Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
22 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 22 Aug 2016

Reduced melt on debris-covered glaciers: investigations from Changri Nup Glacier, Nepal

Christian Vincent, Patrick Wagnon, Joseph M. Shea, Walter W. Immerzeel, Philip Kraaijenbrink, Dibas Shrestha, Alvaro Soruco, Yves Arnaud, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, and Sonam Futi Sherpa

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Cited articles

Agisoft: PhotoScan Professional 1.0.0 user manual, St. Petersburg, 2014.
Azam, M. F., Wagnon, P., Ramanathan, A., Vincent, C., Sharma, P., Arnaud, Y., Linda, A., Pottakkal, J. G., Chevallier, P., Singh, V. B., and Berthier, E.: From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India, J. Glaciol., 58, 315–324,, 2012.
Azam, M. F., Wagnon, P., Vincent, C., Ramanathan, A., Linda, A., and Singh, V. B.: Reconstruction of the annual mass balance of Chhota Shigri glacier, Western Himalaya, India, since 1969, Ann. Glaciol., 55, 69–80,, 2014.
Bauder, A., Funk, M., and Gudmundsson, G. H.: The ice-thickness distribution of Unteraargletscher, Switzerland, Ann. Glaciol., 37, 331–336, 2003.
Benn, D. I., Bolch, T., Hands, K., Gulley, J., Luckman, A., Nicholson, L. I., Quincey, D., Thompson, S., Toumi, R., and Wiseman, S.: Response of debris-covered glaciers in the Mount Everest region to recent warming, and implications for outburst flood hazards, Earth-Sci. Rev., 114, 156–174,, 2012.
Short summary
Approximately 25 % of the glacierized area in the Everest region is covered by debris, yet the surface mass balance of these glaciers has not been measured directly. From terrestrial photogrammetry and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) methods, this study shows that the ablation is strongly reduced by the debris cover. The insulating effect of the debris cover has a larger effect on total mass loss than the enhanced ice ablation due to supraglacial ponds and exposed ice cliffs.