Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Temporal variations of cryoconite holes and cryoconite coverage on the ablation ice surface of Qaanaaq Glacier in northwest Greenland

  • Nozomu Takeuchi (a1), Ryutaro Sakaki (a1), Jun Uetake (a2), Naoko Nagatsuka (a3), Rigen Shimada (a4) (a5), Masashi Niwano (a5) and Teruo Aoki (a5) (a6)...

Abstract

Cryoconite holes are water-filled cylindrical holes formed on ablation ice surfaces and commonly observed on glaciers worldwide. Temporal changes of cryoconite holes characteristically <5 cm in diameter were monitored with a time-lapse interval camera over 15 d during the melting season on Qaanaaq Glacier in northwest Greenland. The holes drastically changed their dimensions and synchronously collapsed twice during the study period. When the holes collapsed, the coverage of cryoconite on the ice surface increased from 1.0 to 3.5% in the field of view of the camera, and then decreased again to 0.4% after the holes reformed. Comparison with meteorological data showed that the collapses occurred in cloudy and rainy or windy weather conditions, corresponding to low shortwave solar radiation (68–126 W m−2, 40–55% of the incoming flux). In contrast, holes developed in sunny conditions correspond to high solar radiation (186–278 W m−2, 63–88%). Results suggest that the dimensions of holes drastically changed depending on the weather conditions and that frequent cloudy, warm and windy conditions would cause a decay of holes and weathering crust, inducing an increase in the cryoconite coverage on the ice, consequently darkening the glacier surface.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Temporal variations of cryoconite holes and cryoconite coverage on the ablation ice surface of Qaanaaq Glacier in northwest Greenland
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Temporal variations of cryoconite holes and cryoconite coverage on the ablation ice surface of Qaanaaq Glacier in northwest Greenland
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Temporal variations of cryoconite holes and cryoconite coverage on the ablation ice surface of Qaanaaq Glacier in northwest Greenland
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

References

Hide All
Alexander, PM and 5 others (2014) Assessing spatio-temporal variability and trends in modelled and measured Greenland Ice Sheet albedo (2000–2013). Cryosphere, 8, 22932312
Anesio, AM, Hodson, A, Fritz, A, Psenner, R and Sattler, B (2009) High microbial activity on glacier: importance to the global carbon cycle. Global Change Biol., 15, 955960
Aoki, T and 6 others (2013) Numerical simulation of spectral albedos of glacier surfaces covered with glacial microbes in Northwestern Greenland. AIP Conf. Proc., 1531, 176179
Aoki, T, Matoba, S, Uetake, J, Takeuchi, N and Momotoyama, H (2014) Field activities of the “Snow Impurity and Glacial Microbe effects on abrupt warming in the Arctic” (SIGMA) project in Greenland in 2011–2013. Bull. Glaciol. Res., 32, 320
Arendt, A (1999) Approaches to modelling the surface albedo of a high Arctic glacier. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 81, 477487
Bøggild, C (1997) Different melt regimes indicated by surface albedo measurements at the Greenland ice sheet margin: application of TM image. EARSeL. Adv. Remote Sens., 5, 8288
Bøggild, C, Brandt, RE, Brown, KJ and Warren, SG (2010) The ablation zone in northeast Greenland: ice types, albedos and impurities. J. Glaciol., 56, 101113
Bolch, T and 6 others (2013) Mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps 2003–2008 revealed from ICESat laser altimetry data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 875881
Box, JE and 5 others (2012) Greenland ice sheet albedo feedback: thermodynamics and atmospheric drivers. Cryosphere, 6, 821839
Chandler, DM, Alcock, JD, Wadham, JL, Mackie, SL and Telling, J (2015) Seasonal changes of ice surface characteristics and productivity in the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryosphere, 9, 487504
Cook, J and 5 others (2010) The mass–area relationship within cryoconite holes and its implications for primary production. Ann. Glaciol., 51, 106110
Cook, J, Edwards, A and Hubbard, A (2015) Biocryomorphology: integrating microbial processes with ice surface hydrology, topography, and roughness. Front. Earth Sci., 3, 78
Cook, J, Edwards, A, Takeuchi, N and Irvine-Fynn, T (2016 a) Cryoconite: the dark biological secret of the cryosphere. Prog. Phys. Geogr., 40, 66111
Cook, JM, Hodson, AJ and Irvine-Fynn, TDL (2016 b) Supraglacial weathering crust dynamics inferred from cryoconite hole hydrology. Hydrol. Process., 30, 433446
Edwards, A and 7 others (2010) Possible interactions between bacterial diversity, microbial activity and supraglacial hydrology of cryoconite holes in Svalbard. ISME J., 5, 150160
Fountain, AG, Tranter, M, Nylen, TH, Lewis, KJ and Mueller, DR (2004) Evolution of cryoconite holes and their contribution to meltwater runoff from glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. J. Glaciol., 50, 3545
Gerdel, RW and Drouet, F (1960) The cryoconite of the Thule area, Greenland. Trans. Am. Microscop. Soc., 79, 256272
Goelles, T, Bøggild, CE and Greve, R (2015) Ice sheet mass loss caused by dust and black carbon accumulation. Cryosphere, 9, 18451856
Greuell, W (2000) Melt–water accumulation on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet: effect on albedo and mass balance. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 82, 489498
Gribbon, PWF (1979) Short notes: cryoconite holes on Sermikavsak, West Greenland. J. Glaciol., 22, 177181
Hodson, A and 10 others (2007) A glacier respires: quantifying the distribution and respiration CO2 flux of cryoconite across an entire Arctic supraglacial ecosystem. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 112, (doi: 10.1029/2007JG000452)
Hodson, A and 6 others (2010) The cryoconite ecosystem on the Greenland ice sheet. Ann. Glaciol., 51, 123129
Irvine-Fynn, TD and Edwards, A (2014) A frozen asset: the potential of flow cytometry in constraining the glacial biome. Cytometry, Part A, 85, 37
Irvine-Fynn, TD, Bridge, JW and Hodson, AJ (2010) Rapid quantification of cryoconite: granule geometry and in situ supraglacial extents, using examples from Svalbard and Greenland. J. Glaciol., 56, 297308
Irvine-Fynn, TD, Bridge, JW and Hodson, AJ (2011) In situ quantification of supraglacial cryoconite morphodynamics using time-lapse imaging: an example from Svalbard. J. Glaciol., 57, 651657
Jonsell, U, Hock, R and Holmgren, B (2003) Spatial and temporal variations in albedo on Storglaciären, Sweden. J. Glaciol., 49, 5968
Langford, HJ, Irvine-Fynn, TDL, Edwards, A, Banwart, SA and Hodson, AJ (2014) A spatial investigation of the environmental controls over cryoconite aggregation on Longyearbreen glacier, Svalbard. Biogeosciences, 11, 53655380
McIntyre, NF (1984) Cryoconite hole thermodynamics. Can. J. Earth Sci., 21, 152156
Mieczan, T, Górniak, D, Świątecki, A, Zdanowski, M and Adamczuk, M (2013) Vertical microzonation of ciliates in cryoconite holes in ecology glacier, King George Island. Polish Polar Res., 34, 201212
Moustafa, SE and 7 others (2015) Multi-modal albedo distributions in the ablation area of the southwestern Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryosphere, 9, 905923
Mueller, DR and Pollard, WH (2004) Gradient analysis of cryoconite ecosystems from two polar glaciers. Polar Biol., 27, 6674
Müller, F and Keeler, CM (1969) Errors in short-term ablation measurements on melting ice surfaces. J. Glaciol., 8, 91105
Musilova, M, Tranter, M, Bamber, JL, Takeuchi, N and Anesio, AM (2016) Experimental evidence that microbial activity lowers the albedo of glaciers. Geochem. Perspect. Lett., 2, 106116
Nagatsuka, N and 6 others (2016) Variations in Sr and Nd isotopic ratios of mineral particles in cryoconite in Western Greenland. Front. Earth Sci., 4, 93
Neff, W, Compo, GP, Ralph, FM and Shupe, MD (2014) Continental heat anomalies and the extreme melting of the Greenland ice surface in 2012 and 1889. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 119, 65206536
Nghiem, SV and 8 others (2012) The extreme melt across the Greenland ice sheet in 2012. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39
Niwano, M, Aoki, T, Kuchiki, K, Hosaka, M and Kodama, Y (2012) Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process (SMAP) model for climate studies: model validation using meteorological and snow impurity data measured at Sapporo, Japan, J. Geophys. Res., 117, F03008
Niwano, M and 6 others (2015) Numerical simulation of extreme snowmelt observed at the SIGMA-A site, northwest Greenland, during summer 2012. Cryosphere, 9, 971988
Schneider, CA, Rasband, WS and Eliceiri, KW (2012) NIH image to Image J: 25 years of image analysis. Nat. Methods, 9, 671675
Shimada, R, Takeuchi, N and Aoki, T (2016) Inter-annual and geographical variations in the extent of bare Ice and dark Ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet derived from MODIS Satellite Images. Front. Earth Sci., 4, 43
Stibal, M, Tranter, M, Telling, J and Benning, LG (2008) Speciation, phase association and potential bioavailability of phosphorus on a Svalbard glacier. Biogeochemistry, 90, 113
Sugiyama, S and 5 others (2014) Initial field observations on Qaanaaq ice cap, northwestern Greenland. Ann. Glaciol., 55, 25
Takeuchi, N, Kohshima, S, Yoshimura, Y, Seko, K and Fujita, K (2000) Characteristics of cryoconite holes on a Himalayan glacier, Yala Glacier Central Nepal. Bull. Glaciol. Res., 17, 5159
Takeuchi, N, Kohshima, S and Seko, K (2001) Structure, formation, darkening process of albedo reducing material (cryoconite) on a Himalayan glacier: a granular algal mat growing on the glacier. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 33, 115122
Takeuchi, N, Nagatsuka, N, Uetake, J and Shimada, R (2014) Spatial variations in impurities (cryoconite) on glaciers in northwest Greenland. Bull. Glaciol. Res., 32, 8594
Tedesco, M and 6 others (2013) Evidence and analysis of 2012 Greenland records from spaceborne observations, a regional climate model and reanalysis data. Cryosphere, 7, 615
Tsutaki, S, Sugiyama, S, Sakakibara, D, Aoki, T and Niwano, M (2017) Surface mass balance, ice velocity and near-surface ice temperature on Qaanaaq Ice Cap, northwestern Greenland, from 2012 to 2016. Ann. Glaciol., 58, 112 (doi: 10.1017/aog.2017.7)
Uetake, J and 6 others (2016) Microbial community variation in cryoconite granules on Qaanaaq glacier, NW Greenland. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 92, fiw127
Vonnahme, TR, Devetter, M, Žárský, JD, Šabacká, M and Elster, J (2016) Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high Arctic glaciers, Svalbard. Biogeoscience, 13, 659674
Wharton, RA Jr, McKay, CP, Simmons, GM Jr and Parker, BC (1985) Cryoconite holes on glaciers. BioScience, 35, 499503 (doi: 10.2307/1309818)
Wientjes, IGM and Oerlemans, J (2010) An explanation for the dark region in the western melt zone of the Greenland ice sheet. Cryosphere, 4, 261268
Wientjes, IGM, Van de Wal, RSW, Reichart, GJ, Sluijs, A and Oerlemans, J (2011) Dust from the dark region in the western ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. Cryosphere, 5, 589601
Wiscombe, WJ and Warren, SG (1980) A model for the spectral albedo of snow. I: pure snow. J. Atmos. Sci., 37, 27122733
Yamazaki, T, Kondo, J, Sakuraoka, T and Nakamura, T (1993) A one-dimensional model of the evolution of snow-cover characteristics. Ann. Glaciol., 18, 2226
Zawierucha, K, Kolicka, M, Takeuchi, N and Kaczmarek, Ł (2015) What animals can live in cryoconite holes? A faunal review. J. Zool., 295, 159169

Keywords

Type Description Title
VIDEO
Supplementary materials

Takeuchi et al. supplementary material
Takeuchi et al. supplementary material 1

 Video (18.3 MB)
18.3 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed