Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Glacier-wide summer surface mass-balance calculation: hydrological balance applied to the Argentière and Mer de Glace drainage basins (Mont Blanc)

  • A. VIANI (a1) (a2), T. CONDOM (a1), C. VINCENT (a3), A. RABATEL (a3), B. BACCHI (a2), J.E. SICART (a1), J. REVUELTO (a4), D. SIX (a3) and I. ZIN (a1)...
Abstract

We present the glacier-wide summer surface mass balances determined by a detailed hydrological balance (sSMBhydro) and the quantification of the uncertainties of the calculations on the Argentière and Mer de Glace-Leschaux drainage basins, located in the upper Arve watershed (French Alps), over the period 1996–2004. The spatial distribution of precipitation within the study area was adjusted using in situ winter mass-balance measurements. The sSMBhydro performance was assessed via a comparison with the summer surface mass balances based on in situ glaciological observations (sSMBglacio). Our results show that the sSMBhydro has an uncertainty of ± 0.67 m w.e. a−1 at Argentière and ± 0.66 m w.e. a−1 at Mer de Glace-Leschaux. Estimates of the Argentière sSMBhydro values are in good agreement with the sSMBglacio values. These time series show almost the same interannual variability. From the marked difference between the sSMBhydro and sSMBglacio values for the Mer de Glace-Leschaux glacier, we suspect a significant role of groundwater fluxes in the hydrological balance. This study underlines the importance of taking into account the groundwater transfers to represent and predict the hydro-glaciological behaviour of a catchment.

  • 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-wide summer surface mass-balance calculation: hydrological balance applied to the Argentière and Mer de Glace drainage basins (Mont Blanc)
      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-wide summer surface mass-balance calculation: hydrological balance applied to the Argentière and Mer de Glace drainage basins (Mont Blanc)
      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-wide summer surface mass-balance calculation: hydrological balance applied to the Argentière and Mer de Glace drainage basins (Mont Blanc)
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Alessandra Viani <vianialessandra@gmail.com>
References
Hide All
Barnett, TP, Adam, JC and Lettenmaier, DP (2005) Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature, 438(7066), 303309 (doi: 10.1038/nature04141)
Berthier, E and 10 others (2014) Glacier topography and elevation changes derived from pléiades sub-meter stereo images. Cryosphere, 8(6), 22752291 (doi: 10.5194/tc-8-2275-2014)
Birman, C and 7 others (2017) Precipitation analysis over the French Alps using a variational approach and study of potential added value of ground-based radar observations. J. Hydrometeorol., 18, 14251451 (doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-16-0144.1)
Bucher, K, Kerschner, H, Lumasegger, M, Mergili, M and Rastner, P (2004) Spatial Precipitation Modelling for the Tyrol Region. Institut für Geographie, Univ. Innsbruck, S 1-5 http://tirolatlas.uibk.ac.at
Carturan, L, Fontana, GD and Borga, M (2012) Estimation of winter precipitation in a high-altitude catchment of the Eastern Italian Alps: validation by means of glacier mass balance observations. Geogr. Fis. Dinam. Quat., 35(1), 3748 (doi: 10.4461/GFDQ.2012.35.4)
Church, JA and 13 others (2013) Sea level change. In Stocker, TF, Qin, D, Plattner, G-K, Tignor, M, Allen, SK, Boschung, J, Nauels, A, Xia, Y, Bex, V and Midgley, PM eds. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 11371216 (doi: 10.1017/ CBO9781107415324.026)
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
Corbin, P and Oulianoff, N (1930) Notice explicative de la Carte Geologique du Massif du Mont Blanc (partie francaise) a l’échelle du 1/20 000- Feuille Vallorcine. Notice+Carte Géologique Au 1/20 000
Courtier, P, Freyder, C, Geleyn, JF, Rabier, F and Rochas, M (1991) The arpège project at Météo-France. In Proceedings of the ECMWF Seminar on Numerical Methods in Atmospheric Models, Vol. 2, 9–13 September 1991. Reading, England, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, 193–323
Dahlke, HE, Lyon, SW, Stedinger, JR, Rosqvist, G and Jansson, P (2012) Contrasting trends in floods for two sub-Arctic catchments in northern Sweden - does glacier presence matter? Hydrol. Earth System Sci., 16(7), 21232141 (doi: 10.5194/hess-16-2123-2012)
Dubois, JD (1992) Typologie des aquifères du cristallin: exemple des massifs des Aiguilles rouges et du Mont-blanc (France, Italie et Suisse). Ph.D. Thesis No. 950. École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. 324 pp
Dumont, M, Durand, Y, Arnaud, Y and Six, D (2012) Variational assimilation of albedo in a snowpack model and reconstruction of the spatial mass-balance distribution of an alpine glacier. J. Glaciol., 58(207), 151164 (doi: 10.3189/2012JoG11J163)
Durand, Y (1985) The use of satellite data in the French high resolution analysis. In ECMWF Workshop on High Resolution Analysis, 24-26 June 1985. Reading, England, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, 89-128
Durand, Y and 5 others (1993) A meteorological estimation of relevant parameters for snow models. Ann. Glac., 18, 6571
Durand, Y, Giraud, G, Brun, E, Mérindol, L and Martin, E (1999) A computer-based system simulating snowpack structures as a tool for regional avalanche forecasting. J. Glaciol., 45(151), 469484 (doi: 10.1109/CBMS.2009.5255250)
Durand, Y and 5 others (2009) Reanalysis of 44 yr of climate in the French Alps (1958-2002): methodology, model validation, climatology, and trends for air temperature and precipitation. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol., 48(3), 429449 (doi: 10.1175/2008JAMC1808.1)
EEA (2007) CLC2006 technical guidelines, EEA Technical Report No. 2007/17, 1–70 (doi: 10.2800/12134)
FAO (1998) Crop evapotranspiration - guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper (No. 56) (doi: 10.1016/j.eja.2010.12.001)
Fu, P and Rich, PM (1999) Design and implementation of the Solar Analyst: an ArcView extension for modeling solar radiation at landscape scales. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual ESRI User Conference
Fu, P and Rich, PM (2002) A geometric solar radiation model and its applications in agriculture and forestry. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry. I-357-364 (doi: 10.1016/S0168-1699(02)00115-1)
Gardent, M, Rabatel, A, Dedieu, JP and Deline, P (2014) Multitemporal glacier inventory of the French Alps from the late 1960s to the late 2000s. Glob. Planet. Change, 120, 2437 (doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.05.004)
Gerbaux, M, Genthon, C, Etchevers, P, Vincent, C and Dedieu, JP (2005) Surface mass balance of glaciers in the French Alps: distributed modeling and sensitivity to climate change. J. Glaciol., 51(175), 561572 (doi: 10.3189/172756505781829133)
Gottardi, F (2009) Estimation statistique et réanalyse des précipitations en montagne. Utilisation d’ébauches par types de temps et assimilation des données d'enneigement. Application aux grands massifs montagneux français. Hydrologie. Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - INPG. Français
Haeberli, W (1995) Glacier fluctuations and climate change detection. Geogr. Fis. Dinam. Quat., 18, 191199
Haeberli, W (2005) Mountain glaciers in global climate-related observing systems. In Huber, UM, Bugmann, HKM, Reasoner, MA eds. Global change and mountain regions. Advances in global change research, 23, 169–175. Springer, Dordrecht.
Hagemann, S, Arpe, K and Bengtsson, L (2009) Validation of the hydrological cycle of ERA-40, ERA-40 Project Report Series No. 24, 1–42
Hall, DK, George, AR and Vincent, VS (2006) Updated daily. MODIS/Terra Snow Cover Daily L3 Global 500 m Grid V005. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media
Immerzeel, WW, Beek, LPH, Konz, M, Shrestha, AB and Bierkens, MFP (2012) Hydrological response to climate change in a glacierized catchment in the Himalayas. Clim. Change, 110, 721736 (doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0143-4)
International Organization for Standardization (2007a) Hydrometry – velocity-area methods using current- meters – collection and processing of data for determination of uncertainties in flow measurement. ISO 1088, Geneva
International Organization for Standardization (2007b) Measurement of liquid flow in open channels using current-meters or floats. ISO 748, Geneva
Jamier, D (1975) Etude de la fissuration, de l'hydrologie et de la géochimie des eaux profondes des massifs de l'Arpille et du Mont Blanc. Tectonics. Université de Lausanne, French
Jansson, P, Hock, R and Schneider, T (2003) The concept of glacier storage: a review. J. Hydrol., 282(1–4), 116129 (doi: 10.1016/S0022-1694(03)00258-0)
Johannesson, T (1997) The response of two Icelandic glaciers to climatic warming computed with a degree-day glacier mass-balance model coupled to a dynamic glacier model. J. Glaciol., 43(144), 321327
Jost, G, Moore, RD, Menounos, B and Wheate, R (2012) Quantifying the contribution of glacier runoff to streamflow in the upper Columbia River Basin, Canada. Hydrol. Earth System Sci., 16(3), 849860 (doi: 10.5194/hess-16-849-2012)
Kilchmann, S (2001) Typology of recent growndwaters from different aquifer environments based on geogenic tracer elements. Ph.D. Thesis No. 2411. École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, 254pp
Koboltschnig, GR, Schoner, W, Zappa, M, Kroisleitner, C and Hubert, H (2008) Runoff modelling of the glacierized alpine upper salzach basin (Austria): multi-criteria result validation. Hydrol. Process., 22, 39503964 (doi: 10.1002/hyp.7112)
Konzelmann, T, Calanca, P, Müller, G, Menzel, L and Lang, H (1997) Energy balance and evapotranspiration in a high mountain area during summer. J. Appl. Meteorol., 36, 966973 (doi: 10.1175/1520-0450(1997)036<0966:EBAEIA>2.0.CO;2)
Lliboutry, L (1974) Multivariate statistical analysis of glacier annual balances. J. Glaciol, 13(69), 371392 (doi:10.1017/S0022143000023169)
Maréchal, JC (1998) Les curculations d'eau dans les massifs cristallins alpins et leurs relations avec les ouvrages souterrains. Ph.D. Thesis No. 1796. École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, 1–296
Maréchal, JC (2000) Massif du Mont-Blanc: identification d'une structure geologique majeure. La Houille Blanche, Société Hydrotechnique de France, 6, 7886
Maréchal, JC (2012) Les tunnels alpins: observatoires de l'hydrogéologie des grands massifs montagneux. La Houille Blanche, Société Hydrotechnique de France, 1, 4450 (doi: 10.1051/lhb/2012007)
Marzeion, B, Jarosch, AH and Hofer, M (2012) Past and future sea-level change from the surface mass balance of glaciers. Cryosphere, 6, 12951322 (doi: 10.5194/tc-6-1295-2012)
Morton, FI (1983) Operational estimates of areal evapotranspiration and their significance to the science and practice of hydrology. J. Hydrol., 66, 176
Oerlemans, J (1986) Glaciers as indicators of a carbon dioxide warming. Nature, 320(6063), 607609 (doi: 10.1038/320607a0)
Oudin, L and 6 others (2005) Which potential evapotranspiration input for a lumped rainfall-runoff model? Part 2 - towards a simple and efficient potential evapotranspiration model for rainfall-runoff modelling. J. Hydr., 303(1–4), 290306 (doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.08.026)
Paterson, WSB (1994) The physics of glaciers, 3th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford
Quintana-Seguì, and 8 others (2008) Analysis of near-surface atmospheric variables: validation of the SAFRAN analysis over France. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol., 47(1), 92107 (doi: 10.1175/2007JAMC1636.1)
Rabatel, A, Letréguilly, A, Dedieu, JP and Eckert, N (2013) Changes in glacier equilibrium-line altitude in the western Alps from 1984 to 2010: evaluation by remote sensing and modeling of the morpho-topographic and climate controls. Cryosphere, 7(5), 14551471 (doi: 10.5194/tc-7-1455-2013)
Rabatel, A, Dedieu, JP and Vincent, C (2016) Spatio-temporal changes in glacier-wide mass balance quantified by optical remote sensing on 30 glaciers in the French Alps for the period 1983-2014. J. Glaciol., 62 (236), 11531166 (doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.113)
Réveillet, M, Vincent, C, Six, D and Rabatel, A (2017) Which empirical model is best suited to simulate glacier mass balances? J. Glaciol., 63(237), 3954 (doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.110)
Rich, PM, Dubayah, R, Hetrick, WA and Saving, SC (1994) Using viewshed models to calculate intercepted solar radiation: applications in ecology. Am. Soc. Photogrammetry Remote Sens. Tech. Papers, 1, 524529
Rolland, Y, Cox, S, Boullier, AM, Pennacchioni, G and Mancktelow, N (2003) Rare earth and trace element mobility in mid-crustal shear zones: insights from the Mont Blanc Massif (Western Alps). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 214(1–2), 203219 (doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00372-8)
Rossi, M and Rolland, Y (2014) Stable isotope and Ar/Ar evidence of prolonged multiscale fluid flow during exhumation of orogenic crust: example from the mont blanc and Aar Massifs (NW Alps). Tectonics, 33(9), 16811709 (doi: 10.1002/2013TC003438)
Salomonson, VV and Appel, I (2004) Estimating fractional snow cover from MODIS using the normalized difference snow index. Remote Sens. Environ., 89(3), 351360 (doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2003.10.016)
Six, D and Vincent, C (2014) Sensitivity of surface mass balance and equilibrium-line altitude to climate change in the French Alps. J. Glaciol., 60(223), 867878 (doi: 10.3189/2014JoG14J014)
Six, D, Wagnon, P, Sicart, JE and Vincent, C (2009) Meteorological controls on snow and ice ablation for two very contrasted months on Saint-Sorlin Glacier (France). Ann. Glaciol., 50, 6672 (doi: 10.3189/172756409787769537)
Vaughan, DG and 13 others (2013) Observations: Cryosphere. In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Stocker, TF, Qin, D, Plattner, G-K, Tignor, M, Allen, SK, Boschung, J, Nauels, A, Xia, Y, Bex, V and Midgley, PM eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 317382 (doi: 10.1017/CBO9781107415324.012)
Verbunt, M and 5 others (2003) The hydrological role of snow and glaciers in alpine river basins and their distributed modeling. J. Hydrol. 282(1–4), 3655 (doi: 10.1016/S0022-1694(03)00251-8)
Vincent, C, Soruco, A, Six, D and Meur, ELE (2009) Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d'Argentière, Mont Blanc area, France. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 7379 (doi: 10.3189/172756409787769500)
Vincent, C, Harter, M, Gilbert, A, Berthier, E and Six, D (2014) Future fluctuations of Mer de Glace, French Alps, assessed using a parameterized model calibrated with past thickness changes. Ann. Glaciol., 55(66), 1524 (doi: 10.3189/2014AoG66A050)
Vincent, C and 9 others (2017) Common climatic signal from glaciers in the European Alps over the last 50 years. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 13761383 (doi: 10.1002/2016GL072094)
Vionnet, V and 5 others (2016) Numerical weather forecasts at kilometer scale in the French Alps: evaluation and application for snowpack modeling. J. Hydrometeorol, 17, 25912614 (doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-15-0241.1)
Viviroli, D and Weingartner, R (2004) The hydrological significance of mountains: from regional to global scale. Hydrol. Earth System Sci., 8(6), 10171030 (doi: 10.5194/hess-8-1017-2004)
Viviroli, D, Dürr, HH, Messerli, B, Meybeck, M and Weingartner, R (2007) Mountains of the world, water towers for humanity: typology, mapping, and global significance. Water Resour. Res., 43(7), 113 (doi: 10.1029/2006WR005653)
Viviroli, D and 15 others (2011) Climate change and mountain water resources: overview and recommendations for research, management and policy. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 15(2), 471504 (doi: 10.5194/hess-15-471-2011)
World Meteorological Organization (2010) Manual on stream gauging. Vol. I: Fieldwork. WMO-No. 1044, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva
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? *
×

Keywords

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