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Changes of glacial front positions of Vestfonna (Nordaustlandet, Svalbard)
University of Alaska.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL. (Glaciologi)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
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2011 (English)In: Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography, ISSN 0435-3676, E-ISSN 1468-0459, Vol. 93, no 4, 301-310 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Glaciers in Svalbard have shown considerable mass loss in recent years with a reported acceleration in the western and southern parts of the archipelago. However, for the ice cap Vestfonna, in northeastern Svalbard, climatic mass balance modelling has suggested almost balanced conditions over a period of nine years (2000–2009). A slightly positive geodetic mass balance (1990–2005) has been reported from a comparison of laser altimetry to older DEMs. A heterogeneous situation has been depicted for the various catchments, and hence changes in glacier extent can reveal additional information of glacier status, in particular when dealing with surge-type glaciers. We analysed a 34-year data record of multi-spectral satellite imagery in order to study changes in glacier frontal positions of the ice cap Vestfonna. A consistent pattern of almost steady retreat of the southern and north-eastern outlet glaciers of the ice cap is observed while Franklinbreen, the only major outlet glacier draining towards the north-west shows re-advance. This is consistent with an observed speed up and potential upcoming surge of this outlet. The glacier retreat on the southern coast also agrees with ICESat elevation change measurements. However, due to the glacier response time no direct relations between frontal retreat and surface mass balance can be drawn from the short observation period. The heterogeneous pattern of changes with on-going dynamic adjustments in some areas make the ice cap Vestfonna an ideal test site for future monitoring activities including novel techniques like differential interferometry from bi-static SAR systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 93, no 4, 301-310 p.
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Physical Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-164744DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0459.2011.00437.xISI: 000297733500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-164744DiVA: diva2:469403
Available from: 2011-12-23 Created: 2011-12-23 Last updated: 2012-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Pohjola, Veijo A.Pettersson, Rickard
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