Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Research article 17 Jun 2021
Research article | 17 Jun 2021
Sensitivity of subglacial drainage to water supply distribution at the Kongsfjord basin, Svalbard
Chloé Scholzen et al.
No articles found.
Juditha Undine Schmidt, Bernd Etzelmüller, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Florence Magnin, Julia Boike, Moritz Langer, and Sebastian Westermann
The Cryosphere, 15, 2491–2509,Short summary
This study presents rock surface temperatures (RSTs) of steep high-Arctic rock walls on Svalbard from 2016 to 2020. The field data show that coastal cliffs are characterized by warmer RSTs than inland locations during winter seasons. By running model simulations, we analyze factors leading to that effect, calculate the surface energy balance and simulate different future scenarios. Both field data and model results can contribute to a further understanding of RST in high-Arctic rock walls.
Andreas Kääb, Mylène Jacquemart, Adrien Gilbert, Silvan Leinss, Luc Girod, Christian Huggel, Daniel Falaschi, Felipe Ugalde, Dmitry Petrakov, Sergey Chernomorets, Mikhail Dokukin, Frank Paul, Simon Gascoin, Etienne Berthier, and Jeffrey S. Kargel
The Cryosphere, 15, 1751–1785,Short summary
Hardly recognized so far, giant catastrophic detachments of glaciers are a rare but great potential for loss of lives and massive damage in mountain regions. Several of the events compiled in our study involve volumes (up to 100 million m3 and more), avalanche speeds (up to 300 km/h), and reaches (tens of kilometres) that are hard to imagine. We show that current climate change is able to enhance associated hazards. For the first time, we elaborate a set of factors that could cause these events.
Nathan Maier, Florent Gimbert, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, and Adrien Gilbert
The Cryosphere, 15, 1435–1451,Short summary
In Greenland, ice motion and the surface geometry depend on the friction at the bed. We use satellite measurements and modeling to determine how ice speeds and friction are related across the ice sheet. The relationships indicate that ice flowing over bed bumps sets the friction across most of the ice sheet's on-land regions. This result helps simplify and improve our understanding of how ice motion will change in the future.
Christian Vincent, Diego Cusicanqui, Bruno Jourdain, Olivier Laarman, Delphine Six, Adrien Gilbert, Andrea Walpersdorf, Antoine Rabatel, Luc Piard, Florent Gimbert, Olivier Gagliardini, Vincent Peyaud, Laurent Arnaud, Emmanuel Thibert, Fanny Brun, and Ugo Nanni
The Cryosphere, 15, 1259–1276,Short summary
In situ glacier point mass balance data are crucial to assess climate change in different regions of the world. Unfortunately, these data are rare because huge efforts are required to conduct in situ measurements on glaciers. Here, we propose a new approach from remote sensing observations. The method has been tested on the Argentière and Mer de Glace glaciers (France). It should be possible to apply this method to high-spatial-resolution satellite images and on numerous glaciers in the world.
Elena Barbaro, Krystyna Koziol, Mats P. Björkman, Carmen P. Vega, Christian Zdanowicz, Tonu Martma, Jean-Charles Gallet, Daniel Kępski, Catherine Larose, Bartłomiej Luks, Florian Tolle, Thomas V. Schuler, Aleksander Uszczyk, and Andrea Spolaor
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 3163–3180,Short summary
This paper shows the most comprehensive seasonal snow chemistry survey to date, carried out in April 2016 across 22 sites on 7 glaciers across Svalbard. The dataset consists of the concentration, mass loading, spatial and altitudinal distribution of major ion species (Ca2+, K+, Na2+, Mg2+, NH4+, SO42−, Br−, Cl− and NO3−), together with its stable oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition (δ18O and δ2H) in the snowpack. This study was part of the larger Community Coordinated Snow Study in Svalbard.
Christian Zdanowicz, Jean-Charles Gallet, Mats P. Björkman, Catherine Larose, Thomas Schuler, Bartłomiej Luks, Krystyna Koziol, Andrea Spolaor, Elena Barbaro, Tõnu Martma, Ward van Pelt, Ulla Wideqvist, and Johan Ström
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 3035–3057,Short summary
Black carbon (BC) aerosols are soot-like particles which, when transported to the Arctic, darken snow surfaces, thus indirectly affecting climate. Information on BC in Arctic snow is needed to measure their impact and monitor the efficacy of pollution-reduction policies. This paper presents a large new set of BC measurements in snow in Svalbard collected between 2007 and 2018. It describes how BC in snow varies across the archipelago and explores some factors controlling these variations.
Andreas Alexander, Jaroslav Obu, Thomas V. Schuler, Andreas Kääb, and Hanne H. Christiansen
The Cryosphere, 14, 4217–4231,Short summary
In this study we present subglacial air, ice and sediment temperatures from within the basal drainage systems of two cold-based glaciers on Svalbard during late spring and the summer melt season. We put the data into the context of air temperature and rainfall at the glacier surface and show the importance of surface events on the subglacial thermal regime and erosion around basal drainage channels. Observed vertical erosion rates thereby reachup to 0.9 m d−1.
Aynom T. Teweldebrhan, Thomas V. Schuler, John F. Burkhart, and Morten Hjorth-Jensen
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4641–4658,
Ankit Pramanik, Jack Kohler, Katrin Lindbäck, Penelope How, Ward Van Pelt, Glen Liston, and Thomas V. Schuler
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Freshwater discharge from tidewater glaciers influences fjord circulation and fjord ecosystem. Glacier hydrology plays crucial role in transporting water underneath glacier ice. We investigated hydrology beneath the tidewater glaciers of Kongsfjord basin in Northwest Svalbard and found that subglacial water flow differs substantially from surface flow of glacier ice. Furthermore, we derived freshwater discharge time-series from all the glaciers to the fjord.
Thomas Vikhamar Schuler and Torbjørn Ims Østby
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 12, 875–885,Short summary
Atmospheric variables needed to force terrestrial process models (permafrost, glacier mass balance, seasonal snow, surface energy balance) have been downscaled from the ERA-40 and ERA-Interim reanalyses using methodology described in the accompanying paper. The gridded dataset has a horizontal resolution of 1 km and covers the entire Svalbard archipelago. The data have a temporal resolution of 6 h and cover the entire ERA-40 period (1957–2002) and the ERA-Interim period (1979–2017).
Andreas Alexander, Maarja Kruusmaa, Jeffrey A. Tuhtan, Andrew J. Hodson, Thomas V. Schuler, and Andreas Kääb
The Cryosphere, 14, 1009–1023,Short summary
This work shows the potential of pressure and inertia sensing drifters to measure flow parameters along glacial channels. The technology allows us to record the spatial distribution of water pressures, as well as an estimation of the flow velocity along the flow path in the channels. The measurements show a high repeatability and the potential to identify channel morphology from sensor readings.
Ward van Pelt, Veijo Pohjola, Rickard Pettersson, Sergey Marchenko, Jack Kohler, Bartłomiej Luks, Jon Ove Hagen, Thomas V. Schuler, Thorben Dunse, Brice Noël, and Carleen Reijmer
The Cryosphere, 13, 2259–2280,Short summary
The climate in Svalbard is undergoing amplified change compared to the global mean, which has a strong impact on the climatic mass balance of glaciers and the state of seasonal snow in land areas. In this study we analyze a coupled energy balance–subsurface model dataset, which provides detailed information on distributed climatic mass balance, snow conditions, and runoff across Svalbard between 1957 and 2018.
Aynom T. Teweldebrhan, John F. Burkhart, and Thomas V. Schuler
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5021–5039,
Kristoffer Aalstad, Sebastian Westermann, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Julia Boike, and Laurent Bertino
The Cryosphere, 12, 247–270,Short summary
We demonstrate how snow cover data from satellites can be used to constrain estimates of snow distributions at sites in the Arctic. In this effort, we make use of data assimilation to combine the information contained in the snow cover data with a simple snow model. By comparing our snow distribution estimates to independent observations, we find that this method performs favorably. Being modular, this method could be applied to other areas as a component of a larger reanalysis system.
Christopher J. L. D'Amboise, Karsten Müller, Laurent Oxarango, Samuel Morin, and Thomas V. Schuler
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3547–3566,Short summary
We present a new water percolation routine added to the Crocus model. The new routine is physically based, describing motion of water through a layered snowpack considering capillary-driven and gravity flow. We tested the routine on two data sets. Wet-snow layers were able to reach higher saturations than the empirical routine. Meaningful applicability is limited until new and better parameterizations of water retention are developed, and feedbacks are adjusted to handle higher saturations.
Thomas Schellenberger, Thorben Dunse, Andreas Kääb, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Jon Ove Hagen, and Carleen H. Reijmer
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
Basin-3, NE-Svalbard, was still surging with 10 m d-1 in July 2016. After a speed peak of 18.8 m d-1 in Dec 2012/Jan 2013, speed-ups are overlying the fast flow every summer. The glacier is massively calving icebergs (5.2 Gt yr-1 ~ 2 L drinking water for every human being daily!) which in the same order of magnitude as all other Svalbard glaciers together. Since autumn 2015 also Basin-2 is surging with maximum velocities of 8.7 m d-1, an advance of more than 2 km and a mass loss of 0.7 Gt yr-1.
Torbjørn Ims Østby, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Jon Ove Hagen, Regine Hock, Jack Kohler, and Carleen H. Reijmer
The Cryosphere, 11, 191–215,Short summary
We present modelled climatic mass balance for all glaciers in Svalbard for the period 1957–2014 at 1 km resolution using a coupled surface energy balance and snowpack model, thereby closing temporal and spatial gaps in direct and geodetic mass balance estimates. Supporting previous studies, our results indicate increased mass loss over the period. A detailed analysis of the involved energy fluxes reveals that increased mass loss is caused by atmospheric warming further amplified by feedbacks.
Kjersti Gisnås, Sebastian Westermann, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Kjetil Melvold, and Bernd Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 10, 1201–1215,Short summary
In wind exposed areas snow redistribution results in large spatial variability in ground temperatures. In these areas, the ground temperature of a grid cell must be determined based on the distribution, and not the average, of snow depths. We employ distribution functions of snow in a regional permafrost model, showing highly improved representation of ground temperatures. By including snow distributions, we find the permafrost area to be nearly twice as large as what is modelled without.
Kjetil S. Aas, Thorben Dunse, Emily Collier, Thomas V. Schuler, Terje K. Berntsen, Jack Kohler, and Bartłomiej Luks
The Cryosphere, 10, 1089–1104,Short summary
A high-resolution, coupled atmosphere--climatic mass balance (CMB) model is applied to Svalbard for the period 2003 to 2013. The mean CMB during this period is negative but displays large spatial and temporal variations. Comparison with observations on different scales shows a good overall model performance except for one particular glacier, where wind strongly affects the spatial patterns of CMB. The model also shows considerable sensitivity to model resolution, especially on local scales.
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. Westermann, T. I. Østby, K. Gisnås, T. V. Schuler, and B. Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 9, 1303–1319,Short summary
We use remotely sensed land surface temperature and land cover in conjunction with air temperature and snowfall from a reanalysis product as input for a simple permafrost model. The scheme is applied to the permafrost regions bordering the North Atlantic. A comparison with ground temperatures in boreholes suggests a modeling accuracy of 2 to 2.5 °C.
T. Dunse, T. Schellenberger, J. O. Hagen, A. Kääb, T. V. Schuler, and C. H. Reijmer
The Cryosphere, 9, 197–215,
K. Gisnås, S. Westermann, T. V. Schuler, T. Litherland, K. Isaksen, J. Boike, and B. Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 8, 2063–2074,
M. Engelhardt, T. V. Schuler, and L. M. Andreassen
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 511–523,
S. Westermann, T. V. Schuler, K. Gisnås, and B. Etzelmüller
The Cryosphere, 7, 719–739,
Related subject area
Discipline: Glaciers | Subject: Glacier HydrologyDevelopment of a subglacial lake monitored with radio-echo sounding: case study from the eastern Skaftá cauldron in the Vatnajökull ice cap, IcelandGeophysical constraints on the properties of a subglacial lake in northwest GreenlandGulf of Alaska ice-marginal lake area change over the Landsat record and potential physical controlsBuoyant calving and ice-contact lake evolution at Pasterze Glacier (Austria) in the period 1998–2019An analysis of instabilities and limit cycles in glacier-dammed reservoirsCoupled modelling of subglacial hydrology and calving-front melting at Store Glacier, West GreenlandChannelized, distributed, and disconnected: subglacial drainage under a valley glacier in the Yukon
Eyjólfur Magnússon, Finnur Pálsson, Magnús T. Gudmundsson, Thórdís Högnadóttir, Cristian Rossi, Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Benedikt G. Ófeigsson, Erik Sturkell, and Tómas Jóhannesson
The Cryosphere, 15, 3731–3749,Short summary
We present a unique insight into the shape and development of a subglacial lake over a 7-year period, using repeated radar survey. The lake collects geothermal meltwater, which is released in semi-regular floods, often referred to as jökulhlaups. The applicability of our survey approach to monitor the water stored in the lake for a better assessment of the potential hazard of jökulhlaups is demonstrated by comparison with independent measurements of released water volume during two jökulhlaups.
Ross Maguire, Nicholas Schmerr, Erin Pettit, Kiya Riverman, Christyna Gardner, Daniella N. DellaGiustina, Brad Avenson, Natalie Wagner, Angela G. Marusiak, Namrah Habib, Juliette I. Broadbeck, Veronica J. Bray, and Samuel H. Bailey
The Cryosphere, 15, 3279–3291,Short summary
In the last decade, airborne radar surveys have revealed the presence of lakes below the Greenland ice sheet. However, little is known about their properties, including their depth and the volume of water they store. We performed a ground-based geophysics survey in northwestern Greenland and, for the first time, were able to image the depth of a subglacial lake and estimate its volume. Our findings have implications for the thermal state and stability of the ice sheet in northwest Greenland.
Hannah R. Field, William H. Armstrong, and Matthias Huss
The Cryosphere, 15, 3255–3278,Short summary
The growth of a glacier lake alters the hydrology, ecology, and glaciology of its surrounding region. We investigate modern glacier lake area change across northwestern North America using repeat satellite imagery. Broadly, we find that lakes downstream from glaciers grew, while lakes dammed by glaciers shrunk. Our results suggest that the shape of the landscape surrounding a glacier lake plays a larger role in determining how quickly a lake changes than climatic or glaciologic factors.
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Michael Avian, Douglas I. Benn, Felix Bernsteiner, Philipp Krisch, and Christian Ziesler
The Cryosphere, 15, 1237–1258,Short summary
Present climate warming leads to glacier recession and formation of lakes. We studied the nature and rate of lake evolution in the period 1998–2019 at Pasterze Glacier, Austria. We detected for instance several large-scale and rapidly occurring ice-breakup events from below the water level. This process, previously not reported from the European Alps, might play an important role at alpine glaciers in the future as many glaciers are expected to recede into valley basins allowing lake formation.
The Cryosphere, 14, 3175–3194,Short summary
Glacier lake outburst floods are major glacial hazards in which ice-dammed reservoirs rapidly drain, often in a recurring fashion. The main flood phase typically involves a growing channel being eroded into ice by water flow. What is poorly understood is how that channel first comes into being. In this paper, I investigate how an under-ice drainage system composed of small, naturally occurring voids can turn into a channel and how this can explain the cyclical behaviour of outburst floods.
Samuel J. Cook, Poul Christoffersen, Joe Todd, Donald Slater, and Nolwenn Chauché
The Cryosphere, 14, 905–924,Short summary
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Camilo Rada and Christian Schoof
The Cryosphere, 12, 2609–2636,Short summary
We analyse a large glacier borehole pressure dataset and provide a holistic view of the observations, suggesting a consistent picture of the evolution of the subglacial drainage system. Some aspects are consistent with the established understanding and others ones are not. We propose that most of the inconsistencies arise from the capacity of some areas of the bed to become hydraulically isolated. We present an adaptation of an existing drainage model that incorporates this phenomena.
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We use a two-dimensional model of water flow below the glaciers in Kongsfjord, Svalbard, to investigate how different processes of surface-to-bed meltwater transfer affect subglacial hydraulic conditions. The latter are important for the sliding motion of glaciers, which in some cases exhibit huge variations. Our findings indicate that the glaciers in our study area undergo substantial sliding because water is poorly evacuated from their base, with limited influence from the surface hydrology.
We use a two-dimensional model of water flow below the glaciers in Kongsfjord, Svalbard, to...