Ice flux of Plogbreen, a small ice stream in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

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Abstract:

As part of a long-term mass-balance program run by SWEDARP since 1988, a detailed study on Plogbreen, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, was undertaken during the austral summer of 2003 to investigate the long-term mass balance. We compare ice outflux, out, through a cross-sectional gate with ice influx, in, from the upstream catchment area. The in is based on calculations of snow accumulation upstream of the gate using data available from published ice-core records. The out is based on Glen's flow law aided by thermodynamic modeling and force-budget calculations. Input data from the field consist of measurements of ice surface velocity and ice geometry. The ice surface velocity was measured using repeated differential global positioning system surveying of 40 stakes over a period of 25 days. The ice geometry was determined by 174 km of ground-penetrating radar profiling using ground-based 8 MHz dipole antennas. This study presents the collected velocity and geometry data as well as the calculated ice flux of Plogbreen. The results show a negatively balanced system within the uncertainty limits; out = 0.55 ± 0.05 km3 a−1 and in = 0.4 ± 0.1 km3 a−1. We speculate that the negative balance can be explained by recent eustatic increase reducing resistive stresses and inducing accelerated flow.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756404781813844

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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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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