Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Strong contrast in mass and energy balance between a coastal mountain glacier and the Greenland ice sheet

  • JAKOB ABERMANN (a1) (a2), DIRK VAN AS (a3), STEFAN WACKER (a4), KIRSTY LANGLEY (a2), HORST MACHGUTH (a5) (a6) and ROBERT SCHJØTT FAUSTO (a3)...

Abstract

We show a strong difference in surface mass and energy balance of a mountain glacier and two sites on the ice sheet at 64°N in West Greenland using stake and automated weather station observations. Net surface mass balance is on average 2.2 m w.e. less negative at the coast compared with the ice sheet in the same elevation. We find a larger energy turnover at the ice sheet margin on Qamanarssup Sermia than measured on the coastal mountain glacier Qassigiannguit with both energy input and output being of larger absolute value. More cloudiness and a thicker snow cover at the relatively humid coastal glacier result in smaller gains in net-shortwave radiation and smaller losses in net-longwave radiation and a less negative mass balance. Lower wind speeds at the coastal glacier result in weaker turbulent heat exchange between atmosphere and ice surface. On annual average, 17 W m−2 more energy is available for melt at the ice-sheet margin compared with the coastal glacier in the same elevation.

  • 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.

      Strong contrast in mass and energy balance between a coastal mountain glacier and the Greenland ice sheet
      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.

      Strong contrast in mass and energy balance between a coastal mountain glacier and the Greenland ice sheet
      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.

      Strong contrast in mass and energy balance between a coastal mountain glacier and the Greenland ice sheet
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Jakob Abermann <jakob.abermann@uni-graz.at>

References

Hide All
Abermann, J and 5 others (2017) Hotspots and key periods of Greenland climate change during the past six decades. Ambio, 46(s1), 311 (doi: 10.1007/s13280-016-0861-y)
Ahlstrøm, AP (2003) Ice sheet ablation assessed by observation, remote sensing and modelling. PhD thesis, Copenhagen, Denmark
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(5), 875881 (doi: 10.1002/grl.50270)
Box, JE and Colgan, WT (2017) Sea level rise contribution from Arctic land ice: 1850–2100. In: Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) 2017. pp. 219–230. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Oslo, Norway
Braithwaite, RJ (1983) Glaciological investigations at Qamanarssup sermia Interim report 1982 and appendix tables. Gletscher-Hydrologiske Meddelelser, 83(4), 50
Braithwaite, RJ and Olesen, OB (1989) Detection of climate signal by inter-stake correlations of annual ablation data Qamanarssup Sermia, West Greenland. J. Glaciol., 35(120), 253259
Burgess, EW, Forster, RR, Box, JE, et al. (2010) A spatially calibrated model of annual accumulation rate on the Greenland Ice sheet (1958–2007). J. Geophys. Res., 115, F02004. doi: 10.1029/2009JF001293
Citterio, M and 14 others (2015) Automatic weather stations for basic and applied glaciological research. Geol. Surv. Denmark Greenl. Bull., 33, 6972
Clement, P (1983) Glaciologiske Undersøgelser i Johan Dahl Land 1982. Gletscher-Hydrologiske Meddelelser, 83(1), 60
Cogley, JG and 10 others (2011) Glossary of Glacier Mass Balance and Related Terms, IHP-VII Technical Documents in Hydrology No. 86, IACS Contribution No. 2, UNESCO- IHP, Paris
Fausto, RS, As, DVAN, Ahlstrøm, AP and Citterio, M (2012) Instruments and methods assessing the accuracy of Greenland ice sheet ice ablation measurements by pressure transducer. Geol. Surv. Denmark Greenl. Bull., 58(212), 11441150 (doi: 10.3189/2012JoG12J075)
Gardner, A and 15 others (2013) A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009. Science., 340, 852857 (doi: 10.1126/science.1234532)
Huss, M and Farinotti, D (2012) Distributed ice thickness and volume of all glaciers around the globe. J. Geophys. Res., 117(F04010) (doi: 10.1029/2012JF002523)
Khan, SA and 5 others (2015) Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review. Rep. Prog. Phys., 78(4) (doi: 10.1088/0034-4885/78/4/046801)
Larsen, NK and 7 others (2017) Strong altitudinal control on the response of local glaciers to holocene climate change in southwest Greenland. Quat. Sci. Rev., 168, 6978 (doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.05.008)
Machguth, H and 31 others (2016) Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers. J. Glaciol., 62(235), 861887 (doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.75)
Marcer, M and 6 others (2017) Three decades of volume change of a small greenlandic glacier using ground penetrating radar, structure from motion, and aerial photogrammetry. Arctic, Antarct. Alp. Res., 49(3), 411425 (doi: 10.1657/AAAR0016-049)
Morlighem, M and 35 others (2017) Bedmachine v3: complete Bed topography and ocean bathymetry mapping of Greenland from multibeam Echo sounding combined with mass conservation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(21), 1105111061 (doi: 10.1002/2017GL074954)
Noël, B and 27 others (2017) A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps. Nat. Commun., 22(9296), 30553071 (doi: 10.1038/ncomms14730)
Pedersen, SH and 5 others (2018) Quantifying snow controls on vegetation greenness. Ecosphere, 9(6) (doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2309)
Rastner, P and 5 others (2012) The first complete inventory of the local glaciers and ice caps on Greenland. Cryosphere, 6(6), 14831495 (doi: 10.5194/tc-6-1483-2012)
Taurisano, A, Bøggild, CE, Karlsen, HG and Boggild, CE (2004) A century of climate variability and climate gradients from coast to Ice sheet in West Greenland. Geogr. Ann. Ser. A Phys. Geogr., 86(2), 217224
Van As, D (2011) Warming, glacier melt and surface energy budget from weather station observations in the Melville Bay region of Northwest Greenland. J. Glaciol., 57(202), 208220 (doi: 10.3189/002214311796405898)
van As, D and 10 others (2011) Programme for monitoring of the Greenland Ice sheet (PROMICE): first temperature and ablation records. Geol. Surv. Denmark Greenl. Bull., 23, 7376
van den Broeke, MR, Enderlin, EM, Howat, IM, Munneke, PK and Noël, BPY (2016) On the recent contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level change. Cryosphere, 10, 19331946 (doi: 10.5194/tc-10-1933-2016)
van Tricht, K and 8 others (2016) Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet meltwater runoff. Nat. Commun., 7(10266), 14 (doi: 10.1038/ncomms10266)
von Albedyll, L, Machguth, H, Nussbaumer, SU and Zemp, M (2018) Elevation changes of the Holm Land Ice Cap, northeast Greenland, from 1978 to 2012–2015, derived from high-resolution digital elevation models. Arctic, Antarct. Alp. Res., 50(1), e1523638 (doi: 10.1080/15230430.2018.1523638)
Yde, JC and 7 others (2014) Volume measurements of Mittivakkat Gletscher, Southeast Greenland. J. Glaciol., 60(224), 11991207 (doi: 10.3189/2014JoG14J047)

Keywords

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