Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Research article 23 Apr 2021
Research article | 23 Apr 2021
Evolution of the firn pack of Kaskawulsh Glacier, Yukon: meltwater effects, densification, and the development of a perennial firn aquifer
Naomi E. Ochwat et al.
No articles found.
Camilla K. Crockart, Tessa R. Vance, Alexander D. Fraser, Nerilie J. Abram, Alison S. Criscitiello, Mark A. J. Curran, Vincent Favier, Ailie J. E. Gallant, Christoph Kittel, Helle A. Kjær, Andrew R. Klekociuk, Lenneke M. Jong, Andrew D. Moy, Christopher T. Plummer, Paul T. Vallelonga, Jonathon Wille, and Lingwei Zhang
Clim. Past, 17, 1795–1818,Short summary
We present preliminary analyses of the annual sea salt concentrations and snowfall accumulation in a new East Antarctic ice core, Mount Brown South. We compare this record with an updated Law Dome (Dome Summit South site) ice core record over the period 1975–2016. The Mount Brown South record preserves a stronger and inverse signal for the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (in austral winter and spring) compared to the Law Dome record (in summer).
Anja Rutishauser, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, Natalie S. Wolfenbarger, Lucas H. Beem, Mark L. Skidmore, Ashley Dubnick, and Alison S. Criscitiello
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
Recently, a hypersaline subglacial lake complex was hypothesized to lie beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic. Here, we present results from a follow-on targeted aerogeophysical survey. Our results support the evidence for a hypersaline subglacial lake, and reveal an extensive brine network, suggesting more complex subglacial hydrological conditions than previously inferred. This hypersaline system may host microbial habitats, making it a compelling analog for bines on other icy worlds.
Chris M. DeBeer, Howard S. Wheater, John W. Pomeroy, Alan G. Barr, Jennifer L. Baltzer, Jill F. Johnstone, Merritt R. Turetsky, Ronald E. Stewart, Masaki Hayashi, Garth van der Kamp, Shawn Marshall, Elizabeth Campbell, Philip Marsh, Sean K. Carey, William L. Quinton, Yanping Li, Saman Razavi, Aaron Berg, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, Christopher Spence, Warren D. Helgason, Andrew M. Ireson, T. Andrew Black, Mohamed Elshamy, Fuad Yassin, Bruce Davison, Allan Howard, Julie M. Thériault, Kevin Shook, Michael N. Demuth, and Alain Pietroniro
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 1849–1882,Short summary
This article examines future changes in land cover and hydrological cycling across the interior of western Canada under climate conditions projected for the 21st century. Key insights into the mechanisms and interactions of Earth system and hydrological process responses are presented, and this understanding is used together with model application to provide a synthesis of future change. This has allowed more scientifically informed projections than have hitherto been available.
Baptiste Vandecrux, Ruth Mottram, Peter L. Langen, Robert S. Fausto, Martin Olesen, C. Max Stevens, Vincent Verjans, Amber Leeson, Stefan Ligtenberg, Peter Kuipers Munneke, Sergey Marchenko, Ward van Pelt, Colin R. Meyer, Sebastian B. Simonsen, Achim Heilig, Samira Samimi, Shawn Marshall, Horst Machguth, Michael MacFerrin, Masashi Niwano, Olivia Miller, Clifford I. Voss, and Jason E. Box
The Cryosphere, 14, 3785–3810,Short summary
In the vast interior of the Greenland ice sheet, snow accumulates into a thick and porous layer called firn. Each summer, the firn retains part of the meltwater generated at the surface and buffers sea-level rise. In this study, we compare nine firn models traditionally used to quantify this retention at four sites and evaluate their performance against a set of in situ observations. We highlight limitations of certain model designs and give perspectives for future model development.
Shawn J. Marshall and Kristina Miller
The Cryosphere, 14, 3249–3267,Short summary
Surface-albedo measurements from 2002 to 2017 from Haig Glacier in the Canadian Rockies provide no evidence of long-term trends (i.e., the glacier does not appear to be darkening), but there are large variations in albedo over the melt season and from year to year. The glacier ice is exceptionally dark in association with forest fire fallout but is effectively cleansed by meltwater or rainfall. Summer snowfall plays an important role in refreshing the glacier surface and reducing summer melt.
Eleanor A. Bash and Brian J. Moorman
The Cryosphere, 14, 549–563,Short summary
High-resolution measurements from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery allowed for examination of glacier melt model performance in detail at Fountain Glacier. This work capitalized on distributed measurements at 10 cm resolution to look at the spatial distribution of model errors in the ablation zone. Although the model agreed with measurements on average, strong correlation was found with surface water. The results highlight the contribution of surface water flow to melt at this location.
Ben M. Pelto, Brian Menounos, and Shawn J. Marshall
The Cryosphere, 13, 1709–1727,Short summary
Changes in glacier mass are the direct response to meteorological conditions during the accumulation and melt seasons. We derived multi-year, seasonal mass balance from airborne laser scanning surveys and compared them to field measurements for six glaciers in the Columbia and Rocky Mountains, Canada. Our method can accurately measure seasonal changes in glacier mass and can be easily adapted to derive seasonal mass change for entire mountain ranges.
William Kochtitzky, Dominic Winski, Erin McConnel, Karl Kreutz, Seth Campbell, Ellyn M. Enderlin, Luke Copland, Scott Williamson, Brittany Main, Christine Dow, and Hester Jiskoot
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Manuscript not accepted for further reviewShort summary
Donjek Glacier has experienced eight instability events since 1935. Here we use a suite of weather and satellite data to understand the impacts of climate on instability events. We find that while there has been a consistent amount of snow fall between instability events, the relationship between the two is unclear as they are both very consistent on decade timescales. We show that we need further glacier observations to understand why these glaciers become unstable.
Wendy H. Wood, Shawn J. Marshall, and Shannon E. Fargey
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 23–34,Short summary
We recorded hourly temperature and relative humidity in a dense meteorological network in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains over the period 2005–2010. The observations reveal spatial patterns of specific and relative humidity, their relation with the terrain, seasonal cycles in the humidity patterns, and humidity characteristics of different weather systems. The results provide guidance to ecological and hydrological models that require downscaled weather data in mountain terrain.
Tyler de Jong, Luke Copland, and David Burgess
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Publication in TC not foreseenShort summary
We combine field and remote sensing measurements to describe how snow and ice zones across Devon Ice Cap changed over the period 2004–2011. At the start of this period a dry snow zone existed near the ice cap summit, but by 2011 the dry zone had entirely disappeared and the ablation zone comprised 92 % of the ice cap. This has implications for understanding how Canadian Arctic ice caps are responding to a warming climate, and how they may evolve in the future.
Heidi M. Pickard, Alison S. Criscitiello, Christine Spencer, Martin J. Sharp, Derek C. G. Muir, Amila O. De Silva, and Cora J. Young
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5045–5058,Short summary
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent, bioaccumulative compounds found in the environment far from source regions, including the remote Arctic. We collected a 15 m ice core from the Canadian High Arctic to measure a 38-year deposition record of PFAAs, proving information about major pollutant sources and production changes over time. Our results demonstrate that PFAAs have continuous and increasing deposition, despite recent North American regulations and phase-outs.
Wendy H. Wood, Shawn J. Marshall, Terri L. Whitehead, and Shannon E. Fargey
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 595–607,Short summary
A high-density network of temperature and precipitation gauges was set up in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, southwestern Alberta, from 2005 to 2010. This array of backcountry weather stations covered a range of surface types from prairie farmland to rocky alpine environments, spanning an elevation range from 890 to 2880 m. This paper presents the daily minimum, mean, and maximum temperature data from the study and the associated spatial and vertical temperature structure.
Andrew K. Hamilton, Bernard E. Laval, Derek R. Mueller, Warwick F. Vincent, and Luke Copland
The Cryosphere, 11, 2189–2211,Short summary
Meltwater runoff trapped by an ice shelf can create a freshwater lake floating directly on seawater. We show that the depth of the freshwater–seawater interface varies substantially due to changes in meltwater inflow and drainage under the ice shelf. By accounting for seasonality, the interface depth can be used to monitor long-term changes in the thickness of ice shelves. We show that the Milne Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, was stable before 2004, after which time the ice shelf thinned rapidly.
Laurence Gray, David Burgess, Luke Copland, Thorben Dunse, Kirsty Langley, and Geir Moholdt
The Cryosphere, 11, 1041–1058,Short summary
We use surface height data from west Greenland and Devon Ice Cap to check the performance of the new interferometric mode of the ESA CryoSat radar altimeter. The detailed height comparison allows an improved system calibration and processing methodology and measurement of the height of supraglacial lakes which form each summer around the periphery of the Greenland Ice Cap. The advantages of the SARIn mode suggest that future satellite radar altimeters for glacial ice should use this technology.
Samaneh Ebrahimi and Shawn J. Marshall
The Cryosphere, 10, 2799–2819,Short summary
Atmospheric–glacier surface interactions govern melt, where each variable has a different impact depending on the region and time of year. To understand these impacts and their year-to-year variability on summer melt extent, we examine melt sensitivity to different meteorological variables at a glacier in the Canadian Rockies. Cloud conditions, surface albedo, temperature, and humidity are all important to melt extent and should be considered in models of glacier response to climate change.
L. Gray, D. Burgess, L. Copland, M. N. Demuth, T. Dunse, K. Langley, and T. V. Schuler
The Cryosphere, 9, 1895–1913,Short summary
We show that the Cryosat (CS) radar altimeter can measure elevation change on a variety of Arctic ice caps. With the frequent coverage of Cryosat it is even possible to track summer surface height loss due to extensive melt; no other satellite altimeter has been able to do this. However, we also show that under cold conditions there is a bias between the surface and Cryosat detected elevation which varies with the conditions of the upper snow and firn layers.
S. J. Marshall
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5181–5200,Short summary
This paper presents a new 12-year glacier meteorological, mass balance, and run-off record from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This provides insight into the glaciohydrological regime of the Rockies. For the period 2002-2013, about 60% of glacier meltwater run-off originated from seasonal snow and 40% was derived from glacier ice and firn. Ice and firn run-off is concentrated in the months of August and September, at which time it contributes significantly to regional-scale water resources.
B. Medley, I. Joughin, B. E. Smith, S. B. Das, E. J. Steig, H. Conway, S. Gogineni, C. Lewis, A. S. Criscitiello, J. R. McConnell, M. R. van den Broeke, J. T. M. Lenaerts, D. H. Bromwich, J. P. Nicolas, and C. Leuschen
The Cryosphere, 8, 1375–1392,
K. Whitehead, B. J. Moorman, and C. H. Hugenholtz
The Cryosphere, 7, 1879–1884,
L. Gray, D. Burgess, L. Copland, R. Cullen, N. Galin, R. Hawley, and V. Helm
The Cryosphere, 7, 1857–1867,
S. Adhikari and S. J. Marshall
The Cryosphere, 7, 1527–1541,
A. White and L. Copland
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not accepted
Related subject area
Discipline: Glaciers | Subject: GlaciersRecord summer rains in 2019 led to massive loss of surface and cave ice in SE EuropeFull crystallographic orientation (c and a axes) of warm, coarse-grained ice in a shear-dominated setting: a case study, Storglaciären, SwedenContribution of calving to frontal ablation quantified from seismic and hydroacoustic observations calibrated with lidar volume measurementsBrief communication: Updated GAMDAM glacier inventory over high-mountain AsiaIce cliff contribution to the tongue-wide ablation of Changri Nup Glacier, Nepal, central Himalaya
Aurel Perşoiu, Nenad Buzjak, Alexandru Onaca, Christos Pennos, Yorgos Sotiriadis, Monica Ionita, Stavros Zachariadis, Michael Styllas, Jure Kosutnik, Alexandru Hegyi, and Valerija Butorac
The Cryosphere, 15, 2383–2399,Short summary
Extreme precipitation events in summer 2019 led to catastrophic loss of cave and surface ice in SE Europe at levels unprecedented during the last century. The projected continuous warming and increase in precipitation extremes could pose an additional threat to glaciers in southern Europe, resulting in a potentially ice-free SE Europe by the middle of the next decade (2035 CE).
Morgan E. Monz, Peter J. Hudleston, David J. Prior, Zachary Michels, Sheng Fan, Marianne Negrini, Pat J. Langhorne, and Chao Qi
The Cryosphere, 15, 303–324,Short summary
We present full crystallographic orientations of warm, coarse-grained ice deformed in a shear setting, enabling better characterization of how crystals in glacial ice preferentially align as ice flows. A commonly noted c-axis pattern, with several favored orientations, may result from bias due to overcounting large crystals with complex 3D shapes. A new sample preparation method effectively increases the sample size and reduces bias, resulting in a simpler pattern consistent with the ice flow.
Andreas Köhler, Michał Pętlicki, Pierre-Marie Lefeuvre, Giuseppa Buscaino, Christopher Nuth, and Christian Weidle
The Cryosphere, 13, 3117–3137,Short summary
Ice loss at the front of glaciers can be observed with high temporal resolution using seismometers. We combine seismic and underwater sound measurements of iceberg calving at Kronebreen, a glacier in Svalbard, with laser scanning of the glacier front. We develop a method to determine calving ice loss directly from seismic and underwater calving signals. This allowed us to quantify the contribution of calving to the total ice loss at the glacier front, which also includes underwater melting.
The Cryosphere, 13, 2043–2049,Short summary
The Glacier Area Mapping for Discharge from the Asian Mountains (GAMDAM) glacier inventory was updated to revise the underestimated glacier area in the first version. The total number and area of glaciers are 134 770 and 100 693 ± 11 790 km2 from 453 Landsat images, which were carefully selected for the period from 1990 to 2010, to avoid mountain shadow, cloud cover, and seasonal snow cover.
Fanny Brun, Patrick Wagnon, Etienne Berthier, Joseph M. Shea, Walter W. Immerzeel, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Christian Vincent, Camille Reverchon, Dibas Shrestha, and Yves Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 12, 3439–3457,Short summary
On debris-covered glaciers, steep ice cliffs experience dramatically enhanced melt compared with the surrounding debris-covered ice. Using field measurements, UAV data and submetre satellite imagery, we estimate the cliff contribution to 2 years of ablation on a debris-covered tongue in Nepal, carefully taking into account ice dynamics. While they occupy only 7 to 8 % of the tongue surface, ice cliffs contributed to 23 to 24 % of the total tongue ablation.
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In May 2018 we drilled into Kaskawulsh Glacier to study how it is being affected by climate warming and used models to investigate the evolution of the firn since the 1960s. We found that the accumulation zone has experienced increased melting that has refrozen as ice layers and has formed a perennial firn aquifer. These results better inform climate-induced changes on northern glaciers and variables to take into account when estimating glacier mass change using remote-sensing methods.
In May 2018 we drilled into Kaskawulsh Glacier to study how it is being affected by climate...