Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2393-2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-2393-2017
Research article
 | 
01 Nov 2017
Research article |  | 01 Nov 2017

Impact of impurities and cryoconite on the optical properties of the Morteratsch Glacier (Swiss Alps)

Biagio Di Mauro, Giovanni Baccolo, Roberto Garzonio, Claudia Giardino, Dario Massabò, Andrea Piazzalunga, Micol Rossini, and Roberto Colombo

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Short summary
In the paper, we demonstrate the potential of field and satellite hyperspectral reflectance data in characterizing the spatial distribution of impurities on the Morteratsch Glacier. In situ reflectance spectra showed that impurities reduced ice reflectance in visible wavelengths by 80–90 %. Satellite data also showed the outcropping of dust during the melting season in the upper parts of the glacier. Laboratory measurements of cryoconite showed the presence of elemental and organic carbon.