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Sample records for mass balance ice

  1. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeh, N.

    1984-01-01

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

  2. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shfaqat A; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A; Wahr, John; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Kjær, Kurt H

    2015-04-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or external (atmospheric/oceanic/basal) fluctuations. Regardless of the measurement method, observations over the last two decades show an increase in ice loss rate, associated with speeding up of glaciers and enhanced melting. However, both ice discharge and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required to project realistic future sea-level changes. PMID:25811969

  3. The mass balance of the ice plain of Ice Stream B and Crary Ice Rise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, Robert

    1993-01-01

    The region in the mouth of Ice Stream B (the ice plain) and that in the vicinity of Crary Ice Rise are experiencing large and rapid changes. Based on velocity, ice thickness, and accumulation rate data, the patterns of net mass balance in these regions were calculated. Net mass balance, or the rate of ice thickness change, was calculated as the residual of all mass fluxes into and out of subregions (or boxes). Net mass balance provides a measure of the state of health of the ice sheet and clues to the current dynamics.

  4. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Wingham, D J; Shepherd, A; Muir, A; Marshall, G J

    2006-07-15

    The Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise has long been uncertain. While regional variability in ice dynamics has been revealed, a picture of mass changes throughout the continental ice sheet is lacking. Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992-2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range -5-+85Gtyr-1. We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend-growth of 27+/-29Gtyr-1-is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica. The result exacerbates the difficulty of explaining twentieth century sea-level rise. PMID:16782603

  5. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, A.; Ivins, E. R.

    2015-12-01

    Fluctuations in the mass of ice stored in Antarctica and Greenland are of considerable societal importance. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-Comparison Exercise (IMBIE) is a joint-initiative of ESA and NASA aimed at producing a single estimate of the global sea level contribution to polar ice sheet losses. Within IMBIE, estimates of ice sheet mass balance are developed from a variety of satellite geodetic techniques using a common spatial and temporal reference frame and a common appreciation of the contributions due to external signals. The project brings together the laboratories and space agencies that have been instrumental in developing independent estimates of ice sheet mass balance to date. In its first phase, IMBIE involved 27 science teams, and delivered a first community assessment of ice sheet mass imbalance to replace 40 individual estimates. The project established that (i) there is good agreement between the three main satellite-based techniques for estimating ice sheet mass balance, (ii) combining satellite data sets leads to significant improvement in certainty, (iii) the polar ice sheets contributed 11 ± 4 mm to global sea levels between 1992 and 2012, and (iv) that combined ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland have increased over time, rising from 10% of the global trend in the early 1990's to 30% in the late 2000's. Demand for an updated assessment has grown, and there are now new satellite missions, new geophysical corrections, new techniques, and new teams producing data. The period of overlap between independent satellite techniques has increased from 5 to 12 years, and the full period of satellite data over which an assessment can be performed has increased from 19 to 40 years. It is also clear that multiple satellite techniques are required to confidently separate mass changes associated with snowfall and ice dynamical imbalance - information that is of critical importance for climate modelling. This presentation outlines the approach

  6. A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R; A, Geruo; Barletta, Valentina R; Bentley, Mike J; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H; Bromwich, David H; Forsberg, René; Galin, Natalia; Horwath, Martin; Jacobs, Stan; Joughin, Ian; King, Matt A; Lenaerts, Jan T M; Li, Jilu; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Luckman, Adrian; Luthcke, Scott B; McMillan, Malcolm; Meister, Rakia; Milne, Glenn; Mouginot, Jeremie; Muir, Alan; Nicolas, Julien P; Paden, John; Payne, Antony J; Pritchard, Hamish; Rignot, Eric; Rott, Helmut; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg; Scambos, Ted A; Scheuchl, Bernd; Schrama, Ernst J O; Smith, Ben; Sundal, Aud V; van Angelen, Jan H; van de Berg, Willem J; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Vaughan, David G; Velicogna, Isabella; Wahr, John; Whitehouse, Pippa L; Wingham, Duncan J; Yi, Donghui; Young, Duncan; Zwally, H Jay

    2012-11-30

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods--especially in Greenland and West Antarctica--and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 ± 49, +14 ± 43, -65 ± 26, and -20 ± 14 gigatonnes year(-1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 ± 0.20 millimeter year(-1) to the rate of global sea-level rise. PMID:23197528

  7. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik R.; Geruo, A.; Barletta, Valentia R.; Bentley, Mike J.; Bettadpur, Srinivas; Briggs, Kate H.; Bromwich, David H.; Forsberg, Rene; Galin, Natalia; Horwath, Martin; Jacobs, Stan; Joughin, Ian; King, Matt A.; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Li, Jilu; Ligtenberg, Stefan R. M.; Luckman, Adrian; Luthcke, Scott B.; McMillan, Malcolm; Meister, Rakia; Milne, Glenn; Mouginot, Jeremie; Muir, Alan; Nicolas,Julien P.; Paden, John; Payne, Antony J.; Pritchard, Hamish; Rignot, Eric; Rott, Helmut; Sorensen, Louise Sandberg; Scambos, Ted A.; Yi, Dohngui; Zwally, H. Jay

    2012-01-01

    We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth's polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods-especially in Greenland and West Antarctica-and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by -142 plus or minus 49, +14 plus or minus 43, -65 plus or minus 26, and -20 plus or minus 14 gigatonnes year(sup -1), respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 plus or minus 0.20 millimeter year(sup -1) to the rate of global sea-level rise.

  8. A Novel and Low Cost Sea Ice Mass Balance Buoy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Keith; Meldrum, David; Wilkinson, Jeremy; Maksym, Ted; Beckers, Justin; Haas, Christian

    2013-04-01

    Understanding of sea ice mass balance processes requires continuous monitoring of the seasonal evolution of ice thickness. While autonomous ice mass balance buoys (IMBs) deployed over the past two decades have contributed to our understanding of ice growth and decay processes, deployment has been limited, in part, by the cost of such systems. Routine, basin-wide monitoring of the ice cover is realistically achievable through a network of reliable and affordable autonomous instrumentation. We describe the development of a novel autonomous platform and sensor that replaces the traditional thermistors string for monitoring temperature profiles in the ice and snow using a chain of inexpensive digital temperature chip sensors linked by a single-wire data bus. By incorporating a heating element on each sensor, the instrument is capable of resolving material interfaces (e.g. air-snow and ice-ocean boundaries) even under isothermal conditions. The instrument is small, low-cost and easy to deploy. Field and laboratory tests of the sensor chain demonstrate that the technology can reliably resolve material boundaries to within a few centimetres and over 50 scientific deployments have been made with encouraging results. The discrimination between different media based on sensor thermal response is weak in some deployments and efforts to optimise the measurement continue.

  9. A surface mass balance model for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougamont, Marion; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Greuell, Wouter

    2005-12-01

    A surface mass balance model aimed at being coupled to a Global Circulation Model (GCM) for future climate prediction is described and tested for the Greenland Ice Sheet. The model builds on previous modeling designed to be forced by automatic weather station data, and includes surface energy balance as well as processes occurring near the surface such as water percolation and refreezing. Surface albedo is calculated with a new scheme that differentiates the timescale for aging of wet and dry snow and incorporates the effect of a thin layer of water and/or fresh snow at the surface. The model was driven with automatic weather station data from two sites located in the ablation zone in the Kangerlussuaq area (West Greenland), and calculated reasonable annual mass balance values (within 10% in seven out of eight cases) for four individual and consecutive years (1998-2001), using both measured and calculated albedo. This implies that the albedo parameterization is adequate and climate feedbacks affecting the mass balance are well captured. The model was then applied to a distributed 20-km-resolution grid covering the whole ice sheet, and forced with 10 years of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) reanalysis (ERA-40) data. With the aim of coupling the model to a GCM, this study focuses on the ability to model the interannual variability in mass balance rather than to assess the present state of balance of the ice sheet. Modeled spatial and temporal wet zone extent compares well with information derived from passive microwave satellite data.

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

    PubMed

    Rignot, Eric

    2006-07-15

    The concept that the Antarctic ice sheet changes with eternal slowness has been challenged by recent observations from satellites. Pronounced regional warming in the Antarctic Peninsula triggered ice shelf collapse, which led to a 10-fold increase in glacier flow and rapid ice sheet retreat. This chain of events illustrated the vulnerability of ice shelves to climate warming and their buffering role on the mass balance of Antarctica. In West Antarctica, the Pine Island Bay sector is draining far more ice into the ocean than is stored upstream from snow accumulation. This sector could raise sea level by 1m and trigger widespread retreat of ice in West Antarctica. Pine Island Glacier accelerated 38% since 1975, and most of the speed up took place over the last decade. Its neighbour Thwaites Glacier is widening up and may double its width when its weakened eastern ice shelf breaks up. Widespread acceleration in this sector may be caused by glacier ungrounding from ice shelf melting by an ocean that has recently warmed by 0.3 degrees C. In contrast, glaciers buffered from oceanic change by large ice shelves have only small contributions to sea level. In East Antarctica, many glaciers are close to a state of mass balance, but sectors grounded well below sea level, such as Cook Ice Shelf, Ninnis/Mertz, Frost and Totten glaciers, are thinning and losing mass. Hence, East Antarctica is not immune to changes. PMID:16782604

  11. Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koenig, Lora Suzanne; Box, Jason; Kurtz, Nathan

    2013-01-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) over ice sheets and snow on sea ice (SOSI) are important components of the cryosphere. Large knowledge gaps remain in scientists' abilities to monitor SMB and SOSI, including insufficient measurements and difficulties with satellite retrievals. On ice sheets, snow accumulation is the sole mass gain to SMB, and meltwater runoff can be the dominant single loss factor in extremely warm years such as 2012. SOSI affects the growth and melt cycle of the Earth's polar sea ice cover. The summer of 2012 saw the largest satellite-recorded melt area over the Greenland ice sheet and the smallest satellite-recorded Arctic sea ice extent, making this meeting both timely and relevant.

  12. Ice stream reorganization and ice sheet mass balance following the reactivation of Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bougamont, Marion; Christoffersen, Poul; Price, Stephen; Carter, Sasha

    2015-04-01

    Ice streams in Antarctica account for most of the ice volume discharged to the ocean, and their flow variability greatly influences the mass balance of the ice sheet. Today, the Siple Coast region of West Antarctica is the only one to experience a positive mass balance (~36Gt/yr), as a consequence of the stagnation of Kamb Ice Stream about 170 years ago and the ongoing slowdown of Whillans Ice Stream. However, this positive trend could be temporary; past studies have shown that both ice streams experienced significant flow variability over the past millennia, with stagnation typically followed by reactivation on centennial timescales, occurring in response to internal processes. The impact this variability may have on the future mass balance of the WAIS remains unknown. Here, we explore the future flow variability of the Siple Coast ice streams by using a three-dimensional higher-order ice sheet model (CISM), coupled to a physically-based basal processes model and a model of regional hydrology. To obtain realistic initial flow conditions, we assimilate available velocity data for this region from 1997. We perform forward simulations over a 200 year period, during which the basal properties evolve according to the distribution of meltwater beneath the ice and its drainage/flow through a subglacial till layer. First, we assume that the bed evolves according to ice-till interactions with only local exchange of water between the ice and till. Next, we include a model of the regional basal water system capable of transporting water over long distances, so that meltwater is routed laterally along the bed before interacting with the till layer. We also explore the effect of geothermal heat flux uncertainties. We find that ice discharge to the grounding line is larger and more sustained in time when the regional water system is included in the simulations. Still, in all experiments, the main future perturbation to the current state of flow follows from the reactivation of

  13. Mass Balance of Arctic Sea Ice North of Svalbard during N-ICE2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rösel, A.; Gerland, S.; King, J.; Itkin, P.

    2015-12-01

    The N-ICE2015 cruise, led by the Norwegian Polar Institute, was a drift experiment with the research vessel R/V Lancefrom January to June 2015, where the ship started the drift North of Svalbard at 83°14.45' N, 21°31.41' E. The drift was repeated as soon as the vessel drifted free. Altogether during the 6 month, 4 ice stations where installed and the complex ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system was studied with an interdisciplinary approach. During the N-ICE2015 cruise, extensive ice thickness and snow depth measurements were performed during both, winter and summer conditions. Total ice and snow thickness was measured with ground-based and airborne electromagnetic instruments like EM31, GEM, and EM-bird; snow depth was measured with a GPS snow depth probe. Additionally, ice mass balance and snow buoys were deployed. Snow and ice thickness measurements were performed on repeated transects to quantify the ice growth or loss as well as the snow accumulation and melt rate. Additionally, we collected independent values on surveys to determine the general ice thickness distribution. In terms of mass balance, average snow depths of 32 cm on first year ice, and 52 cm on multiyear ice were measured in January, the mean snow depth on all ice types even increased until end of March to 49 cm. The average total ice and snow thickness in winter conditions was 1.92 cm. During winter, we found an unusual small growth rate on multiyear ice of about 15 cm in 2 months, due to above-average snow depths and some extraordanary storm events that came along with mild temperatures. In contrast thereto, we were also able to study new ice formation and thin ice on refrozen leads. In summer conditions an enormous melt rate, mainly driven by a warm Atlantic water inflow in the marginal ice zone, was observed during two ice stations with melt rates of up to 20 cm per 24 hours. The here presented dataset is a mandatory parameter for understanding the ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions, for

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Testing the Mass Balance of the Laurentide Ice Sheet During the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ullman, D. J.; Carlson, A. E.; Legrande, A. N.; Anslow, F. S.; Licciardi, J. M.; Caffee, M. W.

    2010-12-01

    Recent findings have suggested that the global Last Glacial Maximum occurred 26.5-20 ka. During this time, ice sheets were at their maximum extent and eustatic sea level was nearly 130 m lower than present. Such stability of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets suggests a nearly neutral net mass balance. Here we test the mass balance of the Laurentide Ice Sheet at the Last Glacial Maximum using an energy-mass balance model and two different ice sheet configurations. The energy-mass balance model is forced by simulated climate from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Model E-R, consistent with Last Glacial Maximum conditions. This coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate model contains water isotope tracers throughout the hydrologic cycle, which are used to constrain model skill against water isotopic records. Two model experiments are performed with different Laurentide Ice Sheet configurations: one using the ICE-5G geophysical reconstruction and the other using an alternative reconstruction based on a flow-line model that simulates glacier dynamics over deformable and rigid beds. These two reconstructions have widely contrasting ice sheet geometries at the Last Glacial Maximum, with the ICE-5G reconstruction having a much larger Keewatin Dome over west-central Canada, while the largest mass center according to the flow-line model is in the Labrador Dome over eastern Canada. This disparity in ice sheet geometry may result in large differences in simulated climate and net ice sheet mass balance. Initial results suggest that 1) the ICE-5G ice sheet forces a Last Glacial Maximum climate in conflict with paleoceanographic reconstructions of ocean circulation, whereas the flow-line ice sheet is in better agreement with circulation reconstructions; and 2) the initial increase in boreal summer insolation could trigger a negative mass balance for the Laurentide Ice Sheet by 21 ka, driving ice retreat. We will also compare our mass balance results with existing

  17. Determination of Interannual to Decadal Changes in Ice Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Busalacchi, Antonioa J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A major uncertainty in predicting sea level rise is the sensitivity of ice sheet mass balance to climate change, as well as the uncertainty in present mass balance. Since the annual water exchange is about 8 mm of global sea level equivalent, the +/- 25% uncertainty in current mass balance corresponds to +/- 2 mm/yr in sea level change. Furthermore, estimates of the sensitivity of the mass balance to temperature change range from perhaps as much as - 10% to + 10% per K. Although the overall ice mass balance and seasonal and inter-annual variations can be derived from time-series of ice surface elevations from satellite altimetry, satellite radar altimeters have been limited in spatial coverage and elevation accuracy. Nevertheless, new data analysis shows mixed patterns of ice elevation increases and decreases that are significant in terms of regional-scale mass balances. In addition, observed seasonal and interannual variations in elevation demonstrate the potential for relating the variability in mass balance to changes in precipitation, temperature, and melting. From 2001, NASA's ICESat laser altimeter mission will provide significantly better elevation accuracy and spatial coverage to 86 deg latitude and to the margins of the ice sheets. During 3 to 5 years of ICESat-1 operation, an estimate of the overall ice sheet mass balance and sea level contribution will be obtained. The importance of continued ice monitoring after the first ICESat is illustrated by the variability in the area of Greenland surface melt observed over 17-years and its correlation with temperature. In addition, measurement of ice sheet changes, along with measurements of sea level change by a series of ocean altimeters, should enable direct detection of ice level and global sea level correlations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. Runoff, precipitation, mass balance, and ice velocity measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1993 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.

    1994-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow, firn, and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Wash., to determine the winter and net balance for the 1993 balance year. The 1993 winter balance, averaged over the glacier, was 1.98 meters, and the net balance was -1.23 meters. This negative valance continued a trend of negative balance years beginning in 1977. Air temperature, barometric pressure, and runoff from this glacier basin and an adjacent non-glacierized basin were also continuously measured. Surface ice velocity was measured over an annual period. This report makes all these data available to users throughout the glaciological and climato1ogical community.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Changes of the Arctic Ice Caps from ICESat and GRACE - A study of mass balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Johan; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Barletta, Valentina Roberta; Forsberg, René

    2013-04-01

    Data from ICESat, compared with GRACE data, were used to estimate the mass balance of the smaller Arctic ice caps on Svalbard, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic from the years 2003-2009. In this study we used the repeat track method to estimate the surface elevation change of the Arctic ice caps from ICESat altimetry. The GRACE mass balance was obtained using a point mass modeling method, which allowed a better separation of the dominant signal from the Greenland Ice Sheet. In the ICESat part of the study we used several different methods for estimating the mass balance. The methods where based on both interpolation and extrapolation of the elevation change estimates over the ice caps, using both parametric and non-parametric approaches. We found that all Arctic ice caps show a consistent negative mass balance from the year 2003-2009. Ranging from -3 to -26 Gt/yr from the ICESat estimates for the different regions, which is in good agreement with the GRACE results. Also found is that the choice of method used for the ICESat analysis can have a significant impact on the mass balance.

  2. Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry 1992 to 2001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Giovinetto, Mario; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2003-01-01

    A major uncertainty in understanding the causes of the current rate of sea level rise is the potential contributions from mass imbalances of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates of the current mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet are derived from surface- elevation changes obtained from 9 years of ERS - 1 & 2 radar altimeter data. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 S. The time series are fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt). On the major Rome-Filchner, Ross, and Amery ice shelves, the W d t are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm per year surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm per year decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. On the grounded ice, significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica and inland of Law Dome in East Antarctica. Significant elevation increases are observed within about 200 km of the coast around much of the rest of the ice sheet. Farther inland, the changes are a mixed pattern of increases and decreases with increases of a few centimeters per year at the highest elevations of the East Antarctic plateau. The derived elevation changes are combined with estimates of the bedrock uplift from several models to provide maps of ice thickness change. The ice thickness changes enable estimates of the ice mass balances for the major drainage basins, the overall mass balance, and the current contribution of the ice sheet to global sea level change.

  3. Multiyear sea ice thermal regimes and oceanic heat flux derived from an ice mass balance buoy in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Ruibo; Li, Na; Heil, Petra; Cheng, Bin; Zhang, Zhanhai; Sun, Bo

    2014-01-01

    The conductive and oceanic heat fluxes and the mass balance of sea ice were investigated utilizing an ice mass balance buoy (IMB) deployed in the Arctic Ocean. After IMB deployment, the ice thinned from 1.95 m in late August to 1.46 m by mid-October 2008. From then on, ice growth until mid-June 2009 increased the ice thickness to 3.12 m. The ice temperature and consequently the conductive heat flux at the ice surface exhibited persistent high-frequency variations due to diurnal and synoptic-scale atmospheric forcing. These signals propagated downward with damped magnitude and temporal lag. The competition of oceanic and conductive heat flux dominated the low-frequency variations of ice growth. However, high-frequency variations in ice growth were controlled largely by the oceanic heat flux. From mid-November 2008 to mid-June 2009, the average oceanic heat flux along a track from 86.2°N, 115.2°W to 84.6°N, 33.9°W was 7.1 W/m2. This was in agreement with that derived from an IMB deployed in 2005, about 1.5° to the north of our buoy. We attributed the relatively high oceanic heat flux (10-15 W/m2) observed during autumn and early winter to summer warming of the surface ocean. Upward mixing of warm deep water, as observed when our buoy drifted over the shallow region of the Lomonosov Ridge (85.4°-85.9°N, 52.2°-66.4°W), demonstrated the impact of bathymetry on the oceanic heat flux under ice cover, and consequently on the basal ice mass balance.

  4. Mass Balance Changes and Ice Dynamics of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets from Laser Altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babonis, G. S.; Csatho, B.; Schenk, T.

    2016-06-01

    During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat) and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS). For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC) method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  5. Gravimetric mass balance products for the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Horvath, Alexander; Forsberg, Rene; Meister, Rakia; Shepherd, Andrew; Hogg, Anna; Muir, Alan

    2016-04-01

    Within the framework of ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) mass balance products for both the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) have been developed by the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project. These Gravimetric Mass Balance (GMB) products are derived from satellite gravimetry data acquired by GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), which is the only sensor directly sensitive to changes in mass. Using monthly GRACE gravity field solutions covering the period from 2002 until present two different GMB products are derived: (a) time series of monthly mass changes for the entire ice sheet and for individual drainage basins, and (b) gridded mass changes covering the entire ice sheet. The gridded product depicts spatial patterns of mass changes at a formal resolution of about 50 km, although the effective resolution provided by GRACE is about 200-500km. The algorithms used for the product generation have been selected within an open round robin experiment and are optimized to account for the complex GRACE error structures, to advance the limited spatial resolution and to separate signals super-imposed to mass changes of the cryosphere. Here the first release of the ESA CCI GMB products is presented. Both the basin averaged and the gridded products are assessed regarding their signal content and error characteristics. Finally, up-to-date mass balance estimates are presented for both ice sheets. The GMB products are freely accessible through data portals hosted by the AIS_cci and the GIS_cci project.

  6. Overview of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance and Dynamics from ICESat Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay

    2010-01-01

    The primary purpose of the ICESat mission was to determine the present-day mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, identify changes that may be occurring in the surface-mass flux and ice dynamics, and estimate their contributions to global sea-level rise. Although ICESat's three lasers were planned to make continuous measurements for 3 to 5 years, the mission was re-planned to operate in 33-day campaigns 2 to 3 times each year following failure of the first laser after 36 days. Seventeen campaigns were conducted with the last one in the Fall of 2009. Mass balance maps derived from measured ice-sheet elevation changes show that the mass loss from Greenland has increased significantly to about 170 Gt/yr for 2003 to 2007 from a state of near balance in the 1990's. Increased losses (189 Gt/yr) from melting and dynamic thinning are over seven times larger'than increased gains (25 gt/yr) from precipitation. Parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula are losing mass at an increasing rate, but other parts of West Antarctica and the East Antarctic ice sheet are gaining mass at an increasing rate. Increased losses of 35 Gt/yr in Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd.Coast are more than balanced by gains in base of Peninsula and ice stream C, D, & E systems. From the 1992-2002 to 2003-2007 period, the overall mass balance for Antarctica changed from a loss of about 60 Gt/yr to near balance or slightly positive.

  7. Estimates of Ice Sheet Mass Balance from Satellite Altimetry: Past and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A major uncertainty in predicting sea level rise is the sensitivity of ice sheet mass balance to climate change, as well as the uncertainty in present mass balance. Since the annual water exchange is about 8 mm of global sea level equivalent, the 20% uncertainty in current mass balance corresponds to 1.6 mm/yr in sea level change. Furthermore, estimates of the sensitivity of the mass balance to temperature change range from perhaps as much as - 10% to + 10% per K. A principal purpose of obtaining ice sheet elevation changes from satellite altimetry has been estimation of the current ice sheet mass balance. Limited information on ice sheet elevation change and their implications about mass balance have been reported by several investigators from radar altimetry (Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1&2). Analysis of ERS-1&2 data over Greenland for 7 years from 1992 to 1999 shows mixed patterns of ice elevation increases and decreases that are significant in terms of regional-scale mass balances. Observed seasonal and interannual variations in ice surface elevation are larger than previously expected because of seasonal and interannUal variations in precipitation, melting, and firn compaction. In the accumulation zone, the variations in firn compaction are modeled as a function of temperature leaving variations in precipitation and the mass balance trend. Significant interannual variations in elevation in some locations, in particular the difference in trends from 1992 to 1995 compared to 1995 to 1999, can be explained by changes in precipitation over Greenland. Over the 7 years, trends in elevation are mostly positive at higher elevations and negative at lower elevations. In addition, trends for the winter seasons (from a trend analysis through the average winter elevations) are more positive than the corresponding trends for the summer. At lower elevations, the 7-year trends in some locations are strongly negative for summer and near zero or slightly positive for winter. These

  8. Using GRACE measurements of time variable gravity, elevation changes from ICESat, OIB and ENVISAT and surface mass balance outputs from RACMO to improve ice mass balance estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutterley, T. C.; Velicogna, I.; Csatho, B. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Wahr, J. M.; Flament, T.; Rezvan-Behbahani, S.; Babonis, G. S.; A, G.

    2013-12-01

    The glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) correction represents a source of uncertainty for ice sheet mass balance estimates from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) time variable gravity measurements. We evaluate Greenland and Antarctic GIA corrections by comparing the spatial patterns of GRACE-derived ice mass trends corrected for glacial isostatic adjustment with volume changes from ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite), OIB (Operation IceBridge) and ENVISAT altimetry missions, and surface mass balance (SMB) products from the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO). We show that using the spatial and temporal characteristics of the different contributions to the ice mass balance estimates that it is possible to evaluate different GIA corrections. In Greenland, the GRACE ice mass changes obtained using the Simpson et al. (2009) and Geruo et al. (2013) GIA corrections show good agreement in the spatial patterns and amplitude. The GRACE estimate corrected using the Wu et al. (2010) GIA shows similar spatial patterns to the other two, but produces an average ice mass loss for the entire ice sheet that is 50% smaller. In Antarctica, the total magnitude and spatial structure of the GRACE-estimated ice mass change is highly dependent on the GIA correction. In key basins of East Antarctica, the interpretation of regional ice mass changes can reflect the GIA model selection as the ice mass to GIA signal ratio is smaller. We apply the same methodology used for the Greenland ice sheet in Antarctica to evaluate the different GIA corrections and check for consistency between the different techniques at a regional scale.

  9. Mass balance, meteorological, ice motion, surface altitude, runoff, and ice thickness data at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, 1995 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.

    2000-01-01

    The 1995 measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances in the Gulkana Glacier basin were evaluated on the basis of meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data obtained in the basin. Averaged over the glacier, the measured winter snow balance was 0.94 meter on April 19, 1995, 0.6 standard deviation below the long-term average; the maximum winter snow balance, 0.94 meter, was reached on April 25, 1995; the net balance (from September 18, 1994 to August 29, 1995) was -0.70 meter, 0.76 standard deviation below the long-term average. The annual balance (October 1, 1994, to September 30, 1995) was -0.86 meter. Ice-surface motion and altitude changes measured at three index sites document seasonal ice speed and glacier-thickness changes. Annual stream runoff was 2.05 meters averaged over the basin, approximately equal to the long-term average. The 1976 ice-thickness data are reported from a single site near the highest measurement site (180 meters thick) and from two glacier cross profiles near the mid-glacier (270 meters thick on centerline) and low glacier (150 meters thick on centerline) measurement sites. A new area-altitude distribution determined from 1993 photogrammetry is reported. Area-averaged balances are reported from both the 1967 and 1993 area-altitude distribution so the reader may directly see the effect of the update. Briefly, loss of ablation area between 1967 and 1993 results in a larger weighting being applied to data from the upper glacier site and hence, increases calculated area-averaged balances. The balance increase is of the order of 15 percent for net balance.

  10. Mass balance of Icelandic ice caps from CryoSat swath mode altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foresta, L.; Gourmelen, N.; Pálsson, F.; Willis, I. C.; Nienow, P. W.; Shepherd, A.

    2015-12-01

    Satellite altimetry has been traditionally used in the past to infer elevation of land ice, quantify changes in ice topography and infer mass balance over large and remote areas such as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Radar Altimetry (RA) is particularly well suited to this task due to its all-weather year-round capability for observing the ice surface. However, monitoring of ice caps has proven more challenging. The large footprint of a conventional radar altimeter and relatively coarse ground track coverage are less suited to monitoring comparatively small regions with complex topography, so that mass balance estimates from RA rely on extrapolation methods to regionalize elevation change.Since 2010, the Synthetic Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) on board the ESA radar altimetry CryoSat mission has collected ice elevation measurements over ice caps. Ground track interspacing (~4km at 60°) is one order of magnitude smaller than ERS/ENVISAT missions and half of ICESAT's, providing dense spatial coverage. Additionally the Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric (SARIn) mode of CryoSat provides a reduced footprint and the ability to locate accurately the position of the surface reflection. Conventional altimetry provides the elevation of the Point Of Closest Approach (POCA) within each waveform, every 250 m along the flight path. Time evolution of POCA elevation is then used to investigate ice elevation change.Here, we present an assessment of the geodetic mass balance of Icelandic ice caps using a novel processing approach, swath altimetry, applied to CryoSat SARIn mode data. In swath mode altimetry, elevation beyond the POCA is extracted from the waveform when coherent echoes are present providing between one and two orders of magnitude more elevations when compared to POCA. We generate maps of ice elevation change that are then used to compute geodetic mass balance for the period 2010 to 2015. We compare our results to estimates generated using

  11. A Range Correction for Icesat and Its Potential Impact on Ice-sheet Mass Balance Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borsa, A. A.; Moholdt, G.; Fricker, H. A.; Brunt, Kelly M.

    2014-01-01

    We report on a previously undocumented range error in NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) that degrades elevation precision and introduces a small but significant elevation trend over the ICESat mission period. This range error (the Gaussian-Centroid or 'G-C'offset) varies on a shot-to-shot basis and exhibits increasing scatter when laser transmit energies fall below 20 mJ. Although the G-C offset is uncorrelated over periods less than1 day, it evolves over the life of each of ICESat's three lasers in a series of ramps and jumps that give rise to spurious elevation trends of -0.92 to -1.90 cm yr(exp -1), depending on the time period considered. Using ICESat data over the Ross and Filchner-Ronne ice shelves we show that (1) the G-C offset introduces significant biases in ice-shelf mass balance estimates, and (2) the mass balance bias can vary between regions because of different temporal samplings of ICESat.We can reproduce the effect of the G-C offset over these two ice shelves by fitting trends to sample-weighted mean G-C offsets for each campaign, suggesting that it may not be necessary to fully repeat earlier ICESat studies to determine the impact of the G-C offset on ice-sheet mass balance estimates.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Radar Interferometry Studies of the Mass Balance of Polar Ice Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to determine the current state of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Our approach combines different techniques, which include satellite synthetic-aperture radar interferometry (InSAR), radar and laser altimetry, radar ice sounding, and finite-element modeling. In Greenland, we found that 3.5 times more ice flows out of the northern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet than previously accounted for. The discrepancy between current and past estimates is explained by extensive basal melting of the glacier floating sections in the proximity of the grounding line where the glacier detaches from its bed and becomes afloat in the ocean. The inferred basal melt rates are very large, which means that the glaciers are very sensitive to changes in ocean conditions. Currently, it appears that the northern Greenland glaciers discharge more ice than is being accumulated in the deep interior, and hence are thinning. Studies of temporal changes in grounding line position using InSAR confirm the state of retreat of northern glaciers and suggest that thinning is concentrated at the lower elevations. Ongoing work along the coast of East Greenland reveals an even larger mass deficit for eastern Greenland glaciers, with thinning affecting the deep interior of the ice sheet. In Antarctica, we found that glaciers flowing into a large ice shelf system, such as the Ronne Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea, exhibit an ice discharge in remarkable agreement with mass accumulation in the interior, and the glacier grounding line positions do not migrate with time. Glaciers flowing rapidly into the Amudsen Sea, unrestrained by a major ice shelf, are in contrast discharging more ice than required to maintain a state of mass balance and are thinning quite rapidly near the coast. The grounding line of Pine Island glacier (see diagram) retreated 5 km in 4 years, which corresponds to a glacier thinning rate of 3.5 m/yr. Mass imbalance is even more negative

  14. A possible change in mass balance of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in the coming century

    SciTech Connect

    Ohmura, A.; Wild, M.; Bengtsson, L.

    1996-09-01

    A high-resolution GCM is found to simulate precipitation and surface energy balance of high latitudes with high accuracy. This opens new possibilities to investigate the future mass balance of polar glaciers and its effect on sea level. The surface mass balance of the Greenland and the Antarctic ice sheets is simulated using the ECHAM3 GCM with T106 horizontal resolution. With this model, two 5-year integrations for the present and doubled carbon dioxide conditions based on the boundary conditions provided by the ECHAM1/T21 transient to what extent the effect of climate change on the mass balance on the two largest glaciers of the world can differ. On Greenland one sees a slight decrease in accumulation and a substantial increase in melt, while on Antarctica a large increase in accumulation without melt is projected. Translating the mass balances into terms of sea-level equivalent, the Greenland discharge causes a sea level rise of 1.1 mm yr{sup {minus}1}, while the accumulation on Antarctica tends to lower it by 0.9 mm yr{sup {minus}1}. The change in the combined mass balance of the two continents is almost zero. The sea level change of the next century can be affected more effectively by the thermal expansion of seawater and the mass balance of smaller glaciers outside of Greenland and Antarctica. 24 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet from ICESat Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for 2003-2008 are derived from ICESat laser altimetry and compared with estimates for 1992-2002 derived from ERS radar altimetry. The net mass balance of 3 drainage systems (Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd) for 2003-2008 is a loss of 100 Gt/yr, which increased from a loss of 70 Gt/yr for the earlier period. The DS including the Bindschadler and MacAyeal ice streams draining into the Ross Ice Shelf has a mass gain of 11 Gt/yr for 2003-2008, compared to an earlier loss of 70 Gt/yr. The DS including the Whillans and Kamb ice streams has a mass gain of 12 Gt/yr, including a significant thickening on the upper part of the Kamb DS, compared to a earlier gain of 6 Gt/yr (includes interpolation for a large portion of the DS). The other two DS discharging into the Ronne Ice Shelf and the northern Ellsworth Coast have a mass gain of 39 Gt/yr, compared to a gain of 4 Gt/yr for the earlier period. Overall, the increased losses of 30 Gt/yr in the Pine Island, Thwaites/Smith, and the coast of Marie Bryd DSs are exceeded by increased gains of 59 Gt/yr in the other 4 DS. Overall, the mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet has decreased to 38 Gt/yr from the earlier loss of 67 Gt/yr, reducing the contribution to sea level rise to 0.11 mm/yr from 0.19 mm/yr

  16. Dual-sensor mapping of mass balance on Russia's northernmost ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolskiy, D.; Malinnikov, V.; Sharov, A.; Ukolova, M.

    2012-04-01

    Mass balance of Russia's northernmost ice caps is poorly known and scarcely mapped. Thorough information about glacier fluctuations in the outer periphery of Russian shelf seas is both lacking and highly desired since it may constitute the relevant benchmark for judging and projecting climate change impacts in the entire Arctic. The present study is focussed on geodetic measurements and medium-scale mapping of the mass balance on a dozen insular ice caps, some large and some smaller, homogeneously situated along the Eurasian boundary of Central Arctic Basin. The study region extends for approx. 2.200 km from Victoria and Arthur islands in the west across Rudolph, Eva-Liv, Ushakova, Schmidt and Komsomolets islands in the north to Bennett and Henrietta islands in the east thereby comprising the most distant and least studied ice caps in the Russian Arctic. The situation of insular ice masses close to the edge of summer minimum sea ice proved helpful in analysing spatial asymmetry of glacier accumulation signal. The overall mapping of glacier elevation changes and quantification of mass balance characteristics in the study region was performed by comparing reference elevation models of study glaciers derived from Russian topographic maps 1:200,000 (CI = 20 or 40 m) representing the glacier state as in the 1950s-1960s with modern elevation data obtained from satellite radar interferometry and lidar altimetry. In total, 14 ERS and 4 TanDEM-X high-quality SAR interferograms of 1995/96 and 2011 were acquired, processed in the standard 2-pass DINSAR manner, geocoded, calibrated, mosaicked and interpreted using reference elevation models and co-located ICESat altimetry data of 2003-2010. The DINSAR analysis revealed the existence of fast-flowing outlet glaciers at Arthur, Rudolph, Eva-Liv and Bennett islands. The calculation of separate mass-balance components is complicated in this case because of generally unknown glacier velocities and ice discharge values for the mid-20

  17. Regional ice mass balance for Greenland from GRACE and ICESat modelled by radial basis functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicker, A.; Springer, A.; Jensen, L.; Kusche, J.

    2012-04-01

    This contribution presents a tailored regional mass balance for the Greenland ice sheet from GRACE and ICESat observations. A regional gravity field trend model is calculated directly from the GRACE level 1B observations using the short arc method. The gravity field model is parameterized by harmonic space localizing radial basis functions that can be tailored to the specific signal characteristics in Greenland. The ICESat along-track ice elevation changes are co-estimated together with the local topography in order to be independent from external elevation models. The along-track observations are then evaluated without any necessary gridding consistently with the GRACE processing in the same basis of radial basis functions. This allows further joint analysis of the two data sets in this same basis.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  19. Estimation of Greenland's Ice Sheet Mass Balance Using ICESat and GRACE Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slobbe, D.; Ditmar, P.; Lindenbergh, R.

    2007-12-01

    Data of the GRACE gravity mission and the ICESat laser altimetry mission are used to create two independent estimates of Greenland's ice sheet mass balance over the full measurement period. For ICESat data, a processing strategy is developed using the elevation differences of geometrically overlapping footprints of both crossing and repeated tracks. The dataset is cleaned using quality flags defined by the GLAS science team. The cleaned dataset reveals some strong, spatially correlated signals that are shown to be related to physical phenomena. Different processing strategies are used to convert the observed temporal height differences to mass changes for 6 different drainage systems, further divided into a region above and below 2000 meter elevation. The results are compared with other altimetry based mass balance estimates. In general, the obtained results confirm trends discovered by others, but we also show that the choice of processing strategy strongly influences our results, especially for the areas below 2000 meter. Furthermore, GRACE based monthly variations of the Earth's gravity field as processed by CNES, CSR, GFZ and DEOS are used to estimate the mass balance change for North and South Greenland. It is shown that our results are comparable with recently published GRACE estimates (mascon solutions). On the other hand, the estimates based on GRACE data are only partly confirmed by the ICESat estimates. Possible explanations for the obvious differences will be discussed.

  20. Small impact of surrounding oceanic conditions on 2007-2012 Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noël, B.; Fettweis, X.; van de Berg, W. J.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Erpicum, M.

    2014-03-01

    During recent summers (2007-2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), favouring warmer than normal conditions over the GrIS. In addition, it has been suggested that significant anomalies in sea ice cover (SIC) and sea surface temperature (SST) may partially explain recent anomalous GrIS surface melt. To assess the impact of 2007-2012 SIC and SST anomalies on GrIS surface mass balance (SMB), a set of sensitivity experiments was carried out with the regional climate model MAR. These simulations suggest that changes in SST and SIC in the seas surrounding Greenland do not significantly impact GrIS SMB, due to the katabatic winds blocking effect. These winds are strong enough to prevent oceanic near-surface air, influenced by SIC and SST variability, from penetrating far inland. Therefore, the ice sheet SMB response is restricted to coastal regions, where katabatic winds are weaker. However, anomalies in SIC and SST could have indirectly affected the surface melt by changing the general circulation in the North Atlantic region, favouring more frequent warm air advection to the GrIS.

  1. From Outlet Glacier Changes to Ice Sheet Mass Balance - Evolution of Greenland Ice Sheet from Laser Altimetry Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A.; Nagarajan, S.; Babonis, G. S.

    2010-12-01

    Investigations of ice sheet mass balance and the changing dynamics of outlet glaciers have been hampered by the lack of comprehensive data. In recent years, this situation has been remedied. Satellite laser altimetry data from the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat), combined with airborne laser altimetry, provide accurate measurements of surface elevation changes, and surface velocities derived from various satellite platforms yield crucial information on changing glacier dynamics. Taken together, a rich and diverse data set is emerging that allows for characterizing the spatial and temporal evolution of ice sheets and outlet glaciers. In particular, it enables quantitative studies of outlet glaciers undergoing rapid and complex changes. Although airborne and laser altimetry have been providing precise measurements of ice sheet topography since the early 1990s, determining detailed and accurate spatial and temporal distribution of surface changes remains a challenging problem. We have developed a new, comprehensive method, called Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC), which estimates surface changes by a simultaneous reconstruction of surface topography from fused multisensor data. The mathematical model is based on the assumption that for a small surface area, only the absolute elevation changes over time but not the shape of the surface patch. Therefore, laser points of all time epochs contribute to the shape parameters; points of each time period determine the absolute elevation of the surface patch at that period. This method provides high-resolution surface topography, precise changes and a rigorous error estimate of the quantities. By using SERAC we combined ICESat and ATM laser altimetry data to determine the evolution of surface change rates of the whole Greenland Ice Sheet between 2003 and 2009 on a high-resolution grid. Our reconstruction, consistent with GRACE results, shows ice sheet thinning propagating

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Assessing the links between Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance and Arctic climate using Climate Models and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Rodehacke, Christian; Boberg, Fredrik; Langen, Peter; Sloth Madsen, Marianne; Høyer Svendsen, Synne; Yang, Shuting; Hesselbjerg Christensen, Jens; Olesen, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Changes in different parts of the Arctic cryosphere may have knock-on effects on other parts of the system. The fully coupled climate model EC-Earth, which includes the ice sheet model PISM, is a useful tool to examine interactions between sea ice, ice sheet, ocean and atmosphere. Here we present results from EC-Earth experimental simulations that show including an interactive ice sheet model changes ocean circulation, sea ice extent and regional climate with, for example, a dampening of the expected increase in Arctic temperatures under the RCP scenarios when compared with uncoupled experiments. However, the relatively coarse resolution of the climate model likely influences the calculated surface mass balance forcing applied to the ice sheet model and it is important therefore to evaluate the model performance over the ice sheet. Here, we assess the quality of the climate forcing from the GCM to the ice sheet model by comparing the energy balance and surface mass balance (SMB) output from EC-Earth with that from a regional climate model (RCM) run at very high resolution (0.05 degrees) over Greenland. The RCM, HIRHAM5, has been evaluated over a wide range of climate parameters for Greenland which allows us to be confident it gives a representative climate forcing for the Greenland ice sheet. To evaluate the internal variability in the climate forcing, we compare simulations from HIRHAM5 forced with both the EC-Earth historical emissions and the ERA-Interim reanalysis on the boundaries. The EC-Earth-PISM RCP8.5 scenario is also compared with an EC-Earth run without an ice sheet to assess the impact of an interactive ice sheet on likely future changes. To account for the resolution difference between the models we downscale both EC-Earth and HIRHAM5 simulations with a simple offline energy balance model (EBM).

  4. Constraining ice sheet mass balance trends using Cryosat-2 and laser altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griggs, J.; Bamber, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    The mass balance of the Antarctic and Greenland is required to assess their contribution to sea level rise as well as evaluate their sensitivities to variable future forcings. There is general agreement that the ice sheets are losing mass and that loss may be increasing. However, the range of estimates and the uncertainty in those estimates is in many cases, larger than the signal measured, particularly in a regional sense. Cryosat-2 will improve on the legacy satellite measurements from ERS-1 and -2 by using its interferometric model to determine elevation on steep slopes and through it's greater across - track resolution. The new technique will overcome many of the limitations of previous radar altimeters but elevations will still suffer from variable penetration in the firn and errors due to short-wavelength roughness. Building on previous work comparing and combining laser and radar altimeter data, we will assess the uncertainty in elevation due to these limitations. We use NASA Operation Ice Bridge airborne laser altimetry to assess biases in absolute elevation and elevation rates from Cryosat-2 data. We focus on the first 6 months of released data from the mission so that variability in penetration observed can be attributed to seasonal temperature, melt and accumulation variations can be assessed. Unfortunately, coincident airborne data is not currently available so we will assess the impact of the time difference between the datasets as well as presenting comparisons to older, longer time period, NASA ICESat satellite altimetry. The project aims to fully quantify biases and develop algorithms to correct for them and here we present our first comparisons. This will allow us to determine the likely improvement in mass balance estimates from Cryosat-2 as compared to legacy datasets.

  5. A mascon approach to assess ice sheet and glacier mass balances and their uncertainties from GRACE data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrama, Ernst J. O.; Wouters, Bert; Rietbroek, Roelof

    2014-07-01

    The purpose of this paper is to assess the mass changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), Ice Sheets over Antarctica, and Land glaciers and Ice Caps with a global mascon method that yields monthly mass variations at 10,242 mascons. Input for this method are level 2 data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) system collected between February 2003 and June 2013 to which a number of corrections are made. With glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) corrections from an ensemble of models based on different ice histories and rheologic Earth model parameters, we find for Greenland a mass loss of -278 ± 19 Gt/yr. Whereas the mass balances for the GrIS appear to be less sensitive to GIA modeling uncertainties, this is not the case with the mass balance of Antarctica. Ice history models for Antarctica were recently improved, and updated historic ice height data sets and GPS time series have been used to generate new GIA models. We investigated the effect of two new GIA models for Antarctica and found -92 ± 26 Gt/yr which is half of what is obtained with ICE-5G-based GIA models, where the largest GIA model differences occur on East Antarctica. The mass balance of land glaciers and ice caps currently stands at -162 ± 10 Gt/yr. With the help of new GIA models for Antarctica, we assess the mass contribution to the mean sea level at 1.47 ± 0.09 mm/yr or 532 ± 34Gt/yr which is roughly half of the global sea level rise signal obtained from tide gauges and satellite altimetry.

  6. Evaluation of glacier mass balance by observing variations in transient snowline positions. [Jostedalsbreen ice cap, Norway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oestrem, G. (Principal Investigator)

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The transient snowline on five outlet glaciers from the Jostedalsbreen ice-cap in Southwestern Norway could be determined from ERTS-1 image 1336-10260, when bands MSS 5, 6, and 7 were combined in an additive color viewer. The snowline was situated at a very low altitude at the time of imagery (24 June 1973) indicating that glacier melt was behind normal schedule, a fact that has a hydrologic bearing: one could expect less melt water in the streams. The idea to use ERTS-1 imagery in snowline determinations proved realistic and relatively easy to apply in practice. The method will be useful to estimate the glaciers' mass balance for large areas, provided some ground truth observations are made. Images from the end of the melt season are of course vital in this work.

  7. The Thermal Circulation on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and its Relevance to Summit Ice-Field Mass Balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepin, N. C.; Duane, W. J.

    2008-12-01

    It is well known that mountains create their own climates. On Kilimanjaro, which is the tallest free standing mountain in Africa, the intense tropical sunlight generates a strong diurnal mountain circulation which transports moisture up the mountain during the day and back downslope at night. This process has strong consequences for development of cloud cover, precipitation, and hence ice-field mass balance on the summit crater. We compare surface climate (temperature, moisture and wind) measured at ten elevations on Kilimanjaro, with equivalent observations in the free atmosphere from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for September 2004 to July 2008. There are no simple temporal trends over this period in either surface of free- air data. Correlations between daily surface and free air temperatures are greatest below 2500 metres, meaning that synoptic (inter-diurnal) variability is the major control here. In contrast, temperatures and moisture on the higher slopes above treeline (about 3000 m) are strongly decoupled from the free atmosphere, showing intense heating/cooling by day/night (more than 5°C). The sparsely vegetated upper slopes are the focus for the most intense heating and upslope winds develop by mid-morning. The forest on the lower slopes acts as a moisture source, with large vapour pressure excesses reported (5 mb) which move upslope reaching the crater in the afternoon before subsiding downslope at night. The montane thermal circulation is more effective at upslope moisture transport during January as compared with July. Fluctuations in upper air flow strength and direction (at 500 mb) surprisingly have limited influence on the strength of surface heating and upslope moisture advection. This finding suggests that local changes in surface characteristics such as deforestation could have a strong influence on the mountain climate and the summit ice fields on Kilimanjaro, and make mass-balance somewhat divorced from larger-scale advective changes associated

  8. Mass balance, meteorological, ice motion, surface altitude, and runoff data at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, 1994 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.

    1998-01-01

    The 1994 measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances in the Gulkana Glacier basin were evaluated on the basis of meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data obtained in the basin. Averaged over the glacier, the measured winter snow balance was 1.34 meters on April 29, 1994, 0.9 standard deviation above the long-term average; the maximum winter snow balance, 1.43 meters, was reached on April 18, 1994; the net balance (from September 8, 1993 to September 17, 1994) was -0.72 meter, 0.7 standard deviation below the long-term average. The annual balance (October 1, 1992, to September 30, 1993) was -0.88 meter. Ice-surface motion and altitude changes measured at three index sites document seasonal ice speed and glacier-thickness changes. Annual stream runoff was 1.93 meters averaged over the basin, approximately equal to the long-term average.

  9. Mass balance, meteorological, ice motion, surface altitude, and runoff data at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, 1992 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, R.S.; Trabant, D.C.

    1996-01-01

    The 1992 measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances in the Gulkana Glacier basin were evaluated on the basis of meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data measured in the basin and are reported herein. Averaged over the glacier, the measured winter snow balance was 0.97 meters on March 26, 1992; the maximum winter snow balance was 1.05 meters on May 19, 1992; the net balance (from September 8, 1991 to August 17, 1992) was -0.29 meters; and the annual balance (October 1, 1991 to September 30, 1992) was -0.38 meters. Ice surface, motion, and altitude changes measured at three index sites document seasonal changes in ice speed and glacier thickness. Annual stream runoff was 1.24 meters averaged over the basin.

  10. Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992 - 2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Published mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lie between approximately +50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009, which span a range equivalent to 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar-altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (+28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. Although recent reports of large and accelerating rates of mass loss from GRACE=based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion. We find that the extrapolation used in the published IOM estimates for the 15 % of the periphery for which discharge velocities are not observed gives twice the rate of discharge per unit of associated ice-sheet area than the 85% faster-moving parts. Our calculations show that the published extrapolation overestimates the ice discharge by 282 Gt/yr compared to our assumption that the slower moving areas have 70% as much discharge per area as the faster moving parts. Also, published data on the time-series of discharge velocities and accumulation/precipitation do not support mass output increases or input decreases with time, respectively. Our modified IOM estimate, using the 70% discharge assumption and substituting input from a field-data compilation for input from an atmospheric model over 6% of area, gives a loss of only 13 Gt/year (versus 136 Gt/year) for the period around 2000. Two ERS-based estimates, our modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 to 2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to - 40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992-2001 is - 47 Gt

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Improved GRACE regional mass balance estimates of the Greenland ice sheet cross-validated with the input-output method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zheng; Schrama, Ernst J. O.; van der Wal, Wouter; van den Broeke, Michiel; Enderlin, Ellyn M.

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we use satellite gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to estimate regional mass change of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and neighboring glaciated regions using a least squares inversion approach. We also consider results from the input-output method (IOM). The IOM quantifies the difference between the mass input and output of the GrIS by studying the surface mass balance (SMB) and the ice discharge (D). We use the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model version 2.3 (RACMO2.3) to model the SMB and derive the ice discharge from 12 years of high-precision ice velocity and thickness surveys. We use a simulation model to quantify and correct for GRACE approximation errors in mass change between different subregions of the GrIS, and investigate the reliability of pre-1990s ice discharge estimates, which are based on the modeled runoff. We find that the difference between the IOM and our improved GRACE mass change estimates is reduced in terms of the long-term mass change when using a reference discharge derived from runoff estimates in several subareas. In most regions our GRACE and IOM solutions are consistent with other studies, but differences remain in the northwestern GrIS. We validate the GRACE mass balance in that region by considering several different GIA models and mass change estimates derived from data obtained by the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). We conclude that the approximated mass balance between GRACE and IOM is consistent in most GrIS regions. The difference in the northwest is likely due to underestimated uncertainties in the IOM solutions.

  13. Climatic mass balance of the ice cap Vestfonna, Svalbard: A spatially distributed assessment using ERA-Interim and MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MöLler, Marco; Finkelnburg, Roman; Braun, Matthias; Hock, Regine; Jonsell, Ulf; Pohjola, Veijo A.; Scherer, Dieter; Schneider, Christoph

    2011-09-01

    The ice cap Vestfonna in the northern Svalbard archipelago is one of the largest ice bodies of the European Arctic (˜2400 km2), but little is known about its mass balance. We model the climatic mass balance of the ice cap for the period September 2000 to August 2009 on a daily basis. Ablation is calculated by a spatially distributed temperature-radiation-index melt model. Air temperature forcing is provided by ERA-Interim data that is downscaled using data from an automatic weather station operated on the ice cap. Spatially distributed net shortwave radiation fluxes are obtained from standard trigonometric techniques combined with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer-based cloud cover and surface albedo information. Accumulation is derived from ERA-Interim precipitation data that are bias corrected and spatially distributed as a function of elevation. Refreezing is incorporated using the Pmax approach. Results indicate that mass balance years are characterized by short ablation seasons (June to August) and correspondingly longer accumulation periods (September to May). The modeled, annual climatic mass balance rate shows an almost balanced mean of -0.02 ± 0.20 m w.e. yr-1 (meters water equivalent per year) with an associated equilibrium line altitude of 383 ± 54 m above sea level (mean ± one standard deviation). The mean winter balance is +0.32 ± 0.06 m w.e. yr-1, and the mean summer balance -0.35 ± 0.17 m w.e. yr-1. Roughly one fourth of total surface ablation is retained by refreezing indicating that refreezing is an important component of the mass budget of Vestfonna.

  14. Thickening and Thinning of Antarctic Ice Shelves and Tongues and Mass Balance Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Giovinetto, Mario; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    Previous analysis of elevation changes for 1992 to 2002 obtained from measurements by radar altimeters on ERS-l and 2 showed that the shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of West Antarctica (WA), including the eastern part of the Ross Ice Shelf, were mostly thinning and losing mass whereas the Ronne Ice shelf also in WA was mostly thickening. The estimated total mass loss for the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining WA and the AP was 95 Gt/a. In contrast, the floating ice shelves and ice tongues from ice draining East Antarctica (EA), including the Filchner, Fimbul, Amery, and Western Ross, were mostly thickening with a total estimated mass gain of 142 Gt/a. Data from ICESat laser altimetry for 2003-2008 gives new surface elevation changes (dH/dt) with some similar values for the earlier and latter periods, including -27.6 and -26.9 cm a-Ion the West Getz ice shelf and -42.4 and - 27.2 cm/a on the East Getz ice shelf, and some values that indicate more thinning in the latter period, including -17.9 and -36.2 cm/a on the Larsen C ice shelf, -35.5 and -76.0 cm/a on the Pine Island Glacier floating, -60.5 and -125.7 .cm/a on the Smith Glacier floating, and -34.4 and -108.9 cm/a on the Thwaites Glacier floating. Maps of measured dH/dt and estimated thickness change are produced along with mass change estimates for 2003 - 2008.

  15. Characteristics and distribution patterns of snow and meteoric ice in the Weddell Sea and their contribution to the mass balance of sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, Hajo; Lange, Manfred A.; Wadhams, Peter

    1994-01-01

    Based on snow- and ice-thickness measurements at >11 000 points augmented by snow- and icecore studies during 4 expeditions from 1986 - 92 in the Weddell Sea, we describe characteristics and distribution patterns of snow and meteoric ice and assess their importance for the mass balance of sea ice. For first-year ice (FY) in the central and eastern Weddell Sea, mean snow depth amounts to 0.16 m (mean ice thickness 0.75 m) compared to 0.53 m (mean ice thickness 1.70 m) for second-year ice (SY) in the northwestern Weddell Sea. Ridged ice retains a thicker snow cover than level ice, with ice thickness and snow depth negatively correlated for the latter, most likely due to aeolian redistribution. During the different expeditions, 8, 15, 17 and 40% of all drill holes exhibited negative freeboard. As a result of flooding and brine seepage into the snow pack, snow salinities averaged 4‰. Through 18O measurements the distribution of meteoric ice (i.e. precipitation) in the sea-ice cover was assessed. Roughly 4% of the total ice thickness consist of meteoric ice (FY 3%, SY 5%). With a mean density of 290 kg/m3, the snow cover itself contributes 8% to total ice mass (7% FY, 11% SY). Analysis of 18O in snow indicates a local maximum in accumulation in the 65 to 75°S latitude zone. Hydrogen peroxide in the snow has proven useful as a temporal tracer and for identification of second-year floes. Drawing on accumulation data from stations at the Weddell Sea coast, it becomes clear that the onset of ice growth is important for the evolution of ice thickness and the interaction between ice and snow. Loss of snow to leads due to wind drift may be considerable, yet is reduced owing to metamorphic processes in the snow column. This is confirmed by a comparison of accumulation data from coastal stations and from snow depths over sea ice. Temporal and spatial accumulation patterns of snow are shown to be important in controlling the sea-ice cover evolution.

  16. Freshwater fluxes into the subpolar North Atlantic from secular trends in Arctic land ice mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamber, J. L.; Enderlin, E. M.; Howat, I. M.; Wouters, B.; van den Broeke, M.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater fluxes (FWF) from river runoff and precipitation minus evaporation for the pan Arctic seas are relatively well documented and prescribed in ocean GCMs. Fluxes from Greenland and Arctic glaciers and ice caps on the other hand are generally ignored, despite their potential impacts on ocean circulation and marine biology and growing evidence for changes to the hydrography of parts of the subpolar North Atlantic. In a previous study we determined the FWF from Greenland for the period 1958-2010 using a combination of observations and regional climate modeling. Here, we update the analysis with data from new satellite observations to extend the record both in space and time. The new FWF estimates cover the period 1958-2014 and include the Canadian, Russian and Norwegian Arctic (Svalbard) in addition to the contributions from Greenland. We combine satellite altimetry (including CryoSat 2) with grounding line flux data, regional climate modeling of surface mass balance and gravimetry to produce consistent estimates of solid ice and liquid FWF into the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. The total cumulative FWF anomaly from land ice mass loss started to increase significantly in the mid 1990s and now exceeds 5000 km^3, a value that is about half of the Great Salinity Anomaly of the 1970s. The majority of the anomaly is entering two key areas of deep water overturning in the Labrador and Irminger Seas, at a rate that has been increasing steadily over the last ~20 years. Since the mid 2000s, however, the Canadian Arctic archipelago has been making a significant contribution to the FW anomaly entering Baffin Bay. Tracer experiments with eddy-permitting ocean GCMs suggest that the FW input from southern Greenland and the Canadian Arctic should accumulate in Baffin Bay with the potential to affect geostrophic circulation, stratification in the region and possibly the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. We also examine the trajectory of

  17. Overview and Assessment of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Estimates: 1992-2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2011-01-01

    Mass balance estimates for the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in more recent reports lie between approximately ?50 to -250 Gt/year for 1992 to 2009. The 300 Gt/year range is approximately 15% of the annual mass input and 0.8 mm/year Sea Level Equivalent (SLE). Two estimates from radar altimeter measurements of elevation change by European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS) (?28 and -31 Gt/year) lie in the upper part, whereas estimates from the Input-minus-Output Method (IOM) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) lie in the lower part (-40 to -246 Gt/year). We compare the various estimates, discuss the methodology used, and critically assess the results. We also modify the IOM estimate using (1) an alternate extrapolation to estimate the discharge from the non-observed 15% of the periphery, and (2) substitution of input from a field data compilation for input from an atmospheric model in 6% of area. The modified IOM estimate reduces the loss from 136 Gt/year to 13 Gt/year. Two ERS-based estimates, the modified IOM, and a GRACE-based estimate for observations within 1992 2005 lie in a narrowed range of ?27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992 2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, ?16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (?0.1 mm/year SLE), not including part of the Antarctic Peninsula (1.07% of the AIS area). Although recent reports of large and increasing rates of mass loss with time from GRACE-based studies cite agreement with IOM results, our evaluation does not support that conclusion

  18. Mass balance, meteorological, ice motion, surface altitude, and runoff data at Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, 1993 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod; Trabant, Dennis

    1997-01-01

    The 1993 measured winter snow, maximum winter snow, net, and annual balances in the Gulkana Glacier basin were evaluated on the basis of meteorological, hydrological, and glaciological data measured in the basin and are reported herein. Averaged over the glacier, the measured winter snow balance was 0.81 meter on March 31, 1993, 1.2 standard deviations below the long-term average; the maximum winter snow balance, 0.84 meter, was reached on May 10, 1993 and remained until May 11, 1993; the net balance (from August 18, 1992 to September 8, 1993) was 1.80 meters, the most negative balance year on record at 2.8 standard deviations below the long-term average. The annual balance (October 1, 1992 to September 30, 1993) was 1.64 meters. Ice-surface motion and altitude changes measured at three index sites document seasonal ice speed and glacier thickness changes. Annual stream runoff was 1.996 meters averaged over the basin, 0.2 standard deviations above the long-term average.

  19. On Deriving Requirements for the Surface Mass Balance forcing of a Greenland Ice Sheet Model using Uncertainty Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlegel, N.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    During July of 2012, the percentage of the Greenland surface exposed to melt was the largest in recorded history. And, even though evidence of increased melt rates had been captured by remote sensing observations throughout the last decade, this particular event took the community by surprise. How Greenland ice flow will respond to such an event or to increased frequencies of extreme melt events in the future is unclear, as it requires detailed comprehension of Greenland surface climate and the ice sheet's sensitivity to associated uncertainties. With established uncertainty quantification (UQ) tools embedded within the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), we conduct decadal-scale forward modeling experiments to 1) quantify the spatial resolution needed to effectively force surface mass balance (SMB) in various regions of the ice sheet and 2) determine the dynamic response of Greenland outlet glaciers to variations in SMB. First, we perform sensitivity analyses to determine how perturbations in SMB affect model output; results allow us to investigate the locations where variations most significantly affect ice flow, and on what spatial scales. Next, we apply Monte-Carlo style sampling analyses to determine how errors in SMB propagate through the model as uncertainties in estimates of Greenland ice discharge and regional mass balance. This work is performed at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cryosphere Program.

  20. Mass Balance of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula and its Ongoing Response to Ice Shelf Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scambos, T. A.; Berthier, E.; Haran, T. M.; Shuman, C. A.; Cook, A. J.; Bohlander, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    An assessment of the most rapidly changing areas of the Antarctic Peninsula (north of 66°S) shows that ice mass loss for the region is dominated by areas affected by eastern-Peninsula ice shelf losses in the past 20 years. Little if any of the mass loss is compensated by increased snowfall in the northwestern or far northern areas. We combined satellite stereo-image DEM differencing and ICESat-derived along-track elevation changes to measure ice mass loss for the Antarctic Peninsula north of 66°S between 2001-2010, focusing on the ICESat-1 period of operation (2003-2009). This mapping includes all ice drainages affected by recent ice shelf loss in the northeastern Peninsula (Prince Gustav, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, and Larsen B) as well as James Ross Island, Vega Island, Anvers Island, Brabant Island and the adjacent west-flowing glaciers. Polaris Glacier (feeding the Larsen Inlet, which collapsed in 1986) is an exception, and may have stabilized. Our method uses ASTER and SPOT-5 stereo-image DEMs to determine dh/dt for elevations below 800 m; at higher elevations ICESat along-track elevation differencing is used. To adjust along-track path offsets between its 2003-2009 campaigns, we use a recent DEM of the Peninsula to establish and correct for cross-track slope (Cook et al., 2012, doi:10.5194/essdd-5-365-2012; http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0516.html) . We reduce the effect of possible seasonal variations in elevation by using only integer-year repeats of the ICESat tracks for comparison. Mass losses are dominated by the major glaciers that had flowed into the Prince Gustav (Boydell, Sjorgren, Röhss), Larsen A (Edgeworth, Bombardier, Dinsmoor, Drygalski), and Larsen B (Hektoria, Jorum, and Crane) embayments. The pattern of mass loss emphasizes the significant and multi-decadal response to ice shelf loss. Areas with shelf losses occurring 30 to 100s of years ago seem to be relatively stable or losing mass only slowly (western glaciers, northernmost areas). The

  1. Oxygen Isotope Mass-Balance Constraints on Pliocene Sea Level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winnick, M. J.; Caves, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The mid-Pliocene Warm Period (MPWP, 3.3-2.9 Ma), with reconstructed atmospheric pCO2 of 350-450 ppm, represents a potential analogue for climate change in the near future. Current highly cited estimates place MPWP maximum global mean sea level (GMSL) at 21 ± 10 m above modern, requiring total loss of the Greenland (GIS) and marine West Antarctic Ice Sheets (WAIS) and a substantial loss of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), with only a concurrent 2-3 ºC rise in global temperature. Many estimates of Pliocene GMSL are based on the partitioning of oxygen isotope records from benthic foraminifera (δ18Ob) into changes in deep-sea temperatures and terrestrial ice sheets. These isotopic budgets are underpinned by the assumption that the δ18O of Antarctic ice (δ18Oi) was the same in the Pliocene as it is today, and while the sensitivity of δ18Ob to changing meltwater δ18O has been previously considered, these analyses neglect conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system. Using well-calibrated δ18O-temperature relationships for Antarctic precipitation along with estimates of Pliocene Antarctic surface temperatures, we argue that the δ18Oi of the Pliocene Antarctic ice sheet was at minimum 1‰-4‰ higher than present. Assuming conservation of 18O/16O in the ocean-ice system, this requires lower Pliocene seawater δ18O (δ18Osw) without a corresponding change in ice sheet mass. This effect alone accounts for 5%-20% of the δ18Ob difference between the MPWP interglacials and the modern. With this amended isotope budget, we suggest that Pliocene GMSL was likely 9-13.5 m and very likely 5-17 m above modern, which suggests the EAIS is less sensitive to radiative forcing than previously inferred from the geologic record.

  2. Greenland ice sheet surface mass-balance modeling in a 131-year perspective, 1950-2080

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen; Hiemstra, Christopher; Christensen, Jens

    2009-01-01

    Fluctuations in the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass-balance (SMB) and freshwater influx to the surrounding oceans closely follow climate fluctuations and are of considerable importance to the global eustatic sea level rise. SnowModel, a state-of-the-art snow-evolution modeling system, was used to simulate variations in the GrIS melt extent, surface water balance components, changes in SMB, and freshwater influx to the ocean. The simulations are based on the IPCC scenario AlB modeled by the HIRHAM4 RCM (using boundary conditions from ECHAM5 AOGCM) from 1950 through 2080. In-situ meteorological station (GC-Net and WMO DMI) observations from inside and outside the GrIS were used to validate and correct RCM output data before it was used as input for SnowModel. Satellite observations and independent SMB studies were used to validate the SnowModel output and confirm the model's robustness. We simulated a {approx}90% increase in end-of-summer surface melt extent (0.483 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2}) from 1950 to 2080, and a melt index (above 2,000-m elevation) increase of 138% (1.96 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} x days). The greatest difference in melt extent occured in the southern part of the GrIS, and the greatest changes in the number of melt days was seen in the eastern part of the GrIS ({approx}50-70%) and was lowest in the west ({approx}20-30%). The rate of SMB loss, largely tied to changes in ablation processes, lead to an enhanced average loss of 331 km{sup 3} from 1950 to 2080, an average 5MB level of -99 km{sup 3} for the period 2070-2080. GrIS surface freshwater runoff yielded an eustatic rise in sea level from 0.8 {+-} 0.1 (1950-1959) to 1.9 {+-} 0.1 mm (2070-2080) sea level equivalent (SLE) y{sup -1}. The accumulated GrIS freshwater runoff contribution from surface melting equaled 160 mm SLE from 1950 through 2080.

  3. Mass balance and sliding velocity of the Puget lobe of the cordilleran ice sheet during the last glaciation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booth, D.B.

    1986-01-01

    An estimate of the sliding velocity and basal meltwater discharge of the Puget lobe of the Cordilleran ice sheet can be calculated from its reconstructed extent, altitude, and mass balance. Lobe dimensions and surface altitudes are inferred from ice limits and flow-direction indicators. Net annual mass balance and total ablation are calculated from relations empirically derived from modern maritime glaciers. An equilibrium-line altitude between 1200 and 1250 m is calculated for the maximum glacial advance (ca. 15,000 yr B.P.) during the Vashon Stade of the Fraser Glaciation. This estimate is in accord with geologic data and is insensitive to plausible variability in the parameters used in the reconstruction. Resultant sliding velocities are as much as 650 m/a at the equilibrium line, decreasing both up- and downglacier. Such velocities for an ice sheet of this size are consistent with nonsurging behavior. Average meltwater discharge increases monotonically downglacier to 3000 m3/sec at the terminus and is of a comparable magnitude to ice discharge over much of the glacier's ablation area. Palcoclimatic inferences derived from this reconstruction are consistent with previous, independently derived studies of late Pleistocene temperature and precipitation in the Pacific Northwest. ?? 1986.

  4. Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Estimates from 2003 TO 2015 Using Icesat and CRYOSAT-2 Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Huan; Hai, Gang; Chen, Lei; Liu, Shijie; Liu, Jun; Tong, Xiaohua; Li, Rongxing

    2016-06-01

    An assessment of Antarctic ice sheet surface mass balance from 2003 to 2015 has been carried out using a combination of ICESat data from 2003 to 2009 and CryoSat-2 data from 2010 to 2015. Both data sets are of L2 and are currently processed separately using different models. First, a repeat-track processing method that includes terms accounting for the trend and the first order fit of topography is applied to repeat-track measurements of all ICESat Campaigns. It uses the Least Squares fitting of the model to all observations in a box of 500 m x 500 m. The estimated trends in these boxes are then averaged inside a 30 km x 30 km cell. Similarly, the cells are used to estimate basin and ice sheet level surface elevation change trends. Mass balance calculating is performed at the cell level by multiplying the ice density by the volume change and then extended to the basin and the ice sheet level. Second, in CryoSat-2 data processing we applied a model within a cell of 5 km x 5 km considering that CryoSat-2 does not maintain repeated tracks. In this model the elevation trend, and a higher order topography are solved in an iterative way using the least squares technique. The mass change is computed at the cell level in the same way as the ICESat data. GIA correction is applied for both ICESat and CryoSat-2 estimates. Detailed information about the data processing, elevation and mass balance changes, and comparison with other studies will be introduced.

  5. Point measurements of mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet using precision vertical Global Positioning System (GPS) surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Gordon S.; Whillans, Ian M.

    2000-07-01

    Rates of ice sheet thickening or thinning in Greenland are measured using the coffee-can technique. This entails computing the difference in the vertical velocity of markers anchored in firn and the long-term rate of snow accumulation. The velocities are obtained from repeat surveys using the Global Positioning System (GPS). With corrections for densification and along-slope flow, this difference is the local mass balance. For two sites in western Greenland (Camp Century and a site just south of the EGIG line (Crawford Point)) results show ice sheet thinning. A third west Greenland site (inland from Upernavik) is close to balance. Two sites, Dye-2 in western Greenland and Summit, are thickening slowly.

  6. Present-day and future Antarctic ice sheet climate and surface mass balance in the Community Earth System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Vizcaino, Miren; Fyke, Jeremy; van Kampenhout, Leo; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2016-02-01

    We present climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) as simulated by the global, coupled ocean-atmosphere-land Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a horizontal resolution of ˜1° in the past, present and future (1850-2100). CESM correctly simulates present-day Antarctic sea ice extent, large-scale atmospheric circulation and near-surface climate, but fails to simulate the recent expansion of Antarctic sea ice. The present-day Antarctic ice sheet SMB equals 2280 ± 131 {Gt year^{-1}} , which concurs with existing independent estimates of AIS SMB. When forced by two CMIP5 climate change scenarios (high mitigation scenario RCP2.6 and high-emission scenario RCP8.5), CESM projects an increase of Antarctic ice sheet SMB of about 70 {Gt year^{-1}} per degree warming. This increase is driven by enhanced snowfall, which is partially counteracted by more surface melt and runoff along the ice sheet's edges. This intensifying hydrological cycle is predominantly driven by atmospheric warming, which increases (1) the moisture-carrying capacity of the atmosphere, (2) oceanic source region evaporation, and (3) summer AIS cloud liquid water content.

  7. Balance Velocities of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, Ian; Fahnestock, Mark; Ekholm, Simon; Kwok, Ron

    1997-01-01

    We present a map of balance velocities for the Greenland ice sheet. The resolution of the underlying DEM, which was derived primarily from radar altimetry data, yields far greater detail than earlier balance velocity estimates for Greenland. The velocity contours reveal in striking detail the location of an ice stream in northeastern Greenland, which was only recently discovered using satellite imagery. Enhanced flow associated with all of the major outlets is clearly visible, although small errors in the source data result in less accurate estimates of the absolute flow speeds. Nevertheless, the balance map is useful for ice-sheet modelling, mass balance studies, and field planning.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Luthcke, Scott

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Analysis of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Mass Balance from ICESat Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui

    2011-01-01

    If protoplanets formed from 10 to 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals in a runaway accretion process prior to their oligarchic growth into the terrestrial planets, it is only logical to ask where these planetesimals may have formed in order to assess the initial composition of the Earth. We have used Weidenschilling's model for the formation of comets (1997) to calculate an efficiency factor for the formation of planetesimals from the solar nebula, then used this factor to calculate the feeding zones that contribute to material contained within 10, 15 and 20 kilometer diameter planetesimals at 1 A.V. as a function of nebular mass. We find that for all reasonable nebular masses, these planetesimals contain a minimum of 3% water as ice by mass. The fraction of ice increases as the planetesimals increase in size and as the nebular mass decreases, since both factors increase the feeding zones from which solids in the final planetesimals are drawn. Is there really a problem with the current accretion scenario that makes the Earth too dry, or is it possible that the nascent Earth lost significant quantities of water in the final stages of accretion?

  10. The dynamics of frazil ice formation in leads and its role in the mass balance of the sea ice pack.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heorton, Harry; Feltham, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    Lead are cracks in sea ice that expose the ocean to the cold atmosphere resulting in the supercooling of the ocean and the formation of frazil ice crystals within the mixed layer. Here we present two studies of ice formation in leads: a single lead model focussing on frazil crystals of varying size within the vertical structure of the mixed layer; a new module explicitly describing frazil ice formation in leads incorporated into the Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE). Both studies consider the supercooling of the ocean, the concentration of frazil crystals within the ocean and their precipitation to the ocean surface as grease ice pushed against one of the lead edges by wind and water drag. The results from the single lead model show how the vertical structure of the mixed layer develops after the lead opens. Sensitivity studies reveal how changing wind speeds play the greatest role in the time taken to refreeze a lead. In the CICE model the new module slows down the refreezing of leads resulting in an longer period of frazil ice production when compared to the original model code. The fraction of frazil-derived sea ice increases from 10% to 50% with the inclusion of the new module. Ice formation rates are increased in areas of high ice concentration and thus has a greater impact within multiyear ice than in the marginal seas. The thickness of sea ice in the central Arctic increases by over 0.5 m whereas within the Antarctic it remains unchanged.

  11. Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Connections to Mechanisms of Climate Variability on Decadal to Centennial Time Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andres, H.; Peltier, W. R.

    2011-12-01

    The role of natural forcing in generating variability in the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) remains unclear. Furthermore, mass variations in the GrIS over the past several centuries are poorly constrained. Until the impact of natural climate variations is better understood, it will be difficult to isolate the role anthropogenic greenhouse gases have had on GrIS-induced sea level rise, and to make predictions of GrIS changes in the future. To begin to address these issues, we have performed a suite of global, atmosphere-ocean general circulation model simulations of the past millennium. These runs are long enough to establish the connection between Arctic climate conditions and surface mass balance changes over the Greenland ice sheet over a wide range of timescales. We have created five historical simulations from years 850 to 2000 using the Community Climate System Model 3 and boundary conditions consistent with the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project Phase 3. Over this preindustrial period, we have examined how average temperatures and total precipitation over regions of the GrIS varied with Arctic sea ice extent, NAO/NAM, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, ENSO, volcanic aerosol loading, and total solar irradiance changes. Overall, we find that variations on timescales longer than 30 years correlate well with several of these sources of climate variability, and that variations on shorter timescales are less well-connected. We also find that there are clear regional differences in the temperature and precipitation responses. Thus, in this presentation we focus on the sources of climate variability that we find to be most important to Greenland regional temperatures and precipitation in our suite of millennium simulations. Finally, we extended these simulations into the future using representative concentration pathways from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. We

  12. Imaging spectroscopy to assess the composition of ice surface materials and their impact on glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naegeli, Kathrin; Huss, Matthias; Damm, Alexander; de Jong, Rogier; Schaepman, Michael; Hoelzle, Martin

    2014-05-01

    The ice-albedo feedback plays a crucial role in various glaciological processes, but especially influences ice melt. Glacier surface albedo is one of the most important variables in the energy balance of snow and ice, but depends in a complicated way on many factors, such as cryoconite concentration, impurities due to mineral dust, soot or organic matter, grain size or ice surface morphology. Our understanding on how these various factors influence glacier albedo is still limited hindering a spatially and temporally explicit parameterization of energy balance models and requiring strongly simplified assumptions on actual albedo values. Over the last two decades, several studies have focused on glacier surface albedo using automatic in-situ weather stations in combination with radiation measurement setups or satellite images. Due to limitations of both approaches in matching either the spatial or the temporal length scale of glacier albedo, still fairly little is known about the state, changes and impact of glacier surface albedo in the Swiss Alps, although there are obvious changes in surface characteristics on most alpine glaciers over the last years. With use of the APEX (Airborne Prism EXperiment) image spectrometer, measurements of reflected radiation were acquired in high spatial and spectral resolution on Glacier de la Plaine Morte, Switzerland, to explicitly analyse the ice surface. In-situ radiometric measurements were acquired with an ASD field spectrometer in parallel to APEX overflights. These data are intended to be used for validation purposes as well as input data for the linear spectral unmixing analysis of the APEX data. Seasonal glacier mass balance is monitored since five years using the direct glaciological method. This contribution presents a first evaluation of the data collected in summer 2013. The obtained in-situ and airborne reflectance measurements were used in combination with a spectral mixture analysis (SMA) approach to assess the

  13. Geodetically-Constrained Glacial Isostatic Adjustment models of Antarctica: Implications for the Mass Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, M. J.; Wilson, T. J.; James, T. S.; Mazzotti, S.; Bevis, M. G.; Kendrick, E. C.; Brown, A. K.

    2010-12-01

    The IJ05 Antarctic ice sheet history is employed to drive a suite of approximately one thousand two-layered, laterally-homogeneous spherical Earth models and generate predictions of Antarctic crustal uplift due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). GPS data collected between 1996 and 2010 on the flanks of the West Antarctic Rift System are used to produce bedrock uplift rates that are compared with the model predictions. The models that display the best fit to the data have softer, weaker upper-mantle viscosities than those published in many previous studies. A low viscosity upper-mantle is in agreement with seismic tomography that indicates that the upper mantle beneath much of West Antarctica has slower than average seismic shear-wave velocities. Best fit models further feature thin elastic lithospheres, a situation that is also corroborated by recent airborne gravity and seismic investigations. The best fit GIA models are used to generate crustal uplift rates and gravity changes that are larger than previously published models used to correct GRACE observations and infer Antarctic ice mass balance.The new models, which are the first GPS-constrained GIA corrections for GRACE in Antarctica, increases the ice-mass loss estimate for West Antarctica.

  14. Very high resolution modelling of the Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Present day conditions and future prospects.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mottram, Ruth; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; Boberg, Fredrik; Hesselbjerg Christensen, Jens; Bøssing Christensen, Ole; Langen, Peter; Rodehacke, Christian; Stendel, Martin; Yang, Shuting

    2014-05-01

    Recent experiments with the Regional Climate Model (RCM) HIRHAM5 have produced new surface mass balance (SMB) estimates at the unprecedented high horizontal resolution of 0.05 degrees (~5.5km). These simulations indicate a present day SMB of 347 ± 98 Gt/year over the whole ice sheet averaged over the period 1989 - 2012 driven by the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. We validate accumulation rates over the ice sheet using estimates from shallow firn cores to confirm the importance of resolution to accurate estimates of accumulation. Comparison with PROMICE and GC-Net automatic weather station observations shows the model represents present day climate and climate variability well when driven by the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. Comparison with a simulation at 0.25 degrees (~27km) resolution from the same model shows a significantly different calculated SMB over the whole ice sheet, largely due to changes in precipitation distribution over Greenland. The very high resolution requires a more sophisticated treatment of sub-grid scale processes in the snow pack including meltwater retention and refreezing and an enhanced albedo scheme. Our results indicate retention processes account for a significant proportion of the total surface budget based on a new parameterization scheme in the model. SMB projections, driven by the EC-Earth Global Climate Model (GCM) at the boundaries for the RCP 4.5 scenario indicate a declining surface mass balance over the 21st century with some compensation for warmer summer temperatures and enhanced melt in the form of increased precipitation. A cold bias in the driving GCM for present day conditions suggests that this simulation likely underestimates the change in SMB. However, the downscaled precipitation fields compare well with those in the reanalysis driven simulations. A soon-to-be complete simulation uses driving fields from the GCM running the RCP8.5 scenario.

  15. Interaction of katabatic wind and local surface mass balance at Scharffenbergbotnen Blue Ice Area, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwinger, T.; Malm, T.; Schäfer, M.; Stenberg, R.; Moore, J. C.

    2015-04-01

    We model the wind causing the formation of a blue ice area in Scharffenbergbotnen valley, Antarctica, using the finite element code Elmer. The high resolution numerical simulations of the local wind flow from katabatic wind fronts show highly spatially variable wind impact patterns and good congruence between places of enhanced wind-impact and the blue ice area. The results were fortuitously confirmed by the destruction of a field camp located in a high wind speed area and its subsequent redistribution to low velocity areas. In addition we perform wind simulations on an altered glacier geometry that resembles the thicker ice cover at the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM). These simulations indicate that the pronounced spatial wind-impact patterns depend on present day geometry and did not occur during the LGM. This leads to the conclusion that the formation of the blue ice area that is situated more inside the valley of Scharffenbergbotnen started only after the lowering of the ice surface, later than the LGM. Experiments with smoothed surface topography suggest that detailed positions of the high wind regions and hence individual blue ice fields, may have varied as the ice sheet lowered. The experiments and the field observations are consistent with localized violent katabatic events, rather than synoptic scale storms, playing the dominant role in the formation and maintenance of this, and perhaps many blue ice areas.

  16. Satellite Observations of Blowing Snow in and Around Antarctica: Implications for Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Atmospheric Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palm, S. P.; Yang, Y.; Marshak, A.

    2014-12-01

    Blowing snow in the polar regions is known to be important for a variety of reasons including ice sheet mass balance, atmospheric water vapor transport, interpretation of paleoclimate records and atmospheric chemistry. Over Antarctica, persistent katabatic winds produce extreme blowing snow events often covering 100,000 square kilometers or more and reaching heights of 300-400 meters. New techniques of blowing snow detection using active and passive satellite data are providing a new understanding of the frequency, magnitude and spatial coverage of blowing snow over and around the Antarctic continent. Current research is utilizing these methods to obtain a nearly 10 year climatology of blowing snow events over Antarctica and estimate the amount of mass being blown off the continent and sublimated into the atmosphere on an annual basis. In addition, recent research indicates that blowing snow over sea ice may be important in the process of transporting seal salt aerosol into the atmosphere where it is implicated in the production of bromine compounds that strongly influence many aspects of tropospheric chemistry.

  17. Extent of Low-accumulation 'Wind Glaze' Areas on the East Antarctic Plateau: Implications for Continental Ice Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scambos, Theodore A.; Frezzotti, Massimo; Haran, T.; Bohlander, J.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.; Jezek, K.; Long, D.; Urbini, S.; Farness, K.; Neumann, T.; Albert, M.; Winther, J.-G.

    2012-01-01

    Persistent katabatic winds form widely distributed localized areas of near-zero net surface accumulation on the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) plateau. These areas have been called 'glaze' surfaces due to their polished appearance. They are typically 2-200 square kilometers in area and are found on leeward slopes of ice-sheet undulations and megadunes. Adjacent, leeward high-accumulation regions (isolated dunes) are generally smaller and do not compensate for the local low in surface mass balance (SMB). We use a combination of satellite remote sensing and field-gathered datasets to map the extent of wind glaze in the EAIS above 1500m elevation. Mapping criteria are derived from distinctive surface and subsurface characteristics of glaze areas resulting from many years of intense annual temperature cycling without significant burial. Our results show that 11.2 plus or minus 1.7%, or 950 plus or minus 143 x 10(exp 3) square kilometers, of the EAIS above 1500m is wind glaze. Studies of SMB interpolate values across glaze regions, leading to overestimates of net mass input. Using our derived wind-glaze extent, we estimate this excess in three recent models of Antarctic SMB at 46-82 Gt. The lowest-input model appears to best match the mean in regions of extensive wind glaze.

  18. Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance to perturbations in sea surface temperature and sea ice cover: a study with the regional climate model MAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noël, B.; Fettweis, X.; van de Berg, W. J.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Erpicum, M.

    2014-10-01

    During recent summers (2007-2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), favoring warmer atmospheric conditions than normal over the GrIS. Simultaneously, large anomalies in sea ice cover (SIC) and sea surface temperature (SST) were observed in the North Atlantic, suggesting a possible connection. To assess the direct impact of 2007-2012 SIC and SST anomalies on GrIS surface mass balance (SMB), a set of sensitivity experiments was carried out with the regional climate model MAR forced by ERA-Interim. These simulations suggest that perturbations in SST and SIC in the seas surrounding Greenland do not considerably impact GrIS SMB, as a result of the katabatic wind blocking effect. These offshore-directed winds prevent oceanic near-surface air, influenced by SIC and SST anomalies, from penetrating far inland. Therefore, the ice sheet SMB response is restricted to coastal regions, where katabatic winds cease. A topic for further investigation is how anomalies in SIC and SST might have indirectly affected the surface melt by changing the general circulation in the North Atlantic region, hence favoring more frequent warm air advection towards the GrIS.

  19. Troughs on Martian Ice Sheets: Analysis of Their Closure and Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, J.

    2000-08-01

    At the Copenhagen workshop on Martian polar processes, Ralf Greve commented that the flow regime surrounding scarps and troughs of the Martian polar ice sheets cannot be modeled using traditional "plan view" ice-sheet models. Such models are inadequate because they typically use reduced equations that embody certain simplifications applicable only to terrestrial ice sheets where the upper ice sheet surface is smooth. In response to this suggestion, we have constructed a 2-dimensional, time dependent "side view" (two spatial dimensions: one horizontal, one vertical) model of scarp closure that is designed to overcome the difficulties described by Greve. The purpose of the model is to evaluate the scales of stress variation and styles of flow closure so as to estimate errors that may be encountered by "plan view" models. We show that there may be avenues whereby the complications associated with scarp closure can be overcome in "plan view" models through appropriate parameterizations of 3-dimensional effects. Following this, we apply the flow model to simulate the evolution of a typical scarp on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our simulations investigate: (a) the role of "radiation trapping" (see our companion abstract) in creating and maintaining "spiral-like" scarps on the ice sheet, (b) the consequences of different flowlaws and ice compositions on scarp evolution and, in particular, scarp age, and (c) the role of dust and debris in scarp evolution.

  20. Troughs on Martian Ice Sheets: Analysis of Their Closure and Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, J.

    2000-01-01

    At the Copenhagen workshop on Martian polar processes, Ralf Greve commented that the flow regime surrounding scarps and troughs of the Martian polar ice sheets cannot be modeled using traditional "plan view" ice-sheet models. Such models are inadequate because they typically use reduced equations that embody certain simplifications applicable only to terrestrial ice sheets where the upper ice sheet surface is smooth. In response to this suggestion, we have constructed a 2-dimensional, time dependent "side view" (two spatial dimensions: one horizontal, one vertical) model of scarp closure that is designed to overcome the difficulties described by Greve. The purpose of the model is to evaluate the scales of stress variation and styles of flow closure so as to estimate errors that may be encountered by "plan view" models. We show that there may be avenues whereby the complications associated with scarp closure can be overcome in "plan view" models through appropriate parameterizations of 3-dimensional effects. Following this, we apply the flow model to simulate the evolution of a typical scarp on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our simulations investigate: (a) the role of "radiation trapping" (see our companion abstract) in creating and maintaining "spiral-like" scarps on the ice sheet, (b) the consequences of different flowlaws and ice compositions on scarp evolution and, in particular, scarp age, and (c) the role of dust and debris in scarp evolution.

  1. A downscaled 1 km dataset of daily Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance components (1958-2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noel, B.; Van De Berg, W. J.; Fettweis, X.; Machguth, H.; Howat, I. M.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    The current spatial resolution in regional climate models (RCMs), typically around 5 to 20 km, remains too coarse to accurately reproduce the spatial variability in surface mass balance (SMB) components over the narrow ablation zones, marginal outlet glaciers and neighbouring ice caps of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). In these topographically rough terrains, the SMB components are highly dependent on local variations in topography. However, the relatively low-resolution elevation and ice mask prescribed in RCMs contribute to significantly underestimate melt and runoff in these regions due to unresolved valley glaciers and fjords. Therefore, near-km resolution topography is essential to better capture SMB variability in these spatially restricted regions. We present a 1 km resolution dataset of daily GrIS SMB covering the period 1958-2014, which is statistically downscaled from data of the polar regional climate model RACMO2.3 at 11 km, using an elevation dependence. The dataset includes all individual SMB components projected on the elevation and ice mask from the GIMP DEM, down-sampled to 1 km. Daily runoff and sublimation are interpolated to the 1 km topography using a local regression to elevation valid for each day specifically; daily precipitation is bi-linearly downscaled without elevation corrections. The daily SMB dataset is then reconstructed by summing downscaled precipitation, sublimation and runoff. High-resolution elevation and ice mask allow for properly resolving the narrow ablation zones and valley glaciers at the GrIS margins, leading to significant increase in runoff estimate. In these regions, and especially over narrow glaciers tongues, the downscaled products improve on the original RACMO2.3 outputs by better representing local SMB patterns through a gradual ablation increase towards the GrIS margins. We discuss the impact of downscaling on the SMB components in a case study for a spatially restricted region, where large elevation

  2. Contemporary (1960-2012) Evolution of the Climate and Surface Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Angelen, J. H.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Wouters, B.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.

    2014-09-01

    We assess the contemporary (1960-2012) surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), its individual components and trends. We use output of the high-resolution (11 km) regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2), evaluated with automatic weather stations and GRACE data. A persistent negative North Atlantic oscillation index over the last 6 years resulted in the summertime advection of relatively warm continental air toward the GrIS. Added to the enhanced radiative forcing by increased CO2 levels, this has resulted in an increase in near-surface temperature of more than 2 K during 2007-2012 compared to 1960-1990. The associated decrease in albedo led to an extra absorption of shortwave radiation of ˜6 Wm-2 (11 %) in the summer months, which is the main driver of enhanced surface melting and runoff in recent years. From 1990 onward, we see a steady increase in meltwater runoff and an associated decrease in the SMB, accelerating after 2005, with the record low SMB year in 2010. Despite the fact that the GrIS was subject to the highest surface melt rates in 2012, relatively high accumulation rates prevented 2012 to set a record low SMB. In 2012, melt occurred relatively high on the ice sheet where melt water refreezes in the porous firn layer. Up to 2005, increased runoff was partly offset by increased accumulation rates. Since then, accumulation rates have decreased, resulting in low SMB values. Other causes of decreased SMB are the loss of firn pore space and decreasing refreezing rates in the higher ablation area. The GrIS has lost in total 1,800 ± 300 Gt of mass from surface processes alone since 1990 and about half of that in the last 6 years.

  3. Barrow real-time sea ice mass balance data: ingestion, processing, dissemination and archival of multi-sensor data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimes, J.; Mahoney, A. R.; Heinrichs, T. A.; Eicken, H.

    2012-12-01

    Sensor data can be highly variable in nature and also varied depending on the physical quantity being observed, sensor hardware and sampling parameters. The sea ice mass balance site (MBS) operated in Barrow by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_sealevel) is a multisensor platform consisting of a thermistor string, air and water temperature sensors, acoustic altimeters above and below the ice and a humidity sensor. Each sensor has a unique specification and configuration. The data from multiple sensors are combined to generate sea ice data products. For example, ice thickness is calculated from the positions of the upper and lower ice surfaces, which are determined using data from downward-looking and upward-looking acoustic altimeters above and below the ice, respectively. As a data clearinghouse, the Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) processes real time data from many sources, including the Barrow MBS. Doing so requires a system that is easy to use, yet also offers the flexibility to handle data from multisensor observing platforms. In the case of the Barrow MBS, the metadata system needs to accommodate the addition of new and retirement of old sensors from year to year as well as instrument configuration changes caused by, for example, spring melt or inquisitive polar bears. We also require ease of use for both administrators and end users. Here we present the data and processing steps of using sensor data system powered by the NoSQL storage engine, MongoDB. The system has been developed to ingest, process, disseminate and archive data from the Barrow MBS. Storing sensor data in a generalized format, from many different sources, is a challenging task, especially for traditional SQL databases with a set schema. MongoDB is a NoSQL (not only SQL) database that does not require a fixed schema. There are several advantages using this model over the traditional relational database management system (RDBMS

  4. Sea ice pCO2 dynamics and air-ice CO2 fluxes during the Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) experiment - Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geilfus, N.-X.; Tison, J.-L.; Ackley, S. F.; Galley, R. J.; Rysgaard, S.; Miller, L. A.; Delille, B.

    2014-12-01

    Temporal evolution of pCO2 profiles in sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, in October 2007 shows physical and thermodynamic processes controls the CO2 system in the ice. During the survey, cyclical warming and cooling strongly influenced the physical, chemical, and thermodynamic properties of the ice cover. Two sampling sites with contrasting characteristics of ice and snow thickness were sampled: one had little snow accumulation (from 8 to 25 cm) and larger temperature and salinity variations than the second site, where the snow cover was up to 38 cm thick and therefore better insulated the underlying sea ice. We show that each cooling/warming event was associated with an increase/decrease in the brine salinity, total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2), and in situ brine and bulk ice CO2 partial pressures (pCO2). Thicker snow covers reduced the amplitude of these changes: snow cover influences the sea ice carbonate system by modulating the temperature and therefore the salinity of the sea ice cover. Results indicate that pCO2 was undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere both in the in situ bulk ice (from 10 to 193 μatm) and brine (from 65 to 293 μatm), causing the sea ice to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 (up to 2.9 mmol m-2 d-1), despite supersaturation of the underlying seawater (up to 462 μatm).

  5. Assessing the Sensitivity of Satellite-Derived Estimates of Ice Sheet Mass Balance to Regional Climate Model Simulations of Snow Accumulation and Firn Compaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, K.; Shepherd, A.; Horwath, M.; Horvath, A.; Nagler, T.; Wuite, J.; Muir, A.; Gilbert, L.; Mouginot, J.

    2015-12-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are fundamental for assessing and understanding ice sheet mass trends. Mass budget and altimetry assessments rely on RCMs both directly for estimates of the SMB contribution to the total mass trend, and indirectly for ancillary data in the form of firn compaction corrections. As such, mass balance assessments can be highly sensitive to RCM outputs and therefore their accuracy. Here we assess the extent to which geodetic measurements of mass balance are sensitive to RCM model outputs at different resolutions. We achieve this by comparing SMB dependent estimates of mass balance from the mass budget method and altimetry, with those from satellite gravimetry that are independent of SMB estimates. Using the outputs of the RACMO/ANT 2.3 model at 5.5 km and 27 km horizontal spatial resolution, we generate estimates of mass balance using the mass budget method and altimetry for the Western Palmer Land region of the Antarctic Peninsula between 2003 and 2014. We find a 19% increase in the long-term (1980 to 2014) mean annual SMB for the region when enhancing the model resolution to 5.5 km. This translates into an approximate 50% reduction in the total mass loss from 2003 to 2014 calculated with the mass budget method and a 15% increase in the altimetry estimate. The use of the enhanced resolution product leads to consistency between the estimates of mass loss from the altimetry and the mass budget method that is not observed with the coarser resolution product, in which estimates of cumulative mass fall beyond the relative errors. Critically, when using the 5.5 km product, we find excellent agreement, both in pattern and magnitude, with the independent estimate derived from gravimetry. Our results point toward the crucial need for high resolution SMB products from RCMs for mass balance assessments, particularly in regions of high mass turnover and complex terrain as found over the Antarctic Peninsula.

  6. Reducing Uncertainties in Greenland Surface Mass Balance Using IceBridge and ICESat Altimetry, GRACE Data and Regional Atmospheric Climate Model Outputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohajerani, Y.; Sutterley, T. C.; Velicogna, I.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Fettweis, X.

    2015-12-01

    The mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet is undergoing rapid changes due to increase in surface melt and ice discharge. Considerable progress has been made to reduce the overall uncertainty of mass balance assessments. Here, we address the uncertainty in runoff production, which is of the largest remaining uncertainty in ice sheet mass balance. Runoff model outputs are difficult to evaluate due to a lack of in-situ monitoring networks. We document the uncertainty in runoff and how it varies spatially by comparing runoff products from different regional climate models (RCM) with two other sets of observations: 1) GRACE regional time series calculated using a least-squares mascon approach and corrected for regional ice discharge - with an emphasis on regions where ice dynamics is less significant: southwest and north Greenland; 2) At the smaller scale, NASA IceBridge and ICESat surface elevation change products, dh/dt, in the ablation zone to compare the observed volume changes with those predicted by RCMs. These two comparisons help evaluate how well seasonal melt and runoff are modeled by RCMs. The results help constrain uncertainties in present-day surface mass balance and runoff, as well as identify sources of RCM error. We also examine the constraints applied to the models (re-analysis data, albedo, energy budget, scheme to implement water retention, etc.) to gain insights into the processes responsible for the difference between models. Overall, we find substantial differences between MAR and RACMO results, and the results vary by region in terms of magnitude, timing and duration of surface melt. For instance, melt-water production and refreeze in the southwest are greater in RACMO, but total runoff is greater in MAR, and RACMO agrees better with GRACE. In the northeast, MAR predicts less runoff than RACMO and agrees better with GRACE. In the southeast, we find that the current version of MAR over-predicts runoff production. This work was funded by NASA

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubeda, J.; Palacios, D.

    2009-04-01

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

  8. Parameterizations of daily temperature standard deviation for modeling ice sheet mass balances using a temperature-index method under paleoclimate conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erokhina, Olga; Rogozhina, Irina

    2016-04-01

    A number of recent studies have suggested time-dependent parameterizations of daily temperature standard deviation for modelling surface mass balances of ice sheets and glaciers using a temperature-index method. These have been inferred from in-situ measurements and climate reanalysis data, which are only available on yearly to decadal time scales. To date, the existing literature has not explored their applicability to climate conditions that are different from those of today. This study presents an ensemble of simulations of the Greenland Ice Sheet's history since the Last Glacial Maximum to assess the performance of existing parameterizations of daily temperature standard deviation on millennial time scales. To limit the influence of the uncertainties arising from poorly constrained external and internal factors we adopt climate strategies of different complexities and a sensitivity analysis of ice sheet model parameters. Our study reveals that previously proposed parameterizations of daily temperature standard deviation have a limited performance during the deglaciation stage, failing to simulate the retreat of ice masses as suggested by geological reconstructions. In contrast multiple studies that use constant values of daily temperature standard deviation within the range of 4 to 5°C receive support from our analysis, implying that either the ice sheet model used is missing the fundamental physics necessary to capture complex processes associated with rapid deglaciation or the values of daily temperature standard deviation suggested by parameterizations based on present-day observations are too low to ensure the consistent Wisconsin-to-Holocene ice sheet retreat.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Mass balance assessment using GPS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hulbe, Christina L.

    1993-01-01

    Mass balance is an integral part of any comprehensive glaciological investigation. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine at remote locations where there is no fixed reference. The Global Positioning System (GPS) offers a solution. Simultaneous GPS observations at a known location and the remote field site, processed differentially, will accurately position the camp site. From there, a monument planted in the firn atop the ice can also be accurately positioned. Change in the monument's vertical position is a direct indicator of ice thickness change. Because the monument is not connected to the ice, its motion is due to both mass balance change and to the settling of firn as it densifies into ice. Observations of relative position change between the monument and anchors at various depths within the firn are used to remove the settling effect. An experiment to test this method has begun at Byrd Station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the first epoch of observations was made. Analysis indicates that positioning errors will be very small. It appears likely that the largest errors involved with this technique will arise from ancillary data needed to determine firn settling.

  11. A century of variation in the dependence of Greenland iceberg calving on ice sheet surface mass balance and regional climate change.

    PubMed

    Bigg, G R; Wei, H L; Wilton, D J; Zhao, Y; Billings, S A; Hanna, E; Kadirkamanathan, V

    2014-06-01

    Iceberg calving is a major component of the total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). A century-long record of Greenland icebergs comes from the International Ice Patrol's record of icebergs (I48N) passing latitude 48° N, off Newfoundland. I48N exhibits strong interannual variability, with a significant increase in amplitude over recent decades. In this study, we show, through a combination of nonlinear system identification and coupled ocean-iceberg modelling, that I48N's variability is predominantly caused by fluctuation in GrIS calving discharge rather than open ocean iceberg melting. We also demonstrate that the episodic variation in iceberg discharge is strongly linked to a nonlinear combination of recent changes in the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS and regional atmospheric and oceanic climate variability, on the scale of the previous 1-3 years, with the dominant causal mechanism shifting between glaciological (SMB) and climatic (ocean temperature) over time. We suggest that this is a change in whether glacial run-off or under-ice melting is dominant, respectively. We also suggest that GrIS calving discharge is episodic on at least a regional scale and has recently been increasing significantly, largely as a result of west Greenland sources. PMID:24910517

  12. A century of variation in the dependence of Greenland iceberg calving on ice sheet surface mass balance and regional climate change

    PubMed Central

    Bigg, G. R.; Wei, H. L.; Wilton, D. J.; Zhao, Y.; Billings, S. A.; Hanna, E.; Kadirkamanathan, V.

    2014-01-01

    Iceberg calving is a major component of the total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). A century-long record of Greenland icebergs comes from the International Ice Patrol's record of icebergs (I48N) passing latitude 48° N, off Newfoundland. I48N exhibits strong interannual variability, with a significant increase in amplitude over recent decades. In this study, we show, through a combination of nonlinear system identification and coupled ocean–iceberg modelling, that I48N's variability is predominantly caused by fluctuation in GrIS calving discharge rather than open ocean iceberg melting. We also demonstrate that the episodic variation in iceberg discharge is strongly linked to a nonlinear combination of recent changes in the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS and regional atmospheric and oceanic climate variability, on the scale of the previous 1–3 years, with the dominant causal mechanism shifting between glaciological (SMB) and climatic (ocean temperature) over time. We suggest that this is a change in whether glacial run-off or under-ice melting is dominant, respectively. We also suggest that GrIS calving discharge is episodic on at least a regional scale and has recently been increasing significantly, largely as a result of west Greenland sources. PMID:24910517

  13. Development of a multi-sensor elevation time series pole-ward of 86°S in support of altimetry validation and ice sheet mass balance studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studinger, M.; Brunt, K. M.; Casey, K.; Medley, B.; Neumann, T.; Manizade, S.; Linkswiler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    In order to produce a cross-calibrated long-term record of ice-surface elevation change for input into ice sheet models and mass balance studies it is necessary to "link the measurements made by airborne laser altimeters, satellite measurements of ICESat, ICESat-2, and CryoSat-2" [IceBridge Level 1 Science Requirements, 2012] and determine the biases and the spatial variations between radar altimeters and laser altimeters using different wavelengths. The convergence zones of all ICESat tracks (86°S) and all ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2 tracks (88°S) are in regions of relatively low accumulation, making them ideal for satellite altimetry calibration. In preparation for ICESat-2 validation, the IceBridge and ICESat-2 science teams have designed IceBridge data acquisitions around 86°S and 88°S. Several aspects need to be considered when comparing and combining elevation measurements from different radar and laser altimeters, including: a) foot print size and spatial sampling pattern; b) accuracy and precision of each data sets; c) varying signal penetration into the snow; and d) changes in geodetic reference frames over time, such as the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). The presentation will focus on the analysis of several IceBridge flights around 86 and 88°S with the LVIS and ATM airborne laser altimeters and will evaluate the accuracy and precision of these data sets. To properly interpret the observed elevation change (dh/dt) as mass change, however, the various processes that control surface elevation fluctuations must be quantified and therefore future work will quantify the spatial variability in snow accumulation rates pole-ward of 86°S and in particular around 88°S. Our goal is to develop a cross-validated multi-sensor time series of surface elevation change pole-ward of 86°S that, in combination with measured accumulation rates, will support ICESat-2 calibration and validation and ice sheet mass balance studies.

  14. Modelling the feedbacks between mass balance, ice flow and debris transport to predict the response to climate change of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Ann V.; Egholm, David L.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2015-11-01

    Many Himalayan glaciers are characterised in their lower reaches by a rock debris layer. This debris insulates the glacier surface from atmospheric warming and complicates the response to climate change compared to glaciers with clean-ice surfaces. Debris-covered glaciers can persist well below the altitude that would be sustainable for clean-ice glaciers, resulting in much longer timescales of mass loss and meltwater production. The properties and evolution of supraglacial debris present a considerable challenge to understanding future glacier change. Existing approaches to predicting variations in glacier volume and meltwater production rely on numerical models that represent the processes governing glaciers with clean-ice surfaces, and yield conflicting results. We developed a numerical model that couples the flow of ice and debris and includes important feedbacks between debris accumulation and glacier mass balance. To investigate the impact of debris transport on the response of a glacier to recent and future climate change, we applied this model to a large debris-covered Himalayan glacier-Khumbu Glacier in Nepal. Our results demonstrate that supraglacial debris prolongs the response of the glacier to warming 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, Khumbu Glacier has lost 34% of its volume while its area has reduced by only 6%. We predict a 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 yr. This detachment will accelerate rates of glacier decay, and similar changes are likely for other debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya.

  15. Geodetic mass balance record with rigorous uncertainty estimates deduced from aerial photographs and lidar data - Case study from Drangajökull ice cap, NW Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, E.; Muñoz-Cobo Belart, J.; Pálsson, F.; Ágústsson, H.; Crochet, P.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we describe how recent high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) can be used to extract glacier surface DEMs from old aerial photographs and to evaluate the uncertainty of the mass balance record derived from the DEMs. We present a case study for Drangajökull ice cap, NW Iceland. This ice cap covered an area of 144 km2 when it was surveyed with airborne lidar in 2011. Aerial photographs spanning all or most of the ice cap are available from survey flights in 1946, 1960, 1975, 1985, 1994 and 2005. All ground control points used to constrain the orientation of the aerial photographs were obtained from the high-resolution lidar DEM. The lidar DEM was also used to estimate errors of the extracted photogrammetric DEMs in ice- and snow-free areas, at nunataks and outside the glacier margin. The derived errors of each DEM were used to constrain a spherical semivariogram model, which along with the derived errors in ice- and snow-free areas were used as inputs into 1000 sequential Gaussian simulations (SGSims). The simulations were used to estimate the possible bias in the entire glaciated part of the DEM and the 95 % confidence level of this bias. This results in bias correction varying in magnitude between 0.03 m (in 1975) and 1.66 m (in 1946) and uncertainty values between ±0.21 m (in 2005) and ±1.58 m (in 1946). Error estimation methods based on more simple proxies would typically yield 2-4 times larger error estimates. The aerial photographs used were acquired between late June and early October. An additional seasonal bias correction was therefore estimated using a degree-day model to obtain the volume change between the start of 2 glaciological years (1 October). This correction was largest for the 1960 DEM, corresponding to an average elevation change of -3.5 m or approx. three-quarters of the volume change between the 1960 and the 1975 DEMs. The total uncertainty of the derived mass balance record is dominated by uncertainty in the volume

  16. Sea level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Eemian interglacial: Review of previous work with focus on the surface mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plach, Andreas; Hestnes Nisancioglu, Kerim

    2016-04-01

    The contribution from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to the global sea level rise during the Eemian interglacial (about 125,000 year ago) was the focus of many studies in the past. A main reason for the interest in this period is the considerable warmer climate during the Eemian which is often seen as an equivalent for possible future climate conditions. Simulated sea level rise during the Eemian can therefore be used to better understand a possible future sea level rise. The most recent assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5) gives an overview of several studies and discusses the possible implications for a future sea level rise. The report also reveals the big differences between these studies in terms of simulated GIS extent and corresponding sea level rise. The present study gives a more exhaustive review of previous work discussing sea level rise from the GIS during the Eemian interglacial. The smallest extents of the GIS simulated by various authors are shown and summarized. A focus is thereby given to the methods used to calculate the surface mass balance. A hypothesis of the present work is that the varying results of the previous studies can largely be explained due to the various methods used to calculate the surface mass balance. In addition, as a first step for future work, the surface mass balance of the GIS for a proxy-data derived forcing ("index method") and a direct forcing with a General Circulation Model (GCM) are shown and discussed.

  17. Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S., Jr.; Casey, K.A.; DiGirolamo, N.E.; Wan, Z.

    2006-01-01

    Mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet was measured for each melt season from 2000 to 2005 using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived land-surface temperature (LST) data-product maps. During the period of most-active melt, the mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the ice sheet was highest in 2002 (-8.29 ?? 5.29??C) and 2005 (-8.29 ?? 5.43??C), compared to a 6-year mean of -9.04 ?? 5.59??C, in agreement with recent work by other investigators showing unusually extensive melt in 2002 and 2005. Surface-temperature variability shows a correspondence with the dry-snow facies of the ice sheet; a reduction in area of the dry-snow facies would indicate a more-negative mass balance. Surface-temperature variability generally increased during the study period and is most pronounced in the 2005 melt season; this is consistent with surface instability caused by air-temperature fluctuations. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. Micromechanical Oscillating Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altemir, David A. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A micromechanical oscillating mass balance and method adapted for measuring minute quantities of material deposited at a selected location, such as during a vapor deposition process. The invention comprises a vibratory composite beam which includes a dielectric layer sandwiched between two conductive layers. The beam is positioned in a magnetic field. An alternating current passes through one conductive layers, the beam oscillates, inducing an output current in the second conductive layer, which is analyzed to determine the resonant frequency of the beam. As material is deposited on the beam, the mass of the beam increases and the resonant frequency of the beam shifts, and the mass added is determined.

  19. 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.

  20. Surface exposure chronology of the Waimakariri glacial sequence in the Southern Alps of New Zealand: Implications for MIS-2 ice extent and LGM glacial mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rother, Henrik; Shulmeister, James; Fink, David; Alexander, David; Bell, David

    2015-11-01

    During the late Quaternary, the Southern Alps of New Zealand experienced multiple episodes of glaciation with large piedmont glaciers reaching the coastal plains in the west and expanding into the eastern alpine forelands. Here, we present a new 10Be exposure age chronology for a moraine sequence in the Waimakariri Valley (N-Canterbury), which has long been used as a reference record for correlating glacial events across New Zealand and the wider Southern Hemisphere. Our data indicate that the Waimakariri glacier reached its maximum last glaciation extent prior to ∼26 ka well before the global last glaciation maximum (LGM). This was followed by a gradual reduction in ice volume and the abandonment of the innermost LGM moraines at about 17.5 ka. Significantly, we find that during its maximum extent, the Waimakariri glacier overflowed the Avoca Plateau, previously believed to represent a mid-Pleistocene glacial surface (i.e. MIS 8). At the same time, the glacier extended to a position downstream of the Waimakariri Gorge, some 15 km beyond the previously mapped LGM ice limit. We use a simple steady-state mass balance model to test the sensitivity of past glacial accumulation to various climatic parameters, and to evaluate possible climate scenarios capable of generating the ice volume required to reach the full local-LGM extent. Model outcomes indicate that under New Zealand's oceanic setting, a cooling of 5 °C, assuming modern precipitation levels, or a cooling of 6.5 °C, assuming a one third reduction in precipitation, would suffice to drive the Waimakariri glacier to the eastern alpine forelands (Canterbury Plains). Our findings demonstrate that the scale of LGM glaciation in the Waimakariri Valley and adjacent major catchments, both in terms of ice volume and downvalley ice extent, has been significantly underestimated. Our observation that high-lying glacial surfaces, so far believed to represent much older glacial episodes, were glaciated during the LGM

  1. Reconstruction of the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance over 1900-2015 with the help of the regional climate MARv3.6 model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fettweis, Xavier; Agosta, Cécile; Gallée, Hubert

    2016-04-01

    With the aim of studying the recent Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) Surface Mass Balance (SMB) decrease with respect to the last century, we have forced the regional climate MAR model (version 3.6) with the ERA-Interim (1979-2015), ERA-40 (1958-2001), NCEP1 (1948-2015), NCEP2 (1979-2015), JRA-55 (1958-2015), 20CRv2(c) (1880-2012) and ERA-20C (1900-2010) reanalysis. While all of these forcing products are reanalyses, MAR simulates differences in SMB over the common period. A temperature correction of +1°C (resp. -1°C) had notably to be applied to the MAR boundary conditions given that ERA-20C (resp. 20CRv2) is ~1° colder (resp. warmer) over Greenland than ERA-Interim data over 1980-2010. Comparisons with PROMICE daily temperature measurements valid these corrections. In most of regions, the SMB discrepancies between the different simulations are not significant except in the South-East where the maximum of precipitation occurs and where SMB measurements are missing. This suggests that uncertainties in the current SMB reconstruction remain and that observations are still needed. Comparisons with SMB measurements from the PROMICE data set, ice cores and satellite derived melt extent allows to select the best reanalysis forced data set. All of these simulations show that i) the period 1961-1990 usually chosen as reference for SMB and ice dynamics (stable ice sheet) over GrIS is a period when the SMB was abnormally high in respect to the last 120 years; ii) SMB has been significantly decreasing after this reference period due to increasing melt. Both ERA-20C and 20CRv2 forced simulations suggest a precipitation increase since the beginning of the last century and the ERA-20C forced simulation only suggests that SMB during the 1920-1930 warm period over Greenland was comparable with the SMB of the 2000's. Finally, the sensitivity of switching on the erosion of the snow by the wind in MARv3.6 over GrIS will be discussed.

  2. Greenland Ice Sheet: High-Elevation Balance and Peripheral Thinning.

    PubMed

    Krabill; Abdalati; Frederick; Manizade; Martin; Sonntag; Swift; Thomas; Wright; Yungel

    2000-07-21

    Aircraft laser-altimeter surveys over northern Greenland in 1994 and 1999 have been coupled with previously reported data from southern Greenland to analyze the recent mass-balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Above 2000 meters elevation, the ice sheet is in balance on average but has some regions of local thickening or thinning. Thinning predominates at lower elevations, with rates exceeding 1 meter per year close to the coast. Interpolation of our results between flight lines indicates a net loss of about 51 cubic kilometers of ice per year from the entire ice sheet, sufficient to raise sea level by 0.13 millimeter per year-approximately 7% of the observed rise. PMID:10903198

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  4. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet mass loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Tricht, Kristof; Gorodetskaya, Irina V.; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Lhermitte, Stef; Noel, Brice; Turner, David D.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van Lipzig, Nicole P. M.

    2015-04-01

    Clouds have a profound influence on both the Arctic and global climate, while they still represent one of the key uncertainties in climate models, limiting the fidelity of future climate projections. The potentially important role of thin liquid-containing clouds over Greenland in enhancing ice sheet melt has recently gained interest, yet current research is spatially and temporally limited, focusing on particular events, and their large scale impact on the surface mass balance remains unknown. We used a combination of satellite remote sensing (CloudSat - CALIPSO), ground-based observations and climate model (RACMO) data to show that liquid-containing clouds warm the Greenland ice sheet 94% of the time. High surface reflectivity (albedo) for shortwave radiation reduces the cloud shortwave cooling effect on the absorbed fluxes, while not influencing the absorption of longwave radiation. Cloud warming over the ice sheet therefore dominates year-round. Only when albedo values drop below ~0.6 in the coastal areas during summer, the cooling effect starts to overcome the warming effect. The year-round excess of energy due to the presence of liquid-containing clouds has an extensive influence on the mass balance of the ice sheet. Simulations using the SNOWPACK snow model showed not only a strong influence of these liquid-containing clouds on melt increase, but also on the increased sublimation mass loss. Simulations with the Community Earth System Climate Model for the end of the 21st century (2080-2099) show that Greenland clouds contain more liquid water path and less ice water path. This implies that cloud radiative forcing will be further enhanced in the future. Our results therefore urge the need for improving cloud microphysics in climate models, to improve future projections of ice sheet mass balance and global sea level rise.

  5. Glaciological constraints on current ice mass changes from modelling the ice sheets over the glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huybrechts, P.

    2003-04-01

    The evolution of continental ice sheets introduces a long time scale in the climate system. Large ice sheets have a memory of millenia, hence the present-day ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are still adjusting to climatic variations extending back to the last glacial period. This trend is separate from the direct response to mass-balance changes on decadal time scales and needs to be correctly accounted for when assessing current and future contributions to sea level. One way to obtain estimates of current ice mass changes is to model the past history of the ice sheets and their underlying beds over the glacial cycles. Such calculations assist to distinguish between the longer-term ice-dynamic evolution and short-term mass-balance changes when interpreting altimetry data, and are helpful to isolate the effects of postglacial rebound from gravity and altimetry trends. The presentation will discuss results obtained from 3-D thermomechanical ice-sheet/lithosphere/bedrock models applied to the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The simulations are forced by time-dependent boundary conditions derived from sediment and ice core records and are constrained by geomorphological and glacial-geological data of past ice sheet and sea-level stands. Current simulations suggest that the Greenland ice sheet is close to balance, while the Antarctic ice sheet is still losing mass, mainly due to incomplete grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet since the LGM. The results indicate that altimetry trends are likely dominated by ice thickness changes but that the gravitational signal mainly reflects postglacial rebound.

  6. A balanced water layer concept for subglacial hydrology in large scale ice sheet models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goeller, S.; Thoma, M.; Grosfeld, K.; Miller, H.

    2012-12-01

    There is currently no doubt about the existence of a wide-spread hydrological network under the Antarctic ice sheet, which lubricates the ice base and thus leads to increased ice velocities. Consequently, ice models should incorporate basal hydrology to obtain meaningful results for future ice dynamics and their contribution to global sea level rise. Here, we introduce the balanced water layer concept, covering two prominent subglacial hydrological features for ice sheet modeling on a continental scale: the evolution of subglacial lakes and balance water fluxes. We couple it to the thermomechanical ice-flow model RIMBAY and apply it to a synthetic model domain inspired by the Gamburtsev Mountains, Antarctica. In our experiments we demonstrate the dynamic generation of subglacial lakes and their impact on the velocity field of the overlaying ice sheet, resulting in a negative ice mass balance. Furthermore, we introduce an elementary parametrization of the water flux-basal sliding coupling and reveal the predominance of the ice loss through the resulting ice streams against the stabilizing influence of less hydrologically active areas. We point out, that established balance flux schemes quantify these effects only partially as their ability to store subglacial water is lacking.

  7. Glacier mass balance and runoff research in the U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mayo, L.R.

    1984-01-01

    Research on glacier mass balance began in the USA about 50 years ago. More complete studies of climate, snow and ice balance, and the hydrology of glaciers were initiated for the IGY in 1957 and the IHD in 1966. Investigations included the magnitude and geographic distribution of normal mass balance processes and unusual phenomena such as outbursting, accumulation of ice by freezing of water in firn, and ablation of glacier ice by volcanic activity and by calving. -from Author

  8. Geodetic mass balance record with rigorous uncertainty estimates deduced from aerial photographs and LiDAR data - case study from Drangajökull ice cap, NW-Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, E.; Belart, J. M. C.; Pálsson, F.; Ágústsson, H.; Crochet, P.

    2015-09-01

    In this paper we describe how recent high resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) can be used as constraints for extracting glacier surface DEMs from old aerial photographs and to evaluate the uncertainty of the mass balance record derived from the DEMs. We present a case study for Drangajökull ice cap, NW-Iceland. This ice cap covered an area of 144 km2 when it was surveyed with airborne LiDAR in 2011. Aerial photographs spanning all or most of the ice cap are available from survey flights in 1946, 1960, 1975, 1985, 1994 and 2005. All ground control points used to constrain the orientation of the aerial photographs were obtained from the high resolution LiDAR DEM (2 m × 2 m cell size and vertical accuracy < 0.5 m). The LiDAR DEM was also used to estimate errors of the extracted photogrammetric DEMs in ice and snow free areas, at nunataks and outside the glacier margin. The derived errors of each DEM were used to constrain a spherical variogram model, which along with the derived errors in ice and snow free areas were used as inputs into 1000 Sequential Gaussian Simulations (SGSim). The simulations were used to estimate the possible bias in the entire glaciated part of the DEM. The derived bias correction, varying in magnitude between DEMs from 0.03 to 1.66 m (1946 DEM) was then applied. The simulation results were also used to calculate the 95 % confidence level of this bias, resulting in values between ±0.21 m (in 2005) and ±1.58 m (in 1946). Error estimation methods based on more simple proxies would typically yield 2-4 times larger error estimates. The aerial photographs used were acquired between late June and early October. An additional bias correction was therefore estimated using a degree day model to obtain the volume change between the start of two hydrological years (1 October). This correction corresponds to an average elevation change of ~ -3 m in the worst case for 1960, or about ~ 2/3 of volume change between the 1960 and the 1975 DEMs. The

  9. Greenland's Elastic and Viscoelastic Adjustments to Ice Mass Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bevis, M. G.; Khan, S. A.; Brown, A.; Willis, M. J.; Sasgen, I.

    2014-12-01

    We present the latest geodetic time series from the Greenland GPS Network (GNET), assess the relative importance of instantanous elastic and delayed viscoelastic adjustments to the crustal displacement field, and discuss the complementary nature of GNET's and GRACE's sensing of ice mass changes. Clearly the most robust and best informed inversions for modern ice mass changes will utilize the GNET displacement history, GRACE's mass fields, and ice surface height changes derived from repeat altimetry and repeat optical DEMs. These inversions will also be guided by measured changes in ice flow rates, surface mass balance estimates from numerical weather models, and models of glacial isostatic adjustment. Designing an optimal inverse method requires us to asses and exploit the strengths of each class of observation in order to offset the main weaknesses in the others. GPS and GRACE are the only techniques that directly sense ice mass changes, and we present an analysis of accerations in both time series which demonstrates that GNET senses the lateral variability of ice mass accelerations in SE Greenland with much better resolution than does GRACE. When an optimal model for modern ice mass changes is achieved, and the associated elastic adjustments are subtracted from the GPS displacements, the residual displacements can be used to characterize visoelastic adjusments. These should promote an improved 'PGR correction' for GRACE.

  10. Estimation of the Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance contribution to future sea level rise using the regional climate model MAR (Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fettweis, Xavier; Gallée, Hubert; van den Broeke, Michiel; Tedesco, Marco; van Angelen, Jan; Lenaerts, Jan; Erpicum, Michel

    2013-04-01

    With the aim of estimating the sea level rise (SLR) coming from Surface Mass Balance (SMB) changes over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS), we report future projections obtained with the regional climate model MAR, forced by outputs of three CMIP5 General Circulation Models (GCMs). Our results indicate that in warmer climates, the mass gained due to increased winter snowfall over GrIS does not compensate the mass lost through increased meltwater run-off in summer. All the MAR projections shows similar non-linear melt increases with rising temperatures as a result of the positive surface albedo feedback, because no change is projected in the general atmospheric circulation over Greenland. Nevertheless, MAR exhibits a large range in its future projections. By coarsely estimating the GrIS SMB changes from CMIP5 GCMs outputs, we show that the uncertainty coming from the GCM-based forcing represents about half of projected SMB changes. In 2100, the CMIP5 ensemble mean projects a SLR, resulting from a GrIS SMB decrease, estimated to be 4±2 cm and 9±4 cm for the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios, respectively. However, these future projections do not consider the positive melt-elevation feedback. Sensitivity MAR experiments using perturbed ice sheet topographies consistent with the projected SMB changes highlight the importance of coupling climate models to an ice sheet model. Such a coupling will allow to consider the future response of both surface processes and ice-dynamic changes, and their mutual feedbacks to rising temperatures.

  11. The Effect of Antarctic Ice Mass Changes on Crustal Motion and Global Geodetic Observables

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, T. S.; Ivins, E. R.

    1995-01-01

    Glaciological estimates of the present-day ice mass balance of Antarctica vary widely, indicating the need for additional data to constrain mass-balance models. For example, recent studies find both a positive and a negative mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. Analysis of studies suggest that observations of present-day crustal motion, as obtained from a GPS survey could assist in defining models.

  12. Perennial water stratification and the role of basal freshwater flow in the mass balance of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Canadian High Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Jefferies, M.O.

    1992-03-01

    A pronounced perennial water stratification in Disraeli Fjord behind the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on the north coast of Ellesmere Island is described. The ice shelf acts as a hanging dam at the mouth of the fjord and minimizes mixing between inflowing meltwater runoff and the seawater. Consequently, a 4 1 -m-deep layer of low salinity water, interposed between a 2- to 3-m-thick fjord surface ice layer and deeper seawater, is impounded behind the ice shelf. Highly negative delta 18O Values and high tritium activity in the low salinity water indicate it is derived primarily from snow-meltwater. Highly negative delta 18O values and high tritium values in a 5-m-thick basal ice layer in Hobson's Choice Ice Island, which broke off the East Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in 1982-83, might be evidence that basal accretion from freshwater flowing out of Disraeli Fjord below the ice shelf occurred prior to the calving. Using the known chronology of tritium occurrence in precipitation since 1952 and the measured levels in the basal ice, mean basal accretion rates of 96-141 mm yr-1 (water equivalent, w.e.) are calculated. The record of ablation and accumulation at the surface of the East Ward Hunt Ice Shelf for the period 1966-1982 shows an accumulated loss at the surface of 1.26 m (w.e.) at a mean annual rate of 74 mm yr-1. Therefore, despite many consecutive warm summers with considerable surface melting and runoff, the calculated basal accretion exceeds the surface loss and the ice shelf has increased, or at least maintained, its thickness. The thickening has been possible because of the feedback system created by the location of the ice shelf across the mouth of the fjord, the resultant water stratification and the outflow of freshwater below the ice shelf.

  13. Balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    For several decades, measurements of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed it to be retreating rapidly. But new data derived from satellite-borne radar sensors show the ice sheet to be growing. Changing Antarctic ice sheets remains an area of high scientific interest, particularly in light of recent global warming concerns. These new findings are significant because scientists estimate that sea level would rise 5-6 meters (16-20 feet) if the ice sheet collapsed into the sea. Do these new measurements signal the end of the ice sheet's 10,000-year retreat? Or, are these new satellite data simply much more accurate than the sparse ice core and surface measurements that produced the previous estimates? Another possibility is that the ice accumulation may simply indicate that the ice sheet naturally expands and retreats in regular cycles. Cryologists will grapple with these questions, and many others, as they examine the new data. The image above depicts the region of West Antarctica where scientists measured ice speed. The fast-moving central ice streams are shown in red. Slower tributaries feeding the ice streams are shown in blue. Green areas depict slow-moving, stable areas. Thick black lines depict the areas that collect snowfall to feed their respective ice streams. Reference: Ian Joughin and Slawek Tulaczyk Science Jan 18 2002: 476-480. Image courtesy RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project

  14. Numerical modeling of late Glacial Laurentide advance of ice across Hudson Strait: Insights into terrestrial and marine geology, mass balance, and calving flux

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pfeffer, W.T.; Dyurgerov, M.; Kaplan, M.; Dwyer, J.; Sassolas, C.; Jennings, A.; Raup, B.; Manley, W.

    1997-01-01

    A time-dependent finite element model was used to reconstruct the advance of ice from a late Glacial dome on northern Quebec/Labrador across Hudson Strait to Meta Incognita Peninsula (Baffin Island) and subsequently to the 9.9-9.6 ka 14C Gold Cove position on Hall Peninsula. Terrestrial geological and geophysical information from Quebec and Labrador was used to constrain initial and boundary conditions, and the model results are compared with terrestrial geological information from Baffin Island and considered in the context of the marine event DC-0 and the Younger Dryas cooling. We conclude that advance across Hudson Strait from Ungava Bay to Baffin Island is possible using realistic glacier physics under a variety of reasonable boundary conditions. Production of ice flux from a dome centered on northeastern Quebec and Labrador sufficient to deliver geologically inferred ice thickness at Gold Cove (Hall Peninsula) appears to require extensive penetration of sliding south from Ungava Bay. The discharge of ice into the ocean associated with advance and retreat across Hudson Strait does not peak at a time coincident with the start of the Younger Dryas and is less than minimum values proposed to influence North Atlantic thermohaline circulation; nevertheless, a significant fraction of freshwater input to the North Atlantic may have been provided abruptly and at a critical time by this event.

  15. Mass balance study of gravitational mass movements in proglacial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohn, Joachim; Vehling, Lucas; Moser, Michael

    2013-04-01

    In the framework of the DFG joint research project PROSA (high resoluted measurements of morphodynamics in rapidly changing PROglacial Systems of the Alps), mass movements are investigated geotechnically and process rates will be determined. As result, the actual mass balance for gravitational mass movements will be investigated exemplarily in an alpine glacier foreland in this PROSA sub-project. Alpine glacier forelands are defined as the area between the edge of the glacier and the moraines of the latest maximum in 1850. Since then, the region has become ice free due to the retreat of the glaciers. Because of this recent development, the glacier foreland differs considerably from the surrounding landscape and exhibits a rapid morphodynamic development. Mass movements like landslides and rock falls contribute a remarkable portion to total sediment transport in this area. As study area the region between Gepatschferner and Gepatsch backwater was choosen. The study area encompasses 62,5 km², lies at altitudes between 1759 and 3539 m a.s.l. and around 30 % are covered by glacier. Basic prerequisite is the geotechnical inventory-taking including the production of a geotechnical map. All mass balance studies for gravitational mass movements will base on this data collection. Short term behaviour during extreme meteorological events will be investigated as well, as the long term behaviour of the alpine slopes. The results of repeated high-resolution airborne laser scanning will contribute to a complete area-wide detection of surface changes. Detailed periodical terrestrial laser scanning of steep rock walls and their scree cones, as well as of slopes with soft rock will complete the data set. Spot tests with nets collecting the rock fall material, constructed on elected scree cones, allow the control and verification of the collected data. Mass movements in hard rock apart from rock fall processes, like rock creep, rock sliding and sagging will be monitored

  16. Juneau Icefield Mass Balance Program 1946-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, M.; Kavanaugh, J.; McNeil, C.

    2013-05-01

    The mass balance records of the Lemon Creek Glacier and Taku Glacier observed by the Juneau Icefield Research Program are the longest continuous glacier mass balance data sets in North America. On Taku Glacier annual mass balance averaged +0.40 m a-1 from 1946-1985 and -0.08 m a-1 from 1986-2011. The recent mass balance decline has resulted in the cessation of the long term thickening of the glacier. Mean annual mass balance on Lemon Creek Glacier has declined from -0.30 m a-1 for the 1953-1985 period to -0.60 m a-1 during the 1986-2011 period. The overall mass balance change is -26.6 m water equivalent, a 29 m of ice thinning over the 55 yr. Probing transects above the transient snow line (TSL) indicate a consistent balance gradient from year to year. Observations of the rate of summer TSL rise on Lemon Creek and Taku Glacier indicate a comparatively consistent rate of 3.8 to 4.1 m d-1. The relationship between TSL on Lemon Creek and Taku Glacier to other Juneau Icefield glaciers, Norris, Mendenhall, Herbert, and Eagle, is strong with correlations exceeding 0.82 in all cases. doi:10.5065/D6NZ85N3

  17. 50 years of mass balance observations at Vernagtferner, Eastern Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Ludwig; Mayer, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    The determination and monitoring of the seasonal and annual glacier mass balances of Vernagtferner, Austria, started in 1964 by the Commission of Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Detailed and continuous climate- and runoff measurements complement this mass balance series since 1974. Vernagtferner attracted the attention of scientists since the beginning of the 17th century due to its rapid advances and the resulting glacier lake outburst floods in the Ötztal valley. This is one reason for the first photogrammetric survey in 1889, which was followed by frequent topographic surveys, adding up to more than ten digital elevation models of the glacier until today. By including the known maximum glacier extent at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1845, the geodetic glacier volume balances cover a time span of almost 170 years. The 50 years of glacier mass balance and 40 years of water balance in the drainage basin are therefore embedded in a considerably longer period of glacier evolution, allowing an interpretation within an extended frame of climatology and ice dynamics. The direct mass balance observations cover not only the period of alpine-wide strong glacier mass loss since the beginning of the 1990s. The data also contain the last period of glacier advances between 1970 and 1990. The combination of the observed surface mass exchange and the determined periodic volumetric changes allows a detailed analysis of the dynamic reaction of the glacier over the period of half a century. The accompanying meteorological observations are the basis for relating these reactions to the climatic changes during this period. Vernagtferner is therefore one of the few glaciers in the world, where a very detailed glacier-climate reaction was observed for many decades and can be realistically reconstructed back to the end of the Little Ice Age.

  18. 14 CFR 27.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Mass balance. 27.659 Section 27.659... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 27.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotors... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  19. 14 CFR 27.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Mass balance. 27.659 Section 27.659... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 27.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotors... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  20. 14 CFR 23.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Mass balance. 23.659 Section 23.659 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS... Surfaces § 23.659 Mass balance. The supporting structure and the attachment of concentrated mass...

  1. 14 CFR 23.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Mass balance. 23.659 Section 23.659 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS... Surfaces § 23.659 Mass balance. The supporting structure and the attachment of concentrated mass...

  2. 14 CFR 29.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Mass balance. 29.659 Section 29.659... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 29.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotor... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  3. 14 CFR 29.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Mass balance. 29.659 Section 29.659... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 29.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotor... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  4. 14 CFR 29.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Mass balance. 29.659 Section 29.659... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 29.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotor... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  5. 14 CFR 23.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Mass balance. 23.659 Section 23.659 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS... Surfaces § 23.659 Mass balance. The supporting structure and the attachment of concentrated mass...

  6. 14 CFR 27.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Mass balance. 27.659 Section 27.659... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 27.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotors... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  7. 14 CFR 23.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Mass balance. 23.659 Section 23.659 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS... Surfaces § 23.659 Mass balance. The supporting structure and the attachment of concentrated mass...

  8. 14 CFR 23.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Mass balance. 23.659 Section 23.659 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS... Surfaces § 23.659 Mass balance. The supporting structure and the attachment of concentrated mass...

  9. 14 CFR 29.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Mass balance. 29.659 Section 29.659... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 29.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotor... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  10. 14 CFR 27.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Mass balance. 27.659 Section 27.659... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 27.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotors... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  11. 14 CFR 29.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Mass balance. 29.659 Section 29.659... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 29.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotor... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  12. 14 CFR 27.659 - Mass balance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Mass balance. 27.659 Section 27.659... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Design and Construction Rotors § 27.659 Mass balance. (a) The rotors... flutter at any speed up to the maximum forward speed. (b) The structural integrity of the mass...

  13. Mass balancing of hollow fan blades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kielb, R. E.

    1986-01-01

    A typical section model is used to analytically investigate the effect of mass balancing as applied to hollow, supersonic fan blades. A procedure to determine the best configuration of an internal balancing mass to provide flutter alleviation is developed. This procedure is applied to a typical supersonic shroudless fan blade which is unstable in both the solid configuration and when it is hollow with no balancing mass. The addition of an optimized balancing mass is shown to stabilize the blade at the design condition.

  14. Modeling interactions between Antarctic Instability and Surface Mass Balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritz, Catherine; Agosta, Cecile; Peyaud, Vincent; Durand, Gael; Fettweis, Xavier; Favier, Vincent; Gallée, Hubert

    2015-04-01

    In the context of future global warming, Antarctic contribution to sea level rise (SLR) depends on several processes leading to opposite impacts. First, under a warming climate, precipitation is supposed to increase, inducing a plausible negative impact on SLR. Contrary to the Greenland ice sheet case, ablation should stay a marginal process at least on grounded ice. Second, oceanic warming and/or surface ponding on ice shelves may trigger a Marine Ice Sheet Instability by reducing the backforce they exert on outlet glaciers. Once engaged on such a self-entertained retreat a large positive contribution to SLR may be expected. This dynamic process is already going on in the Admundsen sea sector. Although these two processes (surface mass balance -- SMB -- and ice dynamics) have been modeled separately to infer sea level contribution, little work has been done to study their interactions. In this presentation we focus on how grounding line retreat can affect estimation of SMB in the future and the related contribution to sea level change. To evaluate the shift of precipitation pattern while the steep surface slope region migrates inward due to the grounding line retreat, we simulate surface mass balance on various surface topographies of the Antarctic ice sheet. Each ice sheet topography is obtained with an ice sheet model (GRISLI) in which grounding line retreat is parameterized according to glaciological considerations. Because we are looking at coastal changes, a high resolution is needed for the atmospheric model and here we use the regional circulation model MAR with a resolution of 40 km. The preliminary results show that the topographic change induces a shift in the precipitation pattern as high accumulation regions tend to follow the slope break at the ice sheet / shelf transition. This affects the calculation of total SMB on the grounded ice sheet (and sea level contribution) and its amplitude is related to the amplitude of the retreat. In our simulations

  15. Ice flow dynamics and mass loss of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica, from 1989 to 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    Totten Glacier has the largest ice discharge in East Antarctica and a basin grounded mostly below sea level. Satellite altimetry data have revealed ice thinning in areas of fast flow. Here we present a time series of ice velocity measurements spanning from 1989 to 2015 using Landsat and interferometric synthetic-aperture radar data, combined with ice thickness from Operation IceBridge, and surface mass balance from Regional Atmospheric Climate Model. We find that the glacier speed exceeded its balance speed in 1989-1996, slowed down by 11 ± 12% in 2000 to bring its ice flux in balance with accumulation (65 ± 4 Gt/yr), then accelerated by 18 ± 3% until 2007, and remained constant thereafter. The average ice mass loss (7 ± 2 Gt/yr) is dominated by ice dynamics (73%). Its acceleration (0.6 ± 0.3 Gt/yr2) is dominated by surface mass balance (80%). Ice velocity apparently increased when ocean temperature was warmer, which suggests a linkage between ice dynamics and ocean temperature.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Constraining the margins of Neoproterozoic ice masses: depositional signature, palaeoflow and glaciodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busfield, Marie; Le Heron, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The scale and distribution of Neoproterozoic ice masses remains poorly understood. The classic Snowball Earth hypothesis argues for globally extensive ice sheets, separated by small ocean refugia, yet the positions of palaeo-ice sheet margins and the extent of these open water regions are unknown. Abundant evidence worldwide for multiple cycles of ice advance and recession is suggestive of much more dynamic mass balance changes than previously predicted. Sedimentological analysis enables an understanding of the changing ice margin position to be gained through time, in some cases allowing it to be mapped. Where the maximum extent of ice advance varies within a given study area, predictions can also be made on the morphology of the ice margin, and the underlying controls on this morphology e.g. basin configuration. This can be illustrated using examples from the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation in the Death Valley region of western USA. Throughout the Sperry Wash, northern Kingston Range and southern Kingston Range study sites the successions show evidence of multiple cycles of ice advance and retreat, but the extent of maximum ice advance is extremely variable, reaching ice-contact conditions at Sperry Wash but only ice-proximal settings in the most distal southern Kingston Range. The overall advance is also much more pronounced at Sperry Wash, from ice-distal to ice-contact settings, as compared to ice-distal to ice-proximal settings in the southern Kingston Range. Therefore, the position of the ice margin can be located at the Sperry Wash study site, where the more pronounced progradation is used to argue for topographically constrained ice, feeding the unconstrained shelf through the northern into the southern Kingston Range. This raises the question as to whether Neoproterozoic ice masses could be defined as topographically constrained ice caps, or larger ice sheets feeding topographically constrained outlet glaciers.

  18. Ice Mass Fluctuations and Earthquake Hazard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauber, J.

    2006-01-01

    In south central Alaska, tectonic strain rates are high in a region that includes large glaciers undergoing ice wastage over the last 100-150 years [Sauber et al., 2000; Sauber and Molnia, 2004]. In this study we focus on the region referred to as the Yakataga segment of the Pacific-North American plate boundary zone in Alaska. In this region, the Bering and Malaspina glacier ablation zones have average ice elevation decreases from 1-3 meters/year (see summary and references in Molnia, 2005). The elastic response of the solid Earth to this ice mass decrease alone would cause several mm/yr of horizontal motion and uplift rates of up to 10-12 mm/yr. In this same region observed horizontal rates of tectonic deformation range from 10 to 40 mm/yr to the north-northwest and the predicted tectonic uplift rates range from -2 mm/year near the Gulf of Alaska coast to 12mm/year further inland [Savage and Lisowski, 1988; Ma et al, 1990; Sauber et al., 1997, 2000, 2004; Elliot et al., 2005]. The large ice mass changes associated with glacial wastage and surges perturb the tectonic rate of deformation at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. The associated incremental stress change may enhance or inhibit earthquake occurrence. We report recent (seasonal to decadal) ice elevation changes derived from data from NASA's ICESat satellite laser altimeter combined with earlier DEM's as a reference surface to illustrate the characteristics of short-term ice elevation changes [Sauber et al., 2005, Muskett et al., 2005]. Since we are interested in evaluating the effect of ice changes on faulting potential, we calculated the predicted surface displacement changes and incremental stresses over a specified time interval and calculated the change in the fault stability margin using the approach given by Wu and Hasegawa [1996]. Additionally, we explored the possibility that these ice mass fluctuations altered the seismic rate of background seismicity. Although we primarily focus on

  19. Energy and Mass Balance At Gran Campo Nevado, Patagonia, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, C.; Kilian, R.; Casassa, G.

    The Gran Campo Nevado (GCN) Ice Cap on Peninsula Muñoz Gamero, Chile, is lo- cated in the southernmost part of the Patagonian Andes at 53S. It comprises an ice cap and numerous outlet glaciers which mostly end in proglacial lakes at sea level. The total ice covered area sums up to approximately 250 km2. GCN forms the only major ice body between the Southern Patagonian Icefield and the Street of Magallan. Its almost unique location in the zone of the all-year westerlies makes it a region of key interest in terms of glacier and climate change studies of the westwind zone of the Southern Hemisphere. Mean annual temperature of approximately +5C at sea level and high precipitation of about 8.000 mm per year lead to an extreme turn-over of ice mass from the accumulation area of the GCN Ice Cap to the ablation areas of the outlet glaciers. Since October 1999 an automated weather station (AWS) is run continuously in the area at Bahia Bahamondes for monitoring climate parameters. From February to April 2000 an additional AWS was operated on Glaciar Lengua a small outlet glacier of GCN to the north-west. Ablation has been measured at stakes during the same pe- riod. The aim of this study, was to obtain point energy and mass balance on Glaciar Lengua. The work was conducted as part of the international and interdisciplinary working group SGran Campo NevadoT and supported by the German Research Foun- & cedil;dation (DFG). Energy balance was calculated using the bulk approach formulas and calibrated to the measured ablation. It turns out, that sensible heat transfer is the major contribution to the energy balance. Since high cloud cover rates prevail, air tempera- ture is the key factor for the energy balance of the glacier. Despite high rain fall rates, energy input from rain fall is of only minor importance to the overall energy balance. From the energy balance computed, it was possible to derive summer-time degree-day factors for Glaciar Lengua. With data from the nearby

  20. Miniature Piezoelectric Macro-Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherrit, Stewart; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Bonitz, Robert G.; Bar-Cohen, Yoseph

    2010-01-01

    Mass balances usually use a strain gauge that requires an impedance measurement and is susceptible to noise and thermal drift. A piezoelectric balance can be used to measure mass directly by monitoring the voltage developed across the piezoelectric balance, which is linear with weight or it can be used in resonance to produce a frequency change proportional to the mass change (see figure). The piezoelectric actuator/balance is swept in frequency through its fundamental resonance. If a small mass is added to the balance, the resonance frequency shifts down in proportion to the mass. By monitoring the frequency shift, the mass can be determined. This design allows for two independent measurements of mass. Additionally, more than one sample can be verified because this invention allows for each sample to be transported away from the measuring device upon completion of the measurement, if required. A piezoelectric actuator, or many piezoelectric actuators, was placed between the collection plate of the sampling system and the support structure. As the sample mass is added to the plate, the piezoelectrics are stressed, causing them to produce a voltage that is proportional to the mass and acceleration. In addition, a change in mass delta m produces a change in the resonance frequency with delta f proportional to delta m. In a microgravity environment, the spacecraft could be accelerated to produce a force on the piezoelectric actuator that would produce a voltage proportional to the mass and acceleration. Alternatively, the acceleration could be used to force the mass on the plate, and the inertial effects of the mass on the plate would produce a shift in the resonance frequency with the change in frequency related to the mass change. Three prototypes of the mass balance mechanism were developed. These macro-mass balances each consist of a solid base and an APA 60 Cedrat flextensional piezoelectric actuator supporting a measuring plate. A similar structure with 3 APA

  1. Improving Mass Balance Modeling of Benchmark Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Beusekom, A. E.; March, R. S.; O'Neel, S.

    2009-12-01

    The USGS monitors long-term glacier mass balance at three benchmark glaciers in different climate regimes. The coastal and continental glaciers are represented by Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska, respectively. Field measurements began in 1966 and continue. We have reanalyzed the published balance time series with more modern methods and recomputed reference surface and conventional balances. Addition of the most recent data shows a continuing trend of mass loss. We compare the updated balances to the previously accepted balances and discuss differences. Not all balance quantities can be determined from the field measurements. For surface processes, we model missing information with an improved degree-day model. Degree-day models predict ablation from the sum of daily mean temperatures and an empirical degree-day factor. We modernize the traditional degree-day model as well as derive new degree-day factors in an effort to closer match the balance time series and thus better predict the future state of the benchmark glaciers. For subsurface processes, we model the refreezing of meltwater for internal accumulation. We examine the sensitivity of the balance time series to the subsurface process of internal accumulation, with the goal of determining the best way to include internal accumulation into balance estimates.

  2. Juneau Icefield Mass Balance Program 1946-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, M.; Kavanaugh, J.; McNeil, C.

    2013-11-01

    The annual surface mass balance records of the Lemon Creek Glacier and Taku Glacier observed by the Juneau Icefield Research Program are the longest continuous glacier annual mass balance data sets in North America. Annual surface mass balance (Ba) measured on Taku Glacier averaged +0.40 m a-1 from 1946-1985, and -0.08 m a-1 from 1986-2011. The recent annual mass balance decline has resulted in the cessation of the long-term thickening of the glacier. Mean Ba on Lemon Creek Glacier has declined from -0.30 m a-1 for the 1953-1985 period to -0.60 m a-1 during the 1986-2011 period. The cumulative change in annual surface mass balance is -26.6 m water equivalent, a 29 m of ice thinning over the 55 yr. Snow-pit measurements spanning the accumulation zone, and probing transects above the transient snow line (TSL) on Taku Glacier, indicate a consistent surface mass balance gradient from year to year. Observations of the rate of TSL rise on Lemon Creek Glacier and Taku Glacier indicate a comparatively consistent migration rate of 3.8 to 4.1 m d-1. The relationship between TSL on Lemon Creek Glacier and Taku Glacier to other Juneau Icefield glaciers (Norris, Mendenhall, Herbert, and Eagle) is strong, with correlations exceeding 0.82 in all cases. doi:10.5065/D6NZ85N3

  3. Comparison of glaciological and geodetic mass balance at Urumqi Glacier No. 1, Tian Shan, Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Puyu; Li, Zhongqin; Li, Huilin

    2016-04-01

    Glaciological and geodetic measurements are two methods to determine glacier mass balances. The mass balance of Urumqi Glacier No. 1 has been measured since 1959 by the glaciological method using ablation stakes and snowpits, except during the period 1967-1979 when the observations were interrupted. Moreover, topographic surveys have been carried out at various time intervals since the beginning of the glacier observations. Therefore, glacier volume changes are calculated by comparing topographic maps of different periods during nearly 50 years. Between 1962 and 2009, Urumqi Glacier No. 1 lost an ice volume of 29.51×106 m3, which corresponds to a cumulative ice thickness loss of 8.9 m and a mean annual loss of 0.2 m. The results are compared with glaciological mass balances over the same time intervals. The differences are 2.3%, 2.8%, 4.6%, 4.7% and 5.9% for the period 1981-86, 1986-94, 1994-2001, 2001-06 and 2006-09, respectively. For the mass balance measured with the glaciological method, the systematic errors accumulate linearly with time, whereas the errors are random for the geodetic mass balance. The geodetic balance is within the estimated error of the glaciological balance. In conclusion, the geodetic and glaciological mass balances are of high quality and therefore, there is no need to calibrate the mass balance series of Urumqi Glacier No. 1.

  4. The climatic mass balance of Svalbard glaciers: a 10-year simulation with a coupled atmosphere-glacier mass balance model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aas, Kjetil S.; Dunse, Thorben; Collier, Emily; Schuler, Thomas V.; Berntsen, Terje K.; Kohler, Jack; Luks, Bartłomiej

    2016-05-01

    In this study we simulate the climatic mass balance of Svalbard glaciers with a coupled atmosphere-glacier model with 3 km grid spacing, from September 2003 to September 2013. We find a mean specific net mass balance of -257 mm w.e. yr-1, corresponding to a mean annual mass loss of about 8.7 Gt, with large interannual variability. Our results are compared with a comprehensive set of mass balance, meteorological, and satellite measurements. Model temperature biases of 0.19 and -1.9 °C are found at two glacier automatic weather station sites. Simulated climatic mass balance is mostly within about 100 mm w.e. yr-1 of stake measurements, and simulated winter accumulation at the Austfonna ice cap shows mean absolute errors of 47 and 67 mm w.e. yr-1 when compared to radar-derived values for the selected years 2004 and 2006. Comparison of modeled surface height changes from 2003 to 2008, and satellite altimetry reveals good agreement in both mean values and regional differences. The largest deviations from observations are found for winter accumulation at Hansbreen (up to around 1000 mm w.e. yr-1), a site where sub-grid topography and wind redistribution of snow are important factors. Comparison with simulations using 9 km grid spacing reveal considerable differences on regional and local scales. In addition, 3 km grid spacing allows for a much more detailed comparison with observations than what is possible with 9 km grid spacing. Further decreasing the grid spacing to 1 km appears to be less significant, although in general precipitation amounts increase with resolution. Altogether, the model compares well with observations and offers possibilities for studying glacier climatic mass balance on Svalbard both historically as well as based on climate projections.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE ATRAZINE DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study measured PCBs, mercury, trans-nonachlor, and atrazine in rivers, the atmosphere, sediments, lake water, and the food chain. A mathematical model will predict what effect reducing pollution will have on the lake, and its large fish (lake trout ...

  7. LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE: MODELING PROCESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study measured PCBs, mercury, trans-nonachlor, and atrazine in rivers, the atmosphere, sediments, lake water, and the food chain. A mathematical model will predict what effect reducing pollution will have on the lake, and its large fish (lake trout ...

  8. LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE PCB DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study measured PCBs, mercury, trans-nonachlor, and atrazine in rivers, the atmosphere, sediments, lake water, and the food chain. A mathematical model will predict what effect reducing pollution will have on the lake, and its large fish (lake trout ...

  9. Automated balance for determining true mass

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, J.E.

    1982-08-08

    An automated weighing system utilizing a precision electronic balance and a small desktop computer is described. An example of a computer program demonstrating some of the capabilities attainable with this system is included. The program demonstrates a substitution weighing technique with true mass determination for the object being weighed.

  10. When Equal Masses Don't Balance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newburgh, Ronald; Peidle, Joseph; Rueckner, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    We treat a modified Atwood's machine in which equal masses do not balance because of being in an accelerated frame of reference. Analysis of the problem illuminates the meaning of inertial forces, d'Alembert's principle, the use of free-body diagrams and the selection of appropriate systems for the diagrams. In spite of the range of these…

  11. Present-day Antarctic Ice Mass Changes and Crustal Motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, Thomas S.; Ivins, Erik R.

    1995-01-01

    The peak vertical velocities predicted by three realistic, but contrasting, present-day scenarios of Antarctic ice sheet mass balance are found to be of the order of several mm/a. One scenario predicts local uplift rates in excess of 5 mm/a. These rates are small compared to the peak Antarctic vertical velocities of the ICE-3G glacial rebound model, which are in excess of 20 mm/a. If the Holocene Antarctic deglaciation history portrayed in ICE-3G is realistic, and if regional upper mantle viscosity is not an order of magnitude below 10(exp 21) pa s, then a vast geographical region in West Antarctica is uplifting at a rate that could be detected by a future Global Positioning System (GPS) campaign. While present-day scenarios predict small vertical crustal velocities, their overall continent-ocean mass exchange is large enough to account for a substantial portion of the observed secular polar motion ((Omega)m(bar)) and time-varying zonal gravity field J(sub 1).

  12. Present-day Antarctic ice mass changes and crustal motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, Thomas S.; Ivins, Erik R.

    1995-01-01

    The peak vertical velocities predicted by three realistic, but contrasting, present-day scenarios of Antarctic ice sheet mass balance are found to be of the order of several mm/a. One scenario predicts local uplift rates in excess of 5 mm/a. These rates are small compared to the peak Antarctic vertical velocities of the ICE-3G glacial rebound model, which are in excess of 20 mm/a. If the Holocene Antarctic deglaciation history protrayed in ICE-3G is realistic, and if regional upper mantle viscosity is not an order of magnitude below 10(exp 21) Pa(dot)s, then a vast geographical region in West Antarctica is uplifting at a rate that could be detected by a future Global Positioning System (GPS) campaign. While present-day scenarios predict small vertical crustal velocities, their overall continent-ocean mass exchange is large enough to account for a substantial portion of the observed secular polar motion (omega m(arrow dot)) and time-varying zonal gravity field.

  13. Net mass balance calculations for the Shirase Drainage Basin, east Antarctica, using the mass budget method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Kazuki; Yamanokuchi, Tsutomu; Doi, Koichiro; Shibuya, Kazuo

    2016-06-01

    We quantify the mass budget of the Shirase drainage basin (SHI), Antarctica, by separately estimating snow accumulation (surface mass balance; SMB) and glacier ice mass discharge (IMD). We estimated the SMB in the SHI, using a regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2.1). The SMB of the mainstream A flow region was 12.1 ± 1.5 Gt a-1 for an area of 1.985 × 105 km2. Obvious overestimation of the model round the coast, ∼0.5 Gt a-1, was corrected for. For calculating the IMD, we employed a 15-m resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) with a digital elevation model (DEM) to determine the heights at the grounding line (GL), after comparison with the interpolated Bamber DEM grid heights; the results of this are referred to as the measured heights. Ice thickness data at the GL were inferred by using a free-board relationship between the measured height and the ice thickness, and considering the measured firn depth correction (4.2 m with the reference ice density of 910 kg m-3) for the nearby blue-ice area. The total IMD was estimated to be 14.0 ± 1.8 Gt a-1. Semi-empirical firn densification model gives the estimate within 0.1-0.2 Gt a-1 difference. The estimated net mass balance, -1.9 Gt a-1, has a two-σ uncertainty of ±3.3 Gt a-1, and probable melt water discharge strongly suggests negative NMB, although the associated uncertainty is large.

  14. Understanding the Role of Wind in Reducing the Surface Mass Balance Estimates over East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, I.; Scambos, T. A.; Koenig, L.; Creyts, T. T.; Bell, R. E.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Lenaerts, J.; Paden, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    Accurate quantification of surface snow-accumulation over Antarctica is important for mass balance estimates and climate studies based on ice core records. An improved estimate of surface mass balance must include the significant role near-surface wind plays in the sublimation and redistribution of snow across Antarctica. We have developed an empirical model based on airborne radar and lidar observations, and modeled surface mass balance and wind fields to produce a continent-wide prediction of wind-scour zones over Antarctica. These zones have zero to negative surface mass balance, are located over locally steep ice sheet areas (>0.002) and controlled by bedrock topography. The near-surface winds accelerate over these zones, eroding and sublimating the surface snow. This scouring results in numerous localized regions (≤ 200 km2) with reduced surface accumulation. Each year, tens of gigatons of snow on the Antarctic ice sheet are ablated by persistent near-surface katabatic winds over these wind-scour zones. Large uncertainties remain in the surface mass balance estimates over East Antarctica as climate models do not adequately represent the small-scale physical processes that lead to mass loss through sublimation or redistribution over the wind-scour zones. In this study, we integrate Operation IceBridge's snow radar over the Recovery Ice Stream with a series of ice core dielectric and depth-density profiles for improved surface mass balance estimates that reflect the mass loss over the wind-scour zones. Accurate surface mass balance estimates from snow radars require spatially variable depth-density profiles. Using an ensemble of firn cores, MODIS-derived surface snow grain size, modeled accumulation rates and surface temperatures from RACMO2, we assemble spatially variable depth-density profiles and use our mapping of snow density variations to estimate layer mass and net accumulation rates from snow radar layer data. Our study improves the quantification of

  15. Modeling Past and Future Surface Mass Balance of the Patagonian Icefields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, M.; Casassa, G., Sr.; Machguth, H.; Falvey, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    We present surface mass balance simulations of the Patagonian Icefield that were driven by global climate data (reanalysis/GCM) which were downscaled using the regional climate model Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and statistical downscaling methods. The special climatic situation in the region with sharp climate gradients introduced by the blocking of the westerlies by the high peaks of the Icefield are reproduced by downscaled climatic data. The mass balance simulations were validated and interpreted using geodetic mass balances, measured point balances and a complete velocity field of the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI) from spring 2004. The high measured accumulation of snow as well as the high measured ablation values are reproduced by the model. Subtracting the modeled surface mass balance from the geodetic balances, calving fluxes of major outlet glaciers were inferred. Good agreement with calving fluxes estimated from velocity data was obtained in many cases however on several glaciers the inferred calving fluxes seem to overestimate the measured calving fluxes. The measured calving fluxes exhibit large uncertainties due to mostly unknown ice thickness data and evolution of glacier velocities through time. The accumulation of snow and its redistribution due to wind drift present the mayor uncertainties in the modeled surface mass balance. Assuming no substantial changes in ice flow, the surface mass balance model driven by ECHAM5 data in the A1B scenario predicts a contribution of the Patagonian Icefields to sea-level rise in the 21st century of 7.3 mm.

  16. Improvements in the determination of ice sheet mass fluxes and freshwater fluxes using Icebridge data. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E. J.; Schodlok, M.; Menemenlis, D.; Studinger, M.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    Recent airborne campaigns under NASA's Operation Icebridge have provided a significant increase in the availability of new observations of glaciers and ice sheets. Here, we focus on new ice thickness data and how these data help us constrain glacier ice mass fluxes; and new bathymetry data used to better constrain freshwater fluxes resulting from ice-ocean interactions at the underside of floating ice shelves. Icebridge ice thickness acquired in Greenland provide new thickness gates to estimate ice discharge and complete the circumnavigation of the island; yet, significant gaps remain in places not covered by radio echo sounding or where radio echo sounding is challenged by difficult environmental conditions. In the Antarctic, Icebridge collected ice thickness data along the Bellingshausen Sea sector where hardly any data had been collected in the past, ice thickness was inferred solely based on ice surface elevation, grounding line position and assumptions of hydrostatic equilibrium, and prior mass balance results indicated a large imbalance which was not entirely consistent with GRACE data and laser altimetry data. We are now resolving these differences with the new data. Finally, underneath ice shelves, new bathymetry data of Pine Island Glacier and Larsen C ice shelf derived from airborne gravity combined with other dat sets have had a large impact on our general knowledge and understanding of sub-ice-shelf cavities and the associated ice-shelf/ocean interactions. The new data reveal unknown seafloor ridges, seabed troughs, sills and over-deepenings that affect the pattern of sub-ice-shelf ocean circulation, the access of ocean heat to sub-ice-shelf cavities and glacier grounding lines, and rates of submarine melting. We demonstrate this by comparing estimates of submarine melting obtained with old and new bathymetry in the regional MITgcm ocean model configuration for Larsen C and Pine Island Ice Shelves, in Antarctica. In addition, we compare the ECCO2

  17. Sensible heat balance estimates of transient soil ice contents for freezing and thawing conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil ice content is an important component for winter soil hydrology. The sensible heat balance (SHB) method using measurements from heat pulse probes (HPP) is a possible way to determine transient soil ice content. In a previous study, in situ soil ice contents estimates with the SHB method were in...

  18. Brief communication "The aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2013-03-01

    The PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses is the first high resolution dataset documenting the mid-1980s areal extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and all the local glaciers and ice caps. The total glacierized area excluding nunataks was 1 804 638 km2 ± 2178 km2, of which 88 083 ± 1240 km2 belonged to local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) substantially independent from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This new result of GIC glacierized area is higher than most previous estimates, 81% greater than Weng's (1995) measurements, but is in line with contemporary findings based on independent data sources. A comparison between our map and the recently released Rastner et al. (2012) inventory and GIMP (Greenland Ice Mapping Project) Ice-Cover Mask (Howat and Negrete, 2013) shows potential for change-assessment studies.

  19. An Iterated Global Mascon Solution with Focus on Land Ice Mass Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luthcke, S. B.; Sabaka, T.; Rowlands, D. D.; Lemoine, F. G.; Loomis, B. D.; Boy, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    Land ice mass evolution is determined from a new GRACE global mascon solution. The solution is estimated directly from the reduction of the inter-satellite K-band range rate observations taking into account the full noise covariance, and formally iterating the solution. The new solution increases signal recovery while reducing the GRACE KBRR observation residuals. The mascons are estimated with 10-day and 1-arc-degree equal area sampling, applying anisotropic constraints for enhanced temporal and spatial resolution of the recovered land ice signal. The details of the solution are presented including error and resolution analysis. An Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) adaptive filter is applied to the mascon solution time series to compute timing of balance seasons and annual mass balances. The details and causes of the spatial and temporal variability of the land ice regions studied are discussed.

  20. MBA, mass balance area user guide

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, V.K.

    1994-09-22

    This document presents the Mass BAlance (MBA) database system user instructions which explain how to record the encapsulation activity from the K Basin as it is being performed on the computer, activity associated with keeping the work area safe from going critical, and administrative functions associated with the system. This document includes the user instructions, which also serve as the software requirements specification for the system implemented on the microcomputer. This includes suggested user keystrokes, examples of screens displayed by the system, and reports generated by the system. It shows how the system is organized, via menus and screens. It does not explain system design nor provide programmer instructions. MBA was written to equip the personnel performing K-Basin encapsulation tasks with a conservative estimate of accumulated mass during the processing of canisters into and out of the chute, primarily in the K-East basin.

  1. Boundary layer stability acts to ballast the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkelhammer, M. B.; Noone, D. C.; Steen-Larsen, H. C.; O'Neill, M.; Raudzens Bailey, A.; Cox, C.; Schneider, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    The mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been reduced over recent decades as a consequence of warming, the impact of which is already detectable on global sea level. However, temperature projections suggest that at interior high-altitude sites on the ice it could be decades or more before warming forces these regions to transition from a dry to wet snow facies. Shifts in boundary layer dynamics, including atmosphere-ice sheet hydrological exchange and cloud radiative forcing could expedite or delay this transition. These processes are important with respect to future ice sheet stability, yet they remain difficult to constrain. Using continuous in situ measurements of vertical profiles of the isotopic composition of water vapor at Summit Camp, the highest observatory on the ice sheet, we document the presence of a hydrologic balance between surface sublimation and condensation fluxes. This exists because of a nearly persistent temperature inversion, which hinders the efficiency with which surface water vapor mixes into the free atmosphere. In the presence of a strong temperature inversion, fog and ice particles form near the ice-atmosphere interface from surface moisture fluxes. When this condensate precipitates on or settles to the surface, it ballasts the ice sheet's mass. A decade-long trend towards lower annual accumulation at Summit may therefore reflect continuous replacement of the near surface atmosphere due to reduced atmospheric stability. If this tendency toward destabilization continues, it could accelerate mass loss at interior sites on the ice sheet. The role of boundary layer stability in ice sheet hydrological budgets discussed here is applicable beyond the accumulation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  2. Mass changes in Arctic ice caps and glaciers: implications of regionalizing elevation changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, J.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Barletta, V. R.; Forsberg, R.

    2015-01-01

    The mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is sensitive to changing climate conditions. The mass changes derived in this study are determined from elevation changes derived measured by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) for the time period 2003-2009. Four methods, based on interpolation and extrapolation, are used to regionalize these elevation changes to areas without satellite coverage. A constant density assumption is then applied to estimate the mass change by integrating over the entire glaciated region. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the sensitivity of the regional mass balance of Arctic ice caps and glaciers to different regionalization schemes. The sensitivity analysis is based on studying the spread of mass changes and their associated errors, and the suitability of the different regionalization techniques is assessed through cross-validation. The cross-validation results shows comparable accuracies for all regionalization methods, but the inferred mass change in individual regions, such as Svalbard and Iceland, can vary up to 4 Gt a-1, which exceeds the estimated errors by roughly 50% for these regions. This study further finds that this spread in mass balance is connected to the magnitude of the elevation change variability. This indicates that care should be taken when choosing a regionalization method, especially for areas which exhibit large variability in elevation change.

  3. Glacier modeling in support of field observations of mass balance at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Josberger, Edward G.; Bidlake, William R.

    2010-01-01

    The long-term USGS measurement and reporting of mass balance at South Cascade Glacier was assisted in balance years 2006 and 2007 by a new mass balance model. The model incorporates a temperature-index melt computation and accumulation is modeled from glacier air temperature and gaged precipitation at a remote site. Mass balance modeling was used with glaciological measurements to estimate dates and magnitudes of critical mass balance phenomena. In support of the modeling, a detailed analysis was made of the "glacier cooling effect" that reduces summer air temperature near the ice surface as compared to that predicted on the basis of a spatially uniform temperature lapse rate. The analysis was based on several years of data from measurements of near-surface air temperature on the glacier. The 2006 and 2007 winter balances of South Cascade Glacier, computed with this new, model-augmented methodology, were 2.61 and 3.41 mWE, respectively. The 2006 and 2007 summer balances were -4.20 and -3.63 mWE, respectively, and the 2006 and 2007 net balances were -1.59 and -0.22 mWE. PDF version of a presentation on the mass balance of South Cascade Glacier in Washington state. Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2010.

  4. Balancing The Books - A Statistical Theory of Mass Balances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Kane, J. P.

    Mass budgets, without a theory, are an empirical "method of choice" in the environ- mental sciences. There is however a difficulty. Budgets are usually presented as perfect balances with no closing error, justified by the law of mass conservation. Neverthe- less, there is always a closing error! Declaring the error, e, simply raises the question of the acceptability of the budget. To answer this we need a reference quantity against which to compare e. This quantity can only be provided by theory and must also be a mathematical function of all the budget data. Two statistical techniques provide the theory and the function: (1) Probability sampling for estimating the terms of the bud- get, the closing error and their sampling precision, and (2) Hypothesis testing that any particular value of e is due to chance alone. Both techniques must satisfy R.A. Fisher's "vital requirement that the actual and physical conduct of experiments should govern the statistical procedure of their interpretation". Probability sampling is any sampling procedure governed by sets of random numbers. Applying the calculus of probability to the chosen procedure, delivers the theoretical probability distribution of the terms of the budget, and the closing error e', on the assumption that there are no systematic errors of measurement or missing fluxes. In the simplest case, we may use simple or stratified random sampling, defined on a spatio- temporal sampling frame, which covers the duration of the budget on the space-filling object. When the number of independent measurements (samples) is statistically large, the central limit theorem implies that e' is normally distributed. The assumption that there are no systematic errors of measurement, sampling bias, or missing fluxes, and the law of mass conservation, together imply that E(e') = 0. Unbiased, independent sampling of the terms of the budget makes the variance Var(e') equal to the sum of the sampling variances of the individual terms in the

  5. Brief communication "The aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2012-09-01

    The PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses is the first high resolution dataset documenting the mid-1980's extent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and all the local glaciers and ice caps. The total glacierized area was 1 804 638 km2 ± 2178 km2, of which 88 083 ± 1240 km2 belonged to local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) substantially independent from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This new result of GIC glacierized area is higher than most previous estimates, and is in line with contemporary findings based on independent data sources. Comparison between our map and the recently released GIMP (Greenland Mapping Project) Ice Cover Mask (Howat and Negrete, 2012) show potential for change assessment studies.

  6. Earth Structure, Ice Mass Changes, and the Local Dynamic Geoid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harig, C.; Simons, F. J.

    2014-12-01

    be used for corrections for glacio-isostatic adjustment, as necessary for the interpretation of time-variable gravity observations in terms of ice sheet mass-balance studies.

  7. Sedimentation rate determination by radionuclides mass balances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazala, C.; Reyss, J. L.; Decossas, J. L.; Royer, A.

    2003-04-01

    In the past, uranium mining activity took place in the area around Limoges, France. Even nowadays, this activity results in an increase in the input and availability of radionuclides in aquifer reservoirs, making of this area a suitable site to better understand the behaviour of radionuclides in the surficial environment. Water was sampled monthly over the entire year 2001 in a brook that collects mine water and in a lake fed by this brook. Samples were filtered through 0.45μm filters to remove particles. Activities of 238U, 226Ra, 210Pb, 228Th and 228Ra were measured on particulate (>0.45μm), dissolved (<0.45μm) and total (unfiltered) fractions by gamma spectrometry in the well of a high efficiency, low background, germanium detector settled in an underground laboratory, protected from cosmic rays by 1700 m of rocks (LSM, CNRS-CEA, French Alps). Activities measured in particulate and dissolved fractions were summed and compared to the one measured in unfiltered water to test the filtration yield. No significant loss or contamination were detected. In the brook water, 70% of 238U, 60% of 226Ra and 80% of 210Pb are associated with particles. Activities associated with particles decrease drastically along with the velocity of current when the stream enters the lake. An annual mass balance of radionuclides carried by particles from the stream to the lake was used to determine the sedimentation rate in the lake. The flux of particles deduced from mass balance calculations based on five isotopes corresponds to the thickness of sediment accumulated since the creation of this artificial lake (that is, 1976). This study emphasises the usefulness of radionuclides as tracers for environmental investigations.

  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. The Arctic Ocean ice balance - A Kalman smoother estimate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, D. R.; Rothrock, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    The methodology of Kalman filtering and smoothing is used to integrate a 7-year time series of buoy-derived ice motion fields and satellite passive microwave observations. The result is a record of the concentrations of open water, first-year ice, and multiyear ice that we believe is better than the estimates based on the microwave data alone. The Kalman procedure interprets the evolution of the ice cover in terms of advection, melt, growth, ridging, and aging of first-year into multiyear ice. Generally, the regions along the coasts of Alaska and Siberia and the area just north of Fram Strait are sources of first-year ice, with the rest of the Arctic Ocean acting as a sink for first-year ice via ridging and aging. All the Arctic Ocean except for the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is a source of multiyear ice, with the Chukchi being the only internal multiyear ice sink. Export through Fram Strait is a major ice sink, but we find only about two-thirds the export and greater interannual variation than found in previous studies. There is no discernible trend in the area of multiyear ice in the Arctic Ocean during the 7 years.

  10. Mass Loss of Glaciers and Ice Caps From GRACE During 2002-2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciraci, E.; Velicogna, I.; Wahr, J. M.; Swenson, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    We use time series of time-variable gravity from the NASA/DLR GRACE mission using a mascon approach to estimate the ice mass balance of the Earth's Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps (GICs), excluding the Antarctic and the Greenland peripheral glaciers, between January 2003 and October 2014. We estimate a total ice mass loss equal to -217 ± 33 Gt/yr, equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.6±0.09 mm/yr. The global signal is driven by a few regions, contributing to almost of 75% of the total ice mass loss. Among these areas, the main contributor is the Canadian Arctic Archipelago with a total mass loss of -75 ± 9 Gt/yr, followed by Alaska (-51 ± 10 Gt/yr), Patagonia (-26 ± 10 Gt/yr) and the High Mountains of Asia (-25 ± 13 Gt/yr). The mass loss for most of the arctic regions is not constant, but accelerates with time. The Canadian Archipelago, in particular, undergoes a strong acceleration in mass waste (-7±1 Gt/yr2). The signal acceleration is mainly driven by the northern located Queen Elisabeth Islands (-4.5 ± 0.6 Gt/yr2). A similar behavior is observed for Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. In this second case, however, we observe an enhanced mass loss starting from the second decade of the 21st century after a period of nearly stable mass balance. The observed acceleration helps reconcile regional ice mass estimates obtained for different time periods.

  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. Water, ice, meteorological, and speed measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1999 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, Robert M.

    2001-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow, firn, and ice melt were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to determine the winter and net balances for the 1999 balance year. The 1999 winter snow balance, averaged over the glacier, was 3.59 meters, and the net balance was 1.02 meters. Since the winter balance record began in 1959, only three winters have had a higher winter balance. Since the net balance record began in 1953, only 2 years have had a greater positive net balance than 1999. Runoff was measured from the glacier and an adjacent non-glacierized basin. Air temperature, precipitation, and humidity were measured nearby, and ice speed was measured. This report makes these data available to the glaciological and climatological community.

  13. Field test and sensitivity analysis of a sensible heat balance method to determine ice contents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil ice content impacts winter vadose zone hydrology. It may be possible to estimate changes in soil ice content with a sensible heat balance (SHB) method, using measurements from heat pulse (HP) sensors. Feasibility of the SHB method is unknown because of difficulties in measuring soil thermal pro...

  14. Glacier mass balance in high-arctic areas with anomalous gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharov, A.; Rieser, D.; Nikolskiy, D.

    2012-04-01

    All known glaciological models describing the evolution of Arctic land- and sea-ice masses in changing climate treat the Earth's gravity as horizontally constant, but it isn't. In the High Arctic, the strength of the gravitational field varies considerably across even short distances under the influence of a density gradient, and the magnitude of free air gravity anomalies attains 100 mGal and more. On long-term base, instantaneous deviations of gravity can have a noticeable effect on the regime and mass budget of glaciological objects. At best, the gravity-induced component of ice mass variations can be determined on topographically smooth, open and steady surfaces, like those of arctic planes, regular ice caps and landfast sea ice. The present research is devoted to studying gravity-driven impacts on glacier mass balance in the outer periphery of four Eurasian shelf seas with a very cold, dry climate and rather episodic character of winter precipitation. As main study objects we had chosen a dozen Russia's northernmost insular ice caps, tens to hundreds of square kilometres in extent, situated in a close vicinity of strong gravity anomalies and surrounded with extensive fields of fast and/or drift ice for most of the year. The supposition about gravitational forcing on glacioclimatic settings in the study region is based on the results of quantitative comparison and joint interpretation of existing glacier change maps and available data on the Arctic gravity field and solid precipitation. The overall mapping of medium-term (from decadal to half-centennial) changes in glacier volumes and quantification of mass balance characteristics in the study region was performed by comparing reference elevation models of study glaciers derived from Russian topographic maps 1:200,000 (CI = 20 or 40 m) representing the glacier state as in the 1950s-1980s with modern elevation data obtained from satellite radar interferometry and lidar altimetry. Free-air gravity anomalies were

  15. A nitrogen mass balance for California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liptzin, D.; Dahlgren, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    Human activities have greatly altered the global nitrogen cycle and these changes are apparent in water quality, air quality, ecosystem and human health. However, the relative magnitude of the sources of new reactive nitrogen and the fate of this nitrogen is not well established. Further, the biogeochemical aspects of the nitrogen cycle are often studied in isolation from the economic and social implications of all the transformations of nitrogen. The California Nitrogen Assessment is an interdisciplinary project whose aim is evaluating the current state of nitrogen science, practice, and policy in the state of California. Because of the close proximity of large population centers, highly productive and diverse agricultural lands and significant acreage of undeveloped land, California is a particularly interesting place for this analysis. One component of this assessment is developing a mass balance of nitrogen as well as identifying gaps in knowledge and quantifying uncertainty. The main inputs of new reactive nitrogen to the state are 1) synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, 2) biological nitrogen fixation, and 3) atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Permanent losses of nitrogen include 1) gaseous losses (N2, N2O, NHx, NOy), 2) riverine discharge, 3) wastewater discharge to the ocean, and 4) net groundwater recharge. A final term is the balance of food, feed, and fiber to support the human and animal populations. The largest input of new reactive nitrogen to California is nitrogen fertilizer, but both nitrogen fixation and atmospheric deposition contribute significantly. Non-fertilizer uses, such as the production of nylon and polyurethane, constitutes about 5% of the synthetic N synthesized production. The total nitrogen fixation in California is roughly equivalent on the 400,000 ha of alfalfa and the approximately 40 million ha of natural lands. In addition, even with highly productive agricultural lands, the large population of livestock, in particular dairy cows

  16. Automated chemical mass balance receptor modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Hanrahan, P.L.; Core, J.E.

    1986-09-01

    Chemical mass balance (CMB) receptor modeling provides alternative or complementary methods to dispersion models for apportioning particulate source impacts. This method estimates particulate source contributions at a receptor by comparing the chemistry of the ambient aerosol to the chemistry of the emissions from the various sources. To minimize demands on the analyst and facilitate the processing of large volumes of data, an initial version of an automated CMB model has been developed and is operational on an IBM personal computer as well as on a Harris mini-mainframe computer. Although it currently does not have all the features of the more interactive manual model, it does show promise for reducing man-power demands. The automated model is based on an early version of the EPA CMB model, which has been converted to run on an IBM-PC or compatible microcomputer. It uses the effective variance method. The interactive manual model is also undergoing modifications under an EPA contract. Some of these new features of the EPA model have been included in one version of the automated model.

  17. GIA models with composite rheology and 3D viscosity: effect on GRACE mass balance in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Wal, Wouter; Whitehouse, Pippa; Schrama, Ernst

    2014-05-01

    Most Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) models that have been used to correct GRACE data for the influence of GIA assume a radial stratification of viscosity in the Earth's mantle (1D viscosity). Seismic data in Antarctica indicate that there are large viscosity variations in the horizontal direction (3D viscosity). The purpose of this research is to determine the effect of 3D viscosity on GIA model output, and hence mass balance estimates in Antarctica. We use a GIA model with 3D viscosity and composite rheology in combination with ice loading histories ICE-5G and W12a. From comparisons with uplift and sea-level data in Fennoscandia and North America three preferred viscosity models are selected. For two of the 3D viscosity models the maximum gravity rate due to ICE-5G forcing is located over the Ronne-Filchner ice shelf. This is in contrast with the results obtained using a 1D model, in which the maximum gravity rate due to ICE-5G forcing is always located over the Ross ice shelf. This demonstrates that not all 3D viscosity models can be approximated with a 1D viscosity model. Using CSR release 5 GRACE data from February 2003 to June 2013 mass balance estimates for the three preferred viscosity models are -131 to -171 Gt/year for the ICE-5G model, and -48 to -57 Gt/year for the W12a model. The range due to Earth model uncertainty is larger than the error bar for GRACE (10 Gt/year), but smaller than the range resulting from the difference in ice loading histories.

  18. State of balance of the cryosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Der Veen, C. J.

    1991-01-01

    Available observations and mass balance estimates of the cryosphere are summarized. Problems discussed include mountain glaciers, the Greenland ice sheet, the Antarctic ice sheet, conventional glacier measurement techniques, and satellite applications in glacier mass balance studies. It is concluded that the interior part of the Greenland ice sheet is thickening or in near equilibrium. Estimates of the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet suggest that it is positive, although the error limits allow for a slightly negative balance.

  19. 3D viscosity maps for Greenland and effect on GRACE mass balance estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Wal, Wouter; Xu, Zheng

    2016-04-01

    The GRACE satellite mission measures mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. To correct for glacial isostatic adjustment numerical models are used. Although generally found to be a small signal, the full range of possible GIA models has not been explored yet. In particular, low viscosities due to a wet mantle and high temperatures due to the nearby Iceland hotspot could have a significant effect on GIA gravity rates. The goal of this study is to present a range of possible viscosity maps, and investigate the effect on GRACE mass balance estimates. Viscosity is derived using flow laws for olivine. Mantle temperature is computed from global seismology models, based on temperature derivatives for different mantle compositions. An indication for grain sizes is obtained by xenolith findings at a few locations. We also investigate the weakening effect of the presence of melt. To calculate gravity rates, we use a finite-element GIA model with the 3D viscosity maps and the ICE-5G loading history. GRACE mass balances for mascons in Greenland are derived with a least-squares inversion, using separate constraints for the inland and coastal areas in Greenland. Biases in the least-squares inversion are corrected using scale factors estimated from a simulation based on a surface mass balance model (Xu et al., submitted to The Cryosphere). Model results show enhanced gravity rates in the west and south of Greenland with 3D viscosity maps, compared to GIA models with 1D viscosity. The effect on regional mass balance is up to 5 Gt/year. Regional low viscosity can make present-day gravity rates sensitivity to ice thickness changes in the last decades. Therefore, an improved ice loading history for these time scales is needed.

  20. The impact of supraglacial debris on the mass balance and dynamics of Khumbu Glacier, Nepalese Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Rapid changes in glacier volumes and dynamics have been observed in the monsoon-influenced Himalaya over recent decades, with marked consequences for the hydrological budgets and glacial hazard potential of catchments such as the Dudh Kosi, a tributary of the Ganges River. For many large glaciers such as Khumbu Glacier in eastern Nepal, supraglacial rock debris modifies the thermal properties of the ice surface and mass balance variations in response to climatic change. Ice flow dynamics vary dramatically with supraglacial debris thickness -- the debris-covered section of Khumbu Glacier appears stagnant, while the clean-ice section reaches velocities exceeding 50 m per year -- resulting in spatial variation in the drivers of mass transfer and loss. However, the relative importance of supraglacial debris in modifying mass balance compared to external forcing by the summer monsoon is poorly understood, and as a result quantifying the sensitivity of this glacier to climatic change is challenging. To calculate ablation across the glacier we need to incorporate the thermal properties of the debris layer and how these vary with altitude and time into a mass balance calculation. We made field observations describing debris thickness and sub-debris melt rates on Khumbu Glacier. At four different sites, we measured vertical temperature profiles through the supraglacial debris and at the ice surface, debris thickness, and 1 m air temperature through the summer monsoon, and calculated ablation rates following the method of Nicholson and Benn (2006, J. Glacio.). These data were used with local meteorological data to calculate the spatial and temporal variability in the surface energy balance of Khumbu Glacier. To investigate the sensitivity of Khumbu Glacier to climatic change, we developed a numerical model of this glacier from our field data. Our higher-order flow model (Egholm et al., 2011; JGR) reproduces accurately the variations in ice velocity observed using feature

  1. Mass balance, meteorological, and runoff measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1992 balance year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.

    1993-01-01

    Values of winter snow accumulation and summer snow, firn, and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, WA, to determine the winter and net balance for the 1992 balance year. The 1992 winter balance, averaged over the glacier, was 1.91 m, and the net balance was -2.01 m. This extremely negative balance continued a trend of negative balance years beginning in 1977. Air temperature (at 1,615 m and 1,867 m), barometric pressure, precipitation, and runoff from this glacier basin and an adjacent non-glacierized basin were also continuously measured. This report makes all these data, in tabular, graphical, and machine-readable forms, available to users.

  2. Recalculated mass balance record for Midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glacier mass balance has been measured since 1968 on Midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard, one of the longest high Arctic records. Available data includes areally-averaged winter, summer, and net balances. Balances by elevation, however, were not consistently reported. Here we derive a time-series of the balances as a function of elevation using original stake data from archived field notebooks and maps, graphs of balance as a function of elevation taken from old reports. We recalculate areally-averaged balances using a different fits to the data, rather than hand-drawn curves from earlier years, and adjust for changes in hypsometry. There is good agreement between in situ mass balance and geodetic changes obtained by differencing digital elevation models (DEMs) from different dates (1936, 1962, 1969, 1977, 1995, 2003, 2005). The main long-term trends over the length of the 44-yr record are that winter and net balance are decreasing overall, and that summer and net balance elevational gradients increase, the result of increasing ice loss at lower elevations.

  3. Spatial and temporal distribution of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since AD 1900.

    PubMed

    Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Korsgaard, Niels J; Bjørk, Anders A; Khan, Shfaqat A; Box, Jason E; Funder, Svend; Larsen, Nicolaj K; Bamber, Jonathan L; Colgan, William; van den Broeke, Michiel; Siggaard-Andersen, Marie-Louise; Nuth, Christopher; Schomacker, Anders; Andresen, Camilla S; Willerslev, Eske; Kjær, Kurt H

    2015-12-17

    The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to changes in temperature during the twentieth century remains contentious, largely owing to difficulties in estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of ice mass changes before 1992, when Greenland-wide observations first became available. The only previous estimates of change during the twentieth century are based on empirical modelling and energy balance modelling. Consequently, no observation-based estimates of the contribution from the GIS to the global-mean sea level budget before 1990 are included in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here we calculate spatial ice mass loss around the entire GIS from 1900 to the present using aerial imagery from the 1980s. This allows accurate high-resolution mapping of geomorphic features related to the maximum extent of the GIS during the Little Ice Age at the end of the nineteenth century. We estimate the total ice mass loss and its spatial distribution for three periods: 1900-1983 (75.1 ± 29.4 gigatonnes per year), 1983-2003 (73.8 ± 40.5 gigatonnes per year), and 2003-2010 (186.4 ± 18.9 gigatonnes per year). Furthermore, using two surface mass balance models we partition the mass balance into a term for surface mass balance (that is, total precipitation minus total sublimation minus runoff) and a dynamic term. We find that many areas currently undergoing change are identical to those that experienced considerable thinning throughout the twentieth century. We also reveal that the surface mass balance term shows a considerable decrease since 2003, whereas the dynamic term is constant over the past 110 years. Overall, our observation-based findings show that during the twentieth century the GIS contributed at least 25.0 ± 9.4 millimetres of global-mean sea level rise. Our result will help to close the twentieth-century sea level budget, which remains crucial for evaluating the reliability of models used to

  4. Spatial and temporal distribution of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet since AD 1900

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Korsgaard, Niels J.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Box, Jason E.; Funder, Svend; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Colgan, William; van den Broeke, Michiel; Siggaard-Andersen, Marie-Louise; Nuth, Christopher; Schomacker, Anders; Andresen, Camilla S.; Willerslev, Eske; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2015-12-01

    The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to changes in temperature during the twentieth century remains contentious, largely owing to difficulties in estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of ice mass changes before 1992, when Greenland-wide observations first became available. The only previous estimates of change during the twentieth century are based on empirical modelling and energy balance modelling. Consequently, no observation-based estimates of the contribution from the GIS to the global-mean sea level budget before 1990 are included in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here we calculate spatial ice mass loss around the entire GIS from 1900 to the present using aerial imagery from the 1980s. This allows accurate high-resolution mapping of geomorphic features related to the maximum extent of the GIS during the Little Ice Age at the end of the nineteenth century. We estimate the total ice mass loss and its spatial distribution for three periods: 1900-1983 (75.1 ± 29.4 gigatonnes per year), 1983-2003 (73.8 ± 40.5 gigatonnes per year), and 2003-2010 (186.4 ± 18.9 gigatonnes per year). Furthermore, using two surface mass balance models we partition the mass balance into a term for surface mass balance (that is, total precipitation minus total sublimation minus runoff) and a dynamic term. We find that many areas currently undergoing change are identical to those that experienced considerable thinning throughout the twentieth century. We also reveal that the surface mass balance term shows a considerable decrease since 2003, whereas the dynamic term is constant over the past 110 years. Overall, our observation-based findings show that during the twentieth century the GIS contributed at least 25.0 ± 9.4 millimetres of global-mean sea level rise. Our result will help to close the twentieth-century sea level budget, which remains crucial for evaluating the reliability of models used to

  5. Surface energy balance, clouds and radiation over Antarctic sea ice during Austral spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Ackley, S. F.; Perovich, D. K.; Tison, J.-L.

    2009-04-01

    In Sept-Oct 2007, a sea ice drift station, Ice Station Belgica, was established in the Bellingshausen Sea. Over twenty-seven days, measurements of meteorological variables, radiation and surface albedo were performed by combining ship-based and in situ data, in order to assess the surface energy balance. Visual observations of the state of the sky (clear or overcast) were also done. The sampled floe was characterized by thin (0.6m) and medium thick (1.1m) first-year ice and older, second-year ice of greater than 2m mean thickness. Snow cover depth varied from zero cm over the new ice to > 0.8m on the second year ice. The weather at Ice Station Belgica was characterized by typical spring conditions. Synoptic variability was mostly driven by the wind direction, which determines the origin - continental or oceanic - of the air masses. Under northerly winds, warm (from -5 to 0 °C) and wet (relative humidity from 90 to 100%) oceanic air was advected on the floe. Under southerlies, cold (from -20 to -10°C) and dry (70-85 %) continental air was brought on site. In turn, this also determined the state of the sky, with clear (overcast) skies mostly associated to continental (oceanic) weather. The incoming solar radiation was on average 124 W/m², with a trend of 3.5 W/m² over the ice station, while the incoming longwave radiation was on average 227 W/m², with no trend. As expected, the incoming solar radiation shows a marked diurnal cycle, while LW does not. The day-to-day variability in radiation is largely determined by changes in the state of the sky. Broadband surface albedo was measured in situ, using a bidirectional pyranometer, on two sites respectively covered by thin (10-15 cm) and deep (30-40 cm) snow. Both sites were visited every 5 days and albedo was measured on 6 points, spaced by 5 m on an 25-m long "albedo" line. Snow depth was also monitored every meter along the albedo line. The mean albedo is 0.83 ± 0.05. Variations around this mean value are

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, Shad

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Evapotranspiration: Mass balance measurements compared with flux estimation methods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evapotranspiration (ET) may be measured by mass balance methods and estimated by flux sensing methods. The mass balance methods are typically restricted in terms of the area that can be represented (e.g., surface area of weighing lysimeter (LYS) or equivalent representative area of neutron probe (NP...

  8. Mass balance and exergy analysis of a fast pyrolysis system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mass balance closure and exergetic efficiency is evaluated for a bench scale fast pyrolysis system. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed this system for processing energy crops and agricultural residues for bio-oil (pyrolysis oil or pyrolysis liquids) production. Mass balance c...

  9. Optimization of regional constraints for estimating the Greenland mass balance with GRACE level-2 data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Z.; Schrama, E.; van der Wal, W.

    2015-07-01

    Data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission can be used to estimate the mass change rate for separate drainage systems (DSs) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). One approach to do so is by inversion of the level-2 spherical harmonic data to surface mass changes in predefined regions, or mascons. However, the inversion can be numerically unstable for some individual DSs. This occurs mainly for DSs with a small mass change signal that are located in the interior region of Greenland. In this study, we present a modified mascon inversion approach with an improved implementation of the constraint equations to obtain better estimates for individual DSs. We use separate constraints for mass change variability in the coastal zone, where run-off takes place, and for the ice sheet interior above 2000 m, where mass changes are smaller. A multi-objective optimization approach is used to find optimal prior variances for these two areas based on a simulation model. Correlations between adjacent DSs are suppressed when our optimized prior variances are used, while the mass balance estimates for the combination of the DSs that make up the GrIS above 2000 m are not affected significantly. The resulting mass balance estimates for some DSs in the interior are significantly improved compared to an inversion with a single constraint, as determined by a comparison with mass balance estimates from surface mass balance modelling and discharge measurements. The rate of mass change of the GrIS for the period of January 2003 to December 2012 is found to be -266.1 ± 17.2 Gt yr-1 in the coastal zone and areas below 2000 m, and +8.2 ± 8.6 Gt yr-1 in the interior region.

  10. Using an SLR inversion to measure the mass balance of Greenland before and during GRACE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonin, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    The GRACE mission has done an admirable job of measuring large-scale mass changes over Greenland since its launch in 2002. However before that time, measurements of large-scale ice mass balance were few and far between, leading to a lack of baseline knowledge. High-quality Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) data existed a decade earlier, but normally has too low a spatial resolution to be used for this purpose. I demonstrate that a least squares inversion technique can reconstitute the SLR data and use it to measure ice loss over Greenland. To do so, I first simulate the problem by degrading today's GRACE data to a level comparable with SLR, then demonstrating that the inversion can re-localize Greenland's contribution to the low-resolution signal, giving an accurate time series of mass change over all of Greenland which compares well with the full-resolution GRACE estimates. I then utilize that method on the actual SLR data, resulting in an independent 1994-2014 time series of mass change over Greenland. I find favorable agreement between the pure-SLR inverted results and the 2012 Ice-sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) results, which are largely based on the "input-output" modeling method before GRACE's launch.

  11. Tree-ring based mass balance estimates along the North Pacific Rim

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malcomb, N.; Wiles, G. C.

    2009-12-01

    Glacier mass balance reconstructions provide a means of placing short-term mass balance observations into a longer-term context. In western North America, most instrumental records of mass balance are limited in duration and capture only a narrow window of glacial behavior over an interval that is dominated by warming and ablation. Tree-ring series from northwestern North America are used to reconstruct annual mass balance for Gulkana and Wolverine Glaciers in Alaska, Peyto and Place Glaciers in British Columbia, and South Cascade and Blue Glaciers in Washington State. Mass balance models rely on the temperature and precipitation sensitivity of the tree-ring chronologies and mass balance records, as well as teleconnections along the North Pacific sector. The reconstructions extend through the latter portions of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and highlight the role of decadal and secular-scale climate change in forcing mass balance. Net mass balance reconstructions are broadly consistent with the moraine record that coincides with two major intervals of positive mass balance and with cooling related to the Maunder and Dalton solar minima. Secular warming in the later portions of the 19th and the 20th centuries corresponds with a pronounced interval of negative mass balance, and model instability after 1980. These trends show that the marked changes in glacier systems over recent decades throughout the Northwestern Cordillera are unique for the last several centuries and furthermore, suggest that modest gains forced by increasing precipitation over the latter 20th century in coastal settings are not sufficient to force glacier expansion or moraine building. Reconstructed (blue) and instrumental (red) net mass balances, Northern Hemisphere Temperature anomalies (Wilson et al., 2007), and PDO index (MacDonald and Case, 2005). A= Gulkana Glacier, B=Wolverine Glacier, C=Peyto Glacier, D=Place Glacier, E=South Cascade, F=Blue Glacier, G=PDO index, and H=Northern Hemisphere

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF A CONTAMINANT TRANSPORT AND FATE MASS BALANCE CALIBRATION MODEL FOR LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE PROJECT (LMMBP)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lake Michigan Mass Balance Project (LMMBP) was initiated to directly support the development of a lakewide management plan (LaMP) for Lake Michigan. A mass balance modeling approach is proposed for the project to addrss the realtionship between sources of toxic chemicals and thei...

  13. Modelling the deformation and force balance of anisotropic Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heorton, Harry; Feltham, Daniel; Tsamados, Michel; Schroeder, David

    2016-04-01

    The movement and spatial distribution of Arctic sea ice is due to its response to external forces. The deformation of Arctic sea ice is observed to have structural alignment on all length scales. By considering the alignment of diamond-shaped sea ice floes an anisotropic rheology has been developed for use in a climate sea ice model. Here we present investigations into the role of anisotropy in calculating the internal stress gradient of Arctic sea ice over climate length and time scales in a state-of-the-art climate sea ice model, the Los Alamos Sea Ice model. Our investigations are focused on the link between the external dynamical forcing and the emergent properties of sea ice such as its drift speed and thickness distribution. We analyse the model's response to external forcing over short time scales showing the characteristics of deformation events for different sea ice states and anisotropic alignment. We show how these events add up to produce the full seasonal stress balance and sea ice state over the Arctic ocean.

  14. Taking a balanced approach to estimating snow and ice melt contributions to High Asia runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, A. P.

    2015-12-01

    We assess the magnitude and variability of glacier and snow melt input to rivers draining the major glacierized and snow covered river basins of High Asia. The water budget provides a basic framework for hydrological analysis. Measurements of all components of the water budget allow the accuracy of estimates of each component to be checked. In glacierized catchments, the water budget is the balance between runoff, precipitation inputs (as rain or snow), loss by evaporation, and the release or uptake of water by soil moisture and ground water stores, snow cover, glaciers and permafrost, as well as by engineered reservoirs and lakes. In this paper, we estimate these components of the water budgets of the Syr Darya, Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers using a combination of station observations, satellite remote sensing and reanalysis output, mass balance measurements, and simple snow cover and glacier models. We estimate the errors for each of these terms with a view to answering the question; how well can we assess glacier and snow melt contributions. Monthly changes in land surface moisture storage are estimated from the difference between runoff and net precipitation (P-E) and also from GRACE. Net precipitation (P-E) is estimated from upper air fields from the NASA MERRA reanalysis using the aerological method and from observations and reanalysis fields of precipitation and evaporation. The challenge is to separate land surface moisture storage into the component reservoirs. Estimates of glacier mass balance in each basin are based on in situ measurements, satellite altimetry, and DEM differencing. Changes in snow storage and contributions from ice melt are estimated using simple accumulation and melt models. Estimates of soil moisture, groundwater and permafrost storage are taken from the literature.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oneel, S.; Hood, E. W.; Arendt, A. A.; Sass, L. C.; March, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    We examine long-term streamflow and mass balance data from two Alaskan glaciers located in climatically distinct basins: Gulkana Glacier, a continental glacier located in the Alaska Range, and Wolverine Glacier, a maritime glacier located in the Kenai Mountains. Both glaciers lost mass, primarily as a result of summer warming, and both basins exhibit increasing streamflow over the 1966-2011 study interval. We estimated total glacier runoff via summer mass balance, and separated the fraction related to annual mass imbalances. In both climates, the fraction of streamflow related to annual mass balance averages less than 20%, substantially smaller than the fraction related to total summer mass loss (>50%), which occurs even in years of glacier growth. The streamflow fraction related to changes in annual mass balance has increased only in the continental environment. In the maritime climate, where deep winter snowpacks and frequent rain events drive consistently high runoff, the magnitude of this streamflow fraction is small and highly variable, precluding detection of any existing trend. Changes in streamflow related to annual balance are often masked by interannual variability of maritime glacier mass balance, such that predicted scenarios of continued glacier recession are more likely to impact the quality and timing of runoff than the total basin water yield.

  18. Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui; Brenner, Anita; Bromwich, David

    2012-01-01

    During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gt/yr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change. The net gain (86 Gt/yr) over the West Antarctic (WA) and East Antarctic ice sheets (WA and EA) is essentially unchanged from revised results for 1992 to 2001 from ERS radar altimetry. Imbalances in individual drainage systems (DS) are large (-68% to +103% of input), as are temporal changes (-39% to +44%). The recent 90 Gt/yr loss from three DS (Pine Island, Thwaites-Smith, and Marie-Bryd Coast) of WA exceeds the earlier 61 Gt/yr loss, consistent with reports of accelerating ice flow and dynamic thinning. Similarly, the recent 24 Gt/yr loss from three DS in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is consistent with glacier accelerations following breakup of the Larsen B and other ice shelves. In contrast, net increases in the five other DS of WA and AP and three of the 16 DS in East Antarctica (EA) exceed the increased losses. Alternate interpretations of the mass changes driven by accumulation variations are given using results from atmospheric-model re-analysis and a parameterization based on 5% change in accumulation per degree of observed surface temperature change. A slow increase in snowfall with climate waRMing, consistent with model predictions, may be offsetting increased dynamic losses.

  19. MATRIICES - Mass Analytical Tool for Reactions in Interstellar ICES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isokoski, K.; Bossa, J. B.; Linnartz, H.

    2011-05-01

    The formation of complex organic molecules (COMs) observed in the inter- and circumstellar medium (ISCM) is driven by a complex chemical network yet to be fully characterized. Interstellar dust grains and the surrounding ice mantles, subject to atom bombardment, UV irradiation, and thermal processing, are believed to provide catalytic sites for such chemistry. However, the solid state chemical processes and the level of complexity reachable under astronomical conditions remain poorly understood. The conventional laboratory techniques used to characterize the solid state reaction pathways - RAIRS (Reflection Absorption IR Spectroscopy) and TPD (Temperature-Programmed Desorption) - are suitable for the analysis of reactions in ices made of relatively small molecules. For more complex ices comprising a series of different components as relevant to the interstellar medium, spectral overlapping prohibits unambiguous identification of reaction schemes, and these techniques start to fail. Therefore, we have constructed a new and innovative experimental set up for the study of complex interstellar ices featuring a highly sensitive and unambiguous detection method. MATRIICES (Mass Analytical Tool for Reactions in Interstellar ICES) combines Laser Ablation technique with a molecular beam experiment and Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (LA-TOF-MS) to sample and analyze the ice analogues in situ, at native temperatures, under clean ultra-high vacuum conditions. The method allows direct sampling and analysis of the ice constituents in real time, by using a pulsed UV ablation laser (355-nm Nd:YAG) to vaporize the products in a MALDI-TOF like detection scheme. The ablated material is caught in a synchronously pulsed molecular beam of inert carrier gas (He) from a supersonic valve, and analysed in a Reflectron Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer. The detection limit of the method is expected to exceed that of the regular surface techniques substantially. The ultimate goal is to fully

  20. Mass balance and streamflow variability at Place Glacier, Canada, in relation to recent climate fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, R. D.; Demuth, M. N.

    2001-12-01

    Although a great deal of research has focused on the hydrologic effects of climate variability and change, relatively little research has examined the effects on streamflow of interactions between climate variability and change and resulting glacier response. Place Glacier, in the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, has been monitored for mass balance since 1965, and a stream gauge was operated just below the glacier terminus from 1969 to 1989. This paper presents analyses of the mass balance history and streamflow variations in relation to recorded climatic variability.Place Glacier's winter and net balances are correlated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Summer balance is positively correlated with summer temperature and negatively with the preceding winter balance, which enhances the effects of changes in winter balance on net balance. The well-documented post-1976 shift from the PDO cold phase to the present warm phase initiated a significant and persistent period of more negative net balance and terminal retreat. A reconstruction of net balance extending back to the 1890s, based on a regression with winter precipitation and summer temperature, displays decadal-scale fluctuations consistent with the PDO. Summer streamflow responded to interannual variations in winter snow accumulation and summer temperatures, which control the rate of rise of the glacier snowline and melt rates. After accounting for these influences via regression analysis, August streamflow displayed a negative trend in total runoff. Examination of air photographs and the reconstructed mass balance history suggest that significant firn depletion had occurred prior to 1965, such that the dominant effect of glacier changes was a reduction in ice area, resulting in decreased meltwater production.

  1. Identifying Dynamically Induced Variability in Glacier Mass-Balance Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian, J. E.; Siler, N.; Koutnik, M. R.; Roe, G.

    2015-12-01

    Glacier mass-balance (i.e., accumulation vs. ablation) provides a direct indicator of a glacier's relationship with climate. However, mass-balance records contain noise due to internal climate variability (i.e., from stochastic fluctuations in large-scale atmospheric circulation), which can obscure or bias trends in these relatively short timeseries. This presents a challenge in correctly identifying the signature of anthropogenic change. "Dynamical adjustment" is a technique that identifies patterns of variance shared between a climate timeseries of interest (e.g., mass-balance) and independent "predictor" variables associated with large-scale circulation (e.g., Sea Level Pressure, SLP, or Sea Surface Temperature, SST). Extracting the component of variance due to internal variability leaves a residual timeseries for which trends can more confidently be attributed to external forcing. We apply dynamical adjustments based on Partial Least Squares Regression to mass-balance records from South Cascade Glacier in Washington State and Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska, independently analyzing seasonal balance records to assess the dynamical influences on winter accumulation and summer ablation. Seasonally averaged North Pacific SLP and SST fields perform comparably as predictor variables, explaining 50-60% of the variance in winter balance and 30-40% of variance in summer balance for South Cascade and Wolverine Glaciers. Gulkana glacier, located further inland than the other two glaciers, is less closely linked to North Pacific climate variability, with the predictors explaining roughly one-third of variance in its winter and summer balance. We analyze the significance of linear trends in the raw and adjusted mass-balance records, and find that for all three glaciers, a) summer balance shows a statistically significant downward trend that is not substantially altered when dynamically induced variability is removed, and b) winter balance shows no statistically

  2. Atmospheric Pressure Error of GRACE in Antarctic Ice Mass Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, B.; Eom, J.; Seo, K. W.

    2014-12-01

    As GRACE has observed time-varying gravity longer than a decade, long-term mass changes have been emerged. In particular, linear trends and accelerated patterns in Antarctica were reported and paid attention for the projection of sea level rise. The cause of accelerated ice mass loss in Antarctica is not known since its amplitude is not significantly larger than ice mass change associated with natural climate variations. In this study, we consider another uncertainty in Antarctic ice mass loss acceleration due to unmodeled atmospheric pressure field. We first compare GRACE AOD product with in-situ atmospheric pressure data from SCAR READER project. GRACE AOD (ECMWF) shows spurious jump near Transantarctic Mountains, which is due to the regular model update of ECMWF. In addition, GRACE AOD shows smaller variations than in-situ observation in coastal area. This is possibly due to the lower resolution of GRACE AOD, and thus relatively stable ocean bottom pressure associated with inverted barometric effect suppresses the variations of atmospheric pressure near coast. On the other hand, GRACE AOD closely depicts in-situ observations far from oceans. This is probably because GRACE AOD model (ECMWF) is assimilated with in-situ observations. However, the in-situ observational sites in interior of Antarctica are sparse, and thus it is still uncertain the reliability of GRACE AOD for most region of Antarctica. To examine this, we cross-validate three different reanalysis; ERA Interim, NCEP DOE and MERRA. Residual atmospheric pressure fields as a measure of atmospheric pressure errors, NCEP DOE - ERA Interim or MERRA - ERA Interim, show long-term changes, and the estimated uncertainty in acceleration of Antarctic ice mass change is about 9 Gton/yr^2 from 2003 to 2012. This result implies that the atmospheric surface pressure error likely hinders the accurate estimate of the ice mass loss acceleration in Antarctica.

  3. BTD building uranium mass balance study

    SciTech Connect

    Sutter, S.L.; Johnston, J.W.; Glissmeyer, J.A.; Athey, G.F.

    1985-01-01

    Fifteen test firings of depleted uranium (DU) munitions were made during the qualification study of the new target building at the BTD Range operated by the US Army Combat Systems Test Activity (CSTA) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Following these test firings, the total mass and mass distribution of DU inside the BTD facility was determined to define decontamination requirements for the new target building. 4 references, 17 figures, 17 tables.

  4. Shifting balance of thermokarst lake ice regimes across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.; Lu, Z.; Whitman, M. S.

    2012-08-01

    The balance of thermokarst lakes with bedfast- and floating-ice regimes across Arctic lowlands regulates heat storage, permafrost thaw, winter-water supply, and over-wintering aquatic habitat. Using a time-series of late-winter synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery to distinguish lake ice regimes in two regions of the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska from 2003-2011, we found that 18% of the lakes had intermittent ice regimes, varying between bedfast-ice and floating-ice conditions. Comparing this dataset with a radar-based lake classification from 1980 showed that 16% of the bedfast-ice lakes had shifted to floating-ice regimes. A simulated lake ice thinning trend of 1.5 cm/yr since 1978 is believed to be the primary factor driving this form of lake change. The most profound impacts of this regime shift in Arctic lakes may be an increase in the landscape-scale thermal offset created by additional lake heat storage and its role in talik development in otherwise continuous permafrost as well as increases in over-winter aquatic habitat and winter-water supply.

  5. Effect of GIA models with 3D composite mantle viscosity on GRACE mass balance estimates for Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Wal, Wouter; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; Schrama, Ernst J. O.

    2015-03-01

    Seismic data indicate that there are large viscosity variations in the mantle beneath Antarctica. Consideration of such variations would affect predictions of models of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), which are used to correct satellite measurements of ice mass change. However, most GIA models used for that purpose have assumed the mantle to be uniformly stratified in terms of viscosity. The goal of this study is to estimate the effect of lateral variations in viscosity on Antarctic mass balance estimates derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data. To this end, recently-developed global GIA models based on lateral variations in mantle temperature are tuned to fit constraints in the northern hemisphere and then compared to GPS-derived uplift rates in Antarctica. We find that these models can provide a better fit to GPS uplift rates in Antarctica than existing GIA models with a radially-varying (1D) rheology. When 3D viscosity models in combination with specific ice loading histories are used to correct GRACE measurements, mass loss in Antarctica is smaller than previously found for the same ice loading histories and their preferred 1D viscosity profiles. The variation in mass balance estimates arising from using different plausible realizations of 3D viscosity amounts to 20 Gt/yr for the ICE-5G ice model and 16 Gt/yr for the W12a ice model; these values are larger than the GRACE measurement error, but smaller than the variation arising from unknown ice history. While there exist 1D Earth models that can reproduce the total mass balance estimates derived using 3D Earth models, the spatial pattern of gravity rates can be significantly affected by 3D viscosity in a way that cannot be reproduced by GIA models with 1D viscosity. As an example, models with 1D viscosity always predict maximum gravity rates in the Ross Sea for the ICE-5G ice model, however, for one of the three preferred 3D models the maximum (for the same ice model) is found

  6. Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at Xiao Dongkemadi Glacier, Central Tibetan Plateau, Balance Years from 2008 to 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiaobo, He; Baisheng, Ye; Yongjian, Ding; Jian, Zhang

    2013-04-01

    The glaciers on Tibetan Plateau play an important role in the catchment hydrology and climatology of this region. However, our knowledge with respect to water circulation in this remote area is scarce. Xiao Dongkemadi Glacier (XDG) is located near Tanggula Pass (the highest point on the Lanzhou-Lhasa road 5231ma.s.l.), central Tibetan Plateau (33°04'N, 92°04'E). Here, glacier mass balance and runoff directly reflects the glacier's response to local climate change, and glacier changes on the Tibetan Plateau strongly influence human welfare since water supplies in this arid/semi-arid region are predominantly from glacier melt. Due to its remote location, the mass balance of XDG has been monitored discontinuously since 1988 by the direct glaciological method. Recently, a more complete and fine-grained glacier monitoring system has been established on the cap of XDG, and is expected to make further contributions to research on the change of the cryospheric and climatic environment in the area. Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at XDG, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance years from 2008 to 2011. Runoff from the basin containing the glacier and from an adjacent nonglacierized basin was gaged during all or parts of water years from 2008 and 2011. Air temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations on and near the glacier.

  7. Surface Elevation Changes in West Antarctica from Satellite Altimetry: Mass Balance Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Brenner, Anita C.; Cornejo, Helen; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Time-series of surface elevation change, which are constructed from 7-years (1992-1999) of ERS-1 and 2 satellite radar altimeter data of Antarctica, show significant seasonal, inter-annual, and long-term changes. Elevation time-series are created from altimeter crossovers among 90-day data periods on a 50 km grid to 81.5 degrees S and fit with a multivariate linear/sinusoidal function to give the average rate of elevation change (dH/dt) and account for seasonal changes. On the major Ronne, Filchner, and Ronne ice shelves, the dH/dt are small or near zero. In contrast, the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula and along the West Antarctic coast appear to be thinning significantly, with a 23 +/- 3 cm a(exp -1) surface elevation decrease on the Larsen ice shelf and a 65 +/- 4 cm a(exp -1) decrease on the Dotson ice shelf. Significant elevation decreases are obtained over most of the drainage basins of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. Significant increases are obtained over most of the other grounded ice in Marie Byrd Land, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Coates Land. Over the sector from 85 degrees W to 115 degrees W, which includes the Pine Island and Thwaites basins, the average elevation is significantly decreasing by 8.1 cm a(exp -1). The corresponding ice thickness change is about -11 cm a(exp -1), with a corresponding mass loss of 82 Gt a(exp -1), and a 0.22 mm a(exp -1) contribution to global sea level rise. In terms of elevation change, the decrease in the Pine Island-Thwaites sector is largely balanced by the increase in the Marie Byrd Land, but only balanced by about 1/4 in terms of ice thickness change and contribution to sea level rise. The overall average elevation change for the grounded ice is + 1.2 cm a(exp -1). Using an average bedrock uplift of 2.5 cm a(exp -1), implies an average ice thickness decrease of 1.3 cm a(exp -1), a mass loss of 22 Gt a(exp -1), and a 0.06 mm a(exp -1) contribution to global sea level rise.

  8. 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

  9. The impact of Saharan dust events on long-term glacier mass balance in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauder, A.; Gabbi, J.; Huss, M.; Schwikowski, M.

    2014-12-01

    Saharan dust falls are frequently observed in the Alpine region and are easily recognized by the unique yellowish coloration of the snow surface. Such Saharan dust events contribute to a large part to the total mineral dust deposited in snow and impact the surface energy budget by reducing the snow and ice albedo. In this study we investigate the long-term effect of such Saharan dust events on the surface albedo and the glacier's mass balance. The analysis is performed over the period 1914-2013 for two field sites on Claridenfirn, Swiss Alps, where an outstanding 100-year record of seasonal mass balance measurements is available. Based on the detailed knowledge about the mass balance, annual melt and accumulation rates are derived. A firn/ice core drilled at the glacier saddle of Colle Gnifetti (Swiss Alps) provides information on the impurity concentration in precipitation over the last century. A mass balance model combined with a parameterization for snow and ice albedo based on the specific surface area of snow and the snow impurity concentration is employed to assess the dust-albedo feedback. In order to track the position and thickness of snow layers a snow density model is implemented. Atmospheric dust enters the system of snow layers by precipitation and remains in the corresponding layer as long as there is no melt. When melt occurs, the water-insoluble part of the dust of the melted snow is supposed to accumulate in the top surface layer. The upper site has experienced only positive net mass balance and dust layers are continuously buried so that the impact of strong Saharan dust events is mainly restricted to the corresponding year. In the case of the lower site, the surface albedo is more strongly influenced by dust events of previous years due to periods with negative mass balances. Model results suggest that the enhanced melting in the 1940s yield even higher dust concentrations in 1947 compared to years with exceptional high Saharan dust deposition

  10. Surface energy balance and turbulence characteristics observed at the SHEBA Ice Camp during FIRE III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duynkerke, Peter G.; de Roode, Stephan R.

    2001-07-01

    The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) participated in the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE III) in May 1998. In this paper we describe surface layer measurements performed on the sea ice at the Surface Heat and Energy Balance of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) camp and compare these with measurements collected above a grass-covered surface in Cabauw, the Netherlands. The observations consist of both high-frequency turbulence measurements and mean-profile measurements of wind, temperature, and humidity. In addition, we measured the upward and downward components of both the longwave and the shortwave radiation, and the snow and ice temperatures in the upper 40 cm. The observations give a detailed picture of all components of the energy balance of the Arctic sea-ice surface. The turbulence measurements are used to study the surface layer scaling of the turbulence variables in the stable boundary layer. More specifically, we showed that the integral length scale of the vertical velocity fluctuations serves as the relevant turbulence length scale. The monthly averaged energy balance of the Arctic sea-ice was dominated by radiative fluxes, whereas the sensible and latent heat flux and the energy flux into the surface were rather small. A detailed inspection of the diurnal variations in the turbulent fluxes, however, indicates that although the monthly averaged values are small, the hourly averaged values for these fluxes are significant in the surface energy balance.

  11. An ice-cream cone model for coronal mass ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, X. H.; Wang, C. B.; Dou, X. K.

    2005-08-01

    In this study, we use an ice-cream cone model to analyze the geometrical and kinematical properties of the coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Assuming that in the early phase CMEs propagate with near-constant speed and angular width, some useful properties of CMEs, namely the radial speed (v), the angular width (α), and the location at the heliosphere, can be obtained considering the geometrical shapes of a CME as an ice-cream cone. This model is improved by (1) using an ice-cream cone to show the near real configuration of a CME, (2) determining the radial speed via fitting the projected speeds calculated from the height-time relation in different azimuthal angles, (3) not only applying to halo CMEs but also applying to nonhalo CMEs.

  12. 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.

  13. Correction of Correlation Errors in Greenland Ice Mass Variations from GRACE using Empirical Orthogonal Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, J.; Seo, K. W.

    2015-12-01

    Since its launch in March 2002, the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) has provided monthly geopotential fields represented by Stokes coefficients of spherical harmonics (SH). Nominally, GRACE gravity solutions exclude effects from tides, ocean dynamics and barometric pressure by incorporating geophysical models for them. However, those models are imperfect, and thus GRACE solutions include the residual gravity effects. Particularly, unmodeled gravity variations of sub-monthly or shorter time scale cause aliasing error, which produces peculiar longitudinal stripes. Those north-south patterns are removed by spatial filtering, but caution is necessary for the aliasing correction because signals with longitudinal patterns are possibly removed during the procedure. This would be particularly problematic for studies associated with Greenland ice mass balance since large ice mass variations are expected in the West and South-West coast of Greenland that are elongated along the longitudinal direction. In this study, we develop a novel method to remove the correlation error using extended Empirical Orthogonal Function (extended EOF). The extended EOF is useful to separate spatially and temporally coherent signal from high frequency variations. Since temporal variability of the correlation error is high, the error is possibly removed via the extended EOF. Ice mass variations reduced by the extended EOF show more detail patterns of ice mass loss/gain than those from the conventional spatial filtering. Large amount of ice loss has occurred along the West, South-West and East coastal area during summer. The extended EOF is potentially useful to enhance signal to noise ratio and increase spatial resolution of GRACE data.

  14. A Simple Watt Balance for the Absolute Determination of Mass

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Terry; Quinn, Lucas; Davis, Richard

    2013-01-01

    A watt balance is an electromechanical device that allows a mass to be determined in terms of measurable electrical and mechanical quantities, themselves traceable to the fundamental constants of physics. International plans are well advanced to redefine the unit of mass, the kilogram, in terms of a fixed numerical value for the Planck constant. A…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. On the use of the point-mass modeling technique for assessing ice-mass variations in alpine glacier systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimond, Stefan; Baur, Oliver; Krauss, Sandro

    2016-04-01

    Most scientific studies dealing with gravity-based ice-mass balance estimations focus on the Earth's continental glacier systems, namely the Greenland and the Antarctica ice sheets. Alpine glacier regions such as the Alps, Himalaya or Patagonia, on the other hand, seem to be less considered. According to the most recent assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), however, glacier shrinkage is one of the most dominant contributors to global sea level rise. In this context we investigate the capability of the point-mass modeling technique to assess ice-mass variations in small-scale alpine regions from space-borne gravimetric data. Two different approaches of this method can be distinguished: point-mass modeling with (i) predefined and fixed positions and (ii) with unknown locations of the surface mass changes. Approach (i) yields a linear functional model in which only the magnitudes of the point-masses are considered unknown. A highly non-linear optimization problem needs to be solved for approach (ii), since both the magnitudes and the coordinates of the point-masses are introduced as unknown parameters. In addition to that, owing to the effect of downward continuation, this problem is categorized as ill-posed and needs to be remedied by introducing regularization. The L-curve criterion or the generalized cross-validation method are typically used for selecting a suitable regularization factor. We conducted a series of close-loop simulation tests for various alpine glacier systems to compare the two approaches. In order to solve the global optimization problems in (i) and (ii), we make use of genetic algorithms.

  17. Breaking Off of Large Ice Masses From Hanging Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pralong, A.; Funk, M.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strelin, Jorge; Iturraspe, Rodolfo

    2007-10-01

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

  19. A high-resolution record of Greenland mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, Malcolm; Leeson, Amber; Shepherd, Andrew; Briggs, Kate; Armitage, Thomas W. K.; Hogg, Anna; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Broeke, Michiel; Noël, Brice; Berg, Willem Jan; Ligtenberg, Stefan; Horwath, Martin; Groh, Andreas; Muir, Alan; Gilbert, Lin

    2016-07-01

    We map recent Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change at high spatial (5 km) and temporal (monthly) resolution using CryoSat-2 altimetry. After correcting for the impact of changing snowpack properties associated with unprecedented surface melting in 2012, we find good agreement (3 cm/yr bias) with airborne measurements. With the aid of regional climate and firn modeling, we compute high spatial and temporal resolution records of Greenland mass evolution, which correlate (R = 0.96) with monthly satellite gravimetry and reveal glacier dynamic imbalance. During 2011-2014, Greenland mass loss averaged 269 ± 51 Gt/yr. Atmospherically driven losses were widespread, with surface melt variability driving large fluctuations in the annual mass deficit. Terminus regions of five dynamically thinning glaciers, which constitute less than 1% of Greenland's area, contributed more than 12% of the net ice loss. This high-resolution record demonstrates that mass deficits extending over small spatial and temporal scales have made a relatively large contribution to recent ice sheet imbalance.

  20. Neutrino mass hierarchy extraction using atmospheric neutrinos in ice

    SciTech Connect

    Mena, Olga; Mocioiu, Irina; Razzaque, Soebur

    2008-11-01

    We show that the measurements of 10 GeV atmospheric neutrinos by an upcoming array of densely-packed phototubes buried deep inside the IceCube detector at the South Pole can be used to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy for values of sin{sup 2}2{theta}{sub 13} close to the present bound, if the hierarchy is normal. These results are obtained for an exposure of 100 Mton years and systematic uncertainties up to 10%.

  1. Modelling The Energy And Mass Balance Of A Black Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossi, G.; Taschner, S.; Ranzi, R.

    A distributed energy balance hydrologic model has been implemented to simulate the melting season of the Belvedere glacier, situated in the Anza river basin (North- Western Italy) for a few years. The Belvedere Glacier is an example of SblackS glacier, ´ since the ablation zone is covered by a significant debris layer. The glacierSs termi- nus has an altitude of 1785 m asl which is very unusual for the Southern side of the European Alps. The model accounts for the energy exchange processes at the inter- face between the atmospheric boundary layer and the snow/ice/debris layer. To run the model hydrometeorological and physiographic data were collected, including the depth of the debris cover and the tritium (3H) concentration in the glacial river. Mea- surements of the soil thermal conductivity were carried out during a field campaign organised within the glaciers monitoring GLIMS project, at the time of the passage of the Landsat and the Terra satellites last 15 August 2001. A comparison of the different energy terms simulated by the model assigns a dominant role to the shortwave radia- tion, which provides the highest positive contribution to the energy available for snow- and ice-melt, while the sensible heat turns out to be the second major source of heat. Longwave radiation balance and latent heat seem to be less relevant and often nega- tive. The role of the debris cover is not negligible, since its thermal insulation causes, on average, a decrease in the ice melt volume. One of the model variables is the tem- perature of the debris cover, which can be a useful information when a black glacier is to be monitored through remote sensing techniques. The visible and near infrared radi- ation data do not always provide sufficient information to detect the glaciers' margins beneath the debris layer. For this reason the information of the different thermal sur- face characteristics (pure ice, debris covered ice, rock), proved by the energy balance model results was

  2. Reducing uncertainties in projections of Antarctic ice mass loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand, G.; Pattyn, F.

    2015-11-01

    Climate model projections are often aggregated into multi-model averages of all models participating in an intercomparison project, such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The "multi-model" approach provides a sensitivity test to the models' structural choices and implicitly assumes that multiple models provide additional and more reliable information than a single model, with higher confidence being placed on results that are common to an ensemble. A first initiative of the ice sheet modeling community, SeaRISE, provided such multi-model average projections of polar ice sheets' contribution to sea-level rise. The SeaRISE Antarctic numerical experiments aggregated results from all models devoid of a priori selection, based on the capacity of such models to represent key ice-dynamical processes. Here, using the experimental setup proposed in SeaRISE, we demonstrate that correctly representing grounding line dynamics is essential to infer future Antarctic mass change. We further illustrate the significant impact on the ensemble mean and deviation of adding one model with a known bias in its ability of modeling grounding line dynamics. We show that this biased model can hardly be identified from the ensemble only based on its estimation of volume change, as ad hoc and untrustworthy parametrizations can force any modeled grounding line to retreat. However, tools are available to test parts of the response of marine ice sheet models to perturbations of climatic and/or oceanic origin (MISMIP, MISMIP3d). Based on recent projections of Pine Island Glacier mass loss, we further show that excluding ice sheet models that do not pass the MISMIP benchmarks decreases the mean contribution and standard deviation of the multi-model ensemble projection by an order of magnitude for that particular drainage basin.

  3. Evaluation of three long term mass balance records in Jotunheimen, southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreassen, Liss M.

    2013-04-01

    The accuracy of glacier surface mass-balance measurements depends on both the accuracy of the point observations and inter- and extrapolation of point values to spatially distributed values. Long series of measurements will seldom be perfectly homogeneous because of changes in personnel and procedure, and as there will be changes in glacier area (and elevation) when averaging the data. The Jotunheimen massif is the highest area in mainland Norway. Direct surface mass balance has been measured at Storbreen since 1949 and Hellstugubreen and Gråsubreen since 1962. These three mountain glaciers are reference glaciers of the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Four more glaciers in Jotunheimen were measured for shorter periods in the 1960/1970s. Moreover, measurements started on a small ice patch in 2010. The reference glaciers have been mapped repeatedly since measurements began, latest by laser scanning in 2009. The geodetic method has been used to calculate the cumulative surface mass balance. In this study the direct and geodetic mass balance results are presented and evaluated. Measurements reveal a remarked mass balance gradient in this region with smaller mass turnover towards east. All three long term glaciers have had a cumulative mass deficit since measurements began; over 1962-2010 the mean surface mass balance was -0.34 m w.e./a. The mass deficit has accelerated over the past decade, and the mean mass balance over 2001-2010 was -0.84 m w.e./a. Storbreen has lost about 1/5 of its volume since measurements began in 1949. Results reveal that the geodetic and direct measurements compare well for the glaciers, also for the latest mapping period 1997-2009, although discrepancies occur in some periods. Calibration and correction of the direct records with the geodetic results may be appropriate for some periods. The glacier changes of the three reference glaciers are finally compared with results from other glaciers in southern Norway for evaluation of the local and

  4. Influence of Persistent Wind Scour on the Surface Mass Balance of Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Das, Indrani; Bell, Robin E.; Scambos, Ted A.; Wolovick, Michael; Creyts, Timothy T.; Studinger, Michael; Fearson, Nicholas; Nicolas, Julien P.; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; vandenBroeke, Michiel R.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate quantification of surface snow accumulation over Antarctica is a key constraint for estimates of the Antarctic mass balance, as well as climatic interpretations of ice-core records. Over Antarctica, near-surface winds accelerate down relatively steep surface slopes, eroding and sublimating the snow. This wind scour results in numerous localized regions (< or = 200 sq km) with reduced surface accumulation. Estimates of Antarctic surface mass balance rely on sparse point measurements or coarse atmospheric models that do not capture these local processes, and overestimate the net mass input in wind-scour zones. Here we combine airborne radar observations of unconformable stratigraphic layers with lidar-derived surface roughness measurements to identify extensive wind-scour zones over Dome A, in the interior of East Antarctica. The scour zones are persistent because they are controlled by bedrock topography. On the basis of our Dome A observations, we develop an empirical model to predict wind-scour zones across the Antarctic continent and find that these zones are predominantly located in East Antarctica. We estimate that approx. 2.7-6.6% of the surface area of Antarctica has persistent negative net accumulation due to wind scour, which suggests that, across the continent, the snow mass input is overestimated by 11-36.5 Gt /yr in present surface-mass-balance calculations.

  5. Force, mass, and energy budgets of the Crary Ice Rise complex, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macayeal, D. R.; Bindschadler, R. A.; Stephenson, S.; Shabtaie, S.; Bentley, C. R.

    1987-01-01

    The stress, mass, and energy-dissipation budgets of Crary Ice Rise are analyzed using field data collected during the 1983-1985 austral summers and in previous field programs. In addition, the net back pressure and ice-discharge rate along the grounding lines of ice streams are calculated to assess the effect of the ice rise on the surrounding flow. Comparison of the ice-rise budgets with the analysis of grounding-line data confirms the influence of the ice rise on ice-sheet stability, and suggests that Crary Ice Rise may have formed recently in response to an acceleration of one of the ice streams. It is concluded that feedback between ice-stream acceleration and ice-rise formation may control the future evolution of the above ice stream and promote long-term grounding-line stability in the face of strong natural fluctuations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Analysis of difference between direct and geodetic mass balance measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.

    1999-01-01

    Net mass balance has been measured since 1958 at South Cascade Glacier using the 'direct method,' e.g. area averages of snow gain and firn and ice loss at stakes. Analysis of cartographic vertical photography has allowed measurement of mass balance using the 'geodetic method' in 1970, 1975, 1977, 1979-80, and 1985-97. Water equivalent change as measured by these nearly independent methods should give similar results. During 1970-97, the direct method shows a cumulative balance of about -15 m, and the geodetic method shows a cumulative balance of about -22 m. The deviation between the two methods is fairly consistent, suggesting no gross errors in either, but rather a cumulative systematic error. It is suspected that the cumulative error is in the direct method because the geodetic method is based on a non-changing reference, the bedrock control, whereas the direct method is measured with reference to only the previous year's summer surface. Possible sources of mass loss that are missing from the direct method are basal melt, internal melt, and ablation on crevasse walls. Possible systematic measurement errors include under-estimation of the density of lost material, sinking stakes, or poorly represented areas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, M. S.

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Large Ice Discharge From the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1999-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to measure the ice discharge of the Greenland Ice Sheet close to the grounding line and/or calving front, and compare the results with mass accumulation and ablation in the interior to estimate the ice sheet mass balance.

  11. Radionuclide mass balance for the TMI-2 accident: data-base system and preliminary mass balance. Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, M I; Davis, R J; Strahl, J F; Arcieri, W C; Tonkay, D W

    1983-04-01

    After the accident at Three Mile Island, Unit 2 (TMI-2), on March 28, 1979, GEND stated its intention to support an effort to determine, as accurately as possible, the current mass balances of significant radiological toxic species. GEND gave two primary reasons for support this effort: (1) such exercises guarantee completeness of the studies, and (2) mass balance determinations ensure that all important sinks and attentuation mechanisms have been identified. The primary objective of the studies conducted by NUS Corporation was to support the goals of the GEND planners and to continue the mass balance effort by generating a preliminary accounting of key radioactive species following the TMI-2 accident. As a result of these studies, secondary objectives, namely a computerized data base and recommendations, have been achieved to support future work in this area.

  12. Climate dependent contrast in surface mass balance in East Antarctica over the past 216 kyr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parrenin, F.; Fujita, S.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Kawamura, K.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Motoyama, H.; Saito, F.; Severi, M.; Stenni, B.; Uemura, R.; Wolff, E.

    2015-02-01

    Documenting past changes in the East Antarctic surface mass balance is important to improve ice core chronologies and to constrain the ice sheet contribution to global mean sea level. Here we reconstruct the past changes in the ratio of surface mass balance (SMB ratio) between the EPICA Dome C (EDC) and Dome Fuji (DF) East Antarctica ice core sites, based on a precise volcanic synchronisation of the two ice cores and on corrections for the vertical thinning of layers. During the past 216 000 years, this SMB ratio, denoted SMBEDC/SMBDF, varied between 0.7 and 1.1, decreasing during cold periods and increasing during warm periods. While past climatic changes have been depicted as homogeneous along the East Antarctic Plateau, our results reveal larger amplitudes of changes in SMB at EDC compared to DF, consistent with previous results showing larger amplitudes of changes in water stable isotopes and estimated surface temperature at EDC compared to DF. Within interglacial periods and during the last glacial inception (Marine Isotope Stages, MIS-5c and MIS-5d), the SMB ratio deviates by up to 30% from what is expected based on differences in water stable isotope records. Moreover, the SMB ratio is constant throughout the late parts of the current and last interglacial periods, despite contrasting isotopic trends. These SMB ratio changes not closely related to isotopic changes are one of the possible causes of the observed gaps between the ice core chronologies at DF and EDC. Such changes in SMB ratio may have been caused by (i) climatic processes related to changes in air mass trajectories and local climate, (ii) glaciological processes associated with relative elevation changes, or (iii) a combination of climatic and glaciological processes, such as the interaction between changes in accumulation and in the position of the domes. Our inferred SMB ratio history has important implications for ice sheet modeling (for which SMB is a boundary condition) or atmospheric

  13. Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss and Outlet Glacier Dynamics from Laser Altimetry Record (1993-2013) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; Duncan, K.; Babonis, G. S.; Sonntag, J. G.; Krabill, W. B.; van den Broeke, M. R.; van Angelen, J.; Blair, J. B.; Hofton, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    .P. Bernstorff Glacier) after the brief period of thickening observed in 2006-2009. Increasing thinning would imply that earlier decrease in dynamic mass loss represented a short-term trend, rather than a new balance state of the ice sheet. In NE Greenland, continuing thinning at the grounding zones of Ryder, Zachariae and Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glaciers could lead to retreat, flow acceleration and increasing mass loss as the ice plains buttressing these glaciers will become ungrounded in a region where the bed is under sea level.

  14. Quantifying the influence of refreezing melt water on the mass balance and runoff of Freya Glacier in Northeast-Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resch, G.; Weyss, G.; Hynek, B.; Schöner, W.; Glade, T.

    2012-04-01

    Refreezing of melt water is known to play an important role in both the mass and energy budgets of Arctic glaciers as internal accumulation leads to a systematic error in mass balance calculation if it is not accounted for. A variety of measurements with the aim of quantification of refreezing of melt water have been done in August 2011 on Freya Glacier, 6 km long valley glacier situated on Clavering Island, 10 km southwest of the Zackenberg research station (ZERO), situated on the northeast coast of Greenland. Its surface area is 6,6km2, reaching from 330 m to 1250 m a.s.l. and is mainly oriented to NW. Since 2007, the mass balance of Freya-Glacier is measured directly, using around 15 stakes, which represents a unique database in this area. Besides surface mass balance, firn and ice stratigraphy in shallow cores and with GPR, also discharge measurements have been done. Thermistor strings have been drilled into the ice and mounted on poles for continuous data collection of ice- and snow temperatures during the winter season. Furthermore, an AWS near the ELA has been set-up for measuring all terms needed for energy balance calculations. Shallow ice cores (2m) and snow pits serve as point information in combination with data collected by a 900Mhz GPR-profile along the flow line and the SI-zone to identify annual SI-Layers. Mapping of the retreat of the snowline with GPS, frequent reading of the ablation stakes and snow depth in combination with discharge measurements have been carried out through the ablation season, to get information about meltwater retention on a basinscale. These data serve as input for a thermodynamic, physical based mass-balance and runoff model to investigate melt water retention and water balance on a basin scale. In this poster we present first results of data analysis, especially on bias and variability between discharge measurements and stake-based mass balance calculations. Besides that, a comparison between these measurements and data

  15. CHEMICAL MASS BALANCE MODEL: EPA-CMB8.2

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) method has been a popular approach for receptor modeling of ambient air pollutants for over two decades. For the past few years the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and Office of Air Quality Plannin...

  16. Mass balance approaches to understanding evolution of dripwater chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairchild, I. J.; Baker, A.; Andersen, M. S.; Treble, P. C.

    2015-12-01

    Forward and inverse modelling of dripwater chemistry is a fast-developing area in speleothem science. Such approaches can incorporate theoretical, parameterized or observed relationships between forcing factors and water composition, but at the heart is mass balance: a fundamental principle that provides important constraints. Mass balance has been used in speleothem studies to trace the evolution of dissolved inorganic carbon and carbon isotopes from soil to cave, and to characterize the existence and quantification of prior calcite precipitation (PCP) based on ratios of Mg and Sr to Ca. PCP effects can dominate slow drips, whereas fast drips are more likely to show a residual variability linked to soil-biomass processes. A possible configuration of a more complete mass balance model is illustrated in the figure. Even in humid temperate climates, evapotranspiration can be 50% of total atmospheric precipitation leading to substantially raised salt contents and there can be significant exchange with biomass. In more arid settings, at least seasonal soil storage of salts is likely. Golgotha Cave in SW Australia is in a Mediterranean climate with a strong summer soil moisture deficit. The land surface is forested leading to large ion fluxes related to vegetation. There are also periodic disturbances related to fire. Mass balance approaches have been applied to an 8-year monitoring record. Inter-annual trends of elements coprecipitated in speleothems from fast drips are predicted to be dominated by biomass effects.

  17. LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE: ATRAZINE MODELING AND LOADS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study measured PCBs, mercury, trans-nonachlor, and atrazine in rivers, the atmosphere, sediments, lake water, and the food chain. A mathematical model will predict what effect reducing pollution will have on the lake, and its large fish (lake trout ...

  18. MODELLING SEDIMENT TRANSPORT FOR THE LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE PROJECT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A sediment transport model is one component of the overall ensemble of models being developed for the Lake Michigan Mass Balance. The SEDZL model is being applied to simulate the fine-grained sediment transport in Lake Michigan for the 1982-1983 and 1994-1995 periods. Model perf...

  19. LAKE MICHIGAN MASS BALANCE STUDY: PROGNOSIS FOR PCBS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Lake Michigan Mass Balance Study was conducted to measure and model nutrients, atrazine, PCBs, trans-nonachlor, and mercury to gain a better understanding of the transport and fate of these substances within the system and to aid managers in the environmental decision-making ...

  20. On the Contribution of Clouds to Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Tricht, K.; Lhermitte, S.; Lenaerts, J.; Gorodetskaya, I.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Noel, B.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Turner, D. D.; Van Lipzig, N. P. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) has become one of the main contributors to global mean sea level rise, predominantly explained by a decreasing surface mass balance (SMB). Clouds are known to have a strong influence on the surface energy budget, which in consequence impacts the SMB. For example, the potentially important role of thin liquid-bearing clouds over Greenland in enhancing ice sheet melt has recently gained interest. Yet, current research is spatially and temporally limited, focusing on particular events and cloud types, while the large-scale impact of all clouds on the SMB remains unknown. Using a unique cloud product covering the entire GrIS over the period 2007-2010, consisting of active satellite remote sensing data, ground-based observations and climate model data, together with snow model simulations, we investigate the cloud radiative effect over the GrIS and the consequences for the SMB. We show a strong sensitivity of the GrIS to clouds, with a complex interplay between enhanced and reduced mass loss. We further distinguish between ice-only and liquid-bearing clouds, temporal and spatial variations in cloud impacts, and we demonstrate the large spread in simulated clouds by state-of-the-art climate models. Our results therefore urge the need for accurate cloud representations in climate models, to improve future projections of GrIS SMB and global sea level rise.

  1. California's Snow Gun and its implications for mass balance predictions under greenhouse warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howat, I.; Snyder, M.; Tulaczyk, S.; Sloan, L.

    2003-12-01

    Precipitation has received limited treatment in glacier and snowpack mass balance models, largely due to the poor resolution and confidence of precipitation predictions relative to temperature predictions derived from atmospheric models. Most snow and glacier mass balance models rely on statistical or lapse rate-based downscaling of general or regional circulation models (GCM's and RCM's), essentially decoupling sub-grid scale, orographically-driven evolution of atmospheric heat and moisture. Such models invariably predict large losses in the snow and ice volume under greenhouse warming. However, positive trends in the mass balance of glaciers in some warming maritime climates, as well as at high elevations of the Greenland Ice Sheet, suggest that increased precipitation may play an important role in snow- and glacier-climate interactions. Here, we present a half century of April snowpack data from the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains of California, USA. This high-density network of snow-course data indicates that a gain in winter snow accumulation at higher elevations has compensated loss in snow volume at lower elevations by over 50% and has led to glacier expansion on Mt. Shasta. These trends are concurrent with a region-wide increase in winter temperatures up to 2° C. They result from the orographic lifting and saturation of warmer, more humid air leading to increased precipitation at higher elevations. Previous studies have invoked such a "Snow Gun" effect to explain contemporaneous records of Tertiary ocean warming and rapid glacial expansion. A climatological context of the California's "snow gun" effect is elucidated by correlation between the elevation distribution of April SWE observations and the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Nino Southern Oscillation, both controlling the heat and moisture delivered to the U.S. Pacific coast. The existence of a significant "Snow Gun" effect presents two challenges to snow and glacier mass

  2. Method of Manufacturing a Micromechanical Oscillating Mass Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Altemir, David A. (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    A micromechanical oscillating mass balance and method adapted for measuring minute quantities of material deposited at a selected location, such as during a vapor deposition process. The invention comprises a vibratory composite beam which includes a dielectric layer sandwiched between two conductive layers.The beam is positioned in a magnetic field. An alternating current passes through one conductive layers, the beam oscillates, inducing an output current in the second conductive layer, which is analyzed to determine the resonant frequency of the beam. As material is deposited on the beam, the mass of the beam increases and the resonant frequency of the beam shifts, and the mass added is determined.

  3. Isospin effects on the mass dependence of the balance energy

    SciTech Connect

    Gautam, Sakshi; Sood, Aman D.

    2010-07-15

    We study the effect of isospin degree of freedom on balance energy throughout the mass range between 50 and 350 for two sets of isotopic systems with N/A= 0.54 and 0.57 as well as isobaric systems with N/A= 0.5 and 0.58. Our findings indicate that different values of balance energy for two isobaric systems may be mainly due to the Coulomb repulsion. We also demonstrate clearly the dominance of Coulomb repulsion over symmetry energy.

  4. A review of remote sensing methods for glacier mass balance determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamber, Jonathan L.; Rivera, Andres

    2007-10-01

    Airborne and satellite remote sensing is the only practical approach for deriving a wide area, regional assessment of glacier mass balance. A number of remote sensing approaches are possible for inferring the mass balance from some sort of proxy estimate. Here, we review the key methods relevant, in particular to Andean glaciers, discussing their strengths and weaknesses, and data sets that could be more fully exploited. We also consider future satellite missions that will provide advances in our observational capabilities. The methods discussed include observation of elevation changes, estimation of ice flux, repeat measurement of changes in spatial extent, snowline elevation and accumulation-ablation area ratio estimation. The methods are illustrated utilising a comprehensive review of results obtained from a number of studies of South American glaciers, focusing specifically on the Patagonian Icefields. In particular, we present some new results from Glaciar Chico, Southern Patagonian Icefield, Chile, where a variety of different satellite and in-situ data have been combined to estimate mass balance using a geodetic or elevation change approach over about a 25 yr period.

  5. A better GRACE solution for improving the regional Greenland mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrama, E.; Xu, Z.

    2012-04-01

    In most GRACE based researches, a variety of smoothing methods is employed to remove alternating bands of positive and negative stripes stretching in the north-south direction. Many studies have suggested to smooth the GRACE maps, on which mass variations are represented as equivalent water height (EWH). Such maps are capable of exposing the redistribution of earth surface mass over time. In Greenland the shrinking of the ice cap becomes significant in the last decade. Our present study confirms that the dominating melting trends are in the east and southeast coastal zones, however, the smoothed signals along the coastline in these areas do not represent the original but averaged measurements from GRACE satellites which means the signal strength indicating that negative mass variations are mixed with some positive signals that are very close to this area. An exact identification of the topographic edge is not possible and visually the EWH maps appear to be blurred. To improve this, we firstly used spherical harmonic coefficients of GRACE level-2 data from CSR-RL04 and produced a smoothed EWH map. Empirical Orthogonal Functions(EOF)/Principal Component Analysis(PCA) have been introduced as well, in order to extract the melting information associated with the recent warming climate. Next, the Greenland area is redefined by 16 basins and the corresponding melting zones are quantified respectively. Least Squares methods are invoked to interpolate the mass distribution function on each basin. In this way we are able to estimate more accurately regional ice melting rate and we sharpen the EWH map. After comparing our results with a hydrological model the combination SMB - D is established which contains the surface mass balance (SMB) and ice-discharge (D). A general agreement can be reached and it turns out this method is capable to enhance our understanding of the shrinking global cryosphere

  6. Climate, not atmospheric deposition, drives the biogeochemical mass-balance of a mountain watershed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Heath, Jared

    2014-01-01

    Watershed mass-balance methods are valuable tools for demonstrating impacts to water quality from atmospheric deposition and chemical weathering. Owen Bricker, a pioneer of the mass-balance method, began applying mass-balance modeling to small watersheds in the late 1960s and dedicated his career to expanding the literature and knowledge of complex watershed processes. We evaluated long-term trends in surface-water chemistry in the Loch Vale watershed, a 660-ha. alpine/subalpine catchment located in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA. Many changes in surface-water chemistry correlated with multiple drivers, including summer or monthly temperature, snow water equivalent, and the runoff-to-precipitation ratio. Atmospheric deposition was not a significant causal agent for surface-water chemistry trends. We observed statistically significant increases in both concentrations and fluxes of weathering products including cations, SiO2, SO4 2−, and ANC, and in inorganic N, with inorganic N being primarily of atmospheric origin. These changes are evident in the individual months June, July, and August, and also in the combined June, July, and August summer season. Increasingly warm summer temperatures are melting what was once permanent ice and this may release elements entrained in the ice, stimulate chemical weathering with enhanced moisture availability, and stimulate microbial nitrification. Weathering rates may also be enhanced by sustained water availability in high snowpack years. Rapid change in the flux of weathering products and inorganic N is the direct and indirect result of a changing climate from warming temperatures and thawing cryosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Troughs in Ice Sheets and Other Icy Deposits on Mars: Analysis of Their Radiative Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, H. J.

    2000-08-01

    It has long been known that groove-like structures in glaciers and ice sheets can trap more incoming solar radiation than is the case for a 'normal' flat, smooth surface. In this presentation, we shall describe the radiative regimes of typical scarps and troughs on icy surfaces of Mars, and suggest how these features originate and evolve through time. The basis of our analysis is the radiation balance model presented by Pfeffer and Bretherton. Their model considers the visible band radiation regime of a V-shaped groove on a terrestrial ice surface, and shows that absorbed energy can be enhanced by up to 50 percent for grooves with small opening angles and with typical polar values of the solar zenith angle. Our work extends this model by considering: (a) departures from V-shaped geometry, (b) both englacial and surficial dust and debris, and (c) the infrared spectrum. We apply the extended model to various features on the Martian surface, including the spiral-like scarps on the Northern and Southern ice sheets, the large-scale chasms (e.g., Chasm Borealis), and groove-like lineations on valley floors thought to be filled with mixtures of dust and icy substances. In conjunction with study of valley-closure experiments, we suggest that spiral-like scarps and chasms are stable features of the Martian climate regime. We also suggest that further study of scarps and chasms may shed light on the composition (i.e., relative proportions of water ice, carbon-dioxide ice and dust) of the Martian ice sheets and valley fills.

  9. Troughs in Ice Sheets and Other Icy Deposits on Mars: Analysis of Their Radiative Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, H. J.

    2000-01-01

    It has long been known that groove-like structures in glaciers and ice sheets can trap more incoming solar radiation than is the case for a 'normal' flat, smooth surface. In this presentation, we shall describe the radiative regimes of typical scarps and troughs on icy surfaces of Mars, and suggest how these features originate and evolve through time. The basis of our analysis is the radiation balance model presented by Pfeffer and Bretherton. Their model considers the visible band radiation regime of a V-shaped groove on a terrestrial ice surface, and shows that absorbed energy can be enhanced by up to 50 percent for grooves with small opening angles and with typical polar values of the solar zenith angle. Our work extends this model by considering: (a) departures from V-shaped geometry, (b) both englacial and surficial dust and debris, and (c) the infrared spectrum. We apply the extended model to various features on the Martian surface, including the spiral-like scarps on the Northern and Southern ice sheets, the large-scale chasms (e.g., Chasm Borealis), and groove-like lineations on valley floors thought to be filled with mixtures of dust and icy substances. In conjunction with study of valley-closure experiments, we suggest that spiral-like scarps and chasms are stable features of the Martian climate regime. We also suggest that further study of scarps and chasms may shed light on the composition (i.e., relative proportions of water ice, carbon-dioxide ice and dust) of the Martian ice sheets and valley fills.

  10. A high detail benchmark dataset of mid-1980's ice margin positions for all Greenland ice masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrom, A. P.

    2012-12-01

    We introduce the first complete high resolution aerophotogrammetric map of Greenland ice masses, including both the ice sheet and all local glaciers and ice caps (GIC). This PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) product is based on 1:150.000 scale vertical aerial photographs acquired between 1978 and 1987. The flight campaigns covered N and most of NE Greenland in 1978, E and SE Greenland in 1981, all of the west coast from 60°N to 87°N in 1985, and the remaining part of NE Greenland in 1987. Over the following decades, 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 scale topographic maps were produced by GEUS (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland), formerly GGU (Greenland Geological Survey) and by KMS (Danish National Survey and Cadastre). KMS also surveyed the vast majority of geodetic ground control points used for aerotriangulation. We manually edited the vector polygons from these topographic maps to correct issues related to debris covered ice, medial moraines, supraglacial lakes and ice contact lakes. The local ice masses in topological contact with the ice sheet but clearly independent in their ablation and accumulation areas were separated from the ice sheet by manually digitizing ice divides based on surface topography, resulting in all polygons belonging to one of the 'disconnected ice mass', 'local ice mass' or 'ice sheet' classes. The total glacierized area of the ice sheet and GIC in the 1980's was 1,804,638 km2 ± 27,268 km2 and the GIC alone covered 88,083 ± 1,240 km2. This GIC extent is significantly larger than most previously reported estimates, and it is in line with the area of 89,273 ± 2,767 km2 found independently by Rastner et al. (The Cryosphere Discuss., in review) using 1999-2002 30 m Landsat 7 imagery for ice masses with 'no or weak connection' to the ice sheet. It is not possible to assess glacier change by comparing these two aggregate totals because they are indistinguishable within the reported uncertainties, and also