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From surge-type to non-surge-type glacier behaviour: midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard

  • Siri Hansen (a1)


Since the beginning of the 1900s, the polythermal valley glacier midre Lovénbreen (area 5 km2) in northwestern Svalbard has retreated approximately 1km. The glacier has not surged for at least 110 years, and the present smooth longitudinal profile and negative mass balance suggest that it is not currently building up to a surge. Based on limited evidence, it has often been assumed that midre Lovénbreen surged around 1880. The ongoing retreat is probably due to quiescent-phase stagnation amplified by 20th-century climate change, as is the case for several other glaciers in Svalbard. Recently, small eskers have been found in the glacier forefield. Based on their geomorphological appearance, these are interpreted as concertina eskers, and they add to the dynamic history of the glacier. Midre Lovénbreen is interpreted as an example of a change from surge-type to non-surge-type glacier behaviour.

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Annals of Glaciology
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  • EISSN: 1727-5644
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