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Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of a Long Mass Balance Record, Storglaciären, Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL. (Glaciology)
2007 (English)In: Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research, ISSN 1523-0430, Vol. 39, no 3, 432-437 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Glacier fluctuations constitute an important indicator for climate change, both current and past. Glacier mass balance measurements are made to correctly reflect the state of the glacier. Very few studies have been made to study the representability of each point measurement to the average mass balance of a particular glacier, an exercise that requires a large number of measurements. Such studies are rare due to the practical constraints and costs involved in collecting data. On Storglaciären, Sweden, a very dense system of measurements of both distributed winter (~100 points km-2) and summer (~15 points km-2) balance allows a spatial analysis of the mass balance components. The results show that local summer balance values are strongly correlated to the average summer balance value of the glacier. Local winter balance values are also generally well correlated to the average winter balance value, but small areas on the glacier exhibit no correlation. These areas correspond to wind-eroded areas of low accumulation on the glacier. The local net balance values are also well correlated to the average net balance value, indicating that the effect of the summer balance is strong and, at least partly, counter-balancing the spatial inhomogeneities in the local spatial winter balance values. These results show that detailed knowledge of both mass balance components and their spatial variability may be necessary to safely use a sparse system of measurements points. On Storglaciären, this is especially true for winter balance measurements since the spatial snow distribution is highly variable and not necessarily representative of the glacier average at each measurement point. The results strictly apply to Storglaciären but similar effects should be present on most glaciers in a similar setting; the results thus serve as an example of conditions that can be expected on a typical mid-latitude to subarctic glacier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 39, no 3, 432-437 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-19410DOI: 10.1657/1523-0430(06-041)[JANSSON]2.0.CO;2ISI: 000249936100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-19410DiVA: diva2:47182
Available from: 2008-05-15 Created: 2008-05-15 Last updated: 2011-01-21Bibliographically approved

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