Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
Research article
30 Jul 2015
Research article | 30 Jul 2015

The impact of Saharan dust and black carbon on albedo and long-term mass balance of an Alpine glacier

J. Gabbi et al.

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Short summary
Light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice increase the absorption of solar radiation and thus enhance melting. We investigated the effect of Saharan dust and black carbon on the mass balance of an Alpine glacier over 1914-2014. Snow impurities increased melt by 15-19% depending on the location on the glacier. From the accumulation area towards the equilibrium line, the effect of impurities increased as more frequent years with negative mass balance led to a re-exposure of dust-enriched layers.