Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
15 Apr 2019
Research article |  | 15 Apr 2019

Avalanches and micrometeorology driving mass and energy balance of the lowest perennial ice field of the Alps: a case study

Rebecca Mott, Andreas Wolf, Maximilian Kehl, Harald Kunstmann, Michael Warscher, and Thomas Grünewald

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Cited articles

Ayala, A., Pellicciotti, F., and Shea, J. M.: Modeling 2 m air temperatures over mountain glaciers: Exploring the influence of katabatic cooling and external warming, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 120, 3139–3157,, 2015. 
Bahr, D. B. and Radic, V.: Significant contribution to total mass from very small glaciers, The Cryosphere, 6, 763–770,, 2012. 
Curtis, J. A., Flint, L. E., Flint, A. L., Lundquist, J. D., Hudgens, B., Boydston, E. E., and Young, J. K.: Incorporating Cold-Air Pooling into Downscaled Climate Models Increases Potential Refugia for Snow-Dependent Species within the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion, CA, PLoS ONE, 9, e106984, 2014. 
Dadic, R., Mott, R., Lehning, M., and Burlando, P.: Wind influence on snow depth distribution and accumulation over glaciers, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F01012,, 2010. 
Dadic, R., Mott, R., Lehning, M., Carenzo, M., Anderson, B., and Mackintosh, A.: Sensitivity of turbulent fluxes to wind speed over snow surfaces in different climatic settings, Adv. Water Resour., 55, 178–189,, 2013. 
Short summary
The mass balance of very small glaciers is often governed by anomalous snow accumulation, winter precipitation being multiplied by snow redistribution processes, or by suppressed snow ablation driven by micrometeorological effects lowering net radiation and turbulent heat exchange. In this study we discuss the relative contribution of snow accumulation (avalanches) versus micrometeorology (katabatic flow) on the mass balance of the lowest perennial ice field of the Alps, the Ice Chapel.