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Sample records for island glacier faster

  1. 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

  2. Pine Island Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

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

  3. External forcing modulates Pine Island Glacier flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Glacier surface velocity fields in South Shetland Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmanoglu, B.; Giseke, H.; Navarro, F. J.; Rueckamp, M.; Falk, U.; Corcuera, M. I.; Braun, M.

    2011-12-01

    In this study surface velocity of glaciers in South Shetland Islands (Antarctic Peninsula) are calculated based on synthetic aperture radar data from ALOS PALSAR and TerraSAR-X as well as differential GPS measurements. The obtained glacier velocities will be used to calculate the total glacier mass budget and to better understand the contribution of the study areas to the sea level rise. Only recent studies have examined the region for mass balance and sea level rise estimates. However, larger scale mass budget computations are not yet available. Ice dynamics obtained from satellite data have only been derived in a few occasions, often due to lacking spatial resolution or temporal decorrelation. Hence, any spacebased information on ice dynamics can significantly improve estimates of calving fluxes and mass loss. In this study we analysed over 30 PALSAR and 30 TSX scenes acquired over the King George Island and Livingston Island, the two largest islands in the South Shetland Island group. In the study areas the glacier velocities are calculated using two independent data sets; namely satellite radar imagery and GPS. Feature-tracking methods are applied to the radar imagery to obtain glacier velocities using Gamma Interferometric SAR Processor and TU-Delft DORIS. Results from Gamma and Doris software packages are compared to each other as well as GPS measurements where available. For a subset of the study area tracking results from different acquisitions modes (stripmap and spotlight) and orbits are compared. Comparison of glacier velocities obtained by radar and GPS provide an estimate for the uncertainties in the measured rates. The results obtained from all data sets are then compiled to construct a map of glacier velocities for the entire island group.

  5. Inland thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, A; Wingham, D J; Mansley, J A; Corr, H F

    2001-02-01

    The Pine Island Glacier (PIG) transports 69 cubic kilometers of ice each year from approximately 10% of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). It is possible that a retreat of the PIG may accelerate ice discharge from the WAIS interior. Satellite altimetry and interferometry show that the grounded PIG thinned by up to 1.6 meters per year between 1992 and 1999, affecting 150 kilometers of the inland glacier. The thinning cannot be explained by short-term variability in accumulation and must result from glacier dynamics. PMID:11157163

  6. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica, MISR Multi-angle Composite

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-12-17

    ... and the edge of Pine Island Glacier. It is believed the physical separation took place on or about July 10, 2013, however the iceberg ... Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed ...

  7. Stronger ocean circulation and increased melting under Pine Island Glacier ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Stanley S.; Jenkins, Adrian; Giulivi, Claudia F.; Dutrieux, Pierre

    2011-08-01

    In 1994, ocean measurements near Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier showed that the ice shelf buttressing the glacier was melting rapidly. This melting was attributed to the presence of relatively warm, deep water on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf. Heat, salt and ice budgets along with ocean modelling provided steady-state calving and melting rates. Subsequent satellite observations and modelling have indicated large system imbalances, including ice-shelf thinning and more intense melting, glacier acceleration and drainage basin drawdown. Here we combine our earlier data with measurements taken in 2009 to show that the temperature and volume of deep water in Pine Island Bay have increased. Ocean transport and tracer calculations near the ice shelf reveal a rise in meltwater production by about 50% since 1994. The faster melting seems to result mainly from stronger sub-ice-shelf circulation, as thinning ice has increased the gap above an underlying submarine bank on which the glacier was formerly grounded. We conclude that the basal melting has exceeded the increase in ice inflow, leading to the formation and enlargement of an inner cavity under the ice shelf within which sea water nearly 4°C above freezing can now more readily access the grounding zone.

  8. Rapid thinning of Pine Island Glacier in the early Holocene.

    PubMed

    Johnson, J S; Bentley, M J; Smith, J A; Finkel, R C; Rood, D H; Gohl, K; Balco, G; Larter, R D; Schaefer, J M

    2014-02-28

    Pine Island Glacier, a major outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, has been undergoing rapid thinning and retreat for the past two decades. We demonstrate, using glacial-geological and geochronological data, that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) also experienced rapid thinning during the early Holocene, around 8000 years ago. Cosmogenic (10)Be concentrations in glacially transported rocks show that this thinning was sustained for decades to centuries at an average rate of more than 100 centimeters per year, which is comparable with contemporary thinning rates. The most likely mechanism was a reduction in ice shelf buttressing. Our findings reveal that PIG has experienced rapid thinning at least once in the past and that, once set in motion, rapid ice sheet changes in this region can persist for centuries. PMID:24557837

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, L.; Osinski, G.

    2009-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Satoshi; Dutrieux, Pierre; Jenkins, Adrian; Forryan, Alexander; Naveira Garabato, Alberto; Firing, Yvonne

    2016-04-01

    Ice shelves around Antarctica are vulnerable to increase in ocean-driven melting, with the melt rate depending on ocean temperature and strength of sub-ice-shelf-cavity circulations. We present repeated measurements of velocity, temperature, salinity, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate and thermal variance dissipation rate beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, collected by CTD, ADCP and turbulence sensors mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The turbulence quantities measured by the AUV outside the ice shelf are in good agreement with ship-based measurements. The highest rate of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation is found near the grounding line, while its temporal fluctuation over seabed ridge within the cavity corresponds to the tidal fluctuation predicted in the Pine Island Bay to the west. The highest thermal variance dissipation rate is found when the AUV was 0.5 m away from the ice, and the thermal variance dissipation generally increases with decreasing distance between the AUV and ice.

  12. Earth system consequences of a Pine Island Glacier collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Mattias; Schmittner, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    An intermediate complexity climate model is used to simulate the impact of an accelerated Pine Island Glacier mass loss on the large-scale ocean circulation and climate. Simulations are performed for pre-industrial conditions using hosing levels consistent with present day observation of 3,000 m3 s‑1, at an accelerated rate of 6,000 m3 s‑1, and at a total collapse rate of 100,000 m3 s‑1, and in all experiments the hosing lasted 100 years. It is shown that even a modest input of meltwater from the glacier can introduce an initial cooling over the upper part of the Southern Ocean due to increased stratification and ice cover leading to a reduced upward heat flux from Circumpolar Deep Water. This causes global ocean heat content to increase and global surface air temperatures to decrease. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) increases, presumably due to changes in the density difference between Antarctic Intermediate Water and North Atlantic Deep Water. Simulations with a simultaneous hosing and increases of atmospheric CO2 concentrations show smaller effects of the hosing on global surface air temperature and ocean heat content, which we attribute to the melting of Southern Ocean sea ice. The sensitivity of the AMOC to the hosing is also reduced as the warming by the atmosphere completely dominates the perturbations. Further consequences for oceanic biogeochemical cycles in realistic future warming scenarios are discussed.

  13. Operation IceBridge: Fly Through of Pine Island Glacier Crack

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation provides a fly through of the major rift in the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica. This crack, which extends at least 18 miles and is 50 meters deep, could produce an iceberg...

  14. Dynamics and GPR stratigraphy of a polar rock glacier on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukui, Kotaro; Sone, Toshio; Strelin, Jorge A.; Torielli, Cesar A.; Mori, Junko; Fujii, Yoshiyuki

    We describe field measurements (ground-penetrating radar (GPR), geodetic survey and ice-core drilling) to provide new information on the movement mechanism and internal structure of a polar rock glacier on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. We collected GPR data along longitudinal and transverse profiles. The longitudinal GPR profiles identify inter-bedded debris-rich layers that dip up-glacier, similar to the thrust structures in the compression zone of a valley glacier. The transverse GPR profiles indicate a syncline structure inclined towards the central part of the rock glacier, resembling the transverse foliation of a valley glacier. The stratigraphy of two boreholes shows that the rock glacier consists primarily of bubbly ice with thin debris-rich layers, an internal structure similar to the `nested spoons' structure common in the interior of valley glaciers. These results indicate that the glacier motion is controlled by shear movement, common in valley glaciers. The geodetic survey confirms that flow velocities decrease towards the lower part of the rock glacier. Such heterogeneous movement causes longitudinal compression and forms thrusts which then create the debris-rich layer by uplifting basal ice and debris. Pushing of the upstream ice against the downstream ice bends the surface layers, forming transverse ridges on the rock glacier surface.

  15. 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.

  16. Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

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

  17. Basal debris entrainment and transport in glaciers of southwestern Bylot Island, Canadian Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zdanowicz, C.M.; Michel, F.A.; Shilts, W.W.

    1996-01-01

    Glaciers on southwestern Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic flow from an alpine setting in high-grade crystalline Archean terrane, on to coastal lowlands underlain by clastic sedimentary strata of Cretaceous to Tertiary age. We have used the contrasting mineralogy of the substrate as a tool to study subglacial entrainment and transport of debris in two large piedmont glaciers on Bylot Island. High chlorite/ and mica-illite/smectite ratios indicate that most basal debris is derived from crystalline rocks underlying the upper reaches of the glaciers. The subglacial accretion of Cretaceous-Tertiary sediments appears restricted to the lowermost part of the basal zone and is most noticeable near the glaciers' termini. Ice associated with discrete silty-sandy debris layers is characterized by an isotopic signature indicative of refreezing of meltwater at the glacier sole. The compositional, textural and isotopic characteristics of basal sediment and ice lead us to conclude that subglacial entrainment through basal ice accretion occurs in both the upper and marginal parts of the glaciers.

  18. Holocene glacier activity on Kerguelen Island: preliminary results from a novel proglacial lake sediment record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Støren, Eivind; Bakke, Jostein; Arnaud, Fabien; Poulenard, Jérôme; Fanget, Bernard; Malet, Emmanuel; Sabatier, Pierre

    2016-04-01

    The Polar-regions are changing rapidly as greenhouse warming is continuing with huge impact on e.g. sea ice extent and snow cover. This change triggers teleconnections to low latitude areas challenging societies and human activity. We have, however, very little quantitative information of past climate in the Polar-regions that can be used to evaluate the potential responses and the response patterns to forcing changes and changes in boundary conditions. Whatever anthropogenic changes may occur in the future, they will be superimposed on, and interact with, natural climate variations due to all the forcing we are aware of. This means we need to better document past climate/environmental variability of the Polar-regions. Especially in the Southern Ocean there are few time series recording past climate due to few suitable land areas and the few Sub-Antarctic Islands is remote and has cumbersome logistics. Continuous terrestrial records from this region are therefore urgently needed for constraining future scenarios from earth system models. Glaciers and ice caps are still ubiquitous in the Polar-regions, although they are rapidly shrinking due to the on-going warming. The continuous sedimentary records produced by glaciers, which are stored in downstream lakes, represent supreme archives of past variability wherefrom quantitative information of key climate system components can be extracted. Kerguelen Island is located within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the Southern Westerly wind belt and contains several glaciers and smaller ice caps. Terrestrial archives recording past history of the glaciers at Kerguelen thus have a unique potential to record past changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns from southern mid-latitudes. Here we present preliminary results from the first distal glacier-fed lake that is sampled from Kerguelen Island. A 2.8 m long sediment core was obtained from Lac Guynemer (121masl.) located at the Peninsule Loranchet at the

  19. Channelized ice melting in the ocean boundary layer beneath Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Stanton, T P; Shaw, W J; Truffer, M; Corr, H F J; Peters, L E; Riverman, K L; Bindschadler, R; Holland, D M; Anandakrishnan, S

    2013-09-13

    Ice shelves play a key role in the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheets by buttressing their seaward-flowing outlet glaciers; however, they are exposed to the underlying ocean and may weaken if ocean thermal forcing increases. An expedition to the ice shelf of the remote Pine Island Glacier, a major outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that has rapidly thinned and accelerated in recent decades, has been completed. Observations from geophysical surveys and long-term oceanographic instruments deployed down bore holes into the ocean cavity reveal a buoyancy-driven boundary layer within a basal channel that melts the channel apex by 0.06 meter per day, with near-zero melt rates along the flanks of the channel. A complex pattern of such channels is visible throughout the Pine Island Glacier shelf. PMID:24031016

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  1. Glacier velocities and dynamic ice discharge from the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Wychen, Wesley; Burgess, David O.; Gray, Laurence; Copland, Luke; Sharp, Martin; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Benham, Toby J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies indicate an increase in glacier mass loss from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as a result of warmer summer air temperatures. However, no complete assessment of dynamic ice discharge from this region exists. We present the first complete surface velocity mapping of all ice masses in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and show that these ice masses discharged ~2.6 ± 0.8 Gt a-1 of ice to the oceans in winter 2012. Approximately 50% of the dynamic discharge was channeled through non surge-type Trinity and Wykeham Glaciers alone. Dynamic discharge of the surge-type Mittie Glacier varied from 0.90 ± 0.09 Gt a-1 during its 2003 surge to 0.02 ± 0.02 Gt a-1 during quiescence in 2012, highlighting the importance of surge-type glaciers for interannual variability in regional mass loss. Queen Elizabeth Islands glaciers currently account for ~7.5% of reported dynamic discharge from Arctic ice masses outside Greenland.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Monitoring of land-based glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laska, Kamil; Nyvlt, Daniel; Engel, Zbynek; Stachon, Zdenek

    2015-04-01

    Antarctic Peninsula has been considered one of the most rapidly warming parts of our planet during the second half of the 20th century. Therefore, James Ross Island located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, represents a unique place to study the sensitivity of glacier systems to regional atmospheric warming. Since 2006, an integrated multidisciplinary study of glaciers and terrestrial ecosystems has been carried out in the northern part of Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island. In this contribution, glacier monitoring network consisting of four dominant land-based glaciers at the Ulu Peninsula is presented. Davies Dome (DD) is an ice dome, which originates on the surface of a flat volcanic mesa at >400 m a.s.l. and terminates as a single 700 m wide outlet in Whisky Bay. In 2006, Davies Dome had an area of 6.5 km2 and lay in the altitude range 0-514 m a.s.l. Whisky Glacier (WG) is a cold-based land-terminating valley glacier, which is surrounded by an extensive area of debris-covered ice. WG covered an area of 2.4 km2 and ranged from 215 to 520 m a.s.l. Triangular Glacier (TG) is a southwest-facing land-terminating glacier with an area of 0.6 km2 ranging from 302 to 107 m a.s.l. with well-developed ice-cored terminal moraine. San Jose Glacier (SJG) is a south-facing land-terminating piedmont glacier rejuvenated from the above lying Lachman Crags Dome (~640 m a.s.l.). SJG covers an area of 0.6 km2 and extends between 138 and 310 m a.s.l. Moreover, monitoring network consists of five automatic weather stations (AWS) placed in the central and marginal parts of the selected glaciers. Each AWS was equipped with the EMS33 air temperature and humidity probes placed inside the radiation shields. Apart from that, additional instruments, e.g. albedometer, propeller anemometer, snow depth sensors were installed on the central part of DD and WG. Since 2009, annual mass balance measurements have been realized on the DD, WG and TG glaciers. In 2010, ice thickness and

  5. Detailed basal topography of the floating portion of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutrieux, Pierre; Jenkins, Adrian; Stewart, Craig; Corr, Hugh

    2013-04-01

    In January 2009 the underside of Pine Island glacier's floating ice shelf, in West Antarctica, was imaged along three 30 km tracks using an upward-looking multi-beam echo-sounder mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle. At 4-m resolution with a 300-m wide swath, these observations reveal with unprecedented detail the presence of channels oriented along and across the direction of ice flow. Many of these channels are characterized by basal crevasses above their apex and successive 200-500 m wide, 10-20m high terraces on their flanks. A near coincident, high resolution airborne radar survey confirm the widespread nature of these features. The oceanographic and glaciological conditions of Pine Island glacier are discussed to shed light on the processes leading to their formation and maintenance. For comparison, observations of terraces in a different setting, but in a similar oceanographic context in Greenland are also presented.

  6. Permafrost distribution in marine terraces and glacier margins in the Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, António; Oliva, Marc; Ruiz-Fernández, Jesús

    2015-04-01

    Geophysical surveying has been proven to be an effective method to unveil the distribution of permafrost conditions in polar environments. In the South Shetland Islands permafrost is considered to be marginal to discontinuous until elevations of 20-40 m asl changing to continuous at higher altitudes. However, there is no specific data about the distribution of permafrost in the recently deglaciated areas in the Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, Antarctica), the largest ice-free area in the South Shetland Islands. With the purpose of better understanding the existence or inexistence of permanent frozen conditions in this area, we have conducted a field season focusing on the geophysical surveying along two transects: from the coast to the highest marine terraces and from the glacier to the central plateau. The snowy conditions during the cold season in 2014 in the Byers Peninsula have conditioned a late melting of snow, which must be taken into account when interpreting the data related to frozen conditions inferred from the geophysical surveying. The results provide insights about the time required for permafrost to form in the lowest areas of the peninsula, as well as the possible existence of permafrost near the glacier front which may be indicative of the thermal properties of the base of the glacier (cold-warm). This research was financially supported by the HOLOANTAR project (Portuguese Science Foundation) and the AXA Research Fund.

  7. 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.

  8. The Last Glacial Maximum in the central North Island, New Zealand: palaeoclimate inferences from glacier modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaves, Shaun R.; Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Anderson, Brian M.; Doughty, Alice M.; Townsend, Dougal B.; Conway, Chris E.; Winckler, Gisela; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Leonard, Graham S.; Calvert, Andrew T.

    2016-04-01

    Quantitative palaeoclimate reconstructions provide data for evaluating the mechanisms of past, natural climate variability. Geometries of former mountain glaciers, constrained by moraine mapping, afford the opportunity to reconstruct palaeoclimate, due to the close relationship between ice extent and local climate. In this study, we present results from a series of experiments using a 2-D coupled energy balance-ice flow model that investigate the palaeoclimate significance of Last Glacial Maximum moraines within nine catchments in the central North Island, New Zealand. We find that the former ice limits can be simulated when present-day temperatures are reduced by between 4 and 7 °C, if precipitation remains unchanged from present. The spread in the results between the nine catchments is likely to represent the combination of chronological and model uncertainties. The majority of catchments targeted require temperature decreases of 5.1 to 6.3 °C to simulate the former glaciers, which represents our best estimate of the temperature anomaly in the central North Island, New Zealand, during the Last Glacial Maximum. A decrease in precipitation of up to 25 % from present, as suggested by proxy evidence and climate models, increases the magnitude of the required temperature changes by up to 0.8 °C. Glacier model experiments using reconstructed topographies that exclude the volume of post-glacial ( < 15 ka) volcanism generally increased the magnitude of cooling required to simulate the former ice limits by up to 0.5 °C. Our palaeotemperature estimates expand the spatial coverage of proxy-based quantitative palaeoclimate reconstructions in New Zealand. Our results are also consistent with independent, proximal temperature reconstructions from fossil groundwater and pollen assemblages, as well as similar glacier modelling reconstructions from the central Southern Alps, which suggest air temperatures were ca. 6 °C lower than present across New Zealand during the Last

  9. Rifting, heat flux, and water availability beneath the catchment of Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, T. A.; Ferraccioli, F.; Hindmarsh, R. C.

    2012-04-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is a major rift system that developed in the Cretaceous and Cenozoic. It forms the lithsopheric cradle for the marine-based, and potentially unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). Determining the geological boundary conditions beneath the WAIS and in particular geothermal heat flux may help model its response to external climatic forcing. However, in the Amundsen Sea Embayment sector of WAIS, where major glaciers such as Pine Island and Thwaites are rapidly changing today, fundamental properties such as geothermal heat flux to the base of the ice sheet have remained poorly constrained due to sparse geophysical data coverage and the lack of drilling sites. New crustal thickness estimates derived from airborne gravity data (Jordan et al., 2010, GSA Bul.), are interpreted to show a continuation of the WARS beneath Pine Island Glacier, and suggest two phases of continental rifting affected this region. Here we explore the impact of continental rifting on geothermal heat flux variations and basal water availability beneath Pine Island Glacier. Using 1D thermal models of rift evolution, we assess geothermal heat flux configurations resulting from either single or two-phase rifting and explore the dependency on the age of rifting and pre-rift setting. Additionally, 1D glaciological models were implemented to predict the changes in subglacial water distribution created by different rifting models. Our modelling reveals that geothermal heat-flux beneath the WAIS is critically sensitive to rift age and evolution and has the potential to significantly alter basal conditions if it continued to be active in the Neogene as some recent geological interpretations suggest.

  10. Deception island, Antarctica: a terrestrial analogue for the study and understanding of the martian permafrost and subsurface glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez de Pablo, M. A.; Ramos, M.; Vieira, G.; Gilichinsky, D.; Gómez, F.; Molina, A.; Segovia, R.

    2009-04-01

    The existence of permafrost on Mars was widely studied since Viking era and its presence is fundamental in the understanding of the water-cycle, the geological history of Mars, and the evolution of the martian hydrosphere. Viking, MOC, THEMIS, HRSC and HiRISE images allowed increase our knowledge about the role of ice on the martian landscapes. Polygonal terrains, glacial-like features, "basketball terrain" or pingos are some of the landforms that reveal the existence of frozen ice near the surface and in the ground forming the martian permafrost on present, recent or ancient times. The field observations and analyses done by Phoenix mission seem to confirm the existence of the martian permafrost hypothesized by the analyses of the images acquired by the previous missions to Mars. Moreover, the recent interpretations of the (RADAR) sensor on board of MRO mission also revealed that the surface of Mars seems to cover an important volume of ice forming glaciers covered by different materials. Here we propose the study of the glaciers and permafrost of Deception Island (Antarctica) such as a terrestrial analogue of the glaciers and permafrost of Mars. This active volcanic island is an exceptional site to study the permafrost since the climatic conditions maintain the surface covered by the ice and snow during the main part of the year. This characteristic allows the existence of an important permafrost layer also during the summer, and permanent glaciers in the higher part of the island. In addition, Deception Island is an active volcano. Some of the glaciers are covered by the ash and tephra what made difficult to distinguish between the covered glacier and the permafrost. The eruptive volcanic materials could have similar characteristics than some martian regolith by lithology, granulometry and texture. In this way, the study of the permafrost and glaciers in Deception Island could help to understand the martian permafrost and glaciers at present. On the other hand

  11. Spatial and temporal evolution of Pine Island Glacier thinning, 1995-2006

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-09-01

    We use ERS-2 and ENVISAT satellite radar altimetry to examine spatial and temporal changes in the rate of thinning of the Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, during the period 1995 to 2006. We show that the pattern of thinning has both accelerated and spread inland to encompass tributaries flowing into the central trunk of the glacier. Within the 5,400 km2 central trunk, the average rate of volume loss quadrupled from 2.6 ± 0.3 km3 yr-1 in 1995 to 10.1 ± 0.3 km3 yr-1 in 2006. The region of lightly grounded ice at the glacier terminus is extending upstream, and the changes inland are consistent with the effects of a prolonged disturbance to the ice flow, such as the effects of ocean-driven melting. If the acceleration continues at its present rate, the main trunk of PIG will be afloat within some 100 years, six times sooner than anticipated.

  12. A new glacier inventory on southern Baffin Island, Canada, from ASTER data: I. Methods, challenges and solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svoboda, F.; Paul, F.

    2009-04-01

    According to recent climate scenarios, the Arctic regions will experience a particular strong increase in temperature in the coming decades. Thus, the strongly glacierized Canadian Arctic could then greatly contribute to global sea level rise. For a quantitative assessment of overall changes a glacier inventory based on vector outlines is required. This is lacking in many remote areas, or, in the case of Baffin Island, it has been made but the data have not been forwarded to the world data centres. Within the framework of the GLIMS initiative and the GlobGlacier project we used multispectral satellite data in combination with DEM information to map and inventory glaciers and icecaps for the southern part of Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island (Canada), with automated techniques. In this study two ASTER scenes from August 2000 are used for DEM generation and mapping of recent glacier outlines and LIA trimlines to generate detailed glacier inventory data. Additionally a change assessment with the freely available Landsat MSS (1975) and TM (1990) scenes from the GLCF has been made. The study is separated in two parts: In the first part the applied methods and the encountered challenges are described and discussed. The results of the new inventory, the change assessment and application of the obtained data are presented in part II. A major aim of both contributions is also to discuss common standards for glacier mapping and inventory data creation. In part I the extraction of the DEM from ASTER, its accuracy, regions of error, fields of application and possible corrections are discussed. We further describe the mapping of glacier outlines from MSS, TM and ASTER which have varying resolution and spectral bands. The required manual correction of the generated glacier outlines (debris, water, snow and shadow) and the challenges that have to be considered in this region are presented as well. A major and at the same time critical part is the delineation of glacier basins

  13. Constraining the recent mass balance of Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica, with airborne observations of snow accumulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medley, B.; Joughin, I.; Smith, B. E.; Das, S. B.; Steig, E. J.; Conway, H.; Gogineni, S.; Lewis, C.; Criscitiello, A. S.; McConnell, J. R.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Bromwich, D. H.; Nicolas, J. P.; Leuschen, C.

    2014-07-01

    In Antarctica, uncertainties in mass input and output translate directly into uncertainty in glacier mass balance and thus in sea level impact. While remotely sensed observations of ice velocity and thickness over the major outlet glaciers have improved our understanding of ice loss to the ocean, snow accumulation over the vast Antarctic interior remains largely unmeasured. Here, we show that an airborne radar system, combined with ice-core glaciochemical analysis, provide the means necessary to measure the accumulation rate at the catchment-scale along the Amundsen Sea coast of West Antarctica. We used along-track radar-derived accumulation to generate a 1985-2009 average accumulation grid that resolves moderate- to large-scale features (>25 km) over the Pine Island-Thwaites glacier drainage system. Comparisons with estimates from atmospheric models and gridded climatologies generally show our results as having less accumulation in the lower-elevation coastal zone but greater accumulation in the interior. Ice discharge, measured over discrete time intervals between 1994 and 2012, combined with our catchment-wide accumulation rates provide an 18-year mass balance history for the sector. While Thwaites Glacier lost the most ice in the mid-1990s, Pine Island Glacier's losses increased substantially by 2006, overtaking Thwaites as the largest regional contributor to sea-level rise. The trend of increasing discharge for both glaciers, however, appears to have leveled off since 2008.

  14. Constraining the recent mass balance of Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica with airborne observations of snow accumulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medley, B.; Joughin, I.; Smith, B. E.; Das, S. B.; Steig, E. J.; Conway, H.; Gogineni, S.; Lewis, C.; Criscitiello, A. S.; McConnell, J. R.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Bromwich, D. H.; Nicolas, J. P.; Leuschen, C.

    2014-02-01

    In Antarctica, uncertainties in mass input and output translate directly into uncertainty in glacier mass balance and thus in sea level impact. While remotely sensed observations of ice velocity and thickness over the major outlet glaciers have improved our understanding of ice loss to the ocean, snow accumulation over the vast Antarctic interior remains largely unmeasured. Here, we show that an airborne radar system, combined with ice-core glaciochemical analysis, provide the means necessary to measure the accumulation rate at the catchment-scale along the Amundsen Sea Coast of West Antarctica. We used along-track radar-derived accumulation to generate a 1985-2009 average accumulation grid that resolves moderate- to large-scale features (> 25 km) over the Pine Island-Thwaites glacier drainage system. Comparisons with estimates from atmospheric models and gridded climatologies generally show our results as having less accumulation in lower-elevation coastal zone but greater accumulation in the interior. Ice discharge, measured over discrete time intervals between 1994 and 2012, combined with our catchment-wide accumulation rates provide an 18 yr mass balance history for the sector. While Thwaites Glacier lost the most ice in the mid-1990s, Pine Island Glacier's losses increased substantially by 2006, overtaking Thwaites as the largest regional contributor to sea-level rise. The trend of increasing discharge for both glaciers, however, appears to have leveled off since 2008.

  15. Modeling the response of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, to external forcings for the next 50 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seroussi, H. L.; Morlighem, M.; Larour, E. Y.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Khazendar, A.

    2012-12-01

    Pine Island Glacier experienced spectacular changes over the past decades. This glacier has been thinning and accelerating since the 1970's at least and its grounding line has been retreating inland at a rate of about 1 km/yr. Initiation of these changes is usually attributed to warmer ocean waters in the Amundsen Sea affecting the floating part of Pine Island. By buttressing grounded ice flow and controlling the discharge of inland ice to the ocean, the ice shelf of Pine Island plays a major role in the stability of the glacier. Interactions between the ice shelf and ice stream remain poorly understood, which limits the ability to predict the future evolution of major outlet glaciers and ice streams and their contribution to sea level rise. We use the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) and a three-dimensional higher-order model to simulate the evolution of the glacier for the next fifty years and assess the effect of changes in several climate forcings and model parameters, namely basal melting under the floating part, ice front position, atmospheric conditions and grounding line retreat. Simulation results show the dominant effect of basal melting and of grounding line retreat. Results also show that changes are not limited to the ice shelf and the grounding line area but propagate far inland, almost to the ice divide. We find that enhanced basal melting or grounding line retreat are each associated with a distinct pattern of ice thinning and acceleration. We compare the simulation results with remote sensing observations of velocity changes and grounding line evolution to elucidate which forcing is more likely to have caused the recent acceleration of Pine Island Glacier. In general, our simulations indicate that Pine Island Glacier has much potential to continue changing over the coming years. This work was performed at the University of California Irvine and the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National

  16. Sensitivity of 21st century sea level to ocean-induced thinning of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, Ian; Smith, Benjamin E.; Holland, David M.

    2010-10-01

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG), Antarctica, is rapidly losing mass, supporting arguments that it may play a major role in 21st century sea-level rise. Yet this glacier's quantitative contribution to sea level based on theoretical and computational models is poorly known. We have developed a basin-scale glaciological model to examine the sensitivity of PIG to a range of environmental forcings. While oceanic melt likely played the leading role in recent thinning and retreat, we find that the particular grounding-line geometry with an extended ice plain in the 1990s made it susceptible to such forcing. Our model further indicates that while the rate of grounding-line retreat should diminish soon, the glacier's mass loss may continue at rates similar to, or moderately elevated from, the present. While substantial, our model-derived maximum rate of 2.7 cm/century is considerably smaller than previous heuristically-derived bounds on the sea-level contribution.

  17. Hydrology, microbiology and carbon cycling at a high Arctic polythermal glacier, (John Evans Glacier, Ellesmere Island, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skidmore, Mark Leslie

    Analysis of the hydrology, hydrochemistry and microbiology at polythermal John Evans Glacier and geochemical and isotopic data from Haut Glacier d'Arolla demonstrates that certain subglacial chemical weathering processes are microbially mediated. Subglacial drainage is likely an annual occurrence beneath John Evans Glacier and solute rich subglacial waters indicate over winter storage at the glacier bed. Subglacial microbial populations are also present, and are viable under simulated near in situ conditions at 0.3°C. This suggests that temperate subglacial environments at a polythermal glacier, which are isolated by cold ice above and around them, provide a viable habitat for life where basal water and organic carbon are present throughout the year. Thus, a subglacial microbial ecosystem based upon legacy carbon, (from old soils or surface inputs) rather than primary production may exist, where redox processes are a key component, and seasonal anoxia may occur. The existence of anoxic environments is supported by the presence of strictly anaerobic bacteria (sulphate reducing bacteria and methanogens) in the basal sediments---which are viable in culture at 4°C---and also argues that these bacteria are not washed in with oxygenated surface meltwaters, but are present in the subglacial environment. During the summer meltseason there is a large input of surficial waters to the subglacial system and water residence times are drastically reduced. Hence, kinetic weathering processes dominate, resulting in light delta 13C-DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) in glacial runoff, as verified by experimental work on CaCO3 and John Evans Glacier sediments. The experiments demonstrate kinetic bedrock fractionation (KBF) during carbonate hydrolysis and that kinetic fractionation of CO2 (KFC) is proportional to the rate of CO2 draw down during the carbonation of carbonates. This results in significantly depleted delta13C-DIC values (≤-16 ‰) relative to the bedrock carbonate

  18. 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

  19. Mounting evidence for intense ocean interaction with the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, R.; Holland, D.; Vaughan, D.; Vornberger, P.

    2008-12-01

    The spatial signature of thinning and acceleration of the Pine Island Glacier has led to the inference that these changes originate at the seaward end of the glacier, possibly within or under the ice shelf (Payne et al., 2004; Shepherd et al., 2004). We present new analyses resulting from both new and archived satellite imagery of the ice shelf that supports this inference and provides new insights into strong seasonal and intra- annual characters of ocean-ice shelf interaction. Strong longitudinal variations in both thickness and surface elevation measured by British Antarctic Survey airborne radars (Vaughan et al., 2006) have wavelengths that correspond roughly to the annual motion of the ice shelf. These could be caused by seasonal variations in flow speed, but such variations of flow speed have never been reported and are not seen in the most recent continuous GPS observations of the ice shelf. We suggest that these strong variations in ice thickness, as large as 200 meters in an average thickness of 600 meters, are caused by seasonal variations in the properties of the water circulating underneath the ice shelf. One likely explanation is that the dominant water mass reaching the deepest parts of the ice shelf alternates between cold High Salinity Shelf Water in the winter and warm Circumpolar Deep Water in the summer. Evidence for recent strengthening of the sub- shelf circulation is the sudden occurrence of three persistent polynyas immediately adjacent to the ice front. These are located in precisely the locations expected from modeled sub-shelf circulation (Payne et al., 2007). This mode was never observed in any satellite imagery prior to the 1999-2000 austral summer (data of 7 summers since 1973 were available), but has occurred in 7 of the 9 summers since and persists throughout the summer. Payne, A.J., A. Vieli, A.P. Shepherd, D.J. Wingham and E. Rignot, 2004. Recent dramatic thinning of largest West Antarctic ice stream triggered by oceans, Geophysical

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Dropping aircraft-deployable GPS stations on Scar Inlet and Pine Island Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; Jones, David

    2013-04-01

    There remains areas of scientific interest that heavy crevassing makes difficult or impossible to reach by ground via overland treks or an aircraft landing. We have developed an alternative strategy for instrumenting these regions: a sensor probe that can be dropped from an aircraft, partially bury itself in the snow whilst keeping its antennas protruding high above the surface to ensure a long operating life. Our probe has a 2.5m, 10kg missile-shaped design and can be deployed through a standard sonar-buoy launch tube. In order to achieve a consistent impact depth in different snow densities the case is fitted with fold-out fins one metre from the nose cone. This ensures a large step-change in impact surface area when the device is embedded to the correct depth. A small disk-gap-band parachute improves the angle of impact while damping any probe oscillations. We are now able to achieve near-vertical impact angles and a consistent snow penetration depth of one metre. The sensor is cheap to make (approximately £1000) and has a minimal environmental impact. This year we have used a large network of these sensors to instrument previously inaccessible parts of Scar Inlet and Pine Island Glacier.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, Jan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Impact of local winter cooling on the melt of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Laurent, P.; Klinck, J. M.; Dinniman, M. S.

    2015-10-01

    The rapid thinning of the ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea is generally attributed to basal melt driven by warm water originating from the continental slope. We examine the hypothesis that processes taking place on the continental shelf contribute significantly to the interannual variability of the ocean heat content and ice shelf melt rates. A numerical model is used to simulate the circulation of ocean heat and the melt of the ice shelves over the period 2006-2013. The fine model grid (grid spacing 1.5 km) explicitly resolves the coastal polynyas and mesoscale processes. The ocean heat content of the eastern continental shelf exhibits recurrent decreases around September with a magnitude that varies from year to year. The heat loss is primarily caused by surface heat fluxes along the eastern shore in areas of low ice concentration (polynyas). The cold winter water intrudes underneath the ice shelves and reduces the basal melt rates. Ocean temperatures upstream (i.e., at the shelf break) are largely constant over the year and cannot account for the cold events. The cooling is particularly marked in 2012 and its effect on the ocean heat content remains visible over the following years. The study suggests that ocean-atmosphere interactions in coastal polynyas contribute to the interannual variability of the melt of Pine Island Glacier.

  4. 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.

  5. New surface-based observations of the environment beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, Robert; Truffer, Martin; Stanton, Tim; Peters, Leo; Shortt, Mike; Pomraning, Dale; Stockel, Jim; Shaw, Bill; Steinarson, Einar; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Wilson, Kiya; Holland, David; Bushuk, Mitch; Behar, Alberto; Cocaud, Cedric; Stam, Christina

    2013-04-01

    Extensive surface, sub-shelf cavity and seabed observations of the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) ice shelf environment were collected by a surface field team during the 2012-13 austral summer. Three sites aligned along a central, flow-aligned surface valley were occupied for about one week each during which two hot-water holes were drilled at each site. In one hole, a mast-mounted set of oceanographic sensors recorded water temperature, current and salinity in the few meters immediately below the ice-shelf bottom. In the other hole, a similarly instrumented profiler was deployed to make quasi-daily vertical transects of the sub-shelf cavity by rising and sinking along a cable suspended in the cavity. These instruments are already returning data that provide direct rates of heat and momentum transfer in the boundary layer, basal melt rates and the temporal variation of water movements on daily and longer time scales. Shallow cores of the sea bed and a photographic record of the drill holes, ocean cavity and sea bed were also collected at two of the drill sites. The geophysics program was spatially much broader and consisted of phase-sensitive radars to measure basal melt rates and active seismic instrumentation to explore the character of the sea bed. Continuous profiling between the drill sites established the previously discovered ("Autosub") sea bed ridge is asymmetric with a steeper downstream face. Spot measurements upstream of the drill sites were reached by helicopter and refined the shape of the ocean cavity where extensive melt rates were measured. The field work is concluding as this abstract is being submitted, so most results are not yet available, but will be included in the presentation as first results emerge.

  6. Subglacial melt channels and fracture in the floating part of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, David G.; Corr, Hugh F. J.; Bindschadler, Robert A.; Dutrieux, Pierre; Gudmundsson, G. Hilmar; Jenkins, Adrian; Newman, Thomas; Vornberger, Patricia; Wingham, Duncan J.

    2012-09-01

    A dense grid of ice-penetrating radar sections acquired over Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica has revealed a network of sinuous subglacial channels, typically 500 m to 3 km wide, and up to 200 m high, in the ice-shelf base. These subglacial channels develop while the ice is floating and result from melting at the base of the ice shelf. Above the apex of most channels, the radar shows isolated reflections from within the ice shelf. Comparison of the radar data with acoustic data obtained using an autonomous submersible, confirms that these echoes arise from open basal crevasses 50-100 m wide aligned with the subglacial channels and penetrating up to 1/3 of the ice thickness. Analogous sets of surface crevasses appear on the ridges between the basal channels. We suggest that both sets of crevasses were formed during the melting of the subglacial channels as a response to vertical flexing of the ice shelf toward the hydrostatic condition. Finite element modeling of stresses produced after the formation of idealized basal channels indicates that the stresses generated have the correct pattern and, if the channels were formed sufficiently rapidly, would have sufficient magnitude to explain the formation of the observed basal and surface crevasse sets. We conclude that ice-shelf basal melting plays a role in determining patterns of surface and basal crevassing. Increased delivery of warm ocean water into the sub-ice shelf cavity may therefore cause not only thinning but also structural weakening of the ice shelf, perhaps, as a prelude to eventual collapse.

  7. Autonomous ocean observations beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutrieux, P.; Jenkins, A.; Jacobs, S.; Heywood, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    Warm circumpolar deep water reaching 3.5ºC above the in situ freezing point pervasively fills a network of glacially carved troughs in the Amundsen sea, West Antarctica, and melts and thins neighbouring ice shelves, including Pine Island glacier Ice Shelf (PIIS). Hydrographic, current, and microstructure observations obtained in austral summer 2009 and 2014 by an autonomous underwater vehicle beneath the PIIS are used here to detail the complex ice-ocean interaction and resulting ocean circulation. The theoretical schematic of deeply incoming warm and saline water melting the grounding line and generating a buoyant plume upwelling along the ice draft is generally consistent with observations. The cavity beneath PIIS is clearly divided in two by a seabed ridge, constraining the oceanic circulation and water masses distribution. On the seaward side of the ridge, a thick warm deep water layer circulates cyclonically and is overlaid by a thin meltwater layer. Only intermediate depth waters are allowed to overflow from the ridge top into the inner cavity, where a much thinner warm water layer is now overlaid by a thicker meltwater layer. At the ice/ocean interface, melt induced freshening is forcing an upwelling which in turn injects cyclonic vorticity and participates in creating a vigorous cyclonic recirculation in the inner cavity. The top of the ridge, where warm waters overflow in the inner cavity, is a dynamical boundary characterized by northward along-ridge currents up to 0.2 m/s and enhanced shear, thermal gradient, and mixing. Observations at two points at the ice interface indicate that the ocean remains stratified within 2 meters of the ice.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Seabed corrugations beneath an Antarctic ice shelf revealed by autonomous underwater vehicle survey: Origin and implications for the history of Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alastair G. C.; Dutrieux, Pierre; Vaughan, David G.; Nitsche, Frank O.; Gyllencreutz, Richard; Greenwood, Sarah L.; Larter, Robert D.; Jenkins, Adrian

    2013-09-01

    Ice shelves are critical features in the debate about West Antarctic ice sheet change and sea level rise, both because they limit ice discharge and because they are sensitive to change in the surrounding ocean. The Pine Island Glacier ice shelf has been thinning rapidly since at least the early 1990s, which has caused its trunk to accelerate and retreat. Although the ice shelf front has remained stable for the past six decades, past periods of ice shelf collapse have been inferred from relict seabed "corrugations" (corrugated ridges), preserved 340 km from the glacier in Pine Island Trough. Here we present high-resolution bathymetry gathered by an autonomous underwater vehicle operating beneath an Antarctic ice shelf, which provides evidence of long-term change in Pine Island Glacier. Corrugations and ploughmarks on a sub-ice shelf ridge that was a former grounding line closely resemble those observed offshore, interpreted previously as the result of iceberg grounding. The same interpretation here would indicate a significantly reduced ice shelf extent within the last 11 kyr, implying Holocene glacier retreat beyond present limits, or a past tidewater glacier regime different from today. The alternative, that corrugations were not formed in open water, would question ice shelf collapse events interpreted from the geological record, revealing detail of another bed-shaping process occurring at glacier margins. We assess hypotheses for corrugation formation and suggest periodic grounding of ice shelf keels during glacier unpinning as a viable origin. This interpretation requires neither loss of the ice shelf nor glacier retreat and is consistent with a "stable" grounding-line configuration throughout the Holocene.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. Mass budget of Queen Elizabeth Islands glaciers and ice caps, Canada, from 1992 to present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate to say that the Canadian Artic Archipelago's mass loss has increased in recent years. However the role of ice dynamics changes in this area is not well known. In this study, we present a comprehensive velocity mapping of the CAA using ALOS/PALSAR, RADARSAT-1, ERS1 and Landsat data between 1992 and 2015. Glaciers speed are calculated using a speckle and feature tracking algorithm.The results reveals that three large marine-terminating glaciers have accelerated significantly after 2010, while most others have slowed down or retreated to a sill to become similar to land-terminating glaciers. By combining the velocities of these glaciers with ice thickness measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge, we calculate their ice discharge. The fluxes of these glaciers increased significantly since 2000 with a marked increase after 2011. The comparison of ice discharge with the surface mass balance from RACMO-2, shows that these glaciers came out of balance after 2011, which is also a time period where their discharge almost doubled. The analysis of RACMO-2 reveals an increase in runoff between 1970's and today and a precipitation with no significant trend. We digitalize the calving front positions of the glaciers and show an increasing rate retreat since 1976. We conclude that global pattern of velocity changes shows that the mass losses due to surface mass balance will likely going to raise in the coming years and that ice discharge will have a smaller part in the contribution of the CAA to sea level rise.

  12. Influence of Subglacial Conditions on Ice Stream Dynamics: Seismic and Potential Field Data from Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. M.; Jordan, T. A.; Ferraccioli, F.; Bingham, R. G.

    2012-12-01

    A synthesis of geophysical and glaciological data sets are used to investigate the relationship between ice dynamics and the underlying geology on Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. We find correlations between subglacial geology and the variability in the flow of the overlying ice. Seismic reflection amplitude analysis shows a layer of soft water-saturated sediment immediately beneath the ice. Beneath this, gravity and magnetic data indicate harder rocks containing a significant geological boundary, aligned in the ice-flow direction. Crossing this boundary, the ice velocity decreases whilst bed roughness and modeled basal drag both increase. The acoustic impedance of the soft sediments at the ice-bed interface shows no significant change across the boundary. The smoother glacier bed, overlying thicker sediments, appears to facilitate the fastest flow. Where the bed is rougher, the soft sediment layer beneath the ice is very thin and overlies basement rocks. We propose that the rough surface of the basement rocks beneath this thin sediment increases the basal drag on the ice, through the intervening soft sediment, without a detectable influence on the sediment's acoustic properties. Changes in the sub-bed (i.e. deeper than the ice-bed interface) lithology appear to account for the contrasting basal drag and ice velocity patterns over the glacier. Subglacial erosion could soon remove the thin sediment layer leading to increased basal drag and reduced ice flow in the future. We conclude that the subglacial geology plays a significant role in controlling the spatial pattern of present-day ice flow and that the consequences of subglacial erosion may be reflected in temporal changes to the ice dynamics in the past and perhaps also in the near future. Schematic of synthesized subglacial interpretation from the area of the seismic surveys. Arrow lengths for ice velocity and basal drag indicate relative magnitudes.

  13. Helicopter-borne and ground-towed radar surveys of the Fourcade Glacier on King George Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K. Y.; Lee, J.; Hong, M. H.; Hong, J. K.; Shon, H.

    2010-02-01

    To determine subglacial topography and internal features of the Fourcade Glacier on King George Island in Antarctica, helicopter-borne and ground-towed ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data were recorded along four profiles in November 2006. Signature deconvolution, f-k migration velocity analysis, and finite-difference depth migration applied to the mixed-phase, single-channel, ground-towed data, were effective in increasing vertical resolution, obtaining the velocity function, and yielding clear depth images, respectively. For the helicopter-borne GPR, migration velocities were obtained as root-mean-squared velocities in a two-layer model of air and ice. The radar sections show rugged subglacial topography, englacial sliding surfaces, and localised scattering noise. The maximum depth to the basement is over 79m in the subglacial valley adjacent to the south-eastern slope of the divide ridge between Fourcade and Moczydlowski Glaciers. In the ground-towed profile, we interpret a complicated conduit above possible basal water and other isolated cavities, which are a few metres wide. Near the terminus, the GPR profiles image sliding surfaces, fractures, and faults that will contribute to the tidewater calving mechanism forming icebergs in Potter Cove.

  14. Rifting and Calving Event in 2015 at Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, Associated with Frontal and Basal processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, S.; Howat, I. M.; Bassis, J. N.

    2015-12-01

    Calving is a process that glacier loses its mass by full-thickness penetration of crevasses (i.e. rifting), followed by separation of iceberg from the terminus. Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in West Antarctica has undergone several major calving events including those in 2001, 2007 and 2013. All of them have started from rifting at its shear margin, growing toward the center of the ice shelf, and finally reaching the margin at the other end. However, recent observation of PIG from remote sensing data affirms unprecedented pattern of rifting, that the rifts start to grow at the center of the ice shelf and expanding to the each ends of the shear margin. Moreover, this evolution was accompanied with incessant disintegration of ice melange (mixture of small icebergs and sea ice) filling the shear margin around the terminus. We found from Landsat 8 images that those rifts start from the troughs transverse to the ice shelf, which are surface features of basal crevasses (i.e. cracks at the bottom of ice shelf). We also analyzed velocity fields of PIG's flow and confirmed that its change is consistent with the rifting and melange loss. We postulate this rifting event attributes to the associated effects of reduced resistant force by melange disintegration, and expedited erosion of basal crevasses that causes the tensile stress to concentrate. As both of them are closely related to ocean forcing, we also hypothesize that warmer ocean current under the ice shelf has triggered this new mode of rifting and calving event.

  15. Calibrated prediction of Pine Island Glacier retreat during the 21st and 22nd centuries with a coupled flowline model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladstone, Rupert M.; Lee, Victoria; Rougier, Jonathan; Payne, Antony J.; Hellmer, Hartmut; Le Brocq, Anne; Shepherd, Andrew; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Gregory, Jonathan; Cornford, Stephen L.

    2012-06-01

    A flowline ice sheet model is coupled to a box model for cavity circulation and configured for the Pine Island Glacier. An ensemble of 5000 simulations are carried out from 1900 to 2200 with varying inputs and parameters, forced by ocean temperatures predicted by a regional ocean model under the A1B ‘business as usual’ emissions scenario. Comparison is made against recent observations to provide a calibrated prediction in the form of a 95% confidence set. Predictions are for monotonic (apart from some small scale fluctuations in a minority of cases) retreat of the grounding line over the next 200 yr with huge uncertainty in the rate of retreat. Full collapse of the main trunk of the PIG during the 22nd century remains a possibility.

  16. Ice marginal dynamics during surge activity, Kuannersuit Glacier, Disko Island, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, David H.; Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, N. Tvis; Long, Antony J.; Lloyd, Jerry M.

    2009-02-01

    The Kuannersuit Glacier surged 11 km between 1995 and 1998. The surge resulted in the formation of an ice cored thrust moraine complex constructed by subglacial and proglacial glaciotectonic processes. Four main thrust zones are evident in the glacier snout area with phases of compressional folding and thrusting followed by hydrofracture in response to the build-up of compressional stresses and the aquicludal nature of submarginal permafrost and naled. Various types of stratified debris-rich ice facies occur within the marginal zone: The first (Facies I) comprises laterally continuous strata of ice with sorted sediment accumulations, and is reworked and thrust naled ice. The second is laterally discontinuous stratified debris-rich ice with distinct tectonic structures, and is derived through subglacial extensional deformation and localised regelation (Facies II), whilst the third type is characterised by reworked and brecciated ice associated with the reworking and entrainment of meteoric ice (Facies III). Hydrofracture dykes and sills (Facies IV) cross-cut the marginal ice cored thrust moraines, with their sub-vertically frozen internal contact boundaries and sedimentary structures, suggesting supercooling operated as high-pressure evacuation of water occurred during thrusting, but this is not related to the formation of basal stratified debris-rich ice. Linear distributions of sorted fines transverse to ice flow, and small stratified sediment ridges that vertically cross-cut the ice surface up-ice of the thrust zone relate to sediment migration along crevasse traces and fluvial infilling of crevasses. From a palaeoglaciological viewpoint, marginal glacier tectonics, ice sediment content and sediment delivery mechanisms combine to control the development of this polythermal surge valley landsystem. The bulldozing of proglacial sediments and the folding and thrusting of naled leads to the initial development of the outer zone of the moraine complex. This becomes

  17. Seasonal variation of meteorological variables and recent surface ablation / accumulation rates on Davies Dome and Whisky Glacier, James Ross Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Láska, K.; Nývlt, D.; Engel, Z.; Budík, L.

    2012-04-01

    In this study, surface mass balance data of two glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica, and its spatial and temporal variations are evaluated using snow ablation stakes, ground-penetrating radar, and dGPS measurements. The investigated glaciers are located on the Ulu Peninsula, northern part of James Ross Island. Davies Dome is an ice dome, which originates on the surface of a flat volcanic mesa at elevations >400 m a.s.l. and terminates with a single 700 m wide outlet in the Whisky Bay. Davies Dome has an area of ~6.5 km2 and lies in the altitude range of 0-514 m a.s.l. Whisky Glacier is a cold-based land-terminating valley glacier surrounded by an extensive moraine ridges made of debris-covered ice. The glacier has an area of ~2.4 km2 and lies in the altitude range of 215-520 m a.s.l. Within several summer austral summers, extensive field programme were carried out on both glaciers including the operation of two automatic weather stations, field mapping and mass balance measurements. Each station was equipped with albedometer CM7B (Kipp-Zonen, Netherlands), air temperature and humidity sensor EMS33 (EMS, Czech Republic), propeller anemometer 05103 (Young, USA), and snow depth sensors (Judd, USA). In the period 2009-2011, high seasonal and interdiurnal variability of incoming solar radiation and near-surface air temperature was found as a result of changes in the circulation patterns and synoptic-scale weather systems moving in the Circumpolar Trough. High ablation and accumulation rates were recorded mainly in the spring and summer seasons (October-February), while negligible changes were found in winter (May-September). The effects of positive degree-day temperatures on the surface ablation rates were examined using a linear regression model. In this approach, near-surface air temperature maps on the glacier surfaces were derived from digital elevation model according to actual temperature lapse rates. Mass balance investigations started in 2006 on Davies

  18. Constraining the recent mass balance of Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica with airborne observations of snow accumulation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medley, B.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B. E.; Das, S. B.; Steig, E. J.; Conway, H.; Gogineni, P. S.; Criscitiello, A. S.; McConnell, J. R.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Lenaerts, J.; Bromwich, D. H.; Nicolas, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    an ice core depth-age scale. From these measurements we investigate both the spatial and temporal variability in accumulation in this sector of West Antarctica as well as evaluate global and regional atmospheric model accumulation rate equivalents (i.e., precipitation minus sublimation, P-S; surface mass balance, SMB). First, we generate a spatially complete map of the 1985-2009 average annual accumulation over both Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, which is used to precisely determine their recent mass balance. Next, we investigate the temporal variability and trend in annual accumulation rate, which is limited to Thwaites glacier. Finally, we assess the ability of three global reanalysis P-S products and a regional climate model (RACMO2) SMB product to reproduce the spatiotemporal accumulation variability over these glaciers. Accumulation rate measurements derived from airborne radar systems not only reduce the uncertainty in mass balance measurements but also provide the means with which to evaluate the skill of and discriminate between atmospheric models. New measurements from both Greenland and Antarctica as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge will further reduce our overall uncertainty in the glacial contribution to sea-level rise.

  19. Late Pleistocene ice-shelf, valley-glacier and ice-sheet interactions on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula: implications for climatic and ice-volume changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Bethan; Hambrey, Michael; Glasser, Neil; Smellie, John; Carrivick, Jonathan; Bentley, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Recent rapid warming across the Antarctic Peninsula has resulted in ice-sheet thinning, dramatic ice-shelf collapse, acceleration of ice-flow velocities and widespread glacier recession. Reconstructing past rates, volumes and magnitudes of cryospheric change, particularly with respect to the former configuration of ice sheets and ice shelves, and their response to changing oceanic and climatic regimes, is vital in providing a context for this change, in order to improve predictions of future ice-sheet behaviour, and to provide glacio-isostatic adjustment corrections for gravimetric measurements of contemporary ice loss. This research aimed to investigate valley glacier and ice-shelf interactions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Holocene Epoch across George VI Sound and Alexander Island, western Antarctic Peninsula, an area with a well-preserved but poorly dated record. We identify four principal stratigraphic units: (1) a high-elevation drift with Alexander Island erratics only (interpreted as recording older advances of ice from the interior of the island), (2) a lower-elevation drift with exotic Palmer Land erratics (interpreted as ice-shelf moraine, representing incursions of George VI Ice Shelf onto Ablation Point Massif), (3) multiple overlapping sequences of valley glacier moraine and ice-shelf moraine, presumed to be Holocene in age, and (4) more recent processes and units, including frozen epishelf lakes, slope processes and alluvial fans. On-going cosmogenic nuclide dating on these sediments (in progress; 25 10Be exposure ages) has the potential to unlock the complex history and interactions of ice streams, valley glaciers and ice shelves in this area. This work will also provide the first long-term record of sea-level indicators, allowing the first estimates of glacial unloading, rates of uplift and ice-sheet thinning to be calculated. The Holocene record of the ice shelf, preserved in the younger ice-shelf moraines and in the overlapping

  20. The Friction Law Stress Exponent under Pine Island Glacier from 15 Years of Surface Elevation and Velocity Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillet-chaulet, F.; Durand, G.; Gagliardini, O.; Mosbeux, C.; Mouginot, J.; Remy, F.; Ritz, C.

    2015-12-01

    Polar the ice-sheets mass balance largely depends on the flow of ice-streams. Rapid basal motion generally accounts for most of the velocities. In flow models, the conditions at the base of the ice in contact with the bedrock are generally parameterised using a friction law that relates the sliding velocity to the basal shear stress. The most common law has two poorly constrained parameters, the basal slipperiness c and the stress exponent m. The basal slipperiness is expected to depend on local unobservable quantities and is routinely tuned from observed surface velocities using inverse methods. Different values for m are expected depending on the processes, from hard-bed sliding to soft bed deformation, and no consensus has emerged so far for its value that range from 1 to infinity. However, several studies have shown that the transient response of the ice-sheet models to external forcing is highly sensitive to m. Therefore, the uncertainty attached to the friction law is an important limit to our ability to evaluate future dynamical evolution of coastal regions. Calibrating m can be done only if either basal stresses and/or velocities have changed significantly while c can be assumed constant in time. Here, we use Elmer/Ice to model the flow of Pine Island Glacier (PIG), Antarctica, sufficiently far upstream of the grounding line so that we can assume no change in c. Observations show an increase of surface velocities by up to 50% between 1996 and 2010, associated with an important dynamical thinning. Using a control inverse method and different values of m, we tune a spatially varying basal slipperiness field that best fit, in the same time, observed surface velocities for years 1996, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. These years correspond to the MeaSUREs project velocity datasets that have the best spatial coverage for our model domain. Surface elevations for the corresponding years are constructed using ERS and Envisat radar altimetry data. We show that the

  1. Sensitivity of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers to ocean-induced melt investigated using a new physically-based melt parameterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilmar Gudmundsson, G.; Jenkins, Adrian

    2015-04-01

    Ongoing changes on both Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers are generally considered to be driven by ocean-induced melt along the undersides of their respective ice shelves. In ice-flow studies to date, melt has usually been prescribed using simple parametrisations that, for example, relate the melt rate directly to the ice draft. Alternatively, ocean circulation models can be used to calculate the melt distribution in a coupled approach. Such coupled ice-ocean model runs are however very time consuming and therefore not suitable for performing large-scale parameter studies. Here we present an alternative methodology that falls in-between these two approaches. We use a new, physically-based parametrisation of melt that has been derived from plume theory to link melt with the geometry of the ice shelf base and the ocean temperature. The sensitivities of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers to ocean-induced melting are then estimated using the hybrid flow model Úa.

  2. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

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

  3. Columbia Glacier in 1984: disintegration underway

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Characterizing interannual variability of glacier dynamics and dynamic discharge (1999-2015) for the ice masses of Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Wychen, Wesley; Davis, Jamie; Burgess, David O.; Copland, Luke; Gray, Laurence; Sharp, Martin; Mortimer, Colleen

    2016-01-01

    Landsat 7 and RADARSAT-1/RADARSAT-2 satellite images are used to produce the most comprehensive record of glacier motion in the Canadian High Arctic to date and to characterize spatial and temporal variability in ice flow over the past ~15 years. This allows us to assess whether dynamically driven glacier change can be attributed to "surging" or "pulsing," or whether other mechanisms are involved. RADAR velocity mapping allows annual regional dynamic discharge (iceberg calving) to be calculated for 2000 and the period 2011-2015 (yielding a mean regional discharge of 2.21 ± 0.68 Gt a-1), and velocities derived from feature tracking of optical imagery allow for annual dynamic discharge to be calculated for select glaciers from 1999 to 2010. Since ~2011, several of the major tidewater-terminating glaciers within the region have decelerated and their dynamic discharge has decreased. Trinity and Wykeham Glaciers (Prince of Wales Icefield) represent a notable departure from this pattern as they have generally accelerated over the study period. The resulting increase in dynamic discharge from these glaciers entirely compensates (within error limits) for the decrease in discharge from the other tidewater glaciers across the study region. These two glaciers accounted for ~62% of total regional dynamic discharge in winter 2015 (compared to ~22% in 2000), demonstrating that total ice discharge from the Canadian High Arctic can be sensitive to variations in flow of just a few tidewater glaciers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Recession of mountain glaciers in the Himalayas has been reported in the context of global warming. Associated with the glacier retreat, supraglacial lakes have been formed on the termini of debris-covered glaciers. Although it has been said that lake-terminating glaciers flow faster than land-terminating glaciers, observational evidence was scarce. We observationally investigated the influence of the presence/absence of glacial lakes on changes in surface elevation through glacier dynamics in two debris-covered glaciers, Thorthormi Glacier (land-terminating) and Lugge Glacier (lake-terminating), in the Lunana region, the Bhutan Himalaya. We surveyed the surface elevation of debris-covered areas of the two glaciers in 2004 and 2011 by a differential GPS. Change in surface elevation of the lake-terminating Lugge Glacier was much more negative than that of the land-terminating Thorthormi Glacier. Considering almost flat slope and location at lower elevation, however, larger ice thinning rate of the Thorthormi Glacier should have been expected than the Lugge Glacier. We measured surface flow speed of the two glaciers during 2009-2010 by multitemporal orthorectified The Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) images of ALOS. Surface flow speed of the Thorthormi Glacier was faster in the upper reaches and reduced toward the downstream. In contrast, the flow speed at the Lugge Glacier measured in the same periods was greatest at the lower most part. Observed spatial distribution of surface flow speed at both glaciers are evaluated by a two-dimensional numerical flow model. The model shows that contribution of basal sliding to surface flow velocity is large in the lower part of both glaciers. Particularly in the Thorthormi Glacier, approximately 100% of surface flow velocity attribute to basal sliding. Calculated emergence velocity at the Thorthormi Glacier is larger than that at the Lugge Glacier. This result suggests that decreasing in flow

  7. Geomorphologic mapping in the Ny Ålesund area (Svalbard Island, Norway) for the analysis of geomorphologic effects on rock slopes induced by glacier retreat in climate sensitive High Arctic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miccadei, Enrico; Piacentini, Tommaso; Casacchia, Ruggero; Sparapani, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    The geomorphological effects of glacial retreat, rapidly changing Arctic environments and consequent local temporary permafrost melting are several types of glacial and periglacial landforms (pingos, solifluction, drumlins, etc.) but also debris and rock falls, alluvial fan and glacial outwash development and scarp/slopes retreat and evolution. In this work we have realized a geomorphologic map of rockfalls, landslides, alluvial fans and the slopes and scarps of steep mountainsides in the Ny Ålesund area (Svalbard Island, Norway) focused on the analysis of rock falls as geomorphological effects of glacier retreat, permafrost degradation and higher temperatures on slope processes. The investigation is based on geological and geomorphological field survey, and remote sensing and aerial photo interpretation, The Ny Ålesund area landscape is characterized by rugged non-vegetated mountains only partially covered by glaciers, with steep flanks and rock scarps; the scarps are formed by different types of rocks (intrusive and effusive igneous rocks, marine sedimentary rocks); this landscape is highly affected by debris and rock falls (from scarps and slopes) forming wide talus slopes and by alluvial fan and fluvial outwash (from glaciers), which make the surface sedimentary cover of the island together with rock glaciers and moraine deposits and locally fluvial deposits. The work is focused on the comprehension of the role of different factors in inducing rock falls, alluvial fans, slope/scarps evolution in high geomorphological sensitivity environments (i.e. glacial, periglacial or mountain) including: orography, lithology, rock fracturation, morphostructural setting, meteorological context. The conclusions focus on the possible geomorphological hazards affecting the Ny Ålesund area.

  8. Subglacial bathymetry and sediment distribution beneath Pine Island Glacier ice shelf modeled using aerogravity and in situ geophysical data: New results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muto, Atsuhiro; Peters, Leo E.; Gohl, Karsten; Sasgen, Ingo; Alley, Richard B.; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar; Riverman, Kiya L.

    2016-01-01

    Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is losing mass and contributing to global sea-level rise at an accelerating rate. Although recent observations and modeling have identified the incursion of relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) beneath the PIG ice shelf (PIGIS) as the main driver of this ice-mass loss, the lack of precise bathymetry limits furthering our understanding of the ice-ocean interactions and improving the accuracy of modeling. Here we present updated bathymetry and sediment distribution beneath the PIGIS, modeled by the inversion of aerogravity data with constraints from active-source seismic data, observations from an autonomous underwater vehicle, and the regional gravity-anomaly field derived from satellite gravity observations. Modeled bathymetry shows a submarine ridge beneath the middle of PIGIS that rises ∼350 to 400 m above the surrounding sea floor, with a minimum water-column thickness of ∼200 m above it. This submarine ridge continues across the whole width of the 45-km wide ice shelf, with no deep troughs crossing it, confirming the general features of the previously predicted sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation. However, the relatively low resolution of the aerogravity data and limitations in our inversion method leave a possibility that there is an undetected, few-kilometers-wide or narrower trough that may alter the predicted sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation. Modeled sediment distribution indicates a sedimentary basin of up to ∼800 m thick near the current grounding zone of the main PIG trunk and extending farther inland, and a region seaward of the submarine ridge where sediments are thin or absent with exposed crystalline basement that extends seaward into Pine Island Bay. Therefore, the submarine ridge marks the transition from a thick sedimentary basin providing a smooth interface over which ice could flow easily by sliding or sediment deformation, to a region with no to

  9. Alpine Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 27 August 2003

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

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

  10. Instability time-scales of Antarctic outlet glaciers from similitude analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levermann, Anders; Feldmann, Johannes

    2016-04-01

    Possible instabilities in Antarctica have the potential to eventually raise sea level by more than 20 meters. Recent observations and ice-dynamic modeling suggest that such an instability might have been triggered in West Antarctica. The corresponding outlet glaciers, Pine Island and Thwaites, showed significant retreat during at least the last two decades. While other regions in Antarctica have the topographic predisposition for the same kind of instability⁠ it is so far unclear how fast these instabilities would unfold if they were initiated. Combining observations with a similarity analysis of the ice-dynamic equation we show here that the similitude principle⁠ suggests that the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers are likely to be the fastest in Antarctica. Applying scaling laws, as commonly used in hydrodynamics and engineering, to ice-sheet dynamics, the relative response times of different Antarctic ice streams after destabilization can be estimated from their observed relation of surface mass balance, basal friction and topographic geometry that result in their current force balance. Consistent with earlier studies3,4⁠ the response time of Thwaites Glacier is found to be about twice as fast as that of Pine Island Glacier while the main outlet of East Antarctica's Wilkes Basin would be about twice as slow if destabilized. Although the present study suggests that there might be no faster instability in Antarctica than the ongoing destabilization in the Amundsen-Sea sector, it remains unclear whether amplified anthropogenic warming can overwrite the internal time scale of the ice streams and accelerate Antarctica's sea-level contribution beyond the instability.

  11. Ecology of Great Salt Pond, Block Island

    EPA Science Inventory

    Great Salt Pond is an island of estuarine water on Block Island, which sits in the middle of the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. When the last continental glaciers retreated, they left a high spot on a terminal moraine. The rising sea from melting glaciers formed two island...

  12. South Cascade Glacier bibliography

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

  13. Beardmore Glacier proposals wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  14. Faster simulation plots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fowell, Richard A.

    1989-01-01

    Most simulation plots are heavily oversampled. Ignoring unnecessary data points dramatically reduces plot time with imperceptible effect on quality. The technique is suited to most plot devices. The departments laser printer's speed was tripled for large simulation plots by data thinning. This reduced printer delays without the expense of a faster laser printer. Surpisingly, it saved computer time as well. All plot data are now thinned, including PostScript and terminal plots. The problem, solution, and conclusions are described. The thinning algorithm is described and performance studies are presented. To obtain FORTRAN 77 or C source listings, mail a SASE to the author.

  15. A Faster Triphosphorylation Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Gregory F.; Akoopie, Arvin; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2015-01-01

    In support of the RNA world hypothesis, previous studies identified trimetaphosphate (Tmp) as a plausible energy source for RNA world organisms. In one of these studies, catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) that catalyze the triphosphorylation of RNA 5'-hydroxyl groups using Tmp were obtained by in vitro selection. One ribozyme (TPR1) was analyzed in more detail. TPR1 catalyzes the triphosphorylation reaction to a rate of 0.013 min-1 under selection conditions (50 mM Tmp, 100 mM MgCl2, 22°C). To identify a triphosphorylation ribozyme that catalyzes faster triphosphorylation, and possibly learn about its secondary structure TPR1 was subjected to a doped selection. The resulting ribozyme, TPR1e, contains seven mutations relative to TPR1, displays a previously unidentified duplex that constrains the ribozyme's structure, and reacts at a 24-fold faster rate than the parent ribozyme. Under optimal conditions (150 mM Tmp, 650 mM MgCl2, 40°C), the triphosphorylation rate of TRP1e reaches 6.8 min-1. PMID:26545116

  16. 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

  17. Glaciers of Europe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1993-01-01

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

  18. Fast Recession of a West Antarctic Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E. J.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    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 published data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly uses ASTER images from 2009 and a SPIRIT DEM from 2006 to classify the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island. Secondly, this paper uses LANDSAT-4 and ASTER images from 1988 and 2001 and data from the Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) from 1997 to document glacier change 1988-2009. From 1988-2001, 90 % of glaciers receded, and from 2001-2009, 79 % receded. Glaciers on the western side of Trinity Peninsula retreated relatively little. On the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula, the rate of recession of ice-shelf tributary glaciers has slowed from 12.9 km2 a-1 (1988-2001) to 2.4 km2 a-1 (2001-2009). Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler Eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest recession from 1988-2001, with limited frontal retreat after 2001. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island also retreated fastest in the period 1988-2001. Large tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island are now declining in areal extent at rates of up to 0.04 km2 a-1. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula. Strong variability in tidewater glacier recession rates may result from the influence of glacier length, altitude, slope and hypsometry on glacier mass balance. High snowfall means that the glaciers on the Western Peninsula are not currently rapidly receding. Recession rates on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing as the floating ice tongues retreat into the fjords and the glaciers reach a

  20. Glaciers: A water resource

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, Mark; Post, Austin

    1995-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Fast-flowing outlet glaciers on Svalbard ice caps

    SciTech Connect

    Dowdeswell, J.A. ); Collin, R.L. )

    1990-08-01

    Four well-defined outlet glaciers are present on the 2510 km{sup 2} cap of Vestfonna in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. Airborne radio echo sounding and aerial-photograph and satellite-image analysis methods are used to analyze the morphology and dynamics of the ice cap and its component outlet glaciers. The heavily crevassed outlets form linear depressions in the ice-cap surface and flow an order of magnitude faster than the ridges of uncrevassed ice between them. Ice flow on the ridges is accounted for by internal deformation alone, whereas rates of outlet glacier flow require basal motion. One outlet has recently switched into and out of a faster mode of flow. Rapid terminal advance, a change from longitudinal compression to tension, and thinning in the upper basin indicate surge behavior. Observed outlet glacier discharge is significantly greater than current inputs of mass of the ice cap, indicating that present rates of flow cannot be sustained under the contemporary climate.

  3. Pine Island Bay

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... article title:  Birth of a Large Iceberg in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica     View ... iceberg (42 kilometers x 17 kilometers) broke off Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica (75°S latitude, 102°W longitude) sometime ...

  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.

  5. Glaciers of Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    This chapter is the ninth to be released in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, a series of 11 chapters. In each of the geographic area chapters, remotely sensed images, primarily from the Landsat 1, 2, and 3 series of spacecraft, are used to analyze the specific glacierized region of our planet under consideration and to monitor glacier changes. Landsat images, acquired primarily during the middle to late 1970s and early 1980s, were used by an international team of glaciologists and other scientists to study various geographic regions and (or) to discuss related glaciological topics. In each glacierized geographic region, the present areal distribution of glaciers is compared, wherever possible, with historical information about their past extent. The atlas provides an accurate regional inventory of the areal extent of glacier ice on our planet during the 1970s as part of a growing international scientific effort to measure global environmental change on the Earth?s surface. The chapter is divided into seven geographic parts and one topical part: Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union (F-1), Glaciers of China (F-2), Glaciers of Afghanistan (F?3), Glaciers of Pakistan (F-4), Glaciers of India (F-5), Glaciers of Nepal (F?6), Glaciers of Bhutan (F-7), and the Paleoenvironmental Record Preserved in Middle-Latitude, High-Mountain Glaciers (F-8). Each geographic section describes the glacier extent during the 1970s and 1980s, the benchmark time period (1972-1981) of this volume, but has been updated to include more recent information. Glaciers of the Former Soviet Union are located in the Russian Arctic and various mountain ranges of Russia and the Republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakstun. The Glacier Inventory of the USSR and the World Atlas of Ice and Snow Resources recorded a total of 28,881 glaciers covering an area of 78,938 square kilometers (km2). China includes many of the mountain-glacier

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Quantifying Glacier Runoff Contribution to Nooksack River, WA in 2013-15

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    The 2015 hydrologic year has been posited in terms of temperature as an analog for the future for the Pacific Northwest (PNW), with record warm air temperatures, warm stream temperatures and low summer streamflow. The high stream temperatures and low flows are both threats to salmon in the watershed and are offset in part by glacier runoff. Freezing levels were the highest relative to the median in the key winter months of January through May, 2015. The snowline on glaciers across the region in early July is typically at levels observed 1-2 months later in the melt season. This increases ablation since glacier ice melts faster than glacier snowcover. Very high 2015 ablation rates are occurring because glacier runoff in the PNW is primarily controlled by ablation season temperatures. In July, 2015 streamflow in the North Fork Nooksack River has been at a record low for the 77 years of record, which would increase the role of glacier runoff in stream discharge. We have measured both glacier runoff and ablation on glaciers in the North Fork Nooksack River basin during the summers of 2013-15 that allows determination of the percent of total stream discharge contributed by glaciers. In 2014 the glacier contribution exceeded 40% of total streamflow on 21 days all occurring in Aug. and Sept. Here we will present the results of 2013-2015 glacier runoff observations and the 1984-2015 mass balance observations to put in context 2015 results from our ongoing field work this summer.

  11. Islands uncovered by melting polar ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    Thawing glaciers north of Norway's Svalbard archipelago have revealed at least two unmapped and unclaimed islands, one roughly the size of a basketball court, according to a 20 August Reuters report. In addition, information released in August by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center indicated that with one month left in the melting season, Arctic sea ice is already below the record minimum. "Reductions of snow and ice are happening at an alarming rate," said Norwegian Environment Minister Helen Bjoernoy. She suggested that these observations may indicate that the loss of sea ice is perhaps accelerating faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned in February that summer sea ice could almost vanish by the end of this century.

  12. Glacier changes on South Georgia since the late-19th century documented in historical photographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, John; Haynes, Valerie

    2014-05-01

    South Georgia is one of the few landmasses in the Southern Ocean. It provides a crucial geographical datapoint for glacier responses to climate change over different timescales. As part of an ongoing glacier inventory of the island, we are compiling a database of historical glacier photographs. Since the late 19th century, the island has been visited by numerous scientific and survey expeditions, as well as being the land-base for a major whaling industry. Historical photographs of the island are available from the late-19th century, beginning with the 1882-83 German International Polar Year Expedition. Many more exist from the 20th century, notably from the South Georgia Surveys in the 1950s. An assessment of the value of the photographs indicates that spatial coverage is variable, many lack reference features to pinpoint glacier positions and, in the case of smaller glaciers, the presence of snowcover makes it difficult to define the ice edge. Nevertheless, the photographs provide useful corroboration of more advanced glacier positions during the late-19th century and recession of smaller mountain and valley glaciers during the mid-20th century, while larger tidewater and sea-calving glaciers generally remained in relatively advanced positions until the 1980s. Since then, nearly all the glaciers have retreated; some of these retreats have been dramatic and a number of small mountain glaciers have fragmented or disappeared. The response of the glaciers can be related to synoptic-scale warming, particularly since the 1950s, moderated by individual glacier geometry and topography.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    contact with more warm water, is flowing faster and experiencing larger mass loss over the past decade. Such broad correlations between grounding line depths and mass wastage are a starting point in an effort to understand the variability of observed retreat of outlet glaciers in northern Greenland.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Rift in Antarctic Glacier: a Unique Chance to Study Ice Shelf Retreat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howat, Ian M.; Jezek, Ken; Studinger, Michael; Macgregor, Joseph A.; Paden, John; Floricioiu, Dana; Russell, Rob; Linkswiler, Matt; Dominguez, Roseanne T.

    2012-01-01

    It happened again, but this time it was caught in the act. During the last week of September 2011 a large transverse rift developed across thefloating terminus of West Antarcticas PineIsland Glacier, less than 5 years after its lastlarge calving event, in 2007 (Figure 1). PineIsland Glaciers retreat has accelerated substantiallyin the past 2 decades, and it is nowlosing 50 gigatons of ice per year, or roughly 25 of Antarcticas total annual contributionto sea level rise [Rignot et al., 2008]. The glaciers recent accelerated retreat is likely triggered by ocean warming and increased submarine melting. As such, it is of significant interest to glaciologists and of heightened societal relevance.

  17. 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

  18. Accelerating retreat and high-elevation thinning of glaciers in central Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Małecki, Jakub

    2016-06-01

    Svalbard is a heavily glacier-covered archipelago in the Arctic. Dickson Land (DL), in the central part of the largest island, Spitsbergen, is relatively arid and, as a result, glaciers there are relatively small and restricted mostly to valleys and cirques. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of glacier changes in DL based on inventories compiled from topographic maps and digital elevation models for the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum, the 1960s, 1990, and 2009/2011. Total glacier area has decreased by ˜ 38 % since the LIA maximum, and front retreat increased over the study period. Recently, most of the local glaciers have been consistently thinning in all elevation bands, in contrast to larger Svalbard ice masses which remain closer to balance. The mean 1990-2009/2011 geodetic mass balance of glaciers in DL is among the most negative from the Svalbard regional means known from the literature.

  19. The Glaciers of HARMONIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Continued rapid glacier recession following the 1995 collapse of the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasser, N. F.; Scambos, T. A.

    2009-12-01

    We use optical satellite imagery (ASTER and Landsat) to document changes in the Prince Gustav Ice Shelf (PGIS) and its tributary glaciers before and after its 1995 collapse. Interpretation of a pre-collapse Landsat 4-5 TM image acquired in February 1988 shows that the ice shelf was fed primarily by Sjogren Glacier from the Antarctic Peninsula and by Rhoss Glacier from James Ross Island (JRI). In 1988, the PGIS contained numerous structural discontinuities (rifts and crevasses), which collectively indicate that ice-shelf break-up had commenced at least seven years before collapse. Meltwater ponds and streams were also common across its surface. After the ice shelf collapsed, Rhoss Glacier became a tidewater glacier and has since experienced rapid and continued recession. Between January 2001 and December 2006 (six to eleven years after the collapse of the PGIS), the front of Rhoss Glacier receded a total of 13.6 km. We conclude that where tributary glaciers become tidewater glaciers they react to ice-shelf removal by rapid and continued recession and that the response time of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula to ice-shelf removal is measured on annual to decadal timescales. This rapid recession, coupled with previously documented tributary glacier thinning and acceleration, indicates that Antarctic Peninsula glaciers are extremely sensitive to ice-shelf collapse.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  10. Modeling Ocean-Forced Changes in Smith Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilien, D.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B. E.

    2014-12-01

    Glaciers along the Amundsen Coast are changing rapidly, which has drawn substantial scientific and public attention. Modeling and observation suggest warm-water intrusion and consequent melting as the cause of observed changes, and that unstoppable retreat may have already been triggered in some drainages. While Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers are losing the most mass and have been the predominant objects study, other systems, particularly Smith, Pope and Kohler Glaciers and the corresponding Dotson and Crosson Shelves, are changing more rapidly relative to their size. Though smaller, these glaciers still have potentially large implications for overall regional dynamics as their beds connect below sea level to surrounding basins. In particular, the long, deep trough of Smith Glacier nearly links to the large eastern tributary of Thwaites, potentially causing rapid changes of Smith to have significant impact on the continuing retreat of Thwaites.We implemented a numerical model in Elmer/Ice, an open-source, full-Stokes, finite-element software package, to investigate the response of the Smith/Pope/Kohler system to different initial conditions. We use various parameterizations of sub-shelf melting with constant magnitude to examine the sensitivity of overall dynamics to melt distribution. Because melt distribution affects lateral buttressing and upstream grounded areas, it is potentially an important control on ice shelf and outlet glacier dynamics. Through comparison to the most recent velocity data, we evaluate the ability of differing melt parameterizations to reproduce the behavior currently seen in Smith/Pope/Kohler glaciers. In addition, we investigate the effect of using different years of velocity data with constant elevation input when initiating model runs. By comparing results over the satellite record to initiation with synchronous observations, we assess the accuracy of the often necessary practice of using differently timestamped datasets.

  11. A century of glacier change in the Wind River Range, WY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVisser, Mark H.; Fountain, Andrew G.

    2015-03-01

    The Wind River Range spans roughly 200 km along the continental divide in western Wyoming and encompasses at least 269 glaciers and perennial snowfields totaling 34.34 ± 0.13 km2 (2006), including Gannett Glacier, the largest glacier (2.81 km2) in the continental U.S. outside of Washington State. To track changing glacier and perennial snow surface area over the past century we used historic maps, aerial photography, and geologic evidence evident in said imagery. Since the end of the Little Ice Age (~ 1900), when the glaciers retreated from their moraines, to 2006 the ice-covered area shrank by ~ 47%. The main driver of surface area change was air temperature, with glaciers at lower elevations shrinking faster than those at higher elevations. The total contribution of ice wastage to late summer stream flow ranged from 0.4 to 1.5%, 0.9 to 2.8%, 1.7 to 5.4%, and 3.4 to 10.9% in four different watersheds, none of which exceeded 7% glacier cover. Results from previous studies were difficult to include because of differences in interpretation of glacier boundaries, because of poor imagery, or to extensive seasonal snow. These difficulties highlight potential problems in combining data sets from different studies and underscores the importance of reexamining past observations to ensure consistent interpretation.

  12. Surge-like behavior at the non-surge type Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuya, M.; Abe, T.

    2014-12-01

    Seasonal glacier velocity changes are attributed to subglacial slip associated with water pressure changes that occur because of the seasonal variability of meltwater input. Abe and Furuya (2014) reported winter speed-up signals and their downglacier propagation at a number of glaciers near the border of Alaska and Yukon, based on ALOS/PALSAR radar image analyses. Here we perform the similar analyses at the Chugach mountain range of South Central Alaska, and report the spatial-temporal evolution of the Matanuska Glacier. Matanuska Glacier is the largest accessible glacier in Alaska with its nearly 40 km length and 5 km width near the terminus. Comparing the winter velocity images in 2007, 2008 and 2010, those in 2010 were about 1.5-2 times faster than those during the previous two years. In addition, comparing the fall and winter velocities, winter velocities were apparently faster at every 2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 season. These data indicate winter speed-up or mini-surge signals even at a temperate and non-surgetype Matanuska Glacier. We also examine the spatial-temporal elevation changes, using data from the LiDAR altimeter in the Icebridge mission, and found significant elevation increase near the terminus. Winter speed-up may not be uncommon at Alaskan/Yukon glaciers. Lingle and Fatland (2003) detected faster speed in winter than in fall at non-surging Seward Glacier in the St. Elias Mountains; this is the only published and unambiguous report of winter speed-up, to our knowledge. Combined with earlier glacier hydrological studies, Lingle and Fatland proposed englacial water storage and gravity-driven water flow toward the bed in winter regardless of whether a given glacier is surge-type or not, and considered that the capacity of englacial water storage would control if a given glacier was surge-type or not. We consider that our measurements are complementary to Lingle and Fatland's observations and lend further support for their hypothesis. Basal

  13. Modelled glacier response to centennial temperature and precipitation trends on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Bethan J.; Golledge, Nicholas R.; Glasser, Neil F.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.; Barrand, Nicholas E.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Hambrey, Michael J.; Smellie, John L.

    2014-11-01

    The northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently undergoing rapid atmospheric warming. Increased glacier-surface melt during the twentieth century has contributed to ice-shelf collapse and the widespread acceleration, thinning and recession of glaciers. Therefore, glaciers peripheral to the Antarctic Ice Sheet currently make a large contribution to eustatic sea-level rise, but future melting may be offset by increased precipitation. Here we assess glacier-climate relationships both during the past and into the future, using ice-core and geological data and glacier and climate numerical model simulations. Focusing on Glacier IJR45 on James Ross Island, northeast Antarctic Peninsula, our modelling experiments show that this representative glacier is most sensitive to temperature change, not precipitation change. We determine that its most recent expansion occurred during the late Holocene `Little Ice Age' and not during the warmer mid-Holocene, as previously proposed. Simulations using a range of future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate scenarios indicate that future increases in precipitation are unlikely to offset atmospheric-warming-induced melt of peripheral Antarctic Peninsula glaciers.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Reconstructing Glaciers on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Polythermal Glacier Hydrology: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  1. Break-up of the Thwaites Ice Tongue and its implication, Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S.; Kim, D.; Kim, J.

    2011-12-01

    Thwaites Glaciers (TG) is proved to be one of the most vulnerable sectors of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) because its inland sub-glacial topography slopes theoretically cause destabilization of the ice sheet. The recent studies also indicate that ice sheets in the Amundsen Sea are thinning and grounding lines are retreating rapidly due to warming of ocean temperature. In March 2002, a huge iceberg, named B-22, broke away from the Thwaites Ice Tongue in the Amunsen Sea and according to the MODIS images, it has been caught in the same region in contrast to other normal icebergs that break off from ice sheet and usually move freely along with ocean current. It is also observed that the advancing velocity of the ice tongue had been stayed constant. According to the recent publications, it can be inferred that that the bathymetry under the iceberg might have caused this. The MODIS images also show that the iceberg started to move in 2006 and correspondingly, the Thwaites Ice Tongue started to advance more quickly. In 2011, it is observed that the Thwaites Ice Tongue is breaking apart from the grounded ice sheet of Thwaites Glacier, and although calving is a normal process for floating ice shelves beyond a specific threshold, the break-up of the ice tongue in 2011 is abnormal in terms of carving rate and fracturing location. In this study, CryoSat-2 and ENVISAT Radar Altimeter (RA-2) data, provided by the European Space Agency, are used to verify the annual variation of the surface elevation as well as the retreat of grounding line of the ice tongue in the region where the break-up is speculated since 2002. It is suspected that the bathymetry, B-22A iceberg, and much warmer sea temperature in the Amundsen Sea are inter-related to cause faster thinning and retreat of grounding line of ice shelves. Similarly, it is asserted that Pine Island Glacier (PIG) might also be standing at a tip point where a break-up can happen in the near future. We are expected to carry

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Outlet glacier response to the 2012 collapse of the Matusevich Ice Shelf, Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, Michael J.; Melkonian, Andrew K.; Pritchard, Matthew E.

    2015-10-01

    The Matusevich Ice Shelf (MIS), located within the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago in the Russian Arctic, rapidly broke apart between 10 August and 7 September 2012. We examine the response of the outlet glaciers that fed the MIS from local ice caps to the removal of the ice shelf. We use spaceborne laser altimetry and multiple optically derived digital elevation models to track ice surface elevation change rates (dh/dt) between 1984 and 2014. Glacier speeds are measured by pixel-tracking from optical and RADAR imagery between 2010 and 2014 and interferometric synthetic aperture radar in 1995 to compare precollapse and postcollapse velocities. We find that the three main outlet glaciers that fed the MIS are thinning an order of magnitude more rapidly than most of the rest of Severnaya Zemyla, based upon ICESat data from 2003 to 2009. Recent, 2012 to 2014 thinning rates are three to four times faster than the 30 year average thinning rate, calculated between 1984 and 2014. The springtime speeds of the largest outlet glacier (Issledovateley) have increased more than 200% at the terminus between April 2010 and April 2014. To date, changes in surface elevation (dh/dt) and velocity at the outlet glaciers near MIS are smaller than glacier responses to ice shelf collapse in Antarctica. It is possible that the MIS was already very weak prior to the 2012 collapse and unable to support back stress. Further observations are required to assess whether the thinning and nonmelt season glacier speeds are continuing to accelerate.

  6. UAVs for Glacier Mapping: Lessons Learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, T.; McKinnon, K. A.; Anderson, B.

    2014-12-01

    Using two different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) mounted with cameras, we created a digital elevation model (DEM) of the lower 12 km^2 of Tasman Glacier, South Island, New Zealand in March 2014. The project served primarily as a proof-of-concept, and here we discuss the lessons learned, emphasizing the practical, logistical, and flight issues. We tested two different fixed-wing airframes -- a twin-boom tradition and flying wing; two different camera types, both consumer-grade RGB; and various combinations of RC and telemetry radios. We used both commercial and open-source photogrammetry software to create the mosaic and DEM imagery. Some of the most critical UAV-specific issues are: access to a launch/landing site, adequate landing zones, range, airspace contention with manned aircraft, and hardware reliability. While UAVs provide a lower-cost method for photogrammetry access, it also comes with a unique set of challenges.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Antarctic Peninsula Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The northern Antarctic Peninsula (nAP, north of 66°S) is a north-south trending mountain range extending transverse across the prevailing westerly winds of the Southern Ocean resulting in an extreme west-to-east precipitation gradient. Snowfall on the west side of the AP is one to two orders of magnitude higher than the east side. This gradient drives short, steep, fast-flowing glaciers into narrow fjords on the west side, while longer lower-sloping glaciers flow down the east side into broader fjord valleys. This pattern in ice dynamics affects ice-ocean interaction on timescales of decades to centuries, and shapes the subglacial topography and submarine bathymetry on timescales of glacial cycles. In our study, we calculate ice flux for the western and eastern nAP using a drainage model that incorporates the modern ice surface topography, the RACMO-2 precipitation estimate, and recent estimates of ice thinning. Our results, coupled with observed rates of ice velocity from InSAR (I. Joughin, personal communication) and Landsat 8 -derived flow rates (this study), provide an estimate of ice thickness and fjord depth in grounded-ice areas for the largest outlet glaciers. East-side glaciers either still terminate in or have recently terminated in ice shelves. Sedimentary evidence from the inner fjords of the western glaciers indicates they had ice shelves during LIA time, and may still have transient floating ice tongues (tabular berg calvings are observed). Although direct oceanographic evidence is limited, the high accumulation rate and rapid ice flux implies cold basal ice for the western nAP glaciers and therefore weak subglacial discharge relative to eastern nAP glaciers and or other tidewater fjord systems such as in Alaska. Finally, despite lower accumulation rates on the east side, the large elongate drainage basins result in a greater ice flux funneled through fewer deeper glaciers. Due to the relation between ice flux and erosion, these east-side glaciers

  10. Flow instabilities of Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, James Bradley

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

  11. 73X Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

    NASA Video Gallery

    On Nov. 17, 2011, a NASA camera in Tullahoma, Tenn., saw a Leonid meteor -- moving 73 times faster than a bullet fired from an M-16 rifle -- as it burned up 71 miles above Nolensville, Tenn., at an...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. New faster CHARMM molecular dynamics engine

    PubMed Central

    Hynninen, Antti-Pekka; Crowley, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    We introduce a new faster molecular dynamics (MD) engine into the CHARMM software package. The new MD engine is faster both in serial (i.e., single CPU core) and parallel execution. Serial performance is approximately two times higher than in the previous version of CHARMM. The newly programmed parallelization method allows the MD engine to parallelize up to hundreds of CPU cores. PMID:24302199

  15. Ocean forcing drives glacier retreat sometimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Glacier Sensitivity Across the Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

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

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

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

  18. Modelling Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelis; Abdalati, Waleed (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  20. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wendy

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

  1. Submarine melting at tidewater glaciers: comparison of numerical modelling, buoyant plume theory and hydrographic data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Observations of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in recent decades have shown significant losses at the coastal margins through the thinning, speed-up and retreat of tidewater glaciers. Ocean forcing, via melting of submerged ice at the calving fronts of tidewater glaciers, has been identified as a possible driver of this behaviour. Such submarine melting may provide a significant direct contribution to the negative mass balance of the glacier and could also amplify calving rates. Quantification of submarine melting remains uncertain however since modelling of fjord circulation and submarine melting is challenging, hydrographic data from pro-glacial fjords are sparse and direct observation of submarine melting at a tidewater glacier has so far proved impossible. Here, we compare submarine melt rates obtained using buoyant plume theory to those from a numerical model (MITgcm), finding reasonable agreement between the two methods. We then use buoyant plume theory, due to its faster computational speed, to investigate the dependence of melt rate on subglacial discharge, subglacial channel size (and thus emerging flow velocity) and fjord-water temperature. Finally we apply the theory to real tidewater glaciers, finding significant gaps between modelled melt rates and those estimated from hydrographic data. We discuss possible reasons for such disagreements and their implications for constraining the importance of submarine melting to tidewater glacier mass balance.

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Thinning of the Monte Perdido Glacier in the Spanish Pyrenees since 1981

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Moreno, Juan Ignacio; Revuelto, Jesús; Rico, Ibai; Chueca-Cía, Javier; Julián, Asunción; Serreta, Alfredo; Serrano, Enrique; Martín Vicente-Serrano, Sergio; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Alonso-González, Esteban; María García-Ruiz, José

    2016-03-01

    This paper analyzes the evolution of the Monte Perdido Glacier, the third largest glacier in the Pyrenees, from 1981 to the present. We assessed the evolution of the glacier's surface area by analysis 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) data. We interpreted the changes in the glacier based on climate data from nearby meteorological stations. The results indicate that the degradation of this glacier accelerated after 1999. The rate of ice surface loss was almost three times greater during 1999-2006 than during earlier periods. Moreover, the rate of glacier thinning was 1.85 times faster during 1999-2010 (rate of surface elevation change = -8.98 ± 1.80 m, glacier-wide mass balance = -0.73 ± 0.14 m w.e. yr-1) than during 1981-1999 (rate of surface elevation change = -8.35 ± 2.12 m, glacier-wide mass balance = -0.42 ± 0.10 m w.e. yr-1). From 2011 to 2014, ice thinning continued at a slower rate (rate of surface elevation change = -1.93 ± 0.4 m yr-1, glacier-wide mass balance = -0.58 ± 0.36 m w.e. yr-1). This deceleration in ice thinning compared to the previous 17 years can be attributed, at least in part, to two consecutive anomalously wet winters and cool summers (2012-2013 and 2013-2014), counteracted to some degree by the intense thinning that occurred during the dry and warm 2011-2012 period. However, local climatic changes observed during the study period do not seem sufficient to explain the acceleration of ice thinning of this glacier, because precipitation and air temperature did not exhibit statistically significant trends during the study period. Rather, the accelerated degradation of this glacier in recent years can be explained by a strong disequilibrium between the glacier and the current climate, and likely by other

  5. Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1986-2011

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Recession of Thwaites Glacier: inferring relevant processes using the ice sheet model Elmer/Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, Nacho; Durand, Gael; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Gourmelen, Noel; Stumpf, Andre; Lampert, Thomas; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    Numerous studies focusing on ice sheets mass balance clearly show an increasing ice discharge mainly induced by the acceleration of ice flow through coastal outlet glaciers. As a crucial impact, imbalance of both Greenland and Antarctica is today an essential driver of the current sea level rise. In the specific case of West Antarctica, the Amundsen Sea sector is the most impacted region and current recession may be the first sign of a large, unstable and irrevocable retreat of the whole region. Projecting the forthcoming behavior of that sector in general, and the most out of balance Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier is therefore a large matter of concern. Using notably the 3D full-Stokes ice sheet model Elmer/Ice, a recent study has shown that the Pine Island Glacier retreat is currently driven by marine ice sheet instability. Here, we use similar methodologies to investigate the condition of stability of the neighboring Thwaites glacier. In particular, we focus on the effect of ice rises and induced crevasses onto the ice flow and show that their impact is of crucial importance prior to any attempt of projecting the short term response of Twaites glacier.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Particles That Travel Faster than Light?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Roger G.

    1970-01-01

    A discussion of the possible existence of tachyons, particles that travel faster than light, and their theoretical properties. Suggests that if tachyons were found, the consequences for relativity theory, quantum mechanics and the concept of casuality would be far-reaching. Concludes that the final answer rests with the experimentalist.…

  15. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Integrated Ground-Based LiDAR and Global Fiducials Program Satellite Imagery Time Series Analysis of the Terminus of Bering Glacier, Alaska During the 2008-2011 Surge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bawden, G. W.; Molnia, B. F.; Howle, J.; Bond, S.; Angeli, K.; Shuchman, R. A.

    2012-12-01

    Satellite imagery from the Global Fiducials Program (GFP: classified satellite imagery released to the general public for science use: http://gfl.usgs.gov) tracked the 2008-2011 surge of the Bering Glacier, the largest and longest glacier in North America. The terminus displacement began in late 2010, with maximum velocities of greater than 20 meters per day by late January 2011, as measured using feature tracking with GFP imagery. By July, the velocities had decreased to less than 10 m/d. We used the GFP imagery to locate three helicopter accessible targets on the terminus of the Bering Glacier to collect high-resolution (0.5-4 cm spot spacing) 4D time-series tripod/terrestrial LiDAR (T-LiDAR) data. During the week of July 24, 2011 we collected hourly and daily T-LiDAR data to resolve spatially and temporally varied advancement rates at each of the sites. The first site was located on the west side of Tashalich arm on the western side of the Bering Lobe terminus proximal to the region where the maximum GFP velocities had previously been measured. Using the T-LiDAR data, we found that the terminus advanced 5.4 m over 76 hours of observation. The hourly advancement rates for the same location are a very consistent 4.2 cm/h during our daylight hours of observation (0900-1800 local) and when daily rate are extrapolated to the full 76 hours, we should have measured 3.2 m of horizontal displacement: this is a discrepancy between the total and hourly measured displacements of an additional 2.2 m of motion during the night and early morning hours (1800-0900 local). The additional motion may be explained by accelerated terminus velocity associated with daily thermal heating and resulting melt. Motion may also be explained by rain on the second day of the survey that "lubricated" the glacier bed thereby allowing it to advance at a faster velocity. The second site was on Arrowhead Island, located on the eastern side of the terminus where the vertical relieve of the glacier

  17. Uniform summer cooling drove glacier re-advance across New Zealand during the late-glacial climate reversal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaves, S.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Winckler, G.; Schaefer, J. M.; Anderson, B.; Townsend, D.

    2014-12-01

    Rapid, millennial-scale climate events characterised the last global glacial-interglacial transition (18-11 ka). In New Zealand, the timing and magnitude of climatic events during this period are poorly understood. Improving our understanding of these events will help to identify the mechanisms via which rapid shifts in climate occur. In this study, we report results from geomorphological mapping, cosmogenic 3He exposure dating and numerical glacier modelling, which show evidence for re-advance of mountain glaciers on Mt Ruapehu in central North Island, New Zealand (39°S) during the late glacial chron (15-11 ka). Using a distributed energy balance model, coupled with a 2D ice flow model, we perform a range of experiments and sensitivity analyses to constrain estimates of past temperature associated with the mapped and dated former ice limits. We find that glaciers in North Island re-advanced early in the late glacial period in response to a likely temperature cooling of 2.5 - 3.4 °C relative to present day, assuming precipitation remained within ± 20% of present. This reconstructed cooling is greater than recorded in nearby pollen archives, which may reflect a seasonal bias between climate proxies. Using our glacier model, we quantify the length sensitivity of glaciers on Mt. Ruapehu to seasonal climate changes. We find that a 3 °C cooling relative to present causes a c. 80% increase in glacier length when applied to the austral summer months (Dec-Feb), compared to c. 20% in winter (June-August). Thus, glaciers in North Island, New Zealand are most sensitive to temperature changes during summer. Strong agreement between our late-glacial reconstructions and other summer temperature proxy records (e.g. mountain glaciers, chironomids) from the Southern Alps, suggest New Zealand experienced uniform summertime cooling during the late-glacial climate reversal.

  18. Mesoscale Icefield Breezes over Athbasca Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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

    also higher for all periods in the Northern section (5968, 5930, 5923, 5886 and 5186 m) than in the Southern section (5862, 5806, 5787 and 4951 m). The depression in ELAs during the LIA was similar in the NE (~82 m) and in the SE (~86 m). However, the 2007 ELA shows a depression of 106 m in the Southern direction. The magnitude of this depression has shown a marked tendency towards reduction in recent decades (136 m in 1955 and 124 m in 1986). Furthermore, the decrease in ELA depression seems to occur faster, with ↓Z ~12 m between 1955 and 1986 and ↓Z ~18 m between 1986 and 2007. However, during the Little Ice Age (~110 m) that value was closer to the current value (106 m). Depression in ELAs during the last maximum glacier advance has been estimated at ~782 m (NE) and ~847 m (SE). During that period, the N-S depression reached a maximum value of 235 m. These results agree with those obtained for the eastern range of the Central Andes (Smith et al. 2005 a and b) and are also within the depression intervals and trends proposed in regional-scale studies (Kelin et al. 1999). Analyses performed on a sample from a block situated on a lateral moraine in the Queñua Ranra Quebrada (NE group of the complex) suggest a chronology of ~17 Cl36 ky. for the last maximum ice mass advance. This date is in agreement with the depression in SST temperature during the same period, deduced from analyzing Mg/Ca ratios in marine foraminifera shells from the Galapagos Islands (Lea, 2006). Using surfaces and ELAs as geoindicators, deglaciation rates and the Horizon without glaciers (H0) have been calculated globally, for the complete glacier system in scenarios 1 and 2, and for glaciers in the pilot group in scenarios 1, 2 and 3. Results show that the deglaciation process is occurring differentially. Whereas several masses could disappear in a few decades, others could be preserved for centuries. Regarding the last phase of volcanic activity, a lava sample has been dated at only ~2

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Younger Dryas Age advance of Franz Josef Glacier in the Southern Alps of New Zealand

    SciTech Connect

    Denton, G.H. ); Hendy, C.H. )

    1994-06-03

    A corrected radiocarbon age of 11,050 [+-] 14 years before present for an advance of the Franz Josef Glacier to the Waiho Loop terminal moraine on the western flank of New Zealand's Southern Alps shows that glacier advance on a South Pacific island was synchronous with initiation of the Younger Dryas in the North Atlantic region. Hence, cooling at the beginning of the Younger Dryas probably reflects global rather than regional forcing. The source for Younger Dryas climatic cooling may thus lie in the atmosphere rather than in a North Atlantic thermohaline switch. 36 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Spatially heterogeneous wastage of Himalayan glaciers

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Koji; Nuimura, Takayuki

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Relativistic kinematics for motion faster than light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. T.

    1982-01-01

    The use of conformal coordinates in relativistic kinematics is illustrated and a simple extension of the theory of motions faster than light is provided. An object traveling at a speed greater than light discloses its presence by appearing suddenly at a point, splitting into two apparent objects which then recede from each other at sublight velocities. According to the present theory motion at speeds faster than light would not benefit a space traveler, since the twin paradox becomes inverted at such speeds. In Einstein's theory travel at the velocity of light in an intertial system is equivalent to infinite velocity for the traveler. In the present theory the converse is also true; travel at infinite velocity is equivalent to the velocity of light for the traveler.

  6. CORSIKA modifications for faster background generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jero, Kyle

    2016-04-01

    CORSIKA is a simulation program for extensive air showers initiated by high energy cosmic particles. These air showers create the majority of the muons and neutrinos which neutrino that telescopes detect and are considered a background signature in searches for astrophysical neutrinos. This contribution will discuss changes to CORSIKA which allow for faster high energy background simulation. The theory, implementation, application, and performance of these modifications will be presented.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Microbial Habitat on Kilimanjaro's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  10. Compressing bitmap indexes for faster search operations

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Kesheng; Otoo, Ekow J.; Shoshani, Arie

    2002-04-25

    In this paper, we study the effects of compression on bitmap indexes. The main operations on the bitmaps during query processing are bitwise logical operations such as AND, OR, NOT, etc. Using the general purpose compression schemes, such as gzip, the logical operations on the compressed bitmaps are much slower than on the uncompressed bitmaps. Specialized compression schemes, like the byte-aligned bitmap code(BBC), are usually faster in performing logical operations than the general purpose schemes, but in many cases they are still orders of magnitude slower than the uncompressed scheme. To make the compressed bitmap indexes operate more efficiently, we designed a CPU-friendly scheme which we refer to as the word-aligned hybrid code (WAH). Tests on both synthetic and real application data show that the new scheme significantly outperforms well-known compression schemes at a modest increase in storage space. Compared to BBC, a scheme well-known for its operational efficiency, WAH performs logical operations about 12 times faster and uses only 60 percent more space. Compared to the uncompressed scheme, in most test cases WAH is faster while still using less space. We further verified with additional tests that the improvement in logical operation speed translates to similar improvement in query processing speed.

  11. The current disequilibrium of North Cascade glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, Mauri S.

    2006-03-01

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

  12. Imaging evidence for Hubbard Glacier advances and retreats since the last glacial maximum in Yakutat and Disenchantment Bays, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurbuchen, Julie M.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; Goff, John A.

    2015-06-01

    High-resolution 2-D multichannel seismic data, collected during the 2012 UTIG-USGS National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program survey of Disenchantment and Yakutat Bays in southeast Alaska, provide insight into their glacial history. These data show evidence of two unconformities, appearing in the form of channels, and are interpreted to be advance pathways for Hubbard Glacier. The youngest observable channel, thought to have culminated near the main phase of the Little Ice Age (LIA), is imaged in Disenchantment Bay and ends at a terminal moraine near Blizhni Point. An older channel, thought to be from an advance that culminated in the early phase of the LIA, extends from Disenchantment Bay into the northeastern edge of Yakutat Bay, turning southward at Knight Island and terminating on the southeastern edge of Yakutat Bay. Our interpretation is that Hubbard Glacier has repeatedly advanced around the east side of Yakutat Bay in Knight Island Channel, possibly due to the presence of Malaspina Glacier cutting off access to central Yakutat Bay during times of mutual advance. We observe two distinct erosional surfaces and retreat sequences of Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay, supporting the hypothesis that minor glacial advances in fjords do not erode all prior sediment accumulations. Interpretation of chaotic seismic facies between these two unconformities suggests that Hubbard Glacier exhibits rapid retreats and that Disenchantment Bay is subject to numerous episodes of outburst flooding and morainal bank collapse. These findings also suggest that tidewater glaciers preferentially reoccupy the same channels in bay and marine settings during advances.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Maintenance of biodiversity on islands.

    PubMed

    Chisholm, Ryan A; Fung, Tak; Chimalakonda, Deepthi; O'Dwyer, James P

    2016-04-27

    MacArthur and Wilson's theory of island biogeography predicts that island species richness should increase with island area. This prediction generally holds among large islands, but among small islands species richness often varies independently of island area, producing the so-called 'small-island effect' and an overall biphasic species-area relationship (SAR). Here, we develop a unified theory that explains the biphasic island SAR. Our theory's key postulate is that as island area increases, the total number of immigrants increases faster than niche diversity. A parsimonious mechanistic model approximating these processes reproduces a biphasic SAR and provides excellent fits to 100 archipelago datasets. In the light of our theory, the biphasic island SAR can be interpreted as arising from a transition from a niche-structured regime on small islands to a colonization-extinction balance regime on large islands. The first regime is characteristic of classic deterministic niche theories; the second regime is characteristic of stochastic theories including the theory of island biogeography and neutral theory. The data furthermore confirm our theory's key prediction that the transition between the two SAR regimes should occur at smaller areas, where immigration is stronger (i.e. for taxa that are better dispersers and for archipelagos that are less isolated). PMID:27122558

  15. Modelling the behaviour of tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, Faezeh Maghami

    2006-09-01

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

  16. OMEGA - an operational glacier monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellikka, P. K. E.

    2003-04-01

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

  17. Hasty retreat of glaciers in northern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank; Mölg, Nico

    2014-05-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Glaciers in the Rupal Valley (Nanga Parbat)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Nüsser, Marcus

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-11-01

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

  2. LOUISIANA BARRIER ISLAND EROSION STUDY.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sallenger,, Asbury H., Jr.; Penland, Shea; Williams, S. Jeffress; Suter, John R.

    1987-01-01

    During 1986, the U. S. Geological Survey and the Louisiana Geological Survey began a five-year cooperative study focused on the processes which cause erosion of barrier islands. These processes must be understood in order to predict future erosion and to better manage our coastal resources. The study area includes the Louisiana barrier islands which serve to protect 41% of the nation's wetlands. These islands are eroding faster than any other barrier islands in the United States, in places greater than 20 m/yr. The study is divided into three parts: geological development of barrier islands, quantitative processes of barrier island erosion and applications of results. The study focuses on barrier islands in Louisiana although many of the results are applicable nationwide.

  3. Future glacier runoff at the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Harnessing Light for Faster Data Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Looking for a faster computer? How about an optical computer that processes data streams simultaneously and works with the speed of light? In space, NASA researchers have formed optical thin-film. By turning these thin-films into very fast optical computer components, scientists could improve computer tasks, such as pattern recognition. Dr. Hossin Abdeldayem, physicist at NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Al, is working with lasers as part of an optical system for pattern recognition. These systems can be used for automated fingerprinting, photographic scarning and the development of sophisticated artificial intelligence systems that can learn and evolve. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  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. On the role of submarine melting of tidewater glaciers in driving the Greenland ice sheet out of balance (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E. J.; Koppes, M. N.; Velicogna, I.

    2009-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is losing mass and the rate of mass loss has been increasing with time. A recent comparison of the components contributing to the mass balance of the ice sheet suggests that half of the signal is caused by an increase in runoff and half by ice dynamics, i.e. the acceleration of outlet glaciers. The root cause of the glacier acceleration is a de-stabilization of the glacier frontal regions, i.e. an un-grounding of the frontal parts which reduces buttressing and allows faster rates of ice sliding to sea. While the role of surface melt water on the lubrication of the glacier bed has been highly publicized, detailed study of the effect of melt water on glacier flow suggest that it can only account for a moderate acceleration of glaciers. De-stabilization of glaciers from vertical thinning is key, yet the increase in runoff is not large enough to explain the observations. We propose instead that submarine melting of the glacier submerged faces has been the main trigger and control. In August 2008, we collected CTD and current measurements in the front of 4 glaciers, 100 km north of Jakobshavn Isbrae, in West Greenland. Calculation of heat and mass flow reveal submarine melt rates ranging from 1 to 3 meters per day, or 100 times larger than the rates of surface melt. Large variations exist from one glacier to the next, but the results suggest that submarine melting is a large contributor to glacier thinning, capable of explaining glacier un-grounding and de-stabilization. Submarine melting removes from 20% to 90% of the ice that reaches the ocean, the rest being discharged as icebergs. Prior studies totally ignored the role of submarine melting in Greenland and only considered iceberg calving. We conclude than more detailed studies of ice-ocean interactions in tidewater glacier environments are absolutely critical to better understand present-day and future evolutions of the Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate.

  7. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.

    PubMed

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  8. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat

    PubMed Central

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  9. 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.

  10. Faster Algorithms on Branch and Clique Decompositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodlaender, Hans L.; van Leeuwen, Erik Jan; van Rooij, Johan M. M.; Vatshelle, Martin

    We combine two techniques recently introduced to obtain faster dynamic programming algorithms for optimization problems on graph decompositions. The unification of generalized fast subset convolution and fast matrix multiplication yields significant improvements to the running time of previous algorithms for several optimization problems. As an example, we give an O^{*}(3^{ω/2k}) time algorithm for Minimum Dominating Set on graphs of branchwidth k, improving on the previous O *(4 k ) algorithm. Here ω is the exponent in the running time of the best matrix multiplication algorithm (currently ω< 2.376). For graphs of cliquewidth k, we improve from O *(8 k ) to O *(4 k ). We also obtain an algorithm for counting the number of perfect matchings of a graph, given a branch decomposition of width k, that runs in time O^{*}(2^{ω/2k}). Generalizing these approaches, we obtain faster algorithms for all so-called [ρ,σ]-domination problems on branch decompositions if ρ and σ are finite or cofinite. The algorithms presented in this paper either attain or are very close to natural lower bounds for these problems.

  11. Development of the FASTER Wheeled Bevameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Eder, V.; Hoheneder, W.; Imhof, B.; Lewinger, W.; Ransom, S.; Saaj, C.; Weclewski, P.; Waclavicek, R.,

    2014-04-01

    This paper describes the development of a Wheeled Bevameter (WB) within the FASTER project (Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain Data for Exploration Rovers), funded by the European Union's FP7 programme. In FASTER, novel and innovative concepts for in situ forward sensing of soil properties and terrain conditions in the planned path of a planetary rover are developed. Terrain strength measurements for assessment of the mobility of crosscountry vehicles have decades of heritage on Earth, but typically trafficability of terrains is only gauged by human operators ahead of vehicle operations rather than in-line by probes deployed from the vehicle itself, as is intended for FASTER. For FASTER, a Wheeled Bevameter (WB) has been selected as the terrain sensing instrument for the vehicle. Wheeled Bevameters are suitable for terrain measurements while driving but traditionally have mostly been employed on terrestrial vehicles to evaluate particular wheel designs. The WB as conceived in FASTER uses a dedicated, passive-rolling test wheel (‚test wheel') placed on the terrain as the loading device to enable to determine bearing strength, compressive strength and shear strength of the terrain immediately ahead of the vehicle, as well as rover-terrain interaction parameters used in semi-empirical vehicle-terrain traction models. The WB includes a placement mechanism for the test wheel. The test wheel would remain lowered onto the ground during nominal rover motion, including when climbing and descending slopes. During normal operations, the placement mechanism assumes the function of a passive suspension of the wheel, allowing it to follow the terrain contour. Quantities measured with the WB are: test wheel sinkage (through a laser sensor), test wheel vertical load, test wheel horizontal reaction force, and test wheel rotation rate. Measurements are performed while the rover is in motion. Measured test wheel rotation rate (with appropriate corrections for slight skid) can

  12. Active seismoelectric exploration of glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  13. Attribution of glacier fluctuations to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2012-04-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Molecular analysis of bacterial communities from a Canadian high Arctic polythermal glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatia, M.; Sharp, M.; Foght, J.

    2003-04-01

    The goal of this study is to characterize the bacterial communities beneath, on, and adjacent to a high Arctic polythermal glacier, with a view to understanding the origins of the subglacial microbial population. The study site is John Evans Glacier (JEG), Ellesmere Island, Canada. JEG is a polythermal glacier consisting of a core of ice at the pressure melting point, surrounded by an outer layer of cold ice. Basal melting and seasonal inputs of meltwater from the glacier surface provide liquid water for subglacial microbial life. Samples were collected from the subglacial, supraglacial, and proglacial environments at JEG. Subglacial samples included basal ice and water that had been stored beneath the glacier. Dry snow, wet snow, and water from supraglacial streams were collected as representatives of the supraglacial environment, which changes in character through the melt season. Sediments and algal mats were collected from an area directly in front of the glacier terminus and along a transect adjacent to the glacier to reflect the developing proglacial environment. Hydrochemical analyses were conducted to assess the role of microbial activity in biogeochemical processes. To compare the bacterial communities, molecular techniques were applied to total community DNA that was released from the samples by a physical cell disruption technique. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used with bacterial-specific primers, one of which was fluorescently labeled, to amplify community 16S rDNA genes. Single digestions with the restriction enzymes HaeIII and HhaI were performed to conduct inter- and intra-community comparisons of the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (tRFLPs) of the fluorescently tagged amplified 16S rDNA genes. Preliminary results indicate that although some species are present throughout the different environments, several species are unique to each particular habitat. Further study of replicate tRFLP data and statistical analyses will

  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.

    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.

  18. Atmospheric drying as the main driver of dramatic glacier wastage in the southern Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Favier, V.; Verfaillie, D.; Berthier, E.; Menegoz, M.; Jomelli, V.; Kay, J. E.; Ducret, L.; Malbéteau, Y.; Brunstein, D.; Gallée, H.; Park, Y.-H.; Rinterknecht, V.

    2016-01-01

    The ongoing retreat of glaciers at southern sub-polar latitudes is particularly rapid and widespread. Akin to northern sub-polar latitudes, this retreat is generally assumed to be linked to warming. However, no long-term and well-constrained glacier modeling has ever been performed to confirm this hypothesis. Here, we model the Cook Ice Cap mass balance on the Kerguelen Islands (Southern Indian Ocean, 49°S) since the 1850s. We show that glacier wastage during the 2000s in the Kerguelen was among the most dramatic on Earth. We attribute 77% of the increasingly negative mass balance since the 1960s to atmospheric drying associated with a poleward shift of the mid-latitude storm track. Because precipitation modeling is very challenging for the current generation of climate models over the study area, models incorrectly simulate the climate drivers behind the recent glacier wastage in the Kerguelen. This suggests that future glacier wastage projections should be considered cautiously where changes in atmospheric circulation are expected. PMID:27580801

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  20. The 24 July 2008 outburst flood of Zyndan glacier lake, Ysyk-Köl region, Kyrgyzstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narama, C.; Duishonakonov, M.; Kääb, A.; Abdrakhmatov, K.

    2009-04-01

    On 24 July 2008, a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) occurred in the Zyndan River, the Ysyk-Köl region, Kyrgyzstan. The flood killed three people and many livestock (horse, sheep, fish), and caused heavy damage destroying a bridge, road, two homes, and crops of agriculture fields. We researched the damege after two days of the GLOF. Using kinematic GPS we measured the decrease of the glacier lake area, and the according drop of the water level through the outburst. Glacier lake area of about 0.03 km2 reduced after the collapse, more than 400,000 m3 of water were discharged. While the initial flood discharge was relatively small, it increased substantially and was carrying large boulders after 30 minutes. When spreading further downstream, the dirty waters trapped eight people on islands between the stream branches. The flood discharge continued to rise until midnight and began to decrease again around 3 AM the next morning. The lake at 3771 m asl is located in front of the west Zyndan glacier at the head of the Zyndan River basin. The glacier lake had developed rapidly due to glacier shrinkage caused by recent atmospheric warming. Reasons for the outburst included melting of dead ice inside the moraine that dammed the lake. The villages downstream escaped heavy damage, because the main flood changed its direction, away from the water reservoir along the village and towards another river.

  1. Atmospheric drying as the main driver of dramatic glacier wastage in the southern Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Favier, V; Verfaillie, D; Berthier, E; Menegoz, M; Jomelli, V; Kay, J E; Ducret, L; Malbéteau, Y; Brunstein, D; Gallée, H; Park, Y-H; Rinterknecht, V

    2016-01-01

    The ongoing retreat of glaciers at southern sub-polar latitudes is particularly rapid and widespread. Akin to northern sub-polar latitudes, this retreat is generally assumed to be linked to warming. However, no long-term and well-constrained glacier modeling has ever been performed to confirm this hypothesis. Here, we model the Cook Ice Cap mass balance on the Kerguelen Islands (Southern Indian Ocean, 49°S) since the 1850s. We show that glacier wastage during the 2000s in the Kerguelen was among the most dramatic on Earth. We attribute 77% of the increasingly negative mass balance since the 1960s to atmospheric drying associated with a poleward shift of the mid-latitude storm track. Because precipitation modeling is very challenging for the current generation of climate models over the study area, models incorrectly simulate the climate drivers behind the recent glacier wastage in the Kerguelen. This suggests that future glacier wastage projections should be considered cautiously where changes in atmospheric circulation are expected. PMID:27580801

  2. Columbia Glacier, Alaska recent ice loss and its relationship to seasonal terminal embayments, thinning and glacial flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sikonia, W.G.; Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    In 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey began an intensive investigation of the stability of Columbia Glacier, a calving tidewater galcier terminating in Columbia Bay, near Valdez, Alaska. Aerial photographs taken in 1957 and a sequence of photographs taken at about 2-month intervals since 1976, when analyzed photogrammetrically, provided detailed data on changes in Columbia Glacier 's thickness, flow rate, and terminal position. Annual embayments in the glacier 's terminus form during the summer-autumn season in most years; the size of embayments appears to be related to (1) the thickness of the glacier, and (2) the position and nature of subglacial freshwater discharge. Embayments have apparently increased in size in recent years; the largest embayments yet observed formed in 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978. From April 1, 1977, to April 1, 1978, the total volume of ice calved was about 1.0 cubic kilometer. By January 1979 the glacier front had retreated from Heather Island. Glacier flow varies seasonally and synchronously in the lower 17 kilometers of the glacier; large accelerations occur near the terminus in response to embayment formation. Daily speed within 5 kilometers of the terminus increased from about 1.9 meters per day between 1963 and 1968 to about 2.7 meters per day between 1977 and 1978. In the lowest 15 kilometers, the glacier surface was lowered about 9 meters between 1957 and 1974, and about 13 meters between 1974 and 1978. Columbia Glacier is being reduced in mass due, in part, to recent losses caused by large embayments forming annually. If such reduction continues it will result in a drastic retreat. (USGS)

  3. Stable oxygen isotope variability in two contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Steffensen, Jørgen P.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Hasholt, Bent; Ingeman-Nielsen, Thomas; Kronborg, Christian; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Oerter, Hans; Roberts, David H.; Russell, Andrew J.

    2016-03-01

    Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of δ18O variations in Greenlandic rivers, we examined two contrasting glacierised catchments disconnected from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). At the Mittivakkat Gletscher river, a small river draining a local temperate glacier in southeast Greenland, diurnal oscillations in δ18O occurred with a 3 h time lag to the diurnal oscillations in run-off. The mean annual δ18O was -14.68 ± 0.18 ‰ during the peak flow period. A hydrograph separation analysis revealed that the ice melt component constituted 82 ± 5 % of the total run-off and dominated the observed variations during peak flow in August 2004. The snowmelt component peaked between 10:00 and 13:00 local time, reflecting the long travel time and an inefficient distributed subglacial drainage network in the upper part of the glacier. At the Kuannersuit Glacier river on the island Qeqertarsuaq in west Greenland, the δ18O characteristics were examined after the major 1995-1998 glacier surge event. The mean annual δ18O was -19.47 ± 0.55 ‰. Despite large spatial variations in the δ18O values of glacier ice on the newly formed glacier tongue, there were no diurnal oscillations in the bulk meltwater emanating from the glacier in the post-surge years. This is likely a consequence of a tortuous subglacial drainage system consisting of linked cavities, which formed during the surge event. Overall, a comparison of the δ18O compositions from glacial river water in Greenland shows distinct differences between water draining local glaciers and ice caps (between -23.0 and -13.7 ‰) and the GrIS (between -29.9 and -23.2 ‰). This study demonstrates that water isotope analyses can be used to obtain important information on water sources and the subglacial drainage system structure that is highly desired for understanding glacier hydrology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Microbial communities evolve faster in extreme environments

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sheng-Jin; Hua, Zheng-Shuang; Huang, Li-Nan; Li, Jie; Shi, Su-Hua; Chen, Lin-Xing; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Liu, Jun; Hu, Min; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary analysis of microbes at the community level represents a new research avenue linking ecological patterns to evolutionary processes, but remains insufficiently studied. Here we report a relative evolutionary rates (rERs) analysis of microbial communities from six diverse natural environments based on 40 metagenomic samples. We show that the rERs of microbial communities are mainly shaped by environmental conditions, and the microbes inhabiting extreme habitats (acid mine drainage, saline lake and hot spring) evolve faster than those populating benign environments (surface ocean, fresh water and soil). These findings were supported by the observation of more relaxed purifying selection and potentially frequent horizontal gene transfers in communities from extreme habitats. The mechanism of high rERs was proposed as high mutation rates imposed by stressful conditions during the evolutionary processes. This study brings us one stage closer to an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying the adaptation of microbes to extreme environments. PMID:25158668

  8. Pigeons home faster through polluted air.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhongqiu; Courchamp, Franck; Blumstein, Daniel T

    2016-01-01

    Air pollution, especially haze pollution, is creating health issues for both humans and other animals. However, remarkably little is known about how animals behaviourally respond to air pollution. We used multiple linear regression to analyse 415 pigeon races in the North China Plain, an area with considerable air pollution, and found that while the proportion of pigeons successfully homed was not influenced by air pollution, pigeons homed faster when the air was especially polluted. Our results may be explained by an enhanced homing motivation and possibly an enriched olfactory environment that facilitates homing. Our study provides a unique example of animals' response to haze pollution; future studies are needed to identify proposed mechanisms underlying this effect. PMID:26728113

  9. Darks are processed faster than lights.

    PubMed

    Komban, Stanley Jose; Alonso, Jose-Manuel; Zaidi, Qasim

    2011-06-01

    Recent physiological studies claim that dark stimuli have access to greater neuronal resources than light stimuli in early visual pathway. We used two sets of novel stimuli to examine the functional consequences of this dark dominance in human observers. We show that increment and decrement thresholds are equal when controlled for adaptation and eye movements. However, measurements for salience differences at high contrasts show that darks are detected pronouncedly faster and more accurately than lights when presented against uniform binary noise. In addition, the salience advantage for darks is abolished when the background distribution is adjusted to control for the irradiation illusion. The threshold equality suggests that the highest sensitivities of neurons in the ON and OFF channels are similar, whereas the salience difference is consistent with a population advantage for the OFF system. PMID:21653869

  10. Pigeons home faster through polluted air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhongqiu; Courchamp, Franck; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2016-01-01

    Air pollution, especially haze pollution, is creating health issues for both humans and other animals. However, remarkably little is known about how animals behaviourally respond to air pollution. We used multiple linear regression to analyse 415 pigeon races in the North China Plain, an area with considerable air pollution, and found that while the proportion of pigeons successfully homed was not influenced by air pollution, pigeons homed faster when the air was especially polluted. Our results may be explained by an enhanced homing motivation and possibly an enriched olfactory environment that facilitates homing. Our study provides a unique example of animals’ response to haze pollution; future studies are needed to identify proposed mechanisms underlying this effect.

  11. Pigeons home faster through polluted air

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhongqiu; Courchamp, Franck; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2016-01-01

    Air pollution, especially haze pollution, is creating health issues for both humans and other animals. However, remarkably little is known about how animals behaviourally respond to air pollution. We used multiple linear regression to analyse 415 pigeon races in the North China Plain, an area with considerable air pollution, and found that while the proportion of pigeons successfully homed was not influenced by air pollution, pigeons homed faster when the air was especially polluted. Our results may be explained by an enhanced homing motivation and possibly an enriched olfactory environment that facilitates homing. Our study provides a unique example of animals’ response to haze pollution; future studies are needed to identify proposed mechanisms underlying this effect. PMID:26728113

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Place names in Greenland can be difficult to get right, as they are a mix of Greenlandic, Danish, and other foreign languages. In addition, orthographies have changed over time. With this new data set, we give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to find the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland and to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography. The data set contains information on the names of 733 glaciers, 285 originating from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and 448 from local glaciers and ice caps (LGICs).

  13. Advances in Modelling of Valley Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Surendra

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative has built a database of glacier outlines and related attributes, derived primarily from satellite imagery, such as from ASTER and Landsat. Each snapshot of a glacier is from a specific time, and the database is designed to store multiple snapshots representative of different times. The database currently contains outlines for approximately 83,000 glaciers. Of these, 549 glaciers have outlines from more than one time, which can be studied for change. The glacier-by-glacier area-change signal over large areas tends to be noisy, but the mode of the distribution of area change for these 549 glaciers is -5%. We have implemented two web-based interfaces to the database. One enables exploration of the data via interactive maps (Web map server), while the other allows searches based on text-field constraints. The Web map server creates interactive maps on our Web site, www.glims.org, and can also supply glacier layers to other servers over the Internet. As a service to the GLIMS community, the database contains metadata on all ASTER imagery (approximately 200,000 images) acquired over glacierized terrain. Reduced-resolution images can be viewed either as a layer in the MapServer application, or overlaid on the virtual globe within Google Earth. The system allows users to download their selected glacier data in a choice of formats. The results of a query based on spatial selection (using a mouse) or text-field constraints can be downloaded in any of these formats: ESRI shapefiles, KML (Google Earth), MapInfo, GML (Geography Markup Language) and GMT (Generic Mapping Tools). This "clip-and-ship" function allows users to download only the data they are interested in. In this presentation we describe our flexible Web interfaces to the database, which includes various ancillary layers, facilitates enhanced analysis of glacier systems, their distribution, and their impacts on other Earth systems.

  15. Tracking glaciers with the Alaska seismic network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, M. E.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Impact Analysis of Climate Change on the Dynamics of Glaciers, Bhagirathi Basin, Garhwal Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvan, T. M.; Mathukumalli, B. P.

    2012-12-01

    The recent developments in remote sensing give an opportunity to map natural features on the earth surface with more accurately. The semiarid to arid climatic condition of the Himalayan region makes it extremely amenable to glacial geomorphological studies and snout determination because of the well preserved moraines and other geomorphological features. In this paper, the de-glaciation pattern of the Bhagirathi basin have been studied from year 1980-2006 and various climatic parameters are also analysed during this period and compared with the changes on the glacier dynamics. The Bhagirathi River and its tributaries are dependents predominantly on glacier, snow melt and precipitation response. The investigation was carried out with the satellite images from the Landsat images of Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and Thematic Mapper (TM and ETM+). Along with the Landsat images, Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) LISS-III images have been used for preparing a repetitive glacier inventory. The larger glaciers have shown a reduction in the areal extent, whereas the smaller glaciers have increased in number. With the gradual retreat, the tributaries of the glaciers are susceptible to a detachment from the main body, thus showing fragmentation. These fragmentations have been observed in the images during the interpretation and analysis process. The glacier retreat rate was faster in years 1980-2000 compare to the years 2000-2006. At the same time Vegetation and Open Rocks Area are increasing considerably, while the Debris Covered Ice and Snow cover area is decreasing linearly at the time scale. This indicates that rate of retreat is reduced during the recent time. The climatic data analysis shows that the average rainfall for the Garhwal Himalaya varies between 1000 to 2500 mm of which 50-80% falls during the south-west monsoon period between June and September. Over the study period, the average daily temperatures ranged between 14.7 and 4.1°C (avg. 9.4°C). It is

  18. Glacier-derived August runoff in northwest Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. GIS-based glacier inventory of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  2. Fast Physics Testbed for the FASTER Project

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, W.; Liu, Y.; Hogan, R.; Neggers, R.; Jensen, M.; Fridlind, A.; Lin, Y.; Wolf, A.

    2010-03-15

    This poster describes the Fast Physics Testbed for the new FAst-physics System Testbed and Research (FASTER) project. The overall objective is to provide a convenient and comprehensive platform for fast turn-around model evaluation against ARM observations and to facilitate development of parameterizations for cloud-related fast processes represented in global climate models. The testbed features three major components: a single column model (SCM) testbed, an NWP-Testbed, and high-resolution modeling (HRM). The web-based SCM-Testbed features multiple SCMs from major climate modeling centers and aims to maximize the potential of SCM approach to enhance and accelerate the evaluation and improvement of fast physics parameterizations through continuous evaluation of existing and evolving models against historical as well as new/improved ARM and other complementary measurements. The NWP-Testbed aims to capitalize on the large pool of operational numerical weather prediction products. Continuous evaluations of NWP forecasts against observations at ARM sites are carried out to systematically identify the biases and skills of physical parameterizations under all weather conditions. The highresolution modeling (HRM) activities aim to simulate the fast processes at high resolution to aid in the understanding of the fast processes and their parameterizations. A four-tier HRM framework is established to augment the SCM- and NWP-Testbeds towards eventual improvement of the parameterizations.

  3. How to drill horizontal sections faster

    SciTech Connect

    Chaffin, M. )

    1991-12-01

    This paper reports that fewer trips, reduced slide time and lower drag during sliding have resulted from the application of downhole-adjustable stabilizers to horizontal drilling. Faster drilling times mean lower measurement while drilling (MWD) cost, and less wear on downhole equipment, motors and bits. These advantages combined with reduced drilling shocks have increased drilling rates and efficiency. Applying existing technology in new situations is an important way of reducing the cost of finding, exploring for and developing reserves. Engineers are responsible for using current technology to its fullest and developing new technology to reduce drilling expenses. Horizontal drilling was used in its early stages to develop the Austin chalk formation in Pearsall oil field more effectively. As procedures were generated to drill horizontal wells, Oryx drilling engineers began to develop new technology and investigate ways for existing technology to be used or altered to fit horizontal drilling programs. The new technology of downhole-adjustable stabilizers has been used successfully to further improve horizontal drilling efficiency.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Englacial Hydrology of Temperate Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Accelerating thinning of Kenai Peninsula glaciers, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machguth, H.; Huss, M.

    2014-05-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-29

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

  13. 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

  14. Winter speed-up of ice flow at quiescent surge-type glaciers in Yukon, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuya, M.; Abe, T.

    2013-12-01

    Glacier surge exhibits order-of-magnitude faster velocity and km-scale terminus advance during its short active phase after a long quiescent period. The observations of glacier surge are still limited, and the mechanisms of glacier surge cycle remain elusive. Moreover, with the exception of several well-examined glaciers, the glacier dynamics during their quiescent periods remains even more uncertain due to the paucity of surface velocity measurement data. Here we examined spatial-temporal changes in the ice surface velocity of surge-type glaciers in the St. Elias Mountains near the border of Alaska and Yukon during the period from December 2006 to March 2011. We applied the offset-tracking (feature-tracking) technique to the L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images derived from the Japanese Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS). The Chitina, Anderson, Walsh, and Logan Glaciers, the major subpolar surge-type glaciers of the Chitina River valley system, could be examined with the highest temporal resolution because of the overlap of multiple satellite tracks. We have found significant upstream accelerations from fall to winter at a number of glaciers during their quiescence. Moreover, whereas the upstream propagating summer speed-up was observed, the winter speed-up propagated from upstream to downglacier. Although the winter speed-up seems to be at odds with the well-known summer speed-up, these observations are consistent with the fragmentary but well-known fact of glacier surge that often initiates in winter, suggesting that some of the mechanisms would be valid even during quiescent phases. Ice surface velocity at mountain glaciers and ice sheets typically exhibits the greatest acceleration from spring to early summer, followed by deceleration in mid-summer to fall, and is slowest in winter. These short-term velocity changes are attributed to subglacial slip associated with water pressure changes that occur because of the seasonal variability of

  15. Birth of a Large Iceberg in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    A large tabular iceberg (42 kilometers x 17 kilometers) broke off Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica (75oS latitude, 102oW longitude) sometime between November 4 and 12, 2001. Images of the glacier were acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. This event was preceded by the formation of a large crack across the glacier in mid 2000. Data gathered by other imaging instruments revealed the crack to be propagating through the shelf ice at a rate averaging 15 meters per day, accompanied by a slight rotation of about one percent per year at the seaward margin of the rift.

    The image set shows three views of Pine Island Glacier acquired by MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir) camera. The first was captured in late 2000, early in the development of the crack. The second and third views were acquired in November 2001, just before and just after the new iceberg broke off. The existence of the crack took the glaciological community by surprise, and the rapid rate at which the crack propagated was also not anticipated. Glaciologists predicted that the rift would reach the other side of the glacier sometime in 2002. However, the iceberg detached much sooner than anticipated, and the last 10-kilometer segment that was still attached to the ice shelf snapped off in a matter of days.

    The animated sequence consists of 11 snapshots acquired by MISR's nadir camera between September 16, 2000 and November 12, 2001. Due to frequent cloud cover, the time interval between successive frames is not uniform. The flow of the glacier, widening of the rift, and subsequent break-off of the iceberg are evident. A 'jump' in the position of the rift near the middle of the sequence is due to a gap in image acquisition during Antarctic winter, when the glacier was in continuous darkness.

    Pine Island Glacier is the largest discharger of ice in Antarctica and the continent's fastest moving glacier. This area of the West

  16. 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.

  17. Recent Ice Loss from the Fleming and Other Glaciers, Wordie Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E.; Casassa, G.; Gogineni, S.; Kanagaratnam, P.; Krabill, W.; Pritchard, H.; Rivera, A.; Thomas, R.; Turner, J.; Vaughan, D.

    2005-01-01

    Satellite radar interferometry data from 1995 to 2004, and airborne ice thickness data from 2002, reveal that the glaciers flowing into former Wordie Ice Shelf, West Antarctic Peninsula, discharge 6.8 +/- 0.3 km(exp 3)/yr of ice, which is 84 +/- 30 percent larger than a snow accumulation of 3.7 +/- 0.8 km(exp 3)/yr over a 6,300 km(exp 2) drainage basin. Airborne and ICESat laser altimetry elevation data reveal glacier thinning at rates up to 2 m/yr. Fifty km from its ice front, Fleming Glacier flows 50 percent faster than it did in 1974 prior to the main collapse of Wordie Ice Shelf. We conclude that the glaciers accelerated following ice shelf removal, and have been thinning and losing mass to the ocean over the last decade. This and other observations suggest that the mass loss from the northern part of the Peninsula is not negligible at present.

  18. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Geodetic observations show several large, sudden increases in flow speed at Helheim Glacier, one of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, during summer, 2007. These step-like accelerations, detected along the length of the glacier, coincide with teleseismically detected glacial earthquakes and major iceberg calving events. No coseismic offset in the position of the glacier surface is observed; instead, modest tsunamis associated with the glacial earthquakes implicate glacier calving in the seismogenic process. Our results link changes in glacier velocity directly to calving-front behavior at Greenland's largest outlet glaciers, on timescales as short as minutes to hours, and clarify the mechanism by which glacial earthquakes occur.

  3. Modelled trends in oceanic conditions of Pine Island Bay between 1991 and 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimuras, Satoshi; Holland, Paul; Regan, Heather; Jenkins, Adrian; Van Wessem, Melchior

    2016-04-01

    Two ice shelves in Pine Island Bay, Pine Island Glacier and its neighbour Thwaites Glacier, have been highlighted as major drainage pathways for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. We quantify the melting of these ice shelves and oceanic conditions between 1991 and 2014 using a general circulation model. Two different atmospheric forcing scenarios (RACMO2.3 and ERA-Interim) are used as a surface boundary. The ocean heat content of the Pine Island Bay from the simulations shows periodic decrease in the late 1990s and 2012-2014, but the magnitude of cooling is different between RACMO2.3 and ERA-Interim forced simulations. The brine rejection of the sea ice production causes enhanced overturning and cools the water north of Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf. This cold water flows southward along the coastline, resulting in lower melt rate in the late 1990s and 2012-2014.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Sea otter studies in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, J.L.; Kloecker, K.A.; Esslinger, G.G.; Monson, D.H.; DeGroot, J.D.; Doherty, J.

    2002-01-01

    Following translocations to the outer coast of Southeast Alaska in 1965, sea otters have been expanding their range and increasing in abundance. We began conducting surveys for sea otters in Cross Sound, Icy Strait, and Glacier Bay, Alaska in 1994, following initial reports (in 1993) of their presence in Glacier Bay. Since 1995, the number of sea otters in Glacier Bay proper has increased from around 5 to more than 1500. Between 1993 and 1997 sea otters were apparently only occasional visitors to Glacier Bay, but in 1998 long-term residence was established as indicated by the presence of adult females and their dependent pups. Sea otter distribution is limited to the Lower Bay, south of Sandy Cove, and is not continuous within that area. Concentrations occur in the vicinity of Sita Reef and Boulder Island and between Pt. Carolus and Rush Pt. on the west side of the Bay (Figure 1). We describe the diet of sea otters during 2001 in Glacier Bay based on visual observations of prey during 456 successful forage dives. In Glacier Bay, diet consisted of 62% clam, 15% mussel, 9% crab, 7% unidentified, 4& urchins, and 4% other. Most prey recovered by sea otters are commercially, socially, or ecologically important species. Species of clam include Saxidomus gigantea, Protothaca staminea, and Mya truncata. Urchins are primarily Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and the mussel is Modiolus modiolus. Crabs include species of three genera: Cancer, Chinoecetes, and Telmessus. Although we characterize diet at broad geographic scales, we found diet to vary between sites separated by as little as several hundred meters. Dietary variation among and within sites can reflect differences in prey availability and individual specialization. We estimated species composition, density, biomass, and sizes of subtidal clams, urchins, and mussels at 9 sites in lower Glacier Bay. All sites were selected based on the presence of abundant clam siphons. Sites were not selected to allow inference to

  7. Reconstructing climate variability using tree rings and glacier fluctuations in the southern Chilean Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aravena, Juan-Carlos

    -early summer in northwestern Patagonia extends from AD 1600 to 2002, and only explains 14% of the variance in the instrumental record. The southern Patagonia summer-autumn precipitation reconstruction (1600 to 2000) explains 40% of the total variance. Both reconstructed series show oscillatory modes for periodicities between 2 and 4 years and between 20 and 40 years. Droughts recognized in the reconstructed northwestern Patagonia precipitation series coincide with several other precipitation reconstructions of south-central Chile and Argentina over the last 400 years. "Little Ice Age" glacier fluctuations were examined at Mount San Lorenzo (47°30'S) and Santa Ines Island (53°45'S) in southern Chile using dendroglaciologic, geomorphic and historical (documentary, photographic) evidence. At Mount San Lorenzo the glacial advances occurred between 1600 and the late 1800s-early 1900s. At Santa Ines Island, the oldest glacial advance is dated ca. AD 1675 at Alejandro Glacier. Minimum age estimates ca. AD 1758, 1840-45 and 1895-1910 are common to Alejandro and Beatriz glaciers suggesting synchronous glacial activity. Glaciers have been receding at both sites during the last half of the 20th century. Radiocarbon dates from peat at Beatriz Glacier on Santa Ines Island indicate that the seventeenth century advance was the most extensive in the last 5,300 years in this area. Comparison between these glacier histories and climatic reconstructions for the last 400 years shows that glaciers from both study areas respond to a combination of temperature and precipitation. Future work involving a multi-criteria approach to date these moraines should include examination of soils, volcanic tephras and lake deposits within moraines, together with other dating tools to improve the dating control of the glacier histories. Keywords. Precipitation, homogeneity analysis, atmospheric circulation, Pilgerodendron uviferum, tree rings, time series analysis, climate variability, Southern South America

  8. Insights into the Thwaites Glacier grounding zone from Operation IceBridge aerogravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinto, K. J.; Bell, R. E.; Cochran, J. R.; Elieff, S.; Frearson, N.

    2010-12-01

    Operation IceBridge acquired 1500 km of geophysical data, at 10 km spacing, in front of the Thwaites Glacier grounding line during the 2009 season. The gravity anomalies recorded by the survey have been used to model the bathymetry of the sea floor in front of the glacier, an area inaccessible to previous surveys. The resulting map reveals previously unseen detail of the Thwaites grounding zone, as well as the spatial extent of features that were formerly only known as points affecting the ice surface. The modeled bathymetry in front of Thwaites Glacier is marked by an undulating ridge running sub-parallel to the grounding line, 40 km seaward. The highest peak on the ridge is in contact with the overlying ice shelf, hindering its flow. Ridge elevation decreases to the west, with a maximum ridge depth of 850 m and an average relief of 350 m. This is comparable in scale to the recently identified ridge crossing the channel of nearby Pine Island Glacier (Jenkins et al., 2010). The present-day grounding line of Thwaites appears to be marked by a more subdued ridge, in which we have identified a 20 km wide hollow, to a water depth of 1200 m. Our model shows that this hollow corresponds to a landward bight in the grounding line, in the region through which the fast ice flow of Thwaites Glacier is focused. This correlation was not visible on previous, coarser scale maps of the grounding line, and shows a clear relationship between the bathymetry and ice flow. Gravity inversions have been constrained by nearby marine surveys, satellite images of the ice rise at the peak of the ridge and radar and laser data from the IceBridge survey to constrain ice thickness. The absolute values of predicted bathymetry are dependent on the density of the rocks in the subsurface, for example the presence or absence of volcanic material or loose sediments. Some models of the geology of the survey area are also proposed. Uncertainty of underlying geology may account for ~100 m errors in the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. 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