Publication details

Surface mass balance of Davies Dome and Whisky Glacier on James Ross Island, north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula, based on different volume-mass conversion approaches

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Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Czech Polar Reports
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

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Keywords glacier mass balance; constant conversion; zonally-variable conversion; Antarctica
Description This study presents surface mass balance of two small glaciers on James Ross Island calculated using constant and zonally-variable conversion factors. The density of 500 and 900 kg·m–3 adopted for snow in the accumulation area and ice in the ablation area, respectively, provides lower mass balance values that better fit to the glaciological records from glaciers on Vega Island and South Shetland Islands. The difference between the cumulative surface mass balance values based on constant (1.23 ± 0.44 m w.e.) and zonally-variable density (0.57 ± 0.67 m w.e.) is higher for Whisky Glacier where a total mass gain was observed over the period 2009–2015. The cumulative surface mass balance values are 0.46 ± 0.36 and 0.11 ± 0.37 m w.e. for Davies Dome, which experienced lower mass gain over the same period. The conversion approach does not affect much the spatial distribution of surface mass balance on glaciers, equilibrium line altitude and accumulation-area ratio. The pattern of the surface mass balance is almost identical in the ablation zone and very similar in the accumulation zone, where the constant conversion factor yields higher surface mass balance values. The equilibrium line altitude and accumulation-area ratio determined for the investigated glaciers differ by less than 2m and 0.01, respectively. The annual changes of equilibrium line altitude and the mean values determined over the period 2009–2015 for Whisky Glacier (311 ± 16 m a.s.l.) and Davies Dome (393 ± 18 m a.s.l.) coincide with the values reported from Bahía del Diablo Glacier on Vega Island but differ from the glaciological records on South Shetland Islands.
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