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Sample records for advancing tidewater glacier

  1. Observations of Dynamic Changes at an Advancing Tidewater Glacier: Hubbard Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, J.; Stearns, L. A.; Pritchard, M. E.; Bartholomaus, T.

    2015-12-01

    Hubbard Glacier, located in southeast Alaska, is the largest non-polar tidewater glacier in the world and one of a small number of glaciers that is steadily advancing. These attributes make it an intriguing target for observations of variations in ice dynamics over time. We use synthetic aperture radar data (ALOS and TerraSAR-X) and high-resolution optical imagery (WorldView and Quickbird) with a pixel tracking technique to map surface velocities from 2008 to the present, lengthening and broadening the time series of ice velocities presented in previous studies. A key result from our analysis is that Hubbard displays peak speeds of up to 12 m/day during the winter months (December - February) and minimum speeds during late summer (August - September). The times of peak and minimum speeds is quite different from those found in previous studies of Hubbard surface velocities derived from Landsat imagery, GPS, and photogrammetric methods. Those studies found peak speeds during late spring (May - June) and minimum speeds in fall (October-November), a pattern observed generally at tidewater glaciers. A second major feature we observe in our time series is the dramatic seasonal variation in surface speeds. The minimum speeds we find along the terminal lobe of the glacier are much lower than those found in previous studies, with values decreasing to near zero. Such a dramatic slow down of a tidewater glacier has not been widely observed. This result, along with the recent pattern of seasonal velocity peaks and minimas, suggests that Hubbard has undergone a change in ice dynamics.

  2. Antarctic Peninsula Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-16

    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. 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.

  5. Subglacial discharge at tidewater glaciers revealed by seismic tremor

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:27667869

  6. Reconstructing the behaviour of a major SW Greenland tidewater glacier over the last millennium.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Danni; Mair, Doug W. F.; Rea, Brice R.; Schofield, J. Ed; Lea, James M.; Kamenos, Nick; Schoenrock, Kate; Stachnik, Lukasz

    2016-04-01

    Greenlandic tidewater glaciers have experienced widespread retreat over the last century. However, information on their dynamics prior to this are poorly constrained due to a lack of observations and paucity, in many cases of mapped or mappable deglacial evidence. Especially lacking is evidence for tidewater glacier advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). This severely restricts our understanding of the long-term (centennial-millennial timescale) relationships between climate and calving at marine terminating margins in Greenland and elsewhere. Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS) is the most dynamic tidewater glacier in southwest Greenland having retreated >22 km since its LIA-maximum (c. 1761). This project takes advantage of the site's unique combination of terrestrial evidence of glacier change (glacial geomorphology, sedimentology, and Norse archaeology) and novel marine evidence (coralline algae) to reconstruct both its advance and retreat over the last millennium. We present glacial geomorphological mapping, which followed a morphstratigraphic approach, using a combination of aerial photos, a DEM and field mapping. Radiocarbon dating from peat sequences were used to determine the timing and rates of advance of KNS to the LIAmax. This has provided evidence for pre-LIA moraines, deglacial and neoglacial, and rapid changes in meltwater routing that may have contributed to the abandonment of nearby Norse settlements. Isotopic analysis of annually banded coralline algae (Lithothamnion glaciale), collected during summer 2015, will provide proxy evidence for changes in fjord water conditions. This data will contribute towards a millennial timescale record of tidewater glacier dynamics that will help to validate models linking calving to climate.

  7. Neoglacial fluctuations of terrestrial, tidewater, and calving lacustrine glaciers, Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex, Kenai Mountains, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossen, Kristine June

    1997-12-01

    The glaciers surrounding the Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex display a variety of termini types: Tebenkov, Spencer, Bartlett, Skookum, Trail, Burns, Shakespeare, Marquette, Lawrence, and Ripon glaciers end in terrestrial margins; Blackstone and Beloit glaciers have tidewater termini; and Portage Glacier has a calving lacustrine margin. In addition, steep temperature and precipitation gradients exist across the ice complex from the maritime environment of Prince William Sound to the colder, drier interior. The Neoglacial history of Tebenkov Glacier, as based on overrun trees near the terminus, shows advances ca. 250- 430 AD (calibrated date), ca. 1215-1275 AD (calibrated date), and ca. 1320-1430 AD (tree ring evidence), all intervals of glacier advance around the Gulf of Alaska. However, two tidewater glaciers in Blackstone Bay retreated from their outermost moraines by 1350 AD, apparently asynchronously with respect to the regional climate signal. The most extensive Kenai Mountain glacier expansions during Neoglaciation occurred in the late Little Ice Age. The outermost moraines are adjacent to mature forest stands and bog peats that yield dates as old as 5,600 BP. Prince William Sound glaciers advanced during two Little Ice Age cold periods, 1380-1680 and 1830-1900 AD. The terrestrial glaciers around the Blackstone-Spencer Ice Complex all built moraines during the 19th century and began retreating between 1875 and 1900 AD. Portage and Burns glaciers began retreating between 1790 and 1810 AD, but their margins remained close to the outermost moraines during the 19th century. Regional glacier fluctuations are broadly synchronous in the Gulf of Alaska region. With the exception of the two tidewater glaciers in Blackstone Bay, all glaciers in the Kenai Mountains, no matter their sizes, altitudes, orientations, or types of margins, retreated at the end of the Little Ice Age. The climate signal, especially temperature, appears to be the strongest control on glacier

  8. Quantification and Analysis of Icebergs in a Tidewater Glacier Fjord Using an Object-Based Approach.

    PubMed

    McNabb, Robert W; Womble, Jamie N; Prakash, Anupma; Gens, Rudiger; Haselwimmer, Christian E

    2016-01-01

    Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in, and calve icebergs into, the ocean. In addition to the influence that tidewater glaciers have on physical and chemical oceanography, floating icebergs serve as habitat for marine animals such as harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii). The availability and spatial distribution of glacier ice in the fjords is likely a key environmental variable that influences the abundance and distribution of selected marine mammals; however, the amount of ice and the fine-scale characteristics of ice in fjords have not been systematically quantified. Given the predicted changes in glacier habitat, there is a need for the development of methods that could be broadly applied to quantify changes in available ice habitat in tidewater glacier fjords. We present a case study to describe a novel method that uses object-based image analysis (OBIA) to classify floating glacier ice in a tidewater glacier fjord from high-resolution aerial digital imagery. Our objectives were to (i) develop workflows and rule sets to classify high spatial resolution airborne imagery of floating glacier ice; (ii) quantify the amount and fine-scale characteristics of floating glacier ice; (iii) and develop processes for automating the object-based analysis of floating glacier ice for large number of images from a representative survey day during June 2007 in Johns Hopkins Inlet (JHI), a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. On 18 June 2007, JHI was comprised of brash ice ([Formula: see text] = 45.2%, SD = 41.5%), water ([Formula: see text] = 52.7%, SD = 42.3%), and icebergs ([Formula: see text] = 2.1%, SD = 1.4%). Average iceberg size per scene was 5.7 m2 (SD = 2.6 m2). We estimate the total area (± uncertainty) of iceberg habitat in the fjord to be 455,400 ± 123,000 m2. The method works well for classifying icebergs across scenes (classification accuracy of 75.6%); the largest classification errors occur in areas with

  9. Quantification and Analysis of Icebergs in a Tidewater Glacier Fjord Using an Object-Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    McNabb, Robert W.; Womble, Jamie N.; Prakash, Anupma; Gens, Rudiger; Haselwimmer, Christian E.

    2016-01-01

    Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in, and calve icebergs into, the ocean. In addition to the influence that tidewater glaciers have on physical and chemical oceanography, floating icebergs serve as habitat for marine animals such as harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii). The availability and spatial distribution of glacier ice in the fjords is likely a key environmental variable that influences the abundance and distribution of selected marine mammals; however, the amount of ice and the fine-scale characteristics of ice in fjords have not been systematically quantified. Given the predicted changes in glacier habitat, there is a need for the development of methods that could be broadly applied to quantify changes in available ice habitat in tidewater glacier fjords. We present a case study to describe a novel method that uses object-based image analysis (OBIA) to classify floating glacier ice in a tidewater glacier fjord from high-resolution aerial digital imagery. Our objectives were to (i) develop workflows and rule sets to classify high spatial resolution airborne imagery of floating glacier ice; (ii) quantify the amount and fine-scale characteristics of floating glacier ice; (iii) and develop processes for automating the object-based analysis of floating glacier ice for large number of images from a representative survey day during June 2007 in Johns Hopkins Inlet (JHI), a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. On 18 June 2007, JHI was comprised of brash ice (x¯ = 45.2%, SD = 41.5%), water (x¯ = 52.7%, SD = 42.3%), and icebergs (x¯ = 2.1%, SD = 1.4%). Average iceberg size per scene was 5.7 m2 (SD = 2.6 m2). We estimate the total area (± uncertainty) of iceberg habitat in the fjord to be 455,400 ± 123,000 m2. The method works well for classifying icebergs across scenes (classification accuracy of 75.6%); the largest classification errors occur in areas with densely-packed ice, low contrast between

  10. Spatio-temporal Variation in Glacier Ice as Habitat for Harbor Seals in an Alaskan Tidewater Glacier Fjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womble, J. N.; McNabb, R. W.; Gens, R.; Prakash, A.

    2015-12-01

    Some of the largest aggregations of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) in Alaska occur in tidewater glacier fjords where seals rest upon icebergs that are calved from tidewater glaciers into the marine environment. The distribution, amount, and size of floating ice in fjords are likely important factors influencing the spatial distribution and abundance of harbor seals; however, fine-scale characteristics of ice habitat that are used by seals have not been quantified using automated methods. We quantified the seasonal changes in ice habitat for harbor seals in Johns Hopkins Inlet, a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, using aerial photography, object-based image analysis, and spatial models. Aerial photographic surveys (n = 53) were conducted of seals and ice during the whelping (June) and molting (August) seasons from 2007-2014. Surveys were flown along a grid of 12 transects and high-resolution digital photos were taken directly under the plane using a vertically aimed camera. Seal abundance and spatial distribution was consistently higher during June (range: 1,672-4,340) than August (range: 1,075-2,582) and corresponded to the spatial distribution and amount of ice. Preliminary analyses from 2007 suggest that the average percent of icebergs (ice ≥ than 1.6m2) and brash ice (ice < 1.6m2) per scene were greater in June (icebergs: 1.8% ± 1.6%; brash ice: 43.8% ± 38.9%) than August (icebergs: 0.2% ± 0.7%; brash ice; 15.8% ± 26.4%). Iceberg angularity (an index of iceberg shape) was also greater in June (1.7 ± 0.9) than August (0.9 ± 0.9). Potential factors that may influence the spatio-temporal variation in ice habitat for harbor seals in tidewater glacier fjords include frontal ablation rates of glaciers, fjord circulation, and local winds. Harbor seals exhibit high seasonal fidelity to tidewater glacier fjords, thus understanding the relationships between glacier dynamics and harbor seal distribution will be critical for

  11. 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 Post’s 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).

  12. Air temperature drives 140 years of fluctuations at a major Greenlandic tidewater glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, James M.; Mair, Douglas WF; Nick, Faezeh M.; Rea, Brice R.; Nienow, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    The primary controls on the fluctuations of tidewater glaciers are currently poorly understood. Both oceanic and atmospheric forcing mechanisms have been invoked to explain observed changes. Numerical modelling simulations have previously utilised only relatively short observational records for calibration and validation. Hence the longer term climatic controls on tidewater glacier stability are not well known. Herein we apply a 1-D numerical flow-band model with a crevasse water depth calving criterion (Nick et al., 2010) to Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), SW Greenland. We force the model using air and sea surface temperature records for the period 1871-2012. Model sensitivity to climate forcing was determined by varying climatic tuning coefficients using a Monte Carlo approach. The output from 1500 model runs was compared against observations of terminus position and glacier geometry from the last 140 years. The results of best-fit model runs were then used to evaluate the relative sensitivity of KNS to changes in atmospheric or oceanic forcing. Our results show that all best-fit model runs have tuning coefficients associated with strong atmospheric forcing, but do not all require strong oceanic forcing. This suggests that changes in air temperature are the primary driver of the terminus fluctuations of KNS from 1866-2012, and may be the principal climatic control on glacier stability for similar tidewater glaciers in Greenland.

  13. 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.

  14. Constraining millennial scale dynamics of a Greenland tidewater glacier for the verification of a calving criterion based numerical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, J.; Mair, D.; Rea, B.; Nick, F.; Schofield, E.

    2012-04-01

    The ability to successfully model the behaviour of Greenland tidewater glaciers is pivotal to understanding the controls on their dynamics and potential impact on global sea level. However, to have confidence in the results of numerical models in this setting, the evidence required for robust verification must extend well beyond the existing instrumental record. Perhaps uniquely for a major Greenland outlet glacier, both the advance and retreat dynamics of Kangiata Nunata Sermia (KNS), Nuuk Fjord, SW Greenland over the last ~1000 years can be reasonably constrained through a combination of geomorphological, sedimentological and archaeological evidence. It is therefore an ideal location to test the ability of the latest generation of calving criterion based tidewater models to explain millennial scale dynamics. This poster presents geomorphological evidence recording the post-Little Ice Age maximum dynamics of KNS, derived from high-resolution satellite imagery. This includes evidence of annual retreat moraine complexes suggesting controlled rather than catastrophic retreat between pinning points, in addition to a series of ice dammed lake shorelines, allowing detailed interpretation of the dynamics of the glacier as it thinned and retreated. Pending ground truthing, this evidence will contribute towards the calibration of results obtained from a calving criterion numerical model (Nick et al, 2010), driven by an air temperature reconstruction for the KNS region determined from ice core data.

  15. Effect of fjord geometry on tidewater glacier stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Variability of subglacial discharge recorded with thermal infrared timelapse of a tidewater glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, L. C.; Stearns, L. A.; Brunsell, N. A.; Catania, G. A.; Fried, M.; Bartholomaus, T.; Felikson, D.; Sutherland, D.; Carroll, D.; Shroyer, E.; Nash, J. D.; Walker, R. T.; Finnegan, D. C.; LeWinter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Subglacial hydrology and the dynamics therein are important modulators of ice flow in the Greenland Ice Sheet. At tidewater outlet glaciers the characteristics of proglacial discharge affect fjord circulation, sediment deposition, submarine melt rates, and iceberg calving. Information about the spatio-temporal variability of discharge is limited by the challenges of in situ data collection at tidewater glaciers. Here, we present summertime measurements of subglacial discharge variability using a thermal infrared (7.5μm to 13μm) camera and intervalometer at Kangerlussuup Sermia (KS), a ~4km wide outlet glacier in the Uummannaq Bay region of West Greenland (71.46 N, 51.43 W). KS has an advantageous geometry for this investigation because of its shallow grounding zone and well-entrenched subglacial hydrologic system. In tandem, these characteristics promote buoyant freshwater to rise to the fjord surface from discrete outlets at the glacier's base. We investigate the timing of plume activity at these outlets and discuss potential controls on outlet switching. Raw camera measurements cannot be accurately converted to surface temperature without correcting for environmental variables and scene geometry, both of which are time-evolving during data acquisition. Our processing methodology relies on a variety of existing techniques -- image segmentation, ray casting, atmospheric radiative transfer modeling, Monte Carlo simulations -- and a variety of ancillary data products -- satellite imagery, atmospheric reanalysis, meteorologic and hydrologic measurements -- to produce the final results. What is gained is an unprecedented view into interactions between the cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere that control the dynamic and sensitive terminus region of a tidewater outlet glacier.

  17. Ice dynamics of Bowdoin tidewater glacier, Northwest Greenland, from borehole measurements and numerical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seguinot, Julien; Funk, Martin; Ryser, Claudia; Jouvet, Guillaume; Bauder, Andreas; Sugiyama, Shin

    2016-04-01

    The observed rapid retreat of ocean-terminating glaciers in southern Greenland in the last two decades has now propagated to the northwest. Hence, tidewater glaciers in this area, some of which have remain stable for decades, have started retreating rapidly through iceberg calving in recent years, thus allowing a monitoring and investigation of ice dynamical changes starting from the early stages of retreat. Here, we present an ice dynamical study from Bowdoin Glacier, a tidewater outlet glacier located at the northwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The glacier surface experiences lowering at a rate of 1.5 m/a since 2007. A rapid calving front retreat of 260 m/a was also observed since 2008, while no significant changes occurred during the previous 20 years. From July 2014 to July 2015, we monitored, 2 km upstream from the calving front, subglacial water pressure changes in boreholes, internal ice deformation through tilt sensors at different depths, englacial ice temperature profiles from the glacier bed to the surface, and high resolution surface motion from GPS records. These measurement show that the glacier is temperate-based, yet internal deformation accounts for about 10 % of the annual surface motion. A seasonal increase in both deformation and sliding at the onset of the melt season is associated with a drop in water pressure in part of the subglacial system. These observations are used to calibrate the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) for numerical simulations of ice flow in the Bowdoin Glacier catchment, aiming for a better understanding of iceberg calving processes in relation to changes in internal and basal ice dynamics.

  18. Understanding and Modelling Rapid Dynamic Changes of Tidewater Outlet Glaciers: Issues and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieli, Andreas; Nick, Faezeh M.

    2011-09-01

    Recent dramatic acceleration, thinning and retreat of tidewater outlet glaciers in Greenland raises concern regarding their contribution to future sea-level rise. These dynamic changes seem to be parallel to oceanic and climatic warming but the linking mechanisms and forcings are poorly understood and, furthermore, large-scale ice sheet models are currently unable to realistically simulate such changes which provides a major limitation in our ability to predict dynamic mass losses. In this paper we apply a specifically designed numerical flowband model to Jakobshavn Isbrae (JIB), a major marine outlet glacier of the Greenland ice sheet, and we explore and discuss the basic concepts and emerging issues in our understanding and modelling ability of the dynamics of tidewater outlet glaciers. The modelling demonstrates that enhanced ocean melt is able to trigger the observed dynamic changes of JIB but it heavily relies on the feedback between calving and terminus retreat and therefore the loss of buttressing. Through the same feedback, other forcings such as reduced winter sea-ice duration can produce similar rapid retreat. This highlights the need for a robust representation of the calving process and for improvements in the understanding and implementation of forcings at the marine boundary in predictive ice sheet models. Furthermore, the modelling uncovers high sensitivity and rapid adjustment of marine outlet glaciers to perturbations at their marine boundary implying that care should be taken in interpreting or extrapolating such rapid dynamic changes as recently observed in Greenland.

  19. Assessing Geometric Controls on Tidewater Glacier Sensitivity to Frontal Perturbations Using a Numerical Ice Flow Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFadden, E. M.; Howat, I. M.

    2010-12-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers worldwide have undergone rapid changes in their dynamics in response to external forcing. Observations from the Greenland coast, however, reveal that outlet glaciers in close proximity to each other, likely sharing a similar external forcing, can exhibit dramatically different behavior. These behavioral differences may result from differences in glacier shape, such as the presence of basal overdeepenings and lateral constrictions near the terminus. Understanding how shape influences glacier response to forcing at the terminus is critical for predicting future change. The dependence of ice flow on shape is non-linear and complex and, therefore, best examined using numerical methods. We employ a numerical ice flow model to investigate how the shape of marine-terminating glaciers (i.e. basal topography, thickness and width) influences the dynamic response to perturbations in the stress boundary condition at the front caused by front retreat and thinning. Governing model equations are compiled from various numerical models derived for a lightly grounded outlet glaciers, grounded retreat through basal over-deepenings, and calving of marine-terminating outlet glaciers. The model is designed for tidewater glaciers confined to narrow channels so that the stress balance components consist of substantial longitudinal and lateral stresses in addition to basal drag. Emphasis is placed on conditions at the grounding zone, as it is particularly sensitive to changes in basal drag and longitudinal stress. The effect of ice softening at the shear margins as a result of glacial acceleration is also considered. Boundary conditions at the front are categorized by two different calving criteria: (1) the buoyancy stress criterion prescribed by Durand et al. (2009), and (2) the modified flotation criterion derived by Vieli et al. (2001). The model is applied to a range of glacier bed and width geometries and perturbed from steady state by prescribing increased

  20. Object-Based Image Classification of Floating Ice Used as Habitat for Harbor Seals in a Tidewater Glacier Fjord in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNabb, R. W.; Womble, J. N.; Prakash, A.; Gens, R.; Ver Hoef, J.

    2014-12-01

    Tidewater glaciers play an important role in many landscape and ecosystem processes in fjords, terminating in the sea and calving icebergs and discharging meltwater directly into the ocean. Tidewater glaciers provide floating ice for use as habitat for harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) for resting, pupping, nursing, molting, and avoiding predators. Tidewater glaciers are found in high concentrations in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska; currently, many of these glaciers are retreating or have stabilized in a retracted state, raising questions about the future availability of ice in these fjords as habitat for seals. Our primary objective is to investigate the relationship between harbor seal distribution and ice availability at an advancing tidewater glacier in Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. To this end, we use a combination of visible and infrared aerial photographs, object-based image analysis (OBIA), and statistical modeling techniques. We have developed a workflow to automate the processing of the imagery and the classification of the fjordscape (e.g., individual icebergs, brash ice, and open water), providing quantitative information on ice coverage as well as properties not typically found in traditional pixel-based classification techniques, such as block angularity and seal density across the fjord. Reflectance variation in the red channel of the optical images has proven to be the most important first-level criterion to separate open water from floating ice. This first-level criterion works well in areas without dense brash ice, but tends to misclassify dense brash ice as single icebergs. Isolating these large misclassified regions and applying a higher reflectance threshold as a second-level criterion helps to isolate individual ice blocks surrounded by dense brash ice. We present classification results from surveys taken during June and August, 2007-2013, as well as preliminary results from statistical modeling of the

  1. Melt Undercutting and Calving from Tidewater Glaciers: Observations and Model Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, D.; Cook, S.; Åström, J. A.; Luckman, A. J.; Zwinger, T.

    2014-12-01

    Dynamic models incorporating crevasse-depth calving laws have enjoyed considerable success in simulating observed behavior of tidewater glaciers. Such models are based on the assumption that longitudinal strain rates exert a first-order control on calving, and that penetration of surface and basal crevasses provides the ultimate constraint on glacier extent. However, 'second-order' processes such as melt undercutting may significantly amplify calving rates, initiating seasonal and longer-term glacier retreats. We present high temporal and spatial resolution TerraSAR-X data from Svalbard that indicate a strong annual cycle in calving rates, peaking in September-October coincident with maximum fjord temperatures. This pattern is consistent for all studied glaciers irrespective of glacier activity (fast, slow, surging or quiescent), and we conclude that in Svalbard calving is paced by melt-undercutting followed by mechanical destabilization of the ice tongue. Although parameterizations of melt undercutting are included in many models employing the crevasse-depth calving criterion, amplification of calving by melt undercutting (the 'O'Leary Effect') has not been rigorously analyzed or tested against observations. We take a novel approach to this problem, and couple the finite element model Elmer-Ice with a discrete particle model (DPM) to explore in detail the links between melt undercutting and failure of the ice tongue. Employing glacier front geometries representative of Kronebreen (Svalbard), Columbia Glacier (Alaska) and Helheim Glacier (Greenland), we use Elmer-Ice to simulate progressive undercutting of the ice front by melting. At selected time steps, the model geometry was exported into the DPM, and runs conducted to study fracturing and calving behavior using different values of the fracture stress. We quantify the O'Leary Effect for different geometries, and propose a modified calving law incorporating the effects of melt-undercutting. The results highlight

  2. Bluefin 9M AUV Survey of the Hubbard Glacier Morainal Bank: Proof-of-Concept Study of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Investigations Proximal to a Tidewater Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, J. A.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Lawson, D. E.; O'Halloran, W.

    2014-12-01

    Hubbard Glacier is one of the few advancing tidewater glaciers in the world, offering a premier opportunity for studying ice/sediment/seawater interactions at a tidewater glacier front that is in contact with the stabilizing submarine morainal bank. However, the seafloor and water column proximal to the ice face of a marine-terminating glacier is one of the most challenging and extreme environments imaginable for marine survey work. Frequently choked with constantly-shifting mélange ice at the sea surface and at risk from calving, surface vessels cannot operate safely proximal to the ice face. AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) technology provides an opportunity to survey in areas where surface vessels cannot. Operating well below the sea surface the AUV can operate without hindrance or danger to human operators. In addition, the AUV can be programmed to operate close to the seafloor at a constant altitude, enabling the finest-detail currently possible for acoustic seafloor mapping and consistent resolution irrespective of water depth. With these considerations in mind, we conducted a proof-of-concept survey of the Hubbard Glacier morainal bank in June, 2014. We utilized the Bluefin 9M, the smallest of their line of AUVs. Its size enabled deployment and recovery from a small charter fishing vessel well-suited to navigating through mélange-choked waters. The AUV's payload included a Klein UUV-3500 interferometric sonar (455/900 kHz), which enables acquisition of sidescan backscatter and swath bathymetry up to ~75 m to each side of the instrument from ~10 m altitude over the seabed, and sensors for measuring conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD) and optical backscatter (OBS). Although our operations were shortened due to an unfortunate failure in the sonar electronics, sufficient data were collected along the morainal bank to clearly prove the viability of AUV operations in this harsh environment. The data provide centimeter-scale seafloor detail close to the

  3. Subglacial discharges create fluctuating foraging hotspots for sea birds in tidewater glacier bays

    PubMed Central

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej; Stempniewicz, Lech; Węsławski, Jan Marcin; Dragańska-Deja, Katarzyna; Wochna, Agnieszka; Goc, Michał; Iliszko, Lech

    2017-01-01

    Although the processes occurring at the front of an ice face in tidewater glacier bays still await thorough investigation, their importance to the rapidly changing polar environment is spurring a considerable research effort. Glacier melting, sediment delivery and the formation of seabird foraging hotspots are governed by subglacial discharges of meltwater. We have combined the results of tracking black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla equipped with GPS loggers, analyses of satellite images and in situ measurements of water temperature, salinity and turbidity in order to examine the magnitude and variability of such hotspots in the context of glacier bay hydrology. Small though these hotspots are in size, foraging in them appears to be highly intensive. They come into existence only if the subglacial discharge reaches the surface, if the entrainment velocity at a conduit is high and if there is sufficient macroplankton in the entrainment layer. The position and type of subglacial discharges may fluctuate in time and space, thereby influencing glacier bay hydrology and the occurrence of foraging hotspots. PMID:28266602

  4. Subglacial discharges create fluctuating foraging hotspots for sea birds in tidewater glacier bays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej; Stempniewicz, Lech; Węsławski, Jan Marcin; Dragańska-Deja, Katarzyna; Wochna, Agnieszka; Goc, Michał; Iliszko, Lech

    2017-03-01

    Although the processes occurring at the front of an ice face in tidewater glacier bays still await thorough investigation, their importance to the rapidly changing polar environment is spurring a considerable research effort. Glacier melting, sediment delivery and the formation of seabird foraging hotspots are governed by subglacial discharges of meltwater. We have combined the results of tracking black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla equipped with GPS loggers, analyses of satellite images and in situ measurements of water temperature, salinity and turbidity in order to examine the magnitude and variability of such hotspots in the context of glacier bay hydrology. Small though these hotspots are in size, foraging in them appears to be highly intensive. They come into existence only if the subglacial discharge reaches the surface, if the entrainment velocity at a conduit is high and if there is sufficient macroplankton in the entrainment layer. The position and type of subglacial discharges may fluctuate in time and space, thereby influencing glacier bay hydrology and the occurrence of foraging hotspots.

  5. Subglacial discharges create fluctuating foraging hotspots for sea birds in tidewater glacier bays.

    PubMed

    Urbanski, Jacek Andrzej; Stempniewicz, Lech; Węsławski, Jan Marcin; Dragańska-Deja, Katarzyna; Wochna, Agnieszka; Goc, Michał; Iliszko, Lech

    2017-03-07

    Although the processes occurring at the front of an ice face in tidewater glacier bays still await thorough investigation, their importance to the rapidly changing polar environment is spurring a considerable research effort. Glacier melting, sediment delivery and the formation of seabird foraging hotspots are governed by subglacial discharges of meltwater. We have combined the results of tracking black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla equipped with GPS loggers, analyses of satellite images and in situ measurements of water temperature, salinity and turbidity in order to examine the magnitude and variability of such hotspots in the context of glacier bay hydrology. Small though these hotspots are in size, foraging in them appears to be highly intensive. They come into existence only if the subglacial discharge reaches the surface, if the entrainment velocity at a conduit is high and if there is sufficient macroplankton in the entrainment layer. The position and type of subglacial discharges may fluctuate in time and space, thereby influencing glacier bay hydrology and the occurrence of foraging hotspots.

  6. Tidewater Dynamics at Store Glacier, West Greenland from Daily Repeat UAV Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Ryan, J.; Toberg, N.; Todd, J.; Christoffersen, P.; Snooke, N.; Box, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    A significant component of the Greenland ice sheet's mass wasteage to sea level rise is attributed to the acceleration and dynamic thinning at its tidewater margins. To improve understanding of the rapid mass loss processes occurring at large tidewater glaciers, we conducted a suite of daily repeat aerial surveys across the terminus of Store Glacier, a large outlet draining the western Greenland Ice Sheet, from May to July 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y8kauAVAfE). A suite flock of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were equipped with digital cameras, which, in combination with onboard GPS, enabled production of high spatial resolution orthophotos and digital elevation models (DEMs) using standard structure-from-motion techniques. These data provide insight into the short-term dynamics of Store Glacier surrounding the break-up of the sea-ice mélange that occurred between 4 and 7 June. Feature tracking of the orthophotos reveals that mean speed of the terminus is 16 - 18 md-1, which was independently verified against a high temporal resolution time-series derived from an expendable/telemetric GPS deployed at the terminus. Differencing the surface area of successive orthophotos enable quantification of daily calving rates, which significantly increase just after melange break-up. Likewise, by differencing bulk freeboard volume of icebergs through time we could also constrain the magnitude and variation of submarine melt. We calculate a mean submarine melt rate of 0.18 md-1 throughout the spring period with relatively little supraglacial runoff and no active meltwater plumes to stimulate fjord circulation and upwelling of deeper, warmer water masses. Finally, we relate calving rates to the zonation and depth of water-filled crevasses, which were prominent across parts of the terminus from June onwards.

  7. A simple parameterisation of melting near the grounding lines of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, A.

    2012-04-01

    Both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are experiencing rapid change, at least in part as a result of acceleration of some of their larger, marine-terminating outlet glaciers. It is generally assumed that the accelerations have been driven by the ocean, probably through changes in the submarine melt rate. However, the processes that drive melting, particularly in the region close to the grounding line are difficult to observer and quantify. The rapid flow of the outlet glaciers is almost always associated with an active sub-glacial hydrological system, so in the key regions where the glaciers either discharge into ice shelves or terminate in fjords there will be a flow of freshwater draining across the grounding line from the glacier bed. The input of freshwater to the ocean provides a source of buoyancy and drives convective motion alongside the ice-ocean interface. This process is modelled using the theory of buoyant plumes that has previously been applied to the study of the larger-scale circulation beneath ice shelves. The plume grows through entrainment of ocean waters, and the heat brought into the plume as a result drives melting at the ice-ocean interface. The equations are non-dimensionalised using scales appropriate for the region where the sub-glacial drainage, rather than the subsequent addition of meltwater, supplies the majority of the buoyancy forcing. It is found that the melt rate within this region can be approximated reasonably well by a simple expression that is linear in ocean temperature, has a cube root dependence on the flux of sub-glacial meltwater, and a more complex dependency on the slope of the ice-ocean interface. The model is used to investigate variability in melting induced by changes in both ocean temperature and sub-glacial discharge for a number of realistic examples of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers. The results show how warming ocean waters and increasing sub-glacial drainage both generate increases in melting near the

  8. The importance of tidewater glaciers for marine mammals and seabirds in Svalbard, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lydersen, Christian; Assmy, Philipp; Falk-Petersen, Stig; Kohler, Jack; Kovacs, Kit M.; Reigstad, Marit; Steen, Harald; Strøm, Hallvard; Sundfjord, Arild; Varpe, Øystein; Walczowski, Waldek; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Zajaczkowski, Marek

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 60% of Svalbard's land areas are glaciated at the present time. The Archipelago has more than 1100 glaciers (> 1 km2) and 163 of these are “tidewater glaciers” - that is glaciers that terminate (with their calving front) at the sea. It has been known for a long time that these glacier front areas are important feeding areas for seabirds and marine mammals. Herein, we review current knowledge regarding the importance of these areas for these animals and reflect upon the processes that create these apparent “hotspots”. Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla, routinely dominate avian assemblages in front of glaciers in Svalbard, but fulmars Fulmarus glacialis, ivory gulls Pagophila eburnea and glaucous gulls Larus hyperboreus also contribute to aggregations, which can sometimes comprise many thousands of individuals. The birds are often found in the so-called “brown zone”, which is an area in front of tidewater glaciers that is ice-free due to currents and muddy due to suspended sediments. Animals at these sites typically have their stomachs full of large zooplankton or fish. These brown zones are also foraging hotspots for Svalbard's ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and white whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Prime breeding habitat for ringed seals in Svalbard occurs deep in the fjords where ice pieces calved from the glacier fronts become frozen into land-fast sea-ice, promoting the accumulation of snow to a depth suitable for ringed seal females to dig out birth lairs above breathing holes in the ice. These pupping areas are important hunting areas for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in spring, especially female bears with cubs of the year during the period following emergence from the winter/birthing den. Glacier-ice pieces floating in coastal areas are also important for all seal species in the region as dry platforms during moulting and also as general resting platforms for both birds and seals. During the last decade there have been several years with a

  9. Investigating the flow and stress regime at the front of a tidewater outlet glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercenier, Rémy; Luethi, Martin; Vieli, Andreas; Rohner, Christoph; Small, David

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic changes in ocean-terminating glaciers are responsible for approximately half of the current high rate of mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. The related calving process, which occurs when the stresses at the calving front exceed the fracture toughness of ice, is still not well understood and poorly represented in current generation ice-sheet models, but is a crucial requisite to understand and model dynamics and future mass loss of the ice sheet. Here, we use a two-dimensional finite-element model to compute the stress and flow fields near the front of a tidewater outlet glacier. First, we perform a sensitivity analysis for an idealized glacier exploring the effects of variable calving front slope, water depth and basal sliding. We then apply the model to two flowlines of Eqip Sermia, an ocean terminating outlet glacier in West Greenland. Detailed velocity and geometry measurements obtained from terrestrial radar interferometry serve as constraints to the model. These flowline geometries and velocities strongly differ. One flowline ends with a ˜ 50 meter vertical cliff, close to floatation, while the other has a 150-200 meter high grounded front with a ˜ 45° slope and for which extrusion flow is observed. These different geometry settings lead to substantial difference in stress and flow regimes. This stress analysis improves our understanding of how and where the ice is susceptible to failure and crevasse formation for different idealized as well as real conditions. In further work, we aim to use this information as a constraint to investigate the short-term and long-term processes related to outlet glacier calving.

  10. Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schannwell, Clemens; Barrand, Nicholas E.; Radić, Valentina

    2016-11-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. In this paper, the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. An ice-sheet model forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs), in response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5), projects AP contribution to SLR of 28 ± 16 to 32 ± 16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers (∼8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4 ± 1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ∼70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11 ± 2 and 32 ± 16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR.

  11. Changing tidewater glacier extent and response to climate from Little Ice Age to present: observations and modelling of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia, SW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mair, D.; Lea, J. M.; Nick, F. M.; Rea, B. R.; Nienow, P. W.

    2013-12-01

    Records of Greenlandic tidewater glacier (TWG) change are primarily restricted to the period covered by satellite observation. This study extends the record of terminus change of the tidewater outlet glacier Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), SW Greenland to its Little Ice Age maximum (LIAmax). This is achieved using a combination of geomorphology, written observations, and historical and satellite imagery. We explore likely marine and atmospheric controls on terminus change by comparison with existing records of local air and ocean temperatures and, for earlier periods, by modelling glacier response to systematic changes in marine and oceanic forcings at the terminus. Results from the glacier reconstruction show that retreat began in the late 18th century, with the terminus retreating at least 12 km from its LIAmax by 1859. KNS then experienced a period of relative stability before advancing to its 20th century maximum by ~1920. Significant retreat occurred from 1921-1965, before periods of advance and retreat up until 1997. Subsequent to this, KNS has retreated by 2 km up to the end of the 2012 melt season. The LIAmax to present retreat of KNS totals 22.6 km. Comparison of terminus fluctuations to local air temperature (1866-present) and sea surface temperature (1870-present) anomalies demonstrate that air temperature exerts a significant modulating control on terminus stability for the duration of the record. A state-of-the-art 1-dimensional flow-band model driven by submarine melt (SM) and crevasse water depth (CWD; Nick et al, 2010) is capable of reconstructing observed terminus fluctuations during earlier periods for realistic values of SM using a range of CWD. This provides confidence that such models are capable of predicting TWG terminus variability over centennial timescales.

  12. The slow advance of a calving glacier: Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trabant, D.C.; Krimmel, R.M.; Echelmeyer, K.A.; Zirnheld, S.L.; Elsberg, D.H.

    2003-01-01

    Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America. In contrast to most glaciers in Alaska and northwestern Canada, Hubbard Glacier thickened and advanced during the 20th century. This atypical behavior is an important example of how insensitive to climate a glacier can become during parts of the calving glacier cycle. As this glacier continues to advance, it will close the seaward entrance to 50 km long Russell Fjord and create a glacier-dammed, brackish-water lake. This paper describes measured changes in ice thickness, ice speed, terminus advance and fjord bathymetry of Hubbard Glacier, as determined from airborne laser altimetry, aerial photogrammetry, satellite imagery and bathymetric measurements. The data show that the lower regions of the glacier have thickened by as much as 83 m in the last 41 years, while the entire glacier increased in volume by 14.1 km3. Ice speeds are generally decreasing near the calving face from a high of 16.5 m d-1 in 1948 to 11.5 m d-1 in 2001. The calving terminus advanced at an average rate of about 16 m a-1 between 1895 and 1948 and accelerated to 32 m a-1 since 1948. However, since 1986, the advance of the part of the terminus in Disenchantment Bay has slowed to 28 m a-1. Bathymetric data from the lee slope of the submarine terminal moraine show that between 1978 and 1999 the moraine advanced at an average rate of 32 m a-1, which is the same as that of the calving face.

  13. A synthesis of the ongoing seasonal work in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord, Godthåbsfjord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortensen, J.; Bendtsen, J.; Rysgaard, S.

    2015-12-01

    The coastal waters off west Greenland is subjected to significant temperature fluctuations which might affect the mass loss from local tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet in different ways. We present a comprehensive hydrographic data set from a west Greenland fjord, Godthåbsfjord, a fjord in contact with the Greenland Ice Sheet through tidewater outlet glaciers. We analyze with respect to water masses, dynamics, seasonal and interannual hydrographic variability. Through seasonal observations of hydrographic and moored observations we recognize a seasonal pattern in the fjords circulation system, where an intermediate baroclinic circulation mode driven by tidal currents at the fjord entrance is associated as an important local heat source for the fjord. Four distinct circulation modes are observed in the fjord of which all can contribute to glacial ice melt. In water observation of a subglacial plume core will be presented and discussed with respect to vertical distribution of water masses and local heat budget in the fjord. The example of the extreme case of subglacial plume will be discussed (ice-dammed lake drainage).

  14. SedBerg and SedPlume Models: Simulating Sediment Delivery from Tidewater Glaciers to the Marine Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugford, R. I.; Dowdeswell, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    Glaciated fjords are dynamic sedimentary environments with high deposition rates, thus providing high-resolution sedimentary records of deglaciation and Holocene environmental change. Two numerical models, SedBerg and SedPlume, have been developed to simulate marine sedimentation from tidewater glaciers for the dominant transport processes of iceberg-rafting and glacial meltwater plumes. Icebergs calved from tidewater glaciers contain sediment, which is released as the icebergs melt. SedBerg utilises Monte Carlo based techniques to simulate the formation, drift and melt of a population of icebergs, and the subsequent deposition. Subaqueous and subaerial melt of the icebergs result in a continuous rainout of sediment with occasional sediment dumping from overturning events. Underlying the model are parametric probability distributions to describe the stochastic behaviour of iceberg production and dynamics. Turbid meltwater emerging from beneath a glacier into a fjord rises as a buoyant forced plume due to salinity and temperature contrasts with the ambient fjord water. SedPlume utilises an integral model formulation for the conservation of volume, momentum, buoyancy and sediment mass along the path of a turbulent, entraining plume injected into stably stratified ambient fluid. The resulting non-linear ordinary differential equations are solved numerically. When the plume reaches the surface, it is treated as a radially spreading surface gravity current, for which exact solutions exist for the mass flux of sediment deposited. A case study is examined for each model. SedBerg is applied to Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, East Greenland, as an example of an iceberg-dominated depositional environment. The sedimentation rate due to iceberg rafting is simulated for Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord over the last 1500 years, with climatic, oceanographic and glacial conditions estimated from a mixture of present day measurements and inferences from the sedimentary record. SedPlume is applied to

  15. Spring bloom dynamics in a subarctic fjord influenced by tidewater outlet glaciers (Godthåbsfjord, SW Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meire, Lorenz; Mortensen, John; Rysgaard, Søren; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Boone, Wieter; Meire, Patrick; Meysman, Filip J. R.

    2016-06-01

    In high-latitude fjord ecosystems, the spring bloom accounts for a major part of the annual primary production and thus provides a crucial energy supply to the marine food web. However, the environmental factors that control the timing and intensity of these spring blooms remain uncertain. In 2013, we studied the spring bloom dynamics in Godthåbsfjord, a large fjord system adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet. Our surveys revealed that the spring bloom did not initiate in the inner stratified part of the fjord system but only started farther away from tidewater outlet glaciers. A combination of out-fjord winds and coastal inflows drove an upwelling in the inner part of the fjord during spring (April-May), which supplied nutrient-rich water to the surface layer. This surface water was subsequently transported out-fjord, and due to this circulation regime, the biomass accumulation of phytoplankton was displaced away from the glaciers. In late May, the upwelling weakened and the dominant wind direction changed, thus reversing the direction of the surface water transport. Warmer water was now transported toward the inner fjord, and a bloom was observed close to the glacier terminus. Overall, our findings imply that the timing, intensity, and location of the spring blooms in Godthåbsfjord are controlled by a combination of upwelling strength and wind forcing. Together with sea ice cover, the hydrodynamic regime hence plays a crucial role in structuring food web dynamics of the fjord ecosystem.

  16. Unusually loud ambient noise in tidewater glacier fjords: a signal of ice melt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pettit, Erin C.; Lee, Kevin M.; Brann, Joel P.; Nystuen, Jeffrey A.; Wilson, Preston S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2015-01-01

    In glacierized fjords, the ice-ocean boundary is a physically and biologically dynamic environment that is sensitive to both glacier flow and ocean circulation. Ocean ambient noise offers insight into processes and change at the ice-ocean boundary. Here we characterize fjord ambient noise and show that the average noise levels are louder than nearly all measured natural oceanic environments (significantly louder than sea ice and non-glacierized fjords). Icy Bay, Alaska has an annual average sound pressure level of 120 dB (re 1 μPa) with a broad peak between 1000 and 3000 Hz. Bubble formation in the water column as glacier ice melts is the noise source, with variability driven by fjord circulation patterns. Measurements from two additional fjords, in Alaska and Antarctica, support that this unusually loud ambient noise in Icy Bay is representative of glacierized fjords. These high noise levels likely alter the behavior of marine mammals.

  17. Unusually loud ambient noise in tidewater glacier fjords: A signal of ice melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettit, Erin Christine; Lee, Kevin Michael; Brann, Joel Palmer; Nystuen, Jeffrey Aaron; Wilson, Preston Scot; O'Neel, Shad

    2015-04-01

    In glacierized fjords, the ice-ocean boundary is a physically and biologically dynamic environment that is sensitive to both glacier flow and ocean circulation. Ocean ambient noise offers insight into processes and change at the ice-ocean boundary. Here we characterize fjord ambient noise and show that the average noise levels are louder than nearly all measured natural oceanic environments (significantly louder than sea ice and nonglacierized fjords). Icy Bay, Alaska, has an annual average sound pressure level of 120 dB (referenced to 1 μPa) with a broad peak between 1000 and 3000 Hz. Bubble formation in the water column as glacier ice melts is the noise source, with variability driven by fjord circulation patterns. Measurements from two additional fjords, in Alaska and Antarctica, support that this unusually loud ambient noise in Icy Bay is representative of glacierized fjords. These high noise levels likely alter the behavior of marine mammals.

  18. Processes of deposition of interlaminated sand-and-mud at a temperate tidewater glacier

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, E.A.; Duncker, J.D.; Powell, R.D.

    1985-01-01

    Interlaminated sand-and-mud is the most common lithofacies deposited proximal (<1km) to McBride Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska. Two main sediment sources are a subglacial melt-water stream discharging at 100m depth that rises to form turbid overflow plumes and subaqueous sediment gravity flows. Traps collected sediment settling from turbid overflows within 300m of the glacier face at an average rate of 780mg dry sediment cm/sup -2/ day/sup -1/ (about. 06 cm/sup -2/ day /sup -1/). Very-fine sand or silt laminae (0.5mm to a few grains thick) trapped over several days, have sharp basal contacts and grade into thicker mud laminae. These couplets, termed cyclopels, are produced about twice daily, and result from plume interaction with diurnal tidal currents, fluctuations in melt water discharge and variations in spatial distribution of the overflow. Short cores from McBride Inlet include: sediment gravity flow deposits, cyclopels, ice-rafted debris, and homogeneous mud. Sediment gravity flow deposits predominate in cores from ice-proximal locations, and cyclopels are observed primarily in cores from distal locations (>1km) where they are not obscured by sediment gravity flow deposits. Ice-rafted debris is found as laminae in cores throughout the inlet because of high calving rates of debris-rich ice and the wide areal dispersal of bergs.

  19. Investing the role of buoyancy in iceberg calving dynamics from tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trevers, Matt; Payne, Tony; Cornford, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) currently makes a major and accelerating contribution to sea level rise (SLR), with its contribution split roughly evenly between surface mass balance changes due to increased melting and dynamic ice loss through calving. In recent decades, many of Greenland's major outlet glaciers have retreated dramatically due to increased iceberg calving, associated with an increase in velocity and inland thinning. The potential contribution to SLR of a complete collapse of the GIS is ~7m. Iceberg calving is an important process not only as a major source of mass loss from the GIS, but also for the controlling influence it has on the dynamics of the grounding line and over the ice sheet as a whole. Despite plenty of scientific attention and a diverse body of literature, the processes involved in calving, their controlling factors and how it feeds back into glacier and ice sheet dynamics are still not fully understood. This presents a major uncertainty into projections of SLR over the coming decades and centuries. Using Elmer/Ice, a state-of-the-art full-Stokes finite-element model, we are able to resolve the stress distributions in high resolution at the calving front. Buoyancy forces have been proposed as a major influencing factor in inducing calving. By investigating the stress distributions induced in a buoyant calving front, we hope to gain an understanding of how environmental influences such as surface thinning and waterline notch-cutting influence the calving rate, and compare this to observations from calving glaciers in Greenland.

  20. Advances in Modelling of Valley Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Surendra

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  2. Tidewater terminus tug-of-war

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomaus, T. C.; Larsen, C. F.; O'Neel, S.; West, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    When a glacier terminus recedes, not only does the glacier lose the ice between the former and present terminus, but the terminal reach of the glacier can steepen, causing ice flow out of the glacier interior increases. The increased flow will continue, thinning the glacier, until the glacier geometry and ice flow reach a new equilibrium. Yahtse Glacier is an advancing tidewater glacier on the Gulf of Alaska coast. To better understand the controls on its terminus position, we use a suite of seismic, geodetic and oceanographic data. Both calving and submarine melt contribute to frontal ablation, however, at Yahtse Glacier the ice is too fractured to support undercutting below the water line, nor does a persistent submarine toe develop. Thus the terminus retreats as fast as subaerial calving occurs. Previous work at Yahtse Glacier demonstrated that locally recorded seismic events between 1 and 5 Hz are predominantly the result of subaerial iceberg calving. Therefore, we use seismicity as a proxy for the frontal ablation rate. We measure the near-terminus glacier velocity with oblique photogrammetry, calibrated with ~10 day intervals of surveyed ice velocity. These methods reveal an annually-averaged terminus velocity of 6.9 km/yr. The frontal ablation rate and the terminus ice velocity are nearly in phase and reach maximum values twice per year: in the spring and fall. Integrating the difference between frontal ablation rate and terminus ice velocity reveals a pattern of terminus positions with a single annual cycle, quite similar to that which we observe in the field. GPS measurements 10 km from the terminus indicate that ice velocities peak in May and decrease through the summer. Oceanographic measurements show that near-shore surface water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska are greatest in the fall. We suggest that the spring peak in terminus velocity is set by higher rates of ice delivery from up-glacier; calving rate increases in a compensatory way, to nearly

  3. Factors Affecting Haul-Out Behavior of Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Tidewater Glacier Inlets in Alaska: Can Tourism Vessels and Seals Coexist?

    PubMed

    Blundell, Gail M; Pendleton, Grey W

    2015-01-01

    Large numbers of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) use habitat in tidewater glaciers in Alaska for pupping, breeding, and molting. Glacial fjords are also popular tourist destinations; however, visitation by numerous vessels can result in disturbance of seals during critical life-history phases. We explored factors affecting haul-out behavior of harbor seals at a glacial site frequented by tourism vessels. In 2008-10, we deployed VHF transmitters on 107 seals in Endicott Arm, Alaska. We remotely monitored presence and haul-out behavior of tagged seals and documented vessel presence with time-lapse cameras. We evaluated the influence of environmental and physical factors on the probability of being hauled out, duration of haul-out bouts, and as factors associated with the start and end of a haulout. Location, season, hour, and interactions of location by year, season, hour, and sex significantly influenced haul-out probability, as did ice, weather, and vessels. Seals were more likely to be hauled out with greater ice availability during the middle of the day, and less likely to be hauled out if vessels were present. Cruise ships had the strongest negative effect; however, most vessel types negatively affected haul-out probability. Haul-out duration was longest in association with starting on incoming tides, clear skies, no precipitation, occurring in the middle of the day, and ending in the late afternoon or evening. End of haulouts was associated with increasing cloud cover, low ice availability, and vessel presence; large-sized tourism vessels or all-vessel-types combined were significant predictors of ending a haul-out bout. Probability of being hauled out was highest in June, during pupping season. Potential disturbances of harbor seals could be reduced, enabling longer resting times for seals and fewer interruptions for nursing pups, if vessels focused the majority of visits to glacial habitat to before or after the hours of 08:00-17:00 or, less optimally, 09:00-16:00.

  4. 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.

  5. Glacier recession in Iceland and Austria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Factors Affecting Haul-Out Behavior of Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) in Tidewater Glacier Inlets in Alaska: Can Tourism Vessels and Seals Coexist?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Large numbers of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) use habitat in tidewater glaciers in Alaska for pupping, breeding, and molting. Glacial fjords are also popular tourist destinations; however, visitation by numerous vessels can result in disturbance of seals during critical life-history phases. We explored factors affecting haul-out behavior of harbor seals at a glacial site frequented by tourism vessels. In 2008-10, we deployed VHF transmitters on 107 seals in Endicott Arm, Alaska. We remotely monitored presence and haul-out behavior of tagged seals and documented vessel presence with time-lapse cameras. We evaluated the influence of environmental and physical factors on the probability of being hauled out, duration of haul-out bouts, and as factors associated with the start and end of a haulout. Location, season, hour, and interactions of location by year, season, hour, and sex significantly influenced haul-out probability, as did ice, weather, and vessels. Seals were more likely to be hauled out with greater ice availability during the middle of the day, and less likely to be hauled out if vessels were present. Cruise ships had the strongest negative effect; however, most vessel types negatively affected haul-out probability. Haul-out duration was longest in association with starting on incoming tides, clear skies, no precipitation, occurring in the middle of the day, and ending in the late afternoon or evening. End of haulouts was associated with increasing cloud cover, low ice availability, and vessel presence; large-sized tourism vessels or all-vessel-types combined were significant predictors of ending a haul-out bout. Probability of being hauled out was highest in June, during pupping season. Potential disturbances of harbor seals could be reduced, enabling longer resting times for seals and fewer interruptions for nursing pups, if vessels focused the majority of visits to glacial habitat to before or after the hours of 08:00-17:00 or, less optimally, 09

  7. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 1. Borehole-based englacial and subglacial measurements from a rapidly-moving tidewater glacier: Store Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Bryn; Doyle, Samuel; Christoffersen, Poul; Young, Tun Jan; Hofstede, Coen; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason; Todd, Joe; Bougamont, Marion

    2016-04-01

    As part of the Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE) pressurised hot water was used to drill four 603-616 m-long boreholes to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet at a site located 30 km from the calving front of fast-flowing, marine-terminating Store Glacier (70 degrees N, ~1000 m elevation). Four wired sensor strings were successfully installed in three of the boreholes. These included a thermistor string to obtain the englacial temperature profile installed in the same borehole as a string of tilt sensors to measure borehole deformation, and two sets of combined water pressure, electrical conductivity and turbidity sensors installed just above the bed in separate, adjacent boreholes. The boreholes made a strong hydrological connection to the bed during drilling, draining rapidly to ~80 m below the ice surface. The connection of subsequent boreholes was observed as a perturbation in water pressure and temperature recorded in neighbouring boreholes, indicating an effective hydrological connection between them. The sensors, which were wired to data-loggers at the surface, operated for between ~30 and >80 days from late summer into autumn before the cables stretched and snapped, with the lowermost sensors failing first. The records obtained from these sensors reveal (i) subglacial water pressures that were close to overburden but which generally increased through the period of measurement and varied diurnally by ~0.3 m, (ii) a minimum englacial temperature of -21 degrees C underlain by a zone of temperate ice, some tens of m thick, located immediately above the bed, and (iii) high rates of internal deformation and strain that increased towards the bed. These borehole observations are complemented by GPS measurements of ice motion, meteorological data, and seismic and radar surveys.

  8. Glacier-terminus fluctuations in the Wrangell and Chugach mountains resulting from non-climate controls

    SciTech Connect

    Sturm, M.; Hall, D.K.; Benson, C.S.; Field, W.O.

    1992-03-01

    Non-climatically controlled fluctuations of glacier termini were studied in two regions in Alaska. In the Wrangell Mountains, eight glaciers on Mt. Wrangell, an active volcano, have been monitored over the past 30 years using terrestrial surveys, aerial photogrammetry and digitally registered satellite images. Results, which are consistent between different methods of measurement, indicate that the termini of most glaciers were stationary or had retreated slightly. However, the termini of the 30-km-long Ahtna Glacier and the smaller Center and South MacKeith glaciers began to advance in the early 1960s and have advanced steadily at rates between 5 and 18 m yr-1 since then. These three glaciers flow from the summit caldera of ML Wrangell near the active North Crater, where increased volcanic heating since 1964 has melted over 7 x 107 M3 of ice. The authors suspect that volcanic meltwater has changed the basal conditions for the glaciers, resulting in their advance. In College Fjord, Prince William Sound, the terminus fluctuations of two tidewater glaciers have been monitored since 1931 by terrestrial surveying, photogrammetry, and most recently, from satellite imagery. Harvard Glacier, a 40-kmlong tidewater glacier, has been advancing steadily at nearly 20 m yr-1 since 1931, while the adjacent Yale Glacier has retreated at approximately 50 m yr-1 during the same period, though for short periods, both rates have been much higher.

  9. Initial AUV Investigation of the Dynamic Morainal Bank Environment of the Advancing Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, D. E.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Goff, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Hubbard Glacier has been steadily advancing into tidewater > 200 years; advance over last 40 years has averaged ~34 m/yr, although at spatially variable rates across the terminus (14-80 m/yr) and with a seasonal advance and retreat cycle of ~100 m to 300 m, but as much as 600 m. The advance of the terminus is synchronous with the movement of the morainal bank that underlies it. The mechanics of this motion and the related sedimentological processes responsible for this coordinated advance of the grounding line are based largely on inferences from geophysical surveys of remnant morainal banks. In situ and repeated observations of the submarine margin are required to improve our understanding of how the terminus advances into deep fjords. We conducted initial submarine observations using a Bluefin 9M AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) and acquired high-resolution swath bathymetry and sidescan backscatter along a ~2 km long section of the ice face of the glacier. Onboard oceanographic measurements and surface CTD casts were obtained during AUV deployment. Decimeter-scale imagery of the seabed reveals numerous erosional and depositional bedforms and gravitational features next to the ice face and down the morainal bank's proximal slope. The moraine surface adjacent to the ice face is coarse, apparently swept clear of finer materials, exhibits gravel stripes and boulder lags. The slope into the fjord displays a sequence of bedforms from barchan-shaped dunes up to 15 m on a side to barchanoid transverse ridges >50 m long to transverse ridges >100 m long. This transition implies increased sand supply to the bed downslope. Channels, erosional gullies and scours cross the upper slope, while localized slump and flow failures occur sporadically across the face. We speculate that high concentration bottom flows originating from turbulent subglacial discharge are likely processes creating the barchan forms and that the flow velocity reduces with distance from the grounding

  10. Effect of glacial drainage water on the CO2 system and ocean acidification state in an Arctic tidewater-glacier fjord during two contrasting years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fransson, Agneta; Chierici, Melissa; Nomura, Daiki; Granskog, Mats A.; Kristiansen, Svein; Martma, Tõnu; Nehrke, Gernot

    2015-04-01

    In order to investigate the effect of glacial water on the CO2 system in the fjord, we studied the variability of the total alkalinity (AT), total dissolved inorganic carbon (CT), dissolved inorganic nutrients, oxygen isotopic ratio (δ18O), and freshwater fractions from the glacier front to the outer Tempelfjorden on Spitsbergen in winter 2012 (January, March, and April) and 2013 (April) and summer/fall 2013 (September). The two contrasting years clearly showed that the influence of freshwater, mixing, and haline convection affected the chemical and physical characteristics of the fjord. The seasonal variability showed the lowest calcium carbonate saturation state (Ω) and pH values in March 2012 coinciding with the highest freshwater fractions. The highest Ω and pH were found in September 2013, mostly due to CO2 uptake during primary production. Overall, we found that increased freshwater supply decreased Ω, pH, and AT. On the other hand, we observed higher AT relative to salinity in the freshwater end-member in the mild and rainy winter of 2012 (1142 μmol kg-1) compared to AT in 2013 (526 μmol kg-1). Observations of calcite and dolomite crystals in the glacial ice suggested supply of carbonate-rich glacial drainage water to the fjord. This implies that winters with a large amount of glacial drainage water partly provide a lessening of further ocean acidification, which will also affect the air-sea CO2 exchange.

  11. Peak water from glaciers: advances and challenges in a global perspective (Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2014-05-01

    Mountain glaciers show a high sensitivity to changes in climate forcing. In a global perspective, their anticipated retreat will pose far-reaching challenges to the manage- ment of fresh water resources and will raise sea levels significantly within only a few decades. Different model frameworks have been applied to simulate melt water con- tributions of glaciers outside the two ice sheets for the recent IPCC report. However, these models depend on strongly simplified, and often empirical descriptions of the driving processes hampering the reliability of the results. For example, glacier retreat is parameterized with volume-area scaling thus neglecting the glacier's actual geome- try and the surface elevation feedback. Frontal ablation of tidewater and lake-calving glaciers, an important mass loss component for a third of the world's glacier area, is not accounted for. Thus, a transition from the physically-based mass balance-ice flow models developed for single glaciers to the application at the global scale is urgently needed. The chal- lenges are manifold but can be tackled with the new data sets, methods and process- understanding that have emerged during the last years. Here, we present a novel glacier model for calculating the response of surface mass balance and 3D glacier geometry for each individual glacier around the globe. Our approach accounts for feedbacks due to glacier retreat and includes models for mass loss due to frontal ablation and the refreezing of water in the snow/firn. The current surface geometry and thickness distribution for each of the world's roughly 200'000 glaciers is extracted from the Randolph Glacier Inventory v3.2 and terrain models. Our simulations are driven with 14 Global Circulation Models from the CMIP5 project using the RCP4.5, RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. Regionally specified cumulative global sea level rise due to glacier mass loss until 2100 is discussed in the light of model uncertainties and the advantages of using a

  12. 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.

  13. A complex relationship between calving glaciers and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Post, Austin; O'Neel, Shad; Motyka, Roman J.; Streveler, Gregory

    2011-09-01

    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 seafloor—also 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.

  14. Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambrey, Michael; Alean, Jürg

    2004-12-01

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

  15. Rapid advance of two mountain glaciers in response to mine-related debris loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamieson, Stewart S. R.; Ewertowski, Marek W.; Evans, David J. A.

    2015-07-01

    Rapid glacier advance is known to occur by a range of mechanisms. However, although large-scale debris loading has been proposed as a process for causing rapid terminus advance, it has rarely been observed. We use satellite remote sensing data to observe accelerated glacier terminus advance in response to massive supraglacial loading on two glaciers in Kyrgyzstan. Over a 15 year period, mining activity has led to the dumping of spoil of up to 180 m thick on large parts of these valley glaciers. We find that the termini of these glaciers advance by 1.2 and 3.2 km, respectively, at a rate of up to 350 m yr-1. Our analysis suggests that although enhanced basal sliding could be an important process, massive supraglacial loads have also caused enhanced internal ice deformation that would account for most, or all, of the glacier terminus advance. In addition, narrowing of the glacier valley and mining and dumping of ice alter the mass balance and flow regime of the glaciers. Although the scale of supraglacial loading is massive, this full-scale experiment provides insight into glacier flow acceleration response where small valley glaciers are impacted by very large volumes of landslide debris.

  16. Marine Geophysical Surveying Along the Hubbard Glacier Terminus, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, J. A.; Davis, M.; Gulick, S. P.; Lawson, D. E.; Willems, B. A.

    2010-12-01

    Tidewater glaciers are a challenging environment for marine investigations, owing to the dangers associated with calving and restrictions on operations due to dense floating ice. We report here on recent efforts to conduct marine geophysical surveys proximal to the ice face of Hubbard Glacier, in Disenchantment Bay, Alaska. Hubbard is an advancing tidewater glacier that has twice recently (1986 and 2002) impinged on Gilbert Point, which separates Russell Fiord from Disenchantment Bay, thereby temporarily creating a glacially-dammed Russell Lake. Continued advance will likely form a more permanent dam, rerouting brackish outflow waters into the Situk River, near Yakutat, Alaska. Our primary interest is in studying the development and motion of the morainal bank which, for an advancing tidewater glacier, stabilizes it against rapid retreat. For survey work, we operated with a small, fast, aluminum-hulled vessel and a captain experienced in operating in ice-bound conditions, providing a high margin of safety and maneuverability. Differencing of multibeam bathymetric data acquired in different years can identify and quantify areas of deposition and erosion on the morainal bank front and in Disenchantment Bay proper, where accumulation rates are typically > 1 m/yr within 1 km of the glacier terminus. The advance or retreat rate of the morainal bank can be determined by changes in the bed elevation through time; we document advance rates that average > 30 m/yr in Disenchantment Bay, but which vary substantially over different time periods and at different positions along the ice face. Georeferencing of available satellite imagery allows us to directly compare the position of the glacial terminus with the position of the morainal bank. From 1978 to 1999, and then to 2006, the advances in terminus and morainal bank positions were closely synchronized along the length of the glacier face. In the shallower Russell Fiord side of the terminus, a sediment ridge was mapped both

  17. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. An Initial AUV Investigation of the Morainal Bank and Ice-Proximal Submarine Processes of the Advancing Hubbard Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, D. E.; Gulick, S. P. S.; Goff, J. A.; O'Halloran, W.

    2014-12-01

    The movement of an advancing tidewater glacier occurs in concert with the morainal bank that underlies its terminus. The mechanics of motion and sedimentological processes responsible for this advance of the morainal bank with the calving terminus are not well-defined and based largely on inferences from geophysical analyses of remnant morainal banks on fjord floors. There is a general absence of in situ or direct observation of the submarine margin because it is nearly impossible to access the immediate area of the ice face by boat safely. In order to obtain such data, in June 2014 we tested the ability of a Bluefin 9M AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) to acquire high resolution swath bathymetry and sidescan backscatter across a ~2 km long section of the ice face of Hubbard Glacier (see also Goff et al., this meeting). Additionally onboard oceanographic measurements were taken that can be compared with surface cast CTD profiles obtained during AUV deployment, including locations with subglacial discharges. The AUV test provides details on the geometry of the morainal bank and nature of the fjord wall surfaces. The decimeter-scale imagery of the seabed reveals numerous erosional and depositional bedforms and gravitational features on the morainal bank's proximal slope. Closer to the ice face, the morainal bank surface appears much coarser, with textural patterns of unknown origin, and gravel lags including boulder fields. Comparing the water depth from the AUV survey with that of NOAA bathymetric data from 2004/2006 shows the morainal bank continued to advance in pace with ice advance into fjord waters over 200m deep, water depths shoaling up to 100m near the present ice margin. The glimpse of the morainal bank afforded by the AUV test clearly demonstrated the value of this technology to ice marginal submarine investigations.

  20. Moraine formation during an advance/retreat cycle at a temperate alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brook, M.; Quincey, D.; Winkler, S.

    2012-04-01

    Mountain glaciers are highly sensitive to variations in temperature and precipitation, and so moraine records from such systems are strong indicators of climate change. Due to the prevailing trend of retreat of the majority of mountain glaciers globally over the last few decades, there are limited opportunities to observe moraine formation, especially at temperate alpine glaciers. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, while glaciers have all experienced a major retreat since the late 19th century, within this loss of ice mass, there has been a distinct variance in individual glacier response. Indeed, while Tasman Glacier, the longest glacier in the Southern Alps has thinned and entered into the current phase of calving retreat in the early 1990s, the steeper, more responsive glaciers to the west of the Main Divide, such as Franz Josef and Fox Glacier have experienced more elaborate advance/retreat phases. We focus on moraine formation at Fox Glacier, a c. 12.5 km long valley glacier terminating at 300 m above sea level. Fox Glacier retreated substantially since the 1930s, before advancing 800 m between the mid-1980s and 1999. A minor retreat then followed until 2005, succeeded by a 300 m re-advance until 2007-8. Continued retreat and down-wasting has since followed. Superimposed on this alternating advance/retreat cycle, have been minor winter re-advances. Sedimentological and morphological information were combined with detailed observations, historical photos and recent time-lapse photography of the terminus. Characteristics of several modes of moraine formation have been observed: (1) the late 20th century advance culminated in a broad <5 m high terminal moraine, formed by an admixture of "bulldozed" proglacial sediments and dumping of supraglacial material; (2) the 21st century short-lived advances were characterized by 1-2 m high (often multi-crested) ridges with a "saw-tooth" plan-form controlled by longitudinal crevasses outcropping at the terminus; (3) time

  1. Glaciological and marine geological controls on terminus dynamics of Hubbard Glacier, southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stearns, Leigh A.; Hamilton, Gordon S.; van der Veen, C. J.; Finnegan, D. C.; O'Neel, Shad; Scheick, J. B.; Lawson, D. E.

    2015-01-01

    Hubbard Glacier, located in southeast Alaska, is the world's largest non-polar tidewater glacier. It has been steadily advancing since it was first mapped in 1895; occasionally, the advance creates an ice or sediment dam that blocks a tributary fjord (Russell Fiord). The sustained advance raises the probability of long-term closure in the near-future, which will strongly impact the ecosystem of Russell Fiord and the nearby community of Yakutat. Here, we examine a 43-year record of flow speeds and terminus position to understand the large-scale dynamics of Hubbard Glacier. Our long-term record shows that the rate of terminus advance has increased slightly since 1895, with the exception of a slowed advance between approximately 1972 and 1984. The short-lived closure events in 1986 and 2002 were not initiated by perturbations in ice velocity or environmental forcings, but were likely due to fluctuations in sedimentation patterns at the terminus. This study points to the significance of a coupled system where short-term velocity fluctuations and morainal shoal development control tidewater glacier terminus position.

  2. Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming.

    PubMed

    Mackintosh, Andrew N; Anderson, Brian M; Lorrey, Andrew M; Renwick, James A; Frei, Prisco; Dean, Sam M

    2017-02-14

    Glaciers experienced worldwide retreat during the twentieth and early twenty first centuries, and the negative trend in global glacier mass balance since the early 1990s is predominantly a response to anthropogenic climate warming. The exceptional terminus advance of some glaciers during recent global warming is thought to relate to locally specific climate conditions, such as increased precipitation. In New Zealand, at least 58 glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, and Franz Josef and Fox glaciers advanced nearly continuously during this time. Here we show that the glacier advance phase resulted predominantly from discrete periods of reduced air temperature, rather than increased precipitation. The lower temperatures were associated with anomalous southerly winds and low sea surface temperature in the Tasman Sea region. These conditions result from variability in the structure of the extratropical atmospheric circulation over the South Pacific. While this sequence of climate variability and its effect on New Zealand glaciers is unusual on a global scale, it remains consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans.

  3. Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Anderson, Brian M.; Lorrey, Andrew M.; Renwick, James A.; Frei, Prisco; Dean, Sam M.

    2017-02-01

    Glaciers experienced worldwide retreat during the twentieth and early twenty first centuries, and the negative trend in global glacier mass balance since the early 1990s is predominantly a response to anthropogenic climate warming. The exceptional terminus advance of some glaciers during recent global warming is thought to relate to locally specific climate conditions, such as increased precipitation. In New Zealand, at least 58 glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, and Franz Josef and Fox glaciers advanced nearly continuously during this time. Here we show that the glacier advance phase resulted predominantly from discrete periods of reduced air temperature, rather than increased precipitation. The lower temperatures were associated with anomalous southerly winds and low sea surface temperature in the Tasman Sea region. These conditions result from variability in the structure of the extratropical atmospheric circulation over the South Pacific. While this sequence of climate variability and its effect on New Zealand glaciers is unusual on a global scale, it remains consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans.

  4. Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming

    PubMed Central

    Mackintosh, Andrew N.; Anderson, Brian M.; Lorrey, Andrew M.; Renwick, James A.; Frei, Prisco; Dean, Sam M.

    2017-01-01

    Glaciers experienced worldwide retreat during the twentieth and early twenty first centuries, and the negative trend in global glacier mass balance since the early 1990s is predominantly a response to anthropogenic climate warming. The exceptional terminus advance of some glaciers during recent global warming is thought to relate to locally specific climate conditions, such as increased precipitation. In New Zealand, at least 58 glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, and Franz Josef and Fox glaciers advanced nearly continuously during this time. Here we show that the glacier advance phase resulted predominantly from discrete periods of reduced air temperature, rather than increased precipitation. The lower temperatures were associated with anomalous southerly winds and low sea surface temperature in the Tasman Sea region. These conditions result from variability in the structure of the extratropical atmospheric circulation over the South Pacific. While this sequence of climate variability and its effect on New Zealand glaciers is unusual on a global scale, it remains consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans. PMID:28195582

  5. Short-term variations in the dynamics of Bowdoin Glacier in northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minowa, Masahiro; Sugiyama, Shin; Sawagaki, Takanobu; Tsutaki, Shun; Sakakibara, Daiki

    2016-04-01

    Tidewater glaciers in Greenland ice sheet are rapidly retreating by under the influence of changes in ice dynamics. For example, Bowdoin Glacier began rapid retreat in 2008, which was accompanied by significant acceleration near the glacier front. Submarine melting and ice-mélange weakening are suspected as triggering mechanisms of the rapid retreat of tidewater glaciers in the Greenland ice sheet, but details of processes at the ice-ocean interface are poorly understood. To better understand these processes, we measured ice-front position of Bowdoin Glacier in northwestern Greenland and glacier/ice-mélange movement in front of the glacier. The glacier/ice-mélange measurement was performed by processing 3-hourly photographs taken by a time-lapse camera operated over two years since July 2013. We also operated a dual-frequency GPS at 3 km from the calving front to measure ice speed from May to July in 2014 and 2015. The image analysis revealed clear seasonal variations in the ice-front position with an amplitude of ~200 m. Seasonal changes were also observed in ice speed along the center of the glacier (amplitude ~50%). During summer, the ice-front position was relatively stable, but retreated occasionally by large calving events. These events occurred near upwelling of subglacial discharge, where a large submarine melt rate is expected. The glacier began to advance in September approximately when daily mean air temperature dropped below 0°C. The glacier advanced the most in winter when the fjord was covered by ice-mélange. After winter, extended portion of the glacier rapidly disintegrated by a few calving events. Such event coincided with onset of ice-mélange movement in front of the glacier. This movement occurs when air temperature above 0°C and high wind speed were observed, suggesting the calving event was due to decrease in the mechanical support from the ice-mélange. These results indicate both ice-mélange and submarine melting play roles in

  6. Laboratory investigations of granular and hydrodynamic processes in tidewater glacial fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cathles, Mac; Thompson, Oluwatoyin; Burton, Justin

    Accelerated warming in the past few decades has led to a dramatic increase in glacial activity. This is perhaps most apparent in tidewater glacial fjords, where gravitational flows from ice sheets are focused into narrow channels of thick, fast-flowing ice which terminate into the ocean. The result is a complex system involving both melting and iceberg calving which has a direct impact on the Earth's climate and sea level rise. However, there are numerous inherent difficulties in collecting field data from remote, ice-choked fjords. To address this, we use a laboratory scale model to measure aspects of tidewater glaciers which are not observable in nature. Our model has helped to uncover the source of glacial earthquakes, where floating, cubic-kilometer scaled icebergs capsize due to gravitational instability, and temporarily reverse the velocity of the glacier. In addition, we use our model to address two other important components of tidewater glaciers involving a granular ice mélange which applies stresses on the glacier, and the role of iceberg capsize in disrupting the stratified heat transport at the glacier's terminus. We acknowledge support from NSF DMR-1506446.

  7. Seasonal and short term fluctuations of iceberg flux from Hans Glacier Spitsbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jania, Jacek; Blaszczyk, Malgorzata; Cieply, Michal; Grabiec, Mariusz; Budzik, Tomasz; Ignatiuk, Dariusz; Uszczyk, Aleksander; Tymrowska, Patrycja; Majchrowska, Elzbieta; Prominska, Agnieszka; Walczowski, Waldemar; Pastusiak, Tadeusz; Petlicki, Michal; Puczko, Dariusz

    2016-04-01

    Glacier iceberg flux due to calving might be an important source of freshwater deliver to Arctic fjords. Mass loss due to calving gives also significant contribution of glacier mass budget. Seasonal changes of dynamics of tidewater glaciers is generally known. After advance of glacier front during winter, summer recession occurs thanks to higher calving in the warmer period of the year. Nevertheless, annual course of iceberg flux intensity is not calculated frequently. Observations and survey of glacier dynamics were conducted on Hans Glacier a polythermal glacier ending down into Hornsund Fiord in Southern Spitsbergen. They provide information for discernment of seasonal calving intensity and iceberg supply to the fiord as a source of freshwater seasonally and in shorter periods of time. Source data on glacier front geometry, bathymetry of the fore bay, seasonal fluctuation of ice-cliff position and glacier velocity were obtained by different field survey and remote sensing methods. Time lapse photos, repeated terrestrial laser scanning and measurements of sea water temperature, salinity and dynamics as well, together with record from meteorological stations were used to determine factors of calving intensity. Calving flux from the glacier to Hornsund Fjord was calculated for short-period events and selected summer seasons between 2007 and 2015. Interannual differences in calving flux were also estimated. Ratios of meltwater to iceberg freshwater supply to the fiord was preliminarily estimated as well.

  8. Advancing Glaciers and Positive Mass Anomaly in the Karakoram Himalaya, Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, M. P.; Bush, A. B.; Collier, E.; Copland, L.; Haritashya, U. K.; John, S. F.; Swenson, S. C.; Wahr, J.

    2008-12-01

    Himalayan glaciers are thought to be extremely sensitive to climate change given their altitude and supraglacial debris characteristics. Limited field and space-based assessment of glaciers in the Karakoram suggests that these glaciers may be responding differently to climate forcing compared to rapidly retreating glaciers in the eastern Himalaya. Relatively little is known about glacier sensitivity to climate forcing in the western Himalaya. Consequently, we conducted an extensive investigation of glacier fluctuations in the Karakoram Himalaya of Pakistan, which is part of the international Global Land Ice Measurements From Space (GLIMS) project. Our specific objective was to estimate average retreat rates and ascertain the regional mass balance. To accomplish this, we utilized a variety of multi-temporal imagery including ASTER (Advanced Spaceborn Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer), Landsat ETM (Enhanced Thematic Mapper), and declassified satellite imagery (KH-9), acquired from approximately 1980 to 2004. Climate reanalysis data sets (NCEP/NCAR and ERA40) and TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Mapping Mission) data were also utilized to examine precipitation patterns. We sampled approximately 250 glaciers in the region. Our result indicate that 65 percent of the glaciers either advanced or showed no change in terminus position. We also discovered a glacier surge anomaly and have identified and mapped 53 new surging glaciers that have not been previously reported. Paleoclimate proxies and climate data indicate that the region has experienced a general increase in precipitation over time. Satellite observations and climate data strongly suggest a regional positive mass balance. Direct confirmation of this has been determined from an analysis of GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) gravity field data, which depicts a positive mass anomaly that is spatially coincident with advancing and surging glaciers, caused by increasing snowfall. Regional climate

  9. Estimating ice-melange properties with repeat UAV surveys over Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toberg, Nick; Ryan, Johnny; Christoffersen, Poul; Snooke, Neal; Todd, Joe; Hubbard, Alun

    2016-04-01

    observed melange height with the model of hydrostatic equilibrium, we estimate the mean thickness to be 126 m. Whereas the mean melange elevation did not change appreciably in our study area, from the date observations started on 13 May until it disintegrated 4-8 June, we found daily melange elevation change up to 140 % of the observed mean value when tabular icebergs were added to it. Observations showed this increase in melange thickness halted calving and that calving did not resume until the melange had thinned and returned to the observed mean value. We found the mean daily speed of the melange to be 46 m/day, from 13 May to 4 June, whereas the terminus of the glacier flowed with a mean daily velocity of 16 m/day while the melange was present. The higher mean speed of the melange is explained by the motion of large tabular icebergs, which travelled hundreds of metres into the fjord over the course of a single day. The imagery collected over Store Glacier provide evidence that large tidewater glaciers are stabilized by proglacial ice mélange forming in winter. When melange was present, large calving events strengthened melange by adding to its overall thickness distribution, stopping calving altogether for up to several days following a large calving event, and slowing the flow of the glacier to half of the speed observed the previous day. When the melange was advected suddenly down the fjord, with no apparent weakening, the glacier responded by increasing both flow speed and calving rate simultaneously. The data produced from repeat UAV surveys clearly demonstrates the potential of this new and rapidly advancing method of data collection.

  10. Glacier advance during Marine Isotope Stage 11 in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Swanger, Kate M.; Lamp, Jennifer L.; Winckler, Gisela; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Marchant, David R.

    2017-01-01

    We mapped six distinct glacial moraines alongside Stocking Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Stocking Glacier is one of several alpine glaciers in the Dry Valleys fringed by multiple cold-based drop moraines. To determine the age of the outermost moraine, we collected 10 boulders of Ferrar Dolerite along the crest of the moraine and analyzed mineral separates of pyroxene for cosmogenic 3He. On the basis of these measurements, the exposure age for the outermost moraine is 391 ± 35 ka. This represents the first documented advance of alpine glacier ice in the Dry Valleys during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11. At this time, Stocking Glacier was ~20–30% larger than today. The cause of ice expansion is uncertain, but most likely it is related to increased atmospheric temperature and precipitation, associated with reduced ice extent in the nearby Ross Embayment. The data suggest complex local environmental response to warm climates in Antarctica and have implications for glacial response to Holocene warming. The study also demonstrates the potential for using alpine glacier chronologies in the Transantarctic Mountains as proxies for retreat of grounded glacier ice in the Ross Embayment. PMID:28139676

  11. Glacier advance during Marine Isotope Stage 11 in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanger, Kate M.; Lamp, Jennifer L.; Winckler, Gisela; Schaefer, Joerg M.; Marchant, David R.

    2017-01-01

    We mapped six distinct glacial moraines alongside Stocking Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Stocking Glacier is one of several alpine glaciers in the Dry Valleys fringed by multiple cold-based drop moraines. To determine the age of the outermost moraine, we collected 10 boulders of Ferrar Dolerite along the crest of the moraine and analyzed mineral separates of pyroxene for cosmogenic 3He. On the basis of these measurements, the exposure age for the outermost moraine is 391 ± 35 ka. This represents the first documented advance of alpine glacier ice in the Dry Valleys during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11. At this time, Stocking Glacier was ~20–30% larger than today. The cause of ice expansion is uncertain, but most likely it is related to increased atmospheric temperature and precipitation, associated with reduced ice extent in the nearby Ross Embayment. The data suggest complex local environmental response to warm climates in Antarctica and have implications for glacial response to Holocene warming. The study also demonstrates the potential for using alpine glacier chronologies in the Transantarctic Mountains as proxies for retreat of grounded glacier ice in the Ross Embayment.

  12. Glacier advance during Marine Isotope Stage 11 in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Swanger, Kate M; Lamp, Jennifer L; Winckler, Gisela; Schaefer, Joerg M; Marchant, David R

    2017-01-31

    We mapped six distinct glacial moraines alongside Stocking Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Stocking Glacier is one of several alpine glaciers in the Dry Valleys fringed by multiple cold-based drop moraines. To determine the age of the outermost moraine, we collected 10 boulders of Ferrar Dolerite along the crest of the moraine and analyzed mineral separates of pyroxene for cosmogenic (3)He. On the basis of these measurements, the exposure age for the outermost moraine is 391 ± 35 ka. This represents the first documented advance of alpine glacier ice in the Dry Valleys during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11. At this time, Stocking Glacier was ~20-30% larger than today. The cause of ice expansion is uncertain, but most likely it is related to increased atmospheric temperature and precipitation, associated with reduced ice extent in the nearby Ross Embayment. The data suggest complex local environmental response to warm climates in Antarctica and have implications for glacial response to Holocene warming. The study also demonstrates the potential for using alpine glacier chronologies in the Transantarctic Mountains as proxies for retreat of grounded glacier ice in the Ross Embayment.

  13. Late nineteenth to early twenty-first century behavior of Alaskan glaciers as indicators of changing regional climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molnia, B.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alaska's climate is changing and one of the most significant indications of this change has been the late 19th to early 21st century behavior of Alaskan glaciers. Weather station temperature data document that air temperatures throughout Alaska have been increasing for many decades. Since the mid-20th century, the average change is an increase of ?????2.0????C. In order to determine the magnitude and pattern of response of glaciers to this regional climate change, a comprehensive analysis was made of the recent behavior of hundreds of glaciers located in the eleven Alaskan mountain ranges and three island areas that currently support glaciers. Data analyzed included maps, historical observations, thousands of ground-and-aerial photographs and satellite images, and vegetation proxy data. Results were synthesized to determine changes in length and area of individual glaciers. Alaskan ground photography dates from 1883, aerial photography dates from 1926, and satellite photography and imagery dates from the early 1960s. Unfortunately, very few Alaskan glaciers have any mass balance observations. In most areas analyzed, every glacier that descends below an elevation of ?????1500??m is currently thinning and/or retreating. Many glaciers have an uninterrupted history of continuous post-Little-Ice-Age retreat that spans more than 250??years. Others are characterized by multiple late 19th to early 21st century fluctuations. Today, retreating and/or thinning glaciers represent more than 98% of the glaciers examined. However, in the Coast Mountains, St. Elias Mountains, Chugach Mountains, and the Aleutian Range more than a dozen glaciers are currently advancing and thickening. Many currently advancing glaciers are or were formerly tidewater glaciers. Some of these glaciers have been expanding for more than two centuries. This presentation documents the post-Little-Ice-Age behavior and variability of the response of many Alaskan glaciers to changing regional climate. ?? 2006.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Over the last decades, numerous paleoglacial reconstructions have been carried out in Central Asian mountain ranges because glaciers in this region are sensitive to climate change, and thus their associated glacial deposits can be used as proxies for paleoclimate inference. However, non-climatic factors can complicate the relationship between glacier fluctuation and climate change. Careful investigations of the geomorphological and sedimentological context are therefore required to understand the mechanisms behind glacier retreat and expansion. In this study we present the first detailed paleoglacial reconstruction of the Chagan Uzun valley, located in the Russian Altai. This reconstruction is based on detailed geomorphological mapping, sedimentological logging, in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al surface exposure dating of glacially transported boulders, and Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating. The Chagan Uzun valley includes extensive lobate moraine belts (>100 km2) deposited in the intramontane Chuja basin, reflecting a series of pronounced former glacial advances. Observation of "hillside-scale" folding and extensive faulting of pre-existing soft sediments within the outer moraine belts, together with the geomorphology, indicate that these moraine belts were formed during glacier-surge like events. In contrast, the inner (up-valley) glacial landforms of the Chagan Uzun valley indicate that they were deposited by retreat of temperate valley glaciers and do not include features indicative of surging. Cosmogenic ages associated with the outermost, innermost and intermediary stages, all indicate deposition times clustered around 19.5 ka, although the 10Be ages of the outermost margin are likely slightly underestimated due to brief episode of glacial lake water coverage. Such close deposition timings are consistent with periods of fast or surge advances, followed by active glacier retreat. OSL dating yields significantly older ages of thick lacustrine

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-03

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, John; Haynes, Valerie

    2014-05-01

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

  18. A major advance of tropical Andean glaciers during the Antarctic cold reversal.

    PubMed

    Jomelli, V; Favier, V; Vuille, M; Braucher, R; Martin, L; Blard, P-H; Colose, C; Brunstein, D; He, F; Khodri, M; Bourlès, D L; Leanni, L; Rinterknecht, V; Grancher, D; Francou, B; Ceballos, J L; Fonseca, H; Liu, Z; Otto-Bliesner, B L

    2014-09-11

    The Younger Dryas stadial, a cold event spanning 12,800 to 11,500 years ago, during the last deglaciation, is thought to coincide with the last major glacial re-advance in the tropical Andes. This interpretation relies mainly on cosmic-ray exposure dating of glacial deposits. Recent studies, however, have established new production rates for cosmogenic (10)Be and (3)He, which make it necessary to update all chronologies in this region and revise our understanding of cryospheric responses to climate variability. Here we present a new (10)Be moraine chronology in Colombia showing that glaciers in the northern tropical Andes expanded to a larger extent during the Antarctic cold reversal (14,500 to 12,900 years ago) than during the Younger Dryas. On the basis of a homogenized chronology of all (10)Be and (3)He moraine ages across the tropical Andes, we show that this behaviour was common to the northern and southern tropical Andes. Transient simulations with a coupled global climate model suggest that the common glacier behaviour was the result of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability superimposed on a deglacial increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. During the Antarctic cold reversal, glaciers advanced primarily in response to cold sea surface temperatures over much of the Southern Hemisphere. During the Younger Dryas, however, northern tropical Andes glaciers retreated owing to abrupt regional warming in response to reduced precipitation and land-surface feedbacks triggered by a weakened Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Conversely, glacier retreat during the Younger Dryas in the southern tropical Andes occurred as a result of progressive warming, probably influenced by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Considered with evidence from mid-latitude Andean glaciers, our results argue for a common glacier response to cold conditions in the Antarctic cold reversal exceeding that of the Younger Dryas.

  19. A major advance of tropical Andean glaciers during the Antarctic cold reversal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jomelli, V.; Favier, V.; Vuille, M.; Braucher, R.; Martin, L.; Blard, P.-H.; Colose, C.; Brunstein, D.; He, F.; Khodri, M.; Bourlès, D. L.; Leanni, L.; Rinterknecht, V.; Grancher, D.; Francou, B.; Ceballos, J. L.; Fonseca, H.; Liu, Z.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.

    2014-09-01

    The Younger Dryas stadial, a cold event spanning 12,800 to 11,500 years ago, during the last deglaciation, is thought to coincide with the last major glacial re-advance in the tropical Andes. This interpretation relies mainly on cosmic-ray exposure dating of glacial deposits. Recent studies, however, have established new production rates for cosmogenic 10Be and 3He, which make it necessary to update all chronologies in this region and revise our understanding of cryospheric responses to climate variability. Here we present a new 10Be moraine chronology in Colombia showing that glaciers in the northern tropical Andes expanded to a larger extent during the Antarctic cold reversal (14,500 to 12,900 years ago) than during the Younger Dryas. On the basis of a homogenized chronology of all 10Be and 3He moraine ages across the tropical Andes, we show that this behaviour was common to the northern and southern tropical Andes. Transient simulations with a coupled global climate model suggest that the common glacier behaviour was the result of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variability superimposed on a deglacial increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. During the Antarctic cold reversal, glaciers advanced primarily in response to cold sea surface temperatures over much of the Southern Hemisphere. During the Younger Dryas, however, northern tropical Andes glaciers retreated owing to abrupt regional warming in response to reduced precipitation and land-surface feedbacks triggered by a weakened Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Conversely, glacier retreat during the Younger Dryas in the southern tropical Andes occurred as a result of progressive warming, probably influenced by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Considered with evidence from mid-latitude Andean glaciers, our results argue for a common glacier response to cold conditions in the Antarctic cold reversal exceeding that of the Younger Dryas.

  20. Glacier advances in northeastern Turkey before and during the global Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reber, Regina; Akçar, Naki; Yesilyurt, Serdar; Yavuz, Vural; Tikhomirov, Dmitry; Kubik, Peter W.; Schlüchter, Christian

    2014-10-01

    Our study in the Başyayla Valley in northeastern Anatolia showed evidence of four glacier advances that built terminal and lateral moraines. Surface exposure dating of boulders on these moraines showed that the Maximum Ice Extent (MIE) was asynchronous with the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 22.1 ± 4.3 thousand years; ka). The local MIE took place at least 57.0 ± 3.5 ka ago. The extent of the Başyayla Glacier during this advance is not known exactly because the boulders are only preserved on a lateral moraine. The next advance was prior to 41.5 ± 2.5 ka, and it descended down the valley to approximately 2320 m above sea level (m a.s.l.), with a glacier length of 5.3 km. During the early global LGM, the Başyayla Glacier extended for a distance of 4.9 km down to approx. 2430 m a.s.l. The last recorded advance occurred during the global LGM. This extension was 0.7 km smaller than the local MIE and its terminus reached 2490 m a.s.l. only. The exposure ages of boulders in a retreat position at an altitude of approx. 3045 m a.s.l. indicate that the valley has remained ice-free since the Lateglacial period. Therefore, the Lateglacial extent was limited to the cirque system in the uppermost part of the catchment. Furthermore, Holocene glacier oscillations seem to be either absent or restricted to solifluction in the whole catchment and to rock glacier movements in the southern tributary of the Başyayla Valley system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiangke

    2014-10-01

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

  2. Latest Pleistocene advance and collapse of the Matanuska - Knik glacier system, Anchorage Lowland, southern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopczynski, Sarah E.; Kelley, Samuel E.; Lowell, Thomas V.; Evenson, Edward B.; Applegate, Patrick J.

    2017-01-01

    At the end of the last ice age, glacier systems worldwide underwent dramatic retreat. Here, we document the advance and retreat of a glacier system with adjacent marine- and land-based components during the latter part of the Termination. We utilize three lines of evidence: lithologic provenance, geomorphic mapping, and radiocarbon ages derived from lake cores to reconstruct glacier extent and timing of advance and retreat within our study area centered at N 61.50°, W 149.50°, just north of Anchorage, Alaska. Two glaciers, sourced in the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountains, flowed down the Matanuska and Knik Valleys forming a coalesced lobe that advanced onto the Anchorage Lowlands and terminated at Elmendorf Moraine. We use the presence of lithologies unique to the Matanuska catchment in glacial drift to delineate the paleoflow lines and to estimate the suture line of the two glacier systems. The eastern side of the lobe, attributed to ice flow from the Knik Valley, was in contact with elevated marine waters within the Knik Arm fjord, and thus retreat was likely dominated by calving. Geomorphic evidence suggests the western side of the lobe, attributed to ice flow from Matanuska Valley, retreated due to stagnation. We constrain retreat of the combined Matanuska and Knik lobe with thirteen new radiocarbon ages, in addition to previously published radiocarbon ages, and with geomorphic evidence suggesting the retreat occurred in two phases. Retreat from the Elmendorf Moraine began between 16.8 and 16.4 ka BP. A second, faster retreat phase occurred later and was completed by 13.7 ka BP. With the 140 km of total retreat occurring over ∼3000 years or less. This pattern of glacial advance and retreats agrees well with the deglacial histories from the southern sectors of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, as well as many other alpine glacier systems in the western U.S. and northern Alaska. This consistent behavior of glacier systems may indicate that climate oscillated over

  3. 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

  4. Flow velocities of Alaskan glaciers.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Recent climate trends, Glacier Bay, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopczynski, S. E.; Bigl, S. R.; Lawson, D. E.; Finnegan, D. C.

    2003-12-01

    Glaciers and ice caps respond to changes in regional climate at decadal scales and can thus serve as indicators of regional climate change. Many of the tidewater and terrestrial glaciers in Glacier Bay, Alaska have been in a state of rapid retreat since the late 1700s, with highly disparate rates of recession occurring in the western versus eastern arms, yet the combination of environmental and glaciological factors that must exist to catalyze these rapid changes is not clearly understood. The Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) initiated the first systematic analyses of weather and precipitation patterns across Glacier Bay National Park in 2000 by establishing 26 meteorological stations with the long-term objective of better understanding regional and global factors, that control terrestrial and marine physical systems. Initial temperature and precipitation trends show rapid seasonal and annual shifts. This is consistent with apparent paleo-trends in climate and glacier advance and recession over the last 9K years, as well as the historical record that indicate the area is climatically sensitive. Comparisons of summer and winter precipitation totals show a precipitation gradient increasing northward from the lower bay to the head of Muir Inlet (east arm), and decreasing northwestward in the West Arm. Monthly averages of air temperatures span about 3.5 C between the warmest and coldest sites near sea level. Winter temperatures averaged more than 1 C colder in the West Arm than the East. We also found large gradients of increasing rainfall from north to south in the east arm, from north to south in the Western arm. Average temperatures in October decreased westward in the northern half of the Park and were milder at sites within the larger southern Bay. Continuing a long-term climate-monitoring program in Glacier Bay will assist with quantifying climate trends in the context of glacial movement, helping to determine the overall sensitivity of

  6. Dendrochronology and late Holocene history of Bering piedmont glacier, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiles, G.C.; Post, A.; Muller, E.H.; Molnia, B.F.

    1999-01-01

    Fluctuations of the piedmont lobe of Bering Glacier and its sublobe Steller Glacier over the past two millennia are reconstructed using 34 radiocarbon dates and tree-ring data from 16 sites across the glaciers' forelands. The general sequence of glacial activity is consistent with well-dated fluctuations of tidewater and land-terminating glaciers elsewhere along the Gulf of Alaska. Extensive forested areas along 25 km of the Bering ice margin were inundated by glacio-lacustrine and glacio-fluvial sediments during a probable ice advance shortly before 500 cal yr A.D. Regrowth of forests followed the retreating ice as early as the 7th century A.D., with frequent interruptions of tree growth due to outwash aggradation. Forests overrun by ice and buried in outwash indicate readvance about 1080 cal yr A.D. Retreat followed, with ice-free conditions maintained along the distal portions of the forefield until the early 17th century after which the ice advanced to within a few kilometers of its outer Neoglacial moraine. Ice reached this position after the mid-17th century and prior to 200 yr ago. Since the early 20th century, glacial retreat has been punctuated by periodic surges. The record from forests overrun by the nonsurging Steller Lobe shows that this western ice margin was advancing by 1250 A.D., reaching near its outer moraine after 1420 cal yr A.D. Since the late 19th century, the lobe has dominantly retreated.

  7. A Younger Dryas re-advance of local glaciers in north Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Funder, Svend; Linge, Henriette; Möller, Per; Schomacker, Anders; Fabel, Derek; Xu, Sheng; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-09-01

    The Younger Dryas (YD) is a well-constrained cold event from 12,900 to 11,700 years ago but it remains unclear how the cooling and subsequent abrupt warming recorded in ice cores was translated into ice margin fluctuations in Greenland. Here we present 10Be surface exposure ages from three moraines in front of local glaciers on a 50 km stretch along the north coast of Greenland, facing the Arctic Ocean. Ten ages range from 11.6 ± 0.5 to 27.2 ± 0.9 ka with a mean age of 12.5 ± 0.7 ka after exclusion of two outliers. We consider this to be a minimum age for the abandonment of the moraines. The ages of the moraines are furthermore constrained using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of epishelf sediments, which were deposited prior to the ice advance that formed the moraines, yielding a maximum age of 12.4 ± 0.6 ka, and bracketing the formation and subsequent abandonment of the moraines to within the interval 11.8-13.0 ka ago. This is the first time a synchronous YD glacier advance and subsequent retreat has been recorded for several independent glaciers in Greenland. In most other areas, there is no evidence for re-advance and glaciers were retreating during YD. We explain the different behaviour of the glaciers in northernmost Greenland as a function of their remoteness from the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which in other areas has been held responsible for modifying the YD drop in temperatures.

  8. Taku Glacier: Proglacial Deformation and Subglacial Erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuriger, E. M.; Motyka, R. J.; Truffer, M.; Bucki, A. K.

    2003-12-01

    Taku Glacier has advanced about 7~km since 1890 and is continuing its advance today. Located in southeastern Alaska, this glacier flows from the Juneau Ice Field down to sea level. In the last several decades the glacier has bulldozed a berm of marine and fluvial sediments from the fjord bottom; this berm now separates the terminus from tidewater. The force of the advancing glacier is causing large-scale deformation within these sediments. In 2001, a series of thrust scarps began to form in front of a 200~m section of the terminus. These scarps were active for several months and produced a series of bulges that grew to be several meters in height above the surrounding sediments. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to image the internal structure of these bulges. A trench dug into one of the proglacial ridges revealed that a >2~m clay/sand layer might have played an important role as a thrust zone during deformation. This layer could also be identified in the GPR returns. Beside these scarp-formed bulges there are numerous indicators of the continued advance. Push moraines along the terminus range in height from 1~m to a towering 10~m. In some areas the advancing ice has dug into the sediments and has lifted the vegetation from below. We also observed up to 1~m thick debris freeze-on layers that, when exposed at the terminus, melt and contribute to the development of some moraines. In addition to these observations we performed a series of radio echo-soundings over a grid that extends about 5~km upglacier. These data are compared with depth measurements made in 1989. Since then the glacier has advanced about 180~m. Within 1~km of the present terminus the glacier has deepened its bed by about 15~m, which indicates an erosion rate of about 1~my-1 in this area. This rate agrees with the one observed over the past 100~years. Entrenchment plays an important role in the glacier's dynamics and needs to be taken into account when measuring volume changes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Glaciers of North America - Glaciers of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    2008-01-01

    Glaciers cover about 75,000 km2 of Alaska, about 5 percent of the State. The glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges, 1 large island, an island chain, and 1 archipelago and range in elevation from more than 6,000 m to below sea level. Alaska's glaciers extend geographically from the far southeast at lat 55 deg 19'N., long 130 deg 05'W., about 100 kilometers east of Ketchikan, to the far southwest at Kiska Island at lat 52 deg 05'N., long 177 deg 35'E., in the Aleutian Islands, and as far north as lat 69 deg 20'N., long 143 deg 45'W., in the Brooks Range. During the 'Little Ice Age', Alaska's glaciers expanded significantly. The total area and volume of glaciers in Alaska continue to decrease, as they have been doing since the 18th century. Of the 153 1:250,000-scale topographic maps that cover the State of Alaska, 63 sheets show glaciers. Although the number of extant glaciers has never been systematically counted and is thus unknown, the total probably is greater than 100,000. Only about 600 glaciers (about 1 percent) have been officially named by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). There are about 60 active and former tidewater glaciers in Alaska. Within the glacierized mountain ranges of southeastern Alaska and western Canada, 205 glaciers (75 percent in Alaska) have a history of surging. In the same region, at least 53 present and 7 former large ice-dammed lakes have produced jokulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods). Ice-capped volcanoes on mainland Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands have a potential for jokulhlaups caused by subglacier volcanic and geothermal activity. Because of the size of the area covered by glaciers and the lack of large-scale maps of the glacierized areas, satellite imagery and other satellite remote-sensing data are the only practical means of monitoring regional changes in the area and volume of Alaska's glaciers in response to short- and long-term changes in the maritime and continental climates of the State. A review of the

  11. Quantifying the Availability of Tidewater Glacial Ice as Habitat for Harbor Seals in a Tidewater Glacial Fjord in Alaska Using Object-Based Image Analysis of Airborne Visible Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, A.; Haselwimmer, C. E.; Gens, R.; Womble, J. N.; Ver Hoef, J.

    2013-12-01

    Tidewater glaciers are prominent landscape features that play a significant role in landscape and ecosystem processes along the southeastern and southcentral coasts of Alaska. Tidewater glaciers calve large icebergs that serve as an important substrate for harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) for resting, pupping, nursing young, molting, and avoiding predators. Many of the tidewater glaciers in Alaska are retreating, which may influence harbor seal populations. Our objectives are to investigate the relationship between ice conditions and harbor seal distributions, which are poorly understood, in John's Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, using a combination of airborne remote sensing and statistical modeling techniques. We present an overview of some results from Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) for classification of a time series of very high spatial resolution (4 cm pixels) airborne imagery acquired over John's Hopkins Inlet during the harbor seal pupping season in June and during the molting season in August from 2007 - 2012. Using OBIA we have developed a workflow to automate processing of the large volumes (~1250 images/survey) of airborne visible imagery for 1) classification of ice products (e.g. percent ice cover, percent brash ice, percent ice bergs) at a range of scales, and 2) quantitative determination of ice morphological properties such as iceberg size, roundness, and texture that are not found in traditional per-pixel classification approaches. These ice classifications and morphological variables are then used in statistical models to assess relationships with harbor seal abundance and distribution. Ultimately, understanding these relationships may provide novel perspectives on the spatial and temporal variation of harbor seals in tidewater glacial fjords.

  12. Ocean-Glacier Interactions in Alaska and Comparison to Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motyka, R. J.; Truffer, M.

    2011-12-01

    Meltwater from Alaska's coastal glaciers and icefields accounts for nearly half of the total freshwater discharged into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), with 10% coming from glacier volume loss associated with rapid thinning and retreat of glaciers (Neal et al, 2010). This glacier freshwater discharge contributes to maintaining the Alaska Coastal Current (ACC), which eventually reaches the Arctic Ocean (Royer and Grosch, 2006), thereby linking changes of glaciers along the coast of Alaska to the whole Arctic system. Water column temperatures on the shelf of northern GOA, monitored at buoy GAK1 near Seward, have increased by about 1 deg C since 1970 throughout the 250 m depth and vertical density stratification has also increased. Roughly half of the glacier contribution to ACC is derived from the ~ 50 tidewater glaciers (TWG) that drain from Alaska's coastal mountains into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Fjord systems link these TWGs to the GOA, with fjord circulation patterns driven in part by buoyancy-driven convection of subglacial freshwater discharge at the head of the fjord. Neoglacial shallow sills (< 50 m deep) modulate the influx of warm ocean waters (up to 10 deg C) into these fjords. Convection of these warm waters melts icebergs and submerged faces of TWGs. The study of interactions between glaciers, fjords, and the ocean in coastal Alaska has had a long but very sporadic history. We examine this record starting with the "TWG cycle" hypothesis. We next examine recent hydrographic data from several different TWG fjords, representative of advancing and retreating TWGs (Columbia, Yahtse, Hubbard, and LeConte Glaciers), evaluate similarities and differences, and estimate the relative contributions of submarine glacier melting and subglacial discharge to fjord circulation. Circulation of warm ocean waters in fjords has also been hypothesized to play an important role in destabilizing and modulating glacier discharge from outlet glaciers in Greenland. We therefore compare

  13. Tidewater Community College 2000 Graduate Survey Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleiman, Lisa S.

    The 2000 Tidewater Community College (TCC) Graduate Survey Study is a measure of student satisfaction with the college educational experience. The study gives demographic data pertaining to all 2000 graduates, as well as enrollment, attendance, employment, educational, and attitudinal data generated from survey respondents. Highlights of the…

  14. Tidewater Community College Distance Learning Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tidewater Community Coll., Norfolk, VA.

    This study of distance learning at Tidewater Community College (TCC) was conducted to determine enrollment patterns, retention, and success in distance learning courses and student perceptions. Distance learning was defined as students enrolled in one of three modes of course delivery: telecourse, online, and compressed video. The time frame for…

  15. Tidewater Community College 1998 Graduate Survey Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleiman, Lisa

    This report presents Tidewater Community College's (TCC's) (Virginia) 1998 graduate survey study. Approximately half of the graduates attended another college or university prior to enrolling at TCC. A small portion enrolled directly from high school. Almost three-fourths of the graduates were working either full- or part-time while enrolled, and…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Radiocarbon Dates Link Marine Incursion and Neoglacial Ice Terminus Advance With Tlingit Ethnohistory and Archeology in Lower Glacier Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connor, C. L.; Monteith, D.; Howell, W.; Strevelar, G.; Leirer, M.

    2004-12-01

    Radiocarbon dates from wood, organic sediments, and marine shells were collected from eroded beach terraces and upper beach sediments in the Beardslee Islands and Berg Bay in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. These provide a timetable for the the outwash plain construction and final advance of the Late Neoglacial glacier front over this outwash plain into lower Glacier Bay. On Kidney Island in the central Beardslee Islands, marine sediments containing Macoma baltica shells were deposited 4310 +/- 40 years BP. Outwash from advancing up-bay glaciers, buried these sediments and created terrestrial substrates upon which forests existed by 1630 +/- 60 BP and 1300 +/- 50 yrs BP. Final ice advance over this forested outwash plain occurred after 430 +/- 60 BP (1430 to 1510 AD) on Kidney Island. This ice arrived at the southern edge of Lester Island in Bartlett Cove after 370 +/- 50 BP (1440 to 1520 AD); preceding the arrival of George Vancouver in 1794 AD. In nearby Icy Straits, archeological investigations have yielded some of the oldest dates of human occupation in the region at 10,180 +/- 800 uncorrected years BP (Ackerman, 1968). In Glacier Bay's ethno-historically rich areas of Bartlett Cove, the Beardslee Islands and Berg Bay the Huna people have names for places and narratives that describe late Neoglacial landscapes. S'é Shuyee is the "area at the end of the glacial mud", L'awsha Shakee Aan "town on top of the glacial sand dunes". There are accounts of villages overrun by surging glaciers, and a name for the bay Sit' eeti Geeyi that translates as "bay in place of the glacier". These dates provide linkage between the geological, archeological, and ethnohistorical evidence that chronicles the history of the Huna people in this dynamic glacier marine environment.

  19. 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.

  20. Advances in ice radar studies of a temperate alpine glacier, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fountain, A.G.; Jacobel, R.W.

    1997-01-01

    South Cascade Glacier, Washington, U.S.A., is one of the most extensively studied glaciers in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to mass-balance measurements, which date to 1958, numerous hydrological investigations have been carried out during the last three decades, and repeated ice-thickness determinations have been made using a variety of techniques. In the late 1960s, the basal topography was initially determined by gravitimetric methods. In the mid-1970s some of the first depth measurements using radar on temperate ice were made. The basal topography was remapped soon after from a series of point radar measurements and boreholes drilled to the glacier bottom. During the 1990s, the ice thickness was remapped using digital recording of continuous profiles that obtained over 5000 ice-thickness measurements. Profiles have been corrected for the finite beamwidth of the antenna radiation pattern and reflections in steep terrain, resulting in a significantly improved depiction of the basal surface and internal structures. The map based on our recent radar profiles confirms the large-scale features of the basal topography previously depicted and reveals more structural detail. A bright reflector was detected at the base of the glacier and could be traced in adjacent profiles. Comparison with results from water-level measurements in boreholes drilled to the bed indicates that the reflector is a subglacial conduit.

  1. Chronology of Late Pleistocene glacier advances in the Rı´o Mendoza Valley, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espizua, Lydia E.

    1999-10-01

    The Rı´o Mendoza valley at 33°S latitude has been repeatedly invaded by glaciers during the Late Pleistocene. Relative-age criteria, U-series ages, and thermoluminescense dating, permitted the glacial deposits to be separated into three mappable units, each less extensive than its predecessor, designed from oldest to youngest, Penitentes, Horcones and Almacenes drifts. Previous studies have shown that during the Penitentes advance the glacier system terminated at 2500 m, while during the subsequent Horcones advance, ice terminated at 2750 m and the Almacenes moraine reached 3250 m. A travertine layer overlying Penitentes till yielded 230Th/ 232Th ages of 38,300±5300, 24,200±2000 and 22,800±3100 yr B.P. This study focuses on dating interstadial sediments in the upper Rı´o Mendoza valley in order to constrain the ages of the drifts. A date was obtained from a composite stratigraphic profile based on exposures along the east side of the Rı´o de los Horcones Inferior valley, a tributary of the Rı´o de las Cuevas valley, which includes the Penitentes and Horcones tills separated by nonglacial sediments (silt, fine sand and clay), and are interpreted as representing the Penitentes-Horcones nonglacial interval. The fine quartz grains (4-11 μm) of these sediments were TL dated as 31,000±3100 yr. All these dates, which are minimum ages for the underlying Penitentes till, imply that the Penitentes ice advanced prior to the last glacial maximum and sometime before ca. 40,000 years ago. A minimum date for Horcones till comes from an exposure on the east side of the Rı´o de los Horcones Inferior valley where the Horcones and Almacenes tills are separated by sediments of nonglacial origin. The fine quartz grains (4-11 μm) of these sediments have been dated by TL as 15,000±2100 years ago. Almacenes till is inferred to represent a standstill or a readvance that occurred late during the Horcones glacier advance. These dates imply that the Penitentes advance may

  2. a Younger Dryas Advance of Cirque Glaciers Near the 60TH Parallel, Westernmost Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, G.; Menounos, B.; Goehring, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    Our previous work demonstrates that following the decay of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet which commenced at 16 ka (kilo calendar yrs BP), alpine glaciers in southern and central latitudes of British Columbia advanced during the Younger Dryas Chronozone (YD) [12.9-11.7 ka]. The magnitude of this advance, however, markedly differs throughout this region; this difference likely arises from the complexity of a decaying ice sheet in mountainous terrain instead of climatic factors. In an attempt to constrain the timing of the YD and the timing and style of Cordilleran Ice Sheet decay near its northern limit (northwest British Columbia and southern Yukon), we used satellite imagery and aerial photography to identify probable late Pleistocene moraines in regions which would have been major accumulation centers for the ice sheet. Based on that analysis, we studied cirques which lie in the headwaters of Kusawa and Bennett lakes, northernmost British Columbia and cirques 20 km to the south of Kaskawulsh Glacier, Kluane National Park. Yukon. Moraines believed to predate the Little Ice Age [1.0-0.15 ka] are present in less than 10% of the cirques studied in both regions. The subdued, vegetated moraines lie 150-500 m beyond those ascribed to the Little Ice Age. We sampled multiple boulders for 10Be dating from four of these moraines, in addition to moraines interpreted to be Little Ice Age deposits. Two of these pre-LIA moraines yielded statistically equivalent median ages of 11.21 × 0.91 [n=4] and 11.35 × 0.96 ka [n=2]. We await analyses from the other moraines. These results imply that: 1) high-elevation cirques were deglaciated prior to the YD; 2) cirque glaciers advanced at the same time a retreating northerly lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet constructed moraines of YD age in valleys near Whitehorse, 500 m lower in elevation. The implication would be a complex pattern of late Pleistocene advances in the northern part of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, similar to the observed

  3. Termini of calving glaciers as self-organized critical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Vallot, D.; Schäfer, M.; Welty, E. Z.; O'Neel, S.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Liu, Yan; Riikilä, T. I.; Zwinger, T.; Timonen, J.; Moore, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Over the next century, one of the largest contributions to sea level rise will come from ice sheets and glaciers calving ice into the ocean. Factors controlling the rapid and nonlinear variations in calving fluxes are poorly understood, and therefore difficult to include in prognostic climate-forced land-ice models. Here we analyse globally distributed calving data sets from Svalbard, Alaska (USA), Greenland and Antarctica in combination with simulations from a first-principles, particle-based numerical calving model to investigate the size and inter-event time of calving events. We find that calving events triggered by the brittle fracture of glacier ice are governed by the same power-law distributions as avalanches in the canonical Abelian sandpile model. This similarity suggests that calving termini behave as self-organized critical systems that readily flip between states of sub-critical advance and super-critical retreat in response to changes in climate and geometric conditions. Observations of sudden ice-shelf collapse and tidewater glacier retreat in response to gradual warming of their environment are consistent with a system fluctuating around its critical point in response to changing external forcing. We propose that self-organized criticality provides a yet unexplored framework for investigations into calving and projections of sea level rise.

  4. Repeated large-scale retreat and advance of Totten Glacier indicated by inland bed erosion.

    PubMed

    Aitken, A R A; Roberts, J L; van Ommen, T D; Young, D A; Golledge, N R; Greenbaum, J S; Blankenship, D D; Siegert, M J

    2016-05-19

    Climate variations cause ice sheets to retreat and advance, raising or lowering sea level by metres to decametres. The basic relationship is unambiguous, but the timing, magnitude and sources of sea-level change remain unclear; in particular, the contribution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) is ill defined, restricting our appreciation of potential future change. Several lines of evidence suggest possible collapse of the Totten Glacier into interior basins during past warm periods, most notably the Pliocene epoch, causing several metres of sea-level rise. However, the structure and long-term evolution of the ice sheet in this region have been understood insufficiently to constrain past ice-sheet extents. Here we show that deep ice-sheet erosion-enough to expose basement rocks-has occurred in two regions: the head of the Totten Glacier, within 150 kilometres of today's grounding line; and deep within the Sabrina Subglacial Basin, 350-550 kilometres from this grounding line. Our results, based on ICECAP aerogeophysical data, demarcate the marginal zones of two distinct quasi-stable EAIS configurations, corresponding to the 'modern-scale' ice sheet (with a marginal zone near the present ice-sheet margin) and the retreated ice sheet (with the marginal zone located far inland). The transitional region of 200-250 kilometres in width is less eroded, suggesting shorter-lived exposure to eroding conditions during repeated retreat-advance events, which are probably driven by ocean-forced instabilities. Representative ice-sheet models indicate that the global sea-level increase resulting from retreat in this sector can be up to 0.9 metres in the modern-scale configuration, and exceeds 2 metres in the retreated configuration.

  5. Repeated large-scale retreat and advance of Totten Glacier indicated by inland bed erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitken, A. R. A.; Roberts, J. L.; Ommen, T. D. Van; Young, D. A.; Golledge, N. R.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2016-05-01

    Climate variations cause ice sheets to retreat and advance, raising or lowering sea level by metres to decametres. The basic relationship is unambiguous, but the timing, magnitude and sources of sea-level change remain unclear; in particular, the contribution of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) is ill defined, restricting our appreciation of potential future change. Several lines of evidence suggest possible collapse of the Totten Glacier into interior basins during past warm periods, most notably the Pliocene epoch, causing several metres of sea-level rise. However, the structure and long-term evolution of the ice sheet in this region have been understood insufficiently to constrain past ice-sheet extents. Here we show that deep ice-sheet erosion—enough to expose basement rocks—has occurred in two regions: the head of the Totten Glacier, within 150 kilometres of today’s grounding line; and deep within the Sabrina Subglacial Basin, 350-550 kilometres from this grounding line. Our results, based on ICECAP aerogeophysical data, demarcate the marginal zones of two distinct quasi-stable EAIS configurations, corresponding to the ‘modern-scale’ ice sheet (with a marginal zone near the present ice-sheet margin) and the retreated ice sheet (with the marginal zone located far inland). The transitional region of 200-250 kilometres in width is less eroded, suggesting shorter-lived exposure to eroding conditions during repeated retreat-advance events, which are probably driven by ocean-forced instabilities. Representative ice-sheet models indicate that the global sea-level increase resulting from retreat in this sector can be up to 0.9 metres in the modern-scale configuration, and exceeds 2 metres in the retreated configuration.

  6. Imaging Evidence for Hubbard Glacier Advances and Retreats since the Last Glacial Maximum in Disenchantment and Yakutat Bays, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurbuchen, J.; Gulick, S. P.; Levoir, M. A.; Goff, J. A.; Haeussler, P. J.

    2013-12-01

    As glaciers advance and retreat, they leave erosional surfaces, retreat sequences, morainal banks, and terminal moraines. These features can be imaged and interpreted in seismic reflection data to gain insight into ice routing, ice-sediment processes, and preserved glacial history. High-resolution 2-D multichannel seismic data gathered on the August 2012 UTIG-USGS National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program survey of Disenchantment and Yakutat Bays have provided understanding of the advance pathways of the Hubbard Glacier and the glacial history of the bays. These data show evidence of three unconformities appearing in the form of channels and interpreted to be glacial advance and retreat paths. The youngest observable channel in Disenchantment Bay is ~2 km wide, forming morainal banks along the edges of the bay. The depth below modern sea level in two-way travel time (twtt) shallows from 510 ms in the middle of the bay to 400 ms ~4 km north of the entrance to Yakutat Bay. The sediment contained within the youngest channel measured from the seafloor thins southward from a twtt thickness of 260 ms to 115 ms. Beneath the youngest channel lies an older, 2.2 km-wide channel which is observed at ~580 ms below sea level, and is filled with sediments ranging in thickness from 480 ms to 180 ms at the terminus. This older channel extends from Disenchantment Bay into Yakutat Bay, staying to the northeast of Yakutat Bay, then turns southward at Knight Island and shallows to 450 ms twtt before forming a terminal moraine ~10 km north of the mouth of Yakutat Bay. Evidence for the third and oldest unconformity can only be seen within a very small number of short seismic lines in Disenchantment Bay. It is the largest of the channels, at ~3 km wide and 720 ms below modern sea level. The evidence of three nested unconformities suggests that the Hubbard Glacier has had at least three major advances in recent history. Radiocarbon dating of wooden branches in moraine deposits

  7. Distribution and spawning dynamics of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in Glacier Bay, Alaska: A cold water refugium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arimitsu, M.L.; Piatt, J.F.; Litzow, Michael A.; Abookire, Alisa A.; Romano, Marc D.; Robards, Martin D.

    2008-01-01

    Pacific capelin (Mallotus villosus) populations declined dramatically in the Northeastern Pacific following ocean warming after the regime shift of 1977, but little is known about the cause of the decline or the functional relationships between capelin and their environment. We assessed the distribution and abundance of spawning, non-spawning adult and larval capelin in Glacier Bay, an estuarine fjord system in southeastern Alaska. We used principal components analysis to analyze midwater trawl and beach seine data collected between 1999 and 2004 with respect to oceanographic data and other measures of physical habitat including proximity to tidewater glaciers and potential spawning habitat. Both spawning and non-spawning adult Pacific capelin were more likely to occur in areas closest to tidewater glaciers, and those areas were distinguished by lower temperature, higher turbidity, higher dissolved oxygen and lower chlorophyll a levels when compared with other areas of the bay. The distribution of larval Pacific capelin was not sensitive to glacial influence. Pre-spawning females collected farther from tidewater glaciers were at a lower maturity state than those sampled closer to tidewater glaciers, and the geographic variation in the onset of spawning is likely the result of differences in the marine habitat among sub-areas of Glacier Bay. Proximity to cold water in Glacier Bay may have provided a refuge for capelin during the recent warm years in the Gulf of Alaska.

  8. Complex patterns of glacier advances during the late glacial in the Chagan Uzun Valley, Russian Altai

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    The Southern part of the Russian Altai Mountains is recognized for its evidence of catastrophic glacial lake outbursts. However, little is known about the late Pleistocene paleoglacial history, despite the interest in such reconstructions for constraining paleoclimate. In this study, we present a detailed paleoglaciological reconstruction of the Chagan Uzun Valley, in the Russian Altai Mountains, combining for the first time detailed geomorphological mapping, sedimentological logging, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al surface exposure dating of glacially-transported boulders. The Chagan Uzun Valley exhibits the most impressive glacial landforms of this sector of the Altai, with extensive lobate moraine belts deposited in the intramontane Chuja Basin, reflecting a series of pronounced former glacial advances. Observations of "hillside-scale" folding and extensive faulting of pre-existing soft sediments within the outer moraine belts, together with the geomorphology, strongly indicate that these moraine belts were formed during surge-like events. Identification of surge-related features is essential for paleoclimate inference because these features correspond to a glacier system that is not in equilibrium with the contemporary climate, but instead largely influenced by various internal and external factors. Therefore, no strict relationship can be established between climatic variables and the pronounced distal glacial extent observed in the Chagan Uzun Valley/Chuja basin. In contrast, the inner (up-valley) glacial landforms of the Chagan Uzun valley were likely deposited during retreat of temperate valley glaciers, close to equilibrium with climate, and so most probably triggered by a general warming. Cosmogenic ages associated with the outermost, innermost, and intermediate moraines all indicate deposition times clustered around 19 ka. However, the actual deposition time of the outermost moraine may slightly predate the 10Be ages due to shielding caused by

  9. Synchoronous inter-hemispheric alpine glacier advances during the Late Glacial?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind

    2016-04-01

    The termination of the last glaciation in both hemispheres was a period of rapid climate swings superimposed on the overall warming trend, resulting from large-scale reorganizations of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns in both hemispheres. Environmental changes during the deglaciation have been inferred from proxy records, as well as by model simulations. Several oscillations took place both in northern and southern hemispheres caused by melt water releases such as during the Younger Dryas in north and the Antarctic Cold Reversal in south. However, a consensus on the hemispheric linkages through ocean and atmosphere are yet to be reached. Here we present a new multi-proxy reconstruction from a sub-annually resolved lake sediment record from Lake Lusvatnet in Arctic Norway compared with a new reconstruction from the same time interval at South Georgia, Southern Ocean, suggesting inter-hemispheric climate linkages during the Bølling/Allerød time period. Our reconstruction of the alpine glacier in the lake Lusvatnet catchment show a synchronous glacier advance with the Birch-hill moraine complex in the Southern Alps, New Zealand during the Intra Allerød Cooling period. We propose these inter hemispheric climate swings to be forced by the northward migration of the southern Subtropical Front during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Such a northward migration of the Subtropical Front is shown in model simulation and in palaeorecords to reduce the Agulhas leakage impacting the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. We simply ask if this can be the carrier of rapid climate swings from one hemisphere to another? Our high-resolution reconstructions provide the basis for an enhanced understanding of the tiny balance between migration of the Subtropical Front in the Southern Ocean and the teleconnection to northern hemisphere.

  10. Ocean and glaciers interactions in Svalbard area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walczowski, Waldemar; Błaszczyk, Małgorzata; Wawrzyniak, Tomasz; Beszczyńska-Möller, Agnieszka

    2016-04-01

    Arctic fjords are a link between land and ocean. The inshore boundary of the fjords system is usually dominated by the tidewater glaciers and seasonal freshwater input while its offshore boundary is strongly influenced by oceanic waters. Improved understanding of the fjords-ocean exchange and processes within Arctic fjords is of a highest importance because their response to atmospheric, oceanic and glacial variability provides a key to understand the past and to forecast the future of the high latitude glaciers and Arctic climate. Rapidly changed Arctic climate requires multidisciplinary and complex investigations of the basic climate components and interactions between them. The aim of the Polish-Norwegian project 'Arctic climate system study of ocean, sea ice and glaciers interactions in Svalbard area' (AWAKE-2) is to understand the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. The main oceanic heat source in Svalbard region is the West Spitsbergen Current consisting of multi-branch, northward flow of warm, Atlantic origin water (AW). During its transit through the Nordic Seas, AW releases a large amount of heat to the atmosphere. When entering the Western Svalbard fjords, AW modifies hydrographic conditions, reduces winter ice cover and directly influences tidewater glaciers. An impact of the AW variability on atmosphere and sea ice is clearly visible with strong correlations between AW properties and air temperature or sea ice coverage. For tidewater glaciers these effects can be recognized, but correlations are weaker due to different processes that influence the intensity of glaciers melting and calving. The dedicated, multidisciplinary approach was adopted to achieve the AWAKE-2 project's aims by carrying out the coordinated meteorological, oceanographic, glaciological and geophysical observations in the Hornsund fjord, the adjacent shelf and ocean.

  11. High-resolution, terrestrial radar velocity observations and model results reveal a strong bed at stable, tidewater Rink Isbræ, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomaus, T. C.; Walker, R. T.; Stearns, L. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R.; Catania, G. A.; Felikson, D.; Fried, M.; Sutherland, D.; Nash, J. D.; Shroyer, E.

    2015-12-01

    At tidewater Rink Isbræ, on the central west coast of Greenland, satellite observations reveal that glacier velocities and terminus positions have remained stable, while the lowest 25 km have thinned 30 m since 1985. Over this same time period, other tidewater glaciers in central west Greenland have retreated, thinned and accelerated. Here we present field observations and model results to show that the flow of Rink Isbræ is resisted by unusually high basal shear stresses. Terrestrial radar interferometry (TRI) observations over 9 days in summer 2014 demonstrate weak velocity response to 4 km wide, full thickness calving events. Velocities at the terminus change by +/- 10% in response to rising and falling tides within a partial-width, 2.5-km-long floating ice tongue; however these tidal perturbations damp out within 2 km of the grounding line. Inversions for basal shear stress and force balance analyses together show that basal shear stresses in excess of 300 kPa support the majority of the driving stress at thick, steep Rink Isbræ. These observational and modeling results tell a consistent story in which a strong bed may limit the unstable tidewater glacier retreats observed elsewhere. Rink Isbræ has an erosion resistant quartzite bed with low fracture density. We hypothesize that this geology may play a major role in the bed strength.

  12. Development of Ideas About Holocene and Latest Pleistocene Glacier Advances in the North American Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, G.

    2014-12-01

    It all started when Francois Matthes coined the phrase "little ice age" (LIA) in 1939 to explain cirque moraines in the Sierra Nevada. Porter and Denton in the late 60's promoted the concept that the LIA was part of a multi-millennium regrowth of glaciers called "Neoglaciation."A second set of small moraines found in a few cirques short distances downvalley of LIA moraines in the American Rockies began attracting some attention in the 1940s-50s. By the 1960s-70s there was much argument over the age(s) of these moraines. A proliferation of ages appeared in the literature in the 1970s-80s, but Thom Davis and Jerry Osborn in 1987 proposed that most or all these outer cirque moraines are actually Younger Dryas (YD) in age.In Alberta in the 1970s, Brian Luckman began studying LIA deposits and Osborn began mapping outer cirque moraines (Crowfoot moraines). The two joined forces for an overview of Holocene glacial history in the Canadian Rockies in 1979.Eric Leonard and Mel Reasoner began lake-sediment studies in the Canadian Rockies in the 1980s-90s. Reasoner and Osborn concluded using lake sediments that the type Crowfoot moraine is YD in age, and in Colorado and Wyoming, Davis, Reasoner, and Brian Menounos established YD ages of outer cirque moraines. Lateral-moraine stratigraphy, begun in the 1980s by June Ryder and Osborn in British Columbia, corroborated the evidence from lake sediments that minor advances and retreats punctuated a gradual Neoglacial expansion of glaciers that began 7 or 8 ka.The era of cosmogenic dating began in the 1990s, with John Gosse's work in the Wind River Range. Most, but not all, cosmogenic ages on outer cirque moraines, including those yielded by Shaun Marcott's broad survey, are in support of the concept that such moraines are YD or pre-YD in age, although uncertainties resulting from production-rate questions remain. There have been various claims of early Holocene advances greater in magnitude than the LIA, but these have been

  13. Synchronous inter-hemispheric alpine glacier advances during the Antarctic Cold Reversal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, J.; Bradley, R. S.; Dahl, S.; Balascio, N. L.

    2013-12-01

    The termination of the last glaciation in both hemispheres was a period of rapid climate oscillations superimposed on the overall warming trend, resulting from large-scale reorganizations of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns in both hemispheres. Environmental changes during the deglaciation have been inferred from proxy records, as well as by model simulations. Several oscillations took place in both the northern and southern hemispheres caused by melt water releases such as during the Younger Dryas in the north and the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the south. However, a consensus on the hemispheric linkages through ocean and atmosphere are yet to be reached. Here we present a new multi-proxy reconstruction from a sub-annually resolved lake sediment record from lake Lusvatnet in arctic Norway suggesting inter-hemispheric climate linkages during the Bølling/Allerød time period. Our reconstruction of the Lusvatnet cirque glacier shows a synchronous glacier advance with the Birch-hill moraine complex in the Southern Alps, New Zealand, during the Intra Allerød Cooling. We propose these inter-hemispheric climate oscillations to be forced by the northward migration of the southern Subtropical Front during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Such a northward migration of the Subtropical Front is shown in model simulation and in palaeorecords to reduce the Agulhas leakage impacting the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. The Bølling-Allerød time period was a warm interval in the North Atlantic with a strong Atlantic meridional overturning circulation setting the stage for the later fresh water forcing of the Younger Dryas cold reversal with reduced overturning. Two minor cold reversals, the Older Dryas and the Intra Allerød Cooling, took place during this time span and we suggest a reduction in the Agulhas leakage during peak cooling over Antarctica as the mechanism teleconnecting arctic rapid climate oscillations with rapid climate

  14. Postflood persistence and recolonization of endangered tidewater goby populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Swift, Camm C.; Ambrose, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Before-and-after surveys at several southern California sites indicated that populations of endangered tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi persisted through heavy flooding in 1995. This was contrary to our expectations that flooding might have led to extirpation in some smaller wetlands. There was also no significant change in tidewater goby density before and after the flooding. Several apparent recolonization events coincided with the flood, suggesting that flooding may be important for the long-term persistence of the species.

  15. Influences of the Little Ice Age glacier advance on hillslope morphometry and development in paraglacial valley systems around the Jostedalsbreen ice cap in Western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laute, Katja; Beylich, Achim A.

    2012-09-01

    This paper focuses on the influence of the "Little Ice Age" (LIA) glacier advance on hillslope morphometry and development in selected U-shaped and (para)glacial tributary valleys, which are still occupied in their upper parts by outlet glaciers of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap in Western Norway. Especially the morphometric influences and geomorphic consequences of the LIA glacier advance on the development of the valley-side hillslope systems and associated denudative processes are assessed by comparing hillslope systems located inside and outside of the LIA glacier maximum extent. The process-based approach applied includes orthophoto- and topographical map interpretation as well as hillslope profile surveying in field for morphometric analyses and detailed geomorphological mapping for process analyses. In addition GIS and DEM computing as well as geophysical measurements (georadar) for storage analyses are performed. It is found that hillslopes inside the LIA glacier limit have steepened lower hillslope segments due to a negative sediment net balance of removal and deposition of material by the advancing LIA glacier front. There are significant differences in the present-day slope debris thickness and composition between hillslopes inside or outside the LIA glacier limit. Slope debris from hillslopes inside the glacier maximum extent are clearly less thick and display a different internal structure originating from a combination of debris from gravitational processes and reworked modern glacial deposits. Compared to that slope debris covers on hillslopes outside the LIA glacier limit are in general noticeable thicker and less influenced by glacial deposits. The combined effects of modified slope morphometry and altered composition of material covering lower hillslope segments have generated a higher intensity of post-LIA denudative hillslope processes.

  16. Monitoring of oceanographic properties of Glacier Bay, Alaska 2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Glacier Bay is a recently (300 years ago) deglaciated fjord estuarine system that has multiple sills, very deep basins, tidewater glaciers, and many streams. Glacier Bay experiences a large amount of runoff, high sedimentation, and large tidal variations. High freshwater discharge due to snow and ice melt and the presence of the tidewater glaciers makes the bay extremely cold. There are many small- and large-scale mixing and upwelling zones at sills, glacial faces, and streams. The complex topography and strong currents lead to highly variable salinity, temperature, sediment, primary productivity, light penetration, stratification levels, and current patterns within a small area. The oceanographic patterns within Glacier Bay drive a large portion of the spatial and temporal variability of the ecosystem. It has been widely recognized by scientists and resource managers in Glacier Bay that a program to monitor oceanographic patterns is essential for understanding the marine ecosystem and to differentiate between anthropogenic disturbance and natural variation. This year’s sampling marks the 12th continuous year of monitoring the oceanographic conditions at 23 stations along the primary axes within Glacier Bay, AK, making this a very unique and valuable data set in terms of its spatial and temporal coverage.

  17. 77 FR 43222 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Tidewater...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-24

    ...; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Tidewater Goby AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... habitat for the tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as... revised designation of critical habitat for tidewater goby and an amended required determinations...

  18. Major advance of South Georgia glaciers during the Antarctic Cold Reversal following extensive sub-Antarctic glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alastair G. C.; Kuhn, Gerhard; Meisel, Ove; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Ehrmann, Werner; Wacker, Lukas; Wintersteller, Paul; Dos Santos Ferreira, Christian; Römer, Miriam; White, Duanne; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2017-03-01

    The history of glaciations on Southern Hemisphere sub-polar islands is unclear. Debate surrounds the extent and timing of the last glacial advance and termination on sub-Antarctic South Georgia in particular. Here, using sea-floor geophysical data and marine sediment cores, we resolve the record of glaciation offshore of South Georgia through the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene. We show a sea-bed landform imprint of a shelf-wide last glacial advance and progressive deglaciation. Renewed glacier resurgence in the fjords between c. 15,170 and 13,340 yr ago coincided with a period of cooler, wetter climate known as the Antarctic Cold Reversal, revealing a cryospheric response to an Antarctic climate pattern extending into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. We conclude that the last glaciation of South Georgia was extensive, and the sensitivity of its glaciers to climate variability during the last termination more significant than implied by previous studies.

  19. Major advance of South Georgia glaciers during the Antarctic Cold Reversal following extensive sub-Antarctic glaciation.

    PubMed

    Graham, Alastair G C; Kuhn, Gerhard; Meisel, Ove; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A; Ehrmann, Werner; Wacker, Lukas; Wintersteller, Paul; Dos Santos Ferreira, Christian; Römer, Miriam; White, Duanne; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2017-03-17

    The history of glaciations on Southern Hemisphere sub-polar islands is unclear. Debate surrounds the extent and timing of the last glacial advance and termination on sub-Antarctic South Georgia in particular. Here, using sea-floor geophysical data and marine sediment cores, we resolve the record of glaciation offshore of South Georgia through the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene. We show a sea-bed landform imprint of a shelf-wide last glacial advance and progressive deglaciation. Renewed glacier resurgence in the fjords between c. 15,170 and 13,340 yr ago coincided with a period of cooler, wetter climate known as the Antarctic Cold Reversal, revealing a cryospheric response to an Antarctic climate pattern extending into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. We conclude that the last glaciation of South Georgia was extensive, and the sensitivity of its glaciers to climate variability during the last termination more significant than implied by previous studies.

  20. Major advance of South Georgia glaciers during the Antarctic Cold Reversal following extensive sub-Antarctic glaciation

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Alastair G. C.; Kuhn, Gerhard; Meisel, Ove; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Hodgson, Dominic A.; Ehrmann, Werner; Wacker, Lukas; Wintersteller, Paul; dos Santos Ferreira, Christian; Römer, Miriam; White, Duanne; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2017-01-01

    The history of glaciations on Southern Hemisphere sub-polar islands is unclear. Debate surrounds the extent and timing of the last glacial advance and termination on sub-Antarctic South Georgia in particular. Here, using sea-floor geophysical data and marine sediment cores, we resolve the record of glaciation offshore of South Georgia through the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene. We show a sea-bed landform imprint of a shelf-wide last glacial advance and progressive deglaciation. Renewed glacier resurgence in the fjords between c. 15,170 and 13,340 yr ago coincided with a period of cooler, wetter climate known as the Antarctic Cold Reversal, revealing a cryospheric response to an Antarctic climate pattern extending into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. We conclude that the last glaciation of South Georgia was extensive, and the sensitivity of its glaciers to climate variability during the last termination more significant than implied by previous studies. PMID:28303885

  1. Implications of Glacier Volume Change for Ice-Ocean Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hood, E. W.; O'Neel, S.; Fellman, J.; Bidlack, A.; Arendt, A. A.; Arimitsu, M.; Spencer, R. G.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in climate are forcing complex glaciological responses that can be transmitted to downstream ecosystems via glacier runoff. Along the Gulf of Alaska, rates of glacier mass loss are among the highest measured on Earth. Changes in glacier volume in this region are altering the amount of glacier runoff delivered to the coastal ocean. Moreover, shifts in glacier extent are changing the location of the ice-ocean interface and, in cases where tidewater glaciers become grounded, fundamentally altering circulation in glacierized fjords. The runoff from glacier ecosystems is unique in terms of its physical and chemical properties when compared to runoff from non-glacial ecosystems. For example, the silt and chemical constituents in glacier discharge alter light penetration and the nutrient regime in near-shore marine ecosystems, which, in turn, influence levels of marine primary productivity. Future changes in the magnitude, timing, and location of glacier runoff have important implications for biogeochemical and ecological processes in glacially-dominated fjords and estuaries. This talk will highlight research from glacierized watersheds and fjords to synthesize what is known about the physical, chemical, and biological linkages that characterize icefield-ocean ecosystems along the Gulf of Alaska.

  2. Bearings on the Future: The Tidewater Community College Strategic Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tidewater Community Coll., Norfolk, VA.

    This document describes strategic planning at Tidewater Community College (TCC) (Virginia). The TCC strategic plan is the culmination of two years of intensive discussions among the college faculty, students, and board members, as well as the members of the South Hampton Roads community at large. This plan comprises three sections. The first…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. The Impacts of Advancing Glaciers and Jökulhlaups on the 19th Century Farming Community in the Suðursveit District South of Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigurmundsson, F. S.; Gísladóttir, G.; Erlendsson, E.

    2014-12-01

    Few areas in Iceland were as vulnerable to climate changes during the 19th century as the region south of Vatnajökull glacier. The region was repeatedly affected by glacier advance and jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) during the Little Ice Age AD 1300-1900 (LIA). The land area between the glacier and the coast was occupied by farming community. The aim of this research is to quantify and map the size of lost vegetated area in the 19th century during the glacial advance in the climax of the LIA and the impact these events had on the community, land-use, ownership, value of estates and livelihood. This research employs historical written sources to investigate changes in the cultural and natural landscape. Historical data and field observations will be collected and stored in a GIS database designed for the research, allowing data to be analyzed and presented on maps. The first recorded impact on the settlement is from 1794 when the Breiðármerkurjökull outlet glacier advanced and devastated pastures and crofts belonging in west of the district. Seventy five years later, in 1868, the largest estate was completely destroyed by a jökulhlaup. In 1829 a farm site in the middle of the district was moved due to repeated jökulhlaup. The outlet glacier Brókarjökull initiated annual jökulhlaups during 1820 -1870, devastating pastures and hayfields and woodlands of a total of 3 prominent estates in the area (by 1200 ha), causing devaluation of 33-66% on these estates. In the eastern part extensive jökulhlaups changed the glacial river channel causing the river to flow over vast area devastating 80 % of the eastern most estate causing its abandonment in 1892. The climate change and accompanied hazards during the 19th century changed the landscape of the Suðursveit district significantly. By the turn of the 20thcentury the vegetated land in the district had been reduced by 35% and areas of sediments increased by 25% and glaciated area increased by 10%. These

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthier, E.; Schiefer, E.; Clarke, G. K.; Menounos, B.; Rémy, 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Do morphometric parameters and geological conditions determine chemistry of glacier surface ice? Spatial distribution of contaminants present in the surface ice of Spitsbergen glaciers (European Arctic).

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Sara; Gajek, Grzegorz; Chmiel, Stanisław; Polkowska, Żaneta

    2016-12-01

    The chemism of the glaciers is strongly determined by long-distance transport of chemical substances and their wet and dry deposition on the glacier surface. This paper concerns spatial distribution of metals, ions, and dissolved organic carbon, as well as the differentiation of physicochemical parameters (pH, electrical conductivity) determined in ice surface samples collected from four Arctic glaciers during the summer season in 2012. The studied glaciers represent three different morphological types: ground based (Blomlibreen and Scottbreen), tidewater which evolved to ground based (Renardbreen), and typical tidewater glacier (Recherchebreen). All of the glaciers are functioning as a glacial system and hence are subject to the same physical processes (melting, freezing) and the process of ice flowing resulting from the cross-impact force of gravity and topographic conditions. According to this hypothesis, the article discusses the correlation between morphometric parameters, changes in mass balance, geological characteristics of the glaciers and the spatial distribution of analytes on the surface of ice. A strong correlation (r = 0.63) is recorded between the aspect of glaciers and values of pH and ions, whereas dissolved organic carbon (DOC) depends on the minimum elevation of glaciers (r = 0.55) and most probably also on the development of the accumulation area. The obtained results suggest that although certain morphometric parameters largely determine the spatial distribution of analytes, also the geology of the bed of glaciers strongly affects the chemism of the surface ice of glaciers in the phase of strong recession.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Ocean forcing drives glacier retreat sometimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. An empirical approach for estimating stress-coupling lengths for marine-terminating glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Enderlin, Ellyn; Hamilton, Gordon S.; O'Neel, Shad; Bartholomaus, Timothy C.; Morlighem, Mathieu; Holt, John W.

    2016-01-01

    Here we present a new empirical method to estimate the SCL for marine-terminating glaciers using high-resolution observations. We use the empirically-determined periodicity in resistive stress oscillations as a proxy for the SCL. Application of our empirical method to two well-studied tidewater glaciers (Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland, and Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA) demonstrates that SCL estimates obtained using this approach are consistent with theory (i.e., can be parameterized as a function of the ice thickness) and with prior, independent SCL estimates. In order to accurately resolve stress variations, we suggest that similar empirical stress-coupling parameterizations be employed in future analyses of glacier dynamics.

  13. Study of subaqueous melting of Store Glacier, West Greenland using ocean observations and numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Y.; Rignot, E. J.; Menemenlis, D.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2012-12-01

    Ice discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet is mainly through tidewater glaciers that terminate in the ocean and melt in contact with ocean waters. Subaqueous melting at the calving front is a direct mechanism for mass loss and a potential trigger for glacier acceleration. We present an analysis of oceanographic data collected in the fjord of Store Glacier, West Greenland during August 2010 and 2012. Using these data, we calculate the subaqueous melt rates. Independently, we employ the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), modified to include melting at the calving front and outflow of subglacial water to model the ice melt rates of Store Glacier. Previous 2-D sensitivity studies showed that the subaqueous melt rate reaches several meters per day during the summer, increases non-linearly with subglacial runoff and linearly with ocean thermal forcing, and ceases when subglacial discharge is off during winter. We present new 3-D simulations at very high resolution, with measured oceanic temperature/salinity as boundary conditions, and subglacial runoff from the University of Utrecht's Regional Atmospheric Climate Model outputs on different years and seasons. We compare the ocean observations and numerical simulations and discuss the seasonal and inter-annual variations of subaqueous melting. This study helps evaluate the impact of the ocean on the subaqueous melting of Greenland tidewater glaciers and in turn on glacier mass balance. This work was carried out at University of California, Irvine and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under contract with NASA Cryosphere Science Program.

  14. Glacier fluctuations during the past 2000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomina, Olga N.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Jomelli, Vincent; Geirsdottir, Aslaug; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Koch, Johannes; McKay, Nicholas P.; Masiokas, Mariano; Miller, Gifford; Nesje, Atle; Nicolussi, Kurt; Owen, Lewis A.; Putnam, Aaron E.; Wanner, Heinz; Wiles, Gregory; Yang, Bao

    2016-10-01

    A global compilation of glacier advances and retreats for the past two millennia grouped by 17 regions (excluding Antarctica) highlights the nature of glacier fluctuations during the late Holocene. The dataset includes 275 time series of glacier fluctuations based on historical, tree ring, lake sediment, radiocarbon and terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide data. The most detailed and reliable series for individual glaciers and regional compilations are compared with summer temperature and, when available, winter precipitation reconstructions, the most important parameters for glacier mass balance. In many cases major glacier advances correlate with multi-decadal periods of decreased summer temperature. In a few cases, such as in Arctic Alaska and western Canada, some glacier advances occurred during relatively warm wet times. The timing and scale of glacier fluctuations over the past two millennia varies greatly from region to region. However, the number of glacier advances shows a clear pattern for the high, mid and low latitudes and, hence, points to common forcing factors acting at the global scale. Globally, during the first millennium CE glaciers were smaller than between the advances in 13th to early 20th centuries CE. The precise extent of glacier retreat in the first millennium is not well defined; however, the most conservative estimates indicate that during the 1st and 2nd centuries in some regions glaciers were smaller than at the end of 20th/early 21st centuries. Other periods of glacier retreat are identified regionally during the 5th and 8th centuries in the European Alps, in the 3rd-6th and 9th centuries in Norway, during the 10th-13th centuries in southern Alaska, and in the 18th century in Spitsbergen. However, no single period of common global glacier retreat of centennial duration, except for the past century, has yet been identified. In contrast, the view that the Little Ice Age was a period of global glacier expansion beginning in the 13th century

  15. Turbidity-current channels in Queen Inlet, Glacier Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, P.R.; Powell, R.D.; Rearic, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    Queen Inlet is unique among Glacier Bay fjords because it alone has a branching channel system incised in the Holocene sediment fill of the fjord floor. Queen Inlet and other known channel-containing fjords are marine-outwash fjords; the tidewater glacial fjords do not have steep delta fronts on which slides are generated and may not have a sufficient reservoir of potentially unstable coarse sediment to generate channel-cutting turbidity currents. Presence or absence of channels, as revealed in the ancient rock record, may be one criterion for interpreting types of fjords. -Authors

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  17. Glacier outburst floods from Ghulkin Glacier, upper Hunza Valley, Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, S. D.; Quincey, D. J.

    2009-04-01

    Outburst floods from Ghulkin Glacier in 2008 caused localised damage to properties, land and infrastructure of Ghulkin village and to the Karakoram Highway in the upper Hunza Valley of northern Pakistan. The unexpected nature of the floods highlights a poor understanding of glacial flood potential related to advancing glaciers in the Karakoram. Here we describe the Ghulkin floods and examine the broader glaciological controls on flood generation. Ghulkin Glacier is an active mountain glacier, its steep (up to 12˚ ), debris-covered snout bound by a continuous latero-terminal moraine. Three separate outburst floods during May and June 2008 exited the right lateral moraine close to the glacier terminus, resulting in two separate flood paths; one flowing down the existing outwash fan that resulted in no damage and the other flowing directly through properties and land of Ghulkin village. In 2008, the snout of Ghulkin Glacier was overriding its terminal moraine, and local villagers report an associated increase in debris flows and rock fall since 2005. High surface velocities (of the order of 50 m a-1) near the terminus are associated with the current period of advance, and an increase in the number and size of transient supraglacial lakes during the melt season has been observed. Assessment of the processes and characteristics of the summer 2008 floods provides a conceptual model for local glacier hazards associated with advancing mountain glaciers in the Karakoram. Crevasses and seracs associated with the high flow velocities have steep, debris-free ice cliffs that melt rapidly during the summer ablation season and provide a route for the meltwater to enter the englacial drainage system. Meltwater is stored temporarily in supraglacial, and probably englacial, settings; whilst drainage is facilitated by the formation of new, or re-organisation of existing, conduits under the active ice conditions. The steep glacier surface gradient and active ice results in

  18. Ground-based portable radar interferometer for imaging glacier flow, ocean-glacier ice interactions, and river ice breakup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R.; Truffer, M.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 18 months we have deployed new 17 GHz imaging radars from Gamma Remote Sensing to document flow on land terminating and tidewater glaciers in Greenland and Alaska; to image glacier response to tides and calving; to track floating ice in fjords; and to document river ice movement, ice jams, and associated flooding during breakup on the Tanana River in Alaska. During these deployments we have learned much about atmospheric influences on interferometric measurements; combination of flow direction determinations from feature tracking in amplitude imagery with short-term flow variability from interferometry. We show examples documenting measurement capabilities and limitations from each of these deployments. These radars represent unique tools for study of rapid changes in dynamic parts of the cryosphere.

  19. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

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

  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. Digital surface models are not always representative of former glacier beds: Palaeoglaciological and geomorphological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlayson, Andrew

    2013-07-01

    Quantitative palaeoglaciological studies that use digital surface models (DSMs) may be subject to error because former glacier beds are not always accurately represented. This is because the Earth's surface may have changed significantly since deglaciation. This paper evaluates some of the potential errors caused by postglacial sedimentation, by comparing the results of physical palaeoglaciological reconstructions and bedform morphometric analyses in parts of Scotland, using both the modern land surface and interpolated former glacier beds derived from borehole data. For a former terrestrial outlet glacier, removal of postglacial sediments increases the modelled ice surface elevation and ice thickness by 0.7% and 5%, respectively, over a 27-km flow line. For a former tidewater glacier, the reconstructed steady state ice flux is increased by 250% when the modern land/seabed surface is replaced with an interpolated former glacier bed. In a classical drumlinised landscape, removal of postglacial sediments affects bedform morphometrics, with an increase in measured drumlin length, width, relief, and volume. The cases presented in this paper are from environments known to have experienced postglacial sedimentation. They provide situational examples of the degree of error that can be introduced when the modern land surface is used to represent former glacier beds in these environments. In some regions, sufficient subsurface data exists over large areas to create improved topographic representations of former glacier beds; these could form important inputs to the next generation of palaeo-ice-sheet and palaeo-glacier simulations.

  2. Mass balances and dynamic changes of the Bering, Malaspina, and Icy Bay glacier systems of Alaska, United States, and Yukon, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muskett, Reginald R.

    The Bering and the Malaspina Glacier systems of south-central Alaska, U.S.A., and southwest Yukon Territory, Canada, in the Saint Elias Mountains constitute the two largest temperate surge-type piedmont glaciers on Earth. This is largest region of glaciers and icefields in continental North America. Determining and understanding the causes of wastage of these two glaciers is important to understanding the linkages of glacier mass balance to climate change, glacier dynamics, and the contributions of the glaciers of northwestern North America to rising sea level. Presented are the first detailed estimate of the net mass balances of the Bering and Malaspina Glacier systems, the effects of glacier dynamics on their accumulation areas, and the wastage of the tidewater glaciers of Icy Bay. The combined wastage of the Bering and Malaspina Glacier systems from 1972 to 2003, 254 +/- 16 km 3 water equivalent over a glacier area of 7734 km2, is equivalent to an area-average mass balance of -1.06 +/- 0.07 m/y over that time period. This represents a contribution to global sea-level rise of 0.70 +/- 0.05 mm, 0.023 +/- 0.002 mm/yr from 1972 to 2003. This is roughly 0.8% of the modern sea-level rise as estimated from tide-gauges and satellites, and roughly 9% of the contribution from non-polar glaciers and ice caps. Glacier wastage has been caused by climate warming (negative mass balance) superimposed on the effects of glacier dynamics. Near-concurrent surge of the three largest glaciers of the Malaspina Glacier piedmont were observed during 1999 to 2002. In addition, the tidewater Tyndall Glacier, whose retreat since 1910 was interrupted in 1964 by a major surge, also surged during 1999 to 2002. These four surges have occurred roughly 23 years after the 1976/77 shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to its current warm-wet phase. Despite the increase of high-elevation snow accumulation observed on Mt. Logan, the accumulation areas of the Bering and Malaspina Glacier systems

  3. OMEGA - an operational glacier monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellikka, P. K. E.

    2003-04-01

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

  4. Continuous Monitoring of Greenland Outlet Glaciers Using an Autonomous Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning System: Design, Development and Testing at Helheim Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LeWinter, A. L.; Finnegan, D. C.; Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Gadomski, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    Greenland's fast-flowing tidewater outlet glaciers play a critical role in modulating the ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise. Increasing evidence points to the importance of ocean forcing at the marine margins as a control on outlet glacier behavior, but a process-based understanding of glacier-ocean interactions remains elusive in part because our current capabilities for observing and quantifying system behavior at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales are limited. A recent international workshop on Greenland's marine terminating glaciers (US CLIVAR, Beverly, MA, June 2013) recommended the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring network covering Greenland's largest outlet glacier-fjord systems to collect long-term time series of critical in situ glaciological, oceanographic and atmospheric parameters needed to understand evolving relationships between different climate forcings and glacier flow. Given the remote locations and harsh environments of Greenland's glacial fjords, the development of robust autonomous instrumentation is a key step in making the observing networks a reality. This presentation discusses the design and development of a fully-autonomous ground-based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system for monitoring outlet glacier behavior. Initial deployment of the system is planned for spring 2015 at Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland. The instrument will acquire multi-dimensional point-cloud measurements of the mélange, terminus, and lower-reaches of the glacier. The heart of the system is a long-range, 1064 nm wavelength Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) that we have previously used in campaign-style surveys at Helheim Glacier and at Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. We draw on this experience to design and fabricate the power and enclosure components of the new system, and use previously acquired data from the instrument, collected August 2013 and July 2014 at Helheim, to optimize our data collection strategy and design the data

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. GLACIER SLIDING,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The theory of the sliding of glaciers presented in earlier papers has been generalized (1) by taking into account the resistance to sliding offered...bed at the downstream side of an obstacle. The sliding velocities and controlling obstacle sizes which are found from the generalized theory are...magnitude smaller in thickness than the height of the controlling obstacles can cause an appreciable increase in the sliding velocity. The generalized

  8. Glaciers in Kenai Fjords NP: Exploration and Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, E.; Molnia, B.

    2004-12-01

    In 1909, USGS geologists U.S. Grant and D. F. Higgins mapped and photographed all of the tidewater glaciers and many of the land-terminating outlet glaciers in what is now Kenai Fjords National Park, creating a thorough record of glacier terminus positions and heights. In August, 2004, with funding from the National Park Service and the USGS Earth Surface Dynamics Program, we conducted a new photo survey in Grant and Higgins' footsteps. We re-established 40 of their photo stations with a confidence level of approximately 5-30 feet. We located the sites by identifying foreground features and by analyzing the extent of overlap of mountain peaks in the 1909 photo backgrounds. WAAS-enabled GPS was used to determine the location of each station for future surveys. At each station, we took new photographs duplicating the field of view shown in the 1909 photographs and also showing panoramic views. At most locations, the change in glacier height and terminus position since 1909 has been dramatic. At several stations, glacier termini were no longer visible. Northwestern Glacier, for example, has retreated around a series of bends in its valley. In some cases, vegetation completely obstructed the view from the 1909 photo station. In these instances, new GPS-located photo stations were established within sight of the present day termini. To illustrate the changes for the public, a dozen photographic pairs have been turned into animated GIFs using MacroMedia Flash. Each animation begins with a 1909 Grant and Higgins photograph which fades into the 2004 image. The two images have been correlated by matching topographic features. The animations clearly depict changes in vegetation, glacier cover, and geomorphologic features that have taken place in the last 95 years.

  9. Forcing and timing of Holocene glacier advances in the hyperhumid southernmost Andes (50-53°S): an evaluation based on continuous glacial clay and paleoclimate records as well as modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilian, R.; Lamy, F.; Arz, H.; Baeza, O.; Breuer, S.; Caniupan, M.; Möller, M.; Schneider, C.

    2012-04-01

    The Southern Patagonian Icefield (PIF) constitutes the largest continental ice-sheet outside the polar regions. Its Holocene glacier fluctuations and their forcing mechanism are still poorly explored, especially on the western hyperhumid side of the Andes. Glacier fluctuations have been previously constrained by 14C and/or cosmogenic ages of moraines on the eastern side of the PIF providing single advance ages but no constraints on advance and retreat dynamic. To the west of the PIF moraines are often subaquatic which complicates their mapping and dating. Furthermore, younger and more extended Neoglacial advances could have obliterated the remnants of earlier less extended advances. We present four sediments cores from the Andean fjord zone between 50 to 53°S which cover the time span of the Holocene and document variations in the glacial clay transport (clay mineralogy and related geochemical composition based on high resolution XRF records) along fjord pathways of glacial clay plumes. Additional subaquatic and terrestrial mapping of moraine extents as well as dating of glacier advances by stalagmites within the Neoglacial moraine belt document that the timing and length of these advances is correlated with an increased glacial clay signature in the sediment cores. Based on our records we distinguish two limited early Holocene advances (A0 at ~10 kyrs and A1 from 8.5 to 7.9 kyrs BP) and four Neoglacial advances from 5.4 to 4.9 kyrs BP (A2), from 4.1 to 3.7 (A3), from 2.34 to 2.1 (A4), from 1.15 to 0.85 (A5), and from 0.65 to 0.05 Kyr BP (A6). Stalagmite dating, well-dated lake sediment records and moraine mapping indicate that A4 was the most extended Holocene advance, again consistent with the most pronounced glacial clay signature in the sediment records. Tree-ring based temperature reconstructions, alkenone-derived open marine and fjord SST records as well as precipitation records from a stalagmite (53°S) and lake sediments are considered as the paleoclimatic

  10. Flow instabilities of Alaskan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrin, James Bradley

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

  11. 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 Frı´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 Frı´as glacier fluctuations record shows a very strong recession since 1850 only interrupted by the 1976 advance that continued in 1977.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Alaska: Glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park and Katmai National Park and Preserve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giffens, Bruce A.; Hall, Dorothy K.; Chien, Janet Y. L.

    2014-01-01

    There are hundreds of glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ) and Katmai National Park and Preserve (KATM) covering over 2,276 sq km of park land (ca. 2000). There are two primary glacierized areas in KEFJ (the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex) and three primary glacierized areas in KATM (the Mt. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Katmai area, and the Mt. Martin area). Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. Glacier mapping and analysis of the change in glacier extent has been accomplished on a decadal scale using satellite imagery, primarily Landsat data from the 1970s, 1980s, and from2000. Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS),Thematic Mapper (TM), and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM) imagery was used to map glacier extent on a park-wide basis. Classification of glacier ice using image-processing software, along with extensive manual editing, was employed to create Geographic Information System (GIS)outlines of the glacier extent for each park. Many glaciers that originate in KEFJ but terminate outside the park boundaries were also mapped. Results of the analysis show that there has been a reduction in the amount of glacier ice cover in the two parks over the study period. Our measurements show a reduction of approximately 21 sq km, or 1.5(from 1986 to 2000), and 76 sq km, or 7.7 (from19861987 to 2000), in KEFJ and KATM, respectively. This work represents the first comprehensive study of glaciers of KATM. Issues that complicate the mapping of glacier extent include debris cover(moraine and volcanic ash), shadows, clouds, fresh snow, lingering snow from the previous season, and differences in spatial resolution between the MSS,TM, or ETM sensors. Similar glacier mapping efforts in western Canada estimate mapping errors of 34. Measurements were also collected from a suite of glaciers in KEFJ and KATM detailing terminus positions

  15. Alaska: Glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park and Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks and Preserve

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giffen, bruce A.; Hall, Dorothy K.; Chien, Janet Y. L.

    2011-01-01

    There are hundreds of glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ) and Katmai National Park and Preserve (KATM) covering over 2276 sq km of park land (circa 2000). There are two primary glacierized areas in KEFJ -- the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, and three primary glacierized areas in KATM - the Mt. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Katmai area and the Mt. Martin area. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. Glacier mapping and analysis of the change in glacier extent has been accomplished on a decadal scale using satellite imagery, primarily Landsat data from the 1970s, 1980s, and from 2000. Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) imagery was used to map glacier extent on a park-wide basis. Classification of glacier ice using image processing software, along with extensive manual editing, was employed to create Geographic Information System (GIS) outlines of the glacier extent for each park. Many glaciers that originate in KEFJ but terminate outside the park boundaries were also mapped. Results of the analysis show that there has been a reduction in the amount of glacier ice cover in the two parks over the study period. Our measurements show a reduction of approximately 21 sq km, or -1.5% (from 1986 to 2000), and 76 sq km, or -7.7% (from 1986/87 to 2000), in KEFJ and KATM, respectively. This work represents the first comprehensive study of glaciers of KATM. Issues that complicate the mapping of glacier extent include: debris-cover (moraine and volcanic ash), shadows, clouds, fresh snow, lingering snow from the previous season, and differences in spatial resolution between the MSS and TM or ETM+ sensors. Similar glacier mapping efforts in western Canada estimate mapping errors of 3-4%. Measurements were also collected from a suite of glaciers in KEFJ and KATM detailing

  16. Tidewater Community College Biennial Transfer Student Report, 1996-97 and 1997-98 Academic Years.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janicki, Heidi

    This report provides an analysis of Tidewater Community College (TCC) (Virginia) students who transferred to a four-year institution in Virginia beginning in fall 1996 or 1997. The following topics are discussed: overview of the transfer process; acceptance and enrollment rates for each of the four-year institutions; performance of TCC graduates…

  17. 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.

  18. Attribution of glacier fluctuations to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oerlemans, J.

    2012-04-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  1. South Cascade Glacier bibliography

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Glaciers of South America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1998-01-01

    Landsat images, together with maps and aerial photographs, have been used to produce glacier inventories, define glacier locations, and study glacier dynamics in the countries of South America, along with the Andes Mountains. In Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia, the small glaciers have been undergoing extensive glacier recession since the late 1800's. Glacier-related hazards (outburst floods, mud flows, and debris avalanches) occur in Colombia, in Ecuador, and associated with the more extensive (2,600 km2) glaciers of Peru. The largest area of glacier ice is found in Argentina and Chile, including the northern Patagonian ice field (about 4,200 km2) and the southern Patagonian ice field (about 13,000 km2), the largest glacier in the Southern Hemisphere outside Antarctica.

  5. 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

  6. Glaciers of Europe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1993-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Climatic controls on the pace of glacier erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koppes, Michele; Hallet, Bernard; Rignot, Eric; Mouginot, Jeremie; Wellner, Julia; Love, Katherine

    2016-04-01

    Mountain ranges worldwide have undergone large-scale modification due the erosive action of ice, yet the mechanisms that control the timing of this modification and the rate by which ice erodes remain poorly understood. Available data report a wide range of erosion rates from individual ice masses over varying timescales, suggesting that modern erosion rates exceed orogenic rates by 2-3 orders of magnitude. These modern rates are presumed to be due to dynamic acceleration of the ice masses during deglaciation and retreat. Recent numerical models have focused on replicating the processes that produce the geomorphic signatures of glacial landscapes. Central to these models is a simple quantitative index that relates erosion rate to ice dynamics and to climate. To provide such an index, we examined explicitly the factors controlling modern glacier erosion rates across climatic regimes. Holding tectonic history, bedrock lithology and glacier hypsometries relatively constant across a latitudinal transect from Patagonia to the Antarctic Peninsula, we find that modern, basin-averaged erosion rates vary by three orders of magnitude, from 1->10 mm yr-1 for temperate tidewater glaciers to 0.01-<0.1 mm yr-1 for polar outlet glaciers, largely as a function of temperature and basal thermal regime. Erosion rates also increase non-linearly with both the sliding speed and the ice flux through the ELA, in accord with theory. The general relationship between ice dynamics and erosion suggests that the erosion rate scales non-linearly with basal sliding speed, with an exponent n ≈ 2-2.62. Notably, erosion rates decrease by over two orders of magnitude between temperate and polar glaciers with similar ice discharge rates. The difference in erosion rates between temperate and colder glaciers of similar shape and size is primarily related to the abundance of meltwater accessing the bed. Since all glaciers worldwide have experienced colder than current climatic conditions, the 100-fold

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Three-dimensional modelling of calving processes on Johnsons Glacier, Livingston Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otero, Jaime; Navarro, Francisco J.; Martín, Carlos; Cuadrado, M. Luisa; Corcuera, M. Isabel

    2010-05-01

    Iceberg calving is an important mass loss mechanism from ice shelves and tidewater glaciers for many mid- and high-latitude glaciers and ice caps, yet the process is not well represented in 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. We develop four experiments: (i) an straightforward three-dimensional extension of Benn and other's (2007) model; (2) 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

  11. Using surface velocities to calculate ice thickness and bed topography: A case study at Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNabb, R.W.; Hock, R.; O'Neel, Shad; Rasmussen, Lowell A.; Ahn, Y.; Braun, M.; Conway, H.; Herreid, S.; Joughin, I.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Smith, B.E.; Truffer, M.

    2012-01-01

    Information about glacier volume and ice thickness distribution is essential for many glaciological applications, but direct measurements of ice thickness can be difficult and costly. We present a new method that calculates ice thickness via an estimate of ice flux. We solve the familiar continuity equation between adjacent flowlines, which decreases the computational time required compared to a solution on the whole grid. We test the method on Columbia Glacier, a large tidewater glacier in Alaska, USA, and compare calculated and measured ice thicknesses, with favorable results. This shows the potential of this method for estimating ice thickness distribution of glaciers for which only surface data are available. We find that both the mean thickness and volume of Columbia Glacier were approximately halved over the period 1957–2007, from 281m to 143 m, and from 294 km3 to 134 km3, respectively. Using bedrock slope and considering how waves of thickness change propagate through the glacier, we conduct a brief analysis of the instability of Columbia Glacier, which leads us to conclude that the rapid portion of the retreat may be nearing an end.

  12. Annual down-glacier drainage of lakes and water-filled crevasses at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everett, A.; Murray, T.; Selmes, N.; Rutt, I. C.; Luckman, A.; James, T. D.; Clason, C.; O'Leary, M.; Karunarathna, H.; Moloney, V.; Reeve, D. E.

    2016-10-01

    Supraglacial lake drainage events are common on the Greenland ice sheet. Observations on the west coast typically show an up-glacier progression of drainage as the annual melt extent spreads inland. We use a suite of remote sensing and modeling techniques in order to study a series of lakes and water-filled crevasses within 20 km of the terminus of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland. Automatic classification of surface water areas shows a down-glacier progression of drainage, which occurs in the majority of years between 2007 and 2014. We demonstrate that a linear elastic fracture mechanics model can reliably predict the drainage of the uppermost supraglacial lake in the system but cannot explain the pattern of filling and draining observed in areas of surface water downstream. We propose that the water levels in crevasses downstream of the supraglacial lake can be explained by a transient high-pressure wave passing through the subglacial system following the lake drainage. We support this hypothesis with analysis of the subglacial hydrological conditions, which can explain both the position and interannual variation in filling order of these crevasses. Similar behavior has been observed in association with jökulhaups, surging glaciers, and Antarctic subglacial lakes but has not previously been observed on major outlets of the Greenland ice sheet. Our results suggest that the behavior of near-terminus surface water may differ considerably from that of inland supraglacial lakes, with the potential for basal water pressures to influence the presence of surface water in crevasses close to the terminus of tidewater glaciers.

  13. Investigating the Cause of the 2012 Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland Using High Resolution Observations of the Glacier Terminus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassotto, R.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Boettcher, M. S.; Amundson, J. M.; Truffer, M.

    2014-12-01

    After decades of relative stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, a tidewater glacier in West Greenland, started to destabilize at the turn of the century. The glacier thinned, the perennial tongue disintegrated, velocities doubled, and the terminus retreated. The glacier evolved over the next several years as it showed large seasonal variations in speed and a progressive kilometer-scale retreat of its calving front. Then, during the 2012 summer, Jakobshavn set a new record when its speed increased to rates more than four times the 1990s values, and consequently became the fastest glacier recorded by satellite yet. A 2-week field study was conducted along the terminus at that time; ground portable radar interferometers (GPRI), time-lapse cameras, GPS, and a tide gauge were deployed to characterize glacier dynamics along the ice-ocean boundary. We use >10,000 interferograms recorded with the terrestrial interferometers to probe the cause of this acceleration. We observe a 33% increase in glacier speed and a 250% increase in the amplitude of response to tidal forcing during our study period. We explore how the location of the terminus along the reverse bed slope contributed to the observed speedup, and we compare our findings with the long-term record of satellite observations. Our data show that understanding tidewater glacier dynamics requires knowledge of short-term variations along glacier termini that is currently not available from satellites. This study provides insight into such short-term dynamics on spatial scales comparable to satellite InSAR but with temporal resolution similar to GPS.

  14. Tidewater and Weather-exposure Tests on Metals Used in Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mutchler, Willard; Galvin, W G

    1939-01-01

    Tidewater and weather-exposure tests on various aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, and stainless steels are now being conducted by the National Bureau of Standards. Exposures were begun in June 1938 and, according to present plans, are to continue over a 3-year period. The methods of exposure and the materials being investigated are described and the more important results obtained up to the conclusion of the first year's exposure are reported.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

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

  17. Upper and Lower Bounds on the Stability of Calving Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Y.; Bassis, J. N.

    2015-12-01

    Iceberg calving is responsible for nearly half of the mass lost from ice sheets to the oceans. However, a lack of a well-parameterized calving model leaves most numerical ice sheet models incomplete. Previous studies have sought to parameterize iceberg calving assuming that calving occurs when a surface crevasse intersects with a basal one. Although a variety of models have successfully reproduced patterns of glacier retreat, they are frequently tuned by adding melt water into surface crevasses until glacier behavior matches observations, which is puzzling because calving also occurs during winter when no melt water is available. Here we examine crevasse propagation using a 2D full-Stokes finite element model along the center flow of an idealized glacier terminating in ocean to see when water-free surface crevasses intersect with water-filled basal crevasses on a lubricated bed. Crevasse propagation is computed using the Nye zero-stress-model, assuming they have a negligible effect on the stress field of the glacier. We find that for a given water depth, simulated glaciers evolve to a state where either basal and surface crevasses intersect or the glacier begins to float. This allows us to map out a stability threshold that predicts for a given water depth if certain ice thicknesses will result in full thickness failure. Assuming seeds for crevasses are present everywhere, this threshold poses an upper limit on ice thickness: as the thickness decreases full thickness penetration is increasingly likely. Comparing our theoretical stability threshold with observational data deduced from Operation IceBridge, we find that most tidewater glaciers have water depth and ice thickness combinations fall in a narrow region above our predicted threshold and below buoyancy. The agreement between observations and our simulations suggests that glaciers evolve until they approach a critical stability threshold where small perturbations can trigger calving events. The stability

  18. Glacier Contributions to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, A. S.; Cogley, J. G.; Moholdt, G.; Wouters, B.; Wiese, D. N.

    2015-12-01

    Global mean sea level is rising in response to two primary factors: warming oceans and diminishing glaciers and ice sheets. If melted completely, glaciers would raise sea levels by half a meter, much less than that the 80 meters or so that would result from total melt of the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. That is why glacier contributions to sea level rise have been less studied, allowing estimates of to vary widely. Glacier contributions to sea level change are challenging to quantify as they are broadly distributed, located in remote and poorly accessible high latitude and high altitude regions, and ground observations are sparse. Advances in satellite altimetry (ICESat) and gravimetry (GRACE) have helped, but they also have their own challenges and limitations. Here we present an updated (2003-2014) synthesis of multiple techniques adapted for varying regions to show that rates of glacier loss change little between the 2003-2009 and 2003-2014 periods, accounting for roughly one third of global mean sea level rise. Over the next century and beyond glaciers are expected to continue to contribute substantial volumes of water to the world's oceans, motivating continued study of how glaciers respond to climate change that will improve projections of future sea levels.

  19. Where glaciers meet water: Subaqueous melt and its relevance to glaciers in various settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truffer, Martin; Motyka, Roman J.

    2016-03-01

    Glacier change is ubiquitous, but the fastest and largest magnitude changes occur in glaciers that terminate in water. This includes the most rapidly retreating glaciers, and also several advancing ones, often in similar regional climate settings. Furthermore, water-terminating glaciers show a large range in morphology, particularly when ice flow into ocean water is compared to that into freshwater lakes. All water-terminating glaciers share the ability to lose significant volume of ice at the front, either through mechanical calving or direct melt from the water in contact. Here we present a review of the subaqueous melt process. We discuss the relevant physics and show how different physical settings can lead to different glacial responses. We find that subaqueous melt can be an important trigger for glacier change. It can explain many of the morphological differences, such as the existence or absence of floating tongues. Subaqueous melting is influenced by glacial runoff, which is largely a function of atmospheric conditions. This shows a tight connection between atmosphere, oceans and lakes, and glaciers. Subaqueous melt rates, even if shown to be large, should always be discussed in the context of ice supply to the glacier front to assess its overall relevance. We find that melt is often relevant to explain seasonal evolution, can be instrumental in shifting a glacier into a different dynamical regime, and often forms a large part of a glacier's mass loss. On the other hand, in some cases, melt is a small component of mass loss and does not significantly affect glacier response.

  20. The break-up of a lacustrine floating ice tongue, Yakutat Glacier, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truessel, B.; Truffer, M.; Motyka, R. J.; Larsen, C. F.

    2012-12-01

    Yakutat Glacier has been exposed to calving retreat for more than a century with a total terminus retreat of over 15 km since 1903. This temperate glacier in Southeast Alaska calves into over 300 m deep Harlequin Lake. Cold, non-stratified lake water with uniform temperatures of around 1 °C combined with the large lake depth allowed this glacier to form a 17.2 km2 floating tongue. This floating tongue existed for over a decade between 2000 and 2010. Thinning in this terminus area exceeds 6 m during the summer. Digital elevation model differencing shows annual thinning rates of around 9 m yr-1 in the terminus area with a glacier wide mean of 4.07±0.03 m yr-1 (2007-2010). Calving rates are highly variable with periods of rapid retreat followed by periods of relative stability. The most recent period of rapid retreat began in 2010, when the floating tongue disintegrated into large tabular ice bergs. Those ice bergs calve as crevasses transform into rifts, a process supported by rapid thinning. Once the rifts intersect, large tabular icebergs are able to disconnect from the tongue and float away, generally without rolling over. This episodic style of calving also produces a large number of small ice bergs. Tidewater glaciers in the vicinity of Yakutat Glacier are exposed to a similar climate, but they neither form nor maintain a stable floating tongue, nor do they calve large tabular icebergs, even when retreating into over-deepened basins. We hypothesize that the different calving behavior is caused by the presence or absence of submarine melt as the glacier retreats into an over-deepening. In the case of a tidewater glacier, submarine melt can be large leading to instability and retreat. In a lacustrine system, subaquatic melt is negligible, allowing floating tongues to form. The recent break-up of this floating tongue shows certain similarities to the disintegration of ice shelves in Antarctica, but on a much smaller scale and in temperate ice. To better

  1. Preliminary bathymetry of Blackstone Bay and Neoglacial changes of Blackstone Glaciers, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    Preliminary bathymetry (at 1:20,000 scale) and scientific studies of Blackstone Bay Alaska, by the Research Vessel Growler in 1978 disclose that the head of the bay consists of two basins separated by Willard Island and a submarine ridge. Both basins are closed on the north by terminal-moraine bars where Blackstone Glacier and its tributaries terminated as recently as about A.D. 1350; a carbon-14 date of 580 years before present on Badger Point, and old trees farther up the bay, disclose that the glaciers retreated to two narrow inlets at the head of the bay before 1400. The inlets were still glacier-covered until at least 1909. Glaciers in both inlets have continued to retreat; at present they terminate at the head of tidewater, where they discharge small icebergs. Only relatively thin sediments have accumulated in the eastern basin south of the terminal-moraine bar, and most of the bottom is hard and irregular as disclosed by soundings and profiles. The northern part of Blackstone Bay is very deep; at more than 1,100 feet below sea level a large, level accumulation of sediment is present which is presumably as much as 1,000 feet deep and has been accumulating since late Pleistocene glaciers retreated. (USGS)

  2. Multibeam bathymetry and selected perspective views of main part of Glacier Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, Paul R.; Hooge, Philip; Cochrane, Guy; Stevenson, Andrew; Dartnell, Pete; Lee, Kristen

    2002-01-01

    Glacier Bay is a diverse fjord ecosystem with multiple tidewater glaciers and complex biological, geological, and oceanographic patterns that vary greatly along its length. The bay was completely glaciated prior to the 1700's, and subsequently experienced the fastest glacial retreat recorded in historical times. As a result, some of the highest rates of glacial sedimentation and uplift are observed here. Glacier Bay is the deepest silled fjord in Alaska, with depths of over 450 meters. The variety of physical processes and depths creates many diverse habitats within a relatively small area. Mapping benthic (seafloor) habitats is thus crucial to understanding and managing Glacier Bay's complex marine ecosystem and the marine species therein. High-resolution multibeam mapping of the bay, funded jointly by USGS and the National Park System, provides an unprecedented new baseline for resource and habitat assessment. Full integration of the new data set will require additional ground-truthing data (sampling) and analysis. The USGS goal is to develop integrated geological and oceanographic habitat models for the marine benthos in Glacier Bay, as a step toward determining the habitat relationships of critical species and resources within the Park.

  3. 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

  4. Glaciers of Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Afghanistan Glacier Diminution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  6. In Brief: Melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy; Tretkoff, Ernie

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers in Patagonia and Alaska have been losing their mass, and for longer than glaciers elsewhere in the world, according to a 7 December report compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “Climate change is causing significant mass loss of glaciers in high mountains worldwide,” notes the report, which calls for accelerated research, monitoring, and modeling of glaciers and snow and their role in water supplies. The report “also highlights the vulnerability and exposure of people dependent upon [glacier-fed] rivers to floods, droughts and eventually shortages as a result of changes in the melting and freezing cycles linked with climate change and other pollution impacts,” according to UNEP executive director Achim Steiner. For more information, visit http://www.grida.no/publications/high­mountain-glaciers/.

  7. 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

  8. The thermophysics of glaciers

    SciTech Connect

    Zotikov, I.A.

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Tidewater and Weather-exposure Tests on Metals Used in Aircraft II.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mutchler, Willard; Galvin, W G

    1942-01-01

    This report is an addendum to NACA Technical Note No. 736, which dealt with tidewater and weather-exposure tests being conducted by the National Bureau of Standards on various aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, and stainless steels used in aircraft. The exposures were begun in June 1938 and were terminated, for this particular series, in June 1941. The methods of exposure and the materials being investigated are described, and the more important results obtained up to the conclusion of the second year's exposure are reported.

  10. Variability in glacier hazards across the Himalayan range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quincey, D. J.

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Partitioning of Submarine Melt and Calving across the front of Store Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Chauche, N.

    2015-12-01

    Processes unique to the marine-termini of fast-flowing tidewater outlet glaciers can potentially drive extreme rates of mass wastage thereby providing a rapid link between the terrestrial ice reservoir and the oceanic sink. Here we attempt to directly quantify the pattern and magnitude of calving and melt at the front of Store Glacier, a major outlet draining the western sector of the Greenland ice sheet. Integration of range-survey technologies on a robust, heavy displacement marine platform coupled with high-resolution photogrammetry allowed the production of accurate, ~m resolution 3d digital terrain models (DTMs) of the glacier front. A swath-interferometric sonar system calibrated via an inertial motion unit stabilized with RTK GPS and vector-compass data-streams was combined with photogrammetric processing of repeat UAV surveys. The results of three repeat surveys across the front of Store Glaciers in 2012 is presented during which significant ice flow, melt and calving events were imaged, complimented with AWS, on-ice GPS stations and time-lapse/video camera sequences. The residual of successive DTMs yield the 3d pattern of frontal change allowing the processes calving and melt to be quantified and constrained in unprecedented detail. The pattern of submarine melt is further validated against indirect estimates of submarine melt derived from oceanographic circulation measurements within the fjord.

  12. A 15 year record of frontal glacier ablation rates estimated from seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köhler, Andreas; Nuth, Christopher; Kohler, Jack; Berthier, Etienne; Weidle, Christian; Schweitzer, Johannes

    2016-12-01

    We present a unique time series of continuous glacier frontal ablation rates with weekly resolution over 15 years estimated from seismic calving observations at Kronebreen, Svalbard. Using linear statistical models, we calibrate the seismic record with 7 years of satellite-derived frontal ablation measurements. The two basic input parameters required for our models are the cumulative duration of individual seismic calving events and the incompleteness of the seismic record to correct for the effect of seismic background noise. Frontal ablation follows the seasonal glacier speedup, peaking 1-2 months after the melt season maximum. Short-lived peaks are associated with melt and rain events. Cumulative frontal ablation of Kronebreen between 2001 and 2015 is about 4.0 km3 (3.7 Gt), with the greatest annual loss (0.45 km3) between 2013 and 2014 at the onset of the recent accelerated retreat of the glacier. Our approach provides a potential method for monitoring tidewater glaciers worldwide that have sufficiently close seismic instrumentation.

  13. 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

  14. The North Water Polynya and Velocity, Calving Front and Mass Change in Surrounding Glaciers in Greenland and Canada Over the Last 30 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, L.

    2015-12-01

    Major uncertainties surround future estimates of sea level rise attributable to mass loss from Greenland and the surrounding ice caps in Canada. Understanding changes across these regions is vital as their glaciers have experienced dramatic changes in recent times. Attention has focused on the periphery of these regions where land ice meets the ocean and where ice acceleration, thinning and increased calving have been observed. 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 > ~85,000 km2 in the Arctic), recurrence rates and duration. Despite their relatively small size, polynyas strongly impact regional oceanography and play a vital role in heat and moisture exchange between the polar oceans and atmosphere. Where polynyas are present adjacent to tidewater glaciers their influence on ocean circulation and water temperatures has the potential to play a major part in controlling subsurface ice melt rates by impacting on the water masses reaching the calving front. They also have the potential to influence air masses reaching nearby glaciers and ice caps by creating a maritime climate which may impact on the glaciers' accumulation and surface melt and hence their thickness and mass balance. Polynya presence and size also have implications for sea ice extent and therefore may influence the buttressing effect on neighbouring tidewater glaciers. The work presented uses remote sensing and mass balance model data to study changes in the North Water polynya (extent, ice concentration, duration) and neighbouring glaciers and ice caps (velocities, calving front positions and mass balance) in Canada and Greenland over a period of approximately 30 years from the mid-1980s through to 2015.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Calving processes and the dynamics of calving glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benn, Douglas I.; Warren, Charles R.; Mottram, Ruth H.

    2007-06-01

    and velocity distribution. Realistic solutions to the problem of modelling ice flow therefore depend critically on an appropriate choice of sliding law. Models that assume that basal velocities are controlled by basal drag can replicate much of the observed behaviour of calving glaciers with grounded termini, but an important limitation is that they cannot be used to model floating glacier termini or ice shelves. Alternative sliding laws that parameterise drag from the glacier margins provide more flexible and robust ways of representing calving in ice sheet models. Such models can explain a remarkable range of observed phenomena within a simple, unifying framework, including: downglacier increases in velocity and strain rates where basal and/or lateral drag diminishes; flow acceleration in response to thinning through time; the tendency for glaciers to stabilise at 'pinning points' in relatively shallow water or fjord narrowings; the constraints on ice shelf stability; and the contrasts in calving rates between tidewater and freshwater calving glaciers. Many unresolved issues remain, however, including the role played by the removal of backstress in the acceleration of retreating calving glaciers, and the controls on melting at and below the waterline.

  18. Monitoring and Modelling Glacier Melt and Runoff on Juncal Norte Glacier, Aconcagua River Basin, Central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellicciotti, F.; Helbing, J. F.; Araos, J.; Favier, V.; Rivera, A.; Corripio, J.; Sicart, J. M.

    2006-12-01

    Results from a recent glacio-meteorological experiment on the Juncal Norte glacier, in central Chile, are presented. Melt water is a crucial resource in the Central Andes, as it provides drinking water, water for agriculture and for industrial uses. There is also increasing competition for water use and allocation, as water demands from mining and industry are rising. Assessing water availability in this region and its relation with climatic variations is therefore crucial. The Dry Central Andes are characterised by a climatic setting different from that of the Alps and the subtropical Andes of Bolivia and Peru. Summers are very dry and stable, with precipitation close to zero and low relative humidity. Solar radiation is very intense, and plays a key role in the energy balance of snow covers and glaciers. The main aim of this study is to investigate the glacier-climate interaction in this area, with particular attention devoted to advanced modelling techniques for the spatial redistribution of meteorological variables, in order to gain an accurate picture of the ablation processes typical of these latitudes. During the ablation season 2005/2006, an extensive field campaign was conducted on the Juncal Norte glacier, aimed at monitoring the melt and runoff generation processes on this remote glacier in the dry Andes. Melt rates, runoff at the snout, meteorological variables over and near the glacier, GPS data and glacier topography were recorded over the entire ablation season. Using this extensive and accurate data set, the spatial and temporal variability of the meteorological variables that drive the melt process on the glacier is investigated, together with the process of runoff generation. An energy balance model is used to simulate melt across the glacier, and special attention is devoted to the modelling of the solar radiation energy flux. The components of the energy balance are compared with those of Alpine basins. The validity of parameterisations of the

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. High resolution monitoring of a calving glacier using a wireless network of GNSS sensors.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selmes, Nick; Aspey, Robin; Edwards, Stuart; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Martin, Ian; Moshin, Anas; Murray, Tavi; Nettles, Meredith; O'Farrell, Tim; Rigelsford, Jonathan; Rutt, Ian

    2013-04-01

    Calving glaciers have been identified as having a crucial role in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet, with acceleration and retreat of these glaciers resulting in major mass loss from the ice sheet interior, leading to a corresponding sea level rise. The ability to reproduce observed glacier behaviour in calving models is very desirable, but this is hindered by the difficulty of obtaining appropriate field measurements, combined with the complex interaction of the possible controls on iceberg calving. Our project brings together experts in glaciology, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology and processing, and wireless networking, to design, install and operate a wireless network of GNSS sensors at the margin of a heavily crevassed Greenland outlet glacier. The network will provide velocity and elevation data of unprecedented resolution in time and space for the key marginal area of the glacier, where recent changes in glacier dynamics appear to have initiated. These will be analysed in conjunction with contemporaneous auxiliary data, such as surface and airborne lidar measurements of surface topography, crevasse spacing and calving rates, to yield new insights into processes active at the margins of tidewater glaciers. Our major field campaign will be in summer 2013, with a network of approximately 20 GNSS sensors being deployed, and a suite of ancillary data being collected in tandem. In preparation, we deployed a small test network of three GNSS sensors along the Helheim Glacier flowline in summer 2012, and here we present results from these sensors as a demonstration of the detail we expect to obtain in our main field season. The deployment of our GNSS sensors in summer 2012 coincided with a large calving event. We have no direct observations of this event; however, 250-500 m of ice was lost from the northern half of the calving front during the period 22-24th July, inferred from MODIS imagery. This retreat coincided with a significant

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasadni, Jerzy; Kłapyta, Piotr

    2016-01-01

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

  4. A High-Resolution Sensor Network for Monitoring Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, S.; Murray, T.; O'Farrell, T.; Rutt, I. C.; Loskot, P.; Martin, I.; Selmes, N.; Aspey, R.; James, T.; Bevan, S. L.; Baugé, T.

    2013-12-01

    adoption of beacon based time division multiple access (tdma). In-house single-epoch GNSS processing software provides 1-2 cm coordinate time-series capable of detecting a major calving event during the 2012 pilot study. These data can be synthesised with other remotely sensed data e.g. airborne lidar, oblique photogrammetry and TanDEM-X satellite imagery derived DEMs giving an opportunity to fine-tune glacial models delivering a deeper understanding of the contribution to sea-level rise made by tidewater glaciers such as Helheim. The flexibility of our network would make it suitable for deployment in other extreme environments such as areas at risk from earthquakes and landslides.

  5. Rock glaciers on the run - understanding rock glacier landform evolution and recent changes from numerical flow modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Johann; Vieli, Andreas; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle

    2016-11-01

    Rock glaciers are landforms that form as a result of creeping mountain permafrost which have received considerable attention concerning their dynamical and thermal changes. Observed changes in rock glacier motion on seasonal to decadal timescales have been linked to ground temperature variations and related changes in landform geometries interpreted as signs of degradation due to climate warming. Despite the extensive kinematic and thermal monitoring of these creeping permafrost landforms, our understanding of the controlling factors remains limited and lacks robust quantitative models of rock glacier evolution in relation to their environmental setting. Here, we use a holistic approach to analyze the current and long-term dynamical development of two rock glaciers in the Swiss Alps. Site-specific sedimentation and ice generation rates are linked with an adapted numerical flow model for rock glaciers that couples the process chain from material deposition to rock glacier flow in order to reproduce observed rock glacier geometries and their general dynamics. Modeling experiments exploring the impact of variations in rock glacier temperature and sediment-ice supply show that these forcing processes are not sufficient to explain the currently observed short-term geometrical changes derived from multitemporal digital terrain models at the two different rock glaciers. The modeling also shows that rock glacier thickness is dominantly controlled by slope and rheology while the advance rates are mostly constrained by rates of sediment-ice supply. Furthermore, timescales of dynamical adjustment are found to be strongly linked to creep velocity. Overall, we provide a useful modeling framework for a better understanding of the dynamical response and morphological changes of rock glaciers to changes in external forcing.

  6. 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

  7. Chronology of a Small Glacier in Eastern British Columbia, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bray, J R

    1964-04-17

    The age of trees growing on the moraines of a small, high-altitude glacier in the Canadian Rockies suggests that the date of the maximum post-Pleistocene ice advance was around A.D. 1714, with another later advance about 1832. These two dates are synchronous with the two major periods of recent ice advance in the area.

  8. The Glaciers of HARMONIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Holocene and latest Pleistocene glacial chronology, Glacier National Park, Montana.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carrara, P.E.

    1987-01-01

    Moraines of two different age groups have been identified; the subdued, vegetated moraines of the older group have been found at 25 sites, mainly in the central part of the Lewis Range. These older moraines are in places overlain by the Mazama ash; they date from 10 000 BP or earlier. Moraines of the younger group, consisting of fresh bouldery rubble, are common throughout Glacier Park. Tree- ring analyses indicate that some of these younger moraines were deposited by advances that culminated during the mid-19th century. At that time there were more than 150 glaciers in Glacier Park. -from Author

  10. Detecting glacier-bed overdeepenings for glaciers in the Western Italian Alps using the GlabTop2 model: the test site of the Rutor Glacier, Aosta Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viani, Cristina; Machguth, Horst; Huggel, Christian; Perotti, Luigi; Giardino, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It is expected that the rapid retreat of glaciers, observed in the European Alps and other mountain regions of the world, will continue in the future. One of the most evident and relevant consequences of this phenomenon is the formation of new glacier lakes in recently deglaciated areas. During glacier retreat overdeepened parts of the glacier bed become exposed and, in some cases, filled with water. It is important to understand where these new lakes can appear because of the associated potential risks (i.e. lake outburst and consequent flood) and opportunities (tourism, hydroelectricity, water reservoir, etc.) especially in densely populated areas such as the European Alps. GlabTop2 (Glacier Bed Topography model version 2) allows to model glacier bed topography over large glaciated areas combining digital terrain information and slope-related estimates of glacier thickness. The model requires a minimum set of input data: glaciers outlines and a surface digital elevation model (DEM). In this work we tested the model on the Rutor Glacier (8,1 km2) located in the Aosta Valley. The glacier has a well-known history of a series of glacier lake outburst floods between 1430 AD and 1864 AD due to front fluctuations. After the last advance occurred during the 70s of the previous century, glacier shrinkage has been continuous and new lakes have formed in newly exposed overdeepenings. We applied GlabTop2 to DEMs derived from historical data (topographic maps and aerial photos pair) representing conditions before the proglacial lake formation. The results obtained have been compared with the present situation and existing lakes. Successively we used the model also on present-day DEMs, which are of higher resolution than the historical derived ones, and compared the modeled bed topography with an existing bedrock map obtained by in-situ geophysical investigations (GPR surveys). Preliminary results, obtained with the 1991 surface model, confirm the robustness of GlabTop2 in

  11. Examining a Half Century of Northwestern North American Glacier Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnia, B. F.; Fahey, M. J.; Friesen, B.; Josberger, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    In 1957, as part of the United States' contribution to the International Geophysical Year (IGY), the American Geographical Society (AGS) initiated a multi-institutional mapping project to produce 1:10,000-scale topographic maps of nine northwestern North American glaciers. The project's goal was to prepare precise maps at large scales of selected small glaciers to form a permanent record of the condition of these glaciers so that at a future date they could be resurveyed and compared. Continued surveys would give the history of wastage and accumulation, and more accurate interpretation of the response of these glaciers to meteorological and other factors. The resulting maps and a descriptive summary brochure were published in 1960 by the American Geographical Society. The USGS Global Fiducials Program (GFP) began to systematically image the same nine glaciers approximately half-century after its IGY mapping. The results of the GFP analyses would permit the types of comparisons that were envisioned by the IGY project. Imagery of each of these nine glaciers has been collected from multiple sources, including Next View licensed commercial imagery, vertical and oblique aerial photography, Landsat, and US National Imagery Systems. Exploitation of the imagery has resulted in the production of new 21st century maps that can be compared and contrasted with the vintage AGS map set. Comparison will permit the calculation of a number of parameters which will provide a direct insight into the changes that northwestern North American glaciers have been experiencing during the past half century. Specifically, these comparisons will permit the calculation of changes in glacier length, area, thickness, and volume; computation of rates of glacier advance and/or retreat, rates of glacier thickening and/or thinning, and rates of volume change; production of digital elevation models (DEMs); and generation of velocity fields from crevasse migration. The subsequent re-mapping and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Leif S.; Anderson, Robert S.

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Glaciers of Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; 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.

  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. 4300-Year Old 'Glacier Forests', Southern Coast Mountains, British Columbia and their Global Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J.

    2014-12-01

    Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating of in situ and detrital wood have been utilized to date Holocene glacier fluctuations in Garibaldi Provincial Park and at the Pemberton Icefield in the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Fieldwork at over 30 glaciers has been carried out since 2002. The focus of this paper is on wood that has been radiocarbon dated between 4500 and 4000 years ago, which has been found at six glaciers. At four glaciers the wood was washing out from beneath present-day glacier snouts. At Helm Glacier in Garibaldi Park thirteen detrital branches and stumps were recovered, and at West Squamish Glacier at the Pemberton Icefield seven detrital branches, stems, and stumps were sampled. Some of these samples had diameters of up to 40 cm and were up to 250 cm long, and thus are much larger than any living trees near the present treeline. Tree-ring analysis shows that these glaciers advanced into and over mature forests that had grown near present-day glacier margins for at least 135 years (Helm) and 357 years (W Squamish). Evidence for permanent snow and ice patches forming, as well as glaciers advancing beyond present-day extents at this time is found in the central Coast Mountains, Yukon Territory, Arctic Canada, Norway, and the Swiss Alps. Glacier advances of similar age have been reconstructed not only in western Canada, but also in Europe, Asia, South America, New Zealand, and Antarctica indicating the global nature of this event. A peak in ice-rafted debris in the North Atlantic about 4200 years ago may have been the result of reduced solar output, and based on Earth's position in the obliquity cycle glaciers should have started to expand 4000 years ago. These 'glacier forests' thus could provide a probable start date for Neoglaciation.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. The health of glaciers: Recent changes in glacier regime

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.; Dyurgerov, M.B.; McCabe, G.J.

    2003-01-01

    Glacier wastage has been pervasive during the last century; small glaciers and those in marginal environments are disappearing, large mid-latitude glaciers are shrinking slightly, and arctic glaciers are warming. Net mass balances during the last 40 years are predominately negative and both winter and summer balances (accumulation and ablation) and mass turnover are increasing, especially after 1988. Two principal components of winter balance time-series explain about 50% of the variability in the data. Glacier winter balances in north and central Europe correlate with the Arctic Oscillation, and glaciers in western North America correlate with the Southern Oscillation and Northern Hemisphere air temperature. The degree of synchronization for distant glaciers relates to changes in time of atmospheric circulation patterns as well as differing dynamic responses.

  19. Ocean properties, ice-ocean interactions, and calving front morphology at two major west Greenland glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauché, N.; Hubbard, A.; Gascard, J.-C.; Box, J. E.; Bates, R.; Koppes, M.; Sole, A.; Patton, H.

    2013-11-01

    Warm sub-polar mode water (SPMW) has been identified as a primary driver of mass loss of marine terminating glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) yet, the specific mechanisms by which SPMW interacts with these tidewater termini remain uncertain. We present oceanographic data from Rink Glacier (RG) and Store Glacier (SG) fjords, two major marine outlets draining the western sector of the GrIS into Baffin Bay over the contrasting melt-seasons of 2009 and 2010. Submarine melting occurs wherever ice is in direct contact with warmer water and the consistent presence of 2.8 °C SPMW adjacent to both ice fronts below 400 m throughout all surveys indicates that melting is maintained by a combination of molecular diffusion and large scale, weak convection, diffusional (hereafter called ubiquitous) melting. At shallower depths (50-200 m), cold, brine-enriched water (BEW) formed over winter appears to persist into the summer thereby buffering this melt by thermal insulation. Our surveys reveal four main modes of glacier-ocean interaction, governed by water depth and the rate of glacier runoff water (GRW) injected into the fjord. Deeper than 200 m, submarine melt is the only process observed, regardless of the intensity of GRW or the depth of injection. However, between the surface and 200 m depth, three further distinct modes are observed governed by the GRW discharge. When GRW is weak (≲1000 m3 s-1), upward motion of the water adjacent to the glacier front is subdued, weak forced or free convection plus diffusional submarine melting dominates at depth, and seaward outflow of melt water occurs from the glacier toe to the base of the insulating BEW. During medium intensity GRW (∼1500 m3 s-1), mixing with SPMW yields deep mixed runoff water (DMRW), which rises as a buoyant plume and intensifies local submarine melting (enhanced buoyancy-driven melting). In this case, DMRW typically attains hydrostatic equilibrium and flows seaward at an intermediate depth of

  20. Area and Elevation Changes of a Debris-Covered Glacier and a Clean-Ice Glacier Between 1952-2013 Using Aerial Images and Structure-from-Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lardeux, P.; Glasser, N. F.; Holt, T.; Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Hubbard, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Since 1952, the clean-ice Glacier Blanc has retreated twice as fast as the adjacent debris-covered Glacier Noir. Located in the French Alps and separated by only 1 km, both glaciers experience the same climatic conditions, making them ideal to evaluate the impact of debris cover on glacier evolution. We used aerial photographs from 16 acquisitions from 1952 to 2013 to reconstruct and analyze glacier elevation changes using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) techniques. Here, we present the process of developing sub-metric resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) from these aerial photographs. By combining 16 DEMs, we produced a dataset of elevation changes of Glacier Noir and Glacier Blanc, including time-series analysis of lateral and longitudinal profiles, glacier hypsometry and mass balance variation. Our preliminary results indicate that Glacier Noir and Glacier Blanc have both thinned to a similar magnitude, ≤ 20 m, despite a 1 km retreat for Glacier Blanc and only 500 m for Glacier Noir. However, these elevation change reconstructions are hampered by large uncertainties, principally due to the lack of independent camera calibration on the historical imagery. Initial attempts using posteriori correction grids have proven to significantly increase the accuracy of these data. We will present some of the uncertainties and solutions linked to the use of SfM on such a large scale and on such an old dataset. This study demonstrates how SfM can be used to investigate long-term trends in environmental change, allowing glacier monitoring to be up-scaled. It also highlights the need for on-going validation of methods to increase the accuracy and precision of SfM in glaciology. This work is not only advancing our understanding of the role of the debris layer, but will also aid glacial geology more generally with, for example, detailed geomorphological analysis of proglacial terrain and Quaternary sciences with quick and accurate reconstruction of a glacial paleo-environment.

  1. Satellite Observations of Mass Changes and Glacier Motions at the Patagonian Icefields, South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, M. J.; Melkonian, A. K.; Pritchard, M. E.; Ramage, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    front receding 4.2 km. Maximum thinning rates have also increased dramatically at the tidewater Jorge Montt Glacier, from 20±7 m/yr between 2000 and 2005 to 60±11 m/yr between 2005 and 2011 and at the Upsala Glacier, which thinned at a peak rate of 10.0±2.0 m/yr from 2000 to 2005, accelerating to 24.8±2.4 m/yr from 2005 to 2011. Ice near the front of the retreating Jorge Montt and HPS12 glaciers is moving rapidly, at more than 20 m/day. Large thinning rates and rapid motions imply that ice dynamics are an important component of the volume changes observed at these outlet glaciers. The CDI lost volume at a rate of 1.95±0.13 km3/yr between 2001 and 2011. The loss is concentrated at the ablation zones of the Marinelli, CDI-08 and Darwin glaciers. The volume loss at the CDI is large compared to the small size of the icefield. We do not have enough acquisitions to detect speed changes, but provide baseline measurement of glacier speeds for most of the icefield. We find a total volume loss of about 19.1 km3/yr from the Patagonian Icefields between 2000 and 2011. This estimate should be considered a lower bound as we do not take into account area changes.

  2. Glacier generated floods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Climatic Slow-down of the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya Glaciers Over the Last 25 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dehecq, A.; Gourmelen, N.; Trouvé, E.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has caused drastic changes in mountain glaciers globally, and of the Himalayan glaciers in particular. The stakes are high; glaciers and ice caps are the largest contributor to the increase in the mass of the world's oceans, and the Himalayas play a key role in the hydrology of the region, impacting on the economy, food safety and flood risk. Partial monitoring of the Himalayan glaciers has revealed a contrasted picture; while many of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, in some cases locally stable or advancing glaciers in this region have also been observed. Several studies based on field measurements or remote sensing have shown a dominant slow-down of mountain glaciers globally in response to these changes. But they are restricted to a few glaciers or small regions and none has analysed the dynamic response of glaciers to climate changes at regional scales. Here we present a region-wide analysis of annual glacier flow velocity covering the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya region obtained from the analysis of the entire archive of Landsat data. Over 90% of the ice-covered regions, as defined by the Randolph Glacier Inventory, are measured, with precision on the retrieved velocity of the order of 4 m/yr. The change in velocities over the last 25 years will be analysed with reference to regional glacier mass balance and topographic caracteristics. We show that the first order temporal evolution of glacier flow mirrors the pattern of glacier mass balance. We observe a general decrease of ice velocity in regions of known ice mass loss, and a more complex patterns consisting of mixed acceleration and decrease of ice velocity in regions that are known to be affected by stable mass balance and surge-like behavior.

  6. Climatic Slow-down of the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya Glaciers Over the Last 25 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumont, M.; Brun, E.; Picard, G.; Michou, M.; Libois, Q.; Petit, J. R.; Morin, S.; Josse, B.

    2014-12-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has caused drastic changes in mountain glaciers globally, and of the Himalayan glaciers in particular. The stakes are high; glaciers and ice caps are the largest contributor to the increase in the mass of the world's oceans, and the Himalayas play a key role in the hydrology of the region, impacting on the economy, food safety and flood risk. Partial monitoring of the Himalayan glaciers has revealed a contrasted picture; while many of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, in some cases locally stable or advancing glaciers in this region have also been observed. Several studies based on field measurements or remote sensing have shown a dominant slow-down of mountain glaciers globally in response to these changes. But they are restricted to a few glaciers or small regions and none has analysed the dynamic response of glaciers to climate changes at regional scales. Here we present a region-wide analysis of annual glacier flow velocity covering the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya region obtained from the analysis of the entire archive of Landsat data. Over 90% of the ice-covered regions, as defined by the Randolph Glacier Inventory, are measured, with precision on the retrieved velocity of the order of 4 m/yr. The change in velocities over the last 25 years will be analysed with reference to regional glacier mass balance and topographic caracteristics. We show that the first order temporal evolution of glacier flow mirrors the pattern of glacier mass balance. We observe a general decrease of ice velocity in regions of known ice mass loss, and a more complex patterns consisting of mixed acceleration and decrease of ice velocity in regions that are known to be affected by stable mass balance and surge-like behavior.

  7. Extirpation and recolonization in a metapopulation of an endangered fish, the tidewater goby

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Swift, C.C.; Ambrose, R.F.

    1999-01-01

    The tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), an endangered species in the United States, occurs in a series of isolated coastal wetlands in California. Using historical presence-absence data and our own surveys, we estimated annual rates of extirpation and recolonization for several populations of the goby in southern California. As predicted, large wetlands had lower rates of extirpation than small wetlands. There was a negative but statistically nonsignificant correlation between recolonization rate and distance to the nearest northerly source population. Populations at small sites were sensitive to drought, presumably because droughts can eliminate suitable habitat at small wetlands. Populations in small wetlands have declined over time, even after accounting for variation in stream flow, supporting the species' endangered status. Our study emphasizes the need to understand metapopulation dynamics for conserving species where the unit of conservation is a local population. It is also emphasizes the importance of not treating metapopulations as identical units. Finally, our results provide a means for describing the decline of a species that is complex in time and space and provide insight into how to target protection measures among metapopulations.

  8. Assessment of the photoenhanced toxicity of a weathered oil to the tidewater silverside

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, Edward E.; Cleveland, Laverne; Calfee, Robin D.; Barron, Mace G.

    2000-01-01

    Studies were conducted to determine the interactive toxicity of a water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of a weathered middle distillate petroleum and solar radiation to an estuarine organism, the tidewater silverside (Menidia beryllina). Juvenile silversides were monitored for survival and growth during a 7-d static renewal exposure to dilutions of WAFs of an environmentally weathered oil collected in the vicinity of an abandoned oil field in California. Ultraviolet (UV) treatments were based on incident sunlight intensity and spectra measured at this site. Exposure to UV alone was not lethal to the fish, and WAF in the absence of UV was toxic at the highest total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentration (3.03 mg/L) after 96 h of exposure. Water-accommodated fractions toxicity increased significantly with increasing UV irradiance and duration of exposure. The 7-d LC50 concentrations for the control, low, medium, and high irradiance were 2.84, 1.27, 0.93, and 0.51 mg/L TPH, respectively. Significant mortality occurred among fish previously exposed to WAF in the absence of irradiance, whereas WAF toxicity was unaffected by UV exposure prior to the toxicity test. Thus, the mode of action is a photosensitization of the accumulated petroleum residue rather than a photoactivation of WAF. Chemical analysis indicates that the WAF contains limited amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) known to be photoenhanced, suggesting that other constituents may be responsible for the observed photoenhanced toxicity.

  9. Surging glaciers and glacial floods in the Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, J. M.

    2003-04-01

    A review of glacial hazards in the Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan, has identified 52 catastrophic floods that have occurred between 1826 and 2000 arising from ice dam failures and glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Surging glaciers have formed large ice dams, where the rapid glacier advances have blocked the adjacent river, and have failed subsequently releasing up to 3 km^3 of water in less than 48 hrs with peak discharges in excess of 40,000 m^3/s. Such catastrophic floods have had run-out distances in excess of 1,200 km and have caused major damage downstream and resulted in many hundreds of fatalities. Since 1980, 75% of recorded glacier-derived floods have originated from GLOFs with only few ice dam failures associated with surging glaciers. Glacier surges have occurred in clusters with individual glaciers going through phases of active surging and then quiescent periods in from 30 to over 100 years. Previous reviews of surging glaciers in the Upper Indus Basin have identified 20 glaciers that have demonstrated surge-type behaviour with the bulk of glacier surges apparently occurring prior to 1933. However, recent satellite imagery (Landsat-5 from 1998/99) has shown that there are a further 16 glaciers that have surged within this region, with several surging simultaneously and in recent years. At least one glacier has been identified on satellite imagery as going through a surge from 1998 to June 2001 when the resultant ice dam failed producing a locally devastating flood. The study has also demonstrated that there is no obvious link between what triggers an individual glacier to surge and climate change. Furthermore, within this seismically very active area, there is no evidence that earthquakes have triggered either surges, collapses of ice dams, or failures of other glacial lake dams, over the period 1927--2001 for which records are available. Surge behaviour within composite glaciers results in highly complex structural effects especially where tributary

  10. Large Response to Precipitation and Tidal Forcing at Columbia Glacier Imaged with Terrestrial Radar Interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassotto, R.; Fahnestock, M. A.; O'Neel, S.; Sass, L.; McNabb, R. W.; Pfeffer, W. T.

    2015-12-01

    Columbia Glacier, one of Alaska's largest tidewater glaciers (TWG), stretches from sea level in Prince William Sound to the high peaks of Alaska's Chugach Mountains. One of the last TWG in the area to retreat from its Little Ice Age (LIA) moraine, Columbia has lost about half its ice volume as its terminus receded 22 km behind the LIA maximum position. At this time the glacier has split into two branches, with termini thought to be located near the heads of the submarine parts of the fjord, and may be nearing the end of its retreat phase. Seasonal variations in speed near the termini on both branches are large (~90%), with late summer speeds as low as a few meters per day. We deployed a terrestrial radar interferometer in October 2014 to observe short-term variations in speed during the slowest part of the seasonal cycle. Initial observations showed very slow speeds, with both termini exhibiting strong tidal modulation; however, significant rainfall from Tropical Storm Phanfone produced pronounced accelerations. We measured strong responses along both branches, with the largest increase (300%) occurring a few kilometers behind the calving fronts and lasted for several days. The large responses of the glacier's termini to this precipitation event, to tidal variations, and also the large seasonal variations in speed, suggest that Columbia's termini are not strongly grounded, are subject to large variations in sliding over short time periods, and may not yet have reached a more stable configuration in their retreats. The stability of Columbia's termini, based on our observations and bed models that suggest that a deep bed continues upfjord of the calving fronts for several kilometers, imply that Columbia's >30 year retreat may still be ongoing.

  11. 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

  12. Retreating glacier fronts on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past half-century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cook, A.J.; Fox, A.J.; Vaughan, D.G.; Ferrigno, J.G.

    2005-01-01

    The continued retreat of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula has been widely attributed to recent atmospheric warming, but there is little published work describing changes in glacier margin positions. We present trends in 244 marine glacier fronts on the peninsula and associated islands over the past 61 years. Of these glaciers, 87% have retreated and a clear boundary between mean advance and retreat has migrated progressively southward. The pattern is broadly compatible with retreat driven by atmospheric warming, but the rapidity of the migration suggests that this may not be the sole driver of glacier retreat in this region.

  13. Calving dynamics at Helheim Glacier from a high-resolution observational network.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selmes, Nick; Aspey, Robin; Baugé, Tim; Bevan, Suzanne; Edwards, Stuart; Everett, Alistair; James, Timothy; Loskot, Pavel; Luckman, Adrian; Martin, Ian; Murray, Tavi; O'Farrell, Tim; Rutt, Ian

    2014-05-01

    Calving glaciers play a crucial role in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet; acceleration of these glaciers results in increased mass loss from the ice sheet interior and a corresponding rise in sea level. Understanding the controls on calving is crucial for predicting the dynamic response of tidewater glaciers to environmental change, but understanding of calving is hindered by the difficulty of obtaining appropriate field measurements, and by the complexity of the system being observed. We designed and deployed a wireless network of GPS nodes which transmit to off-glacier base stations every few seconds, allowing observations right up to node loss through calving. We ran a network of 20 sensors over the period July - September 2013 on the highly crevassed surface of Helheim Glacier, one of the largest and fastest flowing of the Greenland outlets. Topographic change, additional velocities, and calving flux were provided by two sets of stereo time-lapse cameras, TanDEM-X satellite imagery, repeat airborne lidar, and airborne and spaceborne optical remotely-sensed imagery. At the start of our field season we observed the expression on the fjord surface of a point-source subglacial meltwater plume. We monitored the evolution of the plume and its effect on the exposed calving face and ice mélange from time-lapse cameras, optical remotely-sensed imagery and lidar data. We compare these observations to our record of frontal positions to study the plume's role in controlling the spatial extent of iceberg calving. Our 53 day study period contained several large calving events which resulted in frontal retreat of ~1.5 km. We present the glacier's dynamic and topographic response to these calving events through this very large and rich dataset. Typically the glacier ice flows down slope and speeds up as ice progresses towards the calving front, with notable acceleration after each calving event. Intriguingly we see periods where sensors behave in unexpected ways

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Optical Remote Sensing of Glacier Characteristics: A Review with Focus on the Himalaya

    PubMed Central

    Racoviteanu, Adina E.; Williams, Mark W.; Barry, Roger G.

    2008-01-01

    The increased availability of remote sensing platforms with appropriate spatial and temporal resolution, global coverage and low financial costs allows for fast, semi-automated, and cost-effective estimates of changes in glacier parameters over large areas. Remote sensing approaches allow for regular monitoring of the properties of alpine glaciers such as ice extent, terminus position, volume and surface elevation, from which glacier mass balance can be inferred. Such methods are particularly useful in remote areas with limited field-based glaciological measurements. This paper reviews advances in the use of visible and infrared remote sensing combined with field methods for estimating glacier parameters, with emphasis on volume/area changes and glacier mass balance. The focus is on the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor and its applicability for monitoring Himalayan glaciers. The methods reviewed are: volumetric changes inferred from digital elevation models (DEMs), glacier delineation algorithms from multi-spectral analysis, changes in glacier area at decadal time scales, and AAR/ELA methods used to calculate yearly mass balances. The current limitations and on-going challenges in using remote sensing for mapping characteristics of mountain glaciers also discussed, specifically in the context of the Himalaya. PMID:27879883

  16. Comparison of multiple glacier inventories with a new inventory derived from high-resolution ALOS imagery in the Bhutan Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Digital glacier inventories are invaluable data sets for revealing the characteristics of glacier distribution and for upscaling measurements from selected locations to entire mountain ranges. Here, we present a new inventory of Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) imagery and compare it with existing inventories for the Bhutan Himalaya. The new inventory contains 1583 glaciers (1487 ± 235 km2), thereof 219 debris-covered glaciers (951 ± 193 km2) and 1364 debris-free glaciers (536 ± 42 km2). Moreover, we propose an index for quantifying consistency between two glacier outlines. Comparison of the overlap ratio demonstrates that the ALOS-derived glacier inventory contains delineation uncertainties of 10-20 % which depend on glacier size, that the shapes and geographical locations of glacier outlines derived from the fourth version of the Randolph Glacier Inventory have been improved in the fifth version, and that the latter is consistent with other inventories. In terms of whole glacier distribution, each data set is dominated by glaciers of 1.0-5.0 km2 area (31-34 % of the total area), situated at approximately 5400 m elevation (nearly 10 % in 100 m bin) with either north or south aspects (22 and 15 %). However, individual glacier outlines and their area exhibit clear differences among inventories. Furthermore, consistent separation of glaciers with inconspicuous termini remains difficult, which, in some cases, results in different values for glacier number. High-resolution imagery from Google Earth can be used to improve the interpretation of glacier outlines, particularly for debris-covered areas and steep adjacent slopes.

  17. Glaciers of Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.; Ferrigno, Jane G.

    1988-01-01

    Of all the world?s continents Antarctica is the coldest, the highest, and the least known. It is one and a half times the size of the United States, and on it lies 91 percent (30,109,800 km3) of the estimated volume of all the ice on Earth. Because so little is known about Antarctic glaciers compared with what is known about glaciers in populated countries, satellite imagery represents a great leap forward in the provision of basic data. From the coast of Antarctica to about 81?south latitude, there are 2,514 Landsat nominal scene centers (the fixed geographic position of the intersection of orbital paths and latitudinal rows). If there were cloud-free images for all these geographic centers, only about 520 Landsat images would be needed to provide complete coverage. Because of cloud cover, however, only about 70 percent of the Landsat imaging area, or 55 percent of the continent, is covered by good quality Landsat images. To date, only about 20 percent of Antarctica has been mapped at scales of 1:250,000 or larger, but these maps do include about half of the coastline. The area of Antarctica that could be planimetrically mapped at a scale of 1:250,000 would be tripled if the available Landsat images were used in image map production. This chapter contains brief descriptions and interpretations of features seen in 62 carefully selected Landsat images or image mosaics. Images were chosen on the basis of quality and interest; for this reason they are far from evenly spaced around the continent. Space limitations allow less than 15 percent of the Landsat imaging area of Antarctica to be shown in the illustrations reproduced in this chapter. Unfortunately, a wealth of glaciological and other features of compelling interest is present in the many hundreds of images that could not be included. To help show some important features beyond the limit of Landsat coverage, and as an aid to the interpretation of certain features seen in the images, 38 oblique aerial photographs

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Austrian glaciers in historical documents of the last 400 years: implications for historical hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Andrea; Seiser, Bernd

    2014-05-01

    First documentations of Austrian glaciers date from as early as 1601. Early documentations were triggered by glacier advances that created glacier-dammed lakes that caused floods whenever the dam collapsed . Since then, Austrian glaciers have been documented in drawings, descriptions and later on in maps and photography. These data are stored in historical archives but today only partly exploited for historical glaciology. They are of special interest for historical hydrology in glacier-covered basins, as the extent of the snow, firn and ice cover and its elevation affect the hydrological response of the basin to precipitation events in several ways: - Firn cover: the more area is covered by firn, the higher is the capacity for retention or even refreezing of liquid precipitation and melt water. - Ice cover: the area covered by glaciers can be affected by melt and contributes to a peak discharge on summer afternoons. - Surface elevation and temperatures: in case of precipitation events, the lower surface temperatures and higher surface elevation of the glaciers compared to ice-free ground have some impact on the capacity to store precipitation. - Glacier floods: for the LIA maximum around 1850, a number of advancing glaciers dammed lakes which emptied during floods. These parameters show different variability with time: glacier area varies only by about 60% to 70% between the LIA maximum and today. The variability of the maximum meltwater peak changes much more than the area. Even during the LIA maximum, several years were extremely warm, so that more than twice the size of today's glacier area was subject to glacier melt. The minimum elevations of large glaciers were several hundred meters lower than today, so that in terms of today's summer mean temperatures, the melt water production from ice ablation would have been much higher than today. A comparison of historical glacier images and description with today's makes it clear that the extent of the snow cover and

  20. Survival, growth and stress response of juvenile tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi, to interspecific competition for food

    PubMed Central

    Chase, Daniel A.; Flynn, Erin E.; Todgham, Anne E.

    2016-01-01

    Reintroduction of endangered fishes to historic habitat has been used as a recovery tool; however, these fish may face competition from other fishes that established in their native habitat since extirpation. This study investigated the physiological response of tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi, an endangered California fish, when competing for food with threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, a native species, and rainwater killifish, Lucania parva, a non-native species. Survival, growth and physiological indicators of stress (i.e. cortisol, glucose and lactate concentrations) were assessed for juvenile fish held for 28 days in two food-limited conditions. When fed a 75% ration, survival of E. newberryi was significantly lower when held with G. aculeatus. In all fish assemblages, weight and relative condition decreased then stabilized over the 28 day experiment, while length remained unchanged. Whole-body cortisol in E. newberryi was not affected by fish assemblage; however, glucose and lactate concentrations were significantly higher with conspecifics than with other fish assemblages. When fed a 50% ration, survival of E. newberryi decreased during the second half of the experiment, while weight and relative condition decreased and length remained unchanged in all three fish assemblages. Cortisol concentrations were significantly higher for all fish assemblages compared with concentrations at the start of the experiment, whereas glucose and lactate concentrations were depressed relative to concentrations at the start of the experiment, with the magnitude of decrease dependent on the species assemblage. Our findings indicate that E. newberryi exhibited reduced growth and an elevated generalized stress response during low food availability. In response to reduced food availability, competition with G. aculeatus had the greatest physiological effect on E. newberryi, with minimal effects from the non-native L. parva. This study presents the first

  1. Evolving force balance at Columbia Glacier, Alaska, during its rapid retreat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, S.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Krimmel, R.; Meier, M.

    2005-01-01

    Changes in driving and resistive stresses play an essential role in governing the buoyancy forces that are important controls on the speed and irreversibility of tidewater glacier retreats. We describe changes in geometry, velocity, and strain rate and present a top-down force balance analysis performed over the lower reach of Columbia Glacier. Our analysis uses new measurements and estimates of basal topography and photogrammetric surface velocity measurements made between 1977 and 2001, while assuming depth-independent strain. Sensitivity tests show that the method is robust and insensitive to small changes in the calculation parameters. Spatial distributions of ice speed show little correspondence with driving stress. Instead, spatial patterns of ice speed exhibit a nonlinear correspondence with basal drag. Primary resistance to flow comes from basal drag, but lateral drag becomes increasingly more important throughout the retreat, which may account for observed increases in speed. Maximum basal drag is always located in a prominent constriction located ~12 km upstream from the preretreat terminus. Once the terminus retreated into deep water off the terminal moraine marking the modern maximum extent, the upstream location of this maximum basal drag helped to promote thinning and decrease effective pressure in the lower region by limiting replenishing ice flow from upstream. An increase in both ice velocity and calving resulted, initiating what appears to be an irreversible retreat. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. South Georgia glaciers through periods of fast and slow retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paasche, O.; Bakke, J.; Schaefer, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Along the Antarctic Peninsula and across the sub-Antarctic islands most glaciers, regardless of size and configuration, are in a state of demise and have been so for several decades. An emerging question is: how unique is this modern retreat when compared to glacier activity in this region during the last 10 000 years, if at all and to what extent? And also, how is this pattern different from the Northern Hemisphere where glaciers generally were small or even absent during the Holocene Optimum (9000-6000 years ago) and expanding after the onset of the Neoglacial (4000 years ago), with a typical late maximum around the Little Ice age (1400-1800 AD)? Here we address these questions in an effort to further our understanding of natural environmental variability in the Southern Hemisphere on time scales, and with a resolution, high enough to capture glacier trends on multi-decadal to centennial time scales. This is accomplished by acquiring and analyzing new terrestrial glacier records from the remote island South Georgia (54-55°S, 36-38°W) covering at least the last 13 000 years. Results from downstream lake sediment archives together with cosmogenic nuclide dating of a complete moraine sequence add new insight to the glacier history of South Georgia. The Hodges cirque glacier, which was mapped and investigated intermittently by the British Antarctic Survey between 1955-1982, was according to our observations present during the entire Holocene, but smaller advances were superimposed on a long-term pattern of retreat. The Hodges, as one of the first glaciers on South Georgia, had completely melted away by 2008, which indicate a retreat of circa 900 meter since early Holocene.

  3. Mass balance investigation of alpine glaciers through LANDSAT TM data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayr, Klaus J.

    1989-01-01

    An analysis of LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) data of the Pasterze Glacier and the Kleines Fleisskees in the Austrian Alps was undertaken and compared with meteorological data of nearby weather stations. Alpine or valley glaciers can be used to study regional and worldwide climate changes. Alpine glaciers respond relatively fast to a warming or cooling trend in temperature through an advance or a retreat of the terminus. In addition, the mass balance of the glacier is being affected. Last year two TM scenes of the Pasterze Glacier of Aug. 1984 and Aug. 1986 were used to study the difference in reflectance. This year, in addition to the scenes from last year, one MSS scene of Aug. 1976 and a TM scene from 1988 were examined for both the Pasterze Glacier and the Kleines Fleisskees. During the overpass of the LANDSAT on 6 Aug. 1988 ground truthing on the Pasterze Glacier was undertaken. The results indicate that there was considerable more reflectance in 1976 and 1984 than in 1986 and 1988. The climatological data of the weather stations Sonnblick and Rudolfshuette were examined and compared with the results found through the LANDSAT data. There were relations between the meteorological and LANDSAT data: the average temperature over the last 100 years showed an increase of .4 C, the snowfall was declining during the same time period but the overall precipitation did not reveal any significant change over the same period. With the use of an interactive image analysis computer, the LANDSAT scenes were studied. The terminus of the Pasterze Glacier retreated 348 m and the terminus of the Kleines Fleisskees 121 m since 1965. This approach using LANDSAT MSS and TM digital data in conjunction with meteorological data can be effectively used to monitor regional and worldwide climate changes.

  4. Revealing glacier flow and surge dynamics from animated satellite image sequences: examples from the Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, F.

    2015-04-01

    Although animated images are very popular on the Internet, they have so far found only limited use for glaciological applications. With long time-series of satellite images becoming increasingly available and glaciers being well recognized for their rapid changes and variable flow dynamics, animated sequences of multiple satellite images reveal glacier dynamics in a time-lapse mode, making the otherwise slow changes of glacier movement visible and understandable for a wide public. For this study animated image sequences were created from freely available image quick-looks of orthorectified Landsat scenes for four regions in the central Karakoram mountain range. The animations play automatically in a web-browser and might help to demonstrate glacier flow dynamics for educational purposes. The animations revealed highly complex patterns of glacier flow and surge dynamics over a 15-year time period (1998-2013). In contrast to other regions, surging glaciers in the Karakoram are often small (around 10 km2), steep, debris free, and advance for several years at comparably low annual rates (a few hundred m a-1). The advance periods of individual glaciers are generally out of phase, indicating a limited climatic control on their dynamics. On the other hand, nearly all other glaciers in the region are either stable or slightly advancing, indicating balanced or even positive mass budgets over the past few years to decades.

  5. Glacier melt on the Third Pole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, T.

    2015-12-01

    With an average elevation above 4,000 metres, the Third Pole (TP) is a unique region with many high mountains centered on the Tibetan Plateau stretching over 5 million square kilometers. Major environmental changes are taking place on the TP characterized by complex interactions of atmospheric, cryospheric, hydrological, geological and environmental processes. These processes are critical for the well-being of the three billion people inhabiting the plateau and the surrounding regions. Glacier melt is one of the most significant environmental changes observed on the TP. Over the past decade, most of the glaciers on the TP have undergone considerable melt. The Third Pole Environment (TPE) has focused on the causes of the glacier melt by conducting large-scale ground in-situ observation and monitoring, analyzing satellite images and remote sensing data, and applying numerical modeling to environmental research on the TP. The studies of long-term record of water stable isotopes in precipitation and ice core throughout the TP have revealed different features with regions, thus proposing significant influence of atmospheric circulations on spatial precipitation pattern over the TP. Validation of the result by isotope-equipped general circulation models confirms the spatial distribution of different atmospheric circulation dominances on the TP, with northern part dominated by the westerlies, southern part by the summer monsoon, and central part featuring the influences of both circulation systems. Such unique circulation patterns also bear directly on the status of glaciers and lakes over the TP and its surroundings. The studies therefore found the largest glacier melt in the monsoon-dominated southern part, moderate melt in the central part of transition, and the least melt, or even slight advance in the westerlies-dominated northern TP. It is clear that some mountains on the TP are undergoing rapid melt and the consequence of without ice and snow will be very soon. The

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Spatial features of glacier changes in the Barents-Kara Sector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharov, A. I.; Schöner, W.; Pail, R.

    2009-04-01

    steepened. Significant positive height changes of 25 to 50 m were also registered at several insular ice caps smaller than 300 km² with top heights of about 300 m. At sub-regional scale the horizontal distribution of glacier changes was not uniform and correlated astonishingly well with the geopotential field represented in existing gravity anomaly maps of the Arctic. The locations of positive glacier changes systematically neighbored with the locations of strong positive gravity anomalies. Conversely, the largest negative changes were situated in the close vicinity of negative anomalies. Hence we supposed that significant lateral variations of geopotential might influence the local intensity of solid precipitation, snow accumulation rate and glacier regime in the High Arctic. A basic set of simple differential equations describing glacioclimatic settings in the heterogeneous field of gravity was compiled and critically compared with the relevant knowledge obtained by some other investigators. As a result, a new working hypothesis about gravity driven fluctuations in the long-term regime of cryospheric resources was devised and argued. First numerical simulations, statistical analyses of meteorological and tidal data rows, error balance estimates and specific glaciological surveys in 2001, 2006 and 2008 demonstrated major spatiotemporal singularities, principal methodological advantages and a higher feasibility of the proposed hypothesis compared to similar empirical-theoretical concepts developed by "lunarists" and "astro-meteorologists". New remote sensing data to be obtained from GOCE and CryoSat-2 satellites over the Barents-Kara Sector, which represents the largest cluster of tidewater glaciers and gravity anomalies in the Old World, might essentially contribute to the verification of this still conjectural theory.

  9. Assessing volume change of tropical Peruvian glaciers from multi-temporal digital elevation models (DEMs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, K.; Mark, B. G.

    2012-12-01

    Although far smaller than large polar ice caps, mountain glaciers are significant contributors to sea level rise and tropical glaciers in particular are sources of critical water resources to regional societies. The glaciers in Cordillera Blanca, the Andes of Peru, hold important environmental and economic concerns of regional water supplies to communities in the arid western part of the country under continued global climate change. Yet steep relief and remote locations present challenges for measuring mass changes in tropical glaciers. Remotely sensed images provide feasible opportunities to measure glacier surface area changes. We use a combination of satellite and airborne remote sensing, digital photogrammetry and geospatial techniques to assess the surface area, volume and topographic changes of key glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru between 1962 and 2008. The intercomparison of digital elevation models (DEMs) from airborne Light Detection and Range (LiDAR) data of 2008, multispectral Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) of 2001-2008 and stereo-paired airborne photographs of 1962 for deriving elevation differences over time reveal the data quality to measure the volume loss in the area. The DEMs over non-glacier areas in the study sites were selected and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (dGPS) data points were used for comparison as well. The motivation of this study is to refine a surface area to volume scaling for tropical glaciers to enable extrapolation of more detailed inventory of glacier volume and water resources.

  10. Interpreting Terminus Fluctuations at Helheim Glacier, Southeast Greenland, through Modeling and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kehrl, L. M.; Joughin, I. R.; Shapero, D.

    2014-12-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers are highly sensitive to changes at the ice-ocean boundary. Changes at the ice-ocean boundary (calving events, submarine melting) can alter the terminus position and thereby the stress balance. If the terminus retreats into deeper water, more of the driving stress must then be balanced by longitudinal stress gradients, which cause the glacier to speed up. This study combines satellite observations and modeling (Elmer/Ice) to investigate the relationship between glacier dynamics and terminus position at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, from 2000-2014. Helheim Glacier retreated about 7 km from 2001-2005 as warm ocean water entered the nearby fjord. From 2005-2006, the glacier re-advanced by 3 km as a floating or near-floating ice tongue formed over the basal overdeepening in front of the glacier terminus. Since then, Helheim's terminus position has remained relatively stable, with terminus fluctuations of < 2 km. Our model experiments consider both large terminus fluctuations (> 2 km) associated with rapid retreat and small terminus fluctuations (< 500 m) associated with individual calving events. We run the model simulations with both a flowline and three-dimensional model to better constrain our uncertainties. Our results show that Helheim Glacier responds rapidly to changes in terminus position of more than a few hundred meters. Small terminus fluctuations can cause velocity variations that extend up to 30 km inland, which roughly corresponds with the spatial extent of the weak bed (20-40 kPa) underneath Helheim Glacier.

  11. Advance of East Antarctic outlet glaciers during the Hypsithermal: Implications for the volume state of the Antarctic ice sheet under global warming

    SciTech Connect

    Domack, E.W. ); Jull, A.J.T. ); Nakao, Seizo )

    1991-11-01

    The authors present the first circum-East Antarctic chronology for the Holocene, based on 17 radiocarbon dates generated by the accelerator method. Marine sediments form around East Antarctica contain a consistent, high-resolution record of terrigenous (ice-proximal) and biogenic (open-marine) sedimentation during Holocene time. This record demonstrates that biogenic sedimentation beneath the open-marine environment on the continental shelf has been restricted to approximately the past 4 ka, whereas a period of terrigenous sedimentation related to grounding line advance of ice tongues and ice shelves took place between 7 and 4 ka. An earlier period of open-marine (biogenic sedimentation) conditions following the late Pleistocene glacial maximum is recognized from the Prydz Bay (Ocean Drilling Program) record between 10.7 and 7.3 ka. Clearly, the response of outlet systems along the periphery of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene was expansion. This may have been a direct consequence of climate warming during an Antarctic Hypsithermal. Temperature-accumulation relations for the Antarctic indicate that warming will cause a significant increase in accumulation rather than in ablation. Models that predict a positive mass balance (growth) of the Antarctic ice sheet under global warming are supported by the mid-Holocene data presented herein.

  12. Preliminary bathymetry of McCarty Fiord and Neoglacial changes of McCarty Glacier, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    Preliminary bathymetry (at 1:20,000 scale) and other scientific studies of McCarty Fiord, Alaska, Conducted by the Research Vessel Growler in 1978, showed this 15 mile-long waterway to be a narrow, deeply scoured basin enclosed by a terminal-moraine shoal. This valley was formerly filled by McCarty Glacier, which began a drastic retreat shortly after 1909; the glacier reached shallow water at the head of the fiord around 1960. The relative rate of retreat in deep water and on land is disclosed by the slower melting of stagnent ice left in a side valley. Soundings and profiles show the main channel to extend to a depth as great as 957 feet and to have the typical ' U ' shape of a glacier-eroded valley; since the glacier 's retreat, sediments have formed a nearly level deposit in the deepest part of the fiord. Old forest debris dated by carbon-14 indicates that a neoglacial advance of the glacier began before 3,395 years B.P. (before present); by 1,500 B.P. the glacier filled most of the fiord, and before the glacier culminated its advance around 1860 , two glacier-dammed lakes were formed in side valleys. (USGS)

  13. Relative Coastal Change-Potential Assessment of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2006-01-01

    A change-potential index (CPI) was used to map the relative coastal change-potential of the shoreline to future sea-level fluctuation within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (GBNPP) in southeastern Alaska. The CPI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level change, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined, and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CPI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level and coastal change might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's potential for change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural susceptibility to the effects of sea-level variation. The CPI provides an objective method for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. The CPI was developed from a Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) typically applied to coastlines experiencing long-term sea-level rise. The CPI is modified from the CVI and applied to the emergent coast of GBNPP to understand the limits of applying this type of assessment method in a variety of sea level settings. GBNPP consists of sand and gravel beaches, rock cliffs, calving glaciers, mudflats, and alluvial fans. The areas within GBNPP that are likely to be most susceptible to coastal change as a result of sea-level change are tidewater glaciers and outer coast shorelines of unconsolidated sediment where wave energy is highest and the regional coastal slope is shallowest.

  14. The Arctic Mountain Glacier, Austre Okstindbreen in Northern Norway, survived the 'Holocene Thermal Optimum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind; Olaf Dahl, Svein

    2010-05-01

    Arctic glaciers are currently undergoing major changes, but accurate knowledge about how they have varied continuously during the Holocene (<11 700 years) is still scarce. Here we present a new glacier record from Austre Okstindbreen in Nordland, northern Norway. This continuous reconstruction is based on a number of short and long cores collected from several downstream basins, which have been analyzed by a suit of methods including geochemical elements (XRF), rock magnetic properties, dry bulk density (DBD) and Loss-on-ignition (LOI). Lake sediment distribution was surveyed and mapped by the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR), securing optimal coring sites. Independently lichen-dated marginal moraines and historical information from old photographs and maps have ensured that the moraine sequence can be closely linked to the lake sediment chronology. This new glacier reconstruction reveals that Austre Okstindbreen is the first known glacier in Scandinavia to have survived the "Holocene Thermal Optimum". It also brackets the four largest glacier advances to c 7000, 1300, 800 and 250 b2k. In contrast to most glaciers in Scandinavia, the largest glacier advance was not associated with the "Little Ice Age", but rather to an earlier period centred at 1300 b2k. Both the moraine chronology and the lacustrine records document this foremost Neoglacial advance. Compared to other glacier reconstructions from the Northern Hemisphere we identify near-synchronous glacier advances occurring roughly at 4ka, 1.3ka and during the "Little Ice Age". These shared advances across the Northern Hemisphere suggest that these centennial-scale events are a shared feature regardless of the large geographical distances separating them. Some of the events are not synchronous between the different records, which are probably due to lack of precise dating as well as the potential influence of local climatic conditions.

  15. A complete record of Holocene glacier variability at Austre Okstindbreen, northern Norway: an integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, Jostein; Dahl, Svein Olaf; Paasche, Øyvind; Riis Simonsen, Joachim; Kvisvik, Bjørn; Bakke, Kristina; Nesje, Atle

    2010-05-01

    Arctic glaciers are currently undergoing major changes, but accurate knowledge about how they varied during the entire Holocene is still scarce. Here we present a new complete glacier record from Austre Okstindbreen in Nordland, northern Norway. This reconstruction is based on a number of short and long cores retrieved from several downstream basins, which have been analyzed by a suite of methods including geochemical elements (XRF), rock magnetic properties, dry bulk density (DBD) and Loss-on-ignition (LOI). Lake sediment distribution was surveyed and mapped prior to coring by the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR). Independently lichen-dated marginal moraines and historical information about the glacier frontal positions from old photographs and maps have made it possible to link the moraine sequence to the 210Pb dated lake sediment chronology. This integrated approach reveals that Austre Okstindbreen is the first known glacier in Scandinavia to possibly have survived the "Holocene Thermal Optimum". It also brackets the four largest glacier advances to c 7400-7000, 1400-1200, 900-700 and 300-150 years before AD 2000 (b2k). In contrast to most reconstructed glaciers in Scandinavia, the largest glacier advance was not associated with the "Little Ice Age", but rather to an earlier period centred at 1300 b2k. Both the moraine chronology and the lacustrine records document this Neoglacial advance. Compared to other glacier reconstructions from the Northern Hemisphere, we identify near-synchronous glacier advances occurring roughly at 4000 b2k; 2700 b2k; 1300 b2k and during the "Little Ice Age". These correlative advances across the Northern Hemisphere suggest that these observed centennial-scale events are a shared feature regardless of the large geographical distances separating them. Some minor discrepancies between different geographical areas may be caused by lack of precise dating, but local climatic conditions may play a role as well.

  16. Water flow through temperate glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

    Understanding water movement through a glacier is fundamental to several critical issues in glaciology, including glacier dynamics, glacier-induced floods, and the prediction of runoff from glacierized drainage basins. to this end we have synthesized a conceptual model os water movement through a temperate glacier from the surface to the outlet stream. Processes that regulate the rate and distribution of water input at the glacier surface and that regulate water movement from the surface to the bed play important but commonly neglected roles in glacier hydrology. Where a glacier is covered by a layer of porous, permeable firn (the accumulation zone), the flux of water to the glacier interior varies slowly because the firn temporarily stores water and thereby smooths out variations in the supply rate. In the firn-free ablation zone, in contrast, the flux of water into the glacier depends directly on the rate of surface melt or rainfall and therefore varies greatly in time. Water moves from the surface to the bed through an upward branching arborescent network consisting of both steeply inclined conduits, formed by the enlargement of intergranular veins, and gently inclined conduits, sprqwned by water flow along the bottoms of near-surface fractures (crevasses). Englacial drainage conduits deliver water to the glacier bed at a linited number of points, probably a long distance downglacier of where water enters the glacier. Englacial conduits supplied from the accumulation zone are quasi steady state features that convey the slowly varying water flux delivered via the firn. their size adjusts so that they are usually full of water and flow is pressurized. In contrast, water flow in englacial conduits supplied from the ablation area is pressurized only near times of peak daily flow or during rainstorms; flow is otherwise in an open-channel configuration. The subglacial drainage system typically consists of several elements that are distinct both morpphologically and

  17. Investigating Long-term Behavior of Outlet Glaciers in Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Csatho, Beata; vanderVeen, Kees; Schenk, Toni

    2005-01-01

    Repeat surveys by airborne laser altimetry in the 1990s have revealed significant thinning of outlet glaciers draining the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, with thinning rates up to several meters per year. To fully appreciate the significance of these recent glacier changes, the magnitude of retreat and surface lowering must be placed within the broader context of the retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum and, more significantly, of the retreat following the temporary glacier advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The LIA maximum stand is marked by trimlines, sharp boundaries between recently deglacifated unvegetated rocks, and vegetated surfaces at higher elevations. The objective of this project was to demonstrate the use of remote sensing data to map these trimlines and other glacial geomorphologic features.

  18. Rapid, climate-driven changes in outlet glaciers on the Pacific coast of East Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Miles, B W J; Stokes, C R; Vieli, A; Cox, N J

    2013-08-29

    Observations of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland and West Antarctica indicate that their contribution to sea level is accelerating as a result of increased velocity, thinning and retreat. Thinning has also been reported along the margin of the much larger East Antarctic ice sheet, but whether glaciers are advancing or retreating there is largely unknown, and there has been no attempt to place such changes in the context of localized mass loss or climatic or oceanic forcing. Here we present multidecadal trends in the terminus position of 175 ocean-terminating outlet glaciers along 5,400 kilometres of the margin of the East Antarctic ice sheet, and reveal widespread and synchronous changes. Despite large fluctuations between glaciers--linked to their size--three epochal patterns emerged: 63 per cent of glaciers retreated from 1974 to 1990, 72 per cent advanced from 1990 to 2000, and 58 per cent advanced from 2000 to 2010. These trends were most pronounced along the warmer western South Pacific coast, whereas glaciers along the cooler Ross Sea coast experienced no significant changes. We find that glacier change along the Pacific coast is consistent with a rapid and coherent response to air temperature and sea-ice trends, linked through the dominant mode of atmospheric variability (the Southern Annular Mode). We conclude that parts of the world's largest ice sheet may be more vulnerable to external forcing than recognized previously.

  19. Glacier Primitive Area, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Granger, H.C.; Patten, L.L.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Glacier Primitive Area and an adjoining area to the northwest was made in 1968 and 1969. The study area was mapped geologically, an aeromagnetic survey was made, a geochemical study was done, and known mineralized occurrences and claims were examined. Two localities were found to contain small concentrations of uranium and several samples displayed minor anomalies in base and precious metals. A probable resource potential for lead, molybdenum, arsenic, barium, fluorite, and uranium exists in the area near the Ross Lakes shear zone and a small area of probable uranium resource potential exists around the Dubois claims. The study area, in general, is believed to have little promise for the occurrence of additional mineral or energy resources.

  20. GLACIER PRIMITIVE AREA, WYOMING.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Granger, Harry C.; Patten, Lowell L.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Glacier Primitive Area, Wyoming and an adjoining area to the northeast was made. The study area was mapped geologically, an aeromagnetic survey was made, a geochemical study was done, and known mineralized occurrences and claims were examined. Two localities were found to contain small concentrations of uranium and several samples displayed minor anomalies in base and precious metals. A probable resource potential for lead, molybdenum, arsenic, barium, fluorite, and uranium exists in the area near the Ross Lakes shear zone and a small area of probable uranium resource potential exists around the Dubois claims. The study area, in general, is believed to have little promise for the occurrence of additional mineral or energy resources.

  1. Beardmore Glacier proposals wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  2. Cosmogenic 36Cl exposure ages reveal a 9.3 ka BP glacier advance and the Late Weichselian-Early Holocene glacial history of the Drangajökull region, northwest Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Schomacker, Anders; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Keiding, Jakob K.

    2015-10-01

    We present twenty-four new cosmogenic isotope (36Cl) surface exposure ages from erratic boulders, moraine boulders and glacially eroded bedrock that constrain the late Weichselian to Holocene glacial history of the Drangajökull region, northwest Iceland. The results suggest a topographically controlled ice sheet over the Vestfirðir (Westfjords) peninsula during the last glaciation. Cold based non-erosive sectors of the ice sheet covered most of the mountains while fjords and valleys were occupied with erosive, warm-based ice. Old36Cl exposure ages from highlands and mountain plateaux (L8; 76.5 ka and H1; 41.6 ka) in combination with younger erratic boulders (L7; 26.2 and K1-K4; 15.0-13.8 ka) superimposed on such surfaces suggest the presence of non-erosive ice over uplands and plateaux in the Vestfirðir peninsula during the last glaciation. Glacially scoured terrain and erratic boulders yielding younger exposure ages (L1-L6; 11.3-9.1 ka and R1, R6-R7; 10.6-9.4 ka) in the lowland areas indicate that the valleys and fjords of the Vestfirðir peninsula were occupied by warm-based, dynamic ice during the last glaciation. The deglaciation of mountain Leirufjall by 26.2 ka BP suggests that ice thinning and deglaciation of some mountains and plateaux preceded any significant lateral retreat of the ice sheet. Subsequently this initial ice thinning was followed by break-up of the shelf based ice sheet off Vestfirðir about 15 ka BP. Hence, the new exposure ages suggest a stepwise asynchronous deglaciation on land, following the shelf break-up with some valleys and most of the highlands, ice free by 14-15 ka BP. The outermost moraine at the mouth of Leirufjörður is dated to 9.3 ka BP, and we suggest the moraine to be formed by a glacier re-advance in response to a cooler climate forced by the reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at around 9.3 ka BP. A system of moraines proximal to the 9.3 ka moraine in Leirufjörður as well as a 9.4 ka deglaciation age

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice, which act as a huge freshwater reservoir. Monitoring the glaciers is important to assess the overall reservoir health. In last few decades the most of the mountainous glaciers have undergone negative mass balance and terminal recessions, unlike the advancing glaciers. In this investigation, glaciers of Western Himalaya have been monitored since 1962 and variability in retreat was identified within the region. Thus, further analysis about significant parameters was taken into account to understand the relationship between glacio-morphological factors and change in glacial area. Initially change in areal extent of glaciers was derived for two time frames (1962-2001/02 and 2001/02-2010/11). The study comprised of 324 glaciers for the monitoring period of 1962-2001/02. A loss in glacial area was observed as 11% for this period. Many of these glaciers (238) were further monitored between 2001/02 and 2010/11. These glaciers showed a loss of 1.1%. The annual deglaciation has been found higher during the period of 1962-2001/02, which means rate of melting is less in this region in latest decade. Another observation in deglaciation was found spatial and temporal variability in glaciers which was addressed using glacio-morphic parameters. Areal extent of glaciers was observed to be having significant role on rate of glacial shrinkage. The another important parameter is equilibrium line altitude, i.e. the glaciers located below ELA have experienced 4.6% of deglaciation for the time frame 2001/02 - 2010/11 where as it was found to be 1.1% for the glaciers occurring above ELA. Moreover, glaciers located at lower altitude and having gentle slope show more area retreat. The results of area retreat in debris covered and debris free glaciers supports that the glaciers covered by debris retard ice melting at some extent. 158 glaciers were observed having no debris cover which shows 14% of loss in surface area. In

  4. Revealing glacier flow and surge dynamics from animated satellite image sequences: examples from the Karakoram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, F.

    2015-11-01

    Although animated images are very popular on the internet, they have so far found only limited use for glaciological applications. With long time series of satellite images becoming increasingly available and glaciers being well recognized for their rapid changes and variable flow dynamics, animated sequences of multiple satellite images reveal glacier dynamics in a time-lapse mode, making the otherwise slow changes of glacier movement visible and understandable to the wider public. For this study, animated image sequences were created for four regions in the central Karakoram mountain range over a 25-year time period (1990-2015) from freely available image quick-looks of orthorectified Landsat scenes. The animations play automatically in a web browser and reveal highly complex patterns of glacier flow and surge dynamics that are difficult to obtain by other methods. In contrast to other regions, surging glaciers in the Karakoram are often small (10 km2 or less), steep, debris-free, and advance for several years to decades at relatively low annual rates (about 100 m a-1). These characteristics overlap with those of non-surge-type glaciers, making a clear identification difficult. However, as in other regions, the surging glaciers in the central Karakoram also show sudden increases of flow velocity and mass waves travelling down glacier. The surges of individual glaciers are generally out of phase, indicating a limited climatic control on their dynamics. On the other hand, nearly all other glaciers in the region are either stable or slightly advancing, indicating balanced or even positive mass budgets over the past few decades.

  5. Collaborating with the local community of Kullorsuaq, Greenland to obtain high-quality hydrographic measurements near Alison Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. F.; Turrin, M.; Tinto, K. J.; Giulivi, C. F.; Cochran, J. R.; Bell, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    Warming ocean waters around Greenland have been implicated, along with warmer air temperatures, in the rapid increase of melt of the tidewater glaciers that drain the ice sheet. Most available regional oceanographic measurements have been collected during the summer seasons and are concentrated near the largest and most accessible glaciers. In order to gain a more comprehensive picture of the changing environment around the entirety of Greenland, more fjords, especially in the north, must be sampled. In July 2014, we travelled to Kullorsuaq in Northwest Greenland in order to foster a partnership with the local community to obtain new hydrographic data from CTD casts near Alison Glacier (74.6N, 57W). The terminus of this glacier abruptly retreated 10 km between 2000 and 2006. Although adequate observations from that time period are unavailable, our recently collected temperature and salinity data suggests that the deep water near Alison is similar to the waters further south, where near-synchronous ocean warming and glacial acceleration has been documented. Over the course of two sampling days, a hand-operated winch from a small boat was used to make standard CTD casts in front of Alison Glacier. We find evidence of glacial and mélange melt and the signature of both Polar and Atlantic Water masses at depth. Along-fjord casts illustrate how the ocean waters are modified as they circulate in and out of the fjord and the interaction of this water with the melting glacial front. At 500m depths, ocean temperatures are about 3°C above the in-situ freezing point of seawater, suggesting a possible influence of warm ocean waters on the mass loss of Alison Glacier. Using NASA Operation IceBridge and satellite altimetry data, we relate our new hydrographic data to the observed recent changes in Alison Glacier. An additional important result is that this short field campaign uncovered the possibility of working with local Greenlandic communities to aid scientists in both

  6. Ambient Atmospheric Hydrocarbon Content as Determined by Gas Chromatographic Techniques from Rural Tidewater Virginia in Late Spring 1974

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Copeland, G. E.; Davis, R.; Maroulis, P.; Bandy, A. R.; Denyszyn, R.; Kindle, E. C.

    1975-01-01

    In an attempt to ascertain the naturally generated hydrocarbon contribution to the air quality of the Hampton Roads region of Tidewater Virginia, a series of 27 air samples was obtained in two rural locations during late spring of 1974. These samples were analyzed for their hydrocarbon content (carbon number range C5 to C10) using gas chromatographic techniques. The thirty different hydrocarbon species were identified and monitored in the experiment. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates an average concentration of 397 parts per billion by weight (carbon) for the total non-methane hydrocarbon loading for C5 to C10 during the experiment. This value exceeds the National Primary Air Quality Standards as set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  7. Remote Sensing of Cryosphere: Estimation of Mass Balance Change in Himalayan Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi; Joshi, Kabindra

    2012-07-01

    Glacial changes are an important indicator of climate change. Our understanding mass balance change in Himalayan glaciers is limited. This study estimates mass balance of some major glaciers in the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) in Nepal using remote sensing applications. Remote sensing technique to measure mass balance of glaciers is an important methodological advance in the highly rugged Himalayan terrain. This study uses ASTER VNIR, 3N (nadir view) and 3B (backward view) bands to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the SNP area for the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Glacier boundaries were delineated using combination of boundaries available in the Global land ice measurement (GLIMS) database and various band ratios derived from ASTER images. Elevation differences, glacial area, and ice densities were used to estimate the change in mass balance. The results indicated that the rate of glacier mass balance change was not uniform across glaciers. While there was a decrease in mass balance of some glaciers, some showed increase. This paper discusses how each glacier in the SNP area varied in its annual mass balance measurement during the study period.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Glacier dynamics of the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya region over the last 40 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourmelen, N.; Dehecq, A.; Trouvé, E.

    2014-12-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has caused drastic changes in mountain glaciers globally, and of the Himalayan glaciers in particular. The stakes are high; glaciers and ice caps are the largest contributor to the increase in the mass of the world's oceans, and the Himalayas play a key role in the hydrology of the region, impacting on the economy, food safety and flood risk. Partial monitoring of the Himalayan glaciers has revealed a mixed picture; while many of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, in some cases locally stable or advancing glaciers in this region have also been observed. But recent controversies have highlighted the need to understand the glaciers dynamic and its relationship with climate change in the region. Earth Observation provides a mean for global and long-term monitoring of mountain glaciers' dynamics. In the frame of the Dragon program, a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Center for Earth Observation (NRSCC), we begun a monitoring program aimed at quantifying multidecadal changes in glaciers' flow at the scale of the entire Himalayas and Karakoram from a 40 years' archive of Earth Observation. Ultimately, the provision of a global and time-sensitive glaciers velocity product will help to understand the evolution of the Himalayan glaciers in lights of glaciological (e.g. presence of debris-cover, surges, proglacial lakes) and climatic conditions. Here we present a region-wide analysis of annual and seasonnal glacier flow velocity covering the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya region obtained from the analysis of the entire archive of Landsat data. Over 90% of the ice-covered regions, as defined by the Randolph Glacier Inventory, are measured, with precision on the retrieved velocity of the order of 2 m/yr. We show that the first order temporal evolution of glacier flow mirrors the pattern of glacier mass balance. We observe a general decrease of ice velocity in regions of known ice mass loss, and a more

  10. Southern Alaska Glaciers: Spatial and Temporal Variations in Ice Volume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauber, J.; Molnia, B. F.; Luthcke, S.; Rowlands, D.; Harding, D.; Carabajal, C.; Hurtado, J. M.; Spada, G.

    2004-12-01

    Although temperate mountain glaciers comprise less than 1% of the glacier-covered area on Earth, they are important because they appear to be melting rapidly under present climatic conditions and, therefore, make significant contributions to rising sea level. In this study, we use ICESat observations made in the last 1.5 years of southern Alaska glaciers to estimate ice elevation profiles, ice surface slopes and roughness, and bi-annual and/or annual ice elevation changes. We report initial results from the near coastal region between Yakutat Bay and Cape Suckling that includes the Malaspina and Bering Glaciers. We show and interpret ice elevations changes across the lower reaches of the Bagley Ice Valley for the period between October 2003 and May 2004. In addition, we use off-nadir pointing observations to reference tracks over the Bering and Malaspina Glaciers in order to estimate annual ice elevation change. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) derived DEMs are used to estimate across track regional slopes between ICESat data acquisitions. Although the distribution and quantity of ICESat elevation profiles with multiple, exact repeat data is currently limited in Alaska, individual ICESat data tracks, provide an accurate reference surface for comparison to other elevation data (e.g. ASTER and SRTM X- and C-band derived DEMs). Specifically we report the elevation change over the Malaspina Glacier's piedmont lobe between a DEM derived from SRTM C-band data acquired in Feb. 2000 and ICESat Laser #2b data from Feb.-March 2004. We also report use of ICESat elevation data to enhance ASTER derived absolute DEMs. Mountain glaciers generally have rougher surfaces and steeper regional slopes than the ice sheets for which the ICESat design was optimized. Therefore, rather than averaging ICESat observations over large regions or relying on crossovers, we are working with well-located ICESat

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Maximum extent of Late Pleistocene glaciers and last deglaciation of La Cerdanya mountains, Southeastern Pyrenees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacios, David; Gómez-Ortiz, Antonio; Andrés, Nuria; Vázquez-Selem, Lorenzo; Salvador-Franch, Ferran; Oliva, Marc

    2015-02-01

    This paper examines glacial evolution in the La Pera and Malniu cirques, and Arànser, La Llosa and Duran valleys, in the Cerdanya massifs on the south-facing slopes of the eastern Pyrenees. A geomorphologic analysis and dating of moraine boulders, glacially polished bedrock and rock glacier blocks were carried out by means of cosmogenic 36Cl surface exposure dating. The maximum ice advance was contemporary with the Last Glacial Maximum at 23 ka ago, and it was of greater or only slightly lesser magnitude than for previous Quaternary advances. The termini of glaciers remained close to maximum positions, with minor advances and retreats until 18-17 ka when the glacial tongues disappeared from the valleys. Depending on the previous topography, these glaciers left behind a single polygenic moraine, in the case of confined valleys, or multiple moraines next to each other in the case of flat, more open areas. A final glacial advance is detected during the Oldest Dryas close to the cirque headwalls, and the glaciers finally disappeared during the Bølling interstadial. The glaciers were then replaced by rock glaciers, whose front immediately became inactive, although their activity continued near their source area until the early Holocene.

  14. Recent Elevation Changes on Bagley Ice Valley, Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, Alaska, from ICESat Altimetry, Star-3i Airborne, and SRTM Spaceborne DEMs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muskett, R. R.; Sauber, J. M.; Lingle, C. S.; Rabus, B. T.; Tangborn, W. V.; Echelmeyer, K. A.

    2005-12-01

    Three- to 5-year surface elevation changes on Bagley Ice Valley, Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, in the eastern Chugach and St. Elias Mtns of south-central Alaska, are estimated using ICESat-derived data and digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data. The surface elevations of these glaciers are influenced by climatic warming superimposed on surge dynamics (in the case of Bagley Ice Valley) and tidewater glacier dynamics (in the cases of Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers) in this coastal high-precipitation regime. Bagley Ice Valley / Bering Glacier last surged in 1993-95. Guyot and Yahtse Glaciers, as well as the nearby Tyndell Glacier, have experienced massive tidewater retreat during the past century, as well as during recent decades. The ICESat-derived elevation data we employ were acquired in early autumn in both 2003 and 2004. The NASA/NIMA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEM that we employ was derived from X-band InSAR data acquired during this 11-22 Feb. 2000 mission and processed by the German Aerospace Center. This DEM was corrected for estimated systematic error, and a mass balance model was employed to account for seasonal snow accumulation. The Star-3i airborne, X-band, InSAR-derived DEM that we employ was acquired 4-13 Sept. 2000 by Intermap Technologies, Inc., and was also processed by them. The ICESat-derived profiles crossing Bagley Ice Valley, differenced with Star-3i DEM elevations, indicate preliminary mean along-profile elevation increases of 5.6 ± 3.4 m at 1315 m altitude, 7.4 ± 2.7 m at 1448 m altitude, 4.7 ± 1.9 m at 1557 m altitude, 1.3 ± 1.4 m at 1774 m altitude, and 2.5 ± 1.5 m at 1781 m altitude. This is qualitatively consistent with the rising surface on Bagley Ice Valley observed by Muskett et al. [2003]. The ICESat-derived profiles crossing Yahtse Glacier, differenced with the SRTM DEM elevations, indicate preliminary mean elevation changes (negative implies decrease) of -0.9 ± 3

  15. From Glaciers to Icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wendy

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

  16. The Neoglacial landscape and human history of Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, southeast Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Connor, C.; Streveler, G.; Post, A.; Monteith, D.; Howell, W.

    2009-01-01

    The Neoglacial landscape of the Huna Tlingit homeland in Glacier Bay is recreated through new interpretations of the lower Bay's fjordal geomorphology, late Quaternary geology and its ethnographic landscape. Geological interpretation is enhanced by 38 radiocarbon dates compiled from published and unpublished sources, as well as 15 newly dated samples. Neoglacial changes in ice positions, outwash and lake extents are reconstructed for c. 5500?????"200 cal. yr ago, and portrayed as a set of three landscapes at 1600?????"1000, 500?????"300 and 300?????"200 cal. yr ago. This history reveals episodic ice advance towards the Bay mouth, transforming it from a fjordal seascape into a terrestrial environment dominated by glacier outwash sediments and ice-marginal lake features. This extensive outwash plain was building in lower Glacier Bay by at least 1600 cal. yr ago, and had filled the lower bay by 500 cal. yr ago. The geologic landscape evokes the human-described landscape found in the ethnographic literature. Neoglacial climate and landscape dynamism created difficult but endurable environmental conditions for the Huna Tlingit people living there. Choosing to cope with environmental hardship was perhaps preferable to the more severely deteriorating conditions outside of the Bay as well as conflicts with competing groups. The central portion of the outwash plain persisted until it was overridden by ice moving into Icy Strait between AD 1724?????"1794. This final ice advance was very abrupt after a prolonged still-stand, evicting the Huna Tlingit from their Glacier Bay homeland. ?? 2009 SAGE Publications.

  17. Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1986-2011

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  18. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 10Be dating of the end of low-altitude rock glacier activity in the Alps - evidence for cold conditions during the early Preboreal.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerschner, Hanns; Ivy-Ochs, Susan

    2010-05-01

    Large relict rock glacier complexes are conspicious features in the Alps. Their occurence can roughly be subdivided into a "lower rock glacier belt", which reaches down to about 1900 m a.s.l., an "intermediate rock glacier belt" with rock glacier snouts at around present-day timberline (approx. 2200 m a.s.l) in the central Alps and an "upper rock glacier belt" at similar altitudes as presently active rock glaciers. All these rock glaciers indicate the former presence of discontinuous permafrost at their respective altitudes and are good indicators for the mean annual air temperature during their active period. The end of rock glacier activity at a given altitude marks also the end of the existence of permafrost conditions. Experience from the Alps shows that it may take about a century until the surface of a rock glacier is stabilized, Hence, if it is possible to date the surface of a relict rock glacier with 10Be, we get a close date for the end of permafrost activity at the altitude of the rock glacier. From the difference between the altitude of the relict rock glacier and presently active rock glaciers, the rise of mean annual air temperature can be calculated. Relict rock glaciers at present-day timberline at Julierpass (Swiss Alps) and at Larstigtal (Austrian Alps) gave ages in the order of 10.5 ka BP for surface stabilization. Both rock glaciers, which belong to the "intermediate rock glacier belt", developed from lateral moraines and scree slopes. They started to move into former glacier beds after ice recession from the Younger Dryas "Egesen" advance. Their age indicates that climatic conditions favouring permafrost existence about 300 - 400 m below 20th century permafrost occurence prevailed during most of the Preboreal. Taken together with the Kartell glacier advance (10.8 ka) they show that rapid climatic warming at the Younger Dryas / Holocene boundary was followed by more unstable climatic conditions and and somewhat slower warming until full Holocene

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strelin, Jorge; Iturraspe, Rodolfo

    2007-10-01

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

  1. 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)

  2. Holocene glacier fluctuations inferred from lacustrine sediment, Emerald Lake, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LaBrecque, Taylor S.; Kaufman, Darrell S.

    2016-01-01

    Physical and biological characteristics of lacustrine sediment from Emerald Lake were used to reconstruct the Holocene glacier history of Grewingk Glacier, southern Alaska. Emerald Lake is an ice-marginal threshold lake, receiving glaciofluvial sediment when Grewingk Glacier overtops the topographic divide that separates it from the lake. Sub-bottom acoustical profiles were used to locate core sites to maximize both the length and resolution of the sedimentary sequence recovered in the 4-m-long cores. The age model for the composite sequence is based on 13 14C ages and a 210Pb profile. A sharp transition from the basal inorganic mud to organic-rich mud at 11.4 ± 0.2 ka marks the initial retreat of Grewingk Glacier below the divide of Emerald Lake. The overlaying organic-rich mud is interrupted by stony mud that records a re-advance between 10.7 ± 0.2 and 9.8 ± 0.2 ka. The glacier did not spill meltwater into the lake again until the Little Ice Age, consistent with previously documented Little Ice Ages advances on the Kenai Peninsula. The retreat of Grewingk Glacier at 11.4 ka took place as temperature increased following the Younger Dryas, and the subsequent re-advance corresponds with a climate reversal beginning around 11 ka across southern Alaska.

  3. 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

    2015-10-09

    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.

  4. Erosion by an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. A numerical investigation of crevasse propagation and stability of calving glaciers using nonlocal continuum damage mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duddu, R.; Bassis, J. N.; Waisman, H.

    2012-12-01

    We investigate iceberg calving from grounded tidewater and outlet glaciers using a novel creep continuum damage model for polycrystalline ice, which is valid for low stresses or strain rates. The proposed three-dimensional model is based on a thermo-viscoelastic constitutive law for ice creep and a nonlocal damage accumulation law for tension, compression and shear loadings. The model has been validated by published experimental data and is implemented in the commercially available finite element code ABAQUS by adopting a strain-based algorithm using a Lagrangian description. The model is then used to investigate conditions that enable surface crevasse propagation resulting from different boundary conditions applied to an idealized rectangular slab of ice in contact with the ocean. The basal boundary condition of the ice slab is varied from free slip to fixed (no slip) to study its effect on surface crack (crevasse) growth. The depth varying ice flow velocities lead to tensile stresses in the top region of the ice slab that leads to surface crevasse propagation. The simulation results suggest that if the ice slab is thick enough and the water depth small enough, surface crevasses will penetrate the entire ice thickness. On the other hand, if the ice slab is thin and water depth sufficiently large, crevasses will not penetrate the ice thickness.

  6. Southern Alaska Glaciers: Spatial and Temporal Variations in Ice Volume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauber, J.; Molnia, B. F.; Lutchke, S.; Rowlands, D.; Harding, D.; Carabajal, C.; Hurtado, J. M.; Spade, G.

    2004-01-01

    Although temperate mountain glaciers comprise less than 1% of the glacier-covered area on Earth, they are important because they appear to be melting rapidly under present climatic conditions and, therefore, make significant contributions to rising sea level. In this study, we use ICESat observations made in the last 1.5 years of southern Alaska glaciers to estimate ice elevation profiles, ice surface slopes and roughness, and bi-annual and/or annual ice elevation changes. We report initial results from the near coastal region between Yakutat Bay and Cape Suckling that includes the Malaspina and Bering Glaciers. We show and interpret ice elevations changes across the lower reaches of the Bagley Ice Valley for the period between October 2003 and May 2004. In addition, we use off-nadir pointing observations to reference tracks over the Bering and Malaspina Glaciers in order to estimate annual ice elevation change. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) derived DEMs are used to estimate across track regional slopes between ICESat data acquisitions. Although the distribution and quantity of ICESat elevation profiles with multiple, exact repeat data is currently limited in Alaska, individual ICESat data tracks, provide an accurate reference surface for comparison to other elevation data (e.g. ASTER and SRTM X- and C-band derived DEMs). Specifically we report the elevation change over the Malaspina Glacier's piedmont lobe between a DEM derived from SRTM C-band data acquired in Feb. 2000 and ICESat Laser #2b data from Feb.-March 2004. We also report use of ICESat elevation data to enhance ASTER derived absolute DEMs. Mountain glaciers generally have rougher surfaces and steeper regional slopes than the ice sheets for which the ICESat design was optimized. Therefore, rather than averaging ICESat observations over large regions or relying on crossovers, we are working with well-located ICESat

  7. Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. Late Pleistocene oscillations of the Drau Glacier (southern Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karnitschar, Christina; Reitner, Jürgen; Draganits, Erich

    2016-04-01

    The Drau Glacier was the largest Pleistocene glacier in the southeastern part of the Alps and significantly shaped the landscape in this region. The study area is located at the termination of the Drau Glacier in the southern part of Austria (Carinthia). The investigation aims to decipher glacial dynamics during the Late Pleistocene glacial advance, stabilisation and final recession of this glacier based on geological/geomorphological mapping, interpretation of airborne laser scan (ALS) topographic data and lithostratigraphic investigations of glacial and periglacial sediments. Special emphasis is laid on the reconstruction of the maximum extent of the glaciation (LGM). Based on previous mapping by Bobek (1959) and Ucik (1996-1998) more details have been gained for the paleogeographic reconstruction based on glacial and non-glacial erosion and accumulation features. These include traces of pre-Upper Pleistocene glaciation, drumlins, terminal moraines and kettle holes. Paleogeographic reconstruction was done with correlation of different outcrops based on lithostratigraphy and ALS topography. Sequences of gravel related to glacial advance covered by till, followed by periglacial sediments allowed detailed reconstruction of the glacial sequence in this area and the complex succession of various extents of the Drau Glacier. References Bobek, Hans. 1959: Der Eisrückgang im östlichen Klagenfurter Becken. In: Mitteilungen der österreichischen geographischen Gesellschaft, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1996: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 141, S. 340, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1997: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 141, S. 325-326, Wien. Ucik, Friedrich Hans. 1998: Bericht über geologische Aufnahmen im Quartär auf Blatt 204 Völkermarkt, Jb. Geol. B.-A., 142, S. 333-334, Wien.

  9. Comparison of the responses of two temperate Alpine valley glaciers to climate change at the decadal scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabbud, Chrystelle; Tahir, Adnan Ahmad; Micheletti, Natan; Lane, Stuart

    2015-04-01

    Glacier advance and recession are considered as key indicators of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Understanding the relationship between climatic variations and glacial responses is crucial. Here, we use archival photogrammetric methods to generate high resolution and precise Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of two Alpine valley glaciers that have shown a contrasting response to recent climatic variability. Digital photogrammetry is well-established for glacier monitoring, mass balance determination and computation of the volumes of ice mass change. Reconstructions of the recent history of glaciers have been performed through and since the Little Ice Age and also more recently in relation to recent global warming. This study uses aerial imagery available from the early 1960s. Archival digital photogrammetry is applied to reconstruct the decadal scale glacial history of the Haut Glacier d'Arolla and the Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve in south western Switzerland. The data generated are used to explore the linkages between glacier changes and climate forcing. While both of the glaciers were subject to exactly the same climatic settings (they are only a few km apart), the responses to climatic variability have been markedly different. The data show continual recession of the Haut Glacier d'Arolla since 1967, associated with long-term climatic amelioration but only a weak response to shorter-term climatic deterioration. Glacier surface velocity estimates obtained using surface particle tracking showed that, unlike for most Swiss glaciers during the late 1970s and early 1980s, ice mass flux from the accumulation zone was too low to compensate for the effects of glacier thinning. Associated with glacier response time, that means that whilst there may have been a reduction in the ablation rate during the colder period, the flux did still not exceed the ablation rate, and hence snout advance was prevented. By contrast, the Tsijiore Nouve Glacier

  10. Mesoscale Icefield Breezes over Athbasca Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Late Holocene glacial history of the Copper River Delta, coastal south-central Alaska, and controls on valley glacier fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barclay, David J.; Yager, Elowyn M.; Graves, Jason; Kloczko, Michael; Calkin, Parker E.

    2013-12-01

    Fluctuations of four valley glaciers in coastal south-central Alaska are reconstructed for the past two millennia. Tree-ring crossdates on 216 glacially killed stumps and logs provide the primary age control, and are integrated with glacial stratigraphy, ages of living trees on extant landforms, and historic forefield photographs to constrain former ice margin positions. Sheridan Glacier shows four distinct phases of advance: in the 530s to c.640s in the First Millennium A.D., and the 1240s to 1280s, 1510s to 1700s, and c.1810s to 1860s during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The latter two LIA advances are also recorded on the forefields of nearby Scott, Sherman and Saddlebag glaciers. Comparison of the Sheridan record with other two-millennia long tree-ring constrained valley glacier histories from south-central Alaska and Switzerland shows the same four intervals of advance. These expansions were coeval with decreases in insolation, supporting solar irradiance as the primary pacemaker for centennial-scale fluctuations of mid-latitude valley glaciers prior to the 20th century. Volcanic aerosols, coupled atmospheric-oceanic systems, and local glacier-specific effects may be important to glacier fluctuations as supplemental forcing factors, for causing decadal-scale differences between regions, and as a climatic filter affecting the magnitude of advances.

  12. 125 years of glacier survey of the Austrian Alpine Club: results and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    One of the aims of the German and Austrian Alpine Club was the scientific investigation of the Alps. In 1891, several years after Swiss initiatives, Richter put out a call to contribute to regular glacier length surveys in the Eastern Alps. Since then more than 100 glaciers have been surveyed on a first biannual and later annual basis. The database includes measured data showing a general glacier retreat since 1891, with two periods of glacier advances in the 1920s and 1980s. Less well known are the sketches and reports which illustrate, for instance, changes in surface texture. The interpretation of length change data requires a larger sample of data for a reasonable interpretation on a regional scale. Nearly every time series in the long history of investigation includes gaps, e.g. in cases of problematic snout positions on steep rock walls or in lakes, or of debris-covered tongues. Current climate change adds the problem of glaciers splitting up into several smaller glaciers which behave differently. Several basic questions need to be addressed to arrive at a most accurate prolongated time series: How should measurements on disintegrating or debris-covered (and thus more or less stagnating) glaciers be documented, and how can we homogenize length change time series? Despite of uncertainties, length change data are amongst the longest available records, bridging the gap to moraine datings of the early holocene.

  13. Historical and future hydrologic response to glacier recession in the Cordillera Real, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frans, C. D.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Naz, B.; Lettenmaier, D. P.; Condom, T.; Clarke, G. K.; Burns, P. J.; Nolin, A. W.

    2013-12-01

    In many partially glaciated watersheds climate-forced glacier recession has altered and will continue to alter seasonal water availability, leading to profound implications for water supply systems. The tropical glaciers of the Cordillera Real, Bolivia, whose melt water significantly contributes to water supply and energy production for the densely populated La Paz area, have retreated at unprecedented rates since the 1970's. This glacier recession will continue with ongoing increasing temperatures projected for the subtropical Andes. We use a recently developed glacio-hydrological model to evaluate the contribution of glacier melt to watershed discharge, and track this contribution in time with changing glacier area. A glacier model, solving time-evolving and spatially-distributed balance equations for glacier mass and momentum, is integrated within the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM). The glacio-hydrologic behavior of Cordillera Real watersheds is simulated during the historical period of 1987-2010. This model application is validated through comparisons with satellite derived glacier extent estimates and in-situ mass balance, surface energy flux, and stream discharge measurements. The retrospective analysis indicates that glacier melt contributed, on average, 31% (63%) of total annual (dry season-JJA) watershed discharge. Further, the modeling approach is used to predict the transitioning contribution of glacier melt and watershed hydrology through the 21st century. Multiple realizations of the 21st century meteorological data, used to force the glacier-hydrological model, are produced using a stochastic statistical downscaling technique. In this technique a weather generator (Advanced Weather Generator, AWE-GEN) is employed with statistical parameters of the future climate obtained from predictions of 11 CMIP5 general circulation models (GCMs). Future simulations indicate a 17% (23%) decrease in annual (JJA) runoff by the end of the 21st

  14. Do we need long term terrestrial glacier mass balance monitoring for the future?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slupetzky, H.

    2003-04-01

    the next 60 to 80 years due to the global warming. So, a very new aspect arises: If the area now covered by the glacier is deglaciated and the base topography is known accurately, then it will be very interesting to observe a potential reglaciation in the future. Future glaciologists will much appreciate to use all the previously gathered results and it will be exciting to compare the polarity of the dual processes of mass gain, reconstution and advance of a glacier and the mass loss, shrinking and receding of the glacier.

  15. Spatially heterogeneous wastage of Himalayan glaciers.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Koji; Nuimura, Takayuki

    2011-08-23

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loibl, David; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2014-05-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Heterogeneity in Karakoram glacier surges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Glacier terminus fluctuations on Mt. Baker, Washington, USA, 1940-1990, and climatic variations

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, J.T. )

    1993-11-01

    The terminus positions of six glaciers located on Mount Baker, Washington, were mapped by photogrammetric techniques at 2- to 7-yr intervals for the period 1940-1990. Although the timing varied slightly, each of the glaciers experienced a similar fluctuation sequence consisting of three phases: (1) rapid retreat, beginning prior to 1940 and lasting through the late 1940s to early 1950s; (2) approximately 30 yr of advance, ending in the late 1970s to early 1980s; (3) retreat though 1990. Terminus positions changed by up to 750 m during phases, with the advance phase increasing the lengths of glaciers by 13 to 24%. These fluctuations are well explained by variations in a smoothed time-series of accumulation-season precipitation and ablation-season mean temperature. The study glaciers appear to respond to interannual scale changes in climate within 20 yr or less. The glaciers on Mount Baker have a maritime location and a large percentage of area at high elevation, which may make their termini undergo greater fluctuations in response to climatic changes, especially precipitation variations, than most other glaciers in the North Cascades region. 40 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Transient Meltwater in Mullins Valley Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, R. E.; Stillman, D. E.; Kowalewski, D. E.

    2014-12-01

    Mullins Glacier is a cold-based debris-covered glacier feeding into Beacon Valley, at high altitude in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Ice is exposed at the headwall in Mullins Valley but the majority of the glacier is buried beneath a sublimation till (lag deposit composed of englacial and supraglacial debris). This till is initially ~10 cm thick but gradually thickens to ~60 cm at the glacier terminus (~8 km distant). Mullins Glacier has been postulated to be one of the world's oldest alpine glaciers: tephrachronology places a minimum age of the overlying sublimation till near the terminus at 7.9 Ma. Our measurements of the complex resistivity (aka spectral induced polarization or dielectric spectroscopy) of massive Mullins Glacier ice reveal two distinct origins. The electrical properties of clean ice or ice with rock fragments are typical of meteoric polar ice (Stillman et al., JGR, 2013). However, "dirty" ice is electrically distinct, indicating soluble impurity content near lattice saturation. This behavior, which we also observed for Lake Vostok accretion ice, is consistent with freezing from saline, draining water. Therefore one hypothesis it that the dirty ice formed by infiltration in former clement environments. However, very efficient segregation is subsequently required, and not all dirty ice is at the top of the ice column. Dirty ice likely samples debris bands, which are more commonly observed in cores where Mullins Glacier has advanced onto the main (Beacon) valley floor and is nearly stagnant. If debris bands are correlated to lattice impurity saturation via the dirty ice, then they may have been transiently at or near melting. This may be a primary feature of the environment during debris accumulation or simply due to the high thermal inertia of debris. Alternatively, debris bands and associated salts may be carried below the annual thermal wave where they experience near-constant, supereutectic temperatures. Elevated temperatures may be

  3. Precipitation as the main driver of Neoglacial fluctuations of Gualas glacier, Northern Patagonian Icefield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, S.; Hughen, K. A.; Lamy, F.; Stuut, J.-B. W.; Torrejón, F.; Lange, C. B.

    2011-09-01

    Glaciers are frequently used as indicators of climate change. However, the link between past glacier fluctuations and climate variability is still highly debated. Here, we investigate the mid- to late-Holocene fluctuations of Gualas Glacier, one of the northernmost outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Icefield, using a multi-proxy sedimentological and geochemical analysis of a 15 m long fjord sediment core from Golfo Elefantes, Chile, and historical documents from early Spanish explorers. Our results show that the core can be sub-divided in three main lithological units that were deposited under very different hydrodynamic conditions. Between 5400 and 4180 cal yr BP and after 750 cal yr BP, sedimentation in Golfo Elefantes was characterized by the rapid deposition of fine silt, most likely transported by fluvio-glacial processes. By contrast, the sediment deposited between 4130 and 850 cal yr BP is composed of poorly sorted sand that is free of shells. This interval is particularly marked by high magnetic susceptibility values and Zr concentrations, and likely reflects a major advance of Gualas glacier towards Golfo Elefantes during the Neoglaciation. Several thin silt layers observed in the upper part of the core are interpreted as secondary fluctuations of Gualas glacier during the Little Ice Age, in agreement with historical and dendrochronological data. Our interpretation of the Golfo Elefantes glaciomarine sediment record in terms of fluctuations of Gualas glacier is in excellent agreement with the glacier chronology proposed for the Southern Patagonian Icefield, which is based on terrestrial (moraine) deposits. By comparing our results with independent proxy records of precipitation and sea surface temperature, we demonstrate that the fluctuations of Gualas glacier during the last 5400 yr were mainly driven by changes in precipitation in the Andes.

  4. Precipitation as the main driver of Neoglacial fluctuations of Gualas glacier, Northern Patagonian Icefield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, S.; Hughen, K. A.; Lamy, F.; Stuut, J.-B. W.; Torrejón, F.; Lange, C. B.

    2012-03-01

    Glaciers are frequently used as indicators of climate change. However, the link between past glacier fluctuations and climate variability is still highly debated. Here, we investigate the mid- to late-Holocene fluctuations of Gualas Glacier, one of the northernmost outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Icefield, using a multi-proxy sedimentological and geochemical analysis of a 15 m long fjord sediment core from Golfo Elefantes, Chile, and historical documents from early Spanish explorers. Our results show that the core can be sub-divided into three main lithological units that were deposited under very different hydrodynamic conditions. Between 5400 and 4180 cal yr BP and after 750 cal yr BP, sedimentation in Golfo Elefantes was characterized by the rapid deposition of fine silt, most likely transported by fluvio-glacial processes. By contrast, the sediment deposited between 4130 and 850 cal yr BP is composed of poorly sorted sand that is free of shells. This interval is particularly marked by high magnetic susceptibility values and Zr concentrations, and likely reflects a major advance of Gualas glacier towards Golfo Elefantes during the Neoglaciation. Several thin silt layers observed in the upper part of the core are interpreted as secondary fluctuations of Gualas glacier during the Little Ice Age, in agreement with historical and dendrochronological data. Our interpretation of the Golfo Elefantes glaciomarine sediment record in terms of fluctuations of Gualas glacier is in excellent agreement with the glacier chronology proposed for the Southern Patagonian Icefield, which is based on terrestrial (moraine) deposits. By comparing our results with independent proxy records of precipitation and sea surface temperature, we suggest that the fluctuations of Gualas glacier during the last 5400 yr were mainly driven by changes in precipitation in the North Patagonian Andes.

  5. Snow micro-structure at Kongsvegen glacier, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilgeri, F.; Karner, F.; Steinkogler, W.; Fromm, R.; Obleitner, F.; Kohler, J.

    2012-04-01

    Measurements of physical snow properties have been performed at several sites at Kongsvegen glacier, which is a key Arctic glacier in western Spitzbergen (79N, 13E). The data were collected at six locations along the flow line of the glacier at different elevations (161 to 741m asl.) and describe snow that was deposited during winter 2010/11. We basically consider the vertical profiles of snow temperature, density, hardness, grain size and crystal shapes derived from standard stratigraphic methods (snow pits)and measurements using advanced instruments like Snow Micropen® and NIR imagery. Some parameters were measured repeatedly and with different instruments which proves a high quality as well as long-term and spatial representativeness of the data. The general snow conditions at the end of winter are characterized by a linear increase of snow depth and water equivalent with elevation. Snow hardness also increases with elevation while density remains remarkably constant. At most sites the snow temperature, density, hardness and grain size increase from the surface towards the snow-ice interface. The surface and the bottom layers stand out by specific changes in snow signature (crystal types) and delineate the bulk of the snow pack which itself features a rather complex layering. Comparison of the high-resolution profiles measured at different elevations at the glacier suggests some principal correlations of the signatures of hardness, grain size and crystal type. Thus, some major features (e.g. particularly hard layers) can be traced along the glacier, but the high-resolution layering can not straightforwardly be related from one site to the other. This basically reflects a locally different history of the snow pack in terms of precipitation events and post-depositional snow metamorphism. The issue is investigated more quantitatively by enhanced statistical processing of the observed signatures and simulation of the history of individual layers. These studies are

  6. Pan–ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes

    PubMed Central

    Miles, Bertie W. J.; Stokes, Chris R.; Jamieson, Stewart S. R.

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers are an important component of ice-sheet mass balance. Using satellite imagery for the past 40 years, we compile an approximately decadal record of outlet-glacier terminus position change around the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) marine margin. We find that most outlet glaciers retreated during the period 1974–1990, before switching to advance in every drainage basin during the two most recent periods, 1990–2000 and 2000–2012. The only exception to this trend was in Wilkes Land, where the majority of glaciers (74%) retreated between 2000 and 2012. We hypothesize that this anomalous retreat is linked to a reduction in sea ice and associated impacts on ocean stratification, which increases the incursion of warm deep water toward glacier termini. Because Wilkes Land overlies a large marine basin, it raises the possibility of a future sea level contribution from this sector of East Antarctica. PMID:27386519

  7. Pan-ice-sheet glacier terminus change in East Antarctica reveals sensitivity of Wilkes Land to sea-ice changes.

    PubMed

    Miles, Bertie W J; Stokes, Chris R; Jamieson, Stewart S R

    2016-05-01

    The dynamics of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers are an important component of ice-sheet mass balance. Using satellite imagery for the past 40 years, we compile an approximately decadal record of outlet-glacier terminus position change around the entire East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) marine margin. We find that most outlet glaciers retreated during the period 1974-1990, before switching to advance in every drainage basin during the two most recent periods, 1990-2000 and 2000-2012. The only exception to this trend was in Wilkes Land, where the majority of glaciers (74%) retreated between 2000 and 2012. We hypothesize that this anomalous retreat is linked to a reduction in sea ice and associated impacts on ocean stratification, which increases the incursion of warm deep water toward glacier termini. Because Wilkes Land overlies a large marine basin, it raises the possibility of a future sea level contribution from this sector of East Antarctica.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Columbia Glacier in 1984: disintegration underway

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  11. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-11-01

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

  12. Future glacier runoff at the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Characteristics of recessional moraines at a temperate glacier in SE Iceland: Insights into patterns, rates and drivers of glacier retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Benjamin M. P.; Evans, David J. A.; Roberts, David H.

    2016-03-01

    Icelandic glaciers are sensitive to climate variability on short-term timescales owing to their North Atlantic maritime setting, and have been undergoing ice-marginal retreat since the mid-1990s. Recent patterns, rates and drivers of ice-frontal retreat at Skálafellsjökull, SE Iceland, are examined using small-scale recessional moraines as a geomorphological proxy. These small-scale recessional moraines exhibit distinctive sawtooth planform geometries, and are constructed by a range of genetic processes associated with minor ice-margin re-advance, including (i) combined push/squeeze mechanisms, (ii) bulldozing of pre-existing proglacial material, and (iii) submarginal freeze-on. Remote-sensing investigations and lichenometric dating highlight sequences of annually-formed recessional moraines on the northern and central parts of the foreland. Conversely, moraines are forming on a sub-annual timescale at the southeastern Skálafellsjökull margin. Using annual moraine spacing as a proxy for annual ice-margin retreat rates (IMRRs), we demonstrate that prominent periods of glacier retreat at Skálafellsjökull are coincident with those at other Icelandic outlet glaciers, as well as those identified at Greenlandic outlet glaciers. Analysis of IMRRs and climate data suggests summer air temperature, sea surface temperature and the North Atlantic Oscillation have an influence on IMRRs at Skálafellsjökull, with the glacier appearing to be most sensitive to summer air temperature. On the basis of further climate data analyses, we hypothesise that sea surface temperature may drive air temperature changes in the North Atlantic region, which in turn forces IMRRs. The increase in sea surface temperature over recent decades may link to atmospheric-driven variations in North Atlantic subpolar gyre dynamics.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

    advances) of glaciers due to historic and future anthropogenic and longer term climate change relate to a changing glacier hazard regime. Climate change is connected to changes in the geographic distribution and magnitudes of potentially hazardous glacier lakes, large rock and ice avalanches, ice-dammed rivers, and surges. I shall consider these changes in hazard environment in relation to response-time theory and dynamical divergences from idealized response-time theory. Case histories of certain hazard-prone regions, including developments in fast-response-type glaciers and slow-response glaciers and ice sheets will also be discussed. In short, there will be a strong tendency of the hazard regimes of glacierized regions to shift far more rapidly in the 21st century than they did in the 20th century. The magnitude of the shifts will be more dramatic than any simple linear scaling to climate warming would suggest; this is largely because, due to lagging responses, glaciers are still trying to catch up to a new equilibrium for 20th century climate, while climate change remains a moving target that will drive accelerating glacier responses (including responses in hazard environments) in most glacierized regions.

  17. Seasonal changes of surface velocity and elevation of Columbia Glacier, Alaska using time-series TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijay, Saurabh; Braun, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Alaskan glaciers are a major contributor to global sea-level rise from glaciers and ice caps outside the polar ice sheets. Columbia Glacier is a large tidewater glacier located on the coast of south-central Alaska. The glacier has retreated ˜ 21 km and lost half of its volume during 1957-2007, more rapidly after 1980. It is now split into two branches, known as Main/East and West branch. In this study, we used time series of high-resolution TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X stripmap satellite imagery during 2011-2014 to investigate the temporal development of glacier surface velocities, elevation and mass changes. The active SLC images of the bistatic TanDEM-X acquisitions, acquired over 11 or 22 days repeat intervals, are utilized to derive surface velocity fields using SAR intensity offset tracking. We observed a very strong seasonal variability in the surface velocities. Maximum values at the ice front reach up to 14.43 m/day in May and reduced to 2 m/day in October in the year 2012. However, at a distance of 17.5 km from the ice front, almost no seasonal variability can be observed. A significant influence in the distance to the terminus and elevation was detected. We attributed this temporal and spatial variability of surface velocity to changes in the basal hydrology and lubrification of the glacier bed. Similar fluctuations are observed in consecutive years. In a second step, we exploited TanDEM-X data by interferometrically generating time series of digital elevation models (DEMs) . For quantitative volume change estimates, we used DEMs of almost similar months of the observational years in order to minimize errors resulting from variable X-band radar penetration. The main branch gained a volume of 12.77± 2.89km^3in 2011-12, but lost -18.94± 3.21km^3in 2012-13 . A slight gain was observed with 1.05± .88km^3in 2013-14. However, the west branch gained volume only in 2011-12 and lost in the consecutive years. Moreover, the west branch retreated by ˜ 3km and lost its

  18. Glacier retreat since the Little Ice Age in the eastern Nyainqêntanglha Range, southeastern Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loibl, David; Grießinger, Jussi; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2014-05-01

    The remote eastern Nyainqêntanglha Range in southeastern Tibet is situated in a transition zone between warm-wet subtropical and cold-dry plateau climate conditions. In this high mountain environment, intense summer monsoon rainfalls support numerous temperate glaciers despite the latitude of ~29° to ~31°N. Due to the outstanding importance of the monsoonal airmasses for the water cycle of the whole region, it is a key area to study climate and subsequent glacier change in High Asia. Here, we present the results of a study in which 1964 glaciers were mapped by remote sensing from a Landsat ETM+ scene and subsequently parameterized by DEM supported measurements. Geomorphological evidence, such as glacier trimlines and latero-frontal moraines, was used to delineate the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum glacier advance terminus positions. Statistical analysis of glacier length change revealed an average retreat of ~40 % and a trend towards stronger retreat for smaller glaciers. Calculated ELAs show a southeast-northwest gradient ranging from 4,400 to 5,600 m a.s.l. and an average ELA rise of ~98 m since the LIA. Due to the large amount of measurements the ELA distribution reveals topographic effects down to the catchment scale, i.e. orographic rainfall and leeward shielding. This gives numerous hints on the relief-climate-glacier interactions and allows a simplified reconstruction of the flow patterns of the monsoonal air masses. Contrasting to the expectations for subtropical settings, glaciers on south facing slopes have not retreated strongest and ELAs on south facing slopes did not rise furthest. Instead, highly heterogeneous spatial patterns emerge that show a strong imprint of both, topography and monsoonal dynamics. Our results indicate that the monsoonal temperate glaciers' high sensitivity to climate change is driven by two double forcings due to the coincidence of accumulation and ablation phases. First, monsoon intensity directly controls the amount of

  19. Surface Velocities of Himalayan Glaciers: Implications for Glacial Erosion Potential During Climatic Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherler, D.; Bookhagen, B.; Strecker, M. R.

    2007-12-01

    past episodes of intensified summer monsoons, such as during the early Holocene. Our findings show that glaciers dominated by summer accumulation have generally lower surface velocities, hence ice-flux, and thus only limited potential to erode underlying bedrock. However, their counterparts in the Western Himalaya and Karakoram, receive moisture during all seasons, have a higher ice- flux, are more likely to have grown during an intensified winter or summer monsoon and thereby play a more important role in sculpting landscapes. Yet, if an intensified monsoon coincides with lower temperatures, such as during MIS 3-4, even glaciers in the Eastern and Central Himalaya should have had favourable conditions to advance toward much lower elevations, with higher ice flux.

  20. Afghanistan - Debris Covered Glaciers, Supraglacial Lakes, and the Potential for Catastrophic Flooding (Jökulhlaups)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnia, B. F.

    2009-12-01

    Included in the U.S. Geological Survey’s investigation of glaciers and the water resources of Afghanistan is a component focused on determining the potential for catastrophic flooding (jökulhlaups). In glacier environments, jökulhlaups are usually caused by: (1) drainage of ice-dammed lakes; (2) drainage of ice-marginal lakes (typically moraine-dammed lakes); (3) release of water stored subglacially, englacially, or supraglacially, sometimes through surge-related processes; or (4) through melting of glaciers located around the summit craters of erupting volcanoes. All but the last potential cause may lead to significant flooding from Himalayan Mountain glaciers. The primary data sets being investigated are: (1) VNIR (visible and near-infrared) digital images collected between 2001 and 2006 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on the Terra spacecraft; (2) Landsat 7 Thematic Mapper (ETM+) multispectral data collected between 1998 and 2004; and (3) Google Earth space photography subscenes imaged between 2006 and 2008. GIS analysis, an automated supervised classification, a manual visual image analysis, and a remote sensing assessment were performed on these data to determine the number, location, size, area, aspect, distribution of ice-surface and ice-marginal lakes, and many other parameters of about 1,000 glaciers in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Pamir. There, all of the glaciers analyzed are thinning and/or retreating. In this type of environment, it is not unusual for a significant amount of the meltwater thus produced to be temporarily stored within the glacier system. Many Wakhan Pamir valley glaciers are debris covered. Often significant parts of the ablation zone surface of these glaciers host supraglacial lakes. Typically, these supraglacial lakes develop on stagnant or slowly moving ice through thermokarst processes. Many of these valley glaciers are also characterized by the presence of empty thermokarst pits

  1. Processes on a glacier-dominated coast, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molnia, Bruce F.

    1985-01-01

    The 500 km long Gulf of Alaska coastline between Cape Suckling and Cape Spencer can be characterized by constant rapid change in an environment of glaciers, stormy climate, high relief, and extreme oceanographic parameters. During a more than 200-year history of observation, bays have completely filled with sediment, new bays have appeared, glaciers have advanced and retreated as much as 40 km, streams have been captured, and spits have grown as much as 10 km in length, earthquakes have uplifted the coast as much as 15 m, and in general, few features have been static. More than 250 km of coastline have undergone erosion and retreat, with maximum retreat exceeding 4 km at Icy Bay.

  2. Monitoring of time and space evolution of glaciers' flow at the scale of the Karakoram and Himalayas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dehecq, Amaury; Gourmelen, Noel; Trouvé, Emmanuel; Wegmuller, Urs; Cheng, Xiao

    2014-05-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has caused drastic changes in mountain glaciers globally, and of the Himalayan glaciers in particular. The stakes are high; glaciers and ice caps are the largest contributor to the increase in the mass of the world's oceans, and the Himalayas play a key role in the hydrology of the region, impacting on the economy, food safety and flood risk to a large population. Partial monitoring of the Himalayan glaciers has revealed a mixed picture; while many of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, in some cases locally stable or advancing glaciers in this region have also been observed. But recent controversies have highlighted the need to understand the glaciers dynamic and its relationship with climate change in this region. Earth Observation provides a mean for global and long-term monitoring of mountain glaciers' dynamics. In the frame of the Dragon program, a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Center for Earth Observation (NRSCC), we begun a monitoring program aimed at quantifying multidecadal changes in glaciers' flow at the scale of the entire Himalayas and Karakoram from a 40 years' archive of Earth Observation. Ultimately, the provision of a global and time-sensitive glaciers velocity product will help to understand the evolution of the Himalayan glaciers in lights of glaciological (e.g. presence of debris-cover, surges, proglacial lakes) and climatic conditions. In this presentation, we focus on the analysis of the Landsat archive spanning the 1972 to 2012 period, which is global and provide multidecadal and continuous observation. We present the processing strategy including preprocessing of the images, image-matching and merging of the various results obtained from the repetitivity of the acquisitions in order to obtain a more robust, precise and complete glaciers velocity fields. We show that the recent archive (Landsat 4, 5 and 7, from 1982 to 2013) allows an estimate of the velocity for

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

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

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

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

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations in southernmost Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menounos, Brian; Clague, John J.; Osborn, Gerald; Davis, P. Thompson; Ponce, Federico; Goehring, Brent; Maurer, Malyssa; Rabassa, Jorge; Coronato, Andrea; Marr, Rob

    2013-10-01

    Some researchers propose that summer insolation controls long-term changes in glacier extent during the Holocene. If this hypothesis is correct, the record of glacier fluctuations at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere should differ from that in the Northern Hemisphere. Although the chronology of Holocene glacier fluctuations in the Northern Hemisphere is well established, much uncertainty remains in the ages of Holocene glacier fluctuations in the Southern Hemisphere, especially South America. Here we report on latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations at the southern end of the Andes north and west of Ushuaia, Argentina. Surface exposure ages (10Be) from glaciated bedrock beyond cirque moraines indicate that alpine areas were free of ice by ca 16.9 ka. One, and in some cases two, closely spaced moraines extend up to 2 km beyond Little Ice Age moraines within many of the cirques in the region. The mean age of five 10Be ages from two pre-Little Ice Age moraines is 14.27-12.67 ka, whereas a minimum limiting radiocarbon age for a smaller, recessional moraine in one cirque is 12.38-12.01 ka. Our ages imply that, following glacier retreat beginning about 18.52-17.17 ka, cirque glaciers first advanced during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14.5-12.9 ka) and may have later advanced or stabilized in the Younger Dryas Chronozone (12.9-11.7 ka). Based on the distribution of thick, geochemically distinct, and well-dated Hudson tephra, no Holocene moraines appear to be older than 7.96-7.34 ka. At some sites, there is evidence for one or more advances of glaciers sometime between 7.96-7.34 ka and 5.29-5.05 ka to limits only tens of meters beyond Little Ice Age maximum positions. Taken together, the data: 1) do not support the summer insolation hypothesis to explain Holocene glacier fluctuations in southernmost Patagonia; 2) confirm paleobotanical evidence for a warm, dry early Holocene; and 3) suggest that some glaciers in the region reached extents comparable to

  7. 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.

  8. Mais comment s'écoule donc un glacier ? Aperçu historique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rémy, Frédérique; Testut, Laurent

    2006-05-01

    Ice and snow have often helped physicists understand the world. On the contrary it has taken them a very long time to understand the flow of the glaciers. Naturalists only began to take an interest in glaciers at the beginning of the 19th century during the last phase of glacier advances. When the glacier flow from the upslope direction became obvious, it was then necessary to understand how it flowed. It was only in 1840, the year of the Antarctica ice sheet discovery by Dumont d'Urville, that two books laid the basis for the future field of glaciology: one by Agassiz on the ice age and glaciers, the other one by canon Rendu on glacier theory. During the 19th century, ice flow theories, adopted by most of the leading scientists, were based on melting/refreezing processes. Even though the word 'fluid' was first used in 1773 to describe ice, more the 130 years would have to go by before the laws of fluid mechanics were applied to ice. Even now, the parameter of Glen's law, which is used by glaciologists to model ice deformation, can take a very wide range of values, so that no unique ice flow law has yet been defined. To cite this article: F. Rémy, L. Testut, C. R. Geoscience 338 (2006).

  9. Integration of glacier databases within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemp, M.; Raup, B. H.; Armstrong, R.; Ballagh, L.; Gärtner-Roer, I.; Haeberli, W.; Hoelzle, M.; Kääb, A.; Kargel, J.; Paul, F.

    2009-04-01

    Changes in glaciers and ice caps provide some of the clearest evidence of climate change and have impacts on global sea level fluctuations, regional hydrological cycles and local natural hazard situations. Internationally coordinated collection and distribution of standardized information about glaciers and ice caps was initiated in 1894 and is today coordinated within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). A recently established GTN-G Steering Committee coordinates, supports and advices the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. In this presentation, we provide an overview of (i) the integration of the various operational databases, (ii) the development of a one-stop web-interface to these databases, and (iii) the available datasets. By joint efforts consistency and interoperability of the different glacier databases is elaborated. Thereby, the lack of a complete worldwide, detailed glacier inventory as well as different historical developments and methodological contexts of the datasets are major challenges for linking individual glaciers throughout the databases. A map-based web-interface, implemented based on OpenLayer 2.0 and Web Map/Feature Services, is elaborated to spatially link the available data and to provide data users a fast overview of all available data. With this new online service, GTN-G provides fast access to information on glacier inventory data from 100,000 glaciers mainly based on aerial photographs and from 80,000 glaciers mainly based on satellite images, length change series from 1,800 glaciers, mass balance series from 230 glaciers, special events (e.g., hazards, surges, calving instabilities) from 130 glaciers, as well as 10,000 photographs from some 470 glaciers.

  10. 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).

  11. Global Monitoring of Mountain Glaciers Using High-Resolution Spotlight Imaging from the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donnellan, A.; Green, J. J.; Bills, B. G.; Goguen, J.; Ansar, A.; Knight, R. L.; Hallet, B.; Scambos, T. A.; Thompson, L. G.; Morin, P. J.

    2013-12-01

    Mountain glaciers around the world are retreating rapidly, contributing about 20% to present-day sea level rise. Numerous studies have shown that mountain glaciers are sensitive to global environmental change. Temperate-latitude glaciers and snowpack provide water for over 1 billion people. Glaciers are a resource for irrigation and hydroelectric power, but also pose flood and avalanche hazards. Accurate mass balance assessments have been made for only 280 glaciers, yet there are over 130,000 in the World Glacier Inventory. The rate of glacier retreat or advance can be highly variable, is poorly sampled, and inadequately understood. Liquid water from ice front lakes, rain, melt, or sea water and debris from rocks, dust, or pollution interact with glacier ice often leading to an amplification of warming and further melting. Many mountain glaciers undergo rapid and episodic events that greatly change their mass balance or extent but are sparsely documented. Events include calving, outburst floods, opening of crevasses, or iceberg motion. Spaceborne high-resolution spotlight optical imaging provides a means of clarifying the relationship between the health of mountain glaciers and global environmental change. Digital elevation models (DEMs) can be constructed from a series of images from a range of perspectives collected by staring at a target during a satellite overpass. It is possible to collect imagery for 1800 targets per month in the ×56° latitude range, construct high-resolution DEMs, and monitor changes in high detail over time with a high-resolution optical telescope mounted on the International Space Station (ISS). Snow and ice type, age, and maturity can be inferred from different color bands as well as distribution of liquid water. Texture, roughness, albedo, and debris distribution can be estimated by measuring bidirectional reflectance distribution functions (BRDF) and reflectance intensity as a function of viewing angle. The non-sun-synchronous orbit

  12. Effects of the March 1964 Alaska earthquake on glaciers: Chapter D in The Alaska earthquake, March 27, 1964: effects on hydrologic regimen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, Austin

    1967-01-01

    The 1964 Alaska earthquake occurred in a region where there are many hundreds of glaciers, large and small. Aerial photographic investigations indicate that no snow and ice avalanches of large size occurred on glaciers despite the violent shaking. Rockslide avalanches extended onto the glaciers in many localities, seven very large ones occurring in the Copper River region 160 kilometers east of the epicenter. Some of these avalanches traveled several kilometers at low gradients; compressed air may have provided a lubricating layer. If long-term changes in glaciers due to tectonic changes in altitude and slope occur, they will probably be very small. No evidence of large-scale dynamic response of any glacier to earthquake shaking or avalanche loading was found in either the Chugach or Kenai Mountains 16 months after the 1964 earthquake, nor was there any evidence of surges (rapid advances) as postulated by the Earthquake-Advance Theory of Tarr and Martin.

  13. Surging glaciers in Iceland - research status and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingolfsson, Olafur

    2013-04-01

    Twenty six Icelandic outlet glaciers, ranging from 0.5-1.500 km2, are known to surge, with terminal advances ranging from of few tens of meters to about 10 km. The geomorphic signatures of surges vary, from large-scale folded and thrusted end moraine systems, extensive dead-ice fields and drumlinized forefields to drift sheets where fast ice-flow indicators are largely missing. Case studies from the forefields of Brúarjökull, Eyjabakkajökull and Múlajökull surging glaciers will be presented. At Brúarjökull, extremely rapid ice flow during surge was sustained by overpressurized water causing decoupling beneath a thick sediment sequence that was coupled to the glacier. The ice-marginal position of the 1890 surge is marked by a sedimentary wedge formed within five days and a large moraine ridge that formed in about one day ("instantaneous end-moraine"). Three different qualitative and conceptual models are required to explain the genesis of the Eyjabakkajökull moraines: a narrow, single-crested moraine ridge at the distal end of a marginal sediment wedge formed in response to decoupling of the subglacial sediment from the bedrock and associated downglacier sediment transport; large lobate end moraine ridges with multiple, closely spaced, asymmetric crests formed by proglacial piggy-back thrusting; moraine ridges with different morphologies may reflect different members of an end moraine continuum. A parallel study highlighting the surge history of Eyjabakkajökull over the last 4400 years suggests climate control on surge frequencies. The Múlajökull studies concern an active drumlin field (>100 drumlins) that is being exposed as the glacier retreats. The drumlins form through repeated surges, where each surge causes deposition of till bed onto the drumlin while similtaneously eroding the sides. Finally, a new landsystem model for surging North Iceland cirque glaciers will be introduced. References Benediktsson,I. Ö., Schomacker, A., Lokrantz, H. & Ing

  14. 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%.

  15. Processes of annual moraine formation at a temperate alpine valley glacier: glacier dynamics and climatic controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukas, S.

    2012-04-01

    This paper presents the first detailed sedimentological study of annual moraines formed by an alpine valley glacier. The moraines have been formed since at least AD 1980 by a subsidiary lobe of Gornergletscher, Switzerland, that advances up a reverse bedrock slope. They reach heights of 0.5-1.5 m, widths of up to 6 m and lengths of up to several hundreds of metres. Sediments in these moraines comprise proglacial outwash and debris flow units; subglacial traction till is absent entirely. Based on four representative sections, three genetic process combinations have been identified. (1) Inefficient bulldozing of a gently-sloping ice margin transfers proglacial sediments onto the ice, causing differential ablation and dead-ice incorporation upon retreat. (2) Terrestrial ice-contact fans are formed by the dumping of englacial and supraglacial material from point sources such as englacial conduit fills. Debris flows and associated fluvial sediments are stacked against a temporarily stationary margin at the start, and deformed during glacier advance in the remainder, of the accumulation season. (3) A steep ice margin without supraglacial input leads to efficient bulldozing and deformation of pre-existing foreland sediments by wholesale folding. Ice surface slope appears to be a key control on the type of process responsible for moraine formation in any given place and year. The second and third modes result in stable and higher moraines that have a higher preservation potential than those containing dead ice. Analysis of the spacing and climatic records at Gornergletscher reveal that winter temperature controls marginal retreat and hence moraine formation. However, any climatic signal is complicated by other factors, most notably the presence of a reverse bedrock slope, so that the extraction of a clear climatic signal is not straightforward. This study highlights the complexity of annual moraine formation in high-mountain environments and suggests avenues for further

  16. 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…

  17. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  18. 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 α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams. PMID:23486246

  19. Mass-balance characteristics of arctic glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, Roger J.

    A survey of available mass-balance data shows that glaciers on arctic islands, i.e. mountain glaciers and ice caps in northern Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and the Eurasian islands, share mass-balance characteristics of low annual amplitude and small interannual variability. By contrast, glaciers around the Arctic (e.g. in Alaska, Iceland, mainland Scandinavia and northern Eurasia) can have exceptionally large annual amplitude and interannual variability but otherwise share characteristics with glaciers in lower latitudes. The arctic island glaciers occur in areas with low annual precipitation and high annual temperature variability, i.e. in dry-cold or continental regions. Most glaciers surrounding the Arctic (Alaska, Iceland and Scandinavia) occur in areas with high annual precipitation and low annual temperature variability, i.e. in wet-warm or maritime regions. Earlier mass-balance modelling showed that arctic island glaciers have low sensitivity to temperature changes consistent with their low mass-balance amplitude. However, very large changes in mass balance could occur on arctic island glaciers if the sea ice surrounding the arctic islands were reduced so that the climate of the arctic islands becomes more maritime.

  20. Glacier-derived August runoff in northwest Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Preliminary bathymetry of Northwestern Fiord and Neoglacial changes of Northwestern Glacier

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Post, Austin

    1980-01-01

    The first preliminary bathymetry (at 1:20,000 scale) and other scientific investigations of Northwestern Fiord, Alaska, were conducted by the Research Vessel Growler in 1978, disclosing this 10.5-mile-long branched waterway to be a deep basin enclosed by a terminal-moraine shoal. The basin was formerly filled by Northwestern Glacier, which began a drastic retreat around 1909 and reached the head of the main arm around 1960. Soundings and profiles show the main channel to be as much as 970 feet deep and to have the typical U shape of a severely glacially eroded valley; since the glacier 's retreat, sediments have formed nearly level deposits in the deepest reaches, while the rest of the basin has a hard, rocky bottom. Preneoglacial forest debris dated by carbon-14 indicates Northwestern Glacier to have advanced into the fiord prior to 1,385 years before present (B.P.); a branch glacier evidently advanced into forest 1,635 years B.P. The combined glaciers from several arms culminated on the present terminal-moraine shoal around 1894. (USGS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. GLACIER PEAK ROADLESS AREA, WASHINGTON.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Church, S.E.; Johnson, F.L.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey outlined areas of mineral-resource potential in the Glacier Peak Roadless Area, Washington. Substantiated resource potential for base and precious metals has been identified in four mining districts included in whole or in part within the boundary of the roadless area. Several million tons of demonstrated base- and precious-metal resources occur in numerous mines in these districts. Probable resource potential for precious metals exists along a belt of fractured and locally mineralized rock extending northeast from Monte Cristo to the northeast edge of the roadless area.

  4. Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    nor’thern tip of the moraine and onto the grained metasediments, with some basalt and per- mountains that flank the Scott Glacier. Figure 22 haps...and a cracked ice creating hummocks in the ice surface when they hummock is formed. Paige gave the size of these refreeze during the following winter...Paige 1968). hummocks as 2-8 i in diameter and 0.3-0.6 in The ice surface in this area usually remains at sub- high at the site of OWF. freezing

  5. 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

  6. Mass changes of glaciers over the Central Karakoram derived from TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR Digital Elevation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rankl, Melanie; Braun, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Snow cover and glaciers in the Karakoram region are important freshwater resources for many downriver communities as they provide water for irrigation and hydro power. A better understanding of current glacier changes is hence an important baseline information. Glaciers in the Karakoram have shown stable and positive glacier mass balances during recent years as well as stable and advancing termini positions. The Karakoram is also known for a large number of surge-type glaciers. Here, we present geodetic glacier elevation and mass changes using TanDEM-X and SRTM/X-SAR Digital Elevation Models between 2000 and 2012. Based on previous glacier inventories for the Karakoram, we show elevation changes and glacier mass balances for glaciers with advancing and stable termini between 2000 and 2012 as well as surge-type glaciers separately. In order to convert volume changes to mass changes, we applied different density scenarios (i.e., constant densities for ice and snow or zonally variable densities). Our findings show average glacier thickening of +0.01 ± 0.02 m a-1 or mass gain of +0.0099 ± 2.8x10-5 Gt a-1(using a density of 850 kg m-3) between 2000 and 2012 for parts of the Central Karakoram. Surge-type glaciers and advancing glaciers indicated slight surface lowering, while the majority of the studied glaciers showed stable termini and surface thickening. Our measurements are independent from varying penetration depths of the radar signal or temporal decorrelation between image acquisitions. Both datasets were acquired in the X-band frequency under assumed similar surface conditions. The bistatic TanDEM-X mission is highly suitable for interferometric processing due to high spatial resolutions and only 3 sec time lag between TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X overpasses. We want to stress the enormous potential of the TanDEM-X mission to estimate geodetic glacier mass balances, in particular when compared to elevation data sets acquired in a similar frequency and comparable

  7. Effects of glacier runoff and wind on surface layer dynamics and Atlantic Water exchange in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard; a model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundfjord, A.; Albretsen, J.; Kasajima, Y.; Skogseth, R.; Kohler, J.; Nuth, C.; Skarðhamar, J.; Cottier, F.; Nilsen, F.; Asplin, L.; Gerland, S.; Torsvik, T.

    2017-03-01

    A high resolution numerical ocean circulation model has been used to investigate exchange mechanisms and transport of thermal energy towards the inner part of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard; a location where tidewater glaciers expose large calving fronts to the ocean water and sea ice has been a regular winter feature until recently. Comparison of model simulations against a large set of observational data shows that the model captures the main features of seasonality and geographical distribution of hydrography. The model is able to simulate inflow of Atlantic Water although the timing, strength and depth of inflow events are not always the same in the model as in mooring records. The model shows water entering via the shelf consistently penetrating deep into the fjord, and volume transport toward the interior parts are large even under winter conditions. Heat transports are smaller in winter than in summer due to generally lower winter temperatures. Results indicate that glacial freshwater discharge in the surface layer is not a necessary factor for driving sub-surface exchange; rather, along-fjord winds stand out as important for the circulation and hence water exchange in the inner part of the fjord. The combination of inflow of Atlantic Water from the outer shelf into the central part of the fjord, and further transport of mixed water masses with intermediate heat content toward the inner part, constitutes a significant transfer of thermal energy from the outer shelf and deep into the fjord. The potential for glacier front melting is larger in summer than in winter as heat transports are larger this time of year, while even modest heat transports in the upper part of the water column may influence the sea ice cover in winter.

  8. ICESat laser altimetry over small mountain glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treichler, Désirée; Kääb, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    Using sparsely glaciated southern Norway as a case study, we assess the potential and limitations of ICESat laser altimetry for analysing regional glacier elevation change in rough mountain terrain. Differences between ICESat GLAS elevations and reference elevation data are plotted over time to derive a glacier surface elevation trend for the ICESat acquisition period 2003-2008. We find spatially varying biases between ICESat and three tested digital elevation models (DEMs): the Norwegian national DEM, SRTM DEM, and a high-resolution lidar DEM. For regional glacier elevation change, the spatial inconsistency of reference DEMs - a result of spatio-temporal merging - has the potential to significantly affect or dilute trends. Elevation uncertainties of all three tested DEMs exceed ICESat elevation uncertainty by an order of magnitude, and are thus limiting the accuracy of the method, rather than ICESat uncertainty. ICESat matches glacier size distribution of the study area well and measures small ice patches not commonly monitored in situ. The sample is large enough for spatial and thematic subsetting. Vertical offsets to ICESat elevations vary for different glaciers in southern Norway due to spatially inconsistent reference DEM age. We introduce a per-glacier correction that removes these spatially varying offsets, and considerably increases trend significance. Only after application of this correction do individual campaigns fit observed in situ glacier mass balance. Our correction also has the potential to improve glacier trend significance for other causes of spatially varying vertical offsets, for instance due to radar penetration into ice and snow for the SRTM DEM or as a consequence of mosaicking and merging that is common for national or global DEMs. After correction of reference elevation bias, we find that ICESat provides a robust and realistic estimate of a moderately negative glacier mass balance of around -0.36 ± 0.07 m ice per year. This regional

  9. Fjord - Glacier Ice Interactions: Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord) Southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motyka, R. J.; Truffer, M.; Dryer, W. P.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R. K.; Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.

    2012-12-01

    The study of interactions between glaciers, fjords, and the ocean in coastal Greenland is still in its infancy. Circulation of warm ocean waters into fjords has been hypothesized to play an important role in destabilizing and modulating glacier discharge from outlet glaciers in Greenland, but details on the dynamics of this interaction remain sparse. To help fill this gap, we conducted a series of hydrographic measurements over a six-day period in late August 2011 in the proglacial fjord Kangersuneq at the head of Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord) near Nuuk in southwest Greenland. Because of iceberg conditions, we were unable to approach any closer than 12 km to the tidewater glacier Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS) at the head of the fjord. We conducted the majority of our measurements over the KNS Little Ice Age (LIA) moraine, a sill which forms a barrier between the inner and outer fjord. The LIA sill lies about 22 km from KNS, spans the 4-km-wide fjord and has a maximum water depth of 170 m. Water depths fall to over 300 m on either side of this sill and all water entering or leaving the inner basin must flow over it. For comparison, we also conducted transects at a second location inside the inner basin, 12 km from the KNS terminus and in much deeper water (> 300 m). Our transects included shipboard CTD (conductivity, temperature, density) and current measurements, the latter using rail-mounted 150 kHz and 600 kHz RDI ADCPs (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers). Iceberg conditions in the fjord prevented measurements while underway. The CTD measurements showed a highly stratified water column capped by a 5 m freshwater layer. The warmest (3 deg. C) and most saline water (32) lies directly over the sill, near the bottom of the water column. The freshwater fraction at 20 m water depth is 7.6% with 6.0% from subglacial freshwater discharge and 1.6% derived from submarine melting of ice. We timed our survey to bracket the neap tide to reduce complexities related to tidal

  10. Title: Climate-glacier Relationship of Retreating Alaskan Glaciers Author: Elliott Mazur and Umesh K. Haritashya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazur, E. M.

    2012-12-01

    Portage, Whittier, Eklutna, as well as many other well-known "tourism glaciers" in the vicinity of Anchorage, Alaska are known to have retreated in the past 20 years. This begs the question, "what of the other lesser-known glaciers? Do they follow the same patterns and minimal glacier models?" Glaciers such as Byron, Leonard, Matanuska, Raven and Spencer may fit a minimal model. Information on Byron and Leonard is sparse, as both have become hanging glaciers. Other glaciers, such as Raven, are small enough to be deemed insignificant, yet may have information to give. Consequently our objective is to study five Alaskan glaciers and determine wide-ranging variability to changing regional climate. To do this we obtained field geo-location data and characterized glaciers based on the satellite imagery and climate reevaluation. Our result shows that glaciers are retreating and thinning irrespective of their aspects, location and altitudinal variability. Moreover, our presentation establishes the strong climate-glacier relationship and defines retreating snowline patterns over the last few decades.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Quantifying global warming from the retreat of glaciers.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 10Be surface exposure dating of rock glaciers in Larstigtal, Tyrol, Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  16. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  17. Multiangular Reflectance of a Glacier Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendriks, J.; Pellikka, P.

    2004-05-01

    The worldwide retreat of glaciers provides one of the clearest signals of a change in global climate. In order to monitor the temporal behaviour of glacier surfaces and volumes, remote sensing techniques have proved to be extremely useful. Conventional classification techniques like supervised classifications on Landsat ETM+ images allow us to classify glacier surfaces and to monitor their change. These classifications are based upon the conversion of spectral radiance in nadir direction into surface reflectance and require extensive atmospheric and topographic modelling. Currently the Landsat ETM+ sensor shows anomalies. For most of these reasons, we try an experimental classification procedure to classify a glacier surface. We use the multiangular reflectance properties of the glacier Hintereisferner (Austria) to calculate its albedo for glacier surface patches like snow, firn and ice. On the 12th of August 2003, a time-synchronous acquisition of in situ multi-angular spectrometer measurements and digital camera data acquisition was accomplished. Furthermore, four local mode data acquisitions were done in the same month by the MISR instrument, which is onboard of the Terra satellite. After analysis of the various datasets, we attempt to derive BRDFs (Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Functions) for the different glacier surfaces. Calculations are performed in those areas were digital camera frames overlap and can be validated by the in situ spectrometer measurements. The albedos derived from the MISR data were compared to the other datasets in order to investigate MISR's possibilities in the future for glacier classification schemes. Manual delineations of specific glacier zones help to improve the classification scheme and serve as validation data.

  18. Local reduction of decadal glacier thickness loss through mass balance management in ski resorts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Andrea; Helfricht, Kay; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin

    2016-11-01

    For Austrian glacier ski resorts, established in the 1970s and 1980s during a period of glacier advance, negative mass balances with resulting glacier area loss and decrease in surface elevation present an operational challenge. Glacier cover, snow farming, and technical snow production were introduced as adaptation measures based on studies on the effect of these measures on energy and mass balance. After a decade of the application of the various measures, we studied the transition from the proven short-term effects of the measures on mass balance to long-term effects on elevation changes. Based on lidar digital elevation models and differential GPS measurements, decadal surface elevation changes in 15 locations with mass balance management were compared to those without measures (apart from piste grooming) in five Tyrolean ski resorts on seven glaciers. The comparison of surface elevation changes presents clear local differences in mass change, and it shows the potential to retain local ice thickness over 1 decade. Locally up to 21.1 m ± 0.4 m of ice thickness was preserved on mass balance managed areas compared to non-maintained areas over a period of 9 years. In this period, mean annual thickness loss in 15 of the mass balance managed profiles is 0.54 ± 0.04 m yr-1 lower (-0.23 ± 0.04 m yr-1on average) than in the respective reference areas (-0.78 ± 0.04 m yr-1). At two of these profiles the surface elevation was preserved altogether, which is promising for a sustainable maintenance of the infrastructure at glacier ski resorts. In general the results demonstrate the high potential of the combination of mass balance management by snow production and glacier cover, not only in the short term but also for multi-year application to maintain the skiing infrastructure.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    In the Dry Andes of Chile (17 to 35° S), debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers are differentiated from true glaciers based on the percentage of surface debris cover, thickness of surface debris, and ice content. Internal ice is preserved by an insulating cover of thick debris, which acts as a storage reservoir to release water during the summer and early fall. These landforms are more numerous than glaciers in the central Andes; however, the existing legislation only recognizes uncovered or semicovered glaciers as a water resource. Glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers are being altered or removed by mining operations to extract valuable minerals from the mountains. In addition, agricultural expansion and population growth in this region have placed additional demands on water resources. In a warmer climate, as glaciers recede and seasonal water availability becomes condensed over the course of a snowmelt season, rock glaciers and debris-covered glaciers contribute a larger component of base flow to rivers and streams. As a result, identifying and locating these features to implement sustainable regional planning for water resources is important. The objective of this study is to develop a classification system to identify debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers based on the interpretation of satellite imagery and aerial photographs. The classification system is linked to field observations and measurements of ice content. Debris-covered glaciers have three subclasses: surface coverage of semi (class 1) and fully covered (class 2) glaciers differentiates the first two forms, whereas debris thickness is critical for class 3 when glaciers become buried with more than 3 m of surface debris. Based on field observations, the amount of ice decreases from more than 85%, to 65-85%, to 45-65% for semi, fully, and buried debris-covered glaciers, respectively. Rock glaciers are characterized by three stages. Class 4 rock glaciers have pronounced

  2. 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

    , 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-11-01

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

  4. GCM Simulations of Tropical Ice Accumulations: Implications for Cold-based Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haberle, R. M.; Montmessin, F.; Forget, F.; Levrard, B.; Head, J. W., III; Laskar, J.

    2004-01-01

    Each of the three Tharsis Montes shield volcanoes on Mars has fan-shaped deposits on their flanks. A detailed analysis of the multiple facies of the Arsia Mons deposits, coupled with field observations of polar glaciers in Antarctica, shows that they are consistent with deposition from cold-based mountain glaciers. Key features of these glaciers are: (1) they formed only on the western flank of each volcano, (2) enough ice accumulated to cause them to flow but without basal melting, (3) there were multiple advances and retreats, (4) the last major glaciation was more than several million years ago, (5) the areal extent of the deposits they left behind decreases northward, (6) together the deposits range in elevation from a low of 1.5 to a high of 8.5 km, and (7) there are no signs that significant accumulation is occurring today.

  5. Situk River Hydrology Following Closure of Russell Fiord by Hubbard Glacier

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-01

    Alaska, has advanced twice in recent history (1986, 2002) to create an ice and moraine dam at Gilbert Point, turning Russell Fiord into Russell...above MLLW), it would spill through the “Notch” area of the southern terminal moraine and flow into the historical channel of the Old Situk River and...2007). In 1986 and 2002, Hubbard Glacier advanced far enough to isolate Russell Fiord from Disenchantment Bay, forming an ice/ moraine sediment dam at

  6. 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

  7. Past and future mass balance of 'Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere' Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Brian; Lawson, Wendy; Owens, Ian; Goodsell, Becky

    Despite their relatively small total ice volume, mid-latitude valley glaciers are expected to make a significant contribution to global sea-level rise over the next century due to the sensitivity of their mass-balance systems to small changes in climate. Here we use a degree-day model to reconstruct the past century of mass-balance variation at 'Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere' Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand, and to predict how mass balance may change over the next century. Analysis of the relationship between temperature, precipitation and mass balance indicates that temperature is a stronger control than precipitation on the mass balance of Franz Josef Glacier. The glacier's mass balance, relative to its 1986 geometry, has decreased at a mean annual rate of 0.02 ma-1 w.e. between 1894 and 2005. We compare this reduction to observations of terminus advance and retreat, of which Franz Josef Glacier has the best record in the Southern Hemisphere. For the years 2000-05 the relative mass balance ranged from -0.75 to +1.50 ma-1 w.e., with 2000/01 the only year showing a negative mass balance. In a regionally downscaled Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change mean warming scenario, the annual relative mass balance will continue to decrease at 0.02 ma-1 w.e. through the next century.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuya, M.; Abe, T.

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Glacier variations in the Northern Caucasus compared to climatic reconstructions over the past millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomina, Olga; Bushueva, Irina; Dolgova, Ekaterina; Jomelli, Vincent; Alexandrin, Mikhail; Mikhalenko, Vladimir; Matskovsky, Vladimir

    2016-05-01

    resolution of the data available and ambiguous interpretation of the evidence. The first LIA maximum glacier extent in the past millennium is poorly constrained. According to our data, it occurred prior to the year 1598 CE (tree-ring-based minimum age). Two other major phases of advances occurred in the second half of the 17th century CE and the first half of 19th century CE. General glacier retreat in the Northern Caucasus started in the late 1840s CE, with four to five minor readvances in the 1860s-1880s CE and three readvances or steady states in the 20th century CE (1910s, 1920s and 1970s-1980s). Since the last LIA maximum in the middle of the 19th century CE, most glaciers have decreased in length by more than 1000 m, and the rise in the elevation of the glacier fronts has exceeded 200 m. The glacier advances correspond to summer temperature minima and are generally coherent with the reconstructed mass balance of the Garabashi Glacier. A comparison of a tree-ring-based summer temperature reconstruction in the Northern Caucasus with detailed reconstructions of summer temperature and glacier fluctuations in the Alps shows a pronounced agreement between the records and supports the similarity between the patterns of climatic and glacier variations in the two regions.

  10. Glacier response to climate trend and climate variability in Mt. Everest region (Nepal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakuri, S.; Salerno, F.; Guyennon, N.; Viviano, G.; Smiraglia, C.; D'Agata, C.; Tartari, G.

    2013-05-01

    This study is conducted with the aim of coupling the climatic dynamics with glaciers variations. The glaciers in the Mt. Everest region in Nepal Himalaya are characterized by the debris-mantle in most of their ablation zone and are controlled by the south-Asian summer monsoon and precipitation due to mid-latitude westerly. We analyzed variations in glacier surface and snowline altitude for the glaciers/ice mass in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (area: 1148 km2), using cartography and remote imaging since 1950s to 2011 and uncertainties associated, providing a longest time series of glacier variations in this region. The glacier surface area had loss of 14.3±5.9 % (0.27 % yr-1) from 396.2 km2 to 339.5 km2 in 1958 to 2011 with the loss by 0.12 % yr-1 in 1958-75 and 0.70 % yr-1 in recent years. The smaller glaciers with <1 km2 dimension had decreased by 43% in their surface area showing rapid disappearance of very small glacier/ice mass. The accumulation area decreased by 24.8%, whist ablation area increased by 17.7 % with nearly 6% increase in debris-cover surface in ablation zone in 1958 to 2011. The accumulation and ablation area changes can be explained by SLA position which was continuously moving upward from 5279±144 m asl. in 1958 to 5472±209 m asl. in 2011 with the overall vertical shift of 192±9 m (3.6 m yr-1). The glaciers are showing the discordant behavior with individual glaciers varying spatially and temporally discern manner. Majority of glaciers are retreating but some glaciers observed as stationary or even advancing in certain period of analysis which could be explained by their location and topographic effect. We reconstructed temperature and precipitation complete series using the monthly quantile mapping and expectation maximization techniques from the all available insitu measurements in 1992-2011 from different automatic weather stations located in the Mt. Everest region and conducted the singular spectral analysis and monthly

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The geochemical record in rock glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steig, E.J.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Potter, N.; 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.

  14. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

    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.

  15. Reconstructing the annual mass balance of the Echaurren Norte glacier (Central Andes, 33.5° S) using local and regional hydroclimatic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masiokas, Mariano H.; Christie, Duncan A.; Le Quesne, Carlos; Pitte, Pierre; Ruiz, Lucas; Villalba, Ricardo; Luckman, Brian H.; Berthier, Etienne; Nussbaumer, Samuel U.; González-Reyes, Álvaro; McPhee, James; Barcaza, Gonzalo

    2016-04-01

    Despite the great number and variety of glaciers in southern South America, in situ glacier mass-balance records are extremely scarce and glacier-climate relationships are still poorly understood in this region. Here we use the longest (> 35 years) and most complete in situ mass-balance record, available for the Echaurren Norte glacier (ECH) in the Andes at ˜ 33.5° S, to develop a minimal glacier surface mass-balance model that relies on nearby monthly precipitation and air temperature data as forcing. This basic model is able to explain 78 % of the variance in the annual glacier mass-balance record over the 1978-2013 calibration period. An attribution assessment identified precipitation variability as the dominant forcing modulating annual mass balances at ECH, with temperature variations likely playing a secondary role. A regionally averaged series of mean annual streamflow records from both sides of the Andes between ˜ 30 and 37° S is then used to estimate, through simple linear regression, this glacier's annual mass-balance variations since 1909. The reconstruction model captures 68 % of the observed glacier mass-balance variability and shows three periods of sustained positive mass balances embedded in an overall negative trend over the past 105 years. The three periods of sustained positive mass balances (centered in the 1920s-1930s, in the 1980s and in the first decade of the 21st century) coincide with several documented glacier advances in this region. Similar trends observed in other shorter glacier mass-balance series suggest that the Echaurren Norte glacier reconstruction is representative of larger-scale conditions and could be useful for more detailed glaciological, hydrological and climatological assessments in this portion of the Andes.

  16. 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

  17. Major surge of the Bering Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnia, Bruce

    Definitive evidence has been obtained in the last few weeks documenting that a new and potentially major surge of Bering Glacier is beginning. According to Bruce F. Molnia, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va., and spokesperson for a USGS research group that includes Austin Post, Dennis Trabant, and Robert Krimmel, as of June 28, several hundred kilometers of the glacier were involved in the surge, displaying intensive crevassing, displaced moraines, ice overriding previously exposed bedrock, and pressure ridge development (Figure 1).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Glacier mass budget measurements by hydrologic means

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tangborn, Wendell V.

    1966-01-01

    Ice storage changes for the South Cascade Glacier drainage basin were determined for the 1957–1964 period using basin runoff and precipitation measurements. Measurements indicate that evaporation and condensation are negligible compared with the large runoff and precipitation values. Runoff, measured by a stream discharge station, averaged 4.04 m/yr; precipitation, determined by snow accumulation measurements at a central point on the glacier and by storage gages, averaged 3.82 m/yr, resulting in a basin net loss of about 0.22 m/yr. During the same period, South Cascade Glacier net budgets were determined by ablation stakes, snow density-depth profiles, and maps. The average glacier net budget for the period was −0.61sol;yr of water. This amount is equivalent to −0.26 m of water when averaged over the drainage basin (43% glacier-covered), which is in fair agreement with the net storage change measured by hydrologic methods. Agreement between the two methods for individual years is slightly less perfect. (Key words: Glaciers; water balance.)

  4. Modelling the hydrological response of debris-free and debris-covered glaciers to present climatic conditions in the semiarid Andes of central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayala, Alvaro; Pellicciotti, Francesca; MacDonell, Shelley; McPhee, James; Vivero, Sebastián; Campos, Cristián; Egli, Pascal

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the main contributors to runoff of a 62 km2 glacierized catchment in the semiarid Andes of central Chile, where both debris-free and debris-covered glaciers are present, combining an extensive set of field measurements, remote sensing products and an advanced glacio-hydrological model (TOPKAPI-ETH). The catchment contains two debris-free glaciers reaching down to 3900 m asl (Bello and Yeso Glaciers) and one debris-covered avalanche-fed glacier reaching to 3200 m asl (Piramide Glacier). A unique dataset of field measurements collected in the ablation seasons 2013-14 and 2014-15 included four automatic weather stations, manual measurements of snow depth and debris cover thickness, discharge measurements at glaciers outlets, photographic monitoring of surface albedo as well as ablation stakes measurements and snow pits. TOPKAPI-ETH combines physically-oriented parameterizations of snow and ice ablation, gravitational distribution of snow, snow albedo evolution, glacier dynamics, runoff routing and the ablation of debris-covered ice.We obtained the first detailed estimation of mass balance and runoff contribution of debris-covered glaciers in this mountainous region. Results show that while the mass balance of Bello and Yeso Glaciers is mostly controlled by air temperature lapse rates, the mass balance of Piramide Glacier is governed by debris thickness and avalanches. In fact, gravitational distribution by avalanching on wet years plays a key role and modulates the mass balance gradient of all glaciers in the catchment and can turn local mass balance from negative to positive. This is especially the case for Piramide Glacier, which shows large amounts of snow accumulation below the steep walls surrounding its upper area. Despite the thermal insulation effect of the debris cover, the contribution to runoff from debris-free and debris-covered glaciers is similar, mainly due to elevation differences. At the catchment scale, snowmelt represents more than 60

  5. Small-Scale Variations in Melt of the Debris-Covered Emmons Glacier, Mount Rainier, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dits, T. M.; Nelson, L. I.; Moore, P. L.; Pasternak, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    In a warming climate the vitality of mid-latitude glaciers is an important measure of local response to global climate change. However, debris-covered glaciers can respond to climate change in a nonlinear manner. Supraglacial debris alters the energy balance at the atmosphere-glacier interface compared with debris-free glaciers, and can result in both accelerated and reduced ablation through complex processes that occur on a variety of scales. Emmons Glacier, on the northeast slope of Mount Rainier (Washington, USA), offers an opportunity to study these processes in supraglacial debris that are otherwise difficult to study in situ (e.g. Himalayan glaciers). Emmons Glacier underwent a steady advance in the late 20th century despite a warming climate, in part due to increased surface debris cover. Key energy balance variables were measured in August of 2013 and 2014 using a temporary weather station installed directly on the debris-covered terminus of Emmons Glacier. Ablation of debris-covered ice was monitored in situ with ablation stakes drilled into the debris-covered ice in a 3600 m2 grid, a size comparable to a single pixel in leading thermal remote-sensing platforms. Debris thickness at the study site ranged from 3-50 cm at the ablation stakes, and textures varied from sand and gravel to large boulders with open pore space. Daily ablation rates varied by a factor of 5 in this small area and were affected by debris thickness, texture, and moisture as well as local surface slope and aspect. On this scale, ablation rates correlated better with debris surface temperature than air temperature. Spatial gradients in ablation rate may strongly influence long-term melt rates through evolving surface topography and consequent redistribution of supraglacial debris, but cannot be resolved using thermal imagery from most current satellite platforms. A preliminary field experiment with a ground-based thermal infrared camera yielded temperature measurements with fine spatial

  6. Reconstructing the history of major Greenland glaciers since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, B. M.; Schenk, A. F.; van der Veen, C. J.; Stearns, L.; Babonis, G. S.

    2008-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet may have been responsible for rapid sea level rise during the last interglacial period and recent studies indicate that it is likely to make a faster contribution to sea-level rise than previously believed. Rapid thinning and velocity increase has been observed on most major outlet glaciers with terminus retreat that might lead to increased discharge from the interior and consequent further thinning and retreat. Potentially, such behavior could have serious implications for global sea level. However, the current thinning may simply be a manifestation of longer-term behavior of the ice sheet as it responds to the general warming following the Little Ice Age (LIA). Although Greenland outlet glaciers have been comprehensively monitored since the 1980s, studies of long-term changes mostly rely on records of the calving front position. Such records can be misleading because the glacier terminus, particularly if it is afloat, can either advance or retreat as ice further upstream thins and accelerates. To assess whether recent trends deviate from longer-term behavior, we examined three rapidly thinning and retreating outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbrae in west, Kangerdlussuaq Glacier in east and Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland. Glacier surface and trimline elevations, as well as terminus positions were measured using historical photographs and declassified satellite imagery acquired between the 1940s and 1985. These results were combined with data from historical records, ground surveys, airborne laser altimetry, satellite observations and field mapping of lateral moraines and trimlines, to reconstruct the history of changes since the (LIA) up to the present. We identified several episodes of rapid thinning and ice shelf break-up, including thinning episodes that occurred when the calving front was stationary. Coastal weather station data are used to assess the influence of air temperatures and intensity of surface melting, and to isolate

  7. Glacier Fluctuation and Climate Change: the NOAA/NSIDC Glacier Photo Digitization Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullins, T. L.; Armstrong, R.; Machado, A.; Wang, I.; Ballagh, L.; Paserba, A.; Edwards, M.; Yohe, L.; Fetterer, F.

    2002-12-01

    The study of historic glacier photographs is an excellent source of information about climate change. Glaciers are sensitive to temperature and precipitation patterns associated with climate change. Ice cores from glaciers can provide a long-term climate record and aid current scientific research in understanding changes that have occurred over tens of thousands of years. Within recent history, a warming climate has resulted in the unfortunate retreat and disappearance of glaciers around the world. Comparisons of glacial area and mass balance over time can help scientists understand a glacier's response to climate change. The National Snow and Ice Data Center is the repository of several thousand glacier photographs taken and collected by the American Geographical Society. The dates of the photographs range from the 1880s to the 1970s and the collection consists of both aerial and terrestrial photos. The digitization of these photographs will help inform users of their existence and will provide easier access to the images. It will also be an important first step in a project to display matching images of the same glaciers over time, thus providing an instantaneous visual representation of climate change. A searchable online database is being created for several thousand photographs and their accompanying metadata. Images will be retrievable by glacier name, photographer name, state, geographic coordinates, and subject keywords. This work is being done with funding by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP), whose goal is to make major climate databases available on the web.

  8. Velocities of Thwaites Glacier and smaller glaciers along the Marie Byrd Land coast, West Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosanova, C.E.; Lucchitta, B.K.; Ferrigno, J.G.

    1998-01-01

    Average velocities for time intervals ranging from <1 to 15 years were measured by tracking ice-surface patterns on sequential Landsat and European Remote-sensing Satellite synthetic aperture radar images. Velocities of Thwaites Glacier range from 2.2 km a-1 above the grounding line to 3.4 km a-1 at the limit of measurements on Thwaites Glacier ice tongue. The glacier increases in velocity by about 1 km a-1 where it crosses the grounding line. Over the period 1984-93, Thwaites Glacier ice tongue accelerated by about 0.6 km a-1. Velocities of the floating part of several minor glaciers and some ice shelves are also determined: Land Glacier, 1.7-1.9 km a-1; DeVicq Glacier, 0.7-1.1 km a-1; Dotson Ice Shelf, 0.2-0.5 km a-1; Getz Ice Shelf, 0.2-0.8 km a-1; and Sulzberger Ice Shelf, 0.01-0.02 km a-1. The high velocities along the Marie Byrd Land coast are consistent with the high precipitation rates over West Antarctica and, for some of the glaciers, the lack of buttressing ice shelves.

  9. Combined technologies allow rapid analysis of glacier changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank

    Monitoring of glacier changes plays an important role within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) [Haeberli et al., 2000] and Landsat imagery has proven to be a useful tool for monitoring glacier changes over large and remote areas [Aniya et al., 1996; Li et al., 1998]. An accurate glacier map can be obtained by simple segmentation of a ratio image from Thematic Mapper (TM) channels 4 and 5 [Bayr et al., 1994, Jacobs et al., 1997; Paul, 2002] Individual glaciers were recently derived within a Geographic Information System (GIS) using a vector layer with glacier basin boundaries. Glacier changes were calculated and visualized by processing sequential images within a fully automated work flow.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Glaciers and ice caps are essential components of studies related to climate change impact assessment. Glacier inventories provide the required baseline data to perform the related analysis in a consistent and spatially representative manner. In particular, the calculation of the current and future contribution to global sea-level rise from heavily glacierized regions is a major demand. One of the regions, where strong mass losses and geometric changes of glaciers have been observed recently is Alaska. Unfortunately, the digitally available data base of glacier extent is quite rough and based on rather old maps from the 1960s. Accordingly, the related calculations and extrapolations are imprecise and an updated glacier inventory is urgently required. Here we present first results of a new glacier inventory for Western Alaska that is prepared in the framework of the ESA project GlobGlacier and is based on freely available orthorectified Landsat TM and ETM+ scenes from USGS. The analysed region covers the Tordrillo, Chigmit and Chugach Mts. as well as the Kenai Peninsula. In total, 8 scenes acquired between 2002 and 2009 were used covering c. 20.420 km2 of glaciers. All glacier types are present in this region, incl. outlet glaciers from icefields, glacier clad volcanoes, and calving glaciers. While well established automated glacier mapping techniques (band rationing) are applied to map clean and slightly dirty glacier ice, many glaciers are covered by debris or volcanic ash and outlines need manual corrections during post-processing. Prior to the calculation of drainage divides from DEM-based watershed analysis, we performed a cross-comparative analysis of DEMs from USGS, ASTER (GDEM) and SRTM 1 for Kenai Peninsula. This resulted in the decision to use the USGS DEM for calculating the drainage divides and most of the topographic inventory parameters, and the more recent GDEM to derive minimum elevation for each glacier. A first statistical analysis of the results

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are effective agents of erosion for many mountainous regions, but primary rates of erosion are difficult to quantify due to unknown conditions at the glacier bed. We develop a numerical model of subglacial erosion and passively couple it to a vertically integrated ice flow model (UBC regional glaciation model). The model accounts for seasonal changes in water pressure at the glacier bed which affect rates of abrasion and quarrying. We apply our erosion model to Peyto Glacier, and compare estimates of glacier erosion to the mass of fine sediment contained in a lake immediately down valley from the glacier. A series of experiments with our model and ones based on subglacial sliding rates are run to explore model sensitivity to bedrock hardness, seasonal hydrology, changes in mass balance, and longer-term dimensional changes of the glacier. Our experiments show that, as expected, erosion rates are most sensitive to bedrock hardness and changes in glacier mass balance. Silt and clay contained in Peyto Lake primarily originate from the glacier, and represent sediments derived from abrasion and comminution of material produced by quarrying. Average specific sediment yield during the period AD1917-1970 from the lake is 467×190 Mg km-2yr-1 and reaches a maximum of 928 Mg km-2yr-1 in AD1941. Converting to a specific sediment yield, modelled average abrasion and quarrying rates during the comparative period are 142×44 Mg km-2yr-1 and 1167×213 Mg km-2yr-1 respectively. Modelled quarrying accounts for approximately 85-95% of the erosion occurring beneath the glacier. The basal sliding model estimates combined abrasion and quarrying. During the comparative period, estimated yields average 427×136 Mg km-2yr-1, lower than the combined abrasion and quarrying models. Both models predict maximum sediment yield when Peyto Glacier reached its maximum extent. The simplistic erosion model shows higher sensitivity to climate, as seen by accentuated sediment yield peaks

  12. Middle to late Holocene fluctuations of the Vindue glacier, an outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet, central East Greenland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Hammer, S. K.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.; Hall, B. L.; Howley, J. A.; Wilcox, P.; Medford, A.

    2014-12-01

    The margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet are currently responding to present-day climate changes. Determining how the ice sheet margins have responded to past climate changes provides a means to understand how they may respond in the future. Here we present a multi-proxy record used to reconstruct the Holocene fluctuations of the Vindue glacier, an ice sheet outlet glacier in eastern Greenland. Lake sediment cores from Qiviut lake (informal name), located ~0.75 km from the present-day Vindue glacier margin contain a sharp transition from medium sand/coarse silt to laminated gyttja just prior to 6,340±130 cal yr BP. We interpret this transition to indicate a time when the Vindue glacier retreated sufficiently to cease glacial sedimentation into the lake basin. Above this contact the core contains laminated gyttja with prominent, ~0.5 cm thick, silt layers. 10Be ages of boulders on bedrock located between Qiviut lake and the present-day ice margin date to 6.81 ± 0.67 ka (n = 3), indicating the time of deglaciation. These ages also agree well with the radiocarbon age of the silt-gyttja transition in Qiviut lake cores. 10Be ages on boulders on bedrock located more proximal to the ice margin (~0.5 km) yield ages of 2.67 ± 0.18 ka (n = 2). These ages indicate either the continued recession of the ice margin during the late Holocene or an advance at this time. Boulders on the historical moraines show that ice retreated from the moraine by AD 1620 ± 20 yrs (n = 2). These results are in contrast with some areas of the western margin of the ice sheet where 10Be ages indicate that the ice sheet was behind its Historical limit from the middle Holocene (~6-7 ka) to Historical time. This may indicate that the eastern margin may have responded to late Holocene cooling more sensitively or that the advance associated with the Historical moraines overran any evidence of late Holocene fluctuations along the western margin of the ice sheet.

  13. Contrasting response of glacierized catchments in the Central Himalaya and the Central Andes to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragettli, Silvan; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Immerzeel, Walter

    2015-04-01

    The Andes of South America and the Himalaya in high-mountain Asia are two regions where advanced simulation models are of vital importance to anticipate the impacts of climate change on water resources. The two mountain systems hold the largest ice masses outside the polar regions. Major rivers originate here and downstream regions are densely populated. In the long run, glacier recession generates concerns about the sustainability of summer runoff. This study benefits from recent efforts of carefully planned short-term field experiments in two headwater catchments in the Central Andes of Chile and in the Central Himalaya in Nepal. The two study catchments contrast in terms of their climate and in the characteristics of their glaciers. A systematic approach is developed, built upon the available local data, to reduce the predictive uncertainty of a state-of-the-art glacio-hydrological model used for the projection of 21st century glacier changes and catchment runoff. The in-situ data are used for model development and step-wise, multivariate parameter calibration. Catchment runoff and remotely sensed MODIS and Landsat snow cover are used for model validation. The glacio-hydrological model simulates the water cycle with a high temporal (hourly time steps) and spatial (100 m grid cells) resolution and accounts for processes typical of both regions like glacier melt under debris cover or mass redistribution through avalanching. Future projections are based on the outputs of twelve stochastically downscaled global climate models for two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). This is one of the first truly intercomparative modeling studies at the catchment scale across mountain regions of the world to assess and compare future changes in glaciers and snow cover and associated impacts on streamflow production. Both catchments will experience significant glacier mass loss throughout the twenty-first century. However, the trajectories of simulated future runoff and

  14. A new glacier inventory for the Karakoram-Pamir region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Paul, F.; Bolch, T.; Moelg, N.

    2015-12-01

    High-quality glacier inventories are required as a reference dataset to determine glacier changes and model their reaction to climate change, among others. In particular in High Mountain Asia such an inventory was missing for several heavily glacierized regions with reportedly strongly changing glaciers. As a contribution to GLIMS and the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) we have mapped all glaciers in the Karakoram and Pamir region within the framework of ESAs Glaciers_cci project. Glacier mapping was performed using the band ratio method (TM3/TM5) and manual editing of Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery acquired around the year 2000. The mapping was challenged by frequent seasonal snow at high elevations, debris-covered glacier tongues, and several surging glaciers. We addressed the snow issue by utilizing multi-temporal imagery and improved manual mapping of debris-covered glacier tongues with ALOS PALSAR coherence images. Slow disintegration of glacier tongues after a surge (leaving still-connected dead ice) results in a difficult identification of the terminus and assignment of entities. Drainage divides were derived from the ASTER GDEM II and manually corrected to calculate topographic parameters. All glaciers larger 0.02 km2 cover an area of about 21,700 km2 in the Karakoram and about 11,800 km² in the Pamir region. Most glaciers are in the 0.1-0.5 km2 size class for Pamir, whereas for the Karakoram they are in the class <0.1 km2. Glaciers between 1 and 5 km2 contribute more than 30% to the total area in Pamir, whereas for the Karakoram region it is only 17%. The mean glacier elevation in the Karakoram (Pamir) region is 5426 (4874) m. A comparison with other recently published inventories reveals differences in the interpretation of glacier extents (mainly in the accumulation region) that would lead to large area changes if unconsidered for change assessment across different inventories.

  15. Stationary monitoring of glacier response to climate change in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Jiawen; Li, Zhongqin; Qin, Xiang; He, Yuanqing; He, Xiaobo; Li, Huilin

    2016-04-01

    At present, there are about 48571 glaciers with a total area of about 51.8×103 km2 and a volume of about 5.6×103 km3 in China. They are distributed widely in the high mountains in and surrounding the Tibetan Plateau and other high mountains such as Tianshan, Altay and Pamir. In view of differences in climatic conditions and glacier types, stationary monitoring of the glacier variations has been ongoing in different regions in order to investigate the glacier response to climate change. The monitoring results show that all the monitoring glaciers have been in retreat during the past decades and especially since 1990's the retreat rate has an accelerating trend. The accumulative mass balance is much negative and has a large annual variability for the monsoonal maritime glaciers in comparison with the continental and sub-continental glaciers. Under climate warming background, the acceleration of glacier melting is mainly attributed to rise in air temperature, ice temperature augment and albedo reduction of glacier surface. Particularly, the albedo reduction has a positive feedback effect on the glacier melting. Based on long term observation of glacier variations and physical properties, a simple dynamics model is coupled with mass balance modeling to make a projection of a typical glacier change in future. The primary modeling results suggest that the glacier will continue in shrinkage until vanishing within 50-90 years.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Grinnell and Sperry Glaciers, Glacier National Park, Montana: A record of vanishing ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Arthur

    1980-01-01

    Grinnell and Sperry Glaciers, in Glacier National Park, Mont., have both shrunk considerably since their discovery in 1887 and 1895, respectively. This shrinkage, a reflection of climatic conditions, is evident when photographs taken at the time of discovery are compared with later photographs. Annual precipitation and terminus-recession measurements, together with detailed systematic topographic mapping since 1900, clearly record the changes in the character and size of these glaciers. Grinnell Glacier decreased in area from 530 acres in 1900 to 315 acres in 1960 and to 298 acres in 1966. Between 1937 and 1969 the terminus receded nearly 1,200 feet. Periodic profile measurements indicate that in 1969 the surface over the main part of the glacier was 25-30 feet lower than in 1950. Observations from 1947 to 1969 indicate annual northeastward movement ranging from 32 to 52 feet and generally averaging 35-45 feet. The annual runoff at the glacier is estimated to be 150 inches, of which approximately 6 inches represents reduction in glacier volume. The average annual runoff at a gaging station on Grinnell Creek 1.5 miles downvalley from the glacier for the 20-year period, 1949-69, was 100 inches. The average annual precipitation over the glacier was probably 120-150 inches. Sperry Glacier occupied 800 acres in 1901; by 1960 it covered only 287 acres, much of its upper part having disappeared from the enclosing cirque. From 1938 to 1969 certain segments of the terminus receded more than 1,000 feet. Profile measurements dating from 1949 indicate a lowering of the glacier surface below an altitude of 7,500 feet, but a fairly constant or slightly increased elevation of the surface above an altitude of 7,500 feet. Along one segment of the 1969 terminus the ice had been more than 100 feet thick in 1950. According to observations during 1949-69, average annual downslope movement was less than 15 feet per year in the central part of the glacier and slightly more rapid toward

  19. Centennial glacier retreat as categorical evidence of regional climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, Gerard H.; Baker, Marcia B.; Herla, Florian

    2016-12-01

    The near-global retreat of glaciers over the last century provides some of the most iconic imagery for communicating the reality of anthropogenic climate change to the public. Surprisingly, however, there has not been a quantitative foundation for attributing the retreats to climate change, except in the global aggregate. This gap, between public perception and scientific basis, is due to uncertainties in numerical modelling and the short length of glacier mass-balance records. Here we present a method for assessing individual glacier change based on the signal-to-noise ratio, a robust metric that is insensitive to uncertainties in glacier dynamics. Using only meteorological and glacier observations, and the characteristic decadal response time of glaciers, we demonstrate that observed retreats of individual glaciers represent some of the highest signal-to-noise ratios of climate change yet documented. Therefore, in many places, the centennial-scale retreat of the local glaciers does indeed constitute categorical evidence of climate change.

  20. 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.

  1. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Bering Glacier may be in retreat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Susan

    The Bering Glacier, the largest (6000 km2) and longest (200 km) glacier in North America, may be undergoing a stage of irreversible calving retreat, said Bruce Molnia of the U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va. The situation there today appears to be a rapid breaking apart of blocks of ice (icebergs). The retreat has resulted in the formation of Vitus Lake (Figure 1), a large freshwater, icemarginal lake, which may evolve into a saltwater bay or fiord system, said Molnia, the spokesperson for a USGS research group that includes Austin Post, Dennis C. Trabant, and James W. Schoonmaker.Unlike most glaciers that lose ice through melting, calving glaciers like Bering end in bodies of water, such as lakes, and lose icebergs from their termini or margins through fracturing or fragmentation. The icebergs, influenced by surface currents and wind, then drift away. During the past 80 years, retreat of the Bering Glacier has resulted in much of its terminus becoming an iceberg calving margin.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 'Unlocking the archive': Using digital photogrammetry of modern and historic aerial photography to reconstruct 60 years of volumetric change on the Moider Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Lucy; Miller, Pauline; Ireland, Louise; Fox, Adrian; Mills, Jon; Fieber, Karolina

    2016-04-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is a mountain glacier system comprised of over 400 glaciers, and is an important contributor to historical and future sea level rise. Assessment and monitoring of AP glaciers is crucial for understanding sensitivity to climate change. Changes to glacier fronts and ice shelves and glacier acceleration are well documented, but there are almost no data on mass changes on the Antarctic Peninsula. Satellite data have been used to calculate change over the last 3 decades, but methods to quantify this over longer timescales have eluded researchers. However there is an archive of aerial photography dating back to the 1940s, this has been largely ignored due to the range of technical problems associated with deriving quantitative data from historic imagery and the lack of ground control data. This presentation demonstrates how advances in photogrammetric processing and capture of modern aerial photography has allowed this archive to be 'unlocked'. Accurate photogrammetric reconstruction from aerial photographs traditionally requires known ground control points acquired in the field; in remote and inaccessible areas, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, this is often impossible. A method for providing control for historic photos without fieldwork, by linking them to a newly acquired, highly accurate photogrammetric model adjusted through direct kinematic GPS positioning of the camera has been applied to a number of glaciers across the Antarctic Peninsula. This presentation will outline the photogrammetric workflow with focus on the Moider Glacier in the Marguerite Bay region of the western Antarctic Peninsula to investigate the quality of data that can be obtained. Volumetric changes on the glaciers from the 1950s to present day (2015) have been reconstructed and can be used to explore the spatial and temporal changes that have occurred on this glacier. In particular, there is near-annual data over the last 5 years recording a period when there has been

  6. Asynchronous Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations in Iceland and European Alps linked to shifts in subpolar North Atlantic circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Darren J.; Miller, Gifford H.; Geirsdóttir, Áslaug

    2013-10-01

    Records of past glacier fluctuations are an important source of paleoclimate data and provide context for future changes in global ice volume. In the North Atlantic region, glacier chronologies can be used to track the response of terrestrial environments to variations in marine conditions including circulation patterns and sea ice cover. However, the majority of glacier records are discontinuous and temporally restricted, owing in part to the extensive advance of Northern Hemisphere glaciers during the Little Ice Age (LIA), the most recent and severe climate anomaly of the Neoglacial period. Here, we combine an absolutely dated and continuous record of Langjökull ice marginal fluctuations with new reconstructions of sediment flux through the past 1.2 ka using varved sediments from Hvítárvatn, a proglacial lake in Iceland's central highlands. Large spatial and temporal variations in sediment flux related to changing ice cap dimensions are reconstructed from six sediment cores and seismic reflection profiles. Sediment data reveal two discrete phases of ice expansion occurring ca. 1400 to 1550 AD and ca. 1680 to 1890 AD. These advances are separated by a persistent interval of ice retreat, suggesting that a substantial period of warming interrupted LIA cold. The pattern of Icelandic glacier activity contrasts with that of European glaciers but shows strong similarities to reconstructed changes in North Atlantic oceanographic conditions, indicating differing regional responses to coupled ocean-atmosphere-sea ice variations. Our data suggest that subpolar North Atlantic circulation dynamics may have led to coherent asynchronous glacier fluctuations during the mid LIA and highlight the importance of circulation variability in triggering and transmitting multidecadal scale climate changes to nearby terrestrial environments.

  7. Asynchronous Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations in Iceland and European Alps linked to shifts in subpolar North Atlantic circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, D. J.; Miller, G. H.; Geirsdottir, A.

    2013-12-01

    Records of past glacier fluctuations are an important source of paleoclimate data and provide context for future changes in global ice volume. In the North Atlantic region, glacier chronologies can be used to track the response of terrestrial environments to variations in marine conditions including circulation patterns and sea ice cover. However, the majority of glacier records are discontinuous and temporally restricted, owing in part to the extensive advance of Northern Hemisphere glaciers during the Little Ice Age (LIA), the most recent and severe climate anomaly of the Neoglacial period. Here, we combine an absolutely dated and continuous record of Langjökull ice marginal fluctuations with new reconstructions of sediment flux through the past 1.2 ka using varved sediments from Hvítárvatn, a proglacial lake in Iceland's central highlands. Large spatial and temporal variations in sediment flux related to changing ice cap dimensions are reconstructed from six sediment cores and seismic reflection profiles. Sediment data reveal two discrete phases of ice expansion occurring ca. 1400 to 1550 AD and ca. 1680 to 1890 AD. These advances are separated by a persistent interval of ice retreat, suggesting that a substantial period of warming interrupted LIA cold. The pattern of Icelandic glacier activity contrasts with that of European glaciers but shows strong similarities to reconstructed changes in North Atlantic oceanographic conditions, indicating differing regional responses to coupled ocean-atmosphere-sea ice variations. Our data suggest that subpolar North Atlantic circulation dynamics may have led to coherent asynchronous glacier fluctuations during the mid LIA and highlight the importance of circulation variability in triggering and transmitting multidecadal scale climate changes to nearby terrestrial environments.

  8. Neoglaciation, glacier-dammed lakes, and vegetation change in northwestern British Columbia, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Clague, J.J. |; Mathewes, R.W.

    1996-02-01

    An integrated geomorphic, stratigraphic, paleoecological, and geochronological study of a system of linked valley glaciers and ice-dammed lakes has provided insights into the Neoglacial history and climate of the northern Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Cores collected from a small lake in the glacier foreland of Berendon Glacier and pits dug in a nearby fen record Little Ice Age and earlier Neoglacial advances. AMS and conventional radiocarbon dating of fossil plant material from these sites, supplemented by dendrochronological data, indicate that the Little Ice Age began more than 500 yr ago and peaked in the early 17th century. A middle Neoglacial advance of comparable extent occurred about 2200 to 2800 yr ago. The chronology of Neoglacial advances is generally similar to that at other sites in western Canada, although the Little Ice Age may have peaked as much as 100 yr earlier in our study area than elsewhere. The Little Ice Age advances are also broadly synchronous with those in other parts of the world, suggesting that they were caused by global changes in climate.

  9. Earthshots: Satellite images of environmental change – Petermann Glacier, Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adamson, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    This calving is normal, but it’s worth watching Petermann and other Greenland glaciers closely. Petermann is one of the major marine-terminating glaciers of Greenland. Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased recently. An article in Nature concluded that climate change may cause Petermann and other Greenland glaciers to contribute to sea level rise. Landsat helps glaciologists keep a close eye on this remote but significant glacier.

  10. The differing biogeochemical and microbial signatures of glaciers and rock glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fegel, Timothy S.; Baron, Jill S.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Johnson, Gunnar F.; Hall, Ed K.

    2016-03-01

    Glaciers and rock glaciers supply water and bioavailable nutrients to headwater mountain lakes and streams across all regions of the American West. Here we present a comparative study of the metal, nutrient, and microbial characteristics of glacial and rock glacial influence on headwater ecosystems in three mountain ranges of the contiguous U.S.: the Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, and Sierra Nevada. Several meltwater characteristics (water temperature, conductivity, pH, metals, nutrients, complexity of dissolved organic matter (DOM), and bacterial richness and diversity) differed significantly between glacier and rock glacier meltwaters, while other characteristics (Ca2+, Fe3+, SiO2 concentrations, reactive nitrogen, and microbial processing of DOM) showed distinct trends between mountain ranges regardless of meltwater source. Some characteristics were affected both by glacier type and mountain range (e.g., temperature, ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations, and bacterial diversity). Due to the ubiquity of rock glaciers and the accelerating loss of the low-latitude glaciers, our results point to the important and changing influence that these frozen features place on headwater ecosystems.

  11. Modeled climate-induced glacier change in Glacier National Park, 1850-2100

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, M.H.P.; Fagre, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    The glaciers in the Blackfoot-Jackson Glacier Basin of Glacier National Park, Montana, decreased in area from 21.6 square kilometers (km2) in 1850 to 7.4 km2 in 1979. Over this same period global temperatures increased by 0.45??C (?? 0. 15??C). We analyzed the climatic causes and ecological consequences of glacier retreat by creating spatially explicit models of the creation and ablation of glaciers and of the response of vegetation to climate change. We determined the melt rate and spatial distribution of glaciers under two possible future climate scenarios, one based on carbon dioxide-induced global warming and the other on a linear temperature extrapolation. Under the former scenario, all glaciers in the basin will disappear by the year 2030, despite predicted increases in precipitation; under the latter, melting is slower. Using a second model, we analyzed vegetation responses to variations in soil moisture and increasing temperature in a complex alpine landscape and predicted where plant communities are likely to be located as conditions change.

  12. The differing biogeochemical and microbial signatures of glaciers and rock glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fegel, Timothy S.; Baron, Jill S.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Johnson, Gunnar F.; Hall, Edward K.

    2016-01-01

    Glaciers and rock glaciers supply water and bioavailable nutrients to headwater mountain lakes and streams across all regions of the American West. Here we present a comparative study of the metal, nutrient, and microbial characteristics of glacial and rock glacial influence on headwater ecosystems in three mountain ranges of the contiguous U.S.: The Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, and Sierra Nevada. Several meltwater characteristics (water temperature, conductivity, pH, heavy metals, nutrients, complexity of dissolved organic matter (DOM), and bacterial richness and diversity) differed significantly between glacier and rock glacier meltwaters, while other characteristics (Ca2+, Fe3+, SiO2 concentrations, reactive nitrogen, and microbial processing of DOM) showed distinct trends between mountain ranges regardless of meltwater source. Some characteristics were affected both by glacier type and mountain range (e.g. temperature, ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3- ) concentrations, bacterial diversity). Due to the ubiquity of rock glaciers and the accelerating loss of the low latitude glaciers our results point to the important and changing influence that these frozen features place on headwater ecosystems.

  13. The Response of Rock Glaciers and Protalus Lobes to Ice and Debris Supply in a Warming World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whalley, B.; Azizi, F.

    2012-12-01

    landforms as the (glacier) ice core melts. This situation can be shown from climatic amelioration since the Little Ice Age. It is also shown that protalus lobe features are rarely found as extant (showing creep) or even fossil (non-moving) forms in locations where there are glaciers or rock glaciers, even on talus in permafrost areas. For the most part, they are independent forms. Permafrost may be a sufficient, but not necessary, component of protalus lobe formation; snow precipitation rather than temperature being the main formative control. Currently active (flowing) protalus lobes occur mainly where there has been, high snow accumulation and burial and protection of snowbanks by copious debris supplies. Finite Element Modeling shows that burial of a substantial snowbank is a feasible model for protalus lobe formation and flow but that interstitial ice-rock admixtures are unlikely to flow at observed velocities. Debris supply as well as ice presence needs to be accounted for in the dynamics of these systems. Global warming will affect rock glaciers and protalus lobes in different ways and it is now possible to remotely monitor these changes. We predict: Protalus lobes: decreasing velocity, no ice exposures seen, active snouts become inactive. Rock glaciers (ice with thick debris cover): slowing as surface lowers, snout still advancing and ice exposures increasingly seen.

  14. Historical Glacier Variations in Southern South America since the Little Ice Age: Examples from Lago Viedma (Southern Patagonia) and Mendoza (Central Andes), Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussbaumer, S. U.; Masiokas, M.; Pitte, P.; Berthier, E.; Guerrido, C.; Luckman, B. H.; Villalba, R.

    2013-12-01

    The evaluation of historical information can give valuable insight into past glacier dynamics, especially before the onset of modern measurements. Early photographs and maps depict changes for selected glaciers in southern South America. Within this study, written documents and pictorial historical records (drawings, sketches, engravings, photographs, chronicles, topographic maps) are analysed critically, with a particular focus on two regions: Lago Viedma (El Chaltén, southern Patagonia, 49.5°S, 73.0°W) and the Río Mendoza basin (Mendoza, central Andes, 33.1°S, 69.9°W). For the Lago Viedma area, early historical data for the end of the 19th century stem from the expedition of the Chilean-Argentinean border commission. In addition, the expedition by the German Scientific Society, conducted between 1910 and 1916, and the later photographs by Alberto M. de Agostini give an excellent depiction of the glaciers. Glaciar Viedma is a calving glacier which shows distinct retreat from 1896 until the present (though with a stationary or possibly advancing glacier front between 1930/31 and 1951/52), similar to the neighbouring glaciers. On the contrary, nearby Glaciar Perito Moreno shows an exceptional behaviour: the glacier front has been advancing during the first half of the 20th century, staying in an advanced position until the present. At the beginning of the 20th century, Robert Helbling explored the Argentinean-Chilean Andes together with his friend Friedrich Reichert. In the summer of 1909/10, they started a detailed survey of the highly glacierized Juncal-Tupungato mountains (Río Mendoza basin), leading to the first accurate topographic map of the area published in 1914. Its outstanding quality allows a comparison with contemporary satellite imagery. The area received attention in 1934, when the sudden drainage of a glacier-dammed lake in the upper Río del Plomo valley caused fatalities and considerable damage to constructions and the Transandine Railway. A

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-06

    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.

  17. Seismicity, seawater and seasonality: New insights into iceberg calving from Yahtse Glacier, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomaus, Timothy Chester

    At many of the largest glaciers and ice sheets on Earth, more than half of the annual ice loss occurs through iceberg calving into the ocean. Calving is also responsible for the most rapid ice mass changes, both directly (through the mechanical loss of ice at the terminus) and indirectly (through dynamic thinning of upstream ice initiated by terminus retreat). Yet, the mechanisms and factors that control calving are poorly understood. Recordings of glaciogenic seismic waves, known as "icequakes," produced during iceberg calving offer opportunities for insight that cannot be gleaned through other methods. In order to better understand iceberg calving and its links to calving icequakes, we conducted a 2-yr study of rapidly advancing Yahtse Glacier, site of one of the densest clusters of calving icequakes in southern Alaska. By synchronizing video of iceberg calving events with locally-recorded seismograms, we found that most icequake energy is produced after subaerial iceberg detachment from the glacier terminus, while the iceberg impacts and descends below the sea surface. Cavitation beneath the water surface generates the largest amplitude portions of icequakes---those that are detectable over several hundred km distances. Numerical simulations of these iceberg-sea surface interactions predict sources with durations that are consistent with the 1-5 Hz frequency content of calving icequakes. Oceanographic measurements in Icy Bay, where Yahtse Glacier terminates, reveal that warm water may melt most of the ice reaching the submarine terminus. During the summer, water with temperature > 10 °C flows from the Gulf of Alaska coast to within 2 km of Yahtse Glacier's terminus. We find that heat transport between 5 and 40x109 W can readily melt the submarine glacier terminus at a rate that matches the speed with which ice flows towards the glacier terminus (17 m/d). Subaerial iceberg calving rates may be paced by submarine melt rates. To place our calving and submarine

  18. ASTER Imaging and Analysis of