Volume-area scaling vs flowline modelling in glacier volume projections
2007 (English)In: Annals of Glaciology, ISSN 0260-3055, E-ISSN 1727-5644, Vol. 46, no 1, 234-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Volume-area scaling provides a practical alternative to ice-flow modelling to account for glacier size changes when modelling future glacier evolutions, however, uncertainties remain as to the validity of the approach under non-steady conditions. We address these uncertainties by deriving scaling exponents in volume-area relationship from one-dimensional ice-flow modelling. We generate a set of 37 synthetic steady-state glaciers of different sizes, and then model volume evolutions due to climate warming and cooling as prescribed by negative and positive mass balance perturbations, respectively, on a century time scale. The scaling exponent derived for the steady-state glaciers (=1.56) differs from the exponents derived from the glaciers in transient (non-steady) state by up to 86%. Nevertheless, volume projections employing volume-area scaling are relatively insensitive to these differences in scaling exponents. Volume-area scaling agrees well with the results from ice-flow modelling and is able to simulate the approach of a glacier to a new steady state, if mass-balance elevation feedback is considered by adding or removing elevation bands at the lowest part of the glacier in response to mass balance variations. Provided area-changes are considered in the mass balance computations in this way, our results indicate that volume-area scaling is a powerful tool for glacier volume projections on multi-century time scales.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 46, no 1, 234-240 p.
glacier, mass balance, volume changes, synthetic glaciers
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject Earth Science with specialization in Quaternary Geology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20009DOI: 10.3189/172756407782871288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-20009DiVA: diva2:47781