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From surge-type to non-surge-type glacier behaviour: midre Love´nbreen, Svalbard

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Since the beginning of the 1900s, the polythermal valley glacier midre Lovénbreen (area 5 km2) in northwestern Svalbard has retreated approximately 1 km. The glacier has not surged for at least 110 years, and the present smooth longitudinal profile and negative mass balance suggest that it is not currently building up to a surge. Based on limited evidence, it has often been assumed that midre Lovénbreen surged around 1880. The ongoing retreat is probably due to quiescent-phase stagnation amplified by 20th-century climate change, as is the case for several other glaciers in Svalbard. Recently, small eskers have been found in the glacier forefield. Based on their geomorphological appearance, these are interpreted as concertina eskers, and they add to the dynamic history of the glacier. Midre Lovénbreen is interpreted as an example of a change from surge-type to non-surge-type glacier behaviour.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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