Title Spatial distribution of surface ablation in the terminus of Rhonegletscher, Switzerland
Author Sugiyama, S.; Yoshizawa, T.; Huss, M.; Tsutaki, S.; Nishimura, D.
Author Affil Sugiyama, S., Hokkaido University, Institute of Low Temperature, Sapporo, Japan. Other: University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Source Annals of Glaciology, 52(58), p.1-8, . Publisher: International Glaciological Society, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0260-3055
Publication Date 2011
Notes In English. 27 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 310218
Index Terms ablation; albedo; climate; glacial lakes; glaciers; glacier ablation; lakes; mapping; melting; models; solar radiation; temperature; topography; Switzerland; Central Europe; elevation; energy balance; Europe; glacial features; microclimate; monitoring; rates; Rhonegletscher; spatial distribution; spatial variations
Abstract The spatial pattern of glacier surface melt was measured with a resolution of 20-100 m within a region extending 1 km up-glacier from the terminus of Rhonegletscher, Switzerland. The melt rate was monitored from 6 July to 6 September 2009 using 44 ablation stakes. We also measured the surface albedo near the stakes to investigate the importance of this parameter for the melt-rate distribution. The melt rate varied from 32.8 to 71.9 mm w.e. d-1 in the study area. Our measurements suggest that the spatial variation of the melt rate can be explained by (1) shading of the ice surface by neighbouring mountains, (2) surface albedo and (3) effects of microclimate (e.g. radiation from sidewalls) on the surface energy balance. The observed melt-rate distribution was compared to the results of a temperature-index melt model, which takes into account shading of direct solar illumination but not the other two effects. The model reproduces some important features of the field data, but its spatial variations are generally less than the measured values. Our study shows the importance of albedo and other local conditions in the accurate estimation of the small-scale melt-rate distribution.
URL http://www.igsoc.org/annals/v52/58/a58a005.pdf
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65007345