Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Glacier subsurface heat-flux characterizations for energy-balance modelling in the Donjek Range, southwest Yukon, Canada

  • Brett A. Wheler (a1) and Gwenn E. Flowers (a1)
Abstract

We apply a point-scale energy-balance model to a small polythermal glacier in the St Elias Mountains of Canada in order to investigate the applicability and limitations of different treatments of the glacier surface temperature and subsurface heat flux. These treatments range in complexity from a multilayer subsurface model that simulates snowpack evolution, to the assumption of a constant glacier surface temperature equal to 0°C. The most sophisticated model includes dry densification of the snowpack, penetration of shortwave radiation into the subsurface, internal melting, refreezing of percolating meltwater and generation of slush layers. Measurements of subsurface temperature and surface lowering are used for model validation, and highlight the importance of including subsurface penetration of shortwave radiation in the model. Using an iterative scheme to solve for the subsurface heat flux as the residual of the energy-balance equation results in an overestimation of total ablation by 18%, while the multilayer subsurface model underestimates ablation by 6%. By comparison, the 0°C surface assumption leads to an overestimation of ablation of 29% in this study where the mean annual air temperature is about −8°C.

  • 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 subsurface heat-flux characterizations for energy-balance modelling in the Donjek Range, southwest Yukon, Canada
      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 subsurface heat-flux characterizations for energy-balance modelling in the Donjek Range, southwest Yukon, Canada
      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 subsurface heat-flux characterizations for energy-balance modelling in the Donjek Range, southwest Yukon, Canada
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Andreas, E.L., Jordan, R.E. and Makshtas, A.P.. 2004. Simulations of snow, ice, and near-surface atmospheric processes on Ice Station Weddell. J. Hydromet., 5(4), 611624.
Arendt, A.A., Echelmeyer, K.A., Harrison, W.D., Lingle, C.S. and Valentine, V.B.. 2002. Rapid wastage of Alaska glaciers and their contribution to rising sea level. Science, 297(5580), 382386.
Arnold, N.S., Willis, I.C., Sharp, M.J., Richards, K.S. and Lawson, W.J.. 1996. A distributed surface energy-balance model for a small valley glacier. I. Development and testing for Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Valais, Switzerland. J. Glaciol., 42(140), 7789.
Bartelt, P. and Lehning, M.. 2002. A physical SNOWPACK model for the Swiss avalanche warning. Part I: numerical model. Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 35(3), 123145.
Beljaars, A. and Holtslag, A.. 1991. Flux parameterization over land surface for atmospheric models. J. Appl. Meteorol., 30(3), 327341.
Berthier, E., Schiefer, E., Clarke, G.K.C., Menounos, B. and Rémy, F.. 2010. Contribution of Alaskan glaciers to sea-level rise derived from satellite imagery. Nature Geosci., 3(2), 9295.
Bohren, C.F., and Barkstrom, B.R.. 1974. Theory of the optical properties of snow. J. Geophys. Res., 79(30), 45274535.
Bougamont, M., Bamber, J.L. and Greuell, W.. 2005. A surface mass balance model for the Greenland Ice Sheet. J. Geophys. Res., 110(F4), F04018. (10.1029/2005JF000348.)
Braithwaite, R.J., Konzelmann, T., Marty, C. and Olesen, O.B.. 1998. Reconnaissance study of glacier energy balance in North Greenland, 1993–94. J. Glaciol., 44(147), 239247.
Braithwaite, R.J., Zhang, Y. and Raper, S.C.B.. 2002. Temperature sensitivity of the mass balance of mountain glaciers and ice caps as a climatological characteristic. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 38(1), 3561.
Braun, L.N. and Aellen, M..1990. Modelling discharge of glacierized basins assisted by direct measurements of glacier mass balance. IAHS Publ. 193 (Symposium at Lausanne 1990 – Hydrology in Mountainous Regions I: Hydrological Measurements; the Water Cycle), 99106.
Braun, M. and Hock, R.. 2004. Spatially distributed surface energy balance and ablation modelling on the ice cap of King George Island (Antarctica). Global Planet. Change, 42(1–4), 4558.
Brock, B.W., Willis, I.C., Sharp, M.J. and Arnold, N.S.. 2000. Modelling seasonal and spatial variations in the surface energy balance of Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Switzerland. Ann. Glaciol., 31, 5362.
Brun, E., Martin, E., Simon, V., Gendre, C. and Coléou, C.. 1989. An energy and mass model of snow cover suitable for operational avalanche forecasting. J. Glaciol., 35(121), 333342.
Clarke, G.K.C. and Holdsworth, G.. 2002. Glaciers of the St Elias Mountains. In Williams, R.S. Jr and Ferrigno, J.G., eds. Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world. Denver, CO, US Geological Survey, J301J328. (USGS Professional Paper 1386-J.)
Coléou, C. and Lesaffre, B.. 1998. Irreducible water saturation in snow: experimental results in a cold laboratory. Ann. Glaciol., 26,6468.
Corripio, J. 2003. Modeling the energy balance of high altitude glacierised basins in the Central Andes. (PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh.)
De Paoli, L. and Flowers, G.E.. 2009. Dynamics of a small surge-type glacier investigated using one-dimensional geophysical inversion. J. Glaciol., 55(194), 11011112.
Dyer, A.J. 1974. A review of flux-profile relationships. Bound.-Layer Meteorol., 7(3), 363372.
Escher-Vetter, H. 1985. Energy balance calculations for the ablation period 1982 at Vernagtferner, Oetztal Alps. Ann. Glaciol., 6, 158160.
Greuell, J.W. and Konzelmann, T.. 1994. Numerical modeling of the energy balance and the englacial temperature of the Greenland ice sheet: calculations for the ETH-Camp location (West Greenland, 1155 m a.s.l.). Global Planet. Change, 9(1–2), 91114.
Greuell, W. and Oerlemans, J.. 1986. Sensitivity studies with a mass balance model including temperature profile calculations inside the glacier. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 22(2), 101124.
Herron, M.M. and Langway, Jr., 1980. Firn densificatio: an empirical model. J. Glaciol., 25(93), 373385.
Hock, R. 2005. Glacier melt: a review on processes and their modelling. Progr. Phys. Geogr., 29(3), 362391.
Hock, R. and Holmgren, B.C.C.. 2005. A distributed surface energy-balance model for complex topography and its application to Storglaciären, Sweden. J. Glaciol., 51(172), 2536.
Hock, R. and Noetzli, C.. 1997. Areal melt and discharge modelling of Storglaciären, Sweden. Ann. Glaciol., 24, 211216.
Huang, M. 1990. On the temperature distribution of glaciers in China. J. Glaciol., 36(123), 210216.
Jordan, R. 1991. A one-dimensional temperature model for a snow cover: technical documentation for SNTHERM.89. CRREL Spec. Rep. 9-116.
Kaser, G., Cogley, J.G., Dyurgerov, M.B., Meier, M.F. and Ohmura, A.. 2006. Mass balance of glaciers and ice caps: consensus estimates for 1961–2004. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(19), L19501. (10.1029/2006GL027511.)
Kattelmann, R. and Yang, D.. 1992. Factors delaying spring runoff in the upper Ürümqi River basin, China. Ann. Glaciol., 16, 225230.
Klok, E.J. and Oerlemans, J.. 2002. Model study of the spatial distribution of the energy and mass balance of Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland. J. Glaciol., 48(163), 505518.
Klok, E.J., Nolan, M. and van den Broeke, M.R.. 2005. Analysis of meteorological data and the surface energy balance of McCall Glacier, Alaska, USA. J. Glaciol., 51(174), 451461.
Konzelmann, T. and Braithwaite, R.J.. 1995. Variations of ablation, albedo and energy balance at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet, Kronprins Christian Land, eastern north Greenland. J. Glaciol., 41(137), 174182.
Lemke, P. and 10 others. 2007. Observations: changes in snow, ice and frozen ground. In Solomon, S. and 7 others, eds. 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, 339383.
Li, J. and Zwally, H.J.. 2004. Modeling the density variation in the shallow firn layer. Ann. Glaciol., 38, 309313.
MacDougall, A.H. and Flowers, G.E.. In press. Spatial and temporal transferability of a distributed energy-balance glacier melt model. J. Climate.
Moore, R.D. and Demuth, M.N.. 2001. Mass balance and streamflow variability at Place Glacier, Canada in relation to recent climate fluctuations. Hydrol. Process., 15(18), 34723486.
Munro, D.S. 1989. Surface roughness and bulk heat transfer on a glacier: comparison with eddy correlation. J. Glaciol., 35(121), 343348.
Munro, D.S. 1990. Comparison of melt energy computations and ablatometer measurements on melting ice and snow. Arct. Alp. Res., 22(2), 153162.
Oerlemans, J. 2000. Analysis of a 3 year meteorological record from the ablation zone of Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland: energy and mass balance. J. Glaciol., 46(155), 571579.
Paterson, W.S.B. 1994. The physics of glaciers. Third edition. Oxford, etc., Elsevier.
Paulson, C.A. 1970. The mathematical representation of wind speed and temperature profiles in the unstable atmospheric surface layer. J. Appl. Meteorol., 9(6), 857861.
Pellicciotti, F. and 7 others. 2008. A study of the energy balance and melt regime on Juncal Norte Glacier, semi-arid Andes of central Chile, using melt models of different complexity. Hydrol. Process., 22(19), 39803997.
Pellicciotti, F., Carenzo, M., Helbing, J., Rimkus, S. and Burlando, P.. 2009. On the role of the subsurface heat conduction in glacier energy-balance modelling. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 1624.
Raper, S.C.B. and Braithwaite, R.J.. 2006. Low sea level rise projections from mountain glaciers and icecaps under global warming. Nature, 439(7074), 311313.
Reijmer, C.H. and Hock, R.. 2008. Internal accumulation on Storglaciären, Sweden, in a multi-layer snow model coupled to a distributed energy- and mass-balance model. J. Glaciol., 54(184), 6172.
Schneider, T. and Jansson, P.. 2004. Internal accumulation in firn and its significance in the mass balance of Storglaciären, Sweden. J. Geophys. Res., 109(F2), F02009. (10.1029/2003JF000110.)
Seidel, K. and Martinec, J.. 2004. Remote sensing in snow hydrology: runoff modelling, effect of climate change. Chichester, Springer-Praxis.
Sturm, M. and Benson, C.S.. 1997. Vapor transport, grain growth and depth-hoar development in the subarctic snow. J. Glaciol., 43(143), 4259.
Sturm, M., Holmgren, J., König, M. and Morris, K.. 1997. The thermal conductivity of seasonal snow. J. Glaciol., 43(143), 2641.
Van de Wal, R.S.W. and Russell, A.J.. 1994. A comparison of energy balance calculations, measured ablation and meltwater runoff near Søndre Strømfjord, West Greenland. Global Planet. Change, 9(1–2), 2938.
Wheler, B.A. 2009. Glacier melt modelling in the Donjek Range, St Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory. (MSc thesis, University of Alberta.)
Willis, I.C., Arnold, N.S. and Brock, B.W.. 2002. Effect of snowpack removal on energy balance, melt and runoff in a small supraglacial catchment. Hydrol. Process., 16(14), 27212749.
Zwally, H.J. and Li, J.. 2002. Seasonal and interannual variations of firn densification and ice-sheet surface elevation at Greenland summit. J. Glaciol., 48(161), 199207.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

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