Estimating the long-term calving flux of Kronebreen, Svalbard from geodetic elevation changes and mass-balance modelling

This study independently quantifies geodetic elevation change and models surface mass balance to solve the continuity equation. The approach is tested on two dynamically different glaciers, Kongsvegen and Kronebreen in northwest Svalbard, through two time epochs, 1966–1990/95 (I) and 1990/95–2007 (II). On Kongsvegen, a dynamically inactive glacier, the residual term represents an error associated with determining elevation changes and surface mass balance. It is apparent that centerline mass-balance estimates are not representative of the entire glacier, which we relate to center-line accumulation being larger than the elevation bin average. On Kronebreen, a fast-flowing and actively calving glacier, a significant part of the residual is identified with the long-term calving flux. For both glaciers, the cumulative surface mass balance remained close to zero during the first epoch but became increasingly negative in the second epoch. The long-term calving flux of Kronebreen is estimated to be –0.14±0.03 km3 w.e. a−1 during epoch I and –0.20±0.05 km3 w.e. a−1 in epoch II.


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Authors: Nuth, C., Schuler, T.V., Kohler, J., Altena, B., Hagen, J. O.

1 January, 2012
Journal of Glaciology / 58
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