Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Brief communication
29 Jun 2021
Brief communication |  | 29 Jun 2021

Brief communication: Growth and decay of an ice stupa in alpine conditions – a simple model driven by energy-flux observations over a glacier surface

Johannes Oerlemans, Suryanarayanan Balasubramanian, Conradin Clavuot, and Felix Keller

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Cited articles

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Nüsser, M., Dame, J., Kraus, B., Baghel, R., and Schmidt, S.: Socio-hydrology of artificial glaciers in Ladakh, India: assessing adaptive strategies in a changing cryosphere, Reg. Environ. Change, 19, 1327–1337,, 2018. 
Oerlemans, J., Giesen, R. H., and Van den Broeke, M. R.: Retreating alpine glaciers: increased melt rates due to accumulation of dust (Vadret da Morteratsch, Switzerland), J. Glaciol., 55, 729–736, 2009. 
Short summary
An ice stupa is a cone-like ice mass storing water in the form of ice. By sprinkling water on the cone during cold conditions an ice stupa can grow to achieve an appreciable mass (typically 1 × 106 kg) and release this in spring and summer in the form of meltwater. In Ladakh ice stupas are currently used more and more for irrigation purposes. We present a simple model with which the rate of growth and decay of a stupa can be calculated for given climatic conditions.