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21st-century increase in glacier mass loss in the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska, USA, from airborne laser altimetry and satellite stereo imagery
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Glaciology, ISSN 0022-1430, E-ISSN 1727-5652, Vol. 60, no 220, 283-293 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alaskan glaciers are among the largest regional contributors to sea-level rise in the latter half of the 20th century. Earlier studies have documented extensive and accelerated ice wastage in most regions of Alaska. Here we study five decades of mass loss on high-elevation, land-terminating glaciers of the Wrangell Mountains (similar to 4900 km(2)) in central Alaska based on airborne center-line laser altimetry data from 2000 and 2007, a digital elevation model (DEM) from ASTER and SPOT5, and US Geological Survey topographic maps from 1957. The regional mass-balance estimates derived from center-line laser altimetry profiles using two regional extrapolation techniques agree well with that from DEM differencing. Repeat altimetry measurements reveal accelerated mass loss over the Wrangell Mountains, with the regional mass-balance rate evolving from -0.07 +/- 0.19 m w.e. a(-1) during 1957-2000 to -0.24 +/- 0.16 m w.e. a(-1) during 2000-07. Nabesna, the largest glacier in this region (similar to 1056 km(2)), lost mass four times faster during 2000-07 than during 1957-2000. Although accelerated, the mass change over this region is slower than in other glacierized regions of Alaska, particularly those with tidewater glaciers. Together, our laser altimetry and satellite DEM analyses demonstrate increased wastage of these glaciers during the last 50 years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 60, no 220, 283-293 p.
Keyword [en]
glacier mass balance, ice and climate
National Category
Physical Geography Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-227964DOI: 10.3189/2014JoG13J119ISI: 000336198100008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-227964DiVA: diva2:731902
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Hock, RegineBerthier, Etienne

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