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Sample records for naturener glacier wind

  1. 78 FR 26770 - NaturEner Wind Watch, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-08

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NaturEner Wind Watch, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based... above-referenced proceeding of NaturEner Wind Watch, LLC's application for market-based rate...

  2. 76 FR 69720 - NaturEner Rim Rock Wind Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-09

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NaturEner Rim Rock Wind Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market... in the above-referenced proceeding of NaturEner Rim Rock Wind Energy, LLC's application for...

  3. Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

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

  4. Glacier Area and Mass Variability in the Wind River Range (Wyoming, USA): 2006 to 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maloof, A.; Fang, B.; Tootle, G. A.; Lakshmi, V.; Kerr, G.

    2013-12-01

    The Wind River Range (WRR) is a continuous mountain range approximately 160 km in length in west-central Wyoming, USA. The Wind River Range is host to roughly 680 snow and ice bodies with 63 of these considered glaciers including seven of the ten largest glaciers in the American Rocky Mountains. The presence of glaciers results in meltwater contributions to streamflow during the late summer (July, August, and September - JAS) when snowmelt is decreasing, temperatures are high, precipitation is low, and irrigation demand peaks. Most studies indicate that the glaciers in the Wind River Range have been retreating since the 1850's, the approximate end of the Little Ice Age. Thus, the quantification of glacier meltwater (e.g., volume, mass) contributions to late-summer/early-fall streamflow is important given this resource is dwindling due to glacier recession. In this study, we selected glaciers in the WRR and obtained satellite products of study region. The ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) Level 1B imageries which are at 15 m spatial resolution between 2006~2012 were classified using supervised method and the glacier boundaries were extracted for tracking their changes. By combining ASTER L1B imageries of different years with two remote sensing derived DEM (Digital Elevation Model) datasets: ASTER GDEM (ASTER Global Digital Elevation), which is at 30 m spatial resolution and acquired prior to 2006 and Global Multi-resolution Terrain Elevation Data (GMTED 2010) which is at 250 m, 500 m and 1 km, and acquired in 2010, the 3D-view glacier volumetric loss extent could also be mapped and quantified. Assessing glacier area and volume variability is very important for evaluating and predicting glacier change in response to a changing environment.

  5. 77 FR 62504 - Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-15

    ...-001. Applicants: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC, NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 2, LLC, NaturEner...Ener Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC, et al. Filed Date: 10/1/12. Accession Number: 20121001-5470....

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVisser, Mark H.; Fountain, Andrew G.

    2015-03-01

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

  7. 77 FR 48509 - Combined Notice of Filings #3

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-14

    ... following electric rate filings: Docket Numbers: ER12-2057-000. Applicants: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC. Description: Amendment to Filing of NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC. Filed Date:...

  8. Glacier winds in the Rongbuk Valley, north of Mount Everest: 2. Their role in vertical exchange processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Xuhui; Song, Yu; Zhu, Tong; Lin, Weili; Kang, Ling

    2007-06-01

    High ozone concentrations, combined with low humidity and strong, persistent glacier winds, were found at the surface of Rongbuk Valley, north of Mount Everest, with sharply increased ozone concentrations in their vertical profiles. Glacier winds and their roles in vertical exchange of the atmosphere were investigated numerically to understand the phenomena. A Lagrangian particle dispersion model was used to carry out numerical experiments (forward-in-time simulations) and footprint analysis (backward-in-time simulations). The meteorological data inputs for these experiments were derived from the Advanced Regional Prediction System. Results showed that glacier winds may lead to significant downward transport of 1.5-2 km during the daytime from the northern slopes of Mount Everest. Glacier winds could advance down through the valley, with strong upward motions shown as a rolling up in front of their leading edge. Combining with upslope winds at two sidewalls of the valley or up-valley winds of tributaries, the lifting flows produced strong mixing of the atmosphere to a depth of approximately 3 km. Three-dimensional footprints derived from the particle dispersion model for the observational site, Rongbuk Monastery, clearly show influence from the mountainside of Mount Everest and from the southern part of the valley. The vertical extension of influence was as much as 2-3 km. Good correlation was found between the influence height and the ozone concentration. All the simulation results strongly indicate that the glacier winds and their related vertical exchange processes "pump down" ozone-rich air from upper levels to the surface of the valley.

  9. Turbulence Characteristics in the Atmospheric Surface Layer for Different Wind Regimes over the Tropical Zongo Glacier (Bolivia, S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, Maxime; Sicart, Jean-Emmanuel; Helgason, Warren D.; Wagnon, Patrick

    2015-03-01

    We investigate properties of the turbulent flow and sensible heat fluxes in the atmospheric surface layer of the high elevation tropical Zongo glacier ( m a.s.l., S, Bolivia) from data collected in the dry season from July to August 2007, with an eddy-covariance system and a 6-m mast for wind speed and temperature profiles. Focus is on the predominant downslope wind regime. A low-level wind-speed maximum, around a height of m, is detected in low wind conditions (37 % of the time). In strong wind conditions (39 % of the time), no wind-speed maximum is detected. Statistical and spectral analyses reveal low frequency oscillations of the horizontal wind speed that increase vertical mixing. In strong winds, wavelet analysis shows that coherent structures systematically enhance the turbulent sensible heat fluxes, accounting for 44-52 % of the flux. In contrast, in low wind conditions, the katabatic flow is perturbed by its slow oscillations or meandering motions, inducing erratic turbulent sensible heat fluxes. These motions account for 37-43 % of the flux. On tropical glaciers, the commonly used bulk aerodynamic profile method underestimates the eddy-covariance-based flux, probably because it does not account for low frequency disturbances that influence the surface flow in both wind regimes.

  10. 77 FR 38044 - Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-26

    ...: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/12. Docket Numbers: EG12-79-000. Applicants: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC. Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of NaturEner Glacier Wind.... Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/9/12. Docket Numbers: ER12-2057-000. Applicants: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy...

  11. Bivachnyy Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  12. 78 FR 64488 - Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-29

    ...: 20131017-5104. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/13. Docket Numbers: ER14-118-000. Applicants: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC. Description: NaturEner Glacier Wind Energy 1, LLC submits tariff filing per...

  13. Western Glacier Stonefly

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  14. Western Glacier Stonefly

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  15. A study of turbulent fluxes and their measurement errors for different wind regimes over the tropical Zongo Glacier (16 S) during the dry season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, M.; Sicart, J.-E.; Helgason, W.

    2015-08-01

    Over glaciers in the outer tropics, during the dry winter season, turbulent fluxes are an important sink of melt energy due to high sublimation rates, but measurements in stable surface layers in remote and complex terrains remain challenging. Eddy-covariance (EC) and bulk-aerodynamic (BA) methods were used to estimate surface turbulent heat fluxes of sensible (H) and latent heat (LE) in the ablation zone of the tropical Zongo Glacier, Bolivia (16 S, 5080 m a.s.l.), from 22 July to 1 September 2007. We studied the turbulent fluxes and their associated random and systematic measurement errors under the three most frequent wind regimes. For nightly, density-driven katabatic flows, and for strong downslope flows related to large-scale forcing, H generally heats the surface (i.e. is positive), while LE cools it down (i.e. is negative). On average, both fluxes exhibit similar magnitudes and cancel each other out. Most energy losses through turbulence occur for daytime upslope flows, when H is weak due to small temperature gradients and LE is strongly negative due to very dry air. Mean random errors of the BA method (6 % on net H + LE fluxes) originated mainly from large uncertainties in roughness lengths. For EC fluxes, mean random errors were due mainly to poor statistical sampling of large-scale outer-layer eddies (12 %). The BA method is highly sensitive to the method used to derive surface temperature from longwave radiation measurements and underestimates fluxes due to vertical flux divergence at low heights and nonstationarity of turbulent flow. The EC method also probably underestimates the fluxes, albeit to a lesser extent, due to underestimation of vertical wind speed and to vertical flux divergence. For both methods, when H and LE compensate each other in downslope fluxes, biases tend to cancel each other out or remain small. When the net turbulent fluxes (H + LE) are the largest in upslope flows, nonstationarity effects and underestimations of the vertical wind speed do not compensate, and surface temperature errors are important, so that large biases on H + LE are expected when using both the EC and the BA method.

  16. A study of turbulent fluxes and their measurement errors for different wind regimes over the tropical Zongo glacier (16 S) during the dry season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, M.; Sicart, J.-E.; Helgason, W.

    2015-01-01

    Over glaciers in the outer tropics, during the dry winter season, turbulent fluxes are an important sink of melt energy due to high sublimation rates, but measurements in stable surface layers, in remote and complex terrains remain challenging. Eddy-covariance (EC) and bulk-aerodynamic (BA) methods were used to estimate surface turbulent heat fluxes of sensible (H) and latent heat (LE) in the ablation zone of the tropical Zongo glacier, Bolivia (16 S, 5080 m a.s.l.), from 22 July to 1 September 2007. We studied the turbulent fluxes and their associated random and systematic measurement errors under the three most frequent wind regimes. For nightly, density-driven katabatic flows, and for strong downslope flows related to large-scale forcing, H generally heats the surface (i.e., is positive), while LE cools it down (i.e., is negative). On average, both fluxes exhibit similar magnitudes and cancel each other out. Most energy losses through turbulence occur for daytime upslope flows, when H is weak due to small temperature gradients and LE is strongly negative due to very dry air. Mean random errors of the BA method (6% on net H + LE fluxes) originated mainly from large uncertainties in roughness lengths. For EC fluxes, mean random errors were due mainly to poor statistical sampling of large-scale outer-layer eddies (12%). The BA method is highly sensitive to the method used to derive surface temperature from long-wave radiation measurements and underestimates fluxes due to vertical flux divergence at low heights and nonstationarity of turbulent flow. The EC method also probably underestimates the fluxes, but to a lesser extent, due to underestimation of vertical wind speed and to vertical flux divergence. For both methods, when H and LE compensate each other in downslope fluxes, biases tend to cancel each other out or remain small. When the net turbulent fluxes (H + LE) are the largest in upslope flows, nonstationarity effects and underestimations of the vertical wind speed do not compensate, and surface temperature errors are important, so that large biases on H + LE are expected when using both the EC and the BA method.

  17. Alaska Glaciers and Rivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Glaciers and Global Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Dorothy K.

    1999-01-01

    Glaciers are important indicators of global climate. Glacier recession, as observed from space and in the field, has been occurring for about 100 years. The present extent of glaciers and glaciers in the last Ice Age will be discussed. I will show slides of field work on glaciers and show instruments used to measure ice and snow. I will discuss reasons for studying glaciers and why remote sensing is important for glacier studies.

  19. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... gives rise to the green color of the water; and blue-colored melt ponds are visible in the bright white ice. A scattering of small icebergs in Disco Bay adds a touch of glittery ... Glacier location: Greenland Arctic Ocean thumbnail: ...

  20. Glacier microseismicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Michael E.; Larsen, Christopher F.; Truffer, Martin; O'Neel, Shad; LeBlanc, Laura

    2010-01-01

    We present a framework for interpreting small glacier seismic events based on data collected near the center of Bering Glacier, Alaska, in spring 2007. We find extremely high microseismicity rates (as many as tens of events per minute) occurring largely within a few kilometers of the receivers. A high-frequency class of seismicity is distinguished by dominant frequencies of 20–35 Hz and impulsive arrivals. A low-frequency class has dominant frequencies of 6–15 Hz, emergent onsets, and longer, more monotonic codas. A bimodal distribution of 160,000 seismic events over two months demonstrates that the classes represent two distinct populations. This is further supported by the presence of hybrid waveforms that contain elements of both event types. The high-low-hybrid paradigm is well established in volcano seismology and is demonstrated by a comparison to earthquakes from Augustine Volcano. We build on these parallels to suggest that fluid-induced resonance is likely responsible for the low-frequency glacier events and that the hybrid glacier events may be caused by the rush of water into newly opening pathways.

  1. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Recently, Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discovered in Landsat 7 imagery a newly-formed crack traversing the Pine Island Glacier. This crack is visible as an off-vertical dark line in the MISR nadir view. In the multi-angle composite, the crack and other stress fractures show up very clearly in bright orange. Radar observations of Pine Island Glacier in the 1990's showed the glacier to be shrinking, and the newly discovered crack is expected to eventually lead to the calving of a major iceberg.

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

  2. Alpine Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 27 August 2003

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

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

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

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  4. Muir Glacier Retreats

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  5. Columbia Glacier Terminus

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  6. Principles of Glacier Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddington, Edwin D.

    Glaciers are awesome in size and move at a majestic pace, and they frequently occupy spectacular mountainous terrain. Naturally, many Earth scientists are attracted to glaciers. Some of us are even fortunate enough to make a career of studying glacier flow. Many others work on the large, flat polar ice sheets where there is no scenery. As a leader of one of the foremost research projects now studying the flow of mountain glaciers (Storglaciaren, Norway), Roger Hooke is well qualified to describe the principles of glacier mechanics. Principles of Glacier Mechanics is written for upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students with an interest in glaciers and the landforms that glaciers produce. While most of the examples in the text are drawn from valley glacier studies, much of the material is also relevant to glacier flatland on the polar ice sheets.

  7. USGS collects ice core through Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naftz, David L.; Miller, Kirk A.

    1992-01-01

    On August 24, 1991, a U.S. Geological Survey study team from Wyoming completed a core hole to bedrock underlying Upper Fremont Glacier in the Wind River Range of central Wyoming. During the month of core drilling, the team collected a 160-m ice core from the glacier at an elevation of 4000 m above sea level using a solar-powered thermal drill (See photo). The drill was constructed and operated by personnel from the Polar Ice Coring Office (PICO) in Fairbanks, Alaska.The 1991 drilling project is part of ongoing research conducted by the USGS since 1988 on temperate glaciers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. The objective of the project is to use variations in concentrations of chemical and isotopic constituents in samples of ice cores to reconstruct records of the chemical quality of atmospheric deposition and to extend long-term climatic records. A maximum of 300-500 years of record is estimated to be available in upper accumulation zones of the Wind River Range glaciers. The proximity of the Wind River Range glaciers to atmospheric pollution sources in the western United States makes them unique environmental records. Cooperating in the project were the Shoshone and Arapaho Indian tribes, Wyoming Water Development Commission, PICO, Wyoming State Engineer, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

  8. Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay National Monument 1941

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  9. Glaciers: A water resource

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, Mark; Post, Austin

    1995-01-01

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

  10. Testing geographical and climatic controls on glacier retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freudiger, Daphn; Stahl, Kerstin; Weiler, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Glacier melt provides an important part of the summer discharge in many mountainous basins. The understanding of the processes behind the glacier mass losses and glacier retreats observed during the last century is therefore relevant for a sustainable management of the water resources and reliable models for the prediction of future changes. The changes in glacier area of 49 sub-basins of the Rhine River in the Alps were analyzed for the time period 1900-2010 by comparing the glacier areas of Siegfried maps for the years 1900 and 1940 with satellite derived glacier areas for the years 1973, 2003 and 2010. The aim was to empirically investigate the controls of glacier retreat and its regional differences. All glaciers in the glacierized basins retreated over the last 110 years with some variations in the sub-periods. However, the relative changes in glacier area compared to 1900 differed for every sub-basin and some glaciers decreased much faster than others. These observed differences were related to a variety of different potential controls derived from different sources, including mean annual solar radiation on the glacier surface, average slope, mean glacier elevation, initial glacier area, average precipitation (summer and winter), and the precipitation catchment area of the glacier. We fitted a generalized linear model (GLM) and selected predictors that were significant to assess the individual effects of the potential controls. The fitted model explains more than 60% of the observed variance of the relative change in glacier area with the initial area alone only explaining a small proportion. Some interesting patterns emerge with higher average elevation resulting in higher area changes, but steeper slopes or solar radiation resulting in lower relative glacier area changes. Further controls that will be tested include snow transport by wind or avalanches as they play an important role for the glacier mass balance and potentially reduce the changes in glacier area. The derived predictors will be further analyzed and the observed general patterns will be compared to modeling studies of glacier changes.

  11. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. The thermophysics of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Zotikov, I.A.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Mauro; Huss, Matthias; Hoelzle, Martin

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Columbia Glacier Calving

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  15. Photographer Overlooking Columbia Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  16. Denali Fault: Susitna Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

    It has been suggested that glaciers on two stratovolcanoes in the Cascade Range of Washington state, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak, achieved their maximum extent of the past 10,000 years during the early Holocene. These findings differ from most evidence in western North America, which indicates that Little Ice Age moraines represent the most extensive glacier advances of the Holocene. Significant early Holocene advances are difficult to reconcile with the documented warm, dry conditions at this time in western North America. Our data indicate that glaciers on these volcanoes responded similarly to Holocene climatic events as glaciers in other areas in Washington and British Columbia. Heavy winter accumulation and favorable hypsometry have been proposed as the explanations for the unusual behavior of glaciers on volcanoes compared to similar-sized glaciers elsewhere in the Cascade Range. However, glacier mass balance on the volcanoes is controlled by not only these factors, but also by glacier geometry, snow erosion and ablation. Accumulation zones of glaciers on isolated Cascade stratovolcanoes are high, but are narrow at the top. For example, the accumulation zone of Deming Glacier on the southwest side of Mt. Baker extends above 3000 m asl, but due to its wedge shape lies largely below 2500 m asl. Furthermore, glaciers on Mt. Baker and other symmetrical volcanoes have high ablation rates because they are not shaded, and south-southwest aspects are subject to erosion of snow by prevailing southwesterly winds. Modern glacier observations in the North Cascades quantify the important influence of aspect and snow erosion on glacier mass balance. For example, average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of Easton Glacier on the south flank of Mt. Baker is 2160 m, whereas the ELA of a north-facing cirque glacier 25km to the east is 2040m. Our research at Mt. Baker contradicts the claim of extensive early Holocene advances on the south flank of the volcano. Tephra set SC, which has been radiocarbon dated to about 8850 14C yr old, is found on ridges that were previously mapped as moraines younger than the tephra. This relation indicates that "early Holocene" ridges are more than 8850 14C yr old, with their maximum age unconstrained. Most of the radial ridges previously mapped as moraines cannot be conclusively shown to be moraines; they could be lahar levees or diamict-covered bedrock ridges, which are common on Cascade stratovolcanoes. Our data indicate that the record of middle and late Holocene glaciation on Mt. Baker is similar, if not identical, to that reported from the British Columbia Coast Mountains. Consequently, there is no reason to believe that the history of Holocene glaciation on Cascade volcanoes is radically different than elsewhere in western North America.

  20. Ablation of Martian glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Henry J.; Davis, Philip A.

    1987-01-01

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

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoclimate and alpine glacier fluctuations recorded by high-resolution grain-size data from an alpine lake sediment core, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson Davis, P.; Machalett, Björn; Gosse, John

    2013-04-01

    Varved lake sediments, which provide ideal high-resolution climate proxies, are not commonly available in many geographic areas over long time scales. This paper utilizes high-resolution grain-size analyses (n = 1040) from a 520-cm long sediment core from Lower Titcomb Lake (LTL), which lies just outside the type Titcomb Basin (TTB) moraines in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. The TTB moraines lie between Lower Titcomb Lake and Upper Titcomb Lake (UTL), about 3 km beyond, and 200 m lower than the modern glacier margin and Gannett Peak (Little Ice Age) moraines in the basin. Based on cosmogenic exposure dating, the TTB moraines are believed to be Younger Dryas (YD) age (Gosse et al., 1995) and lie in a geomorphic position similar to several other outer cirque moraines throughout the western American Cordillera. Until recently, many of these outer cirque moraines were believed to be Neoglacial age. The sediment core discussed here is one of five obtained from the two Titcomb Lakes, but is by the far the longest with the oldest sediment depositional record. Two AMS radiocarbon ages from the 445- and 455-cm core depths (about 2% loss on ignition, LOI) suggest that the lake basin may have been ice-free as early as 16.1 or even 16.8 cal 14C kyr, consistent with 10Be and 26Al exposure ages from boulders and bedrock surfaces outside the TTB moraines. The 257-cm depth in the core marks an abrupt transition from inorganic, sticky gray silt below (<1% LOI) to more organic, less sticky, light brown silt above (4-10% LOI). Eight AMS radiocarbon ages on bulk sediment and macrofossils date the transition to about 11.6 cal 14C kyr. Thus, sampling resolution above the transition is about 22.57 yr and below the transition is about 12.56 yr, consistent with a decreased sediment accumulation rate in LTL when Younger Dryas ice pulled back from the TTB moraines opening up UTL as a sediment depositional basin. The presented high-resolution grain size record reveals amplitudes and other structural features similar to delta 18O records from deep-lake ostracods in southern Germany, the Greenland ice core record, and speleothems in China. Major increases in the 2 - 8 µm grain size fraction indicative of increased glacier rock flour production between the 257 and 466 cm core depths appear to be roughly correlative with the YD-Alleröd-Bölling-Meiendorf-Heinrich 1 climate events recognized in other terrestrial records and Northern Atlantic Ocean marine cores, but provide much higher resolution than most of those records from a climate-sensitive alpine region in North America.

  2. Bruggen Glacier, Chile

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  3. A strategy for monitoring glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. Knik Glacier; Alaska, May 1979 monument and glacier survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trabant, Dennis C.; Mayo, L.R.

    1979-01-01

    From 1915, or earlier, to 1966, with the exception of 1963, Knik Glacier annually formed and released Lake George, the largest glacier-dammed lake in Alaska. Eleven geodetically controlled survey stations were defined in the basin, and 22 glacier surface altitudes were measured. This is the first effort in a continuing program whose goal is predicting the future behavior of Knik Glacier and Lake George. (Kosco-USGS)

  6. 2008 Wind Energy Projects, Wind Powering America (Poster)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2009-01-01

    The Wind Powering America program produces a poster at the end of every calendar year that depicts new U.S. wind energy projects. The 2008 poster includes the following projects: Stetson Wind Farm in Maine; Dutch Hill Wind Farm in New York; Grand Ridge Wind Energy Center in Illinois; Hooper Bay, Alaska; Forestburg, South Dakota; Elbow Creek Wind Project in Texas; Glacier Wind Farm in Montana; Wray, Colorado; Smoky Hills Wind Farm in Kansas; Forbes Park Wind Project in Massachusetts; Spanish Fork, Utah; Goodland Wind Farm in Indiana; and the Tatanka Wind Energy Project on the border of North Dakota and South Dakota.

  7. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  8. Debris-Free Plateau Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  9. Late Glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations at high Northern latitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, J.; Wittmeier, H. E.; Schaefer, J. M.; Vasskog, K.; Rothe, T.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last decade numerous glaciers and glacier forelands connected to distal glacier-fed lakes have been mapped and sampled in Scandinavia and in the Arctic with the purpose to obtain high resolution records of past glacier fluctuations. Direct dating of moraines combined with multi proxy analyses of lake sediments is shown to be a powerful tool for robust glacier reconstructions. We have emphasised comparing different sediment parameters by means of statistical methods as well as integrating chronological uncertainties along with uncertainties of reconstructed glacier activity. Here we will present several new and un- published studies showing the potential to use distal glacier-fed lakes to resolve the puzzle of past climate. For the Late-Glacial and early Holocene we present and discuss new data along the Arctic coast of Norway that with its high precision shows that the late glacial culmination occurred around 14.1 followed by rapid retreat of land based glaciers throughout the Late Glacial except from glacier advances during the Intra Allerd Cold period and at the very end of the Younger Dryas time period. For the Neoglacial we will present new data from Lyngen in Arctic Norway towards Svalbard discussing the onset and type of variability as recorded in lake sediment along the coast. For the late Holocene we will present a new high resolution spatiotemporal reconstruction from the small plateau glacier Northern Folgefonna in western Norway covering the last 1200yrs. Reliably proxy reconstructions reflecting seasonal changes in past atmospheric circulation are sparse. However, it is shown that winter accumulation on glaciers in western Norway is highly sensitive to changes in the strength of wintertime westerly winds, which makes them valuable recorders of past atmospheric circulation. Our spatiotemporal reconstruction is based on an integrated study of terrestrial moraine sequences, sub-glacial topography, and multi-proxy records from two distal glacier-fed lakes located at the opposite sides of the glacier in an east-west transect indicating that the" Little Ice Age" was caused by a strengthening of the westerlies.

  10. Karakoram glacier surge dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Glaciers of Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

    Landsat imagery, combined with aerial photography, sketch maps, and diagrams, is used as the basis for a description of the geography, climatology, and glaciology, including mass balance, variation, and hazards, of the Greenland ice sheet and local ice caps and glaciers. The Greenland ice sheet, with an estimated area of 1,736,095+/-100 km2 and volume of 2,600,000 km3, is the second largest glacier on the planet and the largest relict of the Ice Age in the Northern Hemisphere. Greenland also has 48,599+/-100 km2 of local ice caps and other types of glaciers in coastal areas and islands beyond the margin of the ice sheet.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Denali Fault: Black Rapids Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  14. Greenland Glacier Albedo Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Exploring the links between transient water inputs and glacier velocity in a small temperate glacier in southeastern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heavner, M.; Habermann, M.; Hood, E. W.; Fatland, D. R.

    2009-12-01

    Glaciers along the Gulf of Alaska are thinning and retreating rapidly. An important control on the rate at which ice is being lost is basal motion because higher glacier velocities increase the rate at which ice is delivered to ablation zones. Recent research has focused on understanding the effects of sub-glacial water storage on glacier basal motion. In this study, we examined two seasons of the effect of hydrologic controls (from large rainfall events as well as a glacier lake outburst floods) on the velocity of the Lemon Creek Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Lemon Creek Glacier is a moderately sized (~16~km2) temperate glacier at the margin of the Juneau Icefield. An ice-marginal lake forms at the head of the glacier and catastrophically drains once or twice every melt season. We have instrumented the glacier with two meteorological stations: one at the head of the glacier near the ice-marginal lake and another several kilometers below the terminus. These stations measure temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, incoming solar radiation and wind speed and direction. Lake stage in the ice-marginal lake was monitored with a pressure transducer. In addition, Lemon Creek was instrumented with a water quality sonde at the location of a US Geological Survey gaging station approximately 3 km downstream from the glacier terminus. The sonde provides continuous measurements of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and conductivity. Finally, multiple Trimble NetRS dual frequency, differential GPS units were deployed on the glacier along the centerline of the glacier. All of the instruments were run continuously from May-September 2008 and May-September 2009 and captured threee outburst floods associated with the ice-marginal lake drainage as well as several large (>3~cm) rainfall events associated with frontal storms off of the Gulf of Alaska in late summer. Taken together, these data allow us to test the hypothesis that water inputs which overwhelm subglacial drainage networks result in increased rates of basal motion. 2008 was an extremely rainy summer, and the (single) lake drainage occurred during the largest precipitation even of the summer. 2009 on the other hand, was comparatively dry and sunny for the majority of the summer--the first lake drainage occurred during a several day stretch of sunny weather. The lake refilled during an extreme rainfall (20 cm of rain was recorded in a 24 hour period at a met station 16 km away and about 500 m lower in elevation) and then subsequently drained during a rainy period. We focus on the comparison of the data from two years, including the glacial response to the lake drainage with and without accompanying precipitation inputs.

  16. Exploring the links between transient water inputs and glacier velocity in a small temperate glacier in southeastern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habermann, M.; Hood, E.; Heavner, M.; Motyka, R.

    2008-12-01

    Glaciers along the Gulf of Alaska are thinning and retreating rapidly and over the last century this loss of ice has contributed measurably to global sea level rise. An important control on the rate at which ice is being lost is basal motion because higher glacier velocities increase the rate at which ice is delivered to ablation zones. Recent research has focused on understanding the effects of sub-glacial water storage on glacier basal motion. In this study, we examined how water inputs from large rainfall events as well as a glacier lake outburst flood affected the velocity of the Lemon Creek Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Lemon Creek Glacier is a moderately sized (~16~km2) temperate glacier at the margin of the Juneau Icefield. An ice- marginal lake forms at the head of the glacier and catastrophically drains once or twice every melt season. We have instrumented the glacier with two meteorological stations: one at the head of the glacier near the ice-marginal lake and another several kilometers below the terminus. These stations measure temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, incoming solar radiation and wind speed and direction. Lake stage in the ice- marginal lake was monitored with a pressure transducer. In addition, Lemon Creek was instrumented with a water quality sonde at the location of a US Geological Survey gaging station approximately 3 km downstream from the glacier terminus. The sonde provides continuous measurements of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and conductivity. Finally, two Trimble NetRS dual frequency, differential GPS units were deployed on the glacier at approximately 1/3 and 2/3 down the centerline of the glacier. All of the instruments were run continuously from May-September 2008 and captured the outburst flood associated with the ice-marginal lake drainage as well as several large (>3~cm) rainfall events associated with frontal storms off of the Gulf of Alaska in late summer. Taken together, these data allow us to test the hypothesis that water inputs which overwhelm subglacial drainage networks result in increased rates of basal motion.

  17. Svalbard surging glacier landsystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The percentage of Svalbard glaciers thought to be of surge-type is somewhere between 13-90% according to different sources variously based on statistical analysis and observations of diagnostic glaciological and geomorphological features, e.g. looped moraines. Developing a better understanding of which of these figures, if either, is most realistic is important in the context of glacier dynamics and related contributions of small glaciers and ice caps to sea level change in the immediate future. We present detailed geomorphological assessments of the margins of several known surge-type glaciers in Svalbard in order to update and improve the existing framework by which they are identified, and to provide a foundation for future reassessments of the surge-type glacier population based on distinct landform-sediment assemblages. Three landsystems are proposed: (1) Surges of small valley glaciers produce a prominent ice-cored latero-frontal moraine at their surge maximum and are characterised by an inner zone of ice stagnation terrain (hummocky topography, kettle lakes, debris flows) with no or only very few poorly-defined bedforms (crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes) and no recessional moraines. Many of these glaciers may have surged in the past but show no signs that they have the capability to do so again in the future. (2) Larger land-terminating glaciers, often with several tributaries, typically produce a push moraine complex which contains evidence for multiple advances, as identified from ridge-meltwater channel relationships. The inner zone often contains a large lagoon, partly dammed by the push moraine complex, and widespread ice stagnation terrain. Crevasse squeeze ridges, eskers and flutes are well-defined but small and limited in number and distribution. (3) Surges of large tidewater glaciers produce distinctive, often multi-generational, landform assemblages both in submarine and lateral terrestrial positions. The well-preserved submarine record is characterised by large cross-fjord push moraines of fjord floor sediments with lobe-shaped debris flows on their distal slope, glacial lineations, dense rhombohedral networks of crevasse squeeze ridges, and eskers. Annual push moraines associated with the quiescent phase are also observed and are unique to the submarine record. The terrestrial record consists of large lateral moraine systems alongside the fjord which contain outer push ridges composed of shallow marine sediments and an inner zone of ice stagnation terrain. Eskers, flutes and large, sharp-crested crevasse fill ridges in dense networks are superimposed on this inner zone; the latter are similar in character to their submarine counterparts but typically higher. We suggest that these three landsystems broadly characterise the geomorphology of the vast majority of known Svalbard surge-type glaciers and may allow previously unknown surge-type glaciers to be identified, both in the field and from aerial photographs and sea floor imagery.

  18. Pine Island Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

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

  19. Glacier generated floods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Impact of Air Temperature Distributed Calculation in Glacier Mass Balance Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalla Fontana, G.; Carturan, L.; Cazorzi, F.

    2014-12-01

    Distributed models of snow and ice mass balance enable a better understanding of processes involved in glacier hydrology and the prediction of glacier runoff under possible future climatic scenarios. The so-called 'Enhanced Temperature-Index' (ETI) melt models are a good compromise between model simplicity, parsimony of input data, and the capability to account for dominant processes in snow and ice mass balance. Accurate spatial calculation of temperature input data is crucial, given the key role of air temperature in modeling ablation and accumulation processes, further emphasized in ETI models. Compared to ambient conditions, lower temperatures (the so-called glacier cooling effect), and temperature variability (the so-called glacier damping effect) generally occur over glaciers, complicating the extrapolation from off-glacier weather stations. A comprehensive dataset of mass balance measurements and high-altitude meteorological observations was collected on La Mare and Careser glaciers (Ortles-Cevedale, Italian Alps) in 2010 and 2011. This dataset was used to analyze the air temperature distribution and wind regime over the glaciers, and to evaluate the impact of different calculation methods proposed in the literature for calculating on-glacier temperatures from off-glacier data. A general-purpose ETI model (EISModel - Energy Index Snow-and-ice Model) was used for simulating snow and ice accumulation and melt processes. Results indicate that i) none of the existing methods fully accounts for the actual temperature distribution over glaciers, ii) even small deviations in air temperature calculations strongly impact the simulations, and iii) there is an important positive feedback related to glacier shrinking and disintegration. Among the tested methods, the more physically-based procedure of Greuell and Bohm (1998) provided the best overall results. Therefore, it was implemented in EISModel for distributed air temperature calculations over glaciers.

  1. The Natural Variability of Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, G.

    2012-04-01

    Glaciers respond to both the natural variability that is intrinsic to a constant climate and also to the trends and shifts that constitute actual climate change. Over the last ten years a series of studies has shown, for a variety of climatic and glacier settings, that the standard deviation (1 sigma) of natural glacier-length fluctuations may range from 300 to 600 m. By definition of the standard deviation, a glacier will spend approximately 5% of its time outside 2? (and 1% of its time outside of 3?). Thus, fluctuations of several kilometers can be expected to occur every few centuries, even without any climate change. Because these magnitudes rival those commonly interpreted as reflecting Holocene climate changes, it is vital to improve our understanding of these natural glacier fluctuations. The physical basis for this behavior is presented. The magnitude and duration of natural glacier fluctuations depends straightforwardly on the geometry and average climate of the glacier setting, and the probability distribution of interannual climate variability. Such dependence can be demonstrated in a simple linear glacier model. The analyses are supplemented by detailed dynamical flowline modeling of glaciers around Mt. Baker in Washington State, and Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  3. Mt. Kilimanjaro's Receding Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), the highest point in all Africa, was photographed by the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-97 on December 2, 2000 (STS097-701-17). Kilimanjaro (Kilima Njaro or 'shining mountain' in Swahili) is capped by glaciers on its southern and southwestern flanks. The glaciers and snow cap covered a far greater area ten years prior to the view above. Compare the photograph above with a photograph of Kilimanjaro taken in November 1990 by the Space Shuttle mission STS-38 crew. Shuttle photograph provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. Additional photographs taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed via the NASA - JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

  4. Icefall on the Lambert Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Lambert Glacier in Antarctica is the world's largest glacier. The focal point of this image is an icefall that feeds into the Lambert glacier from the vast ice sheet covering the polar plateau. Ice flows like water, albeit much more slowly. Cracks can be seen in this icefall as it bends and twists on its slow-motion descent 1300 feet (400 meters) to the glacier below. This image was acquired by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on December 2, 2000. This is a false-color composite image made using infrared, red, and green wavelengths. The image has also been sharpened using the sensor's panchromatic band.

  5. Air temperature, radiation budget and area changes of Quisoquipina glacier in the Cordillera Vilcanota (Peru)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez, Wilson; Macedo, Nicolás; Montoya, Nilton; Arias, Sandro; Schauwecker, Simone; Huggel, Christian; Rohrer, Mario; Condom, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    The Peruvian Andes host about 71% of all tropical glaciers. Although several studies have focused on glaciers of the largest glaciered mountain range (Cordillera Blanca), other regions have received little attention to date. In 2011, a new program has been initiated with the aim of monitoring glaciers in the centre and south of Peru. The monitoring program is managed by the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología del Perú (SENAMHI) and it is a joint project together with the Universidad San Antonio Abad de Cusco (UNSAAC) and the Autoridad Nacional del Agua (ANA). In Southern Peru, the Quisoquipina glacier has been selected due to its representativeness for glaciers in the Cordillera Vilcanota considering area, length and orientation. The Cordillera Vilcanota is the second largest mountain range in Peru with a glaciated area of approximately 279 km2 in 2009. Melt water from glaciers in this region is partly used for hydropower in the dry season and for animal breeding during the entire year. Using Landsat 5 images, we could estimate that the area of Quisoquipina glacier has decreased by approximately 11% from 3.66 km2 in 1990 to 3.26 km2 in 2010. This strong decrease is comparable to observations of other tropical glaciers. In 2011, a meteorological station has been installed on the glacier at 5180 m asl., measuring air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, net short and longwave radiation and atmospheric pressure. Here, we present a first analysis of air temperature and the radiation budget at the Quisoquipina glacier for the first three years of measurements. Additionally, we compare the results from Quisoquipina glacier to results obtained by the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) for Zongo glacier (Bolivia) and Antizana glacier (Ecuador). For both, Quisoquipina and Zongo glacier, net shortwave radiation may be the most important energy source, thus indicating the important role of albedo in the energy balance of the glacier surface. This indicates the importance of understanding the role of snow cover in ablation processes of tropical glaciers.

  6. Muir Glacier in Glacier Bay National Monument 2004

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    This August 2004 photo further documents the significant changes that have occurred during the 63 years between photographs A and C, and during the 54 years between photographs B and C. Muir Glacier has retreated out of the field of view and is now nearly 5 miles to the northwest. Riggs Glacier has ...

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

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

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

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance years 2006 and 2007. Mass balances were computed with assistance from a new model that was based on the works of other glacier researchers. The model, which was developed for mass balance practitioners, coupled selected meteorological and glaciological data to systematically estimate daily mass balance at selected glacier sites. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated approximately average to above average winter snow packs during 2006 and 2007. Correspondingly, the balance years 2006 and 2007 maximum winter snow mass balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.61 and 3.41 meters water equivalent, respectively, were approximately equal to or more positive (larger) than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2006 glacier summer balance, -4.20 meters water equivalent, was among the four most negative since 1959. The 2007 glacier summer balance, -3.63 meters water equivalent, was among the 14 most negative since 1959. The glacier continued to lose mass during 2006 and 2007, as it commonly has since 1953, but the loss was much smaller during 2007 than during 2006. The 2006 glacier net balance, -1.59 meters water equivalent, was 1.02 meters water equivalent more negative (smaller) than the average during 1953-2005. The 2007 glacier net balance, -0.22 meters water equivalent, was 0.37 meters water equivalent less negative (larger) than the average during 1953-2006. The 2006 accumulation area ratio was less than 0.10, owing to isolated patches of accumulated snow that endured the 2006 summer season. The 2006 equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The 2007 accumulation area ratio and equilibrium line altitude were 0.60 and 1,880 meters, respectively. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The terminus retreated at a rate of about 13 meters per year during balance year 2006 and at a rate of about 8 meters per year during balance year 2007. Glacier area near the end of balance years 2006 and 2007 was 1.74 and 1.73 square kilometers, respectively. Runoff from the basin containing the glacier and from an adjacent nonglacierized basin was gaged during all or parts of water years 2006 and 2007. Air temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations on and near the glacier. Air-temperature over the glacier at a height of 2 meters generally was less than at the same altitude in the air mass away from the glacier. Cooling of the air by the glacier increased systematically with increasing ambient air temperature. Empirically based equations were developed to estimate 2-meter-height air temperature over the glacier at five sites from site altitude and temperature at a non-glacier reference site.

  10. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

  11. Chernobyl fallout on Alpine glaciers

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

  12. ASTER Image of Gangotri Glacier

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  13. Patagonia Glacier, Chile

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This ASTER images was acquired on May 2, 2000 over the North Patagonia Ice Sheet, Chile near latitude 47 degrees south, longitude 73 degrees west. The image covers 36 x 30 km. The false color composite displays vegetation in red. The image dramatically shows a single large glacier, covered with crevasses. A semi-circular terminal moraine indicates that the glacier was once more extensive than at present. ASTER data are being acquired over hundreds of glaciers worldwide to measure their changes over time. Since glaciers are sensitive indicators of warming or cooling, this program can provide global data set critical to understand climate change.

    This image is located at 46.5 degrees south latitude and 73.9 degrees west longitude.

    Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is the U.S. Science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface.

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

  14. Mass balance modelling of a debris cover glacier: the case study of Miage Glacier, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carenzo, Marco; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Mabillard, Johan; Reid, Tim; Brock, Ben; Burlando, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    The growing interest in the response of glaciers to a changing climate has put large attention on the development of models of glaciers response, and mass balance models in particular, and efforts are been made to improve their accuracy and predictive skills. A key component that is receiving increasing attention is the role played by debris cover on the response of glaciers. Thin layers of debris enhance melt by increasing absorption of shortwave radiation, while thicker covers reduce melt by insulating it. This has an effect on the surface energy balance, melt rates under debris, runoff production, mass balance and ultimately glacier flow. An accurate representation of the effect of debris seems therefore important, also in view of the significant increase of the debris cover extent over glaciers associated to a warming climate. Distributed debris energy-balance (EB) models have been recently developed to account for the melt rate enhancing/reduction due to a thin/thick debris layer, respectively. Application of EB models at the glacier and regional scale however is associated with an increase of computational efforts and large uncertainties related to the spatial changes in the debris cover properties (thickness and conductivity) as well as extrapolation of the input meteorological data such as wind, temperature and radiative fluxes. In this paper we present a model for simulations of past and future mass balance of debris covered glaciers that relies on more limited input data than required by a full EB model. The model is tested against simulations from an EB model. The new debris enhanced temperature-index model (DETI) accounts for the debris thickness feedback (Ostrem curve) through a parameterisation that includes variable debris thickness. The model is developed and then used for continuous simulations on the extensively debris-covered Miage Glacier, Italy. First, we run the distributed debris energy balance model for the ablation season 2005, when all the meteorological variables required as input to the physically based approach are available. To evaluate the performance of the empirical approach, we then compare the energy balance model outputs against the simulations of the new DETI model. The model outputs are also validated against ablation stake readings at 22 locations. Second, the empirical approach is run for the period 2005-2011 and continuous time series of glacier mass balance are compared to those obtained with the same empirical approach with simple reduction coefficients. Accumulation is modelled by spatially distributing precipitation with a gradient and accounting for redistribution of snow by gravity. Our main result is that an empirical approach accounting for the warming/insulating effect as a function of the debris thickness, as the DETI model, is able to simulate the glacier melt rate similarly to the more complex energy-balance model. We also show a clear difference with respect to the model with simple reduction parameters that does not take into account the variable effect of debris thickness.

  15. Mechanical and hydrologic basis for the rapid motion of a large tidewater glacier. 1: Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meier, Mark; Lundstrom, Scott; Stone, Dan; Kamb, Barclay; Engelhardt, Hermann; Humphrey, Neil; Dunlap, William W.; Fahnestock, Mark; Krimmel, Robert M.; Walters, Roy

    1994-01-01

    Measurements of glacier flow velocity and basal water pressure at two sites on Columbia Glacier, Alaska, are combined with meteorological and hydrologic data to provide an observational basis for assessing the role of water storage and basal water pressure in the rapid movement of this large glacier. During the period from July 5 to August 31, 1987, coordinated observations were made of glacier surface motion and of water level in five boreholes drilled to (or in one case near to) the glacier bed at two sites, 5 and 12 km from the terminus. Glacier velocities increased downglacier in this reach from about 4 m/d to about 7 m/d. Three types of time variation in velocity and other variables were revealed: (1) Diurnal fluctuation in water input/output, borehole water level, and ice velocity (fluctuation amplitude 5 to 8%); (2) Speed-up events in glacier motion (15-30% speed-up), lasting about three days, and ocurring at times of enhanced input of water, in some cases from rain and in others from ice ablation enhanced by strong, warm winds; (3) 'Extra-slowdown' events, in which, after a speed-up event, the ice velocity decreased in about 3 days to a level consistently lower than that prior to the speed-up event. All of the time variations were due, directly or indirectly, to variations in water input to the glacier.

  16. Flow instabilities of Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, James Bradley

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

  17. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    Mountain glaciers comprise a small and widely distributed fraction of the world's terrestrial ice, yet their rapid losses presently drive a large percentage of the cryosphere's contribution to sea level rise. Regional mass balance assessments are challenging over large glacier populations due to remote and rugged geography, variable response of individual glaciers to climate change, and episodic calving losses from tidewater glaciers. In Alaska, we use airborne altimetry from 116 glaciers to estimate a regional mass balance of ?75??11?Gt?yr?1 (19942013). Our glacier sample is spatially well distributed, yet pervasive variability in mass balances obscures geospatial and climatic relationships. However, for the first time, these data allow the partitioning of regional mass balance by glacier type. We find that tidewater glaciers are losing mass at substantially slower rates than other glaciers in Alaska and collectively contribute to only 6% of the regional mass loss.

  19. Glacier Sensitivity Across the Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. The effect of sediment deposition timing on meltwater generation on the Wright Lower Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonell, S.; Fitzsimons, S.

    2009-04-01

    Sediment has an important influence on meltwater generation patterns on the surface of glaciers and snowpacks. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the amount of research into the impact of sediment on hydrological processes on glaciers has dramatically increased recently, due to an increase in research into the role of cryoconite holes in drainage systems. In this study, the role of sediment in driving the temporal variability of melt on a cold-based glacier was investigated. This study integrated field, laboratory and numerical analyses to evaluate the role of sediment in meltwater generation on the Wright Lower Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, during the 2005/06 ablation season. The findings showed that sediment on the glacier surface caused 16 times more melt to occur under sediment cover than for the clean ice surface over the three month measurement period. More importantly, the study found that sediment cover affected the timing of melt occurring through the season. Specifically, as westerly katabatic winds transported sediment onto the glacier during the winter, sediment was available for melt in the early ablation season. The presence of sediment on the glacier surface then caused melt to start several weeks before equivalent clean ice surfaces melted. The impact of this differential ablation has implications for the development of cryoconite holes, nutrient fluxes across the glacier surface and meltwater delivery timing to the glacier outlet.

  1. Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

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

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

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

    Size: 60 x 56 km (37.2 x 34.7 miles) Location: 46.5 deg. North lat., 8.0 deg. East long. Orientation: North at top Image Data: ASTER bands 1,2, and 3. Original Data Resolution: 15 m Date Acquired: July 23, 2001

  2. Modelling Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelis; Abdalati, Waleed (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

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

  3. Glacier discharge and climate variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  4. Ancient carbon from a melting glacier gives high ?C age in living pioneer invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hgvar, Sigmund; Ohlson, Mikael

    2013-01-01

    Glaciers are retreating and predatory invertebrates rapidly colonize deglaciated, barren ground. The paradox of establishing predators before plants and herbivores has been explained by wind-driven input of invertebrate prey. Here we present an alternative explanation and a novel glacier foreland food web by showing that pioneer predators eat locally produced midges containing 21,000 years old ancient carbon released by the melting glacier. Ancient carbon was assimilated by aquatic midge larvae, and terrestrial adults achieved a radiocarbon age of 1040 years. Terrestrial spiders, harvestmen and beetles feeding on adult midges had radiocarbon ages of 340-1100 years. Water beetles assumed to eat midge larvae reached radiocarbon ages of 1100-1200 years. Because both aquatic and terrestrial pioneer communities use ancient carbon, the term "primary succession" is questionable in glacier forelands. If our "old" invertebrates had been collected as subfossils and radiocarbon dated, their age would have been overestimated by up to 1100 years. PMID:24084623

  5. Glacial ice and atmospheric forcing on the Mertz Glacier Polynya over the past 250 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campagne, P.; Crosta, Xavier; Houssais, M. N.; Swingedouw, D.; Schmidt, S.; Martin, A.; Devred, E.; Capo, S.; Marieu, V.; Closset, I.; Mass, G.

    2015-03-01

    The Mertz Glacier Polynya off George V Land, East Antarctica, is a source of Adlie Land Bottom Water, which contributes up to ~25% of the Antarctic Bottom Water. This major polynya is closely linked to the presence of the Mertz Glacier Tongue that traps pack ice upstream. In 2010, the Mertz Glacier calved a massive iceberg, deeply impacting local sea ice conditions and dense shelf water formation. Here we provide the first detailed 250-year long reconstruction of local sea ice and bottom water conditions. Spectral analysis of the data sets reveals large and abrupt changes in sea surface and bottom water conditions with a ~70-year cyclicity, associated with the Mertz Glacier Tongue calving and regrowth dynamics. Geological data and atmospheric reanalysis, however, suggest that sea ice conditions in the polynya were also very sensitive to changes in surface winds in relation to the recent intensification of the Southern Annular Mode.

  6. Arctic polynya and glacier interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Laura

    2013-04-01

    Major uncertainties surround future estimates of sea level rise attributable to mass loss from the polar ice sheets and ice caps. Understanding changes across the Arctic is vital as major potential contributors to sea level, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the ice caps and glaciers of the Canadian Arctic archipelago, have experienced dramatic changes in recent times. Most ice mass loss is currently focused at a relatively small number of glacier catchments where ice acceleration, thinning and calving occurs at ocean margins. Research suggests that these tidewater glaciers accelerate and iceberg calving rates increase when warming ocean currents increase melt on the underside of floating glacier ice and when adjacent sea ice is removed causing a reduction in 'buttressing' back stress. Thus localised changes in ocean temperatures and in sea ice (extent and thickness) adjacent to major glacial catchments can impact hugely on the dynamics of, and hence mass lost from, terrestrial ice sheets and ice caps. Polynyas are areas of open water within sea ice which remain unfrozen for much of the year. They vary significantly in size (~3 km2 to > ~50,000 km2 in the Arctic), recurrence rates and duration. Despite their relatively small size, polynyas play a vital role in the heat balance of the polar oceans and strongly impact regional oceanography. Where polynyas develop adjacent to tidewater glaciers their influence on ocean circulation and water temperatures may play a major part in controlling subsurface ice melt rates by impacting on the water masses reaching the calving front. Areas of open water also play a significant role in controlling the potential of the atmosphere to carry moisture, as well as allowing heat exchange between the atmosphere and ocean, and so can influence accumulation on (and hence thickness of) glaciers and ice caps. Polynya presence and size also has implications for sea ice extent and therefore potentially the buttressing effect on neighbouring tidewater glaciers. The work presented discusses preliminary satellite observations of concurrent changes in the North Water and Nares Strait polynyas and neighbouring tidewater glaciers in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic where notable thinning and acceleration of glaciers have been observed. Also included is an outline of how these observations will fit into a much wider project on the topic involving ocean, atmosphere and sea ice modelling and short-term and longer-term in-situ measurements.

  7. Mass balance simulations with an energy-based glacier model for the Muji Glacier on the eastern edge of the Pamirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Fengge; Ren, Zheng; Xu, Baiqing; Kan, Baoyun; Xie, Ying

    2015-04-01

    A distributed energy-based glacier model coupled with a land surface hydrology model is developed and validated over the Muji Glacier (39.1865 N, 73.746E, 5532-4715 m above sea level, 2.42 km2) on the eastern edge of the Pamirs with meteorological measurements and mass balance stake records on the glacier. Surface energy fluxes and melt rates are simulated for each 30m 30m grid cell at a 3-hourly resolution for the period July 2011 to September 2014. The inputs of the coupled model include daily maximum and minimum air temperature, daily precipitation, wind speed, slope and aspect, and elevation of each grid cell. A new scheme of downward shortwave and longwave radiation is developed based on the limited climate inputs. The simulated incoming shortwave and longwave radiation, and albedo are compared with the measurements from 3 automatic weather stations during July 2011-September 2014. The mass balance over each 30m 30m grid cell is simulated for the entire Muji Glacier with the distributed energy balance model for the three water years. The simulated mass balance is validated with the stake records for both melt and accumulation seasons and the validation results are plausible. The coupled energy-based-glacier-hydrology model will be further validated at the basin scale with measured glacier runoff.

  8. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Lake Trout Sampling in Glacier National Park

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit – Sean Townsend paddles across Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park, sampling for invasive lake trout. Native bull trout are negatively affected by invasives such as lake trout and runoff from upstream glaciers....

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

  11. Growing and Advancing Calving Glaciers in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabant, D. C.; March, R. S.; Molnia, B. F.

    2002-12-01

    In stark contrast with the majority of glaciers in Alaska that are losing volume and retreating in response to climate forcing, about 10 large glaciers are increasing in volume and advancing. All of these are calving glaciers that are advancing into seawater. Hubbard Glacier, at the head of Disenchantment Bay near Yakutat, Alaska, is one of the advancing glaciers and is the largest calving glacier on the North American Continent. Hubbard Glacier?s current advance began shortly before 1895 and has recently been newsworthy because its advance blocked the entrance to Russell Fiord between June and August 2002. Other prominent examples are Meares Glacier, at the head of Unakwik Inlet in Prince William Sound, which is advancing into old-growth forest, and Harvard Glacier, at the head of College Fiord, which has a well-documented history of advance beginning between 1905 and 1911. Calving glaciers that are currently growing and advancing have at least four things in common. All of them (1) are at the heads of long fiords, (2) have undergone massive retreats during the last thousand or more years, (3) presently calve over relatively shallow moraine shoals, and (4) have strongly positive mass balances that are a consequence of a surface-area distributions that have unusually small ablation areas compared to the accumulation areas. For example, Hubbard Glacier retreated about 61 kilometers between 1000 A.D. and late in the 19th century. The depth of seawater at the calving terminus averages between 60 and 80 meters in a fiord that reaches 230 meters below sea level in front of the glacier and 400 meters below sea level under the ice. The accumulation area of Hubbard Glacier is 95 percent of the entire glacier area and, like the other advancing glaciers, is far from being in equilibrium with climate on the positive mass balance side. Glaciologists often point out that glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate. This paradigm should not be applied to calving glaciers. During most of the calving glacier cycle, the slow advances and relatively rapid retreats are not very sensitive to climate. For example, the calving glaciers that are currently growing and advancing in the face of global warming, were retreating throughout the little ice age. Calving glaciers become sensitive to climate only late in the advancing phase, when the mass flux out of the accumulation area approaches the mass lost by melting in the ablation area and losses due to calving can no longer be replaced. No reasonable change in climate will change this imbalance and stop the advances of these few glaciers.

  12. Reconstructing deglaciation of Kolahoi glacier, western Himalaya and validation through field observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tayal, S.

    2011-12-01

    Kolahoi glacier, western Himalaya is located in Jammu and Kashmir, India between N 340 07'-340 12' and E 750 19'-750 23'. The glacier makes the head of Liddar valley and provides origin to west Liddar river, draining into river Jhelum. Kolahoi is characterized by the frontal activities of westerly winds from Dec to March-April and by dry subtropical climate during summer season. The glacier represents a twin glacier system with one branch from two sides of Kolahoi peak-east and west, merging together to form a common ablation zone and a north facing snout. The first recorded visit to Kolahoi Glacier was made by E. F. Neve in 1909. The earliest attempt to establish the quaternary glacial history of Liddar valley can be attributed to Grinlinton (1928) followed by Terra & Patterson (1939). As a result of their work, the quaternary glaciation of Liddar valley has been divided into a main series of four glacial and three interglacial epochs, of which the first two glaciations were more intensive than the later two. A significant result of this history has been that as compared with the interglacial periods the glacial periods were much shorter, in SW Kashmir. Presence of various glacial features of fourth stage, observed in the valley were correlated with the literature, coordinates taken through GPS and built on a GIS platform with overlyering of satellite image time series of recent decades. Decadal history of Kolahoi glacier deglaciation was reconstructed based on the satellite image time series, indirect volume-area scaling methods and field experiments, indicating variable retreat rate contributing to a total recession of 485m in the snout of glacier and an area loss of 15% in previous four decades, since 1965. Annual measurement of mass balance for Kolahoi glacier were conducted through glaciologic method since the first drilling of ablation stakes in 2008, which indicate a range from -2.0 m.w.e. to -3.5 m.w.e. per annum for the glacier. However, field observance of huge rock masses (height ~35m) getting exposed from the interior of glacier, and presence of a secondary snout at the west branch of Kolahoi glacier, indicate a greater degree of mass wasting and detachment of two glacier branches, than the inferences drawn through imageries and indirect assessment methods. Kolahoi being located close to famous religious spot, Amarnath, visited by >300,000 pilgrims during a single month of summer season, the probability of glacier experiencing the coupled vulnerability of climate change forcers along with local anthropogenic influences need to be examined in detail.

  13. 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 jkulhlaups 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.

  14. Fast shrinkage of tropical glaciers in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceballos, Jorge Luis; Eusctegui, Christian; Ramrez, Jair; Caon, Marcela; Huggel, Christian; Haeberli, Wilfried; Machguth, Horst

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

  15. Mountain glaciers caught on camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2011-12-01

    Many glaciers around the world are melting, and new research is showing some of the dramatic details. Ulyana Horodyskyj, a graduate student at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado at Boulder, set up cameras to take time-lapse photographs of three lakes on a glacier in Nepal. This allowed her and her colleagues to see the supraglacial lake drain in real time for the first time, making it possible to estimate how much water was involved and how long it took for the lake to drain and refill. Horodyskyj said in a press conference at the AGU Fall Meeting that such observations of supraglacial lakes are valuable because in a warming climate, melting glaciers can lead to formation of supraglacial lakes.

  16. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. Muir Glacier and Muir Inlet 1980

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  19. Longitudinal surface structures (flowstripes) on Antarctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  20. Get Close to Glaciers with Satellite Imagery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Dorothy K.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Revealing basin and regional scale snow accumulation magnitude and variability on glaciers throughout Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, D.; Oneel, S.; Sass, L. C., III; Gusmeroli, A.; Arendt, A. A.; Wolken, G. J.; Kienholz, C.; McNeil, C.

    2014-12-01

    Mass loss from Alaskan glaciers (-50 17 Gt/a, 2003-2009) constitutes one of the largest contributions to global sea level rise outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The largest process-related uncertainties in this calculation arise from the difficulty in accurately measuring accumulation on glaciers and from the large variability of accumulation over a range of spatio-temporal scales. Further, the physical processes governing snow distribution in complex terrain elude model parameterization. Using ground-penetrating radar, constrained with probe and pit observations, we quantify the magnitude and variability of snow accumulation at six prominent glaciers throughout Alaska at the end of 2013 winter. We find that total SWE magnitude and variability are strongly controlled by the large-scale climate system (i.e. distance from the coastal moisture source along prevailing storm track). On average, total SWE decreases by 0.33 m per 100 km from the coast, while the SWE elevation gradient decreases by 0.06 m / 100 m per 100 km from the coast. SWE variability over small spatial scales (<200 m) is similar at most sites, although two glaciers exhibit notably low and high variability, likely related to their respective climatic provenance. On individual glaciers, strong elevation gradients, increasing from 0.07 m SWE / 100 m at the interior Gulkana Glacier to 0.30 m SWE / 100 m at the coastal Scott Glacier, exert the primary control on accumulation. Results from multi-variable linear regression models (based on topographic variables) find wind exposure/shelter is the most frequent secondary control on accumulation variability. Finally, we find strong agreement (<10% difference) between the radar derived and stake derived total SWE estimates at two glaciers in the USGS Benchmark Glacier Program.

  2. Rock glaciers of the Karakoram Himalaya and surrounding mountains, Inner Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewitt, Kenneth

    2013-04-01

    The transHimalayan upper Indus Basin contains thousands of rock glaciers. An exceptional diversity of forms and sizes exist, hitherto largely unresearched. They are in a well-defined elevation band across the mountains, usually less than 1400 m vertically, although total relief exceeds 7000 m. The zone varies from north to south, west to east, and with slope orientation. Interfluve elevations are primary constraints. Rock glaciers are absent below the lowest and the highest interfluves. They are uncommon in the highest Mustagh Karakoram, Nanga Parbat, and Hindu Kush where glacier ice blankets the elevations where they could develop. The heaviest concentrations occur in sub-ranges of intermediate elevation. A full spectrum of generative conditions is found; related to periglacial, talus, glacial, avalanche, wind-blown snow, and rock avalanche processes. Forms vary between north and south slopes; arid, rainshadowed and more snowy, humid valleys. Rock glacier complexes, where two or more join to create extensive lobes, may have tributaries with different source conditions. The larger examples are several kilometres in length,usually glacier-derived, evidently affected by Holocene glacial history, trans-glacial processes, and paraglacial instabilities. In lesser ranges, many smaller rock glaciers are associated with glacier-free cirques, glacially sculpted valley walls, and floors with abundant glacial deposits. In general, they are transitional in genesis, process, and spatially relative to glacierization, to the vertical cascade of moisture and debris, and climate change in the vertical. Their landscape roles include extensive fragmentation of drainage systems. Countless inactive rock glaciers occur, typically continuing below active ones.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Effects of Changing Climate on Glaciers in the Central Alaska Range, Alaska, USA: A Case Study on the Kahiltna Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, J. C.; Arendt, A. A.

    2010-12-01

    This study will develop a set of modeling tools to provide estimates of melt evolution for the Kahiltna Glacier and glaciers of the Central Alaska Range (CAKR), over a number of future climate change scenarios. To parameterize the model, field measurements of mass balance and meteorological variables are being collected on the Kahiltna Glacier. These measurements include winter accumulation surveys along both a centerline transect and several lateral profiles of the main glacier branch, and summer ablation measurements at ten centerline index locations spaced evenly over a range of elevations. Snow density measurements are also being recorded at three elevations. Temperature and relative humidity is being sampled at five of the index locations, and a full meteorological station (measuring temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, snow accumulation, ice ablation, and solar radiation) will be positioned on the lower ablation area. Here we present preliminary results from the 2010 melt season, comparing data collected on the Kahiltna Glacier to measurements from nearby sites within the CAKR. Data from a single index site monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) is compared to the accumulation and ablation measurements taken at the ten sites visited during 2010 as part of this study, to show the NPS index site’s representativeness at different elevations. Accumulation at these locations is also compared to a nearby snow telemetry (SNOTEL) site to determine whether there is a systematic offset between station data and conditions on the glacier. Lapse rates are calculated from temperature readings at five different elevations, for comparison with data from a meteorological station located in an adjacent glacier basin. From these analyses we provide a preliminary assessment of the extent to which our in situ measurements on the Kahiltna Glacier are representative of regional trends. The project will leverage 20 years of NPS mass balance data for the Kahiltna Glacier, as well as weather station data previously collected within the CAKR. Field measurements will also be supplemented with available remote sensing mass balance estimates from both the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and aircraft laser altimetry. Results from the Kahiltna Glacier will be used to calibrate a meltwater runoff model for all glaciated areas within the CAKR. This research hopes to provide crucial information for determining current glacier conditions and the changes in meltwater runoff that can be expected over time.

  6. Survey of glaciers in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming; Size response to climatic fluctuations 1950-1996

    SciTech Connect

    Chatelain, E.E.

    1997-09-01

    An aerial survey of Northern Rocky Mountain glaciers in Montana and Wyoming was conducted in late summer of 1996. The Flathead, Swan, Mission, and Beartooth Mountains of Montana were covered, as well as the Teton and Wind River Ranges of Wyoming. Present extent of glaciers in this study were compared to limits on recent USGS 15 and 7.5 topographic maps, and also from selected personal photos. Large cirque and hanging glaciers of the Flathead and Wind River Ranges did not display significant decrease in size or change in terminus position. Cirque glaciers in the Swan, Mission, Beartooth and Teton Ranges were markedly smaller in size; with separation of the ice body, growth of the terminus lake, or cover of the ice terminus with rockfalls. A study of annual snowfall, snowdepths, precipitation, and mean temperatures for selected stations in the Northern Rocky Mountains indicates no extreme variations in temperature or precipitation between 1950-1996, but several years of low snowfall and warmer temperatures in the 1980`s appear to have been sufficient to diminish many of the smaller cirque glaciers, many to the point of extinction. The disappearance of small cirque glaciers may indicate a greater sensitivity to overall climatic warming than the more dramatic fluctuations of larger glaciers in the same region.

  7. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-03-01

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

  8. Recent fluctuations of the Argentinian glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leiva, Juan Carlos

    1999-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. The contribution of glacier melt to streamflow

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-13

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

  11. UV - GLACIER NATIONAL PARK MT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. The status of glaciers in Sikkim Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    basnett, S.; Kulkarni, A. V.; Bolch, T.

    2013-12-01

    This study focuses on the influence of lakes and debris cover on the glacier area changes, in the data scarce Sikkim Himalayas, between 1990 and 2010, using Landsat TM and IRS images. A new technique of estimating 'interpretation uncertainty' while mapping glacier terminus on satellite images, is introduced. The overall study showed (i) a glacier area loss of 3 0.8 % in 20 years. We also observed the presence of lakes on many debris-covered glaciers, and its expansion accelerated the glacier retreat by 9 1.4 %. Though some 'debris-covered glaciers' showed stable fronts, the gradual development and coalescence of supraglacial lakes led to the formation of moraine dam lakes at the terminus. This investigation suggests that 'debris cover' on glaciers can enhance the development of glacial lakes. As a consequence, the retreat of debris-covered glaciers associated with lakes is clearly higher than that of debris-free glaciers. Location of glacier in Sikkim. The map shows the location of glaciers studied in this investigation. : Evolution and coalescence of a supra glacial lake and the formation of a moraine dam. Figs. a and b show no frontal change between 1990 and 1997. Fig. b shows the evolution of a supraglacial lake and fig. c shows the coalescence of supraglacial lake, which occupies glacier area between two lateral moraines. Fig. d shows the formation of a moraine dam lake leading to glacierarea loss.(The yellow line represents the glacier boundary for the year 1990; and red line is the glacier terminus for the year 2009). The four imagesused is a false colour composite with a band combination of red, NIR and SWIR.

  14. Hasty retreat of glaciers in northern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank; Mlg, Nico

    2014-05-01

    Mapping glacier extent from optical satellite data has become a most efficient tool to create or update glacier inventories and determine glacier changes over time. A most valuable archive in this regard is the nearly 30-year time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data that is freely available (already orthorectified) for most regions in the world from the USGS. One region with a most dramatic glacier shrinkage and a missing systematic assessment of changes, is the Palena province in Chile, located south of Puerto Montt in northern Patagonia. A major bottleneck for accurate determination of glacier changes in this region is related to the huge amounts of snow falling in this very maritime region, hiding the perimeter of glaciers throughout the year. Consequently, we found only three years with Landsat scenes that can be used to map glacier extent through time. We here present the results of a glacier change analysis from six Landsat scenes (path-rows 232-89/90) acquired in 1985, 2000 and 2011 covering the Palena district in Chile and neighbouring regions. Clean glacier ice was mapped automatically with a standard technique (TM3/TM band ratio) and manual editing was applied to remove wrongly classified lakes and to add debris-covered glacier parts. The digital elevation model (DEM) from ASTER (GDEM2) was used to derive drainage divides, determine glacier specific topographic parameters, and analyse the area changes in regard to topography. The scene from the year 2000 has the best snow conditions and was used to eliminate seasonal snow in the other two scenes by digital combination of the binary glacier masks and neighbourhood analysis. The derived mean relative area loss over the entire study area is 25%, showing a large spatial variability and a strong dependence on elevation. While small mountain glaciers at high elevations and steep slopes show only little change over the 26-year period, ice at low elevations from large valley glaciers shows a dramatic decline (area and thickness loss). Some glaciers retreated more than 3 km over this time period or even disappeared completely. Typically, these glaciers lost contact to the accumulation areas of tributaries and melted away as dead ice. Furthermore, numerous proglacial lakes formed or expanded rapidly, increasing the local hazard potential. On the other hand, some glaciers located on or near to (still active) volcanoes have also slightly advanced over the same time period. Observed trends in temperature (decreasing) are in contrast to the observed strong glacier shrinkage, indicating that also other factors must play a role.

  15. Glacier area changes in Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khromova, Tatiana; Nosenko, Gennady; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Muraviev, Anton; Chernova, Ludmila

    2014-01-01

    Glaciers are widely recognized as key indicators of climate change. Recent evidence suggests an acceleration of glacier mass loss in several key mountain regions. Glacier recession implies landscape changes in the glacial zone, the origin of new lakes and activation of natural disaster processes, catastrophic mudflows, ice avalanches, outburst floods, etc. The absence or inadequacy of such information results in financial and human losses. A more comprehensive evaluation of glacier changes is imperative to assess ice contributions to global sea level rise and the future of water resources from glacial basins. One of the urgent steps is a full inventory of all ice bodies and their changes. The first estimation of glacier state and glacier distribution on the territory of the former Soviet Union has been done in the USSR Glacier Inventory (UGI) published in 1965-1982. The UGI is based on topographic maps and air photos and reflects the status of the glaciers in the 1940s-1970s. There is information about 28?884 glaciers with an area of 7830.75 km2 in the inventory. It covers 25 glacier systems in Northern Eurasia. In the 1980s the UGI has been transformed into digital form as a part of the World Glacier Inventory (WGI). Recent satellite data provide a unique opportunity to look again at these glaciers and to evaluate changes in glacier extent for the second part of the 20th century. About 15?000 glacier outlines for the Caucasus, Polar Urals, Pamir Alay, Tien Shan, Altai, Kamchatka and Russian Arctic have been derived from ASTER and Landsat imagery and can be used for glacier change evaluation. Results of the analysis indicate the steady trend in glacier shrinkage in all mountain regions for the second part of the 20th century. Glacier area loss for the studied regions varies from 13% (Tien Shan) to 22.3% (Polar Urals). The common driver, most likely, is an increase in summer air temperature. There is also a very large variability in the degree of individual glacier degradation, very much depending on the morphology and local meteorological conditions.

  16. 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.

  17. The calving glaciers of southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, Charles; Aniya, Masamu

    1999-10-01

    Calving glaciers constitute a great majority of all glaciers in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and are dynamically important elements of the southern South American icefields. Large numbers of tidewater glaciers calve into the Chilean fjords, and many outlet glaciers terminate in proglacial lakes. Most probably, all are temperate and grounded, with steep mass balance gradients. A majority of these glaciers remained largely unknown to science until very recently. This paper reviews recent research in the region in the context of glaciological and Quaternary debates, and discusses current understanding and uncertainties. During the 20th century most glaciers have retreated, but the particular dynamics of calving glaciers have produced some striking exceptions to this regional trend, producing sustained advances (e.g., Glaciar Pio XI, Glaciar Perito Moreno), accelerated retreats (e.g., Glaciar O'Higgins, Glaciar Marinelli), and long-maintained stillstands of glaciers with very high accumulation area ratios (e.g., Glaciar Calvo). The relative importance of climatic, topographic, and glaciodynamic controls on regional patterns of glacier fluctuation remain an enigma, especially in the Cordillera Darwin, but space-borne radar imagery is now yielding much information. Key research themes in recent years include: (1) glacier inventory work using remotely-sensed data; (2) calving rates and calving dynamics, particularly the contrast between calving rates in tidewater and freshwater; (3) glacier/climate relationships, both in historic and longer timeframes; and (4) geographic contrasts in glacier behaviour, especially the relative significance of precipitation and temperature for glacier mass balance in this region of steep climatic gradients. Many intriguing and important questions cannot presently be resolved due to the paucity of mass balance and climatic data, but current research is yielding data that have regional, interhemispheric and theoretical significance.

  18. Recent acceleration of Thwaites Glacier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrigno, J. G.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, S.; Kinnard, C.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, H.; Herzfeld, U. C.

    2003-12-01

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

  1. Nitrogen fixation on Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telling, Jon; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Tranter, Martyn; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram; Hodson, Andy; Butler, Catriona; Wadham, Jemma

    2011-09-01

    Glacier surfaces contain a wide diversity of microorganisms and can host a range of microbial activities. However, microbial nutrient cycling on glaciers is poorly understood. This study is the first to document nitrogen fixation (nitrogenase activity) on glaciers and demonstrate its importance in supporting microbial growth. Rates of nitrogen fixation (nitrogenase activity) in cryoconite holes on three valley glaciers in Svalbard ranged from <2.0 to 99.9 ?mol ethylene m-2 d-1 with rates inversely correlated to concentrations of available inorganic nitrogen. Annual inputs of nitrogen by nitrogen fixation on a glacier catchment scale are more than 2 orders of magnitude lower than the combined nitrogen inputs from snowmelt and rain. However, nitrogen fixation can be important for supporting microbial growth on the glaciers during the middle to late melt season after the snowline has retreated upslope.

  2. Supraglacial lakes on Himalayan debris-covered glacier (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, A.; Fujita, K.

    2013-12-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are common in many of the world's mountain ranges, including in the Himalayas. Himalayan debris-covered glacier also contain abundant glacial lakes, including both proglacial and supraglacial types. We have revealed that heat absorption through supraglacial lakes was about 7 times greater than that averaged over the whole debris-covered zone. The heat budget analysis elucidated that at least half of the heat absorbed through the water surface was released with water outflow from the lakes, indicating that the warm water enlarge englacial conduits and produce internal ablation. We observed some portions at debris-covered area has caved at the end of melting season, and ice cliff has exposed at the side of depression. Those depression has suggested that roof of expanded water channels has collapsed, leading to the formation of ice cliffs and new lakes, which would accelerate the ablation of debris-covered glaciers. Almost glacial lakes on the debris-covered glacier are partially surrounded by ice cliffs. We observed that relatively small lakes had non-calving, whereas, calving has occurred at supraglacial lakes with fetch larger than 80 m, and those lakes expand rapidly. In the Himalayas, thick sediments at the lake bottom insulates glacier ice and lake water, then the lake water tends to have higher temperature (2-4 degrees C). Therefore, thermal undercutting at ice cliff is important for calving processes in the glacial lake expansion. We estimated and subaqueous ice melt rates during the melt and freeze seasons under simple geomorphologic conditions. In particular, we focused on valley wind-driven water currents in various fetches during the melt season. Our results demonstrate that the subaqueous ice melt rate exceeds the ice-cliff melt rate above the water surface when the fetch is larger than 20 m with the water temperature of 2-4 degrees C. Calculations suggest that onset of calving due to thermal undercutting is controlled by water currents driven by winds at the lake surface with a positive feedback process. The risk of GLOFs (glacial lake outburst flood) are analysed for Himalayan glacial lakes. We proposed an objective index for GLOF probability, based on depression angle from the lakeshore, which allows the lakes to be assessed using remotely sensed digital elevation models (DEMs). The index was verified by pre-GLOF topography derived by spy satellite imageries. We screened 2800 Himalayan glacial lakes and identified 49 lakes with potential flood volumes over 10 million m3.

  3. Spatial and temporal variability of air temperature on a melting glacier: Atmospheric controls, extrapolation methods and their effect on melt modeling, Juncal Norte Glacier, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, L.; Pellicciotti, F.

    2011-12-01

    Temperature data from three Automatic Weather Stations and twelve Temperature Loggers are used to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of temperature over a glacier, its main atmospheric controls, the suitability of extrapolation techniques and their effect on melt modeling. We use data collected on Juncal Norte Glacier, central Chile, during one ablation season. We examine temporal and spatial variability in lapse rates (LRs), together with alternative statistical interpolation methods. The main control over the glacier thermal regime is the development of a katabatic boundary layer (KBL). Katabatic wind occurs at night and in the morning and is eroded in the afternoon. LRs reveal strong diurnal variability, with steeper LRs during the day when the katabatic wind weakens and shallower LRs during the night and morning. We suggest that temporally variable LRs should be used to account for the observed change. They tend to be steeper than equivalent constant LRs, and therefore result in a reduction in simulated melt compared to use of constant LRs when extrapolating from lower to higher elevations. In addition to the temporal variability, the temperature-elevation relationship varies also in space. Differences are evident between local LRs and including such variability in melt modeling affects melt simulations. Extrapolation methods based on the spatial variability of the observations after removal of the elevation trend, such as Inverse Distance Weighting or Kriging, do not seem necessary for simulations of gridded temperature data over a glacier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Drainage events from a glacier-dammed lake, Bear Glacier, Alaska: Remote sensing and field observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, A. C.; Wade, A. A.; Evans, E. G.

    2014-09-01

    We investigated drainage events from a glacier-dammed lake on Bear Glacier, Alaska, and associated outburst floods and hazards. The glacier-dammed lake, which we call Ice Lake, is 17.5 km up-glacier from Bear Glacier's terminus at Bear Glacier Lake. We combine field observations and remote sensing to examine temporal changes in the size of Ice Lake, the frequency and timing of its drainage, and down-glacier propagation of its outburst floods. We found that in recent years, Ice Lake has likely drained every year or two, in late summer or fall (August-October), with outbursts generally following the damming of sufficient water to create a lake area of between 0.35 and 0.5 km2. Ice Lake has migrated downvalley to the south since the 1990s, likely as a result of thinning of the glacier that dams it. In situ measurements of a drainage event in October 2010 showed that Ice Lake drained over a period of days, which manifested at Bear Glacier Lake as a gradual, multiday increase and then decrease in water levels. Glacial lake outburst flooding at Bear Glacier creates risks for sea kayakers in Bear Glacier Lake and may be relevant to understanding the effects of climate warming on glacier-dammed and proglacial lakes.

  8. Antarctica: measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-11-28

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

  9. Antarctica: Measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  10. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring: strategy and datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoelzle, Martin; Armstrong, Richard; Fetterer, Florence; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Haeberli, Wilfried; Kääb, Andreas; Kargel, Jeff; Nussbaumer, Samuel; Paul, Frank; Raup, Bruce; Zemp, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Internationally coordinated monitoring of long-term glacier changes provide key indicator data about global climate change and began in the year 1894 as an internationally coordinated effort to establish standardized observations. Today, world-wide monitoring of glaciers and ice caps is embedded within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an important Essential Climate Variable (ECV). The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) was established in 1999 with the task of coordinating measurements and to ensure the continuous development and adaptation of the international strategies to the long-term needs of users in science and policy. The basic monitoring principles must be relevant, feasible, comprehensive and understandable to a wider scientific community as well as to policy makers and the general public. Data access has to be free and unrestricted, the quality of the standardized and calibrated data must be high and a combination of detailed process studies at selected field sites with global coverage by satellite remote sensing is envisaged. Recently a GTN-G Steering Committee was established to guide and advise the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. Several online databases containing a wealth of diverse data types having different levels of detail and global coverage provide fast access to continuously updated information on glacier fluctuation and inventory data. For world-wide inventories, data are now available through (a) the World Glacier Inventory containing tabular information of about 130,000 glaciers covering an area of around 240,000 km2, (b) the GLIMS-database containing digital outlines of around 118,000 glaciers with different time stamps and (c) the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI), a new and globally complete digital dataset of outlines from about 180,000 glaciers with some meta-information, which has been used for many applications relating to the IPCC AR5 report. Concerning glacier changes, a database (Fluctuations of Glaciers) exists containing information about mass balance, front variations including past reconstructed time series, geodetic changes and special events. Annual mass balance reporting contains information for about 125 glaciers with a subset of 37 glaciers with continuous observational series since 1980 or earlier. Front variation observations of around 1800 glaciers are available from most of the mountain ranges world-wide. This database was recently updated with 26 glaciers having an unprecedented dataset of length changes from from reconstructions of well-dated historical evidence going back as far as the 16th century. Geodetic observations of about 430 glaciers are available. The database is completed by a dataset containing information on special events including glacier surges, glacier lake outbursts, ice avalanches, eruptions of ice-clad volcanoes, etc. related to about 200 glaciers. A special database of glacier photographs contains 13,000 pictures from around 500 glaciers, some of them dating back to the 19th century. A key challenge is to combine and extend the traditional observations with fast evolving datasets from new technologies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-22

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

  14. Quantification of Seasonal and Interannual Variability of Proglacial Meltwater from a Tidewater Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darlington, E. F.; Hodgkins, R.; Jenkins, A.

    2014-12-01

    Ice - ocean interactions of tidewater glaciers remain poorly understood; yet 39% of the global glaciated area drains directly into the ocean via tidewater glaciers. As the Arctic cryosphere continues to lose mass in response to a warming climate, more detailed observations are needed to increase our understanding of ice - ocean processes, enabling improved model predictions of Arctic change. Svalbard hosts a high proportion of tidewater glaciers, including Kronebreen, the fastest flowing glacier on the archipelago. The proglacial meltwater exiting the base of Kronebreen transports fine grained sediment to Kongsfjorden, entrained in a buoyant plume which spreads laterally and is visible at the surface. In-situ measurements of the concentration and spectral reflectance of these surface sediments were used to calibrate spectral data from the MODIS instruments on the Terra and Aqua satellites. Temperature and salinity in front of the calving face, and throughout the meltwater plume, have been measured using a hand held CTD. The spatial surface pattern of total suspended sediment (TSS; g l-1) and plume area, has been quantified for every cloud free day between 1st June - 30th September from 2002 - 2013. High TSS sediment during the early melt season indicates flushing, whilst sediment exhaustion is apparent at the end. We show that the areal extent of these proglacial plumes responds to atmospheric temperature, with a 12 day lag. An underlying seasonal evolution of plume extent is apparent; plume area is small at the beginning and end of the melt season, peaking mid-July. Wind speed and direction also play a role in dictating the length of plume formation, with katabatic winds originating from the glacier, lengthening plumes. However, the overall extent of the sediment plume is dependent on meltwater inputs. As such, this method enables the daily to interannual quantification of proglacial meltwater release from tidewater glaciers, utilizing remote sensing.

  15. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Muir Glacier and Muir Inlet 2003

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  18. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  20. Calving at Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humbert, A.; Wilkens, N.; Braun, M.; Floricioiu, D.; Plate, C.; Mller, R.

    2012-04-01

    The calving mechanism of tabular icebergs is one of the major unknowns in glaciology and hence calving events at locations where the glaciological variables of ice shelves or ice tongues are well known are ideal natural setups for studying these mechanisms. Pine Island Glacier, a marine based outlet glacier of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, reaches velocities of up to 4 km/a in the vicinity of the calving front. Its floating tongue has an average thickness of about 500m. This floating tongue loses mass by strong basal melting and calving events of large tabular icebergs. In October 2011 a new 24 km long rift has formed and propagated to a length of 28km in the subsequent weeks. Since then an area of about 750km2 is suspected to calve off in the near future. We will present the temporal evolution of this well surveyed calving event using high resolution radar imagery obtained by the TerraSAR-X satellite. This includes rift length and width, as well as the changes in the flow velocities estimated using speckle tracking. Furthermore, we will discuss the changes of the shear margin and the melange area that constrains the tongue at its eastern side over the past decade. In particular, the changes at an ice rise located in the shear margin and in the vicinity of the rift will be investigated using SAR interferometry. The decline of the formerly dome-like grounded spot has contributed to a widening of the shear margin and the formation of a heterogeneous ice melange. This changes the lateral (stress) boundary condition that the floating part of the glacier experiences. Therefore, we compare the rift creation and evolution of the upcoming calving event with the one in 2007.

  1. Cloud effects on the surface energy and mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, J. P.; Cullen, N. J.

    2015-02-01

    A thorough understanding of the influence of clouds on glacier surface energy balance (SEB) and surface mass balance (SMB) is critical for forward and backward modelling of glacier-climate interactions. A validated 22 month time series of SEB/SMB was constructed for the ablation zone of the Brewster Glacier, using high quality radiation data to carefully evaluate SEB terms and define clear-sky and overcast conditions. A fundamental change in glacier SEB in cloudy conditions was driven by increased effective sky emissivity and surface vapour pressure, rather than the minimal change in air temperature and wind speed. During overcast conditions, positive net longwave radiation and latent heat fluxes allowed melt to be maintained through a much greater length of time compared to clear-sky conditions, and led to similar melt in each sky condition. The sensitivity of SMB to changes in air temperature was greatly enhanced in overcast compared to clear-sky conditions due to more frequent melt and the occurrence of precipitation, which enabled a strong accumulation-albedo feedback. During the spring and autumn seasons, the sensitivity during overcast conditions was strongest. There is a need to include the effects of atmospheric moisture (vapour, cloud and precipitation) on melt processes when modelling glacier-climate interactions.

  2. Glacier mass balances (1993-2001), Taylor Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, Andrew G.; Nylen, Thomas H.; Macclune, Karen L.; Dana, Gayle L.

    Mass balances were measured on four glaciers in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, from 1993 to 2001. We used a piecewise linear regression, which provided an objective assessment of error, to estimate the mass balance with elevation. Missing measurements were estimated from linear regressions between points and showed a significant improvement over other methods. Unlike temperate glaciers the accumulation zone of these polar glaciers accumulates mass in summer and winter and the ablation zone loses mass in both seasons. A strong spatial trend of smaller mass-balance values with distance inland (r2 = 0.80) reflects a climatic gradient to warmer air temperatures, faster wind speeds and less precipitation. Annual and seasonal mass-balance values range only several tens of millimeters in magnitude and no temporal trend is evident. The glaciers of Taylor Valley, and probably the entire McMurdo Dry Valleys, are in equilibrium with the current climate, and contrast with glacier trends elsewhere on the Antarctic Peninsula and in temperate latitudes.

  3. Effects of basal debris on glacier flow.

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  4. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

    Glaciers are ablating rapidly the world over. Nowhere are the rates of retreat and downwasting greater than in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. It is estimated that over the next century, 40,000 square kilometers of present glacier area in the HKH region will become ice free. Most of this area is in major valleys and the lowest glaciated mountain passes. The existence and characteristics of glaciers have security impacts, and rapidly changing HKH glaciers have broad strategic implications: (1) Glaciers supply much of the fresh water and hydroelectric power in South and Central Asia, and so glaciers are valuable resources. (2) Shared economic interests in water, hydroelectricity, flood hazards, and habitat preservation are a force for common cause and reasoned international relations. (3) Glaciers and their high mountains generally pose a natural barrier tending to isolate people. Historically, they have hindered trade and intercultural exchanges and have protected against aggression. This has further promoted an independent spirit of the region's many ethnic groups. (4) Although glaciers are generally incompatible with human development and habitation, many of the HKH region's glaciers and their mountains have become sanctuaries and transit routes for militants. Siachen Glacier in Kashmir has for 17 years been "the world's highest battlefield," with tens of thousands of troops deployed on both sides of the India/Pakistan line of control. In 1999, that conflict threatened to trigger all-out warfare, and perhaps nuclear warfare. Other recent terrorist and military action has taken place on glaciers in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As terrorists are forced from easily controlled territories, many may tend to migrate toward the highest ground, where definitive encounters may take place in severe alpine glacial environments. This should be a major concern in Nepali security planning, where an Army offensive is attempting to reign in an increasingly robust and brutal Maoist insurgency. (5) Glacier lakes are in many cases very fragile and their natural dams routinely rupture, causing devastating floods. A rising regional terrorist threat in several countries could target these dams and precipitate calamitous and terrifying results. (6) Over the next century, retreating glaciers may open new corridors for trade and human migration across the Himalaya and pave the way for possible new economic, military and political alliances in the region. (7) Glacier retreat might open new sanctuaries for terrorists and open new corridors for possible ground-based military offensive action across the HKH ranges. The documentation of glacier characteristics that may influence their trafficability, and projections of future glacier extent and behavior are relevant to wide ranging concerns of the region's inhabitants. Satellite remote sensing and mapping of glaciers is one approach to defining and monitoring the problems and opportunities presented by HKH glaciers. Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) is a joint USGS/NASA Pathfinder project that has formed a global consortium of glaciologists in several regional centers that are mapping and monitoring the HKH glaciers using repeat-pass ASTER and Landsat ETM+ data. We are currently building a comprehensive satellite multispectral image and GIS database that is providing detailed information on the state and rates of change of each glacier in the HKH region and other areas of the world. Merging these results with DEMs allows a predictive capability that could be useful in policy development and security planning.

  5. Radio-echo sounding of Caucasus glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavrentiev, Ivan; Kutuzov, Stanislav; Vasilenko, Evgeny; Macheret, Yuri

    2013-04-01

    Accurate glacier volume and ice-thickness estimations are highly important for many glaciological applications. Recent glacier reduction is affecting local river discharge and contributes to the global sea level rise. However, direct measurements of ice thickness are very sparse due to its high cost and laboriousness. One of the glacierized mountain regions with a lack of direct ice-thickness measurements is Caucasus. So far data for several seismic and GPR profiles have been reported for only 3 glaciers from more than 1.7 thousands located in Caucasus. In 2010-2012 a number of ground base and airborne radio-echo sounding surveys have been accomplished in Caucasus Mountains using 20 MHz monopulse radar VIRL-6. Special aerial version of this ground penetrating radar was designed for helicopter-born measurements. The radar has a relatively long (10 m) receiving and transmitting antennas, which together with receiving, recording and transmitting devices can be mounted on a special girder, being suspended from a helicopter. VIRL-6 radar is light weight and can be quickly transformed into ground version. Equipment has been used on 16 glaciers including biggest glacier in Caucasus - Bezengi (36 km2) most of which have a highly crevassed surfaces and heterogeneous internal structure. Independent data were obtained also for two glaciers using ground version of the same VIRL-6 radar. In total more than 120 km of radar profiles were obtained. Results showed good agreement between ground and aerial measurements. Ice-thickness values exceeded 420 m for some of the Central Caucasus glaciers. Successful use of VIRL-6 radar in Caucasus opens up the possibility of using such equipment on different types of glaciers in polar and mountain regions, including temperate, polythermal and surging glaciers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machguth, H.; Huss, M.

    2014-05-01

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

  7. The influence of supraglacial debris cover on glacier hydrology: Miage Glacier, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fyffe, C. L.; Brock, B. W.; Kirkbride, M. P.; Mair, D. W. F.

    2012-04-01

    The Miage Glacier is a debris-covered glacier in the western Italian Alps. An integrated study of its hydrology, including dye tracing, glacier velocity measurements and water chemistry analysis of the proglacial stream was performed throughout the 2010 and 2011 ablation seasons. These data were used to elucidate the structure and seasonal evolution of the hydrological system. Slower and smaller streams were found to occur on the more thickly debris covered lower glacier, which gave traces indicative of an inefficient subglacial system. This may be due to the uneven topography of the lower glacier, which is characterised by small supraglacial catchments with low ablation rates. The largest streams were found draining the debris free upper glacier, and these gave faster and more peaked returns. This means that unlike on clean glaciers, the tracer velocity was faster with increasing distance up-glacier. The glacier responds dynamically to variations in meltwater input over periods of a few days at the beginning of the melt season, as well as after cooler weather in July. The delaying influence of the debris cover is highlighted in the reduced amplitude of diurnal variations in meltwater discharge, especially early in the season when the upper glacier is snow covered.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  9. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Quantifying global warming from the retreat of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Oerlemans, J. )

    1994-04-08

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

  11. Shrinking Alpine glaciers spell trouble for Europe's rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2011-10-01

    Within the frosted peaks of the Swiss Alps, the cycle of winter precipitation accumulation and springtime melt provides a seasonal flow of water to much of western Europe. Research into the freshwater contributions of Alpine glaciers has predominantly looked to measure water released directly from glacier melt. A glacier's overall water storage, however, which takes into account the snow that resides on the glacier's surface, more accurately describes the role Swiss glaciers play in feeding European streams. A new analysis by Huss that investigated the effects of changing Swiss glacier storage on the flows of four of Europe's largest rivers suggests that glaciers may be more important than previously realized.

  12. Geomicrobiology of a Supraglacial Stream on the Cotton Glacier, Victoria Land, Antarctica.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman, C. M.; Morris, C. E.; Cory, R. M.

    2006-12-01

    The Cotton Glacier lies in the Transantarctic Mountains north of Cape Roberts and has a limited catchment area in the Clare and St. Johns ranges, but receives a large amount of sedimentary deposits from surrounding areas. The bedrock geology of the area is dominated by basement granite and Ferrar dolerite sills, with minor amounts of amphibolite and schist sandwiched between granite bodies. A unique fluvial system forms on the Cotton Glacier as a result of its location in the Transantarctic Mountains. The prevailing winds converge and deposit debris on the Cotton Glacier, warming up the surface and increasing meltwater production. During the austral summer of 2004-2005 we sampled a braided stream that flowed from mid glacier into a series of crevasses downstream. While low in dissolved organic carbon (44-47 μM C) and nutrients the supraglacial stream on the Cotton Glacier is capable of sustaining life, with bacterial cell abundances from 2.7 - 8.2 x 104 cells ml-1, and bacterial production ranging from 58.84 - 293.18 ng C d-1. Isolates recovered from the Cotton Glacier produced a rainbow of pigment colors and were similar to those recovered from other icy systems (Cytophaga- Flavobateria-Bacteroides and β-Proteobacteria lineages), suggesting that the occurrence of these related phylotoyes from diverse environs is due to similar survival strategies allowing them to remain active at sub- zero temperatures and survive multiple freeze-thaw events. Two isolates from the Cotton Glacier have been shown to possess ice nucleating activity. These bacteria can catalyze ice formation at -3.5°C and colder temperatures and likely possess Type I ice nuclei proteins. The fluorescence and absorbance spectra of the filtered Cotton Glacier water were analyzed to characterize the dissolved organic matter (DOM). The absorbance spectra of the Cotton Glacier sample exhibited a peak around 270 nm, which disappeared over time in the dark at 4°C. Analysis of excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) from the Cotton Glacier differed from typical DOM EEMs. The Cotton Glacier EEMs showed almost no fluorescence in the region of EEMs where peaks are normally present and have been attributed to the presence of humic and fulvic organic matter (Ex/Em 240/450 and 330/450). In contrast to most DOM EEMs, the Cotton Glacier EEMs were dominated by peaks in the amino-acid region (Ex/Em 240-270/300-350 nm). Thus, both the initial peak in absorbance at 270 nm and the EEM peaks in the amino-acid region suggest that the DOM present in this system is predominately proteinaceous material likely of microbial origin. This study demonstrates the presence of an active microbial assemblage in a supraglacial stream from a pristine Antarctic glacier. Recent discoveries over the past decade have shown that glacial ice contains an important record of microorganisms on our planet that theoretically could be used to assess biogeochemical processes and habitat types that occurred during past glacial and interglacial periods. This record may also contain information on microbial evolution and physiology, and provide new biotechnological innovations. Supraglacial streams provide an important example of contemporary microbial processes on the glacier surface.

  13. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  14. Monitoring of Grandes Jorasses hanging glacier (Aosta Valley, Italy): improving monitoring techniques for glaciers instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagliasindi, Marco; Funk, Martin; Faillettaz, Jerome; Dalban, Pierre; Lucianaz, Claudio; Diotri, Fabrizio; Motta, Elena; Margreth, Stephan

    2010-05-01

    Grandes Jorasses serac is an unbalanced hanging glacier located on the south side of Mont Blanc Massif (Aosta Valley - Italy). It stands above Ferret Valley, a famous and most frequented touristic site both in winter and summer. Historical data and morphological evidences show that the glacier is subject to recurrent icefalls which can be dangerous especially in winter, as they can trigger catastrophic combined snow and ice avalanches. Serac dynamic was monitored in 1997-98 by prof. M Funk (ETH Zurich) by means of temperature and topographic measurement. These allowed to forecast the breakdown within a 2 days time. Thanks to a monitoring program, a new instability could be recognized in autumn 2008: a crevasse opening in the lower part of the hanging glacier. A new monitoring system was installed recently, consisting of stakes with prisms on serac surface and an automatic total station (theodolite plus distantiometer) sited on the valley floor. Monitoring is based on an empirically based power law (developed by ETH) that describes the increasing displacement rate before collapse. This monitoring system requires to measure displacement rate of the serac continuously. Although the topographic system is so far the state-of-the.art method, it implies some troubles: (i) the difficulty in placing stakes on the steep and dangerous glacier surface; (ii) potential instability of stakes themselves due to snow pressure in winter and surface ice melting in summer; (iii) impossibility to carry out measurement in case of cloudy or stormy weather, which is rather a frequent situation on Grandes Jorasses peak. Moreover, hazard and risk management require some more informations, such as the instable ice mass volume. New technologies have been applied, and are still under test, to achieve a more reliable monitoring system and a better understanding of the serac dynamics. Close-range photogrammetry techniques have been used, allowing to process helicopter-taken images and obtain quantitative data about the serac volume and crevasses widening. A low-cost GPS station has been installed in the upper part of the serac, in order to obtain long-term, continuous displacement data even in bad weather conditions. A seismograph has been installed to measure the seismic activity of the serac. The latter, as observed by ETH, significantly evolves before the seracfall; thus, the record of the seismic activity can be used to forecast the break-off. Finally, a ground-based SAR system has been tested to infer seracs displacement. Possible avalanches scenarios consequent to an icefall have been calculated by numerical simulation by the SLF Institute of Davos. In-situ measurement techniques have to be designed to resist often in the difficult environmental conditions (low temperature, frost, wind), dealing, e.g. with power supply and data transmission, and purpose-made technical solutions are often necessary. The development of these techniques will contribute to an improved understanding of the seracs dynamics and provide a more reliable monitoring tool.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillai, J.; Patel, L. K.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janke, Jason R.; Bellisario, Antonio C.; Ferrando, Francisco A.

    2015-07-01

    In the Dry Andes of Chile (17 to 35° S), debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers are differentiated from true glaciers based on the percentage of surface debris cover, thickness of surface debris, and ice content. Internal ice is preserved by an insulating cover of thick debris, which acts as a storage reservoir to release water during the summer and early fall. These landforms are more numerous than glaciers in the central Andes; however, the existing legislation only recognizes uncovered or semicovered glaciers as a water resource. Glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers are being altered or removed by mining operations to extract valuable minerals from the mountains. In addition, agricultural expansion and population growth in this region have placed additional demands on water resources. In a warmer climate, as glaciers recede and seasonal water availability becomes condensed over the course of a snowmelt season, rock glaciers and debris-covered glaciers contribute a larger component of base flow to rivers and streams. As a result, identifying and locating these features to implement sustainable regional planning for water resources is important. The objective of this study is to develop a classification system to identify debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers based on the interpretation of satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The classification system is linked to field observations and measurements of ice content. Debris-covered glaciers have three subclasses: surface coverage of semi (class 1) and fully covered (class 2) glaciers differentiates the first two forms, whereas debris thickness is critical for class 3 when glaciers become buried with more than 3 m of surface debris. Based on field observations, the amount of ice decreases from more than 85%, to 65-85%, to 45-65% for semi, fully, and buried debris-covered glaciers, respectively. Rock glaciers are characterized by three stages. Class 4 rock glaciers have pronounced transverse ridges and furrows that arch across the surface, which indicates flow produced via ice. Class 5 rock glaciers have ridges and furrows that appear linear in the direction of flow, indicating reduced flow from limited internal ice; and class 6 rock glaciers have subdued surface topography because the movement of the rock glacier has ceased. Ice content decreases from 25-45%, to 10-25%, to < 10% from class 4 to 6, respectively. Examples from digital imagery, aerial photographs, and field photographs are provided for each class. The classification scheme can be used to identify and map debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers to create an inventory. This will help improve recognition of these landforms as an important water resource in the dry Andes of Chile, which will aid in sustainable planning and development in basins that hold the majority of the population and support a large share of the economic activity in Chile.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Moine, Nicolas; Gsell, Pierre-Stéphane

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

    Starting in summer 2000, Belvedere Glacier, near Macugnaga, Italian Alps, developed an extraordinary change in flow, geometry and surface appearance. A surge-type flow acceleration started in the lower parts of the Monte-Rosa east face, leading to strong crevassing and deformation of Belvedere Glacier, accompanied by bulging of its orographic right margin. In September 2001, a small supraglacial lake developed on the glacier. High water pressure and accelerated movement lasted into winter 2001/2002. The ice, in places, started to override moraines from the Little Ice Age. In late spring and early summer 2002, the supraglacial lake grew at extraordinary rates reaching a maximum area of more than 150'000 m2 by end of June. The evolution of such a large supraglacial lake, a rather unique feature in the Alps, was probably enabled by changes in the subglacial drainage system in the course of the surge-like developments with high water pressure in the glacier. At the end of June, an enhanced growth of the lake level with a rise of about 1 m per day was observed such that the supraglacial lake became a urgent hazard problem for the community of Macugnaga. Emergency measures had to be taken by the Italian Civil Protection. The authors thereby acted as the official expert advisers. Temporal evacuations were ordered and a permanent monitoring and alarm system was installed. Pumps with a maximum output of 1 m3/s were brought to the lake. Bathymetric studies yielded a maximum lake depth of 55 m and a volume of 3.3 millions of cubic meters of water. Aerial photography of 1995, 1999, September 2001 and October 2001 was used to calculate ice flow velocities and changes in surface altitude. Compared to the period of 1995 to 1999, the flow accelerated by about five times in 2001 (max. speeds up to 200 m/yr). Surface uplift measured was about 10-15 m/yr. The results of the photogrammetric studies were used to evaluate different possible lake-outburst scenarios, in particular overtopping and failure of ice dam with catastrophic subglacial drainage. In consideration of the current bathymetric studies and ice thickness measurements from the 1980ies, it was assumed that the floatation equilibrium was possibly reached by end of June. In case of an ice dam, the maximum discharge of a related subglacial drainage was estimated at 200 m3/s, probably involving a large debris flow. Extension and nature of thermokarst processes of the lake/ice interface are currently studied by repeated bathymetric measurements and adaption of corresponding models. In July/August 2002, geodetic ice flow velocity measurements showed that the enhanced flow velocities have decreased probably indicat ing the end of the surge-like movement. In conclusion, the developments at Macugnaga are an excellent example illustrating the need for inte grated hazard assessments in consideration of complex process chains. The current situation requires studies on different aspects, such as rock instabilities, glacier dynamics and hydrology, geomorphody namics, and mitigation-construction planning.

  20. Response of Himalayan debris-covered glaciers to climate warming: from observations to predictive modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D.; Lefeuvre, P.; Ng, F.; Nicholson, L. I.

    2012-12-01

    Field observations and remote-sensing studies have shown that Himalayan debris-covered glaciers tend to follow distinctive evolutionary pathways during periods of negative mass balance. Initially, debris-covered glacier tongues downwaste rather than retreat, resulting in thinning and a reduction of ice surface gradient. Reduced driving stresses lead to lower velocities and eventual stagnation of the tongue. These geometrical and dynamic changes reduce the efficiency of the hydrological system, leading to increased retention of meltwater and the formation of ephemeral supraglacial lakes. High ablation rates around lakes and internal ablation in association with englacial conduits serve to accelerate mass loss and downwasting. In some cases, this evolutionary cascade results in the formation of moraine-dammed lakes, which can present significant outburst flood risks if large lake volumes coincide with weak moraine dams . While this evolutionary sequence has been observed on numerous glaciers, numerical prediction of future glacier behavior requires quantification or parameterization of several complex processes. In addition, system behavior is highly non-linear with multiple process thresholds, creating considerable modeling challenges. An essential first step is to develop robust mass-balance models, including patterns of snow accumulation in extreme terrain and the effects of both debris and climate on melting. Accumulation models need to incorporate vertical variations in precipitation as well as redistribution by wind and avalanching. Newly available precipitation estimates from satellite data can provide important model input. Ablation modeling can be done using a range of approaches, including degree-day and full energy balance models. Mass balance gradients calculated using the latter approach indicate ablation maxima some distance above the glacier termini, where debris cover is relatively thin. Mass balance modeling also indicates that in monsoonal regions, temperature increases have a strong impact on glacier mass balance, increasing melt and the altitude of the rain-snow transition in the summer accumulation season. At a more detailed level, melt models can simulate evolving surface topography and backwasting in response to variations in debris thickness. Recent simulations using coupled mass-balance - flow models can mimic key aspects of the observed behavior of debris-covered glaciers, including debris thickness - melt rate feedbacks, asymmetric advance - retreat cycles, as well as detachment and stagnation of glacier tongues in response to ELA rise. Future modeling challenges include parameterization of lake expansion and deepening processes, developing criteria for switching between ablation regimes, and upscaling the effects of spatially and temporally variable local processes. In the foreseeable future, advanced modeling efforts informed closely by observational studies should enable quantitative predictions to be made about the fate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya.

  1. Combining a Distributed Melt Model and Meteorological Data of Shackleton Glacier, Canadian Rockies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, M.; Jiskoot, H.

    2010-12-01

    Runoff from the Canadian Rocky Mountains into the Upper Columbia and Kootenay basins is strongly dominated by winter snow accumulation and spring melt, and it has been suggested that future reductions in snowpack will create increased competition for water between spring and early fall (Hamlet & Lettenmaier, 1999). Although the glacierised area is substantial for affecting summer flows in these basins, there are no measurements or quantified estimates of glacier runoff contribution. In an effort to provide an estimate of glacier runoff for the region, we measured ablation over 5 years, set up weather stations and temperature sensors in Summers 2009 and 2010 and developed a melt model for Shackleton Glacier (42.5 km2), the largest outlet of the Clemenceau Icefield Group (271 km2), which is the major local ice mass feeding into the Upper Columbia basin. Two HOBO weather stations (WS) were installed on the glacier for two weeks in Summer 2010, one near the left lateral moraine on very dirty ice, and one mid-glacier on relatively clean ice. Instrumentation included pyranometers (solar radiation and albedo), and temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity and barometric pressure sensors. A weather station off ice provided additional temperature and precipitation data. Other data included daily ablation stake measurements, surface roughness measurements, temperature data from Tidbit loggers on and off ice, and daily manual weather observations. Yearly ablation stake measurements and summer weather observations have been made by our team since 2005. A BC River Forecast Centre automatic snow pillow station provides additional temperature and precipitation data. Using these meteorological and ablation data for parameterisation and optimisation, a distributed GIS melt model was constructed from a simple energy balance model. The model is driven by hourly direct and diffuse radiation and DEM hillshading, an albedo parameterisation based on four ice/snow zones identified from a satellite image and field measurements, constant daily values of longwave radiation as a function of percent cloud cover, and sensible heat input as a function of air temperature, katabatic wind, surface roughness and elevation. Latent heat was considered negligible. Novel aspects of the melt model include a valley temperature threshold for katabatic wind (using on and off ice temperatures and katabatic wind speed) and slope corrected area melt and radiation calculations. In an attempt to quantify energy balance effects of tributary-trunk detachment due to glacier recession related glacier fragmentation, special attention was paid to the potential influence from lateral moraines and valley walls and very dirty ice on the ablation in ice marginal regions. Observations suggest that, when katabatic wind diminishes, heat advection from an even moderately warmer lateral moraine can raise nearby glacier temperature substantially. This suggests that a combination of katabatic wind fields and proximity to lateral moraines/rock walls may be important in calculations of sensible heat contribution to surface melt in recently fragmented glacier systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevestre, Hedi; Benn, Douglas I.; Hulton, Nicholas R. J.; Blum, Karoline

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racoviteanu, A.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, Sbastien; Kinnard, Christophe

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates worldwide, releasing bioavailable minerals and nutrients and altering downstream biogeochemistry. Though much research has focused on the recession of ice-glaciers in alpine environments, far less is known about the melt dynamics and biogeochemistry of rock glaciers. Rock glaciers, which are mixtures of ice and rocks that flow like a glacier, are far more abundant in mountainous regions of the western United States than ice glaciers. Little is known about their influence on downstream hydrology and water quality. We report here preliminary results of a west-wide survey of the influence of glaciers and rock glaciers on headwater properties. Measurements of specific conductance, nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), dissolved silica, and dissolved organic matter were compared between glaciers, rock glaciers, and snow-fed reference streams from three basins in the Colorado Front Range. Samples were collected from ice, where possible, and downstream at 500m intervals from the first flowing water to tree line. UV and fluorescence data were analyzed using excitation emission matrices (EEMs) and PARAFAC modeling. High concentrations of NH4+ were only found in ice and the most upstream locations; NH4+ was below detection at all lower elevation sites, whereas NO3- concentrations were low in the headwaters and higher downstream. The fluorescence spectrum of DOC from both ice and the highest elevations had a strong autochthonous (microbial or algal) signal that was replaced by a more allochtonous, terrestrially-derived DOC as it approached tree line. Rock glacier stream chemistry was intermediate between glacier-fed streams and strictly snow fed drainages. DOC levels for ice glaciers ranged 2-3mg/L with increasing values downstream, while rock glaciers ranged from 1-2.5 mg/L with attenuation downstream. Snowfed only streams had DOC values at detection <0.5mg/L, with the exception at Lake Husted outflow, with an upland wetland, unlike the other snow-fed streams sampled. SUVA 254, an index of aromaticity of the dissolved organic matter, was lower in streams fed by rock glaciers than ice glaciers and snow fed streams. This is potentially indicative of microbial processing in streams fed by rock glaciers. Fluorescence index was highest for ice glaciers (1.44), lowest for snow-fed streams (1.33), and a medial value for rock glaciers (1.42). Freshness index, which indicates the proportion of recently produced dissolved organic matter, was highest for ice glacier streams, and lowest for rock glacier streams, and showed the most variability between sites with snow-fed streams. More research is planned, but rock glaciers appear more similar to ice glaciers than snow-fed streams in their influence on alpine stream chemistry on biology, suggesting a trajectory of change of the mountains as ice features waste away.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    Himalayan glaciers show large uncertainty regarding their present and future state due to their sensitive reaction towards change in climatic condition. Himalayan glaciers are unique as they are located in tropical, high altitude regions, predominantly valley type and many are covered with debris. The great northern plains of India sustain on the perennial melt of glaciers meeting the water requirements of agriculture, industries, domestic sector even in the months of summer when large tracts of the country go dry. Therefore, it is important to monitor and assess the state of snow and glaciers and to know the sustainability of glaciers in view of changing global scenarios of climate and water security of the nation. Any information pertaining to Himalayan glaciers is normally difficult to be obtained by conventional means due to its harsh weather and rugged terrains. Due to the ecological diversity and geographical vividness, major part of the Indian Himalaya is largely un-investigated. Considering the fact that Himalayan glaciers are situated in a harsh environment, conventional techniques of their study is challenging and difficult both in terms of logistics and finances whereas the satellite remote sensing offers a potential mode for monitoring glaciers in long term. In order to gain an updated overview of the present state of the glacier cover and its changes since the previous inventories, an attempt has been made to generate a new remotesensing- derived glacier inventory on 1:50,000 scale for Bhaga basin (N32°28'19.7'' - N33°0'9.9'' ; E76°56'16.3'' - E77°25'23.7'' ) Western Himalaya covering an area of 1695.63 km2. having 231 glaciers and occupying glacierized area of 385.17 ±3.71 km2. ranging from 0.03 km2. to 29.28 km2. Glacier inventory has been carried out using high resolution IRS P6 LISS III data of 2011, ASTER DEM and other ancillary data. Specific measurements of mapped glacier features are the inputs for generating the glacier inventory data sheet with 37 parameters as per the UNESCO/TTS format, 11 additional parameters associated with the de-glaciated valley as per the suggestions of Space Application Center Ahmadabad and 9 newly introduced parameters of present study. The data sheet provides glacier wise details for each glacier on the significant glacier parameters like morphology, dimensions, orientation, elevation, etc. for both the active glacier component as well as the associated de-glaciated valley features. Assessment of recent variation in the glacierized area between 2001 and 2011. Results indicate that 231 glaciers covering an area of 391.56 ±3.76 km2. in 2001 has been reduced to 385.17 ±3.71 km2. in 2011; a loss of 1.63 ±1.0% in glacierized area within a period of 10 years. The present paper brings out the methodology adopted and salient results of the glacier inventory carried out which will help to enrich the existing database required for water resources assessment of the country and also meet the requirements of various researches working on climate change related studies.

  8. Energy and mass balance observations on La Mare Glacier (Ortles-Cevedale, European Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carturan, L.; Cazorzi, F.; Dalla Fontana, G.

    2009-04-01

    An experimental site was setup in 2005 on the ablation area of La Mare Glacier, at 2990 m a.s.l., to study the energy and mass balance exchanges between the glacier surface and the atmosphere and to investigate the climatic sensitivity of this particular glacier. An Automatic Weather Station was operated, in the framework of a monitoring network which has been implemented in the Upper Val de La Mare experimental watershed (Trentino, Italy). This basin was selected for a study of climate change effects on cryosphere and hydrology at high-altitude catchments. The 36.2 km2 wide basin has an average altitude of 2906 m a.s.l. and at present the 25% of its surface is glacierized; the annual runoff regime is dominated by snow and ice melt. Direct mass balance measurements have been performed since 1967 on Careser glacier (2.83 km2) and since 2003 on La Mare glacier (3.97 km2). The AWS is mounted on a tripod which stands freely on the glacier surface and is solar-powered. The variables measured are: air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed and direction, shortwave and longwave incoming and outgoing radiation, precipitation and surface height. All the data are sampled at five-minute intervals as average values, with the exception of surface height which is sampled at hourly intervals, as instantaneous values. The collected data were used to calculate the point energy and mass balance and to compare the results with similar investigations carried out on glaciers and available in literature. In particular, our attention has been focussed on some processes which regulate the response to climate changes. The relative importance of the energy balance components was examined and a clear predominance of shortwave radiation inputs was found to exist during melt conditions. Given the relevance of the shortwave net balance, the ice albedo temporal variability (values ranging from 0.1 to 0.5) has been investigated and correlated with meteorological variables. Furthermore, a distinct diurnal cycle of cloud cover was found to control the actual radiation received by the surface, with a minimum coverage at morning and a maximum at late afternoon, due to thermal convection. In addition, the energy available for melt is affected by the glacier cooling effect, which produces a persistent katabatic wind and lead to a reduced climatic sensitivity with respect to the "free atmosphere". The magnitude of the cooling effect has proved to be comparable with the findings of similar studies conducted in other European glaciers. Finally, the data of the first winter highlighted a very low accumulation on the AWS site, due to strong wind erosion of freshly fallen dry and cold snow. Accumulation became significant only in spring, with the deposition of snow in higher temperature conditions and absence of post-event strong northerly winds.

  9. Stabilizing feedbacks in glacier-bed erosion.

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-14

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

  10. Underwater acoustic signatures of glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Perspective with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

  13. Warm Oceans, Fast Glaciers: the connections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truffer, M.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Amundson, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Over the last decade many outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet have accelerated and thinned, and in a number of cases their termini have retreated. There is much in common from glacier to glacier that emerges as these changes are studied, yet the actual physical mechanisms remain unclear. One can show that the spatial patterns and timing of outlet glacier changes around Greenland coincide with changes in sea surface temperature and length of the sea-ice-free season in the surrounding ocean, and that large glacier changes appear to initiate within one to a few years of shifts in these conditions. While ocean warming has a direct impact on rates of melting at the glacier ice/ocean interface, its impact on ice flow is less direct. The spatial and temporal coincidence between changing ocean conditions and speedup is compelling, but the causal link between warmer ocean water and rapid responses from outlet glaciers around Greenland is more complex. Observations of rapid calving retreats, the appearance of calving-related long-period seismicity at some large glaciers undergoing change, and the loss of floating ice tongues all suggest that the direct impact of ocean-driven change is on the stability of the lowest reach of these tidewater outlets. In glaciers with a floating tongue, enhanced basal melt may be destabilizing by thinning the tongue to below its structural integrity; at grounded termini this effect is lacking. However, rapid melt at the near-vertical face can play a significant role for slowly flowing systems. For large grounded glaciers with terminus flow rates of meters per day, the impact of increased melt in summer would seem less important. At such glaciers the link between ocean temperatures, sea ice cover and terminus stability manifests itself by the cessation of calving in fall and winter, which leads to terminus advance and the formation of a floating tongue. The loss of sea ice cover in early spring leads to a disintegration of the seasonal floating tongue and the calving of grounded ice. We use data from Jakobshavns Isbrae in West Greenland to illustrate this effect. The ocean thus appears to have a direct influence on the seasonal behavior. Shorter winter advances can increase the glaciers exposure to grounded calving. This provides a mechanism by which year-to-year variations in coastal ocean conditions are linked rapidly to changes in the stability of glacier termini. The tight connection in time between warming ocean surface waters and changes in glacier termini observed in Greenland have far-reaching implications for the rapidity of response we may see from the Antarctic; not only from the marine based West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but from any outlet glacier that is exposed to ocean water.

  14. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  16. The geochemical record in rock glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Roughness and Glacier Zones from MISR, 2000-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolin, A. W.; Mar, E.

    2014-12-01

    The surface of the Greenland ice sheet is shaped by wind, melt, and glacier dynamics. Surface roughness affects the surface-atmospheric interactions (via the aerodynamic roughness length) and thus influences fluxes of sensible and latent heat at the ice sheet surface. When combined with near-infrared reflectance, surface roughness has been shown to discriminate between glacier zones. We present the first ever annual time series of Greenland ice sheet surface roughness derived from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) for the years 2000-2013. Our cloud-free multi-angular measurements are calibrated using airborne LiDAR data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). Roughness values range from 10 cm in the dry, snow-covered interior of the ice sheet to over 8 m along the crevassed margins of the ice sheet. Roughness increases from April to July as the surface melts and glaciers become more active. Our roughness maps are restricted to spring and early summer due to limited ATM data. We next employed ISODATA unsupervised clustering with MISR near-infrared reflectance and surface roughness to map glacier zones on the ice sheet for years 2000-2013. The number and locations of the ISODATA-derived glacier zones are consistent from year to year with slight shifts in boundaries depending on the extent of early summer melt. These maps of Greenland ice surface roughness and glacier zones are the result of processing several hundred thousand MISR images and are the first ever full-coverage, annual maps of this kind.

  19. Glacier Retreat in the Southern Peruvian Andes: Climate Change, Environmental Impacts, Human Perception and Social Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orlove, B.

    2007-12-01

    This paper presents results from recent environmental and anthropological research near glacierized areas in the department of Cusco, Peru, home to the well-known Quelccaya Ice Cap and to the peak of Ausangate (6384 m). Glaciers in the region are in negative mass balance, losing volume and area, with upslope movement of the glacier fronts. Somewhat paradoxically, flows in many streams close to the glaciers are reduced, particularly in the dry season, due to a shift in the seasonal distribution of melting, to increased evaporation and to increased percolation into newly-exposed sands and gravels. Associated with this reduction in flow is a desiccation of some anthropogenic and natural wetlands, reducing the availability of dry season forage to wild (vicuna) and domesticated (alpaca, llama) ruminants. Interviews and ethnographic observations with local populations of Quechua-speaking herders at elevations of 4500-5200 meters provide detailed comments on these changes. They have an extensive vocabulary of terms for glacial features associated with retreat. They link this treat with environmental factors (higher temperatures, greater winds that deposit dust on lower portions of glaciers) and with religious factors (divine punishment for human wrong-doing, failure of humans to respect mountain spirits). They describe a variety of economic and extra-economic impacts of this retreat on different spatial, social and temporal scales. Though they face other issues as well (threats of pollution from new mining projects, inadequacy of government services), glacier retreat is their principal concern. Many herders express extreme distress over this unprecedented threat to their livelihoods and communities, though a few propose responses - out-migration, the formation of an association of neighboring communities, development of irrigation works - that could serve as adaptations.

  20. Towards a complete World Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemp, Michael

    2013-04-01

    The need for an inventory of the world's glaciers evolved during the International Hydrological Decade (1965-74). As a result, guidelines were established in the mid 1970s to compile a worldwide detailed inventory of existing perennial snow and ice masses. Following these international guidelines, several countries started compiling national glacier inventories based primarily on aerial photographs and maps. In the 1980s, the World Glacier Inventory (WGI) database was launched together with a status report about global and regional glacierised surface areas for the second half of the 20th century. These estimates were based on the detailed inventory data together with preliminary estimates of the remaining glacierised regions derived from early satellite imagery. In the late 1990s, the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database was initiated to continue the inventory task with space-borne sensors. In the WGI, glaciers are represented by geographical point coordinates. The GLIMS database includes digital outlines. Both include exact time stamps and tabular information on glacier classifications, length, area, orientation, and altitude range. Both are regularly updated with newly available data: the WGI stores point information for the second half of the 20th century whereas the GLIMS includes digital outlines for the 21st century. Since these detailed glacier inventories are not (yet) globally complete, there have been several efforts towards preliminary estimates of the overall global glacier coverage. A first, well elaborated one was included in the original status report of the WGI, published in 1989, and was refined in 2005 with information from other sources by Dyurgerov and Meier. Other studies used the detailed WGI, or an extended format by Cogley, for regional or global up-scaling of glacier extents. In 2003, Cogley published a global map of percentage glacier coverage per 1°x1° grid box (GGHydro) that is widely used for modeling at global scale. A first globally and almost complete map with (generalized) digital outlines of all ice covered regions (incl. Greenland but excluding Antarctica) was derived from ESRI's Digital Chart of the World (DCW) and other sources by Raup and colleagues in 2000. Most recently, Arendt and colleagues produced the Randolph dataset which combines available outlines from the GLIMS, DCW, and WGI datasets as well as from many other (often unpublished) sources by using the highest quality version in each region. However, while having the advantage of being almost complete, these global estimates lack time stamps and attributes for individual glaciers. The present work provides a brief review of the various efforts, its methodological differences, and findings towards the completion of a World Glacier Inventory.

  1. International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingle, Craig S.

    1990-01-01

    Cryospheric Sciences Program "International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow" (PI, C. Lingle) provided partial support for publication of Annals of Glaciology 36 by the International Glaciological Society. Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed journal. Annals 36, which was published in 2003, contains 39 peer-reviewed and edited papers from the International Symposium on Fast Glacier Flow, which was held in Yakutat, Alaska, 10-14 June 2002.

  2. Regional Observations of Alaska Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, E. W.; Forster, R. R.; Hall, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Alaska glaciers contribute more to sea level rise than any other glacierized mountain region in the world. Alaska is loosing ~84 Gt of ice annually, which accounts for ~0.23 mm/yr of SLR (Luthcke et al., 2008). Complex glacier flow dynamics, frequently related to tidewater environments, is the primary cause of such rapid mass loss (Larsen et al., 2007). Indirect observations indicate these complex flow dynamics occur on many glaciers throughout Alaska, but no comprehensive velocity measurements exist. We are working to measure glacier surface velocities throughout Alaska using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offset tracking. This work focuses on the Seward/Malaspina, Bering, Columbia, Kaskawulsh, and Hubbard Glaciers and uses a MODIS land surface temperature "melt-day" product (Hall et al., 2006, 2008) to identify potential links between velocity variability and summertime temperature fluctuations. Hall, D., R. Williams Jr., K. Casey, N. DiGirolamo, and Z. Wan (2006), Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance, Geophysical Research Letters, 33(11). Hall, D., J. Box, K. Casey, S. Hook, C. Shuman, and K. Steffen (2008), Comparison of satellite-derived and in-situ observations of ice and snow surface temperatures over Greenland, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112(10), 3739-3749. Larsen, C. F., R. J. Motyka, A. A. Arendt, K. A. Echelmeyer, and P. E. Geissler (2007), Glacier changes in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia and contribution to sea level rise, J. Geophys. Res. Luthcke, S., A. Arendt, D. Rowlands, J. McCarthy, and C. Larsen (2008), Recent glacier mass changes in the Gulf of Alaska region from GRACE mascon solutions, Journal of Glaciology, 54(188), 767-777.

  3. Glacier, glacier lake and permafrost distribution in the Brahmaputra river basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kb, A.; Frauenfelder, R.; Hoelzle, M.; Sossna, I.; Avian, M.

    2009-04-01

    Glacier distribution, glacier changes, glacier lakes and their changes, and mountain permafrost occurrence are investigated and compared to climate scenarios in order to assess the influence of melting glaciers and degrading permafrost on the long-term runoff of the Upper Brahmaputra River. In this contribution we derive glacier inventories for three test areas in the Upper Brahmaputra River Basin based on semi-automatic classification of Landsat data of 2000 and supplementary ASTER data. The resulting glacier outlines are intersected with the glacier outlines of the Chinese Glacier Inventory from about the 1970s-1980s and compared to selected Corona satellite data from the 1960s. In total, an area loss of about 18% was observed over the period investigated. We estimate the according ice volume loss to be on the order of 20%. Using the Chinese Glacier Inventory and our inventory results we upscale the above glacier change to the entire Upper Brahmaputra River Basin. Glacier lakes are mapped for the boundary region between Bhutan and Tibet using 1990 and 2000 Landsat imagery. Changes in lake area are compared to the observed glacier changes. The permafrost distribution in the study region is estimated using regionally adapted versions of two empirical models, both originally developed to estimate the permafrost distribution on a regional scale in the Swiss Alps. One model (PERMAKART) applies a topo-climatic key, based on the relation between altitude above sea level, aspect, and permafrost probability. The second model (PERMAMAP) is based on a linear spatial relation between the bottom temperature of the winter snow cover (BTS), the mean annual air temperature (MAAT) and the potential direct solar radiation. Adaptation of the models is done through the inclusion of ground based meteorological data and validated using distribution patterns of rock glaciers. The latter are mapped from high resolution satellite data such as CORONA and Quickbird imagery. Both, the observed glacier changes and the modelled permafrost distribution are compared to climate simulations in order to estimate the recent and near-future climate change impact on the glaciers and mountain permafrost in the Upper Brahmaputra River basin.

  4. Fuzzy Cognitive Maps for Glacier Hazards Assessment: Application to Predicting the Potential for Glacier Lake Outbursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furfaro, R.; Kargel, J. S.; Fink, W.; Bishop, M. P.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers and ice sheets are among the largest unstable parts of the solid Earth. Generally, glaciers are devoid of resources (other than water), are dangerous, are unstable and no infrastructure is normally built directly on their surfaces. Areas down valley from large alpine glaciers are also commonly unstable due to landslide potential of moraines, debris flows, snow avalanches, outburst floods from glacier lakes, and other dynamical alpine processes; yet there exists much development and human occupation of some disaster-prone areas. Satellite remote sensing can be extremely effective in providing cost-effective and time- critical information. Space-based imagery can be used to monitor glacier outlines and their lakes, including processes such as iceberg calving and debris accumulation, as well as changing thicknesses and flow speeds. Such images can also be used to make preliminary identifications of specific hazardous spots and allows preliminary assessment of possible modes of future disaster occurrence. Autonomous assessment of glacier conditions and their potential for hazards would present a major advance and permit systematized analysis of more data than humans can assess. This technical leap will require the design and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms specifically designed to mimic glacier experts’ reasoning. Here, we introduce the theory of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCM) as an AI tool for predicting and assessing natural hazards in alpine glacier environments. FCM techniques are employed to represent expert knowledge of glaciers physical processes. A cognitive model embedded in a fuzzy logic framework is constructed via the synergistic interaction between glaciologists and AI experts. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed AI methodology as applied to predicting hazards in glacier environments, we designed and implemented a FCM that addresses the challenging problem of autonomously assessing the Glacier Lake Outburst Flow Potential and Impound Water Upstream Flow Potential. The FCM is constructed using what is currently our understanding of how glacier lake outbursts occur, whereas the causal connection between concepts is defined to capture the expertise of glacier scientists. The proposed graph contains 27 nodes and a network of connections that represent the causal link between concepts. To test the developed FCM, we defined three scenarios representing glacier lake environmental conditions that either occurred or that are likely to occur in such highly dynamic environments. For each case, the FCM has been initialized using observables extracted from hypothesized remote sensing imagery. The map, which converges to a fixed point for all of the test scenarios within 15 iterations, shows reasoning consistent with that of glacier experts. The FCM-based cognitive approach has the potential to be the AI core of real-time operational hazards assessment and detection systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Hongkai; Hrachowitz, Markus; Savenije, Hubert

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  9. Greenland's pronounced glacier retreat not irreversible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-02-01

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

  10. Rheology of rock glaciers: a preliminary assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Giardino, J.R.; Vitek, J.D.; Hoskins, E.R.

    1985-01-01

    Movement of rock debris under the influence of gravity, i.e., mass movement, generates a range of phenomena from soil creep, through solifluction,debris flows and rock glaciers to rock falls. Whereas the resultant forms of these phenomena are different, common elements in the mechanics of movement are utilized in the basic interpretation of the processes of formation. Measurements of morphologic variables provide data for deductive analyses of processes that operate too slowly to observe or for processes that generated relict phenomena. External and internal characteristics or rock glacier morphometry and measured rates of motion serve as the basis for the development of a rheological model to explain phenomena classified as rock glaciers. A rock glacier in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado, which exhibits a large number of ridges and furrows and lichen bare fronts of lobes, suggests present day movement. A strain-net established on the surface provides evidence of movement characteristics. These data plus morphologic and fabric data suggest two rheological models to explain the flow of this rock glacier. Model one is based upon perfect plastic flow and model two is based upon stratified fluid movement with viscosity changing with depth. These models permit a better understanding of the movement mechanics and demonstrate that catastrophic events and slow creep contribute to the morphologic characteristics of this rock glacier.

  11. Glacier Changes in the Russian High Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchard, M. E.; Willis, M. J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Golos, E. M.; Stewart, A.; Ornelas, G.; Ramage, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    We provide new surveys of ice speeds and surface elevation changes for ~40,000 km2 of glaciers and ice caps at the Novaya Zemlya (NovZ) and Severnaya Zemlya (SevZ) Archipelagoes in the Russian High Arctic. The contribution to sea level rise from this ice is expected to increase as the region continues to warm at above average rates. We derive ice speeds using pixel-tracking on radar and optical imagery, with additional information from InSAR. Ice speeds have generally increased at outlet glaciers compared to those measured using interferometry from the mid-1990s'. The most pronounced acceleration is at Inostrantseva Glacier, one of the northernmost glaciers draining into the Barents Sea on NovZ. Thinning rates over the last few decades are derived by regressing stacked elevations from multiple Digital Elevations Models (DEMs) sourced from ASTER and Worldview stereo-imagery and cartographically derived DEMs. DEMs are calibrated and co-registered using ICESat returns over bedrock. On NovZ thinning of between 60 and 100 meters since the 1950s' is common. Similar rates between the late 1980s' and the present are seen at SevZ. We examine in detail the response of the outlet glaciers of the Karpinsky and Russanov Ice Caps on SevZ to the rapid collapse of the Matusevich Ice Shelf in the late summer of 2012. We do not see a dynamic thinning response at the largest feeder glaciers. This may be due to the slow response of the cold polar glaciers to changing boundary conditions, or the glaciers may be grounded well above sea level. Speed increases in the interior are difficult to assess with optical imagery as there are few trackable features. We therefore use pixel tracking on Terra SARX acquisitions before and after the collapse of the ice shelf to compute rates of flow inland, at slow moving ice. Interior ice flow has not accelerated in response to the collapse of the ice shelf but interior rates at the Karpinsky Ice Cap have increased by about 50% on the largest outlet glacier compared to rates found using ERS data in the mid-90s. Speeds have at least doubled at some of the smaller glaciers that feed the Matusevich from the south. We investigate the causes of acceleration at both archipelagoes by comparing sea surface temperatures and passive microwave observations of the timing and duration of ice surface melting.

  12. What Influences Climate and Glacier Change in the Southwestern China?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2012-01-01

    The subject of climate change in the areas of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and the Himalayas has taken on increasing importance because of available water resources from their mountain glaciers. Many of these glaciers over the region have been retreating, while some are advancing and stable. Other studies report that some glaciers in the Himalayas show acceleration on their shrinkage. However, the causes of the glacier meltings are still difficult to grasp because of the complexity of climatic change and its influence on glacier issues. However, it is vital that we pursue further study to enable the future prediction on glacier changes.

  13. Evaluating the performance of a glacier erosion model applied to Peyto Glacier, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, R.; Mlynowski, T. J.; Menounos, B.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are effective agents of erosion for many mountainous regions, but primary rates of erosion are difficult to quantify due to unknown conditions at the glacier bed. We develop a numerical model of subglacial erosion and passively couple it to a vertically integrated ice flow model (UBC regional glaciation model). The model accounts for seasonal changes in water pressure at the glacier bed which affect rates of abrasion and quarrying. We apply our erosion model to Peyto Glacier, and compare estimates of glacier erosion to the mass of fine sediment contained in a lake immediately down valley from the glacier. A series of experiments with our model and ones based on subglacial sliding rates are run to explore model sensitivity to bedrock hardness, seasonal hydrology, changes in mass balance, and longer-term dimensional changes of the glacier. Our experiments show that, as expected, erosion rates are most sensitive to bedrock hardness and changes in glacier mass balance. Silt and clay contained in Peyto Lake primarily originate from the glacier, and represent sediments derived from abrasion and comminution of material produced by quarrying. Average specific sediment yield during the period AD1917-1970 from the lake is 467190 Mg km-2yr-1 and reaches a maximum of 928 Mg km-2yr-1 in AD1941. Converting to a specific sediment yield, modelled average abrasion and quarrying rates during the comparative period are 14244 Mg km-2yr-1 and 1167213 Mg km-2yr-1 respectively. Modelled quarrying accounts for approximately 85-95% of the erosion occurring beneath the glacier. The basal sliding model estimates combined abrasion and quarrying. During the comparative period, estimated yields average 427136 Mg km-2yr-1, lower than the combined abrasion and quarrying models. Both models predict maximum sediment yield when Peyto Glacier reached its maximum extent. The simplistic erosion model shows higher sensitivity to climate, as seen by accentuated sediment yield peaks during the Little Ice Age. In all of our experiments to date, modelled sediment yield closely follow maximum ice cover. In contrast, sediment yields obtained from the lake indicate that maximum sediment delivery to the lake lagged maximum ice cover and occurred during a period of rapid glacier retreat. We interpret this lag to indicate removal of stored sediments beneath the glacier and subaerial erosion from recently exposed sediments in the glacier forefield rather than an increase in primary erosion of bedrock.

  14. A semi-automatic method to create central glacier flow lines: A pilot study with Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier length is an important, but largely missing parameter in digital glacier inventories as it has to be digitized by hand (with the related variability). Length changes of glaciers are key indicators of climate change, but can only be measured in the field for a few hundred selected glaciers globally. Its vector representation (a central flow line) is a most important input for modelling future glacier evolution, but only seldom available from digital databases. Hence, there is an urgent need to generate such flow lines for a large number of glaciers from automated methods. The study describes a new method to automatically create central flowlines of glaciers along with an application to a study site where its suitability to automatically derive changes in glacier length is demonstrated. Our new method will likely strongly facilitate the number of available data on both issues (length values and changes) and thus help to improve the assessment and modelling of climate change impacts on glaciers. This new algorithm is based on Python scripting and additional libraries (GDAL / OGR) and requires only a DEM and glacier outlines as an input. The core of the method is based on a glacier axis concept that is combined with geometry rules such as the k-d Tree, Nearest Neighbour and crossing test theory. We have applied the method to 400 glaciers located in Western Alaska, where a new glacier inventory was recently created. The accuracy of the method was assessed by a quantitative and qualitative (outline overlay) comparison with a manually digitized data set for 20 glaciers. This comparison revealed for 17 out of the 20 glaciers a length value that is within the range of the manual digitizations. Other potential methods to determined glacier length performed less good. Combined with previous glacier outlines from the same region we determined and analysed length changes for 390 glaciers over a c. 50 year period.

  15. Pilot Studies with a Photogrammetric Glacier Lake Outburst Flood Early Warning System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maas, H. G.; Mulsow, C.; Wendt, A.; Casassa, G.

    2012-07-01

    Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) depict an environmental risk with an increasing damage potential in many regions of the world. GLOFs are often caused by glacier margin lakes, which suddenly find a drainage path underneath the bottom of a glacier, which is destabilized and retreating as a consequence of local or global climate changes. In a typical GLOF event, a glacier margin lake may drain completely in 24 hours, causing a large flood wave in the area downstream the glacier. The paper documents some recent GLOF events in the Northern Patagonian Icefield (Chile) and presents a terrestrial photogrammetric glacier margin lake monitoring system. The system is based on a camera taking images at regular time intervals. In these images, variations of the water level can be detected by tracking the water-land interface at pre-defined image spots. Due to the drainage mechanism, which is characterized by progressive erosion and melting at the bottom of the glacier, GLOFs are indicated by a progressive water level drop in the lake. Water level changes may be detected with subpixel accuracy by image sequence processing methods. If a 3D model of the lake bottom topography (or at least one height profile through the lake) exists, water level changes in monoscopic image sequences may be transformed into volume loss. The basic idea herein is the intersection of a terrain profile with a water level detected in the image and projected into object space. The camera orientation is determined through a GPS-supported photogrammetric network. Camera orientation changes, which may for instance be induced by wind, can be compensated by tracking some fiducial marks in the image. The system has been used in a pilot study at two glacier margin lakes in the Northern Patagonian Icefield. These lakes have a depth of about 80 - 100 meters. The larger one has a length of 5 km and a maximum volume of about 200,000,000 cubic meters. During the pilot study, several GLOF events could be recorded and processed. Water level changes can be determined at decimeter level precision. The results prove the feasibility of the concept, which has to be completed by a data telemetry and alarm system.

  16. Microbial primary production on an Arctic glacier is insignificant in comparison with allochthonous organic carbon input.

    PubMed

    Stibal, Marek; Tranter, Martyn; Benning, Liane G; Rehk, Josef

    2008-08-01

    Cryoconite holes are unique freshwater environments on glacier surfaces, formed when solar-heated dark debris melts down into the ice. Active photoautotrophic microorganisms are abundant within the holes and fix inorganic carbon due to the availability of liquid water and solar radiation. Cryoconite holes are potentially important sources of organic carbon to the glacial ecosystem, but the relative magnitudes of autochthonous microbial primary production and wind-borne allochthonous organic matter brought are unknown. Here, we compare an estimate of annual microbial primary production in 2006 on Werenskioldbreen, a Svalbard glacier, with the organic carbon content of cryoconite debris. There is a great disparity between annual primary production (4.3 mug C g(-1) year(-1)) and the high content of organic carbon within the debris (1.7-4.5%, equivalent to 8500-22 000 mug C g(-1) debris). Long-term accumulation of autochthonous organic matter is considered unlikely due to ablation dynamics and the surface hydrology of the glacier. Rather, it is more likely that the majority of the organic matter on Werenskioldbreen is allochthonous. Hence, although glacier surfaces can be a significant source of organic carbon for glacial environments on Svalbard, they may be reservoirs rather than oases of high productivity. PMID:18430008

  17. From Gullies to Glaciers: A Continuum of Evidence Supporting a Recent Climate Change on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Grin, E. A.; Dohm, J. M.

    2001-12-01

    Mars Global Surveyor-based discovery of pristine martian gullies (Malin and Edgett, 2000) signaled a more recently hydrologically active Mars than previously thought (Baker et al., 2001, Cabrol et al., 2001, Dohm et al., 2001, Kargel, 2001, Mustard et al., 2001). Although analyses showed tantalizing clues that the gullies could be recent (e.g., little erosion, few accumulation of wind material in their channels, superimposition on recent dune fields, and lack of impact craters), there has been, and will be, no definitive proof of their possible current activity unless MOC images provide evidence that they have been modified by new flow episodes during the time of the MGS mission and/or future orbital mission surveys. Moreover, the gullies are observed outside of the regions where water has been theorized to be currently stable (Haberle et al., 2000), forming a basis for the idea that they formed earlier. However, our new findings show: (a) overwhelming morphological evidence for very recent climate change in the southern mid latitudes, which includes receding glaciers, creep terracettes, rock glaciers, and mudflows, (b) typical glaciers lifetimes of few tens to hundreds of thousands of years, also suggestive of recent climate change, and (c) likely current activity of gullies, creep terracettes, and rock glaciers triggered by a lagged response in the martian permafrost to a recent environmental change. The implications of this collection of climate-induced evidence are of critical importance to future unmanned and manned missions in that aqueous environments can be accessed and analyzed.

  18. Ancient carbon from a melting glacier gives high 14C age in living pioneer invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hågvar, Sigmund; Ohlson, Mikael

    2013-01-01

    Glaciers are retreating and predatory invertebrates rapidly colonize deglaciated, barren ground. The paradox of establishing predators before plants and herbivores has been explained by wind-driven input of invertebrate prey. Here we present an alternative explanation and a novel glacier foreland food web by showing that pioneer predators eat locally produced midges containing 21,000 years old ancient carbon released by the melting glacier. Ancient carbon was assimilated by aquatic midge larvae, and terrestrial adults achieved a radiocarbon age of 1040 years. Terrestrial spiders, harvestmen and beetles feeding on adult midges had radiocarbon ages of 340–1100 years. Water beetles assumed to eat midge larvae reached radiocarbon ages of 1100–1200 years. Because both aquatic and terrestrial pioneer communities use ancient carbon, the term “primary succession” is questionable in glacier forelands. If our “old” invertebrates had been collected as subfossils and radiocarbon dated, their age would have been overestimated by up to 1100 years. PMID:24084623

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Measured Climate Induced Volume Changes of Three Glaciers and Current Glacier-Climate Response Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabant, D. C.; March, R. S.; Cox, L. H.; Josberger, E. G.

    2003-12-01

    Small but hydrologically significant shifts in climate have affected the rates of glacier volume change at the three U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark glaciers. Rate changes are detected as inflections in the cumulative conventional and reference-surface mass-balances of Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska and South Cascade Glacier in Washington. The cumulative mass balances are robust and have recently been corroborated by geodetic determinations of glacier volume change. Furthermore, the four-decade length of record is unique for the western hemisphere. Balance trends at South Cascade Glacier in Washington are generally in the opposite sense compared with Wolverine Glacier in Alaska; NCEP correlation of winter balance with local winter temperatures is positive at 0.59 for Wolverine and -0.64 for South Cascade Glacier. At Wolverine Glacier, the negative trend of cumulative mass balances, since measurements began in 1965, was replaced by a growth trend \\(positive mass balances\\) during the late 1970s and 1980s. The positive mass-balance trend was driven by increased precipitation during the 1976/77 to 1989 period. At Gulkana Glacier, the cumulative mass-balance trend has been negative throughout its measurement history, but with rate-change inflection points that coincide with the interdecadal climate-regime shifts in the North Pacific indices. At South Cascade Glacier, the mass-loss trend, observed since measurements began in 1953, was replaced by a positive trend between 1970 and 1976 then became strongly and continuously negative until 1997 when the rate of loss generally decreased. Since 1989, the trends of the glaciers in Alaska have also been strongly negative. These loss rates are the highest rates in the entire record. The strongly negative trends during the 1990s agree with climate studies that suggest that the period since the 1989 regime shift has been unusual. Volume response time and reference surface balance are the current suggested methods for analyzing the response of glaciers to climate. Volume response times are relatively simple to determine and can be used to evaluate the temporal, areal, and volumetric affects of a climate change. However, the quasi-decadal period between the recent climate-regime shifts is several times less than the theoretical volume readjustment response times for the benchmark glaciers. If hydrologically significant climate shifts recur at quasi-decadal intervals and if most glaciers' volume-response times are several times longer \\(true for all but a few small, steep glaciers\\), most medium and large glaciers are responding to the current climate and a fading series of regime shifts which, themselves, vary in magnitude. This confused history of driver trends prevent conventional balances from being simply correlated with climate. Reference-surface balances remove the dynamic response of glaciers from the balance trend by holding the surface area distribution constant. This effectively makes the reference surface balances directly correlated with the current climatic forcing. The challenging problem of predicting how a glacier will respond to real changes in climate may require a combination of the volume response time and reference surface mass balances applied to a long time-series of measured values that contain hydrologically significant variations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Several studies on Himalayan glaciers have been recently initiated as they are of particular interest in terms of future water supply, regional climate change and sea-level rise. In 2002, a long-term monitoring program was initiated on Chhota Shigri Glacier (15.7 square km, 9 km long, 6263-4050 m a.s.l.) located in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. This glacier lies in the monsoon-arid transition zone (western Himalaya) and is a representative glacier in Lahaul and Spiti Valley. While annual mass balances have been measured continuously since 2002 using the glaciological method, seasonal scale observations began in 2009. The annual and seasonal mass balances were then analyzed along with meteorological conditions in order to understand the role of winter and summer balances on annual glacier-wide mass balance of Chhota Shigri glacier. During the period 2002-2013, the glacier experienced a negative glacier-wide mass balance of -0.590.40 m w.e. a-1 with a cumulative glaciological mass balance of -6.45 m w.e. Annual glacier-wide mass balances were negative except for four years (2004/05, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11) where it was generally close to balanced conditions. Equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for steady state condition is calculated as 4950 m a.s.l. corresponding to an accumulation area ratio (AAR) of 62% using annual glacier-wide mass balance, ELA and AAR data between 2002 and 2013. The winter glacier-wide mass balance between 2009 and 2013 ranges from a maximum value of 1.38 m w.e. in 2009/10 to a minimum value of 0.89 in 2012/13 year whereas the summer glacier-wide mass balance varies from the highest value of -0.95 m w.e. in 2010/11 to the lowest value of -1.72 m w.e. in 2011/12 year. The mean vertical mass balance gradient between 2002 and 2013 was 0.66 m w.e. (100 m)-1 quite similar to Alps, Nepalese Himalayas etc. Over debris covered area, the gradients are highly variable with a negative mean value of -2.15 m w.e. (100 m)-1 over 2002-2013 observation period. The negative gradients can be explained by the thickness of debris cover that increases with decrease in altitude, thus protecting the glacier more efficiently at lower altitudes. Mass balance is strongly dependent on debris cover, exposure (solar radiation) and the shading effect of surrounding steep slopes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Twila; Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben; van den Broeke, Michiel R; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Nol, Brice; Usher, Mika

    2014-01-01

    Predicting Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss due to ice dynamics requires a complete understanding of spatiotemporal velocity fluctuations and related control mechanisms. We present a 5?year record of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 marine-terminating glaciers distributed around the ice sheet margin, along with ice-front position and runoff data sets for each glacier. Among glaciers with substantial speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position. The other two patterns are more prevalent and appear to be meltwater controlled. These patterns reveal differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. The difference may be determined by meltwater availability, which in some regions may be influenced by perennial firn aquifers. Our results highlight the need to understand subglacial meltwater availability on an ice sheet-wide scale to predict future dynamic changes. Key Points First multi-region seasonal velocity measurements show regional differences Seasonal velocity fluctuations on most glaciers appear meltwater controlled Seasonal development of efficient subglacial drainage geographically divided PMID:25821275

  4. Exploration of Uncertainty in Glacier Modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David E.

    1999-01-01

    There are procedures and methods for verification of coding algebra and for validations of models and calculations that are in use in the aerospace computational fluid dynamics (CFD) community. These methods would be efficacious if used by the glacier dynamics modelling community. This paper is a presentation of some of those methods, and how they might be applied to uncertainty management supporting code verification and model validation for glacier dynamics. The similarities and differences between their use in CFD analysis and the proposed application of these methods to glacier modelling are discussed. After establishing sources of uncertainty and methods for code verification, the paper looks at a representative sampling of verification and validation efforts that are underway in the glacier modelling community, and establishes a context for these within overall solution quality assessment. Finally, an information architecture and interactive interface is introduced and advocated. This Integrated Cryospheric Exploration (ICE) Environment is proposed for exploring and managing sources of uncertainty in glacier modelling codes and methods, and for supporting scientific numerical exploration and verification. The details and functionality of this Environment are described based on modifications of a system already developed for CFD modelling and analysis.

  5. 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.

  6. Mathematical challenges in glacier modeling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    jouvet, G.

    2013-12-01

    Many of Earth's glaciers are currently shrinking and it is expected that this trend will continue as global warming progresses. To virtually reproduce the evolution of glaciers and finally to predict their future, one needs to couple models of different disciplines and scales. Indeed, the slow motion of ice is described by fluid mechanics equations while the daily snow precipitations and melting are described by hydrological and climatic models. Less visible, applied mathematics are essential to run such a coupling at two different levels: by solving numerically the underlying equations and by seeking parameters using optimisation methods. This talk aims to make visible the role of mathematics in this area. I will first present a short educational film I have made for the "Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013", which is an introduction to the topic. To go further, solving the mechanical model of ice poses several mathematical challenges due to the complexity of the equations and geometries of glaciers. Then, I will describe some strategies to deal with such difficulties and design robust simulation tools. Finally, I will present some simulations of the largest glacier of the European Alps, the Aletsch glacier. As a less unexpected application, I will show how these results allowed us to make a major advance in a police investigation started in 1926.

  7. Predicting the Effect of Mountain Glacier Recession on Water Resources: A Modeling Study on the Bow Glacier, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolin, A. W.; Lettenmaier, D. P.; Clarke, G. K.; Naz, B. S.; Burns, P. J.

    2011-12-01

    Meltwater from alpine glaciers provides critical water supply for vulnerable populations in the western Andes, the Himalayas and the eastern Canadian Rockies. Glacier recession is of major concern in these climate-sensitive regions where we seek to predict changes in watershed hydrology in selected glacierized river basins. The overarching research question of this investigation asks: How have changes in headwater glaciers affected water supply reliability in those parts of the world where streamflow dynamics are most affected by glacier sources? Our approach uses a process-based model that incorporates snow, glaciers, soil, groundwater, vegetation, and topography. The model is a newly modified version of the spatially distributed hydrology model, DHSVM, in which we have added a dynamic glacier submodel. The glacier submodel is initialized with satellite remote sensing-derived maps of glacier extent and a digital elevation model. It assumes conservation of mass, solving the continuity equation for ice and assumes Glen's ice creep law, a sliding law, and the shallow ice approximation. The glacier model can also handle transport and melt-out of debris cover, ice rheology, and isostatic adjustment for long model runs. Using the Bow Glacier, Alberta as an example, this presentation will focus on recent advances in the integrated modeling of glacier and snowmelt runoff and state-of-the-art remote sensing of glacier extent from ASTER and Landsat.

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  9. Comparison of energy balance on Gangotri and Chhota Shigri Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, G.; Ajai

    2014-11-01

    Surface energy balance of a glacier governs the physical processes taking place at the surface-atmosphere interface and connects ice ablation/accumulation to climate variability. To understand the response of Himalayan glaciers to climatic variability, a study was taken to formulate energy balance equation on two of the Indian Himalayan glaciers, one each from Indus and Ganga basins, which have different climatic and physiographic conditions. Study was carried out over Gangotri glacier (Ganga basin) and Chhota Shigri(CS) glacier from Chandra sub-basin (Indus basin). Gangotri glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the central Himalaya located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India. Chhota Shigri glacier of Chandra sub-basin lies in Lahaul and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. Energy balance components have been computed using inputs derived from satellite data, AWS (Automatic Weather Station) data and field measurements. Different components of energy balance computed are net radiation (includes net shortwave and net longwave radiation), sensible heat flux and latent heat flux. In this study comparison has been made for each of the above energy balance components as well as total energy for the above glaciers for the months of November and December, 2011. It is observed that net radiation in Gangotri glacier is higher by approximately 43 % in comparison to Chhota Shigri glacier; Sensible heat flux is lesser by 77 %; Latent heat flux is higher by 66 % in the month of November 2011. Comparison in the month of December shows that net radiation in Gangotri glacier is higher by approximately 22 % from Chhota Shigri glacier; Sensible heat flux is lesser by 90 %; Latent heat flux is higher by 3 %.Total energy received at the glacier surface and contributes for melting is estimated to be around 32 % higher in Gangotri than Chhota Shigri glacier in November, 2011 and 1.25 % higher in December, 2011. The overall results contribute towards higher melting rate in November and December, 2011 in Gangotri than Chhota Shigri glacier.

  10. Columbia Glacier, Alaska: changes in velocity 1977-1986

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.; Vaughn, B.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Columbia Glacier, a grounded, iceberg-calving tidewater glacier near Valdez, Alaska, began to retreat about 1977. Drastic retreat occurred in 1984, and by early 1986, retreat amounted to 2km. The glacier has thinned more than 100m since 1974 at a point 4km behind the 1974 terminus position. Between 1977 and 1985 the lower glacier ice velocity increased from 3-8m/d to 10-15m/d. -from Authors

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen

    2009-01-01

    In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmer lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y{sup -1}. The annual glacier loss for the two simulations was 50.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} and 64.4 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} for all glaciers - a difference of {approx}21%. The average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for all glaciers in the simulation domain was located at 875 m a.s.l. and at 900 m a.s.l. for simulations with or without inversion routines, respectively.

  12. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Anaglyph with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Numerous other features of the glaciers and the adjacent terrain are clearly seen when viewing this image at full resolution. The series of tonal arcs on Agassiz Glacier's extension onto the piedmont are called 'ogives.' These arcs are believed to be seasonal features created by deformation of the glacier as it passes over bedrock irregularities at differing speeds through the year. Assuming one light-and-dark ogive pair per year, the rate of motion of the glacial ice can be estimated (in this case, about 200 meters per year where the ogives are most prominent). Just to the west, moraine deposits abut the eroded bedrock terrain, forming a natural dam that has created a lake. Near the northwest corner of the scene, a recent landslide has deposited rock debris atop a small glacier. Sinkholes are common in many areas of the moraine deposits. The sinkholes form when blocks of ice are caught up in the deposits and then melt, locally collapsing the deposit. The combination of Landsat imagery and SRTM elevation data used in this stereoscopic display is very effective in visualizing these and other features of this terrain.

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

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

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

  13. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Anaglyph with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Numerous other features of the glaciers and the adjacent terrain are clearly seen when viewing this image at full resolution. The series of tonal arcs on Agassiz Glacier's extension onto the piedmont are called 'ogives.' These arcs are believed to be seasonal features created by deformation of the glacier as it passes over bedrock irregularities at differing speeds through the year. Assuming one light-and-dark ogive pair per year, the rate of motion of the glacial ice can be estimated (in this case, about 200 meters per year where the ogives are most prominent). Just to the west, moraine deposits abut the eroded bedrock terrain, forming a natural dam that has created a lake. Near the northwest corner of the scene, a recent landslide has deposited rock debris atop a small glacier. Sinkholes are common in many areas of the moraine deposits. The sinkholes form when blocks of ice are caught up in the deposits and then melt, locally collapsing the deposit. The combination of Landsat imagery and SRTM elevation data used in this stereoscopic display is very effective in visualizing these and other features of this terrain.

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

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

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

  14. Subglacial melting of glaciers by catchment streams is a missing link in temperate glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, David; Shulmeister, James; Davies, Tim; Callow, Nik

    2013-04-01

    The influence of snowmelt and rain water on subglacial hydrology and glacier mass balance of temperate valley glaciers is poorly understood. We present a thermo-hydraulic melt model to improve understanding of the potential influence that streams sourced from snowmelt and rain have on the subglacial hydrology and melting of the high-precipitation Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand. The model simulates conduit expansion due to melting caused by heat advection and contraction to due ice deformation at an hourly time-step to obtain an annual melt rate along the length of individual subglacial conduits fed from terrestrial streams that enter the glacier from the ice-free sub-catchments surrounding it. These streams are fed by snowmelt and rainfall that enter the glacier well above 0C (up to ~10C at low altitudes). Our model is calibrated using terrestrial stream temperature data and is validated with field measurements of surface and proglacial meltwater temperatures, as well as internal water flow velocities. Modelled outputs based on the best available data from measurements and observations indicate that streams entering the Franz Josef Glacier contribute an estimated 7% to the total glacier melt. This is the equivalent of more than twice the surface rainfall heat flux, which shows that rain and snowmelt may melt significant quantities of ice within a glacier. Not accounting for this melting mechanism in glaciological models where streams enter glaciers may lead to: 1) an incorrect characterisation of the subglacial hydrological drainage system; and 2) a potentially serious bias error in mass balance estimations. The second implication is fundamentally important for model robustness given that glaciological models are increasingly being used to predict the effects of future climate change.

  15. Impact of debris cover on glacier ablation and atmosphere-glacier feedbacks in the Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, E.; Maussion, F.; Nicholson, L. I.; Mlg, T.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Bush, A. B. G.

    2015-04-01

    The Karakoram range of the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya is characterized by both extensive glaciation and a widespread prevalence of surficial debris cover on the glaciers. Surface debris exerts a strong control on glacier surface-energy and mass fluxes and, by modifying surface boundary conditions, has the potential to alter atmosphere-glacier feedbacks. To date, the influence of debris on Karakoram glaciers has only been directly assessed by a small number of glaciological measurements over short periods. Here, we include supraglacial debris in a high-resolution, interactively coupled atmosphere-glacier modelling system. To investigate glaciological and meteorological changes that arise due to the presence of debris, we perform two simulations using the coupled model from 1 May to 1 October 2004: one that treats all glacier surfaces as debris-free and one that introduces an simplified specification for mapping debris thickness. The basin-averaged impact of debris is a reduction in ablation of ~7%, although the difference exceeds 2.5 m w.e. on the lowest-altitude glacier tongues. The modest reduction in mean mass loss results in part from non-negligible sub-debris melt rates under thicker covers and from compensating increases in melt under thinner debris, and may help to explain the lack of distinct differences in recent elevations changes between clean and debris-covered ice. The presence of debris also strongly alters the surface boundary condition and thus heat exchanges with the atmosphere; near-surface meteorological fields at lower elevations and their vertical gradients; and the atmospheric boundary layer development. These findings are relevant for glacio-hydrological studies on debris-covered glaciers and contribute towards an improved understanding of glacier behaviour in the Karakoram.

  16. Impact of debris cover on glacier ablation and atmosphere-glacier feedbacks in the Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, E.; Maussion, F.; Nicholson, L. I.; Mlg, T.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Bush, A. B. G.

    2015-08-01

    The Karakoram range of the Hindu-Kush Himalaya is characterized by both extensive glaciation and a widespread prevalence of surficial debris cover on the glaciers. Surface debris exerts a strong control on glacier surface-energy and mass fluxes and, by modifying surface boundary conditions, has the potential to alter atmosphere-glacier feedbacks. To date, the influence of debris on Karakoram glaciers has only been directly assessed by a small number of glaciological measurements over short periods. Here, we include supraglacial debris in a high-resolution, interactively coupled atmosphere-glacier modeling system. To investigate glaciological and meteorological changes that arise due to the presence of debris, we perform two simulations using the coupled model from 1 May to 1 October 2004: one that treats all glacier surfaces as debris-free and one that introduces a simplified specification for the debris thickness. The basin-averaged impact of debris is a reduction in ablation of ~ 14 %, although the difference exceeds 5 m w.e. on the lowest-altitude glacier tongues. The relatively modest reduction in basin-mean mass loss results in part from non-negligible sub-debris melt rates under thicker covers and from compensating increases in melt under thinner debris, and may help to explain the lack of distinct differences in recent elevation changes between clean and debris-covered ice. The presence of debris also strongly alters the surface boundary condition and thus heat exchanges with the atmosphere; near-surface meteorological fields at lower elevations and their vertical gradients; and the atmospheric boundary layer development. These findings are relevant for glacio-hydrological studies on debris-covered glaciers and contribute towards an improved understanding of glacier behavior in the Karakoram.

  17. Determining Crevasse Sequences in Surging Glaciers using Neural Network Classification from Remotely Sensed Images of Bering Glacier, AK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobeck, J.; Herzfeld, U. C.; Goetz-Weiss, L.; Hale, G.

    2014-12-01

    Bering Glacier in Alaska is a surging glacier; one of the most understudied glacier classes in the cryospheric sciences. By using a neural network created with a new method for extracting crevasse patterns, and remotely sensed images acquired from World View 1, it is possible to not only to classify crevasses formed during Bering's surges, but also to determine whether glacier crevasses form in pattern sequences. In order to understand the relationship between the geographic location of the crevasse types and the geophysical formation of those crevasses, an analysis of glacier flow, velocity, and the dependency on the type of force acting upon the glacier, will be used over a time sequence of Wold View 1 images. The importance of this study will allow for better understanding of the geophysical processes that occurs on surging glaciers, along with allowing for future prediction of crevasse formation which will be useful in determining hazardous regions of Bering glacier, ultimately allowing for higher safety for researchers.

  18. 36 CFR 7.3 - Glacier National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Glacier National Park. 7.3... REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 7.3 Glacier National Park. (a) Fishing. (1) Fishing... food, drink, or lodging for sale may be operated on any privately owned lands within Glacier...

  19. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming.

    PubMed

    Sorg, Annina; Kääb, Andreas; Roesch, Andrea; Bigler, Christof; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-01-01

    While the responses of Tien Shan glaciers--and glaciers elsewhere--to climatic changes are becoming increasingly well understood, this is less the case for permafrost in general and for rock glaciers in particular. We use a novel approach to describe the climate sensitivity of rock glaciers and to reconstruct periods of high and low rock glacier activity in the Tien Shan since 1895. Using more than 1500 growth anomalies from 280 trees growing on rock glacier bodies, repeat aerial photography from Soviet archives and high-resolution satellite imagery, we present here the world's longest record of rock glacier movements. We also demonstrate that the rock glaciers exhibit synchronous periods of activity at decadal timescales. Despite the complex energy-balance processes on rock glaciers, periods of enhanced activity coincide with warm summers, and the annual mass balance of Tuyuksu glacier fluctuates asynchronously with rock glacier activity. At multi-decadal timescales, however, the investigated rock glaciers exhibit site-specific trends reflecting different stages of inactivation, seemingly in response to the strong increase in air temperature since the 1970s. PMID:25657095

  20. Widespread Alaska glacier retreat likely not due to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2014-06-01

    Alaska's Columbia Glacier, which has shed half its mass since 1957, is a dramatic example of how quickly glaciers can shrink. Yet while Columbia has shown a huge decline, a new analysis by McNabb and Hock has found that other glaciers in the region have retreated far less, or even advanced, over the past 6 decades.

  1. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorg, Annina; Kb, Andreas; Roesch, Andrea; Bigler, Christof; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-02-01

    While the responses of Tien Shan glaciers - and glaciers elsewhere - to climatic changes are becoming increasingly well understood, this is less the case for permafrost in general and for rock glaciers in particular. We use a novel approach to describe the climate sensitivity of rock glaciers and to reconstruct periods of high and low rock glacier activity in the Tien Shan since 1895. Using more than 1500 growth anomalies from 280 trees growing on rock glacier bodies, repeat aerial photography from Soviet archives and high-resolution satellite imagery, we present here the world's longest record of rock glacier movements. We also demonstrate that the rock glaciers exhibit synchronous periods of activity at decadal timescales. Despite the complex energy-balance processes on rock glaciers, periods of enhanced activity coincide with warm summers, and the annual mass balance of Tuyuksu glacier fluctuates asynchronously with rock glacier activity. At multi-decadal timescales, however, the investigated rock glaciers exhibit site-specific trends reflecting different stages of inactivation, seemingly in response to the strong increase in air temperature since the 1970s.

  2. Contrasting responses of Central Asian rock glaciers to global warming

    PubMed Central

    Sorg, Annina; Kääb, Andreas; Roesch, Andrea; Bigler, Christof; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-01-01

    While the responses of Tien Shan glaciers – and glaciers elsewhere – to climatic changes are becoming increasingly well understood, this is less the case for permafrost in general and for rock glaciers in particular. We use a novel approach to describe the climate sensitivity of rock glaciers and to reconstruct periods of high and low rock glacier activity in the Tien Shan since 1895. Using more than 1500 growth anomalies from 280 trees growing on rock glacier bodies, repeat aerial photography from Soviet archives and high-resolution satellite imagery, we present here the world's longest record of rock glacier movements. We also demonstrate that the rock glaciers exhibit synchronous periods of activity at decadal timescales. Despite the complex energy-balance processes on rock glaciers, periods of enhanced activity coincide with warm summers, and the annual mass balance of Tuyuksu glacier fluctuates asynchronously with rock glacier activity. At multi-decadal timescales, however, the investigated rock glaciers exhibit site-specific trends reflecting different stages of inactivation, seemingly in response to the strong increase in air temperature since the 1970s. PMID:25657095

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

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  4. Comparative metagenome analysis of an Alaskan glacier.

    PubMed

    Choudhari, Sulbha; Lohia, Ruchi; Grigoriev, Andrey

    2014-04-01

    The temperature in the Arctic region has been increasing in the recent past accompanied by melting of its glaciers. We took a snapshot of the current microbial inhabitation of an Alaskan glacier (which can be considered as one of the simplest possible ecosystems) by using metagenomic sequencing of 16S rRNA recovered from ice/snow samples. Somewhat contrary to our expectations and earlier estimates, a rich and diverse microbial population of more than 2,500 species was revealed including several species of Archaea that has been identified for the first time in the glaciers of the Northern hemisphere. The most prominent bacterial groups found were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. Firmicutes were not reported in large numbers in a previously studied Alpine glacier but were dominant in an Antarctic subglacial lake. Representatives of Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria and Planctomycetes were among the most numerous, likely reflecting the dependence of the ecosystem on the energy obtained through photosynthesis and close links with the microbial community of the soil. Principal component analysis (PCA) of nucleotide word frequency revealed distinct sequence clusters for different taxonomic groups in the Alaskan glacier community and separate clusters for the glacial communities from other regions of the world. Comparative analysis of the community composition and bacterial diversity present in the Byron glacier in Alaska with other environments showed larger overlap with an Arctic soil than with a high Arctic lake, indicating patterns of community exchange and suggesting that these bacteria may play an important role in soil development during glacial retreat. PMID:24712530

  5. Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonnahme, T. R.; Devetter, M.; rsk, J. D.; aback, M.; Elster, J.

    2015-07-01

    Glaciers are known to harbor surprisingly complex ecosystems. On their surface, distinct cylindrical holes filled with meltwater and sediments are considered as hot spots for microbial life. The present paper addresses possible biological interactions within the community of prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae (microalgae) and relations to their potential grazers, additional to their environmental controls. Svalbard glaciers with substantial allochthonous input of material from local sources reveal high microalgal densities. Small valley glaciers with high sediment coverages and high impact of birds show high biomasses and support a high biological diversity. Invertebrate grazer densities do not show any significant negative correlation with microalgal abundances, but a positive correlation with eukaryotic microalgae. Most microalgae found in this study form large colonies (< 10 cells, or > 25 ?m), which may protect them against invertebrate grazing. This finding rather indicates grazing as a positive control on eukaryotic microalgae by nutrient recycling. Density differences between the eukaryotic microalgae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria and their high distinction in RDA and PCA analyses indicate that these two groups are in strong contrast. Eukaryotic microalgae occurred mainly in unstable cryoconite holes with high sediment loads, high N : P ratios, and a high impact of bird guano, as a proxy for nutrients. In these environments autochthonous nitrogen fixation appears to be negligible. Selective wind transport of Oscillatoriales via soil and dust particles is proposed to explain their dominance in cryoconites further away from the glacier margins. We propose that, for the studied glaciers, nutrient levels related to recycling of limiting nutrients is the main factor driving variation in the community structure of microalgae and grazers.

  6. Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high-Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonnahme, T. R.; Devetter, M.; Žárský, J. D.; Šabacká, M.; Elster, J.

    2016-02-01

    Glaciers are known to harbor surprisingly complex ecosystems. On their surface, distinct cylindrical holes filled with meltwater and sediments are considered hot spots for microbial life. The present paper addresses possible biological interactions within the community of prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae (microalgae) and relations to their potential grazers, such as tardigrades and rotifers, additional to their environmental controls. Svalbard glaciers with substantial allochthonous input of material from local sources reveal high microalgal densities. Small valley glaciers with high sediment coverages and high impact of birds show high biomasses and support a high biological diversity. Invertebrate grazer densities do not show any significant negative correlation with microalgal abundances but rather a positive correlation with eukaryotic microalgae. Shared environmental preferences and a positive effect of grazing are the proposed mechanisms to explain these correlations. Most microalgae found in this study form colonies (< 10 cells, or > 25 µm), which may protect them against invertebrate grazing. This finding rather indicates grazing as a positive control on eukaryotic microalgae by nutrient recycling. Density differences between the eukaryotic microalgae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria and their high distinction in redundancy (RDA) and principal component (PCA) analyses indicate that these two groups are in strong contrast. Eukaryotic microalgae occurred mainly in unstable cryoconite holes with high sediment loads, high N : P ratios, and a high impact of nutrient input by bird guano, as a proxy for nutrients. In these environments autochthonous nitrogen fixation appears to be negligible. Selective wind transport of Oscillatoriales via soil and dust particles is proposed to explain their dominance in cryoconites further away from the glacier margins. We propose that, for the studied glaciers, nutrient levels related to recycling of limiting nutrients are the main factor driving variation in the community structure of microalgae and grazers.

  7. Glacial changes and glacier mass balance at Gran Campo Nevado, Chile during recent decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, C.; Schnirch, M.; Kilian, R.; Acua, C.; Casassa, G.

    2003-04-01

    Within the framework of the program Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) a glacier inventory of the Peninsula Muoz Gamero in the southernmost Andes of Chile (53S) has been generated using aerial photopgrahy and Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. The Peninsula is partly covered by the ice cap of the Gran Campo Nevado (GCN), including several outlet glaciers plus some minor glaciers and firn fields. All together the ice covered areas sum up to 260 km2. GCN forms the only major ice body between the Southern Patagonia Icefield and the Strait of Magallan. Its almost unique location in a zone affected year-round by the westerlies makes it a region of key interest in terms of glacier and climate change studies of the west-wind zone of the Southern Hemisphere. A digital elevation model (DEM) was created for the area, using aerial imagery from 1942, 1984, and 1998 and a Chilean topographic map (1: 100 000). All information was incorporated into a GIS together with satellite imagery from 1986 and 2001. Delineation of glacier inflow from the central plateau of Gran Campo Nevado was accomplished using an automatic module for watershed delineation within the GIS. The GIS served to outline the extent of the present glaciation of the peninsula, as well as to evaluate the derived historic information. The comparison of historic and recent imagery reveals a dramatic glacier retreat during the last 60 years. Some of the outlet glaciers lost more than 20% of their total area during this period. In February and March 2000 a automatic weather station (AWS) was run on a nameless outlet glacier, inofficially Glaciar Lengua, of the Gran Campo Nevado Ice Cap. From the computed energy balance, it was possible to derive degree-day factors for the Glaciar Lengua. With data from the nearby AWS at fjord coast (Bahia Bahamondes) we computed ablation for the summer seasons of 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002. Ablation at 450 m a.s.l. sums up to about 7 m in 1999/2000, 5.5 m in 2000/2001 and 8.5 m in 2001/2002. This is in excellent accordance (+/-4%) with measurements at 12 m-long ablation stakes that have been drilled into the glacier. The DEM and a GIS layer defining glacier boundaries provide the basis for the distributed calculation of glacier mass balance. It was computed from the degree-day-model by applying elevation-corrected temperature and precipitation data to each grid point of the DEM. Furthermore, weather station data from Punta Arenas and Faro Evangelistas since 1905 enables to estimate the mass balance of Glaciar Lengua for almost one century. The derived mass balance record indicates a slightly negative mass balance during most of the 20th century. This in excellent agreement with the result obtained from aerial photography and GIS. The work was conducted as part of the international and interdisciplinary working group Gran Campo Nevado and was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

  8. Columbia Glacier in 1986; 800 meters retreat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krimmel, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    Columbia Glacier, in Prince William Sound, Alaska, continued its rapid retreat in 1986, with a retreat of 800 m. Average velocity of the lower portion of the glacier, 10 September 1986 to 26 January 1987, was three km/yr, or about one-half of the velocity during similar periods for the previous three years. This reduced velocity is a new development in the progression of the retreat, and if the calving rate follows the pattern of previous years, will result in continued retreat. (Author 's abstract)

  9. Evidence for flocculation in glacier-fed Lillooet Lake, British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Hodder, K R; Gilbert, R

    2007-06-01

    This study provides evidence of in situ flocculation in a glacier-fed freshwater lake. Direct observation of flocculated particles using microscopy provides the strongest evidence to establish that clastic suspended sediment in Lillooet Lake is flocculated. Flocs in Lillooet Lake exhibit a hierarchical size structure, with primary particles (<4 microm) joining to create microflocs (10-35 microm), and both primary particles and microflocs joining to create macroflocs (200-280 microm). In situ laser particle sizing reveals primary particles and microflocs dominate in the epilimnion, a zone susceptible to shear induced by wind or inflow and exhibiting the highest suspended sediment loads. Macroflocs dominate in the hypolimnion, a more quiescent zone and exhibiting the lowest suspended sediment loads. Flocculated particles are invisible to traditional methods of sediment analysis in glaciolacustrine settings. Flocculation is a plausible explanation for accelerated sedimentation of the clay-sized sediments known to dominate the size distribution of varves in other glacier-fed lakes. PMID:17445861

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oerlemans, J.; Fortuin, J.P.F. )

    1992-10-02

    Recent field programs on glaciers have supplied information that makes simulation of glacier mass balance with meteorological models meaningful. An estimate of world-wide glacier sensitivity based on a modeling study of 12 selected glaciers situated in widely differing climatic regimes shows that for a uniform 1 K warming the area-weighted glacier mass balance will decrease by 0.40 meter per year. This corresponds to a sea-level rise of 0.58 millimeter per year, a value significantly less than earlier estimates.

  12. Contrasting response of South Greenland glaciers to recent climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, C.R.; Glasser, N.F. )

    1992-05-01

    A unique geographical configuration of glaciers exists in the Narsarsuaq district of South Greenland. Two large outlet glaciers divide into seven distributaries, such that each glacier system has land-terminating, tidewater-calving, and fresh-water-calving termini. Despite a similar climatic regime, these seven glaciers have exhibited strongly contrasting terminal behavior in historical time, as shown by historical records, aerial photographs, and fieldwork in 1989. The behavior of the calving glaciers cannot be accounted for with reference solely to climatic parameters. The combination of iceberg calving dynamics and topographic control has partially decoupled them from climatic forcing such that their oscillations relate more closely to glaciodynamic than glacioclimatic factors.

  13. Simulating the climatic mass balance of Svalbard glaciers from 2003 to 2013 with a high-resolution coupled atmosphere-glacier model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aas, K. S.; Dunse, T.; Collier, E.; Schuler, T. V.; Berntsen, T. K.; Kohler, J.; Luks, B.

    2015-10-01

    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 -167 mm w.e. yr-1, corresponding to a mean annual mass loss of about 5.7 Gt, with large interannual variability. Our results are compared with a comprehensive set of mass balance, meteorological and satellite measurements. Model temperature biases of 0.17 and -1.9 °C are found at two glacier automatic weather station sites. Simulated climatic mass balance is mostly within about 0.1 m w.e. yr-1 of stake measurements, and simulated winter accumulation at the Austfonna ice cap shows mean absolute errors of 0.05 and 0.06 m w.e. yr-1 when compared to radar-derived values for the selected years 2004 and 2006. Comparison of surface height changes from 2003 to 2008 from model, 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 1 m w.e. yr-1), a site where sub-grid topography and wind redistribution of snow are important factors. Comparison with simulations using a 9 km grid spacing reveal considerable differences on regional and local scales. In addition, the 3 km grid spacing allows for a much more detailed comparison with observations than what is possible with a 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.

  14. Coseismic-initiated calving at a freshwater-terminating glacier: Tasman Glacier, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dykes, R. C.; Lube, G.; Brook, M. S.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier retreat resulting from iceberg calving represents one of the major controls on ice loss from water-terminating glaciers (ice sheets, tidewater and freshwater glaciers) globally. However, the impact that calving has on the transfer of mass between the cryosphere and hydrosphere is still heavily debated, and the physical mechanisms behind calving remain poorly understood. Hitherto, the initiation of calving events has largely been attributed to underlying glaciological mechanisms (including fracturing of ice due to high longitudinal stress gradients) and changes in the proglacial water-body characteristics. We present evidence for a large-magnitude calving event following high magnitude (>Mw 6) earthquakes as a potentially important triggering mechanism of calving in tectonically-active areas. We describe the response of Tasman Glacier, New Zealand, a freshwater-terminating glacier undergoing accelerated calving retreat, to the Mw 6.3, 5.7 and 4.5 Christchurch 22 February 2011 earthquakes and the subsequent calving event. Time-series analysis of timed video and photographic records of the glacier terminus immediately pre-, co- and post- the 22 February earthquakes demonstrates that the large calving event on the 22 February 2011 occurred in direct response to a resonance effect caused by shear (S-) waves oscillating the terminus at the ice-water interface. We suggest that, in this instance, the magnitude of calving was amplified because Tasman Glacier had reached a critical threshold for buoyancy-induced calving in relation to perturbations in lake level. Prior to this event, small- to intermediate magnitude calving, leading to terminus retreat, had been dominated by thermo-erosional notching at the waterline, destabilising the subaerial ice cliff. Indeed, recent (post-2006) large calving events have primarily been driven by torque-induced, buoyancy-driven calving. Hence, in tectonically-active areas, coseismic-initiated calving can have an episodic, but strong control on retreat, potentially destabilising a glacier system and leading to accelerated recession, accentuating climate-forced mass balance changes.

  15. Dynamics of Glacier Calving at the Ungrounded Margin of Helheim Glacier, South-East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; Selmes, N.; James, T.; Edwards, S.; Martin, I.; O'Farrell, T.; Aspey, R. A.; Nettles, M.; Rutt, I. C.

    2014-12-01

    Iceberg calving is a key mass loss mechanism for tidewater glaciers, and has been the major contributor to increased contribution to sea-level rise from several regions of Greenland, including the south-east. In summer 2013 we installed a network of 19 GNSS sensors at the margin of Helheim Glacier in south-east Greenland together with 5 oblique cameras to study iceberg calving mechanisms. The network collected data at rates up to every 7 seconds and was designed to be robust to the loss of sensor nodes as the glacier calved. Data collection covered 55 days during July through to early September 2013, and many sensors survived in locations right at the glacier front to the time of iceberg calving. The observation period included a number of significant calving events, and in consequence the glacier retreated ~1.5 km. Throughout the summer the glacier was seen to calve by a process of buoyancy-force-induced bottom-crevassing in which the ice downglacier of flexion zones rotates upwards because it is out of buoyant equilibrium. Calving then occurs back to the flexion zone. This calving process provides a compelling and complete explanation for the data collected. Tracking of the oblique camera images allows identification and characterisation of the flexion zones and their propagation downglacier. Interpretation of the GNSS data and camera data in combination allows us to place constraints on the geometry of the basal cavity that forms beneath the rotating ice downglacier of the flexion zone before calving. Theoretical considerations suggest that the process of bottom crevasse propagation is strongly enhanced when the glacier base is deeper than buoyant equilibrium. We therefore suggest that this calving mechanism will be prevalent whenever this occurs. Interactions between the fjord water and the glacier are likely to enhance calving rates and the process also has implications for mixing in the proglacial fjord.

  16. Glacier dynamics at Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers, southeast Greenland, since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, S. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjr, K. H.; Bevan, S.; Luckman, A.; Aschwanden, A.; Bjrk, A. A.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Box, J. E.; van den Broeke, M.; van Dam, T. M.; Fitzner, A.

    2014-08-01

    Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance on the decadal scale. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance beyond such episodic events is required. Here, we extend the observational record of marginal thinning of Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers from 10 to more than 80 years. We show that, although the frontal portion of Helheim Glacier thinned by more than 100 m between 2003 and 2006, it thickened by more than 50 m during the previous two decades. In contrast, Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier underwent minor thinning of 40-50 m from 1981 to 1998 and major thinning of more than 100 m after 2003. Extending the record back to the end of the Little Ice Age (prior to 1930) shows no thinning of Helheim Glacier from its maximum extent during the Little Ice Age to 1981, while Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier underwent substantial thinning of 230 to 265 m. Comparison of sub-surface water temperature anomalies and variations in air temperature to records of thickness and velocity change suggest that both glaciers are highly sensitive to short-term atmospheric and ocean forcing, and respond very quickly to small fluctuations. On century timescales, however, multiple external parameters (e.g. outlet glacier shape) may dominate the mass change. These findings suggest that special care must be taken in the projection of future dynamic ice loss.

  17. Malaspina Glacier: a modern analog to the Laurentide Glacier in New England

    SciTech Connect

    Gustavson, T.C.; Boothroyd, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    The land-based temperate Malaspina Glacier is a partial analog to the late Wisconsinan Laurentide Ice Sheet that occupied New England and adjacent areas. The Malaspina occupies a bedrock basin similar to basins occupied by the margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Ice lobes of the Malaspina are similar in size to end moraine lobes in southern New England and Long Island,New York. Estimated ice temperature, ablation rates, surface slopes and meltwater discharge per unit of surface area for the Laurentide Ice Sheet are similar to those for the Malaspina Glacier. In a simple hydrologic-fluvial model for the Malaspina Glacier meltwater moves towards the glacier bed and down-glacier along intercrystalline pathways, crevasses and moulins, and a series of tunnels. Regolith and bedrock at the glacier floor, which are eroded and transported by subglacial and englacial streams, are the sources of essentially all fluvio-lacustrine sediment on the Malaspina Foreland. Supraglacial eskers containing coarse gravels occur as much as 100 m above the glacier bed and are evidence that bedload can be lifted hydraulically. Subordinant amounts of sediment are contributed to outwash by small surface streams draining the ice margin. By analogy a similar hydrologic-fluvial system existed along the southeastern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Subglacial regolith and bedrock eroded from beneath the Laurentide Ice Sheet by meltwater was also the source of most glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine deposits in southern New England, not sediment carried to the surface of the ice sheet along shear planes and washed off the glacier by meltwater.

  18. Glaciers and Global Climate: Field and Remote-Sensing Studies of the Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, D. K.

    1998-01-01

    Glaciers are important indicators of global climate. Glacier recession, as observed from space and in the field, has been occurring for about 100 years. The present extent of glaciers and glaciers in the last Ice Age will be discussed. I will show slides of field work on glaciers and show instruments used to measure ice and snow. I will discuss reasons for studying glaciers and why remote sensing is important for glacier studies.

  19. A complex relationship between calving glaciers and climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, A.; O'Neel, S.; Motyka, R.J.; Streveler, G.

    2011-01-01

    Many terrestrial glaciers are sensitive indicators of past and present climate change as atmospheric temperature and snowfall modulate glacier volume. However, climate interpretations based on glacier behavior require careful selection of representative glaciers, as was recently pointed out for surging and debris-covered glaciers, whose behavior often defies regional glacier response to climate [Yde and Paasche, 2010]. Tidewater calving glaciers (TWGs)mountain glaciers whose termini reach the sea and are generally grounded on the seaflooralso fall into the category of non-representative glaciers because the regional-scale asynchronous behavior of these glaciers clouds their complex relationship with climate. TWGs span the globe; they can be found both fringing ice sheets and in high-latitude regions of each hemisphere. TWGs are known to exhibit cyclic behavior, characterized by slow advance and rapid, unstable retreat, largely independent of short-term climate forcing. This so-called TWG cycle, first described by Post [1975], provides a solid foundation upon which modern investigations of TWG stability are built. Scientific understanding has developed rapidly as a result of the initial recognition of their asynchronous cyclicity, rendering greater insight into the hierarchy of processes controlling regional behavior. This has improved the descriptions of the strong dynamic feedbacks present during retreat, the role of the ocean in TWG dynamics, and the similarities and differences between TWG and ice sheet outlet glaciers that can often support floating tongues.

  20. Surface change detection in glacier regions using ALOS PALSAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomiyama, N.; Ono, M.

    2010-12-01

    Mountainous glaciers are important water resources in the high mountainous region. The glaciers not only supply water for drinking and agriculture, but also produce energy in hydroelectric power plants to local communities. The recent rapid glacier retreat is at high risk for severe water shortage in the near future. And the melting water of glacier sometimes leads to landslide disaster or glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF). Actually, the debris flow happened and damaged the buildings at the valley of Pacuni glacier in Bolivia in December 2007. Consequently, the monitoring of the glacier regions is very important both to manage water resources and to mitigate the damage from landslide disaster. The Advanced Land Observing Satellite DAICHI (ALOS) has three sensors, two visible imagers and one L-band polarimetric SAR, and has been observing the land surface since 2006. This study discusses the availability of the Phased-Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) of ALOS for surface change detection in glacier regions in Bolivia. The observation by PALSAR is unaffected by weather. And this characteristic is the most important for the glacier monitoring. Some glaciers and their surrounding mountainous regions are selected as a test sites for this study and many landslides near Pacuni glacier were detected by Differential Interferometric SAR (DInSAR) technique using PALSAR data of ALOS.

  1. Satellite-Based Study of Glaciers Retreat in Northern Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munir, Siraj

    Glaciers serve as a natural regulator of regional water supplies. About 16933 Km 2 area of glaciers is covered by Pakistan. These glaciers are enormous reservoirs of fresh water and their meltwater is an important resource which feed rivers in Pakistan. Glacier depletion, especially recent melting can affect agriculture, drinking water supplies, hydro-electric power, and ecological habitats. This can also have a more immediate impact on Pakistan's economy that depends mainly on water from glacier melt. Melting of seasonal snowfall and permanent glaciers has resulted not only in reduction of water resources but also caused flash floods in many areas of Pakistan. With the advent of satellite technology, using optical and SAR data the study of glaciers, has become possible. Using temporal data, based on calculation of snow index, band ratios and texture reflectance it has been revealed that the rate of glacier melting has increased as a consequent of global warming. Comparison of Landsat images of Batura glacier for October 1992 and October 2000 has revealed that there is a decrease of about 17 sq km in Batura glaciers. Although accurate changes in glacier extent cannot be assessed without baseline information, these efforts have been made to analyze future changes in glaciated area.

  2. SAR investigations of glaciers in northwestern North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingle, Craig S.; Harrison, William D.

    1995-01-01

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

  3. Past fluctuations and current status of the Gangotri Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haritashya, U. K.; Bishop, M. P.; Bolch, T.; Copland, L.; Owen, L. A.; Mani, S.

    2013-12-01

    Himalayan glaciers have been in a state of general retreat since the last century (Mayewski and Jeschke, 1979; Mayewski et al., 1980) with accelerated losses in the last decade (Ageta and Iwata, 1999; Rai, 2005), but their fluctuations across the entire Himalaya or any one of the region (east, west or central) has yet to be adequately characterized or understood in terms of climate-glacier dynamics. When it comes to glacier fluctuations in the Indian Himalaya, our research generally takes us to the Gangotri Glacier which has been considered to be a rapidly retreating glacier. However, our study indicates the complex climate-glacier dynamics and numerous feedback mechanisms operating throughout the glacier, which requires more analysis than just a frontal fluctuation. Overall, this is a multifaceted issue and these findings indicate the urgency of a systematic and comprehensive assessment across the region.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brugman, Melinda M.; Post, Austin

    1981-01-01

    The cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens May 18, 1980, removed 2.9 km2 (about 0.13 km3) of glacier snow and ice including a large part of Shoestring, Forsyth, Wishbone, Ape, Nelson, and all of Loowit and Leschi Glaciers. Minor eruptions and bulging of the volcano from March 27 to May 17 shattered glaciers which were on the deforming rock and deposited ash on other glaciers. Thick ash layers persisted after the May 18 eruption through the summer on most of the remaining snow and ice, and protected winter snow from melting on Swift and Dryer Glaciers. Melting and recrystalization of snow and ice surviving on Mount St. Helens could cause and lubricate mudflows and generate outburst floods. Study of glaciers that remain on this active volcano may assist in recognizing potential hazards on other volcanoes and lead to new contributions to knowledge of the transient response of glaciers to changes in mass balance or geometry.

  5. Canadian Arctic glacier melt is accelerating and irreversible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-04-01

    Ongoing glacier loss in the Canadian high Arctic is accelerating and probably irreversible, new model projections by Lenaerts et al. suggest. The Canadian high Arctic is home to the largest clustering of glacier ice outside of Greenland and Antarctica—146,000 square kilometers of glacier ice spread across 36,000 islands. In the past few years, the mass of the glaciers in the Canadian Arctic archipelago has begun to plummet. Observations from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites suggest that from 2004 to 2011 the region's glaciers shed approximately 580 gigatons of ice. Aside from glacier calving, which plays only a small role in Canadian glacier mass loss, the drop is due largely to a shift in the surface mass balance, with warming-induced meltwater runoff outpacing the accumulation of new snowfall.

  6. Panoramic of Glaciers in the Caucasus Moutains

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  7. Subglacial till: the deforming glacier bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Meer, Jaap J. M.; Menzies, John; Rose, James

    2003-07-01

    "Till is a sediment and is perhaps more variable than any sediment known by a single name." R.F. Flint 1957 Glacial and Pleistocene Geology Tills are commonly classified according to the perceived process of deposition. However, it is increasingly recognised that this classification, which is mainly based on macroscopic field data, has severe limitations. At the same time the concept of the deforming glacier bed has become more realistic as a framework for discussing tills and their properties, and this (tectonic) concept is irreconcilable with the existing (depositional) till classification scheme. Over the last 20 years large thin sections have been used to study tills, which has provided new insights into the textural and structural properties of tills. These results have revolutionised till sedimentology as they show that, in the main, subglacial tills possess deformational characteristics. Depositional properties are rare. Based on this new insight the process of subglacial till formation is discussed in terms of glacier/ice sheet basal velocity, clay, water and carbonate content and the variability of these properties in space and time. The end result of this discussion is: till, the deforming glacier bed. To distinguish subglacial till from depositional sediments the term 'tectomict' is proposed. Within the single framework of subglacial till as the deforming glacier bed, many textural, structural and geomorphological features of till beds can be more clearly and coherently explained and understood.

  8. The Bay in Place of a Glacier.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Wayne

    1997-01-01

    The cultural resource specialist at Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) explains the collaborative efforts of park staff and the Hoonah Tlingit to overcome language and cultural barriers in documenting park place names and clan oral history and traditions. The new park-community relationship, which follows decades of conflict, includes training

  9. Stream temperature response to glacier retreat (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, R. D.

    2013-12-01

    Stream temperature is a fundamental aspect of aquatic habitat, and there has been increasing concern in recent years that climatic change and glacier retreat will result in increased water temperatures, with potentially negative influences on cold and cool water species such as salmonids. A statistical model was developed to predict the maximum weekly average stream temperature based on data from 418 sites located throughout British Columbia, Canada. Catchment-scale glacier coverage was a significant predictor in the model, and example calculations indicate that plausible decreases in glacier coverage over the next few decades have the potential to result in warming that would be sufficient to cause shifts in fish species assemblages. However, this space-for-time substitution rests on assumptions that may not be valid, especially in the context of a changing climate, leading to a need to develop and apply physically based models. Reach-scale energy budget analyses indicate that parameterizations of energy fluxes used in current stream temperature models are not appropriate for steep channels with cascading flow. In particular, the sensible and latent heat fluxes are more efficient than in lower-gradient channels, and the albedo is enhanced by aeration. Over longer time scales, development of riparian forest has the potential to mitigate the effect of glacier retreat in alpine areas by shading the stream, but it may take centuries for functional riparian forest to develop at higher elevation sites.

  10. Glacier National Park Bighorn Sheep Studies

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  11. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the presence and dynamics of continental glaciers in the domination of the physical processes of erosion and deposition in the mid-latitudes during the Pleistocene period. Describes the use of a sedimentary facies model as a guide to recognizing ancient temperate continental glacial deposits. (TW)

  12. The Bay in Place of a Glacier.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Wayne

    1997-01-01

    The cultural resource specialist at Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) explains the collaborative efforts of park staff and the Hoonah Tlingit to overcome language and cultural barriers in documenting park place names and clan oral history and traditions. The new park-community relationship, which follows decades of conflict, includes training…

  13. Mass Balance modelling on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland: how different levels of complexity of process representation affect predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carenzo, M.; Pellicciotti, F.; Burlando, P.

    2011-12-01

    Correct modelling of glacier-climate interaction processes is necessary to assess the response of glaciers to future changes in the climate. Varying levels of complexity in the representation of both ablation, accumulation and glacier geometry evolution processes, could lead to significant variability in model predictions. In order to assess the range of model outputs of a mass balance model, we investigate the effect of various representations of the single model components. Ablation is calculated by means of two different approaches, a physically based energy-balance model (EB) and a more empirical enhanced temperature-index model (ETI). Accumulation is modelled by simply considering the spatial variability of precipitation by means of a gradient or, in a more complex approach, accounting for redistribution of snow by wind and gravity. Changes in glacier geometry are simulated by parameterising the changes in glacier surface elevation and ice thickness as a function of ice mass loss or neglecting the ice flux component. We run the distributed mass balance model on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland, for the period 2001-2007, comparing model predictions and identifying the limitations of the single approach investigated. Initially, each component is validated individually; we use discrete ablation stake readings and continuous surface lowering measured by Ultrasonic Depth Gauges for the ablation, differences between LIDAR surveys and snow height measurements for the accumulation. Then the modelled ice volume losses are compared against the measured ones obtained as differences between Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), in this way validating the integrated model outputs. Our main result is that a distributed EB is very sensible to errors in the input data. Due to the uncertainties related to the extrapolation of a larger amount of meteorological input variables (generally measured off-glacier) ablation, and therefore mass balance, can be wrongly simulated, more than in a model that relies on less input data. We show that including preferential deposition of precipitation due to wind and gravitational mass transport leads to significant improvement in the accumulation modelling, by obtaining more reliable maps of snow height, and therefore of snow water equivalent (SWE). Although the simulation period covers only 7 years, the specific mass flux term contributes to model a more realistic ice thickness maps, avoiding underestimation of ice thickness loss on the glacier tongue and overestimation in the accumulation area.

  14. The response of glaciers to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klok, Elisabeth Jantina

    2003-12-01

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

  15. Glaciers along proposed routes extending the Copper River Highway, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glass, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    Three inland highway routes are being considered by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to connect the community of Cordova in southcentral Alaska to a statewide road system. The routes use part of a Copper River and Northwest Railway alignment along the Copper River through mountainous terrain having numerous glaciers. An advance of any of several glaciers could block and destroy the roadway, whereas retreating glaciers expose large quantities of unconsolidated, unvegetated, and commonly ice-rich sediments. The purpose of this study was to map historical locations of glacier termini near these routes and to describe hazards associated with glaciers and seasonal snow. Historical and recent locations of glacier termini along the proposed Copper River Highway routes were determined by reviewing reports and maps and by interpreting aerial photographs. The termini of Childs, Grinnell, Tasnuna, and Woodworth Glaciers were 1 mile or less from a proposed route in the most recently available aerial photography (1978-91); the termini of Allen, Heney, and Schwan Glaciers were 1.5 miles or less from a proposed route. In general, since 1911, most glaciers have slowly retreated, but many glaciers have had occasional advances. Deserted Glacier and one of its tributary glaciers have surge-type medial moraines, indicating potential rapid advances. The terminus of Deserted Glacier was about 2.1 miles from a proposed route in 1978, but showed no evidence of surging. Snow and rock avalanches and snowdrifts are common along the proposed routes and will periodically obstruct the roadway. Floods from ice-dammed lakes also pose a threat. For example, Van Cleve Lake, adjacent to Miles Glacier, is as large as 4.4 square miles and empties about every 6 years. Floods from drainages of Van Cleve Lake have caused the Copper River to rise on the order of 20 feet at Million Dollar Bridge.

  16. Hasty retreat of glaciers in the Palena province of Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, F.; Mölg, N.; Bolch, T.

    2013-12-01

    Mapping glacier extent from optical satellite data has become a most efficient tool to create or update glacier inventories and determine glacier changes over time. A most valuable archive in this regard is the nearly 30-year time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data that is freely available (already orthorectified) for most regions in the world from the USGS. One region with a most dramatic glacier shrinkage and a missing systematic assessment of changes, is the Palena province in Chile, south of Puerto Montt. A major bottleneck for accurate determination of glacier changes in this region is related to the huge amounts of snow falling in this very maritime region, hiding the perimeter of glaciers throughout the year. Consequently, we found only three years with Landsat scenes that can be used to map glacier extent through time. We here present the results of a glacier change analysis from six Landsat scenes (path-rows 232-89/90) acquired in 1985, 2000 and 2011 covering the Palena district in Chile. Clean glacier ice was mapped automatically with a standard technique (TM3/TM band ratio) and manual editing was applied to remove wrongly classified lakes and to add debris-covered glacier parts. The digital elevation model (DEM) from SRTM was used to derive drainage divides, determine glacier specific topographic parameters, and analyse the area changes in regard to topography. The scene from 2000 has the best snow conditions and was used to eliminate seasonal snow in the other two scenes by digital combination of the binary glacier masks. The observed changes show a huge spatial variability with a strong dependence on elevation and glacier hypsometry. While small mountain glaciers at high elevations and steep slopes show virtually no change over the 26-year period, ice at low elevations from large valley glaciers shows a dramatic decline (area and thickness loss). Some glaciers retreated more than 3 km over this time period or even disappeared completely. Typically, these glaciers lost contact to the accumulation areas of tributaries and now consist of an ablation area only. Furthermore, numerous pro-glacial lakes formed or expanded rapidly, increasing the local hazard potential. On the other hand, some glaciers located on or near to (still active) volcanoes have also advanced in the same time period. Observed trends in temperature (decreasing) are in contrast to the observed strong glacier shrinkage.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khromova, T.; Nosenko, G.

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Surge of a Complex Glacier System - The Current Surge of the Bering-Bagley Glacier System, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Understanding fast glacier flow and glacial accelerations is important for understanding changes in the cryosphere and ultimately in sea level. Surge-type glaciers are one of four types of fast-flowing glaciers --- the other three being continuously fast-flowing glaciers, fjord glaciers and ice streams --- and the one that has seen the least amount of research. The Bering-Bagley Glacier System, Alaska, the largest glacier system in North America, surged in 2011 and 2012. Velocities decreased towards the end of 2011, while the surge kinematics continued to expand. A new surge phase started in summer and fall 2012. In this paper, we report results from airborne observations collected in September 2011, June/July and September/October 2012 and in 2013. Airborne observations include simultaneously collected laser altimeter data, videographic data, GPS data and photographic data and are complemented by satellite data analysis. Methods range from classic interpretation of imagery to analysis and classification of laser altimeter data and connectionist (neural-net) geostatistical classification of concurrent airborne imagery. Results focus on the characteristics of surge progression in a large and complex glacier system (as opposed to a small glacier with relatively simple geometry). We evaluate changes in surface elevations including mass transfer and sudden drawdowns, crevasse types, accelerations and changes in the supra-glacial and englacial hydrologic system. Supraglacial water in Bering Glacier during Surge, July 2012 Airborne laser altimeter profile across major rift in central Bering Glacier, Sept 2011

  19. 52 glaciers and one lake: how to reconstruct past regional glacier variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasskog, Kristian; Paasche, yvind; Nesje, Atle; Boyle, John F.; Birks, H. John B.

    2014-05-01

    Sediment records from distal glacier-fed lakes have been used in numerous reconstructions of past glacier activity, where the basic assumption is that the amount of minerogenic material deposited in the lake is directly proportional to the amount of upstream glacier erosion. However, the minerogenic component of the sediments in a distal glacier-fed lake is commonly derived from several different sources, not only subglacial erosion. Furthermore, glacier reconstructions tend to focus on individual mountain glaciers, which due to local effects might not always reflect regional scale glacier variability. Presently, certain high-resolution analysis techniques allow for fast multi-proxy analyses of sediment cores, which improve the basis for inferring the provenance of lake sediments; however, the only way of actually testing such inferences is to identify the different sediment sources in the adjacent catchment and characterize them using the same proxy measurements as in the lake core. Multi-proxy sedimentary fingerprinting techniques are labor-intensive, however, and proxies such as bulk geochemistry may prove of little use in differentiating between source areas if the bedrock lithology is uniform across the catchment. Here we present a simple method based on environmental magnetism that allow for tracking lake sediments to their sources in catchments where the bedrock lithology is uniform. Unlike ferro- and ferrimagnetic minerals, the magnetic susceptibility of paramagnetic minerals is inversely proportional to temperature. Thus, by measuring the bulk magnetic susceptibility (chi-Bulk) of a sediment sample both at room temperature (293K) and after freezing in liquid nitrogen (77K), the relative contribution from paramagnetic minerals to the total chi-Bulk can be inferred from the ratio of chi-Bulk77K over chi-Bulk293K. Theoretically, a ratio of 3.8 will indicate a purely paramagnetic sample, whereas progressively lower values reflect an increasing contribution from ferro- or ferrimagnetic minerals. We found that in the catchment of Nerfloen, a distal lake draining a large (440 km2) catchment in western Norway that contains 52 separate glaciers, there was a systematic decrease in the chi-Bulk77K/chi-Bulk293K-ratio with increasing altitude and proximity to the glaciers. We have not studied the magnetic mineralogy of our samples in detail, but infer from our data that the relative amount of paramagnetic minerals increase as soil formation progresses, thereby creating the contrasting ratios between samples collected at different altitudes. In the lake core we observe rapid shifts between sedimentary regimes dominated by high- and low-altitude source areas, which can best be explained by regional-scale growth and decay of mountain glaciers in the lake catchment.

  20. A glacier inventory for the western Nyainqentanglha Range and the Nam Co Basin, Tibet, and glacier changes 1976-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolch, T.; Yao, T.; Kang, S.; Buchroithner, M. F.; Scherer, D.; Maussion, F.; Huintjes, E.; Schneider, C.

    2010-09-01

    The western Nyainqentanglha Range is located in the south-eastern centre of the Tibetan Plateau. Its north-western slopes drain into Lake Nam Co. The region is of special interest for glacio-climatological research as it is influenced by both the continental climate of Central Asia and the Indian Monsoon system, and situated at the transition zone between temperate and subcontinental glaciers. A glacier inventory for the whole mountain range was generated for the year around 2001 using automated remote sensing and GIS techniques based on Landsat ETM+ and SRTM3 DEM data. Glacier change analysis was based on data from Hexagon KH-9 and Landsat MSS (both 1976), Metric Camera (1984), and Landsat TM/ETM+ (1991, 2001, 2005, 2009). Manual adjustment was especially necessary for delineating the debris-covered glaciers and the glaciers on the panchromatic Hexagon data. In the years around 2001 the whole mountain range contained about 960 glaciers covering an area of 795.6 22.3 km2 while the ice in the drainage basin of Nam Co covered 198.1 5.6 km2. The median elevation of the glaciers was about 5800 m with the majority terminating around 5600 m. Five glaciers with debris-covered tongues terminated lower than 5200 m. The glacier area decreased by -6.1 3% between 1976 and 2001. This is less than reported in previous studies based on the 1970s topographic maps and Landsat data from 2000. Glaciers continued to shrink during the period 2001-2009. No advancing glaciers were detected. Detailed length measurements for five glaciers indicated a retreat of around 10 m per year (1976-2009). Ice cover is higher south-east of the mountain ridge which reflects the windward direction to the monsoon. The temperature increase during the ablation period was probably the main driver of glacier wastage, but the complex glacier-climate interactions need further investigation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. A study of discrete glacier motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoet, Lucas K.

    Knowledge of process which control glacial dynamics are imperative in quantifying the response of a glacier or ice sheet to external forcing. This dissertation focuses mainly upon the characterization of sliding ice over a bed in an unstable fashion. I investigate unstable sliding through instances where it is observed in passive seismology as well as a focused laboratory study. The laboratory study attempts to isolate specific aspects of the sliding interface, which could lead to unstable sliding. Implications of unstable sliding with regards to erosion are also dealt with. Initially the TAMSEIS array is used to observe a unique set of seismicity originating at the base of David Glacier Antarctica in which 20,000 events were located over a 300 day period as the ice slid over an asperity. Tidal effects at the terminus modulated the interevent spacing and magnitude of events allowing for a basic analysis of healing process between a glacier and its bed. The 300 day period of repeat seismicity is hypothesized to arise from advection of debris rich ice over the asperity. Next the erosion implications of stick slip sliding are investigated. Sudden advancement associated with seismic energy generation is hypothesized to rapidly expand water filled cavities, which form in lee of bedrock highs. The rapid expansion creates a drop in water pressure within the cavity resulting in a pressure gradient leading to rapid fracture of bedrock. During the interseismic period of a stick slipping glacier the static coefficient of friction transfers a larger shear stress to the bed than the dynamic coefficient of friction from stably sliding glacier would. Next laboratory experimentation is conducted using a biaxial shearing apparatus in order to test the hypothesis that debris rich ice can affect the stability regime of a sliding glacier. This is preformed on a suite of ice-debris samples with range entrained debris percentages and temperatures. Both synthetic ice constructed in the laboratory and natural ice taken from the base of Engabreen Glacier were tested. Transition from a velocity strengthening to velocity weakening interface was observed for a constant velocity if the debris amount was increased thus validating the initial hypothesis. These exterminations were followed by a set of experiments in which the biax was de-stiffened in order to replicate the elastic strain, which would be accumulated at the base of a glacier. When driven under conditions previously identified in the unstable slip regime unstable sliding did occur. This allowed for exploration unstable slip parameters. Specifically comparisons of stress drop with recurrence interval, and peak-sliding velocity was investigated. Next POLENET seismic data was used to investigate a set of repeating ruptures occurring near the Executive Committee Range of Marie Byrd Land Antarctica, a known source of volcanic activity. Surface velocities as low as V ? 30 m yr--1 in this region exist indicating the source of glacially generated seismicity was atypical. A proposed source of a sudden addition of basal melt water from an increase in geothermal heat flux is hypothesized to result in the seismic signature observed. Lastly the POLENET dataset was used to investigate calving events located at the terminus of Thwaites Glacier. The seismicity displayed a monochromatic signal. A new calving mechanism, which could produce such a source of seismicity, is theorized as resonating within the block, which is being calved off.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Valley glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate change. Records of former glacial fluctuations have been extensively used to reconstruct paleoclimatic conditions at different temporal and spatial scales. These reconstructions typically do not account for variations in regional climate conditions. Based on modeling results, it has been suggested these regional climate conditions could play an important role modulating the magnitude of glacier response for large scale climate perturbations. The climatically diverse Andes mountain range represents an ideal setting to test hypothesis of glacier sensitivity variability. Here, we quantify glacier sensitivity to climate change in different climatic regimes across the Andean. By applying a regional Surface Energy Mass Balance model (SEMB), we analyze the change in the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) for a sample of 234 glaciers, under different climatic perturbations. Our results suggest that ELAs of Andean glaciers respond linearly to changes in temperature, with rates that oscillate between 153 and 186 m/°C. For example, with a perturbation of -6°C (~Global LGM), our model predicts a drop in the ELA of 916 m for the least sensitive glaciers and 1117 m for the more sensitive ones. This glacier sensitivity variability exhibits a very distinctive spatial distribution. The most sensitive glaciers are located in Central Chile (south of 31°C), and the Western Cordillera of Peru (north of 13°S). In contrast, lower sensitivity glaciers are situated in the inner Tropics, Eastern Cordillera of Peru and Bolivia (south of 13°S), and part of southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. When analyzing the response of glaciers to changes in accumulation, our results suggest that under a scenario of increasing precipitation, glacier behavior is nonlinear. A statistical cluster analysis of glacier sensitivity divides our 234 glaciers into three distinct groups. The most sensitive glaciers correspond to those situated in western Cordillera of Peru and Bolivia (south of 15°S), the north of Chile-Argentina (north of 19°S), and Central Chile, between 27° and 38°S. Similar to our results with temperature, the inner tropical glaciers are the least responsive to precipitation changes. With our regional approach, we expect to explore the mechanisms responsible for the spatial variability of glacier sensitivity across the Andes, thus improving our understanding of climate-glacial dynamic interaction. These mechanisms will provide a framework to study the causes of past episodes of glacial fluctuations and ultimately to predict the response of glaciers to future climate change scenarios.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Glacier Changes in the Bhutanese Himalaya - Present and Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rupper, S.; Schaefer, J. M.; Burgener, L. K.; Maurer, J.; Smith, R.; Cook, E.; Putnam, A. E.; Krusic, P.; Tsering, K.; Koenig, L.

    2012-12-01

    Glacierized change in the Himalayas affects river-discharge, hydro-energy and agricultural production, and Glacial Lake Outburst Flood potential, but its quantification and extent of impacts remains highly uncertain. Here we present conservative, comprehensive and quantitative predictions for glacier area and meltwater flux changes in Bhutan, monsoonal Himalayas. In particular, we quantify the uncertainties associated with the glacier area and meltwater flux changes due to uncertainty in climate data, a critical problem for much of High Asia. Based on a suite of gridded climate data and a robust glacier melt model, our results show that glacier area and meltwater change projections can vary by an order of magnitude for different climate datasets. The most conservative results indicate that, even if climate were to remain at the present-day mean values (1980-2000), almost 10% of Bhutan's glacierized area would vanish and the meltwater flux would drop by as much as 30%. New mapping of glacierized area from 2000-2010 shows a significant change in glacierized area of 4-6%. Thus the conservative steady-state area changes predicted by the model are already being realized. Under the conservative scenario of an additional 1°C regional warming, glacier retreat is predicted to continue until about 25% of Bhutan's glacierized area will have disappeared and the annual meltwater flux, after an initial spike, would drop by as much as 65%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. The GLIMS Glacier Database: Status and Future Directions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative has built a database of glacier outlines and related attributes, derived primarily from satellite imagery, such as from ASTER and Landsat. Each snapshot of a glacier is from a specific time, and the database is designed to store multiple snapshots representative of different times. The database continues to expand both spatially and temporally: the number of glaciers represented, as well as the number of outlines from different times per glacier, are both increasing. As of August 2011, the database, located at NSIDC, contains outlines for approximately 95 000 glaciers, covering 290 000 km2. More datasets are expected soon, such as from GlobGlacier (e.g. all European Alps, western Greenland, Sweden, Baffin Island), and the Regional Centers for Svalbard, Argentina, Nepal, China, and others. Though the database does not yet cover the world's glaciers completely, approximately 670 glaciers have outlines from more than one time. This database increasingly enables analysis of global and regional glacier area and its distribution, glacier change, distribution of glaciers by different properties (e.g. morphology, debris-cover),and other yet-to-be imagined possibilities. In spite of steady progress, there remain some geographic areas that are not yet covered, including southernmost South America, Arctic Russia, the the periphery of most of Greenland and Antarctica. For applications such as sea level change studies that require complete global coverage of glaciers with at least moderate resolution, it is imperative that these gaps be filled soon. This will be addressed through adapting existing datasets to the GLIMS data model, using new satellite data and methods as they develop, and building analysis capacity worldwide to get more researchers involved in high accuracy glacier mapping.

  9. Climatic Teleconnections Recorded By Tropical Mountain Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, L. G.; Permana, D.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Davis, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    Information from ice cores from the world's highest mountains in the Tropics demonstrates both local climate variability and a high degree of teleconnectivity across the Pacific basin. Here we examine recently recovered ice core records from glaciers near Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia, which lie on the highest peak between the Himalayas and the South American Andes. These glaciers are located on the western side of the Tropical Pacific warm pool, which is the "center of action" for interannual climate variability dominated by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). ENSO either directly or indirectly affects most regions of Earth and their populations. In 2010, two ice cores measuring 32.13 m and 31.25 m were recovered to bedrock from the East Northwall Firn ice field. Both have been analyzed in high resolution (~3 cm sample length, 1156 and 1606 samples, respectively) for stable isotopes, dust, major ions and tritium concentrations. To better understand the controls on the oxygen isotopic (δ18 O) signal for this region, daily rainfall samples were collected between January 2013 and February 2014 at five weather stations over a distance of ~90 km ranging from 9 meters above sea level (masl) on the southern coast up to 3945 masl. The calculated isotopic lapse rate for this region is 0.24 ‰/100m. Papua, Indonesian ice core records are compared to ice core records from Dasuopu Glacier in the central Himalayas and from Quelccaya, Huascarán, Hualcán and Coropuna ice fields in the tropical Andes of Peru on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean. The composite of the annual isotopic time series from these cores is significantly (R2 =0.53) related to tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs), reflecting the strong linkage between tropical Pacific SSTs associated with ENSO and tropospheric temperatures in the low latitudes. New data on the already well-documented concomitant loss of ice on Quelccaya, Kilimanjaro in eastern Africa and the ice fields near Puncak Jaya reinforce the hypothesis that large-scale tropical processes dominate recent tropical glacier retreat. The observed widespread melting of glaciers is consistent with model predictions of a vertical amplification of temperature, which is documented by increasing isotopic enrichment in ice cores from high elevation glaciers throughout the Tropics.

  10. Modelling Feedbacks between Ocean Stratification, Atmospheric Forcing, Sea-Ice Growth, and Glacier Terminus Melting in Fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, A.

    2013-12-01

    In many locations, ice sheets discharge into the ocean via marine-terminating glaciers. This provides a coupling where the ice-sheet mass balance can respond to changing ocean forcing, which is of interest for predictions of sea level rise. Models and observations suggest that the melting of a marine glacier terminus depends critically on the ocean temperature and salinity stratification. However, there is uncertainty about which processes provide the dominant control on the ocean conditions in fjords. I develop a simplified conceptual model of a fjord circulation coupled to a melting glacier terminus. This provides a tool to assess the impact of a range of processes on glacial melting, including the inflow of ocean waters at the fjord mouth, the estuarine circulation of glacial meltwater, vertical mixing driven by atmospheric forcing, and sea ice formation. The model describes the seasonal evolution of vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, and velocity in the fjord, using a horizontally-averaged finite volume method. The temperature and salinity stratification control the glacial melting rate via a meltwater plume rising along the glacier terminus, which in turn drives an estuarine-style circulation in the fjord interior. Further advective transport and vertical mixing are driven by atmospheric forcing, via winds and surface buoyancy fluxes. Finally, modelled sea ice growth enhances the buoyancy-driven mixing as a result of brine rejection from growing sea ice, but reduces the transmission of wind stresses through fast ice into the ocean. A scaling analysis reveals the relative significance of each of these processes for transport and mixing in the fjord over a range of forcing conditions. The model is applied to simulate the seasonal evolution of glacial melting for several case studies that are representative of Greenland fjords, and the inherent coupled feedback mechanisms are explored. If the ocean is weakly stratified at the fjord mouth, then vertical mixing plays a significant role in modulating both the fjord stratification, and the vertical distribution and magnitude of glacier terminus melting.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Pachebat, Justin A.; Swain, Martin; Hegarty, Matt; Hodson, Andrew J.; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.; Rassner, Sara M. E.; Sattler, Birgit

    2013-09-01

    Cryoconite is a microbe-mineral aggregate which darkens the ice surface of glaciers. Microbial process and marker gene PCR-dependent measurements reveal active and diverse cryoconite microbial communities on polar glaciers. Here, we provide the first report of a cryoconite metagenome and culture-independent study of alpine cryoconite microbial diversity. We assembled 1.2 Gbp of metagenomic DNA sequenced using an Illumina HiScanSQ from cryoconite holes across the ablation zone of Rotmoosferner in the Austrian Alps. The metagenome revealed a bacterially-dominated community, with Proteobacteria (62% of bacterial-assigned contigs) and Bacteroidetes (14%) considerably more abundant than Cyanobacteria (2.5%). Streptophyte DNA dominated the eukaryotic metagenome. Functional genes linked to N, Fe, S and P cycling illustrated an acquisitive trend and a nitrogen cycle based upon efficient ammonia recycling. A comparison of 32 metagenome datasets revealed a similarity in functional profiles between the cryoconite and metagenomes characterized from other cold microbe-mineral aggregates. Overall, the metagenomic snapshot reveals the cryoconite ecosystem of this alpine glacier as dependent on scavenging carbon and nutrients from allochthonous sources, in particular mosses transported by wind from ice-marginal habitats, consistent with net heterotrophy indicated by productivity measurements. A transition from singular snapshots of cryoconite metagenomes to comparative analyses is advocated.

  13. A study of the atmospheric surface layer and roughness lengths on the high-altitude tropical Zongo glacier, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicart, Jean Emmanuel; Litt, Maxime; Helgason, Warren; Tahar, Vanessa Ben; Chaperon, Thomas

    2014-04-01

    The atmospheric surface layer of high-altitude tropical glaciers is inadequately understood, particularly concerning turbulent fluxes. Measurements have shown that sublimation reduces melt energy in the dry season, but the errors are large when a katabatic wind maximum occurs at a low height. This study analyzed wind and temperature vertical profiles measured by a 6 m mast in the ablation area of the tropical Zongo glacier (16S, 5060 m above sea level) in the dry seasons of 2005 and 2007. Surface roughness lengths for momentum and temperature were derived from least squares fits of hourly wind and temperature profile data. Measurement errors were explored, focusing on the poorly defined reference level for sensor heights. A katabatic wind maximum at heights between 2 and 3 m was regularly observed during low wind speed and strong inversion conditions, or about ~50%of the time, greatly reducing the surface layer depth. The glacier surface, experiencing melting conditions in the early afternoon and strong cooling at night, remained relatively smooth with z0 ~ 1 mm and zT ~ 0.1 mm. Sensible heat flux measured at ~1 m was not very sensitive to the zero reference level due to two opposite effects: when measurement heights increase, profile-derived roughness lengths increase but temperature and wind gradients decrease. The relation between zT/z0 and the roughness Reynolds number Re* roughly agrees with the surface renewal model. However, this is mostly due to self-correlation because of the shared variable z0 in zT/z0 and Re*, which prevents a sound experimental validation of the model.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Glacier and climate change in Pakistan and Afghanistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shroder, J.; Bishop, M.; Burgett, A.

    2012-04-01

    Climate change predictions and water resource related issuesin Afghanistan and Pakistan have led to the need for detailed assessments and understanding of glacier fluctuations, and the determination of the dominant controlling factors governing glacier sensitivity to climate change. Consequently, we studied glacier fluctuations and the role of topography in an attempt to understand glacier fluctuations.Specifically we used ASTER imagery, Landsat ETM data, and an SRTM digital elevation model, together with Google Earth high-resolution imagery to examine terminus fluctuations, ice velocity variations, and local- and meso-scale topographic parameters that are related to irradiance variations, ablation, and glacial geomorphology.Multispectral satellite imagery were utilized to estimate advance and retreat rates, along with glacier profile velocities. Geomorphometric analysis was utilized to generateglacier altitude profiles of hypsometry, slope, curvature, and topographic shielding. Our results reveal that glacier response to climate change is highly variable in Pakistan, as many glaciers are advancing as well as retreating, while others exhibit a stationary terminus. It is important to note that advances in the Karakoram do not appear to be restricted to glaciers at high elevations, suggesting climate forcing. Glaciers in the Hindu Raj and Hindu Kush are retreating, with fewer glaciers advancing, indicating the possibility of a spatial trend from West to East in Pakistan. There is a dramatic diminution of Hindu Kush ice in Afghanistan. In the Karakoram, many new surging glaciers have been identified with flow velocities ranging from 200-1000 m/yr. Non- surging glaciers also exhibit relative high velocities there. Spatial patternsof relief appear to be associated with glacier debris cover, as snow/ice avalanchescontribute debris and ice mass. In addition, patterns of topographic shielding are highly variable, revealing variations in the diffuse-skylight irradiance component. Altitudinal slope and azimuth variations alsodictate significant variations in the direct-irradiance component. Consequently, glaciers within the same region receive very different amounts of surface irradiance, causing ablation variation that accounts for highly variable terminus fluctuations. Furthermore, altitudinal variations in glacier surface and topographic conditions can potentially be used to characterize glaciers and their dynamics, in terms of climate sensitivity and geomorphological influence. Collectively, our results suggest climate forcing in the Karakoram, and topographic control of glacier fluctuations.

  16. Recent Activity of Glaciers of Mount Rainier, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1972-01-01

    Knowing the ages of trees growing on recent moraines at Mount Rainier, Wash., permits the moraines to be dated. Moraines which are ridges of boulders, gravel, sand, and dust deposited at the margins of a glacier, mark former limits of a receding glacier. Knowing past glacial activity aids our understanding of past climatic variations. The report documents the ages of moraines deposited by eight glaciers. Aerial photographs and planimetric maps show areas where detailed field studies were made below seven glaciers. Moraines, past ice positions, and sample areas are plotted on the photographs and maps, along with trails, roads, streams, and landforms, to permit critical areas to be identified in the future. Ground photographs are included so that sample sites and easily accessible moraines can be found along trails. Tables present data about trees sampled in areas near the glaciers of Mount Rainier, Wash. The data in the tables show there are modern moraines of different age around the mountain; some valleys contain only one modern moraiine; others contain as many as nine. The evidence indicates a sequence of modern glacial advances terminating at about the following A.D. dates: 1525, 1550, 1625-60, 1715, 1730-65, 1820-60, 1875, and 1910. Nisqually River valley near Nisqually Glacier contains one moraine formed before A.D. 1842; Tahoma Creek valley near South Tahoma Glacier contains three moraines formed before A.D. 1528; 1843, and 1864; South Puyallup River valley near Tahoma Glacier, six moraines A.D. 1544, 1761, 1841, 1851, 1863, 1898; Puyallup Glacier, one moraine, A.D. 1846; Carbon Glacier, four moraines, 1519, 1763, 1847, 1876; Winthrop Glacier, four moraines, 1655, 1716, 1760, amid 1822; Emmons Glacier, nine moraines, 1596, 1613, 1661, 1738, 1825, 1850, 1865, 1870, 1901; and Ohanapecosh Glacier, three moraines, 1741, 1846, and 1878. Abandoned melt-water and flood channels were identified within moraine complexes below three glaciers, and their time of abandonment was dated. Outwash in three areas was deposited by melt-water of Tahoma Glacier before A.D. 1862, 1873, and 1910, respectively. Flood channels or melt-water channels on either side of Carbon River near Carbon Glacier dated from about 1901 to 1907. Melt-water channels of three different ages cut through Emmons Glacier moraines were dated as being abandoned before 1865, 1871, and 1917, respectively. Although the evidence at Mount Rainier indicates a sequence of glacial advance and retreat and of melt-water flow through different channels at different times, their climatic and hydrologic significance is not yet known.

  17. Modeling Runoff from Partially Glacierized Catchments in the Tropical Andes with Different Glacier Coverage and Land Cover Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinouchi, T.; Mendoza, J.; Luna, J.; Asaoka, Y.

    2014-12-01

    In Bolivian Andes, retreats of tropical glaciers are rapid, thus water resources currently available from glacierized catchments for drinking, agriculture, industry and hydropower would be changed in its volume and variations due to changing climate. Water resources in La Paz and El Alto, the capital city areas of Bolivia, strongly depend on the runoff from partially glacierized catchments located in the Cordillera Real, which is a combined contribution of surface and subsurface flow from glacierized and non-glacierized areas due to rainfall, snow melt and glacier melt. To predict the long-term availability of water resources for the capital city areas, we developed a semi-distributed conceptual glacio-hydrological model that considers various runoff pathways from partially glacierized high-altitudinal catchments located in the outer tropics. In the model, the retarding effect of lakes and wetlands was considered, based on the observed hydraulic functions and distribution of wetlands. The model was applied to three sub-catchments of the Tuni Lake watershed (98km2), from which the water resources for La Paz and El Alto are supplied. With calibrated parameters, the model reproduced well the observed seasonal variations of daily runoff during recent two years. Simulated results of water balance suggested that for the catchment with a larger glacier cover, more than 40% of the annual total runoff is contributed from glacierized areas due to glacier melt and snowmelt. The contribution from glacierized areas in other two sub-catchments, with relatively smaller areas covered by glacier ice, was calculated to be between 10-15%. We found that the role of wetlands and lakes are essential in retarding and regulating the runoff from partially glacierized high-mountain catchments.

  18. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Flow and mixing around a glacier tongue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, C. L.; Stewart, C. L.; Robinson, N. J.; Williams, M. J. M.; Haskell, T. G.

    2010-08-01

    A glacier tongue floating in the coastal ocean presents a significant obstacle to the local flow and influences oceanic mixing and transport processes. Here ocean shear microstructure observations at a glacier tongue side-wall show tidally-induced flow pulses and vortices as well as concomitant mixing. Flow speeds within the pulses reached around three times that of the ambient tidal flow amplitude and generated vertical velocity shear as large as 310-3 s-1. During the maximum flow period turbulent energy dissipation rates reached a maximum of 10-5 m2 s-3, around three decades greater than local background levels. This is in keeping with estimates of the gradient Richardson Number which dropped to around unity. Associated vertical diffusivities are higher that expected from parameterization, possibly reflecting the proximity of the cryotopography.

  20. Mass loss on Himalayan glacier endangers water resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  1. Satellite Observations of Glacier Surface Velocities in Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Pritchard, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers in southeast Alaska are undergoing rapid changes and are significant contributors to sea level rise. A key to understanding the ice dynamics is knowledge of the surface velocities, which can be used with ice thickness measurements to derive mass flux rates. For many glaciers in Alaska, surface velocity estimates either do not exist or are based on data that are at least a decade old. Here we present updated maps of glacier surface velocities in southeast Alaska produced through a pixel tracking technique using synthetic aperture radar data and high-resolution optical imagery. For glaciers with previous velocity estimates, we will compare the results and discuss possible implications for ice dynamics. We focus on Glacier Bay and the Stikine Icefield, which contain a number of fast-flowing tidewater glaciers including LeConte, Johns Hopkins, and La Perouse. For the Johns Hopkins, we will also examine the influence a massive landslide in June 2012 had on flow dynamics. Our velocity maps show that within Glacier Bay, the highest surface velocities occur on the tidewater glaciers. La Perouse, the only Glacier Bay glacier to calve directly into the Pacific Ocean, has maximum velocities of 3.5 - 4 m/day. Johns Hopkins Glacier shows 4 m/day velocities at both its terminus and in its upper reaches, with lower velocities of ~1-3 m/day in between those two regions. Further north, the Margerie Glacier has a maximum velocity of ~ 4.5 m/day in its upper reaches and a velocity of ~ 2 m/day at its terminus. Along the Grand Pacific terminus, the western terminus fed by the Ferris Glacier displays velocities of about 1 m/day while the eastern terminus has lower velocities of < 0.5 m/day. The lake terminating glaciers along the Pacific coast have overall lower surface velocities, but they display complex flow patterns. The Alsek Glacier displays maximum velocities of 2.5 m/day above where it divides into two branches. Velocities at the terminus of the northern branch reach 1 m/day while the terminus of the southern branch moves about 2 m/day. Grand Plateau Glacier also divides into two main branches, with a northern branch displaying peak velocities of 1.5 m/day and a southern branch flowing at a rate of 1 m/day. The Stikine Icefield contains a number of large tidewater glaciers showing maximum velocities near their termini. At the terminus of the South Sawyer Glacier, velocities reach a peak of about 2 m/day. Along the terminus of the Dawes Glacier, velocities reach 3.5 m/day. The Baird Glacier displays lower velocities of 1-1.5 m/day. LeConte Glacier has 2-3 m/day velocities in its upper regions with higher velocities near its terminus. In contrast to the pattern shown by the surrounding glaciers, the Great Glacier has a peak velocity of 2 m/day in the upper portion of the glacier and a velocity of only 0.5 m/day near its terminus.

  2. A macroscopic approach to glacier dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Quality controlled glacier inventory in high Asian mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Holocene cirque glacier activity in Rondane, southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Response of debris-covered glaciers to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D. I.; Lindsey, N.; Kathryn, H.

    2004-12-01

    The presence of supraglacial debris strongly influences glacier ablation, and the mass balance of debris-covered glaciers differs significantly from that of clean glaciers in similar climatic settings. Predicting the response of debris-covered glaciers to climate change is important for hazard mitigation strategies in many high mountain environments, especially where temporary lakes are likely to form on stagnating glacier tongues. Accurate prediction of glacier evolution requires a robust mass balance function which incorporates the effect of debris cover. We present a new model for calculating ablation beneath supraglacial debris layer from meteorological data, based on coupling the surface energy balance and conductive heat flux through the debris layer. The model performs well in a wide range of climatic settings, and results correlate well with measured melt rates in the European Alps and Svalbard. The ablation model is used to construct theoretical mass balance curves for debris covered glaciers, providing surface boundary conditions for glacier flow models. Modelled mass balance curves display reverse gradients on glacier termini where the effect of thickening debris cover with decreasing altitude outweighs that of higher air temperatures. This explains the widely-noted tendency for debris-covered glaciers to stagnate under warming climates. When the mass balance of the glacier as a whole is negative, increasing ablation with altitude causes the lower tongue to decrease in gradient. As gradients and ice thicknesses decline, the process is reinforced by a positive feedback with velocity, so less ice is delivered to the terminal zone. Low surface gradients encourage the formation of supraglacial ponds which can grow rapidly, significantly increasing mass loss from the glacier and potentially posing flood hazards.

  6. Characteristics of the turbulent flow in the surface layer of a Tropical Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, Maxime; Sicart, Jean-Emmanuel

    2013-04-01

    Energy balance studies on glaciers mostly use aerodynamic profile methods, assuming hypotheses of Monin-Obukhov similarity theory are valid, in order to compute sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes. Nevertheless, various turbulence measurements have shown that the turbulent flow in the surface layer is not in equilibrium and stationnary within mountainous rough topography. Few of these studies focus on tropical glaciers, and little is known about the dynamics of the surface layer in these environnments. We thus have deployed an extensive micro-meteorological experiment within the atmospheric surface layer over the ablation zone of the tropical Zongo glacier, Bolivia, during the dry season from July to August, 2007. Stations were installed around 5050 m a.s.l. They included two complete eddy covariance systems at a 2-m mean level and a 6-m mast measuring the mean profiles of air temperature and of wind speed. Data is used to characterize the conditions in the surface layer. Weakly stable conditions prevailed in the first meters above the ice or snow surface. With weak large scale forcing, a katabatic downslope flow with a wind maximum at about 2-m height usually appeared in the middle of the afternoon and maintained itself during most of the night. Profile data is fitted to derive roughness lenghts and characterize their evolution. The study of statistical moments of high frequency wind speed and temperature data shows that the wind regime was highly gusty and irregular. Stationary conditions were rarely encountered. Characteristics and structure of the turbulent flow were studied using spectral analysis. It shows that the observed turbulence cannot be generated only by local shear and that low frequency perturbations interact with the surface layer turbulence and lead to divergence from the classical Kansas surface layer curves. We compare the spectra for different typical meteorological conditions and katabatic wind maximum heights. It gives us insights on the extent of these perturbations regarding to the conditions. We test the influence of the nearness of the wind maximum on eddy covariance measurements and flux divergence in the few meters above the surface.

  7. 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)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Climatic Significance of Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, A. M.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Anderson, B. A.; Putnam, A. E.; Barrell, D.; Denton, G.; Schaefer, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    Holocene glacier fluctuations in New Zealand are represented by well-preserved moraine complexes in the Southern Alps. Recent cosmogenic dating of Holocene moraine sequences has allowed for interhemispheric comparisons of glacier advances and hence climate change. However, Balco (2009, Science, v 324, p 599-600) and others have asked "Can the timing and magnitude of observed past glacier changes in a particular region be explained by stochastic variability inherent in a steady climate, or is a change in the mean climate required?" To understand better the link between glaciers and climate during the Holocene, we evaluate possible past climate parameters by simulating ice extent at several well-preserved moraines deposited by the Cameron Glacier in the Arrowsmith Range, Southern Alps, New Zealand. We use a coupled 2-D ice-flow and distributed energy balance model with a snow transport component, the latter of which is necessary because, in its present-day configuration, this glacier receives a component of its accumulation from frequent snow avalanches. In our first experiment, we use steady-state simulations to identify the temperature and precipitation forcing required to fit the modelled Cameron Glacier to each of the geomorphically-defined moraine ridges. In our second experiment, we forced the glacier model with a time series of stochastic climate forcing that excludes a background temperature change. We discuss results of these tests, which permit assessment of the sensitivity and response of the Cameron Glacier to different modes of climate variability.

  11. Spatial-temporal variation of glacier over koshi basin, Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Yang, X.; Yao, T.

    2011-12-01

    Glacial change is a sensitive indicator of climate change and glacier meltwaters are vital water resource for more than 1/6 people in South and Central Asia. Due to the large extent and difficult accessibility of high mountainous terrain, there are few ground-based glacial observations. In the last decade, multi-temporal satellite imagery and older aerial photography have been used extensively to quantify glacier parameters such as glacier area, length, elevation, hypsography, and ice volume in mountainous areas throughout the world. In this study, a glacier inventory for Koshi Basin was generated for the year 1976, 1992, 2000 and 2009 using automated interpretation with remote sensing, GIS techniques and manual adjustments based on topographic maps, Landsat TM/ETM+, and SRTM DEM data. The area change of about ~3,407km2 was identified. During the past two decades, the average retreat rate of these glaciers was ~5.8% while the retreat rate from 2000 to 2009 was ~14.23%. Moreover, heavily debris-covered glaciers exist in this region. Some of them even extend several kilometers upstream from their terminus such as Kong Bu Re Bu Sang glacier. From 1992 to 2000, the decrease in total glacier area is ~30km2 while the debris coverage increased ~20km2. These increases generally occur near the boundary between clean ice and debris-covered glacier, while the glacial fronts are remarkably stable. In order to identify the effect of debris-covered glaciers, the variations of glacier area, length and elevation were calculated with and without debris-covered glaciers, respectively. Results show although the terminuses of glacial front were stagnant, the increase in debris-covered glacier contributes to the clean ice's length decrease and elevation increase, and thereby affects glacier's response to climate change. So we suggest that in the area where debris-covered glaciers are common, the clean ice and debris-covered area should be separated and the debris-covered part should not be accounted for in the variation of glacier length and elevation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  13. Supercooled water near the Glacier front in Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Little Ice Age glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Ice loss and sea level rise contribution from Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthier, E.; Schiefer, E.; Clarke, G. K.; Menounos, B.; Rmy, F.; Cazenave, A. A.

    2009-12-01

    Over the last 50 years, retreating glaciers and ice caps (GIC) contributed 0.5 mm/yr to SLR, and one third is believed to originate from ice masses bordering the Gulf of Alaska. However, these estimates of ice wastage in Alaska are based on methods that directly measure mass changes from a limited number of glaciers and extrapolate the results to estimate ice loss for the many thousands of others. Here, using a new glacier inventory with elevation changes derived from sequential digital elevation models (DEMs), we found that, between 1962 and 2006, Alaskan glaciers lost 41.9 8.6 km**3/yr water equivalent (w.e.) and contributed 0.12 0.02 mm/yr to SLR. Our ice loss is 34% lower than previous estimates. Reasons for our lower values include the higher spatial resolution of the glacier inventory used in our study and the complex pattern of ice elevation changes at the scale of individual glaciers and mountain ranges which was not resolved in earlier work. Our ice elevation changes reveal that glacier dynamics (surges, phase of the tidewater cycle, etc...) have a profound effect on the wastage of Alaska glaciers. 3D satellite view of Columbia glacier, Chugach Mountains, Alaska. (Copyright CNES 2007, Distribution Spot Image, processing E. Berthier CNRS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Cloud effects on surface energy and mass balance in the ablation area of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, J. P.; Cullen, N. J.

    2016-02-01

    The effect of clouds on glacier surface energy balance (SEB) has received increased attention in the last decade, but how clouds interact with other meteorological forcing to influence surface mass balance (SMB) is not as well understood. This paper resolves the SEB and SMB at a site in the ablation zone of Brewster Glacier over a 22-month period, using high-quality radiation data to carefully evaluate SEB terms and define clear-sky and overcast conditions. A fundamental change in glacier SEB in cloudy conditions was driven by increased effective sky emissivity and surface vapour pressure, rather than a minimal change in air temperature and wind speed. During overcast conditions, positive net long-wave radiation and latent heat fluxes allowed melt to be maintained through a much greater length of time compared to clear-sky conditions, and led to similar melt in each sky condition. The sensitivity of SMB to changes in air temperature was greatly enhanced in overcast compared to clear-sky conditions due to more frequent melt and changes in precipitation phase that created a strong albedo feedback. During the spring and autumn seasons, the sensitivity during overcast conditions was strongest. To capture these processes, future attempts to explore glacier-climate interactions should aim to resolve the effects of atmospheric moisture (vapour, cloud, and precipitation) on melt as well as accumulation, through enhanced statistical or physically based methods.

  18. Glacial Change in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheesbrough, K.; Edmunds, J.; Kerr, G.; Pochop, L.; Tootle, G.

    2007-12-01

    The upper Green River Basin (GRB) [located in the upper Colorado River Basin] and the upper Wind-Bighorn River Basin (WBRB) [located in the upper Missouri-Mississippi River Basin] are separated by the Wind River Range (WRR) of Wyoming. The WRR is an unbroken 160-kilometer barrier in west central Wyoming that is host to 63 glaciers, the largest concentration of glaciers in the American Rocky Mountains. These glaciers serve as natural water reservoirs and the continued recession of glaciers will impact agricultural water supply in the region. Previous research determined that the glaciers in the WRR contribute approximately 30% of the total streamflow volume during the critical late summer / early fall growing season. However, the previous research was limited in scope to a small number of climatic stations and limited streamflow measurements. The proposed research improves on previous research by evaluating glacial recession in the WRR using remote sensing techniques. Glacier area and terminus position for 42 glacial complexes in the WRR (from 1985 to present) will be evaluated using LANDSAT Imagery and GIS techniques. Next, for selected glaciers, aerial photograph stereopairs will also be obtained from the USGS Earth Resources, Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1966 to present. The stereopair images will be utilized to derive the surface elevation of glaciers and calculate volume change. Traditional methods require the user to view the two photos with a stereoscope to view an object in three dimensions. Modern techniques allow this process to be completed digitally. Leica Photogrammetry suite is used to specify the spatial coordinates of each photo and create a block file, a file that consists of two or more photographs of the same area that contain spatial coordinates of each photo. Once the block file is created, the user can view the objects contained in the overlapping portions of the photos and make vertical measurements. This process allows the user to calculate changes in surface area and changes in elevation, thus volume changes can be computed. Glacier volume will also be estimated from glacier surface areas using the Bahr et al. (1997) area-volume scaling method. Finally, field data (real-time differential GPS surface survey, ground penetrating radar of ice thickness and repeat photography) from a summer 2006 site visit to Dinwoody Glacier (located on the east slope of the WRR) will be compared to previous site visits in the past 40 years. The field data will either confirm or reject observations from the remote sensing approach.

  19. How to implement data for improved modelling - Results from an extensive field campaign on the debris covered Lirung Glacier in the Nepalese Himalayas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, Lene; Immerzeel, Walter; Shahi, Sonika; Baral, Prashant; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2013-04-01

    Debris covered glaciers have become a focus of current research because of growing evidence of an increase in debris cover associated with a warming climate and the effect that debris has on melt rates. Mass balance models increasingly aim at including the melt rate enhancing/reduction effect due to a thin/thick debris layer, respectively. However, knowledge about debris cover and thickness, its distribution and characteristics is limited and data are scarce, especially in the HKKH region where debris-covered glaciers are numerous. In this work we present a data set that is complementary to modelling efforts carried out to improve our understanding of processes occurring at the debris cover surface and how debris effects can be implemented into melt and mass balance models of different complexity. A key requirement for distributed melt modelling is the availability of debris cover and thickness maps and knowledge about characteristics of the debris layer and their spatial variability. An extensive field campaign was conducted from May to October 2012 on the debris covered Lirung Glacier in the Nepalese Himalayas. The collected data set consists of observations from an automatic weather station (AWS) measuring wind direction, wind speed, air and surface temperature, incoming and outgoing shortwave radiation, relative humidity and snow height, 14 sensors measuring 2 m air temperature and 7 surface temperature sensors, 3 temperature systems (tinytags) measuring temperature at the debris surface and the ice below the debris layer and one thermistors chain (with 8 temperature sensors) measuring the temperature profile in the debris layer. In the study region there is a key difference between meteorological conditions during monsoon and the dry period. We analyze separately all meteorological records for these different climatic conditions and show how temperature, albedo, relative humidity and wind speed and direction are affected. Wind speed and direction show similar diurnal behaviour but wind speed maxima are lower during monsoon. The relationship of air and surface temperature is constant across the glacier but different for monsoon and the dry period. Further, even though incoming and outgoing shortwave radiation obviously change during monsoon, albedo is only slightly affected. We compare the main spatio-temporal variability to that of variables recorded off-glacier. We show for example that the presence of the glacier dampens the monsoon impact on temperature lapse rates. We also investigate the conductivity of debris across the glacier to test its spatial consistency and use the temperature profile in the debris layer to test the commonly made assumption of linearity. We compare the calculated values with those provided in the literature both for the Himalaya and other mountainous regions. We finally discuss how these data can be used for possible applications and improvements of models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  1. Melting beneath Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, David; Perrette, Mah; Beckmann, Johanna

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2008-12-01

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

  3. Energy balance of a glacier surface: Analysis of automatic weather station data from the Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.; Klok, E. J.

    2002-11-01

    We describe and analyze a complete 1-yr data set from an automatic weather station (AWS) located on the snout of the Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland. The AWS stands freely on the glacier surface and measures pressure, windspeed, wind direction, air temperature and humidity, incoming and reflected solar radiation, incoming and outgoing longwave radiation, snow temperature, and change in surface height (giving melt rates and snow accumulation). The wind is downglacier most of the time. As expected for a flow of katabatic origin, for air temperatures above the melting point we find a correlation between windspeed and temperature. We evaluate all significant components of the surface energy flux. For a (constant) turbulent exchange coefficient of 0.00153 (reference height 3.5 m) we obtain a perfect match between calculated and measured ice melt. The sensible heat flux is positive (towards the glacier surface) all the time with the largest values on fine summer days (daily mean values are typically 100 W m(-2) on the warmest days). The latent heat flux is small and negative in winter. In summer it is mainly positive (condensation), but negative values also occur. Altogether about 75% of the melt energy is supplied by radiation (shortwave and longwave) and 25% by the turbulent fluxes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connor, James E.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Glacier-sea floor interactions during advance-retreat cycles of surge-type glaciers in Svalbard (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D.; Flink, A.; Lovell, H.; Luckman, A. J.; Noormets, R.; Sevestre, H.

    2013-12-01

    In Svalbard, many fjord-terminating glaciers are surge-type, and surges profoundly influence fjord-floor landsystems and sediment architecture. Conversely, moraines and other glacigenic landforms influence glacier terminus stability by acting as pinning points and barriers to glacier flow. We use a combination of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite imagery and detailed bathymetric surveys to investigate the evolution of several fjord-terminating glaciers during recent surges, and their relationship with sea floor topography and landforming processes. During surges, glaciers transport large quantities of fjord floor sediment in the form of mobile push moraines, which can form substantial barriers across fjords. These moraines suppress calving during surge advances by acting as pinning points, and encourage glacier stability during early quiescence. Consequently, calving rates do not vary systematically over the course of a surge cycle, despite large variations in glacier flow speeds. Geomorphological and sedimentological data show that many Svalbard surge moraines are multi-generational, and that repeated surges terminated at similar points in the fjord. Unlike land-terminating surge-type glaciers, fjord-terminating glaciers can build sequences of annual push moraines during their quiescent phases. These recessional moraines can form even in front of stagnant glaciers, when their frontal zones undergo stretching in response to longitudinal stress gradients. In conjunction with surge moraines, these provide an important record of advance-retreat dynamics of surge-type glaciers, in some cases over multiple surge cycles. When combined with dating techniques, this landform assemblage can provide important information about the frequency and magnitude of Svalbard surges well beyond the observational record.

  7. The motion of Martian glaciers and volcanic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, L.

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Dominant Bacteria and Biomass in the Kuytun 51 Glacier ?

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

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

  10. Reanalysis of the USGS Alaskan benchmark glacier dataset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Resolving the relationship between glacier surface-forcing (climate) and glacier geometry changes is accomplished through mass-balance estimates which can be made with remote sensing methods or field-based observations. The small scale of Alaskan glaciers has prevented remote sensing methods until recently, and field data are essential for validating new techniques. Field data provide the only long duration record that can be studied with respect to climate. The United States Geological Survey has maintained a 44-year mass-balance program at Alaskas Gulkana Glacier and Wolverine Glacier. We have reanalyzed the Alaskan benchmark glaciers mass balance time series so that all data are treated similarly and systematically. Both glaciers are undergoing sustained mass loss with an increasing rate in recent years. However, the magnitude of the calculated loss depends on the number and location of the data collection sites. We explore the sensitivity of the glacier-wide balance estimates to the method of integration used on the necessarily point data. The robustness of the balance is strengthened with use of independent photogrammetric measurements.

  11. Sensitivity and Response of Bhutanese Glaciers to Atmospheric Warming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Glacierized change in the Himalayas affects river-discharge, hydro-energy and agricultural production, and Glacial Lake Outburst Flood potential, but its quantification and extent of impacts remains highly uncertain. Here we present conservative, comprehensive and quantitative predictions for glacier area and meltwater flux changes in Bhutan, monsoonal Himalayas. In particular, we quantify the uncertainties associated with the glacier area and meltwater flux changes due to uncertainty in climate data, a critical problem for much of High Asia. Based on a suite of gridded climate data and a robust glacier melt model, our results show that glacier area and meltwater change projections can vary by an order of magnitude for different climate datasets. However, the most conservative results indicate that, even if climate were to remain at the present-day mean values, almost 10% of Bhutan s glacierized area would vanish and the meltwater flux would drop by as much as 30%. Under the conservative scenario of an additional 1 C regional warming, glacier retreat is going to continue until about 25% of Bhutan s glacierized area will have disappeared and the annual meltwater flux, after an initial spike, would drop by as much as 65%. Citation

  12. Microbial life beneath a high arctic glacier.

    PubMed

    Skidmore, M L; Foght, J M; Sharp, M J

    2000-08-01

    The debris-rich basal ice layers of a high Arctic glacier were shown to contain metabolically diverse microbes that could be cultured oligotrophically at low temperatures (0.3 to 4 degrees C). These organisms included aerobic chemoheterotrophs and anaerobic nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and methanogens. Colonies purified from subglacial samples at 4 degrees C appeared to be predominantly psychrophilic. Aerobic chemoheterotrophs were metabolically active in unfrozen basal sediments when they were cultured at 0.3 degrees C in the dark (to simulate nearly in situ conditions), producing (14)CO(2) from radiolabeled sodium acetate with minimal organic amendment (> or =38 microM C). In contrast, no activity was observed when samples were cultured at subfreezing temperatures (< or =-1.8 degrees C) for 66 days. Electron microscopy of thawed basal ice samples revealed various cell morphologies, including dividing cells. This suggests that the subglacial environment beneath a polythermal glacier provides a viable habitat for life and that microbes may be widespread where the basal ice is temperate and water is present at the base of the glacier and where organic carbon from glacially overridden soils is present. Our observations raise the possibility that in situ microbial production of CO(2) and CH(4) beneath ice masses (e.g., the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets) is an important factor in carbon cycling during glacial periods. Moreover, this terrestrial environment may provide a model for viable habitats for life on Mars, since similar conditions may exist or may have existed in the basal sediments beneath the Martian north polar ice cap. PMID:10919772

  13. Full Stokes glacier model on GPU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Microbial Life beneath a High Arctic Glacier

    PubMed Central

    Skidmore, Mark L.; Foght, Julia M.; Sharp, Martin J.

    2000-01-01

    The debris-rich basal ice layers of a high Arctic glacier were shown to contain metabolically diverse microbes that could be cultured oligotrophically at low temperatures (0.3 to 4C). These organisms included aerobic chemoheterotrophs and anaerobic nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and methanogens. Colonies purified from subglacial samples at 4C appeared to be predominantly psychrophilic. Aerobic chemoheterotrophs were metabolically active in unfrozen basal sediments when they were cultured at 0.3C in the dark (to simulate nearly in situ conditions), producing 14CO2 from radiolabeled sodium acetate with minimal organic amendment (?38 ?M C). In contrast, no activity was observed when samples were cultured at subfreezing temperatures (??1.8C) for 66 days. Electron microscopy of thawed basal ice samples revealed various cell morphologies, including dividing cells. This suggests that the subglacial environment beneath a polythermal glacier provides a viable habitat for life and that microbes may be widespread where the basal ice is temperate and water is present at the base of the glacier and where organic carbon from glacially overridden soils is present. Our observations raise the possibility that in situ microbial production of CO2 and CH4 beneath ice masses (e.g., the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets) is an important factor in carbon cycling during glacial periods. Moreover, this terrestrial environment may provide a model for viable habitats for life on Mars, since similar conditions may exist or may have existed in the basal sediments beneath the Martian north polar ice cap. PMID:10919772

  15. Photogrammetric Monitoring of Glacier Margin Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulsow, C.; Koschitzki, R.; Maas, H.-G.

    2013-01-01

    The growing number of glacial margin lakes that have developed due to glacier retreat, have caused an increase of dangerous Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in several regions over the last decade. A GLOF can occur when the water from the lake finds a path underneath the bottom of the glacier and the lake is draining rapidly. This causes normally a flood wave downstream the glacier. Typically such an event takes about 24 hours. GLOF scenarios may be a significant hazard to life, property, nature and infrastructure in the affected areas. Together with our partner institute CECS (Valdivia, Chile), a project was initiated on a pilot study for an early warning system for GLOF events in the Northern Patagonian Icefield. A GLOF is normally characterized by a progressive water level drop. By observing the water level of the lake, an imminent GLOF-event can be identified. Common gauging systems are not suitable for the measurement task, as they may be affected by ice fall or landslides in the lake basin. Therefore, in our pilot study the water level is observed by processing images of a terrestrial camera system. The paper presents the basic principle of a single-camera based GLOF early warning system. Challenges and approaches to solve them are discussed. First results from processed image sequences are presented to show the feasibility of the concept. Water level changes can be determined at decimetre precision. In the first stage of the project, the waterline was measured manually in the images. A promising approach for reliable automation of this task is the use of a camera, which is sensitive for near infrared. The difference in the reflection of water, ice, and rock in this wavelength is more better than in RGB. This will be discussed in the outlook in deep.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machguth, H.; Huss, M.

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Exploring tidewater glacier retreat using past and current observations at Columbia Glacier, Alaska. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neel, S.; Pfeffer, W. T.; Howat, I. M.; Conway, H.; Columbia Glacier Consortium

    2010-12-01

    Since fulfilling Austin Posts prediction of impending retreat in the late 1970s, Columbia Glacier has repeatedly surprised both casual and careful observers with its ability for rapid change. Over the last three decades, Columbia Glacier has lost approximately 18 km of its original 66 km length, while thinning by approximately 50% at the present terminus. The total ice volume lost to the Gulf of Alaska Estimates upwards of 120 km3 constrain the total ice volume lost to the Gulf of Alaska. Recently, the terminus supported a ~1.5 km long floating tongue for over than a year, contradicting the common assumption that the mechanical properties of temperate ice prohibit flotation over sustained time intervals. The rich history of study offers an opportunity to better understand tidewater glacier retreat, and a valuable analog to the dynamic instability underway at several ice sheet outlet glaciers. Current research aims to improve processing resolution of existing aerial photographic data, while complimenting the 30-year photogrammetric record with a suite of field observations. Recent instrumentation includes: oblique time lapse and still imagery, semi-permanent GPS, airborne radar, mass balance, passive seismology and LiDAR. This presentation will focus on innovative methods developed in recent field seasons, sharing insight each has provided into the retreat process . 1The Columbia Glacier Consortium consists of: Fabian Walter (SIO), Kenichi Matsuoka (NPI), Ben Smith (UW), Ethan Welty (CU-Boulder), Chris Larsen (UAF), Dave Finnegan (CRREL), Dan McNamara (USGS), Yushin Ahn (OSU), Julie Markus (OSU), Adam LeWinter (EIS).

  18. Glacier response to North Atlantic climate variability during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balascio, N. L.; D'Andrea, W. J.; Bradley, R. S.

    2015-12-01

    Small glaciers and ice caps respond rapidly to climate variations, and records of their past extent provide information on the natural envelope of past climate variability. Millennial-scale trends in Holocene glacier size are well documented and correspond with changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. However, there is only sparse and fragmentary evidence for higher-frequency variations in glacier size because in many Northern Hemisphere regions glacier advances of the past few hundred years were the most extensive and destroyed the geomorphic evidence of ice growth and retreat during the past several thousand years. Thus, most glacier records have been of limited use for investigating centennial-scale climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we report a continuous record of glacier activity for the last 9.5 ka from southeast Greenland derived from high-resolution measurements on a proglacial lake sediment sequence. Physical and geochemical parameters show that the glaciers responded to previously documented Northern Hemisphere climatic excursions, including the "8.2 ka" cooling event, the Holocene Thermal Maximum, Neoglacial cooling, and 20th century warming. In addition, the sediments indicate centennial-scale oscillations in glacier size during the late Holocene. Beginning at 4.1 ka, a series of abrupt glacier advances occurred, each lasting ~100 years and followed by a period of retreat, that were superimposed on a gradual trend toward larger glacier size. Thus, while declining summer insolation caused long-term cooling and glacier expansion during the late Holocene, climate system dynamics resulted in repeated episodes of glacier expansion and retreat on multi-decadal to centennial timescales. These episodes coincided with ice rafting events in the North Atlantic Ocean and periods of regional ice cap expansion, which confirms their regional significance and indicates that considerable glacier activity on these timescales is a normal feature of the cryosphere. The data provide a longer-term perspective on the rate of 20th century glacier retreat and indicate that recent anthropogenic-driven warming has already impacted the regional cryosphere in a manner outside the natural range of Holocene variability.

  19. Glacier Erosion and Response to Climate in Chilean Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koppes, M.; Hallet, B.; Stewart, R.

    2006-12-01

    A vibrant dimension in current research on landscape evolution is the potential impact of climate change on erosion rates due to differences in efficiency of glacial and non-glacial erosion processes. The climate-sensitive rate and spatial distribution of erosion can be as important as the tectonic environment in determining the development of mountain ranges. To evaluate properly how glacial erosion influences orogenic processes and reflects climate variability, it is necessary to understand how ice dynamics control erosion rates. The Patagonian Andes are a unique laboratory for documenting glacial erosion in a range of precipitation and thermal regimes, as zonal atmospheric circulation in the region creates strong latitudinal gradients. We will present relevant findings from two tidewater glaciers in Chilean Patagonia: San Rafael glacier, which drains the northern portion of the North Patagonian Icefield (46.6S, 74W), and Marinelli glacier, the largest glacier in the Cordillera Darwin of Tierra del Fuego (54.6S, 69W). Both glaciers have been in steady retreat during the latter half of the 20th century, and both calve into a fjord or lagoon, which provides an efficient trap for the sediment eroded by the glacier and deposited at the calving front. The reconstructed flux of ice into the glaciers is compared to the retreat of the ice fronts and to the sediment flux to examine the influence of ice dynamics on the rate of glacier erosion. NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis climate data, adjusted to local conditions by correlation with automatic weather stations installed at the glacier termini and coupled to a model of orographic enhancement of precipitation over the glacier basin, were used to reconstruct the daily precipitation input into and ablation output from the glaciers during the last 50 years. The sediment flux out of the glaciers during this period was calculated from acoustic reflection profiles of the sediments accumulated in the proglacial fjords, and used to infer erosion rates. Preliminary results indicate 1) that high rates of retreat of the ice front occur during years in which the total input of snow into the glacier is balanced by the total ablation, and hence the residual flux of ice at the terminus is insufficient to compensate for the calving, and 2) that the highest basin- wide erosion rates reflect years in which total ice accumulation is lower and retreat rates are high. Interestingly, basin-wide erosion rates from these glaciers are up to an order of magnitude higher than long- term exhumation rates derived from detrital apatite thermochronometry in the basins, indicating that current rates of erosion far exceed long-term rates, and are reflective of periods of warming climate and enhanced glacial retreat.

  20. Assessing the potential contribution of blowing snow to the mass balance of glaciers in the Cariboo Mountains of British Columbia, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadghar, A.; Ainslie, B.; Jackson, P. L.; Dery, S. J.

    2009-05-01

    The difference between snow accumulation and ice ablation determines the mass balance of glaciers, with snowfall as the dominant input. However, blowing snow is another important term in glacier mass balance. Blowing snow occurs when loose particles of snow at the surface are entrained by winds exceeding a certain threshold for transport. The role of blowing snow in the surface mass balance of glaciers in the Cariboo Mountains (the northern extension of the Columbia Mountains) of British Columbia, Canada is assessed in this study. The regional atmospheric modeling system (RAMS) model is used to simulate several case studies of blowing snow in the region of interest. The simulations are validated with meteorological data from a mesoscale network (mesonet) of high-elevation automatic weather stations (AWSs) entitled the Cariboo Alpine Mesonet (CAMnet) that has been developed in the region since 2006. The mass divergence (convergence) fields from the RAMS simulations provide an indication of the blowing snow erosion (accumulation) areas. These are then compared with the spatial distribution of glaciers in the Cariboo Mountains. Our results suggest that snow drift may contribute significantly to the mass budget of glaciers in the region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    In the semiarid Central Andes of Chile at 33.5S., mountain permafrost is widely present above 3500-4000 m asl, especially in the form of rock glaciers, which often coexist with glaciers and debris-covered glaciers. This peculiar configuration of the cryosphere involves complex and poorly known responses of its components to climate change. Our study area in the Laguna Negra catchment is part of a watershed that provides up to two-thirds of the drinking water supplies to Chile's capital Santiago (5.5 million inhabitants) during the dry summer months. The 35 km watershed contains 2.3 km of uncovered glaciers, 0.9 km of debris-covered glacier area and 4.3 km of rock glaciers, and hosts the longest series of glacier mass balance measurement in Chile (Echaurren Norte glacier). Using orthorectified aerial photographs of 1956 and 1996 and a high resolution satellite image of 2008, we mapped the geometric changes that affected the glacier and the debris-covered glacier of the Punta Negra sub-catchment during the last 50 years. Surface displacements and volume changes were estimated based on 1956 and 1996 digital elevation models (DEMs), and the total loss of water equivalent in the catchment was quantified. At a shorter time scale, rock glaciers and a debris-covered glacier are being monitored since 2004, providing insights into their kinematics and near-surface thermal regime. The orthophotos reveal a 44.7% reduction of the uncovered glacier area between 1955 and 1996, and only small surface changes between 1996 and 2008. The volume reduction of both uncovered and debris-covered glaciers is estimated at at least 3.9 million m3 water equivalent between 1955 and 1996. The second noticeable change is the growth of the thermokarst areas on the debris-covered glacier, with the formation of new and the widening and deepening of existing melt-out depressions between 1955 and 2008. The thermal monitoring revealed that, in 2003/04, the mean annual ground surface temperature ranged from 7.9C at 2987 m asl to 0.8C at 4020 m asl, displaying a linear relationship with altitude similar to the air temperature lapse rate and that the snow cover lasted between 3 and 8 months. A negative winter thermal equilibrium was observed only at the highest (4020 m asl) site, suggesting the presence of perennial frozen ground underneath. GPS monitoring of the surface displacement between 2004 and 2009 revealed horizontal velocities ranging from 0.25 to 0.5 m/yr on the rock glaciers and the debris-covered glacier. The latter is affected by stronger vertical lowering (12-22 cm/yr), which is attributed to the intense downwasting and thermokarst development. As depicted by our study, the evolution of the cryosphere in the Central Chilean Andes during the last 50 years highlights the very different responses of glacier and permafrost to climate change. It also suggests an increasing relative importance of debris-covered glaciers and especially rock glaciers as stores of water compared to uncovered glaciers and thus ongoing changes in geomorphic and hydrological processes that still need to be investigated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1961-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Instrument for Analysis of Greenland's Glacier Mills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behar, Alberto E.; Matthews, Jaret B.; Tran, Hung B.; Steffen, Konrad; McGrath, Dan; Phillips, Thomas; Elliot, Andrew; OHern, Sean; Lutz, Colin; Martin, Sujita; Wang, Henry

    2010-01-01

    A new instrument is used to study the inner workings of Greenland s glacier mills by riding the currents inside a glacier s moulin. The West Greenland Moulin Explorer instrument was deployed into a tubular shaft to autonomously record temperature, pressure, 3D acceleration, and location. It is built with a slightly positive buoyancy in order to assist in recovery. The unit is made up of several components. A 3-axis MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) accelerometer with 0.001-g resolution forms the base of the unit. A pressure transducer is added that is capable of withstanding 500 psi (=3.4 MPa), and surviving down to -40 C. An Iridium modem sends out data every 10 minutes. The location is traced by a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. This GPS unit is also used for recovery after the mission. Power is provided by a high-capacity lithium thionyl chloride D-sized battery. The accelerometer is housed inside a cylindrical, foot-long (=30 cm) polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shell sealed at each end with acrylic. The pressure transducer is attached to one of these lids and a MEMS accelerometer to the other, recording 100 samples per second per axis.

  11. Numerical Modeling of Glaciers in Martian Paleoclimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colaprete, A.; Haberle, R. M.; Montmessin, F.; Scheaffer, J.

    2004-01-01

    Numerous geologic features suggest the presence of ice flow on the surface of mars. These features include lobate debris aprons, concentric crater fill, and lineated valley fill. The lateral extent of these features can range from 100 meters to over 20 km. Previous work has demonstrated that these features could not have formed in current Martian conditions. It has long been speculated that changes in Mars orbital properties, namely its obliquity, eccentricity, and argument of perihelion, can result in dramatic changes to climate. Recent climate model studies have shown that at periods of increased obliquity north polar water ice is mobilized southward and deposited at low ad mid latitudes. Mid latitude accumulation of ice would provide the necessary conditions for rock glaciers to form. A time-marching, finite element glacier model is used to demonstrate the ability of ice and ice-rock mixtures to flow under Martian paleoclimate conditions. Input to this model is constrained by the NASA Ames Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM).

  12. Movement of Glaciers, Sea Ice, and Ice Shelves in Canisteo Peninsula, West Antarctica Observed by 4-Pass SAR Interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, H.; Lee, H.

    2008-12-01

    We have extracted a surface deformation map of a part of Canisteo Peninsula on Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica by applying 4-pass differential interferometric SAR (DInSAR) technique to two ERS-1/2 tandem pairs, and analyzed changes of glaciers, sea ice, ice shelves, and their interactions. As there is no digital elevation model of Antarctica with details enough for 2-pass DInSAR, we used 4-pass DInSAR method in which one tandem interferogram, obtained on October 20-21, 1995, was used to estimate the topographic phase (topo-pair) to be subtracted from the other tandem interferogram, obtained on March 9-10, 1996 that contains phases by surface deformation (diff-pair). October is spring in Antarctica where ice begins to melt. The motion of glaciers, sea ice, ice shelves, and their kinematic interactions were imprinted in the diff-pair. Sea ice disappeared completely by the acquisition time of topo-pair in March. We observed fast motion of glaciers pushing the adjoining sea ice. Some interferometric phases indicate the up rise of sea ice of which type is thought to be land-fast ice to exert repulsive force against the pushing glacier. There were other glaciers and sea ice that moved to the same direction, suggesting that the sea ice in these regions was land-fast ice weakly harnessed to sea bottom or pack ice not harnessed at all. Sea ice patches showing no interferometric phases were drift ice that was moving fast by wind or tide. Several small circular fringes on ice shelves suggested that islands or seamounts on the bottom of ice shelves deterred the movement of ice shelves, resulting in the rise of ice surface. So far, we could analyze the mechanism of moving glaciers and the reaction of sea ice, classify sea ice type and the interaction of bottom topography underneath ice shelves. More detailed numerical analysis on the dynamic relationships between glaciers, sea ice, and ice shelves remains as an ongoing research.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1977-01-01

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

  14. Discriminating glacier thermal and dynamic regimes in the sedimentary record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambrey, Michael J.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2012-04-01

    This paper provides a description and evaluation of the sedimentary facies and environments associated with a range of glacier thermal and dynamic regimes, with additional consideration given to the tectonic context. New and previously published data are evaluated together, and are presented from modern terrestrial and marine glacial sedimentary environments in order to identify a set of criteria that can be used to discriminate between different glacier thermal regimes and dynamic styles in the sedimentary record. Sedimentological data are presented from a total of 28 glaciers in 11 geographical areas that represent a wide range of contemporary thermal, dynamic and topographic regimes. In the context of "landsystems", representatives from terrestrial environments include temperate glaciers in the European Alps, Patagonia, New Zealand, the Cordillera Blanca (Peru), cold glaciers in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula region, and polythermal valley glaciers in Svalbard, northern Sweden, the Yukon and the Khumbu Himal (Nepal). The glaciomarine environment is illustrated by data from cold and polythermal glacier margins on the East Antarctic continental shelf, and from a polythermal tidewater glacier in Svalbard, along with general observations from temperate glaciers in Alaska. These data show that temperate glacial systems, particularly in high-relief areas, are dominated by rockfall and avalanche processes, although sediments are largely reworked by glaciofluvial processes. Debris in polythermal glaciers is both thermally and topographically influenced. In areas of moderate relief, debris is mainly of basal glacial origin, and the resulting facies association is dominated by diamicton. In high-relief areas such as the Himalaya, the debris load in polythermal glaciers is dominated by rockfall and avalanche inputs, resulting in extensive accumulations of sandy boulder-gravel. Cold glaciers are dominated by basal debris-entrainment, but sediments are little modified from the source materials, which are typically sandy boulder-gravel from older till, and sand (from glaciofluvial, glaciolacustrine and aeolian sources). Similar facies associations, but with different facies geometry and thickness occur in equivalent glaciomarine settings. Application of these concepts can aid the interpretation of glacier thermal regime (and hence palaeoclimate) in Quaternary and ancient glacial systems.

  15. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations on Mount Baker, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, Gerald; Menounos, Brian; Ryane, Chanone; Riedel, Jon; Clague, John J.; Koch, Johannes; Clark, Douglas; Scott, Kevin; Davis, P. Thompson

    2012-08-01

    Glaciers on stratovolcanoes of the Pacific Northwest of North America offer opportunities for dating late Pleistocene and Holocene glacier advances because tephra and fossil wood are common in lateral moraines and in glacier forefields. We capitalize on this opportunity by examining the Holocene glacial record at Mount Baker, an active stratovolcano in northwest Washington. Earlier workers concluded that glaciers on Mount Baker during the early Holocene were more extensive than during the Little Ice Age and hypothesized that the explanation lay in unusual climatic or hypsometric effects peculiar to large volcanoes. We show that the main argument for an early Holocene glacier advance on Mount Baker, namely the absence of ca 10,000-year-old tephra on part of the south flank of the mountain, is incorrect. Moreover, a lake-sediment core indicates that a small cirque moraine previously thought be of early Holocene age is also likely older than the tephra and consequently of late Pleistocene age. Lateral and end moraines and wood mats ca 2 km downvalley of the present snout of Deming Glacier indicate that an advance during the Younger Dryas interval was little more extensive than the climactic Little Ice Age advance. Tephra and wood between tills in the left lateral moraine of Easton Glacier suggest that ice on Mount Baker was restricted in the early Holocene and that Neoglaciation began ca 6 ka. A series of progressively more extensive Neoglacial advances, dated to about 2.2, 1.6, 0.9, and 0.4 ka, are recorded by stacked tills in the right lateral moraine of Deming Glacier. Intervening retreats were long enough to allow establishment of forests on the moraine. Wood mats in moraines of Coleman and Easton glaciers indicate that Little Ice Age expansion began before 0.7 ka and was followed by retreat and a readvance ca 0.5 ka. Tree-ring and lichen data indicate glaciers on the south side of the mountain reached their maximum extents in the mid-1800s. The similarity between glacier fluctuations at Mount Baker and those elsewhere in the Cascades and in British Columbia suggests a coherent history of Holocene climate change over a broad area of the western Cordillera. We found no evidence that glaciers on stratovolcanoes behave differently than glaciers elsewhere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. 36 CFR 13.1132 - What types of commercial fishing are authorized in Glacier Bay?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... fishing are authorized in Glacier Bay? 13.1132 Section 13.1132 Parks, Forests, and Public Property...-Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Commercial Fishing § 13.1132 What types of commercial fishing are authorized in Glacier Bay? Three types of commercial fishing are authorized in Glacier Bay...

  18. What influences climate and glacier change in southwestern China?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2011-12-01

    The subject of climate change in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and Himalayas has taken on increasing importance because of the availability of water resources from their mountain glaciers (Immerzeel et al 2010). Many of the glaciers over these regions have been retreating, while some are advancing and stable (Yao et al 2004, Scherler et al 2011). Other studies report that some glaciers in the Himalayas show acceleration of their shrinkage (e.g., Fujita and Nuimura 2011). However, the causes of glacier melting are still difficult to grasp because of the complexity of climatic change and its influence on glacier issues. Despite this, it is vital that we pursue further study to enable future predictions of glacier changes. The paper entitled 'Climate and glacier change in southwestern China during the past several decades' by Li et al (2011) provided carefully analyzed, quality controlled, long-term data on atmospheric temperature and precipitation during the period 1961-2008. The data were obtained from 111 Chinese stations. The researchers performed systematic analyses of temperature and precipitation over the whole southwestern Chinese domain. They discussed those changes in terms of other meteorological components such as atmospheric circulation patterns, radiation and altitude difference, and then showed how these factors could contribute to climate and glacier changes in the region. Air temperature and precipitation are strongly associated with glacier mass balance because of heat balance and the addition of mass when it snows. Temperature warming trends over many places in southwestern China were unequivocally dominant in all seasons and at higher altitudes. This indicates that the heat contribution to the glaciers has been increasing. On the other hand, precipitation has a wider variability in time and space. It is more difficult to clearly understand the effect of precipitation on the climate and glacier melting characteristics in the whole of southwestern China as a collective view. However, the precipitation patterns in southwestern China are probably modulated by climate feedbacks through many factors. Precipitation seasonality may also affect the climatic sensitivity of glacier mass balance (Fujita 2008). In addition to the authors' main focus above, other factors, also probably directly and indirectly, influence the climate and glacier mass balance changes. Those factors are: (a) The debris-covered effect which heats (if it is thin) or insulates (if it is thick) the ice below the debris; it probably causes no uniform response on glacier melting (Scherler et al 2011); (b) Interaction between glacial lakes and exposed ice parts on glaciers (e.g., Sakai et al 2009, Fujita et al 2009); (c) The atmospheric heating effect over the foothills of the Himalayas due to the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC), including absorbing aerosols such as black carbon, dust and organic matters (Ramanathan et al 2007), the so called Elevated Heat Pump (EHP) effect suggested by Lau et al (2006, 2010); (d) The snow darkening effect over non debris-covered parts of glaciers as the absorbing aerosol depositions reduce snow albedo and accelerate snow melting by absorbing more solar energy at the snow surface (Warren and Wiscombe 1980, Flanner et al 2007, 2009, Yasunari et al 2010, Qian et al 2011); (e) Another kind of snow darkening effect over non debris-covered glaciers due to the growth of biological activities, with dark-colored materials on glaciers also reducing snow albedo (Takeuchi et al 2001); (f) Other factors on snow albedo reductions such as snow grain size, specific surface area and depth changes, melt-water effect on snow, and changes in solar illumination conditions (e.g., Wiscombe and Warren 1980, Flanner et al 2006, Yasunari et al 2011, Aoki et al 1999, 2011); and finally, (g) Feedbacks via interactions between the snow surface and atmosphere including all the factors above. What I'd like to emphasize is that the atmospheric warming trend indicated by Li et al (2011) is robust and very likely associated with the dominant character

  19. On the role of buoyant flexure in glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Glacier calving, dynamics, and sea-level rise. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, M.F.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Amadei, B.

    1998-08-01

    The present-day calving flux from Greenland and Antarctica is poorly known, and this accounts for a significant portion of the uncertainty in the current mass balance of these ice sheets. Similarly, the lack of knowledge about the role of calving in glacier dynamics constitutes a major uncertainty in predicting the response of glaciers and ice sheets to changes in climate and thus sea level. Another fundamental problem has to do with incomplete knowledge of glacier areas and volumes, needed for analyses of sea-level change due to changing climate. The authors proposed to develop an improved ability to predict the future contributions of glaciers to sea level by combining work from four research areas: remote sensing observations of calving activity and iceberg flux, numerical modeling of glacier dynamics, theoretical analysis of the calving process, and numerical techniques for modeling flow with large deformations and fracture. These four areas have never been combined into a single research effort on this subject; in particular, calving dynamics have never before been included explicitly in a model of glacier dynamics. A crucial issue that they proposed to address was the general question of how calving dynamics and glacier flow dynamics interact.

  1. Surge dynamics in the Nathorstbreen glacier system, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sund, M.; Lauknes, T. R.; Eiken, T.

    2014-04-01

    Nathorstbreen glacier system (NGS) recently experienced the largest surge in Svalbard since 1936, and this was examined using spatial and temporal observations from DEM differencing, time series of surface velocities from satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and other sources. The upper basins with maximum accumulation during quiescence corresponded to regions of initial lowering. Initial speed-up exceeded quiescent velocities by a factor of several tens. This suggests that polythermal glacier surges are initiated in the temperate area before mass is displaced downglacier. Subsequent downglacier mass displacement coincided with areas where glacier velocity increased by a factor of 100-200 times (stage 2). After more than 5 years, the joint NGS terminus advanced abruptly into the fjord during winter, increasing velocities even more. The advance was followed by up-glacier propagation of crevasses, indicating the middle and subsequently the upper part of the glaciers reacting to the mass displacement. NGS advanced ~15 km, while another ~3 km length was lost due to calving. Surface lowering of ~50 m was observed in some up-glacier areas, and in 5 years the total glacier area increased by 20%. Maximum measured flow rates were at least 25 m d-1, 2500 times quiescent velocity, while average velocities were about 10 m d-1. The surges of Zawadzkibreen cycle with ca. 70-year periods.

  2. Biodiversity under threat in glacier-fed river systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobsen, Dean; Milner, Alexander M.; Brown, Lee E.; Dangles, Olivier

    2012-05-01

    Freshwater biodiversity is under threat across the globe, with climate change being a significant contributor. One impact of climate change is the rapid shrinking of glaciers, resulting in a reduction in glacial meltwater contribution to river flow in many glacierized catchments. These changes potentially affect the biodiversity of specialized glacier-fed river communities. Perhaps surprisingly then, although freshwater biodiversity is a major conservation priority, the effects of shrinkage and disappearance of glaciers on river biodiversity have hitherto been poorly quantified. Here we focus on macroinvertebrates (mainly insect larvae) and demonstrate that local (α) and regional (γ) diversity, as well as turnover among reaches (β-diversity), will be consistently reduced by the shrinkage of glaciers. We show that 11-38% of the regional species pools, including endemics, can be expected to be lost following complete disappearance of glaciers in a catchment, and steady shrinkage is likely to reduce taxon turnover in proglacial river systems and local richness at downstream reaches where glacial cover in the catchment is less than 5-30%. Our analysis demonstrates not only the vulnerability of local biodiversity hotspots but also that extinction will probably greatly exceed the few known endemic species in glacier-fed rivers.

  3. Biological albedo reduction of snow and ice on glaciers in Alaska.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeuchi, N.

    2001-12-01

    Biogenic contaminants in snow and ice and its effect on surface albedo were investigated on five glaciers in Alaska. Several species of snow algae and dark colored organic material were found in the snow and ice of all of the glaciers. The surface albedo was significantly reduced by red-colored algae (Chlamydomonas nivalis) on snow area of the glaciers, and by dark colored material (cryoconite) on ice area. The amounts of snow algae and other biogenic material were different between glaciers: larger amounts of algae and material existed on inland glacier compared to south costal glaciers of Alaska. The measured surface albedo was lower on the inland glacier than on the south costal glaciers, consistent with the amount of the biogenic material. Results suggest that the effect of biological activity on surface albedo is more significant on the inland glacier than the south costal glaciers in Alaska. >http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu:8080/~nozomu/

  4. High diversity and distinctive community structure of bacteria on glaciers in China revealed by 454 pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qing; Zhou, Yu-Guang; Xin, Yu-Hua

    2015-12-01

    The bacterial diversity, community structure and preliminary microbial biogeographic pattern were assessed on glacier surfaces, including three northern glaciers (cold glaciers) and three southern glaciers (temperate glaciers) in China that experienced distinct climatic conditions. Pyrosequencing revealed that bacterial diversities were surprisingly high. With respect to operational taxonomic units (OTUs), Proteobacteria was the most dominant phylum on the glacier surfaces, especially Betaproteobacteria. Significant differences of the bacterial communities were observed between northern and southern glacier surfaces. The rare and abundant populations showed similar clustering patterns to the whole community. The analysis of the culturable bacterial compositions from four glaciers supported this conclusion. Redundancy analysis (RDA) and partial Mantel tests indicated that annual mean temperature, as well as geographical distance, was significantly correlated with the bacterial communities on the glaciers. It was inferred that bacterial communities on northern and southern glacier surfaces experienced different climate, water and nutrient patterns, and consequently evolved different lifestyles. PMID:26516089

  5. Drainage system development of an Antarctic cold-based glacier: Wright Lower Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonell, S.; Fitzsimons, S.

    2009-04-01

    Catchment hydrology is a branch of the geosciences that is concerned with understanding how hydrological components interact and mitigate flow through and storage within a watershed. In recent times, catchment hydrologists have moved towards understanding catchments in an integrated manner, in an attempt to incorporate surface and subsurface hydrological processes alongside biogeochemical and ecological properties. Glacier hydrology is nestled within this paradigm, as a glacier can be viewed as its own watershed, as well as contributing to a wider catchment. Drainage systems on cold-based glaciers are often thought to be simple systems that can be approximated from the supraglacial components of temperate glaciers. Most studies concerning cold-based glacier drainage systems have only considered one facet of the system, with little regard for how the system components interact. Studying each component independently of the whole system constrains our ability to model drainage system function and development. This in turn restricts our potential to predict how drainage systems of cold glaciers may respond to environmental change. The overarching aim of this paper was to understand drainage system development of a cold-based glacier, and to assess whether our current understanding of supraglacial hydrological systems is consistent with the drainage systems that form on cold-based glaciers. This study evaluated the drainage system of the Wright Lower Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, during the 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 ablation seasons. The study incorporated field, laboratory and numerical analyses, which resulted in a deeper understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of meltwater generation, drainage pathways, water stores and bulk discharge from the glacier. The findings showed that melt variability was driven by sediment and topographic variations, and that water storage in the form of cryoconite holes, intergranular flow, supraglacial ponds and refreezing dictated meltwater transmission to the glacier outlet. These results indicated that the structure, function and variability of the drainage system were inherently more complex than previous studies on supraglacial drainage systems had suggested. These new insights were combined together to construct a new conceptual model of the drainage system structure of a cold-based glacier. By taking a catchment hydrology approach, we show how a myriad of drainage pathways develop through a season, and how only by integrating all components together can we come close to understanding, and subsequently predicting, how water is generated, routed and discharged from polar glaciers.

  6. High Sensitivity of Tidewater Glacier Dynamics to Shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Comparing In Situ Spectra and Multispectral Classifications of Glacier Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, A.; Rees, G.; Willis, I. C.; Arnold, N. S.

    2011-12-01

    Glaciers can be divided into distinct surface zones (or facies) such as new snow, firn, slush, and glacier ice, which can then be quantitatively linked to the mass balance state of a glacier. Due to similarities in reflective properties, persistent difficulty is had identifying the snow line and accumulation area rather than the more distinct glacier ice-firn line. Yet, it is the snow line rather than the firn line which provides a sensitive indicator of how a given year's climate influences a glacier. As small icecaps and glaciers contribute significantly to current sea level rise and will continue to do so in the coming decades, it would be highly beneficial to develop a technique which measures a glacier mass balance proxy - the glacier accumulation area ratio - using widespread, high resolution multispectral imagery. In situ glacier surface spectra (350-2300 nm) were measured on Midtre Lovénbreen (Svalbard) in August 2010 and Langjökull (Iceland) in August 2011 using an ASD field spectroradiometer. The full-spectrum reflectance measurements allow simulation of various airborne and spaceborne multispectral sensors including the Airborne Thematic Mapper, Landsat ETM+, MODIS or MERIS, and ESA's forthcoming Sentinel 2. Published studies have applied methods such as spectral band ratios, normalized indices, thresholding, principal component analysis, unsupervised classification, supervised classification, and spectral mixing analysis to classify glacier surfaces. The work presented here uses the collected in situ surface reflectance data to inform interpretation of ISODATA classification schemes of airborne and satellite multispectral imagery, can provide end member points for spectral mixing studies, and gives a starting point from which to further develop useful analysis strategies for remote imagery. Future research directions could integrate elevation and intensity data from airborne LiDAR campaigns. While spectra and classifications of airborne/satellite multispectral imagery match reasonably for Svalbard data, this is not the case between in situ measurements from Svalbard and imagery from Iceland. This paper will investigate not only the potential causes of differing spectral properties of glacier surfaces in Svalbard and Iceland, but also use the in situ spectra to evaluate classification techniques and inform more effective and reliable strategies for remotely measuring a glacier's accumulation area.

  8. Small Glacier Area Studies: A New Approach for Turkey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yavasli, Dogukan D.; Tucker, Compton J.

    2012-01-01

    Many regions of Earth have glaciers that have been neglected for study because they are small. We report on a new approach to overcome the problem of studying small glaciers, using Turkey as an example. Prior to our study, no reliable estimates of Turkish glaciers existed because of a lack of systematic mapping, difficulty in using Landsat data collected before 1982, snowpack vs. glacier ice differentiation using existing satellite data and aerial photography, the previous high cost of Landsat images, and a lack of high-resolution imagery of small Turkish glaciers. Since 2008, a large number of < 1 m satellite images have become available at no cost to the research community. In addition, Landsat data are now free of charge from the U.S. Geological Survey, enabling the use of multiple images. We used 174 Landsat and eight high-resolution satellite images to document the areal extent of Turkish glaciers from the 1970s to 2007-2011. Multiple Landsat images, primarily Thematic Mapper (TM) data from 1984 to 2011, enabled us to minimize differentiation problems between snow and glacier ice, a potential source of error. In addition, we used Ikonos, Quickbird, and World View-1 & -2 very high-resolution imagery to evaluate our TM accuracies and determine the area of nine smaller glaciers in Turkey. We also used five Landsat-3 Return Beam Videcon (RBV) 30 m pixel resolution images, all from 1980, for six glaciers. The total area of Turkish glaciers decreased from 23 km2 in the 1970s to 10.1 km2 in 2007-2011. By 2007-2011, six Turkish glaciers disappeared, four were < 0.3 km2, and only three were 1.0 km2 or larger. No trends in precipitation from 1970 to 2006 and cloud cover from 1980 to 2010 were found, while surface temperatures increased, with summer minimum temperatures showing the greatest increase. We conclude that increased surface temperatures during the summer were responsible for the 56% recession of Turkish glaciers from the 1970s to 2006-2011.

  9. Wind Simulation

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2008-12-31

    The Software consists of a spreadsheet written in Microsoft Excel that provides an hourly simulation of a wind energy system, which includes a calculation of wind turbine output as a power-curve fit of wind speed.

  10. Summer energy balance and ablation of high elevation glaciers in the central Chilean Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brock, Benjamin; Rivera, Andres; Burger, Flavia; Bravo, Claudio

    2014-05-01

    Glaciers of the semi-arid central Chilean Andes are an important freshwater source for the populous Central Valley region of Chile, but have been shrinking in recent decades. The surface energy balance of these glaciers is of high scientific interest as summer ablation occurs through both sublimation and melt. During the 2012-13 Austral Summer a glacio-meteorological monitoring programme was established on Olivares Alfa (3.9 km2, 4130-4800 m elevation) and Beta (8.3 km2, 3620-4850 m elevation) Glaciers and their forelands in the Upper Olivares Valley, 3300'-3311' S, 7005'-7015' W, approximately 50 km north-east of Santiago. This included complete automatic weather stations (AWSs) with sonic rangers to record surface ablation on the ablation zones of the two glaciers, and one AWS in the proglacial area of Olivares Alfa Glacier including precipitation gauge. To complement these point data, daily images of the glaciers were captured with fixed cameras in order to calculate snow cover and albedo distributions. To calculate the surface energy balance and rates of melt and sublimation, a model was developed which uses direct AWS measurements of the radiative fluxes and calculates the turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat using the bulk aerodynamic approach. The model also calculates the subsurface heat flux and includes a simple scheme to estimate refreezing of melt water within surface snow or ice. Meteorological data and model results for the December to May period will be presented in this paper. Model calculations match closely the cumulative ablation curve of the sonic ranger at Olivares Alfa, with a slight overestimation, and overestimate cumulative ablation recorded by the sonic ranger at Olivares Beta, possibly due, at least in part, to uncertain snow density values. Modelled cumulative ablation in the December-April period is 2.2 m water equivalent (w.e.) at Olivares Alfa (0.10 m sublimation, 2.10 m melt) and 2.34 m w.e. at Olivares Beta (0.18 m sublimation, 2.16 m melt). The surface energy balance is dominated by shortwave radiation, which is the only net energy input, apart from a minor contribution from sensible heat, while the main outputs of energy are net longwave radiation, melt and sublimation. Ablation is dominated by melt during the warmer midsummer months at the two AWS sites, with mean rates exceeding 30 mm w.e. per day. However, due to the high latent heat of sublimation, it is only in January and February that the melt energy flux clearly exceeds the sublimation energy flux. Sublimation rates are typically ~1 mm w.e. per day and are 50 to 100 % higher at Olivares Beta as a result of higher wind speed and surface temperature, despite similar air temperatures at the two sites. Melt rates are around twice as high in summer months with mean air temperature > -2 C, compared with cooler months. This implies that future atmospheric warming will accelerate shrinkage of these glaciers as the ablation regime switches increasingly from sublimation to a more efficient melt regime.

  11. Glacier dynamics at Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers, southeast Greenland, since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, S. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjr, K. H.; Bevan, S.; Luckman, A.; Aschwanden, A.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Bjrk, A. A.; Box, J.; van den Broeke, M.; van Dam, T. M.; Fitzner, A.

    2014-02-01

    Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance at the decadal scale. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance beyond such episodic events is required. Here, we extend the observational record of marginal thinning of Helheim glacier (HG) and Kangerdlugssuaq glacier (KG) from 10 to more than 150 yr. We show that although the frontal portion of HG thinned by more than 100 m between 2003 and 2006, it thickened by more than 50 m during the previous two decades. In contrast, KG was stable from 1981 to 1998 and experienced major thinning only after 2003. Extending the record back to the end of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1850) shows no significant thinning of HG from 1850 to 1981, while KG underwent substantial thinning of ~265 m. Analyses of their sensitivity to sub-surface water temperature anomalies and variations in air temperature suggest that both HG and KG are highly sensitive to short-term atmospheric and ocean forcing, and respond very quickly to small fluctuations. At century time-scales, however, multiple external parameters (e.g. outlet shape) dominate the mass change. These findings undermine attempts to use measurements over the last decade as initial conditions to project future dynamic ice loss.

  12. Analysis of the glacier retreat in the French Alps since the 1960s based on the new glacier inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardent, M.; Rabatel, A.; Dedieu, J. P.; Deline, P.; Schoeneich, P.

    2012-04-01

    One of the most obvious impacts of climate change in high mountain areas is the glacial retreat. Since the French glacier inventory carried out by R. Vivian in the late 1960s within the context of the WGI, there was no updated data from the overall French alpine glaciers. We present here the first results of a new diachronic inventory of the French alpine glaciers based on different sources. Glacier outlines were manually delineated using 1/25,000 topographic maps of the french National Geographical Institute (IGN) from the end of the 1960s, and IGN 50-cm-pixel orthophotographs from 2006 to 2009. For Landsat 5 TM images (30 m resolution) dating from 1985-1986, and Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ images (30 and 15 m resolutions) dating from 2003, an automatic delineation with the common NDSI method was used to determine glacier limits. Each glacier has been individually checked, with a special care for debris covered and shadowed areas to adjust the delineation, using a 542 spectral bands combination. For compounded glaciers, the same limits were manually adjusted for each period. Data were integrated into a GIS and a database including all the common items (surface area, minimal and maximal elevations, aspect, debris covered area, slope) was generated. Topographic parameters were extracted from the IGN DEM (resolution of 25 m) for the topographic maps and Landsat images from the mid-80s, and the ASTER GDEM (resolution of 30 m) for the Landsat images of the early 2000s and the orthophotographs. . Current extension of the 593 French alpine glaciers is about 275 km2. It is ~20 % less than in 1985-1986 (end of the last glacial advance period), when glacier extension was 340 km2, and ~26 % less than at the end of the 1960s, when glacier coverage was about 375 km2. Different trends are observed across the French Alps, with a stronger glacial retreat in the southern massifs: for instance, glacier shrinkage in the Ecrins massif is more than three times stronger than in the French area of the Mont Blanc massif. The size distribution of the glaciers has changed within the last 40 years: the proportion of glaciers < 0.1 km2 increased from 31% to 51%, while glaciers 0.1-0,5 km2 and >1 km2 decreased from 41% to 31%, and 28 % to 18 %, respectively. The average minimal elevation of glacier fronts has risen from about 2670 m a.s.l. at the end of the 1960s to 2760 m (+ 90 m). Results from the analysis of the relationship between glaciers retreat and their aspect and elevation will be also presented. Finally, the reconstruction of glacier extensions at the end of the Little Ice Age, based on ancient maps and geomorphological study of the proglacial margins will be presented. As an example, glacier extension in the Vanoise massif has decreased by more than 50% since the end of the LIA.

  13. Polychlorinated Biphenyls in a Temperate Alpine Glacier: 1. Effect of Percolating Meltwater on their Distribution in Glacier Ice.

    PubMed

    Pavlova, Pavlina Aneva; Jenk, Theo Manuel; Schmid, Peter; Bogdal, Christian; Steinlin, Christine; Schwikowski, Margit

    2015-12-15

    In Alpine regions, glaciers act as environmental archives and can accumulate significant amounts of atmospherically derived pollutants. Due to the current climate-warming-induced accelerated melting, these pollutants are being released at correspondingly higher rates. To examine the effect of melting on the redistribution of legacy pollutants in Alpine glaciers, we analyzed polychlorinated biphenyls in an ice core from the temperate Silvretta glacier, located in eastern Switzerland. This glacier is affected by surface melting in summer. As a result, liquid water percolates down and particles are enriched in the current annual surface layer. Dating the ice core was a challenge because meltwater percolation also affects the traditionally used parameters. Instead, we counted annual layers of particulate black carbon in the ice core, adding the years with negative glacier mass balance, that is, years with melting and subsequent loss of the entire annual snow accumulation. The analyzed samples cover the time period 1930-2011. The concentration of indicator PCBs (iPCBs) in the Silvretta ice core follows the emission history, peaking in the 1970s (2.5 ng/L). High PCB values in the 1990s and 1930s are attributed to meltwater-induced relocation within the glacier. The total iPCB load at the Silvretta ice core site is 5 ng/cm(2). A significant amount of the total PCB burden in the Silvretta glacier has been released to the environment. PMID:26632967

  14. Glacier-specific elevation changes in western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank; Le Bris, Raymond

    2013-04-01

    Deriving glacier-specific elevation changes from DEM differencing and digital glacier outlines is rather straight-forward if the required datasets are available. Calculating such changes over large regions and including glaciers selected for mass balance measurements in the field, provides a possibility to determine the representativeness of the changes observed at these glaciers for the entire region. The related comparison of DEM-derived values for these glaciers with the overall mean avoids the rather error-prone conversion of volume to mass changes (e.g. due to unknown densities) and gives unit-less correction factors for upscaling the field measurements to a larger region. However, several issues have to be carefully considered, such as proper co-registration of the two DEMs, date and accuracy of the datasets compared, as well as source data used for DEM creation and potential artefacts (e.g. voids). In this contribution we present an assessment of the representativeness of the two mass balance glaciers Gulkana and Wolverine for the overall changes of nearly 3200 glaciers in western Alaska over a ca. 50-year time period. We use an elevation change dataset from a study by Berthier et al. (2010) that was derived from the USGS DEM of the 1960s (NED) and a more recent DEM derived from SPOT5 data for the SPIRIT project. Additionally, the ASTER GDEM was used as a more recent DEM. Historic glacier outlines were taken from the USGS digital line graph (DLG) dataset, corrected with the digital raster graph (DRG) maps from USGS. Mean glacier specific elevation changes were derived based on drainage divides from a recently created inventory. Land-terminating, lake-calving and tidewater glaciers were marked in the attribute table to determine their changes separately. We also investigated the impact of handling potential DEM artifacts in three different ways and compared elevation changes with altitude. The mean elevation changes of Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers (about -0.65 m / year) are very similar to the mean of the lake-calving and tidewater glaciers (about -0.6 m / year), but much more negative than for the land-terminating glaciers (about -0.24 m / year). The two mass balance glaciers are thus well representative for the entire region, but not for their own class. The different ways of considering positive elevation changes (e.g. setting them to zero or no data) influence the total values, but has otherwise little impact on the results (e.g. the correction factors are similar). The massive elevation loss of Columbia Glacier (-2.8 m / year) is exceptional and strongly influences the statistics when area-weighting is used to determine the regional mean. For the entire region this method yields more negative values for land-terminating and tidewater glaciers than the arithmetically averaged values, but for the lake-calving glaciers both are about the same.

  15. Effects of light absorbing impurities on the glacier albedo in the Tibetan Plateau: a case study of Zhadang glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Shichang; Qu, Bin; Ming, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Light absorbing aerosols, such as black carbon (BC, or element carbon) and mineral dust, can deposit and accumulate on glacier surface through dry and wet deposition, hence reducing the surface albedo and resulting in more solar radiation absorption, thus accelerates the melting of glaciers. Glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) can be affected by BC and dust from the surrounding areas. To investigate effects of BC and dust on the glacier albedo, we collected surface firn/ice samples in July and fresh snow samples in August, 2012, and measured albedo in Zhadang glacier (southern Tibetan Plateau). Concentrations of BC (DRI method) (80.9 - 472.6 ppbm) and dust (33.6 - 1891.9 ppmm) are much higher in firn/ice than these of BC (40.8 - 59.4 ppbm) and dust (3.4 - 8.2 ppmm) in fresh snow, indicating that BC and dust can accumulate when snow starts melt. Both BC and dust concentrations in snow reduced while albedo increased when elevation increased. Snow ice aerosol radiative (SNICAR) model were used to quantify the contribution rate of BC and dust to the snow albedo reduction. BC and dust in fresh snow contributed 47.7% and 13.6% for the reduction of glacier albedo, respectively, meanwhile other factors (snow particle size, moisture content changes) contributed 38.7%, suggesting BC was a major factor for snow melting in Zhadang glacier. However, the contribution of dust to albedo reduction could be as high as 71% when the glacier experienced strong melting when the surface coverage was almost entirely dirty bare ice. The radiative forcing (RF) caused by dust could reach 33.9 Wm-2, while that caused by BC was only 4.5 Wm-2, indicating that dust, rather than BC, was the most dominant factor on the melting of glacier during the intensive melting season.

  16. UAVs for Glacier Mapping: Lessons Learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Glaciers and ice sheets as a biome.

    PubMed

    Anesio, Alexandre M; Laybourn-Parry, Johanna

    2012-04-01

    The tundra is the coldest biome described in typical geography and biology textbooks. Within the cryosphere, there are large expanses of ice in the Antarctic, Arctic and alpine regions that are not regarded as being part of any biome. During the summer, there is significant melt on the surface of glaciers, ice caps and ice shelves, at which point microbial communities become active and play an important role in the cycling of carbon and other elements within the cryosphere. In this review, we suggest that it is time to recognise the cryosphere as one of the biomes of Earth. The cryospheric biome encompasses extreme environments and is typified by truncated food webs dominated by viruses, bacteria, protozoa and algae with distinct biogeographical structures. PMID:22000675

  18. Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Glacier loss on Kilimanjaro continues unabated

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, L. G.; Brecher, H. H.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Hardy, D. R.; Mark, B. G.

    2009-01-01

    The dramatic loss of Kilimanjaro's ice cover has attracted global attention. The three remaining ice fields on the plateau and the slopes are both shrinking laterally and rapidly thinning. Summit ice cover (areal extent) decreased ?1% per year from 1912 to 1953 and ?2.5% per year from 1989 to 2007. Of the ice cover present in 1912, 85% has disappeared and 26% of that present in 2000 is now gone. From 2000 to 2007 thinning (surface lowering) at the summits of the Northern and Southern Ice Fields was ?1.9 and ?5.1 m, respectively, which based on ice thicknesses at the summit drill sites in 2000 represents a thinning of ?3.6% and ?24%, respectively. Furtwngler Glacier thinned ?50% at the drill site between 2000 and 2009. Ice volume changes (20002007) calculated for two ice fields reveal that nearly equivalent ice volumes are now being lost to thinning and lateral shrinking. The relative importance of different climatological drivers remains an area of active inquiry, yet several points bear consideration. Kilimanjaro's ice loss is contemporaneous with widespread glacier retreat in mid to low latitudes. The Northern Ice Field has persisted at least 11,700 years and survived a widespread drought ?4,200 years ago that lasted ?300 years. We present additional evidence that the combination of processes driving the current shrinking and thinning of Kilimanjaro's ice fields is unique within an 11,700-year perspective. If current climatological conditions are sustained, the ice fields atop Kilimanjaro and on its flanks will likely disappear within several decades. PMID:19884500

  20. Holocene glacier fluctuations in the American Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, P. Thompson

    In many areas of the American Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana), Cascade Range (Washington, Oregon), and the Sierra Nevada (California), radiocarbon ages suggest that ice receded to near present limits before 10 ka BP. A pre-Altithermal readvance or stillstand left moraines ca. 1-3 km beyond and ca. 50-300 m below present glacier margins. At one locality on Glacier Peak in Washington, these deposits are perhaps dated to the early Holocene, but in general these deposits are probably at least 10 ka old. Glacial advances during the Altithermal (ca. 8 to 5 ka BP) elsewhere are rare; radiocarbon evidence for Altithermal glacial advances in the Colorado Front Range is questionable. The earliest radiocarbon-dated Neoglacial advances occurred about 5 ka BP in the Washington Cascades; moraines and related deposits believed to be of early Neoglacial age (i.e. 5 to 3 ka BP) elsewhere are poorly dated. For example, moraines believed to date to the early Neoglacial in Colorado (Triple Lakes) and Wyoming (Temple Lake) are actually late Pleistocene age, based on radiocarbon ages derived from lake sediments at the type localities. Although relative-age data (i.e. lichens, rock weathering, soils) from many areas suggest a three-fold Neoglacial sequence, little supporting radiocarbon evidence is available. However, tephrochronology distinguishes three Neoglacial advances near Mount Rainier in Washington. In most mountain ranges of the western United States, fresh, unweathered, sharp-crested moraines usually adjacent to present ice margins, or near headwalls in empty cirques, date to the Little Ice Age of the last several centuries. However, detailed photographic or other historical records of glacial fluctuations during the last century are rare, and detailed mass balance studies rarer still. Whether or not pre-Little Ice Age glacial fluctuations in the American Cordillera are synchronous must await better radiometric dating of local moraine sequences.

  1. 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.

  2. Calving rates at tidewater glaciers vary strongly with ocean temperature

    PubMed Central

    Luckman, Adrian; Benn, Douglas I.; Cottier, Finlo; Bevan, Suzanne; Nilsen, Frank; Inall, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Rates of ice mass loss at the calving margins of tidewater glaciers (frontal ablation rates) are a key uncertainty in sea level rise projections. Measurements are difficult because mass lost is replaced by ice flow at variable rates, and frontal ablation incorporates sub-aerial calving, and submarine melt and calving. Here we derive frontal ablation rates for three dynamically contrasting glaciers in Svalbard from an unusually dense series of satellite images. We combine ocean data, ice-front position and terminus velocity to investigate controls on frontal ablation. We find that frontal ablation is not dependent on ice dynamics, nor reduced by glacier surface freeze-up, but varies strongly with sub-surface water temperature. We conclude that calving proceeds by melt undercutting and ice-front collapse, a process that may dominate frontal ablation where submarine melt can outpace ice flow. Our findings illustrate the potential for deriving simple models of tidewater glacier response to oceanographic forcing. PMID:26450063

  3. Fast-flowing outlet glaciers on Svalbard ice caps

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-08-01

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

  4. The Nisqually Glacier, Mount Rainier, Washington, 1857-1979

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heliker, C.C.; Johnson, Aaron H.; Hodge, S.M.

    1984-01-01

    Nisqually Glacier on Mount Ranier, Washington has a long record of terminus position observations and ice-surface altitude measurements along specific profiles, and has been the topic of numerous scientific studies. From the earliest observations in 1857 to the present many individuals and several different organizations have been involved in data collection at Nisqually Glacier. In order to preserve the long-term data, it was assembled and reduced to a standard format for this report. A comprehensive bibliography of scientific publications relating to the glacier is included. Between 1857 and 1979, Nisqually Glacier receded a total of 1,945 meters and advanced a total of 294 meters. Advances occurred from 1963-68 and from 1974-79. Ice-surface altitude changes of as much as 25 meters occurred between 1944 and 1955. (USGS)

  5. 36 CFR 7.3 - Glacier National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...-the-Sun Road from West Glacier entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge and from St. Mary entrance to Rising Sun will be permitted. (2) Commercial passenger-carrying motor vehicles operated in the above...

  6. 36 CFR 7.3 - Glacier National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...-the-Sun Road from West Glacier entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge and from St. Mary entrance to Rising Sun will be permitted. (2) Commercial passenger-carrying motor vehicles operated in the above...

  7. 36 CFR 7.3 - Glacier National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ...-the-Sun Road from West Glacier entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge and from St. Mary entrance to Rising Sun will be permitted. (2) Commercial passenger-carrying motor vehicles operated in the above...

  8. The Role of Glaciers in the Hydrology of Nepal (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, R. L.; Racoviteanu, A.; Alford, D.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers are a component of the hydrologic regime of many large mountain ranges of the world, including the Himalaya. However, the hydrologic regime of Himalayan catchment basins and the role of glaciers in the hydrologic regime of this region are not well understood. Current concern regarding the impact of the retreat of Himalayan glaciers on water supplies poses an urgent need to resolve basic questions related to the components of the total water budget and, specifically, to determine the impact of glacier change on regional-scale water supplies. The ultimate goal of this project is to estimate the potential impact of continued glacier retreat across the entire Himalayan region, although the results presented here are limited to assessing and quantifying the role of glacier ice melt in the hydrologic regime of Nepal. There are approximately 3250 glaciers in the Nepal Himalaya, covering an area of slightly more than 5,300 km2, and containing some 460 km3 of ice. These glaciers are located on, or near, the crest of the Himalaya, with the bulk of the ice contained in basins that are at altitudes generally between 4,000 - 6000 meters above sea level. The methodology developed for this study involves establishing a relationship between the area-altitude distributions of catchment basins and glaciers, and associated water and energy exchange gradients. Two area-altitude distributed process models were developed: an orographic runoff model and a glacier melt model. The orographic runoff model is based on the relationship between basin mean specific runoff and the mean altitude of each basin with an area-altitude distribution of streamflow for each 1000 meter belt calculated as the product of the specific runoff depth and the area of the belt. The glacier melt model is based on melt from 100 meter area-altitude belts for the glacierized portion of each catchment and involves defining an ablation gradient, the rate of increasing specific ice melt with decreasing altitude in the ablation zone. Results indicate that the annual contribution of glacier melt water to streamflow in the Nepal Himalayas varies among catchment basins from 2 to 30%, averaging approximately 10% of the total annual flow volume measured at lower altitude hydrometric stations. This represents approximately 4% of the total annual streamflow volume of the rivers of Nepal. Results also suggest that neither the timing nor the volume of the streamflow of the rivers of Nepal will be significantly affected in the near future by a continued retreat of the glaciers. We are currently applying a similar methodology to assess the contribution of glacier and snow melt to the hydrology of the upper Indus Basin located at the extreme western end of the Greater Himalaya with a climate and glacier regime that differs significantly from that of Nepal. Preliminary results from the Indus study will also be presented.

  9. Glacier shrinkage and water resources in the Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francou, Bernard; Coudrain, Anne

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

  10. Calving rates at tidewater glaciers vary strongly with ocean temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luckman, Adrian; Benn, Douglas I.; Cottier, Finlo; Bevan, Suzanne; Nilsen, Frank; Inall, Mark

    2015-10-01

    Rates of ice mass loss at the calving margins of tidewater glaciers (frontal ablation rates) are a key uncertainty in sea level rise projections. Measurements are difficult because mass lost is replaced by ice flow at variable rates, and frontal ablation incorporates sub-aerial calving, and submarine melt and calving. Here we derive frontal ablation rates for three dynamically contrasting glaciers in Svalbard from an unusually dense series of satellite images. We combine ocean data, ice-front position and terminus velocity to investigate controls on frontal ablation. We find that frontal ablation is not dependent on ice dynamics, nor reduced by glacier surface freeze-up, but varies strongly with sub-surface water temperature. We conclude that calving proceeds by melt undercutting and ice-front collapse, a process that may dominate frontal ablation where submarine melt can outpace ice flow. Our findings illustrate the potential for deriving simple models of tidewater glacier response to oceanographic forcing.

  11. Contribution of small glaciers to global sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    Observed long-term changes in glacier volume and hydrometeorological mass balance models yield data on the transfer of water from glaciers, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica, to the oceans, The average observed volume change for the period 1900 to 1961 is scaled to a global average by use of the seasonal amplitude of the mass balance. These data are used to calibrate the models to estimate the changing contribution of glaciers to sea level for the period 1884 to 1975. Although the error band is large, these glaciers appear to accountfor a third to half of observed rise in sea level, approximately that fraction not explained by thermal expansion of the ocean.

  12. Calving rates at tidewater glaciers vary strongly with ocean temperature.

    PubMed

    Luckman, Adrian; Benn, Douglas I; Cottier, Finlo; Bevan, Suzanne; Nilsen, Frank; Inall, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Rates of ice mass loss at the calving margins of tidewater glaciers (frontal ablation rates) are a key uncertainty in sea level rise projections. Measurements are difficult because mass lost is replaced by ice flow at variable rates, and frontal ablation incorporates sub-aerial calving, and submarine melt and calving. Here we derive frontal ablation rates for three dynamically contrasting glaciers in Svalbard from an unusually dense series of satellite images. We combine ocean data, ice-front position and terminus velocity to investigate controls on frontal ablation. We find that frontal ablation is not dependent on ice dynamics, nor reduced by glacier surface freeze-up, but varies strongly with sub-surface water temperature. We conclude that calving proceeds by melt undercutting and ice-front collapse, a process that may dominate frontal ablation where submarine melt can outpace ice flow. Our findings illustrate the potential for deriving simple models of tidewater glacier response to oceanographic forcing. PMID:26450063

  13. Undercutting of marine-terminating glaciers in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, Eric; Fenty, Ian; Xu, Yun; Cai, Cilan; Kemp, Chris

    2015-07-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers control most of Greenland's ice discharge into the ocean, but little is known about the geometry of their frontal regions. Here we use side-looking, multibeam echo sounding observations to reveal that their frontal ice cliffs are grounded deeper below sea level than previously measured and their ice faces are neither vertical nor smooth but often undercut by the ocean and rough. Deep glacier grounding enables contact with subsurface, warm, salty Atlantic waters (AW) which melts ice at rates of meters per day. We detect cavities undercutting the base of the calving faces at the sites of subglacial water (SGW) discharge predicted by a hydrological model. The observed pattern of undercutting is consistent with numerical simulations of ice melt in which buoyant plumes of SGW transport warm AW to the ice faces. Glacier undercutting likely enhances iceberg calving, impacting ice front stability and, in turn, the glacier mass balance.

  14. Evaluating glacier movement fluctuations using remote sensing: A case study of the Baird, Patterson, LeConte, and Shakes glaciers in central Southeastern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Robert Howard

    Global Land Survey (GLS) data encompassing Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Landsat 5's Thematic Mapper (TM), and Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) were used to determine the terminus locations of Baird, Patterson, LeConte, and Shakes Glaciers in Alaska in the time period 1975-2010. The sequences of the terminuses locations were investigated to determine the movement rates of these glaciers with respect to specific physical and environmental conditions. GLS data from 1975, 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2010 in false-color composite images enhancing ice-snow differentiation and Iterative Self-Organizing (ISO) Data Cluster Unsupervised Classifications were used to 1) quantify the movement rates of Baird, Patterson, LeConte, and Shakes Glaciers; 2) analyze the movement rates for glaciers with similar terminal terrain conditions and; 3) analyze the movement rates for glaciers with dissimilar terminal terrain conditions. From the established sequence of terminus locations, movement distances were quantified between the glacier locations. Movement distances were then compared to see if any correlation existed between glaciers with similar or dissimilar terminal terrain conditions. The Global Land Ice Measurement from Space (GLIMS) data was used as a starting point from which glacier movement was measured for Baird, Patterson, and LeConte Glaciers only as the Shakes Glacier is currently not included in the GLIMS database. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) temperature data collected at the Petersburg, Alaska, meteorological station (from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 2009) were used to help in the understanding of the climatic condition in this area and potential impact on glaciers terminus. Results show that glaciers with similar terminal terrain conditions (Patterson and Shakes Glaciers) and glaciers with dissimilar terminal terrain conditions (Baird, Patterson, and LeConte Glaciers) did not exhibit similar movement rates. Glacier movement rates were greatest for glaciers whose terminuses were in fresh water (Patterson and Shakes Glaciers), less for those with terminuses in salt water (LeConte Glacier), and least for glaciers with terminuses on dry land (Baird Glacier).Based upon these findings, the presence of water, especially fresh water, at the terminal end of the Patterson and Shakes Glaciers had a greater effect on glacier movement than slope. Possible explanations for this effect might include a heat sink effect or tidal motions that hasten glacier disintegration in the ablation zone. In a heat sink scenario, the water bodies in which the Patterson and Shakes Glaciers terminus are located could act as a thermal energy transfer medium that increases glacier melting and subsequent retreat. On the other hand, tidal motions could act as horizontal and vertical push/pull forces, which increase the fracturing rate, calving, and subsequent retreat of glaciers terminus that are is salt water like the LeConte Glacier. Over the length of the study period, 1975 through 2010, there has been a 0.85C increase in annual air temperatures that, although may seem low, may prove important when determining glacial mass balance rates. Further studies are necessary to test these hypotheses to determine if a heat sink effect and tidal motions significantly affected the movement rates for the glaciers in this study area. An additional significant result of this study was the creation of shapefiles delineating the positions of the Shakes Glaciers that are being submitted to the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) program for inclusion in their master worldwide glacier database.

  15. Satellite Observations of Surface Flow Variations at Southeast Alaskan Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Pritchard, M. E.; Willis, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers in southeast Alaska are undergoing rapid changes that affect global sea level rise, lake formation and water levels, and flood risks. A key to understanding the ice dynamics is knowledge of the surface ice velocities and how they vary through time. Here we present updated maps of surface velocities for several glaciers in southeast Alaska produced through a pixel tracking technique using synthetic aperature radar data (ALOS, TerraSAR-X) and high-resolution optical imagery (WorldView, QuickBird, IKONOS, GeoEye). We focus on several glaciers that have enough data to form multi-year timeseries, including Hubbard, Yakutat, and LeConte. Hubbard Glacier is the largest non-polar tidewater glacier in the world and is currently in the advance phase of the tidewater glacier cycle. The glacier shows strong seasonal variations of more than 5 m/day along the terminal lobe, with the highest speeds occurring between late December and early February and the lowest speeds occurring in late summer/early fall. The region directly above the terminal lobe displays a smaller seasonal variation in speed. Near the terminus of the glacier, an increase in speed from ~8 m/day to more than 11 m/day is observed between Winter 2008 and Winter 2010. The Valerie Glacier, which is separated from the terminal lobe of the Hubbard by a medial moraine, displays a decrease in speed from ~8 m/day to ~4 m/day between March 2009 and March 2011. LeConte Glacier, which is located in the southern Stikine Icefield, appears to have retreated to a stable position. In contrast to Hubbard, the observed speeds along the lower part of LeConte do not vary significantly between years. Peak speeds at the terminus reach ~22 m/day in both 2008 and 2012. The lake-terminating Yakutat Glacier is in a state of collapse, with rapid retreat creating two separate termini in late summer 2011. Our dataset allows us to document the surface velocity variations that occurred during this time and the subsequent years as the retreat has continued.

  16. Glacier elevation changes on the Tibetan Plateau derived by ICESat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neckel, N.; Kropacek, J.; Bolch, T.

    2012-04-01

    Glaciers are a sensitive indicator for climate change in high mountain regions where climate stations are rare or non-existent. In addition, glacier changes have a significant impact on the hydrological cycle of the vulnerable region of the Tibetan Plateau. Therefore a continuous monitoring of glaciers is necessary. In-situ measurements are essential but can only be conducted at a very limited number of glaciers in this large and remote region due to enormous logistical efforts and high costs. Remote sensing techniques are suitable to complement these in-situ measurements and address a large area simultaneously. Traditionally, mountain glaciers are monitored in terms of area changes from aerial or satellite image data. However, these changes show, in contrast to volume changes, a delayed signal to climate only. In order to estimate volume changes of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) carried on-board the Ice Cloud and Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was used for extraction of elevation changes for the period 2003 to 2009. GLAS shots over glaciers were selected using the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) dataset with support of recent cloud free Landsat scenes obtained from USGS. ICESat repeat-tracks are spatially close but do not match exactly. They can be horizontally separated by up to 3000 m. Therefore, an independent reference surface is used for a multi-temporal comparison of GLAS shots. For this purpose we use a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) acquired in February 2000 by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Glaciers with an adequate ICESat data coverage (approximately 12% of the glaciers captured in the GLIMS database) were grouped according to the mountain chains in certain compact geographic regions. Mean trends in glacier elevation changes were estimated for these regions for the seven years of ICESat's lifetime. Preliminary results suggest a heterogeneous wastage of glaciers across the Tibetan Plateau with higher melting rates in the East, (e.g. Nyainqentanglha Mountains) and lower ones in the West (e.g. Kunlun Shan).

  17. Potential and limitations of ICESat over small mountain glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treichler, D.; Kaeaeb, A.

    2014-12-01

    While the use of ICESat GLAS data is well established for monitoring elevation changes on ice sheets, this data holds valuable information also for more complex terrain and small glaciers, as recently demonstrated for example for high mountain Asia. This study aims at exploring the potential and limitations of ICESat over glaciated, mountainous terrain on the example of Southern Norway. The glaciers in Southern Norway are spread over an area of roughly 100'000 km2 in size. Despite high cloud coverage due to coastal proximity, we found that on average 85% of the laser returns per operational campaign contain valid elevation information from the Earth's surface, as compared with reference elevations from DEMs of 20m spatial resolution.While only 1.5% of the study area is glacierised, the laser footprints on ice represent Southern Norway's glaciers well in elevation, aspect, slope, glacier size, and spatial distribution, even for individual campaigns. With decreasing number of data points towards the end of ICESat's operational period, relative oversampling of larger ice bodies and spatial clumping occurs. Employing GLAS data for smaller or less glacierised areas might thus lead to a spatial bias due to overrepresentation of a particular glacier, and contrasting mass change estimates compared to traditional mass balance programs that are rather biased towards smaller valley glaciers with different glacier behaviour. Using only data captured at the end of the hydrological year as a proxy for yearly net mass balance, we find a slightly negative glacier surface elevation trend of -0.28 +/- 0.1 m ice per year for the ICESat period 2003 to 2008. This is in accordance with the heterogeneous but overall negative net balance in the range of -0.82 to +0.36 m w.eq. per year obtained by traditional in-situ measurements for ten glaciers in Southern Norway. When including the ICESat winter campaigns, yearly variations in snow height of 50 to 100 cm in the lowlands are accurately represented in particular on ice-free ground. The effect of elevation is reflected in increasing snow depths peaking later in the season for areas above ca. 1500m. Caution should thus be taken when including snow-on data for glacier surface elevation change estimates, as the combined variations are likely to bias the actual glacier signal.

  18. Solar Radiation Patterns and Glaciers in the Western Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobreva, I. D.; Bishop, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    Glacier dynamics in the Himalaya are poorly understood, in part due to variations in topography and climate. It is well known that solar radiation is the dominant surface-energy component governing ablation, although the spatio-temporal patterns of surface irradiance have not been thoroughly investigated given modeling limitations and topographic variations including altitude, relief, and topographic shielding. Glaciation and topographic conditions may greatly influence supraglacial characteristics and glacial dynamics. Consequently, our research objectives were to develop a GIS-based solar radiation model that accounts for Earth's orbital, spectral, atmospheric and topographic dependencies, in order to examine the spatio-temporal surface irradiance patterns on glaciers in the western Himalaya. We specifically compared irradiance patterns to supraglacial characteristics and ice-flow velocity fields. Shuttle Radar Mapping Mission (SRTM) 90 m data were used to compute geomorphometric parameters that were input into the solar radiation model. Simulations results for 2013 were produced for the summer ablation season. Direct irradiance, diffuse-skylight, and total irradiance variations were compared and related to glacier altitude profiles of ice velocity and land-surface topographic parameters. Velocity and surface information were derived from analyses of ASTER satellite data. Results indicate that the direct irradiance significantly varies across the surface of glaciers given local topography and meso-scale relief conditions. Furthermore, the magnitude of the diffuse-skylight irradiance varies with altitude and as a result, glaciers in different topographic settings receive different amounts of surface irradiance. Spatio-temporal irradiance patterns appear to be related to glacier surface conditions including supraglacial lakes, and are spatially coincident with ice-flow velocity conditions on some glaciers. Collectively, our results demonstrate that glacier sensitivity to climate change is also locally controlled by numerous multi-scale topographic parameters.

  19. Elevation change (2000-2004) on the Malaspina Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauber, J.; Molnia, B.; Carabajal, C.; Luthcke, S.; Muskett, R.

    2005-01-01

    The glaciers of the southeastern Alaska coastal region are the largest temperate glacier meltwater source on Earth and may contribute one third of the total glacier meltwater entering the global ocean. Since melt onset and refreeeze timing in this region show a tendency toward earlier onset and longer ablation seasons, accelerated glacier wastage may be occurring. In this study we focus on one of the largest temperate glacier systems on Earth, the Malaspina Glacier. This glacier, with a length of approximately 110 km and an area of approximately square 5,000 km, has the largest piedmont lobe of any temperate glacier. The entire lobe, which lies at elevations below 600 m, is within the ablation zone. We report and interpret ice elevation change between a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM C band) observations in Feb. 2000 and ICESat Laser 1-3 observations between Feb. 2003 and Nov. 2004. We use these elevation change results, along with earlier studies, to address the spatial and temporal variability in wastage of the piedmont lobe. Between 2000 and 2004 ice elevation changes of 10-30 meters occurred across the central Malaspina piedmont lobe. From 1972/73 (USGS DEM) to 1999 (SRTM corrected for estimated winter snow accumulation) Malaspina's (Agassiz, Seward Lobe, and Marvine) mean ice thinning was estimated at -47 m with maximum thinning on parts of the lobes to -160 m. The Malaspina's accumulation area is only slightly larger than its ablation area (2,575 km2 vs. 2,433 km2); unfortunately few glaciological observations are available from this source region. Snow accumulation rates have been largely inferred from low-altitude precipitation and temperature data. Comparing sequential ICESat observations in the Malaspina source region, we estimated short-term elevation increases of up to 5 meters during the winter of 2003/04.

  20. Eukaryotic microorganisms in cold environments: examples from Pyrenean glaciers

    PubMed Central

    Garca-Descalzo, Laura; Garca-Lpez, Eva; Postigo, Marina; Baquero, Fernando; Alcazar, Alberto; Cid, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the viability of eukaryotic microorganisms preserved in icy regions. Here we report on the diversity of microbial eukaryotes in ice samples derived from four Pyrenean glaciers. The species composition of eukaryotic communities in these glaciers is unknown mostly because of the presence of a multi-year ice cap, and it is not clear whether they harbor the same populations. The recent deglaciation of these areas is allowing an easy access to glacial layers that correspond to the Little Ice Age although some isolated deposits are attributed to previous glacial cycles. In this study, we use molecular 18S rRNA-based approaches to characterize some of the microbial eukaryotic populations associated with Pyrenean glaciers. Firstly, we performed a chemical and microscopical characterization of ice samples. Secondly, molecular analyses revealed interesting protist genetic diversity in glaciers. In order to understand the microbial composition of the ice samples the eukaryotic communities resident in the glacial samples were examined by amplifying community DNA and constructing clone libraries with 18S rRNA primers. After removal of potential chimeric sequences and dereplication of identical sequences, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that several different protists could be identified. Protist diversity was more phylum rich in Aneto and Monte Perdido glaciers. The dominant taxonomic groups across all samples (>1% of all sequences) were Viridiplantae and Rhizaria. Significant variations in relative abundances of protist phyla between higher and lower glaciers were observed. At the genus level, significant differences were also recorded for the dominant genera Chloromonas, Raphidonema, Heteromita, Koliella, and Bodomorpha. In addition, protist community structure showed significant differences between glaciers. The relative abundances of protist groups at different taxonomic levels correlated with the altitude and area of glaciers and with pH of ice, but little or no relationships to other chemical characteristics were found. PMID:23515855

  1. Characteristics of the turbulent flow in the boundary layer of a Tropical Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litt, M.; Sicart, J.

    2012-12-01

    An extensive micro-meteorological experiment has been deployed within the atmospheric boundary layer over the ablation zone of the tropical Zongo glacier, Bolivia, during the dry season from July to August, 2007. It included two complete eddy correlation systems (Campbell CSAT and LICOR7500) at a 2-m mean level and a 6-m mast measuring the mean profiles of air temperature (type-T artificially ventilated thermocouples) and of wind speed (Vector A100R). Weakly stable conditions prevailed in the first meters above the ice or snow surface. With weak large scale forcing, a katabatic downslope flow with a wind maximum at about 2-m height usually appeared in the middle of the afternoon and maintained itself during most of the night. Characteristics and structure of the turbulent flow were studied using spectral and quadrant analysis, along with the study of statistical moments of high frequency wind speed and temperature data. The wind regime was found to be highly gusty and irregular: more than 50% of the flux was exchanged during less than 10% of the time. Stationary conditions were rarely encountered. The spectral analysis shows that the observed turbulence cannot be generated only by local shear, and that some outside layer perturbations must transport kinetic energy in the vicinity of the surface. Flux exchanges are thus found to be greater than predicted by aerodynamic approaches which use mean temperature and wind speed measurements and stability-correction functions based on the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. The net surface energy balance is quantified during selected periods using fusion measurements derived from height variations of the ice surface (measured with an ultrasonic depth gauge). It is compared to the energy balance computed from radiative balance along with mean wind speed and temperature or eddy covariance fluxes.This data helps us to quantify errors made with classical similarity methods, and their variation regarding to meteorological forcings.

  2. First-principles Simulations and the Criticality of Calving Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallot, D.; strm, J. A.; Schfer, M.; Welty, E.; O'Neel, S.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Liu, Y.; Riikil, T.; Zwinger, T.; Timonen, J.; Moore, J.

    2014-12-01

    The algoritm of a first principles calving-simulation computer-code is outlined and demonstrated. The code is particle-based and uses Newtonian dynamics to simulate ice-fracture, motion and calving. The code can simulate real-size glacier but is only able to simualte individual calving events within a few tens of minutes in duration. The code couples to the Elmer/Ice ice flow-simulation code: Elmer is employed to produce various glacier geomteries, which are then tested for stability using the particle code. In this way it is possible to pin-point the location of calving fronts. The particle simulation code and field observations are engaged to investigate the criticality of calving glaciers. The calving mass and inter-event waiting times both have power-law distributions with the same critical exponents as found for Abelian sand-pile models. This indicate that calving glaciers share characteristics with Self-Organized Critical systems (SOC). This would explain why many glacier found in nature may become unstable as a result of even minor changes in their environment. An SOC calving glacier at the critical point will display so large fluctuations in calving rate that it will render the concept 'average calving rate' more or less useless. I.e. 'average calving rate' will depend on measurement time and always have fluctuaions in the range of 100% more or less independent of the averaging time.

  3. Overview on radon measurements in Arctic glacier waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kies, A.; Hengesch, O.; Tosheva, Z.; Nawrot, A. P.; Jania, J.

    2015-03-01

    We present a possibility to investigate the presence of the subglacial component in waters supplied by glacierized basins in introducing radioactive isotope measurements, in combination with more classical parameters like temperature and electrical conductivity. Among the natural radioactive elements the most promising is the noble gas radon isotope 222Rnv. With a half-life of 3.8 days, it constitutes a short time tracer and also allows continuous measurements. In waters drained out from a target landbased Svalbard glacier, radon levels show surprisingly high values up to 33 Bq L-1 in the accumulation season. In the ablation period varying radon concentrations can be linked to mixing of waters from different origins, roughly supraglacial (meltwater and rain water), englacial and subglacial. Only water recently in close contact with bedrock or sediments can be charged with radon. Results from several years of radon measurements on Werenskiold glacier, in ablation and accumulation seasons, are presented and discussed. The results of continuous measurements give proxy information on drainage footpaths and the style and system of the draining of glaciers. They enable to distinguish the presence of a subglacial component in water flowing from the glacier system in different seasons of the year and thus are a step towards the indication of the prevailing type of glacier drainage during summer and winter seasons.

  4. High sensitivity of tidewater outlet glacier dynamics to shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

    Variability in tidewater outlet glacier behavior under similar external forcing has been attributed to differences in outlet shape (i.e. bed elevation and width), but this dependence has not been investigated in detail. Here we use a numerical ice flow model to show that the dynamics of tidewater outlet glaciers under external forcing are highly sensitive to width and bed topography. Our sensitivity tests indicate that for glaciers with similar discharge, the trunks of wider glaciers and those grounded over deeper basal depressions tend to be closer to flotation, so that less dynamically induced thinning results in rapid, unstable retreat following a perturbation. The lag time between the onset of the perturbation and unstable retreat varies with outlet shape, which may help explain intra-regional variability in tidewater outlet glacier behavior. Further, because the perturbation response is dependent on the thickness relative to flotation, varying the bed topography within the range of observational uncertainty can result in either stable or unstable retreat due to the same perturbation. Thus, extreme care must be taken when interpreting the future behavior of actual glacier systems using numerical ice flow models that are not accompanied by comprehensive sensitivity analyses.

  5. High sensitivity of tidewater outlet glacier dynamics to shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

    Variability in tidewater outlet glacier behavior under similar external forcing has been attributed to differences in outlet shape (i.e., bed elevation and width), but this dependence has not been investigated in detail. Here we use a numerical ice flow model to show that the dynamics of tidewater outlet glaciers under external forcing are highly sensitive to width and bed topography. Our sensitivity tests indicate that for glaciers with similar discharge, the trunks of wider glaciers and those grounded over deeper basal depressions tend to be closer to flotation, so that less dynamically induced thinning results in rapid, unstable retreat following a perturbation. The lag time between the onset of the perturbation and unstable retreat varies with outlet shape, which may help explain intra-regional variability in tidewater outlet glacier behavior. Further, because the perturbation response is dependent on the thickness relative to flotation, varying the bed topography within the range of observational uncertainty can result in either stable or unstable retreat due to the same perturbation. Thus, extreme care must be taken when interpreting the future behavior of actual glacier systems using numerical ice flow models that are not accompanied by comprehensive sensitivity analyses.

  6. Irreversible mass loss of Canadian Arctic Archipelago glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Angelen, Jan H.; Broeke, Michiel R.; Gardner, Alex S.; Wouters, Bert; Meijgaard, Erik

    2013-03-01

    The Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) contains the largest volume of glacier ice on Earth outside of Antarctica and Greenland. In the absence of significant calving, CAA glacier mass balance is governed by the difference between surface snow accumulation and meltwater runoffsurface mass balance. Here we use a coupled atmosphere/snow model to simulate present-day and 21st century CAA glacier surface mass balance. Through comparison with Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mass anomalies and in situ observations, we show that the model is capable of representing present-day CAA glacier mass loss, as well as the dynamics of the seasonal snow cover on the CAA tundra. Next, we force this model until 2100 with a moderate climate warming scenario (AR5 RCP4.5). We show that enhanced meltwater runoff from CAA glaciers is not sufficiently compensated by increased snowfall. Extrapolation of these results toward an AR5 multimodel ensemble results in sustained 21st century CAA glacier mass loss in the vast majority (>99%) of the ~7000 temperature realizations.

  7. Assessment of thermal change in cold avalanching glaciers in relation to climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, A.; Vincent, C.; Gagliardini, O.; Krug, J.; Berthier, E.

    2015-08-01

    High-elevation glaciers covered by cold firn are undergoing substantial warming in response to ongoing climate change. This warming is affecting the ice/rock interface temperature, the primary driver of avalanching glacier instability on steep slopes. Prediction of future potential instability therefore requires appropriate modeling of the thermal evolution of these glaciers. Application of a state-of-the-art model to a glacier in the French Alps (Taconnaz) has provided the first evaluation of the temperature evolution of a cold hanging glacier through this century. Our observations and three-dimensional modeling of the glacier response (velocity, thickness, temperature, density, and water content) to climate change indicate that Taconnaz glacier will become temperate and potentially unstable over a large area by the end of the 21st century. The risk induced by this glacier hazard is high for the populated region below and makes observation and modeling of such glaciers a priority.

  8. Erosion: Wind

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wind erosion refers to the detachment, transport and deposition of sediment by wind. It is a dynamic, physical process where loose, dry, bare soils are transported by strong winds. Wind erosion is a soil degrading process that affects over 500 million ha of land worldwide and creates between 500 an...

  9. Meteorology (Wind)

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-09-25

    Wind speed at 50 m (m/s) The average and percent difference minimum and ... are given.   Percent of time for ranges of wind speed at 50 m (percent) Percentage [frequency] of time that wind ... be adjusted to heights from 10 to 300 meters using the Gipe power law. Wind speeds may be adjusted for different terrain by selecting from ...

  10. Glaciers and Late Quaternary glacial deposits of Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çiner, A.

    2003-04-01

    Turkish glaciers and Late Quaternary glacial deposits are observed in 3 regions: 1. The Taurus Mountain Range (Mediterranean coast and SE Turkey): Two thirds of the present day glaciers are concentrated in the SE part. Among these mountains, Mount Cilo (4168 m) alone supports more than ten glaciers, couple of them 4 km long. In the central part, Aladag (3756 m) and Bolkardag (3524 m) Mountains contain few small glaciers. Small ice caps developed on top of both mountains in Pleistocene. Several U-shaped valleys were carved by glaciers that formed different types of moraines. Even though there are signs of past glacial activity in Beydag (3086 m), Akdag (3016 m) and Sandiras Mountains (2295 m) no glaciers are present in the W Taurus Mountains today. 2. The Pontic Mountain Range (E Black Sea coast): The highest peak is Mount Kaçkar (3932 m) where five glaciers are developed. Several other mountains such as Verçenik (3710 m), Bulut (3562 m), Altiparmak (3353 m), Karagöl (3107 m) and Karadag (3331 m) also support various glaciers. Large U-shaped valleys containing terminal, lateral and ground moraines are observed although the present humid climatic conditions altered most of them. 3. Volcanoes and independent mountain chains scattered in the Anatolian Plateau: The volcanoes in the interior of the country support active glaciers and show signs of past glacial activity. Among them, Mount Agri (Ararat) (5165 m) is the only mountain on which a 10 km2 recent ice cap is developed. Eleven glaciers emerged from the summit, descending down to 3900 m on the N-facing slope and 4200 m on the S facing slope. The near absence of moraines can be explained by the lack of confining ridges to control valley glaciers, by insufficient debris load in the ice to form moraines and by volcanic eruptions that later covered the pre-existing moraines. Other important volcanoes, Mount Süphan (4058 m) and Mount Erciyes (3916 m) also contain active glaciers and well preserved moraines. Apart from the volcanoes, few other mountains in Central Anatolia, such as Uludag (2543 m), Mercan (3368 m) and Mescid (3239 m) bear signs of past glacial activity. The absence of dating of the morainic landforms makes it difficult to assign a precise age to the past glacial periods. However a project that aims to establish glacial chronlogies for the above mentioned mountains by using in situ cosmogenic 36Cl in the moraines, is recently developed. The data available on glaciers indicate that the most recent glacier retreat probably started at the beginning of the 20th century, becoming faster since the 1930's. This shrinkage trend is yet to be quantified by additional field observations in order to understand the glacier evolution of Turkey.

  11. Runoff modelling and the contribution of snow and glacier melt to the discharge for highly glacierized catchments in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhardt, Markus; Schuler, Thomas V.; Andreassen, Liss M.

    2013-04-01

    In highly glacierized catchments snow and ice melt are the most important contributors to the magnitude and variations in streamflow. In Norway, 98 % of the electricity is generated by hydropower of which 15 % is based on discharge from glacierized basins. Thus, the assessment of water availability is crucial for hydropower applications. Changes in discharge are connected to both, changes in temperature and precipitation and can be amplified or balanced by the presence of a glacier in the catchment. Therefore, variations in annual glacier mass balances alter the streamflow regime. With ongoing climate change, it is expected to see major changes in timing and magnitude of future water availability. Daily discharge rates are available for the catchments of Nigardsbreen (64 km, since 1962) and for Storbreen (8 km, since 2010). These measurements are compared with simulated discharge rates calculated from a melt model for both, the glacierized and non-glacierized parts of the catchment. The model uses runs gridded temperature and precipitation from seNorge (http://senorge.no) as input and runs on a daily time step from 1957 to present. It accounts for evaporation, retention of surface water, refreezing processes and transformation of snow to firn and ice. The simulated discharge data can be split up into their water sources rain, ice and firnmelt, snowmelt on and outside the glacier. For validation of the melt model, both measured seasonal and annual mass-balance measurements of the glacier are used. In addition, daily melt rates were compared with measurements from sonic rangers located in the ablation zones of Storbreen (1580 m a.s.l.) and Nigardsbreen (600 and 1000 m a.s.l.). First results from different catchments in Norway show that the on average 20 % increase in discharge in the 2000s compared to the 1990s is mainly caused by increased icemelt and to a lesser extend by increased precipitation. The increase in discharge is accompanied by increased interannual variations.

  12. Investigating Tidewater Glacier Advance/Retreat Cycles Using a Multi-year Dataset Hubbard Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gadomski, P.; Finnegan, D. C.; Lawson, D. E.; Hanlon, G.

    2009-12-01

    Quantitative high-resolution, multi-year datasets on tidewater glacier terminus activity are difficult and expensive to obtain and few in number. Furthermore, numerous factors influence terminus dynamics, thus requiring a holistic approach to data gathering to understand such activity. This paper describes ongoing research at Hubbard Glacier in Southeast Alaska and how these efforts are improving our understanding of an actively advancing tidewater margin. Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America, flows ~125 km from Mt Logan (5959 m) in the St. Elias Mountains to sea level where its terminus continues to thicken, widen and advance at an average rate of 32m/yr. Continued advance of the Hubbard Glacier may dam the channel linking Russell Fiord with Disenchantment Bay and potentially result in flooding of the Situk River destroying a fishery that provides the economic base for the community of Yakutat. As part of a multi-year investigation to monitor and assess the risk of dam formation by Hubbard Glacier, near real-time meteorological and terminus motion data are being monitored, while detailed field and remote sensing investigations quantify glacier activity. These investigations have included bathymetric mapping and hydrographic surveys, aerial and ground-based LiDAR topographic surveys, time-lapse photography and recurring satellite imagery of the glacier since 2005. Over the approximate three years of continuous near-realtime field-based monitoring the duration, patterns and daily rates of terminus advance and retreat are proving to be similar from year to year. These patterns suggest that the onset of advance and retreat may be linked to climate and extreme variations in the tidal cycle are influential in slowing terminus advance and causing periods of retreat to be superimposed onto longer durations of advance. These results when linked to time-lapse photography provide insight into ice marginal mechanisms of calving, while the results of ongoing marine investigations will provide a better understanding of the causes of seasonal advance and retreat.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganjoo, R. K.

    2011-12-01

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

  14. Experimental Testing of Glacier Sliding Laws

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoet, L.; Iverson, N. R.

    2013-12-01

    Glacier sliding laws exist in various forms and are applied in modeling of glacier dynamics. Sliding laws have been, in most cases, theoretically derived but not experimentally tested. Under certain conditions ice sliding over a rigid bed will generate cavities in the lees of bedrock bumps. These cavities will redistribute shear stress to regions of the bed that are in contact with ice. Sliding laws that incorporate cavity formation relate drag to the maximum adverse slope of the region of ice-bed contact. Sinusoidal and stepped-bed geometries are, therefore, predicted to affect basal drag differently. A sinusoidal bed is predicted to have a double-valued drag response as a function of sliding velocity, whereas the steady-state drag on a stepped bed with linear adverse slopes is expected to be independent of sliding velocity. We have conducted an experimental study of sliding laws using a ring shear apparatus that slides ice over a rigid bed. The device rotates a ring of ice that is 20 cm wide, 20 cm tall, with outer diameter of 90 cm. The sliding speed at the ice ring's centerline was incrementally stepped between 7.25--324 m/yr, and a vertical stress of 500 kPa was applied to the ice ring. The ice consisted initially of randomly oriented crystals that with sliding quickly developed a fabric like those observed in ice near glacier beds. The temperature of the ice is held at the pressure melting point and is regulated to ~0.01oC by a bath of circulating fluid that surrounds the sample chamber. Experiments have been conducted on a stepped bed with a constant slope of 8.3 and a sinusoidal bed with a wavelength of 183.3 mm and an amplitude of 15.3 mm. Water was allowed to drain from cavities, so effective stress at the bed was equal to the total vertical stress. Our experimental results differ from theoretical predictions. For the stepped bed, a decrease in shear stress of ~50% over a 12-fold increase in velocity is observed, in contrast to theoretical predictions of a constant shear stress. This rate weakening could be attributed to spatial variability in the rheological properties of the ice, or an unresolved three-dimensional effect. Rheological variability could result from steep gradients in deviatoric stress in ice as it moves from above the cavity to the bed. The results from the sinusoidal bed demonstrate a decrease in shear stress with increasing sliding velocity that is larger than with the stepped bed. Thus, the well-described theoretical effect of a sinusoidal bed on rate weakening is augmented by whatever effect is responsible for rate weakening with the stepped bed. These results provide the first experimental targets for models of sliding that attempt to assess effects of ice-bed separation.

  15. The Wind Energy Potential of Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nawri, Nikolai; Nna Petersen, Gurn; Bjornsson, Halldr; Hahmann, Andrea N.; Jnasson, Kristjn; Bay Hasager, Charlotte; Clausen, Niels-Erik

    2014-05-01

    While Iceland has an abundant wind energy resource, its use for electrical power production has so far been limited. Electricity in Iceland is generated primarily from hydro- and geothermal sources, and adding wind energy has so far not been considered practical or even necessary. However, wind energy is becoming a more viable option, as opportunities for new hydro- or geothermal power installations become limited. In order to obtain an estimate of the wind energy potential of Iceland, a wind atlas has been developed as part of the joint Nordic project 'Improved Forecast of Wind, Waves and Icing' (IceWind). Downscaling simulations performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were used to determine the large-scale wind energy potential of Iceland. Local wind speed distributions are represented by Weibull statistics. The shape parameter across Iceland varies between 1.2 and 3.6, with the lowest values indicative of near-exponential distributions at sheltered locations, and the highest values indicative of normal distributions at exposed locations in winter. Compared with summer, average power density in winter is increased throughout Iceland by a factor of 2.0 - 5.5. In any season, there are also considerable spatial differences in average wind power density. Relative to the average value within 10 km of the coast, power density across Iceland varies between 50 - 250%, excluding glaciers, or between 300 - 1500 W m-2 at 50 m above ground level in winter. At intermediate elevations of 500 - 1000 m above mean sea level, power density is independent of the distance to the coast. In addition to seasonal and spatial variability, differences in average wind speed and power density also exist for different wind directions. Along the coast in winter, power density of onshore winds is higher by 100 - 700 W m-2 than that of offshore winds. The regions with the highest average wind speeds are impractical for wind farms, due to the distances from road infrastructure and the power grid, as well as due to the harsh winter climate. However, even in easily accessible regions, wind energy potential in Iceland, as measured by annual average power density, is among the highest in Western Europe. Based on these results, 14 test sites were selected for more detailed analyses using the Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program (WAsP). These calculations show that a modest wind farm of ten medium size turbines would produce more energy throughout the year than a small hydro power plant, making wind energy a viable additional option.

  16. Quiescent-phase evolution of a surge-type glacier: Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinrichs, T.A.; Mayo, L.R.; Echelmeyer, K.A.; Harrison, W.D.

    1996-01-01

    Black Rapids Glacier, a surge-type glacier in the Alaska Range, most recently surged in 1936-37 and is currently in its quiescent phase. Mass balance, ice velocity and thickness change have been measured at three to ten sites from 1972 to 1994. The annual speed has undergone cyclical fluctuations of as much as 45% about the mean speed. Ice thickness and surface slope did not change enough to cause the speed fluctuations through changes in ice deformation, which indicates that they are being driven by changes in basal motion. The behavior of Black Rapids Glacier during this quiescent phase is significantly different from that of Variegated Glacier, another well-studied surge-type glacier in Alaska. The present medial-moraine configuration of Black Rapids Glacier indicates that a surge could occur at any time. However, ice velocity data indicate that the next surge may not be imminent. We believe that there is little chance that the next surge will cross and dam the Delta River.

  17. Potential regime shift in decreased sea ice production after the Mertz Glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, T.; Williams, G. D.; Fraser, A. D.; Ohshima, K. I.

    2012-05-01

    Variability in dense shelf water formation can potentially impact Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) production, a vital component of the global climate system. In East Antarctica, the George V Land polynya system (142-150E) is structured by the local 'icescape', promoting sea ice formation that is driven by the offshore wind regime. Here we present the first observations of this region after the repositioning of a large iceberg (B9B) precipitated the calving of the Mertz Glacier Tongue in 2010. Using satellite data, we find that the total sea ice production for the region in 2010 and 2011 was 144 and 134km3, respectively, representing a 14-20% decrease from a value of 168km3 averaged from 2000-2009. This abrupt change to the regional icescape could result in decreased polynya activity, sea ice production, and ultimately the dense shelf water export and AABW production from this region for the coming decades.

  18. Non-temperate glaciers: should the `Shrevian ideal' be reassessed?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Hodson, A. J.; Ng, F.; Moorman, B. J.

    2006-12-01

    Shreve (1972) and Rothlisberger (1972) provided theoretical frameworks which have been crucial to understanding glacier hydrology. However, their concepts were formulated for temperate (alpine) glaciers, and therefore have `limitations' in applicability for ice sheets and non-temperate glaciers. The `Shrevian ideal' has been applied implicitly for several non-temperate glaciers because modelled hydraulic potential can be used as a proxy for probability of hydrological connections. For such glaciers, alternative hypotheses of hydrological structures have been published and supported by field observations, but are rarely considered in any depth. In particular, the manner in which intraglacial meltwater escapes through or beneath a cold-ice margin still remains poorly understood or characterised. Here, we present two lines of evidence from non-temperate, Arctic glaciers which challenge the Shrevian ideal for glacier drainage architecture. Firstly, repeated ground penetrating radar surveys indicate a spatially dynamic englacial system within the ablation area of Stagnation Glacier (Bylot Island). Such dynamic hydrology suggests unstable flow pathways due to reactivation and desertion of relict features. Secondly, dye tracing experiments at Midtre Lovnbreen (Svalbard) indicate rapid flow behaviour such as found in supraglacial channels, significant annual switches in drainage configuration, and flow divergence within the en- and/or subglacial system close to the injection sites. Combined, these observations imply an abundance of relict and/or advected conduits, crevasses and fractures which are inconsistent with hydrological routes dominated by an arborescent conduit network. While these interpretations provide nothing more than a conceptual model, they do contradict a Shrevian dendritic en- and/or subglacial drainage. Glacial researchers in Arctic regions must address these uncertainties. Given the typically reduced surface to interior coupling, extensive englacial drainage in non- temperate glaciers may have significant impact on the hydrochemical fluxes and ecological characteristics within the en- and subglacial environments. And further exploration of drainage within non-temperate glaciers is necessary to provide insights regarding how water penetrates polar ice masses, which is critical to understanding surface melt control on basal dynamics.

  19. Monitoring of Rock Glacier ueres Hochebenkar (Austria): an Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abermann, J.; Fischer, A.; Hartl, L.; Krainer, K.; Nickus, U.; Schneider, H.; Span, N.; Thies, H.

    2012-04-01

    Past and current interdisciplinary research at the rock glacier at ueres Hochebenkar in the tztal Alps are presented. Hochebenkar rock glacier (HK) is one of the most intensely studied rock glaciers in Austria with flow velocity measurements starting in the late 1930s. The current monitoring comprises measurements of surface flow, surface and subsurface temperature, local meteorology, runoff as well as water temperature and chemical composition of the rock glacier stream. During recent projects, extensive geological mapping has been carried out. Geological mapping shows that the bedrock of the drainage area is part of the tztal-Stubai Complex and consists mainly of paragneiss and mica schist. Ground penetrating radar measurements show a smooth bedrock surface without pronounced ridges or bumps. A maximum thickness of 49 m was recorded. On the surface a layer of coarse debris covers more fine grained material, which is exposed at the front and the margins of HK rock glacier. The average grain size of the debris mantle varies between 0.35 and 0.58 m. Velocities (horizontal displacements) of HK rock glacier culminated in the early 1960s with a maximum value of 3.9 m/yr near the front, followed by a period of low movement with velocities less than 0.5 m/yr until the early 1990s. A second peak is observed in 2004. While a positive correlation of surface movement and air temperature has been found until the early 2000s, recent data suggest a more complex or even reverse relation of surface displacement and air temperature. To determine the thermal regime of HK rock glacier, temperature loggers were installed across the rock glacier at an altitude of 2650 m. The temperature at the bottom of the winter snow cover (BTS) was found to decrease from the lateral parts towards the centre of HK rock glacier. Field campaigns carried out 2010 and 2011 to investigate the spatial distribution of BTS at HK rock glacier and surrounding areas suggest that the extent of permafrost ground decreased since a previous survey in 1976. The hydrological regime of HK shows high diurnal and seasonal variability. The melting of the winter snow pack typically causes discharge peaks during June, single peaks during summer are caused by heavy precipitation events. A high amount of solutes is released from HK during summer rising by a factor of 2 to 5 from the beginning of the melting season until autumn.

  20. Sediment connectivity evolution on an alpine catchment undergoing glacier retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldin, Beatrice; Rudaz, Benjamin; Bardou, Eric

    2014-05-01

    Climate changes can result in a wide range of variations of natural environment including retreating glaciers. Melting from glaciers will have a significant impact on the sediment transport characteristics of glacierized alpine catchments that can affect downstream channel network. Sediment connectivity assessment, i.e. the degree of connections that controls sediment fluxes between different segments of a landscape, can be useful in order to address management activity on sediment fluxes changes of alpine streams. Through the spatial characterization of the connectivity patterns of a catchment and its potential evolution it is possible to both define sediment transport pathways and estimate different contributions of the sub-catchment as sediment sources. In this study, a topography based index (Cavalli et al., 2013) has been applied to assess spatial sediment connectivity in the Navisence catchment (35 km2), an alpine basin located in the southern Walliser Alps (Switzerland) characterized by a complex glacier system with well-developed lateral moraines on glacier margins already crossed by several lateral channels. Glacier retreat of the main glacial edifice will provide a new connectivity pattern. At present the glacier disconnects lateral slopes from the main talweg: it is expected that its retreat will experience an increased connectivity. In order to study this evolution, two high resolution (2 m) digital terrain models (DTMs) describing respectively the terrain before and after glacier retreat have been analyzed. The current DTM was obtained from high resolution photogrammetry (2 m resolution). The future DTM was derived from application of the sloping local base level (SLBL) routine (Jaboyedoff et al., 2004) on the current glacier system, allowing to remove the ice body by reconstituting a U-shaped polynomial bedrock surface. From this new surface a coherent river network was drawn and slight random noise was added. Finally the river network was burned into the rough surface of the SLBL results. The impact of sediment dynamic changes on the study catchment due to glacier retreat has been assessed by comparing predictions deriving from model application on different scenarios. Simulations allowed the analysis of sediment connectivity evolution over decade scales suggesting an increase of potential sediment transfer and connections in areas close to the main channel network. References: Cavalli, M., Trevisani, S., Comiti, F., Marchi, L., 2013. Geomorphometric assessment of spatial sediment connectivity in small Alpine catchments. Geomorphology 188, 31-41. Jaboyedoff M., Bardou E., Derron M.-H. 2004. Sloping local base level: a tool to estimate potential erodible volume and infilling alluvial sediment of glacial valleys. Swiss Geo-Scientists meeting, November 2004, Lausanne.

  1. Glacier lake outburst floods - modelling process chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaub, Yvonne; Huggel, Christian; Haeberli, Wilfried

    2013-04-01

    New lakes are forming in high-mountain areas all over the world due to glacier recession. Often they will be located below steep, destabilized flanks and are therefore exposed to impacts from rock-/ice-avalanches. Several events worldwide are known, where an outburst flood has been triggered by such an impact. In regions such as in the European Alps or in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, where valley bottoms are densely populated, these far-travelling, high-magnitude events can result in major disasters. For appropriate integral risk management it is crucial to gain knowledge on how the processes (rock-/ice-avalanches - impact waves in lake - impact on dam - outburst flood) interact and how the hazard potential related to corresponding process chains can be assessed. Research in natural hazards so far has mainly concentrated on describing, understanding, modeling or assessing single hazardous processes. Some of the above mentioned individual processes are quite well understood in their physical behavior and some of the process interfaces have also been investigated in detail. Multi-hazard assessments of the entire process chain, however, have only recently become subjects of investigations. Our study aims at closing this gap and providing suggestions on how to assess the hazard potential of the entire process chain in order to generate hazard maps and support risk assessments. We analyzed different types of models (empirical, analytical, physically based) for each process regarding their suitability for application in hazard assessments of the entire process chain based on literature. Results show that for rock-/ice-avalanches, dam breach and outburst floods, only numerical, physically based models are able to provide the required information, whereas the impact wave can be estimated by means of physically based or empirical assessments. We demonstrate how the findings could be applied with the help of a case study of a recent glacier lake outburst event at Laguna 513 in Carhuaz, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, where on April 11th 2010 an ice-avalanche of approx. 300'000m3 triggered an outburst flood which travelled 23 km to the city of Carhuaz.

  2. Spatial and temporal variability of air temperature on a melting glacier: atmospheric controls, extrapolation methods and their effect on melt modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellicciotti, F.; Petersen, L.; Carenzo, M.

    2011-12-01

    Air temperature is a key control in the exchange of energy fluxes at the glacier-atmosphere interface and is also the main input variable in many of the melt models currently used to predict glacier melt across a variety of scales, be these energy balance or temperature-index type of models. The commonly used approach to derive distributed temperature inputs is extrapolation from point measurements with a Lapse Rate (LR) that is often assumed to be constant in time and uniform in space. In this work, temperature data from three Automatic Weather Stations and twelve Temperature Loggers are used to investigate the spatio-temporal variability of temperature over a glacier, its main atmospheric controls, the suitability of extrapolation techniques and their effect on melt modelling. We use data collected on Juncal Norte Glacier, central Chile, during one ablation season. We examine temporal and spatial variability in LRs, together with alternative statistical interpolation methods. Our main result is that the main control over the glacier thermal regime is the development of a katabatic boundary layer (KBL). Katabatic wind occurs at night and in the morning and is eroded in the afternoon. LRs reveal strong diurnal variability, with steeper LRs during the day when the katabatic wind weakens and shallower LRs during the night and morning. We suggest that temporally variable LRs should be used to account for the observed change. They tend to be steeper than equivalent constant LRs, and therefore result in a reduction in simulated melt compared to use of constant LRs. In addition to the temporal variability, the temperature-elevation relationship varies also in space. Differences are evident between local LRs and including such variability in melt modelling affects melt simulations. The LR used for the upper glacier is a key control on the area contributing to melt, and thus on total melt. Extrapolation methods based on the spatial variability of the observations after removal of the elevation trend, such as Inverse Distance Weighting or Kriging, do not seem necessary for simulations of gridded temperature data over a glacier.

  3. On the influence of debris in glacier melt modelling: a new temperature-index model accounting for the debris thickness feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carenzo, Marco; Mabillard, Johan; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Reid, Tim; Brock, Ben; Burlando, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    The increase of rockfalls from the surrounding slopes and of englacial melt-out material has led to an increase of the debris cover extent on Alpine glaciers. In recent years, distributed debris energy-balance models have been developed to account for the melt rate enhancing/reduction due to a thin/thick debris layer, respectively. However, such models require a large amount of input data that are not often available, especially in remote mountain areas such as the Himalaya. Some of the input data such as wind or temperature are also of difficult extrapolation from station measurements. Due to their lower data requirement, empirical models have been used in glacier melt modelling. However, they generally simplify the debris effect by using a single melt-reduction factor which does not account for the influence of debris thickness on melt. In this paper, we present a new temperature-index model accounting for the debris thickness feedback in the computation of melt rates at the debris-ice interface. The empirical parameters (temperature factor, shortwave radiation factor, and lag factor accounting for the energy transfer through the debris layer) are optimized at the point scale for several debris thicknesses against melt rates simulated by a physically-based debris energy balance model. The latter has been validated against ablation stake readings and surface temperature measurements. Each parameter is then related to a plausible set of debris thickness values to provide a general and transferable parameterization. The new model is developed on Miage Glacier, Italy, a debris cover glacier in which the ablation area is mantled in near-continuous layer of rock. Subsequently, its transferability is tested on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland, where debris is thinner and its extension has been seen to expand in the last decades. The results show that the performance of the new debris temperature-index model (DETI) in simulating the glacier melt rate at the point scale is comparable to the one of the physically based approach. The definition of model parameters as a function of debris thickness allows the simulation of the warming/insulating effect suggested by the Ostrem curve. We show that it is important indeed to take into account the effect of debris thickness also in empirical approaches, especially for thin debris mantles. The new DETI model is an innovative approach that can be included in continuous mass balance models of debris-covered glaciers, because of its limited data requirements. As such, we expect its application to lead to an improvement in simulations of the debris covered glacier response to climate.

  4. Evaluating glacier volume changes since the Little Ice Age maximum and consequences for stream flow by integrating models of glacier flow and hydrology in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, K. I.; Mark, B. G.; Baraer, M.; Ahn, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Assessing the historical contribution of glacier ice volume loss to stream flow based on reconstructed volume changes through Little Ice Age (LIA) can be directly related to the understanding of glacier-hydrology in the current epoch of rapid glacier ice loss that has disquieting implications for water resources in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes. However, the accurate prediction of the future glacial meltwater availability for the increasing regional Andean society needs more extensive quantitative estimation from long-term glacial meltwater of reconstructed glacial volume. Modeling LIA paleoglaciers using a cellular automata glacier flow model in different catchments of the Cordillera Blanca allows us to reconstruct glacier volume and its change from likely combinations of climatic control variables and time. We compute the rate and magnitude of glacier volume changes for Yanamarey and Queshque glaciers between the LIA and modern defined by 2011 Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2 (GDEM V2) from the Cordillera Blanca. Also, we employ a recently demonstrated hydrological stream model (Baraer et al., 2012) for integrating the reconstructed glacier volume and its change to calculate glacier contribution to meltwater runoff as a function of glacier loss rate in the Yanamarey and the Queshque catchments, and reconstruct long-term glacier significance to stream flow.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  6. Seismic Monitoring of Ice Generated Events at the Bering Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, K.; Richardson, J.; Pennington, W.

    2008-12-01

    The Bering Glacier, located in southeast Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America with a surface area of approximately 5,175 square kilometers. It extends from its source in the Bagley Icefield to its terminus in tidal Vitus Lake, which drains into the Gulf of Alaska. It is known that the glacier progresses downhill through the mechanisms of plastic crystal deformation and basal sliding. However, the basal processes which take place tens to hundreds of meters below the surface are not well understood, except through the study of sub- glacial landforms and passive seismology. Additionally, the sub-glacial processes enabling the surges, which occur approximately every two decades, are poorly understood. Two summer field campaigns in 2007 and 2008 were designed to investigate this process near the terminus of the glacier. During the summer of 2007, a field experiment at the Bering Glacier was conducted using a sparse array of L-22 short period sensors to monitor ice-related events. The array was in place for slightly over a week in August and consisted of five stations centered about the final turn of the glacier west of the Grindle Hills. Many events were observed, but due to the large distance between stations and the highly attenuating surface ice, few events were large enough to be recorded on sufficient stations to be accurately located and described. During August 2008, six stations were deployed for a similar length of time, but with a closer spacing. With this improved array, events were located and described more accurately, leading to additional conclusions about the surface, interior, and sub-glacial ice processes producing seismic signals. While the glacier was not surging during the experiment, this study may provide information on the non-surging, sub-glacial base level activity. It is generally expected that another surge will take place within a few years, and baseline studies such as this may assist in understanding the nature of surges.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Glacier contribution to streamflow in two headwaters of the Huasco River, Dry Andes of Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gascoin, S.; Kinnard, C.; Ponce, R.; Lhermitte, S.; MacDonell, S.; Rabatel, A.

    2011-12-01

    Quantitative assessment of glacier contribution to present-day streamflow is a prerequisite to the anticipation of climate change impact on water resources in the Dry Andes. In this paper we focus on two glaciated headwater catchments of the Huasco Basin (Chile, 29° S). The combination of glacier monitoring data for five glaciers (Toro 1, Toro 2, Esperanza, Guanaco, Estrecho and Ortigas) with five automatic streamflow records at sites with glacier coverage of 0.4 to 11 % allows the estimation of the mean annual glacier contribution to discharge between 2003/2004 and 2007/2008 hydrological years. In addition, direct manual measurements of glacier runoff were conducted in summer at the snouts of four glaciers, which provide the instantaneous contribution of glacier meltwater to stream runoff during summer. The results show that the mean annual glacier contribution to streamflow ranges between 3.3 and 23 %, which is greater than the glaciated fraction of the catchments. We argue that glacier contribution is partly enhanced by the effect of snowdrift from the non-glacier area to the glacier surface. Glacier mass loss is evident over the study period, with a mean of -0.84 m w.e. yr-1 for the period 2003/2004-2007/2008, and also contributes to increase glacier runoff. An El Niño episode in 2002 resulted in high snow accumulation, modifying the hydrological regime and probably reducing the glacier contribution in favor of seasonal snowmelt during the subsequent 2002/2003 hydrological year. At the hourly timescale, summertime glacier contributions are highly variable in space and time, revealing large differences in effective melting rates between glaciers and glacierets (from 1 mm w.e. h-1 to 6 mm w.e. h-1).

  9. Improving semi-automated glacier mapping with a multi-method approach: applications in central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, T.; Bookhagen, B.; Cannon, F.

    2015-09-01

    Studies of glaciers generally require precise glacier outlines. Where these are not available, extensive manual digitization in a geographic information system (GIS) must be performed, as current algorithms struggle to delineate glacier areas with debris cover or other irregular spectral profiles. Although several approaches have improved upon spectral band ratio delineation of glacier areas, none have entered wide use due to complexity or computational intensity. In this study, we present and apply a glacier mapping algorithm in Central Asia which delineates both clean glacier ice and debris-covered glacier tongues. The algorithm is built around the unique velocity and topographic characteristics of glaciers and further leverages spectral and spatial relationship data. We found that the algorithm misclassifies between 2 and 10 % of glacier areas, as compared to a ~ 750 glacier control data set, and can reliably classify a given Landsat scene in 3-5 min. The algorithm does not completely solve the difficulties inherent in classifying glacier areas from remotely sensed imagery but does represent a significant improvement over purely spectral-based classification schemes, such as the band ratio of Landsat 7 bands three and five or the normalized difference snow index. The main caveats of the algorithm are (1) classification errors at an individual glacier level, (2) reliance on manual intervention to separate connected glacier areas, and (3) dependence on fidelity of the input Landsat data.

  10. Microbial community development on the surface of Hans and Werenskiold Glaciers (Svalbard, Arctic): a comparison.

    PubMed

    Grzesiak, Jakub; Górniak, Dorota; Świątecki, Aleksander; Aleksandrzak-Piekarczyk, Tamara; Szatraj, Katarzyna; Zdanowski, Marek K

    2015-09-01

    Surface ice and cryoconite holes of two types of polythermal Svalbard Glaciers (Hans Glacier--grounded tidewater glacier and Werenskiold Glacier-land-based valley glacier) were investigated in terms of chemical composition, microbial abundance and diversity. Gathered data served to describe supraglacial habitats and to compare microbe-environment interactions on those different type glaciers. Hans Glacier samples displayed elevated nutrient levels (DOC, nitrogen and seston) compared to Werenskiold Glacier. Adjacent tundra formations, bird nesting sites and marine aerosol were candidates for allochtonic enrichment sources. Microbial numbers were comparable on both glaciers, with surface ice containing cells in the range of 10(4) mL(-1) and cryoconite sediment 10(8) g(-1) dry weight. Denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis band-based clustering revealed differences between glaciers in terms of dominant bacterial taxa structure. Microbial community on Werenskiold Glacier benefited from the snow-released substances. On Hans Glacier, this effect was not as pronounced, affecting mainly the photoautotrophs. Over-fertilization of Hans Glacier surface was proposed as the major factor, desensitizing the microbial community to the snow melt event. Nitrogen emerged as a limiting factor in surface ice habitats, especially to Eukaryotic algae. PMID:26104673

  11. Bent glacier tongues: A new look at Lliboutry's model of the evolution of the crooked Jatunraju Glacier (Parn Valley, Cordillera Blanca, Per)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iturrizaga, Lasafam

    2013-09-01

    The article tackles the issue of which factors may influence the flow direction and morphological shape of glacier tongues terminating at tributary junctions to the main valley in high mountain landscapes. A very particular morphological form of a glacier tongue shows the Jatunraju Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca (Per). It terminates in the superior Parn Valley with a prominent crooked form, embedded in a 250 m-high moraine pedestal. Lliboutry (1977) has explained the deviation of the Jatunraju Glacier tongue as a result of a proglacial lake outburst. Alternative hypothetical models on a general scale have been developed for the causes determining the morphological characteristics of glacier tongues. These are based on empirical field evidence from the Parn Valley and from glaciers located in other high mountain areas, in particular in the Himalaya Region, where glacier tongues in confluence settings are abundant. The comparative investigations demonstrate that the pronounced crooked form of the Jatunraju Glacier may not be the result of a single extreme event, but may have been produced as well by gradual processes. In a general context, the study shows that crooked glacier tongues are common landforms in other mountain regions and mainly intrinsic to debris-covered glaciers. The morphological evolution of glacier tongues may involve a polygenetic process pattern over a longer geological time period. Apart from the steepness of the valley gradient of the main valley, the former confluence from the source glacier with the main glacier during times of a more extensive glaciation is regarded as one of the dominating factors controlling the later evolution of glacier tongues in general ("inherited confluence model").

  12. Fifty-Year Record of Glacier Change Reveals Shifting Climate in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2009-01-01

    Fifty years of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research on glacier change shows recent dramatic shrinkage of glaciers in three climatic regions of the United States. These long periods of record provide clues to the climate shifts that may be driving glacier change. The USGS Benchmark Glacier Program began in 1957 as a result of research efforts during the International Geophysical Year (Meier and others, 1971). Annual data collection occurs at three glaciers that represent three climatic regions in the United States: South Cascade Glacier in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State; Wolverine Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula near Anchorage, Alaska; and Gulkana Glacier in the interior of Alaska (fig. 1).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    The Northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse published data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly uses ASTER images from 2009 and a SPIRIT DEM from 2006 to classify the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island. Secondly, this paper uses LANDSAT-4 and ASTER images from 1988 and 2001 and data from the Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) from 1997 to document glacier change 1988-2009. From 1988-2001, 90 % of glaciers receded, and from 2001-2009, 79 % receded. Glaciers on the western side of Trinity Peninsula retreated relatively little. On the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula, the rate of recession of ice-shelf tributary glaciers has slowed from 12.9 km2 a-1 (1988-2001) to 2.4 km2 a-1 (2001-2009). Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler Eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest recession from 1988-2001, with limited frontal retreat after 2001. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island also retreated fastest in the period 1988-2001. Large tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island are now declining in areal extent at rates of up to 0.04 km2 a-1. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula. Strong variability in tidewater glacier recession rates may result from the influence of glacier length, altitude, slope and hypsometry on glacier mass balance. High snowfall means that the glaciers on the Western Peninsula are not currently rapidly receding. Recession rates on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing as the floating ice tongues retreat into the fjords and the glaciers reach a new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid glacier recession of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and flat profiles. In contrast, the higher and steeper tidewater glaciers on the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula will attain more stable frontal positions after low-lying ablation areas are removed.

  14. Glacier Lake Outburst Floods in Norway 2001 - 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Miriam; Engeset, Rune

    2010-05-01

    Several GLOFs or jkulhlaups occurred in Norway during the first decade of the millennium, the most significant being several from Rundvassbreen, an outlet glacier of Blmannsisen and one from Flatbreen, an outlet glacier of Jostedalsbreen. A number of minor flood events occurred also. Many of the glaciers in Norway, especially the maritime glaciers with high winter balance, demonstrated frontal advance and positive mass balance in the 1990s. However, since 2000 most glaciers have had a negative mass balance, and undergone frontal retreat and a corresponding decrease in area. The outburst flood from Flatbreen in 2004 was from a moraine-dammed lake that usually drains under the glacier itself. The immediate cause of the flood was a sudden period of warm, wet weather and the sudden increase of additional water into the lake caused the moraine to rupture. Over 50 000 m3 of water drained from the lake, and the resulting debris flow from the lake to the valley 1000 m lower had a volume of 240 000 m3. Fortunately there were no injuries from this flood, but extensive material damage to farmland on the valley floor. Previous, but smaller events occurred from this lake in 1924 and 1947. The moraine is still partially ruptured, thus the potential for a new jkulhlaup of the same magnitude as that in 2004 is greatly reduced. Several floods occurred from a glacier-dammed lake at the glacier Blmannsisen in Nothern Norway, the first occurring in 2001, and subsequently in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The jkulhlaups all occurred in late summer, but at different water levels of the lake. The first two events occurred when the lake was full and 35 - 40 million m3 of water drained. However, the second event occurred a year after the lake had filled again, with the excess water in the meantime draining over a spillway and away from the glacier, as it had done prior to 2001. The two subsequent events occurred before the lake was completely full, and were half the size of the first two events at about 20 million m3 of water. The thickness of ice at the barrier has decreased over the past few decades, which instigated the first event. Comparing measurements in 1961 and 1998, the part of the glacier adjacent to the lake was up to 55 m thinner. Laser scanning performed in autumn 2002 showed a further 4-10 of thinning between 1998 and 2002. GPS measurements on the glacier surface showed that there was thinning of an average of 4.5 m from 2001 to 2004, and a further 5-10 m between 2004 and 2009. This further thinning led to the lake emptying under the glacier at a lower lake level than previously. There were no human or material damages from any of these events. In contrast, the floodwaters flowed into Sisovatn, a hydropower reservoir and were financially beneficial. No similar events have been recorded before the 2001 event. The lake is now expected to continue to empty under the glacier at fairly regular intervals.

  15. 3-D modelling of glacier calving processes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, F. J.

    2010-12-01

    Calving from tidewater glacier tongues and ice shelves is an important mass loss mechanism for many mid- and high-latitude tidewater glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets, yet an adequate representation of calving is still missing from prognostic models of ice dynamics. Benn and others (2007) proposed a calving criterion appropriate for both grounded and floating glacier tongues or ice shelves. This criterion assumes that the calving is triggered by the downward propagation of transverse surface crevasses, near the calving front, as a result of the extensional stress regime. The crevasse depth is calculated following Nye (1957), assuming that the base of a field of closely spaced crevasses lies at a depth where the longitudinal tensile strain rate tending to open the crevasse equals the creep closure resulting from the ice overburden pressure. Crevasses partially or totally filled with water will penetrate deeper, because of the contribution of water pressure to the opening of the crevasse. This criterion is readily incorporated into glacier and ice sheet models, but has not been fully validated with observations. We apply a three-dimensional extension of Benn and others’ (2007) criterion, incorporated into a full-Stokes model of glacier dynamics, to estimate the current position of the calving front of Johnsons Glacier, Antarctica. The record of the front positions of Johnsons Glacier spans only a few years during the last decade, and during this observation period the front has remained at a nearly constant position, so a full modelling exercise of time evolution to follow the front-position changes of the glacier has not been possible. Instead, our modelling experiment is a diagnostic one, aimed at establishing whether the model adequately reproduces the current front position of Johnsons Glacier (Otero et al., 2010). We develop four experiments: (i) an straightforward three-dimensional extension of Benn and other’s (2007) model; (ii) an improvement to the latter that computes the tensile deviatoric stress opening the crevasse using the full-stress solution; (iii) a further improvement based on finding the depth at which the model-computed tensile deviatoric stress, considered as a function of depth, equals the ice overburden closure pressure; (iv) an experiment that adds, to the above, the effect of a threshold strain rate required for crevasses initiation. We found that the improvements considered in experiments (ii) and (iii) were necessary to reproduce accurately the observed calving front. In ongoing work, we intend to apply our model in a prognostic mode, to predict the observed front position changes of Hansbreen, a tidewater glacier in Svalbard. REFERENCES: Benn, D.I., R.J. Hulton and R.H. Mottram. 2007. Calving laws, sliding laws and the stability of tidewater glaciers. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 126-130. Nye, J.F. 1957. The distribution of stress and velocity in glaciers and ice-sheets. Proc. Roy. Soc., Ser. A, 239(1216), 113-133. Otero, J., F.J. Navarro, C. Martín, M.L. Cuadrado and M.I. Corcuera. 2010. A three-dimensional calving model: numerical experiments on Johnsons Glacier, Livingston Island, Antarctica. J. Glaciol., 56(196), 200-214.

  16. Modeling future sea level rise from melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radic, Valentina

    Melting mountain glaciers and ice caps (MG&IC) are the second largest contributor to rising sea level after thermal expansion of the oceans and are likely to remain the dominant glaciological contributor to rising sea level in the 21st century. The aim of this work is to project 21st century volume changes of all MG&IC and to provide systematic analysis of uncertainties originating from different sources in the calculation. I provide an ensemble of 21st century volume projections for all MG&IC from the World Glacier Inventory by modeling the surface mass balance coupled with volume-area-length scaling and forced with temperature and precipitation scenarios from four Global Climate Models (GCMs). By upscaling the volume projections through a regionally differentiated approach to all MG&IC outside Greenland and Antarctica (514,380 km 2) I estimated total volume loss for the time period 2001-2100 to range from 0.039 to 0.150 m sea level equivalent. While three GCMs agree that Alaskan glaciers are the main contributors to the projected sea level rise, one GCM projected the largest total volume loss mainly due to Arctic MG&IC. The uncertainties in the projections are addressed by a series of sensitivity tests applied in the methodology for assessment of global volume changes and on individual case studies for particular glaciers. Special emphasis is put on the uncertainties in volume-area scaling. For both, individual and global assessments of volume changes, the choice of GCM forcing glacier models is shown to be the largest source of quantified uncertainties in the projections. Another major source of uncertainty is the temperature forcing in the mass balance model depending on the quality of climate reanalysis products (ERA-40) in order to simulate the local temperatures on a mountain glacier or ice cap. Other uncertainties in the methods are associated with volume-area-length scaling as a tool for deriving glacier initial volumes and glacier geometry changes in the volume projections. Nevertheless, the lack of more detailed knowledge of global ice volume constrains the estimates of the potential and projected sea level rise from melting MG&IC. Any progress in this field is limited without a more complete glacier inventory database.

  17. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menounos, B.; Maurer, M.; Clague, J. J.; osborn, G.; Ponce, F.; Davis, P. T.; Rabassa, J.; Coronato, A.; Marr, R.

    2011-12-01

    Summer insolation has been proposed to explain long-term glacier fluctuations during the Holocene. If correct, the record of glacier fluctuations at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere should differ from that in the Northern Hemisphere. Testing this insolation hypothesis has been hampered by dating uncertainties of many Holocene glacier chronologies from Patagonia. We report on our ongoing research aimed at developing a regional glacier chronology at the southern end of the Andes north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina. We have found evidence for an advance of cirque glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene; one or locally two closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines. Radiocarbon dating of terrestrial macrofossils recovered from basal sediments behind two of these moraines yielded ages of 10,320 25 and 10,330 30 14C yr BP. These moraines may record glacier advances coeval with the Antarctic Cold Reversal; surface exposure dating of these moraines is currently in progress to test this hypothesis. We find no evidence of Holocene moraines older than 6800 14C yr BP, based on the distribution of Hudson tephra of that age. At some sites, there is evidence for an early Neoglacial advance of glaciers slightly beyond (< 0.5 km) Little Ice Age limits. Terrestrial macrofossils at the upper contact of basal till from one site yielded an age of 4505 30 14C yr BP; this age overlaps the most probable age range of early Neoglacial ice expansion in southern Patagonia reported by Porter (2000) and the age of plants killed by expansion of the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. We have documented multiple wood mats with stumps in growth position separated by till units in a 100 m section of the northeast lateral moraine at Stoppani Glacier (54.78 S, 68.98 W), 50 km west of Ushuaia. Ten radiocarbon ages on these wood mats range in age from 3510 15 to 135 15 14C yr BP. The mats decrease in age up-section; many overlap with published age ranges for Neoglacial advances in western Canada. Taken together, these data: a) do not support the summer insolation hypothesis for Holocene glacier fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia; b) confirm paleobotanical evidence for a warm, dry early Holocene; and c) suggest that many Neoglacial advances in southernmost Patagonia and western North America were synchronous.

  18. Monitoring surface displacements of glaciers with ground based photogrammetry: insights from Planpincieux Glacier, Grandes Jorasses massif, Mont Blanc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manconi, Andrea; Dell'Anese, Federico; Giordan, Daniele; Allasia, Paolo; Curtaz, Michèle; Vagliasindi, Marco; Bertolo, Davide

    2015-04-01

    Monitoring the spatial and temporal evolution of glaciers modifications in a climate change scenario is a major scientific problem. The Italian side of the Grandes Jorasses massif, Mont Blanc, is historically known for the occasional activation of icefalls events from the frontal part of the glaciers located on that area. The Planpincieux Glacier (PG) is a "polythermal" glacier, meaning that the liquid water present at the contact between ice and the bedrock in the lower part of the glacier itself plays an important role in its dynamics. Under these conditions icefalls might occur in a sudden and barely predictable manner. In this scenario, an accurate analysis of its morphological evolution is crucial; however, one of the major problems on PG is the limited access to perform direct measurements. For this reason, remote sensing has been identified as the more convenient approach to achieve quantitative measurements of surficial modifications. An experimental monitoring station was installed on August 2013 in order to monitor the surface displacements at PG. The monitoring station is located on the opposite side of the valley, at the top of the Mt. de la Saxe, ca. 3.5 km away from the target under investigation. Monitoring includes: (i) a surveillance module, based on a medium resolution digital camera, observing large part of the slope; (ii) a photogrammetric module, based on a high resolution digital camera equipped with a 300 mm optical zoom, pointed to the PG front. Digital images acquired by the monitoring station are acquired with a revisit time of 1-hour, and analyzed by considering change-detection and pixel-offset techniques. This approach allows to evaluate surface changes over time, as well as to retrieve quantitative measurements of the glacier displacements. Here we present the results after one year of monitoring, and we discuss how the combination of different remote sensing techniques can be exploited for a better understanding of the glacier dynamics.

  19. Physicochemical impacts of dust particles on alpine glacier meltwater at the Laohugou Glacier basin in western Qilian Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zhiwen; Qin, Dahe; Chen, Jizu; Qin, Xiang; Ren, Jiawen; Cui, Xiaoqing; Du, Zhiheng; Kang, Shichang

    2014-09-15

    This work discusses the temporal variation of various physicochemical species in the meltwater runoff of Laohugou Glacier No. 12 (4260 ma.s.l.) in central Asia, and their correlation with dust particles, based on a two-year field observation in summer 2012 and 2013, mainly focusing on dust concentration and size distribution, meltwater chemistry, particles SEM-EDX analysis in the meltwater, and MODIS atmospheric optical depth fields around the Qilian Mountains in central Asia. We find that, the volume-size distribution of dust particles in the meltwater is mainly composed of three parts, which includes fine aerosol particles (with diameter of 0~3.0 ?m, mainly PM 2.5), atmospheric dust (with diameter of 3.0~20 ?m), and local dust particles (20~100 ?m), respectively. Comparison of dust particles in the snowpack and meltwater runoff indicates that, large part of dust particles in the meltwater may have originated from atmospheric dust deposition to the snow and ice on the glacier, and transported into the meltwater runoff. Moreover, temporal variation of dust and major ions (especially crustal species) is very similar with each other, showing great influence of dust particles to the chemical constituents of the glacier meltwater. SPM and TDS implied significant influences of dust to the physical characteristics of the glacier meltwater. Results showed that, accelerated glacier melting may affect physicochemical characteristics of the meltwater at an alpine basin under global warming. MODIS atmospheric optical depth (AOD) fields derived using the Deep Blue algorithm, showed great influence of regional dust transportation over western Qilian Mountains in springtime. SEM-EDX analysis shows that dust particles in the glacier meltwater contain Si-, Al-, Ca-, K-, and Fe-rich materials, such as quartz, albite, aluminate, and fly ash, similar to that deposited in snowpack. These results showed great and even currently underestimated influences of atmospheric dust deposition to glacier meltwater physicochemistry at an alpine basin in central Asia. PMID:25010943

  20. Reconnaissance hydrology of Portage Glacier basin, Alaska--1972

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mayo, L.R.; Zenone, Chester; Trabant, Dennis

    1977-01-01

    Early reports of conditions in Portage Pass, Alaska, provide evidence that Portage Glacier was formerly larger and thicker. Past conditions, recent history, current retreat, and possible future changes are summarized from an analysis of reports, photographs of the glacier (1939, 1950, and annually since about 1960), and data on snow and ice balance and bathymetry (1972). Between 1900 and 1972, the glacier terminus retreated 3.4 kilometers, and the lower part of the glacier thinned 200 meters. Climatic change controlled the retreat until about 1930; since then deep water at the terminus has influenced the calving retreat. The calving rate and present terminus position cannot be sustained by current climatic conditions and rate of snow accumulation. Thus the glacier will continue to recede until the terminus stabilizes in shallower water, probably about 1.5 kilometers upvalley from the present terminus and in about year 2020, assuming no change in present climatic conditions and calving rate. Possible small climatic changes could cause a shift in the point at which annual snow accumulation equals annual ablation (500 meters) and a corresponding change in terminus behavior. Potential natural hazards include avalanches, outburst floods from ice-dammed lakes, and unstable icebergs. (Woodard-USGS)

  1. Changing Hydrology in Glacier-fed High Altitude Andean Peatbogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slayback, D. A.; Yager, K.; Baraer, M.; Mohr, K. I.; Argollo, J.; Wigmore, O.; Meneses, R. I.; Mark, B. G.

    2012-12-01

    Montane peatbogs in the glacierized Andean highlands of Peru and Bolivia provide critical forage for camelids (llama and alpaca) in regionally extensive pastoral agriculture systems. During the long dry season, these wetlands often provide the only available green forage. A key question for the future of these peatbog systems, and the livelihoods they support, is the impact of climate change and glacier recession on their hydrology, and thus forage production. We have already documented substantial regional glacier recession, of, on average, approximately 30% of surface area over the past two decades. As glaciers begin to retreat under climate change, there is initially a period of increased meltwater outflow, culminating in a period of "peak water", and followed by a continual decline in outflows. Based on previous work, we know that some glaciers in the region have already passed peak water conditions, and are now declining. To better understand the impacts of these processes on peatbog hydrology and productivity, we have begun collecting a variety of surface data at several study sites in both Bolivia and Peru. These include precipitation, stream flow, water levels, water chemistry and isotope analyses, and peatbog biodiversity and biomass. These measurements will be used in conjunction with a regional model driven by satellite data to predict likely future impacts. We will present the results from these initial surface measurements, and an overview of satellite datasets to be used in the regional model.

  2. Determination of Glacier Surface Area Using Spaceborne SAR Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, L.; Maksymiuk, O.; Schmitt, M.; Stilla, U.

    2013-04-01

    Glaciers are very important climate indicators. Although visible remote sensing techniques can be used to extract glacier variations effectively and accurately, the necessary data are depending on good weather conditions. In this paper, a method for determination of glacier surface area using multi-temporal and multi-angle high resolution TerraSAR-X data sets is presented. We reduce the "data holes" in the SAR scenes affected by radar shadowing and specular backscattering of smooth ice surfaces by combining the two complementary different imaging geometries (from ascending and descending satellite tracks). Then, a set of suitable features is derived from the intensity image, the texture information generated based on the gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM), glacier velocity estimated by speckle tracking, and the interferometric coherence map. Furthermore, the features are selected by 10-foldcross- validation based on the feature relevance importance on classification accuracy using a Random Forests (RF) classifier. With these most relevant features, the glacier surface is discriminated from the background by RF classification in order to calculate the corresponding surface area.

  3. Bacterial succession in a glacier foreland of the High Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Schütte, Ursel M.E.; Abdo, Zaid; Bent, Stephen J.; Williams, Christopher J.; Schneider, G. Maria; Solheim, Bjørn; Forney, Larry J.

    2009-01-01

    Succession is defined as changes in biological communities over time. It has been extensively studied in plant communities, but little is known about bacterial succession, in particular in environments such as High Arctic glacier forelands. Bacteria carry out key processes in the development of soil, biogeochemical cycling, and facilitating plant colonization. In this study we sampled two roughly parallel chronosequences in the foreland of Midre Lovén glacier on Svalbard, Norway and tested whether any of several factors were associated with changes in the structure of bacterial communities, including time after glacier retreat, horizontal variation caused by the distance between chronosequences, and vertical variation at two soil depths. The structures of soil bacterial communities at different locations were compared using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) of 16S rRNA genes, and the data were analyzed by sequential analysis of log-linear statistical models. While no significant differences in community structure were detected between the two chronosequences, statistically significant differences between sampling locations in the surface and mineral soils could be demonstrated even though glacier forelands are patchy and dynamic environments. These findings suggest bacterial succession occurs in High Arctic glacier forelands but may differ in different soil depths. PMID:19587774

  4. Modeling the response of glacier systems to climate warming in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Zi-Chu; Wang, Xin; Feng, Qing-Hua; Kang, Er'si; Liu, Chao-Hai; Li, Qiao-Yuan

    A glacier system is regarded as the ensemble of many glaciers sharing the same region, influenced by a similar climate and organized by certain intrinsic laws. It can be either 'sensitive' or 'steady'. On the basis of the structure of the glacier system and the nature of the equilibrium-line altitudes at the steady state, functional models of a glacier system responding to climate warming were established, using the Kotlyakov-Krenke equation relating annual glacier ablation and mean summer temperature and the glacier system's median size. The modeling results under the climatic scenarios with a rate of temperature increase of 0.01, 0.03 and 0.05 K a-1 indicate that by the end of this century the glacial area of China will be reduced by -14%, -40%and -60% respectively. However, model results show distinct differences between the sensitive glacier system and the steady glacier system.

  5. Wind Turbine

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    The species of bats that are most susceptible to wind turbines all roost in trees throughout the year, leading some scientists to speculate that they may be visually mistaking wind turbines for trees in which to roost....

  6. The Status of Glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas from satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, S. R.; Maharjan, S.; Shrestha, F.; Shrestha, B.; Wanqin, G.; Shiyin, L.; Xiaojun, Y.; Khattak, G. A.

    2011-12-01

    In contrary to general glacier retreat in this vast Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region, some of the glaciers are advancing in the Karakorum (Hewitt, 1985). To understand the climate change impacts on glaciers, it is crucial to update the glacier status. The bigger concern in the HKH region, however, is the lack of long-term information on glaciers at the regional level for any kind of credible baseline or assessment of change. Hence to provide the up to date glacier information the glacier inventory was carried out using a single source satellite images of latest date so far possible. The present mapping of glaciers is the first effort of homogeneous glacier inventory of entire Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, which made the first time reporting of glaciers from Myanmar and first generation of glacier mapping and inventory of Afghanistan and Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal states of India for ICIMOD. For Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, some states of India (Himachal, Uttarakhand and Sikkim) and Ganges basin in China will be the second generation glacier mapping and inventory of ICIMOD. The inventory is based on Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images from 20053 years and SRTM DEM. The methodology of semi-automatic mapping and inventory is developed and implemented in the present study for quick delivery of glacier database. A first attempt is also made to map and deliver the Clean Ice and Debris Cover glaciers data separately. The glacier parameters like Glacier ID (Watershed and GLIMS), Area (Debris Cover and Clean Ice), Elevation, Slope, Aspect, Thickness, Ice reserve and 100m Glacier Area-Altitude bins are generated. The glaciers with sizes larger than 0.02 km2 are mapped. From the entire HKH region about 54,800 glaciers are mapped with about 60,400 km2 glacier area and 6,100 km3 estimated ice reserves. It was found that the average glacier area of the HKH region is 1.10 km2 per glacier (Bajracharya and others 2011).

  7. The controversial age of Kilimanjaro's plateau glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uglietti, Chiara; Zapf, Alexander; Szidat, Snke; Salazar, Gary; Hardy, Doug; Schwikowski, Margit

    2015-04-01

    Interpreting climate signals contained in natural archives requires a precise chronology. Radiocarbon analysis can be a powerful tool for dating high-altitude ice cores, especially for the lowermost segments for which ice flow-induced thinning limits the counting of annual layers. Radiocarbon dating has been applied to ice cores containing sufficient organic material, which is a limiting factor to the wider application of this technique. We present a novel radiocarbon dating approach using carbonaceous aerosols enclosed in the ice to help resolve the debate about the age of the Kilimanjaro's plateau glaciers. Paleoclimate reconstructions based on six ice cores drilled in 2000 assigned a basal age of 11'700 years. A recent study claims recurring cycles of waxing and waning controlled primarily by atmospheric moisture and an absence of the ice bodies was suggested for 1200 AD. The Kilimanjaro ice fields are subject to rapid areal shrinkage and thinning and are expected to disappear within several decades. Resolving the controversy of the time frame for the extinction of the Kilimanjaro ice might have wide implications for the understanding of the natural climate variability in the tropics. A stratigraphic sequence of samples from the exposed vertical ice cliffs at the margins of the Northern Ice Field (NIF) was collected in 2011. A total of 45 horizontal short cores (50 cm length) were extracted from 22 horizons characterized by varying micro-particle concentrations. Additionally, 3 samples were taken from the glacier surface to investigate a potential age offset. All samples were shipped frozen to Paul Scherrer Institute, decontaminated in a cold room by removing the outer layer (0.3 mm) and by rinsing the samples with ultra-pure water. The insoluble carbonaceous particles were filtrated by using freshly preheated quartz fibre filters. Procedural blanks were estimated using artificial ice blocks of frozen ultra-pure water treated as real ice samples and were consistent with previously reported blanks. The combustion of the filters was conducted by means of a thermo-optical OC/EC analyser (Model4L, Sunset Laboratory Inc, USA), using a well-established protocol (Swiss 4S) for OC/EC separation. Analyses of 14C were conducted using the compact radiocarbon AMS system 'MICADAS' equipped with a gas ion source, directly coupled to the Sunset instrument. Conventional 14C ages were calibrated using OxCal v4.2.4 software with the SHCal13 calibration curve. The results of 14C calibrated ages for the South and North cliffs of the Kilimanjaro NIF span between modern ages on surface to 1200 AD at the bottom. Our 14C analyses results support the hypothesis that the ice on Kilimanjaro's plateau has come and gone repeatedly throughout the Holocene and have an age which differs considerably from the ice core assigned basal age of 11'700 years. It is possible that the cores collected further from the margin of the NIF contained older ice which is not present at the margins. If this is the case, the older ice must be relict, implying one or more long hiatuses, and a non-continuous record. Therefore, further investigations are necessary.

  8. Application of Near-Surface Geophysics to Problems in Glacier Dynamics, Pitted Outwash P