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Title: Meltwater flux and runoff modeling in the abalation area of jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland

Abstract

The temporal variability in surface snow and glacier melt flux and runoff were investigated for the ablation area of lakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland. High-resolution meteorological observations both on and outside the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were used as model input. Realistic descriptions of snow accumulation, snow and glacier-ice melt, and runoff are essential to understand trends in ice sheet surface properties and processes. SnowModel, a physically based, spatially distributed meteorological and snow-evolution modeling system was used to simulate the temporal variability of lakobshavn Isbrre accumulation and ablation processes for 2000/01-2006/07. Winter snow-depth observations and MODIS satellite-derived summer melt observations were used for model validation of accumulation and ablation. Simulations agreed well with observed values. Simulated annual surface melt varied from as low as 3.83 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2001/02) to as high as 8.64 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2004/05). Modeled surface melt occurred at elevations reaching 1,870 m a.s.l. for 2004/05, while the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) fluctuated from 990 to 1,210 m a.s.l. during the simulation period. The SnowModel meltwater retention and refreezing routines considerably reduce the amount of meltwater available as ice sheet runoff; without these routines the lakobshavn surface runoff would be overestimated by anmore » average of 80%. From September/October through May/June no runoff events were simulated. The modeled interannual runoff variability varied from 1.81 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2001/02) to 5.21 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2004/05), yielding a cumulative runoff at the Jakobshavn glacier terminus of {approx}2.25 m w.eq. to {approx}4.5 m w.eq., respectively. The average modeled lakobshavn runoff of {approx}3.4 km{sup 3} y{sup -1} was merged with previous estimates of Jakobshavn ice discharge to quantify the freshwater flux to Illulissat Icefiord. For both runoff and ice discharge the average trends are similar, indicating increasing (insignificant) influx of freshwater to the Illulissat Icefiord for the period 2000/01-2006/07. This study suggests that surface runoff forms a minor part of the overall Jakobshavn freshwater flux to the fiord: around 7% ({approx}3.4 km{sup 3} y{sup -1}) of the average annual freshwater flux of {approx}51.0 km{sup 3} y{sup -1} originates from the surface runoff.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
  2. COLORADO STATE UNIV.
  3. UNIV OF COLORADO
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
971307
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-09-06178; LA-UR-09-6178
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-1430; JOGLAO; TRN: US201004%%69
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Glaciology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Glaciology; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-1430
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58; 97; ABLATION; ALTITUDE; GLACIERS; GREENLAND; RETENTION; RUNOFF; SIMULATION; SNOW; SURFACE PROPERTIES; VALIDATION

Citation Formats

Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, Chylek, Petr, Liston, Glen, and Steffen, Konrad. Meltwater flux and runoff modeling in the abalation area of jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, Chylek, Petr, Liston, Glen, & Steffen, Konrad. Meltwater flux and runoff modeling in the abalation area of jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland. United States.
Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, Chylek, Petr, Liston, Glen, and Steffen, Konrad. 2009. "Meltwater flux and runoff modeling in the abalation area of jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/971307.
@article{osti_971307,
title = {Meltwater flux and runoff modeling in the abalation area of jakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland},
author = {Mernild, Sebastian Haugard and Chylek, Petr and Liston, Glen and Steffen, Konrad},
abstractNote = {The temporal variability in surface snow and glacier melt flux and runoff were investigated for the ablation area of lakobshavn Isbrae, West Greenland. High-resolution meteorological observations both on and outside the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) were used as model input. Realistic descriptions of snow accumulation, snow and glacier-ice melt, and runoff are essential to understand trends in ice sheet surface properties and processes. SnowModel, a physically based, spatially distributed meteorological and snow-evolution modeling system was used to simulate the temporal variability of lakobshavn Isbrre accumulation and ablation processes for 2000/01-2006/07. Winter snow-depth observations and MODIS satellite-derived summer melt observations were used for model validation of accumulation and ablation. Simulations agreed well with observed values. Simulated annual surface melt varied from as low as 3.83 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2001/02) to as high as 8.64 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2004/05). Modeled surface melt occurred at elevations reaching 1,870 m a.s.l. for 2004/05, while the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) fluctuated from 990 to 1,210 m a.s.l. during the simulation period. The SnowModel meltwater retention and refreezing routines considerably reduce the amount of meltwater available as ice sheet runoff; without these routines the lakobshavn surface runoff would be overestimated by an average of 80%. From September/October through May/June no runoff events were simulated. The modeled interannual runoff variability varied from 1.81 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2001/02) to 5.21 x 10{sup 9} m{sup 3} (2004/05), yielding a cumulative runoff at the Jakobshavn glacier terminus of {approx}2.25 m w.eq. to {approx}4.5 m w.eq., respectively. The average modeled lakobshavn runoff of {approx}3.4 km{sup 3} y{sup -1} was merged with previous estimates of Jakobshavn ice discharge to quantify the freshwater flux to Illulissat Icefiord. For both runoff and ice discharge the average trends are similar, indicating increasing (insignificant) influx of freshwater to the Illulissat Icefiord for the period 2000/01-2006/07. This study suggests that surface runoff forms a minor part of the overall Jakobshavn freshwater flux to the fiord: around 7% ({approx}3.4 km{sup 3} y{sup -1}) of the average annual freshwater flux of {approx}51.0 km{sup 3} y{sup -1} originates from the surface runoff.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/971307}, journal = {Journal of Glaciology},
issn = {0022-1430},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {1}
}