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Volume-area scaling vs flowline modelling in glacier volume projections
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences)(Uppsala University, Air and Water Science.
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2007 (English)In: Annals of Glaciology, ISSN 0260-3055, Vol. 46, 234-240 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Volume-area scaling provides a practical alternative to ice-flow modelling to account for glacier size changes when modelling future glacier evolutions, however, uncertainties remain as to the validity of the approach under non-steady conditions. We address these uncertainties by deriving scaling exponents in volume-area relationship from one-dimensional ice-flow modelling. We generate a set of 37 synthetic steady-state glaciers of different sizes, and then model volume evolutions due to climate warming and cooling as prescribed by negative and positive mass balance perturbations, respectively, on a century time scale. The scaling exponent derived for the steady-state glaciers (=1.56) differs from the exponents derived from the glaciers in transient (non-steady) state by up to 86%. Nevertheless, volume projections employing volume-area scaling are relatively insensitive to these differences in scaling exponents. Volume-area scaling agrees well with the results from ice-flow modelling and is able to simulate the approach of a glacier to a new steady state, if mass-balance elevation feedback is considered by adding or removing elevation bands at the lowest part of the glacier in response to mass balance variations. Provided area-changes are considered in the mass balance computations in this way, our results indicate that volume-area scaling is a powerful tool for glacier volume projections on multi-century time scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 46, 234-240 p.
Keyword [en]
glacier, mass balance, volume changes, synthetic glaciers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26071DOI: 10.3189/172756407782871288OAI: diva2:202346
Available from: 2009-03-09 Created: 2009-03-09 Last updated: 2009-04-20Bibliographically approved

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