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Distribution and pattern of shallow melting at the local glaciers of Terra Nova Bay (Antarctica) coast

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Abstract:

Melting is a fundamental process in glacier mass balance as well as in other glacial processes such as ice movement, ice avalanches and snow metamorphism. At Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica, the annual mean temperature is <0°C but melting is not negligible. Our data show that melting is present up to 1300 m a.s.l. The distribution and relative importance of melting change with elevation and exposure. At low elevation and with a southerly exposure, melting is one of the major summer ablation processes, synergetic with dry calving and katabatic wind. Meltwater seepage reaches the glacier substrate. Discharge appears to be linked to irradiation, offset by a few hours relative to it. The frontal area of the glaciers therefore behaves like an aquifer, and its characteristics depend on the morphology of the front. As elevation increases, melting at first becomes limited to the snowpack, then to low-albedo cases, for example when dust is brought in from the areas surrounding the glacier. In this case, melting limits ablation, providing the snow with increased resistance to wind erosion.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756404781814140

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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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.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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