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Geometry change between 1990 and 2003 at Finsterwalderbreen, a Svalbard surge-type glacier, from GPS profiling.

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journal contribution
posted on 21.08.2008, 14:50 by Richard Hodgkins, Adrian Fox, Anne-Marie Nuttall
Surface mass-balance and geometry data are key to quantifying the climate response of glaciers, and confidence in data synthesis and model interpretations and forecasts requires data from as wide a range of locations and glacier types as possible. This paper presents measurements of surface elevation change at the Svalbard surge-type glacier Finsterwalderbreen, by comparing a 1990 digital elevation model (DEM) with a surface GPS profile from 2003. The pattern of elevation change is consistent with that previously noted between 1970 and 1990, and reflects the continued quiescentphase evolution of the glacier, with mass loss in the down-glacier/receiving area of up to –1.25mw.e. a–1, and mass gain in the up-glacier/reservoir area of up to 0.60mw.e. a–1; the area-weighted, mean change for the whole glacier is 0.19mw.e. a–1. The spatial pattern of elevation increase and decrease is complex, and the boundary between thickening and thinning determined by combining GPS and DEM data does not appear to correspond with the equilibrium-line altitude determined from surface mass-balance measurements. There is no evidence yet of a decrease in the rate of reservoir area build-up driven by mass-balance change resulting from the warmer winter air temperatures, and decreased proportion of snowfall in total precipitation, noted at meteorological stations in Svalbard.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

HODGKINS, R., FOX, A. and NUTTALL, A.M., 2007. Geometry change between 1990 and 2003 at Finsterwalderbreen, a Svalbard surge-type glacier, from GPS profiling. Annals of Glaciology 46(1), pp. 131-135(5)

Publisher

© International Glaciological Society

Publication date

2007

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Annals of Glaciology [© International Glaciological Society]. The definitive version is available at http://www.igsoc.org/annals/

ISSN

0260-3055;1727-5644

Language

en

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Keywords

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