004] Non-Equilibrium equilibrium for each smooth footpoint mapping between two plates with line-tied boundary conditions

  19. Non-Equilibrium in Line-Tied Coronal Magnetic Fields http://www.aas.org/publications/baas/v28n2/aas188/abs/S019002.html 1 of 1 3/10/05 11:50 AM

    E-print Network

    Ng, Chung-Sang

    Non-Equilibrium in Line-Tied Coronal Magnetic Fields http://www.aas.org/publications/baas/v28n2/aas. Oral session, Monday, June 10 Wisconsin Center, [19.02] Non-Equilibrium in Line-Tied Coronal Magnetic equations, it is shown that there can be at most one smooth magnetostatic equilibrium for each continuous

  20. 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

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

  1. 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.

  2. Glacier activity at the Lateglacial / Holocene transition inferred from the Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindelwig, Inga; Akçar, Naki; Lukas, Sven; Kubik, Peter W.; Schlüchter, Christian

    2010-05-01

    High-alpine environments react sensitively to changes in climate. Depending on size, catchment area and valley topography, mountain glaciers response relatively fast with advances and recessions to shifts in temperature and precipitation (e.g. Oerlemans, 2005). About half of the present glaciers in the Swiss Alps are located in the highest mean altitudes areas. Past glacier activity beyond actual glacier extent is sometimes easily identified, such as the moraines related to the Little Ice Age. Records of older glacier activity, however, are usually less abundant. Lateglacial glacier advances are often documented by moraine complexes. By comparing geomorphological characteristics within and between several investigated sites across the Swiss Alps, a relative chronology of glacier oscillations and re-advances was established. A cross-correlation of moraines in the same high-alpine climatic region allows to conclude that moraine ridges in comparable relative positions with similar morphologies and characterized by similar equilibrium line altitude depressions (Gross et al. 1977; Maisch, 1987), may be allocated to the same supra-regional trends in climate change. Surface exposure dating on well defined moraines gives the absolute chronology for the relative framework. More than 50 samples from erratic boulders on the crestline of moraines and glacially abraded bedrock were dated using the radionuclide 10Be. According to the results on boulders of the outer moraines, the oldest ridge coincides in time with the initial phase of the Younger Dryas (e.g. Gerzensee Oscillation). In addition, a number of Lateglacial and early Holocene advances have been identified (Preboreal Oscillation, Younger Dryas and Gerzensee Oscillation). 10Be exposure ages on moraines of the innermost Lateglacial complexes, but distinctly downvalley from Little Ice Age moraines point to cold conditions in the Alps during the early Holocene. REFERENCES Gross, G., Kerschner, H. & Patzelt, G. (1977): Methodische Untersuchungen über die Schneegrenze in alpinen Gletschergebieten. Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, 12, 223-251. Maisch, M. (1987): Zur Gletschergeschichte des alpinen Spätglazials: Analyse und Interpretation von Schneegrenzdaten. Geographica Helvetica, 42, 63-71. Oerlemans, J. (2005): Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records. Science, 308, 675-677.

  3. Altitude variation of glacier mass balance in Scandinavia L. A. Rasmussen

    E-print Network

    Rasmussen, L.A.

    Altitude variation of glacier mass balance in Scandinavia L. A. Rasmussen Department of Earth June 2004; accepted 16 June 2004; published 15 July 2004. [1] For each of ten glaciers in Norway functions fit the bn(z) from year to year with r2 ! 0.89 over the 12 glaciers. A family of parallel lines

  4. Afghanistan Glacier Diminution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shroder, J. F.; Bishop, M.; Haritashya, U.; Olsenholler, J.

    2008-12-01

    Glaciers in Afghanistan represent a late summer - early fall source of melt water for late season crop irrigation in a chronically drought-torn region. Precise river discharge figures associated with glacierized drainage basins are generally unavailable because of the destruction of hydrological gauging stations built in pre-war times although historic discharge data and prior (1960s) mapped glacier regions offer some analytical possibilities. The best satellite data sets for glacier-change detection are declassified Cornona and Keyhole satellite data sets, standard Landsat sources, and new ASTER images assessed in our GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) Regional Center for Southwest Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan). The new hyperspectral remote sensing survey of Afghanistan completed by the US Geological Survey and the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines offers potential for future detailed assessments. Long-term climate change in southwest Asia has decreased precipitation for millennia so that glaciers, rivers and lakes have all declined from prehistoric and historic highs. As many glaciers declined in ice volume, they increased in debris cover until they were entirely debris-covered or became rock glaciers, and the ice was protected thereby from direct solar radiation, to presumably reduce ablation rates. We have made a preliminary assessment of glacier location and extent for the country, with selected, more-detailed, higher-resolution studies underway. In the Great Pamir of the Wakhan Corridor where the largest glaciers occur, we assessed fluctuations of a randomly selected 30 glaciers from 1976 to 2003. Results indicate that 28 glacier-terminus positions have retreated, and the largest average retreat rate was 36 m/yr. High albedo, non-vegetated glacier forefields formed prior to 1976, and geomorphological evidence shows apparent glacier-surface downwasting after 1976. Climatic conditions and glacier retreat have resulted in disconnection of tributary glaciers to their main trunk, the formation of high-altitude lakes, and an increased frequency and size of proglacial lakes that are, however, genrally unavailable for irrigation sources. Similar conditions of glacier diminution have occurred in almost all other high altitude parts of the country. Generally decreased precipitation in all seasons, coupled with decreased glacier storage of potential melt-water, augers continued severe problems for beleaguered Afghanistan agriculture, along with concomitant social problems as a result.

  5. Melt trends above the equilibrium line of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the period of 2003-2012 (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Peña, S.; Howat, I. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Price, S. F.; Nienow, P. W.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.

    2013-12-01

    Warming in the Arctic has raised concern about the effects that increased fresh water input from Greenland and other ice caps into the oceans could have on sea level rise and on the thermohaline ocean circulation. Melt over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) has been increasing steadily over the last 20 years, and although mass loss has been limited to the margins, the departure from the 1979-1999 mean melt rate in the last decade has become particularly large in the interior. This has resulted in variable conditions that make ice volume changes derived from remote sensing measurements difficult to interpret, and an equilibrium line that is continuously migrating. We present a combined analysis of field measurements obtained in western Greenland and results from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model to estimate trends in melt and refreezing rates over the interior of the Greenland ice sheet. The combined dataset show the evolution of melt intensity in regions with little or no meltwater runoff during the last 20 years. We estimated a threefold increase in the total area experiencing significant melt in the last decade, and an amount of refrozen meltwater larger than the total mass balance of the ice sheet. Conditions observed after the extreme melt event of July 2012 at and above the 2000 m elevation line contrast sharply with previous studies, and illustrate the current and future state of the Greenland interior if warming trends continue. We will discuss changes during the last decade in surface mass balance conditions, and the melting and refreezing processes occurring above the equilibrium line of the GIS. Additionally, we will summarize some implications these processes may have in estimating mass balance from altimetry techniques, and how in-situ data and models can help improving altimetry-derived results. The intensity of melt and the huge ice reservoirs found in the field are an indication that percolation facies are no longer just an interesting feature with no real relevance other than their effects in radar altimetry signals, but rather the result of an intense melting process of at least the same scale as the total mass imbalance of the GIS.

  6. Topography, relief, climate and glaciers: a global prespective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagnac, Jean-Daniel; Valla, Pierre; Herman, fred

    2014-05-01

    The examination of the relationship between Earth's topography and present and past climate (i.e. long-term elevation of glaciers Equilibrium Line Altitude) reveals that the elevation of mountain ranges may be limited or controlled by glaciations. This is of prime importance, because glacial condition would lead to a limit the mountain development, hence the accumulation of gravitational energy and prevent the development of further glacial conditions as well as setting the erosion in (peri)glacial environments. This study examines the relationships between topography and the global Equilibrium Line Altitude of alpine glaciers around the world (long term snowline, i.e. the altitude where the ice mass balance is null). Two main observations can be drawn: 1) The distance between the (averaged and maximum) topography, and the ELA decreases pole ward the poles, and even become reversed (mean elevation above to ELA) at high latitude. Correlatively, the elevation of very large portion of land at mid-latitude cannot be related to glaciations, simply because it was never glaciated (large distance between topography and long-term mean ELA). The maximum distance between the ELA and the topography is greater close to the equator and decreases poleward. In absence of glacial and periglacial erosion, this trend cannot have its origin in glacial and periglacial processes. Moreover, the ELA elevation shows a significant (1000 - 1500m) depression in the intertropical zone. This depression of the ELA is not reflected at all in the topography. 2) The distribution of relief on Earth, if normalized by the mean elevation of mountain ranges (as a proxy for available space to create relief) shows a latitudinal band of greater relief between 40° and 60° (or between ELA of 500m to 2500m a.s.l.). This mid-latitude relatively greater relief challenges the straightforward relationship between glaciations, erosion and topography. Oppositely, it suggests that glacier may be more efficient agent in temperate area, with important amplitude between glacial and interglacial climate. This is consistent with the view of a very variable glacier erodibility that can erode and protect the landscape, as well as with studies documenting a bimodal location of the preferred glacial erosion, at relatively high elevation (around the long-term ELA), and at much lower elevation (close to the glacial maximum lower reaches), thanks to efficient water lubrication of the glacier bases that greatly enhance the sliding velocity. These findings show that the relation between the mountain topography and the long term snowline is not as straightforward as previously proposed. Beside the role of tectonic forcing highlighted by several authors, the importance of the glacial erosion appears to be crucial at mid latitude, but more complex at both high and low latitude. Moreover, the relief at mid latitude appears to be higher, hence suggesting a positive correlation between relief and topographic control of glacier on the landscape.

  7. 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 Holocene glaciers occurred during the European Little Ice Age period.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Climates during Late Quaternary glacier advances: glacier-climate modeling in the Yingpu Valley, eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiangke

    2014-10-01

    The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) featured a major cooling of Earth's climate, after which the climate evolved in the largest reconfiguration of the past 100 ka. Despite its significance, full understanding of the climate history during and since the LGM is still lacking on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Recent improvements in understanding glacial extents and chronologies in the Yingpu Valley, eastern Tibetan Plateau present an opportunity to estimate the glacial climatic conditions during and since the LGM. Using a relatively new glacier-climate model, this study reconstructs glacier advances in the Yingpu Valley and quantifies the related climate conditions during the LGM, Lateglacial, and Late Holocene glacial stages. The model results show that the Yingpu Valley contained ice volumes of ˜1.65 km3, 1.03 km3, and 0.29 km3 with equilibrium line altitude (ELA) lowering values of ˜500 m, ˜410 m, and ˜150 m in the three successive glacial stages, respectively. By examining other independent paleoclimatic reconstructions, it is concluded that the temperature decreased by 4.0-5.9 °C, 3.4-3.7 °C, 0.3-0.6 °C with the precipitation amounts being 40-80%, 80-100%, and 100-110% of modern values during the LGM, Lateglacial, and Late Holocene glacial stages, respectively. The climate estimates for the three glacial stages are generally in agreement with other climatic proxy records on the Tibetan Plateau and atmospheric circulation modeling results.

  11. Quantitative Evaluation of Landsat 7 ETM+ SLC-off Images for Surface Velocity Estimation of Mountain Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, L.; Sun, Y.; Liu, L.; Wang, S.; Wang, H.

    2014-12-01

    In many cases the Landsat mission series (Landsat 1-5, 7 and 8) provide our only detailed and consistent data source for mapping the global glacier changes over the last 40 years. However, the scan-line corrector (SLC) of the ETM+ sensor on board Landsat 7 permanently failed, resulting in wedge-shaped data gaps in SLC-off images that caused roughly 22% of the pixels to be missed. The SLC failure has left a serious problem for the glacial applications of ETM+ data, particularly for monitoring long-term glacier dynamics in High Asian Mountain where has few available data due to the frequently cloudy covers. This study aims to evaluate the potential of the Landsat 7 SLC-off images in deriving surface velocities of mountain glaciers. A pair of SLC-off images over the Siachen glacier acquired in Aug 2009 and 2010 was used for this purpose. Firstly, two typical filling-gap methods, the localized linear histogram match (LLHM) and the weighted liner regression (WLR), were utilized to recover the mentioned SLC-off images. Subsequently these recovered pairs were applied for deriving glacier-surface velocities with the COSI-Corr feature tracking procedure. Finally, the glacier velocity results were quantitatively compared with that of a pair of Landsat-5 TM images acquired nearly at the same time with the SLC-off pair. Our results show that (1) the WLR method achieves a better performance of gap recovering than the LLHM method, (2) the surface velocities estimated with the recovered SLC-off images are highly agreement with those of the TM images, and (3) the annual mean velocity of the Siachen glacier is approximately 70 m/yr between 2009 and 2010 with a maximum of 280 m/yr close to the glacial equilibrium line that are similar with the results in previous studies. Therefore, if a suitable filling-gap method is adopted, e.g. the WLR method, it is highly feasible that the ETM+ SLC-off data can be utilized to estimate the surface velocities of mountain glaciers.

  12. 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.

  13. Columbia Glacier Calving

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    A dramatic iceberg calving from Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The iceberg has just broken free from under the water and shot to the surface, spinning towards the ice face. The ice cliff here is about 70 m (229.7 ft) tall. Icebergs are calved as stress fractures in the glacier mer...

  14. Denali Fault: Susitna Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Helicopters and satellite phones were integral to the geologic field response. Here, Peter Haeussler is calling a seismologist to pass along the discovery of the Susitna Glacier thrust fault. View is to the north up the Susitna Glacier. The Denali fault trace lies in the background where the two lan...

  15. Photographer Overlooking Columbia Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Photographer Tad Pfeffer capturing images of Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound, Alaska. He is looking down-glacier towards the ice front, which faces open water in the fjord. This open water is extremely rare, and has not happened again since 2005. The fjord is typically covered with iceberg ...

  16. 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 (?bulk, 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 (?bulk) 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A new glacier monitoring site in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abermann, J.; van As, D.; Petersen, D.; Nauta, M.

    2014-12-01

    Greenland's mountain glaciers and ice caps have recently been shown to significantly contribute to current and future sea-level rise. Despite their importance in this respect they are heavily undersampled with only about 5 currently monitored glaciers out of more than 20000 distributed over complexly varying climatic regions. In 2012, Asiaq, Greenland Survey initiated therefore a glacier mass balance program at Qassinnguit glacier (64°9'N, 51°17'W), approx. 18 km East of Nuuk, Greenland's capital. The glacier is a representative example for mountain glaciers in South-West Greenland both in terms of size (ca 1 km2) and orientation (N). A dense stake network gives the basis for the determination of the surface mass balance with the glaciological method as well as flow velocity measurements and the first two complete years are presented. An automated camera is used to monitor ablation patterns and the evolution of the snow line. In early 2014, a ground-penetrating radar campaign was performed to determine the glacier volume. Ice thicknesses up to 50 m were measured with a 100 MHz antenna and the glacier was found to be largely cold-based with some minor temperate parts. In addition to direct glaciological measurements at the site, the monitoring program complements a 7 year long time series of runoff, which allows for quantifying Qassinnguit glacier's cryospheric contribution to the total catchment. In summer 2014 an on-glacier automated weather station was installed that measures parameters to determine the surface energy balance. Preliminary results will be presented and put into a larger spatial context by relating them to measurements with the same setup at an outlet glacier of the Greenland ice sheet approximately 100 km further East. Climate between these sites differs considerably with a marked negative West - East precipitation gradient.

  3. 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.

  4. Ablation of Martian glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Henry J.; Davis, Philip A.

    1987-01-01

    Glacier like landforms are observed in the fretted terrain of Mars in the latitude belts near + or - 42 deg. It was suggested that sublimation or accumulation-ablation rates could be estimated for these glaciers if their shapes were known. To this end, photoclinometric profiles were obtained of a number of these landforms. On the basis of analyses of these profiles, it was concluded that ice is chiefly ablating from these landforms that either are inactive rock-glaciers or have materials within them that are moving exceedingly slowly at this time. These conclusions are consistent with other geologic information. The analyses were performed using a two-dimensional model of an isothermal glacier.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Getting the Shot, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park.

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    USGS scientist shoots a repeat photograph of Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park to illustrate glacial recession due to impacts of climate change.  *note – logo on scientists hat is logo from USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, not private....

  9. Getting the Shot, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park.

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    USGS scientist shoots a repeat photograph of Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park to illustrate glacial recession due to impacts of climate change. *note ? logo on scientists hat is logo from USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, not private. ...

  10. Glacier activity in the central Alps during the early Holocene: insights from 10Be exposure dating.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerschner, H.; Ivy-Ochs, S.; Hertl, A.; Sailer, R.; Kubik, P.

    2003-04-01

    Alpine glacier advance connected to the Younger Dryas cold event resulted in deposition of "Egesen Stadial" moraines throughout the Western and Eastern Alps. The final phase of the Younger Dryas or "Kromer Stadial" refers to moraines formed at the Younger Dryas/Preboreal transition. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the "Kartell Stadial" in the Ferwall group is the equivalent to the "Kromer Stadial" in the neighbouring Silvretta group. Moraines formed as early Preboreal glaciers (i.e. Kartell Stadial) advanced in the Ferwall group are situated about 1 km down-valley from the LIA moraines and about the same distance up-valley from the youngest local Egesen moraines. They show some post-depositional deformation due to rock glacier flow. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) drop was -120 m relative to the LIA ELA. 10Be exposure ages range between 9.4 and 10.5 ka. Whether the Kartell advance was caused by an increase in accumulation after the rather dry final phase of the Younger Dryas or by a temperature drop such as the Preboreal Oscillation remains unclear. We note that a feature transitional between a rock glacier and a moraine, at the terminus of the Julier/Lagrev moraine complex has also yielded a 10Be exposure age in the early Preboreal range (right around 10 ka). At the type locality in the Kromer valley, Kromer Stadial moraines are situated a few hundred metres down-valley from the LIA moraines. Under balanced conditions, the ELA of the glacier was about 60 m lower than during the LIA. By comparison, the ELA during the Younger Dryas maximum advance in the Kromer valley was 380 m lower than during the LIA. Clear signs of rock glacier development are absent. Similar moraines are widespread features in the western Silvretta Mountains and elsewhere in the Alps. 10Be exposure ages from five boulders range between 7.9 to 8.4 ka years. Thus it seems that the moraines in the Kromer valley are roughly 2,000 years younger than the moraines of the Kartell Stadial. Low 10Be measurement errors and the fact that both the Kartell moraine and the Kromer moraine are at similar latitude and altitude make such a comparison possible, production rate unknowns notwithstanding. The obtained ages indicate glacial advance to the Kromer moraine position may correspond to the 8.2 ka cold event as recorded in the Greenland ice cores and in lake sediments in the Alpine Foreland.

  11. Debris-Free Plateau Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Small debris-free plateau glacier with glacier lakes at Gangrinchemzoe Pass at 5,200 m, south of the main Himalayan divide, Bhutan. Image courtesy of Shuji Iwata, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan....

  12. Denali Fault: Black Rapids Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    View eastward along Black Rapids Glacier. The Denali fault follows the trace of the glacier. These very large rockslides went a mile across the glacier on the right side. Investigations of the headwall of the middle landslide indicate a volume at least as large as that which fell, has dropped a mete...

  13. 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 Glacier Paradise is the glacier palace. Since summer 2011 this tourist attraction can be accessed via two elevators leading to an ice tunnel about 12 meters below the glaciers surface. Interesting thermal interactions exist between the permafrost bedrock that is in direct contact to the glacier ice. Great care has to be taken that there is no heat transfer from buildings to the glacier ice. Degradation of permafrost due to climatic change and human interference may become a serious threat to many installations of high mountain tourist centers. These facilities need appropriate management. Permafrost scientists may provide the necessary expertise for a proper hazard management.

  14. 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.

  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. 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 is characterised by large cross-fjord push moraines of fjord floor sediments with lobe-shaped debris flows on their distal slope, glacial lineations, dense rhombohedral networks of crevasse squeeze ridges, and eskers. Annual push moraines associated with the quiescent phase are also observed and are unique to the submarine record. The terrestrial record consists of large lateral moraine systems alongside the fjord which contain outer push ridges composed of shallow marine sediments and an inner zone of ice stagnation terrain. Eskers, flutes and large, sharp-crested crevasse fill ridges in dense networks are superimposed on this inner zone; the latter are similar in character to their submarine counterparts but typically higher. We suggest that these three landsystems broadly characterise the geomorphology of the vast majority of known Svalbard surge-type glaciers and may allow previously unknown surge-type glaciers to be identified, both in the field and from aerial photographs and sea floor imagery.

  17. Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, 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.

    2012-09-01

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

  18. Timing of glacier advances and climate in the High Tatra Mountains (Western Carpathians) during the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makos, Micha?; Dzier?ek, Jan; Nitychoruk, Jerzy; Zreda, Marek

    2014-07-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), long valley glaciers developed on the northern and southern sides of the High Tatra Mountains, Poland and Slovakia. Chlorine-36 exposure dating of moraine boulders suggests two major phases of moraine stabilization, at 26-21 ka (LGM I - maximum) and at 18 ka (LGM II). The dates suggest a significantly earlier maximum advance on the southern side of the range. Reconstructing the geometry of four glaciers in the Sucha Woda, Pa?szczyca, Mlynicka and Velicka valleys allowed determining their equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) at 1460, 1460, 1650 and 1700 m asl, respectively. Based on a positive degree-day model, the mass balance and climatic parameter anomaly (temperature and precipitation) has been constrained for LGM I advance. Modeling results indicate slightly different conditions between northern and southern slopes. The N-S ELA gradient finds confirmation in slightly higher temperature (at least 1 °C) or lower precipitation (15%) on the south-facing glaciers during LGM I. The precipitation distribution over the High Tatra Mountains indicates potentially different LGM atmospheric circulation than at the present day, with reduced northwesterly inflow and increased southerly and westerly inflows of moist air masses.

  19. Mount Cheops Cirque Glacier: Response of a Small Debris Covered Glacier to Climate Change

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    Mount Cheops Cirque Glacier: Response of a Small Debris Covered Glacier of a microclimate cirque glacier on Mount Cheops in Glacier National Park of Canada the valley bottom and within the cirque. Simple observations, such as water clarity

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Alpine Glacier Oscillations and Climate in the Early Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Well preserved glacial advances represent a valuable information source of climate history because glaciers react directly to changes in climate. In this context, several moraine systems located morphostratigraphically between Younger Dryas moraines ("Egesen Stadial") and the "Little Ice Age" moraines are investigated in the Eastern Alps of Austria. Hitherto few investigations of such sites have been undertaken in this region and those that have been, have often yielded a broad range of ages within the early Holocene. Based on stratigraphy and morphological characteristics of Alpine moraines as well as corresponding ELA (equilibrium line altitude) depressions, possible early Holocene moraine systems are identified. The field investigations encompass sites in the western Austrian Federal States of Vorarlberg and Tirol ranging from the central Alps to the northern Alpine fringe. The dating of these glacial advances takes place by means of exposure dating. Thereby, clast supported boulders associated to the respective moraines are sampled and the ages determined with 10Be and 36Cl. This study aims at shedding light on this particular time frame between 11.5 and 10 ka and to determine whether a correlation of glacial stadials to various known short termed (~100-200a) climatic oscillations can be achieved. The regional distribution of investigated field sites within western Austria helps to gain spatial climate knowledge. The interpretation of climate history is supported by the use of energy and mass balance calculations at the equilibrium line and on empirical precipitation-temperature models and positive degree-day models. Additional necessary climate information (especially summer temperature) is taken from the available proxy data sources of the respective time segment. Therewith changes in precipitation structures throughout the Alpine region and indications of atmospheric circulation conditions in times of rapid climate change can be derived.

  3. Annual satellite imaging of the world's glaciers Assessment of glacier extent and change

    E-print Network

    GLIMS HIGH ICE Annual satellite imaging of the world's glaciers Assessment of glacier extent and change Development and population of a digital glacier data inventory #12;Glaciers of High Asia: Where was a debris-covered glacier near Mt. Everest J.S. Kargel, April 2001 #12;Gangotri Glacier, India #12;A. Kääb

  4. Recent Changes in High-Latitude Glaciers, Ice Caps, and Ice Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2004-12-01

    The mass balance of high-latitude glaciers and ice sheets is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, but through a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements, some significant changes have been observed in recent years. On the Greenland ice sheet most of the coastal regions have thinned substantially as melt has increased and some of its outlet glaciers have accelerated. Near the equilibrium line in West Greenland, we have seen evidence of summer acceleration that is linked to surface meltwater production, suggesting a relatively rapid response mechanism between the ice sheet and a warming climate. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in recent decades, with increased mass losses during the 1990s in parts of Canada and Alaska. The picture is more complicated in the southern hemisphere, where Antarctic ice is growing in some areas, shrinking dramatically in others, and is essentially in balance elsewhere. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) shows thinning along its northern margin, particularly in the glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea. The western portions of the WAIS, however, show thickening, but in the aggregate the mass loss is believed to exceed the gain. Changes in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet are small, but we don't know at this point whether it is growing or shrinking. On the Antarctic Peninsula, the rapid disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf has resulted in acceleration and thinning of a small number of glaciers that once fed the ice shelf. This behavior raises questions about relatively near-term consequences of climate change and the Antarctic Ice Sheet's contribution to sea level rise. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of their long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing observations, in situ measurements and improved modeling capabilities, it is important that we coordinate and integrate these approaches effectively in order to predict future changes and their impact on sea level.

  5. 100 Years of Glacier Retreat in Central Asia

    E-print Network

    100 Years of Glacier Retreat in Central Asia 100 Years of Glacier Retreat in Central Asia · Jeffrey+GLIMS Glacier databaseMODIS+GLIMS Glacier database #12;Benchmark GlaciersBenchmark Glaciers #12;Everest ASTER Mosaic, 2001Everest ASTER Mosaic, 2001 #12;KhumbuKhumbu Glacier, Nepal, 1958Glacier, Nepal, 1958 #12

  6. 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 the morphostratigraphic characteristics of Younger Dryas (Egesen) stadial with multiple, sharp crested moraine ridges (e.g. Ivy-Ochs et al. 2008), the unusual large glacier extent is due to the rock avalanche debris cover and its insulating effect. In both cases the maximum elevation of lateral moraines (MELM - method) gave the most reliable estimates of ELAs with reconstructed low AARs of around 0.5 compared to the standard assumption for Lateglacial glaciers with a ratio around 0.65. Thus, stratigraphic correlations of moraines should be done not until morphological features and lithofacies have been analyzed considering the whole geological setting. Ivy-Ochs, S., Kerschner, H., Reuther, A., Preusser, F., Heine, K., Maisch, M., Kubik, P.W. and Ch. Schlüchter (2008):Chronology of the last glacial cycle in the Northern European Alps. Journal of Quaternary Science 23(6-7), 559-573.

  7. New climate change scenarios reveal uncertain future for Central Asian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, A. F.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Gobiet, A.; Pellicciotti, F.; Bierkens, M. F. P.

    2012-11-01

    Central Asian water resources largely depend on (glacier) melt water generated in the Pamir and Tien Shan mountain ranges, located in the basins of the Amu and Syr Darya rivers, important life lines in Central Asia and the prominent water source of the Aral Sea. To estimate future water availability in the region, it is thus necessary to project the future glacier extent and volume in the Amu and Syr Darya river basins. The aim of this study is to quantify the impact of uncertainty in climate change projections on the future glacier extent in the Amu and Syr Darya river basins. The latest climate change projections provided by the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) generated for the upcoming fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are used to model future glacier extent in the Central Asian region for the two large river basins. The outcomes are compared to model results obtained with the climate change projections used for the fourth IPCC assessment (CMIP3). We use a regionalized glacier mass balance model to estimate changes in glacier extent as a function of glacier size and projections of temperature and precipitation. The model is developed for implementation in (large scale) hydrological models, when the spatial model resolution does not allow for modelling of individual glaciers and data scarcity is an issue. Both CMIP3 and CMIP5 model simulations point towards a strong decline in glacier extent in Central Asia. However, compared to the CMIP3 projections, the CMIP5 projections of future glacier extent in Central Asia provide a wider range of outcomes, mostly owing to greater variability in precipitation projections among the latest suite of climate models. These findings have great impact on projections of the timing and quantity of water availability in glacier melt dominated rivers in the region. Uncertainty about the size of the decline in glacier extent remains large, making estimates of future Central Asian glacier extent and downstream water availability uncertain.

  8. Liss M. Andreassen Glacier variations in

    E-print Network

    Andreassen, Liss Marie

    Liss M. Andreassen Glacier variations in Norway - Measurements and modelling Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences University of Oslo 2008 #12;#12;Glacier variations in Norway - Measurements and modelling.................................................................................................................... 15 1.2 Glaciers in Norway

  9. Experimental Determination of the Liquid Line of Descent of Anhydrous Mantle Derived Tholeiitic Liquids by Fractional and Equilibrium Crystallisation at 1.0 GPa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villiger, S.; Ulmer, P.; Thompson, A. B.; Muentener, O.

    2003-12-01

    To constrain phase equilibria as well as solid and liquid compositions along the liquid line of descent of primary basaltic magmas in reservoirs that are located at the base of the continental crust, two series of anhydrous experiments have been performed in end-loaded piston cylinder apparatus at 1.0 GPa pressure and temperatures in the range 1060 to 1330° C. As starting material an experimentally produced mantle-derived tholeiitic basalt that is in equilibrium with a lherzolitic residue at 1.5 GPa and 1300° C (Hirose & Kushiro, 1993; EPSL 114, 477-489) was used. The first series are equilibrium crystallisation experiments on a single bulk composition. For the second series a step-wise approach was used to achieve near-perfect fractional crystallisation: Melting experiments where performed with temperature steps of 30° C and starting compositions corresponding to the liquid composition of the previous, higher temperature glass composition. Liquids of fractional crystallisation experiments evolve through constant silica increase from basalts to dacites, whereas liquids from equilibrium crystallisation experiments remain basaltic and display only a moderate SiO_ {2} increase accompanied by more pronounced alumina enrichment. Responsible for these contrasting trends are suppression of the peritectic olivine + liquid = opx reaction and earlier plagioclase saturation in the fractionation experiments compared to the equilibrium experiments. At high pressure both processes form large volumes of ultramafic cumulates related to the suppression of plagioclase crystallisation relative to pyroxenes. This is in contrast to fractionation of tholeiitic liquids at low pressures, where silica is enriched in the latest stage of differentiation and early fractionation of plagioclase lead to the production of troctolites followed by (olivine-)gabbros. Compositional variation of pyroxenes and plagioclase are influenced by the fractionation process. In fractional crystallisation experiments, the Al content systematically decreases at lower temperature while in equilibrium crystallisation it does not. Thermodynamic calculations using the MELTS program indicates that the Al activity in the liquid exerts a fundamental control on Al partitioning between liquid and pyroxenes. Likewise different An contents in plagioclase at similar CaO/Na_ {2}O ratios in the liquid are controlled by Na and K activity in the residual liquid. This suggests that liquid composition potentially is an important factor in controlling crystal-liquid partitioning.

  10. 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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  11. 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, this is more than offset by a greater reduction in precipitation.

  12. Mass loss and imbalance of glaciers along the Andes Cordillera to the sub-Antarctic islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Beckerman, Andrew P.; Yde, Jacob C.; Hanna, Edward; Malmros, Jeppe K.; Wilson, Ryan; Zemp, Micheal

    2015-10-01

    Here, we examine available glacier mass-balance records between 1993 and 2012 for Andes Cordillera, South America (6.5°N-45.8°S), and the sub-Antarctic islands around the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (62.7°S-63.8°S) to determine their recent mass loss and imbalance with the present climate. The mean annual observed mass-balance Ba changed from - 620 ± 390 (1993-2002) to - 740 ± 240 kg m- 2 yr- 1 (2003-2012) and for this past decade showed a decrease in Ba from south to north. These glaciers had a mean accumulation area ratio of 0.42, which is below the AAR value for glaciers in equilibrium, reflecting mean area and volume imbalances of 23% and 27%, respectively. Glaciers in the northern part of Andes Cordillera are most out of balance with the present climate (33%), while glaciers on the sub-Antarctic islands are only slightly out of balance (4%). We identified a spatiotemporal cycle of Ba that distinguishes glaciers on the sub-Antarctic islands from glaciers in the Andes using an Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis. This analysis also revealed that South America should be divided into three individual glacier regions, and not two regions as earlier stated. Overall, the spatiotemporal cycles identified correlate to the multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index instantaneously (zero-year lag-time) and to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation with an approximately eight-year lag-time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzeion, B.; Jarosch, A. H.; Hofer, M.

    2012-08-01

    We present a model of the global surface mass balance of glaciers, based on the reconstruction and projection of the surface mass balance of all the world's individual glaciers. The model is validated using a leave-one-glacier-out cross validation scheme using 3997 observed surface mass balances of 255 glaciers, and against 756 geodetically observed, temporally integrated volume and surface area changes of 341 glaciers. Between 1902 and 2009, the world's glaciers are reconstructed to have lost mass corresponding to 114 ± 5 mm sea level equivalent (SLE). During the 21st century, they are projected to loose additionally between 148 ± 35 mm SLE (scenario RCP26), 166 ± 42 mm SLE (scenario RCP45), 175 ± 40 mm SLE (scenario RCP60), to 217 ± 47 mm SLE (scenario RCP85). Based on the extended RCP scenarios, glaciers are projected to approach a new equilibrium towards the end of the 23rd century, after having lost between 248 ± 66 mm SLE (scenario RCP26), 313 ± 50 mm SLE (scenario RCP45), to 424 ± 46 mm SLE (scenario RCP85). Up until approximately 2100, ensemble uncertainty within each scenario is the biggest source of uncertainty for the future glacier mass loss; after that, the difference between the scenarios takes over as the biggest source of uncertainty. Rates of mass loss are projected to peak between 2050 and 2100, depending on the scenario.

  14. On convergence to equilibrium for one-dimensional chain of harmonic oscillators in the half-line

    E-print Network

    T. V. Dudnikova

    2015-04-20

    The mixing boundary-value problem for infinite one-dimensional chain of harmonic oscillators on the half-line is considered. The large time asymptotic behavior of solutions is obtained. The initial data of the system are supposed to be a random function which has some mixing properties. We study the distribution $\\mu_t$ of the random solution at time moments $t\\in\\mathbb{R}$. The main result is the convergence of $\\mu_t$ to a Gaussian probability measure as $t\\to\\infty$. The mixing properties of the limit measures are studied.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. ASTER Image of Gangotri Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Sept 9, 2001 ASTER image showing the position of the terminus of Gangotri Glacier, India, between 1780 and 2001. Image from Jesse Allen, NASA's Earth Observatory. Glacier retreat boundaries courtesy of the U.S. Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center...

  18. 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 technology program designed to examine Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as a total integrated system.

    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.

    Size: 55 by 40 kilometers (34 by 25 miles) Location: 60.0 degrees North latitude, 140.7 degrees West longitude Orientation: North at top Image Data: ASTER bands 2, 3 and 4 Original Data Resolution: 15 meters (49 feet) Date Acquired: June 8, 2001

  19. Mapping the Retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    1 Mapping the Retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada, 2007 Abstract To map the retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia time of till in the study area was determined with increasing distance from the current glacier front

  20. Laboratory Evidence That Line-Tied Toroidal Magnetic Fields Can Suppress Loss-of-Equilibrium Flux Rope Eruptions in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, C. E.; Yamada, M.; Belova, E.; Ji, H.; Yoo, J.; Fox, W. R., II; Jara-Almonte, J.

    2014-12-01

    Loss-of-equilibrium mechanisms such as the ideal torus instability [Kliem & Török, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 255002 (2006)] are predicted to drive arched flux ropes in the solar corona to erupt. In recent line-tied flux rope experiments conducted in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), however, we find that quasi-statically driven flux ropes remain confined well beyond the predicted torus instability threshold. In order to understand this behavior, in situ measurements from a 300 channel 2D magnetic probe array are used to comprehensively analyze the force balance between the external (potential) and internal (plasma-generated) magnetic fields. We find that forces due to the line-tied toroidal magnetic field, which are not included in the basic torus instability theory, can play a major role in preventing eruptions. The dependence of these toroidal magnetic forces on various potential field and flux rope parameters will be discussed. This research is supported by DoE Contract Number DE-AC02-09CH11466 and by the NSF/DoE Center for Magnetic Self-Organization (CMSO).

  1. Scaling the Teflon Peaks: Granite, Glaciers, and the Highest Relief in North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, D.; Anderson, R. S.; Haeussler, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    We use a combination of field observations, remote sensing, and digital elevation data to demonstrate how the topographic character of the Alaska Range (Alaska, USA) has been influenced by the exhumation of Tertiary granitic plutons among more erodible sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Observations that the mean elevations of many tectonically active mountain ranges follow closely the elevation of the mean Cenozoic snowline or glacial equilibrium line (ELA), rather than rates of tectonic rock uplift, have led to the “glacial buzzsaw hypothesis” - that terrain raised above the ELA is rapidly denuded by glaciers. The Alaska Range stands in prominent exception to this observation. Much of the range is developed on pervasively fractured sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and has local relief of 1000-1500 m. In contrast, early and mid-Tertiary plutons of relatively intact granite support most of the range's impressive mountains (including Mt. McKinley, or Denali, the highest mountain in North America at 6194 m), with 2500-5000 m of local relief. Moreover, these plutons are where the range's modern glaciers originate, as the high peaks protrude in some cases kilometers above modern snowlines. These glaciers flow off of the plutons onto the surrounding, softer rocks, where mean summit elevations are similar to modern snowline elevations. We exploit the Denali massif and the Kichatna Mountains to its west to illustrate the direct ways in which exhumation of granite plutons affects glacial erosion, glacier long profiles, the glacial drainage network, and the effectiveness of periglacial processes. We use simple scaling calculations to explore the potential feedbacks of relief enhancement - specifically, that of avalanching from steep valley walls - on the health of the glaciers occupying the valleys, and describe ways in which peaks can be preserved and allowed to grow to great heights. Our work indicates that most of the Alaska Range has developed in accordance with the glacial buzzsaw hypothesis, except where resistant granite has been exhumed among the weaker rocks. Differential erosion has progressively localized divides on the plutons as they were exhumed, leading to focused glaciation there. However, glacier long profiles provide evidence that glacial incision is less efficient on the granite. Cirques cannot form on the steep valley walls that are maintained by detachment of rock slabs along sheeting joints. The strong granites can therefore sustain steep walls that act as Teflon, efficiently shedding snow to the valley below. These avalanches can greatly enhance the health and the erosive power of the modern glaciers in parts of the range. During glaciations, mass is removed efficiently from the surrounding sedimentary landscape, promoting isostatic uplift of the granitic massifs. We conclude that, in places such as Denali, unusual combinations of tectonic uplift rate and rock strength have enacted a set of feedbacks that allowed the development of the highest relief in North America by enhancing glacial erosion in the valleys while preserving the peaks.

  2. Primer on glacier flows Christian Heining

    E-print Network

    Sainudiin, Raazesh

    Primer on glacier flows Christian Heining University of Bayreuth, Germany, Department of Applied Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics 1. Why is it important to understand the physics of glaciers? - Glaciers ocean sediments (ice shelfs in antarctica) o pollen - Glaciers contribute to the raise

  3. 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.

  4. An update on surge-type glaciers and spatial constraint of surge behavior in the Alaska Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herreid, S. J.; Truffer, M.; Harrison, W. D.; Hock, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    The Alaska Range is host to many surge-type glaciers as originally identified by Post in the 1960s. A reanalysis of Post's Alaska Range surge-type glacier inventory and updates by Wilbur and Clarke has been compiled from the literature, USGS maps, nadir and oblique aerial photographs and satellite imagery with a combined time span of 1949 to 2011. Glaciers in the Alaska Range show a spectrum of surge behavior, from episodic "pulsing" (or acceleration) of a tributary glacier into a major glacier trunk, to full glacier participation resulting in kilometers of displacement. To address this spectrum a classification scheme was developed and applied to show both magnitude of surge behavior and provide a confidence index of surge-type glacier identification. Of the 356 glaciers in the Alaska Range with a surface area greater than 1 km2, 28 glaciers comprising 38% of the total glacier surface area show some degree of surge behavior. 19 major surge events have been observed or temporally constrained with imagery. To better spatially constrain surge behavior, tributary branches of surge-type glaciers were assessed individually for surge participation. The extent of displacement from the most recent surge was identified from surface expressions where possible. Pre- and post-surge moraine structures for glaciers known to have major surges since the 1990s were mapped, illustrating ice displacement and the evolution of glacier geometry during the quiescent phase. Moraine geometries of Black Rapids and Susitna glaciers were also mapped. Both are well studied glaciers whose predicted surges have not occurred. Elevation data collected along a centerline of Yanert Glacier before and after a surge in 2000-01 show a mass transfer of (6.2 ± 0.3) x 10^8 m3. These data also show the location of the hinge line or boundary between reservoir and receiving areas. Using these data as well as additional direct hinge line measurements made in the Alaska Range and elsewhere in Alaska, a 70/30 surface area ratio between the reservoir and receiving areas was derived. This ratio was applied to surge-type glaciers in the Alaska Range lacking direct hinge line measurements. We propose that knowing the location of the hinge line can aid surge forecasting.

  5. Recent behaviour of Slovenian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrovec, Matej; Ferk, Mateja; Ortar, Jaka

    2014-05-01

    Just two glaciers, below the peaks of Triglav (2864 m) and Skuta (2532 m), are persisting in Slovenian Alps, both on a relatively very low elevation. Their present surfaces do not exceed one hectare, thus we can speak only about two glacierets or very small glaciers. The Anton Melik Geographical Institute of the Scientific Research Centre at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts has regularly performed measurements since 1946. The size of the Triglav glacier, measured in 1946, was 14.4 hectares, and by the year 2012 the glacier had shrunk to a half of a hectare. The direct vicinity of the meteorological station on Mt. Kredarica makes possible an analysis of the dependency of the glacier's fluctuation on weather changes. Several methods of measuring have been applied. Since 1999 we have regularly performed photogrammetric measurements of the glacier, which render possible exact calculations of changes in the glacier's area and volume by individual years. In addition, we also performed georadar measurements in 2000 and 2013. Besides regular annual measurements performed at the end of melting seasons, the Triglav glacier has also been photographed monthly since 1976, from two fixed positions on Mt. Kredarica. In 2012, we performed aerial laser scanning (LIDAR) of the Triglav glacier. While for the last decade of the 20th century we reported that the Triglav glacier has not only retreated but literally disintegrated, in the first decade of the 21st century we can observe its stagnation. Due to the present concave form of the glacier's surface, snow remains on it late into summer, and since the year 2007, the ice of the lower part of the glacier has not been revealed even at the end of the melting season but has remained covered with the firn and snow of previous winters. Should such weather conditions continue and the amount of winter precipitation further increase, the remainder of the Triglav glacier will, though very small in size, continue to exist for next ten years or even more.

  6. Last glacial maximum climate based on cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages and glacier modeling for the head of Tashkurgan Valley, northwest Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiangke; Hu, Gang; Qiao, Baojin

    2013-11-01

    Fully understanding the timing and climate of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is still lack in the head of the Tashkurgan Valley, northwest Tibetan Plateau (TP). The recent improvements in cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating and glacier modeling present an opportunity to estimate the LGM climatic conditions. In the paper, we investigated the moraines and used the 10Be exposure dating on the moraine boulders to constrain the timing of the LGM, the Kuzigun glacial stage in the head of the Tashkurgan Valley. Then, we used a coupled mass-balance and ice-flow model to quantify the paleoclimate from past glacier extents constrained by mapped and dated Kuzigun glacial moraines in the area. We showed that the glaciers terminated at an elevation of 4100-4200 m asl during the Kuzigun glacial stage and the glacial stage occurred during or slightly before 15-23 ka, corresponding to the timing of the global LGM. The modeled mass balances indicated that present-day equilibrium line altitude (ELA) ranges from 5150 to 5250 m asl, and LGM ELA is between 4550 and 4600 m asl in the area, suggesting an ELA lowering of ˜600 m during the LGM. Model results suggested that the temperature during the LGM in the head of the Tashkurgan Valley is 5-8 °C colder than today, considering a 30-70% reduction in precipitation compared to today. The paleoclimate estimates are generally consistence with previous studies that showed the LGM climate was colder and drier than today on the TP.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Atlas of Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironments of the Northern Hemisphere: Late Pleistocene - Holocene. Geogr. Res. Institute, G. Fischer Verlag, Budapest-Stuttgart.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Transition of flow regime along a marine-terminating outlet glacier in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callens, D.; Matsuoka, K.; Steinhage, D.; Smith, B.; Pattyn, F.

    2013-10-01

    We present results of a~multi-methodological approach to characterize the flow regime of West Ragnhild Glacier, the widest glacier in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. A new airborne radar survey points to substantially thicker ice (> 2000 m) than previously thought. According to the new data, West Ragnhild Glacier discharges 13-14 Gt yr-1. Therefore, it is one of the three major outlet glaciers in Dronning Maud Land. Glacier-bed topography is distinct between the upstream and downstream section. In the downstream section (< 65 km upstream of the grounding line), the glacier overlies a wide and flat basin well below the sea level while the upstream region is more mountainous. Spectrum analysis of the bed topography reveals a clear contrast between these two regions, suggesting that the downstream area is sediment covered. The bed returned power varies by 30 dB within 20 km near the bed flatness transition, which suggests that water content at bed/ice interface increases over a short distance downstream, hence pointing to water-rich sediment. Ice flow speed observed in the downstream part of the glacier (~ 250 m yr-1) can only be explained if basal motion accounts for ~ 60% of the surface motion. All above lines of evidence (sediment bed, wetness and basal motion) and the relative flat grounding zone give the potential for West Ragnhild Glacier to be more sensitive to external forcing compared to other major outlet glaciers in this region which are more stable due to their bed geometry (e.g. Shirase Glacier).

  14. Transition of flow regime along a marine-terminating outlet glacier in East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callens, D.; Matsuoka, K.; Steinhage, D.; Smith, B.; Witrant, E.; Pattyn, F.

    2014-05-01

    We present results of a multi-methodological approach to characterize the flow regime of West Ragnhild Glacier, the widest glacier in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. A new airborne radar survey points to substantially thicker ice (>2000 m) than previously thought. With a discharge estimate of 13-14 Gt yr-1, West Ragnhild Glacier thus becomes of the three major outlet glaciers in Dronning Maud Land. Its bed topography is distinct between the upstream and downstream section: in the downstream section (<65 km upstream of the grounding line), the glacier overlies a wide and flat basin well below the sea level, while the upstream region is more mountainous. Spectral analysis of the bed topography also reveals this clear contrast and suggests that the downstream area is sediment covered. Furthermore, bed-returned power varies by 30 dB within 20 km near the bed flatness transition, suggesting that the water content at bed/ice interface increases over a short distance downstream, hence pointing to water-rich sediment. Ice flow speed observed in the downstream part of the glacier (~250 m yr-1) can only be explained through very low basal friction, leading to a substantial amount of basal sliding in the downstream 65 km of the glacier. All the above lines of evidence (sediment bed, wetness and basal motion) and the relatively flat grounding zone give the potential for West Ragnhild Glacier to be more sensitive to external forcing compared to other major outlet glaciers in this region, which are more stable due to their bed geometry (e.g. Shirase Glacier).

  15. A new 3-D thin-skinned rock glacier model based on helicopter GPR results from the Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merz, Kaspar; Green, Alan G.; Buchli, Thomas; Springman, Sarah M.; Maurer, Hansruedi

    2015-06-01

    Mountainous locations and steep rugged surfaces covered by boulders and other loose debris are the main reasons why rock glaciers are among the most challenging geological features to investigate using ground-based geophysical methods. Consequently, geophysical surveys of rock glaciers have only ever involved recording data along sparse lines. To address this issue, we acquired quasi-3-D ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data across a rock glacier in the Swiss Alps using a helicopter-mounted system. Our interpretation of the derived GPR images constrained by borehole information results in a novel "thin-skinned" rock glacier model that explains a concentration of deformation across a principal shear zone (décollement) and faults across which rock glacier lobes are juxtaposed. The new model may be applicable to many rock glaciers worldwide. We suggest that the helicopter GPR method may be useful for 3-D surveying numerous other difficult-to-access mountainous terrains.

  16. Temporal behavior of line-to-continuum ratios and ion fractions as a means of assessing thermodynamic equilibrium in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Heh-Young; Smith, Benjamin W.; Omenetto, Nicoló

    2012-04-01

    Two diagnostic approaches, aimed at evaluating the departure from local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in laser-induced plasmas, are discussed in this paper. The first approach is based upon the observed temporal behavior of the ratio between selected atomic transitions and the nearby spectral continuum, while the second approach makes use of the plot of the ion fraction of different elements as a function of their respective ionization potentials. Both approaches are known in atomic emission spectroscopy: the former has been described and used in the case of a high pressure surfatron argon plasma, and the latter follows directly from the classic work dealing with d.c. arc emission in general, and a d.c. copper arc in particular. Such approaches, however, have not yet been applied to laser-induced plasmas. It is shown that the experimental results obtained with both methods agree with those reported in the literature using more conventional approaches. For example, in this work, the well-known outcome that the excitation temperature and the ion (electron) temperature differ substantially at early delays after the formation of the plasma is clearly supported by the line-to-continuum approach applied to atomic and ionic transitions of Cu and Fe. In addition, the agreement between the experimental and theoretical behavior of the ion fraction versus the ionization potential for the elements Cu, Fe, Ni, Mg and Ti improves as the delay time increases.

  17. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Comaparison of late pleistocene glacier extensions along a meridian Himalaya transect by geomorphological and pedological methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, M.

    2009-04-01

    There is still a controverse discussion on Late Pleistocene glacier extensions for many parts of the Himalaya. Besides differing geomorphological results, more recent pedological relative datings of moraines delivered further inconsistent findings. For a meridian Himalaya transect along the Kali Gandaki a detailed field review of these different glaciogeomorphological reconstructions has been carried out, supplemented by new equilibrium line altitude (ELA) calculations. In a second step these findings have been used as benchmark to explore the options and limits of pedological relative dating of glacigene accumulations in the Higher Himalaya. A review of the already existing glaciogeomorphological results clearly appoved the more extended glaciation and the detailed relative chronology found in Kuhle (1982), while the more restricted glaciation view advanded by Fort (2000) is the result of foulty and missing geomorphological interpretations. To reconstruct former ELA depressions within the very steep and highly dynamic landforms of the Himalaya, „Toe-To-Summit-Altitude-Methods" (TSAM) are most adequate. Only the upper and lower glacier margin need to be known, which can be identified quite certain even for pre-existing glacier extensions. The method Kuhle is proved to provide the most suitable results, because the strong influence of the valley topography and the degree of debris cover on the position of the ELA within the vertical extension of the glacier can be simulated by the „factor of snowline deviation" (FSD). Maximum ELA depressions of 1300 to 1500 m can be observed for the south-face of the Higher Himalaya as well as for the arid north-face and the Inner Himalaya. The extreme topographical changeover arising from the inflow of the former glaciers from the tributary valleys into the wide and flat valley bottoms lead to little uncertainness, but the relative chronology of the glacier stages can certainly be derived. Most of the granulometric weathering indices are inapplicable as relative dating methods because of the typically high textural variability within till deposits. On the other hand around the central mountain range crossing section of the Kali Gandaki most of the pedochemical weathering indices mirror the relative chronology of deglaciation correctly, since comparable soil development conditions can be found. Thereby not only a differentiation between the High-, Late-, and Neoglacial is possible, but also within the Late Glacial. North of the Himalaya main range, only a few very certain pedochemical relative dating methods are applicable as a consequence of the drier climatic conditions. South of the Higher Himalaya variations of the parent material and the for the southern slope typical characteristics, e.g., a high degree of relief energy, precipitation, and anthropogenic use, preclude a reliable deduction of the relative age of the glacigenic accumulations from the soil age, since a required undisturbed soil development and primary form conservation of the accumulations, is nearly impossible.

  20. Surface mass balance of Greenland mountain glaciers and ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, R. J.; Box, J. E.; Bromwich, D. H.; Wahr, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps contribute roughly half of eustatic sea-level rise. Greenland has thousands of small mountain glaciers and several ice caps > 1000 sq. km that have not been included in previous mass balance calculations. To include small glaciers and ice caps in our study, we use Polar WRF, a next-generation regional climate data assimilation model is run at grid resolution less than 10 km. WRF provides surface mass balance data at sufficiently high resolution to resolve not only the narrow ice sheet ablation zone, but provides information useful in downscaling melt and accumulation rates on mountain glaciers and ice caps. In this study, we refine Polar WRF to simulate a realistic surface energy budget. Surface melting is calculated in-line from surface energy budget closure. Blowing snow sublimation is computed in-line. Melt water re-freeze is calculated using a revised scheme. Our results are compared with NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and associated error is calculated on a regional and local scale with validation from automated weather stations (AWS), snow pits and ice core data from various regions along the Greenland ice sheet.

  1. 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

  2. Glacier discharge and climate variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominguez, M. Carmen; Rodriguez-Puebla, Concepcion; Encinas, Ascension H.; Visus, Isabel; Eraso, Adolfo

    2010-05-01

    Different studies account for the warming in the polar regions that consequently would affect Glacier Discharge (GD). Since changes in GD may cause large changes in sensible and latent heat fluxes, we ask about the relationships between GD and climate anomalies, which have not been quantified yet. In this study we apply different statistical methods such as correlation, Singular Spectral Analysis and Wavelet to compare the behaviour of GD data in two Experimental Pilot Catchments (CPE), one (CPE-KG-62°S) in the Antarctica and the other (CPE-KVIA-64°N) in the Arctic regions. Both CPE's are measuring sub- and endo-glacier drainage for recording of glacier melt water run-off. The CPE-KG-62°S is providing hourly GD time series since January 2002 in Collins glacier of the Maxwell Bay in King George Island (62°S, 58°W). The second one, CPE-KVIA-64°N, is providing hourly GD time series since September 2003 in the Kviarjökull glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap in Iceland (64°N, 16°W). The soundings for these measurements are pressure sensors installed in the river of the selected catchments for the ice cap (CPE-KG-62°S) and in the river of the glacier for (CPE-KVIA-64°N). In each CPE, the calibration function between level and discharge has been adjusted, getting a very high correlation coefficient (0.99 for the first one and 0.95 for the second one), which let us devise a precise discharge law for the glacier. We obtained relationships between GD with atmospheric variables such as radiation, temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure and precipitation. We also found a negative response of GD to El Niño teleconnection index. The results are of great interest due to the GD impact on the climate system and in particular for sea level rise.

  3. 115GLACIERS AND ICE CAPSCHAPTER 6B Glaciers and Ice Caps

    E-print Network

    Fountain, Andrew G.

    115GLACIERS AND ICE CAPSCHAPTER 6B 6B Glaciers and Ice Caps Michael Zemp (lead author, Department of Sciences, China) #12;116 GLOBAL OUTLOOK FOR ICE AND SNOW Summary Glaciers and ice caps are among the most hazards. Because they are close to the melting point and react strongly to climate change, glaciers

  4. Response of glaciers in northwestern North America to future climate change: an atmosphere/glacier

    E-print Network

    Bhatt, Uma

    Response of glaciers in northwestern North America to future climate change: an atmosphere/glacier@gi.alaska.edu 2 HyMet, Inc., 13629 Burma Road SW, Vashon Island, WA 98070, USA ABSTRACT. The response of glaciers to changing climate is explored with an atmosphere/glacier hierarchical modeling approach, in which global

  5. Assessment of multispectral glacier mapping methods and derivation of glacier area changes, 19782002, in the central

    E-print Network

    Kääb, Andreas

    Assessment of multispectral glacier mapping methods and derivation of glacier area changes, 1978 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand ABSTRACT. We have measured the glacier area changes in the central Southern Alps, New Zealand, between 1978 and 2002 and have compiled the 2002 glacier outlines using

  6. The GLIMS geospatial glacier database: A new tool for studying glacier change

    E-print Network

    The GLIMS geospatial glacier database: A new tool for studying glacier change Bruce Raup a,, Adina's estimated 160000 glaciers. Each institution (called a Regional Center, or RC) oversees the analysis of satellite imagery for a particular region containing glacier ice. Data received by the GLIMS team

  7. 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.

  8. 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%.

  9. Rock glaciers in different climates: the Brooks Range, Alaska, and Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, A.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2005-12-01

    A rock glacier is a landform resulting from the complex input of debris, ground water, snow and glacial ice. In order to disentangle the complexity, I compare the distribution and structure of rock glaciers in different climatic conditions: the Brooks Range, Alaska, and Swiss Alps. Rock glaciers potentially develop between the snow line and the lower limit of permafrost. From this context, an arid environment has been sometimes argued to be favorable for the development of rock glaciers because of the large difference in elevation between the two boundaries. For example, rock glaciers are distributed more widely toward the southern part in the Swiss Alps where precipitation decreases from the north to south. In the Brooks Range, where the precipitation is about half of that in the southern Swiss Alps, the vertical range of the distribution is, however, similar to that in the Alps. The distribution of rock glaciers is topographically controlled below the low snow line in high latitude. The difference in precipitation in the two regions results in the different input patterns of snow. Burial of snow by rockfalls is thought to be one of the processes forming the internal ice of rock glaciers. In the Swiss Alps, snow reaches one to three m thick and it remains until the end of summer on the upper part of rock glaciers. In the Brooks Range, snow appears to rarely exceed one m thick and it disappears in early July except for the area close to the snow line. DC resistivity of rock glaciers, high values of which are a good indicator of massive ice in ground, is generally lower in the Brooks Range (10-50 kohmm) than the Alps (10-1000 kohmm). This result is contrary to the ground temperature but consistent with potential of snow burial. In the Brooks Range, high DC resistivity (>100 kohmm) was only observed on a rock glacier close to the present snow line. Such high resistivity is common in the Alps, even if rock glaciers originate from the foot of talus slopes lower than the snow line. These results from the Brooks Range are preliminary and further research will provide more information about the internal structure.

  10. 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 tidewater glaciers. The work presented discusses preliminary satellite observations of concurrent changes in the North Water and Nares Strait polynyas and neighbouring tidewater glaciers in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic where notable thinning and acceleration of glaciers have been observed. Also included is an outline of how these observations will fit into a much wider project on the topic involving ocean, atmosphere and sea ice modelling and short-term and longer-term in-situ measurements.

  11. Fast shrinkage of tropical glaciers in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceballos, Jorge Luis; Euscátegui, Christian; Ramírez, Jair; Cañon, Marcela; Huggel, Christian; Haeberli, Wilfried; Machguth, Horst

    As a consequence of ongoing atmospheric temperature rise, tropical glaciers belong to the unique and threatened ecosystems on Earth, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Houghton and others, 2001). Worldwide glacier monitoring, especially as part of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), includes the systematic collection of data on such perennial surface ice masses. Several peaks in the sierras of Colombia have lost their glacier cover during recent decades. Today, high-altitude glaciers still exist in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Sierra Nevada del Cocuy and on the volcanoes of Nevados del Ruiz, de Santa Isabel, del Tolima and del Huila. Comparison of reconstructions of maximum glacier area extent during the Little Ice Age with more recent information from aerial photographs and satellite images clearly documents a fast-shrinking tendency and potential disappearance of the remaining glaciers within the next few decades. In the past 50 years, Colombian glaciers have lost 50% or more of their area. Glacier shrinkage has continued to be strong in the last 15 years, with a loss of 10-50% of the glacier area. The relationship between fast glacier retreat and local, regional and global climate change is now being investigated. Preliminary analyses indicate that the temperature rise of roughly 1° C in the last 30 years recorded at high-altitude meteorological stations exerts a primary control on glacier retreat. The investigations on the Colombian glaciers thus corroborate earlier findings concerning the high sensitivity of glaciers in the wet inner tropics to temperature rise. To improve understanding of fast glacier retreat in Colombia, a modern monitoring network has been established according to the multilevel strategy of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) within GCOS. The observations are also contributions to continued assessments of hazards from the glacier-covered volcanoes and to integrated global change research in mountain biosphere reserves.

  12. 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.

  13. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Lane, Stuart; Brughelli, Mattia; Leprince, Sebastien; Brun, Fanny

    2015-04-01

    Most mountain ranges on Earth owe their morphology to the action of glaciers and icecaps over the last few million years. Our current understanding of how glaciers have modified mountainous landforms has mainly been driven through landscape evolution models. These have included an array of erosion laws and mainly progressed through the implementation of various levels of sophistication regarding ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology or thermodynamics of water flow. However, the complex nature of the erosion processes involved and the difficulty of directly examining the ice-bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers has precluded the establishment of a prevailing erosion theory. Here we quantify the spatial variations in ice sliding velocity and erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier in New Zealand during a 5-month period. By combining high resolution 3D measurements of surface velocity from optical satellite imagery with the quantification of both the production and provenance of sediments by the glacier, we show that erosion rates are proportional to sliding velocity raised to a power of about two. This result is consistent with abrasion theory. Given that the ice sliding velocity is a nonlinear function of ice thickness and ice surface slope, the response of glacial erosion to precipitation changes is highly nonlinear. Finally, our ability to constrain the glacial abrasion law present opportunities to further examine the interaction between glaciation and mountain evolution.

  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. 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.

  16. Muir Glacier and Muir Inlet 1980

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    This ship-deck-based August 1980 photograph of Muir Glacier and Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, St. Elias Mountains, Alaska, shows the nearly 200-ft-high retreating tidewater end of Muir Glacier with part of its face capped by a few angular pinnacles of ice, called séracs....

  17. Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene

    E-print Network

    Stocker, Thomas

    Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene A Report by the Working Group Commissioned of Sciences at the Vatican, to contemplate the observed retreat of the mountain glaciers, its causes and consequences. This report resulted from a workshop in April 2011 at the Vatican. 2007 Courtesy of Glacier

  18. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

    It is virtually universally recognized among climate and cryospheric scientists that climate and greenhouse gas abundances are closely correlated. Disagreements mainly pertain to the fundamental triggers for large fluctuations in climate and greenhouse gases during the pre-industrial era, and exactly how coupling is achieved amongst the dynamic solid Earth, the Sun, orbital and rotational dynamics, greenhouse gas abundances, and climate. Also unsettled is the climate sensitivity defined as the absolute linkage between the magnitude of climate warming/cooling and greenhouse gas increase/decrease. Important questions concern lagging responses (either greenhouse gases lagging climate fluctuations, or vice versa) and the causes of the lags. In terms of glacier and ice sheet responses to climate change, there also exist several processes causing lagging responses to climate change inputs. The simplest parameterization giving a glacier's lagging response time, ?, is that given by Jóhanneson et al. (1989), modified slightly here as ? = b/h, where b is a measure of ablation rate and h is a measure of glacier thickness. The exact definitions of ?, b, and h are subject to some interpretive license, but for a back-of-the-envelope approximation, we may take b as the magnitude of the mean ablation rate over the whole ablation area, and h as the mean glacier thickness in the glacier ablation zone. ? remains a bit ambiguous but may be considered as an exponential time scale for a decreasing response of b to a climatic step change. For some climate changes, b and h can be taken as the values prior to the climate change, but for large climatic shifts, this parameterization must be iterated. The actual response of a glacier at any time is the sum of exponentially decreasing responses from past changes. (Several aspects of glacier dynamics cause various glacier responses to differ from this idealized glacier-response theory.) Some important details relating to the retreat (or advances) of glaciers due to historic and future anthropogenic and longer term climate change relate to a changing glacier hazard regime. Climate change is connected to changes in the geographic distribution and magnitudes of potentially hazardous glacier lakes, large rock and ice avalanches, ice-dammed rivers, and surges. I shall consider these changes in hazard environment in relation to response-time theory and dynamical divergences from idealized response-time theory. Case histories of certain hazard-prone regions, including developments in fast-response-type glaciers and slow-response glaciers and ice sheets will also be discussed. In short, there will be a strong tendency of the hazard regimes of glacierized regions to shift far more rapidly in the 21st century than they did in the 20th century. The magnitude of the shifts will be more dramatic than any simple linear scaling to climate warming would suggest; this is largely because, due to lagging responses, glaciers are still trying to catch up to a new equilibrium for 20th century climate, while climate change remains a moving target that will drive accelerating glacier responses (including responses in hazard environments) in most glacierized regions.

  20. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  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. 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

  3. Geodetic Glacier Mass Balance of Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreassen, L. M.; Elvehøy, H.; Kjøllmoen, B.

    2014-12-01

    Glaciers in mainland Norway cover 2692 km2and span a large range from south to north. Glacier surface mass balance is monitored by the direct (also called glaciological, traditional or conventional) method and indirectly assessed by the geodetic (or cartographic) method. The current glacier monitoring programme includes direct surface mass-balance investigations on 14 glaciers. Since measurements started at Storbreen in 1949, mass balance has been measured on a total of 43 glaciers. The accuracy of the direct measurements depends on both the accuracy of the point observations and inter- and extrapolation of point values to spatially distributed values. Long series of measurements can be inhomogeneous because of changes in personnel, methods, and glacier topography. Reanalysing glacier mass balance series is recommended as standard procedure for every mass balance monitoring programme with increasing importance for long time series. Repeated, detailed glacier mapping by aerial photography and photogrammetric methods, and recently by laser scanning (LIDAR), have been performed to calculate geodetic mass balance. The geodetic results are used as an independent check of the direct method as well as to monitor volume, area and mass changes of glaciers that lack direct measurements. Since 2007, LIDAR campaigns have been conducted on a 1/3 of the glacier area in Norway including all current mass balance glaciers. The objectives of the surveys are to produce high quality digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthophotos to document the present state of the glaciers and assess glacier changes since previous surveys. Furthermore, the DEMs and orthophotos provide an accurate baseline for future repeated mapping and glacier change detection. Here we present geodetic mass balance results for Norway over the last 50 years and compare the results with the direct in-situ measurements where available. We also show examples of how glacier mass balance data are being reanalyzed including homogenization and uncertainty assessments, and, in cases of unexplained discrepancies, adjusting the (annual) glaciological to the (multi-annual) geodetic balances.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Recent fluctuations of the Argentinian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leiva, Juan Carlos

    1999-10-01

    Some of the results obtained in the glaciological research carried out since 1979 at the Argentinian Andes are shown in this paper. The research covers a wide latitudinal gap extending from the Agua Negra glacier in the province of San Juan to the Fr?´as glacier situated at Mount Tronador. Agua Negra and Piloto glaciers show a very similar behavior of almost continuous retreat since 1965 while at the Plomo region a small advance period, starting in 1982, is observed in five of the 10 glaciers studied. Finally, the Fr?´as glacier fluctuations record shows a very strong recession since 1850 only interrupted by the 1976 advance that continued in 1977.

  8. Linking modern glaciological data to early Holocene glaciers: The scaling problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Andrea

    2015-04-01

    Modern directly measured glaciological comprise more than 50 years now and are complemented by additional 125 years of length change records and 200 years of instrumental climate data. The direct mass balance data comprises a number of ablation and accumulation measurements at a few percentage of today's Alpine glaciers, revealing today's linkage of meteorological parameters to mass balance. The length records cover a higher percentage of glaciers and are much longer than mass balance data, but still show a general glacier retreat. Early instrumental data is not available in the vicinity of glaciers, and is biased towards lower elevations. Despite of those limitations, a number of empirical and theoretical models of the glacier-climate interaction have been developed which can be applied to relate glacier stages from the last glacial maximum (LGM) onwards to specific climatic conditions. Independent from the specific model, a number of basic principles as well as unknown boundary conditions leave room for a large bandwidth of possible climatic interpretations. To be able to quantify at least the magnitude of this bandwidth, from the basic principles of glacier-climate interaction the path dependence and the spatial and temporal scale problem have to be taken into account, as well as the idea of non-equilibrium states causing moraines. From today's models, the boundary conditions of cloud cover and surface texture (and thus radiative balance) as well as unknown thermal and basal properties of the ice might play an important role. These factors are illustrated and quantified by long time series of the Austrian Alps. Changes of these parameters are often neglected also in numerical modelling of today's glaciers. Nevertheless, today's field data in combination with simple models allow a first rough estimate of possible uncertainties in interpretation of previous climatic conditions. Much longer, but nevertheless important to keep in mind, remains although the list of open questions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzeion, B.; Jarosch, A. H.; Hofer, M.

    2012-11-01

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

  10. Regional and global volumes of glaciers derived from statistical upscaling of glacier inventory data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radi?, Valentina; Hock, Regine

    2010-03-01

    Very few global-scale ice volume estimates are available for mountain glaciers and ice caps, although such estimates are crucial for any attempts to project their contribution to sea level rise in the future. We present a statistical method for deriving regional and global ice volumes from regional glacier area distributions and volume area scaling using glacier area data from ˜123,000 glaciers from a recently extended World Glacier Inventory. We compute glacier volumes and their sea level equivalent (SLE) for 19 glacierized regions containing all mountain glaciers and ice caps on Earth. On the basis of total glacierized area of 741 × 103 ± 68 × 103 km2, we estimate a total ice volume of 241 × 103 ± 29 × 103 km3, corresponding to 0.60 ± 0.07 m SLE, of which 32% is due to glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica apart from the ice sheets. However, our estimate is sensitive to assumptions on volume area scaling coefficients and glacier area distributions in the regions that are poorly inventoried, i.e., Antarctica, North America, Greenland, and Patagonia. This emphasizes the need for more volume observations, especially of large glaciers and a more complete World Glacier Inventory in order to reduce uncertainties and to arrive at firmer volume estimates for all mountain glaciers and ice caps.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 and past mass balance of glaciers in these phases (2007, 1986, 1955, LIA and LGM) in order to assess the current state of glaciers and deduct the regimes of temperature and precipitation for present and for LGM. To achieve this target were installed in 2007 in the gorge of Queñua Ranra (NE quadrant of Coropuna complex) four stations, that are respectively at 4886 m (E1), 5564 m (E2), 5694 (E3) m and 5822 m (E4). The stations consist of a sensor in air and one (E3) or two sensors in ground (E1). The sensors record temperature at intervals of 30 minutes (sensors 12, 13, 22 and 32) or 45 minutes (11, 21, 31 and 41), with precision of tenths of a degree Celsius (° C). The first digit of the name of the sensors referred to the station (arranged in increasing altitude) and the second at his position (eg 11-air, 12-ground and 13-deep ground, in the station E1). The records of Ta and Ts have allowed to define homogeneous data sets of 365 days (12-11-2007/11-11-2008). With these data have been calculated for each day and each sensor the average temperatures, and the minimum and maximum temperature variations and was used to estimate the vertical thermal gradient (^T/^Z) between the stations. In E1, Ta = 3.9 ° C and Ts =6.8°C. At E3, Ta=-2.9°C and Ts=1.3°C. The rain has been extrapolated from the average of the 1965-2003 series (39 years) from the station of Andahua (15 Ë? 29'36 "S-72 Ë? 20'56" W, 3587 m), 20 km to NE of the eastern summit of Coropuna, resulting in the level E1 (4886 m) a value of P = 494 mm. The availability of the temperature series has allowed develop the model of mass balance using an adaptation of the method Klein et al. (1999) developed from an earlier proposal (Kaser 1995). The method is to solve two equations. Equation 1: a=?m/Lm[(Qr+?(Ta-Ts)], where a is the value of the ablation (mm), ?m duration of ablation (days), Lm the latent heat of fusion (3.34x105J/kg), Qr heat available for melting in the form of net radiation (MJ/day/m), ? a coefficient of mass transferred by heat sensitive (0864 MJ/day), and Ta and Ts air a

  13. Effect of near-terminus subglacial hydrology on tidewater glacier submarine melt rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, D. A.; Nienow, P. W.; Cowton, T. R.; Goldberg, D. N.; Sole, A. J.

    2015-04-01

    Submarine melting of Greenlandic tidewater glacier termini is proposed as a possible mechanism driving their recent thinning and retreat. We use a general circulation model, MITgcm, to simulate water circulation driven by subglacial discharge at the terminus of an idealized tidewater glacier. We vary the spatial distribution of subglacial discharge emerging at the grounding line of the glacier and examine the effect on submarine melt volume and distribution. We find that subglacial hydrology exerts an important control on submarine melting; under certain conditions a distributed system can induce a factor 5 more melt than a channelized system, with plumes from a single channel inducing melt over only a localized area. Subglacial hydrology also controls the spatial distribution of melt, which has the potential to control terminus morphology and calving style. Our results highlight the need to constrain near-terminus subglacial hydrology at tidewater glaciers if we are to represent ocean forcing accurately.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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 setting of active deformation and by the feedback between shortening and uplift, glacial erosion, and orographic effects on climate accompanying mountain building.

  17. Heterogeneity in Karakoram glacier surges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.; Cook, Simon J.; Luckman, Adrian

    2015-07-01

    Many Karakoram glaciers periodically undergo surges during which large volumes of ice and debris are rapidly transported downglacier, usually at a rate of 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than during quiescence. Here we identify eight recent surges in the region and map their surface velocities using cross-correlation feature tracking on optical satellite imagery. In total, we present 44 surface velocity data sets, which show that Karakoram surges are generally short-lived, lasting between 3 and 5 years in most cases, and have rapid buildup and relaxation phases, often lasting less than a year. Peak velocities of up to 2 km a-1 are reached during summer months, and the surges tend to diminish during winter months. Otherwise, they do not follow a clearly identifiable pattern. In two of the surges, the peak velocity travels down-ice through time as a wave, which we interpret as a surge front. Three other surges are characterized by high velocities that occur simultaneously across the entire glacier surface, and acceleration and deceleration are close to monotonic. There is also no consistent seasonal control on surge initiation or termination. We suggest that the differing styles of surge can be partly accounted for by individual glacier configurations and that while some characteristics of Karakoram surges are akin to thermally controlled surges elsewhere (e.g., Svalbard), the dominant surge mechanism remains unclear. We thus propose that these surges represent a spectrum of flow instabilities and the processes controlling their evolution may vary on a glacier by glacier basis.

  18. Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1941

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    This northeast-looking photograph, on the southeastern side of White Thunder Ridge ,shows the lower reaches of Muir Glacier, then a large tidewater calving valley glacier, and its tributary Riggs Glacier. The séracs in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph mark Muir Glacier’s te...

  19. Food web structure in a harsh glacier-fed river.

    PubMed

    Clitherow, Leonie R; Carrivick, Jonathan L; Brown, Lee E

    2013-01-01

    Glacier retreat is occurring across the world, and associated river ecosystems are expected to respond more rapidly than those in flowing waters in other regions. The river environment directly downstream of a glacier snout is characterised by extreme low water temperature and unstable channel sediments but these habitats may become rarer with widespread glacier retreat. In these extreme environments food web dynamics have been little studied, yet they could offer opportunities to test food web theories using highly resolved food webs owing to their low taxonomic richness. This study examined the interactions of macroinvertebrate and diatom taxa in the Ödenwinkelkees river, Austrian central Alps between 2006 and 2011. The webs were characterised by low taxon richness (13-22), highly connected individuals (directed connectance up to 0.19) and short mean food chain length (2.00-2.36). The dominant macroinvertebrates were members of the Chironomidae genus Diamesa and had an omnivorous diet rich in detritus and diatoms as well as other Chironomidae. Simuliidae (typically detritivorous filterers) had a diet rich in diatoms but also showed evidence of predation on Chironomidae larvae. Food webs showed strong species-averaged and individual size structuring but mass-abundance scaling coefficients were larger than those predicted by metabolic theory, perhaps due to a combination of spatial averaging effects of patchily distributed consumers and resources, and/or consumers deriving unquantified resources from microorganisms attached to the large amounts of ingested rock fragments. Comparison of food web structural metrics with those from 62 published river webs suggest these glacier-fed river food web properties were extreme but in line with general food web scaling predictions, a finding which could prove useful to forecast the effects of anticipated future glacier retreat on the structure of aquatic food webs. PMID:23613751

  20. Glacier-derived permafrost ground ice, Bylot Island, Nunavut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulombe, S.; Fortier, D.; Lacelle, D.; Godin, E.; Veillette, A.

    2014-12-01

    Massive icy bodies are important components of permafrost geosystems. In situ freezing of water in the ground by ice-segregation processes forms most of these icy bodies. Other hypotheses for the origin of massive ice include the burial of ice (e.g. glacier, snow, lake, river, sea). The analysis of ground-ice characteristics can give numerous clues about the geomorphologic processes and the thermal conditions at the time when permafrost developed. Massive underground ice therefore shows a great potential as a natural archive of the earth's past climate. Identifying the origin of massive ice is a challenge for permafrost science since the different types of massive ice remain difficult to distinguish on the sole basis of field observations. There is actually no clear method to accurately assess the origin of massive ice and identification criteria need to be defined. The present study uses physico-chemical techniques to characterize buried glacier ice observed on Bylot Island, Nunavut. Combined to the analysis of cryostratigraphy, massive-ice cores crystallography and high-resolution imagery of the internal structure of the ice cores were obtained using micro-computed tomography techniques. These techniques are well suited for detailed descriptions (shape, size, orientation) of crystals, gas inclusions and sediment inclusions. Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes ratios of massive-ice cores were also obtained using common equilibrium technique. Preliminary results suggest the occurrence of two types of buried massive-ice of glacial origin similar to those found on contemporary glaciers: 1) Englacial ice: clear to whitish ice, with large crystals (cm) and abundant gas bubbles at crystal intersections; 2) Basal glacier ice: ice-rich, banded, micro-suspended to suspended cryostructures and ice-rich lenticular to layered cryostructures, with small ice crystals (mm) and a few disseminated gas bubbles. Glacier-derived permafrost contains antegenetic ice, which is ice that predates the aggradation of the permafrost. Remnants of glacier ice represent unique environmental archives and offer the possibility to reconstruct climate anterior to the formation of permafrost.

  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 glacier degradation, very much depending on the morphology and local meteorological conditions.

  2. 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 (?SLA) 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., ?SLA) 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 ?SLA; moreover, the largest glaciers present median ?SLA 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 studies in the high mountain Asia and conclude that the shrinkage of these glaciers are less than that of western and eastern Himalaya, and southern and eastern Tibetan Plateau. The location in higher elevations have likely reduced the impact of warming on these glaciers, but have not been excluded from a relentlessly continuous and slow recession process over the past 50 yrs.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Recent acceleration of Thwaites Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrigno, J. G.

    1993-01-01

    The first velocity measurements for Thwaites Glacier were made by R. J. Allen in 1977. He compared features of Thwaites Glacier and Iceberg Tongue on aerial photography from 1947 and 1967 with 1972 Landsat images, and measured average annual displacements of 3.7 and 2.3 km/a. Using his photogrammetric experience and taking into consideration the lack of definable features and the poor control in the area, he estimated an average velocity of 2.0 to 2.9 km/a to be more accurate. In 1985, Lindstrom and Tyler also made velocity estimates for Thwaites Glacier. Using Landsat imagery from 1972 and 1983, their estimates of the velocities of 33 points ranged from 2.99 to 4.02 km/a, with an average of 3.6 km/a. The accuracy of their estimates is uncertain, however, because in the absence of fixed control points, they assumed that the velocities of icebergs in the fast ice were uniform. Using additional Landsat imagery in 1984 and 1990, accurate coregistration with the 1972 image was achieved based on fixed rock points. For the period 1972 to 1984, 25 points on the glacier surface ranged in average velocity from 2.47 to 2.76 km/a, with an overall average velocity of 2.62 +/- 0.02 km/a. For the period 1984 to 1990, 101 points ranged in velocity from 2.54 to 3.15 km/a, with an overall average of 2.84 km/a. During both time periods, the velocity pattern showed the same spatial relationship for three longitudinal paths. The 8-percent acceleration in a decade is significant. This recent acceleration may be associated with changes observed in this region since 1986. Fast ice melted and several icebergs calved from the base of the Iceberg Tongue and the terminus of Thwaites Glacier. However, as early as 1972, the Iceberg Tongue had very little contact with the glacier.

  8. 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

    The Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah contained numerous valley glaciers east and immediately downwind of Lake Bonneville during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). While the extent and chronology of glaciation in the Wasatch Mountains and the rise and fall of Lake Bonneville are becoming increasingly well understood, inferences of climatic conditions during the LGM for this area and elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Basin have yielded a wide range of temperature depression estimates. For example, previous estimates of temperature depression based on glacier and lake reconstructions in this region generally range from 7° to 9° C colder than modern. Glacier modeling studies for Little Cottonwood Canyon (northern Wasatch Mountains) suggest that such temperature depressions would have been accompanied by precipitation increases of about 3 to 1x modern, respectively (McCoy and Williams, 1985; Laabs et al., 2006). However, interpretations of other proxies suggest that temperature depression in this area may have been significantly greater, up to 13° C (e.g., Kaufman 2003), which would likely have been accompanied by less precipitation than modern. To address this issue, we reconstructed ice extent in the American Fork Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains and applied glacier modeling methods of Plummer and Phillips (2003) to infer climatic conditions during the LGM. Field mapping indicates that glaciers occupied an area of more than 20 km2 in the canyon and reached maximum lengths of about 9 km. To link ice extent to climatic changes, a physically based, two- dimensional numerical model of glacier mass balance and ice flow was applied to these valleys. The modeling approach allows the combined effects of temperature, precipitation and solar radiation on net mass balance of a drainage basin to be explored. Results of model experiments indicate that a temperature depression of less than 9° C in the American Fork Canyon would have been accompanied by greater 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Integrated research on mountain glaciers: Current status, priorities and future prospects

    E-print Network

    Roe, Gerard

    Integrated research on mountain glaciers: Current status, priorities and future prospects Lewis A: Glaciation Glaciers Mountains Glaciology Geochronology Modeling Mountain glaciers are sensitive probes and to predict future changes. Furthermore, glaciers can constitute hazards, including: glacier outburst floods

  12. 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.

  13. Brief Communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new dataset of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Kruse, L. M.; Michaelsen, P. B.

    2015-03-01

    With this new dataset we wish to give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to finding the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland, as well as to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography.

  14. Equilibrium distribution

    E-print Network

    Ashot Vagharshakyan

    2015-08-29

    In the paper discusses the interaction between two charged balls in equilibrium state. It is shown that, depending of the sizes, charges and distance, the balls can move in the same or opposite direction. They can repulse and attract. It is proved, that one of the balls may vibrate.

  15. 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

    The glacial and periglacial environment - linked to the extensive presence of permafrost- which predominates in the Tröllaskagi Peninsula (NE Iceland), has been conducive to the development of numerous glaciers, covered glaciers and rock glaciers located at most of its valley headwalls. This is the case in the Vidinesdalur valley, north of Hólar, where there is a debris-covered glacier (65°42'N-65°44'N and 18°56'W-19°00'W) at the bottom of the Hóladalur valley, one of its tributary valleys, and an extensive rock glacier at the bottom of the Fremri-Grjótárdalur, another tributary valley to the west. These two valleys have been monitored using digital photogrammetry to evaluate their activity in relation to displacement and velocity rates. As a detailed aerial photo from 1946 and also two orthophotos dated 2000 and 2013 were available, our aim was to study the advance rate of the two glaciers from the changes observed in their morphology at these three dates. The methodological approach adopted consisted of a combination of a geomorphological field survey 2012-2014 and photogrammetric analysis of the available material from these three years. The 1946 photograms were scanned in high resolution and georeferenced in the GIS ArcMap 10.1 (ESRI ArcGIS), using the Georeferencing module, with the 2000-2013 orthophotos as support. Between 49 and 63 control points were used for each photo, located along the outer edges of the glaciers. The transformation, applying a third degree polynomial function, obtained an RMS error of 16.10480 m and 9.42038 m respectively. The geomorphological traits were then digitized and observation of the images was carried out in a CAD environment (Bentley MicroStation V8i), which also allowed us to overlay a grid and work simultaneously with various views, facilitating the detection of possible changes in the surface of the rock glacier. During the 2014 fieldwork the limits and main geomorphological units of the two glaciers were 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 (c) the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI), a new and globally complete digital dataset of outlines from about 180,000 glaciers with some meta-information, which has been used for many applications relating to the IPCC AR5 report. Concerning glacier changes, a database (Fluctuations of Glaciers) exists containing information about mass balance, front variations including past reconstructed time series, geodetic changes and special events. Annual mass balance reporting contains information for about 125 glaciers with a subset of 37 glaciers with continuous observational series since 1980 or earlier. Front variation observations of around 1800 glaciers are available from most of the mountain ranges world-wide. This database was recently updated with 26 glaciers having an unprecedented dataset of length changes from from reconstructions of well-dated historical evidence going back as far as the 16th century. Geodetic observations of about 430 glaciers are available. The database is completed by a dataset containing information on special events including glacier surges, glacier lake outbursts, ice avalanches, eruptions of ice-clad volcanoes, etc. related to about 200 glaciers. A special database of glacier photographs contains 13,000 pictures from around 500 glaciers, some of them dating back to the 19th century. A key challenge is to combine and extend the traditional observations with fast evolving datasets from new technologies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    The melting of glaciers and ice caps has been recognized as one of the best natural indicators for global climate change. In Switzerland, the early onset of both glacier research and detailed mapping of the country resulted in a wealth of historical material documenting glacier changes over the past 160 years. Fife years ago, the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg, along with the Swiss energy utility Axpo, launched the Glacier Laserscanning Experiment Obervallis (GLAXPO). In this project three laserscanning flights were performed on Findelengletscher in order to create high resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEM). These DEM provide a precise mapping of the glacier surface topography and serve as reference surface for the co-registration of past DEMs computed from digitized historical maps. In addition to that distributed numerical glacier models were run with ensembles of climate change scenarios in order to calculate glacier changes over the 21st century. The present work makes use of this great data pool for a scientifically correct visualization of 3-dimensional changes of Findelengletscher from AD 1850 to 2100 for public communication. We therefore collected ten different historical maps with the earliest dating from 1862 (plane survey sheet of the Dufour map). The pre-processing included georeferencing and digitalization of contour lines for the creation of different historical DEMs. Afterwards all historical DEMs were co-registered to one of the latest high resolution laserscanning DEM (from 2005). In between years with available DEMs, surface changes were interpolated linearly to create a sequence for the computer animation. For future developments, modeled glacier elevation changes where added/subtracted from the latest DEM (from 2010). Finally, two animations, showing glacier changes from 1850-2010 and 2010-2100, were composed and rendered in the animation program Visual Nature Studio 3. In cooperation with professional booth and model builders, these animations were set up as a glacier exhibit including an interactive touchscreen, a large panoramic view of the Findelen Valley, and an additional interactive monitor providing related background information in French and German. Beginning of 2013, the glacier exhibit was launched as permanent part of the Axporama visitor center and ready for more than 10,000 public visitors a year.

  1. Equilibrium Onions?

    E-print Network

    L. Ramos; D. Roux; P. D. Olmsted; M. E. Cates

    2004-07-01

    We demonstrate the possibility of a stable equilibrium multi-lamellar (``onion'') phase in pure lamellar systems (no excess solvent) due to a sufficiently negative Gaussian curvature modulus. The onion phase is stabilized by non-linear elastic moduli coupled to a polydisperse size distribution (Apollonian packing) to allow space-filling without appreciable elastic distortion. This model is compared to experiments on copolymer-decorated lamellar surfactant systems, with reasonable qualitative agreement.

  2. 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 loss of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and may be important on debris-covered glaciers in other regions.

  3. Morainal bank progradation and sediment accumulation in Disenchantment Bay, Alaska: Response to advancing Hubbard Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, John A.; Lawson, Daniel E.; Willems, Bryce A.; Davis, Marcy; Gulick, Sean P. S.

    2012-06-01

    Morainal banks are primary features at the margins of advancing and stable to quasi-stable temperate tidewater glaciers, yet their roles in glacier dynamics and terminus stability are poorly defined by submarine observations. Analysis of new and archival multibeam data and Landsat images of the advancing Hubbard Glacier, southeast Alaska, reveal that between 1978 and 2010 the ice face and morainal bank advanced together at an average rate of ˜34 m/yr, varying spatially and temporally between 14 and 80 m/yr. Morphological features including gullies and a boulder lag suggest cyclical deposition and gravitational erosion on the proximal slope of the morainal bank (15-18°), and possible ice pushing in an area without recent sedimentation. In contrast, the morainal bank of the nearby, quasi-stable (surging) Turner Glacier advanced steadily since 1978 by proximal sedimentation on the steep fjord wall below its hanging valley. Sedimentation in the deep (>220 m) basin of Disenchantment Bay increased from 0.88 m/yr spanning 1978 to 1999, to 1.22 m/yr thereafter. This change appears to be a combined response to glacier advance and sediment dispersal farther down-fjord, and to an increase in sediment yield from other glacial and non-glacial sources. Analysis of Hubbard Glacier illustrates the direct correlation between movement of the terminus and morainal bank in advancing the grounding line of a marine-terminating glacier, and that morainal banks provide a fundamental stabilizing role for advance into a deep-water fjord, compensating for changes in water depth at the grounding line.

  4. 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

  5. Tropical mountain glaciers on Mars: Altitude-dependence of ice accumulation, accumulation conditions, formation times, glacier dynamics, and implications for planetary spin-axis/orbital history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastook, James L.; Head, James W.; Marchant, David R.; Forget, Francois

    2008-12-01

    Fan-shaped deposits up to ˜166,000 km in area are found on the northwest flanks of the huge Tharsis Montes volcanoes in the tropics of Mars. Recent spacecraft data have confirmed earlier hypotheses that these lobate deposits are glacial in origin. Increased knowledge of polar-latitude terrestrial glacial analogs in the Antarctic Dry Valleys has been used to show that the lobate deposits are the remnants of cold-based glaciers that formed in the extremely cold, hyper-arid climate of Mars. Mars atmospheric general circulation models (GCM) show that these glaciers could form during periods of high obliquity when upwelling and adiabatic cooling of moist air favor deposition of snow on the northwest flanks of the Tharsis Montes. We present a simulation of the Tharsis Montes ice sheets produced by a static accumulation pattern based on the GCM results and compare this with the nature and extent of the geologic deposits. We use the fundamental differences between the atmospheric snow accumulation environments (mass balance) on Earth and Mars, geological observations and ice-sheet models to show that two equilibrium lines should characterize ice-sheet mass balance on Mars, and that glacial accumulation should be favored on the flanks of large volcanoes, not on their summits as seen on Earth. Predicted accumulation rates from such a parameterization, together with sample spin-axis obliquity histories, are used to show that obliquity in excess of 45° and multiple 120,000 year obliquity cycles are necessary to produce the observed deposits. Our results indicate that the formation of these deposits required multiple successive stages of advance and retreat before their full extent could be reached, and thus imply that spin-axis obliquity remained at these high values for millions of years during the Late Amazonian period of Mars history. Spin-axis obliquity is one of the main factors in the distribution and intensity of solar insolation, and thus in determining the climate history of Mars. Unfortunately, reconstruction of past climate history is inhibited by the fact that the chaotic nature of the solution makes the calculation of orbital histories unreliable prior to about 20 Ma ago. We show, however, that the geological record, combined with glacial modeling, can be used to provide insight into the nature of the spin-axis/orbital history of Mars in the Late Amazonian, and to begin to establish data points for the geologically based reconstruction of the climate and orbital history of Mars.

  6. Tropical Mountain Glaciers on Mars: Altitude-Dependence of Ice Accumulation, Accumulation Conditions, Formation Times, Glacier Dynamics, and Implications for Planetary Spin- Axis/Orbital History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastook, J. L.; Head, J. W.; Marchant, D. R.

    2007-12-01

    Lobate deposits up to ~166,000 km2 in area are found on the northwest flanks of the huge Tharsis Montes volcanos in the tropics of Mars. Recent spacecraft data have confirmed earlier hypotheses that these lobate deposits are glacial in origin. Increased knowledge of polar-latitude terrestrial glacial analogs in the Antarctic Dry Valleys has been used to show that the lobate deposits are the remnants of cold-based glaciers that formed in the extremely cold, hyper-arid climate of Mars. Mars atmospheric general circulation models (GCM) show that these glaciers form during periods of high obliquity when upwelling and adiabatic cooling of moist polar air favor deposition of snow on the northwest flanks of the Tharsis Montes. We present a simulation of the Tharsis Montes ice sheets produced by a static accumulation pattern based on the GCM results and compare this with the nature and extent of the geologic deposits. We use the fundamental differences between the atmospheric snow accumulation environments (mass balance) on Earth and Mars, geological observations and ice sheet models to show that two equilibrium lines should characterize ice sheet mass balance on Mars, and that glacial accumulation should be favored on the flanks of large volcanos, not on their summits as seen on Earth. Predicted accumulation rates from such a parameterization, together with sample spin-axis obliquity histories, are used to show that mean obliquity in excess of 45 degrees and multiple 120,000 year obliquity cycles are necessary to produce the observed deposits. Our results indicate that the formation of these deposits required multiple successive stages of advance and retreat before their full extent could be reached, and thus imply that spin-axis obliquity remained at these high values for millions of years during the Late Amazonian period of Mars history. Spin-axis obliquity is one of the main factors in the distribution and intensity of solar insolation, and thus in determining the climate history of Mars. Unfortunately, reconstruction of past climate history is inhibited by the fact that calculations of spin-axis geometry histories prior to about 20 Ma ago are not possible due to the chaotic nature of the solutions. We show, however, that the geological record, combined with glacial modeling, can be used to provide insight into the nature of the spin-axis/orbital history of Mars in the Late Amazonian, and to begin to establish data points for the geologically-based reconstruction of the climate and orbital history of Mars.

  7. Muir Glacier and Muir Inlet 2003

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    This photo was taken in September 2003; in the 23 years between photographs, Muir Glacier has retreated more than a mile and ceased to have a tidewater terminus. Since 1980, Muir Glacier has thinned by more than 600 ft, permitting a view of a mountain with a summit elevation of greater than 4000 ft,...

  8. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 ? 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 ? diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate ? diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. ? diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, ? 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of basal debris on glacier flow.

    PubMed

    Iverson, Neal R; Cohen, Denis; Hooyer, Thomas S; Fischer, Urs H; Jackson, Miriam; Moore, Peter L; Lappegard, Gaute; Kohler, Jack

    2003-07-01

    Glacier movement is resisted partially by debris, either within glaciers or under glaciers in water-saturated layers. In experiments beneath a thick, sliding glacier, ice containing 2 to 11% debris exerted shear traction of 60 to 200 kilopascals on a smooth rock bed, comparable to the total shear traction beneath glaciers and contrary to the usual assumption that debris-bed friction is negligible. Imposed pore-water pressure that was 60 to 100% of the normal stress in a subglacial debris layer reduced shear traction on the debris sufficiently to halt its deformation and cause slip of ice over the debris. Slip resistance was thus less than debris shearing resistance. PMID:12843389

  12. New Gravity-Derived Grounding Line Depths Highlight Role Bathymetry Plays in Ongoing Greenland Ice Sheet Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Bathymetry has been a missing piece in understanding ice-ocean interactions of marine-terminating glaciers in Greenland. As bathymetry in fjords often controls the flow of warm water to the terminus of the glacier, and the grounding line depth of the glacier can modulate the effect of this warm water on the glacier. Study of Tracy and Heilprin Glaciers, a pair of neighboring glaciers in northwest Greenland, has indicated that when exposed to similar external forcings, the glacier with the deeper grounding line will retreat more rapidly. The new comprehensive mapping of grounding line depths with Operation IceBridge gravity inversions provides the basis for examining this question for all of Greenland's glaciers. We consider 54 distinct glaciers in our analysis. Grounding line depths for these 54 come from data collected by Operation IceBridge from 2010-2012. New grounding line depths for 36 glaciers are derived from gravity measurements in locations where radar is unable to retrieve grounding line depths. 18 grounding line depths come from CReSIS Multichannel Coherent Depth Sounder radar data. Offshore bathymetry in all 54 fjords is gravity-derived. The gravity-derived bathymetry is always constrained onshore by radar, and when possible pinned offshore to acoustic bathymetric measurements.Here we present the gravity-derived grounding line depths along with recent glacier behavior, including surface lowering and terminus retreat, of these 54 glaciers. In general, the glaciers with deeper grounding lines are experiencing greater mass loss. This relationship between grounding line depth and mass balance extends to much of Greenland. We systematically discuss this relationship in the different major regions of Greenland, and note that the relationship is strongest in the southeast, and weakest in the north.

  13. 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 consecutive markedly anomalous wet winters and cool summers (2012-13 and 2013-14) led to near zero mass balance conditions, with significant losses of ice in some areas. These anomalous periods could not counteract the dramatic shrinkage that occurred during the dry and warm period of 2011-2012.

  14. 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

  15. Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records

    E-print Network

    Wright, Dawn Jeannine

    Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records J. Oerlemans I constructed a temperature history for different parts of the world from 169 glacier length records. Using a first-order theory of glacier dynamics, I related changes in glacier length to changes in temperature. The derived temperature

  16. 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 ? 14C-DOC with increasing discharge during the melt season that would suggest mobilization of an aged subglacial carbon store. However, DOC concentration, ? 13C-DOC, ? 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 ? 14C-DOC of stream samples at the outflow (-181.7 to -355.3‰) was comparable to the ? 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. A new velocity map for Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica, derived from high-resolution satellite imagery

    E-print Network

    Stearns, Leigh; Hamilton, Gordon

    2005-06-01

    opportunities for glacier mapping in high-latitude regions (to ?858N/S) (Yamaguchi and others, 1998). ASTER is a high-resolution, multispectral sensor with 15m ground resolution in the visible/near- infrared (VNIR) bands. Additional spectral capabilities include... Glacier as obtained from ASTER, and gridded to 1 km. The velocity profiles correspond to the thick black lines along and across the image. (c) The velocity map derived by Brecher (1982) from aerial photography. (d) The difference in velocities (2001...

  3. 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 valuable information about glacial processes and ice covered bedrock.

  4. 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 US$7- 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.

  5. 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 Area x Altitude Balance Ratio (AABR). The results show a decrease in surface area with respect to Hualcán-III-LLGM of 16% for Hualcán-II-YD; 50% for Hualcán-I-LIA; and 74% for 2003. With respect to 2003, ELAs shifted ~520 m since the Local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM), ~470 m since a marked late-glacial stage (YD?), ~130 m since the Little Ice Age (LIA) and about ~100 m since 1962. If the changes are exclusively attributed to temperature effects, warming since LLGM can be estimated at some 3°C and since the maximum glacier extent of LIA at about 0.8°C. Such values are rather close to mean global temperature change during the corresponding intervals. Most of the ELA shift since LIA appears to have taken place during recent decades characterized by very rapid glacier shrinkage, although air temperature does not seem to have risen considerably during the last 30 years. These results along with other environmental and social approaches will contribute to a better understanding of impacts from climate change and glacier shrinkage in order to develop adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction strategies in the Peruvian Andes.

  6. 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 transverse ridges and furrows that arch across the surface, which indicates flow produced via ice. Class 5 rock glaciers have ridges and furrows that appear linear in the direction of flow, indicating reduced flow from limited internal ice; and class 6 rock glaciers have subdued surface topography because the movement of the rock glacier has ceased. Ice content decreases from 25-45%, to 10-25%, to < 10% from class 4 to 6, respectively. Examples from digital imagery, aerial photographs, and field photographs are provided for each class. The classification scheme can be used to identify and map debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers to create an inventory. This will help improve recognition of these landforms as an important water resource in the dry Andes of Chile, which will aid in sustainable planning and development in basins that hold the majority of the population and support a large share of the economic activity in Chile.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. GLACIER and related R&D

    E-print Network

    Curioni, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    Liquid argon detectors, with mass up to 100 kton, are being actively studied in the context of proton decay searches, neutrino astrophysics and for the next generation of long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments to study the neutrino mass hierarchy and CP violation in the leptonic sector. The proposed Giant Liquid Argon Charge Imaging ExpeRiment (GLACIER) offers a well defined conceptual design for such a detector. In this paper we present the GLACIER design and some of the R&D activities pursued within the GLACIER.

  10. 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.

  11. Laboratory experiments investigating the influence of subglacial discharge on submarine melting of Greenland's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cenedese, Claudia

    2013-11-01

    A set of idealized laboratory experiments investigates the ice-ocean boundary dynamics near a vertical ``glacier'' (i.e. no floating ice tongue) in a two-layer stratified fluid, similar to Sermilik Fjord where Helheim Glacier terminates. In summer, the discharge of surface runoff at the base of the glacier (subglacial discharge) causes the circulation near the glacier to be much more vigorous and is associated with a larger melt rate than in winter. In the laboratory the effect of a subglacial discharge is simulated by introducing fresh water at melting temperatures from a source at the base of the ice block representing the glacier. The influence of both a line and a point source of subglacial discharge on submarine melting are investigated. A buoyant plume of cold melt water and subglacial discharge water entrains ambient waters and rises vertically until it finds either the interface between the two layers or the free surface. The results suggest that the melt water deposits within the interior of the water column and not entirely at the free surface, as confirmed by field observations and numerical experiments. Furthermore, the submarine melting increases with subglacial discharge. Finally, a non-monotonic dependence of the submarine melting on the distance between two point sources of subglacial discharge suggests that the distribution and number of sources of subglacial discharge may play an important role in glacial melt rates. Support was given by the National Science Foundation project OCE-113008 and the WHOI-Arctic Research Initiative.

  12. 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 on average over the last four decades, similar to other studies in the same climatic area. However, at small scales, the behavior of glaciers is highly heterogenous, with contrasting patterns of thickening glacier termini versus retreating nad thinning glacier tongues.

  13. Reconsidering the glacier to rock glacier transformation problem: New insights from the central Andes of Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, Sébastien; Kinnard, Christophe

    2015-06-01

    The glacier to rock glacier transformation problem is revisited from a previously unseen angle. A striking case in the Juncal Massif (located in the upper Aconcagua Valley, Chilean central Andes) is documented. There, the Presenteseracae debris-covered glacier has advanced several tens of metres and has developed a rock glacier morphology in its lower part over the last 60 years. The conditions for a theoretically valid glacier to rock glacier transformation are discussed and tested. Permafrost probability in the area of the studied feature is highlighted by regional-scale spatial modelling together with on-site shallow ground temperature records. Two different methods are used to estimate the mean surface temperature during the summer of 2014, and the sub-debris ice ablation rates are calculated as ranging between 0.05 and 0.19 cm d- 1, i.e., 0.04 and 0.17 m over the summer. These low ablation rates are consistent with the development of a coherent surface morphology over the last 60 years. Furthermore, the rates of rock wall retreat required for covering the former glacier at Presenteseracae lie within the common 0.1-2 mm y- 1 range, assuming an average debris thickness and a range of debris-covering time intervals. The integration of the geomorphological observations with the numerical results confirms that the studied debris-covered glacier is evolving into a rock glacier.

  14. 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 sheet with 37 parameters as per the UNESCO/TTS format, 11 additional parameters associated with the de-glaciated valley as per the suggestions of Space Application Center Ahmadabad and 9 newly introduced parameters of present study. The data sheet provides glacier wise details for each glacier on the significant glacier parameters like morphology, dimensions, orientation, elevation, etc. for both the active glacier component as well as the associated de-glaciated valley features. Assessment of recent variation in the glacierized area between 2001 and 2011. Results indicate that 231 glaciers covering an area of 391.56 ±3.76 km2. in 2001 has been reduced to 385.17 ±3.71 km2. in 2011; a loss of 1.63 ±1.0% in glacierized area within a period of 10 years. The present paper brings out the methodology adopted and salient results of the glacier inventory carried out which will help to enrich the existing database required for water resources assessment of the country and also meet the requirements of various researches working on climate change related studies.

  15. Laboratory Experiments Investigating Glacier Submarine Melt Rates and Circulation in an East Greenland Fjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cenedese, C.

    2014-12-01

    Idealized laboratory experiments investigate the glacier-ocean boundary dynamics near a vertical 'glacier' (i.e. no floating ice tongue) in a two-layer stratified fluid, similar to Sermilik Fjord where Helheim Glacier terminates. In summer, the discharge of surface runoff at the base of the glacier (subglacial discharge) intensifies the circulation near the glacier and increases the melt rate with respect to that in winter. In the laboratory, the effect of subglacial discharge is simulated by introducing fresh water at melting temperatures from either point or line sources at the base of an ice block representing the glacier. The circulation pattern observed both with and without subglacial discharge resembles those observed in previous studies. The buoyant plume of cold meltwater and subglacial discharge water entrains ambient water and rises vertically until it finds either the interface between the two layers or the free surface. The results suggest that the meltwater deposits within the interior of the water column and not entirely at the free surface, as confirmed by field observations. The submarine melt rate increases with the subglacial discharge rate. Furthermore, the same subglacial discharge causes greater submarine melting if it exits from a point source rather than from a line source. When the subglacial discharge exits from two point sources, two buoyant plumes are formed which rise vertically and interact. The results suggest that the distance between the two subglacial discharges influences the entrainment in the plumes and consequently the amount of submarine melting and the final location of the meltwater within the water column. Hence, the distribution and number of sources of subglacial discharge may play an important role in glacial melt rates and fjord stratification and circulation. Support was given by NSF project OCE-113008.

  16. 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 ?50-150 m, taking the BEW with it. Strong GRW (? 2000 m3 s-1) yields vigorous, buoyant DMRW, which has sufficient vertical momentum to break the sea surface before sinking and flowing seaward, thereby leaving much of the BEW largely intact. Whilst these modes of glacier-ocean interaction significantly affect the ice-ocean interaction in the upper water column (0-200 m), below 200 m both RG and SG are dominated by the weak forced convection/diffusional (herein termed ubiquitous) melting due to the presence of SPMW.

  17. Underwater acoustic signatures of glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glowacki, O.; Deane, G. B.; Moskalik, M.; Blondel, Ph.; Tegowski, J.; Blaszczyk, M.

    2015-02-01

    Climate-driven ice-water interactions in the contact zone between marine-terminating glaciers and the ocean surface show a dynamic and complex nature. Tidewater glaciers lose volume through the poorly understood process of calving. A detailed description of the mechanisms controlling the course of calving is essential for the reliable estimation and prediction of mass loss from glaciers. Here we present the potential of hydroacoustic methods to investigate different modes of ice detachments. High-frequency underwater ambient noise recordings are combined with synchronized, high-resolution, time-lapse photography of the Hans Glacier cliff in Hornsund Fjord, Spitsbergen, to identify three types of calving events: typical subaerial, sliding subaerial, and submarine. A quantitative analysis of the data reveals a robust correlation between ice impact energy and acoustic emission at frequencies below 200 Hz for subaerial calving. We suggest that relatively inexpensive acoustic methods can be successfully used to provide quantitative descriptions of the various calving types.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Flow dynamics of Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica

    E-print Network

    Vanderveen, Cornelis J.; Stearns, Leigh A.; Johnson, Jay T.; Csatho, B.

    2014-12-01

    Force-balance calculations on Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica, reveal large spatial variations in the along-flow component of driving stress with corresponding sticky spots that are stationary over time. On the large scale, flow resistance...

  1. Glacier National Park Bighorn Sheep Studies

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    The USGS studies bighorn sheep movements, population structures, and habitat use in and near Glacier National Park. Here, USGS scientist Tabitha Graves sets up remote camera at a salt lick in the park as a sheep stands in background....

  2. Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, a high mountain lake in an alpine setting. This lake is kept full of water mainly from precipitation runoff from the surrounding hills and, in the spring, from snowmelt....

  3. The geochemical record in rock glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steig, E.J.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Potter, N., Jr.; Clark, D.H.

    1998-01-01

    A 9.5 m ice core was extracted from beneath the surficial debris cover of a rock glacier at Galena Creek, northwestern Wyoming. The core contains clean, bubble-rich ice with silty debris layers spaced at roughly 20 cm intervals. The debris layers are similar in appearance to those in typical alpine glaciers, reflecting concentration of debris by melting at the surface during the summer ablation season. Profiles of stable isotope concentrations and electrical conductivity measurements provide independent evidence for melting in association with debris layers. These observations are consistent with a glacial origin for the ice, substantiating the glacigenic model for rock glacier formation. The deuterium excess profile in the ice indicates that the total depth of meltwater infiltration is less than the thickness of one annual layer, suggesting that isotope values and other geochemical signatures are preserved at annual resolution. This finding demonstrates the potential for obtaining useful paleoclimate information from rock glacier ice.

  4. 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.

    Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. The mission used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, DC. Size: 55 kilometers wide x 55 kilometers distance (34 x 34 miles) Location: 60 deg N latitude, 140 deg W longitude Orientation: View North, 2X vertical exaggeration Image Data: Landsat Thematic Mapper false-color image Original Data Resolution: SRTM 1 arcsecond (30 meters or 98 feet), Landsat 30 meters (98 feet) Date Acquired: February 2000 (SRTM), 31 August 2000 (Landsat)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 Potential and Impound Water Upstream Flow Potential. The FCM is constructed using what is currently our understanding of how glacier lake outbursts occur, whereas the causal connection between concepts is defined to capture the expertise of glacier scientists. The proposed graph contains 27 nodes and a network of connections that represent the causal link between concepts. To test the developed FCM, we defined three scenarios representing glacier lake environmental conditions that either occurred or that are likely to occur in such highly dynamic environments. For each case, the FCM has been initialized using observables extracted from hypothesized remote sensing imagery. The map, which converges to a fixed point for all of the test scenarios within 15 iterations, shows reasoning consistent with that of glacier experts. The FCM-based cognitive approach has the potential to be the AI core of real-time operational hazards assessment and detection systems.

  10. The GLIMS geospatial glacier database: A new tool for studying glacier change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raup, Bruce; Racoviteanu, Adina; Khalsa, Siri Jodha Singh; Helm, Christopher; Armstrong, Richard; Arnaud, Yves

    2007-03-01

    The Global Land Ice Measurement from Space (GLIMS) project is a cooperative effort of over sixty institutions world-wide with the goal of inventorying a majority of the world's estimated 160 000 glaciers. Each institution (called a Regional Center, or RC) oversees the analysis of satellite imagery for a particular region containing glacier ice. Data received by the GLIMS team at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado are ingested into a spatially-enabled database (PostGIS) and made available via a website featuring an interactive map, and a Web-Mapping Service (WMS). The WMS, an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant web interface, makes GLIMS glacier data available to other data servers. The GLIMS Glacier Database is accessible on the World Wide Web at " http://nsidc.org/glims/". There, users can browse custom maps, display various data layers, query information within the GLIMS database, and download query results in different GIS-compatible formats. Map layers include glacier outlines, footprints of ASTER satellite optical images acquired over glaciers, and Regional Center information. The glacier and ASTER footprint layers may be queried for scalar attribute data, such as analyst name and date of contribution for glacier data, and acquisition time and browse imagery for the ASTER footprint layer. We present an example analysis of change in Cordillera Blanca glaciers, as determined by comparing data in the GLIMS Glacier Database to historical data. Results show marked changes in that system over the last 30 years, but also point out the need for establishing clear protocols for glacier monitoring from remote-sensing data.

  11. 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.

  12. Greenland's pronounced glacier retreat not irreversible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-02-01

    In recent decades, the combined forces of climate warming and short-term variability have forced the massive glaciers that blanket Greenland into retreat, with some scientists worrying that deglaciation could become irreversible. The short history of detailed glacier observations, however, makes pinning the ice loss to either short-term dynamics or long-term change difficult. Research by Young et al. detailing the effects of two bouts of sudden and temporary cooling during an otherwise warm phase in Greenland's climate history could help answer that question by showing just how heavy a hand short-term variability can have in dictating glacier dynamics. Along the western edge of Greenland the massive Jakobshavn Isbræ glacier reaches out to the coast, its outflow dropping icebergs into Baffin Bay during the summer months. Flanking the glacier's tongue are the Tasiussaq and Marrait moraines—piles of rock marking the glacier's former extent. Researchers suspected the moraines were tied to two periods of abrupt cooling that hit Greenland 9300 and 8200 years ago, and that association was reinforced by the authors' radiocarbon and beryllium isotope analyses of the area surrounding the moraines. Beryllium-10 forms when cosmic radiation travels through the atmosphere and strikes the Earth's surface, with surface rock concentrations indicating how long it has been ice-free.

  13. Glaciers in the Earth's Hydrological Cycle: Assessments of Glacier Mass and Runoff Changes on Global and Regional Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radi?, Valentina; Hock, Regine

    2014-05-01

    Changes in mass contained by mountain glaciers and ice caps can modify the Earth's hydrological cycle on multiple scales. On a global scale, the mass loss from glaciers contributes to sea-level rise. On regional and local scales, glacier meltwater is an important contributor to and modulator of river flow. In light of strongly accelerated worldwide glacier retreat, the associated glacier mass losses raise concerns over the sustainability of water supplies in many parts of the world. Here, we review recent attempts to quantify glacier mass changes and their effect on river runoff on regional and global scales. We find that glacier runoff is defined ambiguously in the literature, hampering direct comparison of findings on the importance of glacier contribution to runoff. Despite consensus on the hydrological implications to be expected from projected future warming, there is a pressing need for quantifying the associated regional-scale changes in glacier runoff and responses in different climate regimes.

  14. 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.

  15. A new satellite-derived glacier inventory for Western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Bris, Raymond; Frey, Holger; Paul, Frank; Bolch, Tobias

    2010-05-01

    Glaciers and ice caps are essential components of studies related to climate change impact assessment. Glacier inventories provide the required baseline data to perform the related analysis in a consistent and spatially representative manner. In particular, the calculation of the current and future contribution to global sea-level rise from heavily glacierized regions is a major demand. One of the regions, where strong mass losses and geometric changes of glaciers have been observed recently is Alaska. Unfortunately, the digitally available data base of glacier extent is quite rough and based on rather old maps from the 1960s. Accordingly, the related calculations and extrapolations are imprecise and an updated glacier inventory is urgently required. Here we present first results of a new glacier inventory for Western Alaska that is prepared in the framework of the ESA project GlobGlacier and is based on freely available orthorectified Landsat TM and ETM+ scenes from USGS. The analysed region covers the Tordrillo, Chigmit and Chugach Mts. as well as the Kenai Peninsula. In total, 8 scenes acquired between 2002 and 2009 were used covering c. 20.420 km2 of glaciers. All glacier types are present in this region, incl. outlet glaciers from icefields, glacier clad volcanoes, and calving glaciers. While well established automated glacier mapping techniques (band rationing) are applied to map clean and slightly dirty glacier ice, many glaciers are covered by debris or volcanic ash and outlines need manual corrections during post-processing. Prior to the calculation of drainage divides from DEM-based watershed analysis, we performed a cross-comparative analysis of DEMs from USGS, ASTER (GDEM) and SRTM 1 for Kenai Peninsula. This resulted in the decision to use the USGS DEM for calculating the drainage divides and most of the topographic inventory parameters, and the more recent GDEM to derive minimum elevation for each glacier. A first statistical analysis of the results revealed that large parts of the area (48%) are covered by only few (43) but large (>100 km2) glaciers, while glaciers <1 km2 contribute only 6% to the total area, but 25% to the total number of analysed glaciers (>0.1 km2). However, these percentages vary with the specific mountain range analysed. The spatial analysis of mean glacier elevation (as a proxy for the ELA) revealed a strong increase from the glaciers close to the coast towards the interior (from about 100 to 2960 m a.s.l.). This more regional trend has also a high local variability, indicating that the response of glaciers to climate change will differ locally. The entire inventory data will finally be made available in the GLIMS glacier database.

  16. Controls on advance of tidewater glaciers: results from numerical modeling applied to Columbia Glacier

    E-print Network

    Nick, F. M.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.; Oerlemans, J.

    2007-07-11

    A one-dimensional numerical ice flow model is used to study the advance of a tidewater glacier into deep water. Starting with ice-free conditions, the model simulates glacier growth at higher elevations followed by advance on land to the head...

  17. 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)

  18. 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 glacier compared to rates found using ERS data in the mid-90s. Speeds have at least doubled at some of the smaller glaciers that feed the Matusevich from the south. We investigate the causes of acceleration at both archipelagoes by comparing sea surface temperatures and passive microwave observations of the timing and duration of ice surface melting.

  19. 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 in the future.

  20. Climate sensitivity of Tibetan Plateau glaciers - past and future implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyman, Jakob; Hubbard, Alun; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Harbor, Jonathan M.

    2013-04-01

    The Tibetan Plateau is one of the most extensively glaciated, non-Polar regions of the world, and its mountain glaciers are the primary source of melt water for several of the largest Asian rivers. During glacial cycles, Tibetan Plateau glaciers advanced and retreated multiple times, but remained restricted to the highest mountain areas as valley glaciers and ice caps. Because glacier extent is dominantly controlled by climate, the past extent of Tibetan glaciers provide information on regional climate. Here we present a study analyzing the past maximum extents of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau with the output of a 3D glacier model, in an effort to quantify Tibetan Plateau climate. We have mapped present-day glaciers and glacial landforms deposited by formerly more extensive glaciers in eight mountain regions across the Tibetan Plateau, allowing us to define present-day and past maximum glacier outlines. Using a high-resolution (250 m) higher-order glacier model calibrated against present-day glacier extents, we have quantified the climate perturbations required to expand present-day glaciers to their past maximum extents. We find that a modest cooling of at most 6°C for a few thousand years is enough to attain past maximum extents, even with 25-75% precipitation reduction. This evidence for limited cooling indicates that the temperature of the Tibetan Plateau remained relatively stable over Quaternary glacial cycles. Given the significant sensitivity to temperature change, the expectation is perhaps that a future warmer climate might result in intense glacier reduction. We have tested this hypothesis and modeled the future glacier development for the three mountain regions with the largest present-day glacier cover using a projected warming of 2.8 to 6.2°C within 100 years (envelope limits from IPCC). These scenarios result in dramatic glacier reductions, including 24-100% ice volume loss after 100 years and 77-100% ice volume loss after 300 years.

  1. 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:20829791

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. Jakobshavn Glacier, west Greenland: 30 years of spaceborne observations

    E-print Network

    Sohn, Hong-Gyoo; Jezek, Kenneth C.; van der Veen, Cornelis J.

    1998-07-05

    m from the geocoding procedure. Localized areas of retreat are especially evident around nunataks (rocky islands protruding through the glacier) located in the northern part of the study area. South of Jakobshavn Glacier we find weak evidence...

  5. Mass balance of four East Antarctic outlet glaciers

    E-print Network

    Stearns, Leigh

    2011-12-01

    Mountains, the balance characteristics of which are largely unknown. Here the mass balance is estimated for four glaciers draining ice from the EAIS through the Transantarctic Mountains into the Ross Sea embayment: David, Mulock, Byrd and Nimrod glaciers...

  6. Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1986-2011 - Duration: 29 seconds.

    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 ...

  7. Test of a simple glacier retreat parameterization for two Norwegian ice cap glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alesina, Samuel; Beldring, Stein; Melvold, Kjetil; Schaefli, Bettina

    2014-05-01

    In Norway, the ice cap glacier retreat will be an important phenomena under climate change projections and will largely influence water resources.Three new versions of a glacier retreat algorithm based on the parameterization proposed by Huss et al. (2010) are implemented and tested on the Distributed Element Water Model of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. After selection of the best performing algorithm version, the glacier retreat parameters of the model are calibrated on observed discharge and mass balance data for two ice cap glaciers in Norway: Nigardsbreen (maritime glacier) and Midtdalsbreen (semi continental glacier). The calibration performance is acceptable: ice thickness is reproduced with a Root Mean Square Error of 20 respectively 15 m for the two case studies; glacier annual mass balance is overestimated for negative years; daily discharge is reproduced with a Nash Sutcliffe performance criterion between 0.80-0.86 for the period of 1961-1990: Climate change projections are performed for these 2 glaciers using downscaled Regional Climate Models (RCMs) from IPCC A1B emission scenario for greenhouse gases. According to our results, these glaciers are going to decrease dramatically: the ice volume could be reduced by 70 to 80 % in 2100, the annual discharge could increase by 30% till 2070-2080. The annual daily regime can also be assumed to change: the simulation results show that the maximum discharge during summer will decrease whereas winter discharge will increase after a longer recession period in autumn. The beginning of the melting period will not change substantially. The model sensitivity of the applied glacier retreat parameterization (Huss et al. 2010) is analyzed with two approaches: 1/ comparing the ice volume evolution for all Huss parameters sets obtained through calibration in this study to the ones proposed in literature; 2/ varying one parameter after the other keeping the three others fixed. The evolution of the ice volume largely varies in function of the glacier retreat parameters and the parameter sets proposed in Huss et al. 2010 seem not to be able to capture the behavior of ice cap glaciers . From this study, the Huss parameterization implemented produced satisfying results and can be apply to ice cap in nordic countries for glacier retreat parameters calibrated. A classification of the ice cap could be necessary in order to widely apply this model without calibration process.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Nettles, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Elosegui, P.; Hamilton, Gordon S.; Stearns, Leigh; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Davis, J. L.; Anderson, M. L.; de Juan, J.; Khan, S. A.; Stenseng, L.; Ekstrom, G.; Forsberg, R.

    2008-12-30

    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...

  13. Depth-varying constitutive properties observed in an isothermal glacier

    E-print Network

    Marshall, Hans-Peter

    Depth-varying constitutive properties observed in an isothermal glacier H. P. Marshall,1 J. T. Humphrey, Depth-varying constitutive properties observed in an isothermal glacier, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29 of polycrystalline glacier ice such as large crystals, widely ranging crystal sizes, and natural inhomo- geneities

  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. Glacier: A Query-to-Hardware Compiler Rene Mueller

    E-print Network

    Teubner, Jens

    Glacier: A Query-to-Hardware Compiler Rene Mueller rene.mueller@inf.ethz.ch Jens Teubner jens systems. In this demonstration we show Glacier, a library and a compiler that can be employed to implement streaming queries as hardware circuits on FPGAs. Glacier consists of a library of compositional hardware

  16. Dating the Cheops Glacier with Lichenometry, Dendrochronology and Air

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    1 Dating the Cheops Glacier with Lichenometry, Dendrochronology and Air Photo Analyses By: Janek ....................................................................... 3 1.1 Background Information ................................................3 1.10 Cirque Glacier.0 Introduction 1.1 Background Information Glacier National Park which was established in 1886 is situated

  17. Glacier: Highly durable, decentralized storage despite massive correlated failures

    E-print Network

    Ives, Zachary G.

    Glacier: Highly durable, decentralized storage despite massive correlated failures Andreas be considered when attempting to provide highly durable storage. In this paper, we describe Glacier failures. Glacier is designed to aggressively minimize the cost of this redun- dancy in space and time

  18. Tracing Increasing Tropical Andean Glacier Melt with Stable Isotopes in

    E-print Network

    McKenzie, Jeffrey M.

    Tracing Increasing Tropical Andean Glacier Melt with Stable Isotopes in Water B R Y A N G . M A R K short-term increases in discharge as glaciers melt and demonstrate the utility of stable isotopes in water for tracing relative glacier melt water contributions to watersheds. Introduction The future

  19. WATER FLOW THROUGH TEMPERATE GLACIERS Andrew G. Fountain1

    E-print Network

    Fountain, Andrew G.

    WATER FLOW THROUGH TEMPERATE GLACIERS Andrew G. Fountain1 Department of Geology Portland State, Washington Abstract. Understanding water movement through a glacier is fundamental to several critical issues glacierized drainage basins. To this end we have synthesized a conceptual model of water movement through

  20. Genetic Analysis of Bull Trout in Glacier National Park

    E-print Network

    Genetic Analysis of Bull Trout in Glacier National Park Report 02/102 Wild Trout and Salmon within Glacier National Park and surrounding watersheds. Bull trout within the park were variable at five also found substantial genetic differentiation among lake populations in the western portion of Glacier

  1. 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

  2. Rock glacier monitoring with low-cost GPS

    E-print Network

    Rock glacier monitoring with low-cost GPS: Case study at Dirru glacier, Mattertal Dr. Philippe, Switzerland 05.11.2009 #12;2Goal Description of GPS test network for rock glacier monitoring Data processing & preliminary results - accuracy ? Conclusions & outlook Contents Investigate the potential of low-cost GPS

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    2015-04-01

    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 modelling 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 an simplified specification for mapping debris thickness. The basin-averaged impact of debris is a reduction in ablation of ~7%, although the difference exceeds 2.5 m w.e. on the lowest-altitude glacier tongues. The modest reduction in 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 elevations 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 behaviour in the Karakoram.

  5. 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 blocks of ice are caught up in the deposits and then melt, locally collapsing the deposit. The combination of Landsat imagery and SRTM elevation data used in this stereoscopic display is very effective in visualizing these and other features of this terrain.

    The stereoscopic effect of this anaglyph was created by registering a Landsat image to the SRTM elevation model and then generating two differing perspectives, one for each eye. When viewed through special glasses, the result is a vertically exaggerated view of the Earth's surface in its full three dimensions. Anaglyph glasses cover the left eye with a red filter and cover the right eye with a blue filter.

    Landsat has been providing visible and infrared views of the Earth since 1972. SRTM elevation data matches the 30-meter (98-foot) resolution of most Landsat images and substantially helps in analyzing the large and growing Landsat image archive.

    Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. The mission used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, DC. Size: 55 x 55 kilometers (34 x 34 miles) Location: 60 deg N latitude, 140 deg W longitude Orientation: North at top Image Data: Landsat Thematic Mapper visible and infrared band mix Original Data Resolution: SRTM 1 arcsecond (30 mete

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. From valley to marginal glaciation in alpine-type relief: Lateglacial glacier advances in the Pi?? Stawów Polskich/Roztoka Valley, High Tatra Mountains, Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasadni, Jerzy; K?apyta, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The Pi?? Stawów Polskich-Roztoka Valley in the High Tatras (Western Carpathians) features typical alpine-type relief with a deeply incised glacial trough and large, compound trough head cirque. The prominent hypsographic maximum in the valley (1680-2000 m) along with a broad cirque bottom had provided a vast space for recording glacial and periglacial landforms, specifically the most recent Lateglacial advances. The valley has been intensively studied before in the context of glacial chronology. In this paper, we re-establish the post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glacial chronology of the valley via detailed geomorphologic mapping, equilibrium line altitude (ELA) reconstruction, and Schmidt hammer (SH) dating, along with a critical review of previously published cosmogenic exposure age data (36Cl) and lacustrine sediment chronology. Our results indicate that the first four of the five distinguished Lateglacial stages (Roztoka I-III, Pusta I) occurred before the Bølling/Allerød (B/A) interstadial; thus, virtually the entire valley became deglaciated in course of the Oldest Dryas cold phase. A distinct reorganization of deglacial patterns from valley-type to marginal-type occurred before B/A warming when the ELA increased above the valley hypsographic maximum concentrated at the cirque bottom elevation. It shows that noticeable deglaciation step can be caused due to topographic reason with a minimal climate forcing. This points also to an important role of glaciated valley hypsography in regulating the distribution of moraines which is rarely taken into account in paleoglaciological reconstructions. We infer that glaciers vanished in the Tatra Mountains during the B/A interstadial. Later, a renewed advance during the Younger Dryas (Pusta II) formed a nearly continuous, festoon shaped pattern of moraines and rock glaciers in close distance to cirque backwalls. Furthermore, we discus some paleoenvironmental significance of the geomorphological record in the valley, as well, the applicability of SH dating in constructing glacial chronology.

  9. Integration Of Reflectance To Study Glacier Surface Using Landsat 7 ETM+: A Case Study Of The Petermann Glacier In Greenland

    E-print Network

    Gilbes, Fernando

    Integration Of Reflectance To Study Glacier Surface Using Landsat 7 ETM+: A Case Study Of The Petermann Glacier In Greenland Félix O. Rivera Santiago Department Of Geology, University Of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, P.O. Box 9017 Mayaguez Puerto Rico,00681 Abstract- Glaciers are masses of ice and granular snow

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. Earthly and Otherworldly Glaciers on Mars: Expressed Subsurface Subpolar Ice and "Plate Tectonic" South Polar Ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    2003-12-01

    DIRTY SUBPOLAR GLACIERS: Deeply etched internal structures of debris-covered glaciers or rock glaciers occur widely on Mars at middle latitudes. Differentially sublimated folds, crevasses, medial moraines and flow lines are expressed now as a variety of pits, troughs, hummocks, and ridges; they reveal much about the extent of sublimation and the history of flow and accumulation that originally gave rise to these structures. In many regards, they appear like usual terrestrial debris-covered glaciers (including rock glaciers). These sublimated remnant structures are not uniformly distributed on the planet; they exhibit a definite relationship to latitude. The more deeply etched icy flows occur generally in the latitude belt from 30 to 40 degrees (north and south), where possibly very little ice remains near the surface. Between 40 and 55 degrees, most of these partly sublimated flows appear to be still icy. Poleward of that, many of them show very little evidence of any sublimational loss of ice, and instead appear as thick mantling blankets sometimes having subtle flow lines. Inferences for the distribution of ground ice and the role of sublimation are similar to those inferred from the distribution and morphology of small polygons; these results are also consistent with theoretical models of the distribution of ground ice and with Mars Odyssey neutron spectroscopy of the distribution of hydrogen in the upper meter of Mars. A peculiar aspect of dirty glaciers on Mars is their current lack of an evident zone of atmospherically driven accumulation; instead, accumulation of some dirty glaciers appears to be due to load-driven expression of ice originating probably in massive crustal layers; for others, atmospheric accumulation may occur at other times during the obliquity cycle of Mars. SOUTH POLAR ICE SHEET: Previously I have reported on evidence for flowing, faulting, folding south polar ice, with the evidence for the more ductile types of deformation concentrated within the area of perennial CO2 ice. This part of the polar cap exhibits strong evidence for convergent flow tending to close the quasi-spiral structured troughs, as predicted by finite-element modelers. A rich phenomenology accompanies this closure. In some cases, good evidence exists for one icy sheet overriding another. Elastic plate flexural responses, with attendant small-scale tectonism, is quite common, as is evidence for ductile deformation. Analogs drawn from Earth's lithosphere provide compelling explanations for some of these features. Smooth, topographically enclosed flat areas in the south polar deposits may be the surface expressions of subglacial lakes or refrozen lakes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 area. The derived predictors will be further analyzed and the observed general patterns will be compared to modeling studies of glacier changes.

  15. 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.

  16. Sensitivity of glaciers and small ice caps to greenhouse warming.

    PubMed

    Oerlemans, J; Fortuin, J P

    1992-10-01

    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. PMID:17835895

  17. 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.

  18. Modelling bed overdeepenings for the glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region using GlabTop2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linsbauer, Andreas; Frey, Holger; Haeberli, Wilfried; Machguth, Horst

    2014-05-01

    Calculating ice thickness distribution and bed topographies for large glacier samples is an essential task to estimate stored ice volumes with their potential for sea level rise and to model possible future retreat scenarios of glacier evolution under conditions of continued warming. Modelling such bed topographies to become exposed in the near future by continued glacier retreat also enables modelling of future landscapes with their landforms, processes and interactions. As the erosive power of glaciers can form numerous and sometimes large closed topographic bed depressions, many overdeepenings are commonly found in formerly glaciated mountain ranges. Where such overdeepend parts are becoming exposed and filled with water rather than sediments new lakes can come into existence. GlabTop (Glacier bed Topography) has been used to model ice thickness distribution and bed topographies of large glacier samples. It is an ice dynamical approach, based on the assumption of perfect plasticity of ice, which relates glacier thickness to its local surface slope via the basal shear stress estimated for each glacier based on an empirical relation between shear stress and elevation range as a governing factor of mass turnover. From comparison with radio-echo soundings in the Swiss Alps, the uncertainty range of local ice thicknesses calculated with GlabTop is estimated at about ±30%. The spatial variability of ice depths, i.e. the glacier-bed topography, primarily depends on surface slope as provided by DEMs and is quite robust. For the entire Swiss Alps, GlabTop revealed a considerable number (more than 500) of (partly large) overdeepenings in the modelled glacier beds with a total area of about 50-60 km2 and a total volume of about 1.5-2.5 km3. A number of lakes have formed in such modelled overdeepenings during the past years and decades. To calculate bed topographies with their overdeepenings for the 28'100 glaciers of the Himalaya-Karakoram region the GlabTop-approach was modified and named GlabTop2. While the original approach relied on so called glacier branch lines that had to be digitized manually, GlabTop2 is fully automated and requires only a DEM and glacier outlines as an input. The result is the same: ice thickness distribution and bed topographies, which can be used for volume calculations and for model simulations concerning glacier retreat scenarios and future landscapes. According to the model output there are about 15'000 overdeepenings covering an area of about 2000 km2 and having a total volume of about 120 km3 (3-4% of the now existing glacier volume) in the Himalaya-Karakoram region. In a statistical analysis concerning the morphological characteristics of these overdeepenings, mean and maximum values of the parameters surface area, length, width, depth, volume, frontal/adverse slope and their statistical interrelations are determined with their corresponding uncertainty ranges and compared with a corresponding analysis for the Swiss Alps. While the modelled overdeepenings based on model runs with different data input differ in shape, the locations of the overdeepenings are robust and the values for the extracted parameters are comparable.

  19. Mapping the retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    · Dendrochronology with Jacolby · Dendroclimatology with Markus and Kyla · Lichenometry with Erin · Moraine #12;190520071918 #12;Site Map #12;DendrochronologyDendrochronology #12;Dendrochronology · Tree age lichen size and proximity to glacier snout. #12;Moraine Interpretation 3 Approaches: · Dendrochronology

  20. Eicken: GEOS 120 -Glaciers, volcanoes and earthquakes, lecture notes 1 GEOS 120, Part B: GLACIERS

    E-print Network

    layers of Jupiter and Saturn are composed of different types of ices and one of Jupiter's moons, Europa soil layers - on earth, we find glaciers and icesheets on (almost) every continent (in fact, if one

  1. Little Ice Age glaciers in Britain: Glacier–climate modelling in the Cairngorm Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Stephan Harrison; Ann V. Rowan; Neil F. Glasser; Jasper Knight; Mitchell A. Plummer; Stephanie C. Mills

    2014-02-01

    It is widely believed that the last glaciers in the British Isles disappeared at the end of the Younger Dryas stadial (12.9–11.7 cal. kyr BP). Here, we use a glacier–climate model driven by data from local weather stations to show for the first time that glaciers developed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the Cairngorm Mountains. Our model is forced from contemporary conditions by a realistic difference in mean annual air temperature of -1.5 degrees C and an increase in annual precipitation of 10%, and confirmed by sensitivity analyses. These results are supported by the presence of small boulder moraines well within Younger Dryas ice limits, and by a dating programme on a moraine in one cirque. As a result, we argue that the last glaciers in the Cairngorm Mountains (and perhaps elsewhere in upland Britain) existed in the LIA within the last few hundred years, rather than during the Younger Dryas.

  2. Recent thinning of Bowdoin Glacier, a marine terminating outlet glacier in northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutaki, S.; Sugiyama, S.; Sakakibara, D.; Sawagaki, T.; Maruyama, M.

    2014-12-01

    Ice discharge from calving glaciers has increased in the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), and this increase plays important roles in the volume change of GrIS and its contribution to sea level rise. Thinning of GrIS calving glaciers has been studied by the differentiation of digital elevation models (DEMs) derived by satellite remote-sensing (RS). Such studies rely on the accuracy of DEMs, but calibration of RS data with ground based data is difficult. This is because field data on GrIS calving glaciers are few. In this study, we combined field and RS data to measure surface elevation change of Bowdoin Glacier, a marine terminating outlet glacier in northwestern Greenland (77°41'18?N, 68°29'47?W). The fast flowing part of the glacier is approximately 3 km wide and 10 km long. Ice surface elevation within 6 km from the glacier terminus was surveyed in the field in July 2013 and 2014, by using the global positioning system. We also measured the surface elevation over the glacier on August 20, 2007 and September 4, 2010, by analyzing Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), Panchromatic remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) images. We calibrated the satellite derived elevation data with our field measurements, and generated DEM for each year with a 25 m grid mesh. The field data and DEMs were compared to calculate recent glacier elevation change. Mean surface elevation change along the field survey profiles were -16.3±0.2 m (-5.3±0.1 m yr-1) in 2007-2010 and -10.8±0.2 m (-3.8±0.1 m yr-1) in 2010-2013. These rates are much greater than those observed on non-calving ice caps in the region, and similar to those reported for other calving glaciers in northwestern Greenland. Loss of ice was greater near the glacier terminus, suggesting the importance of ice dynamics and/or interaction with the ocean.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying the impacts of changing glacier geometries (annual balance) on glacier runoff is essential for predicting future changes in streamflow in glacierized basins. However, determining the role that this component plays in total glacier runoff (Definition 5) requires consistent measurements of seasonal (or shorter period) mass balances, measurements of precipitation at multiple locations within a basin, and streamflow measurements in close proximity to a glacier’s terminus. Practical and logistical challenges associated with assembling such data sets typically preclude such partitioning. As a result, most analyses of the relationship between annual mass balance and streamflow rely on some component of model output to compute glacier runoff (e.g. Huss et al. 2008; Kaser et al. 2010). Ultimately, developing an understanding of how total gl

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Spatially distributed reconstruction of the surface mass balance of Pasterze glacier, Austria, employing a full Stokes model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binder, Daniel; Zwinger, Thomas; Hauser, Beate; Hynek, Bernhard; Schöner, Wolfgang; Weyss, Gernot

    2014-05-01

    The Pasterze glacier is the largest Austrian glacier (17.7 km², 2003) based in the 'Hohe Tauern' region of the Eastern Alps. In the period from 1980 to 1997, surface mass balance (SMB) measurements were carried out by the Verbund-Austrian Hydro Power (AHP) Company. Since 2004 SMB measurements of the Pasterze glacier were reinstalled by the ZAMG using the glaciological method (stakes, snow pits,…). Current specific SMB rates correspond to a mean surface ice loss of ~1.5 m per balance year. Since 2005 kinematics of the ablation stakes have been determined through regular differential GPS surveys. Based on the high spatial sampling by the installed ablation stake network (~50-60 stakes), a high quality ablation and flow velocity data set has been gathered for the ablation area of the Pasterze glacier. As a next step we deployed a full stress computational model (http://elmerice.elmerfem.org) to investigate the dynamics of Pasterze glacier. We employed a high resolution digital elevation model (DEM) of the bedrock and high quality DEM's of the surface taken at different times (1969, 1998, 2012) as input for diagnostic simulations. After tuning the model parameters (e.g. sliding) to the in-situ determined dynamics, we reconstructed the spatial SMB distribution of the glacier and compared it to the measurements. The reconstruction of the SMB from diagnostic simulations can be an effective technique in order to - on top of measurements that usually are confined to centre-lines of glaciers - get additional information on the spatial SMB distribution by utilizing easier accessible surface DEM's as well as for SMB homogenization approaches.

  11. 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.

  12. Monitoring glaciers and indications of subglacial volcanic activity using small-scale Top-Hat reflectors - An IsViews experiment on Myrdalsjökull, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minet, Christian; Duque Biarge, Sergi; Jaenicke, Julia; Münzer, Ulrich; Mayer, Christoph; Franke, Jonas; Guðmundsson, Águst; Parizzi, Alessandro; Fritz, Thomas; Eineder, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Subglacial volcanic eruptions often provide indications of activity some time before the actual catastrophic event. Surface undulations appear on top of the ice cap and meltwater torrents can occur at the glacier margin. Even large scale uplifts of ice caps have been observed. Within the project IsViews a processing chain, based on high spatially and temporally resolved remote sensing imagery, will be developed in order to automatically identify such early indications. The main data used for this analysis are acquired by the TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and RapidEye satellites. First investigations concerning the feasibility of the near real-time warning system and the general baseline conditions are carried out on two large plateau glaciers in southern Iceland, namely Mördalsjökull and Vatnajökull. Within the 2013 IsViews field work an experiment was started in order to test a new way of glacier monitoring. Two test sites were established on the Mördalsjökull ice cap (one at the equilibrium line and one below), each consisting of a permanent GPS station and two nearby RADAR reflectors. These RADAR reflectors are specially designed Top-Hat reflectors, which are cheap to manufacture, small (50 cm diameter) and lightweight and therefore easy to handle, transport and deploy. Their special design makes them visible in SAR images independent of orientation, so different acquisition geometries and even different sensors can be used. The drawback of the small, low reflecting Top-Hat can be overcome by using the newly implemented Staring Spotlight Mode of the German SAR Satellite TerraSAR-X, providing an unprecedented resolution of down to 20 cm in the azimuth direction. The reflectors, as point targets, allow absolute positioning within the cm-level in the TerraSAR-X data. Time series of SAR data can be used to derive position and altitude changes of the reflector itself and possibly even melting rates by exploiting the different signal paths. The visibility of the Top-Hat reflectors has been confirmed in various test acquisitions shortly after their deployment, and initial position measurements have been carried out. Further acquisitions will be recorded once the reflectors emerge from the winter snow cover, and correlation of the measurements will be performed once the data of the GPS stations are received in March 2014. The ease of deploying these new reflectors combined with the high-resolution capabilities of the TerraSAR-X satellite provides new monitoring possibilities, not only for glacial flow dynamics but also for rock movements and deformation of infrastructure.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khromova, T.; Nosenko, G.

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Panoramic of Glaciers in the Caucasus Moutains

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Panoramic photographic mosaic of several glaciers on the northern slope of Gora Elbrus, a volcanic massif in the Central Caucasus Mountains. The photographic survey was done by N. Nikulin in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year. Photograph courtesy of V.M. Kotlyakov, Russian Academy of Sci...

  15. 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…

  16. 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)

  17. Rapid ice discharge from southeast Greenland glaciers

    E-print Network

    Rignot, E.; Braaten, David A.; Gogineni, S. Prasad; Krabill, William B.; McConnell, J. R.

    2004-03-25

    [1] Interferometric synthetic-aperture radar (InSAR) observations of southeast Greenland glaciers acquired by the Earth Remote Sensing Satellites (ERS-1/2) in 1996 were combined with ice sounding radar data collected in the late 1990s to estimate a...

  18. GEOMORPHOLOGY Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    E-print Network

    Avouac, Jean-Philippe

    GEOMORPHOLOGY Erosion by an Alpine glacier Frédéric Herman,1 * Olivier Beyssac,2 Mattia Brughelli,1. Cox6 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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 approximately 1'684'000 km2. The entire ice-covered area on Greenland is thus 1'813'000 km2. We will present the results of the GIC mapping along with an analysis of glacier inventory statistics.

  2. In-situ glacier monitoring in Zackenberg (NE Greenland): Freya Glacier and A.P. Olsen Ice Cap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hynek, Bernhard; Hillerup Larsen, Signe; Binder, Daniel; Weyss, Gernot; Citterio, Michele; Schöner, Wolfgang; Ahlstrøm, Andreas Peter

    2015-04-01

    Due to the scarceness of glacier mass balance measurements from glaciers and local ice caps in East Greenland and the strong impact that local glaciers and ice caps outside the Ice Sheet are expected to exert on sea level rise in the present century, in 2007 and 2008 two glaciological monitoring programmes of peripheral Greenlandic glaciers started to operate near the Zackenberg Research Station in NE Greenland (74° N, 21° W). Freya (Fröya) Glacier is a 6 km long valley glacier situated on Clavering Island 10 km southeast of the Zackenberg research station with a surface area of 5.3 km2 (2013), reaching from 1305 m to 273 m a.s.l. The glacier is mainly oriented to NW and surrounded by high mountain ridges on both sides. A.P. Olsen Ice Cap is a 295 km2 peripheral ice cap located 35 km northeast of Zackenberg. The mass balance monitoring network is situated on the SE outlet glacier reaching from 1425 m to 525 m which drains into the hydrological basin of Zackenberg. This outlet glacier dams a lake which caused several glacial outburst floods within the period of investigation. The two studied glaciers are very close to each other (35 km), but they are complementary in many ways. Apart from the difference in size, which requires different monitoring strategies, Freya Glacier is nearer to the coast and therefore exposed to a more maritime climate with higher winter accumulation. The different area-altitude distribution of both glaciers is one of the main reason for the significantly more positive mean specific mass balance of A.P. Olsen Ice Cap compared to Freya Glacier. In this talk we present the glaciological monitoring on both glaciers and the main results of the first seven years of data.

  3. Alaska Park Science, Volume 12, Issue 2 Status and Trends of Alaska National Park Glaciers

    E-print Network

    Loso, Michael G.

    Glaciers: What Do They Tell Us About Climate Change? Michael G. Loso, Anthony Arendt, Chris Larsen, Nate with the fact that the state's many glaciers are changing. Many glaciers are shrinking, and "retreat" of the glacier terminus is usually the most obvious manifestation of that change. But while some glaciers (like

  4. Recent glacier decline in the Kerguelen Islands (49°S, 69°E) derived from modeling, field observations, and satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verfaillie, Deborah; Favier, Vincent; Dumont, Marie; Jomelli, Vincent; Gilbert, Adrien; Brunstein, Daniel; Gallée, Hubert; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Menegoz, Martin; Frenot, Yves

    2015-03-01

    The retreat of glaciers in the Kerguelen Islands (49°S, 69°E) and their associated climatic causes have been analyzed using field data and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images to validate a positive degree-day (PDD) model forced by data from local meteorological stations. Mass balance measurements made during recent field campaigns on the largest glacier of the Cook Ice Cap were compared to data from the early 1970s, providing a 40 year view of the differences in the spatial distribution of surface mass balance (SMB). To obtain additional regional data for the validation of our models, we analyzed MODIS images (2000-2012) to determine if our model was capable of reproducing variations in the transient snow line. The PDD model correctly simulated the variations in the snow line, the spatial variations in the SMB, and its trend with elevation. Yet current SMB values diverge from their classic linear representation with elevation, and stake data at high altitudes now display more negative SMB values than expected. By analyzing MODIS albedo, we observed that these values are caused by the disappearance of snow and associated feedback on melt rates. In addition, certain parts of Ampere Glacier could not be reproduced by the surface energy balance model because of overaccumulation due to wind deposition. Finally, the MODIS data, field data, and our models suggest that the acceleration of glacier wastage in Kerguelen is due to reduced net accumulation and an associated rise in the snow line since the 1970s.

  5. 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 altitude, enabling the finest-detail currently possible for acoustic seafloor mapping and consistent resolution irrespective of water depth. With these considerations in mind, we conducted a proof-of-concept survey of the Hubbard Glacier morainal bank in June, 2014. We utilized the Bluefin 9M, the smallest of their line of AUVs. Its size enabled deployment and recovery from a small charter fishing vessel well-suited to navigating through mélange-choked waters. The AUV's payload included a Klein UUV-3500 interferometric sonar (455/900 kHz), which enables acquisition of sidescan backscatter and swath bathymetry up to ~75 m to each side of the instrument from ~10 m altitude over the seabed, and sensors for measuring conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD) and optical backscatter (OBS). Although our operations were shortened due to an unfortunate failure in the sonar electronics, sufficient data were collected along the morainal bank to clearly prove the viability of AUV operations in this harsh environment. The data provide centimeter-scale seafloor detail close to the glacier in regions that could not be surveyed with surface vessels. We observed a number of intricate geomorphic features in the raw images that are to our knowledge without precedent. Of particular interest are a series of barchan-shaped bedforms that may provide evidence of significant turbidity flows down the face of the morainal bank.

  6. 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%.

  7. 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

  8. Recent changes of very small glaciers in the Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Mauro; Huss, Matthias; Hoelzle, Martin

    2013-04-01

    Present knowledge about Alpine glaciers is not representative in terms of glacier size distribution. More than 80% of all Swiss glaciers are smaller than 0.5 km2 and hence belong to the class of very small glaciers. In the context of fast glacier wastage in the European Alps, the near-future development of the size class distribution will most probably be in favour of very small glaciers which will comparably increase in number. However, there has been little research carried out about very small glaciers so far. It is not clear whether findings and theoretical concepts elaborated for medium and large valley glaciers (> 3 km2) can be directly transferred to very small glaciers, whose accumulation patterns are, for instance, characteristically exceptional because winter precipitation is multiplied by wind drift and avalanching. The extent of glaciers in the European Alps has recently been mapped and inventoried spatio-temporally consistently. Nevertheless, such glacier outlines derived by satellite remote-sensing techniques are not accurate enough for the special case of investigating changes in very small glaciers. Therefore, glacier outlines are digitized manually using high-resolution (25 cm) orthophotographs covering the entire Swiss Alps acquired twice for every scene (both in the early and late noughties). In contrast to the known shortcomings of satellite remote-sensing based approaches, the margins of very small glaciers are (with few exceptions) clearly distinguishable on these orthophotos, even in shaded, snow- or debris-covered areas. For the eastern Swiss Alps (east of the rivers Reuss and Ticino), about one third of all glaciers has vanished since 1973. The total area presently still glacierized amounts to 140 km2, whereof very small glaciers cover only 25% but account for almost 90% of the total number of glaciers. Retreat rates are highest for very small glaciers but seem to be stabilizing or even decreasing since the early noughties, implying that many of them have retreated far back into shaded cirques and below headwalls. Downwasting and disintegration into different ice patches has become the dominant process of mass loss. Furthermore, we evaluate changes in ice volume over the last three decades for a large set of Swiss glaciers by combining the glacier outlines for the late noughties with a new precision DEM (swissALTI3D) for the same date with outlines and elevation information from around 1980. Ice volume changes are compared to measured and estimated total glacier ice volume in order to quantify relative volume losses over the last decades. Moreover, annual surface mass balance was determined for three very small glaciers complementing the analysis of recent changes in this glacier size class. Very small glaciers in the Swiss Alps show fast mass loss but the picture is not uniform both in space and time.

  9. Recent Changes in Canada's Arctic Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, M.; Burgess, D. O.; Copland, L.; Filbert, K.; Williamson, S.

    2004-05-01

    Canada's Arctic islands contain over 110,000 km2 of ice caps and glaciers, the largest area of land ice in the world outside Antarctica and Greenland. This region is projected to experience summer warming of 1-4°C over the next century due to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The small ice masses in this region are likely to respond more rapidly to this warming than the larger Greenland ice sheet, and they may contribute appreciably to sea level changes over the next century. Glacier mass balance in the region has been persistently negative over the past 40 years. On Devon ice cap, the mass balance of the accumulation zone has become progressively more positive over that period, while that of the ablation zone has become progressively more negative. This suggests that the hydrological cycle in this part of the Arctic has become more vigorous over time. Balance fluxes computed for Devon ice cap were compared with observed fluxes (determined from ice thickness and surface velocity measurements derived from airborne radio echo sounding and SAR interferometry respectively). This comparison suggests that, over most of the ice cap, accumulation areas are thickening at rates of up to 0.15 m a-1, while ablation areas are thinning at rates of up to 0.8 m a-1. The exception is the southeast sector of the ice cap where accumulation areas appear to be thinning at up to 0.3 m a-1. Since 1960, the extent of land ice cover in the Arctic islands has decreased by around 1.8%. Rates of change are largest along the northern and southern coastal fringes of the Arctic Archipelago and lowest in interior regions. The margins of larger ice caps and glaciers terminating on land show little change. Small ice caps and tidewater-terminating outlet glaciers are most strongly affected. This suggests that iceberg calving may have contributed significantly to mass loss in some regions. For Devon ice cap, the calving contribution may be as large as 35%. Volume-area scaling techniques have been used to make a preliminary estimate of the ice volume loss associated with the reduction in ice-covered area. The potential contribution to global sea level is on the order of 1.5mm for the period 1960-2000. A significant number of glaciers show evidence of changes in flow regime, and such changes have resulted in both advances and retreats of glacier margins. Whether these flow regime changes represent normal surge-type behaviour or a response to climate forcing is not yet clear.

  10. Microbial Energetics Beneath the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikucki, J. A.; Turchyn, A. V.; Farquhar, J.; Priscu, J. C.; Schrag, D. P.; Pearson, A.

    2007-12-01

    Subglacial microbiology is controlled by glacier hydrology, bedrock lithology, and the preglacial ecosystem. These factors can all affect metabolic function by influencing electron acceptor and donor availability in the subglacial setting leaving biogeochemical signatures that can be used to determine ecosystem processes. Blood Falls, an iron-rich, episodic subglacial outflow from the Taylor Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctica provides an example of how microbial community structure and function can provide insight into subglacial hydrology. This subglacial outflow contains cryoconcentrated, Pliocene-age seawater salts that pooled in the upper Taylor Valley and was subsequently covered by the advance of the Taylor Glacier. Biogeochemical measurements, culture-based techniques, and genomic analysis were used to characterize microbes and chemistry associated with the subglacial outflow. The isotopic composition of important geochemical substrates (i.e., ?34Ssulfate, ?33Ssulfate, ?18Osulfate, ?18Owater, ?14SDIC) were also measured to provide more detail on subglacial microbial energetics. Typically, subglacial systems, when driven to anoxia by the hydrolysis of organic matter, will follow a continuum of redox chemistries utilizing electron acceptors with decreasing reduction potential (e.g., Fe (III), sulfate, CO2). Our data provide no evidence for sulfate reduction below the Taylor Glacier despite high dissolved organic carbon (450 ?M C) and measurable metabolic activity. We contend that, in the case of the Taylor Glacier, the in situ bioenergetic reduction potential has been 'short-circuited' at Fe(III)-reduction and excludes sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. Given the length of time that this marine system has been isolated from phototrophic production (~2 Mya) the ability to degrade and consume increasingly recalcitrant organic carbon is likely an important component to the observed redox chemistry. Our work indicates that glacier hydrology imparts strong feedbacks on the availability of oxygen as an electron acceptor and may be a robust regulator of the in situ metabolism. This biogeochemical regulation in turn affects the chemical nature of subglacial efflux. Blood Falls demonstrates that measurements of geochemistry and microbial diversity can support models of subglacial hydrology.

  11. Application of Depth of Investigation index method to process resistivity imaging models from glacier forfield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glazer, Micha?; Dobinski, Wojciech; Grabiec, Mariusz

    2015-04-01

    At the end of August 2014 ERT measurements were carried out at the Storglaciären glacier forefield (Tarfala Valley, Northern Sweden) to study permafrost occurrence. This glacier has been retreating since 1910. It is one of the most well studied mountain glaciers in the world due to initiation of the first continuous glacier mass balance research program. Near the vicinity of its frontal margin three perpendicular and two parallel resistivity profile lines were located. They varied in terms of number of roll-along extensions and used electrode spacing. At least Schlumberger and dipole-dipole protocols were utilized on every measurement site. Surface of glacier forefield is characterized by occurrence of large moraine deposits which consists of rock blocks with air voids on one hand and voids filled with clay material on the other. It caused large variations of electrodes contact resistance on profile line. Furthermore, possibility of using only weak currents in the research, and presence of high resistivity contrast structures in geological medium made inversion process and interpretation of received resistivity models demanding. To stabilize inversion process efforts were made to erase most noisy and systematic error data. In order to assess the reliability of resistivity models at depth and in terms of the presence of artifacts left by the inversion process Depth of Investigation (DOI) index was applied. It describes accuracy of prepared model with respect to variable parameters of inversion. For preparing DOI maps two inversions on the same data set using different reference models are necessary. Then the results are compared to each other. In regions where the model depend strongly on data DOI will take values near zero, while in regions where resistivity values depend more on inversion parameters DOI will rise. Additionally several synthetic models were made which led to better understanding of resistivity images of some geological structures observed on the cross sections. The results show high utility of DOI index in analysis of received resistivity models, on which areas poorly constrained by data were designated. It focused on two cases. The first on abnormal high resistivity contrast between two bodies. The second on internal and underneath structure of massive high resistivity zones. Thus it allowed for avoiding the over-interpretation of resistivity models. Applied methodology allowed to draw new conclusions about the permafrost occurrence in the glacier forefield. It is not excluded that it occurs in two layers of different age, associated with the evolution of the climate in this region

  12. Bed Topography of Store Glacier and Fjord, Greenland from High-Resolution Gravity Data and Multi-Beam Echo Sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, L.; Rignot, E. J.; Muto, A.; Morlighem, M.; Kemp, C.

    2014-12-01

    Store Glacier is a major west Greenland outlet tidewater glacier draining an area of 30,000 square km into Uummannaq Fjord, and flowing at a speed of 4.8 km per year at its terminus. The bed topography of the glacier is poorly known and the fjord bathymetry was partially surveyed for the first time in August 2012. In this study, we present a new approach for the inference of the glacier bed topography, ice thickness and sea floor bathymetry using high-resolution airborne gravity data combined with other data. In August 2012, we acquired a 250 m spacing grid of free-air gravity data at a speed of 50 knots with accuracy at sub-milligal level much higher accuracy than NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) gravity campaign with approximate 5.2 km resolution at 290 knots flying speed. In August 2012 and 2013, we used multi-beam echo sounding to survey the sea floor bathymetry in front of the glacier, extending to the calving face of the glacier. Inland, we combined radar-derived ice thickness with ice motion vectors to reconstruct the bed topography at a high resolution. Using a 3D inversion of the gravity data, we reconstruct seamless bed topography across the ice front boundary that matches interior data and sea floor bathymetry, and provides information about sediment thickness beneath and in front of the glacier. Comparison of the results with prior maps reveals vast differences. IBCAO3 bathymetry suggests an ice front grounded at sea level while the measured ice front is grounded 550 m below sea level. The seamless topography obtained across the grounding line reveals the presence of a previously unknown sill, which explains why the glacier has been so stable in the last 50 years. The results have important impacts on the interpretation of the glacier stability, and sensitivity to thermal forcing from the ocean and surface melt. This work was conducted at UCI under a contract with the Gordon and Betty More Foundation and with NASA.

  13. Glacier Dynamics and Outburst Flood Potential from the Imja and Thulagi Glacier-Lake Systems (Nepal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey; Leonard, Gregory; Regmi, Dhananjay; Haritashya, Umesh; Chand, Mohan; Pradhan, Suresh; Sapkota, Nawaraj; Byers, Alton; Joshi, Sharad; McKinney, Daene; Mool, Pradeep; Somos-Valenzuela, Marcelo; Huggel, Christian

    2015-04-01

    Thulagi and Imja lakes are, according to ICIMOD, among Nepal's most dangerous glacier lakes, i.e., most likely to cause death and destruction in case of a glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF). Imja Lake and the associated Imja and Lhoste-Shar glaciers have been intensively studied; Thulagi Glacier and its lake are much less studied. Collectively, we have undertaken a series of increasingly thorough bathymetric and land surveys and satellite remote sensing analyses of Imja Lake and its glacier setting. We are analyzing several expeditions' data to build a detailed assessment of the glacier and lake to better establish the dynamical evolution of the system and its future GLOF potential. Our most recent, most complete bathymetric survey of Imja Lake has revealed a much greater volume (75,200,000 cubic meters) and maximum depth (149.8 m) than found before. Our analysis suggests that not all possible Imja GLOF scenarios would result in devastation. Some moraine melt-through or down-cutting mechanisms -- perhaps induced by extreme monsoon precipitation or an earthquake -- could generate outbursts lasting from 10,000-100,000 seconds ("slow GLOFs"), thus limiting peak flows and downstream damage. The potential damage from a slow GLOF from Imja Lake -- even if there is a large total volume -- is lessened by the relatively low peak discharge and because the major villages downstream from Imja Lake are situated just outside of and above a deep, broad outwash and debris-flow channel system. Imja and other glaciers in the area have built a large fan, now deeply trenched, which is able to accommodate the peak discharges of potential slow GLOFs, such that Dingboche and other villages would be spared. However, local geomorphology also bears evidence of "fast GLOFs," such as may be issued by a tsunami, which could be initiated by a large mass movement into Imja Lake and which might override and damage the end moraine in <100 seconds. Dingboche and other villages are vulnerable to such a "fast GLOF." Thulagi lake, on the other hand, exhibits a much larger hazard potential even from slow GLOFs simply because downstream developments -- particularly Tal village -- are established on the lowest part of the floodplain of an outwash channel system, and there is a lack of deep channel entrenchment. We will present some details of both glacier-lake systems from our recent bathymetric and satellite remote sensing of glacier behavior and the characteristics of downstream developments to explain why the two lakes pose different likelihoods of causing downstream devastation. Neither system is safe, but the hazards differ.

  14. BASINWIDE SEDIMENTATION PROCESSES AT GLACIER-DAMMED ICEBERG LAKE, SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA

    E-print Network

    Loso, Michael G.

    BASINWIDE SEDIMENTATION PROCESSES AT GLACIER-DAMMED ICEBERG LAKE, SOUTHCENTRAL 2012 BASINWIDE SEDIMENTATION PROCESSES AT GLACIER-DAMMED ICEBERG LAKE, SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA by Katie E examining sedimentation rates and varve thickness at Iceberg Lake, a glacier-dammed proglacial lake

  15. Quantitative estimates of velocity sensitivity to surface melt variations at a large Greenland outlet glacier

    E-print Network

    Anderson, M. L.; Nettles, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Hamilton, Gordon S.; Stearns, Leigh

    2011-09-01

    The flow speed of Greenland outlet glaciers is governed by several factors, the relative importance of which is poorly understood. The delivery of surface-generated meltwater to the bed of alpine glaciers has been shown to influence glacier flow...

  16. Glacier Meltwater Contributions and Glaciometeorological Regime of the Illecillewaet River Basin, British Columbia,

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    Glacier Meltwater Contributions and Glaciometeorological Regime of the Illecillewaet River Basin This study characterizes the meteorological parameters influencing glacier runoff and quantifies recent glacier contributions to streamflow in the Illecillewaet River basin, British Columbia. The Illecillewaet

  17. Melt water driven stream and groundwater stage fluctuations on a glacier forefield (Dammagletscher, Switzerland)

    E-print Network

    Kirchner, James W.

    Melt water driven stream and groundwater stage fluctuations on a glacier forefield (Dammagletscher, the melt of the remaining glaciers typically drives pronounced diurnal stream level fluctuations information about the subsurface hydrology of alpine watersheds dominated by glacier melt. Copyright © 2012

  18. Integrated research on mountain glaciers: Current status, priorities and future prospects

    E-print Network

    Briner, Jason P.

    Integrated research on mountain glaciers: Current status, priorities and future prospects Lewis A: Glaciation Glaciers Mountains Glaciology Geochronology Modeling Mountain glaciers are sensitive probes; changes in the magnitude and timing of runoff in the mountains and adjacent regions; and, through

  19. Snow glacier melt estimation in tropical Andean glaciers using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moya Quiroga, V.; Mano, A.; Asaoka, Y.; Kure, S.; Udo, K.; Mendoza, J.

    2013-04-01

    Snow and glacier melt (SGM) estimation plays an important role in water resources management. Although melting process can be modelled by energy balance methods, such studies require detailed data, which is rarely available. Hence, new and simpler approaches are needed for SGM estimations. The present study aims at developing an artificial neural networks (ANN) based technique for estimating the energy available for melt (EAM) and SGM rates using available and easy to obtain data such as temperature, short-wave radiation and relative humidity. Several ANN and multiple linear regression models (MLR) were developed to represent the energy fluxes and estimate the EAM. The models were trained using measured data from the Zongo glacier located in the outer tropics and validated against measured data from the Antizana glacier located in the inner tropics. It was found that ANN models provide a better generalisation when applied to other data sets. The performance of the models was improved by including Antizana data into the training set, as it was proved to provide better results than other techniques like the use of a prior logarithmic transformation. The final model was validated against measured data from the Alpine glaciers Argentière and Saint-Sorlin. Then, the models were applied for the estimation of SGM at Condoriri glacier. The estimated SGM was compared with SGM estimated by an enhanced temperature method and proved to have the same behaviour considering temperature sensibility. Moreover, the ANN models have the advantage of direct application, while the temperature method requires calibration of empirical coefficients.

  20. Mass loss on Himalayan glacier endangers water resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kehrwald, Natalie M.; Thompson, Lonnie G.; Tandong, Yao; Mosley-Thompson, Ellen; Schotterer, Ulrich; Alfimov, Vasily; Beer, Jürg; Eikenberg, Jost; Davis, Mary E.

    2008-11-01

    Ice cores drilled from glaciers around the world generally contain horizons with elevated levels of beta radioactivity including 36Cl and 3H associated with atmospheric thermonuclear bomb testing in the 1950s and 1960s. Ice cores collected in 2006 from Naimona'nyi Glacier in the Himalaya (Tibet) lack these distinctive marker horizons suggesting no net accumulation of mass (ice) since at least 1950. Naimona'nyi is the highest glacier (6050 masl) documented to be losing mass annually suggesting the possibility of similar mass loss on other high-elevation glaciers in low and mid-latitudes under a warmer Earth scenario. If climatic conditions dominating the mass balance of Naimona'nyi extend to other glaciers in the region, the implications for water resources could be serious as these glaciers feed the headwaters of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra Rivers that sustain one of the world's most populous regions.

  1. Analysis of a 24-Year photographic record of Nisqually glacier, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Veatch, Fred M.

    1969-01-01

    A systematic coverage of Nisqually Glacier by photographs taken from a network of stations on the ground was begun in 1942 to explore the value and limitations of such photographs as an aid in glacier study. Principles developed may be of value elsewhere, especially for the program 'Measurement of Glacier Variations on a World-Wide Basis' of the International Hydrological Decade. Nisqually Glacier in Mount Rainier National Park, Wash., covers 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers) (1961) and extends from an altitude of about 14,300 feet (4,400 meters) near the top of Mount Rainier down to 4,700 feet (1,400 meters), in a horizontal distance of 4.1 miles (6.6 kilometers). Analyses were made of the annual photographs taken by the writer for 24 years from about 20 stations. A number of pictures taken sporadically from 1884 to 1941 by others were also available for use in the study. Where possible, the results obtained from photographs were compared with those from the available engineering surveys. Such detailed analysis of an extensive photographic coverage of a single glacier may be unique. Photographs illustrating the retreat and advance of the glacier's west ice margin in a reach extending for about a mile (1.6 kilometers) downstream from Wilson Glacier show that, by 1965, most of the ice thickness lost in that area between 1890 and 1944 had been recovered. Withering of the stagnant valley tongue down glacier from the nunatak is portrayed, as is its spectacular reactivation in the 1960's by a vigorous advance of fresh ice. Some of the visible characteristics of advancing and receding termini are noted. Annual values of the glacier's surface slope (5 to 10 degrees) at a cross profile were measured on photographs with respect to a projected vertical line identifiable in each picture. The results were found to average about 2 degrees less than those obtained from the 5-year topographic maps, but they are thought to be a little more accurate owing to lack of a sufficiently small contour interval on the maps for this special purpose. Year-to-year variations in the surface slope and other characteristics from place to place along the glacier are portrayed by pictures to a degree not economically attainable by any other means. Annual changes in the glacier's thickness at two locations were determined from photographs and found to agree well with the results of stadia surveys. A summary of conclusions reached in regard to other data or features of the glacier that were illustrated by annual photographs follows: 1. Toward the end of the ablation season, position of the annual snowline ranged between altitudes of about 5,800 and 7,300 feet (1,750 and 2,250 meters). The altitude limits within which firn was observed on the glacier were about 6,000 and 7,300 feet (1,850 and 2,250 meters). 2. Sources from which debris reaches the glacier are evident. 3. Medial moraines and other persistent patterns sometimes overlooked in the field are more noticeable in photographs. Ice-cored moraines and patterns of multiple lateral moraines are visible. 4. The extent, severity, and nature of crevassing in an area reflect the dynamic condition of the glacier at that location. 5. Erosion has caused certain bedrock areas or features on canyon walls to become unrecognizable within less than 15 years. 6. Effects of the 1932 and 1955 outburst floods on the stream channel and trees for a mile (1.6 kilometers) or so below the glacier are shown in comparison with ordinary, lesser floods. Visible effects include degradation, widening and changes in configuration of the channel, formation of small terraces, removal of vegetation from the flood plain, and the deposition of huge boulders on the stream banks and flood plain. Some photographic procedures recommended for use in a program of this type are described in the section on "Recommended Photographic Procedures."

  2. GLACIER FLUCTUATIONS IN THEALPS OVER THE LAST FOURMILLENNIA-PART 3 59 Precisely dated glacier fluctuations in theAlps over the

    E-print Network

    Nicolussi, Kurt

    GLACIER FLUCTUATIONS IN THEALPS OVER THE LAST FOURMILLENNIA-PART 3 59 Precisely dated glacier;?Instituteof GeologicalSciences, Universip$Ben, Ben, Sm'tzerland; WSL,Birmensdolf;Switzerland Mountain glaciers are highly glacier retreat in the European Alps is the most striking en+ronmental evidencefor currentclimaticchange

  3. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharp, Marin; Wolken, G.; Burgess, D.; Cogley, J.G.; Copland, L.; Thomson, L.; Arendt, A.; Wouters, B.; Kohler, J.; Andreassen, L.M.; O'Neel, Shad; Pelto, M.

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps cover an area of over 400 000 km2 in the Arctic, and are a major influence on global sea level (Gardner et al. 2011, 2013; Jacob et al. 2012). They gain mass by snow accumulation and lose mass by meltwater runoff. Where they terminate in water (ocean or lake), they also lose mass by iceberg calving. The climatic mass balance (Bclim, the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual meltwater runoff) is a widely used index of how glaciers respond to climate variability and change. The total mass balance (?M) is defined as the difference between annual snow accumulation and annual mass losses (by iceberg calving plus runoff).

  4. Reyes et al., p. 1 DATA REPOSITORY ITEM FOR: Expansion of alpine glaciers in Pacific North

    E-print Network

    Barclay, David J.

    Reyes et al., p. 1 DATA REPOSITORY ITEM FOR: Expansion of alpine glaciers in Pacific North America in the first millennium A.D. Site Latitude Longitude (ºN) (ºW) Lillooet Glacier 50º45' 123º46' Bridge Glacier 50º49' 123º29' Miserable Glacier 51°04' 123°52' Tiedemann Glacier 51º21' 124º56' Frank Mackie Glacier

  5. An evaluation of errors of Himalayan glacier outlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raup, Bruce; Barrett, Andrew; Jodha Khalsa, Siri; Armstrong, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Digital outlines of glaciers, useful for a variety of glaciological and hydrological purposes, are now widely available for most of the world's glaciers, primarily through the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative and the Randolph Glacier Inventory. The quality of these outlines varies with region and data source. This work, carried out within the Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS) project, has three goals. First, we discuss the various sources of error in the creation of glacier outlines. Second, we evaluate the data quality for a select set of glacier outlines in the great Himalayan region. We estimate the positional uncertainty of vertices in the glacier outline polygons by comparing the outlines to high-resolution satellite imagery, and propagate these errors through the polygon area formula to arrive at error estimates for glacier area. The theory behind this error propagation is presented and its ramifications discussed. The third goal is to compile statistics on glacier parameters by combining the outlines with digital elevation models to determine for each glacier: elevation range, area, elevation distribution (hypsometry). Each of these quantities is reported with error estimates, and is summarized by country and region. These data will be used in various ways by us at NSIDC and by our CHARIS project partners, and it is hoped that these methods will be useful in other contexts.

  6. Little Ice Age glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Only a few small glaciers survive today in the Mountains of the Mediterranean. Notable examples are found in the Pyrenees, Maritime Alps, Italian Apennines, the Dinaric and Albanian Alps and the mountains of Turkey. Many glaciers disappeared during the 20th Century. Glaciers were much larger and more numerous during the Little Ice Age (Hughes, 2014). Small glaciers even existed as far south as the High Atlas of Morocco and the Sierra Nevada of southern Spain. In more northerly areas, such as the western Balkans, glaciers and permanent snow patches occupied hundreds of cirques on relatively low-lying mountains. In the High Atlas and the Sierra Nevada no glaciers exist today, whilst in the Balkans only a few modern glaciers have been reported. A similar situation is apparent throughout the mountains of the Mediterranean region. New evidence for glacier change since the Little Ice Age will be published soon in Hughes (2014) and this paper reviews the extent, timing and climatic significance of Little Ice Age glaciation in the Mediterranean region. Reference: Hughes, P.D. (2014) Little Ice Age glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains. In: Carozza, J.-M., Devillers, B., Morhange, C. (eds) Little Ice Age in the Mediterranean, Méditerranée, volume 123.

  7. Supercooled water near the Glacier front in Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, E. G.; Marchenko, A. V.; Fomin, Yu. V.

    2015-03-01

    Measurements of temperature and salinity were performed in the immediate vicinity of Paula Glacier in the Rinders Fjord (Spitsbergen) in March 2013. At a distance of 15 m from the glacier, we found water with significantly smaller salinity than the surrounding waters. The water temperature appeared 0.35°C lower than the freezing temperature. This phenomenon is related to the fact that fresh water flows from the glacier to the sea. The freshwater flowing from the glacier appears in the seawater environment with lower temperature and higher salinity and becomes supercooled while ascending to the surface

  8. Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers: Databases and Web interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raup, B.; Armstrong, R.; Fetterer, F.; Gartner-Roer, I.; Haeberli, W.; Hoelzle, M.; Khalsa, S. J. S.; Nussbaumer, S.; Weaver, R.; Zemp, M.

    2012-04-01

    The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) is an umbrella organization with links to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and UNESCO (all organizations under the United Nations), for the curation of several glacier-related databases. It is composed of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. The glacier databases include the World Glacier Inventory (WGI), the GLIMS Glacier Database, the Glacier Photograph Collection at NSIDC, and the Fluctuations of Glaciers (FoG) and Mass Balance databases at WGMS. We are working toward increased interoperability between these related databases. For example, the Web interface to the GLIMS Glacier Database has also included queryable layers for the WGI and FoG databases since 2008. To improve this further, we have produced a new GTN-G web portal (http://www.gtn-g.org/), which includes a glacier metadata browsing application. This web application allows the browsing of the metadata behind the main GTN-G databases, as well as querying the metadata in order to get to the source, no matter which database holds the data in question. A new glacier inventory, called the Randolph Glacier Inventory 1.0, has recently been compiled. This compilation, which includes glacier outlines that do not have the attributes or IDs or links to other data like the GLIMS data do, was motivated by the tight deadline schedule of the sea level chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Now served from the GLIMS website (http://glims.org/), it is designed to serve that narrowly focused research goal in the near term, and in the longer term will be incorporated into the multi-temporal glacier database of GLIMS. For the required merging of large sets of glacier outlines and association of proper IDs that tie together outlines that pertain to the same glacier (perhaps at different points in time), we at NSIDC have written software to examine geospatial relationships between the sets of outlines and assign attributes and linkages accordingly.

  9. A macroscopic approach to glacier dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, W.D.; Raymond, C.F.; Echelmeyer, K.A.; Krimmel, R.M.

    2003-01-01

    A simple approach to glacier dynamics is explored in which there is postulated to be a relationship between area and volume with three parameters: the time for area to respond to changes in volume, a thickness scale, and an area characterizing the condition of the initial state. This approach gives a good fit to the measurements of cumulative balance and area on South Cascade Glacier from 1970-97; the area time-scale is roughly 8 years, the thickness scale about 123 m, and the 1970 area roughly 4% larger than required for adjustment with volume. Combining this relationship with a version of mass continuity expressed in terms of area and volume produces a theory of glacier area and volume response to climate in which another time constant, the volume time-scale, appears. Area and volume both respond like a damped spring and mass system. The damping of the South Cascade response is approximately critical, and the volume time-scale is roughly 48 years, six times the area time-scale. The critically damped spring and mass analogy reproduces the time dependence predicted by the more complicated traditional theory of Nye.

  10. Seasonal dynamic thinning at Helheim Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bevan, Suzanne L.; Luckman, Adrian; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Murray, Tavi

    2015-04-01

    We investigate three annual mass-balance cycles on Helheim Glacier in south-east Greenland using TanDEM-X interferometric digital elevation models (DEMs), bedrock GPS measurements, and ice velocity from feature-tracking. The DEMs exhibit seasonal surface elevation cycles at elevations up to 800 m.a.s.l. with amplitudes of up to 19 m, from a maximum in July to a minimum in October or November, concentrated on the fast-flowing areas of the glacier indicating that the elevation changes have a mostly dynamic origin. By modelling the detrended bedrock loading/unloading signal we estimate a mean density for the loss of 671 ± 70 kgm-3 and calculate that total water equivalent volume loss from the active part of the glacier (surface flow speeds >1 m day-1) ranges from 0.5 km3 in 2011 to 1.6 km3 in 2013. A rough ice-flux divergence analysis shows that at lower elevations (<200 m) mass loss by dynamic thinning fully explains seasonal elevation changes. In addition, surface elevations decrease by a greater amount than field observations of surface ablation or surface-energy-balance modelling predict, emphasising the dynamic nature of the mass loss. We conclude, on the basis of ice-front position observations through the time series, that melt-induced acceleration is most likely the main driver of the seasonal dynamic thinning, as opposed to changes triggered by retreat.

  11. Passive microwave (SSM/I) satellite predictions of valley glacier hydrology, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopczynski, S.; Ramage, J.; Lawson, D.; Goetz, S.; Evenson, E.; Denner, J.; Larson, G.

    2008-08-01

    We advance an approach to use satellite passive microwave observations to track valley glacier snowmelt and predict timing of spring snowmelt-induced floods at the terminus. Using 37 V GHz brightness temperatures (Tb) from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), we monitor snowmelt onset when both Tb and the difference between the ascending and descending overpasses exceed fixed thresholds established for Matanuska Glacier. Melt is confirmed by ground-measured air temperature and snow-wetness, while glacier hydrologic responses are monitored by a stream gauge, suspended-sediment sensors and terminus ice velocity measurements. Accumulation area snowmelt timing is correlated (R2 = 0.61) to timing of the annual snowmelt flood peak and can be predicted within +/-5 days.

  12. Passive microwave (SSM/I) satellite predictions of valley glacier hydrology, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kopczynski, S.E.; Ramage, J.; Lawson, D.; Goetz, S.; Evenson, E.; Denner, J.; Larson, G.

    2008-01-01

    We advance an approach to use satellite passive microwave observations to track valley glacier snowmelt and predict timing of spring snowmelt-induced floods at the terminus. Using 37 V GHz brightness temperatures (Tb) from the Special Sensor Microwave hnager (SSM/I), we monitor snowmelt onset when both Tb and the difference between the ascending and descending overpasses exceed fixed thresholds established for Matanuska Glacier. Melt is confirmed by ground-measured air temperature and snow-wetness, while glacier hydrologic responses are monitored by a stream gauge, suspended-sediment sensors and terminus ice velocity measurements. Accumulation area snowmelt timing is correlated (R2 = 0.61) to timing of the annual snowmelt flood peak and can be predicted within ??5 days. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  13. Columbia Glacier stake location, mass balance, glacier surface altitude, and ice radar data, 1978 measurement year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mayo, L.R.; Trabant, D.C.; March, Rod; Haeberli, Wilfried

    1979-01-01

    A 1 year data-collection program on Columbia Glacier, Alaska has produced a data set consisting of near-surface ice kinematics, mass balance, and altitude change at 57 points and 34 ice radar soundings. These data presented in two tables, are part of the basic data required for glacier dynamic analysis, computer models, and predictions of the number and size of icebergs which Columbia Glacier will calve into shipping lanes of eastern Prince William Sound. A metric, sea-level coordinate system was developed for use in surveying throughout the basin. Its use is explained and monument coordinates listed. A series of seven integrated programs for calculators were used in both the field and office to reduce the surveying data. These programs are thoroughly documented and explained in the report. (Kosco-USGS)

  14. Global response of glacier runoff to twenty-first century climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bliss, Andrew; Hock, Regine; Radi?, Valentina

    2014-04-01

    The hydrology of many important river systems in the world is influenced by the presence of glaciers in their upper reaches. We assess the global-scale response of glacier runoff to climate change, where glacier runoff is defined as all melt and rain water that runs off the glacierized area without refreezing. With an elevation-dependent glacier mass balance model, we project monthly glacier runoff for all mountain glaciers and ice caps outside Antarctica until 2100 using temperature and precipitation scenarios from 14 global climate models. We aggregate results for 18 glacierized regions. Despite continuous glacier net mass loss in all regions, trends in annual glacier runoff differ significantly among regions depending on the balance between increased glacier melt and reduction in glacier storage as glaciers shrink. While most regions show significant negative runoff trends, some regions exhibit steady increases in runoff (Canadian and Russian Arctic), or increases followed by decreases (Svalbard and Iceland). Annual glacier runoff is dominated by melt in most regions, but rain is a major contributor in the monsoon-affected regions of Asia and maritime regions such as New Zealand and Iceland. Annual net glacier mass loss dominates total glacier melt especially in some high-latitude regions, while seasonal melt is dominant in wetter climate regimes. Our results highlight the variety of glacier runoff responses to climate change and the need to include glacier net mass loss in assessments of future hydrological change.

  15. Tracing glacier changes since the 1960s on the south slope of Mt. Everest (central Southern Himalaya) using optical satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakuri, S.; Salerno, F.; Smiraglia, C.; Bolch, T.; D'Agata, C.; Viviano, G.; Tartari, G.

    2013-11-01

    We contribute to the debate on glacial shrinkage in the Himalaya by analyzing glaciers in southern slopes of Mt. Everest that are characterized by extensive debris coverage and the highest elevation in the world. In this paper, we make a complete analysis from 1962 to 2011, considering five intermediate periods using optical satellite imagery. We found an overall surface area shrinkage of 13.0 ± 3%, an upward shift of 182 ± 9 m in snow-line altitude (SLA), a terminus retreat of 403 ± 9 m, and an increase of 17.6 ± 3% in debris coverage. The recession process of glaciers has been relentlessly continuous over the past fifty years. Furthermore, since early 1990s, we have observed an acceleration of the surface area shrinkage, which resulted in a median annual rate double that of the previous three decades (an increase from 0.27% a-1 to 0.46% a-1). Comparing the SLA over the same periods, it shifts upward with a velocity almost three times greater (from 2.2 ± 0.5 m a-1 to 6.1 ± 0.9 m a-1), which points to a worsening of the already negative mass balance of these glaciers. However, the increased recession velocity has only significantly affected glaciers with the largest sizes, which are located at higher altitudes and along the preferable south-oriented direction of the monsoons. Moreover, these glaciers present median upward shifts of the SLA that are double others; this finding leads to a hypothesis that Mt. Everest glaciers are shrinking, not only due to warming temperatures, but also as a result of weakening Asian monsoons registered over the last decades. We conclude that the shrinkage of these glaciers is less than that of others in the Himalayan range. Their position in higher elevations have surely reduced the impact of warming on these glaciers, but have not been excluded from a relentlessly continuous and slow recession process over the past fifty years.

  16. Quantifying and interpreting the changes in forces during the major retreat of Kangerlussuaq Glacier in South-East Greenland using a 2D force balance analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormick, D. P.; Csatho, B. M.; Van der Veen, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Kangerlussuaq Glacier in South-East Greenland is the largest outlet glacier on the east coast of Greenland, draining approximately 3% of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). In 2004-2005 this glacier underwent a dramatic retreat, acceleration and thinning, indicating a significant change in ice dynamics. During this time, the ice velocity increased from 6-8 kilometers per year to 14 kilometers per year, resulting in an increase of mass loss of 40 Gt/yr by 2005. This accounted for approximately 20% of the mass loss of the whole SE GrIS. Moreover, other SE Greenland outlet glaciers exhibited synchronous acceleration, retreat and thinning, and thus in 2003-05 the mass loss from SE Greenland dominated the overall mass balance of the GrIS. Our study investigates the possible causes of increased outlet glacier mass loss in this sector. Using the force budget technique, we quantify the forces that controlled flow of Kangerlugssuaq Glacier before and after its major speed-up event. Through multiple sets of remotely sensed data, including repeat ASTER stereo imagery and CReSIS radar echograms, we reconstruct the ice thickness, surface slope, and velocity to generate 2003 and 2006 2D force balance models of the glacier. Evaluating the partitioning of flow resistance at different times allows us to identify the mechanisms responsible for glacier changes. Previous work has suggested that speed-up and thinning of Kangerlussuaq Glacier was caused by a collapse of the floating tongue resulting in a loss of back-stress. By computing the force balance near the grounding line at different times we estimate changes in back-stress and longitudinal stresses that are attributed to partial grounding or confinement of the floating tongue and investigate the role of other mechanisms, such the weakening of the ice in the lateral shear margin or at the bed. This study is part of a broader effort examining the basal and marginal stress balance changes of other major Greenland outlet glaciers (Jakobshavn, Helheim, and Upernavik glaciers) to improve the understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for observed acceleration and increasing mass loss.

  17. Viscoelastic modelling of grounding line migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, Sebastian; Christmann, Julia; Müller, Ralf; Plate, Carolin; Rückamp, Martin; Humbert, Angelika

    2015-04-01

    Tides play an important role by moving ice shelves and modulating the flow of ice streams even far upstream the grounding line. The grounding line as the boundary between the shelf and the ice sheet plays a crucial role in the mass balance and general stability of an ice sheet. It has been observed to migrate in response to tidal forcing, but the exact mechanisms and consequences are not yet understood in detail. On short timescales, as present in tidal forcing, we need to account for the viscoelastic character of glacier ice and choose a Maxwell model as an appropriate rheological representation. A viscoelastic full stokes ice flow model was implemented in the finite element software COMSOL Multiphysics. We investigate the influence of tides on the dynamics of ice sheet--ice shelf systems and grounding line migration by means of numerical modelling. In our model we are able to identify two processes, which control ice flow variations with tides. Uplifting of the ice shelf leads to retreat of the grounding line and therefore less area of the ice base is in contact with the bedrock. This leads to smaller basal shear stress, resulting in an increase in flow velocity. Additionally high tide causes increased normal stress at the ice -- water boundary, which slows the ice flow. When forced with the S2 (12 h) and M2 (12.42 h) tidal constituents, we observe a non-linear interaction, which leads to a perturbation of the horizontal flow velocity close to the M_sf (14.76 d) constituent. By not including tides and viscoelasticity into ice models we commit significant errors for the estimation of the flux across the grounding line and the resulting mass balance. For our experimental setup this error depends on the elastic parameter and we obtain a maximal error of 3.75%. We also observe a general retreat of the grounding line due to tidal forcing. This implies that tides possibly lead to a different equilibrium of the grounding line position.

  18. Statistical Equilibrium Dynamics

    E-print Network

    Michael K. -H. Kiessling

    2008-05-03

    The mean-field thermodynamic limit is studied for a class of isolated Newtonian N-body systems whose Hamiltonian admits several invariants of motion. It is shown that the macrostates of individual members of a statistical equilibrium ensemble are not necessarily themselves in a state of global thermal equilibrium in the strict sense. Yet they are always locally in thermodynamic equilibrium, and always global maximizers of the pertinent maximum entropy principle.

  19. Re-establishing seasonal mass balance observation at Abramov Glacier, Kyrgyzstan, from 1968 - 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barandun, Martina; Huss, Matthias; Azisov, Erlan; Gafurov, Abror; Hoelzle, Martin; Merkushkin, Aleksandr; Salzmann, Nadine; Usubaliev, Ryskul

    2013-04-01

    The Abramov Glacier, located in the Pamir Alay in Kyrgyzstan, was subject to intense studies in the frame of various scientific programs under the former USSR. With the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the monitoring was abruptly abandoned in the late nineties. Well documented and continuous seasonal mass balance observations are available for 1968-1994. However, some inconsistencies between different publications lead to in-homogeneous data sets. Recently, the project CATCOS (Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems) was launched, aiming among other goals to re-establish mass balance observation on selected glaciers in Kyrgyzstan. At Abramov Glacier, a new stake network, an automatic weather station (AWS) and two automatic terrestrial cameras with instantaneous data transfer over satellite were installed in 2011. Measurements were repeated and intensified in 2012 and will be subject of a third field campaign in summer 2013. A complete re-analysis of the long-term mass balance series from 1968 to 1994 delivers corrected mass balance data for Abramov Glacier. To homogenize in-situ mass balance records, a spatially distributed mass balance model driven with local daily temperature and precipitation data was calibrated to each seasonal mass balance survey. The model resolves seasonal mass-balance measurements to a daily timescale and performs spatial inter- and extrapolation of data points based on a consistent algorithm, taking into account the principal factors of mass balance distribution. Summarizing the annually optimized parameters over the entire study period provides a robust model parameter set for years with less extensive direct measurements. From 1994 to 2011, neither direct point measurements nor meteorological data are available. In order to run the calibrated model developed for the 1960's to 90's, climate input variables were taken from bias corrected Re-analysis data (NCEP/NCAR and JRA). Evaluation of the model results was achieved through observations of snow-lines on Landsat images throughout each mass balance year. Automatic cameras, installed in August 2011 took repeated oblique photographs of the glacier on a daily basis. Snow-line evolution was analysed on the orthorectified and georeferenced images and complementary on Landsat imagery. Meteorological variables collected in 2012 from the newly installed AWS were used to run the calibrated mass balance model for the hydrological year 2011/2012. All available mass balance point measurements were used for optimization. Evaluation against snow-line observations on terrestrial photographs and satellite images are promising.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2008-12-01

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

  1. Hinge-line Migration of Petermann Gletscher, North Greenland, Detected Using Satellite Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1998-01-01

    The synthetic-aperture radar interferometry technique is used to detect the migration of the limit of tidal flexing, or hinge line, of the floating ice tongue of Petermann Gletscher, a major outlet glacier of north Greenland.

  2. Influence of lake calving and debris cover on glacier runoff changes in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackintosh, A. N.; Anderson, B.; Zammit, C.; Sood, A.; Mullan, B.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier retreat and climate change influences runoff patterns and water resources on a regional scale, and sea-level on a global scale. To assess hydrological changes in glacial systems that include debris-covered and lake-calving glaciers, we couple a energy balance/ice flow model to a semi-distributed hydrological model TopNet. To assess the overall ice volume loss since the late 1800s, and estimate future glacier volume loss given various climate change scenarios, we generate an equilibrium state at the late 1800s position by imposing a cooling of 0.8 K from the 1980-2010 mean temperature. A 'dynamic calibration', is carried out where the temperature forcing is progressively warmed from late-1800s to present-day values. During the 100 years between the '1990s' (1980-2000) and the '2090s' (2080-2100) warming in the central Southern Alps, based on the A1B, A2 and A1FI emissions scenarios and a downscaled 12-model GCM ensemble average, is estimated to be between 2.0 and 2.8 K, with a concurrent increase in precipitation of 10-15%. In the central part of the Southern Alps, ice volume decreased from 54 km3 in the late 1800s to 38 km3 by 1980. Projected warming and precipitation increases result in a modelled ice volume of between 11 km3 (A1FI) and 15 km3 (A1B) by 2100, a loss of 60-71%. Loss of 24% of year 2000 glacier volume is already comitted under present-day climate, largely due to the imbalance of slow-response glaciers and lake-calving dynamics. The combination of debris-covered glacier tongues which persist under a warming climate for decades, and a projected increase in precipitation, means there is an increase in mean annual river flow of 12-15% in the Hooker catchment by the 2040s and 25-34% by the 2090s, and a large increase in winter flows. High rainfall rates mean that overall glacier volume loss does not make a large relative contribution to river flow, except during phases of rapid calving retreat.

  3. “Our vanishing glaciers”: One hundred years of glacier retreat in Three Sisters Area, Oregon Cascade Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connor, James E.

    2014-01-01

    In August 1910, thirty-nine members of the Mazamas Mountaineering Club ascended the peaks of the Three Sisters in central Oregon. While climbing, geologist Ira A. Williams photographed the surrounding scenery, including images of Collier Glacier. One hundred years later, U.S. Geological Survey research hydrologist Jim E. O’Connor matched those documented photographs with present day images — the result of which is a stunning lapse of glacial change in the Three Sister region. O’Connor asserts that “glaciers exist by the grace of climate,” and through a close examination of the history of the region’s glaciers, he provides an intriguing glimpse into the history of geological surveys and glacial studies in the Pacific Northwest, including their connection to significant scientific advances of the nineteenth century. The work of scientists and mountaineers who have monitored and recorded glacier changes for over a century allows us to see dramatic changes in a landscape that is especially sensitive to ongoing climate change.

  4. Estimating the risk of glacier cavity collapse during artificial drainage: The case of Tête Rousse Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagliardini, O.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Durand, G.; Vincent, C.; Duval, P.

    2011-05-01

    During the summer of 2010, the presence of a pressurized water-filled subglacial-cavity of at least 50,000 m3 was detected within the Tête Rousse Glacier (French Alps). Artificial drainage was started to avoid an uncontrolled rupture of the ice dam, but was interrupted soon after to evaluate the capacity of the cavity-roof to bear itself. The risk was that the release of pressure within the cavity during the artificial drainage would precipitate the collapse of the cavity roof and potentially flush out the remaining water flooding the valley below. An unprecedented modeling effort was deployed to answer the question of the cavity roof stability. We set up a model of the glacier with its water cavity, solved the three-dimensional full-Stokes problem, predicted the upper surface and cavity surface displacements for various drainage scenarios, and quantified the risk of the cavity failure during artificial drainage. We found that the maximum tensile stress in the cavity roof was below the rupture value, indicating a low risk of collapse. A post drainage survey of the glacier surface displacements has confirmed the accuracy of the model prediction. This practical application demonstrates that ice flow models have reached sufficient maturity to become operational and assist policy-makers when faced with glaciological hazards, thus opening new perspectives in risk management of glacier hazards in high mountain regions.

  5. A physically based calving model applied to marine outlet glaciers and implications for the glacier dynamics

    E-print Network

    van der Veen, Cornelis J.; Nick, F. M.; Vieli, A.; Venn, D. I.

    2010-11-05

    We present results from numerical ice-flow models that include calving criteria based on penetration of surface and basal crevasses, which in turn is a function of longitudinal strain rates near the glacier front. The position of the calving front...

  6. ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS OF AVALANCHES: PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IN GLACIER NATIONAL

    E-print Network

    Smith, Dan

    ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS OF AVALANCHES: PRELIMINARY RESEARCH IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK Site Focus: Balu Pass, Glacier National Park, B.C. Avalanche path near Balu Pass. (Photo Courtesy of: www in avalanche areas? #12;Researchers · Ben Ferrel · Keri Laughlin · Kevin McPhedran · Mark Brown · also thanks

  7. The GLIMS Glacier Database: a spatio-temporal database

    E-print Network

    Raup, Bruce H.

    The GLIMS Glacier Database: a spatio-temporal database implemented using Open Source tools Bruce countries #12;#12;#12;#12;#12;System components PostgreSQL (relational database) PostGIS (geospatial) GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) Perl, PHP, Shapelib, ... #12;GLIMS Glacier Database System

  8. Variability in glacier hazards across the Himalayan range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quincey, D. J.

    2011-12-01

    The dynamic response of Himalayan glaciers to recent (decadal) climatic changes varies across the range, reflecting local precipitation and temperature patterns. Glaciers in the eastern (Nepal) Himalaya are widely in recession, with mass loss dominated by surface lowering rather than terminus retreat. The formation of large glacial lakes, either behind morainic sediments or remnant glacier ice, is an ongoing concern. Topographic and surface velocity data suggest that the largest glacial lakes are situated on stagnant glacier ice, at relatively low-elevation and on glaciers with a large elevation range, reflecting the greater climatic sensitivity of low-elevation termini. In the western (Karakoram) Himalaya, an increasing number of glaciers have been reported to be advancing and thickening. Here, breaching from ice-dammed lakes, formed as glacier tongues advance across trunk valleys, is potentially the most destructive hazard. Surface velocity data reveal ice movement of 'block flow' type that is likely to influence dam formation and breaching, and also reveal local changes in ablation that regulate ice dynamics once a lake has formed. Multi-temporal satellite data show that many of the glaciers historically responsible for ice-dammed lake formation are advancing, and two that are of particular concern, are highlighted.

  9. The motion of Martian glaciers and volcanic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, L.

    2015-10-01

    The role of density of the heat flow on the velocity of motion of Martian glaciers is investigated using numerical model. We find that for enhanced heat flow the motion could increase dramatically. Similar effect could be achieved by thick insulating thermally layer on the top of the glacier.

  10. Nanoparticulate bioavailable iron minerals in icebergs and glaciers R. RAISWELL

    E-print Network

    Benning, Liane G.

    Nanoparticulate bioavailable iron minerals in icebergs and glaciers R. RAISWELL 1 , L. G. BENNING 1, Bristol University, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK ABSTRACT Ice-hosted sediments in glaciers and icebergs from by icebergs to the Southern Ocean is comparable to the flux of soluble, bioavailable Fe from aeolian dust

  11. Dominant Bacteria and Biomass in the Kuytun 51 Glacier ? †

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Shu-Rong; Shang, Tian-Cui; Chen, Yong; Jing, Ze-Fan; Yao, Tandong

    2009-01-01

    Dominant bacteria in the different habitats in the Kuytun 51 Glacier were investigated using a 16S rRNA gene clone library sequencing technique. Results showed diverse bacteria on the glacial surface, with the dominant phyla being Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. UniFrac data showed distinct community patterns between the Kuytun and Himalayan Rongbuk glaciers. PMID:19749065

  12. Mass balance of Vatnajokull outlet glaciers reconstructed back to 1958

    E-print Network

    Rasmussen, L.A.

    Mass balance of Vatnaj¨okull outlet glaciers reconstructed back to 1958 L. A. Rasmussen Department seasonal components of mass balance of five Vatnaj¨okull outlet glaciers. Over the period of observations of mass balance between 1991 and 2001, it had percentage r2 rang- ing from 41 to 93 for winter balance bw

  13. Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 2004

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    The second repeat photograph documents significant changes that have occurred during the 63 years between photographs A and C, and during the 54 years between photographs B and C. Muir Glacier has retreated out of the field of view and is now more than 7 kilometers northwest. Riggs Glacier has retre...

  14. Measuring Greenland Glacier Dynamics with Remotely Sensed Data

    E-print Network

    Foga, Steve

    2013-01-15

    Dynamics with Remotely Sensed Data Steve Foga University of Kansas, Geography M.A. Student Photo by: Phil Pasquini The importance of studying glacier ice Study area Difference in ice velocity of Helheim Glacier in 2000 [A] and 2004-5 [B]. [Howat et...

  15. Sensitivity and Response of Bhutanese Glaciers to Atmospheric Warming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rupper, Summer; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Burgener, Landon K.; Koenig, Lora S.; Tsering, Karma; Cook, Edward

    2013-01-01

    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. However, the most conservative results indicate that, even if climate were to remain at the present-day mean values, almost 10% of Bhutan s glacierized area would vanish and the meltwater flux would drop by as much as 30%. Under the conservative scenario of an additional 1 C regional warming, glacier retreat is going 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%. Citation

  16. The correlation tracking between glacier movement and subglacial water flow using spaceborne data fusion and hydrodynamic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yun-Soo; Kim, Jung-Rack; Lin, Shih-Yuan; Tsai, Li-Yun; Yun, Hye-Won

    2015-04-01

    The changes of ice sheet in Greenland have been traced through various remote sensing observations. However, it was realized that not only the uncertainties in the observed change of ice sheet were not fully addressed, but also the tracking of correlation between outlet glacial movement and subglacial channel activities, which may be the key factor for the understanding of Greenland ice sheet change, is highly challenging. Therefore, in this study, we proposed an investigation method employing hydrodynamic simulation over the channels connected glacier and spaceborne remote sensing tracking the glacier migration. The test area was established in Russell glacier in western Greenland where the change of glacier has been obvious for the last century and significant fluvial flows occur over meltwater outflow channels, such as Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua. Firstly a scheme fusing multiple satellite data for spatially and temporally monitoring the migration of glacier with high accuracy was established. A 2D hydrodynamic analysis utilizing high resolution stereo DTM and bathymetry by multispectral radiometric analysis was then conducted. For the space borne tracking of glacial migration, differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) campaigns using ALOS PALSAR pairs were applied to monitor the glacial change. In terms of data fusion aspect, we employed pixel tracking method by co-registration of ALOS PALSAR/PALSAR2 and space borne optical images over target area to compensate for any line-of-sight glacial movement resulted from the D-InSAR analysis. In order to securely trace individual pixel, high accuracy sub-pixel co-registration algorithm was developed. At last, the outputs from analyses were incorporated to build an effective 3D movement tracing over the Russell glacier. Furthermore, for conducting the hydrodynamic analysis, optical stereo analysis using ALOS PRISM images was applied to extract DTM with 7.5 m spatial resolution over target glacial area. Together with the InSAR DTMs and bathymetry over meltwater outflow channels, 2D hydrodynamic simulation was conducted simultaneously for the tracking of the total discharge and water flow characteristics during the remote sensing observation period. The overall results in both approaches were inter-compared to infer the correlation of subglacial flows and migration of outlet glacier. The further works employing advanced remote sensing techniques and the higher resolution observations is anticipated for the understanding of long term change of Russell glacier. Based on the output of this study, the proposed method will be extended into a comprehensive scheme to tackle the issues of glacial change occurred in the Greenland costal area.

  17. 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…

  18. Isotopic composition of ice cores and meltwater from upper fremont glacier and Galena Creek rock glacier, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeWayne, Cecil L.; Green, J.R.; Vogt, S.; Michel, R.; Cottrell, G.

    1998-01-01

    Meltwater runoff from glaciers can result from various sources, including recent precipitation and melted glacial ice. Determining the origin of the meltwater from glaciers through isotopic analysis can provide information about such things as the character and distribution of ablation on glaciers. A 9.4 m ice core and meltwater were collected in 1995 and 1996 at the glacigenic Galena Creek rock glacier in Wyoming's Absaroka Mountains. Measurements of chlorine-36 (36Cl), tritium (3H), sulphur-35 (35S), and delta oxygen-18 (??18O) were compared to similar measurements from an ice core taken from the Upper Fremont Glacier in the Wind River Range of Wyoming collected in 1991-95. Meltwater samples from three sites on the rock glacier yielded 36Cl concentrations that ranged from 2.1 ?? 1.0 X 106 to 5.8??0.3 X 106 atoms/l. The ice-core 36Cl concentrations from Galena Creek ranged from 3.4??0.3 X 105 to 1.0??0.1 X 106 atoms/l. Analysis of an ice core from the Upper Fremont Glacier yielded 36Cl concentrations of 1.2??0.2 X 106 and 5.2??0.2 X 106 atoms/l for pre- 1940 ice and between 2 X 106 and 3 X 106 atoms/l for post-1980 ice. Purdue's PRIME Lab analyzed the ice from the Upper Fremont Glacier. The highest concentration of 36Cl in the ice was 77 ?? 2 X 106 atoms/l and was deposited during the peak of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the late 1950s. This is an order of magnitude greater than the largest measured concentration from both the Upper Fremont Glacier ice core that was not affected by weapons testing fallout and the ice core collected from the Galena Creek rock glacier. Tritium concentrations from the rock glacier ranged from 9.2??0.6 to 13.2??0.8 tritium units (TU) in the meltwater to -1.3??1.3 TU in the ice core. Concentrations of 3H in the Upper Fremont Glacier ice core ranged from 0 TU in the ice older than 50 years to 6-12 TU in the ice deposited in the last 10 years. The maximum 3H concentration in ice from the Upper Fremont Glacier deposited in the early 1960s during peak weapons testing fallout for this isotope was 360 TU. One meltwater sample from the rock glacier was analyzed for 35S with a measured concentration of 5.4??1.0 millibecquerel per liter (mBeq/l). Modern precipitation in the Rocky Mountains contains 35S from 10 to 40 mBeq/L. The ??18O results in meltwater from the Galena Creek rock glacier (-17.40??0.1 to -17.98??0.1 per mil) are similar to results for modern precipitation in the Rocky Mountains. Comparison of these isotopic concentrations from the two glaciers suggest that the meltwater at the Galena Creek site is composed mostly of melted snow and rain that percolates through the rock debris that covers the glacier. Additionally, this water from the rock debris is much younger (less than two years) than the reported age of about 2000 years for the subsurface ice at the mid-glacier coring site. Thus the meltwater from the Galena Creek rock glacier is composed primarily of melted surface snow and rain water rather than melted glacier ice, supporting previous estimates of slow ablation rates beneath the surface debris of the rock glacier.

  19. Equilibrium of KSTAR Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, K.-I.; Lee, D.-K.; Lee, S. G.; Bak, J. G.; Hahn, S. H.; Lao, L.; Kstar Team

    2011-10-01

    We have installed the EFIT code on our computing system and made some modification to reconstruct the plasma equilibrium of KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research). KSTAR PF and TF coil systems use a CICC (Cable-In-Conduit Conductor) type superconductor. The CICC jacket material for most PF and all TF coils is Incoloy 908, which is a magnetic material with relative magnetic permeability greater than 10 in low external field. We newly introduced Diamagnetic Loop and variational Motion Stark Effect signals to equilibrium reconstruction. In this paper, we present some results of equilibrium reconstruction with the EFIT code, assess the effects of newly introduced diagnsotics signal on the equilibrium reconstruction and compare the EFIT results with the various diagnostics data in various plasma conditions including H- and L- modes. In addition, we will show the Incoloy908 effects on the plasma equilibrium.

  20. Global glacier mass balance modeling - Where to go from here?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hock, R.; Bliss, A.; Huss, M.; Radic, V.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier wastage implies substantial economic, societal, and ecological impacts resulting from changes in global sea-level, fresh water availability, and other environmental conditions. Major advances have been made recently in modeling glaciers other than the ice sheets on a global scale, and results indicate substantial future mass losses but the hydrological response varies largely among different regions. The recent globally complete Randolph Glacier Inventory presents a major step forward but global glacier modeling remains challenging due to scarcity of validation data and the omission of processes in the current generation of global models. We investigate pathways to improve model parameter calibration using insitu point mass balance data as well as glacier-wide geodetic balances derived from newly available large-scale topographic data.

  1. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Effects of volcanism on the glaciers of Mount St. Helens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brugman, M. M.; Post, A.

    The cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens May 18, 1980, removed 2.9 sq/km 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 recrystallization of snow and ice surviving on Mount St. Helens could cause and lubricate mud flows and generate outburst floods.

  3. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Planetary science: are there active glaciers on Mars?

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Alan R; Montgomery, David R; Mushkin, Amit

    2005-12-01

    Head et al. interpret spectacular images from the Mars Express high-resolution stereo camera as evidence of geologically recent rock glaciers in Tharsis and of a piedmont ('hourglass') glacier at the base of a 3-km-high massif east of Hellas. They attribute growth of the low-latitude glaciers to snowfall during periods of increased spin-axis obliquity. The age of the hourglass glacier, considered to be inactive and slowly shrinking beneath a debris cover in the absence of modern snowfall, is estimated to be more than 40 Myr. Although we agree that the maximum glacier extent was climatically controlled, we find evidence in the images to support local augmentation of accumulation from snowfall through a mechanism that does not require climate change on Mars. PMID:16340962

  5. Computing the Electricity Market Equilibrium: Uses of market equilibrium models

    E-print Network

    Baldick, Ross

    1 Computing the Electricity Market Equilibrium: Uses of market equilibrium models Ross Baldick Abstract--In this paper we consider the formulation and uses of electric- ity market equilibrium models. Keywords--Electricity market, Equilibrium models I. INTRODUCTION Electricity market equilibrium modelling

  6. RELAXATION METHODS FOR GENERALIZED NASH EQUILIBRIUM PROBLEMS

    E-print Network

    Kanzow, Christian

    RELAXATION METHODS FOR GENERALIZED NASH EQUILIBRIUM PROBLEMS WITH INEXACT LINE SEARCH Anna von method seems to be the only one that has been applied at least by a small group of different people methods available in the literature. One of the most popular ones is the so-called relaxation method which

  7. An automated workflow for reconstructing 3D glacier thickness and volume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, William

    2015-04-01

    There is a pressing need to constrain the volume and distributed ice thickness of both former and contemporary mountain glaciers. The availability of high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs), contemporary glacier outlines and former terminus positions has opened up the possibility of rapidly reconstructing former ice surfaces and estimating current bed topographies in a GIS environment. Whilst it has been proven that 'perfect plasticity' based models can be used to estimate ice thickness values along a central flow line in a 2D manner, there is potential to expand such models further by automating the entire process and interpolating full 3D surface/bed topographies. This presentation firstly introduces the VOLTA (Volume and Topography Automation) model, which is a GIS based tool for estimating contemporary ice thickness distribution and volume. Novel algorithms for automatic centreline production and branch delineation are employed to automate the entire process, requiring just a DEM and glacier outline as inputs, running as a standard geoprocessing tool in ArcGIS. VOLTA is shown to perform well when tested on glaciers where the bed topography is known from field measurements and initial model results for the New Zealand Southern Alps are presented. By removing the distributed ice thickness calculated by VOLTA from the contemporary DEM, an "ice-free" surface can be created. This is the initial input required for reconstructing former ice-surfaces using a perfect plasticity approach. An additional workflow is presented for automatically removing postglacial sediment infill, a step which is often overlooked but can improve the accuracy of reconstruction models. By applying these tools to the Southern Alps of New Zealand, preliminary reconstructions of the LGM will be discussed.

  8. Full Stokes glacier model on GPU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licul, Aleksandar; Herman, Frédéric; Podladchikov, Yuri; Räss, Ludovic; Omlin, Samuel

    2015-04-01

    Two different approaches are commonly used in glacier ice flow modeling: models based on asymptotic approximations of ice physics and full stokes models. Lower order models are computationally lighter but reach their limits in regions of complex flow, while full Stokes models are more exact but computationally expansive. To overcome this constrain, we investigate the potential of GPU acceleration in glacier modeling. The goal of this preliminary research is to develop a three-dimensional full Stokes numerical model and apply it to the glacier flow. We numerically solve the nonlinear Stokes momentum balance equations together with the incompressibility equation. Strong nonlinearities for the ice rheology are also taken into account. We have developed a fully three-dimensional numerical MATLAB application based on an iterative finite difference scheme. We have ported it to C-CUDA to run it on GPUs. Our model is benchmarked against other full Stokes solutions for all diagnostic ISMIP-HOM experiments (Pattyn et al.,2008). The preliminary results show good agreement with the other models. The major advantages of our programming approach are simplicity and order 10-100 times speed-up in comparison to serial CPU version of the code. Future work will include some real world applications and we will implement the free surface evolution capabilities. References: [1] F. Pattyn, L. Perichon, A. Aschwanden, B. Breuer, D.B. Smedt, O. Gagliardini, G.H. Gudmundsson, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, A. Hubbard, J.V. Johnson, T. Kleiner, Y. Konovalov, C. Martin, A.J. Payne, D. Pollard, S. Price, M. Ruckamp, F. Saito, S. Sugiyama, S., and T. Zwinger, Benchmark experiments for higher-order and full-Stokes ice sheet models (ISMIP-HOM), The Cryosphere, 2 (2008), 95-108.

  9. Reconstructing Holocene glacier activity at Langfjordjøkelen, Arctic Norway, using multi-proxy fingerprinting of distal glacier-fed lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittmeier, Hella E.; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Trachsel, Mathias

    2015-04-01

    Late Glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations are important indicators of climate variability in the northern polar region and contain knowledge vital to understanding and predicting present and future climate changes. However, there still is a lack of robustly dated terrestrial climate records from Arctic Norway. Here, we present a high-resolution relative glacier activity record covering the past ?10,000 cal. a BP from the northern outlet of the Langfjordjøkelen ice cap in Arctic Norway. This record is reconstructed from detailed geomorphic mapping, multi-proxy sedimentary fingerprinting and analyses of distal glacier-fed lake sediments. We used Principal Component Analysis to characterize sediments of glacial origin and trace them in a chain of downstream lakes. Of the variability in the sediment record of the uppermost Lake Jøkelvatnet, 73% can be explained by the first Principal Component axis and tied directly to upstream glacier erosion, whereas the glacial signal becomes weaker in the more distal Lakes Store Rundvatnet and Storvatnet. Magnetic susceptibility and titanium count rates were found to be the most suitable indicators of Holocene glacier activity in the distal glacier-fed lakes. The complete deglaciation of the valley of Sør-Tverrfjorddalen occurred ?10,000 cal. a BP, followed by a reduced or absent glacier during the Holocene Thermal Optimum. The Langfjordjøkelen ice cap reformed with the onset of the Neoglacial ?4100 cal. a BP, and the gradually increasing glacier activity culminated at the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 20th century. Over the past 2000 cal. a BP, the record reflects frequent high-amplitude glacier fluctuations. Periods of reduced glacier activity were centered around 1880, 1600, 1250 and 950 cal. a BP, while intervals of increased glacier activity occurred around 1680, 1090, 440 and 25 cal. a BP. The large-scale Holocene glacier activity of the Langfjordjøkelen ice cap is consistent with regional temperature proxy reconstructions and glacier variability across Norway. Long-term changes in the extent of the northern outlet of the Langfjordjøkelen ice cap largely followed trends in regional summer temperatures, whereas winter season atmospheric variability may have triggered decadal-scale glacial fluctuations and generally affected the amplitude of glacier events.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E.; Jacobs, S.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Hillslope glacier coupling: The interplay of topography and glacial dynamics in High Asia

    E-print Network

    Bookhagen, Bodo

    Hillslope glacier coupling: The interplay of topography and glacial dynamics in High Asia Dirk. Here we provide a regional synthesis of the topography and flow characteristics of 287 glaciers across High Asia using digital elevation analysis and remotely sensed glacier surface velocities. Glaciers

  12. A Spatio-Temporal GIS Database for Monitoring Alpine Glacier Change

    E-print Network

    Mennis, Jeremy

    A Spatio-Temporal GIS Database for Monitoring Alpine Glacier Change Jeremy L. Mennis Department Monitoring alpine glacier change has many practical and scientific benefits, including yielding information on glacier-fed water supplies, glacier-associated natural hazards, and climate variability. This paper

  13. Metadata of the chapter that will be visualized online Chapter Title Andean Glaciers

    E-print Network

    Vuille, Mathias

    Metadata of the chapter that will be visualized online Chapter Title Andean Glaciers Copyright Year Number: 0 Date:9/8/10 Time:21:17:05 1 A 2 ANDEAN GLACIERS 3 Mathias Vuille 4 Department of Atmospheric Andean glaciers: All glaciers located in the Andes of 9 South America. 10 Introduction 11 In all Andean

  14. A WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORK SYSTEM DEPLOYMENT FOR DETECTING STICK SLIP MOTION IN GLACIERS

    E-print Network

    Southampton, University of

    A WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORK SYSTEM DEPLOYMENT FOR DETECTING STICK SLIP MOTION IN GLACIERS K. Martinez, jhart@soton.ac.uk Keywords: Glaciers, Environmental sensor networks Abstract The behaviour of glaciers The current understanding of how glaciers and ice sheets respond to climate change is extremely limited

  15. Landsat-based inventory of glaciers in western Canada, 19852005 Tobias Bolch , Brian Menounos, Roger Wheate

    E-print Network

    Landsat-based inventory of glaciers in western Canada, 1985­2005 Tobias Bolch , Brian Menounos 22 August 2009 Keywords: Glacier inventory Glacier recession Landsat TM Western Canada Scaling method Band ratio Image classification We report on a glacier inventory for the Canadian Cordillera south

  16. Recent glacier changes in the Alps observed by satellite: Consequences for future monitoring strategies

    E-print Network

    Kääb, Andreas

    Recent glacier changes in the Alps observed by satellite: Consequences for future monitoring satellite-derived Swiss glacier inventory revealed that mean glacier area loss per decade from 1985 to 1998 display much evidence that down- wasting (i.e. stationary thinning) has become a major source of glacier

  17. Remote sensing estimates of glacier mass balances in the Himachal Pradesh (Western Himalaya, India)

    E-print Network

    Berthier, Etienne

    is a key issue as the melting of all glaciers in central Asia may significantly contribute to ongoing seaRemote sensing estimates of glacier mass balances in the Himachal Pradesh (Western Himalaya, India of mountain glaciers (33,000 km2 out of 546,000 km2 ), Himalayan glaciers and their mass balance are poorly

  18. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers Baiqing Xua,b

    E-print Network

    the main dry season water source (4). Tibetan glaciers have been melting at an accelerating, alarm- ingBlack soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers Baiqing Xua,b , Junji Caob , James Hansenc,1 on Tibetan glaciers have been a significant contributing factor to observed rapid glacier retreat. Reduced

  19. Data and knowledge gaps in glacier, snow and related runoff research A climate change adaptation perspective

    E-print Network

    Butler, David R. - Department of Geography, Texas State University

    m m a r y Glacier and snow cover changes with related impacts on melt runoff can seriously affect glacier melt during the dry period for irrigation, power production and fresh water supply, and are thus by melting glaciers (Collins et al., 2013). Mountain glaciers and snow are particularly sensitive to cli

  20. Climate downscaling for estimating glacier mass balances in northwestern North America: Validation with a USGS

    E-print Network

    Bhatt, Uma

    Climate downscaling for estimating glacier mass balances in northwestern North America: Validation] An atmosphere/glacier modeling system is described for estimating the mass balances of glaciers in both current to force a precipitation- temperature-area-altitude (PTAA) glacier mass balance model with daily maximum

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sigurdsson, Oddur; Williams, Richard S., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Climatic changes and resulting glacier fluctuations alter landscapes. In the past, such changes were noted by local residents who often documented them in historic annals; eventually, glacier variations were recorded on maps and scientific reports. In Iceland, 10 glacier place-names are to be found in Icelandic sagas, and one of Iceland's ice caps, Snaefellsjokull, appeared on maps of Iceland published in the 16th century. In the late 17th century, the first description of eight of Iceland's glaciers was written. Therefore, Iceland distinguishes itself in having a more than 300-year history of observations by Icelanders on its glaciers. A long-term collaboration between Oddur Sigurdsson and Richard S. Williams, Jr., led to the authorship of three books on the glaciers of Iceland. Much effort has been devoted to documenting historical glacier research and related nomenclature and to physical descriptions of Icelandic glaciers by Icelanders and other scientists from as far back as the Saga Age to recent (2008) times. The first book, Icelandic Ice Mountains, was published by the Icelandic Literary Society in 2004 in cooperation with the Icelandic Glaciological Society and the International Glaciological Society. Icelandic Ice Mountains was a glacier treatise written by Sveinn Palsson in 1795 and is the first English translation of this important scientific document. Icelandic Ice Mountains includes a Preface, including a summary of the history and facsimiles of page(s) from the original manuscript, a handwritten copy, and an 1815 manuscript (without maps and drawings) by Sveinn Palsson on the same subject which he wrote for Rev. Ebenezer Henderson; an Editor's Introduction; 82 figures, including facsimiles of Sveinn Palsson's original maps and perspective drawings, maps, and photographs to illustrate the text; a comprehensive Index of Geographic Place-Names and Other Names in the treatise; References, and 415 Endnotes. Professional Paper 1746 (this book) is the second of the three books; it is being published in both English and Icelandic editions. This book provides information about all named glaciers in Iceland, historic and modern. Descriptions, with geographic coordinates, and bibliographic citations to all glacier place-names on published maps, books, and scientific articles are included. Maps, oblique aerial photographs, ground photographs, and satellite images document each of the 269 modern named glaciers of Iceland. The third book, Glaciers of Iceland, is Chapter D of the 11-chapter [volume] U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386-A-K. Chapter D includes a 1:500,000-scale Map of the Glaciers of Iceland; it is a comprehensive historical and modern review and assessment of what is currently known about glaciers in Iceland's eight Regional Glacier Groups from a review of the scientific literature and from analysis of maps and remotely sensed data (ground, airborne, and satellite); topics include geology and geography, climate and climate variability, types of glaciers, history of glacier variation (including the 21 surge-type glaciers), and frequency and magnitude of volcanic and lacustrine jokulhlaups.

  2. Imbalance and accelerated loss of glaciers in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Wilson, Ryan; Malmros, Jeppe K.; Yde, Jacob C.; Zemp, Michael

    2014-05-01

    The majority of