Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
The Cryosphere, 15, 3377–3399, 2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 3377–3399, 2021

Research article 21 Jul 2021

Research article | 21 Jul 2021

Modelling steady states and the transient response of debris-covered glaciers

James C. Ferguson and Andreas Vieli

Model code and software

DEBISO (DEBris Ice SOlver) James C. Ferguson

Video supplement

Retreat of debris-covered glacier James C. Ferguson

Retreat of a debris-covered glacier with terminal cryokarst James C. Ferguson

Short summary
Debris-covered glaciers have a greater extent than their debris-free counterparts due to insulation from the debris cover. However, the transient response to climate change remains poorly understood. We use a numerical model that couples ice dynamics and debris transport and varies the climate signal. We find that debris cover delays the transient response, especially for the extent. However, adding cryokarst features near the terminus greatly enhances the response.