Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d’Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France

  • C. Vincent (a1), A. Soruco (a1) (a2), D. Six (a1) and E. Le Meur (a1)

Abstract

Numerous glaciological data have been obtained from measurements carried out on Glacier d’Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France, since the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover, data on annual mass balance, ice-flow velocity, thickness variation and length fluctuation have been obtained from yearly measurements performed since 1975. This dataset provides an excellent opportunity to analyze the relationships between surface mass balance and dynamic response over time periods during which net mass balance changed from positive to negative. Following a positive specific-net-balance period between 1960 and 1981, the ablation zone experienced a large increase in thickness and ice-flow velocities. Conversely, the highly negative specific-net-balance period since 1982 has led to strong thinning, deceleration and retreat of the tongue. The response of these observed dynamics to surface mass balance is analyzed from ice-flux calculations performed on three transverse cross-sections. Our results reveal that the ice fluxes are largely accommodated by ice-flow velocities. Velocity fluctuations are synchronous over the entire area studied. In the largest part of the glacier, no compressing/extending flow change has been observed over the last 30 years and thickness changes are solely driven by surface mass-balance changes. However, on the tongue of the glacier, thickness changes do not depend on surface mass balance but are mainly driven by changes in the longitudinal strain rate.

  • 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.

      Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d’Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France
      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.

      Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d’Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France
      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.

      Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d’Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Bindschadler, R. 1982. A numerical model of temperate glacier flow applied to the quiescent phase of a surge-type glacier. J. Glaciol., 28(99), 239–265.
Haeberli, W., Maisch, M. and Paul, F.. 2002. Mountain glaciers in global climate-related observation networks. WMO Bull., 51(1), 18–25.
Hantz, D. 1981. Dynamique et hydrologie du glacier d’Argentière. (Thèse de docteur-ingénieur, Université de Grenoble.)
Hubbard, A., Blatter, H., Nienow, P., Mair, D. and Hubbard, B.. 1998. Comparison of a three-dimensional model for glacier flow with field data from Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Switzerland. J. Glaciol., 44(147), 368–378.
Huss, M., Sugiyama, S., Bauder, A. and Funk, M.. 2007. Retreat scenarios of Unteraargletscher, Switzerland, using a combined ice-flow mass-balance model. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 39(3), 422–431.
Le Meur, E., Gerbaux, M., Schäfer, M. and Vincent, C.. 2007. Disappearance of an Alpine glacier over the 21st Century simulated from modeling its future surface mass balance. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 261(3–4), 367–374.
Leysinger Vieli, G.J.M.C. and Gudmundsson, G.H.. 2004. On estimating length fluctuations of glaciers caused by changes in climatic forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 109(F1), F01007. (10.1029/2003JF000027.)
Lliboutry, L. and Reynaud, L.. 1981. ‘Global dynamics’ of a temperate valley glacier, Mer de Glace, and past velocities deduced from Forbes’ bands. J. Glaciol., 27(96), 207–226.
Nye, J.F. 1965. The flow of a glacier in a channel of rectangular, elliptic or parabolic cross-section. J. Glaciol., 5(41), 661–690.
Oerlemans, J. 2001. Glaciers and climate change. Lisse, etc., A.A. Balkema.
Oerlemans, J. 2007. Estimating response times of Vadret da Morteratsch, Vadret da Palü, Briksdalsbreen and Nigardsbreen from their length records. J. Glaciol., 53(182), 357–362.
Oerlemans, J. and Fortuin, J.P.F.. 1992. Sensitivity of glaciers and small ice caps to greenhouse warming. Science, 258(5079), 115–117.
Ohmura, A., Bauder, A., Müller, H. and Kappenberger, G.. 2007. Long-term change of mass balance and the role of radiation. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 367–374.
Paterson, W.S.B. 1994. The physics of glaciers. Third edition. Oxford, etc., Elsevier.
Rabatel, A., Dedieu, J.-P. and Vincent, C.. 2005. Using remote-sensing data to determine equilibrium-line altitude and mass-balance time series: validation on three French glaciers, 1994– 2002. J. Glaciol., 51(175), 539–546.
Reynaud, M. 1959. Prospection au glacier d’Argentière. Paris, Société Hydrotechnique de France. Section Glaciologie.
Schäfer, M. and Le Meur, E.. 2007. Improvement of a 2-D SIA ice-flow model: application to Glacier de Saint-Sorlin, France. J. Glaciol., 53(183), 713–722.
Solomon, S. and 7 others, eds. 2007. Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, etc., Cambridge University Press.
Span, N. and Kuhn, M.. 2003. Simulating annual glacier flow with a linear reservoir model. J. Geophys. Res., 108(D10), 4313. (10.1029/2002JD002828.)
Thibert, E., Blanc, R., Vincent, C. and Eckert, N.. 2008. Glaciological and volumetric mass-balance measurements: error analysis over 51 years for Glacier de Sarennes, French Alps. J. Glaciol., 54(186), 522–532.
Vincent, C. 2002. Influence of climate change over the 20th century on four French glacier mass balances. J. Geophys. Res., 107(D19), 4375. (10.1029/2001JD000832.)
Vincent, C. 2007. L’impact du climat sur les variations des glaciers alpins depuis 100 ans. Houille Blanche, 6, 78–82.
Vincent, C., Vallon, M., Reynaud, L. and Le Meur, E.. 2000. Dynamic behaviour analysis of glacier de Saint Sorlin, France, from 40 years of observations, 1957–97. J. Glaciol., 46(154), 499–506.
Vincent, C., Kappenberger, G., Valla, F., Bauder, A., Funk, M. and Le Meur, E.. 2004. Ice ablation as evidence of climate change in the Alps over the 20th century. J. Geophys. Res., 109(D10), D10104. (10.1029/2003JD003857.)
Vincent, C., Le Meur, E., Six, D. and Funk, M.. 2005. Solving the paradox of the end of the Little Ice Age in the Alps. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(9), L09706. (10.1029/2005GL022552.)
Wallinga, J. and van de Wal, R.S.W.. 1998. Sensitivity of Rhonegletscher, Switzerland, to climate change: experiments with a one-dimensional flowline model. J. Glaciol., 44(147), 383–393.

Metrics

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