Science.gov

Sample records for glacier equilibrium line

  1. From Doktor Kurowski's Schneegrenze to our modern glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, R. J.

    2015-06-01

    Translated into modern terminology, Kurowski suggested in 1891 that the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a glacier is equal to the mean altitude of the glacier when the whole glacier is in balance between accumulation and ablation. Kurowski's method has been widely misunderstood, partly due to inappropriate use of statistical terminology by later workers, and has been little tested except by Braithwaite and Müller in a 1980 paper (for 32 glaciers). I now compare Kurowski's mean altitude with balanced-budget ELA calculated for 103 modern glaciers with measured surface mass balance data. Kurowski's mean altitude is significantly higher (at 95% level) than balanced-budget ELA for 19 outlet and 42 valley glaciers, but not significantly higher for 34 mountain glaciers. The error in Kurowski mean altitude as a predictor of balanced-budget ELA might be due to generally lower balance gradients in accumulation area compared with ablation areas for many glaciers, as suggested by several workers, but some glaciers have higher gradients, presumably due to precipitation increase with altitude. The relatively close agreement between balanced-budget ELA and mean altitude for mountain glaciers (mean error -8 m with standard deviation 59 m) may reflect smaller altitude ranges for these glaciers such that there is less room for effects of different balance gradients to manifest themselves.

  2. From Doktor Kurowski's Schneegrenze to our modern glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braithwaite, R. J.

    2015-11-01

    Translated into modern terminology, Kurowski suggested in 1891 that the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a glacier is equal to the mean altitude of the glacier when the whole glacier is in balance between accumulation and ablation. Kurowski's method has been widely misunderstood, partly due to inappropriate use of statistical terminology by later workers, and has only been tested by Braithwaite and Müller in a 1980 paper (for 32 glaciers). I now compare Kurowski's mean altitude with balanced-budget ELA calculated for 103 present-day glaciers with measured surface mass-balance data. Kurowski's mean altitude is significantly higher (at 95 % level) than balanced-budget ELA for 19 outlet and 42 valley glaciers, but not significantly higher for 34 mountain glaciers. The error in Kurowski mean altitude as a predictor of balanced-budget ELA might be due to generally lower balance gradients in accumulation areas compared with ablation areas for many glaciers, as suggested by several workers, but some glaciers have higher gradients, presumably due to precipitation increase with altitude. The relatively close agreement between balanced-budget ELA and mean altitude for mountain glaciers (mean error - 8 m with standard deviation 59 m) may reflect smaller altitude ranges for these glaciers such that there is less room for effects of different balance gradients to manifest themselves.

  3. Modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes during the mid-Holocene in the southern mid-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, C.; Rojas, M.; Anderson, B. M.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Sagredo, E.; Moreno, P. I.

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes during the mid-Holocene in the southern mid-latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, C.; Rojas, M.; Anderson, B. M.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Sagredo, E.; Moreno, P. I.

    2015-11-01

    Glacier behaviour during the mid-Holocene (MH, 6000 years BP) in the Southern Hemisphere provides observational data to constrain our understanding of the origin and propagation of palaeoclimate signals. In this study we examine the climatic forcing of glacier response in the MH by evaluating modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) and climatic conditions during the MH compared with pre-industrial time (PI, year 1750). We focus on the middle latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, specifically Patagonia and the South Island of New Zealand. Climate conditions for the MH were obtained from PMIP2 model simulations, which in turn were used to force a simple glacier mass balance model to simulate changes in ELA. In Patagonia, the models simulate colder conditions during the MH in austral summer (-0.2 °C), autumn (-0.5 °C), and winter (-0.4), and warmer temperatures (0.2 °C) during spring. In the Southern Alps the models show colder MH conditions in autumn (-0.7 °C) and winter (-0.4 °C), warmer conditions in spring (0.3 °C), and no significant change in summer temperature. Precipitation does not show significant changes but exhibits a seasonal shift, with less precipitation from April to September and more precipitation from October to April during the MH in both regions. The mass balance model simulates a climatic ELA that is 15-33 m lower during the MH compared with PI conditions. We suggest that the main causes of this difference are driven mainly by colder temperatures associated with the MH simulation. Differences in temperature have a dual effect on glacier mass balance: (i) less energy is available for ablation during summer and early autumn and (ii) lower temperatures cause more precipitation to fall as snow rather than rain in late autumn and winter, resulting in more accumulation and higher surface albedo. For these reasons, we postulate that the modelled ELA changes, although small, may help to explain larger glacier extents observed by 6000

  5. Younger Dryas and Holocene glacier fluctuations and equilibrium-line altitude variations in the Jostedalsbre region, western Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Nesje, A.

    1992-01-01

    Reconstructed Younger Dryas (11000-10000 y BP) valley- and cirque glaciers west of the Jostedalsbre ice cap suggest an equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) depression of (450{+-}200 y BP) deglaciation was characterized by vertical wastage, indicating that the LA was above the summit plateaus. During the Erdalen event (9100{+-}200 y BP) marginal moraines were formed up to 1 km beyond the Little Ice Age (LIA) moraines which lie in front of the present valley outlet glaciers of the Jostedalsbre ice cap. The average ELA lowering during this event is calculated to 325 m below the modern level. Lithostratigraphic and paleobotanical studies show that the Hypsithermal (ca. 8000-6000 y BP) ELA was about 450 m higher than at present. As a result, Jostedalsbreen probably disappeared entirely during that period. The glacier reformed about 5300 y BP. The ELA intersected the modern mean equilibrium line altitude five times from ca. 2600 y BP to the present. The outlet valley glaciers reached their maximum Neoglacial extent during the LIA in the mid-18th century, when the ELA was depressed 100-150 m below the present level. 25 refs., 9 figs.

  6. Determining the Current and Future Health of Low-Latitude Andean Glaciers Using an Equilibrium Line Altitude Model and Hypsometric Data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, A.; MacAyeal, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain glaciers have been described as the water towers of world, and for many populations in the low-latitude South American Andes, glacial runoff is vital for agricultural, industrial, and basic water needs. Previous studies of low-latitude Andean glaciers suggest a precarious future due to contemporary warming. These studies have looked at trends in freezing level heights or observations of contemporary retreat. However, regional-scale understanding of low-latitude glacial responses to present and future climate change is limited, in part due to incomplete information about the extent and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers. The recently published Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) (5.0) provides the necessary information about the size and elevation distribution of low-latitude glaciers to begin such studies. We determine the contemporary equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) for low-latitude Andean glaciers in the RGI, using a numerical energy balance ablation model driven with reanalysis and gridded data products. Contemporary ELAs tend to fall around the peak of the elevation histogram, with an exception being the southern-most outer tropical glaciers whose modeled ELAs tend to be higher than the elevation histogram for that region (see below figure). Also, we use the linear tends in temperature and precipitation from the contemporary climatology to extrapolate 21stcentury climate forcings. Modeled ELAs by the middle on the century are universally predicted to rise, with outer tropical ELAs rising more than the inner tropical glaciers. These trends continue through the end of the century. Finally, we explore how climate variables and parameters in our numerical model may vary for different warming scenarios from United Nation's IPCC AR5 report. We quantify the impacts of these changes on ELAs for various climate change trajectories. These results support previous work on the precarious future of low latitude Andean glaciers, while providing a richer

  7. 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

  8. Glacier equilibrium line altitudes as palaeoclimatic information sources - examples from the Alpine Younger Dryas.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerschner, H.; Sailer, R.; Hertl, A.; Schuh, M.

    2003-04-01

    Equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) and flucutations of the ELA (dELA) of well dated glacial advances are valuable terrestrial sources for palaeoclimatic information, which are physically well understood (Kuhn 1981, Kaser and Osmaston 2001). Values of dELA can be used to infer quantitatively standard climatic parameters like precipitation and precipitation change. ELAs of former glaciers are usually calculated from maps of the glacier topography based on the moraines and related geomorphological features. Then either the analytical glacial-meterological model for ELA fluctuations by Kuhn (1981) or the statistical parameterization of the climate at the ELA in terms of "summer temperature" and "precipitation" by Ohmura et al. (1992) can be used for palaeoclimatic interpretation. As dELA is influenced both by factors governing accumulation and ablation, some external climatic information on one parameter is necessary to obtain the other. Moraines of the Younger Dryas "Egesen-Stadial" can be found throughout the Alps. Early Younger Dryas (Egesen-I, Ivy-Ochs et al. 1996) dELAs show a distinct spatial pattern. They were highest (ca. 450-600 m against "present-day") in areas exposed towards the West and Northwest. In the central valleys, it was in the order of -300 m and less. Presently, almost 200 data points are available. Summer temperature depression (dTs) can be derived from the Younger Dryas timberline depression and other proxy data (Ammann and Oldfield 2000). It seems to be in the order of -3.5 K in the central Alps. Along the northern and western fringe of the Alps, it may be somewhat larger (-4 to -4.5 K). dELA and dTs values are then used to calculate precipitation change (dP). Early Younger Dryas climate in the central valleys of the Alps seems to have been considerably drier than today (dP -30%). In areas open to the West and Northwest, precipitation seems to have been the same as today or even slightly higher (dP 0 - +10%). These results agree well with the

  9. Reconstruction of Equilibrium Line Altitudes of Nevado Coropuna Glaciers (Southern Peru) from the Late Pleistocene to the present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Úbeda, J.; Palacios, D.; Vázquez, L.

    2009-04-01

    The Nevado Coropuna (15°31'S-72°39'W) is a volcanic complex located 200 km NE of the city of Arequipa, in the Southern Peruvian Andes. The summit area in the complex is covered with a glacier system formed by dozens of branches descending in all directions totaling many km2 in surface area. The study of the volcanic complex and its glaciers is of great interest because it is the main water reserve for tens of thousands of people, because of the risk scenario created by the presence of ice masses on a volcano with relatively recent activity, and because it constitutes an excellent geoindicator of the effects of climate change on ice masses in the western mountain chain of the Central Andes. This research aims to analyze glacier evolution using as geoindicators variations in glacier surface and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs), defining deglaciation rates based on those variations and preparing forecasts with them on when the ice masses might disappear if the same rates were to occur in the future. In addition, a first estimation is attempted of the chronologies of the last phase of volcanic activity and the last phase of maximum glacier advance that can be attributed to the Late Glacial or Last Glacial Maximum periods. To achieve these aims, digital topography with 50m contour interval, two orthophotos of the central section of the Coropuna complex (15-6-1955 and 21-10-1986), an ASTER satellite image (12-11-2007) and geomorphological mapping of the volcanic complex created in a previous phase of the research (Ubeda, 2007) were integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS). The GIS was used to determine the global extent of the glacier system, and in more detail, that of two groups (NE and SE) in 1955, 1986 and 2007. Using the geomorphological cartography as a basis, the extent of the glaciers during their last advance in the Little Ice Age (LIA) and their last maximum advance were calculated. Next, surface areas for all phases were calculated using

  10. Modern and Little Ice Age equilibrium-line altitudes on Outlet Valley glaciers from Jostedalsbreen, western Norway: An evaluation of different approaches to their calculation

    SciTech Connect

    Torsnes, I.; Rye, N. ); Nesje, A. )

    1993-05-01

    The modern and Little Ice Age (LIA) equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) of 20 outlet valley glacier from Jostedalsbreen, western Norway, has been calculated using different approaches. Using an accumulation area ratio (AAR) of 0.6 [+-] 0.05 gave a mean little Ice Age ELA depression of 70 m. A method developed by M. Kuhle, taking the influence by topography into account gave a mean ELA depression of 35-255 m, the median elevation of glaciers 115 m, and the toe-to-headwall altitude ration 140 m. Differences in the ELA estimates can be attributed to the differences in topography and morphology of the glaciers. The AAR method appears to provide the most reliable results. This will aid in determining mean global temperatures during the LIA. 34 refs., 9 figs., 5 tabs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Reconstructed glacier geometry and inferred Equilibrium Line Altitude changes during the Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madarász, Balázs; Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Zsófia; Kern, Zoltán; Urdea, Petru

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary glaciations had a major imprint on the landscape and topography of the Southern Carpathians. Their transitional position between continental and Mediterranean climate zones arouses special interest concerning the timing and pattern of glaciations in this area. Probably the Retezat Mts hosted the most extended glaciation during the Late Pleistocene within this range. The peak elevations of the study area reach 2500 m asl, and the most extended glaciers descended to 1040 m in the northern and to 1130 m on the southern valleys. Major cirque floors are typically situated at 2000-2100 m asl. Glacial landforms have been mapped in order to reconstruct the past ice bodies and the elevation shifts of the paleo equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) during several deglaciation phases of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Lateglacial in the Retezat Mts. On the basis of published 10Be exposure age data on the northern valleys of the study area, deglaciation of the Retezat Mts occurred at least in five phases between ~21.0 ka and 13.5 ka [1]. Various methods (THAR, AAR, AABR) have been tested using a GIS tool to estimate the ELA of the reconstructed paleoglaciers [2] and paleo ELAs were calculated for each of the deglaciation phases. Preliminary estimates of regional LGM paleoELA employing the simplest THAR method (with a ratio of 0.5) ranged from ~1670 m during the LGM to ~2210 m for the smallest cirque glacier at 13.5 ka, respectively. The AAR and AABR methods provide somewhat higher ELAs for each phase. The obtained paleoELAs were compared to ELA reconstructions available from other Carpathian ranges and also to the Alps and Dinarides. Our data will contribute to a more accurate ELA distribution during the LGM, which may be indicative of the past state of the climate system (moisture gradient, circulation regimes). Thanks to OTKA PD83610, PD104899; NKM-96/2014, NKM-31/2015; OMAA 90öu17; LP2012-27/2012. References: [1] Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger et al. 2016 Quat. Int. (in

  13. Using remote-sensing data to determine equilibrium-line altitude and mass-balance time series: validation on three French glaciers, 1994 2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabatel, Antoine; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Vincent, Christian

    Alpine glaciers are very sensitive to climate fluctuations, and their mass balance can be used as an indicator of regional-scale climate change. Here, we present a method to calculate glacier mass balance using remote-sensing data. Snowline measurements from remotely sensed images recorded at the end of the hydrological year provide an effective proxy of the equilibrium line. Mass balance can be deduced from the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) variations. Three well-documented glaciers in the French Alps, where the mass balance is measured at ground level with a stake network, were selected to assess the accuracy of the method over the 1994 2002 period (eight mass-balance cycles). Results obtained by ground measurements and remote sensing are compared and show excellent correlation (r2 > 0.89), both for the ELA and for the mass balance, indicating that the remote-sensing method can be applied to glaciers where no ground data exist, on the scale of a mountain range or a given climatic area. The main differences can be attributed to discrepancies between the dates of image acquisition and field measurements. Cloud cover and recent snowfalls constitute the main restrictions of the image-based method.

  14. 25 years (1981-2005) of equilibrium-line altitude and mass-balance reconstruction on Glacier Blanc, French Alps, using remote-sensing methods and meteorological data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabatel, Antoine; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thibert, Emmanuel; Letréguilly, Anne; Vincent, Christian

    Annual equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) and surface mass balance of Glacier Blanc, Ecrins region, French Alps, were reconstructed from a 25 year time series of satellite images (1981-2005). The remote-sensing method used was based on identification of the snowline, which is easy to discern on optical satellite images taken at the end of the ablation season. In addition, surface mass balances at the ELA were reconstructed for the same period using meteorological data from three nearby weather stations. A comparison of the two types of series reveals a correlation of r > 0.67 at the 0.01 level of significance. Furthermore, the surface mass balances obtained from remote-sensing data are consistent with those obtained from field measurements on five other French glaciers (r = 0.76, p < 0.01). Also consistent for Glacier Blanc is the total mass loss (10.8 m w.e.) over the studied period. However, the surface mass balances obtained with the remote-sensing method show lower interannual variability. Given that the remote-sensing method is based on changes in the ELA, this difference probably results from the lower sensitivity of the surface mass balance to climate parameters at the ELA.

  15. The glaciers of Sierra Segundera (Zamora, NW Spain) during their Maximum Ice Extent: area, volume, Glacial Equilibrium Line Altitude and paleo-climatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    María Fernández, Jose; Ubeda, Jose; Palacios, David

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the Quaternary glaciers which formed the eastern sector of the Sierra Segundera ice-cap (NW Iberian Peninsula) during its Maximum Ice Extent (MIE) local phase (33 ka) in a surface area of 165 km2, to estimate the ice volumes and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs). The study area presents a wide altimetric range of approx. 1200 m, from the Tera glacier front to the Peña Trevinca (42°14'33'' N, 6°47'46'' W; 2127 m) and Peña Negra (42°14'58'' N, 6°47'39'' W; 2121 m) horns, covering a wide plateau at an altitude of over 1700 m. The reconstruction of the MIE paleoglaciers used a combination of various tools: a rheological numerical model which describes the ice flow, GIS and geomorphological field work to validate the results. The model used here allowed the reconstruction of the surface topography of the paleoglacial ice, even though there is no existing geomorphologic evidence to reveal the thickness of the ice at that time. The GIS enabled the creation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and the estimation of thicknesses and volumes. The reconstructed topography and the delimitation of the geomorphologic features were used to estimate the ELA using the following methods: Area x Altitude Balance Ratio (AABR), Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR), Terminus Headwall Altitude Ratio (THAR) and Maximum Elevation of Lateral Moraines (MELM). The DEM reconstructed for the surface of the paleoglaciers obtained an estimated maximum ice thickness of over 450 m during the MIE, and a total ice volume of 2.63 x 10(10)m3 for the eastern half of the ice-cap. When estimating the paleo-ELAs, the AABR and AAR methods obtain more logical values. The AABR method obtains BR=1, which questions the BR=2 assumed as representative for medium latitude glaciers with oceanic influence; the paleo-ELA AABR was 1739 m. Applying the AAR method with the ratio 0.65 gives the result 1735 m. The THAR and MELM methods give values of 1637 m and 1651 m respectively for

  16. Automating the implementation of an equilibrium profile model for glacier reconstruction in a GIS environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frew, Craig R.; Pellitero, Ramón; Rea, Brice R.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Bakke, Jostein; Hughes, Philip D.; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Lukas, Sven; Renssen, Hans; Ribolini, Adriano

    2014-05-01

    Reconstruction of glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) associated with advance stages of former ice masses is widely used as a tool for palaeoclimatic reconstruction. This requires an accurate reconstruction of palaeo-glacier surface hypsometry, based on mapping of available ice-marginal landform evidence. Classically, the approach used to define ice-surface elevations, using such evidence, follows the 'cartographic method', whereby contours are estimated based on an 'understanding' of the typical surface form of contemporary ice masses. This method introduces inherent uncertainties in the palaeoclimatic interpretation of reconstructed ELAs, especially where the upper limits of glaciation are less well constrained and/or the age of such features in relation to terminal moraine sequences is unknown. An alternative approach is to use equilibrium profile models to define ice surface elevations. Such models are tuned, generally using basal shear stress, in order to generate an ice surface that reaches 'target elevations' defined by geomorphology. In areas where there are no geomorphological constraints for the former ice surface, the reconstruction is undertaken using glaciologiaclly representative values for basal shear stress. Numerical reconstructions have been shown to produce glaciologically "realistic" ice surface geometries, allowing for more objective and robust comparative studies at local to regional scales. User-friendly tools for the calculation of equilibrium profiles are presently available in the literature. Despite this, their use is not yet widespread, perhaps owing to the difficult and time consuming nature of acquiring the necessary inputs from contour maps or digital elevation models. Here we describe a tool for automatically reconstructing palaeo-glacier surface geometry using an equilibrium profile equation implemented in ArcGIS. The only necessary inputs for this tool are 1) a suitable digital elevation model and 2) mapped outlines of the

  17. Mass balance fluctuations of Chhota Shigri glacier estimated from remotely sensed snow line altitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miège, C.; Rabatel, A.; Arnaud, Y.; Racoviteanu, A.; Wagnon, P.; Chevallier, P.

    2009-04-01

    Himalayan glaciers are representative indicators of climate fluctuations through their mass balance variations. Mass balance is generally computed from field measurements but can also be estimated from remotely sensed images. One remote sensing method uses snow line altitudes observed from satellite images as a proxy of the equilibrium line altitude at the end of the hydrological year. This method allows inferring quantitative information on the annual glacier mass balance. This technique, which proved to be reliable in the French Alps, has been applied on the Chhota Shigri glacier (Himachal Pradesh, Indian Himalaya). Annual field measurements since 2002 were used to validate the snow line altitude obtained from ASTER images acquired between 2002 and 2007. Nevertheless, snowfalls occurring at the end of the monsoon (sept/oct) are disturbing the signal and preliminary results point out the difficulty to apply this method in this region of the Himalayas. Consequences are an underestimation of the equilibrium line altitude leading to an overestimation of mass balance. Our abilities to observe a snow line representative of the glacier equilibrium line at the end of the hydrological year are limited by the scarcity of suitable images.

  18. Mapping the Snow Line Altitude for Large Glacier Samples from Multitemporal Landsat Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Nicholson, L. I.; Notarnicola, C.; Prinz, R.; Sailer, R.

    2015-12-01

    The cryosphere of mountain regions is fastly changing in response to climate change. This is particularly evident in global-scale glacier retreat. Trends in snow cover, however, are more difficult to determine, as annual fluctuations can be very large. Snow is an important parameter in the energy and mass balance of glaciers and the snow line altitude (SLA) at the end of the melting period can be considered as a proxy for the equilibrium line altitude (ELA). By frequently observing the SLA from satellite, region-wide monitoring of glaciers and improved calibration and validation of transient glacier (mass balance) models is possible. In the near future, frequent mapping of the SLA will be strongly facilitated by satellite missions like Sentinel 2A/B, where the same region will be covered every 5 days with 10 m spatial resolution. For this study we have developed an automated tool to derive the SLA for large glacier samples from remote sensing data. The method is first applied in the Ötztal Alps (Austria) where reliable in-situ data of mass balance and ELA are available for several glaciers over a 30-years period. The algorithm currently works with multi-temporal Landsat imagery (1972-2015), digital glacier outlines and a high-quality national DEM. All input datasets are atmospherically and topographically pre-processed before the SLA is automatically retrieved for each glacier. The remote-sensing derived SLA is generally about 200 m lower than the ELA, however, a clear trend in the altitude of the end of summer snow line is detectable (~ 200 m), which is in agreement with the ELA trend observed in the field. After bias correction and conversion to mass balance, the variability in observed mass balance can be well reproduced from the satellite-derived SLA time series. This is promising for application of the approach in other regions.

  19. An approach to derive regional snow lines and glacier mass change from MODIS imagery, western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    We describe a method to calculate regional snow line elevations and annual equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) from daily MODIS imagery (MOD02QKM) on large glaciers and icefields in western North America. An automated cluster analysis of the cloud-masked visible and near-infrared bands at 250 m resolution is used to delineate glacier facies (snow and ice) for ten glacierized regions between 2000-2011. For each region and season, the maximum observed value of the 20th percentile of snow-covered pixels (ZS(20)) is used to define a regional ELA proxy (ELAest). Our results indicate significant increases in the regional ELA proxy at two continental sites (Peyto Glacier and Gulkana Glacier) over the period of observation, though no statistically significant trends are identified at other sites. To evaluate the utility of regional ELA proxies derived from MOD02QKM imagery, we compare standard geodetic estimates of glacier mass change with estimates derived from historical mass balance gradients and observations of ZS(20) at three large icefields. Our approach yields estimates of mass change that more negative than traditional geodetic approaches, though MODIS-derived estimates are within the margins of error at all three sites. Both estimates of glacier mass change corroborate the continued mass loss of glaciers in western North America. Between 2000 and 2009, the geodetic change approach yields mean annual rates of surface elevation change for the Columbia, Lillooet, and Sittakanay icefields of -0.29 ± 0.05, -0.26 ± 0.05, and -0.63 ± 0.17 m a-1, respectively. This study provides a new technique for glacier facies detection at daily timescales, and contributes to the development of regional estimates of glacier mass change, both of which are critical for studies of glacier contributions to streamflow and global sea level rise.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Present and former equilibrium-line altitudes near Mount Everest, Nepal and Tibet.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, V.S.

    1983-01-01

    New information on equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) of present and former glaciers in the Mount Everest area of eastern Nepal and southern Tibet has been derived from field mapping and interpretation of topographic maps and Landsat imagery. Present ELAs rise from south to north across the Himalayan Range from 5200 to 5800 m, as indicated by the altitudes of lowest cirque glaciers and highest lateral and medial moraines on valley glaciers. In contrast, ELAs during maximum late Pleistocene glaciation rose in altitude from 4300 to 5500m across the range, as indicated by altitudes of lowest cirque floors and maximum extent of glacial deposits. Highest ELAs occurred on previously unrecognized ice caps that formerly covered extensive highland areas in Tibet north of the range crest. Depression of ELAs during the late Pleistocene glaciation was about twice as great south of the range crest (950m) as north of it (400m).-from Author

  2. 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.

  3. Evaluation of conditions along the grounding line of temperate marine glaciers: An example from Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seramur, K.C.; Powell, R.D.; Carlson, P.R.

    1997-01-01

    In the marine environment, stability of the glacier terminus and the location of subglacial streams are the dominant controls on the distribution of grounding-line deposits within morainal banks. A morainal bank complex in Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay, SE Alaska, is used to develop a model of terminus stability and location of subglacial streams along the grounding line of temperate marine glaciers. This model can be used to interpret former grounding-line conditions in other glacimarine settings from the facies architecture within morainal bank deposits. The Muir Inlet morainal bank complex was deposited between 1860 A.D. and 1899 A.D., and historical observations provide a record of terminus positions, glacial retreat rates and sedimentary sources. These data are used to reconstruct the depositional environment and to develop a correlation between sedimentary facies and conditions along the grounding line. Four seismic facies identified on the high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles are used to interpret sedimentary facies within the morainal bank complex. Terminus stability is interpreted from the distribution of sedimentary facies within three distinct submarine geomorphic features, a grounding-line fan; stratified ridges, and a field of push ridges. The grounding-line fan was deposited along a stable terminus and is represented on seismic-reflection profiles by two distinct seismic facies, a proximal and a distal fan facies. The proximal fan facies was deposited at the efflux of subglacial streams and indicates the location of former glacifluvial discharges into the sea. Stratified ridges formed as a result of the influence of a quasi-stable terminus on the distribution of sedimentary facies along the grounding line. A field of push ridges formed along the grounding line of an unstable terminus that completely reworked the grounding-line deposits through glacitectonic deformation. Between 1860 A.D. and 1899 A.D. (39 years), 8.96 x 108 m3 of sediment were

  4. Sensitivity of Mass Balance and Equilibrium Line Altitude to Climate Change in the French Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Six, D.

    2014-12-01

    Assessment of the sensitivity of surface mass balance and equilibrium line altitude to climate change is crucial for the simulation of the future evolution of glaciers. Such an assessment has been carried out using a very extensive data set comprising numerous measurements of snow accumulation and snow and ice ablation made on four French glaciers over the last 16 years. Winter mass balances show a complicated pattern with respect to altitude, showing no clear linear relationship. Although the ratios of winter mass balance to valley precipitation differ considerably from one site to another, they remain relatively constant over time. Relationships between snow/ice ablation and temperature are stable, showing no link with altitude. The mean snow and ice PDD factors found are 0.003 and 0.0061 m w.e. °C-1 d-1. This analysis shows that, at a given site, ablation depends mainly on the amount of snow precipitation and on cumulative positive degree days. The sensitivity of annual ablation to temperature change increases almost linearly from 0.25 m w.e. °C-1 at 3500 m to 1.55 m w.e. °C-1 at 1650 m. Equilibrium line altitude sensitivity to temperature change was found to ranges from 50 m °C-1 to 85 m °C-1, generally lower than previous studies.

  5. 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.

  6. Younger Dryas equilibrium line altitudes and precipitation patterns in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Moraine systems of the "Egesen Stadial" are widespread and easily identifiable features in the Alps. Absolute dating with terrestrial cosmogenic radionuclides shows that the maximum extent was reached during the early Younger Dryas (YD), probably as a reaction to the intense climatic downturn subsequent to Lateglacial Interstadial. In recent years, several new studies and the availability of high-quality laser-scan hillshades and orthophotos allowed a significant extension of the database of YD glaciers as "palaeoprecipitation gauges" to large hitherto unmapped regions in the Austrian and Swiss Alps. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of the glaciers and its lowering relative to the Little Ice Age ELA (dELA) shows a distinct and systematic spatial pattern. Along the northern slope of the Alps, dELAs are usually large (around 400 m and perhaps even more), while dELAs range around 200 m in the well sheltered areas of the central Alps, e.g. in the Engadine and in western Tyrol. Both stochastic glacier-climate models (e.g. Ohmura et al. 1992) and the heat- and mass balance equation (Kuhn 1981) allow the reconstruction of precipitation change under the assumption of a spatially constant summer temperature depression, which in turn can be estimated from biological proxies. This allows to draw the spatial pattern of precipitation change with considerable detail. Precipitation change is clearly controlled by the local relief like high mountain chains, deeply incised and long valleys and mountain passes. Generally the contrast between the northern fringe of the Alps and the interior was more pronounced than today. Climate in the Northern and and Northwestern Alps was rather wet with precipitation totals eventually exceeding modern annual sums. The central Alps received 20 - 30% less precipitation than today, mainly due to reduced winter precipitation. In the southern Alps, still scarce spatial information points to precipitation sums which were approximately similar to

  7. Climatic implications of reconstructed early - Mid Pliocene equilibrium-line altitudes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krusic, A.G.; Prentice, M.L.; Licciardi, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Early-mid Pliocene moraines in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are more extensive than the present alpine glaciers in this region, indicating substantial climatic differences between the early-mid Pliocene and the present. To quantify this difference in the glacier-climate regime, we estimated the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) change since the early-mid Pliocene by calculating the modern ELA and reconstructing the ELAs of four alpine glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys at their early-mid Pliocene maxima. The area-altitude balance ratio method was used on modern and reconstructed early-mid Pliocene hypsometry. In Wright and Victoria Valleys, mass-balance data identify present-day ELAs of 800-1600 m a.s.l. and an average balance ratio of 1.1. The estimated ELAs of the much larger early-mid Pliocene glaciers in Wright and Taylor Valleys range from 600 to 950 ?? 170 m a.s.l., and thus are 250-600 ??170 m lower than modern ELAs in these valleys. The depressed ELAs during the early-mid-Pliocene most likely indicate a wetter and therefore warmer climate in the Dry Valleys during this period than previous studies have recognized.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Comparing reconstructed Pleistocene equilibrium-line altitudes in the tropical Andes of central Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramage, Joan M.; Smith, Jacqueline A.; Rodbell, Donald T.; Seltzer, Geoffrey O.

    2005-10-01

    Glacier equilibrium-line altitude (ELA), and the difference between modern and palaeo-ELA can be interpreted as a proxy for climate change. One issue in ELA reconstruction is that different methods of ELA reconstruction may produce a range of results for the same palaeoglacier. When a range of methods is used to reconstruct ELAs across a region, resulting variations may be related to the method rather than the past climate. Palaeoclimatic interpretation of ELAs that were reconstructed by different methods may prompt spurious inferences if the ELA range is the result of methodological differences rather than climatic variation. We address the relationship and degree of variation between methods by comparing terminus-to-headwall-altitude ratio (THAR), accumulation-area ratio (AAR), and accumulation-area balance ratio (AABR) methods for palaeoglaciers in four valleys in the tropical Andes. Valleys in the eastern cordillera of the Peruvian Andes bordering the Junin Plain (11° S, 76° W, ca. 4100 m a.s.l.) are presently ice-free but were glaciated repeatedly during the Pleistocene. We use a combination of 90-m shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) data, 15-m Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data, and 1:25 000 topographic maps to reconstruct ELAs. Within each of three groups of moraines, map-based THAR and AABR estimates of ELA tend to be highest, followed by DEM-derived THAR ELAs, with AAR-reconstructed ELAs somewhat lower in this region. ELA estimates for the local Last Glacial Maximum (LLGM) range from ca. 4250 to 4570 m a.s.l., with ELAs of ca. -220 to -550 m (depending on valley and method used). Within individual valleys, ELAs for the same palaeoglaciers calculated by different methods vary by +/- 100 m. ELAs of the LLGM glaciers and those of the largest glaciers to occupy the Junin valleys (> 65 ka) are not markedly different from each other, regardless of the method used in their calculation, which is largely a reflection

  13. Equilibrium Line Altitude fluctuations at HualcaHualca volcano (southern Peru).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcalá, Jesus; Palacios, David; Juan Zamorano, Jose

    2015-04-01

    Interest in Andean glaciers has substantially increased during the last decades, due to its high sensitivity to climate fluctuations. In this sense, Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) is a reliable indicator of climate variability that has been frequently used to reconstruct palaeoenvironmental conditions at different temporal and spatial scales. However, the number of sites with ELA reconstructions is still insufficient to determine patterns in tropical climate or estimations of atmospheric cooling since the Last Glacial Maximum. The main purpose of this study is to contribute in resolving tropical climate evolution through ELA calculations on HualcaHualca (15° 43' S; 71° 52' W; 6,025 masl), a large andesitic stratovolcano located in the south-western Peruvian Andes approximately 70 km north-west of Arequipa. We applied Terminus Headwall Altitude Ratio (THAR) with 0.2; 0.4; 0.5; 0.57 ratios, Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR) and Accumulation Area Balance Ratio (AABR) methods in four valleys of HualcaHualca volcano: Huayuray (north side), Pujro Huayjo (southwest side), Mollebaya (east side) and Mucurca (west side). To estimate ELA depression, we calculated the difference between the ELA on 1955 with its position in the Maximum Glacier Extent (MGE), Tardiglacial phases, little Ice Age (LIA) and 2000. Paleotemperature reconstructions derived from vertical temperature gradient 6.5° C / 1 km, based on GODDARD global observation system considered the most appropriate model for arid Andes. During MGE, the ELA was located between 5,005 (AABR) and 5,215 (AAR 0.67) masl. But in 1955, ELA rose to 5,685 (AABR) - 5,775 (AAR 0.67) masl. The ELA depression between those two phases is 560 - 680 m that implies a temperature decrease of 3.5° - 4.4° C. The experimental process based in the use and contrast of different ELA reconstruction techniques applied in this study suggests that THAR (0.57), AAR (0.67) or AABR are the most consistent procedures for HualcaHualca glaciers, while

  14. Variations in Melt-Flow Acceleration Above and Below the Greenland Equilibrium Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwally, H.; Saba, J. L.; Steffen, K.

    2013-12-01

    Initial observations of accelerated ice flow at the equilibrium line in West-central Greenland during summer melt periods (1996 to 1999) indicated that surface melt-water rapidly propagated to the base and enhanced the basal sliding. Since then numerous observational and theoretical results have provided additional information on the melt-acceleration effect, while leading to some differing conclusions about the climatological and hydrological processes involved. Additional velocity measurements since 1999 show further characteristics of the melt-acceleration in the ice flowline though Swiss Camp, which terminates on land, and in a nearby flowline, which terminates in an outlet glacier. Accelerations as large as three times the average winter velocity are observed during stronger melt events. At downstream locations, accelerations begin earlier in the melt season, but accelerations at multiple sites along a flow line occur simultaneously later in the season. At the equilibrium line, a short period of surface uplift of about 50 cm occurs when the flow abruptly changes from acceleration to deceleration, apparently caused by ice compression during the transition. At downstream locations, the surface rises at the beginning of the melt season and drops at the end of melting suggesting an uplift forced by sub-ice water and sediment. Equivalence of the net additional displacement at upstream and downstream sites indicates no net longitudinal ice strain after the acceleration-deceleration periods. Approximate equivalence of the ratio of peak summer velocities to average winter velocities along the flowline indicate that local melt-acceleration is occurring at and above the equilibrium as well as from longitudinal coupling of downstream effects. High-frequency velocity observations show that the ice flow continues to accelerate with increasing water production during melt events, follow by an abrupt deceleration after the event, indicating that saturation of the

  15. Snow and glaciers in the tropics: the importance of snowfall level and snow line altitude in the Peruvian Cordilleras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schauwecker, Simone; Rohrer, Mario; Huggel, Christian; Salzmann, Nadine; Montoya, Nilton; Endries, Jason; Perry, Baker

    2016-04-01

    The snow line altitude, defined as the line separating snow from ice or firn surfaces, is among the most important parameters in the glacier mass and energy balance of tropical glaciers, since it determines net shortwave radiation via surface albedo. Therefore, hydroglaciological models require estimations of the melting layer during precipitation events, as well as parameterisations of the transient snow line. Typically, the height of the melting layer is implemented by simple air temperature extrapolation techniques, using data from nearby meteorological stations and constant lapse rates. Nonetheless, in the Peruvian mountain ranges, stations at the height of glacier tongues (>5000 m asl.) are scarce and the extrapolation techniques must use data from distant and much lower elevated stations, which need prior careful validation. Thus, reliable snowfall level and snow line altitude estimates from multiple data sets are necessary. Here, we assemble and analyse data from multiple sources (remote sensing, in-situ station data, reanalysis data) in order to assess their applicability in estimating both, the melting layer and snow line altitude. We especially focus on the potential of radar bright band data from TRMM and CloudSat satellite data for its use as a proxy for the snow/rain transition height. As expected for tropical regions, the seasonal and regional variability in the snow line altitude is comparatively low. During the course of the dry season, Landsat satellite as well as webcam images show that the transient snow line is generally increasing, interrupted by light snowfall or graupel events with low precipitation amounts and fast decay rates. We show limitations and possibilities of different data sources as well as their applicability to validate temperature extrapolation methods. Further on, we analyse the implications of the relatively low variability in seasonal snow line altitude on local glacier mass balance gradients. We show that the snow line

  16. 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.

  17. Geochronology and Equilibrium Line Altitudes of LLGM through Holocene Glaciations from the Tropical Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, S. R.; Ramage, J. M.; Rodbell, D. T.; Finkel, R. C.; Smith, J. A.; Mark, B. G.; Farber, D. L.

    2006-12-01

    Geomorphologic relationships and cosmogenic 10Be ages from the Central Peruvian Andes reveal a rich record of glaciations from at least the late Holocene, Late Glacial, Last Local Glacial Maximum (LLGM), and older more extensive glaciations - dated between 50ka and 440ka in both the Cordillera Blanca, to the north and the Junin Region to the south. The Cordillera Huayhuash (10.3°S, 76.9°W) is located between these two well-studied regions. The spine of the range trends nearly north-south and contains a substantial east-west spur which together can be used to evaluate the spatial variation in paleo-ELAs. The range is thus a key location to study changes in ice extent and equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) between the LLGM and modern periods. Modern glaciers are confined to altitudes >4800 m and the present (1997) ELA is 4800- 5100m. In order to determine the paleo-ice positions of glaciers in different valleys we have developed a new chronology from cosmogenic 10Be ages of moraine boulder and 14C basal bog core ages. Through field mapping of glacial features, analysis of satellite imagery, digital elevation models (DEMs), and geochronology, we have delineated the ice limits associated with the LLGM, Late Glacial, and Late Holocene advances. Ages in the three valleys we have studied cluster at ~29ka, ~13ka, and ~9ka and overall we have identified surfaces with ages that range from 39.9±1.4ka to 0.2ka±0.05ka. Based on these data, we have mapped the extent of the correlative paleo-glaciers in these three drainages and extracted the modern hypsometry for each paleo-glacier from the DEMs. From this data set, we have generated paleo- ELAs using a range of methods: Toe-to-Headwall-Altitude Ratio (THAR), the Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR), and Accumulation Area Balance Ratio (AABR). For each of the LLGM, Late Glacial and Holocene stages, we have calculated both: (1) the temperature depression assuming no moisture variations, and (2) the potential relative moisture

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1977-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Levoglucosan on Tibetan glaciers under different atmospheric circulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Chao; Yao, Tandong; Xu, Chao; Song, Lili

    2017-03-01

    Tibetan glaciers are natural documents of the specific biomass burning biomarker levoglucosan from regions around. However, knowledge about the characteristics of levoglucosan distributions on Tibetan glaciers under the different climate systems is poorly understood. In this study, we detected levoglucosan in snow samples from the Zuoqiupu (ZQP) Glacier affected by the Indian summer monsoon and the Muji (MJ) Glacier dominated by the westerlies. Results found that the ZQP Glacier was more heavily affected by fire emissions than the MJ Glacier, caused by stronger emission sources on the windward direction and shorter transport distances. Elevations for the appearance of levoglucosan maxima on glacier surfaces are roughly around the equilibrium line altitudes. However, levoglucosan displays a wider distribution range on the MJ glacier than on the ZQP glacier due to weaker summer melt. Injection height of fire smokes and glacial melt can affect the altitudinal distribution of levoglucosan. Black carbon and levoglucosan show different temporal variations in snow-pit samples on those two glaciers. The post-depositional effects, e.g. the melting and refreezing processes, can modulate the vertical distribution of levoglucosan in snow/ice layers. Our results are helpful for understanding the geochemical behaviors of levoglucosan happened on Tibetan glacier surfaces.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillai, J.; Patel, L. K.

    2011-12-01

    year 1990. Remote Sensing data of different years were used to analyze the changes in aerial extent of the pindari glacier. Pindari landscap is formed by the combined geomorphological process of fluvial and glacial. These processes are also maintaining the ecosystem balance of the catchment area. Snow covers area of this higher landscapet had been reduced considerably. The timberline of this region is shifting upper side of the glaciers, whereas the equilibrium line is also retreating. The spatial invasion in timber line and the retreat of the equilibrium line will further establish the negative mass balance of this glacier. However, the climatic variation may exacerbate the ecosystem balance of the region. All the reports on the glaciers in IHR regions review a negative mass balance and annual retreat up the glaciers. The observation records of these glaciers in IHR are about a period of hundred years this is quite in sufficient it establishes the relation between climate change and the glaciers retreat. However it is a known fact that the impact of rise in temperature due to anthropogenic effect may overstretch the rate the natural process of glacier retreat. The present study also discusses the unique phenomena of glacier melt due to climatic variations and its catastrophe.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rydt, Jan; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Hypsometric control on glacier mass balance sensitivity in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, D.; Sass, L.; Arendt, A. A.; O'Neel, S.; Kienholz, C.; Larsen, C.; Burgess, E. W.

    2015-12-01

    Mass loss from glaciers in Alaska is dominated by strongly negative surface balances, particularly on small, continental glaciers but can be highly variable from glacier to glacier. Glacier hypsometry can exert significant control on mass balance sensitivity, particularly if the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) is in a broad area of low surface slope. In this study, we explore the spatial variability in glacier response to future climate forcings on the basis of hypsometry. We first derive mass balance sensitivities (30-70 m ELA / 1° C and 40-90 m ELA / 50% decrease in snow accumulation) from the ~50-year USGS Benchmark glaciers mass balance record. We subsequently assess mean climate fields in 2090-2100 derived from the IPCC AR5/CMIP5 RCP 6.0 5-model mean. Over glaciers in Alaska, we find 2-4° C warming and 10-20% increase in precipitation relative to 2006-2015, but a corresponding 0-50% decrease in snow accumulation due to rising temperatures. We assess changes in accumulation area ratios (AAR) to a rising ELA using binned individual glacier hypsometries. For an ELA increase of 150 m, the mean statewide AAR drops by 0.45, representing a 70% reduction in accumulation area on an individual glacier basis. Small, interior glaciers are the primary drivers of this reduction and for nearly 25% of all glaciers, the new ELA exceeds the glacier's maximum elevation, portending eventual loss. The loss of small glaciers, particularly in the drier interior of Alaska will significantly modify streamflow properties (flashy hydrographs, earlier and reduced peak flows, increased interannual variability, warmer temperatures) with poorly understood downstream ecosystem and oceanographic impacts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  5. Modeling mountain pine beetle disturbance in Glacier National Park using multiple lines of evidence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Assal, Timothy; Sibold, Jason

    2013-01-01

    Temperate forest ecosystems are subject to various disturbances which contribute to ecological legacies that can have profound effects on the structure of the ecosystem. Impacts of disturbance can vary widely in extent, duration and severity over space and time. Given that global climate change is expected to increase rates of forest disturbance, an understanding of these events are critical in the interpretation of contemporary forest patterns and those of the near future. We seek to understand the impact of the 1970s mountain pine beetle outbreak on the landscape of Glacier National Park and investigate any connection between this event and subsequent decades of extensive wildfire. The lack of spatially explicit data on the mountain pine beetle disturbance represents a major data gap and inhibits our ability to test for correlations between outbreak severity and fire severity. To overcome this challenge, we utilized multiple lines of evidence to model forest canopy mortality as a proxy for outbreak severity. We used historical aerial and landscape photos, reports, aerial survey data, a six year collection of Landsat imagery and abiotic data in combination with regression analysis. The use of remotely sensed data is critical in large areas where subsequent disturbance (fire) has erased some of the evidence from the landscape. Results indicate that this method is successful in capturing the spatial heterogeneity of the outbreak in a topographically complex landscape. Furthermore, this study provides an example on the use of existing data to reduce levels of uncertainty associated with an historic disturbance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Hongkai; Hrachowitz, Markus; Savenije, Hubert

    2015-04-01

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

  8. The 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. He I lines in B stars - Comparison of non-local thermodynamic equilibrium models with observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heasley, J. N.; Timothy, J. G.; Wolff, S. C.

    1982-01-01

    Profiles of He gamma-gamma 4026, 4387, 4471, 4713, 5876, and 6678 have been obtained in 17 stars of spectral type B0-B5. Parameters of the nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium models appropriate to each star are determined from the Stromgren index and fits to H-alpha line profiles. These parameters yield generally good fits to the observed He I line profiles, with the best fits being found for the blue He I lines where departures from local thermodynamic equilibrium are relatively small. For the two red lines it is found that, in the early B stars and in stars with log g less than 3.5, both lines are systematically stronger than predicted by the nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium models.

  11. Grounding line retreat of Pope, Smith, and Kohler Glaciers, West Antarctica, measured with Sentinel-1a radar interferometry data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.; Rignot, E.; Morlighem, M.; Khazendar, A.

    2016-08-01

    We employ Sentinel-1a C band satellite radar interferometry data in Terrain Observation with Progressive Scans mode to map the grounding line and ice velocity of Pope, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, in West Antarctica, for the years 2014-2016 and compare the results with those obtained using Earth Remote Sensing Satellites (ERS-1/2) in 1992, 1996, and 2011. We observe an ongoing, rapid grounding line retreat of Smith at 2 km/yr (40 km since 1996), an 11 km retreat of Pope (0.5 km/yr), and a 2 km readvance of Kohler since 2011. The variability in glacier retreat is consistent with the distribution of basal slopes, i.e., fast along retrograde beds and slow along prograde beds. We find that several pinning points holding Dotson and Crosson ice shelves disappeared since 1996 due to ice shelf thinning, which signal the ongoing weakening of these ice shelves. Overall, the results indicate that ice shelf and glacier retreat in this sector remain unabated.

  12. Thermal Equilibrium of Vortex Lines in Counterflowing He II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemirovskii, Sergey K.

    2016-12-01

    The problem of the statistics of a set of chaotic vortex lines in counterflowing superfluid helium is studied. We introduced a Langevin-type force into the equation of motion of the vortex line in the presence of relative velocity {v_{ns}}. This random force is supposed to be Gaussian satisfying the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. The corresponding Fokker-Planck equation for probability functional in the vortex loop configuration space is shown to have a solution in the form of Gibbs distribution with the substitution E{{s}→ }E({{s}-P(vn-vs)}, where E{{s}} is the energy of the vortex configuration s and P is the Lamb impulse. Some physical consequences of this fact are discussed.

  13. Balance mass flux and ice velocity across the equilibrium line in drainage systems of Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.

    2001-12-01

    Estimates of balance mass flux and depth-averaged ice velocity through the cross section aligned with the equilibrium line are produced for each of six drainage systems in Greenland. The estimates are based on a model equilibrium line fitted to field data and on a revised distribution of surface mass balance for the conterminous ice sheet. Ice drainage divides and six major drainage systems are delineated using surface topography from ERS radar altimeter data. Ice thicknesses at the equilibrium line and throughout each drainage system are based on the latest compilation of airborne radar sounding data described elsewhere. The net accumulation rate in the area bounded by the equilibrium line is 399 Gt a-1, and net ablation rate in the remaining area is 231 Gt a-1. Excluding an east central coastal ridge reduces the net accumulation rate to 397 Gt a-1, with a range from 42 to 121 Gt a-1 for the individual drainage systems. The mean balance mass flux and depth-averaged ice velocity at the cross-section aligned with the modeled equilibrium line are 0.1011 Gt km-2 a-1 and 0.111 km a-1, respectively, with little variation in these values from system to system. In contrast, the mean mass discharge per unit length along the equilibrium line ranges from one half to double the overall mean rate of 0.0468 Gt km-1 a-1. The ratio of the ice mass in the area bounded by the equilibrium line to the rate of mass output implies an effective exchange time of approximately 6 ka for total mass exchange. The range of exchange times, from a low of 3 ka in the SE drainage system to 14 ka in the NE, suggests a rank as to which regions of the ice sheet may respond more rapidly to climate fluctuations.

  14. Plasma-equilibrium calculations by line successive over relaxation

    SciTech Connect

    Redi, M.H.; Larrabee, D.A.

    1983-05-01

    Line successive over relaxation (LSOR) is an iterative method for solving elliptic differential equations. LSOR takes advantage of the CRAY vector capabilities as compared to the point successive over relaxation (SOR) method, which does not vectorize. The substantial advantages of LSOR on a vectorizing machine are not well-known, except in the field of aerodynamics. By minor modification of the traditional SOR elliptic equation solver, we find that in certain coordinates an increase of a factor of two or greater in convergence time can be realized. As a model problem for comparison of SOR and LSOR, the numerical solution of Poisson's equation will be reviewed in Sec. II. In Sec. III, we discuss the decreased computation time on the National Fusion Energy Computer Center (NMFECC) CRAY computers found with LSOR applied to the iterative solution of plasma equilibria. In Sec. IV, the conditions for which LSOR is most useful are summarized.

  15. Modeling on the Steady State of Thwaites Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, H.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H.

    2013-12-01

    Thwaites Glacier (TWG) is the second largest ice stream in West Antarctica in terms of ice discharge, and the broadest ice stream in Antarctica (120 km wide). Observations and theory suggest that its configuration is inherently unstable in a warming climate. Satellite observations have revealed grounding line retreat, ice thinning, ice stream broadening and in more recent years ice flow acceleration. The most important part of the glacier evolution involves its grounding line dynamics and the impact of ice-ocean interactions. In a region between the grounding line and the limit of the flexure zone, some 10 km downstream, however, the glacier is not in hydrostatic equilibrium. Proper treatment of the grounding line dynamics requires full Stokes solution. Here, we model the grounding line of TWG in 2D, full Stokes, with the goal to examine whether the glacier is in a steady state configuration or not. The model treats ice sheet and ice shelf as two fluids coupled through the ice mass flux (Nowicki, 2008). Water stress is used as a constraint on the ice shelf instead of hydrostatic equilibrium. We use radar interferometry (InSAR) measurements of ice velocity and grounding line position through time, Bedmap2 and IceBridge thickness, and surface mass balance from RACMO to constrain the model. The results are used to conclude on the state of dynamic balance of the glacier. This work is funded by NASA Cryospheric Science Program.

  16. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade glacier, Washington, balance year 2003

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance year 2003. The 2003 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 2.66 meters water equivalent, which was about equal to the average of such balances for the glacier since balance year 1959. The 2003 glacier summer balance (-4.76 meters water equivalent) was the most negative reported for the glacier, and the 2003 net balance (-2.10 meters water equivalent), was the second-most negative reported. The glacier 2003 annual (water year) balance was -1.89 meters water equivalent. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.89 square kilometers, a decrease of 0.03 square kilometer from the previous year. The equilibrium-line altitude was higher than any part of the glacier; however, because snow remained along part of one side of the upper glacier, the accumulation-area ratio was 0.07. During September 13, 2002-September 13, 2003, the glacier terminus retreated at a rate of about 15 meters per year. Average speed of surface ice, computed using a series of vertical aerial photographs dating back to 2001, ranged from 2.2 to 21.8 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin was gaged during part of water year 2003. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed, and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations on and near the glacier. Summer 2003 at the glacier was among the warmest for which data are available.

  17. Electron Broadening of Isolated Lines with Stationary Non-Equilibrium Level Populations

    SciTech Connect

    Iglesias, C A

    2005-01-12

    It is shown that a quantum kinetic theory approach to line broadening, extended to stationary non-equilibrium states, yields corrections to the standard electron impact widths of isolated lines that depend on the population of the radiator internal levels. A consistent classical limit from a general quantum treatment of the perturbing electrons also introduces corrections to the isolated line widths. Both effects are essential in preserving detailed-balance relations. Preliminary analysis indicates that these corrections may resolve existing discrepancies between theoretical and experimental widths of isolated lines. An experimental test of the results is proposed.

  18. Time Lapse Camera Images for Observation and Visualization of Snow Lines on two Benchmark Glaciers in High Asia - Zhadang and Halji

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schröter, B.; Buchroithner, M. F.; Pieczonka, T.

    2015-12-01

    Glaciers are characteristic elements of high mountain environments and represent key indicators for the ongoing climate change. The covering snowpack considerably affects the glacier-ice surface temperature and thus the meltdown of the glaciers which in recent decades has been accelerating worldwide. Therefore, the detailed investigation of the transient snow is of high importance. Zhadang Glacier is located in the Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range on the central part of the Tibetan Plateau (30°28.24' N, 90°38.69' E). The glacier is debris-free and flows from 6,090 to 5,515 m a.s.l. Recent measurements have shown that the whole glacier is below the ELA and experiences significant glacier volume loss. In May 2010 two terrestrial cameras had been installed there and were continuously operating until September 2012 generating 6,225 images of the glacier with a frequency of three resp. six images per day. In order to use this dataset for snow line mapping all images had to be georeferenced and orthorectified. The biggest challenge was the problem of shifting camera positions due to deformations of the ground and hence the offset in the image coordinates. This was resolved by combining the manual orthorectification of one image per week with a subsequent spline interpolation to determine the changed image coordinates. The actual orthorectification was finally realized by applying a fully automated batch processing of all images. The most favorable image of each day was chosen for the manual snow line mapping process. The final aim was the calculation of the mean elevation of the snow line for every day of the data collecting period materialized by intersecting the mapped snow lines with resampled SRTM 3 data. Considering the fact that there were several weeks either with full snow cover or without any snow this aim could be achieved. The findings have been used for the evaluation of a glacier mass balance model developed at RWTH Aachen, Germany, showing a high level of

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Secular trend of the equilibrium-line altitude on the western side of the southern Andes, derived from radiosonde and surface observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, Jorge F.; Osorio, Roberto; Casassa, Gino

    The altitude of the 0°C isotherm obtained from radiosonde data of the aerological Chilean stations Antofagasta, Quintero/Santo Domingo, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas are analyzed, along with surface temperature and precipitation records from nearby stations. The strong effect of the 1976/77 climate shift due to a change in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is evident in the temperature and precipitation data. The data are used as input for an empirical model which reconstructs annually the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) for the last 49 years on the western side of the southern Andes. The model takes air temperature, precipitation and altitude as the main parameters, and was first developed by Fox (1993) and applied by Condom and others (2007). From the radiosonde data, a significant positive trend of the 0°C isotherm has occurred in the northern, central and southern regions, indicating an ELA rise due to regional warming. General glacier retreat, ice thinning and negative mass balance observed during the past few decades in virtually all the Chilean Andes concur with the observed ELA reconstruction. In the Punta Arenas radiosonde record there is slight evidence for precipitation increase but no evidence for significant warming in the past few decades. This results in a slight lowering of the ELA according to the model reconstruction, which does not agree with the strong and increased glacier retreat observed in recent decades in Patagonia.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.; O'Neel, Shad

    2011-01-01

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

  3. What do We Know the Snow Darkening Effect Over Himalayan Glaciers?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yasunari, T. J.; Lau, K.-U.; Koster, R. D.; Suarez, M.; Mahanama, S. P.; Gautam, R.; Kim, K. M.; Dasilva, A. M.; Colarco, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    The atmospheric absorbing aerosols such as dust, black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC) are now well known warming factors in the atmosphere. However, when these aerosols deposit onto the snow surface, it causes darkening of snow and thereby absorbing more energy at the snow surface leading to the accelerated melting of snow. If this happens over Himalayan glacier surface, the glacier meltings are expected and may contribute the mass balance changes though the mass balance itself is more complicated issue. Glacier has mainly two parts: ablation and accumulation zones. Those are separated by the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). Above and below ELA, snow accumulation and melting are dominant, respectively. The change of ELA will influence the glacier disappearance in future. In the Himalayan region, many glacier are debris covered glacier at the terminus (i.e., in the ablation zone). Debris is pieces of rock from local land and the debris covered parts are probably not affected by any deposition of the absorbing aerosols because the snow surface is already covered by debris (the debris covered parts have different mechanism of melting). Hence, the contribution of the snow darkening effect is considered to be most important "over non debris covered part" of the Himalayan glacier (i.e., over the snow or ice surface area). To discuss the whole glacier retreat, mass balance of each glacier is most important including the discussion on glacier flow, vertical compaction of glacier, melting amount, etc. The contribution of the snow darkening is mostly associated with "the snow/ice surface melting". Note that the surface melting itself is not always directly related to glacier retreats because sometimes melt water refreezes inside of the glacier. We should discuss glacier retreats in terms of not only the snow darkening but also other contributions to the mass balance.

  4. Very small glaciers under climate change: from the local to the global scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, M.; Fischer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Very small glaciers (<0.5km2) currently account for up to 80% of the total number of glaciers in mountain ranges around the globe. Although their total area and volume is small compared to larger glaciers, they are a relevant component of the cryosphere contributing to landscape formation, local hydrology and sea-level rise, and represent a valuable climate archive. Very small glaciers have generally shorter response times than valley glaciers and their mass balance is strongly dependent on snow redistribution processes. Worldwide glacier monitoring has focused on medium-sized to large glaciers leaving us with a relatively limited understanding of the behavior of very small glaciers. With warming climate there is an increasing concern that very small glaciers might be the first to disappear. Already in the next decades this might result in the complete deglaciation of mountain ranges with glacier equilibrium lines close to the highest peaks, such as in the Rocky Mountains, the European Alps, the Andes or parts of High Mountain Asia. In this contribution, we present a comprehensive modelling framework to assess past and future changes in very small glaciers at the mountain-range scale. Among other processes our model accounts for snow redistribution, changes in glacier geometry and dynamic changes in debris-coverage, and computes e.g. distributed mass balance, englacial temperature and proglacial runoff. Detailed glacier projections until 2060 are shown for the Swiss Alps based on new data sets, and the 21st century contribution of all very small glaciers worldwide to sea-level rise is quantified using a global model. Grid-based modelling of surface mass balance and retreat for 1133 very small glaciers in Switzerland indicates that 70% of them will completely vanish within the next 25 years. However, a few avalanche-fed glaciers at low elevation might be able to survive even substantial atmospheric warming. We find relatively high static and dynamic sensitivities

  5. Turbulent diffusion from a heated line source in non-equilibrium grid turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedic, Jovan; Tavoularis, Stavros

    2015-11-01

    We have investigated turbulent diffusion of heat injected passively from a line source in equilibrium and non-equilibrium grid-generated turbulence, which are, respectively, flows in which the value of the non-dimensional rate of kinetic energy dissipation is constant or changes with streamwise distance from the grid. We used three grids with uniform square meshes and one fractal square grid (FSG), all of the same solidity, to generate non-equilibrium and equilibrium turbulence in a wind-tunnel. The regular grids have mesh sizes that are comparable to the first (RG160), second (RG80) and fourth (RG18) iterations of the fractal grid. The heated line source was inserted on the centre-plane of the grids at either of two downstream locations or an upstream one and it spanned the entire width of the wind-tunnel. We found that RG160 produced the greatest heat diffusion, followed by FSG, RG80 and RG18, in this order. The apparent turbulent diffusivity produced by the four grids also decreased in the same order. These findings conform with Taylor's theory of diffusion by continuous movements. Moreover, the present study demonstrates that the fractal space-scale unfolding (SSU) mechanism does not apply to grids with the same solidity but different effective mesh sizes. Supported by NSERC.

  6. Hydrodynamic Models of Line-Driven Accretion Disk Winds III: Local Ionization Equilibrium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pereyra, Nicolas Antonio; Kallman, Timothy R.; White, Nicholas E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We present time-dependent numerical hydrodynamic models of line-driven accretion disk winds in cataclysmic variable systems and calculate wind mass-loss rates and terminal velocities. The models are 2.5-dimensional, include an energy balance condition with radiative heating and cooling processes, and includes local ionization equilibrium introducing time dependence and spatial dependence on the line radiation force parameters. The radiation field is assumed to originate in an optically thick accretion disk. Wind ion populations are calculated under the assumption that local ionization equilibrium is determined by photoionization and radiative recombination, similar to a photoionized nebula. We find a steady wind flowing from the accretion disk. Radiative heating tends to maintain the temperature in the higher density wind regions near the disk surface, rather than cooling adiabatically. For a disk luminosity L (sub disk) = solar luminosity, white dwarf mass M(sub wd) = 0.6 solar mass, and white dwarf radii R(sub wd) = 0.01 solar radius, we obtain a wind mass-loss rate of M(sub wind) = 4 x 10(exp -12) solar mass yr(exp -1) and a terminal velocity of approximately 3000 km per second. These results confirm the general velocity and density structures found in our earlier constant ionization equilibrium adiabatic CV wind models. Further we establish here 2.5D numerical models that can be extended to QSO/AGN winds where the local ionization equilibrium will play a crucial role in the overall dynamics.

  7. Field line twist and field-aligned currents in an axially symmetric equilibrium magnetosphere. [of Uranus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Voigt, Gerd-Hannes

    1986-01-01

    Field-aligned Birkeland currents and the angle of the magnetic line twist were calculated for an axially symmetric pole-on magnetosphere (assumed to be in MHD equilibrium). The angle of the field line twist was shown to have a strong radial dependence on the axisymmetric magnetotail as well as on the ionospheric conductivity and the amount of thermal plasma contained in closed magnetotail flux tubes. The field line twist results from the planetary rotation, which leads to the development of a toroidal magnetic B-sub-phi component and to differentially rotating magnetic field lines. It was shown that the time development of the toroidal magnetic B-sub-phi component and the rotation frequency are related through an induction equation.

  8. 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.

  9. Seasonal and interannual variations in snow cover thickness, glacier mass balance, and gravity-induced dynamics in a high Arctic valley glacier watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokop, Alexander; Tolle, Florian; Bernard, Eric; Friedt, Jean-Michel; Griselin, Madeleine

    2015-04-01

    For 3 consecutive years, terrestrial laser scanning surveys have been conducted in the glacier basin of Austre Lovénbreen (Svalbard, 79°N). Each year, high density point clouds were acquired on the glacier surface and on the surrounding slopes. Two yearly scanning sessions were required in order to spatialize and quantify snow cover. The first session was done late April at the expected annual snow maximum. The second session was done in August near the end of the melting season. On the glacier itself, laser scans were produced on the glacier snout, in the area close to the equilibrium line, and in the upper reaches of the glacier. Manual snow drilling measurements and glacier mass balance data were subsequently used to validate snow cover results. In the steep slopes surrounding the glacier, scans were acquired on slopes at various altitudes and orientations in order to get a representative view of different snow cover settings. Particular attention was granted to snowdrift and avalanche processes, and their consequences on remaining packed snow stored in perennial snow accumulation at the bottom of slopes. A good knowledge of the dynamics of the snow cover is of particular interest in a glacier undergoing a clear retreat. Snow is protecting the ice from melting for part of the season, and snow is also providing what will constitute future glacier ice in the upper reaches of the basin. Snow on slopes is also of importance as avalanches reaching on the glacier can contribute to the overall mass balance. Snow cover, by keeping the slopes permafrost from thawing early in the season, or by providing liquid water affecting it later in the season, is also playing a key role in the glacier basin morphology and its interactions with the glacier body.

  10. Glacial lakes amplify glacier recession in the central Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Owen; Quincey, Duncan; Carrivick, Jonathan; Rowan, Ann

    2016-04-01

    store large amounts of ice in broad accumulation zones and are more equidimensional (HI -1.2 to 1.2). Glaciers flowing onto the Tibetan Plateau have a similar hypsometric distribution to glaciers of the Dudh Koshi, but terminate at a higher altitude overall, approximately 500 m higher than glaciers of the Dudh Koshi or Tama Koshi. We estimate the approximate Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELA) of the last 15 years to be above a substantial portion (66%- Dudh Koshi; 87%- Tama Koshi; 83% Tibetan Plateau) of the glacierised area for all three catchments. Future ice recession may therefore be governed primarily by glacier hypsometry, but is likely to be amplified by the continued development of new, or growth of current glacial lakes.

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of sources, transport, and postdepositional processes on levoglucosan records in southeastern Tibetan glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Chao; Yao, Tandong; Xu, Baiqing; Xu, Chao; Zhao, Huabiao; Song, Lili

    2016-07-01

    Tibetan glaciers are substantially influenced by smoke aerosols derived from intensive biomass burning (BB) emissions in surrounding regions. However, knowledge regarding the impact of smoke aerosols on Tibetan glaciers is limited. Here we present levoglucosan records extracted from two southeastern Tibetan (SET) glaciers. We found that Zuoqiupu (ZQP) Glacier, situated on the windward side of the mountains, is more strongly affected by BB aerosols when compared with Cuopugou (CPG) Glacier on the leeward side. On ZQP Glacier, the highest levoglucosan concentration was detected at an elevation near the equilibrium line altitude. The injection height of smoke plumes and the actions of postdepositional processes on the glacier surface determined the distribution patterns of levoglucosan concentrations at different altitudes. Spatiotemporal variability in levoglucosan and black carbon distributions after deposition may be caused by the different source characteristics and by different postdepositional geochemical behaviors on the glacier surface. Intense wildfires can lead to extremely high concentrations (higher than 25 ng mL-1) of black carbon in ice near the surface of SET glaciers and can therefore play an important role in glacial melt during the premonsoon season.

  13. Decadal Glacier Mass Balance over West Nyainqentanglha Range and its Contribution to Nam Co Lake Increasing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Gang; Lin, Hui

    2016-08-01

    Nyainqentanglha Range locates in the south-eastern center of Inner Tibetan Plateau. Glaciers in the whole range covered an area of 795 km2 in 2001 and locate at the transection zone between continental and maritime glaciers. Their melting at the northwestern slope feeds Nam Co Lake. Elevation of Nam Co Lake increased at a rate of 0.26m/a during 2003-2009 by ICESat laser altimetry monitoring which implied that retreating of glaciers within its drainage might accelerated. Previous study applied in situ observations on Zhadang Glacier's height change (-0.59m/a) and yielded during 1999 and 2010 glacier melting contributed 28.7% of the lake increasing (Lei et al., 2013). However, Zhadang Glacier only occupies less than 1% of the whole glacier area and almost bellows zero equilibrium line (ZEL), therefore the result should be biased and with large error. In this study, aiming on analyzing glacier melting's contribution to the endorheic lake increasing we applied DEM differencing method to quantify glacier mass balance at Nyainqentanglha Range by using SRTM and newly obtained bistatic TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X images.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance years 2006 and 2007. Mass balances were computed with assistance from a new model that was based on the works of other glacier researchers. The model, which was developed for mass balance practitioners, coupled selected meteorological and glaciological data to systematically estimate daily mass balance at selected glacier sites. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated approximately average to above average winter snow packs during 2006 and 2007. Correspondingly, the balance years 2006 and 2007 maximum winter snow mass balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.61 and 3.41 meters water equivalent, respectively, were approximately equal to or more positive (larger) than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2006 glacier summer balance, -4.20 meters water equivalent, was among the four most negative since 1959. The 2007 glacier summer balance, -3.63 meters water equivalent, was among the 14 most negative since 1959. The glacier continued to lose mass during 2006 and 2007, as it commonly has since 1953, but the loss was much smaller during 2007 than during 2006. The 2006 glacier net balance, -1.59 meters water equivalent, was 1.02 meters water equivalent more negative (smaller) than the average during 1953-2005. The 2007 glacier net balance, -0.22 meters water equivalent, was 0.37 meters water equivalent less negative (larger) than the average during 1953-2006. The 2006 accumulation area ratio was less than 0.10, owing to isolated patches of accumulated snow that endured the 2006 summer season. The 2006 equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The 2007 accumulation area ratio and equilibrium line altitude were 0.60 and 1,880 meters, respectively. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  16. Line-Tied Magnetic Flux Ropes in the Laboratory: Equilibrium Force Balance and Eruptive Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, Clayton E.; Yamada, M.; Belova, E. V.

    2013-07-01

    Flux-rope-based models of solar eruptions rely on the formation of a line-tied flux rope equilibrium that persists until an ideal instability or a breakdown in force balance triggers an eruption. In this paper, we present a quantitative study of equilibrium force balance in solar-relevant flux ropes, focusing primarily on the role of the potential magnetic field in controlling the flux rope behavior. This study was conducted using a newly constructed laboratory experiment in conjunction with supporting three-dimensional MHD simulations that directly model the experimental geometry. The flux ropes studied here, which are produced in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), evolve quasi-statically over many Alfvén times and have footpoints that are line-tied to two fixed electrodes [E. Oz, C. E. Myers, M. Yamada, et al., Phys. Plasmas 18, 102107 (2011)]. They are formed within a solar-relevant potential magnetic field configuration that can be systematically modified between discharges. Detailed in situ magnetic measurements from the experiments are compared directly to results from the simulations in order to quantitatively evaluate the various contributions to the equilibrium force balance. We find that forces derived from the applied toroidal guide field contribute significantly to the equilibrium—so much so that the flux ropes are often well confined even in the absence of a "strapping" arcade. These observed guide field forces arise from changes in the toroidal magnetic pressure and tension that result from a combination of effects within the expanding flux rope. With regard to eruptions, the aforementioned guide field forces supplement the well-known strapping field forces to largely prevent the flux ropes from erupting. In particular, many regimes were explored where the strapping field configuration is predicted to be "torus unstable" and yet the flux ropes do not erupt. Eruptions are observed in some regimes, however, and we will discuss the physical

  17. Greenland melt, surface mass balance and equilibrium line altitude from microwave radiometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mote, T. L.; Powell, E. J.

    2004-12-01

    Surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is thought to respond directly to climate changes. However, knowledge of whether the overall change is positive or negative remains unclear. Several studies have addressed the role Greenland plays in predictions of future sea level under various climate change scenarios; however, there is uncertainty as to whether the ice sheet as a whole is increasing or decreasing in mass. The question of how the ice sheet responds to variations in climate, and potential climate change, can be at least partially addressed by examining the variations in snowpack melt. This project presents an update to the time series of Greenland melt extent to 2003 using SMMR and SSM/I data. Significant positive trends exist in the annual time series, as well as months of June, July and August. The interannual variability is largely driven by western and northern Greenland. Estimates of surface mass balance (SMB) using SSM/I-derived melt frequency are the most positive in 1992 and the negative SMB in 1995. This project presents a comparison of the SSM/I-derived ablation area, SMB and equilibrium line altitude estimates and based on ECMWF reanalysis data. The main goals of this project were to examine interannual variability in melt extent, ablation area, surface mass balance and the location of the equilibrium line of the Greenland ice sheet and to assess how the different data sources agree or disagree over this period.

  18. Grounding line variability and subglacial lake drainage on Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, Ian; Shean, David E.; Smith, Ben E.; Dutrieux, P.

    2016-09-01

    We produced a 6 year time series of differential tidal displacement for Pine Island Ice Shelf, Antarctica, using speckle-tracking methods applied to fine-resolution TerraSAR-X data. These results reveal that the main grounding line has maintained a relatively steady position over the last 6 years, following the speedup that terminated in ~2009. In the middle of the shelf, there are grounded spots that migrate downstream over the 6 year record. Examination of high-resolution digital elevation models reveals that these grounded spots form where deep keels (thickness anomalies) advect over an approximately flow-parallel bathymetric high, maintaining intermittent contact with the bed. These data sets also reveal several subsidence and uplift events associated with subglacial lake drainages in the fast-flowing region above the grounding line. Although these drainages approximately double the rate of subglacial water flow over periods of a few weeks, they have no discernible effect on horizontal flow speed.

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Małecki, J.

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Water, ice, and meteorological measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, balance year 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass balance quantities for balance year 2002. The 2002 glacier-average maximum winter snow balance was 4.02 meters, the second largest since 1959. The 2002 glacier summer, net, and annual (water year) balances were -3.47, 0.55, and 0.54 meters, respectively. The area of the glacier near the end of the balance year was 1.92 square kilometers, and the equilibrium-line altitude and the accumulation area ratio were 1,820 meters and 0.84, respectively. During September 20, 2001 to September 13, 2002, the terminus retreated 4 meters, and computed average ice speeds in the ablation area ranged from 7.8 to 20.7 meters per year. Runoff from the subbasin containing the glacier and from an adjacent non-glacierized basin were measured during part of the 2002 water year. Air temperature, precipitation, atmospheric water-vapor pressure, wind speed and incoming solar radiation were measured at selected locations near the glacier.

  2. Age and significance of former low-altitude corrie glaciers on Hoy, Orkney Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ballantyne, C.K.; Hall, A.M.; Phillips, W.; Binnie, S.; Kubik, P.W.

    2007-01-01

    Geomorphological mapping provides evidence for two former low-level corrie glaciers on Hoy, both defined by end moraines. Five 10Be exposure ages obtained from sandstone boulders on moraine crests fall within the range 12.4??1.5 ka to 10.4??1.7 ka (weighted mean 11.7??0.6 ka), confirming that these glaciers developed during the Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stade (LLS) of 12.9-11.5 cal. ka BP, and demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach to establish the age of LLS glacier limits. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of one of the glaciers (99 m) is the lowest recorded for any LLS glacier, and the area-weighted mean ELA for both (141 m) is consistent with a general northward ELA decrease along the west coast of Britain. The size of moraines fronting these small (???0.75 km2) glaciers implies that glacier termini remained at or close to their limits for a prolonged period. The apparent restriction of LLS glaciers to only two sites on Hoy probably reflects topographic favourability, and particularly the extent of snow-contributing areas.

  3. Rock glacier development in the Northern Calcareous Alps at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, Andrew P.; Ivy Ochs, Susan; Vockenhuber, Christof; Kerschner, Hanns

    2016-11-01

    Relict rock glaciers provide information on past discontinuous permafrost and former mean annual air temperatures. A lack of records showing former permafrost distribution along the northern Alpine fringe prompted the investigation and numerical dating of a belt of relict rock glaciers in the Karwendel Mountains of the Northern Calcareous Austrian Alps. In two neighbouring cirques that were still glaciated during the early Younger Dryas, eleven 36Cl exposure ages from boulder surfaces were obtained. The ages imply the onset of rock glacier activity around 12.3 ka with subsequent stabilization and permafrost melt out no later than 10.1 ka. Hence, rock glacier formation coincided with glacier retreat in the cirques around the mid-Younger Dryas and continued into the early Holocene. As permafrost induced features, the rock glacier termini indicate the local past lower limit of discontinuous permafrost in open cirque floors at 2000 m asl, which is around 400 m lower than during the mid-twentieth century at comparable locations in the Karwendel Mountains. Thus, a mean annual air temperature reduction of - 2.6 to - 3.8 °C relative to the mid-twentieth century is inferred. Based on a minimum glacier equilibrium line altitude in the cirques, a summer temperature reduction of less than - 2.6 to - 1.8 °C is shown, suggesting an increased seasonality at the time of rock glacier activity.

  4. Carihuayrazo S-W a little Ecuadorian glacier in the way to extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cáceres, B. E.

    2015-12-01

    Carihuayrazo S-W glacier is located on the western cordillera in the Ecuadorian Andes. During the last 60 years it has been a dramatical reduction in its ice coverage corresponding to 67%. During the last 15 years an accelerated ice coverage lost has been observed with a value of 37%.The values on the reduction of ice coverage were correlated with the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) location for the Ecuadorian Andes, corresponding to 5100 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). This value was determined over the last 20 years using different measurements over the Antisana 15 glacier (1994-2014). This place is used as a reference to locate the coverage lost for the glaciers in the Ecuadorian Andes. At the moment the Glacier under study doesn't have accumulation area since the more higher altitude was located at 5020 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l), value that is below the equilibrium line altitude. Values for mass balance have been measured during short periods of time with high negative values. According to the observations carried out on this glacier since 2003 there is a high probability that it will disappear in the next ten years . At the moment this glacier is monitoring with special attention in order to document with detail its disappearance.

  5. Younger Dryas glaciers in the High Atlas, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip; Fink, David

    2016-04-01

    Twelve cirque glaciers formed during the Younger Dryas on the mountains of Aksoual (3912 m a.s.l.) and Adrar el Hajj (3129 m a.s.l.) in the Marrakesh High Atlas. Moraines in two separate cirques on these mountains have been dated using 10Be and 36Cl exposure dating. In both cirques the age scatter is relatively small (13.8-10.1 ka) and all ages overlap within error with the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka). The glaciers were small and covered <2 km2 and formed on north-facing slopes. However, the altitudinal range of the glaciers was very large, with equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) ranging from 2470 and 3560 m. This large range is attributed to local topoclimatic factors with the lowest glacier (confirmed as Younger Dryas in age by 3 exposure ages) occupying a very steep cirque floor where a combination of steep glacier gradient and a large potential avalanche catchment enabled its low-lying position. This indicates that caution should be taken when using single glacier sites for reconstructing regional palaeoclimate, especially those formed in steep catchments that have strong topoclimatic controls. The average ELA of the twelve Younger Dryas glaciers was c. 3109 m a.s.l. (St Dev = 325 m) and this represents an ELA depression of > 1000 m from the modern theoretical regional ELA. Under precipitation values similar to today this would require a mean annual temperature depression of 9°C. Moreover, the glacier-climate modelling indicates that it is very unlikely that climate was drier than today during the Younger Dryas in the Marrakesh High Atlas.

  6. Modeling the Climatic Controls and Topographic Form of Modern and Late Pleistocene Tropical Peruvian Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark, B. G.; Stansell, N.; Fairman, J. G.; Plummer, M. A.; Rodbell, D. T.

    2010-12-01

    Glaciers in the tropical highlands are important and highly sensitive indicators of global climate change over different time scales. Simulating glacier extent from basic climatic and topographic input elucidates understanding of present glacier-climate processes, climate control over past glacial extent, and future impacts of changing climate. We apply a physically based, 2-D, glacier model to reconstruct steady-state glacier forms and mass distributions for a range of tropical climatic conditions in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru (8-10°S). The model is based on gridded digital elevation data, computes the effects of topography on the largest component of surface energy balance, shortwave solar insolation, calculates 2-D, in the horizontal-plane, distribution of snow accumulation using a surface mass and energy balance approach, and reconstructs resultant glacier shape with a 2-D flow model. We are able to reconstruct modern glacier extent to match satellite imagery using climate data assimilated from over 30 Andean stations located between 9-11°S, including current observations at glacier elevations, and compute a modern equilibrium line at ˜5000 m asl. We then apply the model in an inverse approach to infer paleoclimate conditions for late Pleistocene moraine positions mapped in specific valleys with global positioning system positions and dated by radiocarbon dates on lake and peat sediments. Simulations confirm that with no precipitation changes, a cooling of 4.5°C is required to achieve equilibrium glacier shapes terminating at moraine positions bounding Laguna Queshque (4300 m asl 9°50'S; 77°25'W). Alternatively, increasing precipitation by 1.5 times the modern values requires a temperature reduction of 3.75°C for the model to reach the same ELA position. A model sensitivity analysis highlights the importance of both moisture availability and temperature changes in driving tropical Andean glacier fluctuations. Results also indicate that temperature

  7. Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, Balance Years 2004 and 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance years 2004 and 2005. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated smaller than normal winter snowpacks during water years 2004 and 2005. Correspondingly, the balance years 2004 and 2005 maximum winter snow balances of South Cascade Glacier, 2.08 and 1.97 meters water equivalent, respectively, were smaller than the average of such balances since 1959. The 2004 glacier summer balance (-3.73 meters water equivalent) was the eleventh most negative during 1959 to 2005 and the 2005 glacier summer balance (-4.42 meters water equivalent) was the third most negative. The relatively small winter snow balances and unusually negative summer balances of 2004 and 2005 led to an overall loss of glacier mass. The 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, -1.65 and -2.45 meters water equivalent, respectively, were the seventh and second most negative during 1953 to 2005. For both balance years, the accumulation area ratio was less than 0.05 and the equilibrium line altitude was higher than the glacier. The unusually negative 2004 and 2005 glacier net balances, combined with a negative balance previously reported for 2003, resulted in a cumulative 3-year net balance of -6.20 meters water equivalent. No equal or greater 3-year mass loss has occurred previously during the more than 4 decades of U.S. Geological Survey mass-balance measurements at South Cascade Glacier. Accompanying the glacier mass losses were retreat of the terminus and reduction of total glacier area. The terminus retreated at a rate of about 17 meters per year during balance year 2004 and 15 meters per year during balance year 2005. Glacier area near the end of balance years 2004 and 2005 was 1.82 and 1.75 square kilometers, respectively. Runoff from the basin containing the glacier and from an adjacent nonglacierized basin was

  8. Quantifying the change in equilibrium-line altitude during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Subtropical Andes using a mass-balance model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargo, L.; Galewsky, J.

    2014-12-01

    Quantifying changes in equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) can be used to better understand past regional climates. We use a glacial mass-balance model in conjunction with global climate model (GCM) output data to calculate the change in ELA between modern and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 21 ka) climates in the presently hyper-arid subtropical Andes. The region is currently unglaciated, despite cold enough temperatures, as there is too little moisture to sustain glaciers. Previous studies suggest this area was glaciated during the LGM, however, little is known about the extent of the glaciation or the climate required to sustain it. The mass-balance model used in this study calculates the change in ELA using the positive degree-day (PDD) sum, the sum of daily mean air temperatures that are above zero. The PDD sum is used to calculate ablation, which is then assumed to be proportional to temperature, in order to calculate the change in ELA. Using output from several GCM simulations, we compare the change in ELA between LGM and modern climates across the different models for the subtropical Andes. These simulations suggest that the changes in climate resulted in a lowering of ELAs to the extent that parts of the subtropical Andes were glaciated during the LGM.

  9. A multicomponent coupled model of glacier hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flowers, Gwenn Elizabeth

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest a causal link between subglacial hydrology and phenomena such as fast-flowing ice. This evidence includes a measured correlation between water under alpine glaciers and their motion, the presence of saturated sediment beneath Antaxctic ice streams, and geologic signatures of enhanced paleo-ice flow over deformable substrates. The complexity of the glacier bed as a three-component mixture presents an obstacle to unraveling these conundra. Inadequate representations of hydrology, in part, prevent us from closing the gap between empirical descriptions and a comprehensive consistent framework for understanding the dynamics of glacierized systems. I have developed a distributed numerical model that solves equations governing glacier surface runoff, englacial water transport, subglacial drainage, and subsurface groundwater flow. Ablation and precipitation drive the surface model through a temperature-index parameterization. Water is permitted to flow over and off the glacier, or to the bed through a system of crevasses, pipes, and fractures. A macroporous sediment horizon transports subglacial water to the ice margin or to an underlying aquifer. Governing equations are derived from the law of mass conservation and are expressed as a balance between the internal redistribution of water and external sources. Each of the four model components is represented as a two-dimensional, vertically-integrated layer that communicates with its neighbors through water exchange. Stacked together, these layers approximate a three-dimensional system. I tailor the model to Trapridge Glacier, where digital maps of the surface and bed have been derived from ice-penetrating radar data. Observations of subglacial water pressure provide additional constraints on model parameters and a basis for comparison of simulations with real data. Three classical idealizations of glacier geometry are used for simple model experiments. Equilibrium tests emphasize geometric

  10. The Bossons glacier protects Europe's summit from erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godon, C.; Mugnier, J. L.; Fallourd, R.; Paquette, J. L.; Pohl, A.; Buoncristiani, J. F.

    2013-08-01

    The contrasting efficiency of erosion beneath cold glacier ice, beneath temperate glacier ice, and on ice-free mountain slopes is one of the key parameters in the development of relief during glacial periods. Detrital geochronology has been applied to the subglacial streams of the north face of the Mont-Blanc massif in order to estimate the efficiency of erosional processes there. Lithologically this area is composed of granite intruded at ~303 Ma within an older polymetamorphic complex. We use macroscopic features (on ~10,000 clasts) and U-Pb dating of zircon (~500 grains) to establish the provenance of the sediment transported by the glacier and its subglacial streams. The lithology of sediment collected from the surface and the base of the glacier is compared with the distribution of bedrock sources. The analysis of this distribution takes into account the glacier's surface flow lines, the surface areas beneath temperate and cold ice above and below the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA), and the extent of the watersheds of the three subglacial meltwater stream outlets located at altitudes of 2300 m, 1760 m and 1450 m. Comparison of the proportions of granite and metamorphics in these samples indicates that (1) glacial transport does not mix the clasts derived from subglacial erosion with the clasts derived from supraglacial deposition, except in the lower part of the ice tongue where supraglacial streams and moulins transfer the supraglacial load to the base of the glacier; (2) the glacial erosion rate beneath the tongue is lower than the erosion rate in adjacent non-glaciated areas; and (3) glacial erosion beneath cold ice is at least 16 times less efficient than erosion beneath temperate ice. The low rates of subglacial erosion on the north face of the Mont-Blanc massif mean that its glaciers are protecting "the roof of Europe" from erosion. A long-term effect of this might be a rise in the maximum altitude of the Alps.

  11. Glacier fluctuations in the Southern Alps of New Zealand determined from snowline elevations

    SciTech Connect

    Chinn, T.J.H.

    1995-05-01

    Preliminary analysis of 452 determinations of end-of-summer glacier snowline altitudes (ELAs) made over 17 yr on up to 47 glaciers show good correlation with major climatic events, and conform well with fluctuations of glacier termini when reaction times are taken into consideration. With snowline altitudes used as surrogates for annual mass balance values, there is a recent trend to increased mass balances, i.e. a climate {open_quotes}cooling,{close_quotes} which follows a long period of predominantly glacial recession. Snowline trend surfaces plotted for the Southern Alps of New Zealand show considerable warping with variable departures from the steady-state equilibrium-line altitude each year. The current resurgence of the more active glaciers should continue in the near future. 39 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Debris-covered glaciers extend the lifespan of water supplies in the European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lardeux, Pierre; Glasser, Neil; Holt, Tom; Hubbard, Bryn

    2016-04-01

    Debris-covered glaciers have a slower melting rate than clean-ice glaciers due to the insulating effect of their debris layer. In the European Alps, debris-covered glaciers have received little attention due to their small contribution to sea-level rise. However, glaciers provide water supplies for the five main watersheds draining the European Alps (Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Po and Adige, in order of size), an area inhabited by more than 145 million people (20% of Europe's population). It is unclear what volume of ice (and so quantity of potential meltwater) is affected by a debris layer, and what the effect of this layer is for water resources in the Alps. Combining the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) and online imagery services, we calculated that more than 40% of ice volume in the Alps is influenced by debris cover. In this presentation, we will show the different elements leading to this number, including our evaluation of the RGI, the volume calculation method and what percentage of ice is actually covered (0.6 to 99% of glacier surface area). Our analysis has allowed a comprehensive understanding of the debris-covered glaciers in each watershed by revealing their distribution (i.e. where they will extend water supply lifespan), and hypsometry and equilibrium line altitude (how sensitive they are to climate change). The prolonged lifespan of water supply is visible at the scale of an individual debris-covered glacier: comparing the evolution of Glacier Noir and Glacier Blanc (France) over the last 150 years indicates that Glacier Noir (debris covered) has retained 2.5 times more ice than Glacier Blanc (clean-ice) under the same climatic conditions. The number of debris-covered glaciers will increase as the >1°C rise in temperature in the European Alps since the start of the 20th Century increases the instability of rock faces and scree slopes. The evolution of these glaciers is therefore likely to have a major impact on human populations. This work shows that

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Combined Ice and Water Balances of Gulkana and Wolverine Glaciers, Alaska, and South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1965 and 1966 Hydrologic Years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, Mark Frederick; Tangborn, Wendell V.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Post, Austin

    1971-01-01

    Glaciers occur in northwestern North America between lat 37 deg and 69 deg N. in two major mountain systems. The Pacific Mountain System, near the west coast, receives large amounts of precipitation, has very mild temperatures, and contains perhaps 90 percent of the glacier ice. The Rocky Mountain or Eastern System, on the other hand, receives nearly an order of magnitude less precipitation, has temperatures that range from subpolar to subtropic, and contains glaciers that are much smaller in both size and total area. As a contribution to the International Hydrological Decade program on combined balances at selected glaciers, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting studies of ice and water balance on four glaciers in the Pacific Mountain System: Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers in Alaska, South Cascade Glacier in Washington, and Maclure Glacier in California. Similar data are being collected by other organizations at five glaciers in western Canada, including two in the Rocky Mountain System, and at one glacier in the Rocky Mountain System in northern Alaska. Gulkana, Wolverine, South Cascade, and Maclure Glaciers have dissimilar mass balances, and each is fairly representative of the glaciers for its particular region. Gulkana Glacier (lat 63 deg 15' N., Alaska Range, Alaska) normally has an equilibrium line at an altitude of 1,800 m (meters), an activity index of about 6 mm/m (millimeters per meter), a winter balance of about 1.0 m, and an annual exchange of about 2.2 m. (Balance values are given in terms of water-equivalent measure; the winter balance of 1 m, for example, indicates a volume of ice equal in mass to a volume of water 1 m in depth covering the area of the glacier.) The normal approximate parameters for the other glaciers studied are as follows: Wolverine Glacier (lat 60 deg 24' N., Kenai Mountains, Alaska) - equilibrium-line altitude 1,200 m, activity index 9 mm/m, winter balance 2.5 m, and annual exchange 5.5 m; South Cascade Glacier (lat 48 deg 22

  15. Glacier fluctuation using Satellite Data in Beas basin, 1972-2006, Himachal Pradesh, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutta, Shruti; Ramanathan, A. L.; Linda, Anurag

    2012-10-01

    Glaciers are widely recognized as sensitive indicators for regional climate change. Very few studies have been conducted to investigate the long term deglaciation status in the Himalaya. In the present study, glaciers in the Beas basin, Himachal Pradesh, India were mapped by interpretation of various glacio-morphological features using the Landsat and IRS images. The mapping of 224 glaciers during the period 1972-2006 reveals that the glacier cover reduced from 419 to 371 km2, witnessing approximately 11.6% deglaciation in the Beas basin. A higher rate of retreat of the glaciers was observed during 1989-2006 as compared to the retreat during 1972-1989. Also, the loss has been more prominent in the glaciers with an areal extent of 2-5 km2. The number of glaciers increased from 224 to 236 due to fragmentation in this period. The average elevation of the ablation zone basin showed an upward shift from 3898 m (1972) to 4171 m (2006) which may be a consequence of a shift in Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) reflecting imbalance.

  16. Thoughts on some outstanding issues in the physics of equilibrium wetting and conceptual understanding of contact lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sefiane, K.

    2011-08-01

    Equilibrium wetting is a fundamental phenomenon, relevant to many scientific areas. Since the pioneering work on equilibrium wetting of Thomas Young (1805) [1], researchers strived to advance our understanding of this fundamental problem. Despite its apparent simplicity, equilibrium wetting phenomenon still holds many unanswered questions and represents a challenge to modern physicists and engineers. The relationship between quantities amenable to measurements, like macroscopic wetting contact angle, and other surface ener- gies and physical properties remains to be fully elucidated. Wetting is a physical problem which spans over two length scales, inner region ("microscopic") length scale and outer region ("macroscopic"). The three-phase contact line, where the macroscopic region meets the micro- scopic one, and underlying surface forces, represents a challenge to fully understand and model. In this paper, a brief review of the basics of wetting and existing concepts is first presented. Then two important questions are discussed in the light of the latest experimental findings: first the relevance of the continuum concept when describing interfaces near the three-phase contact line, and second the effect of adsorption on interfacial energies and its use to explain some interesting observations like the dependence of equilibrium contact angle on pressure and size of droplets. These recent observations raise some fundamental questions about how the three-phase contact line is conceptualised.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Seasonal and interannual variations in snow cover thickness, water equivalent, and gravity-induced dynamics in a high Arctic valley glacier watershed.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolle, F.; Prokop, A.; Bernard, É.; Friedt, J. M.; Griselin, M.

    2014-12-01

    For 3 consecutive years, terrestrial laser scanning surveys have been conducted in the glacier basin of Austre Lovénbreen (Svalbard, 79°N). Each year, high density point clouds were acquired on the glacier surface and on the surrounding slopes. Two yearly scanning sessions were required in order to spatialize and quantify snow cover. The first session was done late April at the expected annual snow maximum. The second session was done in August near the end of the melting season and before the first potential significant snow falls. On the glacier itself, laser scans were produced on the glacier snout, in the area close to the equilibrium line, and in the upper reaches of the glacier. Manual snow drilling measurements and glacier mass balance data were subsequently used to validate snow cover results. In the steep slopes surrounding the glacier, scans were acquired on slopes at various altitudes and orientations in order to get a representative view of different snow cover settings. Particular attention was granted to snowdrift and avalanche processes, and their consequences on remaining packed snow stored in perennial snow accumulation at the bottom of slopes. A good knowledge of the dynamics of the snow cover is of particular interest in a glacier undergoing a clear retreat. Snow is slowing the melting of the ice for part of the season, and snow is also providing what will constitute future glacier ice in the upper reaches of the basin. Snow on slopes is also of importance as avalanches reaching on the glacier can contribute to the overall mass balance. Snow cover, by keeping the slopes permafrost from thawing early in the season, or by providing liquid water affecting it later in the season, is also playing a key role in the glacier basin morphology and its interactions with the glacier body.

  19. The Moving Lines on Electron Spectra as Charge Reflexes on Non-equilibrium States of Nanostructured Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishchuk, Oleg A.

    2016-04-01

    The experimental results present the phenomenon of moving lines on electron spectra which are linked spatially and in time with the localization and durability of the processes of new surface producing in folds and grain boundaries. This effect was also realized for a thin-layer composite "organic on metal films on dielectric substrate" in modeling non-equilibrium conditions which are created by the intensive electron beam pulse impact. It was found that the nature of the inceptive adsorption layer, in addition to the metal film, determines the initial positions of moving lines on the spectra. The main accents in these investigations were in observations of appearance of the moving lines, dynamics of their displacements on the spectra, final stages when these lines vanished, and finding the general regularities between the spontaneous and induced events.

  20. The Moving Lines on Electron Spectra as Charge Reflexes on Non-equilibrium States of Nanostructured Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Mishchuk, Oleg A

    2016-12-01

    The experimental results present the phenomenon of moving lines on electron spectra which are linked spatially and in time with the localization and durability of the processes of new surface producing in folds and grain boundaries. This effect was also realized for a thin-layer composite "organic on metal films on dielectric substrate" in modeling non-equilibrium conditions which are created by the intensive electron beam pulse impact. It was found that the nature of the inceptive adsorption layer, in addition to the metal film, determines the initial positions of moving lines on the spectra. The main accents in these investigations were in observations of appearance of the moving lines, dynamics of their displacements on the spectra, final stages when these lines vanished, and finding the general regularities between the spontaneous and induced events.

  1. Sensitivity of annual mass balance gradient and Hypsometry to the changing climate: the case of Dokriani Glacier, central Himalaya, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratap, B.

    2015-12-01

    The glacier mass balance is undelayed, unfiltered and direct method to assess the impact of climate change on the glaciers. Many studies suggest that some of the Himalayan glaciers have lost their mass at an increased rate during the past few decades. Furthermore, the mass balance gradient and hypsometric analysis are important to understand the glacier response towards climatic perturbations. Our long term in-situ monitoring on the Dokriani Glacier provides great insights to understand the variability in central Himalayan glaciers. We report the relationship between glacier hypsometry and annual mass balance gradient (12 years) to understand the glacier's response towards climate change. Dokriani Glacier in the Bhagirathi basin is a small (7 km2) NNW exposed glacier in the western part of central Himalaya, India. The study analysed the annual balance, mass balance gradient and length changes observed during first decade of 21st century (2007-2013) and compare with the previous observations of 1990s (1992-2000). A large spatial variability in the mass balance gradients of two different periods has been observed. The equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) was fluctuated between 5000 and 5100 m a.s.l. and the derived time averaged ELA (ELAn) and balance budget ELA (ELA0) were 5075 and 4965 m a.s.l respectively during 1992-2013. The observed time-averaged accumulation-area ratio (AARn) and balance budget AAR (AAR0) were 0.67 and 0.72 respectively during 1992-2013. The higher value of AAR comprises due to flat and broader accumulation area (4.50 km2) of the glacier. Although, having larger accumulation area, the glacier has faced strong mass wasting with average annual ablation of -1.82 m w.e. a-1 in the ablation zone as compare to residual average annual accumulation of 0.41 m w.e. a-1. Based on the annual mass balance series (12 years) Dokriani Glacier has continuous negative annual balances with monotonically negative cumulative mass loss of -3.86 m w.e with the average

  2. Climate change impacts on glaciers and runoff in Tien Shan (Central Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorg, A. F.; Bolch, T.; Stoffel, M.; Solomina, O.; Beniston, M.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-driven changes in glacier-fed streamflow regimes have direct implications on freshwater supply, irrigation and hydropower potential. Reliable information about current and future glaciation and runoff is crucial for water allocation and, hence, for social and ecological stability. Although the impacts of climate change on glaciation and runoff have been addressed in previous work undertaken in the Tien Shan (known as the 'water tower of Central Asia'), a coherent, regional perspective of these findings has not been presented until now. In our study, we explore the range of changes in glaciation in different climatic regions of the Tien Shan based on existing data. We show that the majority of Tien Shan glaciers experienced accelerated glacier wasting since the mid-1970s and that glacier shrinkage is most pronounced in peripheral, lower-elevation ranges near the densely populated forelands, where summers are dry and where snow and glacial meltwater is essential for water availability. The annual glacier area shrinkage rates since the middle of the twentieth century are 0.38-0.76% per year in the outer ranges, 0.15-0.40% per year in the inner ranges and 0.05-0.31% per year in the eastern ranges. This regionally non-uniform response to climate change implies that glacier shrinkage is less severe in the continental inner ranges than in the more humid outer ranges. Glaciers in the inner ranges react with larger time lags to climate change, because accumulation and thus mass turnover of the mainly cold glaciers are relatively small. Moreover, shrinkage is especially pronounced on small or fragmented glaciers, which are widely represented in the outer regions. The relative insensitivity of glaciers in the inner ranges is further accentuated by the higher average altitude, as the equilibrium line altitude ranges from 3'500 to 3'600 masl in the outer ranges to 4'400 masl in the inner ranges. For our study, we used glacier change assessments based both on direct data

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

    PubMed

    Ambach, E; Tributsch, W; Henn, R

    1991-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. Investigation of thermodynamic equilibrium in laser-induced aluminum plasma using the Hα line profiles and Thomson scattering spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvejić, M.; DzierŻega, K.; Pieta, T.

    2015-07-01

    We have studied isothermal equilibrium in the laser-induced plasma from aluminum pellets in argon at pressure of 200 mbar by using a method which combines the standard laser Thomson scattering and analysis of the Hα, Stark-broadened, line profiles. Plasma was created using 4.5 ns, 4 mJ pulses from a Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm. While electron density and temperature were determined from the electron feature of Thomson scattering spectra, the heavy particle temperature was obtained from the Hα full profile applying computer simulation including ion-dynamical effects. We have found strong imbalance between these two temperatures during entire plasma evolution which indicates its non-isothermal character. At the same time, according to the McWhirter criterion, the electron density was high enough to establish plasma in local thermodynamic equilibrium.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. Equilibrium Line Altitudes and paleotemperature reconstructions from Nevado Hualcán (9°S) and Nevado Coropuna (15°S), Tropical Andes (Peru).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Úbeda, J.; Giráldez, C.; Palacios, D.

    2012-04-01

    system which in 13-1136Cl ka had a surface of >400 km2 (Ubeda, 2011). Glasser, N.F., Clemmens, S., Schnabel, C., Fenton, C.R. and McHargue, L., 2009. Tropical glacier fluctuations in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru between 12.5 and 7.6 ka from cosmogenic 10Be dating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28: 3448-3458. IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K and Reisinger, A. (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 104 pp. Kaser, G. and Osmaston, H., 2002. Tropical Glaciers. International Hydrology Series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (U.K.), 207 pp. Osmaston, H., 2005. Estimates of glacier equilibrium line altitudes by the Area x Altitude, the Area x Altitude Balance Ratio and the Area x Altitude Balance Index methods and their validation. Quaternary International, 22-31: 138-139. Úbeda, J., 2011. El impacto del cambio climático en los glaciares del complejo volcánico Nevado Coropuna (cordillera occidental de los Andes, Sur del Perú). PhD Thesis. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, (Spain), 558 pp. Available online: http://eprints.ucm.es/12076/ Research funded by CGL2009-7343 project, Government of Spain.

  9. 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.

  10. Spectral mixture analysis of Landsat thematic mapper images applied to the detection of the transient snowline on tropical Andean glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Andrew G.; Isacks, Bryan L.

    1999-10-01

    The tropical glaciers in the central Andes are sensitive indicators of climatic variability. They are an important water resource, but are presently in a state of rapid retreat. Spectral mixture analysis using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images was used to identify the ablation and accumulation zones and the transient snowline at two tropical sites: Zongo Glacier in the Cordillera Real, Bolivia, and the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. Delineation of the accumulation and ablation zones is relatively insensitive to the endmembers selected to represent each zone. Endmembers selected from Zongo Glacier were successfully used to delineate accumulation and ablation zones on the Quelccaya Ice Cap. Spectral mixture analysis was found to be superior to a single band image or the TM4/TM5 ratio in discriminating the accumulation and ablation zones on these small tropical glaciers. The altitude of the transient snowline identified on Zongo Glacier at the end of the ablation season is consistent with the altitude of the equilibrium line determined from mass balance studies. This suggests that in the tropics, as in mid-latitudes, the highest altitude reached by the transient snowline during a hydrological year can be used as a proxy for the altitude of the equilibrium line.

  11. Calculation and visualisation of future glacier extent in the Swiss Alps by means of hypsographic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, F.; Maisch, M.; Rothenbühler, C.; Hoelzle, M.; Haeberli, W.

    2007-02-01

    The observed rapid glacier wastage in the European Alps during the past 20 years already has strong impacts on the natural environment (rock fall, lake formation) as well as on human activities (tourism, hydro-power production, etc.) and poses several new challenges also for glacier monitoring. With a further increase of global mean temperature in the future, it is likely that Alpine glaciers and the high-mountain environment as an entire system will further develop into a state of imbalance. Hence, the assessment of future glacier geometries is a valuable prerequisite for various impact studies. In order to calculate and visualize in a consistent manner future glacier extent for a large number of individual glaciers (> 100) according to a given climate change scenario, we have developed an automated and simple but robust approach that is based on an empirical relationship between glacier size and the steady-state accumulation area ratio (AAR 0) in the Alps. The model requires digital glacier outlines and a digital elevation model (DEM) only and calculates new glacier geometries from a given shift of the steady-state equilibrium line altitude (ELA 0) by means of hypsographic modelling. We have calculated changes in number, area and volume for 3062 individual glacier units in Switzerland and applied six step changes in ELA 0 (from + 100 to + 600 m) combined with four different values of the AAR 0 (0.5, 0.6, 0.67, 0.75). For an AAR 0 of 0.6 and an ELA 0 rise of 200 m (400 m) we calculate a total area loss of - 54% (- 80%) and a corresponding volume loss of - 50% (- 78%) compared to the 1973 glacier extent. In combination with a geocoded satellite image, the future glacier outlines are also used for automated rendering of perspective visualisations. This is a very attractive tool for communicating research results to the general public. Our study is illustrated for a test site in the Upper Engadine (Switzerland), where landscape changes above timberline play an

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Surges of outlet glaciers from the Drangajökull ice cap, northwest Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brynjólfsson, Skafti; Schomacker, Anders; Korsgaard, Niels J.; Ingólfsson, Ólafur

    2016-09-01

    Surface elevation and volume changes of the Drangajökull surge-type glaciers, Reykjarfjarðarjökull and Leirufjarðarjökull, were studied by comparing digital elevation models that pre-date and post-date their most recent surges. Annual glacier-frontal measurements were used to estimate average ice velocities during the last surge of the glaciers. The observations show a distinct ice discharge, most of which was from the upper reservoir areas, down to the receiving areas during the surges. The surface draw-down in the reservoir areas was usually 10-30 m during the surges, while the thickening of the receiving areas was significantly more variable, on the order of 10-120 m. Despite a negative geodetic net mass balance derived from the digital elevation models, the reservoir areas have been gaining mass since the surge terminations. This surface thickening along with considerable ablation of the receiving areas will most likely return the glacier surface profiles to the pre-surge stage. Our results indicate that (a) greatest surface thinning in the upper reservoir areas of Drangajökull rather than proximal to the equilibrium line during Vatnajökull surges and (b) development of Drangajökull surges that resembles Svalbard surge-type glaciers rather than Vatnajökull surge-type glaciers. The contrasting surge characteristics could be explained by differences in glacier geometry, topography and substratum of the Drangajökull and Vatnajökull surge-type glaciers.

  14. A non-local thermodynamic equilibrium, line-blanketed synthetic spectrum of Iota Herculis - C, Al, and Si lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grigsby, James A.

    1991-01-01

    A non-LTE line-blanketed model stellar atmosphere is used to compute a model of I Herculis (B3 IV) with a Teff of 17,500 K and a log g of 3.75, following the conclusions of Peters and Polidan (1985). Detailed profiles of a number of lines of C, Al, and Si in the 1200-2000-A region are computed, including the resonance lines of C II, Al II, and Al III. These profiles are compared to observations obtained from the coaddition of eight IUE SWP images, using a technique developed by Leckrone and Adelman (1989). Comparison of carbon lines with a model that is underabundant in carbon by a factor of 2 relative to the sun indicates that the C abundance of Iota Her is at most one-half solar. Non-LTE effects are examined by comparing an LTE model possessing identical atmospheric parameters with the non-LTE model. Substantial differences in the populations of the model atomic states are found, but differences in the temperature structure of the two models often mask the non-LTE effects in the synthetic spectra.

  15. Fluctuating snow line altitudes in the Hunza basin (Karakoram) using Landsat OLI imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racoviteanu, Adina; Rittger, Karl; Brodzik, Mary J.; Painter, Thomas H.; Armstrong, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Snowline altitudes (SLAs) on glacier surfaces are needed for separating snow and ice as input for melt models. When measured at the end of the ablation season, SLAs are used for inferring stable-state glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs). Direct measurements of snowlines are rarely possible particularly in remote, high altitude glacierized terrain, but remote sensing data can be used to separate these snow and ice surfaces. Snow lines are commonly visible on optical satellite images acquired at the end of the ablation season if the images are contrasted enough, and are manually digitized on screen using various satellite band combinations for visual interpretation, which is a time-consuming, subjective process. Here we use Landsat OLI imagery at 30 m resolution to estimate glacier SLAs for a subset of the Hunza basin in the Upper Indus in the Karakoram. Clean glacier ice surfaces are delineated using a standardized semi-automated band ratio algorithm with image segmentation. Within the glacier surface, snow and ice are separated using supervised classification schemes based on regions of interest, and glacier SLAs are extracted on the basis of these areas. SLAs are compared with estimates from a new automated method that relies on fractional snow covered area rather than on band ratio algorithms for delineating clean glacier ice surfaces, and on grain size (instead of supervised classification) for separating snow from glacier ice on the glacier surface. The two methods produce comparable snow/ice outputs. The fSCA-derived glacierized areas are slightly larger than the band ratio estimates. Some of the additional area is the result of better detection in shadows from spectral mixture analysis (true positive) while the rest is shallow water, which is spectrally similar to snow/ice (false positive). On the glacier surface, a thresholding the snow grain size image (grain size > 500μm) results in similar glacier ice areas derived from the supervised

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Fluid structure in the immediate vicinity of an equilibrium contact line from first principles and assessment of disjoining pressure models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nold, Andreas; Sibley, David N.; Goddard, Benjamin D.; Kalliadasis, Serafim

    2014-11-01

    Predicting the fluid structure at a three-phase contact line of macroscopic drops is of interest from a fundamental fluid dynamics point of view. However, exact computations for very small scales are prohibitive. As a consequence, coarse-grained quantities such as interface height and disjoining pressure profiles are used to model the interface shape. Here, we evaluate such coarse-grained models within a rigorous and self-consistent framework based on statistical mechanics, in particular with a Density Functional Theory (DFT) approach. We examine the nanoscale behavior of an equilibrium three-phase contact line in the presence of long-ranged intermolecular forces by employing DFT together with fundamental measure theory. Our analysis also enables us to evaluate the predictive quality of effective Hamiltonian models in the vicinity of the contact line. We compare the results for mean field effective Hamiltonians with disjoining pressures defined through the adsorption isotherm for a planar liquid film, and the normal force balance at the contact line [Phys. Fluids, 26, 072001, 2014]. Results are given for a variety of contact angles. An accurate description of the small-scale behavior of a three-phase conjunction is a prerequisite to understanding dynamic wetting phenomena.

  19. Estimating Glacier Retreat through Satellite Based Observation In the Beas Basin, Himachal Pradesh, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutta, Shruti; Ramanathan, Al.; Linda, Anurag

    2010-05-01

    Glaciers are now well recognized as the most reliable indicators of climate (IPCC, 2007), more particularly in the regions where there is an acute paucity in the availability of meteorological database. Subsequently it can be said that monitoring the glaciers is important to assess the overall reservoir health (Kulkarni et al., 2007). Almost negligible studies have been conducted to investigate the deglaciation status in the Indian Himalaya. A change detection analysis of the areal cover of glaciers in the Beas basin, India with the aid of remote sensing techniques in the present study concludes that the Beas basin has witnessed a loss of about 22.49 km2in the last four decades which is about 22% of the area. Another major aspect of this study is the noticeable retreat of the glaciers in the period 1972-1989. The glaciers in the Beas basin show larger area loss in this period as compared to the loss in area during the 1990s and later. Thus, it can be said that in spite of the alarming scenario of a continued recession of the glaciated terrain in the Beas basin, the pace of retreat has been observed to slow down after the 1990s. The loss has been more significant in the glaciers comprising of the area of 2-5 km2range as compared to the other categories. Glaciers in the area range more than 5 km2and less than 2 km2show less variation reflecting not much of significant loss. The total number of glaciers increased in the period of last four decades although not very significantly, indicating fragmentation. The glaciers in the range 0.5-2 km2 show a higher tendency towards fragmentation. The average elevation of the glaciers in the basin underwent an upward shift from 4565 m in the year 1972 to 4629 m in the year 2006 which is a reason for concern. The gradual upward shifting of contours over a period of almost four decades can be a consequence of a shift in Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) which has been constantly moving upwards showing a retreat of glaciers in the

  20. Stark broadening for diagnostics of the electron density in non-equilibrium plasma utilizing isotope hydrogen alpha lines

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Lin; Tan, Xiaohua; Wan, Xiang; Chen, Lei; Jin, Dazhi; Qian, Muyang; Li, Gongping

    2014-04-28

    Two Stark broadening parameters including FWHM (full width at half maximum) and FWHA (full width at half area) of isotope hydrogen alpha lines are simultaneously introduced to determine the electron density of a pulsed vacuum arc jet. To estimate the gas temperature, the rotational temperature of the C{sub 2} Swan system is fit to 2500 ± 100 K. A modified Boltzmann-plot method with b{sub i}-factor is introduced to determine the modified electron temperature. The comparison between results of atomic and ionic lines indicates the jet is in partial local thermodynamic equilibrium and the electron temperature is close to 13 000 ± 400 K. Based on the computational results of Gig-Card calculation, a simple and precise interpolation algorithm for the discrete-points tables can be constructed to obtain the traditional n{sub e}-T{sub e} diagnostic maps of two Stark broadening parameters. The results from FWHA formula by the direct use of FWHM = FWHA and these from the diagnostic map are different. It can be attributed to the imprecise FWHA formula form and the deviation between FWHM and FWHA. The variation of the reduced mass pair due to the non-equilibrium effect contributes to the difference of the results derived from two hydrogen isotope alpha lines. Based on the Stark broadening analysis in this work, a corrected method is set up to determine n{sub e} of (1.10 ± 0.08) × 10{sup 21} m{sup −3}, the reference reduced mass μ{sub 0} pair of (3.30 ± 0.82 and 1.65 ± 0.41), and the ion kinetic temperature of 7900 ± 1800 K.

  1. Four years of mass balance on Chhota Shigri Glacier, Himachal Pradesh, India, a new benchmark glacier in the western Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagnon, Patrick; Linda, Anurag; Arnaud, Yves; Kumar, Rajesh; Sharma, Parmanand; Vincent, Christian; Pottakkal, Jose George; Berthier, Etienne; Ramanathan, Alagappan; Hasnain, Syed Iqbal; Chevallier, Pierre

    Little is known about the Himalayan glaciers, although they are of particular interest in terms of future water supply, regional climate change and sea-level rise. In 2002, a long-term monitoring programme was started on Chhota Shigri Glacier (32.2°N, 77.5°E; 15.7 km2, 6263-4050 m a.s.l., 9 km long) located in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. This glacier lies in the monsoon-arid transition zone (western Himalaya) which is alternately influenced by Asian monsoon in summer and the mid-latitude westerlies in winter. Here we present the results of a 4 year study of mass balance and surface velocity. Overall specific mass balances are mostly negative during the study period and vary from a minimum value of -1.4 m w.e. in 2002/03 and 2005/06 (equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) ˜5180 m a.s.l.) to a maximum value of +0.1 m w.e. in 2004/05 (ELA 4855 m a.s.l.). Chhota Shigri Glacier seems similar to mid-latitude glaciers, with an ablation season limited to the summer months and a mean vertical gradient of mass balance in the ablation zone (debris-free part) of 0.7 m w.e. (100 m)-1, similar to those reported in the Alps. Mass balance is strongly dependent on debris cover, exposure and the shading effect of surrounding steep slopes.

  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

    have longer and deeper fjords than the west-side glaciers. These distinct differences between the glaciers of the west and east side of the AP exert a primary control on the differing ice-ocean interactions, grounding-line retreat, and subglacial erosion rates, and provide context to understand rates of nAP ice mass loss.

  3. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    is visible as an off-vertical dark line in the MISR nadir view. In the multi-angle composite, the crack and other stress fractures show up very clearly in bright orange. Radar observations of Pine Island Glacier in the 1990's showed the glacier to be shrinking, and the newly discovered crack is expected to eventually lead to the calving of a major iceberg.

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

  4. Estimation of glacier mass balance: An approach based on satellite-derived transient snowlines and a temperature index driven by meteorological observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawde, S. A.; Kulkarni, A. V.; Bala, G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Himalaya, large area is comprised of glaciers and seasonal snow, mainly due to its high elevated mountain ranges. Long term and continuous assessment of glaciers in this region is important for climatological and hydrological applications. However, rugged terrains and severe weather conditions in the Himalaya lead to paucity in field observations. Therefore, in recent decades, glacier dynamics are extensively monitored using remote sensing in inaccessible terrain like Himalaya. Estimation of glacier mass balance using empirical relationship between mass balance and area accumulation ratio (AAR) requires an accurate estimate of equilibrium-line altitude (ELA). ELA is defined as the snowline at the end of the hydrological year. However, identification of ELA, using remote sensing is difficult because of temporal gaps, cloud cover and intermediate snowfall on glaciers. This leads to large uncertainty in glacier mass-balance estimates by the conventional AAR method that uses satellite-derived highest snowline in ablation season as an ELA. The present study suggests a new approach to improve estimates of ELA location. First, positions of modelled snowlines are optimized using satellite-derived snowlines in the early melt season. Secondly, ELA at the end of the glaciological year is estimated by the melt and accumulation models driven using in situ temperature and precipitation records. From the modelled ELA, mass balance is estimated using the empirical relationship between AAR and mass balance. The modelled mass balance is validated using field measurements on Chhota Shigri and Hamtah glaciers, Himachal Pradesh, India. The new approach shows a substantial improvement in glacier mass-balance estimation, reducing bias by 46% and 108% for Chhota Shigiri and Hamtah glaciers respectively. The cumulative mass loss reconstructed from our approach is 0.85 Gt for nine glaciers in the Chandra basin from 2001 to 2009. The result of the present study is in agreement with

  5. Diagnosing the imbalance of Yanamarey Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastenrath, Stefan; Ames, Alcides

    1995-03-01

    A detailed glaciological observation program was conducted on the Yanamarey Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, including the monitoring of net balance and ice flow velocity during 1977-1988 and mappings of the surface topography in 1973, 1982, and 1988. These observations are here evaluated to combine net balance, surface lowering, and ice flow into a consistent picture of the mode of operation of a tropical glacier on the scale of a decade. The glacier extends between 5100 and 4500 m with a total area of 9×105 m2 and length of about 1.3 km. Maximum flow velocity is 17.4 m yr-1 and maximum volume flux 336×103 m3 yr-1. In the ablation area, net balance is about -6 m yr-1 and surface lowering 3 m yr-1. About half of the mean annual water discharge from the glacier of 80 L s-1 is not renewed by precipitation but supplied by the ice thinning. The rate of surface lowering of 1.5 m yr-1 liquid water equivalent translates to a glacier average departure heat supply for melting of 16 W m-2. Sensitivity analyses indicate that this could be produced by a cloudiness increase of less than one tenth, an air temperature decrease of 2°C, an increment in specific humidity of less than 1 g kg-1, or some combination of heat budget processes. Such changes in the atmospheric environment would be required to stabilize the glacier at its recent volume. As another indication of the recent imbalance, the maximum volume flux is found some 100 m below the equilibrium line altitude. Under continuation of the recent climatic conditions, the glacier may survive for more than half a century.

  6. Glacier-derived climate for the Younger Dryas in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellitero, Ramon; Rea, Brice R.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Hughes, Philip; Braithwaite, Roger; Renssen, Hans; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Ribolini, Adriano; Bakke, Jostein; Lukas, Sven

    2016-04-01

    We have reconstructed and calculated the glacier equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) for 120 Younger Dryas palaeoglaciers from Morocco in the south to Svalbard in the north and from Ireland in the west to Turkey in the east. The chronology of these landform were checked and, when derived from cosmogenic dates, these were recalculated based on newer production rates. Frontal moraines/limits for the palaeoglaciers were used to reconstruct palaeoglacier extent by using a GIS tool which implements a discretised solution for the assumption of perfect-plasticity ice rheology for a single flowline and extents this out to a 3D ice surface. From the resulting equilibrium profile, palaeoglaciers palaeo-ELAs were calculated using another GIS tool. Where several glaciers were reconstructed in a region, a single ELA value was generated following the methodology of Osmaston (2005). In order to utilise these ELAs for quantitative palaeo-precipitation reconstructions an independent regional temperature analysis was undertaken. A database of 121 sites was compiled where the temperature was determined from palaeoproxies other than glaciers (e.g. pollen, diatoms, choleoptera, chironimids…) in both terrestrial and offshore environments. These proxy data provides estimates of average annual, summer and winter temperatures. These data were merged and interpolated to generate maps of average temperature for the warmest and coldest months and annual average temperature. From these maps the temperature at the ELA was obtained using a lapse rate of 0.65°C/100m. Using the ELA temperature range and summer maximum in a degree-day model allows determination of the potential melt which can be taken as equivalent to precipitation given the assumption a glacier is in equilibrium with climate. Results show that during the coldest part of the Younger Dryas precipitation was high in the British Isles, the NW of the Iberian Peninsula and the Vosges. There is a general trend for declining precipitation

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. SAR investigations of glaciers in northwestern North America

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lingle, Craig S.; Harrison, William D.

    1995-01-01

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

  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. Line-by-line radiative excitation model for the non-equilibrium atmosphere: Application to CO[sub 2] 15-[mu]m emission

    SciTech Connect

    Wintersteiner, P.P. ); Picard, R.H.; Sharma, R.D.; Winick, J.R. )

    1992-11-20

    We describe a new line-by-line (LBL) algorithm for radiative excitation in infrared bands in a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) planetary atmosphere. Specifically, we present a predictive model for the terrestrial CO[sub 2] 15[mu]m emission that incorporates this generic algorithm, and validate the model by comparing its results with emission spectra obtained in a limb-scanning rocket experiment. The unique features of the reactive-excitation algorithm are discussed in this paper. These features contribute to accurate radiative transfer results and reliable atmospheric cooling rates. For altitudes above 40 km, we present results of model calculations of CO[sub 2]([nu][sub 2]) vibrational temperatures, 15-[mu]m limb spectral radiances, and cooling rates, for the main band and for weaker hot and isotopic bands. We calculate the excitation and deexcitation rates due to different processes. We compare the predicted limb radiance with earthlimb spectral scans obtained in the SPIRE rocket experiment over Poker Flat, Alaska, and get excellent agreement as a function of both wavelength and tangent height. This constitutes the first validation of a long-wavelength CO[sub 2] non-LTE emission model using an actual atmospheric data set and verifies the existence of certain aeronomic features that have only been predicted by models and constrains the previously unknown value of the very important rate constant for deactivation of the CO[sub 2] bending mode by atomic oxygen to the range of 5-6 [times] 10[sup [minus]12] cm[sup 3]/(mol s) at mesospheric and lower thermospheric temperatures. We discuss the significance of this large value for terrestrial and Venusian thermospheres and the convergence rate of the iterative scheme, the model's sensitivity to the background atmosphere, the importance of the lower boundary surface contribution, and the effects of the choice of the layer thickness and the neglect of line overlap. 86 refs., 20 figs., 5 tabs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Recent glacier variations on active ice capped volcanoes in the Southern Volcanic Zone (37°-46°S), Chilean Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, Andrés; Bown, Francisca

    2013-08-01

    Glaciers in the southern province of the Southern Volcanic Zone (SVZ) of Chile (37-46°S) have experienced significant frontal retreats and area losses in recent decades which have been primarily triggered by tropospheric warming and precipitation decrease. The resulting altitudinal increase of the Equilibrium Line Altitude or ELA of glaciers has lead to varied responses to climate, although the predominant volcanic stratocone morphologies prevent drastic changes in their Accumulation Area Ratios or AAR. Superimposed on climate changes however, glacier variations have been influenced by frequent eruptive activity. Explosive eruptions of ice capped volcanoes have the strongest potential to destroy glaciers, with the most intense activity in historical times being recorded at Nevados de Chillán, Villarrica and Hudson. The total glacier area located on top of the 26 active volcanoes in the study area is ca. 500 km2. Glacier areal reductions ranged from a minimum of -0.07 km2 a -1 at Mentolat, a volcano with one of the smallest ice caps, up to a maximum of -1.16 km2 a -1 at Volcán Hudson. Extreme and contrasting glacier-volcano interactions are summarised with the cases ranging from the abnormal ice frontal advances at Michinmahuida, following the Chaitén eruption in 2008, to the rapid melting of the Hudson intracaldera ice following its plinian eruption of 1991. The net effect of climate changes and volcanic activity are negative mass balances, ice thinning and glacier area shrinkage. This paper summarizes the glacier changes on selected volcanoes within the region, and discusses climatic versus volcanic induced changes. This is crucial in a volcanic country like Chile due to the hazards imposed by lahars and other volcanic processes.

  15. Terrestrial Laser Scanning as a Tool to Evaluate the Quality of Interpolated Ablation Stakes Data and the Uncertainty of an Arctic Glacier Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolle, F.; Prokop, A.; Bernard, É.; Friedt, J. M.; Griselin, M.

    2015-12-01

    A network of ablation stakes has been maintained on the Austre Lovén glacier (Svalbard) over the last 8 years. Data collected thanks to this in-situ equipment served as a basis to obtain annual mass balance values. Interpolation methods were used to generalize the values measured at the stakes to the entire surface of the glacier (4.5km²). This allows for a precise quantification of the glacier's dynamics including areas where data are not easy to collect directly on the field such as the glacier snout or steep accumulation zones. Over the last 4 years, repeat terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) surveys have been undertaken twice a year. Scans were acquired at the end of the expected annual snow maximum (April) and near the end of the melting season (August). Even though these scans do not cover the entire glacier, they yield high density point clouds of the glacier surface in crucial areas. The glacier terminus, the equilibrium line area and accumulation cirques were among the zones specifically scanned. The comparison of mass balance results derived from ablation stakes data and digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from TLS measurements allowed for an assessment of the quality and uncertainty of these methods. Local variability proves higher than initially expected, especially in key areas of the glacier having the greatest impact on the global balance. Even though the Austre Lovén glacier displays a seemingly smooth and homogeneous surface, local variations have to be taken into consideration. The potential consequences of this variability on the annual mass balance will be explored.

  16. Global Trends in Glacial Cirque Floor Altitudes and Their Relationships with Climate, Equilibrium Line Altitudes, and Mountain Range Heights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, S. G.; Humphries, E.

    2013-12-01

    Glacial erosion at the base of cirque headwalls and the creation of threshold slopes above cirque floors may contribute to the 'glacial buzzsaw' effect in limiting the altitude of some mountain ranges. Since glacial extent and therefore glacial erosion rate depends on the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of a region, the altitude of cirque formation should be a function of the ELA. Several regional studies have shown that cirque floors form at an altitude approximating average Quaternary ELAs in some mountain ranges, but a global correlation has not yet been demonstrated. We examined the correlation between cirque altitudes and global ELA trends by compiling existing and new cirque altitude and morphometry data from > 30 mountain ranges at a wide range of latitudes. Where available, we calculate or present the average cirque altitude, relief, and latitude. We compared these altitudes to both the global East Pacific ELA and local ELAs where available. For the locations analyzed, the majority of average cirque altitudes fall between the Eastern Pacific modern and LGM ELAs, and mountain range height is typically limited to < 600 m above that altitude. This evidence supports the hypothesis that cirque formation is dependent upon the ELA, and that cirques likely form as a result of average, rather than extreme, glacial conditions. Furthermore, the correlation between cirque altitude and ELA, along with the restricted window of relief, implies that cirque formation is a factor in limiting peak altitude in ranges that rise above the ELA.

  17. Detailed Reconstructions of Fluctuations of Seven Glaciers during the "little Ice Age" in the Northern Caucasus, Russian Federation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bushueva, I.

    2012-12-01

    The main task of this work is the development of detailed reconstructions of mountain glaciers' fluctuations with precise spatial references in the Northern Caucasus, their analyses in terms of glacier length, area and volume changes and identification of climate role in these fluctuations. The studied glaciers (Alibek, Ullukam, Terskol, Kashkatash, Bezingi, Mijirgi, Tsey) are situated along the Bolshoy Caucasus Range from the very west (Teberda river basin) to the east (Tseydon river basin). These valley glaciers have different size, aspect and percent of debris-cover. Basing on instrumental data (since the middle of 20th century), remote sensing images (CORONA, Geoeye, Cartosat, IRS, ASTER, etc.), aerial photos of 1950s-1980s, maps (since 1887), old photographs, as well as proxy data (historical descriptions, lichenometry, dendrochronology, 14C, 10Be), we reconstructed 15-20 positions of the glaciers tongues for each glacier and produced maps showing variations of the glaciers with precise spatial reference since their maximum in the mid 17th or first half of 19th century. For example, for Alibek glacier seven former front positions and eleven moraines were photo-identified and dated. We obtained the carbon dating of intermorainal peat-bog (103%), moraine dating based on isotopes of 10Be (1900±12) and determined minimum age of most distant moraine according to dendrochronological analysis of trees (Abies nordmanniana), growing on its surface (more than 200 years). At that time (1895) the glacier was 290 m longer than today, its surface was 0.31 km2 larger (5.94 km2 in 1895, 5.63 km2 in 2008). We calculated glaciers' length and area changes, using different methods (GLIMS; Bhambri et al., 2012) and analyzed advantages and disadvantages of each method in case of their application for Caucasian glaciers. Based on our measurements we evaluated changes of equilibrium line altitude and volume. Volume changes have been reconstructed using the model offered by Lüthi et

  18. 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

  19. A GRASS GIS module to obtain an estimation of glacier behavior under climate change: A pilot study on Italian glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strigaro, Daniele; Moretti, Massimiliano; Mattavelli, Matteo; Frigerio, Ivan; Amicis, Mattia De; Maggi, Valter

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this work is to integrate the Minimal Glacier Model in a Geographic Information System Python module in order to obtain spatial simulations of glacier retreat and to assess the future scenarios with a spatial representation. The Minimal Glacier Models are a simple yet effective way of estimating glacier response to climate fluctuations. This module can be useful for the scientific and glaciological community in order to evaluate glacier behavior, driven by climate forcing. The module, called r.glacio.model, is developed in a GRASS GIS (GRASS Development Team, 2016) environment using Python programming language combined with different libraries as GDAL, OGR, CSV, math, etc. The module is applied and validated on the Rutor glacier, a glacier in the south-western region of the Italian Alps. This glacier is very large in size and features rather regular and lively dynamics. The simulation is calibrated by reconstructing the 3-dimensional dynamics flow line and analyzing the difference between the simulated flow line length variations and the observed glacier fronts coming from ortophotos and DEMs. These simulations are driven by the past mass balance record. Afterwards, the future assessment is estimated by using climatic drivers provided by a set of General Circulation Models participating in the Climate Model Inter-comparison Project 5 effort. The approach devised in r.glacio.model can be applied to most alpine glaciers to obtain a first-order spatial representation of glacier behavior under climate change.

  20. Ablation from calving and surface melt at lake-terminating Bridge Glacier, British Columbia, 1984-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernos, M.; Koppes, M.; Moore, R. D.

    2016-01-01

    Bridge Glacier is a lake-calving glacier in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia and has retreated over 3.55 km since 1972. The majority of this retreat has occurred since 1991. This retreat is substantially greater than what has been inferred from regional climate indices, suggesting that it has been driven primarily by calving as the glacier retreated across an overdeepened basin. In order to better understand the primary drivers of ablation, surface melt (below the equilibrium line altitude, ELA) and calving were quantified during the 2013 melt season using a distributed energy balance model (DEBM) and time-lapse imagery. Calving, estimated using areal change, velocity measurements, and assuming flotation were responsible for 23 % of the glacier's ablation below the ELA during the 2013 melt season and were limited by modest flow speeds and a small terminus cross-section. Calving and surface melt estimates from 1984 to 2013 suggest that calving was consistently a smaller contributor of ablation. Although calving was estimated to be responsible for up to 49 % of the glacier's ablation for individual seasons, averaged over multiple summers it accounted between 10 and 25 %. Calving was enhanced primarily by buoyancy and water depths, and fluxes were greatest between 2005 and 2010 as the glacier retreated over the deepest part of Bridge Lake. The recent rapid rate of calving is part of a transient stage in the glacier's retreat and is expected to diminish within 10 years as the terminus recedes into shallower water at the proximal end of the lake. These findings are in line with observations from other lake-calving glacier studies across the globe and suggest a common large-scale pattern in calving-induced retreat in lake-terminating alpine glaciers. Despite enhancing glacial retreat, calving remains a relatively small component of ablation and is expected to decrease in importance in the future. Hence, surface melt remains the primary driver of ablation at Bridge

  1. Long-term mass- and energy balance of Kongsvegen glacier, Spitzbergen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krismer, Thomas; Obleitner, Friedrich; Kohler, Jack

    2010-05-01

    We present meteorological and glaciological data from the equilibrium line (ELA) of Kongsvegen glacier (550masl) in Svalbard, covering the period 2000 until 2008. Mean annual air temperatures for the period range from -6.9 to -10.1°C and specific net annual mass balances range from -670 to +281 mm w eq. During some years substantial superimposed ice was formed and even survived the summer. The meteorological data were homogenized and used for input and validation of mass- and energy-balance simulations. The meteorological regime at the ELA is characterized by a coreless winter and summer temperatures around 0°C. Wind conditions are largely determined by katabatic winds and topgraphically channeled upper-air winds. Net short-wave radiation is determined by cloudiness during the polar day and by the seasonal evolution of glacier surface albedo. Long-wave radiation fluxes withdraw energy throughout the year and the mean annual net radiation is almost negligible. The turbulent sensible heat fluxes constitute a comparatively strong and continuous source of energy. The latent heat flux is characterized by prevailing condensation during winter and evaporation during summer. On average, however, the turbulent fluxes provide only a small amount of heat to the glacier. Most of the energy available from the atmosphere is used for summer melt and a small amount goes into heating the near surface ice layers. Similar investigations were performed at the tongue of the glacier (170masl) for a shorter period. Here the conditions are characterized by enhanced input from the atmospheric fluxes and correspondingly increased melt rates. In addition, accumulation is usually small (>50 cm snow) and melt can also occur during winter. We then investigate whether spatially distributed mass balance can be simulated using data measured outside of the glacier. Regression models were developed to derive model input from climate data measured at a nearby research station. These models are

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    The 4000 km2 Northern Patagonian Icefield (NPI), 13,000 km2 Southern Patagonian Icefield (SPI) and the 2500 km2 Cordillera Darwin Icefields (CDI) form the main ice bodies of the Patagonian Icefields of South America. Analysis of satellite imagery, derived digital elevation models (DEMs) and spaceborne laser altimetry confirm that each of the icefields is currently losing mass. The NPI lost mass at a rate of 3.40±0.07 Gt/yr between 2001 and 2011, equivalent to 0.009±0.0002 mm/yr of sea level rise. This contribution is a lower bound as we do not include sub-aqueous mass loss or area changes in our calculations. About 80% of the mass loss occurred from thinning over the ablation areas of the outlet glaciers of the icefield while the remaining ˜20% occurred at higher elevation above the equilibrium line altitude. Mass loss is especially concentrated at the low elevation southwestern and mid-western parts of the icefield. There, ice in the ablation zone approximately doubled in speed between 2007 and 2011. Passive microwave observations indicate that the glacier surface in these regions was "wet" for almost the entire study period. We suggest that the acceleration is linked to the reduction of friction at the bed of the glaciers via water making its way to the glacier sole. The glaciers that accelerated make up only a small proportion of the NPI and we find no evidence of accelerating mass loss from the NPI over the period considered. The SPI lost an average of 13.1±0.2 km3/yr of ice between 2001 and 2011. This rate is almost identical to previous studies, but the masks observations of rapidly accelerating thinning occuring at several of the outlet glaciers. Previous studies find that the peak rate of thinning at the HPS12 Glacier was ˜28 m/yr between 1995 and 2000. We find this slowed to 21±3 m/yr between 2000 and 2006, before accelerating to a rate of 57±13 m/yr between 2005 and 2011. Between 2000 and 2011 the HPS12 Glacier continued its rapid retreat, with the

  4. Glaciers in 21st Century Himalayan Geopolitics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

    Glaciers are ablating rapidly the world over. Nowhere are the rates of retreat and downwasting greater than in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. It is estimated that over the next century, 40,000 square kilometers of present glacier area in the HKH region will become ice free. Most of this area is in major valleys and the lowest glaciated mountain passes. The existence and characteristics of glaciers have security impacts, and rapidly changing HKH glaciers have broad strategic implications: (1) Glaciers supply much of the fresh water and hydroelectric power in South and Central Asia, and so glaciers are valuable resources. (2) Shared economic interests in water, hydroelectricity, flood hazards, and habitat preservation are a force for common cause and reasoned international relations. (3) Glaciers and their high mountains generally pose a natural barrier tending to isolate people. Historically, they have hindered trade and intercultural exchanges and have protected against aggression. This has further promoted an independent spirit of the region's many ethnic groups. (4) Although glaciers are generally incompatible with human development and habitation, many of the HKH region's glaciers and their mountains have become sanctuaries and transit routes for militants. Siachen Glacier in Kashmir has for 17 years been "the world's highest battlefield," with tens of thousands of troops deployed on both sides of the India/Pakistan line of control. In 1999, that conflict threatened to trigger all-out warfare, and perhaps nuclear warfare. Other recent terrorist and military action has taken place on glaciers in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As terrorists are forced from easily controlled territories, many may tend to migrate toward the highest ground, where definitive encounters may take place in severe alpine glacial environments. This should be a major concern in Nepali security planning, where an Army offensive is attempting to reign in an increasingly robust and brutal

  5. 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.

  6. A complete glacier inventory of the Antarctic Peninsula based on Landsat 7 images from 2000 to 2002 and other preexisting data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Jacqueline; Cook, Alison J.; Paul, Frank; Zemp, Michael

    2017-02-01

    . This combination indicates a high sensitivity of the glaciers to climate change for several reasons: (1) only slightly rising equilibrium-line altitudes would expose huge additional areas to ablation, (2) rising ocean temperatures increase melting of marine terminating glaciers, and (3) ice shelves have a buttressing effect on their feeding glaciers and their collapse would alter glacier dynamics and strongly enhance ice loss (Rott et al., 2011). The new inventory should facilitate modeling of the related effects using approaches tailored to glaciers for a more accurate determination of their future evolution and contribution to sea level rise.

  7. 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

  8. Seasonal Thickness Changes Revealed by Airborne Radar Interferometry, Pi-SAR2, at Two Glaciers Near Mt. Tsurugi, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuya, M.; Fukui, K.; Kojima, S.; Matsuoka, T.

    2015-12-01

    Based on ice radar and high-preicision GPS measurements, Fukui and Iida (2012) have reported the presence of "glaciers" near Mt. Tsurugi, central Japan, which had been previously regarded as perenial snowy gorges. While their discovery was brought out by the modern geodetic techniques, there used to be a wrong idea that the equilibrium line altitude in central Japanese Alps is about 4000 meter, causing the actual glaciers to be overlooked; the elevation of Mt Tsurugi is 2999 meter. The presence of glaciers in central Japan is due to the very high seasonal accmulation; the snow fall in the mountainous regions can reach several tens of meters or more. There are, however, few snow-depth measurement data due to the logistic problems. The equilibrium line altitude also remains uncertain. We have performed airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements near the two glaciers in August, October 2013, August 2014, and March 2015. The Pi-SAR2 system used in this study consists of X-band SAR antennas, and allows us to perform single-pass interferometry and full polarimetry with the maximum spatial resolution of 0.3 m. Taking advantage of the single-pass interferometry, we have generated digital elevation models (DEM) at each measurement epoch to derive the temporal changes in the thickness by differecing the DEMs of multiple epochs. Snow melt season starts in May at the analyzed area, and the first snow fall usually occurs in late October. As such, the minimum thickness is expected in October, when the glacier ice appears on the surface. Preliminary analyses indicate that the differences between August and October 2013 reaches ~10 to 20 meters with errors of 5-10 meters.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen

    2009-01-01

    {sup -1}. The annual glacier loss for the two simulations was 50.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} and 64.4 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} for all glaciers - a difference of {approx}21%. The average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for all glaciers in the simulation domain was located at 875 m a.s.l. and at 900 m a.s.l. for simulations with or without inversion routines, respectively.

  10. The Glacial Buzzsaw in the Northern Basin and Range: the Importance of Glacier Size and Uplift Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, D.; Brocklehurst, S. H.; Gawthorpe, R. L.

    2007-12-01

    The role of glaciers in limiting mountain range elevations is an important component of studies linking tectonic uplift and climate-driven erosion. Recent investigations suggesting that a glacial buzzsaw effect can efficiently offset rock uplift in tectonically active settings have concentrated on regions that have held large glaciers (10s km long at Last Glacial Maximum, LGM). However, little work has addressed the role small glaciers may play in controlling range topography. This study looks at the effectiveness of smaller (<10 km) glaciers at limiting peak and ridge elevations in both slow and relatively rapid rock uplift settings. The Lost River and Lemhi Ranges, Idaho, and the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, Idaho-Montana all experience slow rock uplift, with slip rates <0.3 mm/yr on the range-bounding normal faults. Here, swath-elevation profiles show that maximum elevations correlate well to estimates of both LGM and mean Quaternary equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs). Furthermore, peaks in hypsometry and minima in slope-elevation profiles correspond to ELAs, suggesting that small glaciers can efficiently limit range elevations where rock uplift is slow. The Teton Range, Wyoming, experiences 5-10 times faster rock uplift. In general, elevations, slope profiles, and hypsometry all correlate to both LGM and mean Quaternary ELA estimates, although supra-elevated peaks do penetrate through this zone. Comparisons of valley long-profiles show that glacier size is important in controlling valley form under more rapid rock uplift. Small (<5km) glacial valleys perched high on the range front have profiles that have steepened in response to the rapid rock uplift. In contrast, larger (>8km) valleys extend back beyond the high peaks of the range front, and have housed glaciers that have eroded deep into the range, maintaining shallow gradients. Feedback mechanisms are important in snow accumulation on the larger glaciers, which receive extra inputs of snow from the

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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/.

  14. 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.

  15. Response of major Greenland outlet glaciers to oceanic and atmospheric forcing: Results from numerical modeling on Petermann, Jakobshavn and Helheim Glacier.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nick, F. M.; Vieli, A.; Pattyn, F.; Van de Wal, R.

    2011-12-01

    Oceanic forcing has been suggested as a major trigger for dynamic changes of Greenland outlet glaciers. Significant melting near their calving front or beneath the floating tongue and reduced support from sea ice or ice melange in front of their calving front can result in retreat of the terminus or the grounding line, and an increase in calving activities. Depending on the geometry and basal topography of the glacier, these oceanic forcing can affect the glacier dynamic differently. Here, we carry out a comparison study between three major outlet glaciers in Greenland and investigate the impact of a warmer ocean on glacier dynamics and ice discharge. We present results from a numerical ice-flow model applied to Petermann Glacier in the north, Jakobshavn Glacier in the west, and Helheim Glacier in the southeast of Greenland.

  16. Temporal and spatial changes in Western Himalayan firn line altitudes from 1998 to 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Zhongming; Wang, Ninglian; Kehrwald, Natalie M.; Mao, Ruijuan; Wu, Hongbo; Wu, Yuwei; Jiang, Xi

    2014-07-01

    Understanding changes in glacier mass balance is important because it is indicative of changes in climate and the hydrologic cycle. The latter also has particular influence on people living near glaciers and/or glacier-fed rivers. The Western Himalayas remain one of the regions where recent changes in glacier mass balance are not well-known. The temporal and spatial changes in firn line altitudes are an indicator of equilibrium line altitudes and thus reflect changes in glacier mass balance. Here, we use Himalayan Landsat TM/ETM + data in July and August (the late summer melt season) to quantify changes in firn line altitudes from 1998 to 2009. We produced reflectance maps through radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction and use topographic correction to remove or reduce terrain or shadow effects. The real ‘surface albedo’ is obtained by narrowband-to-broadband (NTB) albedo conversion from the combined solar radiation. The firn line altitude was then extracted by combining the ‘surface albedo’ with pre-registered digital elevation model. The individual firn line altitude varies by region. The Western Himalayas display the largest range of firn line variability, where the firn line altitudes vary from 4840 m a.s.l. to 5770 m a.s.l. The individual glacier mean firn line altitude from 1998 to 2009 rose from 5072 ± 77 m a.s.l. to 5640 ± 74 m a.s.l. in the Western Himalayas. The mean firn line altitude increased from 1998 to 2009. The lowest mean recorded firn line altitude recorded was 5237 ± 166 m a.s.l. in 1998, whereas the highest was 5397 ± 135 m a.s.l. in 2000. We also observed a difference between the changes in fine line altitudes of northern and southern slopes of the western Himalayans, as the northern slope glaciers display a greater increase in firn line altitudes than the southern slope glaciers. In the southern slope, changes in firn line altitudes correlate with NCDC-NOAA temperature and precipitation data. This sustained increase of

  17. 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.

  18. Investigation of thermodynamic equilibrium in laser-induced aluminum plasma using the H{sub α} line profiles and Thomson scattering spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Cvejić, M. E-mail: krzysztof.dzierzega@uj.edu.pl; Dzierżęga, K. E-mail: krzysztof.dzierzega@uj.edu.pl; Pięta, T.

    2015-07-13

    We have studied isothermal equilibrium in the laser-induced plasma from aluminum pellets in argon at pressure of 200 mbar by using a method which combines the standard laser Thomson scattering and analysis of the H{sub α}, Stark-broadened, line profiles. Plasma was created using 4.5 ns, 4 mJ pulses from a Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm. While electron density and temperature were determined from the electron feature of Thomson scattering spectra, the heavy particle temperature was obtained from the H{sub α} full profile applying computer simulation including ion-dynamical effects. We have found strong imbalance between these two temperatures during entire plasma evolution which indicates its non-isothermal character. At the same time, according to the McWhirter criterion, the electron density was high enough to establish plasma in local thermodynamic equilibrium.

  19. Fluid structure in the immediate vicinity of an equilibrium three-phase contact line and assessment of disjoining pressure models using density functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nold, Andreas; Sibley, David N.; Goddard, Benjamin D.; Kalliadasis, Serafim

    2014-07-01

    We examine the nanoscale behavior of an equilibrium three-phase contact line in the presence of long-ranged intermolecular forces by employing a statistical mechanics of fluids approach, namely, density functional theory (DFT) together with fundamental measure theory (FMT). This enables us to evaluate the predictive quality of effective Hamiltonian models in the vicinity of the contact line. In particular, we compare the results for mean field effective Hamiltonians with disjoining pressures defined through (i) the adsorption isotherm for a planar liquid film, and (ii) the normal force balance at the contact line. We find that the height profile obtained using (i) shows good agreement with the adsorption film thickness of the DFT-FMT equilibrium density profile in terms of maximal curvature and the behavior at large film heights. In contrast, we observe that while the height profile obtained by using (ii) satisfies basic sum rules, it shows little agreement with the adsorption film thickness of the DFT results. The results are verified for contact angles of 20°, 40°, and 60°.

  20. NON-EQUILIBRIUM MODELING OF THE FE XVII 3C/3D LINE RATIO IN AN INTENSE X-RAY FREE-ELECTRON LASER EXCITED PLASMA

    SciTech Connect

    Loch, S. D.; Ballance, C. P.; Li, Y.; Fogle, M.; Fontes, C. J.

    2015-03-01

    Recent measurements using an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) and an Electron Beam Ion Trap at the Linac Coherent Light Source facility highlighted large discrepancies between the observed and theoretical values for the Fe xvii 3C/3D line intensity ratio. This result raised the question of whether the theoretical oscillator strengths may be significantly in error, due to insufficiencies in the atomic structure calculations. We present time-dependent spectral modeling of this experiment and show that non-equilibrium effects can dramatically reduce the predicted 3C/3D line intensity ratio, compared with that obtained by simply taking the ratio of oscillator strengths. Once these non-equilibrium effects are accounted for, the measured line intensity ratio can be used to determine a revised value for the 3C/3D oscillator strength ratio, giving a range from 3.0 to 3.5. We also provide a framework to narrow this range further, if more precise information about the pulse parameters can be determined. We discuss the implications of the new results for the use of Fe xvii spectral features as astrophysical diagnostics and investigate the importance of time-dependent effects in interpreting XFEL-excited plasmas.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Holocene cirque glacier activity in Rondane, southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Melting beneath Greenland outlet glaciers and ice streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, David; Perrette, Mahé; Beckmann, Johanna

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Holocene glacier variability and Neoglacial hydroclimate at Ålfotbreen, western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gjerde, Marthe; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Nesje, Atle; Hormes, Anne

    2016-02-01

    Glaciers and small ice caps respond rapidly to climate perturbations (mainly winter precipitation, and summer temperature), and the mass-balance of glaciers located in western Norway is governed mainly by winter precipitation (Pw). Records of past Pw can offer important insight into long-term changes in atmospheric circulation, but few proxies are able to accurately capture winter climate variations in Scandinavia. Reconstructions of equilibrium-line-altitude (ELA) variations from glaciers that are sensitive to changes in Pw therefore provide a unique opportunity to quantify past winter climate in this region. Here we present a new, Holocene glacier activity reconstruction for the maritime ice cap Ålfotbreen in western Norway, based on investigations of distal glacier-fed lake sediments and modern mass balance measurements (1963-2010). Several lake sediment cores have been subject to a suite of laboratory analyses, including measurements of physical parameters such as dry bulk density (DBD) and loss-on-ignition (LOI), geochemistry (XRF), surface magnetic susceptibility (MS), and grain size distribution, to identify glacial sedimentation in the lake. Both radiocarbon (AMS 14C) and 210Pb dating were applied to establish age-depth relationships in the sediment cores. A novel approach was used to calibrate the sedimentary record against a simple ELA model, which allowed reconstruction of continuous ELA changes for Ålfotbreen during the Neoglacial (when Ålfotbreen was present, i.e. the last ∼1400 years). Furthermore, the resulting ELA variations were combined with an independent summer temperature record to calculate Neoglacial Pw using the 'Liestøl equation'. The resulting Pw record is of higher resolution than previous reconstructions from glaciers in Norway and shows the potential of glacier records to provide high-resolution data reflecting past variations in hydroclimate. Complete deglaciation of the Ålfotbreen occurred ∼9700 cal yr BP, and the ice cap was

  8. The formation of interstellar molecular lines in a turbulent velocity field with finite correlation length III. Spherical clouds in hydrostatic equilibrium.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piehler, G.; Kegel, W. H.

    1995-05-01

    We investigated the formation of interstellar molecular lines in a turbulent velocity field with finite correlation length, extending previous work (Albrecht & Kegel 1987; Kegel et al. 1992) to isothermal spheres in hydrostatic equilibrium as cloud models with σ>>v_ therm _. For this we use the transformed generalized radiative transfer equation (Kegel et al. 1992). We concentrate our calculations on the CO-molecule with up to 12 energy levels. We give numerical results for models with T_kin_=50K, σ=3.9km/sec (σ/v_ therm _=22), and different values of the central H_2_ density and different values of the correlation length. As our results show, accounting for a velocity field with a finite correlation length affects the line profiles, the center-to-limb variation, and the intensity ratios. We find that the higher transitions are more strongly affected than the J=1-0 transition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract During summer 2013 we installed a network of 19 GPS nodes at the ungrounded margin of Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland together with three cameras to study iceberg calving mechanisms. The network collected data at rates up to every 7 s and was designed to be robust to loss of nodes as the glacier calved. Data collection covered 55 days, and many nodes survived in locations right at the glacier front to the time of iceberg calving. The observations included a number of significant calving events, and as a consequence the glacier retreated ~1.5 km. The data provide real‐time, high‐frequency observations in unprecedented proximity to the calving front. The glacier calved by a process of buoyancy‐force‐induced crevassing in which the ice downglacier of flexion zones rotates upward because it is out of buoyant equilibrium. Calving then occurs back to the flexion zone. This calving process provides a compelling and complete explanation for the data. Tracking of oblique camera images allows identification and characterisation of the flexion zones and their propagation downglacier. Interpretation of the GPS data and camera data in combination allows us to place constraints on the height of the basal cavity that forms beneath the rotating ice downglacier of the flexion zone before calving. The flexion zones are probably formed by the exploitation of basal crevasses, and theoretical considerations suggest that their propagation is strongly enhanced when the glacier base is deeper than buoyant equilibrium. Thus, this calving mechanism is likely to dominate whenever such geometry occurs and is of increasing importance in Greenland. PMID:27570721

  10. A non-local thermodynamical equilibrium line formation for neutral and singly ionized titanium in model atmospheres of reference A-K stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnova, T. M.; Mashonkina, L. I.; Ryabchikova, T. A.

    2016-09-01

    We construct a model atom for Ti I-II using more than 3600 measured and predicted energy levels of Ti I and 1800 energy levels of Ti II, and quantum mechanical photoionization cross-sections. Non-local thermodynamical equilibrium (NLTE) line formation for Ti I and Ti II is treated through a wide range of spectral types from A to K, including metal-poor stars with [Fe/H] down to -2.6 dex. NLTE leads to weakened Ti I lines and positive abundance corrections. The magnitude of NLTE corrections is smaller compared to the literature data for FGK atmospheres. NLTE leads to strengthened Ti II lines and negative NLTE abundance corrections. For the first time, we have performed NLTE calculations for Ti I-II in the 6500 ≤ Teff ≤ 13 000 K range. For four A-type stars, we derived in LTE an abundance discrepancy of up to 0.22 dex between Ti I and Ti II, which vanishes in NLTE. For four other A-B stars, with only Ti II lines observed, NLTE leads to a decrease of line-to-line scatter. An efficiency of inelastic Ti I + H I collisions was estimated from an analysis of Ti I and Ti II lines in 17 cool stars with -2.6 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ 0.0. Consistent NLTE abundances from Ti I and Ti II were obtained by applying classical Drawinian rates for the stars with log g ≥ 4.1, and neglecting inelastic collisions with H I for the very metal-poor (VMP) giant HD 122563. For the VMP turn-off stars ([Fe/H] ≤ -2 and log g ≤ 4.1), we obtained the positive abundance difference Ti I-II already in LTE, which increases in NLTE. Accurate collisional data for Ti I and Ti II are necessary to help solve this problem.

  11. 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

    new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid glacier recession of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and flat profiles. In contrast, the higher and steeper tidewater glaciers on the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula will attain more stable frontal positions after low-lying ablation areas are removed.

  12. 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

  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. Snow and glacier monitoring service using Earth Observation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagler, T.; Heidinger, M.; Rott, H.; Bippus, G.; Hetzenecker, M.; Scharrer, K.

    2012-04-01

    Snow cover and glaciers, storing large amounts of fresh water, respond sensitively to climate change. Accurate inventories and monitoring of these resources is therefore important for climate impact assessment, water resources management, and hydrology. The Project "ASaG - Preparation for a GMES Downstream service for snow and glacier Monitoring in Alpine Regions", supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), aims at the implementation of a satellite-based services for spatially detailed monitoring of snow cover and glaciers over extended area. Algorithms and processing lines for retrieval of snow extent from medium resolution optical and SAR satellite imagery are further improved in the project in order to optimally match the needs of users. The snow cover products are generated using data of the MODIS sensor operating on the Terra platform of NASA. The products are made available in near real time and are used in pre-operational tests for initialization and validation of hydrological models and distributed snow process models. Statistical snow information like snow area - elevation curves are generated for user specified basins using this information for runoff simulation and forecasting and for water management tasks. For mountain glaciers a processing line has been implemented for satellite-based products on glacier area, outlines, glacier zones (snow, ice) and ice velocity maps to be used for updating glacier inventories. The glacier products are generated for major Austrian glacier regions using new high resolution optical satellite data (SPOT-5) and SAR (TerraSAR-X, Cosmo-Skymed). The products comply with the European rules for geospatial information according to the INSPIRE directive in order to ensure interoperability of the data sets and are made accessible to users via internet. Project results are also exploited in wider within the EC-FP7 project "CryoLand - GMES Service Snow and Land Ice", a GMES Downstream Service developed under the

  16. 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.

  17. Influences of Climate Warming and Facility Management on Continuous Permafrost at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Swiss Alps.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Lorenz; Duishonakunov, Murataly; Imbery, Stephan

    2014-05-01

    In many parts of the Alps, hazardous bedrock instabilities occur more often during the past 30 years. In many cases, permafrost degradation played a central role for instability (e.g. in 1987 the Val Pola rockslide, Italy). At other events, the role of permafrost degradation is more complex or unpredictable (e.g. in 1991 the Randa rockfall, Wallis, Swiss Alps). However, instabilities in perennially frozen bedrock may also be provoked by human influence. This is exemplarily shown at touristic facilities in the Alps. Human impact on permafrost is often underestimated, or even carelessly taken into account. The tourist resort Zermatt with more than 1.8 million overnight stays per year is located at 1600 m a.s.l. and is surrounded by high mountain ranges that often reach above 4000 m. The dry and sunny climate results in a high glacier equilibrium line thus leaving space for vast non-glaciated permafrost terrain. Numerous tourist facilities provide excellent logistics and easy access to permafrost sites, and the region is thus especially suitable for permafrost research. The infrastructure erected on permafrost consists of hotels, restaurants and mountain huts, station buildings of railways, funiculars, ski lifts and installations for artificial snowing the ski-runs. Some problems at these constructions due to permafrost degradation are shown. At the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise station at an altitude of 3820 meters, todays MAAT ranges between -6 °C and -8°C. During the construction of a tunnel in 1981 bedrock temperatures were at -12°C. Over the past 30 years, these bedrock temperatures have risen to -3 to -2°C, due to the heat brought into the tunnel by facilities and more than 490,000 visitors per year. In an elevator shaft, the temperature temporarily even rose above freezing point. Several new construction sites in continuous permafrost are described and new research data is presented. Another interesting site for permafrost and ice studies at Matterhorn

  18. 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

  19. Glacier generated floods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. A modeling study of the effect of runoff variability on the effective pressure beneath Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurian, Basile; Morlighem, Mathieu; Seroussi, Helene; Rignot, Eric; Broeke, Michiel R.; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Mouginot, Jeremie; Smeets, Paul C. J. P.; Tedstone, Andrew J.

    2016-10-01

    Basal sliding is a main control on glacier flow primarily driven by water pressure at the glacier base. The ongoing increase in surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet warrants an examination of its impact on basal water pressure and in turn on basal sliding. Here we examine the case of Russell Glacier, in West Greenland, where an extensive set of observations has been collected. These observations suggest that the recent increase in melt has had an equivocal impact on the annual velocity, with stable flow on the lower part of the drainage basin but accelerated flow above the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). These distinct behaviors have been attributed to different evolutions of the subglacial draining system during and after the melt season. Here we use a high-resolution subglacial hydrological model forced by reconstructed surface runoff for the period 2008 to 2012 to investigate the cause of these distinct behaviors. We find that the increase in meltwater production at low elevation yields a more efficient drainage system compatible with the observed stagnation of the mean annual flow below the ELA. At higher elevation, the model indicates that the drainage system is mostly inefficient and is therefore strongly sensitive to an increase in meltwater availability, which is consistent with the observed increase in ice velocity.

  2. Partition Equilibrium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Michal; Tennenholtz, Moshe

    We introduce partition equilibrium and study its existence in resource selection games (RSG). In partition equilibrium the agents are partitioned into coalitions, and only deviations by the prescribed coalitions are considered. This is in difference to the classical concept of strong equilibrium according to which any subset of the agents may deviate. In resource selection games, each agent selects a resource from a set of resources, and its payoff is an increasing (or non-decreasing) function of the number of agents selecting its resource. While it has been shown that strong equilibrium exists in resource selection games, these games do not possess super-strong equilibrium, in which a fruitful deviation benefits at least one deviator without hurting any other deviator, even in the case of two identical resources with increasing cost functions. Similarly, strong equilibrium does not exist for that restricted two identical resources setting when the game is played repeatedly. We prove that for any given partition there exists a super-strong equilibrium for resource selection games of identical resources with increasing cost functions; we also show similar existence results for a variety of other classes of resource selection games. For the case of repeated games we identify partitions that guarantee the existence of strong equilibrium. Together, our work introduces a natural concept, which turns out to lead to positive and applicable results in one of the basic domains studied in the literature.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Tropical climate at the last glacial maximum inferred from glacier mass-balance modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

    Model-derived equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of former tropical glaciers support arguments, based on other paleoclimate data, for both the magnitude and spatial pattern of terrestrial cooling in the tropics at the last glacial maximum (LGM). Relative to the present, LGM ELAs were maintained by air temperatures that were 3.5??to 6.6 ??C lower and precipitation that ranged from 63% wetter in Hawaii to 25% drier on Mt. Kenya, Africa. Our results imply the need for a ~3 ??C cooling of LGM sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific warm pool. Sensitivity tests suggest that LGM ELAs could have persisted until 16,000 years before the present in the Peruvian Andes and on Papua, New Guinea.

  5. Basal conditions and flow dynamics of the Rhine glacier, Alps, at the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Denis; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Zwinger, Thomas; Machguth, Horst; Haeberli, Wilfried; Fischer, Urs H.

    2016-04-01

    The safe disposal of radioactive wastes in deep geological repositories requires their containment and isolation for up to one million years. In Switzerland, repositories are planned in the northern Swiss lowlands near the marginal zone of the former Rhine glacier that repeatedly formed two extensive piedmont lobes (the Rhine and Linth lobes) over the Swiss Plateau. Future ice-age conditions may thus impact the repositories due to erosion by glaciers, permafrost conditions, and changes in groundwater fluxes. We use the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a representative future ice-age scenario over northern Switzerland and model the Rhine glacier at the LGM using a full three-dimensional, thermo-mechanical model that solves Stokes flow in ice and the heat equation in both ice and rock. Permafrost in rocks and sediments is implemented using an effective heat capacity formulation. The Rhine glacier at the LGM is one of the best studied paleo-glacier with geomorphic reconstructions of terminal moraines, equilibrium lines, provenance of erratics, till extent and provenance, and evidences of cold vs warm subglacial environments. These data are compared with modeled ice ice thickness, cold vs warm basal condition, and flow paths. Numerical results indicate that LGM modeled ice extent and ice thickness are not fully consistent with geomorphic reconstructions and known climate proxies: ice is either too thick in the accumulation zone or summer temperatures are too cold at the terminus. Simulations with different climate parameters all indicate, however, that the beds of the Rhine and Linth lobes were at the melting temperature except above local topographic highs and along a thin marginal zone. Sliding speed was highest along topographic lows with ice moving at 20 to 80 m a-1 depending on mass balance gradients. Basal shear stress was low (< 30 kPa). Melt water was probably abundant due to above-freezing temperatures in summer. Thus, melt water was likely routed over large

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2004-12-01

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

  7. How Key GEOSS Datasets Contribute to the Global Monitoring and Assessment of Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

    An early and dramatic indicator of global climate change has been the recession of mountain glaciers. The potential impacts on water resources and global sea level rise has led to an increased interest in accurate monitoring and assessment of glaciers worldwide. Past glacier inventories recorded scalar information such as area and terminus location for glaciers in easily accessible regions of the Earth. A modern glacier inventory must be truly global, attempting to assess all of the Earth's estimated 160,000 glaciers, and contain actual glacier extents with area distribution by elevation. These data are required in order to begin modeling the response of this portion of the cryosphere to future climate change. Fortunately, the two key data sets required to produce this global inventory of glaciers were recently made available as contributions to GEOSS by GEO Member nations. These are the multispectral imagery in the Landsat archive, contributed by the U.S.A., and the Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) jointly contributed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This talk will describe how the Global Land Ice Monitoring from Space (GLIMS) project is utilizing these GEOSS resources by enabling GLIMS collaborators to derive detailed glacier outlines, transient snow lines, area-elevation distributions, and other pertinent information that will enhance our understanding of the current state, recent evolution, and future fate of the glaciers worldwide.

  8. 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

  9. Morphology, sedimentology and stratigraphic implication of debris-covered glacier deposits from the LGM and Lateglacial (Eastern Alps, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitner, Jürgen M.; Seidl, Sabrina; Wagreich, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the genesis of Quaternary sediments is crucial for establishing a climato-stratigraphy and, further on, to infer paleoclimatic conditions, if possible. Especially diamictons in the high-mountain environment may be formed by variety of processes, i.e. glacial, periglacial and gravitational. On the other hand, the interpretation of morphological features might be ambiguous as for example ridges may document latero-frontal dump moraines, flow of a rock avalanche event or constituents of a rock-glacier. In addition, equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of paleo-glaciers are mostly based on calculations using the reconstructed glacier size and applying a more or less fixed accumulation area ration (e.g. AAR - method). However, such ELAs are of no use for stratigraphic correlations and climatic considerations, if the former glacial system was strongly influenced by supraglacial debris deriving from steep back walls of cirques. We present two examples of reconstructed debris-covered or more specifically debris-mantled paleo-glaciers, their geological and morphological setting as well as their documented sedimentology and morphology. The first example is from the easternmost part of the European Alps (Northern Calcareous Alps / Schneeberg mountains / Puchberg) where an up to 60 m high moraine systems of LGM age shows some striking morphological similarities with relict rock glacier. However, based especially on lithofacies analyses as well as on the lithology of the matrix a glacial genesis could be proven. Lateglacial glacier deposits from the interior of the Alps (Lienz Dolomites / area of Karlsbader Hütte) display a quite similar glacial system. The geometry of the deposits in relation to proglacial sturzstrom sediments, showing typical indications of dynamic fragmentation, and the amount of angular, passively transported clasts in the till point to a rock avalanche event which had hit the glacier surface during a glacier advance. As the glacial system shows

  10. Recent geodetic mass balance of Monte Tronador glaciers, northern Patagonian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Lucas; Berthier, Etienne; Viale, Maximiliano; Pitte, Pierre; Masiokas, Mariano H.

    2017-02-01

    Glaciers in the northern Patagonian Andes (35-46° S) have shown a dramatic decline in area in the last decades. However, little is known about glacier mass balance changes in this region. This study presents a geodetic mass balance estimate of Monte Tronador (41.15° S; 71.88° W) glaciers by comparing a Pléiades digital elevation model (DEM) acquired in 2012 with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) X-band DEM acquired in 2000. We find a slightly negative Monte-Tronador-wide mass budget of -0.17 m w.e. a-1 (ranging from -0.54 to 0.14 m w.e. a-1 for individual glaciers) and a slightly negative trend in glacier extent (-0.16 % a-1) over the 2000-2012 period. With a few exceptions, debris-covered valley glaciers that descend below a bedrock cliff are losing mass at higher rates, while mountain glaciers with termini located above this cliff are closer to mass equilibrium. Climate variations over the last decades show a notable increase in warm season temperatures in the late 1970s but limited warming afterwards. These warmer conditions combined with an overall drying trend may explain the moderate ice mass loss observed at Monte Tronador. The almost balanced mass budget of mountain glaciers suggests that they are probably approaching a dynamic equilibrium with current (post-1977) climate, whereas the valley glaciers tongues will continue to retreat. The slightly negative overall mass budget of Monte Tronador glaciers contrasts with the highly negative mass balance estimates observed in the Patagonian ice fields further south.

  11. Dramatic mass loss in extreme high-elevation areas of a western Himalayan glacier: observations and modeling

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Yao, Tandong; Tian, Lide; Xu, Baiqing

    2016-01-01

    Rapid climate change at high elevations has accelerated glacier retreat in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. However, due to the lack of long-term glaciological measurements, there are still uncertainties regarding when the mass loss began and what the magnitude of mass loss is at such high elevations. Based on in situ glaciological observations during the past 9 years and a temperature-index mass balance model, this study investigates recent mass loss of the Naimona’nyi Glacier in the western Himalayas and reconstructs a 41-year (1973/74–2013/14) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and glacier-wide mass loss. The result indicates that even at 6000 m above sea level (a.s.l.), the annual mass loss reaches ~0.73 m water equivalent (w.e.) during the past 9 years. Concordant with the abrupt climate shift in the end of 1980s, the ELA has dramatically risen from ~5969 ± 73 m a.s.l. during 1973/74–1988/89 to ~6193 ± 75 m a.s.l. during 1989/90–2013/14, suggesting that future ice cores containing uninterrupted climate records could only be recovered at least above 6200 m a.s.l. in the Naimona’nyi region. The glacier-wide mass balance over the past 41 years is averaged to be approximately −0.40 ± 0.17 m w.e., exhibiting a significant increase in the decadal average from −0.01 ± 0.15 to −0.69 ± 0.21 m w.e. PMID:27561411

  12. Dramatic mass loss in extreme high-elevation areas of a western Himalayan glacier: observations and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Huabiao; Yang, Wei; Yao, Tandong; Tian, Lide; Xu, Baiqing

    2016-08-01

    Rapid climate change at high elevations has accelerated glacier retreat in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. However, due to the lack of long-term glaciological measurements, there are still uncertainties regarding when the mass loss began and what the magnitude of mass loss is at such high elevations. Based on in situ glaciological observations during the past 9 years and a temperature-index mass balance model, this study investigates recent mass loss of the Naimona’nyi Glacier in the western Himalayas and reconstructs a 41-year (1973/74–2013/14) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) and glacier-wide mass loss. The result indicates that even at 6000 m above sea level (a.s.l.), the annual mass loss reaches ~0.73 m water equivalent (w.e.) during the past 9 years. Concordant with the abrupt climate shift in the end of 1980s, the ELA has dramatically risen from ~5969 ± 73 m a.s.l. during 1973/74–1988/89 to ~6193 ± 75 m a.s.l. during 1989/90–2013/14, suggesting that future ice cores containing uninterrupted climate records could only be recovered at least above 6200 m a.s.l. in the Naimona’nyi region. The glacier-wide mass balance over the past 41 years is averaged to be approximately ‑0.40 ± 0.17 m w.e., exhibiting a significant increase in the decadal average from ‑0.01 ± 0.15 to ‑0.69 ± 0.21 m w.e.

  13. The changing impact of snow conditions and refreezing on the mass balance of an idealized Svalbard glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Pelt, Ward; Pohjola, Veijo; Reijmer, Carleen

    2016-11-01

    Glacier surface melt and runoff depend strongly on seasonal and perennial snow (firn) conditions. Not only does the presence of snow and firn directly affect melt rates by reflecting solar radiation, it may also act as a buffer against mass loss by storing melt water in refrozen or liquid form. In Svalbard, ongoing and projected amplified climate change with respect to the global mean change has severe implications for the state of snow and firn and its impact on glacier mass loss. Model experiments with a coupled surface energy balance - firn model were done to investigate the surface mass balance and the changing role of snow and firn conditions for an idealized Svalbard glacier. A climate forcing for the past, present and future (1984-2104) is constructed, based on observational data from Svalbard Airport and a seasonally dependent projection scenario. Results illustrate ongoing and future firn degradation in response to an elevational retreat of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of 31 m decade-1. The temperate firn zone is found to retreat and expand, while cold ice in the ablation zone warms considerably. In response to pronounced winter warming and an associated increase in winter rainfall, the current prevalence of refreezing during the melt season gradually shifts to the winter season in a future climate. Sensitivity tests reveal that in a present and future climate the density and thermodynamic structure of Svalbard glaciers are heavily influenced by refreezing. Refreezing acts as a net buffer against mass loss. However, the net mass balance change after refreezing is substantially smaller than the amount of refreezing itself, which can be ascribed to melt-enhancing effects after refreezing, which partly offset the primary mass-retaining effect of refreezing.

  14. Rapid ASTER imaging facilitates timely assessment of glacier hazards and disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kääb, Andy; Wessels, Rick; Haeberli, Wilfried; Huggel, Christian; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Khalsa, Siri Jodha Singh

    Glacier- and permafrost-related hazards increasingly threaten human lives, settlements, and infrastructure in high-mountain regions. Present atmospheric warming particularly affects terrestrial systems where surface and sub-surface ice are involved. Changes in glacier and permafrost equilibrium are shifting beyond historical knowledge. Human settlement and activities are extending toward danger zones in the cryospheric system. A number of recent glacier hazards and disasters underscore these trends. Difficult site access and the need for fast data acquisition make satellite remote sensing of crucial importance in high-mountain hazard management and disaster mapping.

  15. 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

  16. Influence of ENSO and PDO on mountain glaciers in the outer tropics: case studies in Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veettil, Bijeesh Kozhikkodan; Bremer, Ulisses Franz; de Souza, Sergio Florêncio; Maier, Éder Leandro Bayer; Simões, Jefferson Cardia

    2016-08-01

    This paper emphasize on the observational investigation of an ice-covered volcano and two glaciated mountains in the Central Andes from 1984 to 2011. Annual snowlines of the Nevado Sajama in the Cordillera Occidental and the Nevado Cololo and the Nevado Huanacuni in the Cordillera Apolobamba in Bolivia were calculated using remote sensing data. Landsat TM, Landsat ETM+, and LISS-III images taken during the end of dry season were used in this study. Changes in the highest annual snowline during May-September is used an indirect measure of the changes in the equilibrium line altitude of the glaciers in the outer tropics. We tried to understand the combined influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on the variations in the annual snowline altitude of the selected glaciers. Meteorological data in the form of gridded datasets were used for calculating the anomalies in precipitation and temperature during the study period. It is found that the glaciated areas were fluctuated with the occurrence of warm and cold phase of ENSO but the magnitude of the influence of ENSO is observed to be controlled by the phase changes of PDO. Snowline of the Nevado Sajama fluctuated heavily when cold and warm phases of ENSO occur during the cold and warm regimes of PDO, respectively. Nevado Cololo and Nevado Huanacuni are showing a continuous retreating trend during the same period. This clearly indicates that the changes in the Pacific SST patterns have more influence on glaciers in the Cordillera Occidental compared with those in the Cordillera Oriental of the Bolivian Andes.

  17. Pine Island Glacier - local flow mechanisms and basal sliding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkens, N. M.; Kleiner, T.; Humbert, A.

    2013-12-01

    Pine Island Glacier is a fast moving outlet glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Several tributaries feeding the central ice stream characterise the flow field structure of this glacier. In the past decades the glacier has shown acceleration, thinning and a significant grounding line retreat. These ongoing processes are coinciding with a concentrated mass loss in the area around Pine Island Glacier, the Amundsen Sea Embayment. The area is of additional interest due to its retrograde bed slope. The postulated instability of the setting turns the glacier into an even more suitable object for modelling studies. One major challenge encountered when modelling the flow field of Pine Island Glacier is to reproduce the locally varying flow pattern, with its many tributaries. Commonly this difficulty is overcome by inversion for parameters controlling basal sliding. Our study is aimed at connecting basal sliding again to physical parameters. To achieve this we conduct experiments of Pine Island Glacier with the diagnostic 3D full-Stokes model COMice. The model is thermo-mechanically coupled and implemented with the commercial finite-element package COMSOL Multiphysics©. We use remotely sensed surface velocity data to validate our results. In a first step, the model is used to identify dominant local mechanisms that drive the flow of the different tributaries. We identify connections between the basal topography, the basal temperature, the driving stress and the basal roughness distribution. The thus gained information is used to confine basal sliding. Areas with similar qualitative characteristics are identified, and constant-sliding assumptions made for those. Additionally, the basal roughness distribution is matched onto a basal sliding parameter. This way the sliding law is again brought closer to its original meaning. Our results are important for prognostic model experiments, as we connect basal sliding to locally varying basal properties, which might lead to

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Glacier and Ice Shelves Studies Using Satellite SAR Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1999-01-01

    Satellite radar interferometry is a powerful technique to measure the surface velocity and topography of glacier ice. On ice shelves, a quadruple difference technique separates tidal motion from the steady creep flow deformation of ice. The results provide a wealth of information about glacier grounding lines , mass fluxes, stability, elastic properties of ice, and tidal regime. The grounding line, which is where the glacier detaches from its bed and becomes afloat, is detected with a precision of a few tens of meters. Combining this information with satellite radar altimetry makes it possible to measure glacier discharge into the ocean and state of mass balance with greater precision than ever before, and in turn provide a significant revision of past estimates of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Analysis of creep rates on floating ice permits an estimation of basal melting at the ice shelf underside. The results reveal that the action of ocean water in sub-ice-shelf cavities has been largely underestimated by oceanographic models and is the dominant mode of mass release to the ocean from an ice shelf. Precise mapping of grounding line positions also permits the detection of grounding line migration, which is a fine indicator of glacier change, independent of our knowledge of snow accumulation and ice melting. This technique has been successfully used to detect the rapid retreat of Pine Island Glacier, the largest ice stream in West Antarctica. Finally, tidal motion of ice shelves measured interferometrically provides a modern, synoptic view of the physical processes which govern the formation of tabular icebergs in the Antarctic.

  3. Contribution of SAR interferometry (InSAR) to the study of alpine glaciers. The example of Forni Glacier (Central Alps, Italy): preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterzai, P.; Mancini, F.; Corazzato, C.; D Agata, C.; Diolaiuti, G.

    2003-04-01

    computed and velocity map obtained. The validation of interferometric data was possible comparing them with the field glaciological data obtained by GPS velocity surveys in the years 1992-1993 (Vittuari and Smiraglia, unpublished) and 1996-1997, which resulted of about 20m/y. The InSAR results give further contributions in the estimation of the velocity field of Forni Glacier for a deeper understanding of the different flow lines of the glacier. Problems related to relief effect, loss of coherence, geometry of satellite imagery and geocoding, are also discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    We use a combination of field observations, remote sensing, and digital elevation data to demonstrate how the topographic character of the Alaska Range (Alaska, USA) has been influenced by the exhumation of Tertiary granitic plutons among more erodible sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Observations that the mean elevations of many tectonically active mountain ranges follow closely the elevation of the mean Cenozoic snowline or glacial equilibrium line (ELA), rather than rates of tectonic rock uplift, have led to the “glacial buzzsaw hypothesis” - that terrain raised above the ELA is rapidly denuded by glaciers. The Alaska Range stands in prominent exception to this observation. Much of the range is developed on pervasively fractured sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and has local relief of 1000-1500 m. In contrast, early and mid-Tertiary plutons of relatively intact granite support most of the range's impressive mountains (including Mt. McKinley, or Denali, the highest mountain in North America at 6194 m), with 2500-5000 m of local relief. Moreover, these plutons are where the range's modern glaciers originate, as the high peaks protrude in some cases kilometers above modern snowlines. These glaciers flow off of the plutons onto the surrounding, softer rocks, where mean summit elevations are similar to modern snowline elevations. We exploit the Denali massif and the Kichatna Mountains to its west to illustrate the direct ways in which exhumation of granite plutons affects glacial erosion, glacier long profiles, the glacial drainage network, and the effectiveness of periglacial processes. We use simple scaling calculations to explore the potential feedbacks of relief enhancement - specifically, that of avalanching from steep valley walls - on the health of the glaciers occupying the valleys, and describe ways in which peaks can be preserved and allowed to grow to great heights. Our work indicates that most of the Alaska Range has developed in accordance with

  5. Re-establishment of long-term glacier monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoelzle, M.; Azisov, E.; Barandun, M.; Hagg, W.; Huss, M.; Kriegel, D.; Machguth, H.; Mandychev, A.; Merkushkin, A.; Moldobekov, B.; Schöne, T.; Thoss, H.; Vorogushyn, S.; Zemp, M.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier mass balance is an important indicator of climate change. The internationally recommended multi-level strategy for monitoring mountain glaciers combines in-situ measurements (mass balance, front variations) with remote sensing (inventories) and numerical modelling. This helps to bridge the gap between detailed local process-oriented studies and global coverage. Several glaciers in Central Asia, i.e. Abramov and Golubina Glacier were some of the most important reference glaciers in the world-wide glacier monitoring program representing important mountain ranges, such as the Pamir-Alay and the Tien Shan mountains. For these glaciers long-term series of more than 20 years are available. After the break-down of the former Soviet Union, most of the measurements were abandoned. In a cooperative effort between the countries Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Germany and Switzerland, the measurement series are currently re-initiated and will be continued within the next years. This study shows the measurement strategy and network, and discusses new installations, which have been set up at Abramov in summer 2011 and Golubina Glacier in summer 2010. The research strategy is composed of three main components. The first component is based on mass balance measurements using the glaciological method, the second relies on snow line observations with installed automatic cameras taking several pictures per day in order to document the snow line evolution on the glaciers during the summer months. The third is the application of a mass balance model driven by a nearby automatic weather station. The advantage of this strategy is that the three different components can be used to test them against each other, or to use them for calibration purposes. A second objective of the re-established glacier monitoring programs is to reconstruct the mass balance for the time period, where no measurements are available. Continuous mass balance series for each glacier will be derived based on a well

  6. Informational Equilibrium.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-09-01

    that for variouis standard types of equilibria* they hold. In particular, if one uses the teaporary equilibrium framework one can use the standard ...T, the integral converges toward f’ia(da) f fU(b~dc)6(a,b,c)T( asdm ) A B C which is fR (da) f d(lib,c) U0 T (cab) A BxC Me converse Is obvious

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Modeling of subglacial water pressure on Russell glacier, toward a better understanding of the relation between meltwater availability and ice dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Fleurian, Basile; Morlighem, Mathieu; Seroussi, Helene; Rignot, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Basal sliding is the main control on outlet glaciers velocity. This sliding is mainly driven by the water pressure at the base of the glaciers. The ongoing increase in surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet warrants an examination of its impact on basal water pressure and in turn on basal sliding. Here, we examine the case of Russell glacier, West Greenland, where a remarkably extensive set of observations have been gathered. These observations suggest that the increase in runoff has no impact on the annual velocity on the lower part of the drainage basin, but yield an acceleration of ice flow above the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). It is believed that this two distinct behaviours are due to different evolutions of the subglacial draining system during and after the melt season. We use here a high-resolution new generation subglacial hydrological model forced by reconstructed surface runoff for the period 2008 to 2012 to investigate the possible causes of these distinct behaviours. The model results confirm the existence of two distinct behaviours of the subglacial water pressure, an increase in the mean annual water pressure at high elevation and a stagnation of these same mean annual pressures below the ELA. The increase in meltwater at the lower elevation leads to a more developed efficient drainage system and the overall steadiness of the annual velocities, but, at higher elevation the drainage system remains mainly inefficient and is therefore strongly sensitive to the increase in meltwater availability.

  10. Distributed ice thickness and glacier volume in southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Davies, Bethan J.; James, William H. M.; Quincey, Duncan J.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2016-11-01

    South American glaciers, including those in Patagonia, presently contribute the largest amount of meltwater to sea level rise per unit glacier area in the world. Yet understanding of the mechanisms behind the associated glacier mass balance changes remains unquantified partly because models are hindered by a lack of knowledge of subglacial topography. This study applied a perfect-plasticity model along glacier centre-lines to derive a first-order estimate of ice thickness and then interpolated these thickness estimates across glacier areas. This produced the first complete coverage of distributed ice thickness, bed topography and volume for 617 glaciers between 41°S and 55°S and in 24 major glacier regions. Maximum modelled ice thicknesses reach 1631 m ± 179 m in the South Patagonian Icefield (SPI), 1315 m ± 145 m in the North Patagonian Icefield (NPI) and 936 m ± 103 m in Cordillera Darwin. The total modelled volume of ice is 1234.6 km3 ± 246.8 km3 for the NPI, 4326.6 km3 ± 865.2 km3 for the SPI and 151.9 km3 ± 30.38 km3 for Cordillera Darwin. The total volume was modelled to be 5955 km3 ± 1191 km3, which equates to 5458.3 Gt ± 1091.6 Gt ice and to 15.08 mm ± 3.01 mm sea level equivalent (SLE). However, a total area of 655 km2 contains ice below sea level and there are 282 individual overdeepenings with a mean depth of 38 m and a total volume if filled with water to the brim of 102 km3. Adjusting the potential SLE for the ice volume below sea level and for the maximum potential storage of meltwater in these overdeepenings produces a maximum potential sea level rise (SLR) of 14.71 mm ± 2.94 mm. We provide a calculation of the present ice volume per major river catchment and we discuss likely changes to southern South America glaciers in the future. The ice thickness and subglacial topography modelled by this study will facilitate future studies of ice dynamics and glacier isostatic adjustment, and will be important for projecting water resources and

  11. 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.

  12. Recent glacier retreat and climate trends in Cordillera Huaytapallana, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Moreno, J. I.; Fontaneda, S.; Bazo, J.; Revuelto, J.; Azorin-Molina, C.; Valero-Garcés, B.; Morán-Tejeda, E.; Vicente-Serrano, S. M.; Zubieta, R.; Alejo-Cochachín, J.

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed 19 annual Landsat Thematic Mapper images from 1984 to 2011 to determine changes of the glaciated surface and snow line elevation in six mountain areas of the Cordillera Huaytapallana range in Peru. In contrast to other Peruvian mountains, glacier retreat in these mountains has been poorly documented, even though this is a heavily glaciated area. These glaciers are the main source of water for the surrounding lowlands, and melting of these glaciers has triggered several outburst floods. During the 28-year study period, there was a 55% decrease in the surface covered by glaciers and the snowline moved upward in different regions by 93 to 157 m. Moreover, several new lakes formed in the recently deglaciated areas. There was an increase in precipitation during the wet season (October-April) over the 28-year study period. The significant increase in maximum temperatures may be related to the significant glacier retreat in the study area. There were significant differences in the wet season temperatures during El Niño (warmer) and La Niña (colder) years. Although La Niña years were generally more humid than El Niño years, these differences were not statistically significant. Thus, glaciers tended to retreat at a high rate during El Niño years, but tended to be stable or increase during La Niña years, although there were some notable deviations from this general pattern. Climate simulations for 2021 to 2050, based on the most optimistic assumptions of greenhouse gas concentrations, forecast a continuation of climate warming at the same rate as documented here. Such changes in temperature might lead to a critical situation for the glaciers of the Cordillera Huaytapallana, and may significantly impact the water resources, ecology, and natural hazards of the surrounding areas.

  13. 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

  14. Debris-covered glaciers during the LGM and Lateglacial at the eastern margin of the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidl, Sabrina; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Wagreich, Michael

    2013-04-01

    We present the reconstruction of paleo-glaciers in the easternmost part of the Alps (Schneeberg mountain) with the main focus on sedimentology, chronology and glacial dynamics. The area is dominantly made up of limestone bedrock and hence characterized by steep slopes and cirques. Two juvenile moraine-systems can be deciphered based on geological mapping. The major system is characterized by an up to 60 m high latero-frontal dump moraine with a prominent breach-lobe moraine in a lateral position. It is regarded to represent the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; Würm Pleniglacial). The other system is much smaller and was formed most probably during the Würm Lateglacial. The angular to subangular shape of the clasts and the abundant boulders on top of the ridges indicate a high portion of passive (Boulton, 1978) i.e. supraglacial and englacial transport of debris before deposition.Thus the model of a debris-covered glacier is favored to explain both landforms and as well the corresponding sediment facies. For the pleniglacial moraine such an assumption is backed by a low accumulation/ablation area ratio (AAR) of around 1:1 based on the reconstruction of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) using the maximum elevation of lateral moraines (MELM; Lichtenecker, 1938). Furthermore as there is no indication of a former glacier snout glacio-fluvial processes should have played a limited role in sediment transport into the forefield. Such setting pinpoints to very cold-arid conditions, which are as well found in paleo-climate reconstructions of the eastern foreland (Frenzel et al. 1992). Boulton, G.S., 1978: Boulder shapes and grain-size distribution of debris as indicators of transport paths through a glacier and till genesis.- Sedimentology, 25, 773-799. Lichtenecker, N.,1938. Die gegenwärtige und die eiszeitliche Schneegrenze in den Ostalpen. In: Verhandlungen der III. Internationalen Quartär - Konferenz, Vienna, 1936, 141-147. Frenzel, B., Pecsi, M. & Velichko, A. A., 1992

  15. Diagnosing the decline in climatic mass balance of glaciers in Svalbard over 1957-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ims Østby, Torbjørn; Vikhamar Schuler, Thomas; Ove Hagen, Jon; Hock, Regine; Kohler, Jack; Reijmer, Carleen H.

    2017-01-01

    Estimating the long-term mass balance of the high-Arctic Svalbard archipelago is difficult due to the incomplete geodetic and direct glaciological measurements, both in space and time. To close these gaps, we use a coupled surface energy balance and snow pack model to analyse the mass changes of all Svalbard glaciers for the period 1957-2014. The model is forced by ERA-40 and ERA-Interim reanalysis data, downscaled to 1 km resolution. The model is validated using snow/firn temperature and density measurements, mass balance from stakes and ice cores, meteorological measurements, snow depths from radar profiles and remotely sensed surface albedo and skin temperatures. Overall model performance is good, but it varies regionally. Over the entire period the model yields a climatic mass balance of 8.2 cm w. e. yr-1, which corresponds to a mass input of 175 Gt. Climatic mass balance has a linear trend of -1.4 ± 0.4 cm w. e. yr-2 with a shift from a positive to a negative regime around 1980. Modelled mass balance exhibits large interannual variability, which is controlled by summer temperatures and further amplified by the albedo feedback. For the recent period 2004-2013 climatic mass balance was -21 cm w. e. yr-1, and accounting for frontal ablation estimated by Błaszczyk et al.(2009) yields a total Svalbard mass balance of -39 cm w. e. yr-1 for this 10-year period. In terms of eustatic sea level, this corresponds to a rise of 0.037 mm yr-1. Refreezing of water in snow and firn is substantial at 22 cm w. e. yr-1 or 26 % of total annual accumulation. However, as warming leads to reduced firn area over the period, refreezing decreases both absolutely and relative to the total accumulation. Negative mass balance and elevated equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) resulted in massive reduction of the thick (> 2 m) firn extent and an increase in the superimposed ice, thin (< 2 m) firn and bare ice extents. Atmospheric warming also leads to a marked change in the thermal regime

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Velocities of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, West Antarctica, from ERS-1 SAR images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucchitta, B.K.; Rosanova, C.E.

    1997-01-01

    Average velocities of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers were measured for the time periods between 1992 and 1994 by tracking ice-surface patterns. Velocities of the central flow of the Pine Island Glacier range from 1.5 km/yr above the grounding line (separating the grounded from the floating parts of a glacier) to 2.8 km/yr near the terminus; velocities of the central Thwaites Glacier range from 2.2 km/yr above the grounding line to 3.4 km/yr at the limit of measurements on the tongue. Both glaciers show an increase in velocity of about 1 km/yr where they cross their grounding lines. The velocities derived from ERS-1 images are higher than those previously derived from Landsat images, perhaps reflecting acceleration of the glaciers. Both glaciers are exceptionally fast. The high velocities may be due to high precipitation rates over West Antarctica and the lack of a major buttressing ice shelf.

  20. 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

  1. The impact of glacier geometry on meltwater plume structure and submarine melt in Greenland fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, D.; Sutherland, D. A.; Hudson, B.; Moon, T.; Catania, G. A.; Shroyer, E. L.; Nash, J. D.; Bartholomaus, T. C.; Felikson, D.; Stearns, L. A.; Noël, B. P. Y.; Broeke, M. R.

    2016-09-01

    Meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet often drains subglacially into fjords, driving upwelling plumes at glacier termini. Ocean models and observations of submarine termini suggest that plumes enhance melt and undercutting, leading to calving and potential glacier destabilization. Here we systematically evaluate how simulated plume structure and submarine melt during summer months depends on realistic ranges of subglacial discharge, glacier depth, and ocean stratification from 12 Greenland fjords. Our results show that grounding line depth is a strong control on plume-induced submarine melt: deep glaciers produce warm, salty subsurface plumes that undercut termini, and shallow glaciers produce cold, fresh surface-trapped plumes that can overcut termini. Due to sustained upwelling velocities, plumes in cold, shallow fjords can induce equivalent depth-averaged melt rates compared to warm, deep fjords. These results detail a direct ocean-ice feedback that can affect the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  2. Rapid Holocene thinning of an East Antarctic outlet glacier driven by marine ice sheet instability

    PubMed Central

    Jones, R. S.; Mackintosh, A. N.; Norton, K. P.; Golledge, N. R.; Fogwill, C. J.; Kubik, P. W.; Christl, M.; Greenwood, S. L.

    2015-01-01

    Outlet glaciers grounded on a bed that deepens inland and extends below sea level are potentially vulnerable to ‘marine ice sheet instability'. This instability, which may lead to runaway ice loss, has been simulated in models, but its consequences have not been directly observed in geological records. Here we provide new surface-exposure ages from an outlet of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that reveal rapid glacier thinning occurred approximately 7,000 years ago, in the absence of large environmental changes. Glacier thinning persisted for more than two and a half centuries, resulting in hundreds of metres of ice loss. Numerical simulations indicate that ice surface drawdown accelerated when the otherwise steadily retreating glacier encountered a bedrock trough. Together, the geological reconstruction and numerical simulations suggest that centennial-scale glacier thinning arose from unstable grounding line retreat. Capturing these instability processes in ice sheet models is important for predicting Antarctica's future contribution to sea level change. PMID:26608558

  3. Rapid Holocene thinning of an East Antarctic outlet glacier driven by marine ice sheet instability.

    PubMed

    Jones, R S; Mackintosh, A N; Norton, K P; Golledge, N R; Fogwill, C J; Kubik, P W; Christl, M; Greenwood, S L

    2015-11-26

    Outlet glaciers grounded on a bed that deepens inland and extends below sea level are potentially vulnerable to 'marine ice sheet instability'. This instability, which may lead to runaway ice loss, has been simulated in models, but its consequences have not been directly observed in geological records. Here we provide new surface-exposure ages from an outlet of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet that reveal rapid glacier thinning occurred approximately 7,000 years ago, in the absence of large environmental changes. Glacier thinning persisted for more than two and a half centuries, resulting in hundreds of metres of ice loss. Numerical simulations indicate that ice surface drawdown accelerated when the otherwise steadily retreating glacier encountered a bedrock trough. Together, the geological reconstruction and numerical simulations suggest that centennial-scale glacier thinning arose from unstable grounding line retreat. Capturing these instability processes in ice sheet models is important for predicting Antarctica's future contribution to sea level change.

  4. Snow line altitude evolution in the Franco-Italian Alps over the 1984-2010 period reconstructed using optical remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabatel, A.; Dedieu, J.; Letréguilly, A.; Thibert, E.; Six, D.; Vincent, C.

    2011-12-01

    For mid-latitude mountain glaciers, the snow line altitude (SLA) at the end of the hydrological year is a good indicator of the equilibrium line altitude and thus of the annual mass balance. This enables SLA evolution to be reconstructed for long time periods from remote sensing data, as the snow line is generally easy to identify using aerial photographs and satellite images. Consequently, this enables researchers to study the climate-glacier relationship at the massif scale, particularly in remote areas where no direct measurements are available. In this study, we present series of reconstructed SLA for approximately 50 glaciers in the Franco-Italian Alps over the period 1984-2010. More than 130 images have been used, registred by the following satellites: Landsat 4TM, 5TM, 7 ETM+, SPOT 1 to 5 and ASTER, with spatial resolutions ranging between 2.5 and 30 m. To facilitate the identification of the snow line on the Landsat and SPOT-ASTER images, we used a combination of the spectral bands 542 and 431, respectively, with radiometric thresholds for bands 2, 4 and 1, 3. On each image, the snow line has been manually delineated. Its average altitude has been calculated for only the central part of the glaciers to avoid border effects on the glacier banks, which could generate snow line position dependence on local conditions (shadows from surrounding slopes, additional snow input by avalanches or due to wind drift). A comparison between SLA time-series and in-situ measurements of glacier mass balance was set for three French glaciers where direct mass balance measurements are available over the whole time-period (Argentière, Saint Sorlin and Gébroulaz glaciers). Results show high correlation (0.74 < r2 < 0.98, p < 0.01, n = 27), underlying the quality of the SLA dataset and strenghtening the interest of the SLA as a key indicator of the climate-glacier relationship. Considering the complete time period, the average SLA of the studied glaciers has increased by about

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The Lateglacial to Holocene transition as recorded by glacier fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindelwig, I.; Akçar, N.; Kubik, P. W.; Schlüchter, C.

    2009-04-01

    , the glacier at the Belalp shows multiple advances during the Lateglacial to early Holocene. 10Be exposure age data suggest that the outer moraine ridge can be an advance older than the Egesen stadial and younger than the LGM. This is in concert with other Younger Dryas related glacial landsystems in Switzerland (reviewing the outer moraine ages e.g. Julier Pass, Ivy-Ochs et al. 1996, 2008). A large number of Lateglacial moraines have been identified and relative correlations on the basis of elevation, equilibrium line altitude (Gross et al. 1977; Maisch, 1987) and morphological characteristics have been established. Nevertheless, it remains important to refine the absolute chronology in order to put further temporal constraints on these relative frameworks. This allows the allocation of such absolutely dated deposits to distinguished cold phases (Preboreal oscillation, Younger Dryas, Aegelsee oscillation) thus underlining their potential significance in the context of regional, as well as global Lateglacial climate conditions. The 10Be exposure ages from an inner moraine ridge are in a good agreement with the recalculated previously published 10Be exposure ages from the Egesen moraines in the Alps. This suggests a synchronicity of the Egesen stadial in the European Alps at the end of the Younger Dryas cold phase. REFERENCES Björck, S., Walker, M. J.C., Cwynar, L.C., Johnson, S., Knudsen, K-L., Lowe, J. J. & Wohlfarth, B. (1998): An event stratigraphy for the Last Termination in the North Atlantic region based on the Greenland ice-core record: a proposal by the INTIMATE group. Journal of Quarternary Science, 13, 283-292. Gross, G., Kerschner, H. & Patzelt, G. (1977): Methodische Untersuchungen über die Schneegrenze in alpinen Gletschergebieten. Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, 12, 223-251. Ivy-Ochs, S., Kerschner, H., Reuther, A., Preusser, F., Heine, K., Maisch, M., Kubik, P.W. & Schlüchter, C. (2008): Chronology of the last glacial cycle in the

  10. Lines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mires, Peter B.

    2006-01-01

    National Geography Standards for the middle school years generally stress the teaching of latitude and longitude. There are many creative ways to explain the great grid that encircles our planet, but the author has found that students in his college-level geography courses especially enjoy human-interest stories associated with lines of latitude…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, M.

    2009-04-01

    There is still a controverse discussion on Late Pleistocene glacier extensions for many parts of the Himalaya. Besides differing geomorphological results, more recent pedological relative datings of moraines delivered further inconsistent findings. For a meridian Himalaya transect along the Kali Gandaki a detailed field review of these different glaciogeomorphological reconstructions has been carried out, supplemented by new equilibrium line altitude (ELA) calculations. In a second step these findings have been used as benchmark to explore the options and limits of pedological relative dating of glacigene accumulations in the Higher Himalaya. A review of the already existing glaciogeomorphological results clearly appoved the more extended glaciation and the detailed relative chronology found in Kuhle (1982), while the more restricted glaciation view advanded by Fort (2000) is the result of foulty and missing geomorphological interpretations. To reconstruct former ELA depressions within the very steep and highly dynamic landforms of the Himalaya, „Toe-To-Summit-Altitude-Methods" (TSAM) are most adequate. Only the upper and lower glacier margin need to be known, which can be identified quite certain even for pre-existing glacier extensions. The method Kuhle is proved to provide the most suitable results, because the strong influence of the valley topography and the degree of debris cover on the position of the ELA within the vertical extension of the glacier can be simulated by the „factor of snowline deviation" (FSD). Maximum ELA depressions of 1300 to 1500 m can be observed for the south-face of the Higher Himalaya as well as for the arid north-face and the Inner Himalaya. The extreme topographical changeover arising from the inflow of the former glaciers from the tributary valleys into the wide and flat valley bottoms lead to little uncertainness, but the relative chronology of the glacier stages can certainly be derived. Most of the granulometric weathering

  14. Modeling glacier beds in the Austrian Alps: How many lakes will form in future?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Dominik; Geilhausen, Martin; Linsbauer, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Glacial retreat exposes landscapes with relief characteristics greatly differing from the former ice covered surfaces. If glacial retreat exposes natural basins capable of forming proglacial lakes, then the downstream hydrologic and geomorphic systems in such catchments will be significantly altered due to discharge modifications, sediment trapping, decoupling effects and long term sediment storage (e.g. Geilhausen et al. 2013). Further implications are related to hydropower management, tourism and natural hazards. Consequently, sound knowledge of present day glacier beds ("proglacial zones of tomorrow") and in particular the total number, locations and characteristics of overdeepenings are of importance. For Austria, however, this important information about significant future changes of high alpine regions is yet missing. An interdisciplinary research project is currently in preparation to close this gap. This paper presents results of a pilot study. We used a novel GIS-based approach (GlabTop, cf. Linsbauer et al. 2012) to compute approximate glacier beds in the Austrian Alps. GlabTop ('Glacier bed Topography') is based on an empirical relation between average basal shear stress and elevation range of individual glaciers and makes use of digital elevation models (DEM), glacier outlines and branch lines (i.e. a set of lines covering all important glacier branches). DEMs and glacier outlines were derived from the Austrian glacier inventory (1998) and branch lines were manually digitized. The inventory includes 911 glaciers of which 876 (96%) were considered and 35 were excluded due to size restrictions (< 0.01 km²) or insufficient DEM coverage. We found 165 overdeepenings (> 0.01 km²) with the potential of forming proglacial lakes when glacier retreat reveals the bed. The total area and volume of all overdeepenings is approx. 10 km² and 236 Mio m³ respectively and 33 lakes will be larger than 1 km³. A total glacier volume of 16 ± 5 km³ with an average ice

  15. Analysis of glacier facies using satellite techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Edge equilibrium code for tokamaks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xujing; Drozdov, Vladimir V.

    2014-01-15

    The edge equilibrium code (EEC) described in this paper is developed for simulations of the near edge plasma using the finite element method. It solves the Grad-Shafranov equation in toroidal coordinate and uses adaptive grids aligned with magnetic field lines. Hermite finite elements are chosen for the numerical scheme. A fast Newton scheme which is the same as implemented in the equilibrium and stability code (ESC) is applied here to adjust the grids.

  17. 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.

  18. Recent Changes in Arctic Glaciers, Ice Caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet: Cold Facts About Warm Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdalati, W.

    2005-12-01

    One of the major manifestations of Arctic change can be observed in the state of balance of Arctic glaciers and ice caps and the Greenland ice sheet. These ice masses are estimated to contain nearly 3 million cubic kilometers of ice, which is more than six times greater than all the water stored in the Earth's lakes, rivers, and snow combined and is the equivalent of over 7 meters of sea level. Most of these ice masses have been shrinking in recent in years, but their mass balance is highly variable on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. On the Greenland ice sheet most of the coastal regions have thinned substantially as melt has increased and some of its outlet glaciers have accelerated. Near the equilibrium line in West Greenland, we have seen evidence of summer acceleration that is linked to surface meltwater production, suggesting a relatively rapid response mechanism of the ice sheet change to a warming climate. At the same time, however, the vast interior regions of the Greenland ice sheet have shown little change or slight growth, as accumulation in these areas may have increased. Throughout much of the rest of the Arctic, many glaciers and ice caps have been shrinking in the past few decades, and in Canada and Alaska, the rate of ice loss seems to have accelerated during the late 1990s. These recent observations offer only a snapshot in time of the long-term behavior, but they are providing crucial information about the current state of ice mass balance and the mechanisms that control it in one of the most climatically sensitive regions on Earth. As we continue to learn more through a combination of remote sensing observations, in situ measurements and improved modeling capabilities, it is important that we coordinate and integrate these approaches effectively in order to predict future changes and their impact on sea level, freshwater discharge, and ocean circulation.

  19. Helical axis stellarator equilibrium model

    SciTech Connect

    Koniges, A.E.; Johnson, J.L.

    1985-02-01

    An asymptotic model is developed to study MHD equilibria in toroidal systems with a helical magnetic axis. Using a characteristic coordinate system based on the vacuum field lines, the equilibrium problem is reduced to a two-dimensional generalized partial differential equation of the Grad-Shafranov type. A stellarator-expansion free-boundary equilibrium code is modified to solve the helical-axis equations. The expansion model is used to predict the equilibrium properties of Asperators NP-3 and NP-4. Numerically determined flux surfaces, magnetic well, transform, and shear are presented. The equilibria show a toroidal Shafranov shift.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubeda, J.; Palacios, D.

    2009-04-01

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

  3. 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)

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Glacier Evolution in the Altai Mountains, South-West Siberia, for the Last Half Century (with use of Geo-Informational Catalogue)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surazakov, A. B.; Narojniy, Y. K.; Nikitin, S. A.; Aizen, V. B.

    2003-12-01

    To systemize and analyze the information for the period from 1835 to present on altitudinal distributions of glaciers, exposition, their numbers and surface areas in basins, volumes, genetic classification, location of lower and upper level of glaciers, average firn line position and main morphometric characteristics, DataBase on glacier dynamics in the Altai Mountains (AGDB) has been developed in ArcGIS Format [Tomsk State University, Russia]. Data from Glacier Catalogue [1962], topographic maps with the scale of 1:25000 and 1:50000 and air photos, which fixed glaciers' state on 1952, were digitized. Instrumental observational data on glacier tongue retreat from twenty glaciers since 1835, and radio-echo sounding measurements of 120 glacier volumes were also digitized in the AGDB. Modern state of Altai glaciers and their changes since 1952 were assessed from Resurs space images and partially from instrumental observations. Based on estimation from Resurs for the period from 1952 to 1998, the value of Altai glacier retreating was about 56.9 km2, i.e. 7.1 % of total area, varied from 4 % for valley glaciers to 16 % for glaciers of flat mountain tops. Retreat of 2-8 m per year was accompanied by their 10% mass loss. The slightest degradation occurred in inner (central) part of the glacier system, in the heads of river basins with large-scale glaciation, e.g., in the Katunski, Nothern-Chuiski and Southern-Chuiski ranges, amounting to 6.3%. These are the highest regions, reaching up to 4506 m., and 80% of Altai's glaciers are located there. In the river basins with relatively small-glacierized areas, at the peripheral regions, e.g., Kurai, Chihacheva ranges, the degradation reached its maximum values up to 22%.

  9. 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.

  10. Increased Ocean Access to Totten Glacier, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Young, D. A.; Richter, T. G.; Roberts, J. L.; Aitken, A.; Legresy, B.; Warner, R. C.; van Ommen, T. D.; Siegert, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Totten Glacier is the largest ice sheet outlet in East Antarctica, draining 3.5 meters of eustatic sea level potential from the Aurora Subglacial Basin (ASB) into the Sabrina Coast. Recent work has shown that the ASB has drained and filled many times since largescale glaciation began including evidence that it collapsed during the Pliocene. Steady thinning rates observed near Totten Glacier's grounding line since the beginning of the satellite altimetry record are the largest in East Antarctica and the nature of the thinning suggests that it is driven by enhanced basal melting due to ocean processes. Warm Modified Circumpolar Deep Water (MCDW), which has been linked to glacier retreat in West Antarctica, has been observed in summer and winter on the Sabrina Coast continental shelf in the 400-500 m depth range. Using airborne geophysical data acquired over multiple years we delineate seafloor valleys connecting the inner continental shelf to the cavity beneath Totten Glacier that cut through a large sill centered along the ice shelf calving front. The sill shallows to depths of about 300 mbsl and was likely a grounding line pinning point during Holocene retreat, however, the two largest seafloor valleys are deeper than the observed range of thermocline depths. The deeper of the two valleys, a 4 km-wide trough, connects to the ice shelf cavity through an area of the coastline that was previously believed to be grounded but that our analysis demonstrates is floating, revealing a second, deeper entryway to ice shelf cavity. The previous coastline was charted using satellite-based mapping techniques that infer subglacial properties based on surface expression and behavior; the new geophysical analysis techniques we use enable inferences of subglacial characteristics using direct observations of the ice-water interface. The results indicate that Totten Glacier and, by extension, the Aurora Subglacial Basin are vulnerable to MCDW that has been observed on the nearby

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Accelerating Ice Loss from the Fastest Greenland and Antarctic Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Andrea

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A Europe-wide perspective on Younger Dryas glacier-climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellitero, Ramon; Rea, Brice; Spagnolo, Matteo; Bakke, Jostein; Hughes, Philip; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Lukas, Sven; Renssen, Hans; Ribolini, Adriano

    2015-04-01

    Equilibrium Line Altitudes have been calculated for over one hundred reconstructed palaeoglaciers stretching from North Africa in the south to Svalbard in the north and the Cantabrian Mountains in the west to the Balkans in the east. Palaeoglaciers were reconstructed based on landforms dated to the Younger Dryas and published in the academic literature. Strict quality control checks were applied to the chronology and, where necessary, dates have been recalibrated using modern calculators. 3D palaeoglaciers were reconstructed using a semi-automated GIS tool, based on Benn and Hulton (2010), which calculates ice thickness using the bed topography and assumes perfect-plasticity ice rheology. From the 3D reconstructed surfaces ELAs were calculated using another GIS tool (Pellitero et al., 2015). Where data has been generated for several glaciers in a region a single value is determined for both the AAR and AABR methods following Osmaston (2005). Preliminary results show a smooth S to N decline in ELA along the western seaboard of Europe, as far north as 60°, where it increases sharply in elevation before declining towards the north again. Along the west-east transect the ELA is located between 2000 and 3000 masl, without any consistent large-scale pattern. Locally gradients are present, for example, across the Cantabrian Range and Eastern Pyrenees, and across the west Balkans. Modern day ELA gradients are determined, where possible, along the same transects. This is achieved by determining the zero net balance ELAs from mass balance time series obtained from the World Glacier Monitoring Service. The modern-day ELA gradients are compared to those determined for the YD and are used to interpret large scale atmospheric circulation patterns. For example, the sharp rise in the ELA at approximately 60°N is assumed to be related to the location of the Polar Front. North of this temperatures would be expected to reduce significantly, but in terms of glacier mass balance

  1. Regional scale climatic trends derived from Younger Dryas glaciers in the U.K.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, D.; Rea, B. R.; Barr, I.; Small, D.; McDougall, D.

    2014-12-01

    In the U.K., the glacial geomorphological record has been utilised to infer paleo-glacier geometries and ice dynamics, with much of this work focussing on the Scottish Highlands during the Younger Dryas (YD; c. 12.9 - 11.7 ka BP). During the YD the West Highlands Ice-cap covered the majority of the Scottish Highlands (c. 13,000 sq mi), which is thought to have affected accumulation rates beyond the ice-cap margins, resulting in a steep (c. 80%) easterly decline in precipitation and smaller ice-masses. We present multi-proxy data investigating YD glaciation in the Tweedsmuir Hills, Southern Uplands, Scotland (55°46' N, 03°34' W), suggesting conditions were less arid. The area forms the most easterly upland region in the Southern Uplands and south of the West Highlands Ice-cap, reaching an altitude of 840 m and covering c. 200 sq mi. Results of air-photo interpretation and field mapping, which utilised a morphostratigraphic approach, have demonstrated a more extensive glaciation than previously mapped. The reconstruction consists of two separate icefields covering an area c. 40 sq mi. and new 14C dates of basal contact organics place the ice-mass within the context of the YD but new Cosmogenic Nuclide Analysis (CNA) of bedrock and in situ boulders are inconclusive, implying limited erosion and limited resetting during the YD. Equilibrium Line Altitudes are calculated to have ranged from c. 419 - 634 m. Paleo-precipitation values were derived using two precipitation-temperature relationships and suggest slightly lower totals than YD ice-masses located on the west coast of the U.K. but do not support a significant easterly reduction in precipitation. Analysis of present-day (c. 30 year) meteorological data across the U.K. demonstrates a pronounced reduction in precipitation of c. 50% on the east coast. This disparity between present-day and glacier-based YD precipitation patterns is partly attributable to the methodology employed in glacier reconstruction and

  2. 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.

  3. Small valley glaciers and the effectiveness of the glacial buzzsaw in the northern Basin and Range, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, David; Brocklehurst, Simon H.; Gawthorpe, Rob L.

    2008-12-01

    The glacial buzzsaw hypothesis suggests that efficient erosion limits topographic elevations in extensively glaciated orogens. Studies to date have largely focussed on regions where large glaciers (tens of kilometres long) have been active. In light of recent studies emphasising the importance of lateral glacial erosion in lowering peaks and ridgelines, we examine the effectiveness of small glaciers in limiting topography under both relatively slow and rapid rock uplift conditions. Four ranges in the northern Basin and Range, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, USA, were chosen for this analysis. Estimates of maximum Pleistocene slip rates along normal faults bounding the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains (~ 0.14 mm y - 1 ), Lemhi Range (~ 0.3 mm y - 1 ) and Lost River Range (~ 0.3 mm y - 1 ) are an order of magnitude lower than those on the Teton Fault (~ 2 mm y - 1 ). We compare the distribution of glacial erosion (estimated from cirque floor elevations and last glacial maximum (LGM) equilibrium line altitude (ELA) reconstructions) and fault slip rate with three metrics of topography in each range: the along-strike maximum elevation swath profile, hypsometry, and slope-elevation profiles. In the slowly uplifting Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, and Lemhi and Lost River Ranges, trends in maximum elevation parallel ELAs, independent of variations in fault slip rate. Maximum elevations are offset ~ 500 m from LGM ELAs in the Lost River Range, Lemhi Range, and northern Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, and by ~ 350 m in the southern Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains, where glacial extents were less. The offset between maximum topography and mean Quaternary ELAs, inferred from cirque floor elevations, is ~ 350 m in the Lost River and Lemhi Ranges, and 200-250 m in the Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains. Additionally, slope-elevation profiles are flattened and hypsometry profiles show a peak in surface areas close to the ELA in the Lemhi Range and Beaverhead-Bitterroot Mountains

  4. Impact of monsoonal rainfall on specific mass balance in ablation zone of Chhota Shigri Glacier in 2008, Himachal Pradesh, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, P.; Ramanathan, A.; Linda, A.; Wagnon, P.; Arnod, Y.; Jose, P. G.; Chevallier, P.

    2009-04-01

    The Mass Balance of the Chhota Shigri glacier (32.2°N, 77.5°E; 15.7 km2, 4050 to 6263m a.m.s.l., 9 km long) located in Lahaul and Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh, India has been monitored from 2002 to 2008 using glaciological method. In 2008, an additional field survey during 3- 10th August was undertaken to understand the impact of monsoonal rainfall on specific mass balance at various points on the ablation zone of this glacier that is alternatively influenced by the Indian monsoon and the mid-latitude westerlies. Specific Annual Mass Balance is negative (0.93 mweq), Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) is 5120m and Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR) is 38% in the 2007-08 hydrological year. In 2008 data obtained from nearest Weather station at Keylong show that the monsoon hit the Spiti valley in the middle of June (15 days earlier than normal date ) .The results reveal that 70% of total specific mass balance occurred by the first week of August indicating that most of the melting occurred in the first half of ablation season, dominated by monsoonal rainfall. The rainfall may accelerate ablation rate by supplying ( heat ) energy even it is very low and exposing bare dirty ice thereby decreasing albedo. In part A of the glacier, the mean vertical gradient of ablation up to August 08 is 0.67 m w.e. 100 m-1 between 4350 and 4850 m a.s.l., (area free of debris) and for part B, it is 0.41 m w.e. 100 m-1 between 4600m a.s.l. and 5000m a.s.l. From August 08 up to 1st week of October, mean vertical gradient of the ablation for part A is 0.54m w.e. 100 m-1 and it is 0.61 m w.e. 100 m-1 in part B for the same altitude ranges. Below 4350m a.s.l. the whole glacier is covered by debris and the melting rate is significantly reduced. Overall, ablation rate is influenced by rainfall, incoming solar radiation and debris cover.

  5. Southern Alaska as an Example of the Long-Term Consequences of Mountain Building Under the Influence of Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meigs, Andrew; Sauber, Jeanne

    2000-01-01

    Southern Alaska is a continent-scale region of ongoing crustal deformation within the Pacific-North American plate boundary zone. Glaciers and glacial erosion have dictated patterns of denudation in the orogen over the last approx. 5 My. The orogen comprises three discrete topographic domains from south to north, respectively: (1) the Chugach/St. Elias Range; (2) the Wrangell Mountains; and (3) the eastern Alaska Range. Although present deformation is distributed across the orogen, much of the shortening and uplift are concentrated in the Chugach/St. Elias Range. A systematic increase in topographic wavelength of the range from east to west reflects east-to-west increases in the width of a shallowly-dipping segment of the plate interface, separation of major upper plate structures, and a decrease in the obliquity of plate motion relative to the plate boundary. Mean elevation decays exponentially from approx. 2500 m to approx. 1100 m from east to west, respectively. Topographic control on the present and past distribution of glaciers is indicated by close correspondence along the range between mean elevation and the modern equilibrium line altitude of glaciers (ELA) and differences in the modern ELA, mean annual precipitation and temperature across the range between the windward, southern and leeward, northern flanks. Net, range- scale erosion is the sum of: (1) primary bedrock erosion by glaciers and (2) erosion in areas of the landscape that are ice-marginal and are deglaciated at glacial minima. Oscillations between glacial and interglacial climates controls ice height and distribution, which, in turn, modulates the locus and mode of erosion in the landscape. Mean topography and the mean position of the ELA are coupled because of the competition between rock uplift, which tends to raise the ELA, and enhanced orographic precipitation accompanying mountain building, which tends to lower the ELA. Mean topography is controlled both by the 60 deg latitude and maritime

  6. 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

    accumulation along the Chagan Uzun River, which confirms the presence of lacustrine sediments in the Chagan Uzun glacier foreland before the glacier advances. Such sediments could have acted as a soft bed over which fast or unstable glacier flow occurred. This is the first study reporting surge-like behaviour of former glaciers in the Altai mountain range, supported by detailed geomorphological and sedimentological evidences. Such findings are crucial for paleoclimate inference, as the surge-related features cannot be attributed to a glacier system in equilibrium with the contemporary climate, and cannot be interpreted with traditional ELA reconstructions. This study also highlights the complexity of establishing robust paleoglacial chronologies in highly dynamic environments, with interactions between glacial events and the formation and drainage of lakes.

  7. 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

    longitudinal stress at the ice/water boundary. Results from our model are compared to recent glaciological observations to determine if an ice-flow numerical model with simplified geometry can reasonably describe observed glacier dynamics. Durand, G., O. Gagliardini, B. de Fleurian, T. Zwinger, and E. Le Meur (2009), Marine ice sheet dynamics: Hysteresis and neutral equilibrium, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114(F03009), doi: 10.1029/2008JF001170. Vieli, A., M. Funk, and H. Blatter (2001), Flow dynamics of tidewater glaciers: a numerical modelling approach, Journal of Glaciology, 47(159), 595-606.

  8. Response of Different Antarctic Outlet Glacier Types to Perturbations at Their Boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitz, N. A.; Stearns, L. A.; van der Veen, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Ice sheets are primarily drained by outlet glaciers and ice streams that transport mass from the inland to the ocean. Determining mass loss from the ice sheets is particularly important for calculating future sea level rise. Currently, dynamic ice loss is not included in the prediction of future sea levels, due to the uncertain response of outlet glaciers to climatic perturbations. It is therefore crucial to understand how different types of glaciers respond to changes at their boundaries.Outlet glaciers can be categorized based on their geometry and the mechanisms that drive fast flow. Ice streams are wide with a small surface slope, flow fast despite low driving stress and have little basal drag. Isbrae on the other hand are narrow with a steep surface slope and large driving stress. Between these two end members fall a variety of mixed-type glaciers.We investigate the response of different types of Antarctic outlet glaciers to perturbation scenarios with a flow line model. The effect of reduction in basal drag due to increased sliding, changes in surface accumulation, an increase in submarine melting around the grounding zone, a lower back force at the terminus, and a decrease in lateral drag on glacier stability are explored. Preliminary results indicate that a short-term increase in basal sliding (e.g. from lake discharge events), or increased surface accumulation rates have little impact on the ice flow and the glacier's stability, whereas ice shelf thinning or a reduction in back force result in an immediate response of the outlet glacier. In these cases, a new stable position with an increased but constant ice discharge is obtained soon.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Low-latitude mountain glacier evidence for abrupt climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, L. G.; Mosley-Thompson, E. S.; Lin, P.; Davis, M. E.; Mashiotta, T. A.; Brecher, H. H.

    2004-12-01

    Clear evidence that a widespread warming of Earth's climate system is now underway comes from low latitude mountain glaciers. Proxy temperature histories reconstructed from ice cores, and the rapidly accelerating loss of both the total ice area and ice volume on a near global scale suggest that these glaciers responding to increasing rates of melting. In situ observations reveal the startling rates at which many tropical glaciers are disappearing. For example, the retreat of the terminus of the Qori Kalis Glacier in Peru is roughly 200 meters per year, 40 times faster than its retreat rate in 1978. Similarly, in 1912 the ice on Mount Kilimanjaro covered 12.1 km2, but today it covers only 2.6 km2. If the current rate of retreat continues, the perennial ice fields may disappear within the next few decades, making this the first time in the past 11,700 years that Kilimanjaro will be devoid of the ice that shrouds its summit. Tropical glaciers may be considered ``the canaries in the coal mine'' for the global climate system as they integrate and respond to key climatological variables, such as temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity, and incident solar radiation. A composite of the decadally-averaged oxygen isotopic records from three Andean and three Tibetan ice cores extending back over the last two millennia shows an isotopic enrichment in the 20th century that suggests a large-scale warming is underway at lower latitudes. Multiple lines of evidence from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America indicate an abrupt mid-Holocene climate event in the low latitudes. If such an event were to occur now with a global human population of 6.3 billion people, the consequences could be severe. Clearly, we need to understand the nature and cause of abrupt climate events.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trussel, Barbara Lea

    , increased water input may cause lake level in rifts to rise resulting in faster rift propagation and spreading. Similar formation and disintegration of floating tongues are expected to occur in the glacier's future, as the ice divide lies below the current lake level. In addition to calving retreat, Yakutat Glacier is rapidly thinning, which lowers its surface and therefore exposes the ice to warmer air temperatures causing increased thinning. Even under a constant climate, this positive feedback mechanism would force Yakutat Glacier to quickly retreat and mostly disappear. Simulations of future mass loss were run for two scenarios, keeping the current climate and forcing it with a projected warming climate. Results showed that over 95% of the glacier ice will have disappeared by 2120 or 2070 under a constant vs projected climate, respectively. For the first few decades, the glacier will be able to maintain its current thinning rate by retreating and thus losing areas of lowest elevation. However, once higher elevations have thinned substantially, the glacier cannot compensate any more to maintain a constant thinning rate and transfers into an unstable run-away situation. To stop this collapse and transform Yakutat Glacier into equilibrium in its current geometry, air temperatures would have to drop by 1.5 K or precipitation would have to increase by more than 50%. An increase in precipitation alone is unlikely to lead to a stable configuration, due to the very small current accumulation area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. External forcing modulates Pine Island Glacier flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Adiabatic evolution of plasma equilibrium

    PubMed Central

    Grad, H.; Hu, P. N.; Stevens, D. C.

    1975-01-01

    A new theory of plasma equilibrium is introduced in which adiabatic constraints are specified. This leads to a mathematically nonstandard structure, as compared to the usual equilibrium theory, in which prescription of pressure and current profiles leads to an elliptic partial differential equation. Topologically complex configurations require further generalization of the concept of adiabaticity to allow irreversible mixing of plasma and magnetic flux among islands. Matching conditions across a boundary layer at the separatrix are obtained from appropriate conservation laws. Applications are made to configurations with planned islands (as in Doublet) and accidental islands (as in Tokamaks). Two-dimensional, axially symmetric, helically symmetric, and closed line equilibria are included. PMID:16578729

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, Shad

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Implementation of a new atomic basis for the He I equilibrium line ratio technique for electron temperature and density diagnostic in the SOL for H-mode plasmas in DIII-D

    SciTech Connect

    Burgos, JMM; Schmitz, O.; Unterberg, Ezekial A; Loch, S. D.; Ballance, C. P.

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating the ratio of selected helium lines allows for measurement of electron densities and temperatures. This technique is applied for L-mode plasmas at TEXTOR (O. Schmitz et al., Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 50 (2008) 115004). We report our first efforts to extend it to H-mode plasma diagnostics in DIII-D. This technique depends on the accuracy of the atomic data used in the collisional radiative model (CRM). We present predictions for the electron temperatures and densities by using recently calculated R-Matrix With Pseudostates (RMPS) and Convergent Close-Coupling (CCC) electron-impact excitation and ionization data. We include contributions from higher Rydberg states by means of the projection matrix. These effects become significant for high electron density conditions, which are typical in H-mode. We apply a non-equilibrium model for the time propagation of the ionization balance to predict line emission profiles from experimental H-mode data from DIII-D. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  12. Magnetospheric equilibrium with anisotropic pressure

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, C.Z.

    1991-07-01

    Self-consistent magnetospheric equilibrium with anisotropic pressure is obtained by employing an iterative metric method for solving the inverse equilibrium equation in an optimal flux coordinate system. A method of determining plasma parallel and perpendicular pressures from either analytic particle distribution or particle distribution measured along the satellite's path is presented. The numerical results of axisymmetric magnetospheric equilibrium including the effects of finite beta, pressure anisotropy, and boundary conditions are presented for a bi-Maxwellian particle distribution. For the isotropic pressure cases, the finite beta effect produces an outward expansion of the constant magnetic flux surfaces in relation to the dipole field lines, and along the magnetic field the toroidal ring current is maximum at the magnetic equator. The effect of pressure anisotropy is found to further expand the flux surfaces outward. Along the magnetic field lines the westward ring current can be peak away from the equator due to an eastward current contribution resulting from pressure anisotropy. As pressure anisotropy increases, the peak westward current can become more singular. The outer boundary flux surface has significant effect on the magnetospheric equilibrium. For the outer flux boundary resembling dayside compressed flux surface due to solar wind pressure, the deformation of the magnetic field can be quite different from that for the outer flux boundary resembling the tail-like surface. 23 refs., 17 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  15. 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%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Using Metaphorical Models for Describing Glaciers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felzmann, Dirk

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Preliminary results of a radio echo sounding survey of the Recovery Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humbert, Angelika; Kleiner, Thomas; Steinhage, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    The Recovery Glacier is draining about 8% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and feeds into the Filchner Ice Shelf. This ice shelf might be subjected in future to increasing basal melting (Hellmer et al., 2012) forcing potentially grounding line retreat. Compared to other areas in Antarctica this glacier is been surveyed very sparse and hence does not allow modeling studies yet. As many large and small subglacial lakes are present underneath this ice stream at different locations along the flow, the question of the influence of the lakes on ice stream genesis and ice stream dynamics arose. For investigating this influence by observation and subsequent modelling, an airborne campaign of the Alfred Wegener Institute was carried out in January 2014, covering the Recovery Ice Stream and two smaller glaciers merging with it, the Ramp Glacier and the Blackwall Glacier. The radar system uses a carrier frequency of 150MHz and a 600ns pulse. The survey includes several flights along flow lines in order to assess the basal roughness of the ice stream. Here we present the first preliminary data analysis.

  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. Adjustment of regional climate model output for modeling the climatic mass balance of all glaciers on Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Möller, Marco; Obleitner, Friedrich; Reijmer, Carleen H; Pohjola, Veijo A; Głowacki, Piotr; Kohler, Jack

    2016-05-27

    Large-scale modeling of glacier mass balance relies often on the output from regional climate models (RCMs). However, the limited accuracy and spatial resolution of RCM output pose limitations on mass balance simulations at subregional or local scales. Moreover, RCM output is still rarely available over larger regions or for longer time periods. This study evaluates the extent to which it is possible to derive reliable region-wide glacier mass balance estimates, using coarse resolution (10 km) RCM output for model forcing. Our data cover the entire Svalbard archipelago over one decade. To calculate mass balance, we use an index-based model. Model parameters are not calibrated, but the RCM air temperature and precipitation fields are adjusted using in situ mass balance measurements as reference. We compare two different calibration methods: root mean square error minimization and regression optimization. The obtained air temperature shifts (+1.43°C versus +2.22°C) and precipitation scaling factors (1.23 versus 1.86) differ considerably between the two methods, which we attribute to inhomogeneities in the spatiotemporal distribution of the reference data. Our modeling suggests a mean annual climatic mass balance of -0.05 ± 0.40 m w.e. a(-1) for Svalbard over 2000-2011 and a mean equilibrium line altitude of 452 ± 200 m  above sea level. We find that the limited spatial resolution of the RCM forcing with respect to real surface topography and the usage of spatially homogeneous RCM output adjustments and mass balance model parameters are responsible for much of the modeling uncertainty. Sensitivity of the results to model parameter uncertainty is comparably small and of minor importance.

  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. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G.

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers. PMID:25941518

  14. Microbial diversity on Icelandic glaciers and ice caps.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2015-01-01

    Algae are important primary colonizers of snow and glacial ice, but hitherto little is known about their ecology on Iceland's glaciers and ice caps. Due do the close proximity of active volcanoes delivering large amounts of ash and dust, they are special ecosystems. This study provides the first investigation of the presence and diversity of microbial communities on all major Icelandic glaciers and ice caps over a 3 year period. Using high-throughput sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes (16S and 18S), we assessed the snow community structure and complemented these analyses with a comprehensive suite of physical-, geo-, and biochemical characterizations of the aqueous and solid components contained in snow and ice samples. Our data reveal that a limited number of snow algal taxa (Chloromonas polyptera, Raphidonema sempervirens and two uncultured Chlamydomonadaceae) support a rich community comprising of other micro-eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla. Archaea were also detected in sites where snow algae dominated and they mainly belong to the Nitrososphaerales, which are known as important ammonia oxidizers. Multivariate analyses indicated no relationships between nutrient data and microbial community structure. However, the aqueous geochemical simulations suggest that the microbial communities were not nutrient limited because of the equilibrium of snow with the nutrient-rich and fast dissolving volcanic ash. Increasing algal secondary carotenoid contents in the last stages of the melt seasons have previously been associated with a decrease in surface albedo, which in turn could potentially have an impact on the melt rates of Icelandic glaciers.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Slow geomorphologic evolution of rock glaciers in marginal periglacial environment of Southern Carpathians (Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Necsoiu, M.; Onaca, A.; Ardelean, F.; Sirbu, F.; Magori, B.

    2015-12-01

    The development of remote sensing techniques in the last several decades now permits surveying areas that are difficult to access and allows capturing geomorphological processes that operate at low deformation rates. In marginal periglacial environments, where the kinematics of the rock glaciers are defined by slow flow, specific remote sensing techniques (e.g., optical image cross-correlation techniques or multitemporal interferometry) are preferred because they are capable of providing ground displacement accuracies on the order of a few mm. Recent multi-temporal image analysis of high-resolution optical and radar satellite imagery of the Retezat Mountains (in the southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania) rock glaciers revealed very low rates of deformation and confirmed that active rock glaciers still exist here. These findings were supported by geophysical investigations (electrical resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar) and thermal monitoring, which confirmed the patchy distribution of permafrost within the investigated rock glaciers. Given the high depth of the active layer (between 5 and 10 m) and the limited thickness of the ground ice bodies, the permafrost in the Retezat Mountains was assumed to exist in marginal conditions. The sporadic permafrost from the alpine zone of the southern Carpathians is extremely sensitive to environmental changes and responds directly to air temperature fluctuations. As an example, geophysical investigations between 2007 and 2014 revealed significant ground ice disappearance from one of the studied rock glaciers (i.e., Pietrele) as a result of rising air temperature. Optical satellite data revealed that the disappearance of ground ice led to accelerated movement of this rock glacier after 2007. The variability of horizontal movement is strongly controlled by the ground thermal regime. The results confirm the hypothesis that permafrost is not in equilibrium with the present-day climate in the Romanian

  18. Glaciers in Patagonia: Controversy and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  19. Glacier 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Erosion and transport by Byrd Glacier, Antarctica during the Last Glacial Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licht, K. J.; Palmer, E. F.

    2013-02-01

    Glacial till samples from seven, modern-Holocene Byrd Glacier moraines were characterized using particle size analysis, sand petrography and detrital zircon geochronology and compared to Ross Sea tills deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum. The goal was to identify the paleoflow path for Byrd Glacier and assess the use of multiple provenance techniques. The coarse sand fraction of Byrd Glacier tills is dominated by lithic fragments of adjacent bedrock outcrops, except samples from the Lonewolf Nunataks, which have a higher proportion of mineral to lithic fragments, as well as a recognizable exotic component. Cluster analysis shows that Byrd Glacier tills, with the exception of the two Lonewolf Nunataks sites, do not cluster strongly with Ross Sea samples because they have a higher proportion of lithic fragments. This indicates that comminution must be an active subglacial process beneath East Antarctic outlet glaciers. Byrd Glacier tills are also typically coarser grained that Ross Sea tills and their maturity is a reflection of both glacial processes and rock type. Measured U/Pb ages of detrital zircons from Byrd Glacier tills range from Triassic to Archean (240-3540 Ma) with a dominance of grains 530-600 Ma. Ross Sea till samples show spatial variability in U/Pb age distributions, with the core sites west of the 180° longitude line showing similarity to most Byrd Glacier tills, whereas core NBP9407-39, east of 180° long., is dominated by ˜100 Ma grains. Ross Sea tills also contain a recognizable detrital zircon fraction eroded inland of the Transantarctic Mountains. Both provenance methods indicate that the ice flow line for Byrd Glacier during the LGM was to the east of Ross Island and extended on either side of Ross Bank, with the majority of ice flowing to the Ross Sea's Central Basin. Our analysis shows that sand petrography and detrital zircon U/Pb age spectra provide complementary datasets that produce similar ice flow reconstructions and reveal

  5. Recent glacier retreat over Kerguelen archipelago (49°S, 69°E) derived from field data, satellite imagery and modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verfaillie, Deborah; Favier, Vincent; Dumont, Marie; Jomelli, Vincent; Gilbert, Adrien; Brunstein, Daniel; Frenot, Yves

    2013-04-01

    Situated in the Indian Ocean at 49° S, 69° E, Kerguelen archipelago represents a unique sub-polar observational site. Located at low altitude and on islands, the glaciers are particularly sensitive to oceanic and atmospheric variations (e.g. Poggi, 1977a,b; Vallon, 1987). The cryosphere on Kerguelen showed important fluctuations during the last 2 centuries (Frenot et al., 1993). After a small stable period until 1961, the ice cap showed a huge and extremely quick retreat, losing 20% of its surface during the last 40 years (Berthier et al., 2009). Relating directly this acceleration with the fluctuations of temperature and precipitation inferred from direct meteorological measurements is attractive and was generally performed (e.g. Frenot et al., 1993, 1997; Berthier et al., 2009). However, it was recently discovered that the drastic temperature change may be mainly due to changes in meteorological station characteristics in 1973 (Météo France, personal communication), challenging previous interpretation. The analysis of field data collected on Ampere glacier since 2010 presented here provides a first approach in our aim to understand the recent rapid retreat of its cryosphere. In this area, short term mass balance data from previous studies (Vallon 1977a,b, 1987) were compared to recent mass balance measurements. The analysis revealed that the spatial distribution of SMB significantly changed in 40 years. Collecting spatially distributed data of the surface characteristics and ablation was crucial to better interpret our field data. Recent variations (from 2000 to 2012) of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of Cook ice cap derived from MODIS imagery confirmed that the ELA rose about 100m since 2000. Additionally, we analysed meteorological and reanalysis data over Kerguelen from 1950 to 2012, in order to assess the causes and processes involved in the retreat of the ice cap, and present additional SMB and ELA estimates from a simple positive degree-day model

  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. Edge Equilibrium Code (EEC) For Tokamaks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xujling

    2014-02-24

    The edge equilibrium code (EEC) described in this paper is developed for simulations of the near edge plasma using the finite element method. It solves the Grad-Shafranov equation in toroidal coordinate and uses adaptive grids aligned with magnetic field lines. Hermite finite elements are chosen for the numerical scheme. A fast Newton scheme which is the same as implemented in the equilibrium and stability code (ESC) is applied here to adjust the grids

  8. Status and trend of the Kittlitz's Murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris in Glacier Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, J.F.; Arimitsu, M.; Drew, G.; Madison, E.N.; Bodkin, J.; Romano, Marc D.

    2011-01-01

    We conducted standardized surveys for marine birds in Glacier Bay in seven years between 1991 and 2008. From our most recent survey, a combination of line- and strip-transect methods completed in 2008, we estimated that 4981 (95% CI 1293-8670) Kittlitz's Murrelets Brachyramphus brevirostris resided in Glacier Bay during the month of June, together with 12 195 (5607-18 783) Marbled Murrelets B. marmoratus. When counts were prorated to assign unidentified Brachyramphus murrelets to species, population estimates increased to 5641 Kittlitz's Murrelets and 13 810 Marbled Murrelets. Our surveys of bird numbers in Glacier Bay between 1991 and 2008 revealed that Kittlitz's Murrelet declined by ???85% during this period. Trend analysis suggested a rate of decline between -10.7% and -14.4% per year. No direct human impacts (e.g., bycatch, oil pollution, vessel disturbance) in our study area could fully account for a decline of this magnitude. Widespread declines of Brachyramphus murrelets and Harbor Seals Phoca vitulina in the Gulf of Alaska during the 1980s-1990s suggest large-scale influences on these marine predators, perhaps related to climate-mediated cycles in food supply. Other natural factors that may impact Glacier Bay populations include predation by avian and terrestrial predators, widespread glacial retreat and its effect on nesting and foraging habitats, and competition for food with marine predators whose abundance in Glacier Bay has increased markedly in recent years (Humpback Whales Megaptera novaeangliae and Steller Sea Lions Eumetopias jubatus).

  9. Stabilizing feedbacks in glacier-bed erosion.

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-14

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Approaches to the Treatment of Equilibrium Perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canagaratna, Sebastian G.

    2003-10-01

    Perturbations from equilibrium are treated in the textbooks by a combination of Le Châtelier's principle, the comparison of the equilibrium constant K with the reaction quotient Q,and the kinetic approach. Each of these methods is briefly reviewed. This is followed by derivations of the variation of the equilibrium value of the extent of reaction, ξeq, with various parameters on which it depends. Near equilibrium this relationship can be represented by a straight line. The equilibrium system can be regarded as moving on this line as the parameter is varied. The slope of the line depends on quantities like enthalpy of reaction, volume of reaction and so forth. The derivation shows that these quantities pertain to the equilibrium system, not the standard state. Also, the derivation makes clear what kind of assumptions underlie our conclusions. The derivation of these relations involves knowledge of thermodynamics that is well within the grasp of junior level physical chemistry students. The conclusions that follow from the derived relations are given as subsidiary rules in the form of the slope of ξeq, with T, p, et cetera. The rules are used to develop a visual way of predicting the direction of shift of a perturbed system. This method can be used to supplement one of the other methods even at the introductory level.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Comparative metagenome analysis of an Alaskan glacier.

    PubMed

    Choudhari, Sulbha; Lohia, Ruchi; Grigoriev, Andrey

    2014-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

  7. 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.

  8. Getting Freshman in Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Chemical Education, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Various aspects of chemical equilibrium were discussed in six papers presented at the Seventh Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (Stillwater, Oklahoma 1982). These include student problems in understanding hydrolysis, helping students discover/uncover topics, equilibrium demonstrations, instructional strategies, and flaws to kinetic…

  9. Equilibrium of KSTAR Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) of Lateglacial rock glacier systems near the eastern margin of the European Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Rock glaciers are widespread permafrost landforms in Austria. Various rock glacier inventories list more than 4500 rock glaciers in the country; some 30-40% of them are intact. Relict (permafrost free) and pseudo-relict rock glaciers (sporadic and isolated permafrost particularly near the root zone) prevail in number. Rock glaciers are commonly formed over a period of several ka. Dating such landforms helps to understand palaeoclimatic conditions. In this study three rock glaciers consisting of gneiss were dated applying the Schmidt-hammer exposure-age dating (SHD) method. The rock glaciers are located at three neighbouring cirques in the Seckauer Tauern Range named Reichart Rock Glacier (RRG, area 1.26 km², length 1800 m, elevation range 1520-1940 m a.s.l.), Schöneben Rock Glacier (SRG, 0.11 km², 750 m, 1715-1905 m a.s.l.), and Dürrtal Rock Glacier (DRG, 0.08 km², 850 m, 1750-1980 m a.s.l.). RRG is one of the largest rock glaciers in Austria. All three landforms are influenced by lenses of permafrost at present (as indicated by ERT). During the LGM the Seckauer Tauern were covered by valley glaciers and deglaciation occurred presumably already early in the Alpine Lateglacial period. An analogue N-type Schmidt-hammer (proceq) was used for measuring the surface strength of stable blocks at the rock glacier surface by recording a rebound value (R-value) of a spring-loaded bolt. The R-value gives a relative measure of the surface hardness and hence time since exposure to weathering. Eight (RRG) or six (SRG, DRG) Schmidt-hammer measurement sites (with 50-100 individual readings) aligned along longitudinal transects (=former central flow line) between a talus slope (with relatively fresh boulders) in the root zone and the frontal ridge were measured. Mean R-value differences of 30.5 at RRG, 25.1 at SRG, and 20.7 at DRG were revealed along the three transects. The differences between the lowest and the highest R-value at the rock glaciers itself were 19.0 at RRG, 15

  15. 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

  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. Thermal Regime Change of a Retreating Polythermal Glacier from Repeat Ground Penetrating Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rippin, D. M.; Willis, I. C.; Sevestre, H.

    2014-12-01

    Polythermal glaciers (i.e. glaciers that consist of some combination of both warm and cold ice) are common in the Arctic (e.g. Aschwanden and Blatter, 2005). Recent work (e.g. Rippin et al. 2011; Gusmeroli et al., 2012; Wilson and Flowers, 2013; Wilson et al., 2013) has focussed on how their polythermal structure might change in response to a warming climate. These studies suggest that the nature of future thermal regime change is complex, such that the relative volume of temperate ice in a shrinking glacier may increase or decrease, depending on local geographical, meteorological and hydrological parameters. Here, we present a unique data-set from the well-studied glacier Midtre Lovénbreen in Svalbard, which has shown continued and sustained retreat in recent years. We have a network of ground penetrating radar (GPR) lines from this glacier, first surveyed in 2006 and then repeat-surveyed along exactly the same lines in 2012. Despite significant retreat and thinning, our data suggests that minimal changes in thermal regime have taken place over this period, reinforcing previous observations of a significant lag in the rate at which the thermal regime responds to mass balance changes (cf. Rippin et al., 2011). Such a 'thermal lag' has implications for evolving hydrological and dynamical behaviour of these glaciers, and also for the future mass balance response. In this paper, we comment on the observed changes and consider the implications for our understanding of future thermal regime evolution. ReferencesAschwanden, A., and H. Blatter. 2005. Meltwater production due to strain heating in Storglaciären, Sweden. JGR, 110, doi:10.1029/2005JF000,328. Rippin, D.M., J.L. Carrivick and C. Williams. 2011. Evidence towards a thermal lag in the response of Kårsaglaciären, northern Sweden, to climate change. J. Glac., 57(205), 895-903. Gusmeroli, A., P. Jansson, R. Pettersson and T. Murray. 2012. Twenty years of cold surface layer thinning at Storglaciaren, sub

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    In the Northern Caucasus, glacier and climatic variations over the past centuries remain insufficiently documented. In this review, we summarized the high-resolution information on glacier and climate fluctuations in the region for the past millennium and provided a synthesis of these two lines of evidence with respect to regional climate change. The key areas considered in the paper are the Elbrus area, the Teberda and Arkhyz valleys in the Western Caucasus and the Cherek Bezengiisky and Tsey valleys in the Eastern Caucasus, where the most paleoclimatic evidence has been retrieved. We focused on the fluctuation records of the ten glaciers that are best documented. To reconstruct changes in glacier length in the past, we used aerial photos, optical space images, repeated photographs and old maps. The ages of moraines were defined with the help of instrumental records, historical images, old maps, and tree-ring dating. Lichenometry was used as a supplementary tool to determine the relative ages of glacial landforms. We reviewed the collection of control points used for the lichenometric curves and determined the time limit of potential use of this method in the Caucasus to be up to one millennium. High-resolution tree-ring-based hydroclimatic reconstructions in the Northern Caucasus are presented based on the reconstruction of June-September temperature (1595-2012 CE), the mass balance reconstruction of the Garabashi Glacier (1800-2008 CE) and the runoff of the Teberda River (low-frequency variations) for May, July and August for 1850-2005 CE. The synthesis of all the available paleoclimatic records revealed several distinct climatic periods. Evidence of a warm interval (traditionally referred to as the "Arkhyz break in glaciation") preceding the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the Caucasus is based on archeological, palynological, geochemical and pedological data. However, the conclusions concerning the duration and magnitude of this warming are still vague due to the low

  2. Glacier retreat in New Zealand during the Younger Dryas stadial.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Michael R; Schaefer, Joerg M; Denton, George H; Barrell, David J A; Chinn, Trevor J H; Putnam, Aaron E; Andersen, Bjørn G; Finkel, Robert C; Schwartz, Roseanne; Doughty, Alice M

    2010-09-09

    Millennial-scale cold reversals in the high latitudes of both hemispheres interrupted the last transition from full glacial to interglacial climate conditions. The presence of the Younger Dryas stadial (approximately 12.9 to approximately 11.7 kyr ago) is established throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, but the global timing, nature and extent of the event are not well established. Evidence in mid to low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, in particular, has remained perplexing. The debate has in part focused on the behaviour of mountain glaciers in New Zealand, where previous research has found equivocal evidence for the precise timing of increased or reduced ice extent. The interhemispheric behaviour of the climate system during the Younger Dryas thus remains an open question, fundamentally limiting our ability to formulate realistic models of global climate dynamics for this time period. Here we show that New Zealand's glaciers retreated after approximately 13 kyr bp, at the onset of the Younger Dryas, and in general over the subsequent approximately 1.5-kyr period. Our evidence is based on detailed landform mapping, a high-precision (10)Be chronology and reconstruction of former ice extents and snow lines from well-preserved cirque moraines. Our late-glacial glacier chronology matches climatic trends in Antarctica, Southern Ocean behaviour and variations in atmospheric CO(2). The evidence points to a distinct warming of the southern mid-latitude atmosphere during the Younger Dryas and a close coupling between New Zealand's cryosphere and southern high-latitude climate. These findings support the hypothesis that extensive winter sea ice and curtailed meridional ocean overturning in the North Atlantic led to a strong interhemispheric thermal gradient during late-glacial times, in turn leading to increased upwelling and CO(2) release from the Southern Ocean, thereby triggering Southern Hemisphere warming during the northern Younger Dryas.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Chemical Principles Revisited: Chemical Equilibrium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mickey, Charles D.

    1980-01-01

    Describes: (1) Law of Mass Action; (2) equilibrium constant and ideal behavior; (3) general form of the equilibrium constant; (4) forward and reverse reactions; (5) factors influencing equilibrium; (6) Le Chatelier's principle; (7) effects of temperature, changing concentration, and pressure on equilibrium; and (8) catalysts and equilibrium. (JN)

  6. Community interactive webtool to retrieve Greenland glacier data for 1-D geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrette, Mahé

    2015-04-01

    Marine-terminating, outlet glaciers are challenging to include in conventional Greenland-wide ice sheet models because of the large variation in scale between model grid size (typically 10 km) and outlet glacier width (typically 1-5km), making it a subgrid scale feature. A possible approach to tackle this problem is to use one-dimensional flowline models for the individual glaciers (e.g. Nick et al., 2013, Nature; Enderlin et al 2013a,b, The Cryosphere). Here we present a python- and javascript- based webtool to prepare data required to feed in or validate a flowline model. It is designed primarily to outline the glacier geometry and returns relevant data averaged over cross-sections. The tool currently allows to: visualize 2-D ice sheet data (zoom/pan), quickly switch between datasets (e.g. ice thickness, bedrock elevation, surface velocity) interpolated / transformed on a common grid. draw flowlines from user-input seeds on the map, calculated from a vector field of surface velocity, as an helpful guide for point 3 interactively draw glacier outline (side and middle lines) on top of the data mesh the outlined glacier domain in the horizontal plane extract relevant data into a 1-D longitudinal profile download the result as a netCDF file The project is hosted on github to encourage collaboration, under the open-source MIT Licence. The server-side is written in python (open-source) using the web-framework flask, and the client-side (javascript) makes use of the d3 library for interactive figures. For now it only works locally in a web browser (start server: "python runserver.py"). Data need to be downloaded separately from the original sources. See the README file in the project for information how to use it. Github projects: https://github.com/perrette/webglacier1d (main) https://github.com/perrette/dimarray (dependency)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Distinct patterns of seasonal Greenland glacier velocity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Response reactions: equilibrium coupling.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Eufrozina A; Nagypal, Istvan

    2006-06-01

    It is pointed out and illustrated in the present paper that if a homogeneous multiple equilibrium system containing k components and q species is composed of the reactants actually taken and their reactions contain only k + 1 species, then we have a unique representation with (q - k) stoichiometrically independent reactions (SIRs). We define these as coupling reactions. All the other possible combinations with k + 1 species are the coupled reactions that are in equilibrium when the (q - k) SIRs are in equilibrium. The response of the equilibrium state for perturbation is determined by the coupling and coupled equilibria. Depending on the circumstances and the actual thermodynamic data, the effect of coupled equilibria may overtake the effect of the coupling ones, leading to phenomena that are in apparent contradiction with Le Chatelier's principle.

  13. Computing Equilibrium Chemical Compositions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcbride, Bonnie J.; Gordon, Sanford

    1995-01-01

    Chemical Equilibrium With Transport Properties, 1993 (CET93) computer program provides data on chemical-equilibrium compositions. Aids calculation of thermodynamic properties of chemical systems. Information essential in design and analysis of such equipment as compressors, turbines, nozzles, engines, shock tubes, heat exchangers, and chemical-processing equipment. CET93/PC is version of CET93 specifically designed to run within 640K memory limit of MS-DOS operating system. CET93/PC written in FORTRAN.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. ASTER Imaging and Analysis of Glacier Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey; Furfaro, Roberto; Kaser, Georg; Leonard, Gregory; Fink, Wolfgang; Huggel, Christian; Kääb, Andreas; Raup, Bruce; Reynolds, John; Wolfe, David; Zapata, Marco

    Most scientific attention to glaciers, including ASTER and other satellite-derived applications in glacier science, pertains to their roles in the following seven functions: (1) as signposts of climate change (Kaser et al. 1990; Williams and Ferrigno 1999, 2002; Williams et al. 2008; Kargel et al. 2005; Oerlemans 2005), (2) as natural reservoirs of fresh water (Yamada and Motoyama 1988; Yang and Hu 1992; Shiyin et al. 2003; Juen et al. 2007), (3) as contributors to sea-level change (Arendt et al. 2002), (4) as sources of hydropower (Reynolds 1993); much work also relates to the basic science of glaciology, especially (5) the physical phenomeno­logy of glacier flow processes and glacier change (DeAngelis and Skvarca 2003; Berthier et al. 2007; Rivera et al. 2007), (6) glacial geomorphology (Bishop et al. 1999, 2003), and (7) the technology required to acquire and analyze satellite images of glaciers (Bishop et al. 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004; Quincey et al. 2005, 2007; Raup et al. 2000, 2006ab; Khalsa et al. 2004; Paul et al. 2004a, b). These seven functions define the important areas of glaciological science and technology, yet a more pressing issue in parts of the world is the direct danger to people and infrastructure posed by some glaciers (Trask 2005; Morales 1969; Lliboutry et al. 1977; Evans and Clague 1988; Xu and Feng 1989; Reynolds 1993, 1998, 1999; Yamada and Sharma 1993; Hastenrath and Ames 1995; Mool 1995; Ames 1998; Chikita et al. 1999; Williams and Ferrigno 1999; Richardson and Reynolds 2000a, b; Zapata 2002; Huggel et al. 2002, 2004; Xiangsong 1992; Kääb et al. 2003, 2005, 2005c; Salzmann et al. 2004; Noetzli et al. 2006).

  4. Streamflow response of partially glacierized river basins to glacier recession using a coupled glacio-hydrological model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naz, B. S.; Frans, C. D.; Burns, P. J.; Cuo, L.; Duan, K.; Clarke, G. K.; Nolin, A. W.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Lettenmaier, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Despite the well publicized risk posed by declining glaciers to water supply in partially glacierized high mountain river systems, our ability to accurately predict the sensitivity of the runoff contribution from glaciers in these basins is limited. Modeling the effect of glacier changes on streamflow in such river basins is complicated by limited meteorological and glaciological data, and by the fact that areas subject to glacier retreat often transition to seasonally ephemeral snow cover. To represent these effects accurately, glacier dynamics must be represented explicitly in hydrological models. Here, we describe the integration of the physically based spatially distributed University of British Columbia glacier dynamics model into the widely used Distributed Hydrology-Soil-Vegetation Model (DHSVM) in order to investigate the effect of glacier recession on streamflow dynamics. The integrated model was used to simulate glacier and streamflow dynamics in five test river basins globally where the effects of declining glacier extent on water supply is of concern: the Upper Bow River basin in the Western Canada, the Llanganuco Basin in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, the Zongo glacier basin in the Cordillera Real, Bolivia, the Dongkemadi River Basin in the Tibetan Plateau region and the Astore River basin in the Western Himalayas. We tested the coupled glacio-hydrologic model performance through comparison of predicted variations in glacier extent, snow water equivalent and streamflow discharge, using satellite-derived glacier/snow cover and measured discharge and snow data. Evaluation of our model predictions confirms that representation of glacier cover changes as result of glacier dynamics reduces errors in streamflow simulations in these basins. Subsequently, we evaluate the effects of changing glacier extent on seasonal low flows (to which water supply is most sensitive) in each of the river basins.

  5. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier.

    PubMed

    Smith, J A; Andersen, T J; Shortt, M; Gaffney, A M; Truffer, M; Stanton, T P; Bindschadler, R; Dutrieux, P; Jenkins, A; Hillenbrand, C-D; Ehrmann, W; Corr, H F J; Farley, N; Crowhurst, S; Vaughan, D G

    2017-01-05

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line-which marks the boundary between grounded ice and floating ice shelf-is underway. Understanding this recent retreat requires a detailed knowledge of grounding-line history, but the locations of the grounding line before the advent of satellite monitoring in the 1990s are poorly dated. In particular, a history of grounding-line retreat is required to understand the relative roles of contemporaneous ocean-forced change and of ongoing glacier response to an earlier perturbation in driving ice-sheet loss. Here we show that the present thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is part of a climatically forced trend that was triggered in the 1940s. Our conclusions arise from analysis of sediment cores recovered beneath the floating Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, and constrain the date at which the grounding line retreated from a prominent seafloor ridge. We find that incursion of marine water beyond the crest of this ridge, forming an ocean cavity beneath the ice shelf, occurred in 1945 (±12 years); final ungrounding of the ice shelf from the ridge occurred in 1970 (±4 years). The initial opening of this ocean cavity followed a period of strong warming of West Antarctica, associated with El Niño activity. Thus our results suggest that, even when climate forcing weakened, ice-sheet retreat continued.

  6. Investigating connections between local-remote atmospheric variability and Greenland outlet glacier behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolowski, Stefan; Chen, Linling; Miles, Victoria

    2016-04-01

    /climate dynamics in glacier behavior. Our study suggests a strong relationship between large-scale tropospheric circulation patterns, such as the so-called Greenland Blocking Index (GBI), and glacier front position. This relationship is seen in the wintertime (summertime) circulation influence on spring (fall) front position. Dynamically, a physical pathway is illustrated via canonical correlation analyses and composites of low-mid level winds, which show strong southerly advection into the region when the GBI is positive. There are also potential links between local and remote diabatic heating in the atmospheric column, SSTs, sea-ice concentration and front position. Whether there are physical pathways connecting remote surface processes, such as heating along western Greenland is not yet clear. Causality is always difficult to infer in reanalysis-based studies but physical intuition and theory provide multiple lines of evidence, which suggest a substantial influence of large-scale atmospheric dynamics at the margins of the GrIS. Improving our understanding of these physical connections will be crucial, as we know the outlet glaciers will respond under rapidly changing climate conditions.

  7. Glacier surge after ice shelf collapse.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Hernán; Skvarca, Pedro

    2003-03-07

    The possibility that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will collapse as a consequence of ice shelf disintegration has been debated for many years. This matter is of concern because such an event would imply a sudden increase in sea level. Evidence is presented here showing drastic dynamic perturbations on former tributary glaciers that fed sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula before its collapse in 1995. Satellite images and airborne surveys allowed unambiguous identification of active surging phases of Boydell, Sjögren, Edgeworth, Bombardier, and Drygalski glaciers. This discovery calls for a reconsideration of former hypotheses about the stabilizing role of ice shelves.

  8. Evidence for a water system transition beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Dustin M.; Blankenship, Donald D.; Young, Duncan A.

    2013-01-01

    Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest, most rapidly changing glaciers on Earth, and its landward-sloping bed reaches the interior of the marine West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which impounds enough ice to yield meters of sea-level rise. Marine ice sheets with landward-sloping beds have a potentially unstable configuration in which acceleration can initiate or modulate grounding-line retreat and ice loss. Subglacial water has been observed and theorized to accelerate the flow of overlying ice dependent on whether it is hydrologically distributed or concentrated. However, the subglacial water systems of Thwaites Glacier and their control on ice flow have not been characterized by geophysical analysis. The only practical means of observing these water systems is airborne ice-penetrating radar, but existing radar analysis approaches cannot discriminate between their dynamically critical states. We use the angular distribution of energy in radar bed echoes to characterize both the extent and hydrologic state of subglacial water systems across Thwaites Glacier. We validate this approach with radar imaging, showing that substantial water volumes are ponding in a system of distributed canals upstream of a bedrock ridge that is breached and bordered by a system of concentrated channels. The transition between these systems occurs with increasing surface slope, melt-water flux, and basal shear stress. This indicates a feedback between the subglacial water system and overlying ice dynamics, which raises the possibility that subglacial water could trigger or facilitate a grounding-line retreat in Thwaites Glacier capable of spreading into the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. PMID:23836631

  9. LGM Snow-Line Elevations In The Western Tropical Pacific- Exposure Ages On Moraines From Mt. Giluwe, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prentice, M. L.; Kurz, M. D.; Hope, G.; Barrows, T.

    2010-12-01

    Snow-line elevations of former glaciers around the tropical Pacific Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) provide critical constraints on the state of the lower tropical troposphere. We present new moraine chronological information that pins down LGM snow-line elevations adjacent to the western Pacific warm-pool. We mapped several major sequences of glacier moraines on Mt. Giluwe, an extinct massive stratovolcano in central Papua New Guinea that rises to 4368 m above sea level (asl). We sampled large basalt boulders on the moraine crests and measured cosmogenic 3He in well-preserved olivine phenocrysts from these boulders. Based on fourteen 3He exposure ages, the outermost and lowest moraine sequences date to Marine Isotope Stage 6, rather than the LGM. Five boulders on moraine sequences at relatively high elevations have 3He exposure ages corresponding to the LGM, consistent with radiocarbon dates from the base of tarns and mires at several nearby locations. Contrasting moraine morphologies indicate that glacier regimes varied considerably. We estimate that the altitude of the equilibrium line (ELA) on the Giluwe ice cap during the LGM was 3550 to 3650 m asl. The estimate is based on both the highest elevation of the pertinent moraines and the Area-Altitude-Balance Ratio method. This is marginally higher than estimated by Loffler in 1972. To estimate climate change between the LGM and the present, we used the ELA for Papua, Indonesia, glaciers in 1972, 4650 m asl, as representative of the modern ELA above Mt. Giluwe. Additionally, the ELA during the LGM is considered relative to sea-level during that interval, which puts it at 3700 m asl. Accordingly, our analysis indicates that the ELA at Mt. Giluwe was 950 m lower during the LGM than it is today. To drive that ELA lowering, we estimate that the lower tropical troposphere in the warm-pool region was 4 to 5oC cooler during the LGM than it is today. This estimate is based on an atmospheric lapse rate of 0

  10. Surface characteristics and evolution of debris covered glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mölg, Nico; Vieli, Andreas; Bolch, Tobias; Bauder, Andreas; Bhattacharya, Atanu

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change has led to increasing glacier retreat in most parts of the world. However, many heavily debris-covered glaciers have shown much smaller recession rates than their clean-ice neighbours. This can be attributed to the insulation effect of the supraglacial debris. Remote-sensing based investigations revealed that recent mass balances of debris-covered glaciers are equally negative. This fact is partly due to enhanced melting at supra-glacial lakes and ice cliffs but can also be caused by reduced mass flux. In this context, insufficient process understanding constitutes a major challenge for large scale glacier change assessment and modelling. In this project, we aim at better understanding the evolution of glaciers in connection with changes in supra-glacial debris coverage. It is performed on Zmutt Glacier in Matter valley in Switzerland and on Gangotri Glacier in Garwhal Himalaya in India. Changes in glacier length, area, debris coverage, and surface elevation were compiled based on topographic maps, oblique photos, aerial and satellite orthoimages, digital terrain models (DTMs), and glacier monitoring data for a 50 (Gangotri) and 120 (Zmutt) year period, respectively. The subsequent analysis revealed that Zmutt Glacier has been in a slow but almost continuous retreating state since the end of the 19th century and showed a clear reduction in glacier area and volume. Similarly, Gangotri Glacier has retreated and, to a smaller degree, lost volume. However, the change in glacier length and area is clearly smaller than for other nearby, less debris-covered or debris-free glaciers. This fact is attributed to the larger debris-covered area that has steadily increased. Further in the project, this data will serve as an important input and validation for the envisaged 3D flow modelling and, hence, will contribute to the understanding of the development of glaciers and debris-covered ice in a period of fast climatic changes.

  11. Chronology for fluctuations in late pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Plummer, M.A.

    1996-11-01

    Mountain glaciers, because of their small size, are usually close to equilibrium with the local climate and thus should provide a test of whether temperature oscillations in Greenland late in the last glacial period are part of global-scale climate variability or are restricted to the North Atlantic region. Correlation of cosmogenic chlorine-36 dates on Sierra Nevada moraines with a continuous radiocarbon-dated sediment record from nearby Owens Lake shows that Sierra Nevada glacial advances were associated with Heinrich events 5, 3, and 1. 27 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-05-01

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

  13. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska as seen from STS-66 Atlantis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Malaspina Glacier can be seen in this north-northeastern photograph taken in November, 1994. The glacier, located in the south shore of Alaska is a classic example of a piedmont glacier lying along the foot of a mountain range. The principal source of ice for the glacier is provided by the Seward Ice Field to the north (top portion of the view) which flows through three narrow outlets onto the coastal plain. The glacier moves in surges that rush earlier-formed moraines outward into the expanding concentric patterns along the flanks of the ice mass.

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

    PubMed

    Oerlemans, J; Fortuin, J P

    1992-10-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-10-02

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

  16. Contemporary glacier retreat triggers a rapid landslide response, Great Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kos, Andrew; Amann, Florian; Strozzi, Tazio; Delaloye, Reynald; Ruette, Jonas; Springman, Sarah

    2016-12-01

    The destabilization and catastrophic failure of landslides triggered by retreating glaciers is an expected outcome of global climate change and poses a significant threat to inhabitants of glaciated mountain valleys around the globe. Of particular importance are the formation of landslide-dammed lakes, outburst floods, and related sediment entrainment. Based on field observations and remote sensing of a deep-seated landslide, located at the present-day terminus of the Great Aletsch Glacier, we show that the spatiotemporal response of the landslide to glacier retreat is rapid, occurring within a decade. Our observations uniquely capture the critical period of increase in slope deformations, onset of failure, and show that measured displacements at the crown and toe regions of the landslide demonstrate a feedback mechanism between glacier ice reduction and response of the entire landslide body. These observations shed new light on the geomorphological processes of landslide response in paraglacial environments, which were previously understood to occur over significantly longer time periods.

  17. 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

  18. The altitudinal distribution of snow algae on an Alaska glacier (Gulkana Glacier in the Alaska Range)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeuchi, Nozomu

    2001-12-01

    The altitudinal distribution of a snow algal community was investigated on an Alaska glacier (Gulkana Glacier in the Alaska Range) from 1270 to 1770 m a.s.l.. Seven species of snow and ice algae (Chlorophyta and cyanobacteria) were observed on the glacier surface. These species were Chlamydomonas nivalis, Mesotaenium berggrenii, Ancylonema nordenskioldii, Cylindrocystis brébissonii, Raphidonema sp., and two Oscillatoriaceae cyanobacteria. The altitudinal distribution of snow algae was different among the species: Cd. nivalis was distributed on the middle to upper area, M. berggrenii; A. nordenskioldii, and one Oscillatoriaceae cyanobacterium on the middle to lower area; Raphidonema sp. on the middle area; and Cyl. brébissonii and one Oscillatoriaceae cyanobacterium on the lower area. The total cell concentration and the cell volume biomass of the snow algae ranged from 4·4 × 103 to 9·9 × 105 cells ml-1 and from 33 to 2211 µl m-2 respectively. The cell volume biomass changed with altitude; the biomass increased with altitude below 1600 m a.s.l., and decreased above 1600 m a.s.l. The community structure showed that glacier, and that glacier. The altitudinal distribution of snow algae is discussed in terms of the physical and chemical condition of the glacier surface, and is compared with that on a Himalayan glacier. A larger biomass in the snow area on the Alaska glacier than that of the Himalayan glacier is likely due to less frequent snow cover in summer in Alaska. Small amounts of filamentous cyanobacteria on the Alaska glacier may allow washouts of unicellular green algae by running melt water and may cause a different pattern of altitudinal distribution of algal biomass on the ice area from the Himalayan glacier

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.

    2003-12-01

    DIRTY SUBPOLAR GLACIERS: Deeply etched internal structures of debris-covered glaciers or rock glaciers occur widely on Mars at middle latitudes. Differentially sublimated folds, crevasses, medial moraines and flow lines are expressed now as a variety of pits, troughs, hummocks, and ridges; they reveal much about the extent of sublimation and the history of flow and accumulation that originally gave rise to these structures. In many regards, they appear like usual terrestrial debris-covered glaciers (including rock glaciers). These sublimated remnant structures are not uniformly distributed on the planet; they exhibit a definite relationship to latitude. The more deeply etched icy flows occur generally in the latitude belt from 30 to 40 degrees (north and south), where possibly very little ice remains near the surface. Between 40 and 55 degrees, most of these partly sublimated flows appear to be still icy. Poleward of that, many of them show very little evidence of any sublimational loss of ice, and instead appear as thick mantling blankets sometimes having subtle flow lines. Inferences for the distribution of ground ice and the role of sublimation are similar to those inferred from the distribution and morphology of small polygons; these results are also consistent with theoretical models of the distribution of ground ice and with Mars Odyssey neutron spectroscopy of the distribution of hydrogen in the upper meter of Mars. A peculiar aspect of dirty glaciers on Mars is their current lack of an evident zone of atmospherically driven accumulation; instead, accumulation of some dirty glaciers appears to be due to load-driven expression of ice originating probably in massive crustal layers; for others, atmospheric accumulation may occur at other times during the obliquity cycle of Mars. SOUTH POLAR ICE SHEET: Previously I have reported on evidence for flowing, faulting, folding south polar ice, with the evidence for the more ductile types of deformation concentrated

  20. Mass budget of the grounded ice in the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiahong, Wen; Yafeng, Wang; Jiying, Liu; Jezek, Kenneth C.; Huybrechts, Philippe; Csathó, Beata M.; Farness, Katy L.; Bo, Sun

    We used remote-sensing and in situ measurements of surface accumulation rate, ice surface velocity, thickness and elevation to evaluate the mass budgets of grounded ice-flow regimes that form the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system. Three distinct drainage regimes are considered: the western and eastern margins of the ice shelf, and the southern grounding line at the major outlet glacier confluence, which can be identified with drainage zones 9, 11 and 10 respectively of Giovinetto and Zwally (2000). Our findings show the entire grounded portion of the basin is approximately in balance, with a mass budget of -4.2±9.8 Gta-1. Drainages 9, 10 and 11 are within balance to the level of our measurement uncertainty, with mass budgets of -2.5±2.8 Gta-1, -2.6±7.8 Gta-1 and 0.9±2.3 Gta-1, respectively. The region upstream of the Australian Lambert Glacier basin (LGB) traverse has a net mass budget of 4.4±6.3 Gta-1, while the downstream region has -8.9±9.9 Gta-1. These results indicate that glacier drainages 9, 10 and 11, upstream and downstream of the Australian LGB traverse, are in balance to within our measurement error.

  1. Long-term linkages between glaciers, permafrost and hydrology at two glacierized watersheds in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaedeke, A.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Gatesman, T.; Campbell, S. W.; Hock, R.; Oneel, S.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming is expected to have considerable impact on the regional water balance of high latitude Arctic and sub-Arctic glacerized watersheds. In this study we combine field observations and the physically based Water Balance Simulation Model WaSiM to refine our understanding of the linkages between glaciers, permafrost and hydrology at two nearby basins with contrasting precipitation regimes: Jarvis Cr. watershed (630 km2) on the north (rain-shadow) side of Eastern Alaska Range and the south facing Phelan Cr. (32 km2), which include the US Geological Survey benchmark site Gulkana Glacier. Both are characterized by a semi-arid climate and are sub-watersheds of the Tanana River basin (12,000 km2). Our research questions include: How has glacier water storage and release varied in the past and how are they expected to change in the future? And what are the subsequent effects on lowland runoff and regional groundwater recharge? Our analyses show i) an increase in air temperature and summer warmth index (the sum of all mean monthly air temperature above 0 °C) in recent decades and ii) a continued negative glacier mass balance. Our findings suggest that, on the larger spatial scale (Tanana River basin), the reduced glacier coverage and increased glacier wastage has, in combination with limited changes in precipitation, lead to (i) increased mean annual and (ii) late winter (March) runoff. We postulate that this is due to increased groundwater recharge, which has been fueled by the 20% reduction in glacier coverage of the Tanana River basin. Here we aim to assess the combined effect of climate change, glacier shrinkage and thawing permafrost on the regional sub-arctic mountain- to lowland hydrologic system, which may transition into a regime with less surface and more subsurface water availability.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Exploiting SENTINEL-1 Amplitude Data for Glacier Surface Velocity Field Measurements: Feasibility Demonstration on Baltoro Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascetti, A.; Nocchi, F.; Camplani, A.; Di Rico, C.; Crespi, M.

    2016-06-01

    The leading idea of this work is to continuously retrieve glaciers surface velocity through SAR imagery, in particular using the amplitude data from the new ESA satellite sensor Sentinel-1 imagery. These imagery key aspects are the free access policy, the very short revisit time (down to 6 days with the launch of the Sentinel-1B satellite) and the high amplitude resolution (up to 5 m). In order to verify the reliability of the proposed approach, a first experiment has been performed using Sentinel-1 imagery acquired over the Karakoram mountain range (North Pakistan) and Baltoro and other three glaciers have been investigated. During this study, a stack of 11 images acquired in the period from October 2014 to September 2015 has been used in order to investigate the potentialities of the Sentinel-1 SAR sensor to retrieve the glacier surface velocity every month. The aim of this test was to measure the glacier surface velocity between each subsequent pair, in order to produce a time series of the surface velocity fields along the investigated period. The necessary coregistration procedure between the images has been performed and subsequently the glaciers areas have been sampled using a regular grid with a 250 × 250 meters posting. Finally the surface velocity field has been estimated, for each image pair, using a template matching procedure, and an outlier filtering procedure based on the signal to noise ratio values has been applied, in order to exclude from the analysis unreliable points. The achieved velocity values range from 10 to 25 meters/month and they are coherent to those obtained in previous studies carried out on the same glaciers and the results highlight that it is possible to have a continuous update of the glacier surface velocity field through free Sentinel-1 imagery, that could be very useful to investigate the seasonal effects on the glaciers fluid-dynamics.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we apply a glacier mass balance and ice redistribution model to examine the sensitivity of glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal to climate change. High-resolution temperature and precipitation fields derived from gridded station data, and bias-corrected with independent station observations, are used to drive the historical model from 1961 to 2007. The model is calibrated against geodetically derived estimates of net glacier mass change from 1992 to 2008, termini position of four large glaciers at the end of the calibration period, average velocities observed on selected debris-covered glaciers, and total glacierized area. We integrate field-based observations of glacier mass balance and ice thickness with remotely sensed observations of decadal glacier change to validate the model. Between 1961 and 2007, the mean modelled volume change over the Dudh Koshi basin is -6.4 ± 1.5 km3, a decrease of 15.6% from the original estimated ice volume in 1961. Modelled glacier area change between 1961 and 2007 is -101.0 ± 11.4 km2, a decrease of approximately 20% from the initial extent. The modelled glacier sensitivity to future climate change is high. Application of temperature and precipitation anomalies from warm/dry and wet/cold end-members of the CMIP5 RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 ensemble results in sustained mass loss from glaciers in the Everest region through the 21st century.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Determination of nonaxisymmetric equilibrium

    SciTech Connect

    Elkin, D.

    1980-01-01

    The Princeton Equilibrium Code is modified to determine the equilibrium surfaces for a large aspect ratio toroidal system with helical magnetic fields. The code may easily be made to include any variety of modes. Verification of the code is made by comparison with an analytic solution for l = 3. Previously observed shifting of the magnetic axis with increasing pressure or with a changed externally applied vertical field is obtained. The case l = 0, a bumpy torus, gives convergence only for the lenient convergence tolerance of epsilon/sub b/ = 1.0 x 10-/sup 2/.

  9. Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Öttinger, Hans Christian

    2005-01-01

    Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics fills a niche in the market by providing a comprehensive introduction to a new, emerging topic in the field. The importance of non-equilibrium thermodynamics is addressed in order to fully understand how a system works, whether it is in a biological system like the brain or a system that develops plastic. In order to fully grasp the subject, the book clearly explains the physical concepts and mathematics involved, as well as presenting problems and solutions; over 200 exercises and answers are included. Engineers, scientists, and applied mathematicians can all use the book to address their problems in modelling, calculating, and understanding dynamic responses of materials.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brugman, Melinda M.; Post, Austin

    1981-01-01

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

  11. Sub-ice-shelf sediments record history of twentieth-century retreat of Pine Island Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, J. A.; Andersen, T. J.; Shortt, M.; Gaffney, A. M.; Truffer, M.; Stanton, T. P.; Bindschadler, R.; Dutrieux, P.; Jenkins, A.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Ehrmann, W.; Corr, H. F. J.; Farley, N.; Crowhurst, S.; Vaughan, D. G.

    2016-11-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the largest potential sources of rising sea levels. Over the past 40 years, glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea sector of the ice sheet have thinned at an accelerating rate, and several numerical models suggest that unstable and irreversible retreat of the grounding line—which marks the boundary between grounded ice and floating ice shelf—is underway. Understanding this recent retreat requires a detailed knowledge of grounding-line history, but the locations of the grounding line before the advent of satellite monitoring in the 1990s are poorly dated. In particular, a history of grounding-line retreat is required to understand the relative roles of contemporaneous ocean-forced change and of ongoing glacier response to an earlier perturbation in driving ice-sheet loss. Here we show that the present thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is part of a climatically forced trend that was triggered in the 1940s. Our conclusions arise from analysis of sediment cores recovered beneath the floating Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, and constrain the date at which the grounding line retreated from a prominent seafloor ridge. We find that incursion of marine water beyond the crest of this ridge, forming an ocean cavity beneath the ice shelf, occurred in 1945 (±12 years); final ungrounding of the ice shelf from the ridge occurred in 1970 (±4 years). The initial opening of this ocean cavity followed a period of strong warming of West Antarctica, associated with El Niño activity. Thus our results suggest that, even when climate forcing weakened, ice-sheet retreat continued.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Josberger, Edward G.; Bidlake, William R.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. A Facies Model for Temperate Continental Glaciers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashley, Gail Mowry

    1987-01-01

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

  14. The Bay in Place of a Glacier.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Wayne

    1997-01-01

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

  15. Stream temperature response to glacier retreat (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, R. D.

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Glacier seismology in a coastal temperate rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amundson, J. M.; Walter, J. I.; O'Neel, S.; Parker, T.

    2012-12-01

    Seismology is proving to be a powerful tool for studying a variety of glaciological phenomena, including iceberg calving, ice fracture, and basal processes. Many logistical and scientific challenges remain, however, especially in the dynamic environment of the ablation zone where crevassing, high melt rates, and rapidly evolving supraglacial stream networks make instrument deployment and recovery difficult. Due to these instrumental challenges, the full potential for seismology to aid studies of the evolution of the subglacial drainage system and associated changes in basal motion is unknown. Here we present preliminary results from a passive seismic and GPS deployment on and around the lower reaches of Mendenhall Glacier, a maritime, lake-calving glacier in Southeast Alaska that experiences extreme melt rates during summer. The project is motivated by (1) a need to develop a field-hardened seismometer for work on temperate glaciers and (2) a recent cycle of outburst floods that have threatened local infrastructure. We compare seismic signals recorded on land to those recorded by sensors deployed in shallow boreholes in the glacier and relate those signals to changes in ice dynamics and subglacial hydrology.

  17. Ice sheet features identification, glacier velocity estimation, and glacier zones classification using high-resolution optical and SAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakur, Praveen K.; Dixit, Ankur; Chouksey, Arpit; Aggarwal, S. P.; Kumar, A. Senthil

    2016-05-01

    Ice sheet features, glacier velocity estimation and glacier zones or facies classification are important research activities highlighting the dynamics of ice sheets and glaciers in Polar Regions and in inland glaciers. The Cband inSAR data is of ERS 1/2 tandem pairs with one day interval for spring of 1996 and L-band PolinSAR data of ALOS-PALSAR-2 for spring of 2015 is used in glacier velocity estimation. Glacier classification is done using multi-temporal C-and L-band SAR data and also with single date full polarization and hybrid polarization data. In first part, a mean displacement of 9 cm day-1 was recorded using SAR interferometric technique using ERS 1/2 tandem data of 25-26 March 1996. Previous studies using optical data based methods has shown that Gangotri glacier moves with an average displacement of 4 cm and 6 cm day-1. As present results using ERS 1/2 data were obtained for one day interval, i.e., 25th March 05:00pm to 26th March 05:00 pm, 1996, variation in displacement may be due to presence of snow or wet snow melting over the glacier, since during this time snow melt season is in progress in Gangotri glacier area. Similarly the results of glacier velocity derived using ALOSPALSAR- 2 during 22 March - 19 April 2015 shows the mean velocity of 5.4 to 7.4 cm day-1 during 28 day time interval for full glacier and main trunk glacier respectively. This L-band data is already corrected for Faraday's rotation effects by JAXA, and tropospheric correction are also being applied to refine the results. These results are significant as it is after gap of 20 years that DInSAR methods has given glacier velocity for fast moving Himalayan glacier. RISAT-1 FRS-1 hybrid data is used to create Raney's decompositions parameters, which are further used for glacier zones classification using support vector machine based classification method. The Radarsat-2 and ALOS-PALSAR-2 fully polarized data of year 2010 and 2015 are also used for glacier classification. The identified

  18. Ocean mixing beneath Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. The first glacier inventory for entire Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Le Bris, R.; Paul, F.

    2012-04-01

    Detailed glacier data is becoming more and more important in the last decades to solve several research issues. One of the most prominent questions in this regard is the potential contribution of glaciers and icecaps (GIC) to global sea-level rise. Primarily, estimates are uncertain due to the globally still incomplete information about glacier location and size, as well as large uncertainties in future climate scenarios. Recent studies that calculate global sea-level rise from GIC have developed simplified approaches using information from glacier inventories or gridded data sets and a range of different global climate models and emission scenarios. However, for several strongly glacierized regions very rough assumptions about the ice distribution have to be made and an urgent demand for a globally complete glacier inventory is expressed. The GIC on Greenland are one of the regions with lacking information. Within the EU FP7 project ice2sea we mapped the GIC on Greenland using Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery acquired around the year 2000, along with an additional dataset in the North (DCW - Digital Chart of the World). A digital elevation model (DEM) with 90 m resolution (GIMP DEM) was used to derive drainage divides and henceforth topographic parameters for each entity. A major challenge in this regard is the application of a consistent strategy to separate the local GIC from the ice sheet. For this purpose we have defined different levels of connectivity (CL) of the local GIC with the ice sheet: CL0: Not connected. CL1: Connected but separable (either with drainage divides in the accumulation region or in touch only - and thus separable - in the ablation region). CL2: Connected but non-separable (the local GIC contribute to the flow of an ice sheet outlet in the ablation area). Up to now close to 12'000 GIC (only CL0 and CL1) with a total area of about 129'000 km2 have been mapped considering only entities larger than 0.1 km2. The area of the ice sheet itself is

  20. 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.

  1. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K A; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a "filter feeders-ascidian domination" to a "mixed assemblage" suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP.

  2. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K. A.; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a “filter feeders–ascidian domination” to a “mixed assemblage” suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP. PMID:26702429

  3. 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.

  4. The Hintereisferner - eight years of experience in method development for glacier monitoring with airborne LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetter, M.; Höfle, B.; Pfeifer, N.; Rutzinger, M.; Sailer, R.; Stötter, J.; Geist, T.

    2009-04-01

    Topographic data acquisition with LiDAR technology, airborne or terrestrial, has become the state-of-the-art procedure for Earth surface surveying. For glacier monitoring different remote sensing technologies are used for many years. With the advent of airborne LiDAR a paradigm shift in glacier monitoring has taken place. Eight years ago pioneer work within glacier surface surveying and monitoring has been carried out at the Institute of Geography (Innsbruck) within the OMEGA (Development of Operational Monitoring System for European Glacial Areas) project by using airborne LiDAR. Since 2001, 16 single airborne LiDAR campaigns have been carried out by collecting data of Hintereisferner, Kesselwandferner and adjacent small glaciers as well as their surrounding areas (Ötztal Alps, Tyrol, Austria). We present the main results of this period of glacier monitoring based on LiDAR data. One major task was to set up a geo-database system to manage the huge amount of LiDAR data, offering the opportunity to compute various point features and different rasterized data sets using this LiDAR data management and analysis system. In this context some basic routines were developed (e.g. a tool for intensity calibration, for derive intensity and point density images, and for modeling the locations of laser shot dropouts). In addition, tools for the analysis of the glacier surface have been developed: (a) a glacier delineation tool, using intensity and roughness information, (b) tools to compute and visualize the volume and elevation changes using multitemporal data, (c) a tool to calculate the ice flow velocity at the glacier surface, (d) a classification tool to detect crevasses, snow, firn, ice and debris covered ice areas, using calibrated intensity data, roughness information and modeled laser shot dropouts. For the analysis of glacial geomorphologic processes (i) a routine for the delineation of moraine ridges and rock glaciers works on the basis of break lines, (ii) a

  5. Model based historical runoff contribution from an Alpine glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoccatelli, Davide; Bonato, Paola; Carturan, Luca; Dalla Fontana, Giancarlo; De Blasi, Fabrizio; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this work is to analyze how climatic variability and glacier retreat impact the water balance of a small (8.5 km2) glaciarised catchment in the Eastern Italia Alps over a 30 year (1983-2013) period. The analysis is carried out by coupling local high quality data and a glacio-hydrological model able to simulate both the glacier and hydrology dynamics. Runoff contribution from glacier ice is related with trends in climatic variables and with glacier retreat. The area analyzed is the headwater of Noce Bianco river basin, lying in the Ortles-Cevedale group and including the La Mare glacier. During the study period the glacier area decreased from 4.7 km2 (50% basin area) to 3.47 km2 (40% basin area). In this area the following observations are available: 30 years of daily meteorological data at high elevation close to the catchment; three DTMs of the glacier, covering the entire period, which enable the calculation of the volume change and geodetic mass balance; direct glaciological mass balance observations over the period 2003-2013; discharge measurement at the catchment outlet over the period 2007-2013. The data availability and the significant shrinking of the glacier during the analyzed period make this catchment ideal for studying the hydrological impacts of glacier retreat. The semi-distributed conceptual model includes a snow and glacier accumulation and ablation module, based on temperature-radiation index and a glacier retreat model. The glacier retreat model allows to use the annual simulated glacier mass balance to update the glacier area (Huss et al., 2010). The model simulations are carried out from 1983 to 2013. We show that the model is able to capture adequately the measured daily discharge, the observed changes in glacier area and their spatial distribution. The contribution of glacier ice meltwater to annual runoff is below 10% in the first decade of simulation. This variable however showed a clear increasing trend, with peaks for single

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Subglacial volcanic eruptions often provide indications of activity some time before the actual catastrophic event. Surface undulations appear on top of the ice cap and meltwater torrents can occur at the glacier margin. Even large scale uplifts of ice caps have been observed. Within the project IsViews a processing chain, based on high spatially and temporally resolved remote sensing imagery, will be developed in order to automatically identify such early indications. The main data used for this analysis are acquired by the TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and RapidEye satellites. First investigations concerning the feasibility of the near real-time warning system and the general baseline conditions are carried out on two large plateau glaciers in southern Iceland, namely Mördalsjökull and Vatnajökull. Within the 2013 IsViews field work an experiment was started in order to test a new way of glacier monitoring. Two test sites were established on the Mördalsjökull ice cap (one at the equilibrium line and one below), each consisting of a permanent GPS station and two nearby RADAR reflectors. These RADAR reflectors are specially designed Top-Hat reflectors, which are cheap to manufacture, small (50 cm diameter) and lightweight and therefore easy to handle, transport and deploy. Their special design makes them visible in SAR images independent of orientation, so different acquisition geometries and even different sensors can be used. The drawback of the small, low reflecting Top-Hat can be overcome by using the newly implemented Staring Spotlight Mode of the German SAR Satellite TerraSAR-X, providing an unprecedented resolution of down to 20 cm in the azimuth direction. The reflectors, as point targets, allow absolute positioning within the cm-level in the TerraSAR-X data. Time series of SAR data can be used to derive position and altitude changes of the reflector itself and possibly even melting rates by exploiting the different signal paths. The visibility of the Top

  7. Glacier changes since Local Last Glacial Maximum in the South-West slope of Nevado Hualcán, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, deduced from moraine mapping and GIS-based analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giráldez, Claudia; Palacios, David; Haeberli, Wilfried; Úbeda, Jose; Schauwecker, Simone; Torres, Judith

    2014-05-01

    Anticipating and assessing hazards and risks associated with the shrinking of surface and subsurface ice in cold mountain chains is facilitated by empirical-quantitative data on present and past rates of change, as well as by a general understanding of related landforms and landscape evolution through time. Rock/ice avalanches and devastating outburst floods from glacial lakes indeed constitute a major cause of severe damage in populated mountain areas such as the Cordillera Blanca whose combination of tectonic, topographic and glaciological characteristics make it a threatened region. This study focuses on the Río Chucchún catchment above the city of Carhuaz, which was recently affected by a flood/debris flow from a rock/ice avalanche impacting a recently grown lake (Laguna 513). Traces left by past glaciations strongly affect the current geomorphodinamic behaviour of the catchment. For instance, a prominent sediment-filled glacial overdeepening behind Younger Dryas (YD) moraines (Pampa de Shonquil) with its retention function strongly influenced the chain of processes initiated by the outburst of Laguna 513. The aim of this study is to reconstruct earlier glacial phases in the SW slope of Nevado Hualcán (Río Chucchún catchment), in order to compile quantitative information on surface areas and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs). To do so, glacier stages were assigned to five different glacial phases, through photointerpretation and moraine cartography: 2003; 1962; Hualcán-I-LIA (15th to 18th centuries); Hualcán-II-YD (~12,5 ka BP); and Hualcán-III-LLGM (~34 to 21 ka BP). Glacial stages Hualcán-I-LIA, Hualcán-II-YD and Hualcán-III-LLGM present relative dating based on previous studies from different authors in the Peruvian Andes. Once glaciers were delimited, their surface areas and Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELAs) were calculated. For ELA estimation three different methods were used: the mid-range elevation, the Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR), and the

  8. An Updated Equilibrium Machine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schultz, Emeric

    2008-01-01

    A device that can demonstrate equilibrium, kinetic, and thermodynamic concepts is described. The device consists of a leaf blower attached to a plastic container divided into two chambers by a barrier of variable size and form. Styrofoam balls can be exchanged across the barrier when the leaf blower is turned on and various air pressures are…

  9. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring - a timeline since 1894

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussbaumer, Samuel U.; Armstrong, Richard; Fetterer, Florence; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Hoelzle, Martin; Machguth, Horst; Mölg, Nico; Paul, Frank; Raup, Bruce H.; Zemp, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Changes in glaciers and ice caps provide some of the clearest evidence of climate change, with impacts on sea-level variations, regional hydrological cycles, and natural hazard situations. Therefore, glaciers have been recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV). Internationally coordinated collection and distribution of standardized information about the state and change of glaciers and ice caps was initiated in 1894 and is today organized within the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G). GTN-G ensures the continuous development and adaptation of the international strategies to the long-term needs of users in science and policy. A 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 trace the development of the internationally coordinated glacier monitoring since its beginning in the 19th century. Today, several online databases containing a wealth of diverse data types with different levels of detail and global coverage provide fast access to continuously updated information on glacier fluctuation and inventory data. All glacier datasets are made freely available through the respective operational bodies within GTN-G, and can be accessed through the GTN-G Global Glacier Browser (http://www.gtn-g.org/data_browser.html). Glacier inventory data (e.g., digital outlines) are available for about 180,000 glaciers (GLIMS database, RGI - Randolph Glacier Inventory, WGI - World Glacier Inventory). Glacier front variations with about 45,000 entries since the 17th century and about 6,200 glaciological and geodetic mass (volume) change observations dating back to the 19th century are available in the Fluctuations of Glaciers (FoG) database. These datasets reveal clear evidence that

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

    NASA