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Estimating surface melt and runoff on the Antarctic Peninsula using ERA-Interim reanalysis data

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 December 2018

Juliana Costi*
Centro Polar e Climático, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil Laboratório de Análise Numérica e Sistemas Dinâmicos, Instituto de Matemática, Estatística e Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Brazil
Jorge Arigony-Neto
Laboratório de Monitoramento da Criosfera, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Brazil
Matthias Braun
Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Wetterkreuz 15, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany
Bulat Mavlyudov
Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geography, Vavilova, 37, Moscow, Russia
Nicholas E. Barrand
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Aline Barbosa da Silva
Laboratório de Monitoramento da Criosfera, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Brazil
Wiliam Correa Marques
Laboratório de Análise Numérica e Sistemas Dinâmicos, Instituto de Matemática, Estatística e Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Brazil
Jefferson Cardia Simões
Centro Polar e Climático, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil


Using the positive degree days approach and ERA-Interim reanalysis downscaled data, the researchers ran a melt model spatially gridded at 200 m with annual temporal resolution over 32 years and estimated surface melt (SM) and surface runoff (SR) on the Antarctic Peninsula. The model was calibrated and validated independently by field measurements. The maximum surface melt values occurred in 1985 (129 Gt), and the maximum runoff (40 Gt) occurred in 1993; both parameters showed minimum values in 2014 (26 Gt and 0.37 Gt, respectively). No significant trends are present. Two widespread positive anomalies occurred in 1993 and 2006. The results reveal that the floating ice areas produce an average of 68% of runoff and 61% of surface melt, emphasizing their importance to coastal hydrography. During the seven years preceding the Larsen B collapse, surface melt retention was higher than 95% on floating ice areas, and negative runoff anomalies persisted. Excluding the islands, the vicinity of this former ice shelf exhibits the highest specific surface melt and runoff across the studied area.

Physical Sciences
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2018 

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