Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2022-166
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2022-166
 
08 Sep 2022
08 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief communication: Everest South Col Glacier did not thin during the last three decades

Fanny Brun1, Owen King2, Marion Réveillet1, Charles Amory1, Anton Planchot1,3, Etienne Berthier4, Amaury Dehecq1, Tobias Bolch2, Kévin Fourteau5, Julien Brondex5, Marie Dumont5, Christoph Mayer6, and Patrick Wagnon1 Fanny Brun et al.
  • 1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, IGE, Grenoble, France
  • 2Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland, UK
  • 3Geosciences Department, École Normale Supérieure - PSL University, Paris, France
  • 4Université de Toulouse, CNES, CNRS, IRD, UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 5Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, CNRM, Centre d’Études de la Neige, Grenoble, France
  • 6Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Geodesy and Glaciology, Munich, Germany

Abstract. The South Col Glacier is an iconic small body of ice and snow (approx. 0.2 km2), located on the southern ridge of Mt. Everest. A recent study proposed that South Col Glacier is rapidly losing mass. This seems in contradiction with our comparison of two digital elevation models derived from aerial photographs taken in 1984 and a stereo Pléiades satellite acquisition from 2017, from which we measure a mean elevation change of 0.01 ± 0.07 m a-1. To reconcile these results we investigate wind erosion and surface energy and mass balance, and find that melt is unlikely a dominant process, contrary to previous findings.

Fanny Brun et al.

Status: open (until 03 Nov 2022)

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Fanny Brun et al.

Fanny Brun et al.

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Short summary
The South Col Glacier is an iconic small body of ice and snow located on the southern ridge of Mt. Everest. A recent study proposed that South Col Glacier is rapidly losing mass. In this study, we examined the glacier thickness change for the period 1984–2017, and found no thickness change. To reconcile these results, we investigate wind erosion and surface energy and mass balance, and find that melt is unlikely a dominant process, contrary to previous findings.