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Sample records for helheim glacier greenland

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Tracking the Propagation and Effects of Crevasses in the Helheim Glacier in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedgepeth, J. E.; Schmidt, B. E.; Walker, C. C.

    2015-12-01

    That calving events in Greenland's glaciers generally occur in the form of many small pieces collapsing from the ice front, rather than the large, tabular style often observed in Antarctic ice shelves is related to the high level of crevassing observed in these glaciers. However, the actual transition mechanism from intact, crevassed glacier—possessing a large amount of gravitational potential and fracture energy—to what is essentially a rubble pile in the proglacial fjords below remains something of a mystery. What is the relationship between the crevasse patterns, glacier flow, and calving rate? We present results from a study to better understand these questions. We focused on Helheim Glacier. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and LandSat images downloaded from the USGS Earth Explorer were employed, for years 2001, 2003-2010, and 2012-2015. These images were used to electronically trace crevasse patterns in the ice. Additionally, we track the terminus position over each year, which reached its maximum retreat in 2005. Since then, the position has fluctuated forward and backward barely reaching halfway between the 2001 and 2005 terminus positions. We measure sizes and density of icebergs in the immediate area of the terminus. Iceberg concentration was studied using yearly snapshots and weekly snapshots for 2012 through 2013. We find large crevassed icebergs in 2006, suggestive of a recent calving event. Greenland Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) air temperature data is used to study the environmental variations between each snapshot. Over our observation time period (2001-2014), we compare our traced crevasse patterns to assess variability over time, finding that the density of crevasses increases nearer to the front.. We will report relationships between this spatial-temporal variability to changing atmospheric and flow conditions to better understand factors that control surface modification of Greenland's glaciers. We

  4. High-Resolution Monitoring of Glacier Dynamics During Calving Events at Helheim Glacier South-East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    By bringing together expertise in glaciology, GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) technology and processing, and wireless networks we have designed, installed and operated a wireless network of GNSS sensors very close to the margin of the heavily crevassed and fast-flowing Helheim Glacier in south-east Greenland. In 2012, we undertook field trials installing 3 GNSS sensors on the glacier's flowline, and observed the dynamic effects of a major calving event. In 2013, a full 20 node wireless network was installed together with 5 oblique cameras, instrumenting an area ~16 km^2 of the glacier margin. The network will run throughout the summer months. In combination with auxiliary data, such as airborne lidar measurement of surface topography, crevasse spacing and calving rates, oblique photogrammetry, and DEMs and velocity fields from TanDEM-X satellite imagery, the network provides velocity and elevation data of unprecedented resolution in time and space for the key marginal area of the glacier, where recent changes in glacier dynamics appear to have initiated. We present data showing the glacier's dynamic and topographic response to calving events. These data will provide rich opportunities for testing calving models and to improve understanding of the controls on the contribution of these tidewater glaciers to sea-level rise. The network has low energy consumption and a novel base-station topology providing diversity and redundancy: it is also robust to the loss of nodes as the glacier calves. Such a network would also be suitable for data collection in a number of harsh environmental settings such as earthquake, landslide or volcano monitoring.

  5. Long-term Autonomous Tidewater Glacier Monitoring Using a Long-Range Terrestrial LiDAR Scanner; Helheim Glacier, Southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Tidewater glaciers exhibit dynamic behaviors across a range of spatial and temporal scales, posing a challenge to both in situ and remote sensing observational strategies. In situ measurements can capture variability over very short time intervals, but with limited spatial coverage and at significant cost and risk to deploy. Conversely, airborne and satellite remote sensing is capable of measuring changes over large spatial extents but at limited temporal sampling. In recent work, we have shown that long-range Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS) from fixed near-situ locations is capable of combining the rapid acquisition capabilities of in situ measurements with the broad spatial coverage of traditional remote sensing. LiDAR scanners have typically operated for short-duration campaigns (days to weeks) due to the technical complexity of the instrumentation, which has limited their contribution to tidewater glacier studies to "snapshot" observational datasets. This paper describes the development and deployment an autonomous full-waveform, long range (6-10 km) TLS system for extended operation (> 1 year) in a remote Arctic environment. The instrument uses a 1064μm wavelength laser which has been optimized for snow and ice, and allows us to acquire multi-dimensional point-cloud measurements of the lower reaches of the glacier, its terminus and the mélange to distances in excess of 10 km every few hours. The system was deployed at Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland in late July, 2015. Helheim Glacier is a large tidewater outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the focus of a coordinated interdisciplinary program to study of its dynamics and interaction with the ocean. Results from our year-round scanning instrument will provide new insights into short and long-term ice motion and terminus behavior at temporal and spatial resolutions previously not possible.

  6. A 100-year record of changes in water renewal rate in Sermilik fjord and its influence on calving of Helheim glacier, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, Camilla S.; Schmidt, Sabine; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Straneo, Fiammetta; Grycel, Aleksandra; Hass, Christian H.; Henrik Kjær, Kurt; Nørgaard-Pedersen, Niels; Dyke, Laurence M.; Olsen, Jesper; Kuijpers, Antoon

    2014-08-01

    Here we present a 100 year long proxy record for the renewal rate of the subsurface ocean waters in Sermilik Fjord at the edge of Helheim Glacier, based on investigations of two sediment cores (ER11-24 and ER11-25) obtained from the head of the fjord. By calculating the mean sortable silt (SSbar) in current-sorted melt water plume sediments we find that episodes of increased water renewal rates lasting 3-5 years coincide with a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. This is not surprising as low pressure systems and northeasterly storms are observed more frequently along the east coast of Greenland during positive NAO years as a result of the northward shift in the North Atlantic storm track. Previous studies of sediment cores obtained from the mid-region of the fjord showed that Helheim Glacier destabilization coincides with a negative NAO index. Therefore we conclude that inter-annual variability in storm-induced flushing of Sermilik Fjord and thus the water renewal rate towards the glacier margin is not the controlling factor for inter-annual variability in Helheim Glacier destabilization. Such knowledge may have implications on predictive model studies of ice-ocean interactions and glacier behavior.

  7. Investigating the Greenland firn aquifer near Helheim Glacier based on geophysical noninvasive methods and in situ measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miège, C.; Koenig, L.; Forster, R. R.; Miller, O. L.; Solomon, D. K.; Legchenko, A.; Schmerr, N. C.; Montgomery, L. N.; Brucker, L.

    2015-12-01

    Prior to the onset of seasonal surface melt, widespread perennial aquifers are detected at an average depth of 22 m below the snow surface in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet from airborne radar data. With an elevation range of ~1200-2000 m, the aquifers are mainly located within the percolation zone of the southern and southeastern parts of the ice sheet, in high snow accumulation regions. The impact of the aquifer on Greenland ice sheet hydrology and the direct (or indirect) contribution to sea-level rise remain unconstrained and require further attention. Our study is located on the upper portion of Helheim Glacier in SE Greenland, ~50 km west of the glacier calving front. We first used repeated airborne radar data collected by CReSIS to infer the presence of the firn over the last two decades from missing bed echoes. For 1993-2008, the aquifer remained relatively stable, after 2008 it expanded to higher elevations, and after spring 2012, drainage of its lower-elevation portion is suspected. Based on these initial insights, recent fieldwork was carried out along the surveyed radar line, following an elevation gradient. Geophysical investigation includes seismic refraction and magnetic resonance soundings to complement the radar data and to provide constraints on the base of the aquifer, water volume, and the transition from water-saturated firn to ice. In addition, piezometers and data-logging stations were deployed at point locations to measure hydraulic conductivity, water table vertical fluctuations, and firn temperature. We report on the different techniques used, initial observations made, and present some preliminary interpretations. Water appears to flow laterally in a highly-permeable unconfined aquifer, topographically driven by ice-sheet surface undulations until water encounters local sinks like crevasses. The aquifer impacts on the ice sheet are numerous, including firn densification, alteration of the ice thermal state, and water from the aquifer

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Calving Signature in Ocean Waves: Helheim Glacier and Sermilik Fjord Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vankova, I.; Holland, D.

    2015-12-01

    In this work, we investigate the characteristics of calving on Helheim glacier from data recorded on an array of five high frequency pressure meters placed along Sermilik fjord. Calving generated tsunami waves were recorded and used to construct a calving event catalog and to characterize the post-calving ocean state. Calving on Helheim is highly seasonal: it onsets after months of inactivity in early spring, immediately following the rise of daily average temperatures above freezing point, which indicates the potentially dominant role of meltwater in the calving mechanism. Tidal phase and amplitude, ocean temperature variations or surges did not seem to be significant calving factors. In the ocean spectra, we observe discrete peaks between 0.4 to 6 mHz associated with calving events. These peak frequencies are consistent among all the events and they travel as propagating modes up and down the fjord for several hours while being slowly radiated away to the open ocean, an observation which we support with a model. Large part of the spectrum is trapped in evanescent modes or is quickly dissipated. These observations are relevant for our understanding of the time scale and rate of mixing in glacier fjords, and eventually for improving boundary conditions for ocean models.

  13. Does Warming of the North Atlantic over the Last Decade Explain the Acceleration of Outlet Glaciers in Southeast Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straneo, F.; Sutherland, D. A.; Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.

    2008-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet's contribution to sea level rise more than doubled in the last five years, mostly because of increased mass flux rates from outlet glaciers in southeast Greenland. These outlet glaciers terminate at tidewater in deep fjords, which provides an intimate connection between the ice sheet and the ocean and raises the possibility that ocean warming was the trigger for recent changes in ice dynamics. Until recently, however, the oceanic role was unknown since there was no evidence that the warm waters of tropical origin, found offshore along the continental margins of southeastern and western Greenland, could cross the cold, fresh Arctic waters found on the shelf, and penetrate deep into fjords. We provide evidence that warm offshore waters both penetrate and circulate deep inside Sermilik Fjord, the 100 km long fjord in East Greenland where Helheim Glacier terminates, based on a series oceanographic surveys conducted in the summer of 2008. Furthermore, the depth at which these waters are found, as well as the observed spatial and temporal variability all indicate that the warm waters play an active role in the fjord-glacier estuarine system and suggest that they come into contact with the glacier's terminus. Then, using historical oceanographic and glaciological data we argue that the timing of Helheim Glacier's acceleration is consistent with the variability in warm water properties found offshore. Finally, because Sermilik Fjord and Helheim Glacier are typical of many fjord-glacier systems in southeast Greenland, we propose that glacier-ocean interactions can explain a significant fraction of the increased mass flux from the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  14. 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).

  15. Brief Communication: 2014 velocity and flux for five major Greenland outlet glaciers using ImGRAFT and Landsat-8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerli, A.; Karlsson, N. B.; Grinsted, A.

    2014-12-01

    This study presents average velocity fields, mass flux estimates and central flowline profiles for five major Greenland outlet glaciers; Jakobshavn Isbræ, Nioghalvfjerdsbræ, Kangerdlugssuaq, Helheim and Petermann glaciers, spanning the period (August) 2013-(September) 2014. The results are produced by the feature tracking toolbox, ImGRAFT using Landsat-8, panchromatic data. The resulting velocity fields agree with the findings of existing studies. Furthermore, our results show an unprecedented speed of over 50 m day-1 at Jakobshavn Isbræ as it continues to retreat. All the processed data will be freely available for download at http://imgraft.glaciology.net.

  16. Variations in Southeast Greenland fjord and coastal waters and their impact on glacier dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharrer, K.; Duijkers, M.; Murray, T.; Booth, A.; Selmes, N.; James, T. D.; Bevan, S. L.; Luckman, A. J.

    2009-12-01

    The southeast quadrant of the Greenland ice sheet has undergone rapid changes in recent years and many marine-terminating outlet glaciers synchronously accelerated, thinned and their calving fronts retreated significantly between 2003 and 2005. Subsequently these glaciers have slowed, again simultaneously, with many outlets in 2008 flowing at speeds close to or even slower than in 2000/1. These dynamic changes seem to be triggered at the calving fronts of the glaciers, with changes in fjord water composition acting as the first order control. However, little is known about ocean-glacier interactions, especially about the processes and changes in the glacier-fjord-coastal ocean system in southeast (SE) Greenland. In order to investigate recent changes in outlet glacier dynamics in SE Greenland in the context of variations in fjord and ocean circulation, we analysed detailed time series of high-resolution satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) datasets for the period 2000 to 2009. In order to link these surface data to processes deeper in the water column we conducted a field campaign in Sermilik Fjord (Helheim glacier) during summer 2009. Coastal circulation patterns were investigated using the weekly SST product from the MODIS (MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imagery, which provides coverage at 4 km spatial resolution with an accuracy of +/- 0.25 degrees Celsius. In addition, we used the 60 m resolution thermal band of Landsat-7 imagery to identify seasonal and annual temperature variations of coast and fjord waters at higher resolution. Temporal sequences of Landsat derived SST images were analysed at 6 locations along the SE Greenland coast. We also produced maps of bathymetry, and the temperature-depth and salinity-depth structure of Sermilik Fjord. Our data confirm that the speedup of SE Greenland outlet glaciers coincides with a decline of the cold East Greenland Coastal Current (EGCC), which was accompanied by the incursion of warm and

  17. 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.

  18. Complex Greenland outlet glacier flow captured.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Flow Characteristics of Tidewater Glaciers in Greenland and Alaska using Ground-Based LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finnegan, D. C.; Stearns, L. A.; Hamilton, G. S.; O'Neel, S.

    2010-12-01

    LiDAR scanning systems have been employed to characterize and quantify multi-temporal glacier and ice sheet changes for nearly three decades. Until recently, LiDAR scanning systems were limited to airborne and space-based platforms which come at a significant cost to deploy and are limited in spatial and temporal sampling capabilities necessary to compare with in-situ field measurements. Portable ground-based LiDAR scanning systems are now being used as a glaciological tool. We discuss research efforts to employ ground-based near-infrared LiDAR systems at two differing tidewater glacier systems in the spring of 2009; Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland and Columbia Glacier in southeast Alaska. Preliminary results allow us to characterize short term displacement rates and detailed observations of calving processes. These results highlight the operational limitations and capabilities of commercially available LiDAR systems, and allow us to identify optimal operating characteristics for monitoring small to large-scale tidewater glaciers in near real-time. Furthermore, by identifying the operational limitations of these sensors it allows for optimal design characteristics of new sensors necessary to meet ground-based calibration and validation requirements of ongoing scientific missions.

  1. Using ISSM to Simulate the LIA to Present Ice Margin Change at Upernavik Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haubner, K.; Larour, E. Y.; Box, J.; Schlegel, N.; Larsen, S. H.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Kjaer, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The possibility for rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet ranks among the most serious societal climate threats. This project puts the rate of contemporary climate change-driven Greenland ice mass change in a temporal context, by simulating the Greenland ice sheet margin throughout the Holocene and comparing the results with past ice margin positions (e.g. Andresen et al., 2014; Bjørk et al., 2012) and records of glacier activity based on fjord sediment strata (Andresen et al. 2012). Here we show first steps to achieve this goal and model the evolution of the Upernavik Isstrøm, a set of marine-terminating glaciers in Northwest Greenland, during the 20thcentury, using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) (Larour et. al 2012). The simulation runs from 1900, shortly after the Little Ice Age (LIA), to year 2013, initialized using trimline data marking the former extent of the ice sheet and forced by a surface mass balance reconstruction after Box (2013). We address uncertainties in ice front positions and thickness by comparing our simulation output with present ice margin positions in the area. Finally, we investigate the possibility of simulating historic changes at ice sheet margins with this finite element ice sheet model. Andresen, C. S., Kjeldsen, K. K., Harden, B., Nørgaard-Pedersen, N. and Kjær, K. H. 2014. Outlet glacier dynamics and bathymetry at Upernavik Isstrøm and Upernavik Isfjord, North-West Greenland. GEUS Bulletin 31 Andresen, C. S., Straneo, F., Ribergaard, M. H., Bjørk, A. A., Andersen, T.J., Kuijpers, A., Nørgaard-Pedersen, N., Kjær, K. H., Schjøth, F., Weckström, K. and Ahlstrøm, A. P. 2012: Rapid response of Helheim Glacier in Greenland to climate variability over the past century. Nature Geoscience 5 Bjørk, A. A., Kjær, K. H., Korsgaard, N. J., Khan, A., S., Kjeldsen, K. K., Andresen, C. S., Box, J. E., Larsen, N. K. and Funder, S. 2012. Historical aerial photographs uncover eighty years of ice-climate interaction in southeast

  2. Investigating the Response of Greenland Outlet Glaciers to Perturbations Using a 1D Flowline Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrakopoulos, K.; Stearns, L. A.; van der Veen, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past two decades, the behavior of many Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers has been characterized by dramatic acceleration, thinning, and retreat. In some cases this behavior is followed by re-advance, thickening and deceleration. The mechanisms that control glacier stability are not fully understood, and hinder ice sheet mass balance projections. Many studies suggest that accelerations are caused exclusively by processes at the terminus, namely by mechanisms that result in increases in iceberg calving rates. In this study we investigate whether comparable accelerations can initiate at different places along the glacier trunk due to changes in subglacial processes or shear margin evolution. We begin our experiments using a prognostic depth integrated (1-D) flowline model applied to Helheim Glacier, and investigate its flow response to perturbations at the terminus and up-flow. Our work shows that large-scale accelerations could have initiated up-flow far from the terminus. The results of this study will contribute to the long-lasting debate about the role of terminus dynamics, and thus ocean conditions, in modulating ice sheet mass balance.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Pathways of Petermann Glacier meltwater, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuzé, Céline; Wåhlin, Anna; Johnson, Helen; Münchow, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Radar and satellite observations suggest that the floating ice shelf of Petermann Glacier loses up to 80% of its mass through basal melting, caused by the intrusion of warm Atlantic Water into the fjord and under the ice shelf. The fate of Petermann's glacial meltwater is still largely unknown. It is investigated here, using hydrographic observations collected during a research cruise on board I/B Oden in August 2015. Two methods are used to detect the meltwater from Petermann: a mathematical one that provides the concentration of ice shelf meltwater, and a geometrical one to distinguish the meltwater from Petermann and the meltwater from other ice shelves. The meltwater from Petermann mostly circulates on the north side of the fjord. At the sill, 0.5 mSv of meltwater leave the fjord, mostly on the northeastern side between 100 and 350 m depth, but also in the central channel, albeit with a lesser concentration. Meltwater from Petermann is found in all the casts in Hall Basin, notably north of the sill by Greenland coast. The geometrical method reveals that the casts closest to the Canadian side mostly contain meltwater from other, unidentified glaciers. As Atlantic Water warms up, it is key to monitor Greenland melting glaciers and track their meltwater to properly assess their impact on the ocean circulation and sea level rise.

  6. Instrument for Analysis of Greenland's Glacier Mills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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

    The outlet glaciers along the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) exhibit a range of behaviors, which are crucial for understanding GrIS mass changes from a dynamical point of view. However, the drivers of this behavior are still poorly understood. Arguments (counter-arguments) have been made for a strong (weak) local oceanic influence on marine terminating outlet glaciers while decadal-scale drivers linked to fluctuations in the Ice sheet itself and the North Atlantic ocean (e.g. Atlantic Multidecadal Variability) have also been posited as drivers. Recently there have also been studies linking (e.g. seasonal to interannual) atmospheric variability, synoptic activity and the Ice Sheet variability. But these studies typically investigate atmospheric links to the large-scale behavior of the Ice Sheet itself and do not go down to the scale of the outlet glaciers. Conversely, investigations of the outlet glaciers often do not include potential links to non-local atmospheric dynamics. Here the authors attempt to bridge the gap and investigate the relationship between atmospheric variability across a range of scales and the behavior of three outlet glaciers on Greenland's southeast coast over a 33-year period (1980-2012). The glaciers - Helheim, Midgard and Fenris - are near Tasiilaq, are marine terminating and exhibit varying degree of connection to the GrIS. ERA-Interim reanalysis, sea-ice data and glacier observations are used for the investigation. Long records of mass balance are unavailable for these glaciers and front position is employed as a measure of glacier atmosphere interactions across multiple scales, as it exhibits robust relationships to atmospheric variability on time scales of seasons to many years, with the strongest relationships seen at seasonal - interannual time scales. The authors do not make the argument that front position is a suitable proxy for mass balance, only that it is indicative of the role of local and remote atmospheric

  8. 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.

  9. No slowing down of Jakobshavn Isbræ in 2014: Results from feature-tracking five Greenland outlet glaciers using Landsat-8 data and the ImGRAFT toolbox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerli, Alexandra; Karlsson, Nanna B.; Grinsted, Aslak

    2015-04-01

    Data from the Landsat-8, panchromatic band, spanning the period (August) 2013 - (September) 2014 have been feature-tracked to construct ice velocities and flux estimates for five major Greenland outlet glaciers: Jakobshavn Isbræ, Nioghalvfjerdsbræ, Kangerdlugssuaq, Helheim and Petermann glaciers. The outlet glaciers are responsible for draining more than 20% of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and thus have a significant impact on its mass balance. The feature-tracking is performed with the newly developed ImGRAFT toolbox, a Matlab-based, freely available software (http://imgraft.glaciology.net). Overall, the resulting velocity fields and fluxes agree with the findings of existing studies. Notably, we find that Jakobshavn Isbræ has reached an unprecedented speed of over 50m/day, and exhibit large, seasonal fluctuations. In contrast, on the east coast of Greenland, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq Glaciers have returned to pre-speed up velocities, following a peak in ice flux about a decade ago. Petermann and Nigohalvfjerdsbræ show little variability in speeds with typical flow speeds of less than 5m/day.

  10. Pathways of warm water to the Northeast Greenland outlet glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Kanzow, Torsten; Arndt, Jan Erik; Mayer, Christoph; Schauer, Ursula

    2015-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers surrounding the Greenland coast. The warming and accumulation of Atlantic Water in the subpolar North Atlantic has been suggested to be a potential driver of the glaciers' retreat over the last decades. The shelf regions thus play a critical role for the transport of Atlantic Water towards the glaciers, but also for the transfer of freshwater towards the deep ocean. A key region for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. This large ice stream drains the second-largest basin of the Greenland Ice Sheet and feeds three outlet glaciers. The largest one is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79°N-Glacier) featuring an 80 km long floating ice tongue. Both the ocean circulation on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland and the circulation in the cavity below the ice tongue are weakly constrained so far. In order to study the relevant processes of glacier-ocean interaction we combine observations and model work. Here we focus on historic and recent hydrographic observations and on the complex bathymetry in the Northeast Greenland shelf region, which is thought to steer the flux of warm Atlantic water onto the continental shelf and into the sub-ice cavity beneath the 79°N-Glacier. We present a new global topography data set, RTopo-2, which includes the most recent surveys on the Northeast Greenland continental shelf and provides a detailed bathymetry for all around Greenland. In addition, RTopo-2 contains ice and bedrock surface topographies for Greenland and Antarctica. Based on the updated ocean bathymetry and a variety of hydrographic observations we show the water mass distribution on the continental shelf off Northeast Greenland. These maps enable us to discuss possible supply pathways of warm modified Atlantic waters on the continental shelf and thus potential ways of heat

  11. Reconstruction of the past 2000 years of ocean and glacier variability in Sermilik Fjord, SE Greenland, based on sediment archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoican, Andreea; Andresen, Camilla; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Kjaer, Kurt; Kuijpers, Antoon; Massé, Guillaume; Weckström, Kaarina

    2013-04-01

    Glaciomarine sediments represent valuable archives of climate and glacier variability in the arctic environment. Especially the fjords along Greenland's east coast represent a dynamic and complicated system, influenced by regional ocean circulation, local currents and by glacier terminations. Therefore, they represent appropriate locations for sedimentary core studies in order to detect the relative glacier and ocean variability. The aim of this project is to reconstruct the past 2000 years of glacier and ocean variability in Sermilik fjord, SE Greenland, into which Helheim glacier terminates. This is done by analysing two sedimentary cores (ER11 and ER07) and hereby reconstruct fluctuations in marine-terminating outlet glacier dynamics (including iceberg and to a lesser extent melt water production) and the interaction with oceanographic changes. The oceanographic variability is reconstructed on the basis of benthic and planktonic foraminiferal analysis and the content of the biomarker IP25 and these proxies are interpreted to reflect changes in the inflow of the warm Irminger Current and polar waters in association with the East Greenland Current. Interestingly, studies show that the onset of the Little Ice Age was characterised by intensified inflow of Irminger Current water masses to the Southeastern and Southwestern shelves of Greenland and that these may be associated with a contracted subpolar gyre. At the same time, the EGC Polar Water transport also intensified leading to a stratified water column on the shelf and this may have favoured entrainment of warm subsurface IC waters. Alternatively, the relatively warm rim of the eastern subpolar gyre may have promoted intense submarine melting of extended outlet glaciers at this time, producing enhanced melt water outflow which favoured estuarine circulation processes maintaining the inflow of IC water masses. Thus the aim of this study is to investigate in detail the circulation of these LIA warm waters from

  12. 2011 the first complete glacier inventory for Eastern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Meltwater from glaciers and icecaps (GIC) provide a significant contribution to global sea-level rise, but estimates are uncertain due to the globally still incomplete information about glacier location and size, as well as large uncertainties in current Global Climate Models (GCMs). Recent studies that calculate global sea-level rise from GIC have developed simplified approaches using information from glacier inventories or gridded data sets and different GCMs. 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 data is expressed. The GIC on Greenland are one of these regions. Within the "EU-funded" project ice2sea we map the Eastern part of Greenland using Landsat ETM imagery acquired around the year 2000 and the ASTER GDEM to derive topographic parameters and drainage divides. Up to now more than 5500 GIC with a total area of about 26.000 square km have been mapped between 62 degrees and 80 degrees N considering only glaciers with an area larger than 0.1 square km that have no direct connection to the ice sheet. The largest valley glaciers are often debris covered, whereas smaller and mountain glaciers are often shaded due to the steep topography. Seasonal snow hiding the real glacier perimeter is a problem in some of the scenes that can only be solved by using scenes with better snow conditions. The artifacts in the GDEM are locally rather severe, but for the GIC considered for this inventory they were manageable. A comparison with the outline of the Greenland ice sheet as used in current models revealed that along the eastern coast a considerable amount of the local GIC is included in the extent of the ice sheet.

  13. Leakage of the Greenland Ice Sheet through accelerated ice flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.

    2005-12-01

    A map of coastal velocities of the Greenland ice sheet was produced from Radarsat-1 acquired during the background mission of 2000 and combined with radio echo sounding data to estimate the ice discharge from the ice sheet. On individual glaciers, ice discharge was compared with snow input from the interior and melt above the flux gate to determine the glacier mass balance. Time series of velocities on several glaciers at different latitudes reveal seasonal fluctuations of only 7-8 percent so that winter velocities are only 2 percent less than the yearly mean. The results show the northern Greenland glaciers to be close to balance yet losing mass. No change in ice flow is detected on Petermann, 79north and Zachariae Isstrom in 2000-2004. East Greenland glaciers are in balance and flowing steadily north of Kangerdlussuaq, but Kangerdlussuaq, Helheim and all the southeastern glaciers are thinning dramatically. All these glaciers accelerated, Kangerdlussuaq in 2000, Helheim prior to 2004, and southeast Greenland glaciers accelerated 10 to 50 percent in 2000-2004. Glacier acceleration is generally brutal, probably once the glacier reached a threshold, and sustained. In the northwest, most glaciers are largely out of balance. Jakobshavn accelerated significantly in 2002, and glaciers in its immediate vicinity accelerated more than 50 percent in 2000-2004. Less is known about southwest Greenland glaciers due to a lack of ice thickness data but the glaciers have accelerated there as well and are likely to be strongly out of balance despite thickening of the interior. Overall, I estimate the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet to be about -80 +/-10 cubic km of ice per year in 2000 and -110 +/-15 cubic km of ice per year in 2004, i.e. more negative than based on partial altimetry surveys of the outlet glaciers. As climate continues to warm, more glaciers will accelerate, and the mass balance will become increasingly negative, regardless of the evolution of the ice sheet

  14. Large fluctuations in speed on Greenland's Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier.

    PubMed

    Joughin, Ian; Abdalati, Waleed; Fahnestock, Mark

    2004-12-01

    It is important to understand recent changes in the velocity of Greenland glaciers because the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is partly determined by the flow rates of these outlets. Jakobshavn Isbrae is Greenland's largest outlet glacier, draining about 6.5 per cent of the ice-sheet area, and it has been surveyed repeatedly since 1991 (ref. 2). Here we use remote sensing data to measure the velocity of Jakobshavn Isbrae between 1992 and 2003. We detect large variability of the velocity over time, including a slowing down from 6,700 m yr(-1) in 1985 to 5,700 m yr(-1) in 1992, and a subsequent speeding up to 9,400 m yr(-1) by 2000 and 12,600 m yr(-1) in 2003. These changes are consistent with earlier evidence for thickening of the glacier in the early 1990s and rapid thinning thereafter. Our observations indicate that fast-flowing glaciers can significantly alter ice discharge at sub-decadal timescales, with at least a potential to respond rapidly to a changing climate. PMID:15577906

  15. Undercutting of marine-terminating glaciers in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, Eric; Fenty, Ian; Xu, Yun; Cai, Cilan; Kemp, Chris

    2015-07-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers control most of Greenland's ice discharge into the ocean, but little is known about the geometry of their frontal regions. Here we use side-looking, multibeam echo sounding observations to reveal that their frontal ice cliffs are grounded deeper below sea level than previously measured and their ice faces are neither vertical nor smooth but often undercut by the ocean and rough. Deep glacier grounding enables contact with subsurface, warm, salty Atlantic waters (AW) which melts ice at rates of meters per day. We detect cavities undercutting the base of the calving faces at the sites of subglacial water (SGW) discharge predicted by a hydrological model. The observed pattern of undercutting is consistent with numerical simulations of ice melt in which buoyant plumes of SGW transport warm AW to the ice faces. Glacier undercutting likely enhances iceberg calving, impacting ice front stability and, in turn, the glacier mass balance.

  16. Rapid changes in ice discharge from Greenland outlet glaciers.

    PubMed

    Howat, Ian M; Joughin, Ian; Scambos, Ted A

    2007-03-16

    Using satellite-derived surface elevation and velocity data, we found major short-term variations in recent ice discharge and mass loss at two of Greenland's largest outlet glaciers. Their combined rate of mass loss doubled in less than a year in 2004 and then decreased in 2006 to near the previous rates, likely as a result of fast re-equilibration of calving-front geometry after retreat. Total mass loss is a fraction of concurrent gravity-derived estimates, pointing to an alternative source of loss and the need for high-resolution observations of outlet dynamics and glacier geometry for sea-level rise predictions.

  17. North Atlantic warming and the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers.

    PubMed

    Straneo, Fiammetta; Heimbach, Patrick

    2013-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet quadrupled over the past two decades, contributing a quarter of the observed global sea-level rise. Increased submarine melting is thought to have triggered the retreat of Greenland's outlet glaciers, which is partly responsible for the ice loss. However, the chain of events and physical processes remain elusive. Recent evidence suggests that an anomalous inflow of subtropical waters driven by atmospheric changes, multidecadal natural ocean variability and a long-term increase in the North Atlantic's upper ocean heat content since the 1950s all contributed to a warming of the subpolar North Atlantic. This led, in conjunction with increased runoff, to enhanced submarine glacier melting. Future climate projections raise the potential for continued increases in warming and ice-mass loss, with implications for sea level and climate.

  18. Modeling ice front Dynamics of Greenland outlet glaciers using ISSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Bondzio, J. H.; Seroussi, H. L.; Rignot, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    The recent increase in the rate of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet is primarily due to the acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers along the coast. This acceleration is a dynamic response to the retreat of calving fronts, which leads to a loss in resistive stresses. These processes need to be included in ice sheet models in order to be able to accurately reproduce current trends in mass loss, and in the long term reduce the uncertainty in the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise. Today, the vast majority of ice sheet models that include moving boundaries are one dimensional flow line and vertical flow band models, that are not adapted to the complex geometries of Greenland outlet glaciers, as they do not accurately capture changes in lateral stresses. Here, we use the level set method to track moving boundaries within a 2D plane view model of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), and investigate the sensitivity of Store Glacier, in western Greenland, to the amount of melting occurring at its calving front. We explore different calving laws and obtain the best results with a new simple calving law adapted from von Mises yield criterion. We show that the ocean circulation near the front and the amount of runoff are able to trigger ice front advance and retreat depending on the amount of melting that they produce at the calving face, but the bed topography controls the stable positions of the ice front. The modeled calving front of Store Glacier, for which we have quality bed topography and sea floor bathymetry data, is particularly stable because of the presence of a large sill at the glacier terminus. If the ice front detaches from this stabilizing sill due to larger amounts of melting at the front or due to large calving events, the glacier front starts to retreat as the bed deepens inland, until it finds another stabilizing feature in the bed topography. The new bed topography maps based on mass conservation make it possible to model more

  19. Surface mass balance of Greenland mountain glaciers and ice caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, R. J.; Box, J. E.; Bromwich, D. H.; Wahr, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps contribute roughly half of eustatic sea-level rise. Greenland has thousands of small mountain glaciers and several ice caps > 1000 sq. km that have not been included in previous mass balance calculations. To include small glaciers and ice caps in our study, we use Polar WRF, a next-generation regional climate data assimilation model is run at grid resolution less than 10 km. WRF provides surface mass balance data at sufficiently high resolution to resolve not only the narrow ice sheet ablation zone, but provides information useful in downscaling melt and accumulation rates on mountain glaciers and ice caps. In this study, we refine Polar WRF to simulate a realistic surface energy budget. Surface melting is calculated in-line from surface energy budget closure. Blowing snow sublimation is computed in-line. Melt water re-freeze is calculated using a revised scheme. Our results are compared with NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and associated error is calculated on a regional and local scale with validation from automated weather stations (AWS), snow pits and ice core data from various regions along the Greenland ice sheet.

  20. Basal resistance for three of the largest Greenland outlet glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapero, Daniel R.; Joughin, Ian R.; Poinar, Kristin; Morlighem, Mathieu; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien

    2016-01-01

    Resistance at the ice-bed interface provides a strong control on the response of ice streams and outlet glaciers to external forcing, yet it is not observable by remote sensing. We used inverse methods constrained by satellite observations to infer the basal resistance to flow underneath three of the Greenland Ice Sheet's largest outlet glaciers. In regions of fast ice flow and high (>250 kPa) driving stresses, ice is often assumed to flow over a strong bed. We found, however, that the beds of these three glaciers provide almost no resistance under the fast-flowing trunk. Instead, resistance to flow is provided by the lateral margins and stronger beds underlying slower-moving ice upstream. Additionally, we found isolated patches of high basal resistivity within the predominantly weak beds. Because these small-scale (<1 ice thickness) features may be artifacts of overfitting our solution to measurement errors, we tested their robustness to different degrees of regularization.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Csatho, Beata; vanderVeen, Kees; Schenk, Toni

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. The first complete glacier inventory for the whole of Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.; Mölg, N.; Machguth, H.; Paul, F.

    2012-07-01

    Glacier inventories provide important baseline information for the determination of water resources, glacier-specific changes in area and volume, climate change impacts, and the past, potential and future contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Though heavily glacierized and thus highly relevant for all of the above points, such an inventory of all local glaciers and icecaps (GIC) was not available so far for Greenland. Here we present the details and results of our inventory, that has been compiled from more than 70 Landsat scenes mostly acquired between 1999 and 2002 using semi-automated multispectral mapping techniques. A digital elevation model (DEM) was used to derive drainage divides from watershed analysis and topographic parameters for each glacier entity. We assigned to each entity one of three connectivity levels (CL0, CL1, CL2; i.e. no, weak, and strong connection) with the ice sheet to distinguish the local GIC from the ice sheet and its outlet glaciers and to serve the specific needs of different user communities. All GIC larger 0.05 km2 include ~20 300 entities (of which 900 are marine terminating), covering an area of 129 983 ± 4029 km2, or 89 273 ± 2767 km2 without the CL2 GIC. The latter is about 50% more than according to all previous estimates. Glaciers smaller 0.5 km2 contribute only 1.5% to the total area but more than 50% (11 000) to the total number. In contrast, the 25 largest GIC (>500 km2) contribute 28% to the total area, but only 0.1% to the total number. Most of the ice was located at elevations around 1000 m, except in the eastern sector with elevation arround 1700 m. In addition, a strong dependence of the median elevation to the distance from the ocean was found, but only a weak dependence on aspect. All data will be made available in the Global Land Ice Measurement from Space (GLIMS) glacier database.

  5. Global Warming and Glaciers Melting at Fjords in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, Pablo

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents a discussion on the validation or not of a likely paradigm about the melting of polar glaciers and their direct impact on increasing ocean levels. Physico-chemical properties of ocean waters, as well as anomalies in the thermal behavior of water are used as providers of this discussion using fjords of Greenland as study area. This text seeks to infer the relationship between the most recent developments in global warming, specifically dealing with the melting of glaciers located in fjords in the eastern part of Greenland, increasing the water temperature in ocean currents and changes in sea levels. We emphasize the importance of the correlation of the water physico-chemical characteristics in these changes perceived in the studied environment. Greenland is defined by convention as the widest oceanic island in the world. In its fjords formed in the last glaciation of the Quaternary period, basically made of ice mountains with entries to the sea, there has been melts that are discussed in this work. At first, global warming and the melting of glaciers with a consequent rise in sea levels are presented almost as an axiom. This paper seeks to address the conclusions arising from this type of research according the basic laws of physics and chemistry, related to the behavior of water in their states (typically solid and liquid). The ultimate goal of this work glimpsed through some inferences and validation of water behavior in the ice condition and in its liquid state, a broader view with regard to the findings applied to the relationship between global warming and ice melting processes. Will be observed some water anomalies in the variation between its liquid and solid states to attempt a better understanding of the phenomena occurring in this area of interest as well as their possible impacts. It is noteworthy the fact that the water does not behave thermally as most liquids, with very specific consequences in relation to the variation between its

  6. Lacustrine Records of Holocene Mountain Glacier Fluctuations from Western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweinsberg, A.; Briner, J. P.; Bennike, O.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have focused on documenting fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin throughout the Holocene but few data exist that constrain past changes of local glaciers independent of the ice sheet. Our research combines proglacial lake sediment analysis with cosmogenic 10Be dating of Holocene moraines and radiocarbon dating of ice-cap-killed vegetation with an overall objective to use this multi-proxy approach to generate a detailed record of the coupled climate-glacier system through the Holocene. Here, we present lacustrine records of mountain glacier variability from continuous pro-glacial lake sediment sequences recovered from two glaciated catchments in northeastern Nuussuaq, western Greenland. We use radiocarbon-dated sediments from Sikuiui and Pauiaivik lakes to reconstruct the timing of advance and retreat of local glaciers. Sediments were characterized with magnetic susceptibility (MS), gamma density, Itrax XRF and visible reflectance spectroscopy at 0.2 cm intervals and sediment organic matter at 0.5 cm intervals. Basal radiocarbon ages provide minimum-age constraints on deglaciation from Sikuiui and Pauiaivik lakes of ~9.6 and 8.7 ka, respectively. Organic-rich gyttja from deglaciation until ~5.0 ka in Pauiaivik Lake suggests minimal glacial extent there while slightly elevated MS values from ~9.0 - 7.0 ka in Sikuiui Lake may reflect early Holocene glacial advances. Minerogenic sediment input gradually increases starting at ~5.0 ka in Pauiaivik Lake, which we interpret as the onset of Neoglaciation in the catchment. Furthermore, a distinct episode of enhanced glacial activity from ~4.0 - 2.2 ka in Sikuiui Lake may be correlative to a period of persistent snowline lowering evidenced by radiocarbon dates of ice-killed vegetation from nearby ice cap margins. Results from these lacustrine records and our ice-killed vegetation dataset suggest a middle Holocene onset of Neoglaciation ~5.0 - 4.0 ka in this region. We are supplementing these records

  7. 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.

  8. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes.

  9. Tomographic Observation and Bedmapping of Glaciers in Western Greenland with IceBridge Sounding Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Paden, John; Jezek, Ken; Rignot, Eric; Gim, Young

    2013-01-01

    We produced the high resolution bedmaps of several glaciers in western Greenland from IceBridge Mission sounding radar data using tomographic sounding technique. The bedmaps cover 3 regions: Russell glaciers, Umanaq glaciers and Jakobshavn glaciers of western Greenland. The covered areas is about 20x40 km(sup 2) for Russell glaciers and 300x100 sq km, and 100x80 sq km for Jakobshavn glaciers. The ground resolution is 50 meters and the average ice thickness accuracy is 10 to 20 meters. There are some void areas within the swath of the tracks in the bedmaps where the ice thickness is not known. Tomographic observations of these void areas indicate that the surface and shallow sub-surface pockets, likely filled with water, are highly reflective and greatly weaken the radar signal and reduce the energy reaching and reflected from the ice sheet bottom.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG) bathymetric survey of northwest Greenland and implications for the recent evolution of its glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, M.; Rignot, E. J.; Willis, J. K.; Fenty, I. G.

    2015-12-01

    Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) is a five-year Earth Ventures Suborbital Mission funded by NASA to investigate the role of the oceans in ice loss around the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which includes measurements of seafloor bathymetry from multibeam surveys and airborne gravity, glacier surface elevation from high-frequency radar interferometry, and temperature/salinity/depth from vessels and airborne-dropped probes. Here, we describe the results of the 2016 bathymetry survey of northwest Greenland that took place in the summer of 2015: july 22-August 19 and Sept 2-Sept 16 spanning from Ilulissat to Thule AFB in north Greenland, and to be complemented by a survey of southeast Greenland in 2016. We deployed a multibeam Reson 7160 with 512 beams installed on the hull of the Cape Race vessel, with enhanced capabilities for fjord wall and ice face mapping. The survey tracks were optimized based on the IBCAO3 database, recent cruises, airborne gravity data collected by NASA Operation IceBridge which indicated the presence of troughs, bed topography mapped inland using a mass conservation approach, the spatial distribution of ice discharge to locate the largest outlets and maximizing the number of major fjords sampled during the survey, with the goal to identify all troughs that are major pathways for subsurface ocean heat, and constrain as many glacier ice front thickness as permitted by time and the practicality of navigating the ice-choked fjords. The data reveal many deep, U-shaped, submarine valleys connected to the glaciers, intercut with sills and over deepened in narrower passages where former glaciers and ice streams merged into larger units; as well as fjords ending in shallow plateaus with glaciers in retreated positions. The presence of warm, salty water of Atlantic origin (AW) in the fjords is documented using CTD. Some glaciers sit on shallow plateaus in cold, fresh polar waters (PW) at the end of deep fjords, while others are deeper and standing in

  12. Seismic and satellite observations of calving activity at major glacier fronts in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danesi, Stefania; Salimbeni, Simone; Urbini, Stefano; Pondrelli, Silvia; Margheriti, Lucia

    2016-04-01

    The interaction between oceans and large outlet glaciers in polar regions contributes to the budget of the global water cycle. We have observed the dynamic of sizeable outlet glaciers in Greenland by the analysis of seismic data collected by the regional seismic network Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) trying also to find out correspondence in the glacier tongue evolution derived by the observation of satellite images. By studying the long-period seismic signals at stations located at the mouth of large fjords (e.g. ILULI, NUUG, KULLO), we identify major calving events through the detection of the ground flexure in response to seiche waves generated by iceberg detachments. 
For the time spanning the period between 2010-2014, we fill out calving-event catalogues which can be useful for the estimation of spatial and temporal variations in volume of ice loss at major active fronts in Greenland.

  13. Ice sheets. Reverse glacier motion during iceberg calving and the cause of glacial earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Murray, T; Nettles, M; Selmes, N; Cathles, L M; Burton, J C; James, T D; Edwards, S; Martin, I; O'Farrell, T; Aspey, R; Rutt, I; Baugé, T

    2015-07-17

    Nearly half of Greenland's mass loss occurs through iceberg calving, but the physical mechanisms operating during calving are poorly known and in situ observations are sparse. We show that calving at Greenland's Helheim Glacier causes a minutes-long reversal of the glacier's horizontal flow and a downward deflection of its terminus. The reverse motion results from the horizontal force caused by iceberg capsize and acceleration away from the glacier front. The downward motion results from a hydrodynamic pressure drop behind the capsizing berg, which also causes an upward force on the solid Earth. These forces are the source of glacial earthquakes, globally detectable seismic events whose proper interpretation will allow remote sensing of calving processes occurring at increasing numbers of outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. PMID:26113640

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Cryo-life habitability on a polythermal glacier in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, S.; Anesio, A. M.; Benning, L. G.

    2012-12-01

    Modern surface glacial ice and snow are extreme environments at the edge of Earth's biosphere and potential sites of biosignatures in future planetary missions. The primary colonization of snow and ice is an important biogeological scenario with clear implications for the life detection on other icy planets [1]. Hence, knowledge of the adaptations and survival strategies adopted by extremophiles - cryophiles - in terrestrial cryogenic environments is vital for our ability to process data from future planetary missions. Despite it being one of the most extreme habitats on Earth, glacial ice and snow fields are colonised by a plethora of organisms including snow algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, rotifers and even invertebrates [2]. Although low in number and diversity compared to other habitats, snow and ice algae are a major primary producer in glacial settings [3,4]. Their life cycle influences the structure and diversity of neighbouring microbial communities [5] and they produce a suite of complex molecules to protect themselves against cold [6], UV [7], or nutrient deficiency [8]. However, these adaptations are poorly understood and we know very little about the complexity of the biological inventory contained within snow and ice environments. We have been investigating the potential of carbon fluxes from snow to ice, cryoconites and runoff water on the polythermal Mittivakkat glacier in SE Greenland and the effect of cell retention at the glacial surface on the albedo. The complementary microbiological and geochemical characteristics have been characterized at a suite of sampling sites in the ablation, superimposed and accumulation zone of the glacier. Results from photosynthesis and respiration measurements (e.g., snow fields, cryoconites, glacial outflow, clean snow) show that snow and ice surfaces have the potential to accumulate algal cells which become an important source of organic carbon for cryoconites. The accumulation of cells at the glacial surface

  16. Patterns of Rapid Deceleration Observed at Two Tidewater Outlet Glaciers in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Flow speeds of Greenland outlet glaciers play an important role in modulating ice sheet mass balance. Flow variability is dictated by how outlet glaciers respond to unknown or poorly constrained perturbations in their boundary conditions; identifying the physical processes controlling outlet glacier flow variability is key to improving models of ice sheet evolution. In this study, we use satellite remote sensing data, in situ observations, and numerical models to explore the boundary conditions that control the unique flow behavior of two West Greenland outlet glaciers. Kangerdlugssup Sermerssua (KS) and Kangilerngata Sermia (KGS), exhibit seasonal flow variability that is anti-correlated with surrounding glaciers. Both glaciers decelerate in the spring when meltwater becomes available. The seasonal deceleration is usually on the order of 10% the annual average speed, and lasts ~2 months. During high melt years, the deceleration is highly exaggerated (~80% of the annual average), causing a near shutdown of glacier flow along the lower 20 km of the trunk. For example, in 2010 KS decelerated from its average speed of ~2000 m/yr to 250 m/yr; the deceleration and the acceleration back to its average speed took roughly 2 months. Force balance analyses show that both glaciers have anomalously low driving stress and basal drag values. We hypothesize that glaciers with low basal drag are particularly sensitive to variations in subglacial water. The discrete decelerations and reactivation of these two unique glacier systems allow us to analyze the complicated evolution of subglacial hydrologic systems and their interaction with ice velocity and force components.

  17. The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Glacier inventories provide essential baseline information for the determination of water resources, glacier-specific changes in area and volume, climate change impacts as well as past, potential and future contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Although Greenland is heavily glacierised and thus highly relevant for all of the above points, a complete inventory of its glaciers was not available so far. Here we present the results and details of a new and complete inventory that has been compiled from more than 70 Landsat scenes (mostly acquired between 1999 and 2002) using semi-automated glacier mapping techniques. A digital elevation model (DEM) was used to derive drainage divides from watershed analysis and topographic attributes for each glacier entity. To serve the needs of different user communities, we assigned to each glacier one of three connectivity levels with the ice sheet (CL0, CL1, CL2; i.e. no, weak, and strong connection) to clearly, but still flexibly, distinguish the local glaciers and ice caps (GIC) from the ice sheet and its outlet glaciers. In total, we mapped ~ 20 300 glaciers larger than 0.05 km2 (of which ~ 900 are marine terminating), covering an area of 130 076 ± 4032 km2, or 89 720 ± 2781 km2 without the CL2 GIC. The latter value is about 50% higher than the mean value of more recent previous estimates. Glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 contribute only 1.5% to the total area but more than 50% (11 000) to the total number. In contrast, the 25 largest GIC (> 500 km2) contribute 28% to the total area, but only 0.1% to the total number. The mean elevation of the GIC is 1700 m in the eastern sector and around 1000 m otherwise. The median elevation increases with distance from the coast, but has only a weak dependence on mean glacier aspect.

  18. Outlet Glacier and Margin Elevation Changes: Near - Coastal Thinning of The Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdalati, W.; Krabill, W.; Frederick, E.; Manizade, S.; Martin, C.; Sonntag, J.; Swift, R.; Thomas, R.; Wright, W.; Yungel, J.; Busalacchi, Antonio (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Repeat surveys by aircraft laser altimeter in 1993/4 and 1998/9 reveal significant thinning along 70% of the coastal parts of the Greenland ice sheet at elevations below about 2000 m. Thinning rates of more than 1 m/yr are common along many outlet glaciers, at all latitudes and, in some cases, at elevations up to 1500 m. Warmer summers along parts of the coast may have caused a few tens of cm/yr additional melting, but most of the observed thinning probably results from increased glacier velocities and associated creep rates. Three glaciers in the northeast all show patterns of thickness change indicative of surging behavior, and one has been independently documented as a surging glacier. There are a few areas of significant thickening (over 1 m/yr), and these are probably related to higher than normal accumulation rates during the observation period.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Re-estimation of glacier mass loss in Greenland from GRACE with correction of land-ocean leakage effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Shuanggen; Zou, Fang

    2015-12-01

    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites can estimate the high-precision time-varying gravity field and the changes of Earth's surface mass, which have been widely used in water cycle and glacier mass balance. However, one of larger errors in GRACE measurements, land-ocean leakage effects, restricts high precision retrieval of ocean mass and terrestrial water storage variations along the coasts, particularly estimation of mass loss in Greenland. The land-ocean leakage effect along the coasts in Greenland will contaminate the mass loss signals with significant signal attenuation. In this paper, the precise glacier mass loss in Greenland from GRACE is re-estimated with correction of land-ocean leakage effects using the forward gravity modeling. The loss of Greenland ice-sheets is - 102.8 ± 9.01 Gt/a without removing leakage effect, but - 183.0 ± 19.91 Gt/a after removing the leakage effect from September 2003 to March 2008, which has a good agreement with ICESat results of - 184.8 ± 28.2 Gt/a. From January 2003 to December 2013, the total Greenland ice-sheet loss is at - 261.54 ± 6.12 Gt/a from GRACE measurements with removing the leakage effect by 42.4%, while two-thirds of total glacier melting in Greenland occurred in southern Greenland in the past 11 years. The secular leakage effects on glacier melting estimate is mainly located in the coastal areas, where larger glacier signals are significantly attenuated due to leaking out into the ocean. Furthermore, the leakage signals also have remarkable effects on seasonal and acceleration variations of glacier mass loss in Greenland. More significantly accelerated loss of glacier mass in Greenland is found at - 26.19 Gt/a2 after correcting for leakage effects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment - SAFIRE - on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, P.; Hubbard, B. P.; Doyle, S. H.; Young, T. J.; Hofstede, C. M.; Bougamont, M. H.; Todd, J.; Toberg, N.; Nicholls, K. W.; Box, J.; Walter, J. I.; Hubbard, A.

    2015-12-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers drain 90 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and are responsible for about half of the ice sheet's net annual mass loss, which currently raises global sea level by 1 mm per year. The basal controls on these fast-flowing glaciers are, however, poorly understood, with the implication that numerical ice sheet models needed to predict future dynamic ice loss from Greenland relies on uncertain and often untested basal parameterizations. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment - SAFIRE - is addressing this paucity of observational constraints by drilling to the bed of Store Glacier, a fast-flowing outlet glacier terminating in Uummannaq Fjord, West Greenland. In 2014, we gained access to the bed in four boreholes drilled to depths of 603-616 m near the center of the glacier, 30 km inland from the calving terminus where ice flows at a rate of 700 m/year. A seismic survey showed the glacier bed to consist of water-saturated, soft sediment. The water level in all four boreholes nevertheless dropped rapidly to 80 m below the ice surface when the drill connected with a basal water system, indicating effective drainage over a sedimentary bed. We were able to install wired sensor strings at the bed (water pressure, temperature, electrical conductivity and turbidity) and within the glacier (temperature and tilt) in three boreholes. The sensors operated for up to 80+ days before cables stretched and ultimately snapped due to high internal strain. The data collected during this sensor deployment show ice as cold as -21 degrees Celcius; yet, temperature of water in the basal water system was persistently above the local freezing point. With diurnal variations detected in several sensor records, we hypothesise that surface water lubricates the ice flow while also warming basal ice. The fast basal motion of Store Glacier not only occurs by basal sliding, but from high rates of concentrated strain in the bottom third of the glacier

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  4. Future sea-level rise from Greenland's main outlet glaciers in a warming climate.

    PubMed

    Nick, Faezeh M; Vieli, Andreas; Andersen, Morten Langer; Joughin, Ian; Payne, Antony; Edwards, Tamsin L; Pattyn, Frank; van de Wal, Roderik S W

    2013-05-01

    Over the past decade, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased as a result of both increased surface melting and ice discharge to the ocean. The latter is controlled by the acceleration of ice flow and subsequent thinning of fast-flowing marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Quantifying the future dynamic contribution of such glaciers to sea-level rise (SLR) remains a major challenge because outlet glacier dynamics are poorly understood. Here we present a glacier flow model that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini. We use this model to simulate behaviour of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which collectively drain about 22 per cent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing from a mid-range future warming scenario that predicts warming by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, we project a contribution of 19 to 30 millimetres to SLR from these glaciers by 2200. This contribution is largely (80 per cent) dynamic in origin and is caused by several episodic retreats past overdeepenings in outlet glacier troughs. After initial increases, however, dynamic losses from these four outlets remain relatively constant and contribute to SLR individually at rates of about 0.01 to 0.06 millimetres per year. These rates correspond to ice fluxes that are less than twice those of the late 1990s, well below previous upper bounds. For a more extreme future warming scenario (warming by 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100), the projected losses increase by more than 50 per cent, producing a cumulative SLR of 29 to 49 millimetres by 2200. PMID:23657350

  5. Future sea-level rise from Greenland's main outlet glaciers in a warming climate.

    PubMed

    Nick, Faezeh M; Vieli, Andreas; Andersen, Morten Langer; Joughin, Ian; Payne, Antony; Edwards, Tamsin L; Pattyn, Frank; van de Wal, Roderik S W

    2013-05-01

    Over the past decade, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased as a result of both increased surface melting and ice discharge to the ocean. The latter is controlled by the acceleration of ice flow and subsequent thinning of fast-flowing marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Quantifying the future dynamic contribution of such glaciers to sea-level rise (SLR) remains a major challenge because outlet glacier dynamics are poorly understood. Here we present a glacier flow model that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini. We use this model to simulate behaviour of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which collectively drain about 22 per cent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing from a mid-range future warming scenario that predicts warming by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, we project a contribution of 19 to 30 millimetres to SLR from these glaciers by 2200. This contribution is largely (80 per cent) dynamic in origin and is caused by several episodic retreats past overdeepenings in outlet glacier troughs. After initial increases, however, dynamic losses from these four outlets remain relatively constant and contribute to SLR individually at rates of about 0.01 to 0.06 millimetres per year. These rates correspond to ice fluxes that are less than twice those of the late 1990s, well below previous upper bounds. For a more extreme future warming scenario (warming by 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100), the projected losses increase by more than 50 per cent, producing a cumulative SLR of 29 to 49 millimetres by 2200.

  6. 110 years of local glacier and ice cap changes in Central- and North East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjork, A. A.; Aagaard, S.; Kjaer, K. H.; Khan, S. A.; Box, J.

    2014-12-01

    The local glaciers and ice caps of Greenland are becoming more apparent players in global sea-level rise, and their contribution to future changes is significant. Very little information on their historical fluctuations exists as much of the focus has been on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Now, we can for the first time present historic data that spans 110 years for more than 200 of the local glaciers and ice caps covering this large and important region of the Arctic. The central- and north eastern part of Greenland is of particular interest as these areas are predicted to exhibit a more active behavior with higher mass loss in the future - simultaneously with an increase in precipitation. Our results show that the glaciers and ice caps in the region are responding very rapidly to changes in temperature and precipitation. The present retreat is the fastest observed within the last eight decades, only surpassed by the rapid post LIA retreat. The 1930s was the golden era for scientific exploration in Central- and North East Greenland as several large expeditions visited the area and photographed from land, sea and air. We use historic recordings from Danish and Norwegian aerial missions and terrestrial recordings from the renowned American Explorer Louise Boyd. These unique pictures from the early 1930s form the backbone of the study and are supplemented the more recent aerial photographs the 1940s and onwards and satellite imagery from the mid-1960s and up until present. From high resolution aerial photographs we are able to map the maximum extent of the glaciers during the LIA (Little Ice Age), from which retreat in this area is estimated to commence in 1900. Using a new SMB (Surface Mass Balance) model and its components covering the entire observational period along with high resolution DEMs and historic sea-ice records we are now able to extract valuable information on the past and present triggers of glacial change.

  7. Tidewater glacier dynamics and the mass budget of the Northwest Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, R. A.; Luckman, A. J.; Murray, T.; Hanna, E.

    2014-12-01

    The rate of mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet continues to increase in response to increased surface melt and the retreat, acceleration and thinning of marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Marginal thinning is concentrated on the southeastern and western coasts; areas drained by numerous large, fast-flowing marine-terminating glaciers. Considerable temporal variability exists in the timing of regional mass loss, with an emerging picture of a clockwise progression of mass loss spreading from the southeast to the west of the ice sheet. The partitioning of regional mass loss into surface mass balance and glacier dynamic driven components is a question of considerable scientific interest. We present a mass budget for the Northwest Greenland ice sheet, along with long term, high temporal resolution records of glacier flow velocity and calving front position. We feature track optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM+ (slc-on), Landsat-8 OLI, ERS-1 SAR, ERS-2 SAR and Envisat ASAR data covering the period 1985-2014. It has been suggested that some Northwest Greenland glaciers have undergone two periods of dynamic mass loss over this time period. Our records span 1985-2014 for these glaciers and 2000-2014 for other large outlets. Velocity records were converted into ice discharge estimates using bedrock and surface Digital Elevation Models and assumptions about depth integrated velocity and ice density. Surface Mass Balance (SMB) model output was used to complete the mass budget. The 30 year observational record shows that the 21st century period of glacier dynamic change in Northwest Greenland is exceptional and ongoing. Our results do not support the assertion of an earlier period of dynamic mass loss in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, many of the observed dynamic changes initiated substantially prior to the gravimetric observation of increased regional mass loss from summer 2005 onwards. Modelled SMB exhibits a

  8. Investigation of Greenland Russell glacier with remote sensing observations and ice sheet/hydrodynamic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Hyewon; Kim, Jungrack; Tsai, YaLun; Lin, ShihYuan; Choi, Yunsoo

    2016-04-01

    There is great interest in the mechanism and consequences of arctic ice sheet migration in the context of worldwide climate change. An in-depth investigation of glacial movement involving supra/under glacial hydrological channel activities is key to understanding the acceleration of Greenland's ice sheet changes and needs to be established as an integrated model. In terms of the glacial migration involving basal hydrology, we have conducted a case study over the Russell glacier in western Greenland. Remote sensed image analyses combined with a numerical model in its melt water outflow channels, such as the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua rivers, and ice sheet simulations were performed. Employed technical approaches are summarized as follows: 1) Collecting 3D migration vectors combining differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) analysis, together with the in-house pixel tracking method employing optical flow and sub-pixel refinement with C band Sentinel-1 and L band ALOS PALSAR-2 images; 2) a 2D hydrodynamic simulation based on the channel bathymetry, which was driven from calibrated LANDSAT images together with along-track stereo DTM, and 3) an ice sheet model to extract the bedrock and basal characteristics of the glaciers. In addition, we tried Sentinel-1 InSAR time series to monitor ice sheet migrations over a certain time domain. The results revealed the importance of hydrological channel morphology as a governing factor over migration speeds of glaciers. Specifically, the sub glacial processes and underlying morphology traced by remote sensing observation and the numerical model were correlated with the observed local migration speeds in terminus of the Russell glacier. Those experiences naturally will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of artic glaciers. Thus, based on the output of this study, the proposed method will be extended to tackle the issues of ice sheet change occurring in the Greenland costal area

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Distinct Seasonal Velocity Patterns Based on Ice-Sheet-Wide Analysis of Greenland Outlet Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, T. A.; Joughin, I. R.; Smith, B. E.; van den Broeke, M. R.; Usher, M.

    2014-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased significantly over the last several decades and current mass losses of 260-380 Gt ice/yr contribute 0.7-1.1 mm/yr to global sea-level rise. Greenland mass loss includes ice discharge via marine-terminating outlet glaciers and surface meltwater runoff, the former now making up a third to a half of total ice loss. The magnitude of ice discharge depends in part on ice-flow speed, which has broadly increased since 2000 but varies locally, regionally, and from year to year. Research on a limited set of Greenland glaciers also shows that speeds vary seasonally. However, for much of the west, northwest, and southeast coasts where ice loss is increasing most rapidly, there are few or no records of seasonal velocity variation. Ice velocity is influenced by several key components of the ice-sheet-ocean-climate system: subglacial environment, surface melt and runoff, and ice-ocean interaction at the ice-front (terminus). Thus, knowledge of seasonal velocity patterns is important for predicting annual ice discharge, understanding the effects of increased surface melt on total mass loss, and establishing how ice-flow responds to other climatic changes. We developed 5-year records of seasonal velocity measurements for 55 glaciers around the ice-sheet margin. Among glaciers with significant speed variations, we find three distinct seasonal velocity patterns. One pattern indicates relatively high glacier sensitivity to ice-front position, with seasonal summer speedup sustained through fall. The other two patterns appear to be meltwater controlled and indicate regional differences in which some subglacial systems likely transition seasonally from inefficient, distributed hydrologic networks to efficient, channelized drainage, while others do not. These differences in dominant velocity control mechanisms reveal likely spatiotemporal variations in the dynamic response of the ice sheet to climate change.

  11. Observations of a subglacial discharge plume at the edge of a Greenland tidewater glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straneo, F.; Das, S. B.; Singh, H.; Plueddemann, A. J.; Richards, C.; Mankoff, K. D.; Stevens, L. A.

    2013-12-01

    Subglacial discharge from marine terminating glaciers can have a pronounced impact on the rate and spatial distribution of submarine melting at the glacier termini and, also, on the ocean circulation in the proximity of the glacier. Yet, our understanding of the discharge flux and of the transformation that occurs at the ice edge are very limited largely due to the challenges of collecting data within tens of meters from the edge of calving glaciers. Here, we present two, weeklong summer surveys of a subglacial discharge plume, taken a year apart, from the margins of Sarqardliup Sermia, in West Greenland - a glacier grounded approximately 100m below the surface. Hydrographic (CTD) and velocity (ADCP) data across the plume were collected from a small vessel and from an autonomous underwater vehicle in 2012 and an autonomous surface vehicle in 2013. Temporal context is provided by a mooring deployed in the plume using a helicopter during both surveys. These data provide a full characterization of the plume's characteristics including its narrow velocity core, and the entrainment of ambient water as it spreads away from the glacier. Differences between the two surveys are discussed in terms of changes in the ambient fjord characteristics and the timing/quantity of subglacial discharge as reconstructed from a regional atmospheric model.

  12. Tide-modulated seismicity in the vicinity of a calving front (Bowdoin Glacier, Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podolskiy, Evgeny A.; Sugiyama, Shin; Funk, Martin; Walter, Fabian; Genco, Riccardo; Tsutaki, Shun; Minowa, Masahiro; Ripepe, Maurizio

    2016-04-01

    For cryogenic microseismicity to be used as an indicator of climate-induced dynamic change, it must have a clear connection with glacier dynamics (including calving, basal sliding, strain, and melt). There is currently much speculation and disagreement about these connections, particularly, with respect to the relationship between tide-modulated seismicity and dynamics of calving glaciers. Here we analyze records from an on-ice seismometer placed 250 m from the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland. We find that the overall microseismic activity of this glacier is at least an order of magnitude larger than previously reported (more than 100,000 events within 2 weeks and up to 600 events per hour) and that it is positively correlated with falling tide velocity. Using high-resolution surface displacement measurements, we show for the first time that the correlation is relayed through strain-rate variations. The strain-rate corresponds with longitudinal stretching of the glacial surface, in response to higher melt rates and falling tide, both of which accelerate glacier movement and enhance the stretching flow regime. Previous proposals to use icequakes as a proxy for grounding line migration need to be reconsidered because Bowdoin Glacier is grounded, with no tide-induced vertical bending of the near-floating tongue, which always exhibits microseismic activity due to continuous longitudinal stretching.

  13. Mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps 2003-2008 from ICESat data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolch, Tobias; Sandberg Sørensen, Louise; Simonsen, Sebastian B.; Mölg, Nico; Machguth, Horst; Rastner, Philipp; Paul, Frank

    2013-04-01

    The melt water of the glaciers and ice caps (GIC) on Greenland could make a substantial contribution to global sea-level rise during this century. The recently finalized Greenland glacier inventory classified all GIC according to its connectivity to the ice sheet (CL0: no connection, CL1: weak connection, CL2: strong connection). This dataset allowed us for the first time to determine their mass changes separately from the ice sheet using space-borne laser altimetry data from the ICESat GLAS sensor. The accuracy of the altimetry measurements of about ±0.5 m even over rough surfaces along with their small footprint (about 70 m) is making them very suitable to assess elevation changes over GIC. A major challenge with ICESat data is the sparse density of the tracks (horizontal separation is about 30 km in southern and ~10 km in northern Greenland), and the fact that the repeat tracks can be several hundred metres apart. A further challenge is the volume to mass conversion. We extrapolated the elevation changes based on the glacier hypsometry and applied corrections for firn compaction and ice density based on climatic conditions. The Greenland GIC which are clearly separable from the ice-sheet (CL0, CL1) lost 30.1 ± 9.4 Gt a-1 or 0.08 ± 0.026 mm a-1 sea-level equivalent (SLE) between 2003 and 2008. When considering all hydrologically separable GIC (CL0-2, including the Geikie Plateau) the loss is 46.8 ± 13.4 Gt a-1 (0.12 ± 0.038 mm a-1 SLE). This is a significant fraction (about 20%) of the reported overall mass loss of Greenland (including the ice sheet) and up to 10% of the estimated contribution from the world's GIC to global sea-level rise. The mass loss of the GIC is per unit area about 2.5 times higher than for the ice sheet, and marine-terminating glaciers account for about half of the mass loss. The loss was highest in the south-eastern sector and lowest in the northern sector of Greenland.

  14. 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

    In the past decade, tidewater outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) have thinned and retreated when compared to the 1980s when the ice sheet was in a state of dynamic balance. With a growing amount of ice discharged into the sea by tidewater glaciers as well as more ice melting on the surface, the Greenland Ice Sheet has become the single largest cryospheric source of global sea level rise. Today, the ice sheet causes sea level rise of 1 mm per year, highlighting the need to understand the ice sheet's response to climate change. Atmospheric warming will inevitably continue to increase surface meltwater production, but the dynamic response, which includes hundreds of fast-flowing tidewater glaciers, is largely unknown. To develop new understanding of ice sheet dynamics, we investigated the mechanism whereby icebergs break off tidewater glaciers and form a proglacial ice melange. This melange is rigid in winter when sea ice and friction along the sidewalls of the fjord, or even at the sea floor, hold it together. The result is a resistive force, which reduces the rate of iceberg calving when the ice melange is rigid and is lost when the melange disappears in the summer. From early May to late July 2014, we launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from a basecamp on a bluff overlooking the calving front of Store Glacier, a 5 km wide tidewater glacier flowing into Uummannaq Fjord in West Greenland. The Skywalker X8 UAVs had a wing-span of 2.1m and a payload containing a high resolution camera, an autopilot system and a GPS data logger. We generated almost 70,000 georeferenced images during 63 sorties over the glacier during a 10 week field season starting 13 May 2014. The images were used to construct orhorectified mosaics and digital elevation models of the proglacial melange with Photoscan structure-from-motion software. The imagery and the DEMs were analysed statistically to understand the spatial characteristics of the ice melange. By combining the

  15. Arctic Coastal Fog over Greenland Glaciers using an Improved MODIS Fog Detection Method and Ground Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiskoot, H.; Harvey, T.; Gilson, G.

    2015-12-01

    Annual breakup of sea ice causes fog in Arctic coastal regions, which can both reduce and enhance glacier melt. With progressive sea ice loss and increasing temperatures and atmospheric moisture in the Arctic, it is essential to determine the frequency and spatial extent of fog in order to understand its present and future effects on glacier mass balance. Previously, we determined Greenland coastal fog to peak with 15-25% of days in July. Here, we present the spatial and vertical extent of significant melt-season fog events over Greenland coastal glaciers and the ice sheet. To this end, we modified a MODIS fog/low stratus detection method by Bendix et al. (2005), with verification by weather and radiosonde data, timelapse and Landsat imagery, and independent fog classifications. Our fog-detection method uses MODIS Levels 1b and 2, processed in an ENVI-ArcGIS environment as follows: 1) visual examination and application of vegetation and snow indices; 2) initial fog/low stratus discrimination with novel band thresholds and cloud products; 3) verification using cloud phase/temperature products; 4) cleaning misclassified pixels; 5) calculating fog/low stratus optical and geometrical thickness; 6) final differentiation of fog from low stratus using edge-pixel detection, trend-surface fitting, and DEM filling. The end product consists of 500 m fog-mask pixel maps over Greenland, with minimum and maximum possible extents based on classification of fog versus low stratus. Our results show that fog can cover extensive areas of the Greenland ice masses. Persistent fog events in early, mid, and late melt-season were extracted for East Greenland using fog rim detection overlain on the GIMP DEM, the Randolph Glacier Inventory, and a coast shapefile. E.g., a 4 July 2002 fog event covers 4300-5000 km2 of ice, with a maximum inland extent of 85 km to an elevation of 1250 m asl. Fog thickness over ice is 20-800 m, but can be underestimated by >50 m compared to radiosonde data.

  16. Has dynamic thinning switched off in south-east Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; Scharrer, K.; James, T. D.; Dye, S. R.; Hanna, E.; Booth, A. D.; Selmes, N.; Luckman, A.; Hughes, A. L. C.; Huybrechts, P.

    2009-04-01

    Following a relatively stable period during the 1990's, dramatic changes have been reported for many tidewater outlets in the south-eastern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Results from measurements using the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission clearly identified the south-eastern part of the GrIS as having the highest rates of mass loss (1, 2). Two of the major outlet glaciers in this area, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq, accelerated by about 100 percent and 40 percent, respectively, and their calving fronts retreated by several km (3). Retreat and acceleration occurred in two phases during summer 2003 and 2005 at Helheim, and in a single period between late 2004 and early 2005 at Kangerdlugssuaq. Further south widespread glacier acceleration between 1996 and 2005 affected most of the outlet glaciers (4). In all Greenland's mass loss was calculated to have doubled in the period (4). Increased discharge due to thinning in the marginal areas, coupled to rapid changes in ice dynamics and synchronous retreat of their calving front positions, led to speculations that the GrIS had crossed a "tipping point" induced by global warming. However, subsequent studies showed that during summer 2006 Helheim and Kangerlugssuaq had simultaneously slowed down and their thinning had stopped. Because variability in the ice sheet's mass loss results mostly from the SE Greenland sector, further understanding of the nature, distribution, and controls of dynamic change in this region is essential. In order to examine the extent of the dynamic changes and to identify their cause we used satellite data to measure glacier surface elevation and calving front positions of 24 outlets of 14 major tidewater terminating glaciers, as well as speeds of 9 outlets in SE Greenland. We concentrate on the region where the GRACE data show highest rates of mass change and our data cover the period during and after the cessation of fast flow and thinning at Helheim and

  17. Warming Beneath the 79⁰N Glacier in Northeast Greenland and Warm Atlantic Water in Fram Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodd, Paul; Schaffer, Janin; von Appen, Wilken-Jon; de Steur, Laura; Kanzow, Torsten

    2016-04-01

    Time series measurements of temperature beneath the 79°N glacier, over the East Greenland Continental Shelf and in Fram Strait suggest that recently observed warming beneath the glacier may be caused by warm recirculating Atlantic water from Fram Strait. CTD profiles close to the 79°N glacier collected between 1997 and 2015 (5 cruises) are compared with CTD profiles over the East Greenland Shelf collected between 1980 and 2015 (15 cruises) and with repeated transects across Fram Strait between 1983 and 2015 (24 cruises). The 2009 and 2014 cruises exploited a rift in the 79°N glacier to access the cavity below without the need for drilling. The time series of observations shows that the temperature of water in the cavity beneath the 79°N glacier is rising. This warm water likely reaches the cavity via the Norske-Westwind trough on the East Greenland Shelf. The temperature of water in the southern part of this trough responded quickly to the temperature of water in Fram Strait, showing a distinct peak in 2006-8. The northern part of the trough responded less strongly, probably because it is upstream of the region where the bulk of the Atlantic Water recirculates in Fram Strait. Subsurface warm water at the northern end of the trough also had a colder signature suggesting it originates from Atlantic Water that has recirculated further into the central Arctic. We are concerned that the trough system on the East Greenland Shelf provides a short-circuit allowing heat transported from low latitudes by northward flowing Atlantic water to directly affect the Greenland Ice Sheet. If our assumptions are correct, the rising temperature of water in the Norwegian Atlantic Current potentially threatens the 79°N glacier, which drains a major part of the Northeast Greenland Ice Sheet.

  18. Trends and Variability in Observed Runoff from Land Terminating Glaciers in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, D.; Ahlstrom, A. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate with both surface melting and iceberg discharge increasing notably over the last decade. The impact of Greenland ice sheet mass loss on the ongoing global sea level rise has raised concern and a better understanding of the reaction of the ice sheet to a future warmer climate is needed. Yet, observational records of surface melting have so far only been in the form of stake readings or short-term discharge measurements. Here we present continuous, long-term observations of discharge from pro-glacial lake Tasersiaq in West Greenland (66.3°N, 50.4°W) whose drainage basin extends over around 8500 km2 of which around 80% is ice covered (by Greenland Ice Sheet and local glaciers). The discharge time series covers the period from 1975 to 2014 and gives insight into the hydrological system's reaction to climatic forcing, e.g. a clear impact from major volcanic eruptions is observed. Over the entire data period a significant positive trend of 0.06 km3/yr in annual discharge is seen, where the median annual discharge is 2.50 km3. In addition to the trend in annual discharge a large and increasing year-to-year variability is observed. We examine both discharge trend and variability in the context of atmospheric circulation patterns and indicators of climate variability.

  19. Has dynamic thinning switched off in south-east Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; Scharrer, K.; James, T.; Luckman, A.; Selmes, N.; Cook, S.; Hughes, A.; Cordero Llana, L.; Booth, A.; McGovern, J.; Rutt, I.

    2008-12-01

    Following a relatively stable period during the 1990s, dramatic changes have been reported for many tidewater outlets in SE Greenland. Some of the most important results come from measurements using the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission (1, 2). These data clearly identified the SE of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) as having the highest rates of mass loss. Two of the major outlet glaciers in this area, Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq accelerated by about 100% and 40%, respectively, and their calving fronts retreated by several km (3, 4). Retreat and acceleration occurred in two phases during summer 2003 and 2005 at Helheim, and in a single period between late 2004 and early 2005 at Kangerdlugssuaq. Further south, widespread glacier acceleration between 1996 and 2005 affected most of the outlet glaciers, and Greenland's mass loss doubled in the period (5). Increased discharge due to thinning in the marginal areas, coupled to rapid changes in ice dynamics and synchronous retreat of calving front positions, led to speculations that the GrIS had crossed a "tipping point" induced by global warming. However, subsequent studies in summer 2006 showed that Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq had simultaneously slowed down again and thinning stopped (6). In summer 2007, we collected lidar data over Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq flown by the NERC Airborne Research and Survey Facility. Data collected were single swaths over mountain areas, as well as centerline profiles. In cooperation with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, we conducted a similar but extended campaign in 2008, collecting lidar and radar data for the 16 largest outlet glaciers in SE Greenland, targeting the full extent of the major GRACE anomaly. We used lidar swaths from bedrock as ground-control for extracting DEMs from ASTER satellite images covering the period with major changes in 2004 to 2006, and compared them to lidar and SPOT 5 DEMs to produce the most recent volume change and velocity estimates

  20. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, M. E.; Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Als, T. D.; Wanamaker, A. D., Jr.

    2012-09-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models predicting the influence of ongoing climate change. We investigated a potential meltwater proxy in Godthåbsfjord (West Greenland), where glacier meltwater causes seasonal excursions with lower oxygen isotope water (δ18Ow) values and salinity. The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) potentially records these variations, because it precipitates its shell calcite in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. As M. edulis shells are known to occur in raised shorelines and kitchen middens from previous Holocene warm periods, this species may be ideal in reconstructing past meltwater dynamics. We investigate its potential as a palaeo-meltwater proxy. First, we confirmed that M. edulis shell calcite oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) values are in equilibrium with ambient water and generally reflect meltwater conditions. Subsequently we investigated if this species recorded the full range of δ18Ow values occurring during the years 2007 to 2010. Results show that δ18Ow values were not recorded at very low salinities (< ~19), because the mussels appear to cease growing. This implies that M. edulis δ18Oc values are suitable in reconstructing past meltwater amounts in most cases, but care has to be taken that shells are collected not too close to a glacier, but rather in the mid region or mouth of the fjord. The focus of future research will expand on the geographical and temporal range of the shell measurements by sampling mussels in other fjords in Greenland along a south-north gradient, and by sampling shells from raised shorelines and kitchen middens from prehistoric settlements in Greenland.

  1. Identifying potential seasonal and historical drivers of marine-terminating glacier retreat in Disko and Uummannaq Bays, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    York, A.; Frey, K. E.; Das, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    The variability in outlet glacier termini positions is an important indicator of overall glacier health and the net effects of ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions. Glacier margins fluctuate on both seasonal and interannual time scales and satellite imagery provides a critical spatially- and temporally-extensive resource for monitoring glacier behavior. Outlet glaciers have generally been retreating globally over recent decades, but the magnitude of seasonal variation, overall retreat, and foremost drivers have proven unique to each glacier. The outlet glaciers in central West Greenland are generally experiencing the same regional atmospheric forcing, yet previous studies have shown varying magnitudes of retreat over the last forty years. In this study, we utilize Landsat imagery between the years 1985 and 2014 to digitize a time series of glacier front positions of 18 marine-terminating outlet glaciers in the Disko and Uummannaq Bay regions of West Greenland. We examine potential drivers of trends in outlet glacier retreat through satellite observations of adjacent sea ice concentrations and sea surface temperatures. Additionally, reanalysis data and long-term automatic weather station measurements are investigated to contextualize the role of atmospheric drivers at both a regional and local scale. Results indicate retreat of all glaciers in the region over the study period and no indication of a south to north trend in magnitude of retreat on either a seasonal or long-term scale. The 11 glaciers in Uummannaq Bay retreated between 25 m and 3.5 km, an average of 1.22 ± 1.20 km over the entire study period. The retreat of 7 glaciers in Disko Bay ranged from 181 m to 2.3 km, an average of 1.0 ± 0.78 km over the period. Although the mean terminus retreat rate between the two bays is comparable, there remains a wide range of total retreat amounts among the glaciers. We investigate the degree of seasonal variation in terminus position as an indicator of longer

  2. 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)

  3. Rerouting of subglacial water flow between neighboring glaciers in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Winnie; Creyts, Timothy T.; Bell, Robin E.

    2016-05-01

    Investigations of the Greenland ice sheet's subglacial hydrological system show that the connectivity of different regions of the system influences how the glacier velocity responds to variations in surface melting. Here we examine whether subglacial water flow paths can be rerouted beneath three outlet glaciers in the ablation zone of western Greenland. We use Lamont-Doherty and Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets of University of Kansas (CReSIS) ice-penetrating radar data to create a new ice thickness map. We then use a simple subglacial water flow model to examine whether flow paths can be rerouted and identify the topographic conditions that are sensitive to subglacial rerouting. By varying water pressures within an observationally constrained range, we show that moderate changes in pressure can cause flow paths to reroute and exchange water from one subglacial catchment to another. Flow across subglacial overdeepenings is particularly sensitive to rerouting. These areas have low hydraulic gradients driving flow, so subtle water pressure variations have a strong influence on water flow direction. Based on correlations between water flow paths and ice velocity changes, we infer that water piracy between neighboring catchments can result in a different spatial pattern of hydrologically induced ice velocity speedup depending on the amount and timing of surface melt. The potential for subglacial water to reroute across different catchments suggests that multiple hydrographs from neighboring glaciers are likely necessary to accurately ascertain melt budgets from proglacial point measurements. The relationship between surface runoff, ice dynamics, and proglacial discharge can be altered by rerouting of subglacial water flow within and across outlet glaciers.

  4. The presence of thrust-block naled after a major surge event: Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, N. Tvis; Larsen, Nicolaj K.; Kronborg, Christian; Nielsen, Ole B.; Heinemeier, Jan; Olsen, Jesper

    Thrust-block naled in front of Kuannersuit Glacier, West Greenland, appears to have formed during the termination of a terrestrial surge event by a combination of enhanced winter runoff, rapid advance of the glacier terminus, and proglacial stress release by thrusting and stacking of naled blocks. This process is equivalent to the formation of thrust-block moraines. The thrust-block naled consists of at least seven thrust sheets, which are characterized by stratified ice with beds composed of a lower debris-rich lamina, an intermediate dispersed lamina and a top clean-ice lamina, and underlain by frozen outwash deposits. The thrust-block naled differs from basal stratified ice in the absence of internal deformation structures, a relatively low debris concentration, a clay-rich particle-size distribution and a preferential sorting of lighter minerals. The oxygen isotope composition of the thrust-block naled is indistinguishable from δ18O values from meteoric glacier ice and bulk meltwater, but different from basal stratified ice facies. The d-δD relationship indicates that thrust-block naled has been formed by freezing of successive thin layers of bulk waters with variable isotopic composition, whereas basal stratified ice has developed in a subglacial environment with regelation. This work shows that the association between proglacial naled and rapidly advancing glaciers may have significant consequences for the proglacial geomorphology and the interpretation of basal ice layers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, A., II; Chauche, N.

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Modeling Subglacial Meltwater Plumes across Greenland's Outlet Glaciers: Implications for Ice-Ocean Coupling in a Warming Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, D.; Sutherland, D.; Moon, T. A.; Hudson, B.; Noel, B.; Felikson, D.; Catania, G. A.; Nash, J. D.; Shroyer, E.; Bartholomaus, T.; Stearns, L. A.; van den Broeke, M.

    2015-12-01

    Meltwater accumulated on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) drains to glacier beds, often discharging into outlet glacier fjords hundreds of meters below sea level. The injection of buoyant meltwater at depth drives a turbulent plume that entrains warm bottom water as it rises along the ice face, resulting in increased submarine melt rates. Recent studies have used remotely sensed data to identify distinct seasonal flow patterns in GrIS outlet glacier dynamics, suggesting some glaciers are especially sensitive to changes at the terminus. However, we currently lack an understanding of the corresponding regional patterns in near-glacier circulation that are a first-order control on submarine melt rates and indirectly modulate the resultant estuarine exchange flow and mixing of fjord waters. In this study, we use a buoyant plume model combined with a synthesis of shipboard hydrography, moored observations, estimates of subglacial discharge, and remotely sensed data on glacier characteristics, to provide an estimate of plume properties across GrIS outlet glaciers in both time and space. We validate our model results with detailed ice-ocean measurements from neighboring outlet glacier fjords in Uummannaq Bay, west Greenland. Model and observations agree that strongly stratified fjords with deep outlet glaciers result in warm, subsurface plumes, while shallow fjords result in surface-intensified plumes that retain their cold meltwater signature. We compare these results to a high-resolution ocean model to provide an estimate of submarine melt rates during peak summer discharge. One advantage of our approach is the rapid characterization of distinct plume regimes across GrIS outlet glacier parameter space. Finally, we compare these plume regimes with characteristics of glacier behavior (ice velocity, surface elevation, terminus position), over decadal and seasonal time-scales. This comparison allows us to investigate which outlet glacier systems might be more sensitive to

  7. 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

  8. Increased mass loss and asynchronous behavior of marine-terminating outlet glaciers at Upernavik Isstrøm, NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Signe Hillerup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Ahlstrøm, Andreas Peter; Hvidberg, Christine Schøtt; Willis, Michael John; Andersen, Signe Bech

    2016-02-01

    In order to model and predict future behavior of marine terminating glaciers, it is essential to understand the different factors that control a glaciers response to climate change. Here we present a detailed study of the asynchronous changes in dynamic behavior of four adjacent marine-terminating glaciers at Upernavik Isstrøm (UI), northwest Greenland, between 1992 and 2013. Velocities were stable for all outlets at UI between 1992 and 2005. The northernmost glacier started to accelerate and thin in 2006 and continued to do so into 2011 after which time the velocities stabilized. The second most northerly glacier started to accelerate and thin in 2009 and continued to do so until the last observations in 2013, dramatically increasing the area affected by dynamically induced thinning. The southern glaciers show little change, with the most southerly glacier undergoing slight retreat and deceleration between 1992 and 2013. These observations point out the fact that the UI glaciers are reacting to climate change on different timescales. The asynchronous behavior of the four neighboring glaciers is explained in terms of the individual glaciers geometry and terminus position. The northernmost glacier is believed to have had a floating tongue between 1985 and 2007 which disintegrated in 2007-2008. This release of back stress destabilized the glacier causing it to accelerate and thin rapidly. We suggest that the ice tongue broke up due to ocean-warming-induced thinning in the late 1990s. Recent response on UI glaciers is found to be related to increased surface melt. Our investigations suggest that three out of the four main glaciers in the UI are likely to be in unstable positions and may have the potential to rapidly thin and accelerate and increase their contribution to sea level in the future.

  9. Interactions of the Greenland Petermann Glacier with the ocean: An initial perspective (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falkner, K. K.; Johnson, H. L.; Melling, H.; Muenchow, A.; Samelson, R. M.; Friends Of Petermann

    2010-12-01

    Petermann Glacier is major outlet glacier that drains 6% of the area of the Greenland Ice Sheet in western North Greenland. It is one of four major outlet glaciers on Greenland with a grounding line substantially below sea level (about 500m) and one of two such glaciers to retain a substantial floating tongue. The floating ice tongue of Petermann glacier is thought to lose at least 80% of its mass through ocean interaction. Based on three opportunistic ocean surveys in Petermann Fjord, we present an overview of circulation at the fjord mouth, hydrographic structure beneath the ice tongue, oceanic heat delivered to the under-ice cavity and the fate of the resulting melt water. We also present an historical perspective on the August 2010 major calving event. The 1100m-deep fjord is separated from neighboring Hall Basin by a sill that is inferred to lie between 350m and 450m deep. Hall Basin is a section of Nares Strait that connects the Arctic Ocean (at the Lincoln Sea proceeding southward through Robeson Channel, Hall Basin, Kennedy Channel, Kane Basin and Smith Sound) to Baffin Bay. Sills in the Lincoln Sea (290m) and in Kane Basin (220m) restrict communication with the Arctic Ocean and Baffin Bay. The net flux of seawater through Nares Strait is southward and relatively fresh, conditioned by sources and processes within the Arctic Ocean and locally. Within Petermann Fjord, glacial melt water appears on the northeast side at 200-600m. A cyclonic gyre occurs within the fjord mouth, with outflow on the northeast side. Oceanic heat fluxes into the fjord are sufficient to account for the observed rate of basal melting. Cold, low salinity water intrudes far under the ice and likely limits basal melting to the inland half of the tongue. The recent major calving event resulted in a loss of 300 km2 or about 20% of the total area of the floating tongue, most of which remained intact as an ice island that garnered much media attention. Available observations show calving to

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Methane seeps along boundaries of receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, K. M.; Anthony, P. M.; Grosse, G.; Chanton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost form a 'cryosphere cap' that traps methane formed in the subsurface, restricting its flow to the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Despite model predictions that glacier melt and degradation of permafrost open conduits for methane's escape, there has been a paucity of field evidence for 'subcap' methane seepage to the atmosphere as a direct result of cryosphere disintegration in the terrestrial Arctic. Here, we document for the first time the release of sub-cryosphere methane to lakes, rivers, shallow marine fjords and the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of receding glaciers and permafrost thaw in Alaska and Greenland. Through aerial and ground surveys of 6,700 lakes and fjords in Alaska we mapped >150,000 gas seeps identified as bubbling-induced open holes in seasonal ice. Using gas flow rates, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon dating, we distinguished recent ecological methane from subcap, geologic methane. Subcap seeps had anomalously high bubbling rates, 14C-depletion, and stable isotope values matching microbial sources associated with sedimentary deposits and coal beds as well as thermogenic methane accumulations in Alaska. Since differential ice loading can overpressurize fluid reservoirs and cause sediment fracturing beneath ice sheets, and since the loss of glacial ice reduces normal stress on ground, opens joints, and activates faults and fissures, thereby increasing permeability of the crust to fluid flow, we hypothesized that in the previously glaciated region of Southcentral Alaska, where glacial wastage continues presently, subcap seeps should be disproportionately associated with neotectonic faults. Geospatial analysis confirmed that subcap seep sites were associated with faults within a 7 km belt from the modern glacial extent. The majority of seeps were located in areas affected by seismicity from isostatic rebound associated with deglaciation following the Little Ice Age (LIA; ca

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Subglacial water flux routing for the 79°N Glacier, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rückamp, M.; Beyer, S.; Kleiner, T.; Steinhage, D.; Helm, V.; Dohn, L.; Humbert, A.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrological regime of Greenland is of major importance for the ice dynamics, as water acts as lubricant for ice flow. The 79°N Glacier is feed by two branches, one southern coming from the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) and one northern branch. We have applied a flux routing type of hydrological model to this area prior to an airborne ice penetrating radar campaign that has been carried out in June 2015. Flux routing scheme can be used to distribute the basal water down the static hydraulic potential. In this study, local sinks in the potential field were filled using a priority flooding approach, which allows a more realistic continuation of water flow across the sinks. One distinct sink was found in the NEGIS branch, indicating a potential lake location. In the northern branch, the water flux appeared to be concentrated with a clear transition to a potentially dry area. We show the subglacial water fluxes for constant basal melt rates, as well as for spatially varying melt rates taken from the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). Using the PISM output allows assessing the likely drainage pathways with a more realistic availability of water. The airborne campaign was covering cross sections over these two locations, of which we will present the radar sections.

  14. Placing recent changes in Greenland's outlet glaciers into a historical context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, T.; James, T. D.; Scharrer, K.; Bevan, S. L.

    2010-12-01

    Over the last decades, improvements in remote sensing methods, especially new satellite systems, have revealed accelerating mass loss, increased melt rates, thinning of the ice sheet margins, and increased discharge from many outlet glaciers due to rapid changes in ice dynamics. However, the lack of an historical context for these recent changes makes it difficult to determine whether they are a response to a warming trend or simply a reflection of the ice sheet’s natural variability. We use historical stereo photography and modern lidar surveys to create a time series of digital elevation models (DEMs) and ice margin positions for glaciers in GRACE anomaly regions in both the north and south-east of Greenland. The earliest stereo photographs date from the 1940s making these timeseries up to 70 years long. All of this work has been carried out with the support of NASA’s Airborne Thematic Mapper (ATM) missions to collect data to control the historical photography from which high resolution DEMs are generated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Bathymetry data reveal glaciers vulnerable to ice-ocean interaction in Uummannaq and Vaigat glacial fjords, west Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Fenty, I.; Xu, Y.; Cai, C.; Velicogna, I.; Cofaigh, C. Ó.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Weinrebe, W.; Catania, G.; Duncan, D.

    2016-03-01

    Marine-terminating glaciers play a critical role in controlling Greenland's ice sheet mass balance. Their frontal margins interact vigorously with the ocean, but our understanding of this interaction is limited, in part, by a lack of bathymetry data. Here we present a multibeam echo sounding survey of 14 glacial fjords in the Uummannaq and Vaigat fjords, west Greenland, which extends from the continental shelf to the glacier fronts. The data reveal valleys with shallow sills, overdeepenings (>1300 m) from glacial erosion, and seafloor depths 100-1000 m deeper than in existing charts. Where fjords are deep enough, we detect the pervasive presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water (AW) (>2.5°C) with high melt potential, but we also find numerous glaciers grounded on shallow (<200 m) sills, standing in cold (<1°C) waters in otherwise deep fjords, i.e., with reduced melt potential. Bathymetric observations extending to the glacier fronts are critical to understand the glacier evolution.

  17. A test bed for investigating the flow of outlet glaciers and ice streams embedded in the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, Reinhard; Rückamp, Martin; Schlegel, Rebecca; Ganopolski, Andrey; Humbert, Angelika

    2016-04-01

    Here, we define a test bed for fast flow regions and its vicinity embedded in an ice sheet. This test bed is designed for outlet glaciers and ice streams of the Greenland ice sheet. It consists of a fine resolution part with a manufactured basal trough over which the professional software COMSOL (Multiphysics Modeling Software) operates as a full-Stokes model. Results by COMSOL are compared with coarse resolution simulations with the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS operating in shallow-ice-approximation mode and using parameterizations of the fast flow effects. For simplification, in this preliminary approach, both models run in isothermal mode. Definition of surface mass balance follows the EISMINT intercomparison project with parameters adapted to the Greenland ice sheet. In particular, we inspect with this test bed upstream and lateral flow effects of ice streams and outlet glaciers. We present first simulations with this approach, although presentation of the test bed itself is the main emphasis of this presentation.

  18. Reconstructing Holocene Glacier Changes in West Greenland From Multispectral ASTER Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huh, K.; Csatho, B.; van der Veen, C. J.; Ahn, Y.

    2006-12-01

    To understand the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet and to identify mechanisms controlling that balance and Greenland's contribution to future changes in global sea level, it is crucial to construct longer temporal records, reaching back to the Little Ice Age (LIA) or beyond. The primary objectives of this project are to develop procedures for mapping glacial trimlines, marking maximum glacier extent during the LIA, and terminal moraines indicating earlier advanced terminus positions, in central west Greenland using multispectral ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) images. The motivation for using satellite imagery for mapping glacial-geological features is the greater spatial coverage that can be achieved, as opposed to the traditional method of field mapping in restricted areas. ASTER imagery provides spectral bands spanning from the visible to the thermal infrared bands, including two stereo bands, enabling us to map the spectral properties of the Earth's surface as well as to obtain surface topography. This poster presents examples of mapping the 3D shapes of glacial geomorphological features using supervised classification, visual interpretation and advanced pattern recognition methods, and results of the volume change computation and interpretation, focusing on the Jakobshavn drainage basin. For trimline mapping, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was generated from the stereo bands of the same data set, followed by orthorectification using Ground Control Points (GCPs) and checkpoints extracted from stereo aerial photographs and digital maps. Surface reflectance was estimated from the raw DN values by applying the Empirical Line Correction model for atmospheric effects. Maximum likelihood classification, in supervised mode, was applied to distinguish different land cover types. Classification of the ASTER image with nine non-thermal bands provides a good discrimination between the exposed fresh rock surfaces, moraines of

  19. Simulating Ice-Flow and Calving on Store Glacier, West Greenland, with a 3D Full Stokes Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, J.; Christoffersen, P.; Zwinger, T.; Luckman, A. J.; Benn, D.

    2015-12-01

    The mass balance and long-term stability of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica depend heavily on the dynamics of their ice-ocean margins. Iceberg calving accounts for the majority of the net annual loss of ice in Antarctica and around half of that from Greenland. Furthermore, climate driven changes to dynamics at these calving margins can be transmitted far inland. Thus, predicting future sea level contribution from the cryosphere requires an improved understanding of calving, and the processes which link it to climate and ice-sheet flow. We present results from a new 3D calving model coupled to a full-Stokes, time evolving glacier dynamic model, implemented for Store Glacier, a 5-km-wide calving glacier in the Uummannaq region of West Greenland, which flows at a rate of 20 m/day at its terminus. The model is developed using the open source finite element package Elmer/Ice, with the criterion that calving occurs when surface and basal crevasses meet. Crevasses open in response to tensile stresses near the terminus and water pressure at the bed. When the model was applied in 2D for the central flowline of Store Glacier, we found that basal topography exerts overarching control on the long term position of the calving front, while ice mélange buttressing allows the seasonal extension of a floating tongue, which collapses in early summer. New results emerging from implementation of calving in a 3D model indicate significant spatial heterogeneity in calving dynamics because the northern half of the terminus is grounded whereas the southern half is floating. This contrasting setting affects calving dynamics, further underlining the importance of geometry and basal topography, and suggesting that lower dimensional calving models may miss important aspects of calving dynamics. Our results also suggest that implementing grounding line dynamics is important for modelling calving, even for glaciers which are, for the most part, firmly grounded.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Using Changes in Greenland Outlet Glaciers as an Opportunity for Students to Learn about Dynamic Processes and Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stearns, L. A.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2006-12-01

    Several outlet glaciers in Greenland are undergoing large changes in flow dynamics. These changes are more rapid and extensive than scientists anticipated. The aim of this lab exercise is to educate students about changes in Greenland glaciers: why do rapid changes occur, and how do scientists measure these changes? To address these questions, we have developed a website containing satellite images, raw data and worksheet exercises. The website has a simple design, and does not rely on additional downloads or sophisticated software. The entire lesson is also available from the website in pdf format for teachers to use in the absence of classroom computers. The scope of the material can be scaled for a range of ages from 5th grade to undergraduate classes. In the exercises, students analyze satellite imagery (provided for them) to monitor changes in outlet glaciers. These changes include calving front position, ice velocity and surface elevation. Students are able to perform some measurements by themselves (e.g., glacier position), and in other cases will be provided raw data to plot and analyze (e.g., ice velocity, surface topography). Worksheet questions, discussion tpoics, and various publications (including scientific and popular media) are included to help frame class discussions.

  2. Modelling the transfer of supraglacial meltwater to the bed of Leverett Glacier, southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clason, C. C.; Mair, D. W. F.; Nienow, P. W.; Bartholomew, I. D.; Sole, A.; Palmer, S.; Schwanghart, W.

    2014-07-01

    Meltwater delivered to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a driver of variable ice-motion through changes in effective pressure and enhanced basal lubrication. Ice surface velocities have been shown to respond rapidly both to meltwater production at the surface and to drainage of supraglacial lakes, suggesting efficient transfer of meltwater from the supraglacial to subglacial hydrological systems. Although considerable effort is currently being directed towards improved modelling of the controlling surface and basal processes, modelling the temporal and spatial evolution of the transfer of melt to the bed has received less attention. Here we present the results of spatially-distributed modelling for prediction of moulins and lake drainages on the Leverett Glacier in south-west Greenland. The model is run for the 2009 and 2010 ablation seasons, and for future increased melt scenarios. The temporal and spatial patterns of modelled lake drainages are qualitatively comparable with those seen from analyses of satellite imagery. The modelled timings and locations of delivery of meltwater to the bed match well with observed temporal and spatial patterns of ice surface speed ups. This is particularly true for the lower catchment (< 1000 m a.s.l.) where both the model and observations indicate that the development of moulins is the main mechanism for the transfer of surface meltwater to the bed. At higher elevations (e.g. 1250-1500 m a.s.l.) the development and drainage of supraglacial lakes becomes increasingly important. At these higher elevations, the delay between modelled melt generation and subsequent delivery of melt to the bed matches the observed delay between the peak air temperatures and subsequent velocity speed ups. Although both moulins and lake drainages are predicted to increase in number for future warmer climate scenarios, the lake drainages play an increasingly important role in both expanding the area over which melt accesses the bed and in enabling

  3. 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.

  4. Constraining calving front processes on W Greenland outlet glaciers using inertial-corrected laser scanning & swath-bathymetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, R.; Hubbard, A.; Neale, M.; Woodward, J.; Box, J. E.; Nick, F.

    2010-12-01

    Calving and submarine melt account for the majority of loss from the Antarctic and over 50% of that from the Greenland Ice Sheet. These ice-ocean processes are highly efficient mass-loss mechanisms, providing a rapid link between terrestrial ice (storage) and the oceanic sink (sea level/freshwater flux) which renders the ocean-outlet-ice sheet system potentially highly non-linear. Despite this, the controls on tidewater processes are poorly understood and a process based description of them is lacking from the present generation of coupled ice sheet models. We present details from an innovative study where two survey techniques are integrated to enable the construction of accurate, ~m resolution 3d digital terrain models (DTMs) of the aerial and submarine ice front of calving outlet glaciers. A 2km range terrestrial laser scanner was combined with a 416KHz swath-interferometric system and corrected via an inertial motion unit stabilized by RTK GPS and gyro-compass data. The system was mounted aboard a heavy displacement (20,000kg) yacht in addition to a light displacement (100kg) semi-autonomous boat and used to image the aerial and submarine calving fronts of two large outlet glaciers in W Greenland. Six daily surveys, each 2.5km long were repeated across Lille Glacier during which significant ice flow, melt and calving events were observed and captured from on-ice GPS stations and time-lapse sequences. A curtain of CTD and velocity casts were also conducted to constrain the fresh and oceanic mass and energy fluxes within the fjord. The residual of successive DTMs yield the spatial pattern of frontal change enabling the processes of aerial and submarine calving and melt to be quantified and constrained in unprecedented detail. These observed frontal changes are tentatively related to local dynamic, atmospheric and oceanographic processes that drive them. A partial survey of Store Glacier (~7km calving front & W Greenland 2nd largest outlet after Jakobshavn Isbrae

  5. Modelling the transfer of supraglacial meltwater to the bed of Leverett Glacier, Southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clason, C. C.; Mair, D. W. F.; Nienow, P. W.; Bartholomew, I. D.; Sole, A.; Palmer, S.; Schwanghart, W.

    2015-01-01

    Meltwater delivered to the bed of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a driver of variable ice-motion through changes in effective pressure and enhanced basal lubrication. Ice surface velocities have been shown to respond rapidly both to meltwater production at the surface and to drainage of supraglacial lakes, suggesting efficient transfer of meltwater from the supraglacial to subglacial hydrological systems. Although considerable effort is currently being directed towards improved modelling of the controlling surface and basal processes, modelling the temporal and spatial evolution of the transfer of melt to the bed has received less attention. Here we present the results of spatially distributed modelling for prediction of moulins and lake drainages on the Leverett Glacier in Southwest Greenland. The model is run for the 2009 and 2010 ablation seasons, and for future increased melt scenarios. The temporal pattern of modelled lake drainages are qualitatively comparable with those documented from analyses of repeat satellite imagery. The modelled timings and locations of delivery of meltwater to the bed also match well with observed temporal and spatial patterns of ice surface speed-ups. This is particularly true for the lower catchment (<1000 m a.s.l.) where both the model and observations indicate that the development of moulins is the main mechanism for the transfer of surface meltwater to the bed. At higher elevations (e.g. 1250-1500 m a.s.l.) the development and drainage of supraglacial lakes becomes increasingly important. At these higher elevations, the delay between modelled melt generation and subsequent delivery of melt to the bed matches the observed delay between the peak air temperatures and subsequent velocity speed-ups, while the instantaneous transfer of melt to the bed in a control simulation does not. Although both moulins and lake drainages are predicted to increase in number for future warmer climate scenarios, the lake drainages play an increasingly

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard; Liston, Glen

    2009-01-01

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

  7. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 1. Programme of investigation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, Poul; Hubbard, Bryn; Bougamont, Marion; Doyle, Samuel; Young, Tun Jan; Hofstede, Coen; Nicholls, Keith; Todd, Joe; Box, Jason; Ryan, Johnny; Toberg, Nick; Walter, Jacob; Hubbard, Alun

    2015-04-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers drain 90 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet and are responsible for about half of the ice sheet's net annual mass loss, which currently raises global sea level by almost 1 mm per year. Understanding the processes that drive the fast flow of these glaciers is crucial because a growing body of evidence points to a strong, but spatially varied and often complex, response to oceanographic as well as atmospheric forcing. While the bed of glaciers elsewhere is known to strongly influence the flow of ice, no observations have ever been made at the bed of a marine-terminating glacier in Greenland. The flow of ice in numerical models of the Greenland Ice Sheet consequently rely on untested basal parameterisations, which form a likely and potentially significant source of error in the prediction of sea level rise over the coming decades and century. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE) is addressing this paucity of observational constraints by gaining access to the bed of Store Glacier, a marine-terminating outlet of the Greenland Ice Sheet which has a drainage basin of 35,000 square kilometres and terminates in Uummannaq Fjord. In 2014, the SAFIRE programme drilled four boreholes in a region where ice flows at a rate of 700 m per year and where a seismic survey revealed a bed consisting of soft sediment. (See joint abstract by Hofstede et al. for details.) The boreholes were 603-616 m deep and direct access to the bed was confirmed by a clear hydrological connectivity with a basal water system. (See joint abstract by Doyle et al. for details.) With sensors deployed englacially (temperature and tilt) and at the bed (water pressure, turbidity, electrical conductivity), the SAFIRE will inform the ratio of internal ice deformation and basal slip, vertical strain, ice temperature, and fluctuations in water pressure linked to supraglacial lake drainage as well as diurnal drainage into moulins. In 2015, we plan to

  8. Modelling the present and future behaviour of the glaciers terminating into Godthåbsfjord, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzner, Antje; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe

    2013-04-01

    The mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet is caused by changing surface mass balance, direct melting on the surface, ice flow through the numerous outlet glaciers, and basal melt. The largest outlet glaciers, like Jabobshavn Isbræ, are studied in great detail. However, processes leading to their behaviour such as calving and basal melting are not well understood. In this study, we focus on the fjord system, Godthåbsfjord, near Nuuk in West Greenland. Godthåbsfjord is a unique fjord with its length of about 300 km and a shallow sill at the fjord entrance that protects the fjord system. There are several tidewater glaciers terminating into the fjord contributing to the fresh water content in the fjord. The largest contributor is Kangiata Nunâta Sermia (KNS). Also, comprehensive oceanographic measurements in Godthåbsfjord are compared to link the ice sheet model to the fjord system. Here we aim to describe the present and future behaviour of KNS. The Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM), developed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is used for the regional modelling applied to the KNS drainage basin. Climatic forcing is provided by the Danish Meteorological Institute in form of HIRHAM5 ERA-Interim reanalysis model output covering the 1989 - 2011 period. PISM is able to show seasonal variability in the modelled fluxes when monthly means of the climatic forcing are applied. Observed surface velocities from InSAR and GPSs, ice thickness, and solid ice flux estimates at the terminus are used to determine the best parameter setting describing the present state of KNS. Those settings are then used for future projections (until 2050) to estimate solid ice flux and basal melt, that enters the fjord system as fresh water. This study is conducted in affiliation with the Greenland Climate Research Centre in Nuuk.

  9. Greenland Ice Sheet glacier motion and ice loss: New understanding of ice sheet behavior through remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, T. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Scambos, T.; Joughin, I.

    2015-12-01

    Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet makes up roughly a third of current sea level rise, also generating substantial local and regional freshwater fluxes. Containing more than 6 meters of sea level rise equivalent in ice, Greenland has the potential to contribute much more to rising ocean levels and freshening water in the future. Understanding the dynamics of the ice sheet, particularly the behavior of fast flowing coastal outlet glaciers, is critical to improving predictions of future ice sheet change and associated impacts. Combining velocity, glacier ice front, sea ice, and ice sheet surface melt data, we made several important advances in characterizing and understanding seasonal glacier behavior and the processes driving change: 1) seasonal velocity patterns fall into at least 3 distinct patterns, 2) these seasonal velocity patterns likely indicate differences in glacier responsiveness to ocean versus subglacial hydrologic processes, and 3) in some regions seasonal versus multi-year velocity changes appear most strongly influenced by different environmental factors. Further progress was previously hampered by limits in measurement resolution across space and time. To address this challenge, we are creating a new - and continuously growing - ice velocity dataset from Landsat 8 imagery. This data stream supports comprehensive global measurements of ice flow, providing a leap in our understanding of ice sheet motion across space and time. We offer a high-level discussion of our research findings and an introduction to the new Landsat 8-enabled data stream. Our results and measurement capabilities deliver critical new knowledge about ice sheet behavior and interaction with ocean and climate factors. These advances, in turn, have important implications for other elements of Earth system research, including climate, oceanography, and biology.

  10. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade.

    PubMed

    Price, Stephen F; Payne, Antony J; Howat, Ian M; Smith, Benjamin E

    2011-05-31

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing.

  11. A predictive model for routing of supraglacial meltwater to the bed of glaciers: application to Leverett Glacier, western Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clason, Caroline; Mair, Douglas; Nienow, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that Greenland outlet glacier velocities may be responding to increased meltwater generation (Shepherd et al, 2009; Zwally et al, 2002). Where sufficient supraglacial meltwater is routed into crevasses and moulins it could act to lubricate the bed, resulting in dynamic thinning and accelerated transfer of ice mass to glacier termini. The extent to which this mechanism contributes to mass loss is largely unknown, but may be increasingly important if current trends of warming are to continue, particularly in high northerly latitudes. This study introduces a modelling routine for prediction of moulin formation and quantification of meltwater delivery to the bed from digital elevation models, ice surface velocity data and meteorological input data. Supraglacial meltwater pathways are predicted from ice surface topography using a single flow direction hydrological flow routing algorithm. A temperature-index model driven by measured air temperature is used to produce values of distributed ice surface melt, integrated within stream accumulation to produce estimates of supraglacial stream discharge throughout the predicted network. Ice surface strain rates are calculated from satellite-derived surface velocities acquired using feature tracking. Strain rates are converted to stresses through the constitutive relation for glacier ice, after Nye (1957). Surface tensile stresses are calculated from the resultant principal stresses using the Von Mises criteria for failure of ductile materials, with areas of crevassing predicted where tensile stresses exceed a prescribed value of fracture toughness. Where supraglacial streams and areas of crevassing intersect, surficial moulin locations are predicted. A simple model for propagation of water-filled crevasses is applied to determine where moulins will penetrate through the full ice thickness, delivering meltwater to the bed. Derived from linear elastic fracture mechanics, the model calculates crevasse

  12. High-Resolution Force Balance Analyses of Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enderlin, E. M.; Hamilton, G. S.; O'Neel, S.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in glacier velocity, thickness, and terminus position have been used to infer the dynamic response of tidewater glaciers to environmental perturbations, yet few analyses have attempted to quantify the associated variations in the glacier force balance. Where repeat high-resolution ice thickness and velocity estimates are available, force balance time series can be constructed to investigate the redistribution of driving and resistive forces associated with changes in terminus position. Comparative force balance analyses may, therefore, help us understand the variable dynamic response observed for glaciers in close proximity to each other. Here we construct force balance time series for Helheim Glacier, SE Greenland, and Columbia Glacier, SE Alaska, to investigate differences in dynamic sensitivity to terminus position change. The analysis relies on in situ and remotely sensed observations of ice thickness, velocity, and terminus position. Ice thickness time series are obtained from stereo satellite image-derived surface elevation and continuity-derived bed elevations that are constrained by airborne radar observations. Surface velocity time series are obtained from interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations. Approximately daily terminus positions are from a combination of satellite images and terrestrial time-lapse photographs. Helheim and Columbia glaciers are two of the best-studied Arctic tidewater glaciers with comprehensive high-resolution observational time series, yet we find that bed elevation uncertainties and poorly-constrained stress-coupling length estimates still hinder the analysis of spatial and temporal force balance variations. Here we use a new observationally-based method to estimate the stress-coupling length which successfully reduces noise in the derived force balance but preserves spatial variations that can be over-smoothed when estimating the stress-coupling length as a scalar function of the ice thickness

  13. Modeling of ocean-induced ice melt rates of five west Greenland glaciers over the past two decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rignot, E.; Xu, Y.; Menemenlis, D.; Mouginot, J.; Scheuchl, B.; Li, X.; Morlighem, M.; Seroussi, H.; den Broeke, M. van; Fenty, I.; Cai, C.; An, L.; Fleurian, B. de

    2016-06-01

    High-resolution, three-dimensional simulations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model ocean model are used to calculate the subaqueous melt rate of the calving faces of Umiamako, Rinks, Kangerdlugssup, Store, and Kangilerngata glaciers, west Greenland, from 1992 to 2015. Model forcing is from monthly reconstructions of ocean state and ice sheet runoff. Results are analyzed in combination with observations of bathymetry, bed elevation, ice front retreat, and glacier speed. We calculate that subaqueous melt rates are 2-3 times larger in summer compared to winter and doubled in magnitude since the 1990s due to enhanced subglacial runoff and 1.6 ± 0.3°C warmer ocean temperature. Umiamako and Kangilerngata retreated rapidly in the 2000s when subaqueous melt rates exceeded the calving rates and ice front retreated to deeper bed elevation. In contrast, Store, Kangerdlugssup, and Rinks have remained stable because their subaqueous melt rates are 3-4 times lower than their calving rates, i.e., the glaciers are dominated by calving processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Changes in Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets due to ice flow/ice-berg calving are a major uncertainty affecting sea-level rise forecasts. Latterly GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have been employed extensively to monitor such glacier dynamics. Until recently however, the favoured methodology has been to deploy sensors onto the glacier surface, collect data for a period of time, then retrieve and download the sensors. This approach works well in less dynamic environments where the risk of sensor loss is low. In more extreme environments e.g. approaching the glacial calving front, the risk of sensor loss and hence data loss increases dramatically. In order to provide glaciologists with new insights into flow dynamics and calving processes we have developed a novel sensor network to increase the robustness of data capture. We present details of the technological requirements for an in-situ Zigbee wireless streaming network infrastructure supporting instantaneous data acquisition from high resolution GNSS sensors thereby increasing data capture robustness. The data obtained offers new opportunities to investigate the interdependence of mass flow, uplift, velocity and geometry and the network architecture has been specifically designed for deployment by helicopter close to the calving front to yield unprecedented detailed information. Following successful field trials of a pilot three node network during 2012, a larger 20 node network was deployed on the fast-flowing Helheim glacier, south-east Greenland over the summer months of 2013. The utilisation of dual wireless transceivers in each glacier node, multiple frequencies and four ';collector' stations located on the valley sides creates overlapping networks providing enhanced capacity, diversity and redundancy of data 'back-haul', even close to ';floor' RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) levels around -100 dBm. Data loss through radio packet collisions within sub-networks are avoided through the

  17. A Mini-Surge on theRyder Glacier, Greenland Observed via Satelite Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, I.; Tulaczyk, S.; Fahnestock, M.; Kwok, R.

    1996-01-01

    A dramatic short term speed up of the Ryder glacier has been detected using satellite radar interferometry. The accelerated flow represents a substantial, though short-lived, change in the ice discharge from this basin. We believe that meltwater was involved in this event, either as an active participant, as meltwater-filled lakes on the surface of the glacier drained during the period of rapid motion.

  18. Using Icebergs to Constrain Fjord Circulation and Link to Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutherland, D.; Straneo, F.; Hamilton, G. S.; Stearns, L. A.; Roth, G.

    2014-12-01

    The importance of icebergs is increasingly being recognized in the ocean-glacier interactions community. Icebergs are ubiquitous in Greenland's outlet glacial fjords and provide a physical link between the glacier and the ocean into which they melt. The iceberg shape is influenced by glacier size and calving mechanics, while the amount of melt produced depends on ambient water properties and the residence time of the iceberg in the fjord. Here, we use hourly positions of icebergs tracked with helicopter deployed GPS sensors to calculate velocities in the Sermilik Fjord/Helheim Glacier system. Data comes from three summertime deployments in 2012-2014, where icebergs were tagged in the ice mélange and moved through the fjord and onto the continental shelf. The iceberg-derived velocities provide information on ice mélange movement, fjord variability, and coastal currents on the shelf. Using simple melt rate parameterizations, we estimate the total freshwater input due to iceberg melt in Sermilik Fjord based on the observed residence times and satellite-derived iceberg distributions. These observations complement conventional oceanographic and glaciological data, and can quickly, and relatively inexpensively, characterize circulation throughout any given glacier-ocean system.

  19. Evidence for the asynchronous retreat of large outlet glaciers in southeast Greenland at the end of the last glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Laurence M.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Murray, Tavi; Hiemstra, John F.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Rodés, Ángel

    2014-09-01

    Recent rapid changes in the marine-terminating sectors of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) have prompted concerns about the future stability of the ice sheet. Long-term records of ice sheet behaviour provide valuable context to assess the magnitude of current change and may help resolve the mechanisms driving deglaciation. We report 23 new 10Be exposure ages which constrain the deglacial history of two large fjord systems in southeast (SE) Greenland. We compare our chronologies with existing data from the centre of the sector to examine the timing and style of deglaciation at a regional-scale. Glacial erratic 10Be exposure ages demonstrate that Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord deglaciated at ˜11.8 ka at the end of the Younger Dryas (YD - 12.8-11.6 ka). Retreat at Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord coincided with known incursion of the warm Irminger Current (IC) onto the continental shelf; this is inferred to have initiated retreat. Comparison with recently published results from Sermilik Fjord and new 10Be ages from Bernstorffs Fjord indicates deglaciation occurred ˜1 ka later in the south of the SE region. Sermilik Fjord (˜10.9 ka) and Bernstorffs Fjord (˜10.4 ka) deglaciated later; retreat likely occurred in response to dramatic climatic amelioration at the termination of the YD stadial. We suggest that the disparate timing of deglaciation across the SE region may be primarily explained by the varying influence of the warm IC; glaciers in southern SE Greenland were isolated from warm Atlantic waters during the YD by complex shelf bathymetry. In all fjord settings ice retreat was rapid and persistent, consistent with the absence of geomorphological evidence for stillstand or readvance events. Ice retreat was accompanied by rapid thinning and likely continued to well within present-day ice sheet margins. Glacial erratic 10Be age determinations and geomorphological observations show no evidence for Holocene readvance events prior to the Little Ice Age (LIA).

  20. Jakobshavn Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Greenland's Coast in Holiday Colors     View ... the area surrounding the Jakobshavn Glacier on the western coast of Greenland. The image is a false-color (near-infrared, green, blue) ... the ocean currents and pose hazards for shipping along the coast. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) views the daylit ...

  1. Microbial community variation in cryoconite granules on Qaanaaq Glacier, NW Greenland.

    PubMed

    Uetake, Jun; Tanaka, Sota; Segawa, Takahiro; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Nagatsuka, Naoko; Motoyama, Hideaki; Aoki, Teruo

    2016-09-01

    Cryoconite granules are aggregations of microorganisms with mineral particles that form on glacier surfaces. To understand the processes by which the granules develop, this study focused on the altitudinal distribution of the granules and photosynthetic microorganisms on the glacier, bacterial community variation with granules size and environmental factors affecting the growth of the granules. Size-sorted cryoconite granules collected from five different sites on Qaanaaq Glacier were analyzed. C and N contents were significantly higher in large (diameter greater than 250 μm) granules than in smaller (diameter 30-249 μm) granules. Bacterial community structures, based on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, were different between the smaller and larger granules. The filamentous cyanobacterium Phormidesmis priestleyi was the dominant bacterial species in larger granules. Multivariate analysis suggests that the abundance of mineral particles on the glacier surface is the main factor controlling growth of these cyanobacteria. These results show that the supply of mineral particles on the glacier enhances granule development, that P. priestleyi is likely the key species for primary production and the formation of the granules and that the bacterial community in the granules changes over the course of the granule development. PMID:27306554

  2. Of Images, Archives, and Anonymity: Glacier Photographs from Louise Arner Boyd's East Greenland Expeditions, 1933, 1937, and 1938

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, F. E.; Peschel, S. M.; Hall, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    Louise A. Boyd (1887-1972) was raised to wealth and privilege in San Raphael, CA. Her inherited fortune allowed unlimited travel, and in 1924 she arrived in Spitsbergen as a tourist. Infatuated by Arctic landscapes, Boyd resolved to return north in a more assertive role and ran three "preliminary" expeditions to Greenland, in 1926, 1928, and 1931. Boyd’s expeditions to East Greenland in 1933, 1937, and 1938 were predictive of the type of campaign that after WWII would characterize government-sponsored and international scientific efforts. “Planned as a unit,” these campaigns, sponsored by the American Geographical Society (AGS), were thoroughly integrated scientific expeditions incorporating glaciology, periglacial and glacial geomorphology, bedrock geology, botany, hydrography, topographic surveys, tides and currents, and magnetic observations within representative areas. The goal of the expeditions was to provide comprehensive characterization of the physical environment. The volumes resulting from this work contain many large-scale hydrographic and topographic maps, photomosaics, glacier maps, and chapters on the geology, glacial history, botany, and hydrology of the region. Boyd received extensive publicity for her Arctic expeditions, although much of it was concerned with the novelty of expeditions to remote locations being led by a woman. Boyd’s expeditions employed scientists who eventually became highly influential in their respective fields. Boyd employed, among others, the earth scientists J.H. Bretz, R.F. Flint, and A.L. Washburn. Other important personnel on these expeditions included AGS cartographer/surveyor O.M. Miller and his assistant, W.A. Wood, who employed novel ground-based photogrammetric techniques to construct a series of glacier maps at scales as large as 1:5000. The maps featured detailed error analyses, and are probably the first large-scale maps of known accuracy to be made of the Greenland Ice Sheet’s outlet glaciers. Boyd

  3. Calculating Freshwater Input from Iceberg Melt in Greenlandic Fjords by Combining In Situ Observations of Iceberg Movement with High Resolution Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulak, D. J.; Sutherland, D.; Stearns, L. A.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding fjord circulation in Greenland's outlet glacial fjords is crucial to explaining recent temporal and spatial variability in glacier dynamics, as well as freshwater transport on the continental shelf. The fjords are commonly assumed to exhibit a plume driven circulation that draws in warmer and saltier Atlantic-origin water toward the glacier at depth. Freshwater input at glacier termini directly drives this circulation and significantly influences water column stratification, which indirectly feeds back on the plume driven circulation. Previous work has focused on freshwater inputs from surface runoff and submarine melting, but the contribution from iceberg melt, a potentially important freshwater source, has not been quantified. Here, we develop a new technique combining in situ observations of movement from iceberg-mounted GPS units with multispectral satellite imagery from Landsat 8. The combination of datasets allows us to examine the details of iceberg movement and quantify mean residence times in a given fjord. We then use common melt rate parameterizations to estimate freshwater input for a given iceberg, utilizing novel satellite-derived iceberg distributions to scale up to a fjord-wide freshwater contribution. We apply this technique to Rink Isbræ and Kangerlussuup Sermia in west Greenland, and Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland. The analysis can be rapidly expanded to look at other systems as well as seasonal and interannual changes in how icebergs affect the circulation and stratification of Greenland's outlet glacial fjords. Ultimately, this work will lead to a more complete understanding of the wide range of factors that control the observed regional variability in Greenland's glaciers.

  4. Increased Future Sea Level Rise due to Rapid Decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greve, R.

    2008-12-01

    In the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an increase of the mean global sea level by 18-59 cm for the 21st century is projected for the six SRES marker scenarios B1, B2, A1B, A1T, A2 and A1FI. The main causes for this sea level rise are thermal expansion of sea water and melting of glaciers and small ice caps, and to a lesser extent changes of the surface mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. However, recent observations suggest that ice flow dynamics could lead to additional sea level rise, and this problem is explicitly stated in the AR4. These conjectured dynamical processes are (i) surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding, and (ii) increased ice discharge due to reduced buttressing from surrounding ice shelves. The former process is probably more relevant for the Greenland ice sheet, whereas the latter may affect the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet. On the observational side, recent results from satellite gravity measurements for the period 2002-2005 indicate surprisingly large mass losses of 239±23 km3 a-1 (0.66± 0.06 mm a-1 sea level equivalent) for the Greenland ice sheet. Furthermore, major outlet glaciers (Jacobshavn ice stream, Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers) have sped up drastically during the last 15 years. It is attempted to quantify the range of uncertainty of future sea level rise due to dynamical processes of the Greenland ice sheet by numerical simulations with a high-resolution version of the 3-D dynamic/thermodynamic model SICOPOLIS. Results suggest that ice-dynamical processes can speed up the decay of the Greenland ice sheet significantly, but not catastrophically, in the 21st century and beyond.

  5. Geophysical constraints on the controls for outlet-glacier velocity variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nettles, M.

    2012-12-01

    The surface of the solid Earth is not opaque to signals generated in its fluid envelope, including the cryosphere. Among the signals now routinely recorded on seismographs anchored to the solid Earth are long-period surface waves generated by glacial earthquakes occurring in Greenland and Antarctica. Interdisciplinary study utilizing seismological and space-based remote sensing along with geodetic data has identified the source mechanism that generates this seismic signal: discrete ice-loss events of cubic-km scale at the margins of large outlet glaciers generate surface waves comparable to those from M~5 tectonic earthquakes. By combining the seismological observations with geodetic, meteorological, and glaciological approaches, the study of glacial earthquakes also allows the identification of these large ice-loss events as a primary control on short-term velocity variability at marine-terminating outlet glaciers. An understanding of this signal allows assessment of flow variability driven by surface melt, and by tidal forcing, that would otherwise be obscured by the calving signal. Much remains unknown about how these controls operate in detail, however. We use a comprehensive dataset of glacier position and velocity estimates derived from high-rate, continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) observations to examine changes in the velocity and strain field across multiple ice-loss events at East Greenland's Helheim Glacier. While we find that increases in glacier flow speed and longitudinal strain rate reliably coincide with large-scale losses of grounded ice, the amplitude of the response and the time period over which it is sustained are variable. We use these variations to assess additional controls on the glacier response to ice loss, and compare the variations due to ice loss with those resulting from variable input of surface meltwater.

  6. Are seasonal calving dynamics forced by buttressing from ice mélange or undercutting by melting? Outcomes from full-Stokes simulations of Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, J.; Christoffersen, P.

    2014-12-01

    We use a full-Stokes 2-D model (Elmer/Ice) to investigate the flow and calving dynamics of Store Glacier, a fast-flowing outlet glacier in West Greenland. Based on a new, subgrid-scale implementation of the crevasse depth calving criterion, we perform two sets of simulations: one to identify the primary forcing mechanisms and another to constrain future stability. We find that the mixture of icebergs and sea ice, known as ice mélange or sikussak, is principally responsible for the observed seasonal advance of the ice front. On the other hand, the effect of submarine melting on the calving rate of Store Glacier appears to be limited. Sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the glacier's calving dynamics are sensitive to seasonal perturbation, but are stable on interannual timescales due to the strong topographic control on the flow regime. Our results shed light on the dynamics of calving glaciers and may help explain why neighbouring glaciers do not necessarily respond synchronously to changes in atmospheric and oceanic forcing.

  7. Controls on Greenland Ice Sheet Runoff from a Land Terminating Glacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rennermalm, A. K.; Smith, L. C.; Chu, V. W.; Forster, R. R.; Hagedorn, B.; Box, J. E.; van den Broeke, M. R.

    2011-12-01

    Modeling studies show that ice sheet mass loss in the form of meltwater runoff constitutes a large fraction of the total mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. However, the controls on Greenland ice sheet runoff to the ocean are not well understood in part because few direct observations of ice sheet meteorological conditions and meltwater runoff in rivers draining the ice sheet are available to constrain model development. Here, analysis and modeling using such observational data were carried out. West-central Greenland's ice sheet margin near Kangerlussuaq was monitored between 2008 - 2010, yielding data from two automatic weather stations on the ice sheet, and three pro-glacial riverine discharge stations. These data were used to construct regression models to separate influences from fast flowing supra glacial meltwater runoff, and delayed runoff from meltwater releases from en- and pro-glacial storages. These models show that supra glacial runoff explains the majority of meltwater runoff, with en- and pro-glacial storages also significant and less predictable. Finally, a simple extrapolation model confirms that most meltwater runoff originates from the ice sheet margin, with only a small amount released from the ice sheet interior.

  8. Pathways, characteristics and variability of the warm Atlantic Water flowing under the 79 North Glacier of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straneo, F.; David, S.; Hamilton, G. S.

    2011-12-01

    The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), one of Greenland's largest, stretches far inland and drains an area that is mostly below sea-level with a sea-level equivalent of 1.5 m. The Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden ( or '79 North', 79NG) Glacier, one of two major outlet glaciers of the NEGIS, is grounded 600 m below sea level and experiences substantial basal melting by warm Atlantic Waters circulating under its 80 km long floating ice tongue. Ocean warming at 79NG could lead to the thinning and disintegration of the tongue which, in turn, could result in a rapid retreat of the NEGIS, with serious consequences for sea level rise. Yet, our ability to predict changes of the 79NG is strongly limited by the lack of measurements from this region. Here we present results from an oceanographic survey of properties under and around 79NG which clearly shows that relatively warm Atlantic waters flow under the floating ice tongue by gaps through the pinned front. These waters are fed by the recirculation of Atlantic Waters around the shallow Belgica Bank region on the shelf. Compared to a similar survey conducted by Danish colleagues in 1997, we found a noticeable warmer and thicker Atlantic Water layer near the glacier - which may indicate that the glacier is experiencing increased basal melting. These results will be discussed in the context of ocean variability in the nearby Fram Strait and Nordic Seas.

  9. Investigating the dynamics of deglaciation in coastal areas of southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Laurence M.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Murray, Tavi; Hiemstra, John F.; Rodés, Ángel

    2016-04-01

    passive areas appears to have occurred later than in the major fjord systems; this suggests that ice dynamic processes were a key driver of deglaciation in SE Greenland. References: Hughes, A. L. C.; Rainsley, E.; Murray, T.; Fogwill, C. J.; Schnabel, C., Xu, S., 2012. Rapid response of Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland, to early Holocene climate warming. Geology 40, 427-430.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, L.

    2015-12-01

    Major uncertainties surround future estimates of sea level rise attributable to mass loss from Greenland and the surrounding ice caps in Canada. Understanding changes across these regions is vital as their glaciers have experienced dramatic changes in recent times. Attention has focused on the periphery of these regions where land ice meets the ocean and where ice acceleration, thinning and increased calving have been observed. Polynyas are areas of open water within sea ice which remain unfrozen for much of the year. They vary significantly in size (~3 km2 to > ~85,000 km2 in the Arctic), recurrence rates and duration. Despite their relatively small size, polynyas strongly impact regional oceanography and play a vital role in heat and moisture exchange between the polar oceans and atmosphere. Where polynyas are present adjacent to tidewater glaciers their influence on ocean circulation and water temperatures has the potential to play a major part in controlling subsurface ice melt rates by impacting on the water masses reaching the calving front. They also have the potential to influence air masses reaching nearby glaciers and ice caps by creating a maritime climate which may impact on the glaciers' accumulation and surface melt and hence their thickness and mass balance. Polynya presence and size also have implications for sea ice extent and therefore may influence the buttressing effect on neighbouring tidewater glaciers. The work presented uses remote sensing and mass balance model data to study changes in the North Water polynya (extent, ice concentration, duration) and neighbouring glaciers and ice caps (velocities, calving front positions and mass balance) in Canada and Greenland over a period of approximately 30 years from the mid-1980s through to 2015.

  11. Geomicrobiology of subglacial meltwater samples from Store Landgletscher and Russell Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, K. A.; Dieser, M.; Choquette, K.; Christner, B. C.; Hagedorn, B.; Harrold, Z.; Liu, L.; Sletten, R. S.; Junge, K.

    2012-12-01

    The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet provides direct connections between atmospheric, supraglacial and subglacial environments. The intraglacial hydrological pathways that result are believed to accommodate the microbial colonization of subglacial environments; however, little is known about the abundance, diversity and activity of microorganisms within these niches. The Greenland Ice Sheet (1.7 million square kilometers) and its associated surpaglacial and subglacial ecosystems may contribute significantly to biogeochemical cycling processes. We analyzed subglacial microbial assemblages in subglacial outflows, near Thule and Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. The investigative approach included correlating microbial diversity, inferred function, abundance, melt water chemistry, O-18 water isotope ratios, alkalinity and sediment load. Using Illumina sequencing, bacterial small subunit ribosomal RNA hypervariable regions have been targeted and amplified from both extracted DNA and reverse transcribed rRNA. Over 3 billion sequence reads have been generated to create a comprehensive diversity profile. Total abundances ranged from 2.24E+04 to 1.58E+06 cells mL-1. In comparison, the total abundance of supraglacial early season snow samples ranged from 3.35E+02 to 2.8E+04 cells mL-1. 65 % of samples incubated with cyano ditoyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), used to identify actively respiring cells, contained CTC-positive cells. On average, these cells represented 1.9 % of the estimated total abundance (1.86E+02 to 2.19E+03 CTC positive cells mL-1; 1.39E+03 cells mL-1 standard deviation); comparative to those measured in temperate freshwater lakes. The overarching objective of our research is to provide data that indicates the role of microbial communities, associated with ice sheets, in elemental cycling and in the release of biomass and nutrients to the surrounding marine biome.

  12. Phylogenetic analysis of anaerobic psychrophilic enrichment cultures obtained from a greenland glacier ice core

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheridan, Peter P.; Miteva, Vanya I.; Brenchley, Jean E.

    2003-01-01

    The examination of microorganisms in glacial ice cores allows the phylogenetic relationships of organisms frozen for thousands of years to be compared with those of current isolates. We developed a method for aseptically sampling a sediment-containing portion of a Greenland ice core that had remained at -9 degrees C for over 100,000 years. Epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry results showed that the ice sample contained over 6 x 10(7) cells/ml. Anaerobic enrichment cultures inoculated with melted ice were grown and maintained at -2 degrees C. Genomic DNA extracted from these enrichments was used for the PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes with bacterial and archaeal primers and the preparation of clone libraries. Approximately 60 bacterial inserts were screened by restriction endonuclease analysis and grouped into 27 unique restriction fragment length polymorphism types, and 24 representative sequences were compared phylogenetically. Diverse sequences representing major phylogenetic groups including alpha, beta, and gamma Proteobacteria as well as relatives of the Thermus, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, and Clostridium groups were found. Sixteen clone sequences were closely related to those from known organisms, with four possibly representing new species. Seven sequences may reflect new genera and were most closely related to sequences obtained only by PCR amplification. One sequence was over 12% distant from its closest relative and may represent a novel order or family. These results show that phylogenetically diverse microorganisms have remained viable within the Greenland ice core for at least 100,000 years.

  13. Fluctuations of a Greenlandic tidewater glacier driven by changes in atmospheric forcing: observations and modelling of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia, 1859-present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, J. M.; Mair, D. W. F.; Nick, F. M.; Rea, B. R.; van As, D.; Morlighem, M.; Nienow, P. W.; Weidick, A.

    2014-11-01

    Many tidewater glaciers in Greenland are known to have undergone significant retreat during the last century following their Little Ice Age maxima. Where it is possible to reconstruct glacier change over this period, they provide excellent records for comparison to climate records, as well as calibration/validation for numerical models. These glacier change records therefore allow for tests of numerical models that seek to simulate tidewater glacier behaviour over multi-decadal to centennial timescales. Here we present a detailed record of behaviour from Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), SW Greenland, between 1859 and 2012, and compare it against available oceanographic and atmospheric temperature data between 1871 and 2012. We also use these records to evaluate the ability of a well-established one-dimensional flow-band model to replicate behaviour for the observation period. The record of terminus change demonstrates that KNS has advanced/retreated in phase with atmosphere and ocean climate anomalies averaged over multi-annual to decadal timescales. Results from an ensemble of model runs demonstrate that observed dynamics can be replicated. Model runs that provide a reasonable match to observations always require a significant atmospheric forcing component, but do not necessarily require an oceanic forcing component. Although the importance of oceanic forcing cannot be discounted, these results demonstrate that changes in atmospheric forcing are likely to be a primary driver of the terminus fluctuations of KNS from 1859 to 2012. We propose that the detail and length of the record presented makes KNS an ideal site for model validation exercises investigating links between climate, calving rates, and tidewater glacier dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  15. Sub-glacier ocean properties and mass balance estimates of Petermann Gletscher's floating tongue in Northwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, K.; Huff, R. D.; Cullen, N.; Rignot, E.; Bauder, A.

    2004-12-01

    Petermann Gletscher is the largest and most influential outlet glacier in central northern Greenland. Located at 81 N, 60 W, it drains an area of 71,580 km2, with a discharge of 12 cubic km of ice per year into the Arctic Ocean. We finished a third field season in spring 2004 collecting in situ data on local climate, ice velocity, ice thickness profiles and bottom melt rates of the floating ice tongue. In addition, water properties (salinity and temperature profiles) in large, channel-like bottom cavities beneath the floating ice tongue were measured. The melt rates in these "channels" are in excess of 10 m/y and probably responsible for most of the mass loss of the Petermann Gletscher. The ocean measurements will be discussed in comparison with other ocean-profile soundings in the region. The bottom topography of the floating ice tongue has been mapped for some regions using surface-based ground penetrating radar at 25 MHz frequency and NASA aircraft radar profiles. A new map showing these under-ice features will be presented. GPS tidal motion has been measured over one lunar cycle at the flex zone and on the free floating ice tongue. These results will be compared to historic measurements made at the beginning of last century. A "worm-like" sheer feature of 80 m in height and several km in length has been studied using differential GPS readings. The mean velocity of the floating tongue ice is 1.08 km/y in that region, whereas the ice along the margin has a 30%-reduced flow speed, resulting in this strange looking sheer feature. Finally, the mass balance of the floating ice tongue will be discussed based on in situ measurements, aircraft profiles, satellite data, and model approximations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. Greenland Flow Dynamics: (De)coding Process Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alley, R. B.; Parizek, B. R.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Applegate, P. J.; Christianson, K. A.; Dixon, T. H.; Holland, D. M.; Holschuh, N.; Keller, K.; Koellner, S. J.; Lampkin, D. J.; Muto, A.; Nicholas, R.; Stevens, N. T.; Voytenko, D.; Walker, R. T.

    2015-12-01

    Extensive modeling informed by the growing body of observational data yields important insights to the controlling processes operating across a range of spatiotemporal scales that have influenced the dynamic variability of the Greenland ice sheet. Pressurized basal lubrication enhances ice flow. This lubricating water is largely produced by basal and/or surface melt. For the North East Greenland Ice Stream, elevated geothermal heat flux (GHF) near its onset helps initiate the streaming flow. We suggest that the elevated GHF is likely caused by melt production and migration due to cyclical loading of the lithosphere over glacial timescales. On sub-seasonal timescales, surface meltwater production and transmission to the subglacial environment can enhance flow for pressurized, distributed hydraulic systems and diminish regional sliding for lower-pressure, channelized systems. However, in a warming climate, this lubricating source occurs across an expanding ablation zone, possibly softening shear margins and triggering basal sliding over previously frozen areas. Yet, the existence of active englacial conduits can lead to a plumbing network that helps preserve ice tongues and limit the loss of important buttressing of outlet glacier flow. Ocean forcing has been implicated in the variability of outlet glacier speeds around the periphery of Greenland. The extent and timescale over which those marginal changes influence inland flow depends on the basal rheology that, on a local scale, also influences the concentration of englacial stresses. Detailed observations of a calving event on Helheim Glacier have helped constrain diagnostic simulations of the pre- and post-calving stress states conducted in hopes of informing improved calving relationships. Furthermore, warm-water-mass variability within Irminger/Atlantic Waters off Greenland may play an important role in the monthly modulation of outlet glacier flow speeds, as has been observed for an ice stream draining into

  18. Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microorganisms isolated from a deep greenland glacier ice core

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miteva, V. I.; Sheridan, P. P.; Brenchley, J. E.

    2004-01-01

    We studied a sample from the GISP 2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) ice core to determine the diversity and survival of microorganisms trapped in the ice at least 120,000 years ago. Previously, we examined the phylogenetic relationships among 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences in a clone library obtained by PCR amplification from genomic DNA extracted from anaerobic enrichments. Here we report the isolation of nearly 800 aerobic organisms that were grouped by morphology and amplified rDNA restriction analysis patterns to select isolates for further study. The phylogenetic analyses of 56 representative rDNA sequences showed that the isolates belonged to four major phylogenetic groups: the high-G+C gram-positives, low-G+C gram-positives, Proteobacteria, and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The most abundant and diverse isolates were within the high-G+C gram-positive cluster that had not been represented in the clone library. The Jukes-Cantor evolutionary distance matrix results suggested that at least 7 isolates represent new species within characterized genera and that 49 are different strains of known species. The isolates were further categorized based on the isolation conditions, temperature range for growth, enzyme activity, antibiotic resistance, presence of plasmids, and strain-specific genomic variations. A significant observation with implications for the development of novel and more effective cultivation methods was that preliminary incubation in anaerobic and aerobic liquid prior to plating on agar media greatly increased the recovery of CFU from the ice core sample.

  19. Flying Low over Southeast Greenland

    NASA Video Gallery

    Few of us ever get to see Greenland's glaciers from 500 meters above the ice. But in this video — recorded on April 9,2013 in southeast Greenland using a cockpit camera installed and operated by ...

  20. Warm Atlantic inflow toward the Helmheim-Sermilik glacier-fjord system, South-East Greenland: Insights from a high-resolution Eulerian-Lagrangian model study.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koszalka, I. M.; Haine, T. W. N.; Magaldi, M. G.

    2015-12-01

    The recent rapid increase in mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet has been primarily attributed to the acceleration of outlet glaciers. Helmheim-Sermilik is one of the major glacier-fjord systems in southeast Greenland that has been observed to retreat and nearly double its flow speed during the past decade. One possible cause of this acceleration is enhanced melting at the glacier terminus driven by the advection of warm waters of Atlantic origin over the East Greenland Shelf and into the Sermilik fjord (38E,66N). We use a high resolution configuration of the MITgcm circulation model (2km- and 15m grid spacing in horizontal and vertical directions, respectively), forced by Era-Interim winds and with a bathymetry updated by recent ship- and seal-borne measurements, to study intra-seasonal variability of the intrusions of the warm Atlantic water on the East Greenland Shelf advected toward the Sermilik fjord. The modeled T-S properties in the vicinity of the fjord sill are in good agreement with available observations. The warm inflow into the fjord occurs in quasi-oscillatory pulses of 1-10 day periodicity and of 50-200m vertical extent. The inflow occurs for (10-40)% time of the year (depending on depth), with a slight preference for winter months. The velocity and heat flux distributions are nearly Gaussian at 300m depth and non-Gaussian (Kurtosis>7) at greater depths, with a long positive tail corresponding to high (>0.4m/s) inflow events in winter. We quantify the relative importance of synoptic winds and internal dynamics in generating this variability. The Eulerian analysis is supplemented by backward tracing of O(10,000) Lagrangian particles revealing pathways and water-mass transformation of the inflow that is primarily fed by Irminger Current intruding on the shelf in the vicinity of the Spill Jet section (32E,65N) and channeled through the Sermilik Deep Opening. We ephasize the importance of proper representation of topographic features on the shelf

  1. Records of Local Glacier Variability in Western Greenland During the Holocene From Lake Sediments, Ice-cap-killed Vegetation, and 10Be Dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweinsberg, A.; Briner, J. P.; Miller, G. H.; Bennike, O.

    2015-12-01

    Local mountain glaciers and ice caps are common and widespread along the periphery of Greenland and provide valuable paleoclimatic records because they respond sensitively to climate change. In contrast to extensive research on Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) margin changes, the relative timing of mountain glaciation during the Holocene is poorly documented. Here, we use a multi-proxy approach to document the timing of local glacier advance and retreat throughout the past ~10 ka in western Greenland by combining: (1) proglacial lake sediment analysis, (2) 14C-dating of ice-cap-killed in situ plants, and (3) cosmogenic 10Be dating. Radiocarbon-dated sediment cores from Sikuiui and Pauiaivik lakes, eastern Nuussuaq, provide minimum-limiting ages for local deglaciation of 9.4 ± 0.06 and 8.8 ± 0.16 ka, respectively, and are in agreement with 10Be ages of regional deglaciation that average 10.9 ± 0.7 ka (n=8). Radiocarbon ages (n=54) of in situ plants along retreating cold-based ice cap margins reveal net snowline lowering beginning ~5 ka and are concurrent with the onset of Neoglaciation recorded in both lake systems. Modes of vegetation kill dates highlight distinct ice cap expansion phases at ~3.7, ~3.0, ~1.5 ka, and during the Little Ice Age. The most pronounced snowline lowering event ~4-3 ka is expressed in both lake records by deposition of mineral-rich sediments between ~4.5 and 2.5 ka. Ice cap expansion phases are broadly correlative with elevated minerogenic input in both lakes with some modes in the vegetation ages occurring just prior to increases in mineral-rich sediment input. Published studies of the western GIS margin suggest a major cooling event between ~4.3-3.2 ka, which overlaps with periods of enhanced local glacier activity and ice cap expansion in our dataset. Lastly, the dominant ice cap expansion episode ~3.7 ka in western Greenland is synchronous with a significant snowline lowering event on Baffin Island, suggesting a common climate forcing

  2. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 2. High magnitude englacial strain detected with autonomous phase-sensitive FMCW radar on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Tun Jan; Christoffersen, Poul; Nicholls, Keith; Bun Lok, Lai; Doyle, Samuel; Hubbard, Bryn; Stewart, Craig; Hofstede, Coen; Bougamont, Marion; Todd, Joseph; Brennan, Paul; Hubbard, Alun

    2016-04-01

    Fast-flowing outlet glaciers terminating in the sea drain 90% of the Greenland Ice Sheet. It is well-known that these glaciers flow rapidly due to fast basal motion, but its contributing processes and mechanisms are, however, poorly understood. In particular, there is a paucity of data to quantify the extent to which basal sliding and internal ice deformation by viscous creep contribute to the fast motion of Greenland outlet glaciers. To study these processes, we installed a network of global positioning system (GPS) receivers around an autonomous phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (ApRES) capable of imaging internal reflectors and the glacier bed. The ApRES system, including antennas, were custom-designed to monitor and image ice sheets and ice shelves in monostatic and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) modes. Specifically, the system transmits a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) that increases linearly from 200 to 400 MHz over a period of 1 second. We installed this system 30 km up-flow of the tidewater terminus of Store Glacier, which flows into Uummannaq Fjord in West Greenland, and data were recorded every hour from 06 May to 16 July 2014 and every 4 hours from 26 July to 11 December 2014. The same site was used to instrument 600 m deep boreholes drilled to the bed as part of the SAFIRE research programme. With range and reflector distances captured at high temporal (hourly) and spatial (millimetre) resolutions, we obtained a unique, 6-month-long time series of strain through the vertical ice column at the drill site where tilt was independently recorded in a borehole. Our results show variable, but persistently high vertical strain. In the upper three-fourths of the ice column, we have calculated strain rates on the order of a few percent per year, and the strain regime curiously shifts from vertical thinning in winter to vertical thickening at the onset of summer melt. In the basal ice layer we observed high-magnitude vertical strain rates on

  3. Heat, salt, and freshwater budgets for a glacial fjord in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. H.; Straneo, F.

    2015-12-01

    Fjords link the ocean and outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet. As the ice sheet loses mass - potentially triggered by submarine melting - measurements of ocean heat transport in fjords are increasingly being used to diagnose submarine melting and freshwater fluxes. The full budgets that underlie such methods, however, have been largely neglected. Here, we present complete heat, salt, and mass budgets for glacial fjords and new equations for inferring the freshwater fluxes of submarine melting and runoff. Building on estuarine studies of salt budgets, this method includes a decomposition of the fjord transports (into barotropic, exchange, and fluctuating components) that is crucial for conserving mass in the budgets and appropriately accounting for temporal variability. These methods are applied to moored records from Sermilik Fjord, near the terminus of Helheim Glacier, to evaluate the dominant balances in the fjord budgets and to estimate freshwater fluxes. We find two different regimes seasonally that align with the seasonal variations in fjord drivers: shelf variability from barrier winds and freshwater forcing. Our results highlight many important components of fjord budgets, particularly iceberg melting, heat/salt storage and barotropic fluxes, that have been neglected in previous estimates of submarine melting.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrøm, A. P.

    2013-03-01

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

  6. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    SciTech Connect

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-05-09

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier front, because basal melting is extensive at the underside of the floating glacier sections. The results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise. 24 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Bibliography of glacier studies by the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, E.F.

    1996-01-01

    Reports on glaciers written by U.S. Geological Survey members between 1896 and early 1996 are listed. The reports contain information about glacier and had at least one USGS author or was dependent on USGS data or projects. Extensive glacier studies have been done by the USGS in North America, Greenland, Iceland, as well as in Antarctica.

  8. Arctic polynya and glacier interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Laura

    2013-04-01

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

  9. Investigating the Greenland ice sheet evolution under changing climate using a three-dimensional full-Stokes model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2010-12-01

    A three-dimensional, thermo-mechanically coupled model is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. The model implements the full-Stokes equations for the ice dynamics, and the system is solved with the finite-element method (FEM) using the open source multi-physics package Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/elmer/). The finite-element mesh for the computational domain has been created using the Greenland surface and bedrock DEM data with a spatial resolution of 5 km (SeaRise community effort, based on Bamber and others, 2001). The study is particularly aimed at better understanding the ice dynamics near the major Greenland ice streams. The meshing procedure starts with the bedrock footprint where a mesh with triangle elements and a resolution of 5 km is constructed. Since the resulting mesh is unnecessarily dense in areas with slow ice dynamics, an anisotropic mesh adaptation procedure has been introduced. Using the measured surface velocities to evaluate the Hessian matrix of the velocities, a metric tensor is computed at the mesh vertices in order to define the adaptation scheme. The resulting meshed footprint obtained with the automatic tool YAMS shows a high density of elements in the vicinities of the North-East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), the Jakobshavn ice stream (JIS) and the Kangerdlugssuaq (KL) and Helheim (HH) glaciers. On the other hand, elements with a coarser resolution are generated away from the ice streams and domain margins. The final three-dimensional mesh is obtained by extruding the 2D footprint with 21 vertical layers, so that the resulting mesh contains 400860 wedge elements and 233583 nodes. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations involves direct and iterative solvers depending on the simulation case, and both methods are coupled with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface uses the present-day mean annual air temperature given by a parameterization or directly from the

  10. Hinge-line Migration of Petermann Gletscher, North Greenland, Detected Using Satellite Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1998-01-01

    The synthetic-aperture radar interferometry technique is used to detect the migration of the limit of tidal flexing, or hinge line, of the floating ice tongue of Petermann Gletscher, a major outlet glacier of north Greenland.

  11. 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.

  12. Large Fluctuations in Speed on Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joughin, Ian; Abdalati, Waleed; Fahnestock, Mark

    2003-01-01

    We have assembled an 18-year velocity record for Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland. From a 1985 speed of approx. 7000 m/yr, the glacier had slowed by approx. 1000 m/ yr in 1992, which coincided with independently observed thickening in the early 1990s . The glacier then sped up by approx. 4000 m/yr between 1997 and 2000, during which time other measurements show rapid thinning . From 2000 to 2003, the glacier s floating ice tongue almost entirely disintegrated, as speed increased to 12,600 m/yr. If the retreat of the ice tongue caused the acceleration, then similar losses of floating ice tongues since the Little Ice Age may explain the current rapid thinning observed for many of Greenland s outlet glaciers.

  13. The Greenland Ice Mapping Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joughin, I.; Smith, B.; Howat, I. M.; Moon, T. A.; Scambos, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous glaciers in Greenland have sped up rapidly and unpredictably during the first part of the 21st Century. We started the Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) to produce time series of ice velocity for Greenland's major outlet glaciers. We are also producing image time series to document the advance and retreat of glacier calving fronts and other changes in ice-sheet geometry (e.g., shrinking ice caps and ice shelves). When the project began, there was no digital elevation model (DEM) with sufficient accuracy and resolution to terrain-correct the SAR-derived products. Thus, we also produced the 30-m GIMP DEM, which, aside from improving our processing, is an important product in its own right. Although GIMP focuses on time series, complete spatial coverage for initializing ice sheet models also is important. There are insufficient data, however, to map the full ice sheet in any year. There is good RADARSAT coverage for many years in the north, but the C-band data decorrelate too quickly to measure velocity in the high accumulation regions of the southeast. For such regions, ALOS data usually correlate well, but speckle-tracking estimates at L-band are subject to large ionospheric artifacts. Interferometric phase data are far less sensitive to the effect of the ionosphere, but velocity estimates require results from crossing orbits. Thus, to produce a nearly complete mosaic we used data from multiple sensors, beginning with ERS-1/2 data from the mid 1990s. By using a primarily phase-only solution for much of the interior, we have reduced the velocity errors to ~1-3 m/yr. For the faster moving ice-sheet margin where phase data cannot be unwrapped, we used speckle-tracking data. In particular, we have relied on TerraSAR-X for many fast-moving glaciers because the ionosphere far less affects X-band data. This pan-Greenland velocity map as well as many of the time series would not have been possible without an extensive archive of data collected using six

  14. Greenland's Coast in Holiday Colors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Vibrant reds, emerald greens, brilliant whites, and pastel blues adorn this view of the area surrounding the Jakobshavn Glacier on the western coast of Greenland. The image is a false-color (near-infrared, green, blue) view acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer's nadir camera. The brightness of vegetation in the near-infrared contributes to the reddish hues; glacial silt gives rise to the green color of the water; and blue-colored melt ponds are visible in the bright white ice. A scattering of small icebergs in Disco Bay adds a touch of glittery sparkle to the scene.

    The large island in the upper left is called Qeqertarsuaq. To the east of this island, and just above image center, is the outlet of the fast-flowing Jakobshavn (or Ilulissat) glacier. Jakobshavn is considered to have the highest iceberg production of all Greenland glaciers and is a major drainage outlet for a large portion of the western side of the ice sheet. Icebergs released from the glacier drift slowly with the ocean currents and pose hazards for shipping along the coast.

    The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer views the daylit Earth continuously and the entire globe between 82 degrees north and 82 degrees south latitude is observed every 9 days. These data products were generated from a portion of the imagery acquired on June 18, 2003 during Terra orbit 18615. The image cover an area of about 254 kilometers x 210 kilometers, and use data from blocks 34 to 35 within World Reference System-2 path 10.

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Associations between accelerated glacier mass wastage and increased summer temperature in coastal regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyurgerov, M.; McCabe, G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Low-elevation glaciers in coastal regions of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, individual ice caps around the Greenland ice sheet, and the Patagonia Ice Fields have an aggregate glacier area of about 332 ?? 103 km 2 and account for approximately 42% of all the glacier area outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. They have shown volume loss, especially since the end of the 1980s, increasing from about 45% in the 1960s to nearly 67% in 2003 of the total wastage from all glaciers on Earth outside those two largest ice sheets. Thus, a disproportionally large contribution of coastal glacier ablation to sea level rise is evident. We examine cumulative standardized departures (1961-2000 reference period) of glacier mass balances and air temperature data in these four coastal regions. Analyses indicate a strong association between increases in glacier volume losses and summer air temperature at regional and global scales. Increases in glacier volume losses in the coastal regions also coincide with an accelerated rate of ice discharge from outlet glaciers draining the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. These processes imply further increases in sea level rise. ?? 2006 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  17. 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.

  18. Nuuk, Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Nuuk (or Gadthab) is the capital and largest city of Greenland. It is located at the mouth of the Nuup Kangerlua inlet on the west coast of Greenland. It has a population of about 15,000. The site has a long history of different inhabitation: first by the Inuit people around 2000 B.C., later by Viking explorers in the 10th century. Inuit and Vikings lived together for about 500 years until about 1500, when human habitation suddenly stopped, most likely due to change in climate and vegetation.

    The image was acquired August 2, 2004, covers an area of 22.7 x 26 km, and is located at 64.2 degrees north latitude, 51.8 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  19. 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.

  20. Acoustic mapping of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord mouth, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, Kai; Völker, David; Weinrebe, Wilhelm R.

    2012-04-01

    A ship-based acoustic mapping campaign was conducted at the exit of Ilulissat Ice Fjord of West Greenland and in the sedimentary basin of Disko Bay west of the fjord mouth. Submarine landscape and sediment distribution patterns represented by five acoustic facies types represent glaciomarine sediment facies types that are related to variations in the past position and relative motion of the glacier front. Asymmetric ridges on the shelf that form a curved entity and a large sill at the fjord mouth represent moraines that depict at least two relatively stable positions of the ice front in the Disko Bay and at the fjord mouth. Comparable ice-end features are not observed seaward of the East Greenland Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier, although both glaciers are comparable in their latitudinal position, present size and present role for the ice discharge from the Inland Ice sheet. Apparently, the retreat of the Greenland Inland Ice after the last maximum expansion was a more discontinuous process on the West Greenland Shelf than on the East Greenland Shelf. The Iceberg Bank, a prominent sill at the fjord exit appears to play an important role for the sedimentation after the retreat of the ice front from the shelf was completed. The retreat of the glacier behind the Iceberg Bank into the inner fjord is marked by a reorganization of sediment delivery in Disko Bay, as most of the till is now deposited within the fjord. Two linear clusters of pockmarks in the center of the sedimentary basin seem to be linked to methane release due to dissociation of gas hydrates, a process driven by fast crustal uplift of the Greenland Shelf. The orientation of these clusters appears to reflect a migration path that is defined by a buried structure which we could not resolve.

  1. ICESat Observations of Southern Alaska Glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauber, Jeanne; Molnia, Bruce F.; Mitchell, Darius

    2003-01-01

    In late February and March, 2003, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) measured ice and land elevations along profiles across southern Alaska. During this initial data acquisition stage ICESat observations were made on 8-day repeat tracks to enable calibration and validation of the ICESat data products. Each profile consists of a series of single point values derived from centroid elevations of an $\\approx$70 m diameter laser footprint. The points are s4pakated by $\\approx$172 m along track. Data siets of 8-day observations (an ascending and descending ground track) crossed the Bering and Malaspina Glacier. Following its 1993--1995 surge; the Bering Glacier has undergone major terminus retreat as well as ike thinning in the abtation zone. During the later part of the 20th century, parts of the Malaspina thinned by about 1 m/yr. The multiple observation profiles across the Bering and Malaspina piedmont lobes obtained in February/March are being geolocated on Landsat images and the elevation profiles will be used for a number o scientific objectives. Based on our simulations of ICESat performance over the varied ice surface of the Jakobshavn Glacier of GReenland, 2003, we expect to measure annual, and possibly seasonal, ice elevation changes on the large Alaskan glaciers. Using elevation data obtained from a second laser, we plan to estimate ice elevation changes on the Bering Glacier between March and October 2003.

  2. 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.

  3. New constraints on the deglaciation chronology of the southeastern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Larsen, N. K.; Kjaer, K. H.; Bjork, A. A.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Funder, S.; Kelly, M. A.; Howley, J. A.; Zimmerman, S. R. H.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is responding rapidly to climate change. Marine terminating outlet glaciers that drain the GrIS have responded especially sensitively to present-day climate change by accelerating, thinning and retreating. In southeastern Greenland several outlet glaciers are undergoing rapid changes in mass balance and ice dynamics. To improve our understanding of the future, long-term response of these marine-terminating outlet glaciers to climate change, we focus on the response of three outlet glaciers to climate change since the Last Glacial Maximum. The timing and rates of late-glacial and early Holocene deglaciation of the southeastern sector of the GrIS are relatively unconstrained due to the inaccessibility of the region. Using a helicopter and a sailboat, we collected samples for 10Be surface exposure dating from three fjords in southeastern Greenland: Skjoldungen (63.4N), Uvtorsiutit (62.7N), and Lindenow (60.6N). These fjords drain marine terminating glaciers of the GrIS. Here we present 18 new 10Be ages from ~50 km long transects along these fjords that mark the timing of deglaciation from the outer coast inland to the present-day GrIS margin. Together with previously constrained deglaciation chronologies from Bernstorffs, Sermilik, and Kangerdlussuaq fjords in southeastern Greenland, these new chronologies offer insight into the late-glacial and early Holocene dynamics of the southeastern GrIS outlet glaciers. We compare the timing and rate of deglaciation in southeastern Greenland to climate records from the region to examine the mechanisms that drove deglaciation during late-glacial and early Holocene time. These new 10Be ages provide a longer-term perspective of marine terminating outlet glacier fluctuations in southeastern Greenland and can be used to model the ice sheet's response to late-glacial and early Holocene climate changes.

  4. First Younger Dryas moraines in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Over the Greenland ice sheet the Younger Dryas (YD) cold climate oscillation (12.9-11.7 kaBP) began with up to 10°C drop in temperatures and ended with up to 12°C abrupt warming. In the light of the present warming and melting of the ice sheet, and its importance for future climate change, the ice sheet's response to these dramatic changes in the past is of great interest. However, even though much effort has gone into charting YD ice margin behaviour around Greenland in recent years, no clear-cut signal of response to the oscillation has been uncovered. Here we show evidence to suggest that three major outlets from a local ice cap at Greenland's north coast advanced and retreated synchronously during YD. The evidence comprises OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dates from a marine transgression of the coastal valleys that preceded the advance, and exposure ages from boulders on the moraines, formed by glaciers that overrode the marine sediment. The OSL ages suggest a maximum age of 12.4 ±0.6 kaBP for the marine incursion, and 10 exposure ages on boulders from the three moraines provide an average minimum age of 12.5 ±0.7 kaBP for the moraines, implying that the moraines were formed within the interval 11.8-13.0 kaBP. Elsewhere in Greenland evidence for readvance has been recorded in two areas. Most notably, in the East Greenland fjord zone outlet glaciers over a stretch of 800 km coast advanced through the fjords. In Scoresby Sund, where the moraines form a wide belt, an extensive 14C and exposure dating programme has shown that the readvance here probably culminated before YD, while cessation of moraine formation and rapid retreat from the moraine belt did not commence until c. 11.5 kaBP, but no moraines have so far been dated to YD. Readvance is also seen in Disko Bugt, the largest ice sheet outlet in West Greenland. However, here the advance and retreat of the ice stream took place in mid YD times, and lasted only a few hundred years, while YD in

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Contribution of small glaciers to global sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    Observed long-term changes in glacier volume and hydrometeorological mass balance models yield data on the transfer of water from glaciers, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica, to the oceans, The average observed volume change for the period 1900 to 1961 is scaled to a global average by use of the seasonal amplitude of the mass balance. These data are used to calibrate the models to estimate the changing contribution of glaciers to sea level for the period 1884 to 1975. Although the error band is large, these glaciers appear to accountfor a third to half of observed rise in sea level, approximately that fraction not explained by thermal expansion of the ocean.

  8. 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

  9. Simulations of the Greenland ice sheet 100 years into the future with the full Stokes model Elmer/Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddik, H.; Greve, R.; Zwinger, T.; Gillet-Chaulet, F.; Gagliardini, O.

    2011-12-01

    The full Stokes thermo-mechanically coupled model Elmer/Ice is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Elmer/Ice employs the finite element method to solve the full Stokes equations, the temperature evolution equation and the evolution equation of the free surface. The general framework of this modeling effort is a contribution to the Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE) assessment project, a community-organized effort to estimate the likely range of ice sheet contributions to sea level rise over the next few hundred years (http://tinyurl.com/srise-lanl, http://tinyurl.com/srise-umt). The present geometry (surface and basal topographies) is derived from data where the basal topography was created with the preservation of the troughs at the Jakobshavn Ice Stream, Helheim, Kangerdlussuaq and Petermann glaciers. A mesh of the computational domain is created using an initial footprint which contains elements of 5 km horizontal resolution and to limit the number elements on the footprint while maximizing the spatial resolution, an anisotropic mesh adaptation scheme is employed based on the Hessian matrix of the observed surface velocities. The adaptation is carried out with the tool YAMS and the final footprint is vertically extruded to form a 3D mesh of 320880 elements with 17 equidistant, terrain-following layers. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations employs direct solvers with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface uses the present-day mean annual air temperature given by a parameterization or directly from the available data, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is given by data and the lateral sides are open boundaries. A non-linear Weertman law is used for the basal sliding. Results for the SeaRISE 2011 sensitivity experiments are presented so that six different experiments have been conducted, grouped in two sets. The Set C (three experiments) applies a change to

  10. The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, K. R.; Beaudoin, B. C.; Butler, R.; Clinton, J. F.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Ekstrom, G.; Giardini, D.; Govoni, A.; Hanka, W.; Kanao, M.; Larsen, T.; Lasocki, S.; McCormack, D. A.; Mykkeltveit, S.; Nettles, M.; Agostinetti, N. P.; Stutzmann, E.; Tsuboi, S.; Voss, P.

    2010-12-01

    The GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN) is an international, broadband seismic capability for Greenland, being installed and implemented through the collaboration of Denmark, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and USA. GLISN is a real-time sensor array of seismic stations to enhance and upgrade the performance of the sparse Greenland seismic infrastructure for detecting, locating, and characterizing glacial earthquakes and other cryo-seismic phenomena, and contributing to our understanding of Ice Sheet dynamics. Complementing data from satellites, geodesy, and other sources, and in concert with these technologies, GLISN will provide a powerful tool for detecting change, and will advance new frontiers of research in the glacial systems; the underlying geological and geophysical processes affecting the Greenland Ice Sheet; interactions between oceans, climate, and the cryosphere; and other multidisciplinary areas of interest to geoscience and climate dynamics. The glacial processes that induce seismic events (internal deformation, sliding at the base, disintegration at the calving front, drainage of supra-glacial lakes) are all integral to the overall dynamics of glaciers, and seismic observations of glaciers therefore provide a quantitative means for monitoring changes in their behavior over time. Long-term seismic monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet will contribute to identifying possible unsuspected mechanisms and metrics relevant to ice sheet collapse, and will provide new constraints on Ice Sheet dynamic processes and their potential roles in sea-level rise during the coming decades. GLISN will provide a new, fiducial reference network in and around Greenland for monitoring these phenomena in real-time, and for the broad seismological study of Earth and earthquakes. The 2010 summer field season saw the installation or upgrade of 9 stations in the GLISN network. Sites visited under the GLISN project include Station Nord (NOR

  11. Updating the results of glacier contribution to the sea level change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Abdalati, Waleed Dr. (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    I have completed an update of global glacier volume change. All data of glacier annual mass balances, surface area over the period 1945/46 till 2004, outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were included in this update. As the result global glacier volume change have been calculated, also in terms of glacier contribution to sea level change. These results were sent to Working Group 1 and 2 of IPCC-4 as the basis for modeling of sea level towards the end of 2100. In this study I have concentrated on studying glacier systems of different scales, from primary (e.g. Devon ice cap) to regional (e.g. Canadian Arctic), continental scale (e,g., entire Arctic), and global (e.g., change in glacier volume and contribution to sea level rise).

  12. Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason; O'Neel, Shad; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers, which cover roughly 11% of the Earth's land surface, store organic carbon from local and distant sources and then release it to downstream environments. Climate-driven changes to glacier runoff are expected to be larger than climate impacts on other components of the hydrological cycle, and may represent an important flux of organic carbon. A compilation of published data on dissolved organic carbon from glaciers across five continents reveals that mountain and polar glaciers represent a quantitatively important store of organic carbon. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the repository of most of the roughly 6 petagrams (Pg) of organic carbon stored in glacier ice, but the annual release of glacier organic carbon is dominated by mountain glaciers in the case of dissolved organic carbon and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the case of particulate organic carbon. Climate change contributes to these fluxes: approximately 13% of the annual flux of glacier dissolved organic carbon is a result of glacier mass loss. These losses are expected to accelerate, leading to a cumulative loss of roughly 15 teragrams (Tg) of glacial dissolved organic carbon by 2050 due to climate change — equivalent to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River. Thus, glaciers constitute a key link between terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes, and will be of increasing importance in land-to-ocean fluxes of organic carbon in glacierized regions.

  13. Resolving bathymetry from airborne gravity along Greenland fjords

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boghosian, Alexandra; Tinto, Kirsty; Cochran, James R.; Porter, David; Elieff, Stefan; Burton, Bethany; Bell, Robin E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent glacier mass loss in Greenland has been attributed to encroaching warming waters, but knowledge of fjord bathymetry is required to investigate this mechanism. The bathymetry in many Greenland fjords is unmapped and difficult to measure. From 2010 to 2012, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Operation IceBridge collected a unique set of airborne gravity, magnetic, radar, and lidar data along the major outlet glaciers and fjords in Greenland. We applied a consistent technique using the IceBridge gravity data to create 90 bathymetric profiles along 54 Greenland fjords. We also used this technique to recover subice topography where warm or crevassed ice prevents the radar system from imaging the bed. Here we discuss our methodology, basic assumptions and error analysis. We present the new bathymetry data and discuss observations in six major regions of Greenland covered by IceBridge. The gravity models provide a total of 1950 line kilometers of bathymetry, 875 line kilometers of subice topography, and 12 new grounding line depths.

  14. Resolving bathymetry from airborne gravity along Greenland fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boghosian, Alexandra; Tinto, Kirsty; Cochran, James R.; Porter, David; Elieff, Stefan; Burton, Bethany L.; Bell, Robin E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent glacier mass loss in Greenland has been attributed to encroaching warming waters, but knowledge of fjord bathymetry is required to investigate this mechanism. The bathymetry in many Greenland fjords is unmapped and difficult to measure. From 2010 to 2012, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Operation IceBridge collected a unique set of airborne gravity, magnetic, radar, and lidar data along the major outlet glaciers and fjords in Greenland. We applied a consistent technique using the IceBridge gravity data to create 90 bathymetric profiles along 54 Greenland fjords. We also used this technique to recover subice topography where warm or crevassed ice prevents the radar system from imaging the bed. Here we discuss our methodology, basic assumptions and error analysis. We present the new bathymetry data and discuss observations in six major regions of Greenland covered by IceBridge. The gravity models provide a total of 1950 line kilometers of bathymetry, 875 line kilometers of subice topography, and 12 new grounding line depths.

  15. Asia High Mountain Glacier Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, C. K.; Su, X.; Shang, K.; Cogley, J. G.; Zhang, G.; Howat, I. M.; Braun, A.; Kuo, C. Y.

    2015-12-01

    The Asian High Mountain encompassing the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has the largest glaciated regions in the world outside of Greenland and Antarctica. The Tibetan Plateau is the source or headwater of many major river systems, which provide water resources to more than a billion people downstream. The impact of climate change on the Tibetan Plateau physical processes, including mountain glacier wastage, permafrost active layer thickening, the timing and the quantity of the perennial snowpack melt affecting upstream catchments, river runoffs, land-use, have significant effects on downstream water resources. Exact quantification of the Asian High Mountain glacier wastage or its mass balance on how much of the melt water contributes to early 21st century global sea-level rise, remain illusive or the published results are arguably controversial. The recent observed significant increase of freshwater storage within the Tibetan Plateaus remains a limitation to exactly quantify mountain glacier wastage. Here, we provide an updated estimate of Asia high mountain glacier mass balance using satellite geodetic observations during the last decade, accounting for the hydrologic and other processes, and validated against available in situ mass balance data.

  16. Variations in Alaska tidewater glacier frontal ablation, 1985-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNabb, R. W.; Hock, R.; Huss, M.

    2015-01-01

    Our incomplete knowledge of the proportion of mass loss due to frontal ablation (the sum of ice loss through calving and submarine melt) from tidewater glaciers outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has been cited as a major hindrance to accurate predictions of global sea level rise. We present a 28 year record (1985-2013) of frontal ablation for 27 Alaska tidewater glaciers (representing 96% of the total tidewater glacier area in the region), calculated from satellite-derived ice velocities and modeled estimates of glacier ice thickness. We account for cross-sectional ice thickness variation, long-term thickness changes, mass lost between an upstream fluxgate and the terminus, and mass change due to changes in terminus position. The total mean rate of frontal ablation for these 27 glaciers over the period 1985-2013 is 15.11 ± 3.63Gta-1. Two glaciers, Hubbard and Columbia, account for approximately 50% of these losses. The regional total ablation has decreased at a rate of 0.14Gta-1 over this time period, likely due to the slowing and thinning of many of the glaciers in the study area. Frontal ablation constitutes only ˜4% of the total annual regional ablation, but roughly 20% of net mass loss. Comparing several commonly used approximations in the calculation of frontal ablation, we find that neglecting cross-sectional thickness variations severely underestimates frontal ablation.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-08-01

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

  18. Pine Island Glacier

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    article title:  Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica     View ... Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) images of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica was acquired on December 12, 2000 during ... sea ice between the glacier and the open water in Pine Island Bay. To the left of the "icebergs" label are chunks of floating ice. ...

  19. Ellesmere Island (Canada) and Northern Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    In late July, our planet.s northernmost land masses appear to finally be responding to the warmth of Northern Hemisphere summer. Ellesmere Island, Canada, (top left) and northern Greenland (right) have decided kick off their snowy winter garments in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from July 3, 200. Bare brown soils are exposed along the coasts of the still frozen (but thawing!) Arctic waters. Several large, permanent ice caps and glaciers will remain on Ellesmere Island year-round, and Greenland does little more than remove her mittens, but thinning, blue ice is showing up in the many fjords and inlets in the rocky coastlines, showing that temperatures are on the rise. The Nares Strait, which separates the two land masses, still has a way to go before a passage opens up between Baffin Bay to the south and the Artic Ocean to the north. Although Ellesmere Island appears to be 'higher' or farther north than Greenland, that is simply a result of the way the high-latitude scene was projected into an image. To better picture the terrain, imagine that you took a printed copy of the rectangular image and rolled it into a cylinder along its northeast-southwest axis. If you held that cylinder straight up in front of you, you would find that Peary Land, Greenland (right of center), is actually the more northern terrain. In fact Peary Land is the northernmost point on land on the Earth.

  20. 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.

  1. Iceberg mélange, traffic jams and the stability of tidewater glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassis, J. N.; O'Leary, M.

    2012-12-01

    Observations indicate that the dynamics of ocean terminating glaciers is tightly coupled to the presence of pro-glacial mélange, a freely floating mixture of icebergs, sea ice and snow that clogs fjords. Mechanical considerations, in contrast, suggest that mélange should lack the structural integrity necessary to disrupt the calving cycle. In this study, we address this discrepancy using an idealized model in which mélange is represented as discrete blocks of ice that interact through elastic and frictional forces. Intact glacier ice is simulated as a matrix of boulders of ice that are glued together with breakable bonds. This modeling framework realizes the discrete granular nature of mélange and enables the mélange to mechanically interact with a (continuous) glacier. Using characteristic thickness and geometry of a Helheim-like glacier we find that if the fjord is mélange free, through penetrating fractures develop near the terminus leading to the detachment of sub-ice-thickness scale bergs that rotate and capsize. However, when mélange is present, inelastic collisions between the detaching berg and mélange inhibit movement of the berg away from the calving front. This effect is magnified when protrusions from the bed (e.g., a very thick sill) or walls cause iceberg "traffic jams". These traffic jams limit the rate at which icebergs can be exported away from the terminus and create compressive chains that provide a compressive backstress to the terminus. Although the compressive stress is small compared to the tensile deviatoric stress within the ice, it is sufficient to prevent or at least delay further calving events. This suggests that tidewater glacier retreat may be limited by the export of icebergs away from the terminus and this, like most traffic jams, is strongly controlled by the presence of obstacles that force traffic to converge or take inefficient detours.

  2. Airborne Geophysics and Remote Sensing Applied to Study Greenland Ice Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Csatho, Beata M.

    2003-01-01

    Overview of project: we combined and jointly analysed geophysical, remote sensing and glaciological data for investigating the temporal changes in ice flow and the role of geologic control on glacial drainage. The project included two different studies, the investigation of recent changes of the Kangerlussuaq glacier and the study of geologic control of ice flow in NW Greenland, around the Humboldt, Petermann and Ryder glaciers.

  3. Paleofluvial landscape inheritance for Jakobshavn Isbræ catchment, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, M. A.; Michaelides, K.; Siegert, M. J.; Bamber, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    Subglacial topography exerts strong controls on glacier dynamics, influencing the orientation and velocity of ice flow, as well as modulating the distribution of basal waters and sediment. Bed geometry can also provide a long-term record of geomorphic processes, allowing insight into landscape evolution, the origin of which may predate ice sheet inception. Here we present evidence from ice-penetrating radar data for a large dendritic drainage network, radiating inland from Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland's largest outlet glacier. The size of the drainage basin is ˜450,000 km2 and accounts for about 20% of the total land area of Greenland. Topographic and basin morphometric analyses of an isostatically uplifted (ice-free) bedrock topography suggests that this catchment predates ice sheet initiation and has likely been instrumental in controlling the location and form of the Jakobshavn ice stream, and ice flow from the deep interior to the margin, now and over several glacial cycles.

  4. Prokaryotic diversity in sediments beneath two polar glaciers with contrasting organic carbon substrates.

    PubMed

    Stibal, Marek; Hasan, Fariha; Wadham, Jemma L; Sharp, Martin J; Anesio, Alexandre M

    2012-03-01

    Microbial ecosystems beneath glaciers and ice sheets are thought to play an active role in regional and global carbon cycling. Subglacial sediments are assumed to be largely anoxic, and thus various pathways of organic carbon metabolism may occur here. We examine the abundance and diversity of prokaryotes in sediment beneath two glaciers (Lower Wright Glacier in Antarctica and Russell Glacier in Greenland) with different glaciation histories and thus with different organic carbon substrates. The total microbial abundance in the Lower Wright Glacier sediment, originating from young lacustrine sediment, was an order of magnitude higher (~8 × 10(6) cells per gram of wet sediment) than in Russell Glacier sediment (~9 × 10(5) cells g(-1)) that is of Holocene-aged soil origin. 4% of the microbes from the Russell Glacier sediment and 0.04-0.35% from Lower Wright Glacier were culturable at 10°C. The Lower Wright Glacier subglacial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes. The Russell Glacier library was much less diverse and also dominated by Proteobacteria. Low numbers and diversity of both Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota were found in both sediments. The identified clones were related to bacteria with both aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms, indicating the presence of both oxic and anoxic conditions in the sediments.

  5. 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

  6. Use of Glacial Fronts by Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laidre, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial fronts in Greenland are known to be important summer habitat for narwhals (Monodon monoceros), as freshwater runoff and sediment discharge may aggregate prey at the terminus. We investigated the importance of glacial habitat characteristics in determining narwhal visitation. Narwhals (n=18) were instrumented with satellite transmitters in September 1993-1994 and 2006-2007 in Melville Bay, West Greenland. Daily narwhal locations were interpolated using a correlated random walk based on observed filtered locations and associated positional error. We also compiled a database on physical features of 41 glaciers along the northwest Greenland coast. This covered the entire coastal region with narwhal activity. Parameters included glacier ice velocity (km/yr) from radar satellite data, glacier front advance and retreat, and glacier width (km) at the ice-ocean interface derived using front position data digitized from 20-100m resolution radar image mosaics and Landsat imagery. We also quantified relative volumes and extent of glacial ice discharge, thickness of the glacial ice at the terminus (m), and water depth at the terminus (m) from gravity and airborne radar data, sediment flux from satellite-based analysis, and freshwater runoff from a regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2.3). We quantified whale visits to glaciers at three distances (5, 7, and 10 km) and conducted proximity analyses on annual and monthly time steps. We estimated 1) narwhal presence or absence, 2) the number of 24 h periods spent at glaciers, and 3) the fraction of study animals that visited each glacier. The use of glacial habitat by narwhals expanded to the north and south between the 1990s (n=9 unique glaciers visited) and the 2000s (n=30 visited), likely due to loss of summer fast ice and later fall freeze-up trends (3.5 weeks later since 1979). We used a generalized linear mixed effects framework to quantify the glacier and fjord habitat characteristics preferred by narwhals.

  7. 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

  8. Projections of 21st Century Sea Level Rise From the Melt of Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radic, V.; Hock, R.

    2008-12-01

    An ensemble of 21st century volume projections for all mountain glaciers and ice caps from the World Glacier Inventory is derived by modeling the surface mass balance coupled with volume--area--length scaling and forced with temperature and precipitation scenarios with A1B emission scenario from ensemble of GCMs. By upscaling the volume projections through a regionally differentiated approach to all mountain glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland and Antarctica (514,380~km2) we estimated total volume change to range from -0.039~m to -0.150~m of sea level equivalent for the time period 2001--2100. A major source of uncertainty in the methodology is the temperature forcing in the mass balance model which depends on bias correction of ERA-40 temperatures in order to simulate the local temperatures on a mountain glacier or ice cap. Other major sources of uncertainties are the volume-area scaling in deriving initial glacier volume and upscaling the volume changes with assumptions on glacier-size distributions in each glacierized region. Our projected 21st century volume loss is probably a lower bound since no calving is modeled and no mountain glaciers and ice caps surrounding Antarctica and Greenland are included due to a lack of glacier inventory data. Nevertheless, the large range of our projections depends on the choice of GCM emphasizing the importance of ensemble projections.

  9. 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

  10. Stable microbial community composition on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Musilova, Michaela; Tranter, Martyn; Bennett, Sarah A; Wadham, Jemma; Anesio, Alexandre M

    2015-01-01

    The first molecular-based studies of microbes in snow and on glaciers have only recently been performed on the vast Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Aeolian microbial seeding is hypothesized to impact on glacier surface community compositions. Localized melting of glacier debris (cryoconite) into the surface ice forms cryoconite holes, which are considered 'hot spots' for microbial activity on glaciers. To date, few studies have attempted to assess the origin and evolution of cryoconite and cryoconite hole communities throughout a melt season. In this study, a range of experimental approaches was used for the first time to study the inputs, temporal and structural transformations of GrIS microbial communities over the course of a whole ablation season. Small amounts of aeolian (wind and snow) microbes were potentially seeding the stable communities that were already present on the glacier (composed mainly of Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria). However, the dominant bacterial taxa in the aeolian samples (Firmicutes) did not establish themselves in local glacier surface communities. Cryoconite and cryoconite hole community composition remained stable throughout the ablation season following the fast community turnover, which accompanied the initial snow melt. The presence of stable communities in cryoconite and cryoconite holes on the GrIS will allow future studies to assess glacier surface microbial diversity at individual study sites from sampling intervals of short duration only. Aeolian inputs also had significantly different organic δ(13)C values (-28.0 to -27.0‰) from the glacier surface values (-25.7 to -23.6‰), indicating that in situ microbial processes are important in fixing new organic matter and transforming aeolian organic carbon. The continuous productivity of stable communities over one melt season makes them important contributors to biogeochemical nutrient cycling on glaciers.

  11. Greenland ice sheet motion insensitive to exceptional meltwater forcing

    PubMed Central

    Tedstone, Andrew J.; Nienow, Peter W.; Sole, Andrew J.; Mair, Douglas W. F.; Cowton, Thomas R.; Bartholomew, Ian D.; King, Matt A.

    2013-01-01

    Changes to the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet can be forced by various mechanisms including surface-melt–induced ice acceleration and oceanic forcing of marine-terminating glaciers. We use observations of ice motion to examine the surface melt–induced dynamic response of a land-terminating outlet glacier in southwest Greenland to the exceptional melting observed in 2012. During summer, meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet surface accesses the ice sheet bed, lubricating basal motion and resulting in periods of faster ice flow. However, the net impact of varying meltwater volumes upon seasonal and annual ice flow, and thus sea level rise, remains unclear. We show that two extreme melt events (98.6% of the Greenland ice sheet surface experienced melting on July 12, the most significant melt event since 1889, and 79.2% on July 29) and summer ice sheet runoff ∼3.9σ above the 1958–2011 mean resulted in enhanced summer ice motion relative to the average melt year of 2009. However, despite record summer melting, subsequent reduced winter ice motion resulted in 6% less net annual ice motion in 2012 than in 2009. Our findings suggest that surface melt–induced acceleration of land-terminating regions of the ice sheet will remain insignificant even under extreme melting scenarios. PMID:24248343

  12. A high-resolution record of Greenland mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Greenland ice sheet motion insensitive to exceptional meltwater forcing.

    PubMed

    Tedstone, Andrew J; Nienow, Peter W; Sole, Andrew J; Mair, Douglas W F; Cowton, Thomas R; Bartholomew, Ian D; King, Matt A

    2013-12-01

    Changes to the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet can be forced by various mechanisms including surface-melt-induced ice acceleration and oceanic forcing of marine-terminating glaciers. We use observations of ice motion to examine the surface melt-induced dynamic response of a land-terminating outlet glacier in southwest Greenland to the exceptional melting observed in 2012. During summer, meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet surface accesses the ice sheet bed, lubricating basal motion and resulting in periods of faster ice flow. However, the net impact of varying meltwater volumes upon seasonal and annual ice flow, and thus sea level rise, remains unclear. We show that two extreme melt events (98.6% of the Greenland ice sheet surface experienced melting on July 12, the most significant melt event since 1889, and 79.2% on July 29) and summer ice sheet runoff ~3.9 σ above the 1958-2011 mean resulted in enhanced summer ice motion relative to the average melt year of 2009. However, despite record summer melting, subsequent reduced winter ice motion resulted in 6% less net annual ice motion in 2012 than in 2009. Our findings suggest that surface melt-induced acceleration of land-terminating regions of the ice sheet will remain insignificant even under extreme melting scenarios.

  14. Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Hamish D; Arthern, Robert J; Vaughan, David G; Edwards, Laura A

    2009-10-15

    Many glaciers along the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are accelerating and, for this reason, contribute increasingly to global sea-level rise. Globally, ice losses contribute approximately 1.8 mm yr(-1) (ref. 8), but this could increase if the retreat of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers further enhances the loss of grounded ice or initiates the large-scale collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheets. Ice loss as a result of accelerated flow, known as dynamic thinning, is so poorly understood that its potential contribution to sea level over the twenty-first century remains unpredictable. Thinning on the ice-sheet scale has been monitored by using repeat satellite altimetry observations to track small changes in surface elevation, but previous sensors could not resolve most fast-flowing coastal glaciers. Here we report the use of high-resolution ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry to map change along the entire grounded margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. To isolate the dynamic signal, we compare rates of elevation change from both fast-flowing and slow-flowing ice with those expected from surface mass-balance fluctuations. We find that dynamic thinning of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic grounding lines, has endured for decades after ice-shelf collapse, penetrates far into the interior of each ice sheet and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. In Greenland, glaciers flowing faster than 100 m yr(-1) thinned at an average rate of 0.84 m yr(-1), and in the Amundsen Sea embayment of Antarctica, thinning exceeded 9.0 m yr(-1) for some glaciers. Our results show that the most profound changes in the ice sheets currently result from glacier dynamics at ocean margins.

  15. 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.

  16. A Comparison of Seismic Records of Calving Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Fabian; Amundson, Jason M.; O'Neel, Shad; Clinton, John F.; Luethi, Martin P.; Bassis, Jeremy; Fricker, Helen Amanda

    2010-05-01

    Glacier calving is a key process in the cryosphere's contribution to sea level rise. It is responsible for virtually all of Antarctica's ice mass loss to the ocean and about half of Greenland's negative mass balance. As glacier calving is a highly complicated and variable phenomenon, its physical laws are poorly understood. For this reason "dynamical mass loss" is one of the critical mechanisms that have yet to be incorporated into large-scale ice sheet models that aim to predict future sea level variations. As calving environments are almost always difficult to access, data pertaining to calving processes are usually gathered remotely. Seismometers have recently proven to be a valuable tool for studying calving, even though they may be located far away from the calving front. Pre-existing global and regional seismic networks thus constitute a valuable resource for the study of glacier calving as they allow for automatic detection and monitoring of calving activity. Various sources occurring nearly simultaneously give rise to calving seismicity. Potential source mechanisms include fracturing, hydraulic transients, glacier acceleration, ocean wave action, and icebergs scraping the fjord walls, bottom, or terminus. Fracturing and hydraulic transients emit seismic energy above 1 Hz and are only recorded locally, whereas glacier acceleration, iceberg scraping, and ocean waves may produce waveforms with periods of 100's or 1000's of seconds and can be recorded by far-field seismometers. We present examples of such low-frequency seismicity from Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland, and Columbia and Yahtse Glaciers, Alaska. Finally, we discuss the possibility of remotely investigating calving behavior by comparing the seismic signature of individual calving events from different glaciological settings.

  17. How can we Optimize Global Satellite Observations of Glacier Velocity and Elevation Changes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, M. J.; Pritchard, M. E.; Zheng, W.

    2015-12-01

    We have started a global compilation of glacier surface elevation change rates measured by altimeters and differencing of Digital Elevation Models and glacier velocities measured by Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical feature tracking as well as from Interferometric SAR (InSAR). Our goal is to compile statistics on recent ice flow velocities and surface elevation change rates near the fronts of all available glaciers using literature and our own data sets of the Russian Arctic, Patagonia, Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica, the Himalayas, and other locations. We quantify the percentage of the glaciers on the planet that can be regarded as fast flowing glaciers, with surface velocities of more than 50 meters per year, while also recording glaciers that have elevation change rates of more than 2 meters per year. We examine whether glaciers have significant interannual variations in velocities, or have accelerated or stagnated where time series of ice motions are available. We use glacier boundaries and identifiers from the Randolph Glacier Inventory. Our survey highlights glaciers that are likely to react quickly to changes in their mass accumulation rates. The study also identifies geographical areas where our knowledge of glacier dynamics remains poor. Our survey helps guide how frequently observations must be made in order to provide quality satellite-derived velocity and ice elevation observations at a variety of glacier thermal regimes, speeds and widths. Our objectives are to determine to what extent the joint NASA and Indian Space Research Organization Synthetic Aperture Radar mission (NISAR) will be able to provide global precision coverage of ice speed changes and to determine how to optimize observations from the global constellation of satellite missions to record important changes to glacier elevations and velocities worldwide.

  18. Exploring glacial change - flying in the tailwind of the early 20th century Greenland explorers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjork, A. A.; Kjaer, K.; Kjeldsen, K. K.; Larsen, N. K.; Korsgaard, N. J.; Khan, S. A.

    2013-12-01

    In the early 1930s Greenlandic explorers and scientists began using airplanes as an effective mean of surveying and mapping the hitherto unknown and inaccessible lands. By replacing the dogsled and the drawing board with the seaplane and camera, huge areas could now be covered. Here in the 21st Century the photographs now serve as a snapshot of the state of the glaciers, and possess unique scientific value as they stand as the first testimony of hundreds of Greenlandic glaciers. In the summer of 2013, we flew in the paths of the early flights and captured the changes that occurred during the last 80 years. To revisit all the historic glaciers would be a near impossible, not to mention extremely expensive task, so we targeted the most important glaciers in terms of present mass loss as well as the most aesthetically appealing historical images. The result is a then-and-now comparison that vividly captures both the raw beauty of the land and the ongoing often dramatic glacial changes. As the historic flights covered nearly half the Greenlandic coast line, we capture both areas of massive retreat and areas of still stand and even advance. The Heinkel Seaplane is being prepared for a photo flight in southeast Greenland in 1933. Flying an open plane in 14.000 ft and -40 °C called for a special breed of pilots.

  19. Grounding line migration of Petermann Gletscher, north Greenland, detected using satellite radar interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric

    1997-01-01

    Ice Sheet grounding lines are sensitive indicator of changes in ice thickness, sea level or elevation of the sea bed. Here, we use the synthetic-aperture radar interferometry technique to detect the migration of thel imit of tidal flexing, or hinge line, of Petermann Gletscher, a major outlet glacier of north Greenland which develops an extensive floating tongue.

  20. The thickness of glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faraoni, Valerio; Vokey, Marshall W.

    2015-09-01

    Basic formulae and results of glacier physics appearing in glaciology textbooks can be derived from first principles introduced in algebra-based first year physics courses. We discuss the maximum thickness of alpine glaciers and ice sheets and the relation between maximum thickness and length of an ice sheet. Knowledge of ordinary differential equations allows one to derive also the local ice thickness.

  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. Modeling of Store Gletscher's calving dynamics, West Greenland, in response to ocean thermal forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Bondzio, J.; Seroussi, H.; Rignot, E.; Larour, E.; Humbert, A.; Rebuffi, S.

    2016-03-01

    Glacier-front dynamics is an important control on Greenland's ice mass balance. Warmer ocean waters trigger ice-front retreats of marine-terminating glaciers, and the corresponding loss in resistive stress leads to glacier acceleration and thinning. Here we present an approach to quantify the sensitivity and vulnerability of marine-terminating glaciers to ocean-induced melt. We develop a plan view model of Store Gletscher that includes a level set-based moving boundary capability, a parameterized ocean-induced melt, and a calving law with complete and precise land and fjord topographies to model the response of the glacier to increased melt. We find that the glacier is stabilized by a sill at its terminus. The glacier is dislodged from the sill when ocean-induced melt quadruples, at which point the glacier retreats irreversibly for 27 km into a reverse bed. The model suggests that ice-ocean interactions are the triggering mechanism of glacier retreat, but the bed controls its magnitude.

  4. Simultaneous observations of ice motion, calving and seismicity on the Yahtse Glacier, Alaska. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    We observe ice motion, calving and seismicity simultaneously and with high-resolution on an advancing tidewater glacier in Icy Bay, Alaska. Icy Bay’s tidewater glaciers dominate regional glacier-generated seismicity in Alaska. Yahtse emanates from the St. Elias Range near the Bering-Bagley-Seward-Malaspina Icefield system, the most extensive glacier cover outside the polar regions. Rapid rates of change and fast flow (>16 m/d near the terminus) at Yahtse Glacier provide a direct analog to the disintegrating outlet systems in Greenland. Our field experiment co-locates GPS and seismometers on the surface of the glacier, with a greater network of bedrock seismometers surrounding the glacier. Time-lapse photogrammetry, fjord wave height sensors, and optical survey methods monitor iceberg calving and ice velocity near the terminus. This suite of geophysical instrumentation enables us to characterize glacier motion and geometry changes while concurrently listening for seismic energy release. We are performing a close examination of calving as a seismic source, and the associated mechanisms of energy transfer to seismic waves. Detailed observations of ice motion (GPS and optical surveying), glacier geometry and iceberg calving (direct observations and timelapse photogrammetry) have been made in concert with a passive seismic network. Combined, the observations form the basis of a rigorous analysis exploring the relationship between glacier-generated seismic events and motion, glacier-fiord interactions, calving and hydraulics. Our work is designed to demonstrate the applicability and utility of seismology to study the impact of climate forcing on calving glaciers.

  5. Low sea level rise projections from mountain glaciers and icecaps under global warming.

    PubMed

    Raper, Sarah C B; Braithwaite, Roger J

    2006-01-19

    The mean sea level has been projected to rise in the 21st century as a result of global warming. Such projections of sea level change depend on estimated future greenhouse emissions and on differing models, but model-average results from a mid-range scenario (A1B) suggests a 0.387-m rise by 2100 (refs 1, 2). The largest contributions to sea level rise are estimated to come from thermal expansion (0.288 m) and the melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps (0.106 m), with smaller inputs from Greenland (0.024 m) and Antarctica (- 0.074 m). Here we apply a melt model and a geometric volume model to our lower estimate of ice volume and assess the contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica. We provide the first separate assessment of melt contributions from mountain glaciers and icecaps, as well as an improved treatment of volume shrinkage. We find that icecaps melt more slowly than mountain glaciers, whose area declines rapidly in the 21st century, making glaciers a limiting source for ice melt. Using two climate models, we project sea level rise due to melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps to be 0.046 and 0.051 m by 2100, about half that of previous projections.

  6. Experimental evidence that microbial activity lowers the albedo of glacier surfaces: the cryoconite casserole experiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musilova, M.; Tranter, M.; Takeuchi, N.; Anesio, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Darkened glacier and ice sheet surfaces have lower albedos, absorb more solar radiation and consequently melt more rapidly. The increase in glacier surface darkening is an important positive feedback to warming global temperatures, leading to ever growing world-wide ice mass loss. Most studies focus primarily on glacial albedo darkening caused by the physical properties of snow and ice surfaces, and the deposition of dark impurities on glaciers. To date, however, the important effects of biological activity have not been included in most albedo reduction models. This study provides the first experimental evidence that microbial activity can significantly decrease the albedo of glacier surfaces. An original laboratory experiment, the cryoconite casserole, was designed to test the microbial darkening of glacier surface debris (cryoconite) under simulated Greenlandic summer conditions. It was found that minor fertilisation of the cryoconite (at nutrient concentrations typical of glacial ice melt) stimulated extensive microbial activity. Microbes intensified their organic carbon fixation and even mined phosphorous out of the glacier surface sediment. Furthermore, the microbial organic carbon production, accumulation and transformation caused the glacial debris to darken further by 17.3% reflectivity (albedo analogue). These experiments are consistent with the hypothesis that enhanced fertilisation by anthropogenic inputs results in substantial amounts of organic carbon fixation, debris darkening and ultimately to a considerable decrease in the ice albedo of glacier surfaces on global scales. The sizeable amounts of microbially produced glacier surface organic matter and nutrients can thus be a vital source of bioavailable nutrients for subglacial and downstream environments.

  7. Ablation of Martian glaciers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Henry J.; Davis, Philip A.

    1987-01-01

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

  8. Mapping the World's glaciers from space: Results from the ESA project GlobGlacier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Frank

    2010-05-01

    The ESA project GlobGlacier aims at making a substantial contribution to current efforts of mapping the World's glaciers from satellite data using (semi-)automated techniques. For this purpose a number of key regions have been identified in close cooperation with the user group of the project and based on a set of criteria (e.g. filling the gaps in current inventories, or their potential contribution to sea-level rise). Apart from glacier outlines and terminus positions, a couple of further data products are created by the project: late summer snowlines (LSSL), topographic information, elevation changes and velocity fields. While most of the products are created from optical sensors like Landsat TM/ETM+ as available from the glovis.usgs.gov website, some of them will also utilize radar sensors and LIDAR data. The inventory data are mainly created for the year 2000 (+/- a few years) to have a good temporal match with the SRTM DEM. In selected regions, multi-temporal data sets will be used for change assessment. The new data sets will be integrated in the existing databases of GLIMS and WGMS. With this contribution we provide an overview of the current status of the project as well as its major achievements. Outlines for several thousand glaciers have already been created in many of the key regions. This includes parts of Alaska (Chigmit Mts., Kenai Peninsula, Chugach Mts.), Arctic Canada (Devon, Bylot, Baffin Island), West Greenland (Disko Island, Nuussuaq, Svartenhuk), Norway (Svartisen, Jostedalsbreen), India (Kashmir) and the European Alps. The products LSSL, topography and elevation changes were also produced for several hundred glaciers and surface velocity fields have been derived for more than 50 glaciers from radar and optical sensors. Topographic information for each glacier is obtained from freely available DEMs (e.g. SRTM, ASTER GDEM) and elevation changes are derived from DEM differencing as well as repeat track altimetry using the GLAS and RA-2

  9. Arctic Warming and Sea Ice Diminution Herald Changing Glacier and Cryospheric Hazard Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, Jeffrey; Bush, Andrew; Leonard, Gregory

    2013-04-01

    The recent expansion of summertime melt zones in both Greenland and some Arctic ice caps, and the clearing of perennial sea ice from much of the Arctic, may presage more rapid shifts in mass balances of land ice than glaciologists had generally expected. The summer openings of vast stretches of open water in the Arctic, particularly in straits and the Arctic Ocean shores of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and along some Greenland coastal zones, must have a large impact on summer and early autumn temperatures and precipitation now that the surface boundary condition is no longer limited by the triple-point temperature and water-vapor pressure of H2O. This state change in the Arctic probably is part of the explanation for the expanded melt zones high in the Greenland ice sheet. However, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are vast regions subject to climatic influences of multiple marine bodies, and the situation with sea ice and climate change remains heterogeneous, and so the local climate feedbacks from sea ice diminution remain patchy. Projected forward just a few decades, it is likely that sea ice will play a significant role in the Queen Elizabeth Islands and around Greenland only in the winter months. The region is in the midst of a dramatic climate change that is affecting the mass balances of the Arctic's ice bodies; some polar-type glaciers must be transforming to polythermal, and polythermal ones to maritime-temperate types. Attendant with these shifts, glacier response times will shorten, the distribution and sizes of glacier lakes will change, unconsolidated debris will be debuttressed, and hazards-related dynamics will shift. Besides changes to outburst flood, debris flow, and rock avalanche occurrences, the tsunami hazard (with ice and debris landslide/avalanche triggers) in glacierized fjords and the surge behaviors of many glaciers is apt to increase or shift locations. For any given location, the past is no longer the key to the present, and the present

  10. Ice mass loss in Greenland, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Canadian Archipelago: Seasonal cycles and decadal trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harig, Christopher; Simons, Frederik J.

    2016-04-01

    Over the past several decades mountain glaciers and ice caps have been significant contributors to sea level rise. Here we estimate the ice mass changes in the Canadian Archipelago, the Gulf of Alaska, and Greenland since 2003 by analyzing time-varying gravimetry data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. Prior to 2013, interannual ice mass variability in the Gulf of Alaska and in regions around Greenland remains within the average estimated over the whole data span. Beginning in summer 2013, ice mass in regions around Greenland departs positively from its long-term trend. Over Greenland this anomaly reached almost 500 Gt through the end of 2014. Overall, long-term ice mass loss from Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago continues to accelerate, while losses around the Gulf of Alaska region continue but remain steady with no significant acceleration.

  11. A strategy for monitoring glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  12. Greenland Ice Flow

    NASA Video Gallery

    Greenland looks like a big pile of snow seen from space using a regular camera. But satellite radar interferometry helps us detect the motion of ice beneath the snow. Ice starts flowing from the fl...

  13. Ground Penetrating Radar Investigations in the North East of Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binder, D.; Schoener, W.; Brueckl, E.; Hynek, B.; Weyss, G.

    2009-04-01

    The scientific branch of the interdisciplinary Austrian IPY contribution FERMAP aims the North East of Greenland. Based at the Danish research station Zackenberg (74°28'N, 20°34'W) two adjacent glaciers were of main interest of the FERMAP expedition in May 2008. The Freya Glacier (74°23'N, 20°50'W) is an alpine-type valley glacier, c. 6 km² in size, situated on Clavering Island. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was performed to determine accumulation for mass balance calculation. Further GPR was used to gain ice thickness data to calculate ice thickness distribution and total ice volume. The second glacier of interest was an outlet glacier of the A. P. Olsen Ice Cap (74°38' N, 21°26' W). Again GPR was performed to yield ice thickness distribution of the outlet glacier, whereas englacial and subglacial reflections drew attention on itself. Conspicuous englacial and subglacial reflections are all located downwards in flow direction of the remaining structures of a lake outburst, and are likely to be part of an englacial and subglacial drainage system. The glacial stream of the investigated outlet glacier drains into the Zackenberg River. In the period of 1997-2008 floods where documented qualitatively by photo and quantitatively by discharge data, showing obvious peaks. Several floods occurred in the end of July, hence high discharge caused by snowmelt can be precluded. First assumptions about structures, mixtures and origin of conspicuous reflections were taken into consideration. Forward modelling revealed potential structures and mixtures of englacial and subglacial objects causing acquired GPR data. Further the theoretical structure of the subglacial drainage system was modelled using different assumptions about subglacial water pressure. Calculated drainage pathways were compared with location of conspicuous subglacial reflections to yield first estimation for the water pressure condition in the formation period of the subglacial drainage system.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-09-01

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

  15. Pattern and forcing of Northern Hemisphere glacier variations during the last millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Stephen C.

    1986-07-01

    Time series depicting mountain glacier fluctuations in the Alps display generally similar patterns over the last two centuries, as do chronologies of glacier variations for the same interval from elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Episodes of glacier advance consistently are associated with intervals of high average volcanic aerosol production, as inferred from acidity variations in a Greenland ice core. Advances occur whenever acidity levels rise sharply from background values to reach concentrations ≥1.2 μequiv H +/kg above background. A phase lag of about 10-15 yr, equivalent to reported response lags of Alpine glacier termini, separates the beginning of acidity increases from the beginning of subsequent ice advances. A similar relationship, but based on limited and less-reliable historical data and on lichenometric ages, is found for the preceding 2 centuries. Calibrated radiocarbon dates related to advances of non-calving and non-surging glaciers during the earlier part of the Little Ice Age display a comparable consistent pattern. An interval of reduced acidity values between about 1090 and 1230 A.D. correlates with a time of inferred glacier contraction during the Medieval Optimum. The observed close relation between Noothern Hemisphere glacier fluctuations and variations in Greenland ice-core acidity suggests that sulfur-rich aerosols generated by volcanic eruptions are a primary forcing mechanism of glacier fluctuations, and therefore of climate, on a decadal scale. The amount of surface cooling attributable to individual large eruptions or to episodes of eruptions is simlar to the probable average temperature reduction during culminations of Little Ice Age alacier advances (ca. 0.5°-1.2°C), as inferred from depression of equilibrium-line altitudes.

  16. Outlet-glacier flow dynamics estimation combining in-situ and spaceborne SAR measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohner, Christoph; Henke, Daniel; Small, David; Mercenier, Rémy; Lüthi, Martin; Vieli, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Terminus retreat and flow acceleration changes of ocean-terminating outlet glaciers contribute significantly to the current mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet and therefore to global sea level rise. In order to constrain models ice dynamics, detailed knowledge of geometry, ice-flow velocity and strain fields of such calving glaciers is needed. Of specific importance is the near terminus flow dynamics, as the flow fields there are highly influential on the glacier's calving rate. With the current temporal resolution of spaceborne radar systems, it is difficult to accurately capture the near terminus flow fields for fast moving outlet glaciers glaciers, while in-situ measurements using ground based radar interferometers are limited in coverage and constrained by distance and geometric shading of the glacier. We present and analyze the combined continuous velocity fields from a ground based, portable radar system as well as from spaceborne SAR scenes for Eqip Sermia, a medium-sized ocean terminating outlet glacier in western Greenland. The flow fields for the spaceborne data are calculated using feature tracking with a temporal resolution of 12 and 24 days for Sentinel-1 (Interferometric Wide Swath) and RADARSAT-2 (Ultra Fine/Fine Quad) respectively. The in-situ terrestrial radar data were recorded at one minute intervals were additionally processed using interferometry. The combination of in-situ and spaceborne radar enables a spatially continuous assessment of the strain fields of the ocean terminating outlet glacier. An assimilation of the data based on areas with both in-situ and spaceborne measurements is carried out and the results are compared to historical strain field data sets. These data ultimately provide constraints for a physical fracture and damage model.

  17. Testing hypotheses of the cause of peripheral thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet: is land-terminating ice thinning at anomalously high rates?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sole, A.; Payne, T.; Bamber, J.; Nienow, P.; Krabill, W.

    2008-12-01

    Recent observations have shown that the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is thinning rapidly and that this thinning is greatest around marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Several theories have been proposed which provide a link between climate and ice thinning. We present surface elevation change (dh/dt) data from NASA's Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA) laser altimetry surveys for fourteen and eleven of the largest outlet glaciers in Southern Greenland from 1993 to 1998 and 1998 to 2006 respectively to test the applicability of these theories to the GrIS. Initially, outlet glacier dh/dt data are compared with data from concurrent surveys over inland ice (slow flowing ice that is not obviously draining into an outlet glacier) to confirm the effect of ice flow on surface thinning rates. Land-terminating and marine-terminating outlet glacier dh/dt data are then compared from 1993 to 1998 and from 1998 to 2006. Finally, ablation anomalies (the difference between the "normal" ablation rate from 1970 to 2000 and the ablation rate in the time period of interest) calculated with a positive degree day model are compared to both marine-terminating and land-terminating outlet glacier dh/dt data. Our results support earlier conclusions that certain marine-terminating outlet glaciers have thinned much more than land-terminating outlet glaciers during both time periods. Furthermore we show that these differences are not limited to the largest, fastest-flowing outlet glaciers - almost all marine-terminating outlet glaciers are thinning more than land-terminating outlet glaciers. There was a four fold increase in mean marine-terminating outlet glacier thinning rates below 1000 m elevation between the periods 1993 to 1998 and 1998 to 2006, while thinning rates of land-terminating outlet glaciers remained statistically unchanged. This suggests that a change in a controlling mechanism specific to the thinning rates of marine-terminating outlet

  18. The Dynamics of Greenland's Glacial Fjords and Their Role in Climate.

    PubMed

    Straneo, Fiamma; Cenedese, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Rapid mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has sparked interest in its glacial fjords for two main reasons: Increased submarine melting of glaciers terminating in fjords is a plausible trigger for glacier retreat, and the anomalous freshwater discharged from Greenland is transformed by fjord processes before being released into the large-scale ocean. Knowledge of the fjords' dynamics is thus key to understanding ice sheet variability and its impact on climate. Although Greenland's fjords share some commonalities with other fjords, their deep sills and deeply grounded glaciers, the presence of Atlantic and Polar Waters on the continental shelves outside the fjords' mouths, and the seasonal discharge at depth of large amounts of surface melt make them unique systems that do not fit existing paradigms. Major gaps in understanding include the interaction of the buoyancy-driven circulation (forced by the glacier) and shelf-driven circulation, and the dynamics in the near-ice zone. These must be addressed before appropriate forcing conditions can be supplied to ice sheet and ocean/climate models.

  19. Hydrologic controls on coastal suspended sediment plumes around the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, V. W.; Smith, L. C.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Forster, R. R.; Box, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Increasing surface melting on the Greenland ice sheet and rising sea level have furthered the need for direct observations of meltwater release from the ice sheet to ocean. Buoyant sediment plumes develop in fjords downstream of outlet glaciers and are controlled by a variety of complex factors, including ice sheet meltwater runoff and fluvial processes. This study classifies average plume suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) around the Greenland ice sheet derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery and field data over the period 2000-2009. Spatial and temporal variations in SSC are compared with ice sheet positive-degree-days (PDD), a proxy for ice sheet surface melting, as modeled from the Polar MM5 regional climate model, and outlet glacier environment, as represented by land- or marine-terminating glaciers. Buoyant plume SSCs are successfully retrieved around most of Greenland. Higher ice sheet melting around Greenland produces higher SSCs in surrounding coastal waters. The southwest region, dominated by land-terminating glaciers, experiences highest PDDs and produces plumes with highest SSCs, which typically persist late into the meltwater runoff season. Interannual variations in ice sheet PDD and plume SSC are not coupled as previously demonstrated in Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Chu et al. 2009), suggesting plume dimensions better capture interannual runoff dynamics than SSC. This first exploration of coastal sediment plumes around Greenland demonstrates that while complex factors influence their development and detection, ice sheet hydrology is a dominant control on plume distribution. Satellite remote sensing thus offers a unique methodology for detecting meltwater release from the ice sheet to global ocean.

  20. Observational data from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Box, J. E.; Citterio, M.; Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg, L.; Kristensen, S. S.; Petersen, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change in the Arctic has resulted in accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet. The shortage of observations on the Greenland ice sheet infers large uncertainties in estimates of the ice mass loss and in predicting the contribution to sea level rise. For this reason the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) was established in 2007. The aim of the programme is to quantify the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. Within PROMICE data sets from several activities are collected. These include: A network of currently 19 automatic weather stations on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet measuring ice ablation and snow fall as well as meteorological parameters. Airborne surveys, yielding surface elevation and ice depth along the entire margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Mapping of all Greenland ice masses, based on the highest detail aero-photogrammetric maps produced from mid-80's aerial photographs. Real-time data from the PROMICE automatic weather station network is shown in at the PROMICE web site www.promice.org and the data is freely available for download. Data from the airborne surveys and mapping activities will also become freely available. Data from PROMICE also contribute to the website www.polarportal.org which is a new Danish web site for providing updated information on the arctic cryosphere to the public.

  1. The GLIMS Glacier Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  2. Glacier seismology: eavesdropping on the ice-bed interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, F.; Röösli, C.

    2015-12-01

    Glacier sliding plays a central role in ice dynamics. A number of remote sensing and deep drilling initiatives have therefore focused on the ice-bed interface. Although these techniques have provided valuable insights into bed properties, they do not supply theorists with data of sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to rigorously test mathematical sliding laws. As an alternative, passive seismic techniques have gained popularity in glacier monitoring. Analysis of glacier-related seismic sources ('icequakes') has become a useful technique to study inaccessible regions of the cryosphere, including the ice-bed interface. Seismic monitoring networks on the polar ice sheets have shown that ice sliding is not only a smooth process involving viscous deformation and regelation of basal ice layers. Instead, ice streams exhibit sudden slip episodes over their beds and intermittent phases of partial or complete stagnation. Here we discuss new and recently published discoveries of basal seismic sources beneath various glacial bodies. We revisit basal seismicity of hard-bedded Alpine glaciers, which is not the result of pure stick-slip motion. Sudden changes in seismicity suggest that the local configuration of the subglacial drainage system undergoes changes on sub daily time scales. Accordingly, such observations place constraints on basal resistance and sliding of hard-bedded glaciers. In contrast, certain clusters of stick-slip dislocations associated with micro seismicity beneath the Greenland ice sheet undergo diurnal variations in magnitudes and inter event times. This is best explained with a soft till bed, which hosts the shear dislocations and whose strength varies in response to changes in subglacial water pressure. These results suggest that analysis of basal icequakes is well suited for characterizing glacier and ice sheet beds. Future studies should address the relative importance between "smooth" and seismogenic sliding in different glacial environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-29

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

  4. Karakoram glacier surge dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  5. Past and current changes in the marine outlets of the Northeast Greenland ice stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathmann, Nicholas; Grindsted, Aslak; Hvidberg, Christine; Gudmundsson, Hilmar

    2016-04-01

    The dynamic mass loss from marine terminating outlet glaciers is a significant contribution to the current mass budget of the Greenland ice sheet. Using the Uá shallow shelf approximation model, this study presents initial results on the past and current seasonal variations of basal properties of the marine outlets of the Northeast Greenland ice stream, one of which recently has been found to exhibit an accelerated retreat since 2012. Further more, the groundwork is laid out for future work on correlating such changes with climatic parameters and determining possible impacts on the up-stream catchment area.

  6. Sea ice studies in the Spitsbergen-Greenland area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vinje, T. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Detailed information on the outflow through the Fram Strait of ice from the Polar Ocean over shorter periods was obtained. It is found that the speed of the outflow may vary about 100% over periods of a few days. The core of the East Greenland Current is found between 2 deg E and 4 deg W. The speed of the surface water at 81 deg N is for a calm period estimated to be about 10 cm/s. A new surging glacier was discovered and new fronts of several glaciers were determined. The variation of the snow line with respect to distance from the coast was for the first time determined for the southern part of Spitsbergen. Great variations were observed, from 200 m in east to 550 m in the central area of the island.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderVeen, Cornelius

    2003-01-01

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

  8. Ice stream retreat following the LGM and onset of the west Greenland current in Uummannaq Trough, west Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Christina; Jennings, Anne; Andrews, John T.; Ó Cofaigh, Colm; Hogan, Kelly; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig

    2016-09-01

    The deglacial history and oceanography of Uummannaq Trough, central West Greenland continental shelf, was investigated using foraminiferal, sedimentological, and bathymetric records together with a radiocarbon chronology, providing a timeline for the retreat of glacial ice after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). To map ice stream retreat, data were collected from cores from the outer (JR175-VC45 and JR175-VC43) and inner (JR175-VC42) Uummannaq Trough. A large ice stream, fed by confluent glaciers draining the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, extended across the outer shelf during the LGM and was in retreat by 15.0 cal kyr BP. Foraminiferal data indicate that the 'warm' West Greenland Current (WGC) was established prior to 14.0 cal kyr BP, which is the hitherto earliest record of Atlantic Water found on the West Greenland shelf. For each of the cores, foraminifera indicate that ice sheet retreat was followed quickly by incursion of the WGC, suggesting that the warm water may have enhanced ice retreat. Prior to the Younger Dryas cold event, the radiocarbon chronology indicates that the ice sheet retreated to the mid-shelf, where it subsequently stabilised and formed a large grounding-zone wedge (GZW). After the Younger Dryas, around 11.5 cal kyr BP, the ice retreated rapidly from the GZW and into the fjords.

  9. 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.

  10. Climate regime of Asian glaciers revealed by GAMDAM Glacier Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. An early Holocene Greenland whale from Melville Bugt, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennike, Ole

    2008-01-01

    Radiocarbon age determination of a Greenland whale ( Balaena mysticetus) vertebra from Melville Bugt in northwestern Greenland yields an age of 9259-8989 cal yr BP. The margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet in Melville Bugt was situated behind its AD 1950-2000 position in the early Holocene, at a similar position to that being reached following rapid retreat in recent years. Such an early deglaciation of areas close to the Greenland Ice Sheet is unusual. This probably reflects the unique glaciological setting resulting from the narrow fringe of ice-free islands and peninsulas and offshore waters with deep areas that characterize this part of Greenland. The timing of Greenland Ice Sheet retreat to its present margin varies significantly around Greenland.

  12. Detailed spatiotemporal albedo observations at Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Yde, Jacob C.; Malmros, Jeppe K.

    2015-04-01

    Surface albedo is defined as the reflected fraction of incoming solar shortwave radiation at the surface. On Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher the mean glacier-wide MODIS-estimated albedo dropped by 0.10 (2000-2013) from 0.43 to 0.33 by the end of the mass balance year (EBY). Hand-held albedo measurements as low as 0.10 were observed over debris-covered ice at the glacier margin at the EBY: these values were slightly below observed values for proglacial bedrock (~0.2). The albedo is highly variable in space - a significant variability occurred within few meters at the glacier margin area ranging from 0.10 to 0.39 due to variability in debris-cover thickness and composition, microbial activity (including algae and cyanobacteria), snow grain crystal metamorphism, bare ice exposure, and meltwater ponding. Huge dark-red-brown-colored ice algae colonies were observed. Albedo measurements on snow patches and bare glacier ice changed significant with increasing elevations (180-600 m a.s.l.) by lapse rates of 0.04 and 0.03 per 100 m, respectively, indicating values as high as 0.82 and 0.40 on the upper part of the glacier. Over a period of two weeks from early August to late August 2014 the hand-held observed mean glacier-wide albedo changed from 0.40 to 0.30 indicating that on average 10% more incoming solar shortwave radiation became available for surface ablation at the end of the melt season.

  13. 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

  14. Glaciological investigations on modern ice sheet response in South Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, C.; Bøggild, C. E.; Podlech, S.; Olesen, O. B.

    2003-04-01

    The reaction of the large ice sheets to global climate change is still in the focus of scientific debate. Recent investigations have shown pronounced thinning in the southern part of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In order to investigate the cause of the observed thinning in this area and to judge the sensitivity of this part of the ice sheet a combined field work, remote sensing and modelling project was designed. A glaciological transect was established in May 2001 on one of the main outlet glaciers in South Greenland, where the first data series have been collected. This transect aims on monitoring the modern climatic conditions in an area of the ice sheet which is strongest affected by the recently observed thinning. A mass balance/elevation relation has been calculated from the field data, which is used as input to a regional ice dynamic model for investigating the dynamic conditions of this area. Modelled surface velocities are compared to GPS field measurements in order to constrain model parameters. Results show that the sensitivity of the ice sheet to climatic changes varies considerably along the southern margin. The history of the glacier variations in the same area during the last 40 years has been reconstructed on the basis of aerial photographs and satellite images. Comparing the development of the retreat in this area over the last decades with the maximum extent of the ice sheet from the 1890s indicates a strong increase in the recession of the margin. The estimated thinning from these observations is in good agreement with the recent laser altimeter measurements. The observed surface lowering is also responsible for the fast disintegration of several glacier tongues of tide water glaciers in the area.

  15. Angalasut, an education and outreach project to create a bridge between scientists, local population in Greenland and the general public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgain, Pascaline

    2015-04-01

    Bridging Science and Society has now become a necessity for scientists to develop new partnerships with local communities and to raise the public interest for scientific activities. The French-Greenlandic educational project called "Angalasut" reflects this desire to create a bridge between science, local people and the general public. This program was set up on the 2012-2013 school year, as part of an international scientific program dedicated to study the interactions between the ocean and glaciers on the western coast of Greenland, in the Uummannaq fjord. Greenlandic and French school children were involved in educational activities, in classrooms and out on the field, associated with the scientific observations conducted in Greenland (glacier flow, ocean chemical composition and circulation, instrumentation...). In Greenland, the children had the opportunity to come on board the scientific sailing boat, and in France, several meetings were organized between the children and the scientists of the expedition. In the small village of Ikerasak, the children interviewed Elders about sea ice evolution in the area. These activities, coupled to the organization of public conferences and to the creation of a trilingual website of the project (French, Greenlandic, English) aimed at explaining why scientists come to study Greenland environment. This was the opportunity for scientists to discuss with villagers who could testify on their changing environment over the past decades. A first step toward a future collaboration between scientists and villagers that would deserve further development... The project Angalasut was also the opportunity for Greenlandic and French school children to exchange about their culture and their environment through Skype communications, the exchange of mails (drawings, shells...), the creation of a society game about European fauna and flora... A meeting in France between the two groups of children is considered, possibly in summer 2015

  16. A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Cogley, J Graham; Wouters, Bert; Arendt, Anthony A; Wahr, John; Berthier, Etienne; Hock, Regine; Pfeffer, W Tad; Kaser, Georg; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Bolch, Tobias; Sharp, Martin J; Hagen, Jon Ove; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Paul, Frank

    2013-05-17

    Glaciers distinct from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are losing large amounts of water to the world's oceans. However, estimates of their contribution to sea level rise disagree. We provide a consensus estimate by standardizing existing, and creating new, mass-budget estimates from satellite gravimetry and altimetry and from local glaciological records. In many regions, local measurements are more negative than satellite-based estimates. All regions lost mass during 2003-2009, with the largest losses from Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes, and high-mountain Asia, but there was little loss from glaciers in Antarctica. Over this period, the global mass budget was -259 ± 28 gigatons per year, equivalent to the combined loss from both ice sheets and accounting for 29 ± 13% of the observed sea level rise.

  17. Alaska Glaciers and Rivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Peeking Under the Ice… Literally: Records of Arctic Climate Change from Radiocarbon Dating Moss Emerging from Beneath Retreating Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briner, J. P.; Schweinsberg, A.; Miller, G. H.; Lifton, N. A.; Beel, C. R.; Bennike, O.

    2014-12-01

    Dramatic changes are taking place throughout the Arctic. Many glaciers have already melted away completely, and most others are well on their way as rising snowline elevations promise continued glacier retreat. Emerging from beneath retreating glacier margins is a landscape rich in information about past climate and glacier changes. Within newly exposed bedrock is an inventory of cosmogenic nuclides that archive past ice cover timing and duration. Lake basins re-appearing due to retreating ice preserve sediment archives that tell of cooling climate and advancing ice. And ancient surfaces vegetated with tundra communities that have long been entombed beneath frozen-bedded ice caps are now being revealed for the first time in millennia. This presentation will focus on the climate and glacier record derived from radiocarbon dating of in situ moss recently exhumed from retreating local ice cap margins on western Greenland. Dozens of radiocarbon ages from moss group into several distinct modes, which are interpreted as discrete times of persistent summer cooling and resultant glacier expansion. The data reveal a pattern of glacier expansion beginning ~5000 years ago, followed by periods of glacier growth around 3500 and 1500 years ago. Because these times of glacier expansion are recorded at many sites in western Greenland and elsewhere in the Arctic, they are interpreted as times of step-wise summer cooling events during the Holocene. These non-linear climate changes may be a result of feedbacks that amplify linear insolation forcing of Holocene climate. In addition to these insights into the Arctic climate system, the antiquity of many radiocarbon ages of ice-killed moss indicate that many arctic surfaces are being re-exposed for the first time in millennia due to retreating ice, emphasizing the unprecedented nature of current summer warming.

  20. Using glacier seismicity for phase velocity measurements and Green's function retrieval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Fabian; Roux, Philippe; Roeoesli, Claudia; Lecointre, Albanne; Kilb, Debi; Roux, Pierre-François

    2015-06-01

    High-melt areas of glaciers and ice sheets foster a rich spectrum of ambient seismicity. These signals not only shed light on source mechanisms (e.g. englacial fracturing, water flow, iceberg detachment, basal motion) but also carry information about seismic wave propagation within glacier ice. Here, we present two approaches to measure and potentially monitor phase velocities of high-frequency seismic waves (≥1 Hz) using naturally occurring glacier seismicity. These two approaches were developed for data recorded by on-ice seasonal seismic networks on the Greenland Ice Sheet and a Swiss Alpine glacier. The Greenland data set consists of continuous seismograms, dominated by long-term tremor-like signals of englacial water flow, whereas the Alpine data were collected in triggered mode producing 1-2 s long records that include fracture events within the ice (`icequakes'). We use a matched-field processing technique to retrieve frequency-dependent phase velocity measurements for the Greenland data. In principle, this phase dispersion relationship can be inverted for ice sheet thickness and bed properties. For these Greenland data, inversion of the dispersion curve yields a bedrock depth of 541 m, which may be too small by as much as 35 per cent. We suggest that the discrepancy is due to lateral changes in ice sheet depth and bed properties beneath the network, which may cause unaccounted mixing of surface wave modes in the dispersion curve. The Swiss Alpine icequake records, on the other hand, allow for reconstruction of the impulse response between two seismometers. The direct and scattered wave fields from the vast numbers of icequake records (tens of thousands per month) can be used to measure small changes in englacial velocities and thus monitor structural changes within the ice.

  1. Converging flow and anisotropy cause large-scale folding in Greenland's ice sheet

    PubMed Central

    Bons, Paul D.; Jansen, Daniela; Mundel, Felicitas; Bauer, Catherine C.; Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Jessell, Mark W.; Llorens, Maria-Gema; Steinbach, Florian; Steinhage, Daniel; Weikusat, Ilka

    2016-01-01

    The increasing catalogue of high-quality ice-penetrating radar data provides a unique insight in the internal layering architecture of the Greenland ice sheet. The stratigraphy, an indicator of past deformation, highlights irregularities in ice flow and reveals large perturbations without obvious links to bedrock shape. In this work, to establish a new conceptual model for the formation process, we analysed the radar data at the onset of the Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, and created a three-dimensional model of several distinct stratigraphic layers. We demonstrate that the dominant structures are cylindrical folds sub-parallel to the ice flow. By numerical modelling, we show that these folds can be formed by lateral compression of mechanically anisotropic ice, while a general viscosity contrast between layers would not lead to folding for the same boundary conditions. We conclude that the folds primarily form by converging flow as the mechanically anisotropic ice is channelled towards the glacier. PMID:27126274

  2. Converging flow and anisotropy cause large-scale folding in Greenland's ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Bons, Paul D; Jansen, Daniela; Mundel, Felicitas; Bauer, Catherine C; Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Jessell, Mark W; Llorens, Maria-Gema; Steinbach, Florian; Steinhage, Daniel; Weikusat, Ilka

    2016-01-01

    The increasing catalogue of high-quality ice-penetrating radar data provides a unique insight in the internal layering architecture of the Greenland ice sheet. The stratigraphy, an indicator of past deformation, highlights irregularities in ice flow and reveals large perturbations without obvious links to bedrock shape. In this work, to establish a new conceptual model for the formation process, we analysed the radar data at the onset of the Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, and created a three-dimensional model of several distinct stratigraphic layers. We demonstrate that the dominant structures are cylindrical folds sub-parallel to the ice flow. By numerical modelling, we show that these folds can be formed by lateral compression of mechanically anisotropic ice, while a general viscosity contrast between layers would not lead to folding for the same boundary conditions. We conclude that the folds primarily form by converging flow as the mechanically anisotropic ice is channelled towards the glacier. PMID:27126274

  3. Fast retreat of Zachariæ Isstrøm, northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mouginot, J.; Rignot, E.; Scheuchl, B.; Fenty, I.; Khazendar, A.; Morlighem, M.; Buzzi, A.; Paden, J.

    2015-12-01

    After 8 years of decay of its ice shelf, Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major glacier of northeast Greenland that holds a 0.5-meter sea-level rise equivalent, entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is now occurring at its grounding line. Warmer air and ocean temperatures have caused the glacier to detach from a stabilizing sill and retreat rapidly along a downward-sloping, marine-based bed. Its equal-ice-volume neighbor, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, is also melting rapidly but retreating slowly along an upward-sloping bed. The destabilization of this marine-based sector will increase sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades to come.

  4. Converging flow and anisotropy cause large-scale folding in Greenland's ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bons, Paul D.; Jansen, Daniela; Mundel, Felicitas; Bauer, Catherine C.; Binder, Tobias; Eisen, Olaf; Jessell, Mark W.; Llorens, Maria-Gema; Steinbach, Florian; Steinhage, Daniel; Weikusat, Ilka

    2016-04-01

    The increasing catalogue of high-quality ice-penetrating radar data provides a unique insight in the internal layering architecture of the Greenland ice sheet. The stratigraphy, an indicator of past deformation, highlights irregularities in ice flow and reveals large perturbations without obvious links to bedrock shape. In this work, to establish a new conceptual model for the formation process, we analysed the radar data at the onset of the Petermann Glacier, North Greenland, and created a three-dimensional model of several distinct stratigraphic layers. We demonstrate that the dominant structures are cylindrical folds sub-parallel to the ice flow. By numerical modelling, we show that these folds can be formed by lateral compression of mechanically anisotropic ice, while a general viscosity contrast between layers would not lead to folding for the same boundary conditions. We conclude that the folds primarily form by converging flow as the mechanically anisotropic ice is channelled towards the glacier.

  5. Q Fever in Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Svendsen, Claus Bo; Christensen, Jens Jørgen; Bundgaard, Henning; Vindfeld, Lars; Christiansen, Claus Bohn; Kemp, Michael; Villumsen, Steen

    2010-01-01

    We report a patient with Q fever endocarditis in a settlement in eastern Greenland (Isortoq, Ammassalik area). Likely animal sources include sled dogs and seals. Q fever may be underdiagnosed in Arctic areas but may also represent an emerging infection. PMID:20202433

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Tectonic events in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahl-Jensen, T.; Voss, P.; Larsen, T.; Pinna, L.

    2012-12-01

    In Greenland a station separation of around 400km mean that many earthquakes are only detected on one or two stations. The development of the seismic monitoring have gone from having only three seismic stations in Greenland up to the late 1990'ies, till today where there are 18 permanent stations. All stations are equipped with broadband sensors and all of the permanent stations transmit data in real time. The recent major improvement of the seismic monitoring is performed by the Greenland ice sheet monitoring network (GLISN, http://glisn.info). The primary goal of GLISN is to provide broadband seismic data for the detection of glacial earthquakes. GLISN is now fully implemented with Iridium real time data transfer is in operation at five stations. In the Ammassalik region in Southeast Greenland, where small earthquakes often are felt, data from a temporary additional station has been utilized for a study covering 9 months in 2008/9. In this period 62 local earthquakes have been analyzed and re-located. Some of the events had formerly been located from distant stations by using a universal earth model. The result of this localization was a scattered distribution of the events in the region. The locations have now been improved by using a local earth model along with phase readings from two local stations not previously included; ANG in Tasiilaq and ISOG in Isortoq. From relocating the events two zones with a higher degree of seismicity than in the rest of the region are observed. The first zone is located by felsic intrusions. The second zone is at the boundary between the Archaean Craton and the Ammasalik region where reworked Archaean gneisses are dominating the geology. During the analysis it was observed that the additional information from the local stations are of great importance for the result. Active broad band stations in Greenland

  8. Radiostratigraphy and age structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    MacGregor, Joseph A; Fahnestock, Mark A; Catania, Ginny A; Paden, John D; Prasad Gogineni, S; Young, S Keith; Rybarski, Susan C; Mabrey, Alexandria N; Wagman, Benjamin M; Morlighem, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Several decades of ice-penetrating radar surveys of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have observed numerous widespread internal reflections. Analysis of this radiostratigraphy has produced valuable insights into ice sheet dynamics and motivates additional mapping of these reflections. Here we present a comprehensive deep radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet from airborne deep ice-penetrating radar data collected over Greenland by The University of Kansas between 1993 and 2013. To map this radiostratigraphy efficiently, we developed new techniques for predicting reflection slope from the phase recorded by coherent radars. When integrated along track, these slope fields predict the radiostratigraphy and simplify semiautomatic reflection tracing. Core-intersecting reflections were dated using synchronized depth-age relationships for six deep ice cores. Additional reflections were dated by matching reflections between transects and by extending reflection-inferred depth-age relationships using the local effective vertical strain rate. The oldest reflections, dating to the Eemian period, are found mostly in the northern part of the ice sheet. Within the onset regions of several fast-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams, reflections typically do not conform to the bed topography. Disrupted radiostratigraphy is also observed in a region north of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream that is not presently flowing rapidly. Dated reflections are used to generate a gridded age volume for most of the ice sheet and also to determine the depths of key climate transitions that were not observed directly. This radiostratigraphy provides a new constraint on the dynamics and history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Key Points Phase information predicts reflection slope and simplifies reflection tracing Reflections can be dated away from ice cores using a simple ice flow model Radiostratigraphy is often disrupted near the onset of fast ice flow PMID:26213664

  9. Seasonal changes in Fe along a glaciated Greenlandic fjord.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopwood, Mark; Connelly, Douglas; Arendt, Kristine; Juul-Pedersen, Thomas; Stinchcombe, Mark; Meire, Lorenz; Esposito, Mario; Krishna, Ram

    2016-03-01

    Greenland's ice sheet is the second largest on Earth, and is under threat from a warming Arctic climate. An increase in freshwater discharge from Greenland has the potential to strongly influence the composition of adjacent water masses with the largest impact on marine ecosystems likely to be found within the glaciated fjords. Here we demonstrate that physical and chemical estuarine processes within a large Greenlandic fjord are critical factors in determining the fate of meltwater derived nutrients and particles, especially for non-conservative elements such as Fe. Concentrations of Fe and macronutrients in surface waters along Godthåbsfjord, a southwest Greenlandic fjord with freshwater input from 6 glaciers, changed markedly between the onset and peak of the meltwater season due to the development of a thin (<10 m), outflowing, low-salinity surface layer. Dissolved (<0.2 µm) Fe concentrations in meltwater entering Godthåbsfjord (200 nM), in freshly melted glacial ice (mean 38 nM) and in surface waters close to a land terminating glacial system (80 nM) all indicated high Fe inputs into the fjord in summer. Total dissolvable (unfiltered at pH <2.0) Fe was similarly high with concentrations always in excess of 100 nM throughout the fjord and reaching up to 5.0 µM close to glacial outflows in summer. Yet, despite the large seasonal freshwater influx into the fjord, Fe concentrations near the fjord mouth in the out-flowing surface layer were similar in summer to those measured before the meltwater season. Furthermore, turbidity profiles indicated that sub-glacial particulate Fe inputs may not actually mix into the outflowing surface layer of this fjord. Emphasis has previously been placed on the possibility of increased Fe export from Greenland as meltwater fluxes increase. Here we suggest that in-fjord processes may be effective at removing Fe from surface waters before it can be exported to coastal seas.

  10. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Recently, Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center discovered in Landsat 7 imagery a newly-formed crack traversing the Pine Island Glacier. This crack

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  12. Rapid wastage of Alaska glaciers and their contribution to rising sea level.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Anthony A; Echelmeyer, Keith A; Harrison, William D; Lingle, Craig S; Valentine, Virginia B

    2002-07-19

    We have used airborne laser altimetry to estimate volume changes of 67 glaciers in Alaska from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. The average rate of thickness change of these glaciers was -0.52 m/year. Extrapolation to all glaciers in Alaska yields an estimated total annual volume change of -52 +/- 15 km3/year (water equivalent), equivalent to a rise in sea level (SLE) of 0.14 +/- 0.04 mm/year. Repeat measurements of 28 glaciers from the mid-1990s to 2000-2001 suggest an increased average rate of thinning, -1.8 m/year. This leads to an extrapolated annual volume loss from Alaska glaciers equal to -96 +/- 35 km3/year, or 0.27 +/- 0.10 mm/year SLE, during the past decade. These recent losses are nearly double the estimated annual loss from the entire Greenland Ice Sheet during the same time period and are much higher than previously published loss estimates for Alaska glaciers. They form the largest glaciological contribution to rising sea level yet measured.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Snow and Glacier Hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brubaker, Kaye

    The study of snow and ice is rich in both fundamental science and practical applications. Snow and Glacier Hydrology offers something for everyone, from resource practitioners in regions where water supply depends on seasonal snow pack or glaciers, to research scientists seeking to understand the role of the solid phase in the water cycle and climate. The book is aimed at the advanced undergraduate or graduate-level student. A perusal of online documentation for snow hydrology classes suggests that there is currently no single text or reference book on this topic in general use. Instructors rely on chapters from general hydrology texts or operational manuals, collections of journal papers, or their own notes. This variety reflects the fact that snow and ice regions differ in climate, topography, language, water law, hazards, and resource use (hydropower, irrigation, recreation). Given this diversity, producing a universally applicable book is a challenge.

  15. Spatial Variations in the Acceleration Field of Outlet Glaciers and Ice Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jezek, K. C.

    2006-12-01

    Solutions to the equations of motion for outlet glaciers and ice streams of Greenland and Antarctica are commonly based on the assumption that there is no net force acting on any element in the ice volume. That is, the resistive forces retarding glacier flow such as basal drag exactly balance the driving force that originates from gravity. This is a very good assumption because the actual acceleration of the ice is many orders of magnitude smaller than the gravitational acceleration. Still, the net acceleration along the glacier is not exactly zero and in this paper we examine what the acceleration is, how it varies spatially, and how patterns of acceleration differ between various ice streams and outlet glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland. We use densely sampled measurements of surface velocity to compute the spatial acceleration field. The velocities are derived from interferometric synthetic aperture radar data. The acceleration is computed by simply expanding the total, time-derivatives of the velocity components and then evaluating the derivates using a simple differencing approach based on various averaging grids. At this point we only evaluate acceleration assuming that the velocity field itself is not changing with time, however the total acceleration can be computed using multiple observations of the velocity field over time as is now possible. With this caveat in mind, we find the expected result that glacier acceleration is small. For example, the magnitude of the acceleration along the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf is only about 10 m/yr/yr increasing only several times along the shear margins. Somewhat unexpectedly, we find that the acceleration field is highly organized with clear representations of the shear margins well into the smallest upstream tributaries of the Lambert system as well as the West Antarctic Ice Streams and the ice streams draining into the Filchner Ice Shelf. We also observe that the acceleration fields, as distinguished

  16. 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

  17. Late-Holocene Fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Insights from a south Greenland threshold lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, G.; Carlson, A. E.; Reilly, B.

    2015-12-01

    Several centennial-scale climate fluctuations during the late-Holocene make it an ideal test case for examining the effects of climate change on sea level at societally-relevant timescales. Across much of the Arctic, glaciers and ice sheets reached their maximum late-Holocene extent during the Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400-1900 C.E.), approximately coincident with the global temperature minima observed during this time. However, ongoing work suggests the south Greenland Ice Sheet (sGrIS) may have behaved differently during the late-Holocene, with several outlet glaciers retreating, rather than advancing, during the LIA, possibly due to regional warming in the region different from the Arctic trend. The Qassimiut lobe, a low-lying piedmont-like extension of the sGrIS, may be especially sensitive to late-Holocene climate changes. Geomorphic evidence outboard of Naujaat Sermia, an outlet glacier draining the Qassimiut lobe, suggests three distinct periods of land exposure. We hypothesize these occurred during the last deglacial period, after an advance from near or behind the present margin during the Neoglacial, and during warming following the Little Ice Age in the last 1-2 centuries. Here, we present data from threshold lake cores immediately outboard of the presumed Neoglacial moraine. A sharp contact divides glacial sands and silts from organic gyttja, indicating glacial retreat from the moraine and subsequent meltwater diversion. The contact is accompanied by several geochemical changes, including increased Fe/Ti ratios, increased Br, and decreased Si and K, indicating a switch from more clastic to organic sedimentation. Radiocarbon ages from eight macrofossils immediately above this contact are calibrated to 1350-1950 C.E., suggesting the ice sheet may have retreated from its late-Holocene maximum during the Little Ice Age, but the wide range in ages suggests reworking of organic material may be significant in this region.

  18. Intermittent thinning of Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, since the Little Ice Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csatho, Bea; Schenk, Toni; van der Veen, C. J.; Krabill, William B.

    Rapid thinning and velocity increase on major Greenland outlet glaciers during the last two decades may indicate that these glaciers became unstable as a consequence of the Jakobshavn effect (Hughes, 1986), with terminus retreat leading to increased discharge from the interior and consequent further thinning and retreat. To assess whether recent trends deviate from longer-term behavior, we measured glacier surface elevations and terminus positions for Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, using historical photographs acquired in 1944, 1953, 1959, 1964 and 1985. These results were combined with data from historical records, aerial photographs, ground surveys, airborne laser altimetry and field mapping of lateral moraines and trimlines, to reconstruct the history of changes since the Little Ice Age (LIA). We identified three periods of rapid thinning since the LIA: 1902-13, 1930-59 and 1999-present. During the first half of the 20th century, the calving front appears to have been grounded and it started to float during the late 1940s. The south and north tributaries exhibit different behavior. For example, the north tributary was thinning between 1959 and 1985 during a period when the calving front was stationary and the south tributary was in balance. The record of intermittent thinning, combined with changes in ice-marginal extent and position of the calving front, together with changes in velocity, imply that the behavior of the lower parts of this glacier represents a complex ice-dynamical response to local climate forcings and interactions with drainage from the interior.

  19. Gravity in Greenland

    SciTech Connect

    Hughes, R.J.; Goldman, T.; Nieto, M.M.

    1988-01-01

    Preliminary results of the test of the Newtonian Law of Gravitation conducted by Ander et al., in a borehole in the Greenland ice-cap were reported at this meeting. In this paper we consider the interpretations of these results in terms of a non-Newtonian component of gravity, and compare them with the results of other geophysical inverse-square law tests. 8 refs.

  20. Supraglacial fluvial landscape evolution on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlstrom, L.; Yang, K.

    2015-12-01

    In the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet, melting during the summer drives drainage development in which flow is routed downslope through a network of supgraglacial streams and lakes until it is sequestered by the englacial system or flows off of the glacier. This supraglacial drainage network sets the efficacy by which melt water is transport into the glacier and thus has important implications for coupling between ice sheet sliding and surface melt. Thermal erosion in supraglacial streams is rapid compared to other fluvial environments, raising the possibility that supraglacial topographic evolution is to some extent set by local fluvial incision rather than by underlying bedrock or iceflow. We study a series of supraglacial drainage basins on top of the West Greenland Ice Sheet between 1000-1500 m elevation using a combination of high-resolution images, and concurrent (2 m resolution) DEMs constructed from World View Imagery. Although large-scale topography correlates well with underlying bedrock topography, spectral filtering of the surface also reveals broad, low relief valleys that suggest fluvial modification at all elevations. We extract several hundred supraglacial stream longitudinal profiles per drainage basin, finding many channel segments that are clearly out of equilibrium but also numerous concave up channel segments that are not well correlated with underlying bedrock. These concave up segments have a similar power law exponent, suggesting similarities to equilibrium bedrock and alluvial rivers (although the exponent is different in this setting). We develop a stream-power model to predict equilibrium longitudinal profiles where erosion is due to melting driving by viscous dissipation of heat within streams. We speculate that fluvial erosion driven by viscous dissipation is in part responsible for shaping the Greenland Ice Sheet ablation zone annually, superimposed on long wavelength bedrock control of surface topography and basins.

  1. Greenland's mass balance observed by GRACE between 2003-2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wouters, B.; Schrama, E.

    2009-04-01

    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites have been providing the scientific community with a quasi-continuous record of the Earth's gravity field over the last 6 years. Due to its global coverage, it offers an excellent tool to study mass changes over large regions. Among others, GRACE has lead to a leap in our understanding of the mass balance of Greenland ice sheet, which was indirectly known until a few years ago. In this presentation, we demonstrate how the GRACE observations can be used to monitor changes in Greenland's mass distribution on a regional scale. Over the period of 2003-2008, the ice sheet lost annually approximately 210 cubic kilometers of ice on average, contributing 0.5 mm per year to global mean sea level. According to (Rignot,2008) this value is unprecedented in the last 50 years suggesting a significant impact of global warming on the Greenland's ice volume. A forward modeling technique significantly helps to identify the hydrologic basins where the melt occurs. As a result we now know from the GRACE data that the main melting signal occurs during summer along the southeastern coast, although spreading to the northwest, with most pronounced changes so far occurring in 2007. Although 2008 was not a record year in terms of total mass lost, it may be called exceptional in terms of the spatial pattern of the summer losses, which mainly took place in the high North, consistent with surface melt observations and regional climate model results. Largest mass losses are observed in the regions surroundig the Humboldt Glacier and Zachariae Isstrom, two glaciers that have been reported to have retreated significantly in 2008.

  2. Continental ice in Greenland during the Eocene and Oligocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eldrett, James S.; Harding, Ian C.; Wilson, Paul A.; Butler, Emily; Roberts, Andrew P.

    2007-03-01

    The Eocene and Oligocene epochs (~55 to 23 million years ago) comprise a critical phase in Earth history. An array of geological records supported by climate modelling indicates a profound shift in global climate during this interval, from a state that was largely free of polar ice caps to one in which ice sheets on Antarctica approached their modern size. However, the early glaciation history of the Northern Hemisphere is a subject of controversy. Here we report stratigraphically extensive ice-rafted debris, including macroscopic dropstones, in late Eocene to early Oligocene sediments from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea that were deposited between about 38 and 30million years ago. Our data indicate sediment rafting by glacial ice, rather than sea ice, and point to East Greenland as the likely source. Records of this type from one site alone cannot be used to determine the extent of ice involved. However, our data suggest the existence of (at least) isolated glaciers on Greenland about 20million years earlier than previously documented, at a time when temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were substantially higher.

  3. Continental ice in Greenland during the Eocene and Oligocene.

    PubMed

    Eldrett, James S; Harding, Ian C; Wilson, Paul A; Butler, Emily; Roberts, Andrew P

    2007-03-01

    The Eocene and Oligocene epochs (approximately 55 to 23 million years ago) comprise a critical phase in Earth history. An array of geological records supported by climate modelling indicates a profound shift in global climate during this interval, from a state that was largely free of polar ice caps to one in which ice sheets on Antarctica approached their modern size. However, the early glaciation history of the Northern Hemisphere is a subject of controversy. Here we report stratigraphically extensive ice-rafted debris, including macroscopic dropstones, in late Eocene to early Oligocene sediments from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea that were deposited between about 38 and 30 million years ago. Our data indicate sediment rafting by glacial ice, rather than sea ice, and point to East Greenland as the likely source. Records of this type from one site alone cannot be used to determine the extent of ice involved. However, our data suggest the existence of (at least) isolated glaciers on Greenland about 20 million years earlier than previously documented, at a time when temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were substantially higher.

  4. Unusual radar echoes from the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, E. J.; Vanzyl, J. J.; Ostro, S. J.; Jezek, K. C.

    1993-01-01

    In June 1991, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory airborne synthetic-aperture radar (AIRSAR) instrument collected the first calibrated data set of multifrequency, polarimetric, radar observations of the Greenland ice sheet. At the time of the AIRSAR overflight, ground teams recorded the snow and firn (old snow) stratigraphy, grain size, density, and temperature at ice camps in three of the four snow zones identified by glaciologists to characterize four different degrees of summer melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The four snow zones are: (1) the dry-snow zone, at high elevation, where melting rarely occurs; (2) the percolation zone, where summer melting generates water that percolates down through the cold, porous, dry snow and then refreezes in place to form massive layers and pipes of solid ice; (3) the soaked-snow zone where melting saturates the snow with liquid water and forms standing lakes; and (4) the ablation zone, at the lowest elevations, where melting is vigorous enough to remove the seasonal snow cover and ablate the glacier ice. There is interest in mapping the spatial extent and temporal variability of these different snow zones repeatedly by using remote sensing techniques. The objectives of the 1991 experiment were to study changes in radar scattering properties across the different melting zones of the Greenland ice sheet, and relate the radar properties of the ice sheet to the snow and firn physical properties via relevant scattering mechanisms. Here, we present an analysis of the unusual radar echoes measured from the percolation zone.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Multi-sensor detection of glacial lake outburst floods in Greenland from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.

    2015-12-01

    GLOFs cause substantial erosion, transport and delivery of sediment along the river system from the glaciated parts of the hydrologic catchment to the sea, and have been found to control the riverine export dynamics of some pollutants like mercury in NE Greenland. GLOFs also pose a risk to human presence and infrastracture. Ice-dammed lakes at the margin of the ice sheet and of local glaciers and ice caps are common features of Greenland's landscape. The occasional or periodic emptying of some of these lakes have been described as early as the 18thcentury. Thinning glaciers in a warming climate are already changing the behaviour of some of these lakes. However, little is known of the frequency and seasonality of glacier lake outburst floods (GLOF) outside of the relatively more densely populated parts of West and South Greenland. This contribution demonstrates automatic multi-sensor detection of ice-dammed lake emptying events from space for three test regions in West, South and Northeast Greenland, using visible imagery from Landsat, ASTER, PROBA-V and MODIS. The current detection algorithm relies on prior knowledge of lakes location and approximate shape from a topographic map at the scale of 1:250.000, and it is meant as a prototype for a future operational product. For the well documented case of the glacier-dammed lake of A.P. Olsen Ice Cap (NE Greenland), where GLOF's observations at Zackenberg Research Station started in 1996, the remote sensing and in situ records are compared, showing good agreement. ICESat altimetry, MODIS and AVHRR thermal imagery, and the ENVISAR ASAR signature of two detected GLOFs that took place late autumn and winter are also discussed to demonstrate the potential for successful retrievals during the polar night. The upcoming Sentinel-3 missions will alleviate what is currently the major drawback of implementing this prototype into an operational service, namely the limited availability of high resolution imagery. This is of special

  8. Reconstructing surface elevation changes for the Greenland Ice Sheet (1993-2013) and analysis of Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, Kyle

    Previous studies investigating the velocity and elevation change records of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) revealed rapid and complex changes. It is therefore imperative to determine changes with both high spatial and temporal resolutions. By fusing multiple laser altimetry data sets, the Surface Elevation Reconstruction and Change (SERAC) program is capable of reconstructing surface elevation changes with high spatial and temporal resolution over the entire GrIS. The input data include observations from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission (2003-2009) as well as data collected by NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) (1993-2013) and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) (2007-2012) airborne laser altimetry systems. This study extends the record of surface elevation changes over the GrIS by adding 2012 and 2013 laser altimetry data to the previous 1993-2011 record. Extending the record leads to a new, more accurate and detailed altimetry record for 1993-2013. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are fused with laser altimetry data over Zachariae Isstrom, northeast Greenland to analyze surface elevation changes and associated thinning rates during 1978-2014. Little to no elevation change occurred over Zachariae Isstrom from 1978-1999, however, from 1999-2014 elevation changes near the calving front became increasingly negative and accelerated. Calving front position showed steady retreat and grounding line position has been retreating towards the interior of the ice sheet at an increasing rate from 2010-2014 when compared to the 1996-2010 period. The measured elevation changes near the calving front have brought a large portion of the glacier close to the height of flotation. If the current thinning trend continues this portion of the glacier will reach flotation within the next 2-5 years allowing for further retreat and increased vulnerability to retreat for sections of

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Bed topography under Antarctic outlet glaciers revealed by mass conservation and radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlighem, M.; Rignot, E. J.; Mouginot, J.; Seroussi, H. L.

    2015-12-01

    Bed topography, together with ice thickness, is an essential characteristic of glaciers and ice sheets for many glaciological applications. Despite significant technical advances, it remains challenging to measure ice thickness remotely, especially in deep troughs occupied by outlet glaciers. The method of mass conservation, that combines radar-derived ice thickness data with high-resolution InSAR-derived ice velocity vectors, provides an effective method for generating a high-resolution bed from sparse radar sounding profiles, and has been successfully applied along the coast of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Applying the same technique to the coast of the Antarctic Ice Sheet presents a number of challenges. The coverage of ice thickness data collected in Antarctica, for example, is much less comprehensive compared to Greenland, especially in the wake of NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) Mission in 2010-2015. Here, we combine radar sounder data collected by various centers (OIB/Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, the British Antarctic Survey and University of Texas) acquired between 1998 and 2011, with high-resolution ice motion data from interferometric SAR (ALOS PALSAR, RADARSAT-2 and Envisat ASAR) to reconstruct bed topography beneath major Antarctic outlet glaciers at an unprecedented level of detail. The results reveal some important features not known previously at that level of detail and shed light on the vulnerability of these glaciers in a warming climate. We find for example that Recovery glacier is deeper than in previous mappings and has long grooves parallel to the flow direction. Denman Glacier, East Antarctica, flow along a deep, narrow trough more than 2,000 m below sea level that extends more than 100 km inland. We find ridges and bumps in the vicinity of the grounding line of Thwaites Glacier, in the Amundsen Sea sector, that are consistent with the pattern of grounding line retreat. We have also a new mapping of the trough upstream of David

  12. 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

  13. Atuarfitsialak: Greenland's Cultural Compatible Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wyatt, Tasha R.

    2012-01-01

    In 2002, Greenlandic reform leaders launched a comprehensive, nation-wide reform to create culturally compatible education. Greenland's reform work spans the entire educational system and includes preschool through higher education. To assist their efforts, reform leaders adopted the Standards for Effective Pedagogy developed at the Center for…

  14. Observations from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Box, J. E.; Citterio, M.; Colgan, W. T.; Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Kristensen, S. S.; Dall, J.; Kusk, A.; Petersen, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) is as an on-going effort initiated in 2007 to monitor changes in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The aim of the programme is to quantify the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. Specifically, PROMICE aims to estimate the mass loss derived from three fundamentally different sources: Surface melt water runoff from the ice sheet margin Iceberg production Mass loss of individual glaciers and ice caps surrounding the ice sheet The first is observed by a network of automatic weather stations (AWS) on the ice sheet margin measuring ice ablation as well as meteorological parameters. The second is determined by establishing a so-called 'flux gate' along the entire ice sheet margin and keeping track of the ice passing through this gate. The flux gate is obtained from airborne surveys of ice sheet surface elevation and thickness. The volume of the ice passing through the gate is derived from maps of the surface velocity of the ice sheet, produced from satellite radar. The third is investigated through regular mapping of area and elevation of the approximately 20.000 individual glaciers and ice caps in Greenland. Mapping is carried out using recent satellite imagery as well as aerial ortho-photos. Within PROMICE data sets from these activities are collected. They include observations from the network of currently about 20 AWS on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Airborne surveys, yielding surface elevation and ice depth along the entire margin of the Greenland ice sheet carried out in 2007 and 2011. A map of all Greenland ice masses, based on the highest detail aero-photogrammetric maps produced from mid-80's aerial photographs. Real-time data from the PROMICE AWS network is shown at the web site www.promice.org and the data is freely available for download. Data from the airborne surveys and mapping activities are

  15. SeaWinds - Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The frequent coverage provided by NASA's SeaWinds instrument on the QuikScat satellite provides unprecedented capability to monitor daily and seasonal changes in the key melt zones of Greenland, which is covered with a thick ice sheet that resulted from snow accumulating over tens of thousands of years. The thickness of the snow layers reveals details about the past global climate, and comparing snow accumulation and snow melting can provide insight into climate change and global warming. In particular, the extent of summer melting of snow in Greenland is considered a sensitive indicator of global change.

    Earlier scatterometer data has suggested that Greenland has experienced significantly more melting in recent years. This figure compares the melting observed over 15 days during July 1999 in Greenland. The red areas around the central blue and white areas are the main melt zones and have lower radar back scatter because of water on the surface that saturates the surface snow. As the days warm up, the melt extent dramatically increases. Comparing this data with computer models and past scatterometer data will help scientists evaluate the inter-annual variability of the melting as a step toward understanding potential climate change.

    The world's large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica act as vast storehouses of freshwater. Summer season melting releases large quantities of freshwater into the ocean, and year-to-year variations can have a significant impact on global sea level. Furthermore, long-term changes in the patterns and extent of melting on the large ice sheets reflect the effects of climate variability; thus Greenland is considered a sensitive indicator of global warming.

    Satellite microwave radars are extremely sensitive to melting and can provide the only effective means of accurately measuring the year-round picture of the extent and variability in ice sheet melting. Daily mean images were produced from QuikScat data collected over the

  16. Calving and velocity variations observed by Terrestrial Radar Interferometry at Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, in 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, S.; Voytenko, D.; Holland, D.; Dixon, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    We observed the highly dynamic terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ in Greenland by using a Terrestrial Radar Interferometer (TRI) during a 5 days' period in early June, 2015. Calving and ice surface velocity variations were captured by our continuous measurements with a sampling rate of 90 seconds. Our terrestrial-derived time series show that calving events are characterized by suddenly fluctuations in surface velocities, which is very distinct in the mélange and less distinct on the glacier. Except for the relatively fast and steady motion, the glacier also moves in response to the semidiurnal ocean tides, and the impact of tides decreases rapidly upstream from the terminus.

  17. Adventure Learning @ Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, B. G.; Cox, C. J.; Hougham, J.; Walden, V. P.; Eitel, K.; Albano, A.

    2013-12-01

    Teaching the general public and K-12 communities about scientific research has taken on greater importance as climate change increasingly impacts the world we live in. Science researchers and the educational community have a widening responsibility to produce and deliver curriculum and content that is timely, scientifically sound and engaging. To address this challenge, in the summer of 2012 the Adventure Learning @ Greenland (AL@GL) project, a United States' National Science Foundation (NSF) funded initiative, used hands-on and web-based climate science experiences for high school students to promote climate and science literacy. This presentation will report on an innovative approach to education and outreach for environmental science research known as Adventure Learning (AL). The purpose of AL@GL was to engage high school students in the US, and in Greenland, in atmospheric research that is being conducted in the Arctic to enhance climate and science literacy. Climate and science literacy was explored via three fundamental concepts: radiation, the greenhouse effect, and climate vs. weather. Over the course of the project, students in each location engaged in activities and conducted experiments through the use of scientific instrumentation. Students were taught science research principles associated with an atmospheric observatory at Summit Station, Greenland with the objective of connecting climate science in the Arctic to student's local environments. Summit Station is located on the Greenland Ice Sheet [72°N, 38°W, 3200 m] and was the primary location of interest. Approximately 35 students at multiple locations in Idaho, USA, and Greenland participated in the hybrid learning environments as part of this project. The AL@GL project engaged students in an inquiry-based curriculum with content that highlighted a cutting-edge geophysical research initiative at Summit: the Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at

  18. Melt-induced speed-up of Greenland ice sheet offset by efficient subglacial drainage.

    PubMed

    Sundal, Aud Venke; Shepherd, Andrew; Nienow, Peter; Hanna, Edward; Palmer, Steven; Huybrechts, Philippe

    2011-01-27

    Fluctuations in surface melting are known to affect the speed of glaciers and ice sheets, but their impact on the Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate remains uncertain. Although some studies suggest that greater melting produces greater ice-sheet acceleration, others have identified a long-term decrease in Greenland's flow despite increased melting. Here we use satellite observations of ice motion recorded in a land-terminating sector of southwest Greenland to investigate the manner in which ice flow develops during years of markedly different melting. Although peak rates of ice speed-up are positively correlated with the degree of melting, mean summer flow rates are not, because glacier slowdown occurs, on average, when a critical run-off threshold of about 1.4 centimetres a day is exceeded. In contrast to the first half of summer, when flow is similar in all years, speed-up during the latter half is 62 ± 16 per cent less in warmer years. Consequently, in warmer years, the period of fast ice flow is three times shorter and, overall, summer ice flow is slower. This behaviour is at odds with that expected from basal lubrication alone. Instead, it mirrors that of mountain glaciers, where melt-induced acceleration of flow ceases during years of high melting once subglacial drainage becomes efficient. A model of ice-sheet flow that captures switching between cavity and channel drainage modes is consistent with the run-off threshold, fast-flow periods, and later-summer speeds we have observed. Simulations of the Greenland ice-sheet flow under climate warming scenarios should account for the dynamic evolution of subglacial drainage; a simple model of basal lubrication alone misses key aspects of the ice sheet's response to climate warming.

  19. Polythermal Glacier Hydrology: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  20. Increased flow speed on a large East Antarctic outlet glacier caused by subglacial floods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stearns, Leigh A.; Smith, Benjamin E.; Hamilton, Gordon S.

    2008-12-01

    Changes in the velocity of large outlet glaciers and ice streams in Greenland and Antarctica are important for ice-sheet mass balance and hence sea level. Mass loss in large parts of both ice sheets is being driven by the recent accelerations of outlet glaciers in response to unknown or poorly constrained climatic or internal perturbations in their boundary conditions. Surprisingly active networks of subglacial lake drainage have recently been found beneath the Antarctic ice sheet and tentatively linked to the onset of fast ice flow. Here we report an observed acceleration of ice velocity on Byrd Glacier, East Antarctica, of about 10% of the original speed between December 2005 and February 2007. The acceleration extended along the entire 75km glacier trunk and its onset coincided with the discharge of about 1.7km3 of water from two large subglacial lakes located about 200km upstream of the grounding line. Deceleration coincided with the termination of the flood. Our findings provide direct evidence that an active lake drainage system can cause large and rapid changes in glacier dynamics.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Sonification of cryoconite landscapes over the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, M.

    2015-12-01

    Sonification is the use of non-speech audio to convey information. In sonification, several elements can be altered, modified or manipulated to change the perception of the sound, and in turn, the perception of the information being transmitted. For example, an increase or decrease in pitch, tempo and amplitude can be used to convey the information but this can also happen by varying other less commonly used components. One of the advantages of using sonification lies in the temporal, spatial, amplitude, and frequency resolution that offer complementary and supplementary possibilities with respect to visualization techniques. Two years ago, the outcomes of the PolarSEEDS project (www.polaseeds.org), consisting of sonification of time series of albedo, melting and surface temperature over the Greenland ice sheet, were presented in this very same session. The work that I will discuss in this presentation builds on the PolarSEEDS experience, focusing on the fascinating microcosm of cryoconite. Cryoconite is a unique and extremely fascinating form of glacial cover consisting of aggregated rock dust, inorganic and detrital organic matter, and active microbial colonies. It can be seen as 'living stones', with this ecosystem containing the only form of life that is sustained on the majestic surface of the Greenland ice sheet. Microbes are, indeed, the catalyst for cryoconite formation and growth. The cryoconite constituents radiate metabolic heat promoting glacier hole development, melt water formation, and decreasing glacier surface albedo. Lower albedos cause a positive feedback that further contributes to glacier ablation. Despite their importance, cryoconite systems are poorly studied and little is known about their evolution. In the talk, I will first present and discuss previous sonification projects whose main focus was on the polar regions; then, I will present new sonifications based on data quantifying the distribution and evolution of cryoconite over the west

  4. Greenland elders and high school students offer perspectives on climate change and science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-08-01

    KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND—This small town in central western Greenland, which has a population of about 650 and a major airstrip dating from World War II, is a center for scientific research and a starting point for scientists working in the region and on Greenland's ice sheet to study climate change and other issues. The town, just north of the Arctic Circle, sits at the edge of the 190-kilometer-long Kangerlussuaq Fjord and straddles the Qinnguata Kuussua River estuary, whose source water is the Russell Glacier, about 20 kilometers to the east. Between Kanger—as some refer to the town—and the glacier, some Eskimo-Kalaallit elders held a traditional gathering last month and also offered their perspectives on climate change during an impromptu 14 July meeting with high school students and other visitors. The evening before that meeting, Ole Olsvig, Kurt Olsen, Avaruna Mathaeussen, and other high schoolers from Greenland were in a makeshift classroom at the back of a renovated former U.S. Army barracks in Kanger, which had served as a U.S. military base. The students, who said they care deeply about their traditional culture and also are very aware of recent changes in climate, were helping to make presentations about their summer science projects. A total of 16 high schoolers from Greenland, 3 from Denmark, and 5 from the United States were there, participating in Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) activities; JSEP is an international collaborative polar science education effort between Greenland, Denmark, and the United States that receives support from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

  5. Crustal structure beneath Eastern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiche, S.; Thybo, H.; Kaip, G.; Skjoth Bruun, A.; Reid, I.; Chemia, Z.; Greschke, B.

    2011-12-01

    The conjugate Atlantic passive margins of western Norway and eastern Greenland are characterized by the presence of coast-parallel mountain ranges with peak elevations of more than 3.5 km close to Scoresby Sund in Eastern Greenland. Knowledge about crustal thickness and composition below these mountain belts is needed for assessing the isostatic balance of the crust and to gain insight into possible links between crustal composition, rifting history and present-day topography of the North Atlantic Region. However, the acquisition of geophysical data onshore Greenland is logistically complicated by the presence of an up to 4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering the largest part of the land mass. Hence previous seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coast of Greenland, where little information about the continental part of the crust could be gained. To get insight into crustal thickness and composition below the Greenland ice sheet, the TopoGreenland project collects the first ever seismic data onshore Greenland. Wide-angle data was acquired along an EW-trending profile, extending 350 km inland from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near Scoresby Sund. Data is recorded by 350 Reftek Texan receivers for 10 equidistant shot points along the profile. We use forward ray tracing modelling to construct a two-dimensional velocity model from the observed travel times. These results show the first images of the subsurface velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice sheet and provide a link between the composition of the crust and the present-day topography of Greenland.

  6. Greenland Sea observations

    SciTech Connect

    Gudmandsen, P.; Mortensen, H.B.; Pedersen, L.T.; Skriver, H.; Minnett, P.

    1992-12-31

    ERS-1 SAR data have been acquired over the Greenland Sea and Fram Strait during two periods, the Ice Phase of three-day repeat cycle from January to March 1992 and a one-month period in the 35-day repeat cycle from 16 July to 15 August 1992. Most data became available by way of the Broadband Data Dissemination System, i.e. with a spatial resolution of about 100 m. With these data various algorithms have been tested to derive sea ice parameters such as ice extent, ice concentration and ice displacement. In the latter period data were collected to support the activities of a research vessel in the area mainly related to the large polynyas that form east and north of Greenland. The formation of polynyas could clearly be outlined but also other phenomena were observed related to the influence of wind streets and gravity waves associated with the atmospheric boundary layer. The data will have to be studied further including full-resolution data to substantiate the conclusions arrived at.

  7. Using Remote Sensing and Rpas for Archaeology and Monitoring in Western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelka, K.; Šedina, J.; Matoušková, E.; Faltýnová, M.; Hlaváčová, I.

    2016-06-01

    Since 2002, German low-cost scientific expeditions to Greenland have been performed. The objective was a geodetic survey and glaciology with GNSS technology - mainly the measurement of glacier profiles (height). The same glacier profiles along the route were measured during German expeditions in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2015. The last international expedition was supplemented with RPAS (UAV) measurement, the testing of small corner reflectors for Terra SAR X satellite measurement and the use of image based modelling technology for historical monuments documentation, all in specific arctic conditions. The RPAS measurement was focused on the documentation of existing valuable archaeological sites near Ilulissat city and the testing of RPAS technology for the monitoring of the face of the moving glacier. Two typical church wooden constructions were documented by simple photogrammetric technology based on image correlation. Both experiments were evaluated as successfully case projects. The last part of the experiments deals with the monitoring of a moving inland glacier using SAR technology; four corner reflectors were installed on the glacier and on a massive nearby rock. Two ascending and two descending overflights of the Terra SAR X satellite in fine resolution mode were performed. The InSAR technology give inconclusive results, but some movements were detected; small and inexpensive corner reflectors of our own production have proven suitable. Experience and expertise from the measurement such as the first outputs from the expedition are the content of the present article.

  8. Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This ASTER image was acquired on December 12, 2000, and covers an area of 38 x 48 km. Pine Island Glacier has undergone a steady loss of elevation with retreat of the grounding line in recent decades. Now, space imagery has revealed a wide new crack that some scientists think will soon result in a calving event. Glaciologist Robert Bindschadler of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center predicts this crack will result in the calving of a major iceberg, probably in less than 18 months. Discovery of the crack was possible due to multi-year image archives and high resolution imagery. This image is located at 74.1 degrees south latitude and 105.1 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  9. 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.

  10. Concentrations and source variations of n-alkanes in a 21 m ice core and snow samples at Belukha glacier, Russian Altai mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyake, Takayuki; Nakazawa, Fumio; Sakugawa, Hiroshi; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Fujita, Koji; Ohta, Keiichi; Nakawo, Masayoshi

    Ice-core and snow samples collected on Belukha glacier, Russian Altai mountains, were analyzed for n-alkanes by gas chromatography. On the basis of the total concentrations (T-HCs), carbon preference index (CPI) values and the plant wax contributions (WaxCn), it is suggested that mountain glaciers on the Asian continent received higher loading of n-alkanes from natural and anthropogenic sources than the Greenland ice sheet. It appears that the loading and variation of n-alkanes on glaciers in the Altai are approximately the same as those of the mountain in general, because the concentrations, CPI values and WaxCn percentages of n-alkanes in Sofiyskiy glacier, also in the Russian Altai, are at the same levels as or slightly greater than those in ice-core and snow samples from Belukha glacier. It seems that the n-alkanes on Belukha glacier are derived mainly from higher plant wax and petroleum exhaust other than from diesel engines. Vertical profiles of T-HCs and CPI values of n-alkanes show that the non-WaxCn portions and T-HCs have recently increased with a decrease in CPI values on Belukha glacier. A similar trend of n-alkanes was reported for Sofiyskiy glacier, indicating that the influence of human activities has gradually increased around the Altai.

  11. Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter; Grosse, Guido; Chanton, Jeffrey

    2012-06-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a `cryosphere cap' that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. With a carbon store of over 1,200Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large when compared with the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5Pg. As such, the Earth's climate is sensitive to the escape of even a small fraction of this methane. Here, we document the release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, using aerial and ground surface survey data and in situ measurements of methane isotopes and flux. We mapped over 150,000 seeps, which we identified as bubble-induced open holes in lake ice. These seeps were characterized by anomalously high methane fluxes, and in Alaska by ancient radiocarbon ages and stable isotope values that matched those of coal bed and thermogenic methane accumulations. Younger seeps in Greenland were associated with zones of ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. Our findings imply that in a warming climate, disintegration of permafrost, glaciers and parts of the polar ice sheets could facilitate the transient expulsion of 14C-depleted methane trapped by the cryosphere cap.

  12. Modelling water flow under glaciers and ice sheets

    PubMed Central

    Flowers, Gwenn E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations of dynamic water systems beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have sparked renewed interest in modelling subglacial drainage. The foundations of today's models were laid decades ago, inspired by measurements from mountain glaciers, discovery of the modern ice streams and the study of landscapes evacuated by former ice sheets. Models have progressed from strict adherence to the principles of groundwater flow, to the incorporation of flow ‘elements’ specific to the subglacial environment, to sophisticated two-dimensional representations of interacting distributed and channelized drainage. Although presently in a state of rapid development, subglacial drainage models, when coupled to models of ice flow, are now able to reproduce many of the canonical phenomena that characterize this coupled system. Model calibration remains generally out of reach, whereas widespread application of these models to large problems and real geometries awaits the next level of development. PMID:27547082

  13. Application of terrestrial 'structure-from-motion' photogrammetry on a medium-size Arctic valley glacier: potential, accuracy and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hynek, Bernhard; Binder, Daniel; Boffi, Geo; Schöner, Wolfgang; Verhoeven, Geert

    2014-05-01

    Terrestrial photogrammetry was the standard method for mapping high mountain terrain in the early days of mountain cartography, until it was replaced by aerial photogrammetry and airborne laser scanning. Modern low-price digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and highly automatic and cheap digital computer vision software with automatic image matching and multiview-stereo routines suggest the rebirth of terrestrial photogrammetry, especially in remote regions, where airborne surveying methods are expensive due to high flight costs. Terrestrial photogrammetry and modern automated image matching is widely used in geodesy, however, its application in glaciology is still rare, especially for surveying ice bodies at the scale of some km², which is typical for valley glaciers. In August 2013 a terrestrial photogrammetric survey was carried out on Freya Glacier, a 6km² valley glacier next to Zackenberg Research Station in NE-Greenland, where a detailed glacier mass balance monitoring was initiated during the last IPY. Photos with a consumer grade digital camera (Nikon D7100) were taken from the ridges surrounding the glacier. To create a digital elevation model, the photos were processed with the software photoscan. A set of ~100 dGPS surveyed ground control points on the glacier surface was used to georeference and validate the final DEM. Aim of this study was to produce a high resolution and high accuracy DEM of the actual surface topography of the Freya glacier catchment with a novel approach and to explore the potential of modern low-cost terrestrial photogrammetry combined with state-of-the-art automated image matching and multiview-stereo routines for glacier monitoring and to communicate this powerful and cheap method within the environmental research and glacier monitoring community.

  14. 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

  15. Antarctic Peninsula Tidewater Glacier Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Joint Science Education Project: Learning about polar science in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foshee Reed, Lynn

    2014-05-01

    their states, regions, and countries with one another. A subset of the Field School students continue their polar science exploration by traveling to and experiencing science at the top of the Greenlandic ice sheet, as participants in Arctic Science Education Week. They launched weather balloons, took measurements of reflectivity to learn more about albedo, studied glaciers and ice sheets and created hands-on models to study their flow, shadowed the Summit science technicians on their rounds, practiced taking clean snow samples, examined a back-lit snow pit to observe the differences between seasonal snows and ice formation, and assisted researchers by taking samples from the snow pit for isotope analysis. Lastly, I will share one group multi- and interdisciplinary activity used at JSEP which illustrates how to combine mathematics and science with global studies. As noted in the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 initiative: "The challenges facing our planet and our civilization are multidisciplinary and multifaceted, and the mathematical sciences play a central role in the scientific effort to understand and to deal with these challenges." In particular, this group activity uses mathematical modeling and data representation to spark a discussion of civic engagement and to raise awareness that the polar regions are critically important to the global system.

  17. Surface exposure dating of Little Ice Age ice cap advances on Disko Island, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Timothy; Jomelli, Vincent; Rinterknecht, Vincent; Brunstein, Daniel; Schimmelpfennig, Irene; Swingedouw, Didier; Favier, Vincent; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie

    2015-04-01

    Little Ice Age (LIA: 1200-1920 AD) glacier advances in Greenland often form the most extensive positions of Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) ice cap and margins since the Early Holocene. Across Greenland these advances are commonly represented by un-vegetated moraines, usually within 1-5 km of the present ice margin. However, chronological constraints on glacier advances during this period are sparse, meaning that GrIS and ice cap behavior and advance/retreat chronology remains poorly understood during this period. At present the majority of ages are based on historical accounts, ice core data, and radiocarbon ages from proglacial threshold lakes. However, developments in the accuracy and precision of surface exposure methods allow dating of LIA moraine boulders, permitting an opportunity to better understand of ice dynamics during this period. Geomorphological mapping and surface exposure dating (36Cl) were used to interpret moraine deposits from the Lyngmarksbræen on Disko Island, West Greenland. A Positive Degree Day (PDD) model was used to estimate Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) and mass balance changes for two distinct paleo-glacial extents. Three moraines (M1, M2, and M3) were mapped in the field, and sampled for 36Cl surface exposure dating. The outermost moraine (M1) was of clearly different morphology to the inner moraines, and present only in small fragments. M2 and M3 were distinct arcuate termino-lateral moraines within 50 m of one another, 1.5 km from the present ice margin. The weighted average of four 36Cl ages from M1 returned an early Holocene age of 8.4 ± 0.6 ka. M2 (four samples) returned an age of 0.57 ± 0.04 ka (1441 AD) and M3 (four samples) returned an age of 0.28 ± 0.02 ka (1732 AD). These surface exposure ages represent the first robustly dated Greenlandic ice cap moraine sequence from the LIA. The two periods of ice cap advance and marginal stabilisation are similar to recorded periods of LIA GrIS advance in west Greenland, constrained

  18. Surface melt dominates Alaska glacier mass balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Rewriting Ice Sheet "Glacier-ology"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, R.

    2006-12-01

    The revolution in glaciology driven by the suite of increasingly sophisticated satellite instruments has been no more extreme than in the area of ice dynamics. Years ago, glaciologists were (probably unwittingly) selective in what properties of mountain glaciers were also applied to ice sheets. This reinforced the view that they responded slowly to their environment. Notions of rapid response driven by the ideas of John Mercer, Bill Budd and Terry Hughes were politely rejected by the centrists of mainstream glaciological thought. How the tables have turned--and by the ice sheets themselves, captured in the act of rapidly changing by modern remote sensors! The saw-toothed record of sea-level change over past glacial-interglacial cycles required the existence of rapid ice loss processes. Satellite based observations, supported by hard-earned field observations have extended the time scale over which ice sheets can suddenly change to ever shorter intervals: from centuries, to decades, to years to even minutes. As changes continue to be observed, the scientific community is forced to consider new or previously ignored processes to explain these observations. The penultimate goal of ice-sheet dynamics is to credibly predict the future of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In this important endeavor, there is no substitute for our ability to observe. Without the extensive data sets provided by remote sensing, numerical models can be neither tested nor improved. The impact of remote sensing on our existing ability to predict the future must be compared to our probable state of knowledge and ability were these data never collected. Among many satellite observed phenomena we would be largely or wholly ignorant of are the recent acceleration of ice throughout much of coastal Greenland; the sudden disintegration of multiple ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula; and the dramatic thinning and acceleration of the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica. These

  20. Discharge of debris from ice at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knight, P.G.; Waller, R.I.; Patterson, C.J.; Jones, A.P.; Robinson, Z.P.

    2002-01-01

    Sediment production at a terrestrial section of the ice-sheet margin in West Greenland is dominated by debris released through the basal ice layer. The debris flux through the basal ice at the margin is estimated to be 12-45 m3 m-1 a-1. This is three orders of magnitude higher than that previously reported for East Antarctica, an order of magnitude higher than sites reported from in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, but an order of magnitude lower than values previously reported from tidewater glaciers in Alaska and other high-rate environments such as surging glaciers. At our site, only negligible amounts of debris are released through englacial, supraglacial or subglacial sediment transfer. Glacio-fluvial sediment production is highly localized, and long sections of the ice-sheet margin receive no sediment from glaciofluvial sources. These findings differ from those of studies at more temperate glacial settings where glaciofluvial routes are dominant and basal ice contributes only a minor percentage of the debris released at the margin. These data on debris flux through the terrestrial margin of an outlet glacier contribute to our limited knowledge of debris production from the Greenland ice sheet.

  1. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978-1987.

    PubMed

    Korsgaard, Niels J; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Bjørk, Anders A; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H

    2016-01-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978-1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps. PMID:27164457

  2. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978-1987.

    PubMed

    Korsgaard, Niels J; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Bjørk, Anders A; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H

    2016-05-10

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978-1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps.

  3. Digital elevation model and orthophotographs of Greenland based on aerial photographs from 1978–1987

    PubMed Central

    Korsgaard, Niels J.; Nuth, Christopher; Khan, Shfaqat A.; Kjeldsen, Kristian K.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Schomacker, Anders; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2016-01-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978–1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporting data consist of a reliability mask and a photo footprint coverage with recording dates. Through one internal and two external validation tests, this DEM shows an accuracy better than 10 m horizontally and 6 m vertically while the precision is better than 4 m. This dataset proved successful for topographical mapping and geodetic mass balance. Other uses include control and calibration of remotely sensed data such as imagery or InSAR velocity maps. PMID:27164457

  4. Recent Changes in the Periphery of the Greenland Ice Sheet from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonntag, J. G.; Krabill, W. B.

    2009-12-01

    In the early spring of 2009, NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper, or ATM, deployed to conduct its most extensive study to date of the peripheral parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Accompanied by several other remote sensing instruments and supported by a new NASA initiative known as Operation Ice Bridge, we flew longitudinal surveys of 47 glaciers located all around the Greenland coast. We paid particular attention to the active southeastern and northwestern coasts, with nine of the glaciers targeted on the southeast coast and 15 on the upper Baffin Bay coastline between Rinks Glacier and Thule Air Base. We also investigated two ice lobes with minimal or no connection to the main ice sheet. Here, we explain our methodology for selecting and designing the flight lines to maximize their science potential, and present our initial assessment of the rate of thinning/thickening (dh/dt) of the large subset of these flight lines which have been flown previously. Finally we summarize regional-scale patterns we observe in the dh/dt results.

  5. Mass Balance and Evolution of Supraglacial Hydrology over South-West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, I.; Csatho, B. M.; Stark, C. P.

    2015-12-01

    Southwest Greenland experiences one of the highest ablation rates on the ice sheet. Atmospherically controlled surface melt on the cluster of land-terminating glaciers in this region can be used to quantify how surface mass balance has changed in the recent decades and the state and fate of the melt water generated on the ice surface. Here, we constrain surface mass balance during 1993-present using a melt model, laser altimetry derived elevation changes and ice dynamics using ice surface velocity, over Russell Glacier, Greenland. Our preliminary results using IceBridge laser altimetry show that the Russell Glacier thinned almost three times faster during the warmer periods of 2010-2011 compared to 1993-2010. The surface melt component forms a significant fraction of the thinning rates based on observed surface mass balance rates from the K-Transect nearby. We use surface melt from the melt model and the partitioned surface melt from laser altimetry to study to how the surface morphology of the supraglacial channels evolve in response to surface lowering and increased surface melt. The overarching goal is to use surface melt, thinning rates and evolving supraglacial channels as proxies of ice sheet mass balance and water budget.

  6. Greenland meltwater experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, S. M.; Schmith, T.

    2012-04-01

    We explore the climatic response to additional Greenland Ice Sheet melting in the EC-EARTH coupled climate model. As reference runs, we use an ensemble of two simulations from 1850 to present with historic forcing. For each of these we pick the years 1935,1950 and 1965, respectively as initial conditions for perturbed experiments with an additional freshwater forcing of 0.1 Sv distributed uniformly around Greenland , a plausible value in the upper end of future Greenland ice sheet melt estimates. We find give no evidence for abrupt transitions associated with tipping points in the Atlantic overturning circulation and mid-latitude heat transport. In fact, modelled decline in overturning in response to the additional forcing does not project onto a comparable reduction in the mid latitude (36N) ocean heat transport. This result points to an ongoing watermass transformation in the subpolar region and Arctic Mediterranean as a whole and a continued thermal mode of operation of the overturning. At the northern boundary of the subpolar region (60N) the response in overturning shows a contrasting increase in intensity along with an increase in heat transport. Whereas the latter may be expected as a result of freshwater capping and subsurface warming in the subpolar region, the increased overturning at 60N is more difficult to explain. In order to assess this in more detail we have quantified the individual thermohaline exchange components of light and dense water masses across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. We find that the intensified overturning at 60N is reflected in increased transports of light Atlantic Water to the Nordic Seas. However, the vertical, thermohalinie overturning loop is not equally strengthened. On the contrary, we model a decline in the denser parts of the outflow, the overflows in the Denmark Strait and Faroe Bank Channel and a strong increase in the polar outflow in the Denmark Strait. We observe a gradual transition from a vertical mode of operation

  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. Numerical modelling of the effect of changing surface geometry on mountain glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Chris; Carrivick, Jonathan; Evans, Andrew; Carver, Steve

    2013-04-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps are extremely useful indicators of environmental change. Due to their small size, they have much faster response times to climate changes than the large ice masses of Greenland and Antarctica. Mountain glaciers are important for society as sources of water for energy production and irrigation and the meltwater cycles significantly impact local ecology. We have applied a spatially distributed surface energy balance model to a glacier record spanning 100 years. Our study encompasses (i) the creation of a GIS enabling quantitative analysis of changing glacier geometry; absolute length, area, surface lowering and volume change, over the 20th and early 21st Centuries and (ii) the development and testing of a novel user-friendly distributed-surface energy balance model that is designed specifically to consider the effect that these geometrical changes have on mountain glacier mass balance. Our study site is Kårsaglaciären in Arctic Sweden for which there is a variety of data for the past 100 years, sourced from historical surveys, satellite imagery and recent field work. This contrasts with other Arctic mountain glaciers where long-term records are rare, making model development and evaluation very difficult. Kårsaglaciären has been in a state of negative balance throughout the 20th century. Disintegration of the glacier occurred during the 1920s, breaking the glacier into two separate bodies. Between 1926 and 2008, the glacier retreated 1.3 km and reduced in area by 3.41km2. In 2008 the glacier had an estimated surface area of 0.89km2 and a length of approximately 1.0km. Firstly, we present the GIS based construction of robust three-dimensional glacier surface reconstructions for Kårsaglaciären from 1926 to 2010 using a decadal interval. We highlight the kriging interpolation methods used for surface development and the importance of inter-model sensitivity analyses as well as the use of Monte Carlo simulations used to assess the

  9. Spatial patterns in backscatter strength across the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jezek, K. C.

    1993-01-01

    The relationship between the physical properties of the Greenland ice sheet and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data collected from aircraft and from ERS-1 is addressed. Limited aircraft data are combined with a description of the glacier surface to predict qualitatively the spatial and seasonal variation in backscatter strength across the ice sheet. In particular the model predicts relatively low backscatter near the ice edge where scattering is dominated by rough surface effects. Backscatter increases through the lake zone as volume scattering becomes important. Strongest backscatter is found in the percolation facies where volume scatter from snow grains and volume scatter from large, buried ice bodies becomes important. Backscatter weakens in the interior ice sheet where fine grained snow is the only mechanism producing backscatter.

  10. 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

  11. Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World, contains 11 chapters designated by the letters A through K. Chapter A provides a comprehensive, yet concise, review of the "State of the Earth's Cryosphere at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Glaciers, Global Snow Cover, Floating Ice, and Permafrost and Periglacial Environments," and a "Map/Poster of the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere," and a set of eight "Supplemental Cryosphere Notes" about the Earth's Dynamic Cryosphere and the Earth System. The next 10 chapters, B through K, are arranged geographically and present glaciological information from Landsat and other sources of historic and modern data on each of the geographic areas. Chapter B covers Antarctica; Chapter C, Greenland; Chapter D, Iceland; Chapter E, Continental Europe (except for the European part of the former Soviet Union), including the Alps, the Pyrenees, Norway, Sweden, Svalbard (Norway), and Jan Mayen (Norway); Chapter F, Asia, including the European part of the former Soviet Union, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan; Chapter G, Turkey, Iran, and Africa; Chapter H, Irian Jaya (Indonesia) and New Zealand; Chapter I, South America; Chapter J, North America (excluding Alaska); and Chapter K, Alaska. Chapters A–D each include map plates.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trevers, Matt; Payne, Tony; Cornford, Stephen

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Weathering along a periglacial stream, Western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M.; Beal, S.

    2009-12-01

    Chemical weathering of Ca-Mg silicate minerals followed by marine carbonate precipitation is the fundamental sink for atmospheric CO2 in the long-term carbon cycle. Weathering of silicates along the margins of large ice sheets has been implicated in reducing atmospheric CO2 and impacting global climate despite low temperatures and a lack of significant soil cover; conditions not traditionally considered conducive to high reaction rates. Most glacial weathering studies have focused on valley glacier settings, where high water flux and an abundance of clay to silt sized sediments speed the breakdown of silicate minerals. However, little is known about these processes in the marginal zones of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), where recent warming and accelerated melt may lead to profound shifts in hydrology and biogeochemistry. Continued melting should increase water flux and eventually expose additional margin land-surface. It is unclear however if these changing conditions will lead to increased chemical denudation along the margin. An examination of the current weathering regime along the GIS margin is necessary to better constrain estimates of the impacts of changing conditions on future chemical weathering fluxes and related CO2 drawdown. Water, suspended load, and bedload samples were collected in July 2008 along a 6 km stretch of stream exiting the western side of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Waters and sediments were analyzed for major ions, alkalinity and Sr isotopes to determine the character and extent of weathering. Major ion concentrations in the stream waters are very low (0-45 μM HCO3- and 2-26 μM for individual salts) with significant dilution by superglacial ice melt. There are no systematic down-stream trends in ion concentrations. Silicate-derived ions make up most of the stream alkalinity indicating little to no carbonate weathering. K+ contributes up to 40% of the cation load and K+/Σcation ratios in streams far exceed those in bedload samples. This

  14. Greenland to gather more exploration data

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-01-28

    Danish authorities are taking steps to make more exploration data available on Greenland in advance of a possible West Greenland shelf licensing round in 1993. Seismic data acquisition and other studies continue toward more fully evaluating Greenland's oil and gas potential. Geological Survey of Greenland (GGU), Copenhagen, Denmark, is processing 2,041 line miles of reflection seismic data shot on the West Greenland shelf in August and September of 1990. Sixty-fold stacks and migrations will be obtained. Total field magnetic data were also recorded during the survey, known as project Syd Vest Seis. Early work is under way to kick off the multicompany Kanumas seismic acquisition project, proposed in 1986, during 1991. Meanwhile, the Mineral Resources Administration for Greenland (MRA), Copenhagen, the Danish and Greenland governments aim to sweeten Greenland's exploration regulations prior to making areas available.

  15. Long-term future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, Reinhard; Robinson, Alex; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2015-04-01

    We investigate the impact of future cumulative anthropogenic emissions on the fate of the Greenland ice sheet. For this study, we use the polythermal ice sheet model SICOPOLIS, which is bi-directionally coupled with the regional climate model of intermediate complexity REMBO. We constrain our model parameters with simulations over two glacial cycles employing anomalies from the global CLIMBER-2 model. CLIMBER-2 treats the major components or the Earth system, including atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial vegetation and carbon cycle. As constraints we include the cumulative error in ice thickness, the surface mass balance partition (ratio between precipitation and ice discharge) and the ice elevation drop between Eemian and present-day at the NEEM ice core location. Our model includes a new ice discharge parameterization, which describes the ice loss via small-scale outlet glaciers in a heuristic statistical approach. Using the large-ensemble of model versions consistent with our constraints, we estimate the range of the long-term future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise under global warming. On the 100,000-year time scale, there is a visible modulation over the CO2 signal in the simulated Greenland ice volume caused by the 20,000 years precessional cycle of insolation. In nearly all of our scenarios (500 to 5000 Gt carbon cumulative emissions), the Greenland is sheet fully decays in the future after at least 40,000 years. For the extreme scenario (5000 Gt), the Greenland ice sheet decays much faster - after about 5000 years, while there is still 80% of the ice sheet left after 40,000 years only for the model versions with a low temperature sensitivity and the low cumulative carbon emission scenario (500 Gt). Our results underline that without future negative CO2 emissions, irreversible loss of Greenland ice sheet is essentially unavoidable.

  16. Holocene temperature shifts around Greenland: Paleolimnological approaches to quantifying past warmth and documenting its consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Lasher, G. E.; McFarlin, J. M.; Francis, D. R.; Kelly, M. A.; Langdon, P. G.; Levy, L.; Osburn, M. R.; Osterberg, E. C.

    2015-12-01

    temperature, hydroclimate, and the response of Greenland's glaciers to past climate change.

  17. Chronology for fluctuations in late Pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers and lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, F.M.; Zreda, M.G.; Benson, L.V.; Plummer, M.A.; Elmore, D.; Sharma, Prakash

    1996-01-01

    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, 2, and 1.

  18. 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.

  19. Moulin distribution and formation on the southwest Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, V. W.; Smith, L. C.; Gleason, C. J.; Yang, K.; Poinar, K.; Joughin, I.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    River moulins represent a significant connection between surface meltwater generated on the Greenland ice sheet and subglacial drainage networks, where increased meltwater can enhance ice sliding dynamics. In this study, a new high-resolution moulin map is created from WorldView-1/2 imagery acquired during the 2012 record melt year for a 12,500 km2 area near Russell Glacier in southwest Greenland. A total of 1,236 moulins are mapped and categorized as being located: in crevasse fields, along a single ice fracture, within drained lake basins, or having no visible formation mechanism. We find the presence of moulins up to 1787 m elevation, with 11% of moulins found above 1600 m elevation: higher than previously mapped moulins and where glaciological theory suggests few moulins should form. Our study observes moulins in both extensional and compressional ice flow regimes (28% of moulins are found in areas of high extensional strain rate >0.005 yr-1), suggesting that strain rates are not a strong indicator of the likelihood for moulin formation. Overall, moulin density tends to increase with higher bed elevation, thinner ice, lower surface slope, higher velocity, and higher strain rate. In sum, moulins are most common in crevassed, thinner ice near the ice sheet edge, but significant quantities also develop at high elevations. This indicates that future inland expansion of melting may create hydrologic connections between the surface and the bed at higher elevations than previously thought.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. Water-Related Seismic Sources in Glaciers and Ice Sheets (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, F. T.; Heeszel, D.; Kilb, D. L.; Roux, P.; Husen, S.; Kissling, E. H.; Luethi, M. P.; Funk, M.; Clinton, J. F.; Fricker, H.

    2013-12-01

    Liquid water can have a profound impact on the flow of glaciers and ice sheets. Acceleration of ice flow via enhanced basal motion, hydro-fracturing and cryo-hydrologic warming are just three possible mechanisms that can drastically alter ice dynamics. At the same time, subsurface water flow is difficult to measure as the englacial and subglacial drainage systems are highly inaccessible. Although tracer experiments, speleological methods, radar measurements and deep drilling provide some information about water flow and changes thereof, more data on hydraulic processes are needed for the development and testing of numerical ice flow models. Recent studies have suggested that passive seismic techniques can be used to monitor englacial and subglacial water flow. This inter-disciplinary approach is motivated by the analogy between fluid-induced seismic sources in glaciers and volcanoes, which was first proposed in the late 70's. As seismological analysis is a valuable tool to monitor hydro-thermal activity in volcanic regions, it may consequently also reveal transient or sudden changes in a glacier's water drainage system. Here, we present results from continuous and event-based seismic monitoring exercises on Swiss mountain glaciers and the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. We examine 'icequakes', sustained tremors and seismic background noise, whose sources are closely connected to the presence or movement of water. Analyzing icequake moment tensors and signal characteristics, spectrograms, noise source locations and simple models of resonating cracks, we can monitor the development and evolution of water passages below the glacier surface. Accordingly, our seismic measurements elucidate an area of the glacier, which has been difficult to investigate with traditional glaciological techniques.

  3. Deglaciation-induced uplift along the Greenland ice margin observed with InSAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Q.; Amelug, F.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet is rapidly shrinking with the fastest retreat and thinning occurring at the ice sheet margin and near the outlet glaciers. The changes of the ice mass cause an elastic response of the bedrock. Ice mass loss during the summer months is associated with uplift, whereas ice mass increase during the winter months is associated with subsidence. The German TerraSAR-X satellite has systematically observed selected sites along the Greenland ice sheet margin since summer 2012. Here we present ground deformation observations obtained using an InSAR time-series approach based on small baseline interferograms. The deformation data reveal the seasonal variations and net uplift. Relative variations in the seasonal amplitude for different sites along the ice sheet margin points to spatial variations in ice loss. The combination of ground deformation observations and independent observations of ice volume changes from airborne and spaceborne altimeters places constraints on the firn density of the lost ice volume.

  4. Ancient Biomolecules from Deep Ice Cores Reveal a Forested Southern Greenland

    PubMed Central

    Willerslev, Eske; Cappellini, Enrico; Boomsma, Wouter; Nielsen, Rasmus; Hebsgaard, Martin B.; Brand, Tina B.; Hofreiter, Michael; Bunce, Michael; Poinar, Hendrik N.; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; Johnsen, Sigfus; Steffensen, Jørgen Peder; Bennike, Ole; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc; Nathan, Roger; Armitage, Simon; de Hoog, Cees-Jan; Alfimov, Vasily; Christl, Marcus; Beer, Juerg; Muscheler, Raimund; Barker, Joel; Sharp, Martin; Penkman, Kirsty E.H.; Haile, James; Taberlet, Pierre; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Casoli, Antonella; Campani, Elisa; Collins, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    One of the major difficulties in paleontology is the acquisition of fossil data from the 10% of Earth’s terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets. Here we reveal that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores and allow reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than two kilometers of ice, was once inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects that may date back more than 450 thousand years. The results provide the first direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections. PMID:17615355

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

  6. Observed Spatial and Temporal Variability of Subglacial Discharge-Driven Plumes in Greenland's Outlet Glacial Fjords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutherland, D.; Carroll, D.; Nash, J. D.; Shroyer, E.; Mickett, J.; Stearns, L. A.; Fried, M.; Bartholomaus, T.; Catania, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrographic and velocity observations in Greenland's outlet glacier fjords have revealed, unsurprisingly, a rich set of dynamics over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Through teasing apart the distinct processes that control circulation within these fjords, we are likely to better understand the impact of fjord circulation on modulating outlet glacier dynamics, and thus, changes in Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance. Here, we report on data from the summers of 2013-2015 in two neighboring fjords in the Uummannaq Bay region of west Greenland: Kangerlussuup Sermia (KS) and Rink Isbræ (RI). We find strong subglacial discharge driven plumes in both systems that evolve on synoptic and seasonal time scales, without the complicating presence of other circulation processes. The plumes both modify fjord water properties and respond to differences in ambient water properties, supporting the notion that a feedback exists between subglacial discharge plume circulation and water mass properties. This feedback between subglacial discharge and water properties potentially influences submarine melt rates at the glacier termini. Observed plume properties, including the vertical structure of velocity, and temperature and salinity anomalies, are compared favorably to model estimates. In KS, we find a near-surface intensified plume with high sediment content that slows and widens as it evolves downstream. In contrast, the plume in RI is entirely subsurface, ranging from 100-300 m depth at its core during summer, although it shows similar temperature, salinity, and optical backscatter signals to the KS plume. Importantly, the distinct vertical plume structures imprint on the overall water mass properties found in each fjord, raising the minimum temperatures by up to 1-2°C in the case of RI.

  7. Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briner, Jason P.; McKay, Nicholas P.; Axford, Yarrow; Bennike, Ole; Bradley, Raymond S.; de Vernal, Anne; Fisher, David; Francus, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Gajewski, Konrad; Jennings, Anne; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Miller, Gifford; Rouston, Cody; Wagner, Bernd

    2016-09-01

    This synthesis paper summarizes published proxy climate evidence showing the spatial and temporal pattern of climate change through the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Our synthesis includes 47 records from a recently published database of highly resolved Holocene paleoclimate time series from the Arctic (Sundqvist et al., 2014). We analyze the temperature histories represented by the database and compare them with paleoclimate and environmental information from 54 additional published records, mostly from datasets that did not fit the selection criteria for the Arctic Holocene database. Combined, we review evidence from a variety of proxy archives including glaciers (ice cores and glacial geomorphology), lake sediments, peat sequences, and coastal and deep-marine sediments. The temperature-sensitive records indicate more consistent and earlier Holocene warmth in the north and east, and a more diffuse and later Holocene thermal maximum in the south and west. Principal components analysis reveals two dominant Holocene trends, one with early Holocene warmth followed by cooling in the middle Holocene, the other with a broader period of warmth in the middle Holocene followed by cooling in the late Holocene. The temperature decrease from the warmest to the coolest portions of the Holocene is 3.0 ± 1.0 °C on average (n = 11 sites). The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of Atlantic Water into the study region.

  8. Dynamic Controls on Recent Increases in Northwest Greenland Coastal Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, G. J.; Osterberg, E. C.; Hawley, R. L.; Courville, Z.; Ferris, D. G.; Howley, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic precipitation has been rising over recent decades, with implications for glacier mass balance, sea level rise, and thermohaline circulation via the freshening of the Arctic seas. Coastal instrumental data and proxy records in northwest (NW) Greenland indicate positive summer precipitation trends from 1952-2012 along with a long-term, significant (p < 0.05) summer warming trend. While the observed precipitation increase is likely due in part to Clausius-Clapeyron increases in vapor pressure, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for the increasing trend remain poorly understood. Here we use a 61-year record of precipitation from Thule Air Base in NW Greenland and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data to identify atmospheric circulation patterns associated with enhanced precipitation in recent decades. We evaluate Thule precipitation-circulation relationships for the warm season (July-October [JASO]; 49% of annual precipitation) and cold season (December-February [DJF]; 20% of annual precipitation). Anomalously high precipitation in DJF and JASO is associated with enhanced southerly flow of warm, moist air and enhanced uplift (omega) in Northern Baffin Bay. Meridional flow in Baffin Bay is strongly correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). We observe enhanced southerly flow, uplift and Thule precipitation during negative NAO conditions in winter and to a weaker extent JASO. Based on this mechanism, the trend (p < 0.10) of declining annual NAO index values since 1981 is consistent with the rising trends in Thule annual precipitation over this interval. We find evidence that a NW Greenland ice core proxy record (2Barrel) has a diminished JASO seasonal bias compared with the coast, and thus a future, longer proxy record collected from the 2Barrel site would be well suited for capturing both summer and winter climate variability.

  9. Flow Dynamics and Stability of the NE Greenland Ice Stream from Active Seismics and Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riverman, K. L.; Alley, R. B.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Christianson, K. A.; Peters, L. E.; Muto, A.

    2015-12-01

    We find that dilatant till facilitates rapid ice flow in central Greenland, and regions of dryer till limit the expansion of ice flow. The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) is the largest ice stream in Greenland, draining 8.4% of the ice sheet's area. Fast ice flow initiates near the ice sheet summit in a region of high geothermal heat flow and extends some 700km downstream to three outlet glaciers along the NE Coast. The flow pattern and stability mechanism of this ice stream are unique to others in Greenland and Antarctica, and merit further study to ascertain the sensitivity of this ice stream to future climate change. In this study, we present the results of the first-ever ground-based geophysical survey of the initiation zone of NEGIS. Based on radar and preliminary seismic data, Christianson et al. (2014, EPSL) propose a flow mechanism for the ice stream based on topographically driven hydropotential lows which generate 'sticky' regions of the bed under the ice stream margins. We further test this hypothesis using a 40km reflection seismic survey across both ice stream margins. We find that regions of 'sticky' bed as observed by the radar survey are coincident with regions of the bed with seismic returns indicating drier subglacial sediments. These findings are further supported by five amplitude-verses-offset seismic surveys indicating dilatant till within the ice stream and consolidated sediments within its margins.

  10. A new bathymetry of the Northeast Greenland continental shelf: Constraints on glacial and other processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Jan Erik; Jokat, Wilfried; Dorschel, Boris; Myklebust, Reidun; Dowdeswell, Julian A.; Evans, Jeffrey

    2015-10-01

    A new digital bathymetric model (DBM) for the Northeast Greenland (NEG) continental shelf (74°N-81°N) is presented. The DBM has a grid cell size of 250 m × 250 m and incorporates bathymetric data from 30 multibeam cruises, more than 20 single-beam cruises and first reflector depths from industrial seismic lines. The new DBM substantially improves the bathymetry compared to older models. The DBM not only allows a better delineation of previously known seafloor morphology but, in addition, reveals the presence of previously unmapped morphological features including glacially derived troughs, fjords, grounding-zone wedges, and lateral moraines. These submarine landforms are used to infer the past extent and ice-flow dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the last full-glacial period of the Quaternary and subsequent ice retreat across the continental shelf. The DBM reveals cross-shelf bathymetric troughs that may enable the inflow of warm Atlantic water masses across the shelf, driving enhanced basal melting of the marine-terminating outlet glaciers draining the ice sheet to the coast in Northeast Greenland. Knolls, sinks, and hummocky seafloor on the middle shelf are also suggested to be related to salt diapirism. North-south-orientated elongate depressions are identified that probably relate to ice-marginal processes in combination with erosion caused by the East Greenland Current. A single guyot-like peak has been discovered and is interpreted to have been produced during a volcanic event approximately 55 Ma ago.

  11. Novel Measurements and Techniques for Outlet Glacier Fjord Ice/Ocean Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behar, A.; Howat, I. M.; Holland, D. M.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Larsen, S. H.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier fjord bathymetry and conditions indicate that they play fundamental roles for outlet glacier dynamics and thus knowledge of these parameters is extremely beneficial to upcoming models that predict changes. In particular, the bathymetry of a fjord gives important information about the exchange between fjord waters close to marine-terminating glaciers and the shelf and ocean. Currently, only sparse bathymetric data near the ice fronts are available for the majority of fjords in Greenland. The challenge in obtaining these measurements is that the fjord melange environment is a terrible one for mechanical gear, or ship or any other kind of access. There is hope however, and this work focuses on novel ways of obtaining this data using a multitude of upcoming technologies and techniques that are now being tested and planned. The span of the techniques described include but are not limited to: 1) manned helicopter-based live-reading instruments and deployable/retriavable sensor packages http://www.motionterra.com/fjord/ 2) remote or autonomous unmanned miniature boats (Depth/CTD), and 3) UAV's that either read live data or deploy small sensors that can telemeter their data (ice-flow trackers, image acquisition, etc.). A review of current results obtained at Jakobshavn and Upernavik Glaciers will be given as well as a description of the techniques and hardware used.

  12. Fast shrinkage of tropical glaciers in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceballos, Jorge Luis; Euscátegui, Christian; Ramírez, Jair; Cañon, Marcela; Huggel, Christian; Haeberli, Wilfried; Machguth, Horst

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

  13. The potential of Sentinel-2 for investigating glaciers and related natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsvold, Solveig H.; Altena, Bas; Kääb, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    compared to Landsat data. This improved resolution together with the high radiometric fidelity is also important for detecting and assessing glacier lakes and their changes over time. From S2 data it becomes possible to track velocities of smaller glaciers and even over seasonal scales, as we demonstrate for the European Alps, the Caucasus, New Zealand and Greenland. This opens up for the possibility of obtaining both summer and annual velocities from the same sensor.

  14. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. From the front

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The causes of recent dynamic thinning of Greenland's outlet glaciers have been debated. Realistic simulations suggest that changes at the marine fronts of these glaciers are to blame, implying that dynamic thinning will cease once the glaciers retreat to higher ground. For the last decade, many outlet glaciers in Greenland that terminate in the ocean have accelerated, thinned, and retreated. To explain these dynamic changes, two hypotheses have been discussed. Atmospheric warming has increased surface melting and may also have increased the amount of meltwater reaching the glacier bed, increasing lubrication at the base and hence the rate of glacier sliding. Alternatively, a change in the delicate balance of forces where the glacier fronts meet the ocean could trigger the changes. Faezeh Nick and colleagues5 present ice-sheet modeling experiments that mimic the observations on Helheim glacier, East Greenland, and suggest that the dynamic behaviour of outlet glaciers follows from perturbations at their marine fronts. Greenland's ice sheet loses mass partly through surface melting and partly through fast flowing outlet glaciers that connect the vast plateau of inland ice with the ocean. Earlier ice sheet models have failed to reproduce the dynamic variability exhibited by ice sheets over time. It has therefore not been possible to distinguish with confidence between basal lubrication from surface meltwater and changes at the glaciers' marine fronts as causes for the observed changes on Greenland's outlet glaciers. But this distinction bears directly on future sea-level rise, the raison d'etre of much of modern-day glaciology: If the recent dynamic mass loss Greenland's outlet glaciers is linked to changing atmospheric temperatures, it may continue for as long as temperatures continue to increase. On the other hand, if the source of the dynamic mass loss is a perturbation at the ice-ocean boundary, these glaciers will lose contact with that perturbation after a finite

  18. 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)

  19. Steady-state simulations of the Greenland ice sheet using a three-dimensional full-Stokes model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seddik, Hakime; Greve, Ralf; Zwinger, Thomas; Gagliardini, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    A three-dimensional, thermo-mechanically coupled model is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. The model implements the full-Stokes equations for the ice dynamics, and the system is solved with the finite-element method (FEM) using the open source multi-physics package Elmer (http://www.csc.fi/elmer/). The finite-element mesh for the computational domain has been created using the Greenland surface and bedrock DEM data with a spatial resolution of 5 km (Bamber and others, 2001). The study is particularly aimed at better understanding the ice dynamics near the major Greenland ice streams. For this purpose, mesh refinement to obtain improved computed solutions on these areas has been introduced. The meshing procedure starts with the bedrock footprint where a mesh with triangle elements and a resolution of 1 km are employed at the vicinities of the North-East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) and the Jakobshavn (JIS), Kangerdlugssuaq (KL) and Helheim (HH) ice streams. A size function is then applied so that the mesh resolution becomes coarser away of the ice streams up to a maximum horizontal element size of 20 km. The final three-dimensional mesh is obtained by extruding the 2D footprint with 10 vertical layers, so that the resulting mesh contains 230760 prism elements and 132740 nodes. The numerical solution of the Stokes and the heat transfer equations involves direct and iterative solvers depending on the simulation case, and both methods are coupled with stabilization procedures. The boundary conditions are such that the temperature at the surface is parameterized as a function of the latitude and the surface elevation, the geothermal heat flux at the bedrock is prescribed as spatially constant and the lateral sides are open boundaries. The simulations have been conducted in order to obtain steady-state results for the velocity and temperature fields for the entire ice sheet. The model computes the results with both bedrock sliding and melting used alternatively so

  20. Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    Stibal, Marek; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Cameron, Karen A.; Box, Jason E.; Stevens, Ian T.; Gokul, Jarishma K.; Schostag, Morten; Zarsky, Jakub D.; Edwards, Arwyn; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D. L.; Jacobsen, Carsten S.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring microbial abundance in glacier ice and identifying its controls is essential for a better understanding and quantification of biogeochemical processes in glacial ecosystems. However, cell enumeration of glacier ice samples is challenging due to typically low cell numbers and the presence of interfering mineral particles. We quantified for the first time the abundance of microbial cells in surface ice from geographically distinct sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), using three enumeration methods: epifluorescence microscopy (EFM), flow cytometry (FCM), and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In addition, we reviewed published data on microbial abundance in glacier ice and tested the three methods on artificial ice samples of realistic cell (102–107 cells ml−1) and mineral particle (0.1–100 mg ml−1) concentrations, simulating a range of glacial ice types, from clean subsurface ice to surface ice to sediment-laden basal ice. We then used multivariate statistical analysis to identify factors responsible for the variation in microbial abundance on the ice sheet. EFM gave the most accurate and reproducible results of the tested methodologies, and was therefore selected as the most suitable technique for cell enumeration of ice containing dust. Cell numbers in surface ice samples, determined by EFM, ranged from ~ 2 × 103 to ~ 2 × 106 cells ml−1 while dust concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 2 mg ml−1. The lowest abundances were found in ice sampled from the accumulation area of the ice sheet and in samples affected by fresh snow; these samples may be considered as a reference point of the cell abundance of precipitants that are deposited on the ice sheet surface. Dust content was the most significant variable to explain the variation in the abundance data, which suggests a direct association between deposited dust particles and cells and/or by their provision of limited nutrients to microbial communities on the GrIS. PMID:25852678

  1. Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Stibal, Marek; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Cameron, Karen A; Box, Jason E; Stevens, Ian T; Gokul, Jarishma K; Schostag, Morten; Zarsky, Jakub D; Edwards, Arwyn; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2015-01-01

    Measuring microbial abundance in glacier ice and identifying its controls is essential for a better understanding and quantification of biogeochemical processes in glacial ecosystems. However, cell enumeration of glacier ice samples is challenging due to typically low cell numbers and the presence of interfering mineral particles. We quantified for the first time the abundance of microbial cells in surface ice from geographically distinct sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), using three enumeration methods: epifluorescence microscopy (EFM), flow cytometry (FCM), and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In addition, we reviewed published data on microbial abundance in glacier ice and tested the three methods on artificial ice samples of realistic cell (10(2)-10(7) cells ml(-1)) and mineral particle (0.1-100 mg ml(-1)) concentrations, simulating a range of glacial ice types, from clean subsurface ice to surface ice to sediment-laden basal ice. We then used multivariate statistical analysis to identify factors responsible for the variation in microbial abundance on the ice sheet. EFM gave the most accurate and reproducible results of the tested methodologies, and was therefore selected as the most suitable technique for cell enumeration of ice containing dust. Cell numbers in surface ice samples, determined by EFM, ranged from ~ 2 × 10(3) to ~ 2 × 10(6) cells ml(-1) while dust concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 2 mg ml(-1). The lowest abundances were found in ice sampled from the accumulation area of the ice sheet and in samples affected by fresh snow; these samples may be considered as a reference point of the cell abundance of precipitants that are deposited on the ice sheet surface. Dust content was the most significant variable to explain the variation in the abundance data, which suggests a direct association between deposited dust particles and cells and/or by their provision of limited nutrients to microbial communities on the GrIS. PMID

  2. 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.

  3. Late Holocene expansion of Istorvet ice cap, Liverpool Land, east Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowell, Thomas V.; Hall, Brenda L.; Kelly, Meredith A.; Bennike, Ole; Lusas, Amanda R.; Honsaker, William; Smith, Colby A.; Levy, Laura B.; Travis, Scott; Denton, George H.

    2013-03-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is undergoing dynamic changes that will have global implications if they continue into the future. In this regard, an understanding of how the ice sheet responded to past climate changes affords a baseline for anticipating future behavior. Small, independent ice caps adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet (hereinafter called "local ice caps") are sensitive indicators of the response of Greenland ice-marginal zones to climate change. Therefore, we reconstructed late Holocene ice-marginal fluctuations of the local Istorvet ice cap in east Greenland, using radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants, 10Be dates of surface boulders, and analyses of sediment cores from both threshold and control lakes. During the last termination, the Istorvet ice cap had retreated close to its maximum Holocene position by ˜11,730 cal yr BP. Radiocarbon dates of subfossil plants exposed by recent recession of the ice margin indicate that the Istorvet cap was smaller than at present from AD 200 to AD 1025. Sediments from a threshold lake show no glacial input until the ice cap advanced to within 365 m of its Holocene maximum position by ˜AD 1150. Thereafter the ice cap remained at or close to this position until at least AD 1660. The timing of this, the most extensive of the Holocene, expansion is similar to that recorded at some glaciers in the Alps and in southern Alaska. However, in contrast to these other regions, the expansion in east Greenland at AD 1150 appears to have been very close to, if not at, a maximum Holocene value. Comparison of the Istorvet ice-cap fluctuations with Holocene glacier extents in Southern Hemisphere middle-to-high latitude locations on the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Andes and the Southern Alps suggests an out-of-phase relationship. If correct, this pattern supports the hypothesis that a bipolar see-saw of oceanic and/or atmospheric circulation during the Holocene produced asynchronous glacier response at some localities in the two

  4. Geodetic Glacier Mass Balance of Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreassen, L. M.; Elvehøy, H.; Kjøllmoen, B.

    2014-12-01

    Glaciers in mainland Norway cover 2692 km2and span a large range from south to north. Glacier surface mass balance is monitored by the direct (also called glaciological, traditional or conventional) method and indirectly assessed by the geodetic (or cartographic) method. The current glacier monitoring programme includes direct surface mass-balance investigations on 14 glaciers. Since measurements started at Storbreen in 1949, mass balance has been measured on a total of 43 glaciers. The accuracy of the direct measurements depends on both the accuracy of the point observations and inter- and extrapolation of point values to spatially distributed values. Long series of measurements can be inhomogeneous because of changes in personnel, methods, and glacier topography. Reanalysing glacier mass balance series is recommended as standard procedure for every mass balance monitoring programme with increasing importance for long time series. Repeated, detailed glacier mapping by aerial photography and photogrammetric methods, and recently by laser scanning (LIDAR), have been performed to calculate geodetic mass balance. The geodetic results are used as an independent check of the direct method as well as to monitor volume, area and mass changes of glaciers that lack direct measurements. Since 2007, LIDAR campaigns have been conducted on a 1/3 of the glacier area in Norway including all current mass balance glaciers. The objectives of the surveys are to produce high quality digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthophotos to document the present state of the glaciers and assess glacier changes since previous surveys. Furthermore, the DEMs and orthophotos provide an accurate baseline for future repeated mapping and glacier change detection. Here we present geodetic mass balance results for Norway over the last 50 years and compare the results with the direct in-situ measurements where available. We also show examples of how glacier mass balance data are being reanalyzed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Late glacial and Early Holocene climatic conditions along the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, registered by glacial extents in Milne Land, east Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, L.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T. V.

    2010-12-01

    Determining the mechanisms that caused past abrupt climate changes is important for understanding today’s rapidly warming climate and, in particular, whether we may be faced with abrupt climate change in the future. Scientists, policy makers and the public are concerned about ongoing warming because it is sending our climate into unprecedented territory at a rapid pace. The Younger Dryas cold event (~12,850-11,650 cal yr B.P.) was an abrupt climate event that occurred during the last transition from glacial to interglacial conditions. Due to its abrupt nature and the magnitude of temperature change that occurred, the Younger Dryas has been the focus of extensive research, however, the mechanisms that caused this cold event are still not well understood. Wide belts (up to 5 km) of moraines, known as the Milne Land stade moraines, are present in the Scoresby Sund region of central east Greenland. Previous work in the region using a combination of equilibrium line altitudes, surface exposure dating of moraines, and relative sea level changes indicates that mountain glacier advances during Younger Dryas time represent only moderate summer temperature cooling (~3-4C colder than at present). In contrast, Greenland ice cores, which register mean annual temperatures, indicate that Younger Dryas temperatures over the ice sheet were ~15C colder than at present. This mismatch between the two nearby paleoclimate records is interpreted to result from strong seasonality (very cold winters and only moderately cold summers) during Younger Dryas time. We are examining seasonality during Younger Dryas time by developing records of summer temperatures from local glaciers in Milne Land (71.0°N, 25.6°W). These mountain glaciers are located adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet, less than 50 km from the location of Renland Ice core and only ~250 km from the locations of the GISP2 and GRIP cores. We present new 10Be ages of local glacial extents in Milne Land. Ages range from 11,880 yr

  7. Organic Carbon Dynamics in Glacier Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, J.; Sharp, M.; Klassen, J.; Foght, J.; Turner, R.

    2004-12-01

    The biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon (OC) has important implications for aquatic system ecology because the abundance and molecular characteristics of OC influence contaminant transport and bioavailability, and determine its suitability as a substrate for microbial metabolism. There have been few studies of OC cycling in glacier systems, and questions remain regarding the abundance, provenance, and biogeochemical transformations of OC in these environments. To address these questions, the abundance and molecular characteristics of OC is investigated in three glacier systems. These systems are characterized by different thermal and hydrological regimes and have different potential OC sources. John Evans Glacier is a polythermal glacier in arctic Canada. Outre Glacier is a temperate glacier in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Victoria Upper Glacier is a cold-based glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. To provide an indication of the extent to which glacier system OC dynamics are microbially mediated, microbial culturing and identification is performed and organic acid abundance and speciation is determined. Where possible, samples of supraglacial runoff, glacier ice and basal ice and subglacial meltwater were collected. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration in each sample was measured by combustion/non-dispersive infrared gas analysis. Emission and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy were used to characterize the molecular properties of the DOC from each environment. When possible, microbial culturing and identification was performed and organic acid identification and quantification was measured by ion chromatography. DOC exists in detectable quantities (0.06-46.6 ppm) in all of the glacier systems that were investigated. The molecular characteristics of DOC vary between glaciers, between environments at the same glacier, and over time within a single environment. Viable microbes are recoverable in significant (ca

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of the most suitable threshold value for modelling snow glacier melt through T- index approach: the case study of Forni Glacier (Italian Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senese, Antonella; Maugeri, Maurizio; Vuillermoz, Elisa; Smiraglia, Claudio; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina

    2014-05-01

    , to assess the most suitable threshold, we firstly analyzed hourly MEB values to detect if ablation occurs and how long this phenomenon takes (number of hours per day). The largest part of the melting (97.7%) resulted occurring on days featuring at least 6 melting hours thus suggesting to consider their minimum average daily temperature value as a suitable threshold (268.1 K). Then we ran a simple T-index model applying different threshold values. The threshold which better reproduces snow melting results the value 268.1 K. Summarizing using a 5.0 K lower threshold value (with respect to the largely applied 273.15 K) permits the best reconstruction of glacier melt and it results in agreement with findings by van den Broeke et al. (2010) in Greenland ice sheet. Then probably the choice of a 268 K value as threshold for computing degree days amount could be generalized and applied not only on Greenland glaciers but also on Mid latitude and Alpine ones. This work was carried out under the umbrella of the SHARE Stelvio Project funded by the Lombardy Region and managed by FLA and EvK2-CNR Committee.

  12. The Greenland Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimes, Paul; Blundell, Raymond

    2012-09-01

    In the spring of 2010, the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, acquired the ALMA North America prototype antenna - a state-of-the-art 12-m diameter dish designed for submillimeter astronomy. Together with the MIT-Haystack Observatory and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the plan is to retrofit this antenna for cold-weather operation and equip it with a suite of instruments designed for a variety of scientific experiments and observations. The primary scientific goal is to image the shadow of the Super-Massive Black Hole in M87 in order to test Einstein’s theory of relativity under extreme gravity. This requires the highest angular resolution, which can only be achieved by linking this antenna with others already in place to form a telescope almost the size of the Earth. We are therefore developing plans to install this antenna at the peak of the Greenland ice-sheet. This location will produce an equivalent North-South separation of almost 9,000 km when linked to the ALMA telescope in Northern Chile, and an East-West separation of about 6,000 km when linked to SAO and ASIAA’s Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and will provide an angular resolution almost 1000 times higher than that of the most powerful optical telescopes. Given the quality of the atmosphere at the proposed telescope location, we also plan to make observations in the atmospheric windows at 1.3 and 1.5 THz. We will present plans to retrofit the telescope for cold-weather operation, and discuss potential instrumentation and projected time-line.

  13. The monitoring of glacial migration in Greenland by multi sensor data fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, H.; Kim, J.; yun, H.; Choi, Y.

    2013-12-01

    The retreatment of ice sheet in Greenland by global warming is now firmly confirmed by variety of observations. However, the arguments about the melting speed of ice sheet is still undergoing owing to the absence of the quantitative measurement method to continuously trace the direction and the speed of icecap change. Thus, we tested a scheme to spatially and temporally monitor the migration of ice sheet with high accuracy employing multi sensor information and their data fusion. The target areas were established in Jakoshavm and Mittivakkat glaciers where the shrinking of glaciers has been obvious for the last one century. At first, in both well-known Greenland glaciers, Differential Interferometric SAR (DInSAR) campaigns which are highly useful to monitor the glacial retreat have been undertaking employing 30 European remote sensing satellite (ERS) and 15 Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) InSAR pairs. Since base DEM quality for DInSAR analysis is poor and InSAR pixels are frequently de-correlated over ice body, two pass DInSAR doesn't produce reliable outputs. Thus the time series analyses of Permanent Scatterer and Small Baseline Subset are expected to effectively trace the translation of the glaciers and employed as the main methodology of DInSAR. Although DInSAR time series analysis effectively reconstructed temporal change of glaciers, the extracted glacial movements are projected values into line of sight direction of the sensor. Therefore it might be better to interpret them together with the other remote sensed data set for the fulfilment of useful directional measurements. In terms of such data fusion aspect, we also employ Co-registration of Optically Sensed Images and Correlation (CoSi-CORR, Leprince et al., 2007) technique, which is known as a tool for 2D change tracing, with ALOS Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) to compensate for any line

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Microbial Habitat on Kilimanjaro's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  17. Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Glacier discharge and climate variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Insect-Based Holocene (and Last Interglacial?) Paleothermometry from the E and NW Greenland Ice Sheet Margins: A Fly's-Eye View of Warmth on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Bigl, M.; Carrio, C.; Corbett, L. B.; Francis, D. R.; Hall, B. L.; Kelly, M. A.; Levy, L.; Lowell, T. V.; Osterberg, E. C.; Richter, N.; Roy, E.; Schellinger, G. C.

    2011-12-01

    Here we present new paleotemperature reconstructions based upon insect (Chironomidae) assemblages and other proxies from lake sediment cores recovered in east Greenland at ~71° N near Scoresby Sund and in northwest Greenland at ~77° N near Thule/Qaanaaq. In east Greenland, Last Chance Lake (informal name) is a small, non-glacial lake situated ~90 km east of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. The lake preserves a sedimentary record of the entire Holocene (Levy et al. 2013). Chironomids from Last Chance Lake record cold summer temperatures (and establishment of a cold-climate fauna including abundant Oliveridia and Pseudodiamesa) during the late Holocene, preceded by summer temperatures estimated to have been 3 to 6°C warmer during the first half of the Holocene (when summer insolation forcing was greater than today). In northwest Greenland, Delta Sø and Wax Lips Lake (informal name) both preserve Holocene sediments. Here we discuss the late Holocene chironomid record from Delta Sø, whereas from Wax Lips Lake (a small, non-glacial lake situated ~2 km west of the ice sheet margin) we present a longer sedimentary and biostratigraphic record. The deeper portions of cores from Wax Lips Lake yield pre-Holocene and nonfinite radiocarbon ages, suggesting that this lake preserves sediments predating the Last Glacial Maximum. Abundant chironomids in the pre-glacial sediments appear to record interglacial conditions, and we infer that these sediments may date to the Last Interglacial (Eemian). The preservation of in situ Last Interglacial lacustrine sediments so close to the modern ice sheet margin suggests a minimally erosive glacierization style throughout the last glacial period, like that inferred for other Arctic locales such as on Baffin Island (Briner et al. 2007), ~750 km southwest of our study site. Our study sites are situated nearby key ice core sites (including NEEM, Camp Century, Agassiz and Renland) and very close to the ice sheet margin. These chironomid

  20. Insect-Based Holocene (and Last Interglacial?) Paleothermometry from the E and NW Greenland Ice Sheet Margins: A Fly's-Eye View of Warmth on Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, Y.; Bigl, M.; Carrio, C.; Corbett, L. B.; Francis, D. R.; Hall, B. L.; Kelly, M. A.; Levy, L.; Lowell, T. V.; Osterberg, E. C.; Richter, N.; Roy, E.; Schellinger, G. C.

    2013-12-01

    Here we present new paleotemperature reconstructions based upon insect (Chironomidae) assemblages and other proxies from lake sediment cores recovered in east Greenland at ~71° N near Scoresby Sund and in northwest Greenland at ~77° N near Thule/Qaanaaq. In east Greenland, Last Chance Lake (informal name) is a small, non-glacial lake situated ~90 km east of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin. The lake preserves a sedimentary record of the entire Holocene (Levy et al. 2013). Chironomids from Last Chance Lake record cold summer temperatures (and establishment of a cold-climate fauna including abundant Oliveridia and Pseudodiamesa) during the late Holocene, preceded by summer temperatures estimated to have been 3 to 6°C warmer during the first half of the Holocene (when summer insolation forcing was greater than today). In northwest Greenland, Delta Sø and Wax Lips Lake (informal name) both preserve Holocene sediments. Here we discuss the late Holocene chironomid record from Delta Sø, whereas from Wax Lips Lake (a small, non-glacial lake situated ~2 km west of the ice sheet margin) we present a longer sedimentary and biostratigraphic record. The deeper portions of cores from Wax Lips Lake yield pre-Holocene and nonfinite radiocarbon ages, suggesting that this lake preserves sediments predating the Last Glacial Maximum. Abundant chironomids in the pre-glacial sediments appear to record interglacial conditions, and we infer that these sediments may date to the Last Interglacial (Eemian). The preservation of in situ Last Interglacial lacustrine sediments so close to the modern ice sheet margin suggests a minimally erosive glacierization style throughout the last glacial period, like that inferred for other Arctic locales such as on Baffin Island (Briner et al. 2007), ~750 km southwest of our study site. Our study sites are situated nearby key ice core sites (including NEEM, Camp Century, Agassiz and Renland) and very close to the ice sheet margin. These chironomid

  1. The current disequilibrium of North Cascade glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelto, Mauri S.

    2006-03-01

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

  2. The Pedagogical Situation in Greenland.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunther, Bent

    The history of Greenland's educational activities began in 1721 with the work of a missionary who encouraged the people to learn to read and write. A century later, higher education became available. In 1905, legislation was enacted that served as a milestone of progress for the growth of education. Separation from Denmark, which was leading…

  3. Greenland: More Questions than Answers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allison, Pete

    1998-01-01

    Journal entries, reflections, and interviews from a phenomenological study indicate the benefits experienced by 70 British youth participating in a six-week Greenland expedition. Themes emerging from the data include reflection on values, life and career plans, friendships and relationships, connectedness to self and society, environmental…

  4. Numerical modelling of the effect of changing surface geometry on mountain glacier mass balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, C.; Carrivick, J.; Evans, A.; Carver, S.

    2012-12-01

    Mountain glaciers and ice caps are extremely useful indicators of environmental change. Due to their small size, they have much faster response times to climate changes than the large ice masses of Greenland and Antarctica. Mountain glaciers are important for society as sources of water for energy production and irrigation. The meltwater cycles significantly impact local ecology. Consequently, models assessing the effect of complicated glacier surface geometry on glacier mass balance are becoming increasingly popular. Here we apply such a model to a glacier record spanning 100 years. Our study encompasses the creation of a GIS enabling analysis of changing glacier geometry over the 20th and early 21st Centuries and the development and testing of a novel user-friendly distributed-surface energy balance model that is designed specifically to consider the effect that these changes have on mountain glacier mass balance. Long-term records of mass balance are rare for arctic Mountain glaciers, making model development and evaluation difficult. One exception is Kårsaglaciären in arctic Sweden for which there is a variety of data for the past 100 years, sourced from historical surveys, satellite imagery and recent field work. Firstly, we present the construction of robust three-dimensional glacier surface reconstructions for Kårsaglaciären within a GIS, specifically discussing the methods of interpolation used to create the surfaces. We highlight the methods and importance of inter-model sensitivity analyses as well as Monte Carlo simulations used to assess the effect of the input data utilised in the kriging algorithms. Analyses integral to the modelling stage of the project, such as the geometries of the resultant surfaces as well as the interrelationships between them, will be discussed. Secondly, we present the melt model which has been constructed in order to test the effect of changing geometry on mass balance. Our melt model can carry out systematic testing of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citterio, M.; Ahlstrom, A. P.

    2012-12-01

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

  6. Geochemical characteristics of insoluble dust as a tracer in an ice core from Miaoergou Glacier, east Tien Shan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Zhiheng; Xiao, Cunde; Liu, Yaping; Wu, Guoju

    2015-04-01

    An ice core was extracted from Miaoergou Glacier, east Tien Shan, China. Concentrations of the rare earth elements (REEs) and Sr-Nd isotopic ratios were measured in insoluble dust sampled from the core. The ratios of REEs in insoluble dust were found to have characteristics typical of aeolian deposition, similar to those of sand and loess from Taklamakan. This suggests that the Taklamakan Desert might be an important source of dust reaching the Miaoergou Glacier. Sr (87Sr/86Sr average 0.718014 and range 0.717025 to 0.718958) and Nd (εNd(0) average - 9.1 and range - 9.5 to - 8.5) isotopic compositions in insoluble dust are similar to those of desert sand from Taklamakan and Gobi, suggesting that the Gobi Desert may be another major aeolian source for Miaoergou Glacier. Our results can be compared with Sr-Nd isotopic ratios from Greenland snow and ice, further demonstrating how the dust from Asian deserts contributes a high proportion of aeolian dust in the Greenland region.

  7. New insights into the past glaciation of the northeast Greenland continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, J. E.; Jokat, W.; Dorschel, B.; Matahelemual, D.; Dowdeswell, J. A.; Evans, J.

    2014-12-01

    The North-East Greenland ice stream reaches about 700 km inland and drains a major part of the Greenland ice sheet via marine terminating glaciers at the western edge of the North-East Greenland Continental Shelf (NEGCS). Previous studies suggested that, during full-glacial periods, the ice sheet only extended to the inner shelf and did not reach further to the east. Based on radiocarbon dating data it was hypothesized that the Greenland Ice Sheet reached onto the middle shelf or even the shelf edge. An advance at least to the middle shelf at about 79.5 to 80.5° N was later demonstrated by two studies using new high-resolution swath bathymetric data that showed seafloor features, including mega-scale glacial lineations and retreat moraines, indicating past ice stream activity. These data, however, only provided a fragmented picture of the behaviour of this North-East sector of the Greenland ice sheet, with the majority of the NEGCS area unmapped. Now, we have newly processed bathymetric data from R/V Polarstern that was acquired in the area of the NEGCS from 76° to 81° N throughout the last 25 years. In addition we include processed data collected by other institutions. In total, swath bathymetric data from 26 cruises has been investigated for glacigenic seafloor features. All glacigenic seafloor features have been mapped to provide a holistic overview of the area. We present the current stage of our investigation. It shows that glacial activity on the NEGCS was far more intense than previously estimated and that the ice sheet extended even further offshore.

  8. Initial results from geophysical surveys and shallow coring of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallelonga, P.; Christianson, K.; Alley, R. B.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Christian, J. E. M.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Gkinis, V.; Holme, C.; Jacobel, R. W.; Karlsson, N. B.; Keisling, B. A.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kjær, H. A.; Kristensen, M. E. L.; Muto, A.; Peters, L. E.; Popp, T.; Riverman, K. L.; Svensson, A. M.; Tibuleac, C.; Vinther, B. M.; Weng, Y.; Winstrup, M.

    2014-07-01

    The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) is the sole interior Greenlandic ice stream. Fast flow initiates near the summit dome, and the ice stream terminates approximately 1000 km downstream in three large outlet glaciers that calve into the Greenland Sea. To better understand this important system, in the summer of 2012 we drilled a 67 m firn core and conducted ground-based radio-echo sounding (RES) and active-source seismic surveys at a site approximately 150 km downstream from the onset of streaming flow (NEGIS firn core, 75°37.61' N, 35°56.49' W). The site is representative of the upper part of the ice stream, while also being in a crevasse-free area for safe surface operations. Annual cycles were observed for insoluble dust, sodium and ammonium concentrations and for electrolytic conductivity, allowing a seasonally resolved chronology covering the past 400 yr. Annual layer thicknesses averaged 0.11 m ice equivalent (i.e.) for the period 1607-2011, although accumulation varied between 0.08 and 0.14 m i.e., likely due to flow-related changes in surface topography. Tracing of RES layers from the NGRIP (North Greenland Ice Core Project) ice core site shows that the ice at NEGIS preserves a climatic record of at least the past 51 kyr. We demonstrate that deep ice core drilling in this location can provide a reliable Holocene and late-glacial climate record, as well as helping to constrain the past dynamics and ice-lithosphere interactions of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  9. The new ‘Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet’ data base

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrøm, A.; van As, D.; Citterio, M.; Nielsen, S.; Thomsen, C. T.

    2009-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at a dramatic rate during recent years, with possible impact on global sea level rise and climate dynamics. With this in view the new Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) has been launched by the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy. The aim of the programme is to quantify the annual mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. It is the intention that data and results from this programme should be available to the public. One of the main activities within PROMICE is establishment and maintenance of a network of automatic mass-balance stations (AMS) on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet. The final station network will include a total of 14 stations located in seven climatically different regions of the Greenland ice sheet and is intended to be fully operational from 2011 and onwards. At each location, one station is placed in the lower ablation zone, another in the higher ablation zone, near the equilibrium-line altitude. Currently, twelve of these stations are operational in six regions of the ice sheet margin. The GEUS station setup includes measurement of air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, incoming and outgoing short- and long wave radiation, ice temperature, surface velocity, snow depth and ice ablation. Here we present the new PROMICE data base. The first data from the PROMICE stations is expected to be available for download at http://www.promice.dk before December 2009.

  10. Uncertainly in the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to Eemian sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, Reinhard; Robinson, Alex; Perrette, Mahe; Andrey, Ganopolski

    2014-05-01

    We present new simulations of the Greenland ice sheet over the last two glacial cycles in order to estimate Greenland's contribution to Eemian sea level rise. For this purpose, we use the polythermal ice sheet-model SICOPOLIS, which is bi-directional coupled with the regional climate model of intermediate complexity REMBO. The ice sheet model includes a novel sub-grid scale ice discharge parameterization, which mimics both fast processes and ice discharge into the ocean via outlet glacier in a heuristic statistical approach. In our simulations, the total as well as the sectoral parameterized present-day ice discharge agrees well with the mass fluxes into the ocean from observations and findings by others. We constrain our model using the partition between ice discharge and surface melt as found by regional climate models. For the shape of the ice-sheet, we introduce a measure of the ice thickness error at any grid point of the ice sheet and restrict it with an error limit. As further constraint, serves the range of the recently found Eemian drop in surface elevation at the NEEM ice borehole location (NEEM community members, 2013). We investigate the uncertainty due to the representation of precipitation in different model approaches in our intermediate complexity model. Further on, we inspect the uncertainty in the surface air temperature during Eemian. Finally, we compare our results with simulation by other workers. Our simulated best-guess for Greenland contribution to the Eemian highstand lies well in between the estimates by other authors. Disregarding the uncertainly in precipitation and Eemian surface air temperature, we find a range of Eemian Greenland contribution between 0.6 and 2.5 m. When introducing the additional uncertainty the range is widening somewhat, but not drastically. Reference NEEM community members Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core, Nature 493(7733), 489-494, doi: 10.1038/nature11789, 2013.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Contemporary proglacial aeolian sediment transport in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullard, J. E.; Austin, M. J.

    2007-12-01

    Glacial erosion processes produce significance quantities of fine sediments that are washed out from beneath glaciers by meltwater. When deposited on the glacier floodplain they dessicate and strong ice-driven winds can entrain and transport them across the landscape resulting in the formation of sand dunes and loess, and adding very fine particles (dust) to the atmosphere. Recent studies suggest that locally-generated dust can play an important role in regulating albedo and the melting rate of glaciers. Very few field process studies have examined the relationship between sediment-delivery to the proglacial floodplain by meltwater and the subsequent aeolian erosion and deposition of these fine sediments. This research reports the use of semi-isokinetic directional sediment samplers to make an initial assessment of the rates of transport of dust and sand in Sandflugtdalen, a valley adjacent to the West Greenland ice sheet. Vertical arrays (z(m) = 0.18, 0.43, 0.85, 1.4) of samplers were deployed in a down valley transect over a distance of 4 km. Trapped sediments were retrieved after intervals of 1 week and 9 weeks. The mass of sediment collected in the traps varied from 0.002-3.62 g cm2 wk-1. As expected, near surface traps collected more, and coarser, sediment than those deployed at 1.4 m height but the decrease in mass of sediment with height was highly variable. The array closest to the glacier trapped the greatest quantity of suspended sediment and the density of suspended sediment decreased with distance down valley. The flux of aeolian sediment comprises clays, silts and sand-sized particles. Areas of aeolian entrainment, transport and deposition are closely linked to the development and distribution of sediments on the proglacial floodplain which varies considerably in terms of surface roughness. At the east end of the valley, close to the ice sheet, aeolian sediment flux is controlled by sediment supply and topography rather than wind speed. Further down

  16. Simulating the Greenland ice sheet under present-day and palaeo constraints including a new discharge parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calov, R.; Robinson, A.; Perrette, M.; Ganopolski, A.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, we propose a new sub-grid scale parameterization for the ice discharge into the ocean through outlet glaciers and inspect the role of different observational and palaeo constraints for the choice of an optimal set of model parameters. This parameterization was introduced into the polythermal ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS, which is coupled to the regional climate model of intermediate complexity REMBO. Using the coupled model, we performed large ensemble simulations over the last two glacial cycles by varying two major parameters: a melt parameter in the surface melt scheme of REMBO and a discharge scaling parameter in our parameterization of ice discharge. Our empirical constraints are the present-day Greenland ice sheet surface elevation, the surface mass balance partition (ratio between total ice discharge and total precipitation) and the Eemian interglacial elevation drop relative to present day in the vicinity of the NEEM ice core. We show that the ice discharge parameterization enables us to simulate both the correct ice-sheet shape and mass balance partition at the same time without explicitly resolving the Greenland outlet glaciers. For model verification, we compare the simulated total and sectoral ice discharge with other estimates. For the model versions that are consistent with the range of observational and palaeo constraints, our simulated Greenland ice sheet contribution to Eemian sea-level rise relative to present-day amounts to 1.4 m on average (in the range of 0.6 and 2.5 m).

  17. Relative sea-level change, Kjove Land, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland: Implications for seasonality in Younger Dryas time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, B.; Baroni, C.; Denton, G.; Kelly, M. A.; Lowell, T.

    2008-12-01

    The age of the Milne Land Stade (MLS) moraines in the Scoresby Sund region of East Greenland is key for testing the hypothesis that strong seasonality marked abrupt cooling events, such as the Younger Dryas, registered in Greenland ice cores. The relevant chronology is based on 69 radiocarbon dates of shells from raised beaches and deltas related to marine inundation and isostatic rebound that accompanied glacier retreat from the moraines. Taken together, these dates form the basis for a relative sea-level curve that shows very high rates of emergence typical of recently deglaciated regions. Upward extrapolation of this curve suggests that the marine limit (134 m a.s.l.) dates to about 12,400 cal yr B.P. The shorelines that mark the marine limit lie within areas that were ice-covered when the glaciers were at the outer limit of the MLS advance; hence, the moraines that form the outer limit must antedate 12,400 cal yr B.P. and probably are from earliest Younger Dryas or Allerød time. At Holger Danskes Briller, an inner moraine grades to a massive ice-contact delta, now at 101 m a.s.l., which is dated to 11,000-11,300 cal yr B.P. The age of the outer MLS moraines, along with constraints on the maximum possible Younger Dryas ice extent and snowline lowering are consistent with the idea that East Greenland climate experienced strong seasonality during Younger Dryas time.

  18. Recent sea-level contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Andrew; Wingham, Duncan

    2007-03-16

    After a century of polar exploration, the past decade of satellite measurements has painted an altogether new picture of how Earth's ice sheets are changing. As global temperatures have risen, so have rates of snowfall, ice melting, and glacier flow. Although the balance between these opposing processes has varied considerably on a regional scale, data show that Antarctica and Greenland are each losing mass overall. Our best estimate of their combined imbalance is about 125 gigatons per year of ice, enough to raise sea level by 0.35 millimeters per year. This is only a modest contribution to the present rate of sea-level rise of 3.0 millimeters per year. However, much of the loss from Antarctica and Greenland is the result of the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which has accelerated over the past decade. In both continents, there are suspected triggers for the accelerated ice discharge-surface and ocean warming, respectively-and, over the course of the 21st century, these processes could rapidly counteract the snowfall gains predicted by present coupled climate models.

  19. The Extent of Channelized Basal Water Flow Under the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downs, J.; Johnson, J. V.; Harper, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Glacial ice flows due to a combination of deformation and basal sliding, with sliding accounting for most of the fastest ice flow. Basal sliding is controlled by the transport of water at the glacier's bed, which can be accomplished through both high pressure, low discharge, distributed flow, or low pressure, high discharge, channelized flow. Higher pressures are generally associated with more complete decoupling of a glacier from its bed and faster flow. As the intensity of summer melt in Greenland has increased, our poor understanding of the drainage network's discharge capacity and its coupling to sliding has generated fundamental questions, such as: will larger fluxes of liquid water promote or inhibit basal sliding? To investigate this question we have implemented a model of distributed and channelized flow developed by Werder et. al 2013. The sensitivity of the modeled channel network to basal and surface geometry, melt rate, boundary conditions, and other parameters is examined in a sequence of experiments using synthetic geometries. Expanding on these experiments, we run the model with realistic surface and bedrock data from Issunguata Sermia in Western Central Greenland. These experiments benefit from a wealth of in-situ data, including observations of basal water pressure. Our results suggest that the development of large channels is limited to the margins of the ice sheet, and that higher pressures continue to prevail in the interior.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Antarctica: Measuring glacier velocity from satellite images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring: strategy and datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Internationally coordinated monitoring of long-term glacier changes provide key indicator data about global climate change and began in the year 1894 as an internationally coordinated effort to establish standardized observations. Today, world-wide monitoring of glaciers and ice caps is embedded within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an important Essential Climate Variable (ECV). The Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) was established in 1999 with the task of coordinating measurements and to ensure the continuous development and adaptation of the international strategies to the long-term needs of users in science and policy. The basic monitoring principles must be relevant, feasible, comprehensive and understandable to a wider scientific community as well as to policy makers and the general public. Data access has to be free and unrestricted, the quality of the standardized and calibrated data must be high and a combination of detailed process studies at selected field sites with global coverage by satellite remote sensing is envisaged. Recently a GTN-G Steering Committee was established to guide and advise the operational bodies responsible for the international glacier monitoring, which are the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. Several online databases containing a wealth of diverse data types having different levels of detail and global coverage provide fast access to continuously updated information on glacier fluctuation and inventory data. For world-wide inventories, data are now available through (a) the World Glacier Inventory containing tabular information of about 130,000 glaciers covering an area of around 240,000 km2, (b) the GLIMS-database containing digital outlines of around 118,000 glaciers with different time stamps and

  5. Surface and sub-surface multi-proxy reconstruction of middle to late Holocene palaeoceanographic changes in Disko Bugt, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moros, Matthias; Lloyd, Jeremy M.; Perner, Kerstin; Krawczyk, Diana; Blanz, Thomas; de Vernal, Anne; Ouellet-Bernier, Marie-Michele; Kuijpers, Antoon; Jennings, Anne E.; Witkowski, Andrzej; Schneider, Ralph; Jansen, Eystein

    2016-01-01

    We present new surface water proxy records of meltwater production (alkenone derived), relative sea surface temperature (diatom, alkenones) and sea ice (diatoms) changes from the Disko Bugt area off central West Greenland. We combine these new surface water reconstructions with published proxy records (benthic foraminifera - bottom water proxy; dinocyst assemblages - surface water proxy), along with atmospheric temperature from Greenland ice core and Greenland lake records. This multi-proxy approach allows us to reconstruct centennial scale middle to late Holocene palaeoenvironmental evolution of Disko Bugt and the Western Greenland coastal region with more detail than previously available. Combining surface and bottom water proxies identifies the coupling between ocean circulation (West Greenland Current conditions), the atmosphere and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Centennial to millennial scale changes in the wider North Atlantic region were accompanied by variations in the West Greenland Current (WGC). During periods of relatively warm WGC, increased surface air temperature over western Greenland led to ice sheet retreat and significant meltwater flux. In contrast, during periods of cold WGC, atmospheric cooling resulted in glacier advances. We also identify potential linkages between the palaeoceanography of the Disko Bugt region and key changes in the history of human occupation. Cooler oceanographic conditions at 3.5 ka BP support the view that the Saqqaq culture left Disko Bugt due to deteriorating climatic conditions. The cause of the disappearance of the Dorset culture is unclear, but the new data presented here indicate that it may be linked to a significant increase in meltwater flux, which caused cold and unstable coastal conditions at ca. 2 ka BP. The subsequent settlement of the Norse occurred at the same time as climatic amelioration during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and their disappearance may be related to harsher conditions at the beginning of the

  6. Multi-method observation and analysis of a tsunami caused by glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüthi, Martin P.; Vieli, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Glacier calving can cause violent tsunami waves which, upon landfall, can cause severe destruction. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in west Greenland. During an exceptionally well-documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused a tsunami wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25-33 m s-1. This wave was filmed from a tour boat at 800 m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore at a distance of 4 km was 10-15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

  7. Multi-method observation and analysis of an impulse wave and tsunami caused by glacier calving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lüthi, M. P.; Vieli, A.

    2015-11-01

    Glacier calving can cause violent impulse waves which, upon landfall, can lead to destructive tsunami-like waves. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in West Greenland. During an exceptionally well documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused an impulse wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25-30 m s-1. This wave was filmed from a tour boat in 800 m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore in 4 km distance was 10-15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

  8. Drivers of River Water Temperature Space-time Variability in Northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannah, D. M.; Docherty, C.; Milner, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water temperature plays an important role in stream ecosystem functioning; however, water temperature dynamics in high Arctic environments have received relatively little attention. Given that global climate is predicted to change most at high latitudes, it is vital we broaden our knowledge of space-time variability in Arctic river temperature to understand controlling processes and potential consequences of climate change. To address this gap, our research aims: (1) to characterise seasonal and diel patterns of variability over three summer and two winter seasons with contrasting hydrometeorological conditions, (2) to unravel the key drivers influencing thermal regimes and (3) to place these results in the context of other snow/ glacier-melt dominated environments. Fieldwork was undertaken in July-September 2013, 2014 and 2015 close to the Zackenberg Research Station in Northeast Greenland - an area of continuous permafrost with a mean July air temperature of 6 °C. Five streams were chosen that drain different water source contributions (glacier melt, snow melt, groundwater). Data were collected at 30 minute intervals using micro-dataloggers. Air temperature data were collected within 7km by the Greenland Survey. Weather conditions were highly variable between field campaigns, with 2013 experiencing below average, and 2014 and 2015 above average, snowfall. Summer water temperatures appear to be high in comparison to some Arctic streams in Alaska and in Svalbard. Winter snowfall extent decreases stream water temperature; and water temperature increases with atmospheric exposure time (distance from source) - illustrating the intertwined controls of water and heat fluxes. These Greenland streams are most strongly influenced by snowmelt, but groundwater contributions could increase with a changing climate due to increased active layer thickness, which may result in increased river temperature with implications for aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  9. Greenland englacial drainage: conditions favoring water transport through a fractured aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the subglacial hydrology of glaciers and ice sheets has garnered intense interest because of its effects on ice sliding and potential ice sheet responses leading to sea level rise. Less attention has focused on the englacial water system that connects surface meltwater sources to the basal drainage system. Observations of englacial drainage have revealed diametrically opposed behaviors, so that understanding the role of the englacial system is critical to developing knowledge of ice sheet responses. The englacial connections either enhance or limit subglacial processes, including sliding. Some observations show cases where water drainage is mainly through an englacial system of fractures so that water flow at the bed is stunted. Other observations show static englacial water systems that play little role in drainage with primary drainage routes being along the bed. Here, we use a thermomechanical model of englacial water flow to understand the interaction between ice and water along these connections. We assume that water flow is through a series of connected fractures analogous to crevassed Greenland outlet glaciers. The fractures are modified by ice flow, and freezing and melting of the water system. Simple mathematical analyses show trade offs between closure rates and melting rates that determine the englacial flowpaths. From numerical experiments, we show that the dominance of englacial flow follows the locations of both bed overdeepenings and areas where the basal water system is compressed dynamically. The preponderance of overdeependenings in Greenland suggests that englacial systems may be favored in critical areas of ice sheet flow. We conclude by relating the insights from the analytic and numerical results to the broad scale patterns of change of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  10. Ground-Based Geophysical Surveys of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianson, K.; Jacobel, R. W.; Peters, L. E.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Alley, R. B.; Riverman, K. L.; Muto, A.

    2012-12-01

    On both the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, mass discharge from the ice interior to the ocean is concentrated in large fast-flowing features, termed outlet glaciers on Greenland and ice streams in West Antarctica. In Greenland, the locations of outlet glaciers are controlled primarily by bedrock topography; in West Antarctica ice streams are dynamic and shift their location based on subglacial hydrology and subglacial sediment conditions, especially on the Siple Coast. The most dramatic exception to this general division of fast-flowing ice masses is the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS), an area of fast flowing ice that initiates near the ice sheet summit and drains much of the ice sheet's northeast quadrant. Although fast-flow likely initiates due to the anomalous presence of high geothermal heat flux, and thus basal melt, near the ice sheet summit, the surface expression of NEGIS is similar to that of a West Antarctic ice stream. Here we present the first ground-based geophysical data ever gathered on the NEGIS. GPS data show the ice stream is characterized by complex variations in surface topography with an amplitude of ~30 m. Ice-penetrating radar (IPR) data show the presence of internal reflecting horizons through the entire ice thickness. Although some deep layers are disturbed, indicating possible basal melt, three zones of the ice stream exhibit internal layer deformation through the entire ice column. Two of these zones correspond to the current shear margins; the third zone's origin is unclear. IPR data also show that the ice stream's location is not solely controlled by the underlying bedrock topography. Evidence for the lack of conformance of streaming flow to bedrock features, and for shifting dynamics (possible paleo-shear margins), reinforces the conclusion that this feature is similar to a West Antarctic ice stream. The presence of a West Antarctic style ice stream in Greenland highlights the ability of the ice sheet to dynamically shift

  11. Shoreline changes and its impact on activities in the coastal zone in Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroon, A.; Bendixen, M.; Elberling, B.

    2015-12-01

    Almost all coastal environments in Greenland are developed in high-relief areas, along fjords, or hard-rock cliffs. The sedimentary shores often fringe these areas and a large number of small deltas (areal delta surface < 10 km2) exists. The sediments mostly originate from rivers that are fed by melting glaciers or drain pro-glacial and fluvial valleys. There is also active reworking at the present shorelines of sedimentary deposits of glacial, peri-glacial and deltaic origin that were formed during and after the last glaciation of the coastal plain.Arctic coastal processes are not only affected by waves, tides and currents, but to a large extend by freezing temperatures, ice and snow. There is a seasonal variation with open waters and active rivers in summer and ice-covered coastal waters and frozen rivers in winter. The coastal processes by waves and tides are thus often limited to summer and early fall. Nowadays, global climate changes induce many changes along the arctic coasts. Global sea-levels are rising due to thermal expansion and an increased fresh water flux from the glaciers and land ice masses, while ice coverage of the coastal waters decreases and the open water periods in summer extend. However, it is still unknown if the extra input of fluvial sediments can cope with increased erosion rates at the shores. Besides, the rate of actual sea-level rise in West Greenland is probably less than the local rate of isostatic uplift, leading to local relative sea level fall.The focus in this presentation is on shoreline changes and its impact on two coastal environments in Greenland: the Young Sound area (fjord environment in North-East Greenland), and the southern shore of Disko Island (open sea embayment in West Greenland). These coastal environments exhibit a wide variety of coastal landforms like deltas, spits, barriers, etc. The coastal landforms were mapped and aerial images, orthogonal photos, and satellite images were used to digitize successive

  12. Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böning, Claus W.; Behrens, Erik; Biastoch, Arne; Getzlaff, Klaus; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2016-07-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has experienced increasing mass loss since the 1990s. The enhanced freshwater flux due to both surface melt and outlet glacier discharge is assuming an increasingly important role in the changing freshwater budget of the subarctic Atlantic. The sustained and increasing freshwater fluxes from Greenland to the surface ocean could lead to a suppression of deep winter convection in the Labrador Sea, with potential ramifications for the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Here we assess the impact of the increases in the freshwater fluxes, reconstructed with full spatial resolution, using a global ocean circulation model with a grid spacing fine enough to capture the small-scale, eddying transport processes in the subpolar North Atlantic. Our simulations suggest that the invasion of meltwater from the West Greenland shelf has initiated a gradual freshening trend at the surface of the Labrador Sea. Although the freshening is still smaller than the variability associated with the episodic `great salinity anomalies', the accumulation of meltwater may become large enough to progressively dampen the deep winter convection in the coming years. We conclude that the freshwater anomaly has not yet had a significant impact on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

  13. The added value of high-resolution climate modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, Willem Jan; van Meijgaard, Erik; van Ulft, Bert; Machguth, Horst; Noël, Brice; van den Broeke, Michiel

    2016-04-01

    The local surface mass balance (SMB) of glaciers and ice sheets is to a very high extent related to topography. Subsequently, spatial variability in the SMB is also related to the spatial scales in the topography. The typical topographic length scales on the Greenland Ice Sheet are from several to over hundred kilometers. Therefore, regional climate models with resolutions between 5 and 25 kilometers normally capture the SMB of the Greenland Ice Sheet well. In this study, we analyze the added value of high-resolution regional climate simulations compared to statistical downscaling. For this aim, the regional climate model RACMO2 has been run for South Greenland for the period 2007-2014 using resolutions of 60, 20, 6.6 and 2.2 kilometer. Modeled and downscaled SMB from these four simulations are analyzed and evaluated against ablation observations. Our results show that the strong correlation of runoff to elevation makes statistical downscaling a robust tool to refine modeled spatial SMB patterns. However, only high-resolution climate modeling can improve the physical representation of the SMB in lower ablation zone, because the summertime interaction between the warm air over the tundra and the colder air over the ice sheet starts to be resolved. As a result, the runoff in the lower ablation zone is more enhanced compared to lower resolution simulations and statistical downscaled SMB.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Tracking glaciers with the Alaska seismic network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, M. E.

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Mass losses from Svalbard land-terminating glaciers by the end of the 21st century under an RCP 8.5 scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möller, Marco; Navarro, Francisco; Martín-Español, Alba

    2016-04-01

    The high Arctic archipelagos are among the most strongly glacierized landscapes on earth apart from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Svalbard, one of these archipelagos, holds about 36,000 km2 of glaciers and ice caps and is the region that has shown the least negative mass balance of all the high Arctic regions. However, future projections suggest that the archipelago will experience an unprecedented -for the Arctic- glacier recession over the 21st century. We here present a high-resolution modelling study of the future ice-mass evolution of 29 individual land-terminating glaciers on the Svalbard archipelago under an RCP 8.5 climate forcing, a rather pessimistic scenario that unfortunately seems to be becoming realistic. Our model calculates glacier mass balance and area/volume changes using a temperature-index approach in combination with a surface elevation change parameterization. The initial glacier topographies and volumes have been assessed from extensive ground-penetrating radar measurements carried out in recent years. The calculations are performed for the 21st century and are forced by statistically downscaled output of ten different global circulation models representing the RCP scenario 8.5. By a topography-based extrapolation of the simulation results to the entire archipelago we show that a complete loss of most of Svalbard's land-terminating glaciers and even a deglaciation of certain subregions of the archipelago might occur by the end of the 21st century. 98% of the land-terminating glaciers will have retreated to less than one tenth of their initial extent by 2100, resulting in a loss of 7392±2481 km2 of ice coverage.

  18. Seismic Observations on Greenland Ice Sheet By a Joint USA and Japanese Glisn Team (2011-2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyokuni, G.; Kanao, M.; Tono, Y.; Himeno, T.; Tsuboi, S.; Childs, D.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Anderson, K. R.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is currently causing melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Recently, a new type of seismic event, referred to as a "glacial earthquake", has been recognized. Such earthquakes are generated by the movements of large masses of ice within the terminal regions of glacier, and represent a new approach for monitoring ice sheet dynamics. In 2009, the GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN) was initiated as international project to monitor changes in ice sheet by constructing a large broadband seismological network in and around Greenland. Japan is a partner country from when the GLISN project was launched, and has been sending an expedition team every year from 2011. In 2011, the Japanese GLISN team, together with the USA team, installed the dual seismic-GPS station ICESG-GLS2 in the middle of the Greenland ice cap. In 2012 and 2013, we performed maintenance at the ICESG-GLS2, DY2G-GLS1, and NUUK stations. In August 2014, we plan to participate in maintenance operations on three dual seismic-GPS stations on ice (ICESG-GLS2, DY2G-GLS1, and NEEM-GLS3), as well as two stations on bedrock at East coast (DBG and SOEG). This presentation will summarize our field activities for four years, and show results from preliminary analysis with the retrieved data. The Japanese GLISN team has been supported by JSPS KAKENHI 24403006.

  19. Co-evolution of tidewater glacier calving front morphology and submarine melt rates in a high resolution ocean model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Rapid dynamic changes at the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet, synchronous with ocean warming, have raised concern that tidewater glaciers can respond rapidly and sensitively to ocean forcing. One way in which ocean forcing would manifest is through the melting of the submerged parts of tidewater glacier calving fronts, with the spatial distribution of submarine melt a control on their morphology. Calving front morphology has thus far received little attention and yet has the potential to significantly impact calving rates and therefore tidewater glacier dynamics. Here we present a model which allows us to study the evolution of calving front morphology in two dimensions. We outline a new routine for calculating submarine melt rates from ocean models at calving fronts of arbitrary geometry, and for adjusting this geometry according to the calculated melt rates. This routine is applied to a high resolution (~1m) non-hydrostatic ocean model (MITgcm) with a glacier boundary (calving front) which evolves in time according to the simulated submarine melt rates. The model shows, consistent with recent observations, that submarine melting leads to undercutting of tidewater glacier calving fronts. We examine how undercut magnitude, undercut depth and potential steady states respond to variation in subglacial discharge, ice velocity, and fjord depth, temperature and stratification. In addition to this analysis we use a diagnostic full-Stokes flow-line ice model to examine how these geometries affect ice internal stress and potential for calving. In undertaking this work we aim to elucidate a process which - supposing tidewater glaciers are sensitive to ocean forcing - must provide a fundamental link between the ocean and the ice.

  20. 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%.

  1. Holocene ice-ocean interactions: Køge Bugt, southeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Laurence M.; Andresen, Camilla S.; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Hiemstra, John F.; Murray, Tavi; Sutherland, David A.; Bjørk, Anders A.; Jiang, Hui; Shah, Longbin

    2016-04-01

    We present results from a 174 cm marine sediment core collected from Køge Bugt (Ikeq) in central southeast Greenland. An age model was constructed from five 14C dates and five 210Pb determinations; this demonstrates that the core is composed of sediments that were deposited without interruption over the last ˜9.1 cal. ka. Holocene oceanographic conditions were reconstructed from measurements of the sortable silt mean and from benthic foraminifera assemblage data. Assessment of the sortable silt data demonstrates that they provide a valuable proxy for reconstructing palaeo-current vigour in marine environments dominated by iceberg-rafted debris (IRD) sedimentation. Holocene oceanic conditions in Køge Bugt were characterised by a tripartite history. Warm oceanic conditions occurred in the early-Holocene, this was accompanied by enhanced current-sorting of silt particles; we attribute this to incursion of the core waters of the Irminger Current in Køge Bugt. A period of cooling occurred during the mid-Holocene, this was followed by the establishment of cold, Polar oceanic conditions in the late-Holocene. Holocene glacier activity in Køge Bugt was reconstructed from measures of IRD abundance. We argue that coarse sediment in the core was derived exclusively from icebergs that calved from local outlet glaciers. Consequently, continuous IRD sedimentation demonstrates that glaciers in Køge Bugt remained in tidewater settings throughout the last 9.1 ka. Bed topography data show that the glacial troughs inland of the present-day ice margin are small (≤5 km - Morlighem et al., 2014). Consequently, glaciers cannot have retreated more than 5 km at any point in the record; this is despite climatic and oceanographic conditions during the early-Holocene that were at least as warm as the present-day. This behaviour is attributed to the specific geometry of the area. The glaciers that drain into Køge Bugt flow over relatively steep beds; this allows them to achieve new

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The environmental record in glaciers and ice sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Oeschger, H.; Langway, C.C. Jr.

    1989-01-01

    This book conveys from different points of view a sense of the variables involved in the formation and movement of glacial ice and the kinds of information held in the various glaciers. It also covers methodology and presents examples of recent findings and unexplored pathways. Verifying ice core chronology is a major challenge. Radioactive constituents such as {sup 14}C, {sup 10}Be, and {sup 81}Kr produced in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation can be useful for dating within the ranges of their respective half-lives. Abrupt changes in carbon dioxide concentration during an approximately 10,000-year period at a depth of about 2 kilometers in ice from the Dye 3 core (southern Greenland) and their evident correlation with changes in {sup 18}O values arouse great curiosity. Other abrupt (on a geologic time scale) changes in such parameters bear witness to large changes in climate in periods of a century or less. The presence of pollen testifies to the large body of unexploited information in these cores. Dating of pollen deposits, identification of species, and correlation of the resulting data with varve information on continental and ocean sediments should give new insight into climate change, species adaptation, forest migration, and back trajectories of air masses.

  8. Virus activity on the surface of glaciers and ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellas, C. M.; Anesio, A. M.; Telling, J.; Stibal, M.; Barker, G.; Tranter, M.; Yallop, M.; Cook, J.

    2012-12-01

    Viruses are found wherever there is life. They are major components of aquatic ecosystems and through interactions with their hosts they significantly alter global biogeochemical cycles and drive evolutionary processes. Here we focus on the interactions between bacteriophages and their hosts inhabiting the microbially dominated supraglacial ecosystems known as cryoconite holes. The diversity of phages present in the sediments of cryoconites was examined for the first time by using a molecular based approach to target the T4-type bacteriophage. Through phylogenetic analysis it was determined that the phage community was diverse, consisting of strains that grouped with those from other global habitats and those that formed several completely new T4-type phage clusters. The activity of the viral community present on glaciers from Svalbard and the Greenland Ice Sheet was also addressed through a series of incubation experiments. Here new virus production was found to be capable of turning over the viral population approximately twice a day, a rate comparable to marine and freshwater sediments around the globe. This large scale viral production was found to be theoretically capable of accounting for all heterotrophic bacterial mortality in cryoconite holes. The mode of infection that viruses employ in cryoconite holes was also addressed to show that a variety of viral life strategies are likely responsible for the continued dominance of viruses in these unique habitats. The implications of viral activity are discussed in terms of carbon cycling in supraglacial ecosystems.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The Annual Glaciohydrology Cycle in the Ablation Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Part 1. Hydrology Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colgan, William; Rajaram, Harihar; Anderson, Robert; Steffen. Konrad; Phillips, Thomas; Zwally, H. Jay; Abdalati, Waleed

    2012-01-01

    We apply a novel one-dimensional glacier hydrology model that calculates hydraulic head to the tidewater-terminating Sermeq Avannarleq flowline of the Greenland ice sheet. Within a plausible parameter space, the model achieves a quasi-steady-state annual cycle in which hydraulic head oscillates close to flotation throughout the ablation zone. Flotation is briefly achieved during the summer melt season along a approx.17 km stretch of the approx.50 km of flowline within the ablation zone. Beneath the majority of the flowline, subglacial conduit storage closes (i.e. obtains minimum radius) during the winter and opens (i.e. obtains maximum radius) during the summer. Along certain stretches of the flowline, the model predicts that subglacial conduit storage remains open throughout the year. A calculated mean glacier water residence time of approx.2.2 years implies that significant amounts of water are stored in the glacier throughout the year. We interpret this residence time as being indicative of the timescale over which the glacier hydrologic system is capable of adjusting to external surface meltwater forcings. Based on in situ ice velocity observations, we suggest that the summer speed-up event generally corresponds to conditions of increasing hydraulic head during inefficient subglacial drainage. Conversely, the slowdown during fall generally corresponds to conditions of decreasing hydraulic head during efficient subglacial drainage.

  13. Monitoring South-West Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordret, Aurélien; Mikesell, Dylan; Harig, Christopher; Lipovsky, Brad; Prieto, German

    2016-04-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) accounts for ~ 70% of global ice sheet mass loss and contributes to sea level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/yr. Therefore, the GIS needs to be carefully monitored. The spaceborne techniques commonly used to monitor the GIS mass balance contain inherent uncertainties. These uncertainties can be reduced by comparing independent datasets and techniques. However, spaceborne methods remain inadequate in the sense that they offer low spatial and/or temporal resolution. This fact highlights the need for other complementary methods to monitor the GIS more accurately and with greater resolution. Here we use a seismic method: the correlation of seismic noise recorded at South-West Greenland seismic stations to show that the GIS seasonal melt produces significant variations of seismic wave speed in the Greenland crust. The amplitudes of the measured velocity variations during 2012-2013 correlate with the total ice plus atmospheric mass variations measured by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission. We explain the phase delay between mass maxima and velocity minima ( 50 days) using a non-linear poroelastic model that includes a 55 cm-thick layer of till between the ice sheet and the bedrock. We, thus, interpret the velocity variations as pore pressure variations in the bedrock resulting from the loading and unloading of the overlying glacier and atmosphere. This method provides a new and independent way to monitor in near real-time the first-order state of the GIS, giving new constraints on its evolution and its contribution to the global sea level rise. By increasing the density of seismic stations in the region it will be possible to increase the spatial and temporal resolution of the method and create detailed maps of ice-mass variations across Greenland.

  14. Monitoring South-West Greenland's ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordret, A.; Mikesell, T. D.; Harig, C.; Lipovsky, B.; Prieto, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) accounts for ~ 70% of global ice sheet mass loss and contributes to sea level rise at a rate of 0.7 mm/yr. Therefore, the GIS needs to be carefully monitored. The spaceborne techniques commonly used to monitor the GIS mass balance contain inherent uncertainties. These uncertainties can be reduced by comparing independent datasets and techniques. However, spaceborne methods remain inadequate in the sense that they offer low spatial and/or temporal resolution. This fact highlights the need for other complimentary methods to monitor the GIS more accurately and with greater resolution. Here we use a seismic method: the correlation of seismic noise recorded at South-West Greenland seismic stations to show that the GIS seasonal melt produces significant variations of seismic wave speed in the Greenland crust. The amplitudes of the measured velocity variations during 2012-2013 correlate with the total ice plus atmospheric mass variations measured by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission. We explain the phase delay between mass maxima and velocity minima ( 50 days) using a non-linear poroelastic model that includes a 55 cm-thick layer of till between the ice sheet and the bedrock. We, thus, interpret the velocity variations as pore pressure variations in the bedrock resulting from the loading and unloading of the overlying glacier and atmosphere. This method provides a new and independent way to monitor in near real-time the first-order state of the GIS, giving new constraints on its evolution and its contribution to the global sea level rise. By increasing the density of seismic stations in the region it will be possible to increase the spatial and temporal resolution of the method and create detailed maps of ice-mass variations across Greenland.

  15. Initial results from geophysical surveys and shallow coring of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallelonga, P.; Christianson, K.; Alley, R. B.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Christian, J. E. M.; Dahl-Jensen, D.; Gkinis, V.; Holme, C.; Jacobel, R. W.; Karlsson, N.; Keisling, B. A.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Kjær, H. A.; Kristensen, M. E. L.; Muto, A.; Peters, L. E.; Popp, T.; Riverman, K. L.; Svensson, A. M.; Tibuleac, C.; Vinther, B. M.; Weng, Y.; Winstrup, M.

    2014-01-01

    The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) is the sole interior Greenlandic ice stream. Fast flow initiates near the summit dome, and the ice stream terminates approximately 1000 km downstream in three large outlet glaciers that calve into the Greenland Sea. To better understand this important system, in the summer of 2012 we drilled a 67 m firn core and conducted ground-based radio-echo sounding (RES) and active-source seismic surveys at a site approximately 150 km downstream from the onset of streaming flow (NEGIS firn core, 75° 37.61' N, 35°56.49' W). The site is representative of the upper part of the ice stream, while also being in a crevasse-free area for safe surface operations. Annual cycles were observed for insoluble dust, sodium and ammonium concentrations and for electrolytic conductivity, allowing a seasonally resolved chronology covering the past 400 yr. Annual layer thicknesses averaged 0.11 m ice equivalent (i.e.) for the period 1607-2011, although accumulation varied between 0.08 and 0.14 m i.e., likely due to flow-related changes in surface topography. Tracing of RES layers from the NGRIP ice core site shows that the ice at NEGIS preserves a climatic record of at least the past 51 kyr. We demonstrate that a deep ice core drilling in this location can provide a reliable Holocene and late-glacial climate record, as well as helping to constrain the past dynamics and ice-lithosphere interactions of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  16. Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Sea otter studies in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve: annual report 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, James L.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Esslinger, George G.; Monson, Daniel H.; Coletti, Heather A.; Doherty, Janet

    2003-01-01

    Since 1995, the number of sea otters in Glacier Bay proper has increased from around 5 to more than 1200. Sea otter distribution is mostly limited to the Lower Bay, south of Sandy Cove, and is not continuous within that area. Concentrations occur in the vicinity of Sita Reef and Boulder Island and between Pt. Carolus and Rush Pt. on the west side of the Bay, although there have been occasional sightings north of Sandy Cove (Figure 1). Large portions of the Bay remain unoccupied by sea otters, but recolonization is occurring rapidly. Most prey recovered by sea otters in Glacier Bay are ecologically, commercially, or socially important species. In 2002 sea otter diet consisted of 35% clam, 26% mussel, 3% crab, 3.0% snail, 2% starfish, 11% urchins, 2% other, and 20% unidentified. Dominant clam species include the butter clam, Saxidomus gigantea, the Greenland cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, and the littleneck clam, Protothaca staminea. Urchins are primarily green urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and the mussel is Modiolus modiolus. Crabs observed in 2002 include the Dungeness, Cancer magister, the kelp crab Pugettia gracilis, and the helmet crab, Telmessus cherigonus. Although we characterize diet at broad geographic scales, we have previously found diet to vary between sites separated by as little as several hundred meters. Dietary variation among and within sites can reflect differences in prey availability as well as individual specialization. We estimated species composition, density, biomass, and sizes of subtidal clams, urchins, and mussels at 13 sites in Glacier Bay and 5 sites in nearby Port Althorp, where sea otters have been present for at least 20 years. All sites were selected based on the presence of abundant clam siphons and the absence of sea otters (Glacier Bay) or abundant shell litter and the presence of sea otters (Port Althorp). Glacier Bay sites were selected to achieve a broad geographic sample of dense subtidal clam beds within

  18. Monte Carlo modelling projects the loss of most land-terminating glaciers on Svalbard in the 21st century under RCP 8.5 forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Möller, Marco; Navarro, Francisco; Martín-Español, Alba

    2016-09-01

    The high Arctic archipelagos around the globe are among the most strongly glacierized landscapes on Earth apart from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Over the past decades, the mass losses from land ice in the high Arctic regions have contributed substantially to global sea level rise. Among these regions, the archipelago of Svalbard showed the smallest mass losses. However, this could change in the coming decades, as Svalbard is expected to be exposed to strong climate warming over the 21st century. Here we present extensive Monte Carlo simulations of the future ice-mass evolution of 29 individual land-terminating glaciers on the Svalbard archipelago under an RCP 8.5 climate forcing. An extrapolation of the 29 sample glaciers to all land-terminating glaciers of the archipelago suggests an almost complete deglaciation of the region by 2100. Under RCP 8.5, 98% of the land-terminating glaciers will have declined to less than one tenth of their initial size, resulting in a loss of 7392 ± 2481 km2 of ice coverage.

  19. 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.

  20. A Coupled Ocean-Iceberg Model Over The 20th Century: Iceberg Flux At 48°N As A Proxy For Greenland Iceberg Discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigg, G. R.; Wilton, D.; Hanna, E.

    2013-12-01

    Grant R. Bigg1 , David J. Wilton1 and Edward Hanna1 1Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN We have used a coupled ocean-iceberg model, the Fine Resolution Greenland and Labrador ocean model [1], to study the variation in, and trajectory of, icebergs over the twentieth century, focusing particularly on Greenland and surrounding areas. The model is forced with daily heat, freshwater and wind fluxes derived from the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project [2]. We use the observed iceberg flux at 48°N off Newfoundland (I48N) from 1900 to 2008 [3] to assess the iceberg component of the model. Model I48N is calculated with both a variable and constant annual calving rate. The results show that ocean and atmosphere changes alone do not account for the variation in observed I48N and suggests that this series can be used as a proxy for iceberg discharge from west Greenland tidewater glaciers. The implication of this proxy is that there is significant interannual variability in Greenland iceberg discharge over the whole twentieth century. Our model results suggest that in the early decades of the twentieth century I48N was dominated by icebergs originating from south Greenland (below latitude 65°N) with west Greenland becoming the main source of I48N from the late 1930s onwards. Modeled icebergs from the east of Greenland very rarely reach 48°N. We also present results from the ocean model showing the variation of ocean transport fluxes over the course of the twentieth and early twenty first century. References 1. M. R. Wadley, and G. R. Bigg, (2002), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 128, 2187-2203 2. G. P. Compo, et al. (2011), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 1-28 3. D. L. Murphy (2011) http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=IIPIcebergCounts

  1. 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

  2. Mountain glacier evolution in the Iberian Peninsula during the Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, J. M.; Palacios, D.; González-Sampériz, P.; de Andrés, N.; Moreno, A.; Valero-Garcés, B.; Gómez-Villar, A.

    2016-04-01

    We review the evolution of glaciers in the Iberian Mountains during the Younger Dryas (12.9-11.7 ka, following the chronology of Greenland Stadial 1 - GS1) and compare with available environmental and climate data to investigate glacier dynamics during cold stadial episodes. The best examples of Younger Dryas moraines are found in the Central Pyrenees, involving short ice tongues up to 4 km in length in the highest massifs (above 3000 m a.s.l.) of the southern versant. Small cirque glaciers and rock glaciers formed during the YD occurred in other Pyrenean massifs, in the Cantabrian Range and in the Gredos and Guadarrama sierras (Central Range), as indicated by several rocky, polished thresholds that were ice-free at the beginning of the Holocene. Although some former rock glaciers were re-activated during the Younger Dryas, glacial activity was limited in the southernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula (Sierra Nevada). Most Iberian records show vegetation changes during the YD characterized by a forest decline and an expansion of shrubs (mainly Juniperus) and steppe herbs, although the vegetation response was not homogeneous because of variable resilience among ecosystems. Available records also document a variable lake response in terms of hydrology and productivity, with a decrease in sedimentation rates and organic productivity in most high altitude lakes and increases in salinity and relatively lower lake levels at lower altitudes. The impact of the Younger Dryas on the coastal environment was almost negligible, but it was responsible for a brief cessation in sea level rise. High-resolution analyses of new speleothem records have documented a double structure for the YD with an earlier drier phase followed by a relatively more humid period. The review of geomorphological evidence demonstrates a strong latitudinal control of glacial activity during the YD, with more intense development in the northern than in the southern regions. The increase in humidity during

  3. 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.

  4. Crustal structure beneath Central-Eastern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiche, S.; Thybo, H.; Reid, I.; Shulgin, A.

    2012-04-01

    Acquisition of geophysical data onshore Greenland is logistically complicated by the presence of an up to 3.4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering most of the land mass. Previous seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coast of Greenland, where little information about the continental part of the crust could be gained. Aiming to improve our understanding about crustal thickness and composition below the Greenland ice cap, the TopoGreenland project was initiated to collect the first ever controlled source seismic data onshore Greenland. Wide-angle seismic data were acquired along an EW-trending profile, extending 310 km inland from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near Scoresby Sund across the centre of the ice cap. In total, 348 Reftek Texan receivers recorded high-quality data from 8 equidistant shot points along the profile. Based on forward ray tracing modelling, a two-dimensional velocity model provides the first insight into the velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice sheet. Modelling results indicate a decrease of crustal thickness from 50 km below the centre of Greenland to 42 km in the eastern part of the profile. Relatively high lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3) in the western part of the model may be related to past collisional tectonic events or to the passage of the Iceland mantle plume.

  5. Rapid last-deglacial thinning and retreat of the marine-terminating southwestern Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winsor, Kelsey; Carlson, Anders E.; Caffee, Marc W.; Rood, Dylan H.

    2015-09-01

    Marine-terminating outlet glaciers are a major source of modern ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), but their role in GrIS retreat during the last deglaciation is not well constrained. Here, we develop deglacial outlet glacier retreat chronologies for four regions in southwest and south Greenland to improve understanding of spatial variations in centennial- to millennial-scale ice loss under a warming climate. We calculate 10Be surface exposure ages of boulders located in fjords near the towns of Qaqortoq, Paamiut, Nuuk, and Sisimiut. Our northernmost study site, Sisimiut, deglaciated earliest at ∼18 ka to ∼15 ka with an average thinning rate of 0.1-0.3 m yr-1. Inland retreat from Sisimiut to the modern ice margin took ∼7 ka at an average retreat rate of 15-20 m yr-1. A 10Be-dated moraine ∼25 km from the modern GrIS margin deposited at ∼8 ka suggests a possible ice-margin still-stand, but this does not change overall retreat rates. After retreat from the small coastal Sisimiut fjords, the GrIS margin was mainly land-terminating in this region. In contrast, earliest exposure occurred at ∼12 ka near Qaqortoq, and 11-10 ka near Nuuk and Paamiut, with ice thinning at rates of 0.2-0.3 m yr-1 to instantaneous within measurement uncertainty. Ice retreat inland through the extensive Nuuk, Paamiut, and Qaqortoq fjord systems to near modern ice margins occurred in <1 ka, resulting in minimum retreat rates of 25-65 m yr-1 and maximum retreat rates of ∼95 m yr-1 to instantaneous within the uncertainty of our measurements. This rapid thinning and retreat of marine-terminating southwest GrIS margins is contemporaneous with an incursion of relatively warm ocean waters into the Labrador Sea and toward the southwest Greenland coast, suggesting that a warming ocean may have contributed to the more rapid retreat of marine GrIS termini in the Nuuk, Paamiut, and Qaqortoq fjord systems relative to the slower ice retreat inland from Sisimiut. Our results highlight

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  7. Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: mass balance implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Box, J. E.; Tedesco, M.; Fettweis, X.; Hall, D. K.; Steffen, K.; Stroeve, J. C.

    2012-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. NASA MODIS data spanning 13 summers (2000 - 2012), indicate that mid-summer (July) ice sheet albedo declined by 0.064 from a value of 0.752 in the early 2000s. The ice sheet accordingly absorbed 100 EJ more solar energy for the month of July in 2012 than in the early 2000s. This additional energy flux during summer doubled melt rates in the ice sheet ablation area during the observation period. Abnormally strong anticyclonic circulation, associated with a persistent summer North Atlantic Oscillation extreme 2007-2012, enabled 3 amplifying mechanisms to maximize the albedo feedback: 1) increased warm (south) air advection along the western ice sheet increased surface sensible heating that in turn enhanced snow grain metamorphic rates, further reducing albedo; 2) increased surface downward shortwave flux, leading to more surface heating and further albedo reduction; and 3) reduced snowfall rates sustained low albedo, maximizing surface solar heating, progressively lowering albedo over multiple years. The summer net infrared and solar radiation for the high elevation accumulation area reached positive values during this period, contributing to an abrupt melt area increase in 2012. A number of factors make it reasonable to expect more melt episodes covering 100% of the ice sheet area in coming years: 1) the past 13 y of increasing surface air temperatures have eroded snowpack 'cold content', preconditioning the ice sheet for earlier melt onset. Less heat is required to bring the surface to melting; 2) Greenland temperatures, have lagged the N Hemisphere average in the 2000s, need to increase further for Greenland to be in phase with the N Hemisphere average. 3) Arctic amplification

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillai, J.; Patel, L. K.

    2011-12-01

    Glaciers in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) are the prime lifeline of Indian Subcontinent. There are about nine thousand glaciers of different size in this region. It is located within the latitudes 270N to 360N and longitude 720E to 960E. The second largest glacier, outside the polar and sub polar regions, Siachen glacier of length 74 km, is located in IHR. Many rivers in this continent originated from these glaciers. Study on the fluctuations especially of the snow cover and related parameters are important for the proper management of these rivers. Annual balance, fluctuations of glaciers, hydrological behaviour and the assessment of the winter snow pack are also critical for the proper flow and control of Himalayan Rivers. There are many hydroelectric and irrigation facilities in these snow fed rivers. Glacial melt is important as far as the river flow is concerned. Researchers had observed that the glacial mass balance has been found to show an inverse relationship with the monsoon. Glacial hydrometry and glacial melt are important aspects as far the studies of glaciers in this region. Himalayan glaciers are also important for ecosystem stability. In this perspective attempts had been made to examine the various environmental parameters of Pindari glacier and the upper reaches of the Pindari river. Pindari glacier is located in the Central Himalayan region. It is of length 8 Km. A few records available with Geological Survey of India for a period of hundred years reveals that Pindari glacial have an annual retreat of 8-10 M. Pindrai glacier had retreated about 425 M with in a period of fifty seven years. Pindari river originates from the buffer zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) and is located in the lower regime of Pindari glacier. It is one of the prominent tributaries of Alaknanda. Tributaries of Pindari river are from Maktoli glacier, Kafani glacier and Sunderdhunga glacier. The changes in the Pindiari catchment area had been examined from the

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Coeval fluctuations of the Greenland Ice Sheet and a local ice cap during the Younger Dryas: implications for late-glacial climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Laura; Kelly, Meredith; Lowell, Tom; Hall, Brenda; Howley, Jennifer; Smith, Colby

    2016-04-01

    Although the Younger Dryas (YD) has been recorded in ice cores atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, past glacier extents on Greenland dating to the YD are rare. In part, this is due to much of the Greenland Ice Sheet being located offshore until early Holocene time. The Scoresby Sund region (~71°N, 26°W) of central East Greenland, however, is one of only a few locations where the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers independent of the ice sheet were located at least partially on land by late-glacial time. In this region, two distinct sets of moraines, known as the inner and outer Milne Land Stade moraines, have been defined and mark a significant readvance or stillstand during deglaciation from the last glacial maximum. Previous work has dated these moraines to late-glacial and early Holocene time. We present a new 10Be chronology on fluctuations of both the Greenland Ice Sheet and the adjacent Milne Land ice cap from the type locality of the Milne Land Stade moraines in Milne Land. 10Be ages of boulders on bedrock distal to the inner Milne Land Stade moraines range from 12.3 to 11.5 ka and indicate that both ice masses retreated during the YD, likely in response to rising summer temperatures. Since Greenland ice-cores register cold mean annual temperatures throughout the YD, these ice-marginal data support climate conditions characterized by strong seasonality. The mean ages (± 1σ uncertainty) of the inner Milne Land Stade moraines date to 11.4 ± 0.8 ka (Greenland Ice Sheet) and 11.4 ± 0.6 ka (ice cap) indicating that they were formed during Preboreal time or at the end of the YD. Based on these coeval moraine ages, we suggest that both ice masses responded to climate conditions acting on the ice margins, specifically ablation. Moreover, our data show that the ice sheet responded sensitively (i.e., on the same time scale as a small ice cap) to late-glacial and early Holocene climate conditions.

  12. Southwest coast of Greenland and Davis Strait

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image was taken by MODIS as it passed over the southwest coast of Greenland (right) and the Davis Strait (center and left). The Davis Strait connects Baffin Bay to the north and the Labrador Sea to the south, and separates Greenland from Baffin Island, Canada. The Davis Strait is part of the Northwest Passage, a navigable seaway connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The image shows the prevailing currents in the area, with the warm water of a branch of the North Atlantic Drift flowing northward along the Greenland coast, and the cold, iceberg-filled Labrador Current flowing southward along the Baffin Island coast.

  13. Continuous monitoring of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet velocities using Sentinel-1 SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wuite, Jan; Nagler, Thomas; Hetzenecker, Markus; Blumthaler, Ursula; Rott, Helmut

    2016-04-01

    The Sentinel-1 mission has opened up new opportunities for regular monitoring of glacier and ice sheet velocities at high spatial and temporal resolution. From January to March 2015 the first ice sheet wide campaign on Greenland was completed resulting in a nearly complete ice velocity map. Later that year the first Antarctic campaign commenced covering most of the continent outside the polar gap. Besides ice sheet wide campaigns the Sentinel-1 acquisition plan allows for nearly continuous monitoring of the Greenland ice sheet margin and several key regions in Antarctica at 12-day intervals. This offers the unique capability of operational monitoring of short-term and seasonal velocity fluctuations as well as year-to-year variations for large regions. The quantity of data thus becoming available is unprecedented and requires new approaches for efficient processing and data analysis. Sentinel-1 carries a C-band synthetic aperture radar instrument providing high-resolution SAR images. Data is acquired across 250 km swaths at a spatial resolution of about 5 m x 20 m. We use repeat pass SLC images of Sentinel-1 acquired in Greenland and Antarctica to obtain ice flow velocity. We apply an iterative offset tracking approach, permitting to acquire the full range of velocities in a single swath while keeping the matching window at a minimum. We present the first ice sheet wide velocity maps of Greenland and Antarctica derived from Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired in 2015. Results are compared with ice flow velocity fields derived from other sensors, including ALOS PALSAR and the TerraSAR-X mission. Additionally we present velocity time series with 12-day intervals of major outlet glaciers of the ice sheets spanning well over a year. Velocity time-series production has been automated using a set of newly developed tools allowing for fast generation of (near real-time) center-line and gate velocity profiles that are stored in a database. Other functionalities include discharge

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racoviteanu, A.

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, Perspective with Landsat Overlay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

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

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. McCall Glacier record of Arctic climate change: Interpreting a northern Alaska ice core with regional water isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, E. S.; Nolan, M.; McConnell, J.; Sigl, M.; Cherry, J.; Young, J.; Welker, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    We explored modern precipitation and ice core isotope ratios to better understand both modern and paleo climate in the Arctic. Paleoclimate reconstructions require an understanding of how modern synoptic climate influences proxies used in those reconstructions, such as water isotopes. Therefore we measured periodic precipitation samples at Toolik Lake Field Station (Toolik) in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range in the Alaskan Arctic to determine δ18O and δ2H. We applied this multi-decadal local precipitation δ18O/temperature regression to ∼65 years of McCall Glacier (also in the Brooks Range) ice core isotope measurements and found an increase in reconstructed temperatures over the late-20th and early-21st centuries. We also show that the McCall Glacier δ18O isotope record is negatively correlated with the winter bidecadal North Pacific Index (NPI) climate oscillation. McCall Glacier deuterium excess (d-excess, δ2H - 8*δ18O) values display a bidecadal periodicity coherent with the NPI and suggest shifts from more southwestern Bering Sea moisture sources with less sea ice (lower d-excess values) to more northern Arctic Ocean moisture sources with more sea ice (higher d-excess values). Northern ice covered Arctic Ocean McCall Glacier moisture sources are associated with weak Aleutian Low (AL) circulation patterns and the southern moisture sources with strong AL patterns. Ice core d-excess values significantly decrease over the record, coincident with warmer temperatures and a significant reduction in Alaska sea ice concentration, which suggests that ice free northern ocean waters are increasingly serving as terrestrial precipitation moisture sources; a concept recently proposed by modeling studies and also present in Greenland ice core d-excess values during previous transitions to warm periods. This study also shows the efficacy and importance of using ice cores from Arctic valley glaciers in paleoclimate reconstructions.

  1. Can a melting Greenland ice sheet act as a nutrient source that compensates projected nutrient deficits in Atlantic surface water masses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodehacke, Christian; Gröger, Matthias

    2014-05-01

    Numerous studies have shown that under severe climate warming the northern Atlantic Ocean is more stratified, because an enhanced hydrological cycle and warming of upper ocean layers hampers water mass exchange with deeper layers. Therefore the supply of nutrient-rich deep water masses, which replenish the nutrients in the photic zone, is weakened in many climate warming scenarios. Consequently biological activities in the photic zone are stronger limited by the availability of nutrients. On the other side several studies, addressing in particular the release of organic material from melting glaciers or outlet glaciers of Greenland, suggest that intensified melting of glaciers and ice sheet might impact the nutrient supply to the ocean. This leads to the question: Does a strongly melting Greenland ice sheet can compensate the restrained nutrient supply from deep water masses? We've performed simulations with the MPI-ESM under different scenarios to address the question. A run under pre-industrial conditions serves as a base line experiment, while simulations under the strong warming scenario RCP8.5 shall represent the conditions in a warming world. To mimic the influence of a melting Greenland ice sheet, we discharge homogenously 0.1 Sv (105 m3/s) of fresh water along the coast of Greenland for 40 years. The continuous discharge of 0.1 Sv comes from common hosing experiments, while the setup with the uniformly release along the coast follows two comprehensive studies about the melting water influence on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) under historical and future warming conditions (RCP8.5). Proportional to the melting strength, nutrients (NO3, PO4, SiO2, and Iron) have been released, whereby the proportionalities have been compiled from a range of published values. In terms of release concentration a high end and a conservative setup have been analyzed. The simulations highlight, that the additionally released nutrients, have indeed a

  2. Rich Rogers Flying Over Greenland Icecap

    NASA Video Gallery

    Ihis is a view from the NASA P3 aircraft cockpit as it flies 1000 feet over the Greenland icecap during Operation Icebridge mission, which flies each March-May. The end of video shows an ice camp w...

  3. The fleeting glaciers of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakke, Jostein; Røthe, Torgeir; van der Bilt, Willem; Paasche, Øyvind

    2015-04-01

    Glaciers and snow are the very symbol of the Arctic, covering large parts of its terrestrial surface throughout the year. The cool temperatures that have allowed for the widespread coverage of glaciers are now trending towards a warmer climate, and with this gradual shift we ob