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Quantification of dead-ice melting in ice-cored moraines at the high-Arctic glacier Holmströmbreen, Svalbard

Schomacker, Anders LU and Kjær, Kurt H. (2008) In Boreas 37(2). p.211-225
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

An extensive dead-ice area has developed at the stagnant snout of the Holmstrombreen glacier, Svalbard, following its last advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The most common landform is ice-cored slopes hosting sediment gravity flows. Dead-ice melting is described and quantified through field studies and analyses of high-resolution, multi-temporal aerial photographs and QuickBird 2 satellite imagery. Field measurements of backwasting of ice-cored slopes indicate melting rates of 9.2 cm/day. Downwasting rates reveal a dead-ice surface lowering of 0.9 m/yr from 1984 to 2004. The volume of melted dead-ice in the marginal zone since the LIA is estimated at 2.72 km(3). Most prominently, dead-ice... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

An extensive dead-ice area has developed at the stagnant snout of the Holmstrombreen glacier, Svalbard, following its last advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The most common landform is ice-cored slopes hosting sediment gravity flows. Dead-ice melting is described and quantified through field studies and analyses of high-resolution, multi-temporal aerial photographs and QuickBird 2 satellite imagery. Field measurements of backwasting of ice-cored slopes indicate melting rates of 9.2 cm/day. Downwasting rates reveal a dead-ice surface lowering of 0.9 m/yr from 1984 to 2004. The volume of melted dead-ice in the marginal zone since the LIA is estimated at 2.72 km(3). Most prominently, dead-ice melting causes the growth of an ice-walled lake with an area increasing near-exponentially over the last 40 years. Despite the high-Arctic setting, dead-ice melting progresses with similar rates as in humid sub-polar climates, stressing that melt rates are governed by processes and topography rather than climate. We suggest that the permafrost and lack of glacier karst prevent meltwater percolation, thus maintaining a liquefied debris-cover where new dead-ice is continuously exposed to melting. As long as backwasting and mass movement processes prevent build-up of an insulating debris-cover, the de-icing continues despite the continuous permafrost. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Boreas
volume
37
issue
2
pages
211 - 225
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000254932200003
  • scopus:55549126516
ISSN
1502-3885
DOI
10.1111/j.1502-3885.2007.00014.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2483b6d2-2172-4a68-97d9-5d6434b4e15a (old id 634300)
date added to LUP
2007-12-13 14:59:18
date last changed
2017-07-09 03:31:27
@article{2483b6d2-2172-4a68-97d9-5d6434b4e15a,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
An extensive dead-ice area has developed at the stagnant snout of the Holmstrombreen glacier, Svalbard, following its last advance during the Little Ice Age (LIA). The most common landform is ice-cored slopes hosting sediment gravity flows. Dead-ice melting is described and quantified through field studies and analyses of high-resolution, multi-temporal aerial photographs and QuickBird 2 satellite imagery. Field measurements of backwasting of ice-cored slopes indicate melting rates of 9.2 cm/day. Downwasting rates reveal a dead-ice surface lowering of 0.9 m/yr from 1984 to 2004. The volume of melted dead-ice in the marginal zone since the LIA is estimated at 2.72 km(3). Most prominently, dead-ice melting causes the growth of an ice-walled lake with an area increasing near-exponentially over the last 40 years. Despite the high-Arctic setting, dead-ice melting progresses with similar rates as in humid sub-polar climates, stressing that melt rates are governed by processes and topography rather than climate. We suggest that the permafrost and lack of glacier karst prevent meltwater percolation, thus maintaining a liquefied debris-cover where new dead-ice is continuously exposed to melting. As long as backwasting and mass movement processes prevent build-up of an insulating debris-cover, the de-icing continues despite the continuous permafrost.},
  author       = {Schomacker, Anders and Kjær, Kurt H.},
  issn         = {1502-3885},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {211--225},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Boreas},
  title        = {Quantification of dead-ice melting in ice-cored moraines at the high-Arctic glacier Holmströmbreen, Svalbard},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1502-3885.2007.00014.x},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2008},
}